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Former IAEA Director-General
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START I Cuts on Track; U.S. Violations Charged

On October 5, Ambassador Steven Steiner, U.S. representative to the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC), told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have gone below START I numerical limits for deployed strategic nuclear delivery vehicles more than three years ahead of schedule. The four states "have verifiably eliminated more than 300 former Soviet ICBMs, 290 [ICBM] launchers, 170 submarine-launched ballistic missiles [SLBMs], 130 SLBM launchers and 47 heavy bombers," said Steiner. According to the latest START I memorandum of understanding, these four states have collectively deployed 1,577 strategic nuclear delivery vehicles (23 fewer than the treaty's 1,600 limit) and 7,540 strategic warheads (1,540 more than the treaty's 6,000 limit).

According to Russian press accounts in late August, however, Russia has accused the United States of violating START I. Moscow has reportedly raised a series of complaints regarding the number of warheads attributed to Trident II SLBMs, the U.S. unwillingness to allow complete inspections of Trident IIs to verify their actual loadings and the U.S. refusal to allow inspections of certain facilities at the Silverdale submarine base in Washington. Russia has also charged the United States with improperly destroying MX ICBMs under the treaty and with making repairs to B-1B bombers at operational bases rather than designated repair depots.

A U.S. official familiar with the issue would not comment on the specific accusations, but did say that the United States believes it is in compliance with START I. Russia has raised its compliance concerns at the JCIC, where they remain under discussion.

U.S., Russia Sign 'Nuclear Cities' Agreement

Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson and Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Yevgeny Adamov signed an agreement September 22 to create commercial enterprises that will provide peaceful employment for displaced weapons scientists and technicians in Russia's 10 closed "nuclear cities." Unlike past efforts to provide employment opportunities for Russian weapons workers, through the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow and the Department of Energy's Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program, the new program, called the Nuclear Cities Initiative, will focus exclusively on the closed nuclear cities. In fiscal year 1999, DOE expects to spend a total of $30 million to support activities in these cities. The agreement responds to growing U.S. concerns that former Soviet weapons scientists may be tempted to sell their expertise abroad due to deteriorating economic conditions at home.

U.S.-Israel Fighter Sale; Buyer for Pakistani F-16s?

The October 22 deadline passed without action by Congress to block a proposed $2.5 billion sale of U.S. fighters to Israel. The Pentagon had notified Congress on September 22 that Israel is seeking to buy 60 F-16C/D fighters or 30 F-15I fighters from Washington; under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, Congress has 30 days following notification (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan and New Zealand) to block a proposed sale.

Currently, Israel is incorporating a 1994 buy of 25 F-15I fighters into its inventory, estimated at more than 200 F-16s and 60 to 100 F-15s. An Israeli announcement on the purchase, which is likely to be a combination of both fighters, is expected early next year.

In other fighter news, New Zealand has expressed interest in purchasing the 28 F-16 fighters that Pakistan paid $658 million for in a 1989 deal, but never received. Washington stopped delivery of the aircraft in 1990 in accordance with the 1985 Pressler Amendment, which proscribes delivery of U.S. military equipment or assistance to Pakistan if the president cannot certify that Islamabad does not possess a "nuclear explosive device." Since an April 1995 pledge by President Clinton to resolve the issue, the United States has been seeking a way to repay Pakistan and avoid a possible court case. Washington has already paid back $157 million to Islamabad, which has until February 1999 to file suit.

U.S.-Israel Fighter Sale; Buyer for Pakistani F-16s?

The October 22 deadline passed without action by Congress to block a proposed $2.5 billion sale of U.S. fighters to Israel. The Pentagon had notified Congress on September 22 that Israel is seeking to buy 60 F-16C/D fighters or 30 F-15I fighters from Washington; under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, Congress has 30 days following notification (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan and New Zealand) to block a proposed sale.

Currently, Israel is incorporating a 1994 buy of 25 F-15I fighters into its inventory, estimated at more than 200 F-16s and 60 to 100 F-15s. An Israeli announcement on the purchase, which is likely to be a combination of both fighters, is expected early next year.

In other fighter news, New Zealand has expressed interest in purchasing the 28 F-16 fighters that Pakistan paid $658 million for in a 1989 deal, but never received. Washington stopped delivery of the aircraft in 1990 in accordance with the 1985 Pressler Amendment, which proscribes delivery of U.S. military equipment or assistance to Pakistan if the president cannot certify that Islamabad does not possess a "nuclear explosive device." Since an April 1995 pledge by President Clinton to resolve the issue, the United States has been seeking a way to repay Pakistan and avoid a possible court case. Washington has already paid back $157 million to Islamabad, which has until February 1999 to file suit.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency Created

On October 1, Secretary of Defense William Cohen announced the merger of several Pentagon agencies to form the new Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), whose mission is to combat the danger of weapons of mass destruction. "At least 25 countries are in the process of developing nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and the means to deliver them," warned Cohen at DTRA's headquarters near Dulles International Airport. "We must confront these threats in places like Baghdad before they come to our shores."

The formation of DTRA, recommended by the 1997 Defense Reform Initiative, consolidates the Defense Technology Security Agency, Defense Special Weapons Agency, and On-Site Inspection Agency. DTRA's eight directorates include Nuclear Support, On-Site Inspection, Cooperative Threat Reduction, Technology Security, Special Weapons Technology, Chem-Bio Defense, Counterproliferation, and Force Protection. DTRA Director Dr. Jay C. Davis, former associate director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will report to the under secretary of defense for acquisition and technology. The new agency has roughly 2,100 employees and a fiscal year 1999 budget of about $1.9 billion.

'Section 655' Report Details U.S. Arms Trade

The Defense Department delivered over $19.3 billion in arms and military assistance to 116 countries during fiscal year (FY) 1997, while the State Department approved commercial export licenses that could result in sales of weapons and equipment valued at over $24.7 billion to more than 150 countries and territories. These figures, covering the period from October 1, 1996 to September 30, 1997, were contained in the latest "Section 655" report that the two departments prepare annually for Congress.

Nearly 81 percent of the deliveries, conducted through the Foreign Military Sales program and various grant programs—excess defense articles, emergency drawdowns and international military education and training (IMET)—flowed to the Near East and South Asia ($8.3 billion) and the Far East (almost $7.3 billion). Taiwan ($5.69 billion), Saudi Arabia ($4.69 billion) and Egypt ($1.2 billion) were the leading recipients. Aircraft, including 23 F-15S and 89 F-16 fighters, helicopters and associated spare parts represented over half ($9.8 billion) of the total deliveries.

NATO allies combined for $9.4 billion of the approved licenses, while Japan accounted for $4.6 billion. States have four years to act under the licenses, not all of which result in actual sales.

Russia Seeks to Speed CFE Adaptation

Russia declared on September 15 that "it is necessary to accelerate negotiations" on adapting the 1992 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty to the post-Cold War environment. Moscow seeks a completed treaty before the April 1999 summit at which Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary are expected to be welcomed formally into NATO. That same day, NATO members endorsed a more relaxed timeline, aiming to conclude negotiations before the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit late next year. Both NATO and Russia, however, have stated they would like to record progress by this December.

A.V. Grushko, head of the Russian delegation to the Joint Consultative Group (JCG)—the governing body of the CFE Treaty—also called on NATO to drop a proposal that would limit temporary deployments of tanks, armored combat vehicles and heavy artillery within the treaty's "flank zone" covering the northern and southern flanks of Europe. (See ACT, June/July 1998.) Moscow seeks to limit the NATO presence on new members' territories as the alliance expands, while NATO maintains it needs flexibility to conduct its missions and to ensure equal status for new members. The adaptation talks on the CFE Treaty have been underway since January 1997.

Additional States to Follow EU 'Code of Conduct'

In an August 3 statement, the European Union (EU) welcomed the joint declaration by 13 European states to "align themselves to the criteria and principles" of the recently approved (June 8) EU code of conduct on arms exports. Under the code's eight general criteria, EU members pledged to deny arms exports to states that may use the weapons for internal repression or aggressively against other states and to consider an importer's human rights record before approving an arms sale.

Of the 13 non-EU states (Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia), all but Iceland and Norway have applied for EU membership; the declaration enables these states to align their arms export policies with those of the EU. Four of the 13, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), ranked among the top thirty arms suppliers for the period 1993–1997: the Czech Republic (13th), Norway (21st), Poland (22nd) and Slovakia (24th).

The 13 states declared that the non-legally binding code would "guide them in their national export control policies." However, they will not take part in the key operative provisions of the code, such as circulating notices of arms export denials and consulting with other states over controversial sales. EU countries want the notification process to remain limited to protect sensitive information.

House Prohibits Funds for ABM Succession

On August 5, the House approved (240-188) an amendment to the departments of Commerce, Justice, State and Judiciary appropriations bill prohibiting any funds to be used by U.S. delegates to the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC) to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on ABM Treaty succession. Signed in September 1997, the MOU identifies Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine as the successor states to the former Soviet Union under the treaty. The amendment, introduced by Representative David McIntosh (R-IN), seeks to prevent implementation of the MOU before the Senate has given its advice and consent to ratification. The administration has stated that it will not submit the MOU (as well as the START II extension protocol and the ABM-TMD "demarcation" agreements) to the Senate until Russia has ratified START II. Some congressional Republicans have argued that the ABM Treaty is not currently in force pending Senate approval of the MOU.

The final language on the McIntosh amendment must still be worked out in a House-Senate conference. The administration maintains, however, that it has no plans to implement the MOU at the current session of the SCC, which began on September 9. During this session, the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine are scheduled to conduct the latest five-year review of the ABM Treaty and complete the implementing details for the September 1997 agreement on confidence-building measures (CBMs) for theater missile defense systems.

UN Reports on Yugoslav Arms Embargo

On August 5, more than four months after the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan informed the Security Council that the UN has failed to establish a monitoring regime for the embargo due to lack of funding. At the same time, he warned that the situation in Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians are battling Serb forces, "continues to deteriorate" and that the "attitudes of the two sides appear to be hardening."

Annan said that the UN, as he originally reported in April, did not have the funds to establish a comprehensive regime to monitor the March 31 embargo and that the resources pledged by other regional organizations, such as the European Union and NATO, fell short of the amount needed. With no regime in place, measuring the impact of the embargo has proved difficult, particularly between Albania and Kosovo, where arms continue to flow and there is little border control.

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