A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Preventing Catastrophic Terrorism

Preventing Catastrophic Terrorism


The twenty-first century is increasingly challenging the efficacy of Cold War era non-proliferation regimes intended to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). There are significant limitations to the contemporary reliance on these regimes and associated interdiction activities intended to prevent proliferation. The existing controls have failed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to states that previously did not possess such weapons, and there are also continuing concerns that catastrophic weapons, including weapons of mass effect (exemplified by the September 11 attacks), will be acquired or developed by non-state actors to fundamentally threaten the traditional state monopoly on legitimate violence. This article examines the existing system of global proliferation controls, the relevance of the growing risk gap, and policy and capability decisions that may reduce this gap. To mitigate this threat, Australia must start with an integrated concept that integrates existing non-proliferation efforts with maritime strategy, and considers broad social and technological changes.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Lindsay, Raymond. 2016. "Preventing Catastrophic Terrorism." Australian Army Journal 13 (December): 101-126. https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=663667614500164;res=IELAPA

Publication URL: 
Visit Website