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Nuclear Terrorism after 9/11
     

Nuclear Terrorism after 9/11

by Robin M. Frost
 

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The very mention of nuclear terrorism is enough to rouse strong reactions, and understandably so, because it combines the most terrifying weapons and the most threatening of people in a single phrase. The possibility that terrorists could obtain and use nuclear weapons deserves careful analysis, but discussion has all too often been contaminated with exaggeration,

Overview

The very mention of nuclear terrorism is enough to rouse strong reactions, and understandably so, because it combines the most terrifying weapons and the most threatening of people in a single phrase. The possibility that terrorists could obtain and use nuclear weapons deserves careful analysis, but discussion has all too often been contaminated with exaggeration, even hysteria. For example, it has been claimed that nuclear terrorism poses an ‘existential threat’ to the United States.

This Adelphi Paper develops a more measured analysis of the risk of terrorists detonating a true fission device. The problem is attacked from two perspectives: the considerable, possibly insurmountable, technical challenges involved in obtaining a functional nuclear weapon, whether ‘home-made’ or begged, borrowed or stolen from a state arsenal; and the question of the strategic, political and psychological motivations to ‘go nuclear’. The conclusions are that nuclear terrorism is a less significant threat than is commonly believed, and that, among terrorists, Muslim extremists are not the most likely to use nuclear weapons.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415399920
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
03/16/2006
Series:
Adelphi Series , #378
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.19(d)

Meet the Author

Robin M. Frost is an analyst with the Government of Canada. He holds degrees in political science, psychology, and journalism, and has published papers on nuclear terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and other subjects. He previously worked as an academic, as a broadcast news journalist, and in the software industry.

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