Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2012
The basic question that animates this book is a natural complement to the question that I asked in my first book, The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation. My first book posed the question of nuclear weapons intentions: why do some state leaders become enraptured by the idea of building the bomb, while others – most others – do not? Now, this book poses the question of nuclear weapons project implementation: why do some states achieve their leaders’ nuclear ambitions quite efficiently, while others – an increasing number in recent decades – find it a long and hard slog, and many fail to arrive at the finish line altogether?
Writing this book has been anything but a long and hard slog. In fact, it has been a highly enjoyable experience. A big reason why has been the great help that I have received along the way from many dozens of interview subjects, archivists, colleagues, and academic institutions. The USC School of International Relations is a wonderful place to work, and I am especially grateful to Linda Cole, Danielle McLaughlin, and Karen Tang, as well as to the two directors of the school since I arrived, Laurie Brand and John Odell. I have also been lucky once again to have a sterling editorial team at Cambridge University Press, including John Haslam, Josephine Lane, and Gillian Dadd. I also thank Emma Wildsmith and Gail Welsh of Out of House Publishing for going the extra mile for me at the final stages of manuscript preparation. Thanks also to Asako Takashima for her hard work on the index.