Lions, Tigers, and WMD, Oh Noes!

The Washington Post glosses the draft report of the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, which warns that the likelihood of terrorists securing WMD has substantially increased, particularly from teetering states like Pakistan.

“Without greater urgency and decisive action by the world community, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013,” says the draft report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post.

The report concludes any such attack is very much a “preventable catastrophe”, and what I’m sure will be much to the chagrin of Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol, suggests strengthening international treaties and institutions as a preventative measure. In particular, the report recommends reengaging the Non-Proliferation Treaty reviled by the Bush Administration, cracking down on illicit trade, stopping weapons development, and rewarding good behavior by helping develop civilian nuclear programs on a quid pro quo basis.

This all seems to be right, though I think the report ought to be a bit more realistic about America’s bargaining position. That is, the U.S. should not only toughen the NPT, but should also reduce our needlessly enormous arsenal and abandon the faulty missile defense shield in Europe. What’s more, we’re simply in no state to be invading Iran unilaterally, nor would we want to invade North Korea, so posturing from a “position of strength” should be replaced with bargaining with good faith intentions of accomplishing something beneficial.


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