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"[Arms Control Today] has become indispensable! I think it is the combination of the critical period we are in and the quality of the product. I found myself reading the May issue from cover to cover."

– Frank von Hippel
Co-Director of Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University
Press Releases

U.S. North Korean Missile Talks Collapse Following Defection

WHILE THE collapse of U.S. North Korean missile talks in late August may have temporarily set back Clinton administration efforts to rein in Pyongyang's missile activities, the cause of the break down—the defection to the United States of a senior North Korean diplomat believed to be familiar with the North's missile related transfers to the Middle East—may produce an intelligence bonanza for the United States. The diplomat, Chang Sung Kil, North Korea's ambassador to Egypt and a former vice foreign minister, is the highest ranking official from the North ever to defect directly to the United States.

Chang's defection and that of his brother, a lower ranking diplomat based in Paris, and their families prompted North Korea to withdraw from a scheduled third round of missile talks in New York only hours before they were set to begin on August 27. A North Korean official said the defections would also have "serious effects" on the four party talks (involving North and South Korea, the United States and China) on formally ending the Korean War scheduled to resume September 15.

The U.S. North Korean missile talks, which opened in April 1996, focus on Pyongyang's missile development programs and its missile related exports. So far, however, the talks have apparently not produced any changes in Pyongyang's proliferation behavior. The United States is particularly concerned about North Korean transfers to Egypt, Iran and Syria, as well as Pakistan, and its development of short and medium range ballistic missiles. In addition to producing Scud B and Scud C short range missiles (with ranges of 300 and 600 kilometers, respectively), North Korea is developing the 1,000 kilometer range No dong (which it has flight tested) and is suspected of developing the Taepo dong I and Taepo dong II (with an estimated range of 3,500 kilometers).

In a June 1997 unclassified report on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and advanced munitions, the CIA said North Korea "continued to export Scud related equipment and materials to countries of concern" during the last half of 1996. In early 1996, North Korea reportedly provided Egypt with materials and equipment that, according to a leaked CIA document, "could allow Egypt to begin Scud C series production." (See ACT, July 1996.)

As part of the Clinton administration's carrot and stick approach to dealing with North Korea's proliferation activities—offering a bilateral dialogue while maintaining the threat of economic sanctions—the administration announced August 6 in the Federal Register that the United States was imposing sanctions on two North Korean entities—the Lyongaksan General Trading Corporation and the Korea Pugang Trading Corporation—for unspecified missile related transfers. The sanctions, however, which prohibit the U.S. government and U.S. companies from doing business with either firm, are largely symbolic because of long standing legislation that precludes such trade.

U.S. Investigating Seismic Event Near Russian Nuclear Test Site

 

Craig Cerniello

ON AUGUST 16, several seismological monitoring stations in northern Europe detected a seismic event in the vicinity of the Russian nuclear test site at Novaya Zemlya. The Washington Times reported on August 28 that some U.S. officials suspect the event may have been caused by a low yield nuclear explosion. Russia, which instituted a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing in 1991 and signed the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) Treaty in 1996, has officially stated that the seismic event was a small earthquake. As of the end of August, the Clinton administration has not reached a conclusion as to the nature of the event. It is unclear what impact, if any, the seismic event will have on the administration's plans to submit the CTB Treaty to the Senate, possibly as early as late September

 

Status of the Seismic Event

During an August 28 Defense Department briefing, Captain Michael Doubleday announced the Clinton administration's initial reaction to the incident: "We are aware that a seismic event with explosive characteristics occurred in the vicinity of the Russian nuclear test range at Novaya Zemlya on the 16th of August. The information which we have is still under review, and we've reached no conclusions at this point." The administration has also requested further clarification from Russia regarding the event, variously reported as between 3.3 and 3.8 on the Richter scale.

Meanwhile, in an August 29 interview with Itar Tass, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov said, "The nuclear test site at Novaya Zemlya was closed down, and Russia strictly complies with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty." He described the seismic event as "an ordinary earthquake" in the Kara Sea, located approximately 100 kilometers from Novaya Zemlya in a commonly known seismic area. Apparently in response to reports of increased activity at Novaya Zemlya, Mikhailov noted that "hydrodynamic experiments" (which do not utilize fissile materials, produce no nuclear yield and are clearly permissible under the CTB Treaty) are being conducted at that location.

The seismic event was detected by six seismological stations that will be part of the CTB Treaty's international monitoring system (IMS)—a global network of 321 seismological, radionuclide, infrasound and hydroacoustic stations designed to detect and identify nuclear explosions prohibited by the treaty—as well as several other seismological stations in the region. The six IMS stations that detected the seismic event are located in Arti and Norilsk, Russia; Hamar and Spitsbergen, Norway; Lahti, Finland; and Hagfors, Sweden. Another IMS station located in Karasjok, Norway, most likely would have been able to pick up the event as well, had it not been shut down for repairs.

Critics of the CTB have seized on the seismic event as evidence that either the Russians have already cheated or that it will be impossible to verify whether low yield nuclear explosions have occurred under the treaty. For instance, Senator Jon Kyl (R AZ) said in The Washington Times on August 29 that "Russia's action raises key questions. When will the Clinton administration get serious about Russian violations of its arms control commitments?"

Supporters of the CTB, however, have challenged the assertion that the seismic event was caused by a nuclear explosion and have pointed out that several monitoring stations in the IMS were able to detect the event, demonstrating the effectiveness of the treaty's verification regime. Moreover, proponents have argued that once the CTB enters into force there will be additional tools available to help states parties determine whether a violation has occurred, especially provisions allowing for on site inspections.

Since the CTB was only opened for signature in September 1996 and has not yet entered into force, the IMS is only in the process of being developed. Thus far, over 25 of the 50 primary seismological stations in the IMS, 40 50 of the 120 auxiliary seismological stations, 15 of the 80 radionuclide stations, one of the 60 infrasound stations and two of the 11 hydroacoustic stations are in existence. These facilities, however, still require varying degrees of upgrades to meet treaty specifications.

Information gathered by the IMS will be transmitted to the treaty's International Data Center (IDC) for storage and processing. The IDC, to be located in Vienna, will provide information on suspicious events to states parties to help them analyze whether a treaty violation may have occurred. The Defense Department has already set up a prototype IDC at the Center for Monitoring Research in Arlington, VA. The Preparatory Commission for the CTB Treaty Organization has been meeting regularly to help facilitate the transfer of this prototype facility to its permanent location in Vienna, scheduled for 1999, and to complete the establishment of the IMS.

SCC Parties Clear Final Hurdle For ABM-TMD 'Demarcation' Accords

 

Craig Cerniello

ON AUGUST 21, the five participating states in the Geneva based Standing Consultative Commission (SCC)—the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine—completed an agreed statement on so called "higher velocity" theater missile defense (TMD) systems, marking the conclusion of nearly four years of complex negotiations to establish a "demarcation line" between permitted TMD and restricted ABM systems. The five states will now review this agreed statement as well as four other agreements concluded last year in the SCC, with the expectation that the documents will be signed at the foreign minister level in late September at the UN General Assembly.

Before the SCC agreements can enter into force, however, they must be approved by the five states according to their respective constitutional procedures. It remains unclear whether the TMD agreements are restrictive enough to placate the Russian Duma, which generally is skeptical of U.S. missile defense efforts, or too restrictive to appease the U.S. Senate, which generally is opposed to any limitations on TMD programs. Some senators may also oppose the agreement that multilateralizes the ABM Treaty, fearing that adding new states to the treaty will make amending the accord virtually impossible in the future.

Claiming that the ABM Treaty needed clarification to accommodate TMD systems in the post Cold War era, the Clinton administration initiated the demarcation negotiations in November 1993. By October 1996, the SCC had completed and prepared for signature the texts of four agreements: an agreed statement pertaining to "lower velocity" TMD systems (those with interceptor velocities of 3 kilometers per second or less); an agreement on TMD confidence building measures; a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on ABM succession; and an agreement outlining new SCC operating regulations. The signing ceremony in Geneva was canceled at the last minute, however, when Russia announced that it would not sign the agreed statement on lower velocity TMD systems until negotiations pertaining to the more controversial issue of higher velocity TMD systems (those with interceptor velocities above 3 kilometers per second) were concluded. (See ACT, October 1996.)

Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin resolved this issue during their March 1997 summit meeting in Helsinki, when they agreed on a set of basic principles and provisions applicable to higher velocity TMD systems. (See ACT, March 1997.) Five months later, the SCC completed an agreed statement related to higher velocity TMD systems, based on the March 21 "Joint Statement Concerning the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty."

Under the agreed statement on lower velocity TMD systems, the five states will be permitted to deploy systems with interceptor velocities of 3 kilometers per second or less, provided that they are not tested against ballistic missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or ranges greater than 3,500 kilometers. This agreement would cover the U.S. Army's Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which is scheduled to be fielded in 2006, as well as the previously deployed Russian SA 12 system.

The agreed statement on higher velocity TMD systems reiterates the ban on testing such systems against ballistic missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or ranges that exceed 3,500 kilometers. The statement also bans the development, testing or deployment of space based TMD interceptor missiles, and requires an annual data exchange of TMD plans and programs. Each side will continue to make deployment decisions on higher velocity TMD systems based on their own national compliance determinations. The United States has already declared that the Navy's Theater Wide Defense system, scheduled for deployment in 2008, is compliant with the ABM Treaty.

Broadly speaking, the agreement on TMD confidence building measures (which applies to both lower and higher velocity systems) attempts to reassure the United States and Russia that TMD systems are not being developed for national missile defense purposes. In an effort to increase the transparency of TMD activities, these confidence building measures reportedly include prior notification of TMD test launches as well as data exchanges pertaining to TMD plans, programs and production.

The MOU on ABM succession designates the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine as the only parties to the ABM Treaty, thereby resolving the issue of which states would assume the rights and obligations of the former Soviet Union under the treaty. The latter four states will collectively be limited to ABM deployment at a single site.

Finally, the agreement on SCC regulations details the new procedures under which the body will operate. This agreement became necessary in light of the multilateralization of the ABM Treaty.

Clinton Ends 20-Year Ban On High-Tech Arms to Latin America

 

Wade Boese

THE CLINTON administration on August 1 rescinded a 20 year old policy of restricting transfers of advanced U.S. weapons, such as combat aircraft, to Latin America, in favor of a more lenient policy of evaluating sales on a case by case basis. Although U.S. military contractors and a few Latin American states welcomed the decision, the predominant response from Latin America was one of criticism and skepticism.

Under the new guidelines, an interagency working group, to be chaired by the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs (although currently vacant, John Holum, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), is expected to assume this position as a result of ACDA's consolidation into the State Department), will meet intermittently to review proposed arms sales and to reconcile arms sales with arms control objectives. U.S. officials insist that ultimate responsibility for restraint rests with Latin American countries, since arms purchases are domestic decisions. The administration is removing the restrictions to prevent U.S. firms from being "disadvantaged" in competition for sales in the region.

Lockheed Martin, vying for an estimated $500 million Chilean contract for approximately 20 combat aircraft, was an immediate beneficiary. The new policy permitted Lockheed to meet Chile's August 7 deadline for submission of a second set of technical specifications, which went beyond the level of information provided to Chile by Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas (manufacturer of the F/A 18) under Clinton's March authorization. (See ACT, April 1997.) Prospects for Lockheed's F 16, in the competition with aircraft such as the French Mirage 2000 5 and Russian MiG 29, would otherwise have been dim. A U.S. government official said the Chilean deadline was a "driving force" in the timing of the decision.

 

Opposition to Move

In anticipation of President Clinton's expected policy shift, congressional opponents of U.S. high tech arms sales to Latin America sought to counter the administration's move. On June 27, Senators Joseph Biden (D DE) and Christopher Dodd (D CT) introduced a bill to prohibit the sale of advanced aircraft to the region. On July 31, Representative Nita Lowey (D NY) along with 22 co sponsors introduced similar legislation in the House.

Both bills call for continued restraint to prevent the undermining of regional security. Representative Lowey issued a statement on the day of the policy reversal that the United States "must not allow McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed Martin to dictate our foreign policy."

Former President Jimmy Carter, who originally instituted the ban to limit sales to dictatorships and regimes with poor human rights records, expressed "deep disappointment" with the reversal and asked the administration to postpone any sales until the issue could be raised at the next Summit of the Americas in April 1998. Carter also advocated instituting a two year moratorium for both arms buyers and sellers, a proposal supported by the presidents of Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Government officials and commentators throughout Latin America questioned the motives of the decision, which they see as stemming more from U.S. economic than security concerns. Colombian President Ernesto Samper said the policy shift could spark an arms race. Despite its vocal criticism of lifting the ban in past months, Argentina's response was confined to an August 20 press statement that said states should avoid the "acquisition of sophisticated armaments that lack justification in the existing climate of peace and security."

The Clinton administration is considering granting "major non NATO ally status" to Argentina. Currently, states with this status¾Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand and South Korea¾have priority in requests for excess U.S. defense articles and have close military relations with Washington. President Clinton is expected to extend this status to Argentina during an October visit to the region.

Chilean officials have voiced opposition to the U.S. establishing a "special relationship" with Argentina, saying it could upset the balance of relations among Latin American states, but have not indicated whether such a policy change would influence Chile's choice of aircraft for its modernization program.

Regardless of which aircraft Chile opts for, Robert Pastor, director of the Latin American and Caribbean Program for the Carter Center, anticipates the new Clinton policy will result in "more fragile democracies, increased tensions, and less security and stability in the region."

Indian, Pakistani Missile Activities Accelerate As Bilateral Talks Continue

 

Howard Diamond

INDIA MOVED a number of its Prithvi short-range ballistic missiles near its border with Pakistan in late May or early June, setting off a new round of missile-related activities that occurred amid otherwise encouraging high-level talks between the two sides. According to a June 3 article in The Washington Post based on U.S. government sources, less than a dozen of the 150-kilometer-range, liquid-fueled missiles were moved to the border city of Jullundur in northwest India, where they would be able to strike many of Pakistan's key cities, including the capital, Islamabad.

Although Indian officials immediately denied the Post report, on June 9 the Indian newspaper The Hindu, quoting anonymous government officials, reported that India had "merely stored the Prithvi missiles . . . not deployed them." On June 11, Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral explicitly denied the Prithvis had been deployed, and said, "There is no imminent threat. We do not deploy in [the] abstract."

Subsequently, the Post reported the Prithvis had been stored without either fuel or warheads, and that Gujral had told U.S. diplomats that he had not been informed of the missile shipments in advance. Gujral said he would prevent any additional movements near the Pakistani border. The Indian army's version of the Prithvi can reportedly travel 150 kilometers with a 1,000-kilogram payload, potentially enabling it to carry a nuclear weapon. An air force version of the missile, reportedly capable of delivering a 500-kilogram payload to a range of 250 kilometers, is currently being tested.

Pakistan, which said the Indian move threatened to ignite a ballistic missile race in South Asia, subsequently responded with its own missile test. The Pakistani Foreign Office confirmed that on July 3 Pakistan had tested its Hatf-III surface-to-surface missile, which is believed to be based on the Chinese M-9. The Hatf-III, with an estimated range of 600-800 kilometers and a payload of 250-900 kilograms, if deployed, could threaten most of northern and western India, including New Delhi. According to a U.S. official, Pakistan conducted a static test of the rocket's motor, rather than an actual flight test.

Possibly in response to the Pakistani test, Indian Defense Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and Minister of State for Defense N. V. N. Somu told the Indian Parliament on July 30 that "[I]t has been decided to accord high priority to the next phase of the Agni [missile] program." The ministers did not specify what that phase would be.

The Agni is a two-stage missile with a range between 1,000 and 2,500 kilometers, and a payload of 1,000 kilograms. Described by India as a "technology demonstration project that had met all its objectives," the Agni's development was suspended by the government in December 1996, with the caveat that if circumstances warranted, the missile could be produced and deployed.

In the midst of the missile activity, Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers met June 2023 in Pakistan where they established a number of working groups, which have exchanged papers on a variety of issues including Kashmir and ballistic missile proliferation.

NATO Issues Three Invitations; Signs Separate Charter With Ukraine

 

Wade Boese

AT THE MADRID Summit, July 8-9, NATO formally invited three of its former adversaries—the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland—to begin accession talks with the alliance. NATO also pledged to hold the door open for other states "regardless of their geographic location," and signed a partnership charter with Ukraine. However, intra-alliance disputes over which countries to offer membership to, disagreements about burdensharing, continued Russian unhappiness with enlargement, and a growing chorus of criticism and questions within the United States, all combined to somewhat tarnish the luster of the decisions undertaken and promises made in Madrid.

 

The Summit

On July 8, NATO issued the "Madrid Declaration on EuroAtlantic Security and Cooperation," which emphasized that a new NATO was developing that would create "a new and undivided Europe." President Bill Clinton also extolled the value that NATO membership would bring to the three countries by securing the free-market and democratic gains they have made in recent years.

NATO and the newly invited states must now draw up protocols of accession (NATO is also considering drafting a single protocol), which the alliance hopes to sign at its December foreign ministers meeting. The legislatures of all 19 states will have to approve the protocols. NATO's goal is to have ratification completed by its 50th anniversary on April 4, 1999. Throughout the process, the three countries will be involved "to the greatest extent possible" in NATO activities and exercises.

President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Gyula Horn of Hungary and President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland issued a statement on July 8 expressing their "deepest satisfaction" for the invitations and hailing NATO expansion as a "historic decision paving the way to a more stable and secure Europe." The three leaders also stressed the importance of leaving the door open to additional members to prevent lines of division across the continent.

For the nine states that were not offered membership at Madrid (Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), NATO and U.S. leaders offered reassurances that this round of invitations would not be NATO's final expansion. NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, in a speech on July 8, articulated the alliance's "open door policy," saying, "the alliance expects to extend further invitations in coming years." Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said, "no European democracy will be excluded because of its position on the map." The Madrid Declaration identifies Romania and Slovenia as states that have made "positive developments towards democracy and rule of law," and recognizes the progress of the Baltic states in moving toward "greater stability and cooperation." NATO emphasized the importance of participation in the Partnership for Peace program and the EuroAtlantic Partnership Council for those states that still wish to join the alliance.

NATO also moved to solidify relations with Ukraine through a July 9 "Charter on a Distinctive Partnership." Like the NATO-Russian Founding Act (see ACT, May 1997), the charter is a political and not a legally binding agreement, committing NATO to increase military cooperation and interoperability with Ukraine and to establish military liaison missions. The charter calls for the establishment of a NATO-Ukraine Commission to meet at least twice a year to explore ways to further develop the relationship.

 

Intra-Alliance Disputes

Leading up to the summit, France made a concerted push to include Romania and Slovenia in the first round of expansion. Eight states, including Canada and Germany, eventually supported the French position, but the United States, Britain and three others remained determined to limit invitations to three states in the first round. There was concern that France would withhold approval of the three invitees, but French President Jacques Chirac finally yielded only when he was satisfied that Romania and Slovenia would be top candidates for future membership.

A potentially more damaging fracture emerged over the costs and how they would be apportioned. The Clinton administration, in February 1997, estimated the total 13year cost of NATO expansion at $27 billion to $35 billion, of which the U.S. share (confined to direct costs) would be $1.5 billion to $2 billion, with the new and current members responsible for the rest. These estimates drew criticism from France, Germany and Britain as being inflated, and the Europeans declared that they would not increase their contributions. Chirac and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said exaggerated U.S. estimates were a product of the U.S. defense industry's desire to rearm the new members with expensive and unnecessary equipment. Seeking to smooth over the dispute, Clinton said, "the nations involved should pay most of the costs themselves." The Madrid Declaration said only that the "necessary resources to meet the costs would be provided." NATO will initiate its own cost study for release before the ministerial meeting in December.

 

Russian Discontent

Despite the signing of the NATO-Russian Founding Act, which is intended to ease Moscow's anxieties over enlargement, Russia still resents the process and vehemently opposes any NATO invitations to former Soviet republics. Russian aversion to the Madrid summit was clear from the outset, as President Boris Yeltsin declined to attend and sent his deputy prime minister, Valery Serov, in his place. Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov reportedly characterized NATO's eastward expansion as "the biggest mistake in Europe since World War II."

NATO's expansion may have already further diminished the prospects of Russian ratification of START II. Prior to the summit, influential Russian policy-makers Aleksei Arbatov, deputy chairman of the Duma's Defense Committee, and Ivan Rybkin, head of Yeltsin's Security Council, both warned that NATO expansion would stiffen the resolve and strengthen the hand of Russian nationalists and communists in the Duma who oppose START II. As NATO conventional superiority grows and extends eastward, Russian officials have said that Moscow may be forced to rely increasingly on nuclear weapons for security.

Yeltsin said consideration of the Baltic states would be "dangerous." Two Russian deputy foreign ministers, Alexander Avdeyev and Nikolai Afansyevsky, said, according to Russian news sources (Izvestia and Rossiyskiye Vesti respectively), that Baltic membership in NATO would force Russia to reevaluate its relations with NATO. European leaders, including Chirac and Kohl, have attempted to minimize talk of including the Baltic states in the next round for fear of antagonizing Russia.

 

Rising U.S. Domestic Debate

In addition to bickering allies and displeased Russians, President Clinton also found himself confronted with the prospects of a more contentious debate than expected in the United States over NATO expansion. A bipartisan group of 20 senators, including Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Bob Kerrey (D-NE) sent Clinton a June 25 letter posing 10 questions regarding expansion which they felt he should answer for the American people. The following day, 50 prominent foreign policy experts and former congressmen released an open letter to the president calling expansion a "policy error of historic proportions."(See NATO Letter)

Both letters expressed similar concerns with respect to expansion, including the predominant fear that NATO expansion would draw a new dividing line in Europe and prove to be more exclusive than inclusive. The letters questioned the effect of alliance enlargement on Russian domestic and foreign policy and whether expansion would reinforce current Russian intransigence on arms control issues, such as the ratification of START II. Another major concern was that expansion would require an overextension of American commitments and resources to Europe at a time when resources are contracting and domestic political mood calls for fiscal restraint.

Reflecting the mounting cost debate, the House of Representatives on July 25 voted unanimously (4140) to instruct its negotiators in conference committee on the fiscal year 1998 defense authorization bill to retain an amendment sponsored by Barney Frank (D-MA), that would limit the total U.S. cost for NATO expansion to $2 billion or 10 percent of the grand total, whichever is lower. In past bills, the House and Senate voted strongly in favor of expansion, but the endorsement of the Frank amendment suggests that support has budgetary limitations.

CFE Parties Agree on 'Basic Elements' For Negotiating Adaptation Accord

 

Wade Boese

ON JULY 23, THE 30 states-parties to the 1990 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty agreed on a document outlining the "basic elements" for adapting the accord to the post-Cold War environment, with the goal of achieving a "significant lowering" in the total amount of conventional weaponry allowed under the treaty. Some key issues and details remain unresolved, but the framework is now in place for negotiations that are scheduled to begin in September in the Vienna-based Joint Consultative Group, the treaty's implementing body.

The original CFE Treaty imposes equal numerical limits on NATO and former Warsaw Pact countries (later joined by seven former Soviet republics) in five categories of heavy weapons—battle tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), large-caliber artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters—deployed and stored between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains. CFE parties have agreed to replace the bloc-to-bloc structure with a system of national and territorial ceilings. The concentric zones established by the treaty, which place sub-limits on the amount of ground-based treaty-limited equipment (TLE) in the center of Europe, will be eliminated and replaced by territorial limits, (comprising the sum of national and foreign stationed forces) for each state.

Prior to the opening of the adaptation negotiations, each CFE party will, "in the spirit of restraint," declare a national ceiling for TLE that may equal but not exceed its current entitlements. NATO has already pledged to significantly reduce the level of the aggregate limits on its 16 members. Russia has said it will consider reducing its entitlements to its current holdings—a level approximately 3,000 items less than its entitlements. Because many states are below their entitlements (NATO, for example, currently holds about 20,000 items less than what is permitted by the treaty), moderately lowering the ceilings may not result in actual weapons reductions, but it will diminish the potential for future buildups.

Among the outstanding issues facing negotiators is how to deal with TLE that is currently stored. The original treaty restricts the amount of ground-based TLE that can be deployed with active units and requires the excess TLE to be placed in Designated Permanent Storage Sites. Russia has argued for the elimination of the storage requirement, reflecting the fact that Russia, whose TLE holdings are higher than the allowed active deployment levels, has much more TLE in storage than NATO. Russia proposes transferring all stored equipment to active units and insists the parties committed to this action in the "Final Document" of the May 1996 CFE Treaty Review Conference. NATO has proposed two options: maintain the stored and active categories for ground-based TLE, or eliminate storage allotments by destroying at least 80 percent of stored TLE and moving the remainder to active units.

The adaptation talks will also address the issue of exceptions to the territorial limits. CFE parties have agreed to work on drafting provisions allowing states to temporarily exceed territorial limits (with the express consent of the host) in the case of temporary deployments, notified military exercises and "missions in support of peace," mandated by the United Nations or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. However, the "definition, modalities, transparency, and verification" for such exceptions must still be negotiated.

In a statement attached to the "basic elements" document, NATO insisted that the territorial ceilings should only apply to ground-based TLE. Though Russia has consistently sought to apply these limits to attack helicopters and combat aircraft, a U.S. official said territorial limits on air power are unlikely because of the precedent set by the existing CFE Treaty, which does not limit air power in the sub-zones.

 

Regional Restraints

The CFE parties have also agreed to explore the possible development of regional restraints on ground-based TLE. NATO earlier had proposed setting the new territorial ceilings of Belarus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia's Kaliningrad military district, Slovakia, and Ukrainian territory (outside of the "flank" zone) at levels equal to current entitlements. This would require their future national limits to fall below entitlements to accommodate any nonnational forces that might be stationed on their territories. Though the proposal was intended to assuage Russian concerns regarding NATO expansion, Moscow has resisted placing any limitations on Kaliningrad. The parties will discuss this issue and other possible sub-ceilings in the adaptation talks.

Despite their decision to eliminate the treaty's zonal configuration, CFE parties have agreed to retain the "substance" of Article V (as modified by the recent "Flank-Document"), which established specific limitations on ground-based TLE in the northern and southern flanks of Europe. NATO interprets "substance" as the "numerical limitations, geographic scope, scheduled dates, and transparency measures" prescribed in the Flank Document. Russia has said the flank issue will require further work.

Verification and provisions for reallocating or revising national and territorial limits under the adapted treaty were also deferred. Information exchanges, inspection quotas and the transferring of equipment between parties, which are currently based on a bloc structure, must now be adapted to reflect the interests of 30 parties.

Negotiators hope to complete an adaptation agreement by April 1999, when the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are expected to formally join NATO.

Clinton Set to Submit CTBT to Senate; Japan Ratifies

 

Craig Cerniello

ON JULY 8, JAPAN became the first country to formally ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) Treaty among the 44 states whose ratification is necessary before it can enter into force. Two days later, Britain became the first of the five declared nuclear-weapon states—all of which signed the treaty when it opened for signature on September 24, 1996—to begin the ratification process. The Clinton administration has not yet submitted the treaty to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.

Japan deposited its instrument of ratification with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the depositary of the treaty. As of mid-July, 144 states had signed the treaty and three others had ratified (Fiji, Qatar and Uzbekistan). The CTB Treaty cannot enter into force until it has been signed and ratified by the five declared nuclear-weapon states, the three "threshold" states (India, Israel and Pakistan) and 36 other states that are participating members of the UN Conference on Disarmament and recognized by the International Atomic Energy Agency as possessing nuclear power and/or research reactors. All 44 key states have signed the treaty with the exception of India, North Korea and Pakistan. India has repeatedly said it will not sign the treaty in its present form; Pakistan maintains that it will not sign unless India does.

In an effort to break this logjam, Japanese Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda, during his July 21-23 visit to Islamabad, urged Pakistan to unilaterally sign the CTB Treaty. Not surprisingly, Pakistani President Farooq Leghari told Ikeda that "it is not possible for Pakistan to make unilateral commitments without simultaneous pledges by India to respect regional and international obligations." The Japanese foreign minister also was unable to convince India to sign the treaty during his July 23-25 visit to New Delhi.

On July 10, the British government introduced legislation for CTB ratification in the House of Lords, which may consider any amendments or conditions to the legislation and then decide whether to approve it by a simple majority vote. If approved by the House of Lords, the House of Commons must also approve the treaty before legislation is submitted to the queen for final approval. Some observers expect Britain to complete the ratification process by the end of 1997.

Action by the United States may not be far behind. Senior Clinton administration officials have indicated that the treaty will be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent in the near future, probably in early September when Congress returns from its August recess. Although achieving Senate approval of the CTB is likely to be difficult, the prospects for ratification improved on July 15 when Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM)—a key Republican voice in the nuclear test ban debate—said that he is "leaning strongly" in support of the treaty.

Congress Considers Tightening Export Controls for Supercomputers

 

Howard Diamond

FOLLOWING THE transfer of several U.S.made high-performance computers to Russia and China, possibly for use in their nuclear weapons programs, Congress is considering legislation that would tighten supercomputer export controls which were eased by the Clinton administration in 1995. An amendment to the fiscal year 1998 defense authorization bill that is pending in a House-Senate conference committee would require prior written approval from the U.S. government for sales of computers capable of at least 2,000 million theoretical operations per second (MTOPS) to countries of proliferation or security concern.

The amendment, cosponsored by Floyd Spence (R-SC), chairman of the House National Security Committee, and Ron Dellums (D-CA), the panel's ranking minority member, was adopted June 19 in the House by a vote of 332-88. Although the Senate rejected a similar amendment offered by Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), it approved, by a vote of 72-17, a substitute measure offered by Senator Rod Grams (R-MN) that would retain the current system for controlling computer exports, but would require a General Accounting Office study of the issue.

Given the lopsided but contradictory votes in the House and Senate, the future of the Spence-Dellums amendment remains uncertain. Congress will ultimately resolve the issue after the conference committee finalizes the 1998 defense bill when legislators return from summer recess.

 

'Tier3' Controls

When the Clinton administration relaxed export controls on supercomputers in 1995, it created four "tiers" of states within a system of increasing levels of controls and limits, progressing from almost no controls on sales to close allies such as Canada, Western European countries and Japan in "tier-1," to near total prohibition for Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea in "tier-4." The key concern is the status of export controls on the so-called "tier-3" countries that include China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, much of Eastern Europe, all of the Middle East and the former Soviet republics.

For "tier-3" countries, computers capable of 2,000-7,000 MTOPS may be sold under a general license without prior approval from the Commerce Department. Sales to military or proliferation-related buyers in this group require an individual validated license from the department, as do any sales of computers operating above 7,000 MTOPS. Sales of computers operating above 10,000 MTOPS may require additional safeguards at the end-user's location.

Critics of the administration's policy have argued that the government, rather than the computer companies, should determine whether a potential buyer is a military or proliferation-related end-user. According to one congressional staffer involved in the issue, computer companies, which are responsible for making this determination under the current system, lack the intelligence information needed to make such judgments, and, as the illegal sales to Russia and China indicate, some companies fail in their obligation to "know their customer."

 

Congressional Inquiry

Congressional concern about supercomputers was stimulated earlier this year when Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) announced that it had acquired five American-made supercomputers—four from Silicon Graphics, and one from IBM—for use in maintaining the safety and reliability of the Russian nuclear arsenal in the absence of nuclear testing. (See ACT, March 1997.) A modern desktop computer using a 200-megahertz Intel Pentium processor is capable of roughly 200 MTOPS, approximately the same level that was used to define a supercomputer in 1991. In comparison, the machines acquired by Russia's weapons labs under the guise of modeling soil and water pollution, operate at 4,400 and 10,000 MTOPS.

The sales led the Military Procurement Subcommittee of the House National Security Committee to hold an April hearing and prompted the Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation and Federal Services to hold a hearing on June 11. Commerce Department Undersecretary William Reinsch said in testimony before the House subcommittee that 1,100 supercomputers worth more than $550 million had been exported from the United States between January 1996 and March 1997, including 46 to China worth $17.5 million and eight to Russia worth $19 million.

Reinsch told the Senate subcommittee that the Commerce Department has taken steps to help exporters comply with the 1995 policy, including consulting with companies if they are in doubt about certain buyers; holding seminars for the few U.S. producers of supercomputers; and, where possible, publishing in the Federal Register the names of buyers requiring an individual license. Despite the three cases under investigation, Reinsch said, "by and large these companies have not had a lot of difficulty figuring out . . . who the military end users are and who [are] not." Reinsch also told the Senate subcommittee that additional names of organizations requiring Commerce Department approval would be made public shortly, though, he said, "we have not done it extensively so far [because] there are intelligence sources and methods issues that come up frequently on this issue." On June 30, the department published in the Federal Register the names of 13 entities in China, India, Israel, Pakistan and Russia which exporters should consider to be military-related, and said more would be added in the future. Prior to the June hearing, the Commerce Department had publicly identified Ben-Gurion University in Israel and Bharat Electronics of India as entities of proliferation concern.

The Justice Department is currently investigating the Silicon Graphics and IBM supercomputer sales as well as a sale by Sun Microsystems to a Hong Kong company that subsequently transferred the computer it bought to a weapons lab run by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Clinton, Yeltsin Make Arms Control Gains Before 'G-8' Summit in Denver

 

Craig Cerniello

ADDRESSING A wide range of economic, global and political issues, leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries and Russia made modest progress on arms control during their June 20-22 summit meeting in Denver. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin also made some gains on key nuclear arms control issues in their separate bilateral meeting on June 20.

According to National Security Council Deputy Director Jim Steinberg, Clinton and Yeltsin discussed the status of ongoing efforts in the Geneva-based Standing Consultative Commission (SCC) to establish a "demarcation line" between theater missile defense (TMD) systems and strategic missile defense systems. During the March Helsinki summit, the United States and Russia reached preliminary agreement on a set of basic principles to govern the status of higher-velocity TMD systems (systems with interceptor velocities above 3 kilometers per second) under the ABM Treaty (see ACT, March 1997). The SCC met May 14-June 18 in an effort to codify the principles agreed at Helsinki in a formal "phase two" agreement on demarcation but was unable to complete its work. During their one-hour meeting in Denver, however, Clinton and Yeltsin agreed that the sides would attempt to finish the higher-velocity TMD agreement during the current session of the SCC, beginning on July 23.

In addition, the two presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the START II ratification process. The treaty, which was approved by the Senate in January 1996, has not yet been ratified by Russia. According to Steinberg, Yeltsin said in Denver that he was "determined to give [START II] a real push with the Duma," but it remains unclear at this writing whether the Duma will act on the treaty this year.

 

Summit of the Eight

At the conclusion of the so-called "Summit of the Eight," the G7 countries and Russia issued an 18-page final communique outlining their agreement on a broad range of arms control issues. In addition to their support for the "early" entry into force of START II and "initiation" of START III negotiations, the eight leaders reaffirmed their "unwavering commitment" to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as their commitment to the "immediate commencement and early conclusion" of a global fissile material cutoff treaty. They also called upon all states to "rapidly" sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty "to ensure its early entry into force," and encouraged India and Pakistan—nuclear-capable states that have not signed—to adhere to its provisions.

The eight leaders also agreed to expand participation in their "Program for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Nuclear Material"—adopted in April 1996 at the Moscow nuclear safety and security summit—to include countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus. In a separate progress report of the foreign ministers, issued on June 21, the eight states also called for enhanced cooperation and information-sharing among their law enforcement, intelligence and customs agencies in an effort to further reduce the nuclear smuggling threat.

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