Nuclear Issues

5 Items

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Book Chapter

Intelligence Estimates of Nuclear Terrorism

| September 2006

Nuclear terrorism is not a post-9/11 or even post-cold war phenomenon. In fact, this review of declassified intelligence estimates spanning the past five decades reveals that the prospect of a clandestine nuclear attack on the United States—be it from the Soviet Union, China, or al Qaeda—has been a regular concern for U.S. officials since the advent of nuclear weapons. Although the estimates themselves have been a mixed bag of quiet successes and failures, this article’s key findings suggest that the threat of nuclear terrorism is very real and that the U.S. government remains ill prepared to counter that threat.

Book - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Cooperative Denuclearization: From Pledges to Deeds

"CSIA's research on cooperative denuclearization began during the August 1991 putsch against Mikhail Gorbachev. To those of us familiar with nuclear weapons, their construction, and command and control, and with the looming revolution about to sweep the then–Soviet Union, it was plain that a new and unprecedented danger to international security was emerging. An appropriate policy response to this new form of nuclear threat could not be fashioned from traditional Cold War tools of deterrence, arms control, and military preparedness alone. Safety could only be sought through new policies emphasizing cooperative engagement with the new states, new leaders, and military and industrial heirs of the former Soviet Union...."

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Book - MIT Press

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

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.