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Review by Dr. John M. Handley

The Reagan-Gorbachev Arms Control Breakthrough; The Treaty Eliminating Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) Missiles editedby David T. Jones; Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Memoirs and Occasional Papers; New Academia Publishing: Washington, D.C.; ISBN 978-0-9860216-4-0, 2012, 399 pp.), cloth $38.00, paperback $28.00.

Unless you are a doctoral student writing a dissertation on the INF treaty, all you could ever want to know about the US-USSR treaty to eliminate INF missiles is contained in Breakthrough, edited, and largely written, by David Jones. There are no numbered chapters since the book is a collection of papers, generally unpublished, by seven individuals intimate with the INF negotiations.

David Jones, a Special Assistant to Ambassador Maynard Glitman and Deputy for the State Department INF Treaty ratification Task Force, contributed eleven of eighteen articles, as well as the preface and introduction. The six other contributors include Ambassador Glitman, the INF negotiator and principal administration witness during Senate ratification; Ambassador John Woodworth, the INF deputy negotiator and DoD representative; Ronald Bartek, DoS representative on the INF Delegation and principal negotiator for the INF Elimination Protocol; Roger Harrison, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs and Chairman of the INF Interagency Group; Geoffrey Levett, a DoS lawyer; and Leo Reddy, a DoS representative at the INF negotiations in Geneva.

Separating sixteen of the articles are eight vignettes that address the human, often humorous, side of negotiating this treaty. The collection of articles traces, in general terms, the evolution of the INF treaty negotiations from 1981 to the Soviet walk-out in 1983, then the re-start of the negotiations under Gorbachev in 1985 to its successful conclusion in 1987. Breakthrough is both well written and well edited. David Jones has an engaging style that contains more than a sense of wit and humor. With so many contributors, however, one will find a certain amount of repetition in the subject matter, although each author approaches each theme (the double-global-zero; the outwardly similarity stage of the SS-20 and SS-25; and so forth) from his own unique perspective.

Although all of these articles were interesting in their own right, personally I found two articles particularly interesting. “Some Key Legal Problems,” by Geoffrey Levett, addresses two major issues: the difficult negotiations involved in convincing five of our NATO allied states to host Soviet inspectors and the even more difficult and convoluted technical negotiations involved in determining how much of the end portion of an SS-20 launcher had to be removed to prevent it being used in that capacity again. My favorite article was “The Senate and the INF Treaty,” by David Jones. I had no idea how difficult it was to get a treaty ratified, but the actions by both party’s senators were mind-boggling. It seems the staunchest opponents to a Republican president’s treaty proposal were fellow Republican senators while many of the Democratic senators were conflicted in that they thought the treaty would enhance peace but they did not want to provide a Republican president a campaign “victory” in the coming presidential election. In addition to his several contributions to the book, David Jones has an excellent chapter on “Lessons Learned,” one if which is not to try to have a treaty ratified during an election year, and another very good chapter on how to negotiate with the Russians.

All in all, I enjoyed Breakthrough and highly recommend it to anyone interested in nuclear disarmament, US-USSR political history, diplomatic negotiations, or any combination thereof.End.

American Diplomacy is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to American Diplomacy


John M. Handley
John M. Handley

Dr. John M. Handley, American Diplomacy Publishers Vice-President, is a Professor of International Relations for Webster University’s Ft. Bragg campus. A retired U.S. Army Colonel, Dr. Handley spent his Army career in military intelligence, including as a Defense Attaché, the Dean of the School of Attaché Training at the Defense Intelligence College, and Deputy, Resource Management, for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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