March 4, 2014
DONETSK, Ukraine – U.S. Senators Dick Lugar (R-IN) and Barack Obama (D-IL) called for the immediate destruction of 15,000 tons of ammunition, 400,000 small arms and light weapons, and 1,000 man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) or shoulder missile launchers that are often sought by terrorists.
Lugar and Obama toured the Donetsk State Chemical Production Plant, a conventional weapons destruction facility where the U.S. has taken the lead in a three-year NATO program to destroy the weapons. Another 117,000 tons of ammunition and 1.1 million small arms and light weapons are slated for destruction within 12 years.
So far, the U.S. has contributed $2.1 million to the project, and Austria, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have contributed $1.2 million.
While the destruction is ready to begin, the Ukrainian Rada (parliament) first must pass a law exempting the foreign assistance from taxation. Lugar and Obama discussed this issue with Rada Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko in meetings yesterday. All three leaders indicated they would promote action before the March 2006 parliamentary elections.
The visit underscores the importance of legislation Lugar and Obama have authored that would commit additional U.S. resources and expand authorities in cooperative threat reduction of conventional weapons around the world. The bill is part of the Foreign Relations Authorization Bill that is pending in the Senate and will be introduced as a free-standing bill by the senators this fall.
Now it’s 2014 and Secretary of State John Kerry is delivering a speech denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as I write this. I’ll bet the Ukrainians are wishing they had some of those conventional weapons right about now.
Oh, and of course, none of the pundits or liberal politicians saw this coming, but as Geraghty pointed out, Tom Clancy did.
Meanwhile, Morning Jolt reader Doug points out that no one could have predicted Russia’s move on Ukraine… except Tom Clancy, who died in October:
The last Tom Clancy book, Command Authority, published last year, is all about Russian aggression against its former satellites. Dialogue on p. 70:
Golovko added, “Volodin has his eyes on the Crimea, in Southern Ukraine, and he knows once Ukraine joins NATO, that will be difficult for him to achieve. The way he sees it, he has to move soon.”
Ryan said, “He is right that there is no treaty between Ukraine and NATO. And if he does invade, getting Europe on board to fight for the Crimea is a nonstarter.” (Read More)
Maybe they should start reading Tom Clancy books.