Don't Give China and Russia a Vote on Our National Security

Some provisions in the proposed law drafted by the House Democratic leadership may weaken the important work of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) by making it subject to a UN Security Council mandate.

PSI is a voluntary working group consisting of more than 70 countries and has been credited with halting more than two-dozen weapons-related transfers from 2005-2006.

The Democrats want the President to work with the UN Security Council to authorize the initiative under international law and place it under a "multilateral regime" in order to increase coordination, cooperation, and compliance among its participants.

The initiative has been a success in its existing form, and considered critical in uncovering Libya's weapons program and the A.Q. Khan proliferation network in 2003.

Granting the United Nations the right to define what is permissible under the Proliferation Security Initiative will result in the imposition of unpredictable limitations, conditions, and interpretations and result in a regulatory straightjacket overseen by an international bureaucracy.

China and Russia should not be given a veto over what the PSI can and cannot do. They have used the Security Council veto to hobble U.S. efforts to enlist international assistance against Iran, probably the world's greatest proliferation challenge.

This section of the proposed legislation may have unintended consequences that could harm our counter-proliferation capabilities through PSI.

If the new Majority is truly concerned about our nation's security, it should afford Committees the time to carefully evaluate these proposals.  By contrast, the Republican 9/11 measure enacted into law was a carefully calibrated bipartisan measure.

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