Defending the "Acquisition-use presumption" in assessing the likelihood of nuclear terrorism

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

In an important article, McIntosh and Storey (2018) challenge the "acquisition-use presumption" that a terrorist organization with a nuclear weapon would inevitably seek to detonate it in an attack. They argue that a terrorist organization with nuclear weapons has more attractive options than conducting a direct nuclear attack, that organizational politics mean that a terrorist organization with a nuclear weapon would be unlikely to seek to detonate it, and that a nuclear attack would escalate the threats the terrorist organization faced. I argue that these arguments are ultimately unpersuasive and that the acquisition-use presumption remains a valid basis for theorizing about the likelihood of nuclear terrorism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-778
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Volume63
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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