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Arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union differ from United States arms control negotiations with all other states for three reasons: (a) the Soviet Union is an expansionist nation, whereas most other countries accept the state system as it is; (b) the Soviet Union's policy of indefinite territorial expansion is backed by enormous and growing military forces—perhaps the largest in the world; and (c) the Soviet Union does not accept the binding authority of the United Nations Charter as a codification of international law. It regards itself as "exempt" in effect from the rules of the Charter which purport to confine the international use of force to individual or collective self-defense and the "enforcement" of Security Council "decisions".

Since 1945, the Soviet Union has violated art. 2(4) of the Charter so often that the state system has come to take Soviet aggression for granted, or even to assume that it must have a kind of "legal" sanction. Over and over again the Soviet Union has used its own forces or those of its proxies, and has supported terrorists or armed bands in international attacks on the territorial integrity or political independence of states from one end of the earth to the other. The practice has become so common that it has spread outside the zone of the Cold War. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Perez de Cuellar, has recently warned of the threat of world anarchy unless the nations—all the nations—recommit themselves to art. 2(4) of the Charter.

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