Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Rutgers University Press
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1. Apocalypse Soon?
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The area was growing rapidly: every year thousands of acres of venerable Illinois farmland, some tilled by young Lincoln’s contemporaries a century and a half earlier, simply disappeared. In its stead arose sprawling new housing developments. The new houses were soon filled with new children, who needed new schools. And the new schools needed...
2. The Essence of the Problem: America's Nuclear Hypocrisy
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In June and July of 2006, an enormous tempest arose over the possibility that North Korea might test a long-range Taepodong 2 missile. Pyongyang’s sin? Some believed that such a missile might someday be able to reach the west coast of the United States. In response to this perceived threat, the U.S. government issued repeated warnings to North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il. The talking heads...
3. The Nightmare of Nuclear Terror
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Nuclear terrorism is almost certainly the most likely nuclear threat today, and it may well be the single greatest immediate peril facing world civilization today. This chapter articulates the nuclear terror scenario, emphasizing how easy it could be to implement and how difficult it will be to prevent. But that case has been amply made elsewhere. This chapter makes a case that has rarely been made...
4. Accidental Atomic Apocalypse
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One of the best book titles of recent years was Lethal Arrogance: Human Fallibility and Dangerous Technologies, released in 1999 by Lloyd J. Dumas of the University of Texas.1 You almost don’t need to read the book after seeing that title. You know how it’s going to come out in the end. Dumas issues a stark warning about the hubris of believing that we can control anything we can invent:...
5. Nuclear Crisis Mismanagement: “There Would Be No Learning Curve”
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In November 2008, about a week after the horrific terror attacks in Mumbai, India, an astonishing episode came to light. The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that, during the waning hours of the sixty-hour-long siege, the president of nuclear-armed Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, took a phone call from the foreign minister of nuclear-armed India, Pranab...
6. Intentional Use: The Nuclear Legacy of George W. Bush
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A nuclear terror attack, executed by a non-state actor, is one terrifying scenario by which an actual nuclear detonation might take place. An accidental nuclear launch or even an accidental nuclear war, from the potent nuclear arsenal of a state, is another. And an international political confrontation between nuclear-armed states spinning wildly out of control,...
7. The Grand Bargain of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Rules of the Nuclear Game Today
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The year 2008 was filled with anniversary commemorations and remembrances of the many epochal historic events that had taken place four decades earlier, during the seminal year of 1968: The Tet offensive in Vietnam, which for the first time caused many Americans to comprehend that this was a war we might actually lose; the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.,...
8. Nuclear Weapons are Militarily Unnecessary and Militarily Useless. For Us.
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Ivo Daalder and Jan Lodal both served as nuclear policy advisors to the presidential campaign of Senator Barack Obama. During the transition period after his election, their article “The Logic of Zero: Toward a World Without Nuclear Weapons,” appeared in the November–December 2008 issue of Foreign Affairs, the quintessential forum for America’s foreign policy elite.1 The article...
9. The Architecture of a Nuclear Weapon-Free World
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My childhood pastor at St. Edna’s Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois, the Reverend James Doherty, an irascible and intimidating old Irishman, liked to tell a story about something that happened across the water from his beloved homeland many centuries ago. It was right around the turn of the thirteenth century, and a traveler was venturing across medieval France,...
10. Breakout: Could Someone Cheat and Rule the World?
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Many years ago, I earned a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Southampton in England, after being named a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. It’s a marvelous program that dispatches students from all over the world to all over the world—to study, mingle, and break bread in an effort to cultivate world citizenship and transnational...
11. How It Might Happen: Transforming Abolition from a Utopian Fantasy into a Concrete Political Goal
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There has long been about nuclear matters, said Canadian philosopher Michael Allen Fox a quarter-century ago, “a sense in which we are already experiencing a kind of . . . ‘psychological fallout.’ I am referring here to fear, gloom, despair, cynicism, fatalism, meaninglessness, apathy, and related psychological aberrations and mental paralyses...
12. Apocalypse Never
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In 1971, when Henry Kissinger went to China on behalf of President Nixon in a secret effort to reestablish diplomatic relations between our two great nations, he had much to discuss with his interlocutors in Beijing. There had been, after all, no official contact between the estranged adversaries since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. In the course of their...
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A great many family members, friends, and colleagues have aided and abetted my efforts to launch this project, think it through, and bring it to completion. Some are political professionals or nuclear policy specialists, but a great many more are simply people who care about me and the human race—and want us both to live long and...
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Glossary of Acronyms
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Organizations Working to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Forever
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Each of these organizations is plugging away at one or another aspect of the nuclear disarmament agenda. Join, participate, and donate the money they so desperately need, and I have no doubt that, together, we can make nuclear weapons abolition...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2010