Login/Logout

*
*  

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
Author, "African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement
Press Releases

KEDO Signs Contract to Begin Work on North Korean Reactors

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 1994 Agreed Framework progressed this month with the completion of a turn-key contract between the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) for the construction of two light-water reactors in North Korea. U.S. State Department spokesman James Foley called the contract, which was signed in Seoul on December 15, a "milestone in the international cooperative effort of all the parties in implementing the Agreed Framework."

Preparations for the reactor construction have been on the drawing board since the completion of the Agreed Framework, which promises the two reactors to North Korea in exchange for the abandonment of its nuclear weapons program, the abandonment of its graphite-moderated reactors at Yongbyon, and the canning and disposal of its remaining spent fuel. KEPCO began preliminary site preparation in August of 1997 in Kumho, North Korea, and with the signing of the turn-key contract, actual construction activities may begin shortly.

The contract was completed later than originally expected, in part due to complicated legal and financial provisions that needed to be negotiated with the governments of Japan and South Korea, which are responsible for funding almost all of the $4.6 billion project. Perhaps more importantly, international reaction to several political crises on the Korean Peninsula—notably North Korea's 1998 test of a three-stage Taepo Dong-1 missile, which passed over Japan—slowed progress considerably when both primary contributors froze their contributions to the project in protest.

Some funding details remain to be resolved. Seventy percent of the project is to be funded by South Korea, with an additional $1 billion provided by Japan. The balance, several hundred million dollars, will have to be raised before the project can be completed. The United States is not currently contributing directly to the reactor project, but is responsible for coordinating annual shipments of heavy fuel oil as an interim energy source until the reactors are finished. KEDO's executive board will revisit the issue of the funding shortfall, but financing agreements completed earlier this year with the governments of South Korea and Japan will allow construction to continue in the interim.

KEDO's next step will be to negotiate an implementation accord with the North Korean government, hammering out the precise details and timeline of the construction project. The target date for completion of the first reactor officially remains sometime in 2003—an ambitious goal that would require a greatly accelerated construction schedule.

Wassenaar Members Remain Divided on Arrangement's Scope

THE WASSENAAR ARRANGEMENT held its fifth plenary meeting December 1-3 in Vienna with its 33 members still divided over whether the weapons and dual-use export transparency body should become more than simply a data collection center. While adding new reporting items to the munitions control list after a year-long review of the 1996 arrangement's functioning, most members, including the United States, saw efforts to strengthen the regime frustrated by a few countries. Russia has been the most resistant to changes.

Designed to promote transparency and "greater responsibility" in the world arms market, Wassenaar calls on its members—most major arms exporters, with the key exceptions of Brazil, China, Israel and South Africa—to voluntarily exchange information on exports of conventional weapons and dual-use goods to help prevent "destabilizing accumulations." The arrangement is also intended to enhance member cooperation in preventing the acquisition of weapons and sensitive dual-use goods and technologies by countries that are of concern to Wassenaar members. But the final decision to approve or deny an export remains solely at the exporter's discretion.

Every six months, Wassenaar members are requested to provide information on deliveries of tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), large-caliber artillery, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships and missiles and missile systems to non-participating countries. Members may also voluntarily report on arms export denials.

The dual-use goods and technologies control list is broken down into two tiers of "basic" and "sensitive," with a sub-set of "very sensitive." For basic dual-use goods, members are asked only to report denials on an aggregate basis twice per year. Licenses granted or transfers made in the sensitive tier are to be reported every six months. If an export considered sensitive or very sensitive is denied, members are to notify other members of the denial within 60 days. Though other members are not obligated to forgo transfers denied by others, an exporter is expected to inform all other members within 60 days if it makes an export similar to one denied by another member during a three-year period.

As part of the year-long review of the arrangement's operation, individual members put forward more than 150 proposals for changes, including suggestions to increase arms trade transparency by adding small arms and power-projection equipment reporting categories, as well as provisions to increase exporter accountability. For its part, Washington pressed its 1998 initiative to bar the illicit possession of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), such as Stinger ground-to-air missiles. The list was eventually narrowed to some 50 items for consideration. Because Wassenaar operates by consensus, all members must agree or not object to a proposal for it to be approved.

In the end, members expanded the ACV reporting requirements to include those designed or equipped for reconnaissance, target indication, troop command and electronic warfare. Helicopters used in communications, troop command, target acquisition and mine-laying missions were incorporated into the attack helicopter category. While many countries wanted to make unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) a new category, a few countries objected. UAVs with military capabilities were therefore added to the combat aircraft category. Refueling aircraft and those with troop command and airdrop missions were also added. To reflect the broadening of the combat aircraft and attack helicopter categories, the category names were changed to "military aircraft/unmanned aerial vehicles" and "military and attack helicopters," respectively. The dual-use goods and technologies control list was also updated and amended.

Efforts to include a small arms category and to add ground-to-air missiles with ranges of less than 25 kilometers, which would include MANPADS, to the missiles category failed—the missile category currently excludes ground-to-air missiles. Members, however, pledged to study small arms and light weapons as a "matter of urgency" and to continue discussions for the "possible development of guidelines" for exporting MANPADS. A U.S. government official noted that "if Wassenaar was a majority vote institution, things would have been a lot different."

As in past years, Wassenaar observed in its plenary public statement that weapons continued to flow to regions of conflict, including to countries and parties subject to UN Security Council arms embargoes, though the statement did not name either the exporters or importers. Members, however, again reaffirmed they would act with "maximum restraint" when considering future arms and sensitive dual-use exports.

Frustrated that some states voluntarily report arms transfer denials and transfers previously denied by others, while some do not, members agreed to study the value of continuing the practice. U.S. unhappiness with Wassenaar became publicly evident when John Holum, senior advisor to the president for arms control and international security, listed Wassenaar as one of the disappointments of 1999 in a December 9 briefing at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, D.C.

U.S. and South Korea Hold Ballistic Missile Talks

Wade Boese

THE LATEST ROUND of U.S.-South Korean negotiations, held November 18-20, on South Korea's ballistic missile program yielded no final agreement, though the United States reported the two sides moved "closer together." The talks, which have been carried out intermittently for the past four years, aim to permit Seoul to develop longer-range missiles while keeping their maximum range below a threshold that the United States finds acceptable, allowing it to endorse South Korean admission to the 32-member Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

In a 1979 memorandum of understanding with the United States, which was reiterated in 1990, South Korea voluntarily pledged not to develop ballistic missiles with ranges exceeding 180 kilometers. Since late 1995, however, Seoul has sought to abrogate that limit.

South Korea argues that longer-range missiles will be a more credible deterrent against North Korea, which has a much more developed, and visible, ballistic missile program. Specifically, Seoul wants to develop 300-500 kilometer-range missiles so that it can target all of North Korea. These plans, however, are jeopardizing the prospects for South Korea's membership in the MTCR.

The MTCR, a voluntary regime founded in 1987, seeks to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology for systems capable of delivering a 500-kilogram payload 300 kilometers or more-referred to as Category I systems. Members are also asked to exercise restraint in the export of other missile-related materials and technologies that could be used for delivering weapons of mass destruction.

Admission to the MTCR does not automatically give a state access to other members' missile technology, but it can open the door for participation and cooperation in space-launch activities, providing a strong incentive for joining the regime.

Though the MTCR only restricts exports of missile systems and technologies and has no prohibitions against indigenous missile programs, the United States adopted a policy in 1993 that calls on all prospective MTCR members-except nuclear-weapon states-to forgo all offensive Category I systems before acceding to the regime. Because the MTCR operates by consensus, the United States can wield this policy as a veto over potential members.

However, the United States did consent to Ukrainian MTCR membership in 1998 while permitting Kiev to retain Scud missiles that fall under Category I (See ACT, March 1998). Nevertheless, a U.S. government official said Washington is "not changing" its 1993 policy for any future member.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Non-Proliferation Robert Einhorn, who headed the U.S. delegation at the latest U.S.-South Korean talks, told reporters the United States was "sympathetic" to the South Korean position of increasing its missile capabilities. Washington, according to the U.S. embassy in South Korea, is trying to meet Seoul's concerns in ways "consistent with" MTCR and "U.S. global non-proliferation policies." Presumably, this entails allowing South Korea to exceed the current 180-kilometer limit, but forbidding development of missiles with ranges equal to or greater than 300 kilometers.

Washington is also seeking to negotiate greater U.S. access to Seoul's ballistic missile program. Recent press reports charged South Korea with covertly developing missiles that violate the 1979 bilateral agreement. South Korean Defense Minister Cho Song-Tae, during a November 23 press conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, dismissed these accusations and replied that "transparency is the one most important factor that we take into consideration in developing our missile program."

No date has been set for the next round of U.S.-South Korean missile talks, though the United States declared that it hopes remaining differences "will be resolved as soon as possible."

Departments of Defense, Energy Open Centers in Russia

Y2K Facility Testing Completed

J. Peter Scoblic

U.S. EFFORTS TO strengthen Russia's safeguards against proliferation moved forward in November with the opening of two centers, one designed to improve security at nuclear facilities and the other to provide economic support to former weapons scientists. Addressing a more immediate security concern, a joint U.S.-Russian Y2K facility developed to monitor missile launches in the weeks surrounding the turn of the new year was completed.

On November 1 the U.S. Department of Defense and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) opened the Security Assessment and Training Center (SATC) in Segiev Possad, 30 miles northeast of Moscow. Established as part of the U.S.-funded Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, the center will test technologies and procedures intended to enhance security at Russia's nuclear weapons facilities. In addition, the $27-million center will bolster the MOD's Personnel Reliability Program, which screens and monitors personnel that safeguard nuclear materials, by providing drug and alcohol testing kits, polygraph systems and other equipment.

Efforts by the Department of Energy (DOE) to stem proliferation from the former Soviet republics also advanced with the November 2 opening of the International Development Center in the formerly closed Russian city of Zheleznogorsk (also known as Krasnoyarsk-26). The center, which is intended to "provide business resources to displaced Russian nuclear scientists, engineers, and technicians" is part of DOE's Nuclear Cities Initiative, a program begun in September 1998 to help the Russian nuclear weapons establishment downsize by finding commercial employment for former weapons scientists and by improving the general economic climate of Russia's once-secret "nuclear cities." The program aims to reduce the risk that financially desperate Russian scientists will peddle their nuclear know-how to terrorists or "rogue" nations for profit.

The success of the opening was marred, however, when U.S. ambassador James F. Collins cancelled his scheduled attendance after Russian officials said they would not allow his science adviser into the city, according to press reports. The incident is one of several in which Russian officials have refused site access to U.S. officials. The Nuclear Cities Initiative has come under financial pressure after Congress decided in October to cut its funding from $15 million in fiscal year (FY) 1999 to $7.5 million in FY 2000. Energy Department officials had initially hoped to expand the program from three cities to 10 and had requested $30 million to do so.

Y2K Center Ready

With just weeks to go before the start of the new year, the Center for Year 2000 Strategic Stability (CY2KSS) completed testing in late November. The center is now awaiting general-officer certification and is scheduled to open December 10, according to a U.S. Air Force official. Located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, the center will allow U.S. and Russian military officials to observe and share real-time data on international missile launches to ensure that any Y2K problems that occur in either nation's early-warning computers will not be misinterpreted as an attack, possibly causing the actual launch of nuclear warheads.

Eighteen Russian officers are expected to arrive at CY2KSS on December 21. Round-the-clock operations with U.S. and Russian officials sitting side-by-side monitoring data from satellites and ground-based tracking radar will begin December 30 and will continue through at least the second week of January. According to a report in Aviation Week & Space Technology, in the event a launch is detected, CY2KSS personnel will be able to communicate with U.S. and Russian command authorities via satellite link and dedicated landlines to determine whether the alert indicates an actual attack or a false alarm generated by a computer malfunction.

In 1998 President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin first called for the establishment of a permanent joint early-warning facility to monitor and share information on international launch activity, but delays in opening that facility, which was to be located in Moscow, forced the development of another center that would be ready in time to deal with any Y2K problems.

Earlier this year it was agreed to establish the provisional center in Colorado, but its completion was threatened this spring when Russia withdrew its cooperation following the U.S.-led NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia. However, on September 13 Defense Secretary William Cohen and Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev signed an agreement officially establishing the CY2KSS, and final details were worked out in October.

Russian Officials Continue to Oppose Changes to ABM Treaty

J. Peter Scoblic

U.S. ATTEMPTS TO renegotiate the ABM Treaty to allow for deployment of a limited national missile defense (NMD) system continued to meet with strong public and private opposition from top-level Russian political and military officials, whose concerns were echoed by Chinese and European leaders and formalized in a UN draft resolution urging the preservation of the treaty. The United States answered Russia's protests, which were punctuated with missile tests and suggestions of improved nuclear forces, by insisting that U.S. NMD efforts were not intended to threaten Russia's nuclear deterrent.

Despite Moscow's vehement public opposition to changing the treaty, the United States and Russia have been holding high-level talks on the ABM Treaty since mid-August. Most recently, Undersecretary of State John Holum met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Berdennikov in Moscow on October 21-22. According to reports published just before the meeting by The New York Times, the United States had offered to help Russia complete its missile-tracking radar site at Mishelevka, near the Siberian city of Irkutsk, in exchange for treaty amendments that would permit the U.S. to deploy a limited NMD system. But on October 21, State Department spokesman James Rubin said that the United States had made no formal offers to the Russians and that discussions on the treaty were still at "an early stage."

In proposing changes to the treaty, U.S. officials have repeatedly emphasized that the planned NMD system is not designed to counter a Russian attack and would be easily overwhelmed by the sheer number of missiles in the Russian arsenal. "Nothing we have in mind to construct...would in any way jeopardize their strategic systems," Secretary of Defense William Cohen said November 4. U.S. officials have also tried to point out that the danger of "rogue nations" armed with ICBMs is one that affects both Russia and the United States. "We believe the Russians face a similar threat...and we have proposed a number of ways to cooperate with them in helping them meet that threat," Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said in an October 26 press briefing.

But Russia continued to reject the notion that it could cooperate with the United States in amending the treaty. "We are not engaged in haggling with the Americans on the ABM Treaty," said Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on October 28, and in the days that followed, Russian military officials repeatedly stated that Russia would easily be able to penetrate any missile defense erected by the United States. Nikolai Mihailov, Russia's first deputy defense minister, indicated that Russia was already considering ways to increase its strategic capabilities to compensate for a U.S. NMD system, including modifying its single-warhead Topol-M (also known as the SS-27) to carry multiple re-entry vehicles, a measure prohibited by START II, which Russia has signed but not yet ratified.

Russia then took its public opposition to treaty amendment a step further with a series of "combat readiness" exercises. On November 2, it launched a missile interceptor from the Sary-Shagan test site in Kazakhstan. The missile was part of Russia's A-135 system, which is deployed around Moscow as Russia's one missile defense permitted under the ABM Treaty. (The United States deployed its ABM system around an ICBM field in North Dakota but dismantled it in 1975.) Then, on November 18, a Russian nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea test-fired two ballistic missiles.

Russia's forceful posture was matched by increasingly firm U.S. rhetoric. In a November 5 speech to a Washington think tank, Undersecretary of Defense Walter Slocombe said that if the Russians were not willing to negotiate, "the president would have to decide whether to withdraw from the ABM Treaty under the supreme national interest clause." "We will not permit any other country to have a veto on actions that may be needed for the defense of our nation," Slocombe said. The Clinton administration has said that it will make an NMD deployment decision in July 2000 based on four criteria: technological readiness, the maturity of the "rogue nation" ICBM threat, cost factors and arms control considerations.

Arms control experts continued to express concern that U.S. efforts to alter the ABM Treaty would have a devastating effect on the arms control regime, recently weakened by the Senate's October 13 rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Indeed, Russian officials have indicated that if the United States withdraws from the ABM Treaty, Russia will consider its obligations under the START agreements null and void. "If the ABM Treaty collapses, all achievements in the field of the limitation and reduction of nuclear weapons will be suspended," said Anatoly Anatov, a Russian envoy to the United Nations.

The international community also expressed its concern with U.S. plans to amend the ABM Treaty, formalizing its opposition on November 5 in a UN resolution co-sponsored by Russia, China and Belarus. The draft resolution, which called for the preservation and strengthening of the ABM Treaty as the "cornerstone for maintaining international peace and security and strategic stability," was adopted by the First Committee of the General Assembly by a vote of 54-4, with 73 abstentions. The United States, Israel, Latvia and Micronesia were the only states to vote against the resolution.

However, despite its public rhetoric, in late November Russia indicated a willingness to continue discussions. In an interview with Russian Public Television on November 19, Colonel-General Vladimir Yakovlev, commander of Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces, suggested that the United States and Russia set up a joint commission to assess the "rogue state" missile threat, according to Reuters. Then, in a press conference held in New York on November 22, Sergei Lavrov, the Russian ambassador to the UN, suggested that a U.S. missile defense against rogue states could be addressed within the "demarcation" agreements to the ABM Treaty that Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin signed in 1997, defining the limits on theater missile defense permitted under the treaty.

Executive Summary of the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty

Wade Boese

News Analysis

Aiming to preserve the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty as the "cornerstone of European security," President Bill Clinton and 29 other national leaders signed an agreement adapting the Cold War-era treaty to the present European security environment on November 19-nine years to the day after signature of the original treaty. Despite a sweeping restructuring, the treaty objective of promoting European security and stability through lower arms levels, limits on the massing of forces and military transparency remains the same.

More than merely eliminating references to the former Soviet Union and the now-defunct Warsaw Pact, the adapted treaty jettisons the Cold War rationale of balancing two hostile military alliances and instead emphasizes individual country rights, limits and obligations. In a package of associated political commitments referred to as the Final Act, several states also pledged additional weapons reductions and to forgo increases in future weapons levels.

The original treaty remains in effect until the adapted agreement is ratified by all 30 states-parties, at which point the adapted treaty will enter into force.

From Bloc to National Limits

Under the original treaty, NATO and the Warsaw Pact were each allotted limits of 20,000 tanks, 30,000 armored combat vehicles (ACVs), 20,000 artillery pieces, 6,800 combat aircraft and 2,000 attack helicopters-materiel collectively referred to as treaty-limited equipment (TLE). With the 1991 break-up of the Warsaw Pact and the 1997 offer of NATO membership to the former Eastern bloc members of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, these bloc-limits lost all relevance. The original treaty's outdated nature is underscored by the fact that it requires the new NATO members to coordinate weapons-level changes with Russia and other former Warsaw Pact members in order to stay within the Eastern bloc limit.

The adapted treaty discards these obsolete, alliance-wide limits and replaces them with national ceilings for the same five weapons categories. For the adapted treaty, countries proposed their own limits, with the understanding that they would take a "restrained approach" and work toward the overriding objective of "achieving a significant lowering in the total amount of TLE in Europe."

Together, the 19 members of NATO lowered their cumulative national limits from 89,026 TLE to 79,967. Current NATO weapons holdings only add up to 64,091 TLE, so no actual reductions will be required. While amounting to a paper cut, this reduction does decrease the weapons build-up potential of alliance members, thereby reassuring Russia. Individually, only two NATO states, Aegean rivals Greece and Turkey, increased their weapons limits, though only in the category of attack helicopters. The United States reduced its limits by more than 40 percent, from 13,088 TLE to 7,582. But, like the alliance in general, U.S. actual holdings of 3,465 TLE (as of January 1, 1999) are far below its new limits. For its part, Russia reduced its TLE limits by transferring the entitlement for 385 weapons to Kazakhstan, which did not previously have any weapons entitlements under CFE.

Out With Zones, In With Territorial Ceilings

To guard against weapons accumulations for launching surprise, large-scale offensives, the original treaty restricts the deployment of tanks, ACVs and artillery through a concentric-zone-structure, whereby the smallest zone, located in the center of Europe, has the lowest limits, and successive zones emanating outward have increasingly large limits. Though the possibility of such an attack is much more remote today, the rationale of preventing the build-up of military forces in a specific geographic area remains sound.

In keeping with the shift from a bloc structure to a national one, the adapted treaty eliminates the zones and sets territorial ceilings for each state. These territorial ceilings cap the total amount of ground TLE, both national and foreign-stationed, that a country can have within its borders-a much more restrictive system than the concentric zones, which permitted much larger force levels greater freedom in significantly bigger areas. Explicit advance consent of the host state is required for the stationing of any foreign TLE on another's territory to guard against unwanted deployments.

Twenty countries, including Russia and NATO's three newest members, set their territorial ceilings equal to their national ceilings. In effect, this requires a country's own TLE holdings on its territory to be lower than its national ceilings if the country wants foreign forces stationed within its borders. For Russia, long-opposed to NATO expansion, this constitutes an important check on NATO ground weaponry deployed in the newest alliance members and assures Moscow that NATO expansion will not cause a cumulative rise in weapons stationed in those countries.

At the same time, however, NATO sought to ensure that it could conduct military exercises, as well as deploy forces in times of crisis, on the new NATO members' territory. As a result, the adapted treaty allows countries to host temporary deployments that exceed their territorial limits by up to 153 tanks, 241 ACVs and 140 artillery pieces.

In exceptional circumstances, some states-those outside the original treaty's flank zone-may exceed their limits by as many as 459 tanks, 723 ACVs and 420 artillery pieces. Though Russia strongly opposed these exceptional temporary deployments, which are equivalent to two NATO divisions, alliance members viewed them as necessary to guard against "second-class membership" for new NATO members and to preserve alliance flexibility.

NATO rejected Russian efforts to impose territorial limits on combat aircraft and attack helicopters because it viewed such limitations as unverifiable given the mobility of those weapons.

The Evolution of the Flank Zone

While making no reference to a flank zone, the adapted treaty retains the flank zone's function of limiting weapons accumulations in northern and southern Europe. The former flank countries all agreed to set their territorial ceilings equal to their national ceilings, and all are limited to hosting only basic temporary deployments.

Specific limits, though relaxed, are also retained on the ground TLE Russia deploys in its northern and southern flanks, as well as on the ground TLE Ukraine deploys in its Odessa oblast. Since inception of the original treaty, Moscow has pressed for the abolition of the flank zone, claiming it is discriminatory because Russia and Ukraine are the only two states with limits on where they can deploy their own weapons on their own territory. Trying to address Russian complaints, the states-parties agreed in May 1996 to allow Russia's original flank limits of 1,300 tanks, 1,380 ACVs and 1,680 artillery apply to a smaller area, while the original zone itself would have higher limits of 1,800 tanks, 3,700 ACVs and 2,400 artillery. In the adapted treaty, parties further placated Russia by eliminating the original zone and its limits entirely, and increasing Russia's ACV allowance in the reduced flank zone from 1,380 to 2,140.

Improved Transparency

The adapted treaty also bolsters two key, but often overlooked, elements of the original CFE Treaty: extensive requirements for both inspections and information exchange.

Under the original treaty, each state-party is obligated to accept a number of inspections equal to 15 percent of its number of "objects of verification," essentially defined as sites and units with TLE. The adapted treaty increases that quota to 20 percent. The number of inspections countries are required to permit has been declining because the destruction of more than 70,000 pieces of TLE during the treaty's operation has led to a reduction in objects of verification.

Whereas the existing treaty only requires annual reports on the designated peacetime location of tanks, ACVs and artillery, the adapted treaty adds annual reporting requirements on the actual location of this TLE. Each state is also now required to submit quarterly reports detailing the numbers and actual territorial deployments of its ground TLE.

To the satisfaction of Russia, which had sought greater restrictions and transparency on NATO's air power following the alliance's air war over Yugoslavia, quarterly reports are also required on combat aircraft and attack helicopters. However, states-parties only need to supply information on total numbers for the entire treaty area and detail the countries to which the equipment is assigned for deployment, not those where it is actually located.

As a further confidence-building measure, whenever weapons levels on a state's territory change by 30 tanks, 30 ACVs, or 10 artillery pieces or more, all other states-parties must be informed within five working days. Any increase of 18 or more combat aircraft or attack helicopters in a country's holdings within the treaty's area of application must be reported within five working days.

The Final Act

The political commitments issued in the associated Final Act generally reinforce the adapted treaty's aim of keeping armament levels low in regions of historical conflict, and many specifically attempt to alleviate Russia's unease with NATO expansion.

Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Ukraine each pledged not to increase their territorial ceilings under the "current and foreseeable security circumstances."

New NATO members Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic went a step further, pledging additional future reductions in territorial ceilings (which they had already set equal to their national ceilings) totaling more than 1,500 ground TLE. Unlike the U.S. drop in limits, these reductions will require actual destruction of equipment. The Slovak Republic, a prospective NATO member, also offered a future territorial ceiling reduction of 195 ground TLE.

Moscow reciprocated by pledging that it would show "due restraint" in tank, ACV and artillery deployments in the region encompassing the Kaliningrad oblast, which is situated between Poland and the Baltic states, and in the Pskov oblast, which borders the Baltic states. Echoing a NATO commitment made in the May 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act concerning NATO deployments in new alliance members, Russia pledged that in the "present politico-military situation it has no reasons, plans or intentions to station substantial additional combat forces, whether air or ground forces, in that region [the Kaliningrad and Pskov oblasts] on a permanent basis."

In its southern flank, Russia pledged to reduce its TLE holdings in Georgia to a level equaling a basic temporary deployment by the end of next year-a proposal to which Georgia consented. Currently, Russia has 141 tanks, 481 ACVs and 166 artillery pieces deployed at four bases on Georgian territory.

To strip away the legality of any Russian forces stationed on its territory, Moldova used the Final Act to renounce its right to host any temporary deployment. In the Act, all states-parties also "welcomed" Russia's commitment, made in the declaration following the Istanbul summit (at which the adapted agreement was signed), to withdraw or destroy all of its TLE currently stationed in Moldova by the end of 2001.

Finally, the Act states that all treaty members have "undertaken to move forward expeditiously to facilitate completion of national ratification procedures, so that the Agreement on Adaptation can enter into force as soon as possible." At the same time, the Act emphasizes the "central importance of, full and continued implementation" of the existing treaty until the adapted treaty enters into force.

The parties pledged to review the status of all the pledges made and decisions taken at the treaty's next review conference scheduled for May 2001.

NMD Program Again Criticized by Independent Review Panel

Wade Boese

CONCLUDING NEARLY THREE years IN A FOLLOW-UP review to a February 1998 report warning that the national missile defense (NMD) program was on a "rush to failure," an independent panel informed Congress in November that despite a program restructuring that "reduced program risks," NMD efforts are replete with test delays, management problems, hardware shortages and an underestimation of the challenges of intercepting ballistic missiles. Based on its findings, the 12-member review panel, headed once again by retired Air Force General Larry Welch, recommended that the planned June 2000 deployment readiness review be considered a "feasibility" rather than a "readiness to deploy" assessment, which the panel said could not be made until at least 2003. If additional delays occur, the Welch panel advised both reviews be deferred.

President Clinton signed legislation July 22 that calls on the United States to deploy an NMD system against a limited ballistic missile attack as soon as "technologically possible." Clinton, however, has repeatedly stated that a deployment decision, which he will make in July 2000, will be based on four criteria: technological readiness, the maturity of the so-called "rogue nation" ICBM threat, cost factors and arms control considerations.

While describing as "sensible" a January 1999 program restructuring that shifted the target deployment date for an initial NMD operating capability from 2003 to 2005 in order to permit more flight tests before critical decisions, the Welch panel-composed of retired military officers and technical experts in the field-found that delays in ground and flight tests, as well as delays in developing key simulation and testing facilities, "are compressing the schedule." Because the altered schedule is still "highly demanding," any further delays should be accompanied by delays in decision making in order to reduce program risks.

In fact, the panel claims that the resources currently available for simulation development and integrated ground tests are "inadequate to provide the information needed" for a deployment readiness decision in July. The review frankly states that current plans to lower program risks associated with the delays "did not provide much confidence to the panel."

According to the panel, a "demonstration of readiness to deploy will not come until 2003 at the earliest." (Emphasis added.) The system's final configuration will not be determined until 2001 and the first integrated test of the intercept booster and exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) will not take place until 2003.

In general, the Welch panel warns against allowing "calendar milestones" to drive the deployment decision rather than "performance milestones." Program managers were called on to not sacrifice "performance requirements and basic system engineering and design functions...to the calendar since no decision will produce successful deployment until the system can be shown to perform as required." The panel also cautioned against letting concerns of having an "emergency" deployment capability detract from the overall program.

Management of the NMD program is described by the panel as having "unusual fragmentation and confusion about authority and responsibility." In particular, government managers were assessed as not having "authority commensurate with the responsibility of running the program," while Boeing, the company tasked with actual production, did not have firm contracts in place with some of its major subcontractors. Boeing was also regarded as putting too much emphasis on integrating program elements rather than on the performance of those elements.

Perhaps most seriously, the panel judged both government and private program managers as continuing to underestimate the difficulty of developing a reliable hit-to-kill capability, which demands that the interceptor physically hit an incoming ballistic missile in order to destroy it-a task often described as "hitting a bullet with a bullet." The panel noted that such a capability has only been successfully demonstrated twice in comparison with at least eight failures. (The review panel completed its report before a prototype's successful October 2 intercept of an ICBM target. See ACT, September/October 1999.)

The Welch panel singled out the EKV program as lacking adequate spare parts and development articles, a situation that is "driving flight test delays." The lack of a spare for an important part, the inertial measurement unit (IMU), on the EKV caused a delay in one flight test, and may delay an additional test because the manufacturer of the IMU discontinued that line of its business.

Questions were also raised as to whether or not the EKV, being built by Raytheon, would be able to withstand the very high accelerations and severe vibrations of the advanced booster on which the deployed EKV will be mounted, as opposed to the accelerations of the lower-performance surrogate booster that will be used for tests until at least 2003. Though Raytheon's risk management program "appears to be well conceived, well structured and well executed," the company shares the panel's view, according to the report, that the coupling of the EKV to the advanced booster is a "high risk to the program."

The panel also expressed concern that the flight tests encompass "very few geometries and intercept conditions" For example, integrated flight tests 7-13 will be conducted using a single geometry. The data derived from those tests will then be used to "anchor" computer-generated simulations that will assess the system's effectiveness against incoming targets with many trajectories and under a variety of conditions that an NMD system charged with protecting the entire United States would face. The panel indicated that the validity of those simulated tests would be "compromised seriously by the level of extrapolation that will be required to assess capability over the required flight envelope." Finally, the report notes that the NMD Test and Evaluation Master Plan is still in draft form and recommended that it be readied "expeditiously."

The Pentagon's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, which is responsible for overseeing all U.S. efforts for defenses against ballistic missiles, formulated an internal two-page response to the Welch panel's report that reportedly concurred with most of the panel's findings and recommendations. The response, however, has not been made publicly available.

Pentagon Notifies Congress of $13 Billion in Possible Arms Sales

Wade Boese

IN A SPAN of just three weeks, the Department of Defense notified Congress of more than $13.3 billion in proposed arms sales to 11 countries, including more than $5 billion in weapons to South Korea. This wave of congressional notifications, which began October 28, exceeded last year's total of $12.1 billion in notified sales and raised the value of proposed arms sales through the Pentagon's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program above the $20 billion mark for 1999.

A Pentagon spokesperson said there was nothing "unique" about the timing of the notifications. Typically, the Department of Defense submits a slew of notifications before Congress leaves for recesses, a practice that, in effect can limit the time available for extensive congressional scrutiny, though most sales are discussed informally before official notification. While notifications can be made during congressional recesses, the Pentagon spokesperson remarked that that would not be the best way to "conduct business."

The 1976 Arms Export Control Act requires that all FMS sales, as well as direct commercial sales, of "major defense equipment" on the U.S. Munitions List valued at $14 million or more be reported to Congress. Congress then has 30 days (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan and New Zealand) to enact a joint resolution of disapproval to block a sale. Though Congress has never exercised this authority, not all notifications result in final sales as the purchasing country may buy all, some or none of the proposed arms.

South Korea, which suspended and canceled arms buys last year due to a severe economic slump, led all prospective buyers with more than $5 billion in possible purchases, including surface-to-surface missiles, 20 F-16C/D fighter aircraft component kits and 14 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile systems. Seoul's $4 billion buy of the PAC-3, which is being developed to defend against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft, has not been finalized because South Korea is considering Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles as an alternative. Washington has warned that such a move could lead to inter-operability problems between U.S. and South Korean forces.

Thailand, another state recovering from an economic depression, requested 18 F-16A/B fighters for $157 million. The proposed buy follows Thailand's March 1998 cancellation of a purchase of eight F/A-18 fighters for which it had already made a partial payment of $75 million. In that case, Washington assumed the more than $250 million in remaining payments and delivered the fighters to the U.S. Marine Corps.

Despite renewed Asian interest in buying arms, Europe accounted for the highest value of the Pentagon's recently notified sales with six nations (Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom) asking for $6.9 billion in weapons. Greece topped the list with a request for up to 70 F-16C/D fighters worth $3.1 billion, and Norway was second with a proposed buy of 30 F-16C/Ds valued at $2.6 billion.

Other proposed deals included Egypt, Israel and Colombia, which is seeking 14 UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters. Helicopter sales to Colombia, intended for use in the U.S.-backed war on drugs, have long been contentious because of the Colombian military's poor human rights record, suspected ties with right-wing paramilitaries and alleged involvement in the drug trade.

CFE Adapted at OSCE Summit in Istanbul

Wade Boese

CONCLUDING NEARLY THREE years of negotiations, the 30 states-parties to the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty signed a treaty adaptation agreement on November 19 that overhauls the outdated, Cold War-era structure of the original treaty. While proclaiming the adapted treaty will "enhance peace, security and stability throughout Europe," President Clinton said he would not submit it for Senate approval until Russia complies with weapons ceilings set out in the revised treaty. Moscow, whose war in Chechnya has only magnified Russia's perennial non-compliance with CFE flank-zone limits, has said it will comply as soon as possible.

Originally signed on November 19, 1990, the CFE Treaty imposed equal limits on the tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), heavy artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters that NATO and the former Warsaw Pact could possess between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains. Aimed at preventing arms build-ups for surprise blitzkrieg-type offensives, the treaty employed a concentric-zone system that mandated smaller deployments of tanks, ACVs and artillery the closer one moved toward the faultline between the alliances. To guard against offensives designed to bypass central Europe, specific "flank zone" limits restricted weapons stationed in northern and southern Europe.

Despite the 1991 break-ups of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, the parties continued to implement the treaty, destroying more than 58,000 pieces of treaty-limited equipment by May 1996, when the treaty's first review conference was held. However, at the review conference, the parties agreed to start a "thorough process aimed at improving the operation of the treaty in a changing environment." The scope and parameters for the negotiations, which emphasized "taking account of developments since Treaty signature," were agreed to in December 1996, and the actual adaptation negotiations got underway in January 1997.

Negotiators wrapped up the adaptation agreement, which replaces the CFE Treaty's existing bloc and zone limits with a system of national and territorial weapons ceilings, only a week before it was to be signed at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) November 18-19 heads-of-state summit in Istanbul, Turkey. The extensively detailed and technical protocols for inspections and information exchanges were the final pieces to be concluded. One State Department official remarked that NATO "came close to getting everything it wanted."

Russia's offensive in Chechnya and its associated flank limit non-compliance, however, jeopardized signature of the agreement. Last-minute talks securing a package of political commitments by several states-termed the "Final Act"-to reduce weapons levels even further than stipulated in the adapted treaty, as well as Russian pledges to withdraw forces from Georgia and Moldova and to exercise restraint in weapons deployments bordering the Baltic states, made signature of the adaptation agreement possible. The Final Act's preamble also took note of a November 1 statement by Moscow that it was committed to all of its CFE Treaty obligations, including weapons limits. (For an analysis and summary of the adapted treaty, see page 24. An approved consolidated treaty text was not yet available.)

While remaining within its overall limits, Moscow, since the original treaty's inception, has exceeded its flank-zone limits, which cap the number of tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs) and artillery in northern and southern Russia. Even prior to launching its military offensive against Chechnya in September, Russia was more than 260 tanks, 1,500 ACVs and 200 artillery pieces above its reduced flank zone limits. Though the adaptation agreement increases the Russian ACV limit from 1,380 to 2,140 in this reduced zone and eliminates the original zone limits entirely, Moscow's ACV levels are currently still much higher than permitted under the adapted treaty.

Entry into force of the adapted treaty now hinges on ratification by all 30 CFE members, until which point the original treaty will remain in effect. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC), who helped orchestrate the Senate's October 13 defeat of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, sent two letters to the White House prior to the OSCE summit advising Clinton not to sign the adaptation agreement.

Senator Helms pointed to Russia's offensive in Chechnya, its non-compliance with the flank limits and its deployment of forces in Georgia and Moldova as reasons for not signing. While admonishing Clinton for failing to seek inspections and implement sanctions against Moscow for its treaty non-compliance, Helms wrote that an adapted treaty that did not "serve to constrain Russia" would be of "zero security benefit to the United States" and would have "little chance of winning the Senate's approval."

NMD System Achieves First Intercept; U.S. Clarifies ABM Negotiating Position

THE PROPOSED U.S. national missile defense (NMD) program achieved a significant milestone in early October when it successfully intercepted an ICBM target for the first time. Russia denounced the test and continued to criticize U.S. efforts to seek amendments to the ABM Treaty that would allow for the deployment of a limited NMD system. About one month before the test, the Clinton administration announced that it would pursue a phased approach to negotiating modifications to the ABM Treaty, with the first phase requiring only modest changes.

The Intercept Test

On October 2, a modified Minuteman ICBM launched from Vandenberg Air Force base in California was destroyed by a "prototype" NMD kill vehicle launched from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This was the NMD system's third overall flight test, but only its first attempt to intercept an ICBM target. The Defense Department plans to conduct about 20 NMD intercepts over the next six years, but only two more such tests will be held before June 2000, when the Clinton administration is expected to decide whether to deploy a limited NMD system based on four main criteria: technological readiness, the maturity of the so-called "rogue nation" ICBM threat, cost factors and arms control considerations.

Pentagon sources hailed the test as a major accomplishment demonstrating the ability of an exoatmospheric kill vehicle to hit and destory on impact a projectile travelling at the speed of an ICBM re-entry vehicle. Critics noted that the test was carefully preprogrammed under ideal conditions against a known target and that except for the prototype kill vehicle itself, all of the components involved were surrogates of the ones that would be used in the actual system.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin denounced the test, saying "This test is a step that runs counter to the 1972 ABM Treaty in which Article I bans the very creation of a basis for such a defense. These actions by the United States in effect undermine the key provisions of the ABM Treaty with all the ensuing negative consequences, the responsibility for which will rest with the United States."

Vladimir Yakovlev, commander-in-chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces, told Nezavisi-maya Gazeta on October 5 that U.S. actions have the potential to upset strategic stability. He warned, "If the United States throws out the 1972 ABM Treaty, they will effectively become the culprit for a disruption of the process of limiting nuclear weapons. All agreements that have been signed or are being prepared will come under threat—namely, START I, START II and consultations on START III."

U.S. ABM Stance

Meanwhile, in early September, the Clinton administration provided significant new information about its plans for seeking modifications to the ABM Treaty. Responding to an article in The Washington Post, State Department spokesman James Rubin confirmed on September 8 that the United States would seek modifications to the treaty in two phases. In his press briefing, Rubin said, "We anticipate that any initial [NMD] deployment would be Alaska-based, and we have made no decisions regarding the location of a second site, but our long-term goal includes a second site along with additional interceptors and radars, and we will address future threats as we project them now." Rubin continued, "It is now clear that deployment would require changes to the ABM treaty."

Never before has the Clinton administration unequivocally stated that amendments to the ABM Treaty would be required. In the past, administration officials said modifications to the treaty might or might not be necessary, depending on the specific architecture of the NMD system. By announcing that the first site will likely be based in Alaska, the United States must negotiate changes to Article I, which bans a defense of the national territory, and Article III, which allows deployment of up to 100 interceptor missiles at a single site around a nation's capital or at an ICBM field. (The United States originally designated Grand Forks, North Dakota as its ABM site, while the Russian site is located in Moscow.) The second phase will most likely require additional modifications to the treaty.

High-level talks between the United States and Russia continued throughout September on the ABM Treaty and START III, but made little progress. The sides began such discussions in mid-August in Moscow, based on their agreement at the June 1999 Cologne summit.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Press Releases