House Overwhelmingly Approves Path to Nuclear Cooperation with India.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed overwhelming, 359 to 68, a bill that sets out procedures for nuclear trade with India (the link includes the House floor debate and the text of the bill, about a third of way down). It is an entirely different bill than that proposed by the White House. The White House’s suggested bill was an insult to Congress, essentially asking Congress to cede any review rights and to approve details of the nuclear deal that haven’t even been decided yet. Whatever members of Congress thought about the India-US nuclear deal, they were not going to just leave the rubber stamp on the White House steps. The House bill, H.R. 5682, clearly rebukes the President on his request for pre-approval. The ultimate details of any agreement will have to go back to Congress for approval by joint resolution.

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Pentagon Doubles Plan For New Warheads

The Pentagon is considering acquiring up to four types of Reliable Replacement Warheads (RRW), twice as many as reported so far, according to an overview discovered by the Federation…

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Lawmakers Scold Administration Over F-16 Sale to Pakistan

At Thursday’s hearing on the sale of 36 F-16 aircraft to Pakistan, Assistant Secretary of State John Hillen endured tongue-lashings from several members of the House International Relations Committee (HIRC), who objected to the manner in which his bureau has managed the $5.1 billion arms package. Of particular concern was the administration’s unilateral decision to waive the customary 20-day pre-notification for major arms sales, which many members viewed as a deliberate attempt to circumvent the committee’s authority. The decision – and the confrontation it provoked – could have far-reaching consequences, not only for Congressional oversight of arms sales but also several key State Department initiatives.

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Ready or Not: Ready.gov Gets a Facelift

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release announcing that it had updated its citizen preparedness web site, Ready.gov, with “special preparedness information for…

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Nicaragua Agrees to Destroy More MANPADS

On July 13th, the Nicaraguan National Assembly voted to destroy an additional 651 of its large stockpile of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles, bringing it one step closer to fulfilling President Enrique Bolanos's earlier commitment to destroy Nicaragua's entire stock of Man-portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS). The Assembly approved the plan despite opposition from the Sandinista National Liberation Front (SNLF), which led a partially successful campaign to derail the US-funded destruction initiative in early 2005. The missiles - 2000 SA series MANPADS - are the remnants of a massive infusion of Soviet military assistance to the left-leaning Sandinista government, which was the target of a US-supported insurgency in the 1980s. The proxy wars in Central America ended shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the huge stockpiles of Soviet weapons remained - an attractive target for arms traffickers. Diversions of Nicaragua’s missiles date back at least to 1990, when Sandinistan military officers sold 8 missile launchers and 28 missiles to rebels in El Salvador. Three years later, 19 more black market missiles were discovered in the charred remains of a Managuan auto repair shop that doubled as a storage site for a large cache of illicit rockets, mines, explosives and MANPADS. The repair shop caught fire after part of the cache exploded.

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