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The Arms Control Association is an "exceptional organization that effectively addresses pressing national and international challenges with an impact that is disproportionate to its small size." 

– John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
January 19, 2011
Books of Note
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Getting to Zero: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament

Catherine McArdle Kelleher and Judith Reppy, eds., StanfordUniversity Press, 2011, 404 pp.

This collection of 19 essays looks at a wide range of issues and challenges associated with the global elimination of nuclear weapons. As Catherine McArdle Kelleher, a professor at the University of Maryland and a member of the Arms Control Association’s board of directors, writes in the introduction, Getting to Zero takes for granted that a nuclear-weapon-free world is a desirable outcome. It then seeks to address “what nuclear zero will mean for existing institutions, issues, and practices,” as well as “what has to change for nuclear states to embrace nuclear disarmament as a pressing goal.” The essays deal with past and current visions of a nuclear-weapon-free world, attitudes of major powers toward nuclear weapons, and regional and functional issues that are likely to serve as particular impediments to eliminating nuclear weapons. Contributions include Avner Cohen’s essay on Israel, where the bomb is seen “as the nation’s sacred insurance policy,” and Dennis Gormley’s suggestions on how the United States might allay concerns that nuclear disarmament would serve only to bolster Washington’s conventional military superiority. Peter Dombrowski’s closing chapter offers a series of “practical steps toward nuclear zero,” including a world summit, to be organized soon, with the principal aim of focusing the international community “on the singular purpose of getting to zero.” —ROBERT GOLAN-VILELLA

 


 

Toward a Theory of Spacepower: Selected Essays

Charles D. Lutes and Peter L. Hays, eds., Institute for National Strategic Studies and NationalDefenseUniversity, 2011, 348 pp.

According to its editors, this collection of essays aims to “develop a theoretical framework for examining the fundamental aspects of space power and its relation to the pursuit of national security, economic, informational, and scientific objectives.” The viewpoints come from a wide range of backgrounds including the academic community, the private sector, think tanks, the U.S. government, and international organizations. National security is a central theme in the book; several authors highlight the connection between space capabilities and national security. Everett Dolman and Henry Cooper say that “the United States should deploy weapons in space to assert control of low Earth orbit.” They argue that if the United States deployed weapons in space, its adversaries “would be discouraged from fielding opposing systems.” Michael Krepon, Theresa Hitchens, and Michael Katz-Hyman propose an alternate approach that involves “hedging” against space threats with practices including “situational awareness” (the capacity to monitor objects orbiting the planet), redundancy, and hardening of satellites. They see hard power, or weapons capabilities, in space as an “extraordinarily risky undertaking.” The three authors say that deploying weapons in space would be counterproductive to U.S. economic and security interests because it only would spur other countries to follow suit. —NIK GEBBEN