The Director of National Intelligence has recently authorized the release of a list of books found in the Osama Bin Laden compound. Interestingly enough, one of IWP professor Henry Sokolski’s many books was on it. Checking Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions, one work in a volume of books dedicated to the examination of nuclear proliferation in the twenty-first century, was found in the Abbottabad compound.
The book itself was edited in 2004 by Professor Sokolski, but he didn’t stop there. His most recent publication, Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future (please click here for the author’s discussion of this topic at IWP), outlines the current results of American failure to implement a long-term strategy to nonproliferation efforts. Summarizing a portion of his work in an interview, Professor Sokolski stated: “We seem to jump to final nonproliferation options such as airstrikes very quickly, but unfortunately by that time it’s too late to change anything. We rarely, if ever, discuss these issues when they are in their nascent stages and truly responsive to our efforts.”
In reflecting on why Bin Laden would have obtained a copy of Checking Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions, Professor Sokolski commented, “I’m not entirely sure why he was reading it, but I can speculate. I think he was looking for evidence of what he already believed to be there, that is, American subversive activity in Iran.”
The book is a rich study of the country coupled with recommendations to American policy makers on how to deal with the key issue of their nuclear proliferation. Detailed reviews of the plausibility of American sanctions, rapprochement, subversion, and military action stand on consummate analysis of the internal power structures, personalities, peoples, and needs of Iran.
According to Professor Sokolski, “The purpose [of the book] was to ask the question: Can you cultivate people to run Iran? If so, how would you do it?” The book is the result of workshops performed at the Non-Proliferation Education Center, a non-profit formed by the Professor.
Ultimately, his predictions hold grim news for adversaries of nuclear proliferation everywhere. After reviewing all of the different possibilities to be found in the current crisis, Professor Sokolski noted that “Iran will eventually develop a nuclear weapon in the absence of proper American action.”