Counter-terrorism via counter-proliferation
Wirtz, James J.
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Do counter-proliferation policies help or hinder efforts at stopping terrorists from using chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological (CBNR) weapons? Counter- proliferation bounds the terrorist threat by reducing the vulnerability of US forces, allied military units and even civilian populations to terrorist attack. It helps to deter state-sponsored terrorism by bolstering the ability of US forces to retaliate with massive conventional force or with nuclear weapons. Counter-proliferation also probably helps to deter state-sponsored CBNR terrorism, although it has little effect on individual terrorists or independent terrorist networks. It reduces the prospects of terrorist incidents by helping to keep ‘surplus’ materials or weapons from entering black markets. Because counter-proliferation policies harden US or allied forces to terrorist attacks, however, counter-proliferation efforts might channel terrorists toward softer (civilian) targets.
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