Slaying the Nuclear Dragon: Disarmament Dynamics in the Twenty-First Century

Overview

In recent decades the debate on nuclear weapons has focused overwhelmingly on proliferation and nonproliferation dynamics. In a series of Wall Street Journal articles, however, George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn called on governments to rid the world of nuclear weapons, helping to put disarmament back into international security discussions. More recently, U.S. president Barack Obama, prominent U.S. congressional members of both political parties, and a number of influential foreign ...

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Overview

In recent decades the debate on nuclear weapons has focused overwhelmingly on proliferation and nonproliferation dynamics. In a series of Wall Street Journal articles, however, George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn called on governments to rid the world of nuclear weapons, helping to put disarmament back into international security discussions. More recently, U.S. president Barack Obama, prominent U.S. congressional members of both political parties, and a number of influential foreign leaders have espoused the idea of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Turning this vision into reality requires an understanding of the forces driving disarmament forward and those holding it back. Slaying the Nuclear Dragon provides in-depth, objective analysis of current nuclear disarmament dynamics. Examining the political, state-level factors that drive and stall progress, contributors highlight the challenges and opportunities faced by proponents of disarmament. These essays show that although conditions are favorable for significant reductions, numerous hurdles still exist. Contributors look at three categories of states: those that generate momentum for disarmament; those with policies that are problematic for disarmament; and those that actively hinder progress—whether openly, secretly, deliberately, or inadvertently.

Nuclear deterrence was long credited with preventing war between the two major Cold War powers, but with the spread of nuclear technology, threats have shifted to other state powers and to nonstate groups. Slaying the Nuclear Dragon addresses an urgent need to examine nuclear disarmament in a realistic, nonideological manner.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“We need this book. Ogilvie-White and Santoro provide a timely, comprehensive analysis of how current threats are driving disarmament activists and hard-nosed strategists towards a common agenda. Arms control is the new realism. Professors and policymakers will benefit from their detailed, country-by-country assessment of the trends and challenges in the new nuclear security agenda.”—Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund

"This excellent collection of essays outlines different governments' views on the wisdom or folly of nuclear disarmament. Much has been written on the subject since President Obama embraced the vision of a nuclear weapon free world in his April 2009 Prague speech, but almost all of the existing literature focuses on the U.S. debate. Slaying the Nuclear Dragon breaks new ground with detailed empirical studies of key governments' positions for and against the disarmament vision."—Scott D. Sagan, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

"Slaying the Nuclear Dragon highlights the ways that various actors in the international community diverge in their views of the feasibility and desirability of nuclear disarmament. Ogilvie-White and Santoro present an innovative way to categorize these various national positions, and the contributors offer compelling analyses of the events and trends that shape attitudes toward nonproliferation. The volume provides an insightful assessment of the complex issues that animate global nuclear disarmament efforts."—James Wirtz, Dean and Professor, Naval Postgraduate School

"The distinctive feature of this highly readable and comprehensive collection is its focus on the motives and behaviour of the twenty or so states whose help, hindrance, dawdling or cheering will ultimately determine whether we achieve a nuclear weapon free world. Realistic and unsentimental in its assessment of both obstacles to and opportunities for movement, this is an indispensable companion to primarily thematic analyses like my own Commission’s report."—Gareth Evans, Co-Chair, International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

“Ogilvie-White and Santoro have gathered an impressive rostrum of world-class nuclear experts for an in-depth examination of the obstacles to nuclear disarmament and of the ways to overcome them. Going beyond the available literature, this volume is an indispensable contribution to the debate on nuclear abolition."—Bruno Tertrais, Senior Research Fellow, Fondation pour la Recherche Strategique

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Tanya Ogilvie-White is a senior lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and a consulting fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. She is coauthor of Nuclear Weapons Policy at the Crossroads and editor of a forthcoming volume of the correspondence of Michael Quinlan. David Santoro is a senior fellow for nonproliferation and disarmament at Pacific Forum CSIS. He is the author of Treating Weapons Proliferation: An Oncological Approach to the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Technology. Both editors worked on this volume as recipients of the 2010–11 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

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Table of Contents


Foreword
Mark Fitzpatrick

Acknowledgments
Tanya Ogilvie-White and David Santoro

Introduction. The Nuclear Dragon: No Longer out on the Prowl
Tanya Ogilvie-White and David Santoro

Chapter 1. The Optimistic Nuclear Weapon States: The United States and the United Kingdom
David Santoro

Chapter 2. Advocating the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons: The Role of Key Individual and Coalition States
Marianne Hanson

Chapter 3. The Rollback States: South Africa and Kazakhstan
Stephen F. Burgess and Togzhan Kassenova

Chapter 4. The Pessimistic Nuclear Weapon States: France, Russia, and China
David Santoro

Chapter 5. The Threshold States: Japan and Brazil
Maria Rost Rublee

Chapter 6. The Nuclear Energy Aspirants: Egypt and Vietnam
Tanya Ogilvie-White and Maria Rost Rublee

Chapter 7. The Nuclear Holdouts: India, Israel, and Pakistan
Devin T. Hagerty

Chapter 8. The Defiant States: North Korea and Iran
Tanya Ogilvie-White

Chapter 9. The Silent Proliferators: Syria and Myanmar
Jacqueline Shire

Conclusion. The Nuclear Dragon: One Eye Open, One Eye Closed
Tanya Ogilvie-White and David Santoro

Contributors

Index

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