Superpower Arms Control: Setting the Record Straight
Edited by Albert Carnesale and Richard N. Haass
Ballinger, 1987, 392 pp.
Calculated Risks: A Century of Arms Control, Why It Has Failed and How It Can Be Made to Work
By Bruce D. Berkowitz
Simon & Schuster, 1987, 192 pp.
Arms control is praised or damned but seldom is its history analyzed: that is the premise of both these books, and the conclusions of the two are broadly similar. The Carnesale-Haass volume, commissioned by the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, is more detailed in its analysis and uses the evidence of its cases to assess propositions frequently made about the effects of arms control. For instance, do arms control agreements lull the United States into spending less on defense? Not by the book's evidence-quite the contrary. Berkowitz's conclusions reflect what has become the conventional wisdom among moderate critics of arms control-that arms control should not carry too much of the freight of U.S.-Soviet relations, and that negotiations should not be carried out in the glare of publicity-but also demonstrate how far political reality diverges from that conventional wisdom, a fact that makes his policy prescription less than helpful.