A study on: Exploring U.S. Missile Defense Requirements in 2010: What Are the Policy and Technology Challenges?

Other Players

There are, of course, many other countries that are engaged in developing or exporting WMD and missile delivery technologies. Some examples (not all inclusive) include Libya's well publicized progress in developing CW and missile delivery systems (currently it has Scud C missiles, with the indigenous 950 km range Al Fattah missile in development); Ukraine is under severe economic stress, it is suspected of exporting some sensitive missiles and missile components, to include sales to Libya;80 Egypt also has a missile development program (discussed earlier); and there is leakage of advanced missile technologies from Latin America, which in the cases of Brazil (and potentially Argentina) have the potential themselves for developing ICBMs.81 In addition, as was made clear by a December 1996 U.S. News and World Report, the United States itself is also a major source of sensitive military technologies.82


In short, missile technology is being widely shared throughout the world. Although the MTCR has slowed the migration of missile technology, it has not stopped the flow. The same can be said about the NPT. Nuclear proliferation has been slowed, but not stopped. By 2010, more states will likely hold nuclear, chemical, and biological systems than is now the case. Ballistic and cruise missiles are also proliferating as countries seek assured penetration capabilities. Of particular concern is the number of countries in which foreign WMD and missile technicians are working. For example, various Western countries, Russia, Ukraine, North Korea, China, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Syria, and a host of other states all have citizens that are involved in WMD and missile projects in other countries. In the course of executing these projects, a cross-leveling of knowledge is occurring as these specialists share information. Much of this information is undoubtedly making its way back to the home counties. For example, North Korean assistance to Iran undoubtedly involves a feedback loop to North Korea. Thus, the knowledge that North Korean specialists gain from other technicians while working on joint projects in Iran gets reported back to North Korea for incorporation into its own programs. It is this new foreign assistance element that is making it so difficult for intelligence agencies and academic country specialists to predict the speed at which future missile and WMD capabilities will evolve. Thus, the U.S. could find itself surprised in the future as new capabilities emerge more quickly than expected.


80 Bill Gertz, "Ukraine Imperils U.S. Aid with Libya Arms Deal," The Washington Times, December 9, 1996, pp. A1 & A12.

81 "Intelligence Chiefs Warn of High-Tech Proliferation," Arms Trade News, April 1996, p. 1.

82 See "Weapons Bazaar," U.S. News and World Report, December 9, 1996, pp. 26-39.