When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many observers feared that terrorists and rogue states would obtain weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or knowledge about how to build them from the vast Soviet nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons complex. The United States launched a major effort to prevent former Soviet WMD experts, suddenly without salaries, from peddling their secrets. In Our Own Worst Enemy, Sharon Weiner chronicles the design, implementation, and evolution of four U.S. programs that were central to this nonproliferation policy and assesses their successes and failures.
Winner of the 2012 Louis Brownlow Book Award
Journal Article, International Security, issue 2, volume 27
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, concern that Russian nuclear weapons scientists could sell their expertise to the highest bidder or steal nuclear weapons or their components has risen dramatically. Sharon Weiner considers several ways to discourage these potential “nuclear entrepreneurs” from undertaking such efforts.