Officials Question Readiness to Probe Nuclear Strikes

None

Nuclear technicians handle laboratory equipment in 2013. Dozens of countries last week said it is "essential" for governments to strengthen their joint capacity to trace nuclear materials back to their origins.
National Journal
Diane Barnes
See more stories about...
Diane Barnes
July 16, 2014, 8:12 a.m.

Dozens of of­fi­cials and ex­perts want to tight­en glob­al co­oper­a­tion on ana­lyz­ing atom­ic ma­ter­i­als, partly to help identi­fy per­pet­rat­ors of pos­sible nuc­le­ar strikes.

Par­ti­cipants in a land­mark in­ter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence said the world’s abil­ity to trace in­crim­in­at­ing nuc­le­ar ma­ter­i­als to their ori­gins could im­prove sub­stan­tially if gov­ern­ments work to­geth­er on the mat­ter, the U.N. nuc­le­ar watch­dog said on Tues­day.

They ar­gued such col­lab­or­a­tion would prove “es­sen­tial” for nuc­le­ar forensics cap­ab­il­it­ies to keep up with the grow­ing reach and soph­ist­ic­a­tion of crim­in­al and ter­ror net­works, the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency ad­ded in a state­ment.

Still, The Vi­enna-based or­gan­iz­a­tion offered few spe­cif­ics on how meet­ing par­ti­cipants want to boost col­lab­or­a­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to one is­sue ex­pert, coun­tries could be­ne­fit from im­proved co­oper­a­tion on cre­at­ing ref­er­ence lib­rar­ies of nuc­le­ar ma­ter­i­als.

Such data­bases would in­clude “in­form­a­tion … and in some cases samples,” Elena Sokova, ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the Vi­enna Cen­ter for Dis­arm­a­ment and Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion, told Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire.

She ad­ded, though, that she had not heard of any spe­cif­ic “pro­pos­als for co­oper­a­tion” in the works. In the past, gov­ern­ments have proven re­luct­ant to of­fer up samples of sens­it­ive atom­ic sub­stances for in­ter­na­tion­al data­bases.

Sokova also sug­ges­ted gov­ern­ments could co­oper­ate on nuc­le­ar-forensics ef­forts by help­ing oth­ers to carry out in­vest­ig­a­tions.

“Such co­oper­a­tion could help coun­tries with lim­ited cap­ab­il­it­ies to call on their neigh­bors or oth­ers with bet­ter de­veloped forensics cap­ab­il­it­ies and ex­pert­ise to help with in­vest­ig­a­tions of smug­gling cases, ter­ror­ist acts, and in case of re­sponse to ra­di­olo­gic­al events,” the ex­pert wrote in an e-mailed re­sponse to ques­tions.

Some coun­tries may re­ceive help to more ef­fect­ively con­duct their own nuc­le­ar-forensics probes, pos­sibly through ex­pert train­ing or sup­plies of tech­nic­al equip­ment, Sokova ad­ded.

What We're Following See More »
TAKING A LONG VIEW TO SOUTHERN STATES
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Source:
‘PITTING PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER’
Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Source:
THE TIME IS NOW, TED
Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Source:
CHRISTIE, BUSH TRYING TO TAKE HIM DOWN
Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Source:
ARE YOU THE GATEKEEPER?
Sanders: Obama Is a Progressive
1 days ago
THE LATEST

“Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yeah, I do,” said Bernie Sanders, in response to a direct question in tonight’s debate. “I think they’ve done a great job.” But Hillary Clinton wasn’t content to sit out the latest chapter in the great debate over the definition of progressivism. “In your definition, with you being the gatekeeper of progressivism, I don’t think anyone else fits that definition,” she told Sanders.

×