NPP Weekly FLASH Update, May 21, 2001

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"NPP Weekly FLASH Update, May 21, 2001", NAPSNet Weekly Report, May 21, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-weekly/npp-weekly-flash-update-may-21-2001/

CONTENTS
Volume 3, #20
May 21, 2001


Missile Defense

  1. US Consultations on Missile Defense
  2. Reaction to Consultations: Russia
  3. Reaction to Consultations: Europe
  4. Reaction to Consultations: PRC
  5. Reaction to Consultations: South Asia
  6. Commentary on Missile Defense

Nuclear Weapons

  1. DPRK Agreed Framework
  2. PRC Nuclear Test
  3. Russian Early Warning Satellites
  4. PRC Nuclear Program
  5. British Nuclear Tests

Security

  1. Militarization of Space

Military

  1. Russian Kursk Submarine

 

 

Missile Defense

 


 

1. US Consultations on Missile Defense

US Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral Craig Quigley stated that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was following the progress of the consultations by US envoys with foreign governments, and that following this round of consultations there would be congressional hearings in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. He said that there was an expression of skepticism from some of the capitals for a variety of reasons, but that US allies “almost uniformly appreciative of the consultations in the first place.” Quigley added, “The goal…was to glean the comments and inputs from our friends and allies. …And you factor those into your thinking. And I can’t predict for you where the direction might change. We just need to incorporate some of their views and try to resolve some of those issues and see where that takes us.”
“Transcript: Pentagon Spokesman’s Briefing, May 15, 2001”

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2. Reaction to Consultations: Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not commented on the talks Friday between Russian arms control experts and the US team led by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Former Defense Minister Marshal Igor Sergeyev, now an advisor to Putin, said US negotiators last week had proposed no reasonable alternative to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to oversee strategic stability. “We will continue to stand for upholding ABM in its current form and oppose U.S. plans for a national anti-missile system,” he said, but added that Russia is now “certain the United States will proceed with construction of a national anti-missile system.” Sergeyev also said he did not believe that Iran and the DPRK could produce long-range missiles on the basis of 1960s Scud-missile technology now available to them, as the US is suggesting.
“Missile shield argument laughable, Russian says”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said after talks that the US delegation led by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz “failed to present adequate reasons to convince us that they have a clear vision of how to resolve issues of international security without relying on the disarmament accords that have stood for 30 years. On the whole the consultations were substantive. But there still remain more questions than answers.” Despite Russian opposition, US Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said, “The fact that we are meeting and opening this dialogue is a sign of progress.”
“Russia Still Not Swayed by Missile Shield Plan”

Stephen Hadley, deputy director of the US National Security Council, stated after the bilateral talks with Russian officials that the Russian side raised some “serious and important questions” and the US side began to give them some answers to those questions. A CNN reporter stated that the Russian Foreign Ministry had reported that they walked away from the talks today with more questions than answers, and that the US failed to provide adequate argumentation for dismantling what they called the world’s security system.
“Transcript: U.S. National Security Council Official in Moscow”

Just before his visit to the US, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov emphasized his country’s openness to discussions on the missile defense issues. He said, “In these discussions we must assess the threats that the international community will face in the 21st century and how to face them. In any case, we must be very careful in reviewing disarmament agreements that we worked out together over the past decades and that maintain international peace and security.” Since US President George Bush’s speech, Russian officials have toned down their criticism of the US, though they remain unconvinced. Last week, Putin’s strategic stability adviser, former Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, said that the US justification for missile defense “makes me laugh.”
“Russian Defense Chief Sees More Arms Talks with U.S.”
“Ivanov Looks for Missile Answers in Washington Talks”
“Ivanov Open to Missile Talks Ahead of U.S. Visit”

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov met with US President George Bush in Washington, during which Bush made his appeal for an anti-missile shield and curbs on Russian arms sales to Iran. Ivanov also met with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Advisor Condolleeza Rice and members of the US Congress.
“Bush Meets With Russia’s Ivanov”

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3. Reaction to Consultations: Europe

The US delegation conducting consultations with US allies in Europe and later with Russia, including Paul Wolfowitz, US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Steven Hadley, Assistant to the President and US Deputy National Security Advisor, and Avis Bohlen, the US Assistant Secretary of State for arms control, met with the press in Paris on May 9 and then in Berlin on May 10. In Paris, Wolfowitz stated, “The world has changed in fundamental ways since the ABM treaty was negotiated in 1972,” and added specifically: “Russia is no longer an enemy, but…we face new threats of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.” He said, “The president has indicated that we think we need a new concept of deterrence…that combines offense, defense and non-proliferation. It also means that we can further reduce our offensive nuclear forces and build a relationship with Russia in which nuclear weapons are no longer the centerpiece.” Wolfowitz said questions by German officials centered on whether a US missile defense system could be built “in a way that is cooperative, rather than confrontational, in a way that enhances stability rather than generating new tensions and new arms races.” German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer had earlier said, “The ABM treaty worked well. We want control mechanisms that worked very well in the past, should they be replaced, to be replaced only by better ones or more effective ones. We don’t want a new arms race.” In both Paris and Berlin, Wolfowitz attempted to correct the impression that the US had decided upon a specific course of action regarding missile defense and was only speaking with its allies after the fact.
“Media Availability with Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz in Paris”
“Press Availability with Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz in Berlin”
“Germany’s Question: Could U.S. Missile System Be Cooperative?”

Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz, after briefing Polish government officials in Warsaw, said that included in the Bush administration’s concept of a new strategic framework is the “fundamental idea” that it is not in the US interest for any country to be vulnerable to limited missile attacks. He added it would be up to individual countries to decide the extent of the threat they face and the degree to which they feel there is “something that we can do together” to make the world more secure. As he had done in his consultations in France and Germany, Wolfowitz refused to comment on the reactions of the officials with which he had met, stating that it was up to those officials to characterize for themselves their reactions to the US proposal and to the consultations.
“Transcript: U.S. Official Briefs in Warsaw on Missile Defense”

The Washington Post stated that US envoys seeking support for the Bush administration’s missile defense plan were met by foreign officials with skepticism. US Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman speaking after a meeting in Turkey, where he hoped to win the support of a strategic NATO ally in a neighborhood that includes two of the nations most worrisome to the Pentagon, Iran and Iraq, said, “We presented our point of view, but we were very, very interested in what the Turkish side had to say.”
“Bush Seeks Backing for Missile Plan”

David Ljunggren reports for Reuters that after meeting with a US delegation headed by US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, senior Canadian officials made it clear they had learned relatively little about the national missile defense (NMD) shield proposed by US President George W. Bush. An official said, “It was a good beginning but it’s also clear that an awful lot of work that needs to be done…For a lot of questions we asked there were not definitive answers at this stage.” Ljunggren writes that Canada’s “Globe and Mail” said in an editorial, “Missile defense is a bad idea — expensive, unproven, unnecessary, illegal and destabilizing. If Canada really counts itself a friend of the United States, it will stop pulling its punches and say so.”
“Canada in Dark Over U.S. Missile Defense Plan”

Danish Foreign Minister Mogens Lykketoft repeatedly stressed in Danish parliamentary debates the importance of the PRC’s reaction to the proposed US missile defense. He said that the world appears likely to again have two superpowers in the near future, the US and the PRC, and missile defense may therefore threaten an arms race. Denmark’s position on the US missile defense program is particularly important because the US is hoping to upgrade its radar facility at Thule as a component of the shield. Denmark’s official position is that it will not take a stand on US plans before a “precise” request is presented and the international framework for such plans is clarified. Lykketoft argues that if a new arms race is to be avoided, and Danish approval obtained, a missile defense effort must focus primarily on non-proliferation agreements and deep cuts in strategic nuclear weapons.
“Denmark Debates Chinese Reaction to Missile Defense”

Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes in the Washington Post that former US ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke has been working to rally Europe against the Bush administration’s plan for missile defense just as top Bush administration officials arrived in Europe to begin consultations on missile defense, arms reductions and arms control. Kagan states that while US Democrats today are strongly opposed to missile defense, Europeans were also opposed to former President Bill Clinton’s plan for missile defense, a plan Kagan states which would already have begun construction of the first ABM radar site in Alaska. Kagan argues, however, that Europeans are unlikely to be swayed by Holbrooke because, while some European officials have come to favor missile defense deployments, others are unwilling to confront the US over this issue.
“Out to Torpedo Missile Defense”

Carol J. Williams reports in the Los Angeles Times that the diplomatic push by the Bush administration has done little to sway US allies in Europe towards supporting the proposed missile defense system, though the efforts appeared to make a good impression after several recent moves that had allies worrying that President Bush was embarking on a unilateral “America first” approach to foreign relations. “I think what was comforting was that we were genuinely made to feel we are accepted in an ongoing process, that this isn’t going to be like Kyoto,” a NATO official in Brussels said, referring to the Bush administration’s decision to abandon the Kyoto global climate accords. A NATO official said, “They made headway. People understood the rationale.” A senior German official who took part in the consultations said, “I have the impression that the Americans came here because they genuinely want to approach the creation of this new system in cooperation with us. They don’t want to proceed with a unilateral project, and that was the impression that we had before.” One theme among US allies is missile defense’s potential to destroy the existing arms control architecture before creating a new anchor. “We think it is dangerous to unravel the ABM Treaty without knowing what we will have in its place,” said Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesman Koen Vervaeke.
“Europeans Charmed but Not Swayed by U.S. Missile Shield Pitch”

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4. Reaction to Consultations: PRC

PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi told a news conference in advance of a visit by US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly that, “China’s constant position is unchanged. We are opposed to the National Missile Defense because it destroys the global strategic balance and upsets international stability.” Kelly said he would present a Bush strategic vision of “non-proliferation, counter proliferation, missile defense and unilateral reductions in the American strategic forces,” and that he sought “a dialogue with Chinese officials on security and stability that reflects today’s world…” He said, “China clearly shares with us an interest in promoting peace and stability in East Asia and the world. Curbing the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction is a key element in the maintenance of peace and security.” Yan Xuetong, executive director of the International Studies Institute at Tsinghua University, said, “The only way to force the United States to give up its plan is if other countries’ high-technology missile attack ability is stronger than the American defense capability.”
“China Rebuffs U.S. on Missile Shield”

US Assistant Secretary of State James A. Kelly arrived in the PRC to conduct consultations for the Bush administration on missile defense and other aspects of US President George Bush’s vision of the future of global security. He said he was here to begin a “dialogue with China on security and stability that reflects today’s world.”
“U.S. Diplomat in Beijing to Calm Fears on Antimissile Project”

James A. Kelly, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs, was in the PRC and discussed the Bush administration’s vision of a future global strategic framework with PRC Vice Foreign Ministers Wang Yi and Li Zhaoxing, top arms control official Sha Zukang. Kelly released a statement describing the talks as “a good exchange of views.” PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said the PRC’s opposition to missile defense “is consistent and will not change.” The Los Angeles Times states that the PRC views missile defense as an assertion of US global dominance that will thwart the PRC’s emergence as a major power in Asia while empowering Japan to remilitarization and Taiwan to independence.
“U.S. Envoy Fails to Sell China on Missile Defense Plan”
“U.S. Envoy Stymied at Missile Talks in China”
“Missile Defense Talks Continue”
“U.S. Diplomat in Beijing to Calm Fears on Antimissile Project”

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5. Reaction to Consultations: South Asia

US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage met with top Indian government officials to talk about missile defenses and non-proliferation concerns, after which India’s Ministry of External Affairs released a statement saying, “We treat this as a step towards a winding down of the nuclear arms race.” India, still under US sanctions for its 1998 nuclear tests, is one of the only countries offering an enthusiastic endorsement of the Bush Administration’s push for missile defenses. India has likely calculated that a US administration in search of national missile defenses will be more understanding of India’s efforts to protect itself with nuclear weapons. The US diplomatic push to improve relations with India is also demonstrated by the rapidity with which the Bush administration appointed officials to formulate South Asia policy. While Armitage visited India, PRC Prime Minister Zhu Ronghi was in Pakistan and Pakistan’s General Musharraf criticized the Bush plan saying, “We share the international concern at the development and deployment of ballistic missile defense, which could jeopardize strategic stability, trigger a new arms race and undermine international efforts aimed at arms control and disarmament.”
“New Delhi: Searching for an Alliance of Interests with Washington”

The Baltimore Sun reported that an Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman stated that India had briefed PRC officials on India’s decision to support elements of US President George Bush’s speech on US plans for missile defense and a new global strategic framework.
“India tells China what it likes about U.S. defense plan”

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6. Commentary on Missile Defense

Thomas L. Friedman, in an editorial in the New York Times, states there is a logic gap in the Bush administration’s argument for missile defense, which says that rogue states are so crazy that they would risk certain destruction by launching a missile at us, while also saying that if the US deploys a less-than-perfect missile shield, these rogue states are so rational that they would never launch one of their missiles against it, because they would realize it might not penetrate. Friedman argues that the typical behavior of these rogue states is to not confront the US head on with weapons of mass destruction, but to use terrorist tactics that a missile shield can not cope with. If the US was in imminent danger of being attacked by a ballistic missile, argues Michael Mandelbaum, a Johns Hopkins University foreign policy expert, “we would not wait to be attacked. We would not wait to see if our missile shield actually worked. We would pre-empt. In other words, in precisely the circumstance in which the advocates say a missile shield is needed, any rational president would act as if we didn’t have one.”
“Who’s Crazy Here?”

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that the Bush administration has not decided what kind of missile defense to build because experimentation on various options has been banned under the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. As a result, he said, the consultations that the US is conducting with its allies and other countries are real and could last through the year. He said, “There is no question but that the ABM Treaty has prevented research and development and testing and experimentation with a host of things . . . and that is the subject of the consultations that are taking place.” Robert Suro states that the Bush administration’s policy as stated does not propose nullifying the treaty’s core prohibition of a national missile shield for several years, but that there will be extensive experimentation in the mean time to find a comprehensive system that works.
“Plan for Missile Defense Not Clear”

David J. Smith, president of Global Horizons and former Bush (I) Administration ambassador to the US-Soviet Defense and Space Talks dealing with the ABM Treaty, writes in Jane’s Defense Weekly that international response to President George Bush’s speech outlining the US vision of a new global security framework, including missile defenses, was surprisingly tame. Smith states that Russian officials dusted off their talking points, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said this would “spark a new round of the arms race,” and US allies in Europe withheld comment except to welcome US consultations. Smith states that it was the ideological content of the Cold War that led the US-Soviet confrontation to stabilize with Mutually Assured Destruction and then enshrine MAD and deterrence with arms control agreements. With the ideological conflict past us, Smith argues, weakens the need for deterrence and suggests a need for US-Russian talks on future security threats, threats that the Bush administration seeks to cope with in its proposals for a new security framework.
“Bush pursues missile defence dialogue to leave Cold War trappings behind”

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Nuclear Weapons

 


 

1. DPRK Agreed Framework

The DPRK threatened to pull out of a 1994 nuclear deal with the US, saying the US has failed to uphold terms of the Agreed Framework in which the DPRK agreed to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for two nuclear reactors to be built by a US-led consortium. Due to funding and contractual problems, as well as political tensions, the completion of the reactors have been delayed by several years. The DPRK’s foreign media outlet, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), said in a report, “The failure by the U.S. to live up to its obligation . . . by the year 2003 would possibly drive us to respond to it with abandoning [the] ongoing nuclear freeze.” In Washington, the US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that the US has no intention of abandoning the agreement.
“North Korea Might Quit Nuclear Deal”

James Rubin, former Assistant Secretary of State under President Clinton and teacher of American foreign policy at the London School of Economics, argues in the Washington Post that while US President George W. Bush is properly looking towards the new threats that will face the US, but neglects coping with the proliferations threats facing the US using international diplomacy: persuading friends and allies not to provide the raw materials for countries seeking dangerous new weapons; inducing other countries not to pursue weapons of mass destruction; and gaining international support for sanctions or the use of force. Rubin points particularly to the Bush administration’s approach to the DPRK, where Rubin argues is one of the most foremost ballistic missile threats and one that could easily be solved diplomatically.
“No Time To Delay On North Korea”

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2. PRC Nuclear Test

The Washington Times reported that according to US intelligence officials, the PRC is preparing an underground test at its Lop Nor nuclear weapons testing facility that could be carried out in the next several days. Officials said that vehicle activity at the test site in the western province of Xinjiang was detected by spy satellites last week. Test preparations were first reported by The Washington Times on April 9, after US intelligence agencies detected the first signs of an impending nuclear test in March. Officials said that the upcoming test, which could take place before the end of the month, may be a “subcritical” nuclear test, while other officials suspect that the PRC will carry out a small nuclear test despite their pledge to have stopped all nuclear testing in 1996. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi dismissed as “groundless and irresponsible” a report that US spy satellites detected evidence that the PRC is preparing an underground nuclear test for later this month.
“China Steps Up Nuclear Test Preparations -Us Paper”
“China Rebuffs U.S. on Missile Shield”

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3. Russian Early Warning Satellites

Russian military officials said last week that they had lost control of four military satellites when fire ravaged an important ground relay station. Military spokesmen stated that the overall satellite control system was working normally and that ground controllers hoped to restore contact via other stations. US experts have recently warned that failures by Russia’s aging early warning satellite system could lead to a false alarm resulting in a Russian launch of nuclear missiles.
“Army Loses Control Of Satellites in Fire”

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4. PRC Nuclear Program

Steve Coll reports in the Washington Post that former nuclear weapons scientist and intelligence analyst Danny B. Stillman, who worked for 28 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory before retiring in late 1993, is seeking to publish a 500-page memoir detailing his and other little-known contacts between US and PRC nuclear scientists during the 1990s. Titled “Inside China’s Nuclear Weapons Program,” his memoirs have been denied prepublication clearance by the US Defense Department and the Department of Energy for 17 months. The case involves complex First Amendment issues and reveals the extent to which both countries have used scientific exchanges to keep tabs on each other’s nuclear programs. “Danny’s approach was disarmingly simple: You just go to China, find the guys who designed the bombs and ask them questions,” said Robert Vrooman, former director of counterintelligence at Los Alamos. Robert Daniel, who traveled to China with Stillman in 1991, when Daniel was an assistant energy secretary in charge of intelligence programs, said, “I think we learned a lot, and I would emphasize: We didn’t give anything away.”
“The Man Inside China’s Bomb Labs”

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5. British Nuclear Tests

Roger Peart and John Burns were among seven New Zealanders who took part in tests in 1956 and 1957 after British nuclear detonations in South Australia to measure the effects of nuclear fallout upon combat troops. They reported that they wore rubberized suits and were as close as a half-mile to the site of the nuclear test, but reported that other servicemen did not have protective clothing. Both men said they had suffered no ill-effects from the tests. The New Zealand and Australian governments have called for full details of the experiments.
“Veterans Tell of Brit Nuclear Tests”

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Security

 


 

1. Militarization of Space

Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, argues in an editorial in the Chicago Tribune that because the US military relies heavily on satellites for communications and reconnaissance purposes, it would be a mistake for US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to seek to militarize space when doing so would not increase US military capabilities appreciably. O’Hanlon argues that the militarization of space is likely inevitable and that Rumsfeld is thankfully planning ahead. However, he also points out that the US is likely to better prepare today by building extra satellites and to devise technologies to protect satellites against certain types of attacks. O’Hanlon cautions the US against getting into an arms race with itself in this area, as no other states are as dependent upon satellites as the US, and neither do they have anti-satellite weapons. O’Hanlon concludes by arguing that treaties limiting the militarization of space may be in our interest.
“Stay out of the heavens”

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Military

 


 

1. Russian Kursk Submarine

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya I. Klebanov said that the sunken Kursk nuclear submarine will be raised in a three-month operation, tentatively set to begin in late July. Russian experts say raising it could cost $80 million.
“Kursk Sub to Be Raised in 3-Month Operation”

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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.

We invite you to reply to this report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development.

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

Hans Kristensen: npp@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy Savage: npp@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

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