As a lifelong diplomat whose last foreign post was as Britain’s ambassador to the Kremlin in the Soviet Union’s final years, Rodric Braithwaite acquired decades of insight into UK and US policy on nuclear weapons. In policy debates in Whitehall as well as in meetings with Soviet officials, he took part in numerous discussions on arms control. He has also read a phenomenal amount of the literature on “the bomb” and, unlike most other western researchers, has studied the work of Russian analysts. This includes the memoirs of physicists involved in the Soviet nuclear programme, many of which have not yet been translated into English. Personal experience plus careful study have given him a remarkable platform from which he brilliantly dissects the ethical dilemmas facing the scientists who developed the weapons as well as the policymakers who framed strategies for their potential use, both groups knowing full well that they could bring humankind to Armageddon. There was equivalence on the western and Soviet sides and Braithwaite is absolutely fair in describing this.
Guardian 30th Dec 2017 read more »