Rose Gottemoeller discusses the nuclear and radiological threats, how they differ, and what the level of concern should be about them.
There is significant evidence that both proliferating states and terrorist groups are actively seeking to acquire stolen fissile material for nuclear weapons. Iran, Iraq, Libya, and North Korea, among others, have all been reported to be seeking to acquire such material, as have the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult in Japan, and Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization, Al Qaida.
On Tuesday President George W. Bush acknowledged that the al Qaeda network terrorist network has been attempting to acquire nuclear materials for use in terrorist plots against the West. Construction of a nuclear device from the ground-up, however, is not an easy task. The following excerpt from Tracking Nuclear Proliferation, A Guide in Maps and Charts 1998 provides insight into the level of expertise and technological sophistication that are required to build a nuclear weapon.
A special briefing featured a discussion on the U.S.-Russian relationship in terms of strategic reductions, cooperative threat reduction, and missile defense issues.
If the U.S-Russian relationship stabilizes and an agreement is reached on missile defenses, Russia’s nuclear arsenal could dip as low as 1,000 weapons by 2010, allowing the U.S. to pursue deep cuts. It is unlikely, however, that Washington’s current position on missile defenses, the ABM Treaty, or negotiated arms control will create the environment needed for these reductions to materialize.
The waiving of U.S. sanctions and the promise of economic assistance cannot have come too soon for Pakistan. The country has a teetering economy with an external debt of $32 billion, with 60% of the government's revenue going towards servicing the country's total debt. Prior to September 22nd and October 17th waivers, U.S. assistance to Pakistan was limited to mainly refugee and counter-narcotics assistance as well as an education program. We offer a brief summary of the primary sanctions that have been lifted.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on October 25 said he was delaying planned missile defense tests because they might violate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. But wait. On October 5, the department announced the same tests would be delayed for technical reasons. What's going on here?