Lugar travels to Asia in effort to end weapons programs

Lugar’s trip, which started Monday and ends on Nov. 2, is part of the Nunn-Lugar Global Cooperative Threat Reduction program. Since the program started, Lugar has performed oversight inspections of Nunn-Lugar sites in Europe, Asia and Africa.

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“Southeast Asia is a major intersection of global trade and commerce by water and air,” said Lugar, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “U.S. strategic economic and foreign policy needs to become more robust in the Asia-Pacific region and Nunn-Lugar Global Cooperative Threat Reduction will be an important tool for our diplomatic and military leaders as we seek a more integrated approach to the region.”

In November 1991, Lugar and then-Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) authored the Nunn-Lugar Act, creating the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which has provided U.S. support and expertise to help the former Soviet Union safeguard and dismantle its stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, related materials and delivery systems. In more recent years, the program has expanded beyond former Soviet Union countries.

According to his statement, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus are free of nuclear weapons as a result of the Nunn-Lugar program, and 7,610 strategic nuclear warheads have been deactivated, among several other accomplishments.