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Atomic Obsession : Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda
by John Mueller

Overview - Since the end of World War Two, the use of nuclear weapons has been America's-and the world's-worst nightmare. But they have never actually been used, despite the fact that an ever-increasing number of countries have obtained them. Our fear levels remain as high as ever today, but are they justified?  Read more...

 
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More About Atomic Obsession by John Mueller
 
 
 
Overview
Since the end of World War Two, the use of nuclear weapons has been America's-and the world's-worst nightmare. But they have never actually been used, despite the fact that an ever-increasing number of countries have obtained them. Our fear levels remain as high as ever today, but are they justified? Eminent international relations scholar John Mueller thinks not, and this highly provocative work, he contends that our overriding concern about nuclear weapons borders on an obsession unsupported by either history or logic. Drawing on the history of the entire atomic era, Mueller argues that nuclear weapons have never represented much of a threat given states' fundamental unwillingness to use them. After the focus shifted away from "mutual assured destruction" to the terrorist threat following 9/11, alarmists had a new cause. Yet analysts have consistently overestimated the destructive capabilities of the devices we worry about the most now: suitcase nukes and dirty bombs. Moreover, our current worries about terrorists obtaining such weapons are essentially baseless. As Mueller points out, there is a multitude of reasons why terrorists will not be able to obtain weapons, much less build them themselves and successfully transport them to targets. Mueller goes even further, maintaining that our efforts to prevent the spread of WMDs have produced much more suffering and violence than would have been the case if we took a more realistic view of such weapons. This controversial thesis cuts against the received wisdom promulgated by America's enormously powerful military-industrial complex. But given how wrong that establishment has been on so many crucial issues over the course of the entire post-World War II era, Mueller's argument is one that deserves a wide public hearing.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780195381368
  • ISBN-10: 019538136X
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publish Date: November 2009
  • Page Count: 319


Related Categories

Books > Political Science > Security (National & International)
Books > History > Military - Nuclear Warfare
Books > Political Science > International Relations - Arms Control

 
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