A timely and important report from Stratfor. I strongly recommend reading it in full. This is what Stratfor does best, and they are one of the best public sources for this kind of analysis.
- “Debunking Myths About Nuclear Weapons and Terrorism“, Stratfor, 29 May 2009
- Terrorists and Apocalyptic-Minded Jihadists
- Loose Nukes and Clandestine Acquisition
- Irrational Actors
- Nuclear Weapons and Proxies
(2) Loose Nukes and Clandestine Acquisition
But what about acquiring a nuclear weapon that has already been built? The security of nuclear weapons is and has long been an important concern. …
(3) Irrational Actors
One of the questions that arose from our analysis of the North Korean situation was that it was governed by a reliance on rational actors. There was a concern that STRATFOR was too quick to assume that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could be considered rational. …
(4) Nuclear Weapons and Proxies
Another concern is that North Korea, Iran or Pakistan might hand off a nuclear weapon to a non-state actor or proxy of some sort — one that would detonate it at a mutually-agreeable target as soon as possible. Subsets of this same issue are whether one of these countries might not use a shipping container or some other clandestine means to carry out an attack on the United States or another target — the deniable use of nuclear weapons. …
Ultimately, such doomsday scenarios cannot ever be completely ruled out, and continual, ever-improving efforts to further secure global nuclear stockpiles and vigilance over them are certainly warranted from a security standpoint. But man has controlled nuclear weapons for more than half a century, and we do not see the latest nuclear crisis playing out any differently than every other nuclear crisis that has come before it. Furthermore, STRATFOR does not subscribe to the idea that countries build nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately, thereby triggering nuclear war, or freely hand them off to non-state actors that would.
Other articles about nukes
“How I learned to stop worrying and live with the bomb“, Michael Lind, Salon, 13 october 2009 — “Neither terrorists nor rogue states like North Korea are likely to use nuclear weapons. Here’s why.”
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