The topic of when, why, and how states perceive others as threats is remarkably understudied despite its central importance. Carmel Davis takes the period 1970 to 1982 as his set of cases to consider how well U.S. perceptions of the extent of the danger posed by the Soviet Union can be explained by one version of balance-of-power theory, balance of threat, and what he calls the balance of military capabilities. This is an important period of the Cold War, and Davis's summary of the relevant facts, figures, and intelligence judgments is useful. The exposition of the theories, although done without much nuance, raises interesting and important issues. In the space of 114 pages, quite a bit is conveyed very concisely. But enough issues and questions are missed so that in the end the contribution is limited.

Like many authors before him, Davis argues that balance of power is measured by...

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