Wednesday, August 04, 2004



war and piece catches this story from the Sydney Morning Herald:

In a significant shift of US policy, the Bush Administration has announced that it will oppose provisions for inspections and verification as part of an international treaty to ban production of nuclear weapons materials.

For several years the US and others have been pursuing the treaty, which would ban new production by any state of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for weapons.

At an arms control meeting in Geneva last week the US told other countries it supported a treaty, but not verification.

US officials, who have demonstrated scepticism in the past about the effectiveness of international weapons inspections, said they made the decision after concluding such a system would cost too much, require overly intrusive inspections and would not guarantee compliance with the treaty.

However, they declined to explain in detail how they believed US security would be undermined by creating a plan to monitor the treaty.

Arms control specialists said the change in the US position would greatly weaken any treaty and make it harder to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. They said the US move virtually killed a 10-year international effort to persuade countries such as India, Israel and Pakistan to accept some oversight of their nuclear production programs.

The announcement at the United Nations-sponsored Conference on Disarmament comes several months after President George Bush declared it a top priority to prevent the production and trafficking in nuclear materials, and as his Administration works to blunt criticism by Democrats and others that it has failed to work effectively with the UN and other international bodies on such vital matters.

Daryl Kimball, director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, said it was "surprising and baffling that the Administration is not supporting a meaningful treaty".

Can ANYONE 'splain this to me?! Does it have to do with Pentagon plans to build a new class of 'nukyaler' weapons?

I really don't have a comment on this, except 'WHAT?!'

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