Non-Fiction Books:

Dealing with the Threat of Cruise Missiles


Paperback / softback

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Dealing with the Threat of Cruise Missiles by Dennis M. Gormley

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The book is structured along the following lines: The Introduction sets the book's context with an overview of the strategic consequences and military and policy challenges facing decision-makers should cruise missiles spread widely into the hands of potential Western adversaries. Chapter 1 assesses the technological challenges confronting third-world nations considering the development of land-attack cruise missiles based on their own indigenous skills and capabilities. Chapter 2 examines alternative ways (apart from indigenous development) by which developing nations could acquire platforms (anti-ship cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and very light kit aircraft) that could be converted into weapons-carrying, land-attack cruise missiles. It also illuminates why direct purchases of highly advanced cruise missiles could conceivably offer the fastest route to cruise-missile ownership. Chapter 3 argues that cruise missile proliferation is not just the product of technological determinism. Nations face both strong motivations and constraints in the process of acquiring major weapons systems. This chapter examines in detail (including two illustrative scenarios) the compelling military and strategic motivations behind cruise-missile acquisition. It also exposes several constraints, including competing weapons acquisitions (e.g. ballistic missiles), which might condition the pace of cruise-missile proliferation. Chapter 4 turns to illuminating the challenges of defending against modern cruise missiles. It appraises the current and prospective shortcomings of existing Western air defence systems and lays out a complete set of hedging priorities tailored to address current and future weaknesses. However critical such air-defence improvements might be, the first line of defence against cruise-missile proliferation is non-proliferation policy. Chapter 5 assesses the current effectiveness of such policies and finds several major shortcomings in existing policies. It presents a comprehensive set of policy recommendations designed to close existing shortcomings in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Regime alternatives are also considered. The Conclusion sums up the paper's major findings in the context of the current US strategic review by the new Bush Administration and the need for improved coalition operations with major US allies and friends. The paper includes a glossary, an appendix of selected cruise-missile programmes, and exhaustive documentation supporting the research findings.
Release date NZ
February 15th, 2005
Country of Publication
United States
Oxford University Press Inc
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