The Middle East: Culprit for My Nuclear Security Insomnia

Publication Date: 
May 2016
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Roundtable
Nuclear Past, Present and Future Project
Document Type: 
Articles and Op-Eds
What keeps me up at night—US East Coast time—is reading Turkey's morning news concerning Syria and Iraq. The insomnia is especially severe when my thoughts turn to nuclear security not just in Syria and Iraq but in countries throughout the Middle East. All participants in this roundtable agree that, despite the achievements of the Nuclear Security Summits, the threat of nuclear terrorism is not necessarily diminishing. In the Middle East, nuclear terrorism seems a particularly immediate concern. True, the region lacks large quantities of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. But its political instability and its tendency toward violent extremism are conditions that can enable nuclear terrorism. Read more.