The challenges and complexities might seem insurmountable but the first step in solving problems is recognizing that they exist. Grave New World provides an eye-opening assessment of the prospects for peace and security in the 21st century.
Michael E. Brown frames these issues in his Introduction, "Security Challenges in the 21st Century;" and in his summation, "Security Problems and Security Policy in a Grave New World."
He first defines America's contemporary national interests and the specific threats they face, then identifies seven grand strategies that the United States might contemplate, examining each in relation to America's interests. The seven are:
•dominion-forcibly trying to remake the world in America's own image;
• global collective security-attempting to keep the peace everywhere;
•regional collective security-confining peacekeeping efforts to Europe;
• cooperative security-seeking to reduce the occurrence of war by limiting other states' offensive capabilities;
• isolationism-withdrawing from all military involvement beyond U.S. borders;
•containment-holding the line against aggressor states; and
•selective engagement-choosing to prevent or to become involved only in those conflicts that pose a threat to the country's long-term interests.
Art makes a strong case for selective engagement as the most desirable strategy for contemporary America. It is the one that seeks to forestall dangers, not simply react to them; that is politically viable, at home and abroad; and that protects all U.S. interests, both essential and desirable. Art concludes that "selective engagement is not a strategy for all times, but it is the best grand strategy for these times."
The volume also includes a discussion of the critical technological factors which have important implications for the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT), an examination of structural change in the international system, the emergence of additional centers of power, and the implications of SALT for would-be nuclear powers.
Contributors: Robert R. Bowie, J. I. Coffey, James E. Dougherty, Wynfred Joshua, Geoffrey Kemp, Takeshi Muramatsu, George H. Quester, Robert A. Scalapino, Ian Smart, William R. Van Cleave, Thomas W. Wolfe, and the editors.
In effect, the debate has been a dialogue of the deaf and blind wherein each perceives only that which fits their predetermined views. This controversy raises questions regarding the use of deterrence as the basis for national policy and the role of technology in making such decisions. Handberg places this debate within the historical flow of events, dating back to the first inkling that national missile defense might be possible. The arrival of the George W. Bush administration moves national missile defense to the forefront with the question of deployment now considered a near reality.