Category Archive 'Nuclear Proliferation'
18 May 2009
The Times reports alarming developments in Pakistan.
Members of Congress have been told in confidential briefings that Pakistan is rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal even while racked by insurgency, raising questions on Capitol Hill about whether billions of dollars in proposed military aid might be diverted to Pakistanâ€™s nuclear program.
Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed the assessment of the expanded arsenal in a one-word answer to a question on Thursday in the midst of lengthy Senate testimony. Sitting beside Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, he was asked whether he had seen evidence of an increase in the size of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal.
â€œYes,â€ he said quickly, adding nothing, clearly cognizant of Pakistanâ€™s sensitivity to any discussion about the countryâ€™s nuclear strategy or security.
Inside the Obama administration, some officials say, Pakistanâ€™s drive to spend heavily on new nuclear arms has been a source of growing concern, because the country is producing more nuclear material at a time when Washington is increasingly focused on trying to assure the security of an arsenal of 80 to 100 weapons so that they will never fall into the hands of Islamic insurgents.
Meanwhile the Times of India thinks US aid dollars may be paying for all this.
Are American lawmakers and the Obama administration unintentionally funding a runaway Pakistani nuclear weapons program that may not only mean a mortal danger to the United States in the long run, but pose a more immediate existential threat to India?
Influential American commentators and media outlets are now starting to question what they see as Washingtonâ€™s indirect bankrolling of Pakistanâ€™s nuclear program through massive infusion of aid, even as US President Obama is insisting that he is confident Islamabad wonâ€™t allow its nuclear assets to fall into extremist hands.
News of Islamabadâ€™s accelerated nuclear weapons program, exposed by US satellite imagery and reported in this paper last Saturday, is being scrutinized in the light of the administration-backed Congress move to pump billions of dollars of US aid into Pakistan. Confirmation last week by USâ€™ highest military official, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, that Pakistan is indeed ramping up its weapons program, had added a sense of urgency to the review, particularly since the aid package is being finalized this week.
14 Oct 2008
James Lewis, at American Thinker, explains how the domestic and international left are responsible for Iran and North Korea becoming nuclear powers.
The single most suicidal action by the Left has been its years of assault on President George W. Bush after the overthrow of Saddam. It has often been pointed out that every intelligence agency in the world believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq. UN inspectors like David Kay repeatedly said so. Democrats and European socialists alike repeated warned about the danger of Saddam’s weapons programs, knowing full well that his first nuclear reactor was destroyed by an Israeli air raid as long ago as 1981. Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and even the UN’s El Baradei pointed out the danger.
As we now know, Saddam has had 500 metric tons of yellowcake uranium in storage since 1992. But George W. Bush was assaulted by the Left, in the person of Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson and the New York Times editorial page, allegedly because Bush peddled the lie that Saddam wanted to obtain yellowcake uranium. But there was no lie; the whole phony brouhaha was a PR assault to destroy the credibility of the Bush administration. The end result was to make us helpless in the face of more nuclear proliferation. To slake its lust for power the Left was more than willing to sabotage our safety.
Did Saddam pose a plausible threat of nuclear weaponization? Of course he did. Did he pose an actual threat? That is, did he actually possess WMD’s ready to mount on missiles in a matter of hours, to shoot off at his enemies? Today’s conventional wisdom is that he did not. But that is pure post-hockery.
George W. Bush has been crucified for five long years in the media, by the feckless, hysterical and cowardly Europeans, by the United Nations, and of course by the Democratic Party, because he took the only sane action possible in the face of the apparent WMD threat from Saddam. Because presidents don’t have the luxury of Monday morning quarterbacking. They cannot wait for metaphysical certainty about threats to national survival and international peace. There is no such thing as metaphysical certainty in these matters; presidents must act on incomplete intelligence, knowing full well that their domestic enemies will try to destroy them for trying to save the peace.
But that is water under the bridge by now. What’s not past, but rather a clear and present threat to civilization are the consequences of the unbelievable recklessness of the International Left — including the Democrats, the Europeans, the UN, and the former communist powers. Because of their screaming opposition to the Bush administration’s rational actions against Saddam, we are now rendered helpless against two even more dangerous challenges. With Saddam there was genuine doubt about his nuclear program; the notion that he had a viable program was just the safest guess to make in the face of his policy of deliberate ambiguity. In the case of Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il there’s no guessing any more. They have nukes and missiles, or will have within a year.
The entire anti-proliferation effort has therefore been sabotaged and probably ruined by the Left. For what reason? There can be only one rational reason: A lust for power, even at the expense of national and international safety and peace. But the Left has irrational reasons as well, including an unfathomable hatred for adulthood in the face of mortal danger. Like the Cold War, this is a battle between the adolescent rage of the Left and the realistic adult decision-making of the mainstream — a mainstream which is now tenuously maintained only by conservatives in the West.
24 May 2008
Depkafile reveals that China’s recent earthquake impacted a large number of Chinese facilities containing radioactive materials, including nuclear weapons plants, and a significant number of the sites impacted by the disaster remain to be secured.
Eleven days after the 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck western China, vice environment minister Wu Xiaoqing first revealed Friday, May 23, that 50 hazardous radioactive sources have been located â€“ 35 recovered and controlled; â€œthree more buried in rubble and 12 in dangerous buildings. At present, tests show no accidental release of radiation,â€ he reported as the death toll climbed past 55,000.
Two of the most badly damaged cities housed Chinaâ€™s secret nuclear weapons design facility – at Mianyang – and a plutonium processing facility – in Guangyuan â€“ both close to the quakeâ€™s epicenter.
Soon after the quake struck, Chinese soldiers were sent to protect nuclear sites and preparations made for an environmental emergency.
DEBKAfileâ€™s military sources note that the Beijing announcement did not specify the nature of the hazardous sources or disclose how they – or the secret nuclear weapons and plutonium facilities were secured â€“ whether sealed with cement and lead like the Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine in the 80s or their contents removed to safe places.
According to the Beijing governmentâ€™s official Web site, â€œnuclear facilities and â€œradioactive sourcesâ€ included power plants, reactors, scientific research labs and medical treatment facilities, a big concentration of which are located in the worst hit areas.
French sources disclosed that 489 hospitals with laboratories containing radioactive materials, as well as hundreds of high-risk industries, were leveled.
Hans Kristensen, a nuclear arms expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said it was hard to believe that the military plants with nuclear materials had escaped the disaster. Other experts suspect that the damage to radioactive sites and radiation leaks may extend beyond the stricken Sichuan province.
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