The GNDA is a worldwide network of sensors, telecommunications, and personnel, with the supporting information exchanges, programs, and protocols that serve to detect, analyze, and report on nuclear and radiological materials that are out of regulatory control. Its mission is to protect against terrorist attacks using nuclear and radiological materials through coordinated detection, analysis, and reporting on the unauthorized importation, possession, storage, transportation, development, or use of such materials.
The GNDA is an important part of the larger integrated nuclear terrorism defense spectrum, and it relies on and supports a breadth of capabilities across this spectrum. GNDA functions support, and are supported by, other separate and distinct functions relating to nuclear security such as political and strategic leadership, tactical leadership, event-driven response, nuclear forensics, radiological and nuclear materials management (including licensing and inspection by regulatory authorities), physical security, interdiction, and response and recovery. Although the primary focus of this strategic plan is on the detection portion of the spectrum, the inter-relationships across the spectrum are vital. For example, effective facility and transport security for nuclear and radiological materials, both domestically and overseas, forms the first layer of defense against nuclear terrorism. On the other end of the spectrum, a detection event should lead to interdiction to end the plot or terrorist activity. Overall, the risk of detection should lead to deterrence of terrorist acquisition of nuclear and radiological materials.
The Department of State, through the International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau, along with the Departments of Energy and Defense maintain policy guidance and implementation responsibility of the portion of the GNDA outside the United States. In addition, the Department of State leads overall coordination and harmonization of U.S. Government efforts to develop and enhance international detection architectures and strategies, focusing on the following objectives: