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Nuclear Tech Race Is On In Middle East 352

CaroKann writes "The TimesOnline is reporting that six Middle Eastern nations have announced interest in developing nuclear technology. The nations involved are Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Middle East Economic Digest states that most of these nations are interested in developing nuclear technology for the purpose of powering desalination plants. However, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, suggests that the sudden interest in nuclear technology is driven by the desire of the six nations to create a 'security hedge' in response to Iran's recent nuclear development program."
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Nuclear Tech Race Is On In Middle East

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  • Re:Plan ahead (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Broken scope ( 973885 ) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @05:36PM (#16719043) Homepage
    If you can hit the actual missile, change its course, dent up the surface or damage stuff needed for reentry, you can prevent it from hitting its target with a fission or fusion reaction. Now the radioactive materials will still be spread around so its a trade off you have to make.
  • Re:Plan ahead (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iceph03nix ( 1005545 ) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @05:41PM (#16719089)
    umm...not so fictitious. The lasers you see in scifi shows are still very far off but we do have lasers today that can be used for missile defense. Its not ZAP-BOOM but rather a process of using the rays in the laser to overheat the internal systems in the missiles control systems thus disarming it. Think of it like setting a spotlight right next to your computer and turning it on. How long do you think your comp is gonna run with that much heat applied directly to it?
  • Re:Ho hum (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Sunday November 05, 2006 @07:43AM (#16723739)
    And there you have it. In my estimation, it is desperate people - outgunned, with no hope of a "fair fight" - that perform these attacks. The most effective way to stop the attacks is to make them less desperate (ie. by not massacring their loved ones, setting up checkpoints, toppling their democracies, etc).

    When you look at the data, a surprising picture of suicide bombers emerges:

    Seeking the Roots of Terrorism []

    Despite the limitations of both data sets, several findings are of interest. The poverty rate is 28 percent among the Hezbollah militants and 33 percent for the population. In terms of education the Hezbollah fighters are more likely to have attended secondary school than are people in the general population (47 versus 38 percent). The results suggest that poverty is inversely related, and education positively related, to the likelihood that someone becomes a Hezbollah fighter.

    Similarly, Claude Berrebi, a graduate student in economics at Princeton, has studied the characteristics of recent suicide bombers in Israel. From information on the Web sites of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, he was able to paint a statistical picture of suicide bombers. He compared that to survey-based data on the broader Palestinian population of roughly comparable age. His results indicate that suicide bombers are less than half as likely to come from impoverished families than is the population as a whole. In addition, more than half of the suicide bombers had attended school after high school, while less than 15 percent of the population in the same age group had any post-high-school education.

    Study Finds Most Bombers Are Educated []

    The study, released this month by an Israeli think tank, looked at the 163 Palestinians -- 155 men and 8 women -- who killed themselves while attacking Israeli targets between September 2000 and December 2005. It found that almost a quarter (37 individuals) graduated from college and another quarter (39) from high school. There is no clear information about the education level of 76 of the suicide bombers, but researchers at the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which published the study, assumed that many of these terrorists also had achieved high levels of education.

    "This illustrates what we have been saying for years, which is that the chief motivating factor for suicide terrorism is ideology, a conviction that the cause is just, and not simple-mindedness or economic distress," said Yoram Kahati, senior research fellow at the center. Palestinian suicide terrorism, he said, is typically a product of a combustible combination of militant ideological fervor and a personal or collective sense of hopelessness. "These are people who are not stupid, yet are absolutely convinced that they are doing the right thing by sacrificing their lives," Kahati said.....

    "This corresponds with the worldwide pattern" of the typical suicide bomber "and shatters a lot of our simplistic assumptions that if we cure the world of poverty, terrorism will go away," said Bruce Hoffman, a leading counter-terrorism expert who heads the Rand Corporation's Washington office. Suicide terrorism "is a much more complex phenomenon, not amenable to any simple cause or simple solution," he said.

    Even for Shoe Bombers, Education and Success Are Linked []

    THE fifth anniversary of 9/11 passed with a great deal of hand-wringing over all the people who want to kill Americans. Especially worrisome is the apparent rise of terrorists whose origins seem far from fanatical.

    These terrorists are not desperately poor uneducated people from the Middle East. A surprisingly l

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie