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Security, defense leaders celebrate 25th anniversary of Nunn-Lugar threat reduction program

DTRA has reported national security leaders from around the world, US defense experts and former Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar have marked the 25th anniversary of the day President George H. W. Bush signed the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991 into law, the agency said.

Now known as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, CTR is a nonproliferation program. The idea for the Nunn-Lugar program came as the Soviet Union was collapsing and US leaders were concerned about the security of the Soviet arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). There was great concern about what would happen to these weapons and materials when the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Senators Sam Nunn (D-GA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) led the effort in the fall of 1991, holding hearings, working with other senators, and drafting the legislation that would bear their name.

The initial bill included USD400 million to help secure, account for and destroy the stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons built up during the Cold War, the factories that produced and stored them, and the planes, missiles and submarines used to deliver them. This WMD complex was spread out over several states that would become independent nations when the Soviet Union collapsed. The bill was passed 84 to 6 in the Senate and on a voice vote in the House of Representatives before being sent to the President.

To date, CTR has deactivated more than 7,600 nuclear warheads and destroyed more than 3,600 missiles and missile launchers, 33 submarines, 155 bombers, more than 1.6 million chemical munitions, and more than 4,000 metric tons of chemical weapons.

The Nunn-Lugar CTR program now operates in over 40 countries worldwide. Advances in science and technology place an increased importance on countering the threat of biological and chemical weapons, and CTR continues to work with partner nations to mitigate these dangers.

DTRA is the US Department of Defense´s official combat support agency for countering weapons of mass destruction, addressing chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive threats.