This is apparently one of the biggest topics of our time and indeed it has been for the last 50 years. Even today we see President Obama trying to negotiate and work out with the Russians a new nuclear proliferation Treaty, while each nation might reduce the number of Nuclear Weapons, Warheads, and delivery platforms in their arsenals. Obviously, it would only make sense for both nations if they did reduce the number, yet, any linear or one-sided agreement is sure to fail. So, will the new SALT Treaty go through?
Recently, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal titled; “Obama Launches Treaty Blitz” by Jonathan Weisman, in November of 2010. After reading this article, and thinking on the topic, it reminded me of a very good book I have on my bookshelf – that explains all sides to this debate. It explains the Cold War, the thinking behind it, and the massive buildup on both sides. It is a book I own, and remains on my shelf to this day. The name of the book is “The Spread of Nuclear Weapons – A Debate Renewed” by Scott D Sagan and Kenneth N Waltz, published by WW Norton and Company Incorporated, New York, New York, (2003), 222 pages, ISBN: zero – 393 – 97747 – one paperback.
Why is this book important you ask? Well, this latest version has new sections on India and Pakistan, the possibility of a terrorist getting a nuke, and the development of missile defense systems in Europe to protect the NATO nations. Not much has changed since this book was written in 2003, it contains all the same, and current topics, points of contention, common enemies, and the reality of the situation.
There are chapters on the challenges between India and Pakistan who both have nuclear weapons pointed at each other. And in this book both authors debate, one – that more nuclear weapons with more countries might prevent wars, due to similar strategies considered by the RAND Corporation of mutual destruction. The other authors suggest that more weapons only lead to more potential chances of one nation firing upon another, and a reciprocal response. I doubt anybody wants to see that.
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Not long ago, I talked to an interesting person who was in the one of the military war colleges, and of course it is a big topic there, especially considering that any exchange of Nuclear Weapons will involve the United States, even if we are not in that war, we will be called upon to draw down the crisis, clean up the mess, and try to get those nations, whatever is left of them, to renegotiate with the world. This is a serious topic, and therefore this is a good book to help you understand the thinking behind it.