Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe.
We are seeing the most intense bargaining among big states that we have seen since the end of the Cold War, with war in the offing and no certainty about the outcome.
There is going to be lots of twists and turns here, and I think both the U.S. and Iraq will end up making some compromises, accommodations, as we get towards endgame.
My bottom line is that if the U.S. government just stands on the autopilot, just on the current trim line ... I think that it is more likely than not that we will see a nuclear bomb exploding in one of our cities in less than a decade.
The danger is that a terrorist like Osama bin Laden who is very motivated ... gets a bomb out of a place like Russia. [Say] some crook steals it, he sells it to Osama bin Laden, Osama bin Laden brings it to Cleveland, or Boston, or L.A., and blows it up.
Explosive material plus radioactive material equals dirty bomb.
The North Koreans have every intention to lie, steal and cheat as much as they can get away with and as they have been doing for decades. But they would also say we've been cheating them through the whole process or acting in bad faith.
That means no new national production of highly enriched uranium from which a bomb could be made, and that's the issue over Iran.
I would say we are going through the Kabuki that one would anticipate and it will go one over the next several months which the objective is to get Iran to freeze its nuclear research and any future nuclear enrichment and to find some package of carrots and sticks that will be sufficient to lead them to accept that as the best outcome. I think that is unlikely to succeed but it is the best strategy to be following.