Planning the Unthinkable

Planning the Unthinkable

How New Powers Will Use Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons
Edited by Peter R. Lavoy, Scott D. Sagan, James J. Wirtz
The proliferation of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons is now the single most serious security concern for governments around the world. Peter R. Lavoy, Scott D. Sagan, and James J. Wirtz compare how military threats, strategic cultures, and organizations shape the way leaders intend to employ these armaments. They reveal the many frightening ways that emerging military powers and terrorist groups are planning the unthinkable by preparing to use chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in future conflicts. Distinguished specialists consider several states and organizations that have this weaponry: Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel, as well as the Aum Shinrikyo cult. The contributors expose plans for using unconventional weapons, highlighting the revolutionary effects these arsenals might have on international politics and regional disputes.

James J. Wirtz

Peter R. Lavoy is Director, Counterproliferation Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. Scott D. Sagan is Associate Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University. James J. Wirtz is Professor of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School and author of The Tet Offensive: Intelligence Failure in War, also from Cornell.


The Tet Offensive
Intelligence Failure in War
James J. Wirtz
Wirtz explains why U.S. forces were surprised by the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive in 1968.