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The President's National Security Strategy: A Nuclear Credibility Meltdown

Location: Washington, DC

The President's National Security Strategy: A Nuclear Credibility Meltdown

March 16, 2006

Washington, D.C.- Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation, today reacted to the release of the Administration's "National Security Strategy" document.

"The Administration's 'National Security Strategy' says that 'controlling fissile material' is a top U.S. objective. But if that is the case, why did the Administration capitulate to the Indian Government's recent refusal to cease production of fissile material or put their breeder reactors under safeguards?" Said Rep. Markey, a leading critic of Bush's proposed nuclear deal for India. "Given this India deal, the credibility of the Bush White House as a messenger on the issue of fissile material control is in a nuclear meltdown."

"It appears that the U.S. officials who negotiated the India nuclear deal were not given a copy of the Administration's security strategy - which prioritizes the control of fissile material - when they made these concessions," continued Rep. Markey. "Or perhaps the President just doesn't care whether India increases its arsenal from 50 nuclear weapons to over 1000 with the assistance of the Untied States."

The Administration Strategy document claims the Administration has a two-step plan for nuclear nonproliferation. According to the report, the first requires closing a loophole in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In response to this, Rep. Markey said "the Administration is talking about closing loopholes for Iran, but at the same time it is opening new loopholes for India. They cannot simultaneously strengthen the rules for Iran and weaken them for India. The Administration cannot effectively enforce the nuclear rules for Iran if they are side-stepping them for India."

The second part of the Administration's plan is to keep fissile material out of the hands of rogue states and terrorists. Rep. Markey added, "If countries weren't producing fissile material, then it would be a lot harder for terrorists to get their hands on this material. If the Administration were truly serious about this concern, they would move towards a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty, but they haven't. The White House appears more adept at crafting rhetoric on the threat of a nuclear terrorist attack than taking steps to actually prevent one."

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