The proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, advanced conventional weapons, and related materials, technologies, and expertise presents a grave threat to the security of the United States and to international peace.
North Korea, for instance, pursues nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in defiance of its international obligations, worsening threats to the United States and our allies, destabilizing Northeast Asia, and increasing the risk of nuclear war. The Iranian regime develops ever more capable ballistic missiles and proliferates them to regional proxies and terrorist forces; its potential to resume work on nuclear weapons is a threat to us and our partners. That other states may follow their lead in proliferation is an enduring challenge.
Terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaedalso seek access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) technology, and both ISIS and the Assad regime in Syria have used WMD. Syria, Russia, and Iran are also working to erode the institutions that underpin global nonproliferation and weapons elimination achievements. Geopolitical rivalry also fuels proliferation. Russia and China have increasingly potent and diverse WMD and missile arsenals, and they provide advanced arms to partners and proxies in various regions.