Thursday, July 29, 2004

Proliferation Security Initiative

Bryan Preston has a very interesting article on this. Basically the PSI is a joint effort of the US, UK, Australia, Russia, Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands and 7 other nations (Spain was one, The Monk unsure if it still is) that are WORKING TOGETHER to halt the proliferation of WMDs. One feature is that "[a]s an organization set up to perform a mission that the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency have jointly failed, halting the spread of nuclear weapons, it has the potential of becoming an alternative to the UN itself in coming decades. Notably, all of its members to date are democracies."

Who started the PSI? The Bush Administration. Whose brainchild is it? Undersecretary of State John Bolton's -- the same man that North Korea went apoplectic over when the Kim Regime thought Bolton would be the US representative at the multilateral negotiations between the US, China, Japan, So. Korea and No. Korea.

Successes of the PSI: (1) unmasking A.Q. Khan's nuclear smuggling network; (2) disarming Libya; (3) boxing in No. Korea.

And like a successful TV show, the PSI has a spinoff: the Caspian Guard. Its goal is to put Iran in a box surrounded by not-friendly states who will benefit from working with the US. As Preston explains: "Caspian Guard gives member states access to US training and tactical knowledge and the assurance of friendly relations with the world's sole superpower in exchange for assistance in dealing with some of the axis of evil's charter members."

This work by the Bush Administration is hugely important and receives no publicity from the press, and naturally no credit from the Democrats for whom every coalition Bush knits together is fraudulent (although the PSI includes France and Germany so presumably it should suffice). And the upshot of all this, as Preston explains:

For all the abuse that the Bush administration receives for its conduct of the war on terrorism, the Proliferation Security Initiative and Caspian Guard stand as examples of the other side of the war as conducted by a serious administration that knows we are all in for a long twilight struggle. Only by removing or intimidating terror-sponsoring states into renouncing terrorism, and only by stopping the spread of nuclear and other mass killing technology in its tracks, can the free world hope to win this war without incredible loss of life. Bush administration critics and the media -- often one and the same -- consistently fail to take the existence of the PSI and its start-up sister Caspian Guard into account when assessing how we are doing in the war. The existence of these organizations indicate that for all the squabbling over Iraq, most of the world's major powers do regard terrorism and weapons proliferation as serious conjoined threats, and are willing to band together to do something about it. And they are willing to be led by the unilateral cowboy from Texas who defied several of them to topple Saddam Hussein.

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