The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism

By Norwitz, Jeffrey H. | Naval War College Review, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism


Norwitz, Jeffrey H., Naval War College Review


Ferguson, Charles D., William C. Potter, et al. The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism. Monterey, Calif.: Center for Nonproliferation Studies, 2004. 378pp. $19.95

Only readers well prepared for a sobering analysis of the likelihood of the use of nuclear materials by terrorists and its consequences should read this book. The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism stands alone as a realistic and scientific treatment of a dire threat. It is well researched, credible, and easily understood despite delving into nuclear physics. The authors, all with impeccable credentials, have effectively framed their discussions around four situations that chillingly illustrate how nuclear materials may find their way into a devastating weapon of mass destruction.

Each of the "four faces" is a distinct scenario of nuclear terrorism and a frightening apparition of what our nation confronts. The first example is theft and detonation of an intact nuclear weapon, without question the most worrisome, followed secondly by theft or purchase of fissile material leading to the fabrication and detonation of a crude nuclear weapon or, as the authors say, an "improvised nuclear device." The third example is an attack on, or sabotage of, nuclear installations, causing the release of large amounts of radioactivity. The final manifestation is terrorist dispersal of highly radioactive material by conventional explosives, commonly referred to as a "dirty bomb" or, in the authors' words, a "radiological dispersion device." For each of these calamitous circumstances, the authors provide a cacophony of story lines, any one of which would make a riveting movie.

The writers cleverly create an analytic framework to examine the four "faces" of nuclear terrorism. This probing methodology includes looking at a causative chain of events leading to the acquisition and detonation of a mass-casualty weapon incorporating nuclear material; terrorist motivations and capabilities to achieve nuclear potential; transfer of radiological materials by force, intimidation, collusion, insider assistance, or as a gift by rogue states; defeating safeguards on the physical protection of fissile material or safeguards against unauthorized detonation of a nuclear device; undetected transportation of a device to the target; and lastly, consequence management of an undeterred terrorist nuclear attack.

Although the authors distinguish between the four scenarios, their analysis of underlying factors is often unnecessarily repetitive. Indeed, conclusions are lifted verbatim from previous chapters-understandably, since patterns of illegal activity often mirror each other, regardless of criminal goal. This frequent redundancy undermines the argument that there are four distinct paradigms relating to nuclear terrorism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.