Kittrie, one of 12 members of a special National Academy of Sciences Committee on Cooperative Threat Reduction that authored the report, wrote the sections on legal issues.
The Committee was created by the U.S. Congress as part of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act with the mandate to issue a report on how to improve the U.S. government's cooperative threat reduction programs. In addition to Kittrie, the committee included a former deputy cabinet secretary, two former undersecretaries of state, two former directors of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and a former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Strategic Command.
The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program is the initiative under which the United States, since the fall of the Soviet Union, has worked cooperatively with Russia and other former Soviet states to safeguard nuclear weapons materials and employ former weapons scientists in peaceful research.
The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program has had "a very positive and cost-efficient impact on national and indeed global security in the 15 years since the program was launched at the end of the Cold War," Kittrie said. "However, the array of threats faced by the United States has changed during those 15 years, and the pace of change seems to be accelerating.
"Globalization and the march of nuclear, chemical and biological technologies have rendered dangerous weapons increasingly accessible to an ever-broader array of adversaries," Kittrie said. "The locus of concern has expanded from the former Soviet Union to additional states and to non-state actors.
"It is time for the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program to evolve so that it can both meet these new challenges and, at the same time, even more effectively meet the challenges which it was created to address. The advent of a new administration provides an opportunity for change, and this Committee report provides a plan of action for how the new Obama administration, and the new Congress, can and should make the necessary changes to the CTR Program."
Kittrie made several recommendations for changes to laws governing cooperative threat reduction programs and to future agreements between the United States and countries receiving cooperative threat reduction assistance. His recommendations were adopted by the Committee and incorporated in the report's sections on legal issues.
"These proposed legal changes are designed to enable U.S. cooperative threat reduction programs to become more agile and responsive, to engage a broader range of partners, and to more effectively and sustainably build relationships with host countries," Kittrie said.
After the report was issued on March 6, Kittrie and the National Academy staff briefed U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.), the chair of the U.S. House Budget Committee, on the report and its proposed changes.
In January, Kittrie spoke at the National Academy of Sciences, at the unveiling of a joint report with the Russian Academy of Sciences on "The Future of the Nuclear Security Environment in 2015," in which Kittrie authored a chapter.
Kittrie is a leading expert on nonproliferation law. Prior to joining the College of Law, he served for 11 years at the U.S. Department of State, including as a specialist on nonproliferation law issues. He negotiated five U.S.-Russia agreements on various aspects of cooperative threat reduction.