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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 51, October 2000

Cohen, Albright Criticise Lack of Support For Non-Proliferation

Addressing the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on October 2, Defense Secretary William Cohen spoke regretfully of the lack of practical and financial support the United States has been receiving in its efforts to prevent proliferation and maintain nuclear security and safety in the former Soviet Union:

"We have something called the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, the so-called Nunn-Lugar program. And yet I always find it somewhat stressing or distressing, to hear it asked, ' Why haven' other countries, other nuclear powers, volunteered to share in that effort to help Russia dismantle and dispose of their large stocks of nuclear weapons under the START I and START II treaties?' We seem to be the only ones who are prepared to step forward to do that. And while other countries have complained about national missile defence in terms of the United States seeking to protect itself against...proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, it seems the United States has been left to largely bear the burden as far as dismantling and getting rid of nuclear weapons [is concerned]."

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 26, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticised Congressional proposals to cut the President' budget request for foreign operations and aid programmes by $2 billion. According to the Secretary: "The cuts proposed in such key areas as security for our diplomatic personnel, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism...[and] peacekeeping...are not simply disappointing - they are dangerous. ... The United States is the most powerful nation in the world. And yet when I sit down with the Foreign Ministers of even very small countries, I often have more to ask than to give..."

Reports: Albright urges full funding for foreign aid,Reuters, September 26; Transcript - Cohen cites foreign policy and defense challenges, US State Department (Washington File), October 3.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.