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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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Nunn-Lugar Program Eliminates Nuclear Warheads, ICBM Launchers

The U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction program in June and July supported elimination of two strategic nuclear warheads and two mobile ICBM launchers, Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) announced last week (see GSN, Aug. 10).

The Nunn-Lugar initiative in the two-month period also secured seven nuclear-weapon train shipments and supported disposal of 256.36 metric tons of chemical warfare agents, according to a press release. The document incorrectly states that two ICBM silos were destroyed in the latest reporting period rather than the mobile launchers, a Lugar spokesman clarified.

Since being established in 1991 to secure and eliminate weapons of mass destruction in former Soviet states, the CTR program has assisted deactivation of 7,601 strategic nuclear warheads and destruction of 791 ICBMs, 498 ICBM silos, 182 mobile ICBM launchers, 670 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, 492 SLBM launchers, 33 ballistic missile-capable submarines, 155 strategic bombers, 906 nuclear air-to-surface missiles and 194 nuclear test tunnels.

The effort has also provided safeguards for 536 nuclear-weapon train shipments, boosted security at 24 nuclear weapons storage facilities and constructed 34 biological agent monitoring stations. It supported the removal of all nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, nations that once respectively held the world's third-, fourth- and eighth-largest nuclear arsenals.

The Nunn-Lugar program aided the elimination of Albania's small stockpile of chemical warfare materials, its first effort outside the former Soviet Union. The initiative has helped to dispose of 2,247.3 metric tons of Russian and Albanian chemical agents.

Lugar toured several East African disease research facilities late last year as part of a bid to safeguard potential biological-weapon materials on the continent.

"Earlier this month, Americans commemorated 10 years since terrorists launched their assault on our way of life," Lugar said in released remarks. "We know that terrorists would use nuclear, chemical and biological weapons if they had them. Today, we celebrate destroying more of the world’s most deadly weapons, never again having to worry that they will be used against us" (see GSN, Sept. 9; U.S. Senator Richard Lugar release, Sept. 23).

NTI Analysis

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