The State Department has undertaken a variety of bilateral and multilateral initiatives to combat the threat of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) acquisition by terrorists and their state sponsors. At the June 2003 G-8 Evian Summit, leaders agreed to a U.S.-initiated MANPADS Action Plan that includes the following measures:
  • providing assistance and technical expertise for the destruction of excess MANPADS;
  • adopting stringent national export controls on MANPADS and their essential components;
  • banning transfers to non-state actors;
  • exchanging information on uncooperative countries and entities; and
  • examining for new MANPADS the feasibility of adding specific technical performance or launch control features that preclude their unauthorized use.
During the October 2003 APEC summit, APEC economies issued a statement on MANPADS similar to the G-8 Action Plan. In December 2003, the Wassenaar Arrangement adopted strengthened guidelines for control over MANPADS transfers. We are continuing efforts in all of these fora this year. New MANPADS initiatives are also being proposed in the OSCE and in other regional fora.

Bilateral efforts are focused on regions and countries where there is a combination of excess MANPADS stocks, poor control, and a demonstrable risk of proliferation to terrorist groups or other undesirable end-users. The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is using the existing NADR Small Arms and Light Weapons Destruction Program to destroy obsolete weapons which have little military value, but could be lethal against civil aviation in the hands of terrorist organizations; improve safety and security of those weapons which may be needed for legitimate self-defense purposes; and improve standards of inventory control and accountability to ensure that remaining stocks are not stolen or illicitly transferred.