In NUCLEAR TERRORISM:
The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe (Times Books / an imprint of
Henry Holt & Co.; August 9, 2004), Graham Allison, founding
dean of Harvard’s modern John F. Kennedy School of Government,
a former top Pentagon official, and one of America’s leading
scholars of nuclear strategy and national security, gives us an
urgent call to action. He makes the case that nuclear terrorism
is inevitable—if we continue on our present course—and
he sets out an ambitious but achievable plan for preventing a catastrophic
attack before it’s too late.
Given the number
of capable groups with serious intent, the increasing accessibility
of weapons or nuclear materials from which elementary weapons could
be constructed, and the countless ways by which terrorists could
smuggle a weapon across America’s borders, Allison argues
that if the U.S. and other governments keep doing what we are doing
now, a nuclear terrorist attack is inevitable. Yet Allison is no
pessimist. He contends that the big and underreported news is that
nuclear terrorism is preventable. “As a simple matter of physics,
without fissile material, there can be no nuclear explosion. There
is a vast – but not unlimited – amount of it in the
world, and it is within our power to keep it secure,” Allison
writes. “No fissile material, no nuclear explosion, no nuclear
terrorism. It is that simple.” The centerpiece of a strategy
to prevent nuclear terrorism must be to deny terrorists access to
nuclear weapons and materials. To do this, we must shape a new international
security order according to a doctrine of the Three No’s:
No loose nukes, No new nascent nukes, and No new nuclear states.
In this timely
book, Allison provides in plain and accessible terms the “who,
what, where, when and how” of nuclear terrorism – and
explains how we can act now to prevent it.
"Graham Allison has written at once a gripping page-turner
and a sober how-to manual on preventing nuclear catastrophe. Allison
shows how the Bush Administration, despite its repeated warnings
of "mushroom clouds" on American soil, has not done what
it can to stem proliferation, stave off dirty bomb attacks, or prevent
the advent of new nuclear states. Drawing upon his experience in
government, Allison offers grim forecasts and recommends workable
measures -- measures that could hardly be more timely, or more necessary."
--Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "A Problem
from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide.
"Graham Allison's NUCLEAR TERRORISM is absolutely first-rate.
Our survival as a civilization may well depend more than anything
on our heeding the recommendations of this chilling and superbly-crafted
--R. James Woolsey, Former Director of Central Intelligence
"Graham Allison has produced a book that it is truly alarming
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