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"I salute the Arms Control Association … for its keen vision of the goals ahead and for its many efforts to identify and to promote practical measures that are so vitally needed to achieve them."

– Amb. Nobuyasu Abe
Former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs
January 28, 2004
Events

Preventing Nuclear Disaster

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Presentation by ACA Research Director to Brainstorming Session on "Promoting Disarmament and Nonproliferation: Exploring New Perspectives and Evolving Consensus"

Wade Boese
March 25, 2006

 

Nuclear disarmament is crucial to diminishing nuclear risks, preventing nuclear disaster, and achieving international peace and security. In this regard, it is important to keep in mind that nuclear disarmament, like nonproliferation, is a means toward an end and not a goal in and of itself. As I am sure all of you would agree, nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament must proceed in tandem or else they will both stall and peace and security for all will remain elusive. This presentation focuses on how we at the Arms Control Association believe we can best advance nuclear disarmament in the coming years with the implicit understanding that progress must also be made on meeting nonproliferation challenges. Obviously, considerable overlap exists between them.

By all accounts, recent years have not been kind to nuclear disarmament. Indeed, this past year has been particularly egregious: the nuclear-weapon states continued to shun the "13 steps" agreed to at the 2000 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference; the 2005 NPT Review Conference ended empty-handed; the Conference on Disarmament strung its stretch of sterility to seven years without any actual negotiations; and the final document of the United Nations Millennium+5 Leaders Summit had all references to disarmament and nonproliferation purged from it. To top it off, French President Jacques Chirac in January declared nuclear arms as the newest weapon to counter terrorists.

Still, the past does not have to portend the future. To be sure, great strides are unlikely in the near term, at least until 2009. It is no secret that the current U.S. administration is no fan of disarmament and claims it has already done more than enough in this field. As then-Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton asserted April 27, 2004, "We cannot divert attention from the violations [of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)] we face by focusing on [disarmament] issues that do not exist."

Nevertheless, small steps forward are possible. It is critical that forward momentum be maintained so that when the opportunity arrives the pace can be picked up. It's also just as important to keep trudging ahead to avoid backsliding.

Toward this end, let me volunteer four general themes to guide future action and then explore specific recommendations to advance each of them:

  • Work to reduce the role and salience, not just the numbers, of nuclear weapons;
  • Focus on areas where non-nuclear-weapon state interests align with those of the nuclear-weapon states;
  • Expand sights and efforts beyond the big two nuclear-weapon states; and
  • Create conditions for progress in the coming years.

More Than Numbers
The sheer number of nuclear weapons today-approximately 27,000 spread out among eight, possibly nine, states-is staggering. Elimination of these weapons is the only sure guarantee that they will be not be used to destroy human life or blackmail or bully other states. But, short of elimination, there are other measures, such as de-alerting and negative security assurances, to reduce the risk of use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons.

The power and value of such measures should not be underestimated. As more time passes without the use of nuclear weapons, the norm against their use will grow stronger and their military utility will diminish even further in the eyes of military and political leaders around the world. As specific weapons systems age and outlive their supposed usefulness, they will be retired. Last September's retirement of the final U.S. 10-warhead MX is just one example. Similarly, Russia scrapped its last rail-based SS-24 system last year.

Of course, the institutions and people who are invested in supporting these weapons will latch on to new purposes to justify their retention or propose alternative or new arms to address changing circumstances. We have seen recent examples of this in the United States with the proposal to develop a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) and more recently the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). Yet, sanity prevailed. RNEP has been abandoned and RRW has been constrained by Congress and is under heavy scrutiny.

Still, the United States is exploring ways to create what it calls a more "responsive" nuclear weapons infrastructure to enable the faster production of nuclear weapons in the future if technical problems impair existing warheads or new threats emerge. In addition, Russia continues to assert that nuclear weapons may have some tactical value, India is pursuing a military strategy that entails expanding its nuclear arsenal, France is working to upgrade its nuclear weapon systems, China is continuing with a strategic military modernization toward an uncertain end, and Pakistan values its nuclear weapons as a counter to India's larger conventional military forces.

Thus, reducing the roles and the salience of nuclear weapons would play an important part of nuclear disarmament. There are several specific measures that can be promoted in this regard.

De-alerting
The United States and Russia maintain thousands of nuclear warheads on high-level alert. These weapons could be launched within 15 minutes with no hope of recall. The continuation of this Cold War-era posture is unjustified, particularly at a time when Russia and the United States claim that they are no longer enemies, but friends. This heightened and unnecessary state only serves to perpetuate the possibility of accidental, miscalculated, or unauthorized launch.

Other states should also refrain from copying such dangerous and short-sighted quick-launch postures. In regions of tension, such as South Asia, crisis management would be significantly jeopardized by systems primed for rapid use.

Negative Security Assurances
Non-nuclear-weapon states should continue to press the nuclear-weapon states to reaffirm, or better yet codify, past assurances that nuclear weapons will not be employed against states without such arms. Past negative security assurances of 1978 and 1995 have been eroded by Chirac's recent statement and the Bush administration's September 2002 adoption of the secret National Security Presidential Directive 17 that specifically stated nuclear weapons are an option for responding to a chemical or biological weapons attack. These self-declared exemptions should not be allowed to go unchallenged because nuclear weapons are not a legitimate or proportionate response to either terrorism or the use of chemical and biological weapons, notwithstanding the fact the use of chemical or biological weapons themselves is illegal and morally repugnant. In this connection, non-nuclear-weapon states possessing or suspected of having such arsenals should eliminate and renounce them and, thereby, remove this flimsy U.S. rationale for nuclear use. In addition, non-nuclear-weapon states, where possible, should sign and ratify or accede to relevant nuclear-weapon-free zones.

No First Use
Nuclear weapons possessors should be pushed to adopt no-first-use policies. At this time, China and India are the only two states that have renounced the first use of their nuclear arms.

In the absence of ending its nuclear deployments, the 26-member NATO alliance also should forswear the first use of their nuclear weapons. In its 1999 Strategic Concept, NATO declared that the possible use of nuclear weapons is "extremely remote." But even this is an overstatement given today's political and geo-strategic realities. Moscow's overwhelming superiority in conventional forces that gave rise to NATO's nuclear policy disappeared long ago and so should NATO's readiness to introduce or employ nuclear weapons in a conflict.

Universal adoption of a no-first-use option should particularly appeal to the United States, which possesses the world's most advanced and powerful conventional military. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate equalizer so it is hard to imagine a situation in which the United States would open the door to the only weapon that would moot U.S. conventional superiority. For this reason, as well as others, there really is not much affinity among the uniformed U.S. military for nuclear weapons.

U.S. political leaders also find it difficult to fathom scenarios in which nuclear weapons might be used first, particularly preemptively. Ambassador Linton Brooks, who heads the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration stated November 8, 2005, "While nobody will tie the hands of a president, I can't conceive of circumstances where nuclear pre-emption makes sense…The decision to use nuclear weapons is so apocalyptic that I can't imagine that any president would ever make it lightly." Although Brooks noted that the president's hands should not be tied, they should also not be tethered to nuclear weapons. The president would be liberated, not limited, by removing an option that carries such profound and immeasurable consequences. This holds true for other world leaders as well.

As long as nuclear weapons exist, their role should be confined to deterring a nuclear-weapons attack by another state. Anything more is unjustified. As former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara wrote last year in Foreign Policy, "I would characterize current U.S. nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary, and dreadfully dangerous."

No New Capabilities
In addition to pursuing a fissile material cutoff treaty to quantitatively cap existing nuclear arsenals, non-nuclear-weapon states should urge all states with nuclear weapons to eschew qualitative improvements to their weapons capabilities. Specifically, the manufacture of new types of nuclear warheads and the modification or upgrade of existing nuclear warheads to imbue them with different performance capabilities for new missions should be prohibited, or in the very least strongly discouraged. The addition of new warhead or delivery system capabilities would dangerously signal to the rest of the world that not only are nuclear weapons needed for the future, but that the roles for them are expanding. The U.S. RNEP program was blocked by Congress for this very reason and similar opposition should be rallied against any nuclear power that seeks to expand or enhance its nuclear capabilities, such as India's plans to add a sea-based leg to its nuclear deterrent and Russia's investment in a new maneuvering nuclear delivery system. The immense damage that would be incurred by the nonproliferation and disarmament regime from any one country's efforts to enhance its nuclear capabilities would far outweigh any marginal-not to mention questionable-military gain that it hoped to achieve.

Exploiting Common Interests
The gulf between the nuclear-weapon haves and have-nots may appear unbridgeable at times. Yet, there are issues where common cause exists between the two groups, or at least among countries on both side of the nuclear weapons divide.

Strategic Weapons Verification
The landmark U.S.-Russian START I Treaty is scheduled to expire on December 5, 2009. Although Moscow and Washington successfully met their reduction obligations under the accord in 2001, the treaty continues to play a vital role through its extensive verification regime. The implementation of this regime permits both capitals access and insights into each other's nuclear complex that would not otherwise be possible. In the process, it helps build confidence that neither is cheating in a way that could jeopardize the other's security and it develops regular contacts and relationships between the two government bureaucracies and militaries. But this valuable tool is in danger of disappearing if the START I Treaty is not extended or new verification measures are not appended to the May 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), which was negotiated without any verification provisions. Indeed, Russia and the United States said they would rely on the START verification regime to monitor activities under SORT even though this latter agreement's single implementation benchmark is December 31, 2012.

U.S. and Russian officials should be encouraged to begin serious talks soon on either extending the START Treaty and/or developing verification measures for SORT. It is in both countries' interests to preserve, and increase if possible, the existing level of openness that they share when it comes to their strategic forces. If lost, such transparency may never be regained, particularly if relations take a turn for the worse in the future. Neglecting this crucial aspect of their relationship could condemn the two former foes to return to the days of mistrust and miscalculation, as well as a revived strategic arms competition. This danger is particularly acute given Russia's growing sense of being hemmed in by the West as NATO expands and U.S. military bases proliferate on its periphery. Expansive U.S. missile defense plans and declining Soviet strategic forces also are combining to increase the Kremlin's unease. The strategic verification regime must be perpetuated to prevent both nuclear complexes from slipping back behind shrouds of secrecy.

Moreover, shrouds of secrecy still obscure the arsenals of the other nuclear weapon powers with the exception of the United Kingdom. Non-nuclear-weapon states should demand that other nuclear weapons power replicate the British practice of reporting on its arms holdings and policies as a means of reducing tensions. Increasing transparency could prove particularly useful in alleviating the possibility of nuclear miscalculation in Asia.

Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty
One of the top priorities of the United States, as well as many other states, is to stop the spread and growth of fissile material stockpiles that can be used to construct nuclear weapons. Nuclear disarmament cannot succeed if the amount of material available for bombs is growing.

The ideal mechanism for capping the world's nuclear weapons potential is a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT). However, prospects for an FMCT appear dim given the continuing stalemate in the 65-member Conference on Disarmament over negotiating priorities. U.S. opposition to negotiating a "verifiable" FMCT on the basis that the premise is infeasible because cheaters will cheat has further soured expectations for an agreement. If the deadlock on a work program can be overcome, it might be in all countries interests to agree to an FMCT mandate that declares negotiations can begin without prejudice to the question of verification.

Pending completion of this treaty, a voluntary fissile material cutoff for weapons purposes should be actively promoted. France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States have all halted such production and China reportedly has as well. China should make what is understood official and India and Pakistan should follow suit.

In light of the recent proposal by the United States to try and exempt India from U.S. law and international rules so it can participate in global civil nuclear commerce, it is particularly important that India be called upon to cease fissile material production for weapons pending the completion of negotiations on a global FMCT. Without such a move, suppliers cannot be assured that their nuclear exports to India will not indirectly assist India's nuclear weapons program.

Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone
Progress on disarmament is dependent upon the resolution of underlying security concerns and intra-state tensions. The current international debate over the nature and purpose of Iran's nuclear program requires more creative diplomacy that recognizes Iran's Article IV NPT access to "peaceful nuclear energy," but also addresses international concerns about Iran's ability and motivations to use uranium enrichment and plutonium separation technologies to build nuclear bombs.

The February 4 IAEA Board of Governors resolution points out that the resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis could contribute to the realization of a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) free zone in the Middle East. A resolution of the Iranian situation cannot wait on a WMD free zone in the region, but signs of progress toward such a zone could help persuade Iranian leaders that their security would be better served without an active, indigenous uranium enrichment program that invites suspicion.

In the context of the current debate over Iran's nuclear activities, nonaligned states should actively work to revive long-stalled efforts to bring key states in the region, including Israel, together to explore how to advance a WMD-free Middle East.

Expanding Sights
It is understandable why the United States and Russia are the focus of most nuclear disarmament discussions and initiatives: they account for approximately 97 percent of the world's nuclear armament. But to focus almost exclusively on these two states lessens the nuclear accountability of other states. Ultimately, all states that possess or are complicit in the deployment of nuclear weapons must become involved in the nuclear disarmament process and that time should start sooner rather than later.

Tackling Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe
Today, NATO continues to deploy up to 480 nuclear gravity bombs on the territories of six European countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Kingdom). Russia's tactical nuclear weapons are estimated to total around 3,000, but this figure could be larger. Neither of these Cold War-era leftover arsenals serves any purpose today. Yet, the dangers they pose are very real, particularly in the case of Russia where great uncertainty exists about the location, quantity, and security of these arms. It is in the world's interest to help Russia secure and eliminate these weapons, which are probably most attractive to and vulnerable to terrorist theft. But Russia refuses to engage on this issue, citing the continued deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

Hence, NATO's 26 members, particularly the six hosting U.S. arms, should be the focus of an intensive campaign to end the alliance's deployment of nuclear weapons. Returning these relics to the United States would not be detrimental to alliance security, but a boon because it would pave the way to begin the process of accounting for, securing, and eliminating Russia's tactical nuclear weapons.

It is imperative that this effort to discontinue NATO's archaic nuclear posture be aimed at European capitals. There is minimal support in the United States for maintaining these weapons in Europe. Indeed, the Pentagon several years ago concluded that they served no military purpose. The weapons remain out of political reasons and this motivation is strongest on the European side of the Atlantic Ocean. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Stephen Rademaker have both dismissed the possibility of withdrawing U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe by contending that no single European country is raising the issue. This needs to change.

Initiating this debate in NATO could also serve to spark a wider debate in the United States about the utility of nuclear weapons. Some, including members of Congress, are trying to get this conversation started. Representative David Hobson (R-Ohio) stated in February 2005, "I think the time is now for a thoughtful and open debate on the role of nuclear weapons in our country's national security strategy."

Holding Friends Accountable
Any increase in nuclear weapons is a setback for disarmament. The enormous size of the U.S. and Russian stockpiles does not mean that other nuclear weapons possessors' buildups of their smaller arsenals should be accepted with a shrug. All should be held similarly accountable as the United States and Russia in the eyes of non-nuclear-weapon states when it comes to advancing nuclear disarmament.

India, as part of the U.S.-Indian civil nuclear cooperation plan, has pledged to accept all the same obligations of the recognized nuclear-weapon states. These five states have all signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). India has not. Both New Delhi and Islamabad should be urged to sign this important agreement as soon as possible. In addition, more pressure should be put on Beijing to ratify the accord. The irresponsible and misguided October 1999 Senate rejection of the treaty should not serve as an excuse or provide cover for others, including Indonesia and other members of the Nonaligned Movement, to neglect what is an essential nuclear disarmament step. Without continued expression of support for the treaty, opponents of the CTBT in the United States and elsewhere may gain the upper hand.

British Trident Decision
A debate is beginning in the United Kingdom on whether it should develop a successor to its sole nuclear delivery system, the Trident ballistic missile submarine, which is set to reach the end of its lifespan in less than 20 years. The United Kingdom should not be permitted to approach this question as if it is solely a technical question about extending the status quo. At its core, it is a matter of whether the United Kingdom sees nuclear weapons as necessary for its future security. It is incumbent upon non-nuclear-weapon states, particularly those who had weapons or weapons programs and gave them up, such as Brazil and South Africa, to share with the United Kingdom about how their security has not been negatively impacted by the decision to forswear nuclear weapons.

Creating Conditions for Progress
None of the measures mentioned above are necessarily easy or likely to move swiftly. Today's political climate may not be conducive to some of them. However, that does not mean that they should be shelved until circumstances are perceived as favorable. Now is the time to start creating the conditions that will allow for progress when the political will exists. Keep in mind that in 2009 a new government will be seated in Washington and will review most current nonproliferation and disarmament policies. The time to offer practical ideas and create expectations is now.

Speak Up
The current political climate should not dissuade non-nuclear-weapon states and civil society from speaking up. It often takes time for good ideas to take hold. India's early advocacy of a nuclear testing ban and Ireland's support for a nonproliferation treaty are two prime examples.

Cultivate Relationships and Understanding
More effort needs to be expended to engage with those not currently in the seat of power, particularly in Washington. The White House does not hold a monopoly on U.S. nuclear policy. Congress plays a very important role as evidenced by its refusal to fund several Bush administration nuclear weapons initiatives, such as RNEP, a modern pit facility, and initiatives to reduce the amount of time needed for the United States to resume nuclear testing. Congress can serve as an important bulwark against proposals that could undermine nuclear disarmament and it can serve as an important advocate as well, such as when it helped lead the nuclear freeze movement in the early 1980s.

Applaud Once in a While
Although the nuclear-weapon states recent record of mostly inaction and missed opportunities leaves one disappointed, there have been successes that should be applauded. President Bush's June 2004 decision to cut the nuclear arsenal in half by about 2012 is one. Clearly, the United States could and should do more, but a reduction of some 4,000 thousand nuclear weapons is not something to sneeze at. Instead, non-nuclear-weapon states should take the time to commend such moves before asking for more. Nobody reacts well to a steady dose of criticism, even if well-deserved.

Take the Universal Approach
Non-nuclear-weapon states should not fall into the trap of the current White House approach of seeing the world through the prism of regimes instead of weapons. The reaction to a country's nuclear weapons policies and practices should not be determined by whether the state is a friend or not or the relative size of its arsenal. Relativity is not a factor when one considers how much destruction a single nuclear weapon can wreak. China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom should all be held to the same standard applied to that of the United States and Russia. When talking of nuclear disarmament, the case must be made on the dangers posed by the weapons themselves and not who owns them.

 

 

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Presentation by ACA Research Director to Brainstorming Session on "Promoting Disarmament and Nonproliferation: Exploring New Perspectives and Evolving Consensus"

Missile Defense and the Press: Key Issues for the Media and Public

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Prepared Remarks of ACA Research Director to 4th Annual U.S. Missile Defense Conference

Wade Boese
March 20, 2006

I intend to use the short time allotted to me to discuss how Arms Control Today, the monthly publication of the non-profit Arms Control Association, has approached covering missile defense over the past several years. In doing so, I hope to shed some light on what I believe will be some key issues for the media and public as anti-missile programs proceed. Obviously, Arms Control Today is a very specialized journal so I also would like to compare our journal's coverage with some of the larger media outlets and try to draw some conclusions based on that comparison.

Historically, Arms Control Today covered missile defense within the broad context of how such programs affected the U.S.-Soviet, and later the U.S.-Russian, strategic relationship. The narrower question was whether such programs would comply with or violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which barred Washington and Moscow from developing, testing, and deploying nationwide strategic ballistic missile defenses.

When President George W. Bush withdrew the United States from the ABM Treaty in 2002, it prompted a discussion among the magazine staff on whether we should continue to devote attention to the issue of missile defense. Ultimately, the answer was yes. Three main considerations led to this conclusion:

1) Missile defense represents one approach to addressing missile proliferation;
2) The potential adverse impact of missile defense, particularly international cooperation, on missile nonproliferation in general; and
3) The question of how U.S. missile defenses might affect strategic relations with Russia and China.

With regard to the first consideration, Arms Control Today reports on diplomatic efforts and international agreements, such as the Missile Technology Control Regime and the Hague Code of Conduct, aimed at curbing the spread of missile technologies. In addition, the magazine devotes considerable attention to reporting on the Proliferation Security Initiative, which aims to enhance countries' capabilities to interdict dangerous weapons shipments in transit. (Although when it comes to missile shipments, PSI is handicapped by the fact that there is no agreement proscribing missile transfers, a fact underscored by the pre-PSI 2002 decision to let a North Korean delivery of ballistic missiles continue on its way to Yemen.) Hence, given the magazine's general coverage on efforts to stem missile proliferation, it made sense to continue covering missile defense. However, it should be noted that missile defense is geared toward protecting against a missile attack and has little, if any, demonstrated affect on deterring the worldwide spread of missile capabilities.

On the other hand, concern exists that missile know-how and capabilities will spread as additional countries become involved in cooperative missile defense projects. Indeed, there was discussion a few years ago within the Bush administration of carving out exemptions in the Missile Technology Control Regime to ensure that it did not constrain international missile defense cooperation or transfers. From a journalistic-not to mention a security-perspective, this raised the interesting question of whether a proposed solution (missile defense) might somehow contribute to the problem (missile proliferation). So that was the second consideration in continuing coverage of missile defense.

The final and most significant consideration was how U.S. missile defense programs might impact relations with Russia and China, not to mention the future size and shape of their strategic arsenals. It is true that the Missile Defense Agency and the Bush administration have said that U.S. missile defense systems are not directed at either country. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear that both countries harbor mistrust about U.S. intentions. What they care about is capabilities, not intentions. To be sure, neither country has launched a major missile buildup (to our knowledge), but they are not standing idly by either. Russia pronounced the START II Treaty dead a day after the U.S. ABM Treaty withdrawal and is touting development of a new system capable of penetrating defenses. For its part, China is continuing a slow and steady strategic modernization program. Ultimately, the actions or course these countries take with respect to U.S. missile defense programs falls into Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's category of "unknown unknowns."

Although it is tough to predict the future, it is evident that two impending moves could further aggravate Chinese and Russian reactions to U.S. missile defenses: the deployment of strategic missile interceptors to Europe and the creation of a space-based test bed. This latter move is certain to upset China and Russia, not to mention many other countries, which have been pressing for the negotiation of an agreement on the prevention of an arms race in outer space at the 65-country Conference on Disarmament.

In sum, even though the ABM Treaty was scrapped and the Cold War ended approximately 15 years ago, U.S. missile defense programs still present potential adverse implications for arms control and international security so Arms Control Today decided to continue its missile defense coverage.

Despite this decision to continue coverage, the number of articles in Arms Control Today devoted to missile defense has dwindled by 50 percent in recent years.

For instance, from the period of October 1999 to October 2000, which covers the first National Missile Defense intercept test to President Clinton's decision to defer a deployment decision to his successor, Arms Control Today published 36 total pieces on missile defenses.

From the period June 2001 to June 2002, which covers the immediate aftermath of President Bush's announcement to pursue a layered missile defense to the US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, Arms Control Today published 44 total articles on missile defenses.

In comparison, the more recent period of September 2004 to September 2005, saw only 17 articles on missile defenses.

Coverage in some of the major newspapers has dropped even more drastically. For the same periods mentioned above:

The New York Times' coverage amounted to 210, 168, and 16 articles.
Coverage by The Washington Post amounted to 167, 196, and 36 pieces.
Finally, USA Today article totals equaled 31, 45, and 3.

I should note that the figures above result from a very cursory Nexis search that involved simply counting articles where missile defense appeared in the title or first few paragraphs of a story. In other words, I did not read every single article or ferret out repeats or corrections, etc. Nonetheless, I think the figures still reflect a general trend that would survive a more exacting analysis.

So the question is why, at a time when the U.S. government is spending increasing amounts of money on missile defense and starting to initially deploy some systems, is media coverage declining?

I think there are three general reasons.

First, the alignment of a president and a Congress favoring missile defense coupled with the ABM Treaty withdrawal has significantly decreased the political controversy surrounding missile defenses. Clearly, there are still some lawmakers who question the priority and funding that missile defenses receive, but for the most part Congress has been giving missile defense a free pass since 2001. Without political fights, the media, particularly non-specialized newspapers and magazines, lack the "hooks" to write about such a technically complex subject as missile defense.

Second, there has been a reduction in high profile missile defense testing activities that provide journalists with a hard peg for their stories. A two-year testing hiatus in 2003 and 2004 significantly minimized reporting opportunities.

Third, the perception and urgency of the missile threat has diminished in the eyes of Congress and the public. Before September 11, the looming threat as extolled by the Rumsfeld Commission in 1998 was that a so-called rogue state could develop a long-range ballistic missile within five years of a decision to do so. It was implied that such decisions had already been made. After September 11, the most immediate danger became terrorists, not missiles. The Rumsfeld Commission's dire warnings have yet to be realized and have become overshadowed by the threat of global terrorism. Thus, stories are about terrorists and ways to stop them rather than missiles and missile defenses.

Perhaps some of you would contend that this reduced coverage is for the better in light of the longstanding contention that "no news is good news."

However, I would caution that this is a troublesome development because reduced media coverage lessens public accountability and invites suspicion in the long run; both domestically and internationally. In this context, I would argue that the MDA decision in December to stop announcing interceptor deployments is counterproductive because secrecy has long been a source of miscalculation, worst-case analysis, and misreporting that has helped propel arms races in the past.

 

 

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Prepared Remarks of ACA Research Director to 4th Annual U.S. Missile Defense Conference

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The U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Deal: A Critical Assessment

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Arms Control Association Press Briefing

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
9:30 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
Root Room (Second Floor)

President George W. Bush is scheduled to visit India during the first week of March to try to advance his controversial proposal for U.S.-India nuclear cooperation. Since the proposal was announced last July, U.S. and Indian officials have sought to work out the details of the arrangement, but they continue to disagree over how to "separate" India's civilian and military nuclear facilities.

The deal calls for broad civilian nuclear cooperation for the first time since India's 1974 nuclear test explosion, which demonstrated that New Delhi was willing to use civilian nuclear technology assistance to build nuclear weapons and was determined not to join the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Following U.S.-Indian agreement on the separation plan, the White House has said it will seek congressional approval for exceptions to longstanding U.S. law that bars civilian nuclear cooperation with states, such as India, that do not have comprehensive international nuclear safeguards.

This briefing assesses whether India's commitments under the current terms of the proposed arrangement justify making far-reaching exceptions to U.S. law and international nonproliferation norms. Further, it examines the implications of the civil-military separation exercise for India's nuclear weapons program.

Panelists:

David Albright, President of the Institute for Science and International Security. He analyzes the technical implications of reported options for the separation of India's civilian and military nuclear facilities and address India's export control performance.

Leonard Weiss, former Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and a key architect of the 1978 Nuclear Nonproliferation Act. He reviews the positive and negative effects of the proposed nuclear cooperation proposal on U.S. and global efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons.

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. He discusses the value of a cut-off of fissile material production for weapons by India in the context of the proposal for U.S.-India nuclear cooperation.

Documents:

# # #

The Arms Control Association is an independent, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.

 

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Arms Control Association Press Briefing

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The Future of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile

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2006 Annual Meeting & Luncheon

January 25, 2006

ACA Panel Discussion:
"The Future of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile"

9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Dr. Hans Blix to Address Arms Control Association on
"Repairing the Nonproliferation System"

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Dr. Hans Blix, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission, addressed the Arms Control Association January 25. Blix is currently chairing the WMD Commission, which was launched by the Swedish government in December 2003 to explore ways to reduce threats posed by biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological weapons. The commission will release publicly its findings this coming spring. In a June 2004 interview with Arms Control Today, Blix argued that the international community needs to resume "dynamic work on the disarmament agenda." At the Association's luncheon, Blix shared his thoughts on how to advance this work and strengthen the global nonproliferation system.

 

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Arms Control Association Panel Discussion

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The Status of CTBT Entry Into Force: the United States

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By Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director

 

VERTIC Seminar on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on the Occasion of The Fourth Article XIV Conference on Accelerating Entry Into Force, September 22, 2005

 

Ten years ago, the United States decided to pursue a “zero-yield” Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), opening the way to the successful completion of negotiations and the endorsement of the treaty here at the United Nations in September 1996.

The CTBT is the product of decades of hard work, dedication, and advocacy by key governmental leaders and perhaps even more importantly, by NGOs, scientific experts, and millions of ordinary people around the world. They have long understood that ending nuclear testing is essential for three powerful reasons: to impede the development of new types of nuclear warheads and reduce dangerous nuclear arms competition; to obstruct the emergence of new nuclear powers; and to prevent further devastation of human health and the global environment.

In the context of today’s ongoing tensions between nuclear weapons states and would-be nuclear weapons states, illicit nuclear trading, and efforts by the nuclear weapon states to improve their nuclear weapon capabilities, the CTBT is more important than ever. Its entry into force is overdue.

Article XIV of the CTBT requires that a specific list of 44 states must ratify before the treaty formally enters into force. Sadly, a relatively small but important set of CTBT rogue states stand in the way. The failure of the U.S. Senate to give its advice and consent for ratification in 1999, the current administration's opposition to the treaty, and the reluctance of 10 other key states to approve the treaty means that the formal entry into force of the treaty is still years away.

Achieving CTBT entry into force will require still more work on the part of concerned governments and civil society organizations.

To alter the current stalemate on the CTBT, there must be renewed leadership in Washington for the reconsideration and ratification of the CTBT. This leadership is not there at the moment. There is the outside chance that positive action on the test ban by China or by India and Pakistan might serve as a catalyst for action, but it is vital that key U.S. Senators help put the treaty back on the map through hearings, work with their colleagues, and through exchanges with technical experts and allied governments.

To keep the chances for U.S. ratification and CTBT entry into force alive, it is also vital the international community not abandon the goal of CTBT entry into force and that key governments continue to press publicly and privately for the CTBT at every opportunity, including this Article XIV Review Conference.

Improving the prospects for CTBT entry into force requires a multifaceted approach. Failure in any one of the following areas could unravel the test moratorium, sink the CTBT, and lead to a dangerous action reaction cycle of nuclear proliferation:

  1. Maintaining the U.S. test moratorium and signature on the CTBT;
  2. Blocking new U.S. nuclear weapons research and development that could lead to the renewal of nuclear testing;
  3. Effectively maintaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal in the absence of nuclear test explosions;
  4. Sustaining Strong U.S. financial support for the CTBT Organization Preparatory Commission;
  5. Improving test site monitoring and transparency measures to better detect and deter possible clandestine nuclear testing.

1. Maintaining the U.S. Test Moratorium and Signature on the CTBT

Shortly after taking office the senior Bush officials announced they would not ask the Senate to reconsider the CTBT. Since 2001, the United States has voted "no" on UN resolutions supporting entry into force of the CTBT and the White House has boycotted the 2001, 2003, and 2005 Article XIV conferences of states parties to promote the treaty's entry into force.

The administration has tried to deflect domestic and international criticism of this policy by insisting that there are no immediate plans to resume testing. But at the same time, the Bush team has considered or pursued a series of moves that could erode the technical and legal barriers blocking the resumption of testing.

In early 2001, Undersecretary of State for International Security and Arms Control, John Bolton, sought a legal analysis on whether the President could unilaterally withdraw the CTBT from the Senate, thus killing any chance it might be reconsidered. The legal brief he received judged that only the Senate has the authority to discharge the treaty from the executive calendar and that a majority vote was required to do so. It is likely that a majority of the Senate would oppose such an action if the Republican leadership initiated it.

Meanwhile, as reported by The New York Times in May 2002, officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense circulated a memorandum in January 2002 that proposed that President Bush repudiate the United States 1996 signature on the CTBT, which, under a common understanding of international law (Article XVIII of the Vienna Convention on Treaties) still bars it from conducting nuclear test explosions. Officials at the National Security Council, then preoccupied with the war in Afghanistan and other matters, chose not to schedule a meeting to consider the proposal.

It is still possible that officials in the George W. Bush administration might still seek to repudiate the U.S. signature, though I believe it to be unlikely so long as international pressure on the United States to ratify the treaty continues and is communicated at the highest levels.

2. New Nuclear Weapons Research and Development

The Bush administration has also initiated new nuclear weapons research on the basis of the erroneous notion that new nuclear weapons capabilities are useful and necessary to fulfill future U.S. military needs. If it does propose and win Congressional approval for research and development on new nuclear warhead types, the next step could be a proposal to conduct a series of proof-tests to confirm the designs and induct them into the arsenal. Due to strong domestic opposition, however, the possibility of such an outcome in the near-term has greatly diminished.

The Pentagon's January 2002 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) calls for the development of new nuclear weapons capabilities to provide a wider range of options to defeat "hardened and deeply buried targets" and chemical and biological threats. That year, the President asked Congress for $15.5 million for fiscal 2003 for research on a modified version of existing high-yield nuclear warheads, known as the robust nuclear earth penetrator, or RNEP.

In 2003, the Bush administration proposed that Congress should repeal a ten-year old law prohibiting research leading to development of new, low-yield nuclear weapons. The administration requested another $15 million for research on the RNEP and an additional $6 million for research on new nuclear weapon designs. Congress narrowly approved the repeal and the research monies, but stipulated that work beyond the research phase for any new type or modified type of nuclear warhead would require explicit congressional authorization.

The Bush administration narrowly won approval for these programs on the basis of the argument that they only wanted to conduct research on these weapons.

In 2004, the administration raised its budget request for fiscal year 2005 funding for research on the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) to $27 million and outlined a five year spending plan for research and development on two versions of RNEP that would cost at least $485 million. In the same budget request, the administration sought an additional $9 million to fund "advanced concepts" for new types of nuclear weapons.

The good news is that support for these proposals is steadily eroding. In mid-2004, an amendment to the defense authorization bill offered in the House that would have transferred the RNEP monies to conventional munitions research lost by only ten votes: 214-204. In late-2004, Congressional appropriators, led by Ohio Republican David Hobson, eventually cut monies for RNEP research and transferred monies to a new program ostensibly for building more reliable versions of existing warhead types.

This year, the Bush administration renewed its request for authorization and appropriation of funding for research on the RNEP. Once again, Congress is divided as to whether it should appropriate the $8.5 million requested for RNEP. With sustained NGO work and leadership from our allies on Capitol Hill, I would predict that Congress will not fully support the research on modified or new nuclear weapons in the coming year. Support for actual development of the RNEP will be even more difficult for the administration to win if it does decide to pursue that course.

3. Maintaining the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal in the Absence of Test Explosions

Though the Energy Department has determined each year for the last decade that the U.S. nuclear arsenal remains safe and reliable without nuclear testing, critics of the test ban like Dale Klein, the executive chairman of the Nuclear Weapons Council, still claim that "as time goes on there will likely have to be some tests performed beyond the small scale" to address possible aging problems in the nuclear stockpile.

In October 2002, the former director of the Nuclear Weapons Council suggested in a memorandum that the nuclear weapons laboratories "readdress the value of a low-yield [nuclear explosive] testing program." They have. In 2003, in a secret meeting in Omaha, dozens of executive branch officials debated this question and others related to the future of the nuclear weapons stockpile.

The good news is that the group decided there is no reason to resume nuclear testing for such purposes. The reason is simple. As the July 2002 National Academy of Sciences panel, reported, the U.S. "has the technical capabilities to maintain confidence in the safety and reliability of its existing nuclear-weapon stockpile under [a test ban], provided that adequate resources are made available to the Department of Energy's nuclear-weapon complex and are properly focused on this task."

According to the National Academy panel, which included three former lab directors, age-related defects mainly related to non-nuclear components can be expected, but nuclear test explosions "are not needed to discover these problems and is not likely to be needed to address them." Rather, the panel says, the key to the stewardship of the arsenal is a rigorous stockpile surveillance program, the ability to remanufacture nuclear components to original specifications, minimizing changes to existing warheads, and non-explosive testing and repair of non-nuclear components.

However, as I mentioned above, the Bush administration has initiated a new and poorly defined program to design and build new warheads to “replace” certain warhead types already in the arsenal. This “Reliable Replacement Warhead” program, or RRW for short, could become a problem. The impetus for the program is the belief among many lab officials and some Congressional members that the current approach to stockpile stewardship is unsustainable and unreliable. The Department of Energy said in 2005 that the goal of the RRW program is to produce a small quantity of new replacement warheads by 2012-2015 for the W-76 warhead, which is widely deployed on U.S. submarine-based ballistic missiles.

While the RRW proponents claim the program will actually reduce the possibility that the United States might resume nuclear testing to test fixes in the current arsenal, it is possible that if the warhead designs are too extensively reworked, technical uncertainties may arise that lead some in the U.S. nuclear, military, or political establishment to press for the resumption of nuclear testing.

Furthermore, given the fact that current U.S. nuclear doctrine calls for new nuclear capabilities to help make nuclear weapons more “useable” in warfare, the RRW program may also open the way to research, development, production, and even testing of new nuclear warheads with new military capabilities. Even if nuclear testing is not required, such work may provide other states with cause or an excuse to pursue new nuclear weapons capabilities and spur further nuclear arms competition.

To head off these possibilities, all states possessing nuclear weapons should agree to halt all qualitative improvements in their nuclear warheads, whether or not these improvements constitute new warhead designs that might require nuclear proof testing or new “replacement” warheads or “modifications” of existing designs that provide new military capabilities.

4. U.S. Support for the CTBTO and International Monitoring System

Most Bush administration officials, even those who do not support CTBT ratification, recognize that the United States benefits from monitoring capabilities that are currently only available through the CTBT’s International Monitoring System (IMS), including monitoring stations in Russia, China, and other sensitive locations that the United States would otherwise not be able to access. As a result, the U.S. has continued to pay the majority of its annual contribution to the CTBTO Preparatory Commission.

However, in 2001, the administration decided to suspend U.S. technical and financial support for short-notice, on site inspections available only if the CTBT enters into force. The move has made it even more difficult for the Secretariat of the CTBTO Prep Com to collect annual dues owed to the organization by several key states.

While U.S. continues to support the IMS, its opposition to CTBT entry into force has made it more difficult to obtain financial support for the CTBTO from other countries which are concerned that the treaty may never formally enter into force. In addition, the CTBTO Provisional Technical Secretariat’s work is vulnerable to cuts in the United States’ contribution to the effort, which comprises some 20% of the organization’s annual budget.

This coming year for instance, it is quite possible that the U.S. contribution will be cut due to across the board budget reductions in Washington. In January, the Bush administration requested (and the House appropriators later approved) $14.35 million for the CTBTO’s IMS-related activities, which is $7.65 million below the U.S. assessment.

On February 16, 2005, Secretary of State Rice explained that the  "... cut in funding for the International Monitoring System does not signal a change in U.S. policy toward the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The U.S. continues to support and participate in those activities ... that pertain to the IMS, and the U.S. has no plans to press the [CTBTO] to lower its budget .... Unfortunately, budgets are very tight and cuts had to be made, even among programs supported by the administration."

On July 20, Senators Joe Biden (D-Del.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) won the Senate’s support for a $5 million increase above Bush administration’s request. Now, the difference between the House and the Senate appropriations must be resolved in a conference committee in the coming weeks.

Further reductions of the U.S. contribution would put the United States further in arrears and would have a severe impact on the ability of the CTBTO to operate at all. It may also erroneously be interpreted by some states as a sign that the United States is preparing to get back in the business of nuclear weapons testing.

5. Improving Test Site Monitoring and Transparency Measures

Ongoing activities at the U.S., Russian, and Chinese test sites, primarily in the form of subcritical nuclear experiments, may breed allegations that Russia or China are conducting surreptitious nuclear test explosions. In fact, in the spring of 2002, U.S. intelligence officials briefed Congress that they believe that Russia may have conducted supercritical nuclear experiments at the Novaya Zemlya test site. While this assessment was based on limited information and was technically-flawed, it reveals the risks of operating in a climate of opacity and suspicion.

Additional test site transparency initiatives could address future uncertainties and clear up erroneous allegations. In fact, in 2001, Russia proposed "additional verification measures for nuclear test ranges going far beyond treaty provisions," but neither the United States nor Russia have seriously pursued this concept.

Conclusion

The CTBT has been and remains a vital part of a comprehensive approach to global security dangers. Despite the obstacles still facing the CTBT, the treaty is already working. It has reinforced the 14 year-old U.S. test moratorium and helped to bring about the de facto global nuclear test moratorium which exists today. In the absence of a requirement for a new nuclear warhead, a defect in an existing weapon that cannot be addressed without resuming testing, and the perception that clandestine nuclear testing has occurred, the seven states that have conducted nuclear test explosions are not likely going to do so again. Even India and Pakistan, which complicated the conclusion of the CTBT negotiations in Geneva in 1996 and which conducted nuclear test explosions in 1998, have declared testing moratoria.

Nevertheless, the longer it takes to achieve CTBT entry into force, the likelihood that one or another state will someday break the global taboo against nuclear testing will increase. Achieving CTBT entry into force requires a substantial shift in attitudes about the value of the test ban and new nuclear weapons in the White House and the Senate, as well as effecting changes in government policy in India, Pakistan, China, and Israel.

My organization, the Arms Control Association, and many other civil society organizations appreciate the steady support for the CTBT as demonstrated by numerous statements made by individual governments and regional groupings at Article XIV conferences, at the 2000 and 2005 NPT Review Conferences, the United Nations General Assembly, and strong support for the treaty expressed by the European Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Organization of American States (despite objections raised by the United States).

Although these statements and activities are important, they are not sufficient. Delegates at this conference must realize that while the Bush administration's active opposition to the treaty is damaging to the prospects for entry into force, it is not for the Bush administration alone to decide the fate of the treaty, which remains on the calendar of the U.S. Senate and which may be reconsidered by the next U.S. administration.

We therefore urge the governments represented at this conference to actively urge -- at the highest level -- the U.S. administration to join the list of responsible and civilized states and reconsider its opposition to the treaty. If they are serious in their support for nuclear nonproliferation, they must not shrink from confronting CTBT hold out states and urge them to reconsider their positions though sustained diplomacy in the years ahead.

The CTBT alone will not stop proliferation, but further nuclear proliferation cannot be checked without the CTBT's entry into force. We still have a lot of work to do.

 

The Arms Control Association (ACA) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization established in 1971 to promote public understanding of arms control issues and to promote effective nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional arms control solutions. ACA publishes the monthly journal, Arms Control Today.


 

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Presentation by ACA Executive Director Daryl G. Kimball to VERTIC Seminar on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Country Resources:

Statement on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty for the Fourth Article XIV Conference on Accelerating Entry-Into-Force

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by Daryl G. Kimball of the Arms Control Association on behalf of the Non-Governmental Organizations

Delivered 22 September 2005

Mr. Chairperson, Distinguished Delegates, and Colleagues,

1. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has been a centerpiece of the international disarmament and non-proliferation agenda since the 1950s. It is essential to recall that the 1996 CTBT is largely the product of decades of hard work, dedication, and advocacy by NGOs, scientific experts, and millions of ordinary people around the world. They have long understood that ending nuclear testing is essential for three powerful reasons: to impede the development of new types of nuclear warheads and reduce dangerous nuclear arms competition; to obstruct the emergence of new nuclear powers; and to prevent further devastation of human health and the global environment.

2. Nine years ago, states gathered here at the United Nations to endorse and open the treaty for signature. In light of ongoing tensions between nuclear weapons states and would-be nuclear weapons states, illicit nuclear trading, and efforts by the nuclear weapon states to improve their nuclear weapon capabilities, the CTBT is more important than ever. Its entry into force is overdue.

3. Over the past several years, CTBT member states have made significant strides in moving closer to fulfilling the treaty’s difficult entry into force requirements and the CTBTO Preparatory Commission is well on its way to completing the sophisticated and ambitious monitoring system that will verify compliance. Despite such progress and widespread public support for the treaty, inaction and opposition by a few states have delayed its full implementation. There remains much to be done at this conference and beyond to ensure that the CTBT is not tossed aside at the whim of a few states.

4. We, the NGOs attending this fourth Article XIV Conference, represent millions of people around the world who continue to support a permanent, complete, and verifiable ban on nuclear weapons test explosions. We call upon each of the CTBT Ratifying States in attendance to step up their efforts to win the necessary signatures and ratifications for entry into force of the treaty. In particular, we urge the eleven remaining Annex II states that have either not signed or ratified the treaty to do so without further delay. We also urge you to: a) support efforts to ensure the continuation of the global nuclear test moratorium; b) help advance the completion and augmentation of the treaty’s monitoring and verification system; and c) seek changes to nuclear weapons policies that threaten to undermine the norm against testing.

5a. We welcome the steady support for the CTBT as demonstrated by numerous statements made by individual governments and regional groupings at this conference, at the 2000 and 2005 NPT Review Conferences, the United Nations General Assembly, and elsewhere. The ratification of the treaty by three nuclear weapon states — France, Russia, and the United Kingdom — is especially important. We also note the strong support for the treaty expressed by the European Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Organization of American States (despite objections raised by the United States).

5b. We also welcome the statement issued in September of 2004, by over 40 Foreign Ministers in support of the Treaty, as well as recent statements from Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi and the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 60th anniversary of the first atomic bombings, which call for CTBT entry into force. Such statements are essential to the maintenance of the test ban norm and pressure on hold-out states to sign and/or ratify the treaty.

5c. Although these statements and activities are important, they are not sufficient. Some states that express their support for the CTBT — such as China, Colombia, Egypt, and Indonesia — have themselves not yet ratified the treaty. Unfortunately, top leaders from other states committed to the CTBT also often fail to press their counterparts in the eleven CTBT hold-out states to reconsider their opposition to the treaty or move forward with ratification. We urge such states to exercise much more consistent, top-level diplomacy in support of CTBT entry into force.

6. You must be sure to communicate that entry into force is not simply needed for the treaty's sake. Rather, the CTBT is vital because it directly contributes to national and international security.

6a. As has been noted at this conference, the CTBT is a critical building block in the architecture of the global nuclear nonproliferation system. The de facto global nuclear test moratorium and CTBT’s entry into force are crucial barriers to help prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to additional states and are essential to the future viability of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). They are the first two of the 13 practical steps for systematic and progressive nuclear disarmament that were unanimously adopted in the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference. In fact, the nuclear weapon states' commitment to the CTBT was vital in securing the indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995.

6b. We urge states to consider how the CTBT might contribute to nuclear risk reduction in regions of tension. Recently, concerns have been expressed that North Korea might conduct a nuclear test explosion to demonstrate its claims of a nuclear weapon capability. There are doubts about Iran's claim that its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes. Though the government of Israel does not acknowledge that it possesses nuclear weapons, it is widely known that it does. And despite recent peace talks, the India-Pakistan nuclear rivalry continues. If all or some of these states were to formally join the CTBT, it would contribute to the credibility of their peaceful intentions and build confidence and reduce tensions with their neighbors.

7. The CTBT is also an essential step towards nuclear disarmament because it helps to discourage dangerous nuclear competition and block new nuclear threats from emerging. However, it must be recognised that technological advances in nuclear weapons research and development mean that a ban on nuclear test explosions by itself cannot prevent qualitative improvements of existing nuclear arsenals. Efforts to improve nuclear arsenals and to make nuclear weapons more useable in warfare will jeopardise the test ban and non-proliferation regimes. We call on all states possessing nuclear weapons to halt all qualitative improvements in their nuclear armaments, whether or not these improvements require test explosions.

7a. In this context, we are deeply concerned that the current U.S. administration is seeking funding for a controversial program of research on a new generation of high-yield earth-penetrating nuclear warheads, as well as new types of so-called "replacement" warheads. While the current U.S. administration claims that these efforts will not lead to the resumption of nuclear weapons testing, it is possible that if the warheads are extensively reworked, technical uncertainties may arise that lead some in the U.S. nuclear, military, or political establishment to press for the resumption of nuclear testing. Furthermore, the development, production, or testing of such weapons by the United States or any state is likely to lead to a dangerous nuclear action-reaction cycle that would not only undermine the test ban, but international security as a whole, likely serving as a catalyst for a new nuclear arms race.

8. The CTBT also reduces uncertainties in an increasingly uncertain world. The CTBT establishes a far-reaching global monitoring, verification, and compliance system that has already and will continue to build confidence that no state can defy the non-testing norm and escape detection. A series of independent studies, including a 2002 U.S. National Academy of Sciences report, have all concluded that the system is capable of detecting nuclear explosions in all environments with a high degree of confidence, thereby deterring potential treaty violators. We commend the PrepCom and Provisional Technical Secretariat for their work in establishing the International Monitoring System and International Data Centre, which are already proving their capabilities beyond expectations. We support efforts to promote the civil and scientific applications of the CTBT verification technology as a means of recouping costs and expanding the range of CTBT stakeholders.

8a. We are deeply troubled that some states continue to delay full construction of the CTBT's verification system and the finalization of the on-site inspection (OSI) arrangements for the Treaty by not paying their dues, not participating in relevant discussions, or by adopting unreasonable positions in those negotiations. We call on all Signatory States to provide the political, financial, and technical support necessary for the earliest feasible implementation of all elements of the CTBT's verification system.

8b. Until the treaty enters into force, nuclear weapon states should implement confidence-building processes, including transparency measures at their sites, to build confidence that they are not currently engaged in prohibited activities. We urge the United States and Russia in particular to reinvigorate discussion on mutual confidence-building measures at their respective test sites. We also call on China, India, Pakistan, Russia and the United States to pursue initiatives to increase transparency at their test sites to dispel any concerns about ongoing activities at those sites, including subcritical tests.

9. On this 60th anniversary year of the first nuclear test explosion, it is important to recall the devastating effects of nuclear weapons testing on human health and the environment and the importance of the CTBT in preventing such damage in the future.

9a. Since 1945, seven countries have conducted 2,051 nuclear test explosions. Most of these tests were conducted at U.S. test sites in Nevada and the Marshall Islands, the Soviet Union’s test sites in Kazakhstan and Novaya Zemlya, France’s test site on the Polynesian atolls of Fangataufa and Moruroa, China’s Lop Nor test site, and in Algeria and Australia. Most of the test sites are in the lands of indigenous peoples and far from the capitals of the testing governments. The 528 atmospheric tests delivered radioactive materials that produced approximately 430,000 additional cancer fatalities by the year 2000, according to a 1990 report by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. The U.S. National Cancer Institute estimated in a 1997 report that the 90 dirtiest U.S. tests could cause 7,500-75,000 additional cases of thyroid cancer.

9b. While underground nuclear blasts pose a smaller radioactive hazard than atmospheric tests, there has been widespread venting from underground explosions, especially at the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan. The United States has acknowledged that 433 of its 824 underground tests released radioactive material into the atmosphere. In addition, underground nuclear blasts leave a legacy of radioactive contamination, which eventually might leak into the surrounding environment.

10. For all of these reasons, the states participating at this conference must train their attention and future efforts on achieving the signatures and ratification of those states that are required by Article XIV to effect entry into force. Despite overwhelming international support for the CTBT and the many ways it contributes to our security, eleven key states have not yet signed and/or ratified.

10a. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, and Pakistan must sign and ratify the CTBT. China, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, the United States, and Viet Nam should ratify, without further delay. The longer these states wait to join the Treaty, the greater the chance that some nation may begin testing and set off a dangerous international action-reaction cycle of military and nuclear confrontation.

10b. We are particularly dismayed with the policies of the Bush administration, which is not even seeking Senate approval for ratification, and that of China, which — to our knowledge — has failed to take any further action toward ratification since the last Article XIV conference.
First, although the U.S. remains a signatory, the current U.S. administration has actively opposed endorsement of CTBT entry into force by other states at the UNGA, the NPT Review Conference, the Organization of American States, and the recently concluded Millenium + Five Summit. The Bush administration has also unilaterally declared its intent not to contribute financially or to participate in non-IMS activities of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO, including preparations for on-site inspections.
Delegates at this conference must realize that while the Bush administration's active opposition to the treaty is damaging to the prospects for entry into force, it is not for the Bush administration alone to decide the fate of the treaty, which remains on the calendar of the U.S. Senate and which may be reconsidered by the next U.S. administration. We therefore urge the governments represented at this conference to actively urge -- at the highest level -- the U.S. administration to join the list of responsible and civilized states and reconsider its opposition to the treaty.

10c. Second, we are disappointed that progress on ratification in China has ground to a halt. There does not appear to be any domestic political obstacle in the way, and we therefore respectfully urge China to complete ratification before the end of this year. In the absence of such action, China owes the other CTBT member states a detailed explanation for its continued delay and a timetable for its ratification process.

10d. Given the series of crises with grave nuclear overtones that have shaken the South Asian sub-continent since the 1998 nuclear explosions, it should be self-evident that another round of tit-for-tat testing would adversely affect regional and international security. More so than any other region in the world, South Asia needs a nuclear-test-ban. We urge leaders in India and Pakistan to embrace the CTBT as a sign of their mutual desire to move back from the brink and to cultivate peaceful relations.

10e. We welcome the bilateral statements that express both nation’s continued support for their voluntary nuclear test moratoria and Indian Prime Minister Singh’s comments that India seeks to live up to the same nonproliferation standards that the five original nuclear weapon states are expected to observe. We would note that this implies that India should, in the very least, sign the CTBT, along with Pakistan.

11. Entry-into-force of the CTBT is within reach. But as a result of the actions of a few of states, the viability of a verifiable, comprehensive ban on nuclear tests – and the future of the NPT itself – is in jeopardy. No single government should be allowed to stand in the way of the historical opportunity to permanently end the scourge of nuclear testing, an indispensable step towards eliminating nuclear weapon threats and preventing nuclear war.

12a. People the world over have been part of the coalition working for a comprehensive nuclear test ban and an end to the arms race. While the concerns of this statement focus on technical and political aspects of nuclear testing, there is a moral and ethical value imperative for achieving CTBT entry into force. If our generation and that of our children are to thrive in a more just, equitable, environmentally sustainable, and free society, we must seize every opportunity to halt the proliferation of the world’s most deadly weapons and accelerate progress toward their elimination.

12b. We do not accept, nor should any of you in this chamber, that any state or group of states should hold the world hostage to fear and the potential for destruction with the continued capacity of nuclear weapons. While we believe that the CTBT will eventually enter into force, we are concerned that the lack of political will on the part of many governments, the arrogant opposition of the few, and the persistent illusion of the utility of nuclear weapons will delay the CTBT even longer.

13. Finally, we wish to express our gratitude for the important contributions of Ambassador Wolfgang Hoffman to the CTBT Preparatory Commission. We extend our best wishes and offer our support for Ambassador Tibor Toth, the new Executive Secretary. We also applaud the decision to appoint Ambassador Jaap Ramaker as an emissary for the treaty.

14. We, NGO supporters of the CTBT, stand ready to contribute to the effort to secure CTBT entry into force. This presentation was prepared and supported by NGOs who have worked for a comprehensive test-ban treaty for many years, in many countries, and in many ways.

Thank you.

 

The Arms Control Association (ACA) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization established in 1971 to promote public understanding of arms control issues and to promote effective nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional arms control solutions. ACA publishes the monthly journal, Arms Control Today.


 

Description: 
Statement by ACA Executive Director Daryl G. Kimball on behalf of the Non-Governmental Organizations

Addressing Today's Nuclear Nonproliferation Challenges: Iran, North Korea, and the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal

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Arms Control Association Press Briefing

Friday, September 16, 2005
9:00 A.M. - 10:30 A.M.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Washington, D.C.

 

Panelists

John S. Wolf, President, Eisenhower Fellowships.

Minister Counselor Morten Aasland, Embassy of Norway.

Lawrence Scheinman, Distinguished Professor, Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association.

 

Transcript by:

Federal News Service

Washington , D.C.

 

DARYL KIMBALL: Welcome to this morning’s Arms Control Association Press Briefing on addressing today’s nuclear nonproliferation challenges. I am Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. ACA is a private, nonpartisan organization that was established in 1971 to educate the public about effective arms control and nonproliferation strategies. We’ve organized this morning’s session at this time because we remain deeply concerned about the world’s multiple nuclear weapons challenges and threats and the failure of the world’s leading states to agree on what we consider to be a balanced and effective action plan to strengthen the beleaguered nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and associated mechanisms such as export control regimes. In a moment, I’m going to turn over the microphone to our expert panelists and then we’re going to take your questions.

But first, I want to set the stage for why we have these three speakers, why we’re covering the topics that we’re covering today, and what issues we think U.S. policymakers in Congress and the executive branch and elsewhere need to think about addressing more seriously. Now, just a few months ago, the UN High Level Panel, cited the effect of the resumption of North Korea’s nuclear weapons-related activities, Iran’s advanced nuclear program, black market nuclear trading, and the specter of nuclear terrorism, growing stockpiles of highly-enriched uranium and plutonium, regional rivalries involving nuclear-armed states, and the failure of the nuclear-weapon states to respect and fully implement their NPT-related disarmament obligations, and the panel concluded “We are approaching a point at which the erosion of the nuclear nonproliferation regime could become irreversible and result in a cascade of proliferation.”

And as we, the Arms Control Association, noted in a statement that we released last April, which is in your packet, successfully addressing these and other challenges will require a new and unprecedented degree of international cooperation and leadership, beginning with the United States. Several Republican and Democratic members of the House and the Senate have heard our call that we issued back in April and have introduced legislation calling for action on several specific nonproliferation and disarmament measures, and one of those resolutions, the text of which is also in your packet, was offered by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Hagel.

But today, on the 16 th of September, we see that the UN Millennium Summit has failed to provide any recommendations or findings in their historic summit document on nonproliferation and disarmament. They were unable to agree to specific provisions on conventional arms, on halting the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists, or advancing nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament goals. According to Secretary General Kofi Annan, “There were governments that were not willing to make the concessions necessary…There were spoilers, let’s be quite honest about that.”

This comes on the heels of the disappointing nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference last May at which the member states also failed to put together an action plan to strengthen the NPT regime. I would note that in particular at that meeting, and apparently again in the past few weeks, the United States, as it did at the NPT, rejected references in the summit document to disarmament obligations of the nuclear-weapon states under the NPT, which then opened the door for other states to jump in the summit document negotiations with their own changes and objections. So in my view, and I think the view of many of the members of the Arms Control Association’s board members, these developments will make it all the more difficult to strengthen an already beleaguered nonproliferation system and will make it all the more difficult to persuade other states to foreclose their nuclear options as long as the United States and other weapons states insist on preserving and even enhancing theirs.

And then finally, and this is one of the other topics of today’s briefing, the United States now is seeking to rewrite the U.S. law and policies of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to allow full civilian nuclear cooperation with nuclear-armed India, even though India does not allow for full-scope nuclear safeguards, continues to produce fissile material for weapons, and has not agreed to support any meaningful new, nuclear restraint measure in the July 18 th summit document between Prime Minister Singh and President Bush. So, I think Secretary General Annan hit the nail on the head when he said that the UN members’ inability to adopt measures on disarmament and nonproliferation at the UN summit and elsewhere is a “real disgrace,” and that he hopes world leaders would see this “as a real signal to pick up the ashes and show leadership.”

So we’ve gathered here today three panelists with different backgrounds, experience from the United States and elsewhere, to comment on these developments, to provide their perspectives. Our first panelist is going to be John Wolf, who until quite recently has been on the frontlines of these policy debates. He is currently the president of the Eisenhower Fellowships and he was, from 2001 to 2004, the assistant secretary of State for nonproliferation among other important duties, which are described in his bio in your packet. And I would just add that while John has expressed views in the past that are not always in sync with those of the Arms Control Association, one thing that we really appreciate is his commitment to he Nonproliferation Treaty, and we do appreciate your presence here and your willingness to share your thoughts at this session.

Our second panelist represents one of the several governments that has sought to forge international agreement to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation system. Minister Counselor Morten Aasland of the Embassy of Norway is here to discuss Norway’s efforts, along with a diverse group of six other nations from non-nuclear and nuclear states, northern states and southern states, to build support for their action plan to strengthen the NPT, and he is also going to try and describe why achieving agreement on such an action plan has been so difficult and what must be done to forge ahead in the international arena.

And our third panelist, last but not least, is Larry Scheinman who is with the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He was the assistant director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency during the Clinton administration with prime responsibility for nonproliferation and arms control. He has had 25 years of experience on nuclear issues and international affairs. Larry is going to help us with an analysis of the proposed U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal and what the implications of that deal might be for the international nonproliferation order.

So with that, let’s start with John. Welcome, the podium is all yours. And then after we hear from all three speakers, we’ll go to your questions. Thanks.

JOHN WOLF: Thank you, Daryl. I guess I should start by saying a couple of things. Unlike many of the people in this room, I am not an expert on a lot of these matters. I learned a great deal though from my associates when I was assistant secretary for non-proliferation – unfortunately the last assistant secretary for non-proliferation. But I learned a great deal from my colleagues and associates and we’ll talk about some of that today. I don’t represent a government. I proudly did for 34 years. And today I don’t represent Eisenhower Fellowships, of which I am president, because that’s not what Eisenhower Fellowships do.

My task today though is to talk about strengthening the non-proliferation regime and for today’s purpose, Daryl and I agree that I’d probably do best to just focus on one piece, and that is the health of the NPT, where things stand today, and probably tipping my hand just a little bit for what I’m about to say, the steps that I think that the international community can take to revitalize this critical cornerstone of the international nonproliferation and arms control architecture. I don’t propose to wallow through the failed NPT conference last May. I think there is ample fault to go around. Both nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states share responsibility for the missed opportunity, and it was a missed opportunity, as were the discussions in the run-up to this week’s UN summit, which Daryl just described.

I think the world is caught in what I guess I could just best describe as a dialogue of the deaf, if you could use those words together. The NPT really should provide stability and a path for cooperation and the means for action to deal with real-world threats to world peace and security, and instead it’s become a foil for mind-numbing diatribes. When the treaty was negotiated, it had non-acquisition, disarmament, and peaceful uses as three integral parts of one unified whole, and I fear on various sides, there are efforts to break the treaty back into three pieces, and each side would focus on one, toss away the other, and ignore the third. That’s not a path for success.

So let’s start with non-acquisition. NPT is shorthand for the treaty for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, and that should make clear what the central purpose of the treaty is. In the real world, there are real threats, real breaches of treaty obligations by countries that are both within the NPT and now outside the NPT orbit. And there is a continuing problem posed by nuclear-capable states that were never a part of the treaty. In a number of speeches that I made as the U.S. representative to NPT preparatory meetings and other meetings in 2002, 2003, and 2004, we caution that a treaty that is observed in the breach is a treaty that will fail and that will have serious consequences for all. We caution that states ought not to be selective in their application of the treaty. It’s meant to be a universal template and that may be uncomfortable for individual states in individual bilateral relations, but it was always meant to avoid one-off exceptions that undercut global standards meant to provide global confidence and stability.

Adherence to the treaty really should mean that the international community will not tolerate the acquisition of nuclear weapons and nuclear technology or the exports of such, and that intolerance really should apply to countries within and outside the treaty. The idea was to stop additions to the number of states with weapons and to start and, in due course, conclude nuclear disarmament by those with weapons. The view in the 1960s – and I was pretty young then but I share that view now – the view is that the world would be safer without nuclear weapons. The treaty fails if it differentiates or if members try to differentiate between good states who can be trusted with nuclear weapons and all others. We have never been further from the treaty’s goals and we are moving in the wrong direction.

Well, I firmly support the many measures that President Bush has outlined to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. These include continuing to strengthen the IAEA and universal adherence to additional protocols. This includes adherence by the United States, so I’m disheartened by interagency indolence that is undercutting the president’s commitment. It means strengthening innovative, pluralistic mechanisms like the Proliferation Security Initiative, and it means faithful adherence to Resolution 1540, which is binding on all UN member states, those inside the NPT, and those outside. It means finding a means to end the spread of technologies that enable more countries to reprocess nuclear fuel or to enrich uranium. These are key enabling technologies for acquiring fissile materials. But we need to assure fuel supplies for peaceful nuclear uses and we need to be serious about negotiating a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty, and to get those producing such materials to stop. It’s time for Washington and the non-aligned to stop speaking as if only one side had truth and history on its side.

Certainly, the NPT is about more than compliance issues. Non-weapon states are correct for tweaking the P5 about their obscure path toward nuclear disarmament as a target of Article VI of the treaty, and there are legitimate concerns about the sui generis status of India, Pakistan, Israel, and now North Korea outside the treaty. But what is most of concern is the palpable unwillingness to call to account those who are cheating. Tolerating or excusing countries’ attempts to acquire weapons capabilities will certainly shrink opportunities for developing countries to use nuclear materials for peaceful purposes. Tolerating or conniving in the proliferation activities by one’s own nationals could, I think, and should lead to such countries being fenced off from high-tech trade and perhaps greater isolation.

The kind of groupthink mentality that refuses to confront proliferation, or which tries to rationalize it, is counterproductive. And why do I say that? Because the spread of nuclear weapons to additional sovereign states is actually a far greater threat to countries in the proliferator’s neighborhoods than it is to the United States. However, we’re all threatened when proliferation and nuclear weapons acquisition is in the direction of non-state actors – terrorists – and to states that have supported terrorism as an element of statecraft.

Now, as regards disarmament, and certainly for the United States – and I’m not an expert – but I’m told there is a better story that we could tell, and more that we could do. It could be that the United States is actually doing a better job meeting its Article VI disarmament obligations than it admits. It could be that we shield the actual progress we’re making in deactivating materials, as well as what we’re doing and intend to do in regard to the actual transformation of fissile materials. Why the obfuscation? Is it just to keep our options open? With our overwhelming conventional capabilities, do we really need to do that? I’m on the side of those who think we should be more transparent. I’m on the side of those who think we can do more. I think it would give us greater leverage to generate more commitment internationally to confront and corral states attempting to go down the nuclear weapons path.

But I also think that more worrisome are two U.S. policy initiatives and the concerns that are shared by many, some in the United States including in Congress, and many abroad. One set of concerns relates to the department of Energy’s program to research a new penetrator warhead. Far more worrisome though is the proposed change in weapons doctrine that envisions using nuclear weapons for WMD pre-emption. Probably one needs to say only one word – Iraq – to raise a huge scarlet warning flag about the risks of such a policy change. In 2003, our commanders and civilian leaders were convinced there would be a chemical weapons response to any military action in 2003, and so we laid down a bright red line, saying how we would respond. Suppose instead some had argued to use nuclear weapons pre-emptively, and suppose we had. What would have been the implications of doing so and being wrong? Whoops is not a good enough response.

There are a dozen or more countries around the world in violation of their Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention obligations. Few directly threaten the United States, but a number have seriously strained relations with their neighbors, some of which also have clandestine WMD programs. But what’s the message that the United States with its huge conventional capabilities, far-flung intelligence capabilities – we can contemplate nuclear pre-emption? But others, with much more at risk and far fewer capabilities – shouldn’t have the option? Perhaps in a one-dimensional world such thinking makes sense, but that’s not the world that we live in. We need to do a better job shifting the terms of the debate back to the treaty’s basics so it’s non-acquisition, whereas I said, I think the U.S. has made a strong case and proposed a number of measures that should be pursued.

Disarmament – we can tell the story better on what we’re doing and we need to do more and be more transparent. We need to be serious about a fissile material cutoff treaty. My sense is that our negotiators will need to have a whole lot more fire put into their bellies than the lukewarm diplo-speak that they now have. That needs to include verification. How can one pass the smile test in Geneva, saying that an FMCT cannot be verified while insisting vis-à-vis North Korea and Iran that effective verification is essential to any credible outcome.

Even beyond those areas, we need to do more to broaden the peaceful uses. Few developing countries will use nuclear power for power generation, and even fewer will have any reason to enrich or reprocess. But the way the debate is now framed is whether they have a right. And now we’re seen as trying to take that right away. We need to change the terms of the debate. We need to find practical ways to cooperate with countries. I think we should go back to President Eisenhower’s original Atoms for Peace concept; update it to focus on industrial, medical, agricultural, and other uses of the atom. Let’s talk about something concrete that countries could get in exchange if they shelve insistence on their right to enrich and reprocess. Let’s put practical alternatives and real resources into this. Certainly, the dollars one might spend giving others a finite stake in the nuclear debate are far fewer than the billions we have to spend to stop proliferators ourselves.

It’s been fashionable recently to talk a lot about counter-proliferation, but that’s really a defensive concept. Nonproliferation done right is bigger. It requires more resources. It requires more work. It requires better diplomacy. But in the end, I think you get a better result. At Eisenhower Fellowships, we say that dialogue leads to understanding, and understanding sets the basis for collaboration that can yield a more prosperous, just, and peaceful world. Dialogue requires listening, not just talking, a lesson we should add to our efforts to build up an international coalition working to strengthen the implementation of the nonproliferation treaty in all its aspects. To get collaboration in action, we’re going to need understanding, and that means we need to have serious two-way dialogue. It can’t be selective. We have to be consistent, whether the discussion is in capitals or whether it’s within the UN system. Time is short. There’s much to do. Thank you.

(Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL: Thank you very much, John, for those refreshing thoughts. Minister Counselor Aasland, you’re up next.

MORTEN AASLAND: Good morning. Thank you, Daryl, and thank you for inviting me to this panel and to speak at the distinguished Arms Control Association. I’d like to say that the ACA is at the forefront when it comes to advocating arms control measures and you provide quality analysis that I know that my colleagues working with these issues in Oslo use very frequently. And it’s an honor for me to be on this panel with two gentlemen with such very distinguished careers.

I would like to share with you Norway’s experience over the last few months with what has been a practical diplomatic effort to find pragmatic ways forward out of the present impasse, because it is pretty much an impasse with regard to global multilateral nonproliferation and disarmament efforts. Let me first say that it seems also to us, as stated by the Arms Control Association in the flyer for this event, and also, I think, very much now by John Wolf, that it is our assessment or point of departure for what we’ve done that the nuclear weapon have and have-nots are drifting apart, and that this is happening at a time when we know the challenges with regard to nuclear proliferation facing all countries are growing more severe. In short, the overall available international instruments and our political will to use them effectively and develop them does not keep up with proliferation trends and challenges that are on the rise. And this is reason for grave concern.

My view, obviously, is quite close to what you were both saying, so you’re not going to get a panel here with sparks of disagreement flying. Many of us shared a deep frustration over the failed 2005 NPT Review Conference in New York in May. There were different views, however, on the degree of failure. Some claimed that the conference was not really a failure after all, and that at least there were very good substantive discussions. My government does not share that last assessment. We believe that in May, an important opportunity was missed to strengthen the global nuclear nonproliferation regime and make needed progress in nuclear disarmament.

Another opportunity to articulate political will and set direction was again, unfortunately, lost at the World Summit in New York this week, which in the end does not at all address disarmament and nonproliferation in its outcome document. We agree with Secretary General Kofi Annan when he summed up the whole summit agenda before heads of state and government on Wednesday, and I would like to quote very briefly from him. He said, “our biggest challenge and our biggest failing is on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. Twice this year, at the NPT review conference and now at this summit, we have allowed posturing to get in the way of results. This is inexcusable. Weapons of mass destruction pose a grave danger to us all, particularly in a world threatened by terrorists with global ambitions and no inhibitions. We must pick up the pieces in order to renew negotiations on this vital issue.

There is talk, and it was alluded to now, about an erosion of confidence in the whole NPT bargain. We subscribe to the view that the state of affairs in the multilateral disarmament machinery and with regard to the NPT is very disappointing. On the other hand, and I believe this is an important political message, we should refrain ourselves from undermining further the confidence in the NPT. The legal rights and obligations of the NPT remain and the three pillars remain. Nonproliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses are all essential and part of a whole.

A few words then on the so-called Seven Nation Initiative that Norway has headed up at the United Nations these past months. Shortly after the review conference in May, Norway’s foreign minister was asked by the secretary general to take the lead in developing as strong as language as possible on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation for the summit outcome document. We knew that this would not be an easy thing. The impasse in New York in May was still very much present, and the fact that non-parties to the NPT would also have a say in the negotiations on the outcome document would make this even more complicated, obviously. Still, it was decided to make an effort and basically to do three things – work the text initially with a limited, selected number of countries representing different views and different situations with regard to the possession of nuclear weapons or not. Secondly, then work to get all, or as many as possible, UN members on board. Thirdly, maintain as much as possible of the substance of this text through the final phase of the negotiations for the outcome document.

Now, the composition of the core group merits perhaps a little bit of attention. It was quite clear for us that they had to come from different regions and represent different views. An initiative or a paper sponsored by Western, like-minded countries alone would obviously not fly and not promote a broad consensus, so we invited the following six countries: Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Romania, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Those who follow the NPT process will know that these countries have quite different perspectives on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. Indonesia and South Africa have for many years been at the forefront of the Nonaligned Movement, the NAM. South Africa is part of the New Agenda Coalition, which has been pushing some of these issues in a UN setting. It was crucial for us to have Indonesia and South Africa on board. At the same time, it was felt that it was essential to have a nuclear power. Those who follow the NPT will know that the U.K. has remained committed to the disarmament obligations adopted at the review conference in 2000.

The seven nation negotiations on a joint ministerial declaration, as well as negotiations on a specific text for the outcome document for the heads of state and government, were not easy. They were hard. And the two texts were obviously compromises. Not surprisingly, upon circulation in New York, a number of countries asked us why did you not have stronger language, for example, on the IAEA additional protocol? Others asked, why did you not have stronger advocacy of full implementation of past disarmament commitments, et cetera. Further examples could be added. We would agree that the text was not ideal. It was a common denominator, but it was not the lowest common denominator. It did provide a bottom-up path toward a possible consensus on the pragmatic package of first steps, and the alternative, of course, was not a full Christmas tree where everybody could hang their favorite decoration, but no tree at all.

As things proceeded in New York, a very large number of countries on short notice expressed support and rallied to the text and the text was also adopted as a basis for negotiations for the outcome document. These negotiations were also difficult. The non-NPT states had very strong views. Norway all along kept in very close touch with the United States government, both at very high levels and on a running basis with the State Department, and in New York. But, I will reveal no secret if I say that some of our proposals or some of the proposals in the texts did not receive strong support or ovation in Washington. Negotiations went on until this week, until heads of state and government arrived in New York. But they did not lead to consensus and the result was, as you alluded to, that there is no section at all on disarmament and nonproliferation in the outcome document. As in the case with the NPT review conference, political differences proved too large and there was not enough will to overcome or put aside differences. A small group of countries had very strong views or have very strong views on some issues, and those views are not acceptable for others. They are either, in particular, linked to stronger or full commitment to disarmament efforts or the primacy, if I may say so, of nonproliferation efforts on the other hand.

I will not run through the substantial elements of the proposed summit document. They are available and we can make them available afterwards if you want to. One last word – where do we stand now? We regret, of course, that the World Summit did not seize this opportunity. A clear message from heads of state and government would have been important. It would have provided political commitment and push and helped set direction. However, while unsuccessful in terms of the outcome document, we do believe that this initiative and the rallying around it did outline a practical approach toward making progress, which is strongly needed, as we all know. It also signaled the value of a cross-regional and cross-group approach and the merits of a fresh approach in the multilateral UN disarmament machinery, which we all know is not a fast-moving machinery. And we also feel that it has helped develop consensus. It’s also put pressure on some countries that we might call holdouts, which is not unimportant.

So Norway will continue to work on these issues. We organized two weeks ago a workshop in Oslo with 24 NPT parties, selected from all regions, exploring ways to continue. Efforts will go on, of course, in various fora, including in various parts of the UN, in the IAEA, and elsewhere. I’ll just mention one specific example, and that is the issue of using the IAEA to promote a proliferation-resistant nuclear fuel cycle. Norway circulated a paper at the NPT review conference in May calling for reduced use of enriched uranium in the civilian sector, with a total ban as a long-term objective. In parallel, we should follow up nonproliferation efforts through the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540, including very importantly assistance to developing countries in fulfilling their obligations under that Security Council resolution. We must also seek to universalize the guidelines of the Proliferation Security Initiative, and it’s important, of course, that this not be seen as a Western or a United States project. And we will continue work to strengthen relevant export control regimes like the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which Norway is chairing at this moment.

The present situation with regard to multilateral negotiating efforts on nonproliferation and disarmament is unsatisfactory and it is an untenable situation. The relationship between challenges and escalating trends and available instruments and the degree to which we put them to use is not a satisfactory one. Secondly, we attempted with the other countries in this core group to proceed in a practical manner in the multilateral arena. We felt that approach was worthwhile. Something was achieved. It was unsuccessful in New York, of course, but consensus was built to quite a degree. A path was once again pointed to and there was rallying around a step-by-step practical, pragmatic approach. I think I’ll end right there. Thank you very much.

(Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL: Thank you, Morten. Now, our third speaker, Larry Scheinman. I just want to say before you come up that we like to change the lineup of our panels that ACA puts together, but we’ve made an exception for Larry. I think this is the third time that you’ve helped us out with a panel discussion in the last three or four years because you are so knowledgeable about so many things. This morning, I also want to thank you for being here because you’ve had to overcome some sickness. So Larry is dedicated to the cause and a true trooper. I welcome you to the podium.

LARRY SCHEINMAN: I will start out by denying everything that Daryl just said, especially about being knowledgeable. I was asked if I would talk to the question of the recent decision by the United States to change policy regarding civil nuclear cooperation with a country that is not accepting full-scope safeguards, let alone not being an NPT party. I think it can be said that there’s a general sharing of the objective on all sides of the issues of the purpose of trying to counterbalance the rise of Chinese power and to enhance cooperation in the field of counterterrorism when it comes to the U.S. decision to move forward in a new way with India and the civil nuclear fuel cycle sector.

For me and my colleagues, the problem is that in doing so, the United States is either in a position of having to seek or is actively seeking, depending on how you want to characterize that, to reverse decades-old counter-proliferation policy. Removing obstacles to civil nuclear cooperation with India is anchored on the proposition that as a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology and a strong commitment to weapons of mass destruction proliferation, ceasing that, India should share the same benefits and advantages as other such states. To do this entails adjusting long-standing laws and policies of the United States, requiring congressional approval and acquiescence of allies and friends to altering regime policies the United States, in particular, has devoted years of time and effort and diplomatic energy to establish. And as one of the people who has been in this business since almost shortly after the NPT was brought into the public marketplace, I feel very strongly about that shift in approach.

For many, the questions are whether the objective, the strengthening of ties with India in economic, military, and in scientific fields, could have been achieved without compromising important nonproliferation principles, norms, and policies, whether India’s concessions in the nonproliferation sector are significant enough to justify the accommodations to which the United Stats has now committed itself, and what the impact this agreement might have on the nonproliferation regime at large. There’s been an outpouring of opinion and analysis on this subject here and abroad, including, of course, in India, and a forthcoming article in Arms Control Today -- by my colleagues Fred McGoldrick and Harold Bengelsdorf and I -- is one. In our view, if the administration implements the joint agreement without modification, we will have given India a great deal – effective acknowledgement as a de facto nuclear-weapon state, whatever language or terminology one chooses to use, and access to the international nuclear market – in return for what we regard to be largely symbolic concessions in the nonproliferation area. Now, I admit that if you look at the Indian press, you get a totally 180-degree different position: “Why are we doing these things and making these concessions to the United States on the chance that the United States may be able to successfully bring about this change of policy and make it an operational fact?”

These symbolic concessions to which I refer, include the following: to place civil facilities as, and I underscore this, as defined by India and not by the United States or the international community, under IAEA safeguards, the nature of which isn’t specified. I will come back to that point. This could add very little in fact to the nonproliferation regime. Another symbolic concession is to act responsibly in the field of nuclear export, in particular in the area of sensitive technology, enrichment and reprocessing. I say this is symbolic because India already does this. This is not new. This is not taking a step forward. This is simply confirming that India has been in this respect largely a reliable member of the team to prevent the spread of technologies which put us all at risk. To maintain a nuclear testing moratorium is a third concession that has been made in this agreement, but this is something that India has already committed to. They’re not changing course. They’re not saying, “Well, we’ve been on the wrong path and now we need to take a different strategy.” And finally, to work with the United States for conclusion of a multilateral fissile material cutoff treaty, which India has been supporting the negotiation of for some time and probably is very happy to join in this objective now that the United States has said this is not a verifiable treaty if in fact it ever gets consummated.

In short, what is positive and good on the side of India is not really new or a breakthrough, but what is being granted by the United States in return is. What is not conceded arguably overrides what is committed to or, as I said, reaffirmed. In particular, the commitment to halt the production of weapons material, that is to say, a moratorium, that word doesn’t appear in this agreement. And, as we understand it, India was pressed to stop producing now as the United States has stopped producing, and the other nuclear-weapon states have stopped producing fissile material for weapons purposes. India said that’s not something that could be on the table. So the commitment to halt the production of nuclear material in the period leading up to the conclusion of a fissile material cutoff treaty is not there. This is something that would have given further leverage on Pakistani policies and practices. In addition, there is no mention of the Proliferation Security Initiative to which the previous two speakers alluded. A commitment to strong physical protection standards vis-à-vis facilities where weapons-useable materials are located on Indian territory or in locations under its control are not there, but they would have been important additions and these would have been taking it a step beyond where India is today.

And what is left uncertain and problematic among the positive aspects relates to the separation of civil and military facilities on the one hand, and safeguards on the other. As I mentioned a moment ago, the separation of civilian and military nuclear facilities is a matter of Indian decision and acceptance of separation in principle is already under attack in India. Former Prime Minister Vajpayee has questioned acceptance of this principle, and others, such as Mr. Prasad, have noted that separation means having to have dedicated – (audio break, tape change) -- facilities for military purposes that would end up being kept underutilized when not producing materials for nuclear weapons – a costly venture for India, given that it is operating on the principle of minimum deterrence and depends today on incremental acquisition of material from existing civilian nuclear facilities beyond the Dhruva and Cirus research reactors that can provide dedicated supplies.

As for expanded safeguards on facilities designated as civilian, while that is a plus, the question left unaddressed is, what kind of safeguards are we talking about? In theory there are two possibilities. One is a voluntary safeguards agreement along the lines of what the five nuclear-weapon states recognized by the NPT have already employed; that is to say, a voluntary declaration of facilities that either are considered civilian, either all civilian facilities, as is the case with the United States and the United Kingdom, or selected facilities, as is the case with the other three weapons states. So one possibility is to have a voluntary safeguards agreement and use that as a means by which to place whatever civilian facilities are designated under IAEA verification.

The other alternative is a facility-specific safeguards agreement under what’s called Information Circular 66, which is the safeguards document that prevailed prior to the negotiation of the conclusion of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which called for comprehensive or full-scope safeguards.

The nice part about the INFCIRC/66 facility approach is that safeguards are in perpetuity once the safeguards are applied to the facility. That’s the fundamental difference between that kind of an approach and a voluntary arrangement approach. Under the voluntary arrangement approach if one comes to the conclusion that a facility placed under safeguards is now needed for national security or national defense purposes, it can be removed from the list. So it’s really kind of an under-which-shell-is-the-pea kind of approach to the problem.

So in the case of voluntary safeguards, it’s possible, as I say, for the state to withdraw facilities and safeguards for national security reasons, whereas in the case of INFCIRC/66, it is not. The importance of my making this observation will become clear in a moment.

There is, in addition, the question of adherence to the additional protocol to safeguards that was agreed by the IAEA board of governors in 1997, and that is progressively but slowly moving toward becoming the norm for safeguards. We’ve got a long way to go. More access to information, more access to locations is provided by the additional protocol, but none of the three de facto nuclear-weapon states – India, Israel or Pakistan – have bit the bullet on this one, whereas the nuclear-weapon states recognized by the NPT at this point have in varying degrees.

Adherence to the additional protocol in the context of whatever safeguards agreement they come to conclude with the IAEA could be added significance to the legitimacy of safeguards worldwide, and that would be an important contribution that India could make in this regard.

In our article we also discussed the implementation of this kind of an agreement under U.S. law. The Atomic Energy Act, which requires that significant nuclear exports be pursuant to an agreement for civil nuclear cooperation, is something that does not currently exist with India. Our earlier civil cooperation agreement expired in 1993.

For such an agreement, certain conditions have to be met. Under our law, this includes full-scope safeguards by the recipient state, which India would not accept, and therefore, a waiver would have to be required, and prior consent rights to what happens to material that’s been provided by the United States, such as for the reprocessing of spent fuel, would also be required, and that doesn’t exist at the present time. In addition to that, Nuclear Regulatory Commission export licensing requirements, which also include full-scope safeguards, would have to be dealt with, which again involves the possible need for waivers that are subject to congressional approval.

Congressional concerns have already been raised, as reflected in a House amendment of the energy bill this July that would have prohibited export of nuclear technology or equipment to countries that had detonated a nuclear weapon and not signed the NPT. Despite the fact that this amendment was rejected ultimately in conference, I believe we have not heard the last of it.

There is also the question of the Nuclear Suppliers Group that’s already been mentioned by other speakers. Indications are that key members are falling in line behind the United States. The United Kingdom already has done that. I believe Canada recently has indicated that they’re prepared to go along with this, which is a bit of a dismaying event considering that the Canadians were probably burned harder by the Indians than anybody else had been in the past when the Indians took Canadian assistance for civil purposes and used it to produce the material that was used to detonate the device in 1974 under the label, “peaceful nuclear explosion.”

What is particularly important here is what message the United States initiative gives to other group members, and how in the longer run the longstanding effort to bring suppliers to adopt a common set of rules of the game regarding exports will fare. If the United States can move along the path of exceptionalism with respect to one country, what assurance is there that other NSG countries might not follow the same example with respect to states with whom they have special interests?

I might mention in passing here that having come to the conclusion that we have this agreement with India and hoping that the Indian government will fall in line behind some basic thinking on these issues with the United States, the headline in the newspaper that I saw the other day was that India supports the Iranian position that Iran has the right to proceed with the full nuclear fuel cycle.

On that, by the way, I think I agree very much with something that John Wolf said. I’d put it slightly differently. I was the policy advisor to the study that was done by the IAEA on multilateral nuclear alternatives, and the one thing I came away from that meeting, which involved 26 countries, was don’t try to fight this issue on the matter of inalienable rights. Find another way to get at the problem. You lose on inalienable rights. The moment you say you don’t have an inalienable right – which many people here have said is the case – you’re up against not Iran; you’re up against Iran plus about 110 or more countries, all of them unaligned, as well as the Canadians and the Australians, who say, wait a minute, you know, we may not be there yet but we may want to be there at some point, and we have the right to proceed down that road, consistent with our obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. So there’s a problem that arises there as well.

Beyond the Nuclear Suppliers Group issue lies the question of the potential impact of the implementation of the U.S.-Indian joint declaration on the nonproliferation regime as a whole. It opens up a whole hornet’s nest of questions and issues that need to be addressed. Our conclusion is – and I’m going to ask Hal Bengelsdorf, who, as I say, is a co-author, if he would like to perhaps add a couple of comments to this after I just reached this conclusion – is that since Congress will have to deal with this issue one way or another – i.e., responding to requests for waivers or efforts to amend our basic laws – it should take its responsibility and place appropriate conditions on any approval it might give, in particular, insistence that the safeguards to be applied to Indian civil facilities be INFCIRC/66 safeguards; that is to say, safeguards in perpetuity, which is what our law actually requires, and to mandate the administration to press for an expansive declaration of civil facilities.

In short, Congress has an opportunity to shape the future, to shape development in ways that can help to push outcomes in the direction of reinforcing nonproliferation principles and set a sufficiently high bar for exceptions of this kind to mitigate – not prevent but mitigate – the damage that will be done to the regime.

I guess the only other point I would mention here is to reinforce this notion that it’s an unfortunate and costly political decision that’s been made, and the potential to damaging the regime I believe is significant. The purpose of the objective of better relations with India could have been met, in my view and that of many others, without sacrificing the principles and objectives of nuclear nonproliferation.

Thank you.

(Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL: Hal Bengelsdorf, if you would like to make a couple of comments.

HAL BENGELSDORF: Thanks, Larry. If you look at this thing it’s a very complex and large issue. In our Arms Control Today article, we’ve tried to do a balanced assessment. We’ve tried to put more specificity in our analysis about what the U.S. got from this deal and what procedural steps one has to go through to reach the goals. I hope you will find it a useful contribution.

But when I look at this arrangement and stand back, I see a whole series of existing or potential ironies that have to be recognized. It would of course be ironic if the U.S., which was the leader in putting together the whole NSG regime, pressing full-scope safeguards, now triggers a process where there’s an erosion of those norms. That’s not the intent, but one worries whether people will ask for other exceptions. One worries whether the Russians might use the Indian example to further rationalize and defend their relationships with Iran.

I find it ironic that the administration has said that it doesn’t recognize India as a nuclear-weapon state, yet in many respects it is. But it goes beyond that. Where this thing sits now if nothing changes is that you have an anomalous situation where India will remain free to continue to proceed with its nuclear weapons program without any restraints, whereas all of the other nuclear-weapon states have indicated that they’re prepared to cap it.

Now, the administration and the Indians will say, “Well, the FMCT will handle that.” Well, that’s only moving fast in geologic terms. I think it would be ironic if the big guys – the French and the British and the Americans – now try to roll over the other NSG members and try to organize and get a consensus. It’s inconceivable to me at this point that this thing can be implemented in the absence of a credible NSG concurrence.

This agreement, without denying some of the movement or minimizing some of the movements that the Indians feel they face, is in a highly vulnerable state. I have great doubts whether we will achieve implementation on a timely basis unless the parties’ try to introduce greater flexibility in there.

Thanks.

MR. KIMBALL: Thank you.

All right, well, we’ve had three-and-a-half comments on the state of affairs. I’m sorry to make your Friday morning a little more depressing than it might usually be, but this is the world we live in.

We have plenty of time for your questions and discussion. The microphone will come to you when you raise your hand. Please identify yourself and state your question.

Yes, sir?

Q: Dan Horner from McGraw-Hill Nuclear Publications. I wanted to follow on the point of the last two speakers but direct it to Mr. Aasland, and as you, first of all, what your government’s position is on the proposed cooperation with India; and secondly, from your vantage point in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, what you see as the likely outcome within the NSG of this proposal. Thanks.

MR. AASLAND: It’s a hard question. Norway hasn’t taken a detailed position on this at all. We are involved, if you like, in particular because we now have the chairmanship of the NSG. There is a clear recognition that this is a very complicated issue, a potential torpedo, for the whole arrangement.

I think that the assessments that were made just a moment ago are assessments or considerations about what might possibly happen are ones that we share, but we have not taken a public decision on the issue so I can’t really say a lot more than that.

MR. KIMBALL: Could you just tell us, when is the next NSG meeting scheduled, and is there any clarity about whether this might even be on the agenda, or is that not yet settled?

MR. AASLAND: I’m not sure whether that’s settled. I can see if I can check into one of the background papers and come back on that.

MR. KIMBALL: Alright. Thank you.

Other questions? Have we covered everything? Yes, sir – Mr. Potman (sp).

Q: Thank you, Daryl. I’m Peter Potman from the Netherlands Embassy. I’ve got two questions, if I may. I would like to direct them to Mr. John Wolf. One is about the move that the U.S. government is now making toward India. To what extent do you believe this is another signal of the United States government, the administration, to walk away from treaty-based diplomacy and a treaty regime-based approach to security in exchange for, let’s say, more realpolitik kinds of approaches stemming perhaps – and I’m wondering what your view is of this because you were very close to it and proud of it – stemming from maybe a basic pessimism about world relations, power relations, and that therefore the conclusion has been with important policymakers that the world can only be managed by managing power relations, and that in that sense, if you can use a treaty to that effect, that’s good. If it gets in the way, you go around it, or you blow up the treaty, or you don’t engage in the treaty.

And then the FMCT I think is a case in point. My country is trying to set up a seminar on verification of an FMCT in Geneva. The U.S. administration is not prepared to send people over. So is it all part of a larger scheme, a paradigm shift, so to speak, in how to manage relations, or is that just overdrawn?

My second question is a bit more specific. You mentioned the doctrine that has now come out of the Pentagon about preemptive strikes. I thought this was simply bureaucratic inertia in the sense that the nuclear posture review of 2002 contains all these concepts – they’re not new – and the possibility of first strike or preemptive strike in a way has always been there, even before that. So to what extent – because you were saying basically that this was new and dangerous, whereas I thought that perhaps it was just –

MR. KIMBALL: Old and dangerous.

Q: Old and dangerous – (laughter) –or is it worse?

MR. WOLF: On the second question, I suppose the thinking in the bowels of the Pentagon that is not operationalized or approved at the top level is the kind of contingency thinking that’s one thing. If it turns into state policy it’s another.

Looking at your first question - and let me be real clear - I’m not speaking for or against the administration. I’m not in it. Looking at the way you phrased your question, I actually wonder whether it’s realpolitik or misguided idealism. They’re very different. I mean, the idealism says that we have these special relationships with democratic states and they’ll share our values and do everything – they’ll think just like we do, and that’s not true of our closest allies, much less countries with a history like India’s.

Walking away – if you’re right that it’s a trend to – if you’re suggesting that walking away from a treaty-based world is the way they’re going, to some new “paradigm” based on managing power relations, I guess I’m never a fan of creating new additional architecture just to have architecture, but if you take the terms of the Supreme Court discussions this week, this is really settled law. Every administration since 1970 has talked about the NPT as a cornerstone of our national security policy, or the cornerstone, and I think it would be a big mistake, as I said, were some to think that we can break the cornerstone into three pieces and move one of them around at our convenience and ignore the rest. So I hope you’re not right.

MR. KIMBALL: All right, let me just speak to the second question that Peter Potman asked on the nuclear strategy. There is a detailed analysis in this month’s Arms Control Today on that subject by Hans Kristensen, and this was actually the first place where the analysis and the findings were published, not The Washington Post. But I would just answer your question by noting that while the basic concepts that are in this joint doctrine that is being reported on are not, at the fundamental level, new, the doctrine does explicitly talk about some options under which nuclear weapons might be used in a preemptive way. So, if anything, it may not be new so much as it is more explicit, and if it is dangerous and old, it is important to keep in mind that this administration promised three, four years ago, that it would pursue a nuclear policy that deemphasized nuclear weapons. And what we see, in fact and in practice, is that the role is being maintained, and I would argue, in some ways being expanded when you take into consideration other developments relating to the development of – or the pursuit of the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.

We had a few other hands up. Yes, ma’am? If you could wait for the microphone.

Q: I’m Katie Scowfield. I just have a question generally for the panel in regards to your opinion on the EU-3 negotiations. Is that an effective way to handle potential violators of the treaty? Should the U.S. have taken a greater role in dealing with Iran, or are our relations too botched for that? Or should a tougher stance in the EU-3 negotiations, such as taking Iran to the Security Council, be pursued?

MR. KIMBALL: Is that for any one in particular?

Q: Yeah, anyone.

MR. KIMBALL: John? Larry?

MR. SCHEINMAN: (Off mike) – in some fashion with the EU-3 in trying to promote some kind of a dialogue and approach to the Iranian problem. Basically they’re asking, what is your problem? We know what their problem is. In part, it certainly is security, or sense of security, or concern. They have a nuclear-weapon state to their left, a nuclear-weapon state to their right, a nuclear-weapon state to their north, and a big nuclear-weapon state all over the place.

So obviously security is a matter of concern, whether you’re with the ayatollahs or whether you’re even with the more liberal wing of the Iranian populace, because that is a basic concern. So you sit down and you try to work diplomatically through that kind of a problem and see if you can come to a resolution that is mutually acceptable. I think that would be the obvious way for us to try to go, and it’s clear that it’s going to be more difficult now than it had been before.

MR. KIMBALL: Anyone else want to take a shot or has Larry captured the essence?

All right, other questions. Jofi, please, and then we’ll try to get around to the back.

Q: Jofi Joseph, private consultant, formally Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff. My question is for the two members of our panel who have extensive experience in the U.S. government. Secretary Rice is proposing a merger within the State Department of the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Bureaus into a new Bureau for International Security and Negotiation. Some have argued that this is a useful organizational consolidation, essentially carrying out the recommendations of an IG report issued last year. Others argue that it will fundamentally weaken the use of American diplomacy to advance nonproliferation goals. I’m interested in your views.

MR. KIMBALL: Alright. That’s for Larry and John if you want to take a crack at it.

MR. WOLF: It’s not really a question of where the deck chairs are but it’s kind of a question who the captain is and who’s got the helm. And during my three years there I think the lines of communications were confused. The inspector general’s report was really quite detailed on some of the complicated internal battles that probably hobbled our efforts.

So whether there’s one bureau or two bureaus is not as important as what the mission is, who sets it – the secretary of state, undersecretary of state – they should be pointed in the same direction – the assistant secretary of state, and then all of the offices. And if there is a clear direction set and there is good leadership that is policy innovative, and if we use all of the tools at our disposal and not just a few selective tools, then I think, in a way, the amalgamation doesn’t matter. It may be better to amalgamate. I’ll sort of leave it at rearranging the deck chairs isn’t the thing. Who’s up in the crows nest looking for icebergs, who’s driving, and what are the instructions are much more important. The book is still open on whether we’re going to have a successful effort.

On an earlier point, I said I don’t think we should be mesmerized by the word counter-proliferation as some new term of art. Nonproliferation has everything to do with non-acquisition, the message we’re sending on disarmament, and our efforts to promote peaceful uses, and I think we need to have a robust U.S. policy that addresses all those concerns. I think we need to have a consistent U.S. policy that isn’t a policy by exception or some kind of power relationship management. We need to work within a stable system where we will be a principal architect but also a principal beneficiary. So you can read into that, and what I said earlier, all kinds of different things.

MR. KIMBALL: Larry?

MR. SCHEINMAN: I would be inclined to agree on the general principal that John just expressed about deck chairs and captains and crows nests. But I would like to answer your question in an anecdotal fashion, if I may. In my last meeting at the National Security Council on my watch, there was an issue, which I’ll not discuss here, but there was an issue that came up, and in the course of the discussion at the NSC, it became very apparent to me very quickly that a lot of ducks had been lined up – which is not uncommon – all in one nice little row. And I intervened to make a counter-argument to why we should be doing what’s been apparently accepted.

And after I made my argument, another agency of the government, an important one, said, he’s right, and they withdrew their support – they stepped out of line with the other ducks, and that stopped this particular decision from being taken. And as I was walking back to the State Department, this colleague of mine, who was one of John’s predecessors, he said to me, Larry, when the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency is merged into the State Department, this isn’t going to happen. I said, I know, and that’s exactly why it should not be merged.

But we merged the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency into the State Department fully. We always were very closely coordinated. We always had our differences but we worked them out. And now we’re seeing the next stage of that so-called consolidation, and I think what it may do is to take away opportunities to make alternative presentations to win over a position in favor of one approach as opposed to another.

So I do get concerned when I see this happening. I’m wondering who’s going to be the losers in this, especially when I think what’s happening is taking place in the context of an administration that has a particular perspective, which has been expressed here in varying ways up to this point. Arms control is a dead terminology. It was good in the old days, but the Cold War is unnecessary now. And it’s very true that we face rather different challenges than we did 20, 30, 40 years ago, and need to adjust. The question is whether you adjust in the way that’s being done or whether you adjust in a more refined fashion.

MR. KIMBALL: Alright.

Mr. Aasland. Thank you.

MR. AASLAND: If I may add a little point on this, which has a bearing or effect on the Indian-U.S. agreement and its effect on the NSG with regard to the relationship with the institutional set up in the State Department. I think it was our impression – and from the media because this has been all over the media – that the Indian-U.S. agreement was put together with bilateral relationship considerations, and not, at least, the arms control or nonproliferation considerations, which normally would go into the discussion of that important policy shift, were perhaps not prominently present.

And again, from the media it may well be that the American follow up of this in the NSG are not sure whether they have thought through absolutely all consequences and how to take this forward. So certainly we haven’t as the chairmanship. But I’m saying this to make the broader point that of course one of the criteria perhaps of a successful reorganization is that you ensure that the nonproliferation and arms control factors that have a very important role to play in policymaking are given an institutional setup internally that allows that.

MR. KIMBALL: Alright. We’re going to take two questions and then we’re going to take answers to those two questions so we can get through the questions.

Q: Thank you. Peter Kanflo from the Embassy of Sweden. For Ambassador Wolf. You made a number of suggestions for a new or different approach that all the parties to the NPT could take to in fact strengthen the regime, not further weaken it, but in particular you made some suggestions regarding U.S. policy. Could you comment a little bit more about the possibility of these suggestions being taken up as U.S. policy, and also if there is anything other countries could do to support that, because many of these suggestions for all of us seem very sensible. Thank you.

MR. KIMBALL: And then why don’t we take one more question, please.

Q: Hi. Erin Harbaugh (sp) from the State Department. This is also for John Wolf, also from your former bureau. My question is along the same lines as this gentleman. You mention that developing countries should not need nuclear energy and uranium enrichment capabilities, and this debate has been framed in terms of a right to peaceful nuclear energy, and I’m wondering how you feel about the six-party process. Obviously this has been very problematic, this debate, in terms of the six-party process and the discussions that are currently underway in Beijing. And I’m wondering if you feel that we can reframe this debate at this point, and if so, how will we, or is it too late?

MR. WOLF: The first question is what’s the likelihood of the U.S. government moving in the directions I’ve suggested? For that, I suggest you talk to any of the numerous U.S. government representatives who are scattered around the room. Some of those are not actually new ideas, but they’re still ideas in circulation, and it’s opportunities like today’s discussions repeated here in Washington and around the world, whether in Oslo or elsewhere that will help to ventilate these things, and I hope people – like I say, in order for us to go forward, for us to reinforce the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, to achieve our nonproliferation objectives – and remember how I define them as broader than just stopping the spread of nuclear weapons – for us to achieve our nonproliferation objectives, we’re going to have to have real dialogue, and real dialogue means that we have to go to meetings prepared not only to talk a good game but to listen a good game and try and find common ground. And I hope that some of the suggestions that I’ve put forward this morning are elements that might play into finding common ground.

I guess the terminology is no longer “former bureau” but now it’s “late bureau.” Never mind; we won’t go there. (Laughter.)

Six-party talks. I thought it was a very innovative suggestion. I think that Assistant Secretary Hill is doing a remarkable job. He clearly has much more robust instructions and greater latitude than perhaps the U.S. representative, Jim Kelly, had in the first round or two rounds, and I think this was a very important way to proceed. These kinds of discussions are an avenue to proceed. In the end, whatever is discussed there needs to get a broader international buy-in, and I trust that between the five parties, we are all keeping close contact with others who have an interest – the EU in particular, but also the rest of the world should stay abreast of it and needs to be part of the buy-in for the thing.

I don’t think I expressed doubt about countries using nuclear energy. I would express doubt, and I do believe we’ve got to find an alternative to every country thinking that it not only should have power-generating capabilities or industrial uses of nuclear materials, whether for agriculture, medicine, whatever, but also the ability to generate the materials. In other words, we really do have to find an alternative to everybody having enrichment and reprocessing capabilities, because if you don’t have those capabilities, it’s a much tougher path to fissile material. And as everybody who seems to write about this says, getting the fissile material is the hardest part of getting a nuclear weapon. You want to clamp down on the availability of fissile capabilities, not only as regards states but also in terms of the risk that a non-state group would be able to acquire it. The more spread around it is, the higher the likelihood.

MR. KIMBALL: I just want to add one quick point on the first question about the likelihood of the United States government moving ahead on some of these things and take that slightly differently. I wanted to just remind everyone here of some of the previous discussion that we heard from our friend from Norway, and something I mentioned at the top, which is that there is, I think, quite a broad agreement among a large number of states about several key proposals that have been put forward, that were put forward in the context of the NPT review conference, that were put forward in the context of the negotiations for the Millennium Plus Five document that recognized this balance of responsibilities and obligations under the Nonproliferation Treaty.

All is not lost. I mean, it does come down to a few states, not just the United States, blocking this consensus, blocking progress. We also see in the United States Congress a number of members of the House and the Senate, as I mentioned before, putting forward resolutions that outline a broad, balanced approach to dealing with the myriad proliferation challenges.

So, I mean, I would say that in many ways there is an opportunity for this administration in the years that are left, and certainly beyond the second George W. Bush administration, to make adjustments that allow for progress in several of these areas, and the most important of which is that, as our previous speakers were saying, that the United States does a much better job recognizing its disarmament responsibilities, which are in the natural self-interest of the United States, and that can go a long way towards making some progress in discussing and moving forward on some of these issues like achieving greater restraint on nuclear fuel cycle capabilities.

So that’s just another thought.

MR. WOLF: Something very different, but as I was sitting here thinking about the answer I just gave, one thing I want to be real clear on is when I talked about too much focus, too much mesmerization with counter-proliferation, I actually think counter-proliferation is an essential part of the diplomacy. It’s important to things like the six-party talks, it’s important to the Iran negotiations, it’s an important support for the EU-3.

I wanted to say I was always a big fan and actively involved in helping to increase counter-proliferation efforts. I think it’s important. But nonproliferation is a much bigger concept, and it needs to use all the tools, not just a few of them. Thanks.

MR. KIMBALL: All right. I think we’ve got time for a couple more quick questions and answers. Yes, ma’am?

Q: Mine is actually not going to be a question – I hope you can excuse that – but a clarification. Kelly Anderson from the Canadian Embassy. Just to clarify the Canadian government’s position on the NSG and India. We have not taken a decision yet. We understand the objectives that have pushed the U.S. to this agreement, but we also have some problems with it. This is still under consideration within the government of Canada, so we’re not on a side yet.

MR. KIMBALL: Thank you, Kelly, for that clarification.

Q: Mark Fitzpatrick, soon to be at IISS in London. A follow up question on the U.S.-India deal and the need for unanimity on the part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group if this is to proceed. I’d be interested in views, maybe particularly of Larry, of how likely it is we get the unanimity, and particularly China’s role – what will China demand to go along with this?

MR. KIMBALL: Larry, can you look into your crystal ball?

MR. SCHEINMAN: Mark, I’m not really sure I have a good answer to your question – particularly your second question. I’m not quite clear myself about whether unanimity is an absolute requirement in the NSG – whether it operates strictly on a consensus basis, which would mean everybody is on board, or whether it operates with any kind of a voting approach, because I’ve never actually attended an NSG meeting, I’ve only been on the outside of – it does require consensus. So then that would mean that everybody would have to be on board and follow the same rule.

Your second question – could you just repeat that?

Q: It was, how likely is China to come along, and what would China’s price be?

MR. SCHEINMAN: Well, that’s why I started to say I really don’t have a good answer to that. I don’t know what China’s price would be, but China would obviously have a strong interest in doing business with Pakistan. Pakistan has already indicated they’d like to build 13 power reactors along with those that the Indians will be building even if this does not go through. So I guess China would be looking to an outcome that would facilitate their ability to continue doing business with Pakistan.

 

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Arms Control Association Press Briefing

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Toward Consensus on a Strengthened Nuclear Nonproliferation System

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Presentation to the American Political Science Association, September 2, 2005

Daryl G. Kimball
Executive Director, Arms Control Association

More than three decades ago, the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) established 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.

Since then, the NPT has helped to limit the number of nuclear weapon states to the five with nuclear weapons at the time of its entry into force (U.S., U.K., France, Russia and China) and the three other known nuclear weapon states (India, Israel, and Pakistan), which have refused to join the treaty. Dozens of other states might have the bomb today if not for the NPT and associated measures, including nuclear export controls, nuclear weapons free zones, negative nuclear security assurances, and intrusive international weapons inspections.

The NPT has also fostered arms control efforts that have also reduced the threat posed by U.S.-Soviet/Russian nuclear weapons. Bilateral nuclear arms control agreements such as SALT, the ABM Treaty, and START helped corral the Cold War arms race, prevented a defensive missile arms race, reduced offensive arsenals, and increased transparency and opportunities for diplomacy, thereby reducing instability and the risk of nuclear war.

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, new cooperative programs have successfully dismantled and secured vast quantities of Cold War weapons stockpiles at dozens of locations. In addition, the NPT process helped spur progress in the decades-long effort to ban nuclear testing, which culminated in the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the current de facto global test moratorium, which are valuable because they make it more difficult for all states to improve their nuclear arsenals.

Today’s Proliferation Challenges

Despite these very significant accomplishments, the nuclear nonproliferation system, including the NPT, is under great stress.

During the past five years, the NPT has endured successive crises involving Iraqi and North Korean nuclear weapons programs. In 2002, the IAEA confirmed that Iran had for some 18 years been pursuing secret nuclear activities that could provide it with bomb-making capability in the not too distant future. If the international community fails to turn North Korea and Iran away from the nuclear arms path and either of these two states acquire nuclear weapons, the global security and proliferation situation will take a severe turn for the worse.

India , Israel, and Pakistan have advanced their nuclear weapons programs with relative impunity. India and Pakistan have, as recently as 2002, teetered on the edge of open warfare, which, if repeated, could lead to a nuclear conflict. The specter of terrorism and the existence of nuclear black market networks based out of Pakistan’s government-run weapons laboratories have added a new layer of risk.

The Iranian, North Korean, Pakistani, Indian, and Israeli programs are also reminders that additional countries could acquire the capacity to produce fissile materials and manufacture nuclear weapons under the guise of “peaceful” nuclear endeavors. As the NPT has been interpreted, countries can acquire technologies that bring them to the very brink of a nuclear weapons capability without explicitly violating the agreement, and can then leave the treaty without penalty.

There are also the dangers posed by the existing global stockpiles of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, the fissile materials that are the fuel of nuclear bombs. These materials remain far too accessible to terrorists as a result of inadequate security and accounting at nuclear facilities throughout the former Soviet republics and in dozens of other countries.

Meanwhile, the United States and Russia have failed to capitalize on key opportunities to substantially and verifiably dismantle significant portions of their still massive Cold War–era stockpiles of strategic and tactical weapons. To be sure, the United States and Russia have made steady progress in dismantling and securing large portions of their Cold War nuclear stockpiles declared excess under the first START agreement of 1991. And with the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, the two states have pledged to reduce operationally deployed strategic nuclear forces to fewer than 2,200 warheads by 2012.

But these actions are far behind pace and they would allow each side to redeploy launchers and warheads. Even after SORT, the United States and Russia will still likely possess some 4,000 to 5,000 strategic nuclear warheads in various states of readiness. The situation is even worse in other areas. Talks with Russia on verification measures and tactical nuclear weapons remain on the backburner. The U.S. maintains about 1.300 such weapons including 480 stationed in Europe, while Russia is estimated to possess at least 3,000. The U.S., along with Russia has made not progress in accounting for and reducing the 3,000 plus Russian arsenal of more portable tactical nuclear warheads, which pose a long-term threat of falling into terrorist hands.

The administration has also initiated research on new and more “usable” high-yield nuclear weapons, stiff-armed progress on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and blocked progress on multilateral negotiations on a global fissile material cutoff treaty because of its opposition to the negotiation of a verification protocol for the treaty.

President George W. Bush has also approved nuclear-use policies that undercut previous commitments to nonuse of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states in the context of the NPT. Specifically, NSPD-17— the classified version of the United States’ 2002 “National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction” —calls for the possible use of nuclear weapons to counter chemical and biological threats. The military doctrine that flows from that policy is the subject of an excellent article in the forthcoming issue of Arms Control Today.

As the United Nation’s recent High-Level Panel Report A More Secure World concludes: “We are approaching a point at which the erosion of the nonproliferation regime could become irreversible and result in a cascade of proliferation.”

Enter the Bush Administration

In my view, the Bush administration’s response to this broad range of nuclear weapons proliferation challenges has been inadequate and, in some areas, it has further damaged the system. The wisdom of the policies have to be judged by the record … and the record is clearly disappointing.

Most Bush officials argue that the NPT has failed to stop proliferation in South Asia, North Korea, Iraq, and Iran. Arms control and nonproliferation agreements, they say, are ineffective against problem states and irrelevant for friendly states, including Russia.

In response, the Bush administration has emphasized the need to enforce compliance with nonproliferation standards with an emphasis on stopping unfriendly states from getting nuclear weapons. The administration has also emphasized the importance of closing down the supply side of nuclear proliferation by modest improvements in some nuclear export controls and halting construction of uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing facilities in states that do not already possess them. It has also put a great deal of faith in counterproliferation, including harmonizing efforts to interdict dangerous weapons shipments through Proliferation Security Initiative.

But the record of the administration even it its chosen areas of policy focus have been disappointing to say the least.

Until recently refused to effectively engage with North Korea to achieve a lasting solution, allowing a dangerous situation to get worse. While North Korea was pursuing uranium enrichment capabilities, the administration bungled the case when it confronted North Korea about it and later leaked the exchange to the press in October 2002, and then decided to cut off heavy fuel oil shipments in November. In response the North Koreans restarted the plutonium production facility that was verifiably frozen under the terms of the 1994 Agreed Framework.

Its response to the Iranian situation has been, until recently, principled by not pragmatic. Even now, the administration has failed to outline what and how UN Security Council referral of Iran’s open nuclear file could turn Iran away from using its uranium enrichment capabilities to make highly enriched uranium for weapons.

Though better controls on the global trade of dangerous weapons are a vital line of defense against the spread of nuclear weapons, they are insufficient and we certainly cannot afford to compromise them, as the administration is proposing to do under the terms of the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal announced July 18. The deal calls for broad civil nuclear cooperation for the first time since India’s 1974 nuclear test explosion. This radical new approach, if implemented, would effectively grant India highly sought-after access to sensitive nuclear technology only accorded to states in full compliance with global nonproliferation standards. It would also treat India in much the same way as the five original nuclear-weapon states by exempting it from meaningful international nuclear inspections. It is a virtual endorsement of India’s nuclear weapons status and would make the job of blocking the spread of nuclear weapons more difficult, if not now, then in the future.

When the Bush administration is challenged on its dedication to nonproliferation, officials like to point to the two-year-old Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) as evidence of the administration’s nonproliferation bona fides. Officials repeatedly hail the initiative for its role in intercepting nuclear contraband destined for Libya and thereby helping persuade that country to renounce its illicit nuclear weapons program. Yet, it is now apparent that the Libya interdiction did not occur because of PSI. Nor, I would add, did Libya make a strategic decision to cash in it nascent nuclear program because of the invasion of Iraq.

The U.S. and other allies have stopped proliferation in transit prior to PSI’s launch. The initiative does not legally empower or obligate countries to do anything that they previously could not do. Still I would agree that the PSI is a useful initiative if it can be made to work.

Unlike past U.S. administrations, this Bush administration has failed to respect and even acknowledge important disarmament obligations made in the context of the NPT. In an April 27, 2004 speech at the NPT Preparatory Conference, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton declared, "[W]e cannot divert attention from the violations we face by focusing on [disarmament] issues that do not exist." U.S. officials took that same attitude into the 2005 NPT Review Conference and, along with Iran and Egypt, effectively blocked the conference from reaching agreement on a concrete action plan to strengthen the treaty.

The U.S. disdain for disarmament alienates others, even allies, undermines useful U.S. proposals, and further erodes the willingness among certain states in the non-nuclear-weapon majority to fulfill their own treaty obligations, much less to agree to strengthen the regime.

The Need for A New Nonproliferation Consensus

Instead, the threat of nuclear proliferation must be met with firm resolve and dealt with through a balanced and comprehensive array of strategies. More than anything, the treaty’s success – and international security – requires that the United States and other nations work together to achieve universal compliance with strengthened rules against nuclear weapons possession, trade, development, and use.

The NPT remains vital—and future opportunities such as the upcoming UN Heads of State Summit—must not be squandered. Congress can and must play a stronger role in evaluating and correcting U.S. nonproliferation policy. I would point you to S. Con. Res. 36 and H. Con. Res. 133 as examples of constructive bipartisan policy proposals across a broad range of nonproliferation issues.

Avoiding further setbacks will not be easy but are possible, especially if the United States can adopt a more balanced, pragmatic, and flexible strategy.

The most urgent tasks are the resumption of talks leading to the verifiable dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities and the successful conclusion of an agreement between the European Union and Iran that recognizes Iran’s “right” to pursue peaceful nuclear endeavors but produces a voluntary and indefinite freeze of its uranium enrichment program. Failure on either front could lead neighboring countries to rethink their nuclear options and/or lead to a military confrontation.

The Bush administration must build upon the modest progress of the fourth round of six-party talks and be prepared to offer a new and more practical proposal to resolve the crisis.

Even as the EU and the U.S. take steps toward referring the Iranian nuclear files to the UN Security Council, they U.S. must try to increase Iran’s incentives to cooperate and comply with the NPT by making it clear that it will not seek regime change and that it will support the guaranteed and controlled supply of nuclear energy fuel as a substitute for an Iranian uranium enrichment program.

To prevent the further production and proliferation of weapons-usable nuclear material, the United States, EU, and others should back an indefinite moratorium on all new uranium enrichment and plutonium separation plants. Even with tougher international inspection authority and tighter controls on nuclear technology transfers, confidence in the nonproliferation system will erode if more states produce more nuclear bomb material. The pause would provide time to consider options for the guaranteed supply of nuclear energy fuel services and launch long-stalled talks on a global and verifiable ban on the production of fissile material for weapons.

The United States and its European allies must work even more closely with Russia to lock-down the remaining quantities of nuclear weapon-usable material scattered throughout its nuclear complex, with special emphasis on returning highly enriched uranium to secure storage for blend-down and accelerating security and accounting at remaining nuclear and research facilities throughout Russia and the former-Soviet Union.

Finally, the leaders of the nuclear-weapon states must restore confidence that they will continue to reduce the number and the role of nuclear weapons. It is in the United States’ self-interest to resume talks with Russia on verifiable strategic nuclear reductions before START I and its verification provisions expire in 2009. NATO should move to withdraw the obsolete U.S. tactical nuclear weapons stockpile in Europe to encourage Russia to account for and reduce its even larger tactical nuclear arsenal, parts of which could fall into terrorist hands. The nuclear-weapon states should also disavow the development of new types of nuclear weapons and the use of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear- weapon states and targets.

The dangers of the bomb are obvious and the need for action is as clear as ever. As the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the 60 th anniversary accounts of the impact of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki remind us, the only cure for mega-disasters is prevention. Now is the time to do all we can before it is too late.

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Presentation by ACA Executive Director to the American Political Science Association

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Nonproliferation Through Disarmament

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Special Briefing on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference

April 20, 2005
United Nations Headquarters Building
Delegates Dining Room

Prepared Remarks of ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball

The nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) has made the world safer by significantly raising the political costs of and technical barriers to the development of nuclear weapons. It has helped establish a global norm against the acquisition, trade, testing, modernization, and use of nuclear weapons.

Despite the very significant accomplishments of the NPT, the nuclear nonproliferation system, is under great stress. As the May 2005 NPT Review Conference nears, it is evident that global security and proliferation challenges are as politically and technically complex as they were in the 1960s when the NPT was conceived and created.

The NPT is not broken, but it must be strengthened if past successes are to be preserved and if today's and future proliferation threats are to be rolled back.

In his overview of the Carnegie report, Universal Compliance, George Perkovich has outlined an important overall strategy to deal with the nuclear danger. Larry Schienman, who served as policy advisor for the International Atomic Energy Agency Experts Group on the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, has explained the need for better regulation of sensitive uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technologies. In my comments, I want to offer some observations about the value of this conference, the need for a comprehensive approach to reinforce the NPT, and the importance of disarmament to international security and the nonproliferation cause.

The 2005 Review Conference is more than just a once every five years conference to evaluate compliance implementation with the treaty and a forum to exchange ideas about new proposals. It is a vital opportunity for U.S. policymakers and other leaders to organize broad international support around an effective plan of action to update and strengthen the treaty to defeat old and new threats before they become catastrophes.

While it is clear that NPT states parties want to strengthen the treaty, there are a wide variety of approaches about how to do so reflecting the different interests and concerns of states parties and regional groups. We have carefully studied these different proposals and ideas and we've summarized them in our resource guide on Major Proposals to Strengthen the NPT.

A successful conference should ensure that the various governments of states-parties and their bureaucracies begin to get serious about implementing all their obligations. In practical terms, this means that the states-parties should recommit themselves to the legal and political obligations established by the treaty and successive NPT Review Conferences, as well as agree on a specific and balanced program of action to strengthen treaty implementation and compliance.

With these realities in mind, the Campaign to Strengthen the NPT formulated our April 5 statement and action plan. It is supported by over 20 former senior government officials with direct experience on the NPT, including three former U.S. Cabinet secretaries, as well as the 2002 Chairman of the NPT Prep Com Henrik Salander and former U.S. ambassadors Bob Grey, Thomas Graham, and George Bunn.

The statement notes that viability and success of the NPT depends on universal compliance with tighter rules to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. It proposes a comprehensive, balanced, and practical set of six recommendations, including:

  • Better compliance monitoring through the Additional Protocol;
  • Securing weapons-usable nuclear material to the highest standards;
  • New and more effective regulations on sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities;
  • More effective regional security strategies to address proliferation dangers in the Middle East, South Asia and Korea; and
  • Renewed progress toward fulfillment of the nuclear-weapon states' NPT disarmament obligations.

The goal is to sustain progress and implementation with all, not just some, of the treaty's objectives.

Unfortunately, the current approach of the five NPT nuclear-weapon states, and especially the United States, is not likely going to help build agreement on such a program of action. At the last three preparatory committee meetings for the 2005 Review Conference, U.S. officials have pushed for greater limitations on other states while arguing that it needs to do little or nothing more on nuclear disarmament.

Some U.S. and French officials have even suggested that their 2000 NPT Review Conference commitments on specific disarmament measures-also known as the "13 practical steps"-are no longer relevant. U.S. officials, such as former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton have argued that "[W]e cannot divert attention from the violations [of the NPT] we face by focusing on [disarmament] issues that do not exist."

Instead the U.S. delegation and some others will argue that the Review Conference should focus on the "crisis of compliance," which is highlighted by the North Korean, Libyan, and Iranian nuclear programs. While the conference does need to seriously confront the disturbing activities of these states, it does not excuse the nuclear-weapon states' record of inaction and lost opportunity on their Article VI related disarmament obligations.

What is more, this is a dangerous invitation to other states to ignore other commitments made at previous review conferences-not the least of which is the indefinite extension of the treaty in 1995. It also significantly reduces the chance that the United States will win support from other states on important measures that it supports. Former U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Grey has called the current U.S. stance "a radical departure from past American practice."

It is in the self interest of leading states to urge Washington and the other nuclear-weapon state capitals, to revise their stance and adopt a more balanced and productive approach.

Let's take a quick look at the nuclear-weapon states' disarmament record since 2000.

President George W. Bush continues to oppose entry into force of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would impede development of new types of nuclear warheads by existing nuclear powers and would-be proliferators. The administration claims that it has "no plans" to resume testing. China and other key CTBT hold-outs have followed suit by delaying CTBT ratification.

Adding insult to injury, Bush has approved a military strategy-outlined in the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review-that calls for new nuclear capabilities designed to enhance the credibility and range of options for the possible use of nuclear weapons. After Congress rejected funding for the high-yield Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator last year, the Bush administration renewed its request for funding to complete the research phase of this project by 2007. Although the U.S. arsenal has been maintained safely and reliably without testing since 1992, the administration has recently proposed a program, called the "Reliable Replacement Warhead" that aims to produce a small number of new nuclear warheads by 2012 to replace existing nuclear bomb designs and capabilities.

The program would be useful if it were only intended to make existing warhead more reliable in order to help sustain the nuclear test moratorium, but if Congress does not limit its scope and purpose, it could become a means by which the U.S. tries to build new nuclear weapons for new military missions and it could lead to calls by some to resume testing to confirm the new designs.

Not to be outdone, Russia claims it is developing a more advanced nuclear delivery system. Meanwhile, China continues to slowly modernize its nuclear arsenal of approximately 100 warheads, while France and the United Kingdom are reportedly considering nuclear force modernization. Maintaining and expanding reliance on nuclear weapons only undermines nonproliferation efforts by suggesting to other states that nuclear weapons are necessary for their security.

Stalled for years by China, negotiations on the fissile material cutoff treaty are now blocked by U.S. opposition to a verification system. The stance is short-sighted and self-defeating. Such a treaty is effectively verifiable and would lock in the production freeze observed by the NPT's five nuclear-weapon states. It would also cap the supply of bomb material available to NPT holdouts India, Israel, and Pakistan.

The United States and Russia will cite their progress toward securing Soviet-era weapons-usable material and dismantling weapons banned under the 1991 START agreement. While important, their efforts reflect commitments made a decade ago.

Washington and Moscow will also tout their newest arms reduction pact, which promises to reduce their stockpile of deployed strategic weapons to 2,200 by the year 2012. But contrary to arms reduction goals of the 1990s, the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty does not require the verifiable destruction of warheads or their delivery vehicles. As a result, the United States may maintain a "responsive force" of up to 2,400 stored strategic nuclear warheads. Furthermore, the START agreement of 1991 provides the only relevant verification mechanism and it expires in 2009.

In addition, the pace of the SORT reductions is too little too late: it will allow each side to maintain massive strategic nuclear arsenals of 5,000 warheads or more past 2012-about 10 times the size of any other states' current nuclear stockpile. In the last year, the United States reported a net reduction of 2 strategic nuclear warheads.

U.S. and Russian leaders have also failed to discuss how they might reduce their so-called tactical nuclear weapons, which total at least 4,000. Greater Russian reliance on such weapons combined with NATO states' reluctance to part with the 200-400 U.S. tactical warheads based in Europe impedes progress.

President George W. Bush has also approved nuclear-use policies-specifically NSPD-17-that allow for the use of nuclear weapons to defeat chemical and biological weapons threats, thereby undercutting previous commitments to nonuse of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states in the context of the NPT.

Although NPT member states will not likely reach consensus on a new disarmament action plan at the next review conference, they cannot afford to retreat from their past commitments.

NPT states should reiterate their support for the CTBT. Those states unwilling to do so at this time should express their affirmative support for the indefinite continuation of the global nuclear test moratorium and commitment to re-evaluate their position on the CTBT in the near future. While differences exist among states about the verifiability of the FMCT, they should agree to initiate negotiations without prejudice to the outcome on verification and agree to a plan that addresses other priorities for discussion at the Conference on Disarmament.

In order to provide an "objective guarantee" of their commitment to fulfill Article VI, NPT states could also try to reach agreement on language to urges utmost restraint with respect to the development of new nuclear weapons for new military missions and which might lead to requirements for nuclear testing.

If requisite leadership from the nuclear-weapon states on these matters is not forthcoming, then they should at least follow the United Kingdom's example and agree to publish detailed plans on the conditions by which nuclear disarmament could be achieved.

The May 2005 Review Conference is a crucial forum for parties to measure progress-or lack of progress-in implementing their mutual NPT nonproliferation and disarmament commitments. Individual elements of the NPT's bargains cannot be approached singularly; neither can one or another of these elements be ignored or minimized.

The multiple threats to the nonproliferation cause also make the Review Conference an indispensable opportunity to demonstrate the political will to strengthen peace and security for all states, not just a few.

Thank you.

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Presentation by ACA Executive Director to Special Briefing on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference

Strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

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PRESS CONFERENCE AND STATEMENT RELEASE

THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB
WASHINGTON, D.C.

PANELISTS:

CONGRESSMAN JOHN SPRATT (D-SC)

AMBASSADOR ROBERT GREY,
DIRECTOR, THE BIPARTISAN SECURITY GROUP

JOSEPH CIRINCIONE,
SENIOR ASSOCIATE AND DIRECTOR FOR NON-PROLIFERATION, THE CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE

DARYL G. KIMBALL,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

APRIL 5, 2005

Transcript by:
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

DARYL KIMBALL: Welcome. We're going to begin this afternoon's press conference on Strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which is co-sponsored by the Arms Control Association and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

I am Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association and publisher of our monthly journal, Arms Control Today.

I am pleased to share the podium with Joe Cirincione, my fellow co-chair for our joint Campaign to Strengthen the NPT, and Senior Associate and Director for Non-Proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a coauthor Carnegie's new report: Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security.

Also with us is Ambassador Robert Grey, former U.S. Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, former Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and a veteran of NPT Review Conferences past.

And we are also very honored to have with us today one of the leading figures on Capitol Hill, in Congress, on security and nuclear nonproliferation issues: Congressman John Spratt of South Carolina, who has been with the Arms Control Association at briefings in the past, and we're glad to have him again today. He is senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and assistant to the Democratic leader, and he is going to be providing us with his perspectives on the Nonproliferation Treaty and on the policy measures that he and many of his colleagues believe need to be taken if the nonproliferation system is to be strengthened.

Now, before I turn the microphone over to my colleagues, it's my job to introduce the subject and the problem, essentially why we are gathered here today.

The Nonproliferation Treaty, as many of you know, is the foundation of global efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and reduce the threat of their use. It codifies a three-part bargain. It must be remembered that it codifies a three-part bargain. It is not just a nonproliferation treaty. First of all it says that states without nuclear weapons pledge not to acquire them. It also says that states with nuclear weapons commit not to transfer nuclear weapons and commit eventually to eliminate them. And third, the NPT allows for the peaceful uses of nuclear technology by non-nuclear weapons states under strict and verifiable control. We'll be talking about each of these three parts of the bargain and how we think they need to be strengthened in a little bit.

But first it must be said that the NPT has succeeded in leading several states to abandon their nuclear weapons ambitions. It's made if far more difficult for other non-nuclear weapons states to secretly acquire the material and the technology to build such weapons, and the NPT process has also encouraged action on several nuclear arms control initiatives and led the nuclear weapons states to pledge not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states, also called negative security assurances, thereby reducing incentives for others to seek nuclear arms for prestige or defense.

Now, the NPT bargain has been reaffirmed at the review conferences which take place every five years, especially at the 1995 review and extension conference when the parties - 180-plus parties - agreed to indefinitely extend the treaty. And then once again in 2000, the NPT states refined the goals and objectives of the treaty, including their commitment to the 1997 IAEA model additional protocol for tougher inspections, and through the 13 practical steps on disarmament and the nuclear weapons states' unequivocal commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

But since that 2000 review conference, the NPT and the broader nuclear nonproliferation system have been under serious stress and strain. In 2003, North Korea announced its withdrawal from the NPT. It's restarted a previously frozen plutonium facility and it claims to have manufactured a handful of nuclear weapons. Recent U.S. diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis have been halfhearted and ineffectual.

Three states in turbulent regions remain outside the NPT. Although it will not admit it, Israel possesses nuclear weapons, and regional rivals, India and Pakistan, possess and continue to improve their arsenals. Pakistan's nuclear establishment of course has spawned black market activity that has aided the nuclear programs of Libya, North Korea, Iran, and maybe others. And the Iranian and North Korean programs also underscore the need for tougher international inspections and it underscores the reality that additional countries could acquire the capacity to produce material for nuclear weapons - highly enriched uranium and plutonium - under the guise of peaceful nuclear endeavors, which are protected under Article IV of the treaty and then could, under the current interpretation of the treaty, leave the treaty without automatic penalties.

There is also the problem with the existing global stockpiles of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. They represent another significant threat. Worldwide there are approximately 1,855 metric tons of plutonium and 1,900 metric tons of highly enriched uranium in both civilian and military stockpiles. And these materials remain far too accessible to terrorists as a result of inadequate security in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.

Compounding these challenges is the problem of the nuclear weapons states' performance on Article VI commitments on disarmament. The majority of the countries that belong to the NPT today are not confident that the nuclear weapons states intend to fulfill their NPT pledge to eliminate nuclear weapons. Today the United States and Russia still deploy over 5,000 strategic nuclear warheads. Planned reductions are not irreversible and are not sufficiently verifiable and would still leave each side with approximately 2,000 such weapons 20 years after the end of the Cold War in 2012 under the Moscow Treaty.

The U.S. and Russia still maintain thousands of strategic reserve warheads and thousands of sub-strategic or tactical warheads, many of which are very poorly accounted for in Russia. And of course China, France, and the United Kingdom each maintain hundreds of nuclear warheads each.

So in the face of these challenges comes the seventh and one of the most important review conferences of the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. This is more than just a once every five years conference to evaluate compliance implementation with the treaty. It's a vital opportunity for U.S. policymakers and other leaders to organize broad international support around an effective plan of action to update and strengthen the treaty. But unfortunately, as we'll discuss here today, the U.S. approach is not likely going to help build agreement on such a program of action. At the last three preparatory committee meetings, which precede this 2005 review conference, U.S. officials have pushed for greater limitations on other states while arguing that the United States needs to do little or nothing more on nuclear disarmament.

Some U.S. and French officials have even suggested that their 2000 NPT review conference commitments on specific disarmament measures - also known as the 13 steps I mentioned before - are no longer relevant. This is a dangerous invitation to other states to ignore their important political commitments made at previous review conferences, not the least of which is the indefinite extension of the treaty in 1995.

Where the Bush administration has recognized important problems and taken the initiative, such as the problem of dual-use uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technologies, they have run into other problems. Like Iran, the United States opposes IAEA Director ElBaradei's proposal for a five-year moratorium on all such new facilities. Instead, the Bush administration is pursuing an approach that would deny new facilities to produce uranium - to enrich uranium or plutonium to those states that have not already developed them while insisting that the U.S., France, Japan, and others be allowed to expand existing capacities.

As a result, today the states' parties of the Nonproliferation Treaty are more divided than ever and the 2005 review conference is shaping up to be a lost opportunity for the U.S. and other nations to help strengthen the treaty.

It doesn't have to be this way. We believe it is vital to highlight all of these problems and realities and to begin to alter them through a more responsible and practical U.S. policy to strengthen all parts of the NPT bargain. Today we're releasing a statement that's supported by over 20 former senior government officials with direct experience on the NPT, including three former Cabinet secretaries, one of whom is good enough to be here today, Secretary McNamara. It proposes a comprehensive balance and effective set of recommendations that would sustain progress and implementation in compliance with all, not just some, of the treaty's objectives, and the statement is in your packet.

The statement, in our view, is a carefully calibrated plan that addresses the complex political realities of the NPT system, taking into account the various positions of key states, and there are many and various proposals and positions that are out there about how to strengthen the treaty. The Arms Control Association and our NGO colleagues have carefully studied these different proposals and ideas and we've produced a comprehensive resource guide, which is also outside and online at NPT2005.org. This summarizes major proposals to date on how to strengthen the treaty and the different positions of different countries, and we hope this is a useful guide to the conference beyond this press conference.

Now, Joe Cirincione is going to be the next speaker. He is going to go over the statements' key recommendations and provide some other perspectives on what is at stake here at this review conference and why this is such an important opportunity.

JOSEPH CIRINCIONE: Thank you very much, Daryl. It's a pleasure to be here, and thank you all for coming to this windowless room on such a beautiful spring day. We won't keep you very long; we'll let you go back outside and pretend to go back to your offices and take a long walk, go get a cup of coffee, go look at the cherry blossoms, but thanks for spending some time to talk with us about the dangers of nuclear weapons.

Before I get started I want to thank Daryl Kimball for his leadership in putting together this campaign, putting together this very impressive statement and organizing the signatures for this statement. It was kind of you, Daryl, to let me join you in this effort. I want to recognize his leadership and acknowledge that he's done the majority of work on this very impressive new campaign.

I'm just going to make three quick points and then get out of the way and let people with greater expertise and authority speak. My three quick points are, one, the Nonproliferation Treaty has worked. This is a record of success. In the 1960s, before the NPT, there were some 23 nations that either had nuclear weapons, had nuclear programs to develop such weapons, or were considering such programs. You can find those countries listed on page 19 of our Universal Compliance Study.

Today, counting North Korea and possibly Iran, there are only 10 such countries. We have half the danger that we faced in the 1960s. The cost of the Nonproliferation Treaty and the interlocking network of treaties and arrangements that grew up around that treaty, because of the work of Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives working together for the past 45 years, there were fewer countries in the world with nuclear weapons, fewer countries in the world considering nuclear weapons, and half the number of nuclear weapons in the world that there was just 20 years ago.

The reason we're here today is because that progress, that momentum that has been built up, is now in jeopardy. We are at a nuclear tipping point. The decisions we make over the next couple of years will decide whether that progress continues or whether a new dangerous way of proliferation is launched upon the world. If we mishandle the situation in North Korea, for example, we could set off a nuclear reaction chain that would spread from Northeast Asia around the globe. If we mishandle the situation with Iran, the same could happen in the Middle East. It wouldn't be one new country that gets nuclear weapons in the Middle East; it could be three or four. And if we mishandle this conference, if we don't seize this opportunity at this conference, you could puncture an unrepairable hole in the proliferation balloon.

This is why the high-level panel for the U.N. secretary general said, quote, "We are approaching a point at which the erosion of the nonproliferation regime could become irreversible and result in a cascade of proliferation." That's what makes this conference different from all other conferences. Many of you who have covered this know that we have had conferences without a consensus statement in the past, but then we had the U.S. and Soviet Union working together, the unity of the P-5 to hold things in balance to get over those, or coalitions of nations who were committed to nonproliferation to hold things together. Things are frayed at this point, dangerously frayed, and the danger is that a conference that ends in disarray, that ends without a consensus statement could result in a catastrophic collapse of confidence in the regime. People will stop investing in the regime. You could see the whole thing go bankrupt. You could see it turn belly-up. That's one of the dangers that we face.

My third and final point is the practical steps are readily available to prevent that foreign policy disaster from happening. We list six steps in our joint statement that can be taken at this NPT conference. We recognize that at the conference itself you can't necessarily get agreement that such and such will now become the new rule, but you can have a consensus statement that moves in that direction, that expresses the joint support for these steps, that puts new energy into some of these proposals that are already under discussion. Let me just tick them off real quick.

Number one - completely non-controversial: tougher export controls. Who doesn't think that after AQ Khan that we need tougher export controls? We just passed U.N. Resolution 1540 that commits the nations of the U.N. to develop tougher national export controls. What we need is to make that happen now, to put the will behind it, to turn that sentiment into actual implemented laws.

Number two: the additional protocol. These experiences in Iran and Iraq and Libya have made it absolutely clear we need tougher inspections, we need more intrusive inspections, in some cases coercive inspections, as Carnegie recommended as an alternative to going to war in Iraq. The agreement that is out there that is developing that now needs to be carried over the finish line is that the additional protocol, these tougher inspections for the IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency, should become the norm. Every country should adopt the additional protocol. Every country should have the kinds of inspections that Iran has agreed to now. We know much more about Iran's nuclear program now than we did two years ago, thanks in great part to the expanded abilities of the inspectors.

Number three: we need to halt uranium enrichment and other nuclear fuel cycle activities in Iran and dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons capability. There is agreement about this in most of the leading countries of the world. We need to consolidate this; we need to make sure that no new nation develops uranium enrichment technologies. We outline in Universal Compliance, if you want to stop Iran from getting uranium enrichment technology, it can't be just a country-specific prohibition; it has to be a new universal standard. No new country should have this uranium enrichment capability; not Brazil, not South Korea or any other country that's considering it. There is a glut of uranium enrichment capability in the world. There is no economic justification for a new nation starting such a capability.

Number four: accelerate the implementation of the nuclear weapons states' disarmament obligations. Even in those countries that have conservative administrations, there is a growing sense that nuclear weapons are the weapons of the past; that they serve no conceivable military mission other than to prevent someone else from using nuclear weapons against you. Now, even here in this country we have a debate - some want to adopt nuclear weapons for bunker-buster missions, to dig out holes in enemy fortifications, but that is a minority. That is a minority. Most people recognize that there is a firm barrier between conventional forces and nuclear forces and that we need far fewer nuclear weapons than we have now. We can make progress in this regard. The United States right now has 10,000 nuclear weapons. For what? Russia has about 17,000 nuclear weapons. For what? Clearly we can move much more quickly in this direction and that will help our nonproliferation across the board. As we say in Universal Compliance, our nonproliferation imperatives must drive U.S. nuclear policy right now - must drive nuclear policy. Our desire to have fewer nuclear weapons in the world must be taken up and must inform our own disposition of our own nuclear weapons.

Number five, really quickly: secure all nuclear weapons-usable material in the world today. If you want to stop nuclear terrorism, there is an easy solution: you stop terrorists from getting the weapons in the first place. No nuclear material, no nuclear bombs. It's that simple. We can secure and eliminate all known nuclear explosive material in the world. Fortunately there are government programs in the United States designed to do this; we just have to accelerate them. We need the political will; we need the international cooperation to get this done in the next four years. This is something we can do, and you can feel a push developing to accelerate these programs. The Nonproliferation Treaty can help accelerate those efforts.

Finally, clarify that no new nation can withdraw scot-free from the Nonproliferation Treaty. "Make nonproliferation irreversible" is the way we say it in Universal Compliance. These are real proposals being under consideration by real nations to hold a country that withdraws from the NPT responsible for the violations that it committed while a member of that treaty, to make sure that any material acquired by a country for peaceful purposes cannot be then used by a county that withdraws from the treaty for non-peaceful purposes. There should be a contractual understanding here: if you acquire nuclear technologies while a member of the NPT, you can't just leave and keep using those technologies for weapons purposes. We should be able to get a consensus at the NPT review conference on this fundamental issue, and if we can't get a consensus, we should clearly identify those who oppose it, raising suspicions about their true intentions. If you're not going to agree to this, why not? Why not?

These are the kinds of practical steps that these 23 eminent [signatories] have agreed to. It's my honor to be associated with their sentiments, with their ideas, and with their reputations.

Thank you, Daryl.

MR. KIMBALL: Ambassador Grey?

ROBERT GREY: Someone once asked General Marshall how he could be so resolute during the Second World War, and he said, "Because I've seen things much worse." I don't know if I've seen things much worse in the field I'm working in. I'm going to just review what happened in 1995 and 2000 and contrast it with what's happening now. You've heard a lot of facts. I'm going to give some more but they're going to be very brief.

In 1995 - and I think the difference between 1995, 2000, 2005 is simply American leadership. When we went in in 1995 to the review conference, we had locked up about over 100 co-sponsors supporting the indefinite extension of the treaty. We needed to get more votes and we went out there and got them. We compromised on the Article VI obligations for nuclear disarmament. We accepted, for example, a more rigorous review program to get additional votes, and we also agreed to accept a resolution on a Middle East nuclear free zone. As a result of that we had a balanced outcome. We got agreement, we got an indefinite extension, and we went ahead.

In 2000 we looked at what was heading towards us and we didn't like it. We got together and plotted a strategy. We went out there and sold it in a very difficult process with our nuclear allies, or associates if you want to call it that way - the other permanent four that had the weapons. And we also sold it to a middle power group of people, some aligned with us, some not, and we got agreement. We couldn't have gotten that agreement without American leadership because we had to take the French along and the Russians along, along with Mexico and a few other people. That's a tough sell. But we got a balanced outcome, and if we hadn't taken the role, the French, the Russians and the Chinese would have been sitting there watching us dangle in the wind and wouldn't care. They don't care if there is an outcome. It's we that get the outcomes when we do it.

Now we go into this particular conference, and what we're facing here is a radical departure from past American practice. We have a statement the president issued on March 7th on the NPT in which he stresses over and over again nonproliferation, nonproliferation, nonproliferation, but there is not one mention of our obligations under Article VI to support the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, which is a future commitment, not a present commitment.

Now, the credibility of this whole thing rests on a bargain, as Daryl pointed out, and if we're not prepared to honor our part of the bargain, or at least make a passing reference to it, it's inconceivable that we're going to get the kind of cooperation we need from the other non-nuclear members of the NPT to agree to strengthening and safeguarding IAEA inspections and other things, and other agreements - their ability to receive this stuff. You can't get from here to there. This is a negotiating process and you can't expect other people to have loopholes that are available to them for the peaceful transfer of nuclear technologies - which could if not strengthen, lead to ultimately a renunciation and addition of a nuclear weapon in their hands - if we're not prepared to accept and reiterate what we accepted in 2000 and earlier, our commitment to seek in the future to ultimately eliminate these weapons. And that's the problem.

The other thing is that across the whole spectrum of arms control, and indeed in other international agreements and institutions, we're seeing a wholesale retreat from any sense that we have a vested interest in a successful outcome, whether it's the invasion of Iraq, backing off of our commitment for a fissile material cutoff treaty, an unwillingness to even contemplate the possibility of ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the building of a ballistic missile defense, the enthusiasm for nuclear weapons in a warfighting role, all of these things erode the credibility of the nonproliferation regime. We can't tell people don't do what I do; do what I say, which is in essence not a viable bargaining position in the NPT, in the United States, the UN Security Council and elsewhere.

I have the sneaking suspicion that one outcome that some people in this administration might be looking for is the Proliferation Security Initiative locked into Resolution 1540 and somehow assuming that gives us the right to take unilateral action on our own to discourage would-be proliferators, and I think that would be a recipe for disaster.

Thank you.

MR. KIMBALL: Thank you, Ambassador Grey.

Representative Spratt, thank you for being here - your view from the other side of town.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN SPRATT (D-SC): Daryl, I want to thank you and Joe Cirincione and Ambassador Robert Grey for the excellent work you've done on this project and for allowing me this chance to speak.

If you recall the first presidential debate last fall, Senator Kerry and President Bush were asked to identify the gravest threat facing the United States and both replied, without hesitation, terrorists with nuclear weapons. Graham Allison has called this a "preventable catastrophe." If we are to prevent such a catastrophe, and we must, any plan must begin with the Nonproliferation Treaty. It's the most effective international tool we have, but to be relevant it has to be made more effective.

The NPT embodies one of the best security bargains we ever struck. States without nuclear weapons pledged not to acquire them. States with nuclear weapons agree eventually to eliminate them, and they also agree to make nuclear technology available to non-nuclear states, provided it's used for peaceful purposes and is subject to inspection.

The NPT marshals the world -[180 some countries] -- against nuclear weapons with a collective force that we couldn't muster on our own, and it provides a framework and a forum for handling the problems that continually arise. The United States has plenty of nonproliferation programs. We need nonproliferation partners and the NPT helps supply them.

When noncompliance is found or cheating occurs, the NPT allows the United States to take action with other states under the auspices of the treaty and not take unilateral preemptive action. In their joint statement, the Carnegie Endowment and the Arms Control Association both acknowledge the importance of the NPT and what it has accomplished, but they recognize that the NPT has to be made stronger if it's to continue being effective. They lay out a series of ideas for bolstering the treaties, and building on their work, we'll introduce this week a resolution in Congress supporting these recommendations as U.S. policy going into the NPT conference for the year 2005.

Our resolution will be to some extent what Joe and Daryl have both already iterated, but nevertheless it will embody these points. We'll call upon the participants in the review conference to, one, establish stronger controls on the dissemination of nuclear weapons technology; two, strengthen IAEA inspections and ratify the additional protocol; next, continue the moratorium on nuclear test explosions and eventually ratify the CTBT, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; next, pursue a verifiable treaty halting the production of new fissile material for us in nuclear weapons; next, refrain from developing new nuclear weapons; next, secure nuclear materials by the strictest standards feasible; next, tighten export controls, national and international, over nuclear materials and nuclear technology; next, clarify that no state can withdraw from the NPT and retain nuclear materials acquired for peaceful purposes; and finally, strengthen the Proliferation Security Initiative.

Now, to the extent that there are points that I've just made that involve concessions on our part, I want to emphasize that these are not unilateral concessions we're calling for; these are reciprocal concessions designed to induce agreement to a stronger NPT regime. These also, I should emphasize, are not new ideas. Many of them were among the 13 steps agreed to at the least review conference in the year 2000. Others, like the additional protocol, tighter export controls, and the Proliferation Security Initiative, are gleaned from speeches that were made by the president over the last year and a half and members of his administration: two former secretaries of defense, one former secretary of state, seven ambassadors and a host of other military and diplomatic leaders have signed onto the Carnegie/ACA letter, which is a testament to the gravity of this problem.

We will carry their ideas and their fervor to Capitol Hill and seek to marshal support for our resolution and for the proposition that the NPT is indispensable protection against the gravest threat we face, but it must be made stronger if we are to keep the world's most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the world's most dangerous people.

Thank you very much.

MR. KIMBALL: Thank you very much, Congressman Spratt, and thank you for once again stepping up to the plate on these issues as you have for many, many years. We're looking forward to working with you on that resolution.

I would also just like to point out that the co-sponsor of that resolution, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, has a statement, that is out on the table, I believe, or it might be in the packet, relating to the NPT and the resolution also.

REP. SPRATT: Daryl, I used "we" without an antecedent to explain who we are. It certainly includes Ed Markey. We think it'll include others. We're negotiating with others or discussing with others their support of this resolution today and through the rest of this week.

MR. KIMBALL: Thank you for that clarification.

So I think you will have gotten our point by now, which is that the treaty needs to be reinforced, but the bargain can only be reinforced if we pay attention to all aspects of it in that it takes stronger U.S. leadership than we see today. And then finally, that this review conference is not just simply a debating exercise but it is a real and important opportunity that cannot be missed, given the enormous challenges the system faces today, and that the success of this conference really needs to be judged on the ability of the states, including the U.S., to harness agreement, to work together on specific additional steps that will strengthen the treaty regime.

We're going to open up the floor to your questions to any one of us here at the table, and go for as long as you have questions.

Yes, sir, and if you could identify yourself, please.

Q: (Off mike.) Is it safe to say that the two most immediate and perilous problems are uranium enrichment, as opposed to plutonium, and loopholes in export controls?

MR. KIMBALL: Joe, do you want to take a stab or would you like me to?

MR. CIRINCIONE: Two most important problems? Let me think about this for a second. I would say if you think that the number one threat that the United States faces is the threat of nuclear terrorism - there's lots of problems out there, lots of threats, but number one, nuclear terrorism - then the main way to stop nuclear terrorism is to immediately secure all known supplies of highly enriched uranium.

So in this regard, the spread of uranium enrichment technologies increases the supply available for potential terrorist theft or diversion. Secondly, you could argue the next-greatest threat the United States faces is the development of new - emergence of new nuclear nations. And that develops from countries possibly pursuing these peaceful programs - uranium enrichment capability for fuel rods that could be turned at a moment's notice to uranium enrichment capabilities for nuclear weapons.

So for me personally, the issue of uranium - the issue of the supply of highly enriched uranium in the world and the emergence of new capabilities for producing highly enriched uranium is probably the number one problem that we face. And you say as opposed to plutonium reprocessing - I would agree with that. What were you getting at with that?

Q: (Off mike) - emerge as one the production of enriched uranium and the capability to do it in a whole new class of countries, some of which are highly unstable right now and others where we simply don't have very good relations and where civilian programs could just sort of drift along the way - well, Iran's is hardly drifting along, but could kick up like Iran's is.

MR. CIRINCIONE: Daryl, do you want to add to that?

MR. KIMBALL: Well, the problem of dual-use fissile material production is not a new one. And this came up in the '70s. It's been debated before, but I think what makes this important today is that we're seeing Libya, Iran, and North Korea all acquiring these capabilities, either under the guise of peaceful uses or through surreptitious means, either with the help of the Khan network or in the case of North Korea, getting the assistance and then diverting some of their plutonium in the early 1990s before the IAEA caught them.

So we see once again the real perils of this reality of dual-use facilities, and we have another historic opportunity to try to reshape the way the Nonproliferation Treaty is interpreted, the way the rules are used, and if we cannot, at this juncture, find some way to reach consensus around limiting these technologies in a way that respects that Article VI right to peaceful uses, then I think we will have missed a huge opportunity that we could pay for down the road.

So anyway, your question, I think I would answer it in the same way that Joe did. I would also say that one of the other most urgent and important problems is the problem of the AQ Khan black market network, which is not yet resolved, in my view.

Q: Isn't that an export control problem?

MR. KIMBALL: It's an export control problem plus it's a problem relating to the fact that we have three states outside of the NPT system, including Pakistan.

Yes, sir.

Q: (Off mike) - Korean Daily News. I'd like to ask about the North Korean nuclear issue. North Korea already withdrew from the NPT treaty, as you know. Also, even though the treaty is - (off mike) - through all five NPT review conferences, there are no ways to make - (off mike) - on nonmembers of the treaty, like North Korea. Could you address that matter?

MR. KIMBALL: If you could just restate that - or -

MR. CIRINCIONE: I understand. So you're saying that even if we reach a consensus at the NPT review conference it doesn't apply to the countries that are not members, such as North Korea. This is something the ambassador might want to address, but North Korea's withdrawal is actually not yet recognized by many of the member states of the Nonproliferation Treaty, and I'm not willing to actually recognize it here. But your point is still well taken.

How do you get North Korea to agree to the norms that the rest of the world is agreeing on? Well, clearly you have to negotiate directly with North Korea. This is a part of the nonproliferation dilemma we face but it can't be addressed solely through a nonproliferation conference. There has to be, through the mechanism of the six-party talks, direct U.S.-North Korean negotiations to try and end - reach an agreement with North Korea where they will voluntarily end and irreversibly dismantle their nuclear weapons program. Then you're in a position to - we admit North Korea to the Nonproliferation Treaty or clarify that it actually never left, but reinstate the Nonproliferation Treaty norms and procedures on North Korea.

I actually believe such an agreement could be reached with North Korea and that one of the principle obstacles we now face is a lack of a clear policy on the part of the United States for actually negotiating a verifiable end to North Korea's programs.

But Ambassador Grey, I was wondering if you had thoughts on that.

AMB. GREY: Well, in 2000 they were very much in evidence at the NPT review conference. I never checked to see if they were behind their nameplate, but they were certainly around and they'll certainly be around this time. And I think if we can get a consensus outcome - not necessarily a final document but a consensus outcome that lays out clearly the lines upon which we have to proceed, that that will induce them ultimately to come in, because clearly South Korea, Japan, China and Russia do not want them to develop a nuclear capability and are working behind the scenes with us to try to bring them along.

So I think if you get a consensus emerging from the entire membership, that'll lead them to hopefully take the right decision, although you never know.

MR. CIRINCIONE: Right, you want to have an outcome that raises the value of the treaty and raises the value of membership, not devalues those.

AMB. GREY: That's right. That's exactly right, and that's what we're going to be striving to do.

Q: Just to follow up, but you don't have enough time to make North Korea follow the international law because the NPT review conference will be held in May, right, so you don't have enough time before that.

MR. CIRINCIONE: That's right; the Nonproliferation Treaty review conference is not going to solve the North Korean problem. You need parallel, independent negotiations and diplomacy to solve the North Korean problem in particular.

MR. KIMBALL: And that is a concept that is embedded in our statement, which is that the Nonproliferation Treaty alone cannot solve all of these proliferation problems because we have tensions in key regions - in South Asia, the Middle East and Northeast Asia in particular, that require work to address the underlying insecurities that are driving these states to contemplate or to pursue nuclear weapons. That's not the only aspect of the problem but the NPT cannot work in isolation.

Other questions? I think we had a couple over here.

Yes, sir?

Q: Thank you. Masa Daso (ph), Japanese Kyodo News. Thank you so much for interesting presentation today. I have a couple of questions. First, Mr. Congressman Spratt, it's good to see you again. I would ask you about your prospect on the passage of this resolution. What - (off mike)?

REP. SPRATT: How does the resolution get handled? It'll be referred to the International Relations Committee of the House. I don't know that we'll have anybody in the Senate propose it. If we did it would certainly strengthen it, but the first step we will take will be to come up with some names, sponsors on it who will attract other support. We will then file it. It'll then be referred to the committee, and it could well be that we'll have a committee hearing. If we get enough supporters, more than 218, more than half the House, then we have a shot, a chance of coming to the floor, but it's not assured by any means.

Q: So far are you confident of getting a 218 vote - I mean - (off mike)?

REP. SPRATT: I think we'll get a respectable number. Having not shopped it, not politicked at all in the House to find out who might be supportive, who might be interested I wouldn't want to hazard a guess, but I think we'll get a respectable number of supporters on this resolution and I would hope more than half the House.

Q: Thank you.

Also, can I ask you, Mr. Kimball or Mr. Cirincione about this resolution statement, especially regarding point number six - (off mike)? How you can achieve this - (off mike)? And also, second question is your statement didn't mention any legal binding negative security assurance. That was pointed out five years ago - (off mike).

MR. CIRINCIONE: I immediately thought of Spurgeon Keeny when you raised your first point because Spurgeon is the one who taught me that it's impossible to amend the Nonproliferation Treaty. It's a very difficult and lengthy procedure. You need the agreement of all the parties to this treaty. So for all practical purposes you cannot change the treaty, and I don't think it would be wise policy to open this up for amendments because we might have ideas of how we wanted to amend it but it would become a free-for-all very quickly.

So the way you would do this is by - the mechanism we propose is by Security Council resolution, that the U.N. Security Council would pass a resolution, similar to the resolution 1540 that has passed, that would clarify that states-parties to the NPT could not use nuclear technologies acquired for peaceful purposes, while members of the treaty, for non-peaceful purposes upon withdrawal from the treaty. The second resolution would clarify that any state that withdrew from the Nonproliferation Treaty was still responsible for any violations committed while a member state in the treaty. This of course is the situation we face with North Korea where North Korea is acting as if now that it says it's withdrawn that it's no longer responsible for the violations that it committed. That's an unacceptable situation. We think there's actually some very serious interest among some leading nations for these kinds of resolutions and I expect this to become a topic of discussion at the Nonproliferation Treaty review conference. I'd be watching members' opening statements very carefully in the first week to see which nations propose these kinds of changes and how much attention they attract.

MR. KIMBALL: And it might conceivably be an item upon which states reach consensus in a final conference document on that point number six.

You asked about negative security assurances and why we haven't recommended legally binding negative security assurances and have instead called for the reiteration of existing assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states that they will not be subjected nuclear attack, which were made in the context of the 1995 review conference. As I said before, this statement is calibrated for this conference and for what the political traffic might bear, and we felt that it would be most important in the context of the nuclear-weapon states' Article VI-related commitments that, among those commitments, it would be important simply to reiterate those past negative security assurances because since 1995 there have been statements by, in particular, U.S. political figures that have undermined the credibility of that 1995 negative security assurance made by all five of the recognized nuclear-weapon states. So that alone we think would be very important in reaffirming past commitments and the credibility of those past commitments.

I had one gentleman in the back and then we'll move over here. Yes.

Q: (Off mike.) A brief question. Why do you think the administration is lacking the willingness to take leadership? (Off mike) - identify it as a great threat basically?

AMB. GREY: Well, I think that they're extremely reluctant to accept anything on the Article VI question, the ultimate goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons. And this has been consistent from the time they came into office and even before, that they're very suspicious - I don't think Mr. Bolton and company have ever seen an international organization or an international agreement they're very fond of. And so this is, as I said, a radical departure from 50 years of past practice. And as a result I think our national security has suffered enormously.

Someone remarked on the television the other night that - when I think it was Ambassador Stevenson went to Paris during the Cuban missile crisis and he brought documentary evidence - pictures, photographs - General de Gaulle said very simply, "If the president of the United States tells me it's a problem, I don't have to look at any pictures." I wonder whether that would happen today.

MR. KIMBALL: Congressman Spratt, do you want to hazard into this dangerous question perhaps or -

REP. SPRATT: I don't have anything to add.

MR. KIMBALL: Okay. Well, I wanted to just offer an observation because it goes back to some of our previous comments, which has to do with the fact that this administration is looking at the proliferation problem through a prism that is, I think, unique to this administration and unlike past administrations, which is that the proliferation problem is a problem of rogue states in the possession of the world's most dangerous weapons, not the most dangerous weapons in the hands of many different states. And so you see the administration pursuing policies through the NPT and elsewhere that focus on certain states that are dangerous but not focusing as aggressively on states that we consider to be friendly. And this kind of approach is recognized, is seen by other states as not being balanced and is not, in the context of the NPT, going to produce the kinds of results that we need because it's only through the cooperation of all the states in the NPT that we're going to get agreement on a new action plan.

Joe, did you have anything to add?

MR. CIRINCIONE: Very quickly, we have a phrase in the Universal Compliance report that says that the success of the nonproliferation regime depends on more resolve than previous administrations could muster and more international cooperation than this administration appreciates. And we've made mistakes in the past; we're making a different kind of mistake now; that this administration emphasizes - and you'll hear this in the U.S. approach to the Nonproliferation Treaty review conference - compliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty. And what they mean by that is other people's compliance with the treaty, and that this can be achieved by greater U.S. resolve to punish people who are not complying. It's obvious to us that in order to get that compliance you need two things: one, you need the cooperation of a large coalition of nations to enforce that compliance; and two, there has to be compliance with the universal standard that applies fairly to all the parties, not a standard that the U.S. imposes.

I believe one of the reasons you're not seeing the U.S. administration pay sufficient attention to this review conference is they value it less than previous administrations. They don't appreciate its importance in achieving the goals that the administration themselves say they have, and that is one of our greatest obstacles in getting a satisfactory - that is, a non-disaster outcome to the review conference.

MR. KIMBALL: Yes, sir?

Q: (Off mike) - Global Green USA. I have a question about the official agenda for the May review. I'm not sure how important it's been in the past but everything in your statement is going to be addressed at the meeting. If there is an official agenda, does it address those things? If there isn't, are we far behind compared to previous reviews, and what is the danger of that?

AMB. GREY: There is no agreement on an agenda at the moment. It's unlikely to be one before the conference begins, and if you begin a conference without an agenda, the outcome is generally chaos.

Q: That's what I was afraid of.

MR. CIRINCIONE: We had a very helpful meeting with Sergio Duarte. The Brazilian ambassador who is going to be the president of the review conference, and he's actually hopeful that he can hammer out an agenda through a series of private meetings before the review conference, but this is the first sign to look for. That will be a sign: do we have a green, yellow, or red light flashing here? Do we have an agenda on the day the conference opens?

MR. KIMBALL: Okay. Secretary McNamara?

SEC. ROBERT MCNAMARA: Robert McNamara. Today in the U.S., many knowledgeable people, many experts, do not believe the U.S. has any intention of fulfilling its obligations under Article VI. If the U.S. representatives are questioned on that point in their review conference, as I'm sure they will be, how will they respond? What are their intentions and prospective actions? If they're not convincing, what will the effect be?

MR. KIMBALL: Well, February 3rd the Arms Control Association hosted another session. We had Assistant Secretary of State Steve Rademaker come and address this question. We also had the Brazilian ambassador to the United States there, and they discussed these issues. And essentially what Steve Rademaker said - and I think the U.S. is going to repeat it at the conference - is that the United States does respect and understand its Article VI obligations. They're going to argue that the United States has been making good progress on its Article VI obligations. They will cite the - and it is true - the enormous progress since the end of the Cold War, reducing the operationally deployed stockpiles. They will describe, and it is true, the enormous progress in helping to secure the stockpiles of Russian and former Soviet nuclear chemical, biological weapons. And they will likely say that other aspects of our Article VI commitments that were enumerated at the 2000 review conference and also in the 1995 review conference were from a different time and we've moved on.

So for instance, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which was a key part of the decision to extend the treaty indefinitely, is something the administration does not support, as is a verifiable treaty to end the production of fissile material for weapons. They are also going to point out that the Moscow Treaty of 2002 does not have additional verification provisions and does not require the dismantlement of delivery systems because the U.S. and Russia have a new relationship.

So this is what they're likely to argue. What they're likely going to get in response is, well, you may make that argument but at the same time the United States has made solemn political commitments at these conferences. The United States has supported these objectives, the test ban, the fissile material treaty, further and deeper irreversible reductions, and you have not respected those obligations.

And so I think it is going to lead to a great deal of consternation, a lot of resentment, and it is going to leave many of the non-nuclear-weapon states to think again whether that decision in 1995 to extend the treaty indefinitely was a good one, and it is going to make it harder for the U.S. to get agreement on some of the very good ideas that President Bush has put forward with respect to restricting the nuclear fuel cycle with respect to getting additional countries to sign onto the additional protocol.

SEC. MCNAMARA: I think it's important to recognize the language of Article VI does not refer to reductions; it talks about elimination.

MR. KIMBALL: And an end to the arms race.

MR. CIRINCIONE: Well, we did hear Secretary Rademaker say, well, it talks about negotiations for eliminations. It doesn't say we actually have to do it.

(Cross talk.)

SEC. MCNAMARA: -- negotiations, and we don't plan to.

MR. CIRINCIONE: (Chuckles.) I know; there is some fine hair-splitting that's going on among some quarters in the administration but I think we're seeing somewhat of a retreat from some of the statements we heard earlier in the year as more of the reality starts to seep in.

AMB. GREY: Well, briefly put, when the president made his statement on March 7th he referred to the Moscow Treaty as evidence that we're complying with our NPT obligations. Well, the Moscow Treaty is not verifiable, it's not transparent, and it's not irreversible, and it's not credible, that argument.

SEC. MCNAMARA: Then it's not elimination.

AMB. GREY: It's not elimination, no.

MR. KIMBALL: Congressman Spratt?

REP. SPRATT: I wasn't there, Mr. Secretary, but as I understand it, in 2000 a number of different commitments had been proposed before the beginning of the negotiations, the review, and these were put deliberately in an additional statement with the recognition that not being text they weren't binding upon the sovereign authority of the United States. However, the other members who were there felt that there was a good-faith commitment to abide by and to seek the fulfillment of these propositions. They simply weren't quite as strict and as binding and as explicit as the treaty itself.

And so, now five years later the commitments in this additional statement have come back to roost on the participants - on the shoulders of the United States at the outset of the next review conference.

SEC. MCNAMARA: Well, correct me if I'm wrong: this treaty, NPT, was signed by a president, it was submitted to the Senate, it was ratified by the Senate; it is today the law of the land.

REP. SPRATT: That's correct.

SEC. MCNAMARA: We are not adhering to Article VI; we don't plan to and intend to. I would assume that's going to be a problem.

MR. CIRINCIONE: I was struck by Brent Scowcroft's comments last month. You know, he was a member of the high-level panel on Threats, Challenges and Opportunities that reported to the U.N. secretary general. And he was at a session at Carnegie and he said he was really surprised in their discussions at the international anger at the failure of the United States to live up to its Article VI commitments. It's often surprising how insulated leading experts - leading officials can be in the United States. They don't really realize how the rest of the world views us, how the rest of the world sees us. This is going to be one of the big clashes at this conference.

MR. KIMBALL: Yes, sir; you've been waiting.

Q: I'm Jeff Johnson. I work for a chemical science magazine - Chemical & Engineering news. I'm just trying to - you've answered parts of this since I had my hand up before, but what would you define as success at this conference? What are your goals?

MR. CIRINCIONE: I would tell you quite frankly, in discussions that we've had with delegates from many nations around the world, leading up to this - and others can give their personal views - I think at this point people want to prevent a disaster. What you want to do is keep the wall intact. Don't poke any holes in this dyke. And so what they want is to end the conference with a consensus statement, and that right now is the lowest-common denominator of success. Beyond that, many delegates are hoping that that statement can point the way toward progress on some of these issues, encourage, for example, the further explanation of ways to prohibit the spread of uranium-enrichment technologies and assure adequate supplies of fuel for civilian nuclear power plants - that kind of phrasing, that kind of pointing to the future.

I was wondering if others might share their views on the conference.

REP. SPRATT: If we could close the nuclear fuel loophole along the lines that Bill Perry and Ash Carter proposed and the president himself endorsed on February 11th at the War College, that would be a great success, but it is also a big encumbrance on the non-nuclear states and I think it's a little wishful to think it can be accomplished but it is a worthy goal to pursue and if we succeeded substantially it would be a big success I think, and worth concessions on our part in order to achieve.

AMB. GREY: I would agree with that, but I have to point out that in the past, three of these conferences didn't succeed in getting a final document, and I suspect that's where we'll end up this time, and if we don't get - any document or any final statement is not good if it retreats from what we agreed to in 2000, and I think we should try to come out - if we can't get a consensus to lead us forward we ought to at least not take steps backwards, and we keep - to use another metaphor - the lantern on the levee so that four years from now we can go in and push again. But success or failure is not judged by getting an inadequate final document; it's by getting a decent one. If we can't get a decent one let's keep our principles on the table so we can come back to them in happier times.

MR. KIMBALL: I would agree with all my colleagues and I would just add that, I mean, what success is not is not - it is not looking at this conference as a meeting through which the United States simply needs to survive, a meeting that the United States needs to simply avoid getting blamed for dragging down. I mean the United States needs to look at this as much more. Because of the many challenges that the system faces, we cannot afford to look at this as an excruciating exercise that we simply need to bear and then we move on to other matters. So that's what success is not.

And I would agree with Joe, the congressman, and Ambassador Grey that we need to try to achieve some level of agreement that ideally reinforces past commitments and in some ways can move us forward, for instance, in reaching agreement that there do need to be new restrictions on the sensitive fuel cycle activities, but the way we're currently moving, that outcome I don't think is likely.

Yes, sir, over there and then we'll move over here.

Q: (Off mike.) My question is what kind of role do you expect - (off mike) - New Agenda Coalition - (off mike) - 13 steps. So do you think they are still influential to the old countries to get the resolution - (off mike)?

AMB. GREY: Absolutely. They played a crucial role in 2000. They passed a resolution in the General Assembly last fall, laying out some positive steps forward. That's balanced. It's come a long way towards meeting some of the concerns of the nuclear-weapon states and it represents, I think, a reasonable compromise that people could rally around.

So far the nuclear powers have not rallied round it, but I do think that if it's on the table it should be kept on the table and that we shouldn't walk away from it. And if we push too far, that agenda could crack wide open and we could get into a slinging match, which is not helpful. It took six or seven years to get us to where we are now through the efforts of the New Agenda people, and I think they deserve our support and encouragement and I would be very disappointed if they allowed their position to be taken off the table or compromised any further. I think frankly they've gone about as far as they can go. Now it's time for the nuclear-weapon states to go a little bit.

MR. KIMBALL: I would just note that the New Agenda Coalition put forward a resolution at the U.N. last fall that gained a greater level of support than their previous resolutions had, including the support of many of the non-nuclear European states.

AMB. GREY: Eight.

MR. KIMBALL: Eight of them.

AMB. GREY: Eight NATO countries supported them.

MR. KIMBALL: Eight NATO countries. So I think what we're seeing here is we're seeing many of our own U.S. allies expressing their own support for these disarmament measures that are part of the nonproliferation bargain, and that's something also very important to consider in the future.

MR. CIRINCIONE: It's very interesting how, at these conferences, crucial roles can be played by relatively small countries. And we've seen this in the past and I'd be looking at the delegations in countries including Australia, South Africa, possibly Sweden -

MR. KIMBALL: Japan.

MR. CIRINCIONE: Japan - that's not exactly a small country - Japan, as countries who can play a critical role in working - out of the spotlight, working in these meetings that take place away from the microphones to see if you can forge a consensus. Some of these countries are members of the New Agenda Coalition. There's another group called the Middle Powers Initiative that are working, that are already holding meetings, trying to forge some consensus. An interesting development to watch is if the European Union is going to come into this conference for the first time with a unified statement. And what's interesting about that is that there are two nuclear-weapon states in the European Union. So it will be interesting to watch how that statement ends up. I understand the discussions have been somewhat heated so far. So we'll see how that works.

And interestingly, so far there is not a P-5 statement. Often, before a conference opens, there will be a unified statement of the five recognized nuclear powers. As far as I understand it, no such statement is in the works. A P-5 statement could be a very welcome development if it recognizes and reaffirms the disarmament obligations of those five countries. That's the kind of thing the U.S. could be working on right now, but apparently is not.

So all of these developments will be in the mix. All of this will be going on. You'll see a lot of this activity developing next week and then in the final two weeks of April, leading up to that opening week of the NPT conference, and that's where the rubber hits the road, where senior officials from these different countries will start making their opening statements and you'll get a much better understanding of what the lay of the land is in those first few days of the conference.

AMB. GREY: Apropos of that, the Australian parliament and the European parliament have passed resolutions along the lines, the one that … is going to introduce.

MR. KIMBALL: I think we have time for a couple more questions.

Yes, sir?

Q: Two questions; a quick one for Ambassador Grey. I thought I heard you say, but I may be wrong, are the North Koreans sending a delegation to the conference despite their announcement that they have withdrawn from the treaty? And second, for Congressman Spratt, Daryl Kimball and Joe Cirincione, they talk about the importance of devaluing nuclear weapons, that these are weapons of the past and that they are sort of political liabilities and not helpful in war planning. How much traction are those kind of arguments getting in your committee?

REP. SPRATT: You go first. (Laughter.)

AMB. GREY: I can answer very simply. It doesn't make any difference whether they are officially participating in the conference or not. It's the United Nations and they are very much in evidence. I see more of my Pakistani friends at the NPT review conference than I frequently do at the disarmament conference where they are sitting. Everybody that's got a - and the Israelis are quite in evidence too. So a lot of these so-called non-participants are participating actively in that environment.

REP. SPRATT: There have always been questions as to whether or not we would indeed use nuclear weapons, particularly in a tactical situation where the strategic integrity of the United States was not at stake. Those questions have probably been heightened since the development of standoff platforms and precision-guided munitions, which make it more compelling than ever to use conventional weapons as opposed to reaching for some nuclear alternative.

When the first Persian Gulf War was over - Desert Shield / Desert Storm - General Horner came back and he was a - at the time a resident of my district because he was commander, 9th Air Force, based in my district, and he said, I have seen the future and it works; I've seen what standoff, precision-guided munitions can do and I think they've rendered nuclear weapons largely obsolete.

And I think there is a sense of that, but nobody is absolutely - they understand it but they aren't yet committed to the notion that they are totally futile. Otherwise, why would we even be talking about a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator? One of the problems I have that is it renews the notion that there might be tactical utility to nuclear weapons, and I don't think there's ever tactical utility in nuclear weapons.

MR. KIMBALL: All right - yes, sir.

Q: Israel's nuclear arsenal became an open secret when Mordechai Vanunu revealed it in 1986, and he's currently under indictment in Israel for continuing to talk about its existence. Can you lay out that yet the United States official treatment, I believe, is still to deny the existence - or at least to not address the existence - of Israel's nuclear arsenal, which is now estimated at, what 200 nuclear weapons. Can you address how this is going to be addressed at this -

MR. KIMBALL: Bob, do you want to describe how you all dealt with it before?

AMB. GREY: It's generally dealt with in the context of a resolution supporting a nuclear-weapon-free zone for the Middle East, and there's a heated debate that goes on. The last time we stopped the clock at midnight on Friday and stayed in there until 10:00 Saturday night trying to sort out the Middle East thing. I must say, I don't know how this administration is going to handle it, but I was intrigued to see on the Internet the other day that the lady that is supposed to be our representative at the NPT review conference has said, it's the official position of this administration that they support a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Now I've never heard that before, and I don't know whether she was speaking under instructions or not, but I found it very intriguing.

Q: Yet there are several U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, which we voted in favor of. But the United States has never even acknowledged the existence of Israel's nuclear arsenal. Wouldn't that be a good place to start?

MR. CIRINCIONE: I would want to go to the Israeli question last after I took care of the other stuff. I feel let's take care of Pakistan and India, maybe, and take care of North Korea and Iran, and then we'll see. But I sure wouldn't take that - I wouldn't tackle the Israeli one first, no way, not me.

Q: Isn't that what's driving - I mean - what's the current thinking?

REP. SPRATT: You'd never get beyond step one.

AMB. GREY: That's right, I mean you know -

MR. KIMBALL: Well, Joe, do you want to -

MR. CIRINCIONE: Let me just remind Ambassador Grey that Secretary of State Colin Powell reaffirmed U.S. support for a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East just last year. And many of us see genuine efforts to negotiate such a zone as essential to solving the Iran crisis. It's inconceivable to me that you could get an agreement with the Iranians to end their program without promises that this would be a step towards regional negotiations that would eliminate the chemical and nuclear programs of all states in the region. It's been a long-standing U.S. policy - the problem we've had is that support for pursuing that has been non-existent for about the last ten years, since the talks on this subject collapsed in 1994.

AMB. GREY: I'd be very surprised if we ever agreed to put Israeli's nuclear weapons on the table when we're not willing to even discuss the ultimate elimination of our own.

MR. KIMBALL: I would just say that U.S policy needs to take into account the fact of Israel's nuclear program. Formal recognition raises other difficulties. It could raise other difficulties for other states in the region. And I would agree with Joe that the nuclear-weapon-free zone, or as it has been described by others, a weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East, is an important way forward. And one very specific initiative that Mohamed ElBaradei has pursued, and is pushing right now, is to bring the key states in the region together to have a meeting about how to move forward with this concept, which has been around for some time.

If the United States could give some energy to that ElBaradei initiative in that meeting, that might provide a hopeful sign to the Arab states that the U.S., among other states are serious about that commitment to a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region.

I think that's about all the time we have. I want to thank all of you for being here. I want to remind you that all of the information that we have provided in your packets and more are available on the campaign's website, npt2005.org. And Joe Cirincione, Ambassador Grey, myself, and Congressman Spratt would be happy to answer your questions afterwards, or in the weeks to come as the conference approaches.

(END)

Description: 
Press conference by the Arms Control Association and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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