In this Report, the term “violation” refers to any action or omission by a State Party to an international agreement that is determined by the United States to be inconsistent with obligations owed by that State Party to the United States under the agreement in question and that may give rise to international legal remedies. Additionally, the Department of State, in its role as the lead U. agency on arms control matters, is responsible for providing policy advice and expertise related to compliance to individual departments and agencies and the interagency community.As noted above, there can sometimes be legal or factual uncertainty as to whether a violation has occurred. executive branch, including at the Do D, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Commerce, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that operate to ensure that plans and programs under those departments’ and agencies’ purview remain consistent with U. These processes and controls operate in parallel, and in addition to the congressional oversight process.The United States also is compliant with its CWC obligations related to commercial activities. Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, also known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty All U. activities during the reporting period were consistent with the obligations set forth in the INF Treaty.Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT), Underground Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes Treaty (PNET), and Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) The Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests, also known as the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT), was signed in 1974.A similar process is used to evaluate a country’s adherence to politically binding commitments.Many concerns relating to compliance involve matters of interpretation; many involve highly classified information derived from sensitive sources and methods.Arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements and related commitments continue to be important tools that can protect and advance U. In fact, failures to comply can present serious national security challenges.A party that complies with a treaty only to have one or more of its counterparties violate the agreement, for instance, can find itself at a potentially grave and destabilizing disadvantage – a danger that would be all the more acute to the degree that such cheating is successfully concealed.
Therefore, within the framework of any given set of agreements and commitments, vigorous verification, scrupulous compliance analysis, and robust compliance enforcement are critical aspects of U. These include the nature and precise language of the obligations undertaken in the context of international law, information regarding the country’s activities - including that acquired by so-called National Technical Means of verification (i.e., intelligence collection), cooperative verification measures, open source information, and diplomatic means - and any information provided by the country in question.
The United States and the majority of the other participating States involved in these agreements and commitments are implementing these obligations and commitments and have indicated their intention to continue doing so. policy to comply with international legal obligations. Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) The BWC entered into force on March 26, 1975. The United States continues to work toward enhancing transparency of biological defense work and effective national implementation of BWC obligations using the BWC confidence‑building measures and a range of voluntary measures and initiatives. New policy is being developed that requires a standing panel of experts to review all biosafety procedures and protocols governing the removal of Biological Select Agents and Toxins (BSAT) from a containment laboratory.
As the Report makes clear, however, compliance concerns – and in some instances treaty violations and actions determined to be inconsistent with political commitments – exist involving a relatively small number of States. Organizations and Programs to Evaluate and Ensure Treaty Compliance Because of our deep-seated legal traditions, our commitment to the rule of law, and our belief in the importance of such agreements to enhance our security and that of our allies and friends, the United States complies with its obligations under all applicable arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements and commitments. To the extent the United States has determined that compliance with an obligation is no longer in the U. national security interest, the United States has sought to negotiate modification of the agreement in question or withdraw from the agreement altogether – as indeed occurred with the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. Individual departments and agencies within the Executive Branch have established policies and procedures to ensure that plans and programs under those departments and agencies’ purview remain consistent with U. The newly established BSAT Biosafety Program Office ensures the safety and standardization of procedures used in Do D BSAT laboratories and identifies industry-wide best practices to enhance biosafety across the full spectrum of Do D BSAT operations. In 2016, the United States engaged Russia bilaterally through an exchange of questions and responses relevant to each other’s obligations under the BWC.
When discussing politically binding commitments, the Report generally uses the term “adherence” instead of “compliance.” Thus, a State engaged in conduct that is determined to be inconsistent with a politically binding commitment is said to be “not adhering” to that commitment, rather than “violating” the commitment. Further, an interagency review is conducted in appropriate cases, including when other treaty parties formally raise concerns regarding U. Do D components ensure their implementing program offices adhere to Do D compliance directives and seek guidance from the offices charged with oversight responsibility. For example, DHS similarly established a compliance review process, which assesses DHS-sponsored research for compliance with all relevant arms controls agreements.
When concerns arise regarding the actions of our treaty partners, we seek, whenever possible, to address our concerns through diplomatic engagement. Similar processes have been established by other departments and agencies to ensure that their programs and activities comply with U. Interagency reviews also are conducted in appropriate cases, such as when other States formally raise concerns regarding U. implementation of its arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament obligations and commitments.