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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 201-96
April 11, 1996

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORT ON PROLIFERATION

Secretary of Defense William J. Perry today released a report entitled"Proliferation: Threat and Response." The report presents details for thefirst time, in an unclassified format, on the nature of the proliferationchallenge and the Department of Defense's response to the challenge. Itexamines how nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and various deliverysystems are being converted into specific military capabilities.

More than 25 countries, many who are hostile towards the United States, itsfriends and allies, have or may be developing nuclear, biological or chemicalweapons as well as the means to deliver them. More than 12 countries haveoperational ballistic missiles to deliver nuclear, biological and chemicalwarheads and more countries have programs to develop delivery systems.

"The U.S. response to this challenge is the Counterproliferation Initiative,"said Secretary Perry, "the goal of which is to improve our militarycapabilities to deter and prevent the effective use of nuclear, biological, andchemical weapons, to defend against them, and to accomplish our militaryobjectives effectively even in an environment where such weapons are used."

DoD is adapting its military planning so that U.S. forces retain thecapabilities necessary to protect themselves if nuclear, chemical or biologicalweapons are used and to prevail against aggressors who brandish or use suchweapons.