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"...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
April 1997
Edition Date: 
Tuesday, April 1, 1997

U.S., Russia Sign Amendments To CTR Program

The Department of Defnese announced on April 23 that it had concluded four amendments to the current agreements with Russia under the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR), or "Nunn-Lugar," security assistance program.  The amendments, which were signed in Moscow in early April, add a total of $214.3 millino in funding for existing CTR activities in Russia-$209.3 million in fiscal year (FY) 1997 CTR funds and $5 million in previously unobligated FY 1996 CTR funds.

The first amendment provides an additional $15 million in CTR funding to the Weapons Protection, Control and Accounting (WPC&A) Program.  This raises the total amount of assistance to the WPC&A program, which seeks to enhance the security of Russian nuclear weapons while they are being transported and stored, to $116 million.

The second amendment increases funding for the construction of a fissile material storage facility at Mayak in Chelyabinsk from $84 million to $150 million.  The Mayak facility will be capable of storing 50,000 containers of fissile material from approximately 12,500 dismantled nuclear weapons.

The third amendment increases CTR funding for chemical weapons (CW) destruction from $68 million to $136.5 million.  Under this program, the United States is helping Russia develop a CW destruction process and assisting with the eventual construction of a CW destruction facility.

The final amendment increases CTR funding for the elimination of strategic offensive arms from $231 million to $295.8 million.  This assistance facilitates the elimination of Russian strategic nuclear delivery systems in accordance with START I. 

Code of Conduct' Rejected Again In Committee Vote

Code of Conduct' Rejected Again In Committee Vote

On April 30, by a 23-21 vote, the House International Relations Committee rejected a bipartisan effort by Representatives Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to require Congress to preapprove all U.S. weapons exports and military assistance to countries which fail to meet specific criteria, such as promotion of democracy and respect for human rights. Similar "code of conduct" legislation has been rejected twice before in the House in 1995 and in the Senate in 1996.

The proposed bill required the president to submit two lists of states requesting U.S. military assistance and arms transfers with his annual budget request. The first list would consist of states that promote democracy, respect human rights, are not engaged in armed aggression and participate in the UN Register of Conventional Arms. The second would list those states that failed to meet these criteria but which the president determined should receive U.S. military assistance and weapons transfers in the interest of U.S. national security. Currently, countries such as Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey would fall into this category. The legislation would have required a simple majority vote in both the House and Senate to permit transfers to states on the latter list. If no vote occurred, the United States would not transfer weapons or provide military assistance to those countries during the following fiscal year.

Opponents of the legislation, including the Clinton administration, argued the bill would hinder the president's ability to conduct foreign policy. The administration also argued that it already takes code criteria into account when considering possible arms transfers. According to the February 1995 Presidential Decision Directive 34, however, the impact of an arms transfer decision on U.S. industry and the defense industrial base is also a consideration. Clinton's is the first U.S. administration to explicitly list this factor as one of its arms trade criteria.

After the House International Relations Committee derailed the most recent proposal, the House Rules Committee allowed a modified version of the bill into the Foreign Policy Reform Act, tentatively scheduled for a floor vote in June. This version still requires the president to submit the two lists; however, Congress is not required to vote on countries on the second list. Instead, any member of Congress could introduce legislation to block military aid and arms transfers to individual states.

Bringing Ukraine Into the MTCR: Can U.S. Policy Succeed?


Gary Bertsch and Victor Zaborsky

 


Gary Bertsch is director of the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia, where he is a professor of political science, Victor Zaborsky is a senior research fellow at the center and adjunct professor at the university.

 


For good reason, Ukraine's denuclearization dominated U.S.-Ukrainian relations immediately following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, even before Kyiv decided in 1993 to rid itself of the massive arsenal of Soviet nuclear weapons remaining on its territory, U.S. and Ukrainian negotiators had begun addressing another area of proliferation concern: Ukraine's missile industry. With one of the largest missile production capabilities in the world—for both military and spacerelated systems—Ukraine can contribute considerably to missile proliferation. With the country facing severe economic hardship, Ukraine's political leaders and economic managers have sought to export goods that can earn hard currency, and Ukraine's military assets have proven to be a source of muchneeded revenue. Given the advanced nature of Ukraine's missile industry and the country's determination to further develop it, Ukraine's fledgling export control system and its unproven nonproliferation record have provided the United States with ample reason for concern.

The U.S.-Ukrainian missile talks, which began in October 1992 and have been conducted through several political and diplomatic channels, have underscored the divergent interests and approaches the two countries have to the issue of missile proliferation. The talks have addressed a number of areas, including space cooperation, but the most critical issue for the United States is Ukraine's commitment to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the nucleus for international efforts to stem ballistic missile proliferation. Although both governments are committed to the same ultimate goal—Ukraine's full membership in the MTCR—the two sides have so far been unable to reach agreement on the conditions under which Kyiv will join the regime. The key stumbling block remains the U.S. insistence that Ukraine abandon offensive missile programs, a commitment that Kyiv has steadfastly refused to make.

Despite the continuing divide, U.S. and Ukrainian negotiators have made some progress. In May 1994, the United States and Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) under which Kyiv pledged to adhere to MTCR guidelines. The two sides are also cooperating on developing an export control system in Ukraine that will meet MTCR requirements. Ukraine has also agreed to eliminate all of the former Soviet SS19 and SS24 ICBMs on its territory that are covered by the START I accord (which Kyiv formally joined in 1994), although the treaty and related undertakings do not specifically call for the elimination of these systems.

In large part, the progress made to date can be attributed to the "incentive strategy" pursued by the United States in moving Ukraine toward MTCR membership and toward fulfilling other nonproliferation commitments. This strategy has sought to assuage Ukraine's concerns that its space industry remain one of the major players in the increasingly competitive international space market.

As a result of these dynamics, Ukraine is facing a serious dilemma: comply with the U.S. conditions for full membership in the MTCR—with the resultant prospect for increased space cooperation with other regime members and thereby improving the position of one of the country's most important industries—or continue to be an MTCR "adherent," preserving the right to develop a limited range of military missiles, but thereby restricting cooperative endeavors that could be crucial to the survival of the country's space industry. We believe that the United States can offer Ukraine the "carrots" that will encourage Kyiv to renounce offensive missile programs and join the MTCR in the near future.

 

Ukraine's Missile Industry

While most of the civilian sector of the Soviet space program was located in Russia, Ukraine possessed a significant portion of the program's scientific and industrial facilities. Although some Russian officials have estimated that Russia's share of the Soviet space industry is between 75 percent and 90 percent, Ukrainian officials estimate that Ukraine's share is actually about 40 percent of the "Soviet space complex's production capacity."1 We believe the latter estimate to be more accurate.

Since the beginning of the Soviet space program, more than 100 Ukrainian enterprises and research centers have actively participated in the design and manufacturing of spacerelated equipment. These facilities developed more than 400 military and civilian satellites, including electronic intelligence and ballistic missile early warning satellites, as well as a number of spacelaunch vehicles (SLVs). The Southern Machine Building Plant Association (commonly referred to as "Yuzhmash"), a collection of research, design and production facilities centered in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk, is the world's largest combined satellite and rocket manufacturing venture of its kind. The "Yuzhmash" Mechanical Plant and its affiliated "Yuzhnoye" Design Bureau remain the principal facilities involved in the design and production of the "Zenit" and "Tsyklon" SLVs, as well as for satellites for domestic and foreign customers.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine's space industry has been under severe financial strain because of reduced orders and loss of steady revenue. Yuzhmash has suffered the most losses. According to its director general, Yuri Alexeev, the facility's combined workforce has declined from 52,000 in 1991 to 34,000 in early 1996. Although it has converted some of its capacity to the production of civilian goods such as street cars, these efforts have met with only limited success. Participation in Western commercial ventures has helped to keep the enterprise afloat, as has its newly acquired role as the destruction facility for SS19 ICBMs made possible by the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program (the socalled "NunnLugar" program).

Nevertheless, current levels of production and financial support are far below past levels, eliciting fears that Ukraine's edge in technology and knowhow may be lost. Developing a competitive space industry is considered by the Ukrainian government to be of crucial importance. Officials believe that Ukraine's space industry can improve the very difficult economic situation the country now faces, as well as promote other related sectors of the economy and contribute to Ukraine's international standing.

Politically, the country's space program received a favorable boost in 1994 when Leonid Kuchma, who was Yuzhmash director general for about a decade, was elected president of Ukraine. Kuchma's presidential team, including Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko, former Defense Minister Valery Shmarov and Vladimir Gorbulin, the president's national security advisor and the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, is composed of people from the Dnipropetrovsk region and are devoted to preserving and promoting the Ukrainian space complex and missile industry.

 

The Military Potential

Many of the Ukrainian facilities that were involved in the Soviet space program were also utilized for the development and of missiles for the strategic forces of the former Soviet Union. The Yuzhmash plant was the largest Soviet ICBM factory, where SS19, SS20, SS23 and SS24 missiles were built. Today, with its two million square feet of floor space, it is the world's largest facility of its kind. However, production of military missiles at Yuzhmash has reportedly been suspended since 1991.

In the aftermath of the Soviet Union's dissolution, Ukraine inherited a huge arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons (as well as tactical nuclear weapons) and their delivery systems. These included 46 10warhead SS24 ICBMs and 130 sixwarhead SS19 ICBMs, both with a range of 10,000 kilometers, in addition to a total of 30 BearH and Blackjack heavy bombers that carried 416 nuclear weapons deployed on AS15 airlaunched cruise missiles (ALCMs). Ukraine was also host to a number of shorterrange missiles, including SS21s (with a range of 120 kilometers) and some 130 ScudBs (with a 300kilometer range).

Since late 1994, immediately after Ukraine joined the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT) as a nonnuclearweapon state, political and military circles in Ukraine have been discussing the possibility of producing and deploying short and medium range missiles, considering these systems to be legitimate means of deterrence in light of the country's nonnuclear status. The Ukrainian military continues to discuss this option, arguing that such missiles, carrying high accuracy, conventionally armed warheads, would provide a more effective and lesscostly deterrent than a defensive posture which relies on tanks and aircraft, an argument that is highly appealing to the cash poor Ukrainian Defense Ministry. So far, the idea of developing and deploying missiles is being debated only in general terms, and no numbers or types of missiles have been publicly mentioned.

 

Ukraine's Arms Control Obligations

For the moment, Ukraine's 1994 pledge to "adhere" to MTCR guidelines remains the key standard by which to judge Kyiv's commitment to the nonproliferation of ballistic missiles and related technology. Created in 1987 by the Group of Seven industrialized countries (Canada, France, the thenexisting Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), the MTCR is the cornerstone of U.S. missile nonproliferation policy. A voluntary, nontreaty arrangement, the MTCR seeks to restrict the proliferation of missiles (ballistic missiles, SLVs and sounding rockets), unmanned air vehicles (cruise missiles, drones and remotely piloted vehicles) and related technology capable of carrying a 500kilogram payload at least 300 kilometers (the socalled "Category I" missiles), as well as any system "intended" to carry weapons of mass destruction. Today, 29 countries are full members of the regime, which admits new members only by consensus, and a handful of other states (including China, Israel and Ukraine) have agreed to abide by its guidelines.

One of the basic features of the MTCR is a "strong presumption" of denial for transfers of Category I items listed in the regime's annex of controlled equipment and technology. Category I items include complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, production facilities for these systems and certain subsystems such as rocket engines or stages and reentry vehicles. Regime members and adherents attempt to control proliferation through the application of their national export control policies. The MTCR is "not designed to impede national space programs or international cooperation in such programs as long as such programs could not contribute to delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction."2

In addition to its commitment to the MTCR's guidelines, Ukraine is obligated under other arms control agreements and unilateral undertakings to restrict its offensive missile programs. As one of the successor states to the former Soviet Union, Ukraine is obligated under the 1987 IntermediateRange Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty not to produce, test and deploy shortrange (500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediaterange (1,000 to 5,500 kilometers) groundlaunched missiles. Ukraine also assumed specific obligations under the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) when it signed the Lisbon Protocol on May 23, 1992, making Kyiv a formal party to the 1991 accord and commiting it to destroy all of its ICBM silos. Although at one time Ukraine expressed an interest in converting a portion of the SS24 ICBMs on its territory to spacelaunch vehicles, which is allowed under the treaty, Kyiv has since agreed to destroy all its SS19 and SS24 missiles, in part because it could ill afford to undertake the costly conversion.

 

A New U.S. Policy On Missiles

In the summer of 1993, the new Clinton administration found a worrisome problem developing with regard to the MTCR. Since 1987, membership in the regime had practically quadrupled, and it was becoming clear that there was a wide variety of practices among regime members on how to deal with exports to each other. The rules were clear for exports outside the regime, but there was a wide range of policies and practices among members involving exports to MTCR partners. The problem was that some governments were attempting to join the regime in order to obtain bigger missiles and more advanced technology, transfers that would not be available to nonmembers.

Creating a missile nonproliferation regime that allows states to acquire advanced technology and knowhow that could be used for offensive missiles hardly seemed a desirable policy, particularly as the regime was then struggling to coordinate the national export control policies of more than two dozen countries, some of which had only recently implemented comprehensive export controls and were only beginning to establish their nonproliferation credentials. The Clinton administration feared that the regime could turn into a missile bazaar. It was especially concerned about national Category I missile programs because they are inherently capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

The administration's response to this problem could have been to try to change the rules of the regime with respect to transfers among members. However, that would have been a very difficult and timeconsuming process, requiring agreement among more than two dozen governments. There was a simpler option. Because membership in the MTCR requires agreement of all members, the alternative was for the United States to set up the controls at the gateway to the regime, effectively establishing new criteria for full membership. This approach would provide the United States with unilateral room to maneuver when considering the regime's expansion, avoiding some of the obstacles inherent to a consensusbased organization.

On September 27, 1993, President Clinton issued a new policy regarding U.S. efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles that deliver them.3 The policy called for maintaining strong support of the MTCR, noting that the United States "will support prudent expansion of the MTCR's membership to include additional countries that subscribe to international nonproliferation standards, enforce effective export controls and abandon offensive ballistic missile programs." The policy meant that in the future new members would have to observe these constraints before the United States would support their accession.

The new policy also said the United States "will not support the development or acquisition of spacelaunch vehicles in countries outside the MTCR." Furthermore, for regime members, the United States "will not encourage new spacelaunch vehicle programs, which raise questions on both nonproliferation and economic viability grounds. The United States will, however, consider exports of MTCRcontrolled items to MTCR member countries for peaceful spacelaunch programs on a casebycase basis."

When considering the imposition of these conditions, the United States has talked in terms of general rules that apply to all governments, and it is unlikely that Washington will make an exception for any country. Importantly, particularly from Ukraine's perspective, these restrictions apparently do not apply to Russia and China, both nuclearweapon states under the NPT, given the practical impossibility of restricting delivery systems for their nuclear weapons.

Moreover, although Russia joined the MTCR as a full member in October 1995, Moscow had signed its bilateral understanding with the United States pledging adherence to the regime's guidelines on September 2, 1993, prior to the introduction of the new U.S. membership criteria.

These U.S. restrictions on offensive missile programs have already been applied to the five most recent MTCR members—Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, South Africa and Turkey. Because Hungary and Turkey do not have indigenous offensive missile or space programs of proliferation concern, their admission did not pose a challenge to the U.S. criteria. Argentina and South Africa both agreed to abandon their SLV programs, but they were in the early stages of development and therefore were not considered by their governments a heavy loss. Brazil's SLV program was more developed than those of Argentina and South Africa, and the United States agreed that Brazil should bring its program into the regime, where it will likely benefit from cooperation with other MTCR members.

 

Ukraine: A New Test Case?

It will be difficult to translate the experiences of the newest MTCR members to the case of Ukraine. Certainly, none of those countries possessed a domestic space and military missile industry as advanced as that of Ukraine, and the United States has through its incentive strategy offered Kyiv new assistance and opportunities to help its space industry adjust to some harsh new economic realities. What distinguishes Ukraine from these recent MTCR newcomers is that these countries possessed neither Category I missiles nor visible security motivations to have them in the future. In contrast, Ukraine had been a major producer of MTCR-controlled missiles for decades and currently has a sizable force of operational missiles (the former Soviet ScudBs) on its territory. The major obstacle facing U.S. and Ukrainian negotiators is Kyiv's insistence that it be allowed to join the MTCR without giving up its current stockpile or the future right to develop and deploy missiles with ranges between 300 and 500 kilometers, and Washington's adamant opposition to Ukraine maintaining these capabilities.

The Ukrainian government is strongly opposed to this U.S. condition, arguing that: 1.) the MTCR is essentially an export control regime and not a disarmament agreement; 2.) Ukraine may potentially need these missiles for strengthening its defense capability; 3.) such a request is of a discriminatory nature, since it is not applied to all MTCR members; 4.) this U.S. condition was not supported by other MTCR members; and 5.) Ukraine had been producing Category I offensive missiles since the early 1960s and has developed outstanding technological potential and human expertise in this area. Forswearing future production of these systems could further undermine the country's already shaky missile industry and consequently lead to social challenges.

For the Ukrainian government, it is difficult psychologically to make a decision to give up forever production of missiles with ranges of up to 500 kilometers. Such a decision is especially difficult for President Kuchma with his Yuzhmash background, for it could result in clashes with the "Dnipropetrovsk lobby," with the military and with the parliament. During a May 16 press conference following the first meeting of the United StatesUkrainian Binational Commission, a newly created forum cochaired by Kuchma and Vice President Al Gore, the Ukrainian president clearly reiterated Kyiv's position: "The Ukrainian side expressed its point of view [during the meeting], saying that for the national interest, in the future, Ukraine was going on developing and producing the mediumrange missiles, the range of which is 300 to 500 kilometers."

Many Ukrainians already feel a kind of psychological trauma, having been forced by the West to denuclearize; they strongly oppose making another concession by giving up a part of the nation's missile potential. As one Ukrainian diplomat said, "The Americans have denuclearized Ukraine, now they want us to give up our missile program. What will they demand next: to give up machine guns?"4

Ukraine's approach to the missile negotiations is in line with its general policy of preserving its space and militarymissile capabilities. Ukraine has pursued a strategy that essentially stipulates that everything which is not currently prohibited by arms control treaties is allowable. Based on this interpretation, Ukraine is insisting on its legal right to keep the ScudB missiles now deployed and to develop and deploy nonnuclear variants of the following systems:

 

  • groundlaunched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges up to 500 kilometers;
  • airlaunched cruise missiles with ranges up to 600 kilometers; and
  • sealaunched ballistic or cruise missiles with no range limitations.

Differing Threat Perceptions

One key factor underlying the continuing disagreement between the two countries is that Ukraine's perception of the missile proliferation threat differs from that of the United States. U.S. interests regarding missile proliferation are based on the perceived threat posed by such systems to the territory of the United States, to its allies and to U.S. troops deployed overseas. Currently, among potential adversaries, only Russia and China have the capability to strike the continental United States with landbased ballistic missiles. However, according to the 1996 National Intelligence Estimate "Emerging Missile Threat to North America During the Next 15 Years," a deliberate attack by these countries is considered extremely unlikely.

For Washington, the greater concern is the threat to U.S. troops deployed overseas and to U.S. allies from some Third World countries with ballistic missiles capabilities. Some of the countries which currently possess missiles, like Egypt, India, Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, as well as states that are capable of building missiles, like Argentina, Brazil and South Africa, are very unlikely to pose a threat to U.S. interests. The countries that are of real concern to the United States are the socalled "rogue" states of Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea and Syria. The missile potential of these countries, although not now posing a direct threat to the territory of the United States, can have important consequences in regions where the United States has security commitments and vital interests, including Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia.

In contrast, Ukraine does not have security interests in different parts of the world, nor does it have an extensive network of military alliances and obligations. Acquisition of longerrange missiles by Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea or Syria is not viewed by Ukraine as directly affecting its military security interests. According to Alexander Negoda, director general of the National Space Agency of Ukraine, "For other countries, transfer of their missile technologies means transfer of secrets and a threat to their national security interests. For Ukraine, there is no direct threat to its national security from the sales of its missiles and related technologies. That makes Ukraine a unique country. In fact, having taken obligations on missile nonproliferation, Ukraine contributes to the security of other countries more than it does for its own security."5

Presently, the Ukrainian government is struggling in its effort to formulate an effective national export control regime—another U.S. condition for supporting MTCR membership and a commitment made by Kyiv in the May 13, 1994, bilateral MOU signed in Washington. In July 1995, Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers approved the "Regulations Guiding the Control Over Export, Import and Transit of Missile Technology Items, As Well As of Equipment, Materials and Technology Used in the Manufacture of Missile Weapons," which is considered the legal basis for the country's current export control system. But Ukrainian export control institutions are inadequately manned, equipped and financed; the potential for issuing licenses for bribes is high; and poor border control encourages smuggling. The government is currently drafting a comprehensive law on export controls covering ballistic missiles and related equipment as well as other proliferationrelevant technologies, which will require parliamentary approval unlike the Cabinet of Ministers' current regulations.

While U.S. and Ukrainian officials have discussed Kyiv's MTCR aspirations, press reports have suggested that Ukraine's nonproliferation credentials may merit closer examination. In December 1996, The Washington Times reported on a leaked CIA document which alleged that Ukraine had agreed to sell SS21 or ScudB missiles to Libya for $510 million.6 The transfer of either missile would violate Ukraine's pledge to adhere to MTCR guidelines; the ScudB is covered by the regime's rangepayload parameters while the SS21s could be used to deliver weapons of mass destruction. Libya is believed to have the capability to produce chemical warheads. The Ukrainian government has denied that any contract for missile systems has been concluded with Libya. At the same time, however, Ukrainian officials admitted that the private arms manufacturing company "Montazhelectro," on its own initiative, offered to construct missile launchers for Libya but negotiations were interrupted by state export control agencies. In early 1996, Russian press reports suggested that Ukraine had offered SS21 missiles to India and Pakistan, which Ukrainian officials also denied.

Other reports have suggested that Ukraine may be interested in exporting missile technology to countries with advanced missile capabilities. In mid1996, the United States, in a highlevel demarche to Ukrainian officials, warned Kyiv against selling SS18 ICBM components or technology to China. The most powerful landbased missile in the former Soviet missile arsenal, SS18s were assembled in Ukraine. The transfer of the missile or certain components would violate Ukraine's START I commitments as well as its pledge to adhere to MTCR guidelines. China has reportedly made several approaches to Yuzhmash officials, fuelling U.S. concerns that China, described by Kuchma as Ukraine's most valuable partner in the area of space cooperation, was seeking new sources of missile technology and knowhow.

 

The U.S. Incentive Strategy

Current U.S. policy is based on the presumption that a guaranteed share of the international spacelaunch market—established through quotas for space launches at comparable prices—and an expansion of cooperative space ventures could make the Ukrainian missile industry more controllable and predictable and discourage it from illegal trade. Washington has pursued a similar strategy with Russia and China to reduce the proliferation incentives of their space industries. The initial agreement with China, a sixyear pact that expired December 31, 1994, allowed China to launch nine commercial payloads into geostationary orbit. A new SinoU.S. agreement, signed in January 1995, gives Beijing the right to launch 15 payloads into geostationary orbit through 2001 at prices within 15 percent of those offered by Western firms. The U.S. agreement with Russia, signed in 1993, limited Moscow to the launch of eight payloads into geostationary orbit through 2000 at prices within 7.5 percent of what Western companies charge.7

At their November 1994 summit in Washington, Presidents Clinton and Kuchma signed an "umbrella" space agreement which initiated negotiations on a bilateral launch pact. The final agreement, signed by Kuchma and Vice President Gore in February 1996, allows Ukraine to sell up to five geostationary launches on its Zenit and Tsyklon SLVs through the end of 2001, and one additional launch if market demand grows. The agreement also allots 11 launches to the "Sea Launch" venture, with the possibility of three additional launches based on launch demand.

Participation in the Sea Launch program is probably the most ambitious of Ukraine's aspirations. The venture, launched in May 1995 by Boeing Commercial Space Company of Seattle; Kvaerner A.S. of Oslo, Norway; RSCEnergia of Moscow; and Ukraine's NPOYuzhnoye, is converting a 31,000ton former oil rig into a mobile, selfpropelled launch platform. Boeing is the lead investing partner and is serving as overall system coordinator. Yuzhnoye will supply a twostage Zenit booster while Energia will provide the upperstage Block DM engine. Kvaerner is now modifying the oil rig and building a command ship. According to a Sea Launch official, the joint venture hopes to launch its first satellite from the Pacific Ocean in June 1998.

Boeing will hold a 40 percent share of Sea Launch, Energia will hold a 25 percent share, Kvaerner a 20 percent stake and Yuzhnoye a 15 percent share. Russia's share is larger than Ukraine's because 60 percent of the Zenit's components actually come from Russia, including the "Energomash" supplied engines. (Technically speaking, Russia is less dependent on Ukraine in space projects than Ukraine on Russia. However, neither can run their space programs independently.) So far, Sea Launch has announced 18 firm launch orders: 13 from Hughes Space and Communication International, Inc. of Los Angeles, CA, for the launching of communications satellites and five from Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, CA. Sea Launch hopes to eventually launch six to eight payloads a year.

The Clinton administration does not consider Sea Launchrelated cooperation with Ukraine to be a violation of its September 1993 policy pronouncement for two reasons. First, the United States and other partners do not support Ukraine's "acquisition of SLVs" because Ukraine possessed SLVs long before the policy was introduced. Second, the other Sea Launch partners are MTCR members, and exports for the project are viewed as exports to a multinational enterprise.

Another contribution to Ukraine's disincentives to proliferate is its entering the U.S. lowearth orbiting (LEO) market. Space Systems/Loral and Yuzhnoye agreed in May 1995 to use three Zenit rockets to lift 36 Globalstar satellites into low earth orbit beginning in 1998. Each Zenit booster will carry 12 satellites in a configuration composed of three tiers of four satellites each, allowing each craft to be deployed sequentially—a method derived from multiple independent reentry vehicle technology developed for ICBMs. U.S. officials estimate that the cost of a Zenit launch at around $40 million. (LEO launches were not included in the U.S.Ukrainian pact and will be handled separately.)

In addition, the National Space Agency of Ukraine (NSAU) and NASA are working on other projects. One of them is the International Space Welding Experiment, which will test an electron beam welding tool for emergency repairs on the International Space Station. The Paton Welding Institute in Kyiv is developing this tool. Another cooperative project involves carrying a joint NSAUNASA payload on a Space Shuttle mission in November 1997 along with a Ukrainian astronaut. If Ukraine's plans remain on track, its National Space Program would turn a profit within the next three years. This hopeful outlook is due, in large part, to the U.S. incentive strategy.

 

Will the Strategy Work?

As in the case of China and Russia, the U.S. incentive strategy toward Ukraine has not eliminated the proliferation threat completely. Although this strategy and closer U.S.Ukrainian cooperation on export controls will not solve the problem completely, they are likely to help reduce it significantly.

The Ukrainian government has two options at this point. First, it can decide not to join the MTCR and keep the right to manufacture a limited range of Category I missiles. Under this scenario, Kyiv will become ineligible for certain types of U.S. military assistance, and will place itself in a less favorable position than Russia with respect to future space cooperation agreements with the West. Because Ukraine would still be bound by its 1994 MOU with the United States not to export missiles capable of delivering a 500kilogram payload to a range greater than 300 kilometers, any Ukrainian program to develop a missile with a range of 300 to 500 kilometers would limited to a national defense role.

While Ukraine may perceive a need for missiles of that range as a deterrent in case of confrontation with Russia, it is likely that open deployment of such systems would reduce, rather than enhance, Ukraine's security visavis Russia. Moreover, Ukraine's continued reluctance to renounce Category I missile programs could put into question the financial assistance Ukraine receives from international financial institutions.

Should Ukraine pursue this option, such deployments would definitely run counter to U.S. security interests. Ukrainian missiles with a range of 500 kilometers could be aimed at Moscow, thus destabilizing RussianUkrainian relations. This could affect European regional stability, as well as Russia's commitments under U.S. Russian arms control treaties. Such missile programs could also lead to exports of missiles or (more likely) missile technology, violating Ukraine's MTCR commitments and undermining U.S. nonproliferation efforts.

Kyiv's second option is to agree to the U.S. criteria and join the MTCR. Of course, that would be a psychologically painful decision, and many in Ukraine, especially the "Dnipropetrovsk lobby" and the military, would be strongly against it. However, this decision would give Ukraine access to the technology and expertise of MTCR members and a voice in the consensusbased regime. The U.S. criterion permits new MTCR members to produce and possess SLVs, which means that Ukraine does not have to forgo its major industrial activity and its associated moneymaking potential. Joining the MTCR would also facilitate Ukraine's participation in international space projects, which thus far has been rather limited because of Kyiv's status as a nonmember, and enhance the country's political status and international legitimacy. Finally, MTCR accession would complement more effectively the other activities Ukraine is undertaking to enhance its security than would the development of missiles that can reach Moscow.

U.S.Ukrainian grappling with the future of Ukraine's missile and space industries has much in common with the bilateral negotiations over Ukraine's denuclearization in 1992 to 1994. The Ukrainian government is still shaping its national security interests and defense strategy, evaluating the military and civilian heritage left after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and figuring out how to use it as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the West. Kyiv is reluctant to assume any obligations which would cut down its industrial and technological potential, preclude some options in military developments and limit its room for maneuver in the future. But it seems unlikely that the United States would make concessions to Ukraine and let it join the MTCR prior to its giving up its Category I offensive systems.

It is obvious that Ukrainian government and industry leaders are more sensitive to the political and economic aspects of the National Space Program than to missile production and exports. Incentives promoting their economic and political interests can resolve the deadlock. An agreement with the United States and other Western nations could persuade Kyiv that Ukraine's advanced rocket industry has been recognized and respected. Cooperation with the West could also bring more economic profit than could illicit missile trade with rogue nations. Thus, there is reason to hope that Ukraine will accept the "carrots" offered by the United States, renounce all offensive Category I programs and join the MTCR in the near future.

 

NOTES:

1. Yevgenii Sharov, "Ukraine and the MTCR," The Monitor, Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia, Volume 3, Number 1, p. 1.

2. Missile Technology Control Regime Guidelines and Annex, June 11, 1996, p. 1.

3. Fact Sheet on NonProliferation and Export Control Policy, Office of the White House Press Secretary, September 27, 1993.

4. Interview with Ukrainian Foreign Ministry official, April 1995.

5. Interview, April 1995.

6. Bill Gertz, "Kiev Imperils U.S. Aid With Libya Arms Deal," The Washington Times, December 9, 1996, pp. A1 and A12.

7. In January 1996, the United States and Russia concluded a deal that allows Russia to launch 16 to 20 U.S. commerxcial payloads, depending on launch market conditions. See Joseph Anselmo, "U.S., Russia Reaching Launch Pact, Station Deal Pending," Aviation Week and Space Technology, February 5, 1996, p. 84.

French Defense Policy: Gaullism Meets the Post-Cold War World


 

Stanley R. Sloan

Stanley R. Sloan is the Senior Specialist in International Security Policy for the Congressional Research Service (CRS). He has followed European security issues for the executive and congressional branches of the U.S. government for some thirty years. His current work focuses primarily on issues related to NATO adaptation and enlargement. The views in this article are his own, and are not necessarily those of CRS or the Library of Congress.

French President Jacques Chirac, since his election victory in May 1995, has led the way toward fundamental reform of French defense policy. He has, among other things, conducted a "final" set of nuclear tests, removed one leg of France's strategic nuclear triad, decided to move toward smaller but more flexible professional military forces, and changed France's role in NATO. In the process, Chirac has incurred the wrath of both the Gaullists in the governing coalition and the opposition socialists. Do the Chirac reforms add up to a violation of Gaullist principles, as his domestic critics charge, or will they simply produce a Gaullist defense posture in disguise, as some Americans fear?

The End of the Cold War

The end of the Cold War raised fundamental issues for French defense policy, just as it did for the United States and other powers. The dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and disintegration of the Soviet Union removed the principal threat on which French defense strategy had been premised and against which French forces had been planned. But France was notably slow in adapting to the new circumstances. PostCold War realities did not easily penetrate the longheld Gaullist precepts of French independence, even as they were interpreted by the socialist leadership of President François Mitterrand. Furthermore, it can be argued that once Mitterrand was forced to enter "cohabitation" with a government formed by the opposition in 1993, policymaking on important issues became even more problematic. Nevertheless, as the other NATO members undertook the initial adjustments in strategy and planning to accommodate a changed international environment, Mitterrand began a cautious process of rapprochement with the United States and NATO. Mitterrand was encouraged to do so by the fact that the newlyelected American president, Bill Clinton, appeared more favorably inclined than the previous incumbent toward a stronger European role in the transAtlantic alliance.

The NATO summit meeting in January 1994, one year after Clinton had begun his first term, confirmed U.S. willingness to envision a degree of "Europeanization" of NATO. The summit communique yielded glowing references to the process of developing a "common foreign and security policy" in the European Union (EU) and creating a "european security and defense identity" (ESDI). Perhaps more importantly, the United States proposed creating Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) headquarters in NATO. CJTFs were designed to give NATO the ability to deploy multinational force packages appropriate to the "task" at hand. The first purpose of the highly adaptable CJTFs would be to facilitate transAtlantic military responses to nontraditional security challenges, like the one that was developing in Bosnia. A secondary purpose, however, and one that became primary in the eyes of Paris, would be to allow the European allies to take responsibility for CJTF operations in which the United States chose not to be directly involved.

In the spring of 1994, Mitterrand and many French analysts apparently interpreted the CJTF initiative as a sign that the United States was preparing to back away from its active leadership of NATO, leaving a vacuum that France could fill by leading its Western European colleagues into the breach. This analysis, as it happened, was flawed on two counts. First, the United States would not abandon its leadership position in NATO, even though some Americans supported doing so. Second, the other Europeans were still sufficiently suspicious of French motives and methods that they were not of one mind about placing all their bets on Europeanization. In addition, Germany's support for ESDI did not include a willingness to bankroll expensive European defense programs that would only duplicate NATO capabilities. As it became clear that France's policy was based on shifting sands, the CJTF concept languished in difficult internal NATO negotiations, while a dying French president decided that he would not allow the FranceNATO rapprochement to proceed any further on his watch.

Meanwhile, another factor was eating away at the foundations of a Cold Warbased French defense posture. In 199091, President George Bush had shaped an international coalition to oust Iraqi forces from their occupation of Kuwait. When France decided to join that coalition, it had two fundamental problems. First, when France joined the air war against Iraqi targets, French aircraft could not initially fly at the same time as U.S. and British aircraft because of incompatible friendorfoe identification systems that could have led to fratricide among allied forces. Second, France had great difficultly mobilizing ground forces capable of operating in the coalition. As Chirac subsequently observed in a February 1996 interview with the France2 Television Network, France's military was "heavy and excessive, and does not allow us to fulfill our missions.... You saw it during the Gulf War: we had trouble deploying 10,000 men." In addition, participation in the Gulf coalition convinced French officials that France's ability to conduct independent foreign and defense policies in the future would require possession of its own overhead intelligence capabilities. These Gulf War experiences made a profound impression not only on France's professional military leadership, but also on the strategic thinking of Jacques Chirac.

The Chirac Reforms

Soon after assuming the presidency, Chirac made some fundamental decisions about French defense which included elements of both continuity and change. Chirac would maintain France's independent nuclear capabilities, a key pillar of Gaullist defense policy. Further, France would continue to pursue the goal of developing a European security and defense identity, which had been a central focus of Mitterrand's defense and European policies, enshrined in the EU's Treaty of Maastricht.

But Chirac had obviously concluded that France could not afford a fully autonomous conventional defense posture given domestic social needs and the demands for reductions in government spending to meet the criteria for European monetary union. At the same time, it had become clear that divergent concepts concerning the organization of European defense cooperation and freefalling European defense budgets would not allow France to rely on a defense framework built primarily around European cooperation, as Mitterrand had hoped to do. Chirac's approach proceeded from the judgment that France needed to pursue its security goals with a new blend of autonomy, symbolized and operationalized primarily by independent strategic nuclear forces, and cooperation with its European partners and with the United States, within the framework of the transAtlantic alliance. The question was how to mold a combination of Gaullist philosophy, European unity goals, the requirements of transAtlantic cooperation, and pragmatic strategic and financial considerations into a coherent defense policy. Chirac's answer was provided in subsequent months, culminating in release of a defense reform program in February 1996.

Nuclear Forces: The Ultimate Guarantor

One of Chirac's first steps toward his reform goal was to announce a controversial 11-month nuclear testing program that met widespread opposition in and beyond Europe. In spite of those protests, France, in September 1995, began a series of what turned out to be six nuclear tests at France's testing site in the South Pacific, a move that had been rejected by Chirac's predecessor as unnecessary. Chirac and his advisors nonetheless judged that the tests were essential to complete testing of the TN75 warhead for the M45 submarinelaunched ballistic missile, and to enhance French data on the performance of French nuclear weapons that would support development of computersimulation capabilities for future maintenance of the warhead stockpile.1 When the tests were completed ahead of time in February 1996, France had taken substantial flak from antinuclear forces in the Pacific region and even from a number of Western European states, but claimed to have accomplished the objectives of the program.

Defending the tests in a June 1996 speech to the Institute for Advanced National Defense Studies (HEDN), Chirac said his "first duty" was to guarantee that France would have "a reliable, certain deterrent force for as long as our security demands it." In January 1996, he reported that "thanks to the excellent results of our last series of tests, I have been able to announce the final cessation as well as the closure of our experimental facilities in the Pacific." Chirac also proclaimed French support for negotiation of a "zero option" (zero nuclear yield threshold) Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the closure of the Pierrelatte and Marcoule factories where fissile material for military use had been produced.

The defense reform program, made public in February 1996 just as the nuclear test series had concluded, called for a major restructuring of French nuclear forces. Even though the strategic nuclear capability remained critical to future French defense independence, nuclear forces clearly were not as important as they had been during the Cold War, and the French capabilities could be rationalized to match the new strategic realities as well as fiscal constraints. Chirac therefore decided to eliminate the landbased leg of France's strategic nuclear triad. The 18 groundtoground strategic missiles deployed on the Plateau d'Albion, with a range of 5,600 kilometers and 1megaton warheads, were taken off alert September 16, 1996. They are being removed from their silos and dismantled at the rate of one per month, with the process scheduled to conclude in the summer of 1998.

In addition, France's 30 450kilometer range, groundtoground Hades missiles, put in storage by Mitterrand, were ordered dismantled. Given their limited range, the missiles could only have hit targets in Germany from launch sites in France. Since their original development they had been nothing more than a thorn in the side of France's relationship with Germany.

When the reform package is fully implemented, French strategic nuclear forces are supposed to include:

  • four (reduced from the current number of five) nuclear missilelaunching submarines (SNLE), Le Triumphant-class, each with 16 missiles with up to eight warheads apiece;
  • modern groundbased aircraft and seabased strike aircraft equipped with air-to-ground nuclear missiles;
  • new warheads for the nuclear submarine force and new longer-range AirSol Moyenne Portee (ASMP) airlaunched nuclear missiles for deployment on land- and carrier-based aircraft.

According to Chirac, the planned deployments are at levels "strictly calculated to guarantee" French security. Future financial constraints, however, could force further reductions in system numbers. Under these circumstances, and given the residual size of U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals, Chirac observed that the time had not yet arrived for France to participate in negotiations to reduce strategic nuclear arms.

The nuclear force reform package will allow France to remain a nuclear power, with forces that are capable of playing a deterrent role, under a variety of circumstances for some time into the future, at a reduced price. But the reform package did not answer many outstanding questions about the role of French nuclear forces and the strategy for their use. Such questions, however academic they might appear in today's threat circumstances, nonetheless suggest that both France and its NATO allies would benefit from closer consultations about nuclear strategy, whether France rejoins NATO's integrated command structure.

Given the emerging focus of French and NATO defense planning on new threats beyond Europe, one question concerns the role of nuclear weapons in deterring the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by nonEuropean states. Chirac has clearly envisioned such a role for France's nuclear weapons. In a February 23, 1996 speech to the Military Academy, he noted: "Other continents already possess nuclear and nonnuclear massive destruction weapons and we cannot exclude the fact that they may one day also affect our vital interests. In these conditions, nuclear deterrence remains an imperious necessity...." Given the fact that France will most likely be dealing with nonEuropean security challenges in the company of European and NATO allies, it may be difficult to escape the requirement for closer French consultation with NATO in the future on the nuclear implications of possible WMD threats.

The most important question about French nuclear strategy is what role its forces will play beyond their place in France's national deterrence strategy, and what this could mean for the process of European integration and France's role in NATO. France has recently engaged in a dialogue with Western Europe's other nuclear power, the United Kingdom, in the framework of the FrancoBritish Joint Nuclear Commission. When Chirac met with former British Prime Minister John Major in October 1995, Major supported the French nuclear testing decision and the two leaders announced further development of their cooperation in nuclear relationships.2 These discussions suggested that the door might be opening for some new approaches to "concerted deterrence." For some time now, France has suggested that it would consider the eventual possibility of extending nuclear deterrence to its EU partners. When Chirac repeated the offer to open discussions on the topic in December 1995, it was seen by many as a cynical attempt to wrap the French testing decision in the protective garb of European unity. But the issue remains an important one for future French and European defense policy.

The issue came to the fore again when it was made public early in 1997 that Chirac and Germany's chancellor, Helmut Kohl, meeting in Nuremberg, Germany, in December 1996, had agreed on a "Joint Concept for FrenchGerman Defense and Security." The text of the accord attempts to reconcile transAtlantic nuclear relationships (vital for Germany) and European considerations (key to France's approach). The leaders apparently agreed to give a "new impetus" to their security and defense cooperation "in both a European and Atlantic perspective." They specified that France and Germany "are ready to open a dialogue on the role of nuclear deterrence in the framework of European defense policy." When German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe, in a January 29, 1997 Munich ARD Television Network interview, trumpeted the fact that the two had also agreed that NATO's nuclear defense and strategic systems, "particularly those of the United States," are the "decisive systems for security," with the French and British systems in a supporting role, a political firestorm broke out in Paris.

The socialist opposition, already troubled by Chirac's moves toward rapprochement with NATO, challenged the accord as a violation of established French defense doctrine. The Socialist Party leader, Lionel Jospin, warned the National Assembly against the "NATOization" of Europe. Former Socialist Defense Minister and Socialist Party defense spokesman Paul Quiles argued in a February 10, 1997 interview with the Cologne Deutshlandfunk Network that Europe needs to develop an "autonomous" common foreign, defense and security policy. Carrying the point further, Quiles referred to NATO as an "empire" in which the United States has a hegemonic role and right of veto: "This is how NATO works because unanimity is required, that is, a right to veto operations that the Europeans want to carry out...." Meanwhile, oldline Gaullists in the governing coalition, including former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Pierre Messmer, grumbled that "Germany wishes to bring France back into the U.S. orbit, so that it will lose its nuclear autonomy."3

Reforming France's Non-Nuclear Forces

The Franco-German Nuremberg agreement caused a political furor not so much for what it said but because it is set against the backdrop of broader change in France's defense posture. While Chirac can credibly argue that changes in the nuclear posture are largely intended to preserve France's independence and autonomy, the changes in the conventional area explicitly accept the necessity of France's reliance on cooperation with its European and transAtlantic partners. During the Cold War, France had the luxury of counting on the United States, Germany and other allies to man the front lines against a Warsaw Pact attack. In a relatively static military environment, France could derive influence from its independent role while its security remained well ensured.

Today, with the SovietWarsaw Pact threat gone, the front lines have moved. If France does not participate in shaping responses to the new security challenges around the edges of Europe and beyond, French influence and claim to leadership in Europe will suffer. In Chirac's judgment, France's existing conventional forces were not wellsuited to the kind of challenges likely to arise in the future. And he knew that France could not deal with most of those challenges on its own.

Explaining his military reform package, Chirac has noted that a "strategy of action, which is based on autonomous and projectable conventional forces, reliable command capabilities, and diversified intelligence capabilities, is regaining new importance." He said the mission of French armed forces remains "to protect our national territory and the French people," but argued that "this mission is being carried out beyond our borders, sometimes on the sidelines of Europe, anywhere that crises and conflicts could become contagious and threaten our territory and our security interests."

And so, Chirac proposed professionalizing French armed forces, shrinking their size and making them much more capable of intervention beyond France's borders in coalitions with France's EuroAtlantic allies. According to Chirac, "By virtue of its mobility and availability, the professional army of tomorrow will enable us to respond better to our security requirements, but also to those of Europe and its collective defense within the framework of the alliance."

At the end of the process, Chirac hopes to have reduced French defense manpower from Cold War levels of around 500,000 to some 350,000, and to be able to deploy up to 30,000 troops abroad plus one further brigade in a separate location at any one time. This will require deployable forces of 50,000-60,000 to take into account rotation requirements. Under the plan, France will also have the ability to deploy around 100 combat aircraft from bases which can be relocated, and the ability to deploy a naval air force and a substantial submarine force. According to Chirac's explanation of the program in his February 1996 speech to the Military Academy, a reformed conventional structure should include:

  • an army reorganized around an armored force, an engineering force, a rapidreaction armored intervention force, and an assault infantry force (replacing the current nine divisions); and an armored capacity balanced between heavy and light resources, using Leclerc tanks in combination with new Tiger helicopters and supported by modern artillery;
  • a navy with a naval air group (which initially will not be able to operate on a permanent basis unless and until a second aircraft carrier is funded and built) and a reduced but modernized attack submarine force;
  • an air force focused on longrange deployment of power, organized around the new Rafale as its main fighter aircraft; air transport capabilities will remain relatively static.

Chirac projected the cost of the program at 185 billion (1995) French francs per year over the 1997-2002 reform period. This compares with approximately 240 billion francs spent in 1995 and a 1996 budget of around 190 billion francs.

With regard to conventional arms control, France is an active participant in the negotiations to adapt the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty to new European conditions. But even though NATO has proposed "significant" reduction in overall Alliance levels, France sees no need to reduce its national allocations under the treaty. According to Jacques Rummelhardt, the Foreign Ministry's spokesman, "France does not envisage going ahead with reductions, bearing in mind the importance of its international commitments and the small part its national assets represent in Europe."4 Nevertheless, the reductions in tanks and other treatylimited equipment envisioned in the army's reform program will leave France substantially under its current treaty limits.

Finally, in the belief that "no country is a major power if it lacks an efficient and competitive arms industry," Chirac called for a plan to modernize and restructure French defense industries. Faced with declining markets and intensified international competition, particularly from American manufacturers, Chirac is pursuing a strategy of privatization and rationalization, placing emphasis on two major industrial sectors: electronics and aeronautics. Companies in these sectors will, according to Chirac, receive special attention to improve their ability to compete internationally. According to the plan, the industrial strategy should be developed in close cooperation with France's EU partners. Most other aspects of Chirac's conventional modernization program imply greater reliance on closer cooperation with the United States, but this aspect emphasizes a mixture of national independence and European cooperation to deal with the U.S. challenge in the defense industrial sector.

With this reform program, Chirac seeks to provide pragmatic answers to the difficult challenges posed by the changed threat circumstances and the limits on financial resources available for defense. The program acknowledges that France cannot ensure its security interests acting alone. It also acknowledges that France cannot ensure its security interests acting only in concert with its European partners. This reality is at the heart of France's continuing rapprochement with NATO.

The Alliance's Influence

As noted above, after Chirac succeeded Mitterrand in May 1995, France started moving decisively toward an accommodation with NATO.5 In December 1995, the French government announced a partial return to participation in NATO military bodies and consultations. France made a full return to NATO's integrated command structure dependent on sufficient revamping of NATO to make it a "new NATO" that created political and operational space for realization of a European security and defense identity within the transAtlantic alliance.

The NATO allies, believing that France's return to full participation would facilitate a more rational organization of transAtlantic and European defense cooperation, attempted to accommodate French perspectives. Particularly for new, noncollective defense (nonArticle V) missions, Paris argued that there should be more intrusive political control over military operations. France wanted to shift more influence over NATO decisions from the U.S. Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Defense Planning Committee to the alliance's key political decisionmaking body, the North Atlantic Council. As a concession to these French concerns, allied defense ministers decided to reduce the role of the Defense Planning Committee and to handle most business with the French minister participating in meetings of the North Atlantic Council "in defense ministers session." Further, a "Policy Coordination Group" was established to help integrate NATO political objectives and military operations, as France had desired.

After some hard bargaining over the shape of a "new" NATO, a framework agreement was hammered out at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin in June 1996. The allies agreed that a European security and defense identity would be created within the framework of the transAtlantic alliance by opening the possibility for European officers in the NATO structure to wear a Western European Union (WEU) command "hat" as well as their NATO hat. It was also agreed that the NATO structure and assets could, with the agreement of all the allies, be made available for future military operations commanded by the Western European Union. Most importantly, it was agreed that the senior European officer who in the future holds the position of deputy SACEUR would also be the senior WEU commander and would assume control of a WEUrun military operation, should one be undertaken.6 After Berlin, French officials suggested that if such "multiplehatting" command arrangements and the assetsharing plan were implemented, France would return to full participation in NATO's command structure.

The task of adjusting NATO's command structure to the new circumstances is well under way. In 1994, the allies reduced NATO commands from three to two, eliminating the Allied Command Channel (ACCHAN), leaving only Allied Command Europe (ACEUR), headquartered in Mons, Belgium, and led by an American, General George Joulwan, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR); and Allied Command Atlantic (ACLANT), headquartered in Norfolk, VA, also led by an American, Marine General and Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) John Sheehan. Meanwhile, NATO's Military Committee has been conducting a longterm study aimed at further rationalizing NATO's command structure. The final package will specify the number, locations and procedures for CJTF commands as well as reorganize the command structure with the new provisions for an enhanced European role.

A major direction of the longterm study has been toward a reduction of the number of Major Subordinate Commands (MSCs) within Allied Command Europe (ACEUR) from three to two. Currently, ACEUR's three MSCs are Allied Forces North West Europe (AFNORTHWEST), commanded by a British fourstar general; Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT), commanded by a German fourstar general; and Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH), commanded by an American fourstar admiral. Most allies have supported consolidating the North West and Central commands leaving two MSC's in ACEUR. Such a reduction, and other anticipated rationalizations, would lower the number of "flag" positions that will be available for national distribution in the new structure. This reduction in flag positions comes at a time when the number of allies in the command structure is increasing, with the potential integration of France and Spain and the likely enlargement of the alliance to include some Central and Eastern European nations.

The command allocation dilemma has been highlighted by the French desire, articulated following the Berlin meeting, to have a European officer take over from an American as commander of AFSOUTH. The logic of the French position was that, in the new structure, the United States will continue to control the positions of SACEUR and SACLANT. The two MSCs under SACEUR, according to the French view, should therefore go to European officers to make clear the increased European responsibility in the alliance. The United States has argued that the strategic importance of the Mediterranean and the critical role of the U.S. Sixth Fleet for Middle Eastern contingencies require that the United States keep the command. The French replied that the Mediterranean region is of particular importance to Europeans who are directly affected by developments there. Even with a European officer in charge of AFSOUTH, they pointed out, the Sixth Fleet would remain under U.S. command and available for Middle Eastern or other missions based on U.S. national decisions. Several allied governments initially supported the French position, but moderated their support when the United States made it clear that it was not prepared to give up command of AFSOUTH.

Allied officials now hope that some compromise package can be fashioned that will permit the reformadaptation package to be assembled and France to become a full participant in the integrated command structure. (Spain has already decided to join the new command structure, and final details on Spanish entry are being negotiated.) A compromise with France would likely include keeping AFSOUTH under U.S. leadership but specifying that this command, as well as others below the levels of SACEUR and SACLANT, is subject to rotation in the future. Another feature of the package, some have suggested, could include creation of a new Europeanled Mediterranean force projection command to demonstrate European responsibilities in the region.

As noted earlier, Chirac's defense spending and force posture decisions since coming to office suggest he has concluded that France cannot effectively ensure its future security interests except in cooperation with its allies, including the United States. A "new" NATO arguably provides the most effective framework for such cooperation. He faces opposition from Gaullists in his coalition and the opposition socialists to a return to full military cooperation in NATO. But not rejoining NATO would mean that France would not be able to take full advantage of the new alliance structures and procedures it helped to create. Following the news that a NATORussia summit might be held in Paris, according France a prominent role in NATO's evolution, some observers judged that Chirac would decide to accept a compromise on AFSOUTH and return France to full military cooperation in a "new" NATO.

One leading French defense commentator has noted the intimate political relationship between Chirac's defense reforms and the NATO participation issue. According to Daniel Vernet, "The very same people who are poised to denounce a betrayal' of Gaullism if the rapprochement with NATO goes ahead will censure the failure' of the political enterprise undertaken in December 1995 if NATO's reform fails to materialize." Vernet continues, "And the failure will have repercussions on the president's whole defense strategy, because the same arguments were used both to justify the return to NATO and to explain the restructuring of the French Armed Forces. Ultimately the consistency of his European options is at stake."7

Whether France returns to full NATO integration before the July 1997 Madrid NATO summit, Chirac's defense reforms, combined with geostrategic and fiscal realities, will bring France increasingly into the framework of transatlantic cooperation. Chirac's decision to call early parliamentary elections has added some potentially complicating aspects to the picture. If the governing centerright coalition had retained control of the National Assembly, Chirac would have had the political room required to proceed with implementation of his reforms and the rapprochement with NATO. The victory by the Socialists and their allies on the left, however, leaves Chirac with an uncomfortable cohabitation that will restrict his potential for maneuver. The Socialistled government will undoubtedly try to distinguish its approach from that of Chirac. But so far, the socialists have not developed any coherent alternative to Chirac's awkward but pragmatic synthesis of Gaullism, European unity, and transAtlantic cooperation.

Implications for the United States

These changes in French policy can be seen in different ways from Washington. On the one hand, Chirac's reforms are positioning France to be more capable of joining with the United States in efforts to preserve European and global stability. A more routine and reliable military relationship with France combined with more thoroughgoing political consultations in the NATO framework could reduce U.S.French misunderstandings about defense and arms control objectives. The United States clearly wants Europeans to carry more of the burden of maintaining global stability, and France's participation is key to a better burdensharing relationship. Without France, NATO's "European pillar" loses much of its military potential.

On the other hand, the U.S. desire for a larger European contribution to defense carries with it the requirement for more European influence in alliance decisionmaking. France has not been deeply involved in allied military decisions since leaving NATO's integrated command structure in the mid1960s. The difficult negotiations over control of the AFSOUTH command suggest that both France and the United States will have to make some adjustments in style and substance to ensure more effective working relationships in the future. A more integrated and assertive French voice in alliance councils could, on occasion, prove irksome and frustrating. French rhetoric about the need for European integration may occasionally run into contrary U.S. perceptions of what is required to ensure effective transAtlantic cooperation. On balance, however, a France that bases its defense policies on the goal of cooperation with its transAtlantic and European allies would likely be a better ally than one that is constantly striving to differentiate its approach from that of the United States.

 

NOTES:

1. When President Chirac originally announced the testing decision, he projected a total of eight underground tests between September 1995 and May 1996; presumably the international opposition to the tests as well as their purported technical success contributed to the reduction in number and shortened duration of the program.

2. Brown, Keven and Clark, Bruce, "UK Agrees NPact With France," Financial Times, October 31, 1995, p. 1.

3. Paris Match, interview with French Defense Minister Charles Millon, February 13, 1997, as reported by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Document number FBISWEU97027.

4. Paris Agence France Presse, February 21, 1997, as reported by Forieign Broadcast Information Service, Document number FBISWEU97036.

5. For an excellent analysis of France's developing relationship with NATO see: Grant, Robert. "France's New Relationship with NATO," Survival, vol.38, no.1, Spring 1996, pp.5880.

6.The broad concept for this reform and the Deputy SACEUR proposal in particular were originally laid out in Sloan, Stanley R. "NATO's Future: Beyond Collective Defense," published originally as a report to Congress and then by the National Defense University, Institute for National Strategic Studies McNair Paper Number 46, December 1995.

7. Vernet Daniel. "Jacques Chirac's European Dilemma," Le Monde, April 9, 1997, pp. 1, 14, as reported by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Document Number FBISWEU97069.

SEANWFZ Enters Into Force; U.S. Considers Signing Protocol

SEANWFZ Enters Into Force; U.S. Considers Signing Protocol

Howard Diamond

THE SOUTHEAST Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty entered into force on March 28, 1997, when Cambodia, became the seventh nation to deposit its instrument of ratification in Bangkok, Thailand. Singapore followed with its ratification on the same day, leaving Indonesia and the Philippines as the only two signatories that have not yet ratified.

Also known as the Bangkok Treaty, the SEANWFZ Treaty was signed on December 15, 1995, in Bangkok at the fifth Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit. In addition to the seven ASEAN members (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) the treaty was signed by three ASEAN observernations (Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma) and Laos). The treaty requires each stateparty not to "develop, manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess or have control over nuclear weapons; station or transport nuclear weapons by any means; or test or use nuclear weapons."

The treaty also outlaws the dumping of radioactive waste or materials anywhere in the zone, and requires all statesparties to maintain fullscope International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards over their nuclear facilities. Each state is to decide individually whether to allow foreign ships or aircraft (which could be nuclearpowered or nucleararmed) to visit or transit through their airspace or territorial waters.

The arsenals of the five nuclear-weapon states (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) are the subject of a treaty protocol which is open for signature by the five countries. The attached protocol would commit the five to respect the terms of the treaty and pledge "not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any State Party to the Treaty." None of the five powers has signed the protocol.

In discussions with ASEAN on the protocol, the United States and the other nuclear powers have focused on four issues of concern: first, the question of the treaty's consistency with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and its principles of freedom of navigation; second, the precise nature of the legally binding negative security assurances made by the protocol parties; third, the permissibility of port calls by ships which may carry nuclear weapons; and fourth, the procedural rights of the protocol parties before the treaty's various executive bodies.

With the SEANWFZ Treaty, Southeast Asia becomes the fifth geographic area to be declared a zone free of nuclear weapons. In addition to SEANWFZ, the Antarctic Treaty, the Treaty of Tlatelolco (covering Latin America and the Caribbean), the Treaty of Rarotonga (the South Pacific) and the Treaty of Pelindaba (Africa) have transformed most of the Southern Hemisphere into a nuclear-weapon-free area.

Senate Committee Approves NMD Bill Mandating Deployment By End of 2003

Senate Committee Approves NMD Bill Mandating Deployment By End of 2003

Craig Cerniello

ON APRIL 24, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved by a vote of 108, along party lines, the "National Missile Defense Act of 1997" (S. 7), a bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) that would require the United States to deploy a national missile defense (NMD) system by the end of 2003. (See ACT, January/February 1997 .) The Senate is unlikely to take up the bill before the end of May.

In the committee's report, the 10 Republican senators make the case for such a system. They argue that the Clinton administration's refusal to commit to the deployment of an NMD system at this time is a mistake because the United States currently faces longrange ballistic missile threats from Russia and China, and that ICBM threats from other countries (for example, North Korea) are likely to emerge "within the coming years." In this context, the senators claim that it is necessary to specify now a firm deployment date for an NMD system, as S.7 does, in order to "provide focus and establish a sense of priority and urgency." They also reject the argument that deployment of an NMD system "will undermine offensive arms control or stability."

The committee's eight Democratic senators sharply disagree with these views. In their dissent, they base their opposition on the fact that S. 7 "commits the United States to deploy a national missile defense system by 2003 before we know the cost of such a system; before we know whether the system would work effectively; and before we know whether deployment of such a system would jeopardize our current and future nuclear arms reductions, or what the nature of the threat will be at the time of deployment."

Recognizing that the nature of the ballistic missile threat to U.S. territory is a crucial factor in any NMD deployment decision, the Democrats point out that the intelligence community has already judged the risk of an accidental or unauthorized launch from Russia or China to be "remote." They also challenge the credibility of the potential North Korean ICBM program in light of Pyongyang's deep economic troubles.

In addition, the Democratic senators have expressed their strong concern that S.7 will jeopardize the viability of the ABM Treaty upon which rests the U.S.Russian strategic offensive arms reduction process. S.7 urges the president to pursue, if necessary, highlevel discussions with the Russians to amend the ABM Treaty to permit NMD deployment; and, if such an agreement has not been reached within one year of its enactment, the bill directs the United States to consider withdrawing from the treaty.

Another key concern voiced by the Democrats is the lack of a cost estimate accompanying the legislation. In an April 24 letter to Senator Strom Thurmond (RSC), Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director June O'Neill said her agency could not provide a cost estimate of S.7 because the bill's definition of a "limited ballistic missile attack" is drawn from a classified document, making it difficult for the CBO to provide an unclassified assessment. A CBO cost estimate was critical in last year's debate on the "Defend America Act" (a more elaborate version of S. 7), and ultimately persuaded the House to remove the legislation from floor consideration. (See ACT, May/June 1996.)

The committee's report also contains the Clinton administration's position on S.7. In an April 23 letter to Thurmond, the general counsel of the Defense Department, Judith Miller, said S.7 would divert resources from more pressing military needs and "result in a less effective defense when and if a threat does emerge." According to Miller, "by mandating [NMD] deployment and a oneyear deadline in which to achieve negotiated changes to the ABM Treaty, S.7 could be interpreted by the Russians as putting the United States on a path toward abrogating the ABM Treaty, thus putting at risk continued Russian implementation of the START I Treaty and Russian ratification of START II." The treaties, when fully implemented, will reduce the number of deployed U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear warheads by more than twothirds from Cold War levels.

Enhanced NPT Review Process Gets Underway at First PrepCom Session

Enhanced NPT Review Process Gets Underway at First PrepCom Session

 

Sami Fournier

DELEGATES FROM 148 countries met at the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) first session in New York, April 7-18 to lay groundwork for recommendations to the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference in 2000. The session, the first meeting of NPT statesparties since their 1995 indefinite extension of the treaty, ironed out procedural issues and heard substantive statements on ways to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime. Chaired by Pasi Patokallio of Finland, the PrepCom produced a largely procedural final report with two annexes, including a set of general recommendations for future sessions.

The annexed "Chairman's Working Paper" lists three areas for which discussion time will be allotted in upcoming sessions. At least two and possibly three annual PrepCom sessions will be held in the runup to 2000. This list, termed "the recommendation on quality time" by U.S. negotiators, attempts to balance demands of various groups of states which wanted to cite specific areas in need of greater attention.

For example, the nonaligned states, led by South Africa, insisted that the list include a commitment by the nuclearweapon states to discuss giving binding assurances not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any nonweapon state NPT party. Egypt led a call for inclusion on the list of a Middle East resolution, a leftover point of contention from the 1995 Review and Extension Conference. Germany and Canada promoted listing the fissile material production ban, which had dropped out of the PrepCom agenda.

When Mexico raised the objection that this list neglected disarmament measures, many countries countered that nuclear disarmament was at the heart of the entire process. Nevertheless, in response mainly to the Western states' unwillingness to put disarmament discussions on the agenda of the 61nation Geneva Conference on Disarmament (CD), a Mexican statement of dissent is included in the final report.

The five nuclearweapon states issued a joint statement affirming disarmament progress, including the START process and the achievement of the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) Treaty. Members of the nonaligned group urged the nuclearweapon states to begin discussing the elimination of nuclear weapons in a subgroup of the CD. But the nonaligned were not generally organized in their efforts. "A lot of countries were not prepared when [the PrepCom] took off as dramatically and substantively as it did," according to Susan Burk of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

The chairman's paper contains substantive issues presented at the PrepCom such as Canadian proposals, supported by several states including Ireland and New Zealand, for prohibiting nuclear testing prior to entry into force of the CTB Treaty and securing commitments by the nuclearweapon states not to produce new types of weapons of mass destruction. A Belarussian proposal for a Central and Eastern European nuclearweaponfree zone was also presented.

Though the meeting did not resolve any of these outstanding questions, it managed to orient the future agenda toward substantive issues. Initiating the enhanced review process was part of the 1995 agreement to indefinitely extend the NPT, and procedures which were agreed to at the meeting, such as the "rolling report" format for review conference recommendations will help shape progress at the next session, tentatively set for April 1998 in Geneva.

KEDO Reactor Project Moves Through Protocols Toward Implementation

KEDO Reactor Project Moves Through Protocols Toward Implementation

Howard Diamond

FOLLOWING AN April 9-15 trip to North Korea by an "expertlevel" delegation, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) intends to begin sitepreparation work for the lightwater reactor (LWR) project at the Sinpo site in North Korea by late spring or early summer 1997.

KEDO is the international consortium formed to implement key elements of the 1994 U.S.North Korean agreed framework, under which Pyongyang has frozen its nuclear program in exchange for the construction of two LWRs and shipments of heavy fuel oil. North Korea has been receiving annual shipments of 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil while their nuclear complex in Yongbyon remains shut down under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring. To date, more than 75 percent of the spent fuel from North Korea's plutoniumproducing, 5megawatt (electric) gasgraphite reactor has been packaged, or "canned," for shipment out of North Korea, as required by the agreed framework.

The expertlevel delegation, which included 54 representatives from the KEDO secretariat and the governments of the United States, Japan and South Korea, held talks with North Korea in Majon and in Sinpo. The talks focused on detailed implementation of the five preconstruction protocols that have been negotiated between KEDO and Pyongyang since completion of the December 1995 supply agreement.

The supply agreement established the scope and terms for KEDO to provide North Korea with the two LWRs, but required negotiation of five additional protocols before KEDO could start work in North Korea. The protocols concern the legal status of KEDO personnel, communications, transportation, control of the project site and contracting within North Korea. A KEDO official said the meetings focused on gaining shared understandings of how the protocols would be implemented "on the ground." According to the official, most issues have been worked out, but some technical details still remain. The group also established a new precedent, traveling to North Korea directly by ship from South Korea, rather than flying in from a third country.

Additionally, KEDO's seventh sight survey team at Sinpo is expected to complete its fivemonth investigation in August 1997. The team of about 30 scientists and engineers has been in North Korea since March 1, and is performing the final indepth geological investigations and surveys of the site boundaries.

Negotiations of an additional protocol dealing with the issue of nonpayment began in New York on March 18, and are expected to be concluded by the first week of May. The new protocol will clarify the means of redress available to KEDO in the event of failure by Pyongyang to repay the costs of the LWR project.

While the LWR project moves forward, it appears that KEDO will be completing the project with a new chief executive. Ambassador Stephen L. Bosworth, who has been KEDO's executive director since July 19, 1995, is reportedly the frontrunner to be appointed as the next U.S. ambassador to Seoul. The U.S. Embassy in Seoul has been without an ambassador since December 31, 1996, when Ambassador James T. Laney stepped down.

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."

In Memoriam: ACDA (1961-1997)


 

Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr.

As part of the price for Senate approval of the Chemical Weapons Convention, President Clinton announced plans to abolish the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and fold its functions into the State Department. Although it has received little public attention, ACDA's demise as an independent voice for arms control will impair national security by narrowing arms control options for presidential decisionmaking.

A subdued Clinton administration quietly claimed the abolition was a planned component of the program to "reinvent government." But the State Department, which had sought the elimination of ACDA from the beginning of the administration, proclaimed that its new acquisition will eliminate one of the vestiges of the Cold War, and allow arms control to be handled as an arm of foreign policy.

ACDA was created as an independent agency by President Kennedy 36 years ago, not to serve as an instrument in the Cold War but to provide future presidents with a source of arms control policy options as an alternative to the ongoing arms race. Kennedy and his advisors rejected the State Department as the location for the new organization because it would be dominated by a foreign service bureaucracy preoccupied with relations with client states. Similarly, the Defense Department was rejected because of its preoccupation with seeking security by building rather than limiting arms.

While ACDA's success has always been dependent on presidential interest in arms control, the new agency proved its worth as a component of the national security establishment in a succession of administrations. During the Johnson administration, ACDA's persistent efforts to negotiate the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT) despite State Department opposition gave Johnson the opportunity to go forward with the treaty over objections by major allies. During the Nixon administration, a strong ACDA team working with Henry Kissinger negotiated the ABM Treaty and the SALT I agreement despite a less than enthusiastic Defense Department and an apathetic State Department. During the Carter administration, ACDA played the lead role in the president's ambitious arms control agenda, including the negotiation of the SALT II agreement.

The second half of ACDA's short life was less propitious. During the Reagan years, ACDA's leaders were as often opponents as advocates of arms control. When President Bush and Secretary of State Baker had to deal with the collapse of the Soviet Union, they demonstrated that a few senior State Department officials working with the president could quickly accomplish major steps by bypassing the bureaucracy, including ACDA. But the arms control agenda and implementation of past accomplishments has become too complex to be handled routinely in this topdown manner. During the first Clinton term, ACDA demonstrated its value by delivering a consensus agreement to the indefinite extension of the NPT and spearheading the successful completion of the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) Treaty. The administration, however, treated ACDA shabbily by delaying appointments and permitting its frequent exclusion from interagency activities.

As the victim of an unfriendly takeover, ACDA will be in a poor position to bargain with the vastly larger institution that will absorb it. Nevertheless, an effort is being made to give arms control some measure of titular independence by allowing the responsible undersecretary to have access to the president through the secretary of state. If Congress approves, this may work with the present incumbents. However, such an unnatural bureaucratic arrangement cannot long endure. With its budget; personnel; and its legal, public and congressional relations in the hands of the State Department, the arms control function and its experienced practitioners will not fare well in the face of declining budgets, and the department's many other pressing responsibilities as well as concern for furthering the careers of foreign service officers.

In the coming year, the administration will be faced with many critical arms control policy issues, including Russian ratification of START II, negotiation of START III, defense of the ABM Treaty and Senate approval of the CTB Treaty. It remains to be seen how these difficult issues will be handled within a State Department consumed with the crusade to expand NATO and faced with extraordinarily difficult congressional relations.

In merging ACDA into the State Department, President Clinton has taken a major step without serious congressional or public debate. Thus, he must take responsibility to assure that ACDA's demise does not deprive him and his successors of independent arms control and national security recommendations which the State Department might judge to be in conflict with some tactical foreign policy objective. If the process fails to meet presidential needs, his successors will have to resurrect ACDA.

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