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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
May 2006
Edition Date: 
Monday, May 1, 2006
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Pentagon Defends Global-Strike Plan

Wade Boese

A recently unveiled initiative to arm some U.S. submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with conventional warheads has lawmakers wondering whether dangerous misunderstandings and miscalculations could arise with other nuclear powers, particularly Russia. Pentagon officials downplay the possibility, contending that the benefits of the new capability outweigh the potential risks.

The Department of Defense is asking Congress this year for $127 million to start replacing nuclear warheads with conventional warheads on 24 Trident D-5 SLBMs. Within two years, two dozen missiles would be equally dispersed among 12 separate submarines, which means each vessel would carry 22 nuclear-armed and two conventional-armed missiles. The conventional warheads, four per missile, would be either a solid slug or a bundle of rods known as a flachette round, not explosive warheads.

Although the Bush administration revealed its intentions to pursue conventional global-strike capabilities in its December 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, the SLBM option was first detailed in early February as part of the Quadrennial Defense Review. (See ACT, March 2006.) The so-called prompt global-strike concept behind the SLBM conversion seeks to enable the United States to attack a target anywhere in the world with a conventional warhead in less than an hour.

At a March 29 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, legislators expressed some unease about the SLBM proposal. Subcommittee chairman Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and ranking member Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) both questioned whether submarines with mixed loads might cause confusion for other countries about the type of missile fired and its intended target. In such a circumstance, they worried a country might mistakenly conclude that it was under U.S. nuclear attack and potentially retaliate with nuclear weapons.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy Peter Flory said the Pentagon takes this concern “very seriously.” However, he and General James Cartwright, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, minimized the danger of miscalculation. In addition to its traditional mission of exercising operational control over deployed nuclear forces, Strategic Command over the past few years also has been tasked with overseeing the development and fielding of missile defenses and global-strike capabilities.

Flory said that the United States has emergency communication mechanisms, such as hotlines, with Russia and China “for mitigating any potential risk of misperception.” Cartwright and Flory also stated the United States would rely on advance notification measures and military-to-military talks to help alleviate uncertainty. They further asserted the launch and trajectory of a conventional system could be made to appear differently than that of a nuclear missile.

Cartwright also made the case that the United States has a long record of launching non-nuclear missiles without a negative incident. “Since 1968, we’ve launched 433 of these warheads on these missiles without ambiguity through notification processes,” Cartwright testified. The general was referring to SLBM test launches not involving nuclear warheads, a spokesperson from Strategic Command told Arms Control Today April 21.

Claiming that Russia is the sole country with the current capability to detect and respond rapidly to a ballistic missile launch, Flory argued that “the Russians will know very quickly as they have all the way through the Cold War and up to today what the trajectory is and where the impact points will be.”

Still, Russia detected a missile launch near Norway in January 1995 that led Kremlin leaders to be notified that the United States might have initiated a surprise nuclear attack. Moscow did not immediately order a counterattack and, after anxious minutes, eventually determined that the “missile,” which was a scientific rocket, posed no threat.

Flory and Cartwright maintained that proceeding with conventional SLBMs was worthwhile. Cartwright contended such a capability gives the United States an option for dealing with “fleeting targets” that have a high “regret” factor if they are not destroyed, such as unconventional weapons threats, enemy command and control elements, and terrorists. “In many cases, nuclear weapons are not going to be an appropriate choice for those types of targets, and so you want a conventional alternative,” Cartwright said.

SLBMs were selected over ICBMs as the inaugural conventional prompt global-strike option in part because of their greater accuracy and global range. U.S. ICBM fields are in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming, limiting the missiles’ reach and increasing possible overflight and miscalculation problems, particularly with Russia.

Corrected online August 29, 2008. See explanation.

 

 

Hobson Aims to Rein In Warhead Program

Wade Boese

Critical of the military utility of developing new nuclear weapons, Rep. David Hobson (R-Ohio) led lawmakers the last two years in killing a Bush administration research program on an enhanced “bunker buster” for the U.S. nuclear stockpile. Now, he is working to ensure that another administration program does not lead to new nuclear arms.

As chairman of the House Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, Hobson is ideally situated to exert his influence. His subcommittee, in conjunction with its Senate counterpart, headed by Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), controls funding for the Department of Energy’s semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which operates the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

In the president’s more than $6 billion fiscal year 2007 budget request for nuclear weapons activities submitted to Congress Feb. 6, NNSA is seeking $28 million for its Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program. (See ACT, March 2006.) Fiscal year 2007 begins Oct. 1 and runs through Sept. 30, 2007.

While repeatedly declaring that the nuclear stockpile is safe and reliable, NNSA officials say the current practice of refurbishing warheads to extend their lifetimes may not be sustainable. As an alternative, they have proposed the RRW program to explore substitute warheads that are safer, more durable, and longer-lasting than existing warhead types. By law, this program is not supposed to provide new warhead performance capabilities or result in new warhead designs that require nuclear proof-testing. The United States stopped nuclear testing in 1992.

Hobson has spoken favorably about the RRW program, but he is also concerned that some officials in NNSA and the weapons laboratories that it oversees have different ideas. In a March 30 hearing of his subcommittee, Hobson set out to ensure no “misunderstandings” existed.

“We’re not going out and expanding a whole new world of nuclear weapons as we get in this Reliable Replacement Warhead situation,” Hobson told NNSA chief Linton Brooks. “The key word is replacement,” Hobson emphasized, adding, “I just keep saying it so somebody doesn’t miss it.”

Brooks vowed that the program is “not the beginning of a new round of new weapons.” A March 1 report by the secretaries of defense and energy also stated that RRW warheads are supposed to “provide the same military capabilities as the warheads they replace.”

Still, Brooks and other NNSA officials describe the RRW program as more than just a warhead replacement program. They describe it as an “enabler” for realizing a “responsive” nuclear weapons infrastructure capable of churning out nuclear warheads, including possible new types, on relatively short notice. In his April 5 prepared testimony to the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Thomas D’Agostino, NNSA deputy administrator for defense programs, noted, “The 2030 responsive infrastructure will provide capabilities, if required, to produce weapons with different or modified military capabilities.”

The benefit of such an infrastructure, according to its advocates, is that it would permit the United States to cut actual warhead levels knowing that more warheads could be produced if needed. D’Agostino explained to the committee, “[W]e want our deterrent to reside in our complex itself, not necessarily in the numbers of warheads that we would have.”

The United States possesses approximately 10,000 nuclear warheads, of which more than 5,000 are deployed for use with bombers, missiles, and submarines. By 2012 this force is supposed to shrink to less than 2,200 deployed warheads with another 3,000 to 4,000 warheads in reserve. According to NNSA, this future reserve force could be even smaller if a responsive infrastructure were in place.

Hobson does not dispute the need for a responsive infrastructure. Indeed, he helped spearhead it. “The current complex, in my opinion, is too large for any conceivable future need and much too inefficient to be maintained,” he said March 30.

But Hobson does not associate a responsive infrastructure with new warheads. “This is not an opportunity to run off and develop a whole bunch of new capabilities and new weapons,” he argued.

Many legislators appear to share Hobson’s aversion or at least skepticism toward new nuclear weapons. Not only has Congress opposed the proposed bunker buster, but last year it also passed legislation restricting how NNSA could spend the $25 million in fiscal year 2006 RRW funding. As Congress mandated in the fiscal year 2006 defense authorization bill, “[a]ny weapon design work done under the RRW program must stay within the military requirements of the existing deployed stockpile and…the design parameters validated by past nuclear tests.”

Whether the two laboratory teams currently competing behind closed doors to devise an appropriate RRW design by this fall are adhering to congressional orders is uncertain. However, Brooks assured Hobson’s subcommittee that he was “not going to accept a design that has any hint of needing to test.”

 

Security Council Mulls Response to Iran

Paul Kerr

The UN Security Council is mulling possible responses to Iran’s failure to comply with a March 29 presidential statement that called on Tehran to resolve concerns about its nuclear programs and to re-suspend its uranium-enrichment activities.

The statement, which did not specify any consequences and is not legally binding, instructed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei to report on Iran’s compliance to the agency’s Board of Governors and the Security Council within 30 days.

There was no indication prior to ElBaradei’s report, which was issued April 28, that Iran had complied with the council’s demands. Indeed, Iran in April accelerated work on its nuclear programs and said its gas centrifuge-based uranium-enrichment program would continue. Nevertheless, Iranian officials have repeatedly said that Tehran wishes to address concerns about its nuclear efforts.

Officials from Germany and the five permanent, veto-wielding Security Council members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—are scheduled to meet May 2 in Paris to discuss the matter.

Enrichment Breakthrough

Rather than suspending its enrichment program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated April 11 that Tehran’s effort had achieved a technical breakthrough. He said that Iran had “completed the nuclear fuel cycle at the laboratory level.” Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, who also heads Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said that Iran enriched uranium to approximately 3.5 percent uranium-235 in a cascade of 164 centrifuges. He said that Iran only plans to produce uranium containing between 3.5 percent and 5 percent uranium-235.

Gas centrifuges enrich uranium hexafluoride gas by spinning it at very high speeds to increase the concentration of the uranium-235 isotope. Low-enriched uranium typically has about 3-5 percent uranium-235 and is used as fuel in civilian nuclear reactors. Highly enriched uranium (HEU) has much higher concentrations of uranium-235, typically around 90 percent, and can be used as fissile material in nuclear weapons.

Iran claims that it wants to master the enrichment process for its peaceful nuclear program, but the United States and some of its European allies contend that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons development. Iran had agreed in November 2004 to suspend “all enrichment- related” activities for the duration of negotiations with France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. But the negotiations ended when, beginning in August 2005, Tehran resumed the program in several stages.

Ahmadinejad said that Iran will “continue on this path…until we have produced industrial-level fuel, which we will use in our power plants.”

A Department of State official confirmed press reports April 25 that Iran is also preparing to operate two additional 164-centrifuge cascades.

Aghazadeh said that Iran plans to install 3,000 centrifuges by April 2007. Stephen Rademaker, acting assistant secretary of state for security and nonproliferation issues, claimed on April 12 that such a plant would enable Iran to produce enough HEU for a nuclear weapon within 271 days.

Moreover, an April 13 speech by Ahmadinejad focused renewed attention on Iran’s P-2 centrifuge program, one of the most contentious unresolved nuclear issues. Ahmadinejad reportedly said that Iran is “presently conducting research” on such a centrifuge, a statement suggesting that Tehran has conducted undisclosed work on the program.

The United States has long suspected that Iran has a secret program to develop a P-2 centrifuge, which is more advanced than the P-1 centrifuges Iran currently uses, allowing it to produce enriched uranium more quickly.

Iran has told the IAEA that it previously conducted research on P-2 centrifuges but stopped in 2003. Apparently contradicting Ahmadinejad, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamidreza Asefi told reporters April 23 that Iran is not conducting P-2 research. The IAEA has not yet been able to verify Iran’s accounts of its previous P-2 research.

Despite Iran’s recently announced achievements, however, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte told a Washington audience April 20 that the U.S. intelligence community continues to estimate that Iran will not have enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon for at least a “number of years…perhaps into the next decade.”

Other Confidence-Building Setbacks

Other Security Council requests also apparently went unheeded. In addition to calling for an enrichment suspension, the March 29 statement had urged Tehran to build confidence in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program by cooperating with the IAEA and implementing several measures called for in a February 2006 IAEA resolution. (See ACT, April 2006.)

The IAEA board had urged Tehran to reconsider its decision to build a heavy-water nuclear reactor and had called on Iran to allow IAEA inspectors greater authority to investigate questionable nuclear activities on its territory.

Nonetheless, Aghazadeh said April 11 that Iran has continued construction of its heavy-water reactor and would begin operating it sooner than previously anticipated. Aghazadeh said the reactor would be commissioned by the end of 2009; Tehran had previously told the IAEA that the reactor would begin operating in 2014. Iran has begun producing heavy water at a production plant located at the same site, he added.

The IAEA is concerned that Iran may intend to use the heavy-water reactor under construction to produce plutonium for fissile material from its spent fuel.

Iran has also not agreed to ratify an additional protocol to its IAEA safeguards agreement or to resume voluntarily abiding by its provisions. Safeguards agreements, which are required under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), allow the IAEA to monitor NPT states-parties’ declared civilian nuclear activities to ensure they are not diverted to military purposes.

Additional protocols, based on the 1997 Model Additional Protocol, provide the agency with increased authority to detect clandestine nuclear programs, including by inspecting facilities that have not been declared to the IAEA. Tehran has signed such a protocol but stopped adhering to the protocol in February 2006. Subsequently, Iran has reduced the agency’s access to its nuclear-related facilities. (See ACT, March 2006.) But Iran’s deputy secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for Strategic Affairs, Ali Hosseini-Tash, said Tehran is willing to ratify the protocol “under appropriate circumstances,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported April 22. He did not elaborate.

The IAEA’s reduced access leaves the international community without a key source of information regarding Iran’s nuclear program. For example, agency inspectors cannot inspect workshops where Iran is suspected of conducting secret centrifuge work.

This loss of information comes at a time when U.S. intelligence regarding Iran’s nuclear program is weak. The State Department official said that Washington has “no hard evidence” to give to the IAEA that Iran is pursuing undeclared nuclear activities.

Moreover, ElBaradei reported to the IAEA board in late February that Tehran’s laggard cooperation with the agency left the agency unable to determine whether Iran has “undeclared nuclear materials or activities.”

The IAEA board has also called on Iran to take other actions beyond those required by its safeguards agreement, such as providing IAEA inspectors with access to certain military facilities and government officials, in order to resolve a number of questions about Iran’s nuclear programs. (See ACT, April 2006.)

The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, told reporters the day after an April 13 meeting with ElBaradei that Tehran would “discuss and solve” the remaining outstanding issues, IRNA reported. But there is no indication that Iran has done so.

Security Council Split

The permanent members of the Security Council continue debating the proper response to Iran’s failure to heed their call. The United States, France, and the United Kingdom advocate an approach that would gradually ratchet up pressure on Iran, including the possibility of future sanctions designed to target the Iranian leadership. Russia and China have favored a more cautious pace and a greater role for the IAEA.

As a next step, British, French, and U.S. officials have indicated that they support passage of a Security Council resolution making Iran’s compliance with the February IAEA resolution mandatory. The resolution would invoke Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which allows the Security Council to take punitive action, such as imposing sanctions or using military force, against offending countries “to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

For their part, Moscow and Beijing have expressed skepticism about the efficacy of sanctions and have also been resistant to invoke Chapter VII. A Russian diplomat indicated during an April 27 interview with Arms Control Today that Moscow does not want a resolution that would give Washington a pretext to take military action against Iran (See "Reports Grow That U.S. Plots Strike Against Iran").

In addition to its UN diplomacy, the Bush administration has been encouraging other governments to increase pressure on Tehran unilaterally, for example, by halting exports of weapons and dual-use items to Iran.

Additionally, the State Department official confirmed April 25 that Washington is attempting to persuade Japanese and European banks to halt financial transactions with Iranian entities. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph told reporters April 21 that he had discussed similar measures with several Persian Gulf countries.

Russia may also be exercising its leverage on Iran, albeit more subtly. A senior European official and the State Department official told Arms Control Today that they believe Moscow is pressuring Tehran by slowing work on a nuclear power reactor Russia is constructing near the Iranian city of Bushehr. Press reports have indicated that work on the reactor has slowed, but Russia has not explicitly linked the project’s pace to Iran’s IAEA compliance.

Anatomy of a Stalemate

The Security Council and Iran are at loggerheads partly because both believe that making concessions will weaken their negotiating positions.

Despite its defiance, Tehran has said it is willing to reach a negotiated solution to the dispute but will not do so “under pressure.” For its part, Washington argues that isolating Iran will induce it to comply with the council’s demands.

One reason for Iran’s intransigence, an Iranian diplomat told Arms Control Today April 19, is Tehran’s skepticism of the Bush administration’s willingness to negotiate a solution to the nuclear issue. Explaining that Tehran views Washington as driving the Security Council’s actions, the diplomat added that Iran suspects the United States of using the nuclear issue as a pretext for increasing international pressure on the Iranian regime.

The Bush administration has indicated that it is pursuing a policy to build up democratic opposition to Iran’s Islamic regime and also frequently criticizes the government about non-nuclear matters, such as its support for terrorist organizations. (See ACT, April 2006.)

Tehran has refused to comply with the council’s demands for fear that Washington will view any compromise as a sign of weakness and attempt to extract more concessions, the diplomat added.

A 2004 speech to high-ranking Iranian officials by then-secretary of Iran’s National Security Council Hassan Rowhani suggests an additional explanation for Iran’s diplomatic tactics. Attaining the ability to enrich uranium could enable Iran to overcome international opposition to its enrichment program, he argued, adding that the international community ultimately accepted Brazil’s nuclear fuel program after initial opposition.

Iran’s Compromise?

Iran has discussed what it termed as compromise proposals with its European interlocutors. For example, Tehran has stated its willingness to negotiate limits to industrial-scale enrichment. Larijani indicated in early March that Iran is also willing to negotiate limits to its research activities.

But both Iran’s refusal to suspend its current enrichment research and insistence on retaining at least a small centrifuge plant continue to meet with resistance. Iran’s European interlocutors maintain that they will not resume negotiations unless Tehran suspends all of its enrichment-related activities.

Predictably, the Europeans rejected an Iranian proposal presented during an April 20 meeting in Moscow. A State Department official familiar with the meeting confirmed reports that Iran proposed to implement a “technical pause” of its enrichment program while resuming long-term negotiations over larger-scale enrichment. Tehran, however, said it would continue to operate its completed cascade and only suspend work on the two cascades under construction.

Iran has also been discussing a related proposal with Russia, but the two sides seem no closer to reaching an agreement. Moscow has proposed allowing Tehran to own 49 percent of a centrifuge plant located in Russia that would enrich Iranian-produced uranium hexafluoride. (See ACT, December 2005).

Asefi said April 23 that the proposal remains “on the table.” But Iran’s insistence on having its own centrifuge plant has also been a point of contention with Russia. According to the proposal, enrichment would take place in Russia, and Iran would have no access to the centrifuge technology.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki described another possible multilateral solution in a March 30 speech to the Conference on Disarmament. Mottaki argued for the establishment of regional enrichment consortiums to be jointly operated under IAEA safeguards by regional participants. Countries from outside the region could also participate, he said. Ahmadinejad has previously suggested that other countries could invest in Iranian enrichment facilities.

Corrected online August 29, 2008. See explanation.

 

Tehran Tests Missiles

Wade Boese

Amid growing international pressure and tension surrounding its nuclear program, Iran conducted several missile tests as part of a week-long military exercise ending April 6.

Dubbed variously by the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) as the Holy Prophet or Great Prophet of Islam war game, the exercise appeared to be aimed at bolstering domestic resolve and warding off foreign military attacks. “We hope the trans-regional powers have got the message of the war game,” Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Yahya Rahim Safavi said on the exercise’s final day, IRNA reported.

Iran claimed the maneuvers showcased some new military capabilities, including a torpedo, an air-to-surface anti-ship missile, and a surface-to-sea anti-ship missile. Iranian officials also boasted that these weapons systems were indigenously produced.

Both assertions were disputed to some extent by a Department of State official interviewed April 20 by Arms Control Today. Although acknowledging that “there is a lot we do not know,” the official said that the U.S. government is “not sure we are seeing anything new, particularly regarding the torpedo.”

The official noted that the Iranian torpedo appeared similar to the Russian Shkval torpedo, which is an observation shared by other press reports citing anonymous Western intelligence sources and nongovernmental experts. However, the degree to which Russia might have assisted the program is unclear, and there is speculation that Kyrgyzstan may somehow be involved. Kyrgyzstan’s embassy in Washington, D.C., denied this implication, stating in an April 20 e-mail to Arms Control Today that Kyrgyzstan “never assisted” Iran with torpedoes.

Some of the other “new” Iranian systems are widely reported as closely resembling Chinese missiles. The Bush administration has sanctioned Chinese entities more than 50 times for alleged proliferation transactions with Iran or Iranian entities. Washington also has imposed penalties five separate times on Chinese entities for missile-related activities, although the recipients were not specified.

Even though the Iranian missiles may not be indigenous or wholly new, Washington still condemned the tests. State Department spokesperson Adam Ereli said April 3 that they constituted “a further reminder of an aggressive program of…development and deployment of weapons systems that many of us see as threatening.”

 

 

 

Iran: Breaking the Cycle of Escalation

Daryl G. Kimball

Since talks between Iran and three leading European states fell apart last August, the impasse over Iran's nuclear program has steadily worsened. Each time Washington and its European partners ratchet up international pressure on Iran to slow its nuclear efforts and provide greater transparency, Tehran has pushed back and accelerated work on its uranium-enrichment program, which could eventually be used to produce bomb-grade material.

Consequently, the main antagonists are moving further away from the diplomatic solution both say they want. As a result, we may eventually see a military confrontation, a nuclear weapons-capable Iran, or both. If such perilous outcomes are to be averted, Washington and Tehran need to engage in direct talks aimed at a grand bargain that addresses each of their concerns.

Last month, in defiance of a UN Security Council statement calling for an immediate suspension of all enrichment activities, Iran announced that it had produced a small quantity of reactor-grade uranium using a test assembly of centrifuges and said it plans to expand the facility's production capacity for "peaceful" purposes.

In response, the United States is calling for "strong steps" to force Tehran to abandon its uranium-enrichment program. U.S. officials say they want a Security Council resolution that would cite Chapter VII of the UN charter, which would designate Iran's nuclear program as a threat to international security.

Bush administration officials say they favor a diplomatic solution even as they seek to build support for multilateral sanctions and refuse to rule out the possibility of pre-emptive strikes on Iran's underground nuclear complex. Iran's leaders also say they are ready to hold further talks with the Europeans and Russians but have so far been unwilling to accept European offers of economic incentives and assurances of nuclear fuel supplies. If pressured further, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has hinted that Iran might withdraw from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Virtually all other states are alarmed by Iran's violation of its International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and refusal to exercise restraint. But Security Council members, including veto-wielding China and Russia, are understandably wary of a Chapter VII resolution because it would create a trip wire for sanctions or military strikes against Iran's underground facilities. This is the same formula pursued by the same U.S. administration in preparation for its imprudent 2003 invasion of Iraq. As a consequence, the council is divided on what to do next.

Avoiding a nuclear weapons-capable Iran is a vital objective for many reasons. If Iran develops a full-blown enrichment capacity, let alone nuclear weapons, several other key states, including Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, might feel compelled to follow suit. An Iranian nuclear weapons capability may also embolden radical groups supported by Tehran.

However, Iran has not mastered uranium-enrichment technology and will not likely be able to amass enough fissile material for bombs for several years. There is sufficient time to adopt and pursue a new diplomatic approach that can break the current cycle of crisis escalation.

Avoiding the worst requires that the United States and Iran engage in direct talks on the nuclear question and take the other's security concerns seriously. Iran's leaders need to accept that the only way to establish confidence that their once-secret nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes is to suspend enrichment work for a substantial period and cooperate fully with international inspectors.

U.S. allies must also press the Bush administration to rule out pre-emptive military action as long as Iran does not openly pursue nuclear weapons development or support attacks of any kind on the United States or our allies in the region. Pre-emptive attacks could spark a wider war and incite Iranian-supported terrorism against U.S. interests. Such strikes would only delay Iran's nuclear program and tilt Iranian opinion in favor of building nuclear weapons.

Given the stakes, Western states, along with Russia, must fortify their previous offers of economic trade and integration, as well as legally binding nuclear fuel supply guarantees and a joint nuclear fuel production partnership in Russia. Russia and other states must also hold off further assistance for Iran's nearly completed Bushehr reactor project and Iran's military forces.

As President George H. W. Bush did 15 years ago, leading states should also convene talks on a framework for arms control and stability that aims to curb the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in the Middle East. The effort should be designed to establish a regional, verifiable ban on the production and acquisition of weapons-usable nuclear material and the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone, including both Israel and Iran.

The current Bush-Cheney vision may be too limited to see the value of these steps. But the administration's strategy of incremental coercive diplomacy is not working and may in fact be an exercise designed to fail. Either way, the stakes are too high not to pursue a new and more effective diplomatic strategy.

 

Treaty and Tragedy

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: An Insider’s Perspective. By Keith A. Hansen, Stanford University Press, March 2006, 233 pp.

Steve Andreasen

Ten years ago this fall at the United Nations, President Bill Clinton became the first world leader to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), hailed as the “longest sought, hardest fought” treaty in the history of arms control. Three years later in Washington, in one of the most dramatic votes of the post-Cold War era, the Senate declined to approve the treaty outlawing all nuclear explosions, delaying its entry into force. Yet, despite its historic significance, very little has been written about the CTBT since. Fortunately, Keith A. Hansen, who served for eight years as a member of the U.S. team that negotiated and prepared to implement the CTBT, has made an outstanding contribution to filling that void.

Hansen’s perspective is, by his own admission, limited in scope—a report from the field of battle rather than an account from headquarters in Washington. Moreover, the section of his narrative covering both the Geneva negotiations that led to the signature of the CTBT in 1996, as well as steps aimed at its subsequent implementation by the Vienna-based Preparatory Commission, is written almost solely from the perspective of his own experience and public records of the negotiation. There are no revelations here as to what his foreign counterparts or their respective governments were “really thinking” as the drama took place in Geneva or in capitals around the globe.

That said, the book is a fascinating read both for the general reader and the specialist. It will be an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to delve further into the lessons learned from one of the most complex multilateral negotiations undertaken in the latter half of the twentieth century.

Hansen’s account is evenly divided between the negotiations that led to the conclusion of the CTBT in 1996 and subsequent efforts designed to pave the way for its implementation. In the book’s beginning, he provides a valuable summary of early efforts to limit nuclear testing, noting it was the Nonaligned Movement, particularly, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1954, that pressed hard for the cessation of all nuclear weapons testing—a reminder one hopes will someday soon resonate again in New Delhi. As Hansen recounts, Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy each made a valiant effort to achieve a total ban but came up short, reflecting both limitations in verification capabilities and, more broadly, the deep suspicions and tensions that prevailed during the Cold War. Nevertheless, Kennedy was able to complete and the Senate approved a Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) banning nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water, which could be adequately monitored through “national technical means” of verification and did not require on-site inspection.

It was the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, along with Congress and Clinton, that gave new impetus to CTBT negotiations. The reduction in international tensions abroad and the search for a “peace dividend” at home led to renewed international calls for an end to nuclear testing. An assertive Congress took the lead in passing bipartisan legislation in the fall of 1992, signed by President George H. W. Bush, that mandated a U.S. testing moratorium as well as negotiations to conclude a CTBT by 1996. Hansen is quick and correct to give credit to the incoming Clinton administration for seizing the opportunity and leading international efforts over the next four years to conclude a ban.

As Hansen notes, the Clinton administration’s drive to conclude a CTBT by the end of 1996, as mandated by Congress, did not take place in a strategic vacuum. The year 1995 was perhaps the most crucial in the life of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). That year, a treaty review conference was required to decide whether or how to extend the NPT, with the possibility of indefinite extension. The United States supported the latter, as an extension of the NPT for a fixed period or periods would have cast a dark cloud over the future of the NPT or, more dramatically, would have led to the expiration of the treaty.

Hansen rightly states that “the Clinton administration’s 1993 decision to pursue CTBT negotiations was a major boost to those countries favoring indefinite extension of the NPT.” Moreover, it was the commitment by all five NPT nuclear-weapon states at the 1995 NPT Review Conference to complete a CTBT no later than 1996 that solidified international support for the indefinite extension of the NPT.

Still, as Hansen makes clear, it was far from certain that a CTBT could be successfully negotiated by the end of 1996 or any other date. Along the way, a number of issues had to be addressed, both in capitals and the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD), any one of which could have broken the momentum and thwarted a final accord. Hansen focuses on three major hurdles that needed to be cleared in the Geneva talks: the basic obligations of the treaty, the requirements for entry into force, and specific aspects of the verification regime, especially on-site inspection.

Hansen’s description of the difficulties in achieving agreement on what precisely the treaty would ban—the most crucial issue in the negotiation—is illuminating. He highlights the different perspectives and positions of the five NPT nuclear-weapon states, where some of the five appeared at times to favor a ban that would permit tests producing a nuclear yield, and many of the non-nuclear-weapon states, who sought to define the ban as tightly as possible. Hansen accurately pegs a crucial turning point in the debate in the United States: the findings of a July 1995 report on nuclear testing by a group of distinguished U.S. scientists (the JASONS) that made clear that “low-yield” testing did not have a high priority in the U.S. program to maintain an acceptable level of safety and reliability in the U.S. nuclear stockpile. Shortly thereafter, on August 11, 1995, Clinton told the nation that the United States would support a true zero-yield comprehensive test ban that would prohibit “any nuclear weapons test explosion or any other nuclear explosion.”

This is the most crucial instance where Hansen’s battlefield account would have benefited from an additional layer of insight from headquarters. Although it is true the July 1995 JASONS study was widely briefed to National Security Council (NSC) principals and was used as ammunition in internal administration debates by those who opposed low-yield testing, it is unlikely to have carried the day in the absence of another crucial development: the emergence of six CTBT “safeguards.” Clinton announced these safeguards the same day he committed to a zero-yield CTBT; and the text of each safeguard was released in a White House fact sheet immediately after the president’s remarks. Together, the safeguards strengthened U.S. commitments in the areas of intelligence, monitoring and verification, stockpile stewardship, nuclear labs maintenance, and test readiness. They also specified the circumstances under which the president would consider CTBT withdrawal, along with a new annual reporting and certification requirement to ensure our nuclear weapons remain safe and reliable.

The idea of adopting CTBT safeguards, similar in concept to those adopted by the Kennedy administration during the Senate debate over the LTBT in 1963, germinated in the NSC staff in early August 1995. On the day he learned of the idea, National Security Advisor Anthony Lake took a car to the Pentagon to meet with Secretary of Defense William Perry and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili to begin work on the specific text of the safeguards. The result of Lake’s shuttle diplomacy: when Clinton announced his support of a zero-yield CTBT on August 11, he did so with the support of the secretary of defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his entire national security team.

Even with this bold move and unprecedented consensus in the United States, at least within the executive branch, negotiators in Geneva still had to do the heavy lifting to complete a treaty text, and as Hansen recounts, some of that lifting came with a heavy price. The most difficult and controversial issue, one that still casts a shadow over the future of the CTBT, was the specific conditions under which the treaty would enter into force. Although it was a given that all five NPT nuclear-weapon states would need to sign and ratify the CTBT as a condition for entry into force, there was no consensus, either in Geneva or in the national capitals, on what more should be required. In particular, some of the five NPT nuclear-weapon states dug in their heels, insisting the so-called threshold states of India, Israel, and Pakistan must also be bound, either to ensure that one of the treaty’s central objectives, to limit nuclear proliferation, was achieved or, more cynically, as a last-ditch attempt to foil the treaty ever entering into force.

Final resolution of the entry-into-force dilemma[1] escaped the normal give-and-take between delegations in Geneva. This was also true of the third negotiating challenge described in rich detail by Hansen: the question of which provisions were needed to verify the CTBT, in particular, the procedures for conducting on-site inspections. Hansen describes how the chairman of the Geneva CTBT negotiations, Ambassador Jaap Ramaker of the Netherlands, deftly introduced a “compromise text” representing the chairman’s best efforts to compromise across all issues. The tactic was successful in producing a final text, although not without a high-stakes, make-or-break round of bargaining with China on the issue of how many votes would be needed in the CTBT’s 51-member Executive Council to approve an on-site inspection. Yet, the fact that China alone was “permitted” to raise this one final issue in Ramaker’s compromise text, along with an entry-into-force provision that required all three threshold states to sign and ratify the accord, was too much for India, who refused to allow a “consensus” final text to go forward to the United Nations from the CD.

How and why the Indian government maneuvered itself or was maneuvered by others into opposing rather than taking historic credit for a CTBT in 1996 is one of the more interesting subplots of the negotiations. Here, Hansen’s insights are again limited largely to the public record and subsequent events. Although there was much speculation at the time and a general recognition that India’s public explanation, that the CTBT was not “comprehensive” and was “discriminatory,” was spurious, in retrospect the answer appears clear: India in 1996 could not bring itself to forgo the option of further nuclear tests, which New Delhi carried out two years later in the Pokhran desert. Nevertheless, despite its dramatic opposition, India could not stop a final treaty text from being sent from Geneva to the UN General Assembly, where only three nations—India, Libya, and Bhutan—voted against the resolution opening the treaty for signature. As of March 31 of this year, 176 countries have signed, and 132 have ratified the treaty.

In the second half of his book, Hansen focuses on efforts in the Vienna-based CTBT Preparatory Commission to prepare the way for entry into force. Hansen makes clear that achieving the last 10 of the 44 ratifications specified by the treaty for entry into force, starting with the United States but also including China, Colombia, North Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, and Pakistan, will not be an easy task. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine a successful scenario that does not begin with a renewed commitment by the White House and the Senate to achieve the two-thirds vote necessary for ratification in the United States, and as Hansen notes, the Bush administration shows no signs of moving in that direction during its second term.

That said, many of the same senators who voted against the CTBT have continued to vote in favor of U.S. funding for the preparatory commission. As Hansen states, that is a positive sign, suggesting that the senators are at least prepared to acquiesce in keeping the treaty alive, if not actively support ratification at this time. Indeed, one of the more significant insights from Hansen’s book is the light he shines on the work being done by the preparatory commission to lay the foundation for the treaty’s eventual entry into force. Most impressive has been the construction of the International Monitoring System (IMS), which appears to be on track for completion in 2007, as well as the International Data Center in Vienna, designed to collect and share data from the 321 IMS stations spread around the globe. Momentum in the commission has been slowed by the Bush administration’s refusal to seek ratification or support activities in Vienna relating to entry into force, such as preparing for on-site inspections, where the United States could make a valuable contribution that could pay dividends, both inside and outside the context of the CTBT. But the work in the preparatory commission continues to bode well for the future of the treaty.

What of that future? Hansen underscores the essential point: the longer the United States refuses to move toward ratification, the more the implementation effort is likely to suffer and stagnate. Moreover, other states whose signatures and ratifications are likewise essential for CTBT entry into force are likely to hide behind the United States, waiting to see which way the wind blows in Washington before taking any further action on the treaty. Ironically, there have been exceptions to this paradigm. Vietnam, one of the 44 states required for entry into force, completed its ratification in March 2006; and Libya, one of three states in 1996 to vote against the CTBT at the UN, has now signed and ratified the accord. The inescapable conclusion, however, is that only the United States can provide the political and diplomatic momentum to move this treaty forward. Unfortunately, the Bush administration may be missing a golden opportunity to achieve Indian signature this year by not insisting that India sign the CTBT as part of the “deal” with India to sweep aside the NPT and cooperate on civilian nuclear energy, a possible bargain with New Delhi if the administration in Washington was more committed both to the CTBT and creative diplomacy.

How important is the CTBT to U.S. and global security in the twenty-first century? Hansen is described in the author’s note as “neither a defender nor a critic” of the treaty, but it is difficult to read his book and not conclude that a reinvigorated CTBT would be a significant boost for the NPT and the nuclear nonproliferation regime, and there is no greater U.S. or global interest today than doing everything in our power to prevent the spread of nuclear arms. Moreover, the CTBT would place a significant barrier in the path of some states that, in the absence of the CTBT, would have much to gain—much more than the United States—from renewed testing. Both the case for the CTBT and a path forward to ratification was laid out by Shalikashvili in a January 2001 report to the president commissioned after the Senate failed to ratify the treaty. The door is open for this president or the next to walk through.

Finally, Hansen’s book is a timely reminder of the valuable role that can be played by multilateral diplomacy and arms control in reducing nuclear threats to U.S. and global security. Yes, there are costs and risks in engaging in the kind of multinational give-and-take that produced the CTBT. Moreover, balancing domestic politics and the security concerns of many states can frustrate any agreement; witness the trials and travails of bringing the CTBT into force. Yet, despite the difficulties, the CTBT experience clearly demonstrates there is merit to the promise that multilateral diplomacy involving all the world’s major powers can succeed in crafting agreements that are widely accepted by all states on issues that transcend national borders. The prerequisite for success is leadership from the White House.


Steve Andreasen is a national security consultant and teaches at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. From 1993 to 2001, he was director for defense policy and arms control on the National Security Council.


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ENDNOTE

1. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty’s entry into force requires the ratification of 44 states listed in the treaty, i.e., those states that participated in the 1996 Conference on Disarmament session and possessed either nuclear power or research reactors. This captures the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty nuclear-weapon states and “threshold states,” as well as North Korea.

 

A Review of The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: An Insider’s Perspective by Keith A. Hansen

Pentagon Details Hussein's Pre-Invasion Efforts

Matt Dupuis

A Pentagon report released March 24 offers new insights into Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s pre-war actions related to his country’s then-suspected nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs and the response of the United States and its allies.

The Iraqi Perspective Project, based on captured Iraqi government documents and interviews with former Iraqi officials, reiterates some findings of previous U.S. government reports (see ACT, November 2004), but provides a more detailed analysis of Hussein’s leadership style, strategic calculations, and pre-war diplomatic maneuverings prior to the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

It shows that Hussein made late efforts to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors when they returned to Iraq in late 2002 after a four-year absence but that these attempts were wrongly dismissed by Western intelligence agencies because of Iraq’s past record of obfuscation. The report, like other post-war U.S. reports, concludes that Hussein was intent on restarting suspected weapons programs once sanctions were eventually lifted.

The report states that, in the decade after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Hussein had often pursued a strategy of “purposeful ambiguity” regarding his real and purported arsenals, a deceptive tactic aimed at deterring external threats from Israel and Iran as well as internal threats such as coups.

But after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, Hussein began to shift course, fearing that the United States would turn against his regime. He sought to avoid provocative actions. As pressure mounted on Baghdad in late 2002, he ordered Iraqi officers to cooperate fully with UN weapons inspectors, “thus denying President George W. Bush and the Americans any excuse for starting a new conflict.” The strategy was also aimed at “solidifying the promise of more substantial French and Russian efforts on Iraq’s behalf,” to forestall UN support for military action, according to the report.

At times, however, the strategy of cooperation appeared not only to fail but to backfire because of preconceptions created by Hussein’s record. The report, for example, cites an episode related to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Feb. 5, 2003, speech to the UN General Assembly. (See ACT, March 2003.) Arguing that Iraq was concealing illicit weapons, Powell cited an intercepted conversation between two Iraqi Republican Guard Corps commanders, in which one commanded the other to “remove” the listing of “nerve agents…wherever it comes up,” as proof of Iraqi obstruction of the inspections process. But the report says that Powell and U.S. intelligence agencies had reached an erroneous conclusion in assuming that “military actions to remove lingering traces of weapons fielded in the past” were “attempts to conceal current [weapons of mass destruction (WMD)] assets or operations.”

More broadly, the report concluded that “when it came to WMD, Hussein was simultaneously attempting to deceive one audience that they were gone and another that they still had them,” putting himself into a “diplomatic and propaganda Catch 22.”

Captured documents reveal that Hussein kept many of his closest advisers in the dark about the state of Iraq’s weaponry for fear of possible coup attempts and an attack from Israel. If it was revealed that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, “it would not only show Israel that Iraq did not have [weapons of mass destruction] but might actually encourage” Israel to attack, Hussein and other Iraqi officials believed. Hussein used chemical weapons in his successful efforts to crush rebellions by the Kurds in the 1980s and Shiites in the 1990s, as well as in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. (See ACT, January/February 2006.)

The report notes that, based on Iraq’s previous stockpiles, the plausibility of secret and compartmentalized prohibited weapons programs, and Western governments’ public assessments, “a number of senior Iraqi officials continued to believe it possible…that Iraq still possessed a WMD capability hidden away somewhere.” But the report notes that the same officials denied having any “direct knowledge” of these weapons.

 

Correction

Robert W. Nelson’s article “If it Ain’t Broke: The Already Reliable U.S. Nuclear Arsenal” of the April 2006 issue contained a mathematical error. The sentence should have read: “An improvement in accuracy by a factor of two, for example, decreases the required explosive yield by a factor of eight. It hardly matters, for example, if the W76 warhead detonates with a yield of 100 kilotons or 90 kilotons, when a 15-kiloton explosion will do.”

 

 

News Analysis: The Global Partnership—A Mixed Record

Joanna Wintrol

Nearly four years ago, several leading countries agreed to better coordinate and expand their efforts to secure and destroy stockpiles of unconventional weapons and materials housed in Russia and other former Soviet states. Almost halfway through the initiative’s planned 10-year lifespan, funding and projects are up from past levels, but total pledges and contributions have fallen well short of projected goals. Meanwhile, Russia and the donors continue to spar over funding goals, and several programs have been slowed by bureaucratic hurdles.

At a June 2002 Group of Eight (G-8) summit in Kananaskis, Canada, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States established the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. The initiative, also known as “10 Plus 10 Over 10,” calls on members of the group, as well as other interested donors, to match a U.S. pledge of $10 billion over 10 years to help lockdown and eliminate residual Soviet materials and weapons considered vulnerable to unauthorized use or theft.

Today, 18 countries and the European Union have joined the United States in funding such work in Russia, Ukraine, and beyond. Yet, funding pledges are $3 billion shy of the $20 billion promised, according to the last official estimate from donor countries in June 2005. Among others, Canada, Germany, and the United States have been generous in their pledges, while those from some members, such as Japan, have been more modest.

Moreover, actual contributions appear to fall significantly short of even these pledges. No comprehensive accounting is available, but reports from individual countries such as Germany and Japan indicate that they have not yet delivered on their pledge. In 2002, Germany pledged $1.5 billion to the Global Partnership and as of 2005 had spent the equivalent of $206.5 million at current exchange rates. Japan initially pledged $200 million and has since contributed the current exchange rate equivalent of $6.9 million. In addition, in a 2005 informal poll of government officials and nongovernmental experts conducted by the Moscow-based, independent PIR center, roughly 80 percent of the responders believed that there is a significant gap between the pledges being made and the money that is being received in Russia. When asked whether the $20 billion pledge has been successfully realized as a “floor” and not a “ceiling,” 75 percent said “no.”

Funding Clashes

Russia, the largest recipient of such assistance, has also clashed with European and U.S. donors over where the funds should be directed. Russia has placed priority on destroying decaying nuclear submarines and chemical weapons, as it is worried about their environmental consequences and is striving to meet its pledge under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to destroy its entire arsenal of such arms. Many Western donors, by contrast, would like to see funds directed toward programs to secure Russian biological and nuclear weapons facilities and relevant weapons and to retrain experts in these fields.

Moreover, Russia has balked as donors have sought to shift funds to other former Soviet republics or outside the region entirely. (See ACT, June 2004.)

In those areas in which Russia has backed the funding, some progress has been made.

The pace of nuclear submarine dismantlement has accelerated since the Global Partnership began. A fleet of nuclear submarines located in northwest Russia is expected to be dismantled by 2010. Already 32 of the 100 or so submarines in the region have been destroyed, 20 since 2002 alone. Canada, Germany, Japan, Norway, and the United Kingdom are the principal donors for work in the submarine field.

The Global Partnership has been successful in increasing efforts to redirect weapons scientists to peaceful employment through such centers as the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow, which coordinates the multilateral funding of projects for scientists in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. By 2004, more than 200 private and governmental organizations were participating in the funding of more than 100 research projects.

The partnership has also helped Russia make limited progress in dismantling its vast chemical weapons stockpile, which is the largest in the world. Under the CWC, Russia must complete the destruction of its stockpile by 2012, although this deadline is unlikely to be met (See "U.S. Unable to Meet CWC 2012 Deadline"). Originally, the deadline was set at 2007, but as delays on all sides have mounted, an extension of five years was granted. As of February 2006, Russia had eliminated less than 3 percent of its total stockpile.

But even these efforts have seen setbacks.

The ongoing construction of a chemical weapons destruction facility at Shchuch’ye was slated to be one of the United States’ largest ventures in the Global Partnership. Since 2002 the United States has subsequently earmarked $540 million to destroy the 5,450 metric tons of nerve agents stored at that facility and in neighboring regions. It was scheduled to be completed and operational in time to comply with the original April 2007 deadline.

But inconsistent U.S. funding, a shortage of qualified labor, subcontractor bankruptcies, and Russian government delays have delayed construction. Shchuch’ye is now scheduled to begin operations in late 2008 at the earliest. To try to meet a revised 2007 deadline for eliminating 20 percent of its chemical weapons arsenal, Russia has been forced to focus its efforts on stockpiles at other sites.

Coordination and Legal Challenges

Beyond chemical weapons and submarine destruction, broader problems remain. A challenge for all sides has been coordination. A multitude of disagreements exist over where, when, and how the money is being spent. Laura Holgate, who previously helped manage U.S. assistance efforts at the Departments of Energy and Defense in the Clinton administration, told Arms Control Today March 30 that “identifying collective priorities and making sure that projects are being handled with the best coordination possible is just not happening.”

Donors have not put in place a comprehensive mechanism to oversee the allocation of funds to projects in the recipient countries, creating accountability issues between donors and recipients. Members disagree over how to measure the sums of the pledges reaching the recipient and whether the funds are being used effectively on the ground.

Still, the most significant obstacle is the failure to match stated pledges with actual funds. Both donors and recipients appear to share responsibility for these problems.

Citing national security concerns Russia has refused to provide access to nuclear weapons facilities and projects where foreign equipment has been installed and nuclear warheads are stored. But this has made it difficult for Western governments to convince their legislatures that the programs are delivering good value for their money. As Stephen Rademaker, acting assistant secretary of state for security and nonproliferation issues, explained at an April 12 press conference in Moscow, “[O]ne of the practical challenges in implementing these programs is to strike the balance between our need for accountability and Russia’s need to be satisfied that its national security is being protected.”

A graphic example of this type of problem is the U.S.-built fissile material storage facility near Mayak, Russia. The facility is capable of holding thousands of bombs’ worth of fissile material under tight security while they await destruction. However, because of oversight disagreements between the United States and Russia, the Mayak facility has remained empty since it was handed over to the Russians in 2003.

Moreover, Russia has set up complicated legislative procedures and conditions for completing bilateral agreements, including passage through the Duma. This has slowed the process of sorting through liability and tax exemption legislation, preventing several projects from getting started.

In June, the Cooperative Threat Reduction Umbrella Agreement, which covers U.S. liability for the program, will expire. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy Peter Flory told the Senate in March that Russia “has accepted U.S. terms for extension of this framework and we believe that we will be able to conclude negotiations well before the June 2006 deadline.” However, the extension to the agreement will still have to be put through the lengthy process of review and approval in several U.S. and Russian government agencies, plus passage through the Duma.

Still, Global Partnership officials have emphasized the need for long-term outlooks in planning and project proposal to ease coordination efforts and avoid overlap in the future.

Holgate suggests that more must be done now to address the urgency of the threats that exist under present conditions. Holgate maintains that “the donors don’t yet themselves internalize the degree to which insecure [weapons of mass destruction] globally are a threat to them and their own interests…and if the powers that be in the donor countries did see the threat to them and their security, they would be doing a lot more a lot faster.”

But Annalisa Giannella, the European Union’s senior nonproliferation official, puts the blame on Russia. “The difficulties that we encounter in implementing our projects in Russia do not encourage us to envisage more projects,” she said. “In addition, there isn’t full agreement with the Russians on the scope of the cooperation under the Global Partnership.”

 

May 2006 Bibliography

Of Special Interest

Hersh, Seymour M., “The Iran Plans,” The New Yorker, April 17, 2006, p. 30.

Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Nuclear Weapons Council, Interim Report on the Feasibility of the Reliable Replacement Warhead Program, March 1, 2006, 10 pp.

Warrick, Joby, “Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War,” TheWashington Post, April 12, 2006, p. A1.

Woods, Kevin, James Lacey, and Williamson Murray, “Saddam’s Delusions; The View from the Inside,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2006, p. 2.

Zarif, Javad, “We Do Not Have a Nuclear Weapons Program,” The New York Times, April 6, 2006.

I. Strategic Arms

Abdullaev, Nabi, “ Russia Won’t Seek Nuclear Parity with West,” Defense News, April 10, 2006, p. 12.

Associated Press, “Top Designer says New Russian Missiles Will Have No Rivals for 15-20 Years,” April 13, 2006.

Associated Press, “Military Chief: Russian Nuclear Forces Enough to Deter Aggression Even Without Parity With U.S.,” April 3, 2006.

Costa, Keith J., “NNSA Offers Blueprint for Transforming Nuclear Weapons Complex,” Inside Missile Defense, April 12, 2006, p. 7.

Interfax, “ Russia Honored Its Commitment to Cut Tactical Nuclear Weapons, General Says,” April 13, 2006.

Interfax, “ Russia’s Unilateral Withdrawal from INF Treaty Inexpedient,” April 11, 2006.

ITAR-TASS, “Russian Designer: Bulava Missile May Have Sea, Ground-Launched Versions,” April 13, 2006.

Kampelman, Max M., “Bombs Away,” The New York Times, April 24, 2006.

Litovkin, Dmitri, “Six Warheads per Missile,” Izvestia, April 26, 2006.

Phelan, Benjamin, “Buried Truths,” Harper’s Magazine, April 17, 2006.

Pincus, Walter, “ U.S. Prepares to Overhaul Arsenal of Nuclear Warheads,” The Washington Post, April 15, 2006, p. A1.

RIA Novosti, “Russian Minister Sees INF Treaty as ‘Cold War Relic’ but Withdrawal Not In Cards,” April 24, 2006.

RIA Novosti, “ Russia Should Make 20-30 Ballistic Missiles A Year,” April 11, 2006.

Rosenberg, Eric “ U.S.-Russian War Center Still Stalled,” The Arizona Republic, April 9, 2006.

Ruppe, David, “Warhead Program Undermines U.S. Nuclear Deterrent, Critics Say,” Global Security Newswire, April 26, 2006.

Sokov, Nikolai, “New Details on Russian Strategic Subs Emerge, As Keel for Third Borey Class Boat is Laid,” WMD Insights, April 2006, p. 27.

Skinner, Tony, “Nuclear Debate,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, April 12, 2006, p. 22.

Sterngold, James, “Funding Boost Possible for Warhead Program,” The San Francisco Chronicle, April 27, 2006.

Vartabedian, Ralph, “ U.S. Rolls Out Nuclear Plan,” Los Angeles Times, April 6, 2006.

Weir, Fred, “In Moscow, Buzz over Arms Race II,” The Christian Science Monitor, April 24, 2006.

II. Nuclear Proliferation

Abdullaev, Nabi, “ Russia Compiles List of Alleged WMD Spreaders,” Defense News, April 17, 2006, p. 28.

Agence France-Presse, “ Russia Publishes WMD Blacklist,” April 12, 2006.

International Export Control Observer, “Suspected A.Q. Khan Network Middleman Goes on Trial in Germany,” April 2006, p. 5.

International Export Control Observer, “ China and Pakistan Agree to More Nuclear Cooperation; NSG Exemption Needed But Unlikely,” April 2006, p. 13.

India

Agence France-Presse, “ Pakistan’s Top Nuclear Command Concerned Over India-US Deal,” April 13, 2006.

Albright, David and Basu, Susan, Neither a Determined Proliferator Nor a Responsible Nuclear State: India’s Record Needs Scrutiny, Institute for Science and International Security, April 5, 2006, 4 pp.

Bhushan, Bharat, “ Russia in Nuclear Business Rush,” The Telegraph, April 4, 2006.

Boureston, Jack and Spector, Leonard, S., “Breeder Reactors and India’s Nuclear Strategy,” WMD Insights, April 2006, p. 12.

Cohen, William, “A Pretty Good Deal for America,” The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2006, p. A20.
Giacomo, Carol, “ Russia Ignores US, Delivers Nuclear Fuel to India,” Reuters, April 25, 2006.

Hindustan Times, “US Congress Will Approve Nuke Deal After Mid-Term Polls: Speaker Hastert,” April 12, 2006.
Kessler, Glenn, “ India Nuclear Deal May Face Hard Sell,” The Washington Post, April 3, 2006, p. A1.

Kimball, Daryl G., “Civil, Military Separation Plan Not Credible,” Asian Affairs, April 2006, p. 10.

Krepon, Michael, A Guide to the Perplexed, Q & A on the US-India Nuclear Deal, Henry L. Stimson Center, April 24, 2006, 4 pp.

Nalapat, M.D, “ India’s Nuclear Technology Sell Out,” United Press International, April 10, 2006.

Reuters, “US Likely to Pass India Nuclear Deal: Senator,” April 10, 2006.
Ruppe, David, “ U.S. Acknowledges ‘Double Standard’ on Indian Deal,” Global Security Newswire, April 12, 2006.

Ruppe, David, “ U.S. Would Assure India Fuel Even If Delhi Tests Nuclear Weapons,” Global Security Newswire, April 7, 2006.

Times of India, “Scrap Indo-US Nuclear Deal: Rajnath,” April 11, 2006.

Weiss, Leonard, “Power Points: The U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement is the Wrong Deal with the Wrong Energy Source,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June 2006, p. 21.

Wulf, Norman, “Costly Nuke Deal: Exception for India Unsettles Nonproliferation,” Defense News, April 10, 2006, p. 29.

Iran

Afrasiabi, Kaveh L., “A Two-Track Path to Dialogue with Iran,” The Boston Globe, April 3, 2006.

Agence France-Presse, “ EU Mulls Iran Sanctions, Dismisses Military Option,” April 11, 2006.

Associated Press, “ Iran President Warns ‘Aggressors’,” April 18, 2006.

Bellantoni, Christina, “House OKs Tighter Sanctions Against Iran’s Nuclear Aims,” The Washington Times, April 27, 2006, p. A4.

Bloomberg, “ Iran’s Ahmadinejad Rejects UN Deadline on Uranium Enrichment,” April 24, 2006.

Broad, William J. and Sanger, David A., “ Iran Claims Nuclear Steps in New Worry,” The New York Times, April 17, 2006.

Broad, William J., Nazila Fathi, and Joel Brinkley, “Analysts Say a Nuclear Iran Is Years Away,” The New York Times, April 13, 2006, p. A1.

Cordesman, Anthony H. and Al-Rodhan, Khalid R., Iranian Nuclear Weapons? Iran’s Missiles and Possible Delivery Systems, Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 17, 2006.
Cordesman, Anthony H. and Al-Rodhan, Khalid R., Iranian Nuclear Weapons? The Uncertain Nature of Iran's Nuclear Programs, Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 12, 2006.

Dareini, Ali Akbar, “ Iran Vows No ‘Retreat’ on its Nukes,” Associated Press, April 14, 2006.
Deutsche Presse-Agentur, “Report: IAEA Informed of Iran’s P-2 Centrifuge Programmes,” April 17, 2006.
Dombey, Daniel, “ Bush Adviser Dismisses Call for Talks with Iran,” The Financial Times, April 23, 2006.

Dombey, Daniel, “ EU Paper Outlines Tough Action on Tehran,” The Financial Times, April 9, 2006.
Fallows, James, “The Nuclear Power Beside Iraq,” The Atlantic Monthly, May 2006, p. 31.

Feinstein, Dianne, “Confronting Iran,” Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2006.

Friedman, Thomas L., “ Iraq II or a Nuclear Iran?,” The New York Times, April 19, 2006.

Hunter, Robert E., “Time to Talk with Iran,” The Washington Post, April 26, 2006.

Ignatius, David, “An Iranian Missile Crisis,” The Washington Post, April 12, 2006, p. A17.

Lieven, Anatol, “How to Get Out of the Iran Trap,” The Washington Post, April 12, 2006.

McGeary, Johanna, “ Will This Man Get The Bomb?” Time, April 3, 2006.

Pisik, Betsy, “ Iran Ignores Order to Halt Enrichment,” The Washington Times, April 29, 2006, p. A1.

Robbins, Carla Anne, “Concerns Mount Over Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions,” The Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2006, p. A3.

Schweid, Barry, “Rice Calls for ‘Strong Steps’ Against Iran,” Associated Press,
April 12, 2006.

Sevastopulo, Demetri, “ US Ex-Official Urges Talks with Iran,” The Financial Times, April 12, 2006.

Shannon, Elaine, “A Financial Hit on Iran?,” Time, April 24, 2006.

Smyth, Gareth, “ Iran ’s Former Nuclear Chief Makes Call for ‘Less Emotion’,” The Financial Times, April 21, 2006.

Strobel, Warren P., John Walcott, and Jonathan S. Landay, “ Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions Create a Dilemma,” Knight Ridder, April 16, 2006.

Xinhua, “ China Urges Restraint in Solving Iran Nuclear Issue,” April 20, 2006.

Yen, Hope, “Two Senators Say US Should Pursue Nuclear Talks with Tehran,” Associated Press, April 17, 2006.

Israel

Cohen, Avner and Burr, William, “ Israel Crosses the Threshold,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June 2006, p. 23.

North Korea

Asahi Shimbun, “Kim: North Korea Could Enhance Nuclear Development during Suspension of Six-Party Talks,” April 13, 2006.

Chang, Jae-Soon, “S. Korea Offers Aid if N. Korea Cooperates,” Associated Press, April 22, 2006.

Chosun Ilbo, “N. Korea’s Nuke Negotiator Digs in After Snub from U.S.,” April 13, 2006.

Faiola, Anthony, “ Tokyo Trip Could Aid Talks on N. Korea,” The Washington Post. April 5, 2006, p. A18.

Fifield, Anna, “Six Party Talks on North Korea in ‘Terminal Decline’,” The Financial Times, April 25, 2006.

Herskovitz, Jon, “N. Korea Marks Founder’s Birthday with Nuclear Boast,” Reuters, April 15, 2006.

Holland, Steve and Zakaria, Tabassum, “Bush Seeks China’s Help on N. Korea,” Reuters, April 20, 2006.

International Export Control Observer, “Swiss Firm Sanctioned by U.S. Government for Assisting North Korea,” April 2006, p. 16.

Johnson, Tim, “Hopes Wither for Resumption of Nuclear Talks,” Knight Ridder, April 5, 2006.

Kim, Jack, “ North Korea Threatens to Boost Nuclear Arsenal,” Reuters, April 13, 2006.

Kim, Jack, “N. Korea Envoy: Restart of Nuclear Talks up to US,” Reuters, April 7, 2006.

Kim, Jack, and Nishiyama, George, “US, China Meet on Reviving N. Korea Nuclear Talks,” Reuters, April 11, 2006.

Kim, Kwang-Tae, “Nuke Envoy Urges N. Korea to Rejoin Talks,” Associated Press, April 12, 2006.

Park, John S., “Path for Seoul’s Sunshine Policy,” The Korea Times, April 5, 2006.

Reuters, “Two Koreas Agree to Ministerial Level Talks,” April 6, 2006.

Salmon, Andrew, “ U.S. Warns Kim of Finance Probe,” The Washington Times, April 14, 2006, p. A15.

III. Nonproliferation

Anufriyev, Vladimir, “ Canada Allocates More Money to Scrap Russian Nuclear Subs,” ITAR-TASS, April 5, 2006.

Ferguson, Charles D., “Nuclear Lessons for Today,” The Christian Science Monitor, April 26, 2006.

Ferguson, Charles D., “Tackling the Risks of Nuclear Terrorism,” The Seattle Times, April 26, 2006.

Harrison, Selig S., “How to Regulate Nuclear Weapons,” The Washington Post, April 23, 2006, p. B7.

Hughes, John, “West Should Close Gaps against Nuclear Terrorism,” The Christian Science Monitor, April 5, 2006.

Sprenger, Sebastian, “ U.S., Russia Close to Extending Cooperative Threat Reduction Deal,” Inside Missile Defense, April 12, 2006, p. 1.

IV. Missiles and Missile Defense

Agence France-Presse, “ Poland Set For Talks On Hosting US Missiles,” April 10, 2006.

Barrie, Douglas, “Firing Away,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, April 10, 2006, p. 33.

Ben David, Alon, “West Doubts Iran Missile Claims,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, April 12, 2006, p. 4.
Dinmore, Guy, “ China Pushes for Lifting of US Sanctions over Weapons Proliferation,” The Financial Times, April 20, 2006.

Duffy, Thomas, “MDA Director Says ABL Operating Costs Could End Program,” Inside Missile Defense, April 26, 2006, p. 1.

Gertler, Jeremiah, The Paths Ahead: Missile Defense in Asia, Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 30, 2006, 56 pp.

Henderson, Simon, “Chinese-Saudi Cooperation: Oil but also Missiles,” Policy Watch, No. 1095, The Washington Institute, April 21, 2006.

Interfax, “General Says Planned US Missile Defense System Threat to Russia,” April 24, 2006.

Pinkston, Daniel A., “ South Korea Unveils New Cruise Missile and MANPAD,” WMD Insights, April 2006, p. 34.

Ruppe, David, “ U.S. Plans Basic Missile Defense Interceptor Tests,” Global Security Newswire, April 19, 2006.

Ruppe, David, “Deployed U.S. Missile Interceptors Contain Questionable Parts,” Global Security Newswire, April 5, 2006.

Schiff, Ze'ev, “ Iran Buys Surface-to-Surface Missiles Capable of Hitting Europe,” Haaretz, April 27, 2006.

V. Chemical and Biological Arms

Ben Ouagrham-Gormley, Sonia, Alexander Melikishvili, and Raymond A. Zilinskas,

The Soviet Anti-Plague System, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, 2006.

Burns, Robert, “Pentagon Considering Whether to Help Libya Destroy Its Chemical Weapons,” Associated Press, March 30, 2006.

Ember, Lois R., “ U.S. Can’t Eliminate Arsenal Until 2017,” Chemical & Engineering News, April 24, 2006, p. 9.

Fischer, Julie E., Stewardship or Censorship? Balancing Biosecurity, The Public’s Health, and the Benefits of Scientific Openness, The Henry L. Stimson Center, April 2006, 92 pp.

Norton, John, “Pentagon Assures Chem. Demil. Funds; Sen. Wayne Allard Says He Will Want Continued Updates,” The Pueblo Chieftain, April 18, 2006.

Relman, David A., Eileen Choffnes, and Stanley M. Lemon, “In Search of Biosecurity,” Science, March 31, 2006, p. 1835.

Schneidmiller, Chris, “ U.S. CW Destruction to Last Through 2017,” Global Security Newswire, April 18, 2006.

United Press International, “ U.S. Missing Chemical Treaty Deadline,” April 14, 2006.

Walker, Paul F., and Tucker, Jonathan B., “The Real Chemical Threat,” Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2006.

VI. Conventional Arms

Agence France-Presse, “US Urges Ban On Military Sales To Iran,” April 24, 2006.
Cox, Bob, “ Pakistan May Want to Buy F-16 Jets,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 14, 2006.
Gibson, Erika, “S. Africa’s New Sub Comes Home,” Defense News, April 17, 2006, p. 27.

IRIN, “Stronger Arms Embargo Needed in Darfur: UN Experts,” April 28, 2006.

Jaffe, Greg, “To Fight Terrorists, Air Force Seeks a Bomb with Less Bang,” The Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2006, p. A1.

Khatchadourian, Raffi, “Blowback in Africa,” The New York Times, April 28, 2006.

Pomfret, John, “ Iran Has Raised Efforts to Obtain U.S. Arms Illegally, Officials Say,” The Washington Post, April 17, 2006, p. A14.

Shalal-Esa, Andrea, “US Arms Industry Eager to Gain Foothold in India,” Reuters, April 10, 2006.

VII. U.S. Policy

Brzezinski, Zbigniew, “Been There, Done That: Talk of a U.S. Strike on Iran is Eerily Reminiscent of the Run-Up to the Iraq War,” Los Angeles Times, April 23, 2006.

Gertz, Bill, “More Muscle, With Eye on China,” The Washington Times, April 20, 2006, p. A1.

Schlesinger, Arthur, Jr., “Bush’s Thousand Days,” The Washington Post, April 24, 2006, p. A17.

VIII. Space

Bennett, John T., “Air Chief Worried Plan to Avoid ‘Pearl Harbor in Space’ is Insufficient,” Inside Missile Defense, April 12, 2006, p. 1.

Indo-Asian News Service , “ India Begins Work on Space Weapons Command,” April 12, 2006.

Kislyakov, Andrei, “Weaponization of Space Will Have Unpredictable Consequences,” RIA Novosti, April 7, 2006.

Mathews, Neelam, “Space Stability,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, April 24, 2006, p. 59.

IX. Other

Agence France-Presse, “ Iran Says Ready to Sign Non-Aggression Pact with Region,” April 12, 2006.

Agence France-Presse, “Vigils, Protests to Mark Chernobyl 20th Anniversary,” April 25, 2006.

Gehrke, Robert, “Explosion Test has Hatch Upset; Concerns Grow over Possible Dispersal of Old Radioactive Material in Nevada,” The Salt Lake Tribune, April 25, 2006.

Karp, Jonathan, “Defense Industry Braces for Report on Cost Overruns,” The Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2006, p. A4.

Kempe, Frederick, “ Africa Emerges as Strategic Battleground,” The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2005, p. A8.

Kralev, Nicholas, “ Bulgaria OKs 3 Bases for U.S. Troops,” The Washington Times, April 24, 2006, p. A1.

Kringen, John A., “How We’ve Improved Intelligence, Minimizing the Risk of ‘Groupthink’,” The Washington Post, April 3, 2006, p. A19.

Kulacki, Gregory, “Lost in Translation,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June 2006, p. 35

Macfarlane, Allison, “Stuck on a Solution,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June 2006, p. 47.

Osborn, Andrew, “20 Years after Meltdown, Life Returns to Chernobyl,” The Independent, April 5, 2006.

Reiter, Dan, Preventive War and Its Alternatives: The Lesson of History, Strategic Studies Institute, April 2006, 35 pp.

Romanov, Pyotr, “ Chernobyl Exploded USSR,” RIA Novosti, April 25, 2006.

Weir, Fred, “Still under Chernobyl’s Shadow, The Christian Science Monitor, April 26, 2006.

 

Nunn-Lugar at 15: No Time to Relax Global Threat Reduction Efforts

Paul F. Walker

The Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, which will celebrate its fifteenth birthday later this year, is one of the clear successes of post-Cold War diplomacy. CTR was established in 1991 to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons after the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Since then, the program, also known as Nunn-Lugar, after two of its founders, Senators Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), has deactivated more than 6,800 nuclear warheads and overseen the end of nuclear weapons programs in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

Yet, throughout the last decade and a half, the program has wrestled with recalcitrance on the part of some Russian bureaucrats and military officials and with opposition from some U.S. policymakers who have perceived it as a diversion of precious Pentagon resources.

The pressure to slow down or terminate the program has intensified recently in Washington, illustrated by less than optimal CTR budget requests from the Bush administration and reluctance by Congress to expand particular programs. Bilateral tensions also have spiked, leading to differences over funding priorities and potentially risking these efforts.

Now is not the time to abandon this valuable program. Thousands of nuclear warheads await deactivation, thousands of tons of chemical weapons remain to be destroyed, and dozens of nuclear submarines among other Cold War weapons systems await dismantlement. Although some significant changes need to be made, too much valuable work remains to be done to let relatively minor difficulties stand in the way of fulfilling this historic opportunity to improve both national and global security.

Post-Cold War Concerns

As the Cold War wound down in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a major concern, particularly in light of the growing lack of structure in East European and former Soviet capitals and militaries, was the threat of proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and related launch systems. The Soviet Union and United States had negotiated and signed several important bilateral arms control agreements throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These agreements had already led to important weapons reductions, including destruction of some 1,800 short- and intermediate-range missiles by the end of 1990.

However, the nuclear arsenal of the former Soviet Union still bristled with nuclear warheads and launch systems in 1990: an estimated 1,398 ICBMs, 61 strategic nuclear submarines with 930 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and 175 long-range strategic bombers. In addition, the Soviet Union was thought to have at least 40,000 tons of chemical weapons and an unknown number of biological weapons and pathogens.

The breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact thus led to much concern about “loose nukes” and the overall security of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the former Soviet republics. As a result, Congress established the CTR program in November 1991 in the fiscal year 1992 defense authorization act. Both Nunn and Lugar, along with Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wis.)—who would later serve as secretary of defense—and others actively supported this new initiative. After the failed coup in Moscow in August 1991 and the complete disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, this initiative became all the more urgent. The final legislation, the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991, authorized $400 million in Department of Defense funds to help the Soviet Union and its “successor entities” with three broad tasks:

  1. to “destroy nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and other weapons”;

  2. to “transport, store, disable, and safeguard weapons in connection with their destruction”; and

  3. to “establish verifiable safeguards against the proliferation of such weapons.”

Lugar, in the minority on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time, warned in late November 1991 that the Soviet breakup risked harming “international stability” and could mean much less security for nuclear arsenals. Senate colleagues warned of the “seizure, theft, sale or use of nuclear weapons or components…particularly if a widespread disintegration in the custodial system should occur.” They also warned of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction beyond the former borders of the Soviet Union. Nunn, then chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, summed up these major concerns as follows: “We are on the verge of either having the greatest destruction of nuclear weapons in the history of the world or the greatest proliferation of nuclear weapons, nuclear materials, and scientific know-how on how to make these weapons, as well as chemical weapons, ballistic missiles, even biological weapons the world has ever seen.”

Other Senate proponents such as Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), a senior member of the Foreign Relations panel, argued that the Nunn-Lugar amendment would be “assisting ourselves,” not just the Soviet Union, in preventing terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction. Yet, critics such as Sen. Malcolm Wallop (R-Wyo.) and other conservative Cold War politicians emphasized that this was simply foreign aid to an enemy state and would allow the Soviet Union to reinvest its own resources in more military hardware.

By 1993, two years after congressional passage, the CTR program acquired its current name and enlisted the help of the Departments of State and Energy for weapons security, transportation, demilitarization, and weapons scientist redirection efforts. Four years later, both of the departments would begin to request funds for their own complementary programs in nuclear nonproliferation and security.

Over the past decade, Energy Department programs have broadly focused on security and management of fissile materials, while State Department efforts have sought to engage former Soviet weapons scientists in civilian projects in order to preclude brain drain. Today’s Energy Department programs are managed under the National Nuclear Security Administration and include a variety of nuclear materials protection and cooperation assistance efforts, proliferation prevention initiatives, and the elimination of weapons-grade plutonium. Energy Department funding mechanisms are complex, but the total request for fiscal year 2007 is about $834 million. State Department programs have also supported export control and border security projects, have helped establish international science and technology centers in Moscow and Kiev for the retraining of weapons scientists, and have participated in legal negotiations on nonproliferation. Annual State Department funding, including the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund, is about $150 million.

This analysis focuses, however, on the Defense Department’s ongoing CTR program. Congress authorized $400 million annually out of the defense budget for the CTR program for its first four fiscal years, 1992-1995. Over the next decade, annual requests ranged from a low of $328 million in 1997 to a high of $476 million in 2000. Although the debates noted above have continued over the years regarding whether CTR funds are truly necessary for nonproliferation or rather a stealthy foreign aid program for the former Soviet Union, both parties in Congress have generally been receptive to executive branch requests. Over 15 years of funding requests, from 1992 to 2006, Congress has reduced funding only twice and increased funding only once. Approximately $6.1 billion has been requested and authorized over the period, averaging $407 million per year. Combined with Energy and State Department requests for global nonproliferation efforts but without amounts for U.S. fissile material reprocessing in the Energy Department budget, annual funding is about $1 billion, the amount to which the United States committed at the 2002 Group of Eight (G-8) summit in Kananaskis, which established the Global Partnership (see page 38). The current request for fiscal year 2007 for the CTR program is $372 million. In addition, the administration has requested $45 million in a fiscal year 2006 supplemental bill for enhanced warhead security.

The primary goal for the CTR program, as noted in the initial programmatic goals above, has been the security and elimination of former Soviet nuclear weapons. At the time of the CTR program’s establishment in late 1991, the Soviet Union’s strategic nuclear arsenal was estimated at well over 10,000 strategic nuclear warheads and bombs (some estimates, which include tactical weapons, range up to three times this amount) and deployed in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, in addition to Russia. Early projects included purchases of armored blankets, storage containers, railcar improvements, and emergency response vehicles for nuclear warhead security. CTR support remains ongoing today in weapons transportation and storage security. It has also focused on fissile materials storage as thousands of nuclear warheads are dismantled and bomb-grade fissile materials must be safely stored for the longer run. A major effort since the mid-1990s has been the construction of a $400 million storage facility at Mayak, outside of Chelyabinsk, designed to hold more than 25,000 fissile material containers from approximately the same number of nuclear warheads.

In addition to security, transportation, and storage of nuclear warheads and bomb-grade fissile materials, the dismantlement and destruction of nuclear weapons systems have been major CTR tasks and have helped to implement the 1991 START I and the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (Moscow Treaty). The CTR program can claim a long list of accomplishments in reducing former Soviet weaponry. Perhaps most important, all nuclear warheads have been returned to Russia from the former Soviet republics of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. All strategic weapons infrastructure, including missiles and silos, has also been eliminated in Belarus and Kazakhstan, and elimination is underway in Ukraine.

The safe storage and destruction of Russian chemical weapons has also been a top priority of the CTR program. Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993, along with the United States and many other countries, and ratified it in November 1997, six months after the U.S. Senate had approved the treaty. Russia declared seven chemical weapons stockpiles containing a total of 40,000 metric tons of nerve and blister agents. The United States, after a July 1994 inspection of the chemical weapons destruction site at Shchuch’ye, decided to help Russia build a large demilitarization facility at the 5,400-ton nerve agent stockpile. This stockpile was chosen primarily because of its proximity to the southern Russian border and the portability of its two million artillery shells. To date, the CTR program has committed more than $1.1 billion for this effort, including provision of mobile testing laboratories, construction of a Central Analytical Lab (CAL) in Moscow, and the dismantlement of two former chemical-agent production facilities.

Although a trip report from the 1994 on-site inspection included a recommendation to secure and destroy this site as soon as possible, construction did not officially begin at the site until March 2003, and demilitarization operations are predicted to commence as late as 2010, according to March 29 testimony by Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy Peter Flory. Because of the long delays in this project, Congress allocated $20 million in fiscal year 1999 for security upgrades at the two nerve-agent artillery shell stockpiles—Shchuch’ye and Kizner—which were completed three to four years later.

The CTR program has also sought, based on its original congressionally mandated tasks, to engage Russia in demilitarizing its enormous biological weapons establishment, estimated at 60,000 employees at more than 50 dispersed sites. Over the past decade, efforts have been made to improve security of biological weapons sites and specifically of biological pathogen collections, to redirect former weapons scientists through the Moscow International Science and Technology Center, and to help Russia develop more modern surveillance and monitoring systems. Progress in this area, however, has been very slow, as pointed out in a 2003 General Accounting Office report, because of lack of Russian transparency and site access, especially to military-related sites. This has caused the CTR program to focus more recently on former Soviet republics, such as Georgia, that have been more cooperative with Western partners.

The CTR program, after almost 15 years of work and some $6 billion in appropriations, has accomplished a great deal. The deactivation of over 6,800 nuclear warheads and almost 1,000 strategic missile launchers and silos alone is an enormous accomplishment for global security and homeland defense. As former Defense Secretary William Perry has noted, it is “defense by other means,” particularly important in today’s terrorist- and proliferation-threatened world.

Perhaps equally important, it has brought the major Cold War enemy, Russia, back into cooperative and allied relations with the West along lines—deep cuts in weapons of mass destruction—that many observers only dreamed about more than a decade ago.

Problems Requiring Resolution

However, there have been many tough challenges to threat reduction programs over the past 15 years that need to be resolved before the CTR program will have much hope of making better progress in the next decade.

Eliminating Bureaucratic Obstacles and Enhancing Transparency

Perhaps first and foremost is the need for cooperative, supportive, and transparent behavior on the part of all partners in nonproliferation and threat reduction efforts. This challenge covers a wide swath of territory and issues, but the many roadblocks that have been built over the years to inhibit cost-efficient project implementation require elimination.

Both access to Russian sites and Russian visa regulations for foreigners no doubt top most complaints of CTR officials. As noted, Russia has been very grudging in providing access to biological weapons facilities and needs to do more so that better security can be provided for dangerous pathogens. Likewise, U.S. officials rightly complain about Russia limiting or denying access to nuclear weapons facilities where they have installed equipment, thus preventing accountability.

In addition, paperwork for site access continues to be overly complicated. Although not surprising, especially when compared to current regulations in the United States for access to similar U.S. sites, one would hope that a more streamlined and trusting approach could have been developed over a decade of bilateral work. Likewise, Russian and U.S. visa regulations require expensive, complicated, and time-consuming processes that continue to inhibit constructive exchanges and cost-efficiencies in projects. Major CTR projects in Russia have spent millions of CTR dollars simply processing Russian short-term visas and covering travel for employees out of country during application processes. Visa approvals and denials can also be capricious and harmful at times, as was the case when a CTR project manager was detained at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow and deported two years ago. This drains both financial resources and productive worker time and undermines mutual trust.

The most egregious example of a lack of transparency was the failure of a $100 million liquid rocket fuel disposition facility in Krasnoyarsk. After the CTR program built the facility, Russia announced that it had already used its strategic liquid-fueled missiles in space launches. Unfortunately, the lack of communication and transparency among the United States and Russian federal governments and agencies, and the primary U.S. contractor caused the facility to be finished long after the need for it had disappeared. There continues to be miscommunication among all parties in many projects, perhaps partly caused by language barriers and the failure of the CTR program to promote Russian language studies in its personnel, but this is also no doubt caused by lingering Cold War suspicions both by Russian and CTR managers.

Ending CTR Political Conditions

Another major and ongoing challenge to successful CTR projects is the need to overcome political conditions that stall and inhibit demilitarization efforts. The congressional debates over whether threat reduction projects are advantageous to national security have resulted in two sets of six congressional conditions being placed on CTR funds. Six broad conditions, such as whether Russia is adhering to all arms control and human rights agreements, require annual certification by the administration for all CTR projects. A second set of six conditions have been emplaced on the chemical weapons destruction work and require, for example, annual certification that Russia has fully and accurately declared its chemical weapons stockpile. Congress has fortunately provided annual waiver authority for the president, that is, the ability of the president either to certify or waive these 12 conditions in the interest of national security. Lugar was successful in 2005 in amending the fiscal year 2006 defense authorization act to eliminate these conditions all together. Unfortunately, his amendment did not survive the House-Senate conference on the bill. These conditions, now outdated and nonproductive, need to be removed for good. Lugar is expected to reintroduce his amendment again this year, a very positive step in facilitating more efficient and timely CTR efforts.

More Community Involvement

A third major obstacle for the CTR program has been the lack of project funds to support local community involvement and transparency at major CTR project sites in Russia. Most informed observers have recognized for a decade or more that centralized, authoritarian implementation by the Russian federal government of dangerous and contentious projects in Russia is no longer feasible because of local opposition and Russia’s democratic evolution. This first became obvious in 1989 when dozens of local factories and thousands of workers went on strike to protest the proposed opening of a secretly constructed chemical weapons destruction facility in Chapayevsk. This facility today remains open only for limited military training.

The first CTR program director, Major General Roland Lajoie, and his successor, Brigadier General Thomas Kuenning, both recognized that proactive community outreach was critical to project implementation and risk reduction. They both supported establishment of public outreach offices, managed by the environmental nongovernmental organization (NGO) Green Cross Russia and overseen by Global Green USA and Green Cross Switzerland, as a neutral, independent facilitator at the controversial Shchuch’ye site. The active involvement of the local community, including public hearings, independent health and risk assessments, and establishment of a Citizens’ Advisory Commission, have been central to making progress in this important project. Unfortunately, this model of project implementation has not been replicated at other CTR project sites, and community opposition continues to be a major challenge for most work in Russia.

The case of Votkinsk well illustrates this problem. The CTR program had agreed to help Russia destroy its solid rocket propellent and strategic missile stages at the Votkinsky Zavod, one of the largest missile factories in Russia. The project goal was to construct a closed-burn facility where some 800 or more large missile stages could be safely ignited and toxic gases carefully scrubbed. Russia had moved the project to Votkinsk after it had earlier been rejected by local authorities in Perm. After investing more than $100 million, about a quarter of the estimated project costs for the CTR program, the project was shut down because neither the CTR program nor the Russian government would meet local requests from the Udmurt regional government for some local investments. For want of 1-2 percent of project costs, a major strategic and environmentally sound disarmament initiative was lost.

Over the past few years, several members of the G-8 Global Partnership—Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and others—have recognized the importance of community involvement and have begun supporting local outreach offices. At the urging of NGOs and the new U.S. ambassador to Russia, William Burns, the U.S. Agency for International Development has also begun engaging local communities on a very limited basis. Additionally, the Russian federal government has begun over the past three years to invest limited resources in local communities. These efforts must be expanded and supported more actively by all threat reduction programs, including the projects of the Defense, Energy, and State Departments.

Consistent Funding

Lastly, adequate and predictable funding remains a major challenge for successful CTR implementation. Opponents of CTR funding regularly complain about the lack of burden-sharing among allies, including Russia. The establishment of the G-8 Global Partnership in 2002 at Kananaskis, Canada, where $10 billion was pledged over 10 years—essentially a match to the U.S. pledge of $10 billion—was a major step in the right direction. Russia, in participating in this pledge, also stepped up its funding profile. This was about 10 years late, but the delay is understandable given the difficult economic transition it weathered throughout the 1990s. Although some observers believe that the Global Partnership should have accomplished more over the past four years, it continues to expand its work as more countries commit funds to Russian nonproliferation projects.

Yet, the fiscal year 2007 CTR request of $372 million remains more than $40 million below the fiscal year 2006 appropriation and $80 million less if one includes the fiscal year 2006 supplemental request. Compared in real terms to the early years of the Nunn-Lugar appropriations, the CTR program receives less than half the funds it used to receive. It is apparent from this request, especially when several recent bipartisan studies have proposed spending at least double this amount, that a certain weariness is setting into CTR programs. Perhaps the Defense Department judges other more directly battlefield-related projects of higher priority. However, much still remains to be done in threat reduction; we would be terribly remiss, indeed irresponsible, not to take advantage of this unique opportunity to eliminate long-standing threats and proliferable weapons of mass destruction before they fall into the wrong hands.

The fiscal year 2006 defense authorization act requests a report from the Defense Department on impediments to successful implementation of nonproliferation and threat reduction programs. This report must fully cover these major challenges and offer short-term solutions to move these important projects forward.

According to recent CTR figures, the U.S. goal is to eliminate at least another 6,500 nuclear warheads, 850 ICBMs, 350 ICBM silos, 80 strategic bombers, almost 400 SLBMs, 300 SLBM launchers, 19 strategic ballistic missile submarines, and 5,400 tons of nerve agent; and this is the short list. More than 100 nuclear-powered attack submarines await dismantlement; another 34,000 tons of chemical agents are still to be destroyed; and tons of fissile material remain to be secured and safely stored, far beyond these initial threat reduction goals.

The CTR budget should be increased by at least $100 million to $472 million for fiscal year 2007, and high priority should be placed on accelerating warhead dismantlement, fissile material security and storage, and chemical weapons destruction at the nerve agent sites of Shchuch’ye and Kizner. International and multilateral projects are never simple or cheap, but every day lost to unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles, underfunded budgets, and lingering Cold War suspicions only increases risks to global and homeland security. This is not a time to lose commitment or energy for implementing the 1991 Nunn-Lugar threat reduction goals. This is not a time to reduce or sunset any nonproliferation programs.

This year also heralds renewal of the 1992 bilateral CTR Umbrella Agreement, which was amended and extended in 1999. Should this agreement lapse in June 2006, all CTR projects would run the risk of being halted. Fortunately, Flory testified before the Senate in March 2006 that Russia “has accepted U.S. terms for extension of this framework and we believe that we will be able to conclude negotiations well before the June 2006 deadline.”

Threat reduction projects, both bilateral and multilateral, remain extremely important. President George W. Bush has placed top priority on such initiatives in his recent National Security Presidential Directives regarding nuclear, chemical, and biological threats and promised “comprehensive strategies” to combat WMD proliferation. Political differences among the United States, Russia, and other countries, however challenging they may be, must not be allowed to stand in the way of securing and eliminating these potential tools of terrorists. The forthcoming G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July offers a timely opportunity for Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and other national leaders to reaffirm their commitments to cooperative nonproliferation and threat reduction goals and, equally important, to the elimination of ongoing obstacles to safe, efficient, and mutual disarmament objectives. Global security demands no less.

 


Paul F. Walker is Legacy program director with Global Green USA, the U.S. affiliate of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Green Cross International.


 

Details of CTR Budget Emerge

William Huntington

Funding for Department of Defense chemical weapons destruction in Russia will be cut sharply if Congress approves President George W. Bush’s fiscal year 2007 budget request, according to Pentagon documents released late March.

The Pentagon request for the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program includes a proposed 61 percent cut in such assistance. In 2005, Congress approved $108.5 million in funds for the chemical weapons program for the current fiscal year, which runs through Sept. 30. But the administration only requested $42.7 million—a $66 million cut—for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which administers the CTR program, claims no more funds are needed beyond those requested for 2007, as those funds, in combination with funds already appropriated for 2005 and 2006, will allow for the completion of the chemical weapons destruction facility at Schuch’ye in Russia. But some nongovernmental advocates note that Russia is lagging far behind on its overall destruction commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention (see ACT, April 2006) and would benefit from additional assistance.

All told, the administration is seeking a cut of more than 10 percent to the CTR program, which seeks to secure, dismantle, and destroy weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and their production facilities in the former Soviet Union. The president requested $372.2 million for the CTR program for fiscal year 2007, down $43.3 million from the fiscal year 2006 appropriation of $415.5 million.

The administration has sought to step up current spending on the program before the fiscal year ends. The president included an additional $44.5 million for CTR warhead security programs within his 2006 supplemental appropriation request for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is now being considered by Congress.

The WMD Proliferation Prevention program also faces a cut. The administration requested $37.5 million for the program, down from its 2006 appropriation of $40.6 million. Within the program, a significant increase of nearly three times is slated for the Caspian Sea Maritime Proliferation Prevention program in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, while the Land Border and Maritime Proliferation Prevention program in Ukraine is marked for a 48.5 percent cut. These programs seek to improve border controls and block WMD smuggling in certain former Soviet states.

The administration requested $77 million for the Strategic Offensive Arms Elimination program in Russia, down $1.9 million from the 2006 appropriation of $78.9 million. This program allows for the destruction of Russian strategic nuclear delivery systems, including ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and for the defueling and partial dismantlement of Delta- and Typhoon-class nuclear submarines.

The president has also requested increases for some CTR programs.

The Biological Weapons Proliferation Prevention program is slated to receive $68.4 million, an increase of $7.6 million, or 12 percent, from the 2006 appropriation of $60.8 million. The program assists states of the former Soviet Union with the development of modern disease detection and response, provides for secure storage of pathogen libraries, and supports cooperative research ventures.

Funding for the Nuclear Weapons Storage Security program was requested at a level of $87.1 million, up $3 million, or 3.5 percent, from the 2006 appropriation of $84.1 million. However, the programmatic increase is in fact larger than the top-line number suggests, as the 2006 appropriation included a one-time sum of $10 million for the construction of a training site for Russian WMD security officers.

The administration also requested a small increase for the Nuclear Weapons Transportation Security program, up $3 million, or 10 percent, to $33 million. The program works to improve security for nuclear warheads during transport, including the provision of special railcars.

 

 

 

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