April 28, 2004

Berger's Vision: The Fisking XVI

Sandy Berger was commissioned by Foreign Affairs to produce a foreign policy essay for the next president from a Democrat perspective.

This is much too long to analyze in one shot, thus the numbered title, Part XVI is below:

Another hopeful section:

The Bush administration's argument for invading Iraq rested, in part, on the belief that the United States cannot wait until a WMD threat is imminent before taking action. Yet its overall approach to combating WMD proliferation defies the logic of this position.

A Democratic administration should use every tool at its disposal to prevent WMD threats from arising before force becomes the only option. The most obvious early measure Washington can take to keep deadly weapons materials from falling into the hands of terrorists or rogue regimes is to secure them at source. Yet the current administration has shown little interest in accelerating or expanding programs to do this. Indeed, President Bush tried to cut back the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program for the former Soviet Union early in his term. At our current pace, it will take 13 years to complete security upgrades at every site containing plutonium and highly enriched uranium in Russia. With increased funding for Nunn-Lugar, this process could be accelerated to 4 years. Beyond Russia, dozens of research reactors contain the raw materials for making a radiological or nuclear weapon. We should lead a global effort to secure nuclear materials at all such sites.

I don't know why Nunn-Lugar spending fell victim to the budgetary ax. I wish it hadn't. If it is as effective as advertised above, it needs to be strengthened. If it's not working, don't starve it, scrap it, and tell Russia that now that its economy is running high on petrodollars it's going to have to shoulder its own responsibilities for keeping control of its own nuclear weapons material.

The present situation is one of my own difficulties with this administration and I wish they would sort this out better.

Posted by TMLutas at April 28, 2004 11:08 AM