The Price of Dominance: The New Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Challenge to American Leadership

The Price of Dominance: The New Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Challenge to American Leadership

The Price of Dominance: The New Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Challenge to American Leadership

The Price of Dominance: The New Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Challenge to American Leadership

Synopsis

This volume recommends an integrated programme of strategy, policy, arms-control negotiations and nuclear deployments to foster the necessary co-operation between America and other countries, while retaining strong nuclear deterrence as the foundation of American security strategy.

Excerpt

The nuclear standoff between the Soviet Union and the United States is over, but weapons of mass destruction (WMD) remain the most serious threat to the security of the United States. the Information Revolution has spread the knowledge needed to develop these weapons and driven the globalization of commerce that makes export controls on them harder to enforce each year. As a result, nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons are increasingly the means by which rogue states and terrorist organizations may choose to oppose the United States. At the same time, China and Russia, even though they are no longer America’s enemies, retain large nuclear forces that pose a potential threat.

In this book, Jan Lodal, a former senior official responsible for arms control and defense policy in both Republican and Democratic administrations, makes an intriguing case that the new wmd challenge is an inevitable result of America’s military, political, cultural, and economic dominance. Throughout history, nation-states have coalesced to oppose hegemonic powers, even those with apparently benign intentions. Lodal identifies important changes that can be made in U.S. strategic policy to ameliorate the opposition of other powers to American-led efforts against wmd proliferation. in particular, he strongly urges abandoning the Cold War nuclear doctrine of “damage limiting” and its resulting “prompt retaliatory” nuclear attack plans. Dropping these plans would permit reducing U.S. nuclear forces to 1,200 weapons from today’s total of almost 10,000, without abandon-

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