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Books of Note

Latest ACA Resources

The Last Battle of the Cold War: An Inside Account of Negotiating the INF Treaty
By Maynard W. Glitman, Palgrave Macmillan, April 2006, 259 pp.

Ambassador Maynard W. Glitman, who served as the lead U.S. negotiator for the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty from 1985 until its 1987 conclusion, delivers a behind-the-scenes perspective on the first successful U.S. and Soviet effort to eliminate an entire class of weaponry: all groundlaunched missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. The accord also set a precedent for permitting on-site inspections to verify compliance. Glitman devotes much attention to the ideological, political, and technical disagreements that arose between U.S. and Soviet negotiators. He identifies getting the Soviet Union to accept “equal outcomes” instead of “equal reductions” as the most time-consuming dispute and the issue of verification as the most contentious. But Glitman also delves into other factors that impacted the negotiations, including the positions of the United States’ European allies, U.S. infighting, and the global peace movement, which he often disparages.

Common Security in Outer Space and International Law
By Detlev Wolter, UN Institute for Disarmament Research, February 2006, 296 pp.

German diplomat Detlev Wolter recommends the negotiation of a new legal instrument that would seek to fill a gap in the Outer Space Treaty by explicitly prohibiting weapons in space. His proposal comes at a time when the United States is contemplating unilaterally deploying missile interceptors in space. It draws from the 1967 treaty, which in addition to banning the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in space, requires that the use of space be “for the benefit of all mankind” and mandates that space be preserved for peaceful purposes. Legal uncertainties in the treaty regarding military uses and what constitutes the peaceful use of space, however, have spurred countries such as China, France, and Russia to propose special treaty rules to ensure space is kept free of all weapons. Wolter examines their efforts, discusses the legal and political regime governing the use of space, and proposes that a new legal regime be further verified and administered by a corresponding international organization.

Minimum Deterrence and India’s Nuclear Security
By Rajesh M. Basrur, Stanford University Press, January 2006, 245 pp.

Rajesh M. Basrur offers a detailed definition of minimum deterrence as a strategic doctrine and a considered defense of its utility to nuclear-weapon states. Based on the concept that the possession of merely a few nuclear weapons is sufficient to deter, the minimum deterrence posture is distinguished by a small number of undeployed weapons, he argues. Noting that strategic force postures are informed by a state’s historical experience as well as its resources and capabilities, Basrur contends that minimum deterrence is not only the most cost-effective policy but ultimately the optimal posture for a nuclear-weapon state. Such a doctrine minimizes the threat to democratic processes inherent in the possession of a nuclear arsenal, he argues, as well as offers the fewest vulnerabilities to states threatened by nonstate actors. Although India’s strategic doctrine is roughly consistent with minimum deterrence, Basrur finds that it also has tendencies toward a more maximalist posture.

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