Diane Barnes

Diane Barnes Diane Barnes is a reporter with Global Security Newswire, having first joined the publication as a staff writer in 2007. She covers daily developments on Syria's chemical weapons, Iran's nuclear program, strategic arms control and other issues. Barnes has contributed to publications including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Palm Beach Post and the London Daily Telegraph. She is a graduate of George Washington University.
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How Pressure Cookers Get Classified as a WMD

April 23, 2013 Accusing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of carrying out a WMD strike at the Boston Marathon could offer prosecutors a clear route to a conviction, even though the two pressure-cooker devices used in last week's attack do not fit the accepted definition of a "weapon of mass destruction," academics and former federal prosecutors...

Pentagon Saves National Guard WMD Unit That Helped in Boston

April 16, 2013 The U.S. Defense Department was poised as recently as last month to dismantle a National Guard crisis team that assisted in the emergency response to the bombings at Monday's Boston Marathon. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on March 29 informed lawmakers in writing of plans to dismantle the New York-based 24th...

Pentagon Seeks High-Tech Nuke Radiation Defenses

March 29, 2013 The Defense Department this week said it is looking for technologies to protect people against potentially deadly radiation near the site of a nuclear strike or other atomic disaster. Proposals from government, academic, and private-sector sources could provide fodder for a possible government push to devise new means of "enhancing...

New Defense Chief Addresses Massive Cuts

February 27, 2013 Newly installed U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday said the nation's armed forces now face the "reality" of implementing across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect in two days. Hagel issued the warning within hours of taking the oath to assume the Pentagon's top post and less than a...

DOD Aims to Shield Nuke Operations From Budget Cuts

February 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Citing Tuesday's nuclear test by North Korea, a senior Defense Department official called U.S. nuclear weapons operations "a national priority" that the Obama administration would seek to shield from across-the-board federal spending cuts set to take effect on March 1. It appears that "a safe, secure nuclear deterrent" will remain...

Aging technology endangers Pantex security, auditors warn

February 1, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A deteriorating nuclear-weapon security system at the Pantex Plant in Texas could malfunction if it does not receive maintenance, the U.S. Energy Department inspector general warned in a report made public on Friday. The technology had a projected "useful life" of two decades upon entering use in the 1990s and...

Lawmakers reaffirm demand for biowatch data

January 31, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Homeland Security Department has turned over "substantial" documentation in response to a congressional panel's request for records on a controversial biological agent sensor network, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not been similarly forthcoming in providing related information, two Republican lawmakers said in a Thursday letter...

U.S. to finalize avian flu funding policy in weeks

January 25, 2013 The United States plans "in the next several weeks" to issue its final policy on how it will consider future grant requests for research intended to produce more virulent or communicable versions of avian influenza, National Institutes of Health leaders said on Friday. More than three dozen scientists this week...

U.S. lawmaker demands action to secure alleged Syrian uranium

January 15, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A top Republican lawmaker on Monday pressed for international action to secure a possible stockpile of uranium in civil war-torn Syria. Experts have suggested the Bashar Assad regime might have amassed up to 50 metric tons of the substance as fuel for a suspected plutonium production reactor leveled by a...

Sequestration endangers new bomber, Air Force secretary warns

January 11, 2013 The head of the U.S. Air Force on Friday said his service hopes to keep plans for developing a future strategic bomber on track in the face of looming budget cuts, but he suggested the project's future could be in question if federal sequestration takes effect. The Air Force hopes...

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