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"Catastrophic Terrorism: Elements of a National Policy"

"Catastrophic Terrorism: Elements of a National Policy"

Occasional Paper 6, volume 1, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University

October 1998

Authors: Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities, John M. Deutch, International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Philip D. Zelikow, Former Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Faculty Affiliate, International Security Program

Preventive Defense Project publications

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security; Preventive Defense Project


This report is a product of the Catastrophic Terrorism Study Group, a nine-month long collaboration of faculty from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of Virginia. The Group involves experts on national security, terrorism, intelligence, law enforcement, constitutional law, technologies of Catastrophic Terrorism and defenses against them, and government organization and management. The Group is co-chaired by Ashton B. Carter and John M. Deutch, and the project director is Philip D. Zelikow. Organized by the Stanford-Harvard Preventive Defense Project, the work of the Study Group is part of the Kennedy School of Government’s "Visions of Governance for the Twenty-First Century" project, directed by Dean Joseph S. Nye, Jr. and Elaine Kamarck.

While the danger of Catastrophic Terrorism is new and grave, there is much that the United States can do to prevent it and to mitigate its consequences if it occurs. The objective of the Catastrophic Terrorism Study Group is to suggest program and policy changes that can be taken by the United States government in the near term, including the reallocation of agency responsibilities, to prepare the nation better for the emerging threat of Catastrophic Terrorism.

An article based on this report will be published in the journal Foreign Affairs in the November/December 1998 issue.


For more information about this publication please contact the PDP Associate Director at 617-495-1412.

Full text of this publication is available at:

For Academic Citation:

Carter, Ashton B., John M. Deutch, and Philip D. Zelikow. "Catastrophic Terrorism: Elements of a National Policy." Occasional Paper 6, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., October 1998.

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