Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons and Missiles: Status and Trends [Updated January 14, 2005]   [open pdf - 3MB]

"The United States has long recognized the dangers inherent in the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons, and missiles. Despite the preeminence of U.S. military power, or perhaps because of it, these weapons continue to pose very serious threats to the United States and its foreign interests. NBC weapons could be delivered by means ranging from ships or trucks that terrorist groups might employ, to aircraft, cruise or ballistic missiles of states. This report, which analyzes NBC weapons programs around the globe and potential threat patterns, is updated as needed...The status of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and missiles worldwide has changed only slowly over time. In absolute numbers, stockpiles are actually decreasing. Some U.S. and foreign analysts emphasize the positive impact of the demise of the Soviet Union and progress made in U.S.-Russian arms control and international arms control. Others emphasize the negative impact of the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan; missile tests by North Korea, Iran, India, and Pakistan; continuing transfers of dangerous technology particularly by China, Russia, and North Korea; and a growing interest in WMD among terrorists. This report provides background and analysis on U.S. policies regarding these complex national security issues. It focuses on the current threat and trends in nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and missiles."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30699
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