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Press Releases

U.S. Relaxes Export Controls on Supercomputers

Howard Diamond

RESPONDING TO ADVANCES in computer technology, President Clinton revised export control thresholds for high-performance computers (HPCs) on July 1, claiming that without the changes both the U.S. computer industry and national security would suffer. The Clinton administration relaxed HPC export controls in 1995 and again in 1996, but reports of U.S. supercomputers finding their way to Russian and Chinese military research facilities prompted Congress to reverse some of the administration's changes in November 1998. Most of the July 1 revisions took effect immediately, but changes in the controls on HPC sales to military-related users in countries of security or proliferation concern will not be implemented until a 180-day review period established by Congress in 1998 expires.

The United States controls HPC exports through a four-tier system based on the perceived threat posed by the recipient state. Restrictions range from simple record-keeping requirements for HPC sales to states in Tier 1, which includes Canada, Mexico and most U.S. allies, to a virtual embargo on sales to the so-called rogue states in Tier 4, including Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria. Tier 2 states, including most of South America, much of Asia, Slovenia, South Africa and South Korea, can purchase most HPCs with only record-keeping requirements but need licenses from the Commerce Department for higher-end systems.

The changes announced on July 1 moved Brazil and new NATO members Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into Tier 1 and raised the threshold for HPCs exported to Tier 2 countries, which require an individual license, from 10,000 million theoretical operations per second (MTOPS) to 20,000 MTOPS. White House Chief of Staff John Podesta said the Tier 2 upper limit would be reviewed in six months and probably raised to 32,000-36,000 MTOPS, with additional reviews to follow every six months. No changes were announced for Tier 4 controls.

The third tier, which has been the center of conflict between Congress and the administration, includes a wide variety of states considered to be of proliferation or national security concern. Tier 3 states include Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Vietnam and most Middle East, Maghreb, former-Soviet Union and non-NATO Central European states, with different export controls for civilian and military users.

The new Tier 3 controls, unless rejected by Congress, will take effect in February 2000 and will raise the individual licensing level for military end-users from 2,000 to 6,500 MTOPS. The increase from 7,000 to 12,300 MTOPS for civilian end-users in Tier 3 was implemented immediately by the Commerce Department.

The current generation of desktop computers using Intel's Pentium III microprocessor are capable of about 1,300 MTOPS, and the California-based company expects to release computer chips next year capable of over 5,000 MTOPS. Hundreds of thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses are expected to buy computers that use multiple Pentium III-class processors, yielding capabilities above previous export thresholds.

The administration's revision of HPC export controls had been anticipated since the beginning of the year, but had been postponed to deflect partisan attacks. Coming little more than a month after the release of the Cox Report, which alleged that China had taken advantage of the 1996 liberalization of controls on HPCs to advance its nuclear weapons program, the new HPC export rules followed months of lobbying by the computer industry. Arguing that foreign manufacturers can produce computers beyond U.S. export thresholds by using multiple processors, U.S. computer makers prompted Republican members of Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (MS), to write the president and demand that the administration revise HPC controls. Also chiming in on the need to help the U.S. computer industry were Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush and Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA).

At the press briefing announcing the HPC rule changes, Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre said that during the interagency review the Defense Department had insisted on maintaining the dual standard for civilian and military end-users for Tier 3 countries, and had refused to accept an automatic indexing of controls. "I know we irritated people a good deal," Hamre said, "but every one of our concerns was accommodated, and we're satisfied that we can continue to protect the country with these relaxations."

Podesta said the administration hopes to work with Congress on reducing the six-month notification period for some HPC controls and would like to move to a new type of review process for HPC exports. The administration's goal, Podesta said, would be "to adopt an approach that does not rely on ad hoc judgments about appropriate levels of control, but rather keys our export controls to recognize the practical impossibility of controlling items...like microprocessors which are sold in the hundreds of thousands of units per month."

U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan Further Upset China

Wade Boese

WITH TENSIONS ACROSS the Taiwan Straits already heightened by the president of Taiwan's provocative statements, the United States announced $550 million in new arms sales to Taipei at the end of July. China, long-opposed to U.S. arms sales to the island, vehemently protested the proposed deals, and, on the same day, announced the testing of its latest ICBM, the Dong Feng-31. (See story.) Washington downplayed the Chinese reaction as unsurprising.

Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui touched off the latest round of cross-Straits warnings, threats, and military posturing July 9 when he said that China and Taiwan should conduct relations on a "state-to-state" basis, thereby challenging the decades-old "one China" policy, which holds that China and Taiwan are two parts of the same country and will eventually reunify. The ambiguous policy has allowed Washington to maintain distinct relations with Taipei while recognizing Beijing as the official government of China. China, which sees Taiwan as a renegade province and has long threatened to use force if it declares independence, immediately denounced Lee's remarks.

Washington, still working to repair Sino-U.S. relations following NATO's May 7 bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia, sought to quell the growing crisis by repeatedly stating that Taiwan's status could only be resolved by Beijing and Taipei and that U.S. policy remained unchanged. U.S. government spokespersons have repeatedly said that any use of force would be of "grave concern."

Despite efforts to stay above the fray, the United States found itself further embroiled in the dispute after the Pentagon announced proposed sales of combat aircraft spare parts and two E-2T Hawkeye early-warning aircraft to Taiwan on July 30 and 31. The 1976 Arms Export Control Act requires that Congress be notified of all "major defense equipment" sales valued at $14 million or more.

Two days later, China's Vice-Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi warned a senior U.S. diplomat against the "seriousness and danger" of continued arms sales to Taiwan. Yang charged the United States with yet again violating the August 1982 Sino-U.S. communiqué, under which President Ronald Reagan pledged that the United States would not "carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan," and would "not exceed, either in qualitative or in quantitative terms, the level of those [arms] supplied in recent years." During the 1990s alone, the Pentagon has delivered more than $12.7 billion in weapons to Taiwan in comparison with $3.6 billion supplied between 1950 and 1988.

Chinese President Jiang Zemin also reportedly sent a letter to President Clinton calling for a cessation of all U.S.-Taiwan arms sales.

On August 2 State Department spokesman James Rubin defended the latest sales as being in line with commitments under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which requires the United States to supply Taiwan with weapons necessary for maintaining "a sufficient self-defense capability." Rubin dismissed the Chinese reaction as "common and expected."

While it condemned Taiwanese arms buys, unconfirmed reports surfaced throughout July and August that Beijing had reached a $2 billion agreement to purchase 50 to 60 Russian Su-30MKK fighter-bombers. These fighters would give China an enhanced ground-attack capability and compliment the 48 Su-27CK air superiority fighters already acquired from Moscow. Beijing also has a license to co-produce another 200 Su-27s.

A February 1999 Pentagon report estimated that by 2005 China will possess 2,200 tactical fighter aircraft, 500 ground attack aircraft and 400 bombers, though most will be older second- and third-generation planes. Taiwan, on the other hand, will have more than 300 fourth-generation fighters, including 150 U.S. F-16A/B fighters, 60 French Mirage 2000-5s and 130 Indigenous Defense Fighters. The Pentagon concluded that in 2005 Taipei will still have a "qualitative edge over Beijing in terms of significant weapons and equipment."

Congress Gets Into the Act

Amid the growing discord, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—chaired by stalwart Taiwan supporter Jesse Helms (R-NC)—held an August 4 hearing on the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, which would authorize the United States to supply Taiwan with theater missile defense (TMD) equipment, advanced air-to-air missiles, diesel submarines and anti-submarine weapons. All have been on Taiwan's annual shopping list for years, but the administration has refused to export these weapons because they are not strictly "defensive."

Helms, a co-sponsor of the act, said Washington's need to enhance its defense relationship with Taiwan "is obvious." However, his committee counterpart, Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), said passage of the act would "be the equivalent of waving a red cape in front of Beijing." Rubin, speaking prior to the hearing, stated the administration's opposition to the legislation.

On August 18, Taiwanese officials expressed interest in U.S.-led regional TMD plans, though they have yet to formally notify Washington of any desire to participate in the proposed program. China, which fired missiles into the waters off Taiwan in 1996 and is suspected of currently deploying some 100 missiles across from the island, has repeatedly warned that Taiwan's inclusion in a TMD program would infringe on China's sovereignty and possibly spark a new arms race. For its part, Washington has not ruled out future sales of TMD systems to Taiwan.

Tensions appeared to be waning by the end of August, and one State Department official said there have not been any "extraordinary activities." President Clinton and President Jiang will likely meet September 12-13 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Auckland, New Zealand.

North Korea, U.S. to Meet on Missile Issues

Howard Diamond

AFTER WEEKS OF North Korean preparations for the first flight test of the new Taepo Dong-2 long-range ballistic missile and repeated warnings of severe consequences by the United States, Japan and South Korea, the State Department announced a new round of U.S.-North Korean talks on August 25. The missile talks are to be held in Berlin, September 7-11 and will reportedly seek a moratorium on North Korean missile testing in exchange for relief from U.S. economic sanctions. Since April 1996, the United States and North Korea have held four rounds of missile talks, the last round occurring in March.

In mid-June, only days after South and North Korean naval forces clashed in the Yellow Sea, Japanese news organizations began been reporting North Korean preparations for a new missile test, citing unnamed U.S. and Japanese sources. Japan's Kyodo news service reported on June 16 that U.S. satellite imagery showed North Korea was moving propellant and increasing the size of a launching pad at a missile test site, identified by The New York Times June 22 as being in Musadan-ri, North Hamkyong Province. Quoting unnamed U.S. military sources, NHK, Japan's public television network, also reported June 16 that North Korea had conducted static propulsion tests of its Taepo Dong-2 missile in April. The Taepo Dong-2 is estimated to have a range of 4,000 to 6,000 kilometers.

Already in the midst of a congressionally mandated review of U.S. policy toward North Korea, the Clinton administration began a weeks-long diplomatic campaign combining bilateral meetings with North Korea in late June and the second week of August, together with intensive policy coordination with Japan and South Korea. The coordination resulted in the release July 27 of a trilateral statement by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Japanese Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko and South Korean Foreign Minister Hong Soon-Young, who were attending the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Singapore.

Urging the government to "seize the opportunity" presented in May by former Defense Secretary William Perry's visit to Pyongyang, the joint statement called on North Korea "to build a new and positive relationship with its neighbors and potential partners, and to accept the comprehensive and integrated approach which builds on the engagement policy." (See ACT, April/May 1999.) The foreign ministers' statement also warned Pyongyang that "a missile or satellite launch...would adversely affect peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and would have severe negative consequences" for North Korea. While the joint statement confirmed all three nations' support for the 1994 Agreed Framework, Komura told reporters that a North Korean missile test would make it "extremely difficult for Japan to continue its cooperation" with the international consortium implementing the nuclear agreement.

Pyongyang claims that its missiles are needed for self-defense against the United States and that satellite development is a sovereign right.

Russia Not in Compliance With CFE Flank Limits

Wade Boese

RUSSIAN DATA SUBMITTED on July 1 under the 1992 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty revealed that Moscow's holdings of tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs) and heavy artillery are in excess of the CFE "flank" limits that entered into force on May 31. The United States responded on July 6 by stating that it "expected all states-parties to comply with the treaty and its associated documents." Russia is in compliance with its overall weapons limits.

Trying to address Russian complaints that the treaty's flank limits, which cap the number of tanks, ACVs and artillery in the northern and southern flanks of Europe, unfairly restricted Russian weapons deployments on its own territory, the 30 CFE states-parties agreed in May 1996 to increase Russia's flank ceilings. Under the agreement, Russia's original flank limits of 1,300 tanks, 1,380 ACVs and 1,680 artillery would apply to a smaller area, while the limits for the original zone would be set at 1,800 tanks, 3,700 ACVs and 2,400 artillery.

According to the July 1 data, Russia is in excess of its smaller, revised zone limits by approximately 260 tanks, 1,500 ACVs and 200 artillery pieces. In the original zone, Russian ACV holdings are more than 240 above its legal limit. Moscow, however, pledged to eliminate some 285 ACVs, deemed not economically repairable, in the original zone. Such a move, if carried out, would resolve the compliance issue for the original zone.

The United States and other NATO countries are unlikely to push Moscow on its non-compliance out of concern for jeopardizing ongoing negotiations to replace the treaty's current bloc and zone limits with national and territorial ceilings. (Flank limits, however, will be retained under an adapted treaty.) As part of the negotiations, which are targeted for completion by this November, the parties reached a preliminary agreement on March 30 to increase Russia's ACV limit in the smaller, revised zone to 2,140. Because this limit would not apply to Russian ACVs in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, Russia's current ACV holdings in the smaller, revised zone would be in compliance with this future limit.

Meanwhile, at the adaptation talks being held in Vienna to modernize the CFE Treaty, Russia stepped up its efforts to increase transparency measures on NATO airpower in the wake of the air war against Yugoslavia. Since the start of the negotiations in January 1997, Moscow has sought to limit where NATO aircraft could be deployed, but the alliance has refused to put the issue on the table. NATO is expected to take a similarly hard line on Russia's latest airpower proposals.

On July 22, Russia and Moldova endorsed a plan for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to work out a timetable for the withdrawal of Russian forces from Moldova. Chisinau had rejected on June 3 the latest Russian proposal, which aimed to complete the withdrawal by December 2005. The withdrawal of Russian forces from Moldova, long pledged by Moscow, was also part of the March 30 agreement.

Negotiators at the adaptation talks broke for a summer recess on July 23 and are scheduled to resume work at an August 31 plenary meeting.

New U.S.-Israeli Strategic Dialogue Announced; Israel Acquires New Submarine

Howard Diamond

HINTS OF ISRAEL'S normally hidden nuclear deterrent surfaced twice in July, first with the announcement of a new mechanism for U.S.-Israeli strategic dialogue, and then with the arrival in Israel of a new German-built submarine capable of providing a secure second-strike capability. Though neither of the two events was explicitly nuclear-related, their high profile was clearly intended to warn potential Israeli adversaries, such as Iran and Iraq. Long believed to be the only Middle Eastern country with nuclear weapons, Israel faces a security environment changed by Tehran's July 1998 test of its 1,300-kilometer-range Shahab-3 missile and Baghdad's continued success in preserving parts of its weapons of mass destruction programs in defiance of the UN Security Council.

On July 19, after meeting with new Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, President Clinton announced the creation of a new U.S.-Israeli Strategic Policy Planning Group to consider ways to "bolster Israel's indigenous defense and deterrent capabilities, as well as the bilateral cooperation to meet the strategic threats Israel faces." Clinton said the new group would report directly to himself and Barak every four months. According to the Israeli paper Ha'aretz, the agenda for the group will include "Israel's security requirements...ways and means of assuring and increasing Israel's deterrent power by supplies of modern technologies and weapons systems…[and] a broad mandate to discuss joint strategic planning, over and above any other similar bilateral forums currently in existence."

The new strategic dialogue mechanism supersedes a joint planning committee created in October 1998 to secure Israeli acceptance of the Wye River Memorandum, a key step in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. A memorandum of agreement signed October 31, 1998 by President Clinton and then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed the United States to "enhancing Israel's defensive and deterrent capabilities and upgrading the strategic and military relationships, as well as technological cooperation between them." The October agreement also said that the United States "would view with particular gravity direct threats to Israel's security arising from the regional deployment of ballistic missiles of intermediate range or greater. In the event of such a threat, the United States government would consult promptly with the government of Israel with respect to what support, diplomatic or otherwise, or assistance it can lend to Israel."

The joint consultative group established in October 1998 met twice but failed to make much progress, allegedly due to the sensitivity of the topics being discussed and the size of the two delegations. The new group will include only three or four "senior representatives" from each side, half as many as the previous effort. The strategic dialogue will be paralleled by a new Defense Policy Advisory Group meant to coordinate Israeli military planning with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Together with the new modes of consultation, President Clinton announced his intention to restructure U.S. aid to Israel by phasing out economic aid while increasing U.S. military assistance by one-third to $2.4 billion per year. The president said he would seek an additional $1.2 billion from Congress to subsidize Israeli military redeployments called for under the Wye River agreement and would request funding for a third battery of Israel's Arrow theater missile defense system.

Submarines and Deterrence

The July 27 arrival in Israel of the first of three Dolphin-class diesel-electric submarines may indicate further maturation of Israel's suspected nuclear arsenal. While refusing to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since the 1960s, Israeli officials have maintained that they would not be the first to "introduce" nuclear weapons into the Middle East. Although a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Israel has refused to accept international safeguards on its Dimona reactor facility, which is believed to house a plutonium reprocessing plant. At the submarine's acceptance ceremony in Haifa, Barak said the Dolphin (the first of class) and its two sister ships would "change the entire face of the [Israeli] navy and the long-arm capabilities of Israel."

Germany agreed to pay for two-and-a-half of the three $300 million Dolphin-class submarines in 1991, after the role of German companies in supporting Iraq's chemical weapons program became public. Israel's initial contract for the subs was canceled in 1989 for budgetary reasons. The Dolphin has 10 torpedo tubes (six 533-millimeter and four 650-millimeter) and can carry surface-to-surface missiles or torpedoes. Israel, which already produces several types of unmanned aerial vehicles and air-launched cruise missiles, is widely believed to be technically capable of building a submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM). The larger-diameter torpedo tubes would also provide additional flexibility to Israeli designers seeking to develop a long-range nuclear-capable SLCM.

In the past, senior Israeli officials have made statements suggesting the new submarines will have a nuclear role. In a 1995 interview with Ha'aretz, David Ivry, the director-general of the Ministry of Defense, suggested Israel needed a strategic deterrent force with a "second-strike" capability. Major General Avraham Botzer, former chief of the Israeli navy, said in a 1990 interview with Israeli television, "Submarines all over the world serve as part of the deterrent system against non-conventional warfare. They are a way of guaranteeing that the enemy will not be tempted to strike pre-emptively with non-conventional weapons and get away scot-free."

Based on plutonium production estimates, Israel's nuclear arsenal is thought to range from 75-130 weapons, including warheads for its 50 mobile 660-kilometer-range Jericho-1 missiles and an estimated 50 1,500-kilometer-range Jericho-2 missiles. The Israeli air force is also believed to be nuclear capable, and Israel's recent acquisition of 25 F-15Is and announced purchase of 50 F-16Is have emphasized extended range as a key performance criterion.

Israel, Syria Seek Arms

Wade Boese

WHILE PROSPECTS OF reviving the stalled Middle East peace process appeared to have received a boost with the May 17 election of Ehud Barak as Israel's new prime minister, both Israel and Syria looked to strengthen their militaries in July. Syrian President Hafez al-Assad reportedly explored resuming arms buys from Russia, its long-time supplier, during a July 5-6 trip to Moscow. Less than two weeks later, Barak told U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, in a long-awaited decision, that Israel would use U.S. military aid funds to purchase 50 F-16I fighter jets, with an option for 60 more.

In his first visit to Russia since 1991, Assad met with President Boris Yeltsin and other top defense and arms officials. Damascus, which owes Moscow at least $11 billion for past Soviet arms purchases, wants to upgrade its largely outdated weaponry by purchasing advanced aircraft, tanks and anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. However, no discussions or deals were publicly confirmed.

The U.S. State Department said on July 6 that it was "very concerned" about possible Russian arms deals with Syria, a country Washington classifies as a state-sponsor of terrorism. U.S. law proscribes appropriation of Foreign Assistance Act funds for governments that export "lethal military equipment" to countries designated as state-sponsors of terrorism. However, in March, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright waived that provision for $90 million in financial assistance to Moscow, despite Russia's sale of anti-tank missiles to Syria. Instead, Washington imposed sanctions on three Russian companies involved in the deal. (See ACT, March 1999.)

On his first U.S. visit as Israeli prime minister, Barak informed Cohen on July 16 that Israel would purchase 50 F-16I fighters for $2.5 billion. As part of the deal, Israel can opt to buy 60 more for $2 billion within two years of signing the contract. Delivery of the fighters would start approximately 42 months after contract signature, expected later this year.

Israel has received 260 F-16s of various models and already has the largest fleet of F-16s in the world after the United States. This will be the first sale to Israel of the F-16I model, which will be equipped with additional fuel tanks to allow for extended range, as well as updated avionics and cockpit displays.

Lockheed's F-16I prevailed over Boeing's F-15I in the Israeli fighter competition, partly because approximately 25 percent of the F-16I package will be supplied by Israeli companies. Moreover, the F-15 costs roughly twice as much as the F-16, and the F-15's advantage of being a long-range fighter, its most attractive feature, was overcome by the addition of the extra fuel tanks on the F-16I.

The F-16I fighters will be bought with funds from Israel's annual U.S. military aid package of more than $1.86 billion. In a July 19 joint statement by President Clinton and Barak, the two leaders said that, subject to congressional approval, the annual military aid package will grow to $2.4 billion over the next decade as U.S. economic assistance is phased out.

Clinton further agreed to fund Israel's acquisition of a third Arrow battery to counter tactical ballistic missiles and to expand U.S.-Israeli cooperation on developing new anti-ballistic missile technologies and systems. Clinton repeated past pledges that Washington was committed to maintaining Israel's qualitative security edge.

Details of a separate $1.2 billion military aid package for Israeli implementation of the Wye River Memorandum, which calls for a partial Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, were also worked out. Both houses of Congress, however, opted in August not to include any funds for implementing the Wye accord in their foreign aid bills.

India Releases Nuclear Doctrine, Looks to Emulate P-5 Arsenals

Howard Diamond

LAYING THE FOUNDATION for an arsenal of hundreds of nuclear warheads deployed at high-alert levels on missiles, aircraft and ships, India released its first draft nuclear doctrine on August 17. (See factfile.) Produced by the 27-member National Security Advisory Board, the six-page document has not been formally adopted by the current caretaker government, and was released "in favor of greater transparency in decision-making" by Brajesh Mishra, the Indian prime minister's national security advisor. The United States, which has been pressing India and neighboring Pakistan to restrain their nuclear competition since their tit-for-tat nuclear weapons tests in May 1998, expressed disappointment with the draft doctrine, terming it a move "in the wrong direction." Pakistani officials have warned that if put into practice, the positions laid out by India will stoke the existing arms race in South Asia.

Doctrine Released

At a press conference before releasing the document, Mishra emphasized the voluntary constraints New Delhi has already accepted on its nuclear arsenal. India, he said, has adopted a "no-first-use" policy and has pledged to never use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state. New Delhi's nuclear weapons are not "country-specific," Mishra said, and are meant only to provide "minimum but credible deterrence." Mishra also emphasized two points made in the draft doctrine: that India's nuclear weapons are under "civilian control," and that India remains in favor of complete nuclear disarmament, its nuclear plans notwithstanding.

The new doctrine, however, focuses not on limits, but on the substantial new capabilities that India needs to provide "insurance against potential risks to peace and stability" and to guarantee New Delhi "autonomy of decision-making." Calling for a nuclear policy of "retaliation only," the draft doctrine urges India to acquire "survivable" nuclear forces; "robust" command and control mechanisms; and space-based early-warning, communications and damage-assessment systems. Reflecting the terminology of existing nuclear arsenals, the doctrine calls on India to develop an "integrated operational plan" for nuclear use and a "triad of aircraft, mobile land-based missiles and sea-based assets." India's nuclear weapons should be able to shift from "peacetime deployment to fully employable forces in the shortest possible time" and be able to "retaliate effectively" following a first-strike, the doctrine concludes.

Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh was quoted by The Times of India on August 20 as downplaying the stature of the arsenal being proposed in the draft doctrine. "We are not in the arms race," Singh said. "We are not for reinventing the acronyms and phraseologies of the Cold War-era." Singh told CNN on August 18 that "there is no need for anyone to fear from what is after all a discussion paper."

Bharat Karnad, a member of the National Security Advisory Board and one of the lead drafters of the proposed doctrine, said in an August 22 interview with The Times of India that his research has shown that an arsenal of 350 to 400 nuclear weapons and associated support systems would cost India $17-$177 billion spread over 30 years. According to the CIA, India's gross domestic product in 1997 was $1.534 trillion, with annual growth estimated at about 5 percent. Karnad said the draft doctrine was a consensus document that had been prepared between January and June. He offered no explanation as to why the document had been released only three weeks before Indians go to the polls to choose a new government

International Responses

Pakistan's government, already shaky from India's recent success in expelling Pakistani fighters from the disputed Kashmir region, has responded to the Indian draft with alarm. Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed said on August 19 that while "Pakistan does not want a nuclear arms race in South Asia....Pakistan cannot afford to ignore the security implications of India's new doctrine...." The day before, Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan's own nuclear doctrine is in the final stages of development.

On August 19, at the 66-nation Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram accused New Delhi of using U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott to pass false assurances on to Pakistan. Akram claimed India's "false promises" regarding its willingness to accept limits on "the deployment and operationalization of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems" were meant to "persuade Pakistan to accept one-sided commitments." Akram also asserted that India's new doctrine "would negate several measures for mutual restraint which were identified at the Lahore Summit." (See ACT, January/February 1999.) Warning that development of India's nuclear arsenal would be accompanied by a concurrent buildup of conventional weapons, Akram said Pakistan would be forced "to intensify [its] reliance on its nuclear capabilities to deter the use or threat of aggression or domination by India."

State Department spokesman James Rubin said August 17 that the United States knew India was preparing a nuclear doctrine but had not been given a copy of the draft prior to its public release. The Clinton administration, he said, "will continue [its] efforts to de-nuclearize the Subcontinent" and to push India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Faced with criticism that the high-level dialogue between Talbott and Singh did not seem to be producing results, Rubin said Talbott's diplomacy had produced some "limited success," and cited India's moratorium on further nuclear testing and its commitment to work toward signing the CTBT by September.

Washington Disappointed

The United States is still pressing India and Pakistan to improve their export control systems, to accept a moratorium on fissile material production pending negotiation of an international fissile material cut-off treaty, and to engage in a sustained bilateral security dialogue with each other, Rubin said. "[W]e think it would be unwise to move in the direction of developing a nuclear deterrent and encouraging thereby the other country to develop a nuclear deterrent and thereby creating an action-reaction cycle that will increase the risks to both countries," he said. "We think at the end of that process, the security of [both countries] will be worse off...."

White House, Key Senators Intensify Push for CTBT

Craig Cerniell

IN LATE JULY, the White House and a bipartisan group of nine influential senators stepped up their efforts to secure U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) before early October, when a special conference on ways to facilitate the accord's entry into force will be held in Vienna. In addition to arguing that the treaty would slow nuclear proliferation and bolster international security, the senators, led by Byron Dorgan (D-ND), released new polling data illustrating the American public's overwhelming support for a worldwide ban on nuclear testing.

Despite this renewed push for ratification, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC) continued to block action on the CTBT. In a July 26 letter he reiterated that the Foreign Relations Committee would not schedule hearings on the treaty until the Clinton administration has submitted—and the full Senate has voted on—the 1997 amendments to the ABM Treaty and the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Unless the administration can strike a deal with Helms or Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), there is little chance that the test ban will be ratified. Such an outcome would put the United States, which took the lead in negotiating the CTBT, in the embarrassing position of having to attend the special conference as only an "observer."

Appearing in the Rose Garden on July 20, President Clinton once again expressed his support for the CTBT and urged the Foreign Relations Committee to hold hearings on the treaty this fall. In making the case for U.S. ratification, he said, "America already has stopped nuclear testing. We have, today, a robust nuclear force and nuclear experts affirm that we can maintain a safe and reliable deterrent without nuclear tests. The question now is whether we will adopt or whether we will lose a verifiable treaty that will bar other nations from testing nuclear weapons."

Just hours later in a press conference on Capitol Hill, seven Senate Democrats and two Republicans echoed the president's call for U.S. ratification. Referencing the Cox Report, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) argued that a ban on nuclear testing would make it more difficult for China to utilize any nuclear design information that it may have acquired through espionage. Moreover, argued Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), the Senate must give its advice and consent to the CTBT if the United States is serious about reducing the nuclear danger in South Asia. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE)—who accused Helms and Lott of "acting irresponsibly"—claimed that the United States would be making "the single biggest mistake in American foreign policy and defense policy that this generation could make at the closing hours of this century" if the Senate did not approve the treaty.

Also on July 20, Dorgan released a letter, signed by all 45 Democratic senators, urging Helms to promptly conduct hearings on the CTBT. "If the United States is to maintain its leadership role and convince other countries to forego nuclear weapons tests, the full Senate must be given the opportunity to consider ratification of the CTBT before [the special conference] begins," they wrote.

To support their rhetoric, the nine senators released new polling data demonstrating the American public's unambiguous support for the test ban. The polls, which were commissioned by the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers and conducted June 18-21 by The Mellman Group (a Democratic polling firm) and Wirthlin Worldwide (a Republican polling firm), revealed that 82 percent of the public believes the United States should ratify the CTBT. The support is bipartisan and regionally consistent across the United States. According to the data, 86 percent of those identifying themselves as Democrats and 80 percent of Republicans favor U.S. ratification, as do 84 percent of those living in the Northeast, 80 percent of those in the Midwest, 84 percent of those in the South and 77 percent of those in the West.

Support for the CTBT is solid even when recent allegations of Chinese espionage at U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories are taken into account. Only 17 percent of those polled agree that "it is irrelevant for the U.S. to ratify and encourage global implementation of the CTBT because this treaty will not stop China from improving their nuclear technology and developing new weapons." The vast majority (84 percent) believe that the United States could better protect itself against nuclear threats from other countries if it had an international treaty banning nuclear weapons test explosions rather than if it resumed such testing itself.

Helms Responds

As expected, Helms continued to show little enthusiasm for the CTBT. "I note your distress at my floccinaucinihilipilification of the CTBT," he replied in a July 26 letter, using an 18th-century word for dismissiveness. In the letter the chairman reiterated his demand that the Clinton administration submit two unrelated sets of agreements to the Senate, stating, "[I]t has been 801 days since President Clinton agreed to legally-binding language requiring that he submit to the Senate amendments to the ABM Treaty for its advice and consent. The continued adherence by the U.S. to the legally-defunct ABM Treaty is a perilous obstacle to the United States' building and deploying a missile defense to protect the American people from a nuclear holocaust." The administration has pledged to submit the ABM amendments to the Senate after the Russian Duma has ratified START II, and to submit the Kyoto Protocol once there is greater participation from developing countries.

Despite Helms' intransigence, momentum for CTBT ratification continued to build. Taking advantage of the recent furor associated with the Cox Report, nine prominent nuclear weapons experts, including Hans Bethe and Richard Garwin, argued in a July 30 letter to Lott that Senate approval of the CTBT "would greatly help to protect the United States against the weaponization of stolen nuclear secrets."

"Whatever information on thermonuclear weapons China may have obtained, it is implausible that Beijing would deploy weapons that incorporate this information without first conducting nuclear explosive tests outlawed by the CTBT," they wrote.

In a report released August 4, the Tokyo Forum, a group of independent experts brought together by Japan to discuss ways to thwart nuclear proliferation and promote disarmament, also urged the United States and other key holdouts to ratify the CTBT. (See document.)

Five days later, Clinton repeated his call for Senate advice and consent and pointed out that the treaty enjoys the support of General Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as four former chairmen: Generals John Shalikashvili, Colin Powell and David Jones, and Admiral William Crowe. It remains to be seen whether the administration will be able to force a Senate floor vote on the test ban in time to permit U.S. participation in the special conference, scheduled for October 6-8.

Chinese Strategic Plans Move Forward With Missile Test

Howard Diamond

CHINA'S STRATEGIC MODERNIZATION plans took an important step forward August 2 with the first successful flight test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), known as the Dong Feng (DF)-31. The 8,000-kilometer-range, three-stage, solid-fuel missile had previously undergone only static tests. The test flight, reportedly covering the 2,000 kilometers from Wuzhai (Shanxi Province) to Lop Nor (Xinjiang Province), was announced in a one-sentence press release from China's official Xinhua news agency.

According to John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists, the missile has had several engine tests on the ground. The first test in April 1992 and the second test were both failures ending in explosions, Pike said. However, six successful tests have followed since, including a soft-launch ejection, or "tube" test. According to Stanford scholars John Wilson Lewis and Hua Di, China has been working on the DF-31 since January 1985 and plans on modifying it for use as the Julang (JL)-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Beijing has already used this method to deploy the twin 1,800-kilometer-range, land-based DF-21 and submarine-based JL-1.

With an estimated payload of 700 kilograms, the DF-31 could be used to deliver multiple warheads if China were to develop light-weight nuclear devices. A select congressional committee led by Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA) reported in May that China had stolen design information on the advanced U.S. W-88 warhead and that it would probably "exploit elements of...stolen U.S. thermonuclear weapons designs on its new ICBMs currently under development." The Cox panel's report said that with a 1999 flight test the DF-31 could be deployed by 2002.

An intelligence community damage assessment prompted by the Cox Report judged that "China has had the technical capability to develop a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV)...for many years but has not done so." The assessment also concluded that "U.S. information acquired by the Chinese could help the development of a MIRV for a future mobile missile."

But a U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity said, "We still judge [the DF-31] to be a one-warhead missile; the Chinese haven't made the technical strides needed to MIRV it."

Defense Department spokesman Ken Bacon said on August 3 that there was no evidence that the Chinese missile employed any stolen U.S. technology. Bacon said that, depending on the numbers deployed, the DF-31 "does not give them a significantly enhanced military capability."

If deployed in eastern China, the DF-31 would be able to reach significant portions of the western United States. Analysts, however, believe the mobile DF-31 is meant to replace China's current force of 20 liquid-fueled, 4,750-kilometer-range DF-4s, which are thought to be targeted at Russia, India and U.S. bases in the Pacific.

Coming amid growing tensions between China and Taiwan, and prominent efforts by the United States, Japan and South Korea to prevent North Korea from testing a new long-range missile, State Department spokesman James Rubin sought to downplay the test flight's significance. Explaining that Washington had anticipated the launch for some time, Rubin said on August 3, "China already has long-range missiles, and therefore the fact that they've tested a new missile is not a dramatic new development that requires massive effort and diplomacy to try to deter." Rubin also noted, "We do not have any basis to conclude that the timing of the launch is linked to the issues with Taiwan."

Belgrade to Abide by Sub-Regional Arms Control Agreement

Wade Boese

NEARLY ONE MONTH after withdrawing its armed forces from Kosovo, Yugoslavia pledged on July 19 to resume its implementation of the June 1996 Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control, which Belgrade suspended one week after the start of NATO's 78-day bombing campaign in March. Countries in the region, including Yugoslavia, are also now expected to renew talks on building a "regional balance in and around the former Yugoslavia" as called for under Article V of the 1995 Dayton peace accords.

The sub-regional agreement caps the number of tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), heavy artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters that each party to the agreement can possess. Weapons limits for Yugoslavia (comprised of Serbia and Montenegro), Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina were set according to a 5-2-2 ratio based on the size of their respective populations. Bosnia-Herzegovina's limits were further divided between the Bosnian Muslim-Croat federation and the Bosnian-Serb-controlled Republica Srpska on a 2-1 basis. The agreement calls on all parties to annually exchange information and permit inspections of their holdings.

As a first step in renewing its participation in the agreement, Yugoslavia is expected to provide updated information on its weapons holdings in early September. With conflicting reports by NATO and Belgrade regarding Yugoslav weapons losses during the 11-week war in Kosovo, it is unclear how much lower the forthcoming figures will be than those Yugoslavia provided in its last report in December. Prior to the war, Belgrade had the maximum number of weapons allowed in each of the five categories.

Any weapons reductions claimed by Belgrade will need to be verified by the other parties to the agreement. For example, if Belgrade claims 50 fewer tanks, then evidence of 50 destroyed tanks must be provided. Once verified, Belgrade would then be permitted under the agreement to replace its losses—up to its weapons ceilings—if it so chooses. Any future weapons acquisitions by Yugoslavia, however, are also dependent upon the lifting of the March 31, 1998 UN arms embargo.

Discussions on resuming implementation of the sub-regional agreement, including inspections, and on how to verify Yugoslavia's pending data submission are anticipated to take place at a September 16 meeting of the parties. Yugoslavia has said it will attend, but Republica Srpska may not in response to the August 25 arrest in Vienna of its army chief of staff, General Momir Talic, on war crimes charges for his role in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Belgrade's interest in complying with the sub-regional agreement stems in part from a desire to improve its standing in Europe and possibly gain readmission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). While Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia are all OSCE members, Yugoslavia's membership has been suspended since July 1992. The fact that the Yugoslav army's 1997 modernization plan, "Model 21," was developed with the sub-regional agreement in mind further encourages adherence to the agreement. Implementation of the sub-regional agreement is also viewed as a necessary step for the so-called Article V negotiations, which Belgrade has strongly supported as a means to formalizing ties with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania—neighbors with which it has uneasy relations.

Preliminary Article V talks have focused on transparency and on confidence- and security-building measures rather than on weapons limits. French Ambassador Henry Jacolin, OSCE special representative for the talks, has said he would like to see progress by the OSCE's November summit in Istanbul, Turkey. The first Article V meeting since February is scheduled for September 6, and approximately 20 countries, including the United States, are expected to attend.


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