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The developing anti-U.S. alliance between Russia and China continues
to grow. The Pentagon recently discovered a new area of alarming secret
cooperation: nuclear weapons.

The super-secret National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md.,
obtained an electronic intercept in November that was passed to senior
officials in a top-secret report. The report said Russian nuclear
weapons experts are assisting China with “tritium extraction” for
thermonuclear warheads.

Tritium is a gas used to boost the explosive power of nuclear
warheads.

The intercept calls into question the rationale behind the Pentagon’s
multimillion-dollar “threat-reduction” program designed to prevent just
such cooperation. Pentagon spokesmen have insisted that sending cash to
pay Russian weapons scientists not to sell their expertise abroad is
money spent
protecting U.S. interests.

Officials tell us China’s interest in tritium extraction is probably
linked to development of new and smaller warheads by the People’s
Liberation Army.

This effort was already helped immensely by China’s theft of design
information on every deployed U.S. nuclear warhead. In addition to the
nuclear weapons cooperation, Russian technicians also are helping
China’s military build cruise missiles. Moscow also has sold advanced
Su-27 and Su-30 warplanes and Sovremenny-class destroyers with
high-speed SS-N-22 Sunburn anti-ship missiles.

Captain Condom

The Army’s most prestigious medical center handed out some rather
graphic fliers on condom use during an AIDS Awareness Day on Dec. 1.

Titled “The Right Way to Rip n Roll,” the circular tells how to
cover “your Captain” and provides nine cartoon pictures of different
condoms, some depicted as soldiers.

Our source, who happened to be at Walter Reed that day and was handed
the instructions by a second lieutenant, said he was “greatly offended”
by the two-page flyer’s cavalier approach to sex.

Beverly Chidel, a Walter Reed spokeswoman, defended the handout as
promoting safe sex. She said the message was borrowed from a health fair
last year at an Army base in Texas.

“It’s a way of educating our young junior soldiers per se,” she
said.

“Obviously our doctors and nurses preach abstinence. But
unfortunately, not everybody practices that. … If they have to use
it, it’s a way of preventing sexually transmitted diseases, including
HIV. We have a lot of young soldiers in the area and we want to make
sure they stay healthy.”

Green ammo II

Tree huggers at the Pentagon are at it again. We reported several
weeks ago how the Army ordered a massive program to replace the lead in
millions of 5.56 mm bullets — those fired by standard issue M-16 rifles
– with tungsten filler.

Now the Army is expanding its politically correct “Green Ammo”
program even further. Army Undersecretary Bernard Rostker directed the
Army recently to consider filling all 120 mm tank rounds with tungsten
instead of depleted uranium. Apparently, depleted uranium used in the
tank-busting, armor-piercing shells is an environmental hazard,
according to the Pentagon’s environmental police.

If the conversion is approved, however, there are serious drawbacks.
The tungsten shells will have less range than those containing depleted
uranium, thus nullifying a key advantage for U.S. ground forces. During
the 1991 Persian Gulf war, depleted uranium tank shells gave U.S. forces
a decisive
advantage over Iraqi tanks. That advantage could be lost under the
conversion plan for an environmentally safe battlefield.

We’re told by officials who oppose the idea that in addition to the
decreased range, tungsten-filled tank rounds also pose another national
security risk, one we highlighted earlier: The United States has no
reserves of the material and currently has to buy what it uses from
China.

Expect members of the Senate Armed Services Committee to question Mr.
Rostker about putting environmental concerns before war-fighting skills
when he appears later this year before the panel. The Pentagon announced
yesterday that Defense Secretary William S. Cohen is recommending Mr.
Rostker for the post of undersecretary of defense for personnel and
readiness, the top policy-maker in charge of making sure U.S. troops can
do their job: fight and win the nation’s wars, whether environmentally
safe or not.

What gap?

The liberal media has made a big deal out of a supposed gap between
military officers and civilian society. But there is a new take on the
issue. The avowed gap stems, in part, from the fact that the officer
corps is growing more Republican — and more conservative — according
to academic polling.

This conventional wisdom was enforced last year by the Triangle
Institute for Security Studies. In a lengthy report, “Project on the Gap
Between the Military and Civilian Society,” a number of university
professors concluded: “There are numerous differences of opinions and
attitudes between elite military officers and the civilian society they
serve. … Over the past quarter century, elite military officers have
largely abandoned political neutrality and have become partisan
Republicans.”

But now comes the opposite view in a comprehensive report from
Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.

After surveying 12,000 military persons and conducting 125 focus
groups, the CSIS paper found little to be concerned about. “Data
gathered in the study … do not indicate an unhealthy relationship
between the United States and its military. For instance, 88 percent of
military personnel support socializing with civilians, and 75 percent
believe that most military personnel have a great deal of respect for
civilian society. Nearly 80 percent of survey respondents also believe
that the people in their hometown had a high regard for the military.”

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