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

By Roger Hilsman | Go to book overview

The Korean War occurred in the midst of the Cold War struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union, a struggle that we assume will not be revived. No similar threat is on the horizon and there is no reason to maintain forces to meet that kind of attack. If a rivalry like that of the Cold War does arise in the future with a newly belligerent Russia, a newly hostile China, or with some unforeseen power there should be time to build the necessary forces.

However, the same cannot be said about the intervention in Lebanon. The possibility remains of a minor war erupting in the Middle East that could spiral into a major war with the potential of becoming nuclear. And this alone is justification enough for the United States to maintain a standing force that could intervene and stop such an escalation.

The conclusion, then, is that the United States should maintain the capacity to intervene to stop a war that has the potential for escalating into a wider struggle that could become nuclear. The nature and structure of such a force will be examined in Chapter 24.

In the meantime, a quite different problem needs to be examined: where to lodge responsibility for purely humanitarian interventions and for peacekeeping operations. An example of the first is the original mission in Somalia of protecting the distribution of food and medical supplies. As for intervening with military force in an ongoing war or civil war to stop the killing when the war in question has little potential for escalating, the most vivid recent example is President Clinton's decision to commit troops to separate the warring sides in Bosnia in 1995.


NOTES
1
For an analysis of the struggle in Vietnam, see Roger Hilsman, To Move a Nation: The Politics of Foreign Policy in the Administration of John E Kennedy ( Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1967); and Roger Hilsman, "Two American Counters trategies to Guerrilla Warfare: The Case of Vietnam", in China in Crisis, vol. 2, ed. Tang Tsou ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968).
2
This analysis is drawn from Roger Hilsman, George Bush vs. Saddam Hussein: Militar Success! Political Failure? ( Novato, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1992).
4
For a detailed examination of the events leading up to the Gulf War, see ibid.
5
Tim Weiner, "C.I.A. Drafts Covert Plan to Topple Hussein", The New York Times, 26 February 1998, p. A11, and "James Bond vs. Saddam Hussein", The New York Times, 27 February 1998, p. A24.
6
Bernard E. Trainor, "American Arms vs. Iraq", The New York Times, 13 February 1998, pp. 1, 8.
7
See, for example, Richard Perle, "Time to Get Saddam Hussein Out: Halfway Measures Won't Work -- Here's What We Should Do in Iraq", The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 16 February 1998, p. 21. Perle has the reputation of being very much a hard liner, and in this piece he argues that Saddam Hussein must be ousted, but that bombing alone will not work and an invasion by ground forces is essential. Apparently recognizing that few Americans would support invading Iraq, he wistfully argues that the Iraqi political opposition in exile can create the forces necessary among the Iraqi people.
8
The New York Times, 19 February 1998, p. A9.

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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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