NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 20 February, 2001

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"NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 20 February, 2001", NAPSNet Weekly Report, February 20, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-weekly/napsnet-weekly-flash-update-20-february-2001/

Missile Defense


1. US Statements on Missile Defense

The White House released the text of the statement by US President George W. Bush to military personnel on February 13, 2001. In his speech, Bush focused on the role NATO has played in global security and of the new technologies needed to meet new threats, specifically referring to the US missile defense program.
“REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT, February 13, 2001”


2. PRC and Missile Defense

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien relayed to PRC President Jiang Zemin the US interest in meeting to discuss the US-proposed missile defense system. Chretien told the PRC that US President George W. Bush “has agreed that he wants a lot of discussion to occur (on the missile umbrella). He has to convince the partners and they are not quite ready, the technology is not quite ready, but he thinks that he has a very good case.” Li Fan of the World and China Institute in Beijing said, “If they [the US] draw Japan and Taiwan under the missile umbrella, then China will obviously feel that it is a move directed toward them.”
“Bush Seeks Missile Shield Dialogue with China”


3. Perspectives from Europe, Russia

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer will travel to the US to meet with US officials. This visit comes after meeting with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, where they discussed the proposed US missile defense. Fischer has said this meeting yielded a possible new Russian flexibility on missiles defense issue. Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov said Russia “will act at negotiations on questions pertaining to strategic offensive weapons and missile defense in a constructive way.” Fischer said, “In the end, I think Russia will accept negotiations” on the missile shield. Fischer is urging Russia and the US to discuss the meeting.”
“German Sees Russia Bending on Missiles”
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Germans Urge Dialogue on Missile Defense Between U.S. and Russia
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US Secretary of State Colin Powell will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on February 24, and they are expected to discuss issues such as nuclear disarmament, arms control agreements such as the 1972 ABM Treaty, and the proposed US national missile defense program.
“Powell To Meet Russia’s Ivanov”

An article in The Economist states that Europe should not dismiss US fears of ballistic missile attacks in its pursuit of missile defense, just as the US should not dismiss out of hand European fears of a new arms race. Rather, there should be recognition by Europe that while the 1972 ABM Treaty served its purpose by maintaining the bilateral threat by the US and Russia of mutually assured destruction, the contemporary sources of ballistic missile threats are more diverse. It follows, The Economist argues, that the US should be wary of starting an arms race in an aggressive race towards a technology that may not work.
“Getting defensive”
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The Los Angeles Times reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin does not want to put at risk much needed reforms of the Russian military, including cuts to the expensive nuclear infrastructure, in his pursuit to win acceptance of Russia as a major power. However, the editorial argues, the US push to deploy a national missile defense system will force Russia to upset its reform plans and instead rely on its nuclear weapons as a deterrent force.
“Missile Defense Would Rile the Russian Bear”


4. Missile Defense Commentary

James Lindsay and Michael O’Hanlon, of the Brookings Institution, write in a policy brief that they support the deployment of national missile defense, but argue that it would be better for the US to deploy a limited system with 200 interceptors that meets the original requirements of the 1972 ABM Treaty. They state that the Bush administration should negotiate nuclear arms cuts, an amended anti-ballistic missile treaty, and basing agreements for boost-phase systems, all while taking the time to convince Americans that such a system is needed. Most of their brief, however, is devoted to discussing the options available to the US should it be decided that pursuing a limited system is a better choice.
“Defending America: A Plan for a Limited National Missile Defense”
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Samuel R. Berger, US National Security Advisor under President Bill Clinton, argued in the Washington Post that it would be a mistake to move forward with national missile defense at a fast pace because many unanswered questions remain. Berger argues that a far greater threat to the US is the delivery of weapons of mass destruction by means far less sophisticated than an intercontinental ballistic missile, such as by ship, plane or suitcase. Berger states that a tactic to win the acquiescence of other countries is to include Europeans in a collective missile defense system and to implicitly permit the PRC to upgrade its offensive missile systems so long as they don’t threaten the US. Berger points out, though, that these tactics have trade offs, namely upsetting Russia and releasing a destabilizing arms race in Asia.
“Is This Shield Necessary?”

Thomas Friedman published an editorial in the New York Times critical of the Bush administration’s pursuit of missile defense. He argues that while missile defenses may be useful, they don’t yet work, and are insufficient to protect the US from many of the threats the US faces, including terrorist and information system attacks. Friedman states that while the US capabilities to aid nation-building are debatable, the US still has much to offer the world in constructive assistance that increases US security.
“Space Rangers”
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Arms Control


1. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Jack Mendelsohn, Deputy Director of the Arms Control Association and Executive Director of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security (LAWS), writes in the current issue of the Acronym Institute’s Disarmament Diplomacy on the Bush administration’s three options for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The first option, Mendelsohn argues, is that the Bush administration could renounce any intention of ratifying the CTBT, freeing the US from the international obligations of the treaty. He argues that rejection of the CTBT would provoke serious repercussions in the US and abroad, placing the entire nuclear non-proliferation regime in jeopardy. Second, the US could continue to pay the implementation costs of the treaty without its ratification, though the “do nothing” approach has long terms costs to the survivability of the treaty. Third, the US could simply determine that it is in its national security to ratify the treaty. After discussing how the treaty is involved in a number of areas of US security, he concludes that it is in the US interest to sign the CTBT because it codifies an international norm against nuclear testing, preserves the undisputed US advantage in nuclear weapons technology, reduces the likelihood that significant new threats will arise from proliferators, enhances the already formidable US monitoring capability, and strengthens US ability to persuade other nations to respect the obligations of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
“The Bush Presidency: Reconsidering the CTBT”


2. NATO Arms Control Policy

At its summit meeting in the US in April 1999, NATO decided to increase its efforts against weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery, with the goal of preventing proliferation from occurring or to reverse it through diplomatic means. This report states that NATO, in pursuit of these goals, is committed to contribute actively to the development of arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation agreements as well as to confidence and security-building measures (CSBMs). The full report provides an extensive and comprehensive evaluation of overall developments and of NATO member countries’ efforts in these fields, and identifies a number of options for the future.
“Report on Options for Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs), Verification, Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament”


3. UN Conference on Disarmament

The Acronym Institute published in the newest Disarmament Diplomacy the statements of Vladimir Petrovsky, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva and the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament, and Rebecca Johnson, Executive Director of the Acronym Institute, on “Breaking the CD [Conference on Disarmament] Impasse.”
“Breaking the CD Impasse: Statements by Vladimir Petrovsky And Rebecca Johnson”
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4. Proliferation Threats

US Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet made a statement to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Tenet discussed the threats facing the US from international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles, threats to US communications and space-based assets, and narcotics. Tenet also reviewed region-specific threats. Tenet stated that there was a high risk of war between India and Pakistan, and that it is likely that there will be a further escalation in the race for nuclear superiority between the two, leading to further nuclear testing.
“Worldwide Threat 2001: National Security in a Changing World”
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“Chance of another Indo-Pak. war: CIA”


Security


1. India Nuclear Policy

Gurmeet Kanwal, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis in New Delhi, writes that India’s “minimum credible nuclear deterrence” and “no first use” policy is based on the concept of deterrence by denial, where India would have to pay a high price to retaliate against an adversary’s first strike. India seeks to simultaneously deter an opponent from attacking while reassuring its own people of its preparation for attack, and all within India’s commitment to global disarmament.
“India’s Nuclear Doctrine and Policy”
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2. US Nuclear Policy Review

US President George W. Bush ordered Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to conduct a full review of the US nuclear strategy. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have recommended against going below 2,000 nuclear weapons, because doing so would make the existing nuclear targeting plan untenable. Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen had argued that having more than 2,000 nuclear weapons actually increased stability, because, if the US had fewer, it may not be able to delay retaliation as long when verifying an attack.
“Bush to Review Nuclear Arsenal”

The Project on Defense Alternatives released a briefing memo which discusses the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. The memo argues that the current US military posture has created a number of detrimental paradoxes, which would only be deepened if US Defense Department funding was expanded without careful review of the force structure and US security policy. The memo argues that the US should re-examine the security goals that drive US strategy, the strategy itself, and the nature and mix of security instruments that the nation has at its disposal.
“The Paradoxes of post-Cold War US Defense Policy: An Agenda for the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review”
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Theresa Hitchens argues in a new BASIC essay that while past statements by members of the Bush administration create optimism for the outcome of the upcoming nuclear posture review, there are several issues of concern to the nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation community. Hitchens points to recent clamoring for the development of low-yield nuclear weapons, Bush’s renunciation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and, importantly, the Bush administration’s support for national missile defense. She argues that the disarmament community will have to support Bush’s proposed cuts to the US nuclear arsenal, even if these cuts are done to create budgetary room for new, “usable” weapons systems. She concludes that these possible pitfalls along the path to a new nuclear posture could seriously undercut the progress made by the positive strategic changes now under consideration and increase the threat of destabilizing the fragile international consensus that nuclear war should be avoided.
“The U.S. Nuclear Debate: Issues of Concern”


Military


1. US Submarine Accident

The US Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Greeneville struck the much smaller Ehime Maru fishing vessel of Japanese registry during an emergency surfacing drill off the coast of Hawaii, sinking the ship. 26 persons were rescued by the US Coast Guard and nine remain lost at sea. The Greeneville crew was joined by 15 civilians and a high-level Pacific Fleet submarine officer for the annual emergency exercise, and the media has focused on the relationship to the crash of the participation of civilians in the drill and a possible failure of sonar systems to detect the Ehime Maru before surfacing.
“NTSB Official Says Sub May Not Have Used Active Sonar”
“Sub Hit Boat During Emergency Drill”
“U.S. Sub Collides With Fishing Boat”

Japanese experts stated that recent US-Japan tensions, brought to a head by the submarine accident, could lead to lasting damage but will be unlikely to erode the US-Japan mutual security agreement. Political analyst Minoru Morita said, “It hasn’t gotten to the stage of hot-blooded rage, but cold suspicion is clearly growing. There’s clearly more mistrust.”
“U.S.-Japan Relations Turn Tense”


2. UK Trident Submarine Launch

The British Royal Navy entered into operational service its fourth and last Trident missile submarine, the HMS Vengeance. Trident submarines are equipped with up to 16 D5 missiles with up to 48 warheads. British Armed Forces Minister John Spellar said, “The maintenance of nuclear deterrent patrols continuously for more than 30 years is a huge achievement. HMS Vengeance and the officers and men who serve in her will now begin to play their part in the maintenance of deterrent patrols in future decades.”
“UK Government: Fourth Trident enters service”

About 500 protesters formed a human chain outside Britain’s naval complex at Faslane on the River Clyde. They say the weapons used by the Trident submarine just launched by Britain breach international law because they cannot distinguish between civilian and military targets.
“Hundreds Protest Nuclear Missiles”


3. Russian Kursk Investigation

Russian officials are studying the type of torpedoes used by the Soviet submarine Kursk, which sank killing all crew members, in an attempt to understand the cause of the Kursk accident. Experts currently believe that two internal explosions caused the damage that sank the Kursk, with the first consistent with a torpedo misfire, though Russian officials had initially speculated that the damage was caused by a collision with a US submarine.
“Russia Investigates Cause of Blast”

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