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Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN)
Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund

Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund

The Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (NDF), established in 1994, provides a means for the U.S. government to respond rapidly to nonproliferation and disarmament opportunities, circumstances or conditions that are unanticipated or unusually difficult, but of high priority. It supports the Department's priority transformational diplomacy mission. The flexibility and immediate response available from the Fund reduces the chance that the U.S. will not be able to respond to unforeseen proliferation issues anywhere in the world and is an important tool to take advantage of opportunities to counter proliferation. NDF maintains expertise in policy development, negotiations, program management, financial operations, and contract administration to ensure the work is accomplished in the most secure, safe, and cost-efficient manner possible. The NDF is a global operation, with projects being executed world-wide. The Fund directly supports the President's National Strategy to "Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction" and other key U.S. initiatives such as UN Security Council Resolution 1540.

An important part of NDF's mandate is maintaining readiness for fast and flexible responses to a wide variety of situations. For this reason, NDF resources are not committed to any project or region in advance, unlike traditional State Department or other U.S. nonproliferation assistance programs. Its mission includes efforts to:

  • Halt the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their delivery systems, radiological materials, and related sensitive and/or dangerous materials;
  • Destroy or neutralize existing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related sensitive materials and infrastructure;
  • Facilitate the detection and interdiction of WMD by tracking, controlling, and securing dangerous materials, including fissile material, radiological material, pathogens, and chemical agents or precursors;
  • Limit the spread of advanced conventional weapons; and
  • Buttress and supplement U.S. diplomatic efforts to promote bilateral and multilateral nonproliferation and disarmament activities.

The Fund has established a record of real threat reduction achievement. Examples of success include the removal of poorly secured fissile materials from Serbia to a secure facility monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency and removal of components of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from Libya (see "Notable Projects").

Authorizing Legislation
The NDF is authorized by Section 504 of the FREEDOM Support Act (P.L. 102-511) and is funded each year by the "Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs" (NADR) appropriation in the annual Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Acts.


(a) AUTHORIZATION.--The President is authorized to promote bilateral and multilateral nonproliferation and disarmament activities--

(1) by supporting the dismantlement and destruction of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, their delivery systems, and conventional weapons;

(2) by supporting bilateral and multilateral efforts to halt the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, their delivery systems, related technologies, and other weapons, including activities such as--

(A) the storage, transportation, and safeguarding of such weapons, and

(B) the purchase, barter, or other acquisition of such weapons or materials derived from such weapons;

(3) by establishing programs for safeguarding against the proliferation of nuclear, biological, chemical, and other weapons of the independent states of the former Soviet Union;

(4) by establishing programs for preventing diversion of weapons-related scientific and technical expertise of the independent states to terrorist groups or to third countries;

(5) by establishing science and technology centers in the independent states for the purpose of engaging weapons scientists and engineers of the independent states (in particular those who were previously involved in the design and production of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons) in productive, nonmilitary undertakings; and

(6) by establishing programs for facilitating the conversion of military technologies and capabilities and defense industries of the former Soviet Union into civilian activities."

The FREEDOM Support Act authorized the President to establish the NDF. The President delegated that authority to the Secretary of State, who redelegated that authority to the Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs (subsequently renamed the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security). NDF funds are "no-year" (funds need not be expended in the fiscal year in which they are appropriated) to permit maximum flexibility in project execution and may be made available "notwithstanding any other provision of law."

NDF Review Panel
The NDF encourages and facilitates input and advice from all State Department Bureaus and U.S. agencies responsible for nonproliferation and disarmament. The NDF Review Panel is the primary mechanism through which the NDF receives advice. The Review Panel's voting members are senior officials from the State Department's Bureaus of International Security and Nonproliferation, Political-Military Affairs, and Verification, Compliance, and Implementation. Additionally, the Review Panel includes representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce, and Energy; the Office of Management and Budget; the National Security Council; and the Central Intelligence Agency. The NDF also frequently calls upon advisors from the affected regional Bureaus within the Department of State, the Departments of Justice and Treasury, and other experts, to assist in evaluating proposed projects.

The panel's primary function is to formally consider project proposals. It then makes recommendations to the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Recommendations can include fully funding a project, funding a project for a different amount than the drafting office or agency requested (sometimes more, sometimes less), deferring a project, or not funding a project. In any case, by law the final decision must be taken by the Under Secretary. Prior to submission of a proposal, drafting offices are required to coordinate the draft proposal with all U.S. Government offices with applicable policy responsibilities. All project proposals must undergo at least a four-step review process:

  • Submission of the project proposal to the NDF;
  • Review of the proposal by the NDF Review Panel;
  • Approval of the proposal by the Under Secretary; and
  • A 15-day advance notification to Congress.

Application Process
Any U.S. Government agency or State Department office can submit project proposals to the NDF. Project proposals contain the following required information:

  • Project summary;
  • Mission areas supported, according to Congressional authorization;
  • Estimated costs;
  • Alternative funding sources (The NDF generally will not fund projects that can be funded elsewhere);
  • Related U.S. Government programs and policy initiatives;
  • Status of diplomatic negotiations and interagency deliberations;
  • Justification, emphasizing how the proposal advances a specific objective enumerated in the Congressional authorizing legislation;
  • Discussion of why funding for the proposed project was not included in the appropriate agency's budget request/appropriation;
  • Proposal elements/details; and
  • National Security Interest determination (which is necessary if the proposed project will take place outside the former Soviet Union).

Project Implementation
NDF staff includes a Director, Deputy Director, Comptroller, Policy Officers, Negotiators, Executive Secretary, and a Chief of Operations; Program Managers and Contract Administrators; Project Support Specialists; and Financial Specialists. Staff functions include:

  • Working closely with senior U.S. Government officials to ensure that NDF projects support the Administration's policy goals;
  • When authorized, negotiating agreements on NDF projects with foreign governments;
  • Ensuring tight management controls over NDF resources and programs;
  • Overseeing the proposal development and review process;
  • Serving as the Executive Agent on most projects;
  • Ensuring proposals and project execution follow and enhance U.S. policy;
  • Auditing expenditures; and
  • Evaluating results.

Independent audits by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) or the State Department's Office of the Inspector General are done periodically on key NDF projects.

Notable Projects
The NDF has completed high-priority proliferation threat reduction projects successfully, on time, and under budget. The following projects, some of which are still underway, are examples of such activities.

-- Negotiated and removed more than 100 pounds of at-risk highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the Vinca Institute in Belgrade, Serbia, to secure storage regulated by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Russia. ($3 million)
-- Was a key player in the safe removal of nuclear infrastructure from Libya to secure facilities in the United States. Libya's entire nuclear weapons program was eliminated within a few weeks time. ($2.5 million)

-- Destroyed fermenters in Kazakhstan that could have been used to make large amounts of pathogens for biological weapons. ($3.07 million)

-- Eliminated chemical weapons production equipment and facilities and secured chemical agents in the Balkans. ($0.575 million)

-- Destroyed nearly 40,000 munitions (including fuses, detonators, sea mines, air bombs, and torpedo bodies) in the Republic of Albania. (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2007/dec/97146.htm)
-- Funded the elimination of at-risk man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) worldwide. ($5 million)

Ballistic Missile
-- Negotiated and eliminated Soviet-era short-range, tactical ballistic surface-to-surface Missile Technology Control Regime Category I missiles in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Libya. ($11 million)

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