Login/Logout

*
*  

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

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

Administration, Senate Opposition Draw Battle Lines Over CWC

January/February 1997

By Erik J. Keklem

With less than three months remaining until formal entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the Clinton administration's renewed push for Senate approval of the accord has encountered stiff opposition by top Republicans still seeking to link Senate consideration to other arms control and foreign policy issues. The treaty is once again being held up by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R NC), who last year led a successful effort to derail the administration's effort to bring the convention to a vote. (See ACT, September 1996.)

The 1993 treaty, now signed by 161 countries including the United States and ratified by 70, will enter into force April 29 with or without U.S. ratification. If the United States fails to ratify the treaty by that date, it will be barred from membership in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the implementing body that will begin formal operation April 29. As a result, the United States will be unable to participate in the decision making process during the first critical months of the convention's implementation.

The Congressional Debate

The administration's campaign, led by new National Security Advisor Samuel Berger, hopes to persuade Republican leaders to bring a resolution of ratification before the full Senate for a vote before the April 29 deadline. However, both Helms and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R MS), either of whom can prevent the CWC from coming to the Senate floor for a vote, have told the administration that other issues must be addressed before they will move to vote on the treaty.

In a January 8 letter to Clinton, Lott said, "[I]t will be very difficult to explore the possibility of Senate action on the Chemical Weapons Convention without first addressing legitimate security and Constitutional concerns on other important arms control issues." In particular, Lott suggested Senate advice and consent are required for any "demarcation" limits to the Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, for the ABM Treaty's multilateralization and for new "flank" limits to the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. "As you seek bipartisan cooperation [on the CWC]," Lott said, "you must understand our expectation for such cooperation on ABM multilateralization, ABM demarcation and CFE flank limits."

Opposition By Helms

In a January 29 letter to Lott, Helms said he remained opposed to the treaty "as transmitted" by the president, and recommended instead that the Senate consider the CWC only after it passes legislation on "top Republican priorities." Among the issues that must first be addressed, according to Helms, are legislation to restructure U.S. foreign policy agencies, legislation that ensures comprehensive UN reform, submission to the Senate for advice and consent of modifications to the ABM Treaty and the CFE Treaty, and legislation to deploy a national missile defense system.

In his letter, Helms said, "at a minimum the only acceptable end result of our efforts must be a resolution of ratification, approved by the Foreign Relations Committee," that addresses key Republican concerns. In an accompanying memo, Helms included the conditioning of U.S. ratification on: a Russian commitment to implement the 1990 U.S. Russian "Bilateral Destruction Agreement" and ratify the CWC; accession to the CWC by "those countries possessing chemical weapons which pose a threat to the United States"; and presidential certification that U.S. intelligence can "monitor with a high degree of confidence the compliance of all parties" to the convention. Other key conditions in the memo included clarification of the U.S. response to acts of non compliance with the CWC, ensuring the primacy of the Constitution over all convention provisions and the protection of confidential business information.

The specific language of the resolution of ratification will be key, as some of the conditions outlined by Helms, if included or attached as "poison pill" amendments to the resolution on the Senate floor could effectively block U.S. ratification. In his letter to Lott, Helms said, "I believe that the starting point for any further discussions on the CWC must be the resolution of ratification which I presented to the Foreign Relations Committee on April 25, 1996." The original Helms resolution was rejected by a majority of the committee last year before it approved an alternative resolution co sponsored by committee Republicans and Democrats.

Administration, Senate Opposition Draw Battle Lines Over CWC

The Fourth BWC Review Conference:


Graham S. Pearson

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which was opened for signature nearly 25 years ago, is a key if often unappreciated element in international efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The first arms control treaty to seek the elimination of an entire class of weapons, the BWC established a strong legal norm against the development, possession, stockpiling and use of biological agents and toxins for offensive purposes. As of January 1997, 140 countries had become states parties to the treaty; an additional 18 states have signed but not yet ratified the accord. (See Factfile.)

Despite the comprehensive nature of the treaty, the specter of biological warfare has assumed a new urgency during the past several years. The United States believes that twice as many states now have or are actively pursuing offensive biological weapons capabilities as when the convention entered into force in 1975.1 The growing threat posed by biological weapons proliferation has focused increasing attention on the operation of the BWC and highlighted the convention's key weakness: the absence of an effective verification regime. From November 25 through December 6, 1996, the states parties to the BWC held their fourth review conference in Geneva to review the operation of the convention. Although BWC parties have not completed the negotiation of a legally binding instrument to strengthen the treaty, the fourth review conference nonetheless provided important impetus to the convention's evolution into an effective component of international non proliferation efforts.

 

A Changing World

The fourth BWC review conference was a particularly important meeting as there had been significant progress in international arms control since the third review conference in September 1991. In May 1995, more than 170 states parties to the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agreed without dissent to indefinitely extend the accord. In September 1996, after an overwhelming vote of approval by the UN General Assembly, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signature and signed by all five declared nuclear weapon states. (As of February 1, 1997, 140 countries had signed.) On October 31, 1996, Hungary became the 65th signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to deposit its instrument of ratification, starting the clock ticking for the treaty's entry into force on April 29, 1997.

In contrast to these positive developments, the principal shortcoming of the BWC—its lack of effective verification provisions—was thrown into sharp focus by a growing awareness during the past five years that biological weapons remain a real concern.

In early 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin acknowledged that the former Soviet Union, despite being one of three depositary states along with the United States and the United Kingdom, had continued an offensive biological weapons program through March 1992. In September 1992, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia issued a joint statement, initiating a process aimed at building confidence that Russia's offensive biological warfare program had been terminated. However, in its July 1996 compliance report to Congress, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) said, "[W]hile there had been progress towards achieving the openness intended in the Joint Statement, the progress has not resolved all U.S. concerns," and that the United States remains "actively engaged in efforts to work with the Russian leadership to ensure complete termination of the illegal program ..." The United Kingdom has closely similar views.

The UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), tasked with ensuring the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and its proscribed ballistic missile activities, had by October 1995 determined that Baghdad—although a 1972 signatory of the BWC—had produced and weaponized large quantities of biological warfare agents. In addition, Iraq had deployed aerial bombs and Scud missile warheads filled with biological agents to four locations prior to the 1991 Gulf War, and had predelegated authority to launch these weapons if Iraq had been attacked with nuclear weapons. Iraq was also working on a 3,000 kilometer range missiles that was reportedly capable of delivering biological warheads to most European capitals.2

In Japan, the Aum Shinrikyo sect, which launched attacks in the Tokyo subway in March 1995 using the nerve gas Sarin, had initially worked on biological weapons. According to some analysts, it appears that biological agents were the group's preferred weapon of choice.

These vivid instances of the threat posed by biological weapons proliferation highlighted the urgent need to address the limitations of the BWC. In his September 1996 address to the UN General Assembly, President Bill Clinton underscored this important objective, saying, "[W]e must better protect our people from those who would use disease as a weapon of war, by giving the Biological Weapons Convention the means to strengthen compliance ..."

 

An Evolutionary Process

The fourth review conference represented yet another marker along the path of the BWC's evolution. In the five years since the last review conference, states parties have engaged in a series of steps aimed at strengthening the convention. The third review conference had mandated the establishment of an Ad Hoc Group of Governmental Experts (commonly referred to as VEREX, for "verification experts") to examine possible verification measures from a scientific and technical viewpoint. VEREX, which met four times in 1992 and 1993, evaluated 21 possible on site and off site measures.

The final VEREX report emphasized that "declarations" were the most frequently identified measure for application in combination with other measures. The most frequently identified on site measure for application with other measures was "inspections" (including interviewing, visual inspection, identification of key equipment, sampling and auditing).

The VEREX report was considered by a special conference in September 1994, which mandated the convening of another Ad Hoc Group (AHG) to consider appropriate measures to strengthen the BWC to be included, as appropriate, in a legally binding instrument. Building on the work of VEREX, the Ad Hoc Group has, through four "Friends of the Chair," produced papers that reflect the discussions that have so far taken place but without prejudice to the positions of delegations. Some these papers have gone through several iterations. The AHG had held four substantive meetings—two in 1995 and two in 1996—and produced a progress report that was considered by the fourth review conference. The next step is to start negotiations on an integrated text so that unresolved issues can be debated. The principal area requiring resolution is the precise nature of the on site visits/inspections, how such visits/inspections will be triggered and what measures will be available to the inspectors. Given the political will demonstrated at the review conference for the strengthening of the BWC, the AHG should be able to make rapid progress toward completing its work within the next year or two.

Seventy seven states parties participated in the fourth review conference. Three countries (Egypt, Morocco and Myanmar) which have signed but not ratified the BWC also attended, and Algeria, Kazakhstan, Israel and Macedonia were granted observer status. The United Kingdom's ambassador to the Geneva based Conference on Disarmament (CD), Sir Michael Weston, served as president of the review conference, and Ogunsola Ogunbanwo served as secretary general.

Although this fourth review conference had a two week duration, unlike the previous review conferences which lasted three weeks, the approach adopted paralleled that of previous years, with a general debate followed by detailed consideration of each of the convention's 15 articles. The conference's Committee of the Whole, chaired by Ambassador Jorge Berguno of Chile, reviewed the operation of the convention and the work of the Ad Hoc Group and addressed other relevant issues. The Drafting Committee, under the chairmanship of Ambassador Tibor Tóth of Hungary, prepared the final document for consideration by the conference.

One valuable innovation of the fourth review conference was the adjournment of the Committee of the Whole on the final day of its meetings to enable representatives from non governmental organizations (NGOs) to make statements to the conference in an informal session. Eleven of the 16 NGOs that attended the conference made statements, including the Federation of American Scientists, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute.

During the general debate, 31 states parties as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which was granted observer status, made statements. The U.S. statement was given by John Holum, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. It was evident at the review conference that there existed a clear political will to strengthen the convention, as every state which spoke in the general debate expressed support for the work of the Ad Hoc Group. The United Kingdom's minister of state for foreign affairs, David Davis, neatly summed up the task before the conference:

 

...Biological weapons have for 25 years remained something of a Cinderella in international efforts to control the spread of weapons of mass destruction ... A general perception held that the biological weapons problem was solved; that it did not present a real risk or threat ... But over the last decade, we have seen these comfortable assumptions overturned ... The conference would be failing in its duty if it did not do all it could to ensure that—well before the millennium—there is in place a verification system which will consolidate and strengthen the ... convention's total ban on biological weapons.

 

Key Issues

The key issues at the fourth review conference related to four of the treaty's articles: Article I, which defines the basic prohibitions, or the "scope," of the convention; Article IV, which addresses national implementation measures; Article V, which deals with the consultative process for problems arising from treaty implementation; and Article X, which concerns cooperation among states parties for peaceful purposes.

The conference, in its Final Declaration, (BWC/CONF.IV/9), adopted important new language regarding the scope of the convention, moving beyond that approved at the third review conference. The new declaration stated:

 

The Conference, conscious of apprehensions arising from relevant scientific and technological developments, inter alia, in the fields of microbiology, biotechnology, molecular biology, genetic engineering and any applications resulting from genome studies, and the possibilities of their use for purposes inconsistent with the objectives and the provisions of the Convention, reaffirms that the undertaking given by the States Parties in Article I applies to all such developments. [Emphasis added.]

 

The language regarding developments in the fields of microbiology, genetic engineering and biotechnology reiterated that contained in the final declaration of the previous review conference. However, the fourth review conference's addition of "molecular biology" and "any applications resulting from genome studies" makes it clear that any misuse of genome information for the design of weapons targeted against specific ethnic or racial groups would be a clear contravention of the convention. This point was made in the background paper prepared for the conference on new scientific and technological developments relevant to the treaty.3

The Final Declaration also reaffirmed that the convention "unequivocally covers all microbial or other biological agents or toxins, naturally or artificially created or altered, as well as their components, whatever their origin or method of production ..." [Emphasis added.] The inclusion by the conference of "as well as their components" represents a significant extension of the BWC's scope because it avoids any possibility of ambiguity as to whether components of living micro organisms or toxins— an area in which rapid progress has been made in understanding how they may be produced and how they may act—are included in the prohibition of the convention.

 

Non Compliance

...The final language adopted by the conference on treaty non compliance was weaker than some states had hoped for. In the general debate, Australia, France, the United Kingdom and the United States all named Iraq and the former Soviet Union as being in non compliance with the BWC. In his statement to the conference, the representative from the United Kingdom referred to "The existence of a massive offensive biological weapons programme conducted illegally for years in the Soviet Union [that] has recently come to light."

However, the negotiations leading to the Final Declaration were difficult. Although both Iraq and Russia had openly acknowledged, since the third review conference, having had offensive biological weapons programs, neither country wanted to see any specific mention of these treaty violations. The United States had proposed relatively mild language with regard to the issue of non compliance:

 

...The Conference notes the efforts of UNSCOM to address some of these concerns and expresses its support for the early and satisfactory completion of UNSCOM's important work. The Conference also notes the important decree by the President of the Russian Federation in April 1992 indicating that his country would accomplish its obligations under the Convention. The Conference expressed the hope that the objectives outlined in that decree would rapidly be fulfilled.

 

But in the final debate even this was rejected and the Final Declaration made no mention of UNSCOM, Iraq or the Russian Federation. Rather, it simply stated:

 

...The Conference emphasizes, once more, the vital importance of full implementation by all States of all the provisions of the Convention, especially Articles I, II and III. The Conference agrees that the application by States Parties of positive approaches in accordance with the provisions of the Convention is in the interests of all States Parties and that any non compliance with its provisions would undermine confidence in the Convention. Non compliance should be treated with determination in all cases, without selectivity or discrimination.

 

A Debate Over Use'

An unexpected development arose during the first day of the fourth review conference when Iran put forward a formal proposal to amend the convention by adding the word "use" to the title of the treaty and to the prohibition in Article. In the general debate, the Iranian delegation said it remained "a major oversight for the Convention not to prohibit the use of biological weapons expressly and categorically." The Iranians argued that there is a need for a total ban that is explicit and devoid of judgmental interpretations, and that the lack of explicit reference in the convention itself and the persistence of reservations to the 1925 Geneva Protocol can leave the door ajar for those states that may hold a different opinion on the question of use. The Iranians viewed such an amendment as a way of ending any inconsistency in interpretations of the convention's prohibitions.

The Iranian proposal was discussed at length during the meetings of the Committee of the Whole.4 Many participants held the opinion that Article I's prohibition on developing, producing, stockpiling or otherwise acquiring or retaining biological weapons implicitly and effectively prohibits any use of such weapons. They also suggested that the final declarations of previous review conferences had clearly restated this view. In addition, some delegations expressed caution about the idea of amending the BWC, noting that an amendment to one article would open up the convention for possible amendments to other provisions, thereby weakening the regime. Moreover, they said, such an amendment might create a two tier regime under which states parties that had not accepted the amendment would appear to condone the use of biological weapons.

In the end, the review conference's Final Declaration made two strong statements with respect to Article I, making it very clear that the use of biological weapons is prohibited by the convention. The first statement said:

 

...The Conference reaffirms that the use by the States Parties, in any way and under any circumstances, of microbial or other biological agents or toxins, that is not consistent with prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes, is effectively a violation of Article I of the Convention.

 

The declaration also stated:

 

The Conference reaffirms the undertaking in Article I never in any circumstance to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict, in order to exclude completely and forever the possibility of their use.

 

In light of this clear and strong prohibition against use, states parties will be considering whether there is indeed any need to modify the convention as proposed by Iran, bearing in mind what such a modification could entail. Nevertheless, the conference's Final Declaration concerning Article XI (which deals with the amendment process) notes that Iran has formally presented a proposal to amend Article I and the title of the convention, and that the depositary states are notifying all parties of the proposal. In addition, states parties have been encouraged to convey their views to the depositaries regarding the need to amend the treaty to explicitly prohibit the use of biological weapons. The review conference also requested that the depositary states take such measures as may be requested by a majority of states parties, including the option of convening an amendment conference open to all parties.

 

Combatting Terrorism

As expected, following the June 1996 meeting of the leaders of the Group of Seven (G 7) industrialized states and a subsequent ministerial meeting the following month, the conference Final Declaration language on Article IV gave added emphasis to the importance of national measures for effective BWC implementation.

Surprisingly, during the general debate only six states parties (Brazil, Canada, France, Romania, the Slovak Republic and the United States) mentioned the possible terrorist use of biological materials and the relevance of national measures to prevent their use for terrorist purposes.

The Final Declaration stated:

 

...The Conference ... reaffirms the commitment of States Parties to take the necessary national measures under [Article IV] ... to ensure the prohibition and prevention of the production, development, production, stockpiling, acquisition or retention of the agents, toxins, weapons, equipment and means of delivery ... anywhere within their territory, under their jurisdiction or under their control, in order to prevent their use for purposes contrary to the Convention. The States Parties recognize the need to ensure, through the review and/or adoption of national measures, the effective fulfillment of their obligations under the Convention in order, inter alia, to exclude use of biological and toxin weapons in terrorist or criminal activity.

 

Confidence Building

The fourth review conference addressed two principal issues with respect to Article V's call for consultation and cooperation for treaty implementation: confidence building measures (CBMs) and the ongoing work of the Ad Hoc Group. Beginning with the second review conference, BWC parties have sought to enhance transparency through a series of politically binding declarations, data exchanges and other CBMs addressing a broad spectrum of treaty relevant activities. Unfortunately, participation in these measures has remained limited.

During the most recent review, several states parties emphasized the importance of CBMs in the general debate, but two countries (Brazil and India) referred to the problem of the resources needed to complete such measures. Two other parties (Nigeria and the Slovak Republic) said the CBMs should be further modified and improved, while Australia said it would be a mistake to consider any amendment before the Ad Hoc Group concluded it work. Disappointingly, there was little recognition that BWC parties regarded current confidence building efforts to be of continuing importance up to the entry into force of the proposed verification protocol and beyond. There were, in fact, no agreements to modify the modalities of existing CBMs and an attempt to clarify what the existing measures required failed.

The Final Declaration simply declared:

 

...The Conference welcomes the exchange of information carried out under the confidence building measures, and notes this has contributed to enhancing transparency and building confidence. The Conference recognizes that participation in the confidence building measures since the last Review Conference has not been universal, and that not all responses have been prompt or complete. In this regard, the Conference also recognizes the technical difficulties experienced by some States parties with respect to preparing CBM responses. In this regard, the Conference urges all States Parties to complete full and timely declarations in future.

 

With respect to the work of the Ad Hoc Group, every country that offered a statement during the general debate spoke in favor of the work of the panel and the need to strengthen the BWC. However, a South African proposal for Final Declaration language outlining the elements of a new protocol failed to find consensus, even though several countries had all mentioned similar elements during the general debate. Among the elements included in the South African proposal were comprehensive annual declarations; on site measures, including investigations on non compliance concerns; voluntary confidence building measures; and measures to implement Article X (cooperation for peaceful purposes).

In addition, a proposal calling on the Ad Hoc Group to complete its work by 1998 also failed to generate a consensus despite strong support by the United States, European Union countries, Australia, New Zealand, Romania and the Slovak Republic. Russia, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh, among other states, argued against setting such a deadline.

To some extent, this reluctance to set a deadline stemmed from the experience of the CD in negotiating the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) against a deadline during 1995 and 1996. It is likely that Indonesia's representative had this in mind when he told the conference, "Recent developments the Conference of Disarmament has gone through teach us a very valuable lesson."

During the general debate, the statements of five states (Australia, Canada, South Africa, South Korea and Russia) addressed the need for the Ad Hoc Group to move on to a new form of negotiation based on a "rolling text." The Australian statement said, "To date the papers produced by the Friends of the Chair have served us well in consolidating and developing the ideas put forward by delegations. However, we believe that the usefulness of this form of negotiations has run its course and that we should be looking to move to some form of text based negotiations at the March session."

This view was agreed to by the conference and reflected in the Final Declaration, which endorsed the work of the Ad Hoc Group and encouraged it to move on to a negotiating format:

 

The Conference welcomed the decision of the Ad Hoc Group, in order to fulfil its mandate, to intensify its work with a view to completing it as soon as possible before the commencement of the Fifth Review Conference and submit its report, which shall be adopted by consensus, to the States Parties, to be considered at a Special Conference. The Conference encourages the Ad Hoc Group to review its method of work and to move to a negotiating format in order to fulfil its mandate.

 

There appears to be growing recognition that no new measures are needed for an enhanced BWC verification regime—the necessary measures currently exist as part of other agreed arms control regimes. What the AHG needs to do is to integrate and tailor the essential measures to meet the requirements of the BWC. Given the political will demonstrated at the review conference, there is a real opportunity for the Ad Hoc Group to make substantial progress when it resumes its negotiations in Geneva in March 1997.

It would be a real service to the Ad Hoc Group if participants at the March meeting arrived in Geneva with draft language that draws upon the deliberations of the AHG to date. Indeed, it is possible that a party such as South Africa, which put forward excellent proposals at the review conference, could table a draft text for a verification protocol at the outset of the meeting. It would be even better if South Africa were able to do this in consultation with other states that had also made clear their wish to see the AHG talks move on to text based negotiations.

 

Peaceful Cooperation

Since the third review conference, the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio Earth summit) and the signing and entry into force of the conventions on biological diversity and on climate change meant that the developed world had acknowledged to a much greater extent the needs of the developing world. Consequently, at the fourth review conference there was an appreciation that there is no strong argument for BWC parties to duplicate actions being taken in other fora for environmental and health reasons. Instead, the states parties emphasized the potential synergy between such actions and the increased transparency and confidence being sought through the BWC for improved international security.

As a result, the review conference took note of the significant steps to promote cooperation in the biological field taken at the Rio summit (including the adoption of "Agenda 21" and the Rio declaration) and through the Convention on Biological Diversity, and underlined their importance in the context of implementing Article X of the BWC. The conference also shared the worldwide concern about new, emerging and re emerging infectious diseases and considered that the international response to them offered opportunities for increased cooperation in the context of Article X.

There was also much discussion by BWC parties of the relationship between Article X and Article III (under which states parties undertake not to transfer or to assist any state in manufacturing or acquiring any of the agents, toxins, weapons or means of delivery specified in Article I). It is this relationship that lies at the heart of the perceived tension between developing and developed countries, with the former seeking to emphasize Article X while the latter are conscious of their obligations under Article III to counter proliferation. The developing countries are arguing for multilaterally agreed guidelines to counter proliferation. This debate will clearly continue into the future. However, the review conference usefully agreed that states parties should consider ways and means to ensure that individuals and subnational groups are effectively prevented from acquiring, through transfers, biological agents and toxins for other than peaceful purposes, thereby helping to counter possible terrorist use of such materials.

 

Next Steps

The fourth review conference took an important step forward in reaffirming the importance of the BWC and the norm against biological warfare. The language in the Final Declaration making it clear that all advances in molecular biology and any applications of genome studies are covered by the regime, and the strong statements that use of biological weapons—at any time and under any circumstances—is prohibited represent valuable advances.

In the wake of the Japanese experience with nerve gas attacks, the importance of national measures to exclude use of biological and toxin weapons in terrorist or criminal activity was rightly emphasized. The need to strengthen the convention was clearly recognized by the widespread support for the work of the Ad Hoc Group, as was the continued importance of providing full and timely declarations under the agreed confidence building measures.

There is consequently no doubt that biological weapons are totally prohibited and that there are no loopholes resulting from advances in biotechnology and related sciences over the years since the BWC entered into force. The weakness of the convention—its lack of verification provisions—was universally recognized, and the political will by states parties to strengthen the regime was demonstrated by encouraging the Ad Hoc group to intensify its work to negotiate a legally binding instrument. In its meetings this year, the AHG should make good progress in developing the text of the instrument as nothing novel is required for strengthening the BWC. Rather, measures already internationally accepted in other arms control regimes need to be tailored and integrated into a verification regime for the BWC. The developments since the third review conference make it clear that the strengthening of the BWC is an urgent task, and as President Clinton said in September 1996, "We should aim to complete this task by 1998." The time for action is now.

Graham S. Pearson is honorary senior visiting research fellow in peace studies at the University of Bradford in Bradford, England. He was formerly director general and chief executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment at Porton Down, Wiltshire, England.

 

NOTES

  1. Statement of John D. Holum, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency to the Fourth BWC Review Conference, November 26, 1996.
  2. UN Security Council Document S/1995/864, 11 October 1995, paragraph 42.
  3. BWC/CONF.IV/4, Add.1; Add.2.
  4. A useful summary of the debate is provided in Annex I to the Report of the Committee of the Whole, BWC/CONF.IV/COW/CRP.1 and Corr.1.

Wassenaar Members End Plenary; First Data Exchange Falls Short


Sarah Walkling

DESPITE THEIR December 1996 deadline for enacting new export control guidelines for conventional arms and dual use goods and technologies, members of the so called Wassenaar Arrangement concluded their December 12 13 plenary meeting in Vienna with the regime far from fully operational. While the 33 participating countries agreed on a budget and program of work for the coming year, the impasse continued as to who would head the new Secretariat in Vienna. More important, however, the results of the regime's first data exchange suggest its emphasis on promoting transparency is not yet shared by all members.

Formally titled the Wassenaar Arrangement for Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual Use Goods and Technologies, the group seeks to avoid destabilizing transfers of weapons and sensitive technologies through the coordination of national export control policies. As the successor regime to the Cold War era Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), the arrangement includes many of the countries once targeted by the former NATO member based organization. Unlike COCOM, however, Wassenaar members have no veto power over other members' weapons deliveries or technology transfers and the regime is not directed against a particular group of states. Rather, it targets regions or states whose behavior is a cause of concern to participants. The United States has identified Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea as "rogue" states that should be included in that category.

 

Cloudy Transparency

The regime's first voluntary exchange of data, which was initiated in September 1996, covered four categories of arms and dual use technology transfers to non members: actual weapons deliveries; license denials for "basic" dual use items; license approvals for "sensitive" dual use equipment; and license denials for "very sensitive" dual use items such as encryption and supercomputer technology.

Thirty Wassenaar members submitted data on their transfers of seven categories of conventional weapons (battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, attack helicopters, combat aircraft, warships, heavy artillery, and missiles and missile launchers) that correspond to the categories in the UN Conventional Arms Register. State Department officials, emphasizing the confidentiality of the new regime, declined to identify the non participating states. In the most recent reporting period for the UN register (covering calendar year 1995), all Wassenaar members submitted data on their weapons transfers. (See ACT, November/December 1996.) However, in the Wassenaar exchange, only half of all members submitted data on their dual use transfers to non members. Several countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Bulgaria, reportedly failed to pass the necessary national implementing legislation in time to participate in the exchange. (Russia and Ukraine passed the necessary legislation in October and December 1996, respectively.) Other countries are expected to have passed the necessary legislation before the next exchange, scheduled to begin March 31.

For 1997, the budget for Wassenaar Secretariat operations will total $1 million to $2 million, with contributions assessed on a scale similar to that used by the United Nations. Under this formula, the U.S. assessment is expected to cover nearly 25 percent of the total budget. In addition, members agreed to hold at least one plenary meeting in 1997, an expert group meeting February 24 25 and a working group meeting June 2. These groups will monitor implementation progress and discuss information exchange procedures and deadlines.

Without ongoing consultations or veto power for its members, however, it is unclear whether the Wassenaar Arrangement can effectively serve as a forum for resolving disputes over transfers of conventional weapons and dual use technology. During the December plenary, participants reportedly did not discuss several of the most controversial arms sales involving regime members, such as Russia's proposed sale of S 300 anti aircraft missiles to the Greek Cypriot government, a transfer which the United States and Turkey have described as "destabilizing." In their only public statement issued following the plenary, a 10 sentence press statement, Wassenaar members addressed only one conflict: Afghanistan. The statement declared that "as a matter of national policy," no Wassenaar member transfers arms or ammunition to the parties involved in the conflict.

The Wassenaar Arrangement

By the time COCOM dissolved on March 31, 1994, negotiations on a successor regime had been underway for a year. The new group of 28 countries, known as the "New Forum," reached agreement on principles for export controls on September 11-12, 1995. It then developed into "The Wassenaar Arrangement for Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual Use Goods and Technologies," deriving its name from The Hague suburb where it was agreed on December 18, 1995. The "Initial Elements" foundation document was adopted on July 12, 1996, and the Secretariat opened in the fall of 1996. The first review conference will be held in 1999.

Member States

Argentina
Greece
Romania
Australia
Hungary
Russia
Austria
Ireland
Slovakia
Belgium
Italy
South Korea
Bulgaria
Japan
Spain
Canada
Luxembourg
Sweden
Czech Republic
Netherlands
Switzerland
Denmark
New Zealand
Turkey
Finland
Norway
Ukraine
France
Poland
United Kingdom
Germany
Portugal
United States

The Wassenaar Arrangement

Panel Upholds NIE Assessment of Ballistic Missile Threat to U.S.


Craig Cerniello

ON JANUARY 23, the CIA released the unclassified version of the independent panel review of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) 95 19—the controversial assessment that concluded that no countries, other than the declared nuclear weapon states, will develop a ballistic missile capable of threatening the contiguous 48 states or Canada in the next 15 years. The panel, headed by former CIA Director Robert Gates, rejected the claim made by congressional conservatives that NIE 95 19 was politically influenced by the Clinton administration in order to downplay the longer range missile threat to U.S. territory. Although acknowledging several deficiencies in the intelligence estimate, the panel reaffirmed the estimate's conclusion that the United States is unlikely to face a limited missile threat from any "rogue" country before 2010. Congressional critics of the NIE have now taken aim at the panel's findings.

 

Gates Panel Review

One of the most hotly contested issues in the current national missile defense (NMD) debate is the nature of the threat to the United States posed by longer range ballistic missiles. When the NIE was released in November 1995, it posed a significant challenge to congressional Republicans who advocated the early deployment of an NMD system to defend against what they claim is an emerging missile threat to U.S. territory. In subsequent months, several congressional members challenged the NIE's findings and argued that the estimate was politically influenced by the administration in order to justify its decision not to commit to the early deployment of an NMD system.

As a result of the controversy generated by NIE 95 19, Congress, in its fiscal year 1997 defense authorization bill, required the director of the CIA to convene a panel of "independent, nongovernmental individuals with appropriate expertise and experience" to review the underlying assumptions and conclusions of the estimate. Then CIA Director John Deutch appointed Gates to chair the independent panel, which included Ambassador Richard Armitage, Sidney Drell, Arnold Kanter, Janne E. Nolan, Henry S. Rowen and retired Air Force General Jasper Welch. The conclusions reached by the seven panel members were unanimous.

The Gates panel dismissed the charge that NIE 95 19 was politically influenced. "The Panel found no evidence of politicization and is completely satisfied that the analysts' views were based on the evidence before them and their substantive analysis," the report stated. Moreover, it concluded that, "unsubstantiated allegations challenging the integrity of Intelligence Community analysts by those who simply disagree with their conclusions, including Members of Congress, are irresponsible."

The Gates panel noted that there were several deficiencies with respect to the process in preparing the NIE and the manner in which it was presented. The panel said those in senior management positions were not sufficiently involved in the preparation of the estimate, especially given the controversial nature of the issue being addressed. "The result was not a politicized Estimate but one that was politically naive," the report said. The panel also claimed that the estimate lacked a clear scope and was "rushed to completion."

The Gates panel pointed out that one of the most serious problems in NIE 95 19 was that its main conclusion on the missile threat to the United States was based on "a stronger evidentiary and technical case than was presented in the Estimate." The panel's report illustrates several examples of how the NIE's key judgment could have been strengthened. For instance, the panel stated that the estimate could have analyzed the length of time it took countries with successful missile programs, such as China, to develop an ICBM capability. Such an analysis, they claimed, would have revealed that it took China more than 20 years to develop its 4,750 kilometer range CSS 3 ICBM—a clear indication that states with much less resources (e.g. North Korea) have a long way to go before successfully developing an ICBM capable of reaching U.S. territory.

The panel also identified several analytical shortcomings in NIE 95 19. Most important, the panel claimed that the intelligence estimate failed to thoroughly address the motives and objectives of those states seeking an ICBM capability. The panel's report said insufficient attention was devoted to the potential threat to the United States posed by land attack cruise missiles and shorter range, sea based ballistic missiles. Other deficiencies included the failure to ask whether potential adversaries could acquire an ICBM capability through channels not considered by the intelligence community, and an overemphasis on the Missile Technology Control Regime as a means of slowing ballistic missile proliferation.

In the final analysis, however, the Gates panel concluded that "the Intelligence Community has a strong case that, for sound technical reasons, the United States is unlikely to face an indigenously developed and tested intercontinental ballistic missile threat from the Third World before 2010, even taking into account the acquisition of foreign hardware and technical assistance. That case is even stronger than presented in the NIE."

Clearly dissatisfied with the panel's findings, Representative Curt Weldon (R PA) argued in a January 17 letter to Gates that the independent review failed to adequately refute the charge that NIE 95 19 was politically influenced by the administration. "Not once did your panel provide an opportunity for Members who charged politicization to be heard. Given your harsh condemnation, I believe you had a responsibility to explore those allegations and to offer a detailed rebuttal of them," Weldon wrote. The letter also rejected the notion that Congress was responsible for rushing the estimate to completion.

The Arms Control Agenda at the UN: Breaking New Ground or Breaking Old Habits?

Rebecca Johnson

Every year the UN General Assembly adopts a host of resolutions on disarmament without really expecting that most of them will be acted on. Some, however, convey important signals. For many years, the General Assembly had overwhelmingly endorsed resolutions calling for an end to nuclear testing. When the resolution achieved consensus in December 1993, it meant that the nuclear weapon states were finally ready to give a test ban a chance. The result was the long awaited Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) that was opened for signature in September 1996.

In 1993, the General Assembly also unanimously agreed on a resolution calling for a global ban on the production of fissile materials for weapon and explosive purposes. But in 1995 and 1996, the General Assembly did not vote on any so called "fissban" resolution, and this too sent a strong, but more somber, message. In this case, the main players at the Geneva based Conference on Disarmament (CD) were so divided over what kind of fissile material cutoff regime they wanted that they would not risk putting a fissban resolution to a vote at the United Nations. Advocates of such a treaty were afraid that a split vote in the assembly would undermine the authority of the consensus endorsement achieved in 1993. At the same time, opponents of a cutoff regime rejoiced in the absence of a UN vote.

During the 51st session of the United Nations, a number of important debates and resolutions on disarmament issues were addressed by the UN First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, which met in New York in October and November 1996. All 46 draft resolutions and decisions adopted by the First Committee also obtained majority support in the General Assembly on December 10, 1996. However, although every UN member state has an equal vote in the General Assembly, some votes are more equal than others.

There is inevitably a handsome majority for disarmament resolutions, especially nuclear disarmament. But to assess a resolution's significance, it is more important to look at which countries co sponsored it; whether a resolution did better or worse in previous sessions; and the balance of power on the vote, particularly which states registered votes against. Consensus at the United Nations can be an indication of a significant breakthrough in support of a resolution, which could lead to negotiations and ultimately a new security enhancing arms control treaty. Alternatively, a UN consensus may simply reflect widespread endorsement of diplomatic rhetoric on an issue that no one wants to be seen as being against, but which is not likely to move forward.

Among the many resolutions considered during the 51st session, only a handful stand out as significant or with the potential to break new ground. Malaysia and its colleagues in the non aligned movement (NAM) laid the first foundation stone for a nuclear weapons convention that would ban all such weapons, just as the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) are intended to ban other types of weapons of mass destruction. The United States, backed by 112 others countries, called for a complete ban on anti personnel landmines, although it did not specify how or where this should be negotiated. The United States and Russia co sponsored a resolution on bilateral arms control which not only underlined the high priority to be accorded to further bilateral reductions, but also urged Russia to ratify START II, a singling out that was unusually strong and significant. The United States and Israel were isolated in opposing a special session of all UN member states, which the vast majority of countries—including the European Union—want to be convened in 1999 to discuss a disarmament and security agenda for the 21st century.

The United Nations strongly endorsed the CWC and exhorted both the United States and Russia to ratify it before it enters into force on April 29, 1997. For many delegates, the biggest disappointment was the failure for the second consecutive year to adopt a resolution supporting a ban on the production of fissile materials.

 

Nuclear Weapons Convention

Malaysia's resolution built on the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), delivered on July 8, 1996, in response to a request by the United Nations in 1994. Underlining the unanimous conclusion of the court that "there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control," the resolution "calls upon all states to fulfill that obligation immediately by commencing multilateral negotiations in 1997 leading to an early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination."

In introducing the resolution, Malaysia's ambassador, Hasmy Bin Agam, backed U.S. Russian arms control efforts such as the START accords and called the views of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons "particularly pertinent." However, he said, the existence of "tens of thousands of nuclear weapons in the arsenals of the nuclear weapon states, 28 years after the signing of the NPT [nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty], is a sobering reminder that the negotiations on nuclear disarmament ... have been carried out neither in good faith nor in earnest." Exhorting that the present window of opportunity must not be lost, he said it was now necessary to start negotiations leading to the con clusion of a nuclear weapons convention.

Four of the five nuclear powers led the opposition, objecting that the resolution "selectively quoted" from the NPT. The United States complained that the resolution omitted the commitment to complete and general disarmament, "distorting the meaning" of treaty Article VI, which requires states "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament." Russia protested that the resolution was silent on the question of the use of nuclear weapons, about which the judges on the ICJ had been unable to agree. Several European delegations echoed these concerns, but the resolution had widespread support from the developing countries. Chile argued that it was appropriate for the resolution to quote verbatim from the part of the court's advisory opinion about which the 14 judges had been unanimous, since the ICJ's judgment on the question of use had been hedged with caveats and potential ambiguity. However, in its unanimous judgment, the ICJ was not merely repeating Article VI obligations under the NPT, but intended to provide an interpretation of the legal situation, informed by the NPT and other relevant treaties and international legal instruments.

Stressing the importance of the ICJ opinion, Iceland feared that the resolution would "subordinate bilateral nuclear arms negotiations to the work of the Conference on Disarmament." The United States and Britain argued that the resolution was not really about the ICJ at all, but repeated calls "for immediate multilateral negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention." In fact, the Malaysian resolution puts the demand for a nuclear weapons convention into the international arena for the first time. Importantly, the resolution did not call for a nuclear weapons convention to be immediately negotiated, but called for commencement of negotiations leading to a nuclear weapons convention. (Emphasis added.)

The breakdown of votes on the Malaysian resolution was interesting, with the NAM generally solidly in support and cracks showing among European, NATO and allied countries. There was considerable switching in the three votes covering two particular paragraphs and the whole resolution, with some U.S. allies voting "for" while others were resolutely opposed. Russia abstained on both paragraphs but voted against the resolution as a whole. The United States, Britain and France voted "no" throughout, while China voted "yes" on all parts. Canada had requested one of the paragraph votes so that it and other Western countries would be seen as endorsing the unanimous opinion of the ICJ on the legal obligation to bring nuclear disarmament negotiations to conclusion.

With 139 for, seven against (the United States, Britain, France, Latvia, Monaco, Romania and Turkey) and 20 abstentions, the vote clearly reflected the influence of public opinion on these issues. Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Ukraine joined the NAM and China in endorsing the ICJ opinion. Russia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and various Eastern European countries abstained, including Belarus and Kazakstan, which until recently stored large numbers of former Soviet nuclear weapons on their territories. Only 110 states voted for the specific paragraph calling for negotiations leading to a nuclear weapons convention to begin in 1997. There is some evidence indicating that had the date 1997 been omitted from the call to commence multilateral negotiations, there would have been a higher number voting in support.

In the General Assembly vote on the full resolution, 115 countries voted in favor, 22 states voted against and 32 members abstained. The resolution was supported by the NAM states, China, New Zealand, Sweden and Ireland. Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Turkey joined the Western nuclear powers, Canada and Russia in voting against the resolution. Australia, Austria, Denmark and Finland joined Israel, Japan, Norway and several Eastern European countries in abstaining.

While no one imagines that this resolution will result in negotiations next year, Malaysia's call for a nuclear weapons convention received surprisingly solid support on the first vote, clearly reflecting a shift in perceptions. Whereas just five years ago the idea of a treaty banning nuclear weapons would have been regarded as too idealistic, there is now a growing body of international public opinion, including retired military officers as well as scientists and politicians, which views a nuclear weapons convention as something reasonable to aspire to and achievable with sufficient political will.

With four nuclear weapon states opposed (and China's support lacking practical credibility), negotiations on a convention could not be successfully undertaken until much more has been achieved to reduce these states' nuclear arsenals and their reliance on nuclear weapon based security policies through unilateral initiatives, further U.S. Russian agreements and the involvement, sooner rather than later, of Britain, China and France. For this reason, several countries which consider that a nuclear weapons convention could play an important role in achieving nuclear disarmament worldwide tried to persuade Malaysia to omit the reference to 1997. The non aligned states privately say the date was not important; the point of the resolution was to start the ball rolling.

They recognize that it could take years before a nuclear weapons convention is truly on the negotiating agenda, but they wanted to serve notice on the nuclear powers that what is possible for chemical weapons is even more necessary where nuclear weapons are concerned. They intend for the call for a nuclear weapons convention to become an annual resolution both in the First Committee and General Assembly, and expect that the resolution will gather new votes each year until the momentum is unstoppable.

 

U.S. Russian Arms Control

In 1996, the First Committee and General Assembly also conveyed some interesting messages on U.S. Russian arms control efforts. As in previous years, there were two resolutions on this subject. The resolution supported by the NAM noted the "significant nuclear arsenals" remaining and argued that the responsibility for nuclear disarmament lies primarily with the nuclear weapon states with the largest arsenals. By contrast, the United States introduced a resolution (co sponsored by Russia, Britain and France) which welcomed "significant reductions" in the nuclear arsenals. This resolution focused on the START process, explicitly expressing the hope that Russia will soon ratify START II. With Russian co sponsorship, this departure from the usual rule against singling out particular states is clearly intended to encourage the Russian Duma to ratify START II.

Ratification of START II by the Duma is currently held up for five principal reasons: funding for dismantlement; a perceived imbalance in the provisions of START II in favor of the United States; the vigorous campaign to expand NATO; efforts by the United States to undercut the 1972 ABM Treaty; and internecine conflict and disarray in the Duma, compounded by lack of effective leadership on this issue from the Yeltsin government. With both START II and CWC ratification now held up by the Duma, democrats in Russia will need to take greater initiative and responsibility to pilot these important measures through the ratification process. The United States could do much more to alleviate the first four concerns. For example, the initiative started by the Nunn Lugar security assistance program should be expanded. The sooner that Russian missiles and facilities can be dismantled, the safer the world will be.

Leaders of the Duma argue that full compliance with START II will leave Russia at a strategic disadvantage and force it to manufacture new land based missiles to bring it up to the levels permitted by the treaty. Senior Russian diplomats and Duma members have told U.S. officials that Russian ratification of START II would be easier if the United States would enter into negotiations on the next phase of reductions—a START III accord, bringing warhead levels down more equally to 1,000 to 2,000 each. So far, the U.S. response seems to be: "Ratify START II first and then we'll talk."

The proposed expansion of NATO is probably the ultimate example of a short sighted policy that could create the very threat that it presumably is intended to defend against. NATO's existing advantage in nuclear and conventional forces should deter any possible future attack without making present day Russia, which is not a threat, feel surrounded and threatened. Already there is growing support in Moscow for the argument that rather than reduce its nuclear weapons, Russia should compensate for its conventional weakness by ensuring that it has sufficiently flexible and convincing nuclear force to deter attacks by potential foes. In this context, it is imperative that the United States move quickly to help Russia safely dismantle its nuclear weapon systems and aging facilities so that the substantial arms reduction already underway becomes irreversible. That cannot happen if the United States pursues policies which increase Russia's sense of vulnerability, such as initiating a new race for missile defenses and expanding NATO to Russia's borders. Reducing Russia's huge nuclear arsenal can only be achieved bilaterally, with the United States showing that it is willing to undertake equivalent cuts and assisting an impoverished Russia so that dismantlement becomes a priority.

In addition, Russia has for some years expressed growing concern about U.S. plans to develop theater and strategic ballistic missile defenses. Many in Russia fear that the rationale for the ABM Treaty is being undermined by the United States. As a consequence, there are a growing number of voices objecting to further arms reductions on the grounds that Russia's deterrence posture will require all the weapons it has to overwhelm such defenses. The hard liners are using these arguments to erode Russian support for START II and now the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), both of which must be ratified by the Duma to enter into force.

U.S. efforts to expand NATO to Russia's borders and undercut the ABM Treaty will not enhance U.S. security. If these U.S. policies lead to a negative decision by the Duma on START II, the CWC or the CTBT, this will have a disastrous impact on the General Assembly's agenda calling for major steps in nuclear disarmament.

By voting for a General Assembly resolution with such an explicit criticism of Russia's failure to ratify START II, the Yeltsin government sent a brave message to the Duma. This resolution was endorsed by 160 countries, with just 11 abstentions; no country voted against it. By contrast, most NATO members and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) countries voted against the NAM resolution, or abstained from voting, viewing it as a vehicle to push for "timebound" nuclear disarmament.

 

Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

A similar voting pattern could be discerned with two more traditional resolutions on nuclear disarmament. A NAM sponsored resolution urged the nuclear weapon states to stop immediately the qualitative improvement and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and delivery systems, and called on them to undertake phased reductions with a view to their total elimination "within a timebound framework." This resolution garnered 110 votes in favor, 39 votes against (mostly NATO and OSCE countries) and 20 abstentions.

A more moderate resolution introduced by Japan, entitled "Nuclear Disarmament With a View to the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons," received 159 votes in favor, with 11 abstentions. The United States, Russia, Britain and France were among those in favor; China abstained. Intended to capture the middle ground but maintain moral pressure on the nuclear weapon states, Japan's resolution focused on the commitments and program of action adopted by NPT parties when they made the treaty permanent in May 1995. Calling for "best efforts for a smooth start of the strengthened review process," the resolution also urged the nuclear weapon states to reduce their arsenals with the ultimate goal of eliminating them. Though moderate by comparison with the NAM sponsored call for timebound nuclear disarmament, the language of Japan's resolution is stronger than that proposed in previous years, indicating growing pressure by U.S. allies for further practical commitments to nuclear disarmament. The fact that the United States, Russia, Britain and France felt obliged to vote in favor of this resolution indicates the unacceptability of old intransigence on this issue.

Significantly, this focus on the NPT was underscored during a December 1996 conference hosted by Japan in Kyoto that was attended by Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) Director John Holum as well as several key disarmament ambassadors. The chair's summary of the proceedings, which was made public, emphasized that there had been general agreement "that the review process starting in 1997 should place particular emphasis on substantive matters, and thus be dynamic and different from past practice of the reviews." Clearly, there are concerns on the part of some countries that, having achieved the indefinite extension of the NPT, the nuclear powers will prove the non aligned correct by placing political or procedural barriers in the way of further progress on nuclear disarmament. Japan and other countries with a vested interest in international stability are anxious that such an attitude by the nuclear weapon states could undermine the non proliferation regime, with disastrous consequences in the future.

 

Cutoff' Divisions Continue

One significant arms control failure during the 51st session of the General Assembly was the withdrawal of a resolution supporting a worldwide ban on the production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU). Canada had earlier circulated a draft resolution that called for the "prohibition of the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices." The Canadian draft recalled the December 1993 consensus resolution by the General Assembly, welcomed the negotiating mandate adopted by the CD in March 1995 and called for "the immediate commencement and early conclusion" of cutoff negotiations. However, early on in its consultations with other delegations, Canada decided that it would be impossible to achieve consensus. Considering that a split vote could polarize states even further, the resolution's supporters decided not to risk taking the resolution any further.

This failure confirms the growing view that the CD will not be able to convene an ad hoc committee for cutoff talks and get the negotiations underway early in 1997. It is now clear that the international community needs urgently to reconsider the options for initiating cutoff talks including, if necessary, abandoning the CD mandate and seeking a more viable route toward controlling production and reducing the proliferation threat from fissile materials. The main problems remain whether and how to address existing stockpiles and the relationship of a fissile material cutoff to nuclear disarmament. The CD has been deadlocked on this issue for nearly two years. Even if negotiations were to get started in Geneva, prospects for agreement are slim.

For many non nuclear weapon states, a cutoff regime that does not address existing stockpiles of fissile materials would simply freeze the nuclear status quo. For Pakistan and Egypt, looking toward the nuclear weapons potential of India and Israel, respectively, the status quo is not acceptable. Four of the five nuclear powers (the United States, Russia, Britain and France) have already declared a voluntary halt on their production of plutonium and HEU for weapons, and the United States and Russia are now awash with fissile material from dismantled weapons. China is now believed by some observers to have stopped its production as well. For many countries, putting this de facto moratorium into law should be done by the five major nuclear powers themselves. Negotiations at the CD would not, in their view, guarantee agreement by India, Israel and Pakistan and is not therefore a sufficient priority to spend much time or money on.

A number of non aligned states are also concerned that the fissban issue will be used to tie up the resources and work of the CD for a long time, making further negotiations on nuclear disarmament impossible. Their anxiety could be alleviated if the nuclear weapon states were willing to put a target date on a first step cutoff treaty, in return for an acceptance from the non aligned to keep the controversial and more complicated issue of fissile material stockpiles for a later measure. Providing that there were some assurance that stockpiles and the larger issue of the production of all weapon useable plutonium and HEU could be considered as further steps, with preliminary discussion in an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament, for example, such a trade off might shift the logjam.

This kind of trade off also stands a good chance of winning the support of the bulk of non aligned countries, including Egypt. Despite wanting stockpiles addressed, Cairo is especially interested in involving Israel in the process of negotiating fissile material controls. Whether such a deal would bring India and Pakistan on board is open to question, and there is certainly no guarantee that the final stages of cutoff talks at the CD would not replicate the fiasco that nearly derailed the CTBT. Once again, some of the declared nuclear weapon states will insist on having the signature and ratification of the so called "threshold" states (Israel, India and Pakistan) as a binding condition before such a treaty would enter into force. And once again, India is likely to balk, demanding (as it already has) that the cutoff regime should be linked with nuclear disarmament. That does not necessarily mean that the measure is doomed. But if the United States is going to continue to demand that this treaty be negotiated at the CD, it should at least acknowledge the likely scenario. However, this time the CD should be better prepared to let the General Assembly adopt a cutoff treaty if consensus is blocked in Geneva.

Considerable diplomatic finesse may be required to overcome the opposition of Pakistan to a cutoff treaty that does not address existing stockpiles, or the political hostility of India to a regime that is not linked to "timebound" nuclear disarmament. The establishment of a CD ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament may be the price these countries set for allowing a cutoff initiative to go forward. Presently, the United States, Britain and France are not yet willing to pay that price, even if the non aligned states are persuaded to accept a non negotiating role for the committee to begin with. If the nuclear powers are unwilling to go further than a basic cutoff, they should seriously consider alternative ways of making it legally binding among themselves. Refusing to do so implies that they do not regard a cutoff among the five most advanced nuclear weapon states to be intrinsically valuable. That sends all the wrong signals to the rest of the world.

 

Breakthrough On Landmines

Once again there were two resolutions related to anti personnel landmines, though both came from the Western side. Sweden introduced a resolution on the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) that was adopted by consensus. The resolution supported the work already underway on strengthening the CCW and commended the recently amended landmine protocol to the CCW (Protocol II) and the new protocol (Protocol IV) on blinding laser weapons, as agreed by the 1996 review conference.

The United States and more than 110 co sponsors went much further with their resolution calling for "an effective, legally binding, international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti personnel (AP) landmines with a view to completing the negotiations as soon as possible." This resolution was overwhelmingly endorsed by 155 countries in the General Assembly, with no votes against and only 10 abstentions. Because the U.S. sponsored resolution did not specify a forum for negotiations, it steered clear of the controversy generated by the so called "Ottawa Process," a Canadian initiative to negotiate and sign, at a special conference, a global ban in 1997.

On January 17, 1997, the White House issued a statement calling for negotiations on a worldwide treaty banning anti personnel mines, and expressing the Clinton administration's view that the CD "offers the most practical and effective forum for achieving our aim of a ban that is global." This U.S. move has raised the stakes in Geneva. Although Britain and France moved swiftly to back the U.S. initiative, other countries were less comfortable. Advocates of a global landmines ban are concerned that 1) the CD could slow down and possibly derail the Ottawa Process; 2) at best, the CD would only be able to manage a "step by step" progress and, at worst, the landmine issue could become hopelessly bogged down in Geneva's arcane procedures; and 3) negotiations on landmines could become all consuming, thereby preventing the CD from addressing nuclear weapons issues. Mexico, which in New York supported a landmines ban but declared "Any other forum but not the CD," has continued its vehement opposition to this approach. Other advocates of a total ban, such as Austria, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands, have decided not to block the establishment of landmines negotiations at the CD but are skeptical of its chances of success. These states prefer that the Ottawa process continue as well.

A special conference of concerned states could likely negotiate and sign a formal ban in less than a year, thereby establishing an international legal basis for the prohibition of anti personnel landmines. However, against this backdrop is the concern that such a conference, by excluding some of the world's biggest producers (namely Russia and China), would simply become a club for the virtuous, with little political impact on the widespread problem. Negotiations at the CD, on the other hand, would involve all the players, but with the drawback that talks could be prolonged and possibly unsuccessful, thereby delaying actual progress on the issue.

Advocates of the Ottawa approach argue that once a global legal norm has been established, international pressure will be more effectively brought to bear on landmine producers. They contend that, all things considered, the Canadian initiative would be a speedier and surer way to get Russia, China and others on board than through lengthy, multilateral negotiations at the CD, which some now regard as the kiss of death for arms control endeavors. A twin track approach appears acceptable to the White House, which mentioned support for the Ottawa process in its statement calling on the CD to commence negotiations. However, as Russia has been quick to point out, if the Ottawa process concludes a total ban this year, the two approaches may find themselves on a collision course.

Russia and China are the strongest opponents of a landmines ban and among the 10 states to abstain on the U.S. resolution at the General Assembly. Both countries have said the CCW is the appropriate forum for discussing landmines. While China said it supported "reasonable restrictions" on landmines, it claimed the weapons were a legitimate means of military defense. Russia, which called the Ottawa initiative a "road leading nowhere," said discussions at the CD were feasible. However, Moscow raised questions over the scope of the proposed accord and its verifiability, and argued that emphasis should instead be on intensifying international mine clearance efforts and maintaining the moratoria on exporting anti personnel mines.

In addition to Mexico, several non aligned countries remain to be convinced to back landmines negotiations at the CD. Their fear that this is a ploy by the United States to prevent the CD from addressing nuclear issues could be allayed if the United States, Britain and France withdrew their objections to the establishment of an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament. Only time will tell whether their other concern—that the CD will paralyze further progress on getting a landmines ban—is legitimate.

 

The Disarmament Agenda

The United States was almost totally isolated in its opposition to the convening in 1999 of a UN special session devoted to disarmament. (The United Nations has convened such sessions in 1978, 1982 and 1988.)

With the exception of a few countries, the entire UN membership backed the non aligned states' call for a fourth special session in 1999, primarily because they believe that there is a clear need for a new security and disarmament agenda as the world enters the 21st century. The United States did not argue against the idea of a special session but rather it opposed the proposed date, wanting the session to be held no earlier than 2001. Washington's arguments ranged from fear of failure (and the possible consequences for the NPT review conference in 2000), to worry that it would be used exclusively to put pressure on the nuclear weapon states for nuclear disarmament, to concern that India could manipulate the 1999 special session.

Inevitably, the UN session will be used to exert pressure for nuclear disarmament. The disappearance of the Cold War has caused many more people to question the utility and morality of nuclear weapons. Providing that there is continued progress on reducing the vast U.S. Russian nuclear arsenals and the other nuclear weapon states are at least engaging in multilateral discussions on nuclear disarmament, the United States has little to fear. But if progress toward the elimination of nuclear weapons has been blocked or reversed, then it is legitimate for the international community to try to get it on track again. The United States appears troubled by the possibility that an unsatisfactory UN special session in 1999 could harm the NPT review in 2000. However, delaying a UN special session until after 2000 could result in the non nuclear weapon states venting their frustration at the NPT review conference, which the United States says it wants to avoid.

It is inconceivable that the fourth UN special session would ignore the importance of conventional arms issues such as landmines and light weapons. Not only are these issues becoming increasing salient in the international court of public opinion, but by 1999 it will be clear whether the General Assembly's resolve on banning landmines is being fulfilled either by the CD or through the Ottawa Process.

While the U.S. concern that India may try to use the session as a platform is realistic, such an event could also be utilized by the international community to pressure hold out states that have refused to sign the CTBT. Of 44 designated countries whose accession is necessary before the test ban treaty can take effect, only three—India, Pakistan and North Korea—have not yet signed. Applying pressure on India at a UN special session would likely be more effective than criticizing its non accession to the test ban at a specially convened CTBT conference or through the NPT regime, from which India and Pakistan are excluded as non members.

All things considered, the U.S. opposition to debating a new international disarmament agenda for the coming decade seems ill considered. The United States should withdraw its opposition to holding a special session in 1999 and engage positively in UN discussions scheduled for April and May that will determine the scope and agenda for the session. The fourth UN Special Session on Disarmament, if carefully planned for and utilized wisely by UN member states, can codify new thinking on arms control and disarmament issues and contribute to constructive solutions. Surely the United States would welcome that.

Rebecca Johnson is director of the Disarmament Intelligence Review in London.

1996 ACT Index

 

Authors

 

Ahearne, John F., John P. Holdren, Richard L. Garwin, Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky, John J. Taylor and Matthew Bunn:
"Excess Weapons Plutonium: How to Reduce a Clear and Present Danger," Nov./Dec., pp.3 9.

 

Boulden, Laurie H.:
"India May Build Turnkey' Chemical Plant in Iran," Jul., p.26; "Pentagon Says Some U.S. Troops in Gulf May Have Been Exposed to CW Agents," Jul., p.26; "CIA, DIA Provide New Details on CW, BW Programs in Iran and Russia," Aug., pp.32 33.

 

Bunn, George:
"Expanding Nuclear Options: Is the U.S. Negating Its Non Use Pledges?" May/Jun., pp.7 10. Bunn, George and John B. Rhinelander, "U.S. Should Lead Effort to Enforce Legal Norm Against Testing," Oct., p.30 (Letter to the editor).

 

Bunn, Matthew, John P. Holdren, John F. Ahearne, Richard L. Garwin, Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky and John J. Taylor:
"Excess Weapons Plutonium: How to Reduce a Clear and Present Danger," Nov./Dec., pp.3 9.
Carnahan, Burrus M.:

"World Court Delivers Opinion On Legality of Nuclear Weapons Use," Jul., p.24.

 

Cerniello, Craig:

"India Links Timebound' Disarmament To CTB Support as CD Talks Resume," Feb., p.22; "START II Resolution of Ratification: Resolution Conditions, Declarations Highlight Senate Concerns," Feb., p.30; "Senate Finally Approves START II, Prospects for Duma Vote Uncertain," Feb., pp.20,27; "CD Ends First Session of 1996 With No Progress on CTB Issues," Mar., p.21; "Clinton BMD Program Reorientation Opens Debate On Defense Priorities," Mar., p.22; "Clinton Yeltsin Summit in Moscow Yields Gains On Arms Control Issues," Apr., p.20; "G 7, Russia Make Modest Progress During Nuclear Summit in Moscow," Apr., pp.19,25; "CD Nears Deadline on CTBT, Entry Into Force Still Unresolved," May/Jun., pp.17,24; "Push for National Missile Defense Stalled by CBO Report on Costs," May/Jun., pp.23,27; "Ukraine Completes Final Transfer Of Nuclear Warheads to Russia," May/Jun., p.22; "CD Weighs Draft CTB Treaty; U.S., Russia to Push for Signature," Jul., pp.18,27; "Senate Approves Nunn Lugar II' to Counter Domestic WMD Threats," Jul., pp.23,28; "U.S., Russia Near Agreement On Lower Velocity TMD Systems," Jul., pp.19,27; "Dole, Republican Platform Criticize Clinton Arms Control Policies," Aug., p.32; "India Blocks Consensus on CTB, Treaty May Still Go to UN," Aug., p.31; "CTB Treaty Opened for Signature After Approval by United Nations," Sep., pp.21,23; "France, Britain Retire Aging Nuclear Weapon Systems," Sep., p.22; "CIA Report Renews Concerns Over Russian Nuclear Control," Oct., p.22; "Perry Urges Russian Lawmakers to Ratify START II, Move to START III," Oct., pp.19,27; "U.S., Russia Cancel Signing of TMD Demarcation' Agreement," Oct., p.20; "Belarus Completes Transfer of Nuclear Warheads to Russia," Nov./Dec., p.18; "Retired Generals Reignite Debate Over Abolition of Nuclear Weapons," Nov./Dec., p.14; "U.S., Russia Amend HEU Deal, Accelerating Implementation Pace," Nov./Dec., p.16; "U.S. Withholds Approval for Computer Exports to Russia," Nov./Dec., p.17. Cerniello, Craig and Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr., "The CTB Treaty: A Historic Opportunity to Strengthen the Non Proliferation Regime," Aug., pp.15 16.

 

Cirincione, Joseph:

"The Signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," Sep., pp.8 14 (ACA briefing).

 

Clinton, Bill:

"ACA Candidates' Forum: The Questions in 1996," Sep., pp.3 7. Davis, Zachary S.: "The Spread of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones: Building a New Nuclear Bargain," Feb., pp.15 19.

 

Dhanapala, Jayantha:

"Fulfilling the Promise of the NPT: The CTBT and Beyond," May/Jun., pp.3 6 (June 12 address before ACA annual dinner).

 

Diamond, Howard:

"DOE Resumes Program to Accept Spent Fuel From Foreign Reactors," Oct., p.23; "U.S. Moving Toward Implementation of 1985 Sino U.S. Nuclear Accord," Nov./Dec., p.19.

 

Garwin, Richard L.:

"The Signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," Sep., pp.8 14 (ACA briefing). Garwin, Richard L., John P. Holdren, John F. Ahearne, Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky, John J. Taylor and Matthew Bunn: "Excess Weapons Plutonium: How to Reduce a Clear and Present Danger," Nov./Dec., pp.3 9.

 

Gill, Bates and Matthew Stephenson:

"Search for Common Ground: Breaking the Sino U.S. Non Proliferation Stalemate," Sep., pp.15 20.

 

Goose, Stephen D.:

"In Pursuit of a Global Ban On Landmines: New Landmine Protocol Is Vital Step Toward Ban," Jul., pp.9,14 17.

 

Graham, Thomas, Jr.:

"The CFE Treaty Review Conference: Strengthening the Cornerstone' of European Security," Apr., pp.3 6 (Interview).

 

Holdren, John P.:

"Reducing the Threat of Nuclear Theft In the Former Soviet Union," Mar., pp.14 20. Holdren, John P., John F. Ahearne, Richard L. Garwin, Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky, John J. Taylor and Matthew Bunn: "Excess Weapons Plutonium: How to Reduce a Clear and Present Danger," Nov./Dec., pp.3 9.

 

Holum, John D.:

"The Administration's Arms Control Agenda: Gaining Ground Under Fire," Feb., pp.3 6 (March 8 address before ACA annual luncheon).

 

Isaacs, John:

"The Signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," Sep., pp.8 14 (ACA briefing); "Arms Control and the 105th Congress," Nov./Dec., pp.10 13.

 

Johnson, Rebecca:

"Endgame Issues in Geneva: Can the CD Deliver the CTBT in 1996?" Apr., pp.12 18; "The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: Hanging in the Balance," Jul., pp.3 8.

 

Karp, Aaron:

"The New Politics of Missile Proliferation," Oct., pp.10 14.

 

Keeny, Spurgeon M., Jr.:

"A Step Toward Sanity," Feb., p.2; "To CTB Or Not to CTB?" Mar., p.2; "U.S. Arms Control Policy: Progress and Prospects," Mar., pp.7 13 (ACA briefing); "Nuclear Policy in Disarray," Apr., p.2; "CTBT: The Best vs. the Good," May/Jun., p.2; "CTB: Too Soon to Declare Victory," Aug., p.2; "CWC: Election Year Casualty?" Sep., p.2; "The Signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," Sep., pp.8 14 (ACA briefing); "START III Now," Oct., p.2; "Your Move, Mr. President," Nov./Dec., p.2. Keeny, Spurgeon M., Jr. and Craig Cerniello, "The CTB Treaty: A Historic Opportunity to Strengthen the Non Proliferation Regime," Aug., pp.15 16.

 

Lacey, Edward J.:

"The UNSCOM Experience: Implications for U.S. Arms Control Policy," Aug., pp.9 14.

 

Leklem, Eric J.:

"BWC Review Conference Ends Without Compliance Protocol," Nov./Dec., p.16.

 

Matheson, Michael J.:

"In Pursuit of a Global Ban On Landmines: New Landmine Protocol Is Vital Step Toward Ban," Jul., pp.9 13.

 

Medeiros, Evan S.:

"KEDO, UNSCOM Financial Woes May Undermine Watchdog' Efforts," Feb., p.24; "U.S. Considers Sanctions on China For Weapons, Technology Transfers," Feb., pp.21,25; "U.S., North Korea May Hold Talks On North's Missile Sales, MTCR Status," Feb., p.25; "U.S., Russia Enhance Nuclear Security Cooperation During Washington Talks," Feb., p.23; "Senate Hearings Focus Spotlight On Real' Threat of Nuclear Smuggling," Mar., p.24; "U.S. EURATOM Nuclear Accord Enters Into Force, Trade Resumes," Mar., pp.25,28; "African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty Signed By 43 Countries," Apr., pp.22,25; "Pentagon Releases Annual Report On Global Proliferation Threats," Apr., p.24; "China Offers U.S. New Pledge On Nuclear Exports, Avoids Sanctions," May/Jun., p.19; "Russian Iranian Reactor Contract Restarts Work at Bushehr Complex," May/Jun., p.25; "U.S. Warns Russia, Ukraine on Missile Related Sales to China," May/Jun., p.24; "Egypt Received Scud Missile Parts From North Korea, Report Says," Jul., p.25; "Gore Chernomyrdin Commission Expands Nuclear Security Cooperation," Jul., pp.25,29; "Iraq Denies UNSCOM Access to Suspect Sites Despite Pledge," Jul., p.21; "KEDO, North Korea Sign Protocols As Funding Crisis Continues," Jul., p.22.

 

Mendelsohn, Jack:

"U.S. Arms Control Policy: Progress and Prospects," Mar., pp.7 13 (ACA briefing); "The CFE Treaty: In Retrospect and Under Review," Apr., pp.7 11; "Kilometers Apart on Missile Defense," Jul., p.2; "START II and Beyond," Oct., pp.3 9.

 

Mendlovitz, Saul and Peter Weiss:

"Judging the Illegality of Nuclear Weapons: Arms Control Moves To the World Court," Feb., pp.10 14; "Nuclear Weapons and the World Court," Mar., p.27 (Response to letter to the editor).

 

Moodie, Michael:

"Ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention: Past Time for Action," Feb., pp.3 9.

 

Murray, Lori Esposito:

"U.S. Arms Control Policy: Progress and Prospects," Mar., pp.7 13 (ACA briefing).

 

O'Hanlon, Michael:

"Arms Control and Military Stability in the Balkans," Aug., pp.3 8.

 

Panofsky, Wolfgang K. H., John P. Holdren, John F. Ahearne, Richard L. Garwin, John J. Taylor and Matthew Bunn:

"Excess Weapons Plutonium: How to Reduce a Clear and Present Danger," Nov./Dec., pp.3 9.

 

Parachini, John:

"Landmine Free Zones Will Advance Goal of Global Ban," Aug., p.34 (Letter to the editor).

 

Perkovich, George:

"India's Nuclear Weapons Debate: Unlocking the Door to the CTBT," May/Jun., pp.11 16.

 

Perry, William:

"Taking the START II Debate to Moscow," Oct., pp.15 18 (October 17 speech to Russian Duma members).

 

Pfeiffer, Tom:

"CWC Opponents Succeed in Delaying Senate Vote," Sep., pp.22 23; "Hungary Sets Clock Ticking for CWC Entry Into Force," Oct., p.21.

 

Pike, John:

"U.S. Arms Control Policy: Progress and Prospects," Mar., pp.7 13 (ACA briefing).

 

Podlich, Heather:

"Senate Panel Completes Hearings On Chemical Weapons Convention," Mar., p.23; "Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes CWC Ratification Resolution," Apr., p.21; "Pentagon Says Libya Has Stopped Construction at Suspected CW Plant," May/Jun., p.26.

 

Rhinelander, John B.:

"Nuclear Weapons and the World Court: ICJ Should Adopt Political Question Doctrine," Mar., pp.26,27. Rhinelander, John B. and George Bunn, "U.S. Should Lead Effort to Enforce Legal Norm Against Testing," Oct., p.30 (Letter to the editor).

 

Stephenson, Matthew and Bates Gill:

"Search for Common Ground: Breaking the Sino U.S. Non Proliferation Stalemate," Sep., pp.15 20.

 

Stone, Jeremy:

"Nuclear Weapons and the World Court: Court Should Consider Ban On First Use," Mar., p.26 (Letter to the editor).

 

Taylor, John J., John P. Holdren, John F. Ahearne, Richard L. Garwin, Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky and Matthew Bunn:

"Excess Weapons Plutonium: How to Reduce a Clear and Present Danger," Nov./Dec., pp.3 9.

 

van der Vink, Gregory E.:

"The Signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," Sep., pp.8 14 (ACA briefing).

 

Walkling, Sarah:

"Balkan Arms Control Efforts Focus On Transparency, Arms Limitations," Feb., p.26; "CCW Negotiators Make Headway On Strengthening Of Landmine Protocol," Feb., p.27; "Wassenaar Regime Plenary Meeting Adjourns Following Disagreements," Apr., p.23; "CCW Negotiators Set New Limits On Landmine Use, Transfer," May/Jun., pp.20,21,27; "CFE Treaty Review Completed, Parties Agree on Flank Resolution," May/Jun., pp.18,30; "Clinton Landmine Initiative Draws Criticism," May/Jun., p.20; "OAS Seeks Ban On Landmines For Hemisphere," May/Jun., p.21; "Balkan War Parties Sign CFE Style Accord Limiting Offensive Arms," Jul., pp.20,27; "Wassenaar Members Resolve Most Differences During July Plenary," Jul., pp.23,28; "U.S. Arms Sales Continue Decline, Russia Top Exporter in 1995," Aug., p.33; "NATO Paper Outlines Approach to CFE Treaty Modernization,'" Oct., p.25; "Pro Landmine Ban States Meet in Ottawa, Set Strategy for Global Effort," Oct., p.21; "United States Regains No. 1 Position on UN Conventional Arms Register," Oct., p.24; "OSCE Summit Stresses Cooperation, CFE States Set Out Adoption Plan," Nov./Dec., p.21; "UN Approves Resolution Calling for Mine Ban As Soon As Possible,'" Nov./Dec., p.20.

 

Ware, Alyn:

"New Zealand SPNFZ Policy Anti Nuclear, Not Anti American," Apr., p.27 (Letter to the editor).

 

Weiss, Peter and Saul Mendlovitz:

"Judging the Illegality of Nuclear Weapons: Arms Control Moves To the World Court," Feb., pp.10 14; "Nuclear Weapons and the World Court," Mar., p.27 (Response to letter to the editor).

 

 

Briefings

"U.S. Arms Control Policy: Progress and Prospects," with Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr., Jack Mendelsohn, John Pike and Lori Esposito Murray, Mar., pp.7 13.

"The Signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," with Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr., Joseph Cirincione, Richard L. Garwin, Gregory E. van der Vink and John Isaacs.

 

Documents

 

  • START II Resolution of Ratification of January 26, plus summary of conditions and declarations, Feb., pp.30 33.

     

  • Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers Statement of Principles, Apr., pp.28 29.
  • Chairman's Draft Text of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and executive summary, Aug., pp. 17 30.

     

  • Report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (Executive summary), Aug., pp.35 37.

     

  • START II speech by William Perry before members of the Russian Duma, October 17, Oct., pp.15 18.

     

  • Joint Statement on Reduction of Nuclear Weapons Arsenals: Declining Utility, Continuing Risks, by Generals Andrew J. Goodpaster and Lee Butler, Nov./Dec., p.15.

     

  • Statement on Nuclear Weapons by International Generals and Admirals, Nov./Dec., pp.15,18.

     

  • Document Adopted by CFE Treaty Parties on the Scope and Parameters of Treaty Modernization, Nov./Dec., pp.22 23.

     

Factfiles

 

  • "U.S. Unitary and Binary Chemical Stockpiles," Feb., p.34.

     

  • "Theater Ballistic Missile Systems and Capabilities," Mar., pp.29 30.

     

  • "U.S. and Soviet/Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces," Apr., p.30.

     

  • "U.S. 1995 Data for the UN Conventional Arms Register," May/Jun., pp. 28 29.

     

  • "Current and Past Producers and Exporters of Anti Personnel Landmines," Jul., pp.32 33.

     

  • "Fifty One Years of Nuclear Testing: The Final Tally?" Aug., p.38.

     

  • "U.S. Security Assistance to the Former Soviet Union," Sep., pp.25 26.

     

  • "U.S. and Soviet/Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces: Past, Present and Projected," Oct., pp.28 29.

     

  • "1995 UN Conventional Arms Register," Nov./Dec., pp.25 26.

     

Interviews

Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr.: Apr., pp.3 6.

 

Subjects

ABM Treaty: Helms seeks U.S. withdrawal, Feb., p.29; U.S. Russian demarcation talks, Jul., p.2; U.S., Russia near TMD agreement, Jul., pp.19,27; U.S., Russia reaffirm TMD agreement, Sep., p.24; U.S., Russia cancel signing ceremony, Oct., p.20. (See also BMD, NMD, TMD, U.S. Russian Relations.)

African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (ANWFZ): Signed by 43 countries, Apr., pp.22,25. (See also NWFZs, U.S. Nuclear Use Policy.)

Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA): Report on arms expenditures and transfers, Jul., p.31.

Balkans: Arms control efforts, Feb., p.26; Parties sign CFE style agreement, Jul., pp.20,27; Arms control and military stability, Aug., pp.3 8.

Ballistic Missiles: Theater ballistic missile systems and capabilities, Mar., pp.29 30 (Factfile); Politics of proliferation, Oct., pp.10 14. (See also China, Egypt, India, MTCR, North Korea, Pakistan, South Korea.)

Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD): Administration's reorientation of program positive step, Feb., p.2; Reorientations opens debate on defense priorities, Mar., p.22. (See also NMD, TMD, U.S. Arms Control Policy, U.S. Russian Relations.)

Belarus: Transfer of warheads, Nov./Dec., p.18. (See also START I.)

Biological Weapons: U.S. assessment of programs in Russia and Iran, Aug., pp.32 33. (See also BWC, Iraq.)

Biological Weapons Convention (BWC): Fourth review conference, Nov./Dec., p.16. (See also Biological Weapons.)

Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (Canberra Commission): Final report executive summary, Aug., pp.35 37 (Document). (See also Nuclear Abolition.)

Chemical Weapons: U.S. stockpiles of unitary and binary weapons, Feb., p.34 (Factfile); Pentagon report on Libyan plant, May/Jun., p.26; Pentagon addresses Gulf War exposure, Jul., p.26; U.S. assessment of programs in Russia and Iran, Aug., pp.32 33. (See also CWC, India, Iran, Libya.)

Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC): Analysis of treaty, prospects for implementation, Feb., pp.3 9; Senate panel completes hearings, Mar., p.23; Senate Foreign Relations Committee passes CWC ratification resolution, Apr., p.21; Senate sets deadline for CWC vote, Jul., p.30; Senate's failure to act may reflect election year politics, Sep., p.2; Opponents succeed in delaying Senate vote, Sep., pp.22 23; Hungary sets implementation clock ticking, Oct., p.21. (See also U.S. Arms Control Policy.)

China: U.S. considers sanctions for weapons, technology transfers, Feb., pp.21,25; Offers U.S. new pledges on nuclear exports, May/Jun., p.19; Conducts 44th nuclear test, May/Jun., p.30; U.S. clears sale to Chinese ring magnet producer, Jul., p.30; Sino U.S. non proliferation relations, Sep., pp.15 20; U.S. moves toward implementing 1985 Sino U.S. nuclear accord, Nov./Dec., p.19. (See also Ballistic Missiles, CD, CTBT, Nuclear Testing, U.S. Non Proliferation Policy.)

Clinton, Bill: Signs FY96 defense authorization bill, Feb., p.29; Clinton Yeltsin Moscow summit, Apr., p.20; Approves arms for Pakistan, Apr., p.26; Landmine initiative draws criticism, May/Jun., p.20; Responses to ACA candidates' forum questionnaire, Sep., pp.3 7; Signs FY97 defense authorization bill, Sep., p.24; Needs to set arms control agenda in second term, Nov./Dec., p.2. (See also U.S. Russian Relations.)

Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers: Statement of principles, Apr., pp.28 29 (Document).

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT): India links timebound disarmament to support, Feb., p.22; Key issues remain unresolved, Mar., p.2; CD ends first session with no progress, Mar., p.21; Prospects for second CD session, Apr., pp.12 18; U.S. should accept chairman's text, May/Jun., p.2; Assessment of remaining issues, May/Jun., pp.3 6; Assessment of second CD session, Jul., pp.3 8; CD considers draft treaty; Jul., pp.18,27; Work remains after signing, Aug., p.2; Analysis and summary of chairman's draft text, Aug., pp.15 18; Chairman's draft, Aug., pp.19 30 (Document); India blocks concensus on treaty, Aug., p.31; Analysis of signing, Sep., pp.8 14; Opened for signature, Sep., pp.21,23; Signature update, Oct., p.26; Signed by 137 states, Nov./Dec., p.24. (See also CD, NPT, Nuclear Testing, U.S. Arms Control Policy, U.S. Non Proliferation Policy.)

Conference on Disarmament (CD): India links timebound disarmament to CTBT support, Feb., p.22; First session ends with no progress on CTBT, Mar., p.21; Prospects for second session, Apr., pp.12 18; CTBT negotiating deadline nears, May/Jun., pp.17,24; Assessment of second CD session, Jul., pp.3 8; Considers draft treaty, Jul., pp.18,27; India blocks concensus, Aug., p.31. (See also CTBT.)

Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW): Progress made on strengthening landmine protocol, Feb., p.27; Review conference sets new landmine limits, May/Jun., pp.20,21,27; Review conference positive step, Jul., pp.9 13; Conference a failure, Jul., pp.9,14 17. (See also Landmines.)

Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS): Enters into force, Oct., p.27.

Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty: Assessment of review conference, Apr., pp.3 6 (Interview with Thomas Graham, Jr.); Analysis of treaty and review conference, Apr., pp.7 11; Review conference completed, May/Jun., pp.18 30; NATO paper outlines approach to treaty modernization, Oct., p.25; Parties agree to adoption process, Nov./Dec., p.21. (See NATO, Russia, U.S. Russian Relations.)

Conventional Arms Transfers: GAO report says offsets increasing, Apr., p.27; Senate rejects arms sales code of conduct, Jul., p.31; ACDA reports on expenditures, transfers, Jul., p.31; U.S. sales continue decline, Aug., p.33; U.S. announces new sales to Taiwan, Sep., p.24; U.S. helicopter transfer to Colombia, Sep., p.24; International code of conduct gains support, Oct., pp.26 27; Peru acquires Belarus MiGs, Nov./Dec., p.24. (See also Pakistan, UN Conventional Arms Register, U.S. Arms Control Policy.)

Dole, Robert: Criticizes administration's arms control policies, Aug., p.32.

Egypt: Receives Scud missile parts from North Korea, Jul., p.25.

European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM): Agreement with U.S. enters into force, Mar., p.25.

Export Controls: U.S. withholds approval for computer exports, Nov./Dec., p.17. (See also China, MTCR, U.S. Non Proliferation Policy, Wassenaar Arrangement.)

France: Chirac says nuclear testing program finished, Feb., p.29; Signs SPNWFZ protocol, Mar., p.28; Nuclear cooperation agreement reached with U.S., Jul., p.31; Retires nuclear weapons systems, Sep., p.22. (See also Nuclear Testing.)

Germany: Garching reactor project proceeds, Feb., p.29.

Gore Chernomyrdin Commission: Results of sixth meeting, Feb., p.23; Results of seventh meeting, Jul., pp.25,29. (See also U.S. Russian Relations)

India: Prithvi missile tested, Feb., p.29; Domestic debate on nuclear weapons policy, May/Jun., pp.11 16; May build turnkey chemical plant in Iran, Jul., p.26. (See also Ballistic Missiles, CD, CTBT, Nuclear Testing.)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Says Iraq has advanced centrifuge design, Feb., p.29.

International Court of Justice (ICJ): Analysis of ruling on nuclear weapons, Feb., pp.10 14; Court should consider ban on first use, Mar., p.26 (Letter to the editor); Court should adopt political question doctrine, Mar., pp.26 27 (Letter to the editor); Delivers opinion, Jul., p.24.

Iran: Nuclear cooperation with Russia, May/Jun., p.25; Chemical plant may be built by India, Jul., p.26; U.S. assessment of biological and chemical weapons programs, Aug., pp.32 33.

Iraq: Ekeus says may possess BW armed missiles, Mar., p.28; Denies UNSCOM access to sites, Jul., p.21; Ekeus says still hiding ballistic missiles, Oct., p.26; Accepts oil deal, Nov./Dec., p.24. (See also Ballistic Missiles, IAEA, UNSCOM.)

Israel: Expands TMD cooperation with U.S., Apr., p.26.

Kazakhstan: (See also START I.)

Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO): Financial troubles, Feb., p.24; Signs protocols with North Korea, Jul., p.22. (See also North Korea.)

Landmines: CCW protocol focus of negotiations, Feb., p.27; Shalikashvili favor ban on anti personnel mines, Mar., p.28; Clinton initiative draws criticism, May/Jun., p.20; CCW review conference sets new limits, May/Jun., pp.20,21,27; OAS seeks hemispheric ban, May/Jun., p.21; Current and past producers and exporters of anti personnel mines, Jul., pp.32 34 (Factfile); Value of landmine free zones, Aug., p.34 (Letter to the editor); Ottawa strategy conference, Oct., p.21; UN approves ban resolution, Nov./Dec., p.20. (See also CCW.)

Libya: Pentagon report on chemical weapons plant, May/Jun., p.26.

Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR): U.S. holds talks with North Korea on membership, Feb., p.25. (See also Ballistic Missiles.)

National Missile Defense (NMD): CBO reports stalls Republican push, May/Jun., pp.23,27; Nunn offers alternative bill, Jul., p.30.

NATO: Offers approach to CFE Treaty modernization, Oct., p.25. (See also CFE Treaty, Russia, U.S. Arms Control Policy, U.S. Russian Relations.)

North Korea: Holds talks with U.S. on missile transfers, MTCR status, Feb., p.25; Canning of fuel rods begins, Apr., p.26; Begins missile talks with U.S., Apr., pp.26 27; Signs protocols with KEDO, Jul., p.22; Sends Egypt Scud missile parts, Jul., p.25. (See also Ballistic Missiles, KEDO.)

Nuclear Abolition: Retired generals reignite debate, Nov./Dec., p.14; Joint Statement on Reduction of Nuclear Weapons Arsenals: Declining Utility, Continuing Risks by Generals Andrew J. Goodpaster and Lee Butler, Nov./Dec., p.15 (Document); Statement on Nuclear Weapons by International Generals and Admirals, Nov./Dec., pp.15,18 (Document). (See also Canberra Commission.) Nuclear Material Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A): DOE completes upgrades in Uzbekistan, Oct., p.26. (See also Gore Chernomyrdin Commission, Nuclear Safety and Security Summit.)

Nuclear Non Proliferation: Reducing the threat of nuclear theft from the former Soviet Union, Mar., pp.14 20; Senate hearings focus on nuclear smuggling, Mar., p.24. (See also KEDO, Nuclear Abolition, Nuclear MPC&A, Plutonium, Russia, UNSCOM, U.S. Non Proliferation Policy.)

Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT): Assessment of review and extension conference, May/Jun., pp.3 6. (See also CTBT.)

Nuclear Safety and Security Summit: G 7 states, Russia make progress, Apr., pp.19,25.

Nuclear Testing: Chirac says testing program finished, Feb., p.29; China conducts 44th test, May/Jun., p.30; DOE postpones subcritical tests, Jul., pp.30 31; Nuclear weapon states totals, Aug., p.38 (Factfile); U.S. should lead effort to enforce legal norm against testing, Oct., p.30 (Letter to the editor). (See also CD, China, CTBT, France.)

Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZs): Factors and implications of wider application, Feb., pp.15 19. (See also ANWFZ, SPNWFZ, U.S. Nuclear Use Policy.)

Nunn Lugar II: Senate approves, Jul., pp.23,28.

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE): Lisbon summit, Nov./Dec., p.21.

Organization of American States (OAS): Landmine ban, May/Jun., p.21. Pakistan: Clinton approves release of arms, Apr., p.26; U.S. government at odds over status of M 11 missiles, Jul., p.30.

Perry, William: October 17 speech to Russian Duma members, Oct., pp.15 18 (Document).

Plutonium: Case for dual track approach to disposition of excess weapons plutonium, Nov./Dec., pp.3 9.

Russia: Prospects for START II ratification, Feb., pp.20,27; Reducing the threat of nuclear theft, Mar., pp.14 20; Strategic nuclear forces under START I, Apr., p.30 (Factfile); Nuclear cooperation with Iran, May/Jun., p.25; U.S. assessment of biological and chemical weapons programs, Aug., pp.32 33; CIA report on nuclear control, Oct., p.22; Past, present and projected nuclear forces, Oct., pp.28 29 (Factfile). (See also Belarus, CD, CFE Treaty, Conventional Arms Transfers, CTBT, Nuclear Safety and Security Summit, Nuclear Testing, START I, START II, Ukraine, U.S. Russian Relations.)

South Korea: Continues missile talks with U.S., Mar., p.28. (See also Ballistic Missiles, KEDO, North Korea.)

South Pacific Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SPNWFZ): U.S., Britain and France sign protocols, Mar., p.28; New Zealand policy not Anti American, Apr., p.27 (Letter to the editor). (See also NWFZs, U.S. Nuclear Use Policy.)

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) I: U.S. and Soviet/Russian forces, Apr., p.30 (Factfile). (See also START II.)

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II: Senate approves resolution of ratification, prospects for Russian ratification, Feb., pp.20,27; Senate resolution of ratification, Feb., pp.31 33 (Document); Analysis of resolution, Feb., p.30; U.S. START III proposal could help rescue START II, Oct., p.2; START II and beyond, Oct., pp.3 9; Perry urges Duma members to ratify, Oct., pp.19,27. (See also William Perry, Russia, START I, U.S. Arms Control Policy, U.S. Nuclear Weapons.)

Theater Missile Defense (TMD): Administration's reorientation of program positive step, Feb., p.2; U.S., Israel expand cooperation, Apr., p.26; U.S., Germany and Italy move forward on MEADS, Apr., p.26; U.S. Russian demarcation talks, Jul., p.2; U.S., Russia near TMD agreement, Jul., pp.19,27; Russia reaffirm TMD agreement, Sep., p.24; U.S., Russia cancel signing ceremony, Oct., p.20. (See also ABM Treaty, BMD.)

Ukraine: Completes transfer of nuclear warheads, May/Jun., p.22; U.S. issues warning on missile related sales to China, May/Jun., p.24. (See also Russia, START I.)

UN Conventional Arms Register: U.S. data for 1995, May/Jun., pp.28 29 (Factfile); Data released for 1995, Oct., p.24; 1995 data, Nov./Dec., pp.25 26 (Factfile).

UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM): Financial troubles, Feb., p.24; Ekeus says Iraq may possess BW armed missiles, Mar., p.28; Denied access by Iraq, Jul., p.21; Lessons learned and impact on U.S. policy, Aug., pp.9 14; Ekeus says Iraq still hiding missiles, Oct., p.26. (See also Iraq.)

United Kingdom: Signs SPNWFZ protocol, Mar., p.28; Retires nuclear weapons systems, Sep., p.22. (See also Nuclear Testing.)

United Nations: Approves landmine ban resolution, Nov./Dec., p.20. (See also CD, CTBT. UN Conventional Arms Register, UNSCOM.)

U.S. Arms Control Policy: Address by John D. Holum, Mar., pp.3 5; Status and prospects, Mar., pp.6 13 (ACA briefing); Lessons learned from UNSCOM experience, Aug., pp.9 14; Criticized by Dole, Republican platform, Aug., p.32. (See also Bill Clinton, BMD, Conventional Arms Transfers, NMD, Nuclear Abolition, Plutonium, TMD, START I, START II, U.S. Congress, U.S. Non Proliferation Policy, U.S. Nuclear Use Policy, U.S. Russian Relations.)

U.S. Congress: Senate approves START II resolution of ratification, Feb., pp.20,27; Senate panel completes CWC hearings, Mar., p.23; Senate hearings on nuclear smuggling, Mar., p.24; Senate Foreign Relations Committee passes CWC ratification resolution, Apr., p.21; Senate approve Nunn Lugar II, Jul., pp.23,28; Senate sets deadline for CWC vote, Jul., p.30; Senate rejects arms sales code of conduct, Jul., p.31; Senate passes FY97 defense authorization bill, Jul., p.31; Senate's failure to act on CWC may reflect election year politics, Sep., p.2; Opponents succeed in delaying Senate vote on CWC, Sep., pp.22 23; Arms control and the 105th Congress, Nov./Dec., pp.10 13.

U.S. Non Proliferation Policy: Administration considers sanctions on China, Feb., pp.21,25; U.S. North Korean talks on North's missile transfers, MTCR status, Feb., p.25; Signs SPNWFZ protocol, Mar., p.28; U.S. South Korean missile talks continue, Mar., p.28; Pentagon releases report on global threats, Apr., p.24; Missile talks with North Korea begin, Apr., pp.26 27; U.S. warns Russia, Ukraine on missile related sales to China, May/Jun., p.24; Sale cleared for Chinese ring magnet producer, Jul., p.30; U.S. government at odds over status of M 11 missiles, Jul., p.30; Lessons learned from UNSCOM experience, Aug., pp.9 14; Sino U.S. non proliferation relations, Sep., pp.15 20; DOE resumes program to accept spent fuel from foreign reactors, Oct., p.23; Case for dual track approach to disposition of excess weapons plutonium, Nov./Dec., pp.3 9; U.S., Russia amend HEU deal, Nov./Dec., p.16; U.S. moves toward implementing 1985 Sino U.S. nuclear accord, Nov./Dec., p.19; U.S. withholds approval for computer exports, Nov./Dec., p.17. (See also CD, China, CNS, CTBT, CWC, EURATOM, Gore Chernomyrdin Commission, Iran, KEDO, Libya, North Korea, Nuclear Abolition, Nuclear Safety and Security Summit, NWFZs, Pakistan, South Korea, SPNWFZ, UNSCOM, U.S. Arms Control Policy, U.S. Nuclear Use Policy, U.S. Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Security Assistance, Wassenaar Arrangement.)

U.S. Nuclear Use Policy: Criticism of administration's policy on negative security assurances, Apr., p.2; Analysis of U.S. policy, May/Jun., pp.7 10. (See also ANWFZ, NWFZs, SPNWFZ.)

U.S. Nuclear Weapons: Strategic nuclear forces under START I, Apr., p.30 (Factfile); DOE postpones subcritical tests, Jul., pp.30 31; Cooperation agreement reached with France, Jul., p.31; Past, present and projected nuclear forces, Oct., pp.28 29 (Factfile); DOE proposes downsized weapons complex, Nov./Dec., p.24. (See also Nuclear Testing, Plutonium, U.S. Non Proliferation Policy, WIPP.)

U.S. Russian Relations: Clinton Yeltsin summit, Apr., p.20; Strategic nuclear forces under START I, Apr., p.30 (Factfile); U.S. issues warning on missile related sales to China, May/Jun., p.24; Past, present and projected nuclear forces, Oct., pp.28 29 (Factfile); U.S., Russia amend HEU deal, Nov./Dec., p.16; U.S. withholds approval for computer exports, Nov./Dec., p.17. (See also ABM Treaty, CFE Treaty, Gore Chernomyrdin Commission, NATO, Plutonium, TMD, U.S. Arms Control Policy, Wassenaar Arrangement.)

U.S. Security Assistance: DOD funding to former Soviet Union through September 1996, Sep., pp.25 26 (Factfile). (See also Nunn Lugar II.)

Wassenaar Arrangement: First plenary meeting highlights disagreements, Apr., p.23; Resumed plenary resolves most differences, Jul., pp.23,28. (See also Export Controls.)

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP): NRC panel endorses use, Oct., p.26.

NMD Debate in Congress Heats Up As Lott, Lugar Introduce New Bills


Craig Cerniello

AS THE 105th session of Congress began in January, the debate about whether the United States should deploy a national missile defense (NMD) system intensified. On January 21, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R MS) and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Don Nickles (R OK) announced that the Republican agenda in the Senate this legislative session would consist of national missile defense along with 10 domestic policy initiatives. The "National Missile Defense Act of 1997," introduced that day by Lott and 25 co sponsors, requires the United States to deploy an NMD system by the end of 2003—a similar, though scaled down, version of last year's highly contentious "Defend America Act."

The Clinton administration's so called "3 plus 3" program, on the other hand, requires the United States to develop the elements of an NMD system by 2000, at which time it will evaluate the ballistic missile threat to its territory and be in a position to deploy a system by 2003 if necessary (see ACT, March 1996). If the missile threat has not materialized by 2000, then the United States will continue developing and refining its NMD system, maintaining a rolling three year deployment capability, until a rogue nation threat justifying such a decision has been identified.

In an attempt to bridge the gap between Lott's NMD proposal and the administration's program, Senator Richard Lugar (R IN) introduced the "Defend the United States of America Act of 1997" on January 21. The bill requires the United States to develop an NMD system which is capable of being deployed by the end of 2003. It also calls for a congressional vote in 2000 on whether to deploy the system.

 

The Lott Bill

The National Missile Defense Act states that it is U.S. policy to deploy an NMD system by the end of 2003 that "is capable of defending the territory of the United States against limited ballistic missile attack (whether accidental, unauthorized, or deliberate)," and that "could be augmented over time to provide a layered defense against larger and more sophisticated ballistic missile threats if they emerge." This language is similar to that contained in the "Defend America Act of 1996," sponsored by former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (R KS) and House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R GA). The Dole Gingrich bill was withdrawn from House consideration in May 1996 when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the NMD system would incur acquisition costs between $31 billion to $60 billion through 2010 (see ACT, May/June 1996).

Aware of the influence the CBO estimate had in shaping last year's debate, the National Missile Defense Act deliberately tones down some of the key language contained in the Defend America Act in an attempt to reduce costs. Whereas the Dole Gingrich bill called for the deployment of a NMD system that could provide a "highly effective" defense against "limited, unauthorized, or accidental ballistic missile attacks," the Lott bill only requires that the system be capable of defending against limited missile attack. Furthermore, the Lott bill only states that the NMD system "could" rather than "will" be augmented over time to provide a layered defense against more sophisticated missile threats.

The National Missile Defense Act also scales down the elements of the NMD system. Under the Lott bill, the NMD system will consist of an interceptor system; fixed, ground based radars; space based sensors; and battle management, command, control and communications. The Dole Gingrich bill, however, envisioned a much more elaborate interceptor system that included one or a combination of ground based and sea based interceptors; space based, kinetic energy interceptors; and space based, directed energy systems.

Nevertheless, the National Missile Defense Act retains some important provisions that were included in the 1996 Defend America Act. For instance, Lott's legislation "urges" the president to pursue negotiations with the Russians to amend the ABM Treaty to permit deployment of the NMD system, and requires the United States to consider withdrawing from the treaty if these negotiations have not succeeded within one year of the bill's enactment. Moreover, the Lott bill states that it is U.S. policy "to seek a cooperative transition to a regime that does not feature an offense only form of deterrence as the basis for strategic stability."

 

The Lugar Bill

Lugar's legislation attempts to find a middle ground between the administration's NMD approach and the more ambitious Republican proposals. During his January 21 remarks to the Senate in which he introduced the bill, Lugar said, "I hold the view that the ABM Treaty does have, or can be made to have, sufficient flexibility or elasticity to accommodate certain kinds of national missile or theater missile defense systems. By the same token, I reject the notion that we can only achieve the types of theater missile defense or national missile defense we need by outright abrogation of the ABM Treaty."

The Lugar bill directs the secretary of defense to conduct a "research and development program" to develop a single site NMD system that can be deployed by the end of 2003. The system will be "designed to protect the United States against limited ballistic missile threats, including accidental or unauthorized launches or attacks by Third World countries."

In addition, the bill requires Congress to make a decision concerning deployment of the NMD system during 2000. The deployment decision will be based on five factors: the projected ballistic missile threat to the United States in 2000 and beyond; the projected cost and effectiveness of the system based on available technology and testing results; the projected cost and effectiveness of the system if deployment were deferred for one to three years while additional development continued; arms control factors; and an assessment of U.S. preparedness in defending against an attack involving nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

The Lugar legislation also mandates that the NMD system be compliant with the ABM Treaty. In this connection, the system will consist of fixed, ground based battle management radars; up to 100 ground based interceptor missiles; as necessary, space based adjuncts permitted under the treaty; and, as necessary, large phased array radars that are located on the periphery of the United States and oriented outward. The bill also urges the president to pursue discussions with Russia on possible amendments to the ABM Treaty that would allow for more effective defenses, such as a return to the original treaty provision permitting ABM deployment at two sites. However, it does not require the United States to consider withdrawing from the ABM Treaty if these negotiations do not succeed within one year.

The Future of the Chemical Weapons Convention

John D. Holum

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), negotiated under Presidents Reagan and Bush, bans the production, acquisition, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. The treaty will enter into force on April 29, 1997, 180 days after the 65th state (Hungary) deposited its instrument of ratification. As of January 31, 1997, 68 ratifications had been deposited and 161 countries had signed.

In November 1993, the same month President Bill Clinton transmitted the treaty for Senate advice and consent, John D. Holum was sworn in as director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). He has been helping since then to steer the CWC through treacherous congressional waters, where opponents have delayed consideration and sought to add "killer amendments" to the resolution of ratification that would make it impossible for the president to deposit the instruments of ratification necessary for U.S. accession to the treaty. After a scheduled vote on ratification of the treaty in the Senate was postponed in mid September 1996, the CWC is once again in the hands of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Holum, who as ACDA director has the role of principal advisor to the president and the secretary of state on arms control matters, also advised Clinton on defense and foreign policy during the 1992 presidential campaign. He was also legislative director on the staff of Senator George McGovern and a prominent Washington Lawyer

On February 18, 1997, ACA President and Executive Director Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr. and Special Assistant to the Director Erik J. Leklem interviewed Holum on the treaty's utility as an arms control tool and its chances of success in Congress. The following is an edited version of the interview.

Arms Control Today: The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was signed in January of 1993. Why has ratification been delayed for over four years and what is the current state of play in the ratification process?

John Holum: The delay has a number of sources. The Clinton administration, when it came into office, obviously made its own independent assessment of the treaty which had been negotiated and signed during the Bush administration. It took a bit of time to determine whether to recommend it to the Senate. The decision was that the treaty was a net plus for security and that it should go forward. Preparation of the implementing legislation, which needed to go to the Hill in roughly the same time frame as the treaty, also took some time. The treaty was then submitted in November 1993.

Then the election in 1994 changed the complexion of the Senate. It is fair to say that for a substantial part of more than two years, the treaty has been held up by efforts to link it to unrelated issues, such as Senator [Jesse] Helms' [R NC] plan to reorganize the foreign affairs structure. Of course, our challenge is to make clear that the treaty is not a favor to President Clinton, but a security instrument for the American people, and linkage with other causes is, therefore, inappropriate.

ACT: Given the fact that chemical weapons have not really been used extensively anywhere since World War I, how important is the CWC from the point of view of U.S. security?

Holum: First, keep in mind that this treaty is not about our weapons. The United States is getting rid of its chemical weapons stockpile, regardless of what happens with the CWC. This treaty is about other countries' weapons, and whether to call on other countries to do the same thing we are doing.

In that context the CWC is very important. The likelihood of chemical weapons use by others is growing rather than shrinking; in part because of geopolitical change that has occurred since the end of the Cold War, and in part because the technology is more widely available.

There is a very real danger that U.S. citizens will be exposed to chemical weapons attacks by terrorists, as the people of Japan have been, and that U.S. troops will be exposed to chemical weapons as we feared they might be in the Gulf War. Roughly 20 countries around the world now have chemical weapons programs, and the threshold has been crossed between their use by the military and their use by terrorists as we saw in Tokyo. We've seen at the World Trade Center, in Oklahoma City and in Olympic Park that we're not immune to terrorism. So the CWC gives us important tools against real threats.

ACT: When and how was the decision made by the United States to eliminate its chemical weapons capability?

Holum: It was made in legislation in 1985 that we would basically get rid of our unitary chemical weapons stockpile, which is the vast majority of all our chemical weapons, and in 1991 we decided not to proceed with a binary weapons program. We have essentially been out of the chemical weapons business since then, and working on the technologies for getting rid of the stockpile. The destruction decision was made in part for security reasons, because our military did not want it, and in part because the aging weapons stockpile was beginning to become an environmental hazard. Thirty thousand tons of these materials sitting around the country at various sites began to leak and corrode, and it was decided that the United States would be better off without these weapons than to retain them in reserve.

ACT: Which countries have programs that are the greatest concern or potential concern to the United States?

Holum: Some of the principal ones are Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea. There are a number of others with active programs that we haven't talked about publicly in part because of the sensitivity of intelligence sources and methods. But those four certainly give you an idea of the character of countries that find chemical weapons appealing.

ACT: How, in general terms, does the CWC seek to implement a ban on the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons?

Holum: It backs up the basic prohibition through a system of declarations, routine inspections and the possibility of on site challenge inspections of suspect sites, government or private. The practical effect is best understood by example. Consider that we know the Libyans have been actively building the largest underground chemical weapons facility in the world, in the desert at Tarhunah. As things stand now, we can know about that through a variety of sources. We can wave our arms about it. We can protest it. But there is nothing we can do about it because it is legal for the Libyans to have that facility and stockpile chemical weapons. The 1925 Geneva Protocol generally only prohibits their use, not their production or possession.

With the Chemical Weapons Convention in force, two things could happen. Libya could either join the convention or remain outside of it. Assuming we ratify, I think over time that Libya would join. That certainly happened with the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty [NPT], which now has 185 members, including many, like Iraq and North Korea, that have an interest in nuclear weapons. The gravitational pull, trade restrictions and the intense international attention would probably draw Libya into the CWC. If they did join, of course, we would have the option of calling for a challenge inspection at Tarhunah. If a chemical weapons program were found, sanctions could be imposed either among the CWC member countries collectively or through the UN Security Council.

The other possibility is that Libya would stay outside the treaty. Then Libya would be subject to trade restrictions. Libya would also be pressured by its neighbors. When we talk to the Egyptians now and say they should be concerned about the Libyan CW program, they shrug their shoulders and ask, "What can we do?" If the CWC was in force one of the things they could do is say to Libya, "Why don't you join the treaty? What do you have to hide?" So, you have either a stronger legal tool if the Libyans are in the treaty, or a stronger political tool if they're outside the treaty.

Now, contrast that with the current situation where you have nothing. I am always puzzled at the assertions by the opponents of the treaty that this is not a perfect instrument. Nobody says it is. Nobody is saying it will solve all the problems, or that all who join will scrupulously comply. But the alternative is to do nothing, to have no additional tools and to either just wring our hands about a CW program or unilaterally destroy it, which is unlikely to occur, with nothing in between. Of course implementation will be hard and complex. The world is full of dangerous neighborhoods. But does that mean we should just give up? Difficulty of enforcement of the CWC is no more an argument against it than the persistence of crime is a reason for abolishing criminal laws.

ACT: Given the long delay in getting to this point in the ratification process, what is the real urgency in completing ratification now? What will happen if the Senate fails to approve a resolution of ratification by the end of April?

Holum: There are a number of practical impacts. April 29 is not an artificial deadline, as some have said, but a real one, with real consequences. By its terms, the treaty enters into force 180 days after the 65th country deposits its instruments of ratification. Hungary deposited on October 31, 1996, and April 29 is 180 days later.

Within 30 days after that, the Conference of States Parties will meet. That is scheduled for May 6. Then the existing structure of which we are a part, the Preparatory Committee, will go out of existence and a new Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] will be created. But non members, even though they participated in the PrepCom, cannot be a part of that new OPCW.

That means, for example, the United States could not serve on the Executive Council, which will have 41 members and will be the routine governing body of the treaty. U.S. citizens would not be eligible to serve in positions in the Secretariat. Right now we have about 10 people working in the Provisional Technical Secretariat, including the heads of administration, industrial inspections and security. Those are key positions. Once the OPCW is created, those Americans will have to leave. Then those jobs are obviously going to be filled by somebody else, so we will be frozen out of those leadership positions for years to come. Of course U.S. citizens also would not be eligible as inspectors.

At the same time, the clock will start ticking on sanctions against our own chemical industry, which exports about $60 billion worth of chemicals a year and is very much concerned about the loss of business that would ensue if the United States is not a party to the treaty. Not only will formal trade restrictions phase in, but industry is concerned that its competitors, particularly in Germany and Japan, which are members of the treaty, will market opportunistically, saying their governments have ratified the convention while the United States has not and may not, and so their customers should look elsewhere for stable supplies.

Those are the practical near term impacts of non ratification. Let me add a broader political point. From the day that treaty goes into force, with the United States not a member, our leadership will be undercut on the entire range of proliferation issues, whether it is building multilateral export controls, negotiating a stronger Biological Weapons Convention or trying to intercept dangerous shipments to bad places. All of a sudden, the United States, which the world relies on for leadership on these issues, will be trailing behind the rest of the world. What a dangerous and appalling situation.

ACT: Is the charge that the treaty cannot be effectively verified justified?

Holum: No, it is not. In fact, the treaty is effectively verifiable. That is not to say it is 100 percent verifiable. No treaty is. But it can be verified with sufficient confidence to have a real impact on our security.

The verification issue has two important parts. First, although it would be difficult to detect production of a small quantity of a forbidden chemical, as the quantity grows so as to be militarily significant, and as the country involved begins to weaponize it by putting it into shells, training with it, or preparing to use it, the likelihood of detection rises dramatically. So militarily significant violations are likely to be discovered.

Second, in any case, the treaty will give us more information than we have now about chemical weapon dangers that we need to know about with or without the treaty. We obviously want to find out what the Libyans, Iraqis and Iranians are doing with chemical weapons. The intelligence community wants the treaty in part because its delarations, reporting and inspections will help us monitor the CW threat. And, of course, the treaty makes that information actionable, because the possession of the weapons would be illegal.

These realities inform our overall judgment that the CWC is effectively verifiable. It would create a web of detection and deterrence that will increase the costs, raise the risk of discovery, and so make it less likely for countries to develop chemical weapons.

ACT: You have emphasized the fact that militarily significant quantities of chemical warfare agents would probably be verifiable. What about the issue of very small amounts that might be used by terrorists? How does the convention deal with this threat?

Holum: The main way the treaty deals with the terrorist threat is through the system of controls that would much more closely track the transfers of relevant chemicals around the world by the declarations relating to transfers. Also, as regards terrorists, every country is required to adopt domestic implementing legislation that criminalizes the behavior prohibited by the treaty. That means law enforcement tools against potential terrorist use would be improved.

One element will be heightened awareness. Our domestic implementing legislation under the Biological Weapons Convention has shown how that helps. In 1995, a legitimate supplier of sample medical research materials in Rockville, Maryland, received an order for plague bacillus. He filled the order, but because he knew of the law and this was an out of the ordinary occurrence, he also notified the authorities. It turns out that the customer was a member of a hate group in Ohio and the authorities intervened before he could take any action.

The legal standards will also change. Now, law enforcement agencies can only go after a "conspiracy to use" chemical weapons. Under the CWC implementing legislation, simple possession will be a sufficient basis for action.

Of course, implementing legislation will be in place everywhere around the world. Consider that Iran has signed, and presumably will ratify. Iran is a country that harbors terrorists. If we discover one of the terrorist groups in Iran developing chemical weapons, then Iran has an obligation to take action against them. Failure to do so would be grounds for sanctioning Iran under the treaty. So, the CWC creates stronger tools against terrorism abroad as well as within the United States.

ACT: Would this provision of the convention have been helpful in the case of the Japanese terrorist activity by the Aum Shinrikyo cult which released chemical agents in the Tokyo subway system?

Holum: It is hard to say in any particular case. As I understand it, the Aum Shinrikyo cult acquired the precursor chemicals from a place they might have had access to with or without the convention. On the other hand, the heightened sensitivity, intensified tracking and greater international and domestic controls on the chemicals may have had an impact. One thing we do know about the Tokyo case is that the Japanese certainly concluded that the treaty is relevant because they passed the implementing legislation and the CWC itself within a matter of weeks after the attack. Whether or not you can trace cause and effect between the absence of the treaty and an incident of that kind is not clear; but just consider if we should have a chemical weapon attack in one of our subways, would anybody then be prepared to stand up and proclaim that they had helped defeat a treaty meant to ban poison gas?

ACT: Charges have been made that Russia has developed some new chemical weapons agents that are not covered specifically in the convention's annexes. Are such new agents covered by the treaty, and, if so, is Russia currently in non compliance with the CWC since it has signed?

Holum : Since the treaty hasn't yet entered into force, and Russia hasn't yet ratified, whether development of a new agent is a present violation is a complex question having to do with the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties. Most legal experts would probably conclude that the object and purpose of the treaty is not deing defeated.

As to the future, the treaty bans not only those chemical weapon agents specified in the annexes, but all chemical weapon agents, regardless of their ingredients. It allows toxic chemicals generally only to the extent and in the quantities that they are used for legitimate purposes. So any new agent, without commenting on the specifics of intelligence, would be covered by the general provisions of the treaty. Of course, the annexes can also be updated, and the treaty provides specifically for incorporating new agents as they come to light. Again, keep in mind that, without the treaty, nothing the Russians or anyone else does with chemical weapons, except their use, is prohibited. With the treaty, we would have more tools to deal with these allegations.

ACT: If there was evidence that, under the convention, the Russians were continuing to produce a new agent that was not specifically listed in the annexes, the U.S. would still be able to request a challenge inspection under the convention?

Holum: That is correct. And we would.

ACT: Are critics correct in charging that the CWC would have no effect on rogue states, such as Libya, Iran and North Korea, that presumably would not adhere. Could you elaborate what the impact on those countries would be, assuming they remain outside the treaty?

Holum: If they remain outside the treaty, they would be denied access to trade in scheduled chemicals. Some of those chemicals are significant in the fields of agriculture and industry. So there would be an economic cost, that would encourage hold outs to sign. The CWC goes further than any other treaty in explicitly restricting trade with non member countries. In addition, obviously those countries would suffer greater political isolation. We have seen the impact of that isolation work on non members of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

I think the entire trend in the direction of stronger global rules against non proliferation would have the same effect on the CWC as it has had on the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, which now has 185 members, with only five countries holding out. In addition, we would know a lot more about CW programs in non member countries because of the reporting and other restrictions that would apply in the case of countries that are members. There would be a heightened base of knowledge about the programs in non member countries. On the other hand, without the CWC they have a free pass.

ACT: Are critics correct in charging that the CWC would harm U.S. business by burdening it with mountains of expensive paper work and subjecting it to surprise inspections that would violate constitutional rights under the protection clause against unreasonable searches and seizures guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment?

Holum: I think that argument comes from a need on the part of people who oppose this treaty on ideological grounds to come up with arguments that it is actually harmful—not just that it would not help, but that it would actually damage U.S. interests. Otherwise, supporters can obviously say, "What would it hurt? Why can't we have this additional tool even if it is not perfect?" So, opponents come up with this notion that it will adversely affect business—in particular small business.

But, remember that the treaty has the strong support of the Chemical Manufacturers Association [CMA] and the companies that would really be impacted by this treaty, through its requirement for routine reporting and routine inspections. In fact it's also important to remember industry helped draft reporting and inspection procedures and protections for confidential business information. Industry has also independently tested reporting and inspection procedures. CMA members think it is worth the price in order to demonstrate compliance with a global norm against chemical weapons.

The other companies that might be affected number perhaps some 1,000 with about 2,000 facilities where discrete organic chemicals are produced. What they would be required to do is fill out a one page form that would consist of checking quantity boxes—a matter of minutes annually, not a heavy, burdensome requirement. After learning the details of the inspection regime, the National Federation of Independent Business, which had expressed concern at hearing these trumped up charges last year, has said its concerns have been satisfied. So I think the impact on business is a non issue.

ACT: Could you say something about the alleged constitutional issue that there will be searches and seizures that would be contrary to the fourth Amendment, and the implication that proprietary information is compromised by the treaty.

Holum: That is another issue where opponents have tried to conjure up harm in the treaty where none exists. Of course the notion that a treaty could require us to violate the Constituion is a non sequiter because the Constitution overrides any other law, including a treaty; hence, the worst that could happen would be that the Constituion would require us to violate the treaty.

But that also doesn't arise here because the CWC explicitly recognizes that member countries will use their constitutional rules in the inspection process. That means in the United States that any searches will be conducted either voluntarily or pursuant to a warrant. If the inspected facility is part of a heavily regulated industry, as chemical manufacturers tend to be, it would most likely be an administrative search warrant. In cases where that is not applicable, a criminal search warrant would be obtained. There will be no searches whatsoever under the CWC in the United States which are not either by consent or pursuant to a legally issued warrant.

ACT: What is the charge the convention would create a "poisons for peace" program all about?

Holum: This is a third claim in the same vein. It argues that under Article XI of the treaty, the United States will be obliged to share with member countries chemicals and technology that would allow them to build clandestine chemical weapons programs that they otherwise could not pursue. There is, in fact, a general provision in Article XI calling for increased trade in chemicals. This is similar to the language in the Non Proliferation Treaty and in the Biological Weapons Convention that calls for increased commerce and non interference with trade for peaceful uses.

Yet export controls in those areas have not disappeared, but in fact have grown stronger over the years. That's because the general languange on trade does not override the specific obligation not to assist other countries in acquiring proscribed weapons. The difference with the CWC is that it is even more explicitly conditioned on the basic obligation under Article I of the treaty not to assist another country to acquire chemical weapons.

The truth is that nothing in the treaty mandates trade or requires the transfer of intellectual property or chemical weapons technology. Ironically, the poisons for peace argument rests on an interpretation of the treaty that the Iranians are pushing, and hardly anyone else buys it except those here in the U.S. who profess to be staunch advocates of firmness in international affairs but nonetheless echo Iran's arguments about how non proliferation regimes should be interpreted.

ACT: How does the administration plan to respond to Senator Helms' recommendations to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott that consideration of the convention be deferred until the Senate has had a chance to focus first on "Republican priorities," which, according to Helms, includes legislation to restructure U.S. foreign policy agencies, to achieve comprehensive reform of the United Nations, to act on modifications to the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe [CFE] Treaty and the ABM Treaty, and to deploy a national missile defense?

Holum: There are two ways to respond to that. One is that action on the CWC has already been deferred for the several years. Now we are approaching the point where we have a clear tangible costs to our security interests. So there is no justification for further delay. And it is inappropriate to link the CWC to other issues because it is not a favor to this president, but rather an improvement to national security. Exposing the American people and American forces to avoidable dangers is not a good bargaining chip.

Just consider how much better off we might well be today if START II had not been held up in the Senate in connection with the consolidation and reorganization argument. Had we acted sooner, the previous Russian Duma might have been more inclined to ratify START II. Now we are in a position where we are having to be concerned with whether the Russian Duma will ever ratify START II—demonstrating the costs to the country when those kinds of connections are made. We should not repeat that mistake with the CWC.

We will obviously talk to Senators Helms and Lott about those other matters and they are important and legitimate issues to be discussed. But it is just not appropriate to hold up the CWC as a lever.

ACT: Are you personally satisfied now that the administration is giving adequate priority to obtaining early Senate approval of the CWC?

Holum: Yes, I am. The president actually has been deeply committed to this all along, and has devoted a lot of his time and energy and certainly his words in successive State of the Union addresses and elsewhere. His determination is now reinforced by a highly coordinated and highly visible effort on the part of the entire administration, from the president on down, including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who has repeatedly raised the issue and brought it up with President Bush and former Secretary of State James Baker on the trip to Houston. Secretary of Defense William Cohen has been actively engaged. National Security Advisor Sandy Berger has been leading the effort to negotiate with the Senate. So you are seeing and you will continue to see a very vigorous effort to bolster the negotiations that we hope to complete successfully with Senator Lott and his colleagues on behalf of the treaty.

ACT: Do you think that the administration is getting adequate support from President Bush and the members of his administration that negotiated the treaty?

Holum: Yes, I thought President Bush's statement the other day in Texas was very strong, and Secretary Baker has written an excellent op ed piece in support of the treaty. Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleberger has been supportive and former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft has also written persuasively. Senator [Richard] Lugar [R IN] has been an eloquent and forceful advocate.

So, we are getting a significant amount of Republican support. When you think about it, this treaty really ought to be a flagship of bipartisanship. After last fall's election everybody came back to Washington—President Clinton and the Republican majority in the Congress—convinced that the American people want the two parties to collaborate to get things done. There is no better candidate in the international sphere than the CWC, negotiated by a Republican president and pushed to ratification by a Democratic president.

ACT: What do you think will happen to the rest of the administration's broad arms control agenda if, for one reason or another, the Senate fails to act on CWC in the next several months?

Holum: The action on arms control is really in two places now: in the Russian Duma on START II and in the U.S. Senate on the CWC, on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, on the Convention on Conventional Weapons protocols dealing with landmines and blinding lasers and other weapons, on two nuclear weapons free zones soon to be up for consideration and on the "flanks" agreement on the CFE Treaty. The CWC is the first in a series of other agreements that will really tell the tale as to whether we can effectively practice arms control in the years immediately ahead. The failure of the Senate to approve the CWC would undercut not only those other treaties already negotiated, but a number of others still to be achieved. Our negotiating position would be seriously hampered if our negotiating partners conclude that whatever is agreed internationally can be drained of any meaning when it comes before our Senate.

ACT: At this point, would you venture a prediction as to whether the Senate will, in fact, complete action on ratification prior to the April 29 deadline?

Holum: I think we will ratify the treaty, but it is going to be very close—a very difficult effort between now and then. I am not taking anything for granted. What I hope will happen is that Senator Lott and his colleagues on the Republican side will recognize the importance of this treaty from a national security standpoint, notwithstanding any misgivings. At the same time, I hope we will be able to work with them to fashion language in the resolution of ratification that will address their concerns in ways that do not undercut or contradict the provisions of the treaty. That should be possible, but it still requires a considerable amount of work and good faith on both sides.

U.S. Withholds Approval for Computer Exports to Russia

Please Contact ACA if you would like a copy of this story.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Arms Control Today