The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: An Insider's Perspective

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The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: An Insider's Perspective

By Keith A. Hansen
Stanford University Press, 2006
256 pp. $24.95
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The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: An Insider's Perspective

Keith A. Hansen

Stanford University Press, 2006, 256 pp, $24.95

NATO and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Regional Alliance, Global Threats

Eric Terzuolo

Routledge, 2006, 240 pp, $113.00

By way of contrast to James Risen's journalism, here are two solid works that hark back to an earlier period in security studies, before humanitarian intervention and terrorism crowded out nuclear deterrence and arms control. Efforts to implement a comprehensive test ban began in the 1950s and appeared to have succeeded when President Bill Clinton sent a treaty to the Senate for ratification in 1997. But two years later, the Senate rejected it, and the Bush administration has shown no interest in its revival. Hansen helped negotiate the treaty, and his book is a detailed insider's account of that process, with lots of documents, although it does not say much about the political factors that led to its demise. Given the amount of energy Hansen must have put into this endeavor, his tone is quite measured: the strongest emotion displayed is "disappointment."

Terzuolo also stays close to the diplomatic round, with references to the NATO summits, communiqués, action plans, and speeches that these days rarely get media coverage. His account of how NATO has addressed the issue of weapons of mass destruction since it was pushed to the fore during the Brussels summit of January 1994 is painstaking, an institutional drama rather than a political one. Every possible angle, from arms control to deterrence to emergency preparedness, is addressed, and is done so in the context of the alliance's other challenges, including, more recently, the differences over the Iraq war and the European Union's determination to get involved in defense issues. The work is descriptive rather than analytic, but usefully comprehensive. As one crisis follows another, the ability of NATO to hold itself together and confront problems it can never solve is a testament to its dogged resilience.

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