Thursday, May 7, 2009

Obama's Budget Eliminates New Funding for Nuclear Detection

From the Washington Post:
President Obama would eliminate new funding for advanced-generation equipment to detect nuclear weapons and radiological materials at U.S. borders and ports and around New York City in his 2010 budget, homeland security officials said.

The decisions, outlined in Homeland Security Department budget documents and briefings Thursday, mark a turn away from a priority of the administration of former president George W. Bush, who with former vice president Dick Cheney championed development of new technologies that could lead to a ring of domestic sensors of weapons of mass destruction.

But the research effort... has run into problems. Technical flaws and doubts about the integrity of scientific testing have delayed multi-billion dollar plans to buy advanced... sytems... to scan for nuclear materials aboard cars, trucks, trains and cargo moving through air and land ports.

Congress has forced DHS's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office to hold off on new purchases, and Obama declined to request funds to buy equipment under DNDO beyond the $153 million Bush obtained last year....

Obama is also ending Securing the Cities, a three-year, $90 million pilot program intended to test whether it is possible to secure an urban area -- in this case New York City -- against nuclear terrorism by draping it with an integrated system of handheld, aerial, truck-mounted and waterborne sensors...
"I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems. And I will institute an independent "Defense Priorities Board" to ensure that the Quadrennial Defense Review is not used to justify unnecessary spending...."
Barack Obama - October 22, 2007

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