<center><h1><a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/28/opinion/28FRI1.html?pagewanted=print&position=>A Real Nuclear Danger</a></h1></center> <blockquote>While the Bush administration has been distracted by the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it has neglected the far more urgent threat to American security from dangerous nuclear materials that must be safeguarded before they can fall into the hands of terrorists. That is the inescapable conclusion to be drawn from a new report that documents the slow pace of protecting potential nuclear bomb material at loosely guarded sites around the world. The report prepared by researchers at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard does not directly blame the invasion of Iraq for undermining that effort. It simply notes that less nuclear material was secured in the two years immediately after the 9/11 attacks than in the two years before. That is a sad turnabout, given that President Bush has spoken vigorously of the need for greater nuclear security and that the United States had done more than any other government to address the threat. The most plausible explanation is that the administration has focused so intensely on Iraq, which posed no nuclear threat, that it had little energy left for the real dangers. Indeed, the Harvard researchers said that if a tenth of the effort and resources devoted to Iraq in the last year was devoted to securing nuclear material wherever it might be, the job could be accomplished quickly.</blockquote> Is America, and the world, really safer from terrorism? I think not. The Administration's lack of foresight may yet lead to further attrocities committed by terrorists, and this time on a far vaster scale.