From Nuclear Military Strategy to a World without War: A History and a Proposal

By Roger Hilsman | Go to book overview

Chapter 18
Nationalism

If the most effective measure that humankind can take to rid itself of the threat of nuclear war is to establish a government and political system for the planet as a whole, what are the prospects for doing this? Obviously, the problems in achieving a world government are awesome. In the first place, the record of both the League of Nations and the United Nations in keeping the peace is not encouraging. When one reflects on the cultural, religious, and political differences among the countries of the world, the probability of unifying them all without the use of force seems small indeed. And if force had to be used, the cost would probably be destruction and death as widespread as in nuclear war itself.

Even if a single world government is established, what reason is there to hope that endless civil war would not follow? Established states have avoided civil war, but the words "established state" presume a relatively homogeneous citizenry and a working political system. The history of "new" states that came into being after World War II is an endless repetition of civil war and insurrection. Malaysia, the Philippines, Burma, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, the Sudan, the Congo, Angola, Ethiopia, Somalia, and so on down a long, long list -- all had civil wars or rebellions. And this does not include the wars in Korea and Vietnam, since they were as much international as civil wars. If you add the civil wars among "older" states that do not fit our definition of "established states," such as China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Yugoslavia, the list almost doubles.

But in spite of this dismal historical record, the consequences if humankind continues to fight wars as it has in the past are so horrifying that even the slimmest chance of unification through some sort of world government is worth pursuing. If we understood the obstacles better we might find a way around them.

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From Nuclear Military Strategy to a World without War: A History and a Proposal
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xiv
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Part I - The First Attempts at Nuclear Strategy 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Manhattan Project and Early Strategic Thinking 3
  • Notes 14
  • Chapter 2 - Nuclear Strategy and the Attack on Korea 16
  • Notes 27
  • Chapter 3 - New Look, Massive Retaliation, and Flexible Response 28
  • Notes 39
  • Chapter 4 - The H-Bomb and the Balance of Terror 40
  • Notes 47
  • Chapter 5 - The Debate on Nuclear Strategy 49
  • Notes 55
  • Part II - The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Case Study of Nuclear Strategy 57
  • Chpter 6 - The Crisis 59
  • Notes 70
  • Chapter 7 - The Significance 71
  • Note 77
  • Chapter 8 - McNamara II, the Schlesinger Doctrine, and Star Wars 81
  • Notes 94
  • Chapter 9 - No First Use, Counterforce, and Mad as a Strategy 95
  • Notes 103
  • Chapter 10 - The Breakup of the Soviet Union and the Bush -- Yeltsin Agreement 105
  • Notes 113
  • Part IV - The World Turned Upside Down 115
  • A Chapter 11 - Developments in Weapons 117
  • Notes 122
  • Chapter 12 - The Members of the Nuclear Club and Their Arms 123
  • Notes 138
  • Chapter 13 - Soviet, Chinese, and European Nuclear Strategy 139
  • Notes 147
  • Chapter 14 - Armageddon: Six Scenarios of Nuclear War 148
  • Notes 163
  • Part V - Arms Control and Disarmament 165
  • Chapter 15 - The History of Arms Control 167
  • Notes 179
  • Chapter 16 - The Prospects for Arms Control 180
  • Notes 186
  • Part VI - Why War? 187
  • Chapter 17 - The Social and Political Functions of War 189
  • Chapter 18 - Nationalism 198
  • Notes 210
  • Chapter 19 - A World Political Process Without World Government? 211
  • Notes 225
  • Chapter 20 - A Curious Creature 227
  • Notes 230
  • Part VII - Conclusions 231
  • Chapter 21 - A Long-Term Solution, a Medium-Term Compromise, and a Short-Term Stopgap 233
  • Chapter 22 - The Lessons of the "Small Wars" Since World War II 238
  • Notes 256
  • Chapter 23 - Humanitarian and Peacekeeping Forces 259
  • Notes 274
  • Chapter 24 - Conventional Forces for the Medium-Term Compromise 278
  • Notes 290
  • Chapter 25 - Nuclear Forces for the Short- Term Stopgap 291
  • Notes 304
  • Index 305
  • About the Author *
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