Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 23:14 | SYDNEY
Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 23:14 | SYDNEY

The threat of nuclear terrorism


Sam Roggeveen


20 March 2008 14:47

I'm grateful to Greg Sheridan for introducing me, in his latest column, to the phrase 'plastic gangster'. It may come in handy one day.

But I'm puzzled by the apparent debate he sees on whether terrorism is a strategic threat. Sheridan disagrees with Hugh White, who says terrorism is not a strategic threat. And Sheridan agrees with Kevin Rudd, who he quotes as saying that terrorism would be a strategic threat if terrorists had nuclear weapons. Sheridan implies those two positions are opposed, but they seem completely reconcilable to me: terrorism is not a strategic threat until such time as terrorists acquire nuclear weapons.

I think it is harder than Sheridan imagines for terrorists to get nuclear weapons, and there might also be other ways terrorists could be a strategic threat. But we should certainly make it a very high priority to ensure terrorists never acquire nuclear weapons or the means to build them.