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June 20, 2007


Ron Schwarz

Re: "PROLIFERATION & TERRORISM 101" -- I downloaded the PDF and am in the process of reading it. I noticed that page 3 appears to be missing from the document (there are two pages of graphics between page 2 and page 4, but it appears that there is a text page that is not included in the file).

I do not know if there are any other missing pages (or if perhaps page 3 will appear later on out of sequence).

Koranteng Ofosu-Amaah

"The only substantive advantages nuclear weapons possess as instruments of terror or defense arise from the universal realization of just how terrible their effects are...

An episode of Hiroshima's magnitude might be required to refresh the world's faded collective memory of the horrors of CBW, and, unfortunately, only the continuity of rational action stands between the relatively benign present and that historical contingency. For so low is the threshold of technical difficulty and the critical mass of men and material within the orbit of whatever fanaticsm should find such a deed compelling, that it is hard to imagine a world not at risk of it."

All you wrote was true in 1993 and prescient also. Looking at today's headlines and battleships rushing towards the Gulf, I think the most crucial phrase is indeed "the orbit of whatever fanaticsm should find such a deed compelling".

The Great Game continues apace but one is holding one's breath until January 2009.


Glad to finally have a link for the paper, the web is a great thing.

Koranteng Ofosu-Amaah

One further comment, and perhaps that is the story told in the link I provided. Blowback is not solely that America trained those who acquired the knowledge and technology and put it to use in whatever manner they chose. That merely hastened the inevitable equalization of knowledge. Humanity knows no boundaries, as the proverb goes, and technology transfer is only one facet of that.

The security services drew that lesson and have prepared for the worst(for that is their job). What is worrying is that policymakers in the West drew the wrong lessons. At least that has been my critique about about Huntington, namely that he painted a certain picture and vividly so but didn't articulate with equal flair the nuance of the policy response.

Perhaps you are right: we now live in "the suburbs of the unthinkable', all we do is seek creature comforts.


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