N Burns on Khan Network

During Mark Hibbs’ presentation at the Carnegie conference, he was asked about the status of the Khan network.

According to my “summary,”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1468/ceip-conference-hibbs-conversation he said:

bq. *The network is still operating, or at least something like it.* When asked by Joe if the proliferation networks out there are the same as the Khan network, *Hibbs pointed out that the network members disappear and reappear, change the companies’ names, etc.* Even if they’re convicted, business people can later go underground and restart their enterprises.

Anyway, Nick Burns supplied some more information about the network’s status during a 25 July hearing before the SFRC.

Senator Isakson asked about the network’s status:

bq. Do you have reason to believe that the remnants of that network of nuclear proliferation still exist?

To which Burns replied:

bq. That’s a very good question. *I cannot assert that no part of that network exists, but it’s my understanding based on our conversations with the Pakistanis that the network has been fundamentally dismantled.* But *to say that there are no elements in Pakistan, I’m not sure I could say that.*

Senator Casey also asked about the matter. Burns essentially said that we are, at least in large measure, relying on the Pakistanis to keep Khan in his box, so to speak:

bq. *we have made it a point to tell the Pakistani government it’s their responsibility to have fully dismantled the network and to keep it dismantled* — and any similar networks — their responsibility.

But he also acknowledged that

bq. as I understand it, *we haven’t had the type of personal, consistent access [to Khan] that otherwise might have been — would have been of interest to us.* But again, I don’t have all the details of everything we’ve done, and some of it may be better conveyed to you in classified form as well.

Casey also asked about the most recent US-Paksitani conversation about the matter:

CASEY: …are you aware of any engagement recently, say, in the last six months?

MR. BURNS: I will get you an answer on that, to that question.

I’d also be interested in the answer to that question.

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