Friday, August 06, 2004

Links on the Fissile Material Control Treaty

That's the treaty which, as discussed below, Bush is watering down by removing the inspection requirements. Some relevant links:
-- NYT editorial today
-- Original story from the Washington Post
-- the FAS has a great history and background page on the FMCT. I often disagree with FAS' spin, but, they rock at assembling detailed, unbiased background information.
-- a really nice analysis of the Treaty, its technical details, and its pros and cons from Steve Fetter and Frank Von Hippel.

As I said below, I think the US decision to oppose inspection requirements is a really bad idea. What's not to like about a verified, international ban on producing the materials that terrorists or rogue states could use to produce their own nuclear bombs?

The best thing about the FMCT treaty is that it recognizes that it is easier to control things (plutonium) than ideas (the know-how and intention to build bombs). The existing Non-Proliferation Treaty tries to control ideas while making it easier for additional countries to make things like plutonium and HEU for 'peaceful' purposes. IMHO, the NPT is much more likely to collapse than the copyright laws, internet gambling restrictions, censorship attempts, and other
idea-controlling policies that some people expect the internet to sweep away.