In this candid and sobering account, former Russian premier Yevgeny M. Primakov considers the threats posed by independent terrorist organizations to the security of the global community. As the attacks of September 11, 2001 made clear, the course of international affairs is no longer shaped exclusively by cooperation and confrontation among nations. Stateless factions with extreme agendas—their methods enhanced by globalization and technological advances—pose serious threats to global stability. Primakov expresses grave concern over the likelihood that independent terrorist organizations will obtain weapons of mass destruction. More than 100 nations are stockpiling nuclear material, he writes, and there is no reason to believe that all of it is well managed or protected. A terrorist group intent on developing a weapon can easily find the information and fissile material to develop a compact nuclear device. He recommends that the global community develop a comprehensive Charter on Terrorism to facilitate criminal prosecution of terrorism. And he urges Russia and the United States to join forces more readily to share information and intelligence about emerging terrorist threats.
Yevgeny M. Primakov served as Russian premier from 1998 to 1999, amid Russia's most severe economic crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union. He served previously as foreign minister, head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, and head of the Central Intelligence Service. Henry A. Kissinger is chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. He was Secretary of State from 1973 to 1977, serving under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He also served as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from 1969 to 1975.