In the pre-holiday rush of parties, presents, and preparations, important articles and news items are sometimes missed (and of course, sometimes meant to be missed.) One such article that I got a chance to read last week was William Langewiesche's "How to Get a Nuclear Bomb" in the December Atlantic.
Although mostly focused on the vulnerabilities of the West to a determined terrorist, the piece also contains a concise summary of where we are in the "Long War":
The danger comes from a direction unforeseen in 1945, that this technology might now pass into the hands of the new stateless guerrillas, the jihadists, who offer none of the targets that have underlain our nuclear peace—no permanent infrastructure, no capital city, no country called home. The nuclear threat posed by the jihadists first surfaced in the chaos of post-Soviet Russia in the 1990s, and took full form after the fall of the World Trade Center. With so little to fear of nuclear retaliation, and having already panicked the United States into historic policy blunders, these are the rare people in a position to act.