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"ACA's journal, Arms Control Today, remains the best in the market. Well focused. Solidly researched. Prudent."

– Hans Blix
Former IAEA Director-General
EU / NATO

Second Review Conference on Balkan Arms Held

Meeting in Vienna from October 31 to November 2, the parties to the June 1996 Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control held a review conference to assess implementation of the agreement and reaffirm their commitment to its weapon ceilings and inspection regime. The review conference, only the second in the agreement's history, had been originally scheduled for June but was postponed when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) temporarily suspended its participation in the arms control accord. (See ACT, July/August 2000.) The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) described the review conference, chaired by the FRY delegation, as "very collegial."

Under the terms of the agreement, the FRY, Croatia, and the two entities comprising Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Bosnian Serb-controlled Republika Srpska) consented to caps on their holdings of tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery, combat aircraft, and attack helicopters. The governments also agreed to permit inspections of and exchange information on their weapons holdings. Since signing the agreement, the parties have met their arms limits, destroying more than 7,000 weapons in the process.

At the review conference, the parties expressed "their satisfaction" with implementation of the agreement and "their willingness to consider any measures that would increase transparency and cooperation," according to an OSCE press release. The parties have not yet used all the existing provisions for increased transparency in the agreement, however, such as the option of conducting undeclared site inspections.

Future implementation of the agreement could be affected by the change of government in the FRY. Slobodan Milosevic, who orchestrated the wars that resulted in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, relinquished the FRY presidency October 6, after demonstrators stormed government buildings to support the September 24 election of opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica. The United Nations granted the FRY membership November 1, and the OSCE followed suit November 10.

Second Review Conference on Balkan Arms Held

Russia Reduces CFE-Limited Weapons in Georgia

Wade Boese

Starting to fulfill a November 1999 pledge to reduce its weaponry and to close two military bases in Georgia, Russia loaded a train with weapons and military equipment for shipment out of Georgia on August 4. The Russian weapons relocation may help lessen Moscow's current non-compliance with specific Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty "flank" limits that cap Russian arms levels in its Northern and Southern border regions. Russia's total military holdings are below overall CFE limits.

Last November, the 30 states party to the CFE Treaty—which limits the number of tanks, artillery, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), combat aircraft, and attack helicopters that states-parties can hold between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains—agreed to overhaul the treaty to reflect the post-Cold War European security environment. (See ACT, November 1999.) The November 19 "adaptation agreement" replaced the original treaty's two equal bloc limits for NATO and the now-defunct Warsaw Pact with a system of individual national limits. The adaptation agreement needs to be ratified by all CFE parties before the new structure and limits can enter into force.

In conjunction with the adaptation agreement, the CFE parties adopted a Final Act, which included a number of political, not legally binding, commitments by several countries. Russia pledged to reduce its ground treaty-limited equipment in Georgia to a maximum level of 153 tanks, 241 ACVs, and 140 artillery pieces by the end of 2000. In addition, Moscow committed to closing two of its four military bases in Georgia by July 1, 2001.

At a July information exchange this year, Russia declared a total of 141 tanks, 482 ACVs, and 166 artillery pieces stationed in Georgia. Meeting the lower levels and closing the two bases, according to a Georgian official, is expected to total some 14 or 15 trainloads of weapons and equipment. Once Russia's holdings comply with the limits pledged in the Final Act, Moscow will not be obligated to ship additional weaponry out of Georgia; therefore, not all of the weapons located at the two bases being disbanded will necessarily leave Georgia.

Although Georgia and Russia have yet to settle on the total cost of the operation or how to divide up the amount, the United States has authorized up to $10 million to assist the effort. On July 14, at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Britain recommended creation of a voluntary fund for helping Russia complete the withdrawal and pledged approximately $148,000. The OSCE formally established the fund on August 23, and other countries have expressed interest in contributing.

The ultimate destination of equipment shipped out of Georgia is unclear at this time. Georgia is located in the so-called CFE flank zone, which caps the total amount of ground weaponry that can be deployed in the northern and southern flanks of Europe. The zone encompasses 10 countries entirely and portions of Russia and Ukraine.

Under a May 1996 agreement, the limits applied to Russia's flank zone were increased (to 1,800 tanks, 3,700 ACVs, and 2,400 artillery) while Russia's original CFE flank limits (1,300 tanks, 1,380 ACVs, and 1,680 artillery) were applied to a smaller region within the flank zone. Russia is exceeding the larger limits by about 800 to 1,000 ACVs, while being only slightly above its tank and artillery limits. If Russia transports its excess Georgian weaponry entirely out of the flank zone, it would help reduce this treaty noncompliance, which has been exaggerated by Russia's ongoing conflict in Chechnya.

NATO's 19 members state they will not ratify the adaptation agreement until all parties have complied with the limits it sets forth. Though Russia is provided more lenient weapons limits under the November 1999 adaptation agreement—the larger flank limits on the original zone are eliminated and the reduced zone's ACV limit is increased to 2,140—Moscow is still over the permitted ACV level. Only Belarus, which announced its action on June 9 at a meeting of CFE parties, has ratified the adaptation agreement.

While noting that a "number of technical issues remain to be resolved," the U.S. government stated it is "pleased" that Russia started the Georgian withdrawal process. Russia has made little progress in similar vows in the Final Act to withdraw or destroy all its CFE-limited arms, totaling some 350 to 375 weapons, in Moldova, which does not want Russian equipment stationed on its territory. Russia pledged to complete this task by the end of 2001.

Belgrade Suspends Sub-Regional Arms Control Participation

July/August 2000

By Wade Boese

Upset with not being invited to attend an international conference on implementing the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords for Bosnia and Herzegovina, on May 25, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) halted its participation in the June 1996 Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control, which caps heavy weapons levels in the former Yugoslavia. However, Belgrade did not withdraw from the agreement and has said it will resume implementation if guaranteed a place at future Dayton-related meetings.

Modeled on the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, the subregional agreement requires the FRY, Croatia, and the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Bosnian Serb-controlled Republika Srpska) to allow inspections and exchange information on their capped holdings of tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery, combat aircraft, and attack helicopters. While future inspections on FRY weapons holdings are now on hold, a U.S. government official said there is "no real concern that weapon limits are in jeopardy."

A previously scheduled June 21-23 states-parties review conference of the agreement has been indefinitely postponed as a result of the FRY action. The agreement's active parties had aimed to hold an informal meeting June 20, but Republika Srpska, citing Belgrade's absence, declined to participate. The first and only review conference to date occurred in June 1998.

No provision for suspending participation exists in the agreement, but this marks the second time in two years that Belgrade has done so. In 1999, the FRY froze implementation for nearly six months in response to the U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign to force Serbian military and paramilitary units out of the embattled FRY province of Kosovo.

A decision orchestrated by Washington not to invite the FRY to a May 23-24 meeting of the Peace Implementation Council, which is comprised of 55 governments and international agencies working to implement the Dayton peace process, prompted Belgrade's latest move. U.S. Balkan policy is aimed at removing FRY President Slobodan Milosevic from power by isolating his regime internationally to the greatest degree possible. Milosevic was indicted as a war criminal in May 1999 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

An administration official explained that the United States "simply cannot and will not engage in a dialogue with the Milosevic regime," which the official claimed has violated Dayton numerous times and has been and continues to be the major source of instability in the region. Speaking on the latest developments, the official characterized the U.S. position as being flexible, although no change is being actively considered. "We want to see what concrete actions may be forthcoming from the FRY," the official said.

Belgrade Suspends Sub-Regional Arms Control Participation

Russia Pledges CFE Compliance

April 2000

Russian Acting President Vladimir Putin told reporters March 20 that Russia would "gradually" comply with Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty limits capping the tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), and artillery that Russia can deploy in its flank regions, which encompass the northern and southern regions of Russia that border Europe. Moscow's military offensive in Chechnya has magnified Russia's non-compliance with revised flank limits that entered into force May 31, 1999, though Russia remains in compliance with overall treaty limits.

Putin's statement reaffirms a March 3 Russian statement at the Vienna-based Joint Consultative Group (JCG), the treaty's implementing body, that Moscow would meet flank limits of 1,300 tanks, 2,140 ACVs, and 1,680 artillery as the situation in Chechnya stabilizes. These weapons levels represent the more lenient limits set forth in a November 1999 CFE Treaty adaptation agreement, rather than the existing flank limits. None of the 30 CFE states-parties has ratified the adaptation agreement, which replaces the Cold War-era treaty's bloc and zone limits with national and territorial ceilings.

Last fall, President Clinton said he would submit the agreement to the Senate only after Russia complies with adapted treaty limits. NATO, in a December 1999 statement, cautioned that entry into force of an adapted treaty "can only be envisaged in the context of compliance by all States Parties with the Treaty's limitations."

No official adapted treaty text exists, but a U.S. official said producing one was on the JCG agenda. The official would not comment further. Russia's offensive in Chechnya, as well as Moscow's pledges to withdraw weaponry from Moldova and Georgia, have been the main topics of JCG discussion this year.

Russia Pledges CFE Compliance

EU Not to Renew Arms Embargo on Indonesia

January/February 2000

Citing "historic changes of the last few months in Indonesia," the European Union (EU) announced on January 17 that it would not continue its arms embargo and suspension of bilateral military ties with the island nation. An extension of the prohibitions-imposed on September 16 in response to the violence sweeping East Timor-past the set expiration date of January 17 would have required unanimity among the 15 EU members. Reportedly, a majority of countries favored not extending the embargo. The EU noted, however, that future arms exports to Indonesia would be governed by the 1998 EU code of conduct on arms exports, which lists eight non-binding criteria that members are to consider before making arms deals.

The EU announcement came three days after Richard Holbrooke, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, warned the Indonesian military against carrying out a coup. Washington's September 9 suspension of all arms deliveries and military cooperation with Indonesia remains in effect. In the fiscal year 2000 foreign operations appropriations bill, Congress mandated that the president report that six conditions (including the return of refugees and the trial of militia and armed forces members accused of human rights violations) have been met before foreign military financing and international military education and training programs with Jakarta may be resumed.

EU Not to Renew Arms Embargo on Indonesia

NATO Ministers Skeptical of U.S. NMD Plans

THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION formally briefed NATO defense and foreign affairs ministers for the first time on the proposed architecture for a limited U.S. national missile defense (NMD) system at the alliance's annual December ministerial meetings. Led by France and Germany, many European allies expressed concerns that the proposed NMD would damage relations with Russia, endanger arms control and decouple U.S. and European security. U.S. officials reassured the allies that no deployment decision has yet been made and that allied views, among other factors, would be taken into account prior to such a decision.

With President Clinton scheduled to decide on the proposed system's location and the awarding of an initial site construction contract in July 2000, many European allies were upset to be officially consulted so late in the process. U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, however, assured his colleagues at the NATO defense ministers meeting, held December 2-3 in Brussels, that intra-alliance discussions on U.S. missile defenses would continue. President Clinton, for his part, has repeatedly said his July decision will be based on four criteria: technological readiness, the maturity of the "rogue nation" ICBM threat, cost factors and arms control considerations.

Washington delayed formal allied consultations because of incomplete U.S. plans and a desire to first hold strategic discussions with Russia, which has strongly opposed U.S. NMD efforts. Moscow emphasizes that the proposed system would violate the 1972 ABM Treaty, which prohibits a nationwide defense or the base for such a defense and which places specific restrictions on the architecture of any missile defense, including the location of intercept launchers and radars. U.S. officials have acknowledged that the planned system would require treaty modifications. Though the United States and Russia have been holding discussions exploring possible amendment of the treaty since mid-August at the Clinton administration's insistence, Moscow has repeatedly said it will not agree to treaty changes necessary to permit the proposed NMD.

Much of the opposition to the U.S. plans stems from the fact that Russia and many of the NATO allies do not share the U.S. assessment of the need to defend against the so-called rogue nation threat, which Cohen described as "real" and likely to "intensify in the coming years as countries continue to acquire chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities." To sway allied opinion, the U.S. provided a threat briefing at the start of the defense ministers meeting based on the latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate that warned the United States—and implicitly Europe—would likely face ICBM threats from "North Korea, probably Iran and possibly from Iraq" in the next 15 years. (See ACT, September/October 1999.)

North Korea is cited most frequently by U.S. officials as a growing threat despite a September 1999 pledge by Pyongyang to suspend ballistic missile flight tests while holding negotiations with the United States to improve relations. Though currently abiding by the pledge, North Korea is "continuing other aspects of the [ballistic missile] program," a senior American defense official said at a December 2 press conference.

Secretary Cohen, who reportedly was very frank about the role of U.S. domestic politics in pushing NMD, also sought to dispel impressions that the system is targeted at Russia. He stressed that the system, which would initially field 100 interceptor missiles, would be limited and said that "it would not undercut the Russian strategic deterrent." When questioned on whether Russia would possibly halt the strategic reduction process in response to a deployed U.S. NMD, the senior American defense official claimed that "there is nothing incompatible between our concern with the growing rogue state ballistic missile threat and continued strategic stability and the arms control process."

Some European allies, however, remained unconvinced and raised the same concerns again with Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott at the NATO foreign ministers meeting December 15-16. (Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stayed in Washington to work on the Middle East peace process.) Fears that the planned NMD would possibly spark new arms races with Russia, China or others while leaving Europe unprotected continued to top European worries.

While French President Jacques Chirac has been outspoken in his criticism of U.S. NMD plans, NATO would prefer to keep alliance differences to a public minimum. When asked to assess allied views about the proposed system after the December meetings, however, one U.S. government official admitted that "no one is enthusiastic, but no one is absolutely critical, with the exception of France."

Following the foreign ministers meeting, NATO Secretary General George Robertson noted the United States "assured the allies that it will only take decisions on a national missile defense after full consultations within NATO." Cohen stressed at the defense ministers meeting that "only one person can make the recommendation" to go forward with NMD deployment and that it would be "very much premature to speculate what will happen next year."

Executive Summary of the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty

Wade Boese

News Analysis

Aiming to preserve the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty as the "cornerstone of European security," President Bill Clinton and 29 other national leaders signed an agreement adapting the Cold War-era treaty to the present European security environment on November 19-nine years to the day after signature of the original treaty. Despite a sweeping restructuring, the treaty objective of promoting European security and stability through lower arms levels, limits on the massing of forces and military transparency remains the same.

More than merely eliminating references to the former Soviet Union and the now-defunct Warsaw Pact, the adapted treaty jettisons the Cold War rationale of balancing two hostile military alliances and instead emphasizes individual country rights, limits and obligations. In a package of associated political commitments referred to as the Final Act, several states also pledged additional weapons reductions and to forgo increases in future weapons levels.

The original treaty remains in effect until the adapted agreement is ratified by all 30 states-parties, at which point the adapted treaty will enter into force.

From Bloc to National Limits

Under the original treaty, NATO and the Warsaw Pact were each allotted limits of 20,000 tanks, 30,000 armored combat vehicles (ACVs), 20,000 artillery pieces, 6,800 combat aircraft and 2,000 attack helicopters-materiel collectively referred to as treaty-limited equipment (TLE). With the 1991 break-up of the Warsaw Pact and the 1997 offer of NATO membership to the former Eastern bloc members of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, these bloc-limits lost all relevance. The original treaty's outdated nature is underscored by the fact that it requires the new NATO members to coordinate weapons-level changes with Russia and other former Warsaw Pact members in order to stay within the Eastern bloc limit.

The adapted treaty discards these obsolete, alliance-wide limits and replaces them with national ceilings for the same five weapons categories. For the adapted treaty, countries proposed their own limits, with the understanding that they would take a "restrained approach" and work toward the overriding objective of "achieving a significant lowering in the total amount of TLE in Europe."

Together, the 19 members of NATO lowered their cumulative national limits from 89,026 TLE to 79,967. Current NATO weapons holdings only add up to 64,091 TLE, so no actual reductions will be required. While amounting to a paper cut, this reduction does decrease the weapons build-up potential of alliance members, thereby reassuring Russia. Individually, only two NATO states, Aegean rivals Greece and Turkey, increased their weapons limits, though only in the category of attack helicopters. The United States reduced its limits by more than 40 percent, from 13,088 TLE to 7,582. But, like the alliance in general, U.S. actual holdings of 3,465 TLE (as of January 1, 1999) are far below its new limits. For its part, Russia reduced its TLE limits by transferring the entitlement for 385 weapons to Kazakhstan, which did not previously have any weapons entitlements under CFE.

Out With Zones, In With Territorial Ceilings

To guard against weapons accumulations for launching surprise, large-scale offensives, the original treaty restricts the deployment of tanks, ACVs and artillery through a concentric-zone-structure, whereby the smallest zone, located in the center of Europe, has the lowest limits, and successive zones emanating outward have increasingly large limits. Though the possibility of such an attack is much more remote today, the rationale of preventing the build-up of military forces in a specific geographic area remains sound.

In keeping with the shift from a bloc structure to a national one, the adapted treaty eliminates the zones and sets territorial ceilings for each state. These territorial ceilings cap the total amount of ground TLE, both national and foreign-stationed, that a country can have within its borders-a much more restrictive system than the concentric zones, which permitted much larger force levels greater freedom in significantly bigger areas. Explicit advance consent of the host state is required for the stationing of any foreign TLE on another's territory to guard against unwanted deployments.

Twenty countries, including Russia and NATO's three newest members, set their territorial ceilings equal to their national ceilings. In effect, this requires a country's own TLE holdings on its territory to be lower than its national ceilings if the country wants foreign forces stationed within its borders. For Russia, long-opposed to NATO expansion, this constitutes an important check on NATO ground weaponry deployed in the newest alliance members and assures Moscow that NATO expansion will not cause a cumulative rise in weapons stationed in those countries.

At the same time, however, NATO sought to ensure that it could conduct military exercises, as well as deploy forces in times of crisis, on the new NATO members' territory. As a result, the adapted treaty allows countries to host temporary deployments that exceed their territorial limits by up to 153 tanks, 241 ACVs and 140 artillery pieces.

In exceptional circumstances, some states-those outside the original treaty's flank zone-may exceed their limits by as many as 459 tanks, 723 ACVs and 420 artillery pieces. Though Russia strongly opposed these exceptional temporary deployments, which are equivalent to two NATO divisions, alliance members viewed them as necessary to guard against "second-class membership" for new NATO members and to preserve alliance flexibility.

NATO rejected Russian efforts to impose territorial limits on combat aircraft and attack helicopters because it viewed such limitations as unverifiable given the mobility of those weapons.

The Evolution of the Flank Zone

While making no reference to a flank zone, the adapted treaty retains the flank zone's function of limiting weapons accumulations in northern and southern Europe. The former flank countries all agreed to set their territorial ceilings equal to their national ceilings, and all are limited to hosting only basic temporary deployments.

Specific limits, though relaxed, are also retained on the ground TLE Russia deploys in its northern and southern flanks, as well as on the ground TLE Ukraine deploys in its Odessa oblast. Since inception of the original treaty, Moscow has pressed for the abolition of the flank zone, claiming it is discriminatory because Russia and Ukraine are the only two states with limits on where they can deploy their own weapons on their own territory. Trying to address Russian complaints, the states-parties agreed in May 1996 to allow Russia's original flank limits of 1,300 tanks, 1,380 ACVs and 1,680 artillery apply to a smaller area, while the original zone itself would have higher limits of 1,800 tanks, 3,700 ACVs and 2,400 artillery. In the adapted treaty, parties further placated Russia by eliminating the original zone and its limits entirely, and increasing Russia's ACV allowance in the reduced flank zone from 1,380 to 2,140.

Improved Transparency

The adapted treaty also bolsters two key, but often overlooked, elements of the original CFE Treaty: extensive requirements for both inspections and information exchange.

Under the original treaty, each state-party is obligated to accept a number of inspections equal to 15 percent of its number of "objects of verification," essentially defined as sites and units with TLE. The adapted treaty increases that quota to 20 percent. The number of inspections countries are required to permit has been declining because the destruction of more than 70,000 pieces of TLE during the treaty's operation has led to a reduction in objects of verification.

Whereas the existing treaty only requires annual reports on the designated peacetime location of tanks, ACVs and artillery, the adapted treaty adds annual reporting requirements on the actual location of this TLE. Each state is also now required to submit quarterly reports detailing the numbers and actual territorial deployments of its ground TLE.

To the satisfaction of Russia, which had sought greater restrictions and transparency on NATO's air power following the alliance's air war over Yugoslavia, quarterly reports are also required on combat aircraft and attack helicopters. However, states-parties only need to supply information on total numbers for the entire treaty area and detail the countries to which the equipment is assigned for deployment, not those where it is actually located.

As a further confidence-building measure, whenever weapons levels on a state's territory change by 30 tanks, 30 ACVs, or 10 artillery pieces or more, all other states-parties must be informed within five working days. Any increase of 18 or more combat aircraft or attack helicopters in a country's holdings within the treaty's area of application must be reported within five working days.

The Final Act

The political commitments issued in the associated Final Act generally reinforce the adapted treaty's aim of keeping armament levels low in regions of historical conflict, and many specifically attempt to alleviate Russia's unease with NATO expansion.

Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Ukraine each pledged not to increase their territorial ceilings under the "current and foreseeable security circumstances."

New NATO members Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic went a step further, pledging additional future reductions in territorial ceilings (which they had already set equal to their national ceilings) totaling more than 1,500 ground TLE. Unlike the U.S. drop in limits, these reductions will require actual destruction of equipment. The Slovak Republic, a prospective NATO member, also offered a future territorial ceiling reduction of 195 ground TLE.

Moscow reciprocated by pledging that it would show "due restraint" in tank, ACV and artillery deployments in the region encompassing the Kaliningrad oblast, which is situated between Poland and the Baltic states, and in the Pskov oblast, which borders the Baltic states. Echoing a NATO commitment made in the May 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act concerning NATO deployments in new alliance members, Russia pledged that in the "present politico-military situation it has no reasons, plans or intentions to station substantial additional combat forces, whether air or ground forces, in that region [the Kaliningrad and Pskov oblasts] on a permanent basis."

In its southern flank, Russia pledged to reduce its TLE holdings in Georgia to a level equaling a basic temporary deployment by the end of next year-a proposal to which Georgia consented. Currently, Russia has 141 tanks, 481 ACVs and 166 artillery pieces deployed at four bases on Georgian territory.

To strip away the legality of any Russian forces stationed on its territory, Moldova used the Final Act to renounce its right to host any temporary deployment. In the Act, all states-parties also "welcomed" Russia's commitment, made in the declaration following the Istanbul summit (at which the adapted agreement was signed), to withdraw or destroy all of its TLE currently stationed in Moldova by the end of 2001.

Finally, the Act states that all treaty members have "undertaken to move forward expeditiously to facilitate completion of national ratification procedures, so that the Agreement on Adaptation can enter into force as soon as possible." At the same time, the Act emphasizes the "central importance of, full and continued implementation" of the existing treaty until the adapted treaty enters into force.

The parties pledged to review the status of all the pledges made and decisions taken at the treaty's next review conference scheduled for May 2001.

Hungarian PM Angers Moscow With Nuke Remark

Russia sharply rebuked Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for a remark, published October 29 in The Toronto Globe and Mail, that Hungary would consider the deployment of NATO nuclear weapons on its territory during a crisis if asked to do so. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin charged that such action would be a "direct violation" of the May 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.

In the Founding Act, which was designed to ease Russian opposition to NATO expansion, NATO members pledged that they had "no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members, nor any need to change any aspect of NATO's nuclear posture or nuclear policy." Since its inception, Clinton administration officials have viewed the act as a political, not a legal, document.

Orban subsequently clarified his remark, saying that there was currently no reason to deploy nuclear weapons in Hungary, but that Budapest "always considers all requests from the international community." The Hungarian government later released a statement asserting that its "interest lies in a well-managed cooperation between NATO and Russia," but that it fully supports NATO's military strategy, "including its basic principle of regarding nuclear weapons as the ultimate guarantee of its members' security."

U.S. and EU Suspend Military Ties With Indonesia

Reacting to the mass violence engulfing East Timor, an island-nation invaded in 1975 and subsequently annexed by Indonesia, the United States and the 15-nation European Union (EU) suspended all military ties with Indonesia in early September. Violence broke out following an August 30 vote by East Timor to reject a proposed autonomy plan from Indonesian President B.J. Habibie, who had pledged that a no-vote would give East Timor independence. The Indonesian military ignored, and in some cases participated in, post-election violence carried out by pro-Indonesia militia and gangs.

In response, President Clinton suspended all military ties (both arms sales and military training programs) with Indonesia on September 9. Sandy Berger, the president's national security adviser, explained two days later that what had not already been delivered of about $40 million in outstanding U.S. government-to-government sales through the Pentagon's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and some $400 million in commercial arms sales would be put on hold. A Defense Department official subsequently said the suspension would halt $7 million in undelivered FMS items. The Council of the European Union, the EU's decision-making body, followed suit on September 16 by announcing an embargo on all arms, munitions and military equipment to Jakarta until at least January 17, 2000. Bilateral military cooperation was also suspended.

Indonesia, racked by economic recession, had slowed recent arms purchases, even postponing a 1997 buy of 12 Su-30K fighter aircraft and eight Mi-17 helicopters from Russia. In its latest UN Register of Conventional Arms report, Indonesia did claim receiving 39 armored combat vehicles from Britain in 1998.

On September 12, President Habibie bowed to international pressure and invited an international peacekeeping force to East Timor. The mission, led by Australia, arrived on September 20.

Russia Admits CFE Violation

In connection with its military offensive against Islamic militants in Dagestan, which has now spilled over into neighboring Chechnya, Russian defense officials admitted in early October that their forces in the Caucasus exceed arms limitations set by the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin later explained on October 12, according to Itar-Tass, that Russian deployments were of a "temporary and perforce character" and that Moscow did not want the current Caucasus situation to negatively affect ongoing CFE Treaty negotiations.

Moscow's announcement did not surprise the United States because Russia has been in violation of CFE flank limits, which cap the number of tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs) and artillery pieces in the northern and southern flanks of Europe, since May 31. (See ACT, July/August 1999.) However, State Department spokesman James Rubin noted October 8 that Washington is concerned about the fact that Russian ACV deployments exceed not only the CFE's current limit (1,380), but also the higher limit (2,140) proposed under the yet-to-be-completed adapted treaty. Rubin said Washington plans to "take up" the issue with Moscow.

Negotiations to alter the 1992 treaty from bloc and zone limits to one of national and territorial weapon ceilings have been underway in Vienna since January 1997. Negotiators from the 30 CFE states-parties are aiming to unveil an adapted treaty for signature by heads of state at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's November 18-19 summit in Istanbul, Turkey.

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