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Nuclear unclearSheriff and Outlaws in the Global VillageDan PleschMenard Press 5 pp47This is the latest in a series of pamphlets by experts such as Joseph Needham Martin Ryle and Solly Zuckerman Dan Plesch has long been a leading figure in British strategic studies he founded Basic - the British American Security Information Council - and is now senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence StudiesHe is concerned here with the importance of political co-operation between and inside states in fighting terrorism through intelligence trade and investment It will often be necessary to intervene inside sovereign states but this should always have an explicit mandate from the United Nations and the International Criminal Court should always be involved as soon as possiblePlesch is rightly uneasy about using the word terrorist - indeed one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter Both Irgun in Israel and the African National Congress in South Africa found it necessary to use terrorist tactics - as did Robin Hood in medieval Britain and John Brown in the American Civil War But it is difficult to justify the bullet when the ballot is available so terrorism should have no role inside a democracyHis opposition to President Bushs proposals for missile defence against rogue states is fully justified Americas own missile forces are a deterrent against enemy missiles and a missile defence force might appear to hostile regimes as designed to make possible a US first strike The real problem is how to protect America against nuclear biological or chemical weapons in a boat moored off Los Angeles or New York - a threat that cannot be ignoredUnfortunately Pleschs solutions are unconvincing Global disarmament is a worthy goal but it is difficult to imagine an agreement on having no new military production contracts after 2010 Moreover the direct election of national representatives to the UN General Assembly is scarcely conceivable given the low and falling participation in national electionsWhile
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