Cover image for Without warning : threat assessment, intelligence, and global struggle
Without warning : threat assessment, intelligence, and global struggle
Alexseev, Mikhail A., 1963-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1997.
Physical Description:
xv, 348 pages : maps ; 22 cm
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D32 .A54 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In the last century, competition among the global powers has relied heavily upon the concept of war threat assessment. However, the ways in which these powers define security have differed among them, leading in some instances to miscommunication, conflict, and even war. In Without Warning , accomplished scholar Mikhail Alexseev compares the intelligence priorities of principal decision makers in such various parts of the world as the Mongol Empire and Sung China (1206-1220), Great Britain and France (1783-1800), and the USA and the Soviet Union (1975-1991). In his analysis Alexseev reveals that while the leading powers see security primarily in military and economic terms, their challengers focus primarily on political vulnerabilities. As a result, Alexseev asserts, the world powers have consistently failed to detect or deter aggressive challenges. A sharp, deciphering look at the interactions among the major global players, Without Warning makes a crucial contribution to the study of international relations.

Author Notes

MIKHAIL A. ALEXSEEV is Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals as well as in such publications as The New York Times and Newsweek.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This innovative work seeks to bridge the gap between the academic study of international relations and the field of intelligence. The book is based on the author's doctoral dissertation in political science at the University of Washington, where he is a postdoctoral research fellow the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. In some ways, the book reflects Alexseev's professional and personal sojourn from Soviet journalist to U.S.-trained scholar. Using a vast array of sources, including Russian and French documents that have largely been ignored English-language scholarship, the author has produced a coherent, historically rich and theoretically sound book that covers such topics as the Mongol Empire and Sung China and the Soviet-American competition from 1971 to 1991. Recommended for academic libraries.‘Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, Ala. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Alexseev, a former Soviet journalist and now a scholar at the University of Washington, presents a blend of international relations and intelligence studies. The first part of the book deals with the theoretical aspects of threat assessments and the role of intelligence. Alexseev then analyzes three case studies. Two of these are rarely if ever seen in contemporary writings: The Mongol Bid for Universal Empire, and the Great War of 1792-1815 between Britain and France. The other case study looks at the new Cold War between the KGB and the CIA, 1975-1985. Each of the studies is examined within the author's theoretical framework, with an emphasis on threat assessment and the role of intelligence. This work complements that of other authors who have examined the subject from a similar perspective. Richard Betts's Surprise Attack (CH, Feb'83) and Roberta Wohlstettler's Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision (1962) are two such studies. Alexseev's book is a solid piece of scholarship. It is also a most interesting, intriguing, and well-written book. A must acquisition for university and professional libraries, it will also prove valuable in graduate classes in international relations, intelligence, and strategic studies. A. C. Tuttle University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
List of Maps and Tablesp. xvi
1. "Limits of the Known World" and the End of Deterrence: Asymmetric War Threat Assessmentp. 1
Part I. Causes of Asymmetric Threat Assessment: Divergent Lineages in World Politics
2. Global Reach Capabilities: Sea Power and Land Power Lineagesp. 39
3. Political Systems and Information Control: Force of Reason and Reason of Forcep. 61
4. The Economic Imperative: Global Lead Sectors, Innovation, and Government Controlp. 97
Part II. Outcomes of Asymmetric Threat Assessment: Global Wars and Confrontation
5. The Mongol Bid for "Universal Empire," 1206-1221p. 123
6. Britain, France, and the Great War of 1792-1815p. 153
7. CIA and KGB: Separate Tracks to the "New Cold War," 1975-1985p. 181
8. Intelligence, Threat Assessment, and the End of the Cold Warp. 211
Conclusion: Global Problems, Intelligence, and Post-Cold War Threatsp. 253
Notesp. 273
Indexp. 339