The Day After

Al Qaeda toppled the Twin Towers, though it failed to shake the foundations of the international system. But imagine if terrorists set off, say, three nuclear explosionsone in Washington, D.C., one in New Delhi, and one in Berlinover a period of six months, followed by another blast in Los Angeles nine months later. Total deaths would number at least in the hundreds of thousands and possibly in the millions. Large parts of four major cities would be uninhabitable for many months, maybe longer. But peoples lives and livelihoods would not be all that is lost in such a nightmarish scenario. What would become of the international system the day after the threat of megaterrorism materialized?

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