Jeffrey LewisState to Merge Arms Control and Nonproliferation Bureaus

Taking arms control with him?

The Washington Times reports that SECSTATE has approved a plan to merge the State Department’s arms control and nonproliferation bureaus “having concluded that much of their work oveps and resources are being wasted.”

The State Department IG made the recommendation in September after a a routine evaluation of the four divisions involved in international security policy, The Washington Times reports. The four bureaus—Arms Control, Nonprolifeation, Political-Military Affairs, Verification & Compliance—are led by an Undersecretary. Bob Joseph (below) will likely replace John Bolton as Undersecretary.

Do as I say

The Bureau of Arms Control (and the Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security) are all that remains of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. The Kennedy Administration created ACDA (on the advice of the outgoing Eisenhower Administration) to provide a counterweight to the Pentagon.

As I noted in a recent post, “Having watched the Vice President and the Pentagon systematically undermine W.’s confidence in the inspections that successfully disarmed Iraq, maybe you see why JFK and Ike supported ACDA?”

That argument is not being heard in the Bush Administration right now. In an unintentional bit of comedy, a State Department official rejected claims that the merger reflects a further waning of interest in arms control:

“That is a distortion of the truth.”

“It’s true that we are not judging our success by the number of new treaties we sign, but we are very concerned about countries abiding by existing agreements, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

Of course we support treaties … for other countries.

These guys just don’t get it.