Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


During the next several years, terrorist groups may resort to the insurgent use of nuclear explosives or radioactivity. Faced with this fearful prospect, the United States should now plan for optimal risk-reduction within the settled jurisprudential standards of international law. This paper, therefore, advises government leaders to fully understand the difference between lawful and unlawful insurgencies; to "harden the target" of nuclear materials, weapons, and reactors; and to implement an appropriate "behavioral" strategy of counter-nuclear terrorism. As the risk of nuclear terrorism has transnational implications, like-minded governments are also offered particular patterns of cooperation that involve, inter alia, support for certain treaties and sanctions for states that sponsor or assist terrorist groups. Finally, after stressing the importance of extradition processes and the imperatives of the 1974 U.N. General Assembly Definition of Aggression, the lawfulness and possible effectiveness of preemption is explored and evaluated. The closing section points toward an ultimate replacement of our fragile system of Realpolitik with a new world legal order based on "planetization" and relatedness.