Fire In the East: The Rise of Asian Military Power and the Second Nuclear Age

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9780060931551: Fire In the East: The Rise of Asian Military Power and the Second Nuclear Age

On May 11, 1998, India began testing nuclear weapons.
The world will never be the same.

The Indian test of five atomic bombs, and the Pakistani tests that answered a few weeks later, marked the end of the arms control system that has kept the world from nuclear war for half a century. As Paul Bracken, professor of management and political science at Yale University, explains in this landmark study, they signal the reemergence of something the world hasn't seen since the sixteenth century-modern technologically adept military powers on the mainland of Asia.

In Fire in the East, Professor Bracken reveals several alarming trends and secrets, such as how close Isreal actually came to a germ warfare attack during the Gulf War, why "globalization" will spur the development of weapons of mass destruction, how American interests are endangered by Asian nationalism, and how to navigate what he names the second nuclear age. Fire in the East is a provocative account of how the Western monopoly on modern arms is coming to an end, and how it will forever transform America's role on the stage of international politics.

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Review:

Yale political science professor Paul Bracken suggests that the second nuclear age offers many more risks than the first one, the main problem being not that the United States is getting weaker, but that Asia is growing stronger. China looks increasingly aggressive, India and Pakistan have gone nuclear, and more countries--such as Iran, Syria, and North Korea--are waiting in the wings. "Proliferation of modern weaponry is driven not by anything that happens in Washington, but by the national strategies set in Beijing, Delhi, and Tehran," writes Bracken. This has disturbing implications: "Since the War of 1812, only one country in modern history has ever been able to mount a convincing threat to the territory of the United States--the Soviet Union. Now there will be many," he says. Going far beyond the stale debate over engagement versus containment, Bracken argues that the West--especially the United States--must prepare all-new national security strategies to meet the emerging realities of the 21st century: "The long era in which Asia was penetrated by outside powers is coming to a close. An age of Western control is ending, and the challenge is not how to shape what is happening but how to adapt to it." Fire in the East is an outstanding book written by a wise man for a nonspecialist audience, but one so provocative and important that the experts can't ignore it. --John J. Miller

About the Author:

Paul Bracken is a professor of management and political science at Yale University and a well-established expert in the field of international politics. He has served as a consultant to nearly all of the post-cold war government reassessments of national security, including those for the Department of Defense and the CIA. He is the author of Command and Control of Nuclear Forces.

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