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June 17, 2005

Scary Movie

Last Best ChanceEarlier this week, I received my free copy of The Last Best Chance, the nuclear terrorism docudrama made by the group Nuclear Threat Initiative. The film is quite well made and realistic. It stars former Senator Fred Thompson as the President, and he gives a credible performance in the role. The story follows several redundant Al Queda plots to obtain nuclear materials and bomb-making know-how from under-paid former Soviet nuclear engineers and a rogue South African scientist. In spite of the best efforts of Russian and US intelligence services, the terrorists succeed in building two crude, Hiroshima-type nuclear weapons and smuggling them into the US. While the movie ends before either bomb detonates, it is clear that scores of thousands of Americans would die if either weapon were set off in a major city.

Unfortunately, the plot is all too believable. The point the film's makers want to drive home is that we are moving way too slowly to fully secure the world's hundreds of nuclear sites where terrorists can seek to obtain bomb making materials. While border security and port inspection is all well and good, it is simply unrealistic to rely on these efforts to adequately protect us from terrorist attack.

The film is definitely worth watching, and you can request that a free copy of the DVD be mailed to you at the NTI's web site.

One point the film (understandably) does not address is the impact the war on terror is having on Al Queda and their ability to quietly plot mass murder. While Al Queda and its allies are still dangerous, it seems likely that the war in Iraq and the continued worldwide push to find and eliminate these murderous fanatics have seriously attrited their operational capabilities. In addition, the diversion of volunteers, leadership and financial resources to supporting the insurgency in Iraq has probably reduced the resources available to support complex, long lead time operations against the US. This is fortunate, because without our military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere bringing the fight to Al Queda and its Islamist allies, odds are that we would have heard from these bastards again by now.

June 17, 2005 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

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