Crossing the Red Line

Crossing the Red Line

The Nuclear Option

Gerald E Marsh


  • Description
  • Author
  • Info
  • Reviews


This book addresses the incentives for nations to develop nuclear weapons and the technical expertise needed for that purpose. Ballistic missiles are required by any nation wanting to optimize the effectiveness of deterrence and the threat derived from possessing nuclear weapons. The basic science of ballistic missile programs is discussed using the North Korean program as an example, although to some extent the programs of other countries are also covered. In addition, there is an introduction to the basics of nuclear weapons technology.

Unlike most books on these topics, this one includes, besides the technical component, the policy aspects surrounding nuclear weapons. It also shows how nuclear weapons can — and have — stabilized conflicts, discussing why the concept of deterrence may not always be relied upon to prevent war. The origin of terrorism in the Middle East and the possibility of nuclear terrorism originating from that region are other topics of interest.

  • Preface
  • Origins
  • The Nuclear Option in the 21st Century
  • Developing Nation Nuclear Policies
  • Controlling the Spread of Nuclear Weapons
  • North Korea and the Bomb
  • How Much Weapons-Grade Fissile Material Could North Korea Have?
  • How Many Bombs Could North Korea Have?
  • Rocket Fundamentals
  • The North Korean Rocket Program
  • Nuclear Proliferation and Its Consequences
  • The Future Control of Nuclear Weapons
  • North Korea Negotiations 2018
  • Afterword
  • Appendices:
    • North Korean Ballistic Missiles and US Missile Defence
    • Nuclear Terrorism
    • A Short Background on China
    • A History of Islamic Terrorism
  • Index

Readership: Students, researchers and policy makers interested in the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology.
Key Features:
  • Extensive coverage of diverse topics forging links between them
  • Only book to tackle nuclear and ballistic missile technical analyses