Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Michael C. Horowitz


The 1987 Missile Technology Control Regime is a multilateral ballistic missile export regime of members (“Partner States”) who have pledged to strengthen international non-proliferation efforts through export controls. Has the MTCR succeeded in restricting ballistic missile proliferation? This paper seeks to answer this question, and explore if the Missile Technology Control Regime is in need of reform after three decades by drawing upon a compiled data set on all ballistic missiles possessed by the world’s nations as of May 2017. By evaluating missile diffusion over time on a global and regional basis, this paper concludes that the MTCR has succeeded in slowing down the rate of proliferation and restricting the new missile powers to missiles of relatively basic sophistication. However, the Missile Technology Control Regime must be strengthened, considering the omission of the Middle East from the Regime, the ability of missile transfers to catalyze domestic development, and the subversion of the MTCR by its own Partner States.


ballistic missile, missile proliferation, missile technology control regime, export regime, global security, security policy, foreign policy



Date Posted: 12 February 2018


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