Nuclear Terrorism: Calibrating Funding for Defensive Programs in Response to the Threat   [open pdf - 738KB]

"The risk of a nuclear attack by terrorists is one of the most urgent and threatening dangers facing the U.S. The U.S. National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction depicts a layered system of preventive measures ranging from securing materials at foreign sources to interdicting weapons or nuclear materials at ports, border crossings, and within the U.S. Several departments within the U.S. government manage these preventive programs with little [cross-departmental] integration to determine where additional funds could provide the greatest impact. Furthermore, no governmental office with budgetary or staffing authority exists to direct the overarching effects of these programs and expenditures as a whole. This study examines the fiscal prioritization and relative effectiveness of the primary U.S. programs to prevent acts of nuclear terrorism contrasted against the threat of a terrorist nuclear attack within the U.S. This effort seeks to bridge departmental lanes of responsibility, provide a holistic perspective, and identify programs in need of additional resources and emphasis, as well as efforts that offer comparatively little added security. This research concludes that while proactive domestic and overseas source security measures receive appropriate fiscal emphasis, border and cargo security measures and the supporting research and development efforts do not."

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