Monday, October 31, 2005

Suitcase Nukes...

... apparently do not exist. Richard Mintner has a clear analysis that essentially shows that the suitcase devices are urban myths.
In "Al Qaeda's Nuclear Program: Through the Window of Seized Documents," a research paper for a think tank linked to the University of California at Berkeley, Albright concluded: "Whatever al Qaeda had accomplished towards nuclear weapon capabilities, its effort in Afghanistan was 'nipped in the bud' with the fall of the Taliban government. The international community is fortunate that the war in Afghanistan set back al Qaeda's effort to obtain nuclear weapons."

For now, suitcase-sized nuclear bombs remain in the realm of James Bond movies. Given the limitations of physics and engineering, no nation seems to have invested the time and money to make them. Both U.S. and the USSR built nuclear mines (as well as artillery shells), which were small but hardly portable--and all were dismantled by treaty by 2000. Alexander Lebed's claims and those of defector Stanislev Lunev were not based on direct observation. The one U.S. official who saw a small nuclear device said it was the size of three footlockers--hardly a suitcase. The desire to obliterate cities is portable--inside the heads of believers--while, thankfully, the nuclear devices to bring that about are not.
Good news on a couple of levels. 1st, at this point at least, there appears to be no "suitcase nukes" available to al Aqaeda or any other group.

2nd, even though we did not nab Osama in Afghanistan, we did put the kibosh on whatever nuke program al Aqaeda had there.

What this article also shows is that al Aqaeda has and is actively pursuing WMDs and is eager and willing to use them against us.


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