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Douglas Frantz/Catherine Collins: The Nuclear Jihadist
Douglas Frantz/Catherine Collins, The Nuclear Jihadist: The True Story of the Man Who Sold the World's Most Dangerous Secrets . . . and How We Could Have Stopped Him (2007, Twelve)
Reissued with a new title: The Man From Pakistan: The True Story of the World's Most Dangerous Nuclear Smuggler (paperback, 2008, Twelve)
Catherine Collins/Douglas Frantz: The Proliferation Game. An excerpt from the authors' book on AQ Khan and the Pakistani nuclear bomb racket. The authors argue first of all that the roots of the Pakistani atom bomb program lie in "Eisenhower's 1953 Atoms for Peace program, billed as a humanitarian gesture aimed at sharing the peaceful potential of atomic energy with the world." Moreover, the execution of the program was achieved primarily through the multinational business community that built up around so-called peaceful nuclear power. Khan was adept at exploiting this network, and went further in organizing the whole business. Thanks to global warming, nuclear power seems to be creeping back onto the agenda again. (Gwyneth Cravens' book, Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy [2007, Knopf], looks to be a relatively articulate pro-nuclear argument, although a lot of the comparisons strike me as suspect; e.g., "A person living within 50 miles of a nuclear plant receives less radiation from it in a year than you get from eating one banana.") No matter how good an idea nuclear power seems, unless you can provide a clean way to separate it from nuclear weapons it remains fraught with danger. It remains unclear whether that can be done, but the example of Pakistan shows us two things: one is that the dichotomy between the haves and the have-nots is always ripe for levelling; the other is that the have-nots can and will find a way. I think Collins and Frantz are probably wrong in calling Khan a Jihadist, although what he's done certainly makes nuclear armament much more accessible to Jihadists. But he's also shown that the nuclear powers will be increasingly unable to keep their nuclear monopoly.