Preventing Catastrophe: The Use and Misuse of Intelligence in Efforts to Halt the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Synopsis

Preventing Catastrophe is written by two authors who are experienced "Washington hands" and who understand the interplay between intelligence and policymaking. Both have been personally involved, in the United States and overseas, in pursuing national and international measures to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Their extensive experience is evident in this book, which puts the Iraqi WMD issue in proper perspective, explains the challenge of monitoring small clandestine programs, and explains how the effort to prevent terrorist acquisition and use of WMD differs from preventing their acquisition and use by nation states. At the same time, the authors are able to make a complex subject understandable to non-technical experts, making this book a useful teaching tool, especially for those who have little or no knowledge or experience in US national security decision making.

"National intelligence and international inspections are necessary to create confidence that violations of non-proliferation commitments are detected in time to permit appropriate action. Both must be pursued with professionalism and critical minds avoiding poor intelligence or cosmetic inspections. The issues studied thoroughly and with good judgment in this welcome volume by Graham and Hansen were intensely controversial in the case of Iraq but remain central to international counter-proliferation efforts."- Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission