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June 2, 2022
Arms Control Today

SCC Parties Sign Agreements On Mulitlateralization, TMD Systems

IN A SEPTEMBER 26 ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, representatives of the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine signed a set of agreements that seek to establish a "demarcation line" between theater missile defense (TMD) systems, which are not limited by the 1972 ABM Treaty, and strategic missile defense systems, which are restricted. They also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that designates Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine as the successor states to the former Soviet Union under the treaty.

These agreements mark the conclusion of nearly four years of difficult negotiations in the Geneva based Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), and are critical to U.S. and Russian efforts to secure the Russian Duma's approval of START II. The Clinton administration has indicated that it will submit the demarcation agreements and the MOU to the Senate for approval, where a tough battle is expected, after the Duma ratifies START II. Some Russian legislators have linked further nuclear reductions to constraints on highly capable U.S. TMD systems.


TMD 'Demarcation'

The "First Agreed Statement" pertains to so called "lower velocity" TMD systems (those with interceptor velocities of 3 kilometers per second or less). According to the statement, deployment of such TMD systems will be permitted under the ABM Treaty provided that they are not tested against ballistic missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or ranges that exceed 3,500 kilometers. The statement will enable the United States to deploy the Army's Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC 3) and Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems as well as the Navy's Area Defense system, all of which the United States had previously declared to be treaty compliant.

Under the "Second Agreed Statement," which covers "higher velocity" TMD systems (those with interceptor velocities above 3 kilometers per second), the five states are prohibited from testing such systems against ballistic missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or ranges that exceed 3,500 kilometers. The agreed statement also bans the development, testing or deployment of space based TMD interceptor missiles or space based components based on other physical principles that are capable of substituting for such interceptor missiles. The sides will continue to make deployment decisions on higher velocity TMD systems based on their national compliance determinations, and the United States has already indicated that the Navy's Theater Wide Defense (NTWD) system is consistent with the ABM Treaty. Both agreed statements on demarcation will enter into force simultaneously with the MOU on succession.

The United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine also signed an "Agreement on Confidence Building Measures" (CBMs) to govern the deployment of both lower and higher velocity TMD systems. These measures, which include detailed information exchanges and prior notification of TMD test launches, apply to the U.S. THAAD and NTWD systems as well as to the Russian, Belarusan and Ukrainian SA 12 system (Kazakhstan does not possess the SA 12). This agreement will enter into force simultaneously with the First and Second Agreed Statements.

Moreover, to facilitate implementation of the CBM agreement the five countries signed a "Joint Statement" requiring each party to provide information annually on the status of its TMD plans and programs. In this regard, the five states each issued a statement on their TMD plans that reiterates understandings reached between Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin at the Helsinki summit in March. (See ACT, March 1997.)


MOU on Succession

The collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 created a situation in which ABM related facilities were located in several of the newly independent states. Although the only operational ABM interceptor system was deployed in Moscow, a number of early warning radars and an ABM test range were located outside of Russian territory. Russia, therefore, sought multilateralization of the ABM Treaty in order to facilitate its ability to maintain a functional ABM system. Meanwhile, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, viewed treaty membership as an important element of their independent status.

In June 1996, the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement that would have allowed any state of the former Soviet Union to become a party to the ABM Treaty. However, in the final stages of the negotiations on ABM succession, the sides agreed to restrict treaty membership to just the five states.

Under the MOU on succession, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine will collectively be limited to the terms of the treaty: ABM deployment at a single site and a total of 15 ABM launchers at test ranges. Those states that choose to ratify or approve the MOU will also be bound by both of the agreed statements on demarcation.

In addition, the five states signed an agreement establishing revised regulations for the multilateral operation of the SCC. It will enter into force simultaneously with the MOU on succession.


Issues May Remain

Despite the demarcation agreements, Russian and Ukrainian officials have pointed out that the First and Second Agreed Statements do not resolve all of the ABM TMD demarcation issues. During the September 26 signing ceremony in New York, Foreign Minister Yevgeniy Primakov said the agreements "[do] not end the work to prevent the circumvention of the ABM Treaty." He noted that the agreements only reflect the status quo and will have to be revisited as TMD technologies evolve in the future. Likewise, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Hennadiy Udovenko said the agreements "[do] not remove all the problems related to the demarcation between the ABM and TMD systems." That same day, a senior Clinton administration official responded in a background briefing that "this agreement [on demarcation] settles the issue of protecting our right to proceed with the TMD systems that we are now pursuing."

Before the ABM agreements can enter into force, they must be ratified or approved by each of the five signatory states according to their respective constitutional procedures. Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on September 8, Robert Bell, senior director for defense policy and arms control at the National Security Council, said that once Russia ratifies START II, the Clinton administration intends to submit a package of arms control agreements to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification. This package will include the MOU on succession, the First Agreed Statement, the Second Agreed Statement as well as two other agreements related to the START treaties.

The Senate may have serious resevations about the ABM portion of this package. Some conservative Republicans are likely to argue that the demarcation agreements will restrict future U.S. TMD capabilities. They are also expected to challenge the MOU on succession on the grounds that it will make it more difficult to amend the ABM Treaty in the future. Senator Jon Kyl (R AZ) has even suggested that if the Senate rejects the MOU, then the ABM Treaty will become null and void.

The Clinton administration maintains that the demarcation agreements do not constrain any planned U.S. TMD systems, and that in light of the president's responsibility under the Constitution to implement existing treaties, it was under no legal obligation to submit the MOU to the Senate and that the treaty remains viable between the United States and Russia even if the MOU is rejected. By submitting the START and ABM agreements as a package, the administration will also be able to argue that if the Senate rejects the ABM accords, it in effect will be rejecting major Russian nuclear weapons reductions because the two issues have been linked in the Duma.

Clinton Sends CTB Treaty to Senate: Hearing Set to Begin in October

NEARLY ONE YEAR after signing the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) Treaty, the Clinton administration on September 22 formally transmitted the accord to the Senate, setting the stage for a likely battle with conservative Republicans who appear to be in no rush to consider the treaty. Although the Senate is expected to hold hearings in October on the treaty as well as the administration's Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program (SSMP), which is designed to ensure the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing, a floor vote on advice and consent to ratification is not anticipated until spring 1998 at the earliest.

President Clinton announced the U.S. move toward ratification during a September 22 address to the 52nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Citing over 40 years of test ban negotiating history, he called the CTB Treaty "the longest sought, hardest fought prize in the history of arms control," and said it "will help to prevent the nuclear powers from developing more advanced and more dangerous weapons" as well as "limit the possibilities for other states to acquire such devices." In his transmittal letter to the Senate, Clinton said the CTB "will significantly further our nuclear non proliferation and arms control objectives and strengthen international security."

In a White House briefing that same day, Robert Bell, senior director for defense policy and arms control at the National Security Council, addressed some concerns related to the treaty's rigid entry into force provisions. Under Article XIV, the treaty cannot enter into force until 180 days after it has been signed and ratified by 44 specific countries, including the five declared nuclear weapon states and the three "threshold" states (India, Israel and Pakistan).

As of September 30, only seven of the 147 states that have signed the test ban have ratified the treaty, including only one of the 44 named states. (See p. 34.) If Indian opposition to the CTB continues to prevent the treaty's entry into force, Bell said a special conference may be called in 1999 (three years after the test ban was opened for signature) by a majority of states parties to explore alternative ways of bringing the treaty into force. Bell stressed that Senate approval of the CTB will be important so that the United States may actively participate in this conference, should it become necessary.


View From the Hill

In the weeks preceding Clinton's transmittal of the treaty, several key senators expressed strong support for the CTB. Senator Joseph Biden (D DE), ranking minority member on the Foreign Relations Committee, said September 10: "With U.S. leadership in ratifying this treaty, the CTBT will gain near unanimous international support and keep pressure on India and many like minded countries to ratify it—or at least to refrain from testing." Two days later, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D NM) said, "It serves the peaceful interests of the United States and the peaceful interests of countries throughout the world to take this important step to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and eliminate nuclear testing."

Without stating his position on the CTB, Senator Pete Domenici (R NM), chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations subcommittee and an influential voice in the nuclear testing debate, said September 12 that he intends to conduct a series of hearings on the treaty in October. Senator Thad Cochran (R MS), chairman of the Governmental Affairs subcommittee on international security, proliferation and federal services and a likely critic of the CTB, has scheduled a hearing on the SSMP for late October.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee must approve the CTB before a floor vote can occur. A spokesman for committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R NC) said the CTB is not a "front burner issue," especially because "it's unlikely...to come into force in the next year." The committee will consider NATO enlargement in hearings beginning in October before taking up the CTB Treaty.

September 1997 Bibliography





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Kaplan, Lawrence F. "Where Do All the Supercomputers Go?" The Washington Times, September 24, 1997, p. A19.

Lippman, Thomas W. "Israel Presses U.S. to Sanction Russian Missile Firms Aiding Iran," The Washington Post, September 25, 1997, p. A31.

Opall, Barbara. "House Panel Pushes Supercomputer Export Limits," Defense News, September 15 21, 1997, p. 40.

Sanger, David E. "China to Return Computer It Had Diverted to Military," The New York Times, September 12, 1997, p. A10.

Sieff, Martin. "Russian 'Kleptocracy' Risks Spread of Nuclear Weapons," The Washington Times, September 30, 1997, p. A3.

Slevin, Peter. "Russia Vows to End Iran's Secret Buy of Missile Technology," Philadelphia Inquirer, September 26, 1997, p. 3.

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Broad, William J. "Saturn Mission's Use of Plutonium Fuel Provokes Warnings of Danger," The New York Times, September 8, 1997, p. A12.

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Eisler, Peter. "Senate to Hold Nuclear Fallout Hearing," USA Today, September 5, 1997, p. A3.

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"Russian Nuke Test' Likely a Quake," The Washington Times, September 14, 1997, p. A4.


Bennet, James. "Clinton, at U.N., Says He'll Press Senate on Test Ban Pact," The New York Times, September 23, 1997, p. A3.

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Zamora Collina, Tom. "Ratify Test Ban Treaty Now," The Christian Science Monitor, September 17, 1997, p. 20.



Charen, Mona. "De Nuking Waste With the Baser," The Washington Times, September 17, 1997, p. A16.



Beach, Hugh. "Is There an Alternative to Anti Personnel Mines?" CDS Bulletin of Arms Control, September 1997, pp. 12 15.

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Witt, Michael J. "Foes of Arms Trade Crowd U.K. Exhibit," Defense News, September 8 14, 1997, p. 34.



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Eshel, David. "Israel Grapples With CWC Ratification," Armed Forces Journal, International, September 1997, p. 24.

Lippman, Thomas W. "Poison Gas Treaty Process Reveals Previously Unknown Production Sites," The Washington Post, September 28, 1997, p. A7.

"Mustard Gas 'Did Not Get Near Troops,'" Jane's Defence Weekly, September 10, 1997, p. 11.




Hamilton, Lee H. "NATO and Bosnia," The Washington Times, September 24, 1997, p. A19.

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Butowski, Piotr. "Russia's Fighter Projects Put West in the Shade," Jane's Defence Weekly, September 10, 1997, pp. 30 31.

Hahn, Gordon M. "Russian Domestic Politics and NATO Expansion," Focus, the Center for Political and Strategic Studies, August September 1997, 6 pp. Ph. (301) 652 8181, http://www.intr.net/cpss

Hashim, Ahmed. "New Sino Russian Partnership," Jane's Intelligence Review & Jane's Sentinel Pointer, September 1997, p. 10.

"Primakov on Peace: 'I Do Not Envy Madeleine,'" Newsweek, September 29, 1997, p. 43.

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Bahcheli, Tozun, Theodore A. Couloumbis and Patricia Carley. Greek Turkish Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy, U.S. Institute of Peace, August 1997, 44 pp. Ph. (202) 457 1700, http://www.usip.org

Blacker, Coit D., Ashton D. Carter, Warren Christopher, David A. Hamburg and William J. Perry. NATO After Madrid: Looking to the Future, Stanford Harvard Preventive Defense Project, 7 pp.

de Briganti, Giovanni. "Jospin Reiterates Demands To Alter NATO's Structure," Defense News, September 8 14, 1997, p. 12.

Carter, Tom. "Former Soviet Bloc Nations Lobby for NATO Spots," The Washington Times, September 30, 1997, p. A15.

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Beaver, Paul. "Syria to Make Chemical Bomblets for 'Scud Cs,'" Jane's Defence Weekly, September 3, 1997, p. 3.

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Nuclear Stability and Arms Sales to India: Implications for U.S. Policy

Eric Arnett

Eric Arnett is leader of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's Project on Military Technology and editor of Nuclear Weapons and Arms control in South Asia after the Test Ban, forthcoming, by Oxford University Press.

The news from South Asia has been surprisingly good in this, the 50th anniversary year of India's and Pakistan's independence. Despite earlier signs that both countries would continue to be governed by perennially weak governments, 1997 has seen the strengthening of democratic institutions in Pakistan and the emergence of surprisingly decisive and conciliatory leaders on both sides: Inder Kumar Gujral, the new Indian prime minister, and Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistani prime minister re elected with a confidence inspiring majority after Benazir Bhutto's government was dissolved by President Farooq Leghari. Sharif's position was further strengthened when the provision allowing the president to dissolve the government was eliminated. Gujral and Sharif appear to have a better chance of bringing a sturdy peace to the region than any of their predecessors. This is as much a result of their personal abilities and a creeping recognition of the status quo after more than 25 years without a war as the expectations of those who believe in nuclear deterrence or the inevitability of peace among democracies.

Still, not everything is going the right way at this hopeful moment. Politically, both prime ministers seem to derive their strength in part from a willingness to play to the consensus in their respective polities against meaningful nuclear arms control. Militarily, ballistic missile programs are being reinvigorated in both countries due as much to the spirit of nuclear populism as to any realistic threat to the security of either state.

For its part, the United States, understandably eager to engage both countries as they pursue a renewed bilateral dialogue, has apparently decided that the transfer of military technology is a useful inducement to offer India. While technology transfer is a prize which the United States can offer in a quantity and quality unmatched by most of its economic competitors, greater care must be taken than has been the case up until now in offering military technology to New Delhi. Transfers should take into account India's nuclear weapon capabilities, as well as the region's strategic dynamics, but so far signs are that U.S. policy makers and their advisors tend to think the details of the South Asian conventional balance do not matter much.

In fact, they matter quite a bit, both for the sake of regional stability, should Indian Pakistani relations deteriorate, and for the success of the U.S. goal of capping the nuclear weapon and ballistic missile capabilities of the two states. The Clinton administration has already allowed the transfer to India of potentially destabilizing conventional weaponry—guidance kits for "smart" bombs that could be used in conventional counterforce attacks on Pakistan's nuclear delivery systems. With other transfers of concern possibly in the works, it is vital that guidelines covering transfers of military technology to South Asia be considered more carefully.


Nuclear Stability in South Asia

With the end of the Cold War and the opportunity for improved U.S. relations with both India and Pakistan, some proponents of increased arms sales to New Delhi have advocated accepting the purported stability of nuclear deterrence between India and Pakistan and using arms and technology transfers as a means to create a "strategic partnership" with India.1 Unfortunately, there is good reason to believe nuclear deterrence is not stable in South Asia and that U.S. arms transfers have already made the problem worse.

The claim that a stable deterrent is emerging in South Asia and can be managed with judicious transfers of technology is rooted in an oversimplified model of Indian and Pakistani strategic planning, viewed through the distorting lens of the Cold War relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the later years of the Cold War, the superpowers enjoyed a sort of nuclear parity and pursued their rivalry through proxy conflicts on the territories of other states with little risk of direct conventional war. In South Asia today, the relationship between India and Pakistan is still one between a regional hegemon and a weaker neighboring state dissatisfied with the status quo. Their rivalry is pursued in part through proxy wars on each other's territory which could escalate into another conventional war despite the presence of nuclear weapon capabilities and improving democratic conditions.

Significantly, Pakistan's nuclear weapon capability may actually contribute to the risk of war. The Pakistani leadership shows indications of believing that the risk of nuclear war makes even small conventional conflicts extremely unlikely if not impossible, and that South Asia's nuclear stalemate gives both sides the cover to continue the struggle in Kashmir by other means. India has the capability to cut off Pakistani support to Kashmiri insurgents if it becomes too blatant or too successful, but Pakistani officials have been claiming since the late 1980s that India would not dare take such a step because of Pakistan's nuclear option. Speaking in the context of a nuclear umbrella over Pakistani support to the Kashmir insurgency, Pakistan's former chief of army staff, Mirza Aslam Beg, declared in 1993, "There is no danger of even a conventional war between India and Pakistan.... There is no possibility of an Indian Pakistan war now."2

While some Western observers have been taken in by this logic, there is little evidence that the Indian armed forces have accepted it and every reason to believe that an escalation in Pakistani support to insurgents on Indian territory will be dealt with by military means if deemed necessary. The insurgency can only succeed if it inflicts intolerable costs on India, but New Delhi is less likely to capitulate when it still has the options of "hot pursuit" and interdiction, both legitimate actions under international law. The resulting mismatch of perceptions makes war more likely.


Conventional War Planning

While the current trend in South Asia toward strengthening democratic institutions and re establishing a bilateral dialogue on conflict resolution is cause for hope, U.S. policy cannot be—and is not—based on the assumption that there is no longer a danger of war between India and Pakistan. Nevertheless, the Clinton administration has allowed transfers of military technology to both India and Pakistan. Transfers of conventional arms are not always or inherently destabilizing, nor are the technologies of greatest concern necessarily those with the highest profile or price tag. To relate arms transfers more coherently to nuclear stability in South Asia, it is important to understand how the Indian military thinks a fourth Indo Pakistani war might unfold.

While Pakistani leaders might believe that their nuclear weapon option gives them a free hand to pursue measures short of war in Kashmir, Indian military planners are not buying it. There are strong indications that Indian military planners do not take the Pakistani nuclear capability seriously and continue to plan for conventional war. The top priority of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in such a war would be destroying Pakistani air bases, which is where Islamabad's nuclear delivery systems (though probably not nuclear warheads) are stored. Air bases are a legitimate target in conventional war, and have always been the first object of attack in wars of the air age, including the 1965 and 1971 Indo Pakistani wars. If India and Pakistan went to war over Kashmir as they did in 1965, there is a good chance that the conflict would begin (as it did in 1965) with immediate air base attacks by both sides.

The presence of nuclear weapon capabilities apparently has not changed this calculus for the IAF. Quite the contrary. As early as 1979, D. K. Palit, the commandant of the Indian Military Academy, was already outlining a doctrine of damage limitation through conventional counterforce:

India's defensive policy against a likely nuclear conventional attack by Pakistan must aim, at first priority, to minimise the nuclear threat. In this case, Pakistan's weak point will be its delivery system, because for a considerable time to come its only recourse will be the fighter bomber.3

P. R. Chari, a former Ministry of Defense official with responsibility for the IAF who drafted many of the ministry's annual reports, suggests that India is relatively unconcerned by the Pakistani nuclear option because India's nuclear preponderance, among other factors, would deter Pakistan from first use. The result, according to Chari, is a need for conventional forces to fight below the nuclear threshold.4

Preparations for that contingency are being pursued by the IAF with the blessing and backing of the Ministry of Defense. Like its American counterpart, the IAF has long preferred the battle for air superiority—fought primarily over the enemy's air bases—to the nitty gritty of direct support for ground forces. Strike aircraft have been the highest priority in India's tight military modernization budget, not as strategic counterforce systems, per se, but as the most effective tools for gaining air superiority as part of India's doctrine of "offensive defense."

While most of the Indian armed forces struggle in the face of funding constraints imposed by the budget crisis, the IAF's 22 strike squadrons have fared well. During the past 25 years, the IAF has received more than 700 MiG 21, MiG 23, MiG 27, Mirage 2000 and Jaguar aircraft used primarily for air to ground missions; approximately 300 of these strike aircraft remain in active service. In a conflict with Pakistan, most of these aircraft would be used to attack Pakistan's 17 air bases (of which about half are primary bases and half are "dispersal" bases), and nine other airports capable of handling jets from the first day of a war.

In addition to smart bombs, IAF attack aircraft have been armed with runway cratering munitions and area denial bombs (which prevent runways from being repaired), as well as unguided gravity bombs and cluster weapons. If recent writings are to be believed, even the Prithvi short range ballistic missile is seen by the IAF primarily as a conventionally armed, air base attack weapon that could destroy aircraft in the open and hamper runway repairs.5

During the 1991 Gulf War, IAF officials watched with particular interest as U.S. strike aircraft destroyed Iraqi hardened aircraft shelters with 2,000 pound smart bombs. Because destroying Pakistani aircraft on the ground is so important to the IAF, Indian military planners had been frustrated by the practically invulnerable sanctuary created for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in the form of hardened aircraft shelters, built with U.S. assistance in the 1980s. IAF planners quickly set out to buy heavy, shelter busting smart bombs like the ones demonstrated in the Gulf War. In 1992, India closed its first arms deal with Russia that included an unknown number of 2,200 pound smart bombs. These were probably copied from the U.S. Paveway I, deployed in Vietnam in the 1970s, and could only be used with India's aging fleet of MiG 27s, only 36 of which are still operational according to a recent report.6

The IAF, eager to acquire better technology that would be compatible with its 88 Jaguars and 35 Mirages—which would bear the main responsibility for defeating the PAF—did not have to wait long. In 1994, 315 Texas Instruments Paveway II guidance kits—one of the types used by the U.S. Air Force in 1991—were delivered for installation on 2,000 pound British bombs. French and Israeli contractors assisted the IAF in its initial experience with the laser guided weapons. Then, in April 1997, U.S. manufactured smart bombs were delivered to the IAF for the first time. They are now a standard part of IAF air base attack exercises.

Indian attacks on Pakistani air bases would no doubt target the building at the Sargodha air base in which Pakistan's ballistic missiles are believed to be stored. Because the attacks would be conventional attacks on legitimate military targets, the Indian leadership would not expect Pakistan to escalate to nuclear first use, especially given India's capability of retaliating "in the range of ten megatons for one," in the words of a retired Indian chief of army staff.7


Nuclear Escalation

If a conventional war continued long enough, most of the PAF's strike force could be destroyed—even if the IAF was not intentionally targeting Pakistan's nuclear capability—a danger of which Pakistani military planners are becoming increasingly aware. At an April 1997 briefing to journalists, a PAF official expressed doubts that the armed forces could hold up for more than six to eight weeks under IAF plans "to neutralize [Pakistani] radars and [surface to air missiles] and destroy the Pakistan air force on the ground and in the air."8 According to another official, the arguably better trained PAF pilots could not compensate for the "expected high attrition [on] the ground and [in the] air...buzzing with advanced guided [weapons].... The IAF has a tremendous edge in numbers and in the quality of weapons."9

If a war started in the near future, the IAF's poor state of readiness might limit the extent of the damage it could actually inflict. On the other hand, the PAF has in the past fled from air battles with the IAF, granting India air superiority by default. This makes the success of any Indian air campaign against PAF bases difficult to predict. But even if the IAF did not entirely eliminate Pakistan's nuclear delivery capabilities (a possibility that reduces India's incentive to risk a preventive war to destroy Islamabad's nuclear option without some other provocation), these capabilities would still be eroded. Furthermore, the Pakistani leadership's understanding of the unfolding battle would be undermined by IAF attacks on radar sites carried out with lighter smart bombs and Armat anti radar missiles, which were acquired from France in the late 1980s. In 1971, even without the Armat, the IAF did considerable damage to the Pakistani radar network with unguided bombs.

India's capability to erode Pakistan's nuclear option is particularly troubling because of a penchant for early first use of nuclear weapons that appears to be taking hold in Islamabad. For example, in 1990, then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan told a U.S. official that "in the event of war with India, Pakistan would use nuclear weapons at an early stage," despite the risk of Indian retaliation and regardless of the war aims.10 In seeking to promote the deterrent benefits of the country's nuclear option, Pakistani leaders have recognized that they must be perceived to be prepared to use nuclear weapons even if such action seems irrational. For example, Asad Durrani, the former director of Inter Services Intelligence, said Pakistan can only hope to deter wars for limited aims if Indian planners believe "we are primed, almost desperate, to use our nuclear capabilities when our national objectives are threatened, for example, a major crackdown on [the] freedom movement in Kashmir."11

While Indian planners obviously do not believe these Pakistani claims regarding nuclear use, the danger is that their Pakistani counterparts might talk themselves into such a strategy. In particular, even without attacking any of Pakistan's nuclear installations covered by their 1989 bilateral agreement (which obligates both states to foreswear such attacks), India could so erode Pakistan's nuclear delivery capabilities that Islamabad would face a "use it or lose it" dilemma. Worse still, with the destruction of parts of the country's warning and command and control networks, the Pakistani leadership might fear it had reached that point, even if it had not. Obviously, it is difficult to imagine what Pakistan could hope to gain by launching a nuclear attack in a war for limited aims, other than the world's scorn for being the first state to use nuclear weapons in more than 50 years and the possibility of Indian nuclear retaliation. Nonetheless, recent statements by spokesmen on both sides suggesting that Pakistan believes the nuclear threshold in South Asia is much lower than does India are a cause for concern.


Controlling Military Transfers

The Clinton administration's understated response to India's emergent conventional counterforce capability is not only a product of the relative secrecy of the Paveway transfer; it also stems from a U.S. tendency to see the specifics of conventional arms transfers as unimportant because of the nuclear factor. When asked why the administration approved the Paveway transfer, given its recognition of the risk of war in South Asia and its policy of not introducing destabilizing new capabilities into the region, one U.S. official said the go ahead had been given because India already possessed similar technology. But this U.S. technology is certainly more advanced than that of its Russian competitor, and although France has supplied similar technology, it is associated with lighter weapons and is not as advanced.

Proponents of the Texas Instruments sale also argued that the Paveway kits were simply components supplied to Britain for the bombs it was delivering to India. In fact, the kits were the main reason why New Delhi bought the British system, which otherwise is simply a "dumb" bomb that India could have made itself. Because the value of Texas Instruments' deal was less than $50 million and the Paveway kit is not considered major military equipment, the Clinton administration was not obliged to notify Congress of the proposed transfer, suggesting that notification requirements are not strong enough for some types of high tech military hardware and for certain recipients.

Another rationale for the Paveway transfer—not cited by any U.S. official—is popular among some military analysts but, ultimately, is not persuasive. Their claim is that the IAF is simply not up to the job of using military technologies like the Paveway effectively, so there is no reason to worry. Aside from the troubling implications of basing policy decisions on the assumption that any weapon can legitimately be sold to states if their armed forces are poorly maintained or incompetent—that the content of conventional arms transfers does not really matter—this line of argument overlooks two important considerations.

First, Pakistani planners may not be as sanguine about Indian capabilities, and the fears and perceptions of Pakistanis are the central issue. From Islamabad's perspective, it increasingly appears that most of the major arms suppliers are cooperating with India, even those that have already sold systems to Pakistan. Some of the systems that have been supplied, especially the Armat anti radar missile, can be very effective even in the hands of less skilled pilots. The quality and likely effectiveness of other systems are very difficult to judge without much greater transparency on the part of the IAF.

Second, Indian society is set to progress at an unprecedented rate, potentially enjoying economic growth and modernization that are likely to dramatically increase the budget and competence of the country's armed forces. As relations with China improve, even more of India's military potential can be focused on Pakistani contingencies. Even if IAF strike squadrons have some weaknesses now, U.S. policy makers should not be betting against substantial improvements in Indian technological proficiency in the near future, especially since U.S. firms are contributing to the technological base of both the civilian and military sectors.

Indeed, despite the common perception in India and the United States that there is little cooperation between the two countries on military technology, there has been an effort to increase it since the Reagan administration. In 1983, India launched its Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program to develop a fighter to replace its aging fleet of MiG interceptors. The LCA is touted as a completely indigenous design, but it is actually an odd amalgamation of subsystems from Britain, France, Italy, Sweden and, primarily, the United States. U.S. firms are not only supplying the engines, flight control system and several other subsystems, they are providing expertise in systems integration and a flying testbed for subsystems designed in India. U.S. participation in the LCA project stands in stark contrast to export control policy in the 1970s, when the United States actually refused to allow Saab to sell its Viggen fighter to India because of its U.S. supplied engine. U.S. firms have also contributed technology to India's land and naval forces.


Toward New Guidelines

U.S. participation in the LCA project and the sale of the Paveway kits to the IAF should not only put to rest the idea that there is no arms trade between the United States and India, but they point up the dangers of expanding U.S. arms sales—even under a policy that nominally forbids transfers of destabilizing technologies—unless the South Asian strategic context is re evaluated. A policy of expanded transfers—based on the assumption that nuclear deterrence makes war unlikely—is likely to lead to more reckless policy implementation rather than the restraint and responsibility needed now in the South Asian security environment.

In seeking to convince the Indian and Pakistani governments to cap their nuclear programs, some observers have been tempted to congratulate them for not falling under the spell of the logic that drove the superpowers' Cold War buildups. While some problems for the triangular relationship among Islamabad, New Delhi and Washington have arisen from false analogies, a case can be made for applying certain concepts developed by arms controllers during the Cold War more systematically to the case of South Asia.

One example is the principle that counterforce systems—both nuclear and conventional—have an inherently destabilizing aspect and should therefore be treated with care. While the Clinton administration has been sensitive to the counterforce problem, it seems to have mistakenly concluded that only nuclear counterforce capabilities—in the specific form of ballistic missiles—are of concern. In fact, conventional counterforce technologies should be of greater concern because they need not be perfectly effective in a first strike. A counterforce attack with nuclear weapons must succeed in an almost perfect first strike—something far beyond India's capabilities or those of any country—because it would remove the onus of first nuclear use from the adversary. Conventional counterforce leaves the onus on the other side, while increasing the pressure under which choices between surrender and first use of nuclear weapons must be made. Even if ballistic missiles were much more effective than they are, short range missiles are less of a counterforce problem than longer range combat aircraft, because retaliatory forces can simply be moved out of range. India's short range Prithvi missile cannot reach large areas of Pakistan, especially if launched from secure areas some distance from the border.

The main risk posed by nuclear armed ballistic missiles is that they entail a risky devolution of launch authority in cases where a robust communications link cannot be counted on. This risk is greater if the command and control system is gradually being destroyed by conventional attacks or fails catastrophically. (There is evidence that Pakistan does not take the survivability issue seriously enough.) Aircraft, on the other hand, have greater ranges and are more effective delivery systems. In South Asia, as in most parts of the world, they cannot be defended against any more than ballistic missiles and warning times are short to non existent, especially after radars have been attacked.

That leads to a second arms control principle developed during the Cold War: strategic defenses can also be destabilizing, especially if there is some uncertainty about their effectiveness. Again, in the South Asian context the main concern is not ballistic missile defense but air defense. In the near future, India is expecting to buy or build a full range of air defense and air to air capabilities, including the Light Combat Aircraft, 40 multi role Su 30 fighters on order from Russia, a variety of missiles, and airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft. These would not only create the possibility—or at least the potentially destabilizing perception—of a highly effective defense against a nuclear strike, but better air to air capabilities actually make India's conventional strikes more effective. An AWACS capability would make it possible for India to achieve air superiority all the more quickly and completely. With air superiority, aircraft can drop their smart bombs with less fear of coming under attack while guiding them to their target, thereby offering a greater probability of a successful strike.

Furthermore, an AWACS system can enable Indian planners to keep track of which Pakistani aircraft are at which bases, helping them to prioritize targets. To make matters worse, the actual capabilities of an AWACS are very difficult to judge, so Pakistani planners will have reason to err on the side of worst case scenarios. PAF officials seem to have an exaggerated regard for AWACS following the U.S. denial of their request for E 2 aircraft in the 1980s. An important new goal of export control for the region is therefore to inhibit India's ability to achieve an air defense system with strategic consequences. The reported deal that would supply India with four AWACS aircraft co manufactured by Israel and Russia is of particular concern.

The goal of such a measure is not to hobble India's ability to defend itself and wage conventional war if the Kashmir situation deteriorates. The ground forces central to a plausible war scenario are not of comparable concern. Rather, the aim is to avoid new sources of instability and to save the initiative to cap Pakistan's nuclear option somewhere short of the deployment of warheads on missiles. If Indian pressure on the survivability of the Pakistani nuclear delivery systems intensifies—as has occurred with the cooperation of almost every major arms supplier—the result could be not only open deployment of nuclear tipped ballistic missiles, but a resumption by Islamabad of the production of fissile materials to increase the number of potential weapons and perhaps a nuclear test to certify the performance of a missile warhead. Such a development would surely have serious implications for full implementation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the initiation of negotiations leading to a fissile material cutoff treaty. Clearly, the stakes reach beyond the stability of South Asia to the web of treaties and norms that seek to regulate nuclear behavior globally.


1. See for example, Richard N. Haass, et al., A New Policy Toward India and Pakistan, Washington, D.C.: Council on Foreign Relations, 1997.

2. Quoted in G.F. Giles and J.E. Doyle's, "Indian and Pakistani Views on Nuclear Deterrence," Comparative Strategy, April/June 1996, p. 146.

3. D.K. Palit and P.K.S. Namboodiri, Pakistan's Islamic Bomb, New Delhi: Vikas, 1979, p. 117.

4. P.R. Chari, Indo Pak Nuclear Standoff: The Role of the United States, New Delhi: Manohar, 1995.

5. J.P. Joshi, "Employment of Prithvi Missiles," Journal of the United Services Institution of India, October/December 1996.

6. "India Postpones MiG 27 Upgradations," The Hindu, June 11, 1997.

7. S. Gupta and W.P.S. Sidhu, "The End Game Option," India Today, April 30, 1993.

8. Air Marshal Ayaz Ahmed Khan (Ret.), "Challenge of the Indian Air Threat," The Nation, April 7, 1997.

9. Ibid.

10. Hamish McDonald, "Destroyer of Worlds," Far East Economic Review, April 30, 1992, p. 24.

11. A. Durrani, Pakistan's Security and the Nuclear Option, Islamabad: Institute for Policy Studies, 1995, p. 92.

Keeping The U.S. North Korean Nuclear Accord On Track

An Interview With Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth:

On August 19, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) reached an important milestone in the implementation of the 1994 U.S. North Korean denuclearization accord, when it held a groundbreaking ceremony near Sinpo in South Hamgyong Province where it is overseeing the construction of two proliferation resistant light water reactors. Established in March 1995 by the United States, South Korea and Japan, the international consortium is assisting in the implementation of the agreement, which commits North Korea to eliminate its nuclear weapons program in exchange for the reactors and the provision of interim energy supplies until the first reactor is completed.

Since its creation, KEDO has become one of the international community's most successful channels for engaging the secretive and often unpredictable North Korean government. In addition to negotiating the 1995 supply agreement with Pyongyang for the multi billion dollar project, KEDO has negotiated dozens of other agreements on a range of diplomatic, technical and juridical issues. Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth, former U.S. ambassador to the Philippines and Tunisia, has led KEDO since his appointment as executive director in July 1995. Past president of the prestigious United States Japan Foundation, Bosworth has held a number of State Department posts, including director of policy planning, and has taught at Columbia University.

On August 14, just before his departure for the groundbreaking ceremony in North Korea, Bosworth spoke with ACA senior analyst Howard Diamond about KEDO's achievements and his experiences working with the North Korean government. What follows is an edited version of the interview.

Arms Control Today: How has KEDO's work progressed since the resolution of the North Korean submarine incident at the end of last year?

Stephen Bosworth: We really resumed where we left off when the submarine incident occurred and we suspended our engagement with North Korea on the light water reactor [LWR] project. Since then we have negotiated one more protocol and we have been intensely engaged in making arrangements to begin actual construction activity in North Korea. We are planning to have a groundbreaking ceremony at the reactor site August 19.

ACT: What is the status of the "canning" of spent fuel from North Korea's existing reactor?

Bosworth: I understand from the U.S. government that the canning is almost 90 percent completed and is to be 100 percent completed within the next few months.

ACT: October 20 is the end of the current annual cycle for heavy fuel oil deliveries to North Korea. What portion of the 500,000 ton obligation has been delivered so far? What is the status of the funding for the remaining deliveries?

Bosworth: The funding as always is tenuous. On the one hand I remain confident that we can supply the entire 500,000 metric tons but we are going to be shipping a lot of oil in the months of August, September and October.

ACT: What changes have you seen in KEDO since its inception in March 1995?

Bosworth: First of all, we didn't really start our operation here in New York until July of 1995 because the North Koreans were still negotiating over the reactor model issue. In two years we have come a long way as an organization. We are small but that is deliberate. We will remain small. We now have a well integrated staff composed of Korean, Japanese and American nationals. We have added several countries to our membership rolls as general members, and we also have completed the negotiations with the European Union for its accession to KEDO and its membership on the Executive Board. So in two years we have become more of a global organization, more broadly based. We have probably spent more hours in negotiations with the North Koreans than anyone else, and that has evolved into a business like relationship with the absence of polemic and political diatribe. The big difference is that we are two years old and we have accomplished quite a bit in those two years.

ACT: Are you satisfied with the current timeframe for the LWR project and the other activities contained in the Agreed Framework?

Bosworth: The timetable as you recall was set originally in the Agreed Framework and it was set as a best efforts timetable. We repeated that in the supply agreement that we negotiated with North Korea. The target date for the completion of both reactors is 2003. Now, even when we set that as a best efforts undertaking, we realized that it was extremely ambitious. Since then, of course, we have had the submarine incident which has caused a delay, and we find that so far things seem to take a little longer than one might reasonably expect. If this were a normal commercial project you could set a fairly detailed timetable and, without too much error, hope to meet it. It is going to be very hard for us to meet the 2003 timetable, but we have not made any effort to change that target date because it gives us something to continue to work toward.

ACT: What is your best estimate of the cost of the LWR project?

Bosworth: We are still refining our total estimate and should have something available for the member governments within the next two or three months. All I can do now is repeat the earlier estimate of $4.5 billion to $5 billion. But it makes a difference, of course, whether you are talking in 1995 dollars or 2002 dollars. The big uncertainty in terms of cost is that while Korea Electric Power Corporation [KEPCO], our prime contractor, has built these reactors in South Korea, it has never built them in North Korea. No one has ever done anything like this in North Korea. So it is very difficult to be terribly precise about how much, in the end, this project is going to cost.

ACT: How would you assess progress in KEDO's talks with KEPCO? When do you expect the negotiations on the prime contract to be complete? Has there been anything unexpected in the negotiations with KEPCO?

Bosworth: No, I don't think so. Our relationship with KEPCO has evolved very well. We have just completed the contract for the preliminary work that we will launch next Tuesday. In fact, some of the work is under way already. The prime contract itself we would expect to complete somewhere around the end of this year or early next year. Many of the most difficult issues, of course, we have already resolved in this preliminary contract. Anyone with any experience in the nuclear power industry can appreciate how detailed and therefore time consuming these negotiations are.

ACT: According to the supply agreement, a U.S. company was to be selected to serve as technical support consultant [TSC] to KEDO to assist in the Agreed Framework's implementation. Since its selection last year, what has been the role of Duke Engineering and Services?

Bosworth: KEDO has relied on the TSC to provide technical oversight of the LWR project. The TSC fulfills a role similar to that of an owner's architect/engineer. Duke has provided technical assistance to KEDO on the Preliminary Works Contract, performed a detailed review of KEPCO's rough order of magnitude cost estimate, and reviews design and construction documents provided by KEPCO. It has also assisted in the development of KEDO's nuclear safety confirmation system, which establishes the process to ensure the safety of the LWR project.

ACT: Are there any protocols that remain to be negotiated with North Korea?

Bosworth: We have several that we will be negotiating over the next year or more. These protocols cover things like training, nuclear liability and repayment. While they are important, they were not necessary to have in place before we actually begin work. We have already completed those that we needed to begin work. We are going to be actively engaged in negotiations with the North Koreans for at least the next year and beyond that.

ACT: Were the negotiations with the North Koreans on the supply agreement and the protocols more difficult or easier than you expected? What did they teach you about dealing with the North Koreans?

Bosworth: I am not sure if I can say they were harder or easier. I expected them to be difficult and at times they were, particularly those on the supply agreement. But I think we have discovered that, as we move forward and conclude more agreements and have more experience¾not only on our side but also on their side¾there is a certain easing of suspicion and mistrust. That is not to say that the agreements are solely based on trust; rather, they are based on reciprocity and common interests. I guess what we have learned about negotiating with the North Koreans is that it is important to be consistent, to set out clearly the principles that are guiding your objectives in the negotiations and to hold to those. Above all, it is important to be patient.

ACT: Are you satisfied with the levels of regional and international participation in KEDO and what do you think can be done to increase support?

Bosworth: In general, I am satisfied with the level of international support, particularly now that the European Union is coming in. I must say I am a little nonplused by the absence of broader participation from countries in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, where, as you know, only Indonesia has joined KEDO. The other countries have been supportive and have made modest financial contributions, but for reasons that are not clear, they have not yet joined KEDO. This remains, as I understand it, a high objective on the part of the three founding members and I expect that conversations with those Asian countries will continue over the next several months.

We always need more money and the fuel oil program is a constant millstone around our neck because every year we are going to need $60 million to $65 million to cover the cost of those shipments. The U.S. contribution has increased somewhat from $22 million to $25 million and the Clinton administration has requested $30 million for the next fiscal year. The European Union has made significant commitments and we get some money, significant in terms of the size of their economies, from countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada. But we are still looking at a gap as we look to the future. That is not something that I can really solve here at the Secretariat. That is something that only the member governments can solve.

ACT: What type of financial and burden sharing arrangements do you think the KEDO governments will agree to for the LWR project?

Bosworth: I think it is a little premature to be at all precise because the first step, of course, is to get concurrence and a rough order of magnitude cost estimate which gives them a pie that they can then decide how to divide. The South Koreans have said that they expect to play a central role that has to do with both financing and technology; the Japanese have said that they will play a significant role. My hope is that central plus significant equals 100 percent.

ACT: What is happening with North Korea's efforts to upgrade its electrical power grid to accommodate the new reactors? Has Pyongyang attempted to add this issue to the KEDO North Korea agenda? What happens if the first reactor is completed before North Korea is ready?

Bosworth: When we negotiated the supply agreement, the question of power grid modernization was, of course, a major issue. Our view from the beginning was that modernization was not part of the LWR project and therefore was not KEDO's responsibility. In the end, North Korea accepted that view, because the scope of supply that we are responsible for in the supply agreement does not include the power grid. My understanding is that the North Koreans have given some thought to how they might obtain financing for the modernization. Most of the countries in Asia, in fact, have been modernizing power grids over the last decade or more. For them, the international financial institutions have constituted an important source of funding. To gain access, North Korea would have to become a member of these organizations. That in itself might be desirable. We stand ready on a best efforts basis to introduce them to people and help them, but it is their responsibility, not ours.

ACT: How has the uncertainty about KEDO's funding and financing affected its ability to operate and to plan for the future?

Bosworth: It really has not. It is something we struggle with on a day to day basis, but we have to assume that, one way or another, the governments that created this organization will ensure that it has the funding it needs. So we continue to plan for the long term. We continue to negotiate with the North Koreans and to work on the prime contract with KEPCO. We are currently in the midst of elaborating a safety confirmation process for the LWR project. This will ensure not only that we have built safe reactors that can be operated safely by the North Koreans, but that we have done it in such a transparent fashion that the international community is confident that we have done what we are supposed to do. While the funding problem is a millstone around our neck, it has not really hampered our ability to carry out, over the longer term, the programs for which we are responsible.

ACT: Do you believe there is a point at which KEDO's operations or its mandates might be affected by the status of the related issues of spent fuel removal and the dismantlement of its nuclear facilities?

Bosworth: Well, of course. At certain points in the schedule of KEDO's construction of the LWRs, the North Koreans are going to have to fulfill their obligations. If they were unwilling to fulfill those obligations, it would certainly call into question the future of KEDO's programs.

ACT: With the exception of the submarine incident, have KEDO's relations with North Korea generally been spared from the ups and downs of the broader political agenda outlined in the Agreed Framework?

Bosworth: Yes, I think by and large. As the submarine incident taught us, we do not exist in a political vacuum, and things that happen in the broader context have some implications for us. But our relationship with North Korea has been very business like. Now, if there were to be some significant improvements in North Korea's broader engagement with the world, particularly in terms of North South dialogue, I think there is no question that it would make KEDO's job easier.

ACT: What are your impressions of the dialogue that has begun between the North and South Koreans who are working together on implementing the Agreed Framework? Have there been any surprises?

Bosworth: No, I think the only surprise is that it has been proceeding as smoothly as it has. We have got KEPCO personnel now up in North Korea. They are negotiating labor and other supply contracts with North Korean entities. This is all taking place, of course, under a KEDO rubric. So far, the relationship between KEPCO and the North Korean entities has been quite smooth.

ACT: Given the different and sometimes competing national interests of KEDO's founding members, what do you think KEDO has offered each of them?

Bosworth: Starting with the United States, KEDO is a response to the threat of global nuclear proliferation which drove U.S. policy primarily in the beginning. However, KEDO is also a vehicle for working toward a stable and peaceful environment in Northeast Asia, a region of the world which is terribly important to the United States. It is also a way of bringing about greater contact on a constructive basis between North and South Korea. For Japan, KEDO is a way of meeting an acute national security threat in a political fashion and preserving stability on the Korean Peninsula, which is right in the middle of Japan's neighborhood. For South Korea, of course, we are dealing with things that are right at the heart of its future and its present. I don't want to speak for the South Koreans, but I think what they have found is that, at present at least, KEDO is about the only place where they have the opportunity for regular contact with North Korea, albeit not on the full range of political issues, but certainly on a range of issues which are very important to both of them.

ACT: With North Korea facing a famine and economic crisis, are you concerned that KEDO might be overtaken by events? Should KEDO expand its focus beyond energy development and think more about economic development?

Bosworth: Well, I think KEDO has quite enough on its plate right now. The broader question may be whether there could be some future utility in a KEDO like structure for addressing certain problems. But that is difficult to foresee. It will depend upon the decisions of the individual governments concerned.

ACT: Do you think the North Koreans are satisfied with the Agreed Framework? Do you think they believe they have gotten what they were promised?

Bosworth: Whenever I am asked to speculate about the attitudes of the North Koreans on any subject, I become very wary because it is very hard, as you know, to penetrate that system. All I can say is that I look at what they have done. They have, in fact, complied quite assiduously with the commitments that they made under the Agreed Framework and with the commitments that they made to KEDO in the supply agreement and elsewhere. I draw from that the inference that they remain satisfied with the agreement, but, beyond that, I really can't speculate.

ACT: Having led KEDO since its creation, what do you wish you could have known? What would you have done differently?

Bosworth: There are always things you look back upon and wish that perhaps you had the knowledge then that you do now. By and large, I think we made our way through this labyrinth in which we find ourselves in a fairly effective fashion. It would have been useful, had the governments, from the beginning, been more alert to the need for steady sources of funding, particularly for the heavy fuel oil program. But in the broader sweep of what we have done, I don't have any big regrets.

ACT: What do you think will be the key issues facing your successor?

Bosworth: Well, over time the executive director's job should become more a task of project management and a little less a task of political management. But as long as the situation remains as it is now, there is always going to be high political content in this organization. Whoever comes in to replace me is going to have to be able to deal with that.

ACT: It has been reported that you are going to South Korea to serve as the U.S. ambassador. If confirmed, what do you think your tenure at KEDO will allow you to bring to that role?

Bosworth: Should I be formally nominated and confirmed—that I have to specify and stipulate—I think it obviously gives me a level of experience in dealing with the South Korean government and a sensitivity to its concerns, as well as a certain amount of practical experience in dealing with North Korea.

U.S. North Korean Missile Talks Collapse Following Defection

WHILE THE collapse of U.S. North Korean missile talks in late August may have temporarily set back Clinton administration efforts to rein in Pyongyang's missile activities, the cause of the break down—the defection to the United States of a senior North Korean diplomat believed to be familiar with the North's missile related transfers to the Middle East—may produce an intelligence bonanza for the United States. The diplomat, Chang Sung Kil, North Korea's ambassador to Egypt and a former vice foreign minister, is the highest ranking official from the North ever to defect directly to the United States.

Chang's defection and that of his brother, a lower ranking diplomat based in Paris, and their families prompted North Korea to withdraw from a scheduled third round of missile talks in New York only hours before they were set to begin on August 27. A North Korean official said the defections would also have "serious effects" on the four party talks (involving North and South Korea, the United States and China) on formally ending the Korean War scheduled to resume September 15.

The U.S. North Korean missile talks, which opened in April 1996, focus on Pyongyang's missile development programs and its missile related exports. So far, however, the talks have apparently not produced any changes in Pyongyang's proliferation behavior. The United States is particularly concerned about North Korean transfers to Egypt, Iran and Syria, as well as Pakistan, and its development of short and medium range ballistic missiles. In addition to producing Scud B and Scud C short range missiles (with ranges of 300 and 600 kilometers, respectively), North Korea is developing the 1,000 kilometer range No dong (which it has flight tested) and is suspected of developing the Taepo dong I and Taepo dong II (with an estimated range of 3,500 kilometers).

In a June 1997 unclassified report on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and advanced munitions, the CIA said North Korea "continued to export Scud related equipment and materials to countries of concern" during the last half of 1996. In early 1996, North Korea reportedly provided Egypt with materials and equipment that, according to a leaked CIA document, "could allow Egypt to begin Scud C series production." (See ACT, July 1996.)

As part of the Clinton administration's carrot and stick approach to dealing with North Korea's proliferation activities—offering a bilateral dialogue while maintaining the threat of economic sanctions—the administration announced August 6 in the Federal Register that the United States was imposing sanctions on two North Korean entities—the Lyongaksan General Trading Corporation and the Korea Pugang Trading Corporation—for unspecified missile related transfers. The sanctions, however, which prohibit the U.S. government and U.S. companies from doing business with either firm, are largely symbolic because of long standing legislation that precludes such trade.

U.S. Investigating Seismic Event Near Russian Nuclear Test Site


Craig Cerniello

ON AUGUST 16, several seismological monitoring stations in northern Europe detected a seismic event in the vicinity of the Russian nuclear test site at Novaya Zemlya. The Washington Times reported on August 28 that some U.S. officials suspect the event may have been caused by a low yield nuclear explosion. Russia, which instituted a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing in 1991 and signed the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) Treaty in 1996, has officially stated that the seismic event was a small earthquake. As of the end of August, the Clinton administration has not reached a conclusion as to the nature of the event. It is unclear what impact, if any, the seismic event will have on the administration's plans to submit the CTB Treaty to the Senate, possibly as early as late September


Status of the Seismic Event

During an August 28 Defense Department briefing, Captain Michael Doubleday announced the Clinton administration's initial reaction to the incident: "We are aware that a seismic event with explosive characteristics occurred in the vicinity of the Russian nuclear test range at Novaya Zemlya on the 16th of August. The information which we have is still under review, and we've reached no conclusions at this point." The administration has also requested further clarification from Russia regarding the event, variously reported as between 3.3 and 3.8 on the Richter scale.

Meanwhile, in an August 29 interview with Itar Tass, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov said, "The nuclear test site at Novaya Zemlya was closed down, and Russia strictly complies with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty." He described the seismic event as "an ordinary earthquake" in the Kara Sea, located approximately 100 kilometers from Novaya Zemlya in a commonly known seismic area. Apparently in response to reports of increased activity at Novaya Zemlya, Mikhailov noted that "hydrodynamic experiments" (which do not utilize fissile materials, produce no nuclear yield and are clearly permissible under the CTB Treaty) are being conducted at that location.

The seismic event was detected by six seismological stations that will be part of the CTB Treaty's international monitoring system (IMS)—a global network of 321 seismological, radionuclide, infrasound and hydroacoustic stations designed to detect and identify nuclear explosions prohibited by the treaty—as well as several other seismological stations in the region. The six IMS stations that detected the seismic event are located in Arti and Norilsk, Russia; Hamar and Spitsbergen, Norway; Lahti, Finland; and Hagfors, Sweden. Another IMS station located in Karasjok, Norway, most likely would have been able to pick up the event as well, had it not been shut down for repairs.

Critics of the CTB have seized on the seismic event as evidence that either the Russians have already cheated or that it will be impossible to verify whether low yield nuclear explosions have occurred under the treaty. For instance, Senator Jon Kyl (R AZ) said in The Washington Times on August 29 that "Russia's action raises key questions. When will the Clinton administration get serious about Russian violations of its arms control commitments?"

Supporters of the CTB, however, have challenged the assertion that the seismic event was caused by a nuclear explosion and have pointed out that several monitoring stations in the IMS were able to detect the event, demonstrating the effectiveness of the treaty's verification regime. Moreover, proponents have argued that once the CTB enters into force there will be additional tools available to help states parties determine whether a violation has occurred, especially provisions allowing for on site inspections.

Since the CTB was only opened for signature in September 1996 and has not yet entered into force, the IMS is only in the process of being developed. Thus far, over 25 of the 50 primary seismological stations in the IMS, 40 50 of the 120 auxiliary seismological stations, 15 of the 80 radionuclide stations, one of the 60 infrasound stations and two of the 11 hydroacoustic stations are in existence. These facilities, however, still require varying degrees of upgrades to meet treaty specifications.

Information gathered by the IMS will be transmitted to the treaty's International Data Center (IDC) for storage and processing. The IDC, to be located in Vienna, will provide information on suspicious events to states parties to help them analyze whether a treaty violation may have occurred. The Defense Department has already set up a prototype IDC at the Center for Monitoring Research in Arlington, VA. The Preparatory Commission for the CTB Treaty Organization has been meeting regularly to help facilitate the transfer of this prototype facility to its permanent location in Vienna, scheduled for 1999, and to complete the establishment of the IMS.

New Head of Russian Strategic Forces Praises START

Newly appointed commander in chief of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, Colonel General Vladimir Yakovlev, expressed his strong support for the U.S. Russian strategic offensive arms reduction process in an interview published in the Russian Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye on August 14. Yakovlev, who takes over responsibility for the strategic rocket forces from General Igor Sergeyev (the new Russian Defense Minister), said the START agreements will preserve nuclear deterrence, enhance strategic stability, reduce the likelihood of military confrontation and provide significant economic benefits.

Although START II has not yet been approved by the Russian Duma, Yakovlev is optimistic about the treaty's prospects. "I believe the START II Treaty unquestionably is advantageous for Russia. Its ratification is without an alternative both from a military strategic as well as economic standpoint," he said. Yakovlev also noted that several Russian complaints about START II were largely addressed by the "Joint Statement on Parameters on Future Reductions in Nuclear Forces," signed by President Bill Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin on March 21 in Helsinki. (See ACT, March 1997.) Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether Yeltsin will press the Duma to take up the treaty when it returns from its summer recess.

NATO and Russian Approaches To Adapting the CFE Treaty

By Colonel Jeffrey D. McCausland

With the completion of the Madrid summit, NATO has embarked on not only its most significant membership expansion but also a further redefinition of its purpose. It is critical, however, to remember that NATO enlargement is not an objective of Western security. The true objective is to improve overall security in Europe and establish a viable framework of stability for the future. In this context, "enlargement" is a "means" to achieve this greater "objective." While this may strike some as a question of semantics, it serves to place NATO's expansion effort in the proper perspective. It also underscores the fact that enlargement is meant to be an ongoing process that only began with the invitations to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland to join the alliance. This process must be given careful consideration over the next two years to ensure the ultimate objective of enhanced security is realized and not compromised along the way.

Fundamental in this regard are efforts to assuage Russian concerns about enlargement. Though Western policy makers have attempted to describe enlargement as non threatening, there is no doubt that most, if not all, Russian leaders still disagree. To help overcome Moscow's resistance to NATO's move eastward, the Founding Act signed between Russia and the alliance in May of this year provides for consultations, cooperation, possible joint action and a NATO Russia Permanent Joint Council, though it is still unclear exactly how this council is to operate. There have been other policy recommendations to help Russia through this period, such as a mixed NATO Russian military brigade that would build upon the experience of the Implementation Force (IFOR) and Stabilization Force (SFOR) in the former Yugoslavia. But central to meeting Moscow's fears about NATO enlargement will be radical revisions of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.

From Russia's perspective, the CFE Treaty provides it with legally binding assurances about the size and deployment of NATO forces that are critical to Moscow's assessment of regional security. Consequently, while adjustments to the treaty were warranted based on the dramatic changes that have occurred in Europe since its signing, the alliance's impending enlargement gives this adaptation process an added significance.


The Treaty in Perspective

Signed in November 1990 by the 22 NATO and Warsaw Pact countries, the CFE Treaty places numerical limitations on tanks, artillery, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), combat aircraft and attack helicopters—known collectively as treaty limited equipment (TLE)—for each alliance or "group" in an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains. These alliance wide limitations were further circumscribed by a series of geographic zones to prevent the massing of forces in specific regions. Individual limits for each treaty signatory were distributed from the alliance limits among the members of each of the two blocs before the demise of the Warsaw Pact. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, those former Soviet republics within the treaty's area of application (with the exception of the Baltic states) met in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in May 1992 and determined their respective TLE limits from the total allocated to the Soviet Union.

Though the CFE Treaty was signed in November 1990, its implementation was delayed by the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the demise of the Soviet Union and problems associated with the removal and transfer of Soviet heavy weapons. In 1989 and 1990 (before the treaty was signed), the Soviet Union had moved a huge number of weapons (estimated at betweaen 50,000 and 70,000) east of the Ural Mountains (outside the treaty's area of application) and had transferred other TLE to naval infantry and coastal defense units, actions which delayed ratification of the accord. Once these issues were settled, the treaty formally entered into force in November 1992 after Belarus became the last state to deposit its instrument of ratification. Despite this delay, by November 17, 1995 (the end of the treaty's 40 month reduction period), over 58,000 pieces of TLE had been eliminated (most through destruction), and approximately 2,700 inspections were conducted to ensure compliance.1 Russia had the greatest burden for eliminating TLE; its reductions represented roughly 20 percent of this total.

Curiously, during this transitional period the inspections may have contributed more to reducing tensions than the actual reductions. For example, under the terms of the agreement, short notice inspections were conducted of U.S. forces in Germany as they were preparing for deployment to the former Yugoslavia in 1995. Also, though the purpose of the treaty was to reduce the possibility of short warning conventional attacks, it proved particularly valuable in responding to Soviet concerns about German reunification and assisting in the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Eastern Europe. In fact, the greatest value of the agreement may be that the entire CFE system provides a forum for the major European states to debate, agree and maintain a set of rules about the deployment of conventional military power on the continent.

The treaty has also adapted to other political changes besides the reunification of Germany and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In October 1991, the territories of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were recognized as being outside the CFE area of application once these countries regained their independence. And in January 1993, as part of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Czech and Slovak republics agreed on the division of the TLE of the former Warsaw Pact member.

Full and final compliance with the CFE Treaty was, however, endangered in late 1995 due to Moscow's insistence that it could not comply with limits on its forces in the accord's so called "flank" zone—an area that includes both Russia's Leningrad Military District in the north and the North Caucasus Military District in the south, where Russia had amassed a large force in its conflict with Chechnyan separatists. As the November 1995 deadline for final reductions approached, it became clear that Russia would be in compliance with its overall limits, but would not meet the flank limits. At the 11th hour, the 30 states parties agreed to a framework for resolving this issue, and a final compromise was achieved at the first CFE Treaty review conference in May 1996 in Vienna. Under that formulation, Russia is permitted higher force levels in the original areas of the flank zone and an extension from 1995 to 1999 to come down to these new levels. In addition, the original flank limits apply to a flank zone reduced in area. (This compromise was ratified by the U.S. Senate in May 1997.)

During the May 1996 review conference, NATO members indicated their willingness to consider further adjustments to the CFE Treaty, and CFE parties agreed to discuss ways to "enhance the viability and effectiveness" of the agreement. On December 1, one day before the opening of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Lisbon, CFE parties approved a document outlining the "scope and parameters" for the adaptation talks, which were to begin at the Vienna based Joint Consultative Group (JCG) in January 1997.


NATO's Approach to Adaptation

The original CFE mandate sought a stable balance of conventional forces at fixed, lower levels and the elimination of alliance capabilities for launching surprise conventional attacks. The "Final Document" from the review conference noted the achievement of these objectives and, consequently, the focus now must be to cement these gains and build upon them. Furthermore, it seems logical that political goals now have greater salience than the military objectives that were fundamental to the original negotiations.

NATO countries agree that four essential aspects of the agreement must be maintained: ceilings on the five categories of TLE; the inspection regime; regular information exchange between treaty signatories; and a treaty structure that allows for political change. Members also accept the need for progress in these discussions to parallel the NATO enlargement process, although they oppose direct linkage or artificial deadlines.

In February 1997, NATO presented its proposal to adjust the CFE Treaty and reflect the dramatic changes that had taken place in Eastern and Central Europe since its signing. NATO proposed replacing the existing bloc to bloc and zonal limits on TLE with "national" and "territorial" limits. This change is intended to reflect the passing of the Warsaw Pact and the emergence of a new European security architecture. Every country would declare its national limits for each equipment category with the goal of reducing overall force levels. Countries also would be allowed to host "stationed forces" (the forces of another state party on its soil), but the total of a nation's own equipment plus permanently stationed hardware would be limited by the new territorial ceiling. In the case of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, territorial limits would be set at or below current entitlement levels and, consequently, these nations, without reducing their own forces, would not be able to permanently station significant amounts of TLE from other NATO countries on their territories. (See Table 1.)

As with the treaty's current zonal limits, these stationed forces restrictions would, however, apply only to the three categories of ground based TLE (tanks, artillery and ACVs); they would place no limit on the number of combat aircraft or attack helicopters that NATO could deploy on the territories of new members (due to the rapid mobility of these weapons systems). All CFE parties would have to agree that the declared national and derived territorial levels were acceptable before being codified in an adjusted treaty.

Provisions on stationed forces would have an impact on the United States, all of whose forces are stationed (primarily in Germany). U.S. forces are allowed under the current treaty based on the United States receiving an entitlement as a treaty signatory. The adjusted treaty text would have to specify territorial totals for each signatory that included U.S. forces, and each state on whose territory U.S. forces are stationed would have to continue to agree to their presence. It is also important to consider that non German NATO forces are currently not allowed to be stationed in the territory of the former German Democratic Republic as part of the "Two Plus Four" agreement that resulted in German reunification.

The NATO proposal would also insert a clear definition of so called "temporary deployments" for military exercises and create a new stabilizing zone— encompassing the four Visegrad states (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), Russia's Kaliningrad oblast (administrative district), Belarus and western Ukraine—where greater restrictions would apply for stationed forces. Under the proposal, territorial ceilings for ground based equipment could not be set any higher than current individual maximum levels, additional information would be provided on stationed forces or temporary deployments, and special inspection quotas would apply to certain sites.

Western signatories recognize that the introduction of an "accession clause" to allow other European states to join the CFE regime is appropriate. This could have positive ramifications for both the Baltic and Balkan regions. The exclusion of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from the treaty was primarily an issue of sovereignty. Baltic leaders argued that they were neither signatories to the original agreement nor successor states to the Soviet Union, and they refused to participate in the May 1992 Tashkent conference. It seems logical that entry into the CFE regime now as new members would underscore their respective sovereignty, offer additional security reassurances and could be viewed as a prerequisite to future entry into NATO.

As regards the Balkans, the December 1995 General Framework Agreement on Peace for Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Dayton peace accord) calls for confidence and security building measures (CSBMs) and force reductions which mirror the CFE agreement. The resulting treaties were signed in the spring of 1996. Inspections consistent with the established measures are occurring, and reductions are being monitored. Another portion of the Dayton agreement also calls for future sub regional discussions with the goal of establishing a regional balance in and around the former Yugoslavia. These negotiations would likely include not only the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now comprising Serbia and Montenegro), Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Austria and Slovenia. The talks might also include other states in the region that are already CFE signatories such as Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. A CFE accession clause would offer signatories to the Bosnian peace accords the opportunity to enter the CFE regime once they had achieved their required residual levels, which could obviate the need for separate negotiations.

NATO has also called for lower TLE entitlements throughout the area of application, and made a commitment that the total of alliance ground based equipment entitlements under an adjusted treaty will be "significantly" less than what the current NATO members are allowed. The alliance has attempted throughout these discussions and elsewhere to emphasize the view that NATO poses no threat to Russia. Despite this fact, many Russian leaders continue to view NATO with great suspicion, especially in light of its enlargement plans. In their view, a reduction in NATO entitlements would diminish not only the numerical disparity between NATO and Russian forces (which is currently greater than 2:1 in some categories), but might also serve to reduce Moscow's security anxieties. A large portion of NATO's reductions would likely be drawn from U.S. TLE entitlements, bringing these entitlements closer to what is actually present in the treaty's area of application and requiring very little actual equipment destruction. (See Table 2.)

NATO members also agree on two other issues. First, they seek an improved flow of information to all signatories and enhancements to the CFE verification regime. This must include changes to the allocation of inspection quotas engendered by the elimination of the treaty's original bloc to bloc structure. During their negotiations, original CFE NATO countries agreed that there was no need for one NATO country to inspect another. Since the demise of the Warsaw Pact, however, its former members have frequently requested so called "East on East" inspections. This has reduced the available inspection quotas for NATO countries, and several states (most notably Russia) have complained that it is especially burdensome. Second, the negotiations to achieve a compromise over Russian force levels in the flank zone were both difficult and divisive; all NATO members agree that this issue must not be reopened in the adaptation talks.

Overall, the NATO proposal seeks to respond to Russian concerns by forgoing a dramatic expansion of the alliance's collective arsenal with weapon systems from new members, and the proposed stabilizing zone in Central Europe would preclude the concentration of forces on the territories of the new NATO members. An adjusted treaty consistent with this proposal should not engender significant supplementary costs because the requirement to destroy additional equipment will be low. Finally, relatively minor adjustments to the verification regime will ensure that the opportunities to cheat—and the resulting advantages—are also low.


The Russian Position

Moscow presented its initial ideas for CFE modification during the May 1996 review conference, and Russian officials complained throughout the remainder of the year (with some good reason) that NATO's failure to respond suggested a lack of political willingness. The ideas put forward by Moscow included a shift toward national ceilings and the accession of new members, among other things. A formal Russian proposal, presented in March 1997 at the JCG, reflected many of Moscow's early ideas and demonstrated some areas of agreement with NATO's proposal. For example, Russia supported shifting from group to national totals, the addition of an accession clause, and disposition of separate counting rules for equipment placed in storage. The Russian proposal also included:

  • limits on stationed forces that would largely preclude NATO from placing any equipment on the territories of new members;
  • the elimination of the flank zone;
  • exemptions for equipment assigned to forces involved in peacekeeping operations (as in Chechnya, for instance); and
  • a "sufficiency rule" that would place a limit on the amount of TLE any alliance (that is, NATO) could have.

Russian negotiators have also suggested the addition of new pieces of equipment to the "combat aircraft" category (such as electronic warfare, refueling and transport aircraft), and limitations on infrastructure improvements (including airfields, harbors and railways). Obviously, some of these proposals will be difficult for NATO to accept, but there are areas of conceptual agreement.

Russian officials argue that the full implementation of the CFE Treaty and the demise of the Warsaw Pact have resulted in an asymmetry in the balance of forces. This is the basis of their recommendations for an alliance sufficiency rule and restraints on stationed forces on new members' territories. Moscow maintains that under the treaty Russia is currently allowed less TLE than NATO, and this disparity would only grow if NATO expands eastward.

Such analysis is, however, flawed in several ways. First, from a legal perspective, NATO is not a party to or signatory of the CFE Treaty. Certainly, the alliance has been involved in the treaty's negotiation and implementation and is mentioned a number of times in the actual treaty text, but the treaty is still based on the participation of 30 sovereign states. Second, Moscow's balance of force comparisons are based on a Cold War security environment—pitting alliance against alliance—which no longer exists. In the new era of cooperative security, as is clearly stated in the NATO Russian Founding Act, "NATO and Russia do not consider each other as adversaries." Third, this perspective ignores NATO's stated desire—contained both in its proposal and the Founding Act—to negotiate lower force levels as an objective of the adaptation talks. Fourth, NATO currently maintains force levels that are far below its entitlements in every TLE category. It is certainly true that total entitlements for all NATO members would increase with the addition of new members, but the sum of the current holdings of NATO members plus the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland would still be far below the alliance's entitlement prior to enlargement. (See Table 3.)Moreover, given the current economic conditions and budgetary pressures in NATO countries, it is difficult to imagine them expanding their arsenals so actual holdings more closely approximate actual entitlements. Fifth, Russia currently maintains lower force levels than it is allowed under the ceilings established for each category of TLE. Furthermore, the CFE Treaty only applies to Russian conventional forces west of the Ural Mountains; it has no impact on weaponry deployed outside the treaty's area of application. Russia can (if it desires) significantly increase its TLE holdings under the current treaty either by expanding its force structure in the area of application or transferring units now deployed east of the Ural Mountains. Finally, Russian officials are quick to portray their position as one of total isolation, compared to NATO's 16—and soon to be 19—members. This, however, ignores the close relations that exist between Russia and Belarus, plus the sizable CFE entitlement for the Belarusan military. (See Table 4.)

Basic Elements' for Adaptation

On July 23, the 30 states parties to the CFE Treaty announced agreement on certain "basic elements" for treaty adaptation (referred to informally as the "Basic Elements Document"), thus fulfilling one of the objectives undertaken by NATO and Russia in the Founding Act. In the Basic Elements Document, all states parties agreed that the CFE Treaty's original bloc to bloc structure was outmoded and should be replaced by national limits for all TLE categories. They also agreed that:

  • national limits should not exceed existing allocations for each country;
  • rules governing TLE in storage must be changed;
  • stabilizing measures to preclude force concentrations were required;
  • each state should adopt a territorial ceiling that equaled the total of national and stationed forces;
  • rules governing "temporary deployments" must be clarified; and
  • an accession clause should be added to the treaty.

It is clear that the Basic Elements Document represents a "lowest common denominator" agreement based on NATO's and Russia's respective proposals, and a final, adjusted treaty will require difficult negotiations. Both sides had already indicated their willingness to move toward national totals and to constrain stationed forces through the imposition of additional territorial limits. NATO and Russia had both also proposed the addition of an accession clause for new signatories. Other "elements" contained in the document simply clarify those areas that must be addressed in the adaptation talks (for example, rules for temporary deployments, stabilizing measures and new rules for stored equipment). But the "devil remains in the details" of how this effort will translate into an adjusted treaty all 30 parties can agree upon.

The true significance of the Basic Elements Document may be more political in nature, demonstrating the progress made in the adaptation process since the Madrid summit in July. Russia appears to have dropped for now its insistence on an overall alliance sufficiency rule and accepted several aspects of NATO's approach to treaty adaptation. Moscow has also suggested that it may be possible to achieve a framework agreement in time for the OSCE summit in Copenhagen in December.

Nevertheless, Russia was far more cautious in its response to this development than many in the West. Russian negotiators may well accept that these elements must be in the adjusted treaty text, but that may not mean they have fully given up on other issues such as an alliance sufficiency rule, removal of the flank limitation or expanding the definition of "combat aircraft." Furthermore, Russia continues to insist on greater limits on the deployment of NATO forces on the territories of new members, and geographic limits for aircraft and ground based TLE. Moscow may have also accepted the need for stabilizing measures, but it is very unlikely to embrace the proposed "stabilizing zone" in its current form. Finally, Russian officials appear to believe that they have made most of the concessions so far in the adaptation process, and it is now up to the West to respond.


Prospects in Vienna

The Vienna adaptation talks, as is true with any arms control negotiations, will not occur in a vacuum and will therefore be affected by other aspects of the Euro Atlantic security environment. For instance, some CFE Treaty signatories were upset over the manner in which the flank problem was resolved at the treaty review conference. Many observers, particularly in Europe, believe the United States became frustrated with NATO's inability to achieve consensus on a compromise and subsequently conducted bilateral negotiations with Russia. The resulting agreement was then forced on the alliance and other treaty signatories.2 There is concern in Europe that Washington might adopt this approach again if progress in the adaptation negotiations stalls. Serious disagreements among NATO members during the Madrid summit over which states should be offered NATO membership and over adjustments to the alliance's command structure are further indicators of strains within NATO.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine are also key to the achievement of an adaptation agreement. Moscow and Kiev were deadlocked over a final treaty on the Black Sea Fleet for over five years. While the military value of the TLE associated with the fleet's coastal defense and naval infantry forces is suspect, a final settlement remained a serious sovereignty issue, particularly in terms of the stationing of Russian forces on Ukrainian soil. A compromise agreement was achieved in the spring of 1997, but its final implementation will be of critical importance for Russian Ukrainian relations and prospects in Vienna. If approved by both national parliaments, the agreement could signal a new Russian policy toward the former Soviet republics.

Serious questions have also been raised by other CFE parties which might affect the Vienna talks. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland accepted NATO's adaptation proposal with no complaints due largely to their desire to obtain an invitation to join the alliance. These states remain somewhat skeptical, however, of the proposed stabilization zone that would place them in a separate category from other NATO members and could largely preclude the alliance from stationing forces permanently on their territories. It remains to be seen if they will continue to support NATO's proposal now that an invitation has been extended. In addition, Azerbaijan has raised repeated objections to the presence of Russian forces in Georgia and Armenia following their independence from the Soviet Union. In recent months, Azerbaijani officials have also accused Moscow of providing weapons to Armenia without announcing such transfers in accordance with existing CFE Treaty rules on data exchanges.

Finally, time itself could still become an issue. Though there is no direct link between CFE Treaty modernization and NATO enlargement, achieving an adapted treaty before the three proposed members actually enter the alliance in April 1999 is certainly a goal. Many Western officials had hoped that the framework of an adapted accord could be achieved prior to the Madrid summit, but this did not occur due largely to intense efforts to resolve many outstanding issues surrounding the NATO Russian Founding Act. While Russia did make significant concessions from its initial position for the Founding Act, some experts believe that the act would not have been concluded had Moscow not viewed CFE adaptation as the "escape valve" for any demands not satisfied. Rather than supposing that NATO negotiators will continue to say "no," Russian officials may instead believe that this increased pressure on the adaptation process will result in the sides settling their "unfinished business."


The Task Ahead

NATO enlargement remains a means to improve European security and not an objective by itself. In this context, efforts to adjust the CFE Treaty are simply a policy tool in this overall process and not a panacea. This endeavor is not based on Western altruism, because NATO remains in a position of strength from strictly a military perspective. Rather, it is based on the view that the foundations of European security have been inextricably altered. The NATO communiqué from the January 1994 Brussels summit that announced the alliance's enlargement clearly suggests this goal, stating: We expect and would welcome NATO expansion that would reach to democratic states to our East, as part of an evolutionary process, taking into account political and security developments in the whole. (Emphasis added.) From the perspective of NATO enlargement, CFE adaptation can make a positive contribution to the consolidation of European security if it fulfills the following requirements:


  • ease, to some degree, Russian concerns about NATO enlargement;
  • consider how adjustments will affect relations between NATO and its new members;
  • take into account the security concerns of the Eastern and Central European states not invited to apply for NATO membership, particularly the Baltic states and Ukraine;and
  • enhance alliance cohesion while fostering public support for enlargement.

Adjusting the CFE Treaty is critical to reducing Russian concerns over NATO enlargement. It would be a serious error to interpret Moscow's acceptance of the NATO Russian Founding Act as support for NATO enlargement. Russia's political and military elites continue to be firmly opposed to enlargement, and it remains to be seen whether the country's populist leaders will continue to trumpet their opposition as a means to broaden their support. If handled properly, an adapted agreement can offer greater security not only for Russia but for all CFE parties. Treaty revisions that consider Russia's security concerns are crucial, and must be accompanied by a coordinated effort to breathe life into the NATO Russian Founding Act as well as the agreement between the alliance and Ukraine.

The fears of prospective new members must also be considered. These countries must feel that they are entering NATO as "full" and not "second class" members. Consequently, the alliance must protect the right to deploy forces on their territories (at least for exercise purposes) while underscoring the fact that the West sees no need for the permanent stationing of large scale forces. It is important, however, to remind these states that while the collective defense guarantee is still an essential part of the alliance, the NATO of 1997 is far different from the NATO of 1987. Treaty adaptation, in concert with other efforts, will help to reshape NATO as it considers new problems of conflict prevention and cooperative security.

Obviously, an adaptation agreement is impossible absent the support of those states which do not intend or are not allowed to join NATO in the near future. Their support will be based on how well the revised treaty will improve their individual security. For the Baltic nations—and potentially the Balkan states—the possibility of acceding to the treaty will not only provide modest security assurances, but must be considered an essential preliminary step toward joining NATO in future. The move toward territorial ceilings in reality makes every country a "zone," and therefore reduces the possibility of collective large scale force concentrations in one state that are threatening to its neighbor. This move must be coupled with a mechanism to address the tough issue of stationed forces, as many former Soviet republics fear the creation of any legal basis for the potential presence of Russian troops on their territories. Furthermore, enhanced transparency measures and data exchanges should further the security of all.

Alliance cohesion throughout the adaptation process is a prerequisite as well as an objective. NATO has shown in many ways surprising solidarity in the initial eight months of the negotiations and formulation of the alliance's agreed position. Whether this cohesion will remain as the pace of the negotiations intensifies and alliance members begin to explain the logic of enlargement to their respective populations is less certain. Ultimately, the success of this process can only be measured in how well the alliance satisfies these conflicting requirements and sets a course for the future.


1. "Final Document of the First Conference to Review Operations of the CFE Treaty and the Concluding Act of the Negotiations on Personnel Strength," Vienna, Austria, May 15 31, 1996, p. 2.

2. Paul A. Goble, "Outflanked: How Non Russian Countries View the Proposed CFE Flank Modifications," testimony prepared for a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, April 29, 1997.


Table 1: CFE Treaty Entitlements/Holdings (E/H) for NATO Invitees1

Country Tanks Artillery ACVs Helicopters Aircraft
Czech Republic 957 952 767 767 1,367 1,367 50 36 230 144
Hungary 835 797 840 840 1,700 1,300 108 59 180 141
Poland 1,730 1,729 1,610, 1,581 2,150 1,422 130 94 460 384
Total 3,522 3,478 3,217 3,188 5,217 4,109 288 189 870 669

1. Actual holdings as of January 1, 1997

Source: derived from individual national data contained in Dorn Crawford, Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE): A Review and Update of Key Treaty Elements," Washington, DC: ACDA, January 1997

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Table 2: U.S. CFE Treaty Entitlements/Holdings

  Entitlements Holdings1
Tanks 4,006 1,115
Artillery 2,492 612
ACVs 5,372 1,849
Helicopters 431 126
Aircraft 784 220
Total 13,085 3,922

1. Actual holdings as of January 1, 1997

Source: derived from individual national data contained in Dorn Crawford, Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE): A Review and Update of Key Treaty Elements," Washington, DC: ACDA, January 1997

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Table 3: NATO & Russian CFE Treaty Entitlements/Holdings (E/H)1

  NATO Russia NATO+32
Tanks 20,000 14,101 6,400 5,541 23,522 17,579
Artillery 20,000 14,101 6,415 6,011 23,217 17,198
ACVs 30,000 21,464 11,480 10,198 35,217 25,573
Helicopters 2,000 1,221 890 812 2,288 1,410
Aircraft 6,800 4,218 3,416 2,891 7,760 4,887
Total 78,000 55,014 28,601 25,453 91,914 66,647

1. Actual holdings as of January 1, 1997

2. Sixteen NATO members plus the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland

Source: derived from individual national data contained in Dorn Crawford, Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE): A Review and Update of Key Treaty Elements," Washington, DC: ACDA, January 1997

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Table 4: Belarusan CFE Treaty Entitlements/Holdings

  Entitlements Holdings1
Tanks 1,800 1,778
Artillery 1,615 1,533
ACVs 2,600 2,518
Helicopters 80 71
Aircraft 294 286
Total 6,389 6,186

1. Actual holdings as of January 1, 1997

Source: derived from individual national data contained in Dorn Crawford, Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE): A Review and Update of Key Treaty Elements," Washington, DC: ACDA, January 1997

Colonel Jeffrey D. McCausland is director of the European Studies program at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA. The idease expressed in this article are the author's own, and are not to be considered the policy of the U.S. government


U.S. Arms Export Agreements Notified to Congress, 1997

From January 1 to August 31, 1997, the Clinton administration notified Congress of $3.88 billion worth of proposed government-to-government arms transfer agreements. Under the Arms Export Control Act, Congress must be notified of any proposed sale of "major defense equipment," as defined on the U.S. Munitions List, worth $14 million or more; other defense articles and services that are not defined as "major defense equipment" that total $50 million or more; and construction or design services amounting to or surpassing $200 million. Once notified, congress has 30 calendar days (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan and New Zealand) to block a sale by voting a joint rsolution of disapproval, although it has never successfully exercised this authority. The United States conducts government-to-government transfers through the Defense Department's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

The Arms Control Association maintains a register of all U.S. FMS government-to-government transfer agreements notified to Congress by the Pentagon since January 1990. The register does not necessarily reflect finalized transactions and may include offers that never result in actual deliveries.

For more information contact Wade Boese

Country Total Value Weapons/Services of Note
Saudi Arabia $1.428 billion <>Maintenance and construction services in support of 5 E-3 Airborne Warning and Control Systems.

<>7 KE-3 aeriel refueling tankers.

<>1 KE-3 Tactical Air Surveillance aircraft.

<>130 90mm Turret Weapons Systems for integration into Light Armored Vehicles including chassis modification / upgrade, 130 M240 machine guns, 130 M2 .50 caliber machine guns and 169,490 rounds of 90mm ammunition.

<>Communication equipment including: 465 AN / VRC-90, 355 AN / VRC-92 and 404 AN / VRC-119 radios, 42 RT-1702C receiver transmitter, high frequency radios.

Taiwain $654 million <>54 HARPOON missiles.

<>1,786 TOW 2A anti-armor guided missiles (including 27 Lot Acceptance missiles) and 114 TOW launchers.

<>100 M1045A2 High Mobility Mult-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles.

<>21 AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters with spare and repair parts.

Japan $400 million <>Modifications and upgrade of 13 E-2C Update Group II Mission Suite retrofit kits, including AN / APS-145 Radars (Catagory XII) for existing E-2C aircraft.
South Korea $307 million <>1,065 STINGER RMP missiles less reprogrammable modules, 213 weapon rounds, 213 gripstock control group guided missile launchers, Interrogator Friend or Foe, and support equipment.
Bahrain $303 million <>20 F-16A / B aircraft with Mid-Life Update (MLU) modification kits or 10 F-16C / D aircraft.
Israel $230 million <>15 UH-60L Blachawk helicopters, 30 GE turbine engines and 4 spare engines.

<>98,745 M107 high explosive 155mm projectiles.

Thailand $140 million <>107 excess M60A3 ttanks with 105mm guns and Tank Thermal Sight capability.

<>107 .50 caliber and 7.62mm machine guns.

<>37,500 M16A2 rifles, 4,700 M4 carbines and 2,600 M203 grenade launchers.

United Arab Emirates $117 million <>24 RGM-84G-4 HARPOON missiles with containers.

<>72 RIM-7M (F1 Build) SEASPARROW missiles with 1 training missile.

Italy $116 million <>233 AIM-120B Advanced Medium Range Air-toAir Missiles.
France $85 million <>4 Electronic Suppport Measure Systems for incorporation into E-3F AWACs fleet
Turkey $75 million <>300 rounds of 40mm high explosives and 24,000 rounds of 20mm ammunition
Australia $27 million 29excess SH-2F / G LAMPS MK 1 helicopters
TOTAL $3.882 billion  

Sources: Department of Defense, ACA


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