Review Essays

From Parameters, Spring 1995, pp. 118-144.

Strategic Reading on Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict


The concept of nation, a Volk or ethnie, is an ancient one, but the idea of the nation-state is relatively new, dating from the rise of modern England and France. Nationalism as a force in international relations dates only from the late 18th century, reaching a peak in Europe in the 1918-1939 period. Frozen thereafter by World War II and the Cold War, it seemed to have disappeared as an issue in Europe. In some ways, however, the emergence of assertive nationalism in Africa and Asia during the postwar breakup of colonialism was but a precursor of what was to come in Europe during the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Ethnic conflicts in post-colonial Africa and Asia have been particularly troublesome in areas where colonialist-drawn pencil lines often boxed competing nations within the borders of one artificial state. Such multinational states also exist in Europe and, as we have seen in Belfast and Sarajevo, the internal struggle for advantage can lead to bloody conflicts in their supposedly "civilized" climes. There are, too, problems that can arise from nations that encompass several states. The Kurds, the Mayans, and the "Arab Nation" in an age of Islamic fundamentalism are but a few examples of the potential for conflict inherent in such diasporas. Nor should one forget the 25 million Russians now living outside Russia in the Baltics, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.

During the next decade, however, it is the often destructive micro-nationalism of Europe and Africa that will cause the most difficulty for strategists looking for ways to put some order into this new world. It will test the limits of self-determination and sovereignty, and challenge the international system to devise universal norms and effective means for protecting human rights, cultural autonomy, and life itself within often cramped political quarters. The problem for strategists is especially acute in two areas: around the rim of the former Soviet Union where ancient hatreds have returned with a vengeance, as the artificial internationalism of communism has crumbled; and in Africa, where the end of the Cold War has led to a diminution of superpower interest in and ability to control ethnic strife. The fighting and genocide that have resulted have scrambled security thinking. They have placed a premium on rapid reaction forces, new ground rules for intervention, and clearer thinking about exit strategies.

Coping with such issues will demand greater understanding of what is distinctive about each ethnic conflict and of the characteristics that all such conflicts share in common. The search for such understanding will require moving beyond the pop writing on nationalism and ethnic conflict and familiarizing oneself with three strands of the more serious but still very readable literature on the subject. The first deals with basic conceptual issues such as the nature of nationalism, sovereignty, and secession. The second, the core of the strategist's interest, deals with the "hows" and "whys" of getting in and out of ethnic conflicts and devising methods for managing and resolving such conflicts. Delving into this latter segment of the literature, steeped as it must be in case studies, will lead one nicely into the third branch that looks at regional peculiarities. Here, however, one has to be careful not to overreach, for it is impossible to become an expert on all regions. It would be best to concentrate on one or two, where language abilities or past or prospective assignments could lead to a real specialization.

Whatever the specialization chosen, it remains best to begin with the general concepts that must be grasped. State and Nation in Multi-Ethnic Societies: The Breakup of Multinational States (1991) edited by Boston University's Uri Ra'anan and others is an excellent place to begin an investigation of the difference between "state" and "nation" and of why some contemporary multinational states succeed while others fail. Ra'anan's opening essay on "states larger than nations" (e.g., the Soviet Union, Canada) and "nations larger than states" (e.g., Germany, China) provides a conceptual and historical introduction that points the reader in the direction of some answers to that "why" as well as some "hows" of avoiding future conflict. One of the more hopeful "hows"-- conflict reduction through cultural autonomy--is explored theoretically by Theodore Hanf of Austria's Renner Institute and by others who examine the historical evidence offered by such "successes" as Catalonia in Spain and Scotland and Wales in the United Kingdom.

Writing from a part of the United Kingdom not noted for its success in this regard, Professor Stephen Ryan of the University of Ulster turns his attention in Ethnic Conflict and International Relations (1990) to examples far removed from Ireland of forced assimilations, forced expulsions, and genocide in an attempt to come up with a useful model for ethnic conflict resolution. This very much "how"-oriented book, crammed with dozens of recent case studies, could serve as a manual for effective peacekeeping. Especially useful are his discussions of the conflict "management" versus "resolution" debate, wherein he notes the management role of the Cold War superpowers in keeping a lid on the worst ethnic violence, and the shifting of that role to the United Nations. He rightfully puts considerable stock in further thickening the global human rights regime as a means of protecting minorities and preventing genocide.

Conflict management is the theme of another useful work, The Politics of Ethnic Conflict Regulation: Case Studies of Protracted Ethnic Conflicts (1993), edited by John McGarry and Brendan O'Leary. Speaking of case studies, two collections worthy of note for those seeking deeper understanding of the ethnic roots of current conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and around the southern rim of the former Soviet Union are: Ethnicity and Conflict in a Post-Communist World: The Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China (1992) edited by Kumar Rupesinghe, Peter King, and Olga Vorkunova of Oslo's International Peace Research Institute; and The Balkans: Minorities and States in Conflict (1993) by Hugh Poulton of London's Minority Rights Group. The latter contains a moving foreword by Milovan Djilas, who did battle with Stalin to save a united Yugoslavia and with Tito to bring about a democratic one. The former book, which contains a rare treatment of China in its section on "brewing ethnic conflicts," brings to mind that there are two predictions for China's future, one being superpower status, the other implosion.

Ethnic Conflict and International Security (1993) edited by Survival's Michael E. Brown starts to examine the issues raised by nationalism in the aftermath of the Cold War. It contains a dozen essays, all by acknowledged experts in the field of strategy, that were originally published in the Spring and Summer 1993 issues of Survival. The following sampling should convey the level of expertise and pragmatic bent of the essays: "Beyond Nationalism and Internationalism: Ethnicity and World Order" by Pierre Hassner of the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI); "Ethnic Conflict and Refugees" by Kathleen Newland, a consultant to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees; "International Mediation of Ethnic Conflicts" by recent NSC staffer Jennone Walker; and "Outside Intervention in Ethnic Conflicts" by Mats Berdal of London's International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and Robert Cooper, the United Kingdom's second-ranking diplomat in Bonn. "The Ethnic Sources of Nationalism" by the London School of Economics' Professor Anthony D. Smith is also worth reading for those interested in the causes of the explosive spread of ethnic conflict. It is a distillation of the thinking of a leading theorist in the field.

Nations in Turmoil: Conflict and Cooperation in Eastern Europe (1993) by Janusz Bugajski of Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) looks at the roots of ethnic animosity in a particular area, providing the reader with the sort of in-depth historical background necessary to understand conflicts such as that in Bosnia. It is, however, thoroughly up-to-date in its proscriptions for the future, putting great stock in the European integration process as a means of providing an organic rationale for cooperation among diverse ethnic groups. In his Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict: Threats to European Security (1994), Stephen Iwan Griffiths, writing for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) also looks at the response of European security institutions to ethnic conflict in the same area, particularly in the former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. The latter two countries--both split up by ethnic differences--are among those discussed in The New Political Geography of Eastern Europe (1993) edited by two social geographers, John O'Loughlin of the University of Colorado and Herman van der Wusten of the University of Amsterdam. It provides an excellent geopolitical overview of the area with an emphasis on the potential problems arising from ethnic differences, for example, in Romania and the former Soviet Union. Probably the best books on the former Soviet Union, however, are Nations and Politics in the Soviet Successor States (1993), edited by Stanford's Ian Bremmer and Ray Taras, and Russia and the New States of Eurasia: The Politics of Upheaval (1994) by Professors Karen Dawisha of Maryland and Bruce Parrott of Johns Hopkins' Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. While thoroughly examining the ethnic and cultural sources of conflict in the area, both provide a wealth of current data and are as up-to-date as tomorrow's newspapers on the fighting in Russia's "Near Abroad," a region worthy of particular attention by Western strategists.

Internationalization of Ethnic Conflict (1991) edited by K. M. de Silva, Director of Sri Lanka's International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), and the Australian National University's R. J. May also focuses on a particular area--South and Southeast Asia--but offers a useful exploration by McGill University's Ralph R. Premdas of the causes and consequences of outside intervention in such conflicts. More recent and more useful to a soldier or diplomat seeking to inform his or her own decisionmaking with regard to future such interventions is Peace Accords and Ethnic Conflict (1993) edited by de Silva and his ICES colleague S. W. R. de A. Samarsinghe. It examines the specifics of peace negotiations in conflicts ranging from Cyprus to Sudan, including, not surprisingly, the Indo-Sri Lankan peace accord, and concludes with a future-oriented "lessons learned" essay by McGill University's John M. Richardson and American University's Jianxin Wang. This is must reading for those interested in exit strategies.

Kamal S. Shehadi revisits the issue of the breakup of multinational states in his Ethnic Self-Determination and the Break-Up of States (1993), but devotes most of his effort to discussing how the international community can best intervene to ensure rational borders or to prop up "failed states" that lack the internal attributes of sovereignty. The changing nature of sovereignty and other conceptual issues such as controlling the right of secession also feature prominently Judith Toland's Ethnicity and the State (1993) and in the Summer 1992 special issue of The Fletcher Forum devoted to ethnic conflict. Conceptual essays, such as journalist Jim Anderson's "New World Order and State Sovereignty: Implications for UN-Sponsored Intervention" and "Testing the Moral Limits of Self-Determination: Northern Ireland and Croatia" by Gerard F. Powers of the US Bishops Conference, are the most thought-provoking of the Forum pieces, but its numerous case studies are also worth reading.

Maryland's Professor Ted Robert Gurr has been involved in the production of three instant classics on ethnic conflict that contain a similar mix of case studies and strategizing. The first, coedited by Professors Jack A. Goldstone and Farokh Moshiri, is Revolutions of the Late Twentieth Century. It not only examines ten revolutions of the last 20 years ranging from Vietnam and Nicaragua to South Africa and the PLO Intifada, but also introduces readers to a survey of revolutionary theory, including Goldstone's analytical framework for the future. The second, the outgrowth of a project by the same name that has tracked 233 politically active communal groups around the world, is Gurr's Minorities at Risk: A Global View of Ethnopolitical Conflicts (1993). It attempts to explain why disadvantaged groups mobilize, and it evaluates strategies that have successfully reduced ethnic conflict. The third, co-authored by Gurr and Barbara Harff, an associate professor of political science at the US Naval Academy, is Ethnic Conflict in World Politics (1994). It provides an outstanding overview of ongoing ethnic conflicts and a very useful glossary and bibliography that make it must reading for someone seeking an introduction to the field. Its final chapter on responding to international crises of this sort is worthwhile reading even for the experienced strategist.

Gurr also features prominently in The Internationalization of Communal Strife (1992) edited by Manus I. Midlarsky. In their introductory essays, Gurr and I. William Zartman of Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) provide a global and theoretical framework within which to consider the book's several case studies. One of their main conclusions is that internationalization of communal conflict is commonplace in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East but almost totally absent in Latin America. In her essay on Peru, Cynthia McClintock of George Washington University attempts to explain why Latin America is different, citing as reasons the paucity of interstate warfare, the unifying role of religion, and the effects of large-scale intermarriage that has "eroded the primordial loyalties" of indigenous peoples. While hers is one of the more informative pieces in the book, she might want to reconsider the last conclusion in light of the recent flare-up in Chiapas of the centuries-old resistance of the Maya across the Mexican-Guatemalan border. To the extent that it destabilizes either country, it is a conflict that must be of concern to the United States.

The strategist, experienced or otherwise, should also take a look at two new books from the Council on Foreign Relations: Enforcing Restraint: Collective Intervention in Internal Conflicts (1993) edited by Lori Fisler Damrosch and Nation Against State: A New Approach to Ethnic Conflicts and the Decline of Sovereignty (1993) by Gidon Gottlieb. The first draws on the experience of six crises--Iraq, Haiti, Somalia, Liberia, Cambodia, and the former Yugoslavia--to examine, within the context of developing international law, options for intervention that range from economic sanctions to the use of force. In the second book, Gottlieb, an authority on international law and diplomacy, argues forcefully that granting statehood to every people seeking self-determination would dangerously fragment the international community into mini-states, the size and viability of which would mock the concept of sovereignty. Instead, echoing the Austrian political scientist Karl Renner, he advocates a "states-plus-nations" route that respects the cultural aspirations of minority groups without jeopardizing the territorial integrity of existing states. But what of those unfortunate people spread over several states, none of which they can call their own? This unique problem is examined in a thorough and provocative essay on "Ethno-National Diasporas and Security" (Survival, Spring 1994) by Professor Gabriel Sheffer of Jerusalem's Hebrew University. He explores, in particular, the dangers of terrorism by the dispossessed and the more conventional security problems caused by linkages between disadvantaged minorities and ethnic cousins possessing states and modern weapons.

Finally, returning full circle to basics, strategists and casual readers alike might spend a little time ruminating about new issues of identity that get to the question: "Who are the `we' in `We, the people'?" A trio of recent books on Europe provide superb starting points from which to approach that question. European Identity and the Search for Legitimacy (1993) edited, very appropriately, by the University of Barcelona's Soledad Garcia, discusses the pressures on the identity and sovereignty of European states. Those pressures come from above (the emerging supra-sovereignty of the European Union); from below (regionalism such as that generated by the Catalonia of which Barcelona is the proud capital); and laterally (the Eastern Europeans and North Africans knocking at the door). The regional component of this pressure-cooker is explored, again appropriately, by a Scotswoman, Sharon Macdonald of Keele University, and nine colleagues who examine, in Inside European Identities: Ethnography in Western Europe (1993), what it means to be Welsh, Basque, and other subordinate nationalities in the nation-states of modern Western Europe. Putting it all together in a strategic concept is Identity, Migration and the New Security Agenda in Europe (1993) edited by Ole Waever, Barry Buzan, Morten Kelstrup, and Pierre Lemaitre. This is a provocative, seminal work, in which Waever and Buzan define the concept of "societal security"--which concept, they argue, must be folded in to more conventional notions of security in Europe.

Having dipped into at least some of this literature, those soldiers and diplomats charged with considering which ethnic conflicts warrant intervention by the United States or the world community and under what conditions to end such intervention will be better equipped to do that job.


Ian Bremmer and Ray Taras, eds., Nations and Politics in the Soviet Successor States (Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993).

Michael E. Brown, Ethnic Conflict and International Security (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1993).

Janusz Bugajski, Nations in Turmoil: Conflict and Cooperation in Eastern Europe (Boulder, Colo: Westview Press, 1993).

Lori Fisler Damrosch, Enforcing Restraint: Collective Intervention in Internal Conflicts (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1993).

Karen Dawisha and Bruce Parrott, Russia and the New States of Eurasia: The Politics of Upheaval (Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ., 1994).

K. M. de Silva and R. J. May, Internationalization of Ethnic Conflict (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991).

K. M. de Silva and S. W. R. de A. Samarasinghe, eds., Peace Accords and Ethnic Conflict (London: Pinter Publishers, 1993).

"Ethnic Conflict," Special issue of The Fletcher Forum, Summer 1992.

"Ethnic Conflict and International Security," Special issue of Survival, Spring 1993.

Soledad Garcia, ed., European Identity and the Search for Legitimacy (London: Pinter Publishers, 1993).

Jack A. Goldstone, et al., eds., Revolutions of the Late Twentieth Century (Boulder, Colo: Westview Press, 1991).

Gidon Gottlieb, Nation Against State: A New Approach to Ethnic Conflicts and the Decline of Sovereignty (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1993).

Stephan Iwan Griffiths, Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict: Threats to European Security (Oxford, England: Oxford Univ. Press, 1993).

Ted Robert Gurr, et. al., Minorities at Risk: A Global View of Ethnopolitical Conflicts (Washington: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1993).

Ted Robert Gurr and Barbara Harff, Ethnic Conflict in World Politics (Boulder, Colo: Westview Press, 1994).

Sharon Macdonald, ed., Inside European Identities: Ethnography in Western Europe (Providence, R.I.: Berg Publishers, 1993).

John McGarry and Brendan O'Leary, eds., The Politics of Ethnic Conflict Regulation: Case Studies of Protracted Ethnic Conflicts (New York: Routledge, 1993).

Manus I. Midlarsky, ed., The Internationalization of Communal Strife (New York: Routledge, 1993).

John O'Loughlin and Herman van der Wusten, eds., The New Political Geography of Eastern Europe (London: Belhaven Press, 1993).

Hugh Poulton, The Balkans: Minorities and States in Conflict (London: Minority Rights Group, 1993).

Uri Ra'anan, et. al., eds., State and Nation in Multi-Ethnic Societies (Manchester, England: Manchester Univ. Press, 1991).

Kumar Rupesinghe, et al., eds., Ethnicity and Conflict in a Post-Communist World: The Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992).

Stephen Ryan, Ethnic Conflict and International Relations (Aldershot, England: Dartmouth Publishing, 1990).

Gabriel Sheffer, "Ethno-National Diasporas and Security," Survival, Spring 1994.

Kamal S. Shehadi, Ethnic Self-Determination and the Break-Up of States: The Power of Ethnic Separatism and International Responses to Creating New States, Redrawing International Borders and Salvaging Failed States (London: Brassey's, 1993).

Judith D. Toland, ed., Ethnicity and the State (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1993).

Ole Waever, et. al., eds., Identity, Migration and the New Security Agenda in Europe (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993).

The Reviewer: Victor Gray is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer, having served in Berlin, Warsaw, and Munich, and as Consul in Krakow, Poland. He held the Department of State Chair at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces from 1991 to 1994 and was the State Department's Director of Northern European Affairs from 1988 to 1990; he previously was Officer-in-Charge of German Democratic Republic Affairs and, during the 1980-81 Solidarity crisis, Polish Affairs.

Review Essay

Strategic Reading on the Northwest Pacific


The Northwest Pacific (Korea, Japan, and the Russian Far East) witnessed many changes in 1994. The long post-World War II era may finally be coming to an end, although the legacy of that war, the major transforming event of the 20th century, is still potent. A number of recent books shed light on the war's effects and the postwar transformation of the region.

Hostilities began in Asia in 1937, but for Americans the war started in 1941 with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Gordon W. Prange spent his life studying that attack, conducting extensive interviews with Japanese participants and collecting an immense Pearl Harbor archive. Since Prange's death, his colleagues, Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon, have published a series of books based on Prange's research and his extensive files. Their latest publication, The Pearl Harbor Papers: Inside the Japanese Plans, is a collection of Japanese documents written as events were happening as well as "memory documents" produced shortly after the war. The book contains interesting material, including letters by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who conceived the attack and commanded the Japanese Combined Fleet until his death in 1943, but there are no startling revelations. Indeed, the main thrust of all the "Prange Enterprises" books--supported by exhaustive documentation--is that there was no conspiracy and no cover-up. Japanese success was the result of thorough planning, hard training, good luck, and unfortunate, but understandable, American errors.

Readers already familiar with the war will find much of interest in From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima: The Second World War in Asia and the Pacific, 1941-1945, edited by Saki Dockrill. This is a fine collection of essays on prewar diplomacy, operations in the China and Southeast Asian theaters, the wartime role of Thailand, and German- Japanese relations. The "American" theaters of the Central and Southwest Pacific are covered by Ronald Spector's discussion of the development of American Pacific strategy and Edward J. Drea's examination of US Army code-breaking efforts. Saki Dockrill and Lawrence Freedman address American use of the atomic bombs, a topic of current interest in light of an ongoing controversy over the National Air and Space Museum's portrayal of the Enola Gay (the B-29 bomber from which the Hiroshima atomic bomb was released) and continuing claims by some historians that the bombs were intended more to influence the Soviet Union than to effect the surrender of Japan. Dockrill and Freedman argue that the bombs were part of a successful "strategy of shock." The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki proved that Japan faced catastrophe and persuaded those Japanese leaders already considering surrender to take action over the opposition of hard-liners. This expedited the "notoriously complicated and time-consuming" Japanese decisionmaking process and brought the terrible and tragic war to an end.

In The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb, a meticulous study of American and Japanese planning, John Ray Skates also makes a convincing case that while American leaders recognized the bomb's effect on postwar Soviet thinking, they saw it primarily as a "psychological weapon aimed at Japan's military leaders." The atomic bomb decision was made as the war in the Pacific reached an extraordinary intensity of violence. Bombing, naval blockade, and invasion (with possible tactical use of poison gas) were all part of an escalating strategy--influenced by the tenacious Japanese defense of Iwo Jima, Luzon, and Okinawa--to force the Japanese surrender. American military leaders expected that Japanese civilians, as well as soldiers, would fight with suicidal ferocity, but Skates points out that civilian morale and support for the war were in reality not as strong as the Americans believed and the Japanese leadership wished.

This is one of the issues explored by John W. Dower in Japan in War and Peace: Selected Essays. A historian with extensive knowledge of Japan, Dower has three main themes: that Japan's postwar social, political, and economic structure are rooted in wartime decisions and events; that Japanese society, usually viewed as homogeneous, is in fact marked by internal turmoil, tension, and diversity; and that US-Japan relations are a "tangled history of mutual hatred and respect, conflict and cooperation." His discussion of the stereotypes with which Japanese and Americans tend to portray each other is of particular interest, but the whole book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand modern Japan.

The underlying theme of A Revolutionary War: Korea and the Transformation of the Postwar World, edited by William J. Williams, is that the Korean War was both a part of the post-World War II transition and a transforming event in its own right. John Edward Wiltz's overview of the history of US-Korean relations is comprehensive and includes assessments of the most contentious claims of recent revisionist historians. His extensive footnotes covering most of the available English-language sources on the subject are a good starting point for further study. Other essays cover the war's effect on racial integration in the US military, differing approaches to the role of reserve forces, and the ways in which the war contributed to the post-World War II transformation of Korea, Japan, China, and the international order. All are of high quality and worth careful reading. Richard P. Hallion's discussion of naval air operations is relevant to current deliberations on joint doctrine. Jon Halliday relates his interviews with Russian fighter pilots who dueled with United Nations Command (mostly American) fliers over North Korea and Manchuria. His report of Russian aerial victory claims has since prompted a lively debate, demonstrating the uneasy relationship between fighter pilots and historians who uncharitably compare the pilots' claims against the other side's recorded losses and speculate on the inevitable discrepancy.

In the early 1970s, the late Donald Stone MacDonald was directed by the State Department to assemble a secret "interpretive summary" of documents bearing on US policy toward Korea during the formative period from 1945 to 1965. Declassified in 1989, it is now available as U.S.-Korean Relations from Liberation to Self-Reliance: The Twenty-Year Record. It is a fascinating, but tantalizing, book. While some documents are quoted in their entirety, most are summarized or paraphrased, and many of the footnotes are still classified, leaving enough loose ends to fuel continued debate over US intentions and actions. Among the issues covered are the role of US officials in nudging President Syngman Rhee toward giving up the Republic of Korea (ROK) presidency in 1960 and US actions at the time of the 1961 military coup (US officials publicly expressed support for the government, but refused to intervene on either side).

MacDonald's book ends with the ROK poised for an economic transformation and with the seeds of political reform just beginning to sprout. South Korea is a far different country today, but the transformation is not yet complete. President Kim Young Sam began 1994 strongly, continuing his efforts to reform politics, reduce corruption, and purge political generals. But he has been criticized for indecisiveness on the North Korean nuclear issue and for political expediency. The 21 October 1994 collapse of a commuter bridge in Seoul brought charges of government ineptitude, intensifying this criticism.

South Korea nonetheless is immeasurably stronger and more influential than its isolated and economically weak northern rival, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), where the most dramatic event of 1994 was the sudden death of President Kim Il Sung and the transfer of power to his son, Kim Jong Il. Korea watchers have long considered these events to be a necessary precondition to political and economic change in North Korea. To date, no new trends are discernible, but there has been movement on the thorny nuclear issue. On 17 October 1994 the United States and the DPRK signed an accord intended to freeze the North Korean nuclear program and begin trade and diplomatic relations between the two states. Critics claim the agreement props up a faltering North Korean regime, delays full inspections of suspected DPRK plutonium waste sites, and sets a bad precedent for dealing with other would-be nuclear weapon states. Supporters insist that the DPRK has agreed to restrictions far more stringent than those required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and note that North Korea will have to comply with each phase of the agreement to keep the benefits flowing. Given the dearth of acceptable alternatives and the value of keeping North Korea engaged in dialogue, most observers seem at least cautiously optimistic. A positive indication would be the reinstitution of talks between the two Koreas. That had not happened by January 1995, although the ROK government had announced the lifting of some restrictions on commerce with the North. The initial reaction of North Korea was to reject the ROK move, but that may be preliminary posturing. The shooting down of a US Army helicopter in December 1994 also complicated, at least temporarily, the development of US policy toward the DPRK.

Someone seeking background on these issues could profitably turn to Korea and the World: Beyond the Cold War, edited by Young Whan Khil, a useful compendium of essays on Korean politics, economics, reunification negotiations, international relations, and the North Korean nuclear issue. This is a handy, well-documented reference book.

Contributors to Chae-Jin Lee and Hideo Sato's U.S.-Japan Partnership in Conflict Management: The Case of Korea focus on the crucial US-Japan-Korea triangular relationship. Overall, the essays support the notion that the United States plays a positive and stabilizing role, not least because a Japan allied to the United States is perceived as less threatening by Korea and other regional nations, while the US-Korean relationship is reassuring to Japan.

Japan underwent its own political turmoil during the past year. In June 1994, after the fall of a second short-lived multiparty government, Tomiichi Murayama, chairman of the leftist Japan Social Democratic Party (JSDP), became Prime Minister. He heads an unlikely coalition of the JSDP with its bitter rival, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and the liberal reformist Sakigake party. In spite of its failure to win an important by-election in September, the ramshackle alliance was judged at year's end more stable and effective than anyone expected at its inception.

Soon after his accession, Prime Minister Murayama renounced his party's traditional opposition to the US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty, the Japan Self Defense Forces, and nuclear power generation. Two months later the JSDP followed up by adopting, over the opposition of the old Marxist stalwarts who used to form the heart of the party, a document consistent with Murayama's new positions. In September the Japanese cabinet decided to seek a permanent seat for Japan on the UN Security Council and authorized Japan's third UN peacekeeping deployment: the dispatch of nearly 500 Japanese soldiers to assist Rwandan refugees.

US-Japan trade negotiations deadlocked at the beginning of the year, but in July the two countries agreed on a framework for talks and in October announced a limited trade agreement, once again forestalling a US-Japan trade war. In spite of continuing trade imbalances, particularly in the automotive sector, the bilateral relationship was much improved at year's end.

Edward J. Lincoln provides a well-informed and thought-provoking examination of these two issues--Japan's economic prowess and its role in the world--in Japan's New Global Role. He argues that significant changes of the 1980s, "macroeconomic shifts, financial deregulation, yen appreciation, rising labor costs brought on by long-term demographic changes, and technological success," have "combined to thrust Japan into the world in new ways." These trends will continue throughout the next decade. Japan will continue to seek, and others will expect, more active participation in global issues, but Japanese insularity and foreign suspicions, aggravated by real and perceived trade and investment inequalities, inhibit Japan's efforts to assume a larger international role. Lincoln makes specific policy suggestions for both Japan and the United States. He sees little risk of a "re-militarized" Japan, but because any Japanese military activity outside its borders raises fears among regional neighbors and because Japan has historically lacked institutional means for controlling its military, he warns against increased UN-sponsored Japanese peacekeeping operations. Instead, Lincoln suggests, Japan can play a more productive and reassuring role through greatly expanded participation in international diplomatic, humanitarian, and environmental activities.

Japan already plays an important role in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the largest and most important regional venue. With US encouragement, this organization has been moving toward trade liberalization, and on 15 November leaders of the 18 APEC nations announced agreement to end all trade restrictions by 2020. This measure could stimulate worldwide trade liberalization, although many tough issues remain.

C. Fred Bergsten, chairman of the APEC Eminent Persons Group which recommended the free trade measure adopted at the summit, was a presenter at the 1994 National Defense University (NDU) Pacific Strategy Symposium, the papers of which have been edited by Michael D. Bellows and published as Asia in the 21st Century: Evolving Strategic Priorities. Bergsten's paper on "Strategic Architecture for the Pacific" highlights the economic dimension and stresses the value of interdependence.

Among the other participants at the NDU symposium were two Russian scholars. Although Russia is a Pacific nation with important interests in the region, it is not yet a member of APEC, a reflection of its current economic weakness and lack of influence. Russian military forces in the Far East, including ballistic missile submarines deployed in the Sea of Okhotsk bastion, are potentially formidable and of continuing concern to the Japanese. But for now, post-communist Russia, distracted by internal political and economic turmoil, is focused more on Europe and Central Asia than on its Far Eastern provinces and neighbors. In October 1994, a huge multinational development project (and potential ecological disaster) planned for the Russia-DPRK border area at the mouth of the Tumen River was put on hold for lack of investor support. Russia's commercial and economic relations with South Korea are clouded by Russian difficulties in servicing the multibillion-dollar loan extended by the ROK in 1990 when the two countries assumed full-scale diplomatic relations.

Russian cooperation with and potential investment from Japan are impeded by unresolved territorial claims over the southern Kurile Islands. This "Northern Territories" issue is also the principal obstacle to the negotiation of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan, who have never officially ended World War II. Both Russian and Japanese presenters at the NDU conference noted the proximity, if not confrontation, between Russian forces guarding the Sea of Okhotsk bastion and Japanese forces. The Russian scholars argued that to avoid a return to Cold War-style tensions in the Northwest Pacific, the United States and Japan should maintain dialogue, avoid unilateral actions, and include Russia in any future multilateral security forums.

US government officials representing the State and Defense Departments and the US Pacific Command provided a summary of the Clinton Administration's approach to Asia and the Pacific. They noted the continuing importance of the region to the United States and pledged that the United States would stay engaged as part of a "New Pacific Community," maintain its current force levels, and seek the enlargement of free trade, economic growth, and democracy. These policy statements were formalized in July 1994 when the White House published A National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement. This strategy is built on long-standing US approaches to the region and reflects essential continuity in US policy. During the course of 1994, the United States took a high-profile stance on trade and human rights issues, but the effects were counterproductive. By midyear, US officials had reassessed and reoriented their approach and, while retaining the basic "engagement and enlargement" strategy, took a less confrontational line. A new factor in 1995 will be the influence of the Republican congressional majority. In the past, Republicans have generally favored free trade and Pacific engagement, but there are advocates in both major parties for protectionism and reduction of overseas commitments. As in the case of the US-Japan trade agreement and the North Korean nuclear accord, it will take time to assess the effect of domestic political changes on US Asia-Pacific policies. Change is inevitable, but the nation's enduring economic, security, and ideological interests should work to assure substantial continuity in those policies.


Michael D. Bellows, Asia in the 21st Century: Evolving Strategic Priorities (Washington: National Defense Univ. Press, 1994).

Saki Dockrill, ed., From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima: The Second World War in Asia and the Pacific, 1941-1945 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994).

John W. Dower, Japan in War and Peace: Selected Essays (New York: New Press, 1993).

Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon, eds., The Pearl Harbor Papers: Inside the Japanese Plans (Washington: Brassey's [US], 1993).

Young Whan Khil, ed., Korea and the World: Beyond the Cold War (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1994).

Chae-Jin Lee and Hideo Sato, U.S.-Japan Partnership in Conflict Management: The Case of Korea, Monograph Series, no. 5 (Claremont, Calif.: The Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, 1993).

Edward J. Lincoln, Japan's New Global Role (Washington: The Brookings Institution, 1993).

Donald Stone MacDonald, U.S.-Korean Relations from Liberation to Self-Reliance: The Twenty-Year Record (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1992).

John Ray Skates, The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb (Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1994).

The White House, A National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement (Washington: GPO, July 1994).

William J. Williams, ed., A Revolutionary War: Korea and the Transformation of the Postwar World (Chicago: Imprint Publications, 1993).

The Reviewer: Colonel Donald W. Boose, Jr. (USA, Ret.) is the former Director of Asian Studies at the US Army War College. He spent six years with the United Nations Command Component of the Military Armistice Commission in Korea and was the Assistant Chief of Staff/J-5 (Director of Strategic Plans and Policy) of US Forces, Japan, from 1987 to 1990. He currently teaches at the Army War College and at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Review Essay

A Surge of Revisionism: Scholarship on The Great War


Although the 50th anniversary of great events in World War II is upon us, bringing a plethora of writings on that conflict, a scholarly reexamination of World War I proceeds apace. A quick look at reviews and lists of new books reveals as many on the First World War as on the Second. Advertisements for tours of European battlefields of the Great War appear to be at least as numerous as those for visits to battlefields of "The Great Crusade" in the same areas in World War II. It also seems that the battlefields of World War I, at least in Europe, are better memorialized than those of its successor. Two associations, The Great War Society and The Western Front Association, both collegia of persons interested in the First World War, are increasing in membership and hold frequent conferences of scholars and antiquarians.

The high interest in World War I may well be the result of the passage of time having obliterated the uglier memories of that war, while memories of the horrors of World War II, such as of the Holocaust, yet remain strong. Scholars, however, generally recognize World War I as having defined "War in the Machine Age." It could be said that the 20th century began at Sarajevo in 1914; some believe our century will end in war growing out of the same locale.

The word "Revisionism" often connotes the writings of those iconoclasts of the period between World Wars I and II who discovered great conspiracies to wage war for personal power or profit. The Revisionists celebrated herein are not reformers; rather, they are scholars who have subjected earlier verities about World War I to broader and more rigorous research--and who have found many previous conclusions to be less valid than commonly held. They display considerable understanding, even empathy, with the leaders on both sides--beleaguered as those leaders were by immense challenges.

Revisionist historiography over the last decade rather well refutes the old charge that Allied and German military leaders were blundering fools or butchers, who considered no strategy other than attrition in their attempts to prevail in the Great War. However, recent campaign analyses and biographies do show the senior commanders to have been bound by a conservatism born of chronological age and military heritage, which limited their appreciation of the potential of the weapons of the Machine Age. These leaders, on both sides of the fighting, were men whose experience was in an animal-powered era. They slowly came to appreciate the combat effectiveness of the tank and the airplane, but they continued until war's end to seek to employ, in a decisive role, their favorite weapons platform: the horse.

A recent defining study of the forward edge of fighting in the Great War has come through the scholarship of Hubert C. Johnson, whose Breakthrough! Tactics, Technology, and the Search for Victory on the Western Front in World War I describes and analyzes a broad array of diverse innovations in tactics in World War I. Johnson avers that Allied and German commanders, their staffs, and their military schools, gradually developed tactics and procedures to return maneuver to warfare on the Western Front. Bringing to light a number of obscure staff studies and offensive plans, he shows that both sides attempted, over the long period of siege warfare, to improve coordination of artillery, tanks, and aircraft with infantry attacks. The Germans did not emphasize the employment of tanks but did develop effective antitank operations. The Germans also developed "stormtroop tactics" for engaging and bypassing defensive positions, although, as Johnson shows, Allied forces employed similar, if less effective, procedures for penetrating strong defenses. Limitations in communications, and embedded parochiality, prevented these early combined-arms operations from achieving a complete rupture of the extensive defenses on the Western Front.

From his notes, it is obvious that Dr. Johnson has followed his own admonition that there remains no substitute for researching the major (national) archives. He buttresses his extensive research with conclusions based also upon an uncommon degree of common sense. Johnson acknowledges indebtedness to Bruce Gudmundsson's earlier work, Stormtroop Tactics: Innovation in the German Army, 1914-1918. Gudmundsson concludes that stormtroop tactics enabled the Germans to break through Allied defenses, but slow reinforcement of their gains, by foot and animal, prevented decisive exploitation of the gaps they created. By 1918, the Germans could not reinforce their depleted armies, in quantity or quality of human replacements, to meet the increasing power the Allies gained through American participation in the war. Gudmundsson also challenges the opinion held by many veterans of World Wars I and II (including this reviewer) that the Germans were, essentially, better soldiers than their enemies. He asserts that the key to German battlefield superiority in war lay in decentralization of command, which allowed even their junior leaders to make independent combat decisions.

A predecessor to Gudmundsson's work, Timothy Lupfer's The Dynamics of Doctrine: The Changes in German Tactical Doctrine during the First World War, also examines and confirms innovative German organizational and tactical changes which led to battlefield effectiveness. In a similar vein, Tim Travers, in his book Killing Ground: The British Army, the Western Front, and the Emergence of Modern Warfare, 1900-1918, describes the conservative bent of British generaldom and the struggles of radical British thinkers to develop tactics to maximize new weaponry. In a related text, Doctrine and Dogma: German and British Infantry Tactics in the First World War, Martin Samuels compares German and British tactics, giving the British more credit for innovativeness than does Travers.

Most of the Revisionist scholars are less sympathetic and more critical of American leadership than were previous authors of largely paeanic texts. The First World War began the United States' overseas commitments on behalf of imperiled humanity. Our national distemper over the political results that followed the Armistice did not include condemnation of our military leaders. It was an age of heroes, as the current era certainly is not. Most American military histories and biographies were rather hagiolatrous until recently. Now that nearly all of the doughboys of the Great War have passed in final review, it is time for dispassionate, critical histories of US participation in that war--and these are appearing on publishers' lists, reexamining and reevaluating that struggle.

A capstone to the Revisionist scholarship on the American experience in the Great War is the recent publication of The AEF & Coalition Warmaking, 1917-1918 by David F. Trask. In this slim volume about the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) on the Western Front in World War I, Trask rationalizes cogently the American experience. A former Chief Historian of the US Army Center of Military History, Dr. Trask has spent much of his professional life researching World War I. In this book he presents his grand synthesis of Revisionist scholarship. His thesis: The AEF was ill prepared for this test of battle, and its leadership was inadequate to the demands of modern war.

The entry of the United States into World War I offset the German advantage, but only to the extent that the resources of the United States could be quickly applied to the Allied cause. The Allies wanted food, munitions, US naval forces, and US manpower to reinforce their depleted armies. Allied military leaders disparaged the small US Army, considering it to be a "constabulary," its leaders inexperienced and untrained in modern war. The Allied judgments about the American Army were essentially correct. However, US President Woodrow Wilson's goal was a grand league for international cooperation to prevent future war. Wilson came to realize that he could hope to achieve his scheme only if an American army fought as a national force and gained a significant victory. This was the tasking given to General John J. Pershing, the Commander-in-Chief of the AEF when committed to battle in France.

Trask limits his inquiry to what he calls "grand tactics," the application of strategy in the theater of war, and views the AEF participation at that level through the statements of the highest US, Allied, and German political and military leaders. Quoting Allied and enemy commanders concerning the poor performance of the Americans, Trask faults General Pershing for most of the failures of the AEF. He indicts Pershing primarily for insisting on creating a separate US theater--defying the expressed opinions of many senior observers that the AEF, under the pressures of imminent combat, was totally unprepared for organizing a modern theater of war. Pershing's training dictum, to prepare the AEF primarily to fight "open warfare" is also cited by Trask as inappropriate to the impacted nature of the battlefield. Further, Pershing's resistance to temporary amalgamation of elements of the AEF within Allied armies at the height of the German offensive of 1918 (even after President Wilson had agreed to this infusion), is charged as risking Allied loss of the war. Trask's incisive critique of the AEF, and of Pershing, is hard but fair.

Critical reexamination of Pershing's leadership of the AEF was begun in the 1980s by his biographer, Donald Smythe, in his second volume, Pershing: General of the Armies. Smythe came to believe that the huge managerial task of commanding a US theater of operations in France was too great a challenge for Pershing's limited experience. He concluded, as does Trask, that the AEF was so disorganized in the middle of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign that Pershing might have been relieved had the war not ended suddenly.

Recognition also should be given to James Rainey, one of the earliest of the military Revisionists, whose 1981 master's thesis (unpublished) examined Pershing's open warfare training guidance, concluding that it was misapplied and inappropriate to the war being fought. Rainey's critique of AEF training was later summarized in a September 1983 Parameters article, "Ambivalent Warfare: The Tactical Doctrine of the AEF in World War I."

Rainey's early writing, and direct guidance by Smythe and Trask, were valuable to this reviewer's research in the 1980s on AEF operations and tactics. The book developed from that research, The Test of Battle: The American Expeditionary Forces in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign, is consistent with the judgments of the experts cited above: the AEF was poorly trained and inadequately led during much of the fighting.

At higher AEF staff levels, plans were much too simplistic to manage and support a modern army in the offensive, over rough terrain, against a fortified enemy. At the tactical level, commanders failed to control and maximize their supporting fires, and they committed their reserves directly into areas where their troops were stalled by enemy resistance. Lack of experience was obvious at all levels of leadership. Close study of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign, however, has led this reviewer to the conclusion that the AEF ultimately learned to fight effectively--by fighting! In the final phase of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign, American combat forces performed as well as any army in France.

A final note: To commemorate the 75th birthday of the AEF, the US Army's Center of Military History recently republished the American Battle Monuments Commission guidebook to US participation in the Great War, American Armies and Battlefields in Europe: A History, Guide, and Reference Book. Although this text is light on campaign analyses, and very favorable to the American Expeditionary Forces, it is a treasure of detail on organization, operations, and geography.


American Battle Monuments Commission, American Armies and Battlefields in Europe: A History, Guide, and Reference Book (rpt. US Army Center of Military History, Washington: GPO, 1992).

Paul F. Braim, The Test of Battle: The American Expeditionary Forces in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign (Newark: Univ. of Delaware Press, 1987).

Bruce I. Gudmundsson, Stormtroop Tactics: Innovation in the German Army, 1914-1918 (New York: Praeger, 1989).

Hubert C. Johnson, Breakthrough! Tactics, Technology, and the Search for Victory on the Western Front in World War I (Novato, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1994).

Timothy T. Lupfer, The Dynamics of Doctrine: The Changes in German Tactical Doctrine during the First World War, Leavenworth Papers No. 4 (Ft. Leavenworth, Kans.: US Army Command and General Staff College, 1981).

James W. Rainey, "Ambivalent Warfare: the Tactical Doctrine of the AEF in World War I," Parameters, 13 (September 1983), 34-46.

Martin Samuels, Doctrine and Dogma: German and British Infantry Tactics in the First World War (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1992).

Donald Smythe, Pershing: General of the Armies (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1986).

David F. Trask, The AEF & Coalition Warmaking, 1917-1918 (Lawrence: Univ. Press of Kansas, 1993).

Tim Travers, The Killing Ground: The British Army, the Western Front, and the Emergence of Modern Warfare, 1900-1918 (London: Allen & Unwin, 1987).

The Reviewer: Colonel Paul F. Braim, USA Ret., is Professor of History at Embry Riddle University. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware and has written and lectured on military history and military affairs.

Review Essay

World War II Logistics


The 50th anniversary of the Second World War has prompted a spate of books and articles on the campaigns, battles, and combat leaders of both sides, but the single most important factor in the Allied victory--superior logistics--remains relatively unexplored. Despite a general recognition of the fact that World War II was indeed "a war of logistics" in which logistical considerations shaped every strategic decision and most operational ones, only a trickle of new books have addressed the crucial problems of mobilization, production, transportation, and support of forces in the field. Fortunately, the lack of quantity is more than compensated by the high quality of the few works which have appeared.

One of the most useful and interesting of the "new" books on logistics in World War II is in fact a reprint. The 1993 edition of Logistics in World War II: Final Report of the Army Service Forces, first issued in 1948, forms part of an effort by the US Army Center of Military History to ensure that the key volumes of the Army's official history of World War II are available. Few books, old or new, more clearly outline the importance of logistics in modern war. Although larded with the usual self-congratulation of any after-action report, Logistics in World War II is chock full of statistics and interesting details of how the enormous industrial potential of the United States was converted into overwhelming combat power on the battlefields of Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. The book focuses on the achievements of the Army Service Forces in the fields of manpower and industrial mobilization and the production and distribution of "the tools with which our air, ground, and sea forces fashioned victory." Logistics in World War II provides a concise explanation of the problems we faced and how they were or were not overcome as the US Army expanded from 174,000 men in mid-1939 to over 8,290,000 men in 1945, of whom 7,300,000 were deployed overseas. Created as part of the so-called Marshall reorganization of the War Department in March 1942, the Army Service Forces became the focal point of the Army's efforts to manage the complex and difficult problems of supporting large combat forces in an all-out global war. Of particular interest in the story of the Army Service Forces in World War II are the management techniques developed to control mobilization, worldwide operations, and demobilization of military forces on an unprecedented scale. Logistics in World War II covers these important developments in some detail, and 116 of the most important Army management improvements introduced during the war are listed at the end of the volume. The concluding chapter on "Logistic Lessons of World War II" should also be of particular interest to modern readers who will recognize that many of those lessons are still valid half a century later.

One of the more dubious conceits of modern historians is to deny the influence of individual personality on the course of historical events. The hero has largely been replaced in recent historical works by the collective effect of teeming masses and faceless bureaucracies. John Kennedy Ohl's Supplying the Troops: General Somervell and American Logistics in WW II clearly contradicts such an approach. The author demonstrates convincingly that the tremendous achievements of the Army Service Forces in World War II were not obtained by some anonymous organization but resulted directly from the personal efforts of specific individuals, the most prominent of whom was General Brehon B. Somervell, the commander of Army Service Forces and the key Army logistician in World War II. Ohl's biography of General Somervell makes crystal clear how the personality and energy of one man can shape large organizations and influence the course of world events. It earns Somervell a place in the front rank with George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, and Dwight D. Eisenhower as a shaper of the Allied victory.

Ohl quickly covers the early career of Somervell as a means of explaining his subject's character and early development and then focuses on the role played by General Somervell in World War II. Energetic, efficient, strong-willed, and intolerant of failure are all terms which describe the commander of Army Service Forces. The degree to which the major logistical organizations and decisions of the American effort in World War II were shaped directly by the personality of Brehon B. Somervell is clearly brought out in Ohl's discussion of Somervell's many conflicts with the other civilian and military leaders during the war. Ohl reviews Somervell's battles to subdue the once all-powerful chiefs of the Army's logistical services, his conflicts with the civilian heads of the War Production Board and the War Shipping Administration, and his stubborn resistance to the strategic prima donnas of the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff. By describing these conflicts in some detail, Ohl provides a number of important insights into the principal issues and personalities, the problems solved and unsolved, and the significant defects of the American mobilization and logistical effort in the Second World War.

The World War II activities of General Somervell and his close associates, LeRoy Lutes, Lucius Clay, and John C. H. Lee among others, highlight several of the important general themes in 20th-century US Army logistics: the imposition of centralized direction and decentralized operations; the increasing use of civilian personnel and business techniques in the conduct of military affairs; the changing relationship of logistics and strategy; and the increasing manpower requirements of the logistical "tail." These key themes all receive detailed attention in Supplying the Troops.

General Somervell's persistent drive for centralized control over the Army's logistical system is the continuous thread which binds Ohl's narrative. Somervell saw centralization merely as a means of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of Army logistics. However, his single-minded pursuit of organizational efficiency has often been interpreted as nothing more than egoism and personal "empire-building." But as Ohl convincingly demonstrates, Somervell was motivated not by considerations of personal power but by his perceptions of how the challenges of providing logistical support in a global war could best be met. In retrospect the accuracy of General Somervell's perceptions are undeniable; strong centralized control over the complex, diverse, and enormous mobilization, production, and distribution activities of the Army in World War II probably ensured the results obtained in the end. It is ironic that having achieved an unprecedented centralization of control over the Army's logistical activities, Somervell then saw the centrifugal forces of a petulant Army bureaucracy dismantle his carefully constructed system the moment victory was achieved. Somervell's vindication came 20 years later with the thorough reorganization of defense logistics by Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in the early 1960s.

General Somervell also took the lead in applying methods drawn from American business to the management of the Army's logistical effort. During World War II hundreds of America's most prominent business leaders served in the Army Service Forces, where they were able to apply the lessons they had learned in managing a variety of business enterprises to the problems of supporting the Army on a global scale. One of the most significant of Somervell's innovations in the area of management practice was the introduction of the Control Division at Headquarters, Army Service Forces, and in the subordinate commands. Using established goals, periodic reports, statistics, and other measurement tools already common in business, the Control Division acted as the commander's eyes and ears, informing him of areas in which matters were proceeding well and alerting him to the areas most in need of attention. Many of the management techniques now taken for granted by senior Army commanders were first tested and proven in the Control Division of Army Service Forces headquarters during World War II; the concept of management and control by statistical appraisal of progress toward stated goals and objectives is perhaps General Somervell's most lasting legacy to the Army.

The third major area in which General Somervell made his personality felt during World War II was in the fight over the relative importance of logistics and strategy. In retrospect few would deny that logistical considerations dominated every aspect of strategy and operations in World War II, but at the time the strategists and the logisticians faced off on nearly every prominent issue with the strategists usually denying that the logisticians were anything other than second-string players. Somervell entered the battle with the full weight of his forceful personality, arguing that strategy could not be formulated apart from the logistical considerations which limited it and that the logisticians merited equal status with the strategists in the planning process. For the most part Somervell's attempts to ensure that strategy and logistics were developed in coordination were ignored by the strategic planners, often with predictable results. Ultimately, however, Somervell's forceful representations and the unfolding course of events made clear that strategy was indeed determined by the logistically possible and could not be formulated without the active participation of the logisticians. Even today the point is only grudgingly conceded by strategists, many of whom would prefer to never see or hear a logistician.

Another aspect of the struggle waged by Somervell and the logisticians against the strategists and combat commanders centered on the number of service troops to be provided in the various theaters of war. This conflict reflected the growing necessity in modern war for a large proportion of the available manpower to be in the logistical "tail" rather than in the combat "teeth." US forces deployed overseas in World War II were chronically short of logistical personnel to operate the ports and lines of communications, handle the supplies, and provide the necessary logistical support to the troops in the field. General Somervell consistently argued for the provision of larger proportions of service troops in every theater, but the theater commanders opted on every occasion for additional combat troops rather than additional service troops. The result was not greater combat power, but rather a reduction in combat effectiveness. It is not altogether certain that this lesson has yet been learned, as an examination of the time-phased force deployment list for any recent contingency operation will attest.

The effect of logistics on strategy and operations was nowhere more obvious than in the European Theater of Operations during 1944 and 1945. All of the key decisions--the when and where of Operation Overlord; the rate and duration of the pursuit across France and into Germany; the Anglo-American controversy over the "broad vs. narrow front" strategy; and even the decision as to whether or not the Western Allies should race to Berlin ahead of the Red Army--were determined by logistical considerations. Both Logistics in World War II and Ohl's Supplying the Troops contain a good deal of material on the effect of logistics on the campaign in northwestern Europe, but some of the most stimulating recent work on the topic has appeared in the form of book chapters or articles in anthologies.

The efficacy of logistical planning for Operation Overlord and the subsequent logistical operations in Europe was called into question by Martin van Creveld some years ago in a chapter from his 1977 book, Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton, entitled "The War of the Accountants." Van Creveld asserted that the pace of the Allied advance against Germany after the St. Lô breakout was severely limited by the timidity and rigidity of Allied logisticians and their failure to keep pace with the fast-moving combat forces. As Van Creveld himself chose to express it: "The Allied advance from Normandy to the Seine, however successful and even spectacular strategically, was an exercise in logistic pusillanimity unparalleled in modern military history." Although Van Creveld's criticism of the logisticians at first glance seems convincing, if overdrawn, the facts of the matter seem to distribute the blame more evenly--the natural caution of the logisticians being a much-needed brake on the extravagant plans and hopes of the strategists and combat commanders.

The necessary corrective to Van Creveld's frequent preference for polemic over fact is contained in an introductory essay by John A. Lynn entitled "The History of Logistics and Supplying War" which appears in the excellent anthology, edited by Lynn, Feeding Mars: Logistics in Western Warfare from the Middle Ages to the Present. Lynn's effective critique of Van Creveld's errors of fact and method as well as his cavalier approach to documentary evidence and the use of numbers does much to balance Van Creveld's disparaging portrayal of Army logistical planning for Operation Overlord and the subsequent operations on the Continent from 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945. It should be noted that the interesting collection of articles on the history of military logistics from the Middle Ages through World War II which Lynn and his contributors have produced is perhaps the best such work yet to appear anywhere. Feeding Mars is thus well worth reading not only for its stimulating examination of World War II logistics but also for the other outstanding articles on logistical history which set the World War II logistical issues neatly in context.

Although one may justly question Van Creveld's method and the vehemence of his condemnation of the logisticians in the European Theater, he does correctly point out that despite the strenuous efforts of General Somervell and his associates, the support of Allied forces on the Continent after D-Day left much to be desired. A somewhat better reasoned and more thoroughly documented discussion of the matter is provided by Steve R. Waddell in United States Army Logistics: The Normandy Campaign, 1944. Waddell examines in some depth the key issues surrounding the logistical organization and planning for Operation Overlord and concludes that the Allied supply system on the Continent suffered from several serious defects which could, and should, have been avoided. By virtue of its more thorough documentation and attention to detail, Waddell's analysis is altogether more satisfying than Van Creveld's purple prose.

Fifty years have passed since the end of World War II, during which time the nature of warfare has been transformed by technology and the changing political environment in ways only dimly foreseen by the logistical planners and operators of the earlier period. However, the passage of time and the changes in the nature of warfare have only proven the prescience of the authors of Logistics in World War II who noted in 1948: "Warfare will become more mobile, more mechanical, more destructive, and more dependent upon science and technology. . . . It is inescapable that logistics will play a predominant role in any future conflict." Their predictions having proven altogether accurate, their prescription for the future should carry added weight: "Granting the fundamental importance of logistics in modern war, it follows that military leaders must have a thorough appreciation and knowledge of the subject as a prerequisite to top command."


Logistics in World War II: Final Report of the Army Service Forces--A Report to the Undersecretary of War and the Chief of Staff by the Director of the Service, Supply, and Procurement Division, War Department General Staff, facsimile reprint of the 1948 edition (Washington: Center of Military History, US Army, 1993).

John Kennedy Ohl, Supplying the Troops: General Somervell and American Logistics in WW II (DeKalb: Northern Illinois Univ. Press, 1994).

Martin van Creveld, "The War of the Accountants," in Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton (Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1977), ch. 7.

John A. Lynn, ed., Feeding Mars: Logistics in Western Warfare from the Middle Ages to the Present (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1993).

Steve R. Waddell, United States Army Logistics: The Normandy Campaign, 1944 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994).

The Reviewer: Dr. Charles R. Shrader (Lieutenant Colonel, USA Ret.) is a graduate of the US Army War College, the NATO Defense College, and Vanderbilt University, and earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University. He is the author of Amicicide: The Problem of Friendly Fire in Modern War (1982) and U.S. Military Logistics, 1607-1991: A Research Guide (1992). He is also the general editor of the Reference Guide to United States Military History and the Executive Director of the Society for Military History.

Review Essay

Three Schools of Thought on Nuclear Proliferation


More, not fewer, nuclear-armed states may dot the globe in the future despite the end of the Cold War. That's the consensus of political, academic, and military authors currently writing about nuclear proliferation. Fifty years after the United States exploded the first atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert, the task of designing, building, and assembling the 6300 components of a nuclear weapon has become more of a physical hurdle than a technological barrier. Today, more than 40 nations are in a position to leap that hurdle and join the once exclusive nuclear club. This prospect, along with gaping loopholes in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (signatories Iran, Iraq, and North Korea all conducted clandestine weapon development programs despite the presence of treaty inspectors) and the end of the bipolar arms race, in which the United States and USSR used their 95-percent monopoly in nuclear weapons to shelter allies from attack, could result in a realignment of regional powers, many protecting their sovereignty with nuclear arsenals.

If there is a second coming of the nuclear arms race, its seeds were sown long ago by the atom's efficiency in generating electric power and by the Cold War rivalry. After the USSR tested an atomic bomb in 1949, the United States ended efforts to restrict nuclear technology to government laboratories so it could compete with its sole rival in a promising world market. Since one pound of uranium can release as much energy as 6000 barrels of oil or a thousand tons of coal, a ready market existed for nuclear power plants.

With Moscow's willingness to sate this demand for political gain, President Eisenhower initiated Atoms for Peace in 1953, allowing the United States to compete with the USSR in the burgeoning nuclear power plant market. Both countries added safeguards to their power plant sales contracts. Russia required the return of nuclear materials, primarily spent fuel rods, to the Soviet Union for reprocessing. In 1957, the United Nations founded the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to oversee transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, to promote safety, and to administer a system of safeguards. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)--centerpiece of the growing regime of international agreements, export restrictions, institutions, and legislation focused on peaceful uses of the world's most dangerous technology--was negotiated in 1968. The NPT is still the primary instrument for controlling the spread of nuclear weapons.

However, there's no denying a fundamental reality: nuclear reactors, even when used for peaceful purposes, give the states that possess them the potential to produce nuclear weapons. With 431 reactors worldwide, another 71 under construction, and over 100 tons of plutonium (it takes about 20 pounds to make a bomb) accumulating in power plants located in just four non-weapon states--Japan, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland--there's no turning back from the atom, especially after the 1973 Mideast oil crisis exposed the frailty of fossil fuel supplies to political manipulation.

Against this background, gleaned from Gary T. Gardner's Nuclear Nonproliferation, A Primer, the sudden end of the Cold War offers a window of opportunity for nations to rethink the atom's role in international affairs. Weighing in on what is probably the most important issue of the 1990s, diverse writers confront proliferation principally from three directions. The idealists note that the world has survived periods of nuclear monopoly, superiority, and parity without a single nuclear calamity. Buoyed also by the fact that both superpowers lost a war (the United States in Vietnam and Russia in Afghanistan) without resorting to nuclear weapons, they see a future in which the atom has virtually no military utility. They also see a world disillusioned with things nuclear. The Three Mile Island accident in 1979 and the Chernobyl explosion and dispersal of radioactivity in 1986 severely tarnished the credibility of the nuclear industry.

To the contrary, the realists cite Winston Churchill's observation that in history "the terrible ifs accumulate," and predict a steady growth in nuclear weapon states as regional alliances replace the bipolarity of the East-West arms race. Finally, the opportunists, who were always opposed to nuclear weapons, want to seize the moment to defang US nuclear capabilities.

Former National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., and Stanford physicist Sidney Drell promote the idealist viewpoint in Reducing Nuclear Danger: The Road Away from the Brink. Believing "there is no nuclear-weapon state today that cannot gain from a reduction of its current reliance on nuclear weapons," the authors advocate putting all nuclear weapons in the hands of an international body. In the interim, fellow idealists Michael J. Mazarr and Alexander T. Lennon, in Toward a Nuclear Peace, would add "degrees of unreadiness" to today's nuclear forces, thus delaying any military response to a provocation long enough for a diplomatic solution. These operational restrictions would include removal of warheads from ICBMs, limiting SLBM patrol areas, and banning storage of nuclear weapons at strategic bomber bases.

To strengthen the NPT, Bundy, Crowe, and Drell would commit US intelligence capabilities and troops to assist the IAEA in detecting treaty violations and in enforcing sanctions. They foresee further changes to the treaty in the upcoming NPT renewal conference starting 17 April 1995 in New York City. The US delegation, led by the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, is expected to support a comprehensive test ban and push for warhead reductions beyond the 3000 to 3500 START II limits. The latter is a political gesture to the non-nuclear-weapon states who see the NPT's Article VI, binding members to complete nuclear disarmament, as an unfulfilled promise. These initiatives and the Clinton Administration's political strategy for the 25th-anniversary NPT conference are discussed in Mitchell Reiss's article "The Last Nuclear Summit?" published in the Summer 1994 issue of The Washington Quarterly.

Background facts cited in Gary T. Gardner's nonproliferation primer offer little hope for a significant update of the NPT. Amendments such as the comprehensive test ban require unanimous consent by the acknowledged nuclear weapon states (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France), the IAEA's 35-member board of governors, and a majority of the NPT's 150 member states. Reiss concedes that the most likely outcome in New York is merely an extension of the treaty in its present form.

Citing the procedural gridlock that will keep the NPT from changing to meet post-Cold War challenges, the realists expect demand for nuclear weapons to increase. In a study sponsored by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Peter van Ham foresees nonproliferation regimes confronted by new problems in the globalization of technology, the emergence of new supplier states (including Russian Federation nuclear republics Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine), and the demise of the Soviet bloc. In his book, Managing Non-Proliferation Regimes in the 1990s, Van Ham drives home an ominous warning: "In the absence of concerted international countermeasures, the spread of nuclear weapons will become a fact in the not too distant future. One or two breakouts could lead to the collapse of the international non-proliferation effort."

Researching the motives of the de facto nuclear weapon states, the realists find disturbing evidence supporting their more-not-less hypothesis. Benjamin Frankel's paper "The Brooding Shadow: Systemic Incentives and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation" (one of 11 papers compiled in Why Nuclear Weapons Spread and What Results) explores why Israel, India, and Pakistan defied world opinion to build the bomb. All did so because nuclear weapons offered salvation to a clear and present national security danger. For Israel, the decision followed a failure to obtain a formal security guarantee from the United States after the improved performance of Arab forces during the 1973 October War and an Arab oil embargo threatened the embattled state's survival. India went nuclear after failing to receive mutual defense guarantees from the United States or the USSR after losing a border war to China in 1962 and seeing its giant neighbor explode a nuclear weapon two years later. Pakistan responded with its own weapon development program after losing a 1971 border clash with India that resulted in an independent Bangladesh. South Africa, which recently destroyed its six weapons, follows Frankel's model. It too developed a nuclear capability because it was surrounded by hostile neighbors and its apartheid stance precluded any international support in maintaining its sovereignty. Van Ham notes that when the Soviet Union recognized South Korea in 1990, North Korea's Foreign Ministry declared this "will leave us no other choice but to take measures to provide . . . for ourselves some weapons for which we have so far relied on from alliance."

Michael May, former director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and current Co-Director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Arms Control, sides with the realists in believing that strong international security guarantees offer the best defense against further proliferation. May credits NATO and the US mutual defense agreements with Japan as today's most important nonproliferation agreements. Citing the 1992 pullback from Subic Bay and the withdrawal of substantial forces from NATO, Van Ham notes that the commitment of the United States to retain a dominant military presence in Western Europe and Northeast Asia is an open question. If US resolve falters, he opines, Japan and Germany, two threshold nuclear states that have not gone nuclear despite the industrial capability to do so, could follow the path of Israel, opening the floodgates of proliferation.

Siding with the realists, Kathleen C. Bailey, in Strengthening Nuclear Non-Proliferation, lists three reasons for going nuclear: increased security, prestige, and political power. When these incentives exist, the nonproliferation regime offers few real disincentives. Reflecting on this reality, William C. Martel and William T. Pendley, in Nuclear Coexistence: Rethinking U.S. Policy to Promote Stability in an Era of Proliferation, believe there will be instances in the future where the US can do little about proliferation other than direct military intervention. Writing for their students at the Air University, Martel and Pendley question US post-Cold War policy: "While the cornerstone of nonproliferation policy during the last several decades was to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, this policy is fundamentally at odds with the established reality that states increasingly have the wherewithal to develop nuclear weapons on their own despite the opposition of developed states."

Idealists counter by lauding noteworthy successes resulting from the nonproliferation regime. In 1967, the Treaty of Tlatelolco ended a threatened nuclear arms race between Argentina and Brazil by establishing a nuclear-free zone in Latin America. A similar accord, the Treaty of Rarotonga, secured a nuclear-free zone in the South Pacific in 1987. These successes are seen as precedents for bold post-Cold War initiatives such as a nuclear test ban and transfer of all nuclear weapons to the United Nations.

Realists disagree. Kathleen Bailey doubts the effectiveness of a comprehensive test ban. Claiming no countries have yet cited the absence of a comprehensive test ban as a reason for not signing the NPT, she considers it a symbolic issue of more interest to professional arms control negotiators than heads of state. There are technical problems as well: underground explosions below one kiloton can't be detected. While conceding that a comprehensive test ban would limit the modernization programs of countries already possessing nuclear weapons, Bailey doesn't believe that benefit offsets the risks. Reasons for continued testing include maintaining the safety and security of existing stockpiles, developing technologies to disable terrorist nuclear weapons, and evaluating the effects of nuclear phenomena on conventional weapons that could be employed on a nuclear battlefield.

Proposals to turn nuclear weapons over to an international agency such as the UN draw even heavier flack from the realists. In Strengthening Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Bailey sees trouble for nations giving up weapons as well as for states that would be protected by an international force. For openers, current nuclear weapon states would be giving up a certain deterrent for an uncertain one. Many questions remain unanswered by proponents. Who secures the international stockpile and shields it from terrorists? Who controls the motives and operations of the international force? How safe would the weapons be from accidental or inadvertent use?

The same author does offer an alternative the idealists could support. She proposes an international consortium of two or more nuclear weapon states offering security assurances. For example, the United States and Russia might persuade India and Pakistan to emulate South Africa by abandoning their arsenals if the superpowers would join forces in making South Asia a nuclear-free zone.

Idealists and realists agree on two points. First, both believe nuclear weapons cannot be eliminated entirely. Nuclear weapons, primarily because of their relatively small size, can easily evade detection by arms control inspectors. The START accords are considered verifiable because they eliminate large strategic delivery vehicles such as ICBMs, bombers, and submarines rather than warheads. Even if elimination of nuclear weapons could be verified, however, nuclear capable states could quickly make new ones. These factors conspire against the zero option. The second point of agreement centers on the matter of safety. The five acknowledged nuclear states and the de facto states (India, Pakistan, and Israel, the non-NPT nations believed to have the bomb) all have invested heavily in the safety of their stockpiles. If nuclear technology spreads to Third World and terrorist states, safety will likely be deemphasized in favor of lethality, thus increasing the chances of an accidental detonation.

The safety issue gives the opportunists an opening in their campaign to radically restrict the operations of US nuclear forces. In what is the most intriguing book of the lot, Stanford political scientist Scott D. Sagan uses formerly classified documents and you-were-there interviews to challenge the "fail-safe" legacy of US nuclear operations. In The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons, Sagan develops two models to second-guess strategic alert operations in such hair-raising Cold War confrontations as the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the 1967 Yom Kippur War.

The first model posits a high degree of reliability. In this model large organizations limit accidents by employing effective techniques: leaders emphasize safety; authority and responsibility for safety reside at the operating level; systems are in place to reward and punish compliance and noncompliance; the organizations focus on continuous operations and training; and a feedback loop exists to incorporate lessons learned. The contrasting model is one of normal accidents. In this model--as evidenced by nuclear power plant accidents, petrochemical plant toxic leaks, oil tanker sinkings, jumbo aircraft crashes, and the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster--no matter what measures are employed, complex systems eventually fail.

At first glance, Sagan seems to conclude that US nuclear operations fit in the high-reliability model. Then he abruptly cites a number of case histories or "dangerous incidents" to finally side with the normal accidents model. These incidents--a "lost" B-52 flying toward Russia during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the test firing of an Atlas ICBM during the same period, and a false warning of a Cuban missile launch against the United States--all make fascinating reading. The B-52 was turned around by air traffic controllers in Alaska; the Atlas, which never appeared on Russian radar scopes, hit its intended mid-Pacific target area; and the attack warning was corrected in seconds. Yet Sagan concludes these incidents prove that luck, not leadership and discipline, prevented accidental war. One could as easily conclude that the system of redundancy worked by correcting human and equipment failures before they compounded with disastrous results.

Sagan makes his biggest stretch in discussing the "Thule Monitor." In 1961, after the Soviet Union developed its first ICBMs, the US radar site at Thule, Greenland, alone provided sufficient warning for Strategic Air Command to get its bombers airborne during a preemptive attack. The single long-haul communications link between NORAD and Thule was unreliable. SAC prudently reworked its "Chrome Dome" airborne alert routes to keep a B-52 within radio range of Thule. If the link to NORAD failed, the high-flying bomber would serve as a relay. Sagan sees the seeds of World War III in that arrangement. In a highly improbable scenario, the Stanford professor postulates an airborne emergency over the vast Greenland landmass in which the B-52 crashes squarely into the Thule radar, thus destroying both HF and UHF communications links with the United States. Then, Sagan argues, NORAD would have concluded that Russia had attacked the warning radar to mask an attack against the United States, and SAC would have countered by launching its bombers and missiles!

From all this, Sagan concludes that SAC's successor, the US Strategic Command, cannot regulate itself and should have an oversight committee similar to a police review board. He also would revamp the strategic operations culture by changing the warrior persona of combat crews, requiring them to become "guardians of dangerous technology." Finally, Sagan would put in-flight destruct systems on ICBMs. (Note: powered flight, when a destruct command would be effective, lasts no more than three to five minutes. Would the Commander-in-Chief likely change his mind in those few minutes after ordering a nuclear attack?)

The one thing all of these writers probably would agree on is that proliferation would be worse had it not been for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Successes--nations that considered building nuclear weapons but didn't because of the nonproliferation regime--are said by Benjamin Frankel to include Sweden, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, and Syria. Still, the NPT was designed to regulate the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and has few mechanisms for deterring countries that would go nuclear to fulfill perceived national security objectives.

Surprisingly, other than the START treaties negotiated by Russia and the United States, there have been no efforts to limit the arsenals of other nuclear weapon states. Mazarr and Lennon observe that "if fully completed, the French and British nuclear modernization programs will result in a combined sea-based force . . . larger than the US and Russian forces under a finite deterrence regime." This reality limits how far the United States can go in reducing its warhead count. In 1992, President George Bush suggested that the United States plan to maintain an arsenal as large as Russia's and the combined totals of other nuclear weapon states. Deputy Secretary of Defense John Deutch, writing in the Fall 1992 issue of Foreign Affairs, observed, "The motivation of most nations to acquire a nuclear weapon has little to do with the size or characteristics of the US arsenal. Their motivations reflect security concerns or geopolitical ambitions."

So far, five years after the end of the Cold War, the idealists' position on increasing proliferation is gaining momentum. Nothing proves this more than the October 1994 US accommodation with North Korea. Under this agreement, North Korea will avoid IAEA inspections for at least three years and will receive $3 billion in aid to replace its three heavy water reactors with the less-menacing light water cooled versions. Curiously, CIA satellite photos of the Yongbyon nuclear complex indicate the absence of a key element in power production: The Kim Jong Il government evidently forgot to add transmission lines to carry power from the reactors to cities and industrial plants. The reality is that North Korea drives home a point made by Martel and Pendley: "There are instances in which it is difficult for the United States to prevent further cases of nuclear proliferation--unless military intervention is envisioned."

If the realists are correct in predicting further proliferation, the United States may find itself on the wrong side of history. An article by RAND's Marc Dean Millot, "Facing the Emerging Reality of Regional Nuclear Adversaries" (The Washington Quarterly, Summer 1994), sounds a warning on current US military policy. NATO, Millot observes, used nuclear arms as the equalizer to the Warsaw Pact's superior conventional forces. After smart weapons used in the Persian Gulf War established the United States as the new world leader in conventional strength, why, asks Millot, won't the rest of the world see nuclear weapons as a counter to American military power? Regrettably, Millot notes, many US military officers believe nuclear weapons are obsolete after the Cold War.

Writing in the same issue of Washington Quarterly, Roger C. Molander and Peter A. Wilson ("On Dealing with the Prospect of Nuclear Chaos") fault the Clinton Administration for lack of clear vision in establishing a post-Cold War strategy. If the United States doesn't take the lead in countering centrifugal forces pushing a growing number of states to go nuclear, they argue, the result could be an entanglement of regional mini-Mutual Assured Destruction alliances.

Finally, as cuts in military spending continue, Security Studies editor Benjamin Frankel offers some sound advice: "Before American policymakers dismantle the Cold War-inspired US military structure, they should keep in mind the beneficial effects it had on nuclear proliferation. If they believe that a runaway proliferation of nuclear weapons is inimical to US interests, they should be careful not to destroy the most effective means to keep such proliferation in check."

Despite US military and diplomatic complacency, nuclear proliferation may well be the most vexing problem of the post-Cold War era.


Kathleen C. Bailey, Strengthening Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Boulder, Colo: Westview Press, 1993).

McGeorge Bundy, William J. Crowe, Jr., and Sidney D. Drell, Reducing Nuclear Danger: The Road Away from the Brink (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1993).

Zachary S. Davis and Benjamin Frankel, eds., The Proliferation Puzzle: Why Nuclear Weapons Spread and What Results (Portland, Ore.: Frank Cass, 1993).

John M. Deutch, "The New Nuclear Threat," Foreign Affairs, 71 (Fall 1992), 120-34.

Gary T. Gardner, Nuclear Nonproliferation: A Primer (Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1994).

William C. Martel and William T. Pendley, Nuclear Coexistence: Rethinking U.S. Policy to Promote Stability in an Era of Proliferation (Maxwell AFT, Ala.: Air Univ. Press, 1994).

Michael J. Mazarr and Alexander T. Lennon, eds., Toward a Nuclear Peace (New York: St. Martin's Press in association with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1994).

Marc Dean Millot, "Facing the Emerging Reality of Regional Nuclear Adversaries," The Washington Quarterly, 17 (Summer 1994), 41-71.

Roger C. Molander and Peter A. Wilson, "On Dealing with the Prospect of Nuclear Chaos," The Washington Quarterly, 17 (Summer 1994), 19-39.

Mitchell Reiss, "The Last Nuclear Summit?" The Washington Quarterly, 17 (Summer 1994), 5-15.

Scott D. Sagan, The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1993).

Peter van Ham, Managing Non-Proliferation Regimes in the 1990s: Power, Politics, and Policies (New York: Council of Foreign Relations Press, 1994).

The Reviewer: Colonel Michael R. Boldrick (USAF Ret.) is a program director with the Engineering Research Group of SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) in Menlo Park, California. He is also an advisor on strategic military issues to SRI's Washington-based Center for Global Security Planning.

Reviewed 10 November 1997. Please send comments or corrections to