Thompson/Lieberman to Attend “Wehrkunde” Conference on Security Policy

Washington, DC – Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) and Ranking Member Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) will attend the 36th Munich Conference on Security Policy in Munich, Germany. This premier international security conference, “Wehrkunde,” will be a gathering of over 200 cabinet ministers, secretary-generals, parliamentarians, high-ranking military officers, policy experts and a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Congressmen.

The conference will look at lessons earned from the war in Kosovo, the latest initiative by the European members of NATO to create their own defense capability within the alliance, and a discussion on rising world powers in Asia. Senator Lieberman will address the conference Saturday, Feb. 5, on the topic of “Kosovo: Lessons Learned.” High on Senator Thompson?s list of agenda items that he intends to raise is the continued proliferation of “dual-use” and military-related technologies by the industrialized that occurred with the loosening of national export controls soon after the end of the Cold War.

Senator Lieberman’s primary focus will be on the technological gap in capabilities between U.S. and NATO military forces, as demonstrated during the Kosovo operation. Lieberman will be paying particular attention to plans by NATO to increase spending to close that gap.

Prior to the Conference?s start, the U.S. congressional delegation led by Senators Lieberman and Chuck Hagel (R-NE), are scheduled to make a short stop in Moscow to meet with Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin. During that meeting, Senator Thompson intends to share several of his concerns including continued proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear technology, and missile parts to third world countries, the ABM Treaty, and the START II talks. He will also share concerns about the raging war in Chechnya and the need for a political solution, rather than a military one. Senator Thompson will also inquire about the recent changes in the Duma, its impact on Russia?s future and how President Putin sees his role.

Members of the congressional delegation include:
Senate     House
Senator Chuck Hagel     Rep. Norman Sisisky (D-VA_
Senator Joe Lieberman     Rep. Porter Goss (F-FL)
Senator Jon Kyl     Rep. Julian Dixon (D-CA)
Senator Fred Thompson     Rep. Norman Dicks (D-WA)
Senator Jack Reed     Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)
Senator Susan Collins     Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-NE)
Senator Joseph Biden     

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