Readings Guide for the Midterm -- 2010 I really believe in people getting together in study groups to help figure this all out. If it’s too late for that or you’re too busy, you can use the posting feature of the class website. For each article, I’ve asked many questions. These are to help you understand the article interactively. If you can’t answer them all you can still get quite a good grade in the midterm, I expect, if you can answer the more important questions that I put in bold type. Wk1 Goodby on the origins Wk1 MAUD Report Wk1 Schelling’s Nobel speech Wk2 Hilsman on Cuba Wk2 Goodby on Eisenhower Wk2 Burr on the Horror Strategy Wk3 Partial Test Ban1963 Wk3 CTBT Summary Wk3 Obama’s Nuclear Posture Review Wk3 New START Treaty Wk4 NYT editorial on New START Wk4 Verification of START Wk4 ABM Treaty Since I didn’t post the Week 4 reading by Garwin, or the Week 5 reading by Sagan, in time, they won’t be on the midterm. If I give more space below to some articles, that doesn’t mean they’re important - it could be they just need more explanation. Week 1. Goodby on the origins of the bomb. Goodby’s article has two parts - he tells the story of the bomb, especially from the viewpoint of US-Britain cooperation and competition, then he talks about the precedents that Truman said. You can approach the first in the way I suggested concerning stories - who the characters were, their motives, what they did. Know purposes and goals and outcomes. The second part of his article is nicely laid out in that he has headings, so I’d know generally what each heading means. Be able to explain the heading in a sentence. Week 1. MAUD Report Who wrote the Maud Report, and roughly what did they recommend? What aspects of the way it was written up made it so influential? It argues that a nuclear bomb is possible, but does it follow from that that one should be constructed? To what extent does the report give positive reasons for going ahead, or, alternatively, to what extent does it simply assume that if a more destructive weapon is possible to build, we should build it? Week 1. Schelling on nuclear non-use Just how long have the weapons not been used? Was this expected? Why did it happen, according to Schelling? Schelling says they are perceived as unique, and emphasizes perceived – why does he emphasize the word? The purpose of the article is to understand why in order to preserve it, right? Which is more correct – that the US was pushing the tradition and other countries were urging a readiness to use the weapons, or the opposite? Why is the answer to this question the one you might expect, given power politics? Where did Eisenhower stand on the idea that the weapons were perceived as unique? Who was John Foster Dulles? Given Schelling’s stories about considering the use of the weapons in Korea or against a Chinese invasion of the offshore islands of Quemoy in Matsu, does Schelling see this tradition as an inevitable development or a lucky chance development? Where did Kennedy and Johnson stand on the uniqueness question, compared to Eisenhower? Suppose nuclear weapons could be constructed that were no more devastating than large conventional weapons. Would governments still feel there was a taboo against using them, given Schelling’s arguments? Suppose one found a peaceful use of a nuclear explosion – like blasting a new riverbed or a new harbour. Would the taboo hold then, according to Schelling? Explain his analogy that using one would be like an alcoholic taking “one little drink.” Does Schelling see the Soviet Union as operating under a similar taboo? What would have happened, according to Schelling, if Saddam had attacked the US forces in the 1991 war with chemical weapons? What does he see the motive of Iran in having a bomb? Of terrorists in having a bomb? Explain why he is in favour of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. What is the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty? Week 2. Hilsman on the Cuban Missile Crisis Hilsman is telling a story, so know the triggering situation, characters, motives, major events as indicated by his headings, and the outcome. Week 2 - Goodby on Eisenhower Like his first article he has a short note at the start outlining his major ideas. This is very valuable to a reader, so pay attention to it. You don’t have to worry about specific ideas that I didn’t mention in class but do consider what he sees as the major issues. What does he say was Eisenhower’s choice? This is a lot more detailed than his earlier chapter, probably because he was personally in on it. I’d follow this idea: if a concept appears in a heading, like “containment” or “triad” or “extended deterrence” it’s probably important. He’s very good at establishing a subject and sticking to it, then moving to the next. In the study of folk ballads it’s called leaping and lingering. Week 2 - Burr on the Horror Strategy. I reviewed this article in class, and you can use the lecture slides as a guide to it. It’s very detailed so the important thing is the basic concepts and the basic story. Week 3 – Partial Test-ban Treaty Who signed it and roughly, when? Just what does the treaty ban? Why? Does the treaty ban explosions for peaceful purposes, like making a harbor or a pass through mountains? Why didn’t they ban all tests? Suppose a country is caught testing in the atmosphere, against the agreement – what are the consequences? Is it legal to test just below the surface of the earth, where radioactive debris escapes into the atmosphere (see Article I). Does each side get to make inspections within the other’s territory, or must it stay outside with its monitoring devices? You can skip the details of the negotiation and the proposals for possible inspection provisions. (Some of this info was from the lectures.) This isn’t from either the text or the lectures, but you can think about it” The treaty is open for the signature of all states. Have all countries signed this treaty? Why not let non-states sign it as well – for example some groups that are accused of being terrorist and wanting nuclear weapons could sign it to show their intentions. Why do you think it is restricted to states? Week 3 - Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Summary A very natural question for this would be to compare this treaty with the last one. Why do they call it comprehensive? Is there verification? Roughly who has signed it - same as the last one? Here’s an interesting small but telling question: If a state plans to conduct a chemical explosion of over 300 tonnes (Metric tons) what does it have to do and why? This summary seems to say that you can’t withdraw, but you can - just with six months notice. Week 3. New START Treaty We reviewed the basics of this in class. As with any treaty, you don’t have to know the content of each article by number, but you should know generally what the treaty calls for, and its current status. Week 3 - Verification and START As mentioned in class, this is a complex article. The highlights section at the beginning is very useful. You don’t need to know many details, but those in Figure 1, discussing the kinds of verification systems are good. Have all treaties had verification systems? Is it more important to verify a treaty now than it was during the Cold War, or less important? Why? Why do they say that a good verification system can save you money on weapons? Who was pushing for more verification over the years, the US or the Soviet Union? You can skip the START: Born of the Cold War section, and start up again reading New Challenges. Week 4 - New York Times editorial on the New START Like a good editorial or op-ed, this speaks for itself. It says what it wants to have happen, then systematically gives the reasons. Week 4 – Obama’s Nuclear Posture Review This document (or the part you read, pp. 5-31) would be a source for only the most general questions. It’s an overview, but as a political document it tries to please as many people as possible. You would have to read it closely and know the context to understand whether it’s really in favour of more missile defense or less. You would have to compare it, for example, with Bush’s Nuclear Posture Review of 2002. It has a few specifics, like the rejection of the idea that the US should never initiate the use of nuclear weapons. (Who does it say might get attacked by US nuclear weapons, even if they didn’t use them against the US?). But even that gets covered over in the section’s summary points. So read it over for its very general ideas and we’ll talk about it in the second part of the class. Week 4 The ABM Treaty We’ll talk about some of this on Tuesday in class, but what does ABM stand for? Did the treaty make it illegal to deploy anti-aircraft missiles to defend against Russian bombers? What does a typical ABM system look like – how does it function? What, in general, does the treaty ban? Does it permit any systems on land, in space, in trucks, on the ocean? What ABM deployments does the treaty permit? Why do you think they have to be 1000 miles apart? Why do you think the treaty bans ABM’s that have multiple warheads or can be reloaded? How does a country leave the ABM Treaty? What is the system of verification that the other side is keeping the treaty? What is the Standing Consultative Commission? Which countries signed the treaty? How come there’s an ABM system in Alaska, if ABM systems were banned by the treaty?