Monday, July 30, 2007

History of American Policies, Part V: The Clinton and Early Bush Years

In an effort to reduce the spread of WMD knowledge, the Clinton administration
mandated that the Secretary of Defense provide Congress with a report on the number of individuals in the former Soviet Union with expertise in weapons of mass destruction and the risks that might exist if these individuals sold their knowledge to other nations.
In addition to requiring information on this matter, a program was implemented to try to find alternative work for weapons scientists who might otherwise sell their knowledge, as the CRS reported.

At their joint summit in 2002 Presidents Bush and Putin issued a joint declaration in which
the United States and Russia call on all countries to strengthen and strictly enforce export controls, interdict illegal transfers, prosecute violators, and tighten border controls to prevent and protect against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
These are admirable goals, precisely the sort of thing that could prevent the non-state transfer of Russian C/BW. However, there is little evidence Russia is actually making meaningful attempts to live up to these goals.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

It was statistics from the Clinton-mandated program that were cited earlier in the Threat section.

The efforts to find alternative work for weapons scientists are limited to nuclear scientists. Furthermore, the GAO reported that “Russian institutes had received only around one-third of the funds allocated to IPP [Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention] projects and that taxes, fees, and other charges had further reduced the amount of money available to Russian scientists” (CRS, “Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Programs: Issues for Congress.” 23 March 2001, 4 n12). See also General Accounting Office, “Nuclear Nonproliferation: Concerns with DOE’s Efforts to Reduce the Risks Posed by Russia’s Unemployed Weapons Scientists,” (February 1999).