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Counsels of War (Oxford Paperbacks) Paperback – July 2, 1987

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Exp Sub edition (July 2, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195049861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195049862
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,319,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

About the Author:
Gregg Herken is Senior Research Associate of the University of California's Institute on Global Cooperation and Conflict at Santa Cruz.

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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Volkman on April 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
From the New York Review of Books, Volume 32, Number 19 ? December 5, 1985



By John M. Lee

In response to Strategy or Romance? (July 18, 1985)

To the Editors:

Lord Zuckerman compressed a vast amount of nuclear wisdom into his recent NYR articles, showing once again the value of listening to those who, like Lord Zuckerman, Robert McNamara, George Ball, and McGeorge Bundy, forged their nuclear convictions in positions of great responsibility, near the center of power, at times of great stress.

The July piece, on Herken's "Counsels of War" [NYR, July 18], is, in addition, entertaining. The demolishing of Dr. Herken, for anyone with a particle of sadism in his nature, can only be described as fun. My suggestion to Dr. Herken is that he lie there quietly in the center of the ring while the referee counts to ten.

My only substantial problem with Lord Zuckerman's articles is his blanket insistence on the need to prevent all East-West hostilities, conventional and nuclear, rather than focusing specifically on nuclear war. In this, he makes the best the enemy of the good, or, more exactly, he makes the ideal the enemy of the absolutely essential.

In brief, extended deterrence has these dangerous defects:

- By threatening to introduce nuclears into conventional operations, it makes nuclear firing legitimate, a usable, normal-if ultimate - weapon. This irresistibly nuclearizes the strategy, doctrine and weapons of both sides. It demands hair-trigger alertness. It makes it overwhelmingly probable that any E-W hostilities would become nuclear.

- It produces "limited," "war-fighting" plans and training which are militarily useless, and almost inevitably escalatory.
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