Monday, March 13, 2006

Does anyone take Non-Proliferation Experts Seriously?

Another joke was emailed to me last night. This ISIS report insists that the Indian enrichment process is both "shrouded in secrecy" and "leaking sensitive information" at the exact same time.

The author accuses DAE of hiding the requirements of RMP Ratehalli from the Indian people but then also points out that the most of the equipment for RMP Ratehalli is purchased through public advertizements in major Indian newspapers esp. the all too familiar Times of India.

Furthermore the author contends that the process of floating public tenders for RMP related purchases encourages Indian and foreign suppliers to "purchase, for a small fee, the detailed blueprints, manufacturing instructions, and specifications of a particular item. "

And apparently these suppliers can then "sell the item or underlying technology to other customers with the expectation that few legal consequences would result from Indian prosecutors"

If David Albright ever tried to use something remotely mechanical like say -- a screwdriver, he might have learned that the crude sketches supplied alongside a tender are not sufficient for actually building anything that remotely resembles a centrifuge and that merely knowing something about the material specificiations is not enough to actually build a working centrifuge or anything else for that matter.

A far greater number of usable details regarding centrifuge technology are available from western technology suppliers in places like Germany and Japan. The level of drawings and data made available along with Indian tenders is no different from the detail available in a standard engineering book on the subject freely available in most libraries in the US.

With the Pakistanis displaying a willingness to sell anything that isn't nailed down at KRL - centrifuges, nuclear weapons designs, and god knows what else - the Indian release of information is simply insignificant. The Pakistanis were running full page ads in the national newspapers agreeing to sell every imaginable component in the Uranium enrichment process... where was Albright's brilliance then?

Much angst is also directed against Indian companies like " Precise Vacuum Systems Pvt. Ltd. ", which has entered the vacuum pump market, Albright accuses them of " reverse engineering" as the company website claims, that its vacuum pumps are "manufactured [based] on technology drawings of a world leader in vacuum pump technology.” Also he feels that companies like Precise Vacuum Systems Pvt. Ltd. are capable of " dangerous exports or re-exports". And then David asks that India should "must stop illegal or questionable overseas procurements for its nuclear program. "

Well... as I understand it David Albright simply wants to make sure that the Pakistanis alone are able to trade with impunity on the black market. God forbid - if Precise Vacuum Systems Pvt. Ltd should drive one of David's Pakistani friend's companies out of profitability. No no... per David ... only the Pakistanis are to have a run of the black market... The man hasn't lifted a finger to stop Pakistani proliferation, but is very keen to ensure that paperclips which are also made for the Indian DAE's head-office aren't accidently sold to Iran or something like that.

David Albright told us Pakistan has 50-90 nukes.

David Albright also told us that Pakistan should be given access control systems

So David... How many access control systems should Pakistan be given? 50 or 90? with a 100% error margin on the number of nukes the Pakistanis have... how on earth does anyone do any serious counter-proliferation.

Is that why the now famous Musharraf Assassination Attempt scenario played out at the Woodrow Wilson school made absolutely no mention of Albright's non-proliferation ideas - even in the footnotes?

If the better part of the old NESA and State Department's Pakistan Analysts crowd don't take this joker Albright seriously - why should anyone else?


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