Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance: U.S. Programs in the Former Soviet Union [April 26, 2011]   [open pdf - 567KB]

"Congress passed the Nunn-Lugar amendment, authorizing U.S. threat reduction assistance to the former Soviet Union, in November 1991, after a failed coup in Moscow and the disintegration of the Soviet Union raised concerns about the safety and security of Soviet nuclear weapons. The annual program has grown from $400 million in the DOD budget to over $1 billion per year across three agencies--DOD, DOE, and the State Department. It has also evolved from an emergency response to impending chaos in the Soviet Union, to a more comprehensive threat reduction and nonproliferation effort, to a broader program seeking to keep nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons from leaking out of the former Soviet Union and into the hands of rogue nations or terrorist groups, to a global program to address the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The Department of Defense manages the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, which provides Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan with assistance in transporting, storing, and dismantling nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. [...] Analysts have debated numerous issues related to U.S. nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance. These include questions about the coordination of and priority given to these programs in the U.S. government, questions about Russia's willingness to provide the United States with access to its weapons facilities, questions about the President's ability to waive certification requirements so that the programs can go forward, and questions about the need to expand the efforts into a global program that receives funding from numerous nations and possibly extends assistance to others outside the former Soviet Union."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31957
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