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Unclear Physics – Why Iraq and Libya Failed to Build Nuclear Weapons - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Unclear Physics: Why Iraq and Libya Failed to Build Nuclear Weapons

Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer


Many authoritarian leaders want nuclear weapons, but few manage to acquire them. Autocrats seeking nuclear weapons fail in different ways and to varying degrees—Iraq almost managed it; Libya did not come close. This book compares the two failed nuclear weapons programs, showing that state capacity played a crucial role in the trajectory and outcomes of both projects. The book draws on a rich set of new primary sources, collected during years of research in archives, fieldwork across the Middle East, and interviews with scientists and decision makers from both states. The book tells the story o ... More

Keywords: authoritarian leaders, nuclear weapons, autocrats, Middle East, nuclear weapons programs, authoritarian regimes, Iraq, Libya

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9781501702785
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501702785.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer, author
University of Oslo