As the American War on Terrorism hurtles into uncharted waters, challenging accepted norms of international law and setting a pattern for peremptory state behavior, could a nuclear strike against a non-nuclear “rogue state” become an American option? Could conflicts between other nuclear states such as India and Pakistan go nuclear?

“[An} enormously valuable book. Any supporter of nuclear weapons would find it very difficult to refute its arguments.” —Frank Jackson, Vice-Chair, World Disarmament Campaign UK and Editor, World Disarm!

“Boyle’s damning post-9 / 11 legal analysis of U.S. nuclear war policy and the so-called “war on terrorism” is the best single book for nuclear resisters to study if they intend to defend their own direct action under international law.” —The Nuclear Resister Sept. 2002

“Boyle’s stirring little book traces the fault lines that may divide our society as U.S. troops and weapons are deployed illegally: those who support the legal system versus those who blindly issue and obey orders at their own peril.” —The Federal Lawyer, March/April 2003, a publication of the Federal Bar Association, Washington, DC


FRANCIS A. BOYLE is a leading American expert in international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Court. He served as legal adviser to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations from 1991 to 1993. In 2007, he delivered the Bertrand Russell Peace Lectures. Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign.