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Lugar, Obama And The Dogs Of War

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Democratic Senator Barack Obama has found a political soulmate in Republican Senator Richard Lugar when it comes to the nonproliferation of unaccounted-for weaponry in the Eastern bloc.

See, they understand that all of these stockpiles of forgotten munitions easily find their way into the hands of those who seek to destroy our way of life. And frankly, that is my BIGGEST concern in the war on terrorism. If a stray nuke gets into the hands of the terrorists, I fear for our safety, especially given our lax border policies…

In any event, here’s their op-ed piece in the Washington Post called, “Junkyard Dogs Of War“:

At a sprawling, run-down industrial complex in Donetsk, Ukraine, weeds grow along a rusty rail spur that winds among World War II-era warehouses and factories. Little security is evident, and the facility looks like a giant junkyard.

In a way, it is — except the “junk” consists of thousands of tons of live military munitions. When we went there last summer, we saw mortar rounds, land mines and artillery shells of all sizes stacked in huge piles and strewn carelessly about.

Sold on the black market, these conventional weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists or militant extremists anywhere in the world. Donetsk is only one of several ill-secured stockpiles of conventional weapons in Ukraine, a major dumping ground for weapons, and there are perhaps scores more in dozens of countries around the world.

These vast numbers of unused conventional weapons, particularly shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles that can hit civilian airliners, pose a major security risk to America and democracies everywhere. That’s why we have introduced legislation to seek out and destroy surplus and unguarded stocks of conventional arms in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Our bill would launch a major nonproliferation initiative by addressing the growing threat from unsecured conventional weapons and by bolstering a key line of defense against weapons of mass destruction. Modeled after the successful Nunn-Lugar program to dismantle former Soviet nuclear weapons, the Lugar-Obama bill would seek to build cooperative relationships with willing countries.

Again I say, if we don’t round these weapons up they WILL end up in the hands of our enemies. It’s in our best interests to make sure these munitions are accounted for and destroyed. Otherwise we’re going to hear about how we didn’t act soon enough later on.

And as 9/11 has taught us, the cost of viewing these threats with anything less than our utmost attention is too great.