Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict

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9780029331569: Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict

Instead of fearing a nuclear war between two superpowers, the world now watches smaller conflicts warily, concerned that frustration or bitterness may lead to last resort measures. In this book, Martin Van Creveld addresses the question: Will fear and respect for nuclear weapons be sufficient to prevent their use despite the implacable hatred that characterizes many ancient regional rivalries?

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A somewhat reassuring audit of the residual threat posed by nuclear weapons, from a military analyst whose previous predictions have proved chillingly prescient. With defense budgets in both the US and the erstwhile USSR in full retreat, van Creveld (History/Hebrew University, Jersusalem; The Transformation of War, 1991, etc.) focuses on the state of the atomic-arms art in a clutch of less-developed countries--China, India, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, etc. Among other matters, his informed survey considers the impact of strategic circumstances on national nuclear policies, and provides estimates of each country's atomic inventories. For various reasons, van Creveld concludes that the use of A-bombs or their tactical equivalents by Third World nations is effectively foreclosed. In the case of Pakistan, for instance, the author contends that the development of a nuclear arsenal has made its rulers ``simultaneously more confident of themselves and less adventurous.'' Which is not to say that van Creveld believes the West to be home free. Indeed, he reiterates previous warnings as to the faltering capacity of even modern industrial powers to monopolize violence, let alone combat or contain terrorism, grass-roots insurgencies, and allied belligerencies. For the time being, however, van Creveld doesn't see any danger of nuclear holocaust at the hands of the less- developed nations. A perceptive study that affords a measure of cold comfort on the score of deterrence. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

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.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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