Realpolitik

Muthaiah Alagappa is Distinguished Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, Hawaii. His The Long Shadow: Nuclear Weapons and Security in 21st Century Asia has become available in an Indian edition, from Oxford University Press.

Reviewing it in The Hindu, C Uday Bhaskar says Alagappa’s edited volume is a veritable tour de force of this complex subject — the long shadow cast by the nuclear weapon — and how it is perceived in the national security strategy of individual states in the extended Asian context.

Others have also been laudatory: I know of no other book about nuclear weapons and international security produced since the end of the Cold War that has the breadth of The Long Shadow. It combines a reconsideration of key strategic concepts and policies with a remarkably comprehensive survey of countries from the Middle East through East Asia whose nuclear status, aspirations, or potential will shape the Asian security order in the twenty-first century, from Avery Goldstein, Professor in the Political Science Department, University of Pennsylvania, and A well-rounded, comprehensive analysis of the roles and implications of nuclear weapons in the Asian security region. In light of the growing importance of Asian security issues, this book will be a valuable resource. from Charles Glaser, Professor at the University of Chicago.

This "is the first comprehensive examination of the roles and implications of nuclear weapons in the post-Cold War security environment, focusing on a broadly defined Asian security region. It investigates the strategies for the employment of nuclear weapons, and the consequences for security and stability in a dramatically altered strategic landscape, and a substantially different nuclear environment. The canvas of study includes the six nuclear weapon states-China, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, and the US; several nuclear weapon-capable states-Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan; and the aspirants-Iran and North Korea.

A key conclusion of the study is that nuclear weapons influence national security strategies in fundamental ways; and that deterrence continues to be the dominant role and strategy for the employment of nuclear weapons. It further infers that although there could be destabilizing situations, on balance nuclear weapons have reinforced security and stability in the Asian security region.

As nuclear weapons will persist in the foreseeable future, it is important to re-examine 'old' ideas, concepts, and strategies, and develop 'new' ones relevant for the contemporary era. In line with this, the global nuclear order should be constructed anew based on present realities."

In our Strategic Affairs and Politics sections. In Hardcover, 590 pages, Rs 995. ISBN: 9780198063599

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