Thursday, January 01, 2004

Caught red handed

Some very specific reports are coming out regarding the reasons why Gadhafi decided to give up his weapons program:

The United States intercepted an illegal shipment of thousands of parts of uranium-enrichment equipment bound for Libya in October, leading to Tripoli agreeing to cap its weapons program, U.S. officials confirmed yesterday.

Senior State Department official John R. Bolton plans to fly to London today to make plans with Britain for holding Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to his pledge to dismantle his nuclear-weapons program.

There is an extensive black market that provided Libya with tens of millions of dollars in equipment, but there now is an aggressive program of interdicting delivery and the administration intends to pursue middlemen actively, a U.S. official said.

The seizure was just the tip of the iceberg in the spread of dangerous equipment to rogue states, but it sealed Col. Gadhafi's decision to announce on Dec. 19 he was dismantling the expensive program, the official said on the condition of anonymity.

The intercepted parts were being delivered to Libya on a German-owned freighter that was diverted to an Italian port.

This was not about diplomacy, but about steadfastness, containment, and military pressure.


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