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Policy Issues

Arms Control and Nonproliferation

The proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems, advanced conventional weapons, and related materials, technologies, and expertise presents a grave threat to the security of the United States and to international peace.

North Korea, for example, pursues nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in defiance of its international obligations, destabilizing Northeast Asia and increasing the risk of nuclear war. The Iranian regime develops ever more capable ballistic missiles and proliferates them to regional proxies and terrorist forces. Both ISIS and the Assad regime in Syria have used WMD. Russia and China have increasingly potent and diverse WMD and missile arsenals, and they provide advanced arms to partners and proxies in various regions.

It is a strategic goal of the Department of State to counter threats to the United States and the international order. Ultimately, the Department’s work improves the security of the United States and all the nations of the world.

Read more about what specific bureaus are doing to support this policy issue:

Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance (AVC): AVC helps to form key strategies and goals of the U.S. government on arms control. These strategies and goals cover two broad areas: 1) assisting the United States and other nations in negotiating arms control and disarmament treaties and 2) creating strong relationships with other nations to aid in the implementation of treaties. Read more about AVC

Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN): ISN’s mission is to prevent the spread of WMD, delivery systems, and advanced conventional weapons capabilities and to roll back such proliferation where it has already taken root. ISN tracks, develops, and implements effective responses to proliferation threats and shapes the international security environment to prevent their recurrence. Read more about ISN

U.S. Department of State

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