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Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security > Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) > Releases > Other Releases > 2006 

Export Control and Related Border Security Program: Strategic Plan


Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN)
Washington, DC
September 15, 2006

The current National Security Strategy directs enhanced assistance to strengthen nonproliferation efforts to prevent rogue states and terrorists from acquiring the materials and technologies necessary for weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Export control assistance is a key component of U.S. nonproliferation efforts. UNSCR 1540, adopted in 2004, and UNSCR 1673, adopted in 2006 and extending UNSCR 1540, calls on all UN member states to establish and implement effective controls over exports from or through their national territories. On September 23, 2003, President Bush called on all members of the U.N. General Assembly to criminalize WMD proliferation and to "enact strict export controls consistent with international standards, noting that the "United States stands ready to help any nation draft these new laws, and to assist in their enforcement." The Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program is a comprehensive USG effort to help other countries improve their export and related border control systems.

This strategic plan describes the vision, goals, objectives, and methodologies of the EXBS program. It is intended primarily to guide the efforts of those involved in managing and implementing this program, but it is also hoped that this plan will be useful to those working on related programs with which the EXBS program seeks to coordinate its efforts, as well as overseers in the Department of State, the Executive Office of the President, and Congress. It is also intended to supplement and be used in conjunction with two previously issued strategic plans – the Strategic Plan for Nonproliferation Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance in Eurasia, issued September 12, 2004, and the Strategic Plan for Interagency Coordination of U.S. Government Nuclear Detection Assistance Overseas, issued August 5, 2004.

The Department of State, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Office of Export Control Cooperation (ISN/ECC), provides policy direction for, and management and coordination of, the EXBS program. This policy direction is provided in consultation with other offices within the Department of State, as well as other U.S. Government agencies, including the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, and the Intelligence Community. To help implement the EXBS program, ISN/ECC draws on expertise from the agencies mentioned above (but not from the Intelligence Community), as well as private contractors and non-governmental organizations.

The EXBS program has placed a number of EXBS program advisors at U.S. Embassies to help assess countries’ export control and related border security systems, contribute suggestions to program plan development, facilitate delivery of equipment and provision of training, provide subsequent monitoring of equipment, coordinate with other assistance providers, and develop relationships with key points of contact in the recipient government.

The program is designed to assist other governments in bringing their export control systems up to international standards and in establishing and implementing an independent capability to detect and interdict illicit transfers of WMD, WMD-related items and conventional arms. This is achieved by providing a variety of assistance, including the following:

  • Diplomatic initiatives to persuade governments to commit themselves to establishing and implementing effective export control systems; 

  • Multilateral conferences and training seminars to facilitate regional cooperation and share common experiences on export/border control reform; 

  • Consultations on improving the legal/regulatory framework and other aspects of a comprehensive export control system; 

  • Training on all areas of a comprehensive export control system, including licensing procedures and practices, government outreach to industry, border control inspection/detection, cargo targeting, dual-use item identification, anti-corruption, investigation, and prosecution; 

  • Equipment to enhance border inspection and interdiction capabilities, including basic tool kits, specialized hand-held and other cargo-screening detection machines, communications gear and patrol vehicles, and commodity identification databases. 

  • Funding and EXBS program advisor support to assist in the maintenance and repair of detection equipment supplied by the EXBS program or certain other USG nonproliferation assistance programs; 

  • Providing support for and collaborating with other State Department and U.S. Government nonproliferation and counterproliferation initiatives, such as the Proliferation Security Initiative, helping countries meet their obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673, and preventing the financing of proliferation-related activity; 

  • Development and field deployment of an automated strategic export licensing information system to reinforce the interagency review process, enhance industry compliance, and improve licensing transparency and audit capacity.

SCOPE OF THIS PLAN

This plan addresses only the EXBS program, which consists almost exclusively of activities conducted using funds obligated by the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation pursuant to the authorities in Sections 582 of the Foreign Assistance Act and Section 503 of the FREEDOM Support Act, and managed by ISN/ECC.

While ISN/ECC seeks to fully coordinate EXBS program activities with other related programs, this plan does not cover the entirety of U.S. Government nonproliferation efforts, which also include threat reduction programs and efforts to strengthen the multilateral nonproliferation treaties and export control regimes.

This plan should be considered in the larger context of broader U.S. Government efforts, including other nonproliferation, counterterrorism, anti-narcotics, trade security, and border security programs.

STRATEGIC VISION FOR THE EXBS PROGRAM

Key source, transit, and transshipment countries for nonproliferation regime-controlled items will possess effective, self-sustaining, multi-agency export control and related border security systems with policies and procedures that are consistent with international standards. These countries will be committed to and capable of preventing transfers of WMD, WMD-related items and conventional arms to end-users and end-uses of proliferation concern.

METHODOLOGY

ISN/ECC, in consultation with the interagency, employs the following methodology to execute the EXBS program:

  • Identify and prioritize proliferation threats; 
  • Identify assistance recipients;
  • Prioritize bilateral assistance among countries; 
  • Assess national export control and related border enforcement capabilities and identify and prioritize deficiencies; 
    Determine and prioritize, in conjunction with appropriate U.S. agencies, types of assistance needed for individual countries and/or regions; 
  • Coordinate with other assistance providers; 
  • Identify funds and solicit assistance providers for specific needs; 
  • Coordinate and oversee implementation; 
  • Measure indicators of program effectiveness and refine plans.

NATIONAL EXPORT/BORDER CONTROL CAPABILITIES

In order to assist countries to create effective, self-sustaining, multi-agency export/border control systems, ISN/ECC employs EXBS program assistance to achieve the following strategic capabilities in recipient countries:

  • Political commitment to nonproliferation and to an effective strategic trade control system; 
  • Export control legal/regulatory framework in line with international standards, to include effective interagency coordination and cooperation; 
  • Effective licensing procedures and practices; 
  • Effective enforcement practices; 
  • Effective government outreach to industry.

ISN/ECC has developed a more detailed "best practices" document that lists specific items under these categories and is attached to this plan.

IDENTIFYING ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS

ISN/ECC, in consultation with the interagency, determines the countries with which it intends to initiate or continue EXBS program activities based on the following criteria:

  • Political willingness to engage on nonproliferation and export controls, including requests made through the UN 1540 Committee;
  • Risk of items or technology of proliferation concern being exported or smuggled from, or transited or transshipped through, the country, to include sensitivity and volume of the items/technology;
  • Ability of the country to address adequately the proliferation threat on its own;
  • Nature of assistance already being provided or planned by other donors;
  • Related U.S. foreign policy and national security concerns.

Given the nature of the proliferation threat, including the diverse and increasingly sophisticated players as evidenced by the A.Q. Khan proliferation network, it is important to make progress simultaneously with a wide range of countries rather than focus exclusively on just a few of the highest priorities. This approach is supported by the fact that countries have a limited ability to absorb assistance within any given time period, particularly since training recipients must be taken away from current duties, including those related to border security. Experience in implementing the EXBS program shows that, for effective program management, the program needs to be limited to approximately five countries per ISN/ECC officer with country-specific duties. This general limit can be exceeded to meet pressing needs and to take into account new priorities, such as those based on new intelligence or a change in attitude by a previously non-cooperating country. In general, however, new countries will be added to the program as others are moved into the "sustainability phase," or as staffing levels increase. ("Sustainability" means that a country has reached a critical milestone in the development of its export/border control system such that significant funding is no longer needed. Fine-tuning and refresher training can be provided from regional funds rather than a budget line-item for that country. ECC will move countries into the sustainability phase based on thorough assessments and interagency input, discussed further below.)

PRIORITIZING ASSISTANCE AMONG COUNTRIES

    The EXBS program prioritizes assistance in accordance with five proliferation threat categories into which given recipient countries are grouped:

    EXBS Country Risk Assessment Summary

    Country

    (1) Potential WMD source (which would include countries that have a production capability as well as those that are believed to have stocks)

    (2) countries that produce WMD-related dual-use items (countries with industries that can be expected to be seeking licenses for transfer and where there is an ongoing risk of unauthorized transfer from ongoing production, and risk of contributing to WMD programs)

    (3) significant transit/transshipment routes for WMD and related items

    (4) producers of Advanced Conventional Weapons/
    MANDPADS and related dual-use items

    (5) less significant threats for transit/
    transshipment and threats for retransfer of munitions stocks

    Afghanistan

    X

    X

    Albania

    X

    Algeria

    X

    Argentina

    X

    X

    X

    Armenia

    X

    X

    Azerbaijan

    X

    X

    Belarus

    X

    X

    X

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    X

    Brazil

    X

    X

    X

    Chile

    X

    China

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    Croatia

    X

    Cyprus

    X

    Egypt

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    Georgia

    X

    X

    India

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    Indonesia

    X

    X

    Iraq

    X

    X

    Jordan

    X

    Kazakhstan

    X

    X

    X

    Kenya

    X

    X

    Kyrgyzstan

    X

    X

    Malaysia

    X

    X

    Malta

    X

    Macedonia

    X

    X

    Mexico

    X

    X

    Moldova

    X

    X

    Morocco

    X

    Oman

    X

    Pakistan

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    Panama

    X

    X

    Philippines

    X

    Russia

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    Serbia and Montenegro

    X

    X

    Singapore

    X

    X

    X

    Slovakia

    X

    X

    South Korea

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    Sri Lanka

    X

    Taiwan

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    Tajikistan

    X

    X

    Tanzania

    X

    X

    Thailand

    X

    Tunisia

    X

    Turkey

    X

    X

    X

    X

    Turkmenistan

    X

    X

    Ukraine

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    Uzbekistan

    X

    X

    Vietnam

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    Yemen

    X

    Countries are categorized based on open-source information and input from EXBS program participants. A country’s categorization on this chart will not always correlate to its annual share of EXBS program funding, but in general it should do so. As described in previous sections of this paper, a number of factors contribute to a country’s annual EXBS program budget. These factors include the absorptive capacity in a given country (and whether a backlog exists in funding from previous years), the stage of the program’s development in the country, and the state of the country’s willingness to cooperate through the program. In addition, because provision of equipment is more expensive than training, a country that is receiving a big-ticket piece of equipment or has requirements predominantly for border control capabilities may have a funding level relatively higher than its priority as a proliferation risk.

    Determining Funding Levels

    In general, however, funding will be proposed for allocation using the following methodology:

    • Prioritize countries. Countries are prioritized based first on the category in which each is placed, with Category 1 being the highest priority, and then by assessing the threat posed by the countries within each category. This latter process is carried out as part of an interagency effort, including input from the Intelligence Community, and takes into account both a country’s potential to contribute to proliferation and its track record. In order for this plan to remain unclassified, and to minimize the need for revisions given that country rankings may shift somewhat from year to year, countries are listed alphabetically within each category. The actual prioritization within each category will be included in annual action memoranda seeking approval of proposed funding allocation levels for each country. 

    • Prioritize assistance activities within each country. This is accomplished through an interagency planning process and is described more fully in the next section. 

    • Propose funding for each country, in priority order, based on the number of prioritized activities it can reasonably absorb in a given year, taking into account other factors identified in this plan, including political commitment and coordination with other assistance providers. If this process results in no funding being available for some of the lower-priority countries, and there is no back-log in funding in these countries with which to maintain cooperation in the current fiscal year, minor adjustments can be made in the funding levels for higher-priority countries, particularly those with backlogged funding, to ensure that at least one activity can be conducted with each country.

    PRIORITIZING BILATERAL ASSISTANCE WITHIN A COUNTRY

    ISN/ECC determines the composition and sequencing of EXBS program assistance to a recipient country based on an assessment of all the following factors:

    • Deficiencies in a recipient country’s strategic trade and border control system that pose the most significant proliferation risks;

    • Deficiencies in a recipient country’s strategic trade and border control system that could best be addressed by EXBS program assistance;

    • Necessity of assisting the recipient country in multiple areas at once or of achieving improvements in one area before assistance to another area can be applied usefully;

    • Willingness and capability of the recipient country to cooperate in a particular area.

    All ISN/ECC country officers hold meetings with program partners to go over the factors above and provide a forum for all views to be heard and discussed. Program plans, which detail the funding levels and activities to be conducted with those funds from a given fiscal year, are sent to U.S. embassies in each program country for final input from posts and approval from the host government. In support of this process, the EXBS program has taken the initiative to develop and improve several planning tools. These include a Revised Evaluation Tool, a Generic Country Plan, and results-based performance measures, each of which is described below.

    Revised Evaluation Tool

    In each aspect of the assistance-targeting process, the EXBS program makes use of data and analysis generated from all sources and compiled within the Revised Evaluation Tool for each country. The Revised Evaluation Tool consists of a thorough list of Yes/No/Partial questions intended to determine whether a country is committed to developing a fully effective system and to identify the specific weaknesses in the country’s system. Answers to these questions help identify the degree of engagement required at the political level and the strategic trade control assistance activities needed to address the weaknesses. This analysis in turn assists the Department in seeking from Congress and allocating the necessary resources to help halt proliferation through the EXBS program, and to measure performance broadly by evaluating progress made between assessments.

    Information for each country’s assessment using the Revised Evaluation Tool is obtained through a variety of sources: in-country Advisors, Country Officers, other USG assessments, and contractor assessments. The resultant EXBS country assessments are provided to all relevant parties (e.g., EXBS program partner agencies and advisors, managers of related programs) and they are encouraged to offer any comments that might enhance the assessment based on their experience with these countries. The Revised Evaluation Tool includes a methodology that results in a quantitative representation of the country’s licensing system, enforcement apparatus, government outreach capacity, and international commitments, as well as an overall system score. Consideration of moving a specific country into a "sustainability phase" will begin upon achievement of a threshold score, at which time ISN/ECC will seek the views of its interagency partners.

    Generic Country Plan

    ISN/ECC has developed a detailed, country planning process that matches all the capabilities – identified in the Revised Evaluation Tool above – that would be needed by a hypothetical country having no export and related border controls with the assistance that implementers are prepared to offer to provide those specific capabilities. By identifying the implementers that would provide specific types of assistance, the generic plan seeks to achieve a transparent and efficient division of labor both within the EXBS program and with related programs. By overlaying the Revised Evaluation Tool results on the generic country plan, one can develop a specific long-term plan for each country that identifies the assistance that is needed and the organizations that would conduct each assistance activity.

    Taking into account the general principle that the program is stronger with the full participation and support of other U.S. Government agencies, the division of labor for EXBS program activities will reflect agencies’ areas of expertise, the value they add to any given activity (e.g., do their employees conduct training or do they contract it out?), countries with which agencies are most interested in working, agencies’ compliance with the terms of the Interagency Acquisition Agreements by which funds are obligated to them, and agencies’ capacity to implement the type and quantity of activities necessary for the program to be effective. The private sector will be used as needed to meet program objectives, taking into account the factors above.

    Performance Measures

    Since comprehensive information on all proliferation-related transfers that may have taken place or been attempted is usually unavailable, it is not possible to assess fully the effectiveness of a country’s strategic trade control system. ISN/ECC nevertheless continuously reevaluates the effectiveness of recipient countries’ strategic trade controls, remaining deficiencies, and the contributions made by the EXBS program. ISN/ECC approaches these evaluations by comparing countries’ strategic trade control systems against international standards established by the nonproliferation regimes as well as the rating criteria that comprise the Revised Evaluation Tool. ISN/ECC’s evaluations rely on a number of factors, including the following:

    • Periodic reassessments of countries’ strategic trade control systems using the Revised Evaluation Tool as it is applied; 
    • Assessment visits by program managers to recipient countries; 
    • Regular reporting from EXBS Program advisors and embassies; 
    • Bilateral consultations with recipient government officials; 
    • Progress on legal/regulatory reform; 
    • After-action assessments of EXBS program training activities and long-term tracking of officials trained and equipment provided; 
    • Recipient government cooperation with the United States on specific proliferation cases to halt transfers or investigate and prosecute violators; 
    • Independent government actions in support of nonproliferation, such as cargo seizures or license denials.
      In addition, as part of the effort to develop a generic country plan, all program implementers have been asked to identify the performance measures they use to assess the effectiveness of their assistance activities. Establishing and successfully meeting performance targets will be an increasingly significant factor in determining which implementers and activities get funded.

    COORDINATION

    ISN/ECC coordinates EXBS program activities with other assistance programs in a number of ways, including the following:

    • Regular meetings of the ISN/ECC-chaired Sub-Policy Coordination Committee (Sub-PCC) Interagency Working Group on Nonproliferation Export Control Assistance, which focuses on coordinating with related programs to prevent duplication and ensure that all programs are in line with overarching USG objectives and that the EXBS program is relevant and responsive to Administration priorities. (These other programs include: the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI); DOE’s Second Line of Defense (SLD), and DOE’s independently-funded activities under its International Nonproliferation Export Control Program (INECP); DHS/CBP’s Container Security Initiative (CSI); and DOD’s Proliferation Prevention Initiative (PPI) and International Counterproliferation Program (ICP)). 
    • Attending bi-annual meetings of the NSC-chaired Sub-Policy Coordination Committee on International Nuclear and Radiological Border Security Efforts, which focuses on preventing duplication of effort and coordinating programs to provide radiation detection equipment overseas. The programs and organizations involved are NNSA’s SLD; DOD’s CTR and ICP; Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office; and the State Department’s Nuclear Trafficking Response Group and Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative. 
    • Daily consultations with EXBS program implementing agencies; 
    • In-country efforts of Embassy personnel and EXBS Program advisors stationed at U.S. embassies; 
    •  Outreach planning with other donor governments and international organizations; 
    • Creation of a transparent division of labor through the generic country plan mentioned above. 
    For the countries of Europe and Eurasia, coordination with the Office of the Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia, including interagency meetings held by that office focusing on activities in specific Eurasian countries.

    FUNDING AUTHORITIES

    The Department of State, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Office of Export Control Cooperation (ISN/ECC) manages the provision of USG interagency nonproliferation export/border control assistance under the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program. Lead responsibility for export control assistance was transferred to the State Department from the Department of Defense in 1996, at which point the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund provided funding. In 1998 an export control assistance sub-account was established as part of the Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, De-Mining and Related Programs (NADR) account of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act (FOAA).

    In FY 2000 this program evolved into the EXBS program, when significant funding was transferred to the Nonproliferation Bureau (NP) – now the merged Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) -- from the New Independent States (NIS) account to provide additional strategic trade control assistance to the NIS, with a particular focus on enhancing border security, pursuant to section 503 of the FREEDOM Support Act. NP created the Office of Export Control Cooperation and Sanctions (NP/ECS – later NP/ECC, now ISN/ECC) from part of the Office of Export Control and Conventional Arms Nonproliferation Policy (NP/ECNP) to manage this expanded program.

    Beginning in FY 2003 the EXBS program began receiving funds primarily from the NADR account, causing NADR funding for the EXBS program to increase from approximately $17 million in FY 02 to $43 million in FY 06. The program has received additional funding on an ad hoc basis from the Independent States (IS) account of the FOAA, as authorized under the FREEDOM Support Act, but expects FY 06 to be the last year of such funding. The EXBS program currently is active in about 45 countries with a budget in fiscal year 2006 of $42.966 million from the NADR account, and ($3.3 million) from the IS account – up from just $3 million in 1998.

    The EXBS program draws its NADR authorities from Part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2301 et. Seq.) as amended to include Chapter 9, "Nonproliferation and Export Control Assistance, as well as Section 503 of the FREEDOM Support Act."

    Section 581: "The purposes of assistance under this chapter are to halt the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and conventional weaponry, through support of activities designed –

    (1) to enhance the nonproliferation and export control capabilities of friendly countries by providing training and equipmenttodetect, deter, monitor, interdict, and counter proliferation;

    (2) to strengthen the bilateral ties of the United States with friendly governments by offering concrete assistance in this area of vital national security interest;

    (3) to accomplish the activities and objectives set forth in sections 503 and 504 of the FREEDOM Support Act (22 U.S.C. 5853, 5854, without regard to the limitation of those sections to the independent states of the former Soviet Union; and

    (4) to promote multilateral activities, including cooperation with international organizations, relating to nonproliferation."
    Section 582: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law (other than section 502B or section 620A of this title), the President is authorized to furnish, on such terms and conditions as the President may determine, assistance in order to carry out the purposes of this part. Such assistance may include training services and the provision of funds, equipment, and other commodities related to the detection, deterrence, monitoring, interdiction, and prevention or countering of proliferation, the establishment of effective nonproliferation laws and regulations, and the apprehension of those individuals involved in acts of proliferation of such weapons."

    CONCLUSION

    The EXBS program’s comprehensive interagency approach, flexibility, and responsiveness make it a unique resource for addressing critical aspects of the United States’ nonproliferation objectives. The EXBS program directly supports the National Security Strategy and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540.


    There is no greater threat to international peace and to our own security than the spread of weapons of mass destruction to rogue nations and to terrorist groups. In confronting this danger, one of our most urgent tasks is to assist partner governments to develop the multiple instruments of effective national export controls. Without such capabilities, a nation is simply not in a position to secure its borders and national territory against the export or transit of these weapons and other sensitive items and materials.

    The Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (“EXBS”) program draws on the expertise and cooperation of a range of U.S. Government agencies and the private sector to provide the legal, licensing and enforcement training, along with the necessary information systems and equipment, to put the relevant capabilities into the hands of willing governments.

    Paul van Son, Director
    Office of Export Control Cooperation
    Burear of International Security and Nonproliferation


    For more information, contact:

    Andrew Church, Deputy Director
    Office of Export Control Cooperation
    Room 3317
    U.S. Department of State
    Washington, DC 20520


    Released on September 15, 2006
    U.S. Department of State
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