From Publishers Weekly
A leading expert on terrorism and a senior adviser at the RAND Corporation, Jenkins (Unconquerable Nation
) addresses the contentious issue of nuclear terror in this exhaustive study that seeks to separate what we fear from what we might reasonably expect. The author traces the debate over nuclear terror from the Cold War to its contemporary nexus with al-Qaeda, noting that 9/11 renewed all the old debates and significantly altered our perceptions of what was plausible. Furthermore, the Bush administration's saber-rattling and the relentless media coverage exaggerated the threat and left the nation intentionally terrified. While acknowledging al-Qaeda's efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, Jenkins points out that the evidence confirms... ambition, not capability or the knowledge to fabricate a nuclear device. Finally, the author invites the reader to assume the role of president in a frightening scenario that begins with a nuclear blast in Manhattan. Jenkins's ambitious goal seems to be not to downplay the nuclear threat posed by terrorists but to get Americans to address it logically and dispassionately; his thoroughly documented and carefully reasoned study is an important step in that direction. (Sept.)
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"Jenkins shows us how we must confront our fears with thoughtful and diligent action. We can afford to do no less. A must read. " —George Tenet, former director of the CIA
"In Will Terrorists Go Nuclear? Brian Michael Jenkins brings a lifetime of experience and expertise to today's most pressing national security question. With skill and clarity he separates fact from fiction, laying the groundwork for a thoughtful approach to confronting the nexus of nuclear weapons and terrorism. This is an important book on an urgent threat confronting the American people."
--Lee H. Hamilton, Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, President and
Director, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars