In This Review

Analyzing Strategic Nuclear Policy
Analyzing Strategic Nuclear Policy
By Charles L. Glaser
Princeton University Press, 1991, 378 pp

Even if you think the waning of the Cold War has made nuclear strategy about as relevant as lapidary poetry, you will be taken by the power of Glaser's relentless logic. So much of nuclear analysis looked at the world through hopes or fears. It could not be the case, for instance, as doves sometimes argued, that mutual assured destruction made preemption useless and that counterforce weapons were destabilizing because they increased the risk of preemption. MAD is a condition of life, not a strategy. And it is a condition, Glaser concludes, that is not bad compared to the alternatives, which are not feasible anyway, given foreseeable politics and technology.