Around Town …

  • ITAR-free satellites? The Washington Post recently penned an item on export control reform efforts underway. There were no U.S. government officials quoted on or off the record for that piece, however, there is a related article quoting an unnamed NSC official that the ” ‘effort is focused on controlling fewer parts and components. Additionally, the NSC said it’s working to create a license that would cover an entire program, rather than requiring each part to be licensed.’ “
  • Borderland Beat blog: Legal weapons imports diverted to criminal groups in Mexico.
  • A recent United Kingdom government report states that UK defense companies sold to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi $292,097,800 worth of defense equipment including dual-use spacecraft. These sales were done in a span of just three months.
  • CSIS: Malaysia, Export Controls, and the Nuclear Black Market.
  • A Nashville “fairy tale” without a happy ending. At  a court hearing this week in Nashville, four employees of Sabre Defence Industries – a UK company with offices in the U.S. – pled guilty to conspiracy and violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). According to the Tennessean, they described the company’s books as a work of fiction, including invoices from “fairyland.” The four have agreed to testify against their boss: a U.K. citizen and owner of the company.
  • CNS News reports that U.S. Concerns Growing over Hezbollah and Hamas Activities In Crime-Ridden Latin American Region. This is not new, but it is the one of the more curious of unspoken issues in policy circles in this town. It’s a problem and, some day, policymakers will start paying more attention to it.
  • Israeli officials are quoted in the Associated Press stating that Argentina has agreed to cooperate more fully on two terrorist attacks that took place in the 1990s against Israeli targets. While I hope this is true, I strongly doubt that the current Argentine government has any interest in pursuing this issue in a fulsome manner. It has failed to cooperate with Tri-Border Area terrorism matters, denying at times there that there is a problem. The Argentines just want all this to go away. The good news is that Israel, and we hope the U.S., will keep pressing them on it.
%d bloggers like this: