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Towards true insecurity, Part II

By Linda A. Prussen-Razzano
web posted July 30, 2001

Just last month, the Federation of American Scientists, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a report entitled, "Towards True Security: A US Nuclear Posture for the Next Decade." The purpose of the report was to examine our current post-cold war posture, compare it to changes in the World Theater, and adjust America's defense policy to accommodate these changes. Of the nine proposals offered, four have great merit, three are questionable, and the last two (discussed below) are highly questionable.

8. Commit to not resume nuclear testing and to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Ensuring the viability of our nuclear arsenal through periodic testing is essential. Very few nuclear tests have been conducted over the last five years, making this kind of commitment counterproductive.

Further, agreeing to yet another treaty will not help enforce those already in place but under constant violation. While Russia's internal conflicts have not readily lent it to controlled subterfuge, Russia's Communist partner, China, has earned top honors in nuclear proliferation. What it did not glean in dual-use transfers or through direct purchase from Russia, it reportedly stole from America and Canada. China would then funnel these technologies to Pakistan, Iran, and other countries.

In June, 1997, the Director of Central Intelligence submitted a report to Congress advising "that during July-December 1996, 'China was the most significant supplier of WMD-related goods and technology to foreign countries.'"

On January 28, 1998, DCI George Tenet testified to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee that "there is no question that China has contributed to WMD advances" in Pakistan and Iran.

China's list of treaty violations is extensive, including the MTCR, the IAEA, the NPT, the CWC, and it's own White Papers. The funds gained through illegal transfers to other countries allow China to continue making purchases from Russia. During the Clinton Administration, these abuses were continuously parsed and excused. In light of the almost incestuous, monetary relationship between China's proliferation and Russia's military, America's current posture of viewing China as a "competitor" instead of "ally" takes these violations into consideration.

9. Recognize that deployment of a US missile defense system that Russia or China believed could intercept a significant portion of its survivable long-range missile forces would trigger reactions by these countries that could result in a net decrease in US security. The United States should therefore commit to not deploy any missile defense system that would decrease its overall security in this way.

By far, this is the most questionable recommendation. The CIA and the CRS have already established China's proliferation to non-friendly nations. A national missile defense will, by no means, block a full-scale nuclear assault by an established nuclear power; however, it will act as a deterrent to a rogue nation, an accidental launch, or terrorist group intent on causing immediate harm to Americans on American soil. Further, in all the scenarios listed above, America would be more apt to "absorb" the impact and spare the planet, than to retaliate in full measure. This is little consolation for those poor souls living at or near ground zero.

Given China's inability to abide by non-proliferation treaties and Russia's willingness to provide to a known proliferator, America, in truth, has no guarantee that either country will not increase their nuclear power even without a national missile defense. China, with Russia's assistance, continues to march onward in military empowerment.

On a more personal note, I was ill prepared to die in January of 1995. Those who were, or are, and have little desire to be protected from a rogue nuclear weapon, please feel free to place an "X" on a map marking your address and mail it to the terrorist group of your choice. No doubt, you'll have more than just eight minutes to enjoy your noble gesture. If you choose to be a victim, that is your choice.

I choose a fighting chance. ESR

Linda Prussen-Razzano is an advisory board member and frequent contributor to Rightgrrl and a columnist for The American Partisan.

Other related articles: (open in a new window)

  • Towards true insecurity, Part I by Linda A. Prussen-Razzano (July 23, 2001)
    Linda A. Prussen-Razzano looks over several proposals that would change America's nuclear posture in these new days of peace. Some are worthwhile while others are a bit unrealistic
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