Micah Zenko

Politics, Power, and Preventive Action

Zenko covers the U.S. national security debate and offers insight on developments in international security and conflict prevention.

Print Print Cite Cite
Style: MLA APA Chicago Close


You Might Have Missed: Nuclear Material, Poverty Decline, and George Washington

by Micah Zenko
March 16, 2012

Image of the Iranian drone downed in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. Image of the Iranian drone downed in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan.


Despite individual agency efforts to implement the 4-year initiative, we found that the overarching interagency strategy coordinated by NSC lacked specific details concerning how the initiative would be implemented, including the identity of, and details regarding, vulnerable foreign nuclear material sites and facilities to be addressed, agencies and programs responsible for addressing each site, planned activities at each site, potential challenges and strategies for overcoming these challenges, anticipated timelines, and cost estimates. NSC officials told us that developing a single, integrated cross-agency plan that incorporates all these elements could take years. (1)

Nuclear cooperation agreements do not contain specific access rights that enable U.S. agencies to monitor and evaluate the physical security of U.S. nuclear material overseas, and the United States relies on its partners to maintain adequate security. In the absence of access rights, DOE, NRC, and State have conducted physical protection visits, when permitted, to monitor and evaluate physical security conditions of U.S. nuclear materials at overseas facilities. However, we found that the agencies have not systematically visited countries believed to be holding the most sensitive material or systematically revisited facilities not meeting international physical security standards in a timely manner. U.S. interagency teams made 55 visits from 1994 through 2010 and found that countries met IAEA security guidelines approximately half of the time. The January 1993 report that NRC produced in response to the mandate stated that it was not possible to reconcile this information from available U.S. sources of data with all foreign holders of U.S. HEU within the 90-day period specified in the act. Our analysis of other documentation associated with the report shows that NRC, in consultation with U.S. agencies, was able to verify the location of 1,160 kilograms out of 17,500 kilograms of U.S. HEU remaining overseas as of January 1993. According to DOE and NRC officials, no further update to the 1993 report was issued, and the U.S. government has not subsequently attempted to develop such a comprehensive estimate of the location and status of U.S. HEU overseas. (9)

At a hospital in one state, two cesium-137 research irradiators using approximately 2,000 curies and 6,000 curies, respectively, are housed in the basement of a building that is open to the public. The hallway leading to the irradiator room has a camera, but it is pointed away from the room. (18)

At a hospital in a major U.S. city, we observed that the interior door to the hospital blood bank, which had a cesium-137 blood irradiator of approximately 1,500 curies, had the combination to the lock written on the door frame. (19)

At a blood center in a third state we visited, we observed a cesium-137 blood irradiator of approximately 1,400 curies in a room that was secured by a conventional key lock. The irradiator was located in the middle of the room and not secured to the floor. The room had an exterior wall with a bank of unalarmed and unsecured windows that looked out onto a loading dock. The blood center officials said that while they met the controls, they acknowledged that the center is highly vulnerable to theft or sabotage of their radiological sources. (19)

The Air Defense Units of the SPLMN and JEM forces of the SRF were able to shoot down an Iranian made drone with tail number 3-1-R031 Zagil today March 13th, 2012, at 11:00 AM in Buhirat Abyad (White Lake) area in the South Kordofan/Nuba Mountain State.

The use of Iranian made Shehab rocket missiles, personnel landmines, drones and heavy military equipments prove beyond doubt that the NCP government plan and strategy is to continue its policies of genocide, ethnic cleansing against the Nuba people and the State population in general and deny them humanitarian aid.

“These are the stakes if we decide that we are tired of it, don’t want to do it anymore,” [Ambassador] Crocker said. “Well, the Taliban isn’t that tired and Al Qaeda, badly damaged, would be able to regenerate if the Taliban took the country over again.”

Crocker called that scenario another “pre-9/11 situation.”

The percentage of respondents who felt the Afghan military would be ready to stand on its own in 10 years or less shrank from 62 percent last year to 57 percent this year. Nearly three-fourths of respondents said al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s death last May was significant but had no tangible impact on the situation in the region.

  • Hearing of the House Committee on Appropriations, March 7, 2012.

GRAVES: Okay. So I guess from a historical perspective, does the federal government have the ability to kill a U.S. citizen on United States soil, or just overseas?

MUELLER: And I am going to defer that to others in the Department of Justice.

(3PA: According to the UNHCR, only one person was killed in all of the LRA raids in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the beginning of 2012.)

In every region of the developing world, the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day and the number of poor declined between 2005-2008, according to estimates released today by the World Bank. This across-the-board reduction over a three-year monitoring cycle marks a first since the Bank began monitoring extreme poverty.

(3PA: To read the report, click here.)

Dr. Sir: The plan proposd [sic] for taking Benedict Arnold, the outlines of which are communicated in your letter which was this moment put into my hands without a date, has every mark of a good one, I therefore agree to the promised rewards, and have such entire confidence in your management of the business as to give it my fullest approbation; and leave the whole to the guidance of your own judgment, with this express stipulation, and pointed injunction, that Arnold is brought to me alive. No circumstance whatever shall obtain my consent to his being put to death. The idea which would accompany such an event would be that Ruffians had been hired to assassinate him. My aim is to make a public example of him. and [sic] this should be strongly impressed upon those who are employed to bring him

Note: Lee’s undated letter is filed in the Washington Papers at the end of September, 1780. “I have engaged two persons to undertake the accomplishment of your Excellencys [sic] wishes…The chief of the two persons is a sergeant in my cavalry. To him I have promised promotion, the other is an inhabitant of Newark; I have had experience of his fidelity, and his connexions [sic] with the enemy render him, with his personal qualifications very fit for the business. To this man I have engaged one hund. guineas, five hundd. [sic] acres of land and three negroes…The outlines of the scheme…are that the Sergeant should join Gen. Arnold as a deserter from us, should engage in his corps now raising, and should contrive to insinuate himself into some menial or military birth about the Genls. person. [sic] That a correspondence should be kept up with the man in Newark, by the latter’s visiting the former every two days. When the favorable moment arrives they should seize the prize in the night, gag him, and bring him across to Bergen woods…The Sergeant is a very promising youth of uncommon taciturnity, and invincible perseverance…I have instructed him not to return till he receives direction from me, but to continue his attempts, however unfavorable the prospects may appear at first. I have excited his thirst for fame by impressing on his mind the virtue and glory of the act.” The sergeant, John Champe, deserted on the night of October 20–21, and, to prevent a possible suspicion, Lee requested orders to move his corps to another position. Lee wrote Washington (October 25, in the Washington Papers): “My friend got safe into New York. He was before Sir Henry Clinton and passed all the forms of the garrison. He accidentally met Col. Arnold in the street which has paved a natural way for further acquaintance. The party entertain [sic] high hopes of success…I informed Mr. Baldwin, that I was under orders to march south…”Champe’s attempt failed through no fault of his. For Lee’s account of the exploit see Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department, by Henry Lee.] off. The Sergeant must be very circumspect; too much zeal may create suspicion; and too much precipitancy may defeat the project. The most inviolable secrecy must be observed on all hands. I send you five Guineas; but I am not satisfied of the propriety of the Sergeants appearing with much Specie; this circumstance may also lead to suspicion as it is but too well known to the enemy that we do not deal much in this article. The Interviews between the Party in and out of the City, shd. be managed with much caution and seeming indifference or else the frequency of their meetings &ca. may betray the design and involve bad consequences; but I am perswaded [sic] you will place every matter in a proper point of view to rise conductors of this interesting business and therefore I shall only add that I am etc.

Post a Comment

CFR seeks to foster civil and informed discussion of foreign policy issues. Opinions expressed on CFR blogs are solely those of the author or commenter, not of CFR, which takes no institutional positions. All comments must abide by CFR's guidelines and will be moderated prior to posting.

* Required