The PSI, launched by President Bush in Krakow, Poland on May 31, 2003, is a global effort that aims to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related materials. The PSI is building participants’ common capacity to stop proliferation, so when an opportunity arises to stop a WMD-related transfer to a state or non-state act of proliferation concern, we are ready to act.
In two years, PSI participants have built a foundation for cooperative action that is increasing the difficulty and cost of engaging in proliferation. More than 60 countries have indicated their support for the PSI. Over 40 countries have participated in 14 training exercises involving military, law enforcement, policy, intelligence and legal experts.
PSI participants are building a quiet record of success in halting shipments and disrupting trafficking in WMD. The BBC China interdiction in October 2003 that halted a shipment destined for Libya’s nuclear weapons program is an example of what PSI participants can achieve together.
PSI operational experts are working to improve their states’ interdiction capabilities and are expanding our toolkit to prevent proliferation. Exercises and operational activities are helping PSI participants learn to better coordinate and use the full range of their counterproliferation tools -- diplomatic, intelligence, customs, law enforcement, military and financial -- to stop WMD-related trafficking.
On June 1-2, Poland and the Czech Republic will host a ground interdiction PSI exercise. In "Bohemian Guard ’05," participants will interdict mock chemical weapons precursors.
On June 7-8, Spain will host a PSI exercise. In "Blue Action ’05," participants, including several Mediterranean littoral states, will work cooperatively to improve their capabilities to interdict WMD-related trafficking by air.
International support for the PSI is strong. In 2004, the United Nations’ High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change encouraged all states to join this voluntary initiative. In March, in a speech in Madrid, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan applauded the efforts of the PSI to "fill a gap in our defenses."
The United States is working with other countries to broaden and deepen participation in the PSI. A strong network again proliferation requires the participation of all like-minded states. We urge all such states to join this global effort by endorsing the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles.