South Africa's Weapons of Mass Destruction

By Stevenson, Jonathan | Naval War College Review, Summer 2006 | Go to article overview

South Africa's Weapons of Mass Destruction


Stevenson, Jonathan, Naval War College Review


Purkitt, Helen E., and Stephen F. Burgess. South Africa's Weapons of Mass Destruction. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2005. 322pp. $24.95

North Korea's prime motive for developing and possessing nuclear weapons is probably regime security. Leader Kim Jong-Il's rationale would be that absent weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the international community would find some way to dismantle a repressive, autocratic regime that is completely out of phase with twenty-first-century norms. Authors Helen Purkitt and Stephen Burgess argue in their analysis of South Africa's weapons of mass destruction programs that in the latter part of the twentieth century the white ruling elite made similar calculations, premised on idiosyncratic political ideology and national emotions as much as on rational neorealist power assessments. South Africa's nuclear, biological, and chemical capabilities (unilaterally abandoned by the mid-1990s, after majority rule was established and Cold War threats had receded) arose from its white leaders' alarm over rising regional threats unleashed by decolonization, détente, and corresponding American timidity vis-à-vis the Soviet Union in Africa, and growing international opposition to apartheid.

The book is analytically sound if somewhat inelegantly written. The authors- Purkitt, a professor of political science at the U.S. Naval Academy, and Burgess, an assistant director of the U.S. Air Force Counter proliferation Center as well as an associate professor at the U.S. Air War College-systematically illuminate South Africa's furtive route to clandestine WMD know-how and arsenals. Steps included exploitation of South Africa's own natural resources (uranium), dual-use technology, porous arms-control regimes, and technologically advanced states that perceived themselves as comparably besieged (for instance, Israel and Taiwan). Careful not to oversimplify, the authors also note the organizational, personal, and cognitive factors that enforced this effort. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

South Africa's Weapons of Mass Destruction
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.