70 Percent Chance of Attack…

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Sen. Richard Lugar’s (R-IN) office has just released a new report on proliferation that makes some massively important points. The most eye-opening stat here is that a survey of proliferation experts suggested that the chances of a WMD attack on a city somewhere in the world—radiological, nuclear, biological, chemical—could be as much as 70 percent over the next ten years. Obviously the plural of opinion isn’t fact, but 70 percent is pretty appallingly high, no? Meanwhile, those same experts say we can expect about two to five countries to join the nuclear weapons club over the next ten years—they don’t say which countries, but it’s safe to assume that the Bush administration won’t stop Iran and North Korea from arming, and I’ve got a hunch that we might well see Saudi Arabia, Japan, and possibly even Taiwan in that club.

Meanwhile, those proliferation experts are more or less in consensus on what is to be done here: strengthen arms control treaties, boost funding for the Nunn-Lugar initiative to destroy “loose” Russian nukes, placing controls on nuclear fuel cycles, etc. etc. Most of which has not been done, although now that John Bolton’s out of the State Department there have been a few encouraging steps. Oh, and they all think it would sure be nice to try and stop Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, although the White House’s utter inability even to talk to Pyongyang makes the latter a non-starter. Now the policy recommendations here are all eye-glazing stuff, it’s truel; perhaps not nearly as exciting for Karl Rove as, say, accusing one-third of the country of treason. Still, nuclear proliferation’s almost as big a threat to our country as Dick Durbin—lest we forget, President Bush did claim it as his number one priority during the presidential debates—and as always, it would be awfully swell if someone in charge was thinking seriously about this stuff.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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