I earlier “noted”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1591/new-blogger to Paul in a rather tongue-in-cheek fashion that I wasn’t a member of the Monterey Mafia because my master’s degree was not from the “Monterey Institute”:http://www.miis.edu/. Instead, I am allegedly a member of the much lesser known (unless one works for the GAO, from what I gather) mafia clan from the University of Pittsburgh’s “GSPIA”:http://www.gspia.pitt.edu/.
This random tiny fact is worth a mention because GSPIA’s own “Janne Nolan”:http://www.gspia.pitt.edu/new_asp/faculty_staff/bio.asp?id=52 has a timely article, co-authored with James Holmes, in the March/April issue of _The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists_, which dissects the dashed hopes for transformation of the U.S. nuclear posture during the Clinton years. Having listened to quite a few of Janne’s amazing lectures (in hand with reading “_An Elusive Consensus_”:http://www.brookings.edu/press/Books/1999/elusive_consensus.aspx and the equally compelling _Guardians of the Arsenal_), it’s really exciting to see her offer up a “primer for the next president” on ways to go about conducting a reassessment of nuclear policy. Nolan and Holmes begin as follows:
“Much as critics of the Bush administration may wish that January 20, 2009 would automatically change U.S. diplomacy and reignite nuclear disarmament efforts, national policy is not so easily remade. *Current attitudes have deeper roots, and ushering in a new president will not in itself bring about cutbacks to the nation’s nuclear arsenal or improvements to U.S. nuclear strategy. In fact, despite his stated good intentions, it was during President Bill Clinton’s tenure that some of the progress made by the first President Bush ground to a halt.* Clinton’s blind spot was that he didn’t understand enough about the nature of bureaucracy.”
You should go and check out the article, which is available for some time “here”:http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/f1213527155n9w82/fulltext.pdf. I won’t ruin it, but just want to note that the piece details several funny and rather disturbing episodes, namely, the military’s briefings on nuclear war plans to presidents Carter and Reagan and the fact that *Pentagon officials at times perceived representatives of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency as “weirdos.”*