CIAO DATE: 12/02
Fall 2001 (Volume 26 Issue 2)
This issue was in press on September 11, 2001, when terrorists hijacked four airliners, sending two crashing into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into rural Pennsylvania. In the coming months and years, International Security will examine the implications of these tragic and terrible events, as well as the full panoply of contemporary security challenges they will present.
The coalition victory over Iraq in the 1991 Persian Gulf War was a historic rout. According to the conventional wisdom, the use of air power—primarily by the United States—assured the coalition's unparalleled success. Daryl Press of Dartmouth College takes a different view. Using detailed evidence from the four-day ground cam-paign, Press concludes that air power was "neither sufficient nor necessary" in defeating Iraq and that "its role has been exaggerated and misunderstood." Press argues that other factors, including the overwhelming superiority of U.S. and British ground troops in both training and equipment and Iraq's poor timing of the invasion of Kuwait, better explain the lopsided outcome.
Peter Liberman of Queens College, City University of New York, examines South Africa's decision to build nuclear weapons in the 1970s and 1980s and then the unprecedented decision to dismantle them in 1990-91. Liberman considers the political history of South Africa during this period and the influence of three sources of nuclear weapons policy relevant to this case: security incentives, organizational politics, and international pressure.
How likely is China to use force to achieve its political aims? Can we predict Chinese actions against Taiwan based on Beijing's past behavior? To shed light on these questions, Allen Whiting of the University of Arizona examines eight Chinese military engagements from 1950 to 1996 that involved the United States, the Soviet Union, or their proxies. In these conficts, says Whiting, China was able to balance risk taking and risk management to avoid either defeat or escalation by its opponents. Beijing also "gave priority to political goals of deterrence and coercive diplomacy" in pursuing its objectives. Although a variety of contingency factors makes predictions about Chinese behavior toward Taiwan virtually impossible, Whiting does suggest that China's past willingness to use force could cast "a worrisome shadow over the next decade."
What is human security? Is it a new paradigm as some would suggest? Or empty rhetoric? Can scholars and practitioners agree on what it is and is not? In considering recent efforts to rede"ne international security in terms of human security, Roland Paris of the University of Colorado argues that the term is still "so vague that it verges on meaninglessness—and consequently offers little practical guidance to academics who might be interested in applying the concept, or to policymakers who must prioritize among competing policy goals." Paris proposes instead that human security become the label for a broad category of research within the security studies "eld. Richard Rosecrance of the University of California, Los Angeles, reviews Ruling the World: Power Politics and the Rise of Supranational Institutions by Lloyd Gruber. Rosecrance applauds Gruber for offering new insights into why states join international and supranational institutions even when balance-of-power considerations would suggest they do otherwise. Rosecrance disagrees, however, with Gruber's explanations for the decline of balancing and the growing strength and number of institutions.
In our correspondence section, Peter Hays Gries challenges several points in Thomas Christensen's spring 2001 article, including Christensen's contention that by relying on asymmetric strategies, China may pose problems for the United States without needing to reach military parity. Christensen replies. Then Andrew Parasiliti counters Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack's proposition that international relations theorists and practitioners should consider more closely the influence of a leader's personality in shaping historical events, including the decision to declare war.
With this issue, we bid a fond farewell to Meara Keegan Zaheer. For six years, Meara brought good humor, extraordinary patience, and tireless energy to her work as editorial assistant at International Security. We wish her great success as she begins her new career as an elementary school teacher in Framingham, Massachusetts. In addition, we are pleased to welcome Michelle Von Euw, who succeeds Meara, and Tiffany Ma, the journal's new intern.
The Myth of Air Power in the Persian Gulf War and the Future of Warfare by Daryl G. Press
The Rise and Fall of the South African Bomb by Peter Liberman
Human Security: Paradigm Shift or Hot Air? by Roland Paris
China's Use of Force, 1950-96, and Taiwan by Allen S. Whiting
Has Realism Become Cost-Benefit Analysis?: A Review Essay by Richard Rosecrance
Correspondence: Power and Resolve in U.S. China Policy by Peter Hays Gries and Thomas J. Christensen
Correspondence: The First Image Revisited by Andrew Parasiliti, Daniel L. Byman and Kenneth M. Pollack