OVERRIDE

Nuclear Terrorism

The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe

Graham Allison

Times Books

A leading strategist opens our eyes to the greatest terrorist threat of all-and how to prevent it before it's too late

Americans in the twenty-first century are keenly aware of the many forms of terrorism: hijackings, biological attacks, chemical weapons. But rarely do we allow ourselves to face squarely the deadliest form of terrorism, because it is almost too scary to think about-a terrorist group exploding a nuclear device in an American city.

In this urgent call to action, Graham Allison, one of America's leading experts on nuclear weapons and national security, presents the evidence for two provocative, compelling conclusions. First, if policy makers in Washington keep doing what they are currently doing about the threat, a nuclear terrorist attack on America is likely to occur in the next decade. And if one lengthens the time frame, a nuclear strike is inevitable. Second, the surprising and largely unrecognized good news is that nuclear terrorism is, in fact, preventable. In these pages, Allison offers an ambitious but feasible blueprint for eliminating the possibility of nuclear terrorist attacks.

The United States once relied on the threat of mutually assured destruction to deter the Soviet Union from launching a nuclear strike. But in today's fragmented world, a new strategy is needed, especially with nuclear material vulnerable to theft or sale through black-market channels.

The choice is ours: to grab this beast by the horns or to be impaled on those horns. We do not have the luxury of hoping the problem will go away, and Allison shows why.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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From Nuclear Terrorism:
-Every day 30,000 trucks, 6,500 rail cars, and 140 ships deliver more than 50,000 cargo containers into the United States, but only 5 percent ever get screened. But even this screening, which rarely involves physical inspection, may not detect nuclear weapons or fissile material.

- There are approximately 130 nuclear research reactors in 40 countries. Two dozen of these
have enough highly enriched uranium for one or more nuclear bombs.

- If terrorists bought or stole a complete weapon, they could set it off immediately. If instead they bought fissile
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REVIEWS

Praise for Nuclear Terrorism

“Graham Allison's Nuclear Terrorism is absolutely first-rate. Our survival as a civilization may well depend more than anything else on our heeding the recommendations of this chilling and superbly crafted book.”
--R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence

“Graham Allison is a latter day Paul Revere, calling citizens to arms against the real and rising threat of nuclear terrorism. In clear, readable words of wisdom, Allison tells us ‘everything we ever wanted to know about nuclear terrorism,’ but he also tells us what we must do to prevent nuclear terrorism. For everyone from national security specialists trying to define a strategy to parents who want to leave their children a world worth living in, Graham Allison’s book is essential reading.”
--Sam Nunn, former U.S. Senator and co-chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative

“Graham Allison has produced a book that it is truly alarming about the danger of nuclear terror -- yet optimistic about our prospects if we do all that we could and should. One only hopes it is read and heeded.”
--Richard Haass, president, Council on Foreign Relations


Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Graham Allison

  • Graham Allison, founding dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, is the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government. He served as assistant secretary of defense for policy and plans and is the author of Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. He lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Nuclear Terrorism

The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe

Graham Allison

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Times Books

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