Allied Support for Theater Missile Defense

In December 1993, then secretary of defense Les Aspin launched the Counterproliferation Initiative (CPI). As Aspin envisioned it, the CPI would complement traditional nonproliferation efforts in three ways: 1) by promoting consensus on the nature and scope of the threat; 2) by reducing the military utility of weapons of mass destruction and thus lessening their potential value to emerging powers; and 3) by strengthening the security of states having aggressive neighbors armed with weapons of mass destruction. Thus, for Aspin, the initiative assumed continuing proliferation and undertook the task of protection or more active defense.

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