The concept of common security emerged in response to deepening anxiety over the perceived implications to world peace and security of continued reliance on the strategy of nuclear deterrence. The imperative for other forms of security 1 rests on the firm conviction that nuclear weapons have ceased to play any viable political or military role. 2 The so-called “threat of mutual destruction’ is regarded as having lost its ‘credibility’ as the ultimate guarantor of ‘nuclear peace,’ the main problem arising from the constant attempt to counter mutual vulnerability through offensive military build-ups suggesting first-strike postures. What these have done is to create a situation which has effectively moved beyond the generally presumed stage of a symmetric or stable balance of military power. Because of the mutually reinforcing link between the spiral of arms competition and the ensuing cycle of mutual insecurity, deterrence is increasingly being perceived by observers on both sides as an offensive and terrorizing strategy which poses inherent dangers of failure, instability and risk of predominantly inadvertent nuclear war. Magnified by the pace of technological military advancements, enhanced fear and mistrust, and a concomitant deterioration in political relations, these destabilizing elements have upset the delicate equilibrium of nuclear deterrence by rendering the attendant risk of mutual devastation unacceptably high.