NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 31 July, 2000

Hello! The below report is written in English. To translate the full report, please use the translator in the top right corner of the page. Do not show me this notice in the future.

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 31 July, 2000", NAPSNet Weekly Report, July 31, 2000,

Missile Defense

1. Australian Participation in Missile Defense

The Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) has been conducting joint experiments in Australia with the US Defense Department on the early detection of ballistic missile launches as part of US research into Theater Missile Defense (TMD) systems. Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer said that the Australian government would support the use of the joint Pine Gap electronic spy base in US tests of its proposed NMD system. US Defense Secretary William Cohen stated, “the Australian Government said that if the United States were to go forward, they would be supportive.” Australian Defense Minister John Moore said that once the US made a decision whether to deploy, “the appropriate channel would be discussed with the Australian Government. When that does occur, we’ll respond.”
“Revealed: Australia’s role in US missile tests”
“Canberra’s Support in the Bag, Says Cohen”

An editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald argued that Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Defense Minister Moore have sensibly said little about the proposed US National Missile Defense (NMD) system or Australia’s possible participation in the project. Unless, and until, the US decides an NMD system is technically feasible, affordable and desirable, the issue is hypothetical and there is no reason for Australia to prematurely answer a question that may not be asked. The Herald also reported that many political players in Australia are dealing cautiously with the issue. Former prime minister Malcolm Frase, who was formerly a strong supporter of the US-Australian alliance, wrote in The Australian (July 18), that “if the US seeks to use facilities at Pine Gap in establishing such a defence system, Australia should refuse absolutely.”
“Anti-missile anxieties”
“Ex-pollies stir up NMD debate”

2. PRC Reaction to US-Australia Cooperation

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a commentary in the PRC’s People’s Daily warned Australia against participating in the US National Missile Defense (NMD) program, saying Australia would only be a “cat’s paw” for the US. It said, “Australia has suffered previous losses from jumping on the bandwagon of the United States and Britain during several world-scale wars.”
“Australia a cat’s paw for US, says China”

Robert E. Hunter, a former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and currently a senior advisor at the Rand Corporation, said that the debate over the US National Missile Defense (NMD) program has led Australia to take a look at the PRC’s future and the US approach to it. Not threatened by any of the countries cited by the US as potential aggressors, many Australians wonder why the US is risking a crisis with the PRC by including in the NMD program a shared satellite facility in Australia. There is concern more generally about the special relationship the US and Australia used to share, as the US has been proposing to downgrade the quality of bilateral naval exercises from cutting-edge military cooperation with Australia to “dumbed down” multilateral exercises that include less-advanced countries such as Singapore and the Philippines. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 25, 2000.]
“The New Politics Of The Pacific Sends Shudders Through Australia”

3. NATO Participation in Missile Defense

US Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said that for the US National Missile Defense (NMD) system to protect all 50 states, it must rely on radar stations abroad, which means it cannot succeed unless the US persuades its NATO allies to drop their opposition. Cohen also said that if the NATO allies embrace NMD, Russia will feel compelled to drop its opposition to amending the ABM treaty.
“Cohen Says Missile Defense System Requires Support of Allies”

The Council for a Livable World made available a compendium of quotes by political leaders opposing the US National Missile Defense (NMD) program. Comments include present and former presidents and prime ministers in Europe, Australia, Canada, Russia, and the PRC.
“Statements by Foreign Leaders Opposing National Missile Defense”

4. US Missile Defense Decision

US Defense Secretary William Cohen testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the US would face ballistic missile threats over the next 15 years. He added that while the earliest target deployment date of national missile defense (NMD) is 2005, “deployment decisions will be made in a sequential process, geared to successful accomplishment of successive stages in the development process.” US Senator Carl Levin noted in an opening statement that since “key events and major milestones” in the NMD test program are experiencing delays, the “2005 deployment goal is no longer realistic and should be adjusted,” and therefore President Clinton should “defer any decision to deploy an NMD system, or any possible decision to withdraw from the ABM (Anti-ballistic Missile) Treaty, to the next president.”
“Cohen on National Missile Defense before Senate Armed Services”

US Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said that administration lawyers agree that President Bill Clinton could approve preliminary construction work on a new X-band radar toward building a national missile defense without violating the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 27, 2000.]
“Early Start To Missile Defense Would Be Legal, Clinton Is Told”

About two-thirds of US Senate Democrats urged President Clinton to delay a decision on deploying a National Missile Defense (NMD), saying that the technology is unproven and the risk to national security is too great to proceed. The senators also said that they are concerned that the PRC and Russia will follow through on threats to build up their nuclear forces if NMD is deployed. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 27, 2000.] Arms Control Today carried an essay by Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr., which argued that there is every reason to reject deployment of the National Missile Defense (NMD) system now and not even to defer the decision to the next administration. Keeny points to the recent test failure, the absence of a credible threat, and the negative consequences of deployment on international arms control and non-proliferation regimes.
“Senate Democrats Urge NMD Delay”
“The Buck Stops Here”

5. PRC View of US Missile Defense

An anonymous PRC official stated that at the July 26 meeting of foreign ministers from ASEAN plus 3 and the July 27 meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the PRC was to voice its opposition to a US missile shield plan for northeast Asia.
“China To Take Missile Shield Opposition To Asean”

The Council for a Livable World published an essay by John Isaacs and Steve LaMontagne, in which they argued that by not ruling out extension of a US Theater Missile Defense to Taiwan, the US further antagonized the PRC. While the US justifies the inclusion of Taiwan by hypothesizing that such capabilities will stimulate negotiations rather than conflict between Taiwan and China over the one-China principle, they argue that it is clear that arms sales have not always had a pacifying effect.
“U.S. Arms Sale to Taiwan Would Spoil — Not Enhance — Prospects for Peace”

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on a forum hosted by the Heritage Foundation in which Peter Brookes, adviser to the congressional committee on East Asian affairs, said that the US was disingenuous in insisting that “rogue” states posed the primary threat to the US. He said, “Washington should stop denying that there is a link between China’s nuclear modernization, conventional military build-up and proliferation practices and the requirement for ballistic missile defense.” Brookes and Richard Kessler, the Democrat staff director of the Senate subcommittee on international security and proliferation, said that the PRC had been modernizing its arsenal for 15 years and would continue to do so whether or not the US went ahead with the shield. Brookes dismissed ally concerns, and said it was “not uncommon for new ideas to not be immediately embraced.”
“China ‘real reason’ for missile shield”

6. Russian View of US Missile Defense

US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a joint statement after their meeting at the G-8, “The United States and Russia are prepared to renew and expand cooperation in the field of theater missile development and to consider the possibility of involving other states.” They also reiterated their pledge to uphold the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and to ensure the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban treaty. Putin also briefed Clinton on his meeting in the DPRK with Kim Jong-il.
“Russia, U.S. Pledge Cooperation On Arms Control”

The PRC Foreign Ministry published the text of the joint statement signed by the PRC and Russia on the US National Missile Defense (NMD) program. They reaffirmed the importance of the 1972 ABM Treaty and stated that the NMD program, if implemented, will have serious negative consequences for global strategic stability. They explicitly opposed an extension of an anti-missile system to protect Taiwan.
“Joint Statement by the Presidents of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Anti-Missile Defense”

RANSAC reported that the PRC and Russia still had differences over US missile defense and that Russia had not ruled out amending the 1972 ABM Treaty. The talks, reported by some as showing a new Sino-Russian axis, demonstrated that their interests often overlap. In addition to their both opposing a US NMD system, they were both opposed to international intervention in domestic conflicts on humanitarian grounds as in Kosovo, and both are targets of Western criticism over their human rights records.
“China, Russia Attack U.S. Missile Shield Plan”

7. DPRK View of Missile Defense

The DPRK and Russia, after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, announced their joint opposition to the US national missile defense and the justification behind it. “The DPRK and Russia consider that the results of the analysis of the present international realities prove the missile threat from some states cited as a pretext to justify their projected amendment of the ABM treaty to be totally groundless.”
“Russia, North Korea Say U.S. Missile Fears Groundless”

Nuclear Weapons

1. NPT Review Conference

Arms Control Today carried a feature essay by Tariq Rauf, director of the International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Rauf examines the negotiated final document of the NPT Review Conference, arguing that a final document “was achieved only because deep differences … were papered over,” including missile defense, nuclear doctrines, and treaty compliance. Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) are also becoming increasingly inflexible in their positions, which could create problems as benchmarks of progress are more officially sanctioned than in the past.
“An Unequivocal Success? Implications of the NPT Review Conference”

2. Pakistani Nuclear Weaponization

Neil Joeck, an analyst at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, argues in a chapter in the new book “Repairing the Regime” that while Pakistani scientists were quick to claim that their nuclear devices were already “weaponized” and ready to be placed on missiles, questions need to be asked about what “weaponization” means, whether it increases or decreases stability, and whether deployment is desirable. Joeck argues that because India and Pakistan both desire only a latent deterrence, restraint in weaponization and deployment would provide more time for negotiations by reducing tensions.
“Proliferation Brief: Weaponization in South Asia”

3. PRC Nuclear Non-Proliferation

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace carried an adaption of Rodney W. Jones’s chapter on China in “Tracking Nuclear Proliferation” (1998). Jones argued that while the PRC’s rhetoric on nuclear policy has shifted over the last several decades from supporting third-world proliferation as a check on the US and USSR to supporting non-proliferation efforts, the PRC’s nuclear and arms trade practices did not conform to international non-proliferation regime standards, and major efforts over two decades were required to persuade the PRC to bring its nuclear trade practices into closer alignment with the policies of the other nuclear supplier states. This gap requires continued pressure on the PRC to comply with international regimes.
“Proliferation Brief: China’s Proliferation Record”

4. Russian Nuclear Forces

The Center for Policy Studies in Russia argued that reform of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces should be based only on comprehensive analysis of the current role of nuclear weapons, on trends, on specific and potential security threats, and on the ability to employ nuclear weapons to solve the national security problems. However, due to economic constraints, Russia must determine the most cost-effective means of securing security. The Concept of National Security, the Military Doctrine and the Foreign Policy Concept documents should serve as a basis for any reforms of the SNF to maintain policy that is consistent, coherent and realistic. Nuclear weapons will remain the key element to provide national security and maintain international stability.
“The SNF Reform: Any Steps Should Not Contradict the Approved Military Planning Documents”

5. US-Russian Arms Control Talks

The Center for Defense Information commented on US President Bill Clinton’s visit to Moscow at the beginning of June, and said it was a missed opportunity because Clinton did not sign any significant nuclear arms reduction agreements.
“Clinton set to bow out with failure on nuclear talks”

6. US Nuclear Arsenal

Scientists at the three US nuclear weapons laboratories have for the first time been able to reproduce on computers three-dimensional simulations of the detonations that together produce the explosive output of thermonuclear weapons. The goal has been to use computer simulations to ensure that aging, refurbished nuclear warheads remain reliable and safe. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 24, 2000.]
“Virtual Nuclear Arms Tests”

7. Turkey Nuclear Power

Greenpeace welcomed the Turkish government’s decision to cancel the Akkuyu nuclear tender as a sign that it acknowledged the burden of developing nuclear power and then of becoming the nuclear waste bin for developed countries. The Akkuyu nuclear power plant project is an example of the effort being made to transfer hazardous and polluting technologies from industrialized countries to developing countries. Future energy needs could instead be met through the utilization of the country’s abundant reserves of solar, wind and geothermal energy.
“Turkey Leaves International Nuclear Lobby In The Dark”


1. Japanese Security Policy

Arms Control Today carried an essay by Michael J. Green and Katsuhisa Furukawa in which they argue that Japan seeks to play a larger international role in political and security affairs. They give examples of changes in Japanese behavior while demonstrating continuity in its security policy, and highlight the fact that increasing internal contradictions are hindering the establishment of a larger international role. This report discusses Japan’s nuclear policy, its newfound assertiveness in international affairs, and its energy policy, and the post-Cold War shift in US priorities to argue that the US needs to view Japan as an independent decision maker with other options for its nuclear policy. The report also makes policy prescriptions for the US related to Japan.”
“New Ambitions, Old Obstacles: Japan and Its Search For an Arms Control Strategy”

2. DPRK Missile Program

An editorial in the New York Times discussed the DPRK’s offer to give up its long-range-missile program if other countries would launch at least two DPRK space satellites a year. The DPRK now appears to be in the early stages of a transformation that Washington should actively encourage, but if the DPRK expects other countries to provide it with advanced rockets it could learn to copy, the risks are unacceptable. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 27, 2000.] The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, speaking at the ASEAN Regional Forum, said that if the DPRK was sincere in its offer to terminate its missile program in exchange for assistance with its space program, Australia would lend its support. He added that other countries would also be willing to launch satellites on its behalf.
“Australia supports missile trade-off”
“A Missile Message From North Korea”

3. Russian Security Policy

Recent conflict within the Russian military between conventional forces and the strategic nuclear forces highlight conflict over the future direction of Russian security policy. Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated that the Russian military must be prepared to handle domestic threats, such as rebels in Chechnya, and external ones, such as international terrorism and a perceived threat from the West. He said, “The main international problem today is the plan to destroy the strategic balance in the world.”
“Putin Calls For Strong Military”

(return to top)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.