This book examines the implications of deploying missile defenses by the United States and Russia within the current and next decades. Noting that U.S. plans to locate parts of the global ballistic missile defense system in eastern Europe contributed to a deterioration in U.S.-Russian relations, Cimbala discusses how a post-Bush/post-Putin era could open the door either to improved détente or increased acrimony over such issues as missile defenses and NATO enlargement, the fate of the CFE and INF treaties, and U.S. hegemony in world politics. He considers how stable the U.S.-Russian nuclear deterrence and arms control relationship might be once the Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty levels are reached, and whether the two states could reduce to a level of minimum deterrence forces and persuade other nuclear powers to reduce their inventories proportionately.
Stephen J. Cimbala, Distinguished Professor of political science at Penn State Brandywine, is the author of numerous works on national security policy, arms control, and conflict termination.
Praise for Shield of Dreams
“Shield of Dreams is a must-read for individuals involved in planning strategic force structure, missile defense, and modeling of nuclear force structures and defensive systems. The variables that Cimbala uses in his models are worthy of further study and incorporation into scenario-based gaming for determining the needs of service and defense posture.”
— Air and Space Power Journal
"This well-researched, provocative book provides an excellent introduction to the complex debate on national missile defense. The topic is addressed within the broader framework of current debates on Russian and US nuclear force reductions, and the need to redefine US nonproliferation policies to address the new threats represented by rogue states with small nuclear arsenals. Cimbala (Penn State Brandywine) offers a sophisticated analysis of hypothetical nuclear exchanges between the US and Russia below the limits established by the 2002 Moscow Treaty (1,700-2,200 nuclear weapons by 2012) and concludes that they could substantially reduce their strategic nuclear forces below those limits without compromising deterrence stability. The book examines Russian opposition to the US plan to deploy elements of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic and argues that the US needs to rethink the military and diplomatic benefits of such deployments. Cimbala shows the dangers of accidental or inadvertent nuclear war in an eight-sided nuclear arms race in Asia and argues that an arc of nuclear instability from Tehran to Tokyo would significantly challenge US military-strategic interests in Asia." —M.E. Carranza, Texas A&M in Choice Magazine
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