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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147 on Tue.I will therefore leave aside books.In all hisbooksand articleshe neverceased withHans Morgenthau. However.78. and economics.Many unpublishedworkswill probablybe releasedin the near future.i.forinstancethe major parts of The whichbelongsin the Imperial Republic. 1965). 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Untiltheearly originality. nor repeatwhat I wrote20 yearsago in my detailed accountofPeaceandWar.The laws and formsof this behavior were already being studied during those same years by important colleaguesofAronin theUnitedStates. But even if one compares Kissinger. who. consistedin a coherentand rigoroussystemofquestionsaimed at makingintelligiblethe constant rulesand thechangingforms ofa specificand originaltypeofsocialaction:thebehavior on theworldscene of the agentsof the unitsin contest. 1950s foreignpolicy and the relationsamong states had been the bailiwick of oflawyersand to a lesserextentofeconomists. societiesand a philosopherof historywho was also a sociologistof contemporary criticofthesocial and thepoliticalthoughtofmostgreatwritersin history.00 (? 1985 International Studies Association This content downloaded from 195. 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.RaymondAronis the man historians. tionin whichhe re-examines NobodywhoreadsagainRaymondAron'senormousworkcan failto be struckbyits He was originalbycomparisonwithearlierFrenchwriters.This discipline.Aron'sdeathmakesitpossibletostudyin depth. This is what he called diplomatico-strategic behavior.as he conceivedit.at theend ofthisessay. in France. He also exchangedideas with Henry who was both an academic and a practitioner.law. The onlypurposeofthisessayis to sum up RaymondAron'sscientific contribution to thetheoryofInternationalRelations. realmofthecriticismofideas. books. and particularly dialoguingwithhisAmericancounterparts. relations. theGerman emigrethinkerwhoseinfluenceboth on academicsand on practitioners has been so enormousin the United States.hisscientific and to separatethe two activitieswhich he led jointlyand neverfully contribution of currenteventswhich he thoughthe distinguished: journalism. Aronseemsstrikingly ofintemational himwithAmericanspecialists original.at last.(1985)29.or commentaries and theoreticalwritings.108. 0020-8833/85/01 0013-15 $03.thatdeal primarily which takes the formof historicalnarrative. almost single-handedlycreated an autonomous discipline of internationalrelationsat the crossroadsof history.I discussa posthumouspublicahisown mainconceptsand contributions.but also of politicalscience and sociology.or partsof norwillI examinethatpartofhiswork withcurrentaffairs. diplomatsand soldiers.shortlyafterthe publicationofthismasterworkin France (Hoffmann.the worksof a had the duty to clarifyand to interpret.However. Nor will I discussthefirstvolumeofClausewitz.e.

78. Third. no or few common values) and the ideal type ofdomestic or. or 'ideologico-political' questions: mutual recognition or nonrecognitionamong the actors. he formulated his substantive answers to thesequestions throughthe studyof internationalsystemsand the typologyof these systems. First. 1972: 358). He defined systemsas milieus organized for and through the competition among the units.14 Relations The Theory ofInternational As we shall see. Raymond Aron always carefullyindicates the differencebetween 'power politics' as it unfoldsin a milieu which is dominated by the riskof forceamong competing units. and the techniques and technology of war. his constructionswere much more flexible (hence many criticismsby American authors in desperate need of certainty). the constellation of power relations in this field. 1962: 28) or. such as power and conflict. But Raymond Aron's approach was original in two ways. and his key distinctionis between multipolar and bipolar systems. he derived from his startingpoint six fundamentalquestions forthe study of diplomatic constellations. so to speak. the relationsbetween domestic and foreignpolicy. and his analyses sometimespreceded thosewhich appeared on thisside of the Atlantic. civic behavior. A number ofimportantfeaturesfollowfromthis. On the one hand since he startsfromthe distinctiveness of international relations.all actors must observe an imperative rule of behavior: 'the need to calculate means' (Aron. theory cannot go much This content downloaded from 195. 1962: 28) comparable to the goal ofthe footballplayer (winning) or to the ends ofeconomic actors (maximization of satisfactions).startingfromthe specific featuresof international relations: the 'multiplicity of autonomous centers of decision and thereforethe risk of war' (Aron. This is the other. the meaning and goals of foreignpolicy. First. from the fundamentaldifferencebetween foreignpolicy and domestic polities. 1972: 363). and perhaps most interestingside of his theoretical undertaking. the behavior of the diplomat and ofthesoldier has no 'rational end' (Aron. the conception of systemsthat Raymond Aron developed. What could have been more bold than his determinationto offera general theory. Second. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and his opinion about theirconstrainingor determiningpower over the units which are the system's constitutive elements. On the other hand. 'the legitimacy and legality of the actors' resortto armed force' (Aron. to succeed in establishing a 'hypothetico-deductivesystem in which the relations among the terms or variables would take a mathematical form' (Aron. 1962: 28). than the claims of Morton Kaplan forsystemdominance. 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. In contrast. II Raymond Aron's ambition was doubly paradoxical but he was a master at paradoxes his thoughtwas both bold and modest.his American colleagues oftenresortedto 'concepts which also can be used in realms other than international affairs' (Aron. between the ideal type of strategic-diplomaticbehavior (no power above the units. Systemsanalysis had become quite fashionable and developed in the United States towardsthe end of the 1950s.147 on Tue. Several conclusions follow from this. 1972: 362). This is so because unlike other kinds of social actions. Nobody has shown more convincinglyhow impossible it is. which are violent conflicts among political units. Three of these were objective questions: the scope of the field. he takes great care to use only concepts characteristicofinternationalrelations. There were also three subjective.108. are much more modest for instance. another way of putting it. in the field of international relations. He also distinguishestensions and conflicts-the raw material of any society from wars. his mind had a broader scope.

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

who can be identified ofa as possiblethefoundations therealistschoolandwhohastriedtobuildas rigorously relations(Waltz.He linksup withThucydides. to predictevents. on the contrary. ofall thetransformations. 1979). even in the abstract.Many yearslater.plungestheoryintohistory beyondtheteachingsofhistoryand frombecomingmorerigidand moreprescriptive allows.1962: 108).1972: 379-380). bysocialrelationsand byideologieswithinsocieties.he assertedthat'the theoryofinternational determinants does not entail. objectivesareat leastpartlysetbythenatureoftheregimeandbyits ofthenuclearera is no longerdictated ideology.For Aron.The outcomeofthelimitedconflicts ofthewarinVietnam. 1948) Aron has carefully This content downloaded from 195.108.1972: 371).'The courseof and toshowhow theconjunctionofdifferent relationsremainssupremelyhistoricalin all the meaningsof thisterm: international which are multipleand fragile.Even if.a 'hyperbolicwar' nobodyhad foreseen. Aron. A thirdimportantdifference concernsthe idea of the primacyof foreignpolicy with whichone findsamongso many'realists'.One is the importanceof the natureof the have said.He also wants to submitgeneralconceptsto the touchstoneand ofhistory. Papaligouras. decisionstakenby one man or a fewsetintomotion effects mutations'(Aron. differsprofoundlyfromthat of Czarist Russia (Aron.sufferthe thereare unceasingchanges.Foritis history sociology'ofinternational into.whichled to themilitarydefeatofthestronger power(Aron.in his book on Americandiplomacy. accordingto Aron.the'historical and monistic Aronhas alwaysrejecteddeterminism natureofsystems.as in TheImperial Republic.147 on Tue.Contraryto what some pseudo-realists Soviet Union. indeterminate theseswhichtryto explaincomplexphenomenathrougha singlefactor(Aron.16 Relations The TheoryofInternational Second.78. Ever since Le grandschisme(Aron.thathe has mostincisively failure'and a 'technicalsurprise'convergedin producinga catastrophenobodyhad wanted. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .1951).theory'smissionis bothto complete.Aron sometimesdealt too brieflyor superficiallywith the domestic relations offoreignpolicy.a discriminationbetween endogenousand or. thebookin whichhe analyzesthe originsand shownhow a 'diplomatic dynamicsoftheFirstWorldWar.This approachexcludes takinginto account all of the subsystemsconstitutedby political and economic regimes. 1983: 293).itwas bytheratioofforcesalone.mainlyunderlinestwo points. 1972: 548).KennethWaltz. historicalseriesproceeds.the exogenousvariables'(Aron.inVietnam. It is 'the similarity ofthe regimesthatexistwithinstates'(Aron.thesystems. crucialfeatureofhisunique understanding in orderto preventtheoryfromevergoing and so tospeak. has attemptedto reducetheoryto the theoryofinternational of studyof the relationsbetweena system's'structure'(definedas the distribution poweramongtheunits)and therelationsamongtheseunits.whenhe analyzestheweightofdomesticconditionsin international relations. 1972: 433).he showedonce again both the inevitablenatureof the Cold War and themuchmoreaccidentalcharacterofmanyofitsdevelopments.a SouthVietnamesegovernment theimpossibility capable ofdefending itselfalone. It is in millionsofpeople and provokeirreversible TheCentury of TotalWar(Aron.Witnesstheresults ofreachingthepoliticalaim.thecontrastbetweenAronand Americantheorists thanhistory He sharesneithertheirnormativeambitionsnortheirfaithin thepossibility isstriking.1983: 452) whichdictatesthe hostility whichAronhad betweenhomogeneousand heterogeneous crucialdistinction systems borrowedfromthe GreekauthorP.In thisrespect.This distinctionfollowsfromthe by theratioofforcesalone' idea that'theexternalbehaviorofstatesis notdetermined (Aron. Aron'scritiqueof excessivelyabstractor simplisticconceptsis tied to a ofrealism. the foreignpolicy of the regime.and to be inserted criticism whichshowsthe relations. He has alwayssoughttodistinguishthedeepercauses ofeventsfromaccidents.

1962: 717).and it is always the interstate which dominatesinternationalsociety.and conflictforresourcesratherthan cooperationand trade. in daily affairs. Middle 'realists'is about therelations betweenAronand contemporary The lastdifference systemand theworldeconomicsystem.Insofaras theworldeconomy.as in the 19thcentury.AccordingtoAron.e.the system ofthegold exchangestandardand latertheBrettonWoods systemhave allowed the rivals..78.seemed international to belongprimarilyin therealmof transnationalsociety. The difference theoryand Aronoweslessto a disagreement betweenthepioneersofinterdependence over that theorythan to Aron's skepticismconcerningwhat mightbe called the theideologyofa 'fadingaway ofsovereignties' ideologybehindthetheory.insofaras relationsamongstatesformedthe systemto diplomatico-strategic main part of this system. betweentheinterstate realistshave. statein its own What matteredweretherulesof thegame imposedby themightiest interPet studyoftheworldeconomicordercomparable Aronhasneverwrittena systematic to Peaceand War.and reachedmuch more subtleconclusionsthan the realists.STANLEY HOFFMANN 17 which interpretations policyand thedifferent ofSovietforeign studiedthepeculiarities civil aboutit.even if.and ofa growingregulationofworld importanceofthediplomatico-strategic whichlimit regimes'.realistshave ignoredit. notirreversibly) thesovereignty thesestates(forinstancetheopenworldmarket)or else theyare imposedby themore systembased on calculationsof force mightystates.147 on Tue.as during the mercantilistera: their analysis of the worldeconomythusproceededin termsofpowerratherthanwealth.a major war has This content downloaded from 195.Rules oftheworld economycannotbe reducedto the quasi-warlikerulesof mercantilism.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.the United States since1945 is nota simpleextensionofthelogicofmilitarypower. ofa sortofgradualpacificationofinternational the extensionto the realm of 'complex interdependence'.of a gradual loss of system.tendedeitherto neglectitorto denyititsautonomywithin relations. he recognizedthat insofaras the world economyis part of interstaterelationsit is system.1976: 284).zero-sumgains ratherthan growth.e. Nor do theseremarksof Aron coincidewiththe theoriesof the 'interdependence betweenstrategic school'. ratherthan in the realm of interstate relations. he too understoodthat even duringthe liberalera it was the dominanteconomicpower.i.On the one hand.108. And realistshave assimilatedthe worldeconomic conduct.firstofEnglandand thenoftheUnitedStates.i. of exchangerelations between private individualsand groups. 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.on thewhole. but. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This is whyhe hasshownso muchinterest intrastate in the chapterson Lenin and wars (particularly theoryand practiceofrevolutionary and in thefactorsofdomesticconflictin the Mao in thesecondvolumeofClausewitz) troubles.Great Britain. on the other hand.Concerningthelatter.e.The logic of partlyindependentfromthe diplomatico-strategic nevertheless behaviorof the dominantpower-England in the 19thcentury.But he has dealt withit here and there.which set the rulesof the monetaryand commercialgame. of zone dangerous the most East.theconstraints orderthanksto 'international acceptedby ofsomeactorsare eithervoluntarily(i.to prosperand to grow. underlying relationsthrough (Aron.

Nevertheless. 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. 1983).108. in the first place. 1972: 499). the necessity and originalityof the Cold War. 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. 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.147 on Tue. 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. 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. by contrast with the of deterrence.one of the effectsof what McGeorge Bundy has recently called 'existential deterrence' (Bundy. but his opposition to the Marxist-Leninist conception and to the kind of diluted Marxism representedby the 'dependencia school' is sharply marked. of war and of the need for strategic calculations).even ifone has to resistthe temptationof trying to grasp and account forwholes. instead of having firstto defeatits enemy's armed forces. the capacity to survivean enemyfirststrikeand to This content downloaded from 195.as in the past. The theory seems to him doubly debatable. 1938): historycannot be grasped in its totality.78. thatthenature oftheweapons. 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. III Nobody has more persistentlytried to understand the nuclear era of international relations. or conclusions that seem like forestsof question marks. 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). Just as he criticized the concept of the national interest. such as the strategic-diplomatic contest.18 The TheoryofInternational Relations become less likelyand the restraintsimposed by economic interdependence are more visible. The main contribution of Raymond Aron to our understanding of the new era consists of three series of analyses: the ambiguities of deterrence.he many times dismantled the Leninist theory of imperialism. the persistence of Clausewitz (i. to measure the extent to which the invention of weapons of total destruction revolutionized world politics.and tryto understand the relations among those fragments. He always knew that one of the consequences of the appearance of weapons of mutual assured destruction. '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 can only study fragmentsof reality. Aron ceaselessly commented on and criticized American authors and actors who were trying to formulate and to apply the strategy of deterrence. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . than Raymond Aron. Thus Aron's relation to the pure realists and to the neorealists is complex.' This means. thenotionofbalanced forcescannot be reduced to a simple calculation of the number of warheads or missiles at the disposal of the rival states.e. 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.

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

This fragmentation ofinterstate rules.But. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . is notdeterminedby theratioofthermonuclear theoutcomeofarmedconflicts himselffromAmericanwriterssuch as On this point Aron sharplydistinguishes the outcomeofregional Paul Nitzewho appear to believethatthatratiodetermines Aron'sclear analysisofthe Korean War. the notionof a global balance of forcesstill matters. the 'total diplomacy'characteristic else.thattheCold War is nota war in Clausewitz'ssense'. pieces which are.One conclusionthusbecomesunavoidable:thenecessity 'peace is War or. whichprevails.the lessit guaranteesstabilityat thoselowerlevels. to a certainlimitationof stakes and means.againstthedominant fromwar: 'I am trying different analyzedas profoundly opinion.thatofa regionalbalance mattersevenmore.1976: 144-151) revealhisdoubtson thispoint. they fragmentthe global systeminto subsystemseach one with its own is made even violence. will There is impossible.At the same time violenceis so-to-speaksafeguardedand even multipliedat lowerlevelsand in other oftheCold partsoftheworld.In the crisisone finds'the casuistryof it is the cooperation'and the'casuistryofdeterrence'(Aron.1983: 302-303).as Clausewitzhad well understood(Aron. where the riskof escalationin the eventof a conventionalwar remainsenormous. a becomespossibleagain. systemis dividedup into thissingleinternational because of thenuclearrevolution.and factors configuration.despiteeverything ofcounterforce whichtendsto weakenor to minimizeit (such as thenew possibility that tendsto underminethe stabilityof global strategies).and despiteeverything deterrence(such as the new vulnerabilityof several componentsof the strategic forces).the calculationofforcesmustincludemanyfactorsotherthan thepurelymilitaryones.1976: 164) intertwined.First of all.thisdecentralization which the superpowers'competitionsometimescreatesand oftenexploits.78.108. Vietnam those of be wars like still Korea.1976: 245).In this complexworldwhere. an inevitableconsequenceof heterogeneity to assert.But one mustunderstandthat forces. Second.despiteeverything ofarmedviolencetakestheformofintrastateviolence.one has had to save war (or ratherwars: limited warsamongstatesand oftenunlimitedcivilwars) in orderto save mankind(froma nuclearwar thatmightbecome total).or betweena superpowerand confrontations an ally or clientof the othersuperpower.mustbe the Cold War.less dangerousforthe whole but also more warlike world systemthus of a heterogeneous than it.The nuclear revolutionalso preservespeace in Europe. All the armed level.as Aronputit. lends itself. revolutionwhich moreremarkableby the factthat the othergreat contemporary Aron stressedso oftenis the extensionof the diplomaticfieldto the whole world. which'was not influenced confrontations.Moreover.crisesamong the superpowersbecome the substitutes have takenplace betweenthirdparties.20 Relations The TheoryofInternational insofaras thethreatofescalationbecomeslesscredibleand seemsmorelikea bluff.sincethecharacteristic This content downloaded from 195.Aron always assertedthat nuclearweaponsdid notabolishbut merelydecentralizedviolencein twoways. at the global negotiatedpeace therefore forwar.on onehand.'forthe firsttimein its historytheUnitedStatesgave up theidea oftotalvictory'(Aron. and his verysubtle analysisoftheCuban missilecrisisof1962 (Aron. by thenuclearweaponsofthe United States' (Aron. and theMiddleEast.147 on Tue. On the otherhand. This connectionbetweenglobal stabilityand local turbulenceexplainsprecisely why one can writeabout the persistenceof Clausewitz.This is why idea ofthecommoninterestto avoid mutualdestruction and bipolarity.1976: 235).war unlikely'.togo back to theformulaAronhad usedas earlyas in Le grandschisme. The nuclearrevolutionstillpreservespeace at theglobal level.theyremainlimited:theKoreanWar appeared like 'a turningpoint'because it did not becomehyperbolic. so-to-speak.

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

147 on Tue. aboutthepossibility ofa moralpoliticsfollowing skepticism Kantianprescriptions.wronglyin my opinion.what makes reasonablebehavioreven more desirableis thefactthatthestakesare nothinglessthanmankind'ssurvival. 1962: 763). 1976: 181). he neverwentall theway. (Aron.he demandedthatsuch a goal be ruledout even in the case of a This content downloaded from 195.78.or racial hostilities displace 'the intelligenceof the personified state' thatchancesformoderationdisappear: 'nothingguaranteesthemoderationofstates.The game is 'essentially historicaland psychological'and therefore does not 'rule out reasonablebehavior' (Aron.as in the other.deemed Thucydidesamoral. He criticizedWeber'sown tragicrealismbecauseWeber believed thatinternationalrelationswere the closed arena of inexpiableconflictsof values. and why he criticizedthe allied objectiveof unconditionalsurrender(Aron. But ofimmorality.) Aron showedClausewitzto be boththetheorist ofhyperbolicwar. thisis evenmoretruein theatomicera.to theendorsement nor did he ever accept what he called the ethicsof struggle. duringthe Second World War.But he was always much more reluctantto judge the foreign behaviorofstates.'which ordersindividualsto be brave and to keep their disciplinedand to sacrificethemselvesand whichorderscollectivities and to care fortheirhonor'. and forinstancetocondemnAmericanbehaviorin Vietnamoreven someepisodesofAmericanconductthere.and what makesreasonablebehaviorevenmorepossibleis thefactthat'strategy in thethermonuclear age is more distantfromthe model of rationalstrategythan the strategy followedthroughthe thousandsof yearsof pre-nucleararmaments'(Aron. and thatthestatesman'sdutywas therefore onlyto promotenationalvaluesbylooking afterthenation'smight. ideologuesat theserviceoftheprince.e. but the politicsofa personified ideologyor of a messianicclass excludesmoderation and entailsa struggleto thedeath' (Aron. of politicalobjectivesto militaryconsiderations. This is whyAron retrospectively condemnedAmerica'ssubordination.and thatit is whencollectivepassions.forthefuture.throughthe speechesof his characters. 1962: 763. as an ideal typeand as one of history's realities.and partlyfromhis calledpoliticalmoralists.what makesit possiblenot to findin the ethicsof strugglethe only possibleone.1962: 596). the duty of selfishness which states must obey. The ethicsof wisdomis that of moderation. and the aspirationto i.but 'easily debases itselfinto becoming commitments the ethicsof criminals'and 'will neverprovideany perspectiveof lastingpeace or universality' (Aron.e. moredesirable.1962: 756).1976: 263).22 The TheoryofInternational Relations 'totalitarian'regimes. On the contrary. to a victoryofthatpartofhumannaturewhichis not'a beastofprey' universality.1962: 595). Aronhad an ethicstopropose.and by Clausewitz as Aron analyzes him. (Aron. rationalbehavior'(Aron.Like Thucydides.i.sincefor all players'thermonuclear war means an infiniteloss' and one cannot 'calculate the rationaldecisionwhen the loss risksbeing infinite'. This rejectionofmoralismresultedpartlyfromhiscontemptforthosewhomKant i. This is why. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Aronknewthatit is duringcivilwars thatmoderationis mostimpossibleto preserve. What givesa chance to such an ethics. 1972: 452).e.andthephilosopherwho wantedto subordinateviolenceto politicalcalculationsand recommendeda limitationof objectives.kindofwars. class ideologies.108. is Aron's familiardistinctionbetweenthe rationaland the reasonable.It had already been advocated by Thucydides.Diplomatico-strategic conductdoes not lend itselfto thereare no gameswith'a mathematicalsolutiondefining mathematicaltreatment.This discipleofWeber believedinan 'ethicsofwisdom'whichtakesintoaccountboththenecessity to calculate forces.

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

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

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

wrotethattheAmericanstrategy whichwas dangerousforextendeddeterrence coveringEurope.American not cities.the theoryof Castoriadabout theruleofthe militaryin Moscow.was nevermorethanan attemptat imposinga ceiling the militaryrequested. action: theSovietUnion's conclusionsabouttheSovietUnion's diplomatico-strategic caused by militarymight.108. so far.'one to whicheverything good and everything possiblegoes and one to which one sends what is indispensableor what is left').whichhe deemsnot proven. probably.147 on Tue..he possibility ofcontrolling ofthe1970swas thatofmutualassureddestruction.e.thatofAlain Besan?on.I thinkthat he theprogression oftheSovietmilitarymachineand also.proclaimeda doctrineof limited doctrine.In manyplaces.the overestimated a limitednuclearwar. on concreteissuesdo not concernthe forwardlook. it correspondsto a on the expenditures thewholeworld.accordingto whom thereis no such thingas a Sovieteconomy(Aroncomparesit witha war economyin whichtwosectorsexist.and theSovietmilitarybuildup successesare notprimarily can be explainedmoreby thewill to meetthechallengeofAmericanpower.the outcomeof conflictsbetweenthe two rivalsin anypartoftheworld.i.Buthe fearsthatstrategicparitywillmakethesituation ofWesternEurope moredangerous.26 The TheoryofInternational Relations willtoexploit('theEuropeansowetheirthirty systematic gloriousyearsofgrowth to the Americans'). For Aron the Soviet Union remainstotalitarian:it still has a state ideology.He continuesto say thattheratioofnuclearstrategicforcesofWashington and Moscow has not determined.James Schlesinger.and by the hope that an increasein Russian power will cause the disintegration of the adversary'scoalition.and he concludesthat Americaneconomicpolicyand diplomacyare neitherindependentof one anothernor inseparable.He givesitin thelasttwochaptersofthe This content downloaded from 195.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. nuclearoptions. In reality.He mentionsthecontradiction betweenthe Zionistdream and the realityofthestateof Israel.78. that the Secretaryof Defense. But he reachescomplex and thecivilsocietyand thestateare stillindistinguishable.it was in 1974 strategicplans have alwaystargetedmilitaryobjectivesfirst. He examines in less detail thetheoryoftheexploitationoftheperiphery by therichcenter.Mutual assureddestruction.on the otherhand. Aron's These disagreements answerto thequestionconcerningthefuture.This does not mean that one mustagree on all points.almostall ofAron'sanalysesareextraordinarily subtleand showhisdesire to be fair. The fragility of the relationsamong statesand ofthesituationwithinstatesin theMiddle East worrieshimevenmore.especiallyinEurope. Aron concludesthatthemainchangesthathave occurredin thelast 20 yearsconcernthe relationof forcesbetweenthe superpowersand the evolutionof minds in West Germany. The analysisof currentissues providesthe substanceof chapters3 to 6. a limitedcounter-force fromthedoctrinalviewpoint. As always.but also hisstrongstandin favorofthedeployment ofAmerican middle-rangemissileson West European soil.thanby a will to aggression. and the theoryofsome Reagan about theimpossibility forthe SovietUnion to sustainan acceleratedarms followers race. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .based on force. A longerchapterdevotedtotheSovietUnionrejectsvarioustheoriesorhypothesesthatofa possiblecollapseofthe regime.theriskof reality:theexistenceon bothsidesofmeansofdestroying escalation that existseven if the war begins only with attacks against military objectives.

Let us hopethatin therelationsofthe wantedby'a manwhowas following superpowers.MA: Addison-Wesley. (1972).once again. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . K. Paris.Foreign Politics.France: Gallimard. R. The mostdangerouspartoftheworld aboutthefutureoftheregimesin theGulf is thePersianGulfarea. (1983) Memoires. Etudes Vol. an attemptat makingintelligible the historythat we are in the middle of living.In any has developedthroughout case.and whichhas no 'motivefor urgentand dangerousaction'.France: Gallimard.and also that it has remained and thefutureremainsundetermined. ARON.16 June. Union. ARON. R.ever since his Introduction ofprophecy.For one is neverfinished. (1948) Le grande enchaine. G. (1965) TheStateofWar.the hisconceptionand hismethod. whichis certainlyneithersaturatednorsatisfiedbut cautious. Affairs McNAMARA.AccordingtoArontheAtlanticAlliancewilllast. a la philosophie ARON.France: Gallimard. ARON. Aronis pessimistic states. (1963) Le granddebat. waged with nuclearweapons. References del'histoire. R.108. (1983) The CosmicBluff.New York. la guerre. ARON.and an insularAmerica. R. L'ageplanetaire. 2.BetweentheSoviet essay.theroleofeventsand accidents. (1951) Lesguerres Paris.France: Calmann-Levy.It is thesame as in 1947: peace is impossible.Paris. (1983) The CatholicBishopsand theBomb. (1976) Penser Paris. BALL. of historywhich to the philosophy Aron himself.Julliard.whichcounts on a favorableevolutionin variouspartsof theworld. BUNDY.France: Gallimard.thedangerofan apocalyptic in is small.has taughtus thefutility determined ofgraspingthewholeofreality. (1938) Introduction schisme. ofBooks. M.S. in 1939 war had been hisdemon'. R.May the impossibility ofthisglanceat thefutureturnoutto be asjustifiedas theconceptionsthathe serenity hislifeabout thesocietyand theworldof his time.' In 1914.147 on Tue.78. (1979) Theory This content downloaded from 195. Clausewitz.21 July.R.New YorkReview HOFFMANN.He saysthathe is not among 'thosewho believein a majorwar. ARON. Paris. R. ARON. ARON.NY: Praeger.Reading. R. (1983) The MilitaryRole ofNuclearWeapons. politiques. R. no demon-likeor obtusestatesmanwill come and put an end to the mix of inevitablehostilityand whichhas preservedpeace untilnow.duringthe yearsto come.the only statescapable of waging a general war. ofInternational WALTZ.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. instability confrontation CentralAmericashouldnotlead to a worldwar.France: Calmann-Levy.France: Gallimard.itis symbolicthatthislastessayis. (1962) Paix etguerre. Paris. Paris.Paris. incomplete.statesmen'could not imagine whatwar would cost thewinnersand the vanquishedalike'. 62(1): 59-80.STANLEY HOFFMANN 27 war is unlikely.New YorkReview ofBooks.

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