NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 12 February, 2001

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"NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 12 February, 2001", NAPSNet Weekly Report, February 12, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-weekly/napsnet-weekly-flash-update-12-february-2001/

Missile Defense


1. Rumsfeld at Munich Conference

According to the Washington Post, when US Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld spoke at the Munich Conference on European Security Policy, he hoped to create a perception that the US-proposed NMD system was inevitable, in order to stop the issue from dividing NATO and to block Russian attempts to increase European anxiety. The Washington Post states that there is a disconnect between the diplomacy supporting NMD and the obvious need for a thorough review of the system before additional spending can be devoted to the program. Rumsfeld argued that no leader could follow a defense policy that left a country undefended, but said that the US would consult with European leaders on the issue. However, he also stated, “we are safer from the threat of massive nuclear war than at any point since the dawn of the atomic age–but we are more vulnerable now to the suitcase bomb, the cyber-terrorist, the raw and random violence of an outlaw regime or a rogue nation armed with missiles and weapons of mass destruction. ”
“The Missile Offensive”
“Rumsfeld Makes Case for National Missile Defense”
“Rumsfeld Speaks on Missile Defense, Cooperation”
“Munich Conference on European Security Policy”

In a statement by the Council for a Livable World, John Isaacs, president of the organization, is quoted as saying that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told the United States’ European allies that the US intends to deploy NMD regardless of the fact that the system is not tested and has not been proven to work.
“Rumsfeld On the Offense to Sell Defense”


2. European Reactions to Rumsfeld Statement

Michael Gordon reports that European defense ministers, speaking after Rumsfeld announced the inevitability of the US missile defense program, did not rush to support NMD, but neither did they strongly criticize the plan. An editorial in the Washington Times by Helle Bering argues that despite predictions otherwise, the US relationship with its European allies did not collapse when they were told of the US intent to proceed with missile defense. She argues that missile defense will create a world where ballistic missiles are obsolete.
“News Analysis: Allies’ Mood on ‘Star Wars’ Shifts”
“Text Only”
“Serious about missile defense”

David Sands writes in the Washington Times that Europe is beginning to accept the idea of US-deployed missile defense systems. Javier Solana, the former NATO secretary-general who now sets security policy for the European Union, said that the 1972 ABM Treaty “is not the Bible.” Solana also said, “For us Europeans, what we would like is for the major powers to [reach a deal] by consensus if possible.” Analysts said that the Bush administration deserves credit for changing the debate over NMD by promising closer consultation with allies over the system while leaving no doubt that the US is moving ahead with testing and deployment. Kim Holmes, a foreign policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said opposition from European officials and analysts weakened appreciably when the “national” was dropped from NMD discussions.
“Europe warms to missile defense”

NATO Secretary-General George Robertson, in an interview with the International Herald Tribune, stated that the manner in which US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke of NMD has forced Europe to accept its inevitability and instead focus on how it can protect US allies and when it will be deployed. Robertson said that Europeans haven’t discussed, but are beginning to acknowledge as the US did, that most countries that are likely to use nuclear missiles are closer to Europe than they are to the US.
“NATO Is ‘an Essential Forum’ for the Missile-Defense Debate”
“Missile shield is moral requisite, US tells allies”

The Washington Post reported that European leaders repeated that the US was pursuing missile defense too aggressively and that NMD would set off an arms race. The Washington Post specifically cited several German politicians, including Karl Lamers, the foreign policy spokesman for Germany’s Christian Democratic Union, who said that the U.S. anti-missile plan was the sort of project dreamed up by people who want to be “invulnerable” so they can be “masters of the world.”
“Rumsfeld Defends Missile Shield To Apprehensive Allies in Europe”
“Solana: U.S. Needs Tutoring on Euro Defense”

British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook called for a thorough debate of US plans for a missile shield that have drawn opposition from Russia and reservations from European leaders. Cook said, “There’s a very serious debate in the United States at the present time. It should not be rushed. It will not be rushed. And we will be ready to discuss it with them when they are ready to do so.” Britain’s The Guardian argued that the contradictions and paradoxes inherent in US missile defense plans are proliferating faster than the weapons of mass destruction that the US seeks to neutralize. The Guardian states that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld speaks of threats without identifying them and promises to consult with US allies while also promising the NMD will move ahead regardless. The Guardian concludes by prodding British politicians to stop treating the issue as still a domestic US debate, as doing so is “like a pedestrian standing in the middle of the road waiting to be run over.”
“Britain’s Cook Starts Get-Acquainted Visit to U.S.”
“Flawed defences”

The International Institute for Strategic Studies published an essay by Richard Sokolsky, Visiting Fellow at the US National Defence University, in which he states that Europe has not been the recipient of a foreign policy push on the scale of the US pushing it to accept NMD since the US convinced its European allies to support the deployment of intermediate-range nuclear forces. Sokolsky argues that the US could deflate some opposition to its NMD system by proceeding in conjunction with a substantial revision of its nuclear policy. He states that while it doesn’t make sense for the US to not protect itself against missile threats when it has the capability, it may not be worth the message it send to potential opponents or the effect it has upon the global nonproliferation regime. He argues that for the US to gain acceptance for its NMD system, the Bush administration should stop linking arms reductions to revision of the ABM Treaty, should push accession to the CTBT, and should alter the NMD system to make it more acceptable to Russia and the PRC.
“NMD: Getting the Context Right”


3. Other Reactions to Rumsfeld Statement

Russian Defense Minister Igor D. Sergeyev, former commander of Russian strategic rocket forces, said after US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld informed NATO of the inevitability of the US NMD system that Russia would respond to NMD with the development of “asymmetrical” technologies that would penetrate any missile shield, in order to ensure that its deterrent force is not undermined. He said, “We had three mighty programs to counteract asymmetrically the national missile defense systems of the United States during the period of Reagan’s Star Wars. But we still have them and can take them up again.” Sergeyev said the US would not be able to persuade its allies to abandon the system of arms control agreements that have created strategic stability. Konstantin V. Cherevkov, a senior missile scientist at the Russian Space Academy, stated that while the current system would not affect Russia’s deterrent force, there was no reason to believe that the US would not expand the system in the future. Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov said that US plans to deploy an anti-missile system would undermine world stability and lead to a new arms race in outer space. He said, “The destruction of the ABM treaty will result in the annihilation of the whole structure of strategic stability and create prerequisites for a new arms race, including one in outer space.
“Russia Says U.S. Antimissile Plan Means an Arms Race”
“Official Shrugs Off a U.S. Missile Defense”
“Russia Ready to Revive Soviet Systems to Combat NMD”
“U.S. Will Build Missile Shield, EU Allies Told”
“Ianov Warns of Space Arms Race”

PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said that the PRC was concerned about the US decision to move ahead with NMD. Sun said, “The U.S. plans go against the trend of the times and are detrimental to international disarmament and arms control efforts. It will have far-reaching and extensive negative impacts on the global and regional strategic balance and stability in the 21st century.” Sun stated that NMD would violate the 1972 ABM Treaty.
“China Voices Concern Over U.S. Anti-Missile Plans”

Military analysts and politicians in Japan said that the national missile defense system advocated by the US administration is pushing Japan toward a stronger military stance. Futoshi Shibayama, a military affairs specialist at Aichi Gakuin University in Nagoya, said, “Suppose a missile was launched from North Korea aimed at the United States. If we didn’t shoot it down, that would break up the alliance with the United Sates. But to shoot it down would be unconstitutional.” Hisahiko Okazaki, a longtime diplomat and now head of a research organization in Tokyo, said, “We don’t need [a missile defense for Japan.] But America wants the cooperation, and we should always show we are reliable allies. If it costs money, we pay money. For Japan, the supreme target should be the maintenance of the U.S.-Japan alliance.”
“Japan Divided On U.S. Call for Missile Defense”


4. US Domestic Debate on NMD

The Council for a Livable World published a four-page report that includes a brief history and technical description of the proposed US NMD system. The report argues that the system has not been proven to be effective at protecting the US from a missile attack, that attacks against the US are not likely to be delivered via missile, that NMD could trigger arms races, and that NMD would be expensive and disrupt relations with Russia and the PRC. The report does bring new information to the debate, but provides a concise reading on the system and some of the related issues.
“National Missile Defense: Ineffective and Costly”

An opinion in the Christian Science Monitor by Timothy Snyder, a historian at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, and Philip Snyder, a physicist at General Atomics in San Diego, argue that national missile defense can’t do what it is supposed to do, and that it creates the very threats to US national security that it is supposed to resolve.
“Why missile defense is a bad idea”

Thomas E. Ricks, a writer for the Washington Post, reported that members of the US delegation to the Munich Conference on European Security Policy stated that the US and its NATO allies are being driven apart by the European plan to create a non-NATO rapid reaction military force and the Bush administration’s determination to field a national missile defense system. Robert Hunter, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, also expressed the worry that Russia may try to use the disagreement within the alliance over missile defenses to try to block further expansion of NATO into the Baltic region.
“Strike Force, Missile Defense Split U.S., Allies”

US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s statements came despite a division among Republicans over which specific missile defense plan to pursue and despite the absence in President George W. Bush’s budget of the funding needed to really put NMD on the fast-track for development. Some Republicans reportedly prefer to develop the current, ground-based design, while others advocate the sea- and space-based systems. Richter states that these issues are coming to the forefront at home as the Bush administration confronts foreign opposition to the program. Condoleezza Rice, President Bush’s national security advisor, stated that “the world has changed” since the US and USSR signed the 1972 ABM Treaty, and said, “We look forward to conversations and discussions at all levels with the Russian government about how we move forward to a new restructured relationship that is … more capable of dealing with the threats we face today, rather than the ones we faced 25 to 30 years ago.”
“The Missile Offensive”
“Proponents of Missile Shield Split on Bush Plan”

Justin Bernier, a member of the Quadrennial Defense Review Working Group at the National Defense University, argues in an editorial in the Los Angeles Times that US allies in Europe fail to understand that the greatest threat from “states of concern” is to the US, as it will be the US that these states will try to keep out as they pursue foreign policy objectives that are detrimental to global security. Bernier argues that discussing NMD with NATO will force them to confront other issues that the alliance faces.
“Take the Missile Defense Debate to a Higher Level”

Tony Karon writes in Time Magazine that a recent typo by Reuters, accidentally substituting “senseless” for “defenseless,” highlights the trouble the Bush administration is having in presenting a coherent argument as to why the US should not be left defenseless and should deploy a missile defense system as soon as possible.
“Sense and Missile Defense”

An editorial in the Los Angeles Times argues that it is not sound reasoning to rush missile defense, and to appropriate spending for it, to ensure funding before the 2002 elections in which control of the US Congress could swing to the Democrats. The editorial also stated that the funding levels allocated to missile defense under the former Clinton administration are adequate to proceed until there is proof that the system works.
“Bad Reason to Rush Missile Plan”


5. Analysis of NMD Debate

Daniel Smith, a retired US Army colonel with the Center for Defense Information, writes that US President George W. Bush’s proposed NMD system is about US unilateralism, and not cooperation, because US allies have not consented to have equipment in their territories for NMD nor have they contributed money to pay for the system. Smith argues that this is because Europe sees little threat, except in cases when the US may cause such a threat to develop. Smith concludes that the US sees its own security needs independently of the security needs of other states, and therefore doesn’t see the same impetus to negotiating regimes that bind all the participants.
“Making the World Safe for the United States”


Security


1. US Nuclear Policy

US President George W. Bush issued three directives ordering the US Defense Department to conduct a full review of the US nuclear weapons policy and to propose how to proceed with missile defense given technological and diplomatic hurdles. These directives did not indicate an intention to withdraw the US from the 1972 ABM Treaty. The results of the review are expected to provide the broad policy guidelines for a formal nuclear posture review, required by December 2001 under the 2001 National Defense Authorization Act signed by US President Bill Clinton in November 2000. William E. Odom, a former lieutenant general who served as the director of the National Security Agency from 1985 to 1988, said it was possible to reduce the number of warheads without jeopardizing national security and said he believed the US could accomplish any conceivable military mission with as few as 1,000 to 1,500 strategic nuclear warheads without difficult negotiations with Russia.
“Bush Takes First Step to Shrink Arsenal of Nuclear Warheads”
“US Nuclear Posture Review” (NPP Weekly Flash V.2 #38)

US Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he has “great concern” about the condition of several nuclear facilities. He said, “The Department of Energy has allowed its nuclear weapons production plants to degrade over time, leaving a tremendous backlog of deferred maintenance and modernization. The deterioration of existing facilities is a very serious threat to the Energy Department’s mission readiness.” A report by the Energy Department’s Office of Inspector General said problems at US nuclear weapons plants could cost between $5 billion and $8 billion to fix. He also advocated spending to assist Russia’s degrading nuclear facilities.
“Energy boss: Nuke weapons need work”

US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has asked Andrew W. Marshall, head of the Defense Department’s internal think tank, to conduct a far-reaching review of the US military, report back his preliminary recommendations by the end of next week, and complete the review by mid-March. Marshall has worked in this position since 1973, and is expected to propose radical changes to the US military, though not necessarily make it larger. Part of his review will include missile defense and the US nuclear posture.
“Pentagon Study May Bring Big Shake-Up”


2. NATO Nuclear Policy

Karel Koster from PENN provided a translation of and comments to a letter send by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs van Aartsen to the Dutch parliament in January. Van Aartsen promises that NATO will be more transparent about its nuclear policy in the future, and comments that the Dutch government has made no secret of its nuclear role and the fact that two Dutch F-16 squadrons based at Volkel Air Base have a nuclear strike mission. While advocating continued nuclear disarmament, van Aartsen concludes that there are “good grounds” for a “permanent, but strongly reduced” presence of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.
“Dutch Government On NATO Nuclear Policy”


Arms Control


1. Russian Arms Control Proposal

Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov told a meeting of the United Nations Disarmament Conference that Russia would work to develop “a whole package of constructive political and diplomatic measures” together with technical cooperation with the US and its allies, to build an effective alternative to national missile defense that would preserve the 1972 ABM Treaty.
“Russian Wants Dialogue With U.S. on Limited Missile Defenses”
“Text Only”


2. US Arms Control Policy

An analysis by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace states that while there are likely to be reductions to the US nuclear arms stockpile under President George W. Bush, the perspectives of many of Bush’s advisors, especially on missile defense and the 1972 ABM Treaty, indicate that there will be a net increase in the threats faced by the US from a degradation of international arms control and nonproliferation regimes under the Bush administration.
“Prospects for Nuclear Reductions in the Bush Administration”
“Text Only”


Nuclear Weapons


1. Iran Nuclear Program

The Nixon Center released a monograph, entitled “Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Options: issues and analysis,” which included papers by several experts. Geoffrey Kemp argues that Iran faces a dilemma in how to pursue a nuclear program, but that it is likely to pursue one covertly for the near future. Shahram Chubin argues that, with the exception of the threat posed by Iraq, Iran faces no threats that would be affected by the possession of a nuclear arsenal. Farideh Farhi discusses the role of domestic forces in influencing Iran’s decisions about its nuclear program. Richard Speier concludes the monograph with a technical discussion of Iran’s missile programs.
“Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Options”


Proliferation


1. CIA Report on Proliferators

US Central Intelligence Agency Director George J. Tenet told a US Senate oversight committee that Russia’s defense sector is cash-starved, and has turned to technology exports of chemical and biological weapons and missile systems to countries such as Iran, India, the PRC and Libya. Tenet added that there are dangers from the Middle East, where low economic growth has created restive populations and increased support for terrorist organizations.
“CIA Chief Cites Proliferation, Terrorism Among Top Threats”

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