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  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Middle East is the scene of an ongoing process of proliferation. Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, and Syria all have significant capabilities to deliver weapons of mass destruction Israel, and Syria has made considerable progress in acquiring weapons of mass destruction since the mid-1970s. Syria has never shown a serious interest in nuclear weapons, although it did seek to buy two small research reactors from the PRC in 1992, including a 24-megawatt reactor, and purchased a small 30-kilowatt research reactor from the PRC in 1991. It allowed inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency for the first time in February 1992. Syria does, however, deploy sheltered missiles, armed with chemical warheads, as a means of both countering Israel's nuclear forces and maintaining its rivalry with Iraq. As the attached article Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Mustafa Tlas shows, Syria has a major interest in biological warfare, and the fact his article first appeared in public in an Iranian journal may not entirely be a coincidence.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Libya, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There is a wide spectrum of potential threats to the American homeland that do not involve the threat of overt attacks by states using long-range missiles or conventional military forces. Such threats include covert attacks by state actors, state use of proxies, independent terrorist and extremist attacks by foreign groups or individuals, and independent terrorist and extremist attacks by residents of the US. These threats are currently limited in scope and frequency. No pattern of actual attacks on US territory has yet emerged that provides a clear basis for predicting how serious any given form of attack will be in the future, what means of attack will be used, or how lethal new forms of attack will be if they are successful.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Sam Nunn, Robert E. Ebel
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons continue to pose the most devastating security threat to Americans. Although the risk of a nuclear war destroying civilization has virtually disappeared, the risk that a single nuclear weapon might be used to destroy a major city has increased, particularly given the erosion of control over nuclear material with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nothing could be more central to international security than ensuring that the essential ingredients of nuclear weapons do not fall into the hands of terrorists or proliferant states. Effective controls over nuclear warheads and the nuclear materials needed to make them are essential to the future of the entire global effort to reduce nuclear arms and stem their spread. At the same time, ensuring protection of public health and the environment in the management of all nuclear materials—from nuclear weapons to nuclear wastes—remains a critical priority. Appropriate management of both safety and security worldwide will be essential to maintaining nuclear fission as an expandable option for supplying the world's greenhouse-constrained energy needs in the twenty-first century.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union
  • Author: Robert E. Ebel, John Taylor
  • Publication Date: 03-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This panel report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies considers an issue of critical importance to U.S. national security interests: Is the United States now pursuing a well-conceived and effective program of working with Russia to dispose of the vast amounts of separated plutonium that have become excess to the nuclear weapons needs of the two countries?
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States