Magazine article Arms Control Today

Bush Administration Seeks Small Increase for State Department Nonproliferation, Disarmament Budget

Magazine article Arms Control Today

Bush Administration Seeks Small Increase for State Department Nonproliferation, Disarmament Budget

Article excerpt

The Department of State would see little increase in spending on efforts to combat weapons of mass destruction (WMD) if Congress endorses President George W. Bush's request for the fiscal year 2005 budget. Funds for humanitarian demining programs and the destruction of small arms and light weapons, however, would increase significantly.

Under Bush's request, funds utilized by the State Department for anti-WMD programs would climb by 4.4 percent to $435 million, an increase of $18 million from the 7 $417 million appropriated by Congress in fiscal year 2004.

One key subset-nonproliferation programs-would increase at about the same rate, rising from current spending of 7 $187 million to $195 million in fiscal year 2005. The administration's budget request proposes about $35 million-a $5 million increase from fiscal year 2004-for the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (NDF). NDF is a slush fund of sorts, used to respond to critical short-term needs, such as removing, transporting, and protecting more than 100 pounds of highly enriched uranium from the Vinca Institute in Serbia ( see ACT, September 2002) and the destruction and demilitarization of Bulgaria's SS-23 and SCUD missiles.

If Bush's request is endorsed by Congress, spending on programs to improve other nations' export controls and border security efforts would also rise slightly, from $36 million to $38 million. Spending to prevent weapon scientists from countries such as Russia and Iraq from sharing their expertise with terrorists or other nations would remain constant ( see page 18).

Contributions to two key international arms control efforts would remain fairly constant under Bush's requests. …

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