From Deterrence to Defence: The Inside Story of Strategic Policy

Michael Charlton, Author Harvard University Press $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-674-32346-9
In this clear, timely, accessible overview of changes in U.S. nuclear strategic policy over the past 25 years, BBC journalist Charlton interviews many of the American government officials involved currently and in the past in nuclear decision making. Robert McNamara, the formulator of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) as the keystone of nuclear deterrence, states that the "" `Star Wars' initiative is bound to lead, in my opinion . . . to an expansion of Soviet offensive forces.'' Henry Kissinger, the man who tried to ``link'' arms control with other international agreements, states that he believes ``nuclear weapons impose the necessity of co-existence.'' Richard Perle and other Reagan administration officials maintain suspiciously that ``the Soviets will always be prepared to do business with us if it produces an advantage for the Soviet Union.'' Noting that he thinks the U.S. has military superiority over the Soviets, former President Carter says, ``What we define as equality almost inevitably is going to be superiority.'' And Edward Teller, ``father of the H-bomb'' and an early proponent of Star Wars, says ``Defence might suffice to save some remnants of our civilisation.'' Including a chapter of discussion with top European officials, this book presents a solid, informative look at the problem of devising principles for wagingor avoidingnuclear war. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
Paperback - 154 pages - 978-0-674-32347-6
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