Fresh analyses for a rapidly changing international scene.

 
Random Article


 
Don't Miss
 

Arms Control in the 21st Century

 

 
Overview
 

Title: Arms Control in the 21st Century: Between coercion and cooperation
 
Editor(s): Oliver Meier and Christopher Daase
 
Pages: 264
 
Publication year: 2012
 
Publisher: Routledge
 
ISBN: Hardback: 978-0-415-69817-7
 
Price: $135
 
Own it: Find it on Amazon
 

Positives


Most of the chapters are very well argued and thought out.

Negatives


Some writers failed to update their papers or did not reflect on changing realities.


Bottom Line

How should the international community deal with Tehran’s assumed program to develop a nuclear weapons breakout capacity, if not acquire a bomb? Would the use of force or milder form of coercive tactics successfully accomplish the objectives of preventing a nuclear Iran? Or, should the international community seek to negotiate a compromise that strikes a […]

Posted January 24, 2013 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Arms Control in the 21st Century

How should the international community deal with Tehran’s assumed program to develop a nuclear weapons breakout capacity, if not acquire a bomb? Would the use of force or milder form of coercive tactics successfully accomplish the objectives of preventing a nuclear Iran? Or, should the international community seek to negotiate a compromise that strikes a more cooperative approach?

The issue of non-proliferation and arms control is a highly important security issue for the international community.  Yet, the challenge of containing the proliferation of arms, particularly WMDs, is one of the most frustrating tasks and the search for effective measures for denying would-be proliferators the opportunity to obtain nuclear weapons and other WMDs has led to the decline of the treaty-based method of arms control and the rise of increasingly coercive measures to ensure the non-proliferation of dangerous weapons concludes a number of authors of a new book.

 A recently published book by Routledge entitled Arms Control in the 21st Century: Between coercion and cooperation Arms Control in the 21st Century: Between coercion and cooperation edited by Olivier Meier and Christopher Daase identifies a shift in the arms control paradigm from one characterized by cooperation towards a more coercive arm control paradigm.

 The book is primarily based upon papers presented at a conference on the topic of “Coercive Arms Control: The Paradigm Shift in Arms Control and Non-proliferation” in 2008.  The contributions convincingly argue that there has been a shift away from the more cooperative treaty-based method of controlling arms and preventing the spread of WMDs towards one that relies increasingly on coercive measures.

Despite a thoughtful background on coercion, there is some difficulty in clearly defining what constitutes a coercive non-proliferation initiative.  For example, a disagreement does rise between Meier and Ian Davis in their respective chapters.  Meier labels the Proliferation Security Initiative a non-integrative mechanism of arms control. Davis, on the other hand, plainly states that he views the PSI as a cooperative initiative.  Indeed, as Davis argues, the mere fact that the initiative PSI is made up of a number of countries that have agreed to participate in the venture or permit vessels operating under its flags to be interdicted indicates that the PSI is more of a cooperative arms control mechanism rather than a coercive one. However, Meier does successfully call into question the effectiveness and legitimacy of the PSI. Using Davis’ reasoning, it is debatable whether any of the Bush-era initiatives that Meier characterizes as coercive should even be labeled as so. Davis’ argument seems to be the more valid one, but there are hints of coercion in some of the initiatives Meier discusses, such as GNEP.

Martin B. Malin’s chapter, The effectiveness and legitimacy of the use of force to prevent nuclear proliferation, attempts to analyze, as the chapter’s name suggests, the effectiveness of the use of force to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Malin’s analysis is one of the most fascinating of the works included in the book. Malin examines nine cases in which the use of force was employed solely or in part to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons.  Ultimately, Malin assesses, albeit preliminarily, one case – the 2007 destruction of an undisclosed Syrian reactor by Israel – “as a strategic a success.” He then examines the situations in which the force of use may bear fruit, but he also cautions that the use of force can have negative effects that provide an impetus for the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Michael Broszka examines the use of sanctions in his chapter. Broszka, like Malin, provides a great analysis. He examines the differences in the use of sanctions across three actors – the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union. He also reviews literature and studies concerning sanctions and their effectiveness. He predicts that while the efficiency and legitimacy of sanctions may be questionable in instances, the leveling of sanctions will continue and will rise.

The weakest part of the book by is a presentation of the European, Indian, and Middle Eastern views of arms control and non-proliferation, as well as compares the non-proliferation policies of Presidents Bush and Obama.

The overview of the European view of arms control seemingly relies too heavily on the European Union’s approach to arms control, which the author describes as “fledgling.”  The article could have been more constructive by commenting on how similar or dissimilar the E.U. approach to arms control is with that of its member states’ national approaches to the same issue or whether the response of national governments to proliferation concerns makes up for the fledgling response of the European Union.

Unfortunately, it appears that Arundhati Ghose’s chapter on the Indian perspective had not been updated, as references to the U.S.-Indo 123 agreement, as well as the preceding green light from the Nuclear Suppliers Group for its members to commence nuclear trade with India, seem to predate the conclusion of these negotiations and agreements. It would have been interesting to see if the author could have identified any subtler changes in New Delhi’s approach since the conclusion of the 123 agreement. Indian commentators on strategic issues have begun debating the merit and demerits of not backing the Western initiatives to force Tehran into giving up its covert nuclear programs following attacks against Israeli diplomats in New Delhi by the Iranian Republican Guard in retaliation for covert attacks against the Iranian nuclear program. This new debate in New Delhi suggests that the Indian strategic community is undergoing a non-proliferation soul-searching experience.

Arms Control in the 21st Century: Between coercion and cooperation edited by Olivier Meier and Christopher Daase is a timely book that constructively contributes to the debate on arms control given the ongoing crises over the Syrian conflict, and the Iranian nuclear program, as well as the inability of the U.N. to successfully agree on an Arms Trade Treaty. Students, academics, military officials, and—most importantly—policymakers around the globe should read this book.

How should the international community deal with Tehran’s assumed program to develop a nuclear weapons breakout capacity, if not acquire a bomb? Would the use of force or milder form of coercive tactics successfully accomplish the objectives of preventing a nuclear Iran? Or, should the international community seek to negotiate a compromise that strikes a more cooperative approach?

The issue of non-proliferation and arms control is a highly important security issue for the international community.  Yet, the challenge of containing the proliferation of arms, particularly WMDs, is one of the most frustrating tasks and the search for effective measures for denying would-be proliferators the opportunity to obtain nuclear weapons and other WMDs has led to the decline of the treaty-based method of arms control and the rise of increasingly coercive measures to ensure the non-proliferation of dangerous weapons concludes a number of authors of a new book.

A recently published book by Routledge entitled Arms Control in the 21st Century: Between coercion and cooperation Arms Control in the 21st Century: Between coercion and cooperation edited by Olivier Meier and Christopher Daase identifies a shift in the arms control paradigm from one characterized by cooperation towards a more coercive arm control paradigm.

The book is primarily based upon papers presented at a conference on the topic of “Coercive Arms Control: The Paradigm Shift in Arms Control and Non-proliferation” in 2008.  The contributions convincingly argue that there has been a shift away from the more cooperative treaty-based method of controlling arms and preventing the spread of WMDs towards one that relies increasingly on coercive measures.

Despite a thoughtful background on coercion, there is some difficulty in clearly defining what constitutes a coercive non-proliferation initiative.  For example, a disagreement does rise between Meier and Ian Davis in their respective chapters.  Meier labels the Proliferation Security Initiative a non-integrative mechanism of arms control. Davis, on the other hand, plainly states that he views the PSI as a cooperative initiative.  Indeed, as Davis argues, the mere fact that the initiative PSI is made up of a number of countries that have agreed to participate in the venture or permit vessels operating under its flags to be interdicted indicates that the PSI is more of a cooperative arms control mechanism rather than a coercive one. However, Meier does successfully call into question the effectiveness and legitimacy of the PSI. Using Davis’ reasoning, it is debatable whether any of the Bush-era initiatives that Meier characterizes as coercive should even be labeled as so. Davis’ argument seems to be the more valid one, but there are hints of coercion in some of the initiatives Meier discusses, such as GNEP.

Martin B. Malin’s chapter, The effectiveness and legitimacy of the use of force to prevent nuclear proliferation, attempts to analyze, as the chapter’s name suggests, the effectiveness of the use of force to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Malin’s analysis is one of the most fascinating of the works included in the book. Malin examines nine cases in which the use of force was employed solely or in part to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons.  Ultimately, Malin assesses, albeit preliminarily, one case – the 2007 destruction of an undisclosed Syrian reactor by Israel – “as a strategic a success.” He then examines the situations in which the force of use may bear fruit, but he also cautions that the use of force can have negative effects that provide an impetus for the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Michael Broszka examines the use of sanctions in his chapter. Broszka, like Malin, provides a great analysis. He examines the differences in the use of sanctions across three actors – the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union. He also reviews literature and studies concerning sanctions and their effectiveness. He predicts that while the efficiency and legitimacy of sanctions may be questionable in instances, the leveling of sanctions will continue and will rise.

The weakest part of the book by is a presentation of the European, Indian, and Middle Eastern views of arms control and non-proliferation, as well as compares the non-proliferation policies of Presidents Bush and Obama.

The overview of the European view of arms control seemingly relies too heavily on the European Union’s approach to arms control, which the author describes as “fledgling.” The article could have been more constructive by commenting on how similar or dissimilar the E.U. approach to arms control is with that of its member states’ national approaches to the same issue or whether the response of national governments to proliferation concerns makes up for the fledgling response of the European Union.

Unfortunately, it appears that Arundhati Ghose’s chapter on the Indian perspective had not been updated, as references to the U.S.-Indo 123 agreement, as well as the preceding green light from the Nuclear Suppliers Group for its members to commence nuclear trade with India, seem to predate the conclusion of these negotiations and agreements. It would have been interesting to see if the author could have identified any subtler changes in New Delhi’s approach since the conclusion of the 123 agreement. Indian commentators on strategic issues have begun debating the merit and demerits of not backing the Western initiatives to force Tehran into giving up its covert nuclear programs following attacks against Israeli diplomats in New Delhi by the Iranian Republican Guard in retaliation for covert attacks against the Iranian nuclear program. This new debate in New Delhi suggests that the Indian strategic community is undergoing a non-proliferation soul-searching experience.

Arms Control in the 21st Century: Between coercion and cooperation edited by Olivier Meier and Christopher Daase is a timely book that constructively contributes to the debate on arms control given the ongoing crises over the Syrian conflict, and the Iranian nuclear program, as well as the inability of the U.N. to successfully agree on an Arms Trade Treaty. Students, academics, military officials, and—most importantly—policymakers around the globe should read this book.


Andrew Haggard