State Department offers prizes for arms control ideas

September 5, 2012

by Al Kamen


An Iranian missile launch (Ruhollah Vahdati/AP)

No, not an In the Loop contest.

It’s the State Department’s “Innovation in Arms Control Challenge.” There are, believe it or not, countries who “may be motivated to violate” various “treaties or international agreements on arms control,” an announcement last week informed us.

This, the department explained is “commonly understood as ‘cheating.’” Who knew? So, in this age of Twitter and Facebook and other social media, the department wants “creative ideas from the general public to use commonly available devices” — like smartphones, iPads, high-powered binoculars, Nats tickets? — to catch cheaters.

There may be a number of awards, but at least one will be worth $5,000 and the others at least $1,000. So be creative. Deadline is Oct. 26.

Remember: See something, tweet something.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.
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