Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict

Martin van Creveld, Author Free Press $22.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-02-933156-9

Though the possibility of nuclear confrontation between superpowers has greatly diminished since the end of the Cold War, the possession of nuclear weapons by states whose conflicts are unresolved could turn out to be equally threatening, notes Van Creveld ( The Transformation of War ). He here considers the likelihood of conflict between North and South Korea, China and Taiwan, China and India, India and Pakistan, Israel and the Arab states, as well as the nuclear status of other countries currently developing the scientific, technological and industrial infrastructure that would enable them to build weapons of mass destruction. Van Creveld begins this academic study by describing the basic characteristics of large-scale warfare as it evolved before the introduction of nuclear weapons and the effect of the latter on both the countries that possess them and on those countries threatened by them. Finally, he assesses the impact of nuclear proliferation on the future of war itself, including the configuration of the armies that would be prepared to wage it. For specialists. (Aug.)