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Better Safe Than SorryThe Ironies of Living with the Bomb$
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Michael Krepon

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804760638

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804760638.001.0001

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The Second Nuclear Age

The Second Nuclear Age

(p.94) 4 The Second Nuclear Age
Better Safe Than Sorry
Stanford University Press

The year 1991 saw the beginning of the second nuclear age. This was when the Soviet Union dissolved and when victorious U.S. troops in Iraq discovered an advanced nuclear weapon program which inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency had previously failed to notice. During this period, nonproliferation successes were more difficult to achieve. Domestic politics and powerful interest groups were vital drivers for horizontal proliferation. A. Q. Khan and Osama bin Laden personified the new dangers of the second nuclear age. They gained greatly from the state sponsorship of Pakistan. U.S. forces were quite capable of ending Hussein's brutal regime and completely unsuited for the mission that would inevitably follow. The Soviet Union started the second nuclear age, and its demise had extremely positive ramifications for those suffocating under the heavy red cloak of Communism.

Keywords:   second nuclear age, Soviet Union, U.S. troops, Iraq, nuclear weapon, A. Q. Khan, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan, Communism

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