National Affairs: Atomic Extortion

One of the terrifying facts about atomic bombs—old-style and new—is that they can be delivered by stealth, set off without possibility of defense against them. Testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee last week, Nobel Prizewinning Atomic Scientist Harold C. Urey described how the Russians might use the atomic bomb—even without setting it off—to bend the U.S. or its allies to its purposes.

Take Denmark, suggested Professor Urey. If Russia wanted to persuade Denmark to resign from the North Atlantic pact, he said, it could simply slip a tramp ship into Copenhagen harbor with an a-bomb in the hold. At the right...

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