"...the Arms Control Association [does] so much to keep the focus on the issues so important to everyone here, to hold our leaders accountable to inspire creative thinking and to press for change. So we are grateful for your leadership and for the unyielding dedication to global nuclear security."
– Lord Des Browne
Vice Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative
Press Releases

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.

CD Ends Session Without Resolving Divide Over Agenda


Wade Boese

THE CONFERENCE on Disarmament (CD) concluded its second session of 1997 on June 27, with delegates still at odds over whether the body should pursue negotiations leading to a global ban on antipersonnel landmines, a fissile material cutoff treaty, or a time-bound framework for nuclear disarmament. The CD's continuing inability to agree on a work program for 1997 has prevented it from establishing any ad hoc committees for conducting talks.

The conference appointed Australian Ambassador John Campbell as a special coordinator on landmines to "conduct consultations on the most appropriate arrangement to deal with the question of antipersonnel landmines" and present a report to the CD on his findings. Additionally, the conference appointed separate special coordinators to address each of three areas: the CD's agenda, the possible expansion of the CD and improving CD effectiveness.

On May 15, Hungary and Japan proposed forming an ad hoc committee with a mandate to negotiate a global ban on landmines, but the proposal stalled as the conference failed to reach a consensus, a requirement for any decision in the CD. China, Egypt, India, Mexico and Turkey opposed a complete ban because it would not take into account some states' "security concerns." Mexico also objected that forming an ad hoc committee on landmines would divert attention away from nuclear disarmament. Finally, some states were reluctant to address the landmine ban, fearing it would detract from or duplicate the work of the Canadian-led "Ottawa Process," which aims to achieve a global ban by the end of 1997. (See this month's feature article by Jim Wurst) The appointment of a special coordinator finally emerged as a compromise on the day before the session ended, when the Syrian delegate left the room to allow consensus.

Despite a consensus resolution by the UN General Assembly in 1993 calling for fissile material production cutoff talks, and the "Principles and Objectives" agreement at the 1995 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference to begin "immediate" negotiation, the CD has failed to begin negotiating a treaty because the Group of Non-Aligned States have linked a cutoff treaty with progress on negotiating nuclear disarmament in the CD.

John Holum, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, said on May 15 that negotiating nuclear disarmament in the CD would "set back disarmament." The United States sees bilateral U.S.-Russian negotiations as the sole forum for nuclear disarmament. A U.S. official said the CD should not become "paralyzed by an insistence to attempt tasks that are clearly beyond its capability," and that "the way to make progress in the CD is to work on topics that are suited to it," such as a cutoff treaty. Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, in a June 5 address to the CD, also endorsed giving priority to a fissile material cutoff.

Yet, 26 of 29 members of the Group of NonAligned States proposed a mandate on June 12 to establish an ad hoc committee for nuclear disarmament after the group's work proposal proclaimed this as its "highest priority." The nonaligned states, led by India, insist that a cutoff regime should be encompassed within or be considered secondary to nuclear disarmament negotiations. Previously, in a May 31 statement, Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral said India would not sign any forthcoming cutoff treaty.

While the nuclear-weapon states support a ban on the future production of fissile materials, prospects for negotiating are further endangered by substantive disagreements over what such a treaty would entail. A majority of the non-nuclear-weapon states support including stockpiles or "past production."

The appointment of the special coordinators may be the only progress in the conference this year if the delegations cannot agree on a work program or resolve outstanding differences during the final session, scheduled for July 28 to September 10.

U.S., Russian Officials Voice Confidence In Russian Control of Nuclear Forces


Craig Cerniello

IN RECENT MONTHS, there has been renewed controversy about the state of Russia's nuclear command and control system. Uncertainty about the safety and security of the Russian nuclear arsenal emerged in early February when then-Defense Minister Igor Rodionov made the startling announcement that Russia could no longer guarantee that its nuclear command and control system was reliable. Although Rodionov subsequently backed away from this statement, concern flared again in mid-May when excerpts from a leaked CIA report questioning Russia's nuclear control appeared in The Washington Times—the same day Rodionov arrived in Washington for high-level talks.

These concerns were promptly refuted by several high-level U.S. and Russian government officials, including U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Rodionov. In late May, Russian President Boris Yeltsin replaced Rodionov with General Igor Sergeyev, then-commander-in-chief of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, as the new defense minister. This appointment takes on added significance not only because Sergeyev has consistently stated that the command and control of the Russian nuclear arsenal is safe and reliable but also because he has been a strong supporter of START II, which continues to languish in the Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament).


The Controversy Emerges

In a February 6 news conference, Rodionov painted a dire picture as to the state of Russia's nuclear and armed forces. In what many observers believe may have been an attempt to generate support for increased funding, Rodionov warned that "Russia might soon reach the threshold beyond which its missiles and nuclear systems cannot be controlled." Even though Rodionov scaled down his comments the following day, renewed interest in the safety and security of the Russian nuclear arsenal quickly developed.

In order to put these concerns to rest, Yeltsin ordered Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to visit the command and control center of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces located outside Moscow. After visiting the center on February 21, Chernomyrdin, who was accompanied by Rodionov and Sergeyev, said the Strategic Rocket Forces are in "reliable hands" and "are capable of effectively carrying out all tasks entrusted to them." Then, in a March 17 briefing to Yeltsin, Rodionov reported that Russia's nuclear command and control system "answers all demands" and is "reliable and stable"—a clear shift in his earlier position.


The CIA Report

Despite these assurances, concerns about Russia's nuclear command and control system did not disappear. On May 12, the day Rodionov arrived in Washington for meetings with Cohen and other U.S. officials, The Washington Times published excerpts from a classified CIA report that calls into question the safety and security of the Russian nuclear arsenal. Citing a former officer of the Strategic Rocket Forces, the report said, "[c]ommand and control equipment often malfunctions and on more than one occasion has switched spontaneously to combat mode."

Nevertheless, according to the article, the CIA continues to believe that the risk of an unauthorized Russian nuclear launch is low under "normal circumstances," especially because "many safeguards" exist to prevent such an occurrence. The CIA report contends that the switching of nuclear missiles to combat mode "would not necessarily result in an unauthorized missile launch" because other steps are also required, such as supplying missiles with the necessary targeting information. However, the report cautioned that if the command and control system continues to deteriorate due to funding shortfalls and lack of proper maintenance, then concerns about an unauthorized Russian missile launch will increase.

U.S. and Russian government officials immediately addressed these concerns. In a May 12 background briefing, a senior Defense Department official argued that there is no credible evidence suggesting that the risk of an unauthorized or accidental Russian launch "has been raised." That same day, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said, "We believe that nuclear weapons in Russia remain under the secure and centralized control of the Russian government." Burns also pointed to the success of the Defense Department's Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, which assists Russia in the dismantlement and secure storage of nuclear weapons, as well as to the START agreements, which make the control of nuclear weapons more feasible by reducing their numbers.

Cohen and Rodionov concurred with this sentiment during their joint news conference on May 13. Cohen said that based on his conversations with Rodionov and General Eugene Habiger, the commander-in-chief of U.S. Strategic Command, Russia's strategic nuclear forces "are under secure control" and that the sides should focus on achieving Russian ratification of START II followed by negotiations of START III. In addition, Rodionov dismissed the Times story and said Russia "will do everything possible to ensure that the safety and protection of [its] nuclear arsenals would never decrease."


Yeltsin Sacks Rodionov

Clearly dissatisfied with the state of the Russian armed forces and the pace of military reforms, Yeltsin fired Rodionov on May 22 and appointed Sergeyev as the acting defense minister. This appointment is especially significant because Sergeyev has been a consistent advocate of the START process. Furthermore, Sergeyev will have substantial credibility with the Duma because, as the former head of the Strategic Rocket Forces, he can convincingly argue that START II is in Russia's national security interests. There also was speculation by some U.S. and Russian observers that Rodionov's support for START II was only lukewarm at best.

Sergeyev has repeatedly maintained that Russia's nuclear command and control system is safe and reliable. In a recent interview with Moskovskaya Pravda conducted before his appointment as defense minister, Sergeyev refuted the comments made by Rodionov earlier this year. Sergeyev said the command and control system of Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces is "under strict control" and that the present system "guarantees a very high level of nuclear security, which excludes not only unsanctioned launches, but all unsanctioned activity as well." Sergeyev also argued that the Strategic Rocket Forces today are "in the same state of combat readiness as they were 10 years ago."

CWC Parties Hold First Conference, OPCW Declared Fully Operational


Erik J. Leklem

THE CONFERENCE of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) met for its first session May 624 in The Hague to begin formal implementation of the treaty, which entered into force April 29. Eighty original states-parties (countries that ratified the treaty before its entry into force) attended the conference along with three late-ratifying states and 34 signatory states—including Russia—which attended as observers. (At the end of May, 165 countries had signed the CWC.) In addition to filling the top positions in the newly established Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the body that administers the treaty, the conference approved more than 70 decisions on implementation, verification and administrative issues (most of which had already been taken by the Preparatory Commission (PrepCom) before the treaty's entry into force) and began debating a long list of outstanding issues. It also approved an operating budget for 1997 of nearly $45 million, two-thirds of which will go toward verification costs.


OPCW Takes Shape

The conference appointed Ambassador Jose Mauricio Bustani of Brazil to head the OPCW. In turn, after some discussion, conference delegates confirmed Bustani's appointments for the top management of the Technical Secretariat, which he heads. The secretariat prepares the OPCW budget, collects data declarations and other verification-related communiques, negotiates agreements with states-parties on the implementation of the CWC and provides administrative support. The secretariat also houses the Inspector Corps, to be headed by Acari Akiyama of Japan (responsible for routine and challenge inspections). American representatives hold 15 top management posts, and France and China also have representatives in management.

Ambassador Prabhakar Menon of India was appointed chairman of the Executive Council, which oversees the day-to-day operations of the treaty. The Council's 41 members were selected based on three criteria: "equitable geographical distribution, ...the importance of chemical industry" and "political and security interests" (Article VIII, Section C, Para. 23). CWC states-parties are divided into regional blocks which select their own representatives to serve for two-year terms, though during this originating term, 20 states-parties will serve for one year. The first Executive Council includes: nine from Africa, nine from Asia, five from Eastern Europe (which includes Russia), seven from Latin America/Caribbean, ten from Western Europe/"Other states" and one appointment from the combined regions of Asia and the Latin America/Caribbean regions. In a previous negotiation, regional partners ensured the United States a seat.

When Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and a U.S. congressional delegation visited the OPCW in the last days of the conference, Chairman Pieter Feith of the Netherlands thanked President Bill Clinton, Albright and the Congress for the "positive outcome" of U.S. ratification of the CWC. He informed the U.S. delegation that an"internal" auditing office had been established for the OPCW, as required by the Senate in its resolution of advice and consent to ratification.

The United States will pay approximately 27 percent of OPCW funds, or $12 million in 1997 and $21 million in 1998. The conference confirmed PrepCom proposals for 480 staff members and inspectors to be hired by the end of 1998. Currently, the OPCW staff numbers 165, of which 17 are American. Additionally, 138 inspectors are on the rolls of the Technical Secretariat, of which nine are American.

The conference approved several other proposals made during the PrepCom, including conduct guidelines for routine, challenge and investigative inspections. Procedures for the transmission of assistance to a state in the event of use or threat of use of chemical weapons against it were also adopted.

Outstanding issues, to be resolved by inter-session facilitators, include Russia's difficulty bearing the costs associated with inspections for old and abandoned chemical weapons. Cuba raised questions about specifications for inspection equipment and the details of Article XI economic and technological development assistance. Iran echoed Cuban concerns, while stating that inspection equipment should be made commercially available to all states-parties. Facilitators will make proposals on these issues when the conference reconvenes in the first week of December.


U.S. Implementation Measures

The United States transmitted an extensive report to the OPCW on May 29, within 30 days of entry into force, as specified by the CWC. The report included the size and content of the current U.S. chemical weapons stockpile (previously estimated at approximately 30,000 agent tons) and the planned destruction schedule (now projected for completion as early as 2005 and as late as 2007). It also included the required data declarations on the status of chemical weapons stockpiles, on old and abandoned weapons, on riot control agents in use and on chemical weapons production and other facilities. None of these documents are planned for public release, nor are details available about other countries' submissions.

The House of Representatives' version of the CWC implementing legislation, which outlines the authority and enforcement mechanisms for applying the CWC domestically, was introduced and referred to the Judiciary and International Relations Committees on May 14. A Senate version was referred to the House on May 30, and spokesmen for the committees said final versions will be worked out in conference in the coming months.

According to the legislation, the president shall designate the location of the National Authority (the U.S. liaison to the OPCW). Depending on committee markup of the legislation, the office may ultimately reside in the National Security Council or the Department of State, with participation by several U.S. agencies.

By the end of May, the OPCW was fully operational and ready to conduct inspections, according to organization spokesmen. While there have been no requests for challenge inspections, some routine inspections will be conducted in June, with the aim of extending these to all parties as soon as possible. The OPCW and the United States are currently negotiating the "transitional verification agreements," or protocols for civilian and military facilities inspections, which they plan to complete in July or August.

EURATOM Set to Join KEDO Board; Work at Sinpo Site to Begin


Howard Diamond

THE KOREAN Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) and the European Union (EU) agreed on May 15 to the terms and conditions of the accession to KEDO of EURATOM, the EU's nuclear regulatory body. Following a formal signing of the agreement later this summer, EURATOM will become the first new member of the international consortium's Executive Board since KEDO's founding by the United States, Japan and South Korea in 1995.

KEDO is implementing the 1994 U.S.North Korean Agreed Framework, under which Pyongyang has agreed to freeze and ultimately dismantle its nuclear weapons program. In return, KEDO is overseeing the construction in Sinpo of two 1,000-megawatt (electric) light-water reactors (LWRs) and annual shipments of 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil until the first reactor is completed.

The EU's contribution to KEDO of 75 million European Currency Units (about $85 million) over five years will cover roughly one-third of the annual heavy fuel oil cost. In 1996, KEDO was forced to borrow to cover the $66.8 million cost of the year's heavy fuel oil deliveries. The United States has been providing about one-third of the funds for the annual shipments ($22 million in 1996), with the balance coming from other contributing states and from credit facilitated by a collateral fund created by Japan. KEDO has had limited success in soliciting new countries to join or in getting current members to make greater contributions. The expected increase in the EU's contribution from $6.3 million in 1996 to about $18 million after EURATOM's accession, will be key to stabilizing KEDO's finances.

EURATOM's entry into KEDO, which has been under negotiation for over a year, will need to be formally approved by KEDO's Executive Board and the EU Council of Ministers. After the agreement is signed, EURATOM will begin participating on the Executive Board as well as increasing its level of financial support.

Work on the much-delayed LWR project is expected to get under way by mid-July following a May 13 decision by KEDO's Executive Board to start work on the infrastructure necessary for construction, such as roads and temporary offices and housing. The 1995 supply agreement between KEDO and Pyongyang calls for the first LWR to be completed by 2003 on a "best-efforts" basis, however, delays in negotiations with North Korea and disruptive events like the submarine incident of 1996, have put the $5 billion project several months behind schedule.

Most of the necessary arrangements for initiating construction were settled in negotiated protocols or discussions in April (see ACT, April 1997), but some remaining issues will be addressed in a week of talks between KEDO and North Korea beginning May 31. KEDO will send a delegation of 44 representatives from the United States, Japan and South Korea to North Korea to discuss technical issues relating to the start of construction.

In addition to progress on the LWR project, the safe storage of North Korea's plutonium-laden spent fuel is continuing. At the end of May, about 80 percent of the 8,000 fuel elements from the 5-megawatt (electric) gas-graphite reactor in Yongbyon had been "canned" in steel containers in preparation for their eventual shipment out of the country.

QDR Supports Nuclear Status Quo, Adds Billions More to NMD Program


Craig Cerniello

ON MAY 19, Secretary of Defense William Cohen submitted to Congress the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), a six-month study that examined all aspects of U.S. defense strategy and requirements through 2015. The review, which was conducted in consultation with Congress and approved by President Bill Clinton, will "serve as the overall strategic planning document" of the Defense Department. While the QDR made no substantial changes to U.S. strategic nuclear forces and posture, it added $2.3 billion to the Clinton administration's national missile defense (NMD) efforts in order to preserve the current schedule, and delayed deployment of the Army's Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system by two years.

In a reaffirmation of current policy, the QDR noted that "We are committed to reducing our nuclear forces to START II levels once the treaty is ratified by the Russian Duma and then immediately negotiating further reductions consistent with the START III framework." In addition, the QDR concluded that the United States would maintain its strategic nuclear forces at START I levels until Russia has ratified START II, a measure that is consistent with the START II resolution of ratification approved by the Senate in January 1996. (See ACT, February 1996.) Challenging this conclusion, the independent National Defense Panel—which was created by Congress to review the findings of the QDR—argued that "the move to START II force levels should proceed even if the Duma fails to act on START II this year."

Under START I, the United States is expected to deploy a total of 6,000 "treaty-accountable" warheads on the following systems: 50 MX ICBMs, 500 Minuteman III ICBMs, 18 Trident ballistic missile submarines, 71 B-52H bombers and 21 B-2 bombers. (Due to START I counting rules, this force will comprise approximately 8,000 actual deployed warheads). Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 20, Cohen estimated that it will cost the United States approximately $64 million to maintain START I force levels in fiscal year (FY) 1998 and $1 billion per year thereafter. The majority of the increase reflects the costs associated with refueling the four additional Trident submarines that will be maintained under START I.

General John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the committee that, in light of this significant potential cost, he would support adjustments to the current congressional prohibition on U.S. strategic nuclear force reductions below START I levels. Shalikashvili said the Joint Chiefs believe "it would be good if we could have the freedom to discuss with [Congress] alternatives that would, on the one hand, meet our security needs, [and] on the other hand not undermine the process of putting the requisite pressure on the Duma to ratify START II. We believe there is a middle way that we can find that will accomplish that."


Missile Defense Issues

As part of its comprehensive analysis, the QDR also evaluated U.S. ballistic missile defense policy and programs. In particular, the review reaffirmed the Clinton administration's "three-plus-three" program, which calls for the development of the initial elements of an NMD system by 2000, at which time the United States will assess the long-range ballistic missile threat to its territory and be in a position to deploy such a system by 2003 if necessary. If no decision is taken to deploy, the United States will continue development efforts while maintaining a three-year deployment capability.

Nevertheless, the QDR determined that the program as currently funded would not enable the United States to meet the 2000 deadline for making a possible NMD deployment decision. Therefore, the review added $2.3 billion to the program over the next five years, but cautioned that even with this additional funding it will "remain a program with very high schedule and technical risk."

With respect to the administration's theater missile defense (TMD) program, the QDR pushed back the deployment date for THAAD from 2004 (which had just been announced in December 1996) again to 2006. This delay was necessary because THAAD has failed in all four of its intercept attempts over the past year and a half. In addition, the QDR provided funding through 1999 for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), which is being developed by the United States, Germany and Italy for NATO deployment (previously MEADS was funded through FY 1998).

The QDR also reaffirmed the administration's commitment to other TMD programs: the Army's Patriot Advanced Capability3 (PAC3) system, an improvement over the system deployed during the Gulf War; the Navy's Area Defense ("lower-tier") system; the Navy's Theater-Wide Defense ("upper-tier") system; and the Air Force's Airborne Laser program, which is in the early stages of development.

IAEA Approves '93+2' Protocol; Awaits Adoption by Member-States


Howard Diamond

THE INTERNATIONAL Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors approved a program of enhanced nuclear safeguards during a special session in Vienna May 1516, the first major expansion of the agency's monitoring and inspection powers in 25 years. The new measures are embodied in a model protocol that will need to be adopted by each of the 131 states (along with Taiwan) that has a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA. The protocol will substantially expand IAEA access to information and facilities, thereby improving the agency's ability to verify that non-nuclear-weapon states that are parties to the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT) are not conducting clandestine nuclear weapons programs.

The new protocol represents the second part of the IAEA's "Program 93+2," initiated in 1993 as a result of the confirmation in 1991 that Iraq—an NPT signatory—had been clandestinely pursuing a nuclear weapons program by utilizing undeclared facilities not covered by existing safeguards. The name "93+2" refers to the initial goal of completing a plan of action in two years, in time for the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference.

The IAEA began implementing Part 1 of Program 93+2 in January 1996, by adopting new monitoring techniques (such as environmental sampling and use of no-notice inspections at key measurement points within declared nuclear facilities) that did not require any new legal authority for their implementation. Some methods for analysis and monitoring, field tested during Part 1, have subsequently been incorporated into Part 2, which aims to close the undeclared facilities loophole. The agency determined that Part 2 would require the addition of a protocol to current safeguards agreements. The IAEA has said it anticipates the program will lead to "more cost-effective use of its safeguards resources."


The Model Protocol

Incorporating lessons learned in Iraq and North Korea, the new protocol represents a significant expansion of the scope of IAEA safeguards from a narrow focus on detecting the misuse of declared facilities or diversion of declared material, to broad oversight of the totality of a nation's nuclear activities. Specifically, the protocol makes four major changes that will significantly reduce the likelihood of a nation with a comprehensive safeguards agreement successfully concealing a nuclear weapons program:

First, in addition to the current requirement to provide nuclear fuel and fuel cycle activity data, states will now have to furnish an "expanded declaration" on a broad array of nuclear-related activities such as "nuclear fuel cycle-related research and development activities—not involving nuclear materials" and "the location, operational status and the estimated annual production" of uranium and thorium mines. All trade in items on the Nuclear Suppliers Group trigger list will also have to be reported to the IAEA.

Second, the number and types of facilities the IAEA will be able to inspect and monitor will substantially increase beyond the present level. To resolve questions or inconsistencies in the information a state has provided about its nuclear activities, the new inspections regime provides the IAEA with "complementary," or pre-approved, access to "[a]ny location specified by the Agency," as well as all of the facilities specified in the "expanded declaration." States accepting the model protocol, in effect, guarantee the IAEA access on short-notice to all of their declared, and if necessary, undeclared facilities "to assure the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities."

Third, the agency's ability to conduct short notice inspections is augmented by streamlining the visa process for inspectors and guaranteeing them, with one month's notice, "appropriate multiple entry/exit" visas that are valid for at least a year.

Fourth, the model protocol confirms the agency's right to use environmental sampling techniques—not previously specified as a valid and objective method in the "scope of inspections,"—throughout its monitoring and inspections activities.

According to Gary Samore, National Security Council senior director for nonproliferation, "The protocol substantially strengthens the ability of the IAEA to detect clandestine nuclear programs by giving it access to additional information and locations." The shift in the IAEA's focus from strict material accountancy to a more comprehensive approach to a state's nuclear activities should considerably deter "rogue" states' secret pursuit of nuclear weapons programs. A senior administration official said, "Nations attempting to conceal their nuclear weapons programs will be in a Catch22' position, that is, with heavy pressure to sign [the protocol] but serious concern they'll get caught."

Unlike the non-nuclear-weapon states, which are required by the NPT to accept IAEA safeguards on their nuclear activities, the five nuclear-weapon states (the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia), because they are entitled to manufacture nuclear weapons, are free from this requirement. However, to augment the acceptability of the new protocol and to show they are not seeking a commercial advantage, all five countries have announced their intention to apply some of the new safeguards to their commercial nuclear facilities. On May 16, the White House announced that it would accept the new measures "in their entirety except where they involve information or locations of direct national security significance," and promised to seek legislation to make the protocol legally binding. Britain and France have said they will accept almost all of the new measures, while Russia and China are expected to adopt fewer parts of the model protocol on the grounds of national security concerns.

CFE 'Flank' Accord Enters into Force; Senate Warns Russia on Deployments


Sarah Walkling

THE CONVENTIONAL Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty "Flank Document" entered into force on May 15, one day after the Senate unanimously approved a resolution of advice and consent to ratification of the document. The flank accord brings into effect new, higher limits on Russian battle tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs) and heavy artillery deployed or stored in the now-reconfigured flank zone.

Finalized at the May 1996 CFE Treaty Review Conference, the flank document adjusts the original CFE Treaty flank limits to alleviate Moscow's difficulties absorbing Russian forces formerly stationed in Central and Eastern Europe and responding to internal security threats, especially the Chechnyan uprising. (Russia had met its aggregate but not its flank limits by the November 1995 deadline).

The new document reduces the size of the flank zone, without changing the numerical limits on ground equipment within the zone. Moscow, which agreed in May 1996 to freeze its treaty-limited equipment (TLE) deployments in the original flank zone, must now reduce these levels by May 31, 1999, to meet its new limits. (See box p. 31) Russia is permitted to use "to the maximum extent possible" treaty provisions for temporary deployment outside its territory and TLE reallocation among parties to achieve the reductions. (See ACT, May/June 1996.)

The flank agreement requires Russia and the other flank states on its troubled southern border to work out ways to accommodate Moscow's reductions. The concerns of four former Soviet republics (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) about Russian deployments prompted the Senate to add conditions to its resolution, which make clear that the United States opposes any attempt by Moscow to deploy forces in other former Soviet republics without the consent of those states-parties to the CFE Treaty.

In a "finding" included in the resolution, the Senate said, "armed forces and military equipment under control of the Russian Federation are currently deployed on the territories of States Parties without the full and complete agreement of those States Parties." One condition, therefore, requires presidential certification of NATO affirmation that without the "freely expressed consent," of the parties involved, the flank agreement does not allow any party to station or temporarily deploy TLE on another's territory, or to reallocate weapons quotas between parties. The condition also requires affirmation of all parties' rights, under the document, to their maximum weapons allotments. On May 15, President Clinton notified Congress that NATO had made these affirmations, quelling the fears of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine that Russia could abuse the flank agreement to increase its own weapons entitlements or legitimize deployment of its equipment on their territories.

Another Senate condition requires the secretary of state to open new discussions to secure the immediate withdrawal of all Russian-controlled forces and equipment deployed on the territories of other CFE states-parties without their consent. In the ongoing negotiations between Russia and Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, which began last year, the Senate insists that the United States participate as an intermediary to protect the rights of these states to "reject or accept conditionally" any Russian requests to temporarily deploy weapons on their territories or to reallocate their weapons allotments with other states.

To discourage future Russian attempts to strong-arm its neighbors and exploit the flank agreement, the resolution states that the Senate "expects" the executive branch to brief the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the speaker of the House at least four times a year on CFE Treaty compliance issues. Also, every January 1, the president must submit three unclassified reports addressing compliance issues, the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territories of its neighbors and "uncontrolled" TLE transferred to secessionist or paramilitary groups. Finally, by August 1, 1997, the president must submit an unclassified report on whether Armenia violated the treaty by allowing the transfer of Russian arms through its territory to the separatist movement in Ngorno-Karabakh.

At the April 29 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the flank agreement, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked for assurance that the agreement would not legitimize Russia's military presence outside of its borders. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) said, "one of the unspoken concerns up here is that [the Clinton administration] made a deal to keep Russia in line as it relates to NATO expansion.... We want to know, did you sell out the Caucasus in order to get Poland in?" Clinton administration officials responded that Russia would go totally unchecked without any flank limits and that ratification of the new flank agreement was necessary to sustain the momentum for conventional force reduction in Europe. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Lynn Davis emphasized that the agreement highlighted Russia's right "to take advantage of flexibilities built into the treaty that all parties can take advantage of," but did not give Moscow the right to station armed forces in other CFE parties.

Also attached to the resolution of ratification was a condition requiring the president to submit to the Senate any agreement that would add parties to the 1972 ABM Treaty. (See p.32.)

Russian CFE Flank Limits

The numbers listed below represent aggregates of active and stored equipment, as per 1990 CFE Treaty definitions. The flank agreement also places individual limits on ACVs deployed in the four oblasts (military districts) removed from the original flank zone, effective May 31, 1999.

  Tanks ACVs Artillery
Original Limits 1 (now apply to the redrawn flank zone) 1,300 1,380 1,680
May 1996 Limits (apply to the original flank zone) 1,897 4,397 2,422
May 1999 Limits (apply to the original flank zone) 1,800 3,700 2,400
1 As negotiated by the former Soviet republics at Tashkent, May 1992.

Duma Criticizes Helsinki Outcome; Postpones START II Discussions


Craig Cerniello

IN THE DAYS following the March 2021 Helsinki summit meeting between President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, influential members of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, criticized the Yeltsin administration for making too many concessions on key national security issues, especially with respect to the planned enlargement of the NATO alliance. Acknowledging that Russia was unable to prevent NATO enlargement, Yeltsin nonetheless defended the results of the summit in a March 26 radio address to the nation. Meanwhile, the Duma announced on April 9 that it would postpone discussion of START II.


Duma Reacts to Helsinki

The Helsinki agreements drew a hostile reaction from several members of the Duma. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyugonov, the most outspoken of these critics, claimed that the summit had been a "crushing defeat" for Moscow and characterized the joint statements as "Russia's Versailles"—a reference to the 1919 Versailles Treaty, which ended World War I and imposed severe conditions on the defeated German state.

Vladimir Lukin, chairman of the Duma's International Affairs Committee (a key committee involved in the START II ratification process), also had a strong initial reaction to the agreements reached in Helsinki. In a clear reference to NATO enlargement, Lukin said, "We can speak of ratifying START II only if there will be greater trust between the sides. And this trust has significantly diminished."

Lukin provided a more thorough analysis of the joint statements in a March 27 article in the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta. In terms of the "Joint Statement on Parameters on Future Reductions in Nuclear Forces," he praised the fiveyear extension of the START II reduction schedule as well as the basic principles for a START III agreement. (See ACT, March 1997.) However, Lukin argued that it was not "realistic" for the Duma to ratify START II before negotiations on START III commence, as called for in the joint statement. "The Duma is in no hurry to ratify [START II], among other reasons, because it sees no promise of a dependable and mutually acceptable strategic balance. For after START II is ratified, the U.S. can well procrastinate or freeze negotiations on START III, and Russia would be in a highly losing position," Lukin said.

Lukin also pointed out some potential difficulties with the "Joint Statement Concerning the AntiBallistic Missile Treaty." Despite the U.S. and Russian commitments to the ABM Treaty, Lukin cautioned that there is "no clear definition" between permitted theater missile defense systems and restricted ABM systems—a situation which he said should be resolved before the sides can move forward with START II and START III. "Lack of clarity about the future of ABM systems is unacceptable for Russia," he argued.

Some other members of the Duma reinforced the negative reaction to NATO enlargement. According to a March 22 Associated Press report, Agrarian Party leader Mikhail Lapshin predicted that NATO enlargement would eventually nullify the agreements reached in Helsinki. Mikhail Yuryev of the Yabloko Party also reportedly stated that NATO enlargement "will be directed against Russia."

Yeltsin responded to these critics during his March 26 radio address. While admitting that he was unable to stop NATO enlargement, Yeltsin maintained that Russia had succeeded in minimizing its consequences. In particular, Yeltsin explained that the sides had agreed that NATO will not move its nuclear weapons or armed forces eastward, and that Russia and NATO will sign at the highest levels a "comprehensive document" defining their relationship. He also noted that the United States and Russia reached "very serious agreements" in Helsinki concerning the ABM Treaty and the reduction of strategic offensive nuclear forces.


START II and the Duma

As a clear indication of the resistance Yeltsin is likely to face in pushing for START II ratification, Aleksei Mitrofanov, chairman of the Duma's Geopolitics Committee, announced on April 9 that the Duma has "put off" discussion of the treaty—a decision supported by Lev Rokhlin, chairman of the Duma's Defense Committee (another key committee involved in the START II ratification process). In an April 9 interview with Moscow NTV, Rokhlin argued that the Duma is not ready to take up the treaty because it still has not received from the Yeltsin administration an implementing program, apparently similar to the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, committing resources and outlining the costs and benefits of modernizing and maintaining Russian strategic forces at START II levels. He also said the Yeltsin government has not responded to the Duma's request for an evaluation as to how NATO enlargement would affect START II.

Although the treaty remains stalled in the Duma, the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces continue to support the strategic arms reduction process. According to an April 23 ItarTass report, CommanderinChief Igor Sergeyev said he was in favor of START III, which, if successfully negotiated, would limit the United States and Russia to 2,0002,500 strategic nuclear warheads each by the end of 2007. He argued that START III would provide for "strategic stability which Russia is able to maintain without substantial additional financial spending."


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