Caging the Genies: A Workable Solution for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons

Caging the Genies: A Workable Solution for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons

Caging the Genies: A Workable Solution for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons

Caging the Genies: A Workable Solution for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons

Synopsis

The cold war may be over, but you wouldn't know it from the tens of thousands of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction still held by Russia, the United States, and other world powers. Arguing that the time has come to dispense with incremental approaches to arms control, Admiral Stansfield Turner, the former head of the CIA and an experienced senior military commander, proposes a practical yet safe plane that would move the world into a new and secure millennium. The paperback edition of this widely acclaimed work has been updated to consider the implications of such a build-down if applied to non-nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Specifically, Admiral Turner details how a plan for weapons reduction could be carried out for biological and chemical weapons and what tactical and strategic differences exist between de-escalation of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons.

Excerpt

On the morning of February 26, 1993, a yellow Ford Econoline van parked on the second level of the public garage underneath the World Trade Center in New York City's lower Manhattan. At 12:18 P.M. there was a horrendous explosion that ripped through the garage and into the office buildings, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000. the twin towers, each 110 stories high, were shaken from their foundations to their tops, filled with smoke and without electricity. There was a crater about 120 feet in diameter and five stories deep where the bomb, estimated to be more than 1,000 pounds of high explosive, had detonated. the damage to the buildings was repaired sufficiently within twenty days for them to be reoccupied--but not so the damage to our American psyche. We abruptly became much more aware that our country is vulnerable to indiscriminate, unclaimed acts of terrorism.

Inevitably, there was speculation as to the consequences had it been a nuclear bomb. the A-bomb that the United States dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945 would have fit inside the Econoline van, and if one of the so-called rogue states--North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Afghanistan, for instance--or terrorists were to build a nuclear bomb, it would likely be a relatively simple, large one, much like the one employed at Hiroshima. That bomb released more than 10,000 times as much explosive power as the one in the van at the World Trade Center. Needless to say, had such a nuclear bomb been successfully placed and detonated in that building's garage, the consequences would have been terrifying. Within a fraction of a second of the explosion, intense light from hot, expanding gases could set fires in buildings up to a mile away. Depending on the bomb's location inside the garage, its detonation would vaporize or destroy major foundation supports of either one or both of the towers.

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