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"Though we have acheived progress, our work is not over. That is why I support the mission of the Arms Control Association. It is, quite simply, the most effective and important organization working in the field today." 

– Larry Weiler
Former U.S.-Russian arms control negotiator
August 7, 2018
Events

Keeping Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Peaceful: What Must the Obama Administration and Congress Do?

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December 2, 2010, 2:30pm to 4:00pm

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,
Root Room
1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Click here to register

Recent revelations regarding North Korea’s uranium enrichment program underscores the danger that the proliferation of such technologies may allow still more nations to use peaceful nuclear programs to  create a weapons option. This raises some pressing questions:

  • How will President Obama’s proposal to bring India, a non-NPT member, into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) affect nuclear export control efforts?
  • Should the United States require states to foreswear pursuing uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing as a condition of future nuclear cooperation agreements?
  • Should Congress call upon nuclear supplier states to adopt nonproliferation policies that are as stringent as those exercised by the United States?
  • What should the U.S. response be to China’s bid to sell two nuclear reactors to Pakistan, a non-NPT member, in violation of NSG rules?

On Thursday December 2, please join the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and the Arms Control Association for a panel discussion on these questions and related topics with: Executive-Director of the Arms Control Association Daryl G. Kimball; Minority staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thomas Moore; Executive Director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center Henry Sokolski; and Staff Director for the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Don MacDonald.

To register click here

If you have difficulty registering please contact Matt Sugrue
[email protected]

202.463.8270x100

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Recent revelations regarding North Korea’s uranium enrichment and reactor program have increased concerns that more nations may develop peaceful nuclear programs as a way to develop a nuclear weapons option. Please join NPEC and the Arms Control Associations on December 2, 2010 for a panel discussion.

The Status of Iran's Nuclear and Missile Programs

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SOLVING THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR PUZZLE
 BRIEFING SERIES

"The Status of Iran's Nuclear and Missile Programs"

Monday, November 22, 2010, 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Choate Room
1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036

As renewed talks with Iran on its nuclear program are poised to begin and discussions are held in Europe over missile defense, it will be important to take an informed look at where Iran's nuclear and missile capabilities stand and answer some key questions:

  • How long until Iran could have a viable nuclear weapons capability?
  • What are Iran's ballistic missile capabilities and what can we expect in the years ahead?
  • What developments might inform the new National Intelligence Estimate?
  • What will the new Congress need to know about Iran's capabilities and the options for addressing them?

Please join the Arms Control Association on Monday, November 22 for a panel discussion on these questions and others featuring former IAEA Deputy Director-General for Safeguards Olli Heinonen, International Institute for Strategic Studies Senior Fellow for Missile Defense Michael Elleman, and former National Intelligence Officer Paul Pillar, moderated by ACA Senior Fellow Greg Thielmann.

The briefing will be the first in a four-part series, "Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle," which will examine the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program and the most effective strategies to address it.

 


 

For a PDF version of this transcript, click here
Michael Elleman's presentation is available here
Olli Heinonen's presentation is available here

ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

THE STATUS OF IRAN’S NUCLEAR AND MISSILE PROGRAMS

WELCOME AND MODERATOR:

GREG THIELMANN,
SENIOR FELLOW,
ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

SPEAKERS:

OLLI HEINONEN,
SENIOR FELLOW,
BELFER CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS,
HARVARD UNIVERSITY

MICHAEL ELLEMAN,
SENIOR FELLOW FOR MISSILE DEFENSE,
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES

PAUL PILLAR,
DIRECTOR OF GRADUATE STUDIES,
CENTER FOR PEACE AND SECURITY STUDIES,
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2010

Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

GREG THIELMANN:  Welcome to you all on this Monday morning, on behalf of the Arms Control Association.  In the unlikely event that any of you are not intimately familiar with the ACA, I would just mention that we’re a nonpartisan public organization – public education organization.  We publish a monthly magazine, Arms Control Today.  There were a number of free copies on the table if you wanted to take one along.  The magazine provides an authoritative source of information on arms control issues.

My name is Greg Thielmann.  I’m a senior fellow at ACA and head of our realistic threat and response project.  I’m your moderator this morning as we kick off the first in a four-part series of briefings under the ambitious rubric “Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle”.  An outline of the series is available on the table outside.

In today’s session, we’re going to be focusing on the status of Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.  Before we can get into detailed discussions about policy options for dealing with the Iranian proliferation threat, we need to construct a solid foundation of facts and consider judgments about the status quo.  And we have a distinguished panel of authorities on this subject to help us with this task.

Before we turn to the panel, let me make the usual request that you silence any electronic devices you may be carrying.  This session is being taped and will be on the record.  We’re going to be inverting the order of participation we had originally planned because our third speaker has to leave us soon to join a meeting with the vice president later this morning.

You have biographic material on each of the speakers, but I’ll review a little bit of the background information in introducing the speakers.  We’re first going to hear from Professor Paul Pillar who is now a director of graduate studies at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University.  I first heard Paul’s name when I was serving in the State Department’s intelligence bureau 10 years ago and he was national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia.

But I really became familiar with his contributions later when I was serving on the Senate Intelligence Committee.  During the committee’s extensive investigation of intelligence-community failings on Iraq, the committee discovered the prescient analyses he produced in January 2003, describing the likely impact of invading Iraq.

And I would characterize his pieces as bright lights of insight in a very dark firmament.  Moreover, his later testimony about the analytic process helped senators on the intelligence committee gain a realistic understanding of the potential and the limits of intelligence.  So as we seek to shed light on the mysteries of Iran’s nuclear missile programs, we invite Paul to set the stage.

PAUL PILLAR:  Good morning and thanks, Greg, for that very kind introduction.  And I want to apologize, first of all, to everyone in the room, including my fellow panelists, for having to peel off early and not stay for the whole proceedings.

Greg asked me to address two different topics.  One is the intelligence community’s contribution to this whole subject.  And the second is relevant issues involving Iran and its region and more specifically Iranian attitudes toward its neighbors, the neighbors’ attitudes toward Iran and how Iran moving toward a nuclear weapons capability might affect regional dynamics.

First of all, the role of intelligence.  And I want to start by saying I know absolutely nothing about what’s in the mill with regard to this estimate or that paper, whatever.  I don’t walk the corridors anymore.  I haven’t walked them for five years of the agencies who do those sorts of things.  I don’t have a security clearance.  So I am blissfully ignorant of what’s going on.  I do have some things to say in a more general vein, though, about the role of intelligence on this topic.  And they are mainly things that I would describe as cautions.

One is to caution against an excessive focus on national intelligence estimates, or NIEs.  People wait with bated breath – well, when is the next NIE on this topic?  Well, that’s an art form that’s been around for a long time, so everyone’s heard of it.  And I guess I can understand the focus, but the fact is that it is one of only many different channels through which the intelligence community produces its work, its assessments.  There are many different art forms even if you are talking about strategic assessments and even if you are talking about multiagency intelligence community assessments, there are other art forms.

I expect that numerous judgments have been flowing all along over the last couple of years from the intelligence agencies to the policymakers with regard to this topic, and that the White House and the Department of Defense and others concerned are well-informed of whatever is the state of thinking by intelligence community experts on this.  So it is a mistake to wait with bated breath for any one document, even if it has a label that is a label we’ve all heard of.

Another major caution about the role of intelligence is – the main issue here is not, in the end, an intelligence issue.  It involves questions of what costs and risks we want to incur in order to try to achieve certain results with regard to Iranian programs and behavior and what are the best strategies for trying to achieve those results.  Those are not questions that intelligence agencies can answer for us.

The bated-breath approach carries the hazard and it encourages the mistaken notion that the presumed existence of some state of affairs, such as an unconventional weapons program that could exist in some other country, is to be equated with a particular approach for doing something about it.

That’s exactly the trap that we collectively in this country all fell into with regard to the Bush administration’s selling of the Iraq war with the false equation of a presumed unconventional weapons program on the one hand, the need to eradicate it by invading a country and overthrowing the regime on the other.

And that’s exactly the kind of trap that I hope we will collectively avoid with regard to any other countries, including Iran.  And it’s a trap to avoid, not only with regard to military action, although that is the most important one, but also with regard to any other course of action – sanctions or anything else. It is not to be equated with a certain judgment that comes out of the intelligence community.

And finally, with regard to cautions, as to what we can or cannot expect from the intelligence community, we’re talking about Iranian decisions, I think, that have yet to be made.  Or so far as we know they have yet to be made.  And in this case, the decisions, whether to proceed to a weapons capability or how close to come to it, will depend in large part, among other things, on what the United States does vis-à-vis Iran.  And again, these are all questions about which we cannot expect answers from the intelligence community, which among other things is not charged with assessing the future direction of U.S. policy.

Now, there was this one estimate, which was called an NIE, back in 2007, that got a lot of attention.  So it’s helpful to recall what was said back then.  And what got most of the headlines regarding that document was a lead judgment that Iran had suspended or had stopped weapons design or weaponization work four years earlier, in 2003.

And this got equated, partly through some unfortunate use of terminology in the estimate itself, with Iran having stopped working on nuclear weapons four years ago.  Now, a couple of words about why that estimate was constructed the unfortunate way it was.  It was not originally intended to have an unclassified version.  It was originally put together with the intention that there would only be a classified estimate.

So the estimate writers were writing for their sophisticated, inside audience that was well-versed in what was going on with regard to uranium enrichment.  And so they led with what was the news for that sophisticated audience, this business about the weapons-design work allegedly being suspended in 2003.

But then between the White House and the intelligence community, they realized, well, the chance for a leak is very, very high, so we might as well preempt that by putting together an unclassified version of the judgments, which they did.  And once they decided to do that, they were stuck with the original organization, which this thing about “weapons design work suspended in 2003” was the lead item.

If they started rearranging things for the public audience, they would be justly accused of massaging the message for the public.  So they were kind of stuck based on this unfortunate sequence of events with what they got.  And then what happened was a big public reaction to the effect that, well, this takes the military option off the table, this changes things enormously, there was all kinds of speculation about what the intelligence community was really up to in terms of its motives and trying to subvert policy, and so on and so forth.

It was a vastly overblown reaction to what was, really, in the end, a kind of unfortunate way in which the product evolved and was designed.  And President Bush was quite correct in pointing out in response to some of this reaction that the most important thing, the uranium enrichment program, had not stopped in 2003, and that that program is what the analysts would describe as the pacing factor, the one aspect of the program that most determines when Iran would be capable of producing a nuclear weapon.

Well, given that unfortunate experience in 2003, I suspect the intelligence community has little appetite these days for more unclassified papers on the subject.  In fact, for a lot of intelligence officers, if they had their way, they would have nothing to do with any unclassified products, ever, on anything.

That doesn’t happen to be my view, but I think you can perhaps sympathize with it when something like this happens.  But you’ve still got the leak problem to deal with.  So what they’re going to do with the next waiting-with-bated-breath estimate on this topic in terms of classified/unclassified products, I simply don’t know and I’m glad I’m not trying to make the decisions on this.

Whatever the intelligence community does on this topic, all it can do is provide, at best, a snapshot of the physical state of programs insofar as there’s information available on those programs.  And we can expect that the information, as usual, is going to be fragmentary and incomplete.

And if we need a reminder of this, we can just think about how some of the – what is today’s knowledge of the Iranian nuclear activities has come to light, some of it based on tips from none other than the Mujahideen-e-Khalq.  I mean, it’s almost embarrassing to point out that some leads have come from a group like that, but that’s the case.

The community is on far shakier ground when it tries to offer – and there’s the expectation of this, so maybe it will offer this – judgments about what this snapshot of the physical state of a program implies with regard to Iranian decision-making.  That’s a whole lot harder to do, mainly because of the factor I already mentioned.  We’re talking about decisions yet to be made.

One can look at, say, weaponization work, and analysts will give you some inference.  In fact, analysts may consider that this is part of their mission; this is part of what they’re paid to do – that they will give you inferences about what this probably means or might mean or likely means with regard to decision-making at top levels in Iran.  But we don’t really know that and neither do the analysts.

We don’t know whether there is weaponization work going on.  It reflects a decision already made to go all the way to the last few screwdriver turns of putting a bomb together or just short of that, keeping those last turns unturned.  Or maybe it’s all just kind of on a contingency basis. And decisions haven’t even been made to get to a short fuse, few turns of the screwdriver away from a bomb.  We simply don’t know based directly on whatever this fragmentary, physical evidence may say.

Well, that’s all I’m going to say about intelligence.  Now, to turn to the regional-relations topic and where nuclear weapons fits into this.  Iran has major tensions with its neighbors on a number of things including with its Arab neighbors, a number of things that have nothing to do with nuclear weapons.  Iran is the big kid on the Persian Gulf block.  It likes to think of itself as the successor to the old empire going back through millennia of history.

And by the way, as one possible motivation for developing a nuclear weapon, I think part of it is just the vague view that the major power in the Persian Gulf region as the Iranians see themselves ought to have, as a proper accoutrement of being the major regional power, a nuke.  That would be one of several motivations.  That’s just speculation on my part, but I think it’s reasonable speculation.

You have various lines of contention that have underlain these tensions with neighbors for quite some time.  The ethnic one: Persian versus Arab.  The sectarian one of Shia versus Sunni which, by the way, has been accentuated and underscored by the sectarian violence of the last several years and continued political strife in Iraq, which has made people throughout the region, not just in Iraq, more conscious of these things.  And you’ve got specific territorial disputes.  You had one that was one of the things at stake in the Iran-Iraq War and of course today, you have disputed islands in the Persian Gulf.

One thing Iran is not appearing to do right now is foment revolutions amongst its neighboring states.  That is a change in Iranian behavior from the first few years of the Islamic Republic.  During those first few years, there was an almost Trotskyite kind of view of permanent revolution that if similar revolutions did not break out and take hold in the region, that the revolution in Iran would fail, that the new regime would fall.  And then as the years went by the leaders in the Islamic Republic realized, well, that wasn’t happening.

So they didn’t see it as essential to their own survival anymore to, say, overthrow the regime in Bahrain.  So they’re not trying to do that.  I think their current strategy in Iraq for example, which is one of not trying to install a Khomeini-like regime but instead to place all kinds of bets on the Iraqi chessboard so that the Iranians can maximize their influence and increase the chance that whatever regime is in Baghdad is not going to be a hostile regime as Saddam Hussein’s was.

The Gulf countries do not want to see an Iranian nuke and they do express a vague concern about it.  But they don’t have any particular ideas to what to do about it.  If you talk about the topic of military attack, they’re opposed to that and I think there was a lot of misinterpretation, by the way, of Ambassador Otaiba’s remark.

I was in the UAE as well as in Saudi Arabia in the spring and that’s certainly not the message that I got.  The message was, yeah, this is a source of concern and you Americans ought to figure out something to do about it, but if you raise the military-attack issue oh, no, no, no don’t do that.  I think the statement that Prince Turki made in a Carnegie event just a couple of weeks ago, along those lines, was fairly reflective of Saudi thinking as well as Gulf thinking in general.

Finally, what would be the effect of an Iranian nuclear-weapons capability in the region?  And I have to say there’s an awful lot of fuzzy thinking on this.  The more sophisticated commentators realize that the specter of a bolt out of the blue in time of peace would be very unlikely; it would be suicidal, it would be absolutely contrary to Iranian interests.

But even the more sophisticated commentators still express the kind of vague sense that somehow, an Iranian nuclear weapon even if it’s never fired is going to make a difference in encouraging troublesome Iranian behavior in the region.  It’s sort of a sense that Tehran would feel its oats more in ways that we wouldn’t like.  But if one thinks more precisely about just how this would work it’s hard to see – it’s hard for me to see how this would be the case.

Ultimately, nuclear weapons affect behavior only insofar as the possible use of those weapons comes into play in thinking, somehow, about the strategic logic of a situation.  And I think what you need for them to come into play is three things.  You need to envision some kind of Iranian behavior that the Iranians are not doing already or at least not to the same degree.

Secondly, you’d have to envision some likely response to that behavior that somebody else would take as long as Iran did not have a nuclear-weapons capability that would be detrimental to Iran.  And finally, you’d have to envision that that response would be so detrimental to Iran that an Iranian threat to bring nuclear weapons into play would be credible.

Well, I find it hard in thinking about the ways in which Iran might be interacting in the future with the states of the region to envision any situation where those criteria which you could get straight from Tom Schelling or Herman Kahn as far as rigorous thinking about nuclear weapons and escalation is concerned would come into play.

And let me close by just contrasting it with another situation elsewhere in the world where I think nuclear weapons had made a difference and that’s Pakistan and India and specifically the Pakistani nuclear weapon.  Pakistan has faced – and this is why the nuclear weapon is relevant – a situation of severe, conventional military threat from India.  You know, the so-called “cold start” doctrine and everything.

Pakistan faces the threat that if they behave in a way that’s going to get the Indians too angry, the Indians are quite capable of launching a conventional armed strike that, in short order, would slice Pakistan in two.  That’s pretty darn serious and it certainly makes credible the idea of Pakistan bringing nuclear weapons into play.  And this may well have been behind and encouraged some Pakistan behavior like Pervez Musharraf’s cargo offensive up in the Kashmir region.  Nuclear weapons, I think, have made a difference there.

But translate that strategic logic to the Iranian situation and the question becomes who plays the role of India?  Is it us?  Is it Saudis?  Is it the Israelis?  Is it the Iraqis?  Who’s going to have the armed invasion that slices Iran in two or the existential equivalent to that?  And I just don’t see it.  So I will leave it at that and Greg, I don’t know how you wanted to proceed at this point.  I can stick around for a few minutes and take some questions.

MR. THIELMANN:  Well, what I’d like to do is break our usual routine by stopping at this point and allowing you to ask Paul Pillar some questions.  We probably only have five minutes or so.  So let me just start with one question and then we’ll go to you.  Is there anything, any generalization you would make about whether there are deep differences between our friends and allies on the facts that we’re going to be getting into on nuclear and missile issues in Iran?  The press sometimes gives the impression that the Europeans are much more convinced that Iran is closer to a nuclear weapon than the United States is.  Do you have any impressions you want to share on that?

MR. PILLAR:  Well, again, I’m not walking the corridor so I – you know, the specifics that analysts and intelligence services might get into – some of which this talk that you mentioned, Greg, may reflect – I simply don’t know.  My overall sense is since everyone, for the most part, is looking at the same information and for the most part, information is shared on a liaison basis among friends and allies.

I think some of the commentary probably overstates the actual analytical and judgmental differences.  And some of the things, especially when you talk about the Israeli perspective vis-à-vis the U.S., I think some of what comes out publicly is more politically driven than driven by differences between experts and intelligence services.

MR. THIELMANN:  Thank you.  Try to be more concise than I was and give your name and ask questions.  Michael.

Q:  Michael Adler from the Wilson Center.  Just, if I can, two quick questions.  One, I know you’re not walking the corridors, but how much better do you think the intelligence is now than it was, say, 10 years ago?  Because certainly they made an effort to get better intelligence.

And the second thing is, when you speak about who plays the role of Pakistan; wouldn’t it be all of the above?  And wouldn’t one thing the Iranians would get out of a nuclear weapon would be a certain immunity from attack?  From attack on their country?  And wouldn’t that, some fear, embolden them to be more active in small regional disputes such as things about islands in the Persian Gulf?

MR. PILLAR:  On the first one, this has clearly been a major topic for all the services involved for quite some time and the same reasons that have made it a tough nut to crack have been there all along.  And that’s true not just of Iran but other nuclear programs and I’m thinking of North Korea which I think you’re going to get into with some of my fellow panelists later on.

And Sig Hecker coming back with this story about this plant and there were some statements by, you know, U.S. officials that, well, we really weren’t so surprised about that.  I don’t know, that’s a tough nut to crack too.  (Laughter.)  And I wouldn’t be surprised if Sig Hecker, when he was invited to visit, discovered some things that we simply didn’t know.

On your second one, let me just go back to the logic that I was trying to lay out.  What would we or anyone else do that would pose an existential threat in the same way Pakistan is threatened by India to Iran?  Are we going to launch an armed invasion of Iran that’s going to slice that country in two or anything remotely resembling that?  I just don’t see it.

Are we going to do anything like that or will the Emiratis or the Saudis do something like that with regard to the islands dispute which you mentioned?  It simply doesn’t raise up to that level.  So insofar as a forceful, highly threatening response against Iran doesn’t come into play, then an Iran counter threat in which the nuclear weapon is brandished doesn’t come into play either.

MR. THIELMANN:  Mr. Kessler.

Q:  Glenn Kessler with the Washington Post.  How credible do you think the theory is that if Iran gets a nuclear, that it would unleash an arms race of other countries eager to have their own nuclear weapons such as the Saudis and the Egyptians?

MR. PILLAR:  I think that’s not likely to happen.  Mainly, they’ve had the Israelis around for years and years, of course, and this hasn’t happened.  They’ve had the Iranian conventional superiority, in many respects, in the Gulf region for quite some years and it still hasn’t happened.

And mainly for those reasons as well as for reasons of capability, I think that the image of a proliferation, a nuclear-proliferation race in the Middle East as being touched off by something that the Iranians – a threshold the Iranians would cross sometime in the next year or two is overblown.

I think our focus on this as a legitimate concern reflects our collective tendency to over-speculate on such matters.  It’s the same thing that led President Kennedy many years ago to talk about, you know, we were going to have 25 nuclear-weapon states or whatever he said it was, you know, 20 years from now and that never materialized.  I think it’s the same sort of thing.

It is an important issue.  I don’t want to minimize the significance of it; I’m just saying my bottom-line judgment is it’s not going to touch off quite the race toward nuclear weapons that is often talked about.

MR. THIELMANN:  Patrick, Avner.

Q:  Patrick Clawson, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.  Iran’s supreme leader, for 20 years said that we [the United States] constitute an existential threat to the Islamic Republic and has organized hundreds of thousands of his basij to deal with what he sees as our efforts to overthrow his regime through promoting a velvet revolution and soft overthrow and he sees 3 million people out in the streets of Tehran as the product of our imaginations and he repeatedly states that only a militarily strong Iran can prevent this and that only through Iranian greater strength can the regime be sustained.

Are you suggesting that we should ignore the supreme leader’s 20-year record of saying that we constitute an existential threat to his regime because you don’t think that there’s a possibility that we might invade Iran?  Or should we pay attention to what the supreme leader has to say about what constitutes an existential threat to the Islamic Republic?

MR. PILLAR:  No, Patrick, I’m saying we should pay attention to that and draw the appropriate implication as to what U.S. threatening statements and behavior does and not what the Iranians would do if they actually got a nuclear weapon.  What you pointed also underscores an additional prime motivation for the Iranians to get a nuclear weapon if they proceed to that step which is deterrence of the United States.  Deterrence means not using it, it means preventing the other guy from using it.

MR. THIELMANN:  Avner.

Q:  Avner Cohen. You, I think, somewhat put too much emphasis on the word, on the idea of decision, that a safe decision has to be made, political decision.  You may be right that no political decision has been made in Iran about the bomb, so to speak, grand political decisions.

However, we know that very often, nations can reach the bomb or almost the bomb without making decisions.  There’s a drift and there is all sorts of decisions to make much lower-level, nonpolitical decision that ultimately lay the foundations.  So I think that just to qualify that the emphasis on the decision is, in my view, a little bit misguided.

MR. PILLAR:  That’s an excellent point and I was speaking at shorthand.  The basic point I was trying to make in talking about the intelligence contribution was that by looking at the state of a program and trying to infer from that what decisions had been made is risky business and I think the same would apply, taking into account your very correct comment, that it’s also difficult to infer, well, who’s making the decisions or what bureaucratic processes are being reflected in the program that we see.

I think, in fact, everything you point is an additional set of complications.  We’re trying to make those sorts of inferences and it’s all the more reason why it’s difficult.  But thank you for pointing that out.

MR. THIELMANN:  In the front.

Q:  Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service.  I’d like to ask you, Paul, to think with us about the implications of the history of other states that have, in fact, gone to have nuclear weapons: Pakistan, India, North Korea – or had a program at one time, and compare what the intelligence community was able to figure about those situations with the situation with regard to Iran.

One of the things that strikes me is as I read the history of various nuclear states, or would-be nuclear states, is that the U.S. intelligence community, in fact, picked up very clear, hard evidence early on in these other cases that, indeed, the country was – had a nuclear-weapons program.  That does not appear to have happened in the case of Iran.

At least, you know, the hard evidence didn’t appear for the decades of the past.  Could you tell me if this is completely wrong?  Do you have other – another interpretation of what the intelligence community knew about the other cases?  Is there something to be gleaned from this history?

MR. PILLAR:  Gareth, I think there are other people in the room who are better qualified to, sort of, review the other cases.  I would just say – I won’t attempt to answer your question simply because I’m not that knowledgeable about it.  I would just reiterate in my point that these sorts of programs are always tough intelligence nuts to crack and perhaps the Iranian one has been a little bit tougher than some of the others.

But it reflects the nature of the programs; it reflects a lot of the things that Avner Cohen just mentioned where, you know, it’s – you’ve got different bureaucracies and different elements within a regime that are involved and in most cases, a strong desire to keep all this secret.  But I just am not conversant enough with the other programs to respond.

MR. THIELMANN:  I think we have –

MR. PILLAR:  One more question.

MR: THIELMANN:  – one more in the back.  Miles.

Q:  Miles Pomper from Monterey Institute – two questions.  One, I mean, you kind of emphasized, kind of, the military aspect of whether or not Iran developed a nuclear program.  There’s a lot of people who look at the political argument, for example, on the peace process with Hezbollah and Hamas vis-à-vis Fatah and other groups, and they are, sort of, emboldening the hardliners in the peace process?  (inaudible) and I’ve got the regional cache that I feel like we need to combat.

Secondly, you sort of talk about the – when you talk about the Iranian decisions on these issues you tend to emphasize the rational calculation of Iranian leaders.  Presumably, the Israelis are making rational calculations, too, and they tend to emphasize this question of Iran’s influence on other groups, if it should get a nuclear weapon.  So you are then basically saying that the Israelis are irrational but the Iranians aren’t?  (Laughter.)

MR. PILLAR:  Your words, not mine.  (Laughter.)  You know, you’re quite correct to underscore the sort of vaguer nonmilitary, political dimensions of Iranian motivations.  I got into this a little bit when I talked about nuclear weapons – being seen as a proper accoutrement for the dominant power in the Middle East – or in the Persian Gulf, which is the way they like to see themselves.

I think what you talk about is part of the mix of motivations, along with deterring the United States and perhaps some internally driven ones of the sort that we talked about a moment ago.  That is not the same as the question of, what difference would it make if they got a nuclear weapon and how would they use it?

So with regard to things like relations with Hezbollah and how it would affect events farther west from the Persian Gulf, you have to ask yourself the same strategic questions about how exactly do they come into play.  Or is it just this kind of vague feeling-your-oats kind of thing?  And when you come down to actual Iranian leaders making actual decisions about interacting with Hezbollah, interacting with anyone else, how do nuclear weapons come into play?

It’s really hard to lay out a chain of events where you can make the case that they would behave differently from the way they’re behaving right now.  But you’re absolutely right to emphasize the range of motivations – which are probably political, at least as much military – if they do proceed to get a bomb.  And with that, my apologies again for having to run off, but thank you.

MR. THIELMANN:  I’m thinking maybe we should have constructed this with Paul going first at any rate because now our appetites are whetted to hear some of the judgments on what exactly the status of the nuclear and missile programs are.

We are very fortunate to have our next speaker join us from Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.  For many of us in Washington, Olli Heinonen’s name is much more familiar than his person.  And that’s partly because he spent 27 years in Vienna at the International Atomic Energy Agency, not always directly in the limelight but always behind the scenes, serving his last five years as deputy director general and head of the IAEA safeguards department.

In our circles, anyway, he’s certainly the most famous Finn that we know.  Few outside Iran know the personalities and the facilities of Tehran’s nuclear program better than Olli Heinonen.  He will not be able to share all he knows but enough, I’m sure, to leave us considerably more enlightened than when we began.

And as Paul alluded to in his remarks, I would like to offer one additional prompt concerning the recent news from North Korea.  And I’m sure we would benefit from a little bit of commentary on how we should think about the comparative threat of the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs.

OLLI HEINONEN:  So good morning and thanks for the nice words.  I don’t think that I’m the most famous Finn because – (laughter) – Formula 1 racers are so popular here.  In Europe, it’s a different thing.

Well, let me start by saying something about the IAEA reports and Iran.  During this period since 2003, IAEA has produced 30 technical reports.  The 31st one will come tomorrow [Nov. 23], I was told.  It was supposed, actually, to be out today, but for some reason there are – they’re a bit delayed.  Actually, I was worried when I prepared the presentation because maybe this would be immediately obsolete when we walk out from this room.

These reports have been written for the [IAEA] board of governors and certain of them, also for the U.N. Security Council.  And they have been written to comply with the requirements of comprehensive safeguards agreements.  So these reports don’t have assessments.  They don’t measure intentions.  They just provide facts on how the state might or might not be in compliance with its safeguards agreements and undertakings or Security Council resolutions.

But at the same time, you can read a lot from them when you look it on different way.  My father used to be a lawyer, and he said that the law is how it is read, not how it is written.  (Laughter.)  So you can also read these reports on some other way, and there’s a wealth of information which tells where Iran is today with its nuclear program.

Iran’s ambitions for enrichment started already in the 1970s.  That’s also the time when they probably started to have difficulties in compliance with their safeguards undertakings under the comprehensive safeguards agreements because the first step on the uranium enrichment, which stated practical, involved laser enrichment, which they failed to report to the IAEA all the way until 2003.

Many Western countries were involved on that part of program.  And Iran didn’t hide at all its intentions to get to the fuel technology, and in particular in the beginning, to the enrichment.  They also started to look at that point of time at heavy-water reactors as one alternative.  Then came the revolution which changed everything.  They lost all their Western partners for quite some time, and they tried to compensate this with the know-how from Russia and China and then later from Pakistan.

This concealment which was in place went on for two decades, so it was a daily business, I would say.  And then from ’80s, they forget to tell about the uranium conversion activities, and then from 1990s, the uranium enrichment.

And then let’s look at where we are today.  Iran continues, actually, on all of these areas of nuclear technology with the exception most likely of reprocessing.  There doesn’t seem to be any ongoing [reprocessing] activities.

With regard to uranium exploration and mining – the mining compaction [audio unclear] is operating. It’s a small mine, produces perhaps 20, 25 tons of yellow cake per year.  This is minimal.  If you look at the needs of Bushehr nuclear power plant, you need to have maybe 20, 30 caches to feed that one.  So this is a very special effort there, but it’s very rich in uranium, so that might – the ore – so that might be one of the reasons why they were looking it.

A second mine which has been under construction last 15 years with the help of Chinese doesn’t seem to be yet operational.  You see from satellite imagery that they are digging there, dirt is coming out, but this is still probably preparation for the time they’ll start construction.  Somewhat puzzling why it takes so long time.

Uranium conversion, Esfahan – this is an industrial-scale operation.  The facility’s able to produce 200 tons of uranium hexafluoride per year.  It has been running for the last few years with half of the capacity.  Today, if I remember correctly, it’s about 360, 370 tons of UF6 there.  That’s quite a lot.  If you look at the needs of Natanz, maybe you can feed some 20 tons, in a good case, now through that facility.  So this will be enough for quite a few years in front of us, in terms of the uranium needs of Iran.

They brought from South Africa a little bit more than 500 tons yellow cake in early 1980s.  The contract was just done, actually, just before the revolution.  So that’s why they got that one.  If you look now how much is left of that yellow cake – I think they have now turned roughly half of it to UF6 or little bit more.  So they still have yellow cake also for quite some time.  So it’s not the bottleneck for the nuclear program.

They may need something for Arak research reactor, which I’ll now talk next.  They are constructing, as you know, a heavy-water reactor in Arak.  It’s a 40-megawatt research reactor.  When Iran announced- research reactor or kind of test reactor –the reactor in 2003, actually, it came with a caveat.  They said at that point of time that this reactor is to replace the aging research reactor in Tehran – TRR – the one where they now want to have 20-percent enriched uranium.

So in 2003, they said that they were phasing it out.  They say that it’s not safe, it’s in the city of Tehran and it’s about 40 years old.  Now that thing has apparently changed, maybe because Arak is delayed or some other reasons to have that reactor in Tehran.  Actually, if you look at technically the way this reactor is designed, these type of reactors are designed, they are ill-suited for isotope production.  They are not the best machines.

If you really go seriously to produce isotopes for medical and agricultural purposes, you need much more powerful neutron sources.  And with the natural uranium reactor, you cannot achieve such kind of neutron flux.  So if Iran wants to produce medical isotopes, the best way is actually to abandon this project, build a research reactor based on the principle of light-water reactor and have much more powerful neutron source.

The uranium enrichment in Natanz continues.  I will come later to that, as I do with the -- Qom plant.

Bushehr – they are loading the fuel on to the light-water reactor at Bushehr with the help of Russians.

Actually, this operation is practically all done by the Russian engineers.  It’s not too well-known, but during commissioning of such a reactor, first two years normally, the Russians are running the whole facility.  And only at the end of that period, when it’s the first refueling – after that, the full responsibility goes to the state or the owner of the reactor.

And then Iran has also announced that they will construct a light-water reactor at Darkhovin.  This place is the same place where the French were planning to build one of their reactors in early ’80s.  And actually, there was some groundwork already done for that.  I know you have seen satellite image of its – has a kind of concrete platform which has been staying there for decades.  How successful they are with this project, I don’t think anyone really knows.  But apparently they have a lot of people involved on that project.

And let’s go, then, what we don’t know.  First of all, Iran is not implementing the additional protocol.  It doesn’t provide early information about the design of new facilities and construction.  The agency will face them only when the chance is come.  And then it’s not heeding to the requests by IAEA Board of Governors and U.N. Security Council resolutions.  They require Iran to provide IAEA with original information.

So therefore, it’s a very difficult to forecast, what happens next in Iran. Where are they going, whether it’s to do with uranium enrichment, whether it’s to do with the laser enrichment.  You might remember that few months ago, President Ahmadinejad said that they are also owner of the laser enrichment technology, but at this point of time, they have put their efforts in using gas centrifuges.

R&D on reprocessing is not known.  And what’s happening with those four new research reactors they announced few months ago?  Where they are, what kind of reactors are they – heavy-water reactors or are they using enriched uranium as a fuel?  And then, the questions related to nuclear weapon design and manufacturing – those allegations remain to be answered.

These are the numbers of centrifuges which have been spinning in Natanz.  And in last one year or so, actually, the number of operating centrifuges has not changed very much.  This had gone little bit down.  At the same time, the production of UF6 has been about the same, which means that there is a slight improvement in the operation of the centrifuges.

But having said that, they are not performing the way they should.  They run only perhaps at 60 percent of their design capacity.  They have been doing it now for one year, so it doesn’t look that things are okay.  You might also recall that the number of centrifuges which were installed a year – a half [year] ago – was higher than what is today.  And the operating centrifuges at one point of time, they boasted that more than 4,000 machines were operating.  Today, about 3,000 or little bit more.

So there has been a substantial reduction at one point of time.  Actually, you can see from the IAEA records that they removed a lot of centrifuges. There was a time when almost 1,000 centrifuges which had been installed were taken away entirely from the facility and the new ones brought back.  This indicates that there is a problem.

And what is the reason for that problem is difficult to say.  Most likely, this has to do with the design itself.  These are the so-called IR-1 centrifuges, which you see here.  The original Dutch design was then copied or was taken by A. Q. Khan, modified little bit, and then he passed this information in its totality to Iran.

And Iran got the full information on those centrifuges: how you machine, how you put it together, how you test them, how you build your gaskets – all in documentary form.  We have seen the same information also in electronic form from the A.Q. Khan network, people who were working with the Libya project.  And this is most likely the stuff, which then also went to North Korea around 1990 – or 1999 or 2000.

And this is firm informations that they got it.  President Musharraf has written it in his memoirs – what’s the name,  “In the Line of Fire”.  There’s a small paragraph which talks about it.  And the Pakistani authorities have confirmed that.

But the information which went to North Korea most likely had more to do with the P-2 centrifuges rather than the P-1s.  And I saw the P-2 here.  This is from the video.  This was shot during the national nuclear day in Natanz.  This is actually half of a P-2.  This is called “IR-2” in their language.

So what Sig Hecker saw there a few weeks ago was probably twice higher than this one.  This is about this high.  A little bit more than a meter.  So he should have seen about this-high machine.  The rotor here – you see the black one is made of carbon fiber or Kevlar.  The speed of that is much higher than the speed of the IR-1 centrifuge.  Plus that the radius is higher and as a result of that, the separation power is much, much bigger.  These are all indigenously produced in Iran.

With ElBaradei, we visited once in 2006 the laboratory where they were manufacturing them.  And that’s the only time when IAEA has ever seen the laboratory where these things have been developed.  Their goal at that point of time, Aghazadeh told us, was to have everything indigenously produced.

Anything what you see here should have come from Iran.  And that’s now the problem for the international community.  And when I say that, we don’t know where they are heading.  Because once you call for indigenous design, it’s very difficult for intelligence and others to find out what happens.  It is done in secrecy in a country.

There’s no export-control information.  None of that.  The only thing what it has impact the nuclear program: it ties a lot of resources.  You need to do these things using, most likely, reverse engineering, every screw and bolt you need to produce yourself.

So it takes a lot of talented resources.  It’s a quality-control problem.  Reverse engineering: people think it’s easy.  Actually, it’s not because many of these components and machines, they have very special things which come only through the experience – how you manufacture them, how you maintain the quality, how it operates.

So it’s not an easy undertaking.  And maybe this is what we see here now in Iran’s nuclear program – tremendous slowing down.  It doesn’t progress whether you look at the IR-1 in Natanz, the underground facility or you look the R&D which is there.

If we saw R&D in 2006 that they had already rotors, they were spinning, they had got them tested – 2006.  There is a thumb rule here which says that if you have that, let’s say, that year, the first machine, you do the enrichment test.  Next year, you should have about 10 machines and a fairly small cascade running, according to the thumb rules.

And then on the third year, you should be able to have a full cascade, maybe 100 to 200 machines testing.  And then on the fourth or fifth year, you should have a kind of semi-industrial demonstration facility with maybe 1,000 machines or 2,000 machines.  We don’t see it for these new centrifuges.  They are still – when you read the IAEA reports, they are doing single-machine tests, small cascade, et cetera.  So the question is, what’s the reason?

There can be several reasons.  First, certainly, is that they still have a problem with the design of these machines.  Most likely not, because if you look the experience which they have, and the kick start they got from information provided by A.Q. Khan, by this time they should be able to handle the centrifuge bit.

The next thing is, maybe they don’t have raw materials.  That’s probably the most likely thing because if you look, there’s no sign of exports of big amounts of carbon fiber, high-strength aluminum.  Most likely, they depend from foreign services.  And this might be where the sanctions are biting.  It’s difficult to buy big quantities.  Small quantities you can have and those you see probably on these experiments.  So it may be also a combination of those two.

Then, there is a third one.  This is certainly the scary one.  That this whole thing happened somewhere else.  We just don’t know.  On the other hand, that might be less likely for a number of reasons.  First of all, you don’t have information pointing to that direction.  For Qom facility – for Qom facility was a case in time.

But there was no evidence that – or there’s no big evidence that they have got this raw materials and they are building them in big quantities.  So I think that what we see here is perhaps more on this first part, which is that they are still struggling with the final design and they have a limitations in getting raw materials.

And then if you’ll turn, then, it to the program, Paul Pillar talked about the breakout scenarios.  It looks like there might be still time for the negotiations.  Since IR-1 seems to be a cul-de-sac, they made there those 3,000 machines.  They produced 120 kilos of UF6 per month.  Constant – and even if they put them all in operations, it’s only 200 kilos per month.

Who breaks away with one nuclear weapon?  I think it’s a very simple question.  Unless there is a place which we don’t know.  And into that direction, they should have materials.  Then, these are the IR-2s there at the background.  You see those machines, this Aghazadeh who was the previous head of Atomic Energy Organization.

This work in Qom is a bit puzzling in the sense that, you know, it’s a fairly small facility.  Three thousand machines – there’s a space.  And they said that they started in 2007 when they stopped the implementation of Code 3.1 which provides facility information.

However, there is quite a lot of information which points to the direction that this project has been started earlier.  When you talk about the 3,000 IR-1 machines, they don’t produce very much even in the ideal conditions.  Production of – from such kind of installation is very modest.  But you can any time put there an IR-2 which is more powerful – or P-2.  It doesn’t take more space.

So in reality, that floor space is enough to run an IR-2 or P-2 facility if the people so desire.  Since then, they have also, as you know, announced that they are building 10 additional facilities.  But – and the first one should be –construction should start sometime next year.

I don’t think people have much of idea where these places might be.  The Agency has repeatedly asked for access to these locations where the R&D is taking place, but Iran has not heeded to those.

The Tehran Research Reactor.  I mentioned that originally the idea was to actually replace this with a heavy-water reactor, but then they seem to have changed their mind.  This 1200 kilos, which is here on this screen at the low end, is uranium.  This is actually what you need if you just want to produce fuel for next 10 years for Tehran Research Reactor.  You don’t need more.

I think this is good to keep in mind.  Because the discussions are going on that so technically, Iran is correct when they say that – 1200 kg.  I think it – this is – I don’t want to call to this nuclear-weapon related R&D.  We seem to have no more time so I look forward to your questions.

MR. THIELMANN:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  And we’ll try to hold our questions until after we’ve heard from our last speaker.  Completing our portrait of the Iranian threat is Michael Elleman, a senior fellow for missile defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Washington.  Soon to be moving to Bahrain – and at least Mike is going to be moving.  A veteran of UNMOVIC inspections in Iraq, Mike worked on DOD cooperative threat reduction programs as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton.

And I might say as a participant in earlier national intelligence estimates on foreign ballistic missile threats, I am no longer easily impressed by expert opinion on this subject.  But I am impressed by Mike’s empirical approach to missile development programs and would recommend his IISS study on Iran’s missile programs as the best available in the open literature.

And I think – I had one to wave here, I guess Mike does also.  But I think it’s worth looking at.  Many things are not rocket science, as the saying goes.  But our next presentation will be.  (Laughter.)

MICHAEL ELLEMAN:  Which button do I hit to advance?  That one, there?  Okay.  Great, thank – thank you very much for that nice introduction.  I would also like to indulge in a bit of self-promotion.  (Chuckles.)  The dossier that we did produce – and I had a lot of help with it with Mark Fitzpatrick and others – is available for order at the iiss.org website.  So enough of that.

Over the course of time, we’ve seen a number of projections as to what Iran may or may not be able to do with respect to their missile programs.  And to date, really, the worst-case scenarios that have been put forth by the intelligence community just haven’t come to be.

So this drove us to take a different approach in looking at Iran’s missile programs.  The dossier – although I was the lead author, so if there’s any mistakes I’m responsible for them – did benefit from the participation of experts from around the world including Russia, Germany, France, Israel and of course, the United States.

The key – or the principal contributors all have had experience in either building, doing research or fielding ballistic missiles.  So we kind of introduced a new perspective in assessing capabilities.  What I’m going to walk you through today is kind of a current picture of what Iran’s arsenal looks like, the utility of the missiles that Iran does have.  I try to assess their industrial capabilities and look to the future – what might they develop and how long would it take and what signals would they generate.

Now, the basic philosophy we took in conducting this study was to look at capabilities, not threat.  In other words, we ignored intention.  We wanted to strictly focus on capabilities.  And we tried to construct a most-likely outcome picture – not worst-case scenarios, not best-case scenarios.

So with the next slide.  This is just an overview of the missiles that Iran does have or is currently working to bring to an operational status.  The top four are all solid-propellant systems. And these are all produced in Iran itself.  The liquid systems – which is, I guess, the six or seven there below that – are all based on imported technologies.  And I’ll talk about that in a little more detail.

In terms of numbers, they probably have hundreds of these Zelzals and Fateh-110s.  They’re still developing the Sajjil and I’ll discuss that.  With regard to the Shahab-1s and -2, they probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of two (hundred) to 300.  Really, the limitation is the number of launchers that they possess.  That number’s believed to be in the neighborhood of 12 to 18.  And then for the Shahab-3 or the Ghadr-1, they have six launchers that we know of.  And the total number is really hard to estimate.  But it’s probably on the order of 25 to 50.

This is just an overview of the range capabilities.  I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it.  But I would note two things: one, the original Shahab-3, or the Nodong that they imported, lack the range capabilities to strike Israel unless launched from right on the border with Iraq.  So they undertook a lot of effort to extend that range.  And secondly – and I’ll discuss this in more detail – is the range estimates for the Sajjil-2 which appear to indicate that it’s capable of hitting targets in Southern Europe.

The liquid-propellant family of missiles they have are really based on two things: either the Scud engine in the case of the Shahab-1 and -2 – which in reality are the Scud-B and Scud-C missiles that were originally developed in Russia.  And then you have this series of missiles and space launchers.  All of them are based on the Nodong engine.  And I’ll discuss each of these systems a little bit more detail.

What I wanted to focus on is the development route that Iran took and what it tells us about their indigenous capabilities.  Originally, they started with the Shahab-1 and -2 which had ranges of three (hundred) and 500 kilometers, respectively.

Then they procured a new system: the Shahab-3.  And as I mentioned, the Shahab-3, which is essentially the Nodong, lack the range capabilities to threaten targets in Israel.  So they undertook a program to modify the Shahab-3.  They introduced a new airframe, lengthened the propellant tanks so that it could carry more propellant, and reduced the weight of the warhead.

There were some other modifications they undertook.  They replaced the steel with aluminum and et cetera.  But they were able to extend the range to approximately 1500 kilometers depending on the size of the warhead.  If it’s the new baby-bottle shape, as some have called it – the triconic design – it probably holds about 600, 650 kilograms of high explosive.  So the overall reentry vehicle is 750 kilograms.  And that’s the point I’ve indicated on this chart.

What’s interesting about this development program – and that was undertaken in the late 1990s and early 2000s – is Iran already had in their possession the Scud missiles.  They could have clustered four Scud engines to form a new missile system which is much more capable than the Shahab-3 or the Ghadr-1.  So why didn’t they take this approach?

We believe that during the late ’90s, early 2000, they just did not have the indigenous capabilities to make the modifications necessary to create such a missile.  They probably now have that capability.  But this is a good indication that they were still very reliant on imports up till about 2000, maybe even as late as 2004.

Last February, they introduced a model of a new space launcher, the Simorgh – if I’m pronouncing that correctly.  And it is, in fact, based on the cluster of four Nodong engines.  The mock-up presented – there’s a lot of inconsistencies with what Iran said it was capable of doing, how much it weighed, et cetera.  They claimed it was 85 tons in weight, 27 meters long.  And that it was intended to launch about a 100-kilogram satellite into an Earth orbit about 500 kilometers above the surface of the Earth.

If you take those projections as a ballistic missile – if they underwent the modifications and tested the system, they could toss a 700-kilogram warhead about 5,000 kilometers.  But I want to make sure that you understand that, one, this is as mock-up.  This hasn’t even been tested as a space launcher.  And it is not a missile waiting to happen, if you will.

But they do have – in the bottom photo, you’ll see – they have invested greatly in infrastructure.  And we see this across the full realm of Iran’s missile programs.  And this is its launch site for this rather large space-launch vehicle.  They’ve claimed that the Simorgh will be initially flight-tested or launched in February of next year.  But we’ll wait to see if that happens.

Now, what I think is the more significant developments in Iran is the introduction of these solid-propellant systems.  In the late 1990s, they began producing the Zelzal rockets.  They are on the order of about two-tonned rocket motors.  The overall rocket probably weighs about three-and-a-half tons.  Then they started converting the Zelzals into a semi-guided system, the Fateh-110.

There have been a number of reports coming out of the Middle East press saying that the Fateh-110 is extremely accurate.  Those reports are probably wrong.  There’s no indication that this system has an ability to terminate the thrust precisely nor does it really have the ability to do any guidance after the boost phase so it is very likely highly inaccurate.  But is an improvement over the unguided Zelzal rocket.

Now, the Sajjil-2, this is the most important development that I’ve seen in Iran.  There were rumors or statements made by the Iranian military leaders that they had successfully tested the rocket motor for what would become the Sajjil-2.  They first flight-tested this in, probably, late 2007 but it failed, so in 2008, 2009 we’ve seen a number of tests of this two-stage system.

What’s problematic, at least from my perspective is that Iran has now created the tacit knowledge within their own country to produce solid propellant rocket motors and rather large ones.  The first stage here is probably on the order of 13 tons.  This means that if Iran wants to develop longer-range systems, they have the capacity to do so with very little outside help.  However, it will take a lot of time and involve a lot of testing and I’ll discuss that in a moment.

So what could Iran use its missiles for?  In other words, what’s the utility?  The missiles they have remain highly inaccurate, therefore militarily, they have very little utility.  These two charts just show – I very generously assigned a circular-air probability for the Shahab-1 and the Ghadr.  They’re probably twice as inaccurate.  Is that the proper phrase?

 

But nonetheless, if you look here you’ll see that in order to destroy a hardened target, some kind of fixed-site target, the Shahab-1 has between a 1-in-a-100 and 1-in-a-1,000 chance of probability of actually striking that target.  If you convey that same information in a different way, how many missiles would they have to assign to a specific target to have a level of confidence that that target would be destroyed?

You see, again, with the Shahab-1, in order to have, say, a 75- or 80-percent confidence that they could destroy a single target they’d have to allocate a thousand missiles which is more than they have.  So in terms of being able to affect the battlefield with their missiles, it’s just – it’s not possible.  They could conduct harassment operations on oil facilities and airfields but, again, the utility would be quite limited.

As a terror weapon, of course, they could be used to strike cities.  We’ve seen this in the past but I would also –looking at it in a very cold-hearted analytical fashion, historically, we see that missiles when they do strike cities they kill typically only around two to three people per missile.  In other words, if they unleash their entire arsenal, the casualty levels would probably be in the hundreds not in the thousands or tens of thousands.

Now, nuclear weapons obviously – or warheads, obviously, make a lot more strategic logic.  The challenge Iran will face in trying to develop a nuclear warhead for their missiles is it’s going to have to be quite small.  The warhead or reentry-vehicle design is 600 millimeters in diameter, therefore they’re going to have to create a bomb in size and weight that was really, you know, basically consistent with the nuclear weapons that the United States was making in the early 1960s or 15 years after the first test in 1945.

However, I would urge a little bit of caution in kind of accepting this description because there are a number of weapons designs out there and I’m sure Olli can talk about this much more authoritatively than I can.  So we have to bear in mind that it is within the realm of possibility that Iran has access to designs that could fit into the Ghadr-1 or the Shahab – or the Ghadr-1 or the Sajjil warhead.

As I noted, there’s been a lot of debate in the public realm about the range capabilities of the Sajjil.  Uzi Rubin has one view, Ted Postol has another and essentially the arguments they have it’s as I say is the tail wagging the dog.  What I’ve tried to do here is, based on what we know about the Sajjil now, the range payload capabilities really could vary from a maximum to a minimum, try to look at what the most likely outcome would be.  We see that the Sajjil can fly with a 750-kilogram warhead about 2,000 to 2300 kilometers.

What’s interesting is if the initial design of the Iranian nuclear warhead is closer to, say, one ton, which is something on the order of what A.Q. Khan was looking at and some of the other bomb designs, say, Iraq was looking at.  The range capability of the Sajjil suddenly falls to about 1600 kilometers which is fine.  They can still launch the missile from the middle of the country and strike as far away as Israel.

However, but if you put that same heavy warhead on top of the Ghadr-1, it only flies about 1100 kilometers which means it would have to be launched very close to he border with Iraq.  So there is some thought that this Sajjil was actually tailored to accommodate a heavier warhead in the likelihood that, that’s what they’ll be faced with, you know, coming out of their industries if they so chose to develop a nuclear warhead.

Now, Iran is invested very heavily, obviously, in its indigenous production capabilities and they’ve made great achievements.  However, on the liquid-propellant side, they are still reliant on importing, probably, engines, definitely guidance and control systems.  I think they are approaching a capability to actually produce the Nodong engine but we just don’t know if they’re actually producing them now.  If they are, the reliability would be quite low and we’d be seeing a large number of tests and we’re just not seeing that.

And the solid-propellant industries are much more self-capable and they can produce larger rocket motors if they chose to do so, which means they can build longer-range systems if they chose to do so.  I think the most impressive thing that we observed in looking at the Iranian program was really the disciplined, robust engineering processes that they’ve adopted in running their programs.

They take a very sophisticated approach in developing new systems.  You don’t see that in North Korea.  In fact, I would argue that they’re much more capable than the North Koreans at this stage.  But their missiles still are inaccurate and they will remain so for the foreseeable future.

In terms of what they can develop in the future:  They are simply constrained that they only have access to the Nodong engine and the Scud engines.  They do not have the capacity to design their own engine based on higher-energy propellant formulations, et cetera.

As a result, any large long-range missile they attempt to build with these technologies, the resulting missile will be extremely large.  An ICBM, for example, would weigh over 100 tons.  That’s very problematic because you can’t make it mobile, you’d have to launch it from a static site, you can’t be above ground because it would be very vulnerable, so you’ll have to put in a silo.  Silo-launching a 100-ton missile is not simple and they would have to develop some very sophisticated technologies in order to actually launch such a large missile from a silo.

It’s our belief that liquid-propellant systems that Iran is using now will eventually be used to sustain their space-launch programs.  They have some very great ambitions, in fact, they’ve talked about putting a man in space before the end of the decade and they just might be able to do that.  I suspect that it’ll be closer to 2022 or 2025 but bear in mind it is possible if they wanted to take certain risks.

In terms of extending the range of the Sajjil, this is a system that has not been proven and they still have a number of years of flight testing required before that can go operational.  They could conceivably make a three-stage system out of this missile.  Would require two to five years of flight testing and that would most likely occur after the Sajjil-2 is brought operational.  So a 3500-kilometer range missile is many years away.

Now, they could develop a second generation intermediate-range missile based on a larger engine or motor.  But if you look historically at the pace of such developments in other countries like China, France, Russia, the United States, that’s probably six to 10 years away.  Anytime they introduce a new missile, especially the solid-propellant ones, you’re looking at a four-year test program minimum.  In other words, we will have a lot of advanced notice of any new capabilities because it’s very difficult to hide flight tests.

Based on Iran’s history and the very methodical approaches they take to missile development, they will most likely develop an intermediate-range missile before they develop a ICBM so any notion of a 9,000-kilometer ICBM is at least a decade away.  Now, some of the recent developments we’ve seen, well, Iran has not tested any missiles this year except for this one Qiam missile that they tested a few months ago.

I’m not quite sure why they’re not testing this year whether it’s lack of materials, they’re having technical difficulties with their systems or they just don’t want to be provocative.  I don’t know, I don’t have any insights to it.  But this Qiam test is quite interesting because it’s essentially a Scud-C but they’ve taken the fins off and they’ve replaced the warhead with something that’s very similar to the warhead we see on the Ghadr-1 and the Sajjil.

Why would they take the fins off?  Well, it’s possible that they want to introduce or start launching these missiles from silos or from canisters where if you remove the fins it’s a simpler process, or they’re trying to reduce the radar cross section of the missile.  The warhead design is very interesting because it essentially makes the warheads interchangeable with the Ghadr-1 or the Sajjil, which have a 1.25-meter diameter.

The separation plane on the Ghadr-1 and the Sajjil has interestingly always been midway up this first flange that you see and the diameter of that separation area happens to be 880 millimeters, which is the diameter of the Scud.  So for some reason, they’ve decide they want to have a common warhead for all their missiles.

Yes, okay, just – I want to touch on something that we saw in North Korea earlier or actually, late last month.  They paraded what appears to be the Ghadr-1.  This is probably just a mock-up but more interestingly, they paraded the Musudan or BM25 which has been rumored to be in Iran as well.

It is based on the R-27.  The comments on the launcher vehicles, I don’t know why they’ve adopted this six-axis launcher for the Musudan because it’s the same weight as the Nodong.  It’s just an interesting – just real quickly want to say something about the R-27 or BM25.

Originally, this is a Russian missile capable of 2400 kilometers with a 650-kilogram warhead.  It does use an enhanced-performance propellant combination.  However, if Iran or North Korea want to use this missile as a mobile platform, they’re going to have to introduce some very significant changes.

It’ll no longer be contained in a nice, benign environment of a submarine.  Structural reinforcements are required; probably three (hundred) to 400 kilograms worth.  And the oxidizer used, in this missile as opposed to the ones used in the Scud and Nodong systems is very temperature sensitive so you have to protect it from outside environment.

It appears the Musudan is about two meters longer than the original R-27.  This is probably done to increase the tank space for the propellants so they can overcome the added, inert weight of the structural changes and such.  So the range payload performance of this new Musudan is probably very similar to what the original R-27 is.  I’ve seen some reports out there talking about it being capable of 4,000 kilometers.  I believe those to be wrong.

Last thing to say:  The Musudan or BM25 is a new missile.  We’ve not seen it flight tested in North Korea nor have we seen it tested in Iran.  So because it’s a new missile it’s at least three years away from development once we see them start to test.  So I’ll conclude with that.

MR. THIELMANN:  Thank you, Mike.  (Applause.)  Okay, we’ll move right to questions.  We’re coming close to the end of our scheduled session, but I think we can go a few minutes over.  Yes, sir.

Q:  Hi.  I’m Allan Krass, formerly with ACDA in the State Department.  This question is for Olli Heinonen.  Thank you very much for a very, very informative talk first of all.  I’m curious about the centrifuges that made the 19.75-percent uranium which I assume was the facility at Qom.  And can you tell me, did they use the same basic cascades as they use at Natanz or were these reconfigured cascades?

And the second question I have is when they made this 19.75-percent LEU, do they have any capability that you’ve seen for fuel fabrication so that they could make the fuel for the Tehran reactor themselves?

MR. HEINONEN:  First of all, you know, the production of 19.75 percent takes place in this power plant in Natanz which is above ground.  And they started to use the first cascade in February this year with just putting 3.5-percent enriched uranium from one end and from the other end you get 19.75 out.  There was no change to the cascade, per se, it’s the same 164-machine cascade.  You can read it perhaps on the IAEA report.

MR.            :  (Off mike.)

MR. HEINONEN:  Yeah.  It seems to be the same thing.  But then a change came in during the summer when they – because when you fit in you can – you put in 3.5 percent enriched uranium and you get 20 percent out from the other end.  But your tail is still 2 percent enriched so you – really, when you produce 20 percent enriched uranium this way you lose your previous enrichment effort which you have been doing.

So what they did then in summer time was that they turned this 2-percent enriched uranium to another cascade and then when you put it into the other one, you get 10-percent enriched uranium from the other end on that second cascade which you then feed in the middle of the first cascade.

And then as a total you put in 3.5 (percent) you get, practically, natural uranium as a tail and then 20 percent out.  And this is important from the economical point of view but also if you want to go to higher enrichments that you gain and you learn a lot.  So that’s what has taken place there.

Then what we know about the fuel-fabrication capabilities.  When they could use this conversion facility from China, the design actually had a very small laboratory-scale plan to produce uranium metal 19.75 percent enriched.  So that part of the process, they know what to do.  But the fuel for Tehran research reactor, actually, it’s a fairly complicated thing to do.  It’s not simple.  It’s, I would say, rocket science.  (Laughter.)

So to have a homogeneous high-quality fuel is not easy and you have to make, instead of uranium metal you have to have a certain alloy.  Whether they have that knowledge from Argentina, we don’t know because in early 1990s when they got fuel from Argentina, they certainly went to see how this is done.  But this is still sometime away before they can produce that fuel indigenously.

When you read the September IAEA report, they say there that they have undertaken some pre-steps which are actually to produce oxide from UF6, using depleted uranium as a test matter.  So I would say a year to two for sure will go before this is in that stage and then you need to make sure that the fuel is of high quality because any leaking of it or whatever will jeopardize the whole isotope-production process with it taking place almost in the middle of the town.

MR. THIELMANN:  All right, next to.

Q:  Norman Wulf, formerly with ACDA in State.  First, could I just a quick word about Olli.  He did the North Korean account back in the ’90s and ended in Iran and now five years as a DDG for Safeguards.   He really, I think, epitomizes what we think of as an effective international civil servant.

Two quick questions:  On Iran, could you say a word about all the newspaper speculation about this, I don’t know how you pronounce it, Stuxnet computer virus, whatever it’s called.  (Laughter.)  And secondly, comment about the utility in your view of the IAEA seeking a special inspection in Syria if we can go there for a moment?  Thank you.

MR. HEINONEN:  So I am of the opinion, like (Carthage ?) was in Rome, old Rome which says – (in foreign language).  So every speech he started – ended by saying that he’s of the opinion that Carthage would be destroyed regardless what he was talking.  So I guess should start to talk in such a way that I finish every time that, you know, and that we need to have a special inspection in Syria.  (Laughter.)

I will return later to Stuxnet.  But why special inspection?  Because I think that the agency has now hit the wall in order to rectify the situation and to find out whether that was a reactor and whether there have been undeclared nuclear material and activities in Syria.

And there are number of reasons I think it’s time Syria has to consider.  First of all, information is deteriorating.  We have to remember that the destruction took place three years ago.  All the corrosion, erosion, people moving – it’s more and more difficult to find out what really was there.  Every sandstorm which blows over the place will mix and take the uranium away.  That’s one reason.

The second reason is that I think it’s a flagrant violation, maybe the biggest if this turns out to be a reactor.  It’s probably the biggest violation of the safeguards agreement ever.  Iran is more modest – you can’t compare.  They’ve had centrifuges, they have small amounts of material.  But these guys went and they’re planning to build a nuclear reactor which had it not been destroyed would be producing plutonium today – probably under IAEA safeguards but nevertheless.

So and you know, if the international community cannot rectify this situation, this I think is also erosion for the NPT regime because if the regime is not able to solve it, then individual states will think the task is on their own hand – like Israel in this occasion.  So do we want that?  And then what’s the purpose of IAEA?  What’s the purpose of NPT if that’s the case?

And then there are other reasons.  Think about the prospect where perhaps North Korea’s involved.  What are these engineers and scientists doing today?  Are they doing this or are they doing something else?

And there are quite a few questions out there which need to be rectified.  Was the uranium – what were these experiments done in Damascus?  What’s the relation of Homs uranium recovery or yellow cake production experiments to this – which all point to a direction that they might be or might have been undeclared nuclear material and activities.

So I think we have come to – like Caesar to the Rubicon River.  And now it’s time to decide whether to cross the river or continue like it is.  And every day which passes from here on, I think there are less opportunities to verify what is there and what took place.

The Stuxnet,  I think it’s very difficult to say whether this is the one which is causing the troubles with the Iranian nuclear program.  There are people who are better off in touching it than me ever.  I’m not computer scientist, but, well, this kind of processors are used to control nuclear processes, so it may be possible that they are also in Natanz or Bushehr or elsewhere.

But to get it going there, that’s a hard thing because if you do it, you need to have a lot of insider information in order to do that – how to get the centrifuges to go out of balance and run too fast.  It’s also dangerous because if you sell this to some other process in some other country, doesn’t go to Iran.

It may cause a lot of havoc.  These controllers are used widely in industry, so I’m personally a little bit skeptic that whether this was really aimed solely for that purpose.  But I don’t think that there is any evidence and inside knowledge in the IAEA or from the IAEA reports.  It could be one of the factors.

And I go back to some of the statements by the Iranians, and I think was in 2006 – January – when Aghazadeh said that they have had problems with the frequency converters.  So he gave an interview to one of the newspapers in Tehran.  And this the time when he started to advocate that they need to have more indigenous production in order to keep things under their control.  So that’s my answer to the Stuxnet.

Q:  Thank you very much.  (Inaudible) – university.  I’d like to ask Mr. Elleman to say a few words perhaps about Iran’s defensive-missile capabilities.  I think much of what you said were – offense systems.  In your opinion, how much they have advanced and specifically – I think, a couple days ago, it was mentioned that Iran has – or trying or planned or decided on developing their own S-300 systems.  What do you think about that?  Thank you.

MR. ELLEMAN:  Very interesting question.  Want to say two things about Iran’s current air-defense capabilities.  I mean, they’re very – they’re highly reliant on Hawk missiles which they acquired before the revolution.  And I believe they have SA-2 and SA-5 systems.

Unfortunately for Iran, they don’t have a central architecture for their missile – their air-defense systems, so they’re quite limited in capability, and they’re very vulnerable to electronic countermeasures and anti-radiation missiles, et cetera.

Now, Iran has been attempting, as we all know, to purchase the S-300 from the Russians.  That sale apparently has not gone through.  Their acquisition of a Russian-built S-300 would not significantly improve their overall air-defense capabilities because they just lack the architecture to really build an effective system which would be kind of centered around the S-300.

Recall that the S-300 is more than just missiles.  It’s seekers, all sorts of radar systems, et cetera.  So if Iran is claiming to have made indigenously their version of the S-300, I would be dubious of such claims.  It’s more likely they have been able to produce a booster rocket that’s very similar to the S-300’s booster rocket.

But I would question whether they have developed the sensors and controllers that are in the Russian version of the S-300, let alone the integration of that missile into an overall radar and air-defense architecture.  So I think the – their claims are very boastful and not grounded in reality.

MR. THIELMANN:  I’ve been favoring this side of the room.  Let’s go to Andrew.

Q:  Andrew Pierre, USIP.  At the NATO meeting just completed, the alliance sort of adopted in general the notion of creating a European-wide missile defense.  I gather that Iran was not specifically sort of mentioned at that point, in the justification that the last months – if not year or two – Iran has been cited for that.

I gather from your presentation, Mr. Elleman, that you see some intermediate-range capabilities developing – but perhaps slowly and with problems – and I’m not going to ask you whether – I welcome your advice or your thoughts on the problems with developing missile defense, European-wide.  But more generally, I’d be interested in whether you think that the alliance is correct or wise to focus its notion of missile defense on the Iranian threat.  And if it’s not the Iranian threat, what is it?

MR. ELLEMAN:  Well, I believe for political reasons they – the announcements coming out of Lisbon specifically – they did not explicitly mention the Iranian threat.  And I think this was done to appease some of the NATO members, especially Turkey, who fought very hard to have that language dropped.

But I don’t see any missile programs anywhere else that would necessarily be capable of reaching Europe.  The Syrians have some nascent programs.  It appears that they may have an ability to produce the M-600, which is really a copy of the Fateh.  It has a maximum range of something like 250 kilometers.  So they’re a very long way away from being able to develop anything that could even approach targeting Europe.

Pakistanis have some missiles, but they certainly lack the range for now.  The Indians have some systems which they have tested, but they don’t really deploy them.  But again, I don’t see them being an issue for NATO.

So just by deduction, I think that the whole system is centered around the Iranian threat which – there is no indication that Iran is trying to develop a missile capable of striking Europe.  That means to date, everything they’ve done looks to be consistent with developing a force capable of threatening targets as far away as Israel.

If they decide to build longer-range systems, it’s going to take time and they’re going to have to undergo a series of test programs that will be very visible to outside observers, which will provide some advance warning – at least three to five years of advanced warning of a new capability – which allows NATO to adjust their missile defense strategies accordingly.

MR. THIELMANN:  Right here in the middle.  Wait for the microphone.

Q:  With respect to the IAEA’s inspection regime, I was wondering if all of you could elaborate on how robust do you think that is and how reassuring the entire regime is with respect to non-diversion since the Iranians have made quite a lot of noise as to the cameras and the unannounced inspections and so forth.  So given the fact that the talks are coming up and this is a key issue with respect to transparency, could you shed some light on that, please?

MR. HEINONEN:  Thank you.  If we go to the very basics of NPT and safeguards agreements, the job for IAEA is to make sure to detect the diversion of declared nuclear material and to make sure at the same time that all nuclear material in a state has been declared at least under the IAEA precaution.

So in other words, you need to also to confirm the absence of clandestine material or clandestine processes.  And this is where the IAEA has now a difficulty.  While the inspection regime in Natanz is really robust – I think it’s almost impossible to divert material from there – certainly small quantities, you can always – you cannot make sure that someone takes away one gram or a hundred grams.  But in terms of tens kilos or something like that, it’s not very likely.  They probably will be caught.

The problem in the case of Iran, and therefore no matter how much you inspect Natanz, it doesn’t provide any assurances what happens elsewhere in Iran.  And that’s where the problem of IAEA is because Iran doesn’t implement the additional protocol, so our agency doesn’t know much about the R&D, doesn’t know anything about the mining – what they are doing, where the yellow cake goes, et cetera.

The Agency has also limited access rights to the sites because no additional protocol and no provisional early information is another [inaudible] which is reducing the probability to find clandestine activities or to provide credible assurances that those don’t exist.

So what’s happening now when you look at – over the period of time – yes, Natanz is in a good control.  Yes, Esfahan is in a good control.  But the overall knowledge: when  Iran’s nuclear capabilities goes this way, the agency’s understanding of the nuclear program goes that way – until they agree to implement the additional protocol and provide the necessary access rights.

MR. THIELMANN:  I think we’ll take one more question – maybe Dean – and then we’ll have the room for just a few more minutes, but you can catch the speakers afterwards maybe for – if you have a burning issue.  Thank you.  Dean Rust –

Q:  We hear a lot of speculation in the press about a breakout capability all the time.  And we sort of – there’s speculation about how long that is, with the suggestion that if we don’t either solve it by that time, that we either have to attack them or live with an Iranian nuclear weapon.

But what’s wrong with the scenario that Iran just continues to produce only LEU for as long as it prefers and just kind of keeps the international community at bay from the standpoint of solving it from the current perspective?

As long as they only produce LEU, they never reach a breakout for development and if they go breakout, they’re only going to invite strong reaction anyway.  So I don’t quite understand why there’s so much of an impression that we have to do this quickly or else – and if we don’t solve it, then we either have to attack or we end up with nuclear weapons.

MR. HEINONEN:  Thank you.  This is actually about risk assessment which Peter talked before.  (Laughter.)  But when you look at testing from this declared P-1 program, as I said, I don’t think it’s a realistic scenario at this point of time that they break away with 3.5 percent enriched uranium  (inaudible) – so low is this uranium because of the poor performance of the centrifuges, for that simple reason.

Certainly, two years, three years from now, situation is perhaps different because you have – start to have a stockpile plus you may have this more advanced centrifuges available.  So the game will, so to say, change at that point of time.  I think that in a short, foreseeable future it’s not very likely scenario to go for breakout.

MR. THIELMANN:  We thank you for your good questions and your attendance.  And let’s give a round of applause to our speakers.

(Applause.)

(END)

Description: 

Transcript available. The Arms Control Association on Monday, November 22 hosted the first in a series of briefings on Iran's nuclear program, with panelists Olli Heinonen, Michael Elleman and Paul Pillar, moderated by Greg Thielmann. Panelists discussed Iran's nuclear and missile capabilities, intelligence limitations and answered key questions regarding the status of Iran's nuclear program.

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Next Steps in Arms Control: Third Panel Transcript - Missile Defense and NATO

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ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

NEXT STEPS IN ARMS CONTROL:
NUCLEAR WEAPONS, MISSILE DEFENSE AND NATO

PANEL 3: MISSILE DEFENSE AND NATO

MODERATOR:
TOM Z. COLLINA,
RESEARCH DIRECTOR,
ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

PANELISTS:
ERIC DESAUTELS,
SENIOR ADVISOR TO UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ARMS CONTROL AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

JIRI SEDIVY,
MINISTRY OF DEFENSE,
CZECH REPUBLIC

GREG THIELMANN,
SENIOR FELLOW,
ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C.

Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.


TOM COLLINA:  Thank you, again, Rose Gottemoeller.

If we could get all our panelists coming up for our final panel of the day on missile defense – if folks could wrap up their side conversations and have a seat, we will get right into it because we don't really have any break time planned for this next session.

This last panel of the day is on missile defense, as you can all see from your programs.  And this really brings together issues that have been discussed in both previous panels today, both the context of U.S.-Russian strategic reductions and the role missile defense will play in that going forward, and also in the NATO strategic concept coming up at the Lisbon summit.

Because as many of you may have noticed, as members of the U.S. administration as well as NATO officials talk less and less about prospects for breakthroughs on tactical nuclear weapons in Lisbon, more and more has been said about the prospects for breakthroughs on missile defense.  And in fact, that's one of now the main things that we're led to expect from the Lisbon summit, is an agreement on U.S.-NATO agreement to expand the NATO mission into territorial missile defense.  

That would essentially, you know, bring together NATO missile defense that has been going on in a troop deployment sense, and merging it with the U.S. phased adaptive approach that will be the first phase of it, which will be initiated next year.

But just to back up for a second, I'm sure you all remember, the phased adaptive approach by the Obama administration replaces a system first proposed by the Bush administration, which would have placed long-range interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.  And when the Obama administration came in, those plans were modified to what is called the phased adaptive approach which sees placing a phased system, the initial phases starting next year, with shorter-range interceptors placed at sea, as well as land-based interceptors in Poland and Romania and an X-band radar possibly in Turkey, which is one of the issues I'm sure we'll get to.

And there's a fact sheet in your blue packets, as well as an article from the current issue of Arms Control Today that goes through some of these details and the timing of the four phases to the phased adaptive approach.

Both systems were or are intended to protect the United States and NATO from Iranian missiles.  But as we'll hear, I'm sure, Turkey has been concerned about naming Iran as the target of common U.S.-NATO approaches to missile defense.

NATO members so far seem fine with the plan of expanding the missile-defense mission in Lisbon as long as they don't have to pay too much for it.  And I'm sure we'll hear more about that.

But as I said, then there's the question of Turkey and how they feel about naming names as to who exactly is the threat.

Russia has responded rather cautiously to invitations to cooperate with the missile-defense system in NATO, which is another one of the things we're expecting to come out of the Lisbon summit, that not only will NATO agree to a broader missile-defense mission, but it will invite Russia to take part.  And in fact, President Medvedev has already said that he would come to the Lisbon summit to be part of the NATO-Russia Council.

So this all raises a lot of interesting questions, including and certainly not limited to, how U.S. missile-defense interceptor deployments in Europe will affect U.S.-NATO relations.

It was discussed earlier today in the NATO panel that there is a possibility that missile defense will become the new trans-Atlantic glue that binds the U.S. to European NATO members and holds the Alliance together.  Is that what this is all about?

How far really can NATO-Russian cooperation on missile defense go?  If there's no common agreement on common threats, which there's a sense [that] there is not, how far can agreement go on common responses?

And finally, how can we prevent the last phase of the phased adaptive approach, which, according to the U.S., will include capability against long-range ballistic missiles?  How will we prevent that possibility for causing problems or possibly derailing the next phase of U.S.-Russian arms reductions if, of course, we get that far with ratification of New START?

So a lot of information to chew on in this panel.  And to help us do that, we have a great panel of experts to talk about this with.

First up is going to Eric Desautels,‏ did I get that right?  And my apologies that his name is spelled wrong in the program.  But we'll try to fix that.  And he has graciously agreed to sit in for Frank Rose who could not be here, on short notice.  But Eric is senior adviser to the undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, with primary responsibility for missile defense, space, counterproliferation and sanctions.

Next up will be Jiri Sedivy who, until recently, was the assistant secretary-general for defense policy and planning at NATO.  And he has served as the Czech Republic's minister of Defense as well as the deputy minister of European Affairs.  And he's now back with the Czech Ministry of Defense.  And he'll tell us exactly what capacity that is.

And then last but not least, we have Greg Thielmann who is a senior fellow at ACA.  And he has also served as senior professional staff on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.  And he was also a U.S. Foreign Service officer for 25 years, last serving as director of the Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

So an excellent panel for us to have this conversation on missile defense.

And Eric, the floor is yours.

ERIC DESAUTELS:  Thank you, Tom, for that introduction.  My name, as he said, is Eric Desautels.  When you have a last name like mine, you're used to having it misspelled and mispronounced all the time.  So it's not that big a concern.

Let me start by thanking the Arms Control Association for holding this conference and providing an opportunity to discuss the Obama administration's plans for European missile defense.

Tom has asked me to address three specific topics today.  First, the U.S. plans for missile defense in Europe.  Second, our plans and hopes for the NATO Lisbon summit.  And finally, our plans for the NATO-Russia Council summit, both of which will occur in a little over a week and a half.

Let me start by discussing the Obama administration's plans for missile defense in Europe, known as the European Phased Adaptive Approach, or EPAA.

As its title suggests, this new approach focuses on deploying defenses in phases and is designed to be adaptive as the threat evolves.  An important point about this new system is that when it is completed it will provide protection for all of our European allies, which is consistent with the concept of indivisibility of Alliance security.

The previous system was not designed to provide protection for all of our allies, especially against certain short and medium-range ballistic missile threats.

The EPAA instead will focus first on protecting our most vulnerable allies from that existing threat, and then expand as that threat evolves.

Let me quickly walk through the four phases of this system.  Normally at this point, my Defense colleagues would hold up some very fancy slides that would help you follow along.  But since I'm from the State Department, you're just going to have to use your imagination.  (Laughter.)

For the first phase in the 2011 time frame, we will deploy Aegis ships in the Mediterranean equipped with the SM-3 Block IA interceptor and an AN/TPY-2 radar to provide protection for our southern European allies against the existing missile threat.

Then for phase two in the 2015 time frame, our first land-based SM-3 interceptor site will be deployed to Romania.  We will also deploy the more advanced Bock IB interceptors at this site and on our Aegis ships, thereby expanding the protection of our southern European NATO allies.

Next, for phase three in 2018, we will deploy a land-based site in Poland.  At the same time, we will start deploying the more capable SM-3 Block IIA interceptors, both at sea and on land.  The addition of this site and the new interceptors will expand coverage to all of our NATO allies.

Finally, the plan for phase four calls for the deployment in 2020 of the even more capable SM-3 Block IIB interceptor, which will improve our European defense capabilities as well as supplement our existing capability to defend the United States against long-range regional missile threats.

That covers the phased nature of the approach, so let me briefly discuss the adaptive nature of the approach.

The EPAA is designed to be responsive to the current threat, but through the course of its four phases could also incorporate other technologies quickly in order to adapt to that threat.  Further advances in technology or further changes in the threat could result in the United States modifying details or the timing of later phases of the EPAA.

In addition, the emphasis on this approach is on deploying relocatable missile-defense assets instead of large silo-based systems.  This provides the flexibility to surge more capabilities to theaters around the world when and where they are needed.

Let me also highlight one final important element of this new approach.  This approach focuses on deploying existing and proving missile-defense systems.  The Missile Defense Agency, working with the Department of Defense's independent testing organization, has developed a plan to test all of these capabilities to ensure they are operationally effective before we deploy them.

For example, MDA will install land-based SM-3s for testing at the Pacific Missile Range facility.  While the SM-3 has a proven test record, this test facility will allow the United States to ensure that the entire system we deploy to Europe has met the fly-before-you-buy criteria.

That's the system.  Now let me turn to what we are doing with NATO in the run-up to Lisbon.

First, since we've announced this new approach, we have received tremendous support from our NATO allies.  This support is evident in the statements made by NATO Secretary General Rasmussen, by Madeleine Albright's group of experts and in the NATO ministerial communiqués that have been released since September of last year.

Since the beginning, one of our main goals was to put this new approach to missile defense squarely in a NATO context.  As such, we want there to be political buy-in and burden sharing from our allies on this issue.  We will do this by seeking allied agreement at the Lisbon summit to pursue a NATO missile-defense capability for the protection of our European allies' territory, populations and forces.  The EPAA will then become the U.S. contribution to this NATO capability.  

By getting a NATO political decision, we will enable NATO military and political authorities to develop the structure and procedures to be able to execute this as a NATO mission, including developing the rules of engagement and pre-planned responses.

We also want NATO to expand its existing command and control system known as the Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense, or ALT-BMD, system to support this territorial missile-defense mission.

By expanding the capability of this command and control system to provide the full range of missile-defense coverage, we will be able to plug both U.S. assets and allied assets into the overall NATO missile-defense effort.

Finally, let me turn to the NATO-Russia Council summit which will occur immediately following the NATO summit.  We believe that the NRC summit is just as important for our European missile-defense efforts as the NATO summit.  The Obama administration is committed to cooperating with Russia on missile defense, both bilaterally and in the NATO-Russia Council.

As part of those efforts, we are committed to being transparent with Russia about our missile-defense plans and will continue to reassure Russia that our missile-defense deployments are not a threat to Russia's strategic forces.

We strongly believe that cooperation with Russia, both bilaterally and in the NRC, is in our national security interests as well as Russia's interests.  Such cooperation is also good for international and regional security.

Our goal for the upcoming NATO-Russia Council summit is to get a political commitment from the heads of state in government to move forward on missile-defense cooperation and other issues critical to our mutual security.  We have already begun some missile-defense cooperation in the NRC.

One important area of cooperation would be to resume the missile-defense exercises that were conducted in the NRC between 2002 and 2008.  We are also conducting a joint analysis of 21st century threats, and have developed an NRC Missile Defense Working Group.

Implementing this cooperation would provide a strong basis for exploring further opportunities for missile-defense cooperation.  And we hope that this step-by-step approach with Russia will lead to increased cooperation across-the-board within the NRC.

Let me stop there.  And when it comes time, I'll be happy to answer any questions.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

JIRI SEDIVY:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

And indeed, I would like first of all thank to the association for inviting me to speak at this meeting.

Now, I've been working for NATO for three years.  I finished actually about three weeks ago on the 15th of October, which was the day after so-called “jumbo” ministers meeting where ministers of defense and ministers of foreign affairs were fine-tuning or tuning-up perhaps the Alliance for Lisbon.

And missile defense was discussed quite extensively, perhaps more than we expected.  But before that for three years, I had been chairing, among other things, I had been chairing the working group which served as a sort of hub into which various military technical resources and other aspects of missile-defense projects were coming.

And we were trying to transform it into a political military assessment.  And indeed, our reports were informing the decisions, or rather nondecisions, at summits in Bucharest and Strasbourg Kehl.  So [I] spent hours and perhaps days chairing those discussions, and sometimes it was really excruciating when, after many known debates, just changing a comma into a semicolon actually helped to diffuse a problem.

Now, it's difficult to add anything more to what has been said already and also to the excellent article that I read, that Tom actually published in the recent issue of the Arms Control Today.  It's a very good picture of where more or less we are at NATO.

But anyway, let me say first a few words about what we can expect from Lisbon summit and why I am relatively optimistic concerning the ambitions in terms of missile defense, ambitions of allies and of the U.S. government for Lisbon.  I will also mention a few issues that are still on the discussion.  I wouldn't use the notion of problems, but issues that are being and will be discussed.  And last but not least, a few words about Russia.

Now, what we may expect is that missile defense will be open until the very last minutes of the summit.  And this might not be, and we will see, but this might not be actually the function of the very missile-defense debate.  It could be a function of a very intricate or sophisticated architecture of hostages, which is already being built.  And this is something very common in NATO when various nations are keeping hostage, various reports or parts of reports or agendas in order to achieve their goals.

And I remember from Strasbourg Kehl when actually [the] missile-defense report was taken hostage by Turkey and France.  For France, actually it was related or linked to the language in the communiqué concerning the comprehensive approach, which is something completely different.  And for Turkey, this was related to the language in the final communiqué on European Union.

Nevertheless, I believe that those two ambitions, first one declaring missile defense as a mission or capability for NATO, is a part of the collective defense.  And this will be most probably done by means of the new strategic concept.  This will be achieved.  And then most probably also, the decision on extending the ALT-BMD which is the active layer of ballistic missile defense, the protection or the emerging system to protect troops in the field.  That this decision to extend the command and control and consultation of this system further into the area of protecting part of the territory of the southern flank and population center.  That this will be achieved.

And this will indeed or may indeed constitute a first step in that four-phased journey towards the full-fledged territorial missile defense.

The reason why this might happen almost, probably will happen, is that the phased adaptive approach is much more feasible politically, technically, in the eyes of many nations, unlike the previous concept.  Although, if we go into details and analysis, there are not that many and that deep differences.  By the way, how this new concept was presented and phased actually was very important.

Which also means that I didn't see any feasibility or any possibility to realize the previous or to achieve decision concerning the previous concept.  And if you would go through the various nitty-gritties of negotiations, especially before Bucharest, but also before Strasbourg Kehl, you would realize that.

Now, the new concept, the phased adaptive concept is, above all, framed in NATO.  This is very important.  This was not the case of the previous one. This is important because, for example, Germany, who used to be completely against missile defense before, is now one of the most vocal proponent of the current one.

Also, this new approach is much more transparent in the eyes of the allies, and very important as well.  It is, as it was described, it seems to be more rational, less dogmatic in terms of its flexibility, its adaptiveness and so on and so forth.

So having said that, there are still a few, yeah, points for discussion, most of them were mentioned here.  And I will enumerate six or seven of them without any indication of priority or importance.

Threat analysis; political issue.  And this is something that has emerged quite recently.  Turkey expressed a couple of weeks ago its concerns about naming some states, especially indeed referring to Iran and Syria.

Here I should emphasize that in the agreed, collectively agreed, threat assessment that is supporting our deliberations concerning missile defense, we don't name.  I mean, NATO does not name any nation.  We have some sort of a generic regional directions from which we can expect the threat growing, but we do not name nations.

And the problem was that actually Secretary General Rasmussen in many of his speeches where he touched upon or spoke about missile defense, he was very much explicit.  And he actually went beyond the agreed threat perception.

But now I believe this issue was already solved three weeks ago at the ministerial meeting I mentioned.  The U.S. came out with some sort of a compromise proposal, which was quite generic, and which was acceptable for Turkey, at the table of the ministerial meeting.

Now, second issue, which is more into the strategic concept debate, but very much related indeed to missile defense as such, is the place of the missile defense in what is called in NATO documents a broader response to countering the increasing threat of ballistic missile proliferation.

And it was also discussed here already, the broader response includes deterrence.  But then indeed, it is a debate about the concept of deterrence.  And we are using now an ocean of holistic deterrence or deterrence for the 21st century, which indeed still keeps the nuclear core, but is much more wider than that.

Another aspect of the broader response is the area of arms control and disarmament.  And the strategic concept is going to give permanence to that as well.

And last but not least, there is a very specific French concern that actually missile defense can, in some way, weaken their independent deterrent, because in our documents we are saying that actually missile defense is one of the means that is enhancing NATO's deterrent.

And there is a sort of continuum of two national positions between which actually the debate oscillates.  On the one hand, France, which is very difficult in nuclear issues, very, I would say, traditional.  And on the other hand, Germany, who wants to see as much of arms control disarmament language as possible.

Some of you may have noticed that the declaration from the defense ministers on the 16th -or it was on the 14th - ‏on the 14th of October, actually, that that did not contain a paragraph on nuclear issues.  And this was the result of a complete disagreement between these two nations.

The debate is also, and I haven't seen the third draft actually of the strategic concept, but the debate is also about the place of missile defense, nuclear paragraph and arms control and disarmament paragraph in the text.  And indeed, France especially, but also other nations, would like these separate, while Germany and other nations that are more pro arms control and disarmament would like to have this in some sort of a package.

Now, another issue is the cost.  It's well-described in your article.  I mean, additional cost, the estimates for the cost of building the command and control for the technical or theater missile defense is about $1.1 billion.  The additional costs for extending is estimated around 200 (million euro), $280 million.  But then this is just for, I would say,  the first phase-plus.  But then there are a number of questioners about the national contributions.

And nations are very careful.  Here we speak, in terms of these figures, we speak about the cost from the common funding.  And again, yes, it is not a big, big money for what we can get in terms of adding another 200 million euro or 250 (million dollars) or $280 million.  But it's, for many nations, it is a question of principle.  It is a question of principle.  And this is also related to the current debate about extending common funding.

Level of coverage and degree of protection, another big issue.  And I'm not going into that, but definitely we cannot expect 100 percent coverage and we cannot expect 100 percent of protection.  But for some nations, this is especially sensitive.

Consequences of interceptor or the debris coming from a potential intercept, is another technical issue.

C3 arrangement, it was mentioned already.  Rules of engagement or standard operational procedures, it's the button question.  But I believe that these issues will be solved, and are being solved.

Last one that I would mention is Russia, and then I will finish.  There are two tracks, it was already mentioned, one bilateral, Russia-U.S., and one, Russia-NATO, the NATO-Russia Council.

Now, we've had quite, I would say, good cooperation in the area of theater missile defense with Russia in terms of information exchanged.  We even hold, I think, one or two tabletop exercises.  And now we have managed to agree on new terms of reference that are framing the continuation of cooperation in this area after the NATO-Russia reset.  We have also our own kind of reset.

Concerning the territorial missile defense, we have a very strong language from the Bucharest communiqué, and I will quote.  “NATO is ready to explore potential for linking United States and NATO and Russian missile-defense systems at an appropriate time.”  Now, the appropriate time most probably will come in Lisbon.  If we have those two steps done, this means the adoption of the missile defense as a mission and, above all, the extension of the ALT-BMD.

Then it will be the time.  But in NATO, everything depends on the consensus among the allies.

I must say that it's not always clear whether Russia is really interested in this kind of cooperation with NATO, I must say, with NATO.  And now, I have been also chairing several variations of NATO-Russia Council, some groups partially on missile defense, on terrorism, on arms control.  And especially recently, we have ‏‒ and surprisingly, as Lisbon is coming ‏‒ we have noticed a certain disengagement even on the part of Russia, problems with receiving instructions from the capital and so on and so forth.  But this may change.

And last but not least, and this is my final point, there is a still outstanding mentality and gap, a perception gap, not only in terms of threat perception, and this is one part of our recent activities that we are conducting, joint threat perception or analysis exercise, but there is a still outstanding lack of trust in NATO.

I also believe that NATO is a good instrument for domestic politics in Russia, that it sometimes useful to have a good enemy to define yourself against. The, I would say, episodes, but not very conducive to deepening our cooperation, such as having a nuclear attack scenario.  And the Zapad exercise 2009 was mentioned already.

So regardless [of the] optimism, pessimism, and your question about the fourth phase ICBM, this is 2020-plus.  And I believe in 2020-plus, Russia will be a very different geopolitical, geostrategic position than it is today.  And we will actually be, by definition, cooperating much more together in many areas, counterterrorism, counterproliferation, and including missile defense.  So I don't think that this is going to have any negative impact.

But before now and then, we will see a gradual step-by-step process, sometimes with Russia, as it has been always between NATO and Russia since 1997.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

GREG THIELMANN:  I'd first like to thank you for your perseverance.  I think I'm the last speaker for the day.

I wanted to begin with a comment about New START and missile defense.  It seems to me that the lack of meaningful constraints on missile defense in the New START agreement is a remarkable achievement.  The treaty contains explicit Russian acceptance of current U.S. nationwide strategic ballistic missile defenses.  And I know a lot of attention has been on one piece of the preamble that refers to the interrelationship of strategic offenses and strategic defenses.  It seems to me this has all the drama and the news content of a declaration that the earth is round.

This is not, to me, anything other than stating the obvious.  But what's very interesting is what follows that in the preamble.  “Current strategic defensive arms do not undermine the viability and effectiveness of the strategic offensive arms of the parties.”  This is a striking acknowledgment by Russia that the 30 strategic ballistic missile interceptors currently deployed by the United States and those x-band battle management radars do not threaten Russia's nuclear deterrent.

Now, I think that Obama's handling of the Europe-based missile defense was a very important part of the success achieved in getting to this point in the New START agreement.  The Bush third-site approach had all of the wrong features in it.  It was very U.S.-centric; European defense was secondary.  The near-term missile threat to Europe was not addressed.  It led with bilateral rather than multilateral arrangements, essentially going around NATO.  And the illogic of this approach greatly increased Russia's doubts about the sincerity of the U.S. appeal for cooperation.

Now, in contrast, and Eric has already made some of these points, but the European phased adaptive approach we now have is prioritized against the level and scope of the threat.  It provides protection for all of NATO allies, it puts the European security architecture squarely into NATO's context.  Again, Eric's formulation.  It increased the transparency of the U.S. program.  And Jiri mentioned this as well.  And finally, it genuinely seeks cooperation with the Russians.  And I don't think there's much reason to doubt the sincerity of the U.S. administration's approach.

Now that I've established myself as a cheerleader for the Obama administration's missile-defense policies in Europe, let me morph into a Cassandra and raise some warning flags about the future.  Most of my activities for the Arms Control Association are hauling down warning flags in relations to exaggerated threats, at least in my opinion.

In this case, though, I want to try to describe a little bit about a very serious problem down the road, and not so far down the road when we start negotiating a follow-on agreement to New START.

The U.S. has obviously proposed that NATO should take on the mission of territorial ballistic missile defense.  This sounds very easy to absorb except for the fact that it raises many questions, which even today, listening carefully to the speakers talk about what's coming up at Lisbon and afterwards, I'm not sure what the answers are.

I do not exactly understand territorial defense, defending the territory, the population and the forces, I think, is Jiri's word.  Is this robust protection against a limited attack?  Or is it limited protection against a robust attack?  Or is it limited protection against a limited attack?  I think it's probably the latter.  But it's really too early to say, as far as I know.

Is it primarily oriented against an Iranian-existing MRBMs?  Is it anticipating Iranian IRBMs, threatening Britain and France?  Is it directed against Russian short-range ballistic missiles that exist today?

Is it against Russian ICBMs?  I mean, if it's a territorial ballistic missile threat, is it against an accidental Russian ICBM launch against Paris?  Is it against Chinese ICBMs?   Is it against future North Korean ICBMs?

I don't know.  I have to assume that a territorial ballistic missile defense of Europe is directed against all of these threats.  But again, I'm guessing.

And I would contend that I'm afraid it will have exactly the opposite impact of what some foresee.  It will encourage rather than discourage missile proliferation.  And I say this because I'm empirical.  This always happens.  Missile defense deployments never decrease the offensive ballistic missile threats.  They increase it.

Now, maybe the end result is with, depending on one's assumptions about the reliability of interception, maybe you have a net gain in terms of missiles that can't come through, but you always have a net increase of the number of missiles directed at you.

So I think it's safe to assume that Iran will build more missiles and/or deploy penetration aids as a result of Europe's territorial ballistic missile defense, to the extent that Iran is even interested in targeting Europe, and I'm not sure that they are.

It will also, I would argue, diminish the credibility of NATO's deterrent, and it will exaggerate the power of the ballistic missile threat.  I mean, why is Europe really worried about Iranian ballistic missiles?  I mean, do they not have faith in the U.S. nuclear deterrent?  Is this a comment that our own nuclear deterrent is inadequate against an anticipated Iranian threat?  Again, it at least raises the question in my mind.

And then I think most people who have been following the issue in the United States for years know that the pursuit of territorial missile defenses is a financial black hole.  This is what convinced the United States not to try to defend itself against Russian and Chinese ballistic missiles.  We can't afford it.  We are a fairly wealthy nation, but we cannot afford to do that.

Now, in the territorial ballistic missile defense, which I guess is going to soon be endorsed, it's only 200 million euros, but that is just a down payment.  And I would just remind you that the U.S. is spending about twice that amount to rebuild the six flawed ground-based interceptor silos in Alaska that were hastily deployed there without being adequately designed and tested because we were in such a hurry to protect ourselves against a threat which still hasn't materialized.

I would also argue that there will never be enough, particularly in an era of increasing budget pressures, there will never be enough money to deploy as many missiles as you need to deploy to have a reliable ballistic missile threat against all comers.

And finally, missile defense will siphon off defense resources that are desperately needed for other defense priorities.  And I certainly get the impression that Europe is having some problems coming up with transport aircraft, with the payment of troops and others for supporting NATO forces in Afghanistan.

And probably most importantly, it threatens to derail future nuclear arms reductions between the U.S. and Russia, not for a while.  Now, going back to my first point, I think the New START agreement has bought us a significant amount of time, and it's impressive for having done that.  But the U.S. strategic missile-defense capability anticipated in the later phase of the European phased adaptive approach will probably be seen by Russia as being threatening.  And this may cause Russia to draw back from reductions in offensive nuclear capabilities.  

Because we're not waiting 10 years, one hopes, to start negotiating with Russia, we'll start negotiating right away, but any kind of nuclear arms controls negotiations looks far down the road, anticipating future threats, trying to nail down, mitigate, limit those threats.  And that's where the problem comes here.

Eugene Miasnikov mentioned that strategic stability was a very important component of our own NPR, very important that it was mentioned in that document.  And this has to raise questions, though, about, what is the effect on strategic stability in the year 2020, from a Russian perspective?

I hope, as Jiri says, that in the year 2020, Russia will be in a much different geopolitical position.  But when we look around today, the full integration of Russian and NATO strategic missile defenses seems to me to be unlikely.

Russia's unilateral statement, after all, in response to the New START agreement says, “‘new START’ may be effective and viable only in conditions where there is no qualitative or quantitative buildup in U.S. missile-defense capabilities.”  Russian Defense Minister Serdyukov said, “We also want to ensure that Russia participates as an equal partner.  Only then can a missile-defense system be created that satisfies all sides.”  

But USA and Canada Institute Director Sergey Rogov says, “Russia and the United States hardly are ready to agree to create a joint missile defense.  The level of trust between Moscow and Washington is not such that we would trust the other side to defend us against a missile attack.”

So going to solutions, how can NATO missile-defense policy avoid contributing to a breakdown in nuclear arms control?

I guess my first piece of advice is, NATO has to be very careful with its rhetoric.  Don't exaggerate the threat, and don't overpromise the response to that threat.

I actually like the recent U.K.-French joint statement, thinking it struck all the right chords.  It talked about “financially realistic, coherent with the level of the threat arising from the Middle East and allowing for a partnership with Russia, missile defense is a complement to deterrence, not a substitute.”

I think those are basically good words, and the concept behind them is good as well.  Not necessarily easy to turn that into reality.  But I think we are on the right track in terms of seeking a joint threat assessment with Russia, with a sharing of sensor assets and to pursue the joint exercises or actually resume the joint exercises that had occurred during the 1990s.

But I think we also need to express confidence in the reliability and effectiveness of U.S. nuclear deterrent against a nuclear attack on Europe.  I mean, this is the core promise of NATO.  This is what all NATO members proclaim, and I think we should have the courage of our convictions and our rhetoric.

We should not tremble at the prospect of an Iran who's increasing its missile forces, particularly prior to the time when Iran actually develops nuclear weapons, which is not at all a forgone conclusion.

Also, we should describe missile defense, I think, very explicitly as a means of protecting Europe at least right now from conventional ballistic missile attack in the region.  So we need to keep our descriptions of what we're buying with where the threat is.

We don't want to get too far ahead of the actual nuclear missile threat.  We need to go slowly, seek NATO-Russia cooperation as well as U.S.-Russia cooperation on missile defense, and keeping an eye on the opportunity costs.

And I must admit that what exactly we would put on the table in order to resolve this end-of-the-decade problem that it can be foreseen in strategic ballistic missile-defense systems being introduced in Europe by the end of the decade is something that I haven't worked out myself.  But it seems to me that any kind of sober contemplation of these issues at Lisbon better think through some of these issues, because we certainly don't have the answers yet today after many years of experience trying to provide territorial ballistic missile defense to the United States.  So I'm a little skeptical about this endeavor as applied to Europe.

Thank you.  (Applause.)

MR. COLLINA:  All right.  Thank you very much to our speakers.  We are now at the question-and-answer portion of this session.

Questions?  Mark, right here.  Please, I would ask you to identify yourself, identify who you want your question addressed by, and also try to keep questions short and to the point.  Thank you.

Q:  Mark Gubrud, University of Maryland.  And I'll address my question primarily to Mr. Desautels.  And I feel sorry for you having to defend this policy, which is, in my opinion, intellectually and morally bankrupt and frankly corrupt.

MR. COLLINA:  Mark, could you get to your question, please?

Q:  Yes.  (Laughter.)  I'm an experimental physicist, and I'm going to refer to technical facts, which I think many people in this room are aware of, but for some reason they don't seem to figure in much of this discussion.

The program that you laid out relies or it leans,  basically, it was SM-3.  So current deployment SM-3 Block IA and then SM-3 IB followed on by Block II SM-3s , the SM-3, as you know, is an exoatmospheric interceptor, which means it attempts to achieve intercept in space ‏

MR. COLLINA:  Mark, we need a question, please.

Q:  it has never been tested against realistic countermeasures, it has never been tested ‏‒ when it was tested against cone-shaped decoys, shaped similar to warheads, it failed.  It has not been tested in the presence of tumbling missiles.  It has not been tested in the presence of debris.

And these countermeasures are known.  The SM-3 has not been tested against them.  And we know that it will fail.  And furthermore, cannot be improved because the information ‏

MR. COLLINA:  Mark ‏

Q: to provide the discrimination ‏

MR. COLLINA:  Mark, what is your question, ‒ I have to cut you off, because we don't have ‏‒ you're taking ‏‒
Q:  The SM-3 does not work against simple countermeasures, cannot be made to work against simple countermeasures.  And you say it will be tested.  Well, you say it will be tested in a land-based mode.  That's like as relevant as, you know, saying it's still going to work if you put a decal on the side of it.

MR. COLLINA:  Mark, thank you.  We're going to let Eric respond to you ‏‒

Q:  Okay.  So, well, if you want a question, okay.  When is it going to be tested against realistic countermeasures?

MR. COLLINA:  Thank you.

Q:  Second, the Block II SM-3, the Block I does not have the altitude reach to make it a potent ASAT threat, although it was demonstrated in the ASAT mode.  It was demonstrated as effective against a satellite.  But the Block II SM-3s, as we understand it, will have the reach to pretty much hit anything in low-earth orbit.

So one would have to conclude, if, based on current United States plans, that the U.S. would have no objection to Russia or China deploying a similar system that would basically be capable of sweeping the entire constellation of U.S. military assets in low-earth orbit.

MR. COLLINA:  Mark ‏‒ Mark, you are taking everybody else's time right now.

(Cross talk.)

Q:  These are the elephants in the room and Tom, none of your speakers ‏‒

MR. COLLINA:  Could you stop, please?

Q:  ‏‒ acknowledge these basic facts, these basic parameters.

MR. COLLINA:  You're being unfair to everybody else in this room.

Q:  Excuse me, Tom.  Tom, these are technical facts which are not acknowledged in this discussion, and they need to be.

MR. COLLINA:  And we just did.  Thank you.

Can we have a response?  Eric, you're up.

MR. DESAUTELS:  Thanks.  You know, obviously, I'm not a physicist.  I rely on the judgments of Lieutenant General O'Reilly at the Missile Defense Agency.  And obviously, he has a different opinion about whether the SM-3 is effective.  And also, I'd say the independent testing agency, DOT&E, has a different opinion as well.

The main point, though, I think, is that they've developed a very detailed plan to test these systems beforehand.  Now, I don't have all of the details to respond to your exact criticisms of the SM-3.  But I think that they have satisfied themselves within the MDA.  They've satisfied the Defense Department's independent testing agency.

As you recall, the previous system did not have to work through DOD's testing agency.  This plan has now been briefed around town, to the Hill, to everybody, and it seems to me that this is the right way forward to proving that these systems, when deployed, will actually do what we're asking them to do.

And then on the second point you have about, you know, ASATs, obviously, you know, the United States does not support the development of any type of ASAT system, particularly, especially those like Chinese one, which generated so much debris that it will be in orbit for generations.  And that's not the purpose of the SM-3.  And we will continue to work through the international community, especially on transparency and confidence-building measures, to make sure that these types of systems are not developed in the future.

MR. COLLINA:  Anybody else want to address those issues?  Okay.

Other questions?

Yes, sir, way in the back.

Q:  Thank you.  Dieter Dettke, Georgetown University.  I have a question for the former Czech defense minister.  And I want to invite you to help us to understand better what Russia is thinking and how it's reacting.  What is it expecting from the West, from Europe, from NATO, from the United States?

I would have loved to ask this question of Rose Gottemoeller who lived in Russia.  But you're close to Russia, and you might be able to tell us a little more, how far they are going to go, where they can help, where they can do us harm.  And how do you read Russia's mind at the moment in terms of, you know, what they want to achieve, vis-à-vis Europe, vis-à-vis the West, within NATO?  Thank you.

MR. SEDIVY:  Thank you very much.  And it's ‏‒ yeah, Winston Churchill said that Russia is mystery wrapped up in an enigma, and so on and so forth.  No, first of all, from my part of Europe, sometimes the perception of Russia is not entirely, I would say, rational.  It's still quite burdened by the past experience and sometimes a bit paranoid.

First of all, what I don't think Russia is about to do, and it's not about to invade any part of NATO territories.  It's not about to attack us in any other way.  It's perhaps first and foremost what they seek is a recognition, because they are dealing with, I would say, difficult adaptive psychological process of losing an empire in a relatively short period.

It expects from us trade.  Indeed, Russia is very much and will be more and more dependent on the West, in general terms, in terms of the trade.  But also in terms of technologies.

So it's also cooperation.  I also believe that Russia expects from NATO that we would not fail in Afghanistan completely, because that would be a disaster for Russia first of all.  If you look at the map, if you look at the problems, you know, there will be proliferation of various social pathologies and terrorism and arms and more drugs, you know, through Central Asia, more extremists in northern caucuses, which is already now actually in a state of war.

So I believe that we have much more rational or higher interests in common.  But at the same time, Russia is extremely difficult because of that effort to keep still the status that it used to have, to have recognition.  That's most I can say in a few sentences.

But I am coming from the school of structural realism.  And I believe that actually the structure and the distribution of configuration of power is to, a certain extent, actually determining the behavior of nations, of the actors in the international relations, international system.  And Russia simply will be forced, because of the relative decline, especially vis-à-vis China, but also vis-à-vis other parts of her neighborhood, Russia simply will be forced more and more to cooperate with us and indeed with whom else if you look at her map, at her geopolitical, geostrategic code.

MR. COLLINA:  Anybody else want to comment on that one?

Okay.  Darrell (sp), right up.  Can we get a mike up to the front, please?

Q:  Thanks to all of you.  Missile defense is always a controversial subject.  And I just wanted to acknowledge ‏ I mean, some of the points that you raise, Mark, these are facts, in my view.  And so one of the things that I think would be useful, not now, to have some answers to, but, you know, when will the testing schedule address some of the issues that Mark was raising?

It's my understanding that that would be quite some time from now, and that there aren't yet answers through the testing program to some of the technical questions that he was raising.

Which brings me to the question that Greg was raising, which I think actually gets to the heart of this.  Which is, what do we mean by “protection?”  And I don't like ‏‒ I tell my staff not to use the word “missile-defense shield” or “protection” because that suggests that this military hardware has a capability that it really doesn't completely have.

So my question to the ambassador and to Mr. Desautels is, in the NATO concept right now, okay, how would you summarize the concept of protection that the Alliance is trying to attain?

And then the second part, and this gets to the last point that Greg was raising, how in 2020, which is not that long from now in many ways, how does the Alliance or the Pentagon and the State Department foresee avoiding yet another conflict with Russia that we had just two, three years ago over the GBI proposal?

So those are my two questions.  And I think these are elemental questions.  I'd just like a response on those two things, which get to some of the tentacle issues, but it's where the policy intersects with the technology.

MR. COLLINA:  Eric, do you want to take that one on first?

MR. DESAUTELS:  Actually, I counted three questions there.  (Laughs.)  The first was on, you know, when are we going to start doing some of this testing?  For example, I know next year MDA will conduct a test that will test whether the Aegis SM-3 Block IA is capable against the IRBM type of threat.

Right now it's proven up to the 1,000 kilometer range threat.  So next year, they'll have a test where they test for that longer range system, also using the radar that we plan to deploy in Europe, so that when we do deploy all of this in Europe we have actually tested the system to ensure that what we say we're doing in phase one is what we can do in phase one.

And then on protection, actually, I think this kind of gets to many of the questions you asked.  You know, what is the level of protection?  Will there be, you know, more problems with Russia?  I think all of this comes down to time.

The system is not designed to protect you against every single Iranian ballistic missile that they could possibly build or that they have built.  The system is designed to provide you protection in the early phases of the conflict where you can start employing the other aspects of your national power.  If Iran starts lobbing missiles at NATO European countries, we're going to respond, and there's other means of responding that will hopefully, you know, take care of the rest of the missile threat that you're, you know, worried about.

And then I think on the issue of Russia, again, I think it comes down to time.  You know, like Greg said, there's 10 years until we theoretically start deploying the SM-3 Block IIBs.  Hopefully in that period of time we'll have enough time to work with the Russians cooperatively.  We think if we actually can work with them that they will see what we are doing and what our focus is.  We will see the evolution of the threat, so hopefully, you know, there are areas where we do agree now.  There are areas where we don't disagree, and hopefully we can converge that delta over time.

And then, I think just the interaction and repeatedly trying to explain to them what our plans are and being transparent with them.  I know my boss, Undersecretary Tauscher, frequently calls her Russian counterpart to explain what we're doing so that he's aware and he doesn't get it, you know, from the press first, you know, trying to keep them in the loop of what's going on, on all of this.

MR. COLLINA:  Thank you, Eric.  Anyone else like to comment on that?

Oh, yes.  Go ahead.

MR. SEDIVY:  Actually, there was a question, both questions were also going to me.  And the protection is very much linked to the issue of coverage.  And I mentioned that this is one of the bit more controversial issues that has been and will be discussed.  And I completely share your view that we should not use the notion of shield or umbrella even, perhaps.

But it's the most I can say, because those data are classified, is that it's very relative, and that protection is probably success within a given scenario.  That's the most I can say.

Now, the second question was about how to avoid conflict with Russia in the coming years.  I mean, we are really very much open vis-à-vis Russia.  We, I would say, and this is my personal opinion, ‏are perhaps too much […] sometimes, ‏ NATO is positioning itself as a demander in that relationship.  And I still believe we need each other.  But I also believe that actually Russia needs us more than we need Russia.

So it's upon, really, it's upon Russia to use what is on the table, what is offered, and especially now when we've been developing a comprehensive plan of issues and activities within that NATO-Russia reset.  It's a good opportunity to take this possibility and to really start substantive [discussions] ‏‒ this is the problem.  I mean, we have lost hours and days in debates which resulted in nothing substantive, in very shallow papers and very few real deeds.  

And I must say also, at the same time, we've been exposed to very intensive intelligence activities of Russia compared to [the] 1980s.  And we've been also exposed to very intensive, let's say, cyber activities from the part of Russia.

So given all this, you know, I believe that we are really very much forthcoming, and it's upon Russia to take up this opportunity.

MR. COLLINA:  Greg.

MR. THIELMANN:  I just want to make one comment about what I think I'm inferring is an offer of limited missile defenses against a limited threat.  Even if one assumes fairly effective, very effective missile defense ‏‒ as I say, 80 percent effective ‏‒ and one postulates five Iranian ballistic missiles, each with nuclear warheads, going into Europe, a successful system of defense then means there's only one nuclear explosion over a European city.

Yet, this may be damage mitigation, but it seems to me that this means that ‏‒ knowing this both sides means the Iranians know that they have an effective nuclear threat against Europe, and the European NATO leadership knows that it has to deal with the reality that Iran can hit them with nuclear weapons.

So then the question is, now, what have you gained with all this enormous expenditure to achieve that result where NATO acts in a certain way toward Iran and Iran acts in a certain way toward NATO that would be pretty much the same way if there were no missile defenses?  That's really my question.

MR. COLLINA:  Yes, Allan Krass.

Q:  Hi, I'm Allan Krass, again.  I want to know why the phrase “cruise missiles” has never been mentioned here.  Everything is about ballistic missiles.  It used to be that cruise missiles were seen a significant additional threat, nuclear threat over ballistic missiles and that building a ballistic missile defense gives you nothing in terms of defense against cruise missiles.  Are cruise missiles a part of the NATO-Russia-U.S. discussions?  And if so, what sort of plans are being thought about for cruise missile defense?

MR. COLLINA:  Thank you.  Who wants that one?

MR. DESAUTELS: I think when we look at all of this, you know, I should say, when my joint staff colleagues look at all of this, they look at it as an integrated air and missile-defense picture.  And how do they deal with all of these threats aircraft, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles?

In the NATO context, you have a very well-developed air defense capability.  But the part that they are lacking is the missile-defense mission and capability.

So I think, from the way you asked that question, it's really being addressed more as an air defense type of mission than a missile-defense type of mission.

MR. COLLINA:  Jiri, did you want to add to that, or no?

MR. SEDIVY:  I'm almost 100 percent sure that cruise missiles are not subject to debates with Russia, between NATO and Russia?  But I'm not sure about ,‏ I remember that some nations, when we started actually debates about missile defense in 2007, some nations wanted to add actually something that was for them very pertinent in terms of very short-range missiles.

But that was then somehow pushed aside.  At the same time, I can imagine that actually as we are now talking about extending the ALT-BMD and the theater missile defenses  and we have also actually experience now, first experience from the Israeli missile defense, that iron dome which is a, I would say, very local missile defense, and which we are looking at the possibility of using it in Afghanistan because it's perfectly suited for protecting a relatively small place.

So that this might be added.  But I'm not sure about that, really.

MR. COLLINA:  Thank you.

Yes, sir, right in the middle.

Q:  I'm Terry Hopmann from Johns Hopkins SAIS.  I'd like to follow up a little bit on Mark's question also.  I've been impressed over the last 30 years about the differences of opinions and evaluations about the feasibility of missile-defense programs, when one compares the findings of independent or university-based scientists with those who have a bureaucratic or financial incentive, to say that these things work.

But I, being a political scientist and therefore not a real scientist, I can't judge this, obviously.  But it does strike me nonetheless that just suppose it does work  and I want to go back to this question of anti-satellite weapons.  I mean, there could potentially be a whole series of unintended consequences.  And if we haven't thought about negotiation strategies, you suggest, Eric, that there's some way that we can head off these things from becoming anti-satellite weapons, capabilities.  After all, satellites are a lot easier to hit.  They're in fixed orbits, right?  They're not moving.  They're up there at a known time and everything else that make them an awful lot easier targets than ballistic missiles that are shot from an unknown location, at an unknown time, in an unknown or unpredictable trajectory or things like that.

Isn't this really opening up, in other words, the need to really be thinking seriously about another negotiation that makes the current START and New START negotiations look almost trivial by comparison in terms of both the technological complexities and the political complexities of negotiating our way through what could really be an unintended consequence of something designed to fit in with the current New START negotiations, but actually opens up a whole, you know, when the genie gets out of the bottle, a whole set of new and very complex political and technical questions that we really haven't, it seems, thought about doing or dealing with?  Or have we thought about dealing with it?  And if so, how would we go about thinking about dealing with this new kind of negotiation?

MR. COLLINA:  Thank you.

Eric, you want to take a shot at that one?

MR. DESAUTELS:  Actually, one of the first things we're trying to do is work with the Europeans.  I don't know if you've seen their European Code of Conduct on space activities.  They have points in there about not developing ASAT capabilities.  Now, obviously, that's a, you know, Code of Conduct which, you know, it has no verification provisions.

But the other thing, when you look at our national space policy, which was released earlier by President Obama, we are going to take a look at arms control for space items.  We haven't decided on what type of arms control to pursue.  We're still reviewing that within the interagency, but obviously looking at some type of ground-based ASAT regime would be something that we are considering.

MR. COLLINA:  Greg.

MR. THIELMANN:  I would just like to make one comment on another unintended consequence, and that is the proliferation of missile technology.  There's not a great deal of difference between an offensive ballistic missile and a defensive ballistic missile.  It involves a lot of principles of rocket science and the development of propulsion ballistic missile improvements and so forth.

I would submit that we don't necessarily want to welcome a world in which we help all of our friends and allies develop better and better missile defenses and some countries that aren't exactly a close friend and ally of us because we have the technology and it earns a lot of money and so forth.

And just think about the fact that India today has an active strategic missile-defense program.  Israel has a very close relationship with India in terms of arms sales.  The U.S., needless to say, is bankrolling half of Israel's ballistic missile development efforts.  This is not good for the Missile Technology Control Regime, believe me.  

And this is, to me, another unintended consequence of us aggressively pursuing ballistic missile defenses.

MR. COLLINA:  Yes, Catherine.

Q:  (Off mike.)

MR. COLLINA:  There's a mike coming, too.

Q:  Sorry.  Catherine Kelleher.  This is a follow on to what you just said, Greg.  But wasn't the decision made very early not to strengthen ‏- to take that approach to strengthen the Missile Technology Control Regime?  In other words, we've let that regime sort of not quite go to sleep, but pretty much, and we're not thinking now of pursuing it aggressively.  And the question is, why did we take that choice when, whether one believes one set of testers or another, there certainly is question about the ability to in fact stop missiles in flight?

MR. THIELMANN:  I think we're selectively pursuing the Missile Technology Control Regime, depending on whether we're friendly with the country or not.  But I'll let Eric give the definitive answer.

MR. DESAUTELS:  Yeah, I would just have to completely disagree.  I mean, we have not cut back or put aside the Missile Technology Control Regime.  We actively – I disagree.  I think we pursue it at every opportunity.  The MTCR meets several times a year.  We are, you know, very active in working with all of our partners in the MTCR in preventing technology from being proliferated.

Look at the U.N. Security Council resolutions on Iran and North Korea.  What are the lists of goods that are prohibited from going to Iran?  They are the MTCR list, because we believe that that is a good list of items to prevent a country from getting.

Now, that's not to say that countries outside the MTCR are not the biggest threat to the MTCR.  North Korea, for example, they are not an MTCR member, so they're not going to follow the rules of that, and so we have to enforce those provisions on North Korea in different ways.  And I think we're pursuing that very vigorously, especially through these U.N. Security Council resolutions that make it illegal for North Korea to proliferate these items to countries like Iran or Syria.

MR. COLLINA:  Thank you.  I'm going to wrap up not only this panel discussion, but all of the day's activities.  And before I thank our speakers, I really want to thank the Heinrich Böll Stiftung for helping us with this event and partnering with us.  It's been a true pleasure working with the staff there, in particular Sebastian Gräfe and Marcus Rucci (ph).  I hope I'm pronouncing that right.  Probably not.

But thank you all very much.  It was really a terrific partnership, and I hope we can do it again.

I also want to thank the ACA staff who spent a lot of time on this:  Eric Auner, Matt Sugrue and Rob Golan-Vilella.  You guys did a great job.  And thank you all very much.

I also want to thank you, the audience, for sticking it out to the end.  And I really appreciate your attention and your questions.  And now, please join me in thanking our speakers here on the panel and all the speakers we've had here today, because they've done an absolutely fantastic job.  In addition to traveling, for a few of them, many, many miles to get here from Russia, Europe and other places.  So please join me in thanking them very much.

And thank you all for being here.  (Applause.)‏

(END)‏

Description: 

Transcript of the third panel at "Next Steps in Arms Control," a conference hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Arms Control Association.  Speakers include Greg Thielmann, Eric Desautels, Jiri Sedivy, and Tom Z. Collina.

Country Resources:

Subject Resources:

Next Steps in Arms Control: Transcript of Keynote Address

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Body: 

For a PDF version of this transcript, please click here.

ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

NEXT STEPS IN ARMS CONTROL:
NUCLEAR WEAPONS, MISSILE DEFENSE AND NATO

LUNCH KEYNOTE ADDRESS

INTRODUCTION:
DARYL KIMBALL,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

SPEAKER:
ROSE GOTTEMOELLER,
ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ARMS CONTROL, VERIFICATION AND COMPLIANCE,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C.


Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

 

DARYL KIMBALL:  Everyone, if I could have your attention, please.  Once again, I’m sorry to interrupt your conversation after this morning’s session but our keynote speaker is here.  

And, as we discussed this morning, following the midterm election, congressional leaders and the White House now are going to be trying to shift from campaign mode to governing mode, and that may be tough in many ways but it’s necessary, especially with respect to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which is of course, as we’ve heard, the next essential step toward closer U.S.-Russian cooperation on nonproliferation, deeper verifiable reductions and strategic and tactical nuclear weapons.

And a week from today the Senate will be back in session, perhaps to look at the New START Treaty and other issues during their so-called lame-duck session.  And, as I said this morning in reply to one of the comments, in my estimation, even though it’s been a tough campaign season and it’s difficult for Republicans and Democrats to get along on many, if any, domestic and foreign policy issues, New START does represent an opportunity for bipartisan action to support U.S. national security.  

And if Senate leaders can spare two or three days, we, the Arms Control Association, expect that the Senate could and would provide us advice and consent for the treaty.  And to explain why New START is important for U.S. and international security, we have the great honor to have the chief U.S. negotiator of the treaty, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller.  

Among her many accomplishments of course, as you all know from looking at the tables outside, is her authorship of the article in the September issue of Arms Control today, which outlines many of the reasons why New START is important.  

But we’re glad to have her here to tell us more about it at this very important opportunity.  So, Rose, thank you for coming.  Welcome.  (Applause.)

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER:  Thank you very much.  I was quite impressed by the decibel level coming into this room today and glad to see so many familiar faces around the room.  It seems like there’s lots to discuss in this area of arms control policy.  And I can but agree; I’m really happy to have the opportunity to speak to you this afternoon.

And I wanted to start out – before I turn to the New START treaty, I wanted to start out with just a few words about the bureau that I head, which, as Daryl has already mentioned, now has the name of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance.  This is a very, very important readjustment, I would say, and one that my boss, Secretary Clinton, has been very keen to see unfold, as well as my immediate boss, Undersecretary Ellen Tauscher.

We are leading the department’s efforts with respect to arms control policy-making, negotiations and treaty implementation, so all three of those things.  And, furthermore, we’ve taken on issues to do with missile-defense policy from the State Department perspective, national security and space policy, as well as multilateral arms control and disarmament policy, including issues that are considered at the Conference on Disarmament, we hope a fissile material cutoff treaty to be considered there, and the U.N. General Assembly.  We just completed the first committee work in New York over the last month, over the month of October.  

Finally, AVC is leading the department’s efforts with respect to ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and its entry into force, to include, of course, full implementation of its verification regime.  So, we’re trying to encompass in one organization issues of arms control and national security policy-making, and I think it’s a very, very important change and one that will serve us well going forward.

The change in my bureau, however, is not just a matter of semantics.  It represents a significant streamlining also of our efforts in both nonproliferation and arms control, and it will put us in a better position, I believe, to carry forward President Obama’s priorities in this arena.  We now have a stronger and more comprehensive approach to the arms control policy agenda.

As the president stated in Prague last year, rules must be binding, violations must be punished and words must mean something.  The new organization will continue to focus squarely on verification and compliance as important goals of our overarching arms control policy, and I want to ensure that you get this vision of, you know, basically the full universe of arms control policy-making, from the formative end of it, the conceptual side, through the negotiation, to the implementation and compliance issues.  So we’re trying to take the full-spectrum approach now and I think it’s a very, very important change.

Because today’s global challenges are as complex as ever, by addressing nuclear, chemical and biological as well as conventional weapons arms control issues in a comprehensive way, we increase our ability to respond to threats and achieve the objectives of our overall policy, but we have got a lot of work to do.

And therefore, I’m very glad we have such wide-ranging communities, so many of you representing, in this room today, various organizations both in and out of government, and both here in the United States and overseas.  And I very much welcome the vibrant nature of this community and look forward to continuing to work closely with you in the coming years.

Now, let me get to the New START treaty.  As you’re all aware, one of the first steps in the president’s bold agenda, also laid out at Prague in 2009, was to move toward a world without nuclear weapons.  Step number one in President Obama’s administration was the one that I was charged with:  to negotiate a new arms treaty with Russia, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START.

With the excellent U.S. delegation that we had, I spent most of 2009 and the first half of 2010 in Geneva working on just that.  The treaty is very important to the national security of the United States because the U.S. and Russia control more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.  

When New START is fully implemented, it will result in fewer deployed nuclear weapons since the 1950s, the first full decade of the nuclear age.  And I think that that too is a very important step forward.  The treaty contains verification mechanisms that will enable us to monitor and inspect Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.  Accurate knowledge of Russian nuclear forces will prevent the risks of misunderstandings, mistrust and worst-case decision-making.

For those of you who have actually not read my article in Arms Control Today, first of all I wanted to say that was a team effort.  It was an interagency effort to put that article together.  And I actually had a little fight with Daryl here because I wanted to list, you know, more of the participants in the interagency process among the authors of the piece, but he said it’s against Arms Control Association policy.  (Laughter.)  But, first of all, I did want to underscore that it was an interagency effort, and indeed our full negotiating effort was an interagency effort with great participation from across this government.  

And, frankly, if you know something about the history of arms control policy-making and negotiating in the United States, you will remember that at past times there were often some fisticuffs and sharp elbows.  I can’t say that we had agreement, you know, perfectly in every area.  There was plenty of head-butting among the various agencies, but in general it was a terrific team effort.

So, for those of you who did not read the piece yet in Arms Control Today, I want to highlight the specific importance of its verification regime to the New START treaty.  The verification regime is based on an extensive set of measures that include a data exchange, the notifications to update that data exchange, measures that restrict where certain inspectable items may be located, onsite inspection, exhibitions and additional transparency measures.

So the regime is a comprehensive one and, very importantly, getting New START ratified and entered into force will provide for the resumption of vital onsite inspections with the Russian Federation.  With the December 2009 expiration of START, the United States is unable, for the first time in more than 20 years, to conduct nuclear arms inspections in Russia.  And today, as a matter of fact, we are tossed back to that era of the 1970s when we were entirely dependent on national technical means of verification, and I don’t think that is where we want to be.

There is no substitute for onsite inspection.  They provide for what Sen. Lugar likes to call the boots on the ground, the presence that confirms Russian data declarations that are provided to us, and through these inspections we gain further insights into Russian strategic forces.  And of course they do into our forces as well.  

It is a bilateral effort of course to maintain strategic stability in a number of ways, but the predictability that is inherent in a sound, strong and effective verification regime, that predictability is at the core of our efforts to maintain a stable and predictable strategic relationship with the Russian Federation.

As of today, it has been 338 days since we have had boots on the ground in the Russian Federation – our experts inside Russia inspecting Russian strategic nuclear forces.  Simply put, the United States is more secure and safer when our country is able to gain a better understanding of Russian strategic nuclear forces.  Now let me turn to a ratification update.  

With regard to ratification, we are optimistic.  We are very pleased that the vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 16th was a positive bipartisan step, the vote of 14 to 4 in favor of advice and consent with Sen. Kerry and Sen. Lugar of course leading that effort, and we are very much appreciative of their efforts to lead our work with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee throughout the summer.

Now is the time to finish the job.  You heard last week President Obama explaining, quote, “This is not a traditionally Democratic or Republican issue, but rather an issue of American national security” end quote.  He noted the passage of the treaty will send a strong signal to Russia that we are serious about reducing nuclear arsenals and a signal to the world that we’re serious about nonproliferation.  Sen. Kerry, furthermore, added that, “We are now ready to move forward,” and he said that passing New START is “an urgent imperative.”  

Finally, I’ll just note that my boss – again, Secretary Hillary Clinton – was down in New Zealand last week, but she spoke the same day the president did, confirming that, “We are working hard to pass the treaty and we believe we have enough votes to pass it in the Senate.  It’s just a question of when it will be brought up for the vote.”

This is the very same treaty that was there on November 1st, before the elections.  It is in the national security interest of the United States after the elections in the same way it was before the elections.  Swift approval is the right and necessary thing to do.  

There is broad bipartisan support for this treaty, as has traditionally been the case for arms control treaties.  Leaders from across the political spectrum from both the Republican and Democratic sides of the aisle have spoken out in favor of the treaty, including former secretaries of state and defense.  They recognize that is in our national security interest.  

Again, it is almost a year since START’s verification measures expired.  The U.S. intelligence community and military leadership say that we need New START so we can get the boots back on the ground in Russia to monitor and inspect their strategic forces.  

The administration has worked hard with the Senate over the course of the last six months, and I can personally attest to that.  We’ve carried out 18 hearings in which I testified four times, and four briefings.  I participated in two of those four briefings.  We have also responded to over 900 questions for the record.

Just a little point of history, for those of you who are interested:  The START Treaty – which, I didn’t bring the treaties today.  New START is about that fat; START is about that fat if you’re looking at the green book. The START Treaty had around about 400 questions, so it just gives you an idea for the hard work that we have undertaken over the past summer to help the Senate do their important responsibility of due diligence before moving forward to give their advice and consent to a treaty.

I just wanted to – in closing, I’d just like to underscore two points about what we have really tried to convey over the past summer in working on the treaty.  First and foremost, the nuclear stockpile will continue to be safe, secure and effective under the New START treaty.  Our current and most recent NNSA directors agree that the administration’s budget plans for the nuclear complex are excellent and represent a strong commitment to the safety and security of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Second, the treaty does not constrain the United States from deploying the most effective missile defense as possible.  The head of the Missile Defense Agency, Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, testified that, “Relative to the START Treaty, the New START treaty actually reduces constraints on the development of the missile-defense program.”

In conclusion, the New START treaty is a continuation of the international arms control and nonproliferation framework that the United States has worked hard to foster and strengthen for the last 50 years.  It will provide ongoing transparency and predictability regarding the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals.  At the same time, it will preserve our flexibility to maintain the strong nuclear deterrent that remains an essential element of U.S. national security and the security of our partners and allies.

This treaty is not just about Washington and Moscow.  It is about the entire world community.  We understand the world looks to us for leadership in securing nuclear materials globally and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, and the New START treaty and its successful implementation will be one factor in our continuing success in that regard.

The bottom line is that the New START treaty was a good treaty before the election and it’s a good treaty after the elections.  It’s time to enjoy its national security benefits by getting it ratified and entered into force.  Thank you very much for you attention and I look forward to answering your questions.  (Applause.)  

I will be calling on people from up here.  We have a question over there.  Please wait for the microphone, and please identify yourself.

Q:  Thank you.  Hi.  Elaine Grossman with Global Security Newswire at the National Journal Group.  Secretary Gottemoeller, Vice President Biden told Capitol Hill a couple of months ago that the administration had identified some funding deficiencies in the nuclear weapons complex, and understanding that those deficiencies are apparently of great interest to some of the Republicans who are considering how to vote on New START.

Have you, or will you, be going up to the Hill to brief the key committees on these deficiencies – what they total up to, what they involve – and if so, when?  And could you elaborate on what they are?  Thank you.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  I spoke about this being a true team effort, a true interagency effort, and it’s not directly my responsibility to be briefing on the budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Energy’s entity.  I will say that, again, it has been a terrific team effort, and Tom D’Agostino, the administrator, has been absolutely great in working with the White House and also with the Department of Defense on the NNSA budget.

And, yes, that is one step that is going forward in this period now as the Senate is beginning to come back.  It’s to get up to Capitol Hill and brief on the budget.  I do believe, based on everything I’ve seen, that the answers will be positive, will be the right answers in terms of filling in the gaps that the Hill, as well as others, have been concerned about.

So, I don’t want to get into any further details about numbers and specific programs and so forth.  It’s simply not my responsibility, but Tom D’Agostino will be briefing and continuing to work closely with leaders on the Hill over the next couple of weeks in order to provide all that information.  Our core concern at the present time is to provide all the additional information that we feel will lead, you know, to our final work on the floor in getting the treaty ratified.

Mary Beth Sheridan?

Q:  Thank you very much.  Lindsey Graham, who is a key moderate on many of these national security issues in the Senate, said to reporters in Canada this weekend that he thought that there were some things in START that needed to be changed to make it a better treaty.  To what extent can changes be made without going back into a full-blown, you know, renegotiation?  And are you concerned at all that his comments suggest that this is – you know, there’s going to be at least – you know, this is going to be a while before this gets to a floor vote?  Thank you.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  I think, first of all, I’ve been hearing, you know, some comments from time to time, particularly about the verification regime, that it’s not the same as the START verification regime.  Perhaps some changes need to be made.

I’ve been really urging people to dig down deeper and to look a the verification regime and the way it is, first of all, uniquely suited to the particular central obligations of this treaty, and furthermore, drives us down the road further in a more positive direction, accomplishing things we were never able to accomplish in START.

Some of you know, for example, about the change in the accounting approach where we went from an attribution rule in START to counting the exact number of reentry vehicles on missiles under the New START treaty.  That has driven, in fact, more intrusive on-site inspection for reentry vehicles than we had during START.

And so there are some core, I think, differences.  And in fact, as I said, I don’t say one treaty is better and the other treaty is worse.  They are simply different.  They were designed in different ways.  We had an attribution rule.  That was the way we counted under START.  We’re being more precise under this treaty in terms of how we’re counting because we’re trying to deal with some significant problems that arose in the counting of the START Treaty.

As you may know, the attribution rule did not really account for downloading.  Over time, as we downloaded the D5 missile, fewer warheads than the eight for which it was attributed, the central limits of the START Treaty became skewed in terms of the United States.  We were over-counting the D5.  That was an issue we wanted to resolve in the new treaty.

So we’ve driven down the road.  We’ve made some improvements in terms of how we’ve handled this overall approach to strategic nuclear arms reduction, and I think we just need to, you know, dig down deeper and examine some of the rationales here for what we were doing.

I’ll tell you the other thing I’m really interested in, in terms of moving forward, and that is to rapidly get into the next negotiation.  The president spoke in April when we signed – when he signed the New START treaty with President Medvedev that it’s time to move forward to nonstrategic nuclear weapons, tactical nuclear weapons and nondeployed nuclear weapons.  I know for a fact that tactical nukes are a huge concern to the Senate.  I heard about it repeatedly as I went up to Capitol Hill to testify.

I think we need to drive – again, I’m talking – it’s almost like a car, you know – we need to drive forward to the next negotiation.  We need to get this treaty into force, begin to implement it, and drive forward to the next negotiation where we can begin to get the reductions in tactical nuclear weapons and in nondeployed nuclear weapons that are of such concern.

So, I think, Mary Beth, that would be how I would look at it, that understanding the New START treaty is a first important step.  Sometimes that involves diving down a little bit deeper than people have up to this point.  And then, second, we need to be ready to move forward and get into the next negotiation where we can really wrestle with some of those problems that have been such a significant concern, particularly as I’ve heard it on Capitol Hill.

Let’s go here to Bruce.  We have two questions right here, Bruce and Paul.  I’ll take those.  Do you guys mind giving your questions one after the other and then I’ll answer them both together?  It would be handy that way.

Q:  For old friends, of course.  I’m Bruce MacDonald with the U.S. Institute for Peace.  I’ve heard it said that there were a number of Republicans in the Senate who said that they wanted this to be nonpartisan, that they would not agree to a vote or they would vote against it if it were held before the election but that ratification after the election – they might be more inclined to do so, which, you know, one can understand.

You sound very positive, but have you heard of that or are you worried about the possibility of the Senate – being the Senate with its rules – the possibility of delay tactics or filibusters or holds or things like that?  Could you share with us some insights you may have?

Q:  Thanks for coming, Rose.  It’s good to see you.  I’m delighted to see the phrase “arms control” back in the description of the bureau since the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency was limiting it not too long ago.  I would like to see the word “disarmament” used too this year.  (Laughter.)

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Maybe next year.  

Q:  Two quick questions.  One – you prefaced this just earlier – future negotiations following on, say, for a New START II treaty, when might those begin?  And if the New START is not ratified in the lame-duck session, or never ratified, could that in fact impact our follow-on negotiations?  And my second question is, what percentage –

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Hey, I took you two together so that would have been two questions, but go ahead, quickly.  (Laughter.)

Q:  You better write all these down.  The second question is really, to what extent of the bureau is reorganized now?  I mean, is it complete?  Are the offices moved?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Yes, that’s an easy one to answer.  I mean, physically we still have a few people to move around, but in terms of the – you know, the lines of command, I guess, command and control, yes, those changes have taken place.

Okay, let me take Bruce’s question first.  I mentioned already that we have some very intense discussions going on now and they will continue to go on.  I can’t predict what the outcome is.  Clearly I believe we have a good case to make.  And also, I think we have a very, very sound national security argument to make.  That is that we need to get this treaty into force because we are already approaching the one-year mark with no inspectors on the ground in the Russian Federation.

And if we kick the ratification process forward into the next Congress, I cannot predict when the treaty will enter into force.  So I think – and I hear from my, you know, interagency partners across the government, that we have a good view now as to what’s going on in the Russian strategic forces, but of necessity, the longer we go without inspectors on the ground there, the more uncertain our knowledge becomes.  In other words, our certainty begins to dissipate.

So, I think we have a strong impetus to move now to ensure that we have a treaty entered into force, that we have an inspection regime that is underway, that we try out some of these more intrusive verification measures and hone them in the course of inspection.  You get your guys on the ground and [see] what you’re finding out and what you perhaps need to hone a bit.

And going forward, then, you can think about the next negotiation and what will be required because if we’re looking at tactical nuclear weapons, if we’re looking at weapons in storage facilities, those are going to be much more – much more straining verification tasks, will require much more intrusive inspections.

So, I’m eager to get started now so that we have an opportunity to build up some experience and think about what we need for the future.  I will say – and I’ve testified to this effect; many of you will have heard me – I believe there is zero chance that we can get to the negotiating table anytime soon on tactical nuclear weapons unless we get this treaty ratified and entered into force.  It will be a profound blow to the U.S.-Russian relationship and will cause some difficulties in terms of advancing our national security agenda with the Russian Federation.

I’m not saying that it will shut down that relationship.  By no means.  We have a solid basis for our relationship now that is very much tied to our overall reset policy that President Obama and Secretary Clinton launched at the beginning of this administration.  So, there’s lots in train and lots of opportunities there, but I am worried about the delays that would be inherent if we did not move forward with this treaty.

Yes, please.

Q:  Hi.  Emily Cadei with Congressional Quarterly.  It’s good to see you, and thank you for taking our questions.  I noticed in your remarks you reiterated the fact that the treaty is the same now as it was before the election.  I was wondering if that implies a certain amount of concern about changing calculations post-election, how you see the landscape after the mid-term elections, and sort of why you felt the need to reiterate that point.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Well, I think – you know, it’s interesting because I think it was Bruce who pointed to the fact that many of our colleagues on Capitol Hill in the run-up to the elections were saying, yes, we need time.  We need time to absorb the 900 questions; we need time to study and to think about it a bit more.  

And all I’m saying is that that body of information, the hard work that we’ve done – and, believe you me, I’ve been very impressed with the due diligence on Capitol Hill.  There has been a very, very strong effort to understand this treaty.  It’s been many years since we’ve had a big strategic nuclear arms control treaty of this type before the Senate.  There has been a very serious effort to study, to understand, to analyze – many good questions coming, not only in terms of the questions for the record but during the hearing process and the briefing process.

So, there’s been a strong due diligence.  What I’m saying is that body of information is there.  Nothing has changed over the ensuing period while folks have been out for the election process.  It’s time to take that body of material, make the decisions that are necessary and move forward to a vote on the floor.

Yes, in the back there?

Q:  John Liang with Inside Missile Defense.  One of the things that was mentioned earlier this morning at this same forum was the possibility that Sen. Kyl might try to add to – try to get some more additional concessions out of the administration in the form of additional funding for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile sort of in exchange for his vote to pass the treaty – to ratify the treaty.  Is there any – do you believe that there is completely enough funding for that stockpile or do you see any possible wiggle room that may allow you to give him something?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  That was the point I was making a bit earlier when we were talking about the budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration.  As I mentioned, it has been a topic of much discussion and careful study over the last several months.  

As my colleague and predecessor at the NNSA – I guess I was actually his predecessor at the NNSA – Ambassador Linton Brooks said when he was administrator of the NNSA, he would have killed for the kind of budget that’s being considered now for the Stockpile Stewardship program as well as for the nuclear weapons infrastructure requirements.

So, I think that there has been work that was done during the summer.  There’s work done during the ensuing period.  And, as I said, Tom D’Agostino will be working closely with folks on Capitol Hill in the coming days and a couple of weeks to make that clear.  So that process is definitely going on.  It’s just, as I said, I didn’t want to comment on any specifics because it’s not in my bailiwick, really.

Yes?

Q:  Thanks.  My name is Andrei Sitov.  I’m with TASS, the Russian news agency.  And this is a sort of a follow up to the previous question, even though it’s not your bailiwick, but it’s a very hard fiscal environment.  

So, I wanted to ask you if you have any idea – assuming that the treaty is ratified, how expensive will it be to carry out?  In other words, does it make economic sense?  If you could speak for both the U.S. and Russia please also.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  The treaty itself?

Q:  Yes.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Oh, well, the treaty itself, certainly in our country it’s been budgeted for.  Our Defense Threat Reduction Agency has, you know, been thinking ahead to – assuming that the Senate does give its advice and consent to the treaty.  

Just a technical aspect some of you may not know about, but what will happen once we exchange instruments of ratification with the Russian Federation, that starts a 60-day clock ticking, essentially.  So we cannot have inspectors zoom as soon as we exchange instruments of ratification on the ground in either country.  

There’s a 60-day preparatory period.  During that period, we will exchange – do the first official data exchange and we will prepare for the first inspections.  But in the meantime, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency has been thinking ahead about what would be required, and also they’ve clearly been thinking ahead in terms of the budget requirements for implementing the treaty because our fiscal year, as you know, begins on October 1st, so they have to think ahead into FY fiscal year ’11 and fiscal year ’12.  

Already that planning is going on.  They’re part of the Defense Department so they even have a longer planning horizon for their budget than some other agencies do.  So it’s been a thoroughgoing process so far and I don’t see any problem there, really.

Q:  So is it an expensive treaty?  Will it save money?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Well, one of the basic – actually that’s a very good question because one of the basic approaches was – and this was inherent in the joint understanding that President Obama and President Medvedev signed in July of 2009.  It was some of our basic instructions for conducting the New START treaty negotiations.  This was at the Moscow summit in July of 2009.  

They signed a joint understanding, and one of the points in the joint understanding was that there should be provisions for verification of the treaty that would be effective and yet perhaps streamlined by comparison with the START Treaty.  And, as I said, that was one of the points that we considered very carefully.  

And, based on the fact that we had terrific inspectors and weapons system operators on both sides of the table, the inspectors had brought their 15 years of experience implementing the START Treaty to the table and were able to think about ways – you know, some procedures maybe were not needed; others could be streamlined.

One of the things that we have done is lengthen out the length of the inspections, for example, so that certain inspection tasks will be covered in a single inspection event.  This is very, very helpful to the strategic forces operators because when you have an inspection at a strategic forces base, it shuts down the normal operations of the base.

So the START Treaty was starting to be an unnecessary drag on the operations of our strategic forces, and both Russia and the United States felt that, so that was one of the basic, again, rationales we were looking at.  Are there ways to streamline the inspection process, still ensuring that we’ve got a strong and effective verification regime?

So, by putting a number of inspection events in a single – in a single inspection, we ensured that we got the same effect that we needed but we weren’t shutting down our strategic forces operating bases in that way.  

So, that’s just an example but, yes, it was very much part of the negotiations and was a core part of the joint understanding that was signed in Moscow in July 2009.

Yes?

Q:  Jan Lodal.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Hi, Jan.

Q:  Hi, Rose.  I remain a bit confused about the bomber counting rules.  Maybe you could elaborate a little bit.  I understand that they reflect more or less current reality on the ground, but we have these very tight inspection rules for missiles, and then on the bomber side we’ve got this counting rule which, in principle, you could, if you filled everything up to its capacity you could deploy probably more total weapons than were permitted under the SORT Treaties.  

Nobody intends to do that or maintains the capability of doing that, but how does the verification and understanding aspects of things deal with that between the U.S. and Russia to make sure that something doesn’t go wrong there and that turn out to be an issue?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  It’s a very good question, Jan, and I think it’s another case in which people maybe haven’t dug down deep enough into the verification regime in the treaty.  You mentioned the intrusiveness of the verification for reentry vehicle onsite inspection – reentry vehicles on missiles, and I did speak about that at length.

But what people have lost sight of is that the intrusiveness of the bomber inspections is also – is also considerable, and it is actually more intrusive in some ways than START because we, for example, have allowed for the use of radiation detection equipment during inspections of bombers so that – you know, on a day-to-day basis – you pointed it out – neither side loads nuclear weapons on bombers.  We have not had our bombers on strip alert for many years.

In fact, our heavy bombers are largely devoted to long-range conventional missions.  That’s another reason that we felt confident that the bomber counting rule was an adequate representation of the continuing nuclear mission that has tasked the bombers, but on a day-to-day basis they don’t really carry nuclear weapons at all, so we count the bombers as carrying one nuclear weapon.

So it conveys that they have a nuclear mission but it does not over-burden them.  Again, in the counting process you don’t want the central limits of the New START treaty to be over-counting bomber weapons.  That would not serve our interests as well, but the verification regime for bombers is very intrusive and allows for objects inside the bomb bay to be checked with radiation detection equipment so we can basically confirm on bomber inspections that they are not – the Russian bombers are not carrying nuclear objects.

And it’s the same, of course, for the Russian Federation.  They will be – at our bomber bases they can use that same radiation detection equipment and check our bombers as well.  But it’s gotten lost in the noise a bit that the bomber inspections are very intrusive as well as the reentry vehicle onsite inspections.

Yes?

Q:  Hi, Rose.  Miles Pomper from the Monterey Institute.  You touched a little bit on the tactical nuclear weapons issue but Dr. Miasnikov, when he was here earlier, said, for instance, what the U.S. trade that seems to be out there or talked about a lot is the idea of us trading our stored warheads for the Russian nonstrategic weapons.  And he seemed to dismiss that as that Russia wasn’t particularly interested in that idea.  I wanted to first say if that sort of the U.S. concept of how the trade-off might occur and if you do sense an interest in the Russians on that part.  

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Well, the concept is currently under discussion and development, so I would not want to point to any particular concept of how we are planning to proceed in that regard, but I do think that, you know, there was no question that the Russians did not – you know, there has been a longstanding Russian concern, which I hear from former colleagues of mine from my days of directing the Carnegie Moscow Center, that we have a lot of weapons in storage facilities.  So that is clearly articulated as a concern on the Russian side.  

So, we’ll just have to figure out what the trade space is going to be.  I’m not ready to talk about it today, again because it’s under discussion and development in the government at the present time.  I’ll also just stress, though, a point that I touched on earlier, and that is that we have an intrusive verification regime in the New START treaty but the inspection and verification regime for the next treaty is going to have to be even more intrusive, and we have got a lot of work to do.  

Many of you are aware that in the late 1990s we proposed a warhead protocol to the Russian Federation at that time.  That was for a possible START III negotiation.  And, you know, there were some efforts at that time to really understand what it would take to verify warheads in more precise ways – warheads in storage facilities, nonstrategic nuclear warheads.

And I can say that there’s a lot of good work that’s been done but there’s more good work that has to be done, and I see some homework having to go forward, including homework in cooperation with the Russian Federation.

Yes?  Oops.

Q:  Thank you.  Jay Marx with the Proposition One Committee.  So, clearly any more expansive disarmament prospects are on hold pending ratification of New START, a bilateral treaty, but hopefully assuming that ratification, what would next steps be toward any more multilateral disarmament negotiations?

And, on a related point, it was suggested in the earlier presentation that a fissile materials cutoff treaty, being by nature multilateral, might be a step towards multi-party negotiations.  Can you tell us anything about initiatives or developments towards an FMCT?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  I basically would like to begin by posing a question about your going-in assumption; that is, that multilateral measures have to be on hold pending ratification entry into force of the New START treaty.  

I think that you need only look to the NPT review conference in May, and first of all the fact that we came out with a consensus conclusion, which was extraordinarily important, given the fact that the previous review conference did not reach a consensus.  And the second point; the consensus was built around a significant action plan, and that significant action plan touched on any number of multilateral activities, some of them in the realm of the P-5; that is, the nuclear weapons states under the Nonproliferation Treaty.

And I wanted to draw your attention to a very interesting initiative that’s going on.  That is, in September France announced that we would be holding a P-5 conference on verification and transparency in the first half of 2011, in the spring of 2011.  And this is a continuation of an effort that was begun with a conference in London in September of 2009.

So, it’s bringing the P-5 to the table and beginning to talk about some of the very important requirements there would be for verification and transparency as we move forward in the disarmament realm.  So I do think that – again, I’d just raise the question about your going-in assumption.

I think that there are several directions where there will be initiatives going on.  We continue to stress – and we stressed very hard at the first committee meeting in New York over the month of October, that we must start the FMCT negotiations on the basis of the consensus decision that was reached at the CD in April of 2009.  Basically we have a sound foundation upon which to launch those negotiations.  We need to get on with it.  And U.S. patience in this regard I have to say is drawing a bit thin.

So, we are talking to our partners and colleagues and discussing ways to develop at least some bilateral consultations and discussions on the FMCT and on its particular technical requirements.  We’re keen to get moving on it.  So, again, just to give you a sense that I don’t think we’re going to be standing still by any means with regard to multilateral efforts.

But frankly, one thing I’ve noticed very, very clearly since we signed the treaty – we completed the negotiations, signed the treaty and moved forward starting with our so-called nuclear April last spring when we had the NPR come out, the Nuclear Posture Review, signature of the treaty. We had the Nuclear Security Summit at the end of the month.

That gave us a tremendous boost going into the NPT Review Conference, the authority and the force of, you know, the U.S. presence at the NPT Review Conference, working very closely in partnership with Russia and the other P-5 countries.  It really gave a tremendous boost to our Nonproliferation Treaty efforts.  

So, for those who say, oh, there’s no link, I can give you empirical evidence that in fact one of the reasons we were so successful in New York in May I think was because of the very strong actions that we were able to successfully bring to a close in April.

There was one more question over here?  Yes, please.  Last question.

Q:  Hi.  I’m Allan Krass, retired recently from the State Department Non-Proliferation Bureau.  A long time ago I studied verification and I ran across something called a Weisner curve, which you’ve probably heard of, that basically says that in inverse proportion, as the number of nuclear weapons on both sides – on all sides, if we talk about multilateral – goes down, the degree and intrusiveness of verification must go up –

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Yes.

Q:  – essentially in inverse proportion.  And that’s always troubled me.  What I hear in what you’ve been saying is that, in a sense, we are still locked into that – for example, we’ve gone now historically from speaking in orders of magnitude from 10,000 to 1,000.  The degree and intensity of verification has gone up quite dramatically from SALT to START.

You’re saying that if we go now to stockpiled warheads, to tactical nuclear weapons, it’s going to have to become even more intrusive.  It sounds like we’re continuing to follow that curve.  But if you follow the logic of the Weisner curve all the way down to another order of magnitude – say, down to a hundred, and then beyond that down to 10 because, you know, most of the people in this room are thinking of arms control as a progression toward zero – the degree and extent of verification and monitoring becomes almost astronomically high to become convincing and credible to people who worry about cheating by one or two or 10 or 15 nuclear weapons.

Do you see, and does the U.S. side see, as they negotiate each new step in this process, as way around that paradox, a way around that dilemma, or are we just going to have to deal with it when it comes or if it comes?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Well, you know, the President, in stating his commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons, said that it is going to be a long process.  He has said clearly, maybe not in my lifetime.  In fact he’s said, not in my lifetime, and President Obama is a fairly young man.  So we all recognize that this is a step-by-step approach, that it will take time to work through these various steps.  

And, furthermore, we all recognize that there are very important regional security issues that will have to be addressed before we can move down that curve to the very bottom, down to zero.  There are many issues that have to be addressed.  It’s not only a question of verification; it’s a question of the, you know, level of cooperation and the solution of significant problems that will go on, on a regional basis so that we can get there eventually.

And so, I’d really just like to emphasize that we have to consider this a step-by-step process and we have to start somewhere.  I am both satisfied and very pleased and excited that the intrusive verification regime in the New START treaty takes us a further step from where we were in START, and I think it really does help us to begin to understand the challenges of going after nondeployed warheads and nonstrategic or tactical nuclear warheads, and what will be required in that regard.

So, I think let’s just take it step by step, but I do grant the premise of your comments and I think we all understand that as numbers go lower, we have to have more confidence – more confidence in the verification of the measures for constraining those stockpiles.  So, it’s a very important question and one that we take very seriously.

So, thank you all very, very much.  It’s great to see you all.  And good luck with the rest of your meeting today.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you very much, Rose, for that.  We are going to move straight into our next panel on issues relating to missile defense, so if you do need to take a personal break, please do so quietly.  Cut back in as quickly as you can.  And to take over at this point, Tom Collina, our research director.

(END)

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Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller's keynote address at "Next Steps in Arms Control," a conference hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Arms Control Association.

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Next Steps in Arms Control: Second Panel Transcript - Tactical Nuclear Weapons and NATO

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ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

NEXT STEPS IN ARMS CONTROL:
NUCLEAR WEAPONS, MISSILE DEFENSE AND NATO

PANEL 2: TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND NATO

MODERATOR:
CATHERINE KELLEHER,
PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY,
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

PANELISTS:
OLIVER MEIER,
HAMBURG INSTITUTE FOR PEACE RESEARCH AND SECURITY POLICY

MAREK SZCZYGIEL,
DEPUTY DIRECTOR, SECURITY POLICY DEPARTMENT,
POLISH DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

JAN LODAL,
FORMER PRINCIPAL DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY FOR POLICY,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C.

Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.




CATHERINE KELLEHER:  (In progress) – back together again.  So if we can start with our next panel, it is on a subject close to my heart.  It seems to me that for 45, or is it 50 years or so, I’ve been struggling with this, certainly since I was an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke and looking at the Honest John and a few other remnants of that era as they tried to decide just which back streets in Germany we were going to send tactical nuclear weapons around, especially when – well, the lethal radius.  You all know the joke.  

This is an important issue and one that I think has grown in prominence here in the United States perhaps for the first time in the discussions of the last two years.  We’re very fortunate to have people who will come and present a number of different perspectives on this issue.  It is an issue which will figure – we’re not quite sure how prominently – but one is assured prominently in the strategic concept and in whatever strategic review will follow the strategic concept.  

I’d like to turn if I could first to someone who has written extensively and intensively on this topic, most recently in Arms Control Today, Oliver Meier, who is associated with an institute at the University of Hamburg – you’ll read about him in your bios – and who has been an international staff member of ACA for a very long time and one of those resources that one can always trust to know what not only the latest greatest is but also to have a clear view on the bigger picture.  So without further ado, Oliver.

OLIVER MEIER:  Thank you.  Thank you, Catherine, and good morning everybody.  I’d also like to start off by thanking the organizers and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, particularly for bringing me over here.  It’s a real pleasure to be on such a prestigious panel, particularly now that we are less than two weeks away from the summit in Lisbon.  I would like to use my 10 minutes to do three things very briefly:  start off by giving you, again, some reasons why I think NATO’s nuclear policies can and should change, then highlight some of the issues where the new strategic concept I’m afraid is likely to fall short of expectations for change and add a little bit to the gloom that we already had on the first panel I’m afraid and turn to –

MS. KELLEHER:  Cautious optimist.

MR. MEIER:  Cautious optimist.  Cautious pessimists may be more appropriate in this case.  But we are still two weeks away so there is still opportunities for change.  I want to close by making a proposal on how some of the discrepancies between the expectations for change and the tendencies for inertia within NATO that I see currently could be dealt with.

So let me start off by, again, saying that the context in which we are discussing the new strategic concept is of course the one of global zero, as has been mentioned on the first panel, and I think that has become the yardstick against which any action on nuclear weapons these days is being measured, whether we like it or not, and that is one of the reasons why the majority of NATO member states, and I think also the majority of host nations are no longer comfortable with the current nuclear status quo.  There is a broad majority in parliaments and among the public, among many European member states and I think at least three of the five nations where U.S. nuclear weapons are still deployed in Europe are for withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons and it would be extremely costly for the alliance, both in political terms but also financially potentially, to just maintain NATO’s current nuclear posture.  

Secondly, I think it’s important to keep in mind that U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in Europe do not have any military value and that this view is actually shared I think unanimously among allies.  To some degree, the new strategic concept I think is likely to recognize this fact by repeating the formulation from the old, or the current, strategic concept, [that] circumstances in which any use of nuclear weapons might be contemplated are extremely remote.  The reservations that we have heard from a number of Central European countries but also Turkey to a radical change of NATO’s nuclear posture are not so much related to the military or any military value of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe but more to the credibility of security assurances by the United States and NATO more generally.

Thirdly, I think it’s important to recall that the new strategic concept will send an important signal about the seriousness with which NATO would support global nonproliferation efforts.  The alliance has a unique and prominent role in the global nuclear landscape, if you like.  Three of the five NPT nuclear weapon states are NATO members and of the 14 states that currently have nuclear weapons on their territory, eight are members of NATO.  NATO remains the only alliance that practices nuclear sharing and the United States is the only nuclear weapons state that still in peacetime deploys nuclear weapons onto territory of nonnuclear weapons states.  I think against this background it’s quite evident that what NATO does on nuclear policy does send an important signal about how serious the alliance and the West more generally are about nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation

Now, against this background let me make three observations why the new strategic concept I think will not provide the active support for efforts to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons that many are hoping for, and this assessment is based on conversations and interviews I’ve had after the second draft of the new strategic concept was released around October 26 to capitals.  Now, I heard this morning that there was actually a third draft that was released last Friday.  So I’d be more than happy to be corrected by some of the people who know more about this draft concept, which of course remains classified, about the pessimistic assessment that I’m about to give.

The first area I think where NATO’s – the new strategic concept is likely to fall short of expectations is declaratory policy.  There is little doubt that NATO’s current declaratory policy, which still is based on the Cold War theory that short-range nuclear weapons could be used to defeat conventional superior Soviet forces but also to provide an escalatory capability, is outdated.  Both functions obviously no longer apply today.  However, I think there’s a real danger that NATO will not be able to change that nuclear policy in the new strategic concept and it would be problematic, I think, and counterproductive if NATO in the new strategic concept were to emphasize that it remains a nuclear alliance to deter any attack or coercion against it.  

Keeping the core of NATO’s nuclear posture intact would signal exactly that the alliance is not serious about reducing the value of nuclear weapons, that it’s actually unable to bring its declaratory policy in line with todays’ requirements.  There’s a related problem in that there would be a lack of coherence between the U.S. nuclear posture and NATO’s nuclear posture because as we’ve heard this morning already, the United States, of course, has restricted in the nuclear posture review the circumstances under which it would be prepared to use nuclear weapons.  If NATO doesn’t go along with this, it would undermine, I would believe, Obama’s push to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons.  

The second area where the new strategic concept is likely to fall short is nuclear posture itself and the future of nuclear sharing.  I think there still is surprise that the new strategic concept is likely to recommit NATO to being a nuclear alliance along the lines of what Secretary of State Clinton has said at the informal foreign ministers meeting in Tallinn in April, given the fact that we have three nuclear weapons states that are members of the alliance, I think this is a fairly obvious statement to make.  Assessing the need for the continued basing of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe, of course, is more complex and Clinton in Tallinn referred to this indirectly by emphasizing the fundamental value of sharing of nuclear risks and responsibilities.  

Now, burden-sharing of course is a key principle for any military alliance, as in NATO particularly, but my impression is that many NATO members currently are more interested in having the value of burden-sharing demonstrated in Afghanistan rather than at nuclear weapons storage sites in Central Europe.  Now, if NATO heads of state and governments in Lisbon were to commit themselves again to ensure the broadest possible participation of allies in planning of nuclear roles or the peacetime basing of nuclear forces or command, control and consultation agreements, I think this would unnecessarily restrict options to change NATO’s nuclear posture in the future, and it would also run counter to the expressed will of the German government, for example, to have U.S. nuclear weapons withdrawn from Europe.

The third area I want to highlight is related to arms control and linkages with Russia’s nuclear posture.  There is still doubt, I think, that this topic of arms control will play a more prominent role in the new strategic concept.  German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle wants to make arms control and disarmament a trademark of the alliance and the new strategic concept is likely to contain several elements towards that end.  Thus, the new concept is likely to endorse the concept of a world free of nuclear weapons, even though it will likely come with the usual French reservations that global zero must be pursued in a manner that promoted international stability and is based on the principle of undiminished security for all.  

I think NATO is also likely to strengthen its internal dialogue on arms control issues, both nuclear and conventional, by creating a new mechanism along the recommendations of the Albright group of experts.  More controversial is the issue of embedding any change of NATO’s nuclear posture in an arms control agreement with Russia, something that Ralf Fücks referred to this morning already.

On this issue, the new strategic concept is also likely to be conservative by stating that it should be NATO’s aim to seek Russian agreement to increase transparency of its nuclear weapons stockpile and to encourage Russia to relocate weapons away from the borders with NATO states.  It seems as if NATO is likely to place any further steps that the alliance itself might take in the context of a disparity between Russia’s stockpile in tactical nuclear weapons and NATO holdings.  I think such a strong linkage between changes of NATO’s future nuclear posture and Russia’s nuclear policy is both unneeded and counterproductive.  It’s unneeded because there no longer exists a strategic connection between tactical nuclear postures of NATO and Russia.  

On both sides I think the reasons for maintaining these weapons are primarily internal or domestic.  It therefore makes little sense to me to place these weapons directly in a bargaining context on the same table and have a give-and-take type of arms control negotiations on tactical nuclear weapons particularly.  

To be sure, we’ve heard these weapons should be included in any future arms control talk.  All NATO members have recognized this fact already in the NPT review conference final declarations.  But by putting these weapons directly in an arms control context, NATO itself would be putting itself pretty much at the mercy of Moscow in terms of any changes itself might want to initiate on its nuclear posture.  

So to conclude, let me make a couple of observations on how to bridge this gap between expectations that we had for change and the tendencies for inertia within NATO.  It seems quite obvious that NATO by the time of the summit will not be able to bridge some of the differences among member states on how to deal with nuclear sharing in the future and therefore I think it’s important that the strategic concept itself does not prevent any meaningful change of NATO’s nuclear policies after the Lisbon summit.  Thus, the concept will focus on areas where there is consensus among NATO allies.

There are three areas particularly where there is consensus.  NATO will continue to rely on a mix of conventional and nuclear forces for deterrence.  NATO members also endorse the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. And I think there is agreement that NATO needs to do more to support arms control and disarmament.  Such a minimalistic strategic concept could provide a framework, then, for discussions among NATO members on more controversial issues after the Lisbon summit and this is the idea of having a NATO nuclear posture review or some kind of posture review that many people have spoken about and that Paul Ingram and I wrote about in the October issue of Arms Control Today in some more detail.  

Let me just briefly say that it’s important I think that such a NATO nuclear posture review if we have such a posture review, I don’t think that’s a done deal as Joan Rohlfing suggested on the first panel, that such a review has to be comprehensive.  It should not preclude any outcome.  All options have to be on the table.  It should focus on nuclear issues.  It shouldn’t link from the outset changes in the nuclear posture, for example, to missile defense or conventional force issues.  It would have to give operational guidance for implementing and changing NATO’s nuclear policies, and such a review – the process of such a review should be open, inclusive and transparent.  

Obviously any decision to change NATO’s nuclear posture will have to be made by consensus.  I think that’s a point that is agreed among allies for quite some time actually.  But this principle, this consensus principle, should not be abused as an opportunity to block evolution of NATO’s nuclear posture.  To do so would greatly damage alliance cohesion because we have in quite a few NATO member states broad support for withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons particularly.  

The most viable course of action may be in the medium term to phase out nuclear sharing and in parallel develop more credible nonnuclear instruments of assurance and reassurance and to spur a constructive dialogue with Russia over European security issues.  A NATO nuclear posture review could be the right vehicle to initiate such a dialogue.  But again, for that to take place, it’s necessary that the new strategic concept does not foreclose any options for changing NATO’s nuclear posture in the future.  Thank you very much.

MS. KELLEHER:  Thank you.  (Applause.)

MS. KELLEHER:  Our second speaker is Marek Szcyzgiel, who comes to us from the Polish foreign ministry where he’s deputy director of the security policy department, and for almost two decades now, Marek has worked in a number of areas – NATO affairs, OSCE affairs.  He’s spent time in Sweden, including being the head of the Polish school in Stockholm, which I must say is a nice change for a diplomat I suspect.  But now, he’s fully engaged in these areas and we’re looking forward to hearing what he has to say.  Marek?

MAREK SZCYGIEL:  Thank you very much, and thank you for inviting me to speak to such prominent audience, and I will express my personal views here.  So they do not necessarily represent the views of the Polish ministry of foreign affairs.  In order to be politically correct, I should probably start with mentioning the positive climate which has been established by many past events in the field of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation this year.  

However, bearing in mind that we are just a few days prior to the NATO Lisbon summit, I would like to focus my remarks on the main subject of my interest, namely how to find proper balance between credible nuclear deterrence and arms control and disarmament.  A question that I would try to answer is how to implement the broad long-term goals which are to reduce both the role and numbers of nuclear weapons while at the same time maintain an effective extended deterrence and reassurance of allies in Europe that the U.S. commitment remains as solid as ever.  

I would try to shed some light on this dilemma from the Polish perspective, which to a certain extent represents also the views of other so-called new NATO members.  I don’t like this expression, but this is very frequently used.  So I would try to use term as Central European countries.  In fact, I’m convinced that the attitude towards the role of nuclear weapons among member states of NATO is not so divergent as some public comments may suggest.

So in a run up to the NATO Lisbon summit, we see growing convergence of views and this is I think very positive element.  At the same time, I think we should avoid oversimplification of the picture because that could hamper the proper understanding of the motives behind the positions taken by specific NATO member states.  So the discussion on the topic of NATO nuclear policy is very intense in recent months and we heard many publicly expressed opinions on this subject.  

As far as position of Poland is concerned, we are trying to play an active and constructive role in this debate, and so there is no secret that President Obama’s call for a world free of nuclear weapons made in Prague in April 2009 was met in all parts of Europe with great enthusiasm.  But the issue was seen, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, in connection with U.S. commitment to the security of European countries.  Since their accession to NATO in ‘99, nuclear extended deterrence has been perceived in Poland as a core element of Article 5 security guarantees.  At the same time, Poland always perceived and treated nuclear policy with I would say certain degree of sober realism.  

So Polish perception of the role of nuclear weapons has been in the recent time, I’d say in the last two years, influenced by a number of important factors.  I would like to mention a few of them.  So first of all, our decision to participate in the modified architecture of European missile defense, then the negotiations and the final agreement between United States and Russia on strategic arms reductions – New START.  Also, some signals coming from Russia on the confirming, I would say, the continued reliance of Russia on tactical nuclear weapons and its nuclear posture, then also very important outcome of the 2010 U.S. nuclear posture review and also to certain extent internal political debates in some European countries on nuclear issues.  

Oliver mentioned Germany, which is a good example here.  As a result, Polish government adopted more flexible and declared its openness to discuss necessary modifications of NATO nuclear posture in the framework of new NATO strategic concept.  So Warsaw considered itself as being capable of conducting more proactive policy, going beyond the simple defense of the existing status quo.  I think it was quite important change in our attitude towards NATO nuclear policy.  To certain extent, I think we were trying also to capitalize on our emerging status of middle-sized but important and responsible European country, which also somehow demonstrated growing sense of self-confidence in security policy affairs.  

In the scope of internal NATO debate, we tried also to somehow eliminate the risk that this – or reduce the risk that this debate would be dominated by two opposing options – creating some unnecessary tensions or divisions within the alliance on this issue while at the same time ignoring some specific regional security concerns of countries like Poland.  This view, more forward-looking approach to nuclear issues, has been manifested in the joint article published by Polish and Swedish foreign ministers in February this year in New York Times.  

In this article, two foreign ministers called for reductions and ultimate withdrawal of the sub-strategic nuclear weapons, drawing particular attention to the large Russian arsenals of sub-strategic weapons located in the vicinity of NATO and E.U. territory.  Afterwards, in April, just a couple of days before the NATO ministerial meeting in Tallinn, Poland and Norway together issued, or presented rather, to the allies joint paper on the inclusion of tactical nuclear weapons into general arms control and disarmament processes.  This non-paper content called for step-by-step approach with regard to possible tactical nuclear weapons reductions.  We were of the opinion that they should embrace transparency and confidence building measures, which in the future should eventually allow for cuts in the nonstrategic nuclear weapons holdings.  

Reciprocity and mutually agreed measures were in our opinion the best and still are among the best ways to move forward with the process leading to possible reductions.  So the main thrust, the main spirit of this non-paper was that in order to find kind of realistic approach, we need to think broader and to put strong emphasis on ICBMs and transparency.  Through those two initiatives and in our bilateral contacts with U.S. government, with other partners in NATO, we tried to slightly refocus and reshape the debate in order to place more emphasis on the issue of tactical nuclear weapons as a general problem, instead of looking at it as an internal NATO issue.  

I think our intention was also to highlight the risk and potential consequences of some unilateral actions motivated by domestic political issues, potential negative consequences for the security of entire NATO.  To our somehow pleasure and to our satisfaction, those views were noted and to a large degree reflected in the five points delivered by the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, during the Tallinn ministerial meeting.  We also positively assessed the outcome of the 2010 nuclear posture review and we were also satisfied with the language of NATO group of experts report led by Madeleine Albright.  

So now let me finally turn to the issue of new NATO strategic concept and its provisions on NATO nuclear policy.  We think that it should serve as a kind of broader guide to elaborate more specific NATO policies in certain areas including NATO nuclear posture and we hope that in the follow-up process we’ll be able to tackle NATO deterrence strategy in broader sense, including its declaratory policy, and this NATO nuclear posture review mentioned by Oliver should be comprehensive and as inclusive as possible.  So we hope that it will be conducted without artificial deadlines or any – will not preclude any conclusions.  We are very much attached to the procedure of adopting any changes by consensus.  

But let me also say that in order to move things forward, we need to – this process requires also some efforts aimed at ensuring the alliance that possible reductions in tactical nuclear weapons will not weaken NATO deterrence capability and not weaken trans-Atlantic link.  If needed, the credibility of NATO deterrence policy could be reinforced by other means.  But as the NPR correctly put it, the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons combined with NATO’s unique nuclear sharing arrangements continue to the alliance cohesion and provide reassurance to allies and partners who feel exposed to regional threats.  

So in order to introduce more, say, dramatic changes, we need to find some elements to substitute or compensate this current contribution of those arrangements, and there is no need to stress that for countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the crucial issue is the issue of reassurance, reassurance that could be provided through updating contingency plans but also to increase the military footprint on the territory of those countries, but also to somehow increase attention to the Article 5 security guarantees.  I will stop here and will try to answer your questions on those issues in due time.  Thank you.

MS. KELLEHER:  Thank you, Marek.  (Applause.)

Our last speaker will be Jan Lodal, who was – with whom I had the pleasure to serve in the Clinton administration when he was principal undersecretary – deputy undersecretary of Defense and was up to his ears in many number of things.  He’s clearly known as one of the founding members of the nuclear mafia club, having had a particular role in the dim dark days of the Kissinger first efforts in terms of major strategic arms control, and it makes it all the more interesting that he, together with Ivo Daalder, authored one of the critical issues – issue analyses called “The Logic of Zero” in 2008, and has been talking about it for some time before that.  So without further ado, Jan?

JAN LODAL:  Thanks very much, Catherine, and I can’t help but start off by saying that Catherine and I have been having a fun debate in these things for longer than I care to mention quantitatively.  But while she was off learning about the Honest John, I, as a second lieutenant, was in a military exercise that included a simulated Honest John strike with a big mushroom cloud simulated and all of this was to make us feel comfortable with the use of these weapons in conjunction with conventional forces as if they were just regular old weapons.  So that’s where we were in the Cold War, and as we know, things have changed a lot.

I’m going to take a little bit different approach to this, partially because I think that the Lisbon summit is probably outside of any of our influence and may actually be pretty much set by now and whatever is going to come out of that is pretty close to worked out and we’re not going to change that very much.  So I’m going to focus on where we go after the Lisbon summit with an assumption that the results related to nuclear weapons are going to be a bit disappointing to all of us in this room, but they won’t be terrible and they’ll advance the ball a little bit and they will once again reiterate a world without nuclear weapons as an eventual necessity and that will be helpful.  They’ll also reiterate that we remain a nuclear alliance and that while we’re on our way to a world without nuclear weapons, nuclear deterrence remains essential.

So part of what I’m going to say is motivated by having read Paul Krugman this morning and Paul has – he’s a former colleague of mine at the Princeton Woodrow Wilson School and of course the world now recognizes him as a great quantitative economist as well.  But when he writes his policy papers, he has this wonderful way of always coming back to the fundamentals, which he believes are quite messed up, the fundamentals in his case being that economies don’t get out of slumps until there’s enough aggregate demand and therefore all economic policy should be measured against that goal, which is to get aggregate demand up and he tries to remind people of this at all times with varying degrees of success.  

I also believe that the unclear policy questions have a simple ultimate goal also and that of course is to eliminate nuclear weapons and there’s a very clear reason for that and that is that unless you eliminate them, given that the technology is widely known, given that there’s going to be more nuclear power plants, given that there’s tons and tons of material around the world with which nuclear weapons can be made and lots of weapons today, some simple analysis has to conclude that it is inevitable that ultimately they will be used again unless they are completely eliminated.

A control regime is put in place that can control all that material, which Joan very helpfully reminded us of in the earlier panel, is equally important to controlling the weapons and also making sure that in fact there are no weapons and that nobody’s trying to break out so that if somebody does try to break out, there’s adequate lead-time for the rest of the world to respond in a way that will make it quite unpleasant for the state that tries to break out of the regime.  

So all of that is a very tall order just like it’s a very tall order to figure out how to increase aggregate demand enough to get us out of the horrible economic mess we’re in.  But it can’t be avoided and we have to remember that fundamental point as we look at all arms control policy and we have to measure our goal, our specific efforts against that goal.  I think when you do that, you actually come up with answers or conclusions about some of our efforts that are a little bit different than the conventional wisdom.  Let me reiterate that there’s two things you have to do to get the world on a path to nuclear zero.  

First, you have to get everyone to agree that the only valid purpose of nuclear weapons is to prevent the use of nuclear weapons by others and that’s not universally accepted.  In fact, I’d say the majority of people having anything to do with this don’t accept it.  They believe that nuclear weapons provide some other kind of purpose.  The French, of course, talk about nuclear weapons in some vague way protecting their most vital national interests and so forth and many of the smaller and proliferating states believe that if they have nuclear weapons, they can deter conventional attacks against them and so forth.  So I won’t – we don’t have time here to elaborate why I think a careful analysis of this will lead to a different conclusion.  

But the other thing you have to do is you have to create this regime that goes way beyond the IAEA regime that we have today, notwithstanding the fact that the IAEA regime has been amazingly successful given how small it is.  The IAEA found Iraq’s program before the ‘91 war.  It was gone of course before the second war.  They found the North Korean program and they found the Iranian program with their very limited capabilities.  So I believe that the technology is there to create a regime that can do what we need it to do.  

Now, specifically with regard to the NATO weapons, as others have said, and I agree particularly with what Oliver said at the beginning, there’s no military use left for these weapons.  They also have other problems that are actually vulnerable, notwithstanding the fact that there’s bunkers now built and storage sites are improved.  I have had the distinct pleasure of probably being the only person in the room who’s had his hand on one of those weapons and seen the situation there on the ground.  It’s impossible to make these storage sites completely invulnerable.  So they actually violate some strategic stability requirements as well, and they’re really quite expensive to maintain.  

We find ourselves in the absurd position of having countries that are hosting these weapons in some cases already having given up the capability to actually mount them on their aircraft and use them and in most cases not having long-term plans that are adequate to use them.  So it really makes no military sense to have these on the ground in Europe.  

So from that standpoint, I would hope that some kind of nuclear posture review will be authorized at the Lisbon summit.  I think it will and I think that’s where to focus on the question of deployments.  The deployments are not really a proper subject for the strategic concept itself in any event and hopefully a 12-month posture review as has been suggested in Oliver and his colleagues’ article will be undertaken and that some of these what I believe are truly absurdities will be dealt with.  

So then, how can we go forward from there?  Are giving up a bargain chip with Russia?  No, not really because the fact of the matter is, as you’ve heard from our distinguished Russia colleague on the earlier panel Russia has a whole bunch of complaints about what we do.  They of course complain about the forward-based systems but they complain about our missile defenses and they complain about our long-range strategic conventional forces, and they complain about conventional force balances otherwise and a lot of other things.  So really we’re very far from reaching an agreement with the present Russian government on these fundamental points related to nuclear weapons and the fundamental need to get the world on a completely different path.  

In my view, the best way for us to negotiate with Russia is to address those fundamental issues head-on.  The New START treaty doesn’t do it.  Even Sen. Lugar, its greatest supporter in the Senate right now, tries to make clear that it serves a different purpose.  It closes out the old approach and allows us to go forward with a new approach.  I don’t believe the Russians see it that way.  I believe they see it as setting the foundation for our nuclear relationship for some time to come and if that’s the case, we won’t get very far toward a world without nuclear weapons.

So I think we need to address these issues directly with Russia, and whether or not we have a few vulnerable, not usable weapons on the ground in Europe or not isn’t going to make much difference in how successful we are at doing that.  I would say more or less the same thing about France.  

France is back in the alliance.  France should, in my opinion, make it clear that whatever nuclear weapons they have for the foreseeable future will contribute to an umbrella over all of NATO.  The Brits have more or less made that clear.  We certainly have made it very clear, and so in that respect we should try to convince the French that there is a use for their weapons while we’re on a path to zero that goes beyond what they’ve stated.

But slowly but surely we have to get them all off some of their Gaullist inspired broader ideas about what these weapons can possibly do.  Meanwhile of course we have to continue to make it clear that our nuclear umbrella and our nuclear guarantees remain in place and we really need to keep emphasizing that nobody is proposing unilateral zero.  Most of the people in – in fact, probably a very significant fraction of the Congress of the United States things that when you talk about zero, we’re talking about U.S. unilateral zero and that’s what all of us in this room want and we arms controllers and everybody else thinks we ought to just get rid of all of our nuclear weapons.  

The Global Zero organization put the word global in there for a purpose and I try never to use the word zero entirely by itself.  Universal zero, global zero, that’s what we’re trying to get to and it cannot be reached unless it’s reached essentially simultaneous and we should all accept that.  

There are many, many people in the arms control, disarmament community who take a legal view or a moral view against nuclear weapons and argue very strongly that we should lead by unilaterally going to zero and those views are in my opinion counterproductive and make it more difficult to get to zero because they allow the rest of us to be tarred with this kind of accusation that we also are proposing some kind of unilateral disarmament on the part of the West, on the part of the United States and laving ourselves vulnerable to significant nuclear dangers.  

So we do have to emphasize that there is a legitimate role for nuclear weapons but only one. And that role is to deter, prevent the use of nuclear weapons by others. And therefore if others will give them up, so can we. And that we need to convince the rest of the world that that’s true and we need to build this control regime and we need to evaluate everything we do against those two specific objectives which are what we have to do if we want to have a chance of getting the world to nuclear zero.  Thanks very much.

MS. KELLEHER:  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Well, I thank my colleagues on the panel for having been so receptive to discipline.  This gives us then slightly more than half an hour in which to have some good questions and some discussion.  So may I ask you to identify yourself when you make your question and also say to whom it is directed.  Gentleman here in the middle?

Q:  I’m Miles Pomper from the Monterey Institute.  This is a question for Jan and Marek, following up on one of Jan’s remarks.  I was intrigued by your mention of the French arsenal and sort of the idea of having it as an umbrella for NATO.  What do you think the real prospects are of doing that, of bringing them into the nuclear planning group and those kind of institutions and how would that work, and I wonder from Marek how much that would serve the function of reassurance in the absence of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe?

MS. KELLEHER:  Jan, first?  You have to punch the little button.

MR. LODAL:  Okay, punch the little button.  I apologize for fumbling with papers, but just as a contingency here, I printed out the relevant parts of the livre blanc on this subject, which would be interesting.  But anyway, I can’t find them so I’ll quit fumbling with the papers.  I think there’s no prospect of that happening as long as the U.S. weapons are there.  They actually serve as something of an impediment to a different approach.  I think that if the nuclear umbrella is redefined away from physical geographical deployment, and by the way that’s the least effective part of the nuclear umbrella.  The broader U.S. strategic force is undoubtedly the more effective part of the nuclear umbrella.  

If you think you really need it against – it has to be Russia.  Nobody else could possibly attack Europe, even though we say they’re not an enemy and they don’t have the capability and we’re not worried about it.  So we have a nuclear umbrella against someone we say is not an enemy and we say the main part of it are these things on the ground which can’t be used and aren’t very effective; so none of this really makes much sense.  

On the other hand, if a different strategic approach to what constitutes a nuclear umbrella could be fortunate then the French might came into that because it wouldn’t necessarily require any change in the way they operate or the way they plan or it wouldn’t really require them to revisit their basic approach to nuclear weapons.  I don’t think this is an immediate prospect and I wouldn’t put it high on the list of things to try to achieve because I think that a lot of groundwork needs to be done before you get to that point.  But at some point, it ought to be possible.

MS. KELLEHER:  Marek?

MR. SZCYGIEL:  Thank you for this interesting question.  I think that we can say that in the long term, definitely there will be some kind of convergence of views in this respect, and France is very actively promoting their own perception of the role of nuclear arsenal and as was mentioned here, it was presented in the white book two years ago and in the framework of new NATO strategic concept, it was quite interesting discussion about the relations also between NATO nuclear posture and possible development of NATO missile defense in this context.  

I think what is really important from the French perspective is the continued certain level of autonomy in this respect, national autonomy from the French perspective.  They are also very sensitive when we are mentioning or when any kind of discussion is being conducted on the relations between strategic and nonstrategic weapons because of the special nature of the French nuclear arsenals.  So the declaratory policy here from the French perspective is slightly different.  

I think that since you mentioned kind of long-term perspective, it would be important really to find some kind of compensation for those core functions of NATO nuclear weapons that were mentioned – that I mentioned quoting nuclear posture review, and possibly this missile-defense system in its full shape, as envisaged in phased adaptive approach concept, will serve as an instrument of increasing the coherence of NATO.  I mentioned also the requirement that is very important with respect to this deterrence review that will be probably conducted after Lisbon summit.  So it should be really inclusive.  So it should take into account the views of all NATO members, including France because it is a kind of precondition for the credibility of the outcome of this review.  Thank you.

MS. KELLEHER:  Thank you, and I very much would like to only add, as it’s not just a theoretical question, given the difficulties that we’ve observed even to have French, British agreement on how to conduct joint submarine patrols that have now taken – is it three or is it four years to attempt to work out after the Saint Malo.  Jan, you’d like to comment on this as well?

MR. LODAL:  Yes, I found the French language.  Nuclear deterrence remains an essential concept of national security.  It is the ultimate guarantee of the security and independence of France.  The sole purpose of the nuclear deterrent is to prevent any state originating aggression against the vital interest of the nation wherever it may come from and in whatever shape or form.  Now, if you combine that with Article 5, I think the French are in the game legally and so this isn’t really that far off.  Now, I think a lot of what is implied by these particular words is not realistic and should be modified.  But they certainly are more than adequate to provide for French participation in a broader NATO nuclear umbrella.

MS. KELLEHER:  Gentleman in the back?  Yes, you.

Q:  Paul Ingram from the British American Security Information Council, and Oliver’s collaborator.  I wanted to raise the issue of deterrence here with respect to the deployment of sub-strategic warheads in Europe because for all the reasons that Jan went into, there really isn’t a great deal of military deterrent value to these deployments.  

But I wanted to fire at Jan a question here.  Is the value not so much in terms of the diplomatic assets that they bring vis-à-vis negotiations with Russia, so much as internal to NATO and I think that’s what Marek was getting on to, where he was outlining the way in which the Polish and other members of Central European states actually see this as a way of ensuring that their allies any negotiations to allow or get rid of them is a useful way to ensure that their allies take their concerns more seriously and those of us who went to Poland recently for the workshop, have been to Turkey and elsewhere for our workshops, have really picked up on this idea that these concerns haven’t been taken seriously.  

So my question to Marek is do you feel in more recent times over the last few months as a direct result of these debates that those concerns are being taken seriously and is it now not time for those Central European states to recognize that they have played their hand here and that it’s in everybody’s interest now to withdraw these nuclear weapons once those concerns – as those concerns are being taken seriously and that we move forward together as an alliance rather than holding guns at each other’s heads, which is not conducive to the coherence that you’ve been talking about when it comes to nuclear weapons?

MS. KELLEHER:  I think, Paul, we have your point and perhaps we’ll give Marek a chance to comment please.

MR. SZCYGIEL:  Thank you.  Yes, our position on this issue was motivated to large degree by also some expressions of rationed military doctrine regarding possible use or application of tactical nuclear weapons and believe me, this issue is perceived in Poland but probably in some of our Central European neighboring countries as kind of biggest single security threat currently or concern that we currently experience, especially taking into account the scenario of the last year exercises – maybe they were exercises – conducted by Russia armed forces on the territory of Belarus and northern Russia.  

So this is real concern.  But we see also certain value in conducting this policy of more openness and transparency.  We see big value in also talking about reducing the role of nuclear weapons and we find NATO Russia council as very important and useful instrument that could serve as a kind of forum or platform to discuss those issues.  But I’m afraid we would be rather cautious when agreeing on kind of unilateral actions, a kind of unilateral zero option on the side of NATO.  This is not about kind of blackmailing each other or trying to keep the current status quo.  

But rather to achieve kind of mutually beneficial results on both sides -- and here I don’t think that this is a kind of zero-sum game and to certain degree I think we can start with some basic transparency and confidence building measures that would reduce this level of insecurity, especially in the countries located near Russian borders -- so this is why I mentioned this reciprocity as a kind of precondition for further steps, further possible amendments of the NATO nuclear policy because without this kind of step-by-step approach, and without this reciprocity, we also risk to undermine the cohesion of NATO and we could undermine possibly also kind of regional stability in some crucial parts of Europe.

MS. KELLEHER:  Oliver wanted to come in on this.

MR. MEIER:  Yes, just very briefly to expand on what Marek has said, I think the discussion actually in terms of linkages to Russian reciprocity had moved on before the – in the context of discussion a new strategic concept and the two Polish – Swedish and the Polish and Norwegian papers have been very helpful in highlighting steps short of a formal agreement with Russia on tactical nuclear weapons that both sides can take to move forward on this issue.  

My fear is that the new strategic concept is making this linkage stronger than is necessary by explicitly highlighting and placing this in the context of the discrepancy between the two stockpiles, implying that NATO should only move forward if there’s an agreement, a formal agreement with Russia on tactical nuclear weapons.  That I think would be a step backward and that’s the danger I see and that’s one of the issues where I think the new strategic concept may be locking NATO in and would prevent real progress basically until we have an agreement with Russia, which is going to take many, many years, as we heard on the first panel, or until we have a new strategic concept.  

So that’s one of the issue areas where I think the new strategic concept should be more open to leave more options for Europeans and NATO and Russia to move forward on this issue.  That’s my concern, that this is one of the issue areas where the text will be highlighting this link more strongly than is actually necessary and stronger than what you just highlighted, if I’m not mistaken.

MS. KELLEHER:  I think, Jan, maybe you might say also – you have a comment and also perhaps if you would speculate the degree to which our recent election may have changed the importance of this particular question of assumed symmetry or at least an assumed tradeoff.

MR. LODAL:  Well, let me just say first that I disagree strongly with one phrase Marek used and that – when he talked about this trying to voice some kind of unilateral change.  Okay, we have a nuclear umbrella.  Those weapons forward deployed in Europe are somewhere between a tenth of 1 percent and minus-10-percent value in that nuclear umbrella and you can ask any military person, including Gen. Cartwright who said it publicly, about that and they’ll tell you that.  

They add to crisis instability.  They’re good targets and were things to go very badly very rapidly and there be a return to some kind of confrontation between Russia and NATO, probably the first thing the military would recommend at that point is to withdraw them and get them out of their vulnerable position because in an actual military situation, you’d want them out.  So that’s why I say minus-10 percent.  

So we have this overall nuclear umbrella and yes, we should talk about how that works and there is a lot of things we can do.  There are many ideas.  I don’t know what the right answers are.  It might make sense, and I kind of like the idea, of having other NATO officers at and integrated with U.S. nuclear operations and not having a say in their use but being liaison people there.  That could be more helpful, changes in the way we plan for the use of the broader strategic force.  There’s a lot of things that could be done there to make it clear that he umbrella is not just words but that it’s reality and that it in fact is linked.  All of those would be better.  

So I think that we need to focus on what is it that we’re trying to achieve here and do these particular weapons try to achieve it.  Now, I’m getting ahead of what I recommended because I recommended that NATO undertake a posture review to come to these conclusions.  So I’m telegraphing a little bit where I think that ought to come out.  But the key thing right now is that these things should not be linked to the Russia tactical nuclear weapons.  

Russia has no excuse for keeping these weapons.  They promised time after time that they would be transparent and that they would follow up on the presidential initiatives to which they agreed to remove these.  Remember the U.S. pulled 5,000 weapons out of Europe.  We have 200 left.  So let’s put this into context and you know we pulled the 5,000 out and it didn’t exactly seem to tear the alliance apart.  That wasn’t the problem here.  So we need to think about that.  As far as the politics of the situation, I don’t think that it’s such a huge sea change in this area.  The president retains the primary responsibility for these matters and for moving forward and much of what I’ve suggested can be done without treaty ratification.  

I also believe that failure to ratify the New START treaty would be very damaging, even though – and this is another subject – I’m not very happy with the New START treaty and I’m not very happy that we took that approach to try to rebuild our relationship with Russia.  As I said in my remarks, I think we should have moved to address more fundamental questions directly with Russia.  

But nonetheless, now that it’s done, it certainly serves the purposes that you’ve heard enunciated here earlier and it should be ratified.  I think that’s where the political situation has its main salience right now, not on these broader questions of the details of how we construct an effective nuclear umbrella.  That will serve us well as we move on a path to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

MS. KELLEHER:  Marek wants to come back.  So Marek?

MR. SZCYGIEL:  Very briefly, yes, we are of the opinion that we should tackle this issue with a kind of multi-track approach, so to say to include in this – I don’t like the word tradeoff, but kind of future negotiations or approach to include other aspects of deterrence – conventional deterrence but also issues related to defense systems.  

This is probably one of the possible openings also with Russia, judging from the signals, reactions we hear from Moscow, that maybe we would be able to agree on some kind of steps regarding tactical nuclear weapons if we make this agenda broader and at the same time, I think that this existing disparity in tactical nuclear arsenals is having more destabilizing effect than the presence of those weapons, as such.  So in order to tackle this issue of disparity, we need to actually keep this link.  I agree with Oliver that maybe this is kind of a too far-reaching approach.  But in order to start the process, this is probably the only bargaining chip we have right now.  Thank you.

MS. KELLEHER:  Sorry, but I think this interchange in the panel has brought out a lot of the points that perhaps some of you would have touched on in your questions.  We have about 10 minutes max left.  So I’m going to start boxing questions together.  Yes, please?  Who are you and to whom are you speaking?

Q:  Mike Gerson, Center for Naval Analyses.  Actually it’s not really directed at anyone specifically, but just the discussion about the forthcoming Lisbon summit reminded me of another NATO summit in Lisbon from a long time ago, which is 1952, and the adoption of the Lisbon Force Goals, which of course were never met.  So I guess just thinking about the parallel there, part of that was because that building up of conventional forces was incredibly expensive and rather than sort of spending the money and putting the effort in war-torn Europe, it sort of made sense to sort of rely on nuclear weapons as an asymmetric response.  

So I guess my question is in thinking through this, much of the discussion about what must be done to maintain the trans-Atlantic link and maintain the cohesion of the alliance if the nuclear weapons are removed kind of seems to – you hear it’s what the U.S. has to do – sort of, what does the U.S. need to do?  My question is what are the NATO countries willing to do?  Are they actually willing to put the money and the effort toward creating a sort of robust nonnuclear deterrent or sort of retaining this capability and having this reassurance policy just provide a sort of nice way of not having to really think through these issues and spend large sums of money.

MS. KELLEHER:  Another question, I think there was one in the middle there, someone?

Q:  Arie Church, Air Force Magazine, and it’s predominately for Mr. Meier and it really piggybacks on what my colleague here said and that is Russia premises its buildup of tactical nuclear arsenal, or rather retaining tactical nuclear arsenal on the fact that it can’t afford the conventional forces, possibly to confront the threats that it perceives.  We are fast approaching that point across Europe in countries like Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and even the United Kingdom following our recent defense review.  Is it a bit premature to declare tactical nuclear weapons as a bygone and sort of tired weapons system that has no relevance for today?

MS. KELLEHER:  Anyone care to take a crack at that?  Jan?

MR. LODAL:  I’ll take a crack at that.  I think that you have to go beyond just the idea that wow, these things make a very big bang and they’re really cheap and therefore we can use them instead of something else and think about okay, what would be involved in having any leader of any country in the West make a decision to escalate to the use of nuclear weapons and what would that mean to the world at that point and in the future if that occurred and here was an escalation to the use of nuclear weapons, particularly if the purpose of these things, as the Russians seem to believe, is to substitute for the lack of conventional capability.  

So presumably, this first use would occur in a situation in which they were needed because the conventional forces weren’t adequate of whichever side was losing the battle.  So this is the Cold War model.  

Now, what happens then?  The answer is the world is changed forever and the answer is it’s changed in a way that we really don’t want to occur.  So the reason we’ve supported the nuclear firewall, the reason we have all these words about how – and the U.S. posture statement says this very strongly – nuclear weapons haven’t been used and they must never be used, is because of this kind of thinking.  So the realty is nuclear weapons cannot make up for this alleged weakness.  That’s reality number one.  

Reality number two is there isn’t really a whole lot of this alleged weakness because I don’t like the way the Europeans are cutting their defense budget.  I think that the burden-sharing is quite unfair and unrealistic between the U.S. and Europe.  I agree with all of that and that’s causing a lot of problems.  But it is not causing the problem of all of a sudden allowing Soviet tank armies to rush across Europe, which is what we were worried about before because there are no Soviet tank armies.  They don’t exist and they can’t rush across Europe and the few tanks they do have could be plunked with precision guided munitions which didn’t exist during the Cold War fairly rapidly.  So they wouldn’t get very far.  

So we’ve got to think a step beyond this sort of general talk about, oh well, we can maybe somehow use these really big strong weapons to make up for these other weapons.  The reality is you can’t and you won’t be able to and so you better find a better way out of the box.

MS. KELLEHER:  Marek or Oliver, any comment?

MR. MEIER:  Yeah, thank you very much.  Just to address the last question first on is it too early to assume that tactical nuclear weapons are symbols of a bygone era because the Russians obviously still see them as important.  First of all, of course it’s very difficult to assess what is really driving Russian policies on tactical nuclear weapons and Miles and Nikolai Sokov have written a fairly I think good assessment as far as I can tell on the differentiation one needs to make also on the types of tactical nuclear weapons that Russia may value more than others, that it’s difficult to put them all in one basket.  

But what I also take away from what I’ve read and heard and spoken to the people is that the Russian position that NATO needs to move first on this, that this is linked also to the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe.  There is not much basis to that argument, that it’s very conventional position of course for Moscow to take because it places the ball in NATO’s court, but that the linkage between NATO’s tactical nuclear weapons and Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons, from that perspective may be exaggerated to put it carefully.  

The real question of course comes in when one takes into account this assumption in the nuclear posture review also that the role of nuclear deterrence in a regional context can be reduced in favor of missile defenses and advanced conventional capabilities.  I think there is a problem for Russia because the tradeoff that the United States would like to see in Europe in practically, that’s the problematic linkage for Russia.  So there’s an issue for both sides to sit down and talk about, how threat perceptions in that regard, particularly advanced conventional capabilities for example, what does that mean for Russian security and European security.  

That dialogue hasn’t really been started yet and again, I think the tactical nuclear weapons that we still have in Europe and also the Russian tactical nuclear weapons to some degree are obstacles to having an honest dialogue about this because there’s a lot of propaganda going around on why these weapons are obstacles to further progress on having this dialogue, how you can have conventional capabilities in that regard.  

Finally I wanted to comment on there was this question on what kind of leadership does the U.S. need to show on this issue and what do others need to do.  I think the United States had a great opportunity in the nuclear posture review to take this debate forward.  They missed that opportunity.  I think if the nuclear posture review would have come out more strongly in favor of changing NATO’s nuclear posture, there would have been very little resistance, even among Central Europeans, to doing that. It kind of was agnostic on this issue for all kinds of reasons.  So that kind of left the debate unresolved.  

But I think also what Marek has said to me sounds like if this is not an issue, the weapons per se, that many Central Europeans, and Turkey also, does not really care about.  It’s part of the Article 5 discussion.  But I suppose –

MS. KELLEHER:  I think I’m going to cut you off there and give Marek a chance to make his final comment because we’re standing between people and their lunch.

MR SZCYGIEL:  Thank you.  I promise to be brief.  Yes, we see that tendency to reduce defense spending also now during this time of budgetary constraints in many European countries and unfortunately – well, the obvious truth is the only country that is able to project power globally and provide credible security guarantees is the United States.  

Despite some efforts to coordinate closer defense cooperation within European Union, this cooperation is still very limited and it is not creating a kind of added value.  Where E.U. and European members of NATO are trying to contribute more substantially is kind of civil military cooperation and civil crisis management operations.  This is the capability that is a little bit less expensive, which is more politically acceptable and where E.U. is trying to project its soft power more, I would say, globally.  

But I think that also important issue in this aspect that we discuss of tactical nuclear weapons is that, you know, there is number of processes that are going in parallel and I have in mind also the discussion about the modernization of CFE regime and here we hear very promising response from Russia.  Russia has some priorities in this respect.  But there is also a big degree of readiness to discuss issues of general concern to the future of the regime of conventional arms control.  

Since, I think it was mentioned here a couple of times, Russia is perceiving tactical nuclear weapons as a kind of instrument of balancing perceived NATO conventional superiority, maybe we could to some degree address Russian concerns in combination of tactical nuclear aspects and conventional aspects of arms control.  Thank you.

MS. KELLEHER:  ON this positive note, I’m going to bring to an end what I think has been a very interesting and rich discussion and suggest that you go and get your lunch.  Be back at 12:30, right, as quickly as you can, so that we are prepared for Rose Gottemoeller’s address.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

(END)

Description: 

Transcript of the second panel at "Next Steps in Arms Control," a conference hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Arms Control Association.  Speakers include Catherine Kelleher, Oliver Meier, Marek Szczygiel, and Jan Lodal.

Country Resources:

Next Steps in Arms Control: Introduction and First Panel Transcript - Next Steps in U.S.-Russia Arms Reductions

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Body: 

For a PDF version of this transcript, please click here.

ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

NEXT STEPS IN ARMS CONTROL:
NUCLEAR WEAPONS, MISSILE DEFENSE AND NATO

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS:
RALF FÜCKS,
PRESIDENT,
HEINRICH BÖLL FOUNDATION

DARYL G. KIMBALL,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

PANEL 1: NEXT STEPS IN U.S.-RUSSIA ARMS REDUCTIONS

MODERATOR:
DARYL G. KIMBALL

PANELISTS:
JOAN ROHLFING,
PRESIDENT AND CEO,
NUCLEAR THREAT INITIATIVE

RICHARD BURT,
FORMER CHIEF NEGOTIATOR, START 1,
U.S. CHAIR, GLOBAL ZERO

EUGENE MIASNIKOV,
MOSCOW CENTER FOR ARMS CONTROL, ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C.

Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.


RALF FÜCKS:  So good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  Let’s start.  I’m Ralf Fücks, president of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and I would like to welcome you heartily on behalf of the organizers of this event – the Heinrich Böll Foundation jointly in cooperation with the Arms Control Association.  It’s a great start for my trip to the United States.  I just arrived last night from Germany, and I really appreciate [the opportunity] to meet such a circle of distinguished personalities, speakers and participants to this event.  

When we decided to organize this discussion, together with the Arms Control Association, half a year ago, this decision took place in a very encouraging political atmosphere.  It was not only spring in the literal sense of the word.  It was kind of a very exciting moment for a renaissance of arms control and disarmament policies after more decades of stagnation and ignorance on these topics.  

President Obama’s new Nuclear Posture Review set a new tone by identifying nuclear terrorism and proliferation as major threats, demanding a comprehensive and consistent nuclear arms control policy.  The United States pledged not to attack nonnuclear states as long as they are compliant with the nonproliferation treaty, and by signing the New START treaty in Prague, President Obama and President Medvedev showed new confidence on both sides.  

A few days later, President Obama gathered several dozen heads of state here in Washington to request commitments from all participating countries to better safeguard nuclear material, and also the result of the NPT review conference did not really satisfy all parties.  The United Nations conference managed to reach an acceptable compromise.  

For us, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, as a German green think tank headquartered in Berlin, nuclear disarmament is a topic of great importance, and maybe you know that it was one of the driving forces of the emergence of the green political movement in Germany and in Europe, and meanwhile, we managed to get to the heads of government in Germany, and we are looking to go back at the next federal elections with very significant support in the public polls, around about 20 percent meanwhile.  So we are no longer a marginal political force, but I would say really we are becoming a driving political force in Germany and beyond.  

At the end of this very crucial year for global disarmament and just a few days before NATO will be adopting its new strategic concept in Lisbon, there still remain important issues to be discussed.  Global Zero is a vision we should stick to, and to gain political relevance we have to transform this vision into action plans.  Nuclear proliferation is just short of passing a tipping point.  So this is a very, very critical situation globally, a tipping point when the spread of nuclear weapons exceeds the capacity to rein them in.  If we want to prevent that slippery slope into nuclear anarchy, the established nuclear powers need to prove their credibility and political will in reducing their own stockpiles.  

So nuclear nonproliferation and preventing the non-haves to become nuclear powers and nuclear disarmament, reducing the nuclear stockpile of the nuclear states are only two sides of the same coin.  I therefore hope very much that the U.S. Senate will be able to ratify the New START treaty during the lame-duck session, or at least in early 2011.  The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty needs to be ratified, and the fissile material cutoff treaty needs to be negotiated.  The German foreign minister, in line with the Green Party platform, is advocating the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from German territory, some maybe 20 or some more remaining tactical nuclear weapons, which are more of a symbolical than of a real military importance.  

But the disputed issue is if this withdrawal should be embedded in a comprehensive agreement with Russia.  Russia still deploys about 2,000 tactical warheads which can be used to exercise political pressure on neighboring countries, and I guess that the most promising strategy to convince the Russian leadership to get rid of their tactical nuclear arsenal and to proceed to the goal of a nuclear-free zone in Europe would be to include Russia in an enhanced and an enlarged Euro/trans-Atlantic security architecture, kind of NATO-plus; a collective security system with Russia.  

As Daniel Hamilton and his coauthors pointed out rightly in their 2009 NATO study, “Alliance Reborn,” I quote, “the initiative to withdraw nuclear weapons from Europe should come from Europe itself.  If Europeans allies are confident that European and North American security is sufficiently coupled without the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe, the U.S. is unlikely to object to their removal.” end of quote.  This point puts the question at the center of how best to address the security concerns of our Central and Eastern European allies, and I’m therefore very happy to see that we have many speakers from Central and Eastern Europe[anew ] countries here today.  

Last but not least, I want to express my personal gratitude to the Arms Control Association for its cooperation on this joint endeavor.  Let me especially thank Daryl Kimball, Tom Collina, and Eric Auner on this side, as well as Sebastian Gräfe and Markus Rutsche from the Böll Foundation for their efforts in organizing this event.  I wish you all interesting and enlightening discussions today here at the Carnegie Endowment.  Thank you very much for your attention, and now it’s my pleasure to give the floor to Daryl Kimball.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

DARYL KIMBALL:  Thank you very much, Ralf, for that great overview of the issues of the day and thanks to the Böll Foundation for working with Arms Control Association and the entire team of people who pulled all the logistics together for this timely event on the next steps in arms control.  As Ralf said, we gather at a very pivotal moment in the long quest to reduce the risks posed by nuclear weapons, and it’s a particularly key time for the United States and Russia and our European partners to get nuclear arms reductions back on track, and that’s what our first panel is going to address.  

We have a great lineup of speakers on our next panel on the next steps in U.S.-Russian arms reductions, and I see that they’re all here now with Ambassador Burt arriving.  If you all could – Eugene and Ambassador Burt and Joan, as I introduce the panel, come on up front so that we can get started smoothly.

Let me just remind us all that two years ago, before Barack Obama took office, he outlined some of his ideas about how the United States and Russia should get back on track on the nuclear arms reduction process, and in 2008, President Obama responded to a presidential Q&A that we put together in Arms Control Today, and when that was published in the fall of 2008, Obama committed to quote, “working with Russia and other nuclear armed states to make deep cuts in global nuclear weapon stockpiles by the end of my first term,” and he went on to say, quote, “as a first step, I will seek Russia’s agreement to extend the central monitoring and verification provisions of the START I pact before it expires in 2009.”  

Now, the START I treaty did expire on December 5, 2009, and we now have the New START agreement signed in April of [2010], and I would say that Obama has fulfilled that basic campaign pledge with the negotiation of New START and active support for it, which is now awaiting Senate approval, we hope, during the post-election session which begins just next week.  But even after New START is completed, the two countries will still each possess 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads on as many as 700 nuclear delivery systems with thousands more nondeployed strategic warheads and obsolete tactical nuclear bombs, as we just heard about.  

So in our view, the Arms Control Association’s view, deeper reductions are prudent and possible, especially given that no other state other than the United States and Russia possesses more than 400 nuclear bombs, and from a U.S. perspective, we ought to remember that it’s only China that has 40 to 50 long-range strategic missiles armed with nuclear weapons that we really have to worry at all about.  Many of these weapons that the United States and Russia have of course are primed on launch-ready alert.  

So what we’re going to be discussing today is New START and some of the next steps towards reducing these nuclear weapons risks, and let me just also recall that in this Arms Control Today Q&A with Obama, he pledged to seek further reductions quote, “in all U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons, whether deployed or nondeployed, whether strategic or nonstrategic, and work with other nuclear powers to reduce nuclear stockpiles dramatically by the end of my presidency.”  

Now, that may be just two years from now.  It may be six years from now, but by the end of my presidency, he said.  He also pledged to initiate a high-level dialogue among all of the declared nuclear weapons states on how to make their nuclear capabilities more transparent, create greater confidence and move forward toward meaningful reductions and eventual elimination of all nuclear weapons.  So that’s a tall order but that I think it is a very useful outline for what some of the next steps could be.  

Our speakers are going to be exploring these and other issues, and to begin, we’re going to hear from Joan Rohlfing, who is the president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative here in Washington, which has been a great supporter of further efforts to reduce the nuclear weapons risks, including the work of the so-called four statesmen – Shultz, Perry, Kissinger and Nunn – and she is going to be talking about the range of options ahead for Washington, Moscow, and other governments to reduce nuclear risks.  

Then we’re going to hear from Ambassador Richard Burt, who was a negotiator of the START I accord, among other things, and he’s currently the chair of the organization Global Zero.  Last but not least, we’re pleased to have with us here today from Moscow, Eugene Miasnikov, who is the senior research scientist at the Center for Arms Control, Energy, and Environmental Studies in Moscow, who’s been there for nearly 20 years.  He’s one of the leading experts in Russia on these issues.  You may have read his work in the past in Arms Control Today.  

So after each one of them speaks, we’ll be taking your questions and comments and have some discussion before we begin with the next panel.  Joan?

JOAN ROHLFING:  Good morning.  Thank you, Daryl.  Thank you, Mr. Fücks.  It’s a pleasure and an honor to be with you today.  Let me apologize first of all for my gravelly voice.  I’m overcoming a cold.  So hopefully I’ll be able to hold out for a few minutes while I make my remarks.  So as the program says, I’m here to discuss opportunities for further reductions, and as Daryl greeted me this morning, he asked me what I was going to talk about, and I told him –

MR. KIMBALL:  We had so much faith in you, didn’t we?

MS. ROHLFING:  We had so much faith, exactly, and I told him in brief that I was going to talk about some of the – in particular, the political constraints that we’re currently operating under, as well as security perceptions of both the U.S. and Russia and how that constrains what we can do over the next several years in particular. And Daryl said, “but you’re going to talk about further reductions, right?” and I said, well, maybe, not exactly.

So I will come to a point on that later in order to address what I’ve been asked to address.  But I think we’re in an environment that maybe constrains the art of the possible in the near term.  I do believe we’re at a moment in time.  We’ve been at a moment in time for the last several years in terms of the historical context in which we find ourselves.  Over the last few years, we’ve clearly seen a sea change, a new window of opportunity opening and growing political momentum for nuclear arms reductions as a result of several groundbreaking op-eds by four senior American statesmen.

Also, we’ve been lucky to have a new charismatic president in the United States who embraced the vision of a world without nuclear weapons, and as Daryl mentioned, made a commitment to dramatic reductions by the end of his presidency.  Unfortunately, four years into the sea change – I say four years, if you mark it by the date of the publication of the first Wall Street Journal op-ed – we find ourselves at a turning point.  We see the same president besieged by seemingly intractable global and national challenges and having lost his stroke politically.

Is this historic window of opportunity for progress in reducing the nuclear threat beginning to close?  What can or must be done to maintain momentum and progress?  I believe demonstration of continued progress will be essential to continuing the momentum and U.S. leadership is essential to that process, and yet, the political shellacking, to use the president’s own words, of the current U.S. presence, severely impedes his ability to lean forward and lead further.  So where do we go from here?

Before I provide my short list of what I think are opportunities for action, I’d like to take just a few minutes to discuss U.S. and Russian security and political perspectives that frame and bound any next steps that we can take.  Let me offer a few thoughts first about the view from the U.S., and then I’ll talk about the view from Russia.  

So the view from the U.S. – President Obama came into the job with this ambitious vision and strong rhetorical commitment to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.  Through the first two years of his presidency, we’ve seen some positive and important changes emerge in the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review and the completion of the New START treaty.  

But that said, we also see strong and growing headwind from the U.S. Congress, and the Senate in particular, to thwart or stop the nuclear arms reduction agenda outright.  This is evident in the robust modernization program that key Republican members of the Senate have pushed for and in the sizable budgetary commitment that the administration has had to make to garner support for the New START treaty.  

Given the numerous political challenges facing this president – the economy and the war, to name only two issues occupying his time – and given the loss of the House and the loss of Democratic seats in the Senate, I see, unfortunately, little capacity – political capacity, that is – for this president and thus little incentive for him to lead the charge for the next round of formal reductions.  

Now, let’s talk for a minute about Russian perceptions and in particular about Russian threat perceptions.  Russia sees an alliance along its western border that has strong conventional superiority and seven countries within the alliance that either have or host nuclear weapons on their territory, presumably to deter the Russians from potential aggression.  The Russians also see plans for a BMD system emerging that they feel could threaten the viability of the Russian nuclear deterrent.  

Russia sees the potential for NATO to continue to expand, pushing even further into its historic zone of influence, and Russia would also see the increasing integration of the rest of Europe economically, politically and even militarily.  Just in the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen an agreement by the French and British to share aircraft carriers and create a joint expeditionary force.  I’m sure the NATO panel will discuss some of these issues in threat perceptions more later.

And yet, despite all this, I see several reasons for cautious optimism on progress with Russia.  Let me name just four reasons.  Number one, I see key leaders in the U.S. and Europe beginning to fundamentally rethink the security relationship between Europe, Russia and the U.S.  For example, today a prestigious group of leaders from the U.S., Europe and Russia will be releasing a statement that calls on states from North America, across Europe and through Russia to transform this geographic space into a genuinely inclusive and vibrant security community, an inclusive undivided security space free of opposing blocs and grey areas where disputes would be resolved without recourse to military force and the threat of use. This is the work – the statement released later today is a product of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative, a commission of prestigious leaders from Europe, America and Russia.  

The second reason for optimism – and you may be surprised to hear me say this – is the NATO strategic concept.  While I don’t think any of us expect at this point major changes, and some of us will surely be disappointed in the lost opportunity to change significantly European, or rather NATO, nuclear policy in the strategic concept, it does look like a nuclear posture review will be set in motion coming out of that process and this leaves the door open for further change.  That’s very important.  

The third reason for optimism: there are a growing number of coordinated voices on nuclear elimination in Europe.  There has been the formation of two European leadership networks.  Top level leaders in both the U.K. and throughout Europe have come together to coordinate their work and to push for change.  I think this is an important development.  

The fourth and final reason for optimism that I’ll mention is that there are budgetary pressures, very significant budgetary pressures that constrain the space that states can operate in.  One example is what we’ve seen coming out of the strategic defense review of the U.K., where they’ve kicked the can down the road on a decision for procurement of new Trident to 2015.  I think that’s good news.  It buys us time to make further progress on reductions and hopefully have them kick it down the road indefinitely.

So while there’s basis for optimism about the potential in Europe and Russia, I don’t think I can say quite the same for the U.S.  But even with political constraints in the United States, I think there are opportunities for leadership, and let me list a few that fall into two categories, the first category being things that don’t require Senate advice and consent.  I think this is the world that we’re in for the near future, and the second category is things that we can do that lay the foundation for further change with Russia and Europe.

So in the first category, things that we can do that don’t require Senate advice and consent: we can and should remove forces from their prompt launch status.  I personally think this is the single most important thing that the U.S. and Russia could do to show that they are meaningfully reducing the role of nuclear weapons in their security strategies and to lead to their decreasing importance in a way that lays the groundwork for further reductions.  Secondly, both presidents – well, the U.S. president in particular – should commit to further changes in declaratory policy.  We should move to a sole purpose doctrine.

Third thing we could do, and this has a number of constituent elements, I think both the U.S. and Russian presidents could work together on a transparency initiative.  The U.S. and Russia should declare their full weapons inventories.  I note President Obama took a step in this direction in disclosing the number of U.S. nuclear warheads just at the beginning of the nonproliferation treaty review in May.  But some would argue it wasn’t comprehensive in that it didn’t count every category of weapon, and I think both the U.S. and Russia need to do that.  

This transparency requirement should be global.  All states that have nuclear weapons should declare the number of weapons that they have in their inventory.  Establishing this baseline is going to be essential to next stages of reductions.  Another piece of this transparency initiative could include joint or international monitoring of select nuclear sites.  Once having declared the number of weapons at a particular site – say, for example, a site in Europe – an international team or perhaps a bilateral U.S. and Russian team could work collectively to monitor that site as a first step to monitoring all nuclear sites on the path to zero.  If we did only a portion of these things, the role of nuclear weapons would be significantly reduced and the next round of reductions would be much easier to achieve.  

So having said all that and offered this list, I realize I haven’t talked about further reductions, per se.  But let me end with maybe a thought on what I would do when I think we’re ready to move to the next stage in further reductions.  I’m very enamored of the idea of the U.S. and Russia working together to establish a new limit on the total number of warheads, both strategic and tactical.  They have to establish that as a rollup number and then to work on a monitoring system or a verification system that allows us to actually monitor warhead dismantlement.  

I think it’s going to be essential in the next round of negotiations to establish the warhead itself as a treaty-limited item, not to continue counting only the delivery vehicles, and we are going to need to declare baseline inventories of weapons in order to begin counting and then dismantling warheads and thus the importance of establishing a limit on total warheads.  I think it’s going to be very difficult to differentiate, if not impossible to differentiate, between strategic and tactical nuclear warheads if you’re looking just at the physics package, the warhead itself, which is why I believe they need to be bundled and rolled into one topline number.  

So let me conclude by saying notwithstanding the political constraints that President Obama finds himself in, I think there are a lot of things that he can do; I think that this administration should do.  I think it’s imperative that the United States continue to lead if we’re going to keep open this window of historic change, and it’s time for some political courage.  I hope he finds a way to muster it.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, well, I think that was just what the doctor ordered, Joan.  Thank you very much.  Ambassador Burt, if I could invite you to come to the podium, offer your comments, thoughts and suggestions at this phase.  Thanks for being here.

RICHARD BURT:  Well, thanks for having me, and I’m happy to participate in this discussion and dialogue, and I guess I should say at the outset, I don’t have any real differences, fundamental differences with our previous speaker here in terms of the menu she outlined and her kind of – I guess I’m reading as much body language into what she said as what she actually did say about our current political situation – other than to say I think I disagree on one basic point, and she used the phrase “cautious optimism.”  

I don’t feel optimistic this morning about either the short-term efforts underway to move the U.S.-Russian arms control process ahead, nor do I feel particularly optimistic this morning about reaching the longer term goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.  

I think we are rapidly approaching a real crisis in the arms control process that could have some real implications, not only for reaching the longer term goal but actually could reverse, could dramatically reverse some of the good news we’ve had over the last 18 months or so in what the Obama administration calls resetting relationships with Russia.  Rather than the reset process itself, where the negotiation and ratification of the New START agreement was the centerpiece of reset, I think it’s very possible that over the next six to 12 months we’re going to be engaged not in the reset but in picking up the pieces.

I think there could be some very unhelpful dynamics injected into the arms control process and the broader political process, and let me talk about where we are now.  I was in Moscow just a week ago attending a meeting of American and Russian – these were really more business leaders and political leaders.  So they weren’t arms control specialists.  

But there was a pretty high-profile Republican figure, former member of Congress, now a very successful lobbyist who stays in close touch with his colleagues, his former colleagues on Capitol Hill, and he basically pronounced the START treaty as dead.  He said in his judgment, the treaty would not be ratified in the lame-duck session, that there was just going to be too much other business to do – tax cuts or no tax cuts, continuing resolutions, budgetary resolutions – and that the Republican side was going to say that there wasn’t really sufficient time to give the treaty the kind of debate it deserved, and furthermore, that with the changes that flowed out of Tuesday’s election, that really some new Republican members of the Senate should get a chance to take a look at that treaty.

Now, he went on to argue that if START isn’t ratified during the lame-duck session, that as far as he was concerned, the new Senate would not be capable of mustering the necessary two-thirds votes to ratify the treaty.  Now, I haven’t done a vote count and maybe somebody in this room has, but I did hear briefly just this morning as I was getting ready to start the day that I guess the newly elected member of the Senate named after Ayn Rand, Rand Paul, has apparently already publicly announced that he’s opposed to START ratification.  

So I think we are going to be living in a period where getting the New START treaty ratified is going to be very dicey, and then we now have to, I think, look at the implications of that.  I think there are really four of them that are worth thinking about.  One is the implications for an extended period where there are no constraints whatsoever on U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces.  

As has been pointed out to people, as was pointed out by Joan just a few minutes ago, the existing START treaty that I participated in negotiating has expired.  So there are no formal constraints on U.S. and Russian forces.  The verification provisions of that treaty, which are very, very rigorous, are not now being carried out.  So we’re not able to engage in the on-site inspections.  We’re not getting the data exchanges under that treaty that were prescribed.  So we’re beginning, as time goes by, to be kind of flying blind.  So as time goes by, there will be inevitably people making arguments on both sides that the situation has changed.  We’re not certain about this system or that system.  

There will be, I think, a gradual kind of unraveling, and we won’t at the same time be able to enjoy some of the benefits, including the reductions, some of the streamlined verification procedures and just the overall sense of political momentum that getting a New START treaty would entail.  Discussions like this where people are supposed to talk about the next phase of arms control will gradually peter out as people run around trying to figure out how do you patch up the existing regime as is in a process of kind of fading away.  That’s the first implication.

The second is, as far as I’m concerned, forget about reset.  There has been a process over the last 18 months or so where Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev have engaged in a kind of unique dialogue on this relationship.  I think they’ve met 18 times.  I think people I talk to at the White House tell me that, in fact, Medvedev is probably Obama’s number-one discussion partner in terms of their having built a real relationship, having developed real chemistry, having been able to do business together.  

Some examples of that not only had to do with New START; they had to do with the Russian decision, which I think was probably – we’ll hear maybe a little about this later – probably very difficult to support the United States at the U.N. Security Council to apply sanctions to Iran, the related decision that the Russians took to not sell S300 air defense missiles to Iran, the work that the United States has done behind the scenes together with Russian trade negotiators to complete a WTO agreement which will not only enhance U.S-Russian trade and investment but will be a step forward in terms of the rule of law and Russia’s integration into the world economy.  All of these things could go by the board.  

I don’t think, frankly, that the reset policy can survive the nonratification of START.  I say that for two reasons.  If you can’t get a START treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate, I don’t think you can get congressional approval for a WTO agreement, which would, as some of you probably know, involve lifting Jackson-Vanik – long overdue but there are still people on the Hill who wouldn’t vote to lift Jackson-Vanik.  

If you can’t get START ratified, you have to give me a plausible political scenario of how you get permanent normalized trade relations legislation through both the House and the Senate.  So those are two big pieces of reset – strategic arms control and WTO and PNTR – and I think both could go by the boards.

Now, I’m not going to spend too long talking about how the Russians will respond to this.  But I have to believe at a time in Moscow when there is a debate clearly underway between groups who want to see closer ties with the West, groups who see their economic future lying with integration with the West and another group who believes more in self-sufficiency, is still skeptical and wary about working closely with the West, that by not ratifying START, by not going forward with WTO accession, we are just going to bolster that latter group, the people who don’t want to do business with the West, who want to sort of create a kind of Eurasian autarky, if I can use that phrase, as opposed to a model of Western integration.  That would be a very serious blow, in my view, to Western interests and American interests.

Thirdly, what is the impact for nonproliferation?  We didn’t talk about it.  Joan didn’t say much about nonproliferation.  But as far as I’m concerned, this whole process of U.S.-Russian arms control today, not 20, 30 years ago, but today is really focused, has to be built around an understanding that U.S.-Russian arms control is a critical part or a critical component of dissuading other members of the international community to not go nuclear. And if we can’t get a modest arms control agreement ratified, aren’t we giving talking points to Ahmadinejad in Tehran?  What impact are we having on Pakistan, on India and on other would-be nuclear powers in the greater Middle East?  

So it has to be viewed as a massive setback in what I consider to be the kind of fundamental security problem of our day, which is the spread of nuclear weapons to fragile, weak and sometimes rogue states and potentially on to terrorists.  

Finally, I’ll just simply say this.  If we can’t ratify this treaty, we are going to send a signal, I believe, of almost total incompetence to the rest of the international community.  People on Capitol Hill love to talk about American leadership.  Well, I’ve got to tell you, this is not American leadership.  I mean, this is what J. William Fulbright in the Vietnam period called America as a helpless giant and that’s what we become if we can’t pull ourselves together to get this treaty ratified.

So how do we do that?  Well, I think part of it is to get some of the notable figures who have supported the notion of nuclear elimination.  We do get people like George Shultz to come forward publicly, visibly.  We get Jim Baker who is on the record in support of this treaty to come forward visibly on this issue.  We ask Condi Rice.  We get a group of Republicans principally that will come forward and clearly say that the downside, that the dangers of not getting this treaty ratified far outweigh whatever possible risks there are.  But this is a moment here where I don’t think we can rest on our laurels.  We’ve got to put together a real effort over the next two months or so to get this treaty ratified, either in the lame duck or early on with the new Congress.

Now, there are a bunch of additional issues that I think we need to address.  I think that it should be an urgent priority.  If we are able to get ratification, assuming we get over that important hump, we do need another round of bilateral arms control negotiations with the Russian Federation.  I think we’re making some headway actually on some of the issues that I think have led the Russian side to be a little bit timid on this issue.  

I think we are making some headway on the missile-defense issues.  I think the noise is coming out of NATO and this administration of working out cooperative approaches to missile defense.  I think we can make some progress.  I think we do need a conventional arms control window that can deal with Russian concerns about the imbalance in conventional forces, and I think this Obama-Medvedev relationship needs to be focused on a new round of arms control, not now but soon.  I think ratification has to be the first priority.  But I think we can move to the kind of goal that was mentioned earlier, and that is a comprehensive limit on Russian and American nuclear weapons, including strategic and so-called tactical nuclear weapons and stored weapons.  I think such an arrangement down to 1,000, 1,200 or so warheads is a way to go.  

If we can achieve that, and you can tell I think that’s a little bit audacious given where we are politically, we need to then conceptually at least take the next step, and that means as we discuss and negotiate a new arms control agreement with the Russian Federation, bringing these comprehensive limits down to lower levels, we need to begin having some very serious discussions with other nuclear powers.  We need to talk to the Chinese.  We need to talk to the British and French, the Indians, Pakistanis and others because that is what I would outline as the next big goal is to multilateralize this process.  

It might not be possible for three or four years or more, but if we’re really serious about not just the reduction of existing nuclear weapons but creating a new international consensus against the acquisition by new states of nuclear weapons, in my view only a truly multilateral nuclear negotiation that brings everybody’s weapons down proportionally is the solution.  So Mr. Chairman, I’ll stop here.  I wish I could be cautiously optimistic.  But I can’t be at this current moment.

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you, Ambassador.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Dr. Miasnikov will be next, and as you’re coming up, let me just add my personal note on the vote count question, and I will respectfully disagree with the individual who you spoke to in Russia about the prospects.  I think that I agree with you completely about the consequences of failing to move ahead promptly with advice and consent for New START here in the United States.  But the Senate comes back in one week exactly.  As has been reported rather widely now, the White House, Republicans on the Hill, Democrats on the Hill and NGOs like the Arms Control Association all believe that if there is a vote, this commonsense, modest treaty would get well over the 67 votes necessary for advice and consent.  

The question is getting to a vote and that requires leadership on the part of the White House, the Senate Democratic leadership and the Republican leadership, and this is the critical week that we’re in now to arrange two or three days sometime in this so-called lame-duck session for debate and a vote on this treaty which has been well-discussed.  So I am cautiously optimistic that this can be done because I think that the Republican and Democratic leaders do understand the points that you were making, Ambassador Burt.  So it’s important that this is done.  So with that little footnote, let me turn it over to our friend from Moscow for his perspective on the immediate next steps and perhaps the next steps beyond that on arms control.

EUGENE MIASNIKOV:  Thank you, Daryl.  It’s an honor and pleasure to be here today, and I’d like to thank the organizers for granting me such an opportunity.  It’s difficult to be optimistic after such persuasive presentations, but let me nevertheless try.  It’s well-known that when the U.S. and Russian presidents signed the START accord, they came to an agreement that its ratification would be synchronized.  Unlike the outcome of the New START ratification process in the United States, the result of similar procedure in Russia is quite predictable.  Provided that the new treaty is approved by the Senate, the Russian parliament will almost certainly respond with no delay and approve the treaty.  

The New START debates in the United States are followed in Russia very closely.  It’s regrettable that the agreement became hostage of internal politics in this country.  But I hope, and my colleagues hope, this issue will be resolved in favor of building a better relationship between our countries.  The entry of the New START treaty into force is a necessary step in this direction, and I fully agree with the implications which the ambassador just talked about.  

Many Russian experts also believe that New START should pave the way to broader dialogue on further nuclear reductions and improving strategic stability.  By the way, the Russian expert community welcomes the fact that the phrase “strategic stability” has appeared in the new nuclear posture review.  I fail to find this term in the previous NPR of 2001.  Moreover, the new NPR sets up a goal to pursue bilateral dialogue with Russia aimed at promoting a more stable, resilient and transparent strategic relationship.  Thus, we hope that further dialogue will also be more like between partners and friends rather than between rivals.  

At the same time, the resolution of advice and consent to ratification of the START treaty by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee brought some disappointment because it was written in a language that was very mistrustful with respect to Russia.  In particular, Russia is suspected of an intention to cheat, which is totally ungrounded.  Russia has also neither will nor resources to build up its rail-mobile missile force, which appears to be a concern for some U.S. senators.  After all, the new treaty contains paragraph two of Article 5, which allows both parties to raise the question of new kinds of strategic defensive arms for consideration in the Bilateral Consultative Commission.  This clause can be easily applied in case Russia ever decides to develop its rail-mobile missiles.  

Another worrisome point with respect to the SFRC resolution is that the document limits the U.S. administration’s flexibility to bargain on the issues which will definitely be the most interesting to the Russian side at the next round of talks.  There is no secret that Russia is willing to discuss limiting strategic missile defenses and nonnuclear strategic capabilities.  At the same time, the SFRC resolution makes clear that the United States administration shouldn’t accept any restrictions on missile defenses and conventional systems having strategic range, and by that, it undermines efforts to reach the next arms control agreement.  

In any event, the vote seems now on the U.S. side.  Provided that New START enters is in force, what could be the next step?  There are indications that the U.S. administration is willing to discuss limits on both operational and nondeployed nuclear warheads so that the nondeployed category would also include those nuclear warheads that are assigned to nonstrategic delivery systems.  Both speakers talked about that.  

How Russia might respond to such a proposal?  As to nonstrategic nuclear weapons, the Russian official attitude is well-known and it hasn’t changed for years.  Before beginning the discussion of nonstrategic nuclear weapons, nuclear states need to withdraw their nuclear weapons from their soil.  Since NATO is unlikely to decide to move nuclear bombs from Europe back to the States at the forthcoming Lisbon summit, there is little incentive for Russia to change its current attitude.  

Some might argue that limiting nondeployed nuclear warheads is beneficial for Russia because it would help to diminish Russian concerns about U.S. breakout potential.  What’s interesting about current – actually, almost nonexistent debates in Russia on the START treaty – the concern is about U.S. upload capability are rarely raised compared to, for example, concerns about U.S. missile defenses.  Possibly one explanation for that is the assumption that Russia is not ready yet to talk about nonstrategic nuclear weapons.  

However, it would be wrong to assume that the Russian side is not interested in further nuclear reductions at all.  Russia would in fact prefer to discuss a different agenda.  As I mentioned, the issues of missile defense and strategic conventional weapons have to become the subject of the next round of talks as well.  Otherwise, it’s hard to expect any breakthrough in limiting nonstrategic nuclear weapons or even introduction of some transparency measures with respect to this category of nuclear weapons.  

Moreover, Russia may not agree to discuss the issue of nonstrategic nuclear weapons in isolation from the problem of conventional forces in Europe, either an area for a compromise between two differing approaches.  Let me focus on the issues that are the most important for the Russian side.  It may seem that at least with respect to the issue of missile defenses, the sides are currently on the way to come to a mutually acceptable solution.  The U.S. side recognizes a need to resolve the issue and tries to initiate joint scientific and technical programs on missile-defense cooperation with Russia.  

It looks like there is a hope at least in this country that success of such programs will strengthen mutual confidence between the sides so that Russia will stop considering the future U.S. missile-defense system as a threat to itself.  By proposing such a dialogue on joint missile-defense cooperation programs, the United States is likely making an attempt to separate the problem of missile defenses from the dialogue on strategic offensive forces and move it into an alternative frame of another dialogue focused on missile-defense cooperation.  

Since approaches of the sides towards the problem of missile-defenses differ fundamentally, it’s difficult to predict a success in the outcome of the current dialogue.  However, even if you assume that the U.S. approach allows to solve the problem of missile defenses, a similar approach to the problem of strategic conventional arms is unlikely to work at current circumstances as both sides continue to practice the issue of conventional – the issue – the concept of mutually assured destruction.  The issue of conventional arms can only be resolved within the frame of a dialogue on strategic offensive arms.  

Perhaps the same is true for missile defense but we will see.  I’d be happy to elaborate on that in the Q&A session.  I believe that an approach similar to the one that was used during negotiations on the New START treaty might become more successful.  Russia’s primary interest was reduction of the U.S. strategic forces, and United States wanted transparency of the Russian strategic forces.  In spite of t asymmetry of the interests, the sides succeeded to achieve a compromise.  

Similarly, a potential compromise in the next round of talks can be sought in a broader field.  For example, Russia might gain substantial benefits for itself in solving the problems of missile defenses and strategic conventional arms, provided that it makes some concessions regarding nonstrategic nuclear weapons.  Let me stop here.  I’d be glad to take your questions.  Thank you for your attention.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, I see a lot of glum faces out there.  If anyone needs to go outside and get their Prozac pill or an extra cup of coffee, we will be having a break in a few minutes between the two morning sessions.  But I would invite you to join the discussion now.  We have a couple of microphones, roving microphones.  Please raise your hand, identify yourself, make your comment short or your question brief, please and yes, in the back please?  Thank you, and please let us know who you want to address the question to.

Q:  Hi, I’m Anne Penketh from the British American Security Information Council.  I think this question is for the Americans on the panel.  I was just in the Halifax International Security Forum talking to senators from both sides of the aisle about ratification of START, and of course the name that comes up all the time is Sen. Kyl.  So I’m wondering what your sense of his calculation is.  Obviously the Democrats say they would like this to come up in the lame duck but there’s a problem with Sen. Kyl.  Do you think he is going to extract the maximum that he can from the administration and then say uncle, or do you think that he’s actually prepared to sacrifice national security on the altar of political partisanship?

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, Joan, Rick, you want to try to take a stab at that?  I can also offer some thoughts.

MS. ROHLFING:  Yes, I’m certainly aware that Sen. Kyl as a key Senate Republican in a leadership position has tremendous leverage on this question, and I think that he will extract as much leverage in terms of commitment to modernization and additional budgetary resources for nuclear modernization, both of warheads and of the platforms.  He’ll extract as much as he can.  Whether in the end he will not be budged and will put politics above national security remains to be seen.  I certainly hope that’s not the case, and I remain cautiously optimistic.

MR. KIMBALL:  Ambassador?

MR. BURT:  Yeah, I know Kyl.  I haven’t talked to him on this subject recently, although I have had several conversations with him over the years on these topics.  I guess he probably hasn’t decided yet, and as described to me, so I want to make it clear this isn’t what he’s told me, but people close to him tell me that there really are two issues that are kind of driving him on this.  

One is kind of very concrete, and it’s the one that Joan mentioned, and this is an old tactic that’s usually done in these arms control debates.  People want money for their favorite programs and projects, and of course they dress it up as saying that this is necessary, this spending is necessary to keep the country strong under this arms control regime. As I understand it, most of the money is for basically the nuclear weapons themselves, the warheads and keeping them secure, keeping them reliable and ready, which was of course originally what people thought they were going to have to pay for in order to get the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ratified.  

So in a sense, the administration, if they do this and make this offer to Kyl, then they’re not going to have much to give away in order to get the comprehensive test-ban.  But I don’t want to get off on that track.  But as I understand it, maybe Daryl can help us here, Kyl has been quoted in the press as saying that he hasn’t really gotten an offer from the administration, and somewhere there’s something wrong here because it’s my understanding that the administration has made a proposal, they do have a plan, they’ve talked about amounts of money that they’re prepared to spend at the labs and the Department of Energy and so on to meet Kyl’s demands.  So maybe Daryl has a sense of where that stands.  

But there is a deeper and more difficult problem here, and this is the second point, and again, as people describe it to me, Kyl is part of a number of Republican members of the Senate that are more worried about Obama, and this almost kind of reminds you of some of the rhetoric you’ve heard over the last two years, and the argument is this: that yes, the treaty has some problems but they’re not big problems and under normal circumstances we could support it.  But you know this guy Obama has talked about eliminating all nuclear weapons, and I don’t know if we could support a treaty when Barack Obama is president because we don’t know where he’s going in the long term on nuclear arms control.  

That’s a tough one, it seems to me, because what you’re really saying there is you’re not so much interested in the details of the treaty, what it constrains, it doesn’t constrain. You don’t trust the commander-in-chief, and that’s sort of the augment you’re beginning to hear, and what I’m worried about is that if that argument gets traction, particularly if the treaty isn’t ratified in a lame-duck session, I think some of the new Republicans who are coming into the Senate could buy into that argument that it’s not the treaty, it’s the president, and that I think would be very dangerous and very corrosive.  

By the way, it was an argument that I remember when I was a young reporter for The New York Times covering the SALT II debate because Republicans in the 1970s made a similar argument about Jimmy Carter.  They said, you know, we just don’t know with this guy and it makes it hard for us to vote for the SALT II Treaty.

MR. KIMBALL:  Well, a couple of quick thoughts on this.  I mean, on the point that you just raised, Mr. Ambassador, the irony is that this New START treaty is not so much a step towards President Obama’s long-term vision for a world without nuclear weapons.  This is extremely modest and this is a treaty that is universally supported by the uniformed military, Republican and Democratic national security leaders.  It has such broad appeal.  I mean, I’m rather astounded by the amount of broad appeal outside of the Senate that this treaty has.  

So if Republican senators were to draw that conclusion that you’re outlining, it really would not comport too much with the reality of the situation.  But going back to Sen. Kyl and the question that you asked, Anne, which is a very good one, my understanding is as follows: that Sen. Kyl has I think quite understandably been concerned about the adequacy of the funding for the nuclear weapons complex over the near term and the long term.  

At this point, however, it would appear to me that he has gotten yes for an answer to his questions.  We’ve got to remember that the Obama administration in February put forward a 10-year, $80 billion plan for upgrading the nuclear weapons complex infrastructure, including a 10 percent increase in the fiscal 2011 budget above the previous Bush administration level to $7 billion.  

That is a substantial increase.  That has remained in this year’s budget, despite all of the other budget pressures, and I would just note that the continuing resolution that was passed in September before Congress adjourned, or maybe it was October, it puts all of the federal programs back to 2010 levels except for the nuclear security administration weapons activities budget.  That CR has to be approved – extended, I should say – before December 3 for the entire government to continue operating.  

Sen. Kyl apparently has also been asking for updates on this 10-year plan, the so-called 1251 plan.  It seems to me that the administration is prepared to provide whatever updates to the schedule that might be available.  He’s also looking for a sneak peek about the fiscal 2012 budget submission, and theoretically, the administration should be able to do that too.  Kyl is apparently concerned about potential cost overruns in a couple of the big construction projects that are proposed in this 10-year plan.  

So I think it is very possible that all the questions that Sen. Kyl has been asking are going to be answered and can be answered in short order, and the question is, is he going to hold out for even more despite the severe costs of not going forward with this very commonsense treaty that Ambassador Burt and others were outlining.  So I think the ingredients are there for a meeting of the minds and a vote and probably that discussion has to take place in the next week to 10 days before the members get back and have their party caucuses on the 15th or 16th of November.  Anything else from up here?

MR. BURT:  I would just make one observation, just a historical observation.  No Democratic administration since – and I see Jan Lodal in the audience and he of course played a major role in the first strategic arms limitation agreement back in the early ‘70s – no Democratic administration has ever been able to achieve the ratification of a strategic arms agreement.  

They’ve all happened, whether it was the interim agreement on offensive arms in the ABM treaty in 1972 in the Nixon administration, the INF treaty signed in 1987 by the Reagan administration or the START I agreement during the Bush administration.  So I do think there’s a kind of sociological problem with the viewpoint that gee, these Democrats – I mean held by Republicans – these Democrats really – you can’t really trust them to negotiate on this kind of stuff.

MR. KIMBALL:  But remember, the Boston Red Sox hadn’t won the World Series in a long time.  My New Orleans Saints hadn’t won the Super Bowl.

MR. BURT:  Don’t remind me of the Boston Red Sox.  (Laughter.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Oh, I’m sorry.  All right, a question up here and then we’ll go around the back.

MR. FÜCKS:  Short remark and a question.  First, I don’t know, and I’m not sure if it will impress anybody in Washington, especially on the Republican side, but this question of if the New START treaty will be ratified by the Senate is seen in Europe and other places in the world as a very significant signal if the United States will walk away again from multilateral arrangements and these kind of cooperative international politics.  It’s not only about arms control policies.  

So I would say the global resonance of that decision will be quite severe, and my question relates to a remark of Ambassador Richard Burt.  You have been talking about the multilateralization of disarmament policies and of course I can see the importance and the significance of having the New START treaty ratified or not and the fallout of that decision to other areas of nonproliferation and disarmament policies.  But at the same time, we have the feeling this is kind of an anachronistic architecture because it’s still part of this old bipolar global policies and this has gone.  This is the past.  

So it’s no longer about parity between the United States and Russia and NATO and the Warsaw Pact.  Of course, we can see that for Russia beyond its energy resources, nuclear arms are the only remaining attributes of their significance as a global power.  But at the same time, this is not the reality of today, this kind of bilateral relationship between the United States and Russia.  

So we feel that it would be much more important to go beyond this kind of bipolar architecture and to include the emerging countries, the other, the new nuclear powers and these powers who have nuclear ambitions, obviously nuclear ambitions because they found it still attractive to have the bomb as kind of a political currency, maybe even as a military tool of deterrence.  So how to manage this step from these American-Russian bilateral arms control policies to a more multilateral frame.

MR. BURT:  That’s a great question.  I want to just make two quick points.  First on your initial remarks, I agree with you on what the international reaction would be to the failure of the United States to ratify this treaty, and as part of a broad-based effort to react to that potential, I’d like to see the Europeans begin to speak out on this issue, and they should do so in a very focused and public way.  I would like to see – for example, we have a NATO summit coming up in Lisbon on I think November 21.  I wouldn’t want to see the typical kind of NATO boilerplate communiqué language.  

I would like to see the members of NATO say something very striking that really goes directly to the Jon Kyl’s in the U.S. Senate, saying that this treaty is very important for Western security, or this is critical to global security, so that these countries clearly go on the record.  I would like to see the E.U. say something about this.  The E.U. is developing a security element, a personality if you will, and I would like to see major leaders, including Angela Merkel.  I’d like to see David Cameron and his new government, which is a coalition but with a dominant Tory personality, speak out on this issue.  I’d like to see Nicolas Sarkozy step up on this issue.  

So that would be an enormously helpful statement.  I think if they do it in a visible and a focused way it would be noticed.  It wouldn’t be ignored.  Now, on your second question, I completely agree and the only reason I’m promoting another – myself and Global Zero and I think other people like the Nuclear Threat Initiative and other groups –another round of U.S.-Russia arms control is that politically, further reductions are necessary to draw in these third states.  

The crucial country here, in my judgment, is China, and the Chinese still operate under a strategy of minimum deterrence.  They are modernizing their forces but they’ve always maintained just a small capability here, and as a result, I think there’s a kind of interesting interaction, particularly with the Russian forces.  The Russians increasingly argue quietly that, you know, [as] you get down to too low levels, we get worried about the Chinese.  They’re going to be a problem, [a] potential problem for us in the future, and the Chinese of course will argue that they shouldn’t be brought into this process while the Russian forces are so numerous.  

So we can do a kind of win-win it seems to me.  If we can bring down U.S. and Russian forces down to the neighborhood of 1,000 or so total warheads and at the same time talk quietly to the Chinese, we can really bring them into a negotiation where they realize that their willingness to join in a negotiation is part of the process of the Russian willingness to come down to lower levels, and the Russian willingness to come down to lower levels is based in part on the understanding that the Chinese would then enter the process.  

Secondly, bringing the Chinese in then opens the door to India because people think of the Indo-Pakistani relationship as being the driving force.  I think the Indian decision was largely driven by China.  So that should be our goal.  But as a precondition for that goal, I think we do need another round of U.S.-Russian reductions.

MS. ROHLFING:  Can I jump into that as well?

MR. KIMBALL:  Sure.

MS ROHLFING:  I would agree completely with Ambassador Burt that we do need another round of U.S.-Russian negotiations.  While you’re right, on the one hand it’s anachronistic to talk about a bipolar world, it’s also true that the enormous legacy stockpiles that both of these nations have will need to be reduced further in order to bring other nations in.  But I wanted to make one additional point on the road to multinational negotiations and that is that we need to look at more than just reductions in number of warheads.  

As we move down the road to zero, we also need to look at mechanisms and we need to become creative about developing multilateral regimes for controlling the technologies and materials for weapons.  It’s the only way you’re going to reach zero in the end and in particular we need to be serious about controlling and regulating the production of nuclear materials, highly enriched uranium and plutonium, that are the fuel in nuclear weapons.  So there we already have a platform to work on a fissile material cutoff treaty that would be a multilateral negotiation and these are steps that we need to take in parallel with the reductions that we’re working on.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, I think we’ve got some other questions.  Why don’t we go right here with Miles, Peter, and then we’ve got two in the back that I see.

Q:  Hi, Miles Pomper from Monterey Institute.  A couple of questions, the first one is one subject – not the START agreement but that could also affect U.S.-Russian relations is the nuclear cooperation agreement which, given the length of the lame duck, will probably not end up getting through the waiting period that would be required for approval.  What do you see the chances, given that we’ll have quite a different Congress, we’re still dealing with the Iran issue and they’ll probably be more critical of Russia’s approach to Iran in the next session?  What do you see the prospect for that getting through in the next session of Congress?  

Sort of a different question, which is trying to get a little bit beyond the kind of arms control box and both Joan and Ambassador Burt alluded to this a little bit, but this is in sort of the broader U.S.-Russia relationship, it seems to me that the thing that we’re not talking about that actually brings the U.S. and Russia together and it was just talked on a little in the last question, is China. If you want to make an appeal to Republican members of the Senate of why the United States and Russia need to move forward with these agreements, is because we need – another look at the world is that we both have an interest in dealing with a rising China and finding some way to counter it.  

This was the argument that got the India deal through in a certain way for the Republicans and I think this is an argument that would actually work with Republicans dealing with START and other negotiations.

MR. KIMBALL:  Before you all respond, why don’t we take one more question, please?  Thanks.

Q:  Thank you very much.  Peter Sawczak from the Australian Embassy.  Given that I’m at the end of my posting, I’ll be more incautious than diplomats typically are, but I’m among friends, so please forgive me.  Just three very broad points, it was a very interesting discussion and I must say I’m a pessimist by nature mainly because pessimists can always anticipate a pleasant surprise because they expect the worst.  Certainly I agree with Dr. Fücks’ comment in relation to the disconnect between where mutual threat perception should be and where we are in terms of an imperative behind START, post-START negotiations, which is strategic parity or strategy stability, the same thing.  

Part of the problem of course is where Russia’s foreign policy is.  I’m not absolutely persuaded that the Obama and the Medvedev relationship will see this going through.  There is a very strong vertical foreign security structure under Mr. Putin of course as well.  So that structure has had some problems overcoming a perception of the U.S. as a rival.  So this is something we’ll need to work with and it creates a couple of problems.  

I mean, we’ve already discussed tactical nuclear weapons and I agree with Ambassador Burt entirely.  Russia will be motivated by China’s modernization and looking into developing tactical weapons.  They have a very long border and a problematic relationship given that China is now where the Soviet Union was during the Cold War in its relationship to America.  The second issue is budgetary problems, which Joan alluded to.  

Certainly there will be budgetary pressures in Western countries.  But Russia will have the reverse budgetary pressures and potentially, and perhaps Dr. Miasnikov could comment on this, is that given that they are not going to really have a conventional catch-up because it’s going to cost a lot of money, never mind professionalizing the army, the stopgap measure of course is to keep modernizing its nuclear forces and keep some ambiguity there.  So those are two real challenges.  

A second bullet point I’d make is in relation to Joan’s very interesting comment in relation to getting around Senate advice and consent.  I think the suggestion is very sound and one way of overcoming the strategic parity paradigm is in fact using a weapons count – a weapon is a weapon is a weapon, as I’m thinking the commission on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament concluded in terms of midterm objectives.  

My concern is that some of the things you suggest in relation to getting around the Senate might antagonize the Senate just when we need to get some milestones down in order to get to multilateral negotiations.  We’re not going to get there, as has already been mentioned, until further reductions are decided bilaterally.  But also we need to have an FMCT.  We need to have the CTBT ratified and entered into force and those seem to me minimal preconditions and we can’t risk jeopardizing those on the Hill here.

One way of perhaps engaging the Senate in an informal way is to engage on threat perceptions and extended deterrence obligations.  There’s a lot more debate now on the Hill in relation to extended deterrence, though it’s very unsophisticated, and I think more allies making public comments, as Ambassador Burt suggested, would be very helpful to undercutting arguments that some senators are making in relation to having to heed these obligations.  We saw that some senior public U.S. officials did say publicly in relation to the NPR that one of the things that curtailed how far the administration could be were concerns by allies.  So we need to bridge this disconnect among allies between political assurances and once operationally acquired for extended deterrence.  

Just a third very broad comment, I’m not sure whether nonratification of the New START would effectively set the reset back.  There are a lot of other common interests that are coming to the fore in the U.S.-Russia relationship, aside from the WTO but also imperatives in relation to modernization.  I think Russia is a very pragmatic partner and potentially is not as interested necessarily in formal movement on arms control as the U.S. is in practical terms.  

There has been a tendency perhaps, and I hope I’m not speaking out of turn, perhaps for Russia to be quite interested in process rather than results in the sense that they do maintain a residual superpower status by being formally engaged with the U.S. in arms control negotiations.  

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, we’ve got a lot of things to respond to.  If I could just ask the panelists in responding to try to be concise because we still have a couple more questions.  We’re coming up on the end of our time for this session.  Joan, do you want to start?

MS. ROHLFING:  I’ll be very concise, and I want to just tackle one of the issues Peter just raised about getting around advice and consent, but doing it in a way that does not antagonize the Senate because we need their help to ratify other treaties, the CTBT and hopefully at some point in the future the fissile material cutoff treaty.  I would just say I think it’s a little bit of a chicken and an egg problem, and the administration, the president in particular, is going to have to make a judgment call about to what extent does he do things that may be antagonistic towards the Senate but are required for progress.  I see – well, we don’t have a fissile material cutoff treaty today.  

So there’s nothing before the Senate for them to advise and provide consent on.  I don’t see – I regret to say, and here I am unfortunately pessimistic – I see no room, no prospect of ratification of the comprehensive test-ban with the new Senate.  I just don’t see it.  We’re going to have to – that can is going to have to get kicked down the road before the necessary political support can be garnered.  The worst possible thing that could happen would be to bring it forward and to have it rejected.  So regrettably we’re in the camp of needing to find things that we can do that would demonstrate our continued commitment to reductions and to making progress on nuclear threat reduction, and I think the president should be bold on this.  

Miles, with respect to your question about the 123 agreement, the cooperation agreement with Russia, I do not have a good crystal ball on that one.  I agree with you.  I don’t see how it can get done given the provision to lay and wait before the Congress.  So it’s going to get pushed into the next Congress and I think it’s a little too early to tell how prospects are going to shape up given the changing political complexion.  Why don’t I leave it at that?

MR. KIMBALL:  Okay, Eugene or Ambassador Burt, do you want to – any thoughts on the questions that we just heard?

MR. MIASNIKOV:  Well, just a response to your question.  First of all, I think it would be a mistake to think about that there is a lack of coordination between the politics of our president and of our prime minister, particularly with regard to arms control.  The second is in response to this question regarding possible buildup of nuclear arms because Russia doesn’t have enough resources to improve its conventional forces.  Joan just mentioned the article by four prominent American former officials which was published in the Wall Street Journal.  

Perhaps some of you know, maybe many of you, that in October a group of Russian prominent officials also published an article which was entitled “Moving From Nuclear Deterrence to Comprehensive Security.”  This article was signed by former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, ex-Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, president of Kurchatov Institute Academician Evgeny Velikhov and former chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces Mikhail Moiseyev.  


Let me just make some short quotes from their article.  They argue that the world without nuclear weapons is not our existing world minus nuclear weapons.  We need an international system based on other principles and institutions.  A nuclear-free world shall not become a world free of wars using other weapons of mass destruction, conventional arms, advanced nuclear weapons and systems based on new physical principles.  

It’s not just about major wars but about local conflicts as well.  Today, small countries view nuclear weapons as a means to offset the huge advantage of great powers in terms of conventional weapons.  It is this idea that provokes nuclear proliferation at the regional level, triggering the threat of nuclear terrorism.  To eliminate such threats, it’s necessary to build reliable mechanisms for peaceful settlement of major and local international border conflicts.  

I would say that the op-ed written by four prominent Russians is broadly supported by Russian experts and understand the Russian position, I would suggest that you take a look at the op-ed.  Thank you.

MR. KIMBALL:  Okay.  Why don’t we go ahead and take the two other questions, two other hands I saw in the back?  Raise your hands again, please.  Great.

Q:  Mark Gubrud, University of Maryland.  Question is for Eugene.  It’s a little bit technical, so bear with me.  In the current issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, George Lewis of Cornell and Professor Postol of MIT have an article.  Their main point I think is that to reiterate that the current ground-based missile defense and the SM3, which the Obama administration has put such great faith in now, are demonstrably ineffective, since they attempt to discriminate between warheads and decoys and achieve an intercept in space and any exoatmospheric system is likely to be similarly ineffective against very simple and known countermeasures which North Korea, Iran or anybody else who can build ICBM can certainly undertake.  

Washington, of course, seems to be deaf to this message even though it’s fairly uncontroversial in the technical community.  They wrap it around a brick which is their proposal that if the U.S. is really serious about building an effective missile defense, what it would do is put interceptors with high acceleration for boost-phase intercept on stealth drones which would then fly around outside or perhaps even inside North Korean or Iranian airspace and would intercept any of their missiles in launch phase.  

One of the things that they argue is that Russia and China would have nothing to fear from this because, well, their missiles are faster and we wouldn’t have enough of them to do anything serious against Russia and China.  But I think the Russians and Chinese might feel differently, particularly if they don’t know how many of these the U.S. has produced or what their actual characteristics were.

MR. KIMBALL:  Could you come to your question?  We’re running out of time.

Q:  I wonder what your thoughts are about this and in particular about the entire American obsession with missile defense.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, and let’s take the other question, please?  Subrata here in the middle?  Thank you.

Q:  This is Subrata Ghoshroy from MIT.  Just a quick question for Eugene – I guess there is going to be discussion between the NATO and Russia in Lisbon about cooperation in missile defense.  What is the Russian view of what the nature of this cooperation could be in terms of the European missile defense?  Thanks.

MR. KIMBALL:  Let me just remind everybody that we do have a whole session on missile defense this afternoon.  We’re going to be getting to many of these exact questions with the panelists.  But do you want to address those two questions on missile defense?

MR. MIASNIKOV:  Well, let me try.  First of all, in response to Mark’s question, I saw their article by Ted Postol and George Lewis.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go into specific yet.  But I think they make a very interesting point because the most difficult part in defining missile-defense cooperation with NATO or the United States is to make a threat assessment.  If they are serious people and if they really want to make a joint and efficient missile-defense system, we need to define the threat, where it comes from, and it’s a very sensitive issue, especially for the Russian side to define the threat.  

In case of the system that is proposed by Postol and Lewis, I think it would be a little bit easier task to do so because the system they are proposing is mobile and can be deployed anywhere as the need be and it has limited capabilities.  I think definitely this is an issue to look at.  With regard to Subrata’s question, well, I think it’s hard to say what will come out of this meeting in Lisbon.  I hope there will be some substantive discussions there and there will be substance of the proposal, and if it creates better understanding between the sides, if it helps to build up cooperation in the field of missile defense, and it can boost some other joint projects, I think it could be useful.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Let me just ask the panelists if you have any brief closing thoughts that you want to leave us with.  We’ve covered a lot of territory here, and we just have a couple more minutes left before we take a break for the next panel.  So that’s just an open invitation.  Any final thoughts on this set of subjects?  No?  We’ve left our panelists speechless, and the audience will have to be speechless because I want to keep us on schedule.  I want to ask you all to join me in thanking our three panelists for their presentations.  (Applause.)

I want to thank the audience for your excellent discussion.  We’re going to take just a very quick two or three minute break as we change seats here.  Please be back promptly.  Thanks.

(END)

Description: 

Transcript of the introduction first panel at "Next Steps in Arms Control," a conference hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Arms Control Association.  Speakers include Daryl G. Kimball, Ralf Fücks, Richard Burt, and Eugene Miasnikov.

Country Resources:

Next Steps in Arms Control: Nuclear Weapons, 
Missile Defense and NATO

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Arms Control Experts Address Post-Election Agenda:
New START, NATO, and Missile Defense

Monday, November 8, 2010, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2nd floor, Root Room
1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036

Transcript now available

How will the recent elections impact the Obama administration's arms control priorities, including the New START treaty, when the Senate returns Nov. 15?  What are the prospects for another round of U.S.-Russian nuclear reductions?

What will likely emerge from the Nov. 19-20 NATO Summit in Lisbon on Alliance policy on tactical nuclear weapons and missile defense?  What are the prospects for genuine U.S.-Russian cooperation in these areas?

What does the pending deployment of the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach missile interceptor system mean for Europe and for U.S.-NATO-Russia relations?

For answers and insights on these questions, please see transcripts of the Arms Control Association and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America's Monday, Nov. 8 one-day conference on Next Steps in Arms Control:  Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense and NATO.

Speakers included the Obama administration's New START negotiator, Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, Nuclear Threat Initiative President Joan Rohlfing, and former START I negotiator Amb. Richard Burt.  International speakers include Polish Department of Foreign Affairs' Marek Szczygiel, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy Jiri Sedivy, and Russia arms control expert Eugene Miasnikov, among others.

Transcripts:

Introduction and First Panel: Next Steps in U.S.-Russia Arms Reductions - Joan Rohlfing, Amb. Richard Burt, Eugene Miasnikov, moderated by Daryl G. Kimball, with welcoming remarks by Ralf Fücks

Second Panel: Tactical Nuclear Weapons and NATO - Oliver Meier, Marek Szcygiel, Jan Lodal, moderated by Catherine Kelleher

Keynote Address by Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller

Third Panel: Missile Defense and NATO - Eric Desautels, Jiri Sedivy, Greg Thielmann, moderated by Tom Z. Collina

Description: 

November promises to be a watershed month for U.S.-NATO-Russia issues. Please join the Arms Control Association and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America on Monday, Nov. 8 for a one-day conference on Next Steps in Arms Control:  Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense and NATO.

Transcript now available.

Country Resources:

Assessing Progress on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament: 2009-2010 Report Card

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On October 27, the Arms Control Association released Assessing Progress on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament: 2009-2010 Report Card at a briefing at the National Press Club. A transcript of that event is below.

 

ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

ASSESSING PROGRESS ON
NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION AND DISARMAMENT:
2009-2010 REPORT CARD

WELCOME/INTRODUCTION:
DARYL KIMBALL,
DIRECTOR,
ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

SPEAKERS:
PETER CRAIL,
NONPROLIFERATION ANALYST,
ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION
GEORGE PERKOVICH,
DIRECTOR OF STUDIES
DIRECTOR, NUCLEAR POLICY PROGRAM,
CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C.



Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.




DARYL KIMBALL:  Good morning everyone.  Welcome to the National Press Club on a rainy Wednesday morning.  I’m Daryl Kimball.  I’m director of the Arms Control Association, and for those of you who don’t know, we’re an independent nonprofit organization.  We’ve been around since 1971 and we’re dedicated to addressing the challenges posed by chemical, biological, nuclear and certain conventional weapons and today we are releasing a first of its kind study, or at least we think it’s the first of its kind study, that grades the performance of 11 key states in 10 universally recognized nonproliferation, disarmament and nuclear security categories over the last 18 months.

With me this morning to explain the findings and to provide some commentary and perspectives on it are Peter Crail, who’s the lead researcher on the report card.  He is ACA’s nonproliferation analyst.  He’s been with us since 2007 and previously he served as consultant with the U.N. department of disarmament affairs and has a master’s degree in international policy studies from the Monterey Institute for International Studies.  

Also with us, George Perkovich, director of studies and the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, a longtime researcher and thinker on nuclear weapons issues.  So I’m glad that George has joined us.  

To start, I’m going to explain the purpose of the report, the basis of the 10 categories of standards, as you’ll hear us refer to these, and then I’m going to briefly describe what we see as some of the five bottom-line conclusions that we see coming out of the data, the information in this study.

So first, the purpose of this report card – this is the first time we have done this at the Arms Control Association and one of the reasons is that since the beginning of the nuclear age, governments have all agreed that there is a need to address the problems and the dangers of nuclear weapons but they have struggled to agree on a common strategy.  Progress has been difficult to measure because in part there are differing perceptions on the nature of the threat and what constitutes responsible behavior regarding nuclear weapons, nonproliferation and disarmament.  

So with this report, fundamentally we set out to document what constitutes the mainstream of nonproliferation and disarmament behavior expected of responsible states and to provide a simple, transparent tool to evaluate progress of key states in getting those responsibilities.

So what do I mean by the nuclear nonproliferation mainstream?  What do we mean when we refer to the nuclear nonproliferation system or the nonproliferation regime?  There is a body of obligations, standards and rules of behavior regarding nuclear weapons that has emerged and has been established over the decades.  At the core is the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of 1970.  It went into force in 1970, and is now recognized by all but four states.  

The system has been updated and expanded, reinforced through bilateral nuclear arms control and reduction agreements, U.N. resolutions, Security Council decisions, ad hoc coalitions of countries, standards of behavior for nuclear technology supplier states, for instance, and through concrete actions by individual states.  So the report card organizes these various standards and commitments into 10 categories which we describe beginning on page three of the report and I won’t go through the list.  They’re there for you to see but they range from banning nuclear weapons test explosions to criminalizing and preventing illicit nuclear trafficking and nuclear terrorism.  

So I should note here that these standards and goals are, in our opinion, generally not adequate enough to address the overall nuclear weapons threat and we believe that additional measures are needed to reduce and eventually eliminate the nuclear threat.  

But unlike other report card papers and reports that have been put together in past years, we are not grading states’ work and progress in meeting the Arms Control Association’s own preferred policy goals and initiatives but rather it assesses the key states’ performance in meeting commitments they themselves have made at various points over time and that have been established in one form or another by the international community and the bodies that help establish what these norms and expectations are.  

Of course, as the international community works on the problem of nuclear weapons and agrees on additional steps to strengthen the nonproliferation system, these standards that we have listed here today can be expected to evolve over time.  Now, the other thing, as I said, we have set out to do is to develop a relatively simple and transparent system by which members of the public and policymakers can better understand how well or how poorly key states are meeting their nonproliferation obligations and Peter is going to explain a little bit more about the system that we have come up with in a few minutes.

But on this issue, I also wanted to note that it’s clear from the nonproliferation system that we’re describing that every state has a responsibility to uphold and strengthen the system but it’s clear that certain countries have a more critical role in upholding the system and executing it.  So this report card focuses on 11 key states.  It also would have been extraordinarily difficult, just from a practical standpoint, to try to extend this evaluation into the dozens of other states that are out there.

So what the report card does is it gives grades to China, France, Russia, the U.K., the United States, India, Israel and Pakistan, all of whom possess nuclear weapons, and North Korea, which maintains a nuclear weapons capability, as well as Iran and Syria, which don’t have nuclear weapons but are under investigation – active investigation – for possible nuclear weapons-related activities.  

So what does this comprehensive snapshot of the record of these key states over the period 2009, 2010 tell us?  We believe that there are a number of conclusions that can be drawn.  I’m going to focus on five and then we’ll shift over to Peter who’s going to talk a little bit more about some of the highlights and the lowlights with particular countries, as well as some other interesting points from the report.  

So first, first bottom line conclusion is the global system that has been established over the decades to reduce nuclear weapons dangers is neither on the verge of collapse nor is it on the cusp of success.  None of the states possessing nuclear weapons merit an overall “A” grade.  Only North Korea, which has violated nearly every nonproliferation and disarmament standard over the past two years, warrants an overall grade of “F” and most states’ grades are in the middle ranges.  

Two, while there has been widespread rhetorical support for the vision of a world without nuclear weapons, the record shows that the world’s nuclear weapons possessor states all have more work to be done to get to that ultimate goal.  The past two years have seen relatively stronger support from the five original nuclear weapons states for the international norm against nuclear testing, for an end to the production of fissile material for weapons purposes and there is clearly renewed progress to verifiably reduce U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons stockpiles through the new strategic arms reduction treaty.  

However, China for instance continues to build up its own nuclear arsenal.  It’s small but it continues to build up its arsenal.  India and Pakistan continue to produce fissile material for weapons and the United States and Russia continue to maintain their weapons on a high state of alert.  

Number three, the report card reflects the fact that over the past 18 months, the Obama administration has indeed affected improvements in the U.S. record in some key areas that we’ve measured here, such as verifiable nuclear force reductions, the U.S. commitment for the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, nuclear material security with the April 2010 Nuclear Material Security Summit and negative nuclear security assurances which were updated in the 2010 nuclear posture review.

But progress has been slower and some U.S. grades lower due to the fact that several U.S. nuclear risk reduction measures require congressional action and support.  The test ban treaty for instance, the new START treaty, which is still before the Senate, has not yet been ratified.  There are four nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties that still must be ratified.  

The Obama administration has said that they are going to pursue ratification of a couple of these but have still not forwarded the documentation to the Senate yet.  All of these still require Senate approval for ratification and there are even two international accords that help address the problem of nuclear terrorism that require the adoption of implementing legislation.  So clearly, U.S. leadership on these issues requires stronger congressional support and the grades in the future will reflect whether or not that exists or not.  

Number four, India, Israel and Pakistan, the only three countries never to sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, earned slightly lower grades in the “C” range due largely to their policies on nuclear testing, their continued production of fissile material and the gradual increase of their nuclear forces, and Pakistan right now, in particular, is responsible for blocking multilateral talks on a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty.  

Although India claims to be a responsible nuclear power and its record is relatively better in some categories, it has not taken on many of the obligations that are expected of nuclear armed states.  To move further into the nuclear nonproliferation mainstream, as we’re calling it, both India and Pakistan have to take steps that would slow down their arms race, including codifying their current nuclear test moratoria.  

Finally, number five, a few words about North Korea.  It really is no surprise in a report like this that North Korea is receiving an overall grade of “F” because it’s violated nearly every nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament standard in the past two years.  But one thing to keep in mind, and we think is an important bottom line lesson, is that it could be even worse.  There is in the nuclear nonproliferation world an overall grade that’s worse than an “F”.  

Perhaps it’s an “F-minus” or a “G,” and that is because North Korea is not known to have transferred nuclear weapons material to other states or terrorists and preventing renewed North Korean fissile material production and preventing its sale to others needs to be a priority in future years in order to preserve the nuclear nonproliferation system and global security.  So let me stop there and I’m going to turn it over to Peter and you can stay there if you want, Peter.  You want to come up here?

PETER CRAIL:  I can stay here.

MR. KIMBALL:  Okay, and Peter is going to talk a bit more about some of the particulars in the grades for these countries and the methodology and I would just like to note before I turn it over to him that we think it’s very important to take a closer look at the grades beyond the overall grades.  As you all know from being college students, your grade point average might have been a 3 but you got a 3.7 in your major.  So it’s very important to take a look at the details in these grades I think in terms of the meaning of this report.  That’s just as important as the overall average that we’ve put together here.  So Peter?

MR. CRAIL:  Thanks, Daryl.  Good morning everyone.  Thanks for joining us.  Now that Daryl has laid out what the report is looking at and has given some of the key takeaways, I wanted to share a little bit on how we arrived at the grades and talk a little bit about some of the trends that we’ve seen in the standards that we’re measuring.  Now, since the intention was to craft an actual report card, we worked on the basis of an “A” through “F” evaluation, based on how a state was adhering to each of the 10 standards.  

So an “A” means that a country is essentially adhering fully to the international standard or has even gone beyond what the expectations are of the international community.  “B” and “C” grades represent some degrees of steps being taken towards implementation of the standard and a “D” essentially means that no action has been taken.  Now, that means that an “F” doesn’t necessarily mean a failure to do something but it essentially means that the country is moving in the opposite direction or that it has violated its obligations in some way.  

Now, of course these standards can’t all necessarily be measured in the same way.  They differ in terms of the types of steps that states are supposed to take, from ratifying agreements like the nuclear terrorism convention to carrying out specific actions like reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles.  They also differ in terms of how clearly the international community has identified how these standards are supposed to be fulfilled.  The comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty has been spelled out clearly as the standard for how states demonstrate their commitment to banning nuclear testing.  

But when it comes to some other standards such as reducing nuclear weapons alert levels, you have a general principle of de-alerting nuclear weapons and increasing the timeframe for their use but you have fewer agreed steps about what exactly that entails.  So in order to address some of these discrepancies between the types of expectations and the degree of specificity with which the international community has determined what those expectations are, we felt it was important to lay out beforehand what the specific criteria were for each standard to receive each grade and that’s presented in one of the sheets that you have in your packet.  

Now, we thought that since transparency was important to make sure that readers knew exactly how we arrived at the grades but also as a bit of a check on ourselves to make sure we were fair and treated states as evenly as possible.  In addition, I would say that since transparency is an important standard of the nonproliferation regime itself and we felt that if we were going to be issuing these grades, we should apply it to ourselves as well.  

With that in mind, I’d like to turn to some of the key findings that we’ve seen from some of the standards.  Now, since there is a lot to cover, I’m not going to go through each one step by step.  You’re certainly free to ask questions on any of them.  I just wanted to give a sense of some of the highlights.  On nuclear testing, unfortunately we did have a North Korean test last year.  But thankfully I don’t think we’re going to see a new round of testing in response.  

In fact, in the last 12 years, the only country to have tested a nuclear device has been North Korea and all of the countries with the capability to do so have pledged in one form or another not to.  We see from the grades that they’re fairly high across the board, which suggests that adherence to the standard remains quite strong.  

But there are still key risks.  India and Pakistan have declared testing moratoria but aren’t willing to take the important step of signing the CTBT and India has been resisting calls to provide stronger assurances that it would not test as part of nuclear cooperation negotiations, including most recently with Japan.  I would say that the “D-plus” that India and Pakistan receive are perhaps more serious than North Korea’s “F” because, as we’ve seen, there is a bit of an expectation that North Korea has consistently violated nonproliferation obligations.  

However, renewed testing by either India or Pakistan might have broader reverberations on efforts to ban nuclear testing in general.  Turning to efforts to end fissile material, what we have is a standard in search of a treaty in that there have been longstanding international calls to negotiate a fissile material treaty and the U.N. secretary-general hosted a high level meeting just last month to try and kick start that process but Pakistan primarily is holding it up.  So what we’re measuring is not only whether or not countries have stopped producing but also whether or not they’re working towards an FMCT.  

The real issue separating the grades, though, is continued production.  We see a stark difference between the five nuclear weapons states and the three other nuclear powers, two of which are producing more material and the last of which, Israel, which continues to operate its plutonium producing reactor.  On nuclear force reductions, the situation overall is fairly poor according to the standards that we have.  Now, much of that is due to the fact that China, India and Pakistan are still increasing their arsenals and North Korea has certainly gone in that direction since negotiations in the six-party talks fell apart last year.  

But another reason is that where reductions are being carried out, they aren’t being verified, they aren’t being done irreversibly, meaning weapons are being destroyed, or both.  The principles of transparency and irreversibility have been recognized as principles that should apply to nuclear arms reductions.  

In one bit of good news, we have the new START agreement this year which not only carries out further reductions between the United States and Russia but also includes verification.  We did not give the United States and Russia full credit because, as Daryl mentioned, they still have to go through their ratification process and of course I should mention that as the two countries with the largest arsenals, they should be expected to lead the way in arms reductions.  

Now, if you look at the nuclear weapons state that is leading the way in terms of having the smallest arsenal, the U.K., it gets a ‘D-plus’, which may seem a little bit out of place. But since we’re looking at ongoing reductions and not arsenal levels, the fact that the latest U.K. reductions took place – or were completed a few years ago meant that it wasn’t credited for those reductions in this report.  However, since we concluded the report, the U.K. has carried out its strategic defense review and announced that it intends to pursue additional arms reductions and so the picture will likely change in the near future.  

Moving on to export controls, I think the fact that this can be called a standard at all is a positive thing.  This is really just a recent development.  It’s only been in the past few years that there has been an international expectation that all states will implement controls to prevent the spread of sensitive nuclear and missile technologies.  Much of this has been led by the Security Council, including efforts to address Iran and North Korea.  But the main challenge, though, is still implementation and as we show in the report, certain critical countries such as China and Russia are believed to remain key sources of technology for proliferators because they don’t have stringent enough enforcement in place. Of course we also have countries like Iran and North Korea that actively try and get around those controls.  

Similar to export controls, you have more attention paid recently to efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism and the illicit trafficking in nuclear material.  The profile of those efforts was raised just this year with the nuclear security summit.  In fact, this is one of the few areas that none of the states receives an “F”, which essentially, according to our standards, would mean that a state has transferred nuclear material to non-state actors or to other states.  

Now, this is also an area where a few grades may also seem a little bit out of place, particularly for the United States, which has initiated a number of efforts in regard to nuclear security, including not only the nuclear security summit this year but also leading back to the ‘90s with the Nunn-Luger program. In fact, some of the measurements that we’re using for illicit trafficking and nuclear security are based on whether or not countries have agreed to join or adhere to some of the initiatives that the U.S. has led.  

But, again as Daryl mentioned, there are two key international instruments that the United States has promoted, including during the summit this year, which it has yet to join because Congress has not yet adopted the implementing legislation.  Now, the Congress has already provided consent to ratify.  So these aren’t controversial provisions and I would expect and hope that in a nonelection year next year it can finally be completed.  

Now, the second is Pakistan, which is the one country that we included an asterisk by regarding efforts to implement nuclear security or regarding nuclear security commitments.  Pakistan has been engaged in efforts to alleviate concerns regarding the security of its nuclear weapons facilities and materials by joining international and multilateral nuclear security initiatives.  These positive steps do not mean, however, that it has taken adequate measures to address the particular concerns regarding the political instability and security situation in Pakistan and we had seen some events last year, including attack on the Pakistani army headquarters that still give some reasons for concern.  

To conclude, given what we’ve seen over the past 18 months and even before then, I wouldn’t think that many of these grades are too surprising and I think that they do help to give a fairly decent snapshot of where things are in the disarmament and nonproliferation regime and delve a little bit into what needs to be done and by whom.  But I’d echo a point that Daryl made.  Even though we’re just looking at these 11 states as some of the states that are most critical for making progress in the regime, all countries have their roles to play and have important steps to take as well and in one of the chapters that we include at the end of the report are many of those efforts for states beyond the ones that we’re looking at.  With that, we appreciate George joining us to comment.

GEORGE PERKOVICH:  I’m going to stand here only just because I couldn’t see those guys, so I hope – I want to commend Peter in particular for this project and ACA for doing it.  It’s not as easy as you – it’s not easy being a teacher.  Okay, we kind of know that because we’ve all had teachers.  But anybody trying to do this, it’s actually really not so easy and I think the way that they went about it makes a lot of sense in terms of taking what are already agreed and internationally recognized commitments and then defining how you would get a grade on each of those.  

So I commend the effort and I hope that it will stimulate discussion.  Obviously that was the intention, is to stimulate further discussion, perhaps international consideration amongst the relatively few people in the world who pay attention to these things, about, well, was this grade deserved or what do grades mean.  So that’s a useful purpose.

I only have a couple of comments.  One is that there is another obligation and it’d just be interesting to hear Peter on why you guys didn’t include it.  It comes out of the 13 steps that were agreed in 2000.  But I think it was to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in national security policy and so forth.  I think that one’s harder to quantify, so I can imagine that you considered it and didn’t do it because it’s very hard to set up what an “A” would be, what a “B” would be, et cetera.  

But I do think it’s very important for a variety of reasons but in particular because of the point that you alluded to in the last page of the report where you talk about other countries and in a sense that gets to a second point, which again you guys recognize, and you just did in your concluding remark, Peter, which is—if part of the point of this exercise is to perhaps stimulate all of the relevant states and actors to improve their grades, then one of the questions is how states that weren’t graded but are key actors, as you guys recognized at the end, how they will react to all this.  

So I think the issue of the role of nuclear weapons is one that the other states feed off a lot.  So it’s not a critique of the report card but it’s just kind of saying as we interpret or go forward, the thinking about how to use it, that issue would be there.  Second of the three points I would make is, again, I think you guys did a great job in explaining why you focus on the 11 states that you did and there are kind of objective reasons for having done that.  

Then as you acknowledge, the future of the nuclear order, especially the nonproliferation regime, is going to be determined by a bunch of states that aren’t graded and aren’t on the list and you list them in the back and I think do a nice job encapsulating some of the things they did.  I would highlight Egypt, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Turkey.  There are others.  

So my question, again, and this isn’t about the report card but it’s what happens after the report card or the further kind of consideration is how would those states grade the states you all graded because, again, they’re key actors in the international discourse.  But also, if you guys were going to grade them, you’d have to use different criteria in many ways but kind of a sense of have they been contributing even though they’re not nuclear arms states.  

In many ways they’re good students or however the metaphor would work.  But what are their obligations because in many ways, as we all know, whether it’s Article 6 or any other article, all states are obligated to do that.  That’s another project or it’s a way to gauge reaction to this project.  

But as I read it, I thought, gee, I wonder how they would do this.  Then my last point is context.  I mean one of the things when one sees grades, like in the report card kind of structure, I always – I think personal experience – my father got hit for getting a “B”.  His father was a tough guy and, Georgie, what is this “B”, bam – and my son got hugged for getting a “C” because he had difficulty in school.  

So the question is what’s the expectation, whether we have it or others in the world have, what are they expecting.  I think where the report card metaphor also works more clearly is you’re always looking for trajectory.  Is there improvement and what you really don’t want, whether it’s an “A” student or a “C” student, is a downward trajectory.  They’re doing bad.  You go, oh, there’s trouble.  

But so then the question is, and again this is kind of going forward and building on this, the question is what do people do if their trajectory is downward or if you conclude and the world concludes “C” is about as good as we’re going to get, given the states that are out there, and then at some point – this is extending the metaphor too far I’m sure – at some point you say, well, maybe Johnny’s not cracked up to be a student and he ought to drop out of school and go do something else.  So where do you go, and I mean this seriously, where does the world go if we’re just getting “C”s because the average grade was a “C” if you take it all together, of these states.

MR. KIMBALL:  Or if there are dropouts.

MR. PERKOVICH:  And if there are dropouts, then the average must get lower.  So where does everybody go?  What do people decide to do?  I don’t have remotely the answer to that question and that’s part of why, again, I would go ask other states how they would do the grading.  But is “C” enough to keep you in school or does it suggest something else and if so what’s the equivalent of driving a lorry or trade school or whatever that you then do to still try to have a productive life.  Again, that’s not part of the report card but you can tell I was stimulated in meaning to think of kind of ways that you can kind of riff off this and think about its implication.  So I applaud the effort and thanks for having me.

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you, George.  Well, perhaps what we might do is Peter, if you want to kind of address a couple of George’s points and then we can turn it over to the audience for questions that you might have in any aspect of the presentations of the report.  But why don’t you briefly take your pick on some of the several points that George raised, particularly the one on the reduced role of nuclear weapons, which we did discuss.

MR. CRAIL:  Yeah, thanks again, George.  I guess I would just start with talking a bit about the last point that you mentioned in terms of what the expectations are and in terms of the trajectory.  As Daryl had mentioned in the beginning, I think that one of the things that we hope to do with this is to do it on a recurring basis and I think that one of the – part of the value of it will essentially be seeing where the changes occur and in what direction are the changes and in what particular standards.  

So I think over time, while this was certainly difficult to put together in the first case initially, I think the value increases over time as we see where states are going in each of these areas and I think that’s part of the point of creating a report card is that it’s an easy way to measure that.  We can all explain the events over, say, a five to 10-year period and what states have done what.  But in order to try and come up with some kind of consistent measure to see the – just to find what the trajectory is, I think was an important component of it.

In terms of expectations, I would say that some of the standards I think were – the expectations were higher than others.  I think for some, like banning nuclear testing, you have a clear expectation that states are going to ratify the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.  For some others, like negative security assurances, providing assurances to non-nuclear weapon states that countries with nuclear weapons wouldn’t use weapons against them, to get an “A”, essentially we have – states have to provide legally binding assurances and I think that that’s a prospect that isn’t something that we’re likely to see soon.  So that’s one area where the standard is fairly strong.  

So across the standards, the different grades may mean different things.  Now, on the point of reducing the role of nuclear weapons, yeah, we certainly did consider that.  In fact, for a lot of these categories, basically we settled on 10 but these could be expanded out to any number.  What we tried to do was not only to highlight specific key standards but also look at some that are – that might encompass other standards more broadly.  So in terms of reducing the role of nuclear weapons, since that’s something that’s difficult to really measure and quantify, but some of these standards like reducing alert levels, security assurances and things like that, the level of commitments that states show demonstrate what the role of nuclear weapons are for that country.

MR. KIMBALL:  Just one other brief point to address some of your very good observations, George, one of the other things that we were really trying to do here is we were trying to establish a baseline of measurements on some things upon which there is relatively little argument in the international community.  It is difficult to quantify, as Peter just said, whether a country is reducing roles.  We also chose not to try to measure, for instance, leadership efforts.  How do you measure leadership efforts?  The Obama administration, for instance, has devoted a lot of attention to this subject in the last 18 months and yet it’s virtually impossible to measure that in any straightforward objective fashion.

Arguments can be made back and forth about it wasn’t enough, it was the wrong kind of leadership, et cetera.  So we’re trying to measure results and create a baseline and there are all of these intangibles that you do rightly point out that have to be taken into consideration when one is looking at what is needed to reduce the dangers from nuclear weapons.  Then one other final note on the methodology that I think is important to just keep in mind is we did not attempt to try to rank these 10 standards, sets of standards and commitments.  

One could do that.  Everyone has their view.  Every country has their own particular perspective on is it more important that there are nuclear weapons reductions, is it more or less important that there is effective efforts to end nuclear trafficking, et cetera.  We have not tried to rank those.  But there is an averaging when we come out with the cumulative grade that is just the collection of all of these as if they were all equal in weight for the international security system.  

So with that, let’s turn to your questions, comments, observations about this study and its implications.  If you could just – Matt, if you could bring the microphone to the person and if you could identify yourself before you – thank you.

Q:  Thank you very much.  I’m Vladimir Karamozov with RTV Television.  I’d just like to ask you to comment on three countries with three different grades:  Russia, “B-minus,” Israel, “C-minus”, and Iran, “D”.  If you could just quickly on those three in particular?  Thank you.

MR. CRAIL:  Certainly.  Starting with Iran, I think that particularly looking at the timeframe of this report, we saw a number of – there’s been increasing concern regarding efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program.  Just last year, you had revelations regarding a secret facility, an enrichment facility being built at Qom.  You have increasing difficulties by the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate Iran’s nuclear program and most recently you have another U.N. Security Council resolution.  

Now, I think that one of the – one of the more interesting things with Iran is that given all of the concerns that we have, you’ll see that its best grade was actually for banning nuclear testing.  Iran actually has signed the CTBT and while there are some concerns about some studies that the Iranians may have carried out, which could potentially suggest that they were considering or are considering a nuclear test, Iran has tried to make good on its claim that it is following the nuclear nonproliferation regime and therefore it has been willing to make some efforts to join certain international commitments.  So I think that’s one thing I’d like to point out.  

In regard to Israel, while it, like all of the states that haven’t signed the NPT, has tried to present itself as a responsible power, and has tried to take steps to address its nuclear programs responsibly, it suffered most from a lack of transparency regarding its nuclear program.  

So in efforts like ending fissile material, Israel hasn’t made any commitment or even really much comment on its efforts to end fissile material for nuclear weapons.  It has also wavered a bit in its support for concluding an FMCT.  But it’s not believed to be producing plutonium.  It’s not believed to be producing materials for weapons.  But because it doesn’t provide the additional assurance, its grade still suffers for that.  Similarly with reducing nuclear weapons alert levels, its weapons are believed not to be mated with its delivery systems but because of its policy of opacity, that’s not an assurance that it’s provided the international community. So even where Israel might be acting responsibly, the benefits of that responsibility are not seen by the outside world in the form of clear assurances, so how can we credit it with doing so.

In regard to Russia, of course some of the highest grades are in regard to nuclear testing, in regard to basically agreeing to many of the – agreeing and ratifying many of the nuclear nonproliferation agreements that are standards for the international community.  In terms of issues of particular concern, I would note the issue of reducing nuclear weapons alert levels it shares with the United States, the fact that both countries still maintain weapons on fairly high alert status.  

In addition, another issue that I’d point out would be on – as I mentioned, on export controls.  There are still concerns that technology is coming out of Russia to states of concern and that it isn’t necessarily because of policies by the Russian government but because of a lack of the capability or will to really enforce the laws on the books to make sure that this technology doesn’t spread.

MR. KIMBALL:  So let me just note that in the packet there is on the right side a short summary of some of the country-by-country highlights which is just kind of a distillation of what’s in each of the chapters in the report itself.  George, did you have any thoughts about those?  

MR. PERKOVITCH:  (Off mike.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Okay.  Yes, please?

Q:  Hi, I’m Lauren McGauhy from the Asahi Shimbun.  It’s a Japanese newspaper.  Specifically on the DPRK, which I guess is kind of the kid in class that’s gotten held back a couple of times, they had a couple of “D”s.  So not all of it was “F”s.  Which of those do you think they could or would improve, maybe is most likely to be improved in the near future or the middle term?

MR. KIMBALL:  Let me just respond quickly and then Peter maybe you can explain what the “D-plusses” are about.  I mean, the place in which North Korea could clearly improve its record is to return to implementation of some of the basic obligations of the six-party agreement, beginning with ending the production – further production of fissile material for weapons and resuming the process of trying to bring either U.S. or international inspectors back to their nuclear facilities to verify that they are implementing the obligations in the six-party arrangement.  Currently they are not.  That would be the most important, the most meaningful.  But Peter, if you could just explain the “D”s on North Korea?

MR. CRAIL:  Right.  Well, there were three “D”s for North Korea for reducing nuclear weapons alert levels, and that’s essentially because North Korea hasn’t said anything about what its nuclear posture may be other than a lot of very scary statements that it likes to issue from time to time.  The two that I think are perhaps the most interesting and the areas where North Korea might be able to do something are on nuclear security and illicit trafficking.  

First of all it’s important that those don’t go further, that those don’t become “F”s because those are fairly clear red lines which if North Korea were to cross I think we would be really faced with a very dire situation and perhaps dire choices to make.  When the negotiations with North Korea were ongoing, the North Koreans actually had expressed some interest in cooperative threat reduction programs, essentially some sort of effort to say if it were to scrap its nuclear program or at least certain facilities, what would happen with the nuclear scientists, what would happen with some of the work that it had been doing.  

If the talks were to start again and were to make progress and certain key North Korean facilities were to actually be scrapped, even if that didn’t get us all of the way to dealing with the North Korean situation, if certain interim steps were done to address North Korean nuclear materials and nuclear scientists, I think that’s an area where things could improve.

MR. KIMBALL:  One final note on North Korea as it relates to some of the countries not specifically addressed in this report, I mean we’ve all mentioned the importance of other states providing leadership in strengthening, supporting, implementing the nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament system.  North Korea is a country that – to use the academic analogy a little bit here and my wife warned me against doing this but I’m going to do it anyway – a no-child-left-behind policy is very important with respect to the nonproliferation system.  We can’t have countries dropping out.  

Really, it’s not something that can happen because the country is still going to be in the international system.  It is not just the responsibility of that individual country to fulfill its obligations but it is the responsibility of other countries throughout the world and particularly in its region to take actions that help move that country to a place where it is complying with its obligations regarding nuclear weapons.  

So in that regard, the six parties – or the five parties other than North Korea – in the six-party process have a huge role to play and while the United States has been the leading partner, countries like Japan and South Korea as well as China and Russia have a huge role to play in not simply watching a situation deteriorate but to take proactive steps to restore some order to what currently is a very worrisome situation.  

Other questions that we have here?  Yes, why don’t we start in the back and we’ll – I’m sorry Alexis.  Thank you.

Q:  Thank you.  My name is Sam Kim Sun from Voice of America.  I have a follow-up question on North Korea.  It’s not in the report but I want to ask your analysis on current development related to North Korea.  First, North Korea is in the transition period of leadership change.  So do you think that the risk of this worse scenario is higher in this situation?  My second question is there is some movement in Yongbyon which is captured by satellite, new construction, and also there are some reports that North Korea might be preparing the third nuclear test.  So I just want to ask your analysis on this current, recent movement.  Thank you.

MR. KIMBALL:  Peter, do you want to –

MR. CRAIL:  Yeah, I can address this quickly.  In terms of how the succession process is playing out with North Korea’s nuclear program, I think we don’t know.  So I think it’s difficult to say whether or not things will improve in any of these areas as the succession process takes place.  But I think that what we can basically expect is that things will essentially remain the same.  A lot of the key players now are still going to be the key players.  

In terms of some of the recent news about movement at Yongbyon, clearly they’re doing something at the site of the reactor.  But it’s not clear what exactly they’re doing.  It doesn’t look exactly like they’re rebuilding the cooling tower that they destroyed last year but again, it’s still not clear.  Hopefully we’ll know in the coming months.  In terms of reports of a nuclear test, I think we hear reports about a possible nuclear test intermittently.  So I’m not sure that there’s enough to really make anything of it at this point.

MR. KIMBALL:  I think all of those signs and signals at the reactor site is just another reminder that this is a situation that needs to be addressed proactively by the North Koreans and by the other parties.  We don’t want to see – we can’t afford to see another regression in some of these areas.  Why don’t we come over here?

Q:  Hi, Alexis Morell from the French Embassy.  I had a question and a comment.  My question is related to a criteria you alluded to but apparently that you didn’t retain as to grade the countries and this is transparency, which is a very important step on the road to disarmament and again, this question is not meant to improve the grade of my country.  But this is an area in which we think that there is a huge progress to be done and huge discrepancies including among nuclear weapon states.  

Then my comment was to emphasize George’s point on expectations.  I think it’s critical to measure not only the progress of a country but the general situation and to take into account the expectation in this regard and I feel very comfortable to comment about it because it’s not relating to my country, but to me, the “D” for the U.K. doesn’t make sense compared – I mean, if you take the size of the British arsenal, I don’t think that our expectation – giving a “D” to the U.K. gives the impression that you have a strong expectation towards U.K. reduction, U.K. arsenal reduction, whereas we all know which countries we would like to reduce their arsenal in priority.  So this is just to echo the comment about the necessity to take a good measure of expectation.  Thank you.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, well thank you.  Those are good observations.  I mean, let me first mention that the report does take into account, to the best we can, the importance of transparency and we do note, and I’m not just saying this because you asked the question, but France has taken some steps with respect to transparency that other countries have not and is a good example that go beyond the existing expectations for nuclear armed states – the closure of its weapons material processing facilities and allowing the IAEA to verify that, also the closure of the nuclear test sites in the South Pacific, a step that goes beyond and that is a step in the direction of greater transparency.  

But one of the things that we struggled with is clearly from an analytical standpoint and a nonproliferation advocate’s standpoint, it is useful – it would be useful for all nuclear armed countries to declare how many nuclear weapons they have and yet one of the things that we could not do is to say that that is an expectation that has been established by the international system for all countries.  It just doesn’t exist.  It is not a norm that has yet been established or that we can identify.  

So for instance, at the nuclear nonproliferation treaty review conference last May, the United States made a declaration that it has 5,113 nuclear weapons in active service.  That’s a good useful step and yet that goes beyond any step that the international community has demanded or asked of the nuclear weapons states.  So for that reason, that’s not in the report and perhaps in a future edition we need to kind of take note of some of these things that are not on the official list of expectations and standards.  

Finally, with respect to the U.K., I mean we have acknowledged in various places in the report the estimates of the numbers of nuclear weapons that various countries have.  But we have very deliberately tried to put together a report that is a snapshot of progress towards the goal and the goal is reducing nuclear weapons.  Perhaps we could have added an eleventh category that is simply a grading scale of the total number of nuclear weapons in which “A” is zero.  

But that would have been pretty obvious and it doesn’t take the Arms Control Association to figure that out really.  So what we have tried to do is we have tried to take a snapshot of progress because it is progress that the international community has established as the expectation and the norm and the United States and Russia are the ones, though they have the largest arsenals, about 90 percent of the world’s arsenals, that are actively reducing.  So that’s why we have organized the grades in that way.  When we do this report in 2012 or so, hopefully the U.K. will have implemented its reductions and it will move up to the “B” category.  Any other questions, comments?  Yes, sir?

Q:  Hi.  I’m Gabe Joselaw from Voice of America.  I’m wondering about Pakistan and the decision-making that went behind giving it an asterisk next to its security commitments.  Obviously you note the political situation is a serious concern there.  So why separate it that way?  Why acknowledge it without including it in the grade?  Secondly, they got an “F” in weapons-related export controls and yet this “A” in security commitments.  Those seem to be at odds to me.  If they’re maintaining this illicit procurement network, how can they be effectively securing nuclear material?

MR. KIMBALL:  Peter, why don’t you – I think you’re best able to take those on.

MR. CRAIL:  Yeah.  In terms of your last question, the security commitments and the export controls are two different things.  Essentially for the export controls, that’s a measure of whether or not states are violating controls abroad or illegally importing things for their programs or are illegally exporting things to other countries.  The “F” essentially reflects the assessments that Pakistan continues to rely on illicit procurement networks in order to acquire materials for its nuclear program.  

For nuclear security commitments, one of the things that we wanted to cite for both nuclear security and illicit trafficking was to – we made sure to include the word commitments because we’re not necessarily measuring how far states are implementing different types of controls to secure nuclear material or prevent it from getting abroad.  It’s a measure of what kind of initiatives have they joined for that purpose.  

So that’s essentially where Pakistan’s “A” comes from for nuclear security commitments is that as part of its efforts to provide assurance that, look, all of our assets are safe, nothing is going to get to the terrorists or anything like that, they’ve joined a number of U.S.-led efforts, a number of international agreements and things like that, which have the expectation that if implemented, they’ll do the job.  They’ll prevent nuclear material from getting where it – from spreading.  

Particularly since we had really started putting this report together after last year there were a lot of events in Pakistan that had given rise to increasing concerns about its abilities to secure its program, to secure its facilities and material, we felt that while according to our standards it had met – it basically had met he standards for the commitments that it had made , whether or not it had addressed its sufficient situation adequately was something that we felt was reason enough to highlight this special case.

MR. KIMBALL:  Yeah, one example here on the nuclear security category where – I mean, the international standards for behavior expected of responsible states is probably not sufficient to deal with the problem and this is a relatively new standard, if you will.  So as Peter said, the asterisk was put there to make it clear that we’re not somehow measuring with our Arms Control Association inspectors in Pakistan whether Pakistan is actually executing these commitments or not.  So I mean that’s – this is just one of many examples of some of the tricky methodological issues here and there are ways in which I think reasonable people could disagree with how we went about this but what we have tried to do is to show our work so that you can see how we arrived at these results.  Any other questions?  Yes, we’ve got a couple more.

Q:  My name is Pieter Etravan (ph), ITAR-TASS News Agency and my question is if the new START treaty is ratified by the legislature in Russia and in the U.S., will these countries move up into a high category?

MR. KIMBALL:  They would move up slightly with ratification, according to our scale, I think, Peter, right?  That’s how we –

MR. CRAIL:  (Off mike.)

MR. KIMBALL:  I think it also would depend in the 2011-2012 period on whether the two countries indicate further movement or progress in reducing beyond what the new START agreement calls for and the United States at least has expressed an interest in pursuing further discussions with Russia following the ratification, implementation of new START on all types of nuclear weapons, strategic and nonstrategic, deployed and non-deployed.  

That certainly would be a qualitative improvement in the U.S.-Russia nuclear arms reduction process which has to this point been focused on strategic nuclear weapons and primarily deployed strategic nuclear weapons.  We have a couple more questions here.  Why don’t we go with Martin and then we’ll come back to you?

Q:  Martin Matishak with Global Security Newswire.  I’m just curious about reaction to this report card.  Have you shared it with the folks in the administration or in Congress or with representatives from countries that you have named in it and so far to date what has their reaction been?

MR. KIMBALL:  We have shared the report with a number of people in the U.S. government, the executive branch.  This still has to make its way to the Congress.  It’s on its way to other government representatives and it would be interesting to see what their views are upon seeing the grades in all these different categories.

Q:  Michelle Nelbondi (ph) from NTI.  You mentioned that you decided not to rank or weigh each standard.  What was the reasoning behind that?

MR. KIMBALL:  Let’s see.  I’m just trying to think back here months, Peter.  I think the main reason why we didn’t do this, and feel free to add or correct, is that there simply is no objective way to rank these 10 major categories.  What we were trying to do, as I said at the very beginning of this session, is to describe in a straightforward fashion what are the standards, what is the mainstream, what are the expectations of responsible states without making a judgment about which of these is more or less important.  

The fact is all states are responsible in one way or another, to perhaps a lesser or greater degree or another, to help support and implement all of these standards and commitments.  If you’re in one corner of the world, you might consider one of these or two of these more important than others.  If you’re in another corner of the world, you might see it a little bit differently.  

So we chose not to apply our opinion, our perspective to this issue by somehow ranking these 10 in order of importance.  I mean, this is meant to be a tool for people to see how well states are making progress in each of these categories and perhaps someone else can come up with some interesting ranking system.

MR. CRAIL:  I would just add to that, that’s the substantive reason that we didn’t decide to weight the different standards and essentially the thing that put it over the top to make the decision for us.  The other answer is that we felt it was complicated enough at this point.  We tried to strike a balance between something that was fairly rigorous and something that would be fairly accessible.  Hopefully we managed to do that.  But if we were to get into trying to weigh different things, it might not be as accessible and transparent as we hoped that it would be.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Any other questions, comments?  If not – yes, sir?

Q:  I just had an out-of-the-box question.  I’m curious about the rest of the class.  These are some of the most important members of the class for the subject dealt with.  But is there any way one should get right now for all those other countries for the standards that apply to non-nuclear weapon states, like the CTBT members, members of nuclear-weapons-free zones.  If you averaged out everyone who is not on this table, would they be getting – is “C” an average or is “B” an average?  Is there any way at this point to kind of characterize all those not specifically mentioned?

MR. KIMBALL:  Well, I don’t think we could tell you what the average would be because we didn’t attempt to grade the dozens of other countries that have significant responsibilities beyond this group.  In the additional states section on page 46 of the report, we discuss some of the developments and the actions of other states in other areas that are important for the nuclear nonproliferation system.  

We talk about the importance of Indonesia’s commitment to ratify the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.  It’s one of the 44 countries that must ratify for the treaty to enter into force.  Egypt is another one of those countries.  We discuss developments related to the ongoing goal of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, which is going to take the action and support of many more states outside of the ones discussed in this report.  

Likewise, other countries have made commitments and have responsibilities in connection with nuclear-weapons-free zones.  The entire Southern Hemisphere today is a nuclear-weapons-free zone.  So there are hundreds – over a hundred countries that are involved there and they do have responsibilities as members of a nuclear-weapons-free zones that you might not think about, such as the South Pacific nuclear-weapons-free zones countries have committed as part of that treaty not to sell nuclear technology to states that are not members of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.  So that means Australia is not supposed to be selling uranium to India, for sentence.  

So there are a lot of other countries that were discussed in this section, not necessarily in totally comprehensive fashion but we’ve tried to touch on some of the key developments, another one of which is the role that NATO members can play in changing NATO policy with respect to the tactical nuclear weapons – U.S. tactical nuclear weapons still deployed in Europe.  All right, thank you all very much for being here and with that we’ll conclude and there will be a transcript of this event on our website in a few days.  The full report is also available online.  Thank you for coming.

(END)

Description: 

Transcript of October 27 event at the National Press Club.  Speakers include Daryl Kimball, Peter Crail, and George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Subject Resources:

The New START Treaty: A Panel Discussion with Brent Scowcroft

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On July 23, the Arms Control Initiative at the Brookings Institution and the Arms Control Association hosted former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft for a discussion of the New START treaty, assessing how its ratification and implementation will serve the U.S. national interest.

Brookings President Strobe Talbott provided an introduction, followed by remarks from General Scowcroft. Morton Halperin of the Open Society Institute, Angela Stent of Georgetown University and Brookings and Senior Fellow Steven Pifer, director of the Arms Control Initiative at Brookings, will joined discussion. ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball moderated.

Click here to read a PDF of the transcript.

Watch the full event here.

Description: 

On July 23, the Arms Control Initiative at the Brookings Institution and the Arms Control Association hosted former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft for a discussion of the New START treaty, assessing how its ratification and implementation will serve the U.S. national interest.

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Panel Discussion - The New National Space Policy: Prospects for International Cooperation and Making Space Safer for All - Transcript Now Available

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On Thursday, July 1, 2010 the Arms Control Association and Secure World Foundation held a special panel discussion on the Obama Administration’s release of its National Space Policy.

The new National Space Policy approach emphasizes shared responsibility and strengthened international cooperation. The publicly released policy states that “The United States will pursue bilateral and multilateral transparency and confidence-building measures to encourage responsible actions in, and the peaceful use of, space. The United States will consider proposals and concepts for arms control measures if they are equitable, effectively verifiable, and enhance the national security of the United States and its allies.”

Panelists discussed how the new policy is consistent with and differs from earlier policies, how new U.S. leadership could energize existing international institutions such as the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the stalled Conference on Disarmament, and make suggestions for moving forward on other confidence-building and multilateral measures.

 


ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

 

THE NEW NATIONAL SPACE POLICY:

PROSPECTS FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND

MAKING SPACE SAFER FOR ALL

 

WELCOME:

VICTORIA SAMSON,

DIRECTOR OF WASHINGTON OPERATIONS,

SECURE WORLD FOUNDATION

 

MODERATOR:

JEFF ABRAMSON,

DEPUTY DIRECTOR,

ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

 

SPEAKERS:

MARCIA SMITH,

FOUNDER AND EDITOR, SPACEPOLICYONLINE.COM,

PRESIDENT, SPACE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY GROUP, LLC

 

BEN BASELEY-WALKER,

LEGAL AND POLICY ADVISOR,

SECURE WORLD FOUNDATION

 

BRUCE MACDONALD,

SENIOR DIRECTOR, NONPROLIFERATION AND ARMS CONTROL PROJECT,

UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE

 

THURSDAY, JULY 1, 2010

2:00 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C.

 

Transcript by

Federal News Service

Washington, D.C.

 

VICTORIA SAMSON:  Hello everyone.  I think this is on.  Thank you for coming.  My name is Victoria Samson.  I am the Washington office director for the Secure World Foundation.  We are very delighted to be able to host this panel and we appreciate you guys responding at such short notice.

We were waiting to see when the national space policy would come out and we are very excited to have such experts here to talk about it today.  We are delighted to be co-hosting for the first time with the Arms Control Association.  We hope this will be a first of, perhaps, many ways in which we can share space and security issues.

A little bit about Secure World before we get started:  The Secure World is a private-operating foundation that wishes to focus on the sustainable use of space.  So the release of the new national space policy on Monday frankly delighted us because it acknowledged the need to increase the sustainable use of space for everyone to build and enjoy.  It bolsters United States leadership in space and maintains space as a peaceful, secure and sustainable environment for the benefit of all.

We respect the emphasis on the need for increased space situational awareness that indicates how important it is to be able to benefit from space for civil, commercial and military uses.  We appreciate the focus on international outreach.  We believe this accepts the changed reality of space as a global commons.  And we appreciate the idea that there is a look at arms control as an option if it is equitable, verifiable and increases the United States national security.

Of course, the question is, what does that mean in terms of policies?  How does this change from the 2006 national space policy?  Well, we have this panel’s experts that will be discussing it.  I am going to turn it over to our moderator, Jeff Abramson.  Jeff?

JEFF ABRAMSON:  Thank you, Victoria, and the Secure World Foundation.  This is the first time, I think, we have partnered.  I am looking forward to many more.  I also want to recognize and appreciate the expertise within this audience.  We announced this event on Tuesday and 58 RSVPs came in – more, just as we were going out the door –from a wide range of expertise and issues.  So I’ll be interested in your questions and having the conversation that will occur after the panelists.

About nine months ago, actually, Victoria and I sat down and said hey, we should maybe host an event.  And we were waiting for the right moment and I am glad that this is the right moment and not zombie satellites or conjunctions that – intentional or otherwise – often occur.  And while on that topic of things that shouldn’t be too close together, I will ask you to put your cell phones in “silent mode.”

I am going to make a few framing remarks and then introduce our panelists who will each – I’ve asked to talk for 10 minutes or less – I will hopefully not need to prod – and then turn things over for questions.

When we do get to questions, please do wait for the microphone.  We are doing a transcription of the event, which, given that the July 4th weekend is coming right up, I imagine will come out in the middle of next week, but possibly tomorrow.

The publicly available version of this document is only 14 pages long.  And the issues I work on – arms control and security – are only two pages of the document, which I think is fine, and actually, what that reminds me of and what I think the policy highlights is that space is an ever-increasingly global commons, with actors relying on it for a wide range of needs, not solely security, but also communications, commercial and civilian applications, as well as economic and sustainable development, not only in countries that have major space assets but those with few to little to none, that this use of space really is a global use.  And this topic, the panel will talk about it broadly, but with the lens of international cooperation and multiple ways that international cooperation can keep space safe for all.

The Arms Control Association, where I work, is about to turn 40 years old.  We have been working on these issues for a long time, supporting public understanding and effective arms control policies.  As someone in this field, I am certainly encouraged by the statement that Victoria was repeating around, considering proposals and concepts for arms control measures: quote  “if they are equitable, effectively verifiable and enhance the national security of the United States and its allies,” unquote.

All of those reasons that I have been talking about, why the catchphrase prevention of an arms race in outer space has held in my community, I feel are validated to a great extent in this national security policy.  Given U.S. reliance, as well as other countries who are emerging, the idea of targeting these assets in space with terrestrial weapons or placing weapons in space that would target terrestrial, atmospheric or other space weapons just does not seem to make sense.

But as a policy document, not surprisingly, the NSP does not contain many specifics, as Victoria was mentioning.  And in the coming months and years, what I am looking forward to seeing is development of ideas that run the gamut of international agreements.  That can be simple declaratory policy to bilateral instruments, codes of conduct, norms of behavior, a lot of which, as you all know, is happening with the EU code of conduct, happening around space debris mitigation or prevention, to the extent of even the more traditional arms control things, which, I’ll note, include discussions around kinetic energy anti-satellite tests and use bans, too.  And, without getting into the definitional issues, preventing weaponization of space.

As a final point, I just want to mention that what I see in this document is an emphasis on transparency and confidence building, which is not something that other countries do.  It’s something that all countries do, including the United States.  And I think this will be one of the challenges, for the United States to regain the trust and confidence of the international community.  And I believe it is on this path already and I look forward to seeing that happen in the future.  And as we think about ways to increase transparency, I think that might broaden the scope of things that we consider effectively verifiable as well.

Let me now briefly introduce our speakers.  We all chatted in the short two days before this event and realized there was way too much to talk about.  So I will tell you what I think they are going to talk about, but who knows what is going to come out in the end?

We will start with Marcia Smith, the founder and editor of Space Policy Online who, as many of you know, has been working this field for almost four decades, and a long time, 31 years, at the Congressional Research Service.  I have asked Marcia to talk about the content of the national space policy, especially from a civilian angle:  what is different about the policy and what is not new, not different about the policy and maybe why those changes are there.  And I have asked Marcia and the other panelists to suggest things they are looking to see or want to see moving forward.

Ben Baseley-Walker is a legal and policy advisor for Secure World Foundation here.  In my mind, Ben is always jetting off to Europe or places around the world for U.N. COPUOS meetings or other events.  It might not be true and he can disabuse me of that idealized notion.  But he is certainly paying very close attention to the international dimension of maintaining space for peaceful purposes.  And he will discuss how the new policy could reshape engagement at U.N. COPUOS, the Conference on Disarmament as well as other bilateral and multilateral possibilities.

Bruce MacDonald, at the end, has also been following space and security issues for quite some time and is the senior director of the Nonproliferation and Arms Control Project at the U.S. Institute of Peace.  He recently served as a senior director to the U.S. Strategic Posture Review Commission, which the Arms Control Association followed very closely.  So he brings insight along a whole range of issues.  I have asked Bruce to look at the national security dimensions of the new policy and the prospects for cooperation around those issues.

I will do my time check to see how I did.  But I will turn it over now to Marcia.  Thank you.

MARCIA SMITH:  Thank you very much, Jeff, and thanks to the Secure World Foundation for inviting me to be here today.  And I did not bring any PowerPoint charts because usually when I have PowerPoints I tend to ramble on and on.  And I did give Jeff permission to poke me hard in the elbow if I go beyond my eight minutes.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Timer’s started.

MS. SMITH:  (Chuckles.)  And with all that is in the policy, it is, of course, impossible to cover everything that is in there.  Jeff asked me to talk about what is different and what is not different.

And I think that, as was true with the Bush policy, there is a lot that is the same throughout the policy.  It covers pretty much the same ground, but it covers it differently.  I think the biggest difference between the Bush policy and the Clinton policy was the tone of it.  And I think the biggest difference between the Obama policy and the Bush policy is the tone, the tenor.  And, of course, it is perception that is so important, especially when you are dealing with our allies and other potential partners around the world.

So I do think that the Obama policy is trying to reach out to international partners as well as to industry.  And the whole tone of the policy is less nationalistic, it’s more friendly, it’s not confrontational and it does seem to view space as a global commons in which all of us have a stake.  All of us around the globe have a responsibility to protect space as an environment because we all benefit from it.

And one thing that I really like about the Obama policy is the introduction to it, which goes into many more paragraphs of explaining why space is important to everyone and the benefits that the world derives from space.  There has been a little bit of that in previous policies, but it is maybe a throwaway sentence here or there.  But this seems to be a really strong attempt to explain the importance of space and therefore why it is important for there to be a space policy and important for the United States to work together with other nations to preserve space as a usable domain.

I thought I would just read two examples of the Bush policy and the Obama policy to sort of illustrate the differences in the tone.  In the Bush policy, we, the United States said that, “Consistent with this principle of rite of passage, the United States will view purposeful interference with its space systems as an infringement on its rights.”

In the Obama policy, the same point is put across, but in a more friendly manner.  It says, “Purposeful interference with space systems including supporting infrastructure will be considered an infringement of a nation’s rights.”  So it is not just our nation, it is all the nations.  Infringing is something that affects a nation’s rights, not just United States rights.

And there is a lot of talk about arms control and the Bush policy was viewed as very negative on arms control in space.  And I think that is because the whole context of the Bush administration was pretty negative on it.  But I was never as negative about the Bush policy as a lot of my friends were.

But I think that when you look what each policy says about arms control agreements, the Bush policy did not rule it out.  The Bush policy said, “Proposed arm control agreements or restrictions must not impair the rights of the United States to conduct research, development, testing and operations or other activities in space for U.S. national interests.”

And what the Obama policy says is that, “The United States will consider proposals and concepts for arms control measures if they are equitable, effectively verifiable and enhance the national security of the United States and its allies.”

So again, I think the policies are still – the Obama policy clearly is more open to arms control than the Bush policy - but both of them open at least a crack in the door to these things.  But it is still looking at these in terms of how they are going to affect U.S. national security, which is appropriate in a national policy.

So again, those are just examples to show how the tone of the two policies is different.  And to a large extent, I think that is what is most important about a national space policy.  In a sense, they are just words written on paper.  What is really important about a policy is what happens after it comes out.  What is the strategy to implement the policy?  What are the specifics?  Are there going to be additional policies on specific topics that emanate from this?

On Monday when the policy was released, some of the White House folks did say that there would be additional specific targeted policies as there had been in previous presidential administrations.  So I think that we are going to see some of those coming out.

And I know Dick Buenneke, at least, is here.  I don’t know who else is here or who might know the answer to that but maybe we can get some – not to put you on the spot, Dick.  But we may see some more targeted policies that will help everyone understand where all of this is leading.

But certainly the Obama policy is very focused on international cooperation.  And I admit that that is one of my absolutely favorite parts of the space program is international cooperation.  So I was very, very pleased to see that.  And looking at space as a global commons, especially in terms of space debris and space situational awareness.  Again, those are not new topics.  They have been in previous presidential space policies.  But the emphasis on it in the Obama policy is really important.

And, of course, there is added prominence for commercial space.  And I think one of the most interesting aspects of the Obama policy with regard to commercial space is that it leaves out what was in both the Bush and the Clinton policies saying that there would be no direct subsidies for commercial space.  So the Obama policy leaves that out.  But it also has a finer, more sophisticated explanation of what it considers commercial space to be; about a significant investment by the commercial partner.

And I think that one of the troubles that people are having with commercial space policy is the wording and what is commercial.  Everybody keeps searching for what does commercial mean?  And I think the Obama policy at least lays out what the White House thinks commercial space is and the appropriate role of the government in facilitating in the emergence of commercial space.  You can agree or disagree with it but at least it’s there for you to consider.

I admit that personally I am – I know it is not popular these days to be a skeptic of commercial space being more cost-effective than the usual way government does business, but I do think that the commercial forums still have a way to go to prove that they are really commercial and don’t simply rely on the government in a different way than the traditional space players do.  But the Obama policy certainly is going to give them the opportunity to do that.

So what really changed in between 2006 and 2010?  Well, of course, the election of President Obama was the major factor because his approach to dealing with global affairs is very different from President Bush’s.

But also as everyone knows, the Chinese anti-satellite test and the Iridium-Cosmos collision really got everybody’s attention in terms of space debris and the need for everyone to work together to understand what is in space, where it is and what possible collisions there might be because space is so important to the global economy that everyone really needs to work together to protect it.

And then, of course, the financial collapse and the enormous deficit that not only the United States has, but other countries, is one of those factors that leads countries to want to work together instead of going it alone on a lot of space programs.  And that may be one of the reasons that international cooperation is so highlighted in the Obama policy.

So I haven’t heard very many negative reactions to the Obama policy so far.  Maybe people in the audience will bring them up during the Q&A.  I know that Senator Shelby was not impressed by it.  And, of course, his focus was on the NASA part of the policy and he thinks the president’s policy is wrong.  And since it is simply restated here, he thinks this policy is not so great.

I do have a very good friend who feels it is a policy of appeasement rather than leadership, which I thought was an interesting take on it.  And so I actually looked through the Clinton, Bush and Obama policies for the word, “leadership,” and how quickly it appears.  And in the Clinton policy, it smacks you right in the face.  I think it is in the third sentence.  Leadership – “U.S. will maintain leadership in space.”  And in the Bush policy, it is not quite in the third sentence, but it is really pretty high up.

It is very interesting in the Obama policy because it actually is there right at the beginning, but it is in a quote by President Obama.  It starts off with a quote from President Eisenhower and a quote from President Obama.  And in that quote, he talks about maintaining leadership in space.

But I think a lot of people look past those opening quotes and start just reading the text that is underneath them.  And if you do that, it takes you a while before you get to leadership.  And the first mention of leadership has to do with the commercial sector.  And then later on, you finally do get to where it says that maintaining U.S. leadership in space is important.  So I don’t know if there are people here in the audience – I would love to get into that discussion during the Q&A who think that leadership is not focused on sufficiently in this report in this policy.

But I found it very interesting.  I am enthusiastic about the Obama policy.  I think it is really well done.  And to all of those who worked on it, I think they get five stars.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Thank you, Marcia.  Ben?

BEN BASELEY-WALKER:  Thank you, Jeff.  I think I would like to echo a lot of the things that Marcia has said.  I know that for many of you who have worked in this room, this was not an easy process to develop this document.  And I think what we see in front of us is a very sound, very pragmatic approach.

My personal focus today is going to be more on the international side and also on some of the international security side.  And I think the thing that comes through to me on this policy is that this is an incredibly sound approach to looking at the diversity of options for international security and improving the national security climate for the United States.  So I think that, that is something certainly to be borne in mind and something to be applauded.

Also, as Marcia said, I think what this policy does and also the tone and the way it has been presented really does demonstrate that there is a very clear understanding of the globalized nature of space.  We may wish that this was a realm in which we were operating alone.  Unfortunately, the realities of modern day space activities are somewhat different.  And I think underlying this policy some of the key concepts really emphasize that.

I think from the international perspective, this is going to open lots of doors.  United States diplomacy has been quietly effective, I think, over the last few years.  The activities that we have seen of State and various agencies carrying out in Vienna, working on sustainability guidelines, laying the groundwork for that; the work that has been carried on in Geneva, looking at how new ideas can be formulated, even given the stymied nature of the Conference on Disarmament, I think have laid some clear foundations on how this policy can be taken forward and really open a new age of space diplomacy for the United States.

I think in terms of leadership, it is a very interesting word.  And I think it doesn’t have a defined meaning throughout this policy.  I think there are very many different flavors of leadership in the policy.  In the international community, I think we haven’t seen U.S. leadership in space for a while.  I think what this policy does is create the opportunity for that leadership to be rebuilt and regained.

I don’t think it is necessarily going to be an easy process but I think that the – as Marcia said, the tone is really important.  I think it has got a lot of the international players on the back foot.  There is a huge advantage, I think, to push forward with how the U.S. frames this debate and to really direct how the international community takes the next steps forward.  So I think that is very exciting.

I think, perhaps, another issue that is really important is staffing.  Implementing this policy is really, I think, going to be the most crucial issue.  How does this turn into reality?  One of the key things that struck me was a very big emphasis on interagency, whole of government, which I think is great.

Working out how that actually happens and bringing in perhaps less traditional agencies that have not been as involved in this basic question, but now are fundamentally involved, as space is such a major part of so many different sectors, is going to be really, really interesting.

Also, as Marcia said, another issue on the tone.  Three words that I picked out:  deter, defend, defeat.  I think these really show a much less bellicose tone than the Bush policy.  It is very much about, we are a player in the international community; we do respect the creation of the parameters that exist.  However, should there be clear national security threats, that is certainly something that we are not going to stand by and allow ourselves to be challenged on.

Also, I think in that vein, the role of allies and partners is really emphasized.  I think we all saw what came out of Schriever V was a clear understanding of the awareness that allies and partners and friends were very crucial.  And I think this policy reflects the administration’s thinking that this is definitely something to be focused on.

I would like to briefly dwell on the concept of arms control.  I don’t like the phrase “arms control” for space and I apologize to Jeff as we have it on the front of the podium.  (Laughter.)

MR. ABRAMSON:  (Off mike.)

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  I did warn you.  (Laughter.)  I think arms control for space is completely the wrong approach to take.  This isn’t a numbers game.  This isn’t the Cold War and nuclear weapons, and you have this many and we have this many, and what does that mean?  I think this is a question of actions management.

And I think this policy does a very good job of laying out an approach which really sets how are we going to build parameters for space actors?  Where do we fit into those parameters?  And how do we see a responsible, effective environment in which national security, economic interests and other diverse U.S. interests really can be best protected?  And I think that, that is a really big shift and a really good one.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Could you repeat – (inaudible, off mike)?

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  Actions management – behavioral management, perhaps, would be a more appropriate way.

My background is international law, so I thought I would touch – just to kind of wrap up – briefly on some of the international law questions.  I think what we have seen throughout the administration’s approach, which is very different from the Bush policy, is no more treaties.  That was very much the Bush line.  Personally I think that is the right way to be going.  I think the international community right now is not ready for a big, new space treaty, certainly not one built around security.

Working in the international security sector in space in the diplomatic community and also at the national level, there are very few countries – I would say there are no countries, including Europe, where the understanding of space across departments, across actors is as high as it is in the United States.  When you walk in the room, some people really struggle to spell space, let alone have any other understanding of it.

And I think that that is something that is really key.  This is a new emerging sector – maybe not so emerging for us, but emerging for everyone else.  And working out how we build that common consistency, common understanding, even common lexicon, especially on the international security issues, is going to be really important.

I think what this policy does is lay down some clear options for how soft-law aspects can be developed – guidelines, parameters.  Again, coming back to that concept of actions management, I certainly think the whole accusation that has been branded against the United States of wanting to be the world’s policeman is not something that comes through in this policy.  And personally I think that that is a huge step forward for our approach to international security and to, certainly, diplomatic aspects of international security.

Also, I think that this policy opens the way for new ideas, innovative ideas.  And I hope that what we will see from the Washington community, both the civil and the government communities, is that we sit down and we really think about well, how do we move forward?  What do we do next?

In space in, for example, Geneva, the question often goes, space, that is an interesting topic; well, I think we should have a multilateral agreement; well, no, no, no, no, we really should have guidelines.  The topic is not dealt with effectively.  The vehicle is often discussed an awful lot.

I think we need to sit down and go, what are the things that we need to be dealing with in the international sector?  What kind of international law, if any, is most appropriate?  And how do we lay down the basis for building international consensus and moving the community towards a safer, more secure environment?

As I said, I think implementation is the 500-pound gorilla in the room.  I think this is a really good step but I think it is a step on a long path.  I think there is going to be a strong role for the State Department and other agencies in doing outreach with our partners, with our allies and also with the people that we are not so thrilled about, and working out how we create an effective regime in which we interact with them because unfortunately, this is an inverted pyramid.  We have to deal with people that in many other realms, we don’t actually have to normally cross swords with, so to speak.

And again internally, as I said, I think building that interagency relationship is going to be really impressive.  But the fact that we have had a policy that came out in the time obviously shows that the agencies have hope, I think.

So overall I think it is a really sound framework that builds national security, advances U.S. interests and shows, I think, to the rest of the world that there is a sound intellectual basis behind the U.S. approach to its future in space and its future engagement with other international partners in the space arena.  So thank you.  Bruce?

BRUCE MACDONALD:  Well, it is great to see so many people turn out on what could be considered a somewhat obscure subject but it is one that is very important.  And I, for one, am overall quite pleased with the revised space policy.

And for any media that are present, I know usually you want really hard-hitting tough critiques, but I think there are some important issues, though, that are raised in it that are certainly noteworthy.

The first thing that really impresses me about the policy document is that the strong and repeated emphasis on responsibility and a recognition that what we do and what others do in space has larger ramifications.

I think there is no better example of that than the debris issue, which has both – it has national security implications, it has economic implications, broad-reaching, that if a country is just looking at its own private interests, you would get sort of one answer to a problem.  But recognizing that space is a kind of global commons, you come up with other different approaches.

Speaking about the national security dimensions of the report, let me first lead off by saying there is a classified version of this document that I haven’t seen – and it’s just as well that I haven’t because I probably would feel more restricted in what I could say than by not having seen it.  And so one needs to keep that in mind.

But even on the unclassified dimensions, one of the things that I was most pleased by and I think is something new is that the document clearly, I think, recognized – or I would like to think it drew upon – the Strategic Posture Review Commission’s recommendation or observations about space where it said that the U.S. policy should – or the U.S. should develop and pursue options for U.S. interest and stability in outer space, including the possibility of negotiated measures.  Now, that was not a group of left-wing people.  That was six Republicans and six Democrats headed by former Defense Secretaries Perry and Schlesinger.  If you haven’t seen this, it is a great document to read and almost a primer in U.S. strategic posture policy.

So I was very pleased to see that emphasis.  And that is frankly something that has been missing in the space policy documents of the past of both the Republican and Democrats.  And that provides – again, it is consistent with this underlying theme of broader responsibility that I think permeates the policy.  And it is something that is strikingly and pleasantly new.

One carryover from the Bush policy that was new in the Bush policy that I was glad to see that was carried over is a recognition that space now, because of the way our military is so heavily dependent upon space that, indeed, space and the capabilities that it provides is one of our vital national interests.  That was new in the Bush policy and I thought it was a good addition.  And that phraseology has been maintained in the current policy.  That, I think, is very important.

The word “deterrence” is not new.  That has appeared before and it appears again here.  But one thing the policy is silent on right now, and really understandably so, is it is silent on the question of how you define space deterrence and how you accomplish or achieve it.  Really, those are tasks that are best left for space strategy or a posture review or things like that, which are ongoing and will be coming down the road.  And so I look forward eagerly to seeing how those vitally important issues are approached.

The whole idea of deterrence as it speaks in there is one way to keep peace in space.  And I want to just – the reason why that is so important is, again, coming back to some basics that if you think about what it is that space provides our military forces, it is really – it is the information.  It is either a medium through which information is passed or information through sensors and so forth is generated from space.

Space is valuable not so much because of the assets that we have in space, but rather the information that they produce.  And if we suddenly lost that, as one colleague of mine, Mike Hamel, who used to head the Space and MissileCenter in the Air Force, said, that if we lost that, we would go suddenly from being a 21st-century fighting force to being an industrial-age fighting force.  Still very powerful and capable, but we would be a hamstrung to some extent by the loss of that information, which powers – you can think of – it powers a whole lot of our military capability.  It would be almost like being suddenly cut off from gasoline.  We would be severely hampered.

And those who might choose to oppose this in certain areas or the possibility of getting into conflicts – one scenario sometimes spoken of is the conflict in the Taiwan Strait – it would make sense that an opponent might want to try to cut off that lifeline.  Just as in World War II, it was very important to cut off Germany and Japan’s access to petroleum oil and lubricants.  So I was interested to see that the deterrence language maintained as well.

Another big thing is that – and here, I might respectfully disagree with Marcia a little bit is I see arms control rehabilitated – space arms control rehabilitated here.  And I think rightly so.  If you look at – the phraseology used is almost word-for-word from earlier space policies.

And while it is true that the Bush administration did not completely shut the door on it, the language – anybody who sat through a number of speeches from the Bush administration, it is pretty clear what their feeling was.  And their earlier policy said they would “oppose the development of new legal regimes or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit U.S. access or use of space,” which was certainly a de facto elimination of arms control.

This does not mean, of course, that we would willy-nilly just go in and sign any arms control agreement.  It has to be – it sets the usual criteria that it has to be in the United States interest, it has to be equitable and it has to be effectively verifiable.  And those are reasonable requirements for any form of space arms control.

But I also take the point that we have a – those of us who work in space say well, the administration ought to do more on space.  But they have got such a huge agenda of things to do that, as much as they might want to, there is only so much that can be done.  And I am one who thinks that norms and rules of the road and sorts of things – if we can’t get some kind of a formal agreement, helping the process to begin to get there through more informal agreements – I would much rather do that than hold out for something a lot better.  I would not want the – you know the old phrase, to let the best be the enemy of the good.

That said, I certainly hope that we can move forward in space arms control, although I doubt that the Conference on Disarmament will be the proper venue to do that.  When you look at the membership and all, to me, the CD is the place you go once you have worked it out somewhere else.  And then you take it – all the parties involved take it to the CD for sort of formal approval.

I thought it was interesting to see in the policy where it – the whole question of national security – it was deemphasized but it wasn’t degraded.  Instead of being the premier headline thing, it was deeper in it.  And I think that, that is the right move to make, again, because the Bush policy, I thought, it was too chest-thumping.

And unfortunately, especially given the opposition in the Bush administration to space arms control, it allowed the Chinese and the Russians both to credibly mischaracterize the U.S. position as being that we are opposed to peace in space.  Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.  So I like the tone that the current policy conveys.

Just a couple of points to finish up on.  And that is that, again, this question of how to deter, how do we get deterrence?  There are a lot of uneasy, unanswered questions.  I would not expect the policy document to do that.  But these are questions that ought to be asked.  Do we need to have any offensive capability in space?  That is a completely valid question and there are good arguments on both sides of the question.

To some extent, one could say that as long as there is ballistic missile defense, anybody who has ballistic missile defense will have a de facto form of anti-satellite capability, as the United States showed in the downing of USA-193.  But these are tough questions to answer.

But overall, I think it is a very strong step in the right direction.  And we will need to pursue these questions of, how do you achieve space deterrence?  And most importantly, how do you maintain stability?  Because a stable space environment, even in the midst of conflict, would allow the United States to continue to reap all the benefits that it gets from space.

One of the things that always troubled me about the Bush policy is that it didn’t make sense to claim that something was in your vital national interest and then to talk about well, yes, if you felt it necessary, you would go ahead and use space weapons because that would only invite attacks on our space assets – again, which we considered vital to our national interest.

So we will have question-and-answer time.  Like I said before, I am overall quite pleased with it.  And I look forward to the discussion to come.  Thank you.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Thank you, Bruce.  Well, this is a first for me in that all three panelists kept to their time or under it, which I can’t ever remember happening.  So thank you.  And I appreciate the comments also.  I mean, I think we had some great analysis in this and some areas of disagreement, which I think is also fine.

So I will take, I think, questions at this point.  We have microphones.  I think I will take two to start with and let the panel respond to that and then we will take some more after that.  So please raise your hand and a microphone will come your way.  Yes, sir?  Please just state who you are.

Q:  Gerry Epstein at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Bruce, maybe the one that stuck in my mind – I’ll throw this at you.  Pointing out the policy requiring that any arms control agreement entered into be effectively verifiable, and you saying yes, but there is also rules of the road and norms that might be important, too, are those incompatible?  How can you verify a rule of the road in that sense or would that be a problem?

MR. ABRAMSON:  Is there another?  A second we can take at this point?  Oh, boy.  Well, Bruce, why don’t you take that one on and we will round up some more?

MR. MACDONALD:  (Inaudible, off mike) – really inflammatory and then I am sure maybe we will get some more.  Yeah, there we go.  Good.

Gerry, good question to ask, and thanks for that.  One of the reasons why rules of the road and codes of conduct sorts of things are separate from agreements – from more formalized agreements – is that the – by definition, if there is not a law, you know, there are no lawbreakers.  And I think what is intended there is it is more of what is considered usual and customary and to rely on peer pressure for enforcement.  So I don’t see it as contradictory because rules of the road, by definition, would not be formalized treaties.

Nonetheless, you want, as in the case of debris, when China did its ASAT test in ’07, it did not expect – from what I understand – all the condemnation that it received.  It broke no rules in doing that.  Just like in 1985 when we smashed one of our satellites, the Solwind, we didn’t break any laws either.

But it was interesting that when China did their midcourse ballistic missile intercept this past January, supposedly anyway, for a missile defense test, they went to great lengths to tell people about it and it was done in an altitude that wouldn’t produce any long-lasting debris and so forth.  So I view that as kind of a tacit admission that China realized they went over the line.  But again, in any discussion about rules of the road or codes of conduct, that is a drawback that there is no – it doesn’t have the force of law.  But still, I think they can be very useful.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Ben or Marcia, if you want to jump in.

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  I would.  On the Chinese issue, I think that is very interesting, certainly, when you are talking about rules of the road and kind of customary practice.  I think what happened with the Chinese is they learnt how to do it after USA-193.  The ASAT test in 2007 was – this was probably not how one does this.  USA-193, if you are going to do this for whatever reason, which we will put aside, this is perhaps a more effective PR strategy.  And I think that is what we have seen.

And I think what rules of the road kind of build on and the concepts that are behind them is that you start building up these parameters of okay, this is just how we carry things out.  And I think there is a lot of potential for that in space.

Additionally, kind of bringing this back to the policy, I think what this policy does effectively is open the door to some of those informal agreements and parameterizations while also not softening a stance on what will happen if there is a threat to national security.

And I think how rules of the road have often been characterized before – and I would actually disagree with Bruce’s comment that it would be much better to have a formal agreement such as a treaty.  I am not necessarily sure that in the long term of securing space and building U.S. national interest that a treaty would be in the best interest of the United States because I don’t think you have currently the capacity in many of the other states that are dealing in the space arena to be able to effectively interpret, domesticate and engage in a far-reaching treaty in the international community.

So I actually think there is a capacity question that the rules of the road and norms of behavior would actually fill that gap and potentially build a bridge before the community is necessarily ready.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Up here in front.

Q:  Colin Clark with DOD Buzz.  How does this policy affect the prospects for militarization or weaponization of space if you are sitting in the Air Force and similar institutions?  Do you now bow your head and say, I understand, we will not do this, or what?

MR. ABRAMSON:  Also if there is a second question, I will take that, too, although I do like that question.  All right.  Anybody want to jump in on that?

MR. MACDONALD:  I will start out.  It is important to distinguish between weaponization of space and weaponization that would affect assets in space.  In some ways, people are talking past one another.

The problem with weapons in space is that it is like ducks in a shooting gallery.  They go around and around and you know where they are going to be.  And if you want to have any kind of offensive counterspace capability, putting them in space would be a risky and very unstable place to put them in because in any kind of a crisis, at some point, the other guy might want to go first and take out those assets.  And again, you can’t exactly build a fortress around them.

Ground-based offensive capability, on the other hand, is easier to protect and easier to withstand another attack.  So I don’t see – I don’t think that weaponization of space is affected by it because weaponization of space just tactically and strategically has quite a number of major drawbacks that would need to be overcome before they would be addressed.

One thing that is important to notice in the space policy even though it is buried deeper in, some of the language has been quite similar from administration to administration where you talk about maintaining capabilities to execute the space support, force enhancement, space control and force application missions.

One difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration is just the Bush administration tended to headline that.  And this got buried on page 14, the last page of the document, but it is still there.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Marcia – I am going to Marcia – sorry.

MS. SMITH:  Sorry, I would just like to add, there is a very intriguing section of the policy that I am still – I have read it several times and have not quite comprehended what they are trying to get across, but it is called “assurance and resilience of mission-essential functions.”

And it seems to me that the language in there really does keep the door pretty much open for anything that might have been done under the Bush policy.  And it also does say under the principles that we are going to deter, defend and, if necessary, defeat people who might want to attack us.

So I think the door is still open.  I think it is simply de-emphasized and what’s being emphasized is that there are other avenues that we could take before we would ever get to the point of actually attacking someone’s satellites.  But it does give us the room to do that if we feel it is necessary.

MS. ABRAMSON:  Thanks, Marcia.  Ben?

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  I would dispute the premise of your question.  I think –

Q:  There is no premise.  I am just trying to get an idea of how it will affect the debate.

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  No, no, but I mean the premise of your question, I think, of the two words you used:  militarization and weaponization.  I think we can all agree that the militarization boat has well and truly sailed.  On the weaponization boat, my advice, if I was sitting in the DoD, would be, what this policy says is forget about the word that you just used; let’s not talk about weaponization.

I think what this policy says is that, again, coming back to that concept of actions management and also a more holistic approach.  If, for example, the United States blows up a Chinese satellite, what would I do if I were sitting in Beijing?  Would I go and launch a missile at an American satellite?  No, I would crash the dollar.  (Laughter.)

So I think now looking at space as a more integrated part of international security and international diplomacy is key.  So we don’t necessarily need to look at it as this fenced-in arena that is pitched between A and B.  So I think – I really like the fact that, you know, what could be a space weapon?  Well, a satellite with maneuvering-capability-targeting aside.  The AEGIS missile – I mean, how are we going to start regulating that?

There is so much dual-use aspect to so much of the weaponization that is going on in space.  I think we can all agree that Death Stars are a bad idea, but apart from that, I think we have many, many other aspects in this.  So again, I think what this policy says is, don’t ask that question; let’s rephrase the question and ask it in a different way.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Other questions out there?  Greg?

Q:  I’m Greg Thielmann, Arms Control Association.  I’m scratching my head a bit on the idea of equitable arms control.  At first glance, it seems like, obvious, of course.  But in the context of space arms control, I am not sure what it means.  And I would think that, given U.S. advantage at this point, that would not be the first major emphasis in terms of equitability of impact, if that is what the implication is.  So maybe one of you can kind of illuminate that in terms of what was really meant by equitability.

MR. MACDONALD:  I will jump in a little bit on that.  I scratched my head over that one a little bit, myself, until I went back and checked and found that that was the term that was used in the Clinton space policy.  When you think about it a little more, I take your point.

I am reminded of – was it a Supreme Court justice who said that the law with majestic impartiality prevents both the rich and the poor from sleeping under railroad bridges?  The United States, in one sense, could have more to lose.  But on the other hand, we have more to gain as well.

And again, I think if you look at it not so much like in a bean-counting exercise that you – and that is what a lot of people think of when they think about arms control.  If though, for example, you had a ban on the testing of kinetic energy ASAT, that is not a numbers thing so much as it is a restraint on something that would be destabilizing both – for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is just all the debris that would be created.

So I think as much as anything, it might be a carryover.  You are a veteran bureaucrat – former bureaucrat, yourself, as I am, and a number of others in the room – and you know the language that has been agreed in the past tends to have a high precedent value.  And so when I read “equitable,” I think of that as being that it should not unfairly disadvantage the United States is what I take from it.  But it is a slightly puzzling word in there.

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  Perhaps just to take this – to flip it on its head and to tie another phrase in the policy, which is this whole idea of instead of saying the United States, but saying the freedom – I think it is “the freedom of action of a nation” – I think that is really key.

When you take this into the international context, there is a whole set of emerging space powers, countries that look to being space powers who are very interested in how this is going to play out from an equity perspective.  They see their right to develop space activities, in many ways, to experiment and make some of the mistakes that we have all learnt weren’t such a good idea – for example, anti-satellite weapons blowing up satellites.  We have learnt that that wasn’t such a hot idea.  Maybe Botswana hasn’t quite got that yet.  And I think that that’s really key.

So understanding equitability from both the U.S. national security perspective, but also for all of these emerging actors I think is a very difficult balance to strike.  And I think something like a ban on kinetic ASATs is one of the few examples in space where you really can say okay, this is good for the community at large and has an equal effect on the vast majority of the players in the game.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Sam and Victoria, let’s take two.

Q:  I have a question about the principles – actually two questions.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Identify yourself, please.

Q:  I’m Sam Black from the Stimson Center.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Thank you.

Q:  The principle that Marcia mentioned where it talks about deter, defend and defeat efforts to attack, the first sentence says that, “the United States will employ a variety of measures to help assure the use of space for all responsible parties.”  And I’m wondering how we assure defend, deter, defeat the use of space for everyone.

And the second question is in the principle above that, it says, “the United States considers the space systems of all nations to have the rites of passage through and conduct of operations in space without interference.”  And I’m wondering what this says about the U.S. willingness to use jamming capabilities, for example.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Victoria?

MS. SAMSON:  Victoria Samson.  As I mentioned before, I was intrigued by the use of international outreach in this national space policy.  And I would be curious to get the panel’s take on how they envision this actually happening not just in terms of where it will take place.  I think we have all agreed the CD is having its difficulties.  COPUOS is having some events.  But do you see it happening solely in international fora or will it be with other space actors who are of interest?

And besides where it will take place, who will it take place with?  Will it just be traditional United States allies?  Will it be other space actors that could affect U.S. assets in space?  A country like Iran has a very active space program, but clearly, one would be loath calling them an ally these days.  So I would be curious to hear your take on, who do we reach out to and how do we go about doing it?  Thanks.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Any of the panel want to start on those sets of questions?

MS. SMITH:  Well, I am not quite sure what Sam was trying to get at.  But I think that, as I was saying earlier, I think that the language in the Obama policy leaves the door open to a variety of different mechanisms.  And it does not preclude an anti-satellite attack particularly, but it makes it more likely that the United States would look at other mechanisms to deal with that kind of a situation before they would go so far as to actually try to defeat someone who was trying to interfere with our satellites.

And I think the language in here indicates that, yes, purposeful interference of space systems will be considered an infringement of a nation’s rights.  I am not sure that that would preclude the United States from interfering with someone else’s satellites if we thought that satellite was infringing on our rights.  I don’t see that language in here.  So I think it just – it opens the door to a variety of mechanisms to dealing with these eventualities.

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  I would add on to what Marcia said is just that I think it is very interesting that in the last principle we very clearly state that Article 51 of the U.N. Charter very clearly applies.  So I think the shift in language here is it is self-defense, it is deter, it is defend; it is always on the premise that there is some previous action.  So I would say that, as Marcia said, intentional interference would be looked on negatively, but also could arguably be a cause for invoking Article 51 and the right for self-defense.

Victoria, I wasn’t quite sure whether you were referring to general arms control issues or just general international cooperation.

MS. SAMSON:  (Off mike.)

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:   International outreach.  I think that what this policy demonstrates is that there are very many ways to do it.  There is going to be multilateral engagement in the diplomatic fora – probably outside the diplomatic fora, but in a diplomatic environment.

I also think that there is going to be a lot of potentially regional engagement.  We are seeing a rise in regional alliances in space in Asia – APSCO, APRSAF in the civil sector, but also some more other interesting alliances and more interest in certain states, such as Australia, in how space in the region is kind of playing out.

From a bilateral perspective, personally, I am a huge believer that using space as a soft-power tool is a huge possibility for the United States:  Using it as part of an aid package, supporting countries to build safe, responsible, effective space programs that aid development, telemedicine, tele-health, all those kinds of things is really crucial.  So I think that is one way that we could see it happening.

In addition, I think in our bilateral cooperation relationships, we need to be more consistent.  The Brazilians really hate us because we did a program with them, they started working with the Chinese and they lost a ton of money because they put a lot of money into the cooperation with the United States and now they are pissed.

I think building clear, established parameters on how we deal with our international partners when we enter into bilateral agreements and into bilateral international cooperation on specific programs is really key.  And what I think this policy does is lay down some clear guidelines about what direction and how we are going to do this.  And I hope that that continues through in the implementation.

MR. MACDONALD:  Let me just add one point there.  As we were talking earlier in response to Sam’s question, now, really, there is a different ethnic in peacetime versus in conflict when you have been attacked.

But this, I think – I want to reemphasize a point I made earlier and that is because we get more benefit out of space from a purely military perspective – not to mention economic, but from purely military perspective, we get more benefit from space than anybody else.  I find it hard to see circumstances under which we would want to initiate space conflict, which, as I said, would just very likely bring attacks back against our systems.

Even during conflict, we ought to want there not to be conflict in space so that we can keep on taking advantage of seeing the troop deployments and the massive amounts of communications that would be going on.  And for those reasons, of course, somebody like China, were we to get a conflict over Taiwan Strait, would be sorely tempted to consider the possibility of initiating a space conflict.  And the trick for us is figuring out a way to be able to deter.

And deterrence doesn’t just have to be with a counterspace capability.  It could be with other means as well.  Figuring out how to do that, and in a credible way and enunciating that doctrine of that, that is going to be the tricky thing to handle, I think, in the years ahead.

MS. SMITH:  And if I could just add one thing about Victoria’s question.  I think that each country is going to have to be dealt with individually.  There is going to have to be targeted approaches depending on what the country is.  Everybody wants to know are we going to be reaching out more to China.  And I think there are a lot of people in the space community see advantages to reaching out to China.

But then you get the kind of lash-back that you got from Congressman Wolf at the markup on Tuesday – at the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations markup where he made it absolutely clear that he does not think that the United States should be cooperating with China at all on space.  And Congressman Culberson actually introduced an amendment that would have made it so that we could not cooperate with China in space unless Congress first gave it approval.

So there certainly are – there is a group of people out there who think that cooperating with China still is not a good idea.  And I think that, that debate still has not reached its end.  It obviously has not reached its end.  And so whether it is China or Iran or whoever it is, I think it is going to be on a case-by-case basis.

MR. ABRAMSON:  Back to Ben.

MR. BASELEY-WALKER:  I would just like to pick up on Bruce’s analogy of the Taiwan Straits.  I am not sure I quite agree that the Taiwan Straits would play out in that kind of way.  I think what we are seeing with some of the larger, emerging space players is the same kind of awareness that we are seeing in this policy, which is that space is an integral part of many other aspects of our business as opposed to just the military security realm.  It is economics.  It is communications.  It is, it is, it is.

So whether the Chinese are prepared to cut their own nose off to spite the face, I think is a conversation that we now can effectively enter into as the levels of engagement in space is increasing.  And I think that that’s really important to realize.

In addition, following onto Victoria’s question, another part of international outreach is convincing everybody in the international community that space is really important to them – not to us, but to them – so that it really isn’t in your best interest to initiate space conflict; it really isn’t in your best interest to engage in a potential situation that could be deleterious to your own engagement in space or utilization of space resources and services.

MR. ABRAMSON:  I am going to take moderator’s prerogative to make a closing comment.  I think we had a great panel discussion on both of those questions.  I think, Sam, you have pointed out some of the ambiguities that are within the policy that I think, moving forward, might be in the U.S. interests to clarify, especially if it is a less aggressive approach and expectations that other countries would follow that as a norm.

On Victoria’s question, I just would throw in – and I shouldn’t because I am not an expert on this – but I have been really impressed in terms of other actors that are going to push for international cooperation on what the commercial sector is doing.  I mean, really sort of seeing their cooperation around space situational awareness.

I think you will continue to see them pushing for more transparency in what government is doing.  It is not a state-to-state type work, but as this is increasingly not just a military use of space, I think we will see other actors outside of what we’ve normally thought of as being involved.  And that gets way out of my arms control area but one of the observations I have.

I want to ask you to thank the panelists for their great comments and insights and for putting this together in such a short time.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you all for coming.

 

(END)

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Panelists: Marcia Smith, Ben Baseley-Walker, and Bruce MacDonald

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