The New Tug-of-War: Congress, the Executive Branch and National Security / Collective Insecurity-U.S. Defense Policy and the New World Disorder / Nuclear Proliferation: Diminishing Threat? / Strategic Views from the Second Tier-The Nuclear Weapons Policies of France, Britain, and China / the United States, Japan and the Future of Nuclear Weapons

By Bradford, D G | Air & Space Power Journal, Winter 1997 | Go to article overview
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The New Tug-of-War: Congress, the Executive Branch and National Security / Collective Insecurity-U.S. Defense Policy and the New World Disorder / Nuclear Proliferation: Diminishing Threat? / Strategic Views from the Second Tier-The Nuclear Weapons Policies of France, Britain, and China / the United States, Japan and the Future of Nuclear Weapons


Bradford, D G, Air & Space Power Journal


The New Tug-of-War: Congress, the Executive Branch and National Security by Jeremy D. Rosner. The Brookings Institution, Department 029, Washington, D.C. 20042, 1995, 118 pages, $10.95.

Collective Insecurity-U.S. Defense Policy and the New World Disorder by Stephen J. Cimbala. Greenwood Press, 88 Post Road West, Westport, Connecticut 06881, 1995, 240 pages, S59.95.

Nuclear Proliferation: Diminishing Threat? by William H. Kincade. Institute for National Security Studies, US Air Force Academy, 2354 Fairchild Drive, Suite 5D33, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80840, 1995, 56 pages, free.

Strategic Views from the Second Tier-The Nuclear Weapons Policies of France, Britain, and China edited by John C. Hopkins and Weixing Hu. Transaction Publishers, Rutgers-The State University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903, 1995, 279 pages, $21.95.

The United States, Japan and the Future of Nuclear Weapons edited by Rosemarie Philips. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2400 N Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20037, 1995, 179 pages, $12.95.

The cold war justified the possession and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Over the decades, concem about these weapons grew to the point that some nuclear-weapon nations created the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), and most of them agreed to its provisions. However, after signing the NPT, these same nations quadrupled their inventories. Now that the cold war is over and one-time adversaries are "partners for peace," many parties feel that the five nuclear powers no longer need their very large nuclear arsenals. However, these nations argue that (1) they have to keep them because others have them, (2) they need them to defend against strategic uncertainties, (3) they cannot be sure that Russian democratization and marketplace reform will work, and (4) they need to ensure that rogue states like Iraq and North Korea do not develop nuclear weapons and pose a threat to international peace and security. The five books reviewed here counter these arguments with answers, solutions, and information that increase immeasurably the small number of facts regarding the role of nuclear weapons within national security dimensions.

In The New Tug-of-War, Jeremy Rosner, special assistant to President Clinton from 1993 to 1994, makes a detailed analysis of post-cold-war changes on national security policy between the National Security Council (White House) and Capitol Hill. Because the Hill believes that nuclear warfare is no longer inevitable, it is paring budgets, shifting security spending, and decreasing deficit pressures accordingly. Rosner contends that Congress is intent on dominating the budget and is not likely to relinquish control again. Therefore, the more savvy members of the executive branch (especially the Department of Defense [DOD]) should pay close attention to upcoming budget battles because they are likely to be contentious and could lead to a feeling of insecurity in a nation obsessed with global security.

Collective Insecurity is one of Prof. Stephen Cimbala's better works. He offers an excellent analysis of where US nuclear warfare strategy has been, up to the demise of the Soviet Union, and then describes in superb detail the major problems of nuclear disarmament in a time when nations professing to abhor nuclear weapons are proliferating them. Chapter 7 offers an excellent synopsis of the book, with its description of nuclear realism, a concept that helped to stabilize a bipolar world but now-for all the same reasons-threatens to destabilize the post-cold-war international environment of multipolarism.

Cimbala also addresses what the military's coercive capability has become and will continue to become with the elimination of nuclear weaponry. "Military persuasion" is the use of armed forces for purposes other than destruction, and these armed forces use either "coercive" or abasically noncoercive" actions to carry out their missions.

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The New Tug-of-War: Congress, the Executive Branch and National Security / Collective Insecurity-U.S. Defense Policy and the New World Disorder / Nuclear Proliferation: Diminishing Threat? / Strategic Views from the Second Tier-The Nuclear Weapons Policies of France, Britain, and China / the United States, Japan and the Future of Nuclear Weapons
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