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Global Security Engagement:
A New Model for Cooperative Threat Reduction

“I commend the members of the NAS committee for an insightful and invigorating set of recommendations. This strong support and vision for the future will be an excellent resource as the Obama Administration seeks to expand Nunn-Lugar beyond the former Soviet Union.”

Senator Richard Lugar
Report Underscores Importance of Expanding Nunn-Lugar
Press Release, March 6, 2009

Report    Brief    Resource Library 

In the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, Congress directed the National Academy of Sciences to recommend ways to strengthen and expand the Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction (DOD CTR) program. The Committee on Strengthening and Expanding the Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction Program concluded that expanding the nation's cooperative threat reduction programs beyond the former Soviet Union, as proposed by Congress, would enhance U.S. national security and global stability.

A number of promising programs areas can be the basis for expanded activities across several regions and countries. However, future efforts to enhance global security must be part of a broader, integrated, set of programs. To meet the magnitude of new security challenges, particularly at the nexus of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism, a new model is needed that will draw on a broader range of partners and require more flexibility than current programs have. The White House, working across the Executive Branch and with Congress, should engage a broader range of partners in a variety of roles to enable a new program model to enhance global security.

This new CTR program strategy will need to take into account resources available across the government and through non-government and international partners. Domestically, the program should include a broad group of participants, including government, academe, industry, non-governmental organizations and individuals, and an expanded set of tools, developed and shared across the U.S. government.

Several specific measures can make the next generation of CTR more efficient, timely and valuable. This will lead to greater confidence, transparency and, ultimately, enhanced national security. For example the legislative framework, funding mechanisms, and program leveraging opportunities should be structured to support more effective threat reduction initiatives across DOD, other USG departments and agencies, international partners and NGOs.

The committee’s conclusion is that a bold vision is again required and that DOD and the entire USG should re-examine what CTR can accomplish and refocus efforts to promote global security engagement in the 21st Century.

We have also created an online database of helpful resources related to CTR. Many of the references are accessible via “hot links” within the entries in the database. The committees welcome comments on the report at: cisac@nas.edu. Please include “Global Security Engagement” in the email subject line.