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WMDT establishes and maintains diplomatic relationships and develops and implements programmatic efforts to strengthen priority partner countries’ capabilities to prevent, detect, and respond to R/N material smuggling and prevent terrorist/non-state actor acquisition of chemical and biological materials. This multifaceted approach is conducted in coordination with other U.S. government departments and agencies along with international organizations.

Diplomatic Engagement

WMDT establishes and enhances counter R/N material smuggling partnerships with countries in high-risk regions by concluding bilateral political arrangements, referred to as Joint Action Plans. Joint Action Plans provide a framework for joint efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to incidents of nuclear and other radioactive material smuggling. To ensure effective implementation, WMDT leads U.S. interagency delegations in bilateral consultations with partner countries to assess progress and determine next steps. WMDT currently manages Joint Action Plans with 14 partner countries: Algeria, Armenia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Lithuania, Moldova, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

WMDT also engages diplomatically with peer countries, such as China, to share best practices and lessons learned, and collaborate on counter R/N material smuggling efforts bilaterally and in third countries.

In addition, WMDT engages with other donor countries and international bodies and programs, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), INTERPOL, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (GP), the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), and the European Commission to coordinate activities and leverage resources to mitigate the threat that terrorists may acquire materials across the CBRN spectrum.

Programmatic Engagement

WMDT’s foreign assistance program is threat-based. WMDT works with partner countries assessed to be at highest risk for R/N material smuggling as well as terrorist or non-state actor acquisition of chemical or biological materials. The WMDT program addresses national gaps and vulnerabilities in five priority functional areas:

  • Material & information security
  • Investigative capabilities
  • Legislation & prosecution
  • National, regional, and international information sharing & cooperation
  • Technical support & expertise


WMDT supports U.S. policy makers on CBRN terrorism-related issues and international efforts. In the area of counter R/N material smuggling, WMDT chairs the U.S. Nuclear Trafficking Response Group (NTRG), which coordinates the U.S. government response to foreign requests for R/N material smuggling assistance. WMDT also serves as the U.S. government’s Point of Contact to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB), the most mature international information-sharing mechanism on incidents involving R/N material out of regulatory control.

U.S. Department of State

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