Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to by John E. Mueller

By John E. Mueller

Ever because the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, the chance of nuclear annihilation has haunted the fashionable global. yet as John Mueller unearths during this eye-opening, compellingly argued, and extremely reassuring publication, our obsession with nuclear guns is unsupported via historical past, medical truth, or good judgment.

Examining the whole atomic period, Mueller boldly contends that nuclear guns have had little influence on historical past. even if they've got encouraged overwrought rules and distorted spending priorities, for the main half they've got proved to be militarily dead, and a key cause so few international locations have taken them up is they are a striking waste of cash and clinical expertise. both vital, Atomic Obsession unearths why anxieties approximately terrorists acquiring nuclear guns are primarily baseless: a bunch of functional and organizational problems make their probability of good fortune nearly vanishingly small.

Mueller, certainly one of America's such a lot distinct but provocative diplomacy students, is going even additional, protecting that our efforts to avoid the unfold of nuclear guns have produced extra anguish and violence than the bombs themselves, and that proliferation of the guns, whereas now not unavoidably fascinating, is not likely to be a massive risk or to accelerate.

"The e-book will surely make you think that. additional bonus: It's immensely enjoyable to read."
--Stephen M. Walt, ForeignPolicy.com

"Meticulously researched and punctuated with a dry wit. Mueller merits compliment for having the center to shout that the atomic emperor has no clothes."
--Arms keep an eye on Today

"Mueller plays a huge provider in puncturing the various inflated rhetoric approximately nuclear weapons.... An strange and fruitful standpoint on nuclear history."
--Science Magazine

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Army Code 71451, Design for Military Operations: The British Military Doctrine (1989), vii. 28. , 21. 29. The concept is familiar in organizational learning literature; for example, "The Experiential Learning Cycle" consists of "Experience, Reflection, Generalization, and Experimentation" in a feedback loop process in Gervase R. B. Shani, Parallel Learning Structures: Increasing Innovation in Bureaucracies (Wokingham, England: Addison-Wesley, 1991), 141. This cycle owes its intellectual heritage to Colonel John Boyd, developer of the "Boyd Cycle" or "OODA Loop" in which fighter pilots are taught to observe, orient, decide, and act faster than their opponents can.

10 No matter. After the war, Clausewitz took the blame for the conduct of a war of annihilation of which he would most certainly have disapproved. The importance of Jomini for a student of counterinsurgency learning is evident: Jomini emphasizes the destruction of the enemy army in the field, despite Clausewitz's understanding that the true power of armies in the wake of Napoleon rests in the people and their government. 11 Nonetheless, armies ever since have clung to what they continue to describe as "Clausewitzian" (actually Jominian) principles of destroying the enemy army as the key to victory.

Wilson, Bureaucracy (New York: Basic Books, 1989), 91. 16. The evolution of strategic culture explanations for military policies is reviewed by Alastair Iain Johnston, "Thinking About Strategic Culture," International Security 19/4 (Spring 1995), 32-64. 17. Theodore G. , "Leadership and Organizational Culture: Actions Speak Louder than Words," Military Review LXXVI, No. 1 (January/February 1996), 45. 18. Halperin, Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy, 34-35. 19. Elizabeth Kier, "Culture and Military Doctrine: France Between the Wars," International Security 191A (Spring 1995), 66.

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