Going after WMDs

The Defense Department and Energy Department have requested $2.6 billion in Fiscal 2014 to curtail the flow of weapons of mass destruction, said Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), chairwoman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats and capabilities panel, this week. During the panel’s April 23 oversight hearing, Madelyn Creedon, assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs, cited North Korea, Iran, and Syria as states of concern regarding WMD proliferation. “One of the most worrisome scenarios we face is the prospect of a dangerous WMD crisis involving the theft or loss of control of weapons or materials of concern that end up in the hands of hostile actors,” she said. “As the situation in Syria illustrates, instability in states pursuing or possessing WMD could lead to just such a crisis,” she said. DOD has a three-pronged approach to stymie the spread: preventing WMD acquisition, containing and/or rolling back the threats, and responding to a WMD crisis. The United States is also promoting international cooperation: through the Proliferation Security Initiative, 29 partner nations are committed to thwarting WMD proliferation. (AFPS report by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.)