Guardians Of The Arsenal: The Politics Of Nuclear Strategy

In This Review

Guardians Of The Arsenal: The Politics Of Nuclear Strategy

By Janne E. Nolan
Basic Books, 1989
320 pp. $21.95
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Nolan's story is not new but is told extremely well, a nice blend of journalistic digging and solid historical scholarship. Using the Strategic Defense Initiative as the frame, she recounts the continuing irony of American nuclear policymaking: rhetoric changes but actual plan for use of nuclear weapons stays the same. Like other shifts in public policy from McNamara to Carter, Reagan's SDI changed nuclear planning hardly a whit. Indeed, SDI itself cut off one key element of a transition to a nuclear world dominated by defense by making Moscow unwilling to move forward with deep cuts in offensive forces.

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