The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Conference Won’t Create New International Infrastructure to Secure All Nuke Materials

Last updated: 07/31/2020 08:00 | 04/09/2010 08:31
news
Camilo Wood

Previewing next week’s 47-nation Washington conference on nuclear security, senior National Security Council aides Gary Samore and Ben Rhodes told reporters that they expect the meeting to resolve with specific national commitments that “rally collective action behind the goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear material within four years,” (in Rhodes’ words.) To get there, however, the assembled world leaders won’t try to create any new joint nuclear-security infrastructure, a move seen as a bridge too far.

Instead, Rhodes and Samore said a great deal of conference effort will concern how countries in possession of nuclear material can strengthen their civilian and military means to ensure the security of their stockpiles and prevent smuggling; strengthen their legal systems to “take action against any individuals involved in nuclear smuggling,” Samore said; and strengthen regulatory infrastructure to ensure licit activity by private firms involved in the nuclear-energy sector or other areas that touch on nuclear development. Unspecified countries will announce their own steps for nuclear security, they said, and they floated the prospect that some countries will follow Chile’s lead in handing over part or all of their weapons-grade uranium or plutonium to U.S. or international supervision. “If we’re able to lock those [materials] down and deny them to nonstate actors, then we have essentially solved the risk of nuclear terrorism,” Samore said.

But don’t expect international efforts to play anything more than a supporting role for national efforts. Samore explained that the summit won’t try and rewrite the rules of the world’s minimal nuclear security architecture or create any new supervisory body beyond the International Atomic Energy Agency. “The current structure that we have available focuses primary responsibility on national actions, and at this time, countries insist that their sovereign responsibility for securing nuclear materials, whether in the civil or military sector, is primarily a national responsibility,” Samore said. “We’re facing here an urgent need to try to take corrective measures within four years, so I think we want to focus on the system that is currently available and we think that system can be made to work. If we were to spend a lot of time trying to construct a new international architecture, I think it might actually have the unintended effect of really diverting us from taking the practical measures that we really want to take in the near term.”

So what to do about nations like Pakistan, where the world’s most dangerous private nuclear proliferation network was run by a national hero, A.Q. Khan, and when he was caught red-handed he suffered a fate no worse than house arrest without the world gaining access to him? We’ll see what the conference comes up with.

Camilo Wood | Every day, to make a conscious decision to do something, say something, or act in a way that will improve my work experience. I assist organisations in disrupting the status quo of transition. I teach them how to turn their community from enduring change to evolving through change using a realistic and repeatable structure.

Related

$1.3 Million for Brown

The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul

$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV

The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.

$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds

Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal

1. Brian Schweitzer

As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this

1 Brigade and 1 Battalion

ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the

$1 Million for Toomey

Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the

1. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry

#1 in Conspiracy Theories

Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy

Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg

Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)

Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban

Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on

Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry

China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com