The Corner

Where The Wmds Are (2)

In response to an earlier post (on Congressional delays in the funding of the programme under which the US funds the destruction of old Soviet WMDs), a reader sends me this from something called the Arms Control Association (yes, yes, suspicious name…) earlier this year:

“Bush is seeking $409 million in fiscal year 2005 for the Defense Department’s Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program—about 10 percent less than the $451 million allocated for CTR activities in fiscal year 2004. Most of the proposed difference comes from slashing spending on the destruction of Russia’s chemical weapons stockpile by more than 20 percent, from $200 million to $158 million. This would slow spending on the controversial Shchuch’ye chemical weapons destruction facility, whose funding has long been a bone of contention between Lugar and Republican conservatives in the House and the Pentagon. At a Feb. 12 Senate Foreign Relations hearing, the panel’s ranking Democrat, Joseph Biden Jr. (Del.), blamed the Bush’s proposed cut on “ideological idiocy” among some members of the administration, whom he said feared that the Russians “are going to take $200 million they would have spent and do something really bad with it to us.”

If the situation is as Biden describes, that would indeed be idiocy. The idea that the Russians (who are awash in oil revenues) would use the $200m to spend on something bad is nonsense. If they are going to spend $200million in that way they will, quite frankly, do it any way. They’ve got the money in the bank, but not, alas, the same priorities as we do. The US (and the rest of the West) needs to focus on one thing – getting this stuff safe, secured and destroyed as soon as possible. Money, quite frankly, should be no object – and if that means dropping a high tech weapons project or even, good heavens, putting an axe to some congressional pork, so be it.

During the election, the President said, “The biggest threat facing this country is weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terrorist network.”

That was true in 2004. It’s still true today. If I may borrow somebody else’s catchphrase, “faster please.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Origins of Progressive Agony

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate ... Read More

How Will the Senate Races Break?

How will the Senate races break? We have less public polling to go on than in recent years, so answering that question is harder than ever. But the news is more optimistic for Republicans than it was a month ago.   Waves and Breakers Four years ago, I projected in mid September that if “historical ... Read More
PC Culture

Warren Is a Fraud

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has been telling a story for years. It’s a deeply romantic story about her parents and their young love, fraught with the familial bigotry of an earlier time. Here’s how she told it this week in a video she released in preparation for her 2020 run: My daddy always said he ... Read More

Two Minnesota Republican Candidates Assaulted

Two Republican candidates for state office in Minnesota have been physically assaulted in recent days, leading prominent Republican lawmakers to caution their Democratic colleagues against employing inflammatory rhetoric. Republican state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm last week after ... Read More
Law & the Courts

A Christian Man Receives Justice

A good man’s legal ordeal is at an end. Yesterday, my friends and former colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom announced that former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran had reached a $1.2 million settlement, ending a case he brought after the city fired him for writing -- and distributing to a select few ... Read More