Thursday, July 31, 2014

David M. Edelstein's "Occupational Hazards"

David Edelstein is Associate Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Department of Government at Georgetown University.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his first book, Occupational Hazards: Success and Failure in Military Occupation, and reported the following:
Occupational Hazards examines the question of why some military occupations succeed while other fail. For example, why did the post-World War II occupations of Japan and West Germany succeed while the U.S. and its allies encountered more difficulty in the recent occupation of Iraq after the 2003 invasion? The historical record suggests that occupations fail far more often than they succeed, and those that have succeeded usually have featured some third-party external threat from which the occupying power can protect the occupied population. In the case of Japan and West Germany, the threat was Soviet-inspired communism or the Soviet Union itself.

On page 99, we find ourselves in the chapter of the book that addresses the question of when and how struggling occupying powers should abandon the occupation that they have undertaken. More specifically, this page is in the midst of a discussion of the U.S. occupation of Cuba at the turn of the twentieth century. Following the Spanish-American War in 1898, the United States occupied Cuba. Shortly after it began, the occupation encountered resistance from Cubans who had hoped that the American victory over Spain would grant them independence rather than further occupation by another power.

Within a few years of the occupation beginning, the United States was seeking an exit from Cuba, but an exit that would ensure that the interests it maintained in Cuba would be protected. The solution, which I discuss on page 99, was the Platt Amendment, which granted the United States a broad right to intervene again in Cuba if its interests were threatened. As I write, “For Washington, the Platt Amendment represented a way out. That is, the United States needed to protect its interests, most importantly from the prospect of European interference, but it had little interest in a permanent occupation of the island.” For Cubans, however, the Platt Amendment represented an affront. As I quote Salvador Cisneros Betancourt, the former provisional president of Cuba, “If carried out, [the Platt Amendment] would inflict a grievous wrong on the people of Cuba, would rob them of their independence for which they had sacrificed so much blood and treasure, and would be in direct violation of the pledge of the people of the United States.”

This discussion on page 99 captures the logic of the occupation dilemma that has confronted so many occupying powers in history. On the one hand, both occupying powers and the occupied population would like to see the occupation end. On the other hand, the occupying power is reluctant to do so without certain guarantees after it withdraws. At some point, the occupying power must consider prolonging a struggling intervention or withdrawing with the prospect of potentially having to reintervene again in the future.

These are debates and dilemmas that not only reverberate throughout history, but also in the important contemporary cases of Iraq and Afghanistan. Occupational Hazards seeks to explain why success in military occupation is so difficult to achieve, suggesting sobering lessons about the possibilities and limits on the use of military force.
Learn more about Occupational Hazards at the Cornell University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Matthew D. Tribbe's "No Requiem for the Space Age"

Matthew D. Tribbe is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at the University of Connecticut.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, No Requiem for the Space Age: The Apollo Moon Landings and American Culture, and reported the following:
Damn you, Ford Madox Ford! You couldn’t have picked page 90 for your experiment so I could have discussed Erich Fromm’s thoughts on the necrophilic impulses of technological enthusiasts? Or anticipated McLuhan’s page 69, where anthropologist Loren Eiseley compares humans to slime molds? Surely such lurid topics are more Internet appropriate than revisiting one of the most problematic passages in No Requiem for the Space Age.

Page 99 is the end of the introduction to Chapter 4, which sums up the chapter’s major themes:
“We came in peace for all mankind,” asserted a plaque left on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts. “Here men first set foot outside the earth on their way to the far stars,” left-wing journalist I. F. Stone suggested a more honest memorial would read. “They speak of peace but wherever they go they bring war. The rockets on which they arrived were developed to carry instant death and can within a few minutes turn their green planet into another lifeless moon. . . . Let the rest of the universe beware.”

What values would humanity take with it into space, and more important, what were the potential consequences for Earth of the mounting technological power the endeavor displayed? Did Apollo offer salvation from the troubled past, a fresh start around which humanity could unite and move forward into a more peaceful and promising future? Or was there, in fact, great danger in leaping headlong into space with the expectation that it would offer an escape from familiar human predicaments, given its roots in wartime technologies and mindsets and the dangers inherent in trying to master the universe via earth-shaking rockets and complex space capsules that seemed far more advanced than the morality and maturity of their passengers?

Like everyone else who witnessed the Apollo 11 liftoff, Newsweek General Editor Joseph Morgenstern was stunned by its raw power, and he struggled to wrap his mind around just such questions. He found himself both weeping and marveling at the thought that high technology of the type showcased by Apollo, like the rocket itself as it was propelled upward by its flame, was unstoppable. “What are we to make of power that can do such things to people?” he wondered. “What will we make of it?” This chapter examines how some of America’s sharpest minds confronted tangible, rather than philosophical, concerns over what the space program meant for the United States and the world—fears based not on speculation over a potential machine-dominated future, but on a very real, very disturbing recent past infused with memories of butchery and mass murder via techniques, technologies, and mindsets that critics contended were reaching a pinnacle in the Apollo program.
The problem with Chapter 4 was that, as originally written, its themes of power and destruction didn’t quite fit with the rest of the book. It’s not that it contradicted the larger argument, that cultural changes in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s undermined faith in the technocratic rationalism of the Space Age and played a major role in derailing the Apollo moon program; it just seemed to sap some of the book’s momentum. In fact, the book would flow better without it. But I was willing to sacrifice a bit of cohesiveness to include it, since I think it is important, and overall it contributes to the argument. It took a lot of pondering and reworking to understand myself how this chapter fit with the larger whole, and it was this chapter in particular that compelled me to organize the book into three parts for clarity’s sake, contributing significantly to its ultimate structure.

So, does page 99 properly represent my book? Yes and no. Its theme still deviates a bit from the cultural focus of the rest of the book. It also, as perceptive (or impatient) readers may notice, more or less repeats the same sentiment in consecutive paragraphs. I liked each one, so I kept both, but this is something I generally avoided in the rest of the book. Nonetheless, to the degree that it uses the voices of a variety of Americans who strove to make sense of what Apollo meant to their lives and their world in order to offer a different take on the event than the usual celebratory fluff, this page very much represents what I set out to do with the book.

Mr. Ford, I apologize for my earlier outburst. Perhaps page 99 was an inspired choice after all. I therefore damn you and thank you at the same time, and I am perfectly content with this contradiction.
Learn more about No Requiem for the Space Age at the Oxford University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Robert M. Geraci's "Virtually Sacred"

Robert M. Geraci is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Manhattan College. He is the author of Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality and many essays that analyze the ways in which human beings use technology to make the world meaningful.

Geraci applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life, and reported the following:
Virtually Sacred is about how the online virtual worlds Second Life (SL) and World of Warcraft (WoW) show how virtual worlds “participate in our sacred landscape as outsiders, competitors, and collaborators” (12). In SL, for example, one can bring one’s traditional religion online and build a community, a place of worship, and possibly even new ways of practicing. The massively-multiplayer online game WoW also offers chances to build communities, and players can reflect on questions of morality, engage in meaningful activity, and even experience transcendence. In virtual worlds, we can be who we want to be, fly where we want to go, and unleash magical powers in defense of the people and principles we love.

In reflecting upon this, the first complete sentence on page 99 says of playing WoW: “This transcendent experience can be so enchanting that some researchers and enthusiasts see it as a stepping-stone on our way to a greater evolutionary future, one in which we permanently take on the heroic mastery afforded in only limited doses by playing the game.” Residents of both SL and WoW dream of opportunities to upload their minds into cyberspace and attain technological immortality. Thus virtual worlds have become key in the cultural debates over transhumanism (the belief that we can transcend the limitations of mortal life through technology) and almost certainly incline their users toward transhumanist ways of thinking. The remainder of page 99 is a conclusion to chapter three, which describes how activity in WoW competes with traditional religions. “Certainly not all players are religious in their engagement with the game; however, many are, and all benefit from the varied ways World of Warcraft enables the production of communities and morality, the acquisition of meaning, and access to transcendent places and selves.” As the page finishes, I claim that such religious possibilities “must surely account for much of [the game’s] appeal.”
Learn more about Virtually Sacred at the Oxford University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kenneth Kolb's "Moral Wages"

Kenneth H. Kolb is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Furman University.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Moral Wages: The Emotional Dilemmas of Victim Advocacy and Counseling, and reported the following:
Tammy was trouble—and this caused real problems for the people trying to help her.

They found Tammy a scholarship at the local community college, but she dropped out. They found Tammy a new apartment, but she complained that she didn’t like it and left. They gave Tammy rent money for her new place, but she used it to buy drugs. Had Tammy sought services almost anywhere else, she would be shown the door without regret. However, the people trying to help Tammy were not just any service providers; they were victim advocates and counselors at an agency that assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In short, Tammy had come to the one place that offered to believe and help her no matter what. Yet, when her behavior exhausted the staff’s patience, it created a ripple of doubt that touched everyone inside the agency. What happens when the sympathizers of last resort get angry at the people seeking their help?

Page 99 of Moral Wages describes the lengths to which they tried to help Tammy.
Tammy found a new place to live, but did so by moving in with a man who also had a record of violence against women. Working within the confines of their empowerment philosophy, the advocates did not tell Tammy in clear terms that she should leave him—issuing orders like that was seen as too directive at [the agency]. Instead, they spelled out all the possible ways that this arrangement could have a bad ending. Yet, despite their steering, these appeals had no effect. She was insistent on moving in with this new man.
Victim advocates and counselors are different, and after a year of ethnographic fieldwork I came to see clearly what makes them so. Forging emotional connections with victims is what makes the low pay, long hours, and high stress of their jobs worth it. Forgiving clients is the surest way to show that they are caring and competent service providers. Yet, some of their clients’ behavior made this almost impossible. Ultimately, the frustration that arose from these cases caused them to question their abilities and purpose—just one of the dilemmas I discuss throughout the book.
Learn more about Moral Wages at the University of California Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Elvin T. Lim's "The Lovers' Quarrel"

Elvin T. Lim is Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and the author of The Lovers' Quarrel: The Two Foundings and American Political Development (Oxford, 2014) and The Anti-intellectual Presidency (Oxford, 2008).

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to The Lovers' Quarrel and reported the following:
The Page 99 test works eerily well for The Lovers’ Quarrel.

There, in the middle of the book, discussing the mid-point of American history, I cite Abraham Lincoln’s much-neglected and yet crucial observation that strikes at the heart of the book’s thesis. In his Cooper Union Address in 1860, he asks and answers this question:
Who were our fathers that framed the Constitution? I suppose the “thirty nine” who signed the original instrument. [my emphasis]
There were fifty-five men who gathered in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention in 1787, but only thirty-nine signed it. Yes, the “founders” were not all of one mind. Some were ambivalent about the Constitution; others, like Luther Martin and John Francis Mercer, even walked out. Who was Luther Martin, one might ask? He was a leading Anti-Federalist, sharing similar views as men like Patrick Henry. And what did the Anti-Federalists believe in? States rights.

Putting the dots together generates perhaps the greatest meta-historical irony of American politics. The very people who claim to be defenders of the Constitution today, some of whom belong to the Tea Party persuasion, are also the most vocal defenders of states’ rights. But here’s the rub: their political forebears were not the Federalists, who won both the ratification battle and the larger philosophical war to build “a more perfect Union,” but the Anti-Federalists—the folks who fought tooth and nail to oppose ratification, chanting to the tune of liberty as if liberty was not possible without a stronger, more consolidated government.

Because the United States experienced Two Foundings, one against government in 1776, and one in favor of it in 1787, we really ought to alter our textbooks to reflect the fact that we have also had two sets of “Founders.” Only then can we make sense of the alternating love-hate relationship that Americans have had with the state; the Lovers’ Quarrel that Americans have had again, again, and again. Abraham Lincoln got it; we should too.
Learn more about the book and author at Elvin Lim's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Anti-Intellectual Presidency: The Decline of Presidential Rhetoric from George Washington to George W. Bush.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Robert Garland's "Wandering Greeks"

Robert Garland is the Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics at Colgate University. His many books include The Eye of the Beholder: Deformity and Disability in the Graeco-Roman World and The Greek Way of Death.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his latest book, Wandering Greeks: The Ancient Greek Diaspora from the Age of Homer to the Death of Alexander the Great, and reported the following:
From page 99:
In time of war civilian populations become a handicap, especially if they happen to be living outside the city walls. Vulnerable to the enemy, they are also a distraction since they are liable to prevent the military from pursuing a coherent plan of action. They must be protected, but how? Two options are available: either they can be conveyed to a friendly community nearby or brought inside the walls, although the latter course is feasible only if there is enough space to accommodate them. Whichever option is adopted, the logistics of evacuating thousands of people in the lead up to the outbreak of hostilities was one of the most challenging exercises a polis or city-state could undertake.
The evacuee is one of many categories of Greeks who were uprooted from their homeland, often in conditions of extreme vulnerability. The Greeks were a highly mobile society, and their mobility was essential to its survival, success, and sheer sustainability. Wandering in short - whether as an evacuee, an asylum seeker, an economic migrant or an exile - was a defining characteristic of their culture.
Learn more about Wandering Greeks at the Princeton University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nick Smith's "Justice through Apologies"

Nick Smith is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of New Hampshire. Formerly a litigator and a clerk for the US Court of Appeals, he specializes in the philosophy of law, politics and society. Smith is the author of I Was Wrong: The Meanings of Apologies. He regularly appears in the media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Guardian UK, Fortune, NPR, BBC, CBC, CNN, and others.

Smith applied the “Page 99 Test” to his latest book, Justice through Apologies: Remorse, Reform, and Punishment, and reported the following:
On page 99 I consider an example to test my claim that categorically apologetic criminal offenders deserve reductions in punishment. I return on this page to the case of William Beebe, who drugged and raped eighteen-year-old Liz Seccuro at a University of Virginia Phi Kappa Psi party in 1984. Seccuro awoke the next day wrapped in a bloody sheet on the couch of the deserted fraternity house. She confirmed Beebe's identity by the mail on his dresser. Still bloodied and bruised, Seccuro reported the attack. Campus authorities and Charlottesville police treated her claim dismissively and obstructed her access to a proper investigation. Beebe claimed she had consented. Feeling stonewalled and hoping to move forward with the rest of her education and life, Seccuro stopped pursuing legal recourse.

Twenty-one years later, Seccuro pulled out of her driveway en route to a vacation with her spouse and young child. She stopped at the mailbox and found the following letter:
Dear Elizabeth:

In October 1984 I harmed you. I can scarcely begin to understand the degree to which, in your eyes, my behavior has affected you in its wake. Still, I stand prepared to hear from you about just how, and in what ways you've been affected; and to begin to set right the wrong I've done, in any way you see fit.

Most sincerely yours,

Will Beebe
In a subsequent exchange of emails where Beebe explained that he was undergoing a twelve step addiction recovery program, he confessed to a decades old crime for which he was not under investigation and that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. "I want to make clear that I'm not intentionally minimizing the fact of having raped you," he wrote, "I did." Seccuro took this opportunity in 2005 to contact Charlottesville police. This time they properly investigated her claim. She pressed charges against Beebe.

On page 99 I consider how Beebe should be punished in light of his apology and confession. Why do we punish offenders and exactly how does remorse—and remorselessness—impact our view about who deserves what sorts of punishment? How should we punish Beebe? How much time did he ultimately serve? Read Justice through Apologies to find out.
Learn more about Justice through Apologies at the Cambridge University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Nick Smith's I Was Wrong: The Meanings of Apologies.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 21, 2014

Paul M. Cobb's "The Race for Paradise"

Paul M. Cobb is Professor of Islamic History in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of White Banners: Contention in Abbasid Syria, 750-880 and Umayyad Legacies: Medieval Memories from Syria to Spain.

Cobb applied the “Page 99 Test” to his latest book, The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades, and reported the following:
Page 99 of The Race for Paradise falls at a crucial moment in the narrative, namely the arrival of the European Crusaders (known to the Muslim inhabitants of the Near East as “Franks”) before the walls of Jerusalem in 1099. This was the final act of the events known in the West as the First Crusade. The Franks had been busy for some time much farther north in what is now Syria and Lebanon, where part of the army at least recalled lessons they had earlier learned in Muslim Spain (known as al-Andalus): namely that holding a castle hostage (in this case a fort named ‘Arqa) during a siege could be much more lucrative than actually going through the trouble of capturing it. This made others in the army rather antsy:
Indeed, just as in al-Andalus of the taifa kings, the Muslim lord of Tripoli sent envoys to Raymond and the Franks at ‘Arqa with vast amounts of coins and gifts to buy them off—hardly an inducement to move on, if more such wealth could be extracted. In the end the rest of the Frankish army arrived to reunite with Raymond, and the drive to reach Jerusalem was too strong. ‘Arqa and nearby Tripoli would have to wait for Raymond’s attentions at a later date. The Franks lifted the siege and proceeded down the coastal road into Palestine, “and the people fled in panic from their abodes before them.” At Arsuf, on the coast, they cut inland toward al-Ramla, which they captured, while Bohemond’s rough nephew Tancred, his hour come round at last, slouched toward Bethlehem to take it as his own. The next day, June 7, the Franks encamped before their heartfelt goal: Jerusalem.
This passage is and isn’t a representative passage of my book, however. Most starkly, it is all about the Franks and is written somewhat from their point of view. The Race for Paradise, however, is (as the sub-title says) An Islamic History of the Crusades, which I tried to write as much as possible from the perspective of Muslim observers, using medieval Islamic sources almost exclusively to do so. Yet this passage is very Crusader-centric.

And that is perhaps a point worth highlighting. For the fact is that the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 did not leave such a huge impact in the contemporary Islamic sources. This passage shows that, in order to describe the events leading up to the conquest of Jerusalem, we have to fall back on Frankish sources. Contemporary Muslims, for a host of reasons, were simply not keen to report in any detailed way on the progress of the Franks across Syria. Even the infamous stories of Frankish rapine and destruction that accompanied the conquest of Jerusalem appear only at a later date, although there seems little reason to doubt their general outline. In the fury of the moment, most Muslims seem to have considered the Frankish invasion of Syria to have been a local Syrian problem. Only later would they realize their mistake, and then re-cast these events as a problem for all of Islamdom.

The passage is also unrepresentative in that (unlike the rest of the book) it contains a hidden snarky literary reference—extra credit for those of you who find it!
Learn more about The Race for Paradise at the Oxford University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 20, 2014

H. H. Shugart's "Foundations of the Earth"

H. H. “Hank” Shugart holds the W. W. Corcoran Chair in Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and has produced more than 400 scientific publications that largely involve systems ecology and ecosystems modeling strongly focused on regional and global change. His book How the Earthquake Bird Got Its Name and Other Tales of Unbalanced Nature is considered a classic in modern ecology.

Shugart applied the “Page 99 Test” to his latest book, Foundations of the Earth: Global Ecological Change and the Book of Job, and reported the following:
Page 99 of Foundations of the Earth: Global Ecological Change and The Book of Job is the penultimate page of Chapter 4, “Freeing the Onager: Feral and Introduced Animals.” Foundations of the Earth poses global environmental problems in the context of a set of biblical questions, the Whirlwind Speech, found in Job: 38-40. The Joban questions initiate chapter discussions on such topics as, “Where did the solar system come from? How were animals domesticated? How do changes in the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere imply global warming? How do climate and its change alter the world’s vegetation and vice versa?” Foundations of the Earth intends to demonstrate the intrinsic connectedness of the Earth’s systems, their dynamic change and their interactions with humans using these divine questions as a framework to provide additional connectedness. The book emphasizes environmental synthesis at large scales — regional to global scales in space; century to millennia to even longer scales in time. The mutual interactions among different Earth systems provide a unity to the text, so does the framework provided by the extraordinary questions from Job.

Page 99 does a very good job of representing the intent of Foundations of the Earth. The Joban questions motivating Chapter 4 are:
Who has let the wild ass go free? Who has loosed the bonds of the swift ass, to which I have given the steppe for its home, the salt land for its dwelling place? It scorns the tumult of the city; it does not hear the shouts of the driver.
--Job 39:5-7 (New Revised Standard Version)
The chapter uses the wild ass, Equus hemionus, as an ecological icon for introduced and invasive species, a significant consideration in domains ranging from agriculture and horticulture (weeds) to conservation (introduced species replacing native species of animals) to medicine (introduced diseases and vectors for diseases).

Page 99 initiates the summary of the chapter’s earlier discussions of the evolution of weeds, domestication of draft animals, the creation of a human-dominated planet, and change due to introduced species may be doing to the Earth’s ecosystems. To quote page 99,
We know from the fossil and geological record that past ecosystems with different mixtures of species and different environment conditions coalesce, persist and eventually change over time. The instances in the geological past in which floras and faunas mingled after the formation of land bridges often have featured extinction of many species. For example with the formation of the Isthmus of Panama around 3 million years ago, the remarkably diverse marsupial mammal fauna of South America collapsed and was replaced by more advanced placental mammals from North America. Thus, we have reason to believe that the species we have loosed across the Earth will also change the planet.
But what will these new, ecosystems shaped by the actions of humanity be like? We would hope for optimistic outcomes, but there is cause for concern. Again from page 99,
We enjoy gardens and arboreta loaded with exotic plants from all over the world and find pleasure in this human-created biological diversity. There are also significant negatives. Many of these stem from feedback loops between the exotics and the ecosystems they inhabit. Fire-tolerant alien plants prosper under fires and create additional fuel for more frequent or hotter fires. Introduced fish eliminate natural fisheries that support coastal towns. Inedible or even poisonous weeds invade pastures and prosper…
Inadvertently or otherwise, we are creating new ecosystems comprised of some, often novel, species that have been selected for their capacity to resist our efforts to control them.

The alteration of the biota of Earth’s ecosystems, the themes of Chapter 4 and Page 99, occur and interweave on our dynamic and human-altered planet. The overarching themes of the Foundations of the Earth involve Earth-systems complexity and connectedness.. These are large themes for a small book and the diversity of disciplines considered is substantial. Page 99 provides a sample of the depth of the challenges before us.
Learn more about Foundations of the Earth at the Columbia University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 18, 2014

Peter Jones's "Open Skies"

Peter Jones is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Open Skies: Transparency, Confidence-Building, and the End of the Cold War, and reported the following:
The page 99 test works pretty well. “Open Skies,” was first proposed by President Eisenhower in 1955, but rejected by the Soviets. The idea called for each side to allow the other to make short-notice overflights with unarmed surveillance aircraft as assurance against surprise attacks. This would have been a highly intrusive measure before satellites. The Russian rejection was seen as evidence of nefarious intent. We now know it was largely motivated by fears that their weakness would be exposed. Open Skies was a valuable propaganda victory, allowing American diplomats to juxtapose America’s transparency with Soviet secrecy.

As the Cold War came to a close, President Bush (41) proposed that Open Skies be revived as an Alliance-to-Alliance Treaty. He believed that it would test the new Soviet willingness to embrace openness and reform, as well as allowing smaller nations to independently monitor events. The Treaty was negotiated between 1990 and 1992, resulting in the first major European security agreement of the Post-Cold War era.

One of the major themes of the book is that, even though their leaders supported Open Skies, the US and Soviet military and intelligence bureaucracies remained deeply suspicious of it. The Soviet military put up obstacles to the achievement of real transparency. The US intelligence community sought to enshrine measures that would permit the US to gain an advantage by using far more sophisticated sensors than other nations could.

It was the insistence of Presidents Bush and Gorbachev that the regime be genuine and equal which overcame the resistance of their respective bureaucracies. But an important role was also played by the smaller nations of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, which did not have satellites and saw the benefits of the Treaty.

Page 99 concerns the revival of the negotiations, after two rounds in Ottawa and Budapest had failed due to the obduracy of the US and Soviet bureaucracies. President Bush had forced the US intelligence community to back off its attempt to gain a unilateral advantage. The NATO nations were reviewing their positions in hopes of tempting the Soviets back to the table. But the powerful Soviet military bureaucracy was holding out and there were signs of the impending coup attempt against Gorbachev of mid-August 1991. It was not until after this coup attempt had been defeated, and those opposed to Open Skies were removed from office, that the Soviets responded favorably. The negotiations resumed in Vienna, leading to an agreement.

Thus, page 99 encapsulates a major theme of the book – only high-level political guidance can overcome the resistance of self-interested bureaucracies to far-reaching change.
Learn more about Open Skies at the Stanford University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue