The Nonproliferation and Arms Control Technology Working Group (NPAC TWG) is established at the direction of the President.
NPAC Technology Working Group Charter
The NPAC TWG is the mechanism for the coordination of arms control and nonproliferation research and development (R&D). The NPAC TWG serves as an integral part of the interagency process and will report to the relevant National Security Council (NSC) policy IWGs and the Council on National Security (CNS) within the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) structure.
PurposeThe purpose of the NPAC TWG is to ensure effective coordination of R&D in the areas of arms control and nonproliferation as well as guarding against redundant arms control and nonproliferation related R&D and technology programs within and among departments and agencies.
FunctionsReporting equally to the chairperson of the relevant NSC policy IWGs and the CNS within the NSTC structure, the NPAC TWG will:
- exchange information and coordinate arms control and nonproliferation R&D;
- advise agencies on nonproliferation and arms control R&D priorities;
- facilitate the conduct of cooperative interagency programs;
- review nonproliferation and arms control R&D programs and identify overlaps and gaps;
- frame interagency issues and differences for decisions by adjudicating bodies;
- advise policy IWGs on R&D capabilities and limitations; and
- make recommendations to the Council on National Security (CNS) on coordination of all nonproliferation and arms control R&D programs in the President's budget submission to Congress.
StructureThe President has designated the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Defense (DOD) as the co-chairing agencies for the NPAC TWG. These agencies will appoint their co-chair representatives at the R&D Program Manager level or above. In addition to its role as Co-chair, ACDA will also serve as the Executive Secretary for the NPAC TWG. Additional staff and assistance, consistent with the terms of the charter, are the responsibility of the Co-chair s.
The Co-chairs will convene no fewer than four meetings of the NPAC TWG per year. The agenda for these meetings will be coordinated among the Co-chairs, and responsibility for chairing these meetings will rotate among the Co-chairs. Represented departments of agencies, the CNS or relevant NSC IWGs may request additional meetings of the NPAC TWG through the Co-chairs. Minutes of meetings will be prepared by the ACDA, in its capacity as the NPAC TWG Executive Secretary, and approved by the Co-chairs prior to distribution. Minutes of meetings will be distributed to all NPAC TWG members and the Chairperson of the CNS and appropriate NSC IWGs.
The NPAC TWG Co-chairs, consistent with TWG recommendations will recommend action on major activities to the Chairperson of the CNS and appropriate NSC IWGs.
The following departments and agencies are represented on the NPAC TWG, at the R&D Program Manager level or above:
- Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Defense
- Department of Energy
- Department of Justice
- Department of State
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Department of the Interior
- Joint Chiefs of Staff
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- National Security Agency
- U.S. Customs Service
In addition, the following also shall be represented on the NPAC TWG, at the R&D Program Manager level or above:
- Arms Control Intelligence Staff
- Central Imagery Office
- Community Management Staff
- Central MASINT Office/Technology Coordination Office
- Committee on National Security
- Office of Management and Budget
- Office of Science and Technology Policy
- National Reconnaissance Office
- National Science and Technology Council
- National Security Council
- Nonproliferation Center
- United States Geological Survey
The NPAC TWG may establish such Subcommittees, Working Groups and Focus Groups as necessary to carry out its functions. The NPAC TWG Co-chairs will appoint the chairs and vice-chairs of all Subcommittees, Working Groups and Focus Groups. Chairs of NPAC TWG Subcommittees, Working Groups and Focus Groups will arrange assistance from their own agencies or from other agencies represented on the Subcommittees, Working Groups and Focus Groups.
Other departments, agencies or organizations may be added to the NPAC TWG on either a permanent or ad hoc basis depending on the issues to be addressed. The membership of the Subcommittees, Working Groups and Focus Groups is not restricted to NPAC TWG members.
The Nonproliferation and Arms Control Technology Working Group (NPAC TWG) has been established by the President of the United States to be the mechanism to ensure effective coordination of arms control and nonproliferation-related research and development (R&D) as well as guarding against redundancy in these R&D and technology programs within and among departments and agencies.
Focus Group Terms of Reference
As part of its functions the NPAC TWG has been tasked to:
- provide the forum for the exchange of information and coordination of arms control and nonproliferation-related R&D;
- advise agencies on arms control and nonproliferation priorities;
- facilitate the conduct of cooperative interagency arms control and nonproliferation-related programs;
- review arms control and nonproliferation-related R&D programs and identify overlaps and gaps;
- frame interagency issues and differences on arms control and nonproliferation-related R&D issues for decisions by adjudicating bodies;
- advise policy IWGs on arms control and nonproliferation-related R&D capabilities and limitations; and
- make recommendations to the National Science and Technology Council through the Committee on National Security on coordination of all arms control and nonproliferation-related R&D programs in the President's budget submission to Congress.
In accomplishing the foregoing functions, the NPAC TWG may establish Subcommittees, Working Groups and Focus Groups in such functional or topical R&D areas as necessary to conduct in depth analyses. The NPAC TWG Co-chairs will define a general statement of objectives for each Subcommittee, Working Group or Focus Group, and will appoint the group chairs and vice-chairs ensuring representation from other agencies and organizations to adequately address the specific area of focus. Chairs of NPAC TWG Subcommittees, Working Groups and Focus Groups will arrange assistance from within their own agencies and from other agencies represented on the Subcommittees, Working Groups and Focus Groups. As part of their responsibilities each group will conduct an in-depth analysis of their respective focus area providing the NPAC TWG with a summary report which will include, as appropriate:
- a statement of the arms control or nonproliferation objective (e.g., response to a defined requirement, development of a specific technology, or basic research);
- an overview of R&D programs within the focus area including the:
- sponsoring agency/organization;
- performing agency/organization;
- technology program;
- budget; and
- focus/objective of research;
- identification and description of gaps;
- identification and description of overlaps (necessary/unnecessary duplication);
- identification and description of synergy/leverage opportunities;
- recommendations for added emphasis; and
- recommendation for a focus area programs coordinating agency/organization.
ACDA co-chairs, along with the Departments of Energy and Defense, the Nonproliferation and Arms Control Technology Working Group (NPAC TWG), and serves as the NPAC TWG Executive Secretary. The NPAC TWG was created by Presidential Decision Directive (PDD-27) to enhance the United States effort to pursue a robust and focused science and technology strategy that applies technical knowledge to the development of effective arms restraints, continually improves detection, monitoring and verification capabilities, and uses science and technology cooperation across the government to advance U.S. arms reduction and nonproliferation goals.
Through the active participation of over 30 government organizations, the NPAC TWG ensures effective coordination of R&D in the areas of arms control and nonproliferation, guards against redundant programs, and identifies technological gaps and proposals to address them, thus contributing to effective stewardship of national science and technology resources.
Now in its fourth year of operation, the NPAC TWG coordinates over 500 technology R&D programs that contribute or are directly related to nonproliferation and arms control, representing an approximately $2.7 billion annual investment.
Reporting equally to the relevant NSC policy IWGs and the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on National Security (CNS), the NPAC TWG is chartered to:
- exchange information and coordinate federal arms control and nonproliferation R&D;
- advise agencies on nonproliferation and arms control priorities;
- facilitate conduct of cooperative interagency programs;
- identify overlaps and gaps in R&D programs;
- advise policy IWGs on R&D capabilities and limitations; and,
- make recommendations to the CNS on coordination of all nonproliferation and arms control R&D programs in the President's budget submission to Congress.
The NPAC TWG pursues its mandate through the efforts of 13 focus groups organized by technology, functional, or treaty area, and one subcommittee that identifies and coordinates current and future NPAC technology needs. These groups draw on the regular and frequent participation of over 100 government R&D program managers. The number and missions of the focus groups remains flexible. The current focus groups include:
- Active Electro-Optics
- Chemical Weapons Detection
- Biological Weapons Detection
- Fieldable Nuclear Detectors
- Nuclear Test Monitoring
- Fissile Material Monitoring
- Spectral Sensing
- Unattended Remote Sensors
- Proliferation Modeling
- Ballistic Missile Monitoring
- Underground Facilities Detection
- R&D Database Development
- Landmine Detection and Identification
NPAC TWG focus group members have the opportunity, and even the obligation to look beyond their individual agency and programmatic missions. Identifying gaps and unnecessary overlaps, aligning programs to best complement each other, and entering into collaborative projects are essential actions for agencies to use their limited R&D resources to greatest advantage.
The Technology Needs Subcommittee (TNS) promotes information flow among the policy, user, and developer communities, thus adding cohesiveness to how we use technology to respond to arms control and nonproliferation challenges. Internally, the TNS scans across focus group "stovepipes" to identify common technology issues where programmatic enhancements could achieve cross-discipline or multi-agency advantages.
Through its coordination efforts the NPAC TWG strives to assure agencies, Congress, and ultimately the American public that we are getting the most out of our investment. The NPAC TWG also provides meaningful technology and budget crosscuts for policy and acquisition decision makers, and continually extends its reach through the federal R&D community and to the public in general. Examples of NPAC TWG impacts include:
- Interactions fostered by the NPAC TWG have improved many R&D programs. One such example is given by the Proliferation Modeling focus group, whose decision to install many prototype proliferation models on analyst workstations created a cadre of early "beta testers" who have provided valuable feedback to the respective model developers.
- Lidar system development provides an example of interagency resource leveraging. The Department of Energy and the Air Force Phillips Laboratory signed a Memorandum of Agreement to work together on system development of a carbon dioxide laser-based differential absorption lidar. One outgrowth of the agreement was collaboration among Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Army's Edgewood Research and Development Center, and the Phillips Laboratory on the Nonproliferation Airborne Lidar Experiment (N-ABLE) in fiscal years 1996 and 1997. This successful experiment, executed by a highly integrated team of scientists, made efficient use of each participating organization's expertise and resources through a judicious division of labor.
- The Technology Needs Subcommittee has been effective at raising awareness across government of the impact of budget reductions and changing priorities on basic research and phenomenology, transitioning and training for new technologies entering operational use, and operations and maintenance of key capabilities. Many of these issues represent multi-agency needs that cannot be adequately supported through individual agency budgets.
- As part of its obligation to keep the public informed on nonproliferation and arms control matters, ACDA, through its chairmanship of the R&D Database Development focus group, developed the NPAC TWG home page on the internet. To ensure that federal NPAC R&D interests are accessible to industry and university technology researchers, the NPAC TWG is collaborating with DoD's web-based Technology Navigator to develop a means for information on technology R&D products and studies to be submitted and routed to NPAC TWG focus groups through a browseable/searchable database.
- The NPAC TWG annual symposium in October allows the federal R&D community and federal contractors to take stock of the challenges and progress on nonproliferation and arms control technology issues, develop new collaborative relationships through networking, and share detailed technical information on individual R&D programs.
- The NPAC TWG annual report to the CNS, the report of the Technology Needs Subcommittee, and the focus group reports represent the only source of detailed interagency budget crosscuts in nonproliferation and arms control research and development. These crosscuts allow OSTP to effectively assess and articulate how the total program meets the President's goals in this area, and to actively support those participating programs with the Office of Management and Budget and Congress in the budget process.
Since its inception in 1994, the NPAC TWG has evolved into a highly credible vehicle for coordinating a key element of our national security science and technology strategy. By vectoring the diverse technical resources of individual agencies toward applications that transcend the mission of any single agency, the NPAC TWG puts forward an objective, dispassionate consensus of the R&D community, and ensures the immense technological engine of the federal R&D system is appropriately directed toward our nonproliferation and arms control goals.