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Bush Failures on Non-Proliferation

The Washington Post has a major article on the failures of Bush’s non-proliferation policy, involving most of the biggies, but with relatively little focus on Iraq. After all, it turned out that Iraq wasn’t really a non-proliferation threat. It also doesn’t mention India, since India is sort of doing its own thing, except that the unmentioned free pass for India complicates enforcing the entire non-proliferation regime, such as it is, against anyone.

The article, however, has in depth information on Pakistan (and the free pass given to A.Q. Khan), North Korea (and the absence of a policy — “no carrot, no stick and no talk”), Iran (where the US turned down several opportunities to negotiate), Libya (about which the UK was much more concerned than the US), and finally Russia. According to the article, “‘The big gorilla in the basement is the material from Russia and Pakistan,’ said Robert L. Gallucci, dean of the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and a classified consultant to the CIA and Energy Department laboratories. ‘This is the principal, major national security threat to the United States in the next decade or more. I don’t know what’s in second place.'” Regarding Nunn-Lugar, the article continues, “Securing the [Russian nuclear] materials is laborious, expensive and dangerous work. Bush decided to let two of the major programs lapse because Russia declined to accept a change in the agreement that would shield U.S. firms from liability for worker safety.”

The other disturbing fact was that intelligence types are almost certain that A.Q. Khan was doing nuclear business with another country, but nobody knows which one, and Khan is not talking. Bush continues to coddle Khan and Pakistan because we need their help in the war on conventional terror. Apparently nuclear terror is not so important.

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