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– Lisa Beyer
Bloomberg News
August 27, 2018
Books of Note
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No End in Sight: The Continuing Menance of Nuclear Proliferation
By Nathan E. Busch, University Press of Kentucky, June 2004, 490 pp.

Nathan E. Busch reprises and seeks to resolve a long-standing academic debate about the danger nuclear proliferation poses for global security. Some well-known “realists” such as Kenneth Waltz, for example, have long argued that, despite the intuition of policymakers and the general public, the deterrent quality of nuclear weapons in fact promotes stability. But Busch draws on case studies of existing nuclear powers to argue otherwise. Nuclear proliferation is risky, he says, in part because of the lack of adequate controls that countries maintain over the deployment, use, and security of nuclear weapons. He also invokes the experience of Pakistan’s 1999 confrontation with India that verged on nuclear war to refute claims that two countries with such weapons are less likely to come to blows. He ends with a recommendation of steps to reduce dangers among the nuclear-weapon states and to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons.



The Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind
By Mahdi Obeidi and Kurt Pitzer, John Wiley & Sons, September 2004, 256 pp.

Mahdi Obeidi, who at one time headed Iraq’s uranium-enrichment program and later became director-general of Iraq’s Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization, offers an inside perspective on what the international community can do to prevent countries from developing components necessary to build a nuclear bomb. Obeidi, together with Kurt Pitzer, a U.S. reporter who helped bring Obeidi to the United States, describes Saddam Hussein’s quest for a nuclear bomb prior to the Persian Gulf War. Although Obeidi disclosed that he had buried designs for building uranium-enriching gas centrifuges in his backyard in the early 1990s, he says that Iraq did not reconstitute its nuclear weapons program after the Gulf War.



The Problem of Biological Weapons
By Milton Leitenberg, Swedish National Defence College, September 2004, 206 pp.

Milton Leitenberg offers a comprehensive analysis of biological weapons starting from the entry into force of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1975. Leitenberg delves into the current status of biological weapons, proliferation of these weapons, and efforts to bring them under international control. One of his key concerns is the current lack of a mechanism under the BWC to monitor compliance by member states and to penalize violators. He says that the greatest threat for using such weapons comes from state actors rather than nonstate actors, who he believes do not yet have the ability to weaponize biological agents.


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