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Bloomberg News
August 27, 2018
India

Report Predicts Future Global Arms Trends

Kirsten McNeil

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) released its fourth Global Trends report on Nov. 20, timed to correspond every four years to the period of transition between presidential administrations. Chaired by Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis Thomas Fingar, the NIC is within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which sits atop the sprawling U.S. intelligence community. The "Global Trends 2025" report aims to identify key strategic drivers in the global system that could shape the issues facing the new administration and to guide policymakers toward a broad view of the world.

The report addressed weapons proliferation as well as other global issues, such as climate change and economic trends. Broadly speaking, the report predicts that China and India will see an increase in their relative power, shifting the international system to a multipolar scheme rather than the current unipolar one. The United States will continue to remain the most powerful country but will see a relative decrease as these other states rise in stature. Up-and-coming states such as Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey will also be major drivers in the system.

At a Nov. 20 press conference, Fingar warned that "[i]f Iran were to go nuclear, there could be a regional arms race. If one of the states that has the capability elects to proliferate...we could have a problem. And it's not too hard to imagine regimes having access to a weapon without the kind of fail-safe controls that we have [and] the Russians have."

More broadly, the report goes on to state, "[f]uture asymmetries in conventional military capabilities among potential rivals might tempt weak states to view nuclear weapons as a necessary and justifiable defense in response to the threat of overwhelming conventional attacks."

During the period, conventional weapons are predicted to be of increasing importance for terrorists, who are expected to seek advanced tactical weapons, such as anti-tank missiles and man-portable weapon systems. The current spread of improvised explosive devices and inexpensive robotics and sensors is expected to continue. The study characterizes warfare in the year 2025 as increasingly asymmetric, nonmilitary, and reliant on information.

Overall, the report tells a cautionary tale based on the spread of different kinds of weapons systems in conjunction with expanding and evolving reasons for conflict to occur among states. As the report notes, "[T]raditional security concerns are declining in importance but may be replaced by new issues, such as competition over resources."

 

 

 

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) released its fourth Global Trends report on Nov. 20, timed to correspond every four years to the period of transition between presidential administrations. Chaired by Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis Thomas Fingar, the NIC is within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which sits atop the sprawling U.S. intelligence community. The "Global Trends 2025" report aims to identify key strategic drivers in the global system that could shape the issues facing the new administration and to guide policymakers toward a broad view of the world. (Continue)

Russia, India Ink Nuke Cooperation Deal

Peter Crail

During a Dec. 5 visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to New Delhi, Russia agreed to provide India with four new nuclear power plants as part of a nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries. The agreement marks the third such accord India has signed with nuclear suppliers since a Sept. 6 decision by the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to lift a long-standing prohibition against providing nuclear technology to India. (See ACT, October 2008.) India signed similar agreements with France and the United States in September and October, respectively.

Russia and India also concluded several additional agreements on a range of issues, including defense and space cooperation.

The nuclear cooperation agreement cements a memorandum of understanding agreed in January 2007 regarding Russia's provision of four additional power reactors to be constructed at Kundankulam, in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu. (See ACT, March 2007.) The four reactors would join two reactors Russia is constructing at that site that are near completion.

Russia and India agreed on the construction of the first two reactors in 2001 over U.S. objections that such cooperation violated Russia's commitment to NSG rules. (See ACT, December 2001.) This time, however, Moscow waited until after the NSG decision to formalize the reactor construction deal. That decision exempted India from the group's 1992 rule not to provide nuclear technology to states that do not have full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

Full-scope safeguards require all nuclear activities in a state to be subject to monitoring and inspections by the agency to ensure that they are not diverted for weapons purposes. India, which has not joined the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) but tested nuclear devices in 1974 and 1998, has an active nuclear weapons program that is off-limits to such inspections.

As part of India's nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States, New Delhi has agreed to formulate a plan to ensure that its military facilities and civilian facilities will operate autonomous of each other. It has pledged then to place all of its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards by 2014. India currently has a total of 17 operating nuclear power reactors and has plans to construct an additional 25-30 by 2030 to help meet expected energy shortages.

In addition to the construction of the four new plants at Kundankulam stipulated under the Russian-Indian nuclear cooperation accord, a joint declaration signed by Medvedev and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated an intention to construct nuclear power reactors in other sites in India and "to expand and pursue further areas for bilateral cooperation in the field of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy."

The Indo-Asian News Service quoted Russian ambassador to New Delhi Vyacheslav Trubnikov Dec. 7 stating that Russia is "ready to build 10 more nuclear plants" should the Indian government decide to do so.

Russia's nuclear cooperation with India also involves supplying nuclear fuel for Indian reactors. Moscow agreed to provide New Delhi with a lifetime supply of fuel for the reactors that it is constructing, as well as to a five-year renewable contract to supply fuel for India's U.S.-origin nuclear reactors at Tarapur. Russia has intermittently provided fuel for the Tarapur reactors contrary to NSG rules and U.S. objections. (See ACT, March 2001.) Washington cut off U.S. fuel supplies for the reactors following India's 1974 nuclear test.

The United States reversed its objection to fueling the Tarapur reactors in a 2005 joint statement between Singh and President George W. Bush on nuclear cooperation between the two countries, which eventually led to the NSG exemption this year.

Russia's nuclear cooperation agreements do not include stipulations regarding conditions under which this fuel supply would be suspended, such as an Indian nuclear weapons test. A Russian diplomat told Arms Control Today Jan 14 that Moscow "would deal with nuclear cooperation with India in accordance with the NSG rules."

During the negotiations regarding the NSG waiver for India, several members argued that the group should stipulate that trade would be terminated in the event of an Indian test. (See ACT, October 2008.) At the U.S. insistence, however, this stipulation was not included in the text of the waiver. In a response to congressional questions regarding the U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement with India, the Department of State indicated in February, however, that "should India detonate a nuclear explosive device, the United States has the right to cease all nuclear cooperation with India immediately."

In addition to the Russian deal, the French nuclear conglomerate Areva concluded an agreement Dec. 18 to provide India with 300 tons of uranium for reactor fuel.

Neither the Russian nor the French fuel supply arrangements include provisions for the return of spent fuel to the country of origin. The lack of such a provision allows India to recover plutonium from the spent fuel by reprocessing it. Similarly, the U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement provides India with advance consent to reprocess U.S.-origin spent fuel, an exception that has only been granted to Japan and the European Atomic Energy Community.

Generally, plutonium recovered from reprocessing may be used as part of the explosive core of nuclear weapons or as a component in the nuclear fuel for nuclear reactors such as "breeder reactors," which produce more plutonium than they consume. All foreign-origin fuel, including spent fuel reprocessed for plutonium, is subject to IAEA safeguards, thereby prohibiting it from being used for weapons.

New Delhi maintains three breeder reactors and has declared that it intends to develop a "three-stage fuel cycle" that will incorporate the use of such plants, thereby producing large amounts of plutonium. Although India has pledged to place its future civilian breeder reactors under IAEA safeguards, two such reactors are not included on its list of civilian nuclear facilities, and New Delhi has left open the possibility that additional breeder reactors may not be classified as civilian. (See ACT, April 2006.)

 

 

 

 

During a Dec. 5 visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to New Delhi, Russia agreed to provide India with four new nuclear power plants as part of a nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries. The agreement marks the third such accord India has signed with nuclear suppliers since a Sept. 6 decision by the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to lift a long-standing prohibition against providing nuclear technology to India. (See ACT, October 2008.) India signed similar agreements with France and the United States in September and October, respectively (Continue)

Nuclear Deals Adding Up for South Asia

Wade Boese

Key nuclear suppliers wasted little time in offering their goods to India after a September waiver of international nuclear trade restrictions against that country. France and the United States swiftly signed bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements with India, while Russia is on the verge of finalizing a similar pact. Pakistan, India’s rival, also did not stay idle, claiming a new deal for two Chinese reactors despite a multilateral rule proscribing such a transaction.

On Sept. 30, France concluded the first nuclear cooperation agreement with India following the Sept. 6 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) decision to exempt India from a 1992 rule restricting nuclear exports to countries, like India and Pakistan, that refuse to grant international access to their entire nuclear complexes. (See ACT, October 2008.) The terms of the French-Indian accord, negotiated earlier this year, remain confidential. On the day of the signing, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thanked the French government for its “consistent support” of the three-year Bush administration campaign to void the NSG rule on India’s behalf.

Pranab Mukherjee, India’s external affairs minister, similarly praised Bush administration officials Oct. 10 when he joined Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to sign the U.S.-Indian cooperation pact. The two sides completed negotiations in July 2007 on the so-called 123 agreement (see ACT, September 2007), but were prohibited from finalizing it until a series of actions took place, including the NSG waiver.

In an Oct. 20 address to India’s parliament, Mukherjee said the government also hoped to conclude a nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia when President Dmitry Medvedev visits India in December. A draft agreement reportedly includes a Russian commitment to supply India with at least four new reactors.

Foreign firms cannot commence nuclear trade, including nuclear reactor fuel exports, with India until it brings into force its new safeguards arrangement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). To accomplish that, India must notify the agency that it is ready to bring the safeguards into force and specify where they are to be applied. Safeguards are measures, such as inspections, intended to deter or detect the diversion of nuclear materials or technologies from permissible peaceful purposes to nuclear arms.

India, however, intends to continue operation of a nuclear weapons sector, so the new safeguards arrangement will apply exclusively to facilities that India voluntarily declares to the agency in accordance with a March 2006 plan. (See ACT, April 2006.) New Delhi, which already has safeguards arrangements for six reactors, pledged by 2014 to incrementally submit eight additional power reactors (some currently operating and some under construction) to safeguards. Moreover, India will have to put the four possible reactors from Russia under safeguards. Eight other current Indian reactors would be out of bounds to the IAEA.

On Oct. 20, President George W. Bush fulfilled a legislative requirement to certify that U.S. nuclear transfers to India would be “consistent with the obligation of the United States under the [nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)] not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce India to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other explosive devices.” That certification enables U.S. companies to apply for nuclear export licenses to India.

Critics of the U.S.-Indian agreement have said it will aid India’s bomb efforts by enabling India to dedicate more of its scarce uranium resources to producing fuel for weapons rather than power reactors. Opponents further contended that as India steps up its nuclear activities, Pakistan will seek to do the same.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who was among the minority of lawmakers voting against approval of the U.S.-Indian 123 agreement, seized on Pakistan’s announced deal for two new Chinese reactors as confirming the critics’ concerns. In an Oct. 18 press statement, Markey asserted that, “by destroying the nuclear rules for India, President Bush has weakened the rules for everyone else.” He added, “Pakistan and China will be the first, but almost certainly not the last, to take advantage of this perilously weakened system.”

Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister, apparently disclosed the deal to the media as part of a recent package of agreements concluded between the Chinese and Pakistani governments. News reports stated the deal would entail the supply of two additional reactors to Pakistan’s Chashma nuclear complex, where China has previously built one reactor and is installing another. The contracts for the first two reactors were concluded before NSG members in May 2004 invited China to join the group, so China could legally fulfill the contracts. The NSG rule recently waived for India still restricts trade with Pakistan, so China appears to be acting against its group commitments.

Qin Gang, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, offered journalists Oct. 21 only vague statements on the reported deal. Without specifically confirming the transfer of two additional reactors, Qin said China would continue its civilian nuclear “cooperation” with Pakistan and contended that such cooperation “fully complies with the two countries’ respective international obligations.”

The U.S. government has not commented on the purported deal and declined to answer questions posed Oct. 20 by Arms Control Today. Bush administration officials over the past few years have maintained Pakistan should not be given the same nuclear trade privileges as India. Prior to the NSG’s offer of membership to China and two weeks after China had concluded the contract for the second reactor at Chashma, John Wolf, assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation, told a May 18, 2004, House International Relations Committee hearing that “the United States would prefer that no country provide Pakistan the benefits of peaceful nuclear cooperation.” (See ACT, June 2004.)

Whether some governments will press China on its nuclear ties to Pakistan at an upcoming November NSG meeting is unclear. One item supposedly on the agenda is discussion of criteria to limit uranium-enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing technologies, which can be used to produce nuclear fuel for reactors and the key ingredients for nuclear arms. (See ACT, June 2008.) To help pave the way for congressional approval of the U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement, Rice promised to make the pursuit of such criteria, including a draft requirement that recipients be NPT states-parties, the “highest priority” of the United States.

If adopted, that criteria would block enrichment and reprocessing exports to New Delhi. India appears to be maneuvering to prevent such a possibility. At a recent trilateral summit, India joined two NSG members, Brazil and South Africa, in issuing an Oct. 15 declaration that included a provision underscoring “the importance of ensuring that any multilateral decisions related to the nuclear fuel cycle do not undermine the inalienable right of [s]tates to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.” The NSG operates by consensus, so the adoption of any criteria pertaining to exports of nuclear fuel cycle technologies, including enrichment and reprocessing transfers, could be blocked by a single state.


Key nuclear suppliers wasted little time in offering their goods to India after a September waiver of international nuclear trade restrictions against that country. France and the United States swiftly signed bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements with India, while Russia is on the verge of finalizing a similar pact. Pakistan, India’s rival, also did not stay idle, claiming a new deal for two Chinese reactors despite a multilateral rule proscribing such a transaction. (Continue)

The NSG and Sensitive Nuclear Fuel Cycle Technologies in the Aftermath of the U.S.-Indian Nuclear Cooperation Deal

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Oct. 21, 2008

Remarks for M.I.T. Workshop on Internationalizing Uranium Enrichment Facilities by Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director.  Click here to download.

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Remarks for M.I.T. Workshop on Internationalizing Uranium Enrichment Facilities by Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director (Continue)

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Unfinished Business for the NSG

Daryl G. Kimball

In an unprecedented move that will undermine the value of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the already beleaguered nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the NSG reluctantly agreed Sept. 6 to exempt NPT holdout India from its guidelines that require comprehensive international safeguards as a condition of nuclear trade.

The decision is a nonproliferation disaster of historic proportions that will produce harm for decades to come. It severely erodes the credibility of global efforts to ensure that access to nuclear trade and technology is available only to those states that meet global nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament standards. India does not.

Furthermore, foreign supplies of nuclear fuel to India's civil nuclear sector will reduce or eliminate India's need to sacrifice electricity production to produce weapons-grade plutonium. This would enable India to increase the rate of fissile material production for bombs and worsen nuclear arms competition in Asia.

Compounding the error, the Bush administration rebuffed efforts by a group of responsible NSG states to incorporate into their decision provisions in U.S. law that severely restrict transfers of sensitive nuclear fuel-cycle technologies to India and mandate a cutoff of nuclear trade if India resumes nuclear testing.

When the NSG meets again in November, the United States and other participating governments will have an opportunity to close one of the loopholes of their India-specific exemption: barring the transfer of uranium-enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing technologies to states that have not joined the NPT or agreed to an additional protocol to their safeguards agreement, which gives international inspectors broader authority.

Tougher NSG standards on sensitive fuel cycle technologies are long overdue. In India's case, enrichment and reprocessing cooperation could actually help its nuclear bomb production program because international safeguards cannot prevent the replication or use of such technologies for weapons purposes.

In practice, it is unlikely that suppliers will transfer enrichment or reprocessing technology to India anytime soon. The NSG waiver for India maintains that NSG states must continue to "exercise restraint" with respect to transfers of sensitive dual-use technologies and enrichment and reprocessing technologies to India or any other state. And, according to the Bush administration, no NSG participating government intends to transfer enrichment or reprocessing technology to India. Yet, India continues to demand "full" access to the nuclear fuel and technology market, and supplier states intentions could change, especially if they smell a profit.

Before agreeing to consider the U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement last month, the House and Senate should have demanded that the United States win support for tougher NSG guidelines on enrichment and reprocessing transfers. Under heavy political pressure to rush the flawed deal through, they failed to do so.

In exchange for quick House approval of the India agreement, however, Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged the NSG loophole in a personal commitment to Howard Berman (D-Calif.), chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Rice promised that the United States will make its "highest priority" to achieve a decision at the next NSG meeting to prohibit the export of enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technology to states that are not party to the NPT.

NSG discussions on the matter predate the proposal for opening nuclear trade with India and are ripe for a decision. In 2004 the United States proposed a complete ban on sensitive fuel-cycle technology transfers to states without such capabilities. Many NSG states objected and suggested a criteria-based approach, but the United States said no.

Just ahead of the May 2008 NSG meeting, the United States adjusted its position and threw its support behind a proposal that would bar enrichment and reprocessing technologies to states that:

  • have not signed the NPT;
  • have not agreed to an additional protocol to their International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreement;
  • are not in compliance with their NPT or safeguards obligations; or
  • are located in regions in which such transfers might promote proliferation or undermine security.

However, Washington also demanded that if enrichment or reprocessing transfers do occur, they should be executed only via "black box" technologies, wherein only the supplier can access and own the technology. Canada opposed this provision, thereby blocking consensus on the package.

If Washington and Ottawa can resolve their differences and if Brazil can be prevailed on to drop its misguided opposition to the additional protocol criterion, the NSG can adapt tougher enrichment and reprocessing transfer guidelines. This would plug one of the gaping holes in the September NSG waiver for India and ensure that other suppliers are more in line with U.S. policy.

The Bush administration must now follow through and rally NSG support for tougher NSG guidelines that would help mitigate some of the damage caused by the waiver for India.

In an unprecedented move that will undermine the value of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the already beleaguered nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the NSG reluctantly agreed Sept. 6 to exempt NPT holdout India from its guidelines that require comprehensive international safeguards as a condition of nuclear trade.

The decision is a nonproliferation disaster of historic proportions that will produce harm for decades to come. It severely erodes the credibility of global efforts to ensure that access to nuclear trade and technology is available only to those states that meet global nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament standards. India does not. (Continue)

NSG, Congress Approve Nuclear Trade with India

Wade Boese

The Bush administration succeeded Sept. 6 in its three-year campaign to secure a waiver for India from long-standing international nuclear trade restrictions. Three days of U.S. prodding and an Indian reiteration of its current nuclear testing moratorium pledge helped the United States overcome the last resistance of some nuclear suppliers to the sweeping policy reversal. With international trade restrictions on India removed, the U.S. Congress heeded Bush administration exhortations to bypass existing U.S. law to approve a bilateral U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement on an expedited basis.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who agreed in July 2005 to the joint venture with the United States and risked his coalition government’s survival on the deal, hailed the decision by the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). In a Sept. 6 statement, Singh said the move “marks the end of India’s decades-long isolation from the nuclear mainstream and of the technology denial regime.”

The United States and some other countries curtailed nuclear exports to India after it conducted a 1974 nuclear explosion that broke Indian commitments to Canada and the United States to use their trade for peaceful purposes only. India’s isolation grew when the NSG, founded in response to the Indian test, adopted a 1992 rule that required non-nuclear-weapon states as defined by the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to permit international oversight of their full nuclear complex to be eligible for most nuclear trade. Although nuclear armed and not a signatory to the treaty, India is classified by the accord as a non-nuclear-weapon state because it did not explode a nuclear device before Jan. 1, 1967. India has not opened up its entire nuclear enterprise to outside inspection, so the 1992 rule effectively has barred India from global nuclear commerce. It was that rule that the NSG members recently agreed in Vienna to waive for India.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who feverishly lobbied foreign officials by phone during the NSG deliberations, told reporters Sept. 6 that the waiver was a “very big step forward for the nonproliferation framework.”

But some representatives of other NSG members did not share Rice’s enthusiasm. After the NSG conclave, according to a Sept. 6 Reuter’s report, one diplomat remarked, “NPT RIP?” Another diplomat told the same reporter that the final decision met with “complete silence…no clapping, nothing.” The diplomat said the quiet reception reflected that “a lot of us felt pressured to some extent into a decision by the Americans, and few [NSG members] were totally satisfied.”

Heading into the meeting, originally scheduled for two days but extended to a third, many states objected to the initial U.S.-proposed waiver. Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland led calls for augmenting the draft to terminate nuclear trade if India conducts new nuclear tests as well as to prohibit certain transfers, such as uranium-enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing technologies that can be used to produce material for nuclear bombs in addition to fuel for nuclear reactors. India strenuously opposed such measures and demanded a “clean” exemption.

Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand apparently resisted U.S. pressure the longest but eventually acquiesced to adopting the waiver after some slight modifications and a Sept. 5 statement by Pranab Mukherjee, India’s external affairs minister. Mukherjee reiterated previous Indian positions to adhere to a unilateral nuclear testing moratorium and negotiate an additional protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Such measures grant the IAEA greater authority to investigate a country’s nuclear activities to ensure that materials and facilities for peaceful purposes are not used surreptitiously to make nuclear arms. In India’s case, such an instrument would be largely symbolic because India will continue to operate a nuclear weapons production sector outside of IAEA safeguards.

The text of the approved waiver states that it is “based on the commitments and actions” described by Mukherjee. Several states assert this reference indicates that the group will end nuclear trade with India if it does not honor the Mukherjee statement, particularly if it conducts a nuclear test. In a Sept. 6 statement, New Zealand declared, “It is our expectation that in the event of a nuclear test by India, this exemption will become null and void.” Other states, including Japan and Ireland, offered similar statements.

Still, the waiver does not contain any explicit provisions that trade will be terminated automatically. It mandates that the group will meet if a member considers that “circumstances have arisen which require consultations.” Because the NSG operates by consensus, a single state could block the group from cutting off trade with India for any alleged transgression.

Unless the president intervenes, U.S. law mandates that U.S. trade with India cease in the event of a nuclear test. The Bush administration also told lawmakers that pledged U.S. nuclear fuel supply assurances to India “are not, however, meant to insulate India against the consequences of a nuclear explosive test or a violation of nonproliferation commitments.”

The Bush administration delivered that statement in January to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as part of a series of responses to October 2007 questions posed by the panel. The administration asked the committee to closely hold the answers, but the panel’s chairman, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), ordered their release Sept. 2. Publication of the answers touched off a fresh round of incriminations by Singh’s domestic opponents, who charged his government had falsely conveyed that the fuel assurances would help India maintain foreign nuclear supplies even if it tested again.

Although President George W. Bush and Singh committed to pursuing “full civil nuclear energy cooperation,” the NSG waiver cites existing group guidelines that members “should exercise restraint” in enrichment and reprocessing exports. Moreover, NSG members are negotiating criteria to limit all future enrichment and reprocessing transfers; and one of the draft criteria requires recipients to be NPT states-parties, which would disqualify India. (See ACT, June 2008.) Expectations that such a criterion eventually will be adopted helped the United States dissuade other countries from insisting that a specific enrichment and reprocessing transfer ban be included as part of the India waiver. In its Sept. 6 statement, Ireland asserted its understanding, based on consultations with other governments, that “no [participating NSG member] currently intends to transfer to India any facilities, equipment, materials or technology related to the enrichment of uranium, or the reprocessing of spent fuel.”

The waiver commits each NSG member to regularly inform the group of certain “approved transfers” to India and invites each country to share information on their bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements with India. France and Russia have negotiated preliminary agreements with India and are expected to formally sign them within weeks. Singh said in a Sept. 22 statement that he was “confident” that a trip to France before the end of the month would lead to “further consolidation” of Indian-French civil nuclear cooperation.

Transfers of nuclear materials or technologies to India by France, Russia, or others, however, cannot legally occur until India brings into force its IAEA safeguards agreement that was approved Aug. 1 by that agency’s 35-member Board of Governors. (See ACT, September 2008.) India has informally stated which facilities it intends to put under safeguards but is not obligated to follow that plan.

In the wake of the NSG move, the Bush administration urged Congress to rapidly approve a July 2007 U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement (see ACT, September 2007) so U.S. companies can take advantage of the rule change and compete for future nuclear deals with India. Bush submitted the bilateral agreement Sept. 10 to lawmakers and certified that India had filed a safeguards declaration with the IAEA. But Melissa Fleming, an agency spokesperson, e-mailed Arms Control Today Sept. 18 that India had “not yet” done so. The congressional resolution of approval sidestepped the issue by requiring that the list of facilities placed under safeguards not be “materially inconsistent” with the list of facilities described in a plan presented by the Indian government to its parliament in May 2006.

Passed by legislators and signed into law in December 2006, the Henry J. Hyde Act requires that Congress wait 30 continuous days before voting on the U.S.-Indian cooperation agreement. Yet, key lawmakers agreed to expedite the process. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held one hearing on Sept. 18 and on Sept. 23 passed 19-2 a resolution of approval. The committee rejected by a margin of 15-4 a proposed amendment from Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) that would have made the agreement’s implementation contingent on the NSG amending its guidelines to ban enrichment and reprocessing exports to states outside the NPT.

Shortly thereafter, House Committee on Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) agreed to introduce a resolution identical to the Senate version and allow quick House approval of the India agreement, in exchange for a commitment from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the United States will make its “highest priority” winning an NSG commitment at a November meeting to prohibit the export of enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technology to states that are not party to the NPT.

After nearly an hour of debate, on Sept. 27 the House approved the agreement 298-117. For a few days, some senators blocked similar action in the Senate , but finally relented after Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) threatened to reconvene the Senate for a vote on the matter later in the month. On Oct. 1 the Senate approved the agreement 86-13 after voting down by voice vote a proposed amendment by Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) that sought to clarify that it is the policy of the United States to terminate nuclear trade with India if it resumes testing. Citing various Bush administration statements and the Hyde Act, the bill managers argued the amendment was unnecessary. As Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) put it: “if India resumes testing, the 123 agreement is over.” The vote opens the way for Bush to sign the bill and for the United States and India to finalize the nuclear cooperation agreement.

The Bush administration succeeded Sept. 6 in its three-year campaign to secure a waiver for India from long-standing international nuclear trade restrictions. Three days of U.S. prodding and an Indian reiteration of its current nuclear testing moratorium pledge helped the United States overcome the last resistance of some nuclear suppliers to the sweeping policy reversal. With international trade restrictions on India removed, the U.S. Congress heeded Bush administration exhortations to bypass existing U.S. law to approve a bilateral U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement on an expedited basis. (Continue)

Statement of Daryl G. Kimball, Arms Control Association Executive Director, on the U.S.-Indian Agreement for Nuclear Cooperation

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October 1, 2008

After a difficult three-year long process, the Senate this evening joined the House of Representatives in approving an unprecedented and imprudent nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and India. The vote was 86-13.

Earlier today, the Senate engaged in a brief but useful floor debate on the resolution of approval for the U.S.-Indian Agreement for Nuclear Cooperation and a common sense amendment offered Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) that would have:

1) clarified that in the event that India resumes nuclear testing, it is the policy of the United States to terminate nuclear trade with India; and
2) required the President to review and implement applicable export control authorities for U.S. nuclear exports to other nuclear supplier nations that continue nuclear trade with India.

Although the Senate rejected the Dorgan-Bingaman amendment and approved the flawed agreement, the debate -- and the remarks of bill managers Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)  and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) in particular -- effectively made the point the amendment sought to clarify: that there should be and will be consequences if India makes the mistake of resuming nuclear testing.

Dodd's and Lugar's main point of contention with the Dorgan-Bingaman amendment was that is was unecessary because the record and relevant U.S. laws require as much. Dodd and Lugar cited statements by the Secretary of State, section of the Henry Hyde Act, and State Department responses to questions for the record that strongly suggest that practical effect of applicable U.S. laws relating to nuclear trade with India -- and the intention of Congress -- is that the United States would terminate nuclear trade with India if it resumes nuclear testing for any reason and to seek the suspension of nuclear trade with India by any other supplier state. As Sen. Lugar stated it: "if India resumes testing, the 123 agreement is over."

The U.S.-Indian Agreement for Nuclear Cooperation is, nonetheless, a nonproliferation disaster. Contrary to the counterfactual claims of proponents and apologists, it does not bring India into the “nonproliferation mainstream” and India’s so-called separation plan is not credible from a nonproliferation perspective:

-    U.S. and foreign nuclear fuel supplies to India’s civil nuclear sector would free up scarce domestic supplies for exclusive use for weapons production. This could allow India to increase its bomb production rate and accelerate Pakistan’s bomb  production;
-    The agreement fails to prohibit India from extracting tritium (a radioactive gas used to boost the explosive power of nuclear bombs) for weapons from its “safeguarded” power reactors;
-    As reported in the Sept. 18 edition of The Washington Post, India’s nuclear technology procurement practices do not conform with those of responsible nuclear suppliers and they risk the leakage of sensitive information;
-     India's civil-military separation plan would allow the free flow of personnel and information between safeguarded and unsafeguarded faciliites;
-    Unlike the United States and other nuclear weapon-states, India has refused to sign the CTBT and halt the production of nuclear bomb material. The opposition BJP may not respect the current Indian government’s nuclear test moratorium pledge.

The proposed resolution of approval does not address these and other nonproliferation flaws in the agreement and it fails to resolve the inconsistencies between the U.S.-Indian 123 agreement and the 2006 Henry Hyde Act, which gives the President limited and conditional authority to engage in nuclear trade with India, which is only one of three countries never to have signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

Although U.S. laws severely restrict the transfer of enrichment or reprocessing technologies to Indian national facilities and would likely lead to a cut off of U.S. nuclear trade if India resumes nuclear testing, the Bush administration opposed efforts earlier this month to ensure other participating governments in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) follow the same standards and the resolution of approval fails fix this mistake.

In exchange for quick House approval of the India agreement, however, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged the NSG loophole in a personal commitment to Howard Berman (D-Calif.), chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.  Rice promised that the United States will make its “highest priority” to achieve a decision at the next NSG meeting to prohibit the export of enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technology to states that are not party to the NPT.

NSG discussions on the matter predate the proposal for opening nuclear trade with India and are ripe for a decision. The United States and all but one or two states support a new NSG guideline that would bar enrichment and reprocessing technologies to states that:

·   have not signed the NPT;
·   have not agreed to an additional protocol to their International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreement;
·   are not in compliance with their NPT or safeguards obligations; or
·   are located in regions in which such transfers might promote proliferation or  undermine security.

The Bush administration must now follow through and rally NSG support for tougher NSG guidelines that would plug one of the gaping holes in the September NSG waiver for India.

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After a difficult three-year long process, the Senate this evening joined the House of Representatives in approving an unprecedented and imprudent nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and India. The vote was 86-13. Earlier today, the Senate engaged in a brief but useful floor debate on the resolution of approval for the U.S.-Indian Agreement for Nuclear Cooperation and a common sense amendment offered Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) that would have: (Continue)

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Experts and NGOs Tell Congress the U.S.-Indian Nuclear Trade Agreement is a "Bad Deal"

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For Immediate Release: September 17, 2008

Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Exec. Director, Arms Control Association 1-202-463-8270 x107

(Washington, D.C.): In a letter sent to all 535 members of Congress, a group of independent nonproliferation experts, former U.S. ambassadors, faith groups, and international security and disarmament organizations urged the rejection of an unprecedented agreement for nuclear cooperation sent Sept. 10 to the Hill.

The letter urges members of Congress "to actively support measures that would help address the numerous flaws and ambiguities in this proposal," and "resist overtures to rush toward a vote without carefully considering the far-reaching nuclear nonproliferation and security implications of this unprecedented and complex arrangement."

A hearing on the agreement is scheduled for Sept. 18 and it is possible that the Congress may vote on a resolution or bill of approval this month.

The letter states that: "... the energy, trade, and nonproliferation advantages of the proposal are vastly overstated by its proponents and the potential damage to the global nonproliferation system would be severe. Contrary to assertions by the administration, the proposal would not bring India sufficiently into conformance with nonproliferation behavior expected of responsible nuclear-armed states."

As mandated by the 2006 Henry J. Hyde Act, the administration obtained an India-specific waiver from longstanding Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines restricting trade with states, such as India, that are not members of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and do not allow comprehensive safeguards.

"Paradoxically, the administration on Sept. 6 jammed through the NSG a waiver that does not incorporate the same common sense restrictions and conditions on nuclear trade with India that are required for U.S. nuclear trade with India," the letter states.

Among other requirements, the Hyde Act mandates a ban on the transfer of enrichment or reprocessing technologies to Indian national facilities (unless they are part of a safeguarded bilateral or multilateral research program) and a requirement to cut off nuclear trade if India resumes nuclear testing.

The letter urges that "before Congress acts on the agreement, U.S. and Indian officials must resolve their differences on key issues including safeguards and the possible termination of the agreement in the event that India resumes nuclear testing."

The Sept. 17 letter also explains that:

- India is one of only three states never to have signed the NPT, meaning it has not made a legally-binding commitment to achieve nuclear disarmament. Yet the arrangement would give India rights and privileges of civil nuclear trade that are more favorable than even for countries that are in good standing under the NPT.

- The agreement would indirectly assist India’s nuclear weapons program, which will likely worsen nuclear arms competition in Asia.

- IAEA safeguards on a few additional Indian civil power reactors provide little nonproliferation value.

- India has not publicly acknowledged safeguards would last indefinitely.

- India has not filed its declaration of facilities to be safeguarded with the IAEA as required before Congress considers the agreement.

- The Bush administration claims that no other nuclear supplier intends to transfer sensitive bomb material production technologies to India. However, until such time as there are new international guidelines barring enrichment and reprocessing technologies to non-NPT members, other states may engage in such trade with India.

- Congress should affirm that if India breaks its political pledge not to resume testing, U.S. nuclear trade shall be terminated and the U.S. will urge all other suppliers to follow suit.

The letter was organized by the Arms Control Association and the Campaign for Responsibility in Nuclear Trade.

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In a letter sent to all 535 members of Congress, a group of independent nonproliferation experts, former U.S. ambassadors, faith groups, and international security and disarmament organizations urged the rejection of an unprecedented agreement for nuclear cooperation sent Sept. 10 to the Hill. (Continue)

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Correcting the Record: Arms Experts Respond to Secretary Rice’s Claims about Bush Administration Nuclear Control Accomplishments

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For Immediate Release: September 10, 2008
Press Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, (202) 463-8270 x107; Wade Boese, (202) 463-8270 x104; and Peter Crail, (202) 463-8270 x102

(Washington, D.C.): Early this week, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal published articles in which Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice extolled the Bush administration’s record in limiting global nuclear dangers. Those articles apparently stemmed from an extended response that Rice delivered to a reporter’s question at a Sept. 7 press conference in Rabat, Morocco. Rice asserted that the administration’s record on nonproliferation and counterproliferation was “very strong” and “left this situation…in far better shape than we found it.” In making her case, Rice claimed success on a raft of issues, including progress on nuclear affairs with India, Iran, and North Korea.

Analysts with the independent Arms Control Association (ACA) disagree. The Bush administration’s nuclear control record falls far short of Rice’s inflated claims. Indeed, there is more to lament than to cheer.

To be sure, some nonproliferation gains have occurred during the Bush administration’s tenure, but Rice’s recounting exaggerates, distorts, and omits certain details and developments concerning the administration’s sub-par record.

Secretary Rice is correct that the nuclear challenges facing the world cannot be “resolved overnight” or necessarily “resolved by any single administration.” Effectively addressing nuclear dangers is a long-term challenge that requires cooperation and engagement not only from one administration to the next, but also across party lines and with foreign governments, including those that might be hostile to the United States.

But instead of taking a consistent approach to reducing weapons, the administration sought to selectively apply rules on the basis of whether a regime was deemed a friend or foe, thereby weakening the very rules that place pressure on all countries to abjure unconventional arms. Contrary to Rice’s conclusion, a preliminary analysis of her claims and omissions reveals that the nonproliferation regime has been weakened on the Bush administration’s watch.

Below are the ACA responses to each of Rice’s claimed successes, as well as issues not covered in her response that must be taken into account when judging the Bush administration’s nuclear nonproliferation and counterproliferation record. The issues are presented in the order in which Rice discussed them.

Secretary Rice: …we did take down the A. Q. Khan network.”
ACA Response: True, but some question whether the administration waited too long to act and uncertainty remains whether the entire network has been shut down. Part of that uncertainty stems from the administration’s decision not to press the Pakistani government to permit U.S. interrogations of Khan and apparent U.S. interference in the investigations of other governments to protect U.S. sources and intelligence. That meddling may have prevented key individuals involved in the network from receiving appropriate penalties for trafficking nuclear secrets around the globe.

For more information on the Khan network, visit ACA’s resource page on nuclear black markets: http://www.armscontrol.org/subject/58/date.

Secretary Rice: “…the president’s administration has established the Proliferation Security Initiative [(PSI)].
ACA Response: Yes, in May 2003, the Bush administration established the PSI, an initiative to intercept shipments of unconventional weapons in transit at sea, on land, and in the air. The administration claims that some 90 countries are now participating in the voluntary effort. However, assessing the practical value and achievements of the PSI is difficult because countries, including the United States, were already conducting interdictions to impede proliferation before the PSI’s establishment and the initiative is based on pre-existing international and national legal authorities. The most frequently touted success of the PSI by Bush administration officials is the October 2003 interdiction of a ship carrying centrifuge components to Libya, but that operation has been attributed by other U.S. and foreign government officials to activities that predated the PSI. It also remains unclear whether other successes reported by PSI participants would have occurred without the PSI because they also relied on capabilities and practices that preceded the initiative’s start. Still, the initiative does appear to have raised awareness and cooperation amongst a broader group of states on the need to prevent illicit transfers of unconventional weapons and materials from reaching their destination.

For more information on the PSI, visit ACA’s resource page on the PSI: http://www.armscontrol.org/subject/21/date.

Secretary Rice: …it is a major breakthrough that Libya made the strategic choice to give up its weapons of mass destruction.
ACA Response: Absolutely. Libya’s December 2003 renunciation of nuclear weapons and other unconventional arms programs stands as a notable nonproliferation achievement. Bush administration officials attribute Libya’s decision to a variety of factors, including the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the October 2003 interdiction of a shipment of centrifuge components. Libya’s decision, however, also was influenced by years of multilateral diplomacy and crippling economic sanctions that began before the Bush administration entered into office. While making progress on their disarmament commitments, Libyan officials have expressed frustration at times with the United States for not following through on its promises to reward Libya for its action. Still, Rice last week became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Libya in decades.

For more information on Libya and its disarmament, visit ACA’s resource page on Libya: http://www.armscontrol.org/country/8/date.

Secretary Rice: …North Korea. Yes, this process has had its ups and downs. But we do have a way forward…
ACA Response: “Ups and downs” is an understatement. When the Bush administration entered office, North Korea’s operation of its plutonium-based nuclear weapons program at Yongbyon had been frozen as a result of the 1994 Agreed Framework. At that time, Pyongyang was suspected of having squirreled away enough material for one or two nuclear weapons. The situation deteriorated in late 2002 when the Bush administration accused North Korea of cheating on its commitments and then cut off fuel supplies to North Korea, which the United States had committed to provide under the 1994 agreement. Pyongyang then kicked out international inspectors and restarted its weapons operations at Yongbyon, eventually producing enough material for up to an estimated 12 nuclear weapons. North Korea’s resumption of the Yongbyon-based weapons effort culminated in that state’s first nuclear test explosion in October 2006. Just a few months earlier in July, North Korea had conducted an unsuccessful flight test of a longer-range ballistic missile, reversing a flight test moratorium it had adhered to since 1999.

Working with China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, the Bush administration in its second term did obtain a commitment from North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programs, and following a reinvigorated diplomatic campaign, negotiated an agreement for North Korea to take specific steps toward that goal in early 2007. This process has gained mixed results, but has succeeded again in shuttering the Yongbyon facilities.

Although Rice is correct that a “way forward” exists, the reality is that North Korea advanced its nuclear weapons efforts, including acquiring enough material for up to six times as many bombs as it previously had and conducted its first nuclear test, all under the Bush administration’s watch. Moreover, while some evidence indicates that North Korea had procured technologies in violation of the Agreed Framework to pursue an alternative method for producing bomb material, the Bush administration has been unable to substantiate that the North Korean violations were so serious that it justified torpedoing the Agreed Framework.

For more information on North Korea and the status of its nuclear weapons programs, visit ACA’s resource page on North Korea: http://www.armscontrol.org/country/9/date.

Secretary Rice: …with Iran, we have put together an international coalition of states that…have made clear to the Iranians that they have to abandon their ambitions for technologies that can lead to nuclear weapons…
ACA’s Response: Despite Bush administration efforts to isolate Iran with Security Council resolutions and economic sanctions, Iran has steadily made progress in increasing its nuclear capabilities. It has expanded its operational centrifuges, which can be used to produce low-enriched uranium for nuclear reactor fuel or highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons, from over a hundred in 2003 to about 4,000 today.

To be sure, Iran appears staunchly committed to advancing its nuclear programs, which it maintains are for energy purposes, and it is unclear what measures at this time could persuade Iran to curtail or abandon its efforts. However, the Bush administration eschewed early diplomatic efforts to potentially halt or curtail Iran’s capabilities soon after the Iranian activities came to light in 2002. The administration, for instance, opted not to join key European countries in offering incentives to Iran in exchange for it showing restraint over two years. Indeed, until this year, the Bush administration refused to participate in negotiations with Iran, squandering the possibility of diplomatic solutions to constrain Iran’s nuclear programs. The international coalition that Rice mentioned has adopted three rounds of international sanctions, but those have not led Iran to alter its course.

For more information on Iran and the status of its nuclear programs, visit ACA’s resource page on Iran: http://www.armscontrol.org/country/10/date.

Secretary Rice: …what we now have is a way for India to pursue civil nuclear technology…[that way] expands the reach of the [International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)]…begins to expand the reach of the nonproliferation regime, and that does so without violating important principles that are there in the [nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)].
ACA’s Response: Most definitely not. The Bush administration’s July 2005 deal with India fails to bring that country into the “nonproliferation mainstream” as administration officials so frequently assert. India remains one of three countries (the other two are Israel and Pakistan) to have never signed the NPT, meaning it has no legal commitment to pursue nuclear disarmament. In addition, India refuses to halt fissile material production for building additional weapons, although that has been a step taken by France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and reportedly China. India also continues to decline to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) outlawing nuclear explosions, which has been signed by 179 countries, including the United States.

Rice has touted India’s pledge to safeguard an additional eight Indian thermal nuclear power reactors as significant in expanding the IAEA’s reach, but this step hardly brings India “into the nonproliferation system” because India will continue to operate an unchecked nuclear weapons enterprise in parallel to the safeguarded civilian reactors. Safeguards are measures to ensure that technologies, materials, and facilities designated for civilian nuclear purposes are not used to produce nuclear weapons. India will keep at least eight other thermal power reactors and two breeder reactors, which are ideal for producing plutonium that can be used to make nuclear bombs, outside of safeguards and available to contribute to India’s nuclear weapons endeavors.

Indeed, India’s nuclear weapons sector will benefit from foreign nuclear supplies flowing into the country for nuclear power production because that will enable India to devote more of its scarce domestic uranium resources to making bombs. In such an event, nuclear suppliers would be violating the letter if not the spirit of Article I of the NPT, which obligates them “not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce” any non-nuclear-weapon state to acquire nuclear weapons. Despite possessing nuclear arms, India is a non-nuclear-weapon state under the NPT because India did not conduct a nuclear test before Jan. 1, 1967.

In short, the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal does not strengthen the nonproliferation regime, but severely undermines it by giving India the same nuclear trading privileges as NPT members who have forsworn nuclear weapons and provide the IAEA access to their full nuclear complexes. India is not undertaking any binding or new steps to limit its nuclear weapons program in exchange for expanded nuclear trade, but instead is seeking to establish supply arrangements that would enable it to conduct a nuclear test without having trade cut off.

For more information on India and the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal, see ACA’s resource page on India: http://armscontrol.org/country/13/date.

Secretary Rice: We have also, of course, continued our work…on securing nuclear materials…[and] continuing the work of the Nunn-Lugar program.
ACA’s Response: True, but not enthusiastically. The Nunn-Lugar program was established by legislation in 1992 and funds important efforts to secure and dispose of excess or outlawed biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons and materials, as well as delivery vehicles, in Russia, other states of the former Soviet Union, and some additional countries. Although the specific Nunn-Lugar program is run by the Pentagon, other U.S. agencies, particularly the Department of Energy, administer programs with similar purposes, and all are commonly referred to as Nunn-Lugar.

In its first budget, the Bush administration sought to cut funding for these so-called threat reduction programs and has maintained similar funding levels or sought additional cuts ever since. Congress has repeatedly increased spending above the administration’s initial budget requests. The Bush administration’s efforts to ratchet back threat reduction spending followed on the heels of a January 2001 independent bi-partisan report that called then-current funding “inadequate” and urged dramatically increasing the funding to address what the panel said was “the most urgent unmet national security threat.” The Bush administration also slowed for years implementation of some threat reduction programs by haggling with Russia over small legal details, losing sight of the bigger security threats the programs intended to mitigate.

One positive move by the Bush administration was its 2002 initiative to seek increased threat reduction funding from other states. Commonly referred to as the Global Partnership, the program calls on other states to provide $10 billion in threat reduction funding over 10 years to match U.S. spending. Although foreign countries have yet to reach the $10 billion pledged mark, they have committed billions to the project and progress is being made in several areas, such as helping Russia destroy its chemical weapons stockpile.

While important and good work has occurred on the ground to secure excess nuclear materials and weapons, the pace of action to secure the most vulnerable stockpiles that remain must be accelerated in order to reduce the risk of catastrophic nuclear terrorism.

For more information on the Nunn-Lugar program and similar threat reductions efforts, see ACA’s resource page on threat reduction: http://armscontrol.org/subject/28/date.

Key Nuclear Control Issues that Rice Did Not Mention:

The 2003 Iraq Invasion: After accusing Iraq of illicitly pursuing unconventional weapons, including nuclear weapons, and ignoring the findings of international inspectors that no evidence existed to support such allegations, the Bush administration led an invasion of that country. In February 2003, just weeks before the U.S.-led invasion, the heads of the UN and IAEA inspection teams reported to the UN Security Council that their inspectors, after returning to Iraq in late 2002, had found no evidence of ongoing chemical, nuclear, or biological weapons programs and were in the process of destroying a number of prohibited missiles in Iraq’s possession. Tragically, the Bush administration ignored these findings and failed to instruct the U.S. intelligence community to review the flawed October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s suspected weapons programs.

No unconventional arms, except some obsolete chemical weapon shells, or programs were ever discovered and the invasion cast doubt around the world about U.S. intelligence and credibility. For more information on Iraq, see ACA’s resource page on Iraq: http://armscontrol.org/country/14/date.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT): Since taking office, the Bush administration has publicly opposed the treaty and in 2002 the Department of Defense explored the possibility of removing the U.S. signature from the accord. The administration also has failed to fully pay assessed U.S. dues as a signatory to the pact to establish the treaty’s monitoring and inspection network, which is critical to U.S. test monitoring capabilities in key regions. The United States is one of several states that must still ratify the treaty to enable it to enter into force.

Bush’s CTBT policy is self-defeating and counterproductive. Given the 1996 U.S. signature of the CTBT and its test moratorium policy, the United States bears most CTBT-related responsibilities. Yet, Washington’s failure to ratify the treaty has diminished its ability to prod other states to join the accord and refrain from testing. At the same time, there is no need—nor is there any political support—for renewed U.S. testing for new nuclear warheads or any other reason. For more information on the CTBT, see ACA’s resource page on the CTBT: http://armscontrol.org/subject/45/date.

The Proposed Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT): The Bush administration in 2004 dropped long-standing U.S. advocacy for negotiating an “effectively verifiable” global FMCT, contending that such a treaty was unachievable. Instead, the administration called for negotiating an FMCT, which would end the production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for making nuclear bombs, without the goal of making it verifiable. This shift directly contravened the positions of many U.S. allies and has helped perpetuate to 10 years the negotiating deadlock within the 65-member Conference on Disarmament, where the agreement is supposed to be negotiated. No official talks have been started on the proposed accord. For more information on efforts to negotiate an FMCT, see ACA’s resource page on the Conference on Disarmament: http://armscontrol.org/subject/30/date.

The U.S.-Russian Strategic Reduction Process: Despite Russian interest in negotiating lower limits on nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles, the Bush administration has resisted. It remains content with the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) force limit of 1,700-2,200 warheads which will take effect, but also expire, on Dec. 31, 2012. Moreover, the administration has failed to reach a solution with Russia on what to do about the scheduled Dec. 5, 2009 expiration of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which currently provides the verification measures that allow the United States and Russia to keep tabs on each other’s nuclear forces. SORT contains no verification measures. Reaching agreement with Russia on nuclear limits has been complicated by the Bush administration’s 2002 withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which had banned U.S. and Russian nationwide anti-missile systems. After abrogating that treaty, the administration has further upset Russia by seeking to deploy long-range missile interceptors in Poland. Despite U.S. claims that the system is to defend against growing Iranian missile capabilities, Russia charges the proposed interceptors are aimed at undermining its nuclear deterrent. For more information on U.S.-Russian strategic relations, see ACA’s resource pages on strategic arms agreements, http://armscontrol.org/subject/61/date, and missile defenses, http://armscontrol.org/subject/18/date.

The 2005 NPT Review Conference: The members of the NPT meet every five years to review the treaty’s implementation and discuss ways to make greater progress toward the treaty’s goals. The Bush administration soured the atmosphere for the 2005 meeting by refuting a series of disarmament commitments, known as the 13 Steps, agreed to by all NPT states-parties at the previous conference in 2000. The administration then insisted that the 2005 conference focus on dealing with the noncompliance of certain states, such as Iran, and refused to talk about nuclear disarmament or other matters that many states wanted to raise with the United States. The obstinate Bush administration approach to the conference helped prevent it from reaching any conclusions, potentially missing an opportunity to strengthen the beleaguered accord. Most commentators described the 2005 conference as an unmitigated disaster, an assessment the Bush administration denies. The fact remains that under the Bush administration’s watch, no new measures to strengthen the NPT were adopted at the 2005 Review Conference. For more information on the NPT and other nonproliferation developments, see ACA’s resource page on the NPT: http://armscontrol.org/subject/60/date.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policies and Programs: Although the Bush administration claims to have reduced the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. security policy, the 2001 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review called for augmenting U.S. nuclear weapons capabilities for additional purposes, such as destroying targets buried deep underground or chemical and biological weapon depots. For that purpose, one initiative that the administration promoted was development of the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator. The administration further succeeded in rolling back a 1993 prohibition against researching weapons with yields lower than five kilotons and it supported development of a new generation of nuclear warheads under the Reliable Replacement Warhead program. Congress, however, wisely denied funding for all of the administration’s new and modified warhead proposals. Nonetheless, the administration’s pursuit of modified and new types of nuclear warheads undercut U.S. credibility among other states in arguing for them to restrain their nuclear weapons programs or development of certain nuclear technologies. For more information on U.S. nuclear weapons policies and programs, see the ACA’s resource page on U.S. nuclear weapons: http://www.armscontrol.org/subject/65/date.

Description: 

Early this week, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal published articles in which Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice extolled the Bush administration’s record in limiting global nuclear dangers. Those articles apparently stemmed from an extended response that Rice delivered to a reporter’s question at a Sept. 7 press conference in Rabat, Morocco. Rice asserted that the administration’s record on nonproliferation and counterproliferation was “very strong” and “left this situation…in far better shape than we found it.” In making her case, Rice claimed success on a raft of issues, including progress on nuclear affairs with India, Iran, and North Korea. (Continue)

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Daryl Kimball Debating the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal on C-Span

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On September 9, 2008 Daryl Kimball appeared on C-Span's Washington Journal to debate the U.S.-India nuclear deal with Karl Inderfurth. Kimball argued that the deal would weaken the global non-proliferation regime.

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On September 9, 2008 Daryl Kimball appeared on C-Span's Washington Journal to debate the U.S.-India nuclear deal with Karl Inderfurth. Kimball argued that the deal would weaken the global non-proliferation regime.

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