Rockets' Red Glare: Missile Defenses and the Future of World Politics

James J. Wirtz, Jeffrey A. Larsen

Published by Basic Books, 2001
ISBN 10: 0813364507 / ISBN 13: 9780813364506
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Synopsis: President George W. Bush called on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield to make sure that that the missile defense receives the priority we think it must,” sharpening the debate over the most critical issue in American foreign policy. The Rockets' Red Glare: Missile Defenses and the Future of World Politics is an unique, informative and authoritative examination of the issues at the core of the debate. Leading experts provide the historical background to today's debate, analyze the options, examine the domestic and global contexts, and explore the potential international reactions to an American deployment of missile defenses. With nuance and balance, the authors suggest that in a deeply connected international system, any American decision will likely have cascading and unintended repercussions, some increasing and others decreasing American security and influence. As the debate on missile defenses intensifies, this book will provide a sound foundation for a fair assessment of arguments from both sides.

Review: Rockets' Red Glare escapes from the confines of the debate over U.S. missile defense and all of its well-worn arguments about cost and feasibility. Instead, its contributors assume that some form of missile defense will become a reality, which gives them an excuse to explore what Michael O'Hanlon calls "other debates that have lurked below the surface." These include head-scratching questions about what kind of missile-defense system is most desirable--a number of different options are available, even though they share the common goal of protecting the United States and its allies against missile attack. There are many other concerns, too, ranging from the future of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to the possibility that a vigorous U.S. missile-defense system will aggravate the problem of proliferation. "Rarely do public policies produce consequences that are all good or all bad," writes James J. Wirtz, one of the book's editors, in an introduction. Rockets' Red Glare is full of sober analysis and is refreshingly free of advocacy. --John Miller

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Title: Rockets' Red Glare: Missile Defenses and the...
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Very Good

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