CIAO DATE: 11/05

The International Spectator

Volume XL No. 3 (July - September 2005)

IAI Library Notes

By Maritza Cricorian


America and Americanisms

America : sovereign defender or cowboy nation? - edited by Vladimir Shlapentokh, Joshua Woods, Eric Shiraev. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2005. - xii, 208 p.

An interesting and timely volume investigating international attitudes towards the United States. The authors of the various chapters represent a cross-section of cultural and ideological positions, often within the same country. This is one of the aspects of the three editors' search for objectivity, in their attempt to "minimize the ideological stance of the authors and editors". The book, based on content analysis of national publications according to a codebook worked out for that purpose, analyses not only attitudes towards the United States in seven countries (Germany, Russia, Colombia, China, Egypt, India and Lithuania), but also how they developed and the events that determined them. In carrying out the analysis, the authors carefully consider the points of view of common citizens and of economic, political and cultural elites. They thereby demonstrate that the pro- or anti-American attitudes in the various countries are the result of a combination of internal (political, ideological, psychological, etc.) and external (US foreign policy) factors, that differ from country to country. The authors are convinced that the United States plays such a evident role in the world (be it positive or negative), that people cannot but have an opinion on it.

American global strategy and the "war on terrorism" / Hall Gardner. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2005. - viii, 231 p.

This book, the result of a series of lectures and conferences held by the author in various academic settings, analyses the US response to the new terrorist threat, attempting to provide an alternative - multilateral - global strategy, a solution to local, regional and global governance. There are eight chapters: the first examines the new US strategy to the war on terrorism after 9/11; the second describes the origins of the new American interventionism and neo-conservatism, seen as a reaction to a certain liberal and radical school of thought; chapter three deals with the political-ethical dilemma of a "dilated" war on terrorism, identifying four kinds of terrorism; chapter four describes US efforts to stop nuclear proliferation, studying current global and regional crises, European, Russian and US policies and presenting some policy options, such as "regime recognition" in the case of Korea and Iran; the fifth chapter examines Pakistan's attempts to manipulate US policy; the sixth analyses the US strategy of military expansion; the seventh compares the US and European concepts of democracy, hoping that a confederal world democracy can be created also through a radical restructuring of the UN Security Council; the eight and final chapter sets forth some policy options to overcome the post-Cold War imbalance and foster a "more balanced" relationship between the United States and Europe. It invites the US to formulate a "truly concerted global strategy" (full-length review in next issue of The International Spectator, no. 4, Oct. - Dec. 2005).

The foreign policy of George W. Bush : values, strategy and loyalty / Alexander Moens. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2004. - 227 p.

A substantially apologetic and laudatory portrait of George Bush, which attempts to counterbalance the now abundant unfavourable press. It analyses the man, his style, the decision-making process and the effects of all of these factors on his policy and in particular foreign policy. Six chapters describe the President's background and his initiation into politics, the presidential election campaign, his rise to the White House and the implementation of his platform - his "political capital", the weakness or lack of a foreign policy plan equal to his domestic programme, September 11th and the war on terrorism, the Iraq offensive. The analysis comes to an abrupt end on the eve of his second electoral mandate.

In war we trust : the Bush doctrine and the pursuit of just war / Chris J. Dolan. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2005. - viii, 229 p.

The aim of this book is to compare/measure - in eleven chapters - the motivations behind the pre-emptive wars against Afghanistan and Iraq against the principles of "just war". The first chapter provides an introduction to the moral and political elements of the "first-strike" doctrine and an analysis of the "democratic moralism" of the Bush administration. Chapter two surveys the empirical research and international relations theories on just war and political power; chapters three through seven look at the principles of jus ad bellum (just cause, right intention, legitimate authority, last resort, likelihood of success) in relation to the Bush doctrine; the eighth and ninth chapters refer to the principle of jus in bello (proportionality, immunity of non-combattants); and jus post-bellum is the focus of the tenth (just cause for termination, right intention, discrimination and likelihood of a lasting peace). The last chapter contains - critical - conclusions on the correspondence between the principles of "just war" and the doctrine of offensive war pursued by Bush, and the security guarantees that it offers.

Making foreign policy : presidential management of the decision-making process / David Mitchell. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2005. - x, 271 p.

The aim of this work is to study the relationship between leadership and advisors and the extent to which presidents influence the decision-making process. The research is strictly focussed on "professional" and "official" advisors, in particular, those of the National Security Council, the White House staff and all civilian officials who participate in higher-level decision-making. To achieve this objective, the research develops a "Advisory System Decision-making Framework" model, which is then applied to selected cases during the Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies.

Arms and Armaments

Armi d'Italia : protagonisti e ombre di un made in Italy di scuccesso / Riccardo Bagnato, Benedetta Verrini. - Roma : Fazi Editore, c2005. - XII, 294 p.

An overview of the entire system of arms made in Italy: transactions, rules, profiles and behaviours. The authors start out by providing a technical definition of their object, narrowing the field of study down to light arms and arms for real warfare, excluding weapons of mass destruction. They describe production, trade and various scenarios for use. The first part of the book, therefore, gives a historical reconstruction of the war industry and rules and laws that have governed it, in particular Law 185/90, which introduced, among other things, the principle of state responsibility and product traceability. The second part looks at the outstanding actors in the field of weapons production and sales in Italy: the industries - of which ownership is gradually being concentrated in order to aim at foreign partnerships, the state, the banks and the world of finance in general, the intermediaries and the traffickers. The book ends with a glance at Europe and the nascent ESDP.

The biological weapons convention : a failed revolution / Jetz Littlewood. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2005. - x, 250 p.

This essay presents an insider's view (the author was part of the Secretariat) of the negotiations that were supposed to lead to the BWC Protocol, un addendum to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which was to be a legally binding implementation instrument for the Convention itself. The study follows the negotiations from their start in 1995 to their failure in August 2001. It is based on primary and secondary sources, but the author warns that they are incomplete and that his analysis is, therefore, not final. The book is broken down into three parts: the first provides the historical background to the negotiations between 1975 and 1994 and the analytical context for all subsequent chapters: the confrontation between minimalist and reformist states parties. The second part examines the last draft to deal more closely with the central questions contained in the Protocol - one per chapter, from the third to the eighth: declarations, visits and clarification procedures, investigations, export controls, peaceful cooperation, establishment of an international organisation to supervise implementation of the Protocol and the Convention. The third part of the book - chapters nine and ten - presents the different points of view of the states parties to the Protocol, seen more as an instrument than as a solution, and the implications of failure. The author believes that the Protocol was never as close to completion as some post-commentators claim, "not as strong as some of its proponents have intimated, and not as weak as many of its detractors have sought to portray".

British weapons acquisition policy and the futility of reform / Warren A. Chin. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2004. - x, 300 p.

A study focused on British defence procurement and in particular on the problem of cost escalation and delay and mismanagement of R&D in the defence sector. The author analyses the relationship between the free market and the problems mentioned, especially in the period before and after the Thatcher government (1979-97), the impact of Thatcher's reforms on the management and control of defence equipment projects, the interaction between technology - with its impact on competitiveness - and the management control process. The book has three main objectives: to study the causes of cost escalation and delay in Britain; the causes for the substantial ineffectiveness of the reforms of the British conservative governments, above all in the eighties and nineties; the dynamics of the rise and fall of competition and risk contracting in the procurement process. It is made up of seven chapters that view the subject in chronological order: the first chapter illustrates the growth of bureaucratic control in defence procurement in the fifties and sixties; the second analyses the role of the free market in the 1945-79 period and the emergence of national monopolies; chapter three examines the recovery of market forces and competition in the 1979-88 period; chapter four describes the 1986-97 period and the consolidation of large industrial complexes; the fifth examines the conservative government's promotion of free trade; the sixth assesses the effects of these measures, including possible financial savings and management improvements; chapter seven recapitulates the main topics and results of the research, taking a glance at the more recent Smart Acquisition.

The future of arms control / Michael A. Levi, Michael E. O'Hanlon. - Washington D.C. : Brookings Institution Press, c2005.

Although the classic instrument of arms control is now considered "out-of-date", Michael Levi and Michael O'Hanlon still consider it essential to block the spread of weapons of mass destruction and for early warning in case of dangerous proliferation activity. Of the various technologies examined, the authors give the greatest priority to nuclear and biological weapons: in this regard, they claim that no states, no matter how peaceful or friendly, must be assisted in developing civilian nuclear programmes. Instead, they should be offered collective security guarantees, as was the case with NATO enlargement, to dissuade them from acquiring weapons of mass destruction for self-defence. At the same time, the authors claim that Western countries, starting with the United States, should take account of non-Western and developing countries' need for arms control with a strategy that seriously counters the trade in small arms, an effort to coordinate national regulations and oversight of major arms producers.

Il mestiere della guerra : dai mercenari ai manager della sicurezza / Gabriella Pagliani; con la collaborazione di Aldo Pigoli. - Milano : Franco Angeli, c2004. - 283 p.

TA broad overview and analysis of the diverse mercenary activities, the transformation of the mercenary phenomenon and the diversification of its objectives. The essay starts by setting the political and military evolution on the African continent into its historical context. It is here where the mercenary phenomenon played a central role from the time of independence to the end of the bipolar confrontation. It then looks at the new security developments in the international context. Chapters two and three present an overview of the mercenary phenomenon: its origins, development and typologies. The fourth chapter describes the so-called "new managers of war and security": the PMCs (private military companies), PSCs (private security companies) and contractors. Chapters five and six shift attention to Africa, taking into consideration three country studies - Congo/Zaire, Angola and Sierra Leone - chosen as paradigms of the intertwining of political instability, resource exploitation, privatisation of security, mercenary activity and illegality. The seventh chapter looks at the peace-keeping experience in sub-Saharan Africa. The eighth is dedicated to the thorny question of control and regulation of mercenary activities and the private security sector. The book ends with some questions about the private sector's real ability to manage security and its shortcomings in doing so, raising the problem of a legal definition able to discipline such activity and regulate its use in the future.


La Commissione Europea : processi decisionali e poteri esecutivi / Sandro Gozi. - Bologna : il Mulino, c2005. - 216 p.

Not just the usual handbook on the composition and powers of the European Commission. This work provides an analysis of the relations and possible conflicts within the system and between it and other community and/or national actors. The analyses have an institutional, political and administrative slants. Particular attention is directed at the decision-making process and the implementation of community policies. Analysis takes account of the main political theories, from neo-functionalism to neo-institutionalism. The author can boast unique experience and competence in this subject: besides being a university professor, he was a member of the Prodi cabinet and now belongs to President Barroso's Group of European Policy Advisors.

Interessi nazionali: metodologie di valutazione / a cura di Carlo Jean e Fernando Napolitano. - Milano : Franco Angeli, c2005. - 103 p.

Starting out from the assumption that nation states are still central in the post-modern world, this multi-authored work is meant to fuel the debate on methodologies that can be helpful in defining national interests. It proposes the use of matrix methods as instruments with which to inventory in the most exhaustive way the various interests at play, setting each into its global context, thereby making it possible to rank them according to priority. The book is composed of three chapters and an appendix: the first provides a historical-social introduction to the question of national interests; the second gives a theoretical description of possible contents and characteristics of the concept of national interest; the third surveys and assesses the matrix methodologies applicable to national interests. The appendix applies the concepts and methods illustrated in the preceding chapters to the economic field, introducing the idea of "chain of value" which underlines the need to keep "noble" functions on national territory.

Preventing nuclear meltdown : managing decentralization of Russia's nuclear complex / edited by James Clay Moltz, Vladimir . Orlov, Adam N. Stulberg. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2004. - xii, 258 p.

This book, the product of a research study undertaken in 2000 by a team of Russian and US scholars, is centred on the regional developments of Russia's nuclear facilities as of 1991, illustrating how the centralised Soviet management has weakened and been taken over by a number of new regional elements. After reviewing the existing literature on Russian regionalism, the text splits into three parts: the first examines the role of the federal bodies - political, military and economic - involved in the Russian nuclear complex, the evolution of centre-periphery relations and the emergence of nuclear regionalism, the federal activities of the regional actors, regional relations of the Ministry for Atomic Energy (Minatom), the army and nuclear weapons. The second part offers an analysis of four regions that are critical for nuclear energy, weapons and fissile material: Russia's extreme east, the Volga federal district and in particular the Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast, the Ural federal district, and the Siberian nuclear cities of Zheleznogorsk and Seversk. The third part deals with US political interests, in particular, the role of regional factors in the application of non-proliferation assistance programmes. It concludes with a global picture of nuclear regionalism and by presenting some political recommendations, urging regional factors to be taken into consideration in assistance programmes.