Democracy and Deterrence: The History and Future of Nuclear Strategy

In This Review

Democracy and Deterrence: The History and Future of Nuclear Strategy

By Philip Bobbitt
St. Martin's, 1987
325 pp. $35.00

This is an important, difficult book in an area where fresh perspective seems improbable. Deterring a Soviet nuclear attack on the American homeland has always been a relatively undemanding task, and so American strategic planning has been driven by the problem of extending nuclear protection to Western Europe and Japan. "Crises of vulnerability" did not affect homeland-to-homeland deterrence but did create tensions in extended deterrence; when those tensions were addressed through innovation in strategic doctrine, the result did change the central relationship. The latest vulnerability is more portentous because it arises not from "technological or operational developments but from the growing social alienation of the democratic publics from the policy of nuclear deterrence."

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