Cover image for Preventive defense : a new security strategy for America
Preventive defense : a new security strategy for America
Carter, Ashton B.
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Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brookings Institution Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
ix, 243 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Four trips to Pervomaysk: preventive defense at work -- Preventive disease -- Pursuing Marshall's vision with Russia and NATO -- Project Sapphire, the Nunn-Lugar program, and arms control -- Dealing with rising China -- Standing at the brink in North Korea: the counterproliferation imperative -- A false alarm (this time): preventive defense against catastrophic terrorism -- The threat within: shaping a force for the future.

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UA23 .C275 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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William J. Perry and Ashton B. Carter, two of the world's foremost defense authorities, draw on their experience as leaders of the U.S. Defense Department to propose a new American security strategy for the twenty-first century. After a century in which aggression had to be defeated in two world wars and then deterred through a prolonged cold war, the authors argue for a strategy centered on prevention. Now that the cold war is over, it is necessary to rethink the risks to U.S. security. The A list--threats to U.S. survival--is empty today. The B list--the two major regional contingencies in the Persian Gulf and on the Korean peninsula that dominate Pentagon planning and budgeting--pose imminent threats to U.S. interests but not to survival. And the C list--such headline-grabbing places as Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda, and Haiti--includes important contingencies that indirectly affect U.S. security but do not directly threaten U.S. interests. Thus the United States is enjoying a period of unprecedented peace and influence; but foreign policy and defense leaders cannot afford to be complacent. The authors' preventive defense strategy concentrates on the dangers that, if mismanaged, have the potential to grow into true A-list threats to U.S. survival in the next century. These include Weimar Russia: failure to establish a self-respecting place for the new Russia in the post-cold war world, allowing it to descend into chaos, isolation, and aggression as Germany did after World War I; Loose Nukes: failure to reduce and secure the deadly legacy of the cold war--nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union; A Rising China Turned Hostile: failure to shape China's rise to Asian superpower status so that it emerges as a partner rather than an adversary; Proliferation: spread of weapons of mass destruction; and Catastrophic Terrorism: increase in the scope and intensity of transnational terrorism.They also argue for better management of the defense establishment so the United States will retain a strong military prepared to cope with all contingencies, deter aggressors, and win a conflict if deterrence fails.

Author Notes

Ashton B. Carter is a research fellow at the Center for International Studies at MIT. William J. Perry is codirector of the Preventive Defense Project at Stanford and Harvard, and was the nineteenth U.S. Secretary of Defense (1994-97).

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The post-Cold War era is still a dangerous time, and the role and structure of America's armed forces continues to be hotly debated. Perry, the former secretary of defense, and Carter, an assistant secretary of defense under Perry, feel that the United States should now focus its efforts on trying to prevent bad situations from degenerating into costly conflicts that could threaten America's friends and vital interests. Their main themes include helping Russia avoid regressing into a weakened and insecure "Weimar" state like Germany after World War I, improving our perceptions of and reactions to China's growing strength, controlling weapons of mass destruction in newly established states or those being developed elsewhere, and preparing for acts of "catastrophic terrorism." Above all, they argue, we need to keep America's military strong and able to deal with a variety of threats. This all seems self-evident, but many people do not want to spend the time or money to address these important issues. This timely book is recommended.√ĄDaniel K. Blewett, Loyola Univ. Lib., Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.