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Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

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Status Brief


  • The So San incident played a critical role in the newfound urgency for the development of PSI. A “lessons learned” study of the So San incident followed directly after the ship’s release. “The White House then decided that the issue was sufficiently important and innovative in its approach to WMD and missile proliferation that it warranted a Presidential initiative. The result was President Bush’s proposal to create the Proliferation Security Initiative. (Comparative Strategy, 2009)
  • “PSI was officially announced by President Bush on May 31, 2003 in Krakow, Poland, in order to combat the threat of the proliferation of WMD.” (Hodgkinson, 2007)
  • “John R. Bolton, former US Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security as well as former US Ambassador to the United Nations, is considered the architect of PSI. Bolton worked with numerous countries to form the framework of PSI.” (Byers, 2004)
  • “The Proliferation Security Initiative was developed in the context of increasingly complex and dangerous WMD and missile proliferation threats, as well as of the existing international treaties and arrangements aimed at constraining them.” (Comparative Strategy, 2009)

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

  • More than 90 nations are PSI participants. [1]
  • 11 nations have signed bilateral Mutual Shipboarding Pacts with the US which allows a mutual expedition of shipboarding requests for ships under those nations’ flags. [2]
  • Over 20 Operational Experts Group Meetings have taken place with two more already planned for 2011. [3]
  • PSI has conducted 48 Activities (Exercises, Workshops, Gaming) since September 2003. [4]

Current Assessment/State of the Field:

  • “PSI is a voluntary organization in which countries agree to take steps to halt proliferation.” (Muzinich, Justin)
  • “PSI has registered substantial success in actual interdictions and in improving partern’s capabilities – political, diplomatic, legal, military – to prevent proliferation shipments from reaching their destinations.” (Comparative Strategy, 2009)
  • “PSI remains an active, growing, and important counterproliferation program.” (Hodgkinson, 2007)
  • “There is little logic in arguing that a nuclear explosion, with its accompanying loss of life and threat to peace, must occur before interdiction is allowed.” (Muzinich, 2010)

Specific PSI Policies:

  • Measures to interdict the transport or transfer of WMD and related materials ‘to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern’;
  • Procedures for information exchange in such cases;
  • Commitments to strengthen applicable legal measures;
  • Undertaking by member-states to board ships or require aircraft in transit to land and have suspect cargoes searched and/or seized. (Muzinich, 2010)

Specific Restrictions of PSI:

  • The ships or aircraft concerned must be within the territorial seas or air-space of member-states, or
  • Be flagged or registered by a member-state, or
  • Be flagged or registered by a state willing to cooperate in this specific case or on an ad hoc basis. (Muzinich, 2010)


  • “International law does not match international rhetoric, doing little to restrain the countries that matter most.” (Muzinich, 2010)
  • “The problem with all the treaty-based approaches is that the nations most likely to traffic in WMD and associated technologies are unlikely to accord stop-and-search powers to other states.” (Byers, 2004)
  • “Those who sign UN resolutions, join PSI, and consent to inspection of their ships are those already committed to nonproliferation. But it is the countries that remain outside these agreements that are the most likely proliferators.” (Muzinich, 2010)
  • “Hostility toward PSI from a large and powerful country could limit its effectiveness and provide a source of unnecessary friction in international affairs.” (Byers, 2004)


  • "The problem of nonconsenting states such as North Korea will remain, leaving those wishing to take a high seas action against vessels flying such flags with three options: securing a United Nations Security Council resolution that authorizes interdiction; claiming that the vessels pose a threat that falls within the scope of an existing, or evolving, customary international law right of preemptive self-defense; or simply violating international law." (Byers, 2004)


Editors, “Practicing to Provoke”, The Economist Newspaper Limited, 20 September 2003, Vol. 368, Issue 8342.

  • “Ships and aircraft gathered in the Coral Sea off Australia's Queensland coast for Operation Pacific Protector to rehearse the tracking and boarding of ships suspected of carrying cargoes that could be used in making weapons of mass destruction.”
  • “North Korea, whose proliferation activities--selling drugs, counterfeit dollars and missiles in order to finance imports of technology and equipment for its nuclear, chemical or biological weapons--make it a prime target for such stop-and-search tactics.”
  • “North Korea, for example, finding its ships under uncomfortably close watch, is now thought to rely more on air routes across China to the Middle East to ply its weapons-related trade.”
  • “The UN Security Council may be asked to endorse new restrictions on trade in certain goods and technologies. But for now the emphasis is on tightening existing laws and enforcing them more rigorously.”
  • PSI, North Korea


Morash, Brett James, "Intelligence Operations in Maritime Interdiction Operations and the Global War on Terrorism," Naval War College, Newport, RI essay, May 17, 2004.

  • "Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) units."
  • "Denial of sponsorship, support, amd sanctuary to terrorists."
  • "Use intelligence to intercept suspect vessels."
  • "As part of the strategy on terrorism it is critical to deny terrorists a safe refuge, and by denying them the use of legitimate vessels they will be forced increasingly to use stateless vessels which are prohibited by the International Maritime Organization."
  • Nonproliferation, PSI

Prosser, Andrew, et. al, "The Proliferation Security Initiative in Perspective," June 16, 2004, [5]

  • "PSI states remain secretive about the methods being employed and the number of actual interdictions being carried out."
  • "Can board vessels "flying a given country's flag at sea" that participates in the initiative."
  • "The power to stop and seize in high seas is 'virtually non-existent', can stop ships flying own flag and those that aren't flagged."
  • "Internal waters, authority diminished in territorial seas."
  • "Freedom of navigation on the high seas is limited in situations of slave trading, piracy, illicit narcotics trafficking, and unauthorized broadcasting, while innocent passage is inalienable 'so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order, or security of the coastal state."
  • "Where a suspected WMD cargo is transported under the flag of a foreign state that does not wish to grant PSI member countries permission to board its ship, PSI participants will usually not have the authority to act."
  • "States not bound by an international treaty prohibiting the transfer of WMD technologies are permitted to transport mass destruction weapons cargoes."
  • "Interception of WMD transfers at sea might be viewed as consistent with UNSC resolutions."
  • "If a country opposes the initiative, PSI operations cannot be carried out."
  • PSI, UNSCR 1540, Nonproliferation, WMD, Law Enforcement

Byers, Michael, “Policing the High Seas: The Proliferation Security Initiative”, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 98, No. 3 (July, 2004), pp. 526-545.

  • “Much of PSI involves nothing more than the consistent and rigorous application of existing rights under national and international law. Concurrently, the initiative promotes the development of new legal authorities by way of bilateral and multilateral treaties.” Pg. 528
  • “A ship may be forcibly boarded on the high seas if it is reasonably suspected of engaging in piracy or the slave trade; lacks a flag (i.e., a single country of registration); or is broadcasting in an unauthorized manner toward, or is registered in, the state that wishes to board.” Pg. 527
  • “Ships flagged by nonconsenting states may be searched when in foreign harbors if reasonably suspected to be carrying armaments that have not been declared.” Pg. 531
  • “In certain circumstances, customary international law might already allow for the high seas interdiction of suspected WMD or missile-laden vessels flagged by nonconsenting states. These circumstances could arise when the vessel posed an imminent threat, either to the interdicting state or to a third state that requested the interdiction.” Pg. 532
  • “The problem of nonconsenting states such as North Korea will remain, leaving those wishing to take high seas action against vessels flying such flags with three options: securing a United Nations Security Council resolution that authorizes interdiction; claiming that the vessels pose a threat that falls within the scope of an existing, or evolving, customary international law right of preemptive self-defense; or simply violating international law.” Pg. 528
  • “States may choose to breach the rules without advancing strained and potentially destabilizing legal justifications. By doing so, they allow their action to be assessed subsequently, not in terms of the law, but in terms of its political and moral legitimacy, with a view to mitigating their responsibility rather than exculpating themselves.” Pg. 543
  • PSI, Law Enforcement, WMD, North Korea


Winner, Andrew C., "The Proliferation Security Initiative: The New Face of Interdiction," The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, THE WASHINGTON QUARTERLY, Spring 2005, 28:2, pp. 129-143.

  • "PSI employs different tools and focuses on the interdiction of WMD-related items in the transport phase."
  • "Deterrence, denial of shipments causing to seek other, more difficult methods of obtaining WMD's."
  • "PSI ship boarding agreements based on narcotics ship boarding agreements."
  • PSI,Nonproliferation, WMD

Logan, Samuel E., "The Proliferation Security Initiative: Navigating the Legal Challenges," Journal of Transnational Law & Policy, Vol. 14:2 Spring, 2005, pp 253-272.

  • "According to the Statement [of Interdiction Principles], PSI countries are to pursue the goals of the initiative “to the extent their national legal authorities permit and consistent with their obligations under international law and frameworks.” Pg. 257
  • "The Statement of Interdiction Principles lays out “specific actions” to be undertaken by PSI participants. Subparagraphs 4(b) and (c) call on flag states to board and search their own vessels regardless of their location in the world and to consider providing consent to other states for such boardings." Pg. 257
  • "According to Dr. Michael Beck, Executive Director of the Center for International Trade and Security, PSI efforts “face a major problem because 95 percent of the ingredients for WMD are dual-use in nature, having both civilian and WMD applications.” Pg. 259
  • "But Resolution 1540 is insufficient in itself. The Resolution recognizes proliferation to be “a threat to international peace and security,” but does not explicitly authorize the types of interdictions to take place under the PSI." Pg. 270
  • PSI, UNSCR 1540

Karageorgis, Konstantinos, “Interdict WMD Smugglers at Sea”, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, March 2005, Vol. 131, Issue 3.

  • “The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) countries should inspire and lead the rest of the world in taking bold measures against smuggling.”
  • “Greece, the country with the largest merchant fleet in the world, is not a PSI member.”
  • “In an effort to persuade Greece to become a member of the PSI, the United States could support Greece's efforts to exercise its legal right (according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) and expand its territorial waters from 6 to 12 nautical miles.”
  • “In the sensitive area of the Eastern Mediterranean, the 12-mile territorial sea, if adopted by every country, will expand the territory where the PSI countries will have the legal right to seize suspected vessels and interdict weapons smugglers.”
  • PSI, Jurisdiction

Cotton, James, “The Proliferation Security Initiative and North Korea: Legality and Limitations of a Coalition Strategy”, Security Dialogue, Vol. 36 Issue 2, pg. 193-211, June 2005.

  • “Under current norms, the export of missiles by non-MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) countries to non-MTCR recipients does not violate any international agreements or obligations.” Pg. 197
  • “The PSI lacks sufficient basis in international law to legitimize the interdiction of alleged North Korean WMD and weapons shipments on likely shipping routes.” Pg. 208
  • “The vessels in question will most likely be North Korean flagged and will avoid state jurisdictions where these activities may be subject to challenge.” Pg. 197
  • “If the USA comes to determine that the threat posed by North Korean proliferation is now so great that it cannot await changes to international law or specific UN endorsement, Washington may well seek the backing of a like-minded coalition for more stringent action.” Pg. 204
  • “It is not yet possible to reconcile the ambitious intentions of the PSI with current international law and practice. Further cooperation with key states will be necessary, and a specific UN Security Council endorsement will be required.” Pg. 201
  • “If it is supposed that the PSI is especially applicable to North Korea, then any program to restrict the movement of goods in and out of North Korea would require the active cooperation of China and South Korea, given the extensive use of Chinese ports and railways by North Korean commercial entities, and also the extensive and poorly regulated inter-Korean trade.” Pg. 196
  • “The formation of a truly effective PSI coalition would require the full participation of South Korea. This is the case not only for reasons of geography and because US air and naval units would most likely need to operate from or use bases in South Korean territory, but also because since 2000 South Korea has emerged as North Korea’s most important trading partner and because there have even been some tentative agreements between Seoul and Pyongyang to permit shipping from the North to use South Korean territorial waters.” Pg. 206-207
  • “Only with regime change in Pyongyang will the danger North Korea poses both to the USA and to world order be removed. This is held to be the case since ‘rogue’ regimes do not necessarily operate according to the conventional canons of deterrence, nor can they be trusted not to pass WMDs to terrorists.” Pg. 205
  • PSI, Jurisdiction, WMD, North Korea, South Korea, China


Perman, Ben, “Povide the Capability for Interdiction Operations”, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Jan2006, Vol. 132 Issue 1.

  • “Despite the catastrophic consequences of WMD and the asymmetric nature of their threat, maritime powers such as the United States have a unique opportunity to gain the upper hand, because all WMDs will probably be on board a commercial vessel at some point during the proliferation cycle.”
  • “International law and the economic forces that drive international shipping (and, by extension, smuggling) lead to the conclusion that the most effective locations to focus interdiction operations are areas where all elements of jurisdiction intersect.”
  • “High seas interdiction operations, however, are tactically complex, demand excellent intelligence, require large commitments of resources, and may lack sufficient authority and jurisdiction to withstand legal review.”
  • “One possible limitation is that, without detailed intelligence, the boarding team is not aware of any one item, or situation, that indicates the presence of weapons of mass destruction.”
  • “Equipping all boarding teams with a common detection and analysis suite will overcome this limitation and provide an additional arena for overt intelligence collection.”
  • “Boarding teams should be equipped with modern, accurate spectrometers that can discriminate between most radionuclides and can provide the on-scene commander with the data required to make informed decisions.”
  • “If the threat of WMD entering the United States is from maritime shipments, it is clear that some effort must be made to provide boarding teams with simple detection kits.”
  • PSI, WMD, Jurisdiction, Biodetection

Auerswald, David P., "Deterring Nonstate WMD Attacks," Political Science Quaterly, Volume 121, Number 4, 2006, pg 543-569.

  • "For deterrence to work against an individual, a terrorist or crime group, or a nation-state, you must either increase the costs that the entity has to pay, or decrease the benefits they get, should they change their behavior."
  • "PSI is both defensive and deterrent in nature."
  • "UNSC Resolution 1540 makes it a global crime to traffic in WMD materials or delivery systems, demands improvements in border controls and internal security over WMD materials, and sets the legal framework for future interdiction and punishment."
  • PSI, WMD, Biodefense, UNSCR 1540

Sanger, David E., "U.S. and Russia Will Police Nuclear Terrorists," NY, July 15, 2006

  • "Within months, the officials said, they expect China, Japan, the major European powers, Kazakhstan and Australia to form the initial group of nations under what the two leaders are calling 'The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.' The informal organization of countries is based on the American-led 'Proliferation Security Initiative,' a group of more than 70 countries that have pledged to help seize illicit weapons as they move across oceans or are transported by air. Some countries in that group now hold regular drills to share intelligence and practice seizures."
  • PSI, Russia, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Australia


Guilfoyle, Douglas, "Maritime Interdiction of Weapons of Mass Destruction," JOURNAL OF CONFLICT & SECURITY LAW, 2007, Volume 12, No.1, pages 1-36.

  • "Maritime law enforcement- stop and search a vessel at sea 'potentially seizing cargo and arresting persons aboard.'"
  • "Flag vessels enforced by their states, flag-state consent."
  • "A coastal state can enforce its criminal law against ships bound for, or leaving, its internal waters."
  • "So long as the acts of a vessel situated within the contiguous zone produce an infringement of a coastal state's customs, fiscal, sanitary, and immigration laws within the territorial sea, 'control' could be asserted to punish those acts."
  • "In 1992, the Security Council identified the 'proliferation of all WMD's as a 'threat to international peace and security.'"
  • PSI,UNSCR 1540, Law Enforcement, Law, Nonproliferation

Hodgkinson, Sandra L., "Challenges to Maritime Interception Operations in the War on Terror: Bridging the Gap," AMERICAN UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW, Washington College of Law, 22 Am. U. Int'l L. Rev. 583, 2007.

  • "MIOs- Maritime interception Operations - to deter, deny, disrupt movement of terrorists and terrorist related materials."
  • "Maritime interdiction as 'anticipatory self-defense.'"
  • "PSI - more than 75 participating nations."
  • "PSI does not specifically establish any boarding authority and does not provide participating states with any new legal authority to conduct interdictions in intl waters."
  • "SOSAN incident helped in the development of PSI - Spanish forces found 'fifteen scud missiles' along with the reported cement on a North Korean ship; brought to the attention of Spanish forces."
  • "PSI was officially announced by President Bush on May 31, 2003 in Krakow, Poland."
  • "BBC China - German owned ship - thousands of 'gas centrifuge components that can be used to enrich uranium' were found and recovered; brought to attention of US and British intelligence, components recovered in Italy."
  • "Post October 2003 - US has formed bilateral boarding agreements with 6 nations."
  • PSI, Nonproliferation, Law Enforcement, WMD

Song, Yann-Huei, “The U.S.-Led Proliferation Security Initiative and UNCLOS: Legality, Implementation, and an Assessment”, Ocean Development & International Law, 38: 101-145 (2007).

  • “UNCLOS, which is considered ‘[a] Constitution for the Oceans,’... has been praised as the most comprehensive political and legislative work ever undertaken by the United Nations.” Pg.102
  • “There is nothing in UNCLOS that explicitly prohibits the possession or transportation of ‘WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials’ by a foreign-flagged vessel.” Pg. 115
  • “‘PSI requires participating countries to act consistent with national legal authorities and relevant international law and frameworks,’ which includes the law reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention.’” Pg. 113
  • “Three major factors should be considered in determining if a PSI interception is permissible under international law: first, the nature of the cargo transferred or transported by the intercepted vessel; second, the location where the interception action takes place; and third, the nationality of the intercepted vessel.” Pg. 114
  • “In order to legally intercept WMD-related cargos, PSI participating countries must present reasonable evidence showing that the WMD-related cargoes are being transferred or transported to and from ‘states and non-state actors of proliferation concern’ and will be used for nonpeaceful purposes.” Pg. 115
  • “An interdiction is legal under UNCLOS if the vessel that is being interdicted flies the flag of the interdicting country or flies the flag of a state that consents to the interdiction.” Pg.118
  • “It would also be legal for a PSI participating country to stop a vessel flying no flags or more than one flag in its national waters or international waters.” Pg. 118
  • “Interdictions can be undertaken in different maritime zones, including internal waters, territorial sea, archipelagic waters, contiguous zone, straits used for international navigations, EEZs, and the high seas.” Pg. 116
  • “There are other international treaties, regimes, and frameworks that can be relied on if interdiction actions against suspect vessels that carry or transport ‘WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials’ to and from ‘states and non-states of proliferation concern’ are necessary.” Pg. 125
  • "The United States maintains that the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles are consistent with the UN Security Resolution 1540, operative paragraph 10 which 'calls upon all States, in accordance with their national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, to take cooperative action to prevent illicit trafficking in nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, their means of delivery, and related materials.'" Pg. 113
  • “The legality of an interdiction action must be examined on a case-by-case basis.” Pg. 122
  • PSI, Law, WMD, Law Enforcement, UNSCR 1540


Khurana, G.S., "Proliferation Security Initiative: An Assessment", Strategic Analysis, Vol. 28, no. 2, 2008.

  • argues that PSI threatens free trade, arbitrary interdictions on the high seas, "based on narrow interests of a few powerful states"
  • PSI as a supplement to other nonproliferation efforts
  • PSI, nonproliferation

Kaliadin, Aleksandr, "In Search of an Effective Coercive Strategy to Deter Weapons of Mass Destruction," Russian Social Science Review, Vol. 49, no. 2, March-April 2008, pp. 77-93.

  • "The PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative) aims at keeping proliferators away from the materials necessary for developing WMDs and their delivery systems by monitoring the trade routes used for proliferation and intercepting suspicious cargoes."
  • "Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), believes that the 'black market' in nuclear technologies and materials has become a reality and exists outside the effective control of either the IAEA or the leading special services."
  • (NPT) does not impose sanctions on member states ...(BWC) also has no statement on sanctions ...(CWC) were not designed to curb proliferation among nonstate structures."
  • "An essential flaw of the nonproliferation treaties is that they stipulate no mechanisms for the physical prevention of the activities they ban."
  • "The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its decision to support the PSI on 31 May 2004, on its first anniversary."
  • "(UNSCR) Resolution 1540, ...helps establish the necessary legal foundations for PSI-related activities. ...its key statements and its messages are in line with PSI's principles."
  • "During the first half of the year (2004) PSI participants conducted ten exercises: five at sea, three in the air, and two on the ground."
  • "The highly sensitive information on which PSI operations must be based will demand a qualitatively new (and unprecedented) level of cooperation between Russian and U.S. state agencies."
  • "Russian ... first greeted the initiative (PSI) with restraint, even with skepticism and distrust." {further discussion on Russian perspective excluded}
  • "Russia faces complex challenges in balancing the requirements to promote WMD nonproliferation against the need to develop the nuclear and other branches of industry that manufacture and export dual-use goods and technologies and to reassess its regional geopolitical interests."
  • "It is vital to Russia's interests that its strategic stability not be undermined by its neighbors acquiring nuclear arms while Russia is reducing its own strategic offensive weapons--for economic and technical reasons, among others."
  • PSI, NPT, BWC, CWC, UNSCR 1540, Dual Use, WMD Russia

Baumgartner, William, "UNCLOS Needed for America's Security", Texas Review of Law & Politics, Spring 2008, Vol. 2 Issue 2, pages 445-451.

  • “With the rising terrorist threats from nonstate actors, the importance of the Law of the Sea Convention has steadily increased.” Pg. 448
  • “Far from impeding PSI, if we accede to the Law of the Sea Convention, it will help our PSI efforts. It will remove the invalid, incorrect, bogus argument that PSI is a renegade regime that flies in the face of international law.” Pg. 451
  • “Our status as a nonparty to the Law of the Sea Convention hobbles our efforts to address these claims in an effective manner.” Pg. 447
  • “The result, if we accede, is that there will be more partners, more intelligence, and more preemptive actions that will help to protect us from serious and significant threats.” Pg. 451
  • “We will lock in important freedom-of-navigation rights and preserve the rights of our military to move freely throughout the world's oceans and airspace.” Pg. 446
  • “We need cooperative partners in an understood framework in order to combat these threats. Leadership in this area is a central element of our strategy for national security and our national strategy for maritime security.” Pg. 448
  • PSI

Moore, John, “UNCLOS Key to Increasing Navigational Freedom”, Texas Review of Law & Politics, Spring 2008, Vol. 12, Issue 2 PG. 459-467.

  • “Nonadherence has reduced the voice of the United States of America, a terribly important voice in the world, and continued nonadherence will further reduce that voice on issues that are critical for us.” Pg. 462
  • “The issue is the entire Convention and our effort to protect the navigational freedom that we have been struggling for, over the past hundred years, and will continue to struggle for, in the next fifty years.” Pg. 464
  • “At stake in that debate was whether the United States was going to insist on all of our navigational rights, transit passage through, over, and under straits used for international navigation, or whether we would accept the advice of some that this was simply a nonnegotiable issue, and we should damp it down.” Pg. 459
  • “The United States prevailed on all of the security provisions of the Convention— security provisions which were very much at stake in the negotiations.” Pg. 460
  • “We fully preserved navigational freedom, including transit passage through, over, and under international straits.” (pg.460)
  • “We extended United States' resource jurisdiction into the oceans in an area larger than the entire land mass of the United States, and we insisted on assured access to seabed minerals for United States' firms.” Pg. 460
  • “This treaty was a great victory for the United States Navy and for navigational freedom and our security interests on the world's oceans.” Pg. 461
  • “The United States was overwhelmingly the leader in this negotiation.” Pg. 460
  • “The Law of the Sea Convention and its negotiation remains one of the seminal negotiating successes of the United States throughout its history.” Pg. 460
  • PSI, U.S. Foreign Policy, Jurisdiction

McNerney, Patricia A., "Conference on Global Perspectives of the Proliferation Landscape: An Assessment of Tools and Policy Problems", M2 PRESSWIRE, June 10, 2008.

  • "WMD's as 'the major security threat of the 21st century.'"
  • "Challenge to get rid of the networks that supply these weapons."
  • "Challenge to interdict."
  • PSI, WMD, UNSCR 1540, Nonproliferation

McNerney, Patricia, "United States Government Nonproliferation Priorities & Asia", STATES NEWS SERVICE, July 1, 2008.

  • "Increased trade in Asia leads to it being a target area for illicit trade."
  • "UNSCR 1540- 'strong global action to deny trade and financial support.'"
  • "PSI- 'to stop shipments of equipment, material, and technology for WMD or delivery systems.'"
  • PSI, UNSCR 1540, Nonproliferation

Hayward, Mary Alice, "Proliferation Paths: Weak States, Rogues, & Actors", SCOOP INDEPENDENT NEWS, July 27, 2008.

  • "Global Threat Reduction Initiative- 'to secure nuclear and radiological materials at civilia sites throughout the world in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists or other rogue actors.'"
  • "UNSCR 1540- criminalizes proliferation, develops 'capacity to fight proliferation.'"
  • PSI, UNSCR 1540, Nonproliferation

Riegel, Ralph and Phelan, Shane, “€500m Shipment Seized In Major 'Sting' Operation”, 7 November 2008, [6] Last Checked 28 October 2010.

  • “A record haul of cocaine worth more than €500m was dramatically seized off the south-west coast yesterday in a sweeping international 'sting' operation.”
  • “The 'sting' -- dubbed Operation Seabight -- had been co-ordinated by four international police forces, including the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in the UK, and involved the yacht 'Dances with Waves' being tracked by satellites all the way across the Atlantic from the Caribbean.”
  • “Three men -- two Britons and a man travelling with Irish identity papers -- were detained after a 60-foot yacht was stopped and boarded around 170 miles off the west Cork coast.”
  • “The yacht was immediately ordered into Castletownbere in West Cork with a Naval Service escort.”
  • “The vessel was due to arrive in the early hours of this morning and will immediately be cordoned off at an isolated pier outside Castletownbere pending a detailed forensic and technical examination.”
  • “The men can now be detained for up to seven days for questioning under drug trafficking regulations.”
  • “Gardai said the operation, which had been ongoing for several weeks, also involved a number of foreign law enforcement agencies and used intelligence gathered by the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (MAOC) in Lisbon.”
  • “Defence Minister Willie O'Dea hailed the seizure last night as a landmark success in the ongoing war against drugs -- and a prime example of inter-service co-operation.”
  • PSI

Martin, Timothy, "Drawing Lines in the Sea", U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, December 2008, Vol. 134 Issue 12, p58-62.

  • “PSI is a cooperative although informal arrangement, without a formal treaty. All states party to this arrangement agreed to the 2003 Statement of Interdiction Principles (SIP), which gives guidance on the interception of vessels under accepted international law as laid out in the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Participating states agree to abide by these principles, but the SIP does not authorize states to conduct interdictions at sea.”
  • “Determining what cargo is ‘reasonably suspected’ is likely to be contestable, as many states reserve the right to ship military, nuclear, and other material by sea, and there is nothing in UNCLOS that specifically prohibits the transport of WMDs through international waters.”
  • “To determine acceptable measures for law enforcement and interdiction in international waters requires that common perceptions exist regarding the level of threat, and that the national interests of states have been considered.”
  • “Vessels registered or flagged to a particular state retain that state's sovereign protection. So when authorities interdict a suspicious vessel, they must pay attention to these limitations, or risk being accused either of violating a foreign state's territorial jurisdiction, or breaching international conventions on freedom of the seas.”
  • “International agreements greatly accelerate the process by which law enforcement officials from one state can board suspect vessels flying the flag of another, especially when the flag state is unable to exercise control over the vessel due to its location or other factors, or maintain contact with suspect vessels entering national waters and airspace.”
  • PSI, Law Enforcement, WMD, Military


National Institute for Public Policy, "The Proliferation Security Initiative: A Model For Future International Collaboration," 2009. Comparative Strategy, Volume 28, no. 5: 395-462.

  • "one of the most important measures of PSI's actual impact is its record of successful interdictions."
  • A former senior US gov't official told the authors that PSI partners had conducted about 50 PSI interdictions--as of 2009
  • BBC China incident -- PSI "ensured that it happened as quickly, smoothly, and effectively as possible."
  • PSI strengths: "enhances participants' awareness of proliferation threat and their commitment to take action against it" , improves information sharing, develops counterproliferation capabilities
  • Jean Francois-Rischard: 4 criteria of success by global issues networks = speed, redefining legitimacy on a global scale, diversity, and compatibility with traditional institutions
  • PSI meets all of these criterion
  • PSI, Nonproliferation, WMD

Lee, Jeo-Hang, "Key Issues of PSI and Recent Developments," THE KOREA HERALD, April 23, 2009.

  • "'PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles' - steps for effectively interdicting WMD shipments."
  • "Proliferation of a WMD deemed a threat to international peace and security."
  • "UNCLOS- UN Convention of the Law of the Sea - 'right of innocent passage' - have the right to sail through territorial seas as long as they carry 'documents and observe precautionary measures detailed in international agreements.'"
  • "Convention for Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation."
  • "Congress suggested in 2007 that 'clear PSI authorities, responsibilities, and structures' be established."
  • PSI, Nonproliferation

Kerr, Simeon, & Morris, Harvey, Financial Times, August 29, 2009, p. 4.

  • “The United Arab Emirates has seized a ship secretly carrying embargoed North Korean arms to Iran, say diplomats.”
  • ” The UAE reported the seizure to the UN sanctions committee responsible for vetting the implementation of measures, including an arms embargo, imposed against North Korea under Security Council resolution 1874…”
  • ” A UN diplomat whose country is represented on the sanctions committee said the UAE reported the ship was carrying 10 containers of weapons and related items, including rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition. He said the consignment had been ordered by Iran's TSS, a company said to be linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and previously subject to international bans on importing weapons-related items.”
  • ” The vessel, identified by diplomats as the Bahamian-flagged ANL-Australia, … The UN sanctions committee has written to the Iranian and North Korean governments pointing out that the shipment puts them in violation of UN resolution 1874.”
  • ”The UN resolution, adopted following North Korea's second nuclear test in May, extended an existing ban on the transfer of heavy weapons and nuclear and missile-related technology to cover all arms exports by Pyongyang.”
  • ” The binding resolution authorises states to seize and dispose of items that break the embargo. The resolution also requires states to report to the committee on what action they are taking to implement sanctions.”
  • ” While most focus is on dual-use technology, diplomats said the clampdown on public dissent after Iran's contested elections had also raised concerns about supplies of arms to state-linked militias.”
  • United Arab Emirates, Iran, North Korea, UNSCR 1874, Dual Use, PSI


Editors, “Gaza Blockade: Iran Offers Escort to Next Aid Convoy”, 6 June 2010, Guardian, [7] Last Checked 26 October 2010.

  • “Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, dismissed a UN proposal for an international commission to investigate last week's commando assault on aid ships, in which nine people died.”
  • “Another aid ship, the Rachel Corrie, carrying Irish and other peace activists, was boarded peacefully by Israeli forces on Saturday, escorted to the port of Ashdod, and its passengers deported.”
  • “Israel's no-compromise attitude to aid convoys could be tested again after two Lebanese organizations pledged to send boats to Gaza in the next few days.”
  • “George Galloway, the founder of Viva Palestina, announced in London that two simultaneous convoys ‘one by land via Egypt and the other by sea’ would set out in September to break the Gaza blockade."
  • “The sea convoy of up to 60 ships will travel around the Mediterranean gathering ships, cargo and volunteers.”
  • “Iran has warned that it could send Revolutionary Guard naval units to escort humanitarian aid convoys seeking to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza– a move that would certainly be challenged by Israel.”
  • “‘Iran's Revolutionary Guard naval forces are prepared to escort the peace and freedom convoys that carry humanitarian assistance for the defenseless and oppressed people of Gaza with all their strength,’ pledged Hojjatoleslam Ali Shirazi.”
  • “Netanyahu has defended Israel's right to maintain the blockade by arguing that without it Gaza would become an "Iranian port" and Hamas missiles would strike Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.”
  • Israel, Iran, Jurisdiction, PSI

Sang-Hun, Choe, “North Korea Seizes South Korean Boat Near Border", 8 August 2010, New York Times [8] Last Checked 28 October 2010.

  • “North Korea seized a South Korean squidding boat in waters near their eastern sea border.”
  • “The South Korean squid ship left Pohang, a port on the east coast of South Korea, on Aug. 1 and was scheduled to return to port on Sept. 10. It made its last daily radio report to the South Korean Coast Guard on Saturday evening.”
  • “The 41-ton boat was believed to have been detained after entering the North’s exclusive economic zone, where foreign fishing boats are banned.”
  • “The boat was being towed to Songjin, a port on the eastern coast of North Korea, for interrogation of the crew. Then the communication was cut off, coast guard officials said.”
  • “Fishing boats from either side have occasionally drifted into the other’s waters, often after engine trouble. How fast they were released often depended on the tenor of bilateral relations at the time.”
  • PSI, Jurisdiction South Korea, North Korea

Muzinich, Justin, “The Nuke in the Cargo Hold”, Policy Review, August & September 2010, Issue 162, pages 83-92.

  • “The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the primary treaty governing the oceans. It gives every state control of the seas extending twelve miles from its coast, and the water beyond this is considered the ‘high seas,’ or international waters.” Pg. 84
  • “The treaty establishes what is known as flag-state sovereignty. This means that only a state whose flag on a ship is flying can interdict that ship in international water.” Pg. 84
  • “Historical context reveals that commerce has been a key reason for flag-state sovereignty’s emergence; it is therefore important to consider whether commerce will be damaged by nonproliferation goals.” Pg. 87
  • “Neither the PSI nor the ship-boarding agreements that have followed it allow any action that violates UNCLOS’s dictate of flag-state sovereignty.” Pg. 85
  • “A nonconsensual interdiction on the high seas would be a direct affront to a specific country. Wars have been fought over similar acts. The risk of escalation on an individual interdiction into war is a serious one, and must be factored heavily into the calculus of decision-makers.” Pg. 89-90
  • “The law of the sea treats a ship on the high seas as if it were part of a state’s physical territory, a sort of floating embassy.” Pg. 84
  • “Those who sign UN resolutions, join PSI, and consent to inspection of their ships are those already committed to nonproliferation. But it is the countries that remain outside these agreements that are the most likely proliferators.” Pg. 86
  • “International law does not match international rhetoric, doing little to restrain the countries that matter most.” Pg. 86
  • PSI, Jurisdiction

Editors, "Experts Meet Ahead of Naval Drills in S. Korea", 13 October 2010, Washington Times, [9] Last Checked 13 October 2010

  • “South Korea launched its participation Wednesday in a U.S.-led coalition to intercept ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction, risking the anger of rival North Korea, one of the countries targeted by the program.”
  • “Seoul said last year it was joining the maritime web after the North conducted its second atomic test.”
  • “South Korea was hosting a seminar Wednesday among 15 participating nations in the southeastern city of Busan, to be followed Thursday with naval interdiction drills involving South Korea, the United States, Australia and Japan in international waters between South Korea and Japan.”
  • “The drills also come amid lingering tension on the divided Korean peninsula following the deadly sinking in March of a South Korean warship blamed on Pyongyang.”
  • “North Korea long has warned it would consider Seoul's participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative as a declaration of war against the North.”
  • PSI, South Korea, North Korea, WMD

Editors, "U.S., Jordan Commence Operations to Prevent Nuclear Smuggling at Port of Aqaba" 4 November 2010, National Nuclear Security Administration[10] Last Checked 11 November 2010

  • "The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the successful installation and commencement of operations of radiation detection equipment at the Port of Aqaba in Jordan."
  • "The specialized equipment, which scans loaded sea containers moving through the terminal for the presence of potentially dangerous nuclear and other radioactive materials, was installed as part of NNSA's Megaports Initiative in partnership with the Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission (JNRC)."
  • "NNSA has now equipped more than one-third of its goal of 100 large seaports worldwide."
  • '“Our partnership at the Port of Aqaba underscores a continued, shared commitment to combat the illicit transfer of nuclear and other radioactive material,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “With the start of operations at this port, we have now successfully installed detection equipment at one-third of the largest ports in the world, bringing us one step closer to implementing President Obama’s nuclear security agenda.”'
  • PSI, Nuclear, WMD

Reuters, “Iran and Nigeria Discuss Seized Weapons”, 11 November 2010, New York Times [11] Last Checked 13 November 2010.

  • “Iran’s foreign minister flew to Nigeria on Thursday to discuss an arms shipment that was seized by Nigerian officials last month and that diplomats have said could put Iran in breach of United Nations sanctions.”
  • “Nigeria’s secret service intercepted the shipment two weeks ago and found that it contained rockets and other explosives.”
  • “The weapons were in containers that were labeled as construction materials and had been loaded in Iran by a local trader who did not appear on any sanctions list, a shipping group based in France.”
  • “Security experts said the heavy rockets could have been intended for the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”
  • “The weapons may have been destined for Hamas and that the Iranians may have been testing a new smuggling route.”
  • “Nigeria’s secret service said Wednesday that it had been monitoring the movement of the cargo before it entered Lagos in July and that there was no question that Nigeria had been the intended destination.”
  • “Iran would appear to be in breach of the sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council, which forbids Iran from exporting any weapons directly or indirectly that were originally loaded on its territory.”
  • “But the diplomats said it was difficult to assess the specifics about the shipment seized in Nigeria, because that country had not yet notified the Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee about the seizure.”
  • PSI, Jurisdiction, Law Enforcement

Editors, “North Korean Uranium Plant Stokes Proliferation Worries”, 24 Wednesday 2010, Global Security Newswire [12] Last Checked 26 November 2010.

  • “It is believed that Pyongyang -- further impoverished by international sanctions and in need of money -- might try to support Iran's nuclear program as the Gulf state has apparently encountered technical hurdles in its enrichment of uranium.”
  • “In recent years, multiple North Korean-origin weapon shipments have been seized en route to Iran.”
  • “North Korea and Iran have deepened their military ties and have cooperated in the creation of new missiles, conventional weapons and submarines.”
  • “Pyongyang might have used China -- North Korea's historic ally and main economic benefactor -- as a midshipment location for acquiring prohibited enrichment machinery, the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security said in an October report.”
  • “Nothing suggests Beijing is ‘secretly approving or willfully ignoring exports’ that would bolster the North's military nuclear effort, according to the report."
  • “London-based proliferation specialist Mark Fitzpatrick said private Chinese citizens and companies are more likely than the government to have supported Pyongyang's equipment procurement efforts.”
  • “A high-ranking U.S. official said Washington is aware of the North's potential for nuclear proliferation, but asserted that heightened U.N. Security Council measures have greatly constrained the aspiring nuclear power's capacity to move prohibited goods to outside buyers.”
  • PSI, Nuclear, North Korea, Iran, China

Pomfret, John “U.S. Asked China to Stop Missile Parts Shipment to Iran”, 29 November 2010, Washington Post [13] Last Checked 1 December 2010.

  • “U.S. officials have long accused China of failing to crack down on proliferation activities that occur on its territory.”
  • “For decades, China was a major proliferator of missiles itself, but that activity seemed to slow in the 1990s under U.S. pressure.”
  • “The United States asked China in 2007 to stop a shipment of ballistic missile parts going from North Korea to Iran through Beijing and indicated that the U.S. government was fed up with China's unwillingness to crack down on such trade, according to reports Sunday based on U.S. diplomatic cables.”
  • “Another cable highlighted U.S. concern this year that Chinese firms were supplying North Korea with precursors for chemical weapons - in what would be a violation of U.N. sanctions.”
  • “In May, Clinton said the United States was concerned that exports by named Chinese firms ‘could be used for or diverted to a CW [chemical weapons] program.’”
  • “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton continued to pressure China on proliferation issues, this time because it was apparently turning a blind eye to its own companies.”
  • “China passed export control laws, but Beijing has rarely, according to U.S. officials and the cables revealed Sunday, actively worked to stop proliferation from occurring on its territory.”
  • PSI, Nonproliferation, China, North Korea, Iran, Chemical

Broad, William; Glanz, James; Sanger, David; Lehren, Andrew “Iran Fortifies Its Arsenal With the Aid of North Korea”, 28 November 2010, NYTimes [14] Last Checked 2 December 2010.

  • “Secret American intelligence assessments have concluded that Iran has obtained a cache of advanced missiles, based on a Russian design, that are much more powerful than anything Washington has publicly conceded that Tehran has in its arsenal, diplomatic cables show.”
  • “Fragmentary reports surfaced that North Korea might have sold Iran missiles based on a Russian design called the R-27, once used aboard Soviet submarines to carry nuclear warheads.”
  • “The North Korean version of the advanced missile, known as the BM-25, could carry a nuclear warhead.”
  • “Intelligence agencies believe that the complete shipment indeed took place, and that Iran is taking pains to master the technology in an attempt to build a new generation of missiles.”
  • “The cables say that Iran not only obtained the BM-25, but also saw the advanced technology as a way to learn how to design and build a new class of more powerful engines.”
  • “Many arms control experts concluded that isolated components made their way to Iran, but there has been little support for the idea that complete missiles, with their huge thrusters, had been secretly shipped.”
  • “The missile intelligence also suggests far deeper military — and perhaps nuclear — cooperation between North Korea and Iran than was previously known.”
  • PSI, Nuclear, North Korea, Iran

Katz, Lee, “Counterproliferation Program Gains Traction, But Results Remain a Mystery”, 10 December 2010, Global Security Newswire [15], Last Checked 10 December 2010.

  • “The U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative has recently gained key allied help in the ongoing battle to curb North Korea and other would-be proliferators. However, details of its contribution to the global effort to stem the spread of weapons of mass destruction remain a closely held secret.”
  • “South Korea has stepped up its participation to become a major partner in the initiative.”
  • “October PSI naval exercises in South Korean waters along with a conference last month in the critical region have bolstered the program’s efforts to deter or intercept the illicit movement of unconventional weapons. The situation has so rattled North Korea that the regime warned any actual interception of one of its ships would be considered an act of war.”
  • “Still, critics say that some vital nations, including China, a major power that has been linked to WMD material proliferation, are absent from the program.”
  • “Beijing fears that signing on to the program would imply ‘you would allow the U.S. to undertake such actions as necessary in your waters. And that’s the last thing that China wants.’”
  • “China says its refusal to participate is based on the fact that it considers PSI interdictions illegal under international law.”
  • “While President Obama has taken a different approach on nuclear and other issues than his predecessor, both the Obama and Bush administrations have promoted the Proliferation Security Initiative as a way to globalize the fight against WMD proliferation.”
  • “Obama administration officials say the Proliferation Security Initiative is part of a global effort that includes U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540, aimed at denying terrorists access to WMD materials. There is an active Resolution 1540 committee at the United Nations to monitor nonproliferation efforts.”
  • “The Obama administration’s aim is to make the program ‘an enduring effort’ without adding an international bureaucracy, according to the Pentagon official. ‘There’s a need to maintain the voluntary and flexible nature of what everybody signed up to,’ he said, ‘while providing some leadership.’”
  • “Of the PSI participants, 21 member states form the core of the organization called the Operational Experts Group. These include: Australia, France, Japan, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and United States. South Korea joined the leadership group last month, adding impetus to an experts group meeting in Japan.”
  • “A joint report by the Defense and State departments to Congress obtained by Global Security Newswire says ‘the U.S. government anticipates participating in seven to 12 U.S.-hosted and foreign hosted’ PSI-related exercises in fiscal 2011-2013.”
  • “By having nations practice seizing material, PSI exercises such as the recent trials in South Korea can hold value for future WMD challenges. ‘These guys get out there and work together,’ Joseph said. ‘You have Australian and Japanese and now South Korean vessels working alongside American ships. You build important and lasting relationships that way.’”
  • “Yet the initiative's actual effectiveness and cost of is hard to measure. The clandestine nature of actual PSI operations along with its loose organization makes it hard for even its supporters to point to actual results or specific dollar costs.”
  • “With caveats on the difficulty of pinning down actual costs, the report projects PSI spending at slightly less than $1 million dollars annually. Projected spending ranges from $900,000 to $996,000 per year from fiscal 2011 to 2013.”
  • “‘Quite frankly, there’s no single budget line for PSI,’ said a Pentagon official. ‘A lot of the activities … are sort of integrated with other budgets.’”
  • PSI, WMD, UNSCR 1540, South Korea, China, North Korea

Gordon, Michael and Lehren, Andrew, “U.S. Strains to Stop Arms Flow”, 6 December 2010, NYT [16] Last Checked 12 December 2010.

  • “Just a week after President Bashar al-Assad of Syria assured a top State Department official that his government was not sending sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah, the Obama administration lodged a confidential protest accusing Syria of doing precisely what it had denied doing.”
  • “Wielding surveillance photos and sales contracts, American diplomats have confronted foreign governments about shadowy front companies, secretive banks and shippers around the globe.”
  • “American officials have tried to block a Serbian black marketer from selling sniper rifles to Yemen. They have sought to disrupt the sale of Chinese missile technology to Pakistan, the cables show, and questioned Indian officials about chemical industry exports that could be used to make poison gas.”
  • “American diplomats have repeatedly expressed concern that huge cargo planes operated by Badr Airlines of Sudan were flying weapons from Tehran to Khartoum, Sudan, where they were shipped to Hamas, the militant group in Gaza.”
  • “Sudan insisted that the cargo was farm equipment, but the United States asked countries in the region to deny overflight rights to the airlines. Jordan and several other countries agreed, but Yemen declined.”
  • “Iran not only was providing $25 million a month to support Hamas but also was linked to a Hezbollah cell trying to smuggle arms from Gaza into Egypt.”
  • “North Korea has abetted the arms race in the Middle East by providing missile technology to Iran and Syria, which then backed Hamas and Hezbollah.”
  • “North Korea’s arms industry has conducted many of its transactions through the Korea Mining and Development Corporation, relied on suppliers of machinery and steel from countries including Switzerland, Japan, China and Taiwan, passed money through Chinese and Hong Kong banks and sold weapons to other countries.”
  • “The newly fortified Hezbollah has raised fears that any future conflict with Israel could erupt into a full-scale regional war.”
  • “To disrupt the transactions, American officials have prodded and protested. Diplomats raised questions in the spring of 2009, for example, about planned purchases from North Korea of rocket launchers by Sri Lanka and Scud missile launchers by Yemen.”
  • “The Syrian episode offers a glimpse of the United States’ efforts to prevent buildups of arms — including Scud missiles, Soviet-era tanks and antiaircraft weapons — in some of the world’s tensest regions.”
  • PSI, U.S. Foreign Policy, Israel, North Korea, China, Iran

Editors, “Obama Presses China to Curb North Korea”, 6 December 2010, Global Security Newswire[17] Last Checked 23 December 2010.

  • “The United States has stepped up criticism of Chinese policy toward North Korea.”
  • “Obama administration officials in recent meetings have criticized Chinese representatives for ignoring North Korea's flouting of U.N. Security Council resolutions, global commitments and the 1953 armistice agreement with South Korea.”
  • “Beijing is ‘enabling’ the aspiring nuclear power's work on uranium enrichment and its military strikes on South Korea.”
  • “An early version of a joint statement from today's trilateral meeting would have the three nations denounce the artillery strike and call on Beijing to pressure Pyongyang to meet ‘responsibilities that had been set in the six-party talks.’”
  • “U.S. Secretary of State Clinton on Friday voiced worries that the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran could lead to arms buildups in their respective regions.”
  • U.S. Foreign Policy, Nuclear, PSI, China, North Korea


Nikitin, Mary, “Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)”, 18 January 2011, Congressional Research Service.

  • “Requirements for participation appear to be fairly weak. This language may have been in part a result of early resistance to the idea of PSI in the international community, in particular hesitancy over sovereignty and free passage issues, as well as U.S. policymakers’ intention to keep the arrangement informal and nonbinding.” Pg. 2
  • “When a merchant ship registers under a foreign flag to avoid taxes, save on wages or avoid government restrictions, it is called a flag of convenience (FOC).” Pg. 3
  • “FOCs are of particular concern for proliferation reasons because of looser government regulations over their shipments and the case with which ships can switch from one registry to another to avoid trafficking.” Pg. 3-4
  • “Cargos can be seized in ports if they violate the host state’s laws, hence the focus on strengthening domestic laws.” Pg. 4
  • “The boarding agreements may allow for boarding, but not necessarily cargo seizure.” Pg. 4
  • “A key gap in the PSI framework is that it applies only to commercial, not government, transportation. Government vehicles (ships, planes, trucks, etc.) cannot legally be interdicted.” Pg. 4
  • “The Joint Chiefs argued for ratification, explaining that the convention (UNCLOS) ‘codifies navigation and over flight rights and high seas freedoms that are essential for the global mobility of our armed forces.’” Pg. 6
  • “Another focus for PSI has been the targeting of proliferation finance. On June 23, 2006, 66 PSI states participated in a High Level Political Meeting in Poland, which focused on developing closer ties with the business community to further prevent any financial support to the proliferation of WMD.” Pg. 5
  • “The 2005 Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA) would require states to criminalize transportation of WMD materials and their delivery vehicles. This protocol also ‘creates a ship boarding regime based on flag state consent similar to agreements that the United States has concluded bilaterally as part of the Proliferation Security Initiative.'” Pg. 6
  • “U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540, passed in April 2004, requires all states to establish and enforce effective domestic controls over WMD and WMD-related materials in production, use, storage, and transport; to maintain effective border controls; and to develop national export and trans-shipment controls over such items, all of which should help interdiction efforts.” Pg. 6
  • “While UNSCR 1540 was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the resolution did not provide any enforcement authority, nor did it specifically mention interdiction or PSI. Early drafts of the resolution put forward by the United States had included explicit language calling on states to interdict if necessary shipments related to WMD. However, over China’s objections, the word ‘interdict’ was removed and was changed to ‘take cooperative action to prevent illicit trafficking’ in WMD.” Pg. 6
  • “UN Security Council 1874 does establish procedures for the required interdiction of WMD and other weapons going to or from North Korea. The PSI mechanism may assist countries in coordinating these actions.” Pg. 6
  • “The State Department has said that participating in PSI is a way for states to comply with their obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1737, 1747, 1803, and 1540.” Pg. 6
  • PSI, WMD, State Department

Kershner, Isabel, “Israeli Panel Rules Flotilla Raid Legal”, 23 January 2011, New York Times [18] Last Checked 24 January 2011.

  • “An Israeli commission that examined the deadly raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza last May concluded Sunday that Israel had acted in accordance with international law when its military enforced its naval blockade by intercepting the ships in international waters.”
  • “The commission found that Israeli soldiers had acted ‘professionally and in a measured manner in the face of extensive and unanticipated violence.’”
  • “Israel imposed its maritime blockade on Gaza in January 2009 during its military offensive against Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza. The commission justified the blockade on security grounds, citing a need ‘to prevent weapons, terrorists and money from entering the Gaza Strip, and the need to prevent the departure of terrorists.’”
  • “The commission rejected arguments that the blockade, together with the restrictions on movement through the overland crossings, constituted collective punishment of Gaza’s population, saying that Israel let in goods ‘essential for the survival of the civilian population.’”
  • “The part of the report published Sunday dealt with the legality of the blockade and its enforcement. It is to be presented to a United Nations panel formed to look into the raid. A second part, dealing with Israel’s mechanism for investigating complaints and claims, will be published later.”
  • “Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a statement saying that the conclusions ‘prove that Israel is a law-abiding country that is capable of examining itself and that respects the norms and rules of the international system.’”
  • PSI, Israel

Gertz, Bill, “Chinese Firm Tied to Steel Used in Iran Nukes”, 23 January 2011, Washington Times [19] Last Checked 27 January 2010.

  • “The State Department in 2009 sought the Chinese government’s help in blocking a sale to Iran of 25 tons of specialty steel for Tehran's defense industry to be used in building nuclear-related centrifuges, according to a classified department cable.”
  • “‘The steel was to be partially machined in order to disguise it as mechanical parts in order to evade Chinese customs officials,’ the cable said, noting that the export was controlled by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an international organization that seeks to limit exports of products that can be used in nuclear-weapons development.”
  • “‘Although the solid maraging steel rods described previously are not explicitly controlled [on international agreement] lists, the circumstances surrounding this case, i.e., deceptive practices involving a proscribed entity and prospects for further deals between the parties, suggest that the transfer of this material would be inconsistent with China’s obligations under UNSCR 1737.’”
  • “The Iranians involved were ‘linked to Iran’s DIO’ that was sanctioned under U.N. Security Council resolutions (UNSCR).”
  • “The company also was charged with selling Iran tungsten used in missile parts, graphite cylinders used in centrifuges and other nuclear arms uses, and high-strength aluminum also used in manufacturing centrifuges.”
  • “A CIA report to Congress last year said Chinese companies, both state-owned and private, continued in 2009 to sell weapons-of-mass-destruction goods to Iran.”
  • “China also covertly sold to Pakistan in 1996 specialty ring magnets that U.S. officials later determined were used in the core of that country's nuclear weapons program, specifically its centrifuges that spin uranium gas into highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.”
  • “‘What this shows is that China has been a consistent problem in U.S. efforts to tighten the noose around Iran’s nuclear program,’ said Gary Milhollin, head of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control. ‘Chinese companies have been a conduit for goods going to Iran.’”
  • State Department, PSI, Nuclear, China, Iran, Pakistan

Peckler, Nedra, "Iranian Man Accused of Illegal Metal Exports", 1 February 2011, Washington Times [20] Last Checked 1 February 2011.

  • “U.S. authorities announced Tuesday that they have charged an Iranian businessman who they say acted as a ‘lifeline’ to his country's missile program by smuggling metals and other vital materials from the United States in violation of a trade embargo.”
  • “Federal officials said Mr. Jafari ran businesses in Istanbul and Tehran that would buy metals like steel and aluminum alloy from U.S. companies and export them through Turkey to hide their true destination, since exports to Iran are prohibited without authorization from the Treasury Department.”
  • “The Treasury Department on Tuesday designated the six individuals and five companies in the Jafari network as proliferators of weapons of mass destruction which freezes their assets in the United States in an attempt to isolate them from doing further business in this country.”
  • “‘The Jafari network has established itself as a lifeline for Iran’s missile program by providing essential materials and support for AIO,’ said Stuart Levey, Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.”
  • Export Control, PSI, Iran, Nuclear

Editors, “U.S. Fears Chinese Firms Selling WMD Materials to Iran, North Korea”, 3 February 2011, Global Security Newswire [21] Last Checked 5 February 2011.

  • “Recently leaked U.S. cables detail Washington's worries that Chinese firms in recent years had exported goods to Iran that could be used to produce weapons of mass destruction.”
  • “U.S. intelligence believed a Chinese branch of a German company had provided Iran with a test chamber usable in missile development.”
  • “The United States also urged China to look into a possible shipment to North Korea of material usable in chemical warfare materials.”
  • “Israeli intelligence officials were also worried that French car companies could unknowingly assist Iran's WMD production program.”
  • “China insisted that a shipment of weapon-sensitive sodium sulfide was bound for Armenia, despite open-source indications that the material was being delivered to Iran.”
  • “The Bush administration was sufficiently worried that Chinese weapons and equipment were reaching Iran that the State Department in September 2008 launched a concerted diplomatic campaign to press Beijing to better administer controls on weapon sales to Tehran.”
  • “The United States provided information to Italy, Spain and six other ‘key allies’ in order to ‘persuade China to enforce its export control laws more effectively’ and to ‘aggressively implement’ U.N. Security Council resolutions on trade in weapons and related goods.”
  • PSI, Export Control, China, Iran, North Korea, WMD

Lavie, Mark, “Israel: Iranian Naval Vessels are Provocation”, 22 February 2011, Associated Press [22] Last Checked 22 February 2011.

  • “Two Iranian warships sailed from the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean.”
  • “The ships paid about $300,000 in fees for the canal passage.”
  • “The Iranian ships are headed for a training mission in Syria, an arch foe of Israel.”
  • “Despite the strong language, Israel was seen as unlikely to take action against the vessels.”
  • “The vessels headed toward Syria, but were expected to remain in international waters as they passed the Israeli coast.”
  • “Israeli security officials said that as long as the ships remain in international waters, there is nothing Israel can legally do.”
  • “Egypt is the gatekeeper of the strategic canal which links the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.”
  • “Egypt's new military rulers, who took power from ousted President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11, appeared to have no choice but to allow the passage.”
  • “An international convention regulating shipping says the canal must be open ‘to every vessel of commerce or of war.’”
  • “Iranian warships have not passed through the Suez Canal since 1979.”
  • “In sending warships to the Mediterranean now, Iran was asserting itself as a regional power and testing whether Egypt's new rulers will stick to the pro-Western line of the Mubarak government.”
  • “The voyage also signals that Iran is ready to come to the aid of regional allies, including Syria and Iranian proxies Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
  • PSI, Jurisdiction, Iran, Israel

Heller, Aron, “Israeli Navy Intercepts Egypt-Bound Ship With Arms” 15 March 2011 Associated Press [23] Last Checked 15 March 2011.

  • “Israel said Tuesday it seized a cargo ship loaded with weapons sent by Iran to Palestinian militants in Gaza, including sophisticated land-to-sea missiles that officials said could change the balance of power in the area.”
  • “Investigators had found between two and four Chinese-made C-704 missiles, which land-based forces can use to attack ships.”
  • “Iran is known to possess these weapons, the shipment included instruction manuals in Farsi and there were other clues that 'explicitly' showed Iranian involvement.”
  • “Such weaponry could impede Israel's ability to enforce its naval blockade of Gaza, which it imposed after Hamas took power in 2007.”
  • “The military said the ‘Victoria’ initially departed from the Syrian port of Latakia before proceeding to Mercin in Turkey. It was headed for the port of Alexandria in Egypt when it was intercepted, some 200 miles (320 kilometers) off Israel's Mediterranean coast.”
  • “Hamas routinely has arms shipments delivered to Egypt, and then smuggled across the largely lawless Sinai peninsula into neighboring Gaza through a vast network of tunnels under the 9-mile (15-kilometer) border.”
  • “Israel said there were no signs that Turkey or Egypt were involved in the arms shipment.”
  • “Netanyahu said he ordered the naval takeover overnight after receiving intelligence about the shipment. ‘The only certain thing is the source of the weaponry was Iran, and there was a Syrian relay station as well,’ he said.”
  • “Images the military released showed mortars and other arms among stacks of munition boxes. It also released video footage showing an Israeli commander informing the Victoria's captain that the ship was suspected of carrying arms. The captain immediately gave the go-ahead for troops to board for inspection. Additional video showed the commandos ascending a ladder to the deck.”
  • “The Victoria is German-owned, operated by a French shipping company and was sailing under a Liberian flag, the Israeli military said. German, French and Liberian authorities were notified of the seizure.”
  • “Although the ship was intercepted outside of Israel's territorial waters, maritime law entitles Israel to search any merchant vessel it has reason to believe is carrying contraband to support Hamas, said Benjamin David, a former high-ranking officer in the military's legal department.”
  • “The captured ship, the ‘Victoria,’ was being towed into Israel, and further details on its contents were expected to be released after it reached port late Tuesday."
  • “The operation was reminiscent of the November 2009 Israeli takeover of the Iranian Francop vessel off the coast of Cyprus. Israel captured hundreds of tons of rockets, missiles, mortars, grenades and anti-tank weapons on board which it said were headed to Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon."
  • “In 2001 and 2002, Israel seized ships carrying tons of weapons it said were intended for Palestinian militants.”
  • PSI, Israel, Iran

Editors, “Seized Sensitive Cargo Was Bound For Iran, Malaysia Says” 18 March 2011, Global Security Newswire [24] Last Checked 22 March 2011.

  • “Malaysia on Friday revealed that two seized cargo containers filled with technology that could have been employed to build nuclear weapons were bound for Iran.”
  • “Under a 2010 law that prohibits the illicit import or export of WMD-related materials, local police moved two weeks ago to confiscate the two containers from a Malaysian-registered ship docked at Port Klang.”
  • “The seized components were a stainless steel holding tank and two agitating mixer devices.”
  • “Investigators determined the equipment fell under the list of controlled goods that require special government dispensation for shipment abroad.”
  • “National police chief Ismail Omar said the vessel was sailing from China to Tehran.”
  • “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday the international community needs to make sure Iran understands it would be subject to ‘credible military action’ should sanctions fail in stopping Tehran's contested atomic activities.”
  • PSI, Jurisdiction

Editors, “Malaysia Seen as Possible WMD Transport Hub” 22 March 2011, Global Security Newswire [25] Last Checked 22 March 2011.

  • “Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on Monday said his country was probably used as a midshipment point for the illicit movement of WMD materials.”
  • “Malaysia is likely being used as a transit point and not as a destination point for WMD.”
  • “Kuala Lumpur has been criticized in the past for an absence of export control regulations that allowed smugglers to use Malaysia as a transit point in the shipment of WMD technology to nations such as North Korea, Iran and Libya."
  • “A strategic trade law passed last year was intended to address the concern by setting significant financial penalties and jail sentences for traffickers.”
  • PSI

Editors, “U.N. Presses Countries to Enact Anti-WMD Measures”, 21 April 2011, GSN [26], Last Checked 21 April 2011.

  • “A U.N. Security Council measure adopted without dissent on Wednesday presses governments to comply with a 2004 resolution demanding domestic efforts to prevent ‘nonstate actors’ from obtaining weapons of mass destruction.”
  • “The Wednesday declaration renews for one decade the authorization for the Security Council panel charged with overseeing execution of Resolution 1540.”
  • “The body aids governments in preparing relevant legislation, overseeing security for potential WMD ingredients and guarding against their transfer to other states, and bolstering police measures and protective efforts at border crossings.”
  • “The 2004 resolution requires U.N. states to enact domestic measures to prevent rogue actors from producing, obtaining, or moving weapons of mass destruction, associated goods and their delivery systems.”
  • “Wednesday's Resolution 1977 ‘sharpens the tools’ of the 1540 implementation panel.”
  • “The mandate, originally scheduled to lapse on Monday, is now set to remain in effect through April 25, 2021.”
  • “All 192 U.N. member nations should meet the requirements of Resolution 1540, and governments that have not submitted a declaration on their efforts to comply with measure should take the step ‘without delay,’ the Security Council stated.”
  • “The White House praised the Wednesday resolution and noted a $3 million Obama administration pledge to support committee activities.”
  • UNSCR 1540, Law, Nonproliferation, WMD, PSI

Editors, “North Korea Selling Missiles in Asia, Middle East: U.N. Report” 17 May 2011, Global Security Newswire [27] Last Checked 19 May 2011.

  • “North Korea has continued efforts to sell ballistic missiles, their parts and related systems to multiple entities in South Asia and the Middle East, an expert report sent to the U.N. Security Council on Friday said.”
  • “Security Council sanctions passed in the wake of the aspiring nuclear power's 2006 and 2009 nuclear-weapon tests have left Pyongyang badly in need of funds.”
  • “‘In an effort to get hard currency and advance its own programs, the country has been actively engaged in the export of complete (missile) systems, components and technology to numerous customers in the Middle East and South Asia,’ the expert report says.”
  • “The North is likely to have swapped missile technology with Iran."
  • “‘The country has also continued to defy the bans on imports and exports of nuclear-related items, of conventional arms and of luxury goods,’ the panel wrote.”
  • “Pyongyang, however, has taken advantage of gaps and weaknesses in international transportation and cargo regimes to move its weapon to customers.”
  • “The North has grown more proficient in setting up fraudulent firms and offshore banking operations, and in employing many different fake names to cloak the identities of blacklisted firms and officials, the report says.”
  • “While international sanctions have not blocked all of North Korea's nuclear development and weapons sales, ‘they have made it more difficult and expensive for the country to pursue these,’ according to the report.”
  • North Korea, Nonproliferation, PSI

Editors, “China Holds Up Report on North Korean Proliferation” 18 May 2011, Global Security Newswire [28] Last Checked 19 May 2011.

  • “China on Tuesday prevented the release of an expert report to the U.N. Security Council asserting that North Korea has routinely exchanged ballistic missile equipment with Iran.”
  • “The expert report said an unidentified third country bordering North Korea was acting as a midshipment point for North Korean-Iranian missile commerce. Multiple anonymous envoys said that country was China.”
  • “Should the expert panel's assertions be correct, it would add weight to Western worries that Beijing has not assigned adequate resources to spotting and blocking North Korean proliferation activities.”
  • “Western diplomats at a Tuesday Security Council discussion of the expert report said they worried about gaps in the U.N. sanctions regime against North Korea.”
  • “Security Council states from Europe have said they would back adding more North Korean organizations and individuals to the sanctions list.”
  • Nonproliferation, PSI, China, North Korea

Editors, “China Ignoring Pleas to Halt Missile Tech Exports, U.S. Cable Says” 2 June 2011, Global Security Newswire [29], Last Checked 15 June 2011.

  • “A recently leaked U.S. diplomatic memo highlights China's longstanding history of shrugging off U.S. requests to block export of missile-related parts and technology by domestic entities”
  • “Since March 2008, the U.S. has provided Chinese officials with information regarding a number of cases of missile-related proliferation concern.”
  • “The memo, released by the transparency organization WikiLeaks, seemed aimed at tactfully extracting a reason from Beijing regarding its unresponsiveness on nine incidents cited by Washington of Chinese state-managed firms providing U.S. antagonists and other states with materials that could be used in missile or nuclear-weapon programs.”
  • “A U.N. report sent last month to the Security Council committee monitoring the implementation of sanctions against North Korea stated that illegal North Korean-Iranian missile parts trade was taking place through an unidentified third nation that borders the North.”
  • “Multiple anonymous diplomats identified that country as China.”
  • PSI, Export Control, China

Editors, “U.S. Blocked North Korean Missile Parts Shipment to Myanmar” 13 June 2011, Global Security Newswire[30] Last Checked 13 June 2011.

  • “A North Korean vessel believed to be transporting an illicit cargo of missile components to Myanmar was intercepted two weeks ago by U.S. naval forces.”
  • “International sanctions passed against North Korea following its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests outlaw all atomic and missile technology-related commerce with the Stalinist state.”
  • “A 2010 U.N. Security Council resolution makes it lawful for U.N. member nations to search North Korean cargo shipped by land, air or sea.”
  • “The destroyer USS McCampbell intercepted the cargo vessel M/V Light, which was registered in Belize, on May 26 in waters south of Shanghai.”
  • “U.S. officials had earlier begun monitoring the ship, which is suspected to have conducted other illicit cargo trips. The U.S. warship requested permission to send personnel to the cargo vessel under jurisdiction provided by Belize but was refused.”
  • "'This case had an interesting wrinkle: the ship was North Korean, but it was flagged in Belize,' one U.S. official said."
  • “Belize is a participant of the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, whose members agree to exchange information and take action to interdict unconventional weapons and related materials before they can reach rogue states and terrorist organizations.”
  • “Obama administration officials said the Belize government authorized the U.S. Navy to search the North Korean ship.”
  • “The Obama administration, though, decided not to force the issue, worried that a skirmish could have spiraling repercussions for security on the Korean Peninsula, an official said. The lack of hard evidence the ship was transporting missile parts also factored into the decision.”
  • “The North Korean ship was made to sail back to its home port following a maritime impasse and diplomatic prodding by the United States and Asian countries that stretched over multiple days.”
  • “In 2010, another cargo ship presumed to be carrying North Korean missile components was able to make it Myanmar before the United States could take action. Even under heightened U.N. sanctions, Pyongyang is still believed to be evading some international controls and selling its missile technology to nations such as Iran.”
  • PSI

Editors, "Finnish experts suspect that Arctic Sea carried raw materials for chemical warfare", 16 October 2011, Helsingin Sanomat, [31] Last Checked 8 November 2011.

  • "The Finnish freighter, the Arctic Sea, which was hijacked in 2009 while en route from Finland to Algeria, is likely to have been carrying raw materials for use in chemical warfare, according to two Finnish crisis security experts, Timo Hellenberg and Pekka Visuri."
  • "he Finnish ship was captured in the Baltic as it was carrying a load of Finnish lumber to Algeria. The Russian Navy captured the ship off the west coast of Africa after it had been in the hands of the hijackers for nearly a month. The hijackers were brought to trial and sentenced, but many questions remained."
  • "Visuri and Hellenberg now believe that the ship was empty when it arrived in the Finnish port city of Pietarsaari to take on the cargo of wood. It is their theory that material that could be used in nuclear technology or in chemical and biological weaponry may have been loaded onto the ship at sea in Swedish waters."
  • "The action was the work of professional criminals, and the probable destination of the goods was the Middle East."
  • "The Finnish government at the time did not get wind of the hijacking until four days after the event, says Risto Volanen, who served as Secretary of State to the government of then-Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre). The online edition of Helsingin Sanomat was the first to report the news of the hijacking. The police did not inform the country’s leaders about the incident because it is not legally required to do so, Volanen says."
  • "Hellenberg and Visuri do not believe that the ship would have carried heavy anti-aircraft missiles, as has been suggested; such weapons would not have fit in the ship because it was full of lumber loaded in Finland. The researchers do not believe that the Russian government would have been involved, simply because it would have had easier ways of delivering such goods."
  • "In a book scheduled for publication in the coming week - Myrskyn silmässä – Suomi ja uudet kriisit (“In the Eye of the Storm – Finland and New Crises”), Hellenberg, Visuri, Volanen, and Ambassador Heikki Talvitie examine a number of cases that have tested Finnish crisis management capability."
  • PSI, Chemical, Bioterrorism

Gertz, Bill, “Inside the Ring: Sea Law Treaty Push,” 27 July 2011, Washington Times [32] Last Checked 27 July 2011.

  • “The Obama administration and Sen. John F. Kerry are pushing for Senate ratification of the controversial Law of the Sea Treaty amid heightened tensions over Chinese maritime aggressiveness stemming from the 1982 pact.”
  • “The treaty gives nations a 200-mile Economic Exclusion Zone.”
  • “China has used that provision to claim wide areas of international waters as its own, prompting recent clashes in the South China, East China and Yellow seas as well as verbal sparring with the Pentagon over freedom of navigation.”
  • “The treaty push is part of the administration's policy of using international agreements as a centerpiece of national security policies.”
  • “Critics say those policies usually involve signing agreements that constrain the United States, while allowing foreign signatories to violate or circumvent the accords.”
  • “A main objection of critics of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, its formal name, is that the agreement undermines U.S. sovereignty.”
  • “Non-navigation provisions would give the United Nations some power to control access to undersea resources and also to intervene in U.S. domestic affairs.”
  • “Heritage Foundation analyst Steven Groves said a major problem with the treaty is Article 82. The section would force the U.S. government to lose millions by forfeiting royalties from U.S. companies to explore for oil and gas on the continental shelf beyond 200 miles. Instead, a U.N. organization would get a portion of the money.”
  • “‘It's the non-navigational provisions — sharing oil and gas royalties with underdeveloped countries, mandatory dispute resolution and the deep seabed mining provisions — that give conservatives heartburn,’ he said.”
  • “Navy Capt. John Kirby said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, supports the treaty because ‘he believes that by remaining outside the convention, we give up the firmer foundation of treaty law for navigational rights vital to our global mobility.’”
  • “The White House is using the Navy's support for the treaty's navigation provisions to gain the backing of skeptical senators.”
  • PSI, Jurisdiction, U.S. Foreign Policy, Military

Editors, “U.S. Focuses on Small Sea Vessels in Anti-WMD Smuggling Program,” 22 September 2011, Global Security Newswire [33] Last Checked 22 September 2011.

  • “A group of U.S. agencies is studying ways for detecting and tracking small seagoing vessels that could be used by terrorists to smuggle nuclear or radiological materials and associated equipment into the United States, the Defense Department announced.”
  • “While steps have been taken internationally to prevent larger cargo-carrying ships from being used by would-be nuclear smugglers, less-sizable vessels remain a vulnerability within the security web.
  • “The Naval Postgraduate School Information Services Department, along with the Energy and Homeland Security departments, the U.S. Navy and Special Operations Command and several friendly foreign nations have established a system that connects participants, allowing for the rapid exchange of information about high-value watercraft that should be stopped and searched, a Pentagon release stated.”
  • “The developmental network is comprised of drone technology, screening checkpoints, electronic monitors and other capabilities, NPS associate professor Alex Bordetsky said.”
  • “Denmark, Germany, Greece, Singapore, Sweden and NATO are all participating in the maritime surveillance operation.”
  • “One issue to overcome, Bordetsky said, is how to spot and monitor small vessels while traveling at a heightened speeds.”
  • “Once complete, the network could provide operatives interdicting a vessel with information provided in real time by researchers working on supercomputers at the U.S. national laboratories.”
  • “Bordetsky said research and testing of new maritime surveillance technology in the last nine years have displayed promise.”
  • “The researcher said he hopes all the components of the integrated maritime surveillance network will come together in half a decade.”
  • PSI, Nonproliferation


Mauro, Ryan, "The Syrian Dictatorship Prepares for Chemical Warfare", 10 February 2012,, [34], Last Checked 12 February 2012.

  • "The civil war in Syria escalates almost every week as rebel forces grow stronger and Bashar Assad and his Iranian-backed thugs grow in ruthlessness. And now, chemical weapons have been reportedly delivered near the rebel stronghold of Homs an the regime’s forces in the area are putting on gas masks."
  • "Yesterday, the opposition learned that chemical weapons and their delivery systems have arrived at a school in the province. Soldiers manning checkpoints have been given gas masks. This comes as the regime appears to be winding up for a knock-out punch. Over 130 people were killed in Homs alone yesterday, adding to a death toll of over 600 for the past six days. An armored brigade is headed towards the rebel-held city of Zabadani right now and rebel-friendly areas like Homs, Idlib and Daraa are being bombed more than ever."
  • "Earlier in the month, Turkey intercepted four Iranian trucks on their way to Syria. One had components for ballistic missiles. The other three had a total of 66 tons of sodium sulfate, an ingredient used to make chemical weapons."
  • "There are four possible explanations for what the regime is doing. The first is that the regime is simply trying to scare its enemies into giving up."
  • "The second is that it is actually preparing to use its WMD and say it was the work of “armed gangs” and “terrorists” afterward. The fighting is getting worse, with the Free Syria Army briefly taking over suburbs of Damascus and protests now spreading to the critical city of Aleppo."
  • "The third is that the regime is preparing to use chemical weapons if foreign forces intervene, a prospect increasingly talked about over the past week. In mid-November, Assad met with his commanders to discuss this scenario. The regime is said to have deployed 21 missile launchers near the border with Turkey and armed 600 one-ton chemical warheads onto missiles after that meeting. The Russians supposedly agreed to send an emergency shipment of 3 million gas masks that, according to the plan, would be distributed by the end of 2011."
  • "The fourth possible explanation is that the regime is preparing its forces in case its chemical weapons fall into the hands of rebel forces or Islamic terrorists. The country never signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile is huge, with some assessing it to be the world’s largest, consisting of sarin, mustard, tabun, VX and whatever supplies have come in from Iran and possibly, from Saddam Hussein's regime ahead of the 2003 invasion."
  • "The regime has multiple WMD facilities in restive areas that the rebels could potentially seize. A disloyal soldier or scientist could sell off these weapons or bring them along with him as he defects. WMD facilities are located in or near Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Latakia and Damascus—all places where the regime is fighting to hold onto power."
  • Chemical, WMD, Syria, CWC, Iran, PSI

Government Accountability Office, "Agencies Have Adopted Policies and Procedures but Steps Needed to Meet Reporting Requirement and to Measure Results", March 2012. [[35]]

  • agencies have lacked creating performance indicators/measures for PSI effectiveness
  • US agencies participated in 22 PSI activities from FY 2009 to FY 2011
  • From 2008 to 2012 there has been an increase from 93 countries to 98 countries endorsing PSI (since 2008 GAO Report)
  • More regional planning meetings have been implemented to include more countries in PSI activities and exercises
  • PSI, Nonproliferation, WMD


Palmer, Doug, “Iran escalating efforts to destabilize region – Panetta,” February 1, 2013. Reuters, [36] last checked February 3, 2013.

  • ” Yemeni forces intercepted a ship on January 23 carrying a large cache of weapons - including surface-to-air missiles - that U.S. officials suspect were being smuggled from Iran and destined for Yemeni insurgents.”
  • ” Yemen's government said the arms intercepted aboard the ship off the country's coast also included military-grade explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and bomb-making equipment.”
  • ” Panetta said the United States was stepping up efforts to counter the Iranian threat, and was leading a multinational exercise in the United Arab Emirates through Thursday to improve the interdiction of Iranian arms and other weapons.”
  • ”U.S. officials have said the anti-aircraft weapons intercepted on January 23 likely were headed to northern Yemen's Houthi separatists, who are fighting the U.S.-backed government in Sanaa and have also clashed with Saudi forces.”
  • PSI, Export Control, Iran, Military, Yemen, Saudi Arabia

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