Threat Reduction and Arms Control (TRAC)

Mr. John J. Burnham

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Threat Reduction and Arms Control (DASD(NCB/TRAC)) is the principal advisor to the ASD(NCB) for acquisition oversight, implementation, and compliance with nuclear, biological, and chemical treaties; cooperative threat reduction; chemical demilitarization programs; and building global partner capacity to counter weapons of mass destruction.  The DASD(NCB/TRAC) exercises oversight of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency-executed Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and provides oversight of the Chemical Demilitarization Program.  Additionally, the DASD(NCB/TRAC) provides oversight of implementation and compliance with existing and prospective nuclear, biological, and chemical arms control agreements in accordance with DoDD 2060.1, Implementation of, and Compliance with, Arms Control Agreements; integrates combating weapons of mass destruction programs; and assists the ASD(NCB) as Executive Secretary of the Counterproliferation Program Review Committee (CPRC) and Chair of the Standing Committee of the CPRC.


Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR)

Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR)

The TRAC CTR office oversees implementation and expansion efforts of the DoD CTR Program. Since 1992, the CTR Program has worked to reduce the risks from weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The CTR program now works across the former Soviet Union, and, more recently, in South Asia, Iraq, Afghanistan and with China, in partnership with host nations to address these threats. The CTR Program supports President Obama's effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material, the National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, as well as other international agreements focused on reducing the threats of WMD terrorism and proliferation. In the emerging security environment, CTR is an important piece of the U.S. Government approach to threat reduction. It promotes collaboration with international and non-governmental partners. This collaboration includes developing regional strategies, engagement, multilateral cooperation, and developing sustainable programs that are locally appropriate. CTR's strategic goal remains preventing state and non-state actors from proliferating WMD-related technologies, materials, and expertise with priority given to securing WMD at the source.


The CTR Program

  • Dismantles strategic weapons delivery systems and infrastructure;
  • Enhances security and safety of WMD and fissile material during transportation and storage;
  • Consolidates and secures dangerous pathogens at risk for theft, diversion, accidental release, or use by terrorists;
  • Enhances partner states' capacity to detect, diagnose, and report bioterror attacks and potential pandemics in compliance with international health reporting requirements;
  • Facilitates biological research partnerships;
  • Helps prevent proliferation of WMD and related materials through establishment of land and maritime surveillance systems; and
  • Facilitates defense and military contacts related to non-proliferation.


The Chemical Demilitarization Program

The Chemical Demilitarization Program

The Chemical Demilitarization Program is composed of two major defense acquisition programs, which are managed by the U.S. Army Chemical Weapons Agency (CMA) and the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) Program, with the goal of destroying a variety of chemical agents and weapons, including the destruction of former chemical weapon production facilities. This program is designed to eliminate the existing chemical weapons stockpile in compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) signed in 1997 - while ensuring the safety and security of the workers, the public, and the environment.


There are five mission areas within the Chemical Demilitarization Program:

  1. Destroy chemical agents and weapons stockpile using incineration technology;
  2. Destroy bulk container chemical agents stockpiles using neutralization technology;
  3. Destroy chemical agents and weapons stockpiles using neutralization technologies;
  4. Destroy Chemical Warfare Materiel (CWM) apart from the stockpile including: destruction of binary chemical weapons, former production facilities, and recovered chemical weapons; and
  5. Chemical stockpile emergency preparedness.

Detailed information about the Chemical Demilitarization Program is available on the following websites: and




Chemical/Biological Weapons Treaty ManagementChemical/Biological Weapons Treaty Management
The ASD(NCB) serves as the DoD Chemical and Biological Treaty Manager. CBW Treaty Management oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention for the Department of Defense.

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was ratified by Congress in 1997 and prohibits acquiring, developing, production, stockpiling, or retaining of CW for other than limited defensive work. Additionally it requires the destruction of all chemical weapons stockpiles. CBW Treaty Management serves as the functional arm of the DoD CW/BW Treaty Manager ensuring that all Department of Defense actions and international reporting requirements are compliant with the CWC.

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) was ratified in 1975 and excludes completely the possibility of bacteriological (biological) agents and toxins being used as weapons. The BWC does not have a verification regime; however in November 2009 the Obama Administration released the President’s National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats. The National Strategy designates the BWC as the premier forum for countering biological weapons and their use or proliferation by States or non-State actors. The seven objectives of the National Strategy are: promote global health security; reinforce norms of safe and responsible conduct; obtain timely and accurate insight on current and emerging risks; take reasonable steps to reduce the potential for exploitation; expand our capability to prevent, attribute, and apprehend; and transform the international dialogue on biological threats, promoting a robust and sustained discussion among all nations. CBW Treaty management supports ASD(NCB) by developing and supporting initiatives to promote the National Strategy goals at the BWC Review Conference and other international fora.

Nuclear Weapons Treaty ManagementNuclear Weapons Treaty Management

The ASD (NCB) serves as the DOD Nuclear Treaty Manager. Nuclear Treaty Management primarily oversees the implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Additional Protocol (AP) to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards Agreement for the Department of Defense.

The CTBT was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on 10 September 1996 and prohibits all nuclear test explosions in all environments for military or civil purposes. It also constrains the development of new and more advanced nuclear weapons and limits the ability of NNWS to acquire nuclear weapons. The CTBT establishes an international body called the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) to achieve its object and purpose and ensure implementation of its provisions. To ensure compliance, the Treaty establishes an extensive verification regime that includes an International Monitoring System (IMS), Consultation and Clarification measures, On-Site Inspection, and Confidence-Building Measures. Forty-four named nuclear capable states are required to become parties to the CTBT for entry-into-force of the Treaty. Of these forty-four, three have not signed the Treaty (India, Pakistan and North Korea) and four others have signed but not ratified the treaty (China, Indonesia, U.S., Israel, Iran). On December 3, 2004, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for early entry-into-force of the CTBT.

The United States has not ratified this Treaty, although it was the first to sign. The U.S. Senate declined advise and consent to ratification of the CTBT in October 1999 with a vote of 48 Yes, 51 No and 1 voting present.

The US-IAEA Safeguards Agreement Additional Protocol is an addendum of the original US-IAEA Safeguards Agreement. The Additional Protocol (AP) requires the USG to provide a wide range of declarations to the IAEA on nuclear fuel cycle programs within the U.S. except those programs of direct national security significance. Additionally, the AP gives the IAEA greatly expanded and intrusive inspection rights within the U.S. Although the DoD does not declare any activities, there are hundreds of DoD programs and activities located at or near declarable locations. Sensitive DoD activities located at, or near, commercial activities declared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or the Department of Commerce (DOC) as well as activities declared by the Department of Energy (DOE) on its installations may be at increased risk of compromise through IAEA inspections or technical verification activities. DoD-wide implementation and compliance (I&C) activities are coordinated by DoD’s Nuclear Treaty Manager (PDATSD(NCB)), in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD(P)), the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the U.S. Interagency, to assure that DoD equities are protected from compromise. These I&C activities include: security and vulnerability assessments; security and counterintelligence training; development and implementation of necessary DoD regulations, instructions, and procedures; use of the National Security Exclusion (NSE) and managed access to protect DoD equities from compromise; identifying and coordinating DoD roles and responsibilities on the U.S. Host Team; and planning for monitoring all integrated safeguards activities and ensure prompt notification of inspections and access requests to DoD Components.

Countering WMD (CWMD) Systems

The CWMD Systems portfolio funds programs, projects, and activities related to development and fielding of CWMD situational awareness capabilities for the Defense Department and its interagency and international partners. Its mission is to enable a network of people, organizations, data, and technology that integrates, synthesizes, and shares timely and tailored CWMD information. The CWMD Systems Office exercises oversight and manages resources for the CWMD Systems portfolio on behalf of the DASD(TRAC).