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All Options on the Table – Leaders, Preventive War, and Nuclear Proliferation - Cornell Scholarship Online
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All Options on the Table: Leaders, Preventive War, and Nuclear Proliferation

Rachel Elizabeth Whitlark


When is preventive war chosen to counter nuclear proliferation? This book looks beyond systemic and slow-moving factors such as the distribution of power. Instead, it highlights individual leaders' beliefs to explain when preventive military force is the preferred strategy. Executive perspective—not institutional structure—is paramount. The book makes its argument through archivally based comparative case studies. It focuses on executive decision making regarding nuclear programs in China, North Korea, Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria. The book considers the actions of US presidents John F. Kennedy, ... More

Keywords: preventive war, nuclear proliferation, distribution of power, nuclear powers, international system, nuclear activity, preventive military force

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9781501760341
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2022 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501760341.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rachel Elizabeth Whitlark, author
Georgia Institute of Technology