AUTHORWasserman, Sherri L.
TITLEThe Neutron Bomb Controversy: A Study in Alliance Politics
PUBLISHERPraeger Publishers
CITYNew York, NY
DATE PUBLISHED1983
ISBN0-03-064154-3


Written in 1983, this book analyzes and critiques alliance politics between the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) states concerning the controversial development of the neutron bomb, also known as enhanced radiation warhead (ERW). It focuses mainly on events in 1977, during U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s administration. Organized around the author’s conception of the three major elements of alliance nuclear relations (military doctrine, technology, and decision making processes), it examines domestic constraints and other factors for all of the parties involved. The author explores NATO’s military doctrine, technological restrictions on and incentives for the development of ERWs, and numerous controversies surrounding the decision-making procedure for ERW production and deployment – from individual arguments to conflicts between entire governments. She also mentions U.S. President Ronald Reagan's actions early in his presidency with regard to the neutron bomb and NATO, to point out the importance of knowing the distinct situations of one’s allies when making decisions within a framework of alliance politics. The final chapter distills four lessons from the controversy, each geared toward improving NATO's nuclear politics. A concise chronology of key events is provided at the beginning of the book.


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