One Point Safe by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn

One Point Safe

Leslie Cockburn

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When the Soviet Union collapsed, the cold war may have come to an end. But the deadly Soviet nuclear arsenal—thousands of warheads and hundreds of tons of plutonium—continues to sit virtually unguarded, presenting the world with a new and even more terrifying nuclear threat. And it's not just criminals, extremists, or terrorists who are now in a position to place us all at risk. It is also Russia's high military command, who see their colleagues in other departments making millions off the privatization of industry; and it's the officers in charge of underguarded weapons stockpiles, unable to compete with the post-Communist new rich; and it's the very guards manning the night watch, whose bellies ache from hunger.... From the vaults of the National Security Council to the headquarters of the mysterious Twelfth Department in the Russian Ministry of Defense, veteran journalists Andrew and Leslie Cockburn take the reader on a tour of deadly potentialities: couriers crossing Central Europe with suitcases full of materials more lethal than any virus; a Siberian warehouse littered with the raw material of 23,000 Hiroshimas; the fanatical terrorist who has already built one radioactive bomb. Then it is revealed how U.S. intelligence has realized with horror that among those involved in the business of nuclear smuggling is an organization born out of the old KGB, headed by a man described by one high-ranking official as "the most dangerous man in the world." Based on firsthand reporting, classified documents, and the personal stories of the men and women on the front lines, One Point Safe makes it frighteningly clear that we're nowhere near as safe as we'd like to think.

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