Although the United States efforts to prevent the spread of strategic weapons have varied significantly since 1945, they all presumed to be avoiding one or another type of strategic war. To the extent their military scenarios were sound, so too were the nonproliferation remedies these initiatives promoted. But, as Sokolski demonstrates, the obverse was also true–when these intiatives’ military hopes and fears were mistaken, their nonproliferation recommendations also missed their mark.
What is the best hope for breaking out of this box and securing a higher rate of nonproliferation success? The United States must base nonproliferation policies less on insights concerning strategic military trends and more on the progressive economic and political trends that have increased the number of relatively peaceful, prosperous, liberal democracies. For the proliferating nations that are exceptions to this trend, the U.S. and its allies need to devise ways of competing that will encourage these governments to expend more energies shoring up their weaknesses and eventually giving way to less militant regimes. A major resource for students and military professionals interested in arms control and international relations.