"Though we have acheived progress, our work is not over. That is why I support the mission of the Arms Control Association. It is, quite simply, the most effective and important organization working in the field today." 

– Larry Weiler
Former U.S.-Russian arms control negotiator
August 7, 2018

Next Steps in Arms Control: Second Panel Transcript - Tactical Nuclear Weapons and NATO



For a PDF version of this transcript, please click here.









Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

CATHERINE KELLEHER:  (In progress) – back together again.  So if we can start with our next panel, it is on a subject close to my heart.  It seems to me that for 45, or is it 50 years or so, I’ve been struggling with this, certainly since I was an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke and looking at the Honest John and a few other remnants of that era as they tried to decide just which back streets in Germany we were going to send tactical nuclear weapons around, especially when – well, the lethal radius.  You all know the joke.  

This is an important issue and one that I think has grown in prominence here in the United States perhaps for the first time in the discussions of the last two years.  We’re very fortunate to have people who will come and present a number of different perspectives on this issue.  It is an issue which will figure – we’re not quite sure how prominently – but one is assured prominently in the strategic concept and in whatever strategic review will follow the strategic concept.  

I’d like to turn if I could first to someone who has written extensively and intensively on this topic, most recently in Arms Control Today, Oliver Meier, who is associated with an institute at the University of Hamburg – you’ll read about him in your bios – and who has been an international staff member of ACA for a very long time and one of those resources that one can always trust to know what not only the latest greatest is but also to have a clear view on the bigger picture.  So without further ado, Oliver.

OLIVER MEIER:  Thank you.  Thank you, Catherine, and good morning everybody.  I’d also like to start off by thanking the organizers and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, particularly for bringing me over here.  It’s a real pleasure to be on such a prestigious panel, particularly now that we are less than two weeks away from the summit in Lisbon.  I would like to use my 10 minutes to do three things very briefly:  start off by giving you, again, some reasons why I think NATO’s nuclear policies can and should change, then highlight some of the issues where the new strategic concept I’m afraid is likely to fall short of expectations for change and add a little bit to the gloom that we already had on the first panel I’m afraid and turn to –

MS. KELLEHER:  Cautious optimist.

MR. MEIER:  Cautious optimist.  Cautious pessimists may be more appropriate in this case.  But we are still two weeks away so there is still opportunities for change.  I want to close by making a proposal on how some of the discrepancies between the expectations for change and the tendencies for inertia within NATO that I see currently could be dealt with.

So let me start off by, again, saying that the context in which we are discussing the new strategic concept is of course the one of global zero, as has been mentioned on the first panel, and I think that has become the yardstick against which any action on nuclear weapons these days is being measured, whether we like it or not, and that is one of the reasons why the majority of NATO member states, and I think also the majority of host nations are no longer comfortable with the current nuclear status quo.  There is a broad majority in parliaments and among the public, among many European member states and I think at least three of the five nations where U.S. nuclear weapons are still deployed in Europe are for withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons and it would be extremely costly for the alliance, both in political terms but also financially potentially, to just maintain NATO’s current nuclear posture.  

Secondly, I think it’s important to keep in mind that U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in Europe do not have any military value and that this view is actually shared I think unanimously among allies.  To some degree, the new strategic concept I think is likely to recognize this fact by repeating the formulation from the old, or the current, strategic concept, [that] circumstances in which any use of nuclear weapons might be contemplated are extremely remote.  The reservations that we have heard from a number of Central European countries but also Turkey to a radical change of NATO’s nuclear posture are not so much related to the military or any military value of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe but more to the credibility of security assurances by the United States and NATO more generally.

Thirdly, I think it’s important to recall that the new strategic concept will send an important signal about the seriousness with which NATO would support global nonproliferation efforts.  The alliance has a unique and prominent role in the global nuclear landscape, if you like.  Three of the five NPT nuclear weapon states are NATO members and of the 14 states that currently have nuclear weapons on their territory, eight are members of NATO.  NATO remains the only alliance that practices nuclear sharing and the United States is the only nuclear weapons state that still in peacetime deploys nuclear weapons onto territory of nonnuclear weapons states.  I think against this background it’s quite evident that what NATO does on nuclear policy does send an important signal about how serious the alliance and the West more generally are about nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation

Now, against this background let me make three observations why the new strategic concept I think will not provide the active support for efforts to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons that many are hoping for, and this assessment is based on conversations and interviews I’ve had after the second draft of the new strategic concept was released around October 26 to capitals.  Now, I heard this morning that there was actually a third draft that was released last Friday.  So I’d be more than happy to be corrected by some of the people who know more about this draft concept, which of course remains classified, about the pessimistic assessment that I’m about to give.

The first area I think where NATO’s – the new strategic concept is likely to fall short of expectations is declaratory policy.  There is little doubt that NATO’s current declaratory policy, which still is based on the Cold War theory that short-range nuclear weapons could be used to defeat conventional superior Soviet forces but also to provide an escalatory capability, is outdated.  Both functions obviously no longer apply today.  However, I think there’s a real danger that NATO will not be able to change that nuclear policy in the new strategic concept and it would be problematic, I think, and counterproductive if NATO in the new strategic concept were to emphasize that it remains a nuclear alliance to deter any attack or coercion against it.  

Keeping the core of NATO’s nuclear posture intact would signal exactly that the alliance is not serious about reducing the value of nuclear weapons, that it’s actually unable to bring its declaratory policy in line with todays’ requirements.  There’s a related problem in that there would be a lack of coherence between the U.S. nuclear posture and NATO’s nuclear posture because as we’ve heard this morning already, the United States, of course, has restricted in the nuclear posture review the circumstances under which it would be prepared to use nuclear weapons.  If NATO doesn’t go along with this, it would undermine, I would believe, Obama’s push to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons.  

The second area where the new strategic concept is likely to fall short is nuclear posture itself and the future of nuclear sharing.  I think there still is surprise that the new strategic concept is likely to recommit NATO to being a nuclear alliance along the lines of what Secretary of State Clinton has said at the informal foreign ministers meeting in Tallinn in April, given the fact that we have three nuclear weapons states that are members of the alliance, I think this is a fairly obvious statement to make.  Assessing the need for the continued basing of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe, of course, is more complex and Clinton in Tallinn referred to this indirectly by emphasizing the fundamental value of sharing of nuclear risks and responsibilities.  

Now, burden-sharing of course is a key principle for any military alliance, as in NATO particularly, but my impression is that many NATO members currently are more interested in having the value of burden-sharing demonstrated in Afghanistan rather than at nuclear weapons storage sites in Central Europe.  Now, if NATO heads of state and governments in Lisbon were to commit themselves again to ensure the broadest possible participation of allies in planning of nuclear roles or the peacetime basing of nuclear forces or command, control and consultation agreements, I think this would unnecessarily restrict options to change NATO’s nuclear posture in the future, and it would also run counter to the expressed will of the German government, for example, to have U.S. nuclear weapons withdrawn from Europe.

The third area I want to highlight is related to arms control and linkages with Russia’s nuclear posture.  There is still doubt, I think, that this topic of arms control will play a more prominent role in the new strategic concept.  German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle wants to make arms control and disarmament a trademark of the alliance and the new strategic concept is likely to contain several elements towards that end.  Thus, the new concept is likely to endorse the concept of a world free of nuclear weapons, even though it will likely come with the usual French reservations that global zero must be pursued in a manner that promoted international stability and is based on the principle of undiminished security for all.  

I think NATO is also likely to strengthen its internal dialogue on arms control issues, both nuclear and conventional, by creating a new mechanism along the recommendations of the Albright group of experts.  More controversial is the issue of embedding any change of NATO’s nuclear posture in an arms control agreement with Russia, something that Ralf Fücks referred to this morning already.

On this issue, the new strategic concept is also likely to be conservative by stating that it should be NATO’s aim to seek Russian agreement to increase transparency of its nuclear weapons stockpile and to encourage Russia to relocate weapons away from the borders with NATO states.  It seems as if NATO is likely to place any further steps that the alliance itself might take in the context of a disparity between Russia’s stockpile in tactical nuclear weapons and NATO holdings.  I think such a strong linkage between changes of NATO’s future nuclear posture and Russia’s nuclear policy is both unneeded and counterproductive.  It’s unneeded because there no longer exists a strategic connection between tactical nuclear postures of NATO and Russia.  

On both sides I think the reasons for maintaining these weapons are primarily internal or domestic.  It therefore makes little sense to me to place these weapons directly in a bargaining context on the same table and have a give-and-take type of arms control negotiations on tactical nuclear weapons particularly.  

To be sure, we’ve heard these weapons should be included in any future arms control talk.  All NATO members have recognized this fact already in the NPT review conference final declarations.  But by putting these weapons directly in an arms control context, NATO itself would be putting itself pretty much at the mercy of Moscow in terms of any changes itself might want to initiate on its nuclear posture.  

So to conclude, let me make a couple of observations on how to bridge this gap between expectations that we had for change and the tendencies for inertia within NATO.  It seems quite obvious that NATO by the time of the summit will not be able to bridge some of the differences among member states on how to deal with nuclear sharing in the future and therefore I think it’s important that the strategic concept itself does not prevent any meaningful change of NATO’s nuclear policies after the Lisbon summit.  Thus, the concept will focus on areas where there is consensus among NATO allies.

There are three areas particularly where there is consensus.  NATO will continue to rely on a mix of conventional and nuclear forces for deterrence.  NATO members also endorse the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. And I think there is agreement that NATO needs to do more to support arms control and disarmament.  Such a minimalistic strategic concept could provide a framework, then, for discussions among NATO members on more controversial issues after the Lisbon summit and this is the idea of having a NATO nuclear posture review or some kind of posture review that many people have spoken about and that Paul Ingram and I wrote about in the October issue of Arms Control Today in some more detail.  

Let me just briefly say that it’s important I think that such a NATO nuclear posture review if we have such a posture review, I don’t think that’s a done deal as Joan Rohlfing suggested on the first panel, that such a review has to be comprehensive.  It should not preclude any outcome.  All options have to be on the table.  It should focus on nuclear issues.  It shouldn’t link from the outset changes in the nuclear posture, for example, to missile defense or conventional force issues.  It would have to give operational guidance for implementing and changing NATO’s nuclear policies, and such a review – the process of such a review should be open, inclusive and transparent.  

Obviously any decision to change NATO’s nuclear posture will have to be made by consensus.  I think that’s a point that is agreed among allies for quite some time actually.  But this principle, this consensus principle, should not be abused as an opportunity to block evolution of NATO’s nuclear posture.  To do so would greatly damage alliance cohesion because we have in quite a few NATO member states broad support for withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons particularly.  

The most viable course of action may be in the medium term to phase out nuclear sharing and in parallel develop more credible nonnuclear instruments of assurance and reassurance and to spur a constructive dialogue with Russia over European security issues.  A NATO nuclear posture review could be the right vehicle to initiate such a dialogue.  But again, for that to take place, it’s necessary that the new strategic concept does not foreclose any options for changing NATO’s nuclear posture in the future.  Thank you very much.

MS. KELLEHER:  Thank you.  (Applause.)

MS. KELLEHER:  Our second speaker is Marek Szcyzgiel, who comes to us from the Polish foreign ministry where he’s deputy director of the security policy department, and for almost two decades now, Marek has worked in a number of areas – NATO affairs, OSCE affairs.  He’s spent time in Sweden, including being the head of the Polish school in Stockholm, which I must say is a nice change for a diplomat I suspect.  But now, he’s fully engaged in these areas and we’re looking forward to hearing what he has to say.  Marek?

MAREK SZCYGIEL:  Thank you very much, and thank you for inviting me to speak to such prominent audience, and I will express my personal views here.  So they do not necessarily represent the views of the Polish ministry of foreign affairs.  In order to be politically correct, I should probably start with mentioning the positive climate which has been established by many past events in the field of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation this year.  

However, bearing in mind that we are just a few days prior to the NATO Lisbon summit, I would like to focus my remarks on the main subject of my interest, namely how to find proper balance between credible nuclear deterrence and arms control and disarmament.  A question that I would try to answer is how to implement the broad long-term goals which are to reduce both the role and numbers of nuclear weapons while at the same time maintain an effective extended deterrence and reassurance of allies in Europe that the U.S. commitment remains as solid as ever.  

I would try to shed some light on this dilemma from the Polish perspective, which to a certain extent represents also the views of other so-called new NATO members.  I don’t like this expression, but this is very frequently used.  So I would try to use term as Central European countries.  In fact, I’m convinced that the attitude towards the role of nuclear weapons among member states of NATO is not so divergent as some public comments may suggest.

So in a run up to the NATO Lisbon summit, we see growing convergence of views and this is I think very positive element.  At the same time, I think we should avoid oversimplification of the picture because that could hamper the proper understanding of the motives behind the positions taken by specific NATO member states.  So the discussion on the topic of NATO nuclear policy is very intense in recent months and we heard many publicly expressed opinions on this subject.  

As far as position of Poland is concerned, we are trying to play an active and constructive role in this debate, and so there is no secret that President Obama’s call for a world free of nuclear weapons made in Prague in April 2009 was met in all parts of Europe with great enthusiasm.  But the issue was seen, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, in connection with U.S. commitment to the security of European countries.  Since their accession to NATO in ‘99, nuclear extended deterrence has been perceived in Poland as a core element of Article 5 security guarantees.  At the same time, Poland always perceived and treated nuclear policy with I would say certain degree of sober realism.  

So Polish perception of the role of nuclear weapons has been in the recent time, I’d say in the last two years, influenced by a number of important factors.  I would like to mention a few of them.  So first of all, our decision to participate in the modified architecture of European missile defense, then the negotiations and the final agreement between United States and Russia on strategic arms reductions – New START.  Also, some signals coming from Russia on the confirming, I would say, the continued reliance of Russia on tactical nuclear weapons and its nuclear posture, then also very important outcome of the 2010 U.S. nuclear posture review and also to certain extent internal political debates in some European countries on nuclear issues.  

Oliver mentioned Germany, which is a good example here.  As a result, Polish government adopted more flexible and declared its openness to discuss necessary modifications of NATO nuclear posture in the framework of new NATO strategic concept.  So Warsaw considered itself as being capable of conducting more proactive policy, going beyond the simple defense of the existing status quo.  I think it was quite important change in our attitude towards NATO nuclear policy.  To certain extent, I think we were trying also to capitalize on our emerging status of middle-sized but important and responsible European country, which also somehow demonstrated growing sense of self-confidence in security policy affairs.  

In the scope of internal NATO debate, we tried also to somehow eliminate the risk that this – or reduce the risk that this debate would be dominated by two opposing options – creating some unnecessary tensions or divisions within the alliance on this issue while at the same time ignoring some specific regional security concerns of countries like Poland.  This view, more forward-looking approach to nuclear issues, has been manifested in the joint article published by Polish and Swedish foreign ministers in February this year in New York Times.  

In this article, two foreign ministers called for reductions and ultimate withdrawal of the sub-strategic nuclear weapons, drawing particular attention to the large Russian arsenals of sub-strategic weapons located in the vicinity of NATO and E.U. territory.  Afterwards, in April, just a couple of days before the NATO ministerial meeting in Tallinn, Poland and Norway together issued, or presented rather, to the allies joint paper on the inclusion of tactical nuclear weapons into general arms control and disarmament processes.  This non-paper content called for step-by-step approach with regard to possible tactical nuclear weapons reductions.  We were of the opinion that they should embrace transparency and confidence building measures, which in the future should eventually allow for cuts in the nonstrategic nuclear weapons holdings.  

Reciprocity and mutually agreed measures were in our opinion the best and still are among the best ways to move forward with the process leading to possible reductions.  So the main thrust, the main spirit of this non-paper was that in order to find kind of realistic approach, we need to think broader and to put strong emphasis on ICBMs and transparency.  Through those two initiatives and in our bilateral contacts with U.S. government, with other partners in NATO, we tried to slightly refocus and reshape the debate in order to place more emphasis on the issue of tactical nuclear weapons as a general problem, instead of looking at it as an internal NATO issue.  

I think our intention was also to highlight the risk and potential consequences of some unilateral actions motivated by domestic political issues, potential negative consequences for the security of entire NATO.  To our somehow pleasure and to our satisfaction, those views were noted and to a large degree reflected in the five points delivered by the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, during the Tallinn ministerial meeting.  We also positively assessed the outcome of the 2010 nuclear posture review and we were also satisfied with the language of NATO group of experts report led by Madeleine Albright.  

So now let me finally turn to the issue of new NATO strategic concept and its provisions on NATO nuclear policy.  We think that it should serve as a kind of broader guide to elaborate more specific NATO policies in certain areas including NATO nuclear posture and we hope that in the follow-up process we’ll be able to tackle NATO deterrence strategy in broader sense, including its declaratory policy, and this NATO nuclear posture review mentioned by Oliver should be comprehensive and as inclusive as possible.  So we hope that it will be conducted without artificial deadlines or any – will not preclude any conclusions.  We are very much attached to the procedure of adopting any changes by consensus.  

But let me also say that in order to move things forward, we need to – this process requires also some efforts aimed at ensuring the alliance that possible reductions in tactical nuclear weapons will not weaken NATO deterrence capability and not weaken trans-Atlantic link.  If needed, the credibility of NATO deterrence policy could be reinforced by other means.  But as the NPR correctly put it, the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons combined with NATO’s unique nuclear sharing arrangements continue to the alliance cohesion and provide reassurance to allies and partners who feel exposed to regional threats.  

So in order to introduce more, say, dramatic changes, we need to find some elements to substitute or compensate this current contribution of those arrangements, and there is no need to stress that for countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the crucial issue is the issue of reassurance, reassurance that could be provided through updating contingency plans but also to increase the military footprint on the territory of those countries, but also to somehow increase attention to the Article 5 security guarantees.  I will stop here and will try to answer your questions on those issues in due time.  Thank you.

MS. KELLEHER:  Thank you, Marek.  (Applause.)

Our last speaker will be Jan Lodal, who was – with whom I had the pleasure to serve in the Clinton administration when he was principal undersecretary – deputy undersecretary of Defense and was up to his ears in many number of things.  He’s clearly known as one of the founding members of the nuclear mafia club, having had a particular role in the dim dark days of the Kissinger first efforts in terms of major strategic arms control, and it makes it all the more interesting that he, together with Ivo Daalder, authored one of the critical issues – issue analyses called “The Logic of Zero” in 2008, and has been talking about it for some time before that.  So without further ado, Jan?

JAN LODAL:  Thanks very much, Catherine, and I can’t help but start off by saying that Catherine and I have been having a fun debate in these things for longer than I care to mention quantitatively.  But while she was off learning about the Honest John, I, as a second lieutenant, was in a military exercise that included a simulated Honest John strike with a big mushroom cloud simulated and all of this was to make us feel comfortable with the use of these weapons in conjunction with conventional forces as if they were just regular old weapons.  So that’s where we were in the Cold War, and as we know, things have changed a lot.

I’m going to take a little bit different approach to this, partially because I think that the Lisbon summit is probably outside of any of our influence and may actually be pretty much set by now and whatever is going to come out of that is pretty close to worked out and we’re not going to change that very much.  So I’m going to focus on where we go after the Lisbon summit with an assumption that the results related to nuclear weapons are going to be a bit disappointing to all of us in this room, but they won’t be terrible and they’ll advance the ball a little bit and they will once again reiterate a world without nuclear weapons as an eventual necessity and that will be helpful.  They’ll also reiterate that we remain a nuclear alliance and that while we’re on our way to a world without nuclear weapons, nuclear deterrence remains essential.

So part of what I’m going to say is motivated by having read Paul Krugman this morning and Paul has – he’s a former colleague of mine at the Princeton Woodrow Wilson School and of course the world now recognizes him as a great quantitative economist as well.  But when he writes his policy papers, he has this wonderful way of always coming back to the fundamentals, which he believes are quite messed up, the fundamentals in his case being that economies don’t get out of slumps until there’s enough aggregate demand and therefore all economic policy should be measured against that goal, which is to get aggregate demand up and he tries to remind people of this at all times with varying degrees of success.  

I also believe that the unclear policy questions have a simple ultimate goal also and that of course is to eliminate nuclear weapons and there’s a very clear reason for that and that is that unless you eliminate them, given that the technology is widely known, given that there’s going to be more nuclear power plants, given that there’s tons and tons of material around the world with which nuclear weapons can be made and lots of weapons today, some simple analysis has to conclude that it is inevitable that ultimately they will be used again unless they are completely eliminated.

A control regime is put in place that can control all that material, which Joan very helpfully reminded us of in the earlier panel, is equally important to controlling the weapons and also making sure that in fact there are no weapons and that nobody’s trying to break out so that if somebody does try to break out, there’s adequate lead-time for the rest of the world to respond in a way that will make it quite unpleasant for the state that tries to break out of the regime.  

So all of that is a very tall order just like it’s a very tall order to figure out how to increase aggregate demand enough to get us out of the horrible economic mess we’re in.  But it can’t be avoided and we have to remember that fundamental point as we look at all arms control policy and we have to measure our goal, our specific efforts against that goal.  I think when you do that, you actually come up with answers or conclusions about some of our efforts that are a little bit different than the conventional wisdom.  Let me reiterate that there’s two things you have to do to get the world on a path to nuclear zero.  

First, you have to get everyone to agree that the only valid purpose of nuclear weapons is to prevent the use of nuclear weapons by others and that’s not universally accepted.  In fact, I’d say the majority of people having anything to do with this don’t accept it.  They believe that nuclear weapons provide some other kind of purpose.  The French, of course, talk about nuclear weapons in some vague way protecting their most vital national interests and so forth and many of the smaller and proliferating states believe that if they have nuclear weapons, they can deter conventional attacks against them and so forth.  So I won’t – we don’t have time here to elaborate why I think a careful analysis of this will lead to a different conclusion.  

But the other thing you have to do is you have to create this regime that goes way beyond the IAEA regime that we have today, notwithstanding the fact that the IAEA regime has been amazingly successful given how small it is.  The IAEA found Iraq’s program before the ‘91 war.  It was gone of course before the second war.  They found the North Korean program and they found the Iranian program with their very limited capabilities.  So I believe that the technology is there to create a regime that can do what we need it to do.  

Now, specifically with regard to the NATO weapons, as others have said, and I agree particularly with what Oliver said at the beginning, there’s no military use left for these weapons.  They also have other problems that are actually vulnerable, notwithstanding the fact that there’s bunkers now built and storage sites are improved.  I have had the distinct pleasure of probably being the only person in the room who’s had his hand on one of those weapons and seen the situation there on the ground.  It’s impossible to make these storage sites completely invulnerable.  So they actually violate some strategic stability requirements as well, and they’re really quite expensive to maintain.  

We find ourselves in the absurd position of having countries that are hosting these weapons in some cases already having given up the capability to actually mount them on their aircraft and use them and in most cases not having long-term plans that are adequate to use them.  So it really makes no military sense to have these on the ground in Europe.  

So from that standpoint, I would hope that some kind of nuclear posture review will be authorized at the Lisbon summit.  I think it will and I think that’s where to focus on the question of deployments.  The deployments are not really a proper subject for the strategic concept itself in any event and hopefully a 12-month posture review as has been suggested in Oliver and his colleagues’ article will be undertaken and that some of these what I believe are truly absurdities will be dealt with.  

So then, how can we go forward from there?  Are giving up a bargain chip with Russia?  No, not really because the fact of the matter is, as you’ve heard from our distinguished Russia colleague on the earlier panel Russia has a whole bunch of complaints about what we do.  They of course complain about the forward-based systems but they complain about our missile defenses and they complain about our long-range strategic conventional forces, and they complain about conventional force balances otherwise and a lot of other things.  So really we’re very far from reaching an agreement with the present Russian government on these fundamental points related to nuclear weapons and the fundamental need to get the world on a completely different path.  

In my view, the best way for us to negotiate with Russia is to address those fundamental issues head-on.  The New START treaty doesn’t do it.  Even Sen. Lugar, its greatest supporter in the Senate right now, tries to make clear that it serves a different purpose.  It closes out the old approach and allows us to go forward with a new approach.  I don’t believe the Russians see it that way.  I believe they see it as setting the foundation for our nuclear relationship for some time to come and if that’s the case, we won’t get very far toward a world without nuclear weapons.

So I think we need to address these issues directly with Russia, and whether or not we have a few vulnerable, not usable weapons on the ground in Europe or not isn’t going to make much difference in how successful we are at doing that.  I would say more or less the same thing about France.  

France is back in the alliance.  France should, in my opinion, make it clear that whatever nuclear weapons they have for the foreseeable future will contribute to an umbrella over all of NATO.  The Brits have more or less made that clear.  We certainly have made it very clear, and so in that respect we should try to convince the French that there is a use for their weapons while we’re on a path to zero that goes beyond what they’ve stated.

But slowly but surely we have to get them all off some of their Gaullist inspired broader ideas about what these weapons can possibly do.  Meanwhile of course we have to continue to make it clear that our nuclear umbrella and our nuclear guarantees remain in place and we really need to keep emphasizing that nobody is proposing unilateral zero.  Most of the people in – in fact, probably a very significant fraction of the Congress of the United States things that when you talk about zero, we’re talking about U.S. unilateral zero and that’s what all of us in this room want and we arms controllers and everybody else thinks we ought to just get rid of all of our nuclear weapons.  

The Global Zero organization put the word global in there for a purpose and I try never to use the word zero entirely by itself.  Universal zero, global zero, that’s what we’re trying to get to and it cannot be reached unless it’s reached essentially simultaneous and we should all accept that.  

There are many, many people in the arms control, disarmament community who take a legal view or a moral view against nuclear weapons and argue very strongly that we should lead by unilaterally going to zero and those views are in my opinion counterproductive and make it more difficult to get to zero because they allow the rest of us to be tarred with this kind of accusation that we also are proposing some kind of unilateral disarmament on the part of the West, on the part of the United States and laving ourselves vulnerable to significant nuclear dangers.  

So we do have to emphasize that there is a legitimate role for nuclear weapons but only one. And that role is to deter, prevent the use of nuclear weapons by others. And therefore if others will give them up, so can we. And that we need to convince the rest of the world that that’s true and we need to build this control regime and we need to evaluate everything we do against those two specific objectives which are what we have to do if we want to have a chance of getting the world to nuclear zero.  Thanks very much.

MS. KELLEHER:  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Well, I thank my colleagues on the panel for having been so receptive to discipline.  This gives us then slightly more than half an hour in which to have some good questions and some discussion.  So may I ask you to identify yourself when you make your question and also say to whom it is directed.  Gentleman here in the middle?

Q:  I’m Miles Pomper from the Monterey Institute.  This is a question for Jan and Marek, following up on one of Jan’s remarks.  I was intrigued by your mention of the French arsenal and sort of the idea of having it as an umbrella for NATO.  What do you think the real prospects are of doing that, of bringing them into the nuclear planning group and those kind of institutions and how would that work, and I wonder from Marek how much that would serve the function of reassurance in the absence of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe?

MS. KELLEHER:  Jan, first?  You have to punch the little button.

MR. LODAL:  Okay, punch the little button.  I apologize for fumbling with papers, but just as a contingency here, I printed out the relevant parts of the livre blanc on this subject, which would be interesting.  But anyway, I can’t find them so I’ll quit fumbling with the papers.  I think there’s no prospect of that happening as long as the U.S. weapons are there.  They actually serve as something of an impediment to a different approach.  I think that if the nuclear umbrella is redefined away from physical geographical deployment, and by the way that’s the least effective part of the nuclear umbrella.  The broader U.S. strategic force is undoubtedly the more effective part of the nuclear umbrella.  

If you think you really need it against – it has to be Russia.  Nobody else could possibly attack Europe, even though we say they’re not an enemy and they don’t have the capability and we’re not worried about it.  So we have a nuclear umbrella against someone we say is not an enemy and we say the main part of it are these things on the ground which can’t be used and aren’t very effective; so none of this really makes much sense.  

On the other hand, if a different strategic approach to what constitutes a nuclear umbrella could be fortunate then the French might came into that because it wouldn’t necessarily require any change in the way they operate or the way they plan or it wouldn’t really require them to revisit their basic approach to nuclear weapons.  I don’t think this is an immediate prospect and I wouldn’t put it high on the list of things to try to achieve because I think that a lot of groundwork needs to be done before you get to that point.  But at some point, it ought to be possible.


MR. SZCYGIEL:  Thank you for this interesting question.  I think that we can say that in the long term, definitely there will be some kind of convergence of views in this respect, and France is very actively promoting their own perception of the role of nuclear arsenal and as was mentioned here, it was presented in the white book two years ago and in the framework of new NATO strategic concept, it was quite interesting discussion about the relations also between NATO nuclear posture and possible development of NATO missile defense in this context.  

I think what is really important from the French perspective is the continued certain level of autonomy in this respect, national autonomy from the French perspective.  They are also very sensitive when we are mentioning or when any kind of discussion is being conducted on the relations between strategic and nonstrategic weapons because of the special nature of the French nuclear arsenals.  So the declaratory policy here from the French perspective is slightly different.  

I think that since you mentioned kind of long-term perspective, it would be important really to find some kind of compensation for those core functions of NATO nuclear weapons that were mentioned – that I mentioned quoting nuclear posture review, and possibly this missile-defense system in its full shape, as envisaged in phased adaptive approach concept, will serve as an instrument of increasing the coherence of NATO.  I mentioned also the requirement that is very important with respect to this deterrence review that will be probably conducted after Lisbon summit.  So it should be really inclusive.  So it should take into account the views of all NATO members, including France because it is a kind of precondition for the credibility of the outcome of this review.  Thank you.

MS. KELLEHER:  Thank you, and I very much would like to only add, as it’s not just a theoretical question, given the difficulties that we’ve observed even to have French, British agreement on how to conduct joint submarine patrols that have now taken – is it three or is it four years to attempt to work out after the Saint Malo.  Jan, you’d like to comment on this as well?

MR. LODAL:  Yes, I found the French language.  Nuclear deterrence remains an essential concept of national security.  It is the ultimate guarantee of the security and independence of France.  The sole purpose of the nuclear deterrent is to prevent any state originating aggression against the vital interest of the nation wherever it may come from and in whatever shape or form.  Now, if you combine that with Article 5, I think the French are in the game legally and so this isn’t really that far off.  Now, I think a lot of what is implied by these particular words is not realistic and should be modified.  But they certainly are more than adequate to provide for French participation in a broader NATO nuclear umbrella.

MS. KELLEHER:  Gentleman in the back?  Yes, you.

Q:  Paul Ingram from the British American Security Information Council, and Oliver’s collaborator.  I wanted to raise the issue of deterrence here with respect to the deployment of sub-strategic warheads in Europe because for all the reasons that Jan went into, there really isn’t a great deal of military deterrent value to these deployments.  

But I wanted to fire at Jan a question here.  Is the value not so much in terms of the diplomatic assets that they bring vis-à-vis negotiations with Russia, so much as internal to NATO and I think that’s what Marek was getting on to, where he was outlining the way in which the Polish and other members of Central European states actually see this as a way of ensuring that their allies any negotiations to allow or get rid of them is a useful way to ensure that their allies take their concerns more seriously and those of us who went to Poland recently for the workshop, have been to Turkey and elsewhere for our workshops, have really picked up on this idea that these concerns haven’t been taken seriously.  

So my question to Marek is do you feel in more recent times over the last few months as a direct result of these debates that those concerns are being taken seriously and is it now not time for those Central European states to recognize that they have played their hand here and that it’s in everybody’s interest now to withdraw these nuclear weapons once those concerns – as those concerns are being taken seriously and that we move forward together as an alliance rather than holding guns at each other’s heads, which is not conducive to the coherence that you’ve been talking about when it comes to nuclear weapons?

MS. KELLEHER:  I think, Paul, we have your point and perhaps we’ll give Marek a chance to comment please.

MR. SZCYGIEL:  Thank you.  Yes, our position on this issue was motivated to large degree by also some expressions of rationed military doctrine regarding possible use or application of tactical nuclear weapons and believe me, this issue is perceived in Poland but probably in some of our Central European neighboring countries as kind of biggest single security threat currently or concern that we currently experience, especially taking into account the scenario of the last year exercises – maybe they were exercises – conducted by Russia armed forces on the territory of Belarus and northern Russia.  

So this is real concern.  But we see also certain value in conducting this policy of more openness and transparency.  We see big value in also talking about reducing the role of nuclear weapons and we find NATO Russia council as very important and useful instrument that could serve as a kind of forum or platform to discuss those issues.  But I’m afraid we would be rather cautious when agreeing on kind of unilateral actions, a kind of unilateral zero option on the side of NATO.  This is not about kind of blackmailing each other or trying to keep the current status quo.  

But rather to achieve kind of mutually beneficial results on both sides -- and here I don’t think that this is a kind of zero-sum game and to certain degree I think we can start with some basic transparency and confidence building measures that would reduce this level of insecurity, especially in the countries located near Russian borders -- so this is why I mentioned this reciprocity as a kind of precondition for further steps, further possible amendments of the NATO nuclear policy because without this kind of step-by-step approach, and without this reciprocity, we also risk to undermine the cohesion of NATO and we could undermine possibly also kind of regional stability in some crucial parts of Europe.

MS. KELLEHER:  Oliver wanted to come in on this.

MR. MEIER:  Yes, just very briefly to expand on what Marek has said, I think the discussion actually in terms of linkages to Russian reciprocity had moved on before the – in the context of discussion a new strategic concept and the two Polish – Swedish and the Polish and Norwegian papers have been very helpful in highlighting steps short of a formal agreement with Russia on tactical nuclear weapons that both sides can take to move forward on this issue.  

My fear is that the new strategic concept is making this linkage stronger than is necessary by explicitly highlighting and placing this in the context of the discrepancy between the two stockpiles, implying that NATO should only move forward if there’s an agreement, a formal agreement with Russia on tactical nuclear weapons.  That I think would be a step backward and that’s the danger I see and that’s one of the issues where I think the new strategic concept may be locking NATO in and would prevent real progress basically until we have an agreement with Russia, which is going to take many, many years, as we heard on the first panel, or until we have a new strategic concept.  

So that’s one of the issue areas where I think the new strategic concept should be more open to leave more options for Europeans and NATO and Russia to move forward on this issue.  That’s my concern, that this is one of the issue areas where the text will be highlighting this link more strongly than is actually necessary and stronger than what you just highlighted, if I’m not mistaken.

MS. KELLEHER:  I think, Jan, maybe you might say also – you have a comment and also perhaps if you would speculate the degree to which our recent election may have changed the importance of this particular question of assumed symmetry or at least an assumed tradeoff.

MR. LODAL:  Well, let me just say first that I disagree strongly with one phrase Marek used and that – when he talked about this trying to voice some kind of unilateral change.  Okay, we have a nuclear umbrella.  Those weapons forward deployed in Europe are somewhere between a tenth of 1 percent and minus-10-percent value in that nuclear umbrella and you can ask any military person, including Gen. Cartwright who said it publicly, about that and they’ll tell you that.  

They add to crisis instability.  They’re good targets and were things to go very badly very rapidly and there be a return to some kind of confrontation between Russia and NATO, probably the first thing the military would recommend at that point is to withdraw them and get them out of their vulnerable position because in an actual military situation, you’d want them out.  So that’s why I say minus-10 percent.  

So we have this overall nuclear umbrella and yes, we should talk about how that works and there is a lot of things we can do.  There are many ideas.  I don’t know what the right answers are.  It might make sense, and I kind of like the idea, of having other NATO officers at and integrated with U.S. nuclear operations and not having a say in their use but being liaison people there.  That could be more helpful, changes in the way we plan for the use of the broader strategic force.  There’s a lot of things that could be done there to make it clear that he umbrella is not just words but that it’s reality and that it in fact is linked.  All of those would be better.  

So I think that we need to focus on what is it that we’re trying to achieve here and do these particular weapons try to achieve it.  Now, I’m getting ahead of what I recommended because I recommended that NATO undertake a posture review to come to these conclusions.  So I’m telegraphing a little bit where I think that ought to come out.  But the key thing right now is that these things should not be linked to the Russia tactical nuclear weapons.  

Russia has no excuse for keeping these weapons.  They promised time after time that they would be transparent and that they would follow up on the presidential initiatives to which they agreed to remove these.  Remember the U.S. pulled 5,000 weapons out of Europe.  We have 200 left.  So let’s put this into context and you know we pulled the 5,000 out and it didn’t exactly seem to tear the alliance apart.  That wasn’t the problem here.  So we need to think about that.  As far as the politics of the situation, I don’t think that it’s such a huge sea change in this area.  The president retains the primary responsibility for these matters and for moving forward and much of what I’ve suggested can be done without treaty ratification.  

I also believe that failure to ratify the New START treaty would be very damaging, even though – and this is another subject – I’m not very happy with the New START treaty and I’m not very happy that we took that approach to try to rebuild our relationship with Russia.  As I said in my remarks, I think we should have moved to address more fundamental questions directly with Russia.  

But nonetheless, now that it’s done, it certainly serves the purposes that you’ve heard enunciated here earlier and it should be ratified.  I think that’s where the political situation has its main salience right now, not on these broader questions of the details of how we construct an effective nuclear umbrella.  That will serve us well as we move on a path to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

MS. KELLEHER:  Marek wants to come back.  So Marek?

MR. SZCYGIEL:  Very briefly, yes, we are of the opinion that we should tackle this issue with a kind of multi-track approach, so to say to include in this – I don’t like the word tradeoff, but kind of future negotiations or approach to include other aspects of deterrence – conventional deterrence but also issues related to defense systems.  

This is probably one of the possible openings also with Russia, judging from the signals, reactions we hear from Moscow, that maybe we would be able to agree on some kind of steps regarding tactical nuclear weapons if we make this agenda broader and at the same time, I think that this existing disparity in tactical nuclear arsenals is having more destabilizing effect than the presence of those weapons, as such.  So in order to tackle this issue of disparity, we need to actually keep this link.  I agree with Oliver that maybe this is kind of a too far-reaching approach.  But in order to start the process, this is probably the only bargaining chip we have right now.  Thank you.

MS. KELLEHER:  Sorry, but I think this interchange in the panel has brought out a lot of the points that perhaps some of you would have touched on in your questions.  We have about 10 minutes max left.  So I’m going to start boxing questions together.  Yes, please?  Who are you and to whom are you speaking?

Q:  Mike Gerson, Center for Naval Analyses.  Actually it’s not really directed at anyone specifically, but just the discussion about the forthcoming Lisbon summit reminded me of another NATO summit in Lisbon from a long time ago, which is 1952, and the adoption of the Lisbon Force Goals, which of course were never met.  So I guess just thinking about the parallel there, part of that was because that building up of conventional forces was incredibly expensive and rather than sort of spending the money and putting the effort in war-torn Europe, it sort of made sense to sort of rely on nuclear weapons as an asymmetric response.  

So I guess my question is in thinking through this, much of the discussion about what must be done to maintain the trans-Atlantic link and maintain the cohesion of the alliance if the nuclear weapons are removed kind of seems to – you hear it’s what the U.S. has to do – sort of, what does the U.S. need to do?  My question is what are the NATO countries willing to do?  Are they actually willing to put the money and the effort toward creating a sort of robust nonnuclear deterrent or sort of retaining this capability and having this reassurance policy just provide a sort of nice way of not having to really think through these issues and spend large sums of money.

MS. KELLEHER:  Another question, I think there was one in the middle there, someone?

Q:  Arie Church, Air Force Magazine, and it’s predominately for Mr. Meier and it really piggybacks on what my colleague here said and that is Russia premises its buildup of tactical nuclear arsenal, or rather retaining tactical nuclear arsenal on the fact that it can’t afford the conventional forces, possibly to confront the threats that it perceives.  We are fast approaching that point across Europe in countries like Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and even the United Kingdom following our recent defense review.  Is it a bit premature to declare tactical nuclear weapons as a bygone and sort of tired weapons system that has no relevance for today?

MS. KELLEHER:  Anyone care to take a crack at that?  Jan?

MR. LODAL:  I’ll take a crack at that.  I think that you have to go beyond just the idea that wow, these things make a very big bang and they’re really cheap and therefore we can use them instead of something else and think about okay, what would be involved in having any leader of any country in the West make a decision to escalate to the use of nuclear weapons and what would that mean to the world at that point and in the future if that occurred and here was an escalation to the use of nuclear weapons, particularly if the purpose of these things, as the Russians seem to believe, is to substitute for the lack of conventional capability.  

So presumably, this first use would occur in a situation in which they were needed because the conventional forces weren’t adequate of whichever side was losing the battle.  So this is the Cold War model.  

Now, what happens then?  The answer is the world is changed forever and the answer is it’s changed in a way that we really don’t want to occur.  So the reason we’ve supported the nuclear firewall, the reason we have all these words about how – and the U.S. posture statement says this very strongly – nuclear weapons haven’t been used and they must never be used, is because of this kind of thinking.  So the realty is nuclear weapons cannot make up for this alleged weakness.  That’s reality number one.  

Reality number two is there isn’t really a whole lot of this alleged weakness because I don’t like the way the Europeans are cutting their defense budget.  I think that the burden-sharing is quite unfair and unrealistic between the U.S. and Europe.  I agree with all of that and that’s causing a lot of problems.  But it is not causing the problem of all of a sudden allowing Soviet tank armies to rush across Europe, which is what we were worried about before because there are no Soviet tank armies.  They don’t exist and they can’t rush across Europe and the few tanks they do have could be plunked with precision guided munitions which didn’t exist during the Cold War fairly rapidly.  So they wouldn’t get very far.  

So we’ve got to think a step beyond this sort of general talk about, oh well, we can maybe somehow use these really big strong weapons to make up for these other weapons.  The reality is you can’t and you won’t be able to and so you better find a better way out of the box.

MS. KELLEHER:  Marek or Oliver, any comment?

MR. MEIER:  Yeah, thank you very much.  Just to address the last question first on is it too early to assume that tactical nuclear weapons are symbols of a bygone era because the Russians obviously still see them as important.  First of all, of course it’s very difficult to assess what is really driving Russian policies on tactical nuclear weapons and Miles and Nikolai Sokov have written a fairly I think good assessment as far as I can tell on the differentiation one needs to make also on the types of tactical nuclear weapons that Russia may value more than others, that it’s difficult to put them all in one basket.  

But what I also take away from what I’ve read and heard and spoken to the people is that the Russian position that NATO needs to move first on this, that this is linked also to the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe.  There is not much basis to that argument, that it’s very conventional position of course for Moscow to take because it places the ball in NATO’s court, but that the linkage between NATO’s tactical nuclear weapons and Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons, from that perspective may be exaggerated to put it carefully.  

The real question of course comes in when one takes into account this assumption in the nuclear posture review also that the role of nuclear deterrence in a regional context can be reduced in favor of missile defenses and advanced conventional capabilities.  I think there is a problem for Russia because the tradeoff that the United States would like to see in Europe in practically, that’s the problematic linkage for Russia.  So there’s an issue for both sides to sit down and talk about, how threat perceptions in that regard, particularly advanced conventional capabilities for example, what does that mean for Russian security and European security.  

That dialogue hasn’t really been started yet and again, I think the tactical nuclear weapons that we still have in Europe and also the Russian tactical nuclear weapons to some degree are obstacles to having an honest dialogue about this because there’s a lot of propaganda going around on why these weapons are obstacles to further progress on having this dialogue, how you can have conventional capabilities in that regard.  

Finally I wanted to comment on there was this question on what kind of leadership does the U.S. need to show on this issue and what do others need to do.  I think the United States had a great opportunity in the nuclear posture review to take this debate forward.  They missed that opportunity.  I think if the nuclear posture review would have come out more strongly in favor of changing NATO’s nuclear posture, there would have been very little resistance, even among Central Europeans, to doing that. It kind of was agnostic on this issue for all kinds of reasons.  So that kind of left the debate unresolved.  

But I think also what Marek has said to me sounds like if this is not an issue, the weapons per se, that many Central Europeans, and Turkey also, does not really care about.  It’s part of the Article 5 discussion.  But I suppose –

MS. KELLEHER:  I think I’m going to cut you off there and give Marek a chance to make his final comment because we’re standing between people and their lunch.

MR SZCYGIEL:  Thank you.  I promise to be brief.  Yes, we see that tendency to reduce defense spending also now during this time of budgetary constraints in many European countries and unfortunately – well, the obvious truth is the only country that is able to project power globally and provide credible security guarantees is the United States.  

Despite some efforts to coordinate closer defense cooperation within European Union, this cooperation is still very limited and it is not creating a kind of added value.  Where E.U. and European members of NATO are trying to contribute more substantially is kind of civil military cooperation and civil crisis management operations.  This is the capability that is a little bit less expensive, which is more politically acceptable and where E.U. is trying to project its soft power more, I would say, globally.  

But I think that also important issue in this aspect that we discuss of tactical nuclear weapons is that, you know, there is number of processes that are going in parallel and I have in mind also the discussion about the modernization of CFE regime and here we hear very promising response from Russia.  Russia has some priorities in this respect.  But there is also a big degree of readiness to discuss issues of general concern to the future of the regime of conventional arms control.  

Since, I think it was mentioned here a couple of times, Russia is perceiving tactical nuclear weapons as a kind of instrument of balancing perceived NATO conventional superiority, maybe we could to some degree address Russian concerns in combination of tactical nuclear aspects and conventional aspects of arms control.  Thank you.

MS. KELLEHER:  ON this positive note, I’m going to bring to an end what I think has been a very interesting and rich discussion and suggest that you go and get your lunch.  Be back at 12:30, right, as quickly as you can, so that we are prepared for Rose Gottemoeller’s address.  Thank you.  (Applause.)



Transcript of the second panel at "Next Steps in Arms Control," a conference hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Arms Control Association.  Speakers include Catherine Kelleher, Oliver Meier, Marek Szczygiel, and Jan Lodal.

Country Resources:

Next Steps in Arms Control: Introduction and First Panel Transcript - Next Steps in U.S.-Russia Arms Reductions



For a PDF version of this transcript, please click here.











Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

RALF FÜCKS:  So good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  Let’s start.  I’m Ralf Fücks, president of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and I would like to welcome you heartily on behalf of the organizers of this event – the Heinrich Böll Foundation jointly in cooperation with the Arms Control Association.  It’s a great start for my trip to the United States.  I just arrived last night from Germany, and I really appreciate [the opportunity] to meet such a circle of distinguished personalities, speakers and participants to this event.  

When we decided to organize this discussion, together with the Arms Control Association, half a year ago, this decision took place in a very encouraging political atmosphere.  It was not only spring in the literal sense of the word.  It was kind of a very exciting moment for a renaissance of arms control and disarmament policies after more decades of stagnation and ignorance on these topics.  

President Obama’s new Nuclear Posture Review set a new tone by identifying nuclear terrorism and proliferation as major threats, demanding a comprehensive and consistent nuclear arms control policy.  The United States pledged not to attack nonnuclear states as long as they are compliant with the nonproliferation treaty, and by signing the New START treaty in Prague, President Obama and President Medvedev showed new confidence on both sides.  

A few days later, President Obama gathered several dozen heads of state here in Washington to request commitments from all participating countries to better safeguard nuclear material, and also the result of the NPT review conference did not really satisfy all parties.  The United Nations conference managed to reach an acceptable compromise.  

For us, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, as a German green think tank headquartered in Berlin, nuclear disarmament is a topic of great importance, and maybe you know that it was one of the driving forces of the emergence of the green political movement in Germany and in Europe, and meanwhile, we managed to get to the heads of government in Germany, and we are looking to go back at the next federal elections with very significant support in the public polls, around about 20 percent meanwhile.  So we are no longer a marginal political force, but I would say really we are becoming a driving political force in Germany and beyond.  

At the end of this very crucial year for global disarmament and just a few days before NATO will be adopting its new strategic concept in Lisbon, there still remain important issues to be discussed.  Global Zero is a vision we should stick to, and to gain political relevance we have to transform this vision into action plans.  Nuclear proliferation is just short of passing a tipping point.  So this is a very, very critical situation globally, a tipping point when the spread of nuclear weapons exceeds the capacity to rein them in.  If we want to prevent that slippery slope into nuclear anarchy, the established nuclear powers need to prove their credibility and political will in reducing their own stockpiles.  

So nuclear nonproliferation and preventing the non-haves to become nuclear powers and nuclear disarmament, reducing the nuclear stockpile of the nuclear states are only two sides of the same coin.  I therefore hope very much that the U.S. Senate will be able to ratify the New START treaty during the lame-duck session, or at least in early 2011.  The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty needs to be ratified, and the fissile material cutoff treaty needs to be negotiated.  The German foreign minister, in line with the Green Party platform, is advocating the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from German territory, some maybe 20 or some more remaining tactical nuclear weapons, which are more of a symbolical than of a real military importance.  

But the disputed issue is if this withdrawal should be embedded in a comprehensive agreement with Russia.  Russia still deploys about 2,000 tactical warheads which can be used to exercise political pressure on neighboring countries, and I guess that the most promising strategy to convince the Russian leadership to get rid of their tactical nuclear arsenal and to proceed to the goal of a nuclear-free zone in Europe would be to include Russia in an enhanced and an enlarged Euro/trans-Atlantic security architecture, kind of NATO-plus; a collective security system with Russia.  

As Daniel Hamilton and his coauthors pointed out rightly in their 2009 NATO study, “Alliance Reborn,” I quote, “the initiative to withdraw nuclear weapons from Europe should come from Europe itself.  If Europeans allies are confident that European and North American security is sufficiently coupled without the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe, the U.S. is unlikely to object to their removal.” end of quote.  This point puts the question at the center of how best to address the security concerns of our Central and Eastern European allies, and I’m therefore very happy to see that we have many speakers from Central and Eastern Europe[anew ] countries here today.  

Last but not least, I want to express my personal gratitude to the Arms Control Association for its cooperation on this joint endeavor.  Let me especially thank Daryl Kimball, Tom Collina, and Eric Auner on this side, as well as Sebastian Gräfe and Markus Rutsche from the Böll Foundation for their efforts in organizing this event.  I wish you all interesting and enlightening discussions today here at the Carnegie Endowment.  Thank you very much for your attention, and now it’s my pleasure to give the floor to Daryl Kimball.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

DARYL KIMBALL:  Thank you very much, Ralf, for that great overview of the issues of the day and thanks to the Böll Foundation for working with Arms Control Association and the entire team of people who pulled all the logistics together for this timely event on the next steps in arms control.  As Ralf said, we gather at a very pivotal moment in the long quest to reduce the risks posed by nuclear weapons, and it’s a particularly key time for the United States and Russia and our European partners to get nuclear arms reductions back on track, and that’s what our first panel is going to address.  

We have a great lineup of speakers on our next panel on the next steps in U.S.-Russian arms reductions, and I see that they’re all here now with Ambassador Burt arriving.  If you all could – Eugene and Ambassador Burt and Joan, as I introduce the panel, come on up front so that we can get started smoothly.

Let me just remind us all that two years ago, before Barack Obama took office, he outlined some of his ideas about how the United States and Russia should get back on track on the nuclear arms reduction process, and in 2008, President Obama responded to a presidential Q&A that we put together in Arms Control Today, and when that was published in the fall of 2008, Obama committed to quote, “working with Russia and other nuclear armed states to make deep cuts in global nuclear weapon stockpiles by the end of my first term,” and he went on to say, quote, “as a first step, I will seek Russia’s agreement to extend the central monitoring and verification provisions of the START I pact before it expires in 2009.”  

Now, the START I treaty did expire on December 5, 2009, and we now have the New START agreement signed in April of [2010], and I would say that Obama has fulfilled that basic campaign pledge with the negotiation of New START and active support for it, which is now awaiting Senate approval, we hope, during the post-election session which begins just next week.  But even after New START is completed, the two countries will still each possess 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads on as many as 700 nuclear delivery systems with thousands more nondeployed strategic warheads and obsolete tactical nuclear bombs, as we just heard about.  

So in our view, the Arms Control Association’s view, deeper reductions are prudent and possible, especially given that no other state other than the United States and Russia possesses more than 400 nuclear bombs, and from a U.S. perspective, we ought to remember that it’s only China that has 40 to 50 long-range strategic missiles armed with nuclear weapons that we really have to worry at all about.  Many of these weapons that the United States and Russia have of course are primed on launch-ready alert.  

So what we’re going to be discussing today is New START and some of the next steps towards reducing these nuclear weapons risks, and let me just also recall that in this Arms Control Today Q&A with Obama, he pledged to seek further reductions quote, “in all U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons, whether deployed or nondeployed, whether strategic or nonstrategic, and work with other nuclear powers to reduce nuclear stockpiles dramatically by the end of my presidency.”  

Now, that may be just two years from now.  It may be six years from now, but by the end of my presidency, he said.  He also pledged to initiate a high-level dialogue among all of the declared nuclear weapons states on how to make their nuclear capabilities more transparent, create greater confidence and move forward toward meaningful reductions and eventual elimination of all nuclear weapons.  So that’s a tall order but that I think it is a very useful outline for what some of the next steps could be.  

Our speakers are going to be exploring these and other issues, and to begin, we’re going to hear from Joan Rohlfing, who is the president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative here in Washington, which has been a great supporter of further efforts to reduce the nuclear weapons risks, including the work of the so-called four statesmen – Shultz, Perry, Kissinger and Nunn – and she is going to be talking about the range of options ahead for Washington, Moscow, and other governments to reduce nuclear risks.  

Then we’re going to hear from Ambassador Richard Burt, who was a negotiator of the START I accord, among other things, and he’s currently the chair of the organization Global Zero.  Last but not least, we’re pleased to have with us here today from Moscow, Eugene Miasnikov, who is the senior research scientist at the Center for Arms Control, Energy, and Environmental Studies in Moscow, who’s been there for nearly 20 years.  He’s one of the leading experts in Russia on these issues.  You may have read his work in the past in Arms Control Today.  

So after each one of them speaks, we’ll be taking your questions and comments and have some discussion before we begin with the next panel.  Joan?

JOAN ROHLFING:  Good morning.  Thank you, Daryl.  Thank you, Mr. Fücks.  It’s a pleasure and an honor to be with you today.  Let me apologize first of all for my gravelly voice.  I’m overcoming a cold.  So hopefully I’ll be able to hold out for a few minutes while I make my remarks.  So as the program says, I’m here to discuss opportunities for further reductions, and as Daryl greeted me this morning, he asked me what I was going to talk about, and I told him –

MR. KIMBALL:  We had so much faith in you, didn’t we?

MS. ROHLFING:  We had so much faith, exactly, and I told him in brief that I was going to talk about some of the – in particular, the political constraints that we’re currently operating under, as well as security perceptions of both the U.S. and Russia and how that constrains what we can do over the next several years in particular. And Daryl said, “but you’re going to talk about further reductions, right?” and I said, well, maybe, not exactly.

So I will come to a point on that later in order to address what I’ve been asked to address.  But I think we’re in an environment that maybe constrains the art of the possible in the near term.  I do believe we’re at a moment in time.  We’ve been at a moment in time for the last several years in terms of the historical context in which we find ourselves.  Over the last few years, we’ve clearly seen a sea change, a new window of opportunity opening and growing political momentum for nuclear arms reductions as a result of several groundbreaking op-eds by four senior American statesmen.

Also, we’ve been lucky to have a new charismatic president in the United States who embraced the vision of a world without nuclear weapons, and as Daryl mentioned, made a commitment to dramatic reductions by the end of his presidency.  Unfortunately, four years into the sea change – I say four years, if you mark it by the date of the publication of the first Wall Street Journal op-ed – we find ourselves at a turning point.  We see the same president besieged by seemingly intractable global and national challenges and having lost his stroke politically.

Is this historic window of opportunity for progress in reducing the nuclear threat beginning to close?  What can or must be done to maintain momentum and progress?  I believe demonstration of continued progress will be essential to continuing the momentum and U.S. leadership is essential to that process, and yet, the political shellacking, to use the president’s own words, of the current U.S. presence, severely impedes his ability to lean forward and lead further.  So where do we go from here?

Before I provide my short list of what I think are opportunities for action, I’d like to take just a few minutes to discuss U.S. and Russian security and political perspectives that frame and bound any next steps that we can take.  Let me offer a few thoughts first about the view from the U.S., and then I’ll talk about the view from Russia.  

So the view from the U.S. – President Obama came into the job with this ambitious vision and strong rhetorical commitment to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.  Through the first two years of his presidency, we’ve seen some positive and important changes emerge in the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review and the completion of the New START treaty.  

But that said, we also see strong and growing headwind from the U.S. Congress, and the Senate in particular, to thwart or stop the nuclear arms reduction agenda outright.  This is evident in the robust modernization program that key Republican members of the Senate have pushed for and in the sizable budgetary commitment that the administration has had to make to garner support for the New START treaty.  

Given the numerous political challenges facing this president – the economy and the war, to name only two issues occupying his time – and given the loss of the House and the loss of Democratic seats in the Senate, I see, unfortunately, little capacity – political capacity, that is – for this president and thus little incentive for him to lead the charge for the next round of formal reductions.  

Now, let’s talk for a minute about Russian perceptions and in particular about Russian threat perceptions.  Russia sees an alliance along its western border that has strong conventional superiority and seven countries within the alliance that either have or host nuclear weapons on their territory, presumably to deter the Russians from potential aggression.  The Russians also see plans for a BMD system emerging that they feel could threaten the viability of the Russian nuclear deterrent.  

Russia sees the potential for NATO to continue to expand, pushing even further into its historic zone of influence, and Russia would also see the increasing integration of the rest of Europe economically, politically and even militarily.  Just in the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen an agreement by the French and British to share aircraft carriers and create a joint expeditionary force.  I’m sure the NATO panel will discuss some of these issues in threat perceptions more later.

And yet, despite all this, I see several reasons for cautious optimism on progress with Russia.  Let me name just four reasons.  Number one, I see key leaders in the U.S. and Europe beginning to fundamentally rethink the security relationship between Europe, Russia and the U.S.  For example, today a prestigious group of leaders from the U.S., Europe and Russia will be releasing a statement that calls on states from North America, across Europe and through Russia to transform this geographic space into a genuinely inclusive and vibrant security community, an inclusive undivided security space free of opposing blocs and grey areas where disputes would be resolved without recourse to military force and the threat of use. This is the work – the statement released later today is a product of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative, a commission of prestigious leaders from Europe, America and Russia.  

The second reason for optimism – and you may be surprised to hear me say this – is the NATO strategic concept.  While I don’t think any of us expect at this point major changes, and some of us will surely be disappointed in the lost opportunity to change significantly European, or rather NATO, nuclear policy in the strategic concept, it does look like a nuclear posture review will be set in motion coming out of that process and this leaves the door open for further change.  That’s very important.  

The third reason for optimism: there are a growing number of coordinated voices on nuclear elimination in Europe.  There has been the formation of two European leadership networks.  Top level leaders in both the U.K. and throughout Europe have come together to coordinate their work and to push for change.  I think this is an important development.  

The fourth and final reason for optimism that I’ll mention is that there are budgetary pressures, very significant budgetary pressures that constrain the space that states can operate in.  One example is what we’ve seen coming out of the strategic defense review of the U.K., where they’ve kicked the can down the road on a decision for procurement of new Trident to 2015.  I think that’s good news.  It buys us time to make further progress on reductions and hopefully have them kick it down the road indefinitely.

So while there’s basis for optimism about the potential in Europe and Russia, I don’t think I can say quite the same for the U.S.  But even with political constraints in the United States, I think there are opportunities for leadership, and let me list a few that fall into two categories, the first category being things that don’t require Senate advice and consent.  I think this is the world that we’re in for the near future, and the second category is things that we can do that lay the foundation for further change with Russia and Europe.

So in the first category, things that we can do that don’t require Senate advice and consent: we can and should remove forces from their prompt launch status.  I personally think this is the single most important thing that the U.S. and Russia could do to show that they are meaningfully reducing the role of nuclear weapons in their security strategies and to lead to their decreasing importance in a way that lays the groundwork for further reductions.  Secondly, both presidents – well, the U.S. president in particular – should commit to further changes in declaratory policy.  We should move to a sole purpose doctrine.

Third thing we could do, and this has a number of constituent elements, I think both the U.S. and Russian presidents could work together on a transparency initiative.  The U.S. and Russia should declare their full weapons inventories.  I note President Obama took a step in this direction in disclosing the number of U.S. nuclear warheads just at the beginning of the nonproliferation treaty review in May.  But some would argue it wasn’t comprehensive in that it didn’t count every category of weapon, and I think both the U.S. and Russia need to do that.  

This transparency requirement should be global.  All states that have nuclear weapons should declare the number of weapons that they have in their inventory.  Establishing this baseline is going to be essential to next stages of reductions.  Another piece of this transparency initiative could include joint or international monitoring of select nuclear sites.  Once having declared the number of weapons at a particular site – say, for example, a site in Europe – an international team or perhaps a bilateral U.S. and Russian team could work collectively to monitor that site as a first step to monitoring all nuclear sites on the path to zero.  If we did only a portion of these things, the role of nuclear weapons would be significantly reduced and the next round of reductions would be much easier to achieve.  

So having said all that and offered this list, I realize I haven’t talked about further reductions, per se.  But let me end with maybe a thought on what I would do when I think we’re ready to move to the next stage in further reductions.  I’m very enamored of the idea of the U.S. and Russia working together to establish a new limit on the total number of warheads, both strategic and tactical.  They have to establish that as a rollup number and then to work on a monitoring system or a verification system that allows us to actually monitor warhead dismantlement.  

I think it’s going to be essential in the next round of negotiations to establish the warhead itself as a treaty-limited item, not to continue counting only the delivery vehicles, and we are going to need to declare baseline inventories of weapons in order to begin counting and then dismantling warheads and thus the importance of establishing a limit on total warheads.  I think it’s going to be very difficult to differentiate, if not impossible to differentiate, between strategic and tactical nuclear warheads if you’re looking just at the physics package, the warhead itself, which is why I believe they need to be bundled and rolled into one topline number.  

So let me conclude by saying notwithstanding the political constraints that President Obama finds himself in, I think there are a lot of things that he can do; I think that this administration should do.  I think it’s imperative that the United States continue to lead if we’re going to keep open this window of historic change, and it’s time for some political courage.  I hope he finds a way to muster it.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, well, I think that was just what the doctor ordered, Joan.  Thank you very much.  Ambassador Burt, if I could invite you to come to the podium, offer your comments, thoughts and suggestions at this phase.  Thanks for being here.

RICHARD BURT:  Well, thanks for having me, and I’m happy to participate in this discussion and dialogue, and I guess I should say at the outset, I don’t have any real differences, fundamental differences with our previous speaker here in terms of the menu she outlined and her kind of – I guess I’m reading as much body language into what she said as what she actually did say about our current political situation – other than to say I think I disagree on one basic point, and she used the phrase “cautious optimism.”  

I don’t feel optimistic this morning about either the short-term efforts underway to move the U.S.-Russian arms control process ahead, nor do I feel particularly optimistic this morning about reaching the longer term goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.  

I think we are rapidly approaching a real crisis in the arms control process that could have some real implications, not only for reaching the longer term goal but actually could reverse, could dramatically reverse some of the good news we’ve had over the last 18 months or so in what the Obama administration calls resetting relationships with Russia.  Rather than the reset process itself, where the negotiation and ratification of the New START agreement was the centerpiece of reset, I think it’s very possible that over the next six to 12 months we’re going to be engaged not in the reset but in picking up the pieces.

I think there could be some very unhelpful dynamics injected into the arms control process and the broader political process, and let me talk about where we are now.  I was in Moscow just a week ago attending a meeting of American and Russian – these were really more business leaders and political leaders.  So they weren’t arms control specialists.  

But there was a pretty high-profile Republican figure, former member of Congress, now a very successful lobbyist who stays in close touch with his colleagues, his former colleagues on Capitol Hill, and he basically pronounced the START treaty as dead.  He said in his judgment, the treaty would not be ratified in the lame-duck session, that there was just going to be too much other business to do – tax cuts or no tax cuts, continuing resolutions, budgetary resolutions – and that the Republican side was going to say that there wasn’t really sufficient time to give the treaty the kind of debate it deserved, and furthermore, that with the changes that flowed out of Tuesday’s election, that really some new Republican members of the Senate should get a chance to take a look at that treaty.

Now, he went on to argue that if START isn’t ratified during the lame-duck session, that as far as he was concerned, the new Senate would not be capable of mustering the necessary two-thirds votes to ratify the treaty.  Now, I haven’t done a vote count and maybe somebody in this room has, but I did hear briefly just this morning as I was getting ready to start the day that I guess the newly elected member of the Senate named after Ayn Rand, Rand Paul, has apparently already publicly announced that he’s opposed to START ratification.  

So I think we are going to be living in a period where getting the New START treaty ratified is going to be very dicey, and then we now have to, I think, look at the implications of that.  I think there are really four of them that are worth thinking about.  One is the implications for an extended period where there are no constraints whatsoever on U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces.  

As has been pointed out to people, as was pointed out by Joan just a few minutes ago, the existing START treaty that I participated in negotiating has expired.  So there are no formal constraints on U.S. and Russian forces.  The verification provisions of that treaty, which are very, very rigorous, are not now being carried out.  So we’re not able to engage in the on-site inspections.  We’re not getting the data exchanges under that treaty that were prescribed.  So we’re beginning, as time goes by, to be kind of flying blind.  So as time goes by, there will be inevitably people making arguments on both sides that the situation has changed.  We’re not certain about this system or that system.  

There will be, I think, a gradual kind of unraveling, and we won’t at the same time be able to enjoy some of the benefits, including the reductions, some of the streamlined verification procedures and just the overall sense of political momentum that getting a New START treaty would entail.  Discussions like this where people are supposed to talk about the next phase of arms control will gradually peter out as people run around trying to figure out how do you patch up the existing regime as is in a process of kind of fading away.  That’s the first implication.

The second is, as far as I’m concerned, forget about reset.  There has been a process over the last 18 months or so where Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev have engaged in a kind of unique dialogue on this relationship.  I think they’ve met 18 times.  I think people I talk to at the White House tell me that, in fact, Medvedev is probably Obama’s number-one discussion partner in terms of their having built a real relationship, having developed real chemistry, having been able to do business together.  

Some examples of that not only had to do with New START; they had to do with the Russian decision, which I think was probably – we’ll hear maybe a little about this later – probably very difficult to support the United States at the U.N. Security Council to apply sanctions to Iran, the related decision that the Russians took to not sell S300 air defense missiles to Iran, the work that the United States has done behind the scenes together with Russian trade negotiators to complete a WTO agreement which will not only enhance U.S-Russian trade and investment but will be a step forward in terms of the rule of law and Russia’s integration into the world economy.  All of these things could go by the board.  

I don’t think, frankly, that the reset policy can survive the nonratification of START.  I say that for two reasons.  If you can’t get a START treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate, I don’t think you can get congressional approval for a WTO agreement, which would, as some of you probably know, involve lifting Jackson-Vanik – long overdue but there are still people on the Hill who wouldn’t vote to lift Jackson-Vanik.  

If you can’t get START ratified, you have to give me a plausible political scenario of how you get permanent normalized trade relations legislation through both the House and the Senate.  So those are two big pieces of reset – strategic arms control and WTO and PNTR – and I think both could go by the boards.

Now, I’m not going to spend too long talking about how the Russians will respond to this.  But I have to believe at a time in Moscow when there is a debate clearly underway between groups who want to see closer ties with the West, groups who see their economic future lying with integration with the West and another group who believes more in self-sufficiency, is still skeptical and wary about working closely with the West, that by not ratifying START, by not going forward with WTO accession, we are just going to bolster that latter group, the people who don’t want to do business with the West, who want to sort of create a kind of Eurasian autarky, if I can use that phrase, as opposed to a model of Western integration.  That would be a very serious blow, in my view, to Western interests and American interests.

Thirdly, what is the impact for nonproliferation?  We didn’t talk about it.  Joan didn’t say much about nonproliferation.  But as far as I’m concerned, this whole process of U.S.-Russian arms control today, not 20, 30 years ago, but today is really focused, has to be built around an understanding that U.S.-Russian arms control is a critical part or a critical component of dissuading other members of the international community to not go nuclear. And if we can’t get a modest arms control agreement ratified, aren’t we giving talking points to Ahmadinejad in Tehran?  What impact are we having on Pakistan, on India and on other would-be nuclear powers in the greater Middle East?  

So it has to be viewed as a massive setback in what I consider to be the kind of fundamental security problem of our day, which is the spread of nuclear weapons to fragile, weak and sometimes rogue states and potentially on to terrorists.  

Finally, I’ll just simply say this.  If we can’t ratify this treaty, we are going to send a signal, I believe, of almost total incompetence to the rest of the international community.  People on Capitol Hill love to talk about American leadership.  Well, I’ve got to tell you, this is not American leadership.  I mean, this is what J. William Fulbright in the Vietnam period called America as a helpless giant and that’s what we become if we can’t pull ourselves together to get this treaty ratified.

So how do we do that?  Well, I think part of it is to get some of the notable figures who have supported the notion of nuclear elimination.  We do get people like George Shultz to come forward publicly, visibly.  We get Jim Baker who is on the record in support of this treaty to come forward visibly on this issue.  We ask Condi Rice.  We get a group of Republicans principally that will come forward and clearly say that the downside, that the dangers of not getting this treaty ratified far outweigh whatever possible risks there are.  But this is a moment here where I don’t think we can rest on our laurels.  We’ve got to put together a real effort over the next two months or so to get this treaty ratified, either in the lame duck or early on with the new Congress.

Now, there are a bunch of additional issues that I think we need to address.  I think that it should be an urgent priority.  If we are able to get ratification, assuming we get over that important hump, we do need another round of bilateral arms control negotiations with the Russian Federation.  I think we’re making some headway actually on some of the issues that I think have led the Russian side to be a little bit timid on this issue.  

I think we are making some headway on the missile-defense issues.  I think the noise is coming out of NATO and this administration of working out cooperative approaches to missile defense.  I think we can make some progress.  I think we do need a conventional arms control window that can deal with Russian concerns about the imbalance in conventional forces, and I think this Obama-Medvedev relationship needs to be focused on a new round of arms control, not now but soon.  I think ratification has to be the first priority.  But I think we can move to the kind of goal that was mentioned earlier, and that is a comprehensive limit on Russian and American nuclear weapons, including strategic and so-called tactical nuclear weapons and stored weapons.  I think such an arrangement down to 1,000, 1,200 or so warheads is a way to go.  

If we can achieve that, and you can tell I think that’s a little bit audacious given where we are politically, we need to then conceptually at least take the next step, and that means as we discuss and negotiate a new arms control agreement with the Russian Federation, bringing these comprehensive limits down to lower levels, we need to begin having some very serious discussions with other nuclear powers.  We need to talk to the Chinese.  We need to talk to the British and French, the Indians, Pakistanis and others because that is what I would outline as the next big goal is to multilateralize this process.  

It might not be possible for three or four years or more, but if we’re really serious about not just the reduction of existing nuclear weapons but creating a new international consensus against the acquisition by new states of nuclear weapons, in my view only a truly multilateral nuclear negotiation that brings everybody’s weapons down proportionally is the solution.  So Mr. Chairman, I’ll stop here.  I wish I could be cautiously optimistic.  But I can’t be at this current moment.

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you, Ambassador.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Dr. Miasnikov will be next, and as you’re coming up, let me just add my personal note on the vote count question, and I will respectfully disagree with the individual who you spoke to in Russia about the prospects.  I think that I agree with you completely about the consequences of failing to move ahead promptly with advice and consent for New START here in the United States.  But the Senate comes back in one week exactly.  As has been reported rather widely now, the White House, Republicans on the Hill, Democrats on the Hill and NGOs like the Arms Control Association all believe that if there is a vote, this commonsense, modest treaty would get well over the 67 votes necessary for advice and consent.  

The question is getting to a vote and that requires leadership on the part of the White House, the Senate Democratic leadership and the Republican leadership, and this is the critical week that we’re in now to arrange two or three days sometime in this so-called lame-duck session for debate and a vote on this treaty which has been well-discussed.  So I am cautiously optimistic that this can be done because I think that the Republican and Democratic leaders do understand the points that you were making, Ambassador Burt.  So it’s important that this is done.  So with that little footnote, let me turn it over to our friend from Moscow for his perspective on the immediate next steps and perhaps the next steps beyond that on arms control.

EUGENE MIASNIKOV:  Thank you, Daryl.  It’s an honor and pleasure to be here today, and I’d like to thank the organizers for granting me such an opportunity.  It’s difficult to be optimistic after such persuasive presentations, but let me nevertheless try.  It’s well-known that when the U.S. and Russian presidents signed the START accord, they came to an agreement that its ratification would be synchronized.  Unlike the outcome of the New START ratification process in the United States, the result of similar procedure in Russia is quite predictable.  Provided that the new treaty is approved by the Senate, the Russian parliament will almost certainly respond with no delay and approve the treaty.  

The New START debates in the United States are followed in Russia very closely.  It’s regrettable that the agreement became hostage of internal politics in this country.  But I hope, and my colleagues hope, this issue will be resolved in favor of building a better relationship between our countries.  The entry of the New START treaty into force is a necessary step in this direction, and I fully agree with the implications which the ambassador just talked about.  

Many Russian experts also believe that New START should pave the way to broader dialogue on further nuclear reductions and improving strategic stability.  By the way, the Russian expert community welcomes the fact that the phrase “strategic stability” has appeared in the new nuclear posture review.  I fail to find this term in the previous NPR of 2001.  Moreover, the new NPR sets up a goal to pursue bilateral dialogue with Russia aimed at promoting a more stable, resilient and transparent strategic relationship.  Thus, we hope that further dialogue will also be more like between partners and friends rather than between rivals.  

At the same time, the resolution of advice and consent to ratification of the START treaty by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee brought some disappointment because it was written in a language that was very mistrustful with respect to Russia.  In particular, Russia is suspected of an intention to cheat, which is totally ungrounded.  Russia has also neither will nor resources to build up its rail-mobile missile force, which appears to be a concern for some U.S. senators.  After all, the new treaty contains paragraph two of Article 5, which allows both parties to raise the question of new kinds of strategic defensive arms for consideration in the Bilateral Consultative Commission.  This clause can be easily applied in case Russia ever decides to develop its rail-mobile missiles.  

Another worrisome point with respect to the SFRC resolution is that the document limits the U.S. administration’s flexibility to bargain on the issues which will definitely be the most interesting to the Russian side at the next round of talks.  There is no secret that Russia is willing to discuss limiting strategic missile defenses and nonnuclear strategic capabilities.  At the same time, the SFRC resolution makes clear that the United States administration shouldn’t accept any restrictions on missile defenses and conventional systems having strategic range, and by that, it undermines efforts to reach the next arms control agreement.  

In any event, the vote seems now on the U.S. side.  Provided that New START enters is in force, what could be the next step?  There are indications that the U.S. administration is willing to discuss limits on both operational and nondeployed nuclear warheads so that the nondeployed category would also include those nuclear warheads that are assigned to nonstrategic delivery systems.  Both speakers talked about that.  

How Russia might respond to such a proposal?  As to nonstrategic nuclear weapons, the Russian official attitude is well-known and it hasn’t changed for years.  Before beginning the discussion of nonstrategic nuclear weapons, nuclear states need to withdraw their nuclear weapons from their soil.  Since NATO is unlikely to decide to move nuclear bombs from Europe back to the States at the forthcoming Lisbon summit, there is little incentive for Russia to change its current attitude.  

Some might argue that limiting nondeployed nuclear warheads is beneficial for Russia because it would help to diminish Russian concerns about U.S. breakout potential.  What’s interesting about current – actually, almost nonexistent debates in Russia on the START treaty – the concern is about U.S. upload capability are rarely raised compared to, for example, concerns about U.S. missile defenses.  Possibly one explanation for that is the assumption that Russia is not ready yet to talk about nonstrategic nuclear weapons.  

However, it would be wrong to assume that the Russian side is not interested in further nuclear reductions at all.  Russia would in fact prefer to discuss a different agenda.  As I mentioned, the issues of missile defense and strategic conventional weapons have to become the subject of the next round of talks as well.  Otherwise, it’s hard to expect any breakthrough in limiting nonstrategic nuclear weapons or even introduction of some transparency measures with respect to this category of nuclear weapons.  

Moreover, Russia may not agree to discuss the issue of nonstrategic nuclear weapons in isolation from the problem of conventional forces in Europe, either an area for a compromise between two differing approaches.  Let me focus on the issues that are the most important for the Russian side.  It may seem that at least with respect to the issue of missile defenses, the sides are currently on the way to come to a mutually acceptable solution.  The U.S. side recognizes a need to resolve the issue and tries to initiate joint scientific and technical programs on missile-defense cooperation with Russia.  

It looks like there is a hope at least in this country that success of such programs will strengthen mutual confidence between the sides so that Russia will stop considering the future U.S. missile-defense system as a threat to itself.  By proposing such a dialogue on joint missile-defense cooperation programs, the United States is likely making an attempt to separate the problem of missile defenses from the dialogue on strategic offensive forces and move it into an alternative frame of another dialogue focused on missile-defense cooperation.  

Since approaches of the sides towards the problem of missile-defenses differ fundamentally, it’s difficult to predict a success in the outcome of the current dialogue.  However, even if you assume that the U.S. approach allows to solve the problem of missile defenses, a similar approach to the problem of strategic conventional arms is unlikely to work at current circumstances as both sides continue to practice the issue of conventional – the issue – the concept of mutually assured destruction.  The issue of conventional arms can only be resolved within the frame of a dialogue on strategic offensive arms.  

Perhaps the same is true for missile defense but we will see.  I’d be happy to elaborate on that in the Q&A session.  I believe that an approach similar to the one that was used during negotiations on the New START treaty might become more successful.  Russia’s primary interest was reduction of the U.S. strategic forces, and United States wanted transparency of the Russian strategic forces.  In spite of t asymmetry of the interests, the sides succeeded to achieve a compromise.  

Similarly, a potential compromise in the next round of talks can be sought in a broader field.  For example, Russia might gain substantial benefits for itself in solving the problems of missile defenses and strategic conventional arms, provided that it makes some concessions regarding nonstrategic nuclear weapons.  Let me stop here.  I’d be glad to take your questions.  Thank you for your attention.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, I see a lot of glum faces out there.  If anyone needs to go outside and get their Prozac pill or an extra cup of coffee, we will be having a break in a few minutes between the two morning sessions.  But I would invite you to join the discussion now.  We have a couple of microphones, roving microphones.  Please raise your hand, identify yourself, make your comment short or your question brief, please and yes, in the back please?  Thank you, and please let us know who you want to address the question to.

Q:  Hi, I’m Anne Penketh from the British American Security Information Council.  I think this question is for the Americans on the panel.  I was just in the Halifax International Security Forum talking to senators from both sides of the aisle about ratification of START, and of course the name that comes up all the time is Sen. Kyl.  So I’m wondering what your sense of his calculation is.  Obviously the Democrats say they would like this to come up in the lame duck but there’s a problem with Sen. Kyl.  Do you think he is going to extract the maximum that he can from the administration and then say uncle, or do you think that he’s actually prepared to sacrifice national security on the altar of political partisanship?

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, Joan, Rick, you want to try to take a stab at that?  I can also offer some thoughts.

MS. ROHLFING:  Yes, I’m certainly aware that Sen. Kyl as a key Senate Republican in a leadership position has tremendous leverage on this question, and I think that he will extract as much leverage in terms of commitment to modernization and additional budgetary resources for nuclear modernization, both of warheads and of the platforms.  He’ll extract as much as he can.  Whether in the end he will not be budged and will put politics above national security remains to be seen.  I certainly hope that’s not the case, and I remain cautiously optimistic.

MR. KIMBALL:  Ambassador?

MR. BURT:  Yeah, I know Kyl.  I haven’t talked to him on this subject recently, although I have had several conversations with him over the years on these topics.  I guess he probably hasn’t decided yet, and as described to me, so I want to make it clear this isn’t what he’s told me, but people close to him tell me that there really are two issues that are kind of driving him on this.  

One is kind of very concrete, and it’s the one that Joan mentioned, and this is an old tactic that’s usually done in these arms control debates.  People want money for their favorite programs and projects, and of course they dress it up as saying that this is necessary, this spending is necessary to keep the country strong under this arms control regime. As I understand it, most of the money is for basically the nuclear weapons themselves, the warheads and keeping them secure, keeping them reliable and ready, which was of course originally what people thought they were going to have to pay for in order to get the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ratified.  

So in a sense, the administration, if they do this and make this offer to Kyl, then they’re not going to have much to give away in order to get the comprehensive test-ban.  But I don’t want to get off on that track.  But as I understand it, maybe Daryl can help us here, Kyl has been quoted in the press as saying that he hasn’t really gotten an offer from the administration, and somewhere there’s something wrong here because it’s my understanding that the administration has made a proposal, they do have a plan, they’ve talked about amounts of money that they’re prepared to spend at the labs and the Department of Energy and so on to meet Kyl’s demands.  So maybe Daryl has a sense of where that stands.  

But there is a deeper and more difficult problem here, and this is the second point, and again, as people describe it to me, Kyl is part of a number of Republican members of the Senate that are more worried about Obama, and this almost kind of reminds you of some of the rhetoric you’ve heard over the last two years, and the argument is this: that yes, the treaty has some problems but they’re not big problems and under normal circumstances we could support it.  But you know this guy Obama has talked about eliminating all nuclear weapons, and I don’t know if we could support a treaty when Barack Obama is president because we don’t know where he’s going in the long term on nuclear arms control.  

That’s a tough one, it seems to me, because what you’re really saying there is you’re not so much interested in the details of the treaty, what it constrains, it doesn’t constrain. You don’t trust the commander-in-chief, and that’s sort of the augment you’re beginning to hear, and what I’m worried about is that if that argument gets traction, particularly if the treaty isn’t ratified in a lame-duck session, I think some of the new Republicans who are coming into the Senate could buy into that argument that it’s not the treaty, it’s the president, and that I think would be very dangerous and very corrosive.  

By the way, it was an argument that I remember when I was a young reporter for The New York Times covering the SALT II debate because Republicans in the 1970s made a similar argument about Jimmy Carter.  They said, you know, we just don’t know with this guy and it makes it hard for us to vote for the SALT II Treaty.

MR. KIMBALL:  Well, a couple of quick thoughts on this.  I mean, on the point that you just raised, Mr. Ambassador, the irony is that this New START treaty is not so much a step towards President Obama’s long-term vision for a world without nuclear weapons.  This is extremely modest and this is a treaty that is universally supported by the uniformed military, Republican and Democratic national security leaders.  It has such broad appeal.  I mean, I’m rather astounded by the amount of broad appeal outside of the Senate that this treaty has.  

So if Republican senators were to draw that conclusion that you’re outlining, it really would not comport too much with the reality of the situation.  But going back to Sen. Kyl and the question that you asked, Anne, which is a very good one, my understanding is as follows: that Sen. Kyl has I think quite understandably been concerned about the adequacy of the funding for the nuclear weapons complex over the near term and the long term.  

At this point, however, it would appear to me that he has gotten yes for an answer to his questions.  We’ve got to remember that the Obama administration in February put forward a 10-year, $80 billion plan for upgrading the nuclear weapons complex infrastructure, including a 10 percent increase in the fiscal 2011 budget above the previous Bush administration level to $7 billion.  

That is a substantial increase.  That has remained in this year’s budget, despite all of the other budget pressures, and I would just note that the continuing resolution that was passed in September before Congress adjourned, or maybe it was October, it puts all of the federal programs back to 2010 levels except for the nuclear security administration weapons activities budget.  That CR has to be approved – extended, I should say – before December 3 for the entire government to continue operating.  

Sen. Kyl apparently has also been asking for updates on this 10-year plan, the so-called 1251 plan.  It seems to me that the administration is prepared to provide whatever updates to the schedule that might be available.  He’s also looking for a sneak peek about the fiscal 2012 budget submission, and theoretically, the administration should be able to do that too.  Kyl is apparently concerned about potential cost overruns in a couple of the big construction projects that are proposed in this 10-year plan.  

So I think it is very possible that all the questions that Sen. Kyl has been asking are going to be answered and can be answered in short order, and the question is, is he going to hold out for even more despite the severe costs of not going forward with this very commonsense treaty that Ambassador Burt and others were outlining.  So I think the ingredients are there for a meeting of the minds and a vote and probably that discussion has to take place in the next week to 10 days before the members get back and have their party caucuses on the 15th or 16th of November.  Anything else from up here?

MR. BURT:  I would just make one observation, just a historical observation.  No Democratic administration since – and I see Jan Lodal in the audience and he of course played a major role in the first strategic arms limitation agreement back in the early ‘70s – no Democratic administration has ever been able to achieve the ratification of a strategic arms agreement.  

They’ve all happened, whether it was the interim agreement on offensive arms in the ABM treaty in 1972 in the Nixon administration, the INF treaty signed in 1987 by the Reagan administration or the START I agreement during the Bush administration.  So I do think there’s a kind of sociological problem with the viewpoint that gee, these Democrats – I mean held by Republicans – these Democrats really – you can’t really trust them to negotiate on this kind of stuff.

MR. KIMBALL:  But remember, the Boston Red Sox hadn’t won the World Series in a long time.  My New Orleans Saints hadn’t won the Super Bowl.

MR. BURT:  Don’t remind me of the Boston Red Sox.  (Laughter.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Oh, I’m sorry.  All right, a question up here and then we’ll go around the back.

MR. FÜCKS:  Short remark and a question.  First, I don’t know, and I’m not sure if it will impress anybody in Washington, especially on the Republican side, but this question of if the New START treaty will be ratified by the Senate is seen in Europe and other places in the world as a very significant signal if the United States will walk away again from multilateral arrangements and these kind of cooperative international politics.  It’s not only about arms control policies.  

So I would say the global resonance of that decision will be quite severe, and my question relates to a remark of Ambassador Richard Burt.  You have been talking about the multilateralization of disarmament policies and of course I can see the importance and the significance of having the New START treaty ratified or not and the fallout of that decision to other areas of nonproliferation and disarmament policies.  But at the same time, we have the feeling this is kind of an anachronistic architecture because it’s still part of this old bipolar global policies and this has gone.  This is the past.  

So it’s no longer about parity between the United States and Russia and NATO and the Warsaw Pact.  Of course, we can see that for Russia beyond its energy resources, nuclear arms are the only remaining attributes of their significance as a global power.  But at the same time, this is not the reality of today, this kind of bilateral relationship between the United States and Russia.  

So we feel that it would be much more important to go beyond this kind of bipolar architecture and to include the emerging countries, the other, the new nuclear powers and these powers who have nuclear ambitions, obviously nuclear ambitions because they found it still attractive to have the bomb as kind of a political currency, maybe even as a military tool of deterrence.  So how to manage this step from these American-Russian bilateral arms control policies to a more multilateral frame.

MR. BURT:  That’s a great question.  I want to just make two quick points.  First on your initial remarks, I agree with you on what the international reaction would be to the failure of the United States to ratify this treaty, and as part of a broad-based effort to react to that potential, I’d like to see the Europeans begin to speak out on this issue, and they should do so in a very focused and public way.  I would like to see – for example, we have a NATO summit coming up in Lisbon on I think November 21.  I wouldn’t want to see the typical kind of NATO boilerplate communiqué language.  

I would like to see the members of NATO say something very striking that really goes directly to the Jon Kyl’s in the U.S. Senate, saying that this treaty is very important for Western security, or this is critical to global security, so that these countries clearly go on the record.  I would like to see the E.U. say something about this.  The E.U. is developing a security element, a personality if you will, and I would like to see major leaders, including Angela Merkel.  I’d like to see David Cameron and his new government, which is a coalition but with a dominant Tory personality, speak out on this issue.  I’d like to see Nicolas Sarkozy step up on this issue.  

So that would be an enormously helpful statement.  I think if they do it in a visible and a focused way it would be noticed.  It wouldn’t be ignored.  Now, on your second question, I completely agree and the only reason I’m promoting another – myself and Global Zero and I think other people like the Nuclear Threat Initiative and other groups –another round of U.S.-Russia arms control is that politically, further reductions are necessary to draw in these third states.  

The crucial country here, in my judgment, is China, and the Chinese still operate under a strategy of minimum deterrence.  They are modernizing their forces but they’ve always maintained just a small capability here, and as a result, I think there’s a kind of interesting interaction, particularly with the Russian forces.  The Russians increasingly argue quietly that, you know, [as] you get down to too low levels, we get worried about the Chinese.  They’re going to be a problem, [a] potential problem for us in the future, and the Chinese of course will argue that they shouldn’t be brought into this process while the Russian forces are so numerous.  

So we can do a kind of win-win it seems to me.  If we can bring down U.S. and Russian forces down to the neighborhood of 1,000 or so total warheads and at the same time talk quietly to the Chinese, we can really bring them into a negotiation where they realize that their willingness to join in a negotiation is part of the process of the Russian willingness to come down to lower levels, and the Russian willingness to come down to lower levels is based in part on the understanding that the Chinese would then enter the process.  

Secondly, bringing the Chinese in then opens the door to India because people think of the Indo-Pakistani relationship as being the driving force.  I think the Indian decision was largely driven by China.  So that should be our goal.  But as a precondition for that goal, I think we do need another round of U.S.-Russian reductions.

MS. ROHLFING:  Can I jump into that as well?


MS ROHLFING:  I would agree completely with Ambassador Burt that we do need another round of U.S.-Russian negotiations.  While you’re right, on the one hand it’s anachronistic to talk about a bipolar world, it’s also true that the enormous legacy stockpiles that both of these nations have will need to be reduced further in order to bring other nations in.  But I wanted to make one additional point on the road to multinational negotiations and that is that we need to look at more than just reductions in number of warheads.  

As we move down the road to zero, we also need to look at mechanisms and we need to become creative about developing multilateral regimes for controlling the technologies and materials for weapons.  It’s the only way you’re going to reach zero in the end and in particular we need to be serious about controlling and regulating the production of nuclear materials, highly enriched uranium and plutonium, that are the fuel in nuclear weapons.  So there we already have a platform to work on a fissile material cutoff treaty that would be a multilateral negotiation and these are steps that we need to take in parallel with the reductions that we’re working on.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, I think we’ve got some other questions.  Why don’t we go right here with Miles, Peter, and then we’ve got two in the back that I see.

Q:  Hi, Miles Pomper from Monterey Institute.  A couple of questions, the first one is one subject – not the START agreement but that could also affect U.S.-Russian relations is the nuclear cooperation agreement which, given the length of the lame duck, will probably not end up getting through the waiting period that would be required for approval.  What do you see the chances, given that we’ll have quite a different Congress, we’re still dealing with the Iran issue and they’ll probably be more critical of Russia’s approach to Iran in the next session?  What do you see the prospect for that getting through in the next session of Congress?  

Sort of a different question, which is trying to get a little bit beyond the kind of arms control box and both Joan and Ambassador Burt alluded to this a little bit, but this is in sort of the broader U.S.-Russia relationship, it seems to me that the thing that we’re not talking about that actually brings the U.S. and Russia together and it was just talked on a little in the last question, is China. If you want to make an appeal to Republican members of the Senate of why the United States and Russia need to move forward with these agreements, is because we need – another look at the world is that we both have an interest in dealing with a rising China and finding some way to counter it.  

This was the argument that got the India deal through in a certain way for the Republicans and I think this is an argument that would actually work with Republicans dealing with START and other negotiations.

MR. KIMBALL:  Before you all respond, why don’t we take one more question, please?  Thanks.

Q:  Thank you very much.  Peter Sawczak from the Australian Embassy.  Given that I’m at the end of my posting, I’ll be more incautious than diplomats typically are, but I’m among friends, so please forgive me.  Just three very broad points, it was a very interesting discussion and I must say I’m a pessimist by nature mainly because pessimists can always anticipate a pleasant surprise because they expect the worst.  Certainly I agree with Dr. Fücks’ comment in relation to the disconnect between where mutual threat perception should be and where we are in terms of an imperative behind START, post-START negotiations, which is strategic parity or strategy stability, the same thing.  

Part of the problem of course is where Russia’s foreign policy is.  I’m not absolutely persuaded that the Obama and the Medvedev relationship will see this going through.  There is a very strong vertical foreign security structure under Mr. Putin of course as well.  So that structure has had some problems overcoming a perception of the U.S. as a rival.  So this is something we’ll need to work with and it creates a couple of problems.  

I mean, we’ve already discussed tactical nuclear weapons and I agree with Ambassador Burt entirely.  Russia will be motivated by China’s modernization and looking into developing tactical weapons.  They have a very long border and a problematic relationship given that China is now where the Soviet Union was during the Cold War in its relationship to America.  The second issue is budgetary problems, which Joan alluded to.  

Certainly there will be budgetary pressures in Western countries.  But Russia will have the reverse budgetary pressures and potentially, and perhaps Dr. Miasnikov could comment on this, is that given that they are not going to really have a conventional catch-up because it’s going to cost a lot of money, never mind professionalizing the army, the stopgap measure of course is to keep modernizing its nuclear forces and keep some ambiguity there.  So those are two real challenges.  

A second bullet point I’d make is in relation to Joan’s very interesting comment in relation to getting around Senate advice and consent.  I think the suggestion is very sound and one way of overcoming the strategic parity paradigm is in fact using a weapons count – a weapon is a weapon is a weapon, as I’m thinking the commission on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament concluded in terms of midterm objectives.  

My concern is that some of the things you suggest in relation to getting around the Senate might antagonize the Senate just when we need to get some milestones down in order to get to multilateral negotiations.  We’re not going to get there, as has already been mentioned, until further reductions are decided bilaterally.  But also we need to have an FMCT.  We need to have the CTBT ratified and entered into force and those seem to me minimal preconditions and we can’t risk jeopardizing those on the Hill here.

One way of perhaps engaging the Senate in an informal way is to engage on threat perceptions and extended deterrence obligations.  There’s a lot more debate now on the Hill in relation to extended deterrence, though it’s very unsophisticated, and I think more allies making public comments, as Ambassador Burt suggested, would be very helpful to undercutting arguments that some senators are making in relation to having to heed these obligations.  We saw that some senior public U.S. officials did say publicly in relation to the NPR that one of the things that curtailed how far the administration could be were concerns by allies.  So we need to bridge this disconnect among allies between political assurances and once operationally acquired for extended deterrence.  

Just a third very broad comment, I’m not sure whether nonratification of the New START would effectively set the reset back.  There are a lot of other common interests that are coming to the fore in the U.S.-Russia relationship, aside from the WTO but also imperatives in relation to modernization.  I think Russia is a very pragmatic partner and potentially is not as interested necessarily in formal movement on arms control as the U.S. is in practical terms.  

There has been a tendency perhaps, and I hope I’m not speaking out of turn, perhaps for Russia to be quite interested in process rather than results in the sense that they do maintain a residual superpower status by being formally engaged with the U.S. in arms control negotiations.  

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, we’ve got a lot of things to respond to.  If I could just ask the panelists in responding to try to be concise because we still have a couple more questions.  We’re coming up on the end of our time for this session.  Joan, do you want to start?

MS. ROHLFING:  I’ll be very concise, and I want to just tackle one of the issues Peter just raised about getting around advice and consent, but doing it in a way that does not antagonize the Senate because we need their help to ratify other treaties, the CTBT and hopefully at some point in the future the fissile material cutoff treaty.  I would just say I think it’s a little bit of a chicken and an egg problem, and the administration, the president in particular, is going to have to make a judgment call about to what extent does he do things that may be antagonistic towards the Senate but are required for progress.  I see – well, we don’t have a fissile material cutoff treaty today.  

So there’s nothing before the Senate for them to advise and provide consent on.  I don’t see – I regret to say, and here I am unfortunately pessimistic – I see no room, no prospect of ratification of the comprehensive test-ban with the new Senate.  I just don’t see it.  We’re going to have to – that can is going to have to get kicked down the road before the necessary political support can be garnered.  The worst possible thing that could happen would be to bring it forward and to have it rejected.  So regrettably we’re in the camp of needing to find things that we can do that would demonstrate our continued commitment to reductions and to making progress on nuclear threat reduction, and I think the president should be bold on this.  

Miles, with respect to your question about the 123 agreement, the cooperation agreement with Russia, I do not have a good crystal ball on that one.  I agree with you.  I don’t see how it can get done given the provision to lay and wait before the Congress.  So it’s going to get pushed into the next Congress and I think it’s a little too early to tell how prospects are going to shape up given the changing political complexion.  Why don’t I leave it at that?

MR. KIMBALL:  Okay, Eugene or Ambassador Burt, do you want to – any thoughts on the questions that we just heard?

MR. MIASNIKOV:  Well, just a response to your question.  First of all, I think it would be a mistake to think about that there is a lack of coordination between the politics of our president and of our prime minister, particularly with regard to arms control.  The second is in response to this question regarding possible buildup of nuclear arms because Russia doesn’t have enough resources to improve its conventional forces.  Joan just mentioned the article by four prominent American former officials which was published in the Wall Street Journal.  

Perhaps some of you know, maybe many of you, that in October a group of Russian prominent officials also published an article which was entitled “Moving From Nuclear Deterrence to Comprehensive Security.”  This article was signed by former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, ex-Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, president of Kurchatov Institute Academician Evgeny Velikhov and former chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces Mikhail Moiseyev.  

Let me just make some short quotes from their article.  They argue that the world without nuclear weapons is not our existing world minus nuclear weapons.  We need an international system based on other principles and institutions.  A nuclear-free world shall not become a world free of wars using other weapons of mass destruction, conventional arms, advanced nuclear weapons and systems based on new physical principles.  

It’s not just about major wars but about local conflicts as well.  Today, small countries view nuclear weapons as a means to offset the huge advantage of great powers in terms of conventional weapons.  It is this idea that provokes nuclear proliferation at the regional level, triggering the threat of nuclear terrorism.  To eliminate such threats, it’s necessary to build reliable mechanisms for peaceful settlement of major and local international border conflicts.  

I would say that the op-ed written by four prominent Russians is broadly supported by Russian experts and understand the Russian position, I would suggest that you take a look at the op-ed.  Thank you.

MR. KIMBALL:  Okay.  Why don’t we go ahead and take the two other questions, two other hands I saw in the back?  Raise your hands again, please.  Great.

Q:  Mark Gubrud, University of Maryland.  Question is for Eugene.  It’s a little bit technical, so bear with me.  In the current issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, George Lewis of Cornell and Professor Postol of MIT have an article.  Their main point I think is that to reiterate that the current ground-based missile defense and the SM3, which the Obama administration has put such great faith in now, are demonstrably ineffective, since they attempt to discriminate between warheads and decoys and achieve an intercept in space and any exoatmospheric system is likely to be similarly ineffective against very simple and known countermeasures which North Korea, Iran or anybody else who can build ICBM can certainly undertake.  

Washington, of course, seems to be deaf to this message even though it’s fairly uncontroversial in the technical community.  They wrap it around a brick which is their proposal that if the U.S. is really serious about building an effective missile defense, what it would do is put interceptors with high acceleration for boost-phase intercept on stealth drones which would then fly around outside or perhaps even inside North Korean or Iranian airspace and would intercept any of their missiles in launch phase.  

One of the things that they argue is that Russia and China would have nothing to fear from this because, well, their missiles are faster and we wouldn’t have enough of them to do anything serious against Russia and China.  But I think the Russians and Chinese might feel differently, particularly if they don’t know how many of these the U.S. has produced or what their actual characteristics were.

MR. KIMBALL:  Could you come to your question?  We’re running out of time.

Q:  I wonder what your thoughts are about this and in particular about the entire American obsession with missile defense.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, and let’s take the other question, please?  Subrata here in the middle?  Thank you.

Q:  This is Subrata Ghoshroy from MIT.  Just a quick question for Eugene – I guess there is going to be discussion between the NATO and Russia in Lisbon about cooperation in missile defense.  What is the Russian view of what the nature of this cooperation could be in terms of the European missile defense?  Thanks.

MR. KIMBALL:  Let me just remind everybody that we do have a whole session on missile defense this afternoon.  We’re going to be getting to many of these exact questions with the panelists.  But do you want to address those two questions on missile defense?

MR. MIASNIKOV:  Well, let me try.  First of all, in response to Mark’s question, I saw their article by Ted Postol and George Lewis.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go into specific yet.  But I think they make a very interesting point because the most difficult part in defining missile-defense cooperation with NATO or the United States is to make a threat assessment.  If they are serious people and if they really want to make a joint and efficient missile-defense system, we need to define the threat, where it comes from, and it’s a very sensitive issue, especially for the Russian side to define the threat.  

In case of the system that is proposed by Postol and Lewis, I think it would be a little bit easier task to do so because the system they are proposing is mobile and can be deployed anywhere as the need be and it has limited capabilities.  I think definitely this is an issue to look at.  With regard to Subrata’s question, well, I think it’s hard to say what will come out of this meeting in Lisbon.  I hope there will be some substantive discussions there and there will be substance of the proposal, and if it creates better understanding between the sides, if it helps to build up cooperation in the field of missile defense, and it can boost some other joint projects, I think it could be useful.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Let me just ask the panelists if you have any brief closing thoughts that you want to leave us with.  We’ve covered a lot of territory here, and we just have a couple more minutes left before we take a break for the next panel.  So that’s just an open invitation.  Any final thoughts on this set of subjects?  No?  We’ve left our panelists speechless, and the audience will have to be speechless because I want to keep us on schedule.  I want to ask you all to join me in thanking our three panelists for their presentations.  (Applause.)

I want to thank the audience for your excellent discussion.  We’re going to take just a very quick two or three minute break as we change seats here.  Please be back promptly.  Thanks.



Transcript of the introduction first panel at "Next Steps in Arms Control," a conference hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Arms Control Association.  Speakers include Daryl G. Kimball, Ralf Fücks, Richard Burt, and Eugene Miasnikov.

Country Resources:

Next Steps in Arms Control: Nuclear Weapons, 
Missile Defense and NATO



Arms Control Experts Address Post-Election Agenda:
New START, NATO, and Missile Defense

Monday, November 8, 2010, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2nd floor, Root Room
1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036

Transcript now available

How will the recent elections impact the Obama administration's arms control priorities, including the New START treaty, when the Senate returns Nov. 15?  What are the prospects for another round of U.S.-Russian nuclear reductions?

What will likely emerge from the Nov. 19-20 NATO Summit in Lisbon on Alliance policy on tactical nuclear weapons and missile defense?  What are the prospects for genuine U.S.-Russian cooperation in these areas?

What does the pending deployment of the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach missile interceptor system mean for Europe and for U.S.-NATO-Russia relations?

For answers and insights on these questions, please see transcripts of the Arms Control Association and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America's Monday, Nov. 8 one-day conference on Next Steps in Arms Control:  Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense and NATO.

Speakers included the Obama administration's New START negotiator, Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, Nuclear Threat Initiative President Joan Rohlfing, and former START I negotiator Amb. Richard Burt.  International speakers include Polish Department of Foreign Affairs' Marek Szczygiel, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy Jiri Sedivy, and Russia arms control expert Eugene Miasnikov, among others.


Introduction and First Panel: Next Steps in U.S.-Russia Arms Reductions - Joan Rohlfing, Amb. Richard Burt, Eugene Miasnikov, moderated by Daryl G. Kimball, with welcoming remarks by Ralf Fücks

Second Panel: Tactical Nuclear Weapons and NATO - Oliver Meier, Marek Szcygiel, Jan Lodal, moderated by Catherine Kelleher

Keynote Address by Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller

Third Panel: Missile Defense and NATO - Eric Desautels, Jiri Sedivy, Greg Thielmann, moderated by Tom Z. Collina


November promises to be a watershed month for U.S.-NATO-Russia issues. Please join the Arms Control Association and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America on Monday, Nov. 8 for a one-day conference on Next Steps in Arms Control:  Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense and NATO.

Transcript now available.

Country Resources:

Assessing Progress on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament: 2009-2010 Report Card



On October 27, the Arms Control Association released Assessing Progress on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament: 2009-2010 Report Card at a briefing at the National Press Club. A transcript of that event is below.



2009-2010 REPORT CARD




Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

DARYL KIMBALL:  Good morning everyone.  Welcome to the National Press Club on a rainy Wednesday morning.  I’m Daryl Kimball.  I’m director of the Arms Control Association, and for those of you who don’t know, we’re an independent nonprofit organization.  We’ve been around since 1971 and we’re dedicated to addressing the challenges posed by chemical, biological, nuclear and certain conventional weapons and today we are releasing a first of its kind study, or at least we think it’s the first of its kind study, that grades the performance of 11 key states in 10 universally recognized nonproliferation, disarmament and nuclear security categories over the last 18 months.

With me this morning to explain the findings and to provide some commentary and perspectives on it are Peter Crail, who’s the lead researcher on the report card.  He is ACA’s nonproliferation analyst.  He’s been with us since 2007 and previously he served as consultant with the U.N. department of disarmament affairs and has a master’s degree in international policy studies from the Monterey Institute for International Studies.  

Also with us, George Perkovich, director of studies and the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, a longtime researcher and thinker on nuclear weapons issues.  So I’m glad that George has joined us.  

To start, I’m going to explain the purpose of the report, the basis of the 10 categories of standards, as you’ll hear us refer to these, and then I’m going to briefly describe what we see as some of the five bottom-line conclusions that we see coming out of the data, the information in this study.

So first, the purpose of this report card – this is the first time we have done this at the Arms Control Association and one of the reasons is that since the beginning of the nuclear age, governments have all agreed that there is a need to address the problems and the dangers of nuclear weapons but they have struggled to agree on a common strategy.  Progress has been difficult to measure because in part there are differing perceptions on the nature of the threat and what constitutes responsible behavior regarding nuclear weapons, nonproliferation and disarmament.  

So with this report, fundamentally we set out to document what constitutes the mainstream of nonproliferation and disarmament behavior expected of responsible states and to provide a simple, transparent tool to evaluate progress of key states in getting those responsibilities.

So what do I mean by the nuclear nonproliferation mainstream?  What do we mean when we refer to the nuclear nonproliferation system or the nonproliferation regime?  There is a body of obligations, standards and rules of behavior regarding nuclear weapons that has emerged and has been established over the decades.  At the core is the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of 1970.  It went into force in 1970, and is now recognized by all but four states.  

The system has been updated and expanded, reinforced through bilateral nuclear arms control and reduction agreements, U.N. resolutions, Security Council decisions, ad hoc coalitions of countries, standards of behavior for nuclear technology supplier states, for instance, and through concrete actions by individual states.  So the report card organizes these various standards and commitments into 10 categories which we describe beginning on page three of the report and I won’t go through the list.  They’re there for you to see but they range from banning nuclear weapons test explosions to criminalizing and preventing illicit nuclear trafficking and nuclear terrorism.  

So I should note here that these standards and goals are, in our opinion, generally not adequate enough to address the overall nuclear weapons threat and we believe that additional measures are needed to reduce and eventually eliminate the nuclear threat.  

But unlike other report card papers and reports that have been put together in past years, we are not grading states’ work and progress in meeting the Arms Control Association’s own preferred policy goals and initiatives but rather it assesses the key states’ performance in meeting commitments they themselves have made at various points over time and that have been established in one form or another by the international community and the bodies that help establish what these norms and expectations are.  

Of course, as the international community works on the problem of nuclear weapons and agrees on additional steps to strengthen the nonproliferation system, these standards that we have listed here today can be expected to evolve over time.  Now, the other thing, as I said, we have set out to do is to develop a relatively simple and transparent system by which members of the public and policymakers can better understand how well or how poorly key states are meeting their nonproliferation obligations and Peter is going to explain a little bit more about the system that we have come up with in a few minutes.

But on this issue, I also wanted to note that it’s clear from the nonproliferation system that we’re describing that every state has a responsibility to uphold and strengthen the system but it’s clear that certain countries have a more critical role in upholding the system and executing it.  So this report card focuses on 11 key states.  It also would have been extraordinarily difficult, just from a practical standpoint, to try to extend this evaluation into the dozens of other states that are out there.

So what the report card does is it gives grades to China, France, Russia, the U.K., the United States, India, Israel and Pakistan, all of whom possess nuclear weapons, and North Korea, which maintains a nuclear weapons capability, as well as Iran and Syria, which don’t have nuclear weapons but are under investigation – active investigation – for possible nuclear weapons-related activities.  

So what does this comprehensive snapshot of the record of these key states over the period 2009, 2010 tell us?  We believe that there are a number of conclusions that can be drawn.  I’m going to focus on five and then we’ll shift over to Peter who’s going to talk a little bit more about some of the highlights and the lowlights with particular countries, as well as some other interesting points from the report.  

So first, first bottom line conclusion is the global system that has been established over the decades to reduce nuclear weapons dangers is neither on the verge of collapse nor is it on the cusp of success.  None of the states possessing nuclear weapons merit an overall “A” grade.  Only North Korea, which has violated nearly every nonproliferation and disarmament standard over the past two years, warrants an overall grade of “F” and most states’ grades are in the middle ranges.  

Two, while there has been widespread rhetorical support for the vision of a world without nuclear weapons, the record shows that the world’s nuclear weapons possessor states all have more work to be done to get to that ultimate goal.  The past two years have seen relatively stronger support from the five original nuclear weapons states for the international norm against nuclear testing, for an end to the production of fissile material for weapons purposes and there is clearly renewed progress to verifiably reduce U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons stockpiles through the new strategic arms reduction treaty.  

However, China for instance continues to build up its own nuclear arsenal.  It’s small but it continues to build up its arsenal.  India and Pakistan continue to produce fissile material for weapons and the United States and Russia continue to maintain their weapons on a high state of alert.  

Number three, the report card reflects the fact that over the past 18 months, the Obama administration has indeed affected improvements in the U.S. record in some key areas that we’ve measured here, such as verifiable nuclear force reductions, the U.S. commitment for the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, nuclear material security with the April 2010 Nuclear Material Security Summit and negative nuclear security assurances which were updated in the 2010 nuclear posture review.

But progress has been slower and some U.S. grades lower due to the fact that several U.S. nuclear risk reduction measures require congressional action and support.  The test ban treaty for instance, the new START treaty, which is still before the Senate, has not yet been ratified.  There are four nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties that still must be ratified.  

The Obama administration has said that they are going to pursue ratification of a couple of these but have still not forwarded the documentation to the Senate yet.  All of these still require Senate approval for ratification and there are even two international accords that help address the problem of nuclear terrorism that require the adoption of implementing legislation.  So clearly, U.S. leadership on these issues requires stronger congressional support and the grades in the future will reflect whether or not that exists or not.  

Number four, India, Israel and Pakistan, the only three countries never to sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, earned slightly lower grades in the “C” range due largely to their policies on nuclear testing, their continued production of fissile material and the gradual increase of their nuclear forces, and Pakistan right now, in particular, is responsible for blocking multilateral talks on a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty.  

Although India claims to be a responsible nuclear power and its record is relatively better in some categories, it has not taken on many of the obligations that are expected of nuclear armed states.  To move further into the nuclear nonproliferation mainstream, as we’re calling it, both India and Pakistan have to take steps that would slow down their arms race, including codifying their current nuclear test moratoria.  

Finally, number five, a few words about North Korea.  It really is no surprise in a report like this that North Korea is receiving an overall grade of “F” because it’s violated nearly every nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament standard in the past two years.  But one thing to keep in mind, and we think is an important bottom line lesson, is that it could be even worse.  There is in the nuclear nonproliferation world an overall grade that’s worse than an “F”.  

Perhaps it’s an “F-minus” or a “G,” and that is because North Korea is not known to have transferred nuclear weapons material to other states or terrorists and preventing renewed North Korean fissile material production and preventing its sale to others needs to be a priority in future years in order to preserve the nuclear nonproliferation system and global security.  So let me stop there and I’m going to turn it over to Peter and you can stay there if you want, Peter.  You want to come up here?

PETER CRAIL:  I can stay here.

MR. KIMBALL:  Okay, and Peter is going to talk a bit more about some of the particulars in the grades for these countries and the methodology and I would just like to note before I turn it over to him that we think it’s very important to take a closer look at the grades beyond the overall grades.  As you all know from being college students, your grade point average might have been a 3 but you got a 3.7 in your major.  So it’s very important to take a look at the details in these grades I think in terms of the meaning of this report.  That’s just as important as the overall average that we’ve put together here.  So Peter?

MR. CRAIL:  Thanks, Daryl.  Good morning everyone.  Thanks for joining us.  Now that Daryl has laid out what the report is looking at and has given some of the key takeaways, I wanted to share a little bit on how we arrived at the grades and talk a little bit about some of the trends that we’ve seen in the standards that we’re measuring.  Now, since the intention was to craft an actual report card, we worked on the basis of an “A” through “F” evaluation, based on how a state was adhering to each of the 10 standards.  

So an “A” means that a country is essentially adhering fully to the international standard or has even gone beyond what the expectations are of the international community.  “B” and “C” grades represent some degrees of steps being taken towards implementation of the standard and a “D” essentially means that no action has been taken.  Now, that means that an “F” doesn’t necessarily mean a failure to do something but it essentially means that the country is moving in the opposite direction or that it has violated its obligations in some way.  

Now, of course these standards can’t all necessarily be measured in the same way.  They differ in terms of the types of steps that states are supposed to take, from ratifying agreements like the nuclear terrorism convention to carrying out specific actions like reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles.  They also differ in terms of how clearly the international community has identified how these standards are supposed to be fulfilled.  The comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty has been spelled out clearly as the standard for how states demonstrate their commitment to banning nuclear testing.  

But when it comes to some other standards such as reducing nuclear weapons alert levels, you have a general principle of de-alerting nuclear weapons and increasing the timeframe for their use but you have fewer agreed steps about what exactly that entails.  So in order to address some of these discrepancies between the types of expectations and the degree of specificity with which the international community has determined what those expectations are, we felt it was important to lay out beforehand what the specific criteria were for each standard to receive each grade and that’s presented in one of the sheets that you have in your packet.  

Now, we thought that since transparency was important to make sure that readers knew exactly how we arrived at the grades but also as a bit of a check on ourselves to make sure we were fair and treated states as evenly as possible.  In addition, I would say that since transparency is an important standard of the nonproliferation regime itself and we felt that if we were going to be issuing these grades, we should apply it to ourselves as well.  

With that in mind, I’d like to turn to some of the key findings that we’ve seen from some of the standards.  Now, since there is a lot to cover, I’m not going to go through each one step by step.  You’re certainly free to ask questions on any of them.  I just wanted to give a sense of some of the highlights.  On nuclear testing, unfortunately we did have a North Korean test last year.  But thankfully I don’t think we’re going to see a new round of testing in response.  

In fact, in the last 12 years, the only country to have tested a nuclear device has been North Korea and all of the countries with the capability to do so have pledged in one form or another not to.  We see from the grades that they’re fairly high across the board, which suggests that adherence to the standard remains quite strong.  

But there are still key risks.  India and Pakistan have declared testing moratoria but aren’t willing to take the important step of signing the CTBT and India has been resisting calls to provide stronger assurances that it would not test as part of nuclear cooperation negotiations, including most recently with Japan.  I would say that the “D-plus” that India and Pakistan receive are perhaps more serious than North Korea’s “F” because, as we’ve seen, there is a bit of an expectation that North Korea has consistently violated nonproliferation obligations.  

However, renewed testing by either India or Pakistan might have broader reverberations on efforts to ban nuclear testing in general.  Turning to efforts to end fissile material, what we have is a standard in search of a treaty in that there have been longstanding international calls to negotiate a fissile material treaty and the U.N. secretary-general hosted a high level meeting just last month to try and kick start that process but Pakistan primarily is holding it up.  So what we’re measuring is not only whether or not countries have stopped producing but also whether or not they’re working towards an FMCT.  

The real issue separating the grades, though, is continued production.  We see a stark difference between the five nuclear weapons states and the three other nuclear powers, two of which are producing more material and the last of which, Israel, which continues to operate its plutonium producing reactor.  On nuclear force reductions, the situation overall is fairly poor according to the standards that we have.  Now, much of that is due to the fact that China, India and Pakistan are still increasing their arsenals and North Korea has certainly gone in that direction since negotiations in the six-party talks fell apart last year.  

But another reason is that where reductions are being carried out, they aren’t being verified, they aren’t being done irreversibly, meaning weapons are being destroyed, or both.  The principles of transparency and irreversibility have been recognized as principles that should apply to nuclear arms reductions.  

In one bit of good news, we have the new START agreement this year which not only carries out further reductions between the United States and Russia but also includes verification.  We did not give the United States and Russia full credit because, as Daryl mentioned, they still have to go through their ratification process and of course I should mention that as the two countries with the largest arsenals, they should be expected to lead the way in arms reductions.  

Now, if you look at the nuclear weapons state that is leading the way in terms of having the smallest arsenal, the U.K., it gets a ‘D-plus’, which may seem a little bit out of place. But since we’re looking at ongoing reductions and not arsenal levels, the fact that the latest U.K. reductions took place – or were completed a few years ago meant that it wasn’t credited for those reductions in this report.  However, since we concluded the report, the U.K. has carried out its strategic defense review and announced that it intends to pursue additional arms reductions and so the picture will likely change in the near future.  

Moving on to export controls, I think the fact that this can be called a standard at all is a positive thing.  This is really just a recent development.  It’s only been in the past few years that there has been an international expectation that all states will implement controls to prevent the spread of sensitive nuclear and missile technologies.  Much of this has been led by the Security Council, including efforts to address Iran and North Korea.  But the main challenge, though, is still implementation and as we show in the report, certain critical countries such as China and Russia are believed to remain key sources of technology for proliferators because they don’t have stringent enough enforcement in place. Of course we also have countries like Iran and North Korea that actively try and get around those controls.  

Similar to export controls, you have more attention paid recently to efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism and the illicit trafficking in nuclear material.  The profile of those efforts was raised just this year with the nuclear security summit.  In fact, this is one of the few areas that none of the states receives an “F”, which essentially, according to our standards, would mean that a state has transferred nuclear material to non-state actors or to other states.  

Now, this is also an area where a few grades may also seem a little bit out of place, particularly for the United States, which has initiated a number of efforts in regard to nuclear security, including not only the nuclear security summit this year but also leading back to the ‘90s with the Nunn-Luger program. In fact, some of the measurements that we’re using for illicit trafficking and nuclear security are based on whether or not countries have agreed to join or adhere to some of the initiatives that the U.S. has led.  

But, again as Daryl mentioned, there are two key international instruments that the United States has promoted, including during the summit this year, which it has yet to join because Congress has not yet adopted the implementing legislation.  Now, the Congress has already provided consent to ratify.  So these aren’t controversial provisions and I would expect and hope that in a nonelection year next year it can finally be completed.  

Now, the second is Pakistan, which is the one country that we included an asterisk by regarding efforts to implement nuclear security or regarding nuclear security commitments.  Pakistan has been engaged in efforts to alleviate concerns regarding the security of its nuclear weapons facilities and materials by joining international and multilateral nuclear security initiatives.  These positive steps do not mean, however, that it has taken adequate measures to address the particular concerns regarding the political instability and security situation in Pakistan and we had seen some events last year, including attack on the Pakistani army headquarters that still give some reasons for concern.  

To conclude, given what we’ve seen over the past 18 months and even before then, I wouldn’t think that many of these grades are too surprising and I think that they do help to give a fairly decent snapshot of where things are in the disarmament and nonproliferation regime and delve a little bit into what needs to be done and by whom.  But I’d echo a point that Daryl made.  Even though we’re just looking at these 11 states as some of the states that are most critical for making progress in the regime, all countries have their roles to play and have important steps to take as well and in one of the chapters that we include at the end of the report are many of those efforts for states beyond the ones that we’re looking at.  With that, we appreciate George joining us to comment.

GEORGE PERKOVICH:  I’m going to stand here only just because I couldn’t see those guys, so I hope – I want to commend Peter in particular for this project and ACA for doing it.  It’s not as easy as you – it’s not easy being a teacher.  Okay, we kind of know that because we’ve all had teachers.  But anybody trying to do this, it’s actually really not so easy and I think the way that they went about it makes a lot of sense in terms of taking what are already agreed and internationally recognized commitments and then defining how you would get a grade on each of those.  

So I commend the effort and I hope that it will stimulate discussion.  Obviously that was the intention, is to stimulate further discussion, perhaps international consideration amongst the relatively few people in the world who pay attention to these things, about, well, was this grade deserved or what do grades mean.  So that’s a useful purpose.

I only have a couple of comments.  One is that there is another obligation and it’d just be interesting to hear Peter on why you guys didn’t include it.  It comes out of the 13 steps that were agreed in 2000.  But I think it was to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in national security policy and so forth.  I think that one’s harder to quantify, so I can imagine that you considered it and didn’t do it because it’s very hard to set up what an “A” would be, what a “B” would be, et cetera.  

But I do think it’s very important for a variety of reasons but in particular because of the point that you alluded to in the last page of the report where you talk about other countries and in a sense that gets to a second point, which again you guys recognize, and you just did in your concluding remark, Peter, which is—if part of the point of this exercise is to perhaps stimulate all of the relevant states and actors to improve their grades, then one of the questions is how states that weren’t graded but are key actors, as you guys recognized at the end, how they will react to all this.  

So I think the issue of the role of nuclear weapons is one that the other states feed off a lot.  So it’s not a critique of the report card but it’s just kind of saying as we interpret or go forward, the thinking about how to use it, that issue would be there.  Second of the three points I would make is, again, I think you guys did a great job in explaining why you focus on the 11 states that you did and there are kind of objective reasons for having done that.  

Then as you acknowledge, the future of the nuclear order, especially the nonproliferation regime, is going to be determined by a bunch of states that aren’t graded and aren’t on the list and you list them in the back and I think do a nice job encapsulating some of the things they did.  I would highlight Egypt, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Turkey.  There are others.  

So my question, again, and this isn’t about the report card but it’s what happens after the report card or the further kind of consideration is how would those states grade the states you all graded because, again, they’re key actors in the international discourse.  But also, if you guys were going to grade them, you’d have to use different criteria in many ways but kind of a sense of have they been contributing even though they’re not nuclear arms states.  

In many ways they’re good students or however the metaphor would work.  But what are their obligations because in many ways, as we all know, whether it’s Article 6 or any other article, all states are obligated to do that.  That’s another project or it’s a way to gauge reaction to this project.  

But as I read it, I thought, gee, I wonder how they would do this.  Then my last point is context.  I mean one of the things when one sees grades, like in the report card kind of structure, I always – I think personal experience – my father got hit for getting a “B”.  His father was a tough guy and, Georgie, what is this “B”, bam – and my son got hugged for getting a “C” because he had difficulty in school.  

So the question is what’s the expectation, whether we have it or others in the world have, what are they expecting.  I think where the report card metaphor also works more clearly is you’re always looking for trajectory.  Is there improvement and what you really don’t want, whether it’s an “A” student or a “C” student, is a downward trajectory.  They’re doing bad.  You go, oh, there’s trouble.  

But so then the question is, and again this is kind of going forward and building on this, the question is what do people do if their trajectory is downward or if you conclude and the world concludes “C” is about as good as we’re going to get, given the states that are out there, and then at some point – this is extending the metaphor too far I’m sure – at some point you say, well, maybe Johnny’s not cracked up to be a student and he ought to drop out of school and go do something else.  So where do you go, and I mean this seriously, where does the world go if we’re just getting “C”s because the average grade was a “C” if you take it all together, of these states.

MR. KIMBALL:  Or if there are dropouts.

MR. PERKOVICH:  And if there are dropouts, then the average must get lower.  So where does everybody go?  What do people decide to do?  I don’t have remotely the answer to that question and that’s part of why, again, I would go ask other states how they would do the grading.  But is “C” enough to keep you in school or does it suggest something else and if so what’s the equivalent of driving a lorry or trade school or whatever that you then do to still try to have a productive life.  Again, that’s not part of the report card but you can tell I was stimulated in meaning to think of kind of ways that you can kind of riff off this and think about its implication.  So I applaud the effort and thanks for having me.

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you, George.  Well, perhaps what we might do is Peter, if you want to kind of address a couple of George’s points and then we can turn it over to the audience for questions that you might have in any aspect of the presentations of the report.  But why don’t you briefly take your pick on some of the several points that George raised, particularly the one on the reduced role of nuclear weapons, which we did discuss.

MR. CRAIL:  Yeah, thanks again, George.  I guess I would just start with talking a bit about the last point that you mentioned in terms of what the expectations are and in terms of the trajectory.  As Daryl had mentioned in the beginning, I think that one of the things that we hope to do with this is to do it on a recurring basis and I think that one of the – part of the value of it will essentially be seeing where the changes occur and in what direction are the changes and in what particular standards.  

So I think over time, while this was certainly difficult to put together in the first case initially, I think the value increases over time as we see where states are going in each of these areas and I think that’s part of the point of creating a report card is that it’s an easy way to measure that.  We can all explain the events over, say, a five to 10-year period and what states have done what.  But in order to try and come up with some kind of consistent measure to see the – just to find what the trajectory is, I think was an important component of it.

In terms of expectations, I would say that some of the standards I think were – the expectations were higher than others.  I think for some, like banning nuclear testing, you have a clear expectation that states are going to ratify the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.  For some others, like negative security assurances, providing assurances to non-nuclear weapon states that countries with nuclear weapons wouldn’t use weapons against them, to get an “A”, essentially we have – states have to provide legally binding assurances and I think that that’s a prospect that isn’t something that we’re likely to see soon.  So that’s one area where the standard is fairly strong.  

So across the standards, the different grades may mean different things.  Now, on the point of reducing the role of nuclear weapons, yeah, we certainly did consider that.  In fact, for a lot of these categories, basically we settled on 10 but these could be expanded out to any number.  What we tried to do was not only to highlight specific key standards but also look at some that are – that might encompass other standards more broadly.  So in terms of reducing the role of nuclear weapons, since that’s something that’s difficult to really measure and quantify, but some of these standards like reducing alert levels, security assurances and things like that, the level of commitments that states show demonstrate what the role of nuclear weapons are for that country.

MR. KIMBALL:  Just one other brief point to address some of your very good observations, George, one of the other things that we were really trying to do here is we were trying to establish a baseline of measurements on some things upon which there is relatively little argument in the international community.  It is difficult to quantify, as Peter just said, whether a country is reducing roles.  We also chose not to try to measure, for instance, leadership efforts.  How do you measure leadership efforts?  The Obama administration, for instance, has devoted a lot of attention to this subject in the last 18 months and yet it’s virtually impossible to measure that in any straightforward objective fashion.

Arguments can be made back and forth about it wasn’t enough, it was the wrong kind of leadership, et cetera.  So we’re trying to measure results and create a baseline and there are all of these intangibles that you do rightly point out that have to be taken into consideration when one is looking at what is needed to reduce the dangers from nuclear weapons.  Then one other final note on the methodology that I think is important to just keep in mind is we did not attempt to try to rank these 10 standards, sets of standards and commitments.  

One could do that.  Everyone has their view.  Every country has their own particular perspective on is it more important that there are nuclear weapons reductions, is it more or less important that there is effective efforts to end nuclear trafficking, et cetera.  We have not tried to rank those.  But there is an averaging when we come out with the cumulative grade that is just the collection of all of these as if they were all equal in weight for the international security system.  

So with that, let’s turn to your questions, comments, observations about this study and its implications.  If you could just – Matt, if you could bring the microphone to the person and if you could identify yourself before you – thank you.

Q:  Thank you very much.  I’m Vladimir Karamozov with RTV Television.  I’d just like to ask you to comment on three countries with three different grades:  Russia, “B-minus,” Israel, “C-minus”, and Iran, “D”.  If you could just quickly on those three in particular?  Thank you.

MR. CRAIL:  Certainly.  Starting with Iran, I think that particularly looking at the timeframe of this report, we saw a number of – there’s been increasing concern regarding efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program.  Just last year, you had revelations regarding a secret facility, an enrichment facility being built at Qom.  You have increasing difficulties by the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate Iran’s nuclear program and most recently you have another U.N. Security Council resolution.  

Now, I think that one of the – one of the more interesting things with Iran is that given all of the concerns that we have, you’ll see that its best grade was actually for banning nuclear testing.  Iran actually has signed the CTBT and while there are some concerns about some studies that the Iranians may have carried out, which could potentially suggest that they were considering or are considering a nuclear test, Iran has tried to make good on its claim that it is following the nuclear nonproliferation regime and therefore it has been willing to make some efforts to join certain international commitments.  So I think that’s one thing I’d like to point out.  

In regard to Israel, while it, like all of the states that haven’t signed the NPT, has tried to present itself as a responsible power, and has tried to take steps to address its nuclear programs responsibly, it suffered most from a lack of transparency regarding its nuclear program.  

So in efforts like ending fissile material, Israel hasn’t made any commitment or even really much comment on its efforts to end fissile material for nuclear weapons.  It has also wavered a bit in its support for concluding an FMCT.  But it’s not believed to be producing plutonium.  It’s not believed to be producing materials for weapons.  But because it doesn’t provide the additional assurance, its grade still suffers for that.  Similarly with reducing nuclear weapons alert levels, its weapons are believed not to be mated with its delivery systems but because of its policy of opacity, that’s not an assurance that it’s provided the international community. So even where Israel might be acting responsibly, the benefits of that responsibility are not seen by the outside world in the form of clear assurances, so how can we credit it with doing so.

In regard to Russia, of course some of the highest grades are in regard to nuclear testing, in regard to basically agreeing to many of the – agreeing and ratifying many of the nuclear nonproliferation agreements that are standards for the international community.  In terms of issues of particular concern, I would note the issue of reducing nuclear weapons alert levels it shares with the United States, the fact that both countries still maintain weapons on fairly high alert status.  

In addition, another issue that I’d point out would be on – as I mentioned, on export controls.  There are still concerns that technology is coming out of Russia to states of concern and that it isn’t necessarily because of policies by the Russian government but because of a lack of the capability or will to really enforce the laws on the books to make sure that this technology doesn’t spread.

MR. KIMBALL:  So let me just note that in the packet there is on the right side a short summary of some of the country-by-country highlights which is just kind of a distillation of what’s in each of the chapters in the report itself.  George, did you have any thoughts about those?  

MR. PERKOVITCH:  (Off mike.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Okay.  Yes, please?

Q:  Hi, I’m Lauren McGauhy from the Asahi Shimbun.  It’s a Japanese newspaper.  Specifically on the DPRK, which I guess is kind of the kid in class that’s gotten held back a couple of times, they had a couple of “D”s.  So not all of it was “F”s.  Which of those do you think they could or would improve, maybe is most likely to be improved in the near future or the middle term?

MR. KIMBALL:  Let me just respond quickly and then Peter maybe you can explain what the “D-plusses” are about.  I mean, the place in which North Korea could clearly improve its record is to return to implementation of some of the basic obligations of the six-party agreement, beginning with ending the production – further production of fissile material for weapons and resuming the process of trying to bring either U.S. or international inspectors back to their nuclear facilities to verify that they are implementing the obligations in the six-party arrangement.  Currently they are not.  That would be the most important, the most meaningful.  But Peter, if you could just explain the “D”s on North Korea?

MR. CRAIL:  Right.  Well, there were three “D”s for North Korea for reducing nuclear weapons alert levels, and that’s essentially because North Korea hasn’t said anything about what its nuclear posture may be other than a lot of very scary statements that it likes to issue from time to time.  The two that I think are perhaps the most interesting and the areas where North Korea might be able to do something are on nuclear security and illicit trafficking.  

First of all it’s important that those don’t go further, that those don’t become “F”s because those are fairly clear red lines which if North Korea were to cross I think we would be really faced with a very dire situation and perhaps dire choices to make.  When the negotiations with North Korea were ongoing, the North Koreans actually had expressed some interest in cooperative threat reduction programs, essentially some sort of effort to say if it were to scrap its nuclear program or at least certain facilities, what would happen with the nuclear scientists, what would happen with some of the work that it had been doing.  

If the talks were to start again and were to make progress and certain key North Korean facilities were to actually be scrapped, even if that didn’t get us all of the way to dealing with the North Korean situation, if certain interim steps were done to address North Korean nuclear materials and nuclear scientists, I think that’s an area where things could improve.

MR. KIMBALL:  One final note on North Korea as it relates to some of the countries not specifically addressed in this report, I mean we’ve all mentioned the importance of other states providing leadership in strengthening, supporting, implementing the nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament system.  North Korea is a country that – to use the academic analogy a little bit here and my wife warned me against doing this but I’m going to do it anyway – a no-child-left-behind policy is very important with respect to the nonproliferation system.  We can’t have countries dropping out.  

Really, it’s not something that can happen because the country is still going to be in the international system.  It is not just the responsibility of that individual country to fulfill its obligations but it is the responsibility of other countries throughout the world and particularly in its region to take actions that help move that country to a place where it is complying with its obligations regarding nuclear weapons.  

So in that regard, the six parties – or the five parties other than North Korea – in the six-party process have a huge role to play and while the United States has been the leading partner, countries like Japan and South Korea as well as China and Russia have a huge role to play in not simply watching a situation deteriorate but to take proactive steps to restore some order to what currently is a very worrisome situation.  

Other questions that we have here?  Yes, why don’t we start in the back and we’ll – I’m sorry Alexis.  Thank you.

Q:  Thank you.  My name is Sam Kim Sun from Voice of America.  I have a follow-up question on North Korea.  It’s not in the report but I want to ask your analysis on current development related to North Korea.  First, North Korea is in the transition period of leadership change.  So do you think that the risk of this worse scenario is higher in this situation?  My second question is there is some movement in Yongbyon which is captured by satellite, new construction, and also there are some reports that North Korea might be preparing the third nuclear test.  So I just want to ask your analysis on this current, recent movement.  Thank you.

MR. KIMBALL:  Peter, do you want to –

MR. CRAIL:  Yeah, I can address this quickly.  In terms of how the succession process is playing out with North Korea’s nuclear program, I think we don’t know.  So I think it’s difficult to say whether or not things will improve in any of these areas as the succession process takes place.  But I think that what we can basically expect is that things will essentially remain the same.  A lot of the key players now are still going to be the key players.  

In terms of some of the recent news about movement at Yongbyon, clearly they’re doing something at the site of the reactor.  But it’s not clear what exactly they’re doing.  It doesn’t look exactly like they’re rebuilding the cooling tower that they destroyed last year but again, it’s still not clear.  Hopefully we’ll know in the coming months.  In terms of reports of a nuclear test, I think we hear reports about a possible nuclear test intermittently.  So I’m not sure that there’s enough to really make anything of it at this point.

MR. KIMBALL:  I think all of those signs and signals at the reactor site is just another reminder that this is a situation that needs to be addressed proactively by the North Koreans and by the other parties.  We don’t want to see – we can’t afford to see another regression in some of these areas.  Why don’t we come over here?

Q:  Hi, Alexis Morell from the French Embassy.  I had a question and a comment.  My question is related to a criteria you alluded to but apparently that you didn’t retain as to grade the countries and this is transparency, which is a very important step on the road to disarmament and again, this question is not meant to improve the grade of my country.  But this is an area in which we think that there is a huge progress to be done and huge discrepancies including among nuclear weapon states.  

Then my comment was to emphasize George’s point on expectations.  I think it’s critical to measure not only the progress of a country but the general situation and to take into account the expectation in this regard and I feel very comfortable to comment about it because it’s not relating to my country, but to me, the “D” for the U.K. doesn’t make sense compared – I mean, if you take the size of the British arsenal, I don’t think that our expectation – giving a “D” to the U.K. gives the impression that you have a strong expectation towards U.K. reduction, U.K. arsenal reduction, whereas we all know which countries we would like to reduce their arsenal in priority.  So this is just to echo the comment about the necessity to take a good measure of expectation.  Thank you.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, well thank you.  Those are good observations.  I mean, let me first mention that the report does take into account, to the best we can, the importance of transparency and we do note, and I’m not just saying this because you asked the question, but France has taken some steps with respect to transparency that other countries have not and is a good example that go beyond the existing expectations for nuclear armed states – the closure of its weapons material processing facilities and allowing the IAEA to verify that, also the closure of the nuclear test sites in the South Pacific, a step that goes beyond and that is a step in the direction of greater transparency.  

But one of the things that we struggled with is clearly from an analytical standpoint and a nonproliferation advocate’s standpoint, it is useful – it would be useful for all nuclear armed countries to declare how many nuclear weapons they have and yet one of the things that we could not do is to say that that is an expectation that has been established by the international system for all countries.  It just doesn’t exist.  It is not a norm that has yet been established or that we can identify.  

So for instance, at the nuclear nonproliferation treaty review conference last May, the United States made a declaration that it has 5,113 nuclear weapons in active service.  That’s a good useful step and yet that goes beyond any step that the international community has demanded or asked of the nuclear weapons states.  So for that reason, that’s not in the report and perhaps in a future edition we need to kind of take note of some of these things that are not on the official list of expectations and standards.  

Finally, with respect to the U.K., I mean we have acknowledged in various places in the report the estimates of the numbers of nuclear weapons that various countries have.  But we have very deliberately tried to put together a report that is a snapshot of progress towards the goal and the goal is reducing nuclear weapons.  Perhaps we could have added an eleventh category that is simply a grading scale of the total number of nuclear weapons in which “A” is zero.  

But that would have been pretty obvious and it doesn’t take the Arms Control Association to figure that out really.  So what we have tried to do is we have tried to take a snapshot of progress because it is progress that the international community has established as the expectation and the norm and the United States and Russia are the ones, though they have the largest arsenals, about 90 percent of the world’s arsenals, that are actively reducing.  So that’s why we have organized the grades in that way.  When we do this report in 2012 or so, hopefully the U.K. will have implemented its reductions and it will move up to the “B” category.  Any other questions, comments?  Yes, sir?

Q:  Hi.  I’m Gabe Joselaw from Voice of America.  I’m wondering about Pakistan and the decision-making that went behind giving it an asterisk next to its security commitments.  Obviously you note the political situation is a serious concern there.  So why separate it that way?  Why acknowledge it without including it in the grade?  Secondly, they got an “F” in weapons-related export controls and yet this “A” in security commitments.  Those seem to be at odds to me.  If they’re maintaining this illicit procurement network, how can they be effectively securing nuclear material?

MR. KIMBALL:  Peter, why don’t you – I think you’re best able to take those on.

MR. CRAIL:  Yeah.  In terms of your last question, the security commitments and the export controls are two different things.  Essentially for the export controls, that’s a measure of whether or not states are violating controls abroad or illegally importing things for their programs or are illegally exporting things to other countries.  The “F” essentially reflects the assessments that Pakistan continues to rely on illicit procurement networks in order to acquire materials for its nuclear program.  

For nuclear security commitments, one of the things that we wanted to cite for both nuclear security and illicit trafficking was to – we made sure to include the word commitments because we’re not necessarily measuring how far states are implementing different types of controls to secure nuclear material or prevent it from getting abroad.  It’s a measure of what kind of initiatives have they joined for that purpose.  

So that’s essentially where Pakistan’s “A” comes from for nuclear security commitments is that as part of its efforts to provide assurance that, look, all of our assets are safe, nothing is going to get to the terrorists or anything like that, they’ve joined a number of U.S.-led efforts, a number of international agreements and things like that, which have the expectation that if implemented, they’ll do the job.  They’ll prevent nuclear material from getting where it – from spreading.  

Particularly since we had really started putting this report together after last year there were a lot of events in Pakistan that had given rise to increasing concerns about its abilities to secure its program, to secure its facilities and material, we felt that while according to our standards it had met – it basically had met he standards for the commitments that it had made , whether or not it had addressed its sufficient situation adequately was something that we felt was reason enough to highlight this special case.

MR. KIMBALL:  Yeah, one example here on the nuclear security category where – I mean, the international standards for behavior expected of responsible states is probably not sufficient to deal with the problem and this is a relatively new standard, if you will.  So as Peter said, the asterisk was put there to make it clear that we’re not somehow measuring with our Arms Control Association inspectors in Pakistan whether Pakistan is actually executing these commitments or not.  So I mean that’s – this is just one of many examples of some of the tricky methodological issues here and there are ways in which I think reasonable people could disagree with how we went about this but what we have tried to do is to show our work so that you can see how we arrived at these results.  Any other questions?  Yes, we’ve got a couple more.

Q:  My name is Pieter Etravan (ph), ITAR-TASS News Agency and my question is if the new START treaty is ratified by the legislature in Russia and in the U.S., will these countries move up into a high category?

MR. KIMBALL:  They would move up slightly with ratification, according to our scale, I think, Peter, right?  That’s how we –

MR. CRAIL:  (Off mike.)

MR. KIMBALL:  I think it also would depend in the 2011-2012 period on whether the two countries indicate further movement or progress in reducing beyond what the new START agreement calls for and the United States at least has expressed an interest in pursuing further discussions with Russia following the ratification, implementation of new START on all types of nuclear weapons, strategic and nonstrategic, deployed and non-deployed.  

That certainly would be a qualitative improvement in the U.S.-Russia nuclear arms reduction process which has to this point been focused on strategic nuclear weapons and primarily deployed strategic nuclear weapons.  We have a couple more questions here.  Why don’t we go with Martin and then we’ll come back to you?

Q:  Martin Matishak with Global Security Newswire.  I’m just curious about reaction to this report card.  Have you shared it with the folks in the administration or in Congress or with representatives from countries that you have named in it and so far to date what has their reaction been?

MR. KIMBALL:  We have shared the report with a number of people in the U.S. government, the executive branch.  This still has to make its way to the Congress.  It’s on its way to other government representatives and it would be interesting to see what their views are upon seeing the grades in all these different categories.

Q:  Michelle Nelbondi (ph) from NTI.  You mentioned that you decided not to rank or weigh each standard.  What was the reasoning behind that?

MR. KIMBALL:  Let’s see.  I’m just trying to think back here months, Peter.  I think the main reason why we didn’t do this, and feel free to add or correct, is that there simply is no objective way to rank these 10 major categories.  What we were trying to do, as I said at the very beginning of this session, is to describe in a straightforward fashion what are the standards, what is the mainstream, what are the expectations of responsible states without making a judgment about which of these is more or less important.  

The fact is all states are responsible in one way or another, to perhaps a lesser or greater degree or another, to help support and implement all of these standards and commitments.  If you’re in one corner of the world, you might consider one of these or two of these more important than others.  If you’re in another corner of the world, you might see it a little bit differently.  

So we chose not to apply our opinion, our perspective to this issue by somehow ranking these 10 in order of importance.  I mean, this is meant to be a tool for people to see how well states are making progress in each of these categories and perhaps someone else can come up with some interesting ranking system.

MR. CRAIL:  I would just add to that, that’s the substantive reason that we didn’t decide to weight the different standards and essentially the thing that put it over the top to make the decision for us.  The other answer is that we felt it was complicated enough at this point.  We tried to strike a balance between something that was fairly rigorous and something that would be fairly accessible.  Hopefully we managed to do that.  But if we were to get into trying to weigh different things, it might not be as accessible and transparent as we hoped that it would be.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Any other questions, comments?  If not – yes, sir?

Q:  I just had an out-of-the-box question.  I’m curious about the rest of the class.  These are some of the most important members of the class for the subject dealt with.  But is there any way one should get right now for all those other countries for the standards that apply to non-nuclear weapon states, like the CTBT members, members of nuclear-weapons-free zones.  If you averaged out everyone who is not on this table, would they be getting – is “C” an average or is “B” an average?  Is there any way at this point to kind of characterize all those not specifically mentioned?

MR. KIMBALL:  Well, I don’t think we could tell you what the average would be because we didn’t attempt to grade the dozens of other countries that have significant responsibilities beyond this group.  In the additional states section on page 46 of the report, we discuss some of the developments and the actions of other states in other areas that are important for the nuclear nonproliferation system.  

We talk about the importance of Indonesia’s commitment to ratify the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.  It’s one of the 44 countries that must ratify for the treaty to enter into force.  Egypt is another one of those countries.  We discuss developments related to the ongoing goal of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, which is going to take the action and support of many more states outside of the ones discussed in this report.  

Likewise, other countries have made commitments and have responsibilities in connection with nuclear-weapons-free zones.  The entire Southern Hemisphere today is a nuclear-weapons-free zone.  So there are hundreds – over a hundred countries that are involved there and they do have responsibilities as members of a nuclear-weapons-free zones that you might not think about, such as the South Pacific nuclear-weapons-free zones countries have committed as part of that treaty not to sell nuclear technology to states that are not members of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.  So that means Australia is not supposed to be selling uranium to India, for sentence.  

So there are a lot of other countries that were discussed in this section, not necessarily in totally comprehensive fashion but we’ve tried to touch on some of the key developments, another one of which is the role that NATO members can play in changing NATO policy with respect to the tactical nuclear weapons – U.S. tactical nuclear weapons still deployed in Europe.  All right, thank you all very much for being here and with that we’ll conclude and there will be a transcript of this event on our website in a few days.  The full report is also available online.  Thank you for coming.



Transcript of October 27 event at the National Press Club.  Speakers include Daryl Kimball, Peter Crail, and George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Subject Resources:

The New START Treaty: A Panel Discussion with Brent Scowcroft



On July 23, the Arms Control Initiative at the Brookings Institution and the Arms Control Association hosted former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft for a discussion of the New START treaty, assessing how its ratification and implementation will serve the U.S. national interest.

Brookings President Strobe Talbott provided an introduction, followed by remarks from General Scowcroft. Morton Halperin of the Open Society Institute, Angela Stent of Georgetown University and Brookings and Senior Fellow Steven Pifer, director of the Arms Control Initiative at Brookings, will joined discussion. ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball moderated.

Click here to read a PDF of the transcript.

Watch the full event here.


On July 23, the Arms Control Initiative at the Brookings Institution and the Arms Control Association hosted former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft for a discussion of the New START treaty, assessing how its ratification and implementation will serve the U.S. national interest.

Country Resources:

Panel Discussion - The New National Space Policy: Prospects for International Cooperation and Making Space Safer for All - Transcript Now Available



On Thursday, July 1, 2010 the Arms Control Association and Secure World Foundation held a special panel discussion on the Obama Administration’s release of its National Space Policy.

The new National Space Policy approach emphasizes shared responsibility and strengthened international cooperation. The publicly released policy states that “The United States will pursue bilateral and multilateral transparency and confidence-building measures to encourage responsible actions in, and the peaceful use of, space. The United States will consider proposals and concepts for arms control measures if they are equitable, effectively verifiable, and enhance the national security of the United States and its allies.”

Panelists discussed how the new policy is consistent with and differs from earlier policies, how new U.S. leadership could energize existing international institutions such as the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the stalled Conference on Disarmament, and make suggestions for moving forward on other confidence-building and multilateral measures.
































2:00 PM



Transcript by

Federal News Service

Washington, D.C.


VICTORIA SAMSON:  Hello everyone.  I think this is on.  Thank you for coming.  My name is Victoria Samson.  I am the Washington office director for the Secure World Foundation.  We are very delighted to be able to host this panel and we appreciate you guys responding at such short notice.

We were waiting to see when the national space policy would come out and we are very excited to have such experts here to talk about it today.  We are delighted to be co-hosting for the first time with the Arms Control Association.  We hope this will be a first of, perhaps, many ways in which we can share space and security issues.

A little bit about Secure World before we get started:  The Secure World is a private-operating foundation that wishes to focus on the sustainable use of space.  So the release of the new national space policy on Monday frankly delighted us because it acknowledged the need to increase the sustainable use of space for everyone to build and enjoy.  It bolsters United States leadership in space and maintains space as a peaceful, secure and sustainable environment for the benefit of all.

We respect the emphasis on the need for increased space situational awareness that indicates how important it is to be able to benefit from space for civil, commercial and military uses.  We appreciate the focus on international outreach.  We believe this accepts the changed reality of space as a global commons.  And we appreciate the idea that there is a look at arms control as an option if it is equitable, verifiable and increases the United States national security.

Of course, the question is, what does that mean in terms of policies?  How does this change from the 2006 national space policy?  Well, we have this panel’s experts that will be discussing it.  I am going to turn it over to our moderator, Jeff Abramson.  Jeff?

JEFF ABRAMSON:  Thank you, Victoria, and the Secure World Foundation.  This is the first time, I think, we have partnered.  I am looking forward to many more.  I also want to recognize and appreciate the expertise within this audience.  We announced this event on Tuesday and 58 RSVPs came in – more, just as we were going out the door –from a wide range of expertise and issues.  So I’ll be interested in your questions and having the conversation that will occur after the panelists.

About nine months ago, actually, Victoria and I sat down and said hey, we should maybe host an event.  And we were waiting for the right moment and I am glad that this is the right moment and not zombie satellites or conjunctions that – intentional or otherwise – often occur.  And while on that topic of things that shouldn’t be too close together, I will ask you to put your cell phones in “silent mode.”

I am going to make a few framing remarks and then introduce our panelists who will each – I’ve asked to talk for 10 minutes or less – I will hopefully not need to prod – and then turn things over for questions.

When we do get to questions, please do wait for the microphone.  We are doing a transcription of the event, which, given that the July 4th weekend is coming right up, I imagine will come out in the middle of next week, but possibly tomorrow.

The publicly available version of this document is only 14 pages long.  And the issues I work on – arms control and security – are only two pages of the document, which I think is fine, and actually, what that reminds me of and what I think the policy highlights is that space is an ever-increasingly global commons, with actors relying on it for a wide range of needs, not solely security, but also communications, commercial and civilian applications, as well as economic and sustainable development, not only in countries that have major space assets but those with few to little to none, that this use of space really is a global use.  And this topic, the panel will talk about it broadly, but with the lens of international cooperation and multiple ways that international cooperation can keep space safe for all.

The Arms Control Association, where I work, is about to turn 40 years old.  We have been working on these issues for a long time, supporting public understanding and effective arms control policies.  As someone in this field, I am certainly encouraged by the statement that Victoria was repeating around, considering proposals and concepts for arms control measures: quote  “if they are equitable, effectively verifiable and enhance the national security of the United States and its allies,” unquote.

All of those reasons that I have been talking about, why the catchphrase prevention of an arms race in outer space has held in my community, I feel are validated to a great extent in this national security policy.  Given U.S. reliance, as well as other countries who are emerging, the idea of targeting these assets in space with terrestrial weapons or placing weapons in space that would target terrestrial, atmospheric or other space weapons just does not seem to make sense.

But as a policy document, not surprisingly, the NSP does not contain many specifics, as Victoria was mentioning.  And in the coming months and years, what I am looking forward to seeing is development of ideas that run the gamut of international agreements.  That can be simple declaratory policy to bilateral instruments, codes of conduct, norms of behavior, a lot of which, as you all know, is happening with the EU code of conduct, happening around space debris mitigation or prevention, to the extent of even the more traditional arms control things, which, I’ll note, include discussions around kinetic energy anti-satellite tests and use bans, too.  And, without getting into the definitional issues, preventing weaponization of space.

As a final point, I just want to mention that what I see in this document is an emphasis on transparency and confidence building, which is not something that other countries do.  It’s something that all countries do, including the United States.  And I think this will be one of the challenges, for the United States to regain the trust and confidence of the international community.  And I believe it is on this path already and I look forward to seeing that happen in the future.  And as we think about ways to increase transparency, I think that might broaden the scope of things that we consider effectively verifiable as well.

Let me now briefly introduce our speakers.  We all chatted in the short two days before this event and realized there was way too much to talk about.  So I will tell you what I think they are going to talk about, but who knows what is going to come out in the end?

We will start with Marcia Smith, the founder and editor of Space Policy Online who, as many of you know, has been working this field for almost four decades, and a long time, 31 years, at the Congressional Research Service.  I have asked Marcia to talk about the content of the national space policy, especially from a civilian angle:  what is different about the policy and what is not new, not different about the policy and maybe why those changes are there.  And I have asked Marcia and the other panelists to suggest things they are looking to see or want to see moving forward.

Ben Baseley-Walker is a legal and policy advisor for Secure World Foundation here.  In my mind, Ben is always jetting off to Europe or places around the world for U.N. COPUOS meetings or other events.  It might not be true and he can disabuse me of that idealized notion.  But he is certainly paying very close attention to the international dimension of maintaining space for peaceful purposes.  And he will discuss how the new policy could reshape engagement at U.N. COPUOS, the Conference on Disarmament as well as other bilateral and multilateral possibilities.

Bruce MacDonald, at the end, has also been following space and security issues for quite some time and is the senior director of the Nonproliferation and Arms Control Project at the U.S. Institute of Peace.  He recently served as a senior director to the U.S. Strategic Posture Review Commission, which the Arms Control Association followed very closely.  So he brings insight along a whole range of issues.  I have asked Bruce to look at the national security dimensions of the new policy and the prospects for cooperation around those issues.

I will do my time check to see how I did.  But I will turn it over now to Marcia.  Thank you.

MARCIA SMITH:  Thank you very much, Jeff, and thanks to the Secure World Foundation for inviting me to be here today.  And I did not bring any PowerPoint charts because usually when I have PowerPoints I tend to ramble on and on.  And I did give Jeff permission to poke me hard in the elbow if I go beyond my eight minutes.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Timer’s started.

MS. SMITH:  (Chuckles.)  And with all that is in the policy, it is, of course, impossible to cover everything that is in there.  Jeff asked me to talk about what is different and what is not different.

And I think that, as was true with the Bush policy, there is a lot that is the same throughout the policy.  It covers pretty much the same ground, but it covers it differently.  I think the biggest difference between the Bush policy and the Clinton policy was the tone of it.  And I think the biggest difference between the Obama policy and the Bush policy is the tone, the tenor.  And, of course, it is perception that is so important, especially when you are dealing with our allies and other potential partners around the world.

So I do think that the Obama policy is trying to reach out to international partners as well as to industry.  And the whole tone of the policy is less nationalistic, it’s more friendly, it’s not confrontational and it does seem to view space as a global commons in which all of us have a stake.  All of us around the globe have a responsibility to protect space as an environment because we all benefit from it.

And one thing that I really like about the Obama policy is the introduction to it, which goes into many more paragraphs of explaining why space is important to everyone and the benefits that the world derives from space.  There has been a little bit of that in previous policies, but it is maybe a throwaway sentence here or there.  But this seems to be a really strong attempt to explain the importance of space and therefore why it is important for there to be a space policy and important for the United States to work together with other nations to preserve space as a usable domain.

I thought I would just read two examples of the Bush policy and the Obama policy to sort of illustrate the differences in the tone.  In the Bush policy, we, the United States said that, “Consistent with this principle of rite of passage, the United States will view purposeful interference with its space systems as an infringement on its rights.”

In the Obama policy, the same point is put across, but in a more friendly manner.  It says, “Purposeful interference with space systems including supporting infrastructure will be considered an infringement of a nation’s rights.”  So it is not just our nation, it is all the nations.  Infringing is something that affects a nation’s rights, not just United States rights.

And there is a lot of talk about arms control and the Bush policy was viewed as very negative on arms control in space.  And I think that is because the whole context of the Bush administration was pretty negative on it.  But I was never as negative about the Bush policy as a lot of my friends were.

But I think that when you look what each policy says about arms control agreements, the Bush policy did not rule it out.  The Bush policy said, “Proposed arm control agreements or restrictions must not impair the rights of the United States to conduct research, development, testing and operations or other activities in space for U.S. national interests.”

And what the Obama policy says is that, “The United States will consider proposals and concepts for arms control measures if they are equitable, effectively verifiable and enhance the national security of the United States and its allies.”

So again, I think the policies are still – the Obama policy clearly is more open to arms control than the Bush policy - but both of them open at least a crack in the door to these things.  But it is still looking at these in terms of how they are going to affect U.S. national security, which is appropriate in a national policy.

So again, those are just examples to show how the tone of the two policies is different.  And to a large extent, I think that is what is most important about a national space policy.  In a sense, they are just words written on paper.  What is really important about a policy is what happens after it comes out.  What is the strategy to implement the policy?  What are the specifics?  Are there going to be additional policies on specific topics that emanate from this?

On Monday when the policy was released, some of the White House folks did say that there would be additional specific targeted policies as there had been in previous presidential administrations.  So I think that we are going to see some of those coming out.

And I know Dick Buenneke, at least, is here.  I don’t know who else is here or who might know the answer to that but maybe we can get some – not to put you on the spot, Dick.  But we may see some more targeted policies that will help everyone understand where all of this is leading.

But certainly the Obama policy is very focused on international cooperation.  And I admit that that is one of my absolutely favorite parts of the space program is international cooperation.  So I was very, very pleased to see that.  And looking at space as a global commons, especially in terms of space debris and space situational awareness.  Again, those are not new topics.  They have been in previous presidential space policies.  But the emphasis on it in the Obama policy is really important.

And, of course, there is added prominence for commercial space.  And I think one of the most interesting aspects of the Obama policy with regard to commercial space is that it leaves out what was in both the Bush and the Clinton policies saying that there would be no direct subsidies for commercial space.  So the Obama policy leaves that out.  But it also has a finer, more sophisticated explanation of what it considers commercial space to be; about a significant investment by the commercial partner.

And I think that one of the troubles that people are having with commercial space policy is the wording and what is commercial.  Everybody keeps searching for what does commercial mean?  And I think the Obama policy at least lays out what the White House thinks commercial space is and the appropriate role of the government in facilitating in the emergence of commercial space.  You can agree or disagree with it but at least it’s there for you to consider.

I admit that personally I am – I know it is not popular these days to be a skeptic of commercial space being more cost-effective than the usual way government does business, but I do think that the commercial forums still have a way to go to prove that they are really commercial and don’t simply rely on the government in a different way than the traditional space players do.  But the Obama policy certainly is going to give them the opportunity to do that.

So what really changed in between 2006 and 2010?  Well, of course, the election of President Obama was the major factor because his approach to dealing with global affairs is very different from President Bush’s.

But also as everyone knows, the Chinese anti-satellite test and the Iridium-Cosmos collision really got everybody’s attention in terms of space debris and the need for everyone to work together to understand what is in space, where it is and what possible collisions there might be because space is so important to the global economy that everyone really needs to work together to protect it.

And then, of course, the financial collapse and the enormous deficit that not only the United States has, but other countries, is one of those factors that leads countries to want to work together instead of going it alone on a lot of space programs.  And that may be one of the reasons that international cooperation is so highlighted in the Obama policy.

So I haven’t heard very many negative reactions to the Obama policy so far.  Maybe people in the audience will bring them up during the Q&A.  I know that Senator Shelby was not impressed by it.  And, of course, his focus was on the NASA part of the policy and he thinks the president’s policy is wrong.  And since it is simply restated here, he thinks this policy is not so great.

I do have a very good friend who feels it is a policy of appeasement rather than leadership, which I thought was an interesting take on it.  And so I actually looked through the Clinton, Bush and Obama policies for the word, “leadership,” and how quickly it appears.  And in the Clinton policy, it smacks you right in the face.  I think it is in the third sentence.  Leadership – “U.S. will maintain leadership in space.”  And in the Bush policy, it is not quite in the third sentence, but it is really pretty high up.

It is very interesting in the Obama policy because it actually is there right at the beginning, but it is in a quote by President Obama.  It starts off with a quote from President Eisenhower and a quote from President Obama.  And in that quote, he talks about maintaining leadership in space.

But I think a lot of people look past those opening quotes and start just reading the text that is underneath them.  And if you do that, it takes you a while before you get to leadership.  And the first mention of leadership has to do with the commercial sector.  And then later on, you finally do get to where it says that maintaining U.S. leadership in space is important.  So I don’t know if there are people here in the audience – I would love to get into that discussion during the Q&A who think that leadership is not focused on sufficiently in this report in this policy.

But I found it very interesting.  I am enthusiastic about the Obama policy.  I think it is really well done.  And to all of those who worked on it, I think they get five stars.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Thank you, Marcia.  Ben?

BEN BASELEY-WALKER:  Thank you, Jeff.  I think I would like to echo a lot of the things that Marcia has said.  I know that for many of you who have worked in this room, this was not an easy process to develop this document.  And I think what we see in front of us is a very sound, very pragmatic approach.

My personal focus today is going to be more on the international side and also on some of the international security side.  And I think the thing that comes through to me on this policy is that this is an incredibly sound approach to looking at the diversity of options for international security and improving the national security climate for the United States.  So I think that, that is something certainly to be borne in mind and something to be applauded.

Also, as Marcia said, I think what this policy does and also the tone and the way it has been presented really does demonstrate that there is a very clear understanding of the globalized nature of space.  We may wish that this was a realm in which we were operating alone.  Unfortunately, the realities of modern day space activities are somewhat different.  And I think underlying this policy some of the key concepts really emphasize that.

I think from the international perspective, this is going to open lots of doors.  United States diplomacy has been quietly effective, I think, over the last few years.  The activities that we have seen of State and various agencies carrying out in Vienna, working on sustainability guidelines, laying the groundwork for that; the work that has been carried on in Geneva, looking at how new ideas can be formulated, even given the stymied nature of the Conference on Disarmament, I think have laid some clear foundations on how this policy can be taken forward and really open a new age of space diplomacy for the United States.

I think in terms of leadership, it is a very interesting word.  And I think it doesn’t have a defined meaning throughout this policy.  I think there are very many different flavors of leadership in the policy.  In the international community, I think we haven’t seen U.S. leadership in space for a while.  I think what this policy does is create the opportunity for that leadership to be rebuilt and regained.

I don’t think it is necessarily going to be an easy process but I think that the – as Marcia said, the tone is really important.  I think it has got a lot of the international players on the back foot.  There is a huge advantage, I think, to push forward with how the U.S. frames this debate and to really direct how the international community takes the next steps forward.  So I think that is very exciting.

I think, perhaps, another issue that is really important is staffing.  Implementing this policy is really, I think, going to be the most crucial issue.  How does this turn into reality?  One of the key things that struck me was a very big emphasis on interagency, whole of government, which I think is great.

Working out how that actually happens and bringing in perhaps less traditional agencies that have not been as involved in this basic question, but now are fundamentally involved, as space is such a major part of so many different sectors, is going to be really, really interesting.

Also, as Marcia said, another issue on the tone.  Three words that I picked out:  deter, defend, defeat.  I think these really show a much less bellicose tone than the Bush policy.  It is very much about, we are a player in the international community; we do respect the creation of the parameters that exist.  However, should there be clear national security threats, that is certainly something that we are not going to stand by and allow ourselves to be challenged on.

Also, I think in that vein, the role of allies and partners is really emphasized.  I think we all saw what came out of Schriever V was a clear understanding of the awareness that allies and partners and friends were very crucial.  And I think this policy reflects the administration’s thinking that this is definitely something to be focused on.

I would like to briefly dwell on the concept of arms control.  I don’t like the phrase “arms control” for space and I apologize to Jeff as we have it on the front of the podium.  (Laughter.)

MR. ABRAMSON:  (Off mike.)

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  I did warn you.  (Laughter.)  I think arms control for space is completely the wrong approach to take.  This isn’t a numbers game.  This isn’t the Cold War and nuclear weapons, and you have this many and we have this many, and what does that mean?  I think this is a question of actions management.

And I think this policy does a very good job of laying out an approach which really sets how are we going to build parameters for space actors?  Where do we fit into those parameters?  And how do we see a responsible, effective environment in which national security, economic interests and other diverse U.S. interests really can be best protected?  And I think that, that is a really big shift and a really good one.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Could you repeat – (inaudible, off mike)?

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  Actions management – behavioral management, perhaps, would be a more appropriate way.

My background is international law, so I thought I would touch – just to kind of wrap up – briefly on some of the international law questions.  I think what we have seen throughout the administration’s approach, which is very different from the Bush policy, is no more treaties.  That was very much the Bush line.  Personally I think that is the right way to be going.  I think the international community right now is not ready for a big, new space treaty, certainly not one built around security.

Working in the international security sector in space in the diplomatic community and also at the national level, there are very few countries – I would say there are no countries, including Europe, where the understanding of space across departments, across actors is as high as it is in the United States.  When you walk in the room, some people really struggle to spell space, let alone have any other understanding of it.

And I think that that is something that is really key.  This is a new emerging sector – maybe not so emerging for us, but emerging for everyone else.  And working out how we build that common consistency, common understanding, even common lexicon, especially on the international security issues, is going to be really important.

I think what this policy does is lay down some clear options for how soft-law aspects can be developed – guidelines, parameters.  Again, coming back to that concept of actions management, I certainly think the whole accusation that has been branded against the United States of wanting to be the world’s policeman is not something that comes through in this policy.  And personally I think that that is a huge step forward for our approach to international security and to, certainly, diplomatic aspects of international security.

Also, I think that this policy opens the way for new ideas, innovative ideas.  And I hope that what we will see from the Washington community, both the civil and the government communities, is that we sit down and we really think about well, how do we move forward?  What do we do next?

In space in, for example, Geneva, the question often goes, space, that is an interesting topic; well, I think we should have a multilateral agreement; well, no, no, no, no, we really should have guidelines.  The topic is not dealt with effectively.  The vehicle is often discussed an awful lot.

I think we need to sit down and go, what are the things that we need to be dealing with in the international sector?  What kind of international law, if any, is most appropriate?  And how do we lay down the basis for building international consensus and moving the community towards a safer, more secure environment?

As I said, I think implementation is the 500-pound gorilla in the room.  I think this is a really good step but I think it is a step on a long path.  I think there is going to be a strong role for the State Department and other agencies in doing outreach with our partners, with our allies and also with the people that we are not so thrilled about, and working out how we create an effective regime in which we interact with them because unfortunately, this is an inverted pyramid.  We have to deal with people that in many other realms, we don’t actually have to normally cross swords with, so to speak.

And again internally, as I said, I think building that interagency relationship is going to be really impressive.  But the fact that we have had a policy that came out in the time obviously shows that the agencies have hope, I think.

So overall I think it is a really sound framework that builds national security, advances U.S. interests and shows, I think, to the rest of the world that there is a sound intellectual basis behind the U.S. approach to its future in space and its future engagement with other international partners in the space arena.  So thank you.  Bruce?

BRUCE MACDONALD:  Well, it is great to see so many people turn out on what could be considered a somewhat obscure subject but it is one that is very important.  And I, for one, am overall quite pleased with the revised space policy.

And for any media that are present, I know usually you want really hard-hitting tough critiques, but I think there are some important issues, though, that are raised in it that are certainly noteworthy.

The first thing that really impresses me about the policy document is that the strong and repeated emphasis on responsibility and a recognition that what we do and what others do in space has larger ramifications.

I think there is no better example of that than the debris issue, which has both – it has national security implications, it has economic implications, broad-reaching, that if a country is just looking at its own private interests, you would get sort of one answer to a problem.  But recognizing that space is a kind of global commons, you come up with other different approaches.

Speaking about the national security dimensions of the report, let me first lead off by saying there is a classified version of this document that I haven’t seen – and it’s just as well that I haven’t because I probably would feel more restricted in what I could say than by not having seen it.  And so one needs to keep that in mind.

But even on the unclassified dimensions, one of the things that I was most pleased by and I think is something new is that the document clearly, I think, recognized – or I would like to think it drew upon – the Strategic Posture Review Commission’s recommendation or observations about space where it said that the U.S. policy should – or the U.S. should develop and pursue options for U.S. interest and stability in outer space, including the possibility of negotiated measures.  Now, that was not a group of left-wing people.  That was six Republicans and six Democrats headed by former Defense Secretaries Perry and Schlesinger.  If you haven’t seen this, it is a great document to read and almost a primer in U.S. strategic posture policy.

So I was very pleased to see that emphasis.  And that is frankly something that has been missing in the space policy documents of the past of both the Republican and Democrats.  And that provides – again, it is consistent with this underlying theme of broader responsibility that I think permeates the policy.  And it is something that is strikingly and pleasantly new.

One carryover from the Bush policy that was new in the Bush policy that I was glad to see that was carried over is a recognition that space now, because of the way our military is so heavily dependent upon space that, indeed, space and the capabilities that it provides is one of our vital national interests.  That was new in the Bush policy and I thought it was a good addition.  And that phraseology has been maintained in the current policy.  That, I think, is very important.

The word “deterrence” is not new.  That has appeared before and it appears again here.  But one thing the policy is silent on right now, and really understandably so, is it is silent on the question of how you define space deterrence and how you accomplish or achieve it.  Really, those are tasks that are best left for space strategy or a posture review or things like that, which are ongoing and will be coming down the road.  And so I look forward eagerly to seeing how those vitally important issues are approached.

The whole idea of deterrence as it speaks in there is one way to keep peace in space.  And I want to just – the reason why that is so important is, again, coming back to some basics that if you think about what it is that space provides our military forces, it is really – it is the information.  It is either a medium through which information is passed or information through sensors and so forth is generated from space.

Space is valuable not so much because of the assets that we have in space, but rather the information that they produce.  And if we suddenly lost that, as one colleague of mine, Mike Hamel, who used to head the Space and MissileCenter in the Air Force, said, that if we lost that, we would go suddenly from being a 21st-century fighting force to being an industrial-age fighting force.  Still very powerful and capable, but we would be a hamstrung to some extent by the loss of that information, which powers – you can think of – it powers a whole lot of our military capability.  It would be almost like being suddenly cut off from gasoline.  We would be severely hampered.

And those who might choose to oppose this in certain areas or the possibility of getting into conflicts – one scenario sometimes spoken of is the conflict in the Taiwan Strait – it would make sense that an opponent might want to try to cut off that lifeline.  Just as in World War II, it was very important to cut off Germany and Japan’s access to petroleum oil and lubricants.  So I was interested to see that the deterrence language maintained as well.

Another big thing is that – and here, I might respectfully disagree with Marcia a little bit is I see arms control rehabilitated – space arms control rehabilitated here.  And I think rightly so.  If you look at – the phraseology used is almost word-for-word from earlier space policies.

And while it is true that the Bush administration did not completely shut the door on it, the language – anybody who sat through a number of speeches from the Bush administration, it is pretty clear what their feeling was.  And their earlier policy said they would “oppose the development of new legal regimes or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit U.S. access or use of space,” which was certainly a de facto elimination of arms control.

This does not mean, of course, that we would willy-nilly just go in and sign any arms control agreement.  It has to be – it sets the usual criteria that it has to be in the United States interest, it has to be equitable and it has to be effectively verifiable.  And those are reasonable requirements for any form of space arms control.

But I also take the point that we have a – those of us who work in space say well, the administration ought to do more on space.  But they have got such a huge agenda of things to do that, as much as they might want to, there is only so much that can be done.  And I am one who thinks that norms and rules of the road and sorts of things – if we can’t get some kind of a formal agreement, helping the process to begin to get there through more informal agreements – I would much rather do that than hold out for something a lot better.  I would not want the – you know the old phrase, to let the best be the enemy of the good.

That said, I certainly hope that we can move forward in space arms control, although I doubt that the Conference on Disarmament will be the proper venue to do that.  When you look at the membership and all, to me, the CD is the place you go once you have worked it out somewhere else.  And then you take it – all the parties involved take it to the CD for sort of formal approval.

I thought it was interesting to see in the policy where it – the whole question of national security – it was deemphasized but it wasn’t degraded.  Instead of being the premier headline thing, it was deeper in it.  And I think that, that is the right move to make, again, because the Bush policy, I thought, it was too chest-thumping.

And unfortunately, especially given the opposition in the Bush administration to space arms control, it allowed the Chinese and the Russians both to credibly mischaracterize the U.S. position as being that we are opposed to peace in space.  Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.  So I like the tone that the current policy conveys.

Just a couple of points to finish up on.  And that is that, again, this question of how to deter, how do we get deterrence?  There are a lot of uneasy, unanswered questions.  I would not expect the policy document to do that.  But these are questions that ought to be asked.  Do we need to have any offensive capability in space?  That is a completely valid question and there are good arguments on both sides of the question.

To some extent, one could say that as long as there is ballistic missile defense, anybody who has ballistic missile defense will have a de facto form of anti-satellite capability, as the United States showed in the downing of USA-193.  But these are tough questions to answer.

But overall, I think it is a very strong step in the right direction.  And we will need to pursue these questions of, how do you achieve space deterrence?  And most importantly, how do you maintain stability?  Because a stable space environment, even in the midst of conflict, would allow the United States to continue to reap all the benefits that it gets from space.

One of the things that always troubled me about the Bush policy is that it didn’t make sense to claim that something was in your vital national interest and then to talk about well, yes, if you felt it necessary, you would go ahead and use space weapons because that would only invite attacks on our space assets – again, which we considered vital to our national interest.

So we will have question-and-answer time.  Like I said before, I am overall quite pleased with it.  And I look forward to the discussion to come.  Thank you.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Thank you, Bruce.  Well, this is a first for me in that all three panelists kept to their time or under it, which I can’t ever remember happening.  So thank you.  And I appreciate the comments also.  I mean, I think we had some great analysis in this and some areas of disagreement, which I think is also fine.

So I will take, I think, questions at this point.  We have microphones.  I think I will take two to start with and let the panel respond to that and then we will take some more after that.  So please raise your hand and a microphone will come your way.  Yes, sir?  Please just state who you are.

Q:  Gerry Epstein at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Bruce, maybe the one that stuck in my mind – I’ll throw this at you.  Pointing out the policy requiring that any arms control agreement entered into be effectively verifiable, and you saying yes, but there is also rules of the road and norms that might be important, too, are those incompatible?  How can you verify a rule of the road in that sense or would that be a problem?

MR. ABRAMSON:  Is there another?  A second we can take at this point?  Oh, boy.  Well, Bruce, why don’t you take that one on and we will round up some more?

MR. MACDONALD:  (Inaudible, off mike) – really inflammatory and then I am sure maybe we will get some more.  Yeah, there we go.  Good.

Gerry, good question to ask, and thanks for that.  One of the reasons why rules of the road and codes of conduct sorts of things are separate from agreements – from more formalized agreements – is that the – by definition, if there is not a law, you know, there are no lawbreakers.  And I think what is intended there is it is more of what is considered usual and customary and to rely on peer pressure for enforcement.  So I don’t see it as contradictory because rules of the road, by definition, would not be formalized treaties.

Nonetheless, you want, as in the case of debris, when China did its ASAT test in ’07, it did not expect – from what I understand – all the condemnation that it received.  It broke no rules in doing that.  Just like in 1985 when we smashed one of our satellites, the Solwind, we didn’t break any laws either.

But it was interesting that when China did their midcourse ballistic missile intercept this past January, supposedly anyway, for a missile defense test, they went to great lengths to tell people about it and it was done in an altitude that wouldn’t produce any long-lasting debris and so forth.  So I view that as kind of a tacit admission that China realized they went over the line.  But again, in any discussion about rules of the road or codes of conduct, that is a drawback that there is no – it doesn’t have the force of law.  But still, I think they can be very useful.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Ben or Marcia, if you want to jump in.

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  I would.  On the Chinese issue, I think that is very interesting, certainly, when you are talking about rules of the road and kind of customary practice.  I think what happened with the Chinese is they learnt how to do it after USA-193.  The ASAT test in 2007 was – this was probably not how one does this.  USA-193, if you are going to do this for whatever reason, which we will put aside, this is perhaps a more effective PR strategy.  And I think that is what we have seen.

And I think what rules of the road kind of build on and the concepts that are behind them is that you start building up these parameters of okay, this is just how we carry things out.  And I think there is a lot of potential for that in space.

Additionally, kind of bringing this back to the policy, I think what this policy does effectively is open the door to some of those informal agreements and parameterizations while also not softening a stance on what will happen if there is a threat to national security.

And I think how rules of the road have often been characterized before – and I would actually disagree with Bruce’s comment that it would be much better to have a formal agreement such as a treaty.  I am not necessarily sure that in the long term of securing space and building U.S. national interest that a treaty would be in the best interest of the United States because I don’t think you have currently the capacity in many of the other states that are dealing in the space arena to be able to effectively interpret, domesticate and engage in a far-reaching treaty in the international community.

So I actually think there is a capacity question that the rules of the road and norms of behavior would actually fill that gap and potentially build a bridge before the community is necessarily ready.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Up here in front.

Q:  Colin Clark with DOD Buzz.  How does this policy affect the prospects for militarization or weaponization of space if you are sitting in the Air Force and similar institutions?  Do you now bow your head and say, I understand, we will not do this, or what?

MR. ABRAMSON:  Also if there is a second question, I will take that, too, although I do like that question.  All right.  Anybody want to jump in on that?

MR. MACDONALD:  I will start out.  It is important to distinguish between weaponization of space and weaponization that would affect assets in space.  In some ways, people are talking past one another.

The problem with weapons in space is that it is like ducks in a shooting gallery.  They go around and around and you know where they are going to be.  And if you want to have any kind of offensive counterspace capability, putting them in space would be a risky and very unstable place to put them in because in any kind of a crisis, at some point, the other guy might want to go first and take out those assets.  And again, you can’t exactly build a fortress around them.

Ground-based offensive capability, on the other hand, is easier to protect and easier to withstand another attack.  So I don’t see – I don’t think that weaponization of space is affected by it because weaponization of space just tactically and strategically has quite a number of major drawbacks that would need to be overcome before they would be addressed.

One thing that is important to notice in the space policy even though it is buried deeper in, some of the language has been quite similar from administration to administration where you talk about maintaining capabilities to execute the space support, force enhancement, space control and force application missions.

One difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration is just the Bush administration tended to headline that.  And this got buried on page 14, the last page of the document, but it is still there.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Marcia – I am going to Marcia – sorry.

MS. SMITH:  Sorry, I would just like to add, there is a very intriguing section of the policy that I am still – I have read it several times and have not quite comprehended what they are trying to get across, but it is called “assurance and resilience of mission-essential functions.”

And it seems to me that the language in there really does keep the door pretty much open for anything that might have been done under the Bush policy.  And it also does say under the principles that we are going to deter, defend and, if necessary, defeat people who might want to attack us.

So I think the door is still open.  I think it is simply de-emphasized and what’s being emphasized is that there are other avenues that we could take before we would ever get to the point of actually attacking someone’s satellites.  But it does give us the room to do that if we feel it is necessary.

MS. ABRAMSON:  Thanks, Marcia.  Ben?

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  I would dispute the premise of your question.  I think –

Q:  There is no premise.  I am just trying to get an idea of how it will affect the debate.

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  No, no, but I mean the premise of your question, I think, of the two words you used:  militarization and weaponization.  I think we can all agree that the militarization boat has well and truly sailed.  On the weaponization boat, my advice, if I was sitting in the DoD, would be, what this policy says is forget about the word that you just used; let’s not talk about weaponization.

I think what this policy says is that, again, coming back to that concept of actions management and also a more holistic approach.  If, for example, the United States blows up a Chinese satellite, what would I do if I were sitting in Beijing?  Would I go and launch a missile at an American satellite?  No, I would crash the dollar.  (Laughter.)

So I think now looking at space as a more integrated part of international security and international diplomacy is key.  So we don’t necessarily need to look at it as this fenced-in arena that is pitched between A and B.  So I think – I really like the fact that, you know, what could be a space weapon?  Well, a satellite with maneuvering-capability-targeting aside.  The AEGIS missile – I mean, how are we going to start regulating that?

There is so much dual-use aspect to so much of the weaponization that is going on in space.  I think we can all agree that Death Stars are a bad idea, but apart from that, I think we have many, many other aspects in this.  So again, I think what this policy says is, don’t ask that question; let’s rephrase the question and ask it in a different way.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Other questions out there?  Greg?

Q:  I’m Greg Thielmann, Arms Control Association.  I’m scratching my head a bit on the idea of equitable arms control.  At first glance, it seems like, obvious, of course.  But in the context of space arms control, I am not sure what it means.  And I would think that, given U.S. advantage at this point, that would not be the first major emphasis in terms of equitability of impact, if that is what the implication is.  So maybe one of you can kind of illuminate that in terms of what was really meant by equitability.

MR. MACDONALD:  I will jump in a little bit on that.  I scratched my head over that one a little bit, myself, until I went back and checked and found that that was the term that was used in the Clinton space policy.  When you think about it a little more, I take your point.

I am reminded of – was it a Supreme Court justice who said that the law with majestic impartiality prevents both the rich and the poor from sleeping under railroad bridges?  The United States, in one sense, could have more to lose.  But on the other hand, we have more to gain as well.

And again, I think if you look at it not so much like in a bean-counting exercise that you – and that is what a lot of people think of when they think about arms control.  If though, for example, you had a ban on the testing of kinetic energy ASAT, that is not a numbers thing so much as it is a restraint on something that would be destabilizing both – for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is just all the debris that would be created.

So I think as much as anything, it might be a carryover.  You are a veteran bureaucrat – former bureaucrat, yourself, as I am, and a number of others in the room – and you know the language that has been agreed in the past tends to have a high precedent value.  And so when I read “equitable,” I think of that as being that it should not unfairly disadvantage the United States is what I take from it.  But it is a slightly puzzling word in there.

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  Perhaps just to take this – to flip it on its head and to tie another phrase in the policy, which is this whole idea of instead of saying the United States, but saying the freedom – I think it is “the freedom of action of a nation” – I think that is really key.

When you take this into the international context, there is a whole set of emerging space powers, countries that look to being space powers who are very interested in how this is going to play out from an equity perspective.  They see their right to develop space activities, in many ways, to experiment and make some of the mistakes that we have all learnt weren’t such a good idea – for example, anti-satellite weapons blowing up satellites.  We have learnt that that wasn’t such a hot idea.  Maybe Botswana hasn’t quite got that yet.  And I think that that’s really key.

So understanding equitability from both the U.S. national security perspective, but also for all of these emerging actors I think is a very difficult balance to strike.  And I think something like a ban on kinetic ASATs is one of the few examples in space where you really can say okay, this is good for the community at large and has an equal effect on the vast majority of the players in the game.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Sam and Victoria, let’s take two.

Q:  I have a question about the principles – actually two questions.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Identify yourself, please.

Q:  I’m Sam Black from the Stimson Center.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Thank you.

Q:  The principle that Marcia mentioned where it talks about deter, defend and defeat efforts to attack, the first sentence says that, “the United States will employ a variety of measures to help assure the use of space for all responsible parties.”  And I’m wondering how we assure defend, deter, defeat the use of space for everyone.

And the second question is in the principle above that, it says, “the United States considers the space systems of all nations to have the rites of passage through and conduct of operations in space without interference.”  And I’m wondering what this says about the U.S. willingness to use jamming capabilities, for example.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Victoria?

MS. SAMSON:  Victoria Samson.  As I mentioned before, I was intrigued by the use of international outreach in this national space policy.  And I would be curious to get the panel’s take on how they envision this actually happening not just in terms of where it will take place.  I think we have all agreed the CD is having its difficulties.  COPUOS is having some events.  But do you see it happening solely in international fora or will it be with other space actors who are of interest?

And besides where it will take place, who will it take place with?  Will it just be traditional United States allies?  Will it be other space actors that could affect U.S. assets in space?  A country like Iran has a very active space program, but clearly, one would be loath calling them an ally these days.  So I would be curious to hear your take on, who do we reach out to and how do we go about doing it?  Thanks.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Any of the panel want to start on those sets of questions?

MS. SMITH:  Well, I am not quite sure what Sam was trying to get at.  But I think that, as I was saying earlier, I think that the language in the Obama policy leaves the door open to a variety of different mechanisms.  And it does not preclude an anti-satellite attack particularly, but it makes it more likely that the United States would look at other mechanisms to deal with that kind of a situation before they would go so far as to actually try to defeat someone who was trying to interfere with our satellites.

And I think the language in here indicates that, yes, purposeful interference of space systems will be considered an infringement of a nation’s rights.  I am not sure that that would preclude the United States from interfering with someone else’s satellites if we thought that satellite was infringing on our rights.  I don’t see that language in here.  So I think it just – it opens the door to a variety of mechanisms to dealing with these eventualities.

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  I would add on to what Marcia said is just that I think it is very interesting that in the last principle we very clearly state that Article 51 of the U.N. Charter very clearly applies.  So I think the shift in language here is it is self-defense, it is deter, it is defend; it is always on the premise that there is some previous action.  So I would say that, as Marcia said, intentional interference would be looked on negatively, but also could arguably be a cause for invoking Article 51 and the right for self-defense.

Victoria, I wasn’t quite sure whether you were referring to general arms control issues or just general international cooperation.

MS. SAMSON:  (Off mike.)

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:   International outreach.  I think that what this policy demonstrates is that there are very many ways to do it.  There is going to be multilateral engagement in the diplomatic fora – probably outside the diplomatic fora, but in a diplomatic environment.

I also think that there is going to be a lot of potentially regional engagement.  We are seeing a rise in regional alliances in space in Asia – APSCO, APRSAF in the civil sector, but also some more other interesting alliances and more interest in certain states, such as Australia, in how space in the region is kind of playing out.

From a bilateral perspective, personally, I am a huge believer that using space as a soft-power tool is a huge possibility for the United States:  Using it as part of an aid package, supporting countries to build safe, responsible, effective space programs that aid development, telemedicine, tele-health, all those kinds of things is really crucial.  So I think that is one way that we could see it happening.

In addition, I think in our bilateral cooperation relationships, we need to be more consistent.  The Brazilians really hate us because we did a program with them, they started working with the Chinese and they lost a ton of money because they put a lot of money into the cooperation with the United States and now they are pissed.

I think building clear, established parameters on how we deal with our international partners when we enter into bilateral agreements and into bilateral international cooperation on specific programs is really key.  And what I think this policy does is lay down some clear guidelines about what direction and how we are going to do this.  And I hope that that continues through in the implementation.

MR. MACDONALD:  Let me just add one point there.  As we were talking earlier in response to Sam’s question, now, really, there is a different ethnic in peacetime versus in conflict when you have been attacked.

But this, I think – I want to reemphasize a point I made earlier and that is because we get more benefit out of space from a purely military perspective – not to mention economic, but from purely military perspective, we get more benefit from space than anybody else.  I find it hard to see circumstances under which we would want to initiate space conflict, which, as I said, would just very likely bring attacks back against our systems.

Even during conflict, we ought to want there not to be conflict in space so that we can keep on taking advantage of seeing the troop deployments and the massive amounts of communications that would be going on.  And for those reasons, of course, somebody like China, were we to get a conflict over Taiwan Strait, would be sorely tempted to consider the possibility of initiating a space conflict.  And the trick for us is figuring out a way to be able to deter.

And deterrence doesn’t just have to be with a counterspace capability.  It could be with other means as well.  Figuring out how to do that, and in a credible way and enunciating that doctrine of that, that is going to be the tricky thing to handle, I think, in the years ahead.

MS. SMITH:  And if I could just add one thing about Victoria’s question.  I think that each country is going to have to be dealt with individually.  There is going to have to be targeted approaches depending on what the country is.  Everybody wants to know are we going to be reaching out more to China.  And I think there are a lot of people in the space community see advantages to reaching out to China.

But then you get the kind of lash-back that you got from Congressman Wolf at the markup on Tuesday – at the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations markup where he made it absolutely clear that he does not think that the United States should be cooperating with China at all on space.  And Congressman Culberson actually introduced an amendment that would have made it so that we could not cooperate with China in space unless Congress first gave it approval.

So there certainly are – there is a group of people out there who think that cooperating with China still is not a good idea.  And I think that, that debate still has not reached its end.  It obviously has not reached its end.  And so whether it is China or Iran or whoever it is, I think it is going to be on a case-by-case basis.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Back to Ben.

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  I would just like to pick up on Bruce’s analogy of the Taiwan Straits.  I am not sure I quite agree that the Taiwan Straits would play out in that kind of way.  I think what we are seeing with some of the larger, emerging space players is the same kind of awareness that we are seeing in this policy, which is that space is an integral part of many other aspects of our business as opposed to just the military security realm.  It is economics.  It is communications.  It is, it is, it is.

So whether the Chinese are prepared to cut their own nose off to spite the face, I think is a conversation that we now can effectively enter into as the levels of engagement in space is increasing.  And I think that that’s really important to realize.

In addition, following onto Victoria’s question, another part of international outreach is convincing everybody in the international community that space is really important to them – not to us, but to them – so that it really isn’t in your best interest to initiate space conflict; it really isn’t in your best interest to engage in a potential situation that could be deleterious to your own engagement in space or utilization of space resources and services.

MR. ABRAMSON:  I am going to take moderator’s prerogative to make a closing comment.  I think we had a great panel discussion on both of those questions.  I think, Sam, you have pointed out some of the ambiguities that are within the policy that I think, moving forward, might be in the U.S. interests to clarify, especially if it is a less aggressive approach and expectations that other countries would follow that as a norm.

On Victoria’s question, I just would throw in – and I shouldn’t because I am not an expert on this – but I have been really impressed in terms of other actors that are going to push for international cooperation on what the commercial sector is doing.  I mean, really sort of seeing their cooperation around space situational awareness.

I think you will continue to see them pushing for more transparency in what government is doing.  It is not a state-to-state type work, but as this is increasingly not just a military use of space, I think we will see other actors outside of what we’ve normally thought of as being involved.  And that gets way out of my arms control area but one of the observations I have.

I want to ask you to thank the panelists for their great comments and insights and for putting this together in such a short time.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you all for coming.




Panelists: Marcia Smith, Ben Baseley-Walker, and Bruce MacDonald

Subject Resources:

No time for complacency: tackling challenges to the Chemical Weapons Convention



Presentation at the conference “The OPCW’s Contribution to the International Security Dimension: Achievements and Challenges,” Berlin, 7-8 June 2010

Remarks by Oliver Meier, June 8, 2010

I would like to thank the organizers for inviting me to speak on this panel. The Arms Control Association is a non-governmental organization based in Washington D.C. that has been promoting more effective arms control agreements for almost 40 years. In our monthly journal Arms Control Today, many leading experts, some of which participating in this conference, have been analysing the challenges facing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in-depth from the very early days of the convention. In addition, we regularly report from The Hague on meetings of states parties and developments at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It is from the latter perspective, rather than from a technical point of view, that I would like to make a few observations on the subject of this conference, that is achievements of the CWC and challenges facing the treaty.

1. Achievements of the OPCW and the CWC

The main achievement of the Chemical Weapons Convention is that it demonstrates that weapons of mass destruction can be verifiably and comprehensively prohibited. The CWC embodies the taboo against chemical weapons and it has been key in making sure that chemical weapons are no longer legitimate means of warfare.

The OPCW creates the necessary trust that member states are not violating the core obligations of the convention. This is no small task because out of the three categories of weapons of mass destruction, abolition of chemical weapons is by not necessarily the easiest case. Unlike biological weapons, chemical weapons had become engrained into the Cold War system of deterrence. And verification of chemical weapons nonproliferation requires the monitoring of thousands of relatively small facilities around the world that could be misused for hostile purposes, whereas in the nuclear nonproliferation regime there are a few hundred facilities that need to be verified. So from an international security and verification point of view, successful implementation of the CWC is a giant step forward.

These accomplishments are particularly important against the background of the current debate on whether a world free of nuclear weapons can ever be attained and verified. Despite all the differences between chemical and nuclear weapons, the OPCW’s core message is “Yes, we can!”

Another achievement is that the OPCW itself has overcome severe internal crises. After the dismissal of his predecessor, Director General Rogelio Pfirter has steered the organization back on solid ground from which it now needs to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. Despite the difficulties it faces, the organization is in very good shape.

2. Challenges facing the OPCW and the CWC

Diplomats in The Hague are rightly proud of the spirit of consensus that is present in the

OPCW. There has been only one decision in the history of the organization that has been taken by a vote rather than by consensus. Yet, this spirit of consensus can sometimes make it difficult to take adequate action on issues that are important yet also potentially divisive politically.

These potentially controversial issues include two of the most important political challenges facing the convention, namely

  1. how ensure that new technical developments do not undermine the general purpose criterion, and
  2. how to adjust the verification regime to changing economic and political realities at a time when the verification of destruction activities is bound to become relatively less resource-intensive.

There are other important challenges facing the convention, particularly how to deal with the fact that the United States and probably Russia will not be able to meet the 2012 destruction deadline. But this is a technical and legal issue, rather than a political problem. Nobody seriously doubts the political commitment of possessor states to eliminate existing stocks. That is why this problem is not affecting the core of the convention, the taboo against chemical weapons.

By contrast, the question of how to deal with novel technological developments that could undermine the general purpose criterion is a deeply political issue. Several states parties are apparently interested in using novel riot control agents in the context of peacekeeping or antiterrorism operations. Some have already done so in the past. Such operations are constantly becoming more important, thus creating a new demand for toxic agents to be used in such scenarios. At the same time, new technological developments are making it possible to develop ever more capable incapacitants and riot control agents. Discussions at the last review conference have shown that many states parties and certainly non-governmental organizations (NGOs) see a need to clarify two questions:

  • What are the permitted circumstances under which toxic chemicals may be used for riot control and domestic law enforcement?
  • Which agents may be used for such purposes?

Should these questions not be clarified, there is a real danger the resulting ambiguities may be exploited to expand the use of toxic chemicals and the norm against the use of chemicals for hostile purposes may slowly erode.

Reforming the CWC’s verification system is another political challenge that can weaken the convention. A range of problems lies ahead. States parties need to make sure that

  • the OPCW will continue to strengthen its nonproliferation regime as the task of monitoring chemical disarmament is losing relative importance,
  • the rising number of modern production facilities that can easily be misused for prohibited purposes are adequately monitored and
  • novel verification techniques and technologies are used by the OPCW inspectorate.

So far, the reaction of states parties to these problems has been insufficient. At most, member states were able to discuss incremental measures to address these problems. In the case of non-lethal weapons, the second review conference was unable to even agree on a modest Swiss proposal to “launch a discussion of the ambiguities of the Chemical Weapons Convention regarding riot control agents, and the lack of provisions pertaining to incapacitating agents.”[1] Any mentioning of the issue was deleted from the final document, following a last minute intervention by Iran.[2]

Likewise, the reform of the verification system is also proceeding too slowly. There are a number of reasons why such an incremental approach may turn out to be insufficient. Reorienting the verification system takes time, not least because adequate training of inspectors cannot be done on short notice. There is also the danger that the OPCW could suddenly find itself in a crisis because a state party successfully evades the system of routine inspections. It was such a crisis after the discovery of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program that triggered a reform of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguards system in the early 1990s. It is to be hoped that the OPCW will never find itself in a similar situation of having to admit that its routine inspections failed to uncover a major clandestine effort to develop weapons of mass destruction.

3. What is to be done?

It seems increasingly clear that addressing both challenges requires political leadership, ideally from one or several influential countries within the regime. The reasons why this leadership has largely been lacking are fairly obvious: Some states are putting their own narrow economic and national security interests before the good of the convention. Reforming the verification regime touches on economic interests, particularly in developing countries and emerging economies. Other states believe that a clarification of the restrictions on the use of incapacitants and riot-control agents could restrict the conditions under which they might in the future use so-called non-lethal weapons.

Looking at the experience in other international organizations, change usually comes as a result of either a deep crisis or because influential coalitions of states demonstrate the political will to push for reforms. Such coalitions of the willing, which ideally cut across regional groups, have induced change in a number of other arms control regimes.

There is a particular role for the EU in tackling the challenges facing the convention. The EU has repeatedly stated that it is concerned about the challenges facing the verification system and it has highlighted the importance of not using riot control agents for purposes prohibited under the convention.[3] The EU itself is already a coalition of like-minded states and therefore in a perfect position to push for political reforms aimed at keeping the implementation of the convention up-to-date.

As Ambassador Pfirter has demonstrated, the Director General can also play an important role by constantly reminded states parties that complacency on controversial issues can seriously affect the operation of the convention and by making specific proposals for the solution of such problems. It is to be hoped that the new Director General will continue to do fulfill both functions.

Last but not least, non-governmental organizations have an important role to play in supporting the convention. Where necessary, NGOs need to report on the lack of action by states parties but they also can assist CWC members by outlining ways to overcome the challenges the convention faces. If necessary, NGOs can try to create public pressure to induce states to act.

4. Conclusion

Two years ago, the Arms Control Association published a reader for the review conference, which contained a range of contributions from leading experts on the implementation of the CWC.[4] The introduction to that reader was titled “No Time for Complacency: Adapting the Chemical Weapons Convention for the Future.” The main thrust was a call on states parties to tackle some of the difficult challenges that face the convention today and in the future.

Not enough has happened in this regard at the second review conference and very little since. But fortunately the OPCW and CWC are strong enough to endure a controversial, open and transparent discussion on these and other issues that could affect the operation of the convention and – in the end might undermine the taboo against chemical weapons. – OLIVER MEIER

1. “Riot Control and Incapacitating Agents under the Chemical Weapons Convention”, National Paper Submitted by Switzerland, Second Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention, The Hague, 7-18 April 2008.

2. Oliver Meier: “CWC Review Conference Avoids Difficult Issues,” in: Arms Control Today, May 2008), pp. 32–35.

3. See for example Statement By Ms Anita Pipan, Director General for Policy Planning and Multilateral Political Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Slovenia on Behalf of the European Union and Associated Countries, to the Second Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, The Hague, 7 April 2008.

4. “The 2008 Chemical Weapons Convention Review Conference: A Collection of Articles, Essays, and Interviews on Tackling the Threats Posed by Chemical Weapons”, Washington, D.C.: Arms Control Association, April 2008, http://www.armscontrol.org/pdf/CWC2008_READERWEB.pdf.


Remarks by ACA International Representative Oliver Meier, June 8, 2010 during a "Perspectives from NGOs" panel at a conference on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Subject Resources:

2010 NPT Review Conference Approaches the Finish Line



Presentation for Hudson Institute-Partnership for a Secure America Event

Remarks by Daryl G. Kimball, May 24, 2010

Forty years ago, the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) set into place one of the most important international security bargains of all time: states without nuclear weapons pledged not to acquire them, while nuclear-armed states committed to eventually give them up. At the same time, the NPT allowed for the peaceful use of nuclear technology by non-nuclear weapon states under strict and verifiable control. The NPT is a good deal that must be honored and strengthened.

The NPT must be strengthened because, once again—and not for the first time—the nuclear nonproliferation system is facing a crisis of confidence. The May 2010 NPT Review Conference provides an important opportunity for the pact’s 189 members to adopt a balanced action plan to improve nuclear safeguards, guard against treaty withdrawal, accelerate progress on disarmament, and address regional proliferation challenges.

Based on my conversations over the past few weeks with key delegations in at the Conference at the UN in New York and our analysis of the conference documents, it is clear that President Obama’s nonproliferation and disarmament approach has created a far more positive atmosphere among all States Parties. For example:

  • Unlike the 2005 NPT Review Conference, the United States and the other P-5 nuclear weapon states have acknowledged the commitments made at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and the 2000 Review Conference, which has opened the way from agreement in a number of areas;
  • In contrast to 2005, Iran is more clearly outside the nonproliferation mainstream and does not have the degree of support it had from many non-aligned states; and
  • While there is a great deal of frustration from many states in the non-nuclear weapons majority about the slow pace of progress on disarmament, there is a greater degree of flexibility begin demonstrated by all sides in the interest of reaching agreement on a forward-looking action plan that reinforces the NPT system.

As a result, as the Conference enters the final week, “success” appears to be within reach but can by no means be taken for granted.

Tonight, the NPT RevCon Main Committees, which deal with implementation of past commitments, and Subsidiary Bodies, which are charged with examining forward-looking issues, are to complete and report on their work to the Conference. At that point, the RevCon will enter the final stage in which the Conference President Libran Cabactulan of the Philippines will try to resolve the remaining issues and produce a final conference document that can be supported by all states, or at least the overwhelming majority of states.

To succeed, Ambassador Cabactulan will likely need key leaders, particularly President Obama, to provide the personal leadership necessary to bring key states together around a balanced and meaningful plan of action. If the Conference does not arrive at an agreement, it would represent a lost opportunity, but not the end of efforts to strengthen the NPT system.

The following is a summary of some of the more significant outcomes that might emerge from this process.

1. Disarmament Issues: The 2010 RevCon will likely recommend further actions in several key areas on nuclear disarmament. Under the leadership of Austrian Ambassadors Alexander Marchik, the latest (May 21) draft Subsidiary Body Report balances a wide-range of proposals and concerns. The current draft outlines a 24-point Action Plan that includes language:

  • calling for prompt CTBT entry into force and progress toward a fissile material production cut-off treaty;
  • recognizing the value of New START and calling for further undertakings to reduce and eliminate all types of nuclear weapons;
  • recognizing the need to further diminish the role and significance of nuclear weapons in security concepts, doctrines and policies, and to address nuclear weapons on the territories of non-nuclear countries and to discuss declaratory policies;
  • calling for steps to reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems and reduce the risk of accidental or unauthorized use and to enhance transparency.

China reportedly doesn’t like the current language in Action 18 which calls on all nuclear weapon states to “uphold or consider declaring a moratorium” pending conclusion of a fissile materials treaty.  Russia seems determined to remove any explicit reference to non-strategic nuclear weapons, but would accept general language relating to the need to reduce and eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, as in the current draft.

The disarmament Action Plan also includes a clear reference to and support for a comprehensive approach on a path to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. This is important from the perspective of the non-nuclear weapon state majority because it would provide the non-nuclear countries with reassurance that the New START process and the reaffirmed steps from 2000 will be pursued with context and direction.

There is pragmatic language in this regard in the May 21 Subsidiary Body 1 draft report, notably section II, para 3, which notes that “all States possessing nuclear weapons, need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.”

Action 6 calls upon the nuclear-weapon States “… to report back to States parties on the consultations, within the upcoming review cycle. Based inter alia on the outcome of these consultations, the Secretary General of the United Nations is invited to convene an open-ended high-level meeting to take stock and agree on a roadmap for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, including by means of a universal, legal instrument.”

Whether the P-5 agree to keep such language in the final document could very well determine whether or not a large bloc of countries are willing to support the final outcome.

2. Regional Issues: For weeks, the P-5 led by the United States and the Arab States, led by Egypt, have been working in good faith to achieve agreement on practical next steps toward a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. The May 21 draft report out of Subsidiary Body 2:

  • recognizes the critical importance of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East
  • notes the P-5 statement’s commitment to its full implementation, and regrets there has been so little progress.

The draft endorses:

  • an “initial conference” in 2012 convened by the UN Secretary-General and involving all states in the Middle East, “leading to the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by the States of the region...;” and
  • a Special Coordinator with a mandate to facilitate implementation of the 1995 Resolution, conduct consultations and undertake preparations for the Conference and, importantly, “follow-on steps,” with reports to be provided to NPT states parties at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 PrepComs.

Whether this language will be supported by key parties this week remains to be seen, but it appears to be a very good attempt to address the views of key parties. I would underscore that Israel is on record in support of the pursuit of a WMD-free zone in the region and, according to my sources, would support a conference in the near term to discuss, but not negotiate on the issue, with future meetings to be scheduled via agreement amongst all parties, as outlined in the current NPT RevCon draft language.

For the sake of the conference and the credibility of the NPT itself, Egypt needs to be able, and willing, to deliver a tangible result. For the United States and others, winning the support for Egypt and the NAM states on this issue is important to making it clear that Iran is outside the NPT mainstream. All sides must go the extra mile on this issue, which appears resolvable.

On North Korea, the draft condemn North Korea’s 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests and give “firm support” to the Six Party Talks, to resolve nuclear problems “through diplomatic means.”  North Korea is urged to fulfill its commitments, including completely and verifiably abandoning all its nuclear weapons “and existing nuclear programmes,” and to “return, at an early date,” to the NPT and IAEA safeguards.

The draft also urges India and Pakistan to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear weapons states and urges both states to “strengthen their non-proliferation export control measures over technologies, material and equipment that can be used for the production of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.”

Though a number of delegates have complained that the Indian exemption from NSG nuclear cooperation guidelines has weakened the NSG and undermined the NPT, criticism at the RevCon has been generally been muted.  A number of states have proposed language that “existing or new supply arrangements for the transfer of source or special fissionable material or equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material should require, as a necessary precondition, acceptance of IAEA full scope safeguards and international legally binding commitments not to acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”

That language will likely be contested by the major supplier states because it is a direct criticism of the exemption from nuclear trade guidelines that was granted to India, which is does not have a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.

The chief concern among many states is that there should not be further exemption for Pakistan and Israel. To counter the impression that a further erosion of the nonproliferation system is on the way, it is important that the United States publicly protest the proposed Chinese sale of two light-water reactors to Pakistan as a violation of NSG guidelines at the June NSG meeting in Wellington.

3. Peaceful Nuclear Uses, Safeguards, and Treaty Withdrawal: there appears to be an emerging consensus on several other controversial but important issues.

Iran’s safeguards transgressions and the ongoing investigation of Syrian nuclear activities by the IAEA have highlighted once again the importance of strengthening safeguards. While the vast majority of NPT States Parties have Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements with the IAEA, many have not adopted the Additional Protocol to their safeguards agreements, which would give the IAEA important additional authority to investigate undeclared nuclear activities.

While many Western countries support the Additional Protocol as the verification standard, developing states generally oppose making it a legally-binding obligation. The 2010 RevCon will not close such divergent views, but it will likely recognize the additional protocol as the new standard for safeguards and encourage all States parties to conclude additional protocols and to bring them into force as soon as possible.

North Korea’s declared but unrecognized withdrawal from the NPT in 2003 highlights that countries can acquire technologies that bring them to the very brink of nuclear weapons capability without violating the treaty and can leave the treaty without automatic penalties. In the years ahead, others such as Iran may be tempted to follow. NPT members have a common interest in ensuring that noncompliance comes with consequences.

The 2010 NPT RevCon will likely “underscore” that “under international law a withdrawing party is still liable for breaches of the Treaty that occurred prior to withdrawal” and that “nuclear material, equipment and technology acquired by States for peaceful purposes prior to withdrawal must remain subject to peaceful use under the IAEA safeguards even after withdrawal.”

Conclusions: States should aim for consensus.  It is achievable. Remaining issues appear to be resolvable in the final week.  However, neither the United States nor other states should or can afford to introduce new issues or rigid counterproposals into the mix.

Maneuvers that demonstrate that a supermajority supports an outcome document risk creating long term resentments, and should only be considered as a last resort if there is only a small handful of states unhappy with relatively minor or purely national issues. Such an effort would backfire if attempted to overcome disagreements over a fundamental concern shared by dozens of NPT parties.

President Obama needs to be involved and I expect he will be personally engaged in the final days of NPT RevCon diplomacy. The President’s personal interventions with key leaders on key issues could help make a difference.

The stakes are high for U.S. national security and for the health of the non-proliferation regime. President Obama’s substantial leadership this past 15 months on reducing the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation and use has already made this NPT RevCon more positive and fruitful.

Delegations need clear instructions to get the job done and not allow extraneous political agendas or minor interpretations to get in the way of a broader consensus. All sides must go the extra mile to strengthen and update the NPT system at this critical juncture.

We will see what happens in less than five days. Thank you.


Remarks by ACA Executive Director Daryl G. Kimball, May 24, 2010 during a Presentation for Hudson Institute-Partnership for a Secure America Event.

Transcript of ACA Annual Meeting: Next Steps on Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction























president, Partnership for Global Security;

Co-Chair, Fissile Materials Working Group;




MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010

10:15 A.M.


Transcript by

Federal News Service

Washington, D.C.


DARYL G. KIMBALL:  Good morning, my friends.  Good morning.  I’m Daryl Kimball.  I’m executive director of the Arms Control Association.  I want to welcome everyone to this 2010 ACA annual meeting.  We’re going to get started now that everyone is settled in.  On behalf of the board and the staff, thanks for coming.

We’re going to begin this morning with a panel discussion focusing on three issues that are near the top of the U.S. international security agenda, including the “New START” deal, the pivotal 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and the results of and the next steps following last month’s nuclear security summit.  And then after we hear from our three distinguished speakers, who I’ll introduce in just a moment, we’re going to take your questions, have some discussion.

And then we’re going to break for lunch, which is going to be served right outside in a buffet style.  And then our luncheon speaker, Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller will be joining us shortly after noontime after a meeting at the White House that she has at 11:00.  She assures me that she will be here no later than 12:15.

And then following that luncheon address and questions for Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller, those of you who are members of the Arms Control Association are welcome to join me, our board chairman John Steinbruner, other board members for a discussion about the Arms Control Association’s current work and our upcoming work in 2010.  We’re going to meeting downstairs in the room in the rear of this building, which I believe is called the Butler Room.

And it is indeed a very busy period, not just for the Arms Control Association but for the entire U.S. government, and international arms control, and disarmament, and nonproliferation machinery, if you will.  Since President Obama spoke in Prague on April 5th of last year, we’ve seen one of the busiest periods in the recent history of nuclear arms control.

Talks on the “New START” treaty began shortly after that Prague speech.  The 2009 NPT preparatory conference agreed on an agenda for the upcoming review conference, which begins next month.  There were new efforts to engage Iran in nonproliferation diplomacy that are still being attempted, though without success.  The Obama administration launched technical studies to lay the groundwork for the reconsideration of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.  In September, the U.N. Security Council considered and approved U.N. Security Council Resolution 1887.

And then to accelerate work and add to the work even more, just in this past month, of course, we saw the New START agreement being completed and signed on April 8th. The administration’s Nuclear Posture Review was released on April 6th and just about a week later, 46 world leaders met in Washington for a summit to discuss actions to lock down nuclear weapons-usable material.

That was the easy part, and now the hard part begins.  And our speakers are going to be addressing what needs to happen next to move forward on these three very important issues, beginning with Senate approval of the new START agreement, securing international support for measures to strengthen and update the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the May Review Conference and moving forward with the implementation of the work plan that was agreed to at the Nuclear Security Summit earlier this month.

And after that, sometime in 2011, there’s even more work that the Arms Control Association and many of you will be helping with, including a serious campaign on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which we hope will begin in earnest sometime in 2011.  We’re not going to be discussing that today, but I just wanted to point out that we do have a very good Arms Control Association report on the CTBT outside on the table that you are all welcome to take with you.

This morning we’re joined by three experts who are going to address the issues I’ve just mentioned:

First, we’re going to hear from Ambassador Linton Brooks, who is going to provide us with his analysis and perspectives on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, including perhaps responses to some of the questions that have been raised thus far about the treaty from some skeptics in the Senate.  He, of course, is known to many of you.  He was the lead negotiator for the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration from 2003 to 2007, and many other things before that.

And then, to describe how the United States and other parties can achieve success at the upcoming NPT Review Conference, we’re very fortunate and honored to have with us the president of the 1995 review and extension conference, Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala.  He is currently the president of the Pugwash Conferences.  He has been the undersecretary of disarmament affairs at the United Nations.  So we’re very fortunate to have him here with us just a few days before the opening of this very important review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty next month.

I also wanted to note that we have a new report from the Arms Control Association that we think of as kind of a Cliff Notes guide of some of the major proposals that have been put forward to strengthen and update the treaty out on the table.  And you’re welcome to take copies of this report.

And last but not least, we’re joined by Ken Luongo from beautiful northern New Jersey, who’s made his way here, courtesy of AMTRAK.  I was joking with Ken, we’re a little nervous not about his ability to get up in the morning, but about Amtrak’s ability to get him here.  He is here.  He is the president of the Partnership for Global Security and the co-chair of the Fissile Material Working Group, which is an NGO experts consortium that focused on the nuclear security summit this month.  Ken is going to provide us with his assessment of the nuclear security summit and the actions necessary to follow through in the weeks and months ahead.

So let me turn over the podium to our first panelist, Linton Brooks.  Thank you very much for being here, Linton.  (Applause.)

LINTON BROOKS:  So I’m in a room with most of the arms control knowledge in the United States, and I’m going to be followed in an hour-and-a-half by the person who actually negotiated the “New START” treaty.  So this is – you know, and Daryl thinks of me as a friend, so just – (laughter) – be careful what you’ll agree to.

I am going to talk about “New START.”  But before I do, I want to make a point about the lens through which you should be looking at this treaty.  Or more importantly, the lens through which you should not be looking at this treaty:  You should not evaluate “New START” by some of the traditional Cold War metrics:

In the Cold War, we wanted to constrain the arms race.  We saw this action-reaction cycle and we thought that if we could constrain the arms race, we would also save money.  And in the Cold War, we wanted to improve stability in a crisis by encouraging a shift away from ICBMs with multiple warheads.

Now, neither of those objectives has very much relevance today.  There is no arms race to cap and therefore there’s no money to save.  And while in theory, improving stability in a crisis would be a good idea, conditions in Russia preclude massive restructuring of their forces no matter what an arms control treaty says.  So the two sides agreed at the beginning of this negotiation that each would have the freedom to structure its forces as it sees fit.

Now, there are Cold War objectives that still do matter:  One is to reduce suspicion and avoid misunderstanding through increased transparency and predictability.  Transparency leads to predictability; predictability leads to stability.  And second objective is to improve the overall political relationship.  The ability to work together on complex issues helps advance the administration’s attempt to reset relations with Russia.  So those are reasons that were valid in the Cold War, and they’re still valid.

And then there are at least two reasons that we didn’t think about at all during the Cold War that are now important.  One is next month’s review conference for the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We will want to achieve a number of results.  And to do so, we will need to be seen as supporting the legal aspects of the international nonproliferation and disarmament regime.

Now, I don’t share the view that the last administration neglected those aspects.  But to the extent people have the perception that the last administration did, then the “New START” treaty will help.  I’ll defer to your next speaker about how much it will help, but it will clearly help.

And then finally, there’s one more new reason, which, frankly, we never thought about during the Cold War.  And that is nuclear abolition.  If you believe in nuclear abolition – and some of you know I am a skeptic – but if you believe in nuclear abolition, then it is obvious that the first step is to reduce the arsenals of the two largest holders of nuclear weapons on the planet.

So it’s those currently valid reasons that you should look at as you try and evaluate the “New START” treaty.

So what’s in the new treaty?  There are three fundamental limits:  There’s a limit on what we used to call and what the Nuclear Posture Review still calls “strategic nuclear delivery vehicles.”  It’s not a term that’s used in the treaty, but it’s a term that we all use and it means ICBM launchers, submarine launchers, heavy bombers.  And that limit is 800.

There’s a separate limit of 700 IBCMs in those launchers, SLBMs in those launchers, and heavy bombers.  These are limits on actual missiles and heavy bombers.  And you’ll notice that means that if everybody is right up to the limit, there are a hundred launchers that don’t have anything in them or that are in some kind of long-term overhaul, which allows for submarine maintenance and bomber overhaul.

And then finally, there’s a limit of 1550 warheads.  Every arms control treaty in the last 20-some-odd years has denominated its result in warheads and every one of them has used the term slightly differently, and this treaty is no exception.  So you cannot directly compare this treaty with previous treaties simply by looking at number of warheads because they mean different things.  What this treaty means by 1550 warheads is real, physical, no-joke atom bombs on ICBMs and on submarine-launched ballistic missiles.  But for bombers, it means we will simply arbitrarily say, for every bomber, we will count one warhead.

The Nuclear Posture Review says that this was adopted because, quote, “heavy bombers do not pose a first-strike threat and on a day-to-day basis, few or no” – I think the answer is no – “bombers are loaded with nuclear weapons.”  To see how these fit together, just think of a single silo:  There’s a launcher; we have limits on launchers.  There’s a missile; we have limits on missiles.  There’s warheads; we have limits on warheads.

Verification is based on the START regime.  And here we come to the first topic that I believe we will have a full exchange of views over the next several months with the Senate – because it’s based on the START regime, but it is simple.  There’s still an extensive data exchange.  It’s still kept up to date by a complex series of notifications.  In fact, probably it’s a more robust set of notifications than we have.  There are inspections, the most important of which will check the number of warheads on a particular missile and will also verify that launchers that are declared not to have a missile in it really don’t.

Some other sort of broad points about “New START”:  Seven years to reach the new limits; that’s extremely generous.  Treaty will last 10 years unless it is replaced sooner.  I’ll talk about the prospects for that near the end.  Conventional strategic ICBMs and SLBMs – what’s called by the military “Prompt Global Strike” – is allowed but is counted.

This makes sense if you believe that it is a niche capability.  And I think most people do believe that, although some of you saw a joint op-ed by Secretary Perry and Secretary Schlesinger, which decried the fact that the administration hasn’t made this aspect clear.  My sense is they just didn’t think of it because they assumed everybody understood it was a niche capability, but they haven’t made it clear.  Their arms control approach makes most sense if you believe it’s a niche capability.

There are essentially no restrictions on ballistic missile defenses.  And “New START” will replace the Treaty of Moscow, the 2002 treaty that limited us to 1700 to 2200 warheads but had no verification provisions.

Now, today, we have 1200 launchers that will theoretically be covered by the “New START” treaty.  And so you’ll think, wow, go down to 800; that’s a really big reduction.  Well, many of those launchers are phantoms.  They are things that do not contribute to the nuclear capability of the United States.  They are empty Peacekeeper silos.  They are submarines that have been converted to carry non-nuclear cruise missiles.  They are B-1 bombers that have been out of the nuclear force for two decades.

So if you look at the Nuclear Posture Review and you look at what they say about bombers there and you look at 450 ICBMs that really exist, at 336 submarine launchers that really exist, and at the number of bombers the Nuclear Posture Review says are nuclear-capable, (which is 94), and you add that up -- you get 880 launchers.  So the actual reduction in launcher terms for us is quite modest.

Now, the administration hasn’t said how it will take these reductions.  They are, as I understand the National Defense Authorization Act, obligated to say so at the time they submit the treaty for ratification, which they hope to do in the first half of May.

What the Nuclear Posture Review does say is that under “New START,” we will continue to maintain the nuclear triad that is ICBMs, submarine missiles and bombers; that some B-52s will be converted away from their nuclear role – and some believe that will be a fairly substantial number; that the United States will consider going from 14 Trident submarines to 12 sometime in the second half of the coming decade, which you’ll note is conveniently when they actually have to meet these limits.

And that’s what it says about force structure.  It also says that Minuteman will all be downloaded to carry a single warhead.  Today we preserve the option to carry more than one warhead on some Minuteman missiles.

Now, there’s a unique feature of the “New START” treaty that you need to focus on because it will be the subject, I think, of some discussion.  “New START” – in Cold War treaties, we figured out what the limits were and then we figured out what we needed to do in verification to confirm that people were complying with those limits.

“New START” provides some exchanges entirely for transparency.  That is, we will exchange information that we do not need to verify 800 launchers, which is primarily national technical means; 700 missiles in those launchers, which is primarily inspections; 1550 warheads, which is primarily inspections.  In particular, we will exchange telemetry data on up to five ballistic missile launchers a year.

There is no need for that data to verify any of the START limits.  And the treaty states that the exchange is, quote, “designed to help forge a new strategic relationship of the parties.”  I’ll defer to Rose Gottemoeller the dialogue about how we got to there, but I will simply say that neither side wanted a full exchange of telemetry on all launchers, although for very different reasons.

There have been a number of issues raised about this treaty.  First, the reductions are modest.  The warhead reductions are about 30 percent – remembering my rule that you can’t directly characterize things – but at least on the Russian side, the warhead reductions are 30 percent, and I think you can say that that’s an honest reduction.  And as I already told you, the launcher reductions on our side are quite modest, and the launcher reductions on the Russian side are essentially nonexistent.

Is that a big deal?  Well, if you look back to the lens that I said before, where the benefits are transparency and predictability and the improved political relationship, then no, it’s not a big deal.  It could have been bigger.  The administration hopes to have another step that will be bigger.  But the fact that it’s only 30 percent is not particularly a big deal.

Second concern is ballistic missile defense.  “New START” does not constrain ballistic missile defenses.  The Russians have made a unilateral statement, however, that significant improvement in U.S. defenses would justify their withdrawal under the supreme national interests clause.

As you know, all arms control treaties have a clause that allows a side to withdraw under supreme – if it believes its supreme national interests require it.  Most treaties require a certain period of notification in that you explain why.  That’s the clause the United States used to withdraw from the 1972 ABM Treaty.

So at one level, the Russian statement is simply a statement of fact.  It has no legal effect.  It is interesting to note that the Soviets made almost the same statement to me in June of 1991 as we were winding up our negotiations.  The United States ignored that statement, and the United States should ignore this statement.  It is an attempt to manipulate the U.S. political process and we should not allow it to succeed.

A more substantive criticism, I think, is that the treaty does not cover Russian tactical weapons.  And that is of particular concern to some of our allies.  I mean, by definition, Russian tactical weapons are not much of a threat to us unless we plan to invade Russia.  But they are a threat to the allies that adjoin Russia.  Treaty was not intended to; it was made very clear in last April’s statement that it would not.  But nonetheless, it doesn’t.  The administration will seek limits on such warheads in a further treaty once “New START” is ratified.  And I’ll talk about that just a little bit.

And finally, although is technically unrelated to the START treaty itself, many of us have been concerned for a number of years about funding for the nuclear weapons enterprise, or what Undersecretary D’Agostino is now calling the national security enterprise.

Now, the 2011 president’s budget, if it is enacted and if it is sustained in the out years, ought to put those concerns to rest.  I have said before that I would have been thrilled by that budget any of the five years that I was responsible for NNSA and I’d have been even more thrilled by the high-level support that it represents.  But once again, that’s the president’s proposal.  What gets enacted is what gets enacted.

Now, what happens once “New START” is in force?  Well, the Nuclear Posture Review says that the next step will be to negotiate further reductions that will cover all warheads – tactical warheads, which we worry about, and non-deployed warheads – warheads that were primarily on the Trident D-5 missile, which we’ve just taken off and put into bunkers and which the Russians worry about.  That’s all the administration has said about the next step.

There is a 2007 report signed by a number of individuals, who are now confirmed officials, that speaks of a thousand deployed warheads as a logical number. I would not be surprised if something in that area, or a little below, is the target of the next step.

But this administration has not said – and as I understand it, has not, in any formal sense, decided – what the next step will be, other than that the next step will cover all warheads.  Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that it is somewhere in the range of 1,000 deployed warheads.  That would still be a bilateral negotiation.  The next step beyond “New START” is clearly bilateral.  We need at least one more step before we are in a position to try and bring other states in, and the next step will not force the elimination of the triad.  It will certainly force either substantial reductions in all legs or disproportionate reductions in some, but you can construct a viable triad at that level.

Now, I think the next step is going to be very, very difficult.  First, I think that if you’re the Russians and if you deeply believe that you’re conventionally inferior to lots of people, including NATO, your incentives to give up tactical weapons are very small.  Russian experts, notwithstanding the rhetoric of some of their leaders, are a good deal less supportive of the notion that zero is an obtainable goal than Western, particularly the U.S., experts are.  Whatever benefits you get from improving the relationship, you get from “New START.”

And finally, the Russians will almost certainly insist, in any follow-on, on much more significant constraints on missile defenses.  Some Russians have argued, with some justification, that they can accept no constraints on missile defenses in a 10-year treaty, because there’s only so much we can do, but they couldn’t accept having no constraints  indefinitely.  And we simply don’t have a good conceptual way to deal with missile defenses.  Since our missile defenses are not aimed at Russia, we don’t quite understand how to do it, and even if we did, we don’t understand how to trade offense and defense.

And so what that suggests to me is that the next step, if there is to be a next step, will take a very long time. And, therefore, “New START” (which, if I haven’t made it clear, I think ought to be approved by the Senate and ought to come into force) will be what regulates the nuclear relationship between the United States and Russia for a very long time.

Thanks very much, and after my colleagues have spoken, I’m looking forward to your questions.

MR. KIMBALL:   Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much, Linton, for that.  Next, we’ll hear from Ambassador Dhanapala. As he’s getting up, let me just also note that out on the table, we have a pre-publication draft of a very nice and sharp piece in the forthcoming issue of Arms Control Today by Steve Pifer from Brookings on START, if you didn’t catch all of Linton’s very detailed analysis.

Ambassador Dhanapala, thanks for being with us.

AMBASSADOR JAYANTHA DHANAPALA:  Thank you, Daryl.  Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  It’s a great pleasure to accept the invitation of the Arms Control Association and Daryl in particular.  We go back a long time fighting shoulder-to-shoulder in a number of struggles with regard to arms control, although I come from the perspective of disarmament, a fundamental difference in perspective here in Washington, D.C. But nevertheless, we have fought some losing battles on the Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation deal and some battles, which I hope will be successful, particularly in the Obama administration.

I’d like to begin with three preliminary points.  I’ve had association with the NPT going back to 1985, and you will forgive me not only for a sense of déjà vu but also for a slight degree of cynicism about the scrambling that goes on once in five years to prepare for the review conference, to take a balance sheet with regard to what happens and to look, sometimes through the prism of a kind of positive lens in order to ensure that the review conference accepts a final document by consensus so that we go on for another five years.

I know that the Shakespearean theatrical mechanism of a ghost sometimes has acted like a conscience. And I regard myself as a ghost from 1995 because I recall the many promises that were made to me personally and to the non-nuclear weapons states of the Non-Aligned Movement, that we needed an extension indefinitely in order to ensure predictability so that nuclear disarmament would take place rapidly.

And so we were successful under very, very difficult odds, to secure the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  We had a package of three decisions as well as a resolution on the Middle East.  And after the conclusion of the conference, we went back all too quickly to business as usual.  Happily, the 2000 NPT Review Conference succeeded in having an unequivocal undertaking for nuclear disarmament together with 13 steps.

But in 2005, despite Ambassador Brooks’ claims to the contrary, we had a total rejection of the undertakings given both in 1995 and in 2000 and, predictably, 2005 was a failure.  We therefore meet this year in New York under the shadow of that failure with all three pillars of the NPT – nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy – greatly weakened.  I will examine how these pillars have been weakened and what an uphill task we have of trying to recover from the damage that has been done.

My warning is that we cannot keep shifting the goalposts, that we cannot have changes in regime in one country being a justification for reneging on our promises and commitments that were made at review conferences.  There has to be a consistency in what follows in the review conferences.

Now, yes, there has been a dramatic atmosphere-change in the United States with the START treaty, the Nuclear Security Summit, and the Nuclear Posture Review.  But I would caution against assuming that the change of atmosphere alone is sufficient to ensure the success of the NPT Review Conference.

I say this because at the third prep com, where President Obama himself had a message to the state parties of the NPT and where Rose Gottemoeller headed the delegation and made a statement, too, we had very rapidly the adoption of the agenda and all the procedural issues being cleared very quickly, so that we don’t run into problems when the review conference itself meets.  But when it came to the recommendations at the end of the review conference – at the end of the prep com, rather, we were not able to agree.

So there are still very substantive differences of opinion among the states parties to the NPT and, therefore, it is not, I think, a foregone conclusion that the 2010 conference is going to be a success.  I know that there are a number of preparations being made and a number of discussions taking place, bilateral and multilateral. And we all, of course, hope for a productive multilateral conference.

But let me analyze the three pillars in greater detail.  The first pillar of nonproliferation:  Here we have Articles I and II, the core of the treaty.  We have problems with Article I because of the Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement, which the entire Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has endorsed and made exceptions for a nuclear weapons state to get the facilities, which a number of non-nuclear weapons states in the NPT have been deprived of.

This is a very serious step because I don’t think it is sufficiently realized what a body blow, what a grievous injury has been caused to the NPT as a result.  You have a number of countries, including Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, speaking in one voice about the harm that has been caused to the treaty.  Security Council Resolution 1172 is a dramatic contrast to the way in which the previous administration acquiesced in the cooperation deal with India.

The danger of the Indian deal being a precursor to other deals, which could accommodate Pakistan and Israel, is more real than apparent.  This is causing not only concerns to non-nuclear weapons states in general, but to the Arab countries in particular. This is because if Israel in the future gets the same privileges as India, I think the NPT, at that stage, will be a part of history.  So there has been a deal without any certainty that the Indians will come on board with regard to a CTBT.  We have also ominous voices within India talking about further tests, and all this is being, I think, swept under the carpet.  But there are people within the NPT who remain very, very concerned about this.

Then, with regard to Article II, we have, of course, the problems of DPRK and Iran and to some extent the problem of Syria as well.  DPRK clearly, after the effort to deflect the discussion from the Security Council into an agreed framework, continues to be outside the NPT.  It has tested twice, and it has a modest nuclear arsenal.  But I remain hopeful that the six-nation talks, led by the Chinese, will succeed through diplomacy in the same way as our talks with Libya did succeed in the past.  There is, I think, no great optimism on this score, but I think there is also a commitment on the part of the six to continue this negotiation track.

Iran is a much more serious and contentious issue because we are proceeding with regard to tighter sanctions, hopefully smarter sanctions, which will not prove a burden to the people of Iran, but which will be more targeted at the Iranian administration.  Here, too, if there were negotiations, bring Iran to the Security Council in May, I think it will gravely impede the success of the NPT Review Conference.  And so one hopes that the negotiations will take place in the interim and that the Iranian regime also realizes the virtue of the proposal made by Ambassador ElBaradei, the director general of the IAEA in the past, regarding the processing of the uranium Iran has.  We all know the problem, and we all know the proposals that have been made for Iran to come back into full compliance with the NPT.

I don’t underrate the difficulty, but I would also caution against being stampeded into action beyond the kind of diplomacy that we have committed ourselves to at the moment.  It is not going to be easy, but we must persist on the diplomatic track.

Likewise, with Syria, we hope that there will be some discussion of these issues.  I do not think in any of these cases, whether it is Iran or Syria, we can get any kind of naming of these countries in a final document that would probably end up with the final document not being adopted.

But we can, I think, reaffirm the fundamental nonproliferation goal that is there embedded in the NPT.  On the question of geographical proliferation or nuclear sharing, this issue has been persistently raised in past review conferences. And with five counties in Europe continuing to host U.S. nuclear weapons and with the German government calling specifically for their removal, I think we will hear voices once again in support of the total withdrawal of those nuclear weapons.

There is at the core of this pillar the lack of enforcement with regard to the nonproliferation norm of the NPT.  Relying entirely on the Security Council unfortunately does not appear to be credible enough because we have five permanent members with a veto power who are nuclear weapons states and in the eyes of the non-nuclear weapons states from the nonaligned movement, these policemen already suspect because of their own nuclear weapon position.

And so we have to devise other means.  There are proposals by the Canadians and others about an institutional mechanism which will help with regard to having some kind of a peer review, so that the nuclear weapons states parties and the non-nuclear weapons states parties of the NPT together can come to judgments with regard to compliance issues.  I think the sooner we move to that kind of mechanism, the better it is for the health of the NPT.

Moving on very quickly to the second pillar of disarmament, I will not attempt to deconstruct the “New START.”  We’ve heard from Ambassador Linton Brooks, and we will hear from Rose Gottemoeller. But there is no doubt that the general perception is a sense of relief that we are returning to traditional arms control and disarmament after something like 20 years.  Although some may regard the glass as being half-full or half-empty, depending on their perception, there are many in the Non-Aligned Movement who had hoped for something more than a 30 percent reduction.

There are many in the Non-Aligned movement who had hoped for an actual destruction of the weapons that were being discontinued because the shifting of weapons from deployed status to being in non-deployed status does not really eliminate nuclear weapons.  With the surge of optimism that took place with the op-ed of the four statesmen in 2007 and in 2008 – and there were reverberations around the world with similar op-eds from Europeans of a similar caliber and from Japan – it is unfortunate that we have begun to retreat from this glorious, lofty vision of a nuclear weapon-free world.

Now, I understand that President Obama needs to accommodate the right wing here in an effort to get the ratification of START and in order to ensure that his majority in Congress remains.  But despite his own difficulties, we are going to be seen as really not achieving what was promised in the Prague speech.  Likewise, with the Russian situation, we had Alexei Arbatov speaking from this platform telling us that there is a great deal of negative opinion in Russia with regard to their own sense of inferiority in conventional weapons, their reluctance to give up their nuclear weapons and their doubts as to whether beyond “New START” we are going to get any further agreements, not only because of the conventional arms issue but also because of the BMD issue.

In U.K., we don’t know what will happen at the election, but we have both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party wanting to continue with Trident, and that again is a set-back.  With China and France, we have likewise no major change.  The CTBT is unlikely to be ratified because of the politics within the United States. And if the United States’ ratification takes place, we know that we are certainly going to get the ratification from other countries as well.

And so we have the Nuclear Weapons Convention, which is very much the objective of a lot of NGOs and non-nuclear weapons states in the Non-Aligned Movement and is also endorsed by the U.N. Secretary-General, which will unfortunately remain a vision.

The third pillar of the peaceful uses:  Here, of course, we’ve had some progress with the Nuclear Security Summit, although indeed with Security Council Resolution 1540 being implemented with the fact that we have a Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Facilities and its 2005 amendment, which has still not been signed and ratified by a lot of those countries who came here to the summit, as well as the Nuclear Terrorism Convention.  But we have the pillars in place there in order to achieve the fact that the peaceful uses will take place and that there won’t be terrorists who can acquire these materials.

But the additional protocol, which remains the new gold standard for nonproliferation:  I believe it would be a mistake to make it mandatory for state parties of the NPT to have signed and ratified the additional protocol in order for them to receive Article IV benefits.  We need to encourage countries with incentives to join them because we can’t add to the obligations of a treaty which has already been in existence for 40 years.

Likewise, FMCT:  I think we need to encourage countries in the CD to move ahead. And here, Pakistan at the moment is the chief obstacle.  We need to, of course, ensure that Pakistan is encouraged by having some kind of amendment to the mandate ensuring a discussion of existing stockpiles.

There are other issues, and I do not have very much time. But I would like to remind the audience that nuclear weapon-free zones predated the NPT, and we had the Treaty of Tlatelolco being signed before the NPT was signed.  We now have 114 countries in five nuclear weapon-free zones, and these nuclear weapon-free zones represent the genuine commitment of non-nuclear weapon states to the nonproliferation norm.

We need to have some movement on the resolution on the Middle East, and here I have myself spoken out very frequently and loudly on the fact that without a resolution on the Middle East, we would not have got the indefinite extension of the NPT, and so we do need to have some practical steps agreed to, whether it’s a special coordinator or a special committee, to conduct consultations on how we can move forward on the resolution

So let me conclude very quickly because my time is up.  I think there are many recipes that have been advocated.  The Arms Control Association has its own recipe for the success of the 2010 Review Conference; the ICNND, the Gareth Evans-Kawaguchi report of 20 points; Pugwash itself has the Milan Document.  But I think ultimately there have to be action plans in each of the three pillars so that we can come to a reasonable conclusion. And we need to, I think, take vital steps on each of these pillars in order to ensure that we have a successful final document.

On balance, I think if we have action plans that repeat what was said in 2000 and take steps -- modest steps – on the Middle East as a weapons of mass destruction-free zone, we should end up with a successful adoption of a consensus document.  Let me stop there.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you.  Thank you very much for that very complete overview.  Now we’re going to turn to Ken Luongo, a member of the ACA board of directors who has been a force of nature on the subject of fissile material security and has worked very hard in recent weeks leading up to the Nuclear Security Summit.  Ken.

KENNETH N. LUONGO:  Thanks very much, Daryl and thanks for the invitation to speak today.  I’m happy to see so many friends and colleagues in the audience.

I have been a force of nature.  Unfortunately, last week I was asked to testify in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on this particular subject, and I sat there as the conversation ping-ponged between why we don’t like the Russians because of START and why we don’t like the Iranians because of their nuclear weapons program.  The issue of nuclear terrorism and a nuclear security summit resided in this complete no-man’s-land, and so I was happy to have given Amtrak their fee for the day to come down and be stage-dressing for others who knew more about the Iranian situation.

At any rate, I’m more pleased to be here today to talk about this subject, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk about an issue that doesn’t have nearly the kind of history behind it that either what Ambassador Brooks talked about – the long history of nuclear arms control – or that Ambassador Dhanapala talked about, which is the long history of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  What we have in the nuclear summit and what we have in this issue of nuclear security is a trans-national issue without a very coherent mechanism for driving it forward.  We have a lot of very different pieces of the puzzle, but we don’t necessarily have them well organized in a way that states actually know what it is that they should do to meet the challenge.

So let me start with what happened here two weeks ago.  For those of you who weren’t in Washington, I commend you because it was a disaster of traffic and very high blood pressure and lots of foul language, none of which was used by me, by the way.  The April 12-13 Nuclear Security Summit was an unprecedented event – I think that was clear – but I also think it was a significant success.  It didn’t go nearly as far as I had hoped that it would, but I do think that drawing together 47 different countries and of those 47, 38 or so heads of state and then three international organizations, to talk about the question of nuclear terrorism and protecting nuclear materials is an important – it was a very important event and I don’t remember there being this kind of high-level attention to this subject on such a mass scale previously and I think that that high level of attention is essential for moving the process forward.

So there were two different products that came out of this – actually three, but two formal and then one informal.  The first was a communiqué and the communiqué did a couple of different things.  First, it highlighted the importance of this issue because going into this summit, one of the things the administration wanted to achieve, I believe, was to get a consensus on the fact that nuclear terrorism was a danger.  The second was that the president’s objective of securing all vulnerable nuclear material in four years is now a global objective – it’s not just the United States’ objective any more because the other countries signed up to that important objective.

Additionally, the communiqué underscored the importance of maintaining effective security over all nuclear materials on their territory, encouraged the conversion of reactors that use highly enriched uranium to use low enriched uranium, and recognized the importance of the conventions that Ambassador Dhanapala just mentioned, of physical protection of nuclear materials with its amendment in the International Convention on the Suppression of Nuclear Terrorism.  Finally, it emphasized cooperation.

But just to give you some statistics, of the 47 countries that attended the Nuclear Security Summit, only 14 ratified the amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection.  Only 40 have signed the additional protocol. And only 35 were members of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.  So there were a lot of commitments about ratifying that amendment and joining these other conventions, and that was identified in a second formal document, which is the work plan.

What that did is it noted the need to fully implement – in other words, not just of the countries that were there but on a global basis – UN Security Council 1540, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, and it provided support for the two conventions I just mentioned in that it also provided support for the G-8 Global Partnership.

It also underscored the need for robust and independent nuclear regulatory capability, and a need to prevent nuclear trafficking, and also for improvement in nuclear forensics and nuclear detection.  It further highlighted, I think interestingly, the fundamental role of the nuclear industry in the nuclear security agenda and the importance of sharing best practices and the human dimension of nuclear security.

There were two summits around the summit:  There was one that we did – the Fissile Material Working Group organized, which was the day before, which was the international experts.  And then there was one the day after the official summit which was organized by the Nuclear Energy Institute, which was just nuclear energy people from around the world – private sector people – and the focus of which was on how the private sector and the nuclear energy industry can participate and help with the nuclear security mission.

I attended – we had an exchange of invitations.  One invitation went to us, one invitation went to NEI.  We attended each other’s events.  Maybe we could use more transparency or confidence-building – going to have to look at the START treaty to see what’s in there that we might be able to use.  But I think it was a useful exchange of information.

I just would say, in the work plan there were really three – probably the three most important objectives that were laid out. They were: first, the consolidation of national sites where nuclear material is stored; second, the removal and disposal of nuclear materials no longer needed for operational activities; and then third, as I mentioned, the conversion of the research reactors from HEU to LEU.  Of course, everything in the document, both in the communiqué and in the work plan, was completely voluntary.  There was nothing that was mandatory about what was signed up to.

Where country-specific commitments came in was in what was called – I don’t understand why it was deemed this – but I guess house-warming gifts or something, as it was described by the White House, that countries brought to the United States.  There are 29 individual countries that made specific improvements – commitments to improve their security. And I will just highlight the top three or four.

The first was eliminating all the remaining highly enriched uranium in the Ukraine – not clear whether it’s going back to Russia or to the United States. The second was  Canadian agreement to return a large amount of spent fuel contained HEU to the U.S. The third was the U.S. and Russia agreeing to implement the aging and bearded Plutonium Disposition Agreement – I’m hopeful that they can finally move that forward.  And then I actually thought it was interesting that both India and China stated that they were going to establish centers of excellence for nuclear security, which I think is a very, very positive development.

While there wasn’t a lot on funding, and it wasn’t a pledging conference, and people weren’t asked to come to the table with money, but there were several funding commitments that were made.  One was a pledge of $6 million by the U.K.; and $300,000 by the Belgians for the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund; $100 million from Canada for cooperation with Russia; and then the president, in his press conference, called for another $10 billion over 10 years for the G-8 Global Partnership.

So all of that is great and I think all of that is a remarkable achievement, but I also think that there were several shortfalls and things that the summit could have done.

One, I really have wished there would have been more focus on the funding issue because implementation of Resolution 1540 and other issues are key, and you need money to do that consolidation, all of those sorts of things.

Second, radiological material security was barely mentioned. It was not a high priority even though … – some countries were really interested in this, -- but it got screened out in this one.  But it might be a higher priority in the next summit, which is in the Republic of Korea in 2012.

And then finally, there were no new initiatives that were announced.  It was a real focus on what is in the existing spectrum of activities and how we implement that.  There were a variety of reasons for that, including some fatigue, I think, and confusion about what all the current requirements are.  But I have to say, I don’t think that the current structure is adequate to prevent nuclear terrorism, and I would have wanted to see this move beyond that.

So I’m not going to talk about things that have been covered before.  I would just say I consider 2010 to be an absolutely critical year.  I don’t remember, in my more than 25 years of working in Washington, such a concentration of nuclear-related activity in such a short period of time.  We had START, we had the summit, we have the G-8 Global Partnership, G-20 meeting in June, the NPT Review Conference. I mean, 2010 is just filled with opportunity, and I think if we came out on December 31st with not much more than what we currently have in hand, I think, that would be a mistake.

And then I think that Congress can redeem itself after that hearing last week by actually approving the president’s budget, which calls for $3.1 billion to fund its agenda, which is about a $320 million increase over last year’s budget.  Again, I don’t consider that to be enough money to meet the president’s four-year goal, but it certainly is better than his first-year budget.

So, where do we go from here?  Let me just make a couple of points.  We have essentially a trans-national issue without a driving mechanism or a forcing mechanism, and I think that somehow, we have to align all of the different pieces into some kind of a framework agreement that allows countries to understand what is expected of them and then also spells out new initiatives that they can partake in if they want or pick and choose from, but which all together would identify what is the danger, why it matters, what do we have in place and what more do we need to do.

And so I would just make a case for a new framework agreement in this area.  It doesn’t need to be a treaty – it could be like what we did on climate change, the Convention on Climate Change, or it could be a U.N. Security Council Resolution.  But it has to build in what exists and what more needs to be done and I just would identify four or five things that I think need to be done that weren’t covered in this nuclear summit and may not be covered in 2012, although I hope that they would be.

The first is we need a better transparency system for security.  The entire focus of this summit was on individual countries doing their individual thing on their individual territory, without necessarily sharing a lot of information.  I think that there needs to be better transparency on how people are doing security.

Second, I think it’s very important to have a global fund.  The U.S., by far, is spending the most.  If it’s going to be $3 billion this year, you take out the bio piece of it, it’s somewhere around $2 billion when you cut down to what the nuclear stuff is.  But having a global fund every year of two-and-a-half to $3 billion I think is a very important thing because it shows predictability, and it will allow countries that need assistance to be able to draw upon that assistance.

Third, the thing that really does worry me about this summit is that the focus is on this four-year objective.  The four-year objective is important in order to set a higher baseline of security, but this can’t just be a four-year effort.  This has to be an ongoing effort, and I think it would be a mistake if everybody rushed to the end of 2013, which as I understand is the end of the four-year period, and then international cooperation just dropped off.

Finally – not finally, two or three just more points and then I’ll finish.  Additionally, I think there has to be more support for regional activities on this issue.  I don’t know that it all needs to be done on an individual, national basis or just done with the IAEA – I think there are regional opportunities.

And then it needs to identify some kind of a minimum standard.  What the IAEA provides in terms of its guidelines, what the individual countries provide in terms of their guidelines I think are important but I don’t – I think there’s a confusion about what is the minimum standard to which countries should be securing this material and what does that look like.  I think that that’s something we should work on.

Finally, I think this needs to ultimately be universal but I think it could start with a coalition of the committed.  As I said, issues that I think probably would be excluded are enrichment reprocessing and ending production just because they are proven to be so difficult.

So, just to sum up:  I think this is a critical year; I think the president and the administration are making a lot of progress this year but I think on a nuclear security issue, we’re really only about halfway there.  We have some of the components in place that we need; there are a lot of other components which aren’t in place yet and I think we need a mechanism to bring all of those things together so we can drive this agenda the way we do the arms control agenda and the Non-Proliferation Treaty agenda.  Thanks very much.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you very much, Ken, and Jayantha and Linton.  Three very robust presentations on three different subjects but all of these things do relate and I just wanted to, before we open it up to questions and discussion, mention that the Arms Control Association sees arms control and defines our mission – we are thinking about this in terms of arms control, disarmament, nonproliferation, nuclear security.  It’s all part of a complex web or interlocking set of regimes that is all very important to advance in order to improve international security.

So with those three great presentations, I want to open up the floor to your questions.  Please identify yourself; ask a succinct, interesting question.  Meri or one of my other colleagues will bring to you a microphone so that everyone can hear you.  Who would like to be the first person to rise to the challenge of an interesting question?  Yes, sir.

Q:  Thank you.  Tracy Wilson from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  Question for Ambassador Brooks:  You sketched out where we are now and you alluded to the landscape that would follow the “New START” treaty; you talked about a potential goal of 1,000 warheads and you talked about tactical nukes.  Can you give us a few more sentences about what the verification regime would look like as we go down the road and what that might look like in terms of tactical nukes as well?

AMB. BROOKS:  Only place on the thing I didn’t push.

That’s one of the reasons that I am skeptical that there will be a replacement treaty soon.  There is in fact a fair amount floating around that could be pulled together.  In the Clinton administration, work was done on how you verify actual dismantlement of warheads, which I think will be mandatory in a new treaty.  The issue there is verifying the warheads are dismantled without revealing design information.  There was some good work done on that in the Clinton administration.  The last administration, because it didn’t have an arms control vision, didn’t pick up on that but the knowledge is still there.

There’s a 2005 National Academy of Sciences report on verifying declared numbers of warheads, which has a number of good ideas.  The issue there will be intrusiveness.  In the last administration, an attempt was made to gain some kind of insight into weapons at bomber bases and our Russian colleagues thought that coming and counting shrouded warheads was too intrusive.  My understanding is that’s still what they think, and it’s sort of hard to see how you can reconcile that with any reasonable regime

The final problem with verification at the warhead level is what do you do about warheads that are squirreled away in non-deployed or non-declared sites?  I personally – I don’t think it’s a solvable problem.  I don’t think it needs to be solved at the kind of levels that are plausible for a next step.  It clearly needs to be solved if you believe in ultimate abolition and it probably needs to be solved when you get close to it, but it certainly doesn’t need to be solved – I mean, you’d have an awful lot of error at levels around a thousand and not actually affect the real nuclear balance very much.

So I think that we could pull together a regime.  You may recall the Strategic Posture Commission recommended that – the Perry-Schlesinger Commission – recommended a dedicated funding line.  The Nuclear Posture Review doesn’t go quite as far as saying “dedicated funding line” but it does say “dedicated research on these subjects.”  So I think this is a lot more a question of political will and what will be acceptable in intrusiveness in both countries but perhaps primarily in the Russian Federation, than it is that we don’t know how to do it.

But we don’t have an overall systematic way that is acceptable to both countries yet.  Some intellectual work needs to be done between now and when we actually get into a follow-on negotiation.

MR. KIMBALL:  Linton, of course in this treaty there are some new features in the verification system, I think, as you touched upon.  For the first time, there will be verification of actual warhead loadings, which is a new feature.  So, I mean, the administration has been talking about this aspect of the verification system as potentially opening the way to some of these other things that you are alluding to.

AMB. BROOKS:  It’s certainly true that, Daryl, that you’ll have verification of actual warheads on missiles.  But that is not technically the most challenging or the most intrusive.  I think it is an important conceptual step, but I wouldn’t want to ride that horse too far.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Other folks?  Richard Garwin.

Q:  Yes.  Ken, I wonder whether you could tell us more about how one will take care of spent fuel.  Maybe in regional or international repositories with take-back?  Was there much discussion or agreement on that in the side conferences?

MR. LUONGO:  Dick, I don’t know.  I only know from the conversations that I’ve had and from reading the transcripts of the press conferences and things.  I think there was a – I think the administration is certainly interested in moving material that has HEU or plutonium in it, whether it’s in spent fuel or fresh fuel, out of places that it considers to be a danger.  I think that’s one of their top objectives.  But what agreements they reached or regional repositories – I don’t, I haven’t heard anybody talk about regional repositories, but I do know that if they can take it out, they would prefer to take it out, if they could.

MR. KIMBALL:  Other questions?  Yes – Larry, right here?

Q:  I’ve been reviewing the history of disarmament.  I’m older than anyone here, I guess.  It gives you a certain perspective, like the fact that the agenda that we have today is test-ban then cut-off in the regular process.  That’s the same agenda that Harold Stassen had in 1957 in the London negotiations – exactly the same.  If you look at the reductions in warheads from the pre-MIRV period, reduction in 40 years is 22 percent.  That’s not much of a reduction.

I wonder if – I have a final point and there I would like to ask Mr. Brooks his judgment.  It’s been 42 years since the United States Senate ratified anything presented to them by a Democratic president.  Do you think it will have a chance at ratifying this time?  And that was the non-controversial – that was the Outer Space Treaty.

MR. KIMBALL:  And Larry, which treaty are you referring to?

Q:  The Outer Space Treaty.

MR. KIMBALL:  No, I mean the question for Ambassador –

Q:  Mr. Brooks.

AMB. BROOKS:  It is certainly true that some of these issues are very old.  The question is, is the progress now significant?  Absolutely.  You’re right – in the pre-MIRV era, the strategic forces were much smaller.  Look, perhaps 30 years ago at the number of tactical warheads we both had in and around Europe, and you could convince yourself that unrelated to arms control, we’ve done a whole lot.  So I think that if you go far enough back – you know, you go back to 1938, there weren’t any – (laughter) – so I think that I would not understate the value of what has been done by a number of people in this room.

We’ll find out about ratification.  I note the following:  As of today, only one senator has indicated opposition.  Sen. Inhofe said he would be leading the charge.  He got pinged a little bit because it seems to contradict a letter – he said that if it didn’t constrain defenses, he would be for a START treaty.  No other senator has said that, either publicly or to the best of my knowledge, privately.

That doesn’t mean there’s going to be ratification.  Historically, arms control treaties either get ratified overwhelmingly or not at all.  If I had to bet, I would be there’ll be a lot of tough questions but the two arguments against ratification that have the most force are defenses and adequate funding for the weapons complex.  I think the administration, as Secretary Gates has said, has got a very credible story on both of those.

So I think that trying to predict the U.S. Senate is always hard.  And I think timing is hard because nobody ever went wrong by thinking the Senate will take longer than you hope, but I think probably in the lame duck session that ratification will come and I think it will – I hope it will not be close.

Now, one big caveat:  external events.  If there is something like the invasion of Georgia, then I think all bets are off.  You know, the brigade in Cuba, you remember from SALT II.  But if the Georgian incursion took place not in the past but sometime this year, then I think that it would be very, very difficult.  But absent some external event, I think ratification has a good shot, largely because I think that most of the objections, there are pretty good counters to them.

MR. KIMBALL:  Just before I take the next question, your question, Larry, reminds me of every couple of years, there’s an intern in the Arms Control Association office, who towards the end of their internship will realize that we’ve been working on the test ban treaty for a long, long time.  All right?  And this is problematic from my perspective because it makes it more difficult to motivate the rest of the staff to keep working their tails off so that we can make some progress.

But you know, I think there are different ways to measure progress.  And one can look at the numbers, and it can be somewhat depressing.  But I think, you know, clearly on the test ban treaty alone, one thing that is clear – and I think that, you know, I wanted to speak to the test ban treaty ratification prospects very briefly here – is that it has been 17 years since the United States conducted a nuclear test explosion.  The longer we go without having ratified, the more difficult I think it becomes for the opponents to continue to argue that somehow we need to test or we need the option to test or we need the option to test.

And I think that, you know, Linton said this morning and I think it’s pretty clear that the stockpile stewardship program is working by all accounts.  There is more than enough funding for this program right now.  The arguments that were used in 1999 against the CTBT also have been very well-addressed.

Now, the problem is that in politics, good arguments don’t always win the day.  But we’re going to be taking these arguments back and I think that, with all due respect, Jayantha, I mean, we are going to get the test ban treaty ratified.  It’s going to take longer than it should.  But we’re going to do it.

Tom Graham, speaking of the test ban treaty and on these sort of things, you’re next.

Q:  Well, since Ambassador Brooks has entered the field of analyzing the U.S. Senate, I have a further question for him.  It seems to me, Lint, that – or at least, put it differently, some believe that ratification of START likely will happen, but that the real issue will be how many hostages have to be taken to get it passed.  In particular, will there be an understanding that will make test ban ratification impossible and will there be – or very, very difficult – and will there be an understanding that will make further START negotiations very, very difficult, if not impossible?  I would like your assessment of those two issues.

MR. BROOKS:  On the second, I don’t think there will be – I think further negotiations are very hard, but not because of the United States.  But in fact, there is a logical inconsistency between saying one of the weaknesses of START is it doesn’t tactical weapons.  The administration has said that it will negotiate on tactical weapons after START is ratified, and, therefore, ratifying START in a way that precludes negotiating on tactical weapons.  I mean, I don’t think you get there.  So I don’t think there will be it.

I think it is very clear that some senators, while I believe they are sincere in thinking that the things that they have expressed concern over need to be done for the good of the country and therefore should be done as part of START ratification do not mind the fact that that leaves relatively little trade space left for CTBT ratification.  You know, I think CTBT ratification is – Daryl is a congenital optimist.  And I am often called, you know, I see all glasses half-full.  But boy, it’s awful hard to see that glass half-full.

But I don’t think START ratification in itself is likely to include poison pills for CTBT ratification, except to the extent that some of the things that would logically be asked for for CTBT ratification, particularly in terms of support of the weapons complex, are being asked for for START.  And since I happen to believe in those things, I sort of like that, but if you just look at the things – I just don’t know.  I don’t think START ratification is likely to make CTBT ratification either harder or easier.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Well, we’ve got other folks.  Catherine Kelleher here in the front.

Q:  I’d like to pick up the tactical nuclear question that Ambassador Brooks mentioned and that I know is of concern to the other members of the panel as well.  Given what you outlined as a fairly bleak picture for an easy reduction in Russian tactical nuclear weapons without a lot of asymmetrical bargaining, which probably will also be a difficult sell to the Senate –

Can you conceive of steps that could be taken by – within the nuclear weapons group that would make this issue easier to handle?  One suggestion is simply look at transparency as the thing that you are seeking most in the second round, but at least achieves that, not to give up on reductions as a later step.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  And why don’t we take the second question over here please?  And then we’ll go back to our –

Q:  Jim Modern (sp).  My question is for Ken Luongo.  I like very much the point you made about the need for institution-building in the area you were talking about – and for institutions that have a long life expectancy.  I’m very big on long life expectancies.  (Laughter.)  And I think we ought to recognize that in particular the cutoff – fissile material cutoff – is not going to come out of the CD anytime in the visible future.

And shouldn’t we start building new institutions to develop new agreements which may not necessarily be treaties or may not start out as treaties, but at least can have a chance of getting through a veto – without a vetoes – you’ve got a veto in the CD by any of the members and you’ve got a veto, as we know, in the Security Council.  Other institutions, seems to me, really are needed.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Linton and then Kenneth?

MR. BROOKS:  I think transparency in theory is a wonderful thing.  Whether it helps or not in the long term, I think you have to decide.  I point out two things:  If you look at the joint article in Politico by Secretary Perry and Secretary Schlesinger commenting on the Nuclear Posture Review, in addition to being critical about the failure to make it clear that Prompt Global Strike is a niche capability, they were equally critical of the U.S. failure to follow the Strategic Posture Commission’s recommendation to declassify in broad terms U.S. holdings.

Now, why that is, I’m not entirely clear.  But I know it was looked at seriously as it was in the last administration.  So that suggests transparency even in the United States is not as easy as it might be within this room.  I do not discern this is a time in the Russian Federation when transparency about much of anything is very high on their list of things they’d like to do.

So I have no problem with trying for transparency, but I would not encourage you to think that that’s likely to be a success.  A better thing to spend our intellectual energy on is figuring out how we get some kind of cooperation in missile defenses that will take off the table and how we reduce the perception of at least some Russians that NATO is a conventional threat to them.  If we can solve those, which are very hard, then I think you have a lot of possibilities.


MR. LUONGO:  Thanks.  Jim, I think what we have on the issue that I’m talking about is an issue that is falling between the cracks.  And I think we need some structure for this agenda.  I just – I don’t want to bore people, but there’s at least 13 different conventions and ad hoc institutions or ad hoc programs that cover this, including Security Council resolutions, including the Proliferation Security Initiative, the G-8 Global Partnership, you know, IAEA recommendations, domestic safeguards, things like that.  So I think somehow –

Here’s what I think happened.  There was a lot of pushback from countries in the pre-summit period because not everyone is even a party to all of these many activities.  They did not want to see a new big, broad initiative thrown on the agenda.  They wanted to try to figure out how to rationalize what was already in place.  And I think that that’s fine.  Rationalizing the existing structure is perfectly adequate.  But it is inadequate.  The existing structure is not adequate to solve the problem and to defeat the challenge of nuclear terrorism.

And so I do think there needs to be – and I don’t know if it’s an institution.  But there needs to be some new framework into which all of these pieces are put and then countries can see an instrument that pushes the process forward – because otherwise, we’re destined to just continue to drift along the way we have been for the last 15 years or so.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  I think we have a question in the rear here.  And as you’re bringing the microphone up, let me just pose one question to Ambassador Dhanapala and then we’ll take this question.  Before we run out of time, I wanted to ask you, if you could, to try to describe to us what the ideal situation is, what the ideal outcome is from this review conference, taking into account all the things you told us.  I mean, what could give the treaty and efforts that the treaty represents some momentum coming out of this review conference?

And then, because I cannot answer this question, and I’ve been racking my brain – we haven’t had a chance to talk – what could the United States and some of the other parties that were responsible for the exemption for nuclear trade with India do at this point to help repair some of the damage, if at all?

And I have suggested in earlier presentations that one thing they could do would be to declare that if a state conducted a nuclear test explosion, nuclear trade would be terminated.  That’s an option for the U.S. right now, but it’s not a clear policy that that would be the consequence.  So if you could address that after we take this other question over here, please.  Yes, sir.

Q:  A question for Ken and Linton.  It’s about problems that solutions create.  The greater the success in the deconstruction of nuclear weapons, the greater the problem of securing the warhead material that results from that.  And that’s going to take a special additional effort.  And both of you have talked about security of such materials.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on that.

MR. DHANAPALA:  (Inaudible, off mike) – say that you will need to have the kind of statement that you’ve mentioned, Daryl, about the Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation deal.  But also the promise that there will not be any further exceptions being made to what has already taken place.  And I think that is going to be a very important marker that the non-nuclear-weapons states would want to see.

Proceeding further on the question of the nonproliferation pillar, I think it will be important for us to encourage the universalization of the additional protocol, which is very important, without necessarily making it mandatory.  I think a lot of countries who balk at it being made mandatory would go with an encouragement that it should be universalized.

But then when we come to the disarmament pillar, I think we need to go back to 1995 and 2000 and have the repetition of the unequivocal undertaking to the total elimination of nuclear weapons and something similar to the 13 steps.  Of course, we can’t replicate the 13 steps because some of those are out of date.  But whether it’s a mix of what the ICNND has, what you have and what others have or whether it is some freshly negotiated action plans on the disarmament area, I think this is important.

But then also with regard to the resolution on the Middle East, we need to have the appointment of a special coordinator or some committee to look into taking this resolution forward.  I think those are the kind of broad elements that are necessary.  I also feel that there is, I think, generally speaking, a need to – for the various special committees to start working in a procedural sense.

Remember that the New Agenda Coalition which was so successful in 2000, has been revitalized.  And I think with Egypt being the chair of that, we can expect a very spirited kind of effort on the part of the non-nuclear-weapons states, particularly those in the non-aligned movement at this review conference.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, thanks.  All right, Ken and Linton, do you want to take that other question that was – ?

MR. BROOKS:  I’m not – I mean, if you dismantle a lot of weapons, that seems to me to be a good thing.  You had to protect them when they were weapons.  You still have to protect the material when it’s dismantled, so I’m not sure that that adds to your overall problem.  There is a psychological concern which we spent the ’90s overcoming in Russia that they guarded weapons much better than they guarded materials, but they’ve made a great deal of progress.

So I don’t think that’s the biggest obstacle to eliminating material.  There are lots of ideas about what you do with eliminated material and they go to different visions for the future of the nuclear industry.  And we don’t have to get into that.  All we have to do is continue to push that has to be guarded as well as it was when it was in weapons.  And so I’m not as worried about that as an unintended consequence that’s dangerous as your question would imply.

MR. LUONGO:  Yeah, I think that, Linton, the standard is, you have to protect the material until you decide what to do with it.  But we’ve faced this challenge before.  We’ve taken HEU out of Russian warheads and blended it down into reactor fuel under the HEU Purchase Agreement.  And we have, you know, the Plutonium Disposition Agreement is about excess plutonium and what do you do with it.

Now, you know, I may not love the idea of using it in fast reactors like the Russians do or putting it in MOX like the U.S. intends to do, but there are pathways to dealing with that material that have already been established.  And I think that, you know, I think security is the number one issue and then secondly the disposition or down-blending of the HEU and disposition of the plutonium would be secondary questions.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  I think we’ve got time for one more question as the smell of our lunch starts wafting in here.  Let’s take the gentleman, Mr. Levine there.  Thank you.

Q:  Ken, you mentioned the lack of regional ideas in the summit recently.  I wonder what regional or coalition of the willing activities you think would be most useful.

MR. LUONGO:  Well, you know, we have kind of a fresh slate in the Middle East.  You know, there’s a lot of interest in nuclear power in the Middle East, with excepting out the Iranian situation and the Israeli situation, where I think you could establish some kind of regional standard that countries agree to or some kind of regional authority that supplements what the IAEA does – because, frankly, if you don’t give more money to the IAEA at this point, then I don’t see how you’re going to deal with the nuclear renaissance, should it ever come.  And you need to have inspections.

And the IAEA, if you look carefully at the document that was produced out of the nuclear summit, basically doesn’t want to start a new institution.  It wants to bolster what the IAEA does in nuclear security.  And the budget for that office out of the regular budget is like $9 million and with voluntary contributions is like $25 million.  So that’s not nearly enough to do that kind of work.  So I think that on a regional basis, the Middle East might be one place where you could experiment a little bit.

MR. KIMBALL:  Well, join me in thanking all three of our expert panelists.  (Applause.)  It was a great overview of the three top issues right now.  We’re going to be hearing in about a half an hour from Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller, who has made a legally binding agreement with the Arms Control Association that she is going to be arriving at about 12:15 from her meeting at the White House.  Between now and then, we have lunch outside that will be served buffet style.  So save your seat.  Please line up in an orderly fashion.  (Laughter.)  Don’t rush all at once.  Come back to your seat and we’ll begin promptly around 12:15.  Thank you all.



ROSE GOTTEMOELLER:  It is really nice to be back in this room and on this podium again and to see so many friends and colleagues in the audience.  Thank you all very much for coming today and thank you for that kind introduction, Daryl.

You know, it was just over a year ago on April 1, 2009, that President Obama and President Medvedev met in London and agreed to launch the negotiations toward a replacement treaty for START.  And I have to say with their direction, we embarked really on a new and uncharted path, but I think one that was very necessary for our two countries and the world community to undertake, recognizing that it was necessary first to replace the expiring START treaty with a new agreement reflecting progress in arms control and the changes in the world and the U.S.-Russian relationship over the 20 years since START was negotiated.

And I want you to focus on those two points as we go through talking about START, the change in the world since the end of the Cold War and the change in the U.S.-Russian relationship.  It has been hard to remember because, in fact, the years I was at the CarnegieMoscowCenter were a low point in the U.S.-Russian relationship.  And I think we have forgotten or have tended to forget how much things have been changing over the 20 years since the Cold War ended.

So 12 months from the time when we started with our meeting in Rome April 24, 2009, the “New START” treaty and its protocol were completed and the presidents signed them at Prague on April 8.  Well, actually, we came in a little early, like three weeks ahead of time.  But I don’t underscore that.  It was a fast negotiation.

I have to say in professional life, you don’t often say you have a thrill.  But it was a thrill for me to be able to watch the signing ceremony in Prague.  It was an event, which signified not only the completion of the negotiation, but the launch of a critical phase of work that yet lies ahead.

Within the coming weeks, the treaty, protocol and annexes and their associated documents will be submitted formally to the United States Senate.  I believe there is every reason for the Senate to provide its advice and consent to ratification of the treaty.  The treaty will ensure and maintain the strategic balance between the United States and Russian Federation at lower verifiable weapons levels appropriate to the current security environment.  It will promote strategic stability by ensuring transparency and predictability regarding U.S. and Russian strategic forces over the life of the treaty.  And it will definitively strengthen U.S. national security.

An important aspect of this phase of work is introducing the new treaty not only to the Senate, but also to international organizations, non-governmental and advocacy organizations and most critically to the public.  That is why I am so grateful to have this opportunity, Daryl, today to speak to the Arms Control Association, to the board and to the community here in Washington.  And some of you I know have come from outside of Washington as well.  So again, I am very grateful and appreciative of this opportunity to speak to you.

While I am here in Washington speaking to you, I know my Russian counterpart, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, has begun to engage similarly in Russia.  Had it not been for the volcanic ash cloud hovering over Europe last week, the two of us would have jointly briefed the conference on disarmament, the OSCE, the IAEA and the EU.  We plan to do so – we are going to brief the NPT Review Conference in New York on May 11, and we intend to reschedule our European briefings just as soon as we possibly can.  I believe in the first week of June.

Embarking on a cooperative venture of this kind between the United States and Russia is a first step in the history of arms control.  It will be an experiment.  But I hope it will be a productive one and one that will work to sell this treaty to the international community.

Now, let me step back for a moment and discuss another experiment and that was how we reached agreement on the “New START” treaty.  I am sure this audience will appreciate that our work in this treaty began on the strong foundations established by the INF Treaty, the START treaty and the Moscow Treaty.  Our many years of joint experiment – experience, rather, in implementing those treaties served as guiding principles as we negotiated this new treaty.

What was experimental about these negotiations was the spirit in which they took place.  Once again, as they began, Secretary Clinton had only just agreed with her counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, to hit the reset button in our relationship, moving us out of a difficult phase that had begun with the Georgia war in August of 2008.  But there had been some tense periods even before that time.

So the two delegations launched into the negotiations committed to conducting them in an atmosphere of mutual respect with a premium on keeping the tone businesslike and productive, as we say in the diplomatic world, even when we did not agree.  My counterpart, Anatoly Antonov, always used to say business is business.  Business is business.  And he meant we needed to keep that tone of businesslike intercourse and discussion even when we were nevertheless butting heads, as we frequently did.

Each delegation member brought to the table a sense of purpose and cooperation that allowed us to keep going and complete this treaty in a year, a span of time that is in sharp contrast to the more than nine years that it took to finish the START treaty and the six years it took to negotiate the INF Treaty.

Much has changed, however, since START was signed by President Bush and President Gorbachev in 1991.  These changes were reflected in the day-to-day work of our delegations.  When our delegations sat across the table from each other, we had a better understanding of the other’s strategic forces, thanks to the experience we had implementing START and INF.  This was born of the fact that we had many inspectors from both the Russian Federation and from the United States on our delegations and serving as experts to the talks.

Multiple times they had already visited each other’s ICBM bases, SLBM bases, heavy bomber bases and storage facilities.  Communication lines were also well-established.  For more than 22 years, the United States and Russia have been communicating through our respective nuclear risk-reduction centers.  And we speak each other’s languages.  There were probably as many Russian speakers on the U.S. delegation as there were English speakers on the Russian delegation, many of them again from the cadre of inspectors, so they knew the technical language very, very well.

Arms control treaties of the past were negotiated when we did not have this same kind of deep understanding of the concrete details of each other’s strategic forces.  And it helped enormously, in my view, with the pace of negotiations.  That is not to say that the negotiations were easy.  Quite frankly, it was very tough and there were serious issues to resolve, including those that required our presidents to intervene on multiple occasions.  Secretary Clinton also intervened multiple times with Minister Lavrov.  And, of course, you all know of the important role that Adm. Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, played with his counterpart, Gen. Makarov.

But there was a high degree of professionalism and expertise on both sides of the table and the two teams were able to work together in a very intense and productive way.  Our two presidents described it best when after signing the treaty earlier this month, President Obama called the treaty an important milestone for nuclear security and nonproliferation and for U.S.-Russian relations.  And President Medvedev declared it a win-win situation.  By the way, that is not a common term to be found among Russians.  And so I thought it was very interesting when he said even in English, if you noticed in Prague, he said a win-win situation.  So I thought that was good.

Now, I know you have spent the morning talking about the START treaty.  I wanted to give you a little sense of how we view it, what my talking points are, just how we see the important aspects of this treaty.  The “New START” treaty, as I said, will improve international security by reducing and limiting U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces, promoting strategic stability by ensuring transparency and predictability regarding U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces and advancing our collective nuclear nonproliferation agenda.


I would like to walk through some of the main points of the treaty again as we see them.  The new treaty will limit deployed strategic warheads to 1550 on deployed ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers.  This is about 30 percent below the maximum of 2200 warheads permitted by the Moscow Treaty.  When it is fully implemented, the treaty will result in the lowest number of deployed nuclear warheads since the 1950s, the first full decade of the nuclear age.

The treaty has a limit of 700 for deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and deployed nuclear capable heavy bombers.  This limit is more than 50 percent below the START treaty limit of 1600 deployed strategic delivery vehicles.  There will be a separate limit of 800 on the total number of deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and heavy bombers.

In this way, the new treaty gives each side’s military the flexibility to deploy and maintain its forces in ways that best meet each nation’s national security interests.  The United States will maintain its triad of bombers, submarines and missiles for nuclear missions.  The treaty’s verification regime was designed to be strong and effective, while at the same time reducing implementation costs and mitigating the operational disruptions to strategic nuclear forces that each side experienced during the 15 year implementation of START.

The regime calls for onsite inspections of both deployed and non-deployed systems at the same types of facilities that were subject to inspection under START.  Extensive notifications, six-month data exchanges, accompanied by frequent data updates, exhibitions and demonstrations.  In addition, each ICBM, SLBM and heavy bomber will be assigned a unique identifier that will enable us to monitor the individual systems over the life of the treaty.

The new treaty counts the actual number of warheads carried on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs.  And this is a significant innovation, in my view, of this treaty.  Since heavy bombers on both sides are no longer on alert, they no longer carry warheads on a day-to-day basis.  Therefore, we agreed in the case of bombers on an attribution rule of one warhead per heavy bomber rather than counting heavy bombers at zero warheads, which frankly was disgust in Geneva.  And I said it is not the approach we want to take.  We need at least an attribution rule, which will underscore the fact that these bombers have the capability to deliver nuclear weapons, although they are not ready to do so on a day-to-day basis.

The treaty provides for an exchange of telemetric information on up to five ballistic missile flight tests per year by each side.  This is an important transparency measure under this treaty.  And the treaty also provides a protection for our ability to develop and deploy ballistic missile defenses and to develop and deploy conventional prompt global strike capabilities should we opt to pursue such capabilities.

Now, let me take a look to the future.  This is the Arms Control Association with many, many important tasks and interests as we consider the future of the nonproliferation regime and the arms control regimes.  Almost a year to the day before President Obama and President Medvedev signed the “New START” treaty in Prague, President Obama gave his speech also in Prague in which he set forth a specific agenda to address the challenges posed by the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons.

He articulated a bold vision, to seek the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons no matter how hard it might be or how long it might take.  The president amplified these remarks at the signing ceremony for the “New START” treaty saying, quote, “This is a long-term goal, one than may not even be achieved in my lifetime.  But I believe then, as I do now, that the pursuit of that goal will move us further beyond the Cold War, strengthen the global nonproliferation regime and make the United States and the world safer and more secure,” end quote.

As long as nuclear weapons exist, however, the president also affirmed the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary and guarantee the defense of our allies.  With the “New START” treaty, we are setting the stage for further arms reductions.  As we say in the preamble to the treaty, we see it as providing new impetus to the step-by-step process of reducing and limiting nuclear arms with a view to expanding this process in the future to a multilateral approach.

We also will seek to include non-strategic and non-deployed weapons in future reductions.  Such steps would truly take arms control into a new era.  We are looking forward with great anticipation to the NPT Review Conference, which will begin in approximately a week’s time.  Heading into the conference, the “New START” treaty sets a powerful example of responsible U.S.-Russian leadership in managing and reducing our remaining nuclear arsenals.  Along with the recent release of the Nuclear Posture Review, which deemphasizes the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy and the strong communiqué that was issued at the end of the Nuclear Security Summit in mid-April, the treaty is a key to strengthening the global nonproliferation regime.

But the “New START” treaty is not just about Washington and Moscow.  It is about the entire world community.  While the treaty is bilateral, it has a big implication for global security.  The United States and Russia control more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenals.  And we know that the world looks to us for leadership in securing nuclear materials globally and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.  Thus, the new treaty sets the stage for engaging other powers in fulfilling the goals of the NPT.  And that is why, in my view, its conclusion on the eve of the NPT Review Conference is a special boon.

At the upcoming review conference, we look to reaffirm each party’s commitment to that treaty and to strengthen its three pillars, nonproliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  In addition, we want to discourage abuses of the treaty withdrawal provision and ensure there is a strong focus on NPT compliance.  That said, the review conference is not an end in itself, but a milestone toward enhancing the nonproliferation regime on a worldwide basis.

As you know, two other major goals the Obama administration is pursuing are bringing into – are first of all, bringing into force the comprehensive test ban treaty, CTBT, and negotiating a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty, FMCT.  Ratifying the CTBT is not going to be an easy task by any means, but we will work closely with the Senate, the public, key stakeholders and with this community to achieve that goal.

The administration appreciates the active role of the Arms Control Association in advancing the goal of CTBT ratification.  We also will work to reduce the materials needed to produce nuclear weapons.  Achieving a verifiable FMCT is an essential condition for a world free of nuclear weapons.  If the international community is serious about drawing down, we must constrain the ability to build up.  We are working hard to keep the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, the CD, focused on this important goal.

Each of these steps will move us closer to President Obama’s vision of reducing and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons.  There will be enormous obstacles along the way.  The work will be difficult and will require efforts from governments, NGOs, think tanks, academics, scientists and others to address the insecurities in many regions around the world that may lead some to seek nuclear weapons.  But it is work that all of us must be willing to engage in.  We do not want a world where there is even one more nuclear armed country.  And we must also prevent terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear weapons.

I look forward to working with all of you on this important agenda in the months and in the years ahead.  Now I look forward to your questions and comments.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

Thank you.  I will go ahead and I guess do the –

MR. KIMBALL:  Yes, if you want to do the identifying.  And do we have the portable mike still here?  They are on their way.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Okay.  We have one way down here in front.  It might be easier to go outside.  (Laughter.)

Q:  Thank you.  Mary Beth Sheridan from the Washington Post.  Sort of a double-barreled question on START.  If you were going to do sort of an apples-to-apples comparison of, you know, previous agreements – I guess SORT would be the last one – with this one.  I mean, the 30 percent reduction is sort of apples to oranges.  So I am wondering sort of how much of a reduction is this from the levels of SORT, if you could estimate?

And then secondly, when you talk about talks to the follow-on, how much sort of enthusiasm do you see on the Russian side to engage in further arms reductions?  Thank you.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Very good questions, Mary Beth.  Thank you very much.  If we are talking about SORT, SORT, as you recall, constrained warheads, operationally deployed warheads at a level of 1700 to 2200.  So we are talking about going down from the lower level of SORT, 1700, down to 1550.  So I do see that as a significant cut in the number of operationally deployed warhead from where we were on SORT.  And furthermore, one of the interesting artifacts – as I mentioned, the key innovation, as I see it, for this treaty is the counting approach for ballistic missiles, that we are counting actual warheads on missiles.

And that addresses some of the perturbations, I call them, that occurred in START because of the attribution rule.  Over time, START had attribution rules.  If a missile was counted with 10 warheads because it was tested with 10 warheads – you know, if it was tested with 10 warheads, it was counted with 10 warheads.  Basically, that was the kind of attribution rule that was used during START.  Very, very useful approach when we were depending on national technical means and just beginning down the road toward onsite inspection.

But as we go lower and lower, we need to be able, I think, to more closely associate warheads and missiles.  And we now have the experience with the onsite inspection regime and furthermore, the knowledge of Russian forces that I think we can correlate warheads and missiles more closely together.  And so that is one reason why we think the counting rule in this treaty is so important.  And it actually addresses some of those perturbations that occurred when the United States, for example, started to download its missiles that were heavily MIRVed, the D-5, for example.

And we ended up having to count at the higher START level, even though we were downloading the warheads on the missiles.  So I think actually this treaty is bringing us closer – and it will take some time and experience to get us there – but it is bringing us closer to a purer count that will be needed as we move to lower and lower numbers.  So I think from that perspective, it is very important.

Now, as to next steps, we have started talking to the Russians about next steps.  And they understand, of course, indeed, the preambular language in the treaty was subject to some serious discussion in Geneva as to where we go from here.  So the fact that the Russians have agreed to go forward with further reductions and now we also have the Russian leadership on record talking about moving to further reductions in the future.  So we will be taking that up with them in the coming months, talking about where we go from here.

But I do think that it will take some time to establish what the next reduction negotiation is going to be.  And furthermore, both of us are absolutely resolved that we must put the priority on ratification of this treaty.  And as you may have heard from President Medvedev, he is saying we are going to ratify simultaneous with the United States.  Some of you may have had a chance to meet with some of the Russian senators who were here last week.  They are thinking and talking to people on Capitol Hill about how to coordinate in some way our ratification processes for the treaty.  So I do think that that really must be the emphasis that we have in this immediate follow-on period.

Did you have a question as well?  No, okay.  Yes?  Hello, Mike Wheeler.

Q:  Hi, Rose.  Congratulations on a job well-done, obviously.  What I would like to do is kind of look at the vision where you go beyond the next step, but further than that.  When we began engaging with the Russians, then the Soviets, in the 1960s in formal negotiations, their concept, as I recall, of what a strategic nuclear weapon was something that would explode on Soviet territory.  And we got them to fall off to go to long range for obvious reasons.

In a sense, it appears that the United States has come around to that definition in a way.  I mean, we have a broad nuclear agenda.  Nuclear terrorism is prioritized as the number-one threat.  The notion of a nuclear weapon going off in an American city is a driving concern.  And so what is in the back of my mind as I begin looking at this process where you try to think yourself ahead, not merely in the next step or the step after that or the step after that or the engagement of others, but in terms of the U.S. and Russian approaches to what strategic was.

Was there any sense of déjà vu on the part of the Russians where they would come back to you in the negotiations and say, you know, you really are thinking strategically like we were at some point?  And if so, is this something that can be leveraged as we move ahead?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Very interesting artifact of this negotiation was the degree to which – and I mentioned the level of expertise on the two delegations.  The two countries really I think reengaged on these serious issues.  But there was a sense, a broad understanding that has been informed by our last 15 years of experience with things like cooperative threat reduction, much of which was about keeping fissile material out of the hands of terrorists.  And then in the latter phases, the joint initiative on cooperation against nuclear terrorism.  I forget the exact name of it.  You can tell I am not responsible for that initiative.

But anyway, some programs that were launched, you know, as much as 15 years ago, some that were launched during the Bush administration, but placed an emphasis on this problem of tackling nuclear terrorism and trying to figure out, you know, how we wrestle with this extremely difficult complicated problem.  So that was informing the discussions overall.

But the other thing that was informing the discussions was a recognition that there are issues that we haven’t really had a chance to wrestle with profoundly in recent years.  Among them, prompt global strike.  That is the effect of conventional strategic range systems and the interrelationship between strategic offense and defense.  So I think to answer your question, Mike, I think there is a mix of issues here.

There is no agreement, I would say, about the breadth of the agenda.  But it goes across a spectrum from kind of new topics such as tackling nuclear terrorism and how we handle that, where the deterrence relationship has a limited impact or effect, to the other end of the spectrum, where we both recognize we continue to be intertwined in a deterrence relationship and how do we address over time beginning to disentangle ourselves from that and have a more cooperative relationship overall.  How do we work on the missile defense interrelationship with strategic offense, develop some missile defense cooperations, those kinds of questions?

So I think it is very much a broad-spectrum approach as we look to the future.  And it is one in which, again, our communications links are much – I would say much better than they have been historically.  And I hope that we can solidify that in the coming years so that we take the advances that we have been able to make in communications and really settle them into an abiding consultation on these important issues and eventually, you know, solve our problems as we go forward.

So yes?

Q:  Hi, Jon Landay with McClatchy Newspapers.  This may be a little off topic.  But the administration has been engaging extremely aggressively lately with Pakistan.  You have opened a new strategic dialogue with them and we have heard a lot about the terrorism issue, Afghanistan driving this agenda.  But at the same time, Pakistan is at this point the sole impediment to discussions of a fissile material cutoff treaty.  They are continuing to expand their production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium.  In fact, after the Nuclear Security Summit or at the Nuclear Security Summit, I believe they began offering themselves as international services to enrich uranium for those countries that don’t have their own enrichment capabilities.

To what extent are the administration’s concerns about Pakistan being brought to Pakistan’s attention?  We don’t hear a lot of that in the public discussions and pronouncements by the administration, in particular, going into the NPT Review Conference and the idea of one of the major next steps being a fissile material cutoff treaty, at least starting to talk about that.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  You are right.  It is very off topic as far as I am concerned.  (Laughter.)  So I am therefore going to duck the question.  But I did want to say one thing and that is I have spent the last year – much of the last year in Geneva at our mission in Geneva.  And colleagues, very close colleagues there working the CD agenda and very seriously working the CD agenda.  And I will only say that my view is that – and I meant it when I said it in my remarks that this administration wants to keep the eye on that ball for the fissile material cutoff treaty and wants to work very, very seriously with the Conference on Disarmament and in the Conference on Disarmament to make it happen.

And that includes engaging Pakistan in that venue.  And I have watched as my colleagues in Geneva have engaged that process of working with Pakistan in the CD.  And I know that it extends to many levels of our government.  So it is definitely a problem we are trying to work.  And I will leave it at that.

Yes, Peter?  Peter?

Q:  Hello?  Peter Baker, New York Times.  Good to see you.  Thank you for doing this today.  Quick question.  You had mentioned that Russia wanted to time the ratification to ours.  Can you give us some sense of your expectations in terms of a ratification timetable and what you think will be the toughest substantive question that you are going to have to address as part of that process?

And then looking ahead, we talked about the next steps.  Can you imagine a further arms control agreement with Russia that does not include some sort of substantive restriction on American missile defense?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  First, as far as the ratification schedule is concerned, we are on a very, very fast timetable.  We are looking to submit the package to the Senate in the first weeks of May.  And we are going to work very closely with the Senate to move it forward.  Through the process with the Senate, there will be many, many hearings as those of you who are familiar with START, INF, CWC and other ratification processes.  There will be many layers of – I have already started the process of briefing in Capitol Hill.  There will be many hearings of various individuals from the level of secretaries down to the level of assistant secretaries and probably many expert panels as well from the non-governmental community and senior-level figures.

So it is going to be a very intense process.  But we hope we can carry it through this summer.  It is a fast – you know, it is a fast timetable.  We recognize it.  But we do think that with focus and intensity and keeping our eye on the ball that we can make it happen.

Q:  Floor vote by the Senate?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Yeah.  (Laughter.)

Q:  (Inaudible, off mike) – substantive – (inaudible) – you feel like you are going to have to address?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  I think, you know, they are clear.  This treaty is quite different from the START treaty.  And so I think we have to make a very strong case that this is a treaty for this era.  It is an innovative treaty.  It does the job that needs to be done in terms of both reducing our forces and also in terms of having everything incorporated in it to help us to monitor the process of reductions.

So I think those are the key points that will have to be made.  There are other issues, of course, that will come up in the course.  And one of them is related to your second question.  That is the offense-defense relationship and how it might or might not be related to this treaty.  As you know, the treaty contains a statement in its preamble about the interrelationship of strategic offense and defense.  The Russians issued the unilateral statement saying that should the level of U.S. strategic offensive forces come, you know, to a point where it affects the qualitative or quantitative balance with the Russian strategic defensive forces, then the Russians may or could consider that to be a reason to withdraw from the treaty.

That is, in effect, very similar to the statement they made at the time that START was concluded back in 1991.  But that set of issues will, of course, be part of the discourse and the discussion during the ratification process for START.

Now, going on from that to talk about your question.  I frankly believe that we do have a great deal of work to do.  This was a bridge agreement, a transitional agreement to take us from the completion of implementation of the START I treaty to, as President Obama said in Prague last April, to a deeper reduction negotiation.  So this particular treaty, I think of in some ways as a transition or a bridge, but in other ways as being on a continuum from START.  But as we get to the future, and I mentioned it in my remarks, we are going to be getting to tasks that we never tried to tackle before in an arms reduction treaty, particularly non-deployed systems.

And this is going to require a lot of attention to verification, a lot of attention to verification technology.  Some very serious work will have to be done.  And so frankly, I believe that the next reduction negotiation can focus on some of these important new tasks that we will be undertaking, non-deployed, looking at tactical or non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe, but also looking to the future and thinking about, you know, exactly how we draw in other countries to the process of nuclear arms reduction.

As far as whether there will have to be some kind of link to strategic defense, my own view is that there is a separate track under which that cooperation is going to go forward now with the Russian Federation.  And it will be an emphasis in the near-term period as we go forward.  How do we establish cooperation on missile defenses with the Russians?  And working that with them will be a complicated matter.  I am quite sure of that.  But it will be one where we will really, I think, be placing the emphasis in the next couple of months.

So in answer to your question, Peter, I don’t see that it necessarily has to enter into the next reduction negotiation in any way, shape or form.  And, in fact, I believe it will be worked and continue to be worked on a separate track.

Yes, Bruce?

Q:  Bruce MacDonald.  Question.  Agreements in the past have had rather than a single warhead limit has had like a band of 1700 to 2200 and even the discussions for the new START agreement initially were banded between 1500 and 1675.  My question was, any thought given to maintaining the band structure as opposed to collapsing down to a single number in the agreement?  I mean, obviously, that is where we ended up.  But I just wondered if that had been considered, maintaining the band, which has allowed, you know, the United States to go to the upper end and the Russian Federation to go to the lower end.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Yes, in fact, you pointed to the joint understanding from last summer the president signed in Moscow last July, where we had a band for warheads that Bruce just went over.  And for delivery vehicles, we had a band that went from 500 up to 1100.  So you could see very well portrayed there the differences in our force structure, 1100 on the U.S. side and 500 on the Russian side.  And, of course, the Russians were trying to drive us to the lower number.  It was their way of trying to address the upload problem in this treaty negotiation.

But as a matter of fact, both sides, I think, wanted to try to drive to a single number if we could because we felt that it was very, very important to begin to have some consensus around the future structure of our strategic forces and how to address in this treaty, you know, a future where we will be getting to smaller and smaller numbers.  And so to have those kinds of disparities expressed in a wide range band doesn’t make so much sense as we get to lower and lower numbers.

So it was really an effort.  And one thing I would like to say about this treaty is it a bridge.  It is a transition.  But it sets in place a number of foundation stones for deeper reductions in the future.  And the fact that we were able to come to agreement on a single number for both deployed warheads and deployed delivery vehicles, as well as for deployed and non-deployed launchers, I think is an expression of that both aspiration on both our sides, but also a good expression of that foundation stone going into place for future reduction negotiations.

Yes, please, go ahead.

Q:  Two organizational questions.  One – Larry Water (ph), I am sorry.  One, given the multitude of different topics that are going to have to be addressed in the near and distant future, is there any thought of giving the government adequate facilities, organizationally and personnel wise to deal with all of these?  There are a lot of us who feel inadequately supported.  You have to have a title that isn’t your real title because it is a carryover kind of thing.  That is the first question.

The second is, is any thought being given to doing something about the absurd arrangements that we have in the Geneva conference?  There is nothing sacred about this negotiating forum.  And you can’t even agree on agenda there because of Pakistan.  Is there any thought being given to doing something about structures for negotiations of these other items?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Thank you, Larry.  I will just say what I said before.  We continue to be hopeful that the CD will provide basically the forum for our FMCT negotiations.  And we are going to try to continue to work it, no ifs, ands or buts about it.  But if, you know, we can’t work it in a fairly short time period, we are going to have to look again.  But for the time being, we are very, very committed to getting the FMCT negotiations going in the CD forum.

On the second point, you know, when I first spoke to Secretary Clinton about this job, she was very, very clear.  And when she testified to Capitol Hill on the brink of taking the job of secretary of state, she spoke about the necessity of recreating the ability to do arms control policy making and negotiation and implementation in the U.S. government and first and foremost, under her aegis in the Department of State.  And so she has been very, very supportive in terms of creating the institution in the Department of State, my own institution.  Yes, you are right.  It carries a name that doesn’t say arms control at the moment.  But nevertheless, I think that it has been very clear to me that her support is strong and abiding.

I have seen it in our budget numbers.  I have seen it in the personnel support I am getting.  And I have seen it in the way these negotiations were supported.  I will tell you.  When I embarked on these negotiations in Rome a year ago on this last Saturday, the 24th of April, we embarked and I had no idea if we could pull together a delegation, if we could pull together the organization to make it work and if the Russians could do the same.  And it was quite remarkable the degree to which everyone in our interagency pulled together and produced a top-notch negotiating team.  That is number one.

But the Russians did it as well.  And so I actually – I was a little gloomy when I took this job not knowing if we still had, as my boss, Ellen Tauscher, likes to say, the muscle memory to do a negotiation of this kind.  But the last year’s experience has told me that we do have the muscle memory and furthermore, we have a lot of young talent.  I have been very, very impressed with the young people coming in from all the agencies to work on the negotiation.  And they dive in.  We threw them into the fray, you know, being chairman of subgroups, negotiating very tough, very difficult, technical matters.  And they came right up to the bar and performed beautifully.

So I am convinced we have the next generation already at hand.  And I think we will have plenty of work for them to do.

Yes, John?

Q:  A quickie on new START.  Can you confirm that all the agreed documents – the treaty, of course, but all the subsidiary documents behind them, whatever you call them, plus the most significant unilateral statements are going to be made public from the beginning and the times past we didn’t do it.  And we got into all kinds of trouble.  And if it is done early, it is much better obviously.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  That is the plan.  And I am happy to tell you that the – I am happy to tell you, too, that the annexes are all finished now, too.  And we will be exchanging them this week with the Russians officially.  So every single I has been crossed – I has been dotted and T has been crossed at this point.  (Laughter.)  I can assure you.

Yes, ma’am, please?

Q:  (Inaudible) – from Bloomberg News.  In our ratification process, how are you going to address the potential political appeal for opponents of ratification of issues such as the potential limits on missile defense of a threat to withdraw from a treaty, verification questions and so on?  How do you plan to address that potential political appeal?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  First of all, I want to be very, very firm in saying that there is absolutely no constraint on missile defense development or deployment inherent in this treaty.  And I would also like to point everybody to the history of what happened under START, again, with a very similar statement having been made by the Russians with regard and with reference specifically to the ABM treaty, which, of course, was in force when START was completed.

And the United States in 2002 decided to withdraw from the ABM treaty and the Russians did not step back from the START treaty.  So history also has a certain lesson in this regard.  I think it is important to bear in mind.  But I really want to underscore that, in my view, there is absolutely no danger of any kind of constraint on U.S. missile defenses flowing from this treaty.

Second, as far as the treaty itself is concerned, yes, we have to make a case for the treaty.  It is an excellent treaty.  And I can say that without any hesitation since I negotiated it.  (Laughter.)  But I further think that every aspect of it is very clearly defensible in terms of its relationship to U.S. national security, strengthening U.S. national security and giving us what we need to understand what is going on inside the Russian strategic forces.  We had twin concepts that drove the negotiation of this treaty.

The first was flexibility that each side and we should have the ability to determine for ourselves the structure of our strategic forces.  I think this will be very important as we go forward to further reductions and deeper reductions.  We need to have that confidence in our ability to structure our forces.  And second, predictability.  And that is a concept equally important.  And it is a concept that is entirely, I think, backed up by the verification regime in this treaty.

And so we will have a case to make to the Senate, of course, because it is an innovative approach in this treaty.  But I do think we have a good case to be made.

Yes, Tom Graham?

Q:  Rose, I would just like to ask a question about the next phase of negotiations.  Is it the case that one of the objectives of the lower levels that will be pursued will be to set the stage for the multilateral nuclear weapon reduction process that the president referred to in Prague?  And is that negotiation, that multilateral negotiation, is that something that the administration believes could even begin during his presidency?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  If you are talking about eight years.  (Laughter.)  Let’s go to the back of the room.  (Laughter.)  Way in the back.

Q:  Hi, Rose.  Desmond Butler.  You talked about finding ways of discouraging countries from, I think you said, inappropriately withdrawing from the NPT at the review conference.  What are ways of doing that?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  I think one of the things about the NPT Review Conference coming up is that it is an opportunity to talk about, you know – it is important, I think, to emphasize the advantages of the NPT regime across the board that we are talking about an orderly way to interact with countries on matters of nuclear security and nuclear energy policy.  And the fact that in this upcoming review conference, we are honestly going to try to be placing strong emphasis on each of the three pillars, whether we are talking about the nonproliferation pillar, the disarmament pillar – again, here START helps us.  We will be up there briefing on the treaty and trying to, you know, make the case for what we need to do from here on out, and also peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

So I just want to say that I think what we can do is inject some kind of positive energy into the whole nonproliferation treaty regime, into the NPT regime at this rev con that I would hope would make it seem like – oh, I don’t want to sound too flippant – but the in thing.  This is a regime that is strong, that is important and that a country needs to be a strong and enthusiastic partner in if countries wish to make progress on the nuclear agendas that they have in mind.

And so whether that is peaceful nuclear uses or nonproliferation goals in our case and in the case of our nuclear powers, nuclear disarmament.  So I think that that is the most important thing about the upcoming rev con.  And it is that general case that will be, in my view, the most important one because there has been a different kind of energy at the NPT Rev Con in recent years.  And so I hope we can do 180 degree turn on this that will really give a huge boost to the NPT and its regime.


Q:  Dean Rust.  When you go up to the review conference and brief, you can imagine you won’t get quite as enthusiastic a reception as you will here just because their attitude always is what have you done for me lately?  And they will want to know beyond even FMCT and CTBT and this sort of nebulous talk about further reductions.  Okay, he wants zero.  Well, what is he really doing different than giving declaratory support for it that other presidents have done because presidents have been since ’95, ’96, we have been committed to these things.  But what is it that this guy is doing differently?  And I say this administration.

The NPR made some reference to the notion of being willing to look at sort of factors that would be relevant to eliminating nuclear weapons, including verification and so on.  So I think you have got to be ready to sort of put some specifics on some of these – in order to distinguish this administration from others who have declared this, you have got to have something specific.  And I wonder what you might have to offer them.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Well, I think that I mentioned also in my remarks the fissile material – Nuclear Security Summit and the aftermath of that, the communiqué that came out of that, where we actually drew together countries from all over the world.  And there are after-action projects that are taking place in the context of the Nuclear Security Summit that I think provide a partial answer to your question.  But that, you know, summit itself and the fact that there will be a follow-on summit coming up in the next year with South Korea hosting it.  I think that that is one important realm where we are showing, you know, that we have practical things that we have in mind doing.

The other is planning for the next negotiation with the Russians, being ready to talk about that, being ready to talk about what will be required in terms of I had mentioned verification technologies and so forth.  There will have to be some important work that goes on so that we can accomplish reductions to much deeper levels.  And so just showing that we have a very practical agenda ahead of us, I think is the most important thing.  But I agree with you.  They are a tough audience.  And they are not going to be easily sold.

But nevertheless, I think we have a good story to tell and we will continue to tell it.  With that, I am going to draw our proceedings to a close.  I just noticed that it is getting close to when I turn into a pumpkin and have to go onto my next thing.  So I wanted to thank you all very, very much for the opportunity to speak to you today.  And I look forward to further interactions.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you all very much.  The formal portion of our meeting is closed.  But I do want to note for those of you who are members of the Arms Control Association that in 12 minutes precisely, we will be gathering in the Butler Room downstairs in the rear for a brief update from the board chairman, John Steinbruner, and myself.  So please join us there if you would like.  Thank you all for coming.



Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Remarks of Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller at the ACA Annual Meeting



Remarks at the Arms Control Association's Annual Meeting


Rose Gottemoeller

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation

Washington, DC

April 26, 2010

(As prepared for delivery)



Thank you for the kind introduction. I am very pleased to be back in Washington and able to join you for your annual meeting. This has been an extremely eventful year in the area of arms control and your meeting is well-timed, as there is much more to come.

It was just over a year ago, on April 1, 2009, that President Obama and President Medvedev met in London and agreed to launch the negotiations toward a replacement treaty for START.

With their directive, we embarked on a new, uncharted path, but one which both our countries and the world community recognized was necessary: to replace the expiring START Treaty with a new agreement reflecting progress in arms control and the changes in the world and in the U.S.-Russian relationship over the 20 years since START was negotiated.

Twelve months later, the New START Treaty and its Protocol were completed and the Presidents signed both at Prague on April 8. It was a thrill to witness the signing ceremony, an event which signified not only the completion of the negotiation but the launch of the critical phase of work that lies ahead. Within the coming weeks, the Treaty, Protocol, Annexes and associated documents will be submitted formally to the United States Senate. I believe there is every reason for the Senate to provide its advice and consent to ratification of the New START Treaty. The Treaty will ensure and maintain the strategic balance between the United States and Russia at lower, verifiable weapons levels, appropriate to the current security environment. It will promote strategic stability by ensuring transparency and predictability regarding U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces over the life of the Treaty. It will definitively strengthen U.S. national security.

An important aspect of this phase of work is introducing the new Treaty not only to the Senate, but also to international organizations, non-governmental and advocacy organizations, and, most critically, the public. While I am here in Washington speaking to all of you, I know my Russian counterpart – Ambassador Anatoliy Antonov – is similarly engaged in Russia. Had it not been for the volcanic ash cloud hovering over Europe last week, the two of us would have jointly briefed the Conference on Disarmament, the OSCE, the EU and the IAEA on the new Treaty. We plan to do so at the NPT Review Conference next month in New York, and we intend to reschedule our European briefings soon thereafter. Embarking on a cooperative venture of this kind is a first in the history of arms control—an experiment, but an important one that we believe will work.

New START Treaty

I would like to take a step back for a minute and discuss another experiment, how we reached agreement with the Russian Federation on the New START Treaty.

I am sure this audience will appreciate that our work on this treaty began on the strong foundations established by the INF Treaty, the START Treaty, and the Moscow Treaty. Our many years of joint experience in implementing those treaties served as guiding principles as we negotiated this new Treaty.

What was experimental about these negotiations was the spirit in which they took place. As they began, Secretary Clinton had only just agreed with her counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that it was time to hit the reset button, moving us out of a difficult phase in our bilateral relationship. So the two delegations launched into the negotiations committed to conducting them in an atmosphere of mutual respect, with a premium on keeping the tone “businesslike and productive”— even when we did not agree. As my counterpart Ambassador Antonov would frequently say, “business is business.” Each delegation member brought to the table a sense of purpose and cooperation that allowed us to complete the treaty in a year – a span of time that is in sharp contrast to the more than nine years it took to negotiate the START I Treaty and the six years it took to negotiate the INF Treaty.

Much has changed, however, since START was signed by President Bush and President Gorbachev in 1991. These changes were reflected in the day-to-day work of our delegations. When our delegations sat across the table from each other, we had a better understanding of the other’s strategic focus. This was borne of the experience implementing INF and START. In fact, many of the U.S. and Russian experts on our delegations were inspectors under START. Multiple times, they had visited each others’ ICBM bases, SLBM bases, heavy bomber bases, and storage facilities. Communication lines are also well-established. For more than 22 years, the United States and Russia have communicated on START and INF through our respective Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers. And we speak each other’s languages. There were probably as many Russian speakers on the U.S. delegation as English speakers on the Russian delegation—many of them, again, from the cadre of inspectors. Arms control treaties of the past were negotiated when we did not have this multi-year implementation experience under our belts, and it helped enormously with the pace of negotiation.

This is not to say the negotiation was easy. Quite frankly, it was tough and there were serious issues to resolve, including those that required direct intervention by our Presidents. But there was a high degree of professionalism and expertise on both sides of the table, and the two teams were able to work together in a very intense and productive way. I know you will agree that what we achieved is an agreement that mutually enhances the security of the Parties and provides predictability and stability in strategic offensive forces.

Our Presidents described it best when, after signing the new Treaty earlier this month, President Obama called it “an important milestone for nuclear security and non-proliferation, and for U.S.-Russia relations” and President Medvedev declared it a “win-win situation.”

Details of the Treaty

The New START Treaty will improve international security by reducing and limiting U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces, promoting strategic stability by ensuring transparency and predictability regarding U.S and Russian strategic nuclear forces over the life of the Treaty, and advancing our collective nuclear non-proliferation agenda.

I would like to walk through some of the main points of the new START Treaty:

* The new Treaty will limit deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 on deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers to 1,550 per side, which is about 30 % below the maximum of 2,200 warheads permitted by the Moscow Treaty. When it is fully implemented, the Treaty will result in the lowest number of deployed nuclear warheads since the 1950s, the first full decade of the nuclear age.

* The Treaty has a limit of 700 for deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and deployed nuclear capable heavy bombers. This limit is more than 50 percent below the START Treaty limit of 1600 deployed strategic delivery vehicles.

* There will be a separate limit of 800 on the total number of deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers.

* The new Treaty gives each side’s military the flexibility to deploy and maintain its forces in ways that best meet that nation’s national security interests. The U.S. will maintain its triad of bombers, submarines and missiles for nuclear missions.

* The Treaty’s verification regime was designed to be strong and effective while at the same time reducing implementation costs and mitigating the operational disruptions to strategic nuclear forces that each side experienced for 15 years under START.

* The regime calls for on-site inspections of both deployed and non-deployed systems at the same types of facilities that were subject to inspection under START, extensive notifications, six-month data exchanges accompanied by frequent data updates, exhibitions, and demonstrations. In addition, each ICBM, SLBM, and heavy bomber will be assigned a unique identifier that will enable us to monitor individual systems over the life of the treaty.

* The new Treaty counts the actual number of warheads carried on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs. Since heavy bombers on both sides are no longer on alert, they no longer carry warheads on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, we agreed on an attribution rule of one warhead per heavy bomber rather than counting heavy bombers at zero warheads. This approach underscores the fact that these bombers have the capability to deliver nuclear weapons, although they are not ready to do so on a day-to-day basis.

* The Treaty provides for an exchange of telemetry information on up to 5 ballistic missile flight tests per year, by each side.

* The Treaty also protects our ability to develop and deploy ballistic missile defenses, and to develop and deploy a conventional prompt global strike capability should we opt to pursue such a capability.

A Look to the Future

Almost a year to the day before President Obama and President Medvedev signed the New START Treaty in Prague, President Obama gave a speech, also in Prague, in which he set forth a specific agenda to address the challenges posed by the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons. He articulated a bold vision, to “seek the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons,” no matter how hard it might be or how long it might take.

The President amplified these remarks at the signing ceremony for the Treaty, saying “this is a long-term goal, one that may not even be achieved in my lifetime. But I believed then – as I do now – that the pursuit of that goal will move us further beyond the Cold War, strengthen the global non-proliferation regime, and make the United States, and the world, safer and more secure.“ As long as nuclear weapons exist, however, the President also affirmed that the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee the defense of our allies.

With the New START Treaty, we are setting the stage for further arms reductions. As we say in the Preamble to the Treaty, we see it as providing new impetus to the step-by-step process of reducing and limiting nuclear arms, with a view to expanding this process in the future to a multilateral approach. We also will seek to include non-strategic and non-deployed weapons in future reductions. Such steps would truly take arms control into a new era.

We are looking forward with great anticipation to the NPT Review Conference, which will begin in a week’s time. Heading into the Conference, the New START Treaty sets a powerful example of responsible U.S.-Russian leadership in managing and reducing our remaining nuclear arsenals. Along with the recent release of the Nuclear Posture Review, which deemphasizes the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy, and the strong communiqué issued at the Nuclear Security Summit in mid-April, the Treaty is a key to strengthening the global non-proliferation regime.

The New START Treaty is not just about Washington and Moscow. It is about the entire world community. While the treaty is bilateral, it has big implications for global security. The United States and Russia control more than 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal, and we know that the world looks to us for leadership in securing nuclear materials globally and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Thus, the new Treaty sets the stage for engaging other powers in fulfilling the goals of the NPT.

At the upcoming NPT Review Conference, we look to reaffirm each party’s commitment to that treaty and to strengthen its three pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In addition, we want to discourage abuses of the treaty withdrawal provision and ensure there is a strong focus on NPT compliance. That said, the Review Conference is not an end in itself, but a milestone toward enhancing the non-proliferation regime worldwide.

As you know, two other major goals the Obama Administration is pursuing are bringing into force the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty – CTBT – and negotiating a verifiable Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty – FMCT. Ratifying the CTBT will not be an easy task, but we will work closely with the Senate, the public and key stakeholders to achieve this goal. The administration appreciates the active role of the Arms Control Association in advancing the goal of CTBT ratification.

We will also work to reduce the materials needed to produce nuclear weapons. Achieving a verifiable FMCT is an essential condition for a world free of nuclear weapons. If the international community is serious about drawing down, we must constrain the ability to build up. We are working hard to keep the United Nations’ Conference on Disarmament – the CD – focused on this goal.

Each of these steps will move us closer to President Obama’s vision of reducing – and ultimately eliminating – nuclear weapons.

There will be obstacles along the way; this work will be difficult, and will require enormous efforts from governments, NGOs, think tanks, academics, scientists and others to address the insecurities in many regions around the world that may lead some to seek nuclear weapons. But it is work in which all of us must engage. We do not want a world where there is even one more nuclear-armed country and we must also prevent terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear weapons.

I look forward to working with all of you in the months ahead on this ambitious agenda.

Thank you.


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


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