Books of Note
Breaking the Nuclear Impasse: New Prospects for Security Against Nuclear Weapons
Edited by Jeffrey Laurenti and Carl Robichaud, The Century Foundation Press, May 2007, 142 pp.
This book is the product of a Century Foundation conference held in February. Summarizing the recommendations that gained the broadest support during discussions, Joseph Cirincione, vice president for national security at the Center for American Progress, and Carl Robichaud, program officer at the Century Foundation, identify nine goals for sustaining the nonproliferation regime, including the end of fissile material production, the removal and elimination of tactical nuclear weapons, and consistent reinforcement of nonproliferation norms. Several leaders in the field then propose means for achieving these goals, including approaches that seek to preserve the virtues, not the vices, of traditional arms control strategies and to use market forces to support nonproliferation. Despite the outward deadlock of the arms control debate, the authors maintain that positive advancements are possible if leaders strengthen their commitment to the principles of nonproliferation and disarmament. Ultimately, the book stresses the need for a comprehensive strategy, complete with concrete goals, to repair the political and structural inconsistencies in the nonproliferation regime.
Arms Control After Iraq: Normative and Operational Challenges
Edited by Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu and Ramesh Thakur, The United Nations University Press, 2006, 452 pp.
Taking advantage of a wide variety of state and regional perspectives, this book, edited by Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and UN Assistant Secretary-General Ramesh Thakur, covers how the strategies of nonproliferation and disarmament have adjusted since the war in Iraq and also how the “tools” of arms control have changed in their importance and impact. Several contributors discuss the new emphasis on counterproliferation and the switch from deterrence to “compellence” strategies. The efforts of the UN Security Council and the international community at large are discussed not only for their limited ability to enforce compliance but also for the role their ground-breaking verification bodies played in dealing with Iraq. In addition, points of view from the nuclear powers and other influential parties, such as Egypt and Japan, offer differing cultural and historical approaches to nonproliferation.
Global Non-Proliferation and Counter-Terrorism: The Impact of UNSCR 1540
Edited by Olivia Bosch et al., Brookings Institution Press, 2007, 226 pp.
Three years after its adoption, policymakers and scholars evaluate UN Security Council Resolution 1540, a 2004 measure obligating all UN member states to act to prevent nonstate access to weapons of mass destruction. In 14 essays, diverse authors from around the globe put the resolution in legal, historic, and strategic context and recommend guidelines for enforcement, lawmaking, and prosecution. Part one presents Resolution 1540 as part of the broader history of efforts against proliferation. Part two discusses the resolution in relation to nonproliferation treaties on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their means of delivery. Part three relates Resolution 1540 to other recent efforts, including the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative. Acknowledging that the resolution’s effects on nonstate proliferation have yet to be determined, the editors conclude that its most lasting contribution will be its validation of a globally cooperative agenda against proliferation.
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