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10/26/2004

Proliferation Generally

Matt Yglesias points out Robert Tucker's take in Foreign Affairs on John Bolton's idiotic views on international law. Promoting international law is the best way to strengthen America.

The Washington Post has a long article on proliferation issues. The incompetence of the Bush administration is laid bare.

Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), who asked to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 15, noted Bush's emphasis on the "immense threat" of nuclear terrorism and said acidly, "I wonder if he has been advised that liability -- that the liability issue is preventing destruction of enough plutonium for about 10,000 weapons?"

The Bush administration speaks with many voices about securing global stockpiles of nuclear materials. Some of the loudest are skeptical.

"I don't believe that at this point, or for some number of years, there's been a significant risk of a Russian nuclear weapon getting into terrorist hands," Bolton said. "I say that in part because of all the money we've spent . . . but also because the Russians themselves are completely aware that the most likely consequence of losing control of one of their own nuclear weapons is that it will be used in Russia."

Bush has spoken in favor of "cooperative threat reduction programs" funded under 1991 legislation sponsored by Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) and then-Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.). He has also sought to reduce their budgets. His 2005 budget request would cut the Defense Department's efforts to secure foreign nuclear stockpiles by $41 million, or 9 percent. On the other hand, Bush has added substantially to budgets that pay for "decommissioning" old U.S. nuclear weapons. That appears to account for his assertion in the debate with Kerry that he increased spending on nuclear cleanup programs by 35 percent.

Gallucci, who held arms control posts under presidents from Gerald Ford to Clinton, said he finds himself "on the edge of saying really shocking things."

"If tomorrow morning we lost a city, who of us could have said we didn't know how this could happen?" he said. "I haven't felt like this in all the years I've been in government or the nine since I've been [out]. I am -- I don't want to say scared, because that's not what I want to project, but I am deeply concerned for my family and for all Americans."

 

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