23 August 2001
Source: http://usinfo.state.gov/cgi-bin/washfile/display.pl?p=/products/washfile/latest&f=01082203.wlt&t=/products/washfile/newsitem.shtml

US Department of State
International Information Programs

Washington File

22 August 2001

Curbing Smuggling of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Central Asia

   (U.S. program trains regional customs and border officials) (980)

   Approximately 80 customs and border officials from Central Asia are
   participating in a U.S.-sponsored program in Texas to learn
   state-of-the-art methods for detecting nuclear, chemical and
   biological weapons components that could be smuggled across borders.

   The three-week training session will be taught by American customs and
   border patrol officers and will include instruction in uncovering
   hidden compartments in vehicles, identifying false documents and
   analyzing suspicious behavior, and practice using x-ray equipment,
   fiber-optic scopes and advanced computer technologies.

   Participants are from outposts in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan,
   Tajikistan and Turkmenistan that border China, Russia, Iran,
   Afghanistan, Pakistan and ports on the Caspian Sea.

   Since 1998, according to the U.S. Customs Service, foreign customs
   officers trained through this program have made eight significant
   seizures, including 10 radioactive lead containers concealed in a
   scrap metal truck traveling from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan, and 10
   grams of highly enriched Uranium-235 concealed in an air compressor in
   a car traveling from Romania to Bulgaria.

   Following is the text of the release with more details:

   (begin text)

   U.S. Customs Service
   Washington, D.C.
   Tuesday, August 21, 2001


   Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Customs Service today announced the
   launch of a three-week training session in Hidalgo, Texas, designed to
   help customs and border officials from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
   Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan combat the cross-border
   smuggling of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons components.

   During the training session, which will extend through September 8,
   U.S. Customs officials from the Hidalgo Port of Entry and from the
   Office of International Affairs at Customs headquarters will provide
   International Border Interdiction Training (IBIT) to the foreign
   participants in classrooms and in the field.

   "There are few missions more critical to U.S. Customs than helping our
   foreign counterparts combat the spread of weapons of mass
   destruction," said Acting U.S. Customs Service Commissioner Charles
   Winwood. "U.S. Customs counter-proliferation training programs have
   helped foreign authorities make numerous weapons-related seizures in
   recent years. We are confident this training will yield similar

   The IBIT training in Hidalgo is being provided by U.S. Customs and
   U.S. Border Patrol officials under the auspices of the Export Control
   and Border Security (EXBS) program. Funded by the U.S. State
   Department, the EXBS program is a joint effort by the Departments of
   State, Commerce, Defense and Energy, in conjunction with U.S. Customs,
   to provide non-proliferation training and equipment to 28 nations,
   most of them in the former Soviet Bloc.

   The IBIT training provided by U.S. Customs officers will include
   instruction in counter-terrorism techniques, the detection of hidden
   compartments in cargo and passenger vehicles, the use of high-tech
   detection technology, the selection of high-risk vehicles and
   passengers, and passenger interviewing and behavioral analysis

   U.S. Customs inspectors will highlight the use of state-of-the-art
   detection technologies, including X-Ray equipment, density measuring
   units, fiber-optic scopes, and advanced computer technologies. U.S.
   Customs inspectors will also demonstrate "low tech" technologies and
   equipment used to detect weapons-related contraband at international

   U.S. Border Patrol officials will provide training in tactical radio
   communications, officer safety, patrol techniques, sensor placement,
   and false document identification.

   Approximately 80 foreign officials are scheduled to participate in the
   IBIT training session. The officers have been selected from the ranks
   of supervisors and line officials who work in outposts in Kazakhstan,
   Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan that border China,
   Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and ports on the Caspian Sea.

   Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, there has been a substantial
   increase in the threat of trafficking of weapons of mass destruction,
   their delivery systems, and related components. U.S. Customs has been
   at the forefront of U.S. government efforts to counter this threat.

   Through all of its international non-proliferation programs, U.S.
   Customs has provided training to more than 2,600 foreign customs and
   border officers. U.S. Customs has also delivered millions of dollars
   worth of interdiction and detection equipment to officers in these

   Customs international non-proliferation programs have achieved
   encouraging results. Since 1998, there have been eight significant
   seizures by foreign customs or police agencies attributed to U.S.
   Customs non-proliferation training. Two recent seizures are exemplary:

   -- In March 2000, authorities at the Gisht Kuprik border crossing in
   Uzbekistan seized 10 radioactive lead containers concealed in scrap
   metal in a truck entering from Kazakhstan. The Iranian driver of the
   truck and his radioactive cargo were bound for Pakistan. Uzbekistan
   authorities found the radioactive material after their portable
   radiation "pagers" alerted as the truck entered the customs post. The
   radiation pagers had been provided to Uzbekistan authorities by the
   U.S. Customs Service.

   -- In May 1999, customs officials at the Ruse border crossing in
   Bulgaria discovered 10 grams of highly enriched U-235 (uranium) inside
   a lead "pig" concealed in an air compressor. The compressor was hidden
   in the trunk of a car. The Bulgarian customs officer who found the
   U-235 had received counter-proliferation training from the U.S.
   Customs Service just prior to the seizure. His supervisor, who was
   also involved in the seizure, had been trained by U.S. Customs
   officers in an advanced counter-proliferation course in Washington
   State. Furthermore, the Bulgarian laboratory director who examined and
   identified the materials had received technical training from the U.S.
   Customs Service.

   In the months following completion of the IBIT session in Hidalgo,
   U.S. Customs Service officials and officials from other U.S. agencies
   plan to conduct follow-up training for the foreign officers who
   participated in the IBIT exercise. This training would be held in the
   foreign officers' home countries and would be designed to help them
   develop country-specific techniques using the information and
   equipment gleaned from the IBIT exercise.

   (end text)

   (Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
   Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

Source: http://usinfo.state.gov/cgi-bin/washfile/display.pl?p=/products/washfile/latest&f=01082201.plt&t=/products/washfile/newsitem.shtml

22 August 2001

Global Arms Sales Rose 8.47 Percent in Value in 2000

   (U.S., Russia, France, Germany led sales of conventional arms) (700)
   By Merle D. Kellerhals, Jr.
   Washington File Staff Writer

   Washington -- Global arms sales in 2000 rose 8.47 percent to $36,862
   million, marking the third consecutive yearly increase, according to a
   U.S. government report.

   "Developing nations continue to be the primary focus of foreign arms
   sales activity by weapons suppliers," a Congressional Research Service
   (CRS) report says. "This total, however, is substantially lower in
   constant dollars than that of 1993, during the period of post-Persian
   Gulf war rearmament."

   Arms sales in 2000 to developing nations in Africa, Asia, Latin
   America and the Middle East amounted to $25,438 million, the highest
   since 1994, according to the CRS report made available August 20.

   The United States sold more than half the worldwide total of
   conventional arms in 2000 -- $18,562 million worth -- followed by
   Russia at $7,700 million, France at $4,100 million, Germany at $1,100
   million, the United Kingdom at $600 million, China at $400 million and
   Italy at $100 million, the report said.

   Taken together, sales from the United States, Russia and France
   amounted to $30,362 million, or 82.4 percent of all international arms
   transfer agreements made by all suppliers, the CRS report said.

   The report, "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations,
   1993-2000," published by the Congressional Research Service, an arm of
   the Library of Congress, is regarded as one of the most authoritative
   public resources on international weapons sales. Richard Grimmett, a
   specialist in national defense at CRS, wrote it.

   The figures on sales of conventional arms -- reflecting legitimate
   transfers to national governments -- are based on unclassified
   background data from U.S. government sources. This report does not
   account for the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons.

   Conventional arms categories in the CRS report include: tanks,
   artillery, armored personnel carriers and armored cars, major and
   minor naval surface ships, submarines, guided missile patrol boats,
   supersonic combat aircraft, subsonic combat aircraft, other types of
   conventional aircraft, helicopters, surface-to-air and
   surface-to-surface missiles, and anti-ship missiles.

   While the United States has been the overall leading arms seller to
   developing nations, Russia has sold arms mainly to two clients --
   China and India. Russian sales to nations elsewhere in the developing
   world have not expanded notably, the report said.

   The United States, in addition to major arms sales items, provides a
   variety of spare parts, ammunition, ordnance, and training and support

   "France has been a consistent competitor for the lead in arms transfer
   agreements with developing nations, ranking first in 1994 and 1997,
   and second in 1993 and 1998," the report said. "Russia ranked first in
   1995, and second in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000."

   The CRS report noted that Russia now "actively seeks to sell weapons
   as a means of obtaining hard currency." Russia has also had to agree
   to licensed production of major weapons systems as a condition of
   sales with India and China in recent years, it said.

   China, which buys weapons mostly from Russia, has averaged less than
   $1,000 million in annual weapons sales, with much of that total going
   to Pakistan, the report said.

   The report notes that new and very costly weapons purchases from among
   developing nations are likely to be sporadic in the near term. "The
   overall level of the arms trade with developing nations is likely to
   remain generally static for the foreseeable future, despite some
   notable purchases made in the last two years," the report said.

   The United Arab Emirates led all buyers in the developing world in
   2000 with arms purchases of $7,400 million -- a total that includes 80
   F-16 Falcon fighter aircraft worth $6,432 million from the United
   States. India was second with $4,800 million in purchases, which
   included T-90 tanks and SU-30 fighter-bombers from Russia; South Korea
   was third with $2,300 million, and China was fourth with $2,100

   (The Washington File is a product of the Office of International
   Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: