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Annihilation from Within - The Ultimate Threat to Nations


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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 who might gain a few weapons of mass destruction and annihilate a nation's government from within, assuming 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, Fred Ikle turns to history. Some 250 years ago, science was freed from political and religious constraints, causing a cultural split. Since then, science has advanced at an accelerating pace while religion and politics have moved along a zigzag course. This divergence will widen and endanger the survival of nations. Drawing on his experience as a Washington insider, Ikle outlines the practical measures that could be implemented to help us avert catastrophe.

Table of Contents

What This Book Is About 1. Mankind's Cultural Split 2. Science Pushes Us Over the Brink 3. Five Lessons of the Nuclear Age 4. Annihilation from Within 5. Time to Get Serious 6. Restorations Notes Acknowledgments Index

About the Author

Fred Charles Ikle was undersecretary of defense for policy during the Reagan administration and served Presidents Nixon and Ford as director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. In 1999 he was a member of the National Commission on Terrorism and in 2001 he became a member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board. He is a Distinguished Scholar at The Center of International and Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C., and is the author of several books, including Every War Must End (Columbia) and How Nations Negotiate.


The great value of Mr. Ikle's book: to make us consider the worst. -- Walter Laqueur The Wall Street Journal Should be on every Pentagon reading list. -- Austin Bay Washington Times Ikle addresses a reality we prefer to ignore. -- George Walden Bloomberg A sobering exploration of the perils of progress. -- Eric Cohen Weekly Standard A book that should be read by every serious citizen, especially those responsible for our national security. -- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. American Spectator A grim assessment of America's vulnerability. -- David Ignatius Washington Post An extremely important and readable book... that requires attention. -- Richard W. Rahn The Washington Times

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