NPP Weekly FLASH Update, January 29, 2001

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"NPP Weekly FLASH Update, January 29, 2001", NAPSNet Weekly Report, January 29, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-weekly/npp-weekly-flash-update-january-29-2001/

CONTENTS
January 29, 2001


Nuclear Weapons

  1. Nuclear Balance
  2. US Nuclear Weapons
  3. India Missile Test

Missile Defense

  1. Missile Defense Testing
  2. US Missile Defense Policy
  3. NMD and Arms Control Regimes
  4. PRC and NMD Issue
  5. Russia and NMD Issue
  6. Canada and NMD Issue

 

Security

  1. Russian Military Reform
  2. Russian Tactical Nuclear Weapons

Arms Control

  1. South Asia
  2. Russian Nuclear Forces

 

Proliferation

  1. UN Inspections of Iraq
  2. South Asia Arms Race

 

 

Nuclear Weapons

 


 

1. Nuclear Balance

The Center for Strategic and International Studies released an updated “The Military Balance,” which contains reports prepared by CSIS’s Anthony H. Cordesman. The reports are divided by region and subregion, and cover the trends in conventional forces, nuclear forces, proliferation, military effort and spending, procurement and arms import activity, force modernization, and force quality. Among the reports is “The Global Nuclear Balance: A Quantitative and Arms Control Analysis,” which provides a detailed description of the nuclear balance, trends in nuclear forces, and their impact on arms control.
“THE MILITARY BALANCE PROJECT”
“The Global Nuclear Balance: A Quantitative and Arms Control Analysis”

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2. US Nuclear Weapons

Greece’s Athens News reported that US nuclear bombs stored at the Araxos Air Base have been removed. The paper said that Greek Pentagon sources had indicated that the fewer than a dozen B61 weapons were shipped to Naples in Italy. US nuclear weapons have been deployed to Greece since 1960, and Araxos was the last location thought to store such weapons. The bombs were earmarked for war-time delivery by Greek pilots in US supplied A-7 Corsair fighter bombers. Greece was one of seven European countries that have continued to host nuclear weapons. It is unclear whether the bombs were to be returned to the US or moved to more central storage in another European country. The Pentagon recently reaffirmed the continued deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe. All US B61 bombs are scheduled for upgrading over the next several years.
“US Nuclear Weapons In Greece Removed”
“Taking Stock”

The Los Angeles Times reported that, under pressure from retired US Air Force pilot Derek Duke, the US Air Force will investigate whether it is worthwhile to find and recover a nuclear bomb jettisoned by a B-47 bomber in 1958 near Wassaw Sound, 12 miles off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. An April 1966 letter by then-Assistant Secretary of Defense W.J. Howard to the chairman of Congress’ Joint Committee on Atomic Energy listed this bomb as one of two “complete” nuclear weapons that had been lost and never recovered. The US Air Force investigated and reported that the bomb lacks a key plutonium capsule needed to cause a nuclear explosion, though it still contains radioactive uranium and the explosive power of 400 pounds of TNT.
“Georgia’s Own Offshore Nuclear Bomb”

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3. India Missile Test

Jane’s Defense Weekly reported that the second flight test by India of the Agni II, a nuclear capable ballistic missile with a range of about 2,500 km, will enable India to develop a credible nuclear deterrent against China and Pakistan and that even longer-range Indian missiles are being developed.
“Indian and Pakistani missile range map”
“India extends its nuclear reach”
“Ranges and current status of Indian, Pakistani and Chinese missile programmes”

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Missile Defense

 


 

1. Missile Defense Testing

Christopher Hellman, Senior Analyst at the Center for Defense Information, updated his article, “The Costs of Ballistic Missile Defense.” Hellman reports that the US Defense Department is reporting that the by keeping Boeing as the National Missile Defense (NMD) program’s lead system integrator or top contractor, the base contract contains additional testing or development options which could drive its value, currently $6 billion, to as high as $13.7 billion.
“The Costs of Ballistic Missile Defense”

Daniel Smith, Chief of Research at the Center for Defense Information, updates his essay, “Technological Challenges in National Missile Defense.” Smith reports that the US Ballistic Missile Defense Organization chose the John Stennis Space Facility in Mississippi for testing its Space Based Laser (SBL) anti-missile system. The testing facilities will be built between 2002 and 2006, Defense Week reported. President George W. Bush said he is open to expanding the planned NMD architecture from land to sea, air, and space based defenses. The SBL program aims at building as many as 40 satellites capable of shooting down incoming missiles, with a functioning demonstrator in space by 2013.
“Technological Challenges in National Missile Defense”

The Los Angeles Times reported that the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin Corp., TRW Inc. and Boeing Co. announced a successful test of optical systems that a space-based laser would use to shoot down ballistic missiles. The six-second test, carried out in a vacuum chamber that simulates space conditions, yielded important data on focusing a high-energy beam to zap a “distant boosting missile target,” the contractors said. Under the current funding, a space-based laser would try to shoot down a dummy ballistic missile in 2013, with the possibility of deployment as part of a layered missile shield for the United States and its allies.
“Testing Continues on Space-Based Laser”

U.S. Navy Aegis Cruiser USS Lake Erie test-launched a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) as a component of the Navy Theater Wide (NTW) anti-ballistic missile system, and reported that the SM-3 successfully completed an Aegis LEAP Intercept test. Raytheon reported that the test launch achieved third-stage separation, third-stage motor burn, and attitude control through nominal KW separation and that a target was launched to verify the target launch procedures for future firings, to verify Aegis Weapon System fire control data and tracking performance, and to collect engineering data from the missile. Lockheed Martin reported that its Aegis Weapon System today successfully supported the test firing. This was the third of nine scheduled tests.
“Raytheon Standard Missile-3 Successfully Completes Flight Test as Part of U.S. Navy’s Theater Wide Ballistic Missile Defense Program”
“Lockheed Martin-Developed Aegis Weapon System Successfully Supports Theater Ballistic Missile Defense Test”

ATK (Alliant Techsystems) Aerospace Propulsion Company reported that it successfully completed a static test firing of a solid propulsion rocket motor for the ground-based interceptor missile element of the National Missile Defense (NMD) program.
“ATK Successfully Completes Static Test Firing of Solid Propulsion Rocket Motor For National Missile Defense Program”

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2. US Missile Defense Policy
William D. Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca, both of the World Policy Institute at New School University, write in the Boston Globe that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, while a moderate conservative on most security issues, has long-standing ties to organizations that are pro-NMD and was the author of the report that justifies NMD to the US Congress. Hartung and Ciarrocca express their hope that while Rumsfeld may share the conservative perspective on international arms control regimes, he may be one of the few who could stop pursuit of NMD if he were properly convinced, much as only former US President Richard Nixon could go to China. “Reviving Star Wars”

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3. NMD and Arms Control Regimes

Peter Malone argues, in an op-ed in the Boston Globe, that the surest route to both missile defense deployment and deep reductions may lie in a new arms-control construct that envisages strategic defense and strategic offense as interchangeable elements of national power. Malone argues that, while an abrupt unilateral denunciation of the ABM treaty by the US would be unwise, Russia may agree to replace the ABM treaty with a new arms control regime that sets an overall limit on both offensive and defensive interceptors as well as sub-limits on the nuclear weapons themselves. Malone states that such a treaty would allow Russia to maintain strategic parity with the US, even if it was unable to deploy missile defenses.
“Missile defense and arms reduction”

New US Secretary of State Colin Powell said during his US Senate confirmation hearing that critics of missile defenses have argued that preserving the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty is a major reason for not developing a National Missile Defense system. He said, “President-elect Bush has made it quite clear that he is committed to deploying an effective ballistic missile defense using the best technology available at the earliest date possible.” Powell added, “There will be time to consult with our allies and our friends, to explain to them what we have in mind, why we think it is for the benefit of mankind. We will let the Chinese and the Russians know that it is not directed at them, but at other nations that we have less confidence in.” Powell also stated that the administration would be internationalist and not isolationist.
“Powell: We’ll push missile defense”

In a speech to the U.N. Conference on Disarmament, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Inamul Haq warned that the proposed US national missile defense program could heighten tensions between major powers and lead to an arms race. Haq said, “Most countries, and the international disarmament community, remain unconvinced that abrogation or amendment of the ABM Treaty and deployment of National Missile Defenses are the advisable course to enhance international or national security.”
“Pakistan Warns on Dangers of U.S. Missile Shield”

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4. PRC and NMD Issue

Inside China reports that, under new President George W. Bush, the US and its allies could find itself in an arms race with the PRC because the incoming administration is perceived as being more aggressive on defense and committed to pursuing National Missile Defense (NMD). Wu Guoguang, an expert on Sino-U.S. relations at Chinese University of Hong Kong, said, “It is likely that an arms race will develop over the next four years between on the one hand the United States and its allies, and China on the other hand. The missile defense system is a sign of that.” Joseph Cheng, a China observer at City University of Hong Kong, said “It’s obvious that if the United States develops [NMD], China will have to spend a lot more on missile technology,” radically increasing its spiraling defense bill. Countries like India and Russia could be beneficiaries of a heated rivalry between China and the United States, analysts said. The article stated that the relationship between the PRC and the US is an example of what happens when an existing great power contemplates the rise of a new rival, and countries like India and Russia could be beneficiaries of this heated rivalry.
“Bush Push for Missile Defense Could Mean Arms Race With China”

Hui Zhang, research fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, argues in an editorial in the Boston Globe that the PRC doesn’t believe that “states of concern” (such as the DPRK) would risk national suicide by launching a ballistic missile at the US, and therefore believes that its own small strategic arsenal appears to be a more plausible target of the proposed system. Hui Zhang argues that the PRC is concerned that NMD will enable the US to more freely interfere in Taiwan, a fear that is compounded by the role Japan is to play in Theater Missile Defense’s development. Hui Zhang concludes that the PRC has a wide range of policy options that it can reconsider, and which could greatly affect international security: the rate at which it builds new missiles, its participation in global arms control and nonproliferation regimes, and its role in solving the DPRK problem.
“US must consider how missile defense plan will play in China”

Ivo H. Daalder, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Christopher Makins, president of the Atlantic Council of the US, and Steven Simon, Assistant Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, write in the Financial Times that differences between the US and Europe over dealing with Russia, military burden-sharing, and coping with the Balkans are all overshadowed by the proposed US missile defense program. After the US Senate’s rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban treaty, a vigorous NMD effort will be opposed by Europeans who see international arms control efforts as essential to curb proliferation, even if they agree that Europeans cannot reasonably expect a US president to forgo a technically and economically sound NMD system. They state that Europe is also concerned that real purpose of NMD is to protect the US from a PRC missile attack, which makes an effective NMD more challenging, could provoke a destabilising arms race with the PRC, and pose a strategic challenge to Russia’s already dwindling nuclear deterrent. They conclude that US President George W. Bush will need to carefully create a transatlantic consensus on NMD that assuages these worries.
“A Cool Eye on the US Missile Umbrella”

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5. Russia and NMD Issue

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke out against NATO expansion and US plans for a national missile defense system, and indicated that unilateral arms reductions by Russia may not proceed if the US maintains a hard-line on these issues, but he did voice hope for a compromise on both issues. Putin’s comments were the next round in public statements by Russian and US leaders as incoming US President George W. Bush begins moving forward on the priorities for his administration.
“Putin Voices Hope for Compromise”

In an interview published in “Parlamentskaya gazeta,” Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev said that there is no basis to US arguments in favor of scrapping the ABM Treaty, and that Russia will respond if the US leaves the treaty. Russian Major General Vladimir Dvorkin, the director of the Defense Ministry’s nuclear weapons planning, said in an interview published in “Izvestiya” that US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty might force Russia to “build up its strategic Missile Forces” and to “abolish numerous restrictions” on some of its high-tech weapons.
“Moscow Plans Response if U.S. Withdraws from ABM Limits”

French Defense Minister Alain Richard, having just returned from a trip to Russia, said that both Russia and Paris were resolved to upholding the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, urged Washington to clarify its proposals for a missile defense system and said he also wanted to discuss Russian calls for a similar system to guard Europe. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal, issued last year, envisaged Russia joining NATO and the European Union in devising an alternative program to defend against missile strikes.
“French Minister Interested in Russian Missile Plan”

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6. Canada and NMD Issue

At a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Manley, US Secretary of State Colin Powell outlined the Bush administration’s support for a national missile defense. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently visited Canada to press the government to oppose the system. Canadian Press writer Robert Russo reported that Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Manley appeared to tie Canada’s position on the US National Missile Program to approval from Russia and the PRC. After a meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Manley said, “If he [Powell] satisfies the Russians and Chinese, he will satisfy Canada as well.” Canadian ambassador to Washington Raymond Chretien, expressing that President George W. Bush may be snubbing Canada by breaking tradition and first visiting Mexico, also said that Canada would vehemently oppose Bush’s proposal to drill for gas in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve.
“Powell Outlines Missile Defense”
“Canada’s approval of U.S. missile defence unlikely without Russian OK: Manley”

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Security

 


 

1. Russian Military Reform

Russian military analyst Viktor Litovkin stated that, despite the fact that reforms were to begin being implemented in November, there will be little progress on military reform in Russia for several months. Litovkin argues that this is to give time to see where new US President George W. Bush takes his administration, but the early signs are of increasing hostility between the two countries on security, arms control and economic and financial issues. The Kremlin has recently stated that it wants major arms reductions, but even moderates in the parliament now argue that Russia needs 4,500 nuclear warheads to maintain parity with the US. Yuri Gladkevich, a military observer at Moscow’s independent Military News Agency, said, “There are signs of a worsening in relations, and it looks as though things will get a lot worse yet. The Kremlin sees NMD as as threat to Russia’s national security which will ignite a new arms race it can’t afford.”
“Russia halts military cuts as hawks take over in US”

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2. Russian Tactical Nuclear Weapons

Patricia Lewis, director of the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research, reacting to recent fears expressed in the US and elsewhere that Russia may choose to increasingly rely on tactical nuclear weapons because it perceives itself as weaker in the face of an expanding NATO, said that the U.N. commissioned a study into the problem more than a year ago. Lewis stated that tactical nuclear weapons are relatively unregulated by international agreements, which creates a large gap in the global arms control regime.
“UN: Reports Of Russian Tactical Nukes Underscores Risk”

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Arms Control

 


 

1. South Asia

Nicholas Berry, Senior Analyst at the Center for Defense Information, states that India and Pakistan, like the US and USSR before them, are discovering that nuclear weapons have little rational military utility and, as a result, are beginning to explore arms control agreements to at least preserve the political utility of nuclear weapons. Berry states that command and control systems are being upgraded and track-two dialogue, which often precedes official talks, are ongoing in the areas of military and nuclear risk reduction. Berry concludes that while India and Pakistan must first overcome hurdles to the discussion of Kashmir, nuclear weapons may serve to force them to talks.
“INDIA AND PAKISTAN BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT ARMS CONTROL”

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2. Russian Nuclear Forces

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said Russia is doing everything it can to prevent the proliferation of nuclear arms, but sees no need to set exact deadlines for the destruction of its nuclear stockpile. He said, “We’re still against counterproductive and unrealistic attempts by the radicals to force us into drawing up a fixed schedule for liquidating our nuclear arms.” Yakovenko said that Russia called for coordinated efforts by all countries to help implement the non-proliferation system, said it was ready to accept further limits to its missile arsenal provided the US abandons its national anti-missile defense shield plan.
“No Fixed Deadlines for Nuclear Disarmament, Says Russian Foreign Ministry”

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Proliferation


 

1. UN Inspections of Iraq

U.N. nuclear experts praised Iraq for cooperating with an inspection completed Wednesday, but refused to say whether they had found any evidence Iraq was restarting banned weapons programs. Iraq is under sanctions that can only be lifted once U.N. inspectors confirm it has ended its programs to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. With the exception of inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which last year it said in a report based on its ongoing inspections that it couldn’t be sure that Iraq wasn’t rearming, almost all inspections have been halted since the U.N. inspection teams pulled out of Iraq ahead of 1998 U.S.-British bombings.
“Nuclear Inspectors Praise Iraq”

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2. South Asia Arms Race

Following India’s successful test of the Agni II intermediate range ballistic missile, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said, “The Chinese position on the nuclear question in South Asia is consistent and clear: China, together with the international community, hopes to see peace and stability in the region. We are unwilling to see any form of arms race in the region.”
“China Rejects Arms Race Following Indian Missile Test”

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The NPP Weekly FLASH Update aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among nuclear weapons policy and security specialists.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development.

Robert Brown: npp@nautilus.org
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Berkeley, California, United States

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Berkeley, California, United States

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