The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons
Since their inception, nuclear weapons have multiplied at an alarming rate, leaving everyone from policymakers to concerned citizens wondering what it will take to slow, stop, or even reverse their spread. With clarity and expertise, Joseph Cirincione presents an even-handed look at the history of nuclear proliferation and an optimistic vision of its future, providing a comprehensive survey of the wide range of critical perspectives.
Cirincione begins with the first atomic discoveries of the 1930s and covers the history of their growth all the way to current crisis with Iran. He unravels the science, strategy, and politics that have fueled the development of nuclear stockpiles and increased the chance of a nuclear terrorist attack. He also explains why many nations choose not to pursue nuclear weapons and pulls from this the outlines of a solution to the world's proliferation problem: a balance of force and diplomacy, enforcement and engagement that yields a steady decrease in these deadly arsenals.
Though nuclear weapons have not been used in war since August 1945, there is no guarantee this good fortune will continue. A unique blend of history, theory, and security analysis, Bomb Scare is an engaging text that not only supplies the general reader and student with a clear understanding of this issue but also provides a set of tools policymakers and scholars can use to prevent the cataclysmic consequences of another nuclear attack.
"Invaluable... [Bomb Scare] ought to be read by everyone as a matter of life and death." — Jason Epstein, New York Review of Books
"A welcome antidote to the strange confluence of nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT) opponents." — Christopher F. Chyba, Science
"A compact, balanced, and wise treatment of an issue that is of critical importance to our security." — Robert L. Gallucci, Dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
"Succinct and smart, informed by insight drawn from long experience, Bomb Scare is the best one-volume examination of the history and challenges of the nuclear arms race yet written." — Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb
"Joseph Cirincione has written a 'must read' book for students, scholars, and policymakers alike. He has clearly captured the essence of where we have been, where we are today, and practical options for the future." — General (ret.) Eugene Habiger, former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Strategic Command
"Bomb Scare provides a gripping history of how nuclear weapons were developed, how and why they spread, and how we can stop and reduce their dangers. Joseph Cirincione, one of our nation's top proliferation experts, issues a clear warning about today's nuclear threats, but also makes specific recommendations to address nuclear dangers-the most critical security issue facing our nation and the world." — Sam Nunn, former U.S. Senator and co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative
"At a time of challenges and uncertainties regarding the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime, Joseph Cirincione's Bomb Scare offers a comprehensive review of the history and theory of nuclear weapons, as well as of the policy options before us today in our common endeavour to address the most pressing threatsmdash;existing arsenals, the emergence of new nuclear-armed states, and nuclear terrorism. Strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime is identified by Cirincione as the guiding principle of any such policy. His insightful analysis goes beyond the focus on 'proliferation barriers' and echoes the increasingly vocal call in the international community to address the root causes of proliferation& mdash;persistent conflicts and perceptions of insecurity. Cirincione concludes that reducing nuclear risks in the twenty-first century cannot just be a military or nuclear energy strategy; rather, we must look at resolving underlying political conflicts that are the drivers of nuclear proliferation and competition. By highlighting the direction to be followed in order to reduce the global nuclear threat, Bomb Scare is a welcome contribution in our efforts to change the way we approach security and ensure that the atom is used exclusively for the benefit of humankind. Drawing upon his considerable experience as a practitioner in the nuclear non-proliferation field, Cirincione has produced an insightful and thought provoking work, which makes for an excellent read." — Mohamed ElBaradei, winner of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize and Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency