When Armies Divide: The Security of Nuclear Arsenals During Revolts, Coups, and Civil Wars
In this brief volume Jenkins takes a detailed look at the General’s putsch, which was a 1961 coup attempt by a group of retired French Generals against President Charles de Gaulle. However, it is not the putsch itself that attracts Jenkins’ analytical attention, but the chaos surrounding the status of a nuclear device that was in the process of being tested during the coup. Was the device being targeted by the retired Generals? Was it desired by the Algerians? Did the French step-up the testing schedule to detonate the device before it could come into play? Lastly, what are the implications of each scenario?
By taking a close look at a historical event, Jenkins also provides important context for nuclear devices within weak regimes or during coup attempts within established or emerging nuclear powers. It certainly falls into the category of historical analysis that serves to inform future realities. Anything that Jenkins writes goes on my required reading list, and this book is no exception.