Book - MIT Press

Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy: Containing the Threat of Loose Russian Nuclear Weapons and Fissile Material

Abstract

"Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy grapples with one of the most immediate and most pressing threats to U.S. security interests today: the risk of rampant nuclear proliferation fueled by ''nuclear leakage'' from the former Soviet Union. There has never been a more important time for this analysis by some of our nation''s leading national security specialists. This book deserves to be widely read and carefully considered."
Sam Nunn, United States Senator

As the most open society on a shrinking planet, the United States has no reliable defense against smuggled weapons fashioned from black-market materials by a determined state or terrorist group. Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy highlights the fact that the only way to combat the threat is by preventing nuclear leakage in the first place. Its message is both timely and urgent: it outlines the new nuclear danger and details how to reshape U.S. national security policy to deal with these dangers.
Richard G. Lugar, United States Senator

"I cannot think of a more important book .... The time to read it is now."
-- A.M. Rosenthal, The New York Times

What if the bomb that exploded in Oklahoma City or New York's World Trade Center had used 100 pounds of highly enriched uranium? The destruction would have been far more vast. This danger is not so remote: the recipe for making such a bomb is simple, and soon the ingredients might be easily attained. Thousands of nuclear weapons and hundreds of tons of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium from the weapons complex of the former Soviet Union, poorly guarded and poorly accounted for, could soon leak on to a vast emerging nuclear black market.

This study by Graham Allison and three colleagues at Harvard's Center for Science and International Affairs warns that containing the leakage of nuclear materials--and keeping them out of the hands of groups hostile to the United States--is our nation's highest security priority.

As the most open society on a shrinking planet, the United States has no reliable defense against smuggled weapons fashioned from black-market materials by a determined state or terrorist group. Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy highlights the fact that the only way to combat the threat is by preventing nuclear leakage in the first place. Its message is both timely and urgent: it outlines the new nuclear danger and details how to reshape U.S. national security policy to deal with these dangers.


Owen R. Coté Jr. is Associate Director of the Security Studies Program at MIT.

Richard A. Falkenrath is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He served as Executive Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) and, before that, as a Research Fellow. He is the author and co-author of Shaping Europe's Military Order (1995), Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy (1996), America's Achilles' Heel:Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Terrorism and Covert Attack (1998), and numerous journal articles and chapters of edited volumes. Falkenrath has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the German Society of Foreign Affairs (DGAP) in Bonn. He holds a PhD from the Department of War Studies, King's College, London, where he was a British Marshall Scholar, and is a summa cum laude graduate of Occidental College, Los Angeles, with degrees in economics and international relations. He is currently serving as Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Policy and Plans, Office of Homeland Security.

Steven E. Miller is Editor-in-chief of International Security and Director of the International Security Program of BCSIA.

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Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy: Containing the Threat of Loose Russian Nuclear Weapons and Fissile Material
For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Graham T. Allison, Owen R. Cote, Jr., Richard A. Falkenrath, and Steven E. Miller. Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy: Containing the Threat of Loose Russian Nuclear Weapons and Fissile Material. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, .
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The Authors

Graham Allison

Steven E. Miller