The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy (英語) ペーパーバック – 2003/7/18
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First published twenty years ago, Lawrence Freedman's Evolution of Nuclear Strategy was immediately acclaimed as the standard work on the history of attempts to cope militarily and politically with the terrible destructive power of nuclear weapons. It has now been rewritten, drawing on a wide range of new research, and updated to take account of the period following the end of the cold war, taking the story to contemporary arguments about missile defence.
LAWRENCE FREEDMAN is Professor of War Studies and Head of the School of Social Science and Public Policy at King's College, London. He is the author of many books and articles, including The Gulf Conflict (with Efraim Karsh) and Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam. In 1997 he was appointed Official Historian of the Falklands Campaign.
It's just a really disappointing purchase. If I could take time out of reading to return it I would.
Freedman's narratives carries the reader from Trinity, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki in 1945 up to the eve of the US-led intervention into Iraq in 2003. Much of the book is taken up with the long Cold War confrontation between the US and USSR, the powers that accumulated the largest strategic arsenals, dominated the debate over strategy, and were nearly the opponents in a nuclear confrontation over Cuba in 1962. Freedman devotes space along the way to briefer discussions of the attempts at nuclear strategy by the United Kingdom, France, China, and in late chapters, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.
In the end, Freedman cannot bring himself to accept that nuclear weapons have a function beyond deterring the use of other nuclear weapons. This might not be an entirely satisfying conclusion after over 450 pages; the author was clearly reluctant to explore the dynamics of limited exchanges. However, his presentation is even-handed and he does not foreclose other lines of thought. This reviewer wishes he had spent more time on the present instance of deterrence between a small nuclear state such as North Korea and a larger nuclear state such as the US.
"The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy" is highly recommended to students of international and military affairs, as a topic unlikely to go away in the near term.