This chapter describes the intellectual environment for arms control thought during the 1950s. In several important respects the period from 1945-1950 was an anomalous one for postwar arms control thought. There were only a few civilian strategists concerned with arms control. The most influential ideas on the subject were generated by a quite limited group—those associated with the government and therefore privy to information on nuclear technology. By 1948 Oppenheimer was to lament that other preoccupations had caused early arms control thinkers to overlook what, in his view, should have served as “the well-spring” of policy: the bipolar context. The idea that nuclear arms control might best serve as an instrument for stability, instead of for political change or propaganda. The contrast between defense policy, disarmament negotiations, and the emerging American conception of security was highlighted by the bipolar technical and political competition.