In this eloquent and impassioned book, defense expert Fred Iklé
predicts a revolution in national security that few strategists
have grasped; fewer still are mindful of its historic roots. We are
preoccupied with suicide bombers, jihadist terrorists, and rogue
nations producing nuclear weapons, but these menaces are merely
distant thunder that foretells the gathering storm.
It is the dark side of technological progress that explains this
emerging crisis. Globalization guarantees the spread of new
technologies, whether beneficial or destructive, and this
proliferation reaches beyond North Korea, Iran, and other rogue
states. Our greatest threat is a cunning tyrant gaining possession
of a few weapons of mass destruction. His purpose would not be to
destroy landmarks, highjack airplanes, or attack railroad stations.
He would annihilate a nation's government from within and assume
dictatorial power. The twentieth century offers vivid examples of
tyrants who have exploited major national disasters by rallying
violent followers and intimidating an entire nation.
To explain how we have become so vulnerable, Iklé turns to
history. Some 250 years ago, science was freed from political and
religious constraints, causing a cultural split in which one part
of our culture remained animated by religion and politics while the
other became guided by science. Since then, technological progress
and the evolving political order march to different drummers.
Science advances at an accelerating pace while religion and
politics move along a zigzag course. This divergence will widen and
endanger the survival of all nations.
Drawing on his experience as a Washington insider, Iklé outlines
practical measures that could readily be implemented to help us
avert the worst disaster.
Subjects: Political Science
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