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'Preventing the Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction' journal/book

It may interest the list to know that just published is a 
special issue of  The Journal of Strategic Studies , vol. 
23, no. 1 (March 2000) which I edited under the title 
'Preventing the Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction'. It has 
also been published in book form under the same title by 
Frank Cass. ISBN 0 7146 5044 7 hardback (£39.50/$57.50). 
ISBN 0 7146 8097 4 paperback (£16.50/$24.50). See

Some of the articles/chapters relevant to the list are the 

* Carolyn James 'Iran and Iraq as Rational Crisis Actors: 
Dangers and Dynamics of Survivable Nuclear War'

Focusing specifically on Iran and Iraq, Carolyn James 
considers the implications should they acquire 
'mini-arsenals', namely, nuclear arsenals big enough to 
inflict a great deal of damage but too small to ensure the 
destruction of the opponent’s state or society. She sees 
mini-arsenals as being associated with the following 
hierarchy of preferences: unilateral use without nuclear 
retaliation from the enemy, then mutual nuclear use, then 
mutual nuclear restraint and then unilateral use by the 
enemy without nuclear response.  In contrast, she sees 
Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) as associated with a 
less dangerous hierarchy of preferences: mutual nuclear 
restraint, then unilateral use without nuclear retaliation 
from the enemy, then unilateral use by the enemy without 
nuclear response and then mutual nuclear use. Instead, of 
hyping the threat posed by Iran and Iraq by labelling them 
'rogue states', she argues that the West should treat them 
as rational actors. A controversial option she considers is 
that,  if they acquire nuclear weapons, the West should 
assist them to move beyond the mini-arsenal stage as 
quickly as possible to reach a capability for MAD. However, 
she prefers to advocate conventional strength, regional 
alliances and alternate energy options as policies aimed at 
reordering their preferences to safer ones.

* John Mueller and Karl Mueller 'The Methodology of Mass 

The labelling of chemical and biological weapons and 
related delivery systems as WMD is seen by John Mueller and 
Karl Mueller as something to be avoided because it is very 
difficult to actually inflict mass destruction with them. 
They prefer to restrict the label WMD to nuclear weapons 
and point out that little attention is paid to the mass 
destruction inflicted by economic sanctions. When economic 
sanctions do inflict mass destruction, they prefer the term 
'economic warfare'. They argue that Western decision-makers 
are excessively worried about the threat posed by 
terrorists and rogue states, and that this is true even of 
fears about the dangers of such actors acquiring a small 
nuclear arsenal. Western decision-makers, they maintain, 
should rely on low-key measures to control the scale of 
terrorism and on deterrence and containment rather than 
economic warfare to deal with rogue states. They also argue 
that the limited threat posed by terrorists and rogue 
states has declined considerably with the end of the Cold 
War because they have lost their principal backer, the 
Soviet Union. 

* Eric Herring 'Rogue Rage: Can We Prevent Mass 

The labelling of some states as 'rogue states', 
supposedly the most worrying kind of state when it comes to 
the potential for WMD use, is assessed sceptically by Eric 
Herring. He critiques three social science perspectives on 
the label 'rogue state': it is appropriate for the very 
serious threats to the West which exist (the conservative 
perspective); it exaggerates the threats to the West from 
certain states (the liberal perspective); and it 
exaggerates the threats to the West and is applicable also 
or even primarily to the United States and some of its 
allies (the perspective of the left). He points out that 
those writing from the conservative and liberal 
perspectives simply ignore the left.  Ironically, he finds 
the left's position to be the most persuasive of the three. 
However, he also argues that one's position on this issue 
is driven less by the facts than by one's own values and 
identity underlie one's construction and interpretation of 
the facts (the interpretivist perspective). He concludes by 
proposing the development of 'radical security studies', 
not only as an approach to the issue of rogue states but as 
an approach to the study of security generally.  Radical 
security studies aims to engage seriously with the left as 
well as more mainstream perspectives, while trying to 
integrate social science and intepretivism.

Dr. Eric Herring
Department of Politics
University of Bristol
10 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TU
England, UK
Tel. +44-(0)117-928-8582
Fax +44-(0)117-973-2133

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