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The third Culture novel from the awesome imagination of Iain M. Banks, a modern master of science fiction. The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought. The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a burnt-out case. But not even its machine intelligence could see the horrors in his past. Praise for the Culture series: 'Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution' Independent on Sunday 'Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future' Guardian 'Jam-packed with extraordinary invention' Scotsman 'Compulsive reading' Sunday Telegraph The Culture series: Consider Phlebas The Player of Games Use of Weapons The State of the Art Excession Inversions Look to Windward Matter Surface Detail The Hydrogen Sonata Other books by Iain M. Banks: Against a Dark Background Feersum Endjinn The Algebraist
These studies concentrate on preventing the use of weapons of mass destruction. A common argument runs through all of the papers: that, while complacency must be avoided, much of the post-Cold War focus among Western governments on the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction is alarmist.
The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances'foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought. The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a burnt-out case. But not even its machine intelligence could see the horrors in his past.
As counter-profileration is expected to become the central element in the new national security policy of the US, such actions will constitute a central element of every major international conflict in the first decades of the 21st century. One of the most important geostrategic phenomena of the past decade has been the extraordinary diffusion of war-making capabilities from the developed North to the developing South. In the eyes of some proliferant states, possessing nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons would not only add to their regional stature, but would also offer an asymmetrical counter to the West’s massive superiority in conventional forces. In the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, a number of countries are assumed to possess varying levels of NBC-weapons capabilities. Reasons for concern include the fact that such weapons have been used in the past; the region’s geographic proximity to Europe and the vital interests of the West (which is prepared, under certain circumstances, to use force to protect them); the multiplicity of conflicts and other security problems; and the general instability in the region (including the spread of religious extremism). This important and timely book assesses, in detail, the accuracy of predictions, and perceptions, about a possible military threat from the Southern Mediterranean (Muslim) world; and their impact on NATO’s political and military posture. Thanos P. Doxos presents an assessment of the Alliance’s options for dealing with the problem. This book represents an invaluable, topical resource for researchers and policy makers.
The Effects of Weapons on Ecosystems is a five-chapter book that describes the destruction of environment and its various ecosystems by humans. The book also explains the harmful effects, both intended and unanticipated, of the production, testing, stockpiling, and use of weapons of mass destruction. Organized into five chapters, the book begins with a classification of weapons of mass destruction and ecosystems. Subsequent chapter reviews the ecosystemic effects of weapons from data of ecological surveys of actual weapon test-sites and theaters of war. The book will clarify some outstanding issues on effects of weapons on ecosystems to concerned individuals, stimulate follow-up studies to advance the cause of disarmament and the protection of the environment, and lead to further action on these issues.

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