Arms Control Association Press Briefing
Friday, September 16, 2005
9:00 A.M. - 10:30 A.M.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
John S. Wolf, President, Eisenhower Fellowships.
Minister Counselor Morten Aasland, Embassy of Norway.
Lawrence Scheinman, Distinguished Professor, Monterey Institute of International Studies.
Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association.
Federal News Service
Washington , D.C.
DARYL KIMBALL: Welcome to this morning’s Arms Control Association Press Briefing on addressing today’s nuclear nonproliferation challenges. I am Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. ACA is a private, nonpartisan organization that was established in 1971 to educate the public about effective arms control and nonproliferation strategies. We’ve organized this morning’s session at this time because we remain deeply concerned about the world’s multiple nuclear weapons challenges and threats and the failure of the world’s leading states to agree on what we consider to be a balanced and effective action plan to strengthen the beleaguered nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and associated mechanisms such as export control regimes. In a moment, I’m going to turn over the microphone to our expert panelists and then we’re going to take your questions.
But first, I want to set the stage for why we have these three speakers, why we’re covering the topics that we’re covering today, and what issues we think U.S. policymakers in Congress and the executive branch and elsewhere need to think about addressing more seriously. Now, just a few months ago, the UN High Level Panel, cited the effect of the resumption of North Korea’s nuclear weapons-related activities, Iran’s advanced nuclear program, black market nuclear trading, and the specter of nuclear terrorism, growing stockpiles of highly-enriched uranium and plutonium, regional rivalries involving nuclear-armed states, and the failure of the nuclear-weapon states to respect and fully implement their NPT-related disarmament obligations, and the panel concluded “We are approaching a point at which the erosion of the nuclear nonproliferation regime could become irreversible and result in a cascade of proliferation.”
And as we, the Arms Control Association, noted in a statement that we released last April, which is in your packet, successfully addressing these and other challenges will require a new and unprecedented degree of international cooperation and leadership, beginning with the United States. Several Republican and Democratic members of the House and the Senate have heard our call that we issued back in April and have introduced legislation calling for action on several specific nonproliferation and disarmament measures, and one of those resolutions, the text of which is also in your packet, was offered by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Hagel.
But today, on the 16 th of September, we see that the UN Millennium Summit has failed to provide any recommendations or findings in their historic summit document on nonproliferation and disarmament. They were unable to agree to specific provisions on conventional arms, on halting the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists, or advancing nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament goals. According to Secretary General Kofi Annan, “There were governments that were not willing to make the concessions necessary…There were spoilers, let’s be quite honest about that.”
This comes on the heels of the disappointing nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference last May at which the member states also failed to put together an action plan to strengthen the NPT regime. I would note that in particular at that meeting, and apparently again in the past few weeks, the United States, as it did at the NPT, rejected references in the summit document to disarmament obligations of the nuclear-weapon states under the NPT, which then opened the door for other states to jump in the summit document negotiations with their own changes and objections. So in my view, and I think the view of many of the members of the Arms Control Association’s board members, these developments will make it all the more difficult to strengthen an already beleaguered nonproliferation system and will make it all the more difficult to persuade other states to foreclose their nuclear options as long as the United States and other weapons states insist on preserving and even enhancing theirs.
And then finally, and this is one of the other topics of today’s briefing, the United States now is seeking to rewrite the U.S. law and policies of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to allow full civilian nuclear cooperation with nuclear-armed India, even though India does not allow for full-scope nuclear safeguards, continues to produce fissile material for weapons, and has not agreed to support any meaningful new, nuclear restraint measure in the July 18 th summit document between Prime Minister Singh and President Bush. So, I think Secretary General Annan hit the nail on the head when he said that the UN members’ inability to adopt measures on disarmament and nonproliferation at the UN summit and elsewhere is a “real disgrace,” and that he hopes world leaders would see this “as a real signal to pick up the ashes and show leadership.”
So we’ve gathered here today three panelists with different backgrounds, experience from the United States and elsewhere, to comment on these developments, to provide their perspectives. Our first panelist is going to be John Wolf, who until quite recently has been on the frontlines of these policy debates. He is currently the president of the Eisenhower Fellowships and he was, from 2001 to 2004, the assistant secretary of State for nonproliferation among other important duties, which are described in his bio in your packet. And I would just add that while John has expressed views in the past that are not always in sync with those of the Arms Control Association, one thing that we really appreciate is his commitment to he Nonproliferation Treaty, and we do appreciate your presence here and your willingness to share your thoughts at this session.
Our second panelist represents one of the several governments that has sought to forge international agreement to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation system. Minister Counselor Morten Aasland of the Embassy of Norway is here to discuss Norway’s efforts, along with a diverse group of six other nations from non-nuclear and nuclear states, northern states and southern states, to build support for their action plan to strengthen the NPT, and he is also going to try and describe why achieving agreement on such an action plan has been so difficult and what must be done to forge ahead in the international arena.
And our third panelist, last but not least, is Larry Scheinman who is with the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He was the assistant director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency during the Clinton administration with prime responsibility for nonproliferation and arms control. He has had 25 years of experience on nuclear issues and international affairs. Larry is going to help us with an analysis of the proposed U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal and what the implications of that deal might be for the international nonproliferation order.
So with that, let’s start with John. Welcome, the podium is all yours. And then after we hear from all three speakers, we’ll go to your questions. Thanks.
JOHN WOLF: Thank you, Daryl. I guess I should start by saying a couple of things. Unlike many of the people in this room, I am not an expert on a lot of these matters. I learned a great deal though from my associates when I was assistant secretary for non-proliferation – unfortunately the last assistant secretary for non-proliferation. But I learned a great deal from my colleagues and associates and we’ll talk about some of that today. I don’t represent a government. I proudly did for 34 years. And today I don’t represent Eisenhower Fellowships, of which I am president, because that’s not what Eisenhower Fellowships do.
My task today though is to talk about strengthening the non-proliferation regime and for today’s purpose, Daryl and I agree that I’d probably do best to just focus on one piece, and that is the health of the NPT, where things stand today, and probably tipping my hand just a little bit for what I’m about to say, the steps that I think that the international community can take to revitalize this critical cornerstone of the international nonproliferation and arms control architecture. I don’t propose to wallow through the failed NPT conference last May. I think there is ample fault to go around. Both nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states share responsibility for the missed opportunity, and it was a missed opportunity, as were the discussions in the run-up to this week’s UN summit, which Daryl just described.
I think the world is caught in what I guess I could just best describe as a dialogue of the deaf, if you could use those words together. The NPT really should provide stability and a path for cooperation and the means for action to deal with real-world threats to world peace and security, and instead it’s become a foil for mind-numbing diatribes. When the treaty was negotiated, it had non-acquisition, disarmament, and peaceful uses as three integral parts of one unified whole, and I fear on various sides, there are efforts to break the treaty back into three pieces, and each side would focus on one, toss away the other, and ignore the third. That’s not a path for success.
So let’s start with non-acquisition. NPT is shorthand for the treaty for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, and that should make clear what the central purpose of the treaty is. In the real world, there are real threats, real breaches of treaty obligations by countries that are both within the NPT and now outside the NPT orbit. And there is a continuing problem posed by nuclear-capable states that were never a part of the treaty. In a number of speeches that I made as the U.S. representative to NPT preparatory meetings and other meetings in 2002, 2003, and 2004, we caution that a treaty that is observed in the breach is a treaty that will fail and that will have serious consequences for all. We caution that states ought not to be selective in their application of the treaty. It’s meant to be a universal template and that may be uncomfortable for individual states in individual bilateral relations, but it was always meant to avoid one-off exceptions that undercut global standards meant to provide global confidence and stability.
Adherence to the treaty really should mean that the international community will not tolerate the acquisition of nuclear weapons and nuclear technology or the exports of such, and that intolerance really should apply to countries within and outside the treaty. The idea was to stop additions to the number of states with weapons and to start and, in due course, conclude nuclear disarmament by those with weapons. The view in the 1960s – and I was pretty young then but I share that view now – the view is that the world would be safer without nuclear weapons. The treaty fails if it differentiates or if members try to differentiate between good states who can be trusted with nuclear weapons and all others. We have never been further from the treaty’s goals and we are moving in the wrong direction.
Well, I firmly support the many measures that President Bush has outlined to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. These include continuing to strengthen the IAEA and universal adherence to additional protocols. This includes adherence by the United States, so I’m disheartened by interagency indolence that is undercutting the president’s commitment. It means strengthening innovative, pluralistic mechanisms like the Proliferation Security Initiative, and it means faithful adherence to Resolution 1540, which is binding on all UN member states, those inside the NPT, and those outside. It means finding a means to end the spread of technologies that enable more countries to reprocess nuclear fuel or to enrich uranium. These are key enabling technologies for acquiring fissile materials. But we need to assure fuel supplies for peaceful nuclear uses and we need to be serious about negotiating a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty, and to get those producing such materials to stop. It’s time for Washington and the non-aligned to stop speaking as if only one side had truth and history on its side.
Certainly, the NPT is about more than compliance issues. Non-weapon states are correct for tweaking the P5 about their obscure path toward nuclear disarmament as a target of Article VI of the treaty, and there are legitimate concerns about the sui generis status of India, Pakistan, Israel, and now North Korea outside the treaty. But what is most of concern is the palpable unwillingness to call to account those who are cheating. Tolerating or excusing countries’ attempts to acquire weapons capabilities will certainly shrink opportunities for developing countries to use nuclear materials for peaceful purposes. Tolerating or conniving in the proliferation activities by one’s own nationals could, I think, and should lead to such countries being fenced off from high-tech trade and perhaps greater isolation.
The kind of groupthink mentality that refuses to confront proliferation, or which tries to rationalize it, is counterproductive. And why do I say that? Because the spread of nuclear weapons to additional sovereign states is actually a far greater threat to countries in the proliferator’s neighborhoods than it is to the United States. However, we’re all threatened when proliferation and nuclear weapons acquisition is in the direction of non-state actors – terrorists – and to states that have supported terrorism as an element of statecraft.
Now, as regards disarmament, and certainly for the United States – and I’m not an expert – but I’m told there is a better story that we could tell, and more that we could do. It could be that the United States is actually doing a better job meeting its Article VI disarmament obligations than it admits. It could be that we shield the actual progress we’re making in deactivating materials, as well as what we’re doing and intend to do in regard to the actual transformation of fissile materials. Why the obfuscation? Is it just to keep our options open? With our overwhelming conventional capabilities, do we really need to do that? I’m on the side of those who think we should be more transparent. I’m on the side of those who think we can do more. I think it would give us greater leverage to generate more commitment internationally to confront and corral states attempting to go down the nuclear weapons path.
But I also think that more worrisome are two U.S. policy initiatives and the concerns that are shared by many, some in the United States including in Congress, and many abroad. One set of concerns relates to the department of Energy’s program to research a new penetrator warhead. Far more worrisome though is the proposed change in weapons doctrine that envisions using nuclear weapons for WMD pre-emption. Probably one needs to say only one word – Iraq – to raise a huge scarlet warning flag about the risks of such a policy change. In 2003, our commanders and civilian leaders were convinced there would be a chemical weapons response to any military action in 2003, and so we laid down a bright red line, saying how we would respond. Suppose instead some had argued to use nuclear weapons pre-emptively, and suppose we had. What would have been the implications of doing so and being wrong? Whoops is not a good enough response.
There are a dozen or more countries around the world in violation of their Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention obligations. Few directly threaten the United States, but a number have seriously strained relations with their neighbors, some of which also have clandestine WMD programs. But what’s the message that the United States with its huge conventional capabilities, far-flung intelligence capabilities – we can contemplate nuclear pre-emption? But others, with much more at risk and far fewer capabilities – shouldn’t have the option? Perhaps in a one-dimensional world such thinking makes sense, but that’s not the world that we live in. We need to do a better job shifting the terms of the debate back to the treaty’s basics so it’s non-acquisition, whereas I said, I think the U.S. has made a strong case and proposed a number of measures that should be pursued.
Disarmament – we can tell the story better on what we’re doing and we need to do more and be more transparent. We need to be serious about a fissile material cutoff treaty. My sense is that our negotiators will need to have a whole lot more fire put into their bellies than the lukewarm diplo-speak that they now have. That needs to include verification. How can one pass the smile test in Geneva, saying that an FMCT cannot be verified while insisting vis-à-vis North Korea and Iran that effective verification is essential to any credible outcome.
Even beyond those areas, we need to do more to broaden the peaceful uses. Few developing countries will use nuclear power for power generation, and even fewer will have any reason to enrich or reprocess. But the way the debate is now framed is whether they have a right. And now we’re seen as trying to take that right away. We need to change the terms of the debate. We need to find practical ways to cooperate with countries. I think we should go back to President Eisenhower’s original Atoms for Peace concept; update it to focus on industrial, medical, agricultural, and other uses of the atom. Let’s talk about something concrete that countries could get in exchange if they shelve insistence on their right to enrich and reprocess. Let’s put practical alternatives and real resources into this. Certainly, the dollars one might spend giving others a finite stake in the nuclear debate are far fewer than the billions we have to spend to stop proliferators ourselves.
It’s been fashionable recently to talk a lot about counter-proliferation, but that’s really a defensive concept. Nonproliferation done right is bigger. It requires more resources. It requires more work. It requires better diplomacy. But in the end, I think you get a better result. At Eisenhower Fellowships, we say that dialogue leads to understanding, and understanding sets the basis for collaboration that can yield a more prosperous, just, and peaceful world. Dialogue requires listening, not just talking, a lesson we should add to our efforts to build up an international coalition working to strengthen the implementation of the nonproliferation treaty in all its aspects. To get collaboration in action, we’re going to need understanding, and that means we need to have serious two-way dialogue. It can’t be selective. We have to be consistent, whether the discussion is in capitals or whether it’s within the UN system. Time is short. There’s much to do. Thank you.
MR. KIMBALL: Thank you very much, John, for those refreshing thoughts. Minister Counselor Aasland, you’re up next.
MORTEN AASLAND: Good morning. Thank you, Daryl, and thank you for inviting me to this panel and to speak at the distinguished Arms Control Association. I’d like to say that the ACA is at the forefront when it comes to advocating arms control measures and you provide quality analysis that I know that my colleagues working with these issues in Oslo use very frequently. And it’s an honor for me to be on this panel with two gentlemen with such very distinguished careers.
I would like to share with you Norway’s experience over the last few months with what has been a practical diplomatic effort to find pragmatic ways forward out of the present impasse, because it is pretty much an impasse with regard to global multilateral nonproliferation and disarmament efforts. Let me first say that it seems also to us, as stated by the Arms Control Association in the flyer for this event, and also, I think, very much now by John Wolf, that it is our assessment or point of departure for what we’ve done that the nuclear weapon have and have-nots are drifting apart, and that this is happening at a time when we know the challenges with regard to nuclear proliferation facing all countries are growing more severe. In short, the overall available international instruments and our political will to use them effectively and develop them does not keep up with proliferation trends and challenges that are on the rise. And this is reason for grave concern.
My view, obviously, is quite close to what you were both saying, so you’re not going to get a panel here with sparks of disagreement flying. Many of us shared a deep frustration over the failed 2005 NPT Review Conference in New York in May. There were different views, however, on the degree of failure. Some claimed that the conference was not really a failure after all, and that at least there were very good substantive discussions. My government does not share that last assessment. We believe that in May, an important opportunity was missed to strengthen the global nuclear nonproliferation regime and make needed progress in nuclear disarmament.
Another opportunity to articulate political will and set direction was again, unfortunately, lost at the World Summit in New York this week, which in the end does not at all address disarmament and nonproliferation in its outcome document. We agree with Secretary General Kofi Annan when he summed up the whole summit agenda before heads of state and government on Wednesday, and I would like to quote very briefly from him. He said, “our biggest challenge and our biggest failing is on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. Twice this year, at the NPT review conference and now at this summit, we have allowed posturing to get in the way of results. This is inexcusable. Weapons of mass destruction pose a grave danger to us all, particularly in a world threatened by terrorists with global ambitions and no inhibitions. We must pick up the pieces in order to renew negotiations on this vital issue.
There is talk, and it was alluded to now, about an erosion of confidence in the whole NPT bargain. We subscribe to the view that the state of affairs in the multilateral disarmament machinery and with regard to the NPT is very disappointing. On the other hand, and I believe this is an important political message, we should refrain ourselves from undermining further the confidence in the NPT. The legal rights and obligations of the NPT remain and the three pillars remain. Nonproliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses are all essential and part of a whole.
A few words then on the so-called Seven Nation Initiative that Norway has headed up at the United Nations these past months. Shortly after the review conference in May, Norway’s foreign minister was asked by the secretary general to take the lead in developing as strong as language as possible on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation for the summit outcome document. We knew that this would not be an easy thing. The impasse in New York in May was still very much present, and the fact that non-parties to the NPT would also have a say in the negotiations on the outcome document would make this even more complicated, obviously. Still, it was decided to make an effort and basically to do three things – work the text initially with a limited, selected number of countries representing different views and different situations with regard to the possession of nuclear weapons or not. Secondly, then work to get all, or as many as possible, UN members on board. Thirdly, maintain as much as possible of the substance of this text through the final phase of the negotiations for the outcome document.
Now, the composition of the core group merits perhaps a little bit of attention. It was quite clear for us that they had to come from different regions and represent different views. An initiative or a paper sponsored by Western, like-minded countries alone would obviously not fly and not promote a broad consensus, so we invited the following six countries: Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Romania, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Those who follow the NPT process will know that these countries have quite different perspectives on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. Indonesia and South Africa have for many years been at the forefront of the Nonaligned Movement, the NAM. South Africa is part of the New Agenda Coalition, which has been pushing some of these issues in a UN setting. It was crucial for us to have Indonesia and South Africa on board. At the same time, it was felt that it was essential to have a nuclear power. Those who follow the NPT will know that the U.K. has remained committed to the disarmament obligations adopted at the review conference in 2000.
The seven nation negotiations on a joint ministerial declaration, as well as negotiations on a specific text for the outcome document for the heads of state and government, were not easy. They were hard. And the two texts were obviously compromises. Not surprisingly, upon circulation in New York, a number of countries asked us why did you not have stronger language, for example, on the IAEA additional protocol? Others asked, why did you not have stronger advocacy of full implementation of past disarmament commitments, et cetera. Further examples could be added. We would agree that the text was not ideal. It was a common denominator, but it was not the lowest common denominator. It did provide a bottom-up path toward a possible consensus on the pragmatic package of first steps, and the alternative, of course, was not a full Christmas tree where everybody could hang their favorite decoration, but no tree at all.
As things proceeded in New York, a very large number of countries on short notice expressed support and rallied to the text and the text was also adopted as a basis for negotiations for the outcome document. These negotiations were also difficult. The non-NPT states had very strong views. Norway all along kept in very close touch with the United States government, both at very high levels and on a running basis with the State Department, and in New York. But, I will reveal no secret if I say that some of our proposals or some of the proposals in the texts did not receive strong support or ovation in Washington. Negotiations went on until this week, until heads of state and government arrived in New York. But they did not lead to consensus and the result was, as you alluded to, that there is no section at all on disarmament and nonproliferation in the outcome document. As in the case with the NPT review conference, political differences proved too large and there was not enough will to overcome or put aside differences. A small group of countries had very strong views or have very strong views on some issues, and those views are not acceptable for others. They are either, in particular, linked to stronger or full commitment to disarmament efforts or the primacy, if I may say so, of nonproliferation efforts on the other hand.
I will not run through the substantial elements of the proposed summit document. They are available and we can make them available afterwards if you want to. One last word – where do we stand now? We regret, of course, that the World Summit did not seize this opportunity. A clear message from heads of state and government would have been important. It would have provided political commitment and push and helped set direction. However, while unsuccessful in terms of the outcome document, we do believe that this initiative and the rallying around it did outline a practical approach toward making progress, which is strongly needed, as we all know. It also signaled the value of a cross-regional and cross-group approach and the merits of a fresh approach in the multilateral UN disarmament machinery, which we all know is not a fast-moving machinery. And we also feel that it has helped develop consensus. It’s also put pressure on some countries that we might call holdouts, which is not unimportant.
So Norway will continue to work on these issues. We organized two weeks ago a workshop in Oslo with 24 NPT parties, selected from all regions, exploring ways to continue. Efforts will go on, of course, in various fora, including in various parts of the UN, in the IAEA, and elsewhere. I’ll just mention one specific example, and that is the issue of using the IAEA to promote a proliferation-resistant nuclear fuel cycle. Norway circulated a paper at the NPT review conference in May calling for reduced use of enriched uranium in the civilian sector, with a total ban as a long-term objective. In parallel, we should follow up nonproliferation efforts through the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540, including very importantly assistance to developing countries in fulfilling their obligations under that Security Council resolution. We must also seek to universalize the guidelines of the Proliferation Security Initiative, and it’s important, of course, that this not be seen as a Western or a United States project. And we will continue work to strengthen relevant export control regimes like the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which Norway is chairing at this moment.
The present situation with regard to multilateral negotiating efforts on nonproliferation and disarmament is unsatisfactory and it is an untenable situation. The relationship between challenges and escalating trends and available instruments and the degree to which we put them to use is not a satisfactory one. Secondly, we attempted with the other countries in this core group to proceed in a practical manner in the multilateral arena. We felt that approach was worthwhile. Something was achieved. It was unsuccessful in New York, of course, but consensus was built to quite a degree. A path was once again pointed to and there was rallying around a step-by-step practical, pragmatic approach. I think I’ll end right there. Thank you very much.
MR. KIMBALL: Thank you, Morten. Now, our third speaker, Larry Scheinman. I just want to say before you come up that we like to change the lineup of our panels that ACA puts together, but we’ve made an exception for Larry. I think this is the third time that you’ve helped us out with a panel discussion in the last three or four years because you are so knowledgeable about so many things. This morning, I also want to thank you for being here because you’ve had to overcome some sickness. So Larry is dedicated to the cause and a true trooper. I welcome you to the podium.
LARRY SCHEINMAN: I will start out by denying everything that Daryl just said, especially about being knowledgeable. I was asked if I would talk to the question of the recent decision by the United States to change policy regarding civil nuclear cooperation with a country that is not accepting full-scope safeguards, let alone not being an NPT party. I think it can be said that there’s a general sharing of the objective on all sides of the issues of the purpose of trying to counterbalance the rise of Chinese power and to enhance cooperation in the field of counterterrorism when it comes to the U.S. decision to move forward in a new way with India and the civil nuclear fuel cycle sector.
For me and my colleagues, the problem is that in doing so, the United States is either in a position of having to seek or is actively seeking, depending on how you want to characterize that, to reverse decades-old counter-proliferation policy. Removing obstacles to civil nuclear cooperation with India is anchored on the proposition that as a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology and a strong commitment to weapons of mass destruction proliferation, ceasing that, India should share the same benefits and advantages as other such states. To do this entails adjusting long-standing laws and policies of the United States, requiring congressional approval and acquiescence of allies and friends to altering regime policies the United States, in particular, has devoted years of time and effort and diplomatic energy to establish. And as one of the people who has been in this business since almost shortly after the NPT was brought into the public marketplace, I feel very strongly about that shift in approach.
For many, the questions are whether the objective, the strengthening of ties with India in economic, military, and in scientific fields, could have been achieved without compromising important nonproliferation principles, norms, and policies, whether India’s concessions in the nonproliferation sector are significant enough to justify the accommodations to which the United Stats has now committed itself, and what the impact this agreement might have on the nonproliferation regime at large. There’s been an outpouring of opinion and analysis on this subject here and abroad, including, of course, in India, and a forthcoming article in Arms Control Today -- by my colleagues Fred McGoldrick and Harold Bengelsdorf and I -- is one. In our view, if the administration implements the joint agreement without modification, we will have given India a great deal – effective acknowledgement as a de facto nuclear-weapon state, whatever language or terminology one chooses to use, and access to the international nuclear market – in return for what we regard to be largely symbolic concessions in the nonproliferation area. Now, I admit that if you look at the Indian press, you get a totally 180-degree different position: “Why are we doing these things and making these concessions to the United States on the chance that the United States may be able to successfully bring about this change of policy and make it an operational fact?”
These symbolic concessions to which I refer, include the following: to place civil facilities as, and I underscore this, as defined by India and not by the United States or the international community, under IAEA safeguards, the nature of which isn’t specified. I will come back to that point. This could add very little in fact to the nonproliferation regime. Another symbolic concession is to act responsibly in the field of nuclear export, in particular in the area of sensitive technology, enrichment and reprocessing. I say this is symbolic because India already does this. This is not new. This is not taking a step forward. This is simply confirming that India has been in this respect largely a reliable member of the team to prevent the spread of technologies which put us all at risk. To maintain a nuclear testing moratorium is a third concession that has been made in this agreement, but this is something that India has already committed to. They’re not changing course. They’re not saying, “Well, we’ve been on the wrong path and now we need to take a different strategy.” And finally, to work with the United States for conclusion of a multilateral fissile material cutoff treaty, which India has been supporting the negotiation of for some time and probably is very happy to join in this objective now that the United States has said this is not a verifiable treaty if in fact it ever gets consummated.
In short, what is positive and good on the side of India is not really new or a breakthrough, but what is being granted by the United States in return is. What is not conceded arguably overrides what is committed to or, as I said, reaffirmed. In particular, the commitment to halt the production of weapons material, that is to say, a moratorium, that word doesn’t appear in this agreement. And, as we understand it, India was pressed to stop producing now as the United States has stopped producing, and the other nuclear-weapon states have stopped producing fissile material for weapons purposes. India said that’s not something that could be on the table. So the commitment to halt the production of nuclear material in the period leading up to the conclusion of a fissile material cutoff treaty is not there. This is something that would have given further leverage on Pakistani policies and practices. In addition, there is no mention of the Proliferation Security Initiative to which the previous two speakers alluded. A commitment to strong physical protection standards vis-à-vis facilities where weapons-useable materials are located on Indian territory or in locations under its control are not there, but they would have been important additions and these would have been taking it a step beyond where India is today.
And what is left uncertain and problematic among the positive aspects relates to the separation of civil and military facilities on the one hand, and safeguards on the other. As I mentioned a moment ago, the separation of civilian and military nuclear facilities is a matter of Indian decision and acceptance of separation in principle is already under attack in India. Former Prime Minister Vajpayee has questioned acceptance of this principle, and others, such as Mr. Prasad, have noted that separation means having to have dedicated – (audio break, tape change) -- facilities for military purposes that would end up being kept underutilized when not producing materials for nuclear weapons – a costly venture for India, given that it is operating on the principle of minimum deterrence and depends today on incremental acquisition of material from existing civilian nuclear facilities beyond the Dhruva and Cirus research reactors that can provide dedicated supplies.
As for expanded safeguards on facilities designated as civilian, while that is a plus, the question left unaddressed is, what kind of safeguards are we talking about? In theory there are two possibilities. One is a voluntary safeguards agreement along the lines of what the five nuclear-weapon states recognized by the NPT have already employed; that is to say, a voluntary declaration of facilities that either are considered civilian, either all civilian facilities, as is the case with the United States and the United Kingdom, or selected facilities, as is the case with the other three weapons states. So one possibility is to have a voluntary safeguards agreement and use that as a means by which to place whatever civilian facilities are designated under IAEA verification.
The other alternative is a facility-specific safeguards agreement under what’s called Information Circular 66, which is the safeguards document that prevailed prior to the negotiation of the conclusion of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which called for comprehensive or full-scope safeguards.
The nice part about the INFCIRC/66 facility approach is that safeguards are in perpetuity once the safeguards are applied to the facility. That’s the fundamental difference between that kind of an approach and a voluntary arrangement approach. Under the voluntary arrangement approach if one comes to the conclusion that a facility placed under safeguards is now needed for national security or national defense purposes, it can be removed from the list. So it’s really kind of an under-which-shell-is-the-pea kind of approach to the problem.
So in the case of voluntary safeguards, it’s possible, as I say, for the state to withdraw facilities and safeguards for national security reasons, whereas in the case of INFCIRC/66, it is not. The importance of my making this observation will become clear in a moment.
There is, in addition, the question of adherence to the additional protocol to safeguards that was agreed by the IAEA board of governors in 1997, and that is progressively but slowly moving toward becoming the norm for safeguards. We’ve got a long way to go. More access to information, more access to locations is provided by the additional protocol, but none of the three de facto nuclear-weapon states – India, Israel or Pakistan – have bit the bullet on this one, whereas the nuclear-weapon states recognized by the NPT at this point have in varying degrees.
Adherence to the additional protocol in the context of whatever safeguards agreement they come to conclude with the IAEA could be added significance to the legitimacy of safeguards worldwide, and that would be an important contribution that India could make in this regard.
In our article we also discussed the implementation of this kind of an agreement under U.S. law. The Atomic Energy Act, which requires that significant nuclear exports be pursuant to an agreement for civil nuclear cooperation, is something that does not currently exist with India. Our earlier civil cooperation agreement expired in 1993.
For such an agreement, certain conditions have to be met. Under our law, this includes full-scope safeguards by the recipient state, which India would not accept, and therefore, a waiver would have to be required, and prior consent rights to what happens to material that’s been provided by the United States, such as for the reprocessing of spent fuel, would also be required, and that doesn’t exist at the present time. In addition to that, Nuclear Regulatory Commission export licensing requirements, which also include full-scope safeguards, would have to be dealt with, which again involves the possible need for waivers that are subject to congressional approval.
Congressional concerns have already been raised, as reflected in a House amendment of the energy bill this July that would have prohibited export of nuclear technology or equipment to countries that had detonated a nuclear weapon and not signed the NPT. Despite the fact that this amendment was rejected ultimately in conference, I believe we have not heard the last of it.
There is also the question of the Nuclear Suppliers Group that’s already been mentioned by other speakers. Indications are that key members are falling in line behind the United States. The United Kingdom already has done that. I believe Canada recently has indicated that they’re prepared to go along with this, which is a bit of a dismaying event considering that the Canadians were probably burned harder by the Indians than anybody else had been in the past when the Indians took Canadian assistance for civil purposes and used it to produce the material that was used to detonate the device in 1974 under the label, “peaceful nuclear explosion.”
What is particularly important here is what message the United States initiative gives to other group members, and how in the longer run the longstanding effort to bring suppliers to adopt a common set of rules of the game regarding exports will fare. If the United States can move along the path of exceptionalism with respect to one country, what assurance is there that other NSG countries might not follow the same example with respect to states with whom they have special interests?
I might mention in passing here that having come to the conclusion that we have this agreement with India and hoping that the Indian government will fall in line behind some basic thinking on these issues with the United States, the headline in the newspaper that I saw the other day was that India supports the Iranian position that Iran has the right to proceed with the full nuclear fuel cycle.
On that, by the way, I think I agree very much with something that John Wolf said. I’d put it slightly differently. I was the policy advisor to the study that was done by the IAEA on multilateral nuclear alternatives, and the one thing I came away from that meeting, which involved 26 countries, was don’t try to fight this issue on the matter of inalienable rights. Find another way to get at the problem. You lose on inalienable rights. The moment you say you don’t have an inalienable right – which many people here have said is the case – you’re up against not Iran; you’re up against Iran plus about 110 or more countries, all of them unaligned, as well as the Canadians and the Australians, who say, wait a minute, you know, we may not be there yet but we may want to be there at some point, and we have the right to proceed down that road, consistent with our obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. So there’s a problem that arises there as well.
Beyond the Nuclear Suppliers Group issue lies the question of the potential impact of the implementation of the U.S.-Indian joint declaration on the nonproliferation regime as a whole. It opens up a whole hornet’s nest of questions and issues that need to be addressed. Our conclusion is – and I’m going to ask Hal Bengelsdorf, who, as I say, is a co-author, if he would like to perhaps add a couple of comments to this after I just reached this conclusion – is that since Congress will have to deal with this issue one way or another – i.e., responding to requests for waivers or efforts to amend our basic laws – it should take its responsibility and place appropriate conditions on any approval it might give, in particular, insistence that the safeguards to be applied to Indian civil facilities be INFCIRC/66 safeguards; that is to say, safeguards in perpetuity, which is what our law actually requires, and to mandate the administration to press for an expansive declaration of civil facilities.
In short, Congress has an opportunity to shape the future, to shape development in ways that can help to push outcomes in the direction of reinforcing nonproliferation principles and set a sufficiently high bar for exceptions of this kind to mitigate – not prevent but mitigate – the damage that will be done to the regime.
I guess the only other point I would mention here is to reinforce this notion that it’s an unfortunate and costly political decision that’s been made, and the potential to damaging the regime I believe is significant. The purpose of the objective of better relations with India could have been met, in my view and that of many others, without sacrificing the principles and objectives of nuclear nonproliferation.
MR. KIMBALL: Hal Bengelsdorf, if you would like to make a couple of comments.
HAL BENGELSDORF: Thanks, Larry. If you look at this thing it’s a very complex and large issue. In our Arms Control Today article, we’ve tried to do a balanced assessment. We’ve tried to put more specificity in our analysis about what the U.S. got from this deal and what procedural steps one has to go through to reach the goals. I hope you will find it a useful contribution.
But when I look at this arrangement and stand back, I see a whole series of existing or potential ironies that have to be recognized. It would of course be ironic if the U.S., which was the leader in putting together the whole NSG regime, pressing full-scope safeguards, now triggers a process where there’s an erosion of those norms. That’s not the intent, but one worries whether people will ask for other exceptions. One worries whether the Russians might use the Indian example to further rationalize and defend their relationships with Iran.
I find it ironic that the administration has said that it doesn’t recognize India as a nuclear-weapon state, yet in many respects it is. But it goes beyond that. Where this thing sits now if nothing changes is that you have an anomalous situation where India will remain free to continue to proceed with its nuclear weapons program without any restraints, whereas all of the other nuclear-weapon states have indicated that they’re prepared to cap it.
Now, the administration and the Indians will say, “Well, the FMCT will handle that.” Well, that’s only moving fast in geologic terms. I think it would be ironic if the big guys – the French and the British and the Americans – now try to roll over the other NSG members and try to organize and get a consensus. It’s inconceivable to me at this point that this thing can be implemented in the absence of a credible NSG concurrence.
This agreement, without denying some of the movement or minimizing some of the movements that the Indians feel they face, is in a highly vulnerable state. I have great doubts whether we will achieve implementation on a timely basis unless the parties’ try to introduce greater flexibility in there.
MR. KIMBALL: Thank you.
All right, well, we’ve had three-and-a-half comments on the state of affairs. I’m sorry to make your Friday morning a little more depressing than it might usually be, but this is the world we live in.
We have plenty of time for your questions and discussion. The microphone will come to you when you raise your hand. Please identify yourself and state your question.
Q: Dan Horner from McGraw-Hill Nuclear Publications. I wanted to follow on the point of the last two speakers but direct it to Mr. Aasland, and as you, first of all, what your government’s position is on the proposed cooperation with India; and secondly, from your vantage point in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, what you see as the likely outcome within the NSG of this proposal. Thanks.
MR. AASLAND: It’s a hard question. Norway hasn’t taken a detailed position on this at all. We are involved, if you like, in particular because we now have the chairmanship of the NSG. There is a clear recognition that this is a very complicated issue, a potential torpedo, for the whole arrangement.
I think that the assessments that were made just a moment ago are assessments or considerations about what might possibly happen are ones that we share, but we have not taken a public decision on the issue so I can’t really say a lot more than that.
MR. KIMBALL: Could you just tell us, when is the next NSG meeting scheduled, and is there any clarity about whether this might even be on the agenda, or is that not yet settled?
MR. AASLAND: I’m not sure whether that’s settled. I can see if I can check into one of the background papers and come back on that.
MR. KIMBALL: Alright. Thank you.
Other questions? Have we covered everything? Yes, sir – Mr. Potman (sp).
Q: Thank you, Daryl. I’m Peter Potman from the Netherlands Embassy. I’ve got two questions, if I may. I would like to direct them to Mr. John Wolf. One is about the move that the U.S. government is now making toward India. To what extent do you believe this is another signal of the United States government, the administration, to walk away from treaty-based diplomacy and a treaty regime-based approach to security in exchange for, let’s say, more realpolitik kinds of approaches stemming perhaps – and I’m wondering what your view is of this because you were very close to it and proud of it – stemming from maybe a basic pessimism about world relations, power relations, and that therefore the conclusion has been with important policymakers that the world can only be managed by managing power relations, and that in that sense, if you can use a treaty to that effect, that’s good. If it gets in the way, you go around it, or you blow up the treaty, or you don’t engage in the treaty.
And then the FMCT I think is a case in point. My country is trying to set up a seminar on verification of an FMCT in Geneva. The U.S. administration is not prepared to send people over. So is it all part of a larger scheme, a paradigm shift, so to speak, in how to manage relations, or is that just overdrawn?
My second question is a bit more specific. You mentioned the doctrine that has now come out of the Pentagon about preemptive strikes. I thought this was simply bureaucratic inertia in the sense that the nuclear posture review of 2002 contains all these concepts – they’re not new – and the possibility of first strike or preemptive strike in a way has always been there, even before that. So to what extent – because you were saying basically that this was new and dangerous, whereas I thought that perhaps it was just –
MR. KIMBALL: Old and dangerous.
Q: Old and dangerous – (laughter) –or is it worse?
MR. WOLF: On the second question, I suppose the thinking in the bowels of the Pentagon that is not operationalized or approved at the top level is the kind of contingency thinking that’s one thing. If it turns into state policy it’s another.
Looking at your first question - and let me be real clear - I’m not speaking for or against the administration. I’m not in it. Looking at the way you phrased your question, I actually wonder whether it’s realpolitik or misguided idealism. They’re very different. I mean, the idealism says that we have these special relationships with democratic states and they’ll share our values and do everything – they’ll think just like we do, and that’s not true of our closest allies, much less countries with a history like India’s.
Walking away – if you’re right that it’s a trend to – if you’re suggesting that walking away from a treaty-based world is the way they’re going, to some new “paradigm” based on managing power relations, I guess I’m never a fan of creating new additional architecture just to have architecture, but if you take the terms of the Supreme Court discussions this week, this is really settled law. Every administration since 1970 has talked about the NPT as a cornerstone of our national security policy, or the cornerstone, and I think it would be a big mistake, as I said, were some to think that we can break the cornerstone into three pieces and move one of them around at our convenience and ignore the rest. So I hope you’re not right.
MR. KIMBALL: All right, let me just speak to the second question that Peter Potman asked on the nuclear strategy. There is a detailed analysis in this month’s Arms Control Today on that subject by Hans Kristensen, and this was actually the first place where the analysis and the findings were published, not The Washington Post. But I would just answer your question by noting that while the basic concepts that are in this joint doctrine that is being reported on are not, at the fundamental level, new, the doctrine does explicitly talk about some options under which nuclear weapons might be used in a preemptive way. So, if anything, it may not be new so much as it is more explicit, and if it is dangerous and old, it is important to keep in mind that this administration promised three, four years ago, that it would pursue a nuclear policy that deemphasized nuclear weapons. And what we see, in fact and in practice, is that the role is being maintained, and I would argue, in some ways being expanded when you take into consideration other developments relating to the development of – or the pursuit of the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.
We had a few other hands up. Yes, ma’am? If you could wait for the microphone.
Q: I’m Katie Scowfield. I just have a question generally for the panel in regards to your opinion on the EU-3 negotiations. Is that an effective way to handle potential violators of the treaty? Should the U.S. have taken a greater role in dealing with Iran, or are our relations too botched for that? Or should a tougher stance in the EU-3 negotiations, such as taking Iran to the Security Council, be pursued?
MR. KIMBALL: Is that for any one in particular?
Q: Yeah, anyone.
MR. KIMBALL: John? Larry?
MR. SCHEINMAN: (Off mike) – in some fashion with the EU-3 in trying to promote some kind of a dialogue and approach to the Iranian problem. Basically they’re asking, what is your problem? We know what their problem is. In part, it certainly is security, or sense of security, or concern. They have a nuclear-weapon state to their left, a nuclear-weapon state to their right, a nuclear-weapon state to their north, and a big nuclear-weapon state all over the place.
So obviously security is a matter of concern, whether you’re with the ayatollahs or whether you’re even with the more liberal wing of the Iranian populace, because that is a basic concern. So you sit down and you try to work diplomatically through that kind of a problem and see if you can come to a resolution that is mutually acceptable. I think that would be the obvious way for us to try to go, and it’s clear that it’s going to be more difficult now than it had been before.
MR. KIMBALL: Anyone else want to take a shot or has Larry captured the essence?
All right, other questions. Jofi, please, and then we’ll try to get around to the back.
Q: Jofi Joseph, private consultant, formally Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff. My question is for the two members of our panel who have extensive experience in the U.S. government. Secretary Rice is proposing a merger within the State Department of the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Bureaus into a new Bureau for International Security and Negotiation. Some have argued that this is a useful organizational consolidation, essentially carrying out the recommendations of an IG report issued last year. Others argue that it will fundamentally weaken the use of American diplomacy to advance nonproliferation goals. I’m interested in your views.
MR. KIMBALL: Alright. That’s for Larry and John if you want to take a crack at it.
MR. WOLF: It’s not really a question of where the deck chairs are but it’s kind of a question who the captain is and who’s got the helm. And during my three years there I think the lines of communications were confused. The inspector general’s report was really quite detailed on some of the complicated internal battles that probably hobbled our efforts.
So whether there’s one bureau or two bureaus is not as important as what the mission is, who sets it – the secretary of state, undersecretary of state – they should be pointed in the same direction – the assistant secretary of state, and then all of the offices. And if there is a clear direction set and there is good leadership that is policy innovative, and if we use all of the tools at our disposal and not just a few selective tools, then I think, in a way, the amalgamation doesn’t matter. It may be better to amalgamate. I’ll sort of leave it at rearranging the deck chairs isn’t the thing. Who’s up in the crows nest looking for icebergs, who’s driving, and what are the instructions are much more important. The book is still open on whether we’re going to have a successful effort.
On an earlier point, I said I don’t think we should be mesmerized by the word counter-proliferation as some new term of art. Nonproliferation has everything to do with non-acquisition, the message we’re sending on disarmament, and our efforts to promote peaceful uses, and I think we need to have a robust U.S. policy that addresses all those concerns. I think we need to have a consistent U.S. policy that isn’t a policy by exception or some kind of power relationship management. We need to work within a stable system where we will be a principal architect but also a principal beneficiary. So you can read into that, and what I said earlier, all kinds of different things.
MR. KIMBALL: Larry?
MR. SCHEINMAN: I would be inclined to agree on the general principal that John just expressed about deck chairs and captains and crows nests. But I would like to answer your question in an anecdotal fashion, if I may. In my last meeting at the National Security Council on my watch, there was an issue, which I’ll not discuss here, but there was an issue that came up, and in the course of the discussion at the NSC, it became very apparent to me very quickly that a lot of ducks had been lined up – which is not uncommon – all in one nice little row. And I intervened to make a counter-argument to why we should be doing what’s been apparently accepted.
And after I made my argument, another agency of the government, an important one, said, he’s right, and they withdrew their support – they stepped out of line with the other ducks, and that stopped this particular decision from being taken. And as I was walking back to the State Department, this colleague of mine, who was one of John’s predecessors, he said to me, Larry, when the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency is merged into the State Department, this isn’t going to happen. I said, I know, and that’s exactly why it should not be merged.
But we merged the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency into the State Department fully. We always were very closely coordinated. We always had our differences but we worked them out. And now we’re seeing the next stage of that so-called consolidation, and I think what it may do is to take away opportunities to make alternative presentations to win over a position in favor of one approach as opposed to another.
So I do get concerned when I see this happening. I’m wondering who’s going to be the losers in this, especially when I think what’s happening is taking place in the context of an administration that has a particular perspective, which has been expressed here in varying ways up to this point. Arms control is a dead terminology. It was good in the old days, but the Cold War is unnecessary now. And it’s very true that we face rather different challenges than we did 20, 30, 40 years ago, and need to adjust. The question is whether you adjust in the way that’s being done or whether you adjust in a more refined fashion.
MR. KIMBALL: Alright.
Mr. Aasland. Thank you.
MR. AASLAND: If I may add a little point on this, which has a bearing or effect on the Indian-U.S. agreement and its effect on the NSG with regard to the relationship with the institutional set up in the State Department. I think it was our impression – and from the media because this has been all over the media – that the Indian-U.S. agreement was put together with bilateral relationship considerations, and not, at least, the arms control or nonproliferation considerations, which normally would go into the discussion of that important policy shift, were perhaps not prominently present.
And again, from the media it may well be that the American follow up of this in the NSG are not sure whether they have thought through absolutely all consequences and how to take this forward. So certainly we haven’t as the chairmanship. But I’m saying this to make the broader point that of course one of the criteria perhaps of a successful reorganization is that you ensure that the nonproliferation and arms control factors that have a very important role to play in policymaking are given an institutional setup internally that allows that.
MR. KIMBALL: Alright. We’re going to take two questions and then we’re going to take answers to those two questions so we can get through the questions.
Q: Thank you. Peter Kanflo from the Embassy of Sweden. For Ambassador Wolf. You made a number of suggestions for a new or different approach that all the parties to the NPT could take to in fact strengthen the regime, not further weaken it, but in particular you made some suggestions regarding U.S. policy. Could you comment a little bit more about the possibility of these suggestions being taken up as U.S. policy, and also if there is anything other countries could do to support that, because many of these suggestions for all of us seem very sensible. Thank you.
MR. KIMBALL: And then why don’t we take one more question, please.
Q: Hi. Erin Harbaugh (sp) from the State Department. This is also for John Wolf, also from your former bureau. My question is along the same lines as this gentleman. You mention that developing countries should not need nuclear energy and uranium enrichment capabilities, and this debate has been framed in terms of a right to peaceful nuclear energy, and I’m wondering how you feel about the six-party process. Obviously this has been very problematic, this debate, in terms of the six-party process and the discussions that are currently underway in Beijing. And I’m wondering if you feel that we can reframe this debate at this point, and if so, how will we, or is it too late?
MR. WOLF: The first question is what’s the likelihood of the U.S. government moving in the directions I’ve suggested? For that, I suggest you talk to any of the numerous U.S. government representatives who are scattered around the room. Some of those are not actually new ideas, but they’re still ideas in circulation, and it’s opportunities like today’s discussions repeated here in Washington and around the world, whether in Oslo or elsewhere that will help to ventilate these things, and I hope people – like I say, in order for us to go forward, for us to reinforce the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, to achieve our nonproliferation objectives – and remember how I define them as broader than just stopping the spread of nuclear weapons – for us to achieve our nonproliferation objectives, we’re going to have to have real dialogue, and real dialogue means that we have to go to meetings prepared not only to talk a good game but to listen a good game and try and find common ground. And I hope that some of the suggestions that I’ve put forward this morning are elements that might play into finding common ground.
I guess the terminology is no longer “former bureau” but now it’s “late bureau.” Never mind; we won’t go there. (Laughter.)
Six-party talks. I thought it was a very innovative suggestion. I think that Assistant Secretary Hill is doing a remarkable job. He clearly has much more robust instructions and greater latitude than perhaps the U.S. representative, Jim Kelly, had in the first round or two rounds, and I think this was a very important way to proceed. These kinds of discussions are an avenue to proceed. In the end, whatever is discussed there needs to get a broader international buy-in, and I trust that between the five parties, we are all keeping close contact with others who have an interest – the EU in particular, but also the rest of the world should stay abreast of it and needs to be part of the buy-in for the thing.
I don’t think I expressed doubt about countries using nuclear energy. I would express doubt, and I do believe we’ve got to find an alternative to every country thinking that it not only should have power-generating capabilities or industrial uses of nuclear materials, whether for agriculture, medicine, whatever, but also the ability to generate the materials. In other words, we really do have to find an alternative to everybody having enrichment and reprocessing capabilities, because if you don’t have those capabilities, it’s a much tougher path to fissile material. And as everybody who seems to write about this says, getting the fissile material is the hardest part of getting a nuclear weapon. You want to clamp down on the availability of fissile capabilities, not only as regards states but also in terms of the risk that a non-state group would be able to acquire it. The more spread around it is, the higher the likelihood.
MR. KIMBALL: I just want to add one quick point on the first question about the likelihood of the United States government moving ahead on some of these things and take that slightly differently. I wanted to just remind everyone here of some of the previous discussion that we heard from our friend from Norway, and something I mentioned at the top, which is that there is, I think, quite a broad agreement among a large number of states about several key proposals that have been put forward, that were put forward in the context of the NPT review conference, that were put forward in the context of the negotiations for the Millennium Plus Five document that recognized this balance of responsibilities and obligations under the Nonproliferation Treaty.
All is not lost. I mean, it does come down to a few states, not just the United States, blocking this consensus, blocking progress. We also see in the United States Congress a number of members of the House and the Senate, as I mentioned before, putting forward resolutions that outline a broad, balanced approach to dealing with the myriad proliferation challenges.
So, I mean, I would say that in many ways there is an opportunity for this administration in the years that are left, and certainly beyond the second George W. Bush administration, to make adjustments that allow for progress in several of these areas, and the most important of which is that, as our previous speakers were saying, that the United States does a much better job recognizing its disarmament responsibilities, which are in the natural self-interest of the United States, and that can go a long way towards making some progress in discussing and moving forward on some of these issues like achieving greater restraint on nuclear fuel cycle capabilities.
So that’s just another thought.
MR. WOLF: Something very different, but as I was sitting here thinking about the answer I just gave, one thing I want to be real clear on is when I talked about too much focus, too much mesmerization with counter-proliferation, I actually think counter-proliferation is an essential part of the diplomacy. It’s important to things like the six-party talks, it’s important to the Iran negotiations, it’s an important support for the EU-3.
I wanted to say I was always a big fan and actively involved in helping to increase counter-proliferation efforts. I think it’s important. But nonproliferation is a much bigger concept, and it needs to use all the tools, not just a few of them. Thanks.
MR. KIMBALL: All right. I think we’ve got time for a couple more quick questions and answers. Yes, ma’am?
Q: Mine is actually not going to be a question – I hope you can excuse that – but a clarification. Kelly Anderson from the Canadian Embassy. Just to clarify the Canadian government’s position on the NSG and India. We have not taken a decision yet. We understand the objectives that have pushed the U.S. to this agreement, but we also have some problems with it. This is still under consideration within the government of Canada, so we’re not on a side yet.
MR. KIMBALL: Thank you, Kelly, for that clarification.
Q: Mark Fitzpatrick, soon to be at IISS in London. A follow up question on the U.S.-India deal and the need for unanimity on the part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group if this is to proceed. I’d be interested in views, maybe particularly of Larry, of how likely it is we get the unanimity, and particularly China’s role – what will China demand to go along with this?
MR. KIMBALL: Larry, can you look into your crystal ball?
MR. SCHEINMAN: Mark, I’m not really sure I have a good answer to your question – particularly your second question. I’m not quite clear myself about whether unanimity is an absolute requirement in the NSG – whether it operates strictly on a consensus basis, which would mean everybody is on board, or whether it operates with any kind of a voting approach, because I’ve never actually attended an NSG meeting, I’ve only been on the outside of – it does require consensus. So then that would mean that everybody would have to be on board and follow the same rule.
Your second question – could you just repeat that?
Q: It was, how likely is China to come along, and what would China’s price be?
MR. SCHEINMAN: Well, that’s why I started to say I really don’t have a good answer to that. I don’t know what China’s price would be, but China would obviously have a strong interest in doing business with Pakistan. Pakistan has already indicated they’d like to build 13 power reactors along with those that the Indians will be building even if this does not go through. So I guess China would be looking to an outcome that would facilitate their ability to continue doing business with Pakistan.
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