Raymond Aron and the Theory of International Relations

Author(s): Stanley Hoffmann
Source: International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Mar., 1985), pp. 13-27
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association
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societiesand a philosopherof historywho was also a sociologistof contemporary criticofthesocial and thepoliticalthoughtofmostgreatwritersin history.In all hisbooksand articleshe neverceased withHans Morgenthau. However. This is what he called diplomatico-strategic behavior. relations.the worksof a had the duty to clarifyand to interpret. theGerman emigrethinkerwhoseinfluenceboth on academicsand on practitioners has been so enormousin the United States.at theend ofthisessay.but also of politicalscience and sociology. who.I discussa posthumouspublicahisown mainconceptsand contributions.The laws and formsof this behavior were already being studied during those same years by important colleaguesofAronin theUnitedStates. 0020-8833/85/01 0013-15 $03.This discipline. nor repeatwhat I wrote20 yearsago in my detailed accountofPeaceandWar.law.or commentaries and theoreticalwritings. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Untiltheearly originality. 1950s foreignpolicy and the relationsamong states had been the bailiwick of oflawyersand to a lesserextentofeconomists. and particularly dialoguingwithhisAmericancounterparts.i. and economics. The onlypurposeofthisessayis to sum up RaymondAron'sscientific contribution to thetheoryofInternationalRelations.78.RaymondAronis the man historians.forinstancethe major parts of The whichbelongsin the Imperial Republic.thatdeal primarily which takes the formof historicalnarrative. Aronseemsstrikingly ofintemational himwithAmericanspecialists original. realmofthecriticismofideas. in France. almost single-handedlycreated an autonomous discipline of internationalrelationsat the crossroadsof history.hisscientific and to separatethe two activitieswhich he led jointlyand neverfully contribution of currenteventswhich he thoughthe distinguished: journalism. tionin whichhe re-examines NobodywhoreadsagainRaymondAron'senormousworkcan failto be struckbyits He was originalbycomparisonwithearlierFrenchwriters.or partsof norwillI examinethatpartofhiswork withcurrentaffairs.at last. Nor will I discussthefirstvolumeofClausewitz.147 on Tue.e.(1985)29. He also exchangedideas with Henry who was both an academic and a practitioner.Many unpublishedworkswill probablybe releasedin the near future. consistedin a coherentand rigoroussystemofquestionsaimed at makingintelligiblethe constant rulesand thechangingforms ofa specificand originaltypeofsocialaction:thebehavior on theworldscene of the agentsof the unitsin contest.00 (? 1985 International Studies Association This content downloaded from 195.I will therefore leave aside books.108.as he conceivedit.However. But even if one compares Kissinger. 13-27 International Studies Quarterly Raymond Aron and the Theory of International Relations STANLEY HOFFMANN HarvardUniversity I of and his The scope RaymondAron's workhas always caused his commentators disciplesto despair. 1965). diplomatsand soldiers.Aron'sdeathmakesitpossibletostudyin depth.shortlyafterthe publicationofthismasterworkin France (Hoffmann. books.

Second. and his key distinctionis between multipolar and bipolar systems. This is the other. II Raymond Aron's ambition was doubly paradoxical but he was a master at paradoxes his thoughtwas both bold and modest. civic behavior. and perhaps most interestingside of his theoretical undertaking.78. are much more modest for instance. he formulated his substantive answers to thesequestions throughthe studyof internationalsystemsand the typologyof these systems. On the other hand. such as power and conflict. There were also three subjective. and his analyses sometimespreceded thosewhich appeared on thisside of the Atlantic.all actors must observe an imperative rule of behavior: 'the need to calculate means' (Aron. another way of putting it. or 'ideologico-political' questions: mutual recognition or nonrecognitionamong the actors. Several conclusions follow from this. and the use of coercive power within a domestic community by a state which has (to use Weber's definition)the legitimate monopoly of this power. and his opinion about theirconstrainingor determiningpower over the units which are the system's constitutive elements. Nobody has shown more convincinglyhow impossible it is. 'the legitimacy and legality of the actors' resortto armed force' (Aron. the behavior of the diplomat and ofthesoldier has no 'rational end' (Aron. which are violent conflicts among political units. the relationsbetween domestic and foreignpolicy. First. the constellation of power relations in this field. 1972: 358). On the one hand since he startsfromthe distinctiveness of international relations. the meaning and goals of foreignpolicy. He defined systemsas milieus organized for and through the competition among the units. But Raymond Aron's approach was original in two ways.14 Relations The Theory ofInternational As we shall see. Third. and the techniques and technology of war. so to speak. the conception of systemsthat Raymond Aron developed. between the ideal type of strategic-diplomaticbehavior (no power above the units. First.startingfromthe specific featuresof international relations: the 'multiplicity of autonomous centers of decision and thereforethe risk of war' (Aron. Three of these were objective questions: the scope of the field. This is so because unlike other kinds of social actions. What could have been more bold than his determinationto offera general theory. In contrast. Raymond Aron always carefullyindicates the differencebetween 'power politics' as it unfoldsin a milieu which is dominated by the riskof forceamong competing units. theory cannot go much This content downloaded from 195.147 on Tue. no or few common values) and the ideal type ofdomestic or. he derived from his startingpoint six fundamentalquestions forthe study of diplomatic constellations. He also distinguishestensions and conflicts-the raw material of any society from wars. 1962: 28) comparable to the goal ofthe footballplayer (winning) or to the ends ofeconomic actors (maximization of satisfactions). 1972: 362). 1962: 28). his mind had a broader scope. 1962: 28) or. to succeed in establishing a 'hypothetico-deductivesystem in which the relations among the terms or variables would take a mathematical form' (Aron.108. A number ofimportantfeaturesfollowfromthis. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . he takes great care to use only concepts characteristicofinternationalrelations. than the claims of Morton Kaplan forsystemdominance. from the fundamentaldifferencebetween foreignpolicy and domestic polities.his American colleagues oftenresortedto 'concepts which also can be used in realms other than international affairs' (Aron. 1972: 363). in the field of international relations. his constructionswere much more flexible (hence many criticismsby American authors in desperate need of certainty). Systemsanalysis had become quite fashionable and developed in the United States towardsthe end of the 1950s.

byitself. alreadyindicated. in theseperiods.as well as Machiavelli.the logic ofbehaviorfrom ofthe actors.On the one hand.theimpossibility instead of an ethics of conviction.He saw in it a formuladerivedfrom'the code practiceand thetheoryofhappyeras'.turnout to be equivocal specificity which ordangerous.RaymondAron'sconceptualizapeacefultradeamongcommunities. Thucydides.'fromno is whysystemsare 'in theepistemological theorycould one deduce as an inevitableconsequencetheindustrialassassinationof millionsof Jewsby the Nazis' (Aron. y. Carr.but tionleadstothetheoryofwhatJean-Jacques whichfollow societyor oftheworldeconomicsystem.it is muchmorediffiabout thesystem'sfunctioning' cultthaninthecase ofeconomictheorytoseparatesuchabstracttheoryorconceptualizationfromtheconcretesociologicaland historicalstudy. theoryofthestateofwar. points:the ReinholdNiebuhr.and the formulation specificity. This content downloaded from 195.or borrowed Clausewitz) bureaucraticprocess.STANLEY HOFFMANN 15 beyond a 'conceptualanalysis'.108. or z.whose objectiveis 'the definitionof a subsystem's ofsome hypotheses the listingof themain variables.ifone comparesRaymondAron to the otherrealistsone discoversfour The mostimportantis conceptual.Hobbes.the the wisdom of an ethicsof responsibility ofstates'goals.but. complexand indeterminate However. This featuresofwell-differentiated mustknowwhatthedistinctive meaningof thisterm.78. power.Hobbes.whenused. withinthe specificdomain of international catch-allconceptswhich at firstsightappear to grasp the relationsAron distrusts ofdiplomatico-strategic behavior.All'realists'agreeon thefollowing of thedecisiveroleofforceamongtheingredients needfortheunitsto calculateforces.1972: 366-367).indefinite'.AronpartscompanywithMachiavelli. ideology. as I have seriesofdifferences. one nationalstatesare. When Arondeals withthisbehaviorhisanalysisseemsto belongwithinthe realist school.This is whyhe acidlycriticizedthenotionofthenationalinterest was the keystoneof Morgenthau'stheory. and the possibilityof state' (a conceptAron conceptualizingpoliticsas 'the intelligenceof a personified than rather as the from intelligenceof a class. he carefully foreignfromdomesticpolicy and between power as a means and distinguishes poweras an end.Evenwithinitsmorelimitedand legitimatedomainthe doesnotallowonetograspthebehavioroftheactors. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .theimperative ofan 'ethicsoflaw' and ofpeace throughlaw.Only the concretestudycan help make the thespecificcharacteristics behaviorof the actors.1972: 475).duringwhichthereexisted'an unwritten eras 'no state whereasduringrevolutionary ofwhatwas legitimateand illegitimate'. and Morgenthau.andGeorgeKennan.147 on Tue. Hans Morgenthau. limitsitsobjectiveto the nationalinterestdefinedin the way Mazarin or Bismarck definedin is essentially did' (Aron.and the stakestheygive to their systemone cannotsimply an international In orderto understand conflicts intelligible. grasptherulesofthegame amongabstractentitiesor variablescalled x. (Aron. ofa balance ofpower.thepermanenceofnationalambitionsand ofthreatstosurvival. Second. 1972: 368).Its membersinclude the very foundingfatherof the study of interstateaffairs. He refusesto see in the quest forpower the essence of all politics. the most illustriousand venerable school of internationalrelations. nor can one deduce thosetranswhichconstitute transactions nationalrelationsamongindividualsor thoseinterstate In otherwords.thenationalinterest ideologicalterms. nottothetheoryoftransnational otherrulesand anotherlogic.the preponderant importanceofgeopoliticalfactorsin the definition role of states among all the actors on the world stage. Rousseauhad called the'stateofwar'.theircalculationsof forces. H. On the otherhand. Max Weber (whom Raymond Aron admired so much) and among contemporariesE.

One is the importanceof the natureof the have said.who can be identified ofa as possiblethefoundations therealistschoolandwhohastriedtobuildas rigorously relations(Waltz.thesystems. It is in millionsofpeople and provokeirreversible TheCentury of TotalWar(Aron.147 on Tue.inVietnam.he assertedthat'the theoryofinternational determinants does not entail.1983: 452) whichdictatesthe hostility whichAronhad betweenhomogeneousand heterogeneous crucialdistinction systems borrowedfromthe GreekauthorP.whenhe analyzestheweightofdomesticconditionsin international relations. He has alwayssoughttodistinguishthedeepercauses ofeventsfromaccidents. 1972: 548).He also wants to submitgeneralconceptsto the touchstoneand ofhistory.KennethWaltz. ofall thetransformations. 1972: 433).He linksup withThucydides.16 Relations The TheoryofInternational Second. Aron'scritiqueof excessivelyabstractor simplisticconceptsis tied to a ofrealism. the foreignpolicy of the regime. 1948) Aron has carefully This content downloaded from 195. has attemptedto reducetheoryto the theoryofinternational of studyof the relationsbetweena system's'structure'(definedas the distribution poweramongtheunits)and therelationsamongtheseunits.The outcomeofthelimitedconflicts ofthewarinVietnam. differsprofoundlyfromthat of Czarist Russia (Aron. bysocialrelationsand byideologieswithinsocieties. to predictevents.78.a SouthVietnamesegovernment theimpossibility capable ofdefending itselfalone.thecontrastbetweenAronand Americantheorists thanhistory He sharesneithertheirnormativeambitionsnortheirfaithin thepossibility isstriking.For Aron.This distinctionfollowsfromthe by theratioofforcesalone' idea that'theexternalbehaviorofstatesis notdetermined (Aron.108. It is 'the similarity ofthe regimesthatexistwithinstates'(Aron.the'historical and monistic Aronhas alwaysrejecteddeterminism natureofsystems.thathe has mostincisively failure'and a 'technicalsurprise'convergedin producinga catastrophenobodyhad wanted.In thisrespect.in his book on Americandiplomacy.Contraryto what some pseudo-realists Soviet Union. historicalseriesproceeds.a discriminationbetween endogenousand or.Even if.a 'hyperbolicwar' nobodyhad foreseen. Papaligouras.sufferthe thereare unceasingchanges. even in the abstract.he showedonce again both the inevitablenatureof the Cold War and themuchmoreaccidentalcharacterofmanyofitsdevelopments.'The courseof and toshowhow theconjunctionofdifferent relationsremainssupremelyhistoricalin all the meaningsof thisterm: international which are multipleand fragile.Many yearslater. Aron.plungestheoryintohistory beyondtheteachingsofhistoryand frombecomingmorerigidand moreprescriptive allows. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Ever since Le grandschisme(Aron. accordingto Aron.1972: 379-380).1972: 371). crucialfeatureofhisunique understanding in orderto preventtheoryfromevergoing and so tospeak.Aron sometimesdealt too brieflyor superficiallywith the domestic relations offoreignpolicy.Foritis history sociology'ofinternational into.mainlyunderlinestwo points.1962: 108). A thirdimportantdifference concernsthe idea of the primacyof foreignpolicy with whichone findsamongso many'realists'. decisionstakenby one man or a fewsetintomotion effects mutations'(Aron.theory'smissionis bothto complete. 1979).1951).and to be inserted criticism whichshowsthe relations.the exogenousvariables'(Aron. on the contrary. 1983: 293). objectivesareat leastpartlysetbythenatureoftheregimeandbyits ofthenuclearera is no longerdictated ideology. indeterminate theseswhichtryto explaincomplexphenomenathrougha singlefactor(Aron.whichled to themilitarydefeatofthestronger power(Aron.itwas bytheratioofforcesalone.This approachexcludes takinginto account all of the subsystemsconstitutedby political and economic regimes.as in TheImperial Republic.Witnesstheresults ofreachingthepoliticalaim. thebookin whichhe analyzesthe originsand shownhow a 'diplomatic dynamicsoftheFirstWorldWar.

which set the rulesof the monetaryand commercialgame. in daily affairs.Rules oftheworld economycannotbe reducedto the quasi-warlikerulesof mercantilism. of exchangerelations between private individualsand groups. he recognizedthat insofaras the world economyis part of interstaterelationsit is system.on thewhole. but. The difference theoryand Aronoweslessto a disagreement betweenthepioneersofinterdependence over that theorythan to Aron's skepticismconcerningwhat mightbe called the theideologyofa 'fadingaway ofsovereignties' ideologybehindthetheory.But he has dealt withit here and there. ratherthan in the realm of interstate relations.147 on Tue.STANLEY HOFFMANN 17 which interpretations policyand thedifferent ofSovietforeign studiedthepeculiarities civil aboutit.On the one hand. This is whyhe hasshownso muchinterest intrastate in the chapterson Lenin and wars (particularly theoryand practiceofrevolutionary and in thefactorsofdomesticconflictin the Mao in thesecondvolumeofClausewitz) troubles.Insofaras theworldeconomy. statein its own What matteredweretherulesof thegame imposedby themightiest interPet studyoftheworldeconomicordercomparable Aronhasneverwrittena systematic to Peaceand War. And realistshave assimilatedthe worldeconomic conduct.e.the United States since1945 is nota simpleextensionofthelogicofmilitarypower.seemed international to belongprimarilyin therealmof transnationalsociety.theconstraints orderthanksto 'international acceptedby ofsomeactorsare eithervoluntarily(i.e.realistshave ignoredit.Great Britain. betweentheinterstate realistshave.Concerningthelatter.The otherpointconcernstheknotthattiestogether havebeenformulated wars-an idea which again linksAron with Thucydides: 'one wars and interstate diplomacyas longas one hasnoteliminatedviolencefrom cannotimaginea nonviolent in the politics'(Aron.of a gradual loss of system.and ofa growingregulationofworld importanceofthediplomatico-strategic whichlimit regimes'.insofaras relationsamongstatesformedthe systemto diplomatico-strategic main part of this system.and reachedmuch more subtleconclusionsthan the realists.1962: 717). he too understoodthat even duringthe liberalera it was the dominanteconomicpower. Nor do theseremarksof Aron coincidewiththe theoriesof the 'interdependence betweenstrategic school'..i.a major war has This content downloaded from 195.as during the mercantilistera: their analysis of the worldeconomythusproceededin termsofpowerratherthanwealth. underlying relationsthrough (Aron.and conflictforresourcesratherthan cooperationand trade.78. Middle 'realists'is about therelations betweenAronand contemporary The lastdifference systemand theworldeconomicsystem.to prosperand to grow.the system ofthegold exchangestandardand latertheBrettonWoods systemhave allowed the rivals. on the other hand.The logic of partlyindependentfromthe diplomatico-strategic nevertheless behaviorof the dominantpower-England in the 19thcentury. of zone dangerous the most East. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . notirreversibly) thesovereignty thesestates(forinstancetheopenworldmarket)or else theyare imposedby themore systembased on calculationsof force mightystates.firstofEnglandand thenoftheUnitedStates.e.108.AccordingtoAron. the Americanneorealistswho also show the difference actionlinkedto theuse offorceand economicactionundertaken(not onlyby states but also by other actors such as multinationalenterprisesand international organizations)in areas where the resortto forcemakes no sense.1976: 284).tendedeitherto neglectitorto denyititsautonomywithin relations.zero-sumgains ratherthan growth.as in the 19thcentury.and it is always the interstate which dominatesinternationalsociety. ofa sortofgradualpacificationofinternational the extensionto the realm of 'complex interdependence'.even if.i.

by contrast with the of deterrence.18 The TheoryofInternational Relations become less likelyand the restraintsimposed by economic interdependence are more visible. than Raymond Aron. the necessity and originalityof the Cold War. of war and of the need for strategic calculations). Aron ceaselessly commented on and criticized American authors and actors who were trying to formulate and to apply the strategy of deterrence. thatthenature oftheweapons. such as the strategic-diplomatic contest. Just as he criticized the concept of the national interest. Thus Aron's relation to the pure realists and to the neorealists is complex. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and tryto understand the relations among those fragments. the persistence of Clausewitz (i. thenotionofbalanced forcescannot be reduced to a simple calculation of the number of warheads or missiles at the disposal of the rival states. Bernard Brodie and he were the firstto define the meaning of that revolution: the possibilitywhich a state the state and society of that possesses a serious nuclear arsenal now has of destroying an enemy. 1983). is evident in Aron's critique of the theoryofexploitation of the peripheryby the center. was this: in the realm of strategic thermonuclear strategic doctrines weapons. or conclusions that seem like forestsof question marks. in the first place. 1972: 499).e. but his opposition to the Marxist-Leninist conception and to the kind of diluted Marxism representedby the 'dependencia school' is sharply marked. to measure the extent to which the invention of weapons of total destruction revolutionized world politics. He showed the weaknesses in Lenin's reasoning (a concatenation of postulates each one of which was in contradiction with the facts and not necessarily linked with the otherpostulates). instead of having firstto defeatits enemy's armed forces. 'There exists a balanced state ofdeterrencewhen each of the nuclear powers has the same capacity as itsrival to deter a direct aggressionor an extremeprovocation.one of the effectsof what McGeorge Bundy has recently called 'existential deterrence' (Bundy.Nevertheless.he many times dismantled the Leninist theory of imperialism. one has to tryto understand the logic and the causes of differenttypes of behavior and to make them intelligible-even if the cost of thus lowering one's sight is a certain dispersion of analyses.78. The theory seems to him doubly debatable.one can only study fragmentsof reality.108. insofaras economic exploitation is not demonstrated everywhere (in certain cases the periphery has benefited from the investments of capital by the center much more than it has sufferedfrom them) and insofar as economic exploitation is a phenomenon differentfrompolitical domination. the capacity to survivean enemyfirststrikeand to This content downloaded from 195.even ifone has to resistthe temptationof trying to grasp and account forwholes. The main contribution of Raymond Aron to our understanding of the new era consists of three series of analyses: the ambiguities of deterrence. He always knew that one of the consequences of the appearance of weapons of mutual assured destruction. III Nobody has more persistentlytried to understand the nuclear era of international relations.147 on Tue. He also noted that the phenomena which this theory claimed to explain-colonial conquests or wars among imperial powers-could be explained by other factors.' This means. 1938): historycannot be grasped in its totality. In this area as in all the others Aron remained tied to the conception he had laid out in his Introduction to thePhilosophyof History(Aron.as in the past. This same rejection of an 'inexorable dialectic which passes over the heads of men' instead of studying'the action of some men and some interests'(Aron.

themorestability existson top). is not an exact science.(Thisistrue.1976: 247).throughwhatkindsofthreats. The moreterrifying one's adversary withtotaldestruction. deterrence with the Clausewitziannotion of war).but it detersless.1962: 669). and a counterforce threatis extremelycredible. accordingto Aron (1976: 162-163). tacticalatomicwar. We are herein the domain ofpoliticalart. Will or determination mattersmore than technologicalcredibility. even afterhavingbeen hitbya firststrike.as in traditionalwar.On theotherhand.thefreertheywill feelto use conventional weaponsunless.(i.escalationis both 'a danger that one wants to avoid' (by tryingto preservethresholds.1976: 242).theydeliberately multiplyrisksofescalation.but This content downloaded from 195.' Moreover.by definition. in whatkind ofcircumstances' (Aron.'hereagain an antinomyappears'.whosestrategicforcesare tosomeextentvulnerableto theotherside's firststrike.thelessstability levels.stages. the moreonerisksmakingwaritselfmoreconceivable. and neitherhas the abilityto disarmthe other' (Aron. 'resortingto allies in orderto restorea fractured equilibriumis a thingofthepast' (Aron.I wouldadd.thebalance of deterrence is a psychotechnical equilibrium'(Aron.by increasingthe riskofescalation(the nuclear versionof what Clausewitz had called climbingto the extremes). and and 'a threatthatone neitherwantsnoris able to giveup' mutualassureddestruction) (Aron. worksat Thereis a secondantinomy whichis no lessimportant:themoredeterrence existsat thelower thegloballevel. The fifth consequenceofthenuclearrevolution is thatarmswhichare so devastatingbut whose use perhaps exposes whoever resortsto them to total retaliation. to deterrence difficult to limitwar ifit breaksout afterall.again. especiallybecause of the recentrevolutionof accuracy. 'Everythingthat increasesthe likelihoodof more escalationin advancecontributes but also makesit.'What mattersis knowing'whocan deterwhomfromwhat..Aron definesstabilityas 'a situationin whichthe duellistshave an absolute incentivenottousetheirweaponsbecausebothhavetheabilityto destroyone another. If one triesto reinforce itsdeterrent power. In matters played by will (in conformity ofdeterrence'it is impossible. Second.1962: 670): ifone ofthetwo superpowerscould eitherdisarmor destroythe otherwithoutbeing destroyedor seriously damagedin return.Fourth.by adding for instancetacticalnuclearweaponstostrategicones.by definition.78.e. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . distinctions betweenconventionalwar. especially sincetheenemy.it meansthatsincedeterrence is 'a relationbetweentwowills.or theuse of the nuclear threattowardpositiveends.STANLEY HOFFMANN 19 penetratethe defensesof the enemy.1963: 227). does not belongto the mentaluniverseof statesmen.and not onlybecause ofthe decisiverole Thus.1963: 96).147 on Tue..)The supreme threat-the threatof totaldestruction is highlydeterrentin the abstract.and particularlyby givingoneselfthemeansto striketheenemy'sforcesfirst.Third.is more importantthan numericalequality. limitedstrategicnuclear war.'the credibilityof deterrencepresupposesa referenceto the whole situationand can neverbe reducedto a simplemilitarycalculation.108. 1976: 149). The less the superpowers willbe temptedto use theabsoluteweapon. thelessthethreatappearscrediblesinceeach of theantagonists has the meansofmutualassureddestruction.themoreone threatens another'(Aron.These weapons' purposeis to destroythe positiveintention-real or assumed-of theaggressor'(Aron.thefactthatthevictimhas a networkofallieswouldnot matter. to avoid one dangerwithoutincreasing the menace.themoreone triesto makethethreatcredible by givingoneselfthe means of waginglimitednuclearattacks.do not constitute veryusefulmeansofpoliticalintimidation:'nuclearblackmail.will fearlosinghis weapons if he does not use themfirst.but not verycrediblesince it is suicidal.

108. Second.as Clausewitzhad well understood(Aron.togo back to theformulaAronhad usedas earlyas in Le grandschisme.on onehand. will There is impossible. is notdeterminedby theratioofthermonuclear theoutcomeofarmedconflicts himselffromAmericanwriterssuch as On this point Aron sharplydistinguishes the outcomeofregional Paul Nitzewho appear to believethatthatratiodetermines Aron'sclear analysisofthe Korean War.First of all.'forthe firsttimein its historytheUnitedStatesgave up theidea oftotalvictory'(Aron.despiteeverything ofarmedviolencetakestheformofintrastateviolence.One conclusionthusbecomesunavoidable:thenecessity 'peace is War or.In the crisisone finds'the casuistryof it is the cooperation'and the'casuistryofdeterrence'(Aron.thisdecentralization which the superpowers'competitionsometimescreatesand oftenexploits. Vietnam those of be wars like still Korea.But one mustunderstandthat forces.the lessit guaranteesstabilityat thoselowerlevels. which'was not influenced confrontations.1976: 245). so-to-speak.thatofa regionalbalance mattersevenmore.and despiteeverything deterrence(such as the new vulnerabilityof several componentsof the strategic forces).1976: 235). at the global negotiatedpeace therefore forwar.despiteeverything ofcounterforce whichtendsto weakenor to minimizeit (such as thenew possibility that tendsto underminethe stabilityof global strategies).war unlikely'.theyremainlimited:theKoreanWar appeared like 'a turningpoint'because it did not becomehyperbolic.But.20 Relations The TheoryofInternational insofaras thethreatofescalationbecomeslesscredibleand seemsmorelikea bluff.At the same time violenceis so-to-speaksafeguardedand even multipliedat lowerlevelsand in other oftheCold partsoftheworld.Aron always assertedthat nuclearweaponsdid notabolishbut merelydecentralizedviolencein twoways. an inevitableconsequenceof heterogeneity to assert. and theMiddleEast. by thenuclearweaponsofthe United States' (Aron. All the armed level.mustbe the Cold War. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This connectionbetweenglobal stabilityand local turbulenceexplainsprecisely why one can writeabout the persistenceof Clausewitz.less dangerousforthe whole but also more warlike world systemthus of a heterogeneous than it. the 'total diplomacy'characteristic else.or betweena superpowerand confrontations an ally or clientof the othersuperpower.1976: 144-151) revealhisdoubtson thispoint.1983: 302-303). systemis dividedup into thissingleinternational because of thenuclearrevolution.147 on Tue.This is why idea ofthecommoninterestto avoid mutualdestruction and bipolarity. where the riskof escalationin the eventof a conventionalwar remainsenormous.Moreover. to a certainlimitationof stakes and means.one has had to save war (or ratherwars: limited warsamongstatesand oftenunlimitedcivilwars) in orderto save mankind(froma nuclearwar thatmightbecome total).The nuclear revolutionalso preservespeace in Europe. and his verysubtle analysisoftheCuban missilecrisisof1962 (Aron.thattheCold War is nota war in Clausewitz'ssense'.crisesamong the superpowersbecome the substitutes have takenplace betweenthirdparties.againstthedominant fromwar: 'I am trying different analyzedas profoundly opinion. they fragmentthe global systeminto subsystemseach one with its own is made even violence.the calculationofforcesmustincludemanyfactorsotherthan thepurelymilitaryones.This fragmentation ofinterstate rules. The nuclearrevolutionstillpreservespeace at theglobal level.1976: 164) intertwined.sincethecharacteristic This content downloaded from 195.as Aronputit.and factors configuration. revolutionwhich moreremarkableby the factthat the othergreat contemporary Aron stressedso oftenis the extensionof the diplomaticfieldto the whole world. On the otherhand. a becomespossibleagain. the notionof a global balance of forcesstill matters.In this complexworldwhere.78. whichprevails. lends itself. pieces which are.

trytocopewiththedeepestcausesofcollectiveviolenceand consolidatethechancesfor a lastingpeace. Even if 'the blurringoftheline thatseparatespeace and war' is obvious.STANLEY HOFFMANN 21 featureofwar is 'the predominantresortto physicalviolence' (Aron.and superblypush aside theenormousweightof constraints. 1976: 285-286). Warninghis readersagainst to himthanattempting illusionswas moreimportant to discoverhow.and courtsin otherwords. was impossible.exactlytheoppositedangerfromthe one runby farabove thiscontentious idealistswho place themselves earth).thecontradiction betweentheconstraints whichweighon forhiscountry's in a worldin whichtheuse offorce thestatesman.He remindedhisreadersthat.147 on Tue. 1983: 656).in theworldas it is. whatit is. He was even skepticalabout thecontribution thatarmscontrol negotiations betweenthesuperpowers could bringto thepacificationofmankind. IV Aronhas alwaysbelievedthatthetheoretical and sociologicalanalysisofinternational relationsinevitablyled to 'more or less uncertainrecommendations. The normative implications ofAron'stheoryare containedwithinthe contradiction betweenviolent history and peacefulideals.or makespossiblethesurvivalor liberation ofthosefewcountriesin whichliberalvalueshave been able to blossom.in which relations amonghumangroupswould at long last be governedby the categoricalimperative. future totalwar willnotoccur' (Aron.formyowntaste.or providesa defenseagainsttotalitarianism (Aron. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . bloodyanarchyoftheinternational RaymondAron has neversystematically examinedwhat possibilitiesremainfor reconcilingthisimperativeand thoseconstraints.He was one ofthefirstto create. 1962: 565). citizensand statesmencould nevertheless.108.in the 1930sthecategoryof This content downloaded from 195.As a good Kantianhe knewthatthereis no moraldutyto accomplish theimpossible.peace has not become the continuationof war by othermeans.1983: 505). 1972: 393-394).but he was convincedthat a pacifiedworld. Aron rarelyhesitatedto condemndomesticpracticeswhichwere repugnantto hisvalues.He was irritatedby the kind of idealismwhoserecipesforescapinganarchypresupposethattheproblemhas already He was been resolved.He disdained authorswho recommendchangingthe behaviorof a nation by acting on a single domesticfactor. Even thoughthermonuclear thatcan be used at any timeand in any weaponsare not 'a diplomaticinstrument 'fortheforeseeable it is likelythatgeneraland place' inordertodeteraggression.1983: 644). or criticof any perspectiveor (an attitudewhichrisksdeprivingthe commentator distance. and 'the Kantian problem'. law and theunlikelihood weaknessofinternational eagerto pointout thedebilitating ofworldfederalism. the problem 'of universalpeace' (Aron.i. The very indeterminacyof diplomatico-strategic behavior makes it possible to raise 'the Machiavellian problem'. For all thesereasons Aronhad curbedhisownKantianinclinations-toomuch. interests responsible remainspossibleand legitimate.and moral conscience. or prescriptions based on regularitiesor on obvious notions' (Aron.He was a passionateliberal. 1962: 563).theworldbeing moreradicallythanin thepast.He distrusted'beautifulsouls' who were deceivedby theirown illusions. it is oftenviolence alone thatallowsliberalvaluesto survive.e. the problemof legitimatemeans.78.which protestsagainst the milieuand demandsuniversalpeace.butwho do notunderstandthemultiplelinksbetweendomesticand externalfactorsand the perverseeffectsof dealingwith a singleone (Aron. Overallhe had decidedearlyon to limithisown 'libertyofcriticism' towards statesmen'by askingthequestion:in hisstead.whatwould I do?' (Aron.

as in the other. as an ideal typeand as one of history's realities. of politicalobjectivesto militaryconsiderations.or racial hostilities displace 'the intelligenceof the personified state' thatchancesformoderationdisappear: 'nothingguaranteesthemoderationofstates. 1962: 763).'which ordersindividualsto be brave and to keep their disciplinedand to sacrificethemselvesand whichorderscollectivities and to care fortheirhonor'.deemed Thucydidesamoral.Like Thucydides. class ideologies.and thatit is whencollectivepassions. thisis evenmoretruein theatomicera. He criticizedWeber'sown tragicrealismbecauseWeber believed thatinternationalrelationswere the closed arena of inexpiableconflictsof values.This discipleofWeber believedinan 'ethicsofwisdom'whichtakesintoaccountboththenecessity to calculate forces.e. aboutthepossibility ofa moralpoliticsfollowing skepticism Kantianprescriptions. But ofimmorality.1976: 263).what makes reasonablebehavioreven more desirableis thefactthatthestakesare nothinglessthanmankind'ssurvival.Diplomatico-strategic conductdoes not lend itselfto thereare no gameswith'a mathematicalsolutiondefining mathematicaltreatment.andthephilosopherwho wantedto subordinateviolenceto politicalcalculationsand recommendeda limitationof objectives.forthefuture.he demandedthatsuch a goal be ruledout even in the case of a This content downloaded from 195. Aronhad an ethicstopropose.i.wronglyin my opinion. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This is whyAron retrospectively condemnedAmerica'ssubordination. and why he criticizedthe allied objectiveof unconditionalsurrender(Aron.78.But he was always much more reluctantto judge the foreign behaviorofstates. 1976: 181).and partlyfromhis calledpoliticalmoralists. rationalbehavior'(Aron. the duty of selfishness which states must obey. he neverwentall theway. and forinstancetocondemnAmericanbehaviorin Vietnamoreven someepisodesofAmericanconductthere.kindofwars. This rejectionofmoralismresultedpartlyfromhiscontemptforthosewhomKant i. moredesirable.The game is 'essentially historicaland psychological'and therefore does not 'rule out reasonablebehavior' (Aron. 1962: 763.and what makesreasonablebehaviorevenmorepossibleis thefactthat'strategy in thethermonuclear age is more distantfromthe model of rationalstrategythan the strategy followedthroughthe thousandsof yearsof pre-nucleararmaments'(Aron.to theendorsement nor did he ever accept what he called the ethicsof struggle.e. to a victoryofthatpartofhumannaturewhichis not'a beastofprey' universality.1962: 596).147 on Tue.1962: 756). What givesa chance to such an ethics. duringthe Second World War.but 'easily debases itselfinto becoming commitments the ethicsof criminals'and 'will neverprovideany perspectiveof lastingpeace or universality' (Aron.what makesit possiblenot to findin the ethicsof strugglethe only possibleone.sincefor all players'thermonuclear war means an infiniteloss' and one cannot 'calculate the rationaldecisionwhen the loss risksbeing infinite'.It had already been advocated by Thucydides.throughthe speechesof his characters. On the contrary.1962: 595). (Aron.and by Clausewitz as Aron analyzes him. (Aron. but the politicsofa personified ideologyor of a messianicclass excludesmoderation and entailsa struggleto thedeath' (Aron. is Aron's familiardistinctionbetweenthe rationaland the reasonable.) Aron showedClausewitzto be boththetheorist ofhyperbolicwar. 1972: 452).108. and thatthestatesman'sdutywas therefore onlyto promotenationalvaluesbylooking afterthenation'smight.e.22 The TheoryofInternational Relations 'totalitarian'regimes. This is why. and the aspirationto i. The ethicsof wisdomis that of moderation.Aronknewthatit is duringcivilwars thatmoderationis mostimpossibleto preserve. ideologuesat theserviceoftheprince.

1976: 179). 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .except againsta nuclear attackaimed at France credibility 'the alone.especiallyas technologicalevolution bringsforthmoreaccurateand lessdevastatingweapons. necessaryin ordertolimitwarsifthey WhatAroncallsforis 'politicalunderstanding'.STANLEY HOFFMANN 23 generalwar (Aron.escalationis not inevitableaftera firstuse of nuclearweapons.he believedthatgivingit up would signal that NATO would accept defeat ratherthan resortto nuclear weapons.This is one of the reasonswhy Aron saw no betweena strategyofgradual resortto force(includingif necessarya contradiction of the threat passage fromconventionalto nuclearweapons). onlybetweencapitulationand total. whichhe deemedneitherentirely something This defenseof a flexiblestrategy(of threat and of use) led Raymond Aron towarda rathercriticalattitudetowardthe Frenchnuclearforce.The latterrisksbeing ineapable of deterringthe adversaryfrompartial to choose attacks.however. 1972: 490) and that communicationsbe maintainedamong adversaries'in orderto avoiderrorsby excessor default'(Aron. 1972: 491).Flexibleresponseis a wayofavoiding at reducingto a minimumthe risksof choice.147 on Tue.sincedeterrence furthermore. politicaldestinyofFrancecannotbe separatedfromthatoftherestofWesternEurope.in orderto 'slowdownescalationand bringtheenemiesback towardarmed mutualobservation'(Aron.1983: This content downloaded from 195.Aron therefore forsucha coursewouldmakethethreatofa limitedor increasingconventionalforces. Ball. happen.towardthe theory of the equalizingpowerof the atom that General Gallois had developed 20 years ofthestrongby theweak. on the even ifit is not totallycredible.did not want to give up this threat. HenryKissingerhas recentlytendedto move in the same direction.78. cannotbe based on a lessincredible. Robert McNamara and the otherfathersofflexibleresponsetodaywant the United States use in Europewould lead to to abandonsucha threat.an important point.a scenariohe thoughtquite implausible(Aron. flexibleresorttonuclearweaponsmorebelievable.108.becausetheybelievethata first stoppedbeing believable (McNamara. even aftersuch a firstuse. totalwar and that the threathas therefore 1983: 59-80. opportunitiesforwisdom remain.He thoughtthatthe threat. Thus. especiallyifthenuclearweaponsused weretacticalones. He saw in before.disastrously. 1983). Now that 'decapitationweapons' have arrived.Accordingto him. always believed in the usefulnessof giganticbut incrediblethreat.1963: 139).and towardtheFrenchtheoryofdeterrence ofthe theFrenchforcea 'beginningofan insurancepolicyagainsttheunpredictability diplomaticfuture'(Aron. Furthermore.We must 'aim consciouslyat the geographical localization and toward reachable objectives. Unlike the AmericanCatholic bishops.1983:462]). Concerningstrategicweapons.Aron'swarningis of the greatestimportance. Finally. it is thelimitationofviolencewhichwisdomrequires. it 'aims effectively the all-or-nothing escalationand totalwar' (Aron. 1963: 137) but neverthelesshe deemed it devoid of as a counter-city force. thethreatentailedby flexibleresponseis. and in orderto overcomeand manage inevitablecrises.withouttotalvictory'(Aron. wisdomaccordingto Aron is on the side of flexibleresponseratherthan massive retaliation.suicidalwar.1976: 237-238). and theFrenchforcealonecouldnotpreventtheSovietizationofEurope' (Aron.For severalreasonsAron. the attackedstatesmanwould be forced.1976: 183). in theatomicera.in thiscase. and the preservation of a firstuse of nuclearweapons in case of a conventionalwar in Europe. He fearedthatgivingup thethreatwouldinnowayeliminate theriskofactualnuclearwar breakingout.has the advantageof preservinguncertainty side ('an elementof bluffseemsto be inevitablein diplomatic potentialaggressor's crises'[Aron. crediblenordesirable.he did not believe escalationto be fatal.

alwayson the lookoutforchancesforwisdom. Now thatillusionsaboutpeace throughlaw havealso been blownaway. (This is veryclose to withoutany actual threatof resorting Bundy'smore recentspeculationson the effectsof existentialdeterrence.a book was publishedunderhisname.and theevolutionof the politics.theunpredictability seriousmalaiseofWestGermany. aimed at disarmingtheenemy'can no longer'serveas an instrument ofpolicy'(Aron.orwhonow proclaimthatonlya changeofregime in Moscow could make coexistencepossiblein the long-term that 'to surviveis to win' (Aron.outofthealliance.1976: 183).147 on Tue. of (global) thermonuclear war'.itcan onlygiveFrance'a reprieve'in orderto adjustto Sovietization. This is preciselywhy Aron.now that the nuclearweapons of the neutralizeone anotherto some extent. Therefore.24 Relations The TheoryofInternational of the Frenchforcelies less in its 467).A fewmonthsafterhisdeath.the usefulness reinforcement it contribution to nationalindependencethan in the supplementary bringsto the 'efficiency of the Americanforceas a deterrent'(Aron.1976: 283). Accordingto manypeople on theotherside oftheargument.it is impossibleto enjoya 'farewellto repliedwiththreearguments arms'at all levels.)Finally. Aron was aware of theseobjections. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .thegradualsuicideofEurope. 1976: 179).thetransnational worldeconomicsystem.it is now possibleto committhe state'screditwithoutnecessarilyending in the 'cash payment'ofa majorwar. And thusRaymond Aron.'The This content downloaded from 195.in Aron'sopinion.108. asserted-againstthoseintheUnitedStateswhohad proposed. risk making war conceivableand 'banal' again and makinga resortto nuclearweapons more likely because it would appear less terrifying.lessserious ofthe United States. since'theprincipleofannihilation'no longerapplies'to armedforcesalone. relations. Moreover. 1962: 666).When thestakesare veryhigh.a 'Cato-like strategy'againsttheSovietUnion.the thantheinternaldisarrayoftheWest.and one shouldnow be able to substitutelimitedstakesfor stakesthat are too dangerousbecause theyare 'intangibleand unlimited'(Aron.towardtheend ofhislife.78.in thepast.flexibleresponseand thedevelopmentofmeansto wage limitedwars-even limitednuclearwars in the hope of avoiding escalation and the destructionof cities. V The problemsbesetting theinternational thelast systempreoccupiedAronthroughout yearsofhislife. 1983: 304) comingoutoflimitedwarsappearedto him. First.thereexistsa chanceformoderation. The FrenchforcehassomevalueonlyintheAtlanticAlliance.1962: 654) and thattheWestneedsto pursuea 'moderatestrategy'(Aron. 'moralsurvivalby safeguarding and peace 'throughthemutualacceptancebybothblocsoftheirrightto exist'(Aron. 1976: 182). theSovietregimefromthe 1962: 687).theworldbeingwhatit is.But he ofhisown.dependsabove all on domestic superpowers movementofideas and ideologies. and whosetitle.even absolutewar.The West'striplegoal oughtto be 'physicalsurvivalthroughthe avoidance liberalcivilization'.The bulkofthisbookis international It consistsofstudiesaboutpresent-day formedbyan essayon whichhe was stillworkingwhenhe died. This is also whythe veryreal riskof a 'suicidalexplosion'(Aron. the archtypicalvigilant anti-totalitarian liberal.and althoughhe reassertedthe systemwithinternationalsociety.thanksto the'paradox ofour ofunlimitedviolencewhichrestrainseffective violenceeven era: it is the possibility to it' (Aron.war. It shouldhave no illusionsabout transforming outside.nevertheless primaryimportanceof the interstate acknowledgedthat the futureof thatsystem.

Accordingto him. Finally.Whenhe died in October1983.where and pressuregroupsfightit out. withoutrejectingthemin toto.a second versionwas incomplete. believethatthestudyofworldordermust beginnot withthe relationsamongstates.Thisessayhad a doublepurpose.but withthe worldeconomicsystem.The ofthetwodrafts.from1983 to the year2000.The firstis the notionofAmericanimperialism. whichforma world Moreover. of statesentails. On all threepointsAronin this leaders. the conceptof the state as rationalactor does not ignore the complexityof decisionmakingprocesses.as Oswald Spenglerhad done beforeconcerningtheend of thelast century. thusneglectingtheworldeconomyand transnational phenomena(suchas the movementofideas) orsupranationalones.whetherthesenext yearswouldbe 'decisive'.As I indicatedabove.have rejectedthemodelofthestateofnaturealtogether.bureaucrats.impressedby the moderationwhich atomic weapons imposedon the as well as by the moderationwhich the economicinterdependence superpowers. ofa Marxistor para-Marxistorientation.withinthemultiplerelationships society. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .whichdetermines system. He deniesthat Americaexhibiteda This content downloaded from 195.i. But thiseclecticand synthetic workwas based on a rigorousconception.108. The otherpurposewas to thinkabout threatsand prospectsin thefuture. publishedtextis a kindofsynthesis Thus.themodelofthestateofnatureis stillrelevant.as well as theveryconceptionwhichAronhad used as theframework to evaluate thechangesthathad occurredin the worldsince 1961 (the date of the completionof Peace and War).The first onewas toprovidea newpresentation ofPeaceandWarin orderbothto replyto certaintheoreticalobjectionsmade against ofhisanalyses. Thosewhoare interested in thetheoryofworldorderwillfindin thesecondchapter oftheposthumous essaya new analysiswhichgoesbeyondPeaceandWar: theanalysis oftheworldeconomy.78.Arondiscussestwonotionswhichhe criticizesfortheirexcesses.e. In thelast 20 yearscriticisms had multipliedagainstthosepostulatesand choices.Aronhad lefttwoversionsof his essay. essaymaintainedhis originalstand.or rather. Some critics. the competitionofstates.Aronseemsto me to be essentially right.he assimilatedthestateto a singleactor makingdecisions.Finally.e.thecomplexity and the uncertainties ofcorrelations.and futurologists of international relations.he had onlystudiedinterstaterelationsin the diplomatico-strategic realm.Othersstill and incoherenceofdecisionmaking emphasizethecomplexity in modemstates.Aron had borrowedfromJean-Jacques Rousseau the idea of a radical difference betweenthe wellorderedconditionofcivilsocietyand thewarlikestateofnaturein which relatively statesfindthemselves.Also.STANLEY HOFFMANN 25 Last Years oftheCentury'('Les demie'resanneesdu siecle'). a firstdraftwas almostfinished. therelationsbetweenthe capitalistcenterand the exploitedperiphery.insofaras the contrastbetweencivilsocietyand thestateofwar appearsexaggerated.it is because. ofnationalmightand ofinternational systems.147 on Tue. thereis no 'causal predominance'ofth4worldeconomicsystem:it is the interstate i. the book addresses itselfto theorists.because ofitsmilitarypowerand becauseofthetransnational role of the dollar. Aron asked himself. the theorydevelopedin Peaceand War had not satisfiedloversof general laws and determinists of all sorts. was givento thewhole book.historians.eitherbecause of the of societyor because of the internaleffectsof the competitionwhich heterogeneity dominatesinterstate relations:theconflictbetweenthe United Statesand the Soviet Union.Aron had ofdiplomatico-strategic showntheindeterminacy obstinately behavior.Aron recognizes theuniquesituationoftheUnitedStates.in many countriescivil societyitselfis in trouble. today. the alternationofpeace and war.On thesethreepoints.Othercritics.

and he concludesthat Americaneconomicpolicyand diplomacyare neitherindependentof one anothernor inseparable.was nevermorethanan attemptat imposinga ceiling the militaryrequested.'one to whicheverything good and everything possiblegoes and one to which one sends what is indispensableor what is left'). on concreteissuesdo not concernthe forwardlook.26 The TheoryofInternational Relations willtoexploit('theEuropeansowetheirthirty systematic gloriousyearsofgrowth to the Americans').e. and the theoryofsome Reagan about theimpossibility forthe SovietUnion to sustainan acceleratedarms followers race. The analysisof currentissues providesthe substanceof chapters3 to 6. For Aron the Soviet Union remainstotalitarian:it still has a state ideology. wrotethattheAmericanstrategy whichwas dangerousforextendeddeterrence coveringEurope.and by the hope that an increasein Russian power will cause the disintegration of the adversary'scoalition.He givesitin thelasttwochaptersofthe This content downloaded from 195.108.the overestimated a limitednuclearwar.it was in 1974 strategicplans have alwaystargetedmilitaryobjectivesfirst. so far. Aron's These disagreements answerto thequestionconcerningthefuture.but also hisstrongstandin favorofthedeployment ofAmerican middle-rangemissileson West European soil.theriskof reality:theexistenceon bothsidesofmeansofdestroying escalation that existseven if the war begins only with attacks against military objectives.Buthe fearsthatstrategicparitywillmakethesituation ofWesternEurope moredangerous. probably. A longerchapterdevotedtotheSovietUnionrejectsvarioustheoriesorhypothesesthatofa possiblecollapseofthe regime.the outcomeof conflictsbetweenthe two rivalsin anypartoftheworld. it correspondsto a on the expenditures thewholeworld.thanby a will to aggression. action: theSovietUnion's conclusionsabouttheSovietUnion's diplomatico-strategic caused by militarymight. In reality. But he reachescomplex and thecivilsocietyand thestateare stillindistinguishable.accordingto whom thereis no such thingas a Sovieteconomy(Aroncomparesit witha war economyin whichtwosectorsexist.especiallyinEurope.78. a limitedcounter-force fromthedoctrinalviewpoint.Mutual assureddestruction.147 on Tue.He continuesto say thattheratioofnuclearstrategicforcesofWashington and Moscow has not determined..and theSovietmilitarybuildup successesare notprimarily can be explainedmoreby thewill to meetthechallengeofAmericanpower.American not cities. He examines in less detail thetheoryoftheexploitationoftheperiphery by therichcenter. that the Secretaryof Defense. nuclearoptions.proclaimeda doctrineof limited doctrine.His concernabout the 'coupling'betweenWest European and Americansecurityexplainsnot only his oppositionto any American renunciationof the threatof a firstuse of nuclear weapons in case of a Soviet conventionalattack.almostall ofAron'sanalysesareextraordinarily subtleand showhisdesire to be fair. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The fragility of the relationsamong statesand ofthesituationwithinstatesin theMiddle East worrieshimevenmore.whichhe deemsnot proven.he possibility ofcontrolling ofthe1970swas thatofmutualassureddestruction. Aron concludesthatthemainchangesthathave occurredin thelast 20 yearsconcernthe relationof forcesbetweenthe superpowersand the evolutionof minds in West Germany.i.James Schlesinger.on the otherhand.I thinkthat he theprogression oftheSovietmilitarymachineand also.In manyplaces.based on force. As always.the theoryof Castoriadabout theruleofthe militaryin Moscow.thatofAlain Besan?on.This does not mean that one mustagree on all points.He mentionsthecontradiction betweenthe Zionistdream and the realityofthestateof Israel.

ARON.147 on Tue.statesmen'could not imagine whatwar would cost thewinnersand the vanquishedalike'.New YorkReview HOFFMANN. R. an attemptat makingintelligible the historythat we are in the middle of living. Aronis pessimistic states. (1976) Penser Paris. (1963) Le granddebat.thedangerofan apocalyptic in is small. Union.In any has developedthroughout case. G.New York.and an insularAmerica. (1983) The MilitaryRole ofNuclearWeapons. ofInternational WALTZ.and also that it has remained and thefutureremainsundetermined.Let us also hope thattherace to new complicity weapons (and new domainsforweapons) as well as the importanceof manystakes neitherto thinkagain thattheycouldwage warwhileavoidingthe willlead statesmen worstnorto calculatethata defeatmightbe worsethana war thatcould perhapsbe controlled.16 June.has taughtus thefutility determined ofgraspingthewholeofreality.France: Calmann-Levy. Affairs McNAMARA.France: Gallimard. 2. (1983) The CosmicBluff. Paris.STANLEY HOFFMANN 27 war is unlikely.New YorkReview ofBooks.It is thesame as in 1947: peace is impossible. no demon-likeor obtusestatesmanwill come and put an end to the mix of inevitablehostilityand whichhas preservedpeace untilnow. in 1939 war had been hisdemon'. BALL.France: Gallimard.Paris. ARON. K.For one is neverfinished. ARON.NY: Praeger.once again.AccordingtoArontheAtlanticAlliancewilllast. (1972).whichcounts on a favorableevolutionin variouspartsof theworld.duringthe yearsto come.He saysthathe is not among 'thosewho believein a majorwar. instability confrontation CentralAmericashouldnotlead to a worldwar. (1983) Memoires. 62(1): 59-80. M.ever since his Introduction ofprophecy.Paris.France: Calmann-Levy.Let us hopethatin therelationsofthe wantedby'a manwhowas following superpowers.BetweentheSoviet essay. whichis certainlyneithersaturatednorsatisfiedbut cautious.MA: Addison-Wesley. (1965) TheStateofWar. (1962) Paix etguerre.' In 1914. R. of historywhich to the philosophy Aron himself.Foreign Politics. Paris. incomplete.May the impossibility ofthisglanceat thefutureturnoutto be asjustifiedas theconceptionsthathe serenity hislifeabout thesocietyand theworldof his time. Paris.78.France: Gallimard. ARON. The mostdangerouspartoftheworld aboutthefutureoftheregimesin theGulf is thePersianGulfarea.21 July.R. Clausewitz. R. R.France: Gallimard. (1979) Theory This content downloaded from 195.Julliard.the only statescapable of waging a general war. References del'histoire. (1951) Lesguerres Paris.and whichhas no 'motivefor urgentand dangerousaction'. (1948) Le grande enchaine. politiques. (1938) Introduction schisme. ARON.theroleofeventsand accidents. ARON. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . (1983) The CatholicBishopsand theBomb. ofBooks. R.France: Gallimard. Paris. a la philosophie ARON. BUNDY.108. waged with nuclearweapons. la guerre.Reading.S.the hisconceptionand hismethod. R. R. ARON. Etudes Vol.itis symbolicthatthislastessayis. R. L'ageplanetaire.

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