Weapons spread across borders and into the hands of traditional nation states and terrorist organizations with increasing ease and frequency. This trend has potentially devastating consequences. The weapons proliferation poses a great danger not only to the United States and its citizens, but to all countries who play by the rules and live in a civilized world.
There have been a series of news reports that highlight this ongoing boom in nuclear proliferation. I would like to summarize some of this important information for you.
Six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program ended this Saturday with North Korea declaring it would continue its nuclear program. The North Korean delegation back tracked from an earlier offer to freeze it nuclear program. They also vetoed a joint declaration that would have urged both countries to make the Korean Peninsula a nuclear free zone.
In fact, China has long denied assisting other countries develop nuclear programs. Recent documents made public by Libya suggest that as far back as 1960, China was helping countries develop nuclear capabilities.
In a separate but equally troubling story, The Washington Post reported the following on February 27th:
Insider Tells Of Nuclear Deals, Cash
Pakistani Scientist Netted $3 Million
By Ellen Nakashima and Alan Sipress
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, February 21, 2004; Page A01
JAKARTA, Indonesia, Feb. 20 — The Sri Lankan businessman who was an associate of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan has told Malaysian police how Khan shipped components to Libya and Iran for their nuclear weapons programs and received two briefcases with a $3 million payment from Iran, a Malaysian police report disclosed Friday.
We may never know the extent and depth of the weapons sales and proliferation created by Abdul Qadeer Khan but the once tightly controlled threat of nuclear technology is spreading across the globe.
Finally, the UN and the International Atomic Energy Association have found a much more sophisticated and developed nuclear program in Iran that poses serious questions about the Iranian candor on their intent. The IAEA discovered blueprints for a previously unknown Iranian enrichment project.
The bottom line in each of these cases is that we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to stop proliferation.
But at the same time, these facts demand that the United States build and deploy a missile defense system that will protect this country from the growing threat of nuclear attack.
Moreover, the US must continue its effort to cooperate with 15 of our closest allies to build and deploy an effective system. MDAA believes a missile defense system should keep us all safe from attack and be used along with our allies and partners to protect all countries from the growth in nuclear proliferation.