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"[Arms Control Today is] Absolutely essential reading for the upcoming Congressional budget debate on the 2018 #NPR and its specific recommendations ... well-informed, insightful, balanced, and filled with common sense."

– Frank Klotz
former Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration
March 7, 2018
March 2008
Edition Date: 
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Cover Image: 

Missile Defense Budget Boosts Requested

Wade Boese

Heading into its final year in office, the Bush administration is asking Congress to give a spending boost to anti-missile systems, particularly a controversial project to extend systems to Europe. Although missile defenses have been a constant funding favorite of the administration, a recent Pentagon report found capabilities remain limited.

All told, the Pentagon’s fiscal year 2009 baseline budget request of $515.4 billion contains approximately $12.7 billion for anti-missile programs, a $1.9 billion increase above the previous request. Fiscal year 2009 begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2009.

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) accounts for the greatest share of the funding, with requests totaling some $8.89 billion. It is also slated for an additional $445 million in military construction and Base Realignment and Closure spending. Congress granted the agency $8.7 billion last year, which is approximately $185 million less than the amount originally sought by the administration.

Major slices of the proposed missile defense funding are slated for programs directed by the Army and the Air Force. The Army is seeking nearly $986 million for developing and procuring the Patriot and related systems. More than half that total will go toward buying 108 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors, which are designed to counter short- and medium-range missiles near the end of their flights. The Patriot anti-missile system is the only one that is battle-tested, and the results were mixed. (See ACT, November 2003. )

The Air Force is asking for $2.3 billion to advance its Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite constellation for pinpointing ballistic missile launches worldwide. Nearly $1.8 billion of that total is to go toward procuring the first two of four geosynchronous satellites in time for the proposed fall 2009 launch window. A satellite in geosynchronous orbit matches the Earth’s rotation speed.

MDA Programs

SBIRS is supposed to help cue the raft of anti-missile systems under development by the MDA. Major programs are the long-range Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), the ship-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), the Airborne Laser (ABL), and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI). The systems are in various stages of development and have different capabilities and missions, although some overlap.

Since its 2002 establishment, the MDA has overseen the deployment of two dozen total GMD interceptors in Alaska and California and 21 Aegis Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors to counter short- to intermediate-range missiles. Ten ships have been converted to fire the SM-3s. The first THAAD fire unit, designed to defend against short- to intermediate-range missiles as they descend toward their targets, is slated for fielding in 2009. THAAD scored three hits in three intercept trials last year, maintaining its perfect record since going through a redesign in the late 1990s.

Intended to destroy missiles during the first few minutes after their launch, the ABL is a modified Boeing 747 armed with a powerful chemical laser, and the KEI is a fast-accelerating interceptor. Both programs are at earlier stages in their development and face crucial tests in fiscal year 2009 that could determine their fate. The ABL is supposed to be tested against a target in flight for the first time that year, while the KEI is scheduled for its inaugural flight.

The MDA envisions that by 2013 the United States will have deployed 54 total GMD interceptors, 147 SM-3 interceptors, and four THAAD fire units with 96 total interceptors. Future procurement plans for ABL and KEI systems have yet to be made.

Congress in recent years has urged the MDA to focus attention and resources on the systems ready for more immediate deployment rather than programs that are more futuristic and technically riskier, such as the KEI. In the latest budget request, the agency apportions almost half its proposed spending to the more established programs: $2.3 billion for the GMD project, just more than $1 billion for Aegis, and $811 million for THAAD.

Still, the agency trimmed its THAAD request by $47 million from last year while bumping up the KEI request by $159 million, to $386 million. The deployment of the third and fourth THAAD fire units also were postponed a year each, until fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

Those actions seemingly contradict congressional wishes as well as those of Lieutenant General Kevin Campbell, the head of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command. Last April, Campbell testified to the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee that moving ahead with THAAD deployments was “vitally important” while suggesting that the KEI and ABL programs were less urgent, describing them as a “hedge against future threats.” In another hearing that same month, Campbell also reported on a study by his command that recommended doubling proposed purchases of THAAD and Aegis interceptors. The MDA, which is charged with developing systems but not operating them in the field like the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, did not change the production plans for either system.

Meanwhile, the MDA ratcheted up its funding request for multiple kill vehicles, a more novel concept. The agency wants to develop smaller, generic kill vehicles, the component that maneuvers into a collision with an incoming threat, so a single interceptor can carry several at once to engage multiple targets. The latest budget request of $354 million for the program is approximately $83 million higher than that previously requested. But Congress last year cut nearly $63 million from the program to signal its displeasure with the MDA for unilaterally planning to mount multiple kill vehicles on a longer-range version of the SM-3 without consulting Japan, which is co-developing the modified interceptor.

Although Congress has repeatedly denied MDA requests for money to explore space-based anti-missile system options, the agency has resurrected that bid this year. It is seeking $10 million to start creating a space-based test bed. Projected costs for the test bed rise annually to $123 million by fiscal year 2013.

The agency, however, seems to be a little more sensitive to congressional complaints about the status of its testing and target programs. In a report on last year’s defense authorization bill, lawmakers expressed “disappointment” that the MDA “has failed to ensure an adequate testing program.” The MDA’s current request for testing and target activities is $79 million higher than last year’s request of $586 million.

The European Option

The MDA is seeking its biggest budget boost to deploy 10 strategic ground-based interceptors in Poland and an associated missile tracking radar in the Czech Republic to defend against what the Bush administration says is a growing Iranian missile threat. The agency more than doubled its request of $310 million last year to approximately $719 million in the Feb. 4 budget submission.

Last November, Congress denied $85 million to begin system construction this year because no hosting agreements had been reached with the Czech Republic and Poland. But Reuters Feb. 21 quoted John Rood, acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, telling reporters in Budapest that “very significant progress” had been made in recent talks with the two potential host governments. Rood was visiting the Hungarian capital to meet with Russian officials to try and soften their opposition to the proposed system.

A few weeks earlier, Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski visited Washington and said that a Polish-U.S. agreement had been reached in principle, but he cautioned, “[W]e are not at the end of the road…we are in the middle of the road.” Warsaw has made clear that it wants Washington to help bolster Polish military capabilities, particularly air defenses, as part of any hosting arrangement.

Russia’s hostility to the U.S. project is a key factor behind Polish demands for additional U.S. assistance and weapons systems. Moscow, which perceives the proposed system as directed against Russia, has threatened to target the potential interceptor and radar bases.

Washington has engaged in talks with Moscow to allay its concerns but to no avail. Speaking Feb. 8 to Russian legislators, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of being disingenuous. “It is with sorrow in my heart that I am forced to say that our partners have been using these discussions as information and diplomatic cover for carrying out their own plans,” Putin said. Russian officials warn that deployment of the systems will trigger a new arms race.

U.S. officials have been dismissive of the Russian fears and threats. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Feb. 1 argued, “There is no way that a few interceptors in Poland and radars in the Czech Republic can degrade the thousands of nuclear warheads that the Russians have, and there is no intent to do so.” Pending congressional approval, Rice and other administration officials insist the United States will go ahead with its plan once agreements are reached with the Czech and Polish governments.

The MDA budget request is prepared for that eventuality and contains $238 million for starting construction on the interceptor base, according to Rick Lehner, a spokesperson for the agency. Speaking Feb. 13 with Arms Control Today, Lehner also noted that the MDA plans to conduct the inaugural flight test of the interceptor model planned for the base in 2009, a year earlier than previously scheduled. The proposed interceptor is a modified version of the type fielded by the United States in Alaska and California.

But Do Missile Defenses Work?

After the United States used a modified SM-3 interceptor to destroy a crippled U.S. satellite on Feb. 20 (see page 50 ), reporters the next day quizzed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about whether that event proved missile defense can work. In addition to citing past successful tests of the various systems, Gates contended that the fact that lawmakers in recent years have approved billions of dollars to support missile defense “is testimony to the fact that I think the issue of whether it will work is behind us.”

An annual report released a month earlier by the Pentagon’s independent weapons-testing assessor, the Office of Operational Test and Evaluation, offered a less sanguine appraisal. The report described U.S. capabilities against shorter-range missiles as improving but rated capabilities against longer-range missiles as “very basic.”

Many of the report’s criticisms focused on the GMD system, which the testing office stated was “the least mature missile defense capability against its strategic threat set.” Although assessing that the system presents a “limited capability against a simple foreign threat,” the report stated that flight testing of the system “is not sufficient to provide a high level of statistical confidence in its limited capabilities.” The report also characterized past testing as “relatively unchallenging” and “representative of an unsophisticated threat.” The system has scored seven hits in 12 attempts against targets since 1999.

The MDA has announced plans to raise the degree of difficulty in its future GMD tests by reintroducing countermeasures, such as decoys, alongside mock warhead targets. (See ACT, November 2007. ) An attacker could employ countermeasures to try and confuse or circumvent anti-missile systems. Lehner said two GMD intercept tests are scheduled this year.

The testing office gave higher marks to the Aegis and THAAD systems. The recent report assessed Aegis as including a “good degree of operational realism in its flight test program” and concluded that THAAD “will provide a significant increase in capability against short- to intermediate-range threats.”

The MDA contends that it has answered affirmatively the basic question about whether missile defense can work. In its Feb. 5 budget overview, however, the agency acknowledges that “the technical challenges that remain today lie in predicting the location of the enemy missiles, differentiating the missiles from countermeasures, communicating this information rapidly and accurately to the defensive system, and destroying multiple enemy missiles launched within seconds and minutes of each other.”

 

Heading into its final year in office, the Bush administration is asking Congress to give a spending boost to anti-missile systems, particularly a controversial project to extend systems to Europe. Although missile defenses have been a constant funding favorite of the administration, a recent Pentagon report found capabilities remain limited. (Continue)

White House Aims to Expedite Arms Exports

Jeff Abramson

On Jan. 22, President George W. Bush issued a directive designed to expedite export licensing of defense equipment, services, and technical data. The directive may ease criticism from industry and Congress that the U.S. export controls system is unnecessarily time consuming, but few specific details about the directive are available.

The full text of the National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) is not publicly available, but an overview of the directive exists as a one-page fact sheet from the Department of State. It outlines a number of measures to expedite license applications for items on the U.S. Munitions List. According to U.S. law, direct commercial sales of items on that list, whether to foreign governments or companies, must be approved by the U.S. government. This is done through the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).

At a meeting Feb. 26, Acting Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security John Rood estimated that direct commercial sale licenses for defense articles and defense services for permanent export could be valued as high as $96 billion and that 85,000 licenses could be processed in fiscal year 2008, which ends Sept. 30, 2008.

Lawmakers have raised concerns that sales were being unnecessarily delayed. During a July 2007 hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, Chairman Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) commented that “[l]ast year, the backlog of unprocessed licenses at DTTC reached 10,000, a number unheard of in prior years.” Sherman singled out a shortage of manpower as one cause. “One aspect of the problem is clear, there is simply not enough personnel to handle the problem,” he said.

A November 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concurred with Sherman’s assessment by identifying “human capital challenges.” It noted that, between October 2002 and September 2006, the number of case officers remained relatively constant (35) but the number of cases processed rose by 20 percent and median processing time doubled.

The directive appears designed to address some of these concerns by mandating the commitment of additional funding to expedite license processing. At the February meeting, Rood underscored the pending creation of a self-financing mechanism for the DDTC that could provide as much as 75 percent of the funding for the directorate. At the same meeting, Frank Ruggiero, deputy assistant secretary for defense trade and regional security, stated that achieving the directive’s goals would “most certainly require additional hires.” Exact details about these changes are not yet available, but Rood expects to submit a financial and personnel resources plan to the Office of Management and Budget by March 22.

The directive appears to address other suggestions from the GAO, a congressional watchdog agency. The GAO had faulted the DDTC’s electronic filing and processing system, D-Trade, saying that it had not significantly improved processing times and that it lacked tools to aid officers. The recent presidential directive states that the “electronic licensing system,” presumably including D-Trade, will be upgraded so that all agencies can access the same data. A plan for electronic interoperability is due by July 22, according to Rood.

The State Department also accepted the GAO’s recommendation to conduct systematic assessments to “identify and address inefficiences and challenges in the arms export process.” Rood said that data is now reviewed weekly and key metrics are improving “substantially.” He reported that the number of cases kept open more than 60 days is reduced to 20, down from 400, and the total number of open cases currently stands at 3,400, down from 7,500 in April 2007 as noted by the GAO.

The presidential directive also calls for a number of procedural changes. It says that guidelines would be issued that require a decision on license applications within 60 days, barring some exceptions. It mentions that a multiagency working group will be established to address enforcement investigations.

It also indicates that an interagency dispute mechanism will be created to resolve jurisdictional issues between the Departments of State and Commerce. That mechanism is to be established by March 1 and will be chaired by Ruggiero, according to Rood.

The Commerce Department maintains the Commerce Control List, which governs exports of goods, technology, and information that have both military and civilian uses. At times, there are disputes as to whether an item should be considered a defense item and controlled by the State Department or a dual-use good controlled by the Commerce Department. These jurisdictional questions can delay license processing.

In a separate NSPD issued Jan. 22, the president dealt with dual-use goods. The publicly available two-page fact sheet of that directive calls for a greater differentiation among foreign end-users. It was hailed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) which, in partnership with the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness, sent 19 recommendations for export reform to the president in 2007. According to a side-by-side comparison released by NAM, the president’s directive could support at least 16 of the recommendations, including license exceptions for the transfer of controlled items within companies and favorable treatment for foreign end-users with strong compliance programs.

To date, however, the full directives have not been released and many of the implementation details are still pending, making it difficult to determine exactly what they include and whether they will be sufficiently strong to protect against possible diversion of defense items and technology. Similar concerns have been raised in relation to separate defense trade cooperation treaties with Australia and the United Kingdom that the Bush administration submitted to the Senate last year. Those treaties would create licensing exemptions for a community of preapproved defense firms. (See ACT, September and October 2007.)

On Feb. 14, U.S. and British officials signed an implementing agreement and made it publicly available. A number of key lists, however, remain unpublished, including approved operations, programs, and projects as well as those defense articles that would be exempt from the treaty.

The Senate was not expected to act on the treaties until the implementing agreements were shared. On Feb. 21, a Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide told Arms Control Today that the committee needs to study the arrangement with the United Kingdom and is still waiting for implementation details of the proposed treaty with Australia. The committee has yet to express any views on the subject.

On Jan. 22, President George W. Bush issued a directive designed to expedite export licensing of defense equipment, services, and technical data. The directive may ease criticism from industry and Congress that the U.S. export controls system is unnecessarily time consuming, but few specific details about the directive are available. (Continue)

March 2008 Bibliography

Of Special Interest

Carter, Jimmy, “Nuke in the Neighbourhood,” Bahrain Tribune, January 16, 2008.

Federation of American Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Union of Concerned Scientists, Toward True Security: Ten Steps The Next President Should Take To Transform U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy, February 2008, 37 pp.

International Atomic Energy Agency, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, February 22, 2008, 11 pp.

Office of Senator Richard Lugar, Lugar Says Arms Control Has Suffered Significant Setbacks, January 30, 2008.

Shultz, George P., William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, and Sam Nunn, “Toward a Nuclear-Free World,” The Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2008, p. A13.

I. Strategic Arms

Agence France-Presse, “Russia Has Right to ‘Preventative’ Nuclear Strike: General,” January 19, 2008.

Arbatov, Alexei, Reducing the Role of Nuclear Weapons, International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, February 26, 2008, 13 pp.

Associated Press, “Putin: Russia Could Aim Nuclear Missiles at Ukraine if it Joins NATO,” February 12, 2008.

Blair, Bruce G., Increasing Warning and Decision Time (“De-Alerting”), February 26, 2008, International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, February 26, 2008, 12 pp.

Burroughs, John, Visible Intent: NATO’s Responsibility to Nuclear Disarmament, The Middle Powers Initiative, January 2008, 10 pp.

Chang, Andrei, “Analysis: China’s nuke expansion at sea,” United Press International, February 29, 2008.

Fox, Jon, “New Warhead Gets $10 Million in Proposed Budget,” Global Security Newswire, February 5, 2008.

Gottemoeller, Rose, “Sergei Ivanov’s Strategic Breakthrough,” Nezavisimaya Gazeta, February 19, 2008.

Grossman, Elaine, “Air Force Omits Nuke Error From 2007 Incidents List,” Global Security Newswire, February 28, 2008.

The Guardian, “Disarmament Still Matters,” January 7, 2008.

Hebert, H. Josef, “Quality of Nuclear Devices Questioned,” Associated Press, January 20, 2008.

Hoffman, Michael, “U.S. StratCom Chief Backs Investing in New Nukes,” Defense News, February 27, 2008.

Hoffman, Michael, “Nuke Handlers Not Ready for Inspection,” Air Force Times, January 7, 2008.

Lague, David, “Chinese Submarine Fleet Is Growing, Analysts Say,” The New York Times, February 25, 2008.

Loft, Kurt, “Nuclear Bombs Down, Risk the Same,” The Tampa Tribune, January 13, 2008.

Norton, John, “Expert: Don’t Expect No-Nukes World,” The Pueblo Chieftain, February 23, 2008.

Pincus, Walter, “Panel Cites Drop in U.S. Attention to Nuclear Arsenal,” The Washington Post, February 13, 2008, p. A2.

Pincus, Walter, “Air Force Alters Rules for Handling of Nuclear Arms,” The Washington Post, January 25, 2008, p. A5.

RIA Novosti, “Russia’s RS-24 ICBM to Enter Service in 2009 - SMF Commander,” February 27, 2008.

Shen, Dingli, De-emphasizing the Nuclear Weapons, International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, February 26, 2008, 7 pp.

Solholm, Rolleiv, “International Disarmament Conference in Oslo,” The Norway Post, February 26, 2008.

Traynor, Ian, “Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike a Key Option, NATO Told,” The Guardian, January 22, 2008.

Tsao, Nadia, “US defense director highlights China missile threat,” Taipei Times, February 29, 2008.

Webb, Greg, “Leading U.S. Scientist Criticizes Warhead Effort,” Global Security Newswire, February 27, 2008.

Webb, Greg, “Shultz, Other Experts Back Nuclear Disarmament,” Global Security Newswire, February 26, 2008.

II. Nuclear Proliferation

Associated Press, “ElBaradei Says Greatest Danger Comes From Atomic Weapons in Hands of Extremist Groups,” February 9, 2008.

Associated Press, “Pope Urges World to Prevent Terrorists From Getting Weapons of Mass Destruction,” January 7, 2008.

Brumfiel, Geoff, “Nuclear War: The Safety Paradox,” Nature.com, January 16, 2008.

Chubin, Shahram, Regional Conflicts and Nuclear Dangers, International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, February 26, 2008, 7 pp.

Dougherty, Mimi, “Taiwanese Legislator Accuses President Chen of Nuclear Weapons Development,” WMD Insights, February 2008.

Furmann, Matt, “Oil for Nukes – Mostly a Bad Idea,” Christian Science Monitor, February 29, 2008.

Raghavan, V. R., Regional Conflicts and Their Impact on Reducing Nuclear Dangers, International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, February 26, 2008, 4 pp.

Saunders, Paul J., “The Road to Recovery,” The National Interest Online, January 2, 2008.

Shuster, Mike, “Concerns Continue over Nuclear Proliferation,” NPR.org, February 28, 2008.

Sokolski, Henry, “Atomic,” The Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2008.

India

Agence France-Presse. “Communist Leader Says No Nuke Deal Until Bush Goes: Report,” February 12, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, “23 Groups Forge Coalition Against India Nuclear Deal,” January 16, 2008.

Associated Press, “Australia Won’t Sell Uranium to India,” January 15, 2008.

Chand, Manish, “Manmohan Government Looks at April Deadline for N-deal,” Indo-Asian News Service, February 24, 2008.

Dikshit, Sandeep, “Pact With France Only After NSG Clearance,” The Hindu, January 22, 2008.

The Economic Times, “Left for India Getting N-Fuel, But Scrapping Deal With U.S.,” January 6, 2008.

Haniffa, Aziz, “N-trade: US Can’t Have Different Standards for India,” Rediff.com, February 14, 2008.

Hibbs, Mark, “New Zealand Floats Conditioning India NSG Exemption on Protocol,” NuclearFuel, January 28, 2008, p. 4.

Mohammed, Arshad, “Burns says ‘Time is Wasting’ on India Nuclear Deal,” Reuters, February 8, 2008.

Nucleonics Week. “US Seeking Indian Commitment to Buy Reactors From US Vendors,” February 28, 2008.

Pradhan, Bibhudatta, “Biden, Kerry Say India Must Conclude Nuclear Accord by May,” Bloomberg.com, February 20, 2008.

Press Trust of India, “US to Support India’s Deal with NSG Only if it is ‘Consistent’ With Hyde Act,” February 14, 2008.

Rediff.com, “Time is Running Out for N-deal: US Senators Tell Dr. Singh,” February 20, 2008.

Reuters, “U.S. Warns India Its Now or Never for Nuclear Deal,” February 9, 2008.

Reuters, “Britain Lends Support to India-U.S. Nuclear Deal,” January 21, 2008.

RIA Novosti, “Russian-Indian Nuclear Deal Ready for Signing,” February 21, 2008.

RIA Novosti, “Russia, India Initial Deal to Build 4 More Reactors for NPP,” February 12, 2008.

The Times of India, “Top US Senators Set July-end Deadline for N-deal,” February 20, 2008.

The Times of India, “US Wants India to Adhere to Hyde Act,” February 14, 2008.

Iran

Agence France-Presse, “Security Council Edges Toward Iran Sanctions,” February 29, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, “Iran has Capacity to Produce Nuclear Arms: U.S. Intelligence,” February 13, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, “Iran’s Top Nuclear Negotiator Reshuffles Team,” January 1, 2008.

Albright, David, and Shire, Jacqueline, Iran Installing More Advanced Centrifuges at Natanz Pilot Enrichment Plant: Fact Sheet on P-2/IR-2 Centrifuge, The Institute for Science and International Security, February 7, 2008, 2 pp.

Associated Press, “IAEA Member Suggests Iran’s Nuclear Program Continued Past 2003,” February 25, 2008.

Associated Press, “Iran Stepping Up Its Uranium Work,” February 25, 2008.

Champion, Marc, “Exile Group Claims Iran Is Developing Nuclear Warheads,” The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2008, p. A4.

Cooper, Helene, and Hodge, Warren, “Europeans Plan Incentives, as Iran Says Sanctions Won’t Halt Nuclear Program,” The New York Times, February 26, 2008.

Daragahi, Borzou, and Mostaghim, Ramin, “Iran Sanctions Ripple Past Those in Power,” Los Angeles Times, January 20, 2008.

Dombey, Daniel, and Morris, Harvey, “US Sees Iran Nuclear Dispute Going to 2009,” Financial Times, February 27, 2008.

The Economist. “Has Iran won?” January 31, 2008.

Farley, Maggie, and Richter, Paul, “U.S. Envoy Debates Iranians: A No-No,” Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2008.

Fathi, Nazila, “UN Nuclear Official Urges Iran to Clarify ‘Outstanding Issues,’” The New York Times, January 12, 2008.

Garwin, Richard L., “When Could Iran Deliver a Nuclear Weapon,” The Bulletin Online, January 18, 2008.

Gerecht, Reuel Marc, “Attack Iran, With Words,” The New York Times, February 20, 2008.

Government Accountability Office, Iran Sanctions: Impact in Furthering U.S. Objectives Is Unclear and Should be Reviewed, December 2007, 60 pp.

Heinrich, Mark, “Iran Clarifies Bomb-Grade Uranium Traces to IAEA,” Reuters, February 12, 2008.

Heinrich, Mark, “Iran Testing Advanced Centrifuges,” Reuters, February 6, 2007.

Irish, John, and Abbas, Mohammed, “Gulf Bowing to U.S. Pressure Over Iran Bank Links,” Reuters, January 14, 2008.

Jahn, George, “Iran Puts Uranium Gas in Centrifuges,” Associated Press, February 14, 2008.

Maloney, Suzanne, and Takeyh, Ray, “Time To Start Talking To Tehran,” Newsweek, January 25, 2008.

Omestad, Thomas, “Intelligence Chief Reshapes Iran NIE,” U.S. News & World Report, February 6, 2008.

Pletka, Danielle, and Rubin, Michael, “ElBaradei’s Real Agenda,” The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2008, p. A14.

Reuters, “Iran Shrugs Off Sanctions Threat Over Atomic Plans,” February 25, 2008.

Reuters, “Russia Warns Iran on Missiles, Uranium Enrichment,” February 13, 2008.

Sanger, David, and Sciolino, Elaine, “U.S. to Produce Data on Iran's Nuclear Program,” The New York Times, February 15, 2008.

Simpson, Glenn R., “U.S. Weighs Sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank,” The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2008, p. A1.

Solomon, Jay, and Gorman, Siobhan, “In Iran Reversal, Bureaucrats Triumphed Over Cheney Team,” The Wall Street Journal, January 14, 2008.

Takeyh, Ray, and Cirincione, Joseph, “ElBaradei is quietly managing to disarm Iran,” Financial Times, February 26, 2008.

Wald, Matthew, “U.S.-Backed Russian Institutes Help Iran Build Reactor,” The New York Times, February 7, 2008.

The Wall Street Journal, “Iranian Nuclear Rewrite,” February 8, 2008.

Weisman, Steven, “World Group Tells Banks to Beware of Deals With Iran,” The New York Times, February 29, 2008.

Zagorin, Adam, “Still Trying to Squeeze Iran,” Time, January 31, 2008.

Israel

Oren, Amir, “CIA Reveals: We Said in 1974 That Israel Had Nuclear Weapons,” Haaretz, January 13, 2008.

North Korea

Achin, Kurt, “Incoming S. Korean President Pledges Billions if North Quits Nuclear Weapons,” Voice of America, January 4, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, “US to Send Fuel Aid to N. Korea Despite Nuclear List Delay,” February 6, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, “North Korea Still a Nuclear Proliferation Risk: Intel Report,” February 5, 2008.

Albright, David, and Shire, Jacqueline, “Slowly, but Surely, Pyongyang is Moving,” Washington Post, January 24, 2008, p. A19.

Albright, David, Brannan, Paul, and Shire, Jacqueline, North Korea’s Plutonium Declaration: A Starting Point for an Initial Verification Process, The Institute for Science and International Security, January 10, 2008, 3 pp.

Associated Press, “Rice seeks Japan's help with North Korea,” February 26, 2008.

Associated Press, “N. Korea Says Delay in Talks ‘Technical,’” February 21, 2008.

Blumenthal, Dan, “Six Parties, Zero Progress,” The Weekly Standard, February 25, 2008.

Choe, Sang-Hun, “U.S. Nuclear Envoy Puts Gentle Pressure on North Korea,” The New York Times, January 11, 2008.

Cody, Edward, “N. Korea Slowing Disarmament, U.S. Nuclear Delegation Reports,” The Washington Post, February 17, 2008, p. A21.

The Economist, “Eerie Silence,” January 3, 2008.

Harden, Blaine, “All Nuclear Efforts Disclosed, N. Korea Says: US Calls Pyongyang Declaration Incomplete but Says Negotiations Will Continue,” The Washington Post, January 5, 2008, p. A13.

Kralev, Nicholas, “U.S. urges eyeing flow of nuclear materials,” The Washington Times, February 26, 2008, p. A1.

Kralev, Nicholas, “U.S. presses N. Korea on Syria,” The Washington Times, February 20, 2008, p. A1.

Lee, Chi-Dong, “U.S. Sets New Deadline for N. Korea’s Declaration of Nuclear Programs,” Yonhap, January 10, 2008.

Reuters, “North Korea Seems to Meet U.S. Criteria on Terror Listing,” January 22, 2008.

Sung-ki, Jung, “N. Korea Suspected of Misusing Oil Aid for Military Trainings: Report,” DefenseNews.com, February 10, 2008.

Pakistan

Agence France-Presse, “Indian Official Warns Over Pakistan Nukes,” February 21, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, “Pakistan Nuclear Weapons Vulnerable: US,” February 5, 2008.

Harrison, Selig, “What A.Q. Khan Knows,” The Washington Post, January 31, 2008, p. A21.

Press Trust of India, “Pak Rejects Reports of Possible Takeover of its N-Assets By U.S.,” January 2, 2008.

Sokolski, Henry D., ed., Pakistan’s Nuclear Future: Worries Beyond War, Strategic Securities Institute, January 2008, 378 pp.

Voice of America, “Pakistan Nuclear Officials Kidnapped, Ambassador to Afghanistan Missing,” February 12, 2008.

South Korea

Yoon, Won-sup, “Park Sought to Develop Nuclear Weapons,” The Korea Times, January 15, 2008.

Syria

Hersh, Seymour M., “A Strike in the Dark: What Did Israel Bomb in Syria?” The New Yorker, February 11, 2008.

The Institute for Science and International Security, ISIS Statement Regarding “A Strike in the Dark” in the February 11 Issue of The New Yorker, By Seymour Hersh, February 6, 2008, 1 pp.

Stern, Yoav, “IAEA: We Hope to Visit Site of IAF Strike on Syria,” Haaretz, January 7, 2008.

III. Nonproliferation

Associated Press, “Colombia Ratifies Nuclear Test Ban Treaty,” January 30, 2008.

Associated Press, “Barbados Ratifies Global Treaty Banning Nuclear Explosions,” January 15, 2008.

Associated Press, “Malaysia Ratifies Global Treaty Banning Nuclear Test Explosions,” January 18, 2008.

Baby, Soman, “Bahrain to Join the Nuclear Club,” Gulf Daily News, February 18, 2008.

Casey, Robert P., Jr, “An Issue That Needs Airing,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 4, 2008.

Davidson, Lee, “Pentagon’s Efforts to Fight Weapons of Mass Destruction Flayed,” Deseret Morning News, January 2, 2008.

Dhanapala, Jayantha, What Further Steps Could Non-Nuclear Weapon States Take to Strengthen the Non-Proliferation Regime? International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, February 26, 2008, 10 pp.

Einhorn, Robert J., Controlling Fissile Materials and Ending Nuclear Testing, International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, February 26, 2008, 10 pp.

El Saiedi, Ali F., How Can Increasing Demand for Nuclear Energy be Squared with Disarmament Objectives? International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, February 26, 2008, 10 pp.

Finerin, Daniel, “Britain Joins U.S.-led Nuclear Power Club,” Reuters, February 26, 2008.

Fitzpatrick, Mark, Squaring Increasing Demand for Nuclear Energy with Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Objectives, International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, February 26, 2008, 8 pp.

Goldschmidt, Pierre, Nuclear Renaissance and Non-Proliferation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 20, 2008, 12 pp.

Government Accountability Office, Nuclear Nonproliferation: DOE Needs to Reassess Its Program to Assist Weapons Scientists in Russia and Other Countries, January 23, 2008, 17 pp.

Meyer, Josh, “Al Qaeda Said to Focus on WMDs,” Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2008.

Reuters, “Russia tells U.S. plutonium plants to shut sooner,” February 2, 2008.

Schneidmiller, Chris, “Answers on Nuclear Smuggling Remain Elusive,” Global Security Newswire, February 19, 2008.

Wald, Matthew, “Hiring of Soviet Scientists Has Strayed From Aim, Audit Says,” The New York Times, January 24, 2008.

United Press International, “NNSA Official Praises Russian Cooperation,” January 2, 2008.

Vartabedian, Ralph, “How the U.S. Seeks to Avert Nuclear Terror,” The Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2008.

IV. Missiles and Missile Defense

Agence France-Presse, “Poland to Get US Military Upgrade for Missile Shield: Ministry,” February 27, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, “Japan Working on Central Tokyo Missile Shield: Official,” January 14, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, “India Looks to Develop Anti-Missile Defense System By 2010,” January 8, 2008.

Associated Press, “U.S. Missile Shield Plan Nearly Final, Czechs Say,” February 25, 2008.

Associated Press, “Iran Accelerating Missile Development,” January 16, 2008.

Baczynska, Gabriela, and Jasser, Adam, “Poland Raises Stakes for U.S. Missile Shield,” Reuters, January 9, 2008.

Cavanaugh, Tim, “The ICBM Turns 50,” Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2008.

Crouch II, J.D., and Joseph, Robert, “Tough Calls, Good Calls,” The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2008, p. A19.

Dempsey, Judy, “Poland and Czech Republic Team Up in Missile Defense Talks With U.S.,” The New York Times, January 11, 2008.

The Economic Times, “India to Test Agni III+ Ballistic Missile in 2009,” January 7, 2008.

The Economist, “Disharmony in the Spheres,” January 17, 2008.

Government Accountability Office, Defense Acquisitions: Assessment of DOD Efforts to Enhance Missile Defense Capabilities and Oversight, February 26, 2008, 14 pp.

Haaretz, “IDF Successfully Launches Test of Long-Range Missile,” January 7, 2008.

Jung, Sung-ki, “S. Korea Opposes Joining U.S. Missile Defense System,” The Korea Times, January 3, 2008.

Kislyakov, Andrei, “Does Russia Need a ‘Half-Baked’ Missile and Another New Tank?” RIA Novosti, January 15, 2008.

Loven, Jennifer, “Bush, Czechs Fail to Seal Radar Deal,” Associated Press, February 28, 2008.

Lucas, Ryan, “Polish Town Leery of U.S. Missile Defense,” Associated Press, January 19, 2008.

Missile Defense Agency, Fiscal Year 2009 (FY 09) Budget Estimates: Overview,” February 5, 2008, 40 pp.

Purvis, Andrew, “Poles, Czechs Balk at Missile Shield,” Time, January 16, 2008.

Raghuvanshi, Vivek, “India Working on Mach-5 Missiles,” Defense News, January 7, 2008.

Ravid, Barak, “Israel Unveils Missile Designed to Intercept Hezbollah Rockets,” Haaretz, January 22, 2008.

Reuters, “Missile Shield Talks with Poland, Czech Rep. on Track: U.S.,” February 21, 2008.

Reuters, “Poll Shows 70% of Czechs Now Oppose U.S. Shield,” January 8, 2008.

Reuters, “Taiwan Sees Jump in China Missile Build-Up,” January 1, 2008.

Singh, Rahul, “India test-fires missile launched from submarine,” Hindustan Times, February 26, 2008.

United Press International, “NATO opens missile defenses facility,” February 15, 2008.

Whitlock, Craig, “New Team in Poland Cool to U.S. Shield: Premier Conditions Support on More Aid,” The Washington Post, January 19, 2008, p. A18.

Wolf, Jim, “U.S., Israel said set to launch anti-missile tests,” Reuters, February 27, 2008.

V. Chemical and Biological Arms

Associated Press, “PB Arsenal Says All VX Nerve-Agent Rockets Destroyed,” February 29, 2008.

Associated Press, “Ricin Possibly Found at Las Vegas Motel,” February 29, 2008.

Barry, Dan, “Living With Danger, and Wondering How to Live Without It,” The New York Times, February 25, 2008.

De Vreij, Hans, “Dutch institute conducting biological warfare research,” Radio Netherlands Worldwide, February 25, 2008.

Golan, Avirama, “Soldiers sue government over harmful anthrax tests,” Haaretz, February 20, 2008.

Government Accountability Office, Chemical and Biological Weapons: DOD and VA Need to Improve Efforts to Identify and Notify Individuals Potentially Exposed during Chemical and Biological Tests, February 2008, 49 pp.

Loughlin, Sue, “76 Percent of Newport’s VX Agent Neutralized,” The Tribune-Star, January 17, 2008.

Schneidmiller, Chris, “More Money Needed to Meet CW Disposal Deadline, Experts Say,” Global Security Newswire, January 15, 2008.

VI. Conventional Arms

Agence France-Presse, “Bulk of States Back Cluster Bomb Ban, Organisers Say,” February 22, 2008.

Associated Press, “Australia ‘obstructing’ cluster bomb ban,” The Age, February 19, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, “US predicts at least 80,000 military export licenses a year,” January 23, 2008.

Associated Press, “U.S. to Set Up Cluster Bomb Clearance Team,” January 17, 2008.

BBC.com. “China defends arms sales to Sudan,” February 22, 2008.

The Chosun Ilbo, “U.S. Gov't Urged to Upgrade Korea’s Arms Buyer Status,” February 19, 2008.

Jeena, Kushal, “Analysis: India Rejects Ban on Landmines,” United Press International, January 18, 2008.

Jennings, Ralph, “U.S. to wait for Taiwan vote before jet sales possible,” Reuters, February 1, 2008.

Lilley, Ray, “No Agreement Yet on Cluster Bomb Ban,” Associated Press, February 21, 2008.

The New Zealand Herald, “NZ’s Bomb Clearing in Lebanon Ends,” February 7, 2008.

Pincus, Walter, “A New Arms Race in the Gulf?” The Washington Post, January 21, 2008, p. A13.

Pomper, Miles A., “Two International Efforts Compete to Impose Cluster Bomb Restrictions,” World Politics Review, February 22, 2008.

Reuters, “U.S. Defends Some Uses of Cluster Bombs,” January 16, 2008.

Roberts, Evan, “Red Cross Says Ban on Cluster Bombs Urgent,” International Herald Tribune, February 6, 2008.

Simonite, Tom, “’Robot arms race’ underway, expert warns,” New Scientist, February 27, 2008.

Williams, Dan, “Israel to Get ‘Smarter’ U.S.-Made Bombs Than Saudis,” Reuters, January 13, 2008.

VII. U.S. Policy

Wald, Matthew, “As Nuclear Waste Languishes, Expense to U.S. Rises,” The New York Times, February 17, 2008.

Wald, Matthew, “Energy Dept. Funding Institutes with Iranian Ties,” The New York Times, February 6, 2008.

VIII. Space

Agence France-Presse, “Russia, China Propose New Treaty to Ban Arms in Space,” February 12, 2008.

Associated Press, “Pentagon Says Satellite Hit a Success,” February 25, 2008.

Bender, Bryan, “US Missile Hits Crippled Satellite,” The Boston Globe, February 21, 2008.

Bradsher, Keith, “China Criticizes U.S. Missile Strike,” The New York Times, February 21, 2008.

Dareini, Ali Akbar, “Iran Opens Space Center, Launches Rocket,” Associated Press, February 4, 2008.

The Economist, “Dangerous Driving in the Heavens,” January 17, 2008.

Elsworth, Catherine, and Spencer, Richard, “Protests as US shoot down rogue spy satellite,” The Telegraph, February 22, 2008.

Everett, Terry, “Needed: Strategy for Space Protection,” The Washington Times, January 11, 2008, p. A19.

Gertz, Bill, “U.S. Satellites Dodge Chinese Missile Debris,” The Washington Times, January 11, 2008, p. A1.

Hitchens, Theresa, “Space Wars: Coming to the Sky Near You?” Scientific American, February 18, 2008.

Kaufman, Marc, and White, Josh, “Navy Missile Hits Satellite, Pentagon Says,” The Washington Post, February 21, 2008, p. A1.

Krepon, Michael, Bush’s ASAT Plan, The Henry L. Stimson Center, February 20, 2008.

Lague, David, “China Expresses Concern Over U.S. Plan to Shoot Down a Faulty Spy Satellite,” The New York Times, February 19, 2008.

MacDonald, Bruce, and Ferguson, Charles, “Taking Friendly Fire to New Heights,” Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2008.

Moore, Mike, “Arms Race in Space?” San Francisco Chronicle, February 12, 2008.

Mulrine, Anna, “The Satellite Shootdown: Behind the Scenes,” U.S. News & World Report, February 25, 2008.

Schachtman, Noah, “How China Loses the Coming Space War,” Wired, January 10, 2008.

Shanker, Thom, “U.S. display of antisatellite capability leaves rivals uneasy,” International Herald Tribune, February 22, 2008.

Shanker, Thom, “Missile Strikes a Spy Satellite Falling From Its Orbit,” The New York Times, February 21, 2008.

Shanker, Thom, “Washington Memo: Missile Defense Future May Turn on Success of Mission to Destroy Satellite,” The New York Times, February 16, 2008.

Tellis, Ashley, “Don't Panic About Space Weapons,” The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2008.

Editor's Note

Miles A. Pomper

Recently, four senior statesmen called for renewed action toward the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. Our cover story this month is an interview with one of them, former Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.).

Nunn says that, without such action, he has become convinced that the world is headed toward a “nuclear nightmare” because of the potentially cataclysmic mixture of a world with spreading nuclear technologies and terrorists aspiring to acquire and use them. In op-eds in The Wall Street Journal in January 2007 and January 2008, Nunn, along with former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz and former Secretary of Defense William Perry, laid out a series of important near-term disarmament steps.

As Nunn and his partners struggle to rein in nuclear arms, the world will mark the success of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) at the second review conference next month. Since entering into force nearly a decade ago, the chemical weapons ban has led to the destruction of many of these arms. It has also been embraced by the international community; only a dozen states have neither signed nor ratified the treaty.

Nonetheless, as the authors of two of our features note, the CWC’s success is incomplete. Daniel Feakes points out that the holdouts from the treaty now include states, particularly in the Middle East, whose participation is quite important but whose support will be difficult to win. He also notes that ratifying the treaty is one thing, but it is not clear how deep the commitment is to truly implementing it.

Ralf Trapp says that scientific and technological developments threaten to outstrip the ability of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to determine whether states-parties are complying with the treaty. He urges the CWC’s second review conference to take steps to bring it up to date.

In our Looking Back essay this month, John Hart discusses the legacy of old and abandoned chemical arms that still harm countries from Belgium to China. Hart examines the complex political and technological challenges of removing and destroying these arms.

Our news section includes an article by Wade Boese on Russia’s little-noticed decision to end missile testing notifications, an update from Peter Crail on the International Atomic Energy Agency probe into Iran’s nuclear program, a CWC analysis by Oliver Meier, and extensive coverage of the effect of the Bush administration’s fiscal year 2009 budget request on arms control and nonproliferation.

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Correction

On page 45 of Arms Control Today’s January/February 2008 issue, the news article “Concerns Raised as South Korea Joins GNEP” inaccurately identified the timing of a number of meetings. The sentence “GNEP partners held their first steering committee meeting Dec. 19, adopting a work plan calling for two more such meetings next year and a ministerial-level executive committee meeting late next year” should have read “GNEP partners held their first steering committee meeting Dec. 19, adopting a work plan calling for two more such meetings this year and a ministerial-level executive committee meeting late this year.” The meetings are in 2008.

GAO Report Chides Energy Department Program

Daniel Arnaudo

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last December offers stinging criticism of the Department of Energy’s management of its Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP). The criticism and the fact that some of these facilities are sources of technology and expertise for Russia’s construction of an Iranian nuclear power plant at Bushehr has led some lawmakers to question whether the program indirectly provides aid to Iran’s nuclear program.

The IPP is supposed to provide former weapons scientists in the former Soviet Union with funding and engage them in collaborative projects with U.S. laboratories to convert their expertise into nonmilitary employment. Contrary to those goals, the GAO report notes that more than half of the scientists employed in the program did not have experience with weapons of mass destruction or were too young to have worked on Soviet-era programs. The GAO also questions whether there was proper accounting for 2,790 private sector jobs that the program claims to have created, saying that it could not verify their existence in 48 of the 50 projects the Energy Department is maintaining. The department relies too much on “good faith” reporting, according to the report, and lacks proper procedures to ensure against fraud.

At a Feb. 7 hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman defended the IPP and stated that the programs “are not enhancing...the Iranian nuclear program.” Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the committee chairman, questioned him on whether U.S. funds could be transferred to projects involving Bushehr if the Energy Department did not have close oversight over their expenditure, but Bodman noted that the programs were “pay for performance in nature” and that scientists would not be paid without delivering a product.

When Dingell pressed him further on whether the funds went to an institute’s overhead or toward particular contracts, Bodman admitted he did not know. He promised to look into the matter further by forwarding the committee’s questions to Bill Ostendorff, the principal deputy administrator at the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

At the same hearing, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) questioned whether the work of the IPP violated an amendment he and former Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.) had made to the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The legislation prohibits the direct or indirect transfer of nuclear technology or assistance to countries that sponsor terrorism. Bodman replied that he did not know but was directing Ostendorff to fully examine IPP’s legality.

The GAO report notes that there was also no comprehensive exit strategy and no benchmarks for institutes to “graduate” from the program once U.S. nonproliferation goals have been achieved. It also describes how the Energy Department was expanding the IPP to help scientists in Iraq and Libya without explicit congressional authorization to work outside the former Soviet Union. It found that, in certain cases, this shift in emphasis was hurting the programs for which it was originally designed. Finally, it calls on the department to improve and streamline its review processes for paying former Soviet weapons scientists and to implement long-delayed programs so that the $30 million in unspent funds already allocated to the program could be expended.

In February, the Bush administration requested $24 million for the IPP in fiscal year 2009 after Congress appropriated it $31 million for the current fiscal year. Now lawmakers await answers on the program from the Energy Department. The report recommends that the department conduct a comprehensive reassessment to guide Congress in determining whether it should continue funding the IPP in its current form. If lawmakers decide to do so, the GAO further advises that the United States should share more of the costs with Russia, which is now less in need of assistance due to a stronger economy and more likely to become an equal partner for similar projects in future.

 

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last December offers stinging criticism of the Department of Energy’s management of its Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP). The criticism and the fact that some of these facilities are sources of technology and expertise for Russia’s construction of an Iranian nuclear power plant at Bushehr has led some lawmakers to question whether the program indirectly provides aid to Iran’s nuclear program. (Continue)

Bush Requests Less for Threat Reduction Program

Daniel Arnaudo

After Congress bumped up the budgets for a number of nonproliferation programs for countries in the former Soviet Union in its 2008 appropriations bills, the Bush administration has requested less money in a number of cases for fiscal year 2009.

The reduced requests reflect in part a continuing trend of winding down nonproliferation programs in the former Soviet Union, while in some cases expanding their scope to new countries. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who authored legislation with then-Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) establishing the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program in the early 1990s, recently suggested that Congress should augment this shift by granting the executive branch greater flexibility to allocate money quickly to address short-term needs, such as the planned dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear facilities.

Department of Defense

The president’s budget request includes $414 million for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s nonproliferation programs in the former Soviet Union for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. This figure was less than the $426 million Congress appropriated for the current fiscal year, but still higher than Bush’s $348 million request of last year.

The funding requests for several other programs within the agency are down from current spending, including the Strategic Offensive Arms Elimination program, which decommissions or eliminates Russian missile stockpiles, silos, and other related equipment. The president’s budget proposes $80 million, down from $91 million appropriated by Congress for the current fiscal year.

The request for nuclear weapons storage security was down to $24 million from $45.5 million appropriated for fiscal year 2008, reflecting the completion of an automated inventory control management system and a Far East training center. The efforts created a computerized accounting system for nuclear weapons elimination and trained security staff for weapons of mass destruction facilities in eastern Russia. The administration’s request for nuclear weapons transportation security rose from $38 million appropriated last year to $41 million, reflecting increases for nuclear weapons transportation and railcar maintenance and procurement.

The president’s budget request does not propose funding the Chemical Weapons Destruction Program. A chemical weapons destruction facility at Shchuch’ye in Russia would be the beneficiary, but it has been plagued by contractor and construction difficulties, which caused the administration to remove funding for the project from its fiscal year 2007 and 2008 budget requests. Last year, Congress allocated $1 million to the program as a placeholder, but thus far the problems have not been resolved, and millions would be required to complete the project. (See ACT, May 2007.)

Responding to earlier proposals from Lugar, the administration upped its budget request for the Biological Threat Reduction Program to $184 million, which would be a $26 million increase to last year’s appropriation.

Department of Energy

The Department of Energy’s semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) also requested less for nonproliferation work worldwide than the current fiscal year’s appropriation. Even after Congress approved increases for the current fiscal year to give the international nuclear materials protection and cooperation account $624 million, the NNSA’s request for fiscal year 2009 was only $430 million.

Most of the additional funding that Congress approved for the current fiscal year is going to the Second Line of Defense (SLD) initiative, which increases security at borders and at “megaports” through new radiological screening equipment, training, and technical support at key transit points. The NNSA requested $212 million for the initiative in its fiscal year 2009 request after Congress appropriated $267 million for the effort for the current fiscal year.

The NNSA requested $32 million for security upgrades to the Rosatom (Russian Atomic Energy Agency) Weapons Complex at seven closed Russian cities. The request for the cities, which are responsible for nuclear weapons and materials storage, represents a significant decrease from the $79 million appropriated for the current fiscal year. The NNSA noted that selective upgrades agreed to by Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2005 were continuing. (See ACT, March 2005.)

Work to upgrade security for Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF) and in its 12th Main Directorate, the military organization with responsibility for nuclear munitions, is also winding down with $53 million requested, after Congress appropriated $121 million for the current fiscal year. The NNSA plans to complete upgrades to all nine 12th Main Directorate nuclear warhead sites and provide sustainability upgrades for 25 SRF sites.

The account request for global security engagement and cooperation, to improve safeguards, strengthen export controls, and support former Soviet scientific communities, was $47 million, $4 million less than this year’s appropriation. The request included $24 million for the Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention, which funds the program that supports former Soviet weapons scientists and was recently the subject of a critical Government Accountability Office report that claims the program needs better oversight (see page 37).

The request for the treaties and agreements line item calls for the only increase in the nonproliferation and international security section, $15 million to help support the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative, which would fund roughly a dozen studies on preventing nuclear terrorism and supporting international safeguards. The research would aid programs such as the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership and the Proliferation Security Initiative and also provide technical and policy support for the denuclearization of North Korea.

The funding request for the elimination of weapons-grade plutonium production is $141 million, $39 million less than the current fiscal year appropriation. This program aims to replace two nuclear reactors in Seversk, Siberia, with a fossil fuel plant.

The funding has been cut because the reactors, which produce weapons-grade plutonium, are supposed to be shut down in December 2008. A Feb. 1 NNSA press release said that Rosatom head Sergey Kiriyenko had informed Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman that work on the two plutonium reactors is ahead of schedule and that they are expected to cease operation early. Last December, Russia reported that it had started up a boiler and steam turbine generator at the partially completed fossil fuel plant. This has allowed the reactors to operate under an alternating mode, enabling one reactor to shut down while the other is running and thus generating only half as much plutonium.

The funding request for the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, which eliminates or protects nuclear and radiological material, was $220 million, increased from $193 million appropriated in the current fiscal year. Of that amount, $116 million, increased from $68 million appropriated in the current fiscal year, would go toward the repatriation of nuclear and radiological material to Russia and the United States from the rest of the world. A separate $54 million request for the protection of this material in the United States and the former Soviet Union represents a decrease of $47 million over the same period.

Department of State

Funding requested for nonproliferation, anti-terrorism, demining, and related programs rose to $499 million from $483 million for the current fiscal year, with slightly higher numbers for nonproliferation-related programs. The Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (NDF) program would receive $40 million, up from $33 million appropriated, and Global Threat Reduction would receive an increase from $57 million to $64 million.

In a Jan. 30 speech at a conference organized by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Lugar suggested that Congress should grant the executive branch greater authority to provide nonproliferation aid to countries that are normally banned from receiving most U.S. assistance because of legal restrictions, such as sanctions. Currently, only the NDF program has such “notwithstanding authority,” but Lugar said this authority should be extended to other threat reduction programs.

Lugar cited the case of North Korea as a particularly likely example of a situation in which, absent a legislative fix, sanctions might block the opportunity for achieving important nonproliferation goals. The United States has imposed a range of sanctions against North Korea, such as those in the 1994 Glenn Amendment, that would prevent nonproliferation-related assistance activities being carried out in the country. (See ACT, January/February 2008.)

“Granting Nunn-Lugar ‘notwithstanding’ authority would not mean that Congress would be unable to adjust or restrict the program,” Lugar said. “But it would ensure that Nunn-Lugar would have the ability to respond rapidly to new nonproliferation opportunities. We should not allow bureaucratic inertia to impede potentially historic transformations in North Korea or elsewhere.”

After Congress bumped up the budgets for a number of nonproliferation programs for countries in the former Soviet Union in its 2008 appropriations bills, the Bush administration has requested less money in a number of cases for fiscal year 2009. (Continue)

Air Force Issues New Nuclear Weapons Procedures

Jessica Lasky-Fink

The U.S. Air Force has issued new procedures and requirements for the handling of nuclear weapons in the wake of an incident last August in which six nuclear warheads were unknowingly transferred across the country. The Air Force decision was announced Jan. 17 and was scheduled to be implemented within 45 days of that date.

The new procedures stem from an incident in which a B-52 bomber flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana with six nuclear air-launched cruise missiles onboard. (See ACT, October 2007. )

The requirements stipulate that nuclear and non-nuclear munitions and missiles must be stored in separate storage structures and that they all must “be identified using stanchions/cones, ropes, and placards to ensure there is a clear distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear munitions/missiles.” The mix-up of nuclear and non-nuclear warheads is one of the many breakdowns in nuclear-handling procedure that preceded the B-52 flight on Aug. 30.

Over a period of four months, Air Force generals have conducted three investigations into the breach of nuclear procedures. Major General Douglas Raaberg, the director of plans and operations at Air Combat Command, conducted the initial Air Force investigation that found that the incident reflects “a breakdown in training, discipline, supervision and leadership.”

Thereafter, Lieutenant General Polly Peyer led an investigation to see if the August incident was part of broader, systemic problems in the Air Force. That review concluded that the problems in the Air Force begin with a lack of commitment to the nuclear mission in senior leadership positions and extend to shortcomings in training, inspections, and funding.

Finally, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates asked retired General Larry Welch to chair a Defense Science Board Permanent Task Force on Nuclear Weapons Surety charged with reviewing the entire Department of Defense nuclear enterprise. The task force’s “Report on the Unauthorized Movement of Nuclear Weapons,” released in February, found a “declining focus and an eroding nuclear enterprise environment” not only in the Air Force, but in the department as a whole.

These three generals, as well as Lieutenant General Daniel Darnell, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 12.

In a joint statement to the committee, Generals Darnell, Peyer, and Raaberg outlined the accountability measures that have been taken as a result of the unauthorized weapons transfer. At the same time, they insisted that the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile is secure, despite findings that point to a waning emphasis by the U.S. military on ensuring proper nuclear weapons procedures.

In all, the generals’ investigations resulted in more than 120 recommendations to strengthen nuclear weapons surety. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the committee chairman, noted with concern that most of the recommendations have not yet been implemented and called the B-52 event “a wake-up call,” asserting that “as long as the United States has nuclear weapons, they must be handled with the utmost security and attention.”

A congressional aide told Arms Control Today that sentiment on Capitol Hill is that these recommendations are fairly comprehensive. The aide indicated that the new Air Force requirements are a good start for addressing the procedural causes of August’s unauthorized nuclear transfer, but the systemic and organizational issues underlying the incident will be more difficult and will take longer to resolve.

Notably, neither the new Air Force procedural document nor any of the three investigative reports satisfy the requirement for a classified report on nuclear surety, as called for in the fiscal 2008 defense appropriations bill, which was signed into law Nov. 13. The bill directs the secretaries of defense and energy to jointly submit a classified report “on the policies and procedures governing the storage and logistic movement of U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear components” within 90 days. As of Feb. 15, the report had not been submitted.

 

Advances in Science and Technology and the Chemical Weapons Convention

Ralf Trapp

With the second review conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) approaching in April, a raft of studies have appeared making clear that fundamental changes in science and technology are affecting the implementation of the treaty and that it must be adapted to take account of them.[1]

The most significant development is the revolution in the life sciences and related technologies, including a growing overlap between chemistry and biology. There is a vastly increased understanding of the functioning of biological systems as a result of the mapping of the human and other genomes as well as of advances in structural biology and the study of proteins (proteomics). Information technology and engineering principles are increasingly integrated into biology. The intersection between chemistry and biology has further expanded thanks in part to the automation of synthesis and screening of chemical compounds enabling laboratories to assess vast numbers of new chemical structures and a much-enhanced understanding of how certain “chemicals of biological origin” act. Technological advances supplement these trends, for example, providing for more efficient means of delivering biologically active chemicals to target populations or targeting organs and receptors within an organism.

These developments are expected to bring many benefits, including new medical treatments and methods of pest control. At the same time, the capacity to discover or design new chemical structures that may have utility as chemical warfare agents has also increased significantly. Novel agents can be created far more quickly than ever before. In addition, advances in manufacturing technology have shortened other time requirements, enabling shortcuts in the progression from research and development to full-scale manufacturing. Changes in the chemical industry have dispersed technology and facilities, complicating verification and traditional nonproliferation strategies.

As a result, the time and effort needed to field a new chemical weapon has shrunk, particularly in the early stages, while the capability to detect such actions has not grown significantly. These trends and a recently increased interest in the use of incapacitants for law enforcement purposes raise at least the threat that states could skirt or quickly break out of the CWC prohibitions on developing and acquiring chemical weapons. It has also enlarged the overlap between the two otherwise quite separate treaties governing chemical and biological weapons, the CWC and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). States-parties need to adapt the implementation of the CWC to account for these changes or risk diminishing confidence in its effectiveness and endangering its viability.

Advances in Technology and Industry

To be sure, many traditional obstacles remain to the development of chemical weapons in a state-level program. Most importantly, any potential agents must meet tough requirements before they can be fielded. These include the possibility of industrial-scale production, tactical mixtures that can be effectively disseminated and are sufficiently stable for long-term storage, effective dissemination equipment/devices, and adequate means of ensuring that one’s own forces are protected.

These constraints do not apply to the threats of terrorist chemical weapons use. The threat that terrorists may use toxic chemicals, however, correlates more closely with the accessibility of toxic materials than with the evolving scientific capability to develop novel agents in the laboratory. That is not to dismiss the concern, but the problem is less one of enforcing an international norm such as the CWC than of how states, companies, and research institutions can control access to chemical facilities and materials.

Technological change can also bring significant benefits to the fight against chemical weapons. For example, advances in nanotechnology are expected to help in developing more effective protections against agents, such as new detection devices (faster, cheaper, more sensitive, and more selective sensors), and improved filtration materials, means of decontamination, and medical countermeasures.

Still, these scientific and technological gains undoubtedly come with new concerns. Nanotechnology offers the possibility to engineer “smart” materials that respond to specific stimuli. It also promises a more efficient and targeted drug delivery via the respiratory system and other pathways. For example, it could facilitate the entry of toxic chemicals into the body or specific organs, in particular the brain, for selective reaction with specific gene patterns or proteins or for overcoming the immune reaction of the target organism. These developments may have significant applications as new medicines and treatments. They could, however, also be exploited for the development of new chemical warfare agents or the fine-tuning of existing ones. Any offensive chemical weapons program begun today would surely take advantage of these new methods and concepts.

Technological advances continue to change the manufacturing processes in the chemical industry. New processes are being introduced to increase efficiency and yield, including a range of new catalytic processes. The use of multipurpose equipment and the adoption of on-demand principles has become a common feature. Manufacturers adjust to changing market demands and increasingly use technologies and equipment that allow them to switch production output on short notice. Although allowing chemical plants to be converted to the production of new products, this also means that there is a risk of standby capabilities appearing that could easily and quickly be switched to supplying an offensive chemical weapons program.

A more recent development is the use of microreactors, which have begun moving from the laboratory to (limited) industrial production. One of the driving factors is safety: chemicals that are otherwise hazardous to manufacture, handle, or store can be produced safely on-site when needed. In addition, capital costs for such facilities are low, and many chemical reactions show improved reactivity, product yield, and selectivity when performed in microreactors. Microreactors allow companies to scale up a chemical process from laboratory to industrial scale more quickly and easily. Production output can be increased by combining multiple reactors in batteries, a process also known as “numbering-up.”

Of course, these advantages could also apply to new chemical warfare agents. The use of microreactors can significantly shorten the time required to synthesize new toxic chemicals for testing and development purposes. Microreactors can apply combinatorial principles to synthesize a series of related compounds for test purposes, or they can be used to make small quantities of toxic chemicals easily and quickly during the development of a new agent for weaponization. Worryingly, if states were to produce chemical weapons in such reactors, there would be fewer clues that might indicate to outsiders that such production was taking place. Traditional industrial-scale chemical weapons production facilities require heavy-duty ventilation systems, scrubbers, and high stacks. Because processing highly toxic or corrosive materials in microreactors produces fewer waste streams and reaction yields are much higher, there is less need for telltale pollution abatement systems.

In addition, structural change in the chemical industry could also pose risks to CWC implementation. Driven by market forces, the industry is moving from its traditional production locations (Japan, the United States, and western Europe) to new places in Asia, eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Some of the countries involved in setting up new chemical operations have limited experience in regulating chemicals or weak implementation systems for the CWC. At the same time, international trade in chemicals is on the increase. These are challenges to the CWC’s verification system as well as to traditional nonproliferation measures in the chemical field.

Recommendations to the Review Conference

What, then, are the issues that the upcoming review conference ought to consider when it assesses the impact of advances in science and technology on the operation of the CWC?

A first is whether the CWC’s schedules, which attempt to characterize agents and precursors by their risk based on past weaponization and other factors, need to be amended. Currently, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the international body charged with implementing and verifying the CWC, and states-parties tightly control high-risk chemicals (Schedule 1). This is feasible because these agents and key precursors, as a rule, have very few legitimate uses. States and the OPCW less stringently control Schedule 2 and 3 chemicals, which have legitimate uses ranging from smaller-scale specialty chemicals to mass-produced chemicals and thus have much higher thresholds before such production triggers declarations and inspections. Should the growing overlap between chemistry and biology and the emergence of new biologically active compounds necessitate the inclusion of new chemicals into the schedules or are the schedules unfit to deal with these emerging risks? Including new chemicals with potential chemical weapons utility in Schedule 1 would severely hamper their legitimate uses. Listing them in Schedules 2 and 3 might be meaningless given the relatively high thresholds for declaration and inspection; many would simply fall through the net.

If the schedules were to remain as they are, there is a risk that the CWC verification system may get stuck in the past. One way to avoid this fate would be to step up the frequency and effectiveness of verification at other chemical production facilities (OCPFs) producing unscheduled discrete organic chemicals.[2] This relates to a number of issues: the overall number of OCPF inspections that is desirable, the amount of information available on these facilities to the OPCW Technical Secretariat, an improved site selection mechanism for inspections, the level of expertise at the OPCW to ensure that inspectors can adequately assess facility capabilities during an inspection, and the ability to use inspection methods such as sampling and on-site analysis. There is, however, a degree of reluctance to respond to the trends in chemicals manufacturing with a shift in verification focus. Some developing countries see suggestions to shift emphasis from verifying scheduled chemicals to OCPFs as an attempt to exercise control over the use of chemical technology and to shift the burden of verification to the developing world. They are therefore reluctant to accept that the OCPF verification regime needs to be further enhanced in response to trends in the chemical industry.

In a broader context, to adapt the CWC to the new challenges emanating from advances in the life sciences will require consideration of how best to reinforce the “general purpose criterion.”[3] This includes national implementation (legislation, regulations, and enforcement); the recognition that the schedules must not limit the scope of the CWC; and the need to ensure effective (self-)governance of the life sciences as well as industry. One example of this is the Responsible Care program, a global voluntary chemical industry initiative to improve health, safety, and environmental performance; communicate with stakeholders; and apply self-regulatory measures to ensure compliance with regulations, including the CWC.

A second issue relates to how verification can make use of new opportunities created by science and technology, such as new or improved verification equipment and methods. The OPCW has identified gaps in its tool box, for example, with regard to analyzing biomedical samples. This capability gap affects the OPCW’s ability to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use and should be closed swiftly. There are also efforts under way to improve further the OPCW’s capability to conduct environmental sampling and analysis on-site and to use other inspection methods. The review conference should encourage the OPCW Technical Secretariat to make best use of technological advances so as to maintain a high standard with regard to its verification methods and equipment.

A third issue is whether technological and scientific advances might aid the destruction of chemical weapons, particularly old and abandoned chemical weapons and those dumped in the sea.[4] This is an area where the review conference could encourage further cooperation between states-parties and the sharing of assessments, experience, and technological know-how.

A fourth issue is how advances in science and technology will help improve protection against chemical weapons. Many of these advances can help upgrade the protection against chemical agents, enhance decontamination capabilities, or lead to new medical countermeasures. This is important as states harden their structures against the menace of chemical terrorism. It will also have a deterrent effect against the use of chemical weapons by states that still remain outside the regime. The review conference should recognize the need to improve the protection against chemical weapons further, encourage cooperation and exchanges between the states-parties in this field, and call on the Technical Secretariat to help states-parties develop and improve their protective capabilities. For example, this could include exercises to simulate national and international response mechanisms to chemical incidents.

A fifth issue relates to the CWC objective to enhance international cooperation in the peaceful uses of chemistry. Recent scientific and technological advances will create many opportunities in this respect, but they must be pursued in recognition of the fact that international cooperation must be fully consistent with the CWC’s disarmament and nonproliferation obligations. There is therefore good reason to maintain a strong link between international cooperation programs and OPCW efforts to promote national implementation and ensure effective verification. The review conference should recognize that the OPCW is not a development agency but that its efforts with regard to industry verification as well as helping states-parties adopt national regulations and controls in the chemical field will facilitate trade and investment into the emerging chemical sectors of developing countries.

Finally, the arms control community has over the past four decades kept a clear demarcation between chemical and biological weapons. The CWC and the BWC have taken different directions with regard to a number of implementation issues, most prominently verification. In the real world of research and, increasingly, industry, the borders between the two fields are getting blurred. What the implications will be for the two regimes has yet to be fully understood. At the national level, there are signs of what one might call “regime conversion,” with some countries combining their national implementing agencies and mechanisms for the two conventions. There also is an overlap of efforts within the scientific and industrial communities to adopt governance mechanisms and ethical codes to prevent the misuse of chemical and biological sciences for hostile purposes.

The situation at the international level, however, is more complicated, particularly with regard to verification. It is difficult to understand how the CWC can successfully address the verification dimension of the increasing convergence between chemistry and biology without running into some of the same difficulties that prevented the adoption of a BWC verification protocol in 2001-2002.[5] There is thus a risk that the CWC review conference might set itself up for failure if it aimed too high. At the same time, it cannot ignore the advances in the life sciences and their effect on the CWC. The challenge will be to find the right balance in further developing the treaty’s verification system while enhancing national implementation, developing self-governance mechanisms, and involving all stakeholders in the implementation process.

How States Might Skirt the Chemical Weapons Ban

Ralf Trapp

It might be possible for states to carry out programs that could take advantage of new discoveries in science and technology to develop a novel agent while asserting that they are technically complying with Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) obligations.

The CWC allows for the use of toxic chemicals for “law enforcement purposes including domestic riot control.” The traditional interpretation of this clause has been that states-parties are clearly allowed to use riot control agents (RCAs) for domestic riot-control purposes subject to certain conditions in the CWC. Some have claimed that the provision has broader implications, for example, permitting occupying forces, such as those of the United States in Iraq, to use RCAs abroad.[1] Similarly, some states-parties have said that toxic chemicals other than RCAs could be used for law enforcement purposes. In particular, they have insisted that they consider the use of lethal chemicals for capital punishment consistent with the provisions of the CWC.

Internationally, the changing nature of armed conflict, with an increased focus on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism methods, has stimulated a renewed interest in so-called nonlethal weapons, including incapacitants. Advances in the life sciences could lead to the development of drugs that may match to an extent the pharmaceutical profile required of such weapons, and the very fact that progress in life science research may be seen to offer such opportunities could fuel further developments.

The implications are both legal and practical. On the legal side, the prohibition not to develop, produce, and stockpile (new generations of) chemical weapons could be seriously undermined. After all, there is no such thing as a nonlethal toxic chemical—lethality depends on such factors as the dosage, the vulnerabilities of the target population, and the methods and location of agent dispersal.[2] Moreover, in a military context, there is an additional factor: the agents would be used on a battlefield where other weapons are present (guns, artillery, aircraft, etc.), and incapacitants could increase the lethality of these conventional weapons if used in combined operations.

On the practical side, the remaining comfort that one could derive from the fact that it still may take considerable time to go from discovering a new agent to actually fielding an effective weapon would be gone. Inspectors might find chemical weapons at the stages of development, production, or stockpiling, and a state-party could claim that these arms were entirely legitimate as part of a program for law enforcement purposes.

To ensure transparency and promote confidence, some have proposed to make toxic chemicals intended for law enforcement purposes subject to declaration to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. This step may be premature, but it will be important that states-parties recognize this issue and start discussing the implications of these developments so as to prevent the emergence of a new generation of chemical weapons. The review conference would be the appropriate forum to initiate such a discussion.


ENDNOTES

1. See, for example, Kyle M. Ballard, “Convention in Peril? Riot Control Agents and the Chemical Weapons Ban,” Arms Control Today, September 2007, pp. 12-16.

2. British Medical Association, “The Use of Drugs as Weapons,” May 2007, located at www.bma.org.uk/ap.nsf/Content/drugsasweapons.

 

 


Ralf Trapp is an independent consultant on chemical and biological weapons disarmament. He formerly held senior positions at the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.


ENDNOTES

1. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) conducted an international workshop on the matter in April 2007 in Zagreb, Croatia, and submitted a report to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The OPCW’s Scientific Advisory Board prepared an interim report to the OPCW Working Group for the Preparation of the Second Review Conference. With the support of the Netherlands and the European Union, the OPCW held an Academic Forum and an Industry and Protection Forum, which looked at the strategic challenges for the CWC. Also, a number of national studies of these issues have been commissioned.

2. The CWC schedules focus on dual-use materials, the toxic chemicals and precursors that could be used for chemical weapons purposes. The OCPF regime attempts to capture chemical plants that may have an “intrinsic” technological capability to produce chemical warfare agents. This category encompasses a large part of the organic chemical industry with a wide array of chemical plants that pose varying degrees of risk to the CWC, ranging from highly-relevant multipurpose plants capable of switching production to a variety of chemicals on short notice to rather less-relevant, dedicated plants producing basic organic intermediates, fertilizers, and other mass products. For more detail, see Jonathan Tucker “Verifying the Chemical Weapons Ban: Missing Elements,” Arms Control Today, January/February 2007, pp. 6-13.

3. This is shorthand for a concept built into the definition of chemical weapons as well as the requirements for national implementation of the CWC. Rather than relying on a list of prohibited chemicals, the CWC considers any toxic chemical or precursor a chemical weapon unless it was intended for purposes not prohibited, such as for peaceful uses or for chemical defense, and only as long as their types and quantities can be justified by such legitimate purposes. The schedules must therefore not be confused with a list of prohibited chemicals or a definition of chemical weapons. Their sole purpose is to guide routine verification measures.

4. Given that Russia and the United States, for example, have agreed to destroy their stockpiles by 2012, new technologies are unlikely to make a major contribution to destruction efforts related to stockpiled chemical weapons. The IUPAC report noted that “[t]echnologies for the destruction of stockpile[d] chemical weapons have matured to a point, and timelines for the completion of [chemical weapons] destruction operations are such, that there is little point in reviewing emerging technology options for these destruction operations. Although there remain [chemical weapons] destruction facilities that have yet to be commissioned, the technology choices are well-known and assessed. Issues that may influence outstanding decisions on technology choices are largely in the legal, policy, regulatory, public awareness/education, and economic domains.” Mahdi Balali-Mood et al., “Impact of Scientific Developments on the Chemical Weapons Convention (IUPAC Technical Report),” Pure and Applied Chemistry, Vol. 80, No. 1 (2008), p. 189.

5. For a discussion of the reasons that led to the U.S. administration’s refusal to complete negotiations of the BWC verification protocol and of the measures subsequently adopted by the BWC review conference instead of such a protocol, see, for example, “The BWC After the Protocol: Previewing the Review Conference,” Arms Control Today, December 2001, pp. 13-18; Kerry Boyd, “BWC Review Conference Meets, Avoids Verification Issues,” Arms Control Today, December 2002, p. 21.

With the second review conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) approaching in April, a raft of studies have appeared making clear that fundamental changes in science and technology are affecting the implementation of the treaty and that it must be adapted to take account of them. (Continue)

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