In This Review
Arm in Arm: The Political Economy of the Global Arms Trade

Arm in Arm: The Political Economy of the Global Arms Trade

By William W. Keller

Basic Books, 1995, 288 pp.

Weapons Proliferation in the 1990s. Edited By Brad Roberts. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995, 473 Pp. $18.00 (Paper).

Keller, formerly a senior analyst and project director at the now-defunct congressional Office of Technology Assessment, chronicles and deplores the conventional arms trade in the late and post--Cold War periods. He focuses primarily on airplanes, tanks, and ships, paying rather less attention to the sale of components, upgrades, and military services, which are of no less importance. The book concludes with a call for the restraint of the international arms trade but an acknowledgment of the powerful political and economic incentives for its continuation.

Roberts' book of essays, taken from The Washington Quarterly, is superior, even though it is an edited volume rather than the product of a single hand. Essays such as those on the deception practices of the Iraqis by David Kay or nonapocalyptic proliferation by Henry Sokolski are informative and novel and carry along some of the weaker contributions. The volume is worth skimming throughout and a close reading in places.