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The Center on Contemporary Conflict (CCC) has an established track record for providing research and timely analysis on a variety of topics to the leading decision makers in the Department of Defense community. CCC research broadly addresses national security research including the following areas: 

• Resource scarcity and conflict
• Proliferation and deterrence
• Innovation and terrorism
• U.S. strategy
• Non-state actors and violence
• State failure and governance
• Regional security and alliances


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In Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb, retired Brig. Gen. Feroz Khan, a faculty member affiliated with the CCC and the National Security Affairs department at NPS and a former general in the Pakistani Army, explores one of Pakistan’s most dogged and notorious national security pursuits – that of nuclear armament. Khan received significant support from the CCC for his research into the history of Pakistan's efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Khan’s book draws its title from a famous quote by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, former president of Pakistan, which illustrates Pakistan’s nearly obsessive drive to acquire nuclear arms: “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves or even go hungry, but we will get one of our own. We have no other choice.”

Pakistan’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, which capitalized on the science and engineering expertise from Pakistan’s established nuclear energy program, began in the early 1970s and grew out of a fear of nuclear-armed India. Pakistan’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons, which was viewed by Pakistan as critical to countering the threat of nuclear annihilation by India, led to widespread international outcry. “There was a lot of demonizing but not a lot of accurate information about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program,” said Khan. “I tried to clear away the controversies as best as I could. All nuclear programs are shrouded in secrecy and providing the whole truth is always challenging. Thus I have tried to put together a holistic account of nuclear decisions that explains Pakistan’s motivation and the history of the bomb’s development.”

Khan was in a unique position to write the book, having served in the Pakistan military and worked in the nuclear program during his time in the military. “My past association with Pakistani scientists and former government officials made it easy for them to trust me trust me with their knowledge, especially when there existed no precedence of declassification of documents in Pakistan,” said Khan. “But now being part of the American academic community, I had to adhere to rigorous academic standards and review to ensure my past did not shape the story or diminish the objectivity of the book.”

Khan said he tried to reach a delicate balance of providing a story sympathetic to Pakistan’s internal driving forces while also providing keen insight for the international community. Khan hopes his book leads to a paradigm change in thinking about Pakistan’s nuclear program and Pakistani motivations.

Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb is available at retailers such as or Barnes and Noble. 

In addition to federally sponsored research, the CCC supports federal missions by managing programs and facilitating federal sponsorships for other private institutions. Our largest such effort is the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD (PASCC). The CCC serves as the program planning and implementation office, research center, and intellectual clearinghouse for the execution of analysis and future-oriented studies and dialogues for DTRA-Strategies and Plans. We cultivate interconnected national and international strategic research community partnerships and bring scientific, technical and social science experts to look well into the future to help understand and anticipate WMD/WME capabilities.

Launching  PASCC's first project cycle in 2011-2012, after a competitive review of over 200 proposals, we are initiating approximately 30 project awards to 15 different institutions, including NPS.

Access list:  ongoing PASCC research projects.

Campus Users: Access PASCC reports on the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL). 

Off-campus Users: Access PASCC reports on the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL).


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