Debt for Nonproliferation: The Next Step in Threat Reduction

By Fuller, James | Arms Control Today, January/February 2002 | Go to article overview

Debt for Nonproliferation: The Next Step in Threat Reduction


Fuller, James, Arms Control Today


Debt-for-nonproliferation swaps are potentially powerful tools that could leverage current financial conditions to reduce the security threat from Russia's weapons infrastructure.

Debt restructuring and reduction, whereby the terms of a loan are changed or part of a loan is forgiven, ar common tools used by creditors for a variety of purposes. wealthier creditor nations, such as the United States, often restructure and reduce debt owed by developing nations in order to bring about positive economic change in a debtor country. Similarly, the private financial sector restructures private debt owed by nations when it makes financial sense to do so. International nongovernmental organizations (NG0s) and others have also worked with government and private creditors to use debt reduction to accomplish more philanthropic goals that can benefit both public and private creditors in less tangible ways.

Indeed, "debt swaps"-a term used loosely here to denote a creditor forgiving monetary debt in exchange for specific actions by a debtor-have been an effective tool for improving global conditions in a number of ways.1 The international environmental community, in particular, has been very effective in encouraging and leveraging debt conversion to help meet global environmental objectives since 1984, when the World Wildlife Fund conceived of "debt-for-nature" swaps.2 In these exchanges, a portion of a country's restructured debt-either commercial debt or official debt owed another country-is forgiven in return for the debtor dedicating an agreed-upon amount of local currency to an environmental project.3 Over the last two decades, nearly $1 billion in debt-for-- nature swaps have been implemented.4

Another important area that would benefit from this relatively new and innovative funding mechanism is nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons proliferation prevention. Since 1992, the United States has directly underwritten about $10 billion in threat reduction activities in Russia and the former Soviet Union, but the situation demands even greater investment. Russia's financial problems and security needs, which demand the formation of a sustainable Russian infrastructure to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction after direct U.S. assistance stops, both argue for increased involvement by other industrialized nations and the private sector. "Debtfor-nonproliferation" swaps are potentially powerful tools that could leverage current conditions to reduce further the security threat from Russia's weapons infrastructure.

The Need for Increased Investment

Currently, there are more than 30 U.S.-- Russian threat reduction programs administrated by three different U.S. departments, with a budget totaling $750 million for fiscal year 2001. But the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the ensuing revelations as the war on terrorism progresses, and the use of anthrax in the U.S. mail system have called into question the pace with which threat reduction work in Russia is being completed. The human losses endured and the costs to the U.S. economy as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks would likely pale in comparison to a successful attack using a weapon of mass destruction.

In January 2001, a bipartisan task force co-chaired by Howard Baker and Lloyd Cutler strongly recommended that investments in U.S. Energy Department nonproliferation activities be increased to roughly 1 percent of the annual U.S. defense budget over the next 10 years. Energy Department nonproliferation programs help Russia dispose of weapons plutonium; protect, control, and account for nuclear weapons material; stabilize the economic situation in Russia's "nuclear cities"; and promote nuclear warhead safety and security. The importance of these programs cannot be overstated, and the Baker-Cutler report indicated that its 1 percent recommendation would total about $3 billion per year, or $30 billion over the ensuing decade. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Debt for Nonproliferation: The Next Step in Threat Reduction
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.