The Appeal of Nuclear Crimes to the Spectrum of Potential Adversaries

by Gail V. Bass-Golod, Brian Michael Jenkins, Konrad Kellen, Geraldine Petty, Robert N. Reinstedt

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Abstract

This report presents the findings of the third phase of a RAND project on the potential threat to U.S. nuclear programs and facilities. It sets forth a method for rating the appeal of various nuclear crimes to different adversaries, based on whether the crime is consistent with the adversary's motivations, capabilities, and other attributes. (Two previous volumes, R-2225 and R-2554, analyzed, respectively, adversary attributes--including capabilities--and motivations.) The report rates the relative appeal of specific nuclear crimes to economically motivated adversaries (both professional and amateur), political terrorists, antinuclear extremists, and hostile employees. It also discusses psychotic adversaries and those who might act for idiosyncratic reasons, but does not rate the appeal of various nuclear crimes to them. The study concludes that there are several nuclear crimes that could have serious consequences for public safety and which are of high appeal to one or more category of adversary.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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