NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 12 January, 2001

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

Security


1. Russian Tactical Nuke Deployment

The Russian RIA-Novosti news agency quoted a senior Russian General Staff official as saying that reports that Russia was redeploying short-range nuclear weapons was false and a provocation. The alleged movement of the nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad was first reported in the US-based Washington Times and later confirmed by a US State Department official. Russia stated that it had removed all tactical nuclear weapons from Eastern Europe under non-binding agreements with the US, but two years ago Russia had also warned NATO that eastward expansion could provoke a Russian redeployment of nuclear weapons on its Western borders.
“Russia denies nuke movement report”

Responding to reports that Russia deployed nuclear weapons in the Kaliningrad enclave, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said he counts on Russia’s cooperation in having international inspectors verify the veracity of the reports through inspections of the site. Lithuanian Defense Minister Linas Antanas Linkevicius said sending an international team to investigate would be “justified.”
“Poland Wants Help With Nukes Check”


2. Russian Nuclear Policy

Bill Gertz wrote in the Washington Times that the US Defense Department reported that Russia has increased its reliance on battlefield nuclear arms and hidden stocks of germs and poison gas to compensate for its declining army, veritably lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons. This claim is made in “Proliferation Threat and Response,” which contains details of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and missile threats, including those facing the US from the PRC and the DPRK.
“Russia seen relying on nuke, germ weapons”


3. NATO Enlargement

Analysts reported that the reported deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad puts the issue of NATO enlargement into the three Baltic states back on the front burner and strengthens their case for membership. Latvian Defense Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis said, “In the end it could leave the impression among Western policymakers… that the Baltic states have no basis to trust Russia. Russia is once again showing these policymakers their security policy is unpredictable or deceptive.”
“Russian Nukes in Kaliningrad Puts Baltics’ NATO Bid Back on Front Burner”


Military


1. US Nuclear Troops

The US Defense Department announced the reversal of a prohibition that has prevented members of the National Guard and the Reserves from serving in the elite strategic nuclear forces. The reversal opens the way for reservists to serve in missile silos, command bunkers and depots, strategic bombers, transport planes and submarines if they already serve a minimum of 12 days a month on active duty, with no more than 14 days in between. The US military has had a difficult time filling many positions because of the smaller active-duty force. Reservists will still have to satisfy the rigorous medical and psychological evaluations, and intensified social and financial scrutiny, that active-duty personnel face in what is known as the Personal Reliability Program.
“Elite Nuclear Forces Opening to Reservists and the Guard”
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Arms Control


1. Shalikashvili Report on CTBT

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, John Shalikashvili, was appointed by US President Bill Clinton to make a thorough study of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was defeated by the Senate Republicans in 1999. Shalikashvili released his report this week, in which he said that the US must ratify the CTBT if there is to be an effective campaign against the spread of nuclear weapons. He has argued that the US has a stake in implementing a formal ban on testing which would slow the pace of a nuclear arms race. Responding to criticisms of the treaty, which in the US Congress has focused on the verification issue, Shalikashvili stated that the low level testing planned by Russia and the PRC would be of little use in developing military weapons and was detectable. His report outlines measures intended to assuage critics of the treaty, including increased spending on verification, greater efforts to maintain the US nuclear arsenal and a joint review by the Senate and administration every 10 years to determine whether the treaty is still in US interests. The report is believed most important because it joins the arms control debate at a time when the incoming Bush administration is arguing in favor of a National Missile Defense system and against certain arms control measures.
“U.S. must ratify CTBT, says General’s report”
“Report to Clinton Asks U.S. to Ratify Test-Ban Treaty”

Below are links to letter and the CTBT report by John M. Shalikashvili.
“Letter to the President and Report on the Findings and Recommendations Concerning the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty”
Full Text of Letter to the President
Full Text of Report to the President
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John M. Shalikashvili published an essay in the Washington Post in which he stated that there is broad bipartisan agreement that nuclear proliferation is among the gravest threats to US national security, and that, in his opinion, while the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is not a one-step solution to this problem, it can contribute to a comprehensive solution. In addition to arguing in favor of signing the CTBT, Shalikashvili argues that a test-ban is not an end unto itself and that the US should appoint a deputy national security adviser for nonproliferation, strengthen its capability to detect and deter nuclear testing, and improve the US Stockpile Stewardship Program.
“The Test Ban Solution”


2. Responses to Shalikashvili Report

President-elect George W. Bush opposes signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which is designed to discourage nuclear proliferation by outlawing nuclear tests. Bush’s advisers have been divided on its merits. Colin L. Powell, the secretary of state-designate, backed the treaty after he retired as chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 1993, while Donald Rumsfeld, the defense secretary-designate, has opposed the treaty and said it would preclude the US from developing new generations of nuclear weapons. The Treaty was defeated the last time it was brought before the US Senate and, while a number of Republicans who voted against the treaty are no longer in the Senate, proponents are still believed to be short of the 67 votes needed for ratification. Proponents see the benefit of the treaty for the US as being that it preserves the nuclear deterrent at the same time as pursuing national nonproliferation objectives. Opponents argue that the US will be unable to maintain its deterrent force as credible without periodic testing.
“Report to Clinton Asks U.S. to Ratify Test-Ban Treaty”
“Test Ban Backers Face Uphill Battle”

The UK-based verification research organization, VERTIC, the Federation of American Scientists, and the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, an alliance of 17 nuclear non-proliferation organizations, released statements welcoming the CTBT report by John Shalikashvili.
“US GENERAL’S NUCLEAR TEST BAN REPORT WELCOMED”
“FAS: Scientists Support Shalikashvili Recommendations on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty”
“Bush, Senate Should Study Report of General Shalikashvili and Reconsider CTBT, Say Experts”


3. Tactical Nuclear Weapons

William Potter, director of the Monterey Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and Nikolai Sokov, a senior associate at the Center, examine tactical nuclear weapons as they relate to international arms control agreements, which have been covered only under informal unilateral statements made by the US and Russia in 1991 and 1992.
“Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Nature of the Problem”
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Proliferation


1. Nuclear Threat Initiative

Former US Senator Sam Nunn and CNN founder Ted Turner announced the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a private foundation dedicated to the worldwide elimination of weapons of mass destruction. Turner pledged a budget of $50 million per year over the next five years to support the foundation, which will “take pragmatic and effective steps to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction as comprehensively and urgently as is feasible.”
“Ted Turner, Sam Nunn announce Nuclear Threat Initiative”


2. US Energy Department Report

A bipartisan panel, established by Energy Secretary Bill Richardson to review US Department of Energy programs designed to safeguard Russian nuclear material, has found that the trade in dual-use technology, as well as in conventional weapons, from Russia to Iran remained a critical problem in relations between Washington and Moscow. The panel, led by Lloyd N. Cutler, a former White House counsel in the Clinton administration, and former Senator Howard H. Baker Jr., a Republican, called for spending up to $30 billion in the next eight to 10 years to expand and improve American programs to safeguard Russian nuclear materials. The New York Times reports that US spending on nuclear security in Russia now totals about $900 million annually, about a third of that in Energy Department programs to help Russia secure nuclear materials. The study said that while there is no evidence that any nuclear material has left Russia for terrorist groups or countries that are seeking to become nuclear powers, the threat remains one of the most critical security challenges facing the US. Others on the panel included former Senator Sam Nunn, who for years has been active on nuclear nonproliferation issues; Graham Allison, a nonproliferation expert at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; former Senator David Boren, now president of the University of Oklahoma; former Representative David Skaggs, now of the Aspen Institute; and Susan Eisenhower, president of the Eisenhower Institute.
“Nuclear Items Sold by Russia to Iran Pose an Obstacle”
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“Russia Must Secure Nuclear Stockpile”
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“$30 Billion Urged for Russian Nuclear Security”
“Panel Says Russia Nuclear Security Needs Funding Hike”

Howard H. Baker Jr. and Lloyd Cutler also released their findings in an article written in the Washington Post. Baker and Cutler proposed greater spending on securing Russian nuclear materials, though through a more concentrated apparatus. They also pointed to Russia-Iran trade as a possible future threat.
“An Unacceptable Risk”


3. US Defense Department Report

The US Secretary of Defense released a comprehensive study of the status of proliferation and US strategies to counter it. The report, which is entitled “Proliferation: Threat and Response,” presents the Defense Department’s public analysis of countries that have or may be developing weapons of mass destruction. While US defense planning calls for US forces to be superior in virtually all aspects, Defense Secretary William Cohen warns in the press release accompanying the report that “unrivaled supremacy in the conventional military arena is prompting adversaries to seek unconventional, asymmetric means to strike what they perceive as our Achilles heel.” The result is an arms race that builds insecurity rather than ensuring security.
“Pentagon Releases Proliferation Report”
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Missile Defense


1. Bush Administration on NMD

President-elect George W. Bush began forming concrete policy out of his campaign promise to implement a national missile defense system and reduce troop deployments. Republican lawmakers were supportive of Bush’s taking defense off the “back burner,” but Democrats were cautious on missile defense and Bush’s goal of reducing US peacekeeping commitments.
“Bush Begins Turning Defense Pledges Into Policy”

In a statement for his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing, Secretary of Defense-designate Donald Rumsfeld said that refashioning the US military to meet new challenges will mean building a missile defense system, improving force readiness and strengthening intelligence and space capabilities. Analysts stated that they do not expect any problems with confirmation of Rumsfeld’s appointment, but Congress would like to better explore his prospective policies.
“Rumsfeld Pledges Support for Missile Defense System”
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Joseph Cirincione writes that recent comments by Secretary of State-designate Colin Powell indicate that, on the issue of national missile defense, he is more cautious than most in the upcoming Bush administration. Cirincione argues that foremost, Powell’s policy would be to go slow on defenses, negotiate any missile deployments and devalue nuclear weapons. Powell would also, he argues, make a full examination of the state of the technology and the program, and would also discuss the program with other countries.
“Colin Powell Versus the Hawks”


2. NMD Commentary

An editorial in the New York Times argues that because of the great number of uncertainties surrounding the National Missile Defense system, it is difficult to understand why the Bush administration would push for rapid deployment. The editorial concludes by arguing that, in line with his promise for a careful review of military issues before decisions are made, President-elect Bush should extend the same careful consideration to NMD.
“Missile Shield Illusions”
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3. PRC on NMD

Reuters reported that the PRC’s China Daily stated that the US missile defense proposals that strained bilateral ties last year will have “formidable, adverse global impacts,” if President-elect George W. Bush pursues them. The report also criticized US military alliances and arms sales to Taiwan. Sha Zukang, the PRC Foreign Ministry’s top arms control official, said the PRC would focus on NMD in 2001.
“China Report Targets U.S. Security Policies”

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