In This Review

The Purposes of American Power: An Essay on National Security
The Purposes of American Power: An Essay on National Security
By Robert W. Tucker
Praeger, 1981, 190 pp

A thoughtful and prolific commentator argues that American security interests are the same today as they were in the late 1940s: a balance of military power against the Soviet Union, and close ties with a prosperous Western Europe and Japan. The key to maintaining security is to reassert Western control over the Persian Gulf. Otherwise, "the Soviet Union . . . could dispose of Western Europe's economic life." Tucker believes that the decline of American power, largely self-induced, can be reversed and a successful policy of "limited containment" reestablished.