Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons
Monday, April 23, 2007
Presented by Science & the City
Speaker: Joseph Cirincione
"Succinct and smart, informed by insight drawn from long experience, Bomb Scare is the best one-volume examination of the history and challenges of the nuclear arms race yet written."
-Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb
"Joseph Cirincione has written a 'must read' book for students, scholars, and policymakers alike. He has clearly captured the essence of where we have been, where we are today, and practical options for the future."
-General (ret.) Eugene Habiger, former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Strategic Command
"Bomb Scare provides a gripping history of how nuclear weapons were developed, how and why they spread, and how we can stop and reduce their dangers. Joseph Cirincione, one of our nation's top proliferation experts, issues a clear warning about today's nuclear threats, but also makes specific recommendations to address nuclear dangers-the most critical security issue facing our nation and the world."
-Sam Nunn, former U.S. Senator and co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative
"Bomb Scare is a welcome contribution in our efforts to change the way we approach security and ensure that the atom is used exclusively or the benefit of humankind. "
-Mohamed ElBaradei, winner of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize and Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency
Since their inception, nuclear weapons have multiplied at an alarming rate, leaving everyone from policymakers to concerned citizens wondering what it will take to slow, stop, or even reverse their spread. With clarity and expertise, Joseph Cirincione presents an even-handed look at the history of nuclear proliferation and an optimistic vision of its future, providing a comprehensive survey of the wide range of critical perspectives.
Cirincione begins with the first atomic discoveries of the 1930s and covers the history of their growth all the way to current crisis with Iran. He unravels the science, strategy, and politics that have fueled the development of nuclear stockpiles and increased the chance of a nuclear terrorist attack. He also explains why many nations choose not to pursue nuclear weapons and pulls from this the outlines of a solution to the world's proliferation problem: a balance of force and diplomacy, enforcement and engagement that yields a steady decrease in these deadly arsenals.
Though nuclear weapons have not been used in war since August 1945, there is no guarantee this good fortune will continue. A unique blend of history, theory, and security analysis, Bomb Scare is an engaging text that not only supplies the general reader and student with a clear understanding of this issue but also provides a set of tools policymakers and scholars can use to prevent the cataclysmic consequences of another nuclear attack.
Joseph Cirincione is the Vice President for National Security at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, and teaches at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as the director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and on the professional staff of the Armed Services Committee and the Government Operations Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. One of America's best known weapons experts, he is the coauthor of Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats; Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security; and WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications. He appears frequently on radio, television and in print.