Yost, David S(cott) 1948-
YOST, David S(cott) 1948-
PERSONAL: Born 1948. Education: University of Southern California, B.A., M.A., M.S., Ph.D., 1976.
CAREER: Educator, author, and military analyst. Centre des Hautes Études de l'Armement, École Militaire, Paris, France, visiting professor and research associate, 1993-94; U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington, DC, senior fellow, 1996-97; U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, member of faculty, beginning 1979, professor of international relations, 1998—. Visiting scholar, Johns Hopkins University; consultant to various organizations, including the Rand Corporation, Hudson Institute, Ford Foundation, National Institute for Public Policy, Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
AWARDS, HONORS: NATO fellowship; Council on Foreign Relations fellowship; Smithsonian Institution fellow; Fulbright fellow.
European Security and the SALT Process, Georgetown University Press (Washington, DC), 1981.
NATO's Strategic Options: Arms Control and Defense, Pergamon Press (New York, NY), 1981.
France and Conventional Defense in Central Europe, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1985.
France's Deterrent Posture and Security in Europe, International Institute for Strategic Studies (London, England), 1985.
(Editor, with Fred S. Hoffman and Albert Wohlstetter) Swords and Shields: NATO, the USSR, and New Choices for Long-Range Offence and Defense, Lexington Books (Lexington, MA), 1987.
Soviet Ballistic Missile Defense and the Western Alliance, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1988.
Les États-Unis et la sécurité européenne, CREST-École Polytechnique (Paris, France), 1992.
NATO Transformed: The Alliance's New Roles inInternational Security, U.S. Institute of Peace Press (Washington, DC), 1998.
Contributor to journals, including Foreign Affairs, Survival, World Politics, Washington Quarterly, Armed Forces and Society, Orbis, Current History, Journal of Strategic Studies, International Security, and International Affairs.
SIDELIGHTS: A defense consultant, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, and a member of the school's Center for Contemporary Conflict, David S. Yost is the author of several books that focus on U.S. Defense policy and the changing face of Europe. His books include France and Conventional Defense in Central Europe, NATO Transformed: The Alliance's New Roles in International Security, and The U.S. and Nuclear Deterrence in Europe. Noting in a Perspectives on Political Science review that Yost "never disappoints," Douglas Stuart added, "His writings on European security in general, and French defense policy in particular, are always reliable, insightful, and . . . timely."
Yost's 1988 book, Soviet Ballistic Missile Defense and the Western Alliance, is a theoretical analysis of situations that might have arisen if the then Soviet Union launched missiles against a Western target. Yost questions the scenarios NATO and its sixteen member-countries planned to implement in defense, both before and after a Soviet strike. Eric Stubbs, writing for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, lauded Yost's work, commenting that the author "has done an impressive job in addressing a problem that has been curiously neglected by the strategic studies community."
Within a decade, the threat posed by Soviet nuclear capabilities diminished in light of the fall of communism and the fragmentation of the USSR into independent states. In response to these changes, in 1998 Yost produced NATO Transformed: The Alliance's New Roles in International Security. In this volume he reviews the history of NATO and how it had to adapt in response to the fall of Soviet communism, the end of the cold war, and the reunification of Germany. In NATO Transformed he asserts that the international organization does indeed remain a defensive contract; the basic tenets of NATO—including the nuclear doctrine, an integrated military command, and a defensive alliance—still hold firm. At the core of NATO is the collective defense provided to all members against those who would harm their common interests. Where NATO has shifted, Yost maintains, is its evolving emphasis on being a force in maintaining world peace, a stance adopted in part to assure nonmember nations that, even though they don't belong to NATO, NATO still looks out for them. Instead of collective defense, Yost says, NATO now practices collective security.
NATO Transformed also examines the tensions that exist within NATO and the member countries over the questions of defense and security. Yost queries whether or not it is NATO's place to intervene in cases where it is unclear that a threat exists to NATO's interests. Yost warns that this ambivalence regarding the intended function of NATO may lead to its downfall. NATO Transformed also examines the concern within the organization's member countries over the United States' role as leader, even over European matters. Stanley Hoffmann, writing in Foreign Affairs, called NATO Transformed "comprehensive," "timely," and "judicious." Raymond Seitz, reviewing NATO Transformed for the Times Literary Supplement, commented that "Yost's cool, clear analysis of where NATO finds itself after fifty years is both tribute to the achievements of this remarkable alliance as well as a cautionary signal about its future."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July-August, 1989, Eric Stubbs, review of Soviet Ballistic Missile Defense and the Western Alliance, pp. 46-47.
Choice, April, 1989, L. S. Hulett, review of SovietBallistic Missile Defense and the Western Alliance, p. 1405; October, 1999, L. S. Hulett, review of NATO Transformed: The Alliance's New Roles in International Security, p. 407.
Demokratizatsiya, spring, 2000, Peter Howard, review of NATO Transformed, p. 271.
Foreign Affairs, July-August, 1999, Stanley Hoffmann, review of NATO Transformed, p. 126.
Orbis, winter, 2000, Mark T. Clark, review of NATOTransformed, p. 157.
Perspectives on Political Science, fall, 1999, Douglas Stuart, review of NATO Transformed, p. 236.
Times Literary Supplement, May 14, 1999, Raymond Seitz, review of NATO Transformed, p. 28.
Center for Contemporary Conflict Web site,http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil/ (February 24, 2004), "David S. Yost."*