Jenkins goes beyond what the experts know about terrorists' efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, nuclear black markets, "suitcase bombs," and mysterious substances like red mercury to examine how terrorists themselves think about such weapons. He offers many insights into such vital questions as:
• Do terrorists see nuclear weapons as instruments of coercion or of pure destruction? • Are those we label religious fanatics constrained by political and strategic calculations?
• If a nuclear attack took place on American soil, what life-and-death decisions would the president be forced to make? He puts the reader in the position of the president to convey the immediacy of making decisionsand the perilous repercussions of each critical decision.
Jenkins notes that terrorists have become increasingly adept at creating an atmosphere of nuclear terror. In fact, al Qaeda may have succeeded in becoming the world's first terrorist nuclear power without possessing a single nuclear weapon. The psychological effects of nuclear terror are fueled by American culture, which churns out novels and movies in which every conceivable horror scenario is played out. Political factions on both the right and the left also view nuclear terrorism as fodder to support their own arguments. In such an atmosphere, it is difficult for the average citizen to separate real from imagined dangers. Jenkins's informed and seasoned analysis will give all Americans a levelheaded understanding of the real situation and teach us how not to yield to nuclear terror.
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About the Author
Brian Michael Jenkins (Los Angeles, CA), one of the world’s leading authorities on terrorism, is a senior advisor to the president of the RAND Corporation, director of the National Transportation Security Center of the Mineta Transportation Institute, and a member of the board of Commercial Crime Services of the International Chamber of Commerce. He is frequently quoted in the media, including Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, the New York Times, Washington Post, and other publications.