Best Practice: Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
The National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction recognized the need for more robust tools to stop proliferation of WMD around the world, and specifically identified interdiction as an area for greater focus. To achieve these objectives, President Bush launched the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) on May 31, 2003 to create a global effort to stop trafficking of WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. PSI is an innovative and proactive approach to preventing proliferation that relies on voluntary actions by states that are consistent with national legal authorities and relevant international law and frameworks. Today, more than 90 countries around the world recognize the need for cooperative action and support PSI.
One example of the Proliferation Security Initiative's success occurred in February 2007, when government and industry entities in four PSI partner nations worked together to interdict equipment bound for Syria—equipment that could have been used to test ballistic missile components. A firm in one nation had manufactured the equipment. A firm in another nation was the intermediary that sold it to Syria. The shipping company was flagged in a third nation. Customs officials at the port of a fourth nation were alerted to offload and inspect the equipment—and send it back to the country of origin.