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'High risk' of WMD attack within the decade

Written by Luke Burgess
Posted June 23, 2005

Dear Wealth Daily reader:

I've felt for some time that nuclear proliferation, particularly into third world and rogue nations, is inevitable.

Now we learn, according to a survey conducted by The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that there is nearly a 50% chance of a nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack over the next five years!

The survey also found that there is a 70% chance of a WMD attack within the decade!

Now, let me say right up front that surveys are more likely to tell you about the organization conducting them than the actual question at hand.

I'll leave it up to you what that tell us about the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Nevertheless, this is the reality we face in today's age of imperialism.

Eighty-five nonproliferation and national security experts were interviewed for the congressional study. Among the experts who participated in the survey were retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf; former defense secretaries William Cohen and Frank Carlucci; former CIA Director James Woolsey; former National Security Adviser Richard Allen; former Iraq chief weapons inspector Richard Butler; former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott; and David Kay.

In other words, these are the folks who know a thing or two about the capabilities of various terrorist groups around the world, and the United States' ability to defend against such unconventional weapons.

Overwhelmingly, 80 of the 85 experts questioned believed that one to two new countries will obtain nuclear capabilities in the next five years, with two to five countries joining the ranks during the next decade.

The study found that the biggest risk of a WMD attack would be from a so-called "dirty bomb"; a conventional explosive device that contains radioactive material.

The survey was commissioned by U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, who has been credited with assisting the former Soviet Union decrease their stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons

A summary of the report noted, "The results underscore the need to improve security around tactical nuclear weapons and nuclear material in Russia and expand our ability to detect transfer of weapons or materials from rogue states to terrorist organizations."

"The bottom line is this: For the foreseeable future, the United States and other nations will face an existential threat from the intersection of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction," Lugar said in a statement yesterday.

"Even if we succeed spectacularly at building democracy around the world, bringing stability to failed states and spreading economic opportunity broadly, we will not be secure from the actions of small, disaffected groups that acquire weapons of mass destruction."

"Everything is at risk if we fail in this one area."

Now, realistically, your chances of getting killed in a nuclear terrorist strike are infinitesimal. By its very nature this type of strike would be unconventional, most likely a backpack nuke of some sort.

These types of devices are limited in destructive power and physical damage, but devastating in generating terror.

Of course, if you live in a major metropolitan area like New York, DC or Los Angeles, your odds go up, but they're still far, far less than your odds of getting killed in a car crash.

If you're concerned about the likelihood an attack in your area the simplest way to reduce your risk is simply to move out of the city, preferably to some rural backwater, where your quality of life will increase exponentially.

By no means can you count on the government to help you out. The 180,000 employee strong Department of Homeland Security is, like most government programs, a total waste of money.

With a budget of over $30 billion, Home-Sec has managed to dumb down preparedness to new lows. A quick inspection of the department's website, www.ready.gov, is a real eye-opener.

The department famous for its "duct tape and plastic" warning, and rainbow colored yet completely useless threat levels, recommends you listen for official advice on the television and radio, and "check the Internet often," assuming these broadcast means, not to mention electricity, are still functioning. In fact, the government at this point can't even broadcast evacuation instructions. Hundreds of billions of dollars after 9/11, officials are now only in the first stages of planning how to communicate with endangered communities in the event of a nuclear strike.

Essentially, government officials maintain that you wait for official advice before taking any action-never a good idea.

If you're genuinely concerned about a nuclear attack occurring near you, the time to prepare is now. There's an incredible amount of excellent information available on the Internet. The time to gather it is now, while systems are still functioning.

- Luke Burgess
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