Magazine article The New American

U.S. Subsidizes Russia's Weapons of Mass Destruction

Magazine article The New American

U.S. Subsidizes Russia's Weapons of Mass Destruction

Article excerpt

America has spent tens of billions of dollars and made an enormous commitment of our Armed Forces personnel and resources to find Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). So far, only a relatively small number of old nerve gas shells have been found. Meanwhile, the world's largest WMD threat goes virtually ignored.

Russia agreed, under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), to destroy its declared stockpile of more than 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons. However, pleading poverty, Russia prevailed upon the West to help construct facilities to destroy the weapons. The "international community" (meaning principally the U.S.) responded, providing over a billion and a half dollars in aid. But, according to a recent news release from Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Russia has destroyed only slightly more than one percent of its stockpile and "has no credible plan for destroying the remainder of its nerve gas stockpile."

An April 27 press release from Rep. Hunter cited a recently completed study by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) detailing the abysmal progress of the Russian WMD destruction program. The GAO report notes: "As of September 2003, Russia had destroyed 1.1 percent of its total declared chemical weapons stockpile of 40,000 metric tons. This compares with the 24 percent already destroyed by the United States.... As of December 2003, international donors, including the United States ... had obligated about $585 million and committed more than $1. …

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