Stimson Center Report No 32: Toxic Archipelago

Report

Stimson Center Report No 32: Toxic Archipelago

Preventing Proliferation from the Former Soviet Chemical and Biological Weapons Complexes

Authored by Amy E. Smithson, this in-depth report offers a detailed account of efforts by the international community to prevent "brain drain" from former Soviet chemical and biological weapons institutes. Based on extensive field work involving interviews with scientists and government officials, the report closely examines the international programs that seek to provide chemical and biological weaponeers with opportunities to engage in peaceful, collaborative research that has commercial potential. Given the number of institutes and individuals with expertise in chemical and biological weaponry that have been virtually without the financial support of their domestic governments since the beginning of 1992, this report provides an overview of a significant and complex proliferation dilemma and appraises the efforts being made to address it.

This report is the second major narrative by the Stimson Center's Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Project on the problems associated with the vast chemical and biological weapons capabilities created by the USSR. An earlier report, Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia: Problems and Prospects (October 1995), contained the first public discussion of security shortcomings at Russia's chemical weapons facilities and the most detailed account publicly available of the top secret chemical weapons development program of Soviet origin, code-named novichok.