More nuclear weapons causes terrorism – it’s a real threat
Cimbala 6 – Professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University, author of books and articles in professional journals on topics related to national security, he has served as a consultant on arms control to the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, US Department of State, and private defense contractors (Stephen J., Comparative Strategy, “Missile Defenses in a “Deuces Wild” Context: Proliferation, Terror and Deterrent Disorder,” vol. 25, issue 1, 1/1/2006, http://dl2af5jf3e.search.serialssolutions.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Missile+Defenses+in+a+%22Deuces+Wild%22+Context%3A+Proliferation%2C+Terror+and+Deterrent+Disorder&rft.jtitle=Comparative+Strategy&rft.au=Stephen+J+Cimbala&rft.date=2006-02-01&rft.issn=0149-5933&rft.volume=25&rft.issue=1&rft.spage=1&rft.externalDBID=FCST&rft.externalDocID=1182855721 /mr)
Are fears of nuclear terrorism exaggerated? According to Graham Allison, tbree observations make a compelling case for the imminetice of the threat." First, thousands ofnuciear weapons and tens of thousands of potential weapons (highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium)are located in places where security against theft or diversion is insufficient. Second, the only "high hurdle" preventing terrorists from obtaining a nuclear weapon is access to fissionable material. Terrorists might easily obtain fissile material from rogue states. The possibility that the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq might transfer nuclear technology and weapons to terrorists was one of the principal justifications for the U.S. war to depose the Iraqi dictator in 2003. Hussein's weapons of mass destruction failed to appear in postwar inspections, but the threat of rogues-to-radicals technology and weapons transfer remains a realistic concern. North Korea and Pakistan are now acknowledged nuclear weapons states. North Korea is a politically isolated Stalinist regime run by a dictator of uncertain personal qualities and political intentions. North Korea has previously transferred nuclear technology to Iran and Pakistan, among others. Pakistan's current government has supported the U.S. in its war against al Qaeda and other transnational terrorist organizations. But the Musharraf regime has been under siege from terrorists and other domestic political opponents. Its survival is uncertain, and if it were to fall, political power in Islamabad might pass into the hands of anti American leaders. Pakistan's intelligence services and military are suspected of being penetrated by persons sympathetic to al Qaeda. Additional concerns about Pakistan's management of its nuclear complex resulted from revelations about off-the-shelf activities of tbe scientist who was the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb. According to reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr. A. Q. Khan headed a transnational network that supplied a "Wal-Mart of private sector proliferation" for profit, including designs and components for centrifuges, blueprints for warheads, and tons of uranium hexafluoride gas.^ North Korea's exchange of its ballistic missile technology for Pakistani centrifuge designs may have been expedited by the same network ."* North Korea and Pakistan represent only two potential fronts in the effort to prevent nuclear weapons or materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. A third problem is Iran. Iran has declared its intention to develop a nuclear fuel cycle for peaceful purposes. The U.S. and its European allies suspect that Iran plans to use its completed fuel cycle to produce nuclear weapons. The IAEA has danced with Iran on the issue ofnuciear inspections; some Iranian facilities have been acknowledged and inspected, but other suspected facilities have not. Iran's political leadership is increasingly hostile toward the United States and Israel.^ Iran has strong ties to some of the more active anti-Israeli and anti-American terrorist groups in Palestine and elsewhere, including Hezbollah and Hamas. Another state of concern with regard to the possible leakage of fissile material to terrorists is Russia. In Russia the problem from the U.S. standpoint is not political intentions: the Putin administration had declared its shared Interest in fighting terrorism, .seen as a strategic threat to Russia. But Russia's capability to protect its own vast storehouse ofnuciear weapons and weapons-grade material has been doubted by Western experts.*' Russia's post-Soviet nuclear weapons complex suffered from frostbite and neuralgia combined: interruptions of state funding for personnel and other expenses; inadequate accounting systems for weapons and fissile materials; former Soviet nomenklatura going "private" with state assets under their control, and in cahoots with criminals; and loss of scientific and weapons engineering Missile Defenses in a "Deuces Wild" Context 3 expertise as formerly prestigious and highly paid experts were reduced to bartering for their services/ A third reason for the U.S. and its allies to be concerned about the proximate tbreat of nuclear terrorism is the apparent ease with which a nuclear device might be smuggled onto American territory. Nuclear material sufficient for a bomb migbt be smaller than a football and easily concealed within a cargo container or airline baggage. Of some seven million cargo containers reaching American ports eacb year, fewer than five percent may be inspected.^ Depending on the type of weapon assembly and the yield required, terrorists could sneak into U.S. or allied territory a device sufficient to kill tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent civilians, apart from any damage done to military or govemment targets. For this purpose, terrorists might purchase an already assembled nuclear weapon or obtain fissile material and assemble it themselves. Instructions for making nuclear weapons, as in the case of other weapons of mass de.struction, can be obtained from "open sources" including the intemet.