Chaff Launch

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Malacca Security and the Proliferation Security Initiative

The Star Online reports that Singapore to host region's first exercise to stop shipment of nuclear weapons by sea
Singapore will host maritime exercises this year aimed at stopping shipments of weapons of mass destruction, the city-state's defense minister said Saturday...

...The exercises are part of the U.S.-sponsored Proliferation Security Initiative to block shipments of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as the missiles that could be used to carry them and the materials and equipment needed to make them. Over 60 countries are signatories to the initiative.

Earlier Saturday, Rumsfeld said communist North Korea poses a worldwide security threat because of its record of selling missile technology.

"One has to assume that they'll sell anything, and that they would be willing to sell nuclear technologies,'' Rumsfeld said. Singapore is one of three countries that straddle the Malacca Strait, through which ships pass to get to the Middle East and Europe.

Teo also told reporters he "wouldn't rule out'' joint Malacca Strait patrols with Malaysia and Indonesia -- the other littoral countries along the piracy-wracked waterway -- to prevent a terror strike.

He said detained members of the Southeast Asia terror group Jemaah Islamiyah told authorities that the al-Qaida-linked outifit had "cased'' ships transiting north of Singapore several years ago.

On Friday, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said terrorists had been scouting maritime targets.
The PSI has been bubbling along in the background:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the Proliferation Security Initiative has scored a number of unpublicized successes against the trafficking of items related to weapons of mass destruction. She spoke at a State Department event marking the second anniversary of the U.S.-led international effort.

The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), an informal U.S.-led alliance aimed at curbing the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, has held more than a dozen exercises in various regions of the world in the last two years.

But Ms. Rice says the effort, now involving some 60 countries, has also recorded a number of previously undisclosed operational successes.

At a diplomatic reception marking the second anniversary of the PSI's founding in Krakow, Poland, the Secretary of State gave few details other than to say that Iran may have figured in several of them:

"In the last nine months alone, the United States and 10 of our PSI partners have quietly cooperated on 11 successful efforts," said Ms. Rice. "For example, PSI cooperation stopped the trans-shipment of material and equipment bound for ballistic missile programs in countries of concern, including Iran. PSI partners, working at times with others, have prevented Iran from procuring goods to support its missile and WMD programs, including its nuclear program."
(source). President Bush's comments on the Second Anniversary of the PSI found here. And what appears to me to be grousing disquised as a "backgrounder" from the "Arms Control Association" here. ACA site here.

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