US Incapable of Detecting Foreign Nuclear Weapons Programs

A newly released Pentagon report says that current US intelligence efforts to detect nuclear weapons programs in other countries is totally inadequate and how agencies approach the issue needs to be revamped.

Washington Times:

American intelligence and security agencies are not currently capable of detecting when foreign nations are building nuclear weapons or ramping up their existing programs, according to a newly released Pentagon report that faults a range of U.S. agencies.

“The nation is not yet organized or fully equipped” to detect clandestine nuclear activities across the globe, and in most cases “current solutions are either inadequate, or more often, do not exist,” according to the report, which was compiled over three years by the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board.

More nations than ever are pursuing nuclear arms. However, the United States does not have the mechanisms to detect and track these programs, according to the report.

Moreover, U.S. intelligence agencies are not doing enough to rectify the issue, according to the report, which called for a full-scale revamp in how agencies approach the issue of nuclear detection.

The United States “lacks a cohesive, long term, international engagement plan aimed at building cooperation and transparency,” the report warns.

America’s inability to detect rogue nuclear programs could be particularly problematic in the case of Iran, which has built many clandestine and underground nuclear facilities. The U.S. has a history of being caught flat-footed when it comes to detecting foreign nuclear programs.

“The technologies and processes designed for current treaty verification and inspections are inadequate to future monitoring realities,” the Pentagon report states.

“The task force observed early in its deliberations that there are many communities involved in tackling a piece of the monitoring ‘elephant,’ but found no group that could clearly articulate the entire program, nor a strategy for addressing it in any complete or comprehensive fashion.”

“Closing the nation’s global nuclear monitoring gaps should be a national priority,” the report states. “It will require, however, a level of commitment and sustainment we don’t normally do well without a crisis.”

Just how do our spooks define "crisis"? The most dangerous regime on the planet is within a hair's breadth of creating the ability to build the most dangerous weapon in existence -- if they don't already possess that capability already. And the second most dangerous regime in the world has already carried out two nuclear bomb tests and is in the process of building an ICBM that will be capable of hitting most cities in the US.

Now -- do we have a crisis, or don't we? And if we do, and we still don't have the ability to gauge the progress of these rogue states toward achieving their nuclear goals, just what do you propose to do about it?

Admittedly, it is very difficult to penetrate these closed societies and unlock their most closely guarded secrets. But this report also harangues our agencies for not developing the technologies and processes to adequately monitor and verify nuclear programs that we are entitled by treaty to inspect.Just how does the administration plan to verify any agreement with Iran that might be reached? This report declares we're not fully ready.

We have a president who wants to get rid of nuclear weapons but apparently doesn't care we don't have the ability to monitor the nuclear programs of countries who would be signatories to such a treaty.