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U.S. Leads WMD Exercise without China, India

by Richard Sisk on August 4, 2014

RIMPAC_boarding

U.S. Pacific Command on Monday kicked off a multi-national training exercise in interdicting and defending against weapons of mass destruction without the participation of the two major regional powers – China and India.

The so-called Fortune Guard exercise in Hawaii “is just one that we’ve had scheduled for a while” to focus on the WMD threat, Adm. Samuel Locklear, head of the Pacific Command, said at a Pentagon briefing last week.

Recent missile tests and threats by North Korea to launch nuclear weapons at the White House and Pentagon “will just re-emphasize the importance of getting it right during our exercise,” Locklear said.

Fortune Guard was part of the international Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) aimed at stopping the trafficking of WMD, including the weapons’ precursors and delivery systems. The effort was launched in 2003 by the U.S. and 10 other nations and now includes 104 nations, but neither China nor India are signatories.

The Defense Department had been open to having China included in Fortune Guard following the participation by four Chinese warships for the first time in the recently concluded Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises off Hawaii.

“We would be thrilled to have China,” a senior DoD official said at a Pentagon briefing on Fortune Guard last month. “They have received multiple invitations,” the official said of the Chinese.

Improving military-to-military ties with India will be a focal point of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s nine-day trip starting later this week this week that will take him to Germany, India and Australia. The trip will be Hagel’s first to India as Defense Secretary.

Japan, South Korea and Australia were among the nations participating in Fortune Guard.

“The exercise is designed to address the full range of weapons of mass destruction interdiction-related skill sets,” including rapid decision-making and operational tactics, PACOM said in a statement.

In addition, there will be a tabletop exercise, a port exercise and a live exercise at sea involving the Henry J. Kaiser, a replenishment oiler from the Military Sealift Command. In the exercise, Japanese and South Korean boarding teams will stop and search the Kaiser, the senior official said.

The official said that the nature of the WMD threat “has evolved substantially” since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In the past, the WMD threat was more likely to involve the weapon itself, but “today the focus is much more on dual use items” that can be assembled into a weapon, the official said.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

oblatt22 August 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm

>The official said that the nature of the WMD threat “has evolved substantially” since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In the past, the WMD threat was more likely to involve the weapon itself, but “today the focus is much more on dual use items” that can be assembled into a weapon, the official said.

Yea like box cutters LOL

Another clueless makework exercise.

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fatman August 5, 2014 at 9:41 am

Kind of a bad place to joke about box cutters. They were used to slit American throats after all.

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Afrigun August 5, 2014 at 5:23 am

Yeah soon you'll need a licence to buy houshold bleach, peroxide, hair color activator and aluminum glitter, AND…of course a special licence and a certifcation that your tomato bed needs fertilizer….just so you dont 'dual use' any of that.
These policy wonk guys need to take their heads out of their ar—e and smell fresh air instead. Its a BIG world out there……!!!

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Riceball August 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Nah, that's only going to be in bleeding heart states like NY & CA.

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Fatman August 5, 2014 at 9:41 am

China and India not participating seems a lot more of a political issue than anything else.

Any reporting on the actual headline, like why they still aren't signatories?

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Hunter76 August 5, 2014 at 10:45 am

They've already detonated them.

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dave August 5, 2014 at 11:24 am

China's developing of a new road-mobile ICBM known as the Dong Feng-41 (DF-41), with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles MIRV's is for use against the U.S.
One would think that would keep them out of the love fest in the ocean.

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Jim Asbury August 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm

These exercises provide necessary training and live at-sea experiences for American sailors and airmen. The Indian Navy probably cannot afford to participate, the Chinese fear that they're being spied on, and they're right.

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