Colin S. Gray, «The Second Nuclear Age»

Posted By: Alexpal
Colin S. Gray, «The Second Nuclear Age»

Colin S. Gray, «The Second Nuclear Age»
Lynne Rienner Publishers | ISBN 1555873316 | 1999 Year | PDF | 0,82 Mb | 200 Pages


The Second Nuclear Age is the most recent of Colin Gray’s already prodigious roster of published works. His writings, now familiar in expert defense circles from Washington to Tokyo and all stops in between, span
more than two and a half decades. In toto, they earn him the status of one of the West’s preeminent civilian
strategists. Whenever Professor Gray pens a new title, expectations are high and note must be taken; when
that title proclaims the arrival of a “new nuclear age,” particular attention is warranted.
The analytic goals identified for The Second Nuclear Age are not modest. They are, first, to understand the
strategic threats posed by nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in a dramatically unfamiliar
international political context (until now described only by what it is not, i.e., the “post–Cold War period”);
and, second, to identify those measures most useful to the West in addressing those threats, including
discerning what is and is not worth retaining from Cold War security policies. The enormity of this analytic
task is daunting, calling for Gray’s obvious mastery of military history, Cold War strategic policies both East
and West, the direction of current threats and policies, and a keen insight as to the significance of emerging
features of international politics.
Gray’s starting point is to observe that Cold War thinking and policy concerning nuclear weapons were
shaped decisively by the context of East-West enmity and competition. With the collapse of the Soviet Union
and the Warsaw Pact, that context was so altered as to call into question established wisdom and policy
involving nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, the security age now dawning remains dominated by the existence
of nuclear weapons (with biological weapons emerging as a particularly salient factor). In short, the Eastern
bloc’s political upheaval of the early 1990s gave birth to a dramatically different security context, albeit one
that continues to be shaped decisively by nuclear weapons—hence a “second nuclear age.”