Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
plan2 masthead
Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2005

T C 357 • Strategy and Arms Control Reconsidered—W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41165 W
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
SRH 3.106

Course Description

Arms control and nuclear policy have once again become fundamental issues in international politics and core concerns of U.S. national security policy. Recent nuclear test explosions by France, India, and Pakistan, the fear of loose nukes from the former Soviet Union, and the conflict between the United States and North Korea over the latter’s atomic program all demonstrate that the question of nuclear proliferation will only grow more important in the 21st century. In addition, President Bush’s decision to review U.S. strategy and nuclear weapons policy has been roundly criticized by the arms control community. The administration’s suggestions that it may bypass formal arms control, do away with the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTB), and develop and deploy a ballistic missile defense system have been met with howls of protest. Clearly, there will be a heated discussion over next few years surrounding arms control, strategy, and national security policy. Already the debate has been passionate and polarizing. Do nuclear arms control regimes, such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM), CTB, and Non-Proliferation Treaties (NPT), provide for a more stable and peaceful international order? Or are these treaties relics of the cold war, as the Bush administration contends, irrelevant to the problems facing American and the world in the 21st century? In order to understand these current debates over arms control and strategy, we must look to the past—specifically, to the policy decisions that led to the NPT, Strategic Arms Limitation (SALT), and ABM Treaties in the first place. Surprisingly, this is rarely done. There are dozens of books written on arms control and nuclear strategy during the Cold War. Countless articles and editorials have been written in the past couple of years devoted to the questions of missile defense, nuclear proliferation, and weapons of mass destruction. Yet there has been no systematic effort to mine the most important archival sources on the origins of this arms control regime during the 1960’s. Through their research and writing, the students in this seminar will work to fill that void.

About the Professor Francis J. Gavin is an Assistant Professor in the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.

Grading Policy

This course contains a substantial writing component. Each student will have four responsibilities: 1. To attend class, complete assignments, and actively participate in group, guest speaker and issue meetings. 2. To organize, outline, research, write, and re-write two case studies. 3. To help other students, both within and outside their issue group(s), with research and editing. 4. To participate fully in a function group (see below). Each student will choose a primary issue group and a secondary issue group. (This is not to imply that one case will be more important or better than the other; only that you will have more group obligations for your primary case.) In each issue group, there will be several positions of responsibility, including group leader, document leader, bibliographer, and liaison with other groups.


Robert Jervis, The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution: Statecraft and the Prospect of Armageddon Richard Betts, Nuclear Blackmail and Nuclear Balance Scott D. Sagan and Kenneth N. Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Renewed Thomas Schelling, Strategy and Arms Control Marc Trachtenberg, India’s Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation, History and Strategy


bottom border