What if the bomb that exploded in Oklahoma City or New York's World Trade Center had used 100 pounds of highly enriched uranium? The destruction would have been far more vast. This danger is not so remote: the recipe for making such a bomb is simple, and soon the ingredients might be easily attained. Thousands of nuclear weapons and hundreds of tons of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium from the weapons complex of the former Soviet Union, poorly guarded and poorly accounted for, could soon leak on to a vast emerging nuclear black market.
A century ago, Europe’s diplomats mismanaged the crisis triggered by the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the continent plunged into World War I, which killed millions, toppled dynasties, and destroyed empires. Today, as the hundredth anniversary of the Great War prompts renewed debate about the war’s causes, scholars and policy experts are also considering the parallels between the present international system and the world of 1914. Are China and the United States fated to follow in the footsteps of previous great power rivals?
In recent years, a new wave of scholarship has argued that democracies have unique advantages that enable them to compete vigorously in international politics. Challenging long-held beliefs--some of which go back to Thucydides’ account of the clash between democratic Athens and authoritarian Sparta--that democracy is a liability in the harsh world of international affairs, many scholars now claim that democracies win most of their wars.
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, scholars and policy analysts in national security have turned their attention to terrorism, considering not only how to prevent future attacks but also the roots of the problem. This book offers some of the latest research in terrorism studies. The contributors examine the sources of contemporary terrorism, discussing the impact of globalization, the influence of religious beliefs, and the increasing dissatisfaction felt by the world’s powerless.
The unprecedented military, economic, and political power of the United States has led some observers to declare that we live in a unipolar world in which America enjoys primacy or even hegemony. At the same time public opinion polls abroad reveal high levels of anti-Americanism, and many foreign governments criticize U.S. policies. Primacy and Its Discontents explores the sources of American primacy, including the uses of U.S. military power, and the likely duration of unipolarity.
The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the most significant challenges to global security in the twenty-first century. Limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials may be the key to preventing a nuclear war or a catastrophic act of nuclear terrorism. Going Nuclear offers conceptual, historical, and analytical perspectives on current problems in controlling nuclear proliferation. It includes essays that examine why countries seek nuclear weapons as well as studies of the nuclear programs of India, Pakistan, and South Africa.
Offense-defense theory argues that the relative ease of offense and defense varies in international politics. When the offense has the advantage, military conquest becomes easier and war is more likely; the opposite is true when the defense has the advantage. The balance between offense and defense depends on geography, technology, and other factors. This theory, and the body of related theories, has generated much debate and research over the past twenty-five years.
Russian military capacity remains a major consideration for global security even in the post-Soviet era. This book assesses today's Russian military and analyzes its possible future direction. The contributors—experts on the subject from both Russia and the West—consider not only how Russia has built its military capacity but also the policies and doctrines that have shaped Russia's defense posture. They discuss such topics as the downsizing of the Russian military, Russia's use of military power in regional conflicts, and the management of Russia's nuclear weapons.
Despite growing concerns after September 11, 2001, over the global terrorist threat and the spread of weapons of mass destruction, international security no longer hinges only on arms control and the prevention of war. Nonmilitary concerns, including emerging infectious diseases, environmental degradation, demographic trends, and humanitarian catastrophes, also represent significant threats to global stability. In this book, leading analysts offer an overview of critical security dangers facing the world today.
Most recent wars have been complex and bloody internal conflicts driven to a significant degree by nationalism and ethnic animosity. Since the end of the Cold War, dozens of wars—in Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia, the former Soviet Union, and elsewhere—have killed or displaced millions of people. Understanding and controlling these wars has become one of the most important and frustrating tasks for scholars and political leaders.
China's relentless economic growth in the 1980s and 1990s heralded its emergence as a great power in world politics. As its economy expanded, China seemed poised to become the second-largest economy in the world. At the same time, it modernized its military and adopted a more assertive diplomatic posture. Many observers have begun to debate the international implications of China's rise. Some analysts argue that China will inevitably pose a threat to peace and security in East Asia. A few even predict a new cold war between Beijing and Washington.