Utgoff, Victor A.
UTGOFF, Victor A.
ADDRESSES: Office—Institute for Defense Analyses, 4850 Mark Center Dr., Alexandria, VA 22311.
CAREER: During early career, worked for various research and aerospace companies; National Security Council staff, senior member, 1977–81; Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, VA, currently deputy director of strategy, forces, and resources division.
AWARDS, HONORS: Andrew J. Goodpaster Award, Institute for Defense Analyses, 1999, for excellence in research.
(With Barry M. Blechman) Fiscal and Economic Implications of Strategic Defenses, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1986.
The Challenge of Chemical Weapons: An American Perspective, foreword by W. Y. Smith, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1991.
(With others) The American Military in the Twentieth Century, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1993.
(Editor and contributor) The Coming Crisis: Nuclear Proliferation, U.S. Interests, and World Order, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000.
Also author of papers related to nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
SIDELIGHTS: Victor A. Utgoff, a prominent official at the Institute for Defense Analyses, has written extensively about military matters, especially about the threat of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. He first collaborated with Barry M. Blechman on Fiscal and Economic Implications of Strategic Defenses, then wrote The Challenge of Chemical Weapons: An American Perspective. He also contributed to The American Military in the Twentieth Century, a book that asks important questions about the implications of a downsized U.S. military force. Donald M. Snow, writing in Armed Forces and Society, called the information in this book "valuable" but suggested that it is meant primarily for force planners in the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. "For the more general reader looking for a discussion of broader principles and strategic alternatives," the critic added, the many details in the book could be "overwhelming."
Utgoff has also edited The Coming Crisis: Nuclear Proliferation, U.S. Interests, and World Order, a timely series of essays by recognized scholars on an important global issue. The book raises many questions about what the United States should do with its nuclear arsenal if deterrence should fail. In the first half of the book, the authors discuss the reasons nation-states decide to acquire or develop nuclear weapons. Essays in the second half address the possibility of nuclear crises between the United States and a regional nuclear power, and the consequences of such confrontations.
Several critics found The Coming Crisis a useful contribution to the growing literature on nuclear proliferation. In the Marine Corps Gazette, John M. Manson wrote that, while some of the essays "are tedious and can overcomplicate relatively straightforward issues," the book "is a good read for the serious scholar of international security affairs." Jon Greene commented in the Naval War College Review that the main premise of the book is that "sooner or later the proliferation of nuclear weapons is going to lead to a confrontation between the United States and a nuclear-armed state…. All students of national security policy owe it to themselves to consider the policy implications."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Armed Forces and Society, winter, 1995, Donald M. Snow, review of The American Military in the Twentieth Century, p. 308.
Marine Corps Gazette, July, 2001, John Manson, review of The Coming Crisis: Nuclear Proliferation, U.S. Interests, and World Order, p. 77.
Naval War College Review, summer, 2001, Jon Greene, review of The Coming Crisis, p. 169.