Libya: Securing Stockpiles Promotes Security

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 29, 2011
Core of Tajura Nuclear Reactor in 2004

Libya has been a country of proliferation concern and attention by the United States for many years. Since the beginning of the crisis in Libya this year, the United States has focused on the potential that increased insecurity on the ground could increase proliferation risks, including with the country's remaining stockpiles of uranium, chemical agents, and conventional weapons. We have remained intensely focused on preventing proliferation as the crisis has evolved. Monitoring relevant facilities and supporting Libya's efforts to secure those arms and materials have been and remain key priorities.

The United States has stressed the importance of securing these materials and arms stockpiles and has taken action to prevent their proliferation. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Feltman, Ambassador Gene Cretz, and Special Representative Chris Stevens have raised these issues with Libya's Transitional National Council (TNC), which has made clear that it recognizes the importance of securing all proliferation-sensitive materials and weapons.

Libya is a state-party to nonproliferation agreements, including the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Biological Weapons Convention. We welcome the assurances that we have received from the TNC that Libya will meet all of its international commitments. The United States is supporting Libya in upholding these obligations and stands ready to assist in securing or safely eliminating materials and arms that pose proliferation risks.

Nuclear-Related Sites

All sensitive elements of Libya's nuclear program, including those received from the A.Q. Khan network, were removed in early 2004.

Libya's remaining inventory of highly enriched uranium was completely removed as of December 2009, marking the end of a five-year effort to convert the research reactor at the Tajura nuclear research center to run on low enriched uranium fuel. Nevertheless, we continue to closely monitor the facility.

We also continue to monitor Libya's stockpile of uranium yellowcake. This material would need to go through an extensive industrial process, including enrichment, before it could be used in building a bomb. Such processes do not exist in Libya.

Chemical Agents

All of Libya's remaining chemical stocks -- 11.3 metric tons of mustard agent and 845 metric tons of chemical precursors -- are located together in non weapons-useable form in a remote area far removed from the fighting, inside steel containers placed within bunkers accountable to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Based on all our current information, we assess that this facility is secure.

These extremely hazardous materials are in a bulk form, and require a high-level of expertise, sophistication, and proper equipment in order to utilize the bulk agent in a usable weapon. We continue to monitor these materials.

The Qadhafi regime destroyed the aerial bombs manufactured to deliver its chemical weapons in 2004 under the supervision of international inspectors from the Chemical Weapons Convention implementing organization, the OPCW.

Ballistic Missiles/Scuds

Prior to the crisis, Libya had an estimated force of 400 aging Scud ballistic missiles, a majority of which are assessed not to be operational.

These missiles have a limited range of 300 kilometers.

Conventional Weapons

Since the beginning of the crisis, we have been actively engaged with our allies and partners to help prevent the proliferation of Libya's conventional weapons. Our main concern is Libya's inventory of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, also known as Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems (MANPADS).

The United States is working with NATO to provide all known locations of such weapons so that the TNC can secure and eventually dispose of these weapons.

The United States is providing $3 million in support to two NGOs, MAG International and the Swiss Foundation for Demining to recruit and train staff local explosive ordnance disposal teams. The teams have been operating in the east since May, but will move to areas in western Libya as the security situation improves. These teams also are providing assistance and guidance to the TNC in the routine recovery of potentially unstable munitions and classifying these for safe storage or destruction. To date teams have cleared over 450,000 square meters of land and destroyed over 5.8 tons of munitions, including five MANPADS.

The State Department-led MANPADS Task Force has led two teams of experts to the region where they consulted with Libya's neighbors over ways to counter possible proliferation of MANPADS and conventional weapons. The inter-agency teams visited Mauritania, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Morocco, Niger, and Chad.

The State Department and other international actors have emphasized to the Transitional National Council that the Libya's future leaders must effectively secure MANPADS and other conventional weapons. In early August, State Department experts met with TNC representatives in Malta to convey concerns over potential MANPADS proliferation.

Editor's Note: The Office of the Spokesperson released this information as a fact sheet on August 26, 2011.

Comments

Comments

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 30, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

There's one fact that has been completely left off this "fact sheet" and that's that no one knows for a fact what Ghaddafi and his forces remaining may have available to them in the way of munitions, conventional and otherwise.

This is only a "best guesstimate" based on avail. intel and folks don't generally comment on intel matters because they flat don't want to comment on possibilities or probabilities, let alone sources and methods.

What folks do know is we don't know where Ghaddafi is, and we know we won't know if he has something squirreled away and use in an unconventional last-ditch IED and spread dangerous toxins and other materials in a localized explosive manner as his last act on the planet.

What we do know is he didn't do that in Tripoli, or use scuds on that city as he threatened to.

But until he is killed or captured, no one in this government or any other can assure the public or themselves that he is beyond having the capability at this point.

And that is the basic fact that has been ommitted here.

What I think doesn't matter, but what I'm saying here probably should to everyone in my government, simply because without a fact like this being included in the official statement it gives false impression that my government thinks it has everything under control knowing all, seeing all, and informing the public of all, which it absolutely does not in this case in every way I can possibly think of relating to this particular issue.

It's what you're not telling the public that worries me.

And it should worry you'all that produced this, because if the worst case happens folks are going to wonder why you apparently got caught without a clue, when a simple truthful statement that you know you don't know would garner the public's respect for my government only being human and incapable of clairvoyance.

These are simple things my friends that need addressing, and you gotta start by being honest with yourselves before you can be honest with us-the public.

We don't expect to be told what you don't know what you wish you knew, but to be told what you know you don't know so we can factor that into the probabilities of the dangers of not knowing what you probably should, but can't for various reasons.

This isn't rocket science, or Rumsfeldian epiphany, it's just good public affairs approached with common sensical ability.

EJ

pay89
August 30, 2011

W.W. writes:

Libya : still concerned and afraid of barking dogs -

focus on the after and how to proceed for a right transition.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 30, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ WW,

Barking dogs don't usually leave carnage in their wake and I think you're mistaken, folks are quite determined to put the rabid dog down before he can do more harm.

Look, Ghaddafi is the one who is afraid, his paranoia built all those underground bunkers preparing for something akin to this day.
What he didn't plan on was his own turning against him, he always thought his demise would be external in the invasion of his country, not a liberation by the Libyan people, with a lot of help from their friends among nations.

If you were to do the psycology as well as the math, you might be concerned as well of what his insanity is completely capable of.

Oh and this isn't a guy who would willingly give up his last hurrah to disarm and give up all his options.

That he did to the extent that this fact sheet could be written doesn't mean he did 100% or didn't leave himself a final option.

Once a terrorist , always a terrorist and folks thought he'd reformed a few years back, changed his behavior and cozied up to humanity, well I'd say the mass graves found speak otherwise about that.

Like Saddam, Ghaddafi and sons are WMD's in their own right, just ask the Libyan people, I doubt they'd refute this.

Give me one good reason why he isn't in a bunker somewhere fondling one in preparation for his last act on this planet...

Fact is I doubt you have one to offer me, since no one else does.

Folks generally learn from the mistakes of others, do you really think Ghaddafi will be pulled from a hidy-hole like Saddam, or be caught by suprise like bin Laden?

Not if he can help it, and he's had a lot of time to prepare.

Regardless whether the TNC states its intention to put him on trial, he has no intention of being taken alive, or simply pulling the trigger on himself when forced to upon discovery...not his style...the barking dog needs to make a final jesture of defiance in keeping with his need to "exterminate the rats"...which is why folks have been checking Tripoli's water supply for poisons.

Lucky for folks the fall of that city happened so quickly that all his preparations for a long siege didn't give him time to do that, but it ain't over till its over and the job's not done yet until he's history.

The reason I've said since the begining that the placing of caveats on the word "all" when it comes to "all neccessary measures" and the political stupidity involved in not making him a legitimate target to begin with; is because of what he is capable of and those who would blindly follow his orders.

And nowhere in this fact sheet does it even mention biologicals and whether he may have them or not.

He managed to aquire just about everything else at one time or another, why not ebola?

You don't think he'd use that on the Libyan people if had the chance to at this point?

Think again...

His money couldn't buy him the love of his people, but it sure could buy him everything else.

EJ

Davor Z.
|
Croatia
August 30, 2011

Davor B.Z. in Croatia writes:

In inter regnum that is there matter of fact, certain quantities of weaponry that are not controled by the government or wannabe government probably can find buyers. The issue of eventual usement of it is not a matter of only Lybian concern. In that sense, your activities are welcome and, let's hope, sufficient.

mean71
August 30, 2011

W.W. writes:

@ eric

very kind in considering my post:

It has not been heard that the Libyan colonel went personally around with a rifle killing people...it is just a matter of understanding how people are subjected to a propagandist system either ways.

War is never the answer but when it occurr like an unavoidable storm we must play in it and get out from the hurrica as soon as possible or waiting it ends.

The libyan colonel had an army and he used against armed rebel first .res 1973 was to protect civilians from an army at war

death86
August 31, 2011

W.W. writes:

Not to play as the devil advocate but according to informtion about Quaddafi arsenal what he did not ordered to do is higher then what he ordered to do.

green flagger civilians must be democrately protected on Colonel politic ideology view with the great power of vote this trade it will end violent war with a strategic ceasefire.

stop hunting ghost and stop being worried of barking dogs either ways

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 31, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ WW,

You know, if Ghaddafi is ever put on trial at the Hauge he's going to need a good lawyer, are you voluntering your pre-trial services or what? Or is that simply "Devil's Advocacy" you're getting on with here?

Let's start with defining terms shall we?

Merriam-Websters

Rebel (adj.); A) opposing or taking arms against a government or ruler

(Noun) one who rebels or participates in a rebellion

(verb)
a : to oppose or disobey one in authority or control
b : to renounce and resist by force the authority of one's government

Now if you were to look up Rebellion as well, you'll find that this differs from revolution in that a rebellion is;

a) open, armed, and usually unsuccessful defiance of or resistance to an established government

whereas Revolution is defined in context as;

a : a sudden, radical, or complete change

b : a fundamental change in political organization; especially : the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed

c : activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation

Note that any revolution is the successful outcome of a rebellion against authority, leadership and/or government by the governed.

Who is the governed but the people themselves?

(note that I have included all definitions that apply to the context of the "Arab Spring" of which Libya is but one national figment of.)

So there are two points in conclusion that need to be considered here;

a) that the so-called rebels are by being successful in their rebellion must now be considered revolutionaries by proper definition of their success, and...

b) that these former rebels were the citizens themselves governed by the dictatorial regime led by Ghaddafi who then took up arms against him when Ghaddafi'sd armed forces made war upon them by his order and that NATO's mission to protect the civilian population in Libya (1973) was instituted at a time when the citizens were not armed, trained, or experienced and had little more than rocks to throw at tanks.

They armed themselves by appropriating weapons captured from ghaddafi forces and armories, along with those in the military who defected to join them in opposition to Ghaddafi's rule bringing their own weapons, folks were making weapons from scratch as well some being provided months later by the French and a few other sypathetic to their cause not wanting them to become cannon fodder for lack of means to defend themselves as well as helping them with rudimentary organizational training and passive protection like body armor, medical supplies, etc.

But the basic point beyond the realities you seem to deny here publicly in support of Ghaddafi is that by every stadard of law on this planet that I'm familiar with, if a leader orders his forces to kill civilians as Ghaddafi unquestionably did, then he has commited murder just as surely as if he pulled the trigger on the gun himself, and committed a crime against humanity and if you want to call it a war, then war crimes would served the definition of his actions just as well.

Oh, and when mass graves are discovered, that generally gets charges of genocide tacked on to that.

Good luck trying to defend the indefensible WW...I believe the US government just sanctioned a Syrian statesmnan for doing just that today in providing "political cover" for Assad's crimes against his people.

I'm not sure you'd be wise to continue this charade now that you just got one of my more notable "educational experiences" I've been known to provide folks for free around here....(chuckle).

Trust me, you have no idea how kind I'm being to you right now, so I wouldn't push the envelope beyond your limited understanding of why that is at the moment if you have reason not to be completely and very publicly raked over the coals in debate with me on this subject and the difference between propoganda and the truth.

Hope this all illuminates your understanding some,

EJ

palgye
|
South Korea
August 31, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Present for lobby, scaf? Or donate? or not accept?

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
August 31, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Col. Ghadafi is just one big terrorist. Anyone that destroys innocent lives should be held accountable for their actions. Over 42 years of his power over the people, he was involved in a number of terror acts that brought down planes, or killed protestors in the streets. He needs to be captured or destroyed. What I find hard to swallow is how people want to see him in a courtroom, but what about all the people he killed? What courtroom did they have? Justice will need to be served iced cold to Col. Ghadafi and let it be his own people that carry out this form of punishment for a leader who destroyed lives. The rebels seriously need to question those defectors that went to that small island. If it is believed that Ghadafi is still in Lybia, then I hope the rebels will hunt him down. They also need to know and have a list of all his friends, in country and outside the country. Any form of communications he might be using, like cell phones or satellite phones, that can be tracked. He had 42 years to put together an escape plan, and build bunkers in his country. The hometown of Ghadafi sounds positive but I wouldn't overlook that he probably wouldn't go there after our forces found Saddam Hussain in his hometown. The rebels will need to find a method to draw Ghadafi out of his hiding spot. One of the best ways would be to enable communications to his position then direction find him with a three point direction finder with comm. equipment.

"Ghadafi should als be added on the ten most wanted terrorist list with the FBI. He should be added to INTERPOL with the french and Britians Most wanted list."

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 31, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Donald in Virginia,

Hope you folks are recovering from earthquake and Irene in good form and good to have you back on the blog bro...

Fact is the probabilities of Ghaddafi ever standing trial are next to nill, so I wouldn't worry about swallowing that reality anytime soon.

Ghaddafi himself has stated quite clearly he intends to fight to his death and won't go quietly into the night.

No matter the good intentions of applying the rule of law rather than vigilantism, the TNC is faced with the reality of whatever action is taken by whomever gets to him first, and Ghaddafi's stated intent.

If I was a Las Vegas book maker I'd post his odds of actually standing in the Hauge on trial at a million to one against.

Best,

EJ

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
August 31, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

I remember the quake very well, just woke up from a nap and house was moving. My wife said go outside and see whats happening? I was like, yea right! We took a 5.9 magnitude earthquake then now we have after shocks. About 2 on the scale. The storm felt that one too, was working and with trees down, did cause some damage, I heard someone went surf boarding on a 30 foot wave. LOL

I think the Rebels did a good job, they managed to get the Capitol city, so Ghadafis days are numbered. I think we all want to see him pay for his acts against humanity. Its good being back Eric.

couldnt56
September 1, 2011

W.W. writes:

@ Eric

thanks for the lecture I find it very Illuminating Is it a map to find the saint graal?

unfortunally we got two parties both fairly military engaging each other.

One supported from a political view the other from another political view

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 1, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ WW,

If you were to define such a quest as a search for human understanding of what's worthy and what's not of the human species then this is less about any "political view" than the broader seeking of change folks can live with in peace eventually.

I think you've narrowed your focus down to a point where you risk having blinders on to the truth.

EJ

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 1, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Donald in Virginia,

Never a dull moment in America eh?

What a way to wake up!

EJ

Chuguev
|
Ukraine
September 1, 2011

Chuguev in the Ukraine writes:

Hello from Ukraine

support49
September 3, 2011

W.W. writes:

We had an agreement as world leader:

Avoid crisis for the future as per presidential speech.

End Criminal financial society - worse then 1000 nuclear bombs and worse then a million Quaddafi family al together sitting on ozzy couch betting in stock market surely better then othere type of criminals even worse as Rupert murdoch and the other sitting in a Lobby in a swiss hotel.

European population can watch their criminal financial operation and the way thy have to enslave people and society so now mrs secretary is your turn to choose to stay with the right side of history in ending what it is and start what it will be ethicallly correct in term of investment.

We are not joking the society which created all of this must be eneded in a way or the other.

cc White House

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 5, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ WW,

I don't know how you intend to end society, but your last post is reminicint of all the genocidal dictator's statements made during the 20th century.

Perhaps you have a problem with capitalism and free market economies in general and you don't offer the readers here any rationale or example leading up to these thoughts of your's; so let me just point out what the true face of socialism look like so you can gain a bit of perspective.

Back in the winter of 32-33 Stalin confiscated by force all the grain in the Ukrain and shipped it west to sell to Europe, starving over 7 million perople to death in a little over a year, and shooting all those who protested.

Made Hitler's genocidal cleansing of Europe look rather inefficiant as it took him a lot longer to kill roughly the same number of people and he had to start a war to do it.

You know why all this happened?

Because folks in democracies tried to "avoid" crisis by having blinders on to the risk they faced in trying to hang on to a status quo.

So there's only one solution and that's to face crisis head on and deal with them before hand pre-emptively changing the parameters of the risk, or I can flat assure you and my government that some dictator or another will seek today to destroy populations.

A system of governing , or finantial institutions in their opperations for that matter, are only as good as the individuals that comprise them. And if they be criminal in nature, it is the greed of individuals that corrupts them, not a "society" being corrupt in and of itself supporting them.

You need to be real clear on this, and what the disconect is in how you approached this issue in the wording of your post.

That hell can be paved with the best of intent as well as ill intent, but ill intent has never fed a soul.

Word to the wise my friend, I see you are confused by a few things in the way you poorly define the problems, but do not be confused by what I've said above.

Best,

EJ

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