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Books

Arms Control


Building Militaries in Fragile States: Challenges for the United States

Building Militaries in Fragile States: Challenges for the United States Lowest new price: $58.14
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Author: Mara E. Karlin

Combining rigorous academic scholarship with the experience of a senior Pentagon policymaker, Mara E. Karlin explores the key national security issue of our time: how to effectively build partner militaries. Given the complex and complicated global security environment, declining U.S. defense budgets, and an increasingly connected (and often unstable) world, the United States has an ever-deepening interest in strengthening fragile states. Particularly since World War II, it has often chosen to do so by strengthening partner militaries. It will continue to do so, Karlin predicts, given U.S. sensitivity to casualties, a constrained fiscal environment, the nature of modern nationalism, increasing transnational security threats, the proliferation of fragile states, and limits on U.S. public support for military interventions. However, its record of success is thin.

While most analyses of these programs focus on training and equipment, Building Militaries in Fragile States argues that this approach is misguided. Instead, given the nature of a fragile state, Karlin homes in on the outsized roles played by two key actors: the U.S. military and unhelpful external actors. With a rich comparative case-study approach that spans Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, Karlin unearths provocative findings that suggest the traditional way of working with foreign militaries needs to be rethought. Benefiting from the practical eye of an experienced national security official, her results-based exploration suggests new and meaningful findings for building partner militaries in fragile states.

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Mao's China and the Cold War (The New Cold War History)

Mao's China and the Cold War (The New Cold War History) Lowest new price: $24.09
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Author: Jian Chen
Brand: Brand: The University of North Carolina Press

This comprehensive study of China's Cold War experience reveals the crucial role Beijing played in shaping the orientation of the global Cold War and the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The success of China's Communist revolution in 1949 set the stage, Chen says. The Korean War, the Taiwan Strait crises, and the Vietnam War--all of which involved China as a central actor--represented the only major "hot" conflicts during the Cold War period, making East Asia the main battlefield of the Cold War, while creating conditions to prevent the two superpowers from engaging in a direct military showdown. Beijing's split with Moscow and rapprochement with Washington fundamentally transformed the international balance of power, argues Chen, eventually leading to the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the decline of international communism.

Based on sources that include recently declassified Chinese documents, the book offers pathbreaking insights into the course and outcome of the Cold War.

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The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade

The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade Lowest new price: $14.15
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Author: Andrew Feinstein

Pulling back the curtain on the secretive world of the global arms trade, Andrew Feinstein reveals the corruption and the cover-ups behind weapons deals ranging from the largest in history - between the British and Saudi governments - to BAE's controversial transactions in South Africa, Tanzania and eastern Europe, and the revolving-door relationships that characterise the US Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex. He exposes in forensic detail both the formal government-to-government trade in arms and the shadow world of illicit weapons dealing - and lays bare the shocking and inextricable links between the two. "The Shadow World" places us in the midst of the arms trade's dramatic wheeling and dealing, ranging from corporate boardrooms to seedy out-of-the-way hotels via far-flung offshore havens, and reveals the profound danger this network represents to all of us.

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American Diplomats: The Foreign Service at Work

American Diplomats: The Foreign Service at Work Lowest new price: $18.61
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Author: Stuart Kennedy
Brand: Brand: iUniverse, Inc.

What do the men and women of America's diplomatic corps do? William D. Morgan and Charles Stuart Kennedy, themselves career diplomats, culled over 1400 oral interviews with their Foreign Service peers to present forty excerpts covering events from the 1920s to the 1990s. Insiders recount what happens when a consul spies on Nazi Germany, Mao Tse-Tung drops by for a chat, the Cold War begins with the Berlin blockade, the Marshall Plan rescues Europe, Sukarno moves Indonesia into the communist camp, Khrushchev calls President Kennedy an SOB, and our ambassador is murdered in Kabul."You are there" accounts deepen readers' understanding, as diplomatic and consular officers talk about the beginnings of Kremlinology, predicting a coup in Ecuador, Hemingway and the embassy in Havana, the secret formulation of the NATO treaty, Jerusalem after the British and the US recognition of Israel, fighting in the Congo over Katangan secession, dealing with an alcoholic foreign president, human rights work in Paraguay, the U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran, the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, helping families of the Pan Am 103 victims, Greece and Turkey at odds over a tiny island, embassy roles in Riyadh and Tel Aviv during Desert Storm, and many more.

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Silencing the Bomb: One Scientist's Quest to Halt Nuclear Testing

Silencing the Bomb: One Scientist's Quest to Halt Nuclear Testing Lowest new price: $27.42
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Author: Lynn R. Sykes

In December 2016, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved their iconic “Doomsday Clock” thirty seconds forward to two and a half minutes to midnight, the latest it has been set since 1952, the year of the first United States hydrogen bomb test. But a group of scientists―geologists, engineers, and physicists―has been fighting to turn back the clock. Since the dawn of the Cold War, they have advocated a halt to nuclear testing, their work culminating in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which still awaits ratification from China, Iran, North Korea―and the United States. The backbone of the treaty is every nation’s ability to independently monitor the nuclear activity of the others. The noted seismologist Lynn R. Sykes, one of the central figures in the development of the science and technology used in monitoring, has dedicated his career to halting nuclear testing. In Silencing the Bomb, he tells the inside story behind scientists’ quest for disarmament.

Called upon time and again to testify before Congress and to inform the public, Sykes and his colleagues were, for much of the Cold War, among the only people on earth able to say with certainty when and where a bomb was tested and how large it was. Methods of measuring earthquakes, researchers realized, could also detect underground nuclear explosions. When politicians on both sides of the Iron Curtain attempted to sidestep disarmament or test ban treaties, Sykes was able to deploy the nascent science of plate tectonics to reveal the truth. Seismologists’ discoveries helped bring about treaties limiting nuclear testing, but it was their activism that played a key role in the effort for peace. Full of intrigue, international politics, and hard science used for the global good, Silencing the Bomb is a timely and necessary chronicle of one scientist’s efforts to keep the clock from striking midnight.

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The Korean Crisis: One People, Two Nations, A World On The Brink

The Korean Crisis: One People, Two Nations, A World On The Brink Lowest new price: $9.99
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Author: Jack Van Der Slik

After nearly 70 years of division between North and South Korea, the two nations have not yet achieved a peaceful settlement. Professor Emeritus Jack Van Der Slik’s new book provides a first person account of the incredible differences between the nations. The Korean Crisis: One People, Two Nations, an Uncertain Future follows the fate of the two Koreas. The first is a story of hard-earned success by the South Korean people. Although democracy did not come easily, it did accompany flourishing through market capitalism. The second, the fall of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, began with early economic success then sank into a socialist dictatorship, stratifying the country’s people into a small privileged elite supported by a poor and cheerless mass of disadvantaged workers. Despite the poverty and food insecurity suffered by the North Korean underclass, the ruling elite has formidably armed itself with nuclear weapons and a massive standing army. The Korean Crisis draws upon deep studies of democratization in South Korea and Van Der Slik’s own travels throughout the Republic of Korea and Panmunjom—the heavily armed 38th parallel and the site of peace negotiations. Intensely researched, highly informative, and poignantly told, The Korean Crisis will educate the public about Korea and the dangers that exist there while shedding light on a possible catastrophic nuclear conflict between the two rival countries whose combatants are, in fact, one people.

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Permanent Alliance?: NATO and the Transatlantic Bargain from Truman to Obama

Permanent Alliance?: NATO and the Transatlantic Bargain from Truman to Obama Lowest new price: $35.95
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Author: Stanley R. Sloan
Brand: Stanley R Sloan


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The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War

The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War Lowest new price: $11.70
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Author: Nicholas Thompson

A brilliant and revealing biography of the two most important Americans during the Cold War era—written by the grandson of one of them

Only two Americans held positions of great influence throughout the Cold War; ironically, they were the chief advocates for the opposing strategies for winning—and surviving—that harrowing conflict. Both men came to power during World War II, reached their professional peaks during the Cold War’s most frightening moments, and fought epic political battles that spanned decades. Yet despite their very different views, Paul Nitze and George Kennan dined together, attended the weddings of each other’s children, and remained good friends all their lives.

In this masterly double biography, Nicholas Thompson brings Nitze and Kennan to vivid life. Nitze—the hawk—was a consummate insider who believed that the best way to avoid a nuclear clash was to prepare to win one. More than any other American, he was responsible for the arms race. Kennan—the dove—was a diplomat turned academic whose famous “X article” persuasively argued that we should contain the Soviet Union while waiting for it to collapse from within. For forty years, he exercised more influence on foreign affairs than any other private citizen.

As he weaves a fascinating narrative that follows these two rivals and friends from the beginning of the Cold War to its end, Thompson accomplishes something remarkable: he tells the story of our nation during the most dangerous half century in history.

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Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible Lowest new price: $6.45
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Author: Stephen Braun
Brand: Farah, Douglas/ Braun, Stephen

Praise for Merchant of Death

""A riveting investigation of the world's most notorious arms dealer--a page-turner that digs deep into the amazing, murky story of Viktor Bout. Farah and Braun have exposed the inner workings of one of the world's most secretive businesses--the international arms trade.""
—Peter L. Bergen, author of The Osama bin Laden I Know

""Viktor Bout is like Osama bin Laden: a major target of U.S. intelligence officials who time and again gets away. Farah and Braun have skillfully documented how this notorious arms dealer has stoked violence around the world and thwarted international sanctions. Even more appalling, they show how Bout ended up getting millions of dollars in U.S. government money to assist the war in Iraq. A truly impressive piece of investigative reporting.""
—Michael Isikoff, coauthor of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War

""Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun are two of the toughest investigative reporters in the country. This is an important book about a hidden world of gunrunning and profiteering in some of the world's poorest countries.""
—Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001

""In Merchant of Death, two of America's finest reporters have performed a major public service, turning over the right rocks that reveal the brutal international arms business at the dawn of the twenty-first century. In Viktor Bout, they have given us a new Lord of War, a man who knows no side but his own, and who has a knack for turning up in every war zone just in time to turn a profit. As Farah and Braun uncover and document his troubling role in the Bush Administration's Global War on Terror, his ties to Washington almost seem inevitable.""
—James Risen, author of State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration

""An extraordinary and timely piece of investigative reporting, Merchant of Death is also a vividly compelling read. The true story of Viktor Bout, a sociopathic Russian gunrunner who has supplied weapons for use in some of the most gruesome conflicts of modern times--and who can count amongst his clients both the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the U.S. military in Iraq--is a stomach-churning indictment of the policy failures and moral contradictions of the world's most powerful governments, including that of the United States.""
—Jon Lee Anderson, author of The Fall of Baghdad

Two respected journalists tell the incredible story of Viktor Bout, the Russian weapons supplier whose global network has changed the way modern warfare is fought. Bout’s vast enterprise of guns, planes, and money has fueled internecine slaughter in Africa and aided both militant Islamic fanatics in Afghanistan and the American military in Iraq. This book combines spy thrills with crucial insights on the shortcomings of a U.S. foreign policy that fails to confront the lucrative and lethal arms trade that erodes global security.

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The Military Balance 2017

The Military Balance 2017 Lowest new price: $637.27
Lowest used price: $377.88
List price: $650.00
Author: The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

The Military Balance is an authoritative assessment of the military capabilities and defence economics of 171 countries. Detailed A–Z entries list each country’s military organisation, personnel numbers, equipment inventories, and relevant economic and demographic data.

Regional and select country analyses cover the major developments affecting defence policy and procurement, and defence economics. The opening graphics section displays notable defence statistics, while additional data sets detail selected arms orders and military exercises, as well as comparative defence expenditure and personnel numbers. The Military Balance is an indispensable handbook for anyone conducting serious analysis of security policy and military affairs.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies, founded in 1958, is an independent centre for research, analysis and debate on the problems of conflict, however caused, that have, or potentially have, an important military dimension.

 

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