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"I find hope in the work of long-established groups such as the Arms Control Association...[and] I find hope in younger anti-nuclear activists and the movement around the world to formally ban the bomb."

– Vincent Intondi
Professor of History, Montgomery College
July 1, 2020
EU / NATO

NATO Expands, Russia Grumbles

Wade Boese


Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov is calling upon the United States and NATO not to let relations with Russia slip into a “cold peace” following the March 29 addition of seven new members into the Western military alliance. In an April 6 speech in Washington, Ivanov struck the shrillest note among Russian leaders in a persistent yet resigned chorus opposing NATO’s growth.

Ivanov depicted Moscow’s view of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia joining NATO as “calm, but negative.” Ivanov, who attended a NATO-Russian meeting on combating terrorism the day before, said that a window of opportunity remained for a meaningful NATO-Russian partnership but warned that the West should not allow it to become a “small vent shaft” or close altogether by forsaking Russian interests.

NATO’s recent expansion marked the second time that states from the old Soviet military bloc joined their previous Cold War rivals and the first to include former Soviet republics, in the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. NATO welcomed Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic into its ranks in 1999.

At the heart of NATO membership is a guarantee that an attack against one member will be considered an attack against all. In recent years, NATO has augmented its traditional role of defending its members’ territories with military action and deployments outside its members’ borders, such as in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

Russia objects to such activism. It also charges that the newest round of expansion will enable the alliance to deploy an unlimited amount of weaponry next to Russia’s borders in the three Baltic states, which are not bound by the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. The CFE Treaty balanced the number of battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, heavy artillery, combat aircraft, and attack helicopters that NATO and the now-defunct Warsaw Pact could deploy in Europe.

Four NATO fighter jets started patrolling the three Baltic states’ airspace following their formal accession to the alliance. NATO, which now numbers 26 members, described the overflights as “routine policing.”

Although NATO contends that its expansion is not aimed at Russia, Ivanov appeared unconvinced. He declared that the Kremlin has “no illusions about the reasons why the Baltic states were admitted into NATO and why NATO airplanes…are being deployed there.” Ivanov explained, “It has nothing to do with a fight against terrorism and proliferation.”

Russia is urging that the Baltic states accede as soon as possible to a 1999 adapted version of the CFE Treaty. However, the three states cannot do so yet because the updated treaty, which supplants the original treaty’s arms limits on the two former Cold War military blocs with national limits for each state-party, has not entered into force. The original CFE Treaty, which has no provision for nonmembers to join it, is still in force and will remain so until all 30 existing CFE Treaty states-parties formally approve the adapted version.

NATO members are refusing to ratify the adapted CFE Treaty until Russia fulfills military withdrawal commitments related to Georgia and Moldova. In conjunction with the 1999 overhaul of the CFE Treaty, Moscow pledged that it would withdraw all of its military forces from Moldova by the end of 2002 and conclude negotiations with Georgia to close Russian bases on its territory by the end of 2000. Russia has not fulfilled either pledge. (See ACT, December 2003.)

While pressing Moscow to complete these actions, NATO is seeking to reassure Russia that its fear about unrestrained armaments in the Baltic states is unwarranted. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have all promised to apply for CFE membership once the adapted agreement enters into force.

Moreover, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told Russian President Vladimir Putin April 8 that “neither old nor new NATO members have any intention to station significant numbers of troops on their territories.”

Standing alongside Scheffer, Putin said Russia intends to “do all we can to ensure that relations between Russia and NATO develop positively.” Still, he labeled NATO expansion as a “problem” that did not address current security threats, such as terrorism.

Both Ivanov and Putin cautioned that any buildup of NATO military infrastructure near Russia’s borders would influence future Russian defense and security policies.

Secretary of State Colin Powell April 1 dismissed Moscow’s concerns that the West wants to hem Russia in. While noting the Pentagon’s interest in shifting U.S. bases around in Europe to respond better to troubled regions or terrorism, Powell said overall U.S. troop strength in Europe would decrease.

Nevertheless, Powell indicated NATO and the United States would remain vigilant against any Russian strong-arm tactics on its periphery. “Russia will try to exercise its influence and I think it’s something that we will have to watch and we’ll have to deal with,” Powell stated.

 

 

 

 

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov is calling upon the United States and NATO not to let relations with Russia slip into a “cold peace” following...

Iran and IAEA Agree on Action Plan; U.S., Europeans Not Satisfied

Paul Kerr


Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reached agreement in early April on an action plan to complete the agency’s investigation of Iran’s nuclear program. As a critical IAEA meeting approaches, however, Tehran’s simultaneous decision to move forward with two nuclear projects seems likely to perpetuate international suspicions that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability.

After meeting with senior Iranian officials in Tehran April 6, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei reached an “agreement on a joint action plan with a timetable to deal with outstanding issues regarding the verification of Iran’s nuclear program,” according to an IAEA press release. ElBaradei suggested April 6 that the plan “will hopefully pave the way for progress.” Among other steps, the plan calls for Iran to provide the IAEA with information about its centrifuge program by the end of April.

In May, ElBaradei is to present a report on Iran’s progress. The IAEA Board of Governors will consider the results in June during what is widely seen as a crucial meeting.

The agreement marked the latest attempt to put a satisfactory end to a nearly two-year-old investigation into Iran’s effort to acquire a nuclear fuel cycle. Last October, after months of hesitant cooperation, Iran struck a deal with Germany, France, and the United Kingdom in which it promised to cooperate with the IAEA’s investigation, sign an additional protocol to its existing safeguards agreement with the IAEA, and suspend uranium-enrichment work. That same month, Iran provided the agency with what was supposed to be a complete declaration of all its nuclear activities.

Both Iran’s declaration and the agency’s investigation provided enough information for the board to adopt a resolution the following month condemning Iran’s pursuit of undeclared nuclear activities in violation of its IAEA safeguards agreement. Such agreements commit states-parties to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to provide sufficient transparency in their nuclear activities to assure other member states that they are not diverting civilian nuclear activities to military purposes.

Moreover, a February report from ElBaradei said Iran omitted several nuclear activities from its October declaration. Prodded by this report, the board’s March resolution called on Iran “to resolve all outstanding [nuclear] issues.”

In particular, the resolution called on Iran to answer questions regarding traces of uranium found at two facilities associated with Iran’s gas centrifuge-based uranium-enrichment program; Iran’s experiments with a possible nuclear-weapon trigger; and the scope of Iran’s uranium-enrichment programs. (See ACT, March 2004.)

As part of the April action plan, Iran has agreed to provide the agency with “detailed information regarding aspects of its centrifuge program” by the end of April. Gas centrifuges can be used to produce highly enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons, as well as low-enriched uranium for use in civilian nuclear reactors. NPT states-parties are permitted to own uranium-enrichment facilities without restraint, but they are only supposed to operate these facilities under a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, which monitors the use of the equipment. The board already condemned Iran in November 2003 for secretly testing centrifuges with nuclear material—a violation of its safeguards agreement.

In a step designed to ease these concerns, Iran agreed in April to further comply with a key provision in its October pledge to the Europeans: suspending its uranium-enrichment activities. Mohammad Saeedi, an official from Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told Reuters April 12 that Iran had stopped making centrifuge components 3 days before, thereby fulfilling a February pledge to the IAEA. ElBaradei’s February report stated that Iran had suspended work on its centrifuge facilities but had continued to assemble some individual centrifuges and manufacture related components.

This month, Iran is also set to provide the IAEA with a fuller declaration of its nuclear-related activities. This declaration will be Tehran’s first under its additional protocol to its IAEA safeguards agreement. The protocol requires Iran to declare significantly more nuclear-related activities than it would under its original safeguards agreement and provides the IAEA with more freedom to investigate any questions or inconsistencies. Since agreeing to conclude the protocol as part of its October deal with the Europeans, Iran has signed the agreement and has pledged to act as if it were in force until it is approved by the Majlis, Iran’s parliament. (See ACT, January/February 2004.)

Upcoming Controversy Likely


Iranian Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told reporters April 6 that “Iran strongly expects” its outstanding issues with the IAEA to be settled at the June board meeting. However, several recent Iranian actions seem likely to perpetuate controversy over its nuclear programs.

In particular, Iran’s March decision to postpone for about two weeks an IAEA inspection scheduled for that month may impede the board’s ability to render a definitive judgment about Iran’s programs. A Department of State official told Arms Control Today April 20 that the postponement not only led to a two-week delay in agency inspections of civilian nuclear-related sites but also caused a significant delay in inspections of military facilities. As a consequence, the official said, samples taken from these sites may not be ready in time for the June board meeting. IAEA spokesperson Melissa Fleming confirmed the next day that samples “taken during recent inspections might not be available” in time for the report.

Inspecting military sites is important to the IAEA’s investigation because seven of the 13 Iranian “workshops” involved in producing centrifuge components are located on military sites, according to a March 30 agency document. IAEA inspectors visited one military facility in January, agency officials said.

Two other decisions from Tehran also seem certain to raise questions about its nuclear intentions. The State Department official said that Iran announced it will start construction on a heavy-water nuclear reactor in June, terming the decision a “deeply troubling move.” Tehran had previously announced its plans to construct the reactor sometime in 2004 at Arak. (See ACT, December 2003.) U.S. officials fear the reactor might be part of a nuclear weapons program because it is too small to contribute significantly to a civilian energy program but could generate plutonium for reprocessing into fissile material. Iran claims the reactor is for producing isotopes for civilian purposes and that its size is appropriate for that purpose.

Tehran also caused a stir when, according to Agence France Presse, Aghazadeh announced March 28 on state television that Iran would begin “experimental production” in April at its uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan. The facility can convert uranium oxide into uranium hexafluoride—the feedstock for centrifuges. Iran announced the facility’s completion in March 2003.

This is not the first time that the Isfahan facility has been the subject of controversy. The IAEA board said in its November resolution that Iran violated its safeguards agreement by failing to report nuclear experiments at the facility, in much the same way it failed to report similar activity related to its uranium-enrichment program.

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson told reporters April 5 that Tehran only intends to produce uranium tetrafluoride—an intermediate step for producing uranium hexafluoride—at the facility, which IAEA inspectors visited in March. IAEA officials said that Iran had given prior notice to the agency that it would begin uranium conversion in March, adding that these “conversion activities” do not violate Iran’s October agreement to suspend its enrichment activities.

The State Department official said, however, that Washington believes Iran should be proscribed from conducting any conversion activities related to uranium hexafluoride production, including producing uranium tetrafluoride.

Iran’s European interlocutors also expressed their irritation at Tehran’s decision. On March 31, the British, French, and German governments stated that the “announcement sends the wrong signal about Iranian willingness to implement a suspension of nuclear enrichment-related activities.”

According to Agence France Presse, French President Jacques Chirac emphasized during an April 21 meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi that Tehran should continue to cooperate with the IAEA. A French Foreign Ministry spokesperson stressed April 20 that Iran needs to provide “confidence” that it is complying with its NPT obligations in order to receive cooperation on civilian nuclear power—another component of the October agreement.

U.S. officials have been dismissive of Tehran’s claims of cooperation and have argued that Iran is likely trying to hide aspects of its centrifuge and other nuclear programs, a charge Tehran has repeatedly denied.

“The delay in allowing inspectors into the country, the announcement about Isfahan, I think are further indications that Iran has still not made a strategic determination to surrender its nuclear program,” said Mitchell Reiss, State Department director of policy planning, in an April 9 interview with Arms Control Today. “What we appear to be seeing are tactical maneuvers to do as little as possible to avoid censure.”

Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton went so far as to say that “Iran is lying” at an annual meeting of NPT states-parties in New York.

“It is clear that the primary role of Iran’s ‘nuclear power’ program is to serve as a cover and a pretext for the import of nuclear technology and expertise that can be used to support nuclear weapons development,” Bolton said April 27.

Still, the June meeting appears unlikely to produce either Washington’s or Tehran’s preferred outcomes. Although Iran may not get the clean bill of health it desires, the United States may also be unable to provide sufficient proof to convince other countries to find Iran in noncompliance with its obligations under the NPT. Such a finding requires the board to refer the matter to the UN Security Council.

A State Department official argued June 20 that the lack of full sampling results from the military sites will make it more difficult for Washington to push the board to take “the strongest possible response” at the June meeting, adding that U.S. leverage will largely depend on the “tone and substance” of ElBaradei’s report. Washington may encourage the IAEA board to say it “cannot verify” Iran’s suspension of its centrifuge program because of the country’s demonstrated ability to manufacture relevant components at various locations throughout the country, the official said.

Whether Washington will push for the board to find Iran in noncompliance is unclear. The United States not only failed to persuade the board to adopt such a stance in its November resolution, it did not even attempt to do so during the debate over the March resolution.

Corrected online August 29, 2008. See explanation.

 

 

 

 

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reached agreement in early April on an action plan to complete the agency’s investigation of Iran’s nuclear program. As a critical...

NATO, Russia Hold Joint Missile Defense Exercise

Wade Boese


NATO and Russia used to plan missile attacks against each other, but now they are working together to protect against them. The former adversaries held their first exercise March 8-12 to test jointly developed procedures to defend against strikes from short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

The exercise, which took place in Colorado Springs, Colo., did not involve actual military systems or troops but was done using computer simulations. It focused on how NATO and Russian commanders would communicate with each other and direct their troops if they came under missile attack during a joint operation. Nearly 60 representatives from Russia and nine NATO members participated in the “command post exercise.”

A NATO official said March 23 that the exercise went “very well,” although some “refinements” to the prepared procedures would be needed. Another exercise is expected before the end of 2005.

NATO and Russian officials jointly worked out the test procedures through a working group on theater missile defenses established in June 2002. That group is also conducting a study on how various air and missile defense systems might operate together.

NATO-Russian cooperation on theater missile defense follows earlier U.S.-Russian efforts initiated in September 1994 by then-Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin. The two countries have conducted a series of joint theater missile defense exercises since 1996. (See ACT, March 2001.)

Western cooperation with Russia on missile defenses has not involved building actual weapons. Washington and Moscow undertook a 1992 project, the Russian-American Observation Satellite (RAMOS), to build two satellites for detecting ballistic missile launches worldwide, but the Pentagon cancelled it earlier this year. No alternative has been proposed.

 

 

 

 

NATO and Russia used to plan missile attacks against each other, but now they are working together to protect against them. The former adversaries held their first exercise March 8-12 to test...

Russia, NATO at Loggerheads Over Military Bases

Wade Boese

Reviving memories of their bitter Cold War rivalry, NATO and Russia are engaging in increasingly sharp exchanges over each other’s military deployments and basing plans.

Speaking Feb. 7 at a two-day security conference in Munich, Germany, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov warned that the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty was fast becoming obsolete and that it could end up scrapped. In doing so, he drew a pointed comparison to the June 2002 U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The CFE Treaty limits how much heavy weaponry, such as tanks, that 30 countries—including Russia and the United States—can deploy in Europe.

The 30 CFE states-parties negotiated an adapted version of the treaty in November 1999 to reflect the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the expansion of NATO, but it has yet to enter into force. Washington and other NATO capitals are refusing to ratify the revised agreement until Russia fulfills pledges to withdraw its armed forces from the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Moldova.

In conjunction with the adaptation of the CFE Treaty, Russia committed to withdraw all of its military troops and equipment out of Moldova by the end of 2002, close two out of four of its military bases in Georgia by the end of 2000, and reach a timetable with Georgia during 2000 for closure of the two remaining bases. Russia has not completed any of these tasks.

Ivanov charged that the status of Russia’s withdrawal from the two states does not have “the slightest relationship” to the adapted CFE Treaty.

Moscow is eager to bring the revised treaty into force because the older version does not limit how many arms NATO can deploy on the territories of four of the seven additional states scheduled to join the 19-member alliance by May. Specifically, the original treaty does not cover Slovenia and the three Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The Kremlin claims that NATO could then legally deploy limitless stockpiles of weaponry on Russia’s border.

If these four states join NATO before the adapted CFE Treaty enters into force, Ivanov said the original treaty limits would be “imperfect, rather ineffective, and removed from reality.”

Ivanov implied that the addition of the new NATO members could lead to a reversal of Russian force reductions in its northwestern region and in the Kaliningrad enclave, which sits between Poland and Lithuania.

Ivanov also questioned U.S. and alliance proposals to begin breaking up their large military bases into smaller deployments closer to Russia’s border. The defense minister said he understood the need for bases in Bulgaria and Romania as a launching point to counter terrorism but rhetorically asked why such bases were necessary in Poland and the three Baltic states.

In a move designed to ease Russian concerns about NATO expansion to the east, NATO and Russia concluded an agreement in May 1997, the NATO-Russian Founding Act, in which the alliance pledged that its growth would not lead to “additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces” on the territories of new members. The act was not legally binding.

“I would like to remind the representatives of [NATO] that with its expansion they are beginning to operate in the zone of vitally important interests of our country and ought to strive actually, not just in words, to consider our concerns,” Ivanov declared. He suggested one way to address Russian concerns is for NATO to permit the permanent stationing of Russian monitoring personnel at any new NATO bases. Moscow already has rights to inspect NATO bases periodically.

Ivanov ended his speech with a flourish, accusing U.S. and NATO military forces in Afghanistan of being complicit in that state’s illegal drug trade, which was threatening Russia. “I understand that, by allowing the drug business in Afghanistan, [NATO] gets the loyalty of field commanders and individual leaders of Afghanistan,” he stated.

NATO, particularly the United States, is pushing Russia to remove its military forces from Georgia and Moldova. During a late January trip to Georgia and Russia, Secretary of State Colin Powell repeatedly called on Moscow to fulfill its withdrawal commitments.

The Kremlin had contended it would take at least 11 years to pull its troops and arms out of Georgia, but Russian officials are now suggesting that it might be possible within a five-to-seven-year period if it receives financial assistance. Powell said the United States would contribute to such an effort, but that Russian estimates of hundreds of millions of dollars are unreasonable. Georgia has consistently called for a three-year process.

Russia has made fitful progress in withdrawing from Moldova and estimates are that it only has several months worth of work remaining. However, such projections are optimistically based on the withdrawal not being interrupted. The withdrawal is currently suspended.

Moscow pleads that it is not responsible for the irregular implementation. Instead, it blames Moldavian separatists who control the region where Russian forces are located for blocking the withdrawal. The separatists are demanding compensation for the Russian departure.

 

 

 

 

 

Reviving memories of their bitter Cold War rivalry, NATO and Russia are engaging in increasingly sharp exchanges over each other’s military deployments and basing plans.

Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.)

Karen Yourish
Political Career
Elected to the Senate in 1998; not running for re-election

Education
North Carolina State University, B.S., 1974; University of North Carolina, J.D., 1977

Military Service
None

Profession
Lawyer

Foreign Policy Advisers
Exclusive advisers: Ronald Asmus, Derek Chollet; also consults with Sandy Berger, Kurt Campbell, Ashton Carter, Kenneth Pollack, Dennis Ross, Hugh Shelton


Campaign Website
www.johnedwards2004.com

 

 

John Edwards was a cosponsor of the resolution that gave President George W. Bush the authority to use force in Iraq. He continues to defend his vote, but is highly critical of what he views as the Bush administration’s sole focus on pre-emptive military force rather than multilateral solutions to stop the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

“This administration’s approach to protecting America from weapons of mass destruction [WMD] can be summed up simply,” Edwards charged Dec. 15 in a speech entitled “Prevention, Non Pre-emption.” “Wait until our enemies gather strength, and then use force to stop them.”

The first-term senator from North Carolina unveiled a number of policy initiatives that he would undertake, if elected president, to fight WMD proliferation. “Rather than run from internaitonal efforts to halt the spread of dangerous weapons, I will lead in modernizing and strengthening those efforts, beginning with one of the most important—the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)….Right now it is too easy for a country to cheat or use a legal civilian power program as the jumping off point for an illegal military one by withdrawing from the treaty on short notice and having weapons capabilities within months.”

Within six months of taking office, Edwards said he would convene a summit of leading nations to develop a multilateral global nuclear compact. Once established, he asserts, the compact would “close the loophole that allows civilian nuclear programs to go military.” The global effort would, in part, increase security of nuclear materials, give international experts the authority to inspect nuclear facilities without notice, and make clear that any country that joins the NPT and then opts out—or violates the rules of the compact—will be penalized.

Edwards said he will develop new tools to deal with proliferation threats such as North Korea and Iran. “I will work through the UN Security Council and other mechanisms to establish the principle in international law that countries that sponsor terrorism or willfully violate nonproliferation treaties like the NPT should be treated like the criminals they are.” He accused the Bush administration of not having a “coherent strategy” for North Korea and said that, as president, he would work with U.S. allies such as South Korea and Japan to develop a “serious plan for ending [North Korea’s] destabilizing weapons programs and exports—a plan that includes carrots and sticks.”

Edwards also wants to revive the oft-discussed idea of appointing a nonproliferation czar to consolidate the federal government’s nonproliferation efforts. “As president I will make sure that we have someone who wakes up every morning thinking about how to keep WMD out of the hands of terrorists and others who wish us harm.” He would also support “other measures that this administration has rejected, including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and efforts to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention.”

The North Carolina senator proposes tripling the approximately $1 billion being spent annually on comprehensive threat reduction (CTR) programs to safeguard and destroy Russia’s Cold War WMD legacy. “Instead of living with this danger for the next three decades or more, I will eliminate it before another decade has passed by simply making it a priority.”

Edwards also wants to expand CTR programs beyond the former Soviet Union to places such as India and Pakistan. To help fund that effort, Edwards said he would cancel plans recently approved by Congress at the request of the Bush administration to research a new generation of nuclear weapons and reduce the more than $9 billion spent each year on missile defense.

“While we need to maintain deterrence and keep a strong defense, it doesn’t make sense to spend nine times as much on one program that might work some day than we spend on all the other programs that do work today to protect our citizens from weapons of mass destruction,” Edwards argued.

He also opined that the United States should not deploy any missile defense system until it has been rigorously tested and officials are confident it will work. In his view, the missile defense system “so far has succeeded in shooting down only one thing: the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.)

Karen Yourish
Political Career
Democratic nominee for U.S. House of Representatives, 1972; Massachusetts lieutenant governor, 1983-85; U.S. Senate, 1985-present

Education
Yale University, B.A., 1966; Boston College, J.D., 1976

Military Service
U.S. Navy, 1966-1969

Profession
Lawyer

Foreign Policy Advisers
Exclusive advisers: Rand Beers, Richard Morningstar, William Perry

Campaign Website
www.johnkerry.com

 

 

 

 

A veteran—and outspoken opponent—of the Vietnam War, John Kerry has made foreign policy both a high priority during his 18-year Senate career and a centerpiece of his campaign for the Democratic nomination. He has been a member of the Foreign Relations Committee since entering the Senate in 1985 and points to the normalization of U.S. relations with Vietnam as one of the high points of his congressional service.

The senator fought for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, stating that failure to do so “will seriously undercut our ability to continue our critical leadership role in the global nuclear nonproliferation regime.” As further evidence that he is “an outspoken proponent of arms control and nonproliferation measures in the Senate,” Kerry cites his decision to introduce an amendment during the March 2003 debate over the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty to require the United States to declare its confidence in monitoring Russian nuclear weapons deployments. “Despite its stated goal of reducing the number of U.S. and Russian deployed strategic nuclear warheads, the Moscow Treaty is missing the essential components of a strong, enforceable, and meaningful agreement,” Kerry wrote in an op-ed that appeared in the Boston Globe March 5. The proposal was voted down 50-45.

As president, Kerry says he would move quickly to shore up U.S. alliances abroad and develop a multifaceted approach that leverages international cooperation against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). According to the candidate: “It is time…for the most determined, all-out effort ever initiated to secure the world’s nuclear materials and [WMD].” Kerry would appoint a presidential coordinator to direct a “top-line effort” to secure nuclear weapons and materials worldwide and claims that, within four years, his administration will have “entirely” removed chemical, biological, and nuclear materials from the world’s most vulnerable sites. Toward that end, Kerry calls for a “new international protocol” to track and account for existing nuclear weapons and to deter the development of chemical and biological arsenals. He would also increase funding for comprehensive threat reduction programs in order to place all excess U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons in secure, jointly monitored storage sites.

Kerry vows that his administration would be “committed to revitalizing the arms control process” and said efforts to research a new generation of nuclear weapons “could set off a dangerous new nuclear arms race.” He opposes plans approved in the fiscal year 2004 energy and water appropriations bill to fund research on high-yield nuclear weapons designed to destroy deeply buried targets and on low-yield nuclear weapons intended to limit collateral damage on underground targets. According to Kerry, researching and possible developing these weapons “will make America less secure by setting back our country’s long-standing efforts to lead an international nonproliferation regime.”

The Massachusetts senator accuses the Bush administration of ignoring the nuclear threat from North Korea because it was too preoccupied with launching a war with Iraq. Like the other Democratic candidates, Kerry supports negotiations with North Korea that would include providing Pyongyang with strong incentives to end its nuclear weapons program verifiably. He advocates direct negotiations addressing a broad range of issues, including conventional force deployments; North Korea’s alleged drug running and human rights record and dire humanitarian conditions; and Pyongyang’s security concerns. He supports engaging Iran’s current regime “in areas of mutual interest” as long as the country adheres to its nonproliferation obligations but also wants to help bolster the country’s burgeoning reform movement.

Kerry favors developing “an effective defense” against ballistic missiles, arguing that, “if there is a real potential of a rogue nation firing missiles at any city in the United States, responsible leadership requires that we make our best, most thoughtful efforts to defend against this threat.” However, he opposes the administration’s plan to proceed with early deployment of a national missile defense system, as well as Bush’s 2001 decision to abrogate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.)

Karen Yourish
Political Career
Connecticut Senate, 1971-81; candidate for Connecticut lieutenant governor, 1978; Democratic nominee for U.S. House of Representatives, 1980; Connecticut attorney general, 1983-88; U.S. Senate, 1989-present; Democratic nominee for vice president, 2000

Education
Yale University, B.A., 1964; LL.B., 1967

Military Service
None

Profession
Lawyer

Foreign Policy Advisers
Exclusive adviser: Colonel Fred Downey (U.S. Army, Ret.); also consults with Sandy Berger, Ashton Carter, Martin Indyk, Kenneth Pollack


Campaign Website
www.joe2004.com


 

 

 

 

Joe Lieberman is determined not to be painted by Republicans as soft on defense; he has expressed strong support for several military actions. During the first Bush administration, he served as lead Democratic co-sponsor of the 1991 Gulf War Resolution. In 1998 he teamed up with Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) to enact the Iraq Liberation Act, which stated that regime change in Iraq was U.S. policy. In the fall of 2002, Lieberman was a lead sponsor of a resolution authorizing the president to use force, if necessary, to enforce UN Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. The senior senator from Connecticut is also a firm supporter of strategic and theater missile defense, believing that “any defense in the face of a nuclear missile attack is worth having.” The ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Airland Subcommittee has endorsed President George W. Bush’s decision to deploy a limited Ground-Based Midcourse Missile Defense (GMD) but thinks additional flight and program tests are needed. He opposed Bush’s 2001 decision to abrogate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

On other issues, Lieberman falls comfortably in the middle of his Democratic brethren. He strongly supported ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and proposed a bipartisan review of the CTBT as a last-ditch compromise after the treaty was rejected by the Senate in 1999. He also disagrees with Bush administration proposals for researching, building, and possibly testing a new generation of nuclear weapons. In particular, during the fiscal year 2004 defense authorization process, he opposed repealing restrictions on research that might lead to the development of low-yield nuclear weapons and argues that any attempts to lower the nuclear threshold are ill advised. “In addition to undermining our international nonproliferation efforts, a new generation of nuclear weapons, especially the low-yield variety envisioned by the administration, will blur the bright lines between conventional and nuclear capabilities, and raise the likelihood of resorting to the latter,” Lieberman stated Sept. 16 on the Senate floor during debate over the authorization bill.

Believing that a nuclear explosion on the U.S. homeland represents the single biggest threat to the United States, the senator is a strong proponent of using arms control treaties and other nonproliferation regimes as tools for preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of programs to reduce Russia’s stock of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and, if elected president, promises to double U.S. investment in those programs. Yet, as he wrote in the March/April 2003 issue of Foreign Policy, “[P]reventative efforts might fail, so an effective missile defense system is also necessary.”

In dealing with foreign threats, Lieberman disagrees with Bush’s moves to include the use of pre-emptive military force in its formal strategic doctrine, although he believes it should remain an option in the president’s toolbox. Instead, he stresses the need to give states incentives as well as disincentives to forswear weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, he remains supportive of Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. “I don’t have any second thoughts about supporting the war,” he said Sept. 10, 2003, at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It was the right thing to do, and we are safer as a result of it.”

Unlike the Bush administration, which prefers multilateral talks, Lieberman favors direct negotiations to end Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. Lieberman would use a two-part strategy to test North Korea’s assertions that it is willing to renounce nuclear weapons if its security concerns are addressed. First, he would offer North Korea security guarantees if and when Pyongyang pledges to tear up its entire nuclear weapons program. Then, if North Korea fulfilled these commitments, Lieberman would provide Pyongyang with economic aid and other assistance. Lieberman supported the 1994 Agreed Framework that the Clinton administration negotiated with Pyongyang and says that he would support similar measures again.

Lieberman supports giving India and Pakistan “fail-safe” technologies that would allow them to manage their nuclear arsenals better. Proliferation experts contend that such assistance could violate the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which prohibits assistance to other nations in obtaining nuclear arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

France's Deterrence Policy in Question

French President Jacques Chirac has denied an Oct. 27 report published in the French newspaper Libération that he plans to modify the country’s current policy of nuclear deterrence to “target what the Americans call rogue states.” The paper cites an unidentified French senior military official and indicates that the strategy may evolve over the long term to address a possible threat from China as well.

Chirac’s office issued a statement Oct. 28 stating that his country’s nuclear use policy has not shifted from the deterrence doctrine he outlined in a June 2001 speech at the Institut des Hautes Études de Défense Nationale. However, according to Reuters, French General Bernard Norlain commented Oct. 27 on French LCI television that “there is of course a need to adapt” France’s nuclear policy in light of new threats.

In addition, Libération reported Oct. 28 that France may also examine the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review’s endorsement in January 2002 of low-yield, earth-penetrating nuclear weapons that could be used to destroy underground facilities housing weapons of mass destruction. (See ACT, April 2002.)

With Deadline Looming, European Foreign Ministers Strike Deal to Restrict Iran's Nuclear Program

Paul Kerr

In a joint statement with three European foreign ministers, Iran agreed Oct. 21 to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demands that it cooperate with the agency’s efforts to allay fears that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. For now, the statement ends weeks of speculation over whether Tehran would cooperate by an Oct. 31 deadline set out in a September IAEA resolution. But Iran must still follow through on its commitments to the agency.

According to the joint statement with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Iran agreed to take three steps which, if followed, will meet the IAEA’s demands: cooperate with the IAEA “to address and resolve…all requirements and outstanding [IAEA] issues,” sign and ratify an Additional Protocol to its IAEA safeguards agreement, and “suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities as defined by the IAEA.”

The IAEA Board of Governors adopted the resolution after months of agency investigations uncovered increasingly disturbing details about Iran’s uranium- and plutonium-based nuclear programs. (See ACT July/August 2003.) Although most of these activities were technically permitted under Iran’s IAEA safeguards agreement, public revelations about Iran’s extensive progress on these programs raised concerns that the country was pursuing nuclear weapons in violation of its commitments under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

Safeguards agreements are required under the NPT to ensure that member states do not divert civilian nuclear programs to military purposes. An additional protocol allows the IAEA to conduct more rigorous inspections, including visits to facilities that countries have not declared, in order to check for clandestine nuclear programs. Iran continues to deny ever pursuing nuclear weapons.

IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei issued a report in June summarizing the agency’s investigation into Iran’s nuclear programs that concluded Iran had violated its safeguards agreements. An August report revealed inconsistencies in previous Iranian statements to the agency, raising more questions about Tehran’s nuclear intentions. Both reports also stated that Iran had delayed giving IAEA inspectors access to a suspect facility. (See ACT, September 2003 and October 2003.)

The Agreement

Before the Oct. 21 joint statement, Iran had been sending mixed signals as to whether it would comply with the deadline. ElBaradei said Oct. 13 that Iran had not yet provided “full and complete information” about its nuclear programs, although inspectors had been allowed to visit the requested sites, according to an IAEA statement. Additionally, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamdireza Assefi implied Oct. 19 that Iran might not meet the deadline. Iran has also been hesitant about concluding an Additional Protocol, although it has suggested for months that it would do so.

The IAEA has asked for Iran’s cooperation in several areas. The September resolution called on Iran to provide the necessary information about its programs and “unrestricted access” to IAEA inspectors. The agency has been particularly interested in Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which consists of a gas centrifuge pilot plant and a much larger facility that could hold centrifuges to produce low-enriched uranium (LEU) to fuel civilian nuclear power reactors, as well as enough fissile material for 25 nuclear weapons per year.

The mere possession of the facility did not constitute a violation of Iran’s safeguards agreement, but the IAEA believes Iran tested the centrifuges with nuclear material without informing the agency—an action that would violate its agreement. Agency inspectors have found highly-enriched uranium (HEU) in at least two locations in Iran, possible evidence that Iran conducted prohibited tests of its centrifuges as a step towards covertly making nuclear devices. Yet, Iran has denied producing HEU, blaming its presence at the two sites on contaminated components it acquired through “foreign intermediaries.”
ElBaradei told reporters Oct. 23 that Iran had provided the IAEA with a new declaration regarding its nuclear programs. Iran’s representative to the IAEA, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the declaration was complete, the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Oct. 23. But in an Oct. 24 Associated Press report, Salehi said Iran has been unable to determine the imported components’ origins.

The September resolution also called on Iran to “suspend all further uranium enrichment related activities.” Iran introduced nuclear materials into the Natanz facility’s centrifuges under IAEA safeguards in June, although the Board of Governors issued a June statement encouraging Iran not to do so. Tehran accelerated its tests in August.

The joint statement, however, does not specify a date for Iran to suspend its enrichment activities and Iran has not yet actually done so. A government spokesman stated Oct. 27 that Iran had not set a date for suspending enrichment, according to IRNA. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazzi said Iran was resolving “technical” issues associated with suspending enrichment, IRNA reported Oct. 28.
Moreover, Iran’s compliance will likely be insufficient to resolve fully concerns about its enrichment program. Iranian officials have said numerous times that Iran will not give up its “right” to enrich uranium—an activity which is allowed under the NPT—and Assefi told reporters Oct. 26 that suspension is only “temporary” and Iran will resume enrichment “whenever…it is necessary.”

The September resolution also reiterated the IAEA’s June request that Iran conclude an additional protocol. An IAEA spokesperson told Arms Control Today Oct. 28 that Iran is expected to send the agency a required letter of intent regarding the protocol. ElBaradei will notify the Board of Governors for its Nov. 20 meeting. ElBaradei and Iran can sign the protocol after the Board’s authorization.
Once signed, the Iranian parliament will have to ratify the protocol, Assefi said Oct. 26. Whether to sign the protocol has been a controversial issue in Iran, with Iranian officials expressing concerns that it gives the IAEA too much inspection power and threatens Iranian sovereignty. Until it is ratified, Iran will comply with the IAEA “in accordance with the protocol,” according to the joint statement.

The joint statement said that Iran’s cooperation would “enable” the IAEA to resolve the “immediate situation” and addressed some of Iran’s stated concerns about the IAEA’s demands. According to the statement, the three governments “recognize” Iran’s right to have a peaceful nuclear program, adding that Iran’s compliance can “open the way to a dialogue …for long term cooperation.” Furthermore, Iran “could expect easier access to modern technology…in a range of areas” when concerns about its nuclear programs “are fully resolved,” the statement says.

Iran had previously resisted signing the protocol unless it was assured of gaining access to peaceful nuclear technology, complaining that many nuclear supplier states have refused to do business with them. The NPT states that states-parties “have the right to participate in” technical exchanges “for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”

Looking Ahead


ElBaradei told Arms Control Today Oct. 21 (See ElBaradei interview) that the IAEA needs to review and verify Iran’s declaration. He will report his findings to the agency’s Board of Governors prior to its November meeting, the IAEA spokesperson said. Secretary of State Colin Powell stated Oct. 22 that the joint statement is “welcome,” but Washington would wait to assess Iran’s “performance.”

The United States said in September that the Oct. 31 deadline represented a “last chance” for Iran to comply and the IAEA should refer the matter to the United Nations Security Council if Iran did not do so. The IAEA has an obligation to refer the issue to the Security Council if it finds a country in violation of its safeguards agreement. So far, the Board has said only that Iran has failed to meet some of its safeguards obligations.

The IAEA may still refer the issue to the Security Council even if Iran follows through on the Oct. 21 agreement, however. A State Department official interviewed Oct. 28 said a complete declaration from Iran will likely contain “incriminating information” proving it was in violation of its safeguards agreements. The IAEA would then have a “statutory obligation to find Iran in non-compliance” and refer the issue to the council, the official said. The official conceded that the United States would face an “uphill battle” in persuading the Board of Governors to do so.

The Security Council would not necessarily have to take “punitive” action against Iran in this case, but the State Department official said that it would be “important to draw a line under Iran’s noncompliance.”

 

The Declaration

The following is the text of the declaration on Iran’s nuclear program agreed upon by the Iranian government and visiting EU foreign ministers Oct. 21:

1. Upon the invitation of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran the Foreign Ministers of Britain, France and Germany paid a visit to Tehran on October 21, 2003. The Iranian authorities and the Ministers, following extensive consultations, agreed on measures aimed at the settlement of all outstanding IAEA issues with regard to the Iranian nuclear programme and at enhancing confidence for peaceful cooperation in the nuclear field.

2. The Iranian authorities reaffirmed that nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s defence doctrine and that its nuclear programme and activities have been exclusively in the peaceful domain. They reiterated Iran’s commitment to the nuclear non-proliferation regime and informed the Ministers that:

a) The Iranian government has decided to engage in full cooperation with the IAEA to address and resolve, through full transparency, all requirements and outstanding issues of the agency, and clarify and correct any possible failures and deficiencies within the IAEA.

b) To promote confidence with a view to removing existing barriers for cooperation in the nuclear field:

i) Having received the necessary clarifications, the Iranian government has decided to sign the IAEA Additional Protocol, and commence ratification procedures. As a confirmation of its good intentions,the Iranian government will continue to cooperate with the agency in accordance with the protocol in advance of its ratification;

ii) While Iran has a right within the nuclear non-proliferation regime to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, it has decided voluntarily to suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities as defined by the IAEA.

3. The Foreign Ministers of Britain, France and Germany welcomed the decisions of the Iranian government and informed the Iranian authorities that:

a) Their Governments recognise the right of Iran to enjoy peaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty;

b) In their view, the Additional Protocol is in no way intended to undermine the sovereignty, national dignity or national security of its State Parties;

c) In their view, full implementation of Iran’s decisions, confirmed by the IAEA’s director general, should enable the immediate situation to be resolved by the IAEA board;

d) The three Governments believe that this will open the way to a dialogue on a basis for longer term cooperation which will provide all parties with satisfactory assurances relating to Iran’s nuclear power generation programme. Once international concerns, including those of the three Governments, are fully resolved Iran could expect easier access to modern technology and supplies in a range of areas.

e) They will co-operate with Iran to promote security and stability in the region, including the
establishment of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East in accordance with the objectives of the United Nations.

 

 

 

In a joint statement with three European foreign ministers, Iran agreed Oct. 21 to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demands that it cooperate with the agency’s efforts to allay...

The Emergence of a European 'Strategic Personality'

Joanna Spear

Is the sound of banging we hear the mending of fences between Europe and the United States or the nailing closed of doors? As has been widely acknowledged on both sides of the Atlantic, the rift between the allies over Iraq has been significant and worrying.1 The crisis has highlighted a key strategic dispute concerning the imminence of threats posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the wider issue of the adequacy of arms control regimes and diplomacy to deal preventively with these threats. Yet, as serious as these quarrels are, they only scratch the surface of the profound and growing differences between the emerging “strategic personality” of the European Union (EU) and that of the United States.

Over the last few years, the EU has developed its own strategic personality, or a specifically European way of viewing, interpreting, and acting on perceived threats and diplomatic opportunities. This is particularly the case in dealing with threats caused by WMD proliferation. Although the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain supported the invasion of Iraq, despite the opposition of most other EU member states, there is now a growing European-wide consensus on these concerns. Member states have agreed on policies to deal with WMD proliferation that point to the realization of a common approach to this issue, an approach that emphasizes multilateral, carrot-based diplomacy. This codification of European policy puts the EU increasingly and overtly at odds with the U.S. inclination for coercive, stick-based diplomacy in the form of military force or economic sanctions.

Developments in Europe

The EU has been working to build a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the institutions to implement that policy since the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. Ironically, the institutional developments within the EU were the original catalyst for serious thinking about common approaches to dealing with security problems (rather than the reverse).2 Yet, for a long time, there was little more than a rhetorical commitment to reaching common positions on international issues, with the debate over what a European defense entity should do masked by “constructive ambiguity.”3 It was only recently that international events stripped away the mask and forced Europe to be more explicit about what its CFSP would be and the types of security issues it would address.4 As late as 2001, the EU had not directly and systematically addressed the major strategic challenges in the international system, including that of WMD proliferation.5

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the EU began to consider wider strategic issues. Developing responses to terrorist threats and WMD proliferation were given priority. While these internal deliberations went on, however, international events, particularly Iraq, caused very public schisms between EU members, such as France and Germany, opposed to the Bush administration’s strategy and wartime allies such as the United Kingdom. The crisis over Iraq may have initially stymied the EU, but it has subsequently energized it. In April 2003, Sweden put forward the idea of developing a common position on WMD proliferation, which was accepted by EU member states. More dramatically, Javier Solana, high representative for the CFSP, presented the draft of the first security strategy in the EU’s history to EU leaders at the Thessaloniki summit in June 2003.

In A Secure Europe in a Better World, Solana outlined the three pillars of the common strategy, making clear that the nature of today’s threats means that the EU can no longer limit its attention to its immediate region.6 First, he called for extending the security zone around Europe by bringing stability to areas on the periphery. Second, he urged that the United Nations be reaffirmed as the fundamental framework of international relations, while acknowledging that the institution might have to be defended pre-emptively. Third, the EU security strategy called for new policies to respond to the twin threats of terrorism and WMD proliferation—polices that reflected Europe’s strategic personality.

The Evolving European Strategic Personality


Explaining the notion of a strategic personality, Caroline Ziemke, a pioneer of this approach, wrote:

A state’s historical experience
shapes how it sees itself, how it
views the outside world, and how
it makes its strategic decisions. To
make use of their historical
experience, nations tend to focus
most on those aspects of their
history that have the most
meaning and tell them the most
about who they are and what they
aspire to be.7

The outline of a European strategic personality has emerged through the process of developing institutions for the CFSP and formulating European policy preferences, as well as through interactions with international events and key states. This personality is informed by a wider understanding of European history and the region’s place in the system.

Europe’s historical and cultural proclivities in dealing with threats and diplomatic problems; the issues it pays most attention to; and the way it prioritizes and interprets international events, evolving military planning, and the public statements of EU leaders all provide evidence of “personality traits.” In the case of the EU, we are dealing with a more diverse entity than a state, with a short, intense history. A number of key EU personality facets can nevertheless be identified:

· The sweep of European history is seen as providing evidence that there are better ways to resolve differences than by resorting to force.
· Through the EU’s short history, member states have developed a positive sense of the benefits of international cooperation, multilateralism, and confidence-building measures as the means for addressing potential threats.
· The EU is an entity borne out of a positive experience of multilateral treaties. Even in key areas of potential insecurity such as nuclear programs, the Europeans created a multilateral confidence-building institution, EURATOM, which allowed them to overcome these fears gradually.8
· The EU personality is also informed by a tradition of compromise, of using diplomacy to solve problems. The EU has a habit of seeking agreement, and the search for consensus is the mode of operation in most areas of EU work.9
· There is also particular respect for the rule of law, the institutions that enforce it, and a desire to build global norms to expand international law. As Solana explained, “The development of a stronger international society, well-functioning international institutions, and a rule-based international order should be our objectives.”10
· The EU is a proponent of soft power, of providing economic and political incentives to ensure good behavior, of considering issues holistically, and of progress in one area spilling over into progress in others. Political and economic engagement is favored over confrontation.
· The strategy emphasizes measures to achieve peace and security without the use of force. However, the EU on occasion has endorsed the use of force in protection of core values, often focused on the protection of international institutions or upholding the rule of law.
· The EU adopts a root-causes approach to understanding conflicts and uses a variety of policy tools to try and deal with base problems.

As the EU has been developing, the United States has been moving toward a different position, which leverages its current structural dominance to forsake the international compromises required of those with insufficient power. To be sure, as Robert Kagan has pointed out, the emergence of this new U.S. strategic personality has been an important element in pushing the EU to define itself and abandon constructive ambiguity. In playing to an American audience, however, Kagan understates the extent to which the EU has become more intentionally European through positive choices and not just weakness.11 What we are witnessing is the process of the EU developing a distinct strategic personality.

On the issue of proliferation, the gap in transatlantic relations has widened since the end of the Cold War. Cleavages have opened up resulting from different attitudes toward the use of force and the ability of regimes to solve WMD problems. These divisions were first exposed by the Clinton administration’s announcement of a Defense Counterproliferation Policy (which explicitly mentioned pre-emption) and the European hostility to that short-lived initiative.12 There was also disquiet in the EU over the U.S. refusal to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines.

Yet, those concerns were somewhat muffled under the Clinton administration and have only become full-throated cries with the Bush team. The Europeans perceived the ending of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty as undermining strategic stability, and they have expressed a similarly negative view of U.S. plans to deploy some form of ballistic missile defenses, which are seen as more destabilizing than the original problem. President George W. Bush’s lack of support for burgeoning regimes designed to deal with biological weapons threats and small arms and light weapons problems have all added to EU concerns about U.S. behavior. More fundamentally, the Bush administration’s 2002 National Security Strategy compounded many of the fears of those in Europe about the changing strategic personality of the United States and the consequences of that on the rules and norms of the international system.

The EU’s WMD Proliferation Policies


Yet, at first blush, the EU appears to have closed ranks with the United States. Its recently released “Basic Principles for an EU Strategy Against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” moves beyond traditional European approaches to the problem of WMD proliferation by acknowledging for the first time that there may be occasions when it is necessary to resort to force. By itself, this apparent philosophical shift should have pleased Bush administration policymakers, who could tout the change as evidence that their views are winning converts on the Continent.

Any pleasure would likely be short lived, however, given the details of the policy in terms of when and how decisions to use force should be taken. The document makes it clear that the Europeans continue to view force as a last resort, following various gradations of coercive action. Additionally, the EU clarifies what it considers to be the only acceptable route for such action:

When these measures (including
political dialogue and diplomatic
pressure) have failed, coercive
measures under Chapter VII of
the UN Charter and international
law (sanctions, selective or global,
interceptions of shipments and,
as appropriate, the use of force)
could be envisioned. The UN
Security Council should play a
central role.13

Thus, the EU reaffirms its commitment to “effective multilateralism” and seeks to ensure that a European veto remains possible over the use of force against a WMD threat. Solana has subsequently been quite explicit that the EU would not undertake any U.S.-style strategy of pre-emptive military action.14 By contrast, the EU espouses pre-emptive engagement, to stop the problem before it becomes acute.

Despite their very public differences over Iraq, in the Basic Principles all the EU members have accepted a number of policies that are more than the “lowest common denominator,” indeed, they explicitly sought to move beyond that. Moreover, they have shown a clear intent for moving beyond rhetoric, approving an associated Action Plan that sets out what the EU is going to do, a timetable for actions, and the associated costs.15

The Basic Principles document declares that WMD proliferation “constitutes a threat to international peace and security,” immediately putting the issue into the language of the UN and international law. It further stresses multilateral action, baldly stating, “The EU is committed to the multilateral system. We will pursue the implementation and universalisation of the existing disarmament and non-proliferation norms.”16 Indeed, the EU specifically recommends the strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) through working to ensure “concrete outcomes” from the work of the expert groups.17 This is in direct contrast to the Bush administration’s stance on that treaty. One of the means by which the EU intends to increase the credibility of existing regimes is by preventing cheating through effective verification by “enhancing the detectability of significant violations and strengthening the enforcement of the norms established by this treaty regime.”18 This is an attempt to head off potential U.S. criticisms of the EU’s continued attachment to regimes.

One of the most important advances is a commitment to developing common European threat assessments rather than national or NATO analyses. In the past, the EU gave the idea of establishing such common assessments short shrift, partly to avoid explicitly contradicting NATO—where the United States has a heavy input into policy— and also to avoid the internal arguments that would arise between EU members in very different geostrategic situations. So glaring was this absence that a number of institutions and individuals had jumped into the fray, offering their own assessments.19 Several U.S. commentators also urged the EU to develop its own intelligence and threat assessment capabilities on the assumption that EU judgments would vindicate U.S. threat assessments.20

The EU now has a Situation Center to prepare and continuously update threat assessments.21 Moreover, the plan is also to have a Monitoring Center on WMD Disarmament and Non-Proliferation to ensure that the Action Plan is implemented, collate information and intelligence, liaise with international bodies, and propose measures to prevent and combat WMD proliferation.22 Thus, at least in principle, the EU should soon have a common threat assessment methodology as the basis for forming policies to deal with specific threats as they arise.

The Basic Principles and the Action Plan also show the intention of “mainstreaming non-proliferation policies into the EU’s wider relations with third countries,” including the use of cooperation agreements and assistance programs. The EU will use conditionality via the “carrots” of improving trade, aid, and economic relations with third countries. This is more evidence of the EU preference for soft-power tools and recognition of the role of such tools in addressing the root causes of proliferation problems.

Many of the elements of the new EU policies on WMD proliferation are familiar. For example, the Action Plan also makes much of strengthening export controls. The EU “will take the lead in efforts to strengthen regulations on trade with material that can be used for the production of biological weapons.”23 Although this is a codification of existing EU policies and builds on the efforts of the BWC and Australia Group, it does mark an increased commitment to such approaches.

According to a senior European diplomat, “Essentially, the [United States] and Europeans do not differ about the ends, we differ over the means. We have now set out a credible alternative, anchored on the multilateral system to stop WMD proliferation.”24 What the new documents do is to make more explicit European approaches to the issues. This is important as a coherent statement of EU approaches also gives them a solidity that they have previously lacked. It also marks a more explicit commitment to these policies. They have become the policies that the EU member states and those seeking to join the union—maybe even other states in the system—will coalesce around.

The EU policy on WMD proliferation is informed by its own developing strategic personality and in reaction to and defense against the U.S. abandonment of more traditional approaches to solving the proliferation problem. As the Financial Times noted, this “is the first time the EU has spelt out a systematic alternative to U.S. policy on WMD.”25

Are the EU WMD Policies Taken Seriously?


This is really the million-dollar (or million-euro) question. WMD policies were borne out of the EU’s disagreements over Iraq and were an attempt to ensure that such divisions did not happen again. Are they likely to succeed? As yet, the policies are untested, but some important bits of evidence can be identified.

As the EU moves to tackle the most difficult aspects of the Basic Principles and the Action Plan, the challenge will be keeping together the disparate member states, with nuclear states such as France and the United Kingdom trying to protect their own arsenals while more pacifist states such as Sweden and Ireland are keen to pursue a WMD disarmament agenda. One of the most ambitious aspects of the policy is the intention to re-invigorate the nonproliferation regimes (in the face of U.S. skepticism). A potential first test of this is coming up soon, at the 2005 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in Ireland. The Irish are reportedly keen to show progress on the issue and concerned that it will be difficult to carry the whole of the EU with them.

There are, however, indications that member states are seriously committed. First, the new approach to dealing with WMD proliferation is intended to be the first of a number of action plans to tackle key security problems. Therefore, this policy cannot be allowed to fail. Second, the issue is being driven forward at the ambassadorial level in Brussels. This high-level attention is keeping the issue at the top of member states agendas and maintaining its political momentum. Third, the responsible desk officers in the EU offices of the Commission, Council Secretariat, and Military Staff have a “relatively civilized relationship and an understood division of labor,” so the issue is being constructively handled.26 Fourth, we are already witnessing the implementation of some elements of the policy: the EU is sponsoring an Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Cooperative Threat Reduction in Russia, the EU Presidency is currently circulating a draft document on challenge inspections (which apparently draws on previous British work for the Chemical Weapons Convention), and the EU is cooperating with the Proliferation Security Initiative. Finally, the next two states to hold the EU Presidency, Ireland and the Netherlands, are both pro-arms control and the Irish in particular are keen to have positive outcomes from their tenure.

Another intriguing “straw in the wind” concerns the issue of Iran. The ability of foreign ministers Jack Straw of the United Kingdom, Dominique de Villepin of France, and Joschka Fischer of Germany to strike a deal with Tehran surely marked a signal day in Europe’s arms control efforts, whether or not it is ultimately successful in halting Iran’s nuclear program. As De Villepin remarked to reporters to conclude, “[I]t is an important day for Europe because we are dealing with a major issue.”27

Less noted, but potentially more important for the long-term, is the position that the United Kingdom is playing in that crisis, which is in very stark contrast to the position it took over Iraq’s WMD program. During the Iraq crisis, Prime Minister Tony Blair was criticized for “freelancing,” failing to discuss issues with his European partners before flying to Washington to agree on strategies. Ultimately, to the chagrin of several states in Europe, the United Kingdom sided with the United States rather than with the key players in the EU.

In dealing with Iran, however, the United Kingdom is very much the loyal European player, stating that it will not contemplate the use of force against the state and backing the EU strategy of engagement rather than the policy of isolation that the United States has been prosecuting.28 Blair stated that his government is in harmony with the European approach to the issue: “It has always been, and continues to be, the policy of this government to seek to resolve issues of this nature through dialogue.”29 Moreover, in the last month, the British have significantly changed their position on a European Defense Policy, bringing them much closer to France and Germany and healing some of the wounds of the Iraq crisis.30

Iran had been a difficult case for the EU because of the close ties of some member states to the Iranian government. Nevertheless, over the last few months, the EU stance toward Iran hardened, emphasizing compliance with tough International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards. This was not, however, the first outcome from the EU’s own threat assessment procedure (which is hardly up and running) but was based on the assessments of the IAEA, which is increasingly concerned about Iranian behavior.

In its policies toward Iran, the EU has already been applying its Basic Principles, emphasizing the role of politics and economics in dealing with proliferation threats. Thus, the EU General Affairs Council concluded that “progress in these [WMD proliferation] matters and strengthening dialogue and cooperation are interdependent, essential and mutually reinforcing elements of EU-Iran relations.”31 The commitment to engagement is clear, but engagement itself now is conditional. As a European diplomat acknowledged, “If we want to be serious when it comes to Iran’s noncompliance with its nonproliferation treaty obligations, we have to show we have carrots and sticks at our disposal.”32

The EU is actively using both these tools. The EU threatened Iran in July that it might halt political and economic talks if it failed to cooperate with the IAEA. Subsequently, the EU deferred a review of relations with Iran (which was to consider new economic and political agreements) for a month in order to gauge how Tehran responded to the IAEA deadline set for the end of October. In parallel to the “sticks,” the United Kingdom, France, and Germany offered a number of incentives to Iran if it gave up its nuclear program.33 These were followed up by the October visit of the foreign ministers to Tehran to press the case for abiding by IAEA demands. The mission seems to be a success, with Iran pledging “full cooperation” with the IAEA and halting its enriching and reprocessing of uranium as a confidence-building measure.

It is worth noting that it was not the EU’s high representative who flew to Tehran, but its national ministers, indicating that the EU has still got some way to go in terms of institutional clout. Nevertheless, their collective action signals that the EU policies on WMD proliferation may hold the union together when faced with anything less than extreme threats.

Implications for the Transatlantic Relationship

Iran is unlikely to be a unique phenomenon. Rather, it signals the blossoming of a new European assertiveness in picking and choosing how and when the EU will cooperate with U.S. nonproliferation policies. In some cases, such as Iran, the United States and Europe will diverge on means even if they agree on goals. In other cases, such as European support for last year’s establishment of a Code of Conduct to supplement the existing Missile Technology Control Regime and their participation in the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, there is still room for cooperation with the United States tactically and strategically.34

The Iran example seems to indicate a satisfactory division of labor available here, with the United States as the “bad cop” and the EU as the “good cop.” However, this has been suggested in the past only to be met by U.S. criticisms that this arrangement allows Europe to do too little and undermines a concerted approach to WMD proliferators. Depending on how the United States wants to tackle a particular proliferation problem, this division of labor and EU preference for soft-power solutions will either be seen as help or hindrance. In the case of Iraq, the approach of some EU states was seen as problematic, but Bush described EU initiatives with Iran as “an effective approach.”35

The most fundamental difference between the two continents in coming years will be in how they perceive the value of multinational institutions and regimes in preserving global security and the need for alternative strategies such as pre-emption. The premise of the Bush administration’s policies is that most institutions and regimes are not guaranteeing global security, which is why the administration is advocating proactive policies such as pre-emption. The White House has adopted a policy of neglect toward most of the regimes and institutions and is only currently expending energy and resources on those it considers useful, such as the IAEA. EU member states, on the other hand, view these institutions and regimes as guarantors of stability and security and believe the new EU policies may provide a rallying point for defense of the regimes from those within the United States disturbed by the current thrust of administration counterproliferation polices and from other states and civil society groups looking for alternative leadership on this issue. This is certainly not an outcome that would be welcomed by the Bush team.

In particular, debates over the pre-emptive use of force are likely to continue to divide the allies. In the future, however, especially as the EU grows to include the candidate countries of central and eastern Europe, the debate is less likely to pit “old Europe” against “New Europe” than Europeans against Americans. The EU has put down a marker that it will not contemplate pre-emption in the way that is embodied in current U.S. policy. So, although the development of a coherent policy has healed some of the internal rifts of the EU, transatlantic harmony is unlikely to be the outcome. The European hope may be that the United States recognizes that there is another major player in the ring and steps back to let them operate, but this seems an unlikely outcome to this European.


How U.S. and EU National Security Strategies Differ

Excerpts taken from Basic Principles for An EU Strategy Against Proliferation of
Weapons of Mass Destruction
(June 2003), National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass
Destruction
(December 2002), and National Security Strategy (September 2002).

On...
U.S. National Security Strategy
EU Basic Principles
The Perceived Threat
We will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes and terrorists to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons. We must accord the highest priority to the protection of the United States, our forces, and our friends and allies from the existing and growing WMD threat. The proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction...and means of delivery such as ballistic missiles constitutes a threat to international peace and security. These weapons are different from other weapons not only because of their capacity to cause death on a large scale but also because they could destabilise the international system.
The Use of Force
While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community, we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country...[T]he United States can no longer solely rely on a reactive posture as we have in the past. To address the new threats, a broad approach is needed. Political and diplomatic preventative measures...and resort to the competent international organisations...form the first line of defence. When these measures...have failed, coercive measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and international law (sanctions, selective or global, interceptions of shipments and, as appropriate, the use of force) could be envisioned. The UN Security Council should play a central role.
Fundamental Principles
Our National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction has three principal pillars: Counterproliferation to Combat WMD Use… Strengthened Nonproliferation to Combat WMD Proliferation…[and] Consequence Management to Respond to WMD Use… The three pillars of the U.S. national strategy to combat WMD are seamless elements of a comprehensive approach. The EU is committed to the multilateral system. We will pursue the implementation and universalisation of the existing disarmament and non-proliferation norms. With regard to biological and chemical weapons, we will work towards declaring the bans on these weapons to be universally binding rules of international law.
Stopping the Spread of WMD
One of the most difficult challenges we face is to prevent, deter, and defend against the acquisition and use of WMD by terrorist groups. The current and potential future linkages between terrorist groups and state sponsors of terrorism are particularly dangerous and require priority attention. The full range of counterproliferation, nonproliferation, and consequence management measures must be brought to bear against the WMD terrorist threat…
The best solution to the problem of proliferation of WMD is that countries should no longer feel they need them. If possible, political solutions should be found to the problems which lead them to seek WMD. The more secure countries feel, the more likely they are to abandon programmes: disarmament measures can lead to a virtuous circle just as weapons programmes can lead to an arms race.



NOTES
1. Philip H. Gordon, “Bridging the Atlantic Divide,” Foreign Affairs 82, no. 1 (January/February 2003).
2. Ian Black, “First Bridgehead for EU Military Staff—Their Own HQ,” The Guardian, May 10, 2001, available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4183972,00.html.
3. See Francoise Heisbourg, “Europe’s Strategic Ambitions: The Limits of Ambiguity,” Survival 42, no. 2 (Summer 2000).
4. Paul Cornish and Geoffrey Edwards, “Beyond the EU/NATO Dichotomy: The Beginnings of a European Strategic Culture,” International Affairs 77, no. 3 (July 2001), pp. 587-603.
5. The EU had, however, undertaken a number of Joint Actions designed to shore up the regimes and arms control agreements designed to prevent WMD proliferation.
6. For a very insightful comparison of EU and U.S. strategic concepts, see Alyson Bailes, “EU and U.S. Strategic Concepts: Facing New International Realities,” International Spectator (forthcoming) (Journal of the Instituto Affari Internazionali, Rome).
7. Caroline F. Ziemke, “The National Myth and Strategic Personality of Iran: A Counterproliferation Perspective,” in The Coming Crisis: Nuclear Proliferation, U.S. Interests, and World Order, ed. Victor A. Utgoff (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000), p. 88.
8. Darryl A. Howlett, Euratom and Nuclear Safeguards (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 1990).
9. Helen Wallace, “Making Multilateral Negotiations Work,” in The Dynamics of European Integration, ed. Helen Wallace (London: Royal Institute for International Affairs/Pinter, 1991).
10. Javier Solana, A Secure Europe in a Better World, European Council, Thessaloniki, June 20, 2003, p. 8.
11. Robert Kagan, Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003).
12. Joanna Spear, “A European View of Non-Proliferation Policy,” in United States Non-Proliferation Policy, eds. Bernard Finel and Jan Nolan (New York: Century Foundation, forthcoming).
13. “Basic Principles for an EU Strategy Against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” (Doc. 10352/03 PESC 315 CONOP 18 CODUN 13 COTER 24), para. 4 (hereinafter Basic Principles).
14. Gerrard Quille, “Making Multilateralism Matter: The EU Security Strategy,” European Security Review no. 18 (July 2003), p. 2.
15. Basic Principles; “Action Plan for the Implementation of the Basic Principles for an EU Strategy Against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” (Doc. 10352/03 PESC 316 CONOP 19 CODUN 14 COTER 25).
16. Basic Principles, para. 5.
17. Action Plan, para. 17.
18. Basic Principles, para. 6.
19. See Harald Müller, Terrorism, Proliferation: A European Threat Assessment, Chaillot Paper No. 58 (Paris: Institute for Security Studies, March 2003); Gustav Lindström and Burkhard Schmitt, Towards a European Non-Proliferation Strategy, Institute Note, May 23, 2003 (Paris: Institute for Security Studies, 2003).
20. Kori N. Schake and Jeffrey Simon, “Europe” in Strategic Challenges for the Bush Administration: Perspectives from the Institute for National Strategic Studies (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 2001), p. 17.
21. Basic Principles, para. 3.
22. Action Plan, para. 14.
23. Action Plan, para. 17.
24. Judy Dempsey, “EU Foreign Ministers Agree WMDJ Policy,” Financial Times, June 17, 2003, p. 9.
25. Ibid.
26. Interview with author, October 22, 2003.
27. Glenn Frankel, “Iran Vows to Curb Nuclear Activities,” The Washington Post, October 22, 2003.
28. Marc Champion and Scott Miller, “Europe Learns Lessons From Failures Over Iraq,” Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2003.
29. House of Commons, Hansard, Written Answers, Prime Minister, June 23, 2003, col. 615W (written response of Prime Minister Tony Blair to a question from Llew Smith MP).
30. Ian Black and Patrick Wintour, “UK Backs Down on European Defence,” The Guardian, September 23, 2003.
31. House of Commons, Hansard, Written Answers, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, June 24, 2003, col. 702W (written response by Minister of State Mr. Rammell to a question from Mr. Soames MP).
32. Dempsey, “EU Foreign Ministers Agree WMD Policy,” p. 9.
33. Paul Taylor and Louis Charbonneau, “Defying U.S., European Nations Engage Iran on Nuclear Program,” The Washington Post, September 20, 2003.
34. The Proliferation Security Initiative seeks to block the transfer of missile technologies abroad by states outside of the Missile Technology Control Regime. See Wade Boese, “U.S. Pushes Initiative to Block Shipments of WMD, Missiles,” Arms Control Today 33, no. 6 (July/August 2003), p. 26; “U.S.: Interdiction Effort May Affect North Korea,” The Washington Post, August 19, 2003, p. A5.
35. Joby Warrick, “Iran Still Has Nuclear Deadline, U.S. Says,” The Washington Post, October 23, 2003.

 

 


Joanna Spear is director of the United States Foreign Policy Institute, The Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. She was previously a senior lecturer in the Department of War Studies, King’s College, London.

 

 

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