MORE ON TERROR….Oddly enough, one

MORE ON TERROR….Oddly enough, one of the issues that I think gets too little attention in the war on terror is WMDs. And I’m not talking here about chemical weapons, which serious arms experts don’t consider any more dangerous than conventional explosives, but about bio weapons and, especially, nukes.

As bad as conventional terrorist bombings are, they aren’t the real problem on a global scale. The real problem is (a) the future possibility of serious biological weapons, and (b) the very present possibility of a terrorist group getting its hands on a nuclear weapon.

So how are we doing on the nuke front? Let’s see:

  • The most serious danger probably comes from suitcase nukes smuggled into the country via container ships, but after signing a port security bill last year with great fanfare President Bush has consistently failed to fully fund it. Instead, missile defense, which is of no value against terrorist attacks, receives billions of dollars a year in funding.

  • Russia and Eastern Europe have loads of highly enriched uranium that needs to be secured and decommissioned, but Bush has declined to push for more flexible rules that could free up funding for some of the most dangerous sites. Luckily, Ted Turner is doing it for us.

  • Pakistan has nukes, their scientists are known to have met with Osama bin Laden, they supported the Taliban, and they have sold nuclear technology to North Korea. Result: post-9/11 they promised to be good and are now supposedly a strong ally.

  • North Korea has nukes and George Bush has known about them for years. Response so far: nada.

As happy as I am that Saddam Hussein has gotten his just desserts, shouldn’t playtime be over now? Invading Iraq has done very little either to combat terrorism or to make the United States more secure, and while port security and HEU decommissioning may not be as flashy as foreign wars and missile defense systems, they are probably more important in the long run.

Time to get back to work, Mr. President.

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