West faulted for poor WMD security

Western governments have come under fire for doing little to end the easy availability of ingredients for making weapons of mass destruction.

    The protracted hunt in Iraq is widely seen as a waste of time

    A report funded by an anti-proliferation watchdog on Tuesday said 'only a tiny fraction' of a total $20 billion pledged by the Group of Eight last year to secure the stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological materials has been spent or even allocated to specific projects.

    "The threat is outpacing the response," said Sam Nunn, former US senator and head of the watchdog, Nuclear Threat Initiative.

    Nunn said the war in Iraq had distracted the US and diverted resources away from the need to secure weapons of mass destruction materials in regions such as the former Soviet Union.

    "We have spent more now on the war than it would take to lock up all the nuclear materials around the globe," Nunn said.

    Distraction

    The report pointed out that there are some 100 poorly protected research reactors, spread across 40 countries, containing weapons-usable uranium.

    "We've spent more now on the war than it would take to lock up all the nuclear materials around the globe"

    Sam Nunn,
    head of Nuclear Threat Initiative

    "To construct a nuclear bomb, terrorists would need to steal only a small amount of nuclear material, about enough to fit in a suitcase," the report said.

    Nunn said "terror-groups" were more likely to acquire weapons of mass destruction from ill-secured research sites than a country that has spent years in developing its weapons.

    "Theft or sale of nuclear material from these stockpiles is more likely source of supply," he said.

    The watchdog chief said the pace of securing the stockpile sites was too slow.

    "At the pace we are going, you are talking about 20 years. I don’t think we have got that long," he argued.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.