Book: The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics

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The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics

Paul Bracken, professor of management and political science

(Times Books)

With the end of the cold war came a reduction in the threat of nuclear weapons — a luxury, contends Paul Bracken, we can no longer indulge. It’s not just the threat of Iran getting the bomb or North Korea doing something rash; the whole complexion of global power politics is changing because of the reemergence of nuclear weapons as a vital element of statecraft and power politics.

Bracken argues that we need to pay renewed attention to nuclear weapons and how their presence will transform the way crises develop and escalate. He draws on his years of experience analyzing defense strategy to make the case that the United States needs to start thinking seriously about these issues once again, especially as new countries acquire nuclear capabilities. He walks the reader through realistic war-game scenarios that show how nuclear weapons are changing the calculus of power politics, and he offers an incisive tour of the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia to underscore how the United States must not allow itself to be unprepared for managing such crises