Thinking About Nuclear Weapons: Principles, Problems, Prospects

Hardcover | March 12, 2009

byMichael Quinlan

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The book reflects the author's experience across more than forty years in assessing and forming policy about nuclear weapons, mostly at senior levels close to the centre both of British governmental decision-making and of NATO's development of plans and deployments, with much interaction alsowith comparable levels of United States activity in the Pentagon and the State department. Part I of the book seeks to distill, from this exceptional background of practical experience, basic conceptual ways of understanding the revolution brought about by nuclear weapons. It also surveys NATO'sprogressive development of thinking about nuclear deterrence, and then discusses the deep moral dilemmas posed - for all possible standpoints - by the existence of such weapons. Part II considers the risks and costs of nuclear-weapon possession, including proliferation dangers, and looks at bothsuccessful and unsuccessful ideas about how to manage them. Part III illustrates specific issues by reviewing the history and current policies of one long-established possessor, the United Kingdom, and two more recent ones, India and Pakistan. Part IV turns to the future, examines the goal ofeventually abolishing all nuclear armouries, and then discusses the practical agenda, short of such a goal, which governments can usefully tackle in reducing the risks of proliferation and other dangers while not surrendering prematurely the war-prevention benefits which nuclear weapons have broughtsince 1945.This book is a project of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War.

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The book reflects the author's experience across more than forty years in assessing and forming policy about nuclear weapons, mostly at senior levels close to the centre both of British governmental decision-making and of NATO's development of plans and deployments, with much interaction alsowith comparable levels of United States acti...

Michael Quinlan entered the UK Home Civil Service in 1954. He was Private Secretary to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Air 1956-58, and to the Chief of the Air Staff 1962-65. From 1968 to 1970 he was one of the Directors of Defence Policy in the Ministry of Defence and from 1970 to 1973 Defence Counsellor in the UK Deleg...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.66 inPublished:March 12, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199563942

ISBN - 13:9780199563944

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Table of Contents

ForewordPrefaceIntroductionPART I - The significance of nuclear weapons1. The Nuclear Revolution2. The Tools of Thinking3. Deterrence4. Nuclear Deterrence in NATO5. The Ethics of Nuclear WeaponsPART II - Managing nuclear weapons6. Risks7. Proliferation8. Arms Racing, Costs, and Arms Control9. Easements and Escape RoutesPART III - National nuclear-weapon postures and policies: Britain, India, Pakistan10. United Kingdom Doctrine and Policy11. Nuclear Weapons in South AsiaPART IV - The path ahead12. The Abolition of Nuclear Armouries?13. The Practical AgendaAppendix 1: Nuclear weapons and preventing warAppendix 2: The strategic use of nuclear weaponsIndex