Book Forum

Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al Qaeda

(Oxford University Press, 2009)

October 29, 2009 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM EDT

Auditorium/1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring the author, John Mueller, Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies, Ohio State University; Michael Krepon, Co‐​Founder, Henry L. Stimson Center; and Jeffrey G. Lewis, Director, Nuclear Strategy and Nonproliferation Initiative, New America Foundation. Moderated by Justin Logan, Associate Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

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Having informed readers in previous books that their fears of war and terrorism are overblown, iconoclastic political scientist John Mueller has set his sights on nuclear weapons. For Mueller, nuclear weapons have never represented much of a threat given states’ fundamental unwillingness to use them. Moreover, our current worries about terrorists obtaining such weapons are essentially baseless. As Mueller points out, there is a multitude of reasons why terrorists will not be able to obtain nuclear weapons, much less build them themselves and successfully transport them to targets. Atomic Obsession concludes with a judgment that our efforts to prevent the spread of WMDs have produced much more suffering and violence than would have been the case if we took a more realistic view of such weapons.

Please join us for a discussion of this provocative new book.