Weapons of Mass Destruction: Assessing U.S. Policy Tools for Combating Proliferation

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The attacks of September 11 and the recent anthrax cases have heightened long-standing concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The United States and the international community have undertaken several efforts over the years to secure these weapons and prevent their spread. Today, there is renewed need to maintain strong international controls over such weapons and related technologies, and to reevaluate the effectiveness of the controls. The United States has used the following four key policy instruments to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. November 7, 2001.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The attacks of September 11 and the recent anthrax cases have heightened long-standing concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The United States and the international community have undertaken several efforts over the years to secure these weapons and prevent their spread. Today, there is renewed need to maintain strong international controls over such weapons and related technologies, and to reevaluate the effectiveness of the controls. The United States has used the following four key policy instruments to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: (1) international treaties, (2) multilateral export control arrangements, (3) U.S. export controls, and (4) security assistance to other countries. Each instrument is important to preventing the transfer of weapons of mass destruction and associated technologies to terrorists or rogue states, but each has limitations. International treaties restrict transfers of weapons of mass destruction technologies, but their effectiveness depends on whether treaties can be verified and enforced and whether all countries of concern are members. Multilateral export control arrangements are voluntary, nonbinding agreements under which countries that produce the technologies used to develop weapons of mass destruction agree to restrict the transfer of these technologies. U.S. export controls set the legal and regulatory conditions under which goods and technologies can be exported. Security assistance to other countries helps control or eliminate nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and otherwise stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 7, 2001

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Weapons of Mass Destruction: Assessing U.S. Policy Tools for Combating Proliferation, text, November 7, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289867/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.