"I actually have a pretty good collection of Arms Control Today, which I have read throughout my career. It's one of the few really serious publications on arms control issues."

– Gary Samore
Former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and WMD Terrorism

Parties Aim to Complete CFE by November 1999

At the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) December 2–3 foreign ministers meeting in Oslo, the United States, Russia and the other 28 parties to the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty committed themselves to completing adaptation of the 1992 treaty by next year's OSCE summit in Istanbul, scheduled for November 14–15. The adaptation negotiations, ongoing since January 1997, aim to replace the Cold War bloc-to-bloc and concentric zone structure of the CFE with national and territorial limits for each state.

To meet this goal, the states-parties noted that "outstanding key issues" will have to be resolved and drafting of the adapted treaty started within the first months of 1999. (The key issues include whether to apply territorial limits to combat aircraft and attack helicopters, temporary deployment limits, future of the so-called flank-zone, equipment limits for states in Central Europe and mechanisms for revising and exceeding limits.) Although Moscow endorsed the timetable, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov reiterated Russia's long-standing demand that negotiations conclude before April 1999, when the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland join NATO.

On December 8, NATO moved to mollify Russian concerns about NATO's future military presence in new members by repeating a March 14, 1997 pledge that the alliance will pursue collective defense through "ensuring the necessary interoperability, integration, and capability for reinforcement rather than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces." NATO also declared that "exceptional temporary deployments" will not be used for permanent stationing of combat forces, will not be "routine" and will not be directed against any specific country.

Russia, however, has sought quantitative limits rather than reassurances and remains opposed to NATO's exceptional temporary deployment proposal. That proposal would permit states outside of the flank zone temporary deployments of 459 tanks, 723 armored combat vehicles (ACVs) and 420 artillery pieces, whereas states within the flank zone, such as Russia, would be limited to temporary deployments of 153 tanks, 241 ACVs and 140 artillery pieces. The flank zone, which will be retained in the adapted treaty, limits the tanks, ACVs and artillery in the northern and southern flanks of Europe, where Russia claims serious security threats.

The CTB Treaty: Signatories and Ratifiers

The Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) Treaty was opened for signature at the United Nations on September 24, 1996. On that day, 71 countries, including all five of the declared nuclear-weapon states, signed the treaty. As of October 31, 1998, 151 states have signed and 21 have ratified the treaty.

The CTB Treaty will formally enter into force 180 days after 44 designated states have deposited their instruments of ratification with the secretary-general of the United Nations. These 44 states include the five declared nuclear-weapon states, India, Israel, Pakistan and 36 other states that are participating members of the Conference on Disarmament and recognized by the International Atomic Energy Agency as possessing nuclear power and/or research reactors.

Of the 44 states that must deposit instruments of ratification for formal entry into force, 41 (identified in bold in the roster below) have signed the treaty. The other three states are India, Pakistan (both of which have indicated they will sign by September 1999) and North Korea. The list below identifies the states that have signed and ratified (ratifiers are identified in italics) the CTB Treaty as of October 31, 1998.

Country Signature
Albania 9/27/96
Algeria 10/15/96
Andorra 9/24/96
Angola 9/27/96
Antigua and Barbuda 4/16/97
Argentina 9/24/96
Armenia 10/1/96
Australia 9/24/96

(Ratified 7/9/98)

Austria 9/24/96

(Ratified 3/13/98)

Azerbaijan 7/28/97
Bahrain 9/24/96
Bangladesh 10/24/96
Belarus 9/24/96
Belgium 9/24/96
Benin 9/27/96
Bolivia 9/24/96
Country Signature
Bosnia and Herzegovina 9/24/96
Brazil 9/24/96

(Ratified 7/24/98)

Brunei Darussalem 1/22/97
Bulgaria 9/24/96
Burkina Faso 9/27/96
Burundi 9/24/96
Cambodia 9/26/96
Canada 9/24/96
Cape Verde 10/1/96
Chad 10/8/96
Chile 9/24/96
China 9/24/96
Colombia 9/24/96
Comoros 12/12/96
Congo 2/11/97
Congo Republic1 10/4/96
Cook Islands 12/5/97
Costa Rica 9/24/96
Cote d'Ivoire 9/25/96
Croatia 9/24/96
Cyprus 9/24/96
Czech Republic 11/12/96

(Ratified 9/11/97)

Denmark 9/24/96
Djibouti 10/21/96
Dominican Republic 10/3/96
Ecuador 9/24/96
Egypt 10/14/96
El Salvador 9/24/96

(Ratified 9/11/98)

Equatorial Guinea 10/9/96
Estonia 11/20/96
Ethiopia 9/25/96
Country Signature
Fiji 9/24/96

(Ratified 10/10/96)

Finland 9/24/96
France 9/24/96

(Ratified 4/6/98)

Gabon 10/7/96
Georgia 9/24/96
Germany 9/24/96

(Ratified 8/20/98)

Ghana 10/3/96
Greece 9/24/96
Grenada 10/10/96

(Ratified 8/19/98)

Guinea 10/3/96
Guinea-Bissau 4/11/97
Haiti 9/24/96
Holy See 9/24/96
Honduras 9/25/96
Hungary 9/25/96
Iceland 9/24/96
Indonesia 9/24/96
Iran 9/24/96
Ireland 9/24/96
Israel 9/25/96
Italy 9/24/96
Jamaica 11/11/96
Japan 9/24/96

(Ratified 7/8/97)

Jordan 9/26/96

(Ratified 8/25/98)

Kazakhstan 9/30/96
Kenya 11/14/96
Kuwait 9/24/96
Kyrgyzstan 10/8/96
Laos 7/30/97
Country Signature
Latvia 9/24/96
Lesotho 9/30/96
Liberia 10/1/96
Liechtenstein 9/27/96
Lithuania 10/7/96
Luxembourg 9/24/96
Macedonia 10/29/98
Madagascar 10/9/96
Malawi 10/9/96
Malaysia 7/23/98
Maldives 10/1/97
Mali 2/18/97
Malta 9/24/96
Marshall Islands 9/24/96
Mauritania 9/24/96
Mexico 9/24/96
Micronesia 9/24/96

(Ratified 7/25/97)

Moldova 9/24/97
Monaco 10/1/96
Mongolia 10/1/96

(Ratified 8/8/97)

Morocco 9/24/96
Mozambique 9/26/96
Myanmar (Burma) 11/25/96
Namibia 9/24/96
Nepal 10/8/96
Netherlands 9/24/96
New Zealand 9/27/96
Nicaragua 9/24/96
Niger 10/3/96
Norway 9/24/96
Panama 9/24/96
Country Signature
Papua New Guinea 9/25/96
Paraguay 9/25/96
Peru 9/25/96

(Ratified 11/12/97)

Philippines 9/24/96
Poland 9/24/96
Portugal 9/24/96
Qatar 9/24/96

(Ratified 3/3/97)

Romania 9/24/96
Russia 9/24/96
Saint Lucia 10/4/96
Samoa 10/9/96
San Marino 10/7/96
Sao Tome and Principe 9/26/96
Senegal 9/26/96
Seychelles 9/24/96
Slovakia 9/30/96

(Ratified 3/3/98)

Slovenia 9/24/96
Solomon Islands 10/3/96
South Africa 9/24/96
South Korea 9/24/96
Spain 9/24/96

(Ratified 7/31/98)

Sri Lanka 10/24/96
Suriname 1/14/97
Swaziland 9/24/96
Sweden 9/24/96
Switzerland 9/24/96
Tajikistan 10/7/96

(Ratified 6/10/98)

Thailand 11/12/96
Togo 10/2/96
Country Signature
Tunisia 10/16/96
Turkey 9/24/96
Turkmenistan 9/24/96

(Ratified 2/20/98)

Uganda 11/7/96
Ukraine 9/27/96
United Arab Emirates 9/25/96
United Kingdom 9/24/96

(Ratified 4/6/98)

United States 9/24/96
Uruguay 9/24/96
Uzbekistan 10/3/96

(Ratified 5/29/97)

Vanuatu 9/24/96
Venezuela 10/3/96
Vietnam 9/24/96
Yemen 9/30/96
Zambia 12/3/96

1. The Democratic Republic of The Congo, formerly Zaire. [Back to table]

Sources: UN, ACDA, and ACA.


Arms Control in 1998: Congress Maintains the Status Quo

The year 1998 was a status quo year for arms control and national security issues in the 105th Congress. There was neither major progress nor significant backsliding. Although the Senate overwhelmingly approved the expansion of NATO, there was no breakthrough in securing Senate approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) Treaty. Congress also refused to appropriate the billion-plus dollars required to pay the U.S. debt to the United Nations.

On the other hand, where things could have gotten much worse, they did not. The Senate did not vote to cripple or abrogate the 1972 ABM Treaty. Congress turned back Republican-led efforts to mandate deployment of a national missile defense (NMD) system. B-2 proponents finally gave up hunting for funds to build more than 21 bombers. Congress appropriated just enough money to avoid the loss of the U.S. vote in the UN General Assembly. House Republicans failed to decimate Nunn-Lugar security assistance funding to punish Russia for alleged bad behavior (such as selling advanced weaponry and nuclear-related technology to Iran).

The last major bill adopted by Congress as it headed out the door—the $520 billion omnibus appropriations bill—provided some good news and some bad news. While the bill included more funding to deal with nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union and to implement the 1994 U.S.-North Korean Agreed Framework, Congress also added billions of dollars to the military budget and to ballistic missile defense (BMD) programs in particular.

Considering the lengthy arms control agenda facing Congress, however, 1998 should be judged on opportunity costs; that is, another year lost in which there was scant progress toward reducing or eliminating weapons of mass destruction.


Assault on the ABM Treaty

Republican hopes to cripple or kill the ABM Treaty were thwarted when the Clinton administration refused to submit a series of agreements between the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine clarifying the "demarcation line" between permitted theater missile defense systems and limited strategic missile defenses, and enumerating the successor states to the Soviet Union to which the ABM Treaty applies. The administration held off submitting the agreements to the Senate until after the Russian Duma considered START II, which U.S. officials hope will be before the end of the year.

In 1998, Republicans resumed their push for NMD deployment. They had been wary of the issue since December 1995, when they precipitated a Clinton veto of the fiscal year (FY) 1996 defense authorization bill, which included language mandating deployment of a multiple-site NMD system (intended to protect all 50 states) by 2003. In 1996 and 1997, the administration and Congress reached a tacit compromise on the NMD issue: while avoiding recorded votes, Congress added money to the administration's budget request for NMD but did not try to force the administration's hand on deployment.

In March 1998, Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) launched a new campaign by introducing the "American Missile Protection Act of 1998." The bill declared: "It is the policy of the United States to deploy as soon as is technologically possible, an effective National Missile Defense system capable of defending the territory of the United States against limited ballistic missile attack (whether accidental, unauthorized, or deliberate)." Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) brought up the legislation in May as an independent measure in order to avoid another veto of a defense bill, but the bill's supporters fell one vote short in their attempt to force a floor vote.

On May 13, the Senate voted 59-41 (60 votes are needed for a motion of cloture) to end debate and bring the bill before the full Senate. All 55 Republicans voted for the motion, as did four Democrats: Daniel Akaka (HI), Ernest Hollings (SC), Daniel Inouye (HI) and Joseph Lieberman (CT). Lott brought up the measure a second time on September 9 in a vain ploy to inject the issue of missile defense into the upcoming congressional elections, but the motion of cloture was rejected by an identical 59-41 vote.

The House of Representatives never voted on the issue of NMD deployment. On August 5, Representatives Curt Weldon (R-PA) and John Spratt (D-SC) introduced a bill with 49 co-sponsors from both parties stating "That it is the policy of the United States to deploy a national missile defense." However, that measure was never put to a vote. Hard-line Republicans, hoping to sharpen the differences between the two parties for the mid-term elections, pushed an alternative measure mandating NMD deployment by a date certain. The split among Republicans over the best strategy was never resolved, and the House ran out of time to schedule a vote.

Congressional Republicans did succeed, as in past years, in pumping more money into missile defenses than the administration had requested. After appropriating $3.7 billion in the defense appropriations bill for national and theater defenses (close to the administration's request), Congress added another billion dollars in supplemental appropriations as part of the omnibus appropriations bill passed in October before the 105th Congress adjourned. The exact allocation between national and theater missile defense programs was left to the Pentagon.


The Debate Intensifies

Ironically, the administration's victory on BMD policy and the Republican win on BMD funding—an outcome identical to the previous three years—came despite a series of major developments in 1998 that fueled the debate over missile defense policy. In February, an independent panel of missile defense experts appointed by the Pentagon and headed by retired General Larry Welch, former Air Force chief of staff, issued a study that was highly critical of the flight test programs involving four "hit-to-kill" missile defense systems, including the NMD program. Their report concluded that the programs suffer from a "rush to failure" because of efforts to rapidly deploy the systems without thorough flight testing. The Welch Panel said it was "highly unlikely" that the administration would meet its current goal of developing an NMD system in three years and, should a deployment decision be made, of fielding the system three years later.

On May 12, the day before the Senate voted on the Cochran bill, the U.S. Army's Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system failed its fifth consecutive test, again calling into question the technological viability of the Pentagon's most advanced BMD system. The test failure of THAAD (one of the four programs analyzed by the Welch Panel) underscored a key contention of missile defense opponents: after more than 30 years of research, development and testing, intercepting warheads still remains a major technological hurdle. Any workable NMD system will have to incorporate similar but more sophisticated technology than that used in THAAD and other theater missile defense systems.

Next, on July 7, Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) released a General Accounting Office (GAO) report that reviewed the costs and risks involved in the NMD program, and concluded that the program's schedule and technical objectives remain "high risk." The report cast further doubts on Republican plans to accelerate deployment.

Finally, on July 15, a report from a panel headed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld—including experts across the arms control spectrum—warned that a long-range missile threat to the United States could develop much earlier than had been anticipated. The Rumsfeld Commission's conclusion was reinforced by Iran's test only one week later of an intermediate-range missile capable of hitting much of the Middle East, and an August 31 North Korean launch of a Taepo Dong-1 missile that demonstrated some aspects of ICBM development, most notably multiple-stage separation.

In response to the Rumsfeld Commission report, the CIA stood by its conclusion that no country other than Russia, China and North Korea could develop ICBMs capable of threatening the United States before the year 2010. And on August 24, the Joint Chiefs of Staff—much to the chagrin of missile defense hawks—weighed in against speeding up NMD deployment. The controversy over the immediacy of the ballistic missile threat to the United States continued to the end of the year.


CTB Treaty

A summation of Senate progress on the CTB Treaty can be short: there was almost no movement whatsoever. While President Clinton submitted the treaty to the Senate in September 1997 and promised to make ratification a top priority in 1998—at least after the Senate voted on NATO expansion—Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC) ignored the treaty and the president never followed through on his pledge to make the treaty a top priority.

The president started the year on a high note, with a ringing affirmation of the CTB Treaty in his January State of the Union address and a letter from four former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff endorsing the treaty. In February, the president toured the Los Alamos National Laboratory and received a helpful endorsement by the directors of the nation's three major nuclear weapons laboratories of U.S. efforts under the test ban to maintain a robust nuclear weapons force.

Helms, however, had made his views crystal clear at the beginning of the year. In a January 21 letter to the president, Helms said his committee would only consider the CTB Treaty after the president had submitted the ABM Treaty-related agreements and the Kyoto Protocol on global warming to the Senate for prior action. Lott backed up the powerful chairman. True to his word, Helms never held a single hearing on the CTB Treaty all year.

Arms control advocates vainly hoped that after the Senate vote on NATO enlargement at the end of April, the president would make the test ban treaty his top priority and lean on the Senate to act. However, the administration's decision not to submit the ABM Treaty-START II package to the Senate until after the Russian Duma approved START II further stalled consideration of the CTB Treaty. The Duma refused to cooperate by not approving START II, and the administration had no alternative plan.

When Secretary of State Madeleine Albright delivered a comprehensive arms control speech to the Henry L. Stimson Center on June 10, she said that all Senator Helms had to do was to whistle and she would be glad to testify on behalf of the treaty. Helms never whistled and the administration turned its attention to fresh crises in Bosnia, North Korea, Iraq and Kosovo.

Even after India and Pakistan conducted their nuclear tests in May, the drift continued. Test ban advocates from the president on down argued that the CTB Treaty was more important than ever. The South Asian nuclear developments, they argued, should serve as a wake-up call for the United States and the world. Treaty critics Helms and Lott, on the other hand, suggested that developments in South Asia rendered the test ban irrelevant, citing the failure of the U.S. intelligence community to anticipate the Indian tests and the likelihood that New Delhi would never sign the test ban treaty. Lott went so far as to argue that the Indians tested nuclear devices because of the administration's support for the CTB Treaty.

While most Senate Republicans, unsure if the test ban will ever be brought up for a vote, have declined to take a position on the treaty, Republican Senator Arlen Specter (PA) was motivated by events in South Asia to endorse the treaty. Working with Democrat Joseph Biden (DE), Specter tried to force the issue by offering an amendment to restore the administration's $28.9 million request for FY 1999 funding for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Preparatory Commission, which the Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee had failed to endorse. The CTBTO's International Monitoring System will allow the United States to significantly improve its worldwide nuclear weapons test monitoring capabilities.

On September 1, the Senate approved the Specter-Biden amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill by a vote of 49-44. Not surprisingly, there were two very different interpretations of the vote. CTB advocates pointed to the success of the Specter-Biden amendment, while treaty opponents suggested that the "success" instead showed how far short CTB supporters were of the 67 votes needed for advice and consent to ratification. In the end, this vote will have little long-term significance. Specter pushed the vote while expending little effort to sway colleagues, and although Lott persuaded most Republicans to oppose the amendment, several senators who voted "nay" privately conceded that their vote did not foretell their final position on the treaty.

In the meantime, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott engaged in a series of separate negotiations with Indian and Pakistani officials to defuse the rising nuclear tensions on the sub-continent. Congress cooperated by giving President Clinton the authority to ease U.S. sanctions imposed on both countries after their May tests. In November, after modest progress in the Talbott negotiations, the president announced a relaxed sanctions policy.


Chemical Weapons Convention

In October 1998, a year and a half after the Senate approved the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Congress finally passed legislation conforming U.S. law to all treaty obligations. This "implementation legislation" became a last-minute insert into the huge omnibus appropriations bill. On April 24, 1997, the Senate had voted 74-26 to give its advice and consent to ratification of the CWC, which entered into force five days later. In May 1997, the Senate approved implementation legislation for the CWC, which the House adopted in November but which was linked to unrelated legislation imposing sanctions on Russian companies accused of selling missile parts and technology to Iran. House International Relations Committee Chairman Ben Gilman (R-NY) sought a trade-off: the CWC legislation, which the administration favored, in return for the Russian sanctions bill the administration opposed and had threatened to veto. A deadlock ensued for the next year and a half, and the administration never made the issue a high priority. Republicans, for their part, were more interested in political gamesmanship.

Throughout that period, the United States was in "technical violation" of the CWC because it had not declared treaty-related activities at U.S. commercial facilities. Both the House and the Senate approved the sanctions legislation (the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act) to which the CWC implementing legislation had been attached, but President Clinton vetoed the legislation on June 23. For a time, it appeared that an overwhelming congressional majority would override the veto, but in mid-July Clinton announced the imposition of trade sanctions against nine Russian companies that had been aiding Iran's missile program. The Republican leadership decided against an override vote.

As the 105th Congress completed its work in October, it appeared that the CWC implementing legislation would have to be reconsidered in 1999. However, a last-minute miracle occurred. With pressure from the Chemical Manufacturers Association and the administration, Representative David Obey of Wisconsin, the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, with the acquiescence of incoming House Speaker Bob Livingston (R-LA), managed to include the legislation in the omnibus appropriations bill. However, the implementing legislation contains a number of disputed provisions, including one that gives the president the authority to block "challenge" inspections in this country on national security grounds and a second that prevents the transfer outside the United States of samples from U.S. facilities for analysis. The bill's controversial provisions are likely to be revisited in 1999.


ACDA's Merger

In 1995, then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher proposed merging the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), the Agency for International Development (AID) and the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) into the Department of State. Although these agencies fought the merger and won early bureaucratic battles within the Clinton administration, Helms ran with the idea, having long wanted to abolish the independent arms control agency. In April 1997, the administration announced that it would agree to merge ACDA and USIA into the State Department. That plan, after negotiations with Helms and Biden, was inserted into the fiscal years 1998-99 State Department authorization bill in the summer of 1997. As part of the bargain, Helms agreed to payment of the U.S. debt to the United Nations. The legislation stalled, however, when House Republicans insisted on adding anti-abortion restrictions on international family planning funding to the State Department authorization bill. The president had made it clear that he would not jeopardize his support among women by compromising on this issue.

The bill languished through the remainder of 1997 and most of 1998. ACDA, which had engaged in an extensive planning process for the expected merger, was left in limbo. In April 1998, the bill—including the anti-abortion language—cleared Congress, but it was not sent to the president for another six months. Republicans hoped to build pressure on the president to sign the legislation. That tactic failed; on October 21, Clinton vetoed the bill.

ACDA has remained in limbo for two years—neither independent nor a part of the State Department. Administration lines of authority on arms control issues have become even more blurred than usual. ACDA Director John Holum was designated acting under secretary for arms control but held his original post as well. Thus, when Republicans at the last moment attached the State Department reorganization measure to the omnibus appropriations bill—minus the UN funding, which was still linked to the abortion issue—even devoted supporters of ACDA felt that an unsatisfactory solution was better than none at all. The merger is to be completed no later than April 1999.


NATO Expansion

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NATO grappled uncertainly with its mission. The military alliance established to confront the communist menace had to find a new role for itself. Nevertheless, NATO decided to expand the alliance to include former Warsaw Pact members in Central and Eastern Europe. The enlargement process was moving at a rather languid pace until the 1996 presidential campaign when President Clinton, under pressure from Bob Dole, promised to expedite NATO's expansion. In December 1996, NATO adopted an accelerated timetable for enlargement, and in July 1997 designated the first three countries to be invited into the venerable institution: Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. In December 1997, NATO formally agreed to accept those three countries, subject to approval by the 16 current members, including a two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate.

Many arms control advocates opposed NATO expansion on the grounds that it undermined the goal of safeguarding and reducing weapons of mass destruction in an increasingly chaotic former Soviet Union. Partly in response to NATO's decision to expand, which is opposed by Russians of all ideological stripes, the Russian Duma has held up approval of START II for three years. In addition, drawing Russia into closer economic, political and military relationships with the West could help reduce the likelihood of military confrontation in Europe—confrontation that could lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction. The United States chose this path with Germany and Japan after World War II. In contrast, the expansion of NATO served to drive Moscow away from the West, drawing a new dividing line in Europe with struggling Russia on the other side of the line.

The debate over NATO expansion became heated, but only as the Senate approached an April 30 vote on the issue. The Clinton administration had significant advantages in its pursuit of ratification. It was unusually well-organized and highly focused on the NATO issue, having appointed a government-wide coordinator many months before. Moreover, key Republicans such as Helms and Lott agreed with the administration's policy and worked with it to win Senate approval.

In addition, few senators were willing to invest time and energy in the fight against NATO enlargement early, when it would have been most effective. Most senators are reluctant to focus on an issue that is many months away from a vote. By the time senators closely examined NATO expansion, any doubts they may have had were overridden by concerns that it was too late to stop a train that had long since left the station. In other words, first, it was too early; then it was too late. In 1997, only Senator John Warner (R-VA) had publicly declared his opposition to NATO enlargement.

In April 1998, NATO expansion opponents offered a series of amendments to crack the pro-enlargement coalition, but failed. The closest vote, which lost 41-59, came on an amendment offered by Warner to delay further expansion of NATO for at least three years. On April 30, the Senate voted 80-19 to approve the new members. The bipartisan majority included 45 Republicans and 35 Democrats. Opposition too was bipartisan, with the "nay" votes spanning the political spectrum from Paul Wellstone (D-MN) on the left to John Ashcroft (R-MO) on the right.

In April 1999, the 50th anniversary of the founding of NATO, the United States will host a NATO summit in Washington, DC, at which the three countries formally will join the alliance. NATO enlargement opponents hope that the concerns raised in early 1998 will lead NATO to avoid hasty moves to add more Central European countries, and particularly to avoid the flashpoint of admitting the three Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.


Military Spending

A White House-congressional deal cut in 1997 capped military spending budget authority at $271 billion for FY 1999. That cap was first loosened and then eviscerated completely. Early in the year, the president permitted the Pentagon to retain about $21 billion in extra funding over five years due to savings from lower-than-anticipated inflation rates. Then Congress played budget games to give the Pentagon an additional $3.5 billion in FY 1999 spending. Finally, the omnibus appropriations bill added another $8.3 billion in "emergency" funding for Pentagon programs. The final budget authority total for the Department of Defense comes to about $279 billion. These increases came while many members of Congress, along with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, launched a lobbying campaign to persuade President Clinton to include another large hike in the new defense budget to be presented in February 1999.


>North Korea

A number of members of Congress, such as Senator John McCain (R-AZ), threatened to cut off all U.S. funding for North Korean oil purchases due to a raft of stories about possible nuclear weapon-related activities in the North and the country's continuing sales of ballistic missiles. The oil purchases are a key element in the 1994 U.S.-North Korean Agreed Framework, by which the administration is seeking to persuade Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons pretensions. At the end of the year, a compromise was reached: the omnibus appropriations bill included $35 million for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), the international consortium leading the implementation of the nuclear deal, but the funds will become available only after March 1999 and only if North Korea makes progress in ending its weapons of mass destruction programs.


Nuclear Security Issues

Congress endorsed and even exceeded the administration's funding requests to deal with the problem of unsecured nuclear materials and weapons in the former Soviet Union. At the beginning of the year, the administration requested $442 million for the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program (the Nunn-Lugar program) in the defense bill. Congress appropriated all but $2 million of that amount. In the omnibus appropriations bill, thanks to efforts by Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), Congress approved $200 million toward the disposal of 50 tons of excess Russian weapons-derived plutonium, and $325 million to permit the Department of Energy to pay Moscow for some of the costs it incurred in 1997 and 1998 for down-blending highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium for sale to the United States under the 1993 HEU deal.


UN Funding

Congress narrowly avoided a loss of U.S. voting rights in the UN General Assembly by approving a little less than $300 million for the United Nations' regular budget and another $231 million for UN peace-keeping activities. Nonetheless, the United States still owes the United Nations more than $1.3 billion in unpaid dues. A deal at the end of the 105th Congress to fund a substantial portion of those arrears ultimately floundered on the linked anti-abortion issue.


A Peek Ahead to 1999

The 106th Congress, which will be sworn in on January 6, 1999, will look remarkably like the 105th Congress. The Senate will continue to have a ratio of 55 Republicans to 45 Democrats. While the Democrats picked up five seats in the House, Republicans retained control of that body as well. Nonetheless, Democrats have been emboldened and Republicans chastened by a worse-than-expected electoral performance by Republican candidates. Senate Democrats early in the year had been wary of a filibuster-proof, 60-seat Republican majority that would limit their influence in the Senate. Avoiding that train wreck means that Democrats remain in a strong position to push their priority issues.

In 1999, the two parties will have to negotiate in both the House and Senate to enact any legislation. That result, and a possible favorable Russian Duma vote on START II, are good news for the CTB Treaty during the next Congress. Democrats will have an opportunity to force this treaty onto the Senate agenda despite Helms' continued objections.

There is one major unknown at this point that could have a significant impact on the 106th Congress. If the Duma approves START II, the administration is expected to send to the Senate a package of five agreements related to the ABM Treaty in the face of stiff Republican opposition to the 1972 agreement limiting strategic missile defenses.

However, the administration has been gradually giving ground in the face of the onslaught. In October, Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre agreed with Republican questioners that the ABM Treaty would not be permitted to block NMD deployment if the United States deems deployment necessary. As part of its deliberations in December over the budget to be presented in February, the administration has to decide whether to include deployment funds in its five-year Pentagon spending plan. It is also considering an approach to the Russians to propose changes in the treaty to reflect eventual missile defense deployment.

A second major uncertainty is a Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton. For arms control proponents, 1999 offers more than the usual unknowns.

John Isaacs is president and executive director of the Council for a Livable World in Washington, DC.

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Russia Seeks to Speed CFE Adaptation

Russia declared on September 15 that "it is necessary to accelerate negotiations" on adapting the 1992 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty to the post-Cold War environment. Moscow seeks a completed treaty before the April 1999 summit at which Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary are expected to be welcomed formally into NATO. That same day, NATO members endorsed a more relaxed timeline, aiming to conclude negotiations before the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit late next year. Both NATO and Russia, however, have stated they would like to record progress by this December.

A.V. Grushko, head of the Russian delegation to the Joint Consultative Group (JCG)—the governing body of the CFE Treaty—also called on NATO to drop a proposal that would limit temporary deployments of tanks, armored combat vehicles and heavy artillery within the treaty's "flank zone" covering the northern and southern flanks of Europe. (See ACT, June/July 1998.) Moscow seeks to limit the NATO presence on new members' territories as the alliance expands, while NATO maintains it needs flexibility to conduct its missions and to ensure equal status for new members. The adaptation talks on the CFE Treaty have been underway since January 1997.

Additional States to Follow EU 'Code of Conduct'

In an August 3 statement, the European Union (EU) welcomed the joint declaration by 13 European states to "align themselves to the criteria and principles" of the recently approved (June 8) EU code of conduct on arms exports. Under the code's eight general criteria, EU members pledged to deny arms exports to states that may use the weapons for internal repression or aggressively against other states and to consider an importer's human rights record before approving an arms sale.

Of the 13 non-EU states (Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia), all but Iceland and Norway have applied for EU membership; the declaration enables these states to align their arms export policies with those of the EU. Four of the 13, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), ranked among the top thirty arms suppliers for the period 1993–1997: the Czech Republic (13th), Norway (21st), Poland (22nd) and Slovakia (24th).

The 13 states declared that the non-legally binding code would "guide them in their national export control policies." However, they will not take part in the key operative provisions of the code, such as circulating notices of arms export denials and consulting with other states over controversial sales. EU countries want the notification process to remain limited to protect sensitive information.

UN Reports on Yugoslav Arms Embargo

On August 5, more than four months after the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan informed the Security Council that the UN has failed to establish a monitoring regime for the embargo due to lack of funding. At the same time, he warned that the situation in Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians are battling Serb forces, "continues to deteriorate" and that the "attitudes of the two sides appear to be hardening."

Annan said that the UN, as he originally reported in April, did not have the funds to establish a comprehensive regime to monitor the March 31 embargo and that the resources pledged by other regional organizations, such as the European Union and NATO, fell short of the amount needed. With no regime in place, measuring the impact of the embargo has proved difficult, particularly between Albania and Kosovo, where arms continue to flow and there is little border control.

CFE Compliance Report Issued; Treaty Adaptation Talks Continue

Wade Boese

RUSSIA, UKRAINE, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan are not in compliance with the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, according to an administration report submitted June 22 to Congress. Violations range from holdings of treaty-limited equipment (TLE) in excess of CFE ceilings to denial of full access during treaty inspections. The report, however, concludes that the compliance issues are not "militarily significant." Russia and Ukraine, which have the largest holdings among the Eastern bloc of countries, remain within their overall treaty limits.

The 1990 CFE Treaty imposed equal numerical limits on five categories of heavy conventional weapons—tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), large-caliber artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters—that NATO and former Warsaw Pact countries could deploy and store between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains. Countries derived national limits from their respective group limit, and a concentric-zone structure further restricted where TLE could be deployed. Although the accord's original bloc limits remain, the current 30 states-parties are seeking to adapt the treaty to Europe's post-Cold War security environment.


Non-Compliance Findings

According to the annual compliance report, mandated by the Senate, Russia has never included equipment held by the Presidential Guard Regiment, which the United States claims is covered by the treaty, in data exchanges. Under the treaty, even if a military unit is considered an internal security force, any tanks, artillery and armored infantry fighting vehicles (a sub-limit within the ACV category) it holds should be counted against a country's TLE limits. Moreover, Russia excluded over 180 ACVs from its July 1997 data exchange by marking the equipment as ambulances.

Although Russia and Ukraine are "well below" limits on TLE held by naval infantry and coastal defense forces, the two states have failed to fulfill a separate June 1991 commitment by the Soviet Union—which they have assumed—to reduce 933 tanks, 1,725 ACVs and 1,080 artillery pieces. To date, Russia has completed over half of this shared reduction obligation, and with the November 1997 division of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet assets between Russia and Ukraine, it is expected that the pledged reductions can now be completed.


Former Soviet Equipment

Ukraine has also declared an increasing amount of TLE as "awaiting export" (from 0 in 1992 to over 700 items in 1997), a category that exempts arms from treaty limits. The report called the increase a "trend that bears watching," but noted that it does not appear that Kyiv is using the equipment as a stockpile for replacement and modernization. Meanwhile, Belarus claimed almost 300 tanks as "awaiting export" in 1996 and then exchanged almost 150 for those in active units, thereby raising questions as to whether the equipment is actually intended for export. Minsk, along with Russia, also denied full access during some inspections of its TLE holding sites.

Azerbaijan had exceeded its overall CFE limits by 316 items, according to its own December 1997 data submission, and is cited by the report as having never declared a reduction liability despite acknowledging receipt of weapons from Russia and Ukraine that would imply responsibility for reductions of at least 1,000 TLE items. Baku also suspended CFE-mandated notifications for changes of 10 percent or more in TLE assigned to units. Until the conflict over the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh is resolved, Azerbaijan maintains that it will not begin "disarmament."

A Russian investigation in 1997 disclosed that Armenia illegally received 84 tanks, 50 ACVs and 116 artillery pieces from Russia that neither country reported in its CFE data. Although claiming to have reduced all excess TLE, Armenia did not carry out the reductions according to verifiable CFE provisions and has been accused by Azerbaijan of holding undeclared TLE in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The issue of unclaimed equipment remains a significant factor in resolving a difference of approximately 2,100 TLE items between what the Soviet Union would have had to declare as its reduction liabilities and what the eight former Soviet republics now party to the CFE Treaty have notified. This and other compliance issues have been brought before the Vienna-based Joint Consultative Group (JCG), the governing body of the treaty, for discussion.


NATO Offers Proposal

In July 1997, CFE parties agreed to replace the treaty's bloc and concentric zone structures with a system of national and territorial ceilings. National ceilings would limit a country's TLE holdings in all five categories of weaponry, while territorial ceilings would limit the amount of ground-based TLE (both national equipment and that stationed by other states) permitted on a country's territory. The parties also agreed to negotiate provisions allowing territorial ceilings to be exceeded for notified military exercises, temporary deployments and United Nations or Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) peace-keeping operations.

On June 23, NATO put forward a proposal at the JCG that would limit temporary deployments within the treaty's so-called "flank" zone, where Russia claims serious security concerns. (See ACT, May 1997.) Under the proposal, Russia and the other "flank" states would be limited to 153 tanks, 241 ACVs and 140 artillery pieces, while states-parties outside of the zone would be permitted temporary deployments of up to 459 tanks, 723 ACVs and 420 artillery pieces in excess of territorial ceilings. There would be no time restrictions on temporary deployments, but any exceeding zone ceilings would be subject to additional transparency measures and an enhanced notification requirement. NATO also advanced measures for adapting the verification regime. While Russia made no formal response or counter-proposal at the JCG before a summer recess (which began July 25), a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman on July 7 called the proposals "very one-sided," according to a Reuters report.

Negotiations to adapt the CFE Treaty have been underway in the JCG since January 1997. In the past, states-parties indicated they would like to see an adapted treaty in place before NATO's expected acceptance of new members in April 1999, but U.S. officials caution that there is no need to rush completion for any "artificial deadlines." The recently released British Strategic Defence Review noted that the negotiations are "likely to last well into 1999."

CFE Compliance Report Issued; Treaty Adaptation Talks Continue

EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports

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The Council of the European Union,

BUILDING on the Common Criteria agreed at the Luxembourg and Lisbon European Councils in 1991 and 1992,

RECOGNISING the special responsibility of arms exporting states,

DETERMINED to set high common standards which should be regarded as the minimum for the management of, and restraint in, conventional arms transfers by all EU Member States, and to strengthen the exchange of relevant information with a view to achieving greater transparency,

DETERMINED to prevent the export of equipment which might be used for internal repression or international aggression, or contribute to regional instability,

WISHING within the framework of the CFSP to reinforce their cooperation and to promote their convergence in the field of conventional arms exports,

NOTING complementary measures taken by the EU against illicit transfers, in the form of the EU Programme for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Conventional Arms,

ACKNOWLEDGING the wish of EU Member States to maintain a defence industry as part of their industrial base as well as their defence effort,

RECOGNISING that states have a right to transfer the means of self-defence, consistent with the right of self-defence recognised by the UN Charter,

have adopted the following Code of Conduct and operative provisions:




Respect for the international commitments of EU member states, in particular the sanctions decreed by the UN Security Council and those decreed by the Community, agreements on non-proliferation and other subjects, as well as other international obligations

An export licence should be refused if approval would be inconsistent with, inter alia:

a) the international obligations of member states and their commitments to enforce UN, OSCE and EU aenforce UN, OSC

b) the international obligations of member states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention;

c) their commitments in the frameworks of the Australia Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement;

d) their commitment not to export any form of anti-personnel landmine.




The respect of human rights in the country of final destination

Having assessed the recipient country's attitude towards relevant principles established by international human rights instruments, Member States will:

a) not issue an export licence if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression.

b) exercise special caution and vigilance in issuing licences, on a case-by-case basis and taking account of the nature of the equipment, to countries where serious violations of human rights have been established by the competent bodies of the UN, the Council of Europe or by the EU;

For these purposes, equipment which might be used for internal repression will include, inter alia, equipment where there is evidence of the use of this or similar equipment for internal repression by the proposed end-user, or where there is reason to believe that the equipment will be diverted from its stated end-use or end-user and used for internal repression. In line with operative paragraph 1 of this Code, the nature of the equipment will be considered carefully, particularly if it is intended for internal security purposes.

Internal repression includes, inter alia, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, summary or arbitrary executions, disappearances, arbitrary detentions and other major violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms as set out in relevant international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.




The internal situation in the country of final destination, as a function of the existence of tensions or armed conflicts

Member States will not allow exports which would provoke or prolong armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions or conflicts in the country of final destination.




Preservation of regional peace, security and stability

Member States will not issue an export licence if there is a clear risk that the intended recipient would use the proposed export aggressively against another country or to assert by force a territorial claim.

When considering these risks, EU Member States will take into account inter alia:

a) the existence or likelihood of armed conflict between the recipient and another country;

b) a claim against the territory of a neighbouring country which the recipient has in the past tried or threatened to pursue by means of force;

c) whether the equipment would be likely to be used other than for the legitimate national security and defence of the recipient;

d) the need not to affect adversely regional stability in any significant way.




The national security of the member states and of territories whose external relations are the responsibility of a Member State, as well as that of friendly and allied countries

Member States will take into account:

a) the potential effect of the proposed export on their defence and security interests and those of friends, allies and other member states, while recognising that this factor cannot affect consideration of the criteria on respect of human rights and on regional peace, security and stability;

b) the risk of use of the goods concerned against their forces or those of friends, allies or other member states;

c) the risk of reverse engineering or unintended technology transfer.</p>




The behaviour of the buyer country with regard to the international community, as regards in particular to its attitude to terrorism, the nature of its alliances and respect for international law

Member States will take into account inter alia the record of the buyer country with regard to:

a) its support or encouragement of terrorism and international organised crime;

b) its compliance with its international commitments, in particular on the non-use of force, including under international humanitarian law applicable to international and non-international conflicts;

c) its commitment to non-proliferation and other areas of arms control and disarmament, in particular the signature, ratification and implementation of relevant arms control and disarmament conventions referred to in sub-para b) of Criterion One.




The existence of a risk that the equipment will be diverted within the buyer country or re-exported under undesirable conditions

In assessing the impact of the proposed export on the importing country and the risk that exported goods might be diverted to an undesirable end-user, the following will be considered:

a) the legitimate defence and domestic security interests of the recipient country, including any involvement in UN or other peace-keeping activity;

b) the technical capability of the recipient country to use the equipment;

c) the capability of the recipient country to exert effective export controls;

d) the risk of the arms being re-exported or diverted to terrorist organisations (anti-terrorist equipment would need particularly careful consideration in this context).




The compatibility of the arms exports with the technical and economic capacity of the recipient country, taking into account the desirability that states should achieve their legitimate needs of security and defence with the least diversion for armaments of human and economic resources

Member States will take into account, in the light of information from relevant sources such as UNDP, World Bank, IMF and OECD reports, whether the proposed export would seriously hamper the sustainable development of the recipient country. They will consider in this context the recipient country's relative levels of military and social expenditure, taking into account also any EU or bilateral aid.




1. Each EU Member State will assess export licence applications for military equipment made to it on a case-by-case basis against the provisions of the Code of Conduct.

2. This Code will not infringe on the right of Member States to operate more restrictive national policies.

3. EU Member States will circulate through diplomatic channels details of licences refused in accordance with the Code of Conduct for military equipment together with an explanation of why the licence has been refused. The details to be notified are set out in the form of a draft pro-forma at Annex A. Before any Member State grants a licence which has been denied by another Member State or States for an essentially identical transaction within the last three years, it will first consult the Member State or States which issued the denial(s). If following consultations, the Member State nevertheless decides to grant a licence, it will notify the Member State or States issuing the denial(s), giving a detailed explanation of its reasoning.

The decision to transfer or deny the transfer of any item of military equipment will remain at the national discretion of each Member State. A denial of a licence is understood to take place when the member state has refused to authorise the actual sale or physical export of the item of military equipment concerned, where a sale would otherwise have come about, or the conclusion of the relevant contract. For these purposes, a notifiable denial may, in accordance with national procedures, include denial of permission to start negotiations or a negative response to a formal initial enquiry about a specific order.

4. EU Member States will keep such denials and consultations confidential and not to use them for commercial advantage.

5. EU Member States will work for the early adoption of a common list of military equipment covered by the Code, based on similar national and international lists. Until then, the Code will operate on the basis of national control lists incorporating where appropriate elements from relevant international lists.

6. The criteria in this Code and the consultation procedure provided for by paragraph 3 of the operative provisions will also apply to dual-use goods as specified in Annex 1 of Council Decision 94/942/CFSP as amended, where there are grounds for believing that the end-user of such goods will be the armed forces or internal security forces or similar entities in the recipient country.

7. In order to maximise the efficiency of this Code, EU Member States will work within the framework of the CFSP to reinforce their cooperation and to promote their convergence in the field of conventional arms exports.

8. Each EU Member State will circulate to other EU Partners in confidence an annual report on its defence exports and on its implementation of the Code. These reports will be discussed at an annual meeting held within the framework of the CFSP. The meeting will also review the operation of the Code, identify any improvements which need to be made and submit to the Council a consolidated report, based on contributions from Member States.

9. EU Member States will, as appropriate, assess jointly through the CFSP framework the situation of potential or actual recipients of arms exports from EU Member States, in the light of the principles and criteria of the Code of Conduct.

10. It is recognised that Member States, where appropriate, may also take into account the effect of proposed exports on their economic, social, commercial and industrial interests, but that these factors will not affect the application of the above criteria.

11. EU Member States will use their best endeavours to encourage other arms exporting states to subscribe to the principles of this Code of Conduct.

12. This Code of Conduct and the operative provisions will replace any previous elaboration of the 1991 and 1992 Common Criteria.


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European Union Adopts Code of Conduct on Arms Sales

May 1998

By Wade Boese

On May 25, European Union (EU) foreign ministers at a General Affairs Council meeting approved an arms sales code of conduct that lists eight criteria (see complete text) to guide EU members in arms exports and requires consultations between members when one pursues a weapons deal that another had previously denied. While aiming to promote "high common standards" for arms exports, the code is not legally binding and the final export decision remains one of national discretion.

According to the latest World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (1996) report by the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Western European states conducted 30 percent of world arm sales in 1995, of which Britain (54 percent), France (23 percent) and Germany (12 percent) accounted for 89 percent. Scandinavian countries and other EU members with relatively few arms exports pressed for code provisions stronger than some countries, particularly France, were willing to accept. Because the EU operates by consensus, the 15 countries adopted a weaker code than most members wanted as many of the issues considered were reportedly contested 14-1. Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs David Andrews on May 26 said he was "disappointed" in the human rights criterion, but viewed the adopted code as "preferable to no step at all."

The code, whose formal adoption is expected in early June, declares an export should not be made if it might be used for internal repression, but EU members are only to "exercise special caution and vigilance" where "serious violations" of human rights have been declared by the EU, the Council of Europe or the United Nations. Moreover, members only need to "take into account" an importing state's attitude toward terrorism or commitment to non-proliferation.

Unlike the proposed U.S. code of conduct, which has yet to be passed by Congress (see ACT, March 1998), the EU code does not call for an arms buyer to be a democracy or to have civilian control over the military. But the code does obligate members to consider a buyer's "relative levels of military and social expenditure."

If an EU state refuses to approve an arms sale, that member will circulate to all others a notification of denial and an explanation. Denials for dual-use goods only need to be circulated if the end-user is or is suspected of being the armed forces or internal security forces of a prospective buyer. Notifications are to be confidential to prevent non-EU states from using denials for commercial advantage.

Any member that seeks to conclude an "essentially identical transaction" within three years of a denial must consult with the state or states that issued the denial. If the member still opts to go forward with the sale then that member needs to notify the original state or states of the intent to undercut with a detailed reasoning.

France, an original code co-sponsor with Britain, opposed efforts to require undercuts to be notified to all members. A French official explained that for the notifications to be "meaningful and significant," they should be limited to the states involved.

Although limited, the consultation mechanism and prior notification of undercuts are significant steps considering that the 33-member Wassenaar Arrangement, which seeks to increase transparency in arms exports, requires participating states only to inform other members of an undercut within 60 days after an export license has already been issued. A U.S. government official noted that a prior consultation mechanism has yet to be "fully aired" within the United States.

The EU code lacks public transparency as annual reports on members' arms exports and implementation of the code will be kept confidential. An initiative to make a consolidated report available to national parliaments and the public failed. Members also did not agree to a common list of weapons to be controlled, so until development of such a list, the code will operate according to each member's own national control lists.

European Union Adopts Code of Conduct on Arms Sales

Senate Approves NATO Expansion, Signals Caution on Future Rounds

April 1998

By Wade Boese

As expected, the Senate on April 30 approved NATO membership for the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland despite objections from a number of senators that expansion could damage U.S.-Russian relations and endanger future progress on arms control. (See the Senate Resolution.) After being criticized for generally failing to give the issue of NATO expansion the scrutiny it merited, senators finally engaged in four days of wide-ranging debate before voting 80-19 (13 more than necessary) in favor of adding the three former Cold War adversaries to the alliance. However, by narrowly defeating an amendment that would have postponed for three years any new invitations to join the alliance, the Senate signaled the administration that future rounds of expansion could be more contentious. The United States is the fifth NATO member to ratify the accession protocols; the others are Canada, Denmark, Germany and Norway.

During the debate, the Senate held floor votes on 11 amendments, defeating nine and approving two, while agreeing to several others without votes. Amendments designed to delay expansion, such as those requiring states to be European Union members before joining NATO or prohibiting further invitations until NATO has revised its strategic concept, were easily defeated. The Senate also rejected two amendments which would have required votes on the continued deployment of U.S. forces in Bosnia before the U.S. instrument of ratification for expansion could be deposited. Amendments mandating reports on the threats facing NATO and clarifying the Senate's understanding of NATO's mission and the U.S. role in NATO passed, as well as an amendment requiring the president to certify that the three new members are fully cooperating with the United States in accounting for U.S. MIAs.

Opponents Speak Out Although prognoses of the impact of an expanded NATO varied from the emergence of a less-cooperative Russia to a return to the Cold War, a belief that NATO expansion would undercut democratic forces and energize hard-liners in Russia fueled much of the opposition to NATO expansion. Countering arguments that Russia has accepted expansion, some opponents pointed to a resolution passed by the Russian Duma on January 23 calling NATO expansion the "most serious military threat to our country since 1945."

Senators from both parties warned that expanding NATO could push Russia to place even greater emphasis upon nuclear weapons to compensate for its deteriorating conventional forces an overall security situation. Dale Bumpers (D-AR) asserted that, "We are forcing them to rely more and more heavily on nuclear weapons. And the more you rely on nuclear weapons, the lower the hair trigger for nuclear war." Several senators highlighted the Duma's failure to ratify START II, which Yeltsin submitted in June 1995, as evidence of the negative impact expansion has already had on Russian arms control.

Expansion opponents also charged that adding new members would do little to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which Paul Wellstone (D-MN) proclaimed should be the "number one" concern of the United States. Some senators warned that NATO expansion would make it more difficult to secure Russian cooperation in countering proliferation and controlling the "leakage" of nuclear technology and materials from Russia.

Kent Conrad (D-ND) argued that reducing Russia's tactical nuclear arsenal should be the top priority of the United States and that NATO expansion may "create the very danger from Russia that it is intended to prevent." Noting that General Eugene Habiger, commander-in-chief of U.S. Strategic Command, estimated that Russia has between 7,000 and 12,000 tactical nuclear weapons (while the United States has roughly 1,600, with 400 in Europe), Conrad proposed an amendment for initiating discussions with Russia on tactical nuclear weapons, but his efforts failed.

Uncertainties surrounding the cost of expansion and NATO's future members and missions also prompted criticism as senators objected to signing a "blank check." With at least nine additional states, including the Baltics, having voiced interest in joining NATO and growing calls, such as those by former Secretary of Defense William Perry, for NATO to do more than just defend common territory, opponents charged that the administration's cost estimates for the United States of $400 million over 10 years was misleading. A number of senators voiced concern that the Europeans would not share the burden and that the estimate neglects any assistance the United States may provide in upgrading the new member's militaries.

Bob Smith (R-NH) called attention to a recent poll, conducted from April 23-26, that showed that only 32 percent of the public supported expansion when confronted with cost estimates that put the U.S. taxpayer share at between $400 million and $19 billion over 10 years for the first round of expansion.

Proponents Answer Critics

Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) disputed claims that expansion would hurt arms control by pointing to the ongoing Nunn-Lugar program, which helps Russia dismantle its nuclear arsenal, and to the Duma's ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention last year. Lugar attributed Duma inaction on START II as stemming from their concern with what they perceived to be the treaty's "inequities" and a desire to go to a "START III agreement sooner rather than later." Other senators argued that Russia has used NATO expansion as a convenient excuse for not ratifying START II.

Many senators who supported expansion emphasized its value in consolidating democracy and free markets in Europe, while others stressed the importance of filling a political and security vacuum. Supporters dismissed the contention that NATO poses a threat to Russia, noting that the resolution of ratification makes it very clear that NATO's core purpose is collective defense.

The Clinton administration has repeatedly defended maintaining an "open door" for new members, but the Senate, led by John Warner (R-VA), nearly shut it. Prompted by concerns that membership would be offered to other East European states, possibly even the Baltics, before an assessment could be made of the costs and threats generated by the first round of expansion, Warner proposed an amendment proscribing new invitations for three years.

Senators rallied against the amendment arguing that closing the door would cause disillusionment among aspiring members and draw a new dividing line in Europe. Moreover, many senators opposed limiting NATO's flexibility to extend new invitations and further claimed that a pause would be a victory for the hard-liners in Moscow.

Although the Senate rejected the amendment 59-41, a number of expansion proponents, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC), voted for the mandated pause, indicating that winning the necessary two-thirds of the Senate for future rounds might prove a much harder task.

The Senate Resolution

The resolution of ratification finally approved by the Senate affirms that NATO remains "first and foremost a military alliance" with the core purpose continuing to be the "collective defense of the territory of all NATO members." In deterring aggression against NATO members, the resolution emphasizes that nuclear weapons will continue to make an "essential contribution" and that U.S. nuclear forces stationed in Europe make that deterrent credible.

Nevertheless, the resolution despite some worries that NATO could become a "dial-a-soldier" organization in the words of Warner does not limit NATO to collective defense. The resolution states that members may engage in other missions "when there is a consensus among its members that there is a threat to the security and interests of NATO members."

Reflecting the Senate's objections to signing a "blank check" on expansion and to guard against the United States picking up the tab if European allies refuse or are unable to pay their share, the resolution calls for the president to certify before the deposit of the instruments of ratification that the U.S. share (approximately 25 percent) of the three NATO common budgets (civil, infrastructure and military) will not increase as NATO expands. The Senate also capped the total amount of U.S. expenditures for the common budgets at the fiscal year 1998 level "unless specifically authorized by law."

Addressing concerns of a number of senators that NATO may have provided Russia a voice in NATO decision-making through the Permanent Joint Council (PJC) established by the May 1997 NATO-Russian "Founding Act" (See ACT, May 1997) the resolution conditions NATO expansion on the understanding that Russia does not have "any role" in NATO decision-making and that any discussion of NATO doctrine in the PJC will merely be "explanatory." While the resolution states that it is in the interest of the United States to "develop a new and constructive relationship" with Russia, there is a veiled warning against the threat of the "reemergence of a hegemonic power confronting Europe."

In the end, a number of senators who had voiced reservations with expanding NATO, including Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Max Cleland (D-GA), voted for adding the three new members. But Hutchison, bolstered by the strong show of support for the Warner amendment, warned the administration against putting the "cart before the horse" on any future expansion.

Senate Approves NATO Expansion, Signals Caution on Future Rounds


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