Justifying Ballistic Missile Defence: Technology, Security by Columba Peoples

By Columba Peoples

Know-how is championed because the technique to glossy safeguard difficulties, but additionally blamed as their reason. This e-book assesses the way those perspectives collide within the debate over ballistic missile safety: a fancy, high priced and debatable approach meant to protect the USA from nuclear missile assaults. Columba Peoples indicates how, within the face of robust medical and strategic critique, advocates of missile safeguard search to justify its improvement through connection with broader culturally embedded perceptions of the guarantees and perils of technological improvement. Unpacking the assumptions in the back of the justification of missile safeguard tasks, either prior and current, this booklet illustrates how common sense understandings of know-how are mixed and used to valid this debatable and expensive safety application. In doing so it engages basic debates over understandings of technological improvement, human business enterprise and the connection among expertise and defense.

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Andrew Feenberg, Critical Theory of Technology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991). Wyn Jones, ‘The Nuclear Revolution’, p. 100. Colin S. Gray, Weapons Don’t Make War: Policy, Strategy and Military Technology (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1993); John Mueller, ‘The Essential Irrelevance of Nuclear Weapons: Stability in the Postwar World’, International Security, 13:2 (1998) pp. 55–79; Mao Tse-Tung, ‘The Chinese People Cannot Be Cowed by the Atom Bomb’, Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung, Vol.

293. 57 This approach claims that the very existence of technologies, and the possibilities which by design (so to speak) they allow, have a determinative or substantive impact on the way we live. Technology creates a finite amount of (technological) choices and therefore has a determining, almost autonomous quality that outlives and supersedes human input and involvement. 58 In philosophy this view is most prominently represented by Martin Heidegger. It is impossible entirely to do justice to the scope of his argument here, but at base Heidegger argues that the ‘essence’ of modern technology is to turn man and nature into quantifiable resources or ‘standing reserves’, a process that Heidegger terms ‘enframing’.

Waltz’s The Spread of Nuclear Weapons was published in 1981. , p. 180. 22 Justifying Ballistic Missile Defence these seemingly juxtaposed understandings of technology might mean or even how it might be possible. Of course, we should not dismiss this application on this basis alone. As an initial attempt to explicate and critique dominant conceptions of military technology within strategic studies, the adaptation of Feenberg’s approach succeeds in substantially realigning thought on this subject, thus potentially opening up the discipline as a whole to critique in this regard.

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