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I. General Objectives

The student will gain a greater awareness and appreciation of the evolution of nuclear weapons issue in recent history.

II. Specific Objectives

1.) To examine the impact of nuclear weapons on world politics.
2.) To portray the relationship between the two superpowers - the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. - beginning with World War II and to show how changes in their relationship have affected the nuclear arms buildup.

3.) To analyze complex issues related to nuclear weapons, including the role of science and technology, the nature of deterrence, diplomacy, and negotiation in the nuclear age, proliferation, arms control, and the ethical debate about nuclear weapons in a historical context.

III. Topic Coverage

Chapter 1 - DAWN

A. The Nature of the Alliance
B. The Development of the Atomic Bomb
C. The End of World War II

Chapter 2 - THE WEAPON OF CHOICE

A. The Emergence of the Cold War
B. The Growth of the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal
C. The Development of he Hydrogen Bomb
D. The Significance of the Korean War

Chapter 3 - A BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK

A. The New Look and Massive Retaliation
B. The Bomber and Missile Gaps
C. The Consolidation of U.S. Nuclear Planning

Chapter 4 - EUROPE GOES NUCLEAR

A. The Nuclearization of NATO
B. Rearmed Allies: Great Britain, France, and West Germany
C. Managing the NATO Deterrent

Chapter 5 - AT THE BRINK

A. Background to the Cuban Missile Crisis
B. The Thirteen Days
C. Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Chapter 6 - THE EDUCATION OF ROBERT MCNAMARA

A. Reducing U.S. Vulnerability
B. The Evolution of U.S. Strategic Doctrine
C. The ABM Debate

Chapter 7 - ONE STEP FORWARD

A. Arms Control and Detente
B. SALT I: The ABM Treaty and the Interim Agreement
C. After SALT I: MIRVs, Strategic Parity, and the Decline of Detente

Chapter 8 - HAVE AND HAVE-NOTS

A. Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power
B. Attempts to Control Proliferation
C. The Spread of Nuclear Weapons Capability

Chapter 9 - CARTER'S NEW WORLD

A. A Troubled Administration
B. Geopolotics and Arms Control: The Question of Linkage
C. SALT II: Negotiations and Agreement

Chapter 10 - ZERO HOUR

A. NATO's Dilemmas
B. NATO's Decision to Deploy New Nuclear Weapons
C. The INF Negotiations

Chapter 11 - MISSILE EXPERIMENTAL

A. The Origins of the MX
B. The Search for an MX Basing Scheme
C. From MX to Midgetman

Chapter 12 - REAGAN'S SHIELD

A. The Offensive Buildup
B. Strategic Defense
C. Arms Control: Fist and Starts

Chapter 13 - VISIONS OF WAR AND PEACE

A. A Look Back
B. Differing Perspectives and Policy Options
C. What Citizens Can Do

IV. Evaluation

Students will have a choice of objective tests or comprehensive essay examinations.

Course outlined created by E.A. Ettinger (Fall 1997)


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