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Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Michael McCarthy, “US rejection sets biological weapons treaty adrift,” THE LANCET • Vol 358 • August 4, 2001.


Davis, Jim, “The Looming Biological Warfare StormAir & Space Power Journal, Volume 17, Issue 1. 57. Spring 2003.

  1. ”Until very recently, the lack of focus on this subject (biological warfare) has resulted in a lack of appropriate funding and accountability.” – page 58
  2. ”Unless we focus appropriate dollars and develop a coherent national plant to prepare for and prevent such actions, the United States will likely suffer an enormous economic loss that could even lead to our demise as a superpower.” – page 58
  3. ”A belief in one or more of at least six false assumptions or myths helps explain why individuals, including senior civilian and military leaders, do not believe that a mass-casualty biological warfare (BW) attack will occur.” – page 58
  4. ”Myth one: there never really has been a significant BW attack” – page 58
  5. ”Even before the fall 2001 anthrax terrorism in the United States, incidents of BW and bioterrorism have occurred on multiple occasions.” – page 58
  6. ”Today, more countries have active biological warfare programs than at any other time in history, which increases the likelihood that BW will be used again in the future.” – page 58
  7. ”Myth two: The United States has never been attacked by a BW agent” – page 59
  8. ”Myth three” you have to be extremely intelligent, highly educated, and well-funded to grow, weaponized, and deploy a BW agent” – page 59
  9. ”Dr. Tara O’Toole, deputy director for the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at Johns Hopkins University, believes we have probably crossed over the threshold from ‘too difficult’ to accomplish to ‘doable by a determined individual or group’” – page 59
  10. “Much of the technical information is readily available on the internet, in libraries, and through mail order channels that provide ‘how-to’ manuals.” – page 59
  11. ”Myth four: biological warfare must be too difficult because it has failed when it has been tried” – page 59
  12. ”Myth five: there are moral restraints that have kept and will keep BW agents from being used” – page 60
  13. ”Morality can be marshaled as a reason both to limit BW use and to advocate mass killings – depending on the decision maker’s values and perspectives” – page 60
  14. ”Myth six: the long incubation period required for BW agents before onset of symptoms makes BW useless to users” – page 60
  15. ”There have already been multiple BW attacks, and to a savvy weaponeer, the incubation period can be used as an advantage rather than a disadvantage.” – page 60
  16. ”There are two primary motivations that might drive an adversary to attack the United States with a BW agent. The first motivation is to gradually ‘erode US influence’ as a world superpower. The second is categorized as ‘revenge or hate’” – page 61
  17. ”The author believes that there are three most likely BW scenarios the United States and its allies might face in the future: an agroterrorist event against the United States, a BW attack on United States and allied troops in the Middle East, and/or a bioterrorist attack against a large population center in the United States or an allied state.” – page 61
  18. ”Such myths continue to inhibit the adequate funding of US and allied biodefense” – page 66

Military, Anthrax, Plague, Smallpox, Tularemia, Sarin, Japan, Iraq, Iran, Nonproliferation, WMD


Landler, Mark, “Pakistan Chief Says it Appears Scientists Sold Nuclear Data,” January 24 2004, New York Times

  1. The President of Pakistan Confirmed that Pakistani scientists sold data on nuclear designs for personal financial gain. The President vows that the government knew nothing about scientists plot to sell information concerning nuclear bombs.
  2. The suspects are to be dealt with as antistate elements.
  3. The countries that the scientists may have sold the designs to include Libya, Iran, and North Korea. Though the Pakistani government declares that they knew nothing nor took part in the sale of their nuclear information to “unfriendly nations” the US government remains skeptical. Since Pakistan received missile parts from North Korea it is suspected that in that instance there was a trade of needed information and products between the two nations.
  4. Investigation into the nuclear programs that were being developed in Libya greatly resembled that of the one in existence in Pakistan which led investigators to the specific  A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories where the scientists worked



Morash, Brett James, “Intelligence Operations in Maritime Interdiction Operations and the Global War on Terrorism,” Naval War College, Newport, RI essay, May 17, 2004.

  1. Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) units
  2. “Denial of sponsorship, support, amd sanctuary to terrorists”
  3. use intelligence to intercept suspect vessels
  4. “as part of the strategy on terrorism it is critical to deny terrorists a safe refuge, and by denying them the use of legitimate vessels they will be forced increasingly to use stateless vessels which are prohibited by the International Maritime Organization”

PSI, Interdiction, Nonproliferation


Prosser, Andrew, et. al, “The Proliferation Security Initiative in Perspective,” June 16, 2004,

  1. “PSI states remain secretive about the methods being employed and the number of actual interdictions being carried out.”
  2. can board vessels “flying a given country’s flaf at sea” that participates in the initiative
  3. the power to stop and seize in high seas is “virtually non-existent”, can stop ships flying own flag and those that aren’t flagged
  4. internal waters, authority diminished in territorial seas
  5. “freedom of navigation on the high seas is limited in situations of slave trading, piracy, illicit narcotics trafficking, and unauthorized broadcasting, while innocent passage is inalienable ‘so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order, or security of the coastal state.”
  6. “where a suspected WMD cargo is transported under the flag of a foreign state that does not wish to grant PSI member countries permission to board its ship, PSI participants will usually not have the authority to act.”
  7. “states not bound by an international treaty prohibiting the transfer of WMD technologies are permitted to transport mass destruction weapons cargoes”
  8. “interception of WMD transfers at sea might be viewed as consistent with UNSC resolutions”
  9. if a country opposes the initiative, PSI operations cannot be carried out

UNSCR 1540, PSI, WMD, Law Enforcement, Nonproliferation


Winner, Andrew C., “The Proliferation Security Initiative: The New Face of Interdiction,” The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, THE WASHINGTON QUARTERLY, Spring 2005, 28:2, pp. 129-143.

  1. “PSI employs different tools and focuses on the interdiction of WMD-related items in the transport phase.”
  2. deterrence, denial of shipments causing to seek other, more difficult methods of obtaining WMD’s.
  3. PSI ship boarding agreements based on narcotics ship boarding agreements.

PSI, WMD, Interdiction, Nonproliferation


Kathleen Vogel, “Bioweapons Proliferation: Where Science Studies and Public Policy Collide,” Social Studies of Science 36/5(October 2006) 659–690.

WMD, Bioterrorism, Nonproliferation


Hillen, JohnDefense Trade ControlsDISAM Journal of International Security Assistance Management, Volume 28, Issue 2. 83-88. Winter 2006.

  1. “The following are excerpts of the address to the 18th Annual Global Trade Controls Conference November 3, 2005” – page 83
  2. “We are here today at this conference to talk about export controls, which are nonproliferation in action.” – page 83
  3. “It is clear that combating the twin threats of terrorism and proliferation will be one of the central tasks of the new century… All our energies must be bent to prevent this sort of situation.” – page 83
  4. “Enemies of modernism and open societies are on the move. They are constantly changing their tactics, locales, modalities, technologies, command structures, and methods of procurement” – page 83
  5. “This year, two Iranians, Mahoud Seif and Shahrazed Mir Gholikhan, were indicted in a U.S. court and convicted in an Austrian court for attempting to smuggle Generation III night vision goggles to Iran.” – page 83
  6. “This year, dual Lebanese-Canadian citizen Naji Antoine Khalil pled guilty in a U.S. court to attempting to export night vision equipment and infrared aiming devices to Hizballah.” – page 83
  7. “This year, Colombian citizen Carlos Gamarra-Murillo pled guilty in a U. S. court to brokering and exporting defense articles without a license.” – page 83
  8. “One of the responsibilities of the Bureau of Political Military Affairs … is to conduct a program to destroy Man-portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) to keep them out of terrorist hands” – page 83
  9. “Defense export controls are an integral part of our broader security agenda, whether it is the global war on terrorism, preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, or bolstering regional stability around the globe.” – page 84
  10. “First and foremost, we’re responded to these complexities in part through more aggressive compliance efforts” – page 85
  11. “Where the export control sins aren’t sufficiently serious to require criminal prosecution, we can resort to civil enforcement actions.” – page 85
  12. “We also encourage industry to self-report violations uncovered by their internal compliance programs, and last year we received 396 of these voluntary disclosures, more than one a day, every day, including Christmas”
  13. “… we have instituted an expedited licensing procedure for the urgent needs of our Coalition partners in Afghanistan and Iraq” – page 85
  14. “One step we have taken to meet this growth is our new system for fully electronic defense trade, which is making our export licensing process faster, simpler, and more efficient” – page 86
  15. “Not only has defense trade become more complex, but the nature of what is being exported has become more sophisticated as well. For the most part, “defense articles” used to mean weapons themselves and their component parts. But today the most sensitive defense exports don’t necessarily go “bang.” – page 86
  16. “Given the increasingly global nature of defense trade, a key element of our defense export policy is to strengthen international export controls, which is also a major pillar of our broader nonproliferation policy” – page 87

Export Control, Nonproliferation, WMD, Military, Compliance, Industry


Guilfoyle, Douglas, “Maritime Interdiction of Weapons of Mass Destruction,” JOURNAL OF CONFLICT & SECURITY LAW, 2007, Volume 12, No.1, pages 1-36.

  1. Maritime law enforcement- stop and search a vessel at sea “potentially seizing cargo and arresting persons aboard.”
  2. flag vessels enforced by their states, flag-state consent
  3. “a coastal state can enforce its criminal law against ships bound for, or leaving, its internal waters.”
  4. “so long as the acts of a vessel situated within the contiguous zone produce an infringement of a coastal state’s customs, fiscal, sanitary, and immigration laws within the territorial sea, ‘control’ could be asserted to punish those acts.”
  5. “In 1992, the Security Council identified the ‘proliferation of all WMD’ as a ‘threat to international peace and security.’”

PSI, UNSCR 1540, Law Enforcement, Law, Nonproliferation, WMD, UN Convention on the Law of the Sea


Van Ham, Peter & Olivia Bosch, “Global Non-Proliferation and Counter-Terrorism : The Tole of Resolution 1540 and Its Implications“, GLOBAL NON-PROLIFERATION AND COUNTER-TERRORISM: THE IMPACT OF UNSCR 1540, Eds. Bosch, Olivia, and Peter van Ham, Brookings Institution Press: 2007.

  1. “Because international law does not apply to individuals, non-state actors are subject only to prohibitions laid down in an often ambiguous patchwork of domestic law.”
  2. “The process of ratification means that a state makes the international treaty obligations part of its domestic law and national regulations.”

Nonproliferation, UNSCR 1540, Law Enforcement


Container Security Initiative (CSI), GLOBALSECURITY.ORG, 2007:

  1. cargo containers in our ports are potentially threats to security as they can hold nuclear weapons that can be detonated
  2. “terror in a box”
  3. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) -“shippers commit to improving the security of their cargo shipments, and in return, they receive a range of benefits from our government” -however, shippers who have promised to take security measures don’t usually get cargo searched and it is not determined whether they actually carried out the security measures.
  4. CSI screens containers that pose a risk before they depart for US ports of entry by using intelligence information -screening process done by CBP (Customs & Border Patrol) officials
  5. US has a reciprocal program with other nations who send their officials to the US to oversee that cargo going to their home country is secure
  6. CBP has bilateral agreements shares info with CSI participants globally

Homeland Security, Nonproliferation, Export Control, CB, CSI


Hodgkinson, Sandra L., “Challenges to Maritime Interception Operations in the War on Terror: Bridging the Gap,AMERICAN UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW, Washington College of Law, 22 Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. 583, 2007.

  1. MIOs- Maritime interception Operations – to deter, deny, disrupt movement of terrorists and terrorist related materials
  2. maritime interdiction as “anticipatory self-defense”
  3. PSI – more than 75 participating nations
  4. “PSI does not specifically establish any boarding authority and does not provide participating states with any new legal authority to conduct interdictions in intl waters”
  5. SOSAN incident helped in the development of PSI – Spanish forces found “fifteen scud missiles” along with the reported cement on a North Korean ship; brought to the attention of Spanish forces
  6. “PSI was officially announced by President Bush on May 31, 2003 in Krakow, Poland”
  7. BBC China – German owned ship – thousands of “gas centrifuge components that can be used to enrich uranium” were found and recovered; brought to attention of US and British intelligence, components recovered in Italy
  8. Post October 2003 – US has formed bilateral boarding agreements with 6 nations

Nonproliferation, PSI, WMD, Law Enforcement, Interdiction


Khurana, G.S., “Proliferation Security Initiative: An AssessmentStrategic Analysis, Vol. 28, no. 2, 2008.

  1. argues that PSI threatens free trade, arbitrary interdictions on the high seas, “based on narrow interests of a few powerful states”
  2. PSI as a supplement to other nonproliferation efforts

PSI, Nonproliferation


McNerney, Patricia A., “Conference on Global Perspectives of the Proliferation Landscape: An Assessment of Tools and Policy Problems” M2 PRESSWIRE, June 10, 2008.

  1. WMD’s as “the major security threat of the 21st century”
  2. challenge to get rid of the networks that supply these weapons
  3. challenge to interdict

WMD, PSI, UNSCR 1540, Nonproliferation


McNerney, Patricia, “United States Government Nonproliferation Priorities & AsiaSTATES NEWS SERVICE, July 1, 2008.

  1. increased trade in Asia leads to it being a target area for illicit trade
  2. UNSCR 1540- “strong global action to deny trade and financial support”
  3. PSI- “to stop shipments of equipment, material, and technology for WMD or delivery systems.”, interdiction

PSI, UNSCR 1540, Nonproliferation


Hayward, Mary Alice, “Proliferation Paths: Weak States, Rogues, & ActorsSCOOP INDEPENDENT NEWS, July 27, 2008.

  1. Global Threat Reduction Initiative- “to secure nuclear and radiological materials at civilia sites throughout the world in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists or other rogue actors.”
  2. UNSCR 1540- criminalizes proliferation, develops “capacity to fight proliferation”
  3. PSI- interdiction

PSI, UNSCR 1540, Nonproliferation


Schmitt, Eric, “Panel Fears Use of Unconventional Weapon,” NYT, A 11, Dec. 1, 2008.

  1. “An independent commission has concluded that terrorists will most likely carry out an attack with biological, nuclear or other unconventional weapons somewhere in the world in the next five years unless the United States and its allies act urgently to prevent that.”
  2. “the Congressionally mandated panel found that with countries like Iran and North Korea pursuing nuclear weapons programs, and with the risk of poorly secured biological pathogens growing, unconventional threats are fast outpacing the defenses arrayed to confront them.”
  3. “The report is the result of a six month study by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.”
  4. “[recommendations include] improved bioforensic capabilities, and strengthening international organizations, like the International Atomic Energy Agency, to address the nuclear threat.  It also calls for a comprehensive approach for dealing with Pakistan.”
  5. “The report calls for conducting a major review of the program to secure dangerous pathogens and tighten oversight of high-containment laboraties.”

Bioterrorism, WMD, Biosecurity, Nonproliferation, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan


Asada, Masahiko, “Security Council Resolution 1540 to Combat WMD Terrorism: Effectiveness and Legitimacy in International LegislationJOURNAL OF CONFLICT AND SECURITY LAW, Oxford University Press, 2009.

  1. desperate need for nuclear security
  2. each state should make certain acts punishable by law with penailties equal to the crime
  3. problems with creating a national treaty to combat terrorism, proliferation of WMDs.

Law Enforcement, WMD, UNSCR 1540, Nonproliferation


National Institute for Public Policy, “The Proliferation Security Initiative: A Model For Future International Collaboration,” 2009. Comparative Strategy, Volume 28, no. 5: 395-462.

  1. “one of the most important measures of PSI’s actual impact is its record of successful interdictions.”
  2. A former senior US gov’t official told the authors that PSI partners had conducted about 50 PSI interdictions–as of 2009
  3. BBC China incident — PSI “ensured that it happened as quickly, smoothly, and effectively as possible.”
  4.  PSI strengths: “enhances participants’ awareness of proliferation threat and their commitment to take action against it,” improves information sharing, develops counterproliferation capabilities
  5. Jean Francois-Rischard: 4 criteria of success by global issues networks = speed, redefining legitimacy on a global scale, diversity, and compatibility with traditional institutions
  6. PSI meets all of these criterion

PSI, Nonproliferation, WMD


Lee, Jeo-Hang, “Key Issues of PSI and Recent Developments,” THE KOREA HERALD, April 23, 2009.

  1. “PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles” – steps for effectively interdicting WMD shipments
  2. proliferation of a WMD deemed a threat to international peace and security
  3. UNCLOS- UN Convention of the Law of the Sea – “right of innocent passage” – have th right to sail through territorial seas as long as they carry “documents and observe precautionary measures detailed in international agreements.”
  4. Convention for Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation
  5. Congress suggested in 2007 that “clear PSI authorities, responsibilities, and structures” be established.

PSI, Interdiction, Nonproliferation


MacFarquhar, Neil, “U.S. Circulates new Iran Sanctions Draft,” NYT, A9, March 4, 2010.

  1. “The proposed sanctions would both broaden the scope and intensify three previous rounds of sanctions enacted since 2006 in an effort to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment and negotiate the future of its nuclear development program.”
  2. “The focus is on the Islamic Revolutionary Corps, which runs a vast array of Iranian businesses, while the oil industry is not included diplomats said.”
  3. “The new sanctions would also expand the list of individuals facing a travel ban and assets freeze for their work in the nuclear program.  Sanctions to date, which run to about six pages, have singled out companies and individuals involved in the nuclear and missile development programs or in efforts to help to finance them.  They include a ban on arms exports.”
  4. “One diplomat, expressing frustration with the level of proof demanded by China and Russia, said their negotiators went down the list as if they were expecting to get ‘a picture of each guy building the bomb.'”

Nuclear, Nonproliferation, Scientific Restrictions, Iran, China, Russia, U.S. Foreign Policy


Sanger, David, E., Baker, Peter, “Obama to Adopt Narrowed Stand on Nuclear Arms,” NYT, A1, April 6, 2010.

  1. “Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions.”
  2. “[Obama] seeks to reshape the nation’s nuclear posture for a new age in which rogue states and terrorist organizations are greater threats than tradition al powers like Russia and China.”
  3. “For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.”
  4. “White House officials said the new strategy would include the option of reconsidering the use of nuclear retaliation against a biological attack, if development of such weapons reached a level that made the United States vulnerable to a devastating strike.”
  5. “But the President said in an interview that he was carving out an exception for ‘outliers like Iran and North Korea’ that have violated or renounced the main treaty to halt nuclear proliferation.”

Nuclear, Bioterrorism, UNSCR 1540, Nonproliferation, Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, NPT


Lieggi, Stephanie; Shaw, Robert; and Toki, Masako. “Taking Control: Stopping North Korean WMD-Related ProcurementBulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Volume 66, issue 5. Pages 21-34. September 2010

  1. “Last year, when two Japan-based traders were convicted for attempting to illegally transport sensitive materials, a larger story unraveled – one that illuminated North Korea’s efforts to obtain technology related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).” – page 21
  2. “Historically, the country acquired much of its WMD-related technology and training from abroad, particularly China and the Soviet Union. Today, North Korea’s procurement network employ a sophisticated mix of front companies, brokers, and transshipment strategies.” –page 21
  3. “Since the early 1950’s, North Korea has both legally and illegally sought to acquire advanced technology and commodities from Japanese entities to improve its military capability.” – page 22
  4. “Pyongyang’s (capitol of North Korea) missile business has developed into an important source of revenue – ranging from #300 million to $1.5 billion annually, according to some estimates – and North Korea has traded missile technology with many countries, including Pakistan, Iran, Syria, and Yemen.” – page 23
  5. “The export violations incidents in Japan involving Toko Boeki and Tadao Morita occurred after the U.N. Security Council passed resolutions in July and October 2006 sanctioning North Korea, and after Tokyo consequently expanded its list of items under embargo to Pyongyang.’ – page 23
  6. “…Japans ‘catch-all’ controls, which mandate a license requirement for certain destination countries if an export is likely to support development of WMD, even if the item is not specifically mentioned on domestic controls list” – page 23
  7. “In early 2009, police in Kanagawa, a suburb of Tokyo, raided the offices of trading company Toko Boeki after the firm attempted to export a magnetometer (a device used to measure magnetic fields) to Myanmar in September 2008 and again in January 2009.” – page 23
  8. “Japanese authorities determined a magnetometer to be a useful tool in the development of magnets critical to the operation of some missile guidance systems, and police suspected a link to North Korea’s missile development programs” – page 23
  9. “The investigation led to the June 2009 arrest – and eventual indictment – of Toko Boeki’s founder and president, Li Gyeong Ho, for his attempts to dodge Japan’s catch-all controls.” – page 23
  10. “Li pleaded guilty and received a prison sentence of two years, matching the request of the prosecutors. However, the sentence was suspended for four years, highlighting Japan’s problem with lenient sentences for proliferation-related offenses. Additionally, Li’s company, Toko Boeki, was fined about $68,000 (6 million yen)” page 25
  11. “In addition to the criminal penalties, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) imposed a complete seven month export ban on both Li and his company.” – page 25
  12. “In May 2009, police in Hyogo, a suburb outside Kyoto, arrested Chong Rin Chae (Tadao Morita), a South Korean resident, for attempting to illegally export two tanker trucks from Japan to North Korea via South Korea.” – page 25
  13. “In July 2009, Morita pleaded guilty to export control violations involving the tanker trucks and the luxury goods and was sentenced to a suspended three-year prison term. His company was also assessed a fine of approximately $55,000 (5 million yen).”- page 26
  14. “In January 2010, six months after Morita’s criminal conviction, METI also imposed a 16-month export ban on Morita and his company” – page 27
  15. “Since METI’s 2002 implementation of catch-all controls, the Japanese government has strengthened legal and administrative provisions specific to curbing the spread of WMD – a process accelerated by North Korea’s recent nuclear and missile tests.” – page 27
  16. “Last year, Japan amended its Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade law, which increased the maximum penalty for export control violations from five to seven years. If a violation involves WMD-related items, however, then the maximum penalty is 10 years” – page 27
  17. “The use of front companies and transshipment destinations reveals a network continuously evolving in response to U.N. sanctions and increased nonproliferation-focused export controls of supplier countries like Japan” – page 30

Export Control, Japan, North Korea, WMD, Military, Nonproliferation, UN


Editors, “Planned Malaysian Biolab Raises Security Concerns,” Global Security Newswire September 8, 2010. Last checked September 10, 2010.

  1. “Plans to construct a high-security biological research laboratory in Malaysia have caused some worry over possible proliferation of highly lethal disease materials, ProPublica reported yesterday.”
  2. “Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions and Ninebio Sdn Bhd., which is funded by the Malaysian Health Ministry, in 2008 announced a joint plan to construct a large complex at an industrial site not far from Kuala Lumpur for ‘vaccine development and manufacturing.'”
  3. “Emergent is the producer of the only U.S.-licensed anthrax vaccine. The Emergent-Ninebio venture intends to manufacture halal-compliant vaccines for the international Muslim market. The complex is currently slated to begin work in 2013, according to an Emergent release.”
  4. “The two firms intend to construct a ‘biocontainment R&D facility that includes BSL … 3 and 4 laboratories,’ According to online architectural plans for the 52,000-square-foot complex.”
  5. “Biosafety Level 4 laboratories perform countermeasure research on diseases for which there are no known cures, such as the Ebola and Marburg viruses. There are fewer than 40 such facilities in the world and none in Malaysia. The nation has three BSL-3 laboratories, which handle potentially deadly pathogens like anthrax and plague.”
  6. “U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Vann Van Diepen said during a House panel hearing in March that a critical aspect of today’s biological weapon fears is ‘the growing biotechnology capacity in areas of the world with a terrorist presence.'”
  7. “Malaysia’s history with terrorism includes the 2002 bomb attack by Malaysian-based extremists from Jemaah Islamiyah that killed 202 people at a popular nightclub in Bali, Indonesia. Kuala Lumpur served as the ‘primary operational launchpad’ for al-Qaeda senior operatives planning the Sept. 11 attacks, according to the FBI. The Malaysian capital was also a key hub in the nuclear technology smuggling ring operated by Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan (see GSN, March 14, 2005).”
  8. “Security specialists argue that having a U.S. firm such as Emergent involved in Malaysia’s growing biotechnology industry would give Washington some degree of clout and authority over international biodefense work.”
  9. “Malaysian authorities want the high-tech laboratories to respond to local epidemics of diseases such as SARS and Japanese encephalitis in addition to advancing research on cures for biological materials that could be used in acts of terrorism.”
  10. “Kuala Lumpur has started to develop new biological security regulations that would meet U.S. standards. It has received assistance in the effort from the U.S. Energy Department’s Sandia National Laboratories, ProPublica reported.”
  11. “…and monitoring of biological manufacturing installations under the Biological Weapons Convention. The United States and Russia, however, are against site inspections and the likelihood of more effective oversight controls being put into effect is not known.”
  12. “‘We currently do not have [BSL-4] labs in Malaysia but we would be happy to collaborate with the government of Malaysia on biosurveillance, safety and security in the future,’ a Defense Department spokesman said (Coen/Nadler, ProPublica, Sept. 7).

BSL, Malaysia, Vaccination, Nonproliferation, Bioterrorism, Biosurveillance, Public Health, Military, State Department, al-Qaeda


Editors, “U.S. and Spain Equip Second Megaport With Radiation Detectors“, 27 September 2010, Global Security Newswire, Last Checked 1 October 2010.

  1. “The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today the successful commencing of operations of radiation detection equipment at the Port of Valencia in Spain.”
  2. “With this equipment the Port of Valencia will now be able to scan all import and export containers passing through the port for the presence of dangerous nuclear and radioactive materials.”
  3. “‘The commissioning of the Port of Valencia underscores the continued shared commitment of the U.S. and Spain to enhance global maritime security,’ said Ken Baker, NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. ‘This successful milestone marks continued progress in implementing President Obama’s nuclear security agenda and supports the U.S. global effort to secure vulnerable nuclear material and prevent nuclear proliferation and terrorism.’”
  4. “This effort is part of the NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program, which works collaboratively with foreign governments at border crossings, airports, seaports and other points of entry to install specialized radiation detection equipment and associated communications equipment.”
  5. “NNSA has installed similar equipment at more than 230 sites and at 31 Megaports around the world.”

Nonproliferation, Nuclear, Export Control, Container Security


Finlay, Brian; Bergenas, Johan; Tessler, Veronica, “Beyond Boundaries in the Middle East:  Leveraging Nonproliferation Assistance to Address Security/Development Needs With Resolution 1540,”  The Stimson Center and the Stanley Foundation, 2010.

  1. “Its effectiveness has been proven elsewhere around the globe, in less developed regions, including the Caribbean and Central America.  At present, more than $2 billion is spent annually on targeted nonproliferation assistance by the G-8 and partnering governments.”  page 6
  2. “However, desalination plants are extremely energy intensive, which in turn implies that these countries must also increase electricity output.  For many Middle Eastern countries, the solution is the development of nuclear power.” page 10
  3. “Like Saudi Arabia, to produce sufficient amounts of electricity for the desalination process, Jordan is pursuing nuclear energy as a critical component of its development and economic security strategy.”  page 11
  4. “In one year, the Caribbean as a region went from a 1540 black hole to a model for implementation of the resolution around the globe.  This progress was not a result of dictating legal mandates from the Security Council, but rather is a reflection of the countries’ realization that 1540 implementation is in their best interests because it not only helps to address endemic security challenges related to the flow of drugs and small arms but also promotes their plans for economic diversification through port security and other enhancements to trade.”  page 24
  5. “Recognizing the dual benefits and the funding available, the Caribbean Community has hired a full time regional 1540 coordinator, and SICA has requested funding to employ one in the Central American region.  Both positions have been facilitated by the active engagement of the Organization of American States.” p 27
  6. “However, even though general agreement exists that approaching development and security challenges in tandem is an appropriate and effective course of action, pragmatic implementation of this grand and much important realization has largely failed to materialize.  For example, in 2009, net development assistance worldwide was just shy of $120 billion, while total military expenditures exceeded $1.5 trillion.”  p 30
  7. “At present, more than $2 billion is spent annually on targeted nonproliferation assistance by G-8 and partnering governments.” p 31

UNSCR 1540, Nuclear, Nonproliferation


Editors, “Nunn-Lugar Program Deactivates 48 Strategic NukesGlobal Security Newswire Last accessed October 28, 2010.

  1. “The U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction program since August has deactivated 48 strategic nuclear warheads, Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) announced Friday (see GSN, Sept. 14).”
  2. “The Nunn-Lugar effort in that period also eliminated four ICBMs and 16 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, safeguarded three nuclear arms train shipments and supported disposal of nearly 70 metric tons of chemical warfare agents.”
  3. “Since being established in 1991 to secure and destroy weapons of mass destruction in former Soviet states, the CTR program has deactivated 7,599 strategic nuclear warheads and destroyed 791 ICBMs, 498 ICBM silos, 180 mobile ICBM launchers, 651 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, 492 SLBM launchers, 32 ballistic missile-capable submarines, 155 strategic bombers, 906 nuclear air-to-surface missiles and 194 nuclear test tunnels.”
  4. “The effort has also provided for safeguards of 493 nuclear-weapon train shipments, boosted security at 24 nuclear weapons storage facilities and constructed 20 biological agent monitoring stations. It aided the removal of all nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, nations that once respectively held the world’s third-, fourth- and eighth-largest nuclear arsenals.”
  5. “The initiative has neutralized 1,569.5 metric tons of Russian and Albanian chemical agents (U.S. Senator Richard Lugar release, Oct. 22).”

Nuclear, Nonproliferation


Pomfret, JohnU.S. Asked China to Stop Missile Parts Shipment to Iran”, 29 November 2010, Washington Post Last Checked 1 December 2010.

  1. “U.S. officials have long accused China of failing to crack down on proliferation activities that occur on its territory.”
  2. “For decades, China was a major proliferator of missiles itself, but that activity seemed to slow in the 1990s under U.S. pressure.”
  3. “The United States asked China in 2007 to stop a shipment of ballistic missile parts going from North Korea to Iran through Beijing and indicated that the U.S. government was fed up with China’s unwillingness to crack down on such trade, according to reports Sunday based on U.S. diplomatic cables.”
  4. “Another cable highlighted U.S. concern this year that Chinese firms were supplying North Korea with precursors for chemical weapons – in what would be a violation of U.N. sanctions.”
  5. “In May, Clinton said the United States was concerned that exports by named Chinese firms ‘could be used for or diverted to a CW [chemical weapons] program.’”
  6. “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton continued to pressure China on proliferation issues, this time because it was apparently turning a blind eye to its own companies.”
  7. “China passed export control laws, but Beijing has rarely, according to U.S. officials and the cables revealed Sunday, actively worked to stop proliferation from occurring on its territory.”

NonproliferationPSI, Nuclear, North Korea, Iran, Chemical, Export Control


Editors, “U.N. Presses Countries to Enact Anti-WMD Measures” 21 April 2011, GSN, Last Checked 21 April 2011.

  1. “A U.N. Security Council measure adopted without dissent on Wednesday presses governments to comply with a 2004 resolution demanding domestic efforts to prevent ‘nonstate actors’ from obtaining weapons of mass destruction.”
  2. “The Wednesday declaration renews for one decade the authorization for the Security Council panel charged with overseeing execution of Resolution 1540.”
  3. “The body aids governments in preparing relevant legislation, overseeing security for potential WMD ingredients and guarding against their transfer to other states, and bolstering police measures and protective efforts at border crossings.”
  4. “The 2004 resolution requires U.N. states to enact domestic measures to prevent rogue actors from producing, obtaining, or moving weapons of mass destruction, associated goods and their delivery systems.”
  5. “Wednesday’s Resolution 1977 ‘sharpens the tools’ of the 1540 implementation panel.”
  6. “The mandate, originally scheduled to lapse on Monday, is now set to remain in effect through April 25, 2021.”
  7. “All 192 U.N. member nations should meet the requirements of Resolution 1540, and governments that have not submitted a declaration on their efforts to comply with measure should take the step ‘without delay,’ the Security Council stated.”
  8. “The White House praised the Wednesday resolution and noted a $3 million Obama administration pledge to support committee activities.”

UNSCR 1540, Law, Nonproliferation, WMD, PSI


Editors, “North Korea Selling Missiles in Asia, Middle East: U.N. Report” 17 May 2011, Global Security Newswire Last Checked 19 May 2011.

  1. “North Korea has continued efforts to sell ballistic missiles, their parts and related systems to multiple entities in South Asia and the Middle East, an expert report sent to the U.N. Security Council on Friday said.”
  2. “Security Council sanctions passed in the wake of the aspiring nuclear power’s 2006 and 2009 nuclear-weapon tests have left Pyongyang badly in need of funds.”
  3. “‘In an effort to get hard currency and advance its own programs, the country has been actively engaged in the export of complete (missile) systems, components and technology to numerous customers in the Middle East and South Asia,’ the expert report says.”
  4. “The North is likely to have swapped missile technology with Iran.”
  5. “‘The country has also continued to defy the bans on imports and exports of nuclear-related items, of conventional arms and of luxury goods,’ the panel wrote.”
  6. “Pyongyang, however, has taken advantage of gaps and weaknesses in international transportation and cargo regimes to move its weapon to customers.”
  7. “The North has grown more proficient in setting up fraudulent firms and offshore banking operations, and in employing many different fake names to cloak the identities of blacklisted firms and officials, the report says.”
  8. “While international sanctions have not blocked all of North Korea’s nuclear development and weapons sales, ‘they have made it more difficult and expensive for the country to pursue these,’ according to the report.”

North Korea, Nonproliferation, PSI


Editors, “China Holds Up Report on North Korean Proliferation” 18 May 2011, Global Security Newswire Last Checked 19 May 2011.

  1. “China on Tuesday prevented the release of an expert report to the U.N. Security Council asserting that North Korea has routinely exchanged ballistic missile equipment with Iran.”
  2. “The expert report said an unidentified third country bordering North Korea was acting as a midshipment point for North Korean-Iranian missile commerce. Multiple anonymous envoys said that country was China.”
  3. “Should the expert panel’s assertions be correct, it would add weight to Western worries that Beijing has not assigned adequate resources to spotting and blocking North Korean proliferation activities.”
  4. “Western diplomats at a Tuesday Security Council discussion of the expert report said they worried about gaps in the U.N. sanctions regime against North Korea.”
  5. “Security Council states from Europe have said they would back adding more North Korean organizations and individuals to the sanctions list.”

North Korea, Nonproliferation, PSI, China


Editors, “Export Control Reform Initiative: Strategic Trade Authorization License Exception,” 16 June 2011, Bureau of Industry and Security U.S. Department of Commerce Last Checked 2 August 2011.

  1. “U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the next step in President Obama’s export control reform (ECR) initiative aimed at strengthening U.S. national security and ensuring the competitiveness of American companies abroad.”
  2. “The Department will implement today a new license exception, Strategic Trade Authorization (STA), that will facilitate exports between the United States and partner countries while enhancing the competitiveness of key industrial base sectors.”
  3. “The Export Control Reform Initiative aims to build higher fences around a core set of items whose misuse can pose a national security threat to the United States. By facilitating trade to close partners and allies, the Commerce Department can better focus its resources ensuring the most sensitive items do no end up where they should not.”
  4. “This new license exception will eliminate the need for U.S. exporters to seek licenses in nearly 3,000 types of transactions annually, affecting an estimated $1.4 billion in goods and technology”
  5. “The new license exception will . . . focus . . . resources on items that pose a significant national security risk and help facilitate U.S. exports.”
  6. “Items such as electronic components for use on the International Space Station, cameras for search and rescue efforts for fire departments, components for civil aviation navigation systems for commercial aircraft, airport scanners, and toxins for vaccine research will be eligible for the new license exception.”
  7. “At the same time, the license exception establishes new safeguards designed to ensure Department of Commerce approval is obtained before controlled items exported under the exception are re-exported outside of authorized destinations.”

Export Control, Nonproliferation, Homeland Security


Berkshire, Miller J., “The Importance of UNSCR 1540,” 21 June 2011 The Diplomat, Last Visited 3 August 2011.

  1. “[T]he UN Security Council adopted an important resolution (UNSCR 1977) this spring extending the mandate of UNSCR 1540 an additional 10 years until 2021.”
  2. “The Council also decided to implement a formal comprehensive review on the status of the resolution’s implementation after five years.”
  3. “South African Ambassador to the United Nations Baso Sanqu chairs the 1540 Committee, which has a mandate to report on the implementation status of the resolution.”
  4. “The Committee’s last comprehensive update, dubbed the Heller report after former 1540 chairman Claude Heller, was released in December 2010.”
  5. “The report recommended that the Security Council extend 1540 for an additional 10 years, with a potential to review every five years . . . [m]odeled . . . after the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has a review conference every five years.”
  6. “Heller also advocated that the Committee focus greater attention on biological weapons proliferation, an area that has thus far been marginalized compared with nuclear and chemical weapons prevention.”
  7. “It seems at first glance that Heller’s recommendations have been adopted by the UNSC, but the proposal on the review conference has yet to be institutionalized (despite the decision to hold one in 2016).”
  8. “Moreover, the new resolution doesn’t provide a tangible mandate for increased attention to biological weapons. Despite this, Interpol has recently stressed it will commit more resources to fighting bioterrorism.”
  9. “A great deal of effective work has been done since 2004 in response to the resolution’s unprecedented requirements. The ‘G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction has effectively contributed a tremendous amount of state-to-state assistance in preventing terrorist acquisition of WMD and related materials through the provision of expertise and financial backing of projects in areas such as nuclear security, chemical weapons destruction and biological weapons non-proliferation.”
  10. “The International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have also continued to help out by providing capacity building programs to developing countries, which often have abysmal infrastructures protecting such sensitive materials.”

UNSCR 1540, WMD, Nonproliferation, Biosecurity, Nuclear, Chemical


Editors, “DUTCH CITIZEN ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY TO EXPORT GOODS TO IRAN,” 8 August 2011, Bureau of Industry and Security U.S. Department of Commerce, Last Visited 11 August 2011.

  1. “Federal agents arrested a former manager of a Netherlands-based freight forwarding company Saturday evening, August 6, 2011, for allegedly conspiring with others to export goods – including aircraft parts, peroxide, and other materials – to Iran.”
  2. “[Urlich] Davis was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport as he was attempting to depart for The Netherlands by special agents of the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.”
  3. “According to the Complaint, Ulrich Davis sent prohibited shipments to Iran, intentionally hiding the nature of sensitive materials to be provided to the Iranian military,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “The violation of export laws designed to keep American munitions out of the wrong hands is more than shady business practice; it is a threat to national security.””
  4. “This investigation demonstrates our ongoing commitment to pursue individuals, including those in the freight forwarder community, who knowingly violate U.S. export control laws no matter where in the world they set up their illicit operations,” said Eric Hirschhorn, Under Secretary for Industry and Security.”
  5. “Davis and the Netherlands company caused several shipments to be made to Iran without the necessary authorization from the United States government and in violation of the law.”
  6. “In May 2007, the Netherlands freight-forwarding company caused attitude direction indicators for aircraft to be sent from the United States to Iran. Davis directed the transport company to disguise the nature of the shipment by removing the invoices and list of items from the box.”
  7. “Also in May 2007, Davis’ company forwarded a fuel control unit for use on a Boeing 747 aircraft to Iran.”
  8. “In September 2007, the Netherlands freight forwarder shipped C-130 aircraft parts to Iran; Davis was listed as the employee responsible for the shipment.”
  9. “In 2007 and 2008, Davis also procured various materials from a New Jersey company – including adhesive primer, peroxide, and aerosols – that were sent to Iran in multiple shipments between August 2007 and January 2008. The shipments were made by the New York-based freight forwarding company, via another country. At least one of the shipper’s export declarations filed by the New York freight forwarder falsely identified The Netherlands as the ultimate destination. Davis had instructed an employee of the New York freight forwarder to falsely list The Netherlands as the country of ultimate destination for the exports. The address in The Netherlands was a post office box.”

Export Control, Nonproliferation


Fallon, Jim, “U.S. Export Control Reform: Getting It Right This Time,” 10 August 2011, Microwave Journal, Last Visited 11 August 2011.

  1. “The [Obama] [A]dministration’s plan for Export Control Reform (ECR) — to make the system work for us as part of our national security strategy, not against us – is indeed a visionary approach for those of us who have been involved in this bureaucratic nightmare for many years.”
  2. “The goal is also to be better able to monitor and enforce controls on technology transfers with real security implications while helping to speed the provision of equipment to allies and partners who fight alongside us in coalition operations.”
  3. “The Cold War is over and so are most of the assumptions that led us to this point in the evolution of Export Control Laws and Regulations.”
  4. “Today, we fight in ‘cyberspace domains at the speed of light.’ And our Export Control Systems must be brought up to new standards and be re-evaluated in that context.”
  5. “[Export Control laws] should reflect how we deal with our closest allies internationally, both as close friends and as military coalition partners.”
  6. “We must protect the critical technology in the U.S. in the proper fashion from all the ‘bad guys.’ But our Export Control laws must reflect the world we live in today.”
  7. “The context for this discussion is clear – our laws need to keep pace with advancing technology in a globally connected world economy. U.S. military supremacy depends on our warfighters having a clear technological advantage.”
  8. “Technology is the critical factor that determines support for our national military strategy, and most importantly, is the key underpinning used to protect and support our warfighters on the battlefield.”
  9. “This whole discussion is really all about one thing – ‘a big reset’ that is coming – on how we will come together and implement Export Control Reform.”

Export Control, Nonproliferation, Cybersecurity


Editors, “North Korea Used Black Market to Acquire Nuke Technology, IAEA Says,” 6 September 2011, Global Security Newswire Last Checked 6 September 2011.

  1. “North Korea appears to have employed an illicit network to acquire material needed to establish a uranium enrichment facility at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded in a report.”
  2. “The IAEA report appears to suggest that North Korea obtained assistance from the nuclear proliferation ring once operated by former chief Pakistani atomic scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, which also sold nuclear-weapon technology to Iran and Libya before it was disbanded in 2003.”
  3. “The document concludes North Korea established its uranium facility following the expulsion of U.N. inspectors in April 2009.”
  4. “Assuming no other clandestine network was involved, it would follow that Pyongyang purchased centrifuges from the Khan ring no later than 2003 and kept them a secret from investigators.”
  5. “The U.N. watchdog said it possessed additional information that would indicate other types of enrichment machinery and expertise were acquired by Pyongyang from the Khan ring.”
  6. “The nuclear agency also determined that the North had ‘very likely’ produced the uranium hexafluoride discovered in a container the Khan ring sent to Libya in 2001. That would suggest the Stalinist state clandestinely established its uranium enrichment program more than a decade ago.”

Nonproliferation, Nuclear, North Korea, Pakistan


Editors, “U.S. Focuses on Small Sea Vessels in Anti-WMD Smuggling Program,” 22 September 2011, Global Security Newswire Last Checked 22 September 2011.

  1. “A group of U.S. agencies is studying ways for detecting and tracking small seagoing vessels that could be used by terrorists to smuggle nuclear or radiological materials and associated equipment into the United States, the Defense Department announced.”
  2. “While steps have been taken internationally to prevent larger cargo-carrying ships from being used by would-be nuclear smugglers, less-sizable vessels remain a vulnerability within the security web.
  3. “The Naval Postgraduate School Information Services Department, along with the Energy and Homeland Security departments, the U.S. Navy and Special Operations Command and several friendly foreign nations have established a system that connects participants, allowing for the rapid exchange of information about high-value watercraft that should be stopped and searched, a Pentagon release stated.”
  4. “The developmental network is comprised of drone technology, screening checkpoints, electronic monitors and other capabilities, NPS associate professor Alex Bordetsky said.”
  5. “Denmark, Germany, Greece, Singapore, Sweden and NATO are all participating in the maritime surveillance operation.”
  6. “One issue to overcome, Bordetsky said, is how to spot and monitor small vessels while traveling at a heightened speeds.”
  7. “Once complete, the network could provide operatives interdicting a vessel with information provided in real time by researchers working on supercomputers at the U.S. national laboratories.”
  8. “Bordetsky said research and testing of new maritime surveillance technology in the last nine years have displayed promise.”
  9. “The researcher said he hopes all the components of the integrated maritime surveillance network will come together in half a decade.”

PSI, Nonproliferation


Jahn, George and Rusnac, Corneliu, “Officials Say Crime Ring has Uranium,” 27 September 2011, CBSNews Last Checked 29 September 2011.

  1. “Investigators following up on a nuclear sting in Eastern Europe suspect that a crime syndicate was trying to sell weapons-grade uranium to buyers in North Africa.”
  2. “Officials in Moldova, a former Soviet republic, told The Associated Press that 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of highly enriched uranium remains in criminal hands and is probably in another country.”
  3. “They arrested six people and seized 4.4 grams (0.16 ounces) of uranium that had been offered as a sample at a price of 420,000 euros, or $600,000.”
  4. “The sellers claimed to have 9 kilograms (20 pounds) more as well as a quantity of plutonium, according to Lugar’s report. The group wanted 23 million euros (nearly $31 million) for the larger quantity of uranium, which would have been about one-third of the material necessary to build a crude nuclear weapon. “
  5. “According to U.S. and U.N. officials, the sample of uranium oxide was traced to specific Russian enrichment facilities and was matched later with at least one earlier seizure of uranium.”
  6. “Moldovan authorities believe the uranium was taken through Transnistria, which is known to be a haven for smugglers. The report by Lugar, who has spearheaded U.S. efforts to secure weapons of mass destruction around the world, says flights into Transnistria cannot be monitored, and the borders between the breakaway territory and Moldova proper as well as Ukraine are porous. The report also warns that action needs to be taken to improve security at Russian nuclear facilities.”
  7. “According to Olli Heinonen, a former investigator at the International Atomic Energy Agency, a small quantity of uranium oxide enriched to bomb-grade level could have come from Russian civilian nuclear stocks used in research reactors. But if the smugglers indeed have the larger quantity they were offering, it would signal that criminals had gained access to military stocks.”
  8. “The offer of plutonium, if legitimate, also was particularly troubling, because less plutonium is needed to make a nuclear bomb. Unlike highly enriched uranium, plutonium can be combined with conventional explosives to make a toxic dirty bomb that could spread radioactivity over a wide area.”
  9. “The investigation has provided fresh evidence of a black market in nuclear material probably taken from poorly secured stockpiles in the former Soviet Union.”



Editors, “Next Generation Radiation Monitors Near Ready for Testing, GAO Says,” 4 November 2011, Global Security Newswire Last Checked 4 November 2011.

  1. “Next-generation radiation monitors are now developed enough for advanced assessment trials, which if successful could lead to the new technology being used in U.S. counter-nuclear smuggling activities.”
  2. “The large majority of monitors currently in use employ a rare ingredient, helium 3.”
  3. “Helium 3 is favored for radiation monitors because it is judged to be the most precise in detecting the presence of nuclear materials and because it is not toxic or radioactive.”
  4. “However, the gas is in short supply due to a declining number of weapons in the U.S. arsenal.”
  5. “NNSA officials project they can annually collect 8,000-10,000 liters of the gas — an amount that falls short of the demand from detector manufacturers and the medical research community.”
  6. “For years, scientists have been searching for a workable alternative to helium 3 and are now finally on the verge of serious breakthroughs in their efforts.”
  7. “The report cites three alternatives that could be used instead of helium 3. They are: boron 10, boron trifluoride and lithium 6.”
  8. “Of those three, GAO auditors found that the boron 10-based technology was the furthest developed and that detectors using the isotope as a conversion material could be tested as soon as next year.”
  9. “While boron trifluoride is not as quite efficient, its availability means that it can be utilized in larger amounts to make up for the efficiency deficit.”
  10. “However, both lithium 6 and boron 10 are export-regulated substances and boron trifluoride is poisonous.”
  11. “Each of the three options has a similar performance level to helium 3, the report said.”

Radiological Surveillance, Nonproliferation


Warrick, Joby, “IAEA Says Foreign Expertise Has Brought Iran to Threshold of Nuclear CapabilityWashington Post. 6 November 2011.

  1. “Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.”
  2. information on “a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.”
  3. Iran said to have conducted weapons related research post 2003
  4. intent to gather all ingredients to build a weapon if they so choose
  5. claim to info gathered/purpose in order to generate electricity
  6. “Albright said IAEA officials, based on the totality of the evidence given to them, have concluded that Iran “has sufficient information to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device” using highly enriched uranium as its fissile core.”
  7. obtained design info on the “R265 generator. The device is a hemispherical aluminum shell with an intricate array of high explosives that detonate with split-second precision. These charges compress a small sphere of enriched uranium or plutonium to trigger a nuclear chain reaction”

Iran, Bioterrorism, Biosecurity, Nonproliferation, Nuclear, WMD


Weiner, Sharon, “Who’s a Weapons Scientist?” 16 November 2011, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Last Checked 16 November 2011.

  1. “The IAEA’s recent report on Iran suggests that a long-standing US fear may have been realized: A former Soviet nuclear weapons expert sold his skills for money.”
  2. “Important technical help was provided by an outside expert, identified by other sources as Vyacheslav Danilenko, a researcher who, until 1989, had worked for three decades at a leading Soviet nuclear weapons research and design institute.”
  3. “A rogue Soviet nuclear expert helping Iran build a weapon is something the United States has feared since the end of the Cold War.”
  4. “As the Soviet economy crashed, even weapon scientists faced potential layoffs, salary delays, and low wages.”
  5. “Russia was reluctant to provide a list of its WMD scientists and their skills, mostly for national security reasons.”
  6. “The United States set up cooperative employment programs to discourage poor ex-Soviet nuclear scientists from selling their skills to would-be proliferators.”
  7. “During the 1990s, the United States created five main programs, each of which was tasked with reducing the proliferation threat of WMD knowledge from the former Soviet Union. The Departments of Defense, Energy, and State housed these programs, and collectively they formed a piece of what is known as Cooperative Threat Reduction. These programs were supposed to focus on scientists with weapons skills.”
  8. “Some efforts focused on providing temporary income through short-term research contracts, and others tried to retrain and then re-employ nuclear experts in non-weapons jobs, ideally in the commercial sector.”
  9. “These efforts faced the same problem that is at the root of the current controversy over Danilenko: How do you determine who is a nuclear weapons scientist? And, how do you identify the weapons expert who is willing to proliferate?”
  10. “US programs were even less able to successfully identify scientists at risk of proliferating. The programs tended to operate under the assumption that a scientist would proliferate by moving to another state. As a result, there was insufficient attention to internet communications or to what scientists presented at conferences in places like Iran.”
  11. “Over time, these shortcuts and assumptions, driven in part by an effort to show results, had two serious consequences for US nonproliferation efforts. One is that the United States had few ways to determine if its programs were reaching the most proliferation-prone scientists. The second is that at least half of its program resources, and probably more, went to people who had no skills relevant to biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons.”
  12. “As the United States pursues its efforts beyond the former Soviet Union to stop the proliferation of WMD knowledge, it should look more closely at the history of these programs and the rules and assumptions they followed as they implemented their efforts. Doing so will increase not only the efficiency with which resources are expended, but the certainty that programs are reaching the WMD experts of most concern.”

Scientist, Nonproliferation, Russia





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