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What are the chances a crude nuclear device could be detonated somewhere on American soil?   Or, a Russian nuclear missile be launched accidentally?  Those questions are at the heart of FRONTLINE's

For Classes in Political Science/International Relations/History:

College political science courses, and particularly those focusing on international relations, will find this site a rich resource for discussion on U.S.-Russian relations and international diplomacy. High school history students likewise will learn about the depth of the tension that marked the Cold War by looking at what we still confront in its aftermath.

Consider the following suggestions:

  • Want to test your students' knowledge of recent events related to the nuclear threat? Former Senator Sam Nunn developed this thought-provoking "Fact or Fiction?" quiz.

  • For an overview of problems confronting Russia's nuclear apparatus and what the U.S. can do about it, read some of the interviews with top U.S. and Russian military commanders and nuclear experts. They lay out the eroding physical, organizational and human elements of Russia's command and control system.

    And if you want more evidence of nuclear troubles in Russia, study this list of 14 alarming incidents in 1998 at Russian nuclear facilities.

  • Could someone steal a nuclear weapon? To answer that question, explore these reports on a recent tactical nuclear weapon smuggling scenario and, the separate story of Russia's missing suitcase bombs.

  • What is the US currently doing to help the Russians safeguard their nuclear complex? Examine the U.S.-funded Nunn-Lugar program. It so far has spent over $2.5 billion on projects to help increase the safety of Russia's nuclear complex and to help dismantle weapons of mass destruction left over from the former Soviet Union's arsenal.

  • What other issues are being debated about the prevention of nuclear accidents? One suggestion is for the U.S. and Russia to "de-alert" their nuclear forces. Should the two nations also reduce nuclear forces further--and faster? These issues are hotly debated by some influential policymakers and analysts. Read what they have to say.

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