Arms control involves negotiating and implementing agreements, among nations, to reduce the number or stop the development of certain types of weapons they produce, or to agree not to export weapons or weapons technologies to third countries. Strategic arms limitation refers principally to nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, but may include other weapons of mass destruction. Not all treaties and arms control initiatives deal with weapons of mass destruction, such as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons or the Ottawa Treaty/
Another way to speak of arms control is that it has goals of both proactive nonproliferation and reactive counterproliferation. One of the challenges of arms control is verification that one's partners are living up to their agreements. Especially in the case of strategic arms, highly technical and sensitive methods may be required for verification. The term national technical means of verification was originally introduced due to Soviet sensitivity about a public admission that U.S. reconnaissance satellites passed over Soviet territory without interference.