NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 26 June, 2001

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Nuclear Weapons

1. Former Soviet Union

The recently released sixth update of the joint Monterey Institute-Carnegie Endowment “Nuclear Status Report” includes information on Russia’s nuclear arsenal and stockpile, the status of fissile material at other sites in the former Soviet Union, and the progress of US nonproliferation assistance programs.
“Status Report: Nuclear Weapons, Fissile Material, and Export Controls in the Former Soviet Union”

2. French Nuclear Forces

France is modernizing its nuclear weapons delivery systems despite a small reduction in its nuclear arsenal, according to a report published in the July-August 2001 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
“French nuclear forces, 2001”


1. DPRK Agreed Framework

Miriam Rajkumar, Project Associate at the Carnegie Endowment, writes that the Bush administration Task Force that recently completed its review of US policy towards the DPRK recommends that while the US could revisit the 1994 Agreed Framework to find other ways to bring energy to the DPRK, it “should make no unilateral changes to the Agreed Framework and adhere to its implementation.” It also recommends that the US make it clear that it will not accept any delays in the non-proliferation milestones or resolution of its nuclear history. The self-described approach of the Council on Foreign Relations report is to recommend that the US trade-off economic benefits and security assurances for threat reduction and the prospect of change in the DPRK.
“The Way Forward on North Korea”

2. IAEA Inspections of DPRK

The DPRK’s official KCNA news agency reported that the DPRK will not allow UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitors to inspect its nuclear program until the US speeds up construction of two nuclear reactors promised under the 1994 Agreed Framework. The IAEA has said verification may take two to three years and its experts must start work immediately so that construction of the nuclear reactors can proceed. Experts have stated that the longer the delay before inspections, the greater the uncertainty in verifying the history of the DPRK’s nuclear program. Construction of the nuclear reactors that the US promised to build in return for the freeze on the DPRK’s nuclear program also has been delayed by funding problems and political tensions. US officials have said the reactors will not be completed until 2008, five years behind schedule.
“N. Korea Nixes Nuclear Inspection”

3. US-Russia Working Groups

The Washington Post reports that according to a senior Bush administration official, Russian officials have proposed the creation of two working groups to deal with the nature of the threat posed by the proliferation of long-range missiles and the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The official said the US welcomes the creation of the working groups as part of its plan to shift US-Russian relations away from a high-level panel to a more diffused network, but wants to organize them differently to prevent them from becoming an obstacle to President Bush’s missile defense system. Bush administration officials, however, said they anticipate strong personal ties in the absence of the high-level commission, pointing to a budding relationship between US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.
“Bush May Realign Moscow Relations”

4. Threat Assessments

Thomas W. Graham, speaking at the Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference, argues based on his research and analysis that chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) proliferation threats are not growing but are changing; that three to seven very hard country proliferation threats require unique solutions; and that the twin issues of non-state actors and the probability of use against the US homeland are linked by assumptions that need to be thoroughly examined, probed, and debated so we do not stimulate the very threat we want first to deter or second to defend against.
“Proliferation Threats: Growing, Shrinking or Changing?”

US Senator Richard Lugar, senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is the single greatest threat to U.S. national security. He said, “More so than at any other time in the past, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery constitutes a profound and urgent threat at home and abroad.” Lugar said the US must rethink “strategies and the continuing utility of the traditional tools available to counter the threats” facing the US and its allies. Lugar made these remarks at the 2001 Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference.
“Text: Weapons of Mass Destruction Top Security Threat, Sen. Lugar Warns”

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden says that promoting the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction works. He said that the US can succeed in leading non-proliferation efforts by “remaining engaged in the peaceful resolution of conflict. One reason — among many — that we cannot walk away from the Middle East conflict is that another war there could involve weapons of mass destruction.” Biden made these remarks at the 2001 Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference.
“Text: Sen. Biden Says U.S. Must Remain Engaged in Non-Proliferation”

Missile Defense

1. Bush Administration Statements on Missile Defense

US Secretary of State Colin Powell testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that mutual assured destruction would be indispensable even if US builds a missile defense. He said, “You can’t entirely do away with what has been known as mutual assured destruction.” “It means that you keep enough weapons so that you will always be able to deter anyone else who is planning to strike you,” he added. Powell’s remarks undercut one of the Bush administration’s main arguments for missile defense. While Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened that Russia could respond to US missile defense plans by putting multiple nuclear warheads on some of its missiles, banned by existing arms control agreements with the US (see below), Powell testified that he doubted Russia would proceed if they saw that the deployed US missile defense was a limited system. Powell said, “It’s not clear to me why a Russian planner could successfully walk in and say to Mr. Putin, ‘Rather than fixing our economy, let’s double the size of our strategic force.'”
“Powell Says Mutual Destruction Is Here to Stay”

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was questioned by Democrats in the US Senate Armed Services Committee about the cost and effectiveness of a national missile defense system, and they raised deep concerns about the administration’s threats to withdraw from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty if Russia refused to amend it. Rumsfeld said the task is to prepare now and not wait until the threats fully emerge. He said, “Terrorism and attacks by special operations forces, including the use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, is a growing concern. Cyber-attacks are increasing. The threat of ballistic and cruise missile attack is increasing. Allied and friendly nations are also at increased risk.” In response to questions, Rumsfeld said he was not sure which tests might violate the treaty. He said he wanted to be able to tell the Russians, “Come on, we’ve got to test, and we don’t want to have someone accuse us of breaking the treaty. Let’s not get into a legal, lawyer’s argument over the thing.” Rumsfeld also said that the Defense Department did not have a formula for deciding when the effectiveness of a new weapons system justified its high cost. The unified skepticism from liberal and centrist Democrats on missile defense indicates US President George Bush is likely to face difficulties when he tries to sell the plan to Congress later this year.
“Skeptical Senators Question Rumsfeld on Missile Defense”
“Text: Rumsfeld Testifies on Need for New Strategic Framework”

Senior US officials have recently indicated that the US Defense Department can continue development of the National Missile Defense shield for at least another two years before running into restrictions created by the 1972 ABM Treaty. The officials are stressing they don’t want an ABM Treaty disagreement to damage diplomatic relations or prevent an understanding with Russia on missile defense. US Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said after a meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney that he sees a “clear change in emphasis” suggesting that the government’s interest in missile defense “is no longer unconditional.” Secretary of State Colin Powell said that if the treaty “allowed us to do what we needed to do and have to do to provide for a limited missile defense, it would stay in effect forever. But it doesn’t.”
“ABM Treaty Not Dead Yet, Bush White House Hints”

2. US Congress on Missile Defense

Mary McGrory writes in the Washington Post that US Representative John Tierney advocates, but has been losing to the US Defense Department, public distribution of the unclassified report on the history of missile defense test failures by Phil Coyle, a former chief tester for the Pentagon’s Office of Operational Test and Evaluation and who is now with the Center for Defense Information. The Defense Department wants the report restricted to congressional readers. Christopher Shays, Chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee that Coyle testified before last year, is a missile defense proponent, but favors release of the Coyle report. “If the proponents can’t be persuasive that’s our fault, but the question should be addressed in public,” Shays says.
“No Defense for the Missile Shield”

Senator Max Cleland said, “National missile defense is an uncertain trumpet at this point and we ought not to blow it before we test it and fully make sure it is deployable. It doesn’t make sense to deploy this system without that guarantee.”
“Skeptical Senators Question Rumsfeld on Missile Defense”

3. Responses to Missile Defense: Russian

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking after his meeting with US President Bush during Bush’s European trip, indicated his interest in a compromise on amending the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to allow an American missile defense, but also indicated that unless this was a genuine compromise that took Russian concerns into account, Russia would retaliate with a major expansion of its nuclear arsenal. Anatol Lieven argues in the New York Times that Russia should use the missile defense argument to increase the divide growing between the US and Europe, but also to force the US to support Russian technology research and Russian export industries. Further, states Lieven, Russia needs the PRC’s support in balancing US power and cannot make a deal with the US too easily. Lieven concludes by arguing that there is a great need for a public debate in the US, which requires the Bush administration to be clear about the system’s goals and the price it is willing to pay with Russia and others to get it.
“A Delicate Nuclear Balance”

Speaking in response to comments made by US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that the US would proceed on missile defense with or without Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would not obstruct US deployment of missile defenses, but would reintroduce multiple warheads to its nuclear forces without regard to treaties that now require their elimination. Putin said, “I am confident that at least for the coming 25 years [US missile defenses] will not cause any substantial damage to the national security of Russia.” He added that Russia “will reinforce our capability” by “mounting multiple warheads on our missiles” and “that will cost us a meager sum.” Putin said both the Start I and Start II treaties would be negated by a US decision to proceed on missile defenses in violation of 1972 ABM Treaty. Putin did not state that Russia has made a commitment to the PRC on missile defense, but said, “There is a commitment to preserve the balance of security that we have now in the world as a whole and in this sense, China is an important element, and not only China.”
“Putin Says Russia Would Counter U.S. Shield”

An editorial in the New York Times reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that if the US withdraws from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, Russia will abrogate the 1993 nuclear arms reduction treaty and reintroduce multiple warheads on its missile force. Multiple-warhead missiles were first developed in the late 1960’s, partly to assure both the United States and the Soviet Union that, even after a surprise attack, they could overwhelm the first generation of missile defenses then being developed. The editorial argues that the US should take this seriously and should proceed with research and development of missile defense within the framework of the ABM Treaty.
“Invitation to an Arms Race”

Walter Pincus writes in the Washington Post that according to a new report by the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, entitled “Nuclear Status Report on the Former Soviet Union,” Russia’s nuclear forces will shrink dramatically, from nearly 6,000 warheads today to between 1,086 and 1,546 warheads by the end of the decade if current trends continue. However, Carnegie Nonproliferation Project Director Joseph Cirincione said, “The Bush policy counts on Russia going down to 1,000 warheads no matter what the U.S. does, but missile defense may force them to make their deterrent secure by putting more warheads on missiles and stepping up production of new ones.” According to the report, Russia would have only a hundred SS-27s by the end of 2007 at the current production rate, but could increase funding to produce twenty a year and could easily modify the SS-27 to carry multiple warheads. The report credits US-Russian cooperative programs for dismantling aspects of the Russian nuclear arsenal and for guarding and monitoring nuclear storage sites.
“Study Says Russia Might Keep Missiles in Face of U.S. Shield”

4. Responses to Missile Defense: France and Germany

The heads of France and Germany contradicted US President George Bush’s declaration that there was a “new receptivity” to his plan for a missile defense shield during his visit to Europe. French President Jacques Chirac said after a NATO meeting that a missile shield is a “fantastic incentive to proliferate” weapons because terrorists or hostile states would build more arms in an attempt to trump the new defenses. Chirac expressed a willingness to talk about missile defense, but that he felt “the need to preserve strategic balances, of which the ABM treaty is a pillar.” The German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said, “We still see a host of issues that need to be clarified and therefore we must and indeed will be continuing intensive discussions on this subject.” Bush administration officials cited a long list of allies whose leaders indicated an interest in the plan at this time, including Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Britain, Turkey and Spain.
“France and Germany Caution Bush on Missile Defense Plan”

Arms Control

1. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

The New York Times reports that while the US Senate rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, construction is underway of the global network of sensors meant to listen for clandestine nuclear blasts. Also known as the International Monitoring System, the network of 100 out of 321 planned stations is already helping scientists detect violent winds, volcanic eruptions and the crash of meteoroids from outer space. While the debate in the US continues over the treaty, the US is paying for 25 percent of the total costs of the verification system, which, if completed, will increase the likelihood of the treaty’s ratification. Frank J. Gaffney Jr., a former US Defense Department official who opposes the pact, said that the monitoring is “a backdoor way to get us” into the treaty.
“Useful Legacy of Nuclear Treaty: Global Earphones”

Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, meeting in Washington with US Secretary of State Colin Powell to appeal for an end or easing of US economic sanctions, reiterated that Pakistan will not be the first to resume nuclear testing in South Asia. After meeting with Powell, he said, “Pakistan will maintain the moratorium on nuclear tests.” Sanctions, said Sattar, retard efforts to relieve poverty, “which breeds hopelessness and desperation, and fosters extremism that needs to be opposed.” There have been strong signals that the Bush administration is preparing to ease or lift the sanctions on India, but not so for Pakistan because of its continuing support for the Taliban in Afghanistan and the failure to return to democracy.
“Pakistan to abide by nuclear test ban”

2. 1972 ABM Treaty

An editorial in the New York Times argues that if the Bush administration can refrain from impugning the reputation of it, the 1972 ABM treaty could serve as a bridge to a new era in which further reductions in offensive missiles could be accompanied by the testing and building of limited defensive systems to blunt emerging threats. The editorial argues in favor of negotiations with Russia and the PRC to either amend the treaty or replace it with a new agreement that can regulate the development of reasonable missile defenses, in that way a new strategic equation can be brought into existence that encourages the US, Russia and the PRC to field a minimal number of offensive weapons and reasonable defensive systems.
“Misrepresenting the ABM Treaty”


1. US Nuclear War Plan

The Natural Resources Defense Council recommended that US President George Bush abolish the secret US Single Integrated Operations Plan (SIOP) used to direct nuclear war options against potential US enemies. “At this stage in the disarmament process,” the NRDC contended in a report released yesterday, “a U.S. stockpile numbering in the hundreds is more than adequate to achieve the single purpose of deterrence.” The study uses US President George Bush’s repeated statement that Russia is not an enemy to justify a new US policy that does “not target any country specifically, but create a contingency war planning capability to assemble attack plans in the event of hostilities with another nuclear state.” The NRDC’s two-year study of simulated nuclear effects predicted that even a US strike that avoided big cities but attempted to knock out Russian missile silos and other nuclear forces would kill 8 million to 12 million Russians. A separate NRDC study concluded that a single US Trident missile submarine could inflict “in excess of 50 million casualties” if the missiles were aimed at Russian cities.
“Bush Urged to Abolish Nuclear War Plan”
“Bush Urged to Abolish Nuclear War Plan”
“Exposing the U.S. Nuclear War Plan (Summary)”
“The U.S. Nuclear War Plan: A Time for Change (Full Report)”

Bret Lortie writes in the current issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that the US SIOP or Single Integrated Operational Plan that dictates how US nuclear weapons are to actually be used is kept secret from the US public as well as from members of Congress with security clearances. Janne Nolan, director of international programs at the Century Foundation, states that the problem is that “you have two worlds. You have the world of the political management of nuclear weapons-the stated policies. And you have the operational world, which is where the rubber really hits the road in terms of how forces are organized and postured for launch in a crisis. Over time, these worlds became ever more separate.” Then-Senator Bob Kerrey who had asked then-Defense Secretary William Cohen for details about the targeting plan, questioned, “How can we provide the policy guidance that is needed if we are not given the information we need to decide if our current course of action is the correct one?” In response to this absence of information, the NRDC created an interactive computer model of what they believe the SIOP might look like, including maps, charts, images, and other visual representations. The NRDC believes this tool will help people to better understand the cumulative effects of the large-scale nuclear “counterforce” attacks that are part of US and Russian nuclear war planning and illustrate alternatives to the current arms control process.
“A Do-It-Yourself SIOP”

2. US Nuclear Strategy

Robert Jervis reviews a new book by Jan Lodal entitled, “The Price of Dominance: The New Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Challenge to American Leadership.” Jervis states that Lodal, who served on the National Security Council for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, argues that US nuclear policy has drifted since the end of the Cold War, at a time when the unprecedented leadership role played by the US makes it vulnerable to being target by extremists with increasingly available weapons of mass destruction. For this reason, Lodal argues, the US must link as part of its “strategic vision” a reaffirmation of deterrence, not defense, with an understanding that “a multilateral consensus will be required” because “no amount of military strength will allow America to deal with [the] new threat alone.” Lodal states that if policy makers accept some of his arguments, then the US could eliminate its land-based nuclear forces, and instead depend upon a submarine- and bomber-based second strike capability and a thin National Missile Defense system. Lodal’s “thin NMD” system could not protect against a full Russian or PRC nuclear strike, but would protect against, accidental, third-party, or limited Russian and PRC nuclear strikes. Lodal believes the US should deploy robust Theater Missile Defenses in many environments, including in East Asia, which he supports without fully examining the political implications of such a move, states Jervis. Lodal calls for international cooperation in law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat the threat of WMD strikes using delivery systems other than missiles. Jervis argues that the US preoccupation with terrorist threats may be a function of the absence of traditional security threats, and that the US would achieve more internationally through a “no first use” pledge than through many other means. Jervis also states that Lodal’s focus ignores important questions about what nuclear weapons can actually accomplish and how foreign policy and military goals are linked.
“Weapons Without Purpose? Nuclear Strategy in the Post-Cold War Era”


1. Taiwan Patriot Missile Test

An official taking part in the tests stated that Taiwan conducted its first test of the US-made Patriot missile system, successfully hitting a ship and a plane. The test comes as the PRC is conducting massive war games, but Taiwanese officials say the timing is coincidental. Taiwan has purchased 200 Patriot missiles from the US, an improved version of the weapons that gained notoriety for missing their targets in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
“Taiwan tests U.S. Patriot missiles”

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