Accession Number:

ADA350033

Title:

Nuclear Weapons, Proliferation, and Terrorism: U.S. Response in the Twenty-First Century

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1998-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

116.0

Abstract:

As the remaining superpower in the post-Cold War world, the U.S. needs to reevaluate its policy toward the growing threat to U.S. national interests and the effects of weapons of mass destruction WMD, specifically nuclear devices, and their use by terrorist groups against U.S. interests abroad. As the world reacts to the implosion of the former Soviet Union, there are increased numbers of nations and possibly terrorist groups trying to become players in the international arena. This study describes the ease of obtaining the scientific knowledge, plans, and materials to enable a terrorists construction of a nuclear device. It also analyzes motivation of terrorist groups, concluding that a nuclear weapon, capable of inflicting violence in the extreme, fulfills the terrorists goal of violence in support of a political agenda or to inspire radical change. Given the guidance from the national level, this study proposes a series of policy options available to the NCA for application in an aggressive counterproliferation policy. Finally, the U.S. must rapidly reorganize its counterproliferation structure and methods to streamline a more aggressive approach that is recognized and feared by potential nuclear terrorists augment current political efforts with a clearly defined counterproliferation military mission and associated doctrine.

Subject Categories:

  • Nuclear Warfare
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE