Nonproliferation of MissilesBureau of Nonproliferation
January 14, 2004
The United States is dedicated to preventing the proliferation of missiles and missile technology, particularly to those who would use them to deliver weapons of mass destruction. The President’s December 2002 National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction outlines the primary tools to achieve this goal: active nonproliferation diplomacy, multilateral regimes, export controls, and sanctions. The U.S. has made important gains in each area. The responsible State Department office is the Bureau of Nonproliferation’s Office of Chemical, Biological and Missile Nonproliferation.
Active Nonproliferation Diplomacy
The U.S. is working with friends and allies to dissuade potential supplier states from cooperating with proliferant missile programs, and also to induce proliferant states to end their weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missile programs. The U.S. will hold countries responsible for adhering to their commitments, and build coalitions to support its efforts.
The MTCR is a voluntary association of countries that seek to coordinate national export control licensing efforts and policies aimed at preventing the proliferation of delivery systems for WMD. MTCR Partners commit to apply the regime’s common export control policy (MTCR Guidelines) to its list of controlled items (MTCR Annex) according to their own national export control legislation. Greatest restraint is applied to what are known as Category I systems. These items include complete rocket systems capable of carrying at least a 500 kg payload to a range of at least 300 km (known as “MTCR-class” or “Category I” missiles), and their complete subsystems and production facilities. The MTCR Annex also includes other key items of equipment and technology needed for the development, production, and operation of missiles.
The ICOC (also known as the HCOC -- Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation) was brought into effect in 2002. It supplements the MTCR’s nonproliferation efforts by providing a set of general principles, modest commitments, and limited confidence-building measures to help curb the spread of ballistic missiles and delegitimize missile proliferation. The administration of the ICOC is the responsibility of the Subscribing States (111 as of January 1, 2004).
The United States seeks to update and strengthen its own export control system in order to inhibit the export of sensitive materials to countries of concern, proliferators, and terrorists while also removing unnecessary barriers in the global marketplace. The United States also works to harmonize multilateral controls and domestic export policy to the greatest possible extent, while streamlining the implementation of export controls and strengthening and updating existing legislation and authorities. In addition to strengthening multilateral controls, the State Department, through the Bureau of Nonproliferation’s Office of Export Control Cooperation, administers the Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) program that assists other countries in enacting, implementing, and enforcing export controls -- including those relevant to missiles.
Nonproliferation standards are too often ignored and flagrantly violated by those who view WMD and missiles as a means of enhancing their security and international influence, or making commercial profit, many of whom are resistant to conventional diplomacy. While the U.S. pursues the diplomatic track whenever possible, the United States and its allies must be willing to deploy more robust techniques, such as economic sanctions, as well as interdiction and seizure, or other means. For example, in 2003 missile sanctions determinations were made against: