Author Topic: Report: U.S. intelligence ignored technology that could track nuclear proliferation by rogue states  (Read 160 times)

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The United States has failed to track progress in rogue nuclear programs, a report said.

The Defense Department has acknowledged that the intelligence community failed to develop the tools or coordination to monitor nuclear efforts in Iran and other countries with suspected weapons programs..

In a report, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board asserted that the intelligence community, uncertain of priorities, has ignored advanced technology that could track nuclear proliferation.

The report warned that Iran and North Korea were benefiting from
 increased access to nuclear technology. The task force said the growth in
 nuclear power enabled the concealment of small programs and leakage.

“The pathways to proliferation are expanding,” the report said.

“Networks of cooperation among countries that would otherwise have little
 reason to do so, such as the A.Q. Khan network or the Syria-North Korea and
 Iran-North Korea collaborations, cannot be considered as isolated events.”

The report, dated January 2014, was released in wake of the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran. Under the accord, Teheran, after years of blocking access, has pledged to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

But a Pentagon task force raised doubts over whether the U.S.
 intelligence community could determine whether Iran was honoring the

“The actual or threatened acquisition of nuclear weapons by more
 actors — with a range of motivations, capabilities, and approaches — is
 emerging in numbers not seen since the early days of the Cold War,” the
 report said.

“Many of these actors are hostile to the U.S. and its allies,
 and of greater worry, they do not appear to be bound by established norms
 nor are they deterred by traditional means.”

“The advances in persistent surveillance, automated tracking, rapid analyses of large and multi-source data sets, and open source analyses to support conventional warfighting and counter-terrorism have not yet been exploited by the nuclear monitoring community,” the report, titled “Assessment of Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technologies,” said.

“Conversely, developers of these capabilities are largely unaware of the challenges and requirements for nuclear activity monitoring.”

The report said the U.S. technical community has maintained a “mixed track record” of fielding capabilities and research and development.

“The problem appears to lie in the gap between researchers and
 operators, who do not come together early enough in the development process
 to ensure that both technical and operational requirements are addressed,”
the report said.

The task force warned that civilian and military nuclear applications were connected and “increasingly networked.” As a result, the Pentagon panel
 urged the intelligence community to make nuclear monitoring a national
 priority amid the proliferation of weapons programs.

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