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Deterring State Sponsorship of Nuclear Terrorism (Council Special Report) [Paperback]

Michael A. Levi


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Book Description

October 10, 2008 0876094191 978-0876094198

The basis of nuclear doctrine during the cold war was deterrence. Nuclear powers were deterred from attacking each other by the fear of retaliation. Today, much of the concern over possible nuclear attack comes in the context of rogue states and terrorism. And since only states are known to possess nuclear weapons, an important question is how to deter them from letting terrorists acquire a device, whether through an authorized transfer or a security breach.

Michael A. Levi analyzes this aspect of deterrence in the post-cold war world, as well as what to do if deterrence breaks down. He suggests how to discourage states from giving weapons or nuclear materials to terrorists and how to encourage states to bolster security against any accidental transfer. He also challenges the assumption, implicit in most discussion, that developing a technical ability to attribute nuclear attacks will automatically yield "deterrence" against state sponsorship. In doing that, the report moves the policy debate from its current focus on technology to one that is equally about strategy and thus offers thoughtful analysis and practical guidelines for U.S. policy on a complex and important issue.


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About the Author

Michael A. Levi is the David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations and the director of CFR's program on energy security and climate change. Dr. Levi is the author of two books, On Nuclear Terrorism (Harvard University Press, 2007) and, with Michael E. O'Hanlon, The Future of Arms Control (Brookings, 2005).


Product Details

  • Series: Council Special Report (Book 39)
  • Paperback: 33 pages
  • Publisher: Council on Foreign Relations Press (October 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876094191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876094198
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,942,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Levi is the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and director of the CFR program on energy security and climate change. The author of four books and an authority on energy, resources, climate, arms control, and terrorism, his writing has been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Wired, Nature, and Scientific American. Levi previously wrote a monthly online column for the New Republic, and was a technical consultant to the critically acclaimed television drama 24. Levi holds degrees in mathematical physics and in war studies. He lives in New York.

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