NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 9 April, 2001

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"NAPSNET Weekly FLASH Update 9 April, 2001", NAPSNet Weekly Report, April 09, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-weekly/napsnet-weekly-flash-update-9-april-2001/

Nuclear Weapons


1. Nuclear Weapons Report

The US State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control released a fact sheet listing the aggregate numbers of strategic (nuclear) offensive arms in existence within countries covered by the START I agreement. This data is as of January 31, 2001, and comes from Memorandum of Understandings exchanged by the US, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus.
“START I Aggregate Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms”


2. Kursk Submarine

The Norwegian independent station TV2 said on Wednesday that the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk had nuclear missiles aboard when it sank last year, despite Russian assurances it carried only conventional weapons. When asked if the Kursk had nuclear weapons on board when it sunk, Grigorij Tjomtsjin, a member of a Russian commission investigating the accident, told the station that documents he had seen indicate that there were two SSN19 nuclear missiles aboard, which could leak radiation faster than the nuclear reactor. Tomchin denied having made the statements the next day, saying, “I did give an interview to Norwegian television, and responding to the question of whether there could be nuclear weapons aboard such a submarine, I answered yes, there could be. But as to that particular submarine, I said there probably would not be.”
“Kursk Had Atomic Weapons Aboard-Report”
“Moscow: No Nuclear Weapons on Kursk”


Missile Defense


1. Russian MD Proposal

Peter Baker writes in the Washington Post that Russia’s proposed alternative to the US missile defense plan is just a theoretical framework for how a mobile European-based system might be developed using Russian technology, but offers little technical evaluation and no cost estimates, development timetables or organizational structures. Baker states that Western diplomats have not responded to Russia’s call to discuss the plan, and that several analysts said they believe the West is missing out on an opportunity to engage Russia and to defuse the international conflict. Nikolai Sokov, a scholar at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, said, “If the Russian defense industry is on board with contracts, they will be able to suppress more traditional, straightforward security concerns expressed by the military.” The Russian proposal begins with a three-step conceptual process, envisions creating a comprehensive database of non-strategic ballistic missiles, opening a joint launch warning center and testing new equipment using existing Russian facilities. The plan also suggests a multi-layered shield, with one system targeting missiles at a height of 90 miles and another system aimed at enemy missiles at a height of 18 miles.
“Russia’s Skeletal Missile Plan”


2. US Missile Defense Program

A US Defense Department official reported that technical problems with a new Boeing booster rocket, being developed to carry a hit-to-kill warhead to a point in space where it can separate and ram an incoming enemy ballistic missile, have delayed its first flight until at least August. Steven Hildreth, a missile-defense analyst for the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, commented, “The cumulative effect on the program is to erode confidence that the [missile defense] system can be deployed as fast as enthusiasts want it.” US Army Major General Willie Nance, director of the missile-defense program, had warned before this report that the booster-rocket development “has been slowed as a result of technical issues related to development and delivery of booster components.”
“Boeing rocket test is delayed”

Team SBL-IFX, the team of aerospace contractors TRW, Lockheed Martin and Boeing developing the US Air Force’s Space-Based Laser Integrated Flight Experiment (SBL-IFX) has successfully completed the experimental satellite’s System Requirements Review, and reviewed the results with the US Air Force and the Defense Department’s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). The press release described this as a major step forward in the ongoing design and manufacturing development process. Completion of the SRR will allow the team to begin preparing detailed specifications for the IFX down to major segments, including the space, payload and ground segments of the experiment by Fall 2001.
“Space-Based Laser Team Defines Requirements For Experimental Missile Defense System”


3. Missile Defense Commentary

Cato published a Foreign Policy Briefing by Ivan Eland, director of defense policy studies, and Daniel Lee, research assistant, which argues that while the Clinton administration underestimated the technological ability of several of the “rogue” states to develop long-range missiles, missile threats to the US also depends on the intentions of those rogue states and significant positive political developments have recently occurred in the DPRK and Iran to reduce the threats facing the US. They argues that these political changes justify a slowing of the development and deployment of a limited land-based national missile defense.
“The Rogue State Doctrine and National Missile Defense (Full Document)”
“The Rogue State Doctrine and National Missile Defense (Executive Summary)”


4. Missile Defense Contracts

Northrop Grumman Chairman Kent Kresa, fresh from the $5.1 billion purchase of Litton Industries, said he saw opportunities for the combined company in national missile defense. Kresa said it was premature to detail anti-missile opportunities until the government details the system’s architecture and the production timetable, but he singled out radar systems that might be incorporated into a missile shield. Litton has done limited systems integration work on anti-missile command and control programs. Boeing is the lead system integrator for the ground-based limited anti-missile program, TRW is building the system’s battle command, control and communications system, Raytheon is building the system’s Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle, and Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor on the current booster system.
“Northrop Grumman eyes missile defense market”

Martin Leads International Team” The US-based Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and a team of major international aerospace and defense companies, mostly European, announced the formation of Team Janus to compete for the pending NATO Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (TBMD) Feasibility Study.

“Team Janus Formed to Compete for NATO TBMD Feasibility Study Contract; Lockheed


Proliferation


1. Russian Atomic Energy Ministry

Russian President Putin on Wednesday dismissed Yevgeniy Adamov from the post of the head of Atomic Energy Ministry (Minatom), and replaced him with Aleksandr Rumyantsev, Executive Director of the Kurchatov Research Institute. Boris Nemtsov, the leader of the SPS (Union of Rightist Forces) faction in the Russian State Duma attributed Adamov’s dismissal to the spread of corruption within the ministry and Nemtsov predicted that there would be changes in Russia’s nuclear policy, including a freeze of the draft law on nuclear waste imports and a new attitude towards Iran. The Bellona article includes a brief biography of the new minister, Rumyantsev.
“Adamov fired: Putin Appoints New Minister for Atomic Energy”

Bellona reported that Adamov may have been replaced as head of Minatom because the ministry’s international activities brought no profit and undermined Russia’s non-proliferation obligations. According to Minatom’s annual report, the total export value of Minatom amounted to $2.3 billion in 2000, which is almost $400 million more than the previous year. However, Bellona reports that the majority of the export revenue came from the US agreement to buy 500 tonnes of highly enriched uranium blended down for burning in American nuclear power plants. Other contracts abroad are covered through either loans or barter agreements, which do not earn cash. Vladimir Slivyak, co-chairman of Ecodefense! envirogroup, said in interview with Russian daily Segodnya that Russia does not allot funds for building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran openly, but builds and exports to Iran the required equipment at its own expense. Minatom also provided loans to the PRC and India for nuclear power plant construction which are not profitable.
“Adamov sacked for unprofitable proliferation”

The Russian PIR Center released a report which argues that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to fire Minister of Atomic Energy Yevgeny Adamov is a good sign for those who are concerned about forming appropriate international climate to ensure nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and dual-use technologies. The report argues that it is in Russia’s vital interest is to pursue the nonproliferation policy, but that Adamov expedited nuclear deals, some of which ran counter to Russian national interests and international commitments. The report also argues that new Minister of Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev should state that the Minatom abandons any attempts to substitute its corporate policy for the state policy in the area of nuclear nonproliferation and must pledge its commitment to Russia’s nonproliferation obligations.
“Adamov’s dismissal is a good sign for nuclear nonproliferation”


2. Cooperative Threat Reduction Program

In a speech at the National Press Club, former US Senator Sam Nunn said, “The most significant, clear and present danger to the national security of the United States is the threat posed by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.” Nunn argued that the world’s risk of nuclear catastrophe has not diminished since the end of the Cold War, but instead of concerns about a deliberate Soviet nuclear attack, policy makers must worry about accidental missile launches, unpaid Russian nuclear scientists selling their know-how to rogue states and the vast amounts of Russian nuclear, biological and chemical weapons that are poorly secured. Nunn argued against cuts being considered by the Bush administration to the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, originally initiated by Senator Richard Lugar and Nunn when he was in the Senate.
“Nuclear arms risk still high, Nunn says”
“Full Text: ‘Moving Away from Doomsday and Other Dangers: The Need to Think Anew'”

An op-ed in the New York Times argues that the US-Russian Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which seeks to convert Russian mass destruction weapons and their production industries from harmful uses, is the most cost-effective use of US defense dollars, while the Bush administration began a review of the program in search of potential budget cuts. The article argues that while not all the programs in Russia have been equally effective, and that some programs could be cut, overall spending for the program should increase, not decrease.
“Effective Nuclear Disarmament”


Security


1. Responses to US Foreign Policy: Russia

The New York Times reports that Russian officials say that Russian President Vladimir Putin is attempting to move into the areas where the US appears to have disengaged, seeking not only a stronger role for Russia in Western affairs, but also as a hedge against any Bush administration attempt to exclude Russia from security decisions that affect Russia’s interests like NATO expansion and missile defenses. Russia’s foreign policy activism is also designed to increase economic opportunities for Russia. Putin is expected to meet DPRK leader Kim Jong-il this month as part of an effort now joined by the European Union to end the DPRK’s missile program, and Russia announced that it has opened discussions with the EU to cooperate with the independent European defense force being formed outside of NATO.
“Russia Looks for New Roles in Diplomacy and Trade”


2. Responses to US Foreign Policy: France

French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin criticized the administration of US President George Bush, saying, “I get the impression that this isn’t an isolationist administration as has sometimes been the case in the Republican tradition. I’d say instead that it is a unilateralist administration.” Jospin cited the Bush administration’s rejection of the Kyoto treaty to fight global warming, trade issues, and Bush’s plans to build a National Missile Defense system to repel nuclear attack.
“France’s Jospin Concerned at U.S. ‘Unilateralism'”


3. US-Japan Security Relationship

The Associated Press reported that the US nuclear submarine USS Chicago arrived unannounced at the Japanese port of Sasebo, breaking a US-Japan agreement to provide Japan with at least 25 hours notice in the event that a nuclear submarine would be entering a Japanese port. Japan’s Foreign Ministry reported that the US apologized for the error and termed it an administrative error, through the US Embassy in Tokyo could not confirm any statements on the matter. Sasebo city spokesman Keiichi Matsuda said that US military officials had told the city government that it would stop outside the port.
“Japan Angered by US Sub’s Port Call”

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