Deutch Commission

July 21, 1999

According to a new commission, the United States is ill-prepared to combat a growing and grave threat from proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons around the world. The commission, chaired by former Central Intelligence director John Deutch, raised concerns about both weapons and America's ability to respond.

Perhaps the gravest concern is what the panel calls the continuing economic meltdown in Russia. It cites seven instances since 1992 in which weapons-usable fissile materials were stolen. Russia doesn't know how much material it has, and it is increasingly vulnerable because of power outages, unpaid guards and sporadic violence.

One commission member says that "The No. 1 threat that needs attention is the continued disintegration of Russia as a civil society." This member ranked the Russian problem as high, if not higher, than the threat to the United States from ballistic missiles that was cited by a previous panel headed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The panel detailed four other danger areas. One was China's export of missiles and dangerous technology. Another was the efforts by more than as dozen terrorist organizations to obtain nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. A third was the ability by North Korea and other hostile states to manufacture these weapons. A final danger was the growing concern over the instability in the Middle East and South and East Asia.

The commission also found that the U.S. Government is not effectively organized to combat proliferation of weapons. They also found that nine years after the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. still lacks the essential technology to detect chemical and biological weapons.

This report, coupled with the recent revelations in the Cox report, remind us that we live in a very dangerous world and need to immediately deal with very real threats to the United States.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.