Weapons of Mass Destruction:

Reducing the Threat From the Former Soviet Union: An Update

NSIAD-95-165: Published: Jun 9, 1995. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 1995.

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Benjamin F. Nelson
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, focusing on the program's: (1) planning and funding status; and (2) recent progress in eliminating weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union (FSU).

GAO found that: (1) the CTR program has facilitated Ukraine's weapons dismantlement efforts and has significantly influenced other recipient states' decisions to dismantle weapons of mass destruction; (2) the Department of Defense (DOD) has developed its first comprehensive multiyear CTR plan and has doubled program obligations and tripled program expenditures over the past 11 months; (3) the value of CTR work exceeds reported expenditure levels and program managers are adjusting their reporting systems to reflect the value of work actually performed; (4) DOD has made some progress in conducting audits and examinations in FSU states receiving CTR funds; (5) the specific material impact of CTR assistance has been limited due to the lack of certain storage facilities and the recent delivery of some CTR aid; and (6) the program needs to overcome numerous challenges and problems, such as the lack of agreement over disposal methods, to realize its long-term objectives.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Congress reduced the budget by $13.4 million.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider reducing the CTR program's fiscal year 1996 request for $104 million for support to Russian chemical weapons destruction efforts by about $34 million because of uncertainties regarding the expenditure.

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Congress precluded any funds being spent until the joint evaluation results were completed and the technology proven.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider withholding approval to obligate any remaining funds designated for the design or construction of elements of a chemical weapons destruction facility until the United States and Russia have agreed on the results of the joint evaluation study concerning applicability of a destruction technology.


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