The Pentagon office responsible for monitoring potential threats from weapons of mass destruction wants to extend a contract to keep track of critical WMD treaty information because they could lose that data if they switch to another contractor.
A document from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency released Wednesday shows the agency needs to extend its deal with contracting giant SAIC for another year to prevent the potential loss of critical information in the agency’s treaty compliance database. That’s in part because the agency has destroyed the hard copies of that information since 2005, and the details exist only digitally.
The agency’s Office of Treaty Compliance uses the database, the document says, to monitor compliance to more than 15 arms control treaties and agreements, including those involving nuclear and chemical weapons.
DTRA learned recently, the document said, that changing contractors for other programs had exposed the agency to the possible loss of critical data related to arms control details. Without the extension, the database may not process information as quickly as needed for U.S. international partners in treaties. “Technical insufficiency or data loss is unacceptable, could harm the fragile international relationships forged to date, and could incur major program impacts,” the DTRA document says.
Along with arms control treaties, DTRA develops weapons that can destroy or neutralize weapons of mass destruction. In the last decade, it has developed two weapons now in the Air Force arsenal aimed at chemical weapons stockpiles — the CrashPAD and the passive attack weapon. Both may be used if there are airstrikes are launched against Syria in response to the Aug. 21 sarin gas attack that killed at least 1,400 people, including more than 400 children.
Locker writes for USA Today.