Overcoming Challenges to the Proliferation Security Initiative   [open pdf - 843KB]

"A U.S.-led naval operation in October 2003 interdicted a shipment of uranium-enrichment components on-board a German cargo ship traveling from Dubai to Libya. In December 2003, Libya announced it would halt its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and eliminate its existing stockpiles under international verification and supervision. The George W. Bush Administration proclaimed the interdiction a triumph for the newly created Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), an activity which was announced five months earlier to interdict, through the threat or actual use of force, land, sea, and air trafficking of WMD at the earliest possible point. Despite increasing international support, numerous joint exercises, and the successful Libyan intercept, the PSI faces serious legal, intelligence, and operational challenges to sustained effectiveness. This thesis takes a close look at these challenges and considers how they can be overcome. I conclude that overcoming these challenges will require a multilateral trusted information network to augment secretive bilateral intelligence sharing, a PSI-specific legal umbrella to replace current reliance on only partially applicable international laws and resolutions, and an interoperable, team approach to operations that takes advantage of industry's technological improvements in detection technology and is conscious of air-intercept restrictions."

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