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 <U>Tracking Nuclear Proliferation, A Guide in Maps and Charts 1998</U> provides insight into the level of expertise and technological sophistication that are required to build a nuclear weapon.
Prime Minister Sharon's analogy of George W. Bush's current policies to the abandonment of Czechoslovakia in 1938 is warped and ill-advised. But, the prime minister had a point. There exists a much more apt analogy which- not surprisingly- does go back to 1938-39. It is not Chamberlain and the Nazis, but the British and the publication of the pro-Arab 1939 White Paper on Palestine.
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Anatol Lieven reflects on the changes evident in Pakistan after an absence of ten years.
Russia's transition from authoritarianism is far from complete, however as preoccupied as Washington is with its new campaign against terrorism, inattention to the fragility of Russian democracy would be a huge mistake -- and one that could have serious negative consequences for American security.
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?
Afghanistan's terrain presents many challenges for military operations. Political action will be a crucial complement to any military campaign.
In its war in Afghanistan the US may gain some limited short-term tactical advantages while losing the long-term support of key Muslim states.
Pakistan's involvement in Afghanistan was unfortunately never a fully public policy and in fact was determined by that branch of government which is by definition least open to public scrutiny: the ISI.
Putin's pro-American plan was not simply tactical. Putin's policies of support after September 11, including his agreement to an American military presence in Central Asia, represented a significant shift in Russian foreign policy. The potential for breakthrough - for a fundamentally new and improved relationship between Russia and the West - has never been greater.