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on June 12, 2014
My son recommended this book, and I'm glad he did. The insights offered are terrific, fact-based and unbiased. A bit of a reality check; to peek into the inner workings of governments, intelligence agencies and rogue networks makes one realize the "big picture" we see on the broadcast news is so often misguided....
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on March 5, 2014
Very good investigative report on the politics of foreign policies spanning 5 presidencies. An excellent expose of what goes on behind the scenes of both republican and democratic administartions. It exemplifies what all presidents inherit as "baggage" from their predecessors. A revelation of how and when Pakistan got the bomb.
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on June 21, 2008
We Americans are so unread about what has truly been allowed to go on in the 60-80's, under the watchful eye of many US Presidents. There is enough blame to go around for both parties. If Khan can build nuclear war heads without interruption from his government or ours, what is happening at the moment? So many mistakes over such a long period of time. It is matter of fact, no exaggeration that I can tell. Well worth reading - a MUST! I just wish it were mandatory reading for high schoolers.
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on May 9, 2011
Methodically detailed and documented, a must-read.

Scary as well - you have to wonder what elements of the network are still out there peddling the nuclear technology. On the upside, the CIA's successful effort to end Libya's nuclear ambitions is fascinating and something I don't even recall being covered by the media.
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on May 26, 2015
Fantastic book, very factual and reads like a thriller.
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on December 15, 2014
Great audiobook!
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on September 6, 2014
Good book but slow moving
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on December 26, 2010
The book has arrived but seems to be a book from a public library and bears its many stamps.
But book is in reasonable condition.
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on December 14, 2012
This is a chilling story. It describes how A. Q. Khan got into working for the Dutch portion of the URENCO gas centrifuge program (URENCO is a joint British-Dutch-German consortium to develop and field gas centrifuges for separating uranium isotopes). While he was working for the Dutch, he stole drawings, material specifications, and design data. He even got pictures. All this was done without the Dutch security people knowing anything about it and not really looking at him carefully because the Dutch design team was too busy trying to beat the British and German designs to worry about what Khan might be doing.
Khan then went back home to Pakistan and became the leader of the Pakistani centrifuge effort. While in Europe, he had made contact with suppliers who could sell him high-tech materials and equipment. He continued to develop and expand his collection of suppliers.
As if the idea of Pakistan having nuclear weapons isn't worrisome enough (what if the government gets taken over by radical Islamists), once Khan had helped his own country, he proceeded to sell the same equipment to Libya, Iran, and North Korea. And, the book's authors claim that the North Koreans sell missiles and other arms to all comers and most likely will do the same with centrifuge plants. Uh, oh!
I think the book is well researched and detailed. I liked it, but I'm really worried.
John K.
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on April 13, 2008
Subtitled: The true story of the man who sold the world's most dangerous secrets and how we could have stopped him.

The events begin in 1972 when Khan started working for a Dutch technology firm that designed and manufactured centrifuges used for enriching uranium. Authors Frantz and Collins describe how he contacted Pakistani diplomats and offered his services to his country. He also displayed such an insatiable curiosity about nuclear related products that some of his coworkers eventually became concerned enough to report him.

In 1975, Khan moved to Pakistan where he set about making his country a nuclear power. As Pakistan realized its nuclear ambitions, Khan accumulated wealth and power and become a national hero in 1998 when Pakistan detonated five nuclear devices underground. By then, Khan had established foreign markets for his expertise and his ability to deliver tightly controlled materials. The "Pakistani Pipeline" (an operation to procure restricted materials and provide technical expertise) had expanded its operations to newer markets.

The U.S. administration ignored the nuclear threat because it needed an ally in the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan and later in the war against terror, after 9/11. The Pakistani authorities arrested Khan in 2003. Parvez Musharraf pardoned him after a written confession and placed him under house arrest. By this time, no one knew who has nuclear capability.

The book is well-written; it reads like a spy novel and its great strength is that it gives so many details that readers can see the complexity of the issue. The authors' bias that it is bad for nuclear weapons to exist at all does come through, as does their liberal slant on American politics. The authors do not acknowledge that the Iraqi invasion (blunders aside) does curtail nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (something that the authors' work on Iraq and Libya shows).

The book's title is misleading. Khan was motivated by wealth and power, not by religious conviction (as one would expect of a "jihadist"). This is made clear as reader read the book.

Overall, it's a great read, but leaves little room for optimism. It enumerates the dangers we all now face partially due to the cast of characters they profile. What is less clear is what we do now.

Armchair Interviews says: A book that details the dangers that exist worldwide.
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