Login/Logout

*
*  

"I salute the Arms Control Association … for its keen vision of the goals ahead and for its many efforts to identify and to promote practical measures that are so vitally needed to achieve them."

– Amb. Nobuyasu Abe
Former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs
January 28, 2004
Press Releases

SCC Parties Sign Agreements On Mulitlateralization, TMD Systems

IN A SEPTEMBER 26 ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, representatives of the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine signed a set of agreements that seek to establish a "demarcation line" between theater missile defense (TMD) systems, which are not limited by the 1972 ABM Treaty, and strategic missile defense systems, which are restricted. They also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that designates Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine as the successor states to the former Soviet Union under the treaty.

These agreements mark the conclusion of nearly four years of difficult negotiations in the Geneva based Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), and are critical to U.S. and Russian efforts to secure the Russian Duma's approval of START II. The Clinton administration has indicated that it will submit the demarcation agreements and the MOU to the Senate for approval, where a tough battle is expected, after the Duma ratifies START II. Some Russian legislators have linked further nuclear reductions to constraints on highly capable U.S. TMD systems.

 

TMD 'Demarcation'

The "First Agreed Statement" pertains to so called "lower velocity" TMD systems (those with interceptor velocities of 3 kilometers per second or less). According to the statement, deployment of such TMD systems will be permitted under the ABM Treaty provided that they are not tested against ballistic missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or ranges that exceed 3,500 kilometers. The statement will enable the United States to deploy the Army's Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC 3) and Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems as well as the Navy's Area Defense system, all of which the United States had previously declared to be treaty compliant.

Under the "Second Agreed Statement," which covers "higher velocity" TMD systems (those with interceptor velocities above 3 kilometers per second), the five states are prohibited from testing such systems against ballistic missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or ranges that exceed 3,500 kilometers. The agreed statement also bans the development, testing or deployment of space based TMD interceptor missiles or space based components based on other physical principles that are capable of substituting for such interceptor missiles. The sides will continue to make deployment decisions on higher velocity TMD systems based on their national compliance determinations, and the United States has already indicated that the Navy's Theater Wide Defense (NTWD) system is consistent with the ABM Treaty. Both agreed statements on demarcation will enter into force simultaneously with the MOU on succession.

The United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine also signed an "Agreement on Confidence Building Measures" (CBMs) to govern the deployment of both lower and higher velocity TMD systems. These measures, which include detailed information exchanges and prior notification of TMD test launches, apply to the U.S. THAAD and NTWD systems as well as to the Russian, Belarusan and Ukrainian SA 12 system (Kazakhstan does not possess the SA 12). This agreement will enter into force simultaneously with the First and Second Agreed Statements.

Moreover, to facilitate implementation of the CBM agreement the five countries signed a "Joint Statement" requiring each party to provide information annually on the status of its TMD plans and programs. In this regard, the five states each issued a statement on their TMD plans that reiterates understandings reached between Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin at the Helsinki summit in March. (See ACT, March 1997.)

 

MOU on Succession

The collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 created a situation in which ABM related facilities were located in several of the newly independent states. Although the only operational ABM interceptor system was deployed in Moscow, a number of early warning radars and an ABM test range were located outside of Russian territory. Russia, therefore, sought multilateralization of the ABM Treaty in order to facilitate its ability to maintain a functional ABM system. Meanwhile, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, viewed treaty membership as an important element of their independent status.

In June 1996, the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement that would have allowed any state of the former Soviet Union to become a party to the ABM Treaty. However, in the final stages of the negotiations on ABM succession, the sides agreed to restrict treaty membership to just the five states.

Under the MOU on succession, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine will collectively be limited to the terms of the treaty: ABM deployment at a single site and a total of 15 ABM launchers at test ranges. Those states that choose to ratify or approve the MOU will also be bound by both of the agreed statements on demarcation.

In addition, the five states signed an agreement establishing revised regulations for the multilateral operation of the SCC. It will enter into force simultaneously with the MOU on succession.

 

Issues May Remain

Despite the demarcation agreements, Russian and Ukrainian officials have pointed out that the First and Second Agreed Statements do not resolve all of the ABM TMD demarcation issues. During the September 26 signing ceremony in New York, Foreign Minister Yevgeniy Primakov said the agreements "[do] not end the work to prevent the circumvention of the ABM Treaty." He noted that the agreements only reflect the status quo and will have to be revisited as TMD technologies evolve in the future. Likewise, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Hennadiy Udovenko said the agreements "[do] not remove all the problems related to the demarcation between the ABM and TMD systems." That same day, a senior Clinton administration official responded in a background briefing that "this agreement [on demarcation] settles the issue of protecting our right to proceed with the TMD systems that we are now pursuing."

Before the ABM agreements can enter into force, they must be ratified or approved by each of the five signatory states according to their respective constitutional procedures. Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on September 8, Robert Bell, senior director for defense policy and arms control at the National Security Council, said that once Russia ratifies START II, the Clinton administration intends to submit a package of arms control agreements to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification. This package will include the MOU on succession, the First Agreed Statement, the Second Agreed Statement as well as two other agreements related to the START treaties.

The Senate may have serious resevations about the ABM portion of this package. Some conservative Republicans are likely to argue that the demarcation agreements will restrict future U.S. TMD capabilities. They are also expected to challenge the MOU on succession on the grounds that it will make it more difficult to amend the ABM Treaty in the future. Senator Jon Kyl (R AZ) has even suggested that if the Senate rejects the MOU, then the ABM Treaty will become null and void.

The Clinton administration maintains that the demarcation agreements do not constrain any planned U.S. TMD systems, and that in light of the president's responsibility under the Constitution to implement existing treaties, it was under no legal obligation to submit the MOU to the Senate and that the treaty remains viable between the United States and Russia even if the MOU is rejected. By submitting the START and ABM agreements as a package, the administration will also be able to argue that if the Senate rejects the ABM accords, it in effect will be rejecting major Russian nuclear weapons reductions because the two issues have been linked in the Duma.

Clinton Sends CTB Treaty to Senate: Hearing Set to Begin in October

NEARLY ONE YEAR after signing the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) Treaty, the Clinton administration on September 22 formally transmitted the accord to the Senate, setting the stage for a likely battle with conservative Republicans who appear to be in no rush to consider the treaty. Although the Senate is expected to hold hearings in October on the treaty as well as the administration's Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program (SSMP), which is designed to ensure the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing, a floor vote on advice and consent to ratification is not anticipated until spring 1998 at the earliest.

President Clinton announced the U.S. move toward ratification during a September 22 address to the 52nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Citing over 40 years of test ban negotiating history, he called the CTB Treaty "the longest sought, hardest fought prize in the history of arms control," and said it "will help to prevent the nuclear powers from developing more advanced and more dangerous weapons" as well as "limit the possibilities for other states to acquire such devices." In his transmittal letter to the Senate, Clinton said the CTB "will significantly further our nuclear non proliferation and arms control objectives and strengthen international security."

In a White House briefing that same day, Robert Bell, senior director for defense policy and arms control at the National Security Council, addressed some concerns related to the treaty's rigid entry into force provisions. Under Article XIV, the treaty cannot enter into force until 180 days after it has been signed and ratified by 44 specific countries, including the five declared nuclear weapon states and the three "threshold" states (India, Israel and Pakistan).

As of September 30, only seven of the 147 states that have signed the test ban have ratified the treaty, including only one of the 44 named states. (See p. 34.) If Indian opposition to the CTB continues to prevent the treaty's entry into force, Bell said a special conference may be called in 1999 (three years after the test ban was opened for signature) by a majority of states parties to explore alternative ways of bringing the treaty into force. Bell stressed that Senate approval of the CTB will be important so that the United States may actively participate in this conference, should it become necessary.

 

View From the Hill

In the weeks preceding Clinton's transmittal of the treaty, several key senators expressed strong support for the CTB. Senator Joseph Biden (D DE), ranking minority member on the Foreign Relations Committee, said September 10: "With U.S. leadership in ratifying this treaty, the CTBT will gain near unanimous international support and keep pressure on India and many like minded countries to ratify it—or at least to refrain from testing." Two days later, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D NM) said, "It serves the peaceful interests of the United States and the peaceful interests of countries throughout the world to take this important step to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and eliminate nuclear testing."

Without stating his position on the CTB, Senator Pete Domenici (R NM), chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations subcommittee and an influential voice in the nuclear testing debate, said September 12 that he intends to conduct a series of hearings on the treaty in October. Senator Thad Cochran (R MS), chairman of the Governmental Affairs subcommittee on international security, proliferation and federal services and a likely critic of the CTB, has scheduled a hearing on the SSMP for late October.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee must approve the CTB before a floor vote can occur. A spokesman for committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R NC) said the CTB is not a "front burner issue," especially because "it's unlikely...to come into force in the next year." The committee will consider NATO enlargement in hearings beginning in October before taking up the CTB Treaty.

U.S. Increases Worldwide Share Of Arms Deliveries, Agreements in 1996

 

Wade Boese

THE UNITED STATES dominated the conventional arms market in 1996, according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report released August 13. Data measured by CRS national defense specialist Richard F. Grimmett in Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1989 1996, show the United States expanded its worldwide share of both arms transfer agreements and deliveries, outpacing the combined exports of the next largest suppliers: Britain and Russia.

In 1996, the total value of all agreements reached $31.8 billion (all figures in current dollars), the first increase since 1992, while the value of all deliveries increased slightly to $30.1 billion, far below the 1989 total of 45.4 billion (the peak year of the period covered by the report). Nearly three quarters (73.9 percent) of all deliveries went to developing countries in 1996, with Saudi Arabia, the largest recipient, importing arms worth $6.3 billion. Developing countries accounted for 61 percent of all agreements led by India ($2.5 billion) and Egypt ($2.4 billion).

Worldwide U.S. agreements were valued at $11.3 billion (35.5 percent the total), an increase of $2.1 billion from 1995, but only half the 1993 total of $22.4 billion. The value of U.S. agreements with developing countries rose to $7.3 billion, representing 37.5 percent of the market, up from 23.7 percent in 1995. Because the United States is the only major arms supplier that maintains two distinct export systems (government to government and commercial sales), the report includes only U.S. government to government sales, which comprise the "overwhelming portion" of all U.S. transfers, according to Grimmett.

While the value of Britain's agreements in 1996 rose from the 1995 level of $1 billion to $4.8 billion, Russian agreements plummeted from $8.2 billion to $4.6 billion. Russia, the 1995 leader in developing world agreements, saw a 12 percent decrease in agreements and only delivered $2.2 billion worth of arms to developing states, while U.S. deliveries totaled $9.5 billion.

Russia's declining share in the arms market in 1996 reflected the fact that Russia's clients have less purchasing power than the West's wealthy clients in the Middle East. Buyers are also unsure whether Moscow can supply the necessary spare parts and services to maintain equipment. Russian sales in 1996 were bolstered by an Indian purchase of 40 Su 30 fighters and a deepening relationship with China, which recently finalized a deal to co produce some 200 Su 27 aircraft with Russia. But Grimmett said Russia's real problem may surface in the long term, when Russia's failure to invest in advanced research and development could place Moscow at a competitive disadvantage.

Despite the modest increase in the arms market from 1995 to 1996, Grimmett feels that the market has reached a point of stability following the post Gulf War surge and that major purchases, such as fighter aircraft, will subside as suppliers increasingly focus on retaining traditional clients and maintaining and upgrading previously supplied equipment.

U.S. To Join 'Ottawa Process'; Will Seek Changes to Treaty

 

Erik J. Leklem

IN AN ELEVENTH HOUR effort to influence the emerging draft treaty on a global anti personnel landmine ban, the United States on August 18 announced that it would join the Canadian led "Ottawa Process" and participate in the final round of negotiations September 1 19 in Oslo, Norway. Clinton administration officials said, however, the United States would propose a number changes to the current draft text, including an exception for the stockpiling and use of anti personnel mines on the Korean Peninsula and a revision of the accord's definition of a mine so as to permit the use of some U.S. anti tank systems which incorporate anti personnel capabilities. The current draft treaty bans the production, stockpiling, transfer and use of all anti personnel mines with no exceptions.

Over one hundred countries are expected to participate in the Oslo conference, the fourth meeting in the year old effort that seeks to have a treaty ready for signature by December 1997. While several countries welcomed the U.S. decision to participate in Oslo, many ban supporters were critical of the administration's insistence on an exemption for the Korean Peninsula, arguing that such a proposal clearly violates the spirit of the treaty. Ban proponents, particularly among the international non governmental organizations that have been closely involved in the Ottawa Process, have also suggested that the proposed U.S. changes could set a precedent for other states to advance unfriendly amendments to the draft text. Under the conference's rules of procedure, any proposed change to the draft text will have to be approved by two thirds of the participating delegations. According to the State Department, U.S. officials had presented the administration's position to some 40 participating countries prior to the start of the Oslo negotiations, and these meetings generally had a "positive tone."

In addition to seeking a geographic exception for the Korean Peninsula and a revised definition of an anti personnel mine, the administration said it would also propose changes to strengthen the draft text's verification provisions, primarily enhanced information exchanges and fact finding missions. Australia is one of only a few countries that may back the United States on this point. In contrast, most states do not believe an intrusive verification regime would be economically viable. The United States will also seek the inclusion of a provision delaying entry into force until a majority of producers and users ratify the treaty or one that defers implementation of parts of the accord for nine years.

The administration's decision to negotiate at Oslo alters, at least temporarily, its January decision to pursue a global landmine ban solely at the Geneva based Conference on Disarmament (CD). (See ACT, January/February 1997.) In addition to U.S. opposition to details of the Ottawa Process's so called Austrian draft text, administration officials have said the CD is a more appropriate forum because its membership includes Russia and China, two of the world's largest producers of anti personnel landmines and critics of the Canadian led effort. (While Russia has attended some of the Ottawa meetings as an observer, China has avoided the negotiations entirely.) But the CD's continuing inability to initiate formal negotiations on a global landmine ban effectively blocked the United States from assuming a leading role in efforts to negotiate a treaty.

On August 14, the CD's new "special coordinator" on landmines, Ambassador John Campbell of Australia, said the CD would not include landmines on its agenda until after the outcome of the Ottawa Process was clear, postponing serious consideration of the issue in the CD until after the Ottawa treaty is signed.

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.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Press Releases