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The Gravest Danger: Nuclear Weapons

by Sidney D. Drell And James E. Goodby

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From the Publisher
"To avoid nuclear war and to contain and gradually to diminish the potential for nuclear devastation: these are the most compelling imperatives of our time"—from the authors’ introduction to The Gravest Danger

From the Foreword by Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz:

"I value this book because of its essence: the careful development of a framework for thinking about nuclear weapons in times punctuated by terrorist threats …. All the elements are here: a relevant history, including an illuminating chart on page 6 on the time pattern of state acquisition of nuclear weapons; a virtual inventory of preventive actions; a searching examination of the circumstances when preemptive military action may be necessary; the problems of intelligence and monitoring; a new look at ballistic missile defenses; the importance of the U.S. example (as in testing); and ideas about what Russia and the United States can do with their special responsibilities. The authors develop the necessary interplay of strength and diplomacy as they address current problems. Work your way through the issues that are presented in settings in various countries. You will find, as I have, that the analytical framework will help you develop your own ideas of how to address critical problems."

The mortal danger of nuclear weapons is unique in its terrifying potential for devastation on an unprecedented and unimaginable scale. In this book, Sidney D. Drell and James E. Goodby—each with more than twenty years experience in national security issues both in public and private capacities—review the main policy issues surrounding nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. They address the specific actions that the community of nations—with American leadership—should take to confront and turn back the nuclear danger that imperils humanity.

The nuclear genie, say the authors, cannot be put back in the bottle. Our most urgent task as a nation today is to successfully manage, contain, and reduce the grave danger of nuclear weapons—whether in the hands of adversaries or friendly states. This book hopes to stimulate active public dialogue on this important subject.

Sidney D. Drell is a professor of theoretical physics emeritus at Stanford University’s Linear Accelerator Center and a senior fellow at its Hoover Institution. James E. Goodby has held a number of ambassadorial-rank positions, including several concerning nuclear weapons issues. He coauthored this book while a diplomat-in-residence at Stanford’s Institute for International Studies.



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