Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

strategy to be developed by the High-Level Commission proposed earlier. The program-level strategic master plans would then be used to bridge the gap between overall program goals and project definition and implementation. In the joint committee’s view, increasing Russian participation in project definition and planning is vital to both the short-term and the long-term successes of these programs.

The joint committee recommends the development of joint U.S.-Russian program-level strategic master plans under the authority of the implementing agencies or ministries. The inclusion of Russian experts in the strategic planning stages of the programs is critical to their becoming full partners in the entire process of program organization and management, from the initial development through project implementation and evaluation and to maximizing the long-term sustainability of nonproliferation goals.3

The jointly developed strategic master plans could provide the following:

  • Clearly articulated program objectives, goals, strategies, and priorities that are clearly derived from the U.S.-Russian nuclear nonproliferation strategy to be developed by the High-Level Commission;

  • Meaningful and achievable metrics that can be used to determine how successfully specific objectives and goals are being met;

  • Program effectiveness evaluations based on the metrics mentioned above;

  • Strategies for greater implementation effectiveness, with full recognition and leveraging of the various roles that can best be played by national laboratories and institutes, nongovernmental organizations, and industry;

  • Detailed estimates of the life cycle costs for implementation, together with identification of the available and promised funding from all sources;

  • Analysis and description of current and future U.S. and Russian funding commitments, with recommendations for funding that are in keeping with the goal of a stronger partnership between the United States and Russia, to clearly reflect any in-kind contributions;

  • Review of the legal and regulatory basis, at both the governmental and the programmatic levels, required for efficient implementation, including the sharing of sensitive information and data when it is required; and

  • Sustainability plans, including training programs, to ensure the availability of trained personnel to develop and sustain a robust nonproliferation culture. In addition to physical security and materials accounting, training should be provided for individuals in program management, systems engineering, cost accounting, and other supporting disciplines.

Project plans are most effectively developed by small technical teams composed of U.S. and Russian experts who are responsible for identifying and describing the project parameters. The technical group could generate a project plan that includes the following elements:4

  • Clarification of the task, that is, identification of the overall goals of the project and determination of whether funding, relevant contractual frameworks, and other relevant structures are in place;

  • Assessment of local, bilateral, bureaucratic, legal, organizational, political, and other potential hurdles that are peculiar to the specific circumstances of the project;

  • Joint selection of the technology appropriate to the application and the operating conditions or, at a minimum, evaluation of the relevance of the technology chosen for the project and examination of the local and national political and economic implications of its installation and use;

  • Clarification of the legal, regulatory, licensing, and approval procedures that will be required to complete the project;

  • Determination of the staff resources and training that will be required and identification and building of relationships with key organizations and individuals in Russia; and

  • Clarification of the assumptions, goals, and linkages required for implementation of the program.

As Russian and U.S. experts tasked with implementing joint nonproliferation programs work toward full partnership, the inclusion of both groups of experts from the earliest stages of program design and development, through implementation and sustainability, will strengthen the programs’ short- and long-term effectiveness.

Improving the Balance Between Central and Local Control

The importance and high degree of visibility of the U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation to the respective governments and the need to balance nonproliferation objectives with other national security objectives, such as homeland security, often translate into a perceived need by central agencies and ministries to closely control all details of program implementation. Such tight central control, however, has several negative ramifications. These include inefficiencies in implementation because of the additional layers of agency or ministry review and approval of technical decisions; limited creativity in technical problem solving and a growing sense of risk aversion; the need for government program managers to accompany all delegations on travel; and the diversion of agency or ministry resources


M. S. Elleman and W. D. Smith, Overcoming Impediments to Cooperation Between the United States and Russia: Improving Communication During Project Definition (Appendix I).


M. S. Elleman and W. D. Smith, Overcoming Impediments to Cooperation Between the United States and Russia: Elements of Successful Project Preparation (Appendix J).

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement