An official website of the United States Government Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

WRA 101 Infographic

Cluster Munitions

The United States shares international concerns regarding the unintended harm to civilians associated with unexploded ordnance from any munition, including cluster munitions, and remains the single largest financial supporter in the world of humanitarian efforts to address the effects of explosive remnants of war.

The United States remains committed to acquiring better, more highly reliable weapons that ensure both effectiveness on the battlefield and the protection of civilians and U.S. and friendly forces from unnecessary harm.

U.S. Anti-Personnel Landmine Policy

Effective January 21, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a new U.S. policy limiting the use of anti-personnel landmines (APL) and aligning the United States’ policy and practice with key provisions of the Ottawa Convention for all activities outside of the context of the Korean Peninsula. 

Under this APL policy, the United States will align its activities outside of the context of the Korean Peninsula with key provisions of the Ottawa Convention.  This means the United States will:

  • Not develop, produce, or acquire APL;
  • Not export or transfer APL, except when necessary for activities related to mine destruction or removal, and for the purpose of destruction;
  • Not use APL outside the Korean Peninsula;
  • Not assist, encourage, or induce anyone, outside the context of the Korean Peninsula, to engage in activity that would be prohibited by the Ottawa Convention; and
  • Undertake to destroy APL stockpiles not required for the defense of the Korean Peninsula.

Additionally, the United States will undertake diligent efforts to pursue materiel and operational solutions that would be compliant with and ultimately allow the United States to accede to the Ottawa Convention, while ensuring our ability to respond to contingencies and meet our alliance commitments.

The United States leads the world in conventional weapons destruction, having invested more than $4.6 billion in more than 100 countries since 1993 to promote international peace and security by addressing the threat of conventional weapons, including the humanitarian hazards from landmines and unexploded ordnance.  The United States also has partnered with a number of other governments to reduce the risk that terrorists or other non-state actors might obtain small arms and light weapons or ammunition that are not properly secured.

Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Assistance)

Federal Grants and/or Cooperative Agreements are used to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA). U.S. Foreign Assistance awarded worldwide can be viewed here (link to site  Along with its other partners in the international community and other U.S. government agencies, PM/WRA continues to rely on the non-governmental organization (NGO) community to implement many of its Conventional Weapons Destruction (CWD) activities, for example, ground survey and clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance or destroying excess weapons and munitions. These activities further the Department of State’s and USAID’s joint strategic objectives to lead allies and partners to address shared challenges and competitors; prevent, deter, and resolve conflicts; and promote international security (FY 2022-2026 Department of State and USAID Strategic Plan objective1.4)

These instruments invite interested parties to submit applications for PM/WRA assistance and explain what the application should contain, how it should be written, and the evaluation criteria to be used.

PM/WRA competes awards through the publication of Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO), found at Federal grants website. All PM/WRA grant recipients must submit proposals through SAMS Domestic ( ).

2 CFR 200, also known as the “Super Circular”, became active on December 26th, 2014. It streamlines eight previous federal regulations into a comprehensive guidance and serves as the current legal doctrine on Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. 2 CFR 200 can be found in eCFR :: 2 CFR Part 200 — Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

The Department of State has adopted the entirety of 2 CFR 200 with minimal exceptions. The few allowances can be found in this section of the CFR website.

U.S. Department of State Foreign Assistance Terms and Conditions.

U.S. Department of State Bureau Award Specifics:

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

Below are three examples of past PM/WRA NOFOs, each pertaining to a separate mine action field: Clearance and Survey, Stockpile Management, and Humanitarian Mine Action.

Grant Proposal Guidance and Template

PM/WRA’s NOFO Application Guidance:

To Walk the Earth in Safety

Since the inception of the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program in 1993, and its merging into our overall Conventional Weapons Destruction program in subsequent years, the United States has delivered more than $4.6 billion in aid to help overcome threats from landmines and unexploded ordnance, as well as the destruction of at-risk and unsecured weapons and munitions in over 100 countries and territories around the world. These efforts have been led by the U.S. Department of State, in close partnership with the Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development, and a host of experts from across the U.S. Government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

The United States is proud to be the world’s single largest financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction and we share common cause with those working to address the harmful effects of indiscriminately used landmines on civilians and to prevent small arms and light weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists. Our efforts have enabled many countries around the world to become free of the humanitarian impact of landmines. These funds also support mine risk education to prevent accidents, and provide prosthetics, physical rehabilitation services, and vocational training for the injured. Physical security and stockpile management, including destroying excess weapons stockpiles, has become a primary tool in degrading violent extremist organizations’ capabilities, preventing accidental weapons depot explosions, and mitigating internal armed conflict. The programs we fund produce tangible, measurable, and positive results.

“To Walk the Earth in Safety” documents the United States’ commitment to conventional weapons destruction programs, supporting stability around the world. The report is a publication of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA).

The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction 

The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction  is a forum for international discourse on issues relating to post-conflict environments and explosive hazards clearance for the humanitarian mine action (HMA) and conventional weapons destruction (CWD) community. Its purpose is to act as a conduit through which HMA/CWD operators—including nongovernemental organizations, governments/militaries, academics and practitioners—present and share information on pertinent issues, practices, experiences, case studies, and new technologies/methodologies in the HMA and CWD field. Since its first publication in 1997, The Journal continues to function as an historical resource for the community of practice, presenting a chronological reflection on the developments within the HMA/CWD field over the past 25 years.

The Interagency MANPADS Task Force: Building Partnerships To Protect Global Aviation


Man-portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) can be legitimate weapons in the arsenals of government military forces, but in the wrong hands, the systems pose a serious threat to commercial and military aircraft.   In addition to their lethality, a MANPADS attack – even an unsuccessful one – on a civilian aircraft can have devastating economic effects, especially in unstable regions.  Their small size makes MANPADS easy to conceal and traffic, some fitting in an automobile trunk.  Properly securing state-owned MANPADS and preventing their illicit diversion are vital steps towards both avoiding and recovering from conflict.

Most MANPADS consist of a missile enclosed in a disposable tube, a reusable trigger mechanism (“gripstock”), and a battery or battery cooling unit.  The battery powers the missile’s systems for a short period prior to launch.  MANPADS are usually 4 feet to 6.5 feet long, about 3 inches in diameter, and weigh about 29 to 55 pounds.  They can travel at twice the speed of sound and hit aircraft as high as 20,000 feet and up to 3.1 miles away.


In 2006, the White House established the Interagency MANPADS Task Force (MTF) to coordinate a comprehensive, government-wide approach to counter illicit MANPADS proliferation and reduce the threat of those held by terrorist groups and other violent nonstate actors.  Consisting of representatives from several U.S. government agencies and chaired by the Department of State, the MTF also mitigates threats from All-purpose Tactical Guided Missiles (ATGMs).  These systems are intended for use against armored vehicles but can be lethal to aircraft under certain conditions.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the MTF has played a central role in mitigating the risk of weapons diversion to U.S. adversaries and violent non-state actors.  In collaboration with interagency and international partners, the MTF coordinates implementation of the U.S. Plan to Counter Illicit Diversion of Certain Advanced Conventional Weapons in Eastern Europe.  The activities directed by the U.S. Plan help Ukraine and its neighbors to securely manage advanced conventional weapons, strengthen national borders, and deter and interdict illicit trafficking.


The MTF advances cooperation with partner governments and international organizations on MANPADS threat mitigation and counter-proliferation initiatives.  These partners have a vital role in raising international awareness, curbing illicit proliferation, and mitigating local and regional MANPADS threats.

The MTF helps countries incorporate MANPADS-specific training into their own border management and physical security programs.  This helps their personnel to recognize, seize, and safely manage MANPADS and other advanced conventional weapons if discovered.  As of January 2023, more than 2,000 individuals from 55 countries received the training.

PM/WRA’s Physical Security and Stockpile Management and CWD programs have reduced more than 43,000 at-risk MANPADS and their components worldwide and remain critical to preventing further illicit proliferation of these dangerous arms. 

As an example of the interagency approach, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration has conducted approximately 75 MANPADS Assist Visits (MAV) and International MANPADS Outreach Training Programs (IMOTP) at airports around the world.  State supports TSA MAVs and related training programs to help build the capacity of foreign countries to identify and mitigate potential MANPADS threats at international airports.

Map of Global MANPADS attacks. Project funded by the U.S. Department of State Map produced by Small Arms Survey Data on acquisitions and transfers compiled by Small Arms Survey Data on attacks compiled by RAND.
Map of Global MANPADS attacks. Project funded by the U.S. Department of State.
Map produced by Small Arms Survey.
Data on acquisitions and transfers compiled by Small Arms Survey.
Data on attacks compiled by RAND.

The U.S. Department of State Quick Reaction Force: Providing Rapid Response to Conventional Weapons Destructions (CWD) Emergencies

QRF works with Sierra Leonean armed forces to safely dispose of unstable munitions. Photo courtesy of Golden West.
QRF works with Sierra Leonean armed forces to safely dispose of unstable munitions. Photo courtesy of Golden West.

The Quick Reaction Force (QRF) is a team of civilian EOD technical experts that serve as PM/WRA’s first responders to unexpected CWD-related emergencies across the globe, including munitions depot explosions, ammunition depots at risk of imminent explosion, and ERW that pose significant threats to civilians. These situations require immediate action to secure or dispose of poorly secured or unstable munitions, prevent loss of life, protect critical infrastructure, and conduct needs assessments for further CWD activities. The QRF can begin to respond to these threats worldwide in as few as 48 hours.

Since 2001, the QRF and its precursor, the Quick Reaction Demining Force, have deployed to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Croatia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Guatemala, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Liberia, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Philippines, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

“Too many foreign military depots, even if originally situated in uninhabited locations, have become surrounded by urban growth over the decades,” notes Stanley L. Brown, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs. “In other cases, depots were deliberately built in populated areas. Either way, the aging ammunition in these dangerous depots poses an imminent threat to nearby civilians. Ultimately, it is smarter and more cost-effective to safely remove and demilitarize aging ammunition beforehand than it is to let that ammunition decay, blow up, and result in the loss of life, damage to infrastructure, economic loss, and pollution of surrounding neighborhoods with unstable ammunition spread by the explosions. But when that happens, the QRF serves as the United States’ first responders.” Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, implementing partner for the QRF, is a U.S. NGO specializing in humanitarian demining, BAC, and PSSM.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future