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NEW WORLD ORDER SUPPLEMENT, 19/12/0014/1/01 * Opec proposes output cuts, but US disapproves * Pentagon Cites Germ Weapon Threats [How all the money that has been spent on conventional and nuclear weapons is useless against a teaspoonful of anthrax. They donıt, however, come to the conclusion that it would be better to save on the expenditure and stop trying to reorganise the rest of the world in their own image ...] * Emerging agenda: The world according to Helms [nuff said] * Holbrooke: EU blocking Council reform [I found this very difficult to follow not clear what the reformsı in question are but more knowledgeable people may find it interesting] * Analysis: Bin Laden's Witness [for those who are curious to know what evidence the US have to support their policy of imposing sanctions on Afghanistan.] * Cheney, Powell Face Old Nemesis Saddam [an extract giving the new Bush teamıs record of demanding tough action against Saddam, when they werenıt actually responsible for policy] * Rogue states and terrorist threats identified in attempt to boost spending [The Guardian beginning to sound quite radical for a change] URL ONLY: http://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/ajc/epaper/editions/friday/news_a3f514 0ea57a705100c0.html * Yemen questions Cole security, paper says Atlanta Journal, Friday, January 12, 2001 URL ONLY: http://www.iht.com/articles/7481.htm * Zoellick [Bushıs appointment as chief trade representative] Was Key Player In Both NATO and WTO New York Times Service, January 13, 2001 [He seems from the article to be profoundly uninteresting. But very brilliant, of course. Was he the model for Woody Allenıs film Zeligı?] http://www.economictimes.com/today/08comm02.htm * OPEC PROPOSES OUTPUT CUTS, BUT US DISAPPROVES Economic Times (India), 8th January VIENNA (Reuters): OPEC oil exporters are agreed on the need to reduce crude supplies but will consider the United Statesı view that production best be left unchanged before oil ministers make a decision at their January 17 conference. Opec secretary-general Ali Rodriguez said on Sunday, For the time being there is a consensus to cut but how much we donıt know.ıı Rodriguez, the former Venezuelan oil minister, was addressing a press conference after an hour-long meeting with US energy secretary Bill Richardson. Now weıre going to consider the opinion of the United States. We have to analyse all factors and after that analysis weıre going to take the decision,ıı Rodriguez said. Richardson travelled to Vienna in a bid to convince Opecıs chief administrator that the cartel risks sparking a new rise in oil prices after a recent slump brought the crude market down to a level that is acceptable to Washington. Some type of cut I assume is going to be contemplated. Our view is to keep production at constant levels. We would like to see no production cuts but we recognise that there are realities,ıı Richardson said. The United States feels we are starting to reach some kind of price stability. Any precipitous action to cut production would have adverse consequences,ıı he added. Washington is worried about the impact of high oil prices for the vulnerable US economy, which already is thought to be in slowdown partly as a result of last yearıs increase in energy costs. Richardson last year lobbied heavily for a series of Opec supply hikes which saw the cartel add 3.7m barrels daily to production. The extra oil fed depleted world inventories and helped send prices down from a peak of $35 a barrel in October for North Sea Brent to $25 last week. Rodriguez said world oil supplies between April and September of last year ran at an average of two million barrels a day above demand. From September until the end of last year there was an oversupply of about 1.4m barrels a day,ıı he added. Those estimates of oversupply are in line with the sort of volumes that many Opec members believe should now be subtracted from current output for 10 members with quotas of 26.7m barrels daily. Kuwaiti oil minister Sheik Saud Nasser al-Sabah was quoted by the official Kuwait news agency on Saturday saying that he understood from Rodriguez that there was a consensus for a cut of between 1.5-2m bpd. That is the reduction favoured by Kuwait. But Rodriguez told reporters in Vienna that there was no common view yet on the size of the cut. Last week an official from Saudi Arabia, Opecıs most influential producer, said Riyadh saw an emerging consensus for a cut of 1.5m. Richardson said Opec should not be considering lower supply because stocks remained low by historical standards. http://www.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=5217491&template=worldnews/ search.txt&index=recent * PENTAGON CITES GERM WEAPON THREATS WASHINGTON (Associated Press, Wed 10 Jan 2001) Germ weapons usually are viewed as a threat to U.S. troops and cities, but in a new report Wednesday the Pentagon said American ranches and farms also are highly vulnerable. ``Attacks against U.S. agricultural assets might be tempting, due to the perceived relative ease of attack'' and the likelihood that an attacker could plausibly deny responsibility, the Pentagon said in a report, ``Proliferation: Threat and Response.'' The report, signed by Defense Secretary William Cohen as one of his last acts before leaving office, outlines a wide range of threats posed by biological, chemical and other weapons of mass destruction, as well as the spread of missiles used to deliver such weapons. It updates a 1997 report on the same subject, but the latest version adds a section on biological agents, such as anthrax, that cause debilitating or deadly diseases in plants and animals, such as foot and mouth disease. Protecting U.S. troops abroad from such germ weapons as anthrax has been a growing concern in recent years. In 1997, Cohen ordered all active duty troops inoculated against anthrax, although the program has been hobbled by limited supplies of vaccine and resistance from some troops who fear the vaccine may have unintended health consequences. Anthrax is considered the easiest germ weapon to make and use. When inhaled as tiny, dry particles, it can cause severe pneumonia and death within a week. ``Similar to the human population, the high health status of crop and livestock assets in the United States creates a great vulnerability to attack with biological agents,'' the Pentagon report said. It said highly infectious plant and animal microorganisms exist outside U.S. borders and some are readily transportable with little risk of detection. A germ weapon attack on U.S. agriculture could disrupt the supply lines for food stocks, which in turn could undermine U.S. military readiness, the report said. The former Soviet Union apparently had a plan in place to target U.S. agriculture and livestock as one part of a larger ``disruptive process,'' and it developed a range of biological agents that would be effective in such attacks, the report said. It provided no other details on the Soviet plan, including when it was developed or when Washington learned of it. The Pentagon report also outlined more commonly discussed aspects of limiting the spread of weapons of mass destruction. It said China and Russia are the main suppliers of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons equipment and technologies, as well as missile technologies. It said China's record on proliferation has improved in recent years and it has lived up to pledges to forego all nuclear cooperation with Iran, which the United States believes is intent on developing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons. Even so, China ``likely will continue to take advantage of ambiguities'' in its nonproliferation commitments to advance its own interests, the report said. In a message introducing the report, Cohen said the United States faces a ``superpower paradox'' at the start of the 21st century. ``Our unrivaled supremacy in the conventional military arena is prompting adversaries to seek unconventional, asymmetric means to strike what they perceive as our Achilles heel,'' Cohen wrote. He cited North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Libya as the main concerns. ``Also looming on the horizon is the prospect that these terror weapons will increasingly find their way into the hands of individuals and groups of fanatical terrorists or self proclaimed apocalyptic prophets.'' Cohen added that followers of Osama bin Laden, accused by U.S. officials of bombing U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, have already trained with toxic chemicals. http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=151505 * EMERGING AGENDA: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO HELMS Editor's note: This is the fifth in an ongoing series that looks at the people, policies and politics most likely to shape the next four years. UPI State Department correspondent Eli Lake, who covers foreign policy, outlines the international agenda of Sen. Jesse Helms, R N.C., the powerful chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Eliminating the U.S. Agency for International Development; arming Iraq's resistance fighters; undermining Cuban leader Fidel Castro; abrogating the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty -- these are just a few of the things the legendary chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he expects to accomplish in the coming year. Speaking at the conservative Washington think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., noted that the next two years present a unique opportunity for Republicans to shape foreign policy. "For the first time in five decades, Republicans will control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. And that means Republicans have an unprecedented opportunity to set the policy agenda, especially in the realm of foreign relations," he said. While Helms praised President-elect Bush's early choices for top foreign policy posts, he said that Bush himself was likely the best ally for his agenda. Drawing on Bush's campaign promise of compassionate conservatism, Helms said this vision "must not stop at the water's edge." Pointing out the former governor's own work with faith-based charities, Helms said international religious relief agencies such as Samaritan's Purse -- a charity run by Rev. Billy Graham's son Franklin that builds hospitals in Central America and Northern Africa -- are "the armies of compassion that President Bush is talking about." With that in mind, Helms announced his intention to eliminate the U.S. foreign aid bureaucracy and replace it with an international development foundation to deliver block grants to support private relief agencies and faith-based institutions. "I've got news for the AID bureaucrats: What is not sustainable is cold, heartless bureaucratic thinking," Helms said. "We must reform the way America helps those in need, not only at home but abroad as well." This is not the first time Helms has targeted USAID. Last year, Helms won his battle to incorporate the agency into the State Department over the objections of its former director, Brian Atwood. Atwood's opposition cost him the ambassadorship to Brazil. He withdrew from consideration after Helms threatened to block his approval. If Helms were able to eliminate the USAID, it would have significant consequences. The agency received $7.6 billion for a number of activities ranging from hunger relief to AIDS awareness and education. Commenting on Helms' speech, USAID administrator J. Brady Anderson said: "I know that Senator Helms and I share the view that one of the fundamental strengths of our nation is our belief in the dignity and worth of the individual. I think this is reflected in our shared view of the contributions faith-based organizations can make in promoting this fundamental value shared by the American people." The North Carolina lawmaker also said, "As President Bush prepares to take office, I want to make something perfectly clear to our friends in Russia. The United States is no longer bound by the ABM treaty." Russian President Vladimir Putin has often cited the 1972 agreement in opposing a U.S. national missile defense system, something Bush and his early foreign policy appointments have said is top priority for the new administration. Helms said the president must and will have the freedom "to proceed as he sees fit" on deploying a national missile defense system. Helms also reiterated his concerns that the Treaty of Rome would establish an international criminal court and threaten the sovereignty of the American courts. President Clinton signed the treaty last month. But Helms vowed: "If I do nothing else this year, I will make certain that President Clinton's outrageous and unconscionable decision to sign the Rome Treaty establishing the International Criminal Court is reversed and repealed." Helms also said he would push his legislation to fund private charities in Cuba, and to put into effect the Iraq Liberation Act, a bill that provides for arming and training the Iraqi National Congress, a group of rebels supported in the early nineties by the CIA. Senator Helms, who has been rumored to be in poor health, also used the speech to dispel the notion that he is ill. Recent reports suggested he had pancreatic cancer and spent the Thanksgiving holiday at home hooked up to a respirator. "You may have noticed, since the November election, the media have been bubbling in hopeful anticipation of my imminent demise...your invitation to be with you today enables me to rain on their diagnostic parade," Helms said. http://www.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=5241311&template=worldnews/ search.txt&index=recent * HOLBROOKE: EU BLOCKING COUNCIL REFORM UPI, Thu 11 Jan 2001 The outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, blamed the European Union Thursday for a failure to reform the Security Council, while accepting personal credit for a realignment of assessments on member states, to the advantage of the United States. "It's been an honor to hold this job," he said. "I think we accomplished a great deal and left the United Nations in a stronger position and America's position in the U.N. is in better shape and Republican congressional support for the United Nations stronger than it was when we got here." This was in direct reference to getting the dues assessment for the United Nations changed, lowering Washington's burden from 25 percent to 22 percent for the general budget and easing the peacekeeping tab from 31 percent to 27 percent, for the moment, at least." While he said his successor's "greatest problem on a narrow 'programmative' basis is reform, the worst problem is the Middle East," and quickly added that Kosovo, East Timor and Iraq rank high as well. Then he was asked about reforming the 15-member Security Council. "Until the EU straightens out a common position on Security Council reform, there will not be reform," he said at a news conference in the U.S. Foreign Press Center, billed as a review of his 17 months as Washington's envoy to the world organization. "Reform is not yet fully achieved," he told reporters. "The U.N. still has many areas which need to be cleaned up." He was fast to express dissatisfaction with the organization's Advisory Committee on Administration and Budgetary Questions for implementing only about 30 percent of what is popularly called the Brahimi Report, after its author, a former Algerian foreign minister, Lakhdar Brahimi, who is a troubleshooter for Secretary-General Kofi Annan. A panel Brahimi headed on reforming U.N. peacekeeping operations sent its report to Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette three months after the embarrassment of Sierra Leone where hundreds of peacekeepers were taken hostage by the rebel Revolutionary United Front in May. She endorsed proposals to the committee. She endorsed it. "I think the ACABQ's decision to reduce the recommendations of Louise Frechette in her implementation program was appalling," Holbrooke said. "They should be embarrassed that they killed or deferred the third assistant secretary general for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. They actually killed a position the secretary-general reserved for troop contributing nations. "I ask you: How could troop contributing nations in the ACABQ vote against their own interests? It is really strange," he said. "They also cut the number of posts she recommended from 150 to 95. I hope, I urge, the United Nations to return to the Brahimi Report to see that it is implemented." Holbrooke, who on coming to the United Nations said his primary goal was U.N. reform, has said that there has been enough positive movement on reform at the world organization that he thought Congress would allow more money to be spent for improving bedeviled peacekeeping operations. Some of the cuts already carried out by Annan since Washington began its reform campaign included the trimming of about 1,000 positions in the organization. Holbrooke turned his attention to a favorite target of criticism, the U.N. Department of Public Information, which he referred to as "a swollen mess," saying the organization "doesn't need 120 in the library in New York; We don 't need technologically outdated offices around the world; We don't need to translate all documents into (the six official) languages." He said, "nobody needs to be fired, it can be done through attrition" and a lot of savings can be effected through technology. And, how about Kofi Annan? "He is the best secretary general in the history of the United Nations, bar none," Holbrooke said. "What he has done is extraordinary. I treasure our personal friendship. It is a pleasure working with someone you can completely trust. I will recommend that if he does seek another term that the United States support him." http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=151709 * ANALYSIS: BIN LADEN'S WITNESS by Richard Sale, Terrorism Correspondent NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- As jury selection drags on in a Manhattan federal court, it's becoming clear that US prosecutors' efforts to link Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden with a worldwide conspiracy directed at US targets is liable to depend heavily upon Ali A. Mohamed, a former U.S. Army sergeant who taught Islamic culture to U.S. Special Forces deploying to the Middle East, according to U.S. government officials. On Oct. 20 in U.S. District court in Manhattan, Mohamed, one of the six men indicted in the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam in 1998, pleaded guilty to being part of a conspiracy headed by bin Laden and murdering American citizens in Saudi Arabia and East Africa. "The confession of Mohamed could prove extremely important to the US in proving its case," said terrorism analyst Bruce Hoffman of the Rand Corp., a think tank. According to US officials who have read the complete indictment, Mohamed's confession outlined cooperation between bin Laden and Hezbollah security chief Iman Mugniyah, the man allegedly responsible for bombing the US embassy and Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983, hijacking a TWI flight to Beirut in 1985, and bombing Israeli installations in Argentina, among other acts of terror. Perhaps most important, Mohamed said that the joint operations of bin Laden and Mugniyah had received direct support from Iran. "Iran, using Sudan, was definitely a major source for weapons and funds for radical Islamic operations in Somalia and East Africa," said one US government official who spoke on condition of not being named. According to U.S. government officials, Mohamed real name is Abu al-Saud Mustafa. Mohamd/Mustfa was born in Cairo in 1952. While a young man he attended Cairo military academy and joined the Egyptian Army. In 1984, after surveillance by Egyptian counterintelligence, Mohamed was eased from the army because of radical Islamic leanings. These sources said that Mohamed, who was in West Germany, offered his services to the CIA, but was "proved to be less than stellar," after a brief stint. Another U.S. government source said that a CIA lie detector test indicated that Mohamed was "not very trustworthy." Bruce Hoffman of Rand corroborates part of the story. ``Mohamed definitely offered his services to the United States," he said, but Hoffman wasn't sure which agency used his services. But another U.S. official was definite: "It was the (CIA)." Mohammed/Mustafa entered the United States in 1985, married an American woman and joined the U.S. Army. Although one U.S. government source said Mohamed served as a supply sergeant for the U.S. Special Forces, Hoffman and CSIS expert Frank Cilluffo insisted that Mohamed was a regular Army sergeant who was asked to teach Islam to Special Forces troops from Group V about to be deployed to the Middle East. Hoffman said Mohamed was "a very effective teacher," especially because of the seriousness with which he regarded Islam and the religious state." But was he already a mole working against US interests? Counter terrorism expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Frank Cilluffo doesn't think so. "At that time, Islam and the United States had a common enemy in the Soviet Union. I would doubt whether Mohammed was a mole as early as that." But Hoffman concedes that he could have been: "Mohamed seems to have had a childlike belief in his importance. He wanted to be at the center of things. That's why he volunteered his services to the US and later to bin Laden. He wanted to be a big player." Mohamed left the Army in 1989 and turned full time to developing his interests in Islam. He is known to have helped to train young Islamicists from New York, New Jersey and California for the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Some of the men from New York later would turn up as members of Omar Abdul Rahman's New York terror network that masterminded the bombing of the World Trade Center, some say with the backing of Iraq. In 1990, after a trip to several Middle East countries, Mohammed had made up his mind. He was in Afghanistan where he was training young Islamic terrorists in bomb-making, guerilla warfare, booby-traps and remote controlled bombs. He also had a job selecting the most promising students to go to Egypt and the United States, a U.S. government official said. By 1991, he was in Sudan and working closely with bin Laden. Hoffman said that Mohamed trained bin Laden's bodyguards and U.S. government source said that he also helped do install electronic sensors and perform other facility protection work on several bin Laden installations with an emphasis on foiling US special operations. At about this time he met Ali Al-Rashidi, also known as Abu Ubayda al-Banshiri, an Egyptian high-ranking operative in the Sudan Jihadist network of Hassan Abdallah al Turabi. Ayman al-Zawahiri, currently in hiding with bin Laden in Afghanistan, was also in Sudan at the time as a field commander, building up forces that would eventually fight US troops on the ground at Mogadishu in October, 1993. It was Mohamed who established Zawahiri's forward operating base at Santa Clara, Calif., near San Francisco. Using his American passport, Mohamed provided Zawahiri with a forged passport, visa, and other travel documents. Mohamed and another man, Khalid al Sayyid Ali Abu al-Dahab, traveled with Zawahiri all over the US to inspect possible targets, visit terrorist cells and oversees the laundering of funds to be used in future operations. In 1994, Mohamed entered the US Embassy in Nairobi to case its defenses and weaknesses in the buildings structure. He was arrested in 1998, and "turned state's evidence," against bin Laden. Why? Hoffman sees the motivation as being the same. "When he wanted to work for the US, the lure of being big-time drove him. When he worked for bin Laden he was big time. Now, being a key state's witness, he's big time again. He's a certain type of personality that simply has to feel important." http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010112/pl/anniversary_bush_dc_1.html * CHENEY, POWELL FACE OLD NEMESIS SADDAM by Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent [.....] During last October's vice presidential campaign debate, Cheney suggested a Bush administration might ``have to take military action to forcibly remove Saddam from power.'' So far, Bush's personnel picks have tended to favor Cheney allies who seem to share this tough view. Writing to President Clinton (news - web sites) in January 1998 when the United States was facing a showdown with Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld -- now defense secretary-designate -- and 17 others urged that the U.S. get about ``removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power'' and said this ``will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts.'' Robert Zoellick, Bush's nominee for trade representative, also signed the letter. Paul Wolfowitz, said to be the choice for deputy defense secretary, has advocated U.S. support for the Iraqi opposition as a vehicle to topple Saddam. Another key member of Bush's team, National Security Adviser-designate Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) has said if Saddam provides an opportunity, Washington should ``really try to hurt him, not just (deliver) a pinprick'' air strike as Clinton employed. She has endorsed ``meaningful'' support for the Iraqi opposition and insisted the disparate opposition groups could be effective if given strong backing. Military as well as other assistance is possible, she has said. Powell, however, seems to be on a different wavelength. [.....] http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,421589,00.html * ROGUE STATES AND TERRORIST THREATS IDENTIFIED IN ATTEMPT TO BOOST SPENDING by Simon Tisdall Guardian, Saturday January 13, 2001 The US has invoked the spectre of a devastating chemical weapons attack by the international terrorist Osama bin Laden to help justify a massive expansion of America's military forces, including the deployment of a "Star Wars" National Missile Defence (NMD) system. The threat posed by the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction to "rogue" states and terrorists is identified by a Pentagon report, as the biggest challenge to American and global security since the end of the Cold War. This assessment, strongly supported by President-elect George W Bush's nominee as defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President-elect Dick Cheney, and by Republican hawks in Congress, now looks certain to be the springboard for a big new defence build-up under the Bush administration that takes office a week from today (jan 20). "At least 25 countries now possess - or are in the process of acquiring and developing - capabilities to inflict mass casualties and destruction," said William Cohen, the current US defence secretary and former Republican senator, in a foreword to the Pentagon report. "Our unrivalled supremacy in the conventional military arena is prompting adversaries to seek unconventional, asymmetric means to strike what they perceive as our Achilles heel," Mr Cohen said. He singled out North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Libya as countries whose missile-building programmes and attempts to acquire nuclear, chemical or biological weapons posed the most pressing threats to US and international security. "Also looming on the horizon is the prospect that terror weapons will increasingly find their way into the hands of individuals and groups of fanatical terrorists or self-proclaimed apocalyptic prophets. The followers of Osama bin Laden have in fact already trained with toxic chemicals," Mr Cohen claimed. President-elect George W Bush pledged during last year's election campaign to boost Pentagon spending by $45bn over the next decade and spend up to $70bn on space and submarine-based defensive missiles. But Mr Cohen's comments, this week's Pentagon report, and assessments made by a commission on space weapons convened by President Bill Clinton and by a panel chaired by former senator Howard Baker all make clear that a big push in now under way in Republican-controlled Washington to gain much bigger spending increases. The money is intended to fund anti-proliferation efforts, missile defences, and new generations of "big ticket" delivery platforms such as "stealth" destroyers and submarines. Mr Rumsfeld warned Congress this week that after a decade of static or declining post Soviet military spending, a big effort was required to counter what he characterised as growing threats to the US and its allies, and in particular to space satellites, from "rogue" states and terrorist groups. "Forces in world politics have created a more diverse and less predictable set of potential adversaries," Mr Rumsfeld told the Senate armed services committee. "I look forward_ to bringing the American military successfully into the 21st century. We must work together if we're to be able to address the problems of inadequate funding... We're going to have to find new dollars in non-trivial amounts." Mr Rumsfeld said that his first action as defence secretary would be to launch a comprehensive review of defence policy to assess budgetary needs and priorities. The US currently spends approximately $300bn annually on defence (compared for example with China's estimated $60bn). The new administration's fast-evolving defence plans will pose political problems for Mr Bush who, while pledging to increase military spending, has also promised to deliver large scale tax cuts. Democrats in Congress like Senator Joe Lieberman are already publicly asking where the money will be found at a time of economic slowdown. But given the mounting pressure from Republican hawks and from within his own Cabinet, Mr Bush is considered unlikely to back away from his vow to deploy an expanded version of NMD as soon as technical problems have been resolved. The repeated failure of NMD test firings last year persuaded Mr Clinton to leave a decision to his successor. NMD technology remains unproven. The NMD element of America's counter-proliferation offensive is also certain to cause problems with US allies and potential adversaries alike. Labour is divided over the project which would involve the enhancement of US radar tracking facilities at Fylingdales in North Yorkshire. But William Hague pledged yesterday(fri) that a Conservative government would back the US project, which, he said, was necessary, as the world entered a "second nuclear age". Russia and China, as well as some of America's European Nato allies, are opposed to NMD which they say will breach existing treaties, bring to a halt 25 years of largely successful offensive arms control negotiations, and provoke a new global arms race. Among the concerns fuelling the new military build-up is the perceived failure to protect American space satellites. The space weaponry commission set up by Mr Clinton and until recently chaired by Mr Rumsfeld warned that the US potentially faced "a space Pearl Harbor" It pointed to relatively cheap micro-satellites that could be used by US enemies to disrupt or destroy orbiting satellites considered vital for military surveillance, intelligence-gathering, and information systems. The separate inquiry led by Howard Baker has meanwhile warned that Russia's large nuclear, chemical and biological weapons stockpiles are dangerously insecure and vulner able to theft and smuggling by terrorist groups and Russian mafia syndicates. The Pentagon report entitled Proliferation: Threat and Response focuses on several key areas of concern: Transnational: "The increased availability of dual-use technologies, coupled with the relative ease of producing some chemical and biological agents, has increased concern that use of chemical or biological weapons may become attractive to terrorist groups intent on causing panic or inflicting large numbers of casualties." It singles out the terrorist network headed by the Afghanistan-based Saudi millionaire Osama Bin Laden as a particular threat, linking it to terrorist activity in Bosnia, Chechnya, Sudan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan and the Philippines. States of Concern: The report provides a detailed breakdown of attempts by Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea and others, including Pakistan, Sudan and Syria, to enhance either their missile capability or acquire or augment weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It predicts, for example, that should sanctions be lifted against Iraq, Saddam Hussein could have an operational offensive nuclear weapon within five years. The report says that nuclear-armed India and Pakistan are engaged in a regional arms race that could have catastrophic consequences reaching far beyond the subcontinent. It accuses Iran of being dedicated to obtaining nuclear weapons and pursuing "offensive biological warfare capabilities". Graphics published in the report put Western European countries including Britain well within range of missile systems in Middle Eastern states of concern. Proliferators: The report says that while Russia and China have taken steps to curb the export of WMD-related technology, the activities of "entities" within both countries remain problematic. It links Russia and North Korea to Iran's nuclear and missile programmes and China to that of Pakistan. It expresses particular concern about the safety of Russia's WMD stockpiles and the defection of unemployed Russian scientists to states of concern or terrorist groups. Response: The report outlines an escalating American response to WMD proliferation ranging from improved training and protective equipment for US forces based abroad and the arming of allies like Israel and Taiwan to ballistic missile defence (BMD). BMD involves a bewildering array of weapons systems, either already deployed, in production, or on the Pentagon's wish-list,including airborne lasers, and National Missile Defence. "The NMD program is tasked to develop, demonstrate and if ordered to do so, deploy an NMD system to defend all 50 states against limited strategic ballistic missile attacks from a country of proliferation concern," the report states. "Should a decision be made to deploy the NMD system, the department of defense expects to achieve Initial Operating Capability (IOC) shortly after 2005." URL ONLY: http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/leaders/story/0,3604,421599,00.html * Apocalypse tomorrow The message: spend more on US defence Guardian, Saturday January 13, 2001 [Editorial supporting the above article] -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk