Cooperative Threat Reduction

This service describes the Department of Defense's Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program. This page contains an Introduction and a Table of Contents.


Although the end of the Cold War dramatically reduced the danger to the United States posed by the threat of a massive nuclear exchange, instabilities and uncertainties in the new independent states (NIS) of the former Soviet Union have created new challenges and threats. The changing political, social, and economic conditions strain the ability of the NIS to provide for the safe and secure storage, transportation, and dismantlement of nuclear weapons and to eliminate these threatening systems once and for all. By assisting the NIS in these tasks, the CTR program reduces the threats from weapons of mass destruction missile by missile, warhead by warhead, factory by factory, and person by person.

CTR is not foreign aid. Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry calls it "defense by other means." Through CTR we have achieved some tremendous gains, which are noted in this booklet, toward ensuring our security by helping to eliminate weapons that could be aimed at us and by helping to prevent weapons proliferation to hostile countries.

The United States spent many billions-perhaps even trillions-of dollars during the Cold War to defend against the Soviet Union's weapons of mass destruction. The CTR program operates on a significantly smaller scale, but the payoff is tremendous; and results are tangible, observable, and even, in some cases, immediate.

In these times of increased competition for scarce resources, the CTR program is an opportunity to enhance our security and invest in our children's security that we cannot afford to miss.


Updated: 15 Jun 1998