NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 25 September, 2000

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"NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 25 September, 2000", NAPSNet Weekly Report, September 25, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-weekly/napsnet-weekly-flash-update-25-september-2000/

Nuclear Weapons


1. Indian Nuclear Programs

A Strategic Defense Review (SDR) commissioned by the Indian Government identified a need to conduct sub-critical nuclear testing to fully integrate the benefits of the Shakti series of tests carried out in May 1998. The Review concluded that India should announce a program to conduct the sophisticated sub-critical tests because they are not prohibited by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The Review also warned that India should ensure that China’s nuclear weapons modernization programs do not undermine India’s nuclear deterrence and highlights China’s tactical nuclear weapons because of their role as battlefield weapons.
“Indian Defence Report Stresses Need for Sub-critical Nuclear Tests”
“Indian Defense Review Eyes Chinese Nuclear Forces”

Retired Indian Rear Admiral Raja Menon spoke in an interview with CNN about India’s nuclear weapons program and relations with Pakistan. He supported talks between the two countries to stop the looming nuclear arms race on the subcontinent, but also said he believed India should conduct further nuclear tests to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons. Before retiring in 1994, Menon was responsible for formulating strategy for the Indian Navy, and he recently published “A Nuclear Strategy for India.”
“Retired Indian Admiral Says More Nuclear Tests Make Sense”

An article in The Telegraph by VR Raghavan, Director of the Delhi Policy Group and Former Indian Director-General Military Operations, warned against the risk of miscalculations between India and Pakistan and said that they two countries “seem not yet ready to absorb the nuclear lessons of the Cold War.” He outlined a wide range of confidence building measures that should be undertaken now and concluded that “the risks from nuclear weapons cannot be allowed to wait for resolution until all other problems between India and Pakistan are resolved.”
“Columnist Warns India, Pak of Dangers of Use of Nuclear Weapons”

APJ Abdul Kalam, principal science adviser to Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and architect of India’s missile program, said that technology for an intercontinental ballistic missile is available and all that is needed for India is the will to make it. He said India can develop and design an intercontinental ballistic missile quickly, “Today we have the capability to design and develop any type of missile, including the ICBM. Now it’s for the country to decide.” Kalam said that all the technology used to develop the Agni-2 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) was available for an intercontinental weapon. The Agni-2 missile, with a range of more than 2,300 km, was tested in April last year. Jasjit Singh, director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, said: “The priority should be the development and deployment of a 5,000-km missile as a minimum credible deterrent. At the moment, we have nothing.”
“India Can Build ICBMs Quickly, Says Missile Guru”


2. Russian Sub-Critical Tests

Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeniy Adamov said that sub-critical nuclear weapons testing will continue on Arctic islands despite criticism. “These were not nuclear tests. They aimed at checking out the security and defence efficiency of arms. The Americans carry out such experiments in Nevada. They are meant to keep the weapon stockpile safe and maintain it in conditions when nuclear tests are banned.” He criticized reporters for mistakenly saying the experiments were nuclear tests.
The article “Russia Says Subcritical Tests Will Continue” is available formWorld News Connection


3. US Nuclear Weapons Development

Martin Butcher, director of security programs at Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Theresa Hitchens, research director at the British American Security Information Council, stated in the San Francisco Chronicle that US Senate Republicans have passed a measure that directs US weapons labs to begin studies on mini-nukes, intended not to deter a potential enemy but for use in small, regional wars. They warn that smaller nuclear weapons may be more likely to be used and that other nations cannot take the US pledge to disarm seriously as long as the US continues to develop these weapons.
“Unleashing `Mini-Nukes’ Will Bring Dire Consequences”


Missile Defense


1. NMD Decision

The August edition of Disarmament Diplomacy includes the text of US President Bill Clinton’s statement at Georgetown University, in which he announced his decision to not deploy NMD at this time, as well as the statements and reactions of senior Clinton administration officials and the presidential candidates. It also includes an analysis of the decision and statements and reactions to this decision by US and foreign political figures, including citations of relevant reports and articles.
“President Clinton NMD Decision”
“NMD Continues to Dominate Nuclear Arms Control Issues”

The Council for a Livable World published an analysis of US President Bill Clinton’s decision to not deploy NMD at this time. The essay argued, “The President’s speech marked a clear and unambiguous victory for common sense — and for the beleaguered arms control movement that had suffered a devastating loss when the Senate defeated the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in October 1999.” However, the essay noted, the decision must be made again in 2001.
“Anatomy of a Victory: Clinton Decides Against National Missile Defense”

US Senator Wayne Allard, chairman of the Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, said that a land-based system offers the quickest and most affordable means of providing a missile defense system and that the US should field this type of architecture before venturing into more sophisticated systems, such as the proposed Navy alternative. He argued that the US should be willing in principle to share missile defense technologies or pursue other incentives to bring Russia to modify the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to accommodate a US NMD system.
“Senator Says Initial NMD Capability Should Be A Land-Based System”


2. Responses to NMD: Russia, PRC

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that unless the 1972 ABM Treaty is kept intact, Russia would not proceed with START III nuclear arms reductions negotiations with the US. He said, “We are ready to actively continue the process of nuclear disarmament and to move towards the conclusion of a START III treaty… But this will only be feasible if the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty remains intact.”
“Russia Says No Further Arms Reduction Unless ABM Treaty Remains In Force”

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan urged the UN to stop the US from deploying a missile defence system. He said, “the UN should continue to show serious concern over the attempt by a certain country to develop a missile defence system to the detriment of global strategic stability.” He said missile defense plans were “aimed at seeking unilateral military and strategic supremacy and thus a typical example of the Cold War mentality’.”
“Beijing Calls For UN Action On Missile Defence”


3. US Missile Defense Tests

Defence officials in Israel said that the Arrow 2 anti-tactical ballistic missile (ATBM) defence system successfully tracked and destroyed an incoming Israeli Black Sparrow target missile fired at the Israeli coast from the Mediterranean, the first frontal interception of a target missile by the Arrow 2 system. The target missile was fired from a Boeing F-15 fighter rather than launched from the ground. It was programmed to simulate the profile of a ‘Scud B’ missile. The Arrow is a joint US-Israeli project for which Washington provided some 65% of the $1.1 billion development funding spent so far.
“Arrow missile intercepts incoming target”

Inside Missile Defense reported that the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization announced that wants to conduct a multi-week comprehensive ground exercise, designated as Integrated Ground Test-6 (IGT-6), for the National Missile Defense (NMD) system in February 2001. The event will be the first major NMD ground test in over a year and the first such evaluation since President Clinton’s decision to defer deploy of the system. IGT-6 will test the NMD requirements document’s 13 engagement scenarios of limited attacks emanating from three geographic regions including: Libya, the Middle East and North Korea, as well as accidental or unauthorized launches from Russia or China.
“BMDO Plans Next NMD Integrated Ground Test In Early 2001”


4. Iran Missile Test

Bill Gertz reported in the Washington Times that US intelligence officials said Iran had conducted the third test launch of the Shahab-3 medium-range missile but that the rocket exploded shortly after liftoff. An intelligence official said, “They did indeed attempt a launch and it didn’t go particularly well. It is not a very good sign” for the missile program. Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said the missile was “solid-fueled” and will be used only for launching communications satellites and not warheads. CIA official Robert Walpole said, “We view this as a missile.”
“Iran Missile Test Fails After Takeoff”


Nuclear Policy


1. NATO Nuclear Policy

An article by the President of Lawyers Alliance for World Security (LAWS) Ambassador Thomas Graham and LAWS Program Director Leonor Tomero in the August edition of Disarmament Diplomacy, speaks to the upcoming review by NATO of its nuclear doctrine. The article argued that the pledge by nuclear weapons states (NWS) in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that they will not use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear weapons state (a “negative security assurance” or NSA) is “central to upholding the credibility of this bargain,” a bargain in which these states agree not to pursue nuclear weapons development or deployment. The article concludes that recent US statements and current NATO doctrine undermine the NSA in NPT, and making NSAs legally binding would be an important step forward.
“Obligations For Us All”: NATO & Negative Security Assurances”

Karel Koster, a project director with the Project on European Nuclear Non-Proliferation Network, argued in the August edition of Disarmament Diplomacy that increases in the transparency of NATO nuclear policy and confidence building measures are positive movements for NATO, but is inadequate compared with further reduction of nuclear weapons and a reduced role for nuclear weapons in military doctrine. Koster concludes that while US and Russian nuclear policy are the backdrop for NATO, the proposed US NMD system hangs over everything at this stage; a decision to move forward on NMD will mean an Asian, and possibly Russian, nuclear arms race, and will hurt international disarmament efforts.
“An Uneasy Alliance: NATO Nuclear Doctrine & The NPT”

Karel Koster of PENN provided a report on his notes from a meeting of the Dutch Lower House foreign affairs committee on September 6. The meeting evaluated the NPT conference and its relation to NATO nuclear policy. The report lists statements made by parliamentarians and foreign minister van Aartsen.
“Nuclear Developments in Dutch Parliament”


2. Arms Control

Frederick Bonnart, writing in the International Herald Tribune, argued that the confluence of US President Bill Clinton’s postponement of the deployment of a missile shield and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to reform Russia’s military structure creates the opportunity for a break with nuclear weapons as a symbol and source of power. The US minimum level is based on the required ability to eliminate all potentially threatening nuclear missiles, their bases, storage sites and similar installations. Russia should unilaterally reduce the number of potential targets, voluntarily abandoning a nuclear equivalence with the US which Russia has really already lost due to deterioration of Russia’s nuclear force.
“Nuclear Disarmament: Time Is Ripe”

The September edition of Arms Control Today included an article which reported on the two major Presidential candidates responses to questions on NMD, the ABM, North Korea, nuclear weapons policy and China, and other arms control issues including how to achieve further reductions in nuclear arsenals.
“Presidential Election Forum: The Candidates on Arms Control”


Nuclear Submarines


1. Russian Submarine Accident

The August edition of Disarmament Diplomacy by the Acronym Institute included an article on the Kursk submarine accident which argued that the Kursk accident is reflective of the fact that militarism remains firmly ensconced in our political reality, and as long as it is, “the post-Cold War international system will not evolve into a genuinely new word order.”
“False Pride, Pointless Exercises”

Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, Commander in Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vyacheslav Popov, Commander of the Northern Fleet, and Murmansk Region Governor Yuriy Yevdokimov went onboard the nuclear submarine Karelia during one of the first nuclear submarine operations in the area after the sinking of the Kursk.
The article “Russian Nuclear Subs Resume Activities After Kursk” is available from


2. UK Submarine Accident

The commander of the Royal Navy nuclear attack submarine HMS Tireless said he discharged radioactive water from the nuclear reactor during the submarine’s voyage from Italy to Gibraltar in May after it suffered a reactor accident during operations off Sicily. Nuclear powered warships routinely discharge radioactive coolant water into the sea while operating in international waters and it is unknown if Tireless’ discharges were related to the reactor accident. The Spanish government said that the presence of the HMS Tireless posed no significant risk. Spain and Britain agreed to set up a contact group to ensure communication between the two countries while the HMS Tireless undergoes nuclear reactor repairs at Gibraltar.
The articles “British Sub Commander Admits to Radioactive Spill,” “Spain Plays Down Radiation Threat From British Sub in Gibraltar,” and “Spain, Britain Set Up Contact Channel Over Gibraltar Submarine” are available from World News Connection

The government of Gibraltar had requested from a group of experts that they assess whether the carrying out of repairs to HMS Tireless posed risk to the public or the environment. Based on the report of these experts, the government of Gibraltar said that in a statement that it is not opposed to the repair of British nuclear submarine HMS Tireless.
“Response to Gibraltar Government approval for submarine repair”

The chief minister of Gibraltar, Peter Caruana, finally authorized repairs, while the base is not normally authorized to perform nuclear repairs to submarines, he concluded that there are no “significant risks” for the population or the environment. A British Ministry of Defense spokesman said that everything was ready to begin work on the crippled nuclear submarine HMS Tireless at Gibraltar. Since the accident, technicians from the reactor-manufacturer Rolls Royce have visited the nuclear submarine on a number of occasions “to assess the breakdown and the reactor’s situation.” Simulations were carried out on an experimental reactor in Britain.
The articles “Gibraltar Gives Green Light to Nuclear Submarine Repairs” and “Preparatory Work Completed for Gibraltar Submarine Repairs” are available from World News Connection

A report by the Spanish radio station RNE Radio 1 (Madrid) carried live coverage of a large demonstration in southern Spain against the repair of the British nuclear attack submarine HMS Tireless. The demonstration followed British and Spanish authorities authorizing repair of the crippled submarine in Gibraltar. The United Left coalition’s groups in the Andalucian parliament will adopt a range of initiatives for the UN and the European courts to discuss the situation caused by the repair of the nuclear submarine HMS Tireless in Gibraltar. He added that a range of initiatives would attempt to raise the matter in the European courts in Luxembourg and The Hague to study the “potential alarm and danger” caused by “an operation in a nuclear submarine in times of peace.”
The articles “Southern Spain Protests Nuclear Sub Repair in Gibraltar” and “Crippled Nuclear Sub Triggers Initiative By Spanish Leftists” are available fromWorld News Connection


3. Italian Sub Concerns

The municipal council of the Italian port city Taranto has unanimously called on the Italian government to open up a debate on the risks that the city might be running due to the transit or the presence of nuclear powered NATO submarines. The move follows local efforts by the organization PeaceLink. In May a British nuclear submarine suffered a reactor accident while operating off Italy.
The article “Italian Port Fears Nuclear Risk From NATO Submarines” is available from World News Connection


4. US Submarine Deployment

Evan Iland, an analyst at the Cato Institute, said the Navy inflated its needs for higher number of submarines in anticipation of the Quadrennial Defense Review next year. He said, “To me, if you can’t cut submarines, you can’t cut anything in the Navy because the submarine was the quintessential Cold War weapon.” The fast-attack submarine’s reputation as a “platform” designed specifically to chase and snoop on the Soviet navy made it a prime candidate for cost cutting when the Soviet Union imploded, but a Defense Department report recently asserted that the Navy will need 76 fast-attack submarines by 2025 to counter a growing threat from Third World nations.
“Pentagon Set To Do More Talking About Its ‘Silent Service'”


Proliferation


1. Russian Lasers

Boris Yatsenko, director of the Science and Technology Center of Microtechnology, a unit of the Russian governmental DV Efremov Institute of St. Petersburg, said his institute was planning to sell laser equipment, which he said was solely for “medical, industrial, and scientific purposes.” US National Security Council spokesman PJ Crowley said, “We will continue to work with the government of Russia to ensure that no Russian entities provide support to the Iranian nuclear weapons program. We’re moving in the right direction, but clearly this remains a work in progress.” Administration officials have said they have been trying for three months to persuade Russia to cancel the sale under the belief that the equipment could not be used efficiently for other than military purposes.
“Russia Sends Mixed Signals On Laser System Sale To Iran”


2. Fissile Materials

Morten Bremer Maerli, Science Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, argued in the August edition of Disarmament Diplomacy that naval fuel stockpiles should be subjected to increased transparency to prevent “a backdoor to clandestine nuclear weapons-programs.” Maerli proposes two ways to protect sensitive information while increasing transparency.
“Deep Seas and Deep-Seated Secrets”

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