America and the Islamic Bomb: The Deadly Compromise

Overview

David Armstrong and Joseph Trento provide a new and unrivaled perspective on the so-called A.Q. Khan nuclear black market scandal, including exclusive accounts from customs agents, intelligence analysts, and other ground-level, front-line operatives. Documented in these pages are maddening experiences of official interference and breathtaking instances of indifference and incompetence. Trento and Armstrong name names and reveal stunning new information about proliferators in an expose that is sure to generate ...
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Overview

David Armstrong and Joseph Trento provide a new and unrivaled perspective on the so-called A.Q. Khan nuclear black market scandal, including exclusive accounts from customs agents, intelligence analysts, and other ground-level, front-line operatives. Documented in these pages are maddening experiences of official interference and breathtaking instances of indifference and incompetence. Trento and Armstrong name names and reveal stunning new information about proliferators in an expose that is sure to generate headlines. This secret history of how the Islamic bomb was developed and how nuclear arms have proliferated is as fascinating as it is disturbing.

Over the past three decades, official investigations in the United States and Europe came close on several occasions to pulling the lid off Pakistan's nuclear smuggling network. But to protect strategic relationships with Islamabad, those inquiries were scuttled by intervention at the highest levels of government. The opportunities to roll up the network were lost and the spread of nuclear technology continued.

Suggestions by President George W. Bush and members of his administration that the Khan case is a success story would be laughable if the implications were not so dire. Many of the Khan network's operatives remain free and live openly in Europe, Asia, and even the United States. The underground trade in nuclear technology continues, and the opportunities for terrorists to get their hands on atomic weaponry are expanding. Many in Pakistan's military, intelligence, and scientific communities are closely allied with the Taliban and al Qaeda, groups that US policy in the years before 9/11 helped foster. The lure of profits,combined with ideological, religious, and ethnic loyalties creates conditions for potentially deadly cooperation between those with access to nuclear technology and our bitterest enemies.

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Editorial Reviews

Douglas Farah
America and the Islamic Bomb is a ground-level look at the operational failures of U.S., British and other intelligence services in assessing the Khan network. Relying on government documents and interviews, David Armstrong and Joseph Trento reveal multiple scuttled investigations and chronicle the infighting within several U.S. administrations, beginning under Reagan in the 1980s, over what to do about Khan and, more broadly, Pakistan, whose cooperation was deemed vital in fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616795368
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 10/23/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Armstrong is the bureau chief of the National Security News Service in Washington, D.C. He is an award-winning investigative reporter and has written extensively on national security and intelligence matters as well as national politics, foreign policy, terrorism, media, finance, and the environment. He was formerly the editor of the Texas Observer and his work has appeared in a wide range of publications including Harper’s, The New Republic, and several journalism anthologies.

Joseph Trento is the author or co-author of seven nonfiction books, including Unsafe at Any Altitude and The Secret History of the CIA, and an internationally known investigative reporter for over thirty-five years. He now serves as the president of the Public Education Center, a nonpartisan and nonprofit foundation that conducts investigative reporting on environmental and national security matters.

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Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction Over the past three decades, official investigations in the United States and Europe came close on several occasions to pulling the lid off of Pakistan’s nuclear smuggling network. But to protect strategic relationships with Islamabad, those inquiries were scuttled by intervention at the highest levels of government. The opportunities to roll up the network were lost and the spread of nuclear technology continued.
Suggestions by President George W. Bush and members of his administration that the Khan case is a success story would be laughable if the implications were not so dire. Many of the Khan network’s operatives remain free and live openly in Europe, Asia, and even the United States. The underground trade in nuclear technology continues, and the opportunities for terrorists to get their hands on atomic weaponry are expanding. Many in Pakistan’s military, intelligence, and scientific communities are closely allied with the Taliban and al Qaeda, groups that US policy in the years before 9/11 helped foster. The lure of profits, combined with ideological, religious, and ethnic loyalties creates conditions for potentially deadly cooperation between those with access to nuclear technology and our bitterest enemies.
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Table of Contents


Introduction     1
Nuclear Politics     5
Nuclear Relations     20
The Age of Proliferation     39
Gearing Up     56
The Compromise     74
Help from the West     98
Aiding and Abetting     116
A Turn of the Screw     138
Bombs 'R' Us     155
End Game     196
Epilogue     218
Notes     231
Acknowledgments     269
Credits     271
Index     273
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