A Cautious Hand of Friendship: Rep. Curt Weldon Wants the Bush Administration to Engage Russia and China without Losing Sight of How Each Decision Ultimately Could Affect National Security. (Picture Profile)
Simon, Zoli, Insight on the News
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) may be the nation's leading champion of U.S. missile defense, but that is just one of the issues to which he pays close attention. He speaks Russian and calls himself the biggest friend Russia has in the House of Representatives, but Weldon also is Moscow's biggest critic. He is trusted on Russian issues even by House Democrats who oppose his proposals for U.S. missile defense. In 2001 Weldon prepared a key document. "U.S.-Russia Partnership--A New Time, A New Beginning," which was signed by more than 100 members of Congress. The Russian side used it as a starting point in ongoing negotiations with the Bush administration.
Insight: Rep. Weldon, how do you rate the Bush administration's effort to fix U.S. intelligence problems?
Curt Weldon: The single biggest failure of our government in all history, in my opinion, was the intelligence failure prior to 9/11. As far back as 1998, and again in 1999 and 2000, we in the House put language in the defense bill to create a center for coordinating intelligence on terrorism. The FBI and CIA resisted that effort.
The plan to develop a national operations and analysis hub is well-defined and the technology is at hand. We're now making progress, but we've not moved quickly enough to put into place the kind of coordinated, collaborative approach necessary to involve all 33 federal agencies. I think the situation is not going to change until the president weighs in personally and says, "You will do this!", Otherwise, it is one agency against …
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Publication information: Article title: A Cautious Hand of Friendship: Rep. Curt Weldon Wants the Bush Administration to Engage Russia and China without Losing Sight of How Each Decision Ultimately Could Affect National Security. (Picture Profile). Contributors: Simon, Zoli - Author. Magazine title: Insight on the News. Volume: 18. Issue: 30 Publication date: August 19, 2002. Page number: 36+. © 1999 News World Communications, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.
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