Intelligence: March 9, 2001


A new US intelligence report says that weapons proliferation treaties will be much harder to enforce in future. One problem is that the consolidation of defense contractors from many nations That means that all the nations of a given group will have access to key technology and any one of them could pass it along to a nation with which it has some form of special bond. Another problem is that the smaller overall defense market means that nations need to export weapons in order to produce them economically for their own uses. And a third problem is that civilians have shown considerable interest in various bits of military technology (GPS, night vision devices, satellite photos, cell phones, satellite phones) and companies can and will produce civilian products which could be used for military purposes. These will be exported broadly and will result in the defacto transfer of technology to renegade nations and terrorist groups.--Stephen V Cole


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