Publication Date


Document Type



Defense and Security Studies | Other International and Area Studies | Public Policy


With the end of the Cold War, the political and strategic relationships that undergirded the global balance of power were shattered. The powers that held nation-states together, like the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and others largely disappeared and to fill the vacuum left by the reduction of political authority, nationalist and religious identities emerged strong. As a result, the former USSR has broken into at least thirteen new countries, mostly along historic ethnic lines, Czechoslovakia into two, Yugoslavia, violently, into five along both religious and ethnic lines. These are only the most familiar examples, as there are many more. The threat of this type of strategic and geopolitical change is in the change itself. During this time, most significantly in the former USSR, much of the military hardware was sold off, traded, or stolen, to include radiological materials.