Academic journal article Military Review

DETERRING AMERICA: Rogue States and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Academic journal article Military Review

DETERRING AMERICA: Rogue States and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Article excerpt

DETERRING AMERICA: Rogue States and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Derek D. Smith, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2006, 197 pages, $24.99.

Given current events involving North Korea, Deterring America: Rogue States and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction is especially timely. The author, Derek Smith, argues that the United States needs to reevaluate its foreign policy and strategies concerning the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Smith offers a theoretical and historical analysis of WMD proliferation and prescribes alternative methods for response that will not be viewed as overly aggressive or arrogant and therefore will not perpetuate the problem. Although Smith is comparatively new to the field of international relations, he has excellent academic credentials (Harvard, Yale, Oxford) and has published several articles on nonproliferation topics.

The first part of Deterring America introduces the dilemmas involved in deterrence theory, discusses the rationality behind brinksmanship diplomacy, and explains why the United States feels it cannot adopt a reactive position on proliferation. The second part applies the principles discussed in part one to U.S. experiences with Iran and North Korea. This portion covers the risks of applying existing policy without properly understanding adversarial perceptions. The last part assesses the various counter-proliferation strategies available to the United States; the political, legal, and moral implications of preemptive or preventive war; and ways of working within the existing international system to create a "global quarantine" against WMD proliferation. …

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