Arms and Influence : With a New Preface and Afterword

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 11/5/2008
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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Traditionally, Americans have viewed war as an alternative to diplomacy, and military strategy as the science of victory. Today, however, in our world of nuclear weapons, military power is not so much exercised as threatened. It is, Mr. Schelling says, bargaining power, and the exploitation of this power, for good or evil, to preserve peace or to threaten war, is diplomacythe diplomacy of violence. The author concentrates in this book on the way in which military capabilitiesreal or imaginedare used, skillfully or clumsily, as bargaining power. He sees the steps taken by the U.S. during the Berlin and Cuban crises as not merely preparations for engagement, but as signals to an enemy, with reports from the adversary's own military intelligence as our most important diplomatic communications. Even the bombing of North Vietnam, Mr. Schelling points out, is as much coercive as tactical, aimed at decisions as much as bridges. He carries forward the analysis so brilliantly begun in his earlierThe Strategy of Conflict(1960) andStrategy and Arms Control(with Morton Halperin, 1961), and makes a significant contribution to the growing literature on modern war and diplomacy.

Author Biography

Thomas C. Schelling is Distinguished University Professor, Department of Economics and School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland and Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus, Harvard University. He is co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2008 Editionp. vii
Prefacep. xiii
The Diplomacy of Violencep. 1
The Art of Commitmentp. 35
The Manipulation of Riskp. 92
The Idiom of Military Actionp. 126
The Diplomacy of Ultimate Survivalp. 190
The Dynamics of Mutual Alarmp. 221
The Dialogue of Competitive Armamentp. 260
Afterword: An Astonishing Sixty Years:
The Legacy of Hiroshimap. 287
Indexp. 305
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