Login/Logout

*
*  
"I want to thank the Arms Control Association … for being such effective advocates for sensible policies to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and most importantly, reduce the risk of nuclear war."
– Senator Joe Biden,
January 28, 2004
September 2008
Edition Date: 
Monday, September 1, 2008
Cover Image: 

September 2008 Bibliography

Of Special Interest

Albright, David, Brannan, Paul, and Shire, Jacqueline, Can Military Strikes Destroy Iran's Gas Centrifuge Program? Probably Not., Institute for Science and International Security, August 7, 2008, 15 pp.

Broad, William J., and Sanger, David E., "In Nuclear Net's Undoing, a Web of Shadows," The New York Times, August 24, 2008, p. A1.

Dhanapala, Jayantha, and Kimball, Daryl, A Nonproliferation Disaster, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, July 10, 2008, 2 pp.

Goldschmidt, Pierre, IAEA Safeguards: Dealing Preventively with Non-Compliance, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 12, 2008, 28 pp.

Holum, John, "Nuclear Weapons," The Washington Times, August 1, 2008, p. A21.

Lugar, Richard, "Trust Still Needs Verification," The Washington Times, July 18, 2008, p. A24.

Markey, Edward J., and Tauscher, Ellen O., "Don't Loosen Nuclear Rules for India," The New York Times, August 19, 2008, p. A23.

Sokolski, Henry, "Negotiating India's Next Nuclear Explosion," The Wall Street Journal Asia, July 10, 2008.

Tauscher, Ellen O., "U.S. Needs to Start a New START Agreement," San Francisco Chronicle, July 24, 2008, p. B7.

U.S. Department of Defense, National Defense Strategy, June 2008, 23 pp.

I. Strategic Arms

Agence France-Presse, "New Air Force Chiefs Promise to Raise Nuclear Standards," August 13, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, "US General Warns Russia on Nuclear Bombers in Cuba," July 23, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, "Russia Slams US Nuclear Disarmament Proposals," July 6, 2008.

Baldor, Lolita C., and MacPherson, James, "Air Force Missile Launch Crew Cell Asleep," Associated Press, July 25, 2008.

The Economist, "Swords and Ploughshares," August 16, 2008, p. 56.

Franz, Zachary, "Airmen Remove Final Missiles," Great Falls Tribune, August 1, 2008, p. A1.

Grossman, Elaine M., "Rice Declines to Sign U.S. Nuclear Strategy Paper," Global Security Newswire, August 5, 2008.

Johnson, Peter, "End Nears for Malmstrom's 564th Missile Squadron," Great Falls Tribune, July 27, 2008, p. A1.

Kristensen, Hans. M., China's Xia-Class SSBN Leaves Dry Dock, Federation of American Scientists Strategic Security Blog, August 3, 2008.

Meyer, Cordula, "Berlin Holds on to Obsolete Weapons," Der Spiegel, July 1, 2008.

Podvig, Pavel, "The Window of Vulnerability That Wasn't: Soviet Military Buildup in the 1970s - A Research Note," International Security, Summer 2008, Vol. 33, No.1, pp.118.

RIA Novosti, "Russian Navy Prioritizes Construction of Nuclear Submarines," July 25, 2008.

Saradzhyan, Simon, "Armed With Nukes and a Vague Plan," The Moscow Times, August 5, 2008.

Schneidmiller, Chris, "Medvedev Stands Firm on Russian Strategic Policy," Global Security Newswire, July 15, 2008.

Schoenfeld, Gabriel, "Russia's Nuclear Threat Is More Than Words," The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2008, p. A11.

Schwartz, John, "Back to Court, Decades After Atomic Tests," The New York Times, August 6, 2008.

Solomon, Jay, and White, Gregory L., "U.S. Weighs Halt to Talks with Russia on Nuclear Arms Curbs," The Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2008, p. A1.

The Stanley Foundation, US Nuclear Weapons, Force Posture, and Infrastructure, August 2008, 9pp.

Taylor, Matthew, "Britain Plans to Spend £3bn on New Nuclear Warheads," The Guardian, July 25, 2008.

United States Institute of Peace, Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the U.S. Begins Work, July 11, 2008.

II. Nuclear Proliferation

Ahmad, Munir, "Scientist Says Pakistan Knew of Korea Nuke Deal," Associated Press, July 5, 2008.

Alabaster, Jay, "Japan Police Raid Company, Suspect Nuclear Exports," Associated Press, July 31, 2008.

Associated Press, "Iran, Nigeria to Share Peaceful Nuclear Technology," August 28, 2008.

Bartoshuk, David, Diamond, John, and Huessy, Peter, Nuclear Terrorism: Local Effects, Global Consequences, Saga Foundation, July 2008, 28 pp.

Bolton, John, "Israel, Iran and the Bomb," The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2008, p. A19.

Fidler, Stephen, "Proliferation: Fast Spread of Nuclear Weapons Erodes Stability," Financial Times, July 6, 2008.

Gearan, Anne, "Bush Running Out of Time on Nuclear Threats," Associated Press, August 4, 2008.

Government Accountability Office, Nuclear Security: NRC and DHS Need to Take Additional Steps to Better Track and Detect Radioactive Materials, June 2008, 48 pp.

Grossman, Elaine M. "U.S. House Panel Links Russia Nuclear Trade Pact to Iran," Global Security Newswire, July 25, 2008.

International Security Advisory Board, Report on Proliferation Implications of the Global Expansion of Civil Nuclear Power, U.S. Department of State, April 2008.

Kamara, Mohamed Murtala, "Nigeria Nuclear Plans Worry G-8," AfricaNews, July 1, 2008.

RIA Novosti, "Russia's Uranium Breakthrough," July 8, 2008.

Rubin, Alyssa J., and Robertson, Campbell, "U.S. Helps Remove Uranium from Iraq," International Herald Tribune, July 7, 2008.

Shea, Dana, The Global Nuclear Detection Architecture: Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, July 7, 2008, 21 pp.

Taylor, Rob, "Asia Arms Race May be Overstated," Reuters, July 3, 2008.

Waterman, Shaun, "Nuclear Fuel Expansion Raises Proliferation Fear," United Press International, July 8, 2008.

India

Agence France-Presse, "Australia to Back US-India Nuclear Pact with Suppliers: Rudd," August 12, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, "Top Indian Scientists Attack US Nuclear Deal," July 19, 2008.

Bagchi, Indrani, "Hurdles in NSG Draft Down to Just 3," The Times of India, August 20, 2008.

Bajoria, Jayshree, An Uncertain Deal with India, Council on Foreign Relations, July 18, 2008.

Chaudhuri, Pramit Pal, "India Confident N-deal Will Go Through in September," The Hindustan Times, August 26, 2008.

Dikshit, Sandeep, "U.S. Circulates Draft Amendment to NSG Guidelines," The Hindu, August 9, 2008.

The Economic Times, "Nuke deal is prime focus of US nuclear policy: Rice," August 26, 2008.

The Economist, "The Nuclear Deal Takes Wing," July 10, 2008.

ElBaradei, Mohamed, Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors, International Atomic Energy Agency, August 1, 2008.

Financial Times, "A Bad Nuclear Deal," August 25, 2008.

Gibbs, Edwina, "India: China Gives Support for Civilian Nuclear Plans," Reuters, July 8, 2008.

Groendahl, Boris, "U.S. Proposes to Exempt India from Nuclear Ban," Reuters, July 14, 2008.

Gwertzman, Bernard, Symbolism Tops Substance in U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement, Council on Foreign Relations, July 15, 2008.

Heinrich, Mark, "Nations Can't Agree on India Atom Plan, Set Sept Talks," Reuters, August 22, 2008.

Heinrich, Mark, "Pakistanis Urge Tougher IAEA Stance on India Deal," Reuters, July 29, 2008.

Heinrich, Mark, "IAEA to Consider India Atom Inspections Plan," Reuters, July 14, 2008.

IAEA Board of Governors, An Agreement with the Government of India for the Application of Safeguards to Civilian Nuclear Facilities (GOV/2008/30), July 9, 2008, 23 pp.

Jahn, George, "Pakistan Warns of New Nuclear Arms Race with India," Associated Press, July 24, 2008.

Jahn, George, "India's Nuclear Agreement with IAEA has Loopholes," Associated Press, July 9, 2008.

Jha, Prem Shankar, "A Very Big Deal," Hindustan Times, July 21, 2008.

Lakshmi, Rama, and Wax, Emily, "India's Government Wins Parliament Confidence Vote," The Washington Post, July 23, 2008, p. A12.

Kessler, Glenn, "U.S. Push to Expand Nuclear Trade Draws Skepticism," The Washington Post, August 21, 2008, p. A7.

Kessler, Glenn, "Congress May Not Pass U.S.-India Nuclear Pact," The Washington Post, July 9, 2008, p. A10.

Krepon, Michael, Faits Accompli, Complicity, and Nuclear Proliferation, The Henry L. Stimson Center, July 30, 2008, 2 pp.

Lee, Matthew, "Rice Defends US-India Nuclear Deal," Associated Press, July 24, 2008.

Mukherjee, Krittivas, "Key Indian Party Still Has Doubts Over Nuclear Deal," Reuters, July 3, 2008.

The National Business Review, "NZ Wants Conditions Written into Nuclear Agreement," August 20, 2008.

Nayar, K.P., "Roll Up Your Sleeves, PM, Deal Needs a Push," The Telegraph, August 19, 2008.

The New York Times, "No Rush, Please," July 5, 2008.

Parashar, Sachin, "NSG: Austria hints at softening stand," August 28, 2008.

Pradhan, Bibhudatta, "Japan Is Non-Committal on Support to India-U.S. Nuclear Accord," Bloomberg, August 5, 2008.

Press Trust of India, "Kakodkar Camps in Vienna for IAEA Meeting, to Lobby NSG States," July 30, 2008.

Press Trust of India, "France to Back India at IAEA and NSG: Srinivasan," July 15, 2008.

Rabinowitz, Gavin, "Opponents Form Alliance Against Indian Government," Associated Press, July 23, 2008.

Regehr, Ernie, "Decision Time for India's Nuclear Exemption," Globe and Mail, July 24, 2008.

Rust, Dean, Questions Linger about India's Safeguards, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, August 14, 2008, 2 pp.

Scrutton, Alistair, "India Submits Atom Accord to IAEA," Reuters, July 9, 2008.

Sengupta, Somini, "India Confidence Vote Opens Way for U.S. Nuclear Agreement," International Herald Tribune, July 22, 2008.

Sevastopulo, Demetri, "Bush Warned on Risks to India Nuclear Deal," Financial Times, August 7, 2008.

Squassoni, Sharon, All Eyes on the Nuclear Suppliers Group: Will the Nonproliferation Mainstream Shift? Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, August 18, 2008, 2 pp.

Srinivasan, M.R., "A Civil Nuclear Power," The Wall Street Journal Asia, July 21, 2008.

Stratfor, "India: Internal Struggle Over the Nuclear Deal," July 9, 2008.

Thottam, Jyoti, "Nuclear Brinksmanship," TIME, July 17, 2008.

The Times of India
, "Nuke Deal Won't Embargo Right to Carry Tests: PM," July 2, 2008.

Timmons, Heather, and Sengupta, Somini, "India Leader Swaps Allies in Push for Nuclear Pact," The New York Times, July 5, 2008.

United Press International, "India Prompts Canadian Nuke Policy Change," August 3, 2008.

Varadarajan, Siddharth, "No ‘Unconditional' NSG Nod for India, says U.S.," The Hindu, July 29, 2008.

Varadarajan, Siddharth, "India's IAEA Draft: Invoking Para 29 Won't be Easy," The Hindu, July 16, 2008.

Varadarajan, Siddharth, "India Says NSG Clearance is U.S. Responsibility," The Hindu, August 23, 2008.

Iran

Agence France-Presse, "US says Iran Fails to Win Much NAM Support on Nuclear Issue," August 2, 2008.

Alexander, David, "Diplomats Play Down Fears of Israeli Attack on Iran," Reuters, July 1, 2008.

Associated Press, "Report: Iran to Build More Nuclear Power Plants," August 19, 2008.

Associated Press, "Iran Signals End to Cooperation with Nuclear Agency," July 24, 2008.

Barratt, Paul, "Learning from Past Blunders," The Age, July 7, 2008.

Ben-Ami, Shlomo, and Parsi, Trita, "The Alternative to an Israeli Attack on Iran," The Christian Science Monitor, July 2, 2008.

Benn, Aluf, "U.S. Puts Brakes on Israeli Plan for Attack on Iran Nuclear Facilities," Haaretz, August 14, 2008.

Bolton, John, "While Diplomats Dither, Iran Builds Nukes," The Wall Street Journal, August 5. 2008, p. A19.

Bozorgmehr, Najmeh, "No Sting in Sanctions, Iran Bank Says," Financial Times, August 22, 2008.

Charbonneau, Louis, and Davies, Megan, "No Options Excluded on Iran Atom Program: Israel," Reuters, July 30, 2008.

Coughlin, Con, "Iran has Resumed A-bomb Project, Says West," The Daily Telegraph, July 7, 2008.

Cowan, Richard, "U.S. Senate Panel Approves New Iran Sanctions," Reuters, July 18, 2008.

Crane, Keith, Lal, Rollie, and Martini, Jeffrey, Iran's Political, Demographic, and Economic Vulnerabilities, RAND Corporation, 2008, 128 pp.

Cummins, Chip, and Tagavi, Roshanak, "Sanctions Fail to Cripple Iran's Oil Industry," The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2008, p. A5.

Daragahi, Borzou, and Mostaghim, Ramin, "Iran says its Nuclear Program Capability is Substantially Increased," The Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2008.

Dareini, Ali Akbar, "Iran President Would Welcome Direct Talks with US," Associated Press, July 15, 2008.

Erdbrink, Thomas, "Iran's Leaders Divided on U.S.," The Washington Post, July 6, 2008, p. A14.

Financial Times, "Iran Must Grasp the World's Offer," July 7, 2008.

Gerecht, Reuel Marc, "The End of Nuclear Diplomacy," The Weekly Standard, August 11, 2008.

Gleis, Joshua, "China and Russia Reap the Benefits of Sanctions," The Herald Tribune, August 10, 2008.

Gordon, Philip, "Beijing Must be Tougher on Tehran," Financial Times, July 8, 2008.

Heinrich, Mark, "Iran Inflates Atom Progress: Diplomat Close to IAEA," Reuters, July 28, 2008.

Horner, Daniel, "Sensitive Russian Nuclear Aid to Iran has Stopped, US Officials Say," Nucleonics Week, June 19, 2008, p. 5.

Gutkin, Steven, "Israel Considers Military Option for Iran Nukes," Associated Press, August 7, 2008.

Jacobson, Michael, "Putting the Squeeze on Tehran," The Guardian Online, July 22, 2008.

Jahn, George, "Nonaligned Countries Back Iran's Nuclear Program," Associated Press, July 31, 2008.

Jahn, George, "In Talks, Iran Says No to Suspending Enrichment," Associated Press, July 19, 2008.

Kalantari, Hashem, "Iran Says 4,000 Atomic Centrifuges Working: Report," Reuters, August 29, 2008.

Kessler, Glenn, "Iran and U.S. Signaling Chance of Deal," The Washington Post, July 16, 2008, p. A16.

Kitfield, James, "Iran Looms As Nuclear Party Crasher," National Journal, August 2, 2008.

Knowlton, Brian, "Bush Keeps Up Pressure on Iran," The New York Times, July 3, 2008.

Kraig, Michael, Getting Through the Next Six to Twelve Months with Tehran, The Stanley Foundation, August 15, 2008.

The London Times Online, "Iranian Bank Challenges EU Sanctions," July 8, 2008.

Morris, Benny, "Using Bombs to Stave Off War," The New York Times, July 18, 2008.

Murphy, Francois, "No Sign of Enrichment Freeze in Iran Letter: France," Reuters, July 8, 2008.

Neuger, James, "EU Sets Sanctions on Iran, Inching Past UN Resolution," Bloomberg, August 8, 2008.

The New York Times, "A Seat at the Table," July 18, 2008.

Oweis, Khaled, "Iran says U.S. Presence at Nuclear Talks ‘Positive,'" Reuters, July 17, 2008.

Pincus, Walter, "Ex-Advisers Warn Against Threatening to Attack Iran," The Washington Post, July 23, 2008, p. A11.

RIA Novosti, "Russia Says New Nuclear Security Rules Will Not Affect Bushehr," July 2, 2008.

RIA Novosti, "Iran's MPs Threaten to Sever Ties with IAEA if Sanctions Imposed," July 1, 2008.

Sciolino, Elaine, "U.S. is Present, but Iran Nuclear Talks End in Stalemate," International Herald Tribune, July 20, 2008.

Sciolino, Elaine, and Stolberg, Sheryl Gay, "U.S. Considers Opening a Diplomatic Post in Iran," International Herald Tribune, July 18, 2008.

Sciolino, Elaine, and Myers, Stephen Lee, "Policy Shift Seen in U.S. Decision on Iran Talks," The New York Times, July 17, 2008, p. A10.

Warrick, Joby, "Ex-Agent Says CIA Ignored Iran Facts," The Washington Post, July 1, 2008, p. A2.

Wright, Robin, "Iran Appears to Warm to Diplomacy," The Washington Post, July 2, 2008, A8.

Wroughton, Lesley, "Sanctions Hurting Iran Economic Activity, Says IMF," Reuters, August 14, 2008.

Israel

Associated Press, "Syria Tells UN: Israel Burying Nuclear Waste in Golan Heights," July 7, 2008.

Diab, Khaled, "Disarming the Bomb in the Basement," The Guardian, August 24, 2008.

North Korea

Agence France-Presse, "N. Korea Rejects Key Verification Test in Nuke Dispute: Official," August 28, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, "N. Korea Gives Up Negotiating with Bush Administration: Analysts," August 27, 2008.

Alabaster, Jay, "UN Secretary General Applauds North Korea Nuclear Progress, Plans Visit There Soon," Associated Press, July 2, 2008.

Asano, Yoshiharu, "‘2 kg of Plutonium Used in N-test;' N. Korea's Report to China Shows That 30 Kilograms Were Extracted," Yomiuri Shimbun, July 3, 2008.

Associated Press, "US Shrugs off North Korean Disablement Halt," August 28, 2008.

Brown, Art, "North Korea's Stacked Deck," The New York Times, July 15, 2008, p. A19.

Chang, Anita, "Nuclear Talks to Focus on Verification," Associated Press, July 9, 2008.

Chang, Jae-Soong, "Call for IAEA to Verify N. Korea Nuclear Programs," Associated Press, July 24, 2008.

Chinese Foreign Ministry, Press Communiqué of the Heads of Delegation Meeting of The Sixth Round of the Six-Party Talks, July 12, 2008.

Dow Jones, "S. Korea to Link Energy Aid with Nuclear Verification," August 20, 2008.

Eggen, Dan, "Doubts About Nuclear Verification Keep N. Korea on List of Terrorist States," The Washington Post, August 12, 2008, p. A9.

Herskovitz, Jon, "North Korea Still Hold Plutonium Card: Analysts," Reuters, August 27, 2008.

Jung, Sung-ki, "Seoul Reaffirms Denuclearization-for-Aid Policy," The Korea Times, August 4, 2008.

Kessler, Glenn, "Message to U.S. Preceded Nuclear Declaration by North Korea," The Washington Post, July 2, 2008, p. A7.

Kim, Hyung-Jin, "N. Korea says US, Other Parties Slow on Nuclear Pact," Associated Press, July 4, 2008.

Kim, Jack, "N.Korea Pledges Fully Disabled Nuclear Plant by Oct," Reuters, July 12, 2008.

Korb, Lawrence, and Duggan, Sean, "Pay Heed to Pyongyang," The Guardian, July 9, 2008.

Magnier, Mark, "Breakthrough Unlikely at North Korea Nuclear Talks," Los Angeles Times, July 10, 2008.

Parameswaran, P. "US Says Delisting N. Korea from Terror List Conditional," July 31, 2008.

Pleming, Sue, "Rice says North Korea Must Agree to Strong Verification," Reuters, July 24, 2008.

Sang-Hun, Choe, "N. Korea Threatens to Restore Plutonium Plant," The New York Times, August 26, 2008, p. A6.

Sung-ki, Jung, "No Progress in Nuclear Verification Protocol," The Korea Times, August 20, 2008.

Yang, Jung, "North Korea Will Not Enter into the 3rd Phase of Denuclearization Before the End of President Bush's Term in Office Expires," The Daily NK, July 7, 2008.

Yardley, Jim, and Hooker, Jake, "Deal on Verifying North Korean Disarmament" The New York Times, July 13, 2008, p. A6.

Pakistan

Agence France-Presse, "Pakistan Denies Musharraf, Army Sent Centrifuges to North Korea," July 7, 2008.

Der Spiegel, "Hendrina Khan on the Pakistani Government's Role," August 11, 2008.

Graham, Stephen, "Pakistan Government Wants Restrictions on Khan," The Washington Times, July 15, 2008.

Jalalzai, Musa Khan, "Nuclear Black Market and Pakistan," The Post, July 21, 2008.

Jan, Sadaqat, "Pakistan Nuke Scientist Wants Musharraf to Testify," Associated Press, July 14, 2008.

Khan, Iftikhar, "Some Evidence of Proliferation May Be Made Public," Dawn, July 7, 2008.

Munir, Ahmad, "Scientist: Pakistan Knew of N. Korea Nuke Deal," Associated Press, July 5, 2008.

Pennington, Matthew, "Nukes Unlikely to be Affected by Musharraf Leaving," Associated Press, August 19, 2008.

Press Trust of India, "Pakistan Not Eligible for Similar N-Deal: Burns," August 1, 2008.

Syria

Agence France-Presse, "US Ready for Rare Talks with Syria," July 21, 2008.

Aji, Albert, "Syria Denies Bombed Site was a Nuclear Reactor," Associated Press, July 1, 2008.

Aji, Albert, and Jahn, George, "Syria Rules Out New IAEA Visit to Bombed Site," Associated Press, August 10, 2008.

Bergman, Michael, "Realism Must Rule in Engaging Syria," The Boston Globe, July 23, 2008.

Knickmeyer, Ellen, and Sockol, Samuel, "Syrian General Who Oversaw Arms Shipments Assassinated," The Washington Post, August 5, 2008, p. A6.

RIA Novosti, "Russia Says Ready to Supply Syria with Defensive Weapons," August 27, 2008.

III. Nonproliferation

Agence France-Presse, "US, Armenia Sign Deal to Fight Nuclear Smuggling," July 15, 2008.

Bender, Brian, "Georgia Chaos Halts Nuclear Security Effort," The Boston Globe, August 19, 2008.

Borger, Julian, "The Time Bomb," The Guardian, August 23, 2008.

Charlton, Angela, "Mediterranean Union Wants to Rid Mideast of WMD," Associated Press, July 14, 2008.

CTBTO Preparatory Commission, Media Advisory: CTBTO to Conduct First Integrated On-site Inspection Exercise in September in Kazakhstan, July 1, 2008.

Finlay, Brian D., "Are We Safer?" The Baltimore Sun, August 18, 2008.

Group of Eight, Report on the G8 Global Partnership, July 8, 2008.

Hsu, Spencer, "Costly Weapon-Detection Plans Are in Disarray, Investigators Say," The Washington Post, July 16, 2008, p. A15.

Murphy, Brian, "US Removes Uranium from Iraq," Associated Press, July 6, 2008.

Nuclear National Security Administration, U.S. Donates $50 Million for the IAEA International Nuclear Fuel Bank, August 4, 2008.

Office of Sen. Richard Lugar, Nunn-Lugar Update 2008, July 16, 2008.

Ramberg, Bennett, "A Unified Front against Nuclear Weapons," The Guardian, July 26, 2008.

Salhani, Claude, "Will Terrorists Go Nuclear?" The Washington Times, July 13, 2008.

Scoblic, J. Peter, "Nuclear Waste?" The New Republic, July 1, 2008.

The Stanley Foundation, A New Look at No First Use, July 2008, 7 pp.

Tabassi, Lisa, and Leahey, Jacqueline, "The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: Taking Stock after the May 2008 Preparatory Committee Meeting," The ASIL Insight, June 30, 2008.

Toko, Masako, "Japan and the Future of Nuclear Disarmament," Foreign Policy in Focus, July 2, 2008.

Turpin, Elizabeth, The Global Partnership Goes Global, The Henry L. Stimson Center, July 25, 2008, 2 pp.

U.S. Department of State, "The United States and The Bahamas Proliferation Security Initiative Shipboarding Agreement," August 11, 2008.

IV. Missiles and Missile Defense

Abdullaev, Nabi, "Russian Arms Trader Unveils Anti-MANPADS System," Defense News, July 15, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, "Russia Tests ICBM Designed to Overcome Missile Shield," August 28, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, "Russia Moves SS-21 Missiles to Georgia: US Defense Official," August 18, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, "Israel Successfully Tests Missile Interceptor: Report," July 6, 2008.

Associated Press, "Japan to Test Missile Interceptor in US," July 12, 2008.

Broad, William J., "Experts Point to Deception in Iran's Military Display," The New York Times, July 12, 2008.

Burns, Robert, and Klug, Foster, "Pentagon: Lithuania Good Site for Missile Defense," Associated Press, July 2, 2008.

Butler, Desmond, "Missile Defense Backers Now Cite Russia Threat," Associated Press, August 23, 2008.

Capaccio, Tony, "Next Major Test of U.S. Missile Defense Now Set for December," Bloomberg News, July 15, 2008.

Carmichael, Lachlan, "Poland, US Fail to Make Breakthrough on Missile Defense," Agence France-Presse, July 7, 2008.

Cowell, Alan, and Broad, William J. "Iran Reports Missile Tests, Drawing Rebuke," The New York Times, July 10, 2008.

Dempsey, Judy, and Bilefsky, Dan, "U.S. and Czech Republic Sign Agreement on Missile Shield," International Herald Tribune, July 8, 2008.

Druker, Jeremy, "The Czech Radar Miracle," ISN Security Watch, July 2, 2008.

The Economist, "Behind America's Shield," August 21, 2008, p. 44.

Escobar, Pepe, "Iran's Missiles Are Just for Show," The Asia Times, July 11, 2008.

Erlinger, Adrian, "Poland Balances U.S. Missile Defense Plans and Energy from Iran," World Politics Review, July 11, 2008.

Faulconbridge, Guy, "Russia Test Fires Ballistic Missile: Navy," Reuters, August 1, 2008.

Gearan, Anne, "US, Poland Agree on Outline Deal for Missile Bases," Associated Press, July 2, 2008.

Government Accountability Office, Ballistic Missile Defense: Actions Needed to Improve Process for Identifying and Addressing Combatant Command Priorities, July 2008, 50 pp.

Grossman, Elaine M., "Benefit of Limited Missile Defense Test Questioned," Global Security Newswire, August 8, 2008.

Grossman, Elaine M., "U.S. Navy Eyes Rising Need to Defend Czechs, Poles," Global Security Newswire, August 1, 2008.

Heintz, Jim, "Russia: Poland Risks Attack Because of US missiles," August 15, 2008.

Hess, Pamela, "Official: Iran Missile Tests Used ‘Old Equipment,'" Associated Press, July 12, 2008.

Katz, Yaakov, "US Defense Department Pledges Financial Support for Arrow 3," The Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2008.

Kessler, Glenn, "Iran Launches Nine Test Missiles, Says More Are Ready," The Washington Post, July 10, 2008, p. A1.

Kralev, Nicholas, "Poland Tries to Save U.S. Missile-Defense Deal," The Washington Times, July 8, 2008, p. A11.

Kulish, Nicolas, and Rachman, Tom, "Rice Signs Missile Deal with Poland," The New York Times, August 20, 2008.

Lipton, Eric, "Some Democrats Urge Delay in Building a U.S. Missile System in Eastern Europe," The New York Times, August 19, 2008, p. A17.

Mannion, Jim, "U.S. Considers Deploying Missile Defense Radar to Israel," Agence France-Presse, July 29, 2008.

The Media Line News Agency, "Kuwait Orders US Patriot Missile Defense System," July 16, 2008.

Morgan, David, "U.S. Says Iran Has Missile that Could Hit Europe," Reuters, July 16, 2008.

National Research Council, U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond, The National Academies Press, August 15, 2008, 192 pp.

Osborn, Kris, "THAAD, Aegis Radars Cooperate in Anti-Missile Test," Defense News, August 12, 2008.

Pakistan Daily, "Iran's Missile Might Solely for Defensive Purposes," July 9, 2008.

Pincus, Walter, "Non-Nuclear Warhead Urged for Trident Missile," The Washington Post, August 16, 2008, p. A3.

Pincus, Walter, "U.S. to Give Czechs Ballistic Missile Defense," The Washington Post, July 16, 2008, p. A11.

RIA Novosti, "Turkey Set to Create $1 Bln Missile Shield in Ankara, Istanbul," August 11, 2008.

RIA Novosti, "Russia ‘Could Answer U.S. Shield with Orbital Ballistic Missiles,'" July 24, 2008.

Russian Foreign Ministry, Statement of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Concerning the Signing of the US-Czech Agreement on Deployment of Elements of the US Global Missile Defense System on the Territory of the Czech Republic, July 8, 2008.

Scislowska, Monika, "Poland Fires Missile Defense Negotiator," Associated Press, August 11, 2008.

Shanker, Thom, and Kulish, Nicholas, "U.S. and Poland Set Missile Deal," The New York Times, August 15, 2008.

Stearns, Scott, "Bush, Medvedev Agree on Iran, Not Missile Defense," Voice of America, July 7, 2008.

Stratfor, "United States: The Future of Ballistic Missile Defense," July 8, 2008.

Weitz, Richard, "Re-launching the Missile Debate," The Moscow Times, July 22, 2008.

Wheeler, Carolynne, "Israel Tests ‘Iron Dome' Anti-Rocket System," The Daily Telegraph, June 7, 2008.

Williams, Dan, "U.S. to Help Israel with Missile Detection," Reuters, July 29, 2008.

V. Chemical and Biological Arms

Alon, Gideon, and Ash, Uri, "MI Official: Iran May Provide Hezbollah with Chemical Weapons," Haaretz, July 14, 2008.

Chemical Weapons Working Group, Pentagon Report Revisits Transportation of Deadly Chem. Weapons to Hasten Disposal Effort, July 2, 2008.

Gorman, Siobhan, "Bioterrorism's Threat Persists As Top Security Risk," Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2008, p. A10.

Hambling, David, "US Weapons Research is Raising a Stink," The Guardian, July 10, 2008, p. A5.

Harris, Elisa D. "The Killers in the Lab," The New York Times, August 11, 2008, p. A21.

Jelinek, Pauline, "Military Halts Shipment of Deadly Toxins," Associated Press, August 21, 2008.

Johnson, Carrie, "Hair Samples in Anthrax Case Don't Match," The Washington Post, August 14, 2008, p. A2.

Johnson, Carrie, and Warrick, Joby, "Prosecutors Clear Hatfill in Anthrax Case," The Washington Post, August 9, 2008, p. A3.

Johnson, Carrie, Wilber, Del Quentin, and Leonnig, Carol D., "Scientist Set to Discuss Plea Bargain In Deadly Attacks Commits Suicide," The Washington Post, August 2, 2008, p. A1.

Lichtblau, Eric, and Wade, Nicholas, "F.B.I. Details Anthrax Case, but Doubts Remain," The New York Times, August 18, 2008.

Lipton, Eric, and Shane, Scott, "As Biodefense Field Grows, So May Risks," International Herald Tribune, August 3, 2008.

Norton, John, "Weapons Destruction Will Miss Deadline," The Pueblo Chieftain, July 2, 2008.

Salhani, Claude, "Worse Than Nuclear Threat," United Press International, July 10, 2008.

Schneidmiller, Chris, "Senators Seek to Boost U.S. Biosafety," Global Security Newswire, August 22, 2008.

Shane, Scott, and Lichtblau, Eric, "F.B.I. Presents Anthrax Case, Saying Scientist Acted Alone," The New York Times, August 6, 2008.

Swarms. Rachel, and Lipton, Eric, "From a Helper to the Suspect in the Anthrax Case," The New York Times, August 7, 2008.

Stakelbeck, Erick, "Is the U.S. Ready for Bio-Warfare?" CBN News, July 10, 2008.

U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, Newport Chemical Depot Confirms VX Stockpile Neutralized, August 11, 2008.

Wade, Nicolas, "A Trained Eye Finally Solved the Anthrax Puzzle," The New York Times, August 20, 2008, p. A15.

The Washington Post, "Spore on the Grassy Knoll," August 20, 2008, p. A14.

VI. Conventional Arms

Agence France-Presse, "Iran Boosts Range on Warplanes," August 17, 2008.

Angola Press Agency, "Angola: Government Announces Forcible Disarming of Civilians," July 7, 2008.

Associated Press, "Israel Freezes Defense Sales to Georgia," August 5, 2008.

Associated Press, "French Foreign Minister Urges Efforts to Maintain Key European Arms Control Treaty," July 17, 2008.

Associated Press, "Venezuela's Chavez Looks to Buy Arms on Visit to Russia," July 10, 2008.

Baldor, Lolita C., "Pentagon Aims for Less Deadly Cluster Bombs," Associated Press, July 9, 2008.

Barnes, Julian E., "Activists Decry New Pentagon Policy on Cluster Bombs," Los Angeles Times, July 10, 2008.

Blanford, Nicholas, "Syria Eyes An Edge Amid Russia-U.S. Rift," The Christian Science Monitor, August 28, 2008.

Burns, Robert, "Iraq Crackdown Focuses on Arms Smuggling from Iran," Associated Press, July 18, 2008.

Chivers, C. J., "U.S. Position Complicates Global Effort to Curb Illicit Arms," July 19, 2008.

Congressional Research Service, Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990, August 4, 2008.

Feickert, Andrew, Cluster Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, June 27, 2008, 6 pp.

Hines, Nico, "Russia Accused of Dropping Cluster Bombs on Georgian Civilians," The Times, August 15, 2008.

Kibirige, Amina, "Kenya Yet to Respond to UN Arms Report," The Nation, July 8, 2008.

MercoPress, "Chile Not Expected to Comply De-Mining by 2012 Deadline," August 18, 2008.

Nelson, Katie, "Cambodia Training Mine-Detecting Dogs," San Francisco Chronicle, July 9, 2008.

RIA Novosti, "Russian Arms Exports to Pass $6 Bln in 2008," July 9, 2008.

Ratzlav-Katz, Nissan, "U.N. Confirms: Hizbullah Importing Weapons From Syria," IsraelNationalNews, August 26, 2008.

Small Arms Survey, Small Arms Survey 2008, July 14, 2008, 320 pp.

Tebajjukira, Madinah, "Uganda: 15,000 Mines Destroyed," New Vision, Uganda, July 13, 2008.

UN Disarmament Commission, "Speakers Underscore Importance of ‘Real Aid' for Countries Afflicted by Arms Smuggling as Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms Reaches Halfway Point," July 16, 2008.

U.S. Department of State, Dangerous Depots: The Growing Humanitarian Problem Posed by Ageing and Poorly Maintained Munitions Storage Sites Around the World, August 4, 2008, 4 pp.

U.S. Department of State, MANPADS: Combating the Threat to Global Aviation from Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (Second Edition), Fact Sheet, July 31, 2008.

VII. U.S. Policy

Agence France-Presse, "Iraq, US Agree No Foreign Troops After 2011: PM," August 25, 2008.

Baker, Peter, "Russia Deal May Fall, a Casualty of Conflict," The New York Times, August 28, 2008, p. A6.

Clarke, Richard, Simon, Steven, and Takeyh, Ray, "America's Next Steps," International Herald Tribune, July 15, 2008.

Cooper, Michael, "U.S. Candidates Use Iran's Missile Tests as a Chance for a Foreign Policy Debate," The New York Times, July 10, 2008, p. A11.

Dombey, Daniel, and Luce, Edward, "Obama Camp Signals Robust Approach on Iran," Financial Times, July 1, 2008.

Kristensen, Hans M., and Oelrich, Ivan, Presidential Candidates Need to See Beyond Warhead Numbers, Federation of American Scientists Strategic Security Blog, July 30, 2008, 2 pp.

Meyer, Josh, and Nicholas, Peter, "Obama Unveils Plan to Protect U.S. from 21st Century Threats," Los Angeles Times, July 17, 2008.

O'Harrow Jr., Robert, "Review of Radiation Detectors Questioned," The Washington Post, August 16, 2008.

Rennolds, Edmund, "Critical Times Call For White House Czar on WMD," The Washington Times, August 21, 2008.

Stratfor, U.S. Navy: The Shifting Shape of the 21st Century Fleet, July 15, 2008.

VIII. Space

Agence France-Presse, "Iran Sparks US Concern With Satellite Rocket Launch," August 18, 2008.

Aoki, Setsuko, "Japan Enters a New Space Age," Asia Times, July 3, 2008.

Black, Samuel, No Harmful Interference with Space Objects: The Key to Confidence Building, The Henry L. Stimson Center, July 2008, 19 pp.

Butt, Yousaf, "Can Space Weapons Protect U.S. Satellites?" The Bulletin Online, July 22, 2008.

Deutshce Presse-Agentur, "European Parliament Approves Military Use of Galileo Satellite," July 10, 2008.

Dinerman, Taylor, "Military Space Policy in 2012," The Space Review, July 21, 2008.

Dinerman, Taylor, "French Military Space Policy: More of the Same," The Space Review, July 7, 2008.

Fathi, Nazila and Shanker, Thom, "Iran Offers to Launch Satellites for Muslim Countries," The New York Times, August 18, 2008, p. A11.

Government Accountability Office, Defense Space Activities: DOD Needs to Further Clarify the Operationally Responsive Space Concept and Plan to Integrate and Support Future Satellites, July 2008, 27 pp.

Gugliotta, Guy, "Space Invaders," The Atlantic, September 2008, p. 30.

Kaufman, Marc, "U.S. Finds It's Getting Crowded Out There," The Washington Post, July 9, 2008, A1.

Mikkelsen, Randall, "Iran Satellite Launch a Failure, U.S. Officials Say," Reuters, August 19, 2008.

Whitelaw, Kevin, "New Evidence Contradicts Official Explanation for U.S. Spy Satellite Shoot-Down," US News and World Report, August 26, 2008.

IX. Other

Agence France-Presse, "Russian Incursion Could Speed NATO Integration As Finland Eyes Membership," August 30, 2008.

Agence France-Presse, "Russian Military Cooperation with NATO ‘Frozen'," August 21, 2008.

Amland, Bjoern H. "Norway: Russia to Cut All Ties with NATO," Associated Press, August 20, 2008.

Baker, Peter, "U.S. Sees Much to Fear in a Hostile Russia," The New York Times, August 21, 2008, p. A1.

Bronner, Michael, "When the War Ends, Start to Worry," The New York Times, August 15, 2008, p. A19.

Congressional Research Service, Russia-Georgia Conflict in South Ossetia: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests, August 13, 2008.

Congressional Research Service, Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer, August 12, 2008.

The Economic Times, "Jordan Seeks Nuclear Deals with US, Russia, China," July 30, 2008.

Franchetti, Mark, "Russia's New Nuclear Challenge to Europe," The Sunday Times, August 17, 2008.

Holley, Joe, "Charles Van Doren; Helped Limit Spread of Nuclear Weapons," The Washington Post, August 29, 2008.

International Atomic Energy Agency, UAE Commits $10 Million to Nuclear Fuel Reserve Proposal, August 7, 2008.

Isaacs, John, and Sharp, Travis, Is Iran Currently an Existential Threat to the United States? A Side-By-Side Comparison of Military Capabilities, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, July 7, 2008, 4 pp.

The Jerusalem Post, "Saudi Nuclear Plan Gets Green Light," August 12, 2008.

"Jordan and China Sign Nuclear Agreement," World Nuclear News, August 20, 2008.

Katz, Yaakov, "Officials: 1701 on Verge of Collapse," The Jerusalem Post, July 9, 2008.

Kramer, Andrew E., "Russia Claims Its Sphere of Influence in the World," The New York Times, August 31, 2008, p. A6.

Lavrov, Sergei, "Russia and the World in the 21st Century," Russia in Global Affairs, No. 3, July-September 2008.

Levy, Clifford J., "Russia Backs Independence of Breakaway Georgian Areas," The New York Times, August 26, 2008.

Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation, Libya, France to Cooperate in the Field of Peaceful Nuclear Energy, July 9, 2008.

Myers, Steven Lee, "No Cold War, But Big Chill Over Georgia," The New York Times, August 15, 2008, p. A1.

Nayak, C.K., "India says Peace Process with Pakistan Under Stress," Reuters, July 21, 2008.

Nikitin, Mary Beth, U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, June 26, 2008, 6 pp.

Pakistan Daily, "Pakistan and Iran to Explore Cooperation in Various Fields," June 30, 2008.

Reuters, "Indian, Pakistani Forces Trade Fire on Border," July 10, 2008.

Solomon, Jay, "Nuclear Pact with Russia Faces Resistance," The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2008, A2.

Spiegel, Peter, "Risk to U.S. Troops Seen if Israel Strikes Iran," The Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2008.

Taylor, Rob, "Asia Arms Race May be Overstated," Boston Globe, July 3, 2008.

Theimer, Sharon, "US Exports to Iran rose in Bush years," Associated Press, July 8, 2008.

United Press International, "Serbia Set to Sign NATO Security Agreement," August 3, 2008.

Waterman, Shaun, "Analysis: Russia-Georgia Cyberwar Doubted," United Press International, August 18, 2008.

Wonacott, Peter, and Hussain, Zahid, "Musharraf Resigns, Leaving A Shaky Pakistan in His Wake," The Wall Street Journal, p. A1.

 

Letters to the Editor

Dimona: Close It for Peace, Not Radiation Danger

Israel's nuclear weapons program is indeed a troublesome catalyst in the Middle Eastern political cauldron, and closing its plutonium-production reactor is a worthy goal. But in rhetorically advising that Israel shut down its Dimona nuclear reactor ("Should Israel Close Dimona?" May 2008), Bennett Ramberg advances a misleading and ultimately counterproductive argument that the facility poses a latent radiological hazard to the region.

Ramberg's article includes several technically untenable assertions about radiological dispersion and consequences.

In the first place, Ramberg's underlying assumptions are subject to a huge range of uncertainty regarding the reactor's accessible radioactive inventory.

Because the reactor has been operative for some 40 years, it is indeed likely (as Ramberg suggests) that Israel has all the plutonium and tritium it needs by now. In that case, the reactor already might have been shut down with its fuel removed, and there would no longer be any meaningful prospect that it could disperse radioactivity.

Another reasonable possibility might be that the reactor is now on standby, consequently with a low radioactive inventory. If it is still in operation, it should be well defended and on alert for quick shutdown, despite Ramberg's experience-based apprehension. Moreover, the internal shielding could well have been reinforced as a result of Israel learning from its own experience in launching attacks against known or suspected nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria.

Second, Ramberg's estimated radiological consequences are derived by selecting only the most probative data. The recent International Chernobyl Forum report has reckoned no more than 4,000 premature cancer-related deaths after the Chernobyl accident, but it is just as likely that none at all will result. In any event, two decades later, not even one Chernobyl radiation-induced cancer death has actually been attributably diagnosed.

The comparatively few imputed thyroid cancers among juveniles are such a small fraction of those exposed that they could simply reflect additional diagnostic focus after the Chernobyl accident. Even if the worst Dimona nuclear radiation-release scenario hypothesized by Ramberg did occur, it is quite unlikely that a palpable number of viable cancers would be induced.

The projected physical consequences of radioactivity dispersion from a bombed-out Dimona are on immaterial and tenuous grounds, as is the exemplar cited of so-called dirty bombs (radiological-dispersion devices).

One more dissent: it is unjustifiably apprehensive to suggest that Iran's Bushehr "atomic power plant" could "serve as a plutonium mine for nuclear weapons" without taking into account its functional characteristics and its operation under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. Too many nuclear policies are already based on unmaterialized premises and the type of defective analyses cited by Ramberg.

Rather than leaning on fragile technical arguments, Ramberg could have pointed out simply that the nuclear-weapon status of Israel has outlived the role of giving its citizens peace of mind. It is now an albatross on Middle Eastern harmony and resolution. As he wisely advises, unsafeguarded nuclear facilities have the potential of being especially vulnerable as long as regional differences are unresolved.


Alexander DeVolpi is an arms control expert and nuclear physicist, retired from Argonne National Laboratory.


Bennett Ramberg Responds:

Alexander DeVolpi argues that the boundaries of uncertainty regarding the radiological consequences from an attack on Dimona should remove this risk as a criterion for closing the plant. This contention conflicts with his concession that, were Dimona functioning-he presents no evidence to the contrary-Israel needs to beef up security, presumably to protect against a discharge. Given the fact that closure is the certain option to eliminate the problem, this makes his argument, not mine, "counterproductive."

DeVolpi's solutions-well defending the plant, improving reactor shielding, quick shutdown-butt against difficulties. Israel's ballistic missile defenses have a record of repeated failure. Upgrading Dimona's containment will not suffice against increasingly lethal munitions and the vulnerability of vital external lifelines such as off-site power, which is required to keep the reactor core cooled.

I am also confused by DeVolpi's statement that if the plant were functioning, "it should be well defended and on alert for quick shutdown, despite Ramberg's experience-based apprehension." This tack requires forewarning, which has not characterized reactor strikes in the Middle East. Even then, shutdown will reduce, not eliminate, releases.

DeVolpi then attempts to cast further doubt by citing Chernobyl's evident failure to kill large populations. However, try as he may, he cannot explain away the thousands of thyroid cancers that emerged. The peer-reviewed medical literature repeatedly states that only the accident's radioiodine emission could prompt the spike of this rare disease.

Speculating that Chernobyl may not produce future cancer fatalities-and by analogy that Dimona would not either-DeVolpi walks away from his article in the September/October 2006 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which projected 4,000 fatalities as the "best estimate." This excludes best projections of 5,000 additional fatalities beyond the former Soviet Union's most contaminated zones, 16,000 in Europe, and many thousands more who may come down with but survive cancer. That said, DeVolpi and I can agree, thyroid cancers aside, a Dimona discharge, were it to produce a light footprint, may not evidence fatal cancers given the impossibility of distinguishing a reactor-induced cancer from other sources.

This raises the question why then do I insist on closing Dimona on radiological grounds absent high fatalities? As a radiological sitting duck-by analogy, a giant dirty bomb-Dimona is more a weapon of mass disruption than destruction. Justified or not, even light nuclear contamination generates fear.

DeVolpi may find this irrational, but he cannot avoid the fact that fear generated by Chernobyl, some justifiable, contributed to enormous economic costs and lingering psychological traumatization impacting large populations. I conclude that similar serious consequences may likewise emerge in Israel, which only Dimona's closure can eliminate. Furthermore, its shuttering may reduce regional nuclear tensions.

One final comment: DeVolpi contends that I unjustifiably claimed that Bushehr could become a plutonium mine. Should Iran bolt from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, this concern could become a reality, but I grant that Gilinsky et al., upon whom I relied, may overstate the risk. In sum, I invite the readers of Arms Control Today to examine my carefully crafted article and come to their own conclusions.


Bennett Ramberg served in the Department of State in the George H. W. Bush administration and is author of Nuclear Power Plants as Weapons for the Enemy: An Unrecognized Military Peril (1984).


Additional NPT Milestones

The very valuable timeline "The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty: The Past 40 Years" (June 2008) has inspired me to suggest the addition of two more milestones in the history of the NPT.

1. The very first active nuclear nonproliferation measure was undertaken before the first nuclear explosion in 1945. During the Second World War, both Germany and the United States were working to develop an atomic bomb. Germany was producing heavy water (D2O) at a chemical plant in occupied Norway when Norwegian resistance fighters late at night on February 27, 1943, successfully sabotaged the production. That operation was followed by several others. The facility became effectively closed for the duration of the war, and Germany never did fabricate a nuclear explosive device.

2. Almost unnoticed, the NPT states-parties decided in 1985 that the treaty should be implemented "under any circumstances," i.e., also in wartime.

During the 1968 U.S. ratification process, Secretary of State Dean Rusk explained to the U.S. Senate that the NPT "does not deal with arrangements for deployment of nuclear weapons within Allied territory, as these do not involve any transfer of nuclear weapons or control over them unless and until a decision were made to go to war, at which time the treaty would no longer be controlling." This statement, indicating an interpretation that the NPT would enter out of force in case of war, reflected a previously agreed position within the NATO alliance. In 1985, the parties of the third NPT review conference unanimously adopted a final declaration stating, inter alia, that "the Conference agreed that the strict observance of the terms of Articles I and II remains central to achieving the shared objectives of preventing under any circumstances (emphasis added) the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and preserving the Treaty's vital contribution to peace and security, including the peace and security of non-parties," thus stating the opposite interpretation. This same interpretation was repeated in the unanimously adopted final declaration of the NPT review conference in 2000.

The final declarations of the 1985 and the 2000 review conferences are politically rather than legally binding, as is the 1968 United States (and NATO) statement of interpretation.

Obviously Mr. Rusk's statement in 1968 referred to the East-West conflict at that time and the internal NATO command structure. The end of the Cold War and the prospects for future local wars now makes the more restrictive 1985 interpretation the only reasonable one. In 1991 the UN Security Council did indeed confirm the 1985 approach in its resolution on Iraq. The opposite interpretation would be beyond reason-that Iraq's involvement first in a war with Iran and later in the Persian Gulf War would have entitled her to acquire nuclear weapons. Or that India and Pakistan could accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states but continue their nuclear weapons programs, claiming that there is a war going on in Kashmir.


Jan Prawitz is a senior research associate emeritus at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.


Arms Control Today welcomes letters from our readers. Letters should be under 600 words and should include the writer's full name, address and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for space. E-mail to the Editor.

Corrections

On page 34 of Arms Control Today's June 2007 issue, the news article "Panel Endorses U.S. Global Strike Initiative" misidentified the National Academy of Sciences' Naval Studies Board as conducting a study on prompt global strike programs. That error was repeated on page 40 of Arms Control Today's June 2008 issue in the news article "Russia wants limits on Prompt Global Strike." As the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Research Council, under the auspices of the Naval Studies Board, established the committee that carried out the study.

On page 9 and 10 of Arms Control Today's May 2008 issue, the feature "Should Israel Close Dimona" has the following sentence: "Although Egyptian or Soviet reconnaissance aircraft flew over the reactor in May 1967 without incident, during the June 1967 war, Israel shot down one of its own Mirage jet fighters when it strayed over the facility." New information provided to Arms Control Today since publication offers clarification and the sentence should read: "Although Soviet reconnaissance aircraft flew over the reactor in May 1967 without incident, during the June 1967 war, Israel shot down one of its own Ouragan jet fighters when it strayed over the facility."

On page 58 of Arms Control Today's July/August 2008 issue, the feature "The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Then and Now" misquoted Article VI of the treaty as saying "cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early day." It should read "cessasation of the nuclear arms race at an early date."

September 2008 ACT Print Advertisers

Books of Note

Prescription for Survival: A Doctor's Journey to End Nuclear Madness. By Bernard Lown, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2008, 426 pp.

South Asia's Cold War: Nuclear Weapons and Conflict in Comparative Perspective. By Rajesh Basrur, Routledge, 2008, 184 pp.

Nuclear Safeguards, Security, and Nonproliferation: Achieving Security With Technology and Policy. Edited by James E. Doyle, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008, 592 pp.

Prescription for Survival: A Doctor's Journey to End Nuclear Madness
By Bernard Lown, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2008, 426 pp.

Written by Nobel Peace Prize winner Bernard Lown, Prescription for Survival chronicles the author's role in founding the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Established in 1981 by Lown and Soviet cardiologist Evgenii Chazov, the IPPNW's membership grew to more than 150,000 doctors worldwide by 1985. The book explores the IPPNW's colorful history, including live appearances on Soviet television to discuss the implications of nuclear war, lobbying the U.S. and Soviet governments for a moratorium on nuclear testing, and receiving the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. Lown brings his appeal up to date by critiquing the current U.S. military buildup in the face of international terrorism. He urges international cooperation as opposed to pursuing a policy of "aggressive, unprovoked war." The author concludes that the "best immunization" against the fear-driven policy mistakes of the present era is to "join with others in social opposition to policies that threatened human survival."


South Asia's Cold War: Nuclear Weapons and Conflict in Comparative Perspective
By Rajesh Basrur, Routledge, 2008, 184 pp.

In his succinct new book, Rajesh Basrur examines the nature and history of cold wars between nuclear-armed states, focusing on the bilateral tensions among China, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Drawing lessons from these historical case studies, Basrur analyzes the current nuclear standoff between India and Pakistan. Basrur finds that nuclear weapons have a paradoxical effect on these cold wars. He notes that cooperation between rivals increases when the prospect of nuclear war looms high; however, war becomes a more feasible option for states when the threat of nuclear conflict is low.

Basrur concludes that a resolution to the cold war between India and Pakistan will depend on defusing the ideological basis for the conflict, which requires progress at multiple levels. At the state level, decision-makers should continue the slow and tentative strides toward a political resolution regarding Kashmir. Public opinion will affect the behavior of decision-makers, and each country's population must be receptive to a compromise.


Nuclear Safeguards, Security, and Nonproliferation: Achieving Security With Technology and Policy
Edited by James E. Doyle, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008, 592 pp.

Editor James Doyle, a nonproliferation expert at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, brings together physicists, social scientists, and nonproliferation experts for this reference work addressing the technical, organizational, and political challenges related to restricting nuclear materials. Part I discusses the theory and methodology of nuclear materials accounting, while Part II explores open-source approaches for investigating potential proliferation cases and verifying nuclear disarmament. Finally, Part III examines nuclear terrorism and illicit nuclear trade. Designed for practitioners and scholars of the oft-burgeoning and ever-expansive field of nuclear security, Doyle's volume aims to bring a detailed treatment of the subject to a wide, but by no means general, audience.


Are you interested in purchasing these books? You can help support the Arms Control Association by visiting one of our partners.

 

or

 

Keeping a Tight Lid on Pandora’s Box

A Review of The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons Since 1945 by Nina Tannenwald.

The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons Since 1945
By Nina Tannenwald
Cambridge University Press, January 2008, 472 pp.

Reviewed by William Burr

In the spring of 2006, when rumors spread about a possible U.S. military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh reported that the Bush administration asked the Pentagon to include nuclear strikes among its options. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, however, strongly opposed any plans to target Iran with nuclear weapons; Hersh's sources told him that "there are very strong sentiments within the military against brandishing nuclear weapons against other countries." According to one of the sources, "[I]f senior Pentagon officers express their opposition to the use of offensive nuclear weapons, then it will never happen."

What happened next, the degree to which the Joint Chiefs prevailed in this debate about contingency plans for Iran, is unclear, but the claim that the U.S. high command strongly opposed the use of nuclear weapons resonates with the arguments made in a remarkable and long-awaited book by Brown University political scientist Nina Tannenwald. Her subject is what she sees as the "the single most important phenomenon of the nuclear age": the nonuse of nuclear weapons since 1945. (Truth-in-reviewing notice: I read and commented on an early draft of this book.) Noting that many Cold War analysts took it for granted that nuclear weapons would be fired in anger during a crisis, Tannenwald seeks to explain why the United States did not use nuclear weapons during hot wars in Asia and the Middle East. The United States was not the only nuclear-weapon state, but as a superpower with global security and economic interests, it was involved in significant military confrontations where nuclear weapons use was under consideration and where use was threatened. Despite the focus on Washington, Tannenwald believes that her findings are relevant to the experience of other countries and makes some generalizations in her conclusions.

Acknowledging that some analysts have argued that self-interest and prudence, such as the danger of nuclear war, sufficiently explain the nonuse of nuclear weapons, Tannenwald finds the realist explanations incomplete. Although strategic interests are important, Tannenwald argues that the historical record reveals that the idea of nuclear weapons use became tarred with "moral opprobrium." To explain why U.S. officials did not use nuclear weapons, Tannenwald develops a complex argument about an evolving "nuclear taboo." Drawing on anthropological theory that a taboo is "something that is not done, not said, or not touched," Tannenwald sees the nuclear taboo as a "de facto prohibition against the first use of nuclear weapons." Nuclear use, except in extremis, in retaliation to a nuclear attack, has become taboo because the weapons themselves have become stigmatized as "illegitimate and abhorrent." Violating the taboo, using nuclear weapons, would open a Pandora's box involving great danger and potentially terrible consequences. According to Tannenwald, once nuclear weapons are used, once the "bright line" is crossed, the peril unleashed would put one "immediately in a new world."

The nuclear taboo is a "normative belief about the behavior" of nonuse, that is, U.S. leaders came to believe that a taboo against first use exists. Tannenwald identifies three "pathways" that contributed to the formation of the taboo. One was the force of domestic public opinion. Another was world opinion, which exists "independently of the preferences of dominant states." The third was the personal convictions of the decision-makers themselves. All three helped create a nuclear taboo that constrained the actions of U.S. leaders during crisis and war.

How a "moral norm" proscribing the use of nuclear weapons developed during the decades after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks takes up seven chapters of this book. Looking closely at the evolution of "discourse, institutions, and behavior," the author traces the beginning of the stigmatization of nuclear weapons to the years after World War II. Not unexpectedly, Tannenwald finds the roots of the taboo in the ethical tensions raised by the first use of nuclear weapons. The atomic strikes may not have been as decisive for Japan's surrender as she suggests (for example, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's work indicates a more complex picture),[1] but Tannenwald is on firm ground when she belies the familiar view that President Harry Truman had no second thoughts about the bombings. Indeed, she finds him deeply troubled, disliking "the idea of killing...‘all those kids'" to the point that he called off further atomic attacks.

Truman was inconsistent (fire-bombing of Japanese cities also produced mass civilian casualties), but he nevertheless began putting nuclear weapons in a special category and kept them under tight civilian custody. He opposed military custody of the weapons because they were "horribly destructive" and "not for military uses." Although he eventually permitted military planning for the use of nuclear weapons and made decisions to expand the stockpile, as David Rosenberg has argued, Truman continued to see atomic bombs as weapons of last resort.[2] His reactions paralleled the development of world public opinion, which increasingly found nuclear use repugnant.

More or less simultaneously, the UN Commission for Conventional Armaments stigmatized the bomb by developing the concept of "weapons of mass destruction" (WMD), which linked nuclear weapons to biological, chemical, and other unconventional weapons that had "characteristics comparable in destructive effect to those of the atomic bomb." Tannenwald sees the emergence of the WMD category as providing fertile soil for a nuclear taboo to "take root."

The Korean War provided a test case for the developing and still tentative taboo. As the crisis unfolded, the Truman administration secretly deployed nuclear weapons components in the western Pacific, and after Beijing intervened militarily, Truman unleashed a furor by stating publicly that nuclear weapons were "under active consideration." Although military planners identified suitable targets, ethical concerns made Truman again loath to consider nuclear weapons use, and top Department of State advisers worried about the political costs of using nuclear weapons for a second time against Asian people. World opinion would put the "mark of Cain" on the United States for years to come.

Tannenwald sees normative and political considerations against nuclear weapons use in Korea as reinforcing a policy of restraint (limited war) to prevent escalation to global conflict with North Korea's Chinese and Soviet partners. This understanding of White House policy is persuasive, but Tannenwald may go too far in downplaying the concern that nuclear weapons use could escalate the war. She argues that Truman's advisers were divided about the risks of a wider war, but it is not clear that those divisions were all that important because the person whose opinion really mattered to the president, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, was worried about the escalation danger of nuclear weapons use. (Interestingly, she presents no evidence on Secretaries of Defense George C. Marshall or Robert Lovett, who must have weighed in on nuclear issues.) Thus, cost-benefit explanations, which Tannenwald deems "materialist," are likely to have been more relevant to Truman's decisions on Korea than she concedes.

World opinion was a political constraint, Tannenwald argues, that inhibited President Dwight Eisenhower from considering nuclear weapons use in Korea. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles believed that nuclear weapons were far more usable than Truman did and presided over nuclear contingency planning for use if the armistice talks broke down. Nevertheless, they perceived, in their words, a "tabu" against nuclear use that was difficult to overcome. As Dulles acknowledged with respect to Korea, "[I]n the present state of world opinion we could not use an A-bomb." As much as Eisenhower and Dulles wanted to reverse the nuclear taboo and make nuclear weapons as usable as other munitions, Tannenwald sees these two as constrained by outside forces, against their own wishes.

Beginning in the mid-1950s, Tannenwald sees important developments, especially the global movements against nuclear weapons and weapons testing, strengthening the taboo: "by castigating nuclear weapons as abhorrent weapons and calling for a halt to the nuclear arms race, the peace groups helped to stigmatize nuclear weapons and to delegitimize them as acceptable weapons of war." This is an important part of her argument; by holding that social pressure and public opinion were crucial to the creation of the nuclear taboo, Tannnenwald challenges the view that institutional norms are "created mainly by and for the powerful." Thus, by the end of the 1950s, despite White House efforts to influence public opinion, top policymakers such as Secretary of Defense Neil McElroy acknowledged that world opinion was so strongly against nuclear weapons that it could make them "unusable in war, as proved to be the case with chemical weapons."

During the 1960s and the following years, Tannenwald sees the "institutionalization" of the taboo. Not only did the Kennedy and Johnson administrations initiate "flexible response" strategies designed to avoid or, at least, defer nuclear weapons use in a European confrontation, Kennedy presided over the creation of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, which provided a voice for nuclear arms restraint in the federal government. Moreover, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara privately advised Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson never to initiate the use of nuclear weapons, advice that both apparently accepted. On a global scale, the stigmatization of nuclear weapons continued: Latin Americans in 1967 created the world's first nuclear-weapon-free zone, and states began signing the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968.

In this context, the hot war in Vietnam became what Tannenwald sees as another important test for the taboo. In an arresting chapter, Tannenwald looks at the role (or nonrole) that nuclear arms played in policymaking during the Johnson and Nixon administrations. Top officials in each administration were willing to make occasional veiled nuclear threats against Hanoi, but apparently Johnson also found nuclear use morally unacceptable and was determined to have no Hiroshimas on his watch. Thus, when some Pentagon and White House officials began to look at nuclear options during the 1968 siege of Khe Sanh, Johnson put a halt to all contingency planning. As Tannenwald observes, Johnson's view was that "not only should nuclear weapons not be used, nuclear options should not even be studied." Although RAND Corporation analyst Sam Cohen strongly argued that nuclear weapons had military utility in Vietnam, no one would pay any attention to him.

The hard-nosed President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger may not have worried about the morality of using the bomb in Vietnam and possibly looked at nuclear options during 1969. Nevertheless, the nuclear taboo functioned as an "instrumental not internalized constraint" on their actions; "anticipated domestic and world public condemnation" continued to keep nuclear weapons off the table.

Whatever Nixon's and Kissinger's personal views about using nuclear weapons were, they strengthened nonuse norms through arms control negotiations with Moscow. The 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty was especially important because it amounted to a "strategic no-first use agreement" by codifying mutual deterrence. With the treaty leaving each country undefended from strategic attack, mutual survival depended on the prospect that neither side purposefully intended to launch their bomber or missile force. Tannenwald argues that "superpower self-interest" was critically important to strengthening the taboo.

In Tannenwald's account, the revived anti-nuclear controversies and movements of the late 1970s and early 1980s produced what she sees as "de facto denuclearization." The furor unleashed by the U.S. government's unsuccessful effort to produce and deploy the neutron bomb (Enhanced Radiation Warhead [ERW]), a weapon designed to destroy people but not structures, showed the continuing deep public antipathy to nuclear weapons. That Pentagon officials saw the ERW as a more credible threat was precisely what made it objectionable to others, the risk that it would make it easier to use nuclear weapons.

Also reinvigorating anti-nuclear sentiments and pressures for arms control was the Reagan administration's military buildup and public anxiety over the dangers of a reinvigorated Cold War. Pressures for a nuclear freeze and condemnations of the morality of nuclear first use and nuclear threats (deterrence) by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and secular organizations were signs of the time. So was a critique that linked morality and interests by arguing that a strategy based on monstrous capabilities to destroy human existence was inconsistent with a realistic conception of security. Tannenwald finds that this thinking was in tune with public opinion, which, although not supporting nuclear disarmament, opposed first use of nuclear weapons.

The account of the 1980s as a decade that strengthened the taboo would be even stronger if it took into account the research of Paul Lettow and others, which portrays an anti-nuclear President Ronald Reagan.[3] Although Tannenwald acknowledges that Reagan contributed to anti-nuclear sentiment with his statements about making nuclear weapons "obsolete," why he felt that way deserves fuller explanation. After all, this president discussed with Mikhail Gorbachev proposals to abolish nuclear weapons. Like many of his predecessors, Reagan had a strong aversion toward nuclear weapons, evidence for which former associates have provided when they recalled him saying that nukes were "horrible" and "inherently evil." Such stigmatizing language strongly suggests that Reagan had internalized the nuclear taboo.

The discussion of the nonuse of nuclear weapons during the 1991 Persian Gulf War makes a strongly suggestive, if not definitive, case for the taboo persisting beyond the Cold War. Tannenwald provides significant evidence that, across the board, top military commanders found nuclear weapons irrelevant and unusable during the war. Some of them raised moral objections and argued that civilized states did not use nuclear weapons, but using the information that the author provides, it is possible to construct other explanations. Some of the statements by the commanders suggest more pragmatic, cost-benefit calculations, for example, that the United States would lose the "moral high ground" and that nuclear weapons were fundamentally impractical for the situation in the Gulf. Most prominently, Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ruled out using nuclear weapons because "we're not going to let that genie loose."[4] Powell's implication may have been that he wanted to avoid setting a bad precedent, for example, that nuclear use might encourage even more proliferation and produce a more dangerous world. Although Tannenwald reasonably argues that norms shape thinking about precedent, Powell's remarks did not necessarily imply any particular ethical discomfort.

The lack of strong evidence on the thinking of civilian policymakers during the 1990 Gulf conflict makes it difficult to make authoritative statements about the impact of the nuclear taboo. Tannenwald shows that President George H. W. Bush, Secretary of State James Baker, and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney were certainly willing to make ambiguous nuclear threats against Saddam Hussein, but to what extent had they internalized the taboo? Perhaps they did, but drawing firm conclusions requires more interviews, memoirs, and documents.

With nuclear proliferation becoming a focal issue in the post-Cold War world, Tannenwald sees a more complex environment for the nuclear taboo during the 1990s. Although the non-nuclear-weapon states did not challenge the taboo, they did question the inequalities of the nonproliferation regime, which limited nuclear deterrence and nonuse norms to a few. This unequal status proved galling to the non-nuclear-weapon states, which pushed hard to strengthen the NPT's disarmament requirements, obligations that the nuclear-weapon states have made weak commitments to fulfill. Nevertheless, efforts to delegitimize nuclear weapons proceeded, as non-nuclear-weapon states expanded nuclear-free zones and key NATO governments unsuccessfully introduced proposals to review first-use policy. Significantly, anti-nuclear activists began putting the abolition of nuclear weapons on the table, although polling data cited by Tannenwald suggests that U.S. public opinion was divided on the merits of abolition and nuclear weapons use. Tannenwald's history of these developments, including the successful push for a World Court advisory opinion on nuclear weapons, is invaluable and instructive, not least because it helps put recent events, such as the nuclear abolition initiative proposed by former senior officials, including former Secretary of State George Shultz, in historical context.[5]

Tannenwald emphasizes that, as an "evolving" phenomenon, the taboo is not yet "fully robust." Thus, her story is not one of assured progress: plans for nuclear war still exist, and nuclear threats continue to be made. Nevertheless, Tannenwald argues that the taboo has become so entrenched in official thinking that first use by the United States has become for all intents and purposes "unthinkable." Moreover, with respect to other countries, she argues that the taboo has become "widespread,"' not least because most other Western democracies are "more antinuclear than the United States." Although Tannenwald does not believe that the taboo in this country is facing a serious threat, she sees challenges that could weaken it, such as pressure for the use of nuclear "bunker busters" against terrorist or rogue-state underground complexes or an aggressive nationalistic policy, which she calls a "Leviathan" state-essentially current policy-that might seek to validate the use of nuclear weapons. With its unilateral emphasis, the Leviathan approach strongly supports missile defenses to maximize freedom of action. In this respect, Tannenwald is troubled by President George W. Bush's withdrawal from the ABM Treaty because it removed a prop from the system of mutual deterrence that had validated the practice of strategic nonuse for years.

Certainly, Hersh's reporting of the White House request for nuclear options against Iran suggests some weakening of the nuclear taboo in the Bush administration, as do its efforts on behalf of nuclear bunker busters. To prevent any erosion and to strengthen the taboo, Tannenwald believes it essential to keep alive the fear of nuclear war, move forward on a variety of institutional approaches to reduce the risk of nuclear use, and ensure that nuclear weapons remain in the category of "unacceptable" weapon of mass destruction. In this connection, she does not see abolition in the cards because of such difficulties as verification and the risk that some nation might secretly prepare to break out of an agreement. Instead, Tannenwald finds it more feasible to move toward "virtual abolition," to be achieved through changes in "habit, attitude, norm, law." Some of those changes-a wholly democratic world and the "obsolescence of war"-can be achieved only through sweeping historical development, but Tannenwald believes they could make nuclear weapons irrelevant. Besides these visionary prognostications, the author offers more tangible proposals to stigmatize nuclear weapons further: no-first-use agreements or a ban on nuclear weapons use altogether. The author's take on the abolition question should produce some debate, especially in light of the proposals by Shultz and his associates.

Tannenwald's commitment to political science's international relations (IR) theory, for example, her abstruse discussion of "material" versus "non-material" explanations, makes parts of The Nuclear Taboo a demanding read. Nevertheless, readers who are less interested in IR theory will benefit greatly from reading the historical chapters. The author does make some factual errors (e.g., misidentifying Eisenhower's role in 1950, misdating the first test of a deliverable hydrogen bomb, and confusing Kennedy with Johnson), but that may be inevitable when producing such a wide-ranging study. These complaints aside, Tannenwald has made a persuasive case for the existence of a nuclear taboo. Her book is a great accomplishment that will influence thinking about nuclear history and nuclear weapons policy for years to come.


William Burr is a senior analyst at the nongovernmental National Security Archive and directs its nuclear history documentation project.


Are you interested in purchasing this book? You can help support the Arms Control Association by visiting one of our partners.

 

 

or  

 

 


ENDNOTES

1. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005).

2. David Alan Rosenberg, "The Origins of Overkill: Nuclear Weapons and American Strategy, 1945-1960," International Security, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Spring 1983), p. 11.

3. Paul Lettow, Ronald Reagan and His Quest to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (New York: Random House, 2006).

4. Colin Powell with Joseph E. Persico, My American Journey (New York: Random House, 1995), p. 486.

5. See, for example, George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, and Sam Nunn, "A World Free of Nuclear Weapons," The Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2007, p. A15; and "Toward a Nuclear-Free World," The Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2008, p. A13, www.nti.org/c_press/c3_opeds.html.

U.S. ICBM Cuts Completed

The United States over the past year reduced its land-based ICBM fleet by 50 missiles, leaving a force of 450 nuclear-armed Minuteman IIIs in silos spread across Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming. (Continue)

Wade Boese

The United States over the past year reduced its land-based ICBM fleet by 50 missiles, leaving a force of 450 nuclear-armed Minuteman IIIs in silos spread across Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

On June 29, 2007, the Air Force chief of staff ordered the deactivation of the 50 missiles, and Air Force personnel July 28 removed the final missile booster from its silo. The Air Force Aug. 15 officially "inactivated" the unit previously responsible for the missiles, the 564th Missile Squadron, which operated out of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

Current plans call for maintaining the 50 empty silos and five unmanned missile alert facilities in a "caretaker status," meaning that they will be sealed up but not destroyed. The warheads previously arming the missiles are scheduled for dismantlement by the Department of Energy's semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration, while the missile components have been sent to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, where they might be used in flight testing or as spares.

The Pentagon in 2006 revealed its intention to cut the missiles, a decision resisted futilely by Montana's congressional delegation. The reductions help fulfill the May 2002 U.S.-Russian Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), which commits the two countries to lower their operationally deployed strategic forces to fewer than 2,200 warheads apiece by Dec. 31, 2012. The limitation, however, expires at the end of that same day.

The Department of State earlier this year reported to Congress that the United States was confident it would meet its SORT obligations, noting that there were 2,871 U.S. operationally deployed strategic warheads at the close of 2007. No total was provided for Russia, but the report stated that all indications suggest Russia also plans to meet its limit.

Panel Backs Long-Range Conventional Missile

An expert panel commissioned by Congress advocated Aug. 15 that the United States embark expeditiously on a controversial initiative to substitute conventional projectiles for existing nuclear warheads on some submarine-based missiles. The experts reasoned that the proposal, despite some shortcomings, provides the most viable short-term alternative to using nuclear weapons to counter possible short-notice threats worldwide. (Continue)

Wade Boese

An expert panel commissioned by Congress advocated Aug. 15 that the United States embark expeditiously on a controversial initiative to substitute conventional projectiles for existing nuclear warheads on some submarine-based missiles. The experts reasoned that the proposal, despite some shortcomings, provides the most viable short-term alternative to using nuclear weapons to counter possible short-notice threats worldwide.

The Bush administration in 2001 called for enhancing long-range conventional strike capabilities and advanced its first specific proposal toward that end in the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review. That plan involved converting two dozen nuclear-armed Trident II (D-5) submarine-launched ballistic missiles to carry conventional warheads. A pair of those converted missiles would then be installed alongside 22 nuclear-armed missiles on each of the 12 deployed ballistic-missile submarines.

Worrying that such mixed submarine loads might lead to an inadvertent nuclear conflict with Russia if it mistakes a U.S. conventional launch as a surprise nuclear attack, U.S. lawmakers have steered funding away from the Trident plan to other so-called prompt global strike concepts. (See ACT, January/February 2008. ) The proposed class of weapons is supposed to destroy targets located almost anywhere around the world in less than an hour.

Yet, the 18-member panel, convened early last year to study prompt global strike options, implied in its final report that lawmakers had been wrong to veer from the Trident plan and urged progress toward deployment "as quickly as possible." Convened by the National Research Council, an agency of the National Academy of Sciences, the panel gave its initial blessing to the Trident program in a May 2007 interim report. (See ACT, June 2007. ) Chaired by Albert Carnesale, who participated in U.S. arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union in the 1970s, the panel also included General Eugene Habiger, a former head of Strategic Command; John Foster, a former director of the Lawrence Livermore nuclear weapons laboratory; and Walter Slocombe, a former undersecretary of defense for policy.

The experts' final report states that conventional prompt global strike systems could be valuable in killing terrorists, eliminating unconventional weapons shipments or depots, or preempting attacks against the United States, its allies, or its assets, such as satellites. The panel assessed that any such mission would likely entail the use of 10 or fewer strike systems.

Converted Tridents, according to the panel, would be the "only credible near-term" option, given the technical challenges in developing alternatives, such as hypersonic glide vehicles, which at the earliest might be available by 2015. The panel recommended, however, continuing research into systems and technologies other than converting Tridents.

The experts maintained that the principal problem associated with converted Tridents, the "ambiguity" dilemma, had been "overstated and can be substantially mitigated." They first observed that the potential for misunderstandings applied "to varying degrees" to all potential conventional prompt global strike systems, not just submarine-based missiles, due to their inherent capability to deliver nuclear warheads.

The panel further sought to downplay the danger of misinterpretation by noting that it would be confined over the next several years to Russia because it is the only country capable of detecting a missile launch at sea. In the event that Russia, or perhaps China at a later date, spotted a conventional Trident launch, the experts disputed that there would be a rush to retaliate, claiming that the observing country would not likely think the United States was starting a nuclear war with a single missile or handful of missiles.

Moreover, ambiguity risks could be reduced, the panel reported, through transparency measures, such as video monitoring of the systems or missile launch notifications. Another suggested measure to ease foreign concerns was U.S. openness about its use doctrines.

Still, the experts implied that the United States must live with some chance of miscalculations. They stated, "[T]he benefits of possessing a limited [conventional prompt global strike] capability...outweigh the risks associated with nuclear ambiguity."

The panel also dismissed other anxieties identified with the conventional Trident plan. It favorably described Navy plans to prevent submarine crews from misfiring nuclear-armed missiles when intending to launch their conventional counterparts. It discounted fears that a conventional Trident program might stoke other countries' ballistic missile programs. All told, the panel concluded that the proposal, "as currently envisioned, is sufficiently small in scale to make it unlikely that international reactions would be of strategic significance."

Notwithstanding the panel's endorsement of long-range conventional strike systems, the experts highlighted potential limitations to their future effectiveness. A "sizable challenge," the panel warned, is improving delivery system accuracy to within a "few meters" of an intended target; existing ballistic missiles do not require such precision because of the immense destructive power of their nuclear payloads.

The accuracy of the proposed conventional Trident "has not been demonstrated," reported the panel. It further revealed that the re-entry vehicle intended to carry the proposed conventional warhead atop the Trident lacks the maneuverability to enable attacks against "targets in many urban areas and mountainous regions."

Getting a warhead on target, the panel noted, also involves good intelligence and other "critical" enablers. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found those capabilities lacking earlier this year. In an April report submitted to Congress, the GAO cited Pentagon officials as stating that "current intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and command and control capabilities generally do not provide the persistent coverage, processing and sharing of information, and rapid planning required for compressed global strike time frames." That report also indicated that the Pentagon should better coordinate its various prompt global strike-related projects and programs, 135 by the GAO's count. (See ACT, June 2008. )

Congress this year has yet to finalize its two annual bills on the Pentagon's proposed fiscal year 2009 budget, which includes a $117.6 million request for the Prompt Global Strike program administered by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. That request does not entail specific funding for the conventional Trident system. Whether the recent reports might influence lawmakers to concentrate spending on a few particular projects, including a revival of the conventional Trident, remains uncertain at this time.

Efforts to Limit Fuel Cycle Capabilities Falter

As the Bush administration seeks to curtail the spread of uranium-enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing technologies abroad, its preferred approaches are losing needed support. These include the controversial Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and a moratorium among the world's richest countries on exports of the sensitive technologies. (Continue)

Miles A. Pomper with Wade Boese

As the Bush administration seeks to curtail the spread of uranium-enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing technologies abroad, its preferred approaches are losing needed support. These include the controversial Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and a moratorium among the world's richest countries on exports of the sensitive technologies.

Enrichment and reprocessing technologies can yield either fuel for nuclear reactors or fissile material, highly enriched uranium or plutonium, for nuclear weapons.

GNEP has been so pilloried at home by the Democratic-controlled Congress, nonproliferation groups, and outside experts that it is increasingly unclear whether it will survive George W. Bush's presidency. In the end, its fate may be settled by the outcome of this year's U.S. presidential elections.

The Group of Eight (G-8) moratorium ended in July. Several months ago, the United States abandoned its support for efforts to completely ban such transfers. Instead, in the face of lackluster support abroad, it decided to participate in an effort begun by France in 2004 to have the 45 countries in the voluntary Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) fashion common nonproliferation criteria to regulate such transfers. (See ACT, June 2008. )

GNEP

Bush administration officials have claimed that GNEP, which seeks to develop new nuclear technologies and new international nuclear fuel arrangements, will cut nuclear waste and decrease the risk that an anticipated growth in the use of nuclear energy worldwide could spur nuclear weapons proliferation.

The group has continued to add new members. Administration officials recently indicated that the number of GNEP member countries may more than double from the current 21 states at a ministerial-level meeting in October. These new members could be further supplemented if any of the 17 other countries, such as Egypt, Germany, South Africa, and Sweden, that had previously been invited to join the partnership but until now have chosen to remain as observers opted to sign the partnership's statement of principles.

Nonetheless, critics have won the upper hand on Capitol Hill. They assert that the administration's course would exacerbate the proliferation risks posed by the spread of spent fuel reprocessing technology, be prohibitively expensive, and fail to significantly ease waste disposal challenges without any certainty that the claimed technologies will ever be developed.

These conclusions have been buttressed by critical reports from the National Academy of Sciences and the Government Accountability Office.

In June, the House Appropriations Committee cut specific funds for GNEP and approved only $120 million for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), which funds reprocessing research integral to the program. In February 2008, the administration had requested $302 million for the AFCI, but the Senate Appropriations Committee approved only $230 million in marking up its version of the relevant legislation July 10.

The bills now must be approved by the full House and Senate and reconciled in a conference committee before being sent to the president for signature. However, it is not clear if Congress will approve the authorization bills or the spending measures before adjourning for the November congressional and presidential elections.

In particular, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said several times that it is unlikely Congress will pass any fiscal 2009 spending bills this year beyond those for the defense budget and that Congress will instead approve a continuing resolution to fund the government at current levels until a new administration takes over. Democrats not only hope to win the White House but believe that they will have stronger majorities in both chambers after the November elections.

Although neither candidate has spoken specifically about GNEP, the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), has expressed support for spent fuel reprocessing.

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) has said that he favors accelerating federal research and development efforts to explore whether nuclear waste can be stored safely for reuse. His energy plan indicates, however, that although such research efforts continue, he favors interim storage solutions rather than any near-term efforts at reprocessing.

Current reprocessing technologies yield pure or nearly pure plutonium that can be used as fuel for nuclear reactors or to provide fissile material for nuclear weapons. GNEP proposes eventually to build reprocessing facilities able to render a product that would retain other elements from the spent fuel along with the plutonium, making it less attractive for weapons production than pure plutonium. Critics note that this fuel would be much less proliferation resistant than when the spent fuel is left intact and not reprocessed. They also point out that GNEP's near-term plans include more proliferation-prone technologies.

G-8 Moratorium

Meanwhile, the G-8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) elected for the first time since 2004 not to extend a one-year moratorium on new exports of enrichment and reprocessing technologies. Instead, they urged that exporters avoid transferring goods in a way that might enable them to be copied and reproduced by recipients. The group initially instituted the moratorium following Bush's February 2004 call for banning exports of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to countries that did not already possess operational facilities for those purposes.

The group's leaders, meeting July 7-9 in Toyako on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, also expressed support for the NSG's ongoing effort to develop criteria for future enrichment and reprocessing exports. At the supplier regime's last meeting in May, Canada and reportedly South Africa objected to some U.S. proposed criteria, fearing that it would prevent them from developing enrichment facilities to take economic advantage of their large natural uranium deposits.

In a sign that other U.S. approaches are having less success, administration officials are also trying another tactic. This involves trying to work with other nuclear supplier states to provide incentives to states that agree voluntarily to rely on the international market rather than building their own uranium-enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing facilities. Memoranda of understanding along these lines have been signed between the United States and several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Other elements include support for physical and human infrastructure development, such as training programs for nuclear personnel and regulators; new financing from international development banks; and the development of smaller "grid-appropriate" reactors better suited for the electricity grids of developing countries.

G-8 Nonproliferation Effort to Shift Focus

At a July 8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan, the heads of government of the Group of Eight (G-8), a forum of the largest economies worldwide, continued discussions on expanding their current nonproliferation partnership from a focus on the former Soviet Union to a more global approach. They also took note of the program's achievements to date in the former Soviet Union as well as remaining projects there. (Continue)

Stephen Bunnell

At a July 8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan, the heads of government of the Group of Eight (G-8), a forum of the largest economies worldwide, continued discussions on expanding their current nonproliferation partnership from a focus on the former Soviet Union to a more global approach. They also took note of the program's achievements to date in the former Soviet Union as well as remaining projects there.

In a statement released after the summit, the leaders acknowledged the evolution of the Global Partnership against the Proliferation of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. The partnership was established in 2002 at a summit in Kananaskis, Canada, to coordinate and expand international efforts to safeguard or destroy much of the Soviet legacy of nuclear, chemical, radiological, and biological arms and related materials and convert relevant institutions to peaceful endeavors. Countries at the 2002 summit pledged to provide up to $20 billion for such efforts over 10 years, with half of the money coming from the United States.

The report contains few details of the G-8's plan to expand its geographic scope, but instead simply states that "the partners will work together constructively and practically to identify specific focuses of the expanded GP [Global Partnership]. The discussions on the issue will be conducted on a project based fashion and function-wise, inter alia, nuclear and radiological issues, chemical issues and biological issues."

In the past, some G-8 countries have demonstrated interest in expanding the multibillion-dollar program into Middle Eastern nations such as Iraq and Libya, while outside experts have suggested that India, North Korea, and Pakistan might benefit from similar efforts. (See ACT, June 2004. ) Experts say that the focus in those countries is likely to be less oriented to securing materials, as it has been in the former Soviet Union, and more on legal and other measures to assure proper governance of any dangerous or dual-use material. Other participants and observers were more skeptical, partly because they fear a dilution of assistance efforts. Russia in particular was opposed.

Now, however, the United Kingdom has proposed a "model agreement" for new partners of an expanded Global Partnership, to serve as a foundation for implementing new projects, as well as a means of engaging other partners in order to coordinate priorities.

The statement claims that substantial progress has been made in the destruction of Russia's vast chemical weapons stockpile-at nearly 40,000 declared tons, the largest worldwide. In particular, it cites the chemical weapons destruction facilities in the Russian cities of Gorny and Kambarka, which were constructed with substantial assistance from foreign countries. The statement also references the continuing construction of five more chemical weapons facilities: Shchuch'ye, Maradykovsky, and Leonidovka, which are to be completed in 2008, and Kizner and Pochep, which will be completed in 2009. The Maradykovsky facility has already begun destroying its stockpile of chemical weapons. All of these have likewise received considerable foreign aid. Even so, as of July 2008, only the Gorny facility has completed its chemical weapons destruction. As of the beginning of this year, Russia had destroyed one-quarter of its chemical weapons stockpile. The Chemical Weapons Convention requires Russia to complete the destruction of its chemical arsenal by 2012, but there is considerable skepticism that Russia will meet this deadline.

The statement also reports that progress has been made in the dismantlement of Russian nuclear submarines, including the construction of storage facilities for reactor compartments of naval ships, spent nuclear fuel, and radioactive waste; the refitting of a nuclear waste incinerator at the Zvezdochka shipyard; and the withdrawal of spent fuel from the former Gremikha naval base. These efforts have also received significant funding and technological assistance from foreign governments.

The parties pledged to improve the effectiveness and coordination of other current programs. These include the Framework Agreement on a Multilateral Nuclear Environment Program in the Russian Federation, which provides a basis for the implementation of various environmental rehabilitation programs; the International Science and Technology Center in Russia and the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine, which fund research projects for former weapons scientists; and multiple initiatives to improve the physical protection of nuclear materials.

The report sets benchmarks for projects in Russia through 2012. Besides the completion of the five chemical weapons destruction facilities, they include deadlines for dismantling all decommissioned submarines by 2010, as well as for the construction of facilities to store compartments and spent nuclear fuel, radioactive waste management, and the development of related infrastructure. Finally, the report calls for the safe and secure removal of spent nuclear fuel at Andreeva Bay, its eventual transportation to a temporary storage facility at Mayak in the southern Urals, and the construction of a long-term storage facility for such fuel at Razboynik Bay in the Russian Far East.

The benchmarks are intended to coordinate efforts on these projects by establishing a common calendar for completion, as well as to accelerate the implementation of these projects.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - September 2008