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America's Achilles Heel : Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Terrorism and Covert Attack

America's Achilles Heel : Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Terrorism and Covert Attack - 98 edition

America's Achilles Heel : Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Terrorism and Covert Attack - 98 edition

ISBN13: 9780262561181

ISBN10: 0262561182

Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 98
Copyright: 1998
Publisher: MIT Press
International: No

ISBN13: 9780262561181

ISBN10: 0262561182

Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 98

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Nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons delivered covertly by terrorists or hostile governments pose a significant and growing threat to the United States and other countries. Although the threat of NBC attack is widely recognized as a central national security issue, most analysts have assumed that the primary danger is military use by states in war, with traditional military means of delivery. The threat of covert attack has been imprudently neglected.

Covert attack is hard to deter or prevent, and NBC weapons suitable for covert attack are available to a growing range of states and groups hostile to the United States. At the same time, constraints on their use appear to be eroding. This volume analyzes the nature and limits of the covert NBC threat and proposes a measured set of policy responses, focused on improving intelligence and consequence-management capabilities to reduce U.S. vulnerability.

Author Bio

Falkenrath, Richard A. : Harvard University

Richard A. Falkenrath is Executive Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Newman, Robert D. :

Robert D. Newman is an arms control specialist in Washington, DC.

Thayer, Bradley A. : Dartmouth College

Bradley A. Thayer is Visiting Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College. From 1995 to 1997, Newman and Thayer were Research Fellows at BCSIA.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1 The Covert NBC Threat in Historical Perspective
2 NBC Acquisition and Covert Delivery: Technical Possibilities and Technical Constraints
3 The Threat of Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical Attack by Non-State Actors
4 The Threat of Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical Attack by States
5 Recommendations: An Agenda for the American Government
6 Conclusion


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