For the Record

At a Senate hearing on the foreign aid budget on Tuesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice underscored the importance of “…deny[ing] terrorists access to the world’s most dangerous weapons, including conventional weapons like MANPADS,” and pointed to funding increases in the President’s FY07 budget for State Department programs that “help countries counter the proliferation of dangerous weapons and materials.” While it is true that the FY07 budget request does increase funding for combating the spread of WMD, programs aimed at reducing the threat from surplus and poorly secured conventional weapons – the weapons of choice for many terrorists – actually take a (slight) hit in the President’s budget. The $8.6 million request for the State Department’s small arms/light weapons destruction fund in FY07 is $60,000 less than the program’s budget for FY06.
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Will The Right Nuclear Policy Please Stand Up!

Will the New Triad of nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities reduce or increase the role of U.S. nuclear weapons? To get an answer to that question I went to a hearing the Senate Armed Services Committee held earlier today on the Pentagon’s new Global Strike mission. But instead of giving a clear answer, the Pentagon muddled the issue by saying that it is reducing its dependence on nuclear weapons while at the same time increasing the nuclear strike options.
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Senate To Hold Long-Overdue Hearing on New Global Strike Mission

The Senate Armed Services Committee plans to hold a hearing on Wednesday, March 29th, on the Pentagon’s new offensive Global Strike mission. The Committee has asked the following officials to testify:

* Peter C. W. Flory, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy
* General James E. Cartwright, USMC, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
* Rear Admiral Charles B. Young, USN, Director Strategic Systems Programs, Department of the Navy
* Major General Stanley Gorenc, USAF, Director, Operational Capabilities and Requirements, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force

This is Congress’ first hearing on this critical new mission, which includes strike options that span from information warfare to preemptive nuclear attacks against weapons of mass destruction targets around the world.

The long-overdue hearing comes three and a half years after the White House published the so-called preemption doctrine (National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction), three years after STRATCOM was tasked to prepare strike plans against WMD targets around the world, nineteen months after Rumsfeld signed the Alert Order that directed STRATCOM to put Global Strike into effect, and six months after the new Joint Functional Component Command for Space and Global Strike became operational at Offutt Air Force Base.

More: Hearing Page | Global Strike Chronology