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Hunt for WMD's won't stop at Iraq: President Bush

stir-fry

TRIBE Member
Source: http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20040211_178.html

Bush Pushes Effort to Stop Spread of WMDs
President Bush Calls for Tougher Action Against Dangerous Regimes, Terror Groups Seeking WMDs


WASHINGTON Feb. 11

Arguing that international efforts to combat nuclear proliferation have been neither broad nor effective enough, President Bush is calling for tougher global action against dangerous regimes and terrorist networks that seek those and other deadly weapons.

Bush was unveiling his new push for greater international resolve against the spread of weapons of mass destruction in a speech Wednesday at the National Defense University, a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity said Tuesday.

In a proposal likely to anger nations such as North Korea and Iran, Bush was to call for preventing countries from acquiring nuclear enrichment and reprocessing technology under the guise of building civilian power facilities, the official said.

With the president still under fire over whether Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, he also was using the speech to outline the role that good U.S. intelligence has played in recent nonproliferation successes in places such as Libya and Pakistan, the official said.

Bush, who has been counting on strong national security and anti-terrorism credentials to boost his re-election bid, last week reversed course and established an independent commission to examine prewar intelligence lapses.

On Wednesday, the president planned to sketch the changes in the threats from weapons of mass destruction from the Cold War to the post-Sept. 11, 2001, era, the official said. Bush was to argue for new strategies to deal with terrorists seeking weapons of mass destruction.

Bush was using the disclosure that the father of Pakistan's nuclear program sold nuclear technology to countries such as Libya, Iran and North Korea as an example of the global nature of the problem, the official said.

After Abdul Qadeer Khan confessed last week to transferring nuclear secrets, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf at first granted him a pardon and then made it dependent on the outcome of an investigation.

Bush planned to describe how U.S. intelligence helped prod Musharraf into acting against Khan, and also revealed other details of the black market network in which Khan was involved. While applauding Musharraf for making a politically risky move against Khan, Bush was to signal U.S. expectations that Pakistan finish the job of completely dismantling the network, the official said.

The U.S. intelligence community also was to get presidential praise for helping bring about Libya's agreement in December with the United States and Britain to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, the official said.

To expand on those successes, Bush was proposing to strengthen various nonproliferation efforts, primarily by prodding other nations to get more involved and by pushing for greater effectiveness on the part of international organizations, the official said.

The president also was to propose changes in the operations of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency. The agency is seen as ineffective by many in the Bush administration who cite the agency's failure to stop weapons programs in Libya, North Korea and other countries.

And he was to renew his call, first made before the U.N. General Assembly last fall, for a new Security Council resolution demanding that all U.N. members enact stricter export controls and criminalize weapons proliferation, the official said.

"These institutions need to be more effective and the president is going to make some proposals to help make them more effective," the official said.

The president also was calling for more international contributions to a U.S. aid program to help Russia and other former Soviet-bloc nations to secure vulnerable nuclear arsenals and seek an expansion of the program, though without adding U.S. funding, the official said. He also was to urge more countries to join his Proliferation Security Initiative, which aims to interdict shipments of weapons of mass destruction.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., said the president's intentions seemed long on rhetoric and short on action. She criticized him for not stepping up funding for the program to secure Russia's weapons and for withdrawing the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

"He has consistently underfunded and even cut the nonproliferation programs that would make the United States safer," Tauscher said.
 
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room

stir-fry

TRIBE Member
Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...,1,2253436.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

Bush to seek nuclear fuel limits

President to call on nations to block spread of weapons-grade technology



New York Times News Service
Published February 11, 2004

WASHINGTON -- President Bush is scheduled to announce Wednesday a new U.S. proposal to limit the number of nations permitted to produce nuclear fuel, senior administration officials said Tuesday.

Bush will declare that the global network in nuclear goods created by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the creator of the Pakistan's bomb, disclosed huge gaps in current agreements to stop the spread of nuclear weapons technology, they added.

In an afternoon speech at the National Defense University, they said, Bush will call for a re-examination of what one official called the "basic bargain" underlying the nuclear non-proliferation treaty: that those states that promise not to pursue nuclear weapons will receive help in developing facilities to produce nuclear power.

Iran admitted last year that it cheated on that agreement for 18 years, secretly building nuclear facilities, and North Korea last year abandoned the treaty altogether and declared it was producing nuclear weapons.

Kahn's network secretly sold equipment to both countries, and also to Libya, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials.

The administration officials said that Bush would not call for a reopening of the 1970 treaty, which one senior Bush aide said would be "too hard." Instead, he will appeal to the "Nuclear Suppliers Group," made up of the 40 countries that sell most nuclear technology, to refuse to sell nuclear equipment to any country that currently does not have fully operating facilities to enrich uranium or reprocess spent nuclear fuel into plutonium.

Those are the two main paths to building weapons-grade fuel.

The senior official said Tuesday that Iran and North Korea were examples of "regimes which have cynically exploited loopholes in the existing treaty" to build up the capability to obtain nuclear fuel.

While proliferation experts have long agreed that the treaty is flawed, Bush's proposal is bound to raise protests from developing nations that charge that the United States and other major nuclear powers--Britain, France, Russia and China--are simply trying to extend their rights to produce weapons while denying other states that capability.

In addition to those five, Israel, India and Pakistan have operative nuclear weapons, and North Korea is believed by U.S. intelligence agencies to have at least two.

The administration official said that Bush also would discuss for the first time the details of how the Khan network operated, being careful to praise Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and to portray Khan as a rogue scientist.


Copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune
 
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