Login/Logout

*
*  
"I actually have a pretty good collection of Arms Control Today, which I have read throughout my career. It's one of the few really serious publications on arms control issues."
– Gary Samore
Former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and WMD Terrorism
June/July 1997
Edition Date: 
Sunday, June 1, 1997

Indian, Pakistani Missile Activities Accelerate As Bilateral Talks Continue

 

Howard Diamond

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opposition to NATO Expansion

On June 26, a group of 50 prominent foreign policy experts that included former senators, retired military officers, diplomats and academicians, sent an open letter to President Clinton outlining their opposition to NATO expansion. Stanley Resor, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association, spoke at the press conference announcing the letter, focusing on the arms control implications of expansion. Resor's remarks and the group's letter are printed below.

 

Remarks by Stan Resor:

A key, if not the key, U.S. interest in Russia is a rapid and substantial reduction in the tens of thousands of Russian strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and the hundreds of tons of nuclear material which are still deployed or stored throughout that nation some six years after the end of the Cold War.

Progress towards these goals will require comprehensive and sustained cooperation between the U.S. and Russia and a strengthening of mutual trust and confidence. The Clinton Administration's plan for NATO expansion has already undermined, and its implementation will raise further obstacles to, the establishment of the kind of relationship that is critical to success in arms control.

The START II Treaty, which would reduce Russian deployed strategic nuclear weapons to 30003500 is awaiting ratification by the Russian Parliament. The parliament is dominated by members of communist and nationalist Parties who are hostile to President Yeltsin and suspicious of Western intentions. They have responded to NATO expansion by opposing ratification of START II.

These conservative Duma members see NATO expansion toward the Russian borders as coming at a time when Russian conventional forces are in deep trouble, badly in need of reform, poorly paid and demoralized. This is forcing Russia to consider placing greater reliance on nuclear weapons to assure its security and has raised the question of whether Russia should retain its most powerful, multi-warhead land-based missiles which START II is designed to eliminate.

At Helsinki, President Clinton sought to address some of the substantive problems Russia had raised with respect to START II by agreeing with President Yeltsin

 

—on a framework for START III which would limit both sides to 20002500 warheads each by December 2007; and

—by extending by five years the deadline for reaching START II levels.

 

While a primary reason for lower levels and the extended deadline was to lower Russian costs, the five year extension also gives Russia time to evaluate the impact on its security of NATO expansion and U.S. theater missile defense deployments before it has to eliminate its multi-warhead ICBMs.

General Rokhlin, Chairman of the Russian Duma's Defense Committee, has expressed concern that ratifying START II substantially prior to completion of the terms of START III involves risk to Russia and reliance on U.S. good faith. In this context he has asserted that NATO expansion constituted reneging on assurances given to Gorbachev and Shevernadze at the time Russian consent was obtained to German reunification and to membership of a reunified Germany in NATO.

Helsinki also laid out an ambitious agenda of nuclear infrastructure transparency and potential tactical nuclear weapons constraints. NATO expansion will make it much more difficult to establish the atmosphere of trust required for Moscow to agree to additional transparency measures for its stockpile and to abandon its increasing reliance on nuclear weapons to balance NATO's approach to its borders.

To delink START II ratification from NATO expansion and to show that NATO does not intend to isolate Russia and in fact recognizes that it must be part of an effective European security system, the United States helped design and President Clinton signed The Russia-NATO Founding Act in Paris on May 27.

The Act contains within it the potential for alienating Russia as much as integrating it into a European security system. The Act does not address two aspects of expansion which cause the greatest concern to the Russians, namely the scope and pace of expansion. NATO's current plan is open ended. It clearly contemplates inclusion of the Baltic states. But Russia has made clear that inclusion in NATO of any members of the former Soviet Union is unacceptable. Both Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin have already given conflicting interpretations of The Act.

It is already clear that NATO expansion has seriously delayed START II ratification and that, unless the process is suspended, it will continue to jeopardize major arms reduction treaties as well as other vital arms control goals which we have traditionally pursued.

 


June 26, 1997

Dear Mr. President,

We, the undersigned, believe that the current U.S.led effort to expand NATO, the focus of the recent Helsinki and Paris Summits, is a policy error of historic proportions. We believe that NATO expansion will decrease allied security and unsettle European stability for the following reasons:

In Russia, NATO expansion, which continues to be opposed across the entire political spectrum, will strengthen the nondemocratic opposition, undercut those who favor reform and cooperation with the West, bring the Russians to question the entire post-Cold War settlement, and galvanize resistance in the Duma to the START II and III treaties; In Europe, NATO expansion will draw a new line of division between the "ins" and the "outs," foster instability, and ultimately diminish the sense of security of those countries which are not included;

In NATO, expansion, which the Alliance has indicated is open-ended, will inevitably degrade NATO's ability to carry out its primary mission and will involve U.S. security guarantees to countries with serious border and national minority problems, and unevenly developed systems of democratic government;

In the U.S., NATO expansion will trigger an extended debate over its indeterminate, but certainly high, cost and will call into question the U.S. commitment to the Alliance, traditionally and rightly regarded as a centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy.

Because of these serious objections, and in the absence of any reason for rapid decision, we strongly urge that the NATO expansion process be suspended while alternative actions are pursued. These include:

 

—opening the economic and political doors of the European Union to Central and Eastern Europe;

—developing an enhanced Partnership for Peace program;

—supporting a cooperative NATO-Russian relationship; and

—continuing the arms reduction and transparency process, particularly with respect to nuclear weapons and materials, the major threat to U.S. security, and with respect to conventional military forces in Europe.

 

Russia does not now pose a threat to its western neighbors and the nations of Central and Eastern Europe are not in danger. For this reason, and the others cited above, we believe that NATO expansion is neither necessary nor desirable and that this ill-conceived policy can and should be put on hold.

Sincerely,

George Bunn Townsend Hoopes Sam Nunn
Robert Bowie Gordon Humphrey Herbert S. Okun
Bill Bradley Fred Ikle W.K.H. Panofsky
David Calleo Bennett Johnston Christian Patte
Richard T. Davies Carl Kaysen Richard Pipes
Jonathan Dean Spurgeon Keeny Robert E. Pursley
Paul Doty James Leonard George Rathjens
Susan Eisenhower Edward Luttwak Stanley Resor
David M. Evans Michael Mandelbaum John Rhinelander
David Fischer Jack F. Matlock Jr. John J. Shanahan
Raymond Garthoff C. William Maynes Marshall Shulman
Morton H. Halperin Richard McCormack John Steinbruner
Owen Harries David McGiffert Stansfield Turner
Gary Hart Robert McNamara Richard Viets
Arthur Hartman Jack Mendelsohn Paul Warnke
Mark Hatfield Philip Merrill James D. Watkins
John P. Holdren Paul H. Nitze  

NATO Issues Three Invitations; Signs Separate Charter With Ukraine

 

Wade Boese

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

 

The Summit

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

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

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

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

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

 

Intra-Alliance Disputes

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

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

 

Russian Discontent

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

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

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

 

Rising U.S. Domestic Debate

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

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

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

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

 

Craig Cerniello

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

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

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

 

Summit of the Eight

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

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

NATO Expansion: A Decision to Regret

 

Jack Mendelsohn

The NATO allies, led by the United States, have taken the fateful decision to invite three nations—Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic—to join the North Atlantic alliance. Although the new members' formal accession is timed to coincide with the alliance's 50th anniversary celebration in April 1999, the prospects for U.S.-Russian arms control have already suffered as a result of NATO's move.

Since NATO first announced its intention to expand eastward, we have seen evidence of hardening of Russian security policy. Ratification of START II has been postponed indefinitely by the Russian Duma because of the persistent opposition to NATO expansion across the entire political spectrum, notwithstanding the promise of NATO-Russian cooperation, as laid out in the NATO-Russian Founding Act, and the five-year extension of the START II implementation schedule along with the further nuclear reductions to be negotiated in START III that were agreed to at the Helsinki summit in March.

If START II remains unratified, a host of other arms control issues will probably be adversely affected as well. Congress may call into question continued support for the destruction of weapons in Russia under the Nunn-Lugar program, which in turn will make it more difficult for the Russians to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention. Perhaps the most strategically significant repercussion from Russia's non-ratification of START II would be in the area of missile defense, where the U.S. administration's strongest argument against unnecessary and unconstrained national missile defense deployments—that it will interfere with START reductions—will become moot.

Sensing its deteriorating security situation, Russia has also abandoned its longstanding nuclear "no-first-use" policy and is in the midst of a debate over whether, given the deplorable state of its conventional forces, the lack of budgetary resources and NATO's creep toward Russia, it should increase its reliance on nuclear weapons. If Russia reemphasizes tactical nuclear systems, of which it has retained large numbers, it would make it more difficult to limit these weapons as envisaged in the Helsinki Joint Statement.

Russian re-emphasis on nuclear weapons could well be accompanied by an unsettling analogue within NATO. If collective defense continues to be NATO's primary function—and all indications are that it will—the alliance will be hard pressed to defend the longer borders of its three new members with fewer, less well-equipped conventional forces. And when NATO expands to the Baltics, which is clearly anticipated by NATO's "open door" policy, it will be unable to defend those countries except by threatening the use of nuclear weapons. As a result, NATO's military doctrine could well come to mirror Moscow's re-emphasis on nuclear weapons.

The Clinton administration has put forward a variety of arguments for NATO expansion, all of which are either unconvincing or irrelevant. The first is that expansion will foster democracy and market economies in the new member-states. But surely someone in the White House must realize that a defensive alliance facing the high costs of expansion and modernization, which the European allies have made clear they will not share and the new members can ill afford, is not an appropriate means for ensuring the growth of strong democratic market economies. If spreading democracy is the objective of the Western alliance, the European Union should have opened its doors to these nations instead of deferring the issue until at least 2002.

Another of the administration's principal arguments in favor of expansion is that it will "spread" security to Central and Eastern Europe. But as the "Open Letter to President Clinton" in opposition to NATO expansion notes (see NATO Letter), just the opposite is likely to happen. Rather than enhancing security in Europe, expansion has the potential to turn Russia against the entire post-Cold War settlement and put severe pressure on the emerging Russian democracy by giving a popular cause to the nationalist and communist opposition. Even the independent-minded General Alexander Lebed, the most popular political figure in Russia, has already expressed his view that "any partial revision of [the post-Cold War order in Europe] places in doubt all the other components, including the inviolability of national boundaries . . . ." [Emphasis added.]

The profound implications of NATO expansion for U.S. national security and U.S.Russian relations demand a rethinking of the policy by the Clinton administration, a wide-ranging public examination and a thorough hearing in both the Senate, which must approve the new members, and the House, which will have to fund the project. The nation deserves nothing less than a full-fledged debate before ratifying this unwise, and by no means pre-ordained, decision.

Chronology of U.S.-Soviet-CIS Nuclear Relations

The following is a continuation of a chronology of key developments in nuclear relations between the United States and the former Soviet Union that first appeared in the June 1994 issue of ACT

 

For more information contact ACA:
Telephone: (202) 463-8270; E-mail: [email protected]

August 11, 1995: President Clinton announced that the United States would support a "zero-yield" CTB treaty, which he said "would ban any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion immediately upon entry into force."

September 28, 1995: At a meeting of the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC)—which oversees the implementation of START I—the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan signed a joint statement reaffirming that space launch vehicles using the first stages of ICBMs and SLBMs are treaty-accountable and subject to START I limitations.

October 23, 1995: During their summit meeting in Hyde Park, New York, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin affirmed their support for START II ratification, agreed to work together to achieve a zero-yield CTB treaty in 1996 and announced the continuation of cooperative efforts on nuclear security issues.

November 17, 1995: Undersecretary of State Lynn Davis and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgi Mamedov agreed on a framework for establishing a "demarcation line" between permitted TMD and restricted ABM systems. Under the agreed framework, TMD systems with interceptor velocities of 3 kilometers per second or less will be considered treaty-compliant provided that they are not tested against ballistic missile targets with ranges greater than 3,500 kilometers or velocities above 5 kilometers per second.

December 12, 1995: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the START II resolution of ratification, clearing the way for Senate floor action.

January 26, 1996: The Senate overwhelmingly approved the START II resolution of ratification by a vote of 87-4.

January 29-30, 1996: The Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission met in Washington for its sixth session, during which Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary and Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Viktor Mikhailov signed a joint statement extending nuclear material protection, control and accounting (MPC&A) controls to six Russian facilities where weapons-usable nuclear material is stored. O'Leary and Mikhailov also agreed to continue studying the feasibility of converting the reactor cores of Russia's three plutonium-producing reactors, which Moscow previously agreed to shut down by 2000.

April 1920, 1996: Leaders of the G7 industrialized countries and Russia met in Moscow for a summit on nuclear safety and security. Yeltsin reaffirmed Russia's commitment to a zero-yield CTB treaty initially announced at the Hyde Park summit in 1995. The eight leaders also agreed to a program to enhance cooperative efforts in preventing and combatting the illicit trafficking of nuclear materials; called for the strengthening of MPC&A efforts; and expressed their support for the safe and effective management of fissile material no longer required for military purposes.

April 21, 1996: In their bilateral summit meeting, which followed the nuclear safety and security summit in Moscow, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin reaffirmed their support for the START II ratification process and announced that they had made progress toward resolving the ABM-TMD demarcation dispute.

June 1, 1996: Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma announced that Ukraine had transferred the last of the former Soviet strategic nuclear warheads on its territory to Russia, thereby making it the second republic of the former Soviet Union to become completely nuclear-free. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine inherited roughly 1,900 strategic warheads and 2,500 tactical warheads—the equivalent of the world's third largest nuclear arsenal—although Kiev never had operational control over the weapons.

June 24, 1996: The Standing Consultative Commission (SCC) ended its second session of 1996, during which the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakstan and Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement to permit the deployment of TMD systems with interceptor speeds of 3 kilometers per second or less provided that the systems are not tested against ballistic missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or ranges that exceed 3,500 kilometers. In addition, the five states reached preliminary agreement on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that would formalize the procedures by which the former Soviet republics that would like to succeed to the rights and obligations of the former Soviet Union under the ABM Treaty could do so. The United States and Russia also reached agreement on a series of confidence-building measures to accompany the agreed statement on demarcation as well as regulations to govern the multilateral operation of the SCC.

June 27, 1996: By a vote of 960, the Senate approved the "Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996," a follow-on to the Nunn-Lugar security assistance program. The legislation, commonly known as "Nunn-Lugar II," seeks to enhance U.S. preparedness in responding to incidents involving the use of nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical weapons on U.S. territory; bolster efforts to interdict the possible introduction of weapons of mass destruction to the United States; better coordinate U.S. government policy on non-proliferation issues; and continue on-going measures under the original Nunn-Lugar program to safeguard, dismantle and destroy nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union.

July 14-16, 1996: The Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission met in Moscow for its seventh session, during which Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary and Russian Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov signed a joint statement that extends MPC&A controls to four Russian facilities where weapons-grade nuclear material is stored. In addition, they signed a follow-on statement to improve MPC&A measures over nuclear materials during their transportation. O'Leary and Mikhailov also agreed to continue studying replacement power options for three dual-purpose plutonium-producing reactors that Russia promised to shut down by 2000.

September 20, 1996: Russian and Kazak officials announced that all of the SS-18 ICBM silos located in Kazakstan had been destroyed, thereby fulfilling that country's obligations under START I. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Kazakstan possessed 104 SS-18 ICBMs and 40 Bear-H bombers. The last of these bombers was transferred to Russia in February 1994.

September 23, 1996: Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov reaffirmed the preliminary agreement on lower-velocity TMD systems reached during the May 20-June 24 session of the SCC.

September 24, 1996: The CTB Treaty was opened for signature at the United Nations in New York. All five of the declared nuclear-weapon states signed the treaty on this day.

October 16-18, 1996: Secretary of Defense William Perry visited Moscow to urge Russian ratification of START II and promote greater U.S.Russian military cooperation. Addressing some 100 members of key Duma committees, Perry called for prompt Russian ratification of START II to be followed by negotiations of START III. His presentation was not well received, however, as many Duma members expressed serious concerns about various treaty provisions and the eastward expansion of the NATO alliance.

October 25, 1996: Russia announced that it was not willing to allow implementation of the "first-phase" demarcation agreement on lower-velocity TMD systems until a "second-phase" agreement covering higher-velocity TMD systems had been concluded. Opposed to this linkage, the United States called off the October 31 signing ceremony between Undersecretary of State Lynn Davis and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgi Mamedov in Geneva.

November 14, 1996: The United States and Russia reached an agreement in Moscow that will substantially accelerate implementation of their 1993 HEU purchase agreement. The new arrangement establishes set prices, quantities and terms for the Russian LEU shipments through 2001. At that time, Russia is expected to have converted to LEU the HEU equivalent of about 7,500 nuclear warheads. As part of this agreement, Russia was awarded an advance payment of $100 million against future deliveries of LEU and enhanced transparency measures were established.

November 23, 1996: Belarus returned the last of its strategic nuclear warheads to Russia, thereby completing the withdrawal of all nuclear weapons from the non-Russian republics of the former Soviet Union. Four days later, a ceremony was held near Lida during which Belarusan officers placed the last single-warhead SS-25 nuclear missile on a train destined for Russia. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, more than 500 strategic and tactical warheads and 81 SS-25 ICBMs were deployed in Belarus.

December 9, 1996: The Clinton administration announced that the "dual-track" approach was its "preferred alternative" for eliminating excess weapons-grade plutonium. This approach entails immobilizing plutonium in glass or ceramic and burning it as mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in civilian nuclear reactors.

January 13, 1997: Russian Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov announced that Moscow would remove by March approximately 4.3 kilograms of HEU and 0.8 kilograms of spent fuel from a former Soviet research reactor located in Tbilisi, Georgia. The United States reportedly has been concerned about the security of these nuclear materials due to Georgia's proximity to Iran.

February 67, 1997: The United States and Russia met in Washington for the eighth session of the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission. During this session, then-Acting Secretary of Energy Charles Curtis and Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Viktor Mikhailov signed a joint statement that reaffirms each side's commitment to the MPC&A program and includes the Instrument Research Institute (Lytkarino) in the program beginning this year.

March 20-21, 1997: Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin reached agreement on a number of arms control issues during their summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland. In a "Joint Statement on Parameters on Future Reductions in Nuclear Forces," the presidents agreed to extend by five years the deadline for the elimination of strategic nuclear delivery vehicles under START II and to immediately begin negotiations on a START III agreement once START II enters into force. They further agreed that START III negotiations will include four basic components: a limit of 2,000-2,500 deployed strategic nuclear warheads for each side by the end of 2007; measures relating to the transparency of strategic nuclear warhead inventories as well as to the destruction of strategic warheads; conversion of the current START agreements to unlimited duration; and the "deactivation" by the end of 2003 of all strategic nuclear delivery vehicles to be eliminated under START II.

In a separate "Joint Statement Concerning the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty," Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin reaffirmed the May 1995 principles for agreement on demarcation between ABM and TMD systems. The leaders also reached an agreement in principle governing the status of higher-velocity TMD systems under the ABM Treaty. Under this "phase-two" agreement, the United States and Russia are permitted to deploy high-velocity TMD systems provided they are not tested against ballistic missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or ranges that exceed 3,500 kilometers. The agreement, however, prohibits each side from developing, testing or deploying space-based TMD interceptors or components based on other physical principles that can substitute for such interceptors.

March 21, 1997: State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns announced that the United States had cut off approximately $40 million in Nunn-Lugar assistance to Belarus due to its poor human rights record.

April 9, 1997: Aleksei Mitrofanov, chairman of the Duma's Geopolitics Committee, announced that the Duma has "put off" discussion of START II.

May 16, 1997: In Washington, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma announced that Kiev had decided to start eliminating its 46 SS-24 missiles—a measure that would go beyond its obligations under START I. Vice President Al Gore noted that U.S. funds (under the Nunn-Lugar program) would support this effort.

May 22, 1997: Dissatisfied with the state of the Russian armed forces and the pace of military reforms, President Yeltsin fired Defense Minister Igor Rodionov and replaced him with General Igor Sergeyev, then-Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces. Sergeyev has been a consistent advocate of the START process and will have substantial credibility with the Duma as it considers START II.

May 27, 1997: President Yeltsin announced in Paris, during the signing of the NATO-Russian Founding Act, that Russia would remove the "warheads" from strategic nuclear missiles targeted against NATO member states. His aides quickly corrected the "mistranslation" to say that Russia would no longer target its strategic missiles against NATO countries—a less ambitious measure.

June 20, 1997: At their bilateral summit meeting in Denver, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agreed that the United States and Russia would attempt to complete the phase-two demarcation agreement pertaining to higher-velocity TMD systems during the July session of the SCC. Yeltsin also pledged to push for Russian ratification of START II.

Leaving Behind the UNSCOM Legacy in Iraq

After more than six years as the executive chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), Ambassador Rolf Ekeus is stepping down to become Sweden's ambassador to the United States. As the United Nations' chief weapons inspector in Iraq, Ekeus has led the international effort to eliminate Baghdad's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs and proscribed ballistic missile activities since UNSCOM was established by the UN Security Council in April 1991. Ekeus has also directed UNSCOM's program to implement a monitoring system to prevent Iraq from reacquiring any such capabilities in the future. As Ekeus was preparing to turn over the reins of UNSCOM to his successor, Ambassador Richard Butler of Australia, on July 1, Arms Control Today caught up with the Swedish diplomat to ask him about his tenure at UNSCOM and the agency's accomplishments.

During his distinguished diplomatic career, Ekeus has played a major role in a number of disarmament negotiations. Among his assignments, from 1978 to 1983 Ekeus was Sweden's permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. In 1984 and 1987, he chaired the UN Committee on Chemical Weapons, and in 1985 he chaired the Drafting Committee at the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty Review Conference. In 1996, Ekeus was a member of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. He is expected to take up his new post in Washington on September 12. The following is an edited version of his comments.

Arms Control Today: In assessing UNSCOM's activities over the past six years, how completely do you believe it has now fulfilled its mandate? How confident are you that Iraq's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and prohibited ballistic missile programs are not continuing clandestinely?

Rolf Ekeus: The UNSCOM mandate has two major components: the identification and elimination of proscribed weapons and the means for their delivery; and, designing and implementing a system for ongoing monitoring and verification of Iraq to prevent it from acquiring the prohibited items again.

The latter part of the mandate has been fulfilled as UNSCOM now has in place a fully functioning regime of monitoring supported by a mechanism for export-import control. The monitoring regime was developed by UNSCOM during the summer and early fall of 1991 and approved by the UN Security Council through Resolution S/715 (1991). After years of tense and bitter resistance from Iraq, the regime was declared fully operational in late 1994. Today, more than 100 personnel are working from inside the Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Center (BMVC). The core element—around 20 scientists and specialists in nuclear physics, chemistry, biology and missile technology—carry out daily no-notice inspections of relevant facilities. They are supported by the use of cutting-edge technology, such as sensors, detectors and field laboratories, as well as some 150 cameras that monitor major dual-use equipment (for example, machines, production lines and missile test stands) beaming real-time imagery to the operations center at the BMVC. A key component of the monitoring system is the aerial surveillance of Iraq provided by U.S. U2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft and by UNSCOM's own helicopters, five of which are stationed in Baghdad. The helicopters are also used for the transport of inspection teams and for direct operational support of inspections.

The export-import mechanism, adopted by the UN Security Council in the spring of 1996 under Resolution S/1051 (1996), obligates all UN member-states to notify UNSCOM and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of all exports to Iraq of dual-use items listed under the monitoring regime established by S/715.

The accomplishment of the first part of UNSCOM's mandate was complicated because of systematic efforts by Iraqi authorities to prevent UNSCOM from discovering the full extent of the country's weapons capabilities. Examples of these efforts include the secrecy surrounding and Iraq's denial of an offensive biological weapons program; of Program 1728, for producing missiles based on Scud technology; and, of research, development and production of the nerve agent VX. The identification of these ultra-secret programs has been one of the major successes achieved by our scientists and experts, and constitutes a vindication of our methods for inspection and analysis. These results have to be counted on top of the massive destruction of both declared and detected chemical warfare agents (sarin and mustard gas); production equipment and thousands of chemical munitions; most of the Scud missiles supplied by the Soviet Union during the 1980s; missile production equipment and facilities; and components of the ambitious nuclear weapons program.

ACT: What remains to be carried out to assure the complete elimination of these weapons programs? What critical equipment and material do you believe may remain hidden in Iraq?

Ekeus: If the Iraqi leadership had decided once and for all to forgo the option of acquiring weapons of mass destruction, the task of eliminating the remnants of proscribed weapons programs would have been a straight-forward and technical one, which could have been accomplished within a time-span of some six months. A continuation of a policy of hiding and misleading will obviously delay for a long time attaining a full accounting of its programs.

However, the successes over the last few years, in spite of Iraq's obstruction, demonstrate that UNSCOM's investigation methods are effective and that, in turn, gives hope that in due time we shall see the end of the proscribed programs. It appears from documentation and other information that the Iraqi leadership has been trying to retain strategic capabilities relative to all the proscribed weapons categories. This means that the government is striving to retain quantities of high-quality biological warfare agents, some chemical warfare agents like VX, as well as munitions and production capabilities. Furthermore, the Iraqi government is trying to preserve as many components as possible of the disclosed 1728 program and similar activities for the future production of longer-range missiles.

ACT: Given what is known about Iraq's nuclear weapons program, in your opinion, how close was Baghdad to building such a weapon? Is this estimate based on the diversion of safeguarded nuclear material or Iraq's indigenous production of fissile material?

Ekeus: The so-called crash-program initiated by Iraq in August 1990 was aimed at building a complete weapon, not only an explosive nuclear device. The nuclear warhead had to be designed to be small enough in dimension and weight to fit on a missile that would be capable of delivering the weapon to its target at a range of over 600 kilometers. This was a tall order and we know now that the two leading missile project managers were at loggerheads whether this was achievable within the narrow time frame of the program.

The nuclear fuel for the one warhead would, according to the crash program, be made up of the safeguarded fissile material existing in Iraq at the time. The present assessment is that by late 1990, Iraq had a good grasp both of warhead design and of what was needed for the successful enrichment of uranium through centrifuge technology. In 1990, the momentum of Iraq's nuclear weapons program was strong in spite of international export controls of enrichment technology. It can therefore be estimated that Iraq would have had a capability to acquire a couple of usable nuclear weapons well before 1995, had the Security Council not intervened with Resolution 687. The present nuclear threat from Iraq is, in my judgment, linked to the possible import by Baghdad of highly enriched uranium (HEU). You may recall that in late 1993 and early 1994, Iraq's remaining source of HEU—irradiated reactor fuel—was shipped to Russia. The lack of HEU, together with the effective brake that has been applied to the country's missile programs, constitute the real bottleneck for Iraq for the acquisition of a nuclear weapon.

ACT: While UNSCOM has made tremendous progress in eliminating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and their means of production, the Iraqi government has retained the experience and know-how of its weapons designers and producers. How has UNSCOM responded to this remaining component of Iraq's weapons program? What, if anything, could be done to address weapons potential provided by this pool of trained personnel?

Key UN Security Council Resolutions

Resolution 687, April 3, 1991

This Gulf War cease-fire resolution formed UNSCOM, called for the elimination of Iraqi nuclear, chemical and biological programs and missiles with ranges over 150 kilometers and authorized inspections to ensure compliance.

Resolution 715, October 11, 1991

Approved a plan for the ongoing monitoring and verification of Iraq's obligations not to acquire proscribed weapons in the future.

Resolution 986, April 14, 1995

Authorized states to import petroleum and petroleum products originating in Iraq as a measure to provide for humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people.

Resolution 1051, March 27, 1996

Approved the mechanism for monitoring relevant Iraqi imports and exports, pursuant to Resolution 715.

Resolution 1115, June 21, 1997

Demanded full cooperation with UNSCOM and postponed review of sanctions in response to June incidents of Iraqi noncooperation.

 

Ekeus: It is true that UNSCOM can do nothing about the intellectual insight and institutional memory Iraq has developed in the weapons area, but knowledge alone does not constitute a production line. Therefore, UNSCOM will use its detailed insight of Iraq's production and acquisition methods when applying measures to effectively block weapons developments. UNSCOM has a detailed database of dual-use equipment in Iraq. These items have been tagged by UNSCOM inspectors and are monitored continuously from the BMVC. We have a team of specialists who closely watch ongoing procurement efforts, including payment and transport routes, major suppliers and supplier countries. The export-import control mechanism is improving. UNSCOM is keeping track of those senior scientists and specialists who are known for their involvement in the development of the proscribed weapons programs. All these efforts support UNSCOM's objective of obtaining a complete and detailed understanding of all aspects of Iraq's proscribed weapons.

ACT: How would you assess the effectiveness so far of the export-import mechanism established under UN Security Council Resolution 1051? Are you satisfied with the information UNSCOM has received from UN member-states, which are obliged to report the transfer to Iraq of items that could be used to produce proscribed weapons programs? What improvements would you like to see made to this monitoring system?

Ekeus: The experiences so far are good. Because of the continuing UN sanctions, the mechanism has not been overwhelmed by data, and it has therefore been possible gradually to test different methods and adjust them accordingly, and to familiarize UNSCOM personnel with the potentials of the mechanism. Following the oil-for-food decision by the Security Council, the flow of goods to Iraq is increasing and the mechanism is showing its worth. So far, no major omission in Iraq's notification obligations has been observed. It is still too early to asses to what degree all UN member states will effectively cooperate with the mechanism. It looks promising but it is already clear that one major problem will be the matter of notification of trans-shipments through neighboring countries. Also, some adjustments to the lists of notifiable items will probably be necessary as a result of our early experiences, including the deletion of certain items, which with modifications, acquire the character of general-purpose items.

ACT: Was the extensive nature of Iraq's weapons programs simply a reflection of Saddam Hussein's determination to pursue such programs, or do you believe there are political and institutional factors present in Iraq that might induce a future government to seek similar capabilities?

Ekeus: The systematic pursuit of the proscribed weapons and the huge funds thrown into their development point to a singular mind and extraordinary insistence. The present leader of Iraq has demonstrated that he has ambitions for his country reaching far outside the borders of Iraq. These grand designs of extended influence presuppose access to weapons of mass destruction and the means for their delivery. Even if there appears to be a commonly held view in the country's military and political circles that Iraq, because of its geopolitical situation, needs a special military capability to balance the presumed extension of Iran's sphere of influence, it is highly doubtful that any alternative Iraqi leadership would continue to pursue a weapons of mass destruction program, considering that the consequences of such a policy would be sanctions, political isolation and loss of huge financial revenues from blocked oil exports.

ACT: You have described UNSCOM as a victim of its own success, in that some members of the Security Council have become complacent because they believe everything is under control in Iraq. Is there a danger that such complacency could lead to a weakening support for UNSCOM's mission? If so, what can be done to counter that trend?

Ekeus: Obviously, some immediate, national financial and political interests may inspire member-states of the UN Security Council to consider a loosening of the controls on Iraq before the weapons provisions of the cease-fire resolution have been implemented. In June, however, when the Security Council had to respond to Iraq's efforts to break out of the control mechanism, all members stood up to be counted in defense of the cease-fire arrangements. The adoption of Resolution S/1115 on June 21 demonstrated that all members, when tested, chose to put their responsibility under the UN Charter and the credibility of the Security Council above perceived national interests.

Admittedly, this splendid result was obtained after a show of strong leadership by the United States. Continued attention from the United States is necessary to maintain international support of UNSCOM. Given the devastating consequences for the world's energy security and for international economic and financial stability were the Gulf region to be brought into turmoil, it is not likely that the United States would lose interest. Awareness of UNSCOM's crucial role for peace and security in the region must be kept high.

ACT: To what degree has the financial and material support provided to UNSCOM affected its ability to fulfill its mission?

Ekeus: Since December 1996, the cash needs of UNSCOM have been covered by a small portion of the revenues generated by the oil-for-food arrangement laid down in Security Council Resolution S/986. UNSCOM does not receive any funds whatsoever from the UN budget; it is completely dependant upon voluntary contributions from UN member-states, based on the presumption that the costs for disarming Iraq should be paid for by funds from Iraq itself. During the more than six years of its existence, UNSCOM, which also has to pay for all the activities of IAEA personnel, has financed its operations through voluntary contributions. It has had to convince member-states to provide personnel, technology and cash on a voluntary basis. As chairman of UNSCOM, I have had to spend an inordinate amount of time on fundraising and recruitment of salaried personnel in order to finance the complex and diversified activities of UNSCOM and the IAEA. However, as long as Resolution S/986 is implemented, my successor will fortunately not be burdened by that task.

ACT: UNSCOM has faced some criticism for the degree of secrecy regarding its findings on the involvement of Western companies involved in Iraq's weapons programs. What has been UNSCOM's rationale for balancing the need to expose publicly those who helped Iraq build its weapons of mass destruction and the need to secure the cooperation of national governments and private businesses in understanding the nature and extent of those programs? Was this decision made by UNSCOM? Was it influenced by supplier states? How concerned are you that the withholding of this information might encourage these or similar companies to engage in trading with other potential Iraqs?

Ekeus: As soon as we understood that Iraq had no intention of cooperating with UNSCOM, we had to design a policy for information gathering from sources other than the Iraqi government. That meant that when we approached the governments of the countries from which suppliers to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs had operated, we had to build a lasting relationship. Some of these governments feared that legislative action by the U.S. Congress would punish those companies that were dependant upon exporting to the United States.

When our inspectors found machines, equipment and weapons components that had been imported by Iraq, it became necessary for UNSCOM to approach the relevant supplier companies to investigate the complete extent of their dealings with Iraq. Most of the companies were reluctant to talk to our investigators, and only insistent requests to respective governments for support could give us direct, or sometimes indirect, access to the company. For that reason, assurances of protection from public exposure had to be given in order to encourage the companies and their governments to accept our investigation of their dealings with Iraqi authorities.

Most of the more mature governments have been helpful to UNSCOM in its investigation of the supplier issue. Thus, UNSCOM has been working under circumstances somewhat like a journalist who has to protect his sources, otherwise they would quickly dry up. Over the years, I have had some quite vigorous discussions on this problem with leading members of the U.S. Congress as well as with representatives of the U.S. administration. My interlocutors never managed to convince me that our policy with regard to supplier data was wrong.

Having said that, I admit that our policy has little deterrent value for potential supplier companies contemplating exports of prohibited items to Iraq. However, my experience is that most Western governments have taken a number of important steps at the national level to punish suppliers for violations of existing rules and to effectively prevent the resumption of prohibited export activities.

ACT: The role of intelligence sharing has become one of the central concerns of international nonproliferation efforts. Are you satisfied with the extent to which national intelligence communities have supported the work of UNSCOM? Are there areas where there can be improvements?

Ekeus: One of our greatest sources of satisfaction has been the success of UNSCOM in obtaining high-quality intelligence data. The early formation within UNSCOM of an "Information Assessment Unit," with the capability to receive, protect, process, store and analyze sensitive data, was a unique feature for any UN organization. This capability of UNSCOM changed the character of the sharing of intelligence data with us from a mere trickle to a broad stream of data, supported by professional and multilayered cooperative efforts. The confidence in UNSCOM's competence in this area has grown quickly over the years so that now several governments allow the sharing of information on a large scale involving high-quality intelligence.

As a consequence, UNSCOM is now much better informed about most aspects of Iraq's activities related to its weapons of mass destruction programs than is any individual government. Critical to this success has been the operation, with the help of the United States, of the high-altitude U2 reconnaissance flights and UNSCOM's full access to imagery obtained from that operation. However, a severe bottleneck in the system remains UNSCOM's limited capability for photo interpretation.

Another key area for UNSCOM is the acquisition of supplier data, both past and ongoing. Although the intelligence sharing in this respect has become a major success, there is ample room for improvement. Governments should understand that the Information Assessment Unit, due to its overview of all aspects of Iraq's proscribed activities, is equipped to deal not only with fully developed intelligence but also partially developed intelligence.

ACT: As a result of the systematic analysis UNSCOM has undertaken of Iraq's so-called "concealment policy," what lessons have been learned that would benefit other non-proliferation efforts?

Ekeus: While searching for concealed prohibited items, UNSCOM is following the institutions and individuals involved in the concealment effort as much as it is following the items. Concealment is a highly sensitive activity and only the government's most trusted and elite organizations and individuals are involved. Furthermore, concealment requires methods and a structured mobility that result in certain patterns. For UNSCOM, it is important to identify and read these patterns; to do that UNSCOM has to make full use of all the technical and analytical resources at its disposal.

CT: Based on UNSCOM's experience in Iraq, what are the lessons learned that can be applied to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention?

Ekeus: UNSCOM managed to break through the secrecy surrounding Iraq's offensive biological weapons program through a combination of inspections and analytical work. Thus, an examination of the pattern of Iraqi imports of equipment and material, as well as of the quantities imported, in light of the country's declarations with regard to its civilian, non-prohibited programs, showed large discrepancies. For example, the number of fermenters and the quantities of complex growth media imported by Iraq many times surpassed reasonable civilian requirements. In a similar fashion, close analysis of the quantities of dual-use chemical compounds and equipment imported by Iraq provided UNSCOM analysts with enough data to sound the alarm. These are only some examples of detection possibilities. It would require a separate essay to describe fully the lessons that have been learned.

ACT: In your opinion, given the realities on the ground in Iraq, how long do you see a need for UNSCOM's continued monitoring of Iraq's weapons potential?

Ekeus: Even if UNSCOM and the IAEA at a given moment in the future could report that all proscribed items had been identified and eliminated, the monitoring of Iraq's dual-use capabilities would be necessary for many years thereafter. A major reason for that is the know-how available in Iraq through all the personnel involved in weapons development and production. In this context it is interesting to recall Paragraph 14 of the cease-fire resolution, which provides that the arms control arrangements in relation to Iraq could be seen as steps toward the establishment in the region of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction. This provision is a reflection of the so-called Mubarak plan.

ACT: Despite the remarkable precedent established by the Security Council with regard to the creation of UNSCOM and the goal of preventing Iraq from reacquiring its weapons programs, do you believe the Security Council is capable of sustaining the political will to support UNSCOM in what could prove to be its very long stay in Iraq? What role can the United States play in this process?

Ekeus: As mentioned earlier, the adoption of Resolution 1115 restated forcefully the Security Council's resolve to see the cease-fire arrangements fully implemented. The unanimity in support of this resolution, however, should not overshadow the fact that some permanent members of the Security Council consider themselves as having important national interests in bringing to an end the economic and political isolation of Iraq. At times I have had a concern that these interests could overtake the international principle of collective action in accordance with the UN Charter. The notable success of the adoption of Resolution S/1115 could not have been achieved without U.S. leadership and a strong personal commitment by President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright.

ACT: In retrospect, or perhaps as a road map for your successor, is there something you would have done differently during your tenure as head of UNSCOM that you believe might have changed the view from where you are sitting right now? Would a less diplomatic approach in dealing with Iraq have been supported by the Security Council?

Ekeus: Obviously, I underestimated from the beginning, both in quantity and quality, Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program and, even more, the degree of resistance with which our efforts would be met. I believe that we adjusted quickly to the unfriendly environment. It is my feeling that, in spite of some missteps, we, in light of what was politically possible, have found a reasonable and balanced approach in our work. It has been possible to keep the Security Council in its shifting political configurations united in loyally defending the cease-fire provisions, which must be considered a success.

In leading UNSCOM, it has been necessary sometimes for me to finesse certain crisis situations by developing political solutions to a problem. But in the final analysis, it is clear to me that only a firm and consistent response to the practically daily challenges from the Iraqi authorities can defend the integrity of this historic mission and lead to the ultimate goal of justice, peace and stability in the region.

Clinton Set to Submit CTBT to Senate; Japan Ratifies

 

Craig Cerniello

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wade Boese

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Regional Restraints

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

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

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

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

CD Ends Session Without Resolving Divide Over Agenda

 

Wade Boese

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - June/July 1997