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31 August 2005
State Department Issues "Report Card" on Weapons Agreements
U.S., foreign compliance with nuclear, chemical, missile pacts scrutinized
Washington -- The State Department has provided Congress with an update on U.S. and foreign
compliance with various international nonproliferation and arms control agreements.
The report, released August 30, commends Libya and Albania and criticizes North Korea and Iran.
Libya is praised for deciding to eliminate its programs to make nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons, while Albania is commended for finding and agreeing to destroy old stocks of chemical
weapons. On the other hand, North Korea and Iran are cited for having clandestine nuclear weapons
The assessments are contained in a legislatively required submission -- a kind of periodic report card --
titled Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament
Agreements and Commitments. It was submitted to Congress August 30.
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The report provides an assessment of the adherence of the United States and other nations to
obligations undertaken in arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements or commitments
-- including the Missile Technology Control Regime in which the United States is a participating state -
- for 2002 and 2003.
It "reflects the importance the administration and the U.S. Congress place upon compliance with" such
agreements and commitments, which can "only serve the national security interests of the United States
if they are fully complied with."
The report notes that the post-9/11 world poses a very real threat of weapons of mass destruction being
used as weapons of terror, and states that other governments' violations "can present grave threats to
Therefore the United States emphatically stresses "verifying compliance with, and detecting violations
of, such agreements and commitments –- as well as upon ensuring that violators promptly return to
compliance and that other would-be violators are deterred from breaking their own promises." In doing
so, "only the highest standards of analytical rigor" are applied to compliance findings.
The 108-page report is unclassified. As a result, it presents a "relatively brief account of findings and
the unclassified information that underlies them." However, the findings in it "are based on all
available information, including information that may only be discussed in classified versions."
NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY
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The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into effect in 1970 as an attempt to prevent the
further spread of both nuclear weapons material and the technology to make them. The report singles
out Libya's December 19, 2003, renunciation of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and long-
range missile programs and its decision to return to compliance with the NPT as well as to join the
Chemical Weapons Convention as perhaps the most significant event in this submission.
The report also notes North Korea's withdrawal from the NPT and the large amount of new data
available about Iran's long history of clandestine nuclear activity in challenging the NPT regime as
important, though negative, events.
ACCORDS WITH RUSSIA, OTHER SOVIET SUCCESSOR STATES
The report deals with U.S., Russian and other Soviet Union successor states' compliance with treaties
and agreements concluded bilaterally between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as
compliance by other countries that are parties to multilateral agreements with the United States, and
compliance with less formal commitments that have direct import to arms control, nonproliferation,
and/or disarmament issues.
COMPLIANCE WITH STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TREATY
This edition of the report includes more information than previous ones on Russia's implementation of
the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which was a bilateral effort of the United States and the
Soviet Union to reduce jointly their enormous nuclear arsenals and delivery systems. It discusses a
number of long-standing, unresolved U.S. concerns about Russian compliance with START. These
include Russia preventing U.S. inspectors from: measuring the launch canisters of certain
Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs); verifying that certain Russian ICBMs do not contain more
warheads than attributed under the treaty; having all required telemetry materials for some START-
accountable Russian flight tests; properly accounting for certain Russian ICBM road-mobile launchers
that come under the Treaty.
CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is intended to prohibit the development, production,
stockpiling and use of chemical weapons, and also to regulate the destruction of existing stocks. The
section of the report on the Chemical Weapons Convention addresses U.S. concerns with China, Iran,
Russia and Sudan, as well as the results of U.S. assistance to Libya in declaring and eliminating its
chemical weapons program. Another positive compliance story deals with Albania's declaration of
newly discovered chemical weapons and its work to ensure the security and elimination of its chemical
OPEN SKIES TREATY
The Open Skies Treaty sets up a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territory of
agreed members to promote confidence, predictability, and stability regarding military forces and
weapons systems. Because it entered into force only in January 2002, this edition of the report is the
first to discuss compliance with that treaty.
The full text of the report is available on the State Department Web site.
For additional information on U.S. efforts to prevent weapons proliferation, see Arms Control and Non-
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