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When Armies Divide: The Security of Nuclear Arsenals During Revolts, Coups, and Civil Wars

In this brief volume Jenkins takes a detailed look at the General’s putsch, which was a 1961 coup attempt by a group of retired French Generals against President Charles de Gaulle. However, it is not the putsch itself that attracts Jenkins’ analytical attention, but the chaos surrounding the status of a nuclear device that was in the process of being tested during the coup. Was the device being targeted by the retired Generals? Was it desired by the Algerians? Did the French step-up the testing schedule to detonate the device before it could come into play? Lastly, what are the implications of each scenario?

By taking a close look at a historical event, Jenkins also provides important context for nuclear devices within weak regimes or during coup attempts within established or emerging nuclear powers. It certainly falls into the category of historical analysis that serves to inform future realities. Anything that Jenkins writes goes on my required reading list, and this book is no exception.

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Matt Devost

Matt Devost

Matthew G. Devost is the CEO & Co-Founder of OODA LLC. Matt is a technologist, entrepreneur, and international security expert specializing in counterterrorism, critical infrastructure protection, intelligence, risk management and cyber-security issues. Matt co-founded the cyber security consultancy FusionX from 2010-2017. Matt was President & CEO of the Terrorism Research Center/Total Intel from 1996-2009. For a full bio, please see