Scorpion King: America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump

Scott Ritter (Author) William R. Polk (Foreword by)
Available

Description

"We may be likened to two scorpions in a bottle, each capable of killing the other, but only at the risk of his own life." -- ROBERT OPPENHEIMER Scorpion King: America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump is a history of America's corrosive affair with nuclear weapons, and the failed efforts to curb this radioactive ardor through arms control. The book's title refers to the allusion by Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the American atomic bomb, to dueling scorpions when discussing the deadly nuclear rivalry between the US and Soviet Union, and signals the dangers inherent in the resumption of the perilous US drive for nuclear supremacy. Providing a vivid and gripping A-Z history of America's deceptive use of arms control as a means of actually furthering its quest for nuclear dominance, Ritter sheds light on a contradictory US agenda little understood by the lay reader, while providing sufficient detail and context to engage the specialist. Originally published by Nation Books in 2010 under the title Dangerous Ground, this new version has been streamlined and significantly expanded to account for the failed arms control policies of the Obama administration, and the rejection of arms control as a policy during the first term of the Trump administration. The Trump administration has pulled out of one landmark arms control treaty, the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty, and is threatening to let another, the 2010 New START treaty, expire. The terrifying Cuban missile crisis of 1962 demonstrated the apocalyptic folly of nuclear arsenals operating without limitation, and led to reciprocal constraints that moderated the nuclear ambitions of both the US and Soviet Union Those constraints, for the most part, no longer exist. The next missile crisis could prove terminal for humanity. Scorpion King is a book that can, and should, occupy the shelves of academic libraries, diplomats and military professionals, as well as make the reading lists of concerned citizens, given the dangerous state of US and Russian relations, now hovering on the cusp of a new and increasingly hazardous nuclear arms race. It provides a road map showing how we collectively returned to the nuclear cliff edge, and shines light on the possibility of an exit from a seemingly endless dark tunnel. Providing context for the forthcoming 2020 Review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Scorpion King is must reading for an imperiled world.

Product Details

Price
$29.95  $27.55
Publisher
Clarity Press
Publish Date
June 01, 2020
Pages
516
Dimensions
5.9 X 8.7 X 1.4 inches | 0.02 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781949762181

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About the Author

Scott Ritter is a former Marine intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union, implementing arms control agreements, and on the staff of General Schwartzkopf during the Gulf War, where he played a critical role in the hunt for Iraqi SCUD missiles. From 1991 until 1998, Mr. Ritter served as a Chief Inspector for the United Nations in Iraq, leading the search for Iraq's proscribed weapons of mass destruction. He was a vocal critic of the US decision to go to war with Iraq. Dealbreaker: Donald Trump and the Unmaking of the Iran Nuclear Agreement was his eigth book.
William R. Polk, the author of Understanding Iraq, taught at Harvard until becoming the member of the State Department's Policy Planning Council responsible for the Middle East in 1961. He served as head of the interdepartmental task force on the Algerian war and was a member of the crisis management subcommittee during the Cuban missile crisis. After leaving government, he became professor of history at the University of Chicago and president of the Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs.

Reviews

"Wow! Scott Ritter has written an epic tale of the myriad opportunities the US has had to implement pathbreaking nuclear disarmament agreements, and how these opportunities, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, have been stopped, dropped or flopped. Ritter details how decades of failed attempts to break the U.S. addiction to nuclear weapons have led to a dead-end, trillion-dollar modernization plan to produce more "usable" nukes. But as Ritter so brilliantly argues, giving up is not an option. Read the book to understand why, and get inspired to take action." -- Medea Benjamin, codirector, CODEPINK for Peace "We may be likened to two scorpions in a bottle, each capable of killing the other, but only at the risk of his own life." -- ROBERT OPPENHEIMER
"In this urgently timely updating of his 2010 critique of US nuclear disarmament policy, Scott Ritter drives home America's addiction to nuclear weapons and to an insane predilection for preemptive attack. From his titular allusion to Oppenheimer's "two scorpions in a bottle", to his closing discussion of a U.S. nuclear war game using a low yield warhead to target Russian troops while NATO carries out its biggest military exercise in years on Russia's border, Ritter provides a compelling narrative depicting the suicidal mania that is American nuclear weapons policy. Scorpion King is must reading for all those who should be concerned about the danger of our nuclear weapons policies. That's everyone." -- DANIEL ELLSBERG, author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Cold War Planner
"A comprehensive and illuminating account of America's paralyzing infatuation with nuclear weapons. This expanded edition of Scott Ritter's 2010 book drives home the point made in the original: The ominous threat of Doomsday persists, with U.S. policymakers unable to extricate themselves from the reckless pact with the devil made by their predecessors more than a half-century ago." -- ANDREW BACEVICH, President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft "Scott Ritter's Scorpion King is an important and necessary wake-up call. Nuclear weapons, in the quantities that now exist, are a threat to our very existence. They have no rational military use, yet we still cling to them, "modernize" them, and undermine the international agreements designed to keep them under control. This book should be required reading for political leaders, media pundits, and citizens who want to leave a future to our children and grandchildren." -- JACK J. MATLOCK, JR, author of Superpower Illusions: How Myths and False Ideologies Led America Astray