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Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
April 15, 2019
Events

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)

Description: 

Panelists: Marcia Smith, Ben Baseley-Walker, and Bruce MacDonald

Subject Resources:

No time for complacency: tackling challenges to the Chemical Weapons Convention

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Presentation at the conference “The OPCW’s Contribution to the International Security Dimension: Achievements and Challenges,” Berlin, 7-8 June 2010

Remarks by Oliver Meier, June 8, 2010

I would like to thank the organizers for inviting me to speak on this panel. The Arms Control Association is a non-governmental organization based in Washington D.C. that has been promoting more effective arms control agreements for almost 40 years. In our monthly journal Arms Control Today, many leading experts, some of which participating in this conference, have been analysing the challenges facing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in-depth from the very early days of the convention. In addition, we regularly report from The Hague on meetings of states parties and developments at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It is from the latter perspective, rather than from a technical point of view, that I would like to make a few observations on the subject of this conference, that is achievements of the CWC and challenges facing the treaty.

1. Achievements of the OPCW and the CWC

The main achievement of the Chemical Weapons Convention is that it demonstrates that weapons of mass destruction can be verifiably and comprehensively prohibited. The CWC embodies the taboo against chemical weapons and it has been key in making sure that chemical weapons are no longer legitimate means of warfare.

The OPCW creates the necessary trust that member states are not violating the core obligations of the convention. This is no small task because out of the three categories of weapons of mass destruction, abolition of chemical weapons is by not necessarily the easiest case. Unlike biological weapons, chemical weapons had become engrained into the Cold War system of deterrence. And verification of chemical weapons nonproliferation requires the monitoring of thousands of relatively small facilities around the world that could be misused for hostile purposes, whereas in the nuclear nonproliferation regime there are a few hundred facilities that need to be verified. So from an international security and verification point of view, successful implementation of the CWC is a giant step forward.

These accomplishments are particularly important against the background of the current debate on whether a world free of nuclear weapons can ever be attained and verified. Despite all the differences between chemical and nuclear weapons, the OPCW’s core message is “Yes, we can!”

Another achievement is that the OPCW itself has overcome severe internal crises. After the dismissal of his predecessor, Director General Rogelio Pfirter has steered the organization back on solid ground from which it now needs to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. Despite the difficulties it faces, the organization is in very good shape.

2. Challenges facing the OPCW and the CWC

Diplomats in The Hague are rightly proud of the spirit of consensus that is present in the

OPCW. There has been only one decision in the history of the organization that has been taken by a vote rather than by consensus. Yet, this spirit of consensus can sometimes make it difficult to take adequate action on issues that are important yet also potentially divisive politically.

These potentially controversial issues include two of the most important political challenges facing the convention, namely

  1. how ensure that new technical developments do not undermine the general purpose criterion, and
  2. how to adjust the verification regime to changing economic and political realities at a time when the verification of destruction activities is bound to become relatively less resource-intensive.

There are other important challenges facing the convention, particularly how to deal with the fact that the United States and probably Russia will not be able to meet the 2012 destruction deadline. But this is a technical and legal issue, rather than a political problem. Nobody seriously doubts the political commitment of possessor states to eliminate existing stocks. That is why this problem is not affecting the core of the convention, the taboo against chemical weapons.

By contrast, the question of how to deal with novel technological developments that could undermine the general purpose criterion is a deeply political issue. Several states parties are apparently interested in using novel riot control agents in the context of peacekeeping or antiterrorism operations. Some have already done so in the past. Such operations are constantly becoming more important, thus creating a new demand for toxic agents to be used in such scenarios. At the same time, new technological developments are making it possible to develop ever more capable incapacitants and riot control agents. Discussions at the last review conference have shown that many states parties and certainly non-governmental organizations (NGOs) see a need to clarify two questions:

  • What are the permitted circumstances under which toxic chemicals may be used for riot control and domestic law enforcement?
  • Which agents may be used for such purposes?

Should these questions not be clarified, there is a real danger the resulting ambiguities may be exploited to expand the use of toxic chemicals and the norm against the use of chemicals for hostile purposes may slowly erode.

Reforming the CWC’s verification system is another political challenge that can weaken the convention. A range of problems lies ahead. States parties need to make sure that

  • the OPCW will continue to strengthen its nonproliferation regime as the task of monitoring chemical disarmament is losing relative importance,
  • the rising number of modern production facilities that can easily be misused for prohibited purposes are adequately monitored and
  • novel verification techniques and technologies are used by the OPCW inspectorate.

So far, the reaction of states parties to these problems has been insufficient. At most, member states were able to discuss incremental measures to address these problems. In the case of non-lethal weapons, the second review conference was unable to even agree on a modest Swiss proposal to “launch a discussion of the ambiguities of the Chemical Weapons Convention regarding riot control agents, and the lack of provisions pertaining to incapacitating agents.”[1] Any mentioning of the issue was deleted from the final document, following a last minute intervention by Iran.[2]

Likewise, the reform of the verification system is also proceeding too slowly. There are a number of reasons why such an incremental approach may turn out to be insufficient. Reorienting the verification system takes time, not least because adequate training of inspectors cannot be done on short notice. There is also the danger that the OPCW could suddenly find itself in a crisis because a state party successfully evades the system of routine inspections. It was such a crisis after the discovery of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program that triggered a reform of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguards system in the early 1990s. It is to be hoped that the OPCW will never find itself in a similar situation of having to admit that its routine inspections failed to uncover a major clandestine effort to develop weapons of mass destruction.

3. What is to be done?

It seems increasingly clear that addressing both challenges requires political leadership, ideally from one or several influential countries within the regime. The reasons why this leadership has largely been lacking are fairly obvious: Some states are putting their own narrow economic and national security interests before the good of the convention. Reforming the verification regime touches on economic interests, particularly in developing countries and emerging economies. Other states believe that a clarification of the restrictions on the use of incapacitants and riot-control agents could restrict the conditions under which they might in the future use so-called non-lethal weapons.

Looking at the experience in other international organizations, change usually comes as a result of either a deep crisis or because influential coalitions of states demonstrate the political will to push for reforms. Such coalitions of the willing, which ideally cut across regional groups, have induced change in a number of other arms control regimes.

There is a particular role for the EU in tackling the challenges facing the convention. The EU has repeatedly stated that it is concerned about the challenges facing the verification system and it has highlighted the importance of not using riot control agents for purposes prohibited under the convention.[3] The EU itself is already a coalition of like-minded states and therefore in a perfect position to push for political reforms aimed at keeping the implementation of the convention up-to-date.

As Ambassador Pfirter has demonstrated, the Director General can also play an important role by constantly reminded states parties that complacency on controversial issues can seriously affect the operation of the convention and by making specific proposals for the solution of such problems. It is to be hoped that the new Director General will continue to do fulfill both functions.

Last but not least, non-governmental organizations have an important role to play in supporting the convention. Where necessary, NGOs need to report on the lack of action by states parties but they also can assist CWC members by outlining ways to overcome the challenges the convention faces. If necessary, NGOs can try to create public pressure to induce states to act.

4. Conclusion

Two years ago, the Arms Control Association published a reader for the review conference, which contained a range of contributions from leading experts on the implementation of the CWC.[4] The introduction to that reader was titled “No Time for Complacency: Adapting the Chemical Weapons Convention for the Future.” The main thrust was a call on states parties to tackle some of the difficult challenges that face the convention today and in the future.

Not enough has happened in this regard at the second review conference and very little since. But fortunately the OPCW and CWC are strong enough to endure a controversial, open and transparent discussion on these and other issues that could affect the operation of the convention and – in the end might undermine the taboo against chemical weapons. – OLIVER MEIER



1. “Riot Control and Incapacitating Agents under the Chemical Weapons Convention”, National Paper Submitted by Switzerland, Second Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention, The Hague, 7-18 April 2008.

2. Oliver Meier: “CWC Review Conference Avoids Difficult Issues,” in: Arms Control Today, May 2008), pp. 32–35.

3. See for example Statement By Ms Anita Pipan, Director General for Policy Planning and Multilateral Political Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Slovenia on Behalf of the European Union and Associated Countries, to the Second Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, The Hague, 7 April 2008.

4. “The 2008 Chemical Weapons Convention Review Conference: A Collection of Articles, Essays, and Interviews on Tackling the Threats Posed by Chemical Weapons”, Washington, D.C.: Arms Control Association, April 2008, http://www.armscontrol.org/pdf/CWC2008_READERWEB.pdf.

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Remarks by ACA International Representative Oliver Meier, June 8, 2010 during a "Perspectives from NGOs" panel at a conference on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

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2010 NPT Review Conference Approaches the Finish Line

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Presentation for Hudson Institute-Partnership for a Secure America Event

Remarks by Daryl G. Kimball, May 24, 2010

Forty years ago, the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) set into place one of the most important international security bargains of all time: states without nuclear weapons pledged not to acquire them, while nuclear-armed states committed to eventually give them up. At the same time, the NPT allowed for the peaceful use of nuclear technology by non-nuclear weapon states under strict and verifiable control. The NPT is a good deal that must be honored and strengthened.

The NPT must be strengthened because, once again—and not for the first time—the nuclear nonproliferation system is facing a crisis of confidence. The May 2010 NPT Review Conference provides an important opportunity for the pact’s 189 members to adopt a balanced action plan to improve nuclear safeguards, guard against treaty withdrawal, accelerate progress on disarmament, and address regional proliferation challenges.

Based on my conversations over the past few weeks with key delegations in at the Conference at the UN in New York and our analysis of the conference documents, it is clear that President Obama’s nonproliferation and disarmament approach has created a far more positive atmosphere among all States Parties. For example:

  • Unlike the 2005 NPT Review Conference, the United States and the other P-5 nuclear weapon states have acknowledged the commitments made at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and the 2000 Review Conference, which has opened the way from agreement in a number of areas;
  • In contrast to 2005, Iran is more clearly outside the nonproliferation mainstream and does not have the degree of support it had from many non-aligned states; and
  • While there is a great deal of frustration from many states in the non-nuclear weapons majority about the slow pace of progress on disarmament, there is a greater degree of flexibility begin demonstrated by all sides in the interest of reaching agreement on a forward-looking action plan that reinforces the NPT system.

As a result, as the Conference enters the final week, “success” appears to be within reach but can by no means be taken for granted.

Tonight, the NPT RevCon Main Committees, which deal with implementation of past commitments, and Subsidiary Bodies, which are charged with examining forward-looking issues, are to complete and report on their work to the Conference. At that point, the RevCon will enter the final stage in which the Conference President Libran Cabactulan of the Philippines will try to resolve the remaining issues and produce a final conference document that can be supported by all states, or at least the overwhelming majority of states.

To succeed, Ambassador Cabactulan will likely need key leaders, particularly President Obama, to provide the personal leadership necessary to bring key states together around a balanced and meaningful plan of action. If the Conference does not arrive at an agreement, it would represent a lost opportunity, but not the end of efforts to strengthen the NPT system.

The following is a summary of some of the more significant outcomes that might emerge from this process.

1. Disarmament Issues: The 2010 RevCon will likely recommend further actions in several key areas on nuclear disarmament. Under the leadership of Austrian Ambassadors Alexander Marchik, the latest (May 21) draft Subsidiary Body Report balances a wide-range of proposals and concerns. The current draft outlines a 24-point Action Plan that includes language:

  • calling for prompt CTBT entry into force and progress toward a fissile material production cut-off treaty;
  • recognizing the value of New START and calling for further undertakings to reduce and eliminate all types of nuclear weapons;
  • recognizing the need to further diminish the role and significance of nuclear weapons in security concepts, doctrines and policies, and to address nuclear weapons on the territories of non-nuclear countries and to discuss declaratory policies;
  • calling for steps to reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems and reduce the risk of accidental or unauthorized use and to enhance transparency.

China reportedly doesn’t like the current language in Action 18 which calls on all nuclear weapon states to “uphold or consider declaring a moratorium” pending conclusion of a fissile materials treaty.  Russia seems determined to remove any explicit reference to non-strategic nuclear weapons, but would accept general language relating to the need to reduce and eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, as in the current draft.

The disarmament Action Plan also includes a clear reference to and support for a comprehensive approach on a path to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. This is important from the perspective of the non-nuclear weapon state majority because it would provide the non-nuclear countries with reassurance that the New START process and the reaffirmed steps from 2000 will be pursued with context and direction.

There is pragmatic language in this regard in the May 21 Subsidiary Body 1 draft report, notably section II, para 3, which notes that “all States possessing nuclear weapons, need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.”

Action 6 calls upon the nuclear-weapon States “… to report back to States parties on the consultations, within the upcoming review cycle. Based inter alia on the outcome of these consultations, the Secretary General of the United Nations is invited to convene an open-ended high-level meeting to take stock and agree on a roadmap for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, including by means of a universal, legal instrument.”

Whether the P-5 agree to keep such language in the final document could very well determine whether or not a large bloc of countries are willing to support the final outcome.

2. Regional Issues: For weeks, the P-5 led by the United States and the Arab States, led by Egypt, have been working in good faith to achieve agreement on practical next steps toward a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. The May 21 draft report out of Subsidiary Body 2:

  • recognizes the critical importance of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East
  • notes the P-5 statement’s commitment to its full implementation, and regrets there has been so little progress.

The draft endorses:

  • an “initial conference” in 2012 convened by the UN Secretary-General and involving all states in the Middle East, “leading to the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by the States of the region...;” and
  • a Special Coordinator with a mandate to facilitate implementation of the 1995 Resolution, conduct consultations and undertake preparations for the Conference and, importantly, “follow-on steps,” with reports to be provided to NPT states parties at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 PrepComs.

Whether this language will be supported by key parties this week remains to be seen, but it appears to be a very good attempt to address the views of key parties. I would underscore that Israel is on record in support of the pursuit of a WMD-free zone in the region and, according to my sources, would support a conference in the near term to discuss, but not negotiate on the issue, with future meetings to be scheduled via agreement amongst all parties, as outlined in the current NPT RevCon draft language.

For the sake of the conference and the credibility of the NPT itself, Egypt needs to be able, and willing, to deliver a tangible result. For the United States and others, winning the support for Egypt and the NAM states on this issue is important to making it clear that Iran is outside the NPT mainstream. All sides must go the extra mile on this issue, which appears resolvable.

On North Korea, the draft condemn North Korea’s 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests and give “firm support” to the Six Party Talks, to resolve nuclear problems “through diplomatic means.”  North Korea is urged to fulfill its commitments, including completely and verifiably abandoning all its nuclear weapons “and existing nuclear programmes,” and to “return, at an early date,” to the NPT and IAEA safeguards.

The draft also urges India and Pakistan to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear weapons states and urges both states to “strengthen their non-proliferation export control measures over technologies, material and equipment that can be used for the production of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.”

Though a number of delegates have complained that the Indian exemption from NSG nuclear cooperation guidelines has weakened the NSG and undermined the NPT, criticism at the RevCon has been generally been muted.  A number of states have proposed language that “existing or new supply arrangements for the transfer of source or special fissionable material or equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material should require, as a necessary precondition, acceptance of IAEA full scope safeguards and international legally binding commitments not to acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”

That language will likely be contested by the major supplier states because it is a direct criticism of the exemption from nuclear trade guidelines that was granted to India, which is does not have a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.

The chief concern among many states is that there should not be further exemption for Pakistan and Israel. To counter the impression that a further erosion of the nonproliferation system is on the way, it is important that the United States publicly protest the proposed Chinese sale of two light-water reactors to Pakistan as a violation of NSG guidelines at the June NSG meeting in Wellington.

3. Peaceful Nuclear Uses, Safeguards, and Treaty Withdrawal: there appears to be an emerging consensus on several other controversial but important issues.

Iran’s safeguards transgressions and the ongoing investigation of Syrian nuclear activities by the IAEA have highlighted once again the importance of strengthening safeguards. While the vast majority of NPT States Parties have Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements with the IAEA, many have not adopted the Additional Protocol to their safeguards agreements, which would give the IAEA important additional authority to investigate undeclared nuclear activities.

While many Western countries support the Additional Protocol as the verification standard, developing states generally oppose making it a legally-binding obligation. The 2010 RevCon will not close such divergent views, but it will likely recognize the additional protocol as the new standard for safeguards and encourage all States parties to conclude additional protocols and to bring them into force as soon as possible.

North Korea’s declared but unrecognized withdrawal from the NPT in 2003 highlights that countries can acquire technologies that bring them to the very brink of nuclear weapons capability without violating the treaty and can leave the treaty without automatic penalties. In the years ahead, others such as Iran may be tempted to follow. NPT members have a common interest in ensuring that noncompliance comes with consequences.

The 2010 NPT RevCon will likely “underscore” that “under international law a withdrawing party is still liable for breaches of the Treaty that occurred prior to withdrawal” and that “nuclear material, equipment and technology acquired by States for peaceful purposes prior to withdrawal must remain subject to peaceful use under the IAEA safeguards even after withdrawal.”

Conclusions: States should aim for consensus.  It is achievable. Remaining issues appear to be resolvable in the final week.  However, neither the United States nor other states should or can afford to introduce new issues or rigid counterproposals into the mix.

Maneuvers that demonstrate that a supermajority supports an outcome document risk creating long term resentments, and should only be considered as a last resort if there is only a small handful of states unhappy with relatively minor or purely national issues. Such an effort would backfire if attempted to overcome disagreements over a fundamental concern shared by dozens of NPT parties.

President Obama needs to be involved and I expect he will be personally engaged in the final days of NPT RevCon diplomacy. The President’s personal interventions with key leaders on key issues could help make a difference.

The stakes are high for U.S. national security and for the health of the non-proliferation regime. President Obama’s substantial leadership this past 15 months on reducing the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation and use has already made this NPT RevCon more positive and fruitful.

Delegations need clear instructions to get the job done and not allow extraneous political agendas or minor interpretations to get in the way of a broader consensus. All sides must go the extra mile to strengthen and update the NPT system at this critical juncture.

We will see what happens in less than five days. Thank you.

Description: 

Remarks by ACA Executive Director Daryl G. Kimball, May 24, 2010 during a Presentation for Hudson Institute-Partnership for a Secure America Event.

Transcript of ACA Annual Meeting: Next Steps on Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction

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ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

NEXT STEPS ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS THREAT REDUCTION

ACA ANNUAL MEETING


PANEL: NUCLEAR REDUCTIONS, NONPROLIFERATION, AND NUCLEAR SECURITY

 

WELCOME/MODERATOR:

DARYL G. KIMBALL,

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,

ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION


SPEAKERS:

LINTON BROOKS

FORMER LEAD U.S. NEGOTIATOR FOR 1991 START ACCORD;

FORMER ADMINISTRATOR,

NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION


JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

PRESIDENT, PUGWASH CONFERENCES ON SCIENCE AND WORLD AFFAIRS; FORMER UNDERSECRETARY-GENERAL

FOR DISARMAMENT AFFAIRS, UNITED NATIONS;


PRESIDENT, 1995 NPT REVIEW & EXTENSION CONFERENCE

KENNETH N. LUONGO

president, Partnership for Global Security;

Co-Chair, Fissile Materials Working Group;

FORMER DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


LUNCH KEYNOTE SPEAKER: ROSE GOTTEMOELLER

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR VERIFICATION, COMPLIANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE


MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010

10:15 A.M.

WASHINGTON, D.C.


Transcript by

Federal News Service

Washington, D.C.

 

DARYL G. KIMBALL:  Good morning, my friends.  Good morning.  I’m Daryl Kimball.  I’m executive director of the Arms Control Association.  I want to welcome everyone to this 2010 ACA annual meeting.  We’re going to get started now that everyone is settled in.  On behalf of the board and the staff, thanks for coming.

We’re going to begin this morning with a panel discussion focusing on three issues that are near the top of the U.S. international security agenda, including the “New START” deal, the pivotal 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and the results of and the next steps following last month’s nuclear security summit.  And then after we hear from our three distinguished speakers, who I’ll introduce in just a moment, we’re going to take your questions, have some discussion.

And then we’re going to break for lunch, which is going to be served right outside in a buffet style.  And then our luncheon speaker, Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller will be joining us shortly after noontime after a meeting at the White House that she has at 11:00.  She assures me that she will be here no later than 12:15.

And then following that luncheon address and questions for Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller, those of you who are members of the Arms Control Association are welcome to join me, our board chairman John Steinbruner, other board members for a discussion about the Arms Control Association’s current work and our upcoming work in 2010.  We’re going to meeting downstairs in the room in the rear of this building, which I believe is called the Butler Room.

And it is indeed a very busy period, not just for the Arms Control Association but for the entire U.S. government, and international arms control, and disarmament, and nonproliferation machinery, if you will.  Since President Obama spoke in Prague on April 5th of last year, we’ve seen one of the busiest periods in the recent history of nuclear arms control.

Talks on the “New START” treaty began shortly after that Prague speech.  The 2009 NPT preparatory conference agreed on an agenda for the upcoming review conference, which begins next month.  There were new efforts to engage Iran in nonproliferation diplomacy that are still being attempted, though without success.  The Obama administration launched technical studies to lay the groundwork for the reconsideration of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.  In September, the U.N. Security Council considered and approved U.N. Security Council Resolution 1887.

And then to accelerate work and add to the work even more, just in this past month, of course, we saw the New START agreement being completed and signed on April 8th. The administration’s Nuclear Posture Review was released on April 6th and just about a week later, 46 world leaders met in Washington for a summit to discuss actions to lock down nuclear weapons-usable material.

That was the easy part, and now the hard part begins.  And our speakers are going to be addressing what needs to happen next to move forward on these three very important issues, beginning with Senate approval of the new START agreement, securing international support for measures to strengthen and update the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the May Review Conference and moving forward with the implementation of the work plan that was agreed to at the Nuclear Security Summit earlier this month.

And after that, sometime in 2011, there’s even more work that the Arms Control Association and many of you will be helping with, including a serious campaign on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which we hope will begin in earnest sometime in 2011.  We’re not going to be discussing that today, but I just wanted to point out that we do have a very good Arms Control Association report on the CTBT outside on the table that you are all welcome to take with you.

This morning we’re joined by three experts who are going to address the issues I’ve just mentioned:

First, we’re going to hear from Ambassador Linton Brooks, who is going to provide us with his analysis and perspectives on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, including perhaps responses to some of the questions that have been raised thus far about the treaty from some skeptics in the Senate.  He, of course, is known to many of you.  He was the lead negotiator for the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration from 2003 to 2007, and many other things before that.

And then, to describe how the United States and other parties can achieve success at the upcoming NPT Review Conference, we’re very fortunate and honored to have with us the president of the 1995 review and extension conference, Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala.  He is currently the president of the Pugwash Conferences.  He has been the undersecretary of disarmament affairs at the United Nations.  So we’re very fortunate to have him here with us just a few days before the opening of this very important review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty next month.

I also wanted to note that we have a new report from the Arms Control Association that we think of as kind of a Cliff Notes guide of some of the major proposals that have been put forward to strengthen and update the treaty out on the table.  And you’re welcome to take copies of this report.

And last but not least, we’re joined by Ken Luongo from beautiful northern New Jersey, who’s made his way here, courtesy of AMTRAK.  I was joking with Ken, we’re a little nervous not about his ability to get up in the morning, but about Amtrak’s ability to get him here.  He is here.  He is the president of the Partnership for Global Security and the co-chair of the Fissile Material Working Group, which is an NGO experts consortium that focused on the nuclear security summit this month.  Ken is going to provide us with his assessment of the nuclear security summit and the actions necessary to follow through in the weeks and months ahead.

So let me turn over the podium to our first panelist, Linton Brooks.  Thank you very much for being here, Linton.  (Applause.)

LINTON BROOKS:  So I’m in a room with most of the arms control knowledge in the United States, and I’m going to be followed in an hour-and-a-half by the person who actually negotiated the “New START” treaty.  So this is – you know, and Daryl thinks of me as a friend, so just – (laughter) – be careful what you’ll agree to.

I am going to talk about “New START.”  But before I do, I want to make a point about the lens through which you should be looking at this treaty.  Or more importantly, the lens through which you should not be looking at this treaty:  You should not evaluate “New START” by some of the traditional Cold War metrics:

In the Cold War, we wanted to constrain the arms race.  We saw this action-reaction cycle and we thought that if we could constrain the arms race, we would also save money.  And in the Cold War, we wanted to improve stability in a crisis by encouraging a shift away from ICBMs with multiple warheads.

Now, neither of those objectives has very much relevance today.  There is no arms race to cap and therefore there’s no money to save.  And while in theory, improving stability in a crisis would be a good idea, conditions in Russia preclude massive restructuring of their forces no matter what an arms control treaty says.  So the two sides agreed at the beginning of this negotiation that each would have the freedom to structure its forces as it sees fit.

Now, there are Cold War objectives that still do matter:  One is to reduce suspicion and avoid misunderstanding through increased transparency and predictability.  Transparency leads to predictability; predictability leads to stability.  And second objective is to improve the overall political relationship.  The ability to work together on complex issues helps advance the administration’s attempt to reset relations with Russia.  So those are reasons that were valid in the Cold War, and they’re still valid.

And then there are at least two reasons that we didn’t think about at all during the Cold War that are now important.  One is next month’s review conference for the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We will want to achieve a number of results.  And to do so, we will need to be seen as supporting the legal aspects of the international nonproliferation and disarmament regime.

Now, I don’t share the view that the last administration neglected those aspects.  But to the extent people have the perception that the last administration did, then the “New START” treaty will help.  I’ll defer to your next speaker about how much it will help, but it will clearly help.

And then finally, there’s one more new reason, which, frankly, we never thought about during the Cold War.  And that is nuclear abolition.  If you believe in nuclear abolition – and some of you know I am a skeptic – but if you believe in nuclear abolition, then it is obvious that the first step is to reduce the arsenals of the two largest holders of nuclear weapons on the planet.

So it’s those currently valid reasons that you should look at as you try and evaluate the “New START” treaty.

So what’s in the new treaty?  There are three fundamental limits:  There’s a limit on what we used to call and what the Nuclear Posture Review still calls “strategic nuclear delivery vehicles.”  It’s not a term that’s used in the treaty, but it’s a term that we all use and it means ICBM launchers, submarine launchers, heavy bombers.  And that limit is 800.

There’s a separate limit of 700 IBCMs in those launchers, SLBMs in those launchers, and heavy bombers.  These are limits on actual missiles and heavy bombers.  And you’ll notice that means that if everybody is right up to the limit, there are a hundred launchers that don’t have anything in them or that are in some kind of long-term overhaul, which allows for submarine maintenance and bomber overhaul.

And then finally, there’s a limit of 1550 warheads.  Every arms control treaty in the last 20-some-odd years has denominated its result in warheads and every one of them has used the term slightly differently, and this treaty is no exception.  So you cannot directly compare this treaty with previous treaties simply by looking at number of warheads because they mean different things.  What this treaty means by 1550 warheads is real, physical, no-joke atom bombs on ICBMs and on submarine-launched ballistic missiles.  But for bombers, it means we will simply arbitrarily say, for every bomber, we will count one warhead.

The Nuclear Posture Review says that this was adopted because, quote, “heavy bombers do not pose a first-strike threat and on a day-to-day basis, few or no” – I think the answer is no – “bombers are loaded with nuclear weapons.”  To see how these fit together, just think of a single silo:  There’s a launcher; we have limits on launchers.  There’s a missile; we have limits on missiles.  There’s warheads; we have limits on warheads.

Verification is based on the START regime.  And here we come to the first topic that I believe we will have a full exchange of views over the next several months with the Senate – because it’s based on the START regime, but it is simple.  There’s still an extensive data exchange.  It’s still kept up to date by a complex series of notifications.  In fact, probably it’s a more robust set of notifications than we have.  There are inspections, the most important of which will check the number of warheads on a particular missile and will also verify that launchers that are declared not to have a missile in it really don’t.

Some other sort of broad points about “New START”:  Seven years to reach the new limits; that’s extremely generous.  Treaty will last 10 years unless it is replaced sooner.  I’ll talk about the prospects for that near the end.  Conventional strategic ICBMs and SLBMs – what’s called by the military “Prompt Global Strike” – is allowed but is counted.

This makes sense if you believe that it is a niche capability.  And I think most people do believe that, although some of you saw a joint op-ed by Secretary Perry and Secretary Schlesinger, which decried the fact that the administration hasn’t made this aspect clear.  My sense is they just didn’t think of it because they assumed everybody understood it was a niche capability, but they haven’t made it clear.  Their arms control approach makes most sense if you believe it’s a niche capability.

There are essentially no restrictions on ballistic missile defenses.  And “New START” will replace the Treaty of Moscow, the 2002 treaty that limited us to 1700 to 2200 warheads but had no verification provisions.

Now, today, we have 1200 launchers that will theoretically be covered by the “New START” treaty.  And so you’ll think, wow, go down to 800; that’s a really big reduction.  Well, many of those launchers are phantoms.  They are things that do not contribute to the nuclear capability of the United States.  They are empty Peacekeeper silos.  They are submarines that have been converted to carry non-nuclear cruise missiles.  They are B-1 bombers that have been out of the nuclear force for two decades.

So if you look at the Nuclear Posture Review and you look at what they say about bombers there and you look at 450 ICBMs that really exist, at 336 submarine launchers that really exist, and at the number of bombers the Nuclear Posture Review says are nuclear-capable, (which is 94), and you add that up -- you get 880 launchers.  So the actual reduction in launcher terms for us is quite modest.

Now, the administration hasn’t said how it will take these reductions.  They are, as I understand the National Defense Authorization Act, obligated to say so at the time they submit the treaty for ratification, which they hope to do in the first half of May.

What the Nuclear Posture Review does say is that under “New START,” we will continue to maintain the nuclear triad that is ICBMs, submarine missiles and bombers; that some B-52s will be converted away from their nuclear role – and some believe that will be a fairly substantial number; that the United States will consider going from 14 Trident submarines to 12 sometime in the second half of the coming decade, which you’ll note is conveniently when they actually have to meet these limits.

And that’s what it says about force structure.  It also says that Minuteman will all be downloaded to carry a single warhead.  Today we preserve the option to carry more than one warhead on some Minuteman missiles.

Now, there’s a unique feature of the “New START” treaty that you need to focus on because it will be the subject, I think, of some discussion.  “New START” – in Cold War treaties, we figured out what the limits were and then we figured out what we needed to do in verification to confirm that people were complying with those limits.

“New START” provides some exchanges entirely for transparency.  That is, we will exchange information that we do not need to verify 800 launchers, which is primarily national technical means; 700 missiles in those launchers, which is primarily inspections; 1550 warheads, which is primarily inspections.  In particular, we will exchange telemetry data on up to five ballistic missile launchers a year.

There is no need for that data to verify any of the START limits.  And the treaty states that the exchange is, quote, “designed to help forge a new strategic relationship of the parties.”  I’ll defer to Rose Gottemoeller the dialogue about how we got to there, but I will simply say that neither side wanted a full exchange of telemetry on all launchers, although for very different reasons.

There have been a number of issues raised about this treaty.  First, the reductions are modest.  The warhead reductions are about 30 percent – remembering my rule that you can’t directly characterize things – but at least on the Russian side, the warhead reductions are 30 percent, and I think you can say that that’s an honest reduction.  And as I already told you, the launcher reductions on our side are quite modest, and the launcher reductions on the Russian side are essentially nonexistent.

Is that a big deal?  Well, if you look back to the lens that I said before, where the benefits are transparency and predictability and the improved political relationship, then no, it’s not a big deal.  It could have been bigger.  The administration hopes to have another step that will be bigger.  But the fact that it’s only 30 percent is not particularly a big deal.

Second concern is ballistic missile defense.  “New START” does not constrain ballistic missile defenses.  The Russians have made a unilateral statement, however, that significant improvement in U.S. defenses would justify their withdrawal under the supreme national interests clause.

As you know, all arms control treaties have a clause that allows a side to withdraw under supreme – if it believes its supreme national interests require it.  Most treaties require a certain period of notification in that you explain why.  That’s the clause the United States used to withdraw from the 1972 ABM Treaty.

So at one level, the Russian statement is simply a statement of fact.  It has no legal effect.  It is interesting to note that the Soviets made almost the same statement to me in June of 1991 as we were winding up our negotiations.  The United States ignored that statement, and the United States should ignore this statement.  It is an attempt to manipulate the U.S. political process and we should not allow it to succeed.

A more substantive criticism, I think, is that the treaty does not cover Russian tactical weapons.  And that is of particular concern to some of our allies.  I mean, by definition, Russian tactical weapons are not much of a threat to us unless we plan to invade Russia.  But they are a threat to the allies that adjoin Russia.  Treaty was not intended to; it was made very clear in last April’s statement that it would not.  But nonetheless, it doesn’t.  The administration will seek limits on such warheads in a further treaty once “New START” is ratified.  And I’ll talk about that just a little bit.

And finally, although is technically unrelated to the START treaty itself, many of us have been concerned for a number of years about funding for the nuclear weapons enterprise, or what Undersecretary D’Agostino is now calling the national security enterprise.

Now, the 2011 president’s budget, if it is enacted and if it is sustained in the out years, ought to put those concerns to rest.  I have said before that I would have been thrilled by that budget any of the five years that I was responsible for NNSA and I’d have been even more thrilled by the high-level support that it represents.  But once again, that’s the president’s proposal.  What gets enacted is what gets enacted.

Now, what happens once “New START” is in force?  Well, the Nuclear Posture Review says that the next step will be to negotiate further reductions that will cover all warheads – tactical warheads, which we worry about, and non-deployed warheads – warheads that were primarily on the Trident D-5 missile, which we’ve just taken off and put into bunkers and which the Russians worry about.  That’s all the administration has said about the next step.

There is a 2007 report signed by a number of individuals, who are now confirmed officials, that speaks of a thousand deployed warheads as a logical number. I would not be surprised if something in that area, or a little below, is the target of the next step.

But this administration has not said – and as I understand it, has not, in any formal sense, decided – what the next step will be, other than that the next step will cover all warheads.  Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that it is somewhere in the range of 1,000 deployed warheads.  That would still be a bilateral negotiation.  The next step beyond “New START” is clearly bilateral.  We need at least one more step before we are in a position to try and bring other states in, and the next step will not force the elimination of the triad.  It will certainly force either substantial reductions in all legs or disproportionate reductions in some, but you can construct a viable triad at that level.

Now, I think the next step is going to be very, very difficult.  First, I think that if you’re the Russians and if you deeply believe that you’re conventionally inferior to lots of people, including NATO, your incentives to give up tactical weapons are very small.  Russian experts, notwithstanding the rhetoric of some of their leaders, are a good deal less supportive of the notion that zero is an obtainable goal than Western, particularly the U.S., experts are.  Whatever benefits you get from improving the relationship, you get from “New START.”

And finally, the Russians will almost certainly insist, in any follow-on, on much more significant constraints on missile defenses.  Some Russians have argued, with some justification, that they can accept no constraints on missile defenses in a 10-year treaty, because there’s only so much we can do, but they couldn’t accept having no constraints  indefinitely.  And we simply don’t have a good conceptual way to deal with missile defenses.  Since our missile defenses are not aimed at Russia, we don’t quite understand how to do it, and even if we did, we don’t understand how to trade offense and defense.

And so what that suggests to me is that the next step, if there is to be a next step, will take a very long time. And, therefore, “New START” (which, if I haven’t made it clear, I think ought to be approved by the Senate and ought to come into force) will be what regulates the nuclear relationship between the United States and Russia for a very long time.

Thanks very much, and after my colleagues have spoken, I’m looking forward to your questions.

MR. KIMBALL:   Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much, Linton, for that.  Next, we’ll hear from Ambassador Dhanapala. As he’s getting up, let me just also note that out on the table, we have a pre-publication draft of a very nice and sharp piece in the forthcoming issue of Arms Control Today by Steve Pifer from Brookings on START, if you didn’t catch all of Linton’s very detailed analysis.

Ambassador Dhanapala, thanks for being with us.

AMBASSADOR JAYANTHA DHANAPALA:  Thank you, Daryl.  Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  It’s a great pleasure to accept the invitation of the Arms Control Association and Daryl in particular.  We go back a long time fighting shoulder-to-shoulder in a number of struggles with regard to arms control, although I come from the perspective of disarmament, a fundamental difference in perspective here in Washington, D.C. But nevertheless, we have fought some losing battles on the Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation deal and some battles, which I hope will be successful, particularly in the Obama administration.

I’d like to begin with three preliminary points.  I’ve had association with the NPT going back to 1985, and you will forgive me not only for a sense of déjà vu but also for a slight degree of cynicism about the scrambling that goes on once in five years to prepare for the review conference, to take a balance sheet with regard to what happens and to look, sometimes through the prism of a kind of positive lens in order to ensure that the review conference accepts a final document by consensus so that we go on for another five years.

I know that the Shakespearean theatrical mechanism of a ghost sometimes has acted like a conscience. And I regard myself as a ghost from 1995 because I recall the many promises that were made to me personally and to the non-nuclear weapons states of the Non-Aligned Movement, that we needed an extension indefinitely in order to ensure predictability so that nuclear disarmament would take place rapidly.

And so we were successful under very, very difficult odds, to secure the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  We had a package of three decisions as well as a resolution on the Middle East.  And after the conclusion of the conference, we went back all too quickly to business as usual.  Happily, the 2000 NPT Review Conference succeeded in having an unequivocal undertaking for nuclear disarmament together with 13 steps.

But in 2005, despite Ambassador Brooks’ claims to the contrary, we had a total rejection of the undertakings given both in 1995 and in 2000 and, predictably, 2005 was a failure.  We therefore meet this year in New York under the shadow of that failure with all three pillars of the NPT – nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy – greatly weakened.  I will examine how these pillars have been weakened and what an uphill task we have of trying to recover from the damage that has been done.

My warning is that we cannot keep shifting the goalposts, that we cannot have changes in regime in one country being a justification for reneging on our promises and commitments that were made at review conferences.  There has to be a consistency in what follows in the review conferences.

Now, yes, there has been a dramatic atmosphere-change in the United States with the START treaty, the Nuclear Security Summit, and the Nuclear Posture Review.  But I would caution against assuming that the change of atmosphere alone is sufficient to ensure the success of the NPT Review Conference.

I say this because at the third prep com, where President Obama himself had a message to the state parties of the NPT and where Rose Gottemoeller headed the delegation and made a statement, too, we had very rapidly the adoption of the agenda and all the procedural issues being cleared very quickly, so that we don’t run into problems when the review conference itself meets.  But when it came to the recommendations at the end of the review conference – at the end of the prep com, rather, we were not able to agree.

So there are still very substantive differences of opinion among the states parties to the NPT and, therefore, it is not, I think, a foregone conclusion that the 2010 conference is going to be a success.  I know that there are a number of preparations being made and a number of discussions taking place, bilateral and multilateral. And we all, of course, hope for a productive multilateral conference.

But let me analyze the three pillars in greater detail.  The first pillar of nonproliferation:  Here we have Articles I and II, the core of the treaty.  We have problems with Article I because of the Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement, which the entire Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has endorsed and made exceptions for a nuclear weapons state to get the facilities, which a number of non-nuclear weapons states in the NPT have been deprived of.

This is a very serious step because I don’t think it is sufficiently realized what a body blow, what a grievous injury has been caused to the NPT as a result.  You have a number of countries, including Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, speaking in one voice about the harm that has been caused to the treaty.  Security Council Resolution 1172 is a dramatic contrast to the way in which the previous administration acquiesced in the cooperation deal with India.

The danger of the Indian deal being a precursor to other deals, which could accommodate Pakistan and Israel, is more real than apparent.  This is causing not only concerns to non-nuclear weapons states in general, but to the Arab countries in particular. This is because if Israel in the future gets the same privileges as India, I think the NPT, at that stage, will be a part of history.  So there has been a deal without any certainty that the Indians will come on board with regard to a CTBT.  We have also ominous voices within India talking about further tests, and all this is being, I think, swept under the carpet.  But there are people within the NPT who remain very, very concerned about this.

Then, with regard to Article II, we have, of course, the problems of DPRK and Iran and to some extent the problem of Syria as well.  DPRK clearly, after the effort to deflect the discussion from the Security Council into an agreed framework, continues to be outside the NPT.  It has tested twice, and it has a modest nuclear arsenal.  But I remain hopeful that the six-nation talks, led by the Chinese, will succeed through diplomacy in the same way as our talks with Libya did succeed in the past.  There is, I think, no great optimism on this score, but I think there is also a commitment on the part of the six to continue this negotiation track.

Iran is a much more serious and contentious issue because we are proceeding with regard to tighter sanctions, hopefully smarter sanctions, which will not prove a burden to the people of Iran, but which will be more targeted at the Iranian administration.  Here, too, if there were negotiations, bring Iran to the Security Council in May, I think it will gravely impede the success of the NPT Review Conference.  And so one hopes that the negotiations will take place in the interim and that the Iranian regime also realizes the virtue of the proposal made by Ambassador ElBaradei, the director general of the IAEA in the past, regarding the processing of the uranium Iran has.  We all know the problem, and we all know the proposals that have been made for Iran to come back into full compliance with the NPT.

I don’t underrate the difficulty, but I would also caution against being stampeded into action beyond the kind of diplomacy that we have committed ourselves to at the moment.  It is not going to be easy, but we must persist on the diplomatic track.

Likewise, with Syria, we hope that there will be some discussion of these issues.  I do not think in any of these cases, whether it is Iran or Syria, we can get any kind of naming of these countries in a final document that would probably end up with the final document not being adopted.

But we can, I think, reaffirm the fundamental nonproliferation goal that is there embedded in the NPT.  On the question of geographical proliferation or nuclear sharing, this issue has been persistently raised in past review conferences. And with five counties in Europe continuing to host U.S. nuclear weapons and with the German government calling specifically for their removal, I think we will hear voices once again in support of the total withdrawal of those nuclear weapons.

There is at the core of this pillar the lack of enforcement with regard to the nonproliferation norm of the NPT.  Relying entirely on the Security Council unfortunately does not appear to be credible enough because we have five permanent members with a veto power who are nuclear weapons states and in the eyes of the non-nuclear weapons states from the nonaligned movement, these policemen already suspect because of their own nuclear weapon position.

And so we have to devise other means.  There are proposals by the Canadians and others about an institutional mechanism which will help with regard to having some kind of a peer review, so that the nuclear weapons states parties and the non-nuclear weapons states parties of the NPT together can come to judgments with regard to compliance issues.  I think the sooner we move to that kind of mechanism, the better it is for the health of the NPT.

Moving on very quickly to the second pillar of disarmament, I will not attempt to deconstruct the “New START.”  We’ve heard from Ambassador Linton Brooks, and we will hear from Rose Gottemoeller. But there is no doubt that the general perception is a sense of relief that we are returning to traditional arms control and disarmament after something like 20 years.  Although some may regard the glass as being half-full or half-empty, depending on their perception, there are many in the Non-Aligned Movement who had hoped for something more than a 30 percent reduction.

There are many in the Non-Aligned movement who had hoped for an actual destruction of the weapons that were being discontinued because the shifting of weapons from deployed status to being in non-deployed status does not really eliminate nuclear weapons.  With the surge of optimism that took place with the op-ed of the four statesmen in 2007 and in 2008 – and there were reverberations around the world with similar op-eds from Europeans of a similar caliber and from Japan – it is unfortunate that we have begun to retreat from this glorious, lofty vision of a nuclear weapon-free world.

Now, I understand that President Obama needs to accommodate the right wing here in an effort to get the ratification of START and in order to ensure that his majority in Congress remains.  But despite his own difficulties, we are going to be seen as really not achieving what was promised in the Prague speech.  Likewise, with the Russian situation, we had Alexei Arbatov speaking from this platform telling us that there is a great deal of negative opinion in Russia with regard to their own sense of inferiority in conventional weapons, their reluctance to give up their nuclear weapons and their doubts as to whether beyond “New START” we are going to get any further agreements, not only because of the conventional arms issue but also because of the BMD issue.

In U.K., we don’t know what will happen at the election, but we have both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party wanting to continue with Trident, and that again is a set-back.  With China and France, we have likewise no major change.  The CTBT is unlikely to be ratified because of the politics within the United States. And if the United States’ ratification takes place, we know that we are certainly going to get the ratification from other countries as well.

And so we have the Nuclear Weapons Convention, which is very much the objective of a lot of NGOs and non-nuclear weapons states in the Non-Aligned Movement and is also endorsed by the U.N. Secretary-General, which will unfortunately remain a vision.

The third pillar of the peaceful uses:  Here, of course, we’ve had some progress with the Nuclear Security Summit, although indeed with Security Council Resolution 1540 being implemented with the fact that we have a Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Facilities and its 2005 amendment, which has still not been signed and ratified by a lot of those countries who came here to the summit, as well as the Nuclear Terrorism Convention.  But we have the pillars in place there in order to achieve the fact that the peaceful uses will take place and that there won’t be terrorists who can acquire these materials.

But the additional protocol, which remains the new gold standard for nonproliferation:  I believe it would be a mistake to make it mandatory for state parties of the NPT to have signed and ratified the additional protocol in order for them to receive Article IV benefits.  We need to encourage countries with incentives to join them because we can’t add to the obligations of a treaty which has already been in existence for 40 years.

Likewise, FMCT:  I think we need to encourage countries in the CD to move ahead. And here, Pakistan at the moment is the chief obstacle.  We need to, of course, ensure that Pakistan is encouraged by having some kind of amendment to the mandate ensuring a discussion of existing stockpiles.

There are other issues, and I do not have very much time. But I would like to remind the audience that nuclear weapon-free zones predated the NPT, and we had the Treaty of Tlatelolco being signed before the NPT was signed.  We now have 114 countries in five nuclear weapon-free zones, and these nuclear weapon-free zones represent the genuine commitment of non-nuclear weapon states to the nonproliferation norm.

We need to have some movement on the resolution on the Middle East, and here I have myself spoken out very frequently and loudly on the fact that without a resolution on the Middle East, we would not have got the indefinite extension of the NPT, and so we do need to have some practical steps agreed to, whether it’s a special coordinator or a special committee, to conduct consultations on how we can move forward on the resolution

So let me conclude very quickly because my time is up.  I think there are many recipes that have been advocated.  The Arms Control Association has its own recipe for the success of the 2010 Review Conference; the ICNND, the Gareth Evans-Kawaguchi report of 20 points; Pugwash itself has the Milan Document.  But I think ultimately there have to be action plans in each of the three pillars so that we can come to a reasonable conclusion. And we need to, I think, take vital steps on each of these pillars in order to ensure that we have a successful final document.

On balance, I think if we have action plans that repeat what was said in 2000 and take steps -- modest steps – on the Middle East as a weapons of mass destruction-free zone, we should end up with a successful adoption of a consensus document.  Let me stop there.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you.  Thank you very much for that very complete overview.  Now we’re going to turn to Ken Luongo, a member of the ACA board of directors who has been a force of nature on the subject of fissile material security and has worked very hard in recent weeks leading up to the Nuclear Security Summit.  Ken.

KENNETH N. LUONGO:  Thanks very much, Daryl and thanks for the invitation to speak today.  I’m happy to see so many friends and colleagues in the audience.

I have been a force of nature.  Unfortunately, last week I was asked to testify in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on this particular subject, and I sat there as the conversation ping-ponged between why we don’t like the Russians because of START and why we don’t like the Iranians because of their nuclear weapons program.  The issue of nuclear terrorism and a nuclear security summit resided in this complete no-man’s-land, and so I was happy to have given Amtrak their fee for the day to come down and be stage-dressing for others who knew more about the Iranian situation.

At any rate, I’m more pleased to be here today to talk about this subject, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk about an issue that doesn’t have nearly the kind of history behind it that either what Ambassador Brooks talked about – the long history of nuclear arms control – or that Ambassador Dhanapala talked about, which is the long history of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  What we have in the nuclear summit and what we have in this issue of nuclear security is a trans-national issue without a very coherent mechanism for driving it forward.  We have a lot of very different pieces of the puzzle, but we don’t necessarily have them well organized in a way that states actually know what it is that they should do to meet the challenge.

So let me start with what happened here two weeks ago.  For those of you who weren’t in Washington, I commend you because it was a disaster of traffic and very high blood pressure and lots of foul language, none of which was used by me, by the way.  The April 12-13 Nuclear Security Summit was an unprecedented event – I think that was clear – but I also think it was a significant success.  It didn’t go nearly as far as I had hoped that it would, but I do think that drawing together 47 different countries and of those 47, 38 or so heads of state and then three international organizations, to talk about the question of nuclear terrorism and protecting nuclear materials is an important – it was a very important event and I don’t remember there being this kind of high-level attention to this subject on such a mass scale previously and I think that that high level of attention is essential for moving the process forward.

So there were two different products that came out of this – actually three, but two formal and then one informal.  The first was a communiqué and the communiqué did a couple of different things.  First, it highlighted the importance of this issue because going into this summit, one of the things the administration wanted to achieve, I believe, was to get a consensus on the fact that nuclear terrorism was a danger.  The second was that the president’s objective of securing all vulnerable nuclear material in four years is now a global objective – it’s not just the United States’ objective any more because the other countries signed up to that important objective.

Additionally, the communiqué underscored the importance of maintaining effective security over all nuclear materials on their territory, encouraged the conversion of reactors that use highly enriched uranium to use low enriched uranium, and recognized the importance of the conventions that Ambassador Dhanapala just mentioned, of physical protection of nuclear materials with its amendment in the International Convention on the Suppression of Nuclear Terrorism.  Finally, it emphasized cooperation.

But just to give you some statistics, of the 47 countries that attended the Nuclear Security Summit, only 14 ratified the amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection.  Only 40 have signed the additional protocol. And only 35 were members of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.  So there were a lot of commitments about ratifying that amendment and joining these other conventions, and that was identified in a second formal document, which is the work plan.

What that did is it noted the need to fully implement – in other words, not just of the countries that were there but on a global basis – UN Security Council 1540, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, and it provided support for the two conventions I just mentioned in that it also provided support for the G-8 Global Partnership.

It also underscored the need for robust and independent nuclear regulatory capability, and a need to prevent nuclear trafficking, and also for improvement in nuclear forensics and nuclear detection.  It further highlighted, I think interestingly, the fundamental role of the nuclear industry in the nuclear security agenda and the importance of sharing best practices and the human dimension of nuclear security.

There were two summits around the summit:  There was one that we did – the Fissile Material Working Group organized, which was the day before, which was the international experts.  And then there was one the day after the official summit which was organized by the Nuclear Energy Institute, which was just nuclear energy people from around the world – private sector people – and the focus of which was on how the private sector and the nuclear energy industry can participate and help with the nuclear security mission.

I attended – we had an exchange of invitations.  One invitation went to us, one invitation went to NEI.  We attended each other’s events.  Maybe we could use more transparency or confidence-building – going to have to look at the START treaty to see what’s in there that we might be able to use.  But I think it was a useful exchange of information.

I just would say, in the work plan there were really three – probably the three most important objectives that were laid out. They were: first, the consolidation of national sites where nuclear material is stored; second, the removal and disposal of nuclear materials no longer needed for operational activities; and then third, as I mentioned, the conversion of the research reactors from HEU to LEU.  Of course, everything in the document, both in the communiqué and in the work plan, was completely voluntary.  There was nothing that was mandatory about what was signed up to.

Where country-specific commitments came in was in what was called – I don’t understand why it was deemed this – but I guess house-warming gifts or something, as it was described by the White House, that countries brought to the United States.  There are 29 individual countries that made specific improvements – commitments to improve their security. And I will just highlight the top three or four.

The first was eliminating all the remaining highly enriched uranium in the Ukraine – not clear whether it’s going back to Russia or to the United States. The second was  Canadian agreement to return a large amount of spent fuel contained HEU to the U.S. The third was the U.S. and Russia agreeing to implement the aging and bearded Plutonium Disposition Agreement – I’m hopeful that they can finally move that forward.  And then I actually thought it was interesting that both India and China stated that they were going to establish centers of excellence for nuclear security, which I think is a very, very positive development.

While there wasn’t a lot on funding, and it wasn’t a pledging conference, and people weren’t asked to come to the table with money, but there were several funding commitments that were made.  One was a pledge of $6 million by the U.K.; and $300,000 by the Belgians for the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund; $100 million from Canada for cooperation with Russia; and then the president, in his press conference, called for another $10 billion over 10 years for the G-8 Global Partnership.

So all of that is great and I think all of that is a remarkable achievement, but I also think that there were several shortfalls and things that the summit could have done.

One, I really have wished there would have been more focus on the funding issue because implementation of Resolution 1540 and other issues are key, and you need money to do that consolidation, all of those sorts of things.

Second, radiological material security was barely mentioned. It was not a high priority even though … – some countries were really interested in this, -- but it got screened out in this one.  But it might be a higher priority in the next summit, which is in the Republic of Korea in 2012.

And then finally, there were no new initiatives that were announced.  It was a real focus on what is in the existing spectrum of activities and how we implement that.  There were a variety of reasons for that, including some fatigue, I think, and confusion about what all the current requirements are.  But I have to say, I don’t think that the current structure is adequate to prevent nuclear terrorism, and I would have wanted to see this move beyond that.

So I’m not going to talk about things that have been covered before.  I would just say I consider 2010 to be an absolutely critical year.  I don’t remember, in my more than 25 years of working in Washington, such a concentration of nuclear-related activity in such a short period of time.  We had START, we had the summit, we have the G-8 Global Partnership, G-20 meeting in June, the NPT Review Conference. I mean, 2010 is just filled with opportunity, and I think if we came out on December 31st with not much more than what we currently have in hand, I think, that would be a mistake.

And then I think that Congress can redeem itself after that hearing last week by actually approving the president’s budget, which calls for $3.1 billion to fund its agenda, which is about a $320 million increase over last year’s budget.  Again, I don’t consider that to be enough money to meet the president’s four-year goal, but it certainly is better than his first-year budget.

So, where do we go from here?  Let me just make a couple of points.  We have essentially a trans-national issue without a driving mechanism or a forcing mechanism, and I think that somehow, we have to align all of the different pieces into some kind of a framework agreement that allows countries to understand what is expected of them and then also spells out new initiatives that they can partake in if they want or pick and choose from, but which all together would identify what is the danger, why it matters, what do we have in place and what more do we need to do.

And so I would just make a case for a new framework agreement in this area.  It doesn’t need to be a treaty – it could be like what we did on climate change, the Convention on Climate Change, or it could be a U.N. Security Council Resolution.  But it has to build in what exists and what more needs to be done and I just would identify four or five things that I think need to be done that weren’t covered in this nuclear summit and may not be covered in 2012, although I hope that they would be.

The first is we need a better transparency system for security.  The entire focus of this summit was on individual countries doing their individual thing on their individual territory, without necessarily sharing a lot of information.  I think that there needs to be better transparency on how people are doing security.

Second, I think it’s very important to have a global fund.  The U.S., by far, is spending the most.  If it’s going to be $3 billion this year, you take out the bio piece of it, it’s somewhere around $2 billion when you cut down to what the nuclear stuff is.  But having a global fund every year of two-and-a-half to $3 billion I think is a very important thing because it shows predictability, and it will allow countries that need assistance to be able to draw upon that assistance.

Third, the thing that really does worry me about this summit is that the focus is on this four-year objective.  The four-year objective is important in order to set a higher baseline of security, but this can’t just be a four-year effort.  This has to be an ongoing effort, and I think it would be a mistake if everybody rushed to the end of 2013, which as I understand is the end of the four-year period, and then international cooperation just dropped off.

Finally – not finally, two or three just more points and then I’ll finish.  Additionally, I think there has to be more support for regional activities on this issue.  I don’t know that it all needs to be done on an individual, national basis or just done with the IAEA – I think there are regional opportunities.

And then it needs to identify some kind of a minimum standard.  What the IAEA provides in terms of its guidelines, what the individual countries provide in terms of their guidelines I think are important but I don’t – I think there’s a confusion about what is the minimum standard to which countries should be securing this material and what does that look like.  I think that that’s something we should work on.

Finally, I think this needs to ultimately be universal but I think it could start with a coalition of the committed.  As I said, issues that I think probably would be excluded are enrichment reprocessing and ending production just because they are proven to be so difficult.

So, just to sum up:  I think this is a critical year; I think the president and the administration are making a lot of progress this year but I think on a nuclear security issue, we’re really only about halfway there.  We have some of the components in place that we need; there are a lot of other components which aren’t in place yet and I think we need a mechanism to bring all of those things together so we can drive this agenda the way we do the arms control agenda and the Non-Proliferation Treaty agenda.  Thanks very much.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you very much, Ken, and Jayantha and Linton.  Three very robust presentations on three different subjects but all of these things do relate and I just wanted to, before we open it up to questions and discussion, mention that the Arms Control Association sees arms control and defines our mission – we are thinking about this in terms of arms control, disarmament, nonproliferation, nuclear security.  It’s all part of a complex web or interlocking set of regimes that is all very important to advance in order to improve international security.

So with those three great presentations, I want to open up the floor to your questions.  Please identify yourself; ask a succinct, interesting question.  Meri or one of my other colleagues will bring to you a microphone so that everyone can hear you.  Who would like to be the first person to rise to the challenge of an interesting question?  Yes, sir.

Q:  Thank you.  Tracy Wilson from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  Question for Ambassador Brooks:  You sketched out where we are now and you alluded to the landscape that would follow the “New START” treaty; you talked about a potential goal of 1,000 warheads and you talked about tactical nukes.  Can you give us a few more sentences about what the verification regime would look like as we go down the road and what that might look like in terms of tactical nukes as well?

AMB. BROOKS:  Only place on the thing I didn’t push.

That’s one of the reasons that I am skeptical that there will be a replacement treaty soon.  There is in fact a fair amount floating around that could be pulled together.  In the Clinton administration, work was done on how you verify actual dismantlement of warheads, which I think will be mandatory in a new treaty.  The issue there is verifying the warheads are dismantled without revealing design information.  There was some good work done on that in the Clinton administration.  The last administration, because it didn’t have an arms control vision, didn’t pick up on that but the knowledge is still there.

There’s a 2005 National Academy of Sciences report on verifying declared numbers of warheads, which has a number of good ideas.  The issue there will be intrusiveness.  In the last administration, an attempt was made to gain some kind of insight into weapons at bomber bases and our Russian colleagues thought that coming and counting shrouded warheads was too intrusive.  My understanding is that’s still what they think, and it’s sort of hard to see how you can reconcile that with any reasonable regime

The final problem with verification at the warhead level is what do you do about warheads that are squirreled away in non-deployed or non-declared sites?  I personally – I don’t think it’s a solvable problem.  I don’t think it needs to be solved at the kind of levels that are plausible for a next step.  It clearly needs to be solved if you believe in ultimate abolition and it probably needs to be solved when you get close to it, but it certainly doesn’t need to be solved – I mean, you’d have an awful lot of error at levels around a thousand and not actually affect the real nuclear balance very much.

So I think that we could pull together a regime.  You may recall the Strategic Posture Commission recommended that – the Perry-Schlesinger Commission – recommended a dedicated funding line.  The Nuclear Posture Review doesn’t go quite as far as saying “dedicated funding line” but it does say “dedicated research on these subjects.”  So I think this is a lot more a question of political will and what will be acceptable in intrusiveness in both countries but perhaps primarily in the Russian Federation, than it is that we don’t know how to do it.

But we don’t have an overall systematic way that is acceptable to both countries yet.  Some intellectual work needs to be done between now and when we actually get into a follow-on negotiation.

MR. KIMBALL:  Linton, of course in this treaty there are some new features in the verification system, I think, as you touched upon.  For the first time, there will be verification of actual warhead loadings, which is a new feature.  So, I mean, the administration has been talking about this aspect of the verification system as potentially opening the way to some of these other things that you are alluding to.

AMB. BROOKS:  It’s certainly true that, Daryl, that you’ll have verification of actual warheads on missiles.  But that is not technically the most challenging or the most intrusive.  I think it is an important conceptual step, but I wouldn’t want to ride that horse too far.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Other folks?  Richard Garwin.

Q:  Yes.  Ken, I wonder whether you could tell us more about how one will take care of spent fuel.  Maybe in regional or international repositories with take-back?  Was there much discussion or agreement on that in the side conferences?

MR. LUONGO:  Dick, I don’t know.  I only know from the conversations that I’ve had and from reading the transcripts of the press conferences and things.  I think there was a – I think the administration is certainly interested in moving material that has HEU or plutonium in it, whether it’s in spent fuel or fresh fuel, out of places that it considers to be a danger.  I think that’s one of their top objectives.  But what agreements they reached or regional repositories – I don’t, I haven’t heard anybody talk about regional repositories, but I do know that if they can take it out, they would prefer to take it out, if they could.

MR. KIMBALL:  Other questions?  Yes – Larry, right here?

Q:  I’ve been reviewing the history of disarmament.  I’m older than anyone here, I guess.  It gives you a certain perspective, like the fact that the agenda that we have today is test-ban then cut-off in the regular process.  That’s the same agenda that Harold Stassen had in 1957 in the London negotiations – exactly the same.  If you look at the reductions in warheads from the pre-MIRV period, reduction in 40 years is 22 percent.  That’s not much of a reduction.

I wonder if – I have a final point and there I would like to ask Mr. Brooks his judgment.  It’s been 42 years since the United States Senate ratified anything presented to them by a Democratic president.  Do you think it will have a chance at ratifying this time?  And that was the non-controversial – that was the Outer Space Treaty.

MR. KIMBALL:  And Larry, which treaty are you referring to?

Q:  The Outer Space Treaty.

MR. KIMBALL:  No, I mean the question for Ambassador –

Q:  Mr. Brooks.

AMB. BROOKS:  It is certainly true that some of these issues are very old.  The question is, is the progress now significant?  Absolutely.  You’re right – in the pre-MIRV era, the strategic forces were much smaller.  Look, perhaps 30 years ago at the number of tactical warheads we both had in and around Europe, and you could convince yourself that unrelated to arms control, we’ve done a whole lot.  So I think that if you go far enough back – you know, you go back to 1938, there weren’t any – (laughter) – so I think that I would not understate the value of what has been done by a number of people in this room.

We’ll find out about ratification.  I note the following:  As of today, only one senator has indicated opposition.  Sen. Inhofe said he would be leading the charge.  He got pinged a little bit because it seems to contradict a letter – he said that if it didn’t constrain defenses, he would be for a START treaty.  No other senator has said that, either publicly or to the best of my knowledge, privately.

That doesn’t mean there’s going to be ratification.  Historically, arms control treaties either get ratified overwhelmingly or not at all.  If I had to bet, I would be there’ll be a lot of tough questions but the two arguments against ratification that have the most force are defenses and adequate funding for the weapons complex.  I think the administration, as Secretary Gates has said, has got a very credible story on both of those.

So I think that trying to predict the U.S. Senate is always hard.  And I think timing is hard because nobody ever went wrong by thinking the Senate will take longer than you hope, but I think probably in the lame duck session that ratification will come and I think it will – I hope it will not be close.

Now, one big caveat:  external events.  If there is something like the invasion of Georgia, then I think all bets are off.  You know, the brigade in Cuba, you remember from SALT II.  But if the Georgian incursion took place not in the past but sometime this year, then I think that it would be very, very difficult.  But absent some external event, I think ratification has a good shot, largely because I think that most of the objections, there are pretty good counters to them.

MR. KIMBALL:  Just before I take the next question, your question, Larry, reminds me of every couple of years, there’s an intern in the Arms Control Association office, who towards the end of their internship will realize that we’ve been working on the test ban treaty for a long, long time.  All right?  And this is problematic from my perspective because it makes it more difficult to motivate the rest of the staff to keep working their tails off so that we can make some progress.

But you know, I think there are different ways to measure progress.  And one can look at the numbers, and it can be somewhat depressing.  But I think, you know, clearly on the test ban treaty alone, one thing that is clear – and I think that, you know, I wanted to speak to the test ban treaty ratification prospects very briefly here – is that it has been 17 years since the United States conducted a nuclear test explosion.  The longer we go without having ratified, the more difficult I think it becomes for the opponents to continue to argue that somehow we need to test or we need the option to test or we need the option to test.

And I think that, you know, Linton said this morning and I think it’s pretty clear that the stockpile stewardship program is working by all accounts.  There is more than enough funding for this program right now.  The arguments that were used in 1999 against the CTBT also have been very well-addressed.

Now, the problem is that in politics, good arguments don’t always win the day.  But we’re going to be taking these arguments back and I think that, with all due respect, Jayantha, I mean, we are going to get the test ban treaty ratified.  It’s going to take longer than it should.  But we’re going to do it.

Tom Graham, speaking of the test ban treaty and on these sort of things, you’re next.

Q:  Well, since Ambassador Brooks has entered the field of analyzing the U.S. Senate, I have a further question for him.  It seems to me, Lint, that – or at least, put it differently, some believe that ratification of START likely will happen, but that the real issue will be how many hostages have to be taken to get it passed.  In particular, will there be an understanding that will make test ban ratification impossible and will there be – or very, very difficult – and will there be an understanding that will make further START negotiations very, very difficult, if not impossible?  I would like your assessment of those two issues.

MR. BROOKS:  On the second, I don’t think there will be – I think further negotiations are very hard, but not because of the United States.  But in fact, there is a logical inconsistency between saying one of the weaknesses of START is it doesn’t tactical weapons.  The administration has said that it will negotiate on tactical weapons after START is ratified, and, therefore, ratifying START in a way that precludes negotiating on tactical weapons.  I mean, I don’t think you get there.  So I don’t think there will be it.

I think it is very clear that some senators, while I believe they are sincere in thinking that the things that they have expressed concern over need to be done for the good of the country and therefore should be done as part of START ratification do not mind the fact that that leaves relatively little trade space left for CTBT ratification.  You know, I think CTBT ratification is – Daryl is a congenital optimist.  And I am often called, you know, I see all glasses half-full.  But boy, it’s awful hard to see that glass half-full.

But I don’t think START ratification in itself is likely to include poison pills for CTBT ratification, except to the extent that some of the things that would logically be asked for for CTBT ratification, particularly in terms of support of the weapons complex, are being asked for for START.  And since I happen to believe in those things, I sort of like that, but if you just look at the things – I just don’t know.  I don’t think START ratification is likely to make CTBT ratification either harder or easier.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Well, we’ve got other folks.  Catherine Kelleher here in the front.

Q:  I’d like to pick up the tactical nuclear question that Ambassador Brooks mentioned and that I know is of concern to the other members of the panel as well.  Given what you outlined as a fairly bleak picture for an easy reduction in Russian tactical nuclear weapons without a lot of asymmetrical bargaining, which probably will also be a difficult sell to the Senate –

Can you conceive of steps that could be taken by – within the nuclear weapons group that would make this issue easier to handle?  One suggestion is simply look at transparency as the thing that you are seeking most in the second round, but at least achieves that, not to give up on reductions as a later step.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  And why don’t we take the second question over here please?  And then we’ll go back to our –

Q:  Jim Modern (sp).  My question is for Ken Luongo.  I like very much the point you made about the need for institution-building in the area you were talking about – and for institutions that have a long life expectancy.  I’m very big on long life expectancies.  (Laughter.)  And I think we ought to recognize that in particular the cutoff – fissile material cutoff – is not going to come out of the CD anytime in the visible future.

And shouldn’t we start building new institutions to develop new agreements which may not necessarily be treaties or may not start out as treaties, but at least can have a chance of getting through a veto – without a vetoes – you’ve got a veto in the CD by any of the members and you’ve got a veto, as we know, in the Security Council.  Other institutions, seems to me, really are needed.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Linton and then Kenneth?

MR. BROOKS:  I think transparency in theory is a wonderful thing.  Whether it helps or not in the long term, I think you have to decide.  I point out two things:  If you look at the joint article in Politico by Secretary Perry and Secretary Schlesinger commenting on the Nuclear Posture Review, in addition to being critical about the failure to make it clear that Prompt Global Strike is a niche capability, they were equally critical of the U.S. failure to follow the Strategic Posture Commission’s recommendation to declassify in broad terms U.S. holdings.

Now, why that is, I’m not entirely clear.  But I know it was looked at seriously as it was in the last administration.  So that suggests transparency even in the United States is not as easy as it might be within this room.  I do not discern this is a time in the Russian Federation when transparency about much of anything is very high on their list of things they’d like to do.

So I have no problem with trying for transparency, but I would not encourage you to think that that’s likely to be a success.  A better thing to spend our intellectual energy on is figuring out how we get some kind of cooperation in missile defenses that will take off the table and how we reduce the perception of at least some Russians that NATO is a conventional threat to them.  If we can solve those, which are very hard, then I think you have a lot of possibilities.

MR. KIMBALL:  Ken?

MR. LUONGO:  Thanks.  Jim, I think what we have on the issue that I’m talking about is an issue that is falling between the cracks.  And I think we need some structure for this agenda.  I just – I don’t want to bore people, but there’s at least 13 different conventions and ad hoc institutions or ad hoc programs that cover this, including Security Council resolutions, including the Proliferation Security Initiative, the G-8 Global Partnership, you know, IAEA recommendations, domestic safeguards, things like that.  So I think somehow –

Here’s what I think happened.  There was a lot of pushback from countries in the pre-summit period because not everyone is even a party to all of these many activities.  They did not want to see a new big, broad initiative thrown on the agenda.  They wanted to try to figure out how to rationalize what was already in place.  And I think that that’s fine.  Rationalizing the existing structure is perfectly adequate.  But it is inadequate.  The existing structure is not adequate to solve the problem and to defeat the challenge of nuclear terrorism.

And so I do think there needs to be – and I don’t know if it’s an institution.  But there needs to be some new framework into which all of these pieces are put and then countries can see an instrument that pushes the process forward – because otherwise, we’re destined to just continue to drift along the way we have been for the last 15 years or so.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  I think we have a question in the rear here.  And as you’re bringing the microphone up, let me just pose one question to Ambassador Dhanapala and then we’ll take this question.  Before we run out of time, I wanted to ask you, if you could, to try to describe to us what the ideal situation is, what the ideal outcome is from this review conference, taking into account all the things you told us.  I mean, what could give the treaty and efforts that the treaty represents some momentum coming out of this review conference?

And then, because I cannot answer this question, and I’ve been racking my brain – we haven’t had a chance to talk – what could the United States and some of the other parties that were responsible for the exemption for nuclear trade with India do at this point to help repair some of the damage, if at all?

And I have suggested in earlier presentations that one thing they could do would be to declare that if a state conducted a nuclear test explosion, nuclear trade would be terminated.  That’s an option for the U.S. right now, but it’s not a clear policy that that would be the consequence.  So if you could address that after we take this other question over here, please.  Yes, sir.

Q:  A question for Ken and Linton.  It’s about problems that solutions create.  The greater the success in the deconstruction of nuclear weapons, the greater the problem of securing the warhead material that results from that.  And that’s going to take a special additional effort.  And both of you have talked about security of such materials.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on that.

MR. DHANAPALA:  (Inaudible, off mike) – say that you will need to have the kind of statement that you’ve mentioned, Daryl, about the Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation deal.  But also the promise that there will not be any further exceptions being made to what has already taken place.  And I think that is going to be a very important marker that the non-nuclear-weapons states would want to see.

Proceeding further on the question of the nonproliferation pillar, I think it will be important for us to encourage the universalization of the additional protocol, which is very important, without necessarily making it mandatory.  I think a lot of countries who balk at it being made mandatory would go with an encouragement that it should be universalized.

But then when we come to the disarmament pillar, I think we need to go back to 1995 and 2000 and have the repetition of the unequivocal undertaking to the total elimination of nuclear weapons and something similar to the 13 steps.  Of course, we can’t replicate the 13 steps because some of those are out of date.  But whether it’s a mix of what the ICNND has, what you have and what others have or whether it is some freshly negotiated action plans on the disarmament area, I think this is important.

But then also with regard to the resolution on the Middle East, we need to have the appointment of a special coordinator or some committee to look into taking this resolution forward.  I think those are the kind of broad elements that are necessary.  I also feel that there is, I think, generally speaking, a need to – for the various special committees to start working in a procedural sense.

Remember that the New Agenda Coalition which was so successful in 2000, has been revitalized.  And I think with Egypt being the chair of that, we can expect a very spirited kind of effort on the part of the non-nuclear-weapons states, particularly those in the non-aligned movement at this review conference.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right, thanks.  All right, Ken and Linton, do you want to take that other question that was – ?

MR. BROOKS:  I’m not – I mean, if you dismantle a lot of weapons, that seems to me to be a good thing.  You had to protect them when they were weapons.  You still have to protect the material when it’s dismantled, so I’m not sure that that adds to your overall problem.  There is a psychological concern which we spent the ’90s overcoming in Russia that they guarded weapons much better than they guarded materials, but they’ve made a great deal of progress.

So I don’t think that’s the biggest obstacle to eliminating material.  There are lots of ideas about what you do with eliminated material and they go to different visions for the future of the nuclear industry.  And we don’t have to get into that.  All we have to do is continue to push that has to be guarded as well as it was when it was in weapons.  And so I’m not as worried about that as an unintended consequence that’s dangerous as your question would imply.

MR. LUONGO:  Yeah, I think that, Linton, the standard is, you have to protect the material until you decide what to do with it.  But we’ve faced this challenge before.  We’ve taken HEU out of Russian warheads and blended it down into reactor fuel under the HEU Purchase Agreement.  And we have, you know, the Plutonium Disposition Agreement is about excess plutonium and what do you do with it.

Now, you know, I may not love the idea of using it in fast reactors like the Russians do or putting it in MOX like the U.S. intends to do, but there are pathways to dealing with that material that have already been established.  And I think that, you know, I think security is the number one issue and then secondly the disposition or down-blending of the HEU and disposition of the plutonium would be secondary questions.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  I think we’ve got time for one more question as the smell of our lunch starts wafting in here.  Let’s take the gentleman, Mr. Levine there.  Thank you.

Q:  Ken, you mentioned the lack of regional ideas in the summit recently.  I wonder what regional or coalition of the willing activities you think would be most useful.

MR. LUONGO:  Well, you know, we have kind of a fresh slate in the Middle East.  You know, there’s a lot of interest in nuclear power in the Middle East, with excepting out the Iranian situation and the Israeli situation, where I think you could establish some kind of regional standard that countries agree to or some kind of regional authority that supplements what the IAEA does – because, frankly, if you don’t give more money to the IAEA at this point, then I don’t see how you’re going to deal with the nuclear renaissance, should it ever come.  And you need to have inspections.

And the IAEA, if you look carefully at the document that was produced out of the nuclear summit, basically doesn’t want to start a new institution.  It wants to bolster what the IAEA does in nuclear security.  And the budget for that office out of the regular budget is like $9 million and with voluntary contributions is like $25 million.  So that’s not nearly enough to do that kind of work.  So I think that on a regional basis, the Middle East might be one place where you could experiment a little bit.

MR. KIMBALL:  Well, join me in thanking all three of our expert panelists.  (Applause.)  It was a great overview of the three top issues right now.  We’re going to be hearing in about a half an hour from Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller, who has made a legally binding agreement with the Arms Control Association that she is going to be arriving at about 12:15 from her meeting at the White House.  Between now and then, we have lunch outside that will be served buffet style.  So save your seat.  Please line up in an orderly fashion.  (Laughter.)  Don’t rush all at once.  Come back to your seat and we’ll begin promptly around 12:15.  Thank you all.

 

LUNCH KEYNOTE SPEAKER: ROSE GOTTEMOELLER ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR VERIFICATION, COMPLIANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER:  It is really nice to be back in this room and on this podium again and to see so many friends and colleagues in the audience.  Thank you all very much for coming today and thank you for that kind introduction, Daryl.

You know, it was just over a year ago on April 1, 2009, that President Obama and President Medvedev met in London and agreed to launch the negotiations toward a replacement treaty for START.  And I have to say with their direction, we embarked really on a new and uncharted path, but I think one that was very necessary for our two countries and the world community to undertake, recognizing that it was necessary first to replace the expiring START treaty with a new agreement reflecting progress in arms control and the changes in the world and the U.S.-Russian relationship over the 20 years since START was negotiated.

And I want you to focus on those two points as we go through talking about START, the change in the world since the end of the Cold War and the change in the U.S.-Russian relationship.  It has been hard to remember because, in fact, the years I was at the CarnegieMoscowCenter were a low point in the U.S.-Russian relationship.  And I think we have forgotten or have tended to forget how much things have been changing over the 20 years since the Cold War ended.

So 12 months from the time when we started with our meeting in Rome April 24, 2009, the “New START” treaty and its protocol were completed and the presidents signed them at Prague on April 8.  Well, actually, we came in a little early, like three weeks ahead of time.  But I don’t underscore that.  It was a fast negotiation.

I have to say in professional life, you don’t often say you have a thrill.  But it was a thrill for me to be able to watch the signing ceremony in Prague.  It was an event, which signified not only the completion of the negotiation, but the launch of a critical phase of work that yet lies ahead.

Within the coming weeks, the treaty, protocol and annexes and their associated documents will be submitted formally to the United States Senate.  I believe there is every reason for the Senate to provide its advice and consent to ratification of the treaty.  The treaty will ensure and maintain the strategic balance between the United States and Russian Federation at lower verifiable weapons levels appropriate to the current security environment.  It will promote strategic stability by ensuring transparency and predictability regarding U.S. and Russian strategic forces over the life of the treaty.  And it will definitively strengthen U.S. national security.

An important aspect of this phase of work is introducing the new treaty not only to the Senate, but also to international organizations, non-governmental and advocacy organizations and most critically to the public.  That is why I am so grateful to have this opportunity, Daryl, today to speak to the Arms Control Association, to the board and to the community here in Washington.  And some of you I know have come from outside of Washington as well.  So again, I am very grateful and appreciative of this opportunity to speak to you.

While I am here in Washington speaking to you, I know my Russian counterpart, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, has begun to engage similarly in Russia.  Had it not been for the volcanic ash cloud hovering over Europe last week, the two of us would have jointly briefed the conference on disarmament, the OSCE, the IAEA and the EU.  We plan to do so – we are going to brief the NPT Review Conference in New York on May 11, and we intend to reschedule our European briefings just as soon as we possibly can.  I believe in the first week of June.

Embarking on a cooperative venture of this kind between the United States and Russia is a first step in the history of arms control.  It will be an experiment.  But I hope it will be a productive one and one that will work to sell this treaty to the international community.

Now, let me step back for a moment and discuss another experiment and that was how we reached agreement on the “New START” treaty.  I am sure this audience will appreciate that our work in this treaty began on the strong foundations established by the INF Treaty, the START treaty and the Moscow Treaty.  Our many years of joint experiment – experience, rather, in implementing those treaties served as guiding principles as we negotiated this new treaty.

What was experimental about these negotiations was the spirit in which they took place.  Once again, as they began, Secretary Clinton had only just agreed with her counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, to hit the reset button in our relationship, moving us out of a difficult phase that had begun with the Georgia war in August of 2008.  But there had been some tense periods even before that time.

So the two delegations launched into the negotiations committed to conducting them in an atmosphere of mutual respect with a premium on keeping the tone businesslike and productive, as we say in the diplomatic world, even when we did not agree.  My counterpart, Anatoly Antonov, always used to say business is business.  Business is business.  And he meant we needed to keep that tone of businesslike intercourse and discussion even when we were nevertheless butting heads, as we frequently did.

Each delegation member brought to the table a sense of purpose and cooperation that allowed us to keep going and complete this treaty in a year, a span of time that is in sharp contrast to the more than nine years that it took to finish the START treaty and the six years it took to negotiate the INF Treaty.

Much has changed, however, since START was signed by President Bush and President Gorbachev in 1991.  These changes were reflected in the day-to-day work of our delegations.  When our delegations sat across the table from each other, we had a better understanding of the other’s strategic forces, thanks to the experience we had implementing START and INF.  This was born of the fact that we had many inspectors from both the Russian Federation and from the United States on our delegations and serving as experts to the talks.

Multiple times they had already visited each other’s ICBM bases, SLBM bases, heavy bomber bases and storage facilities.  Communication lines were also well-established.  For more than 22 years, the United States and Russia have been communicating through our respective nuclear risk-reduction centers.  And we speak each other’s languages.  There were probably as many Russian speakers on the U.S. delegation as there were English speakers on the Russian delegation, many of them again from the cadre of inspectors, so they knew the technical language very, very well.

Arms control treaties of the past were negotiated when we did not have this same kind of deep understanding of the concrete details of each other’s strategic forces.  And it helped enormously, in my view, with the pace of negotiations.  That is not to say that the negotiations were easy.  Quite frankly, it was very tough and there were serious issues to resolve, including those that required our presidents to intervene on multiple occasions.  Secretary Clinton also intervened multiple times with Minister Lavrov.  And, of course, you all know of the important role that Adm. Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, played with his counterpart, Gen. Makarov.

But there was a high degree of professionalism and expertise on both sides of the table and the two teams were able to work together in a very intense and productive way.  Our two presidents described it best when after signing the treaty earlier this month, President Obama called the treaty an important milestone for nuclear security and nonproliferation and for U.S.-Russian relations.  And President Medvedev declared it a win-win situation.  By the way, that is not a common term to be found among Russians.  And so I thought it was very interesting when he said even in English, if you noticed in Prague, he said a win-win situation.  So I thought that was good.

Now, I know you have spent the morning talking about the START treaty.  I wanted to give you a little sense of how we view it, what my talking points are, just how we see the important aspects of this treaty.  The “New START” treaty, as I said, will improve international security by reducing and limiting U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces, promoting strategic stability by ensuring transparency and predictability regarding U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces and advancing our collective nuclear nonproliferation agenda.

 

I would like to walk through some of the main points of the treaty again as we see them.  The new treaty will limit deployed strategic warheads to 1550 on deployed ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers.  This is about 30 percent below the maximum of 2200 warheads permitted by the Moscow Treaty.  When it is fully implemented, the treaty will result in the lowest number of deployed nuclear warheads since the 1950s, the first full decade of the nuclear age.

The treaty has a limit of 700 for deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and deployed nuclear capable heavy bombers.  This limit is more than 50 percent below the START treaty limit of 1600 deployed strategic delivery vehicles.  There will be a separate limit of 800 on the total number of deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and heavy bombers.

In this way, the new treaty gives each side’s military the flexibility to deploy and maintain its forces in ways that best meet each nation’s national security interests.  The United States will maintain its triad of bombers, submarines and missiles for nuclear missions.  The treaty’s verification regime was designed to be strong and effective, while at the same time reducing implementation costs and mitigating the operational disruptions to strategic nuclear forces that each side experienced during the 15 year implementation of START.

The regime calls for onsite inspections of both deployed and non-deployed systems at the same types of facilities that were subject to inspection under START.  Extensive notifications, six-month data exchanges, accompanied by frequent data updates, exhibitions and demonstrations.  In addition, each ICBM, SLBM and heavy bomber will be assigned a unique identifier that will enable us to monitor the individual systems over the life of the treaty.

The new treaty counts the actual number of warheads carried on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs.  And this is a significant innovation, in my view, of this treaty.  Since heavy bombers on both sides are no longer on alert, they no longer carry warheads on a day-to-day basis.  Therefore, we agreed in the case of bombers on an attribution rule of one warhead per heavy bomber rather than counting heavy bombers at zero warheads, which frankly was disgust in Geneva.  And I said it is not the approach we want to take.  We need at least an attribution rule, which will underscore the fact that these bombers have the capability to deliver nuclear weapons, although they are not ready to do so on a day-to-day basis.

The treaty provides for an exchange of telemetric information on up to five ballistic missile flight tests per year by each side.  This is an important transparency measure under this treaty.  And the treaty also provides a protection for our ability to develop and deploy ballistic missile defenses and to develop and deploy conventional prompt global strike capabilities should we opt to pursue such capabilities.

Now, let me take a look to the future.  This is the Arms Control Association with many, many important tasks and interests as we consider the future of the nonproliferation regime and the arms control regimes.  Almost a year to the day before President Obama and President Medvedev signed the “New START” treaty in Prague, President Obama gave his speech also in Prague in which he set forth a specific agenda to address the challenges posed by the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons.

He articulated a bold vision, to seek the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons no matter how hard it might be or how long it might take.  The president amplified these remarks at the signing ceremony for the “New START” treaty saying, quote, “This is a long-term goal, one than may not even be achieved in my lifetime.  But I believe then, as I do now, that the pursuit of that goal will move us further beyond the Cold War, strengthen the global nonproliferation regime and make the United States and the world safer and more secure,” end quote.

As long as nuclear weapons exist, however, the president also affirmed the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary and guarantee the defense of our allies.  With the “New START” treaty, we are setting the stage for further arms reductions.  As we say in the preamble to the treaty, we see it as providing new impetus to the step-by-step process of reducing and limiting nuclear arms with a view to expanding this process in the future to a multilateral approach.

We also will seek to include non-strategic and non-deployed weapons in future reductions.  Such steps would truly take arms control into a new era.  We are looking forward with great anticipation to the NPT Review Conference, which will begin in approximately a week’s time.  Heading into the conference, the “New START” treaty sets a powerful example of responsible U.S.-Russian leadership in managing and reducing our remaining nuclear arsenals.  Along with the recent release of the Nuclear Posture Review, which deemphasizes the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy and the strong communiqué that was issued at the end of the Nuclear Security Summit in mid-April, the treaty is a key to strengthening the global nonproliferation regime.

But the “New START” treaty is not just about Washington and Moscow.  It is about the entire world community.  While the treaty is bilateral, it has a big implication for global security.  The United States and Russia control more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenals.  And we know that the world looks to us for leadership in securing nuclear materials globally and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.  Thus, the new treaty sets the stage for engaging other powers in fulfilling the goals of the NPT.  And that is why, in my view, its conclusion on the eve of the NPT Review Conference is a special boon.

At the upcoming review conference, we look to reaffirm each party’s commitment to that treaty and to strengthen its three pillars, nonproliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  In addition, we want to discourage abuses of the treaty withdrawal provision and ensure there is a strong focus on NPT compliance.  That said, the review conference is not an end in itself, but a milestone toward enhancing the nonproliferation regime on a worldwide basis.

As you know, two other major goals the Obama administration is pursuing are bringing into – are first of all, bringing into force the comprehensive test ban treaty, CTBT, and negotiating a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty, FMCT.  Ratifying the CTBT is not going to be an easy task by any means, but we will work closely with the Senate, the public, key stakeholders and with this community to achieve that goal.

The administration appreciates the active role of the Arms Control Association in advancing the goal of CTBT ratification.  We also will work to reduce the materials needed to produce nuclear weapons.  Achieving a verifiable FMCT is an essential condition for a world free of nuclear weapons.  If the international community is serious about drawing down, we must constrain the ability to build up.  We are working hard to keep the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, the CD, focused on this important goal.

Each of these steps will move us closer to President Obama’s vision of reducing and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons.  There will be enormous obstacles along the way.  The work will be difficult and will require efforts from governments, NGOs, think tanks, academics, scientists and others to address the insecurities in many regions around the world that may lead some to seek nuclear weapons.  But it is work that all of us must be willing to engage in.  We do not want a world where there is even one more nuclear armed country.  And we must also prevent terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear weapons.

I look forward to working with all of you on this important agenda in the months and in the years ahead.  Now I look forward to your questions and comments.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

Thank you.  I will go ahead and I guess do the –

MR. KIMBALL:  Yes, if you want to do the identifying.  And do we have the portable mike still here?  They are on their way.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Okay.  We have one way down here in front.  It might be easier to go outside.  (Laughter.)

Q:  Thank you.  Mary Beth Sheridan from the Washington Post.  Sort of a double-barreled question on START.  If you were going to do sort of an apples-to-apples comparison of, you know, previous agreements – I guess SORT would be the last one – with this one.  I mean, the 30 percent reduction is sort of apples to oranges.  So I am wondering sort of how much of a reduction is this from the levels of SORT, if you could estimate?

And then secondly, when you talk about talks to the follow-on, how much sort of enthusiasm do you see on the Russian side to engage in further arms reductions?  Thank you.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Very good questions, Mary Beth.  Thank you very much.  If we are talking about SORT, SORT, as you recall, constrained warheads, operationally deployed warheads at a level of 1700 to 2200.  So we are talking about going down from the lower level of SORT, 1700, down to 1550.  So I do see that as a significant cut in the number of operationally deployed warhead from where we were on SORT.  And furthermore, one of the interesting artifacts – as I mentioned, the key innovation, as I see it, for this treaty is the counting approach for ballistic missiles, that we are counting actual warheads on missiles.

And that addresses some of the perturbations, I call them, that occurred in START because of the attribution rule.  Over time, START had attribution rules.  If a missile was counted with 10 warheads because it was tested with 10 warheads – you know, if it was tested with 10 warheads, it was counted with 10 warheads.  Basically, that was the kind of attribution rule that was used during START.  Very, very useful approach when we were depending on national technical means and just beginning down the road toward onsite inspection.

But as we go lower and lower, we need to be able, I think, to more closely associate warheads and missiles.  And we now have the experience with the onsite inspection regime and furthermore, the knowledge of Russian forces that I think we can correlate warheads and missiles more closely together.  And so that is one reason why we think the counting rule in this treaty is so important.  And it actually addresses some of those perturbations that occurred when the United States, for example, started to download its missiles that were heavily MIRVed, the D-5, for example.

And we ended up having to count at the higher START level, even though we were downloading the warheads on the missiles.  So I think actually this treaty is bringing us closer – and it will take some time and experience to get us there – but it is bringing us closer to a purer count that will be needed as we move to lower and lower numbers.  So I think from that perspective, it is very important.

Now, as to next steps, we have started talking to the Russians about next steps.  And they understand, of course, indeed, the preambular language in the treaty was subject to some serious discussion in Geneva as to where we go from here.  So the fact that the Russians have agreed to go forward with further reductions and now we also have the Russian leadership on record talking about moving to further reductions in the future.  So we will be taking that up with them in the coming months, talking about where we go from here.

But I do think that it will take some time to establish what the next reduction negotiation is going to be.  And furthermore, both of us are absolutely resolved that we must put the priority on ratification of this treaty.  And as you may have heard from President Medvedev, he is saying we are going to ratify simultaneous with the United States.  Some of you may have had a chance to meet with some of the Russian senators who were here last week.  They are thinking and talking to people on Capitol Hill about how to coordinate in some way our ratification processes for the treaty.  So I do think that that really must be the emphasis that we have in this immediate follow-on period.

Did you have a question as well?  No, okay.  Yes?  Hello, Mike Wheeler.

Q:  Hi, Rose.  Congratulations on a job well-done, obviously.  What I would like to do is kind of look at the vision where you go beyond the next step, but further than that.  When we began engaging with the Russians, then the Soviets, in the 1960s in formal negotiations, their concept, as I recall, of what a strategic nuclear weapon was something that would explode on Soviet territory.  And we got them to fall off to go to long range for obvious reasons.

In a sense, it appears that the United States has come around to that definition in a way.  I mean, we have a broad nuclear agenda.  Nuclear terrorism is prioritized as the number-one threat.  The notion of a nuclear weapon going off in an American city is a driving concern.  And so what is in the back of my mind as I begin looking at this process where you try to think yourself ahead, not merely in the next step or the step after that or the step after that or the engagement of others, but in terms of the U.S. and Russian approaches to what strategic was.

Was there any sense of déjà vu on the part of the Russians where they would come back to you in the negotiations and say, you know, you really are thinking strategically like we were at some point?  And if so, is this something that can be leveraged as we move ahead?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Very interesting artifact of this negotiation was the degree to which – and I mentioned the level of expertise on the two delegations.  The two countries really I think reengaged on these serious issues.  But there was a sense, a broad understanding that has been informed by our last 15 years of experience with things like cooperative threat reduction, much of which was about keeping fissile material out of the hands of terrorists.  And then in the latter phases, the joint initiative on cooperation against nuclear terrorism.  I forget the exact name of it.  You can tell I am not responsible for that initiative.

But anyway, some programs that were launched, you know, as much as 15 years ago, some that were launched during the Bush administration, but placed an emphasis on this problem of tackling nuclear terrorism and trying to figure out, you know, how we wrestle with this extremely difficult complicated problem.  So that was informing the discussions overall.

But the other thing that was informing the discussions was a recognition that there are issues that we haven’t really had a chance to wrestle with profoundly in recent years.  Among them, prompt global strike.  That is the effect of conventional strategic range systems and the interrelationship between strategic offense and defense.  So I think to answer your question, Mike, I think there is a mix of issues here.

There is no agreement, I would say, about the breadth of the agenda.  But it goes across a spectrum from kind of new topics such as tackling nuclear terrorism and how we handle that, where the deterrence relationship has a limited impact or effect, to the other end of the spectrum, where we both recognize we continue to be intertwined in a deterrence relationship and how do we address over time beginning to disentangle ourselves from that and have a more cooperative relationship overall.  How do we work on the missile defense interrelationship with strategic offense, develop some missile defense cooperations, those kinds of questions?

So I think it is very much a broad-spectrum approach as we look to the future.  And it is one in which, again, our communications links are much – I would say much better than they have been historically.  And I hope that we can solidify that in the coming years so that we take the advances that we have been able to make in communications and really settle them into an abiding consultation on these important issues and eventually, you know, solve our problems as we go forward.

So yes?

Q:  Hi, Jon Landay with McClatchy Newspapers.  This may be a little off topic.  But the administration has been engaging extremely aggressively lately with Pakistan.  You have opened a new strategic dialogue with them and we have heard a lot about the terrorism issue, Afghanistan driving this agenda.  But at the same time, Pakistan is at this point the sole impediment to discussions of a fissile material cutoff treaty.  They are continuing to expand their production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium.  In fact, after the Nuclear Security Summit or at the Nuclear Security Summit, I believe they began offering themselves as international services to enrich uranium for those countries that don’t have their own enrichment capabilities.

To what extent are the administration’s concerns about Pakistan being brought to Pakistan’s attention?  We don’t hear a lot of that in the public discussions and pronouncements by the administration, in particular, going into the NPT Review Conference and the idea of one of the major next steps being a fissile material cutoff treaty, at least starting to talk about that.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  You are right.  It is very off topic as far as I am concerned.  (Laughter.)  So I am therefore going to duck the question.  But I did want to say one thing and that is I have spent the last year – much of the last year in Geneva at our mission in Geneva.  And colleagues, very close colleagues there working the CD agenda and very seriously working the CD agenda.  And I will only say that my view is that – and I meant it when I said it in my remarks that this administration wants to keep the eye on that ball for the fissile material cutoff treaty and wants to work very, very seriously with the Conference on Disarmament and in the Conference on Disarmament to make it happen.

And that includes engaging Pakistan in that venue.  And I have watched as my colleagues in Geneva have engaged that process of working with Pakistan in the CD.  And I know that it extends to many levels of our government.  So it is definitely a problem we are trying to work.  And I will leave it at that.

Yes, Peter?  Peter?

Q:  Hello?  Peter Baker, New York Times.  Good to see you.  Thank you for doing this today.  Quick question.  You had mentioned that Russia wanted to time the ratification to ours.  Can you give us some sense of your expectations in terms of a ratification timetable and what you think will be the toughest substantive question that you are going to have to address as part of that process?

And then looking ahead, we talked about the next steps.  Can you imagine a further arms control agreement with Russia that does not include some sort of substantive restriction on American missile defense?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  First, as far as the ratification schedule is concerned, we are on a very, very fast timetable.  We are looking to submit the package to the Senate in the first weeks of May.  And we are going to work very closely with the Senate to move it forward.  Through the process with the Senate, there will be many, many hearings as those of you who are familiar with START, INF, CWC and other ratification processes.  There will be many layers of – I have already started the process of briefing in Capitol Hill.  There will be many hearings of various individuals from the level of secretaries down to the level of assistant secretaries and probably many expert panels as well from the non-governmental community and senior-level figures.

So it is going to be a very intense process.  But we hope we can carry it through this summer.  It is a fast – you know, it is a fast timetable.  We recognize it.  But we do think that with focus and intensity and keeping our eye on the ball that we can make it happen.

Q:  Floor vote by the Senate?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Yeah.  (Laughter.)

Q:  (Inaudible, off mike) – substantive – (inaudible) – you feel like you are going to have to address?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  I think, you know, they are clear.  This treaty is quite different from the START treaty.  And so I think we have to make a very strong case that this is a treaty for this era.  It is an innovative treaty.  It does the job that needs to be done in terms of both reducing our forces and also in terms of having everything incorporated in it to help us to monitor the process of reductions.

So I think those are the key points that will have to be made.  There are other issues, of course, that will come up in the course.  And one of them is related to your second question.  That is the offense-defense relationship and how it might or might not be related to this treaty.  As you know, the treaty contains a statement in its preamble about the interrelationship of strategic offense and defense.  The Russians issued the unilateral statement saying that should the level of U.S. strategic offensive forces come, you know, to a point where it affects the qualitative or quantitative balance with the Russian strategic defensive forces, then the Russians may or could consider that to be a reason to withdraw from the treaty.

That is, in effect, very similar to the statement they made at the time that START was concluded back in 1991.  But that set of issues will, of course, be part of the discourse and the discussion during the ratification process for START.

Now, going on from that to talk about your question.  I frankly believe that we do have a great deal of work to do.  This was a bridge agreement, a transitional agreement to take us from the completion of implementation of the START I treaty to, as President Obama said in Prague last April, to a deeper reduction negotiation.  So this particular treaty, I think of in some ways as a transition or a bridge, but in other ways as being on a continuum from START.  But as we get to the future, and I mentioned it in my remarks, we are going to be getting to tasks that we never tried to tackle before in an arms reduction treaty, particularly non-deployed systems.

And this is going to require a lot of attention to verification, a lot of attention to verification technology.  Some very serious work will have to be done.  And so frankly, I believe that the next reduction negotiation can focus on some of these important new tasks that we will be undertaking, non-deployed, looking at tactical or non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe, but also looking to the future and thinking about, you know, exactly how we draw in other countries to the process of nuclear arms reduction.

As far as whether there will have to be some kind of link to strategic defense, my own view is that there is a separate track under which that cooperation is going to go forward now with the Russian Federation.  And it will be an emphasis in the near-term period as we go forward.  How do we establish cooperation on missile defenses with the Russians?  And working that with them will be a complicated matter.  I am quite sure of that.  But it will be one where we will really, I think, be placing the emphasis in the next couple of months.

So in answer to your question, Peter, I don’t see that it necessarily has to enter into the next reduction negotiation in any way, shape or form.  And, in fact, I believe it will be worked and continue to be worked on a separate track.

Yes, Bruce?

Q:  Bruce MacDonald.  Question.  Agreements in the past have had rather than a single warhead limit has had like a band of 1700 to 2200 and even the discussions for the new START agreement initially were banded between 1500 and 1675.  My question was, any thought given to maintaining the band structure as opposed to collapsing down to a single number in the agreement?  I mean, obviously, that is where we ended up.  But I just wondered if that had been considered, maintaining the band, which has allowed, you know, the United States to go to the upper end and the Russian Federation to go to the lower end.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Yes, in fact, you pointed to the joint understanding from last summer the president signed in Moscow last July, where we had a band for warheads that Bruce just went over.  And for delivery vehicles, we had a band that went from 500 up to 1100.  So you could see very well portrayed there the differences in our force structure, 1100 on the U.S. side and 500 on the Russian side.  And, of course, the Russians were trying to drive us to the lower number.  It was their way of trying to address the upload problem in this treaty negotiation.

But as a matter of fact, both sides, I think, wanted to try to drive to a single number if we could because we felt that it was very, very important to begin to have some consensus around the future structure of our strategic forces and how to address in this treaty, you know, a future where we will be getting to smaller and smaller numbers.  And so to have those kinds of disparities expressed in a wide range band doesn’t make so much sense as we get to lower and lower numbers.

So it was really an effort.  And one thing I would like to say about this treaty is it a bridge.  It is a transition.  But it sets in place a number of foundation stones for deeper reductions in the future.  And the fact that we were able to come to agreement on a single number for both deployed warheads and deployed delivery vehicles, as well as for deployed and non-deployed launchers, I think is an expression of that both aspiration on both our sides, but also a good expression of that foundation stone going into place for future reduction negotiations.

Yes, please, go ahead.

Q:  Two organizational questions.  One – Larry Water (ph), I am sorry.  One, given the multitude of different topics that are going to have to be addressed in the near and distant future, is there any thought of giving the government adequate facilities, organizationally and personnel wise to deal with all of these?  There are a lot of us who feel inadequately supported.  You have to have a title that isn’t your real title because it is a carryover kind of thing.  That is the first question.

The second is, is any thought being given to doing something about the absurd arrangements that we have in the Geneva conference?  There is nothing sacred about this negotiating forum.  And you can’t even agree on agenda there because of Pakistan.  Is there any thought being given to doing something about structures for negotiations of these other items?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Thank you, Larry.  I will just say what I said before.  We continue to be hopeful that the CD will provide basically the forum for our FMCT negotiations.  And we are going to try to continue to work it, no ifs, ands or buts about it.  But if, you know, we can’t work it in a fairly short time period, we are going to have to look again.  But for the time being, we are very, very committed to getting the FMCT negotiations going in the CD forum.

On the second point, you know, when I first spoke to Secretary Clinton about this job, she was very, very clear.  And when she testified to Capitol Hill on the brink of taking the job of secretary of state, she spoke about the necessity of recreating the ability to do arms control policy making and negotiation and implementation in the U.S. government and first and foremost, under her aegis in the Department of State.  And so she has been very, very supportive in terms of creating the institution in the Department of State, my own institution.  Yes, you are right.  It carries a name that doesn’t say arms control at the moment.  But nevertheless, I think that it has been very clear to me that her support is strong and abiding.

I have seen it in our budget numbers.  I have seen it in the personnel support I am getting.  And I have seen it in the way these negotiations were supported.  I will tell you.  When I embarked on these negotiations in Rome a year ago on this last Saturday, the 24th of April, we embarked and I had no idea if we could pull together a delegation, if we could pull together the organization to make it work and if the Russians could do the same.  And it was quite remarkable the degree to which everyone in our interagency pulled together and produced a top-notch negotiating team.  That is number one.

But the Russians did it as well.  And so I actually – I was a little gloomy when I took this job not knowing if we still had, as my boss, Ellen Tauscher, likes to say, the muscle memory to do a negotiation of this kind.  But the last year’s experience has told me that we do have the muscle memory and furthermore, we have a lot of young talent.  I have been very, very impressed with the young people coming in from all the agencies to work on the negotiation.  And they dive in.  We threw them into the fray, you know, being chairman of subgroups, negotiating very tough, very difficult, technical matters.  And they came right up to the bar and performed beautifully.

So I am convinced we have the next generation already at hand.  And I think we will have plenty of work for them to do.

Yes, John?

Q:  A quickie on new START.  Can you confirm that all the agreed documents – the treaty, of course, but all the subsidiary documents behind them, whatever you call them, plus the most significant unilateral statements are going to be made public from the beginning and the times past we didn’t do it.  And we got into all kinds of trouble.  And if it is done early, it is much better obviously.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  That is the plan.  And I am happy to tell you that the – I am happy to tell you, too, that the annexes are all finished now, too.  And we will be exchanging them this week with the Russians officially.  So every single I has been crossed – I has been dotted and T has been crossed at this point.  (Laughter.)  I can assure you.

Yes, ma’am, please?

Q:  (Inaudible) – from Bloomberg News.  In our ratification process, how are you going to address the potential political appeal for opponents of ratification of issues such as the potential limits on missile defense of a threat to withdraw from a treaty, verification questions and so on?  How do you plan to address that potential political appeal?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  First of all, I want to be very, very firm in saying that there is absolutely no constraint on missile defense development or deployment inherent in this treaty.  And I would also like to point everybody to the history of what happened under START, again, with a very similar statement having been made by the Russians with regard and with reference specifically to the ABM treaty, which, of course, was in force when START was completed.

And the United States in 2002 decided to withdraw from the ABM treaty and the Russians did not step back from the START treaty.  So history also has a certain lesson in this regard.  I think it is important to bear in mind.  But I really want to underscore that, in my view, there is absolutely no danger of any kind of constraint on U.S. missile defenses flowing from this treaty.

Second, as far as the treaty itself is concerned, yes, we have to make a case for the treaty.  It is an excellent treaty.  And I can say that without any hesitation since I negotiated it.  (Laughter.)  But I further think that every aspect of it is very clearly defensible in terms of its relationship to U.S. national security, strengthening U.S. national security and giving us what we need to understand what is going on inside the Russian strategic forces.  We had twin concepts that drove the negotiation of this treaty.

The first was flexibility that each side and we should have the ability to determine for ourselves the structure of our strategic forces.  I think this will be very important as we go forward to further reductions and deeper reductions.  We need to have that confidence in our ability to structure our forces.  And second, predictability.  And that is a concept equally important.  And it is a concept that is entirely, I think, backed up by the verification regime in this treaty.

And so we will have a case to make to the Senate, of course, because it is an innovative approach in this treaty.  But I do think we have a good case to be made.

Yes, Tom Graham?

Q:  Rose, I would just like to ask a question about the next phase of negotiations.  Is it the case that one of the objectives of the lower levels that will be pursued will be to set the stage for the multilateral nuclear weapon reduction process that the president referred to in Prague?  And is that negotiation, that multilateral negotiation, is that something that the administration believes could even begin during his presidency?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  If you are talking about eight years.  (Laughter.)  Let’s go to the back of the room.  (Laughter.)  Way in the back.

Q:  Hi, Rose.  Desmond Butler.  You talked about finding ways of discouraging countries from, I think you said, inappropriately withdrawing from the NPT at the review conference.  What are ways of doing that?

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  I think one of the things about the NPT Review Conference coming up is that it is an opportunity to talk about, you know – it is important, I think, to emphasize the advantages of the NPT regime across the board that we are talking about an orderly way to interact with countries on matters of nuclear security and nuclear energy policy.  And the fact that in this upcoming review conference, we are honestly going to try to be placing strong emphasis on each of the three pillars, whether we are talking about the nonproliferation pillar, the disarmament pillar – again, here START helps us.  We will be up there briefing on the treaty and trying to, you know, make the case for what we need to do from here on out, and also peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

So I just want to say that I think what we can do is inject some kind of positive energy into the whole nonproliferation treaty regime, into the NPT regime at this rev con that I would hope would make it seem like – oh, I don’t want to sound too flippant – but the in thing.  This is a regime that is strong, that is important and that a country needs to be a strong and enthusiastic partner in if countries wish to make progress on the nuclear agendas that they have in mind.

And so whether that is peaceful nuclear uses or nonproliferation goals in our case and in the case of our nuclear powers, nuclear disarmament.  So I think that that is the most important thing about the upcoming rev con.  And it is that general case that will be, in my view, the most important one because there has been a different kind of energy at the NPT Rev Con in recent years.  And so I hope we can do 180 degree turn on this that will really give a huge boost to the NPT and its regime.

Yes?

Q:  Dean Rust.  When you go up to the review conference and brief, you can imagine you won’t get quite as enthusiastic a reception as you will here just because their attitude always is what have you done for me lately?  And they will want to know beyond even FMCT and CTBT and this sort of nebulous talk about further reductions.  Okay, he wants zero.  Well, what is he really doing different than giving declaratory support for it that other presidents have done because presidents have been since ’95, ’96, we have been committed to these things.  But what is it that this guy is doing differently?  And I say this administration.

The NPR made some reference to the notion of being willing to look at sort of factors that would be relevant to eliminating nuclear weapons, including verification and so on.  So I think you have got to be ready to sort of put some specifics on some of these – in order to distinguish this administration from others who have declared this, you have got to have something specific.  And I wonder what you might have to offer them.

MS. GOTTEMOELLER:  Well, I think that I mentioned also in my remarks the fissile material – Nuclear Security Summit and the aftermath of that, the communiqué that came out of that, where we actually drew together countries from all over the world.  And there are after-action projects that are taking place in the context of the Nuclear Security Summit that I think provide a partial answer to your question.  But that, you know, summit itself and the fact that there will be a follow-on summit coming up in the next year with South Korea hosting it.  I think that that is one important realm where we are showing, you know, that we have practical things that we have in mind doing.

The other is planning for the next negotiation with the Russians, being ready to talk about that, being ready to talk about what will be required in terms of I had mentioned verification technologies and so forth.  There will have to be some important work that goes on so that we can accomplish reductions to much deeper levels.  And so just showing that we have a very practical agenda ahead of us, I think is the most important thing.  But I agree with you.  They are a tough audience.  And they are not going to be easily sold.

But nevertheless, I think we have a good story to tell and we will continue to tell it.  With that, I am going to draw our proceedings to a close.  I just noticed that it is getting close to when I turn into a pumpkin and have to go onto my next thing.  So I wanted to thank you all very, very much for the opportunity to speak to you today.  And I look forward to further interactions.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you all very much.  The formal portion of our meeting is closed.  But I do want to note for those of you who are members of the Arms Control Association that in 12 minutes precisely, we will be gathering in the Butler Room downstairs in the rear for a brief update from the board chairman, John Steinbruner, and myself.  So please join us there if you would like.  Thank you all for coming.

(END)

Description: 

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Remarks of Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller at the ACA Annual Meeting

Sections:

Body: 

Remarks at the Arms Control Association's Annual Meeting

 

Rose Gottemoeller

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation

Washington, DC

April 26, 2010

(As prepared for delivery)

 

Introduction

Thank you for the kind introduction. I am very pleased to be back in Washington and able to join you for your annual meeting. This has been an extremely eventful year in the area of arms control and your meeting is well-timed, as there is much more to come.

It was just over a year ago, on April 1, 2009, that President Obama and President Medvedev met in London and agreed to launch the negotiations toward a replacement treaty for START.

With their directive, we embarked on a new, uncharted path, but one which both our countries and the world community recognized was necessary: to replace the expiring START Treaty with a new agreement reflecting progress in arms control and the changes in the world and in the U.S.-Russian relationship over the 20 years since START was negotiated.

Twelve months later, the New START Treaty and its Protocol were completed and the Presidents signed both at Prague on April 8. It was a thrill to witness the signing ceremony, an event which signified not only the completion of the negotiation but the launch of the critical phase of work that lies ahead. Within the coming weeks, the Treaty, Protocol, Annexes and associated documents will be submitted formally to the United States Senate. I believe there is every reason for the Senate to provide its advice and consent to ratification of the New START Treaty. The Treaty will ensure and maintain the strategic balance between the United States and Russia at lower, verifiable weapons levels, appropriate to the current security environment. It will promote strategic stability by ensuring transparency and predictability regarding U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces over the life of the Treaty. It will definitively strengthen U.S. national security.

An important aspect of this phase of work is introducing the new Treaty not only to the Senate, but also to international organizations, non-governmental and advocacy organizations, and, most critically, the public. While I am here in Washington speaking to all of you, I know my Russian counterpart – Ambassador Anatoliy Antonov – is similarly engaged in Russia. Had it not been for the volcanic ash cloud hovering over Europe last week, the two of us would have jointly briefed the Conference on Disarmament, the OSCE, the EU and the IAEA on the new Treaty. We plan to do so at the NPT Review Conference next month in New York, and we intend to reschedule our European briefings soon thereafter. Embarking on a cooperative venture of this kind is a first in the history of arms control—an experiment, but an important one that we believe will work.

New START Treaty

I would like to take a step back for a minute and discuss another experiment, how we reached agreement with the Russian Federation on the New START Treaty.

I am sure this audience will appreciate that our work on this treaty began on the strong foundations established by the INF Treaty, the START Treaty, and the Moscow Treaty. Our many years of joint experience in implementing those treaties served as guiding principles as we negotiated this new Treaty.

What was experimental about these negotiations was the spirit in which they took place. As they began, Secretary Clinton had only just agreed with her counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that it was time to hit the reset button, moving us out of a difficult phase in our bilateral relationship. So the two delegations launched into the negotiations committed to conducting them in an atmosphere of mutual respect, with a premium on keeping the tone “businesslike and productive”— even when we did not agree. As my counterpart Ambassador Antonov would frequently say, “business is business.” Each delegation member brought to the table a sense of purpose and cooperation that allowed us to complete the treaty in a year – a span of time that is in sharp contrast to the more than nine years it took to negotiate the START I Treaty and the six years it took to negotiate the INF Treaty.

Much has changed, however, since START was signed by President Bush and President Gorbachev in 1991. These changes were reflected in the day-to-day work of our delegations. When our delegations sat across the table from each other, we had a better understanding of the other’s strategic focus. This was borne of the experience implementing INF and START. In fact, many of the U.S. and Russian experts on our delegations were inspectors under START. Multiple times, they had visited each others’ ICBM bases, SLBM bases, heavy bomber bases, and storage facilities. Communication lines are also well-established. For more than 22 years, the United States and Russia have communicated on START and INF through our respective Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers. And we speak each other’s languages. There were probably as many Russian speakers on the U.S. delegation as English speakers on the Russian delegation—many of them, again, from the cadre of inspectors. Arms control treaties of the past were negotiated when we did not have this multi-year implementation experience under our belts, and it helped enormously with the pace of negotiation.

This is not to say the negotiation was easy. Quite frankly, it was tough and there were serious issues to resolve, including those that required direct intervention by our Presidents. But there was a high degree of professionalism and expertise on both sides of the table, and the two teams were able to work together in a very intense and productive way. I know you will agree that what we achieved is an agreement that mutually enhances the security of the Parties and provides predictability and stability in strategic offensive forces.

Our Presidents described it best when, after signing the new Treaty earlier this month, President Obama called it “an important milestone for nuclear security and non-proliferation, and for U.S.-Russia relations” and President Medvedev declared it a “win-win situation.”

Details of the Treaty

The New START Treaty will improve international security by reducing and limiting U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces, promoting strategic stability by ensuring transparency and predictability regarding U.S and Russian strategic nuclear forces over the life of the Treaty, and advancing our collective nuclear non-proliferation agenda.

I would like to walk through some of the main points of the new START Treaty:

* The new Treaty will limit deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 on deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers to 1,550 per side, which is about 30 % below the maximum of 2,200 warheads permitted by the Moscow Treaty. When it is fully implemented, the Treaty will result in the lowest number of deployed nuclear warheads since the 1950s, the first full decade of the nuclear age.

* The Treaty has a limit of 700 for deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and deployed nuclear capable heavy bombers. This limit is more than 50 percent below the START Treaty limit of 1600 deployed strategic delivery vehicles.

* There will be a separate limit of 800 on the total number of deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers.

* The new Treaty gives each side’s military the flexibility to deploy and maintain its forces in ways that best meet that nation’s national security interests. The U.S. will maintain its triad of bombers, submarines and missiles for nuclear missions.

* The Treaty’s verification regime was designed to be strong and effective while at the same time reducing implementation costs and mitigating the operational disruptions to strategic nuclear forces that each side experienced for 15 years under START.

* The regime calls for on-site inspections of both deployed and non-deployed systems at the same types of facilities that were subject to inspection under START, extensive notifications, six-month data exchanges accompanied by frequent data updates, exhibitions, and demonstrations. In addition, each ICBM, SLBM, and heavy bomber will be assigned a unique identifier that will enable us to monitor individual systems over the life of the treaty.

* The new Treaty counts the actual number of warheads carried on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs. Since heavy bombers on both sides are no longer on alert, they no longer carry warheads on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, we agreed on an attribution rule of one warhead per heavy bomber rather than counting heavy bombers at zero warheads. This approach underscores the fact that these bombers have the capability to deliver nuclear weapons, although they are not ready to do so on a day-to-day basis.

* The Treaty provides for an exchange of telemetry information on up to 5 ballistic missile flight tests per year, by each side.

* The Treaty also protects our ability to develop and deploy ballistic missile defenses, and to develop and deploy a conventional prompt global strike capability should we opt to pursue such a capability.

A Look to the Future

Almost a year to the day before President Obama and President Medvedev signed the New START Treaty in Prague, President Obama gave a speech, also in Prague, in which he set forth a specific agenda to address the challenges posed by the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons. He articulated a bold vision, to “seek the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons,” no matter how hard it might be or how long it might take.

The President amplified these remarks at the signing ceremony for the Treaty, saying “this is a long-term goal, one that may not even be achieved in my lifetime. But I believed then – as I do now – that the pursuit of that goal will move us further beyond the Cold War, strengthen the global non-proliferation regime, and make the United States, and the world, safer and more secure.“ As long as nuclear weapons exist, however, the President also affirmed that the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee the defense of our allies.

With the New START Treaty, we are setting the stage for further arms reductions. As we say in the Preamble to the Treaty, we see it as providing new impetus to the step-by-step process of reducing and limiting nuclear arms, with a view to expanding this process in the future to a multilateral approach. We also will seek to include non-strategic and non-deployed weapons in future reductions. Such steps would truly take arms control into a new era.

We are looking forward with great anticipation to the NPT Review Conference, which will begin in a week’s time. Heading into the Conference, the New START Treaty sets a powerful example of responsible U.S.-Russian leadership in managing and reducing our remaining nuclear arsenals. Along with the recent release of the Nuclear Posture Review, which deemphasizes the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy, and the strong communiqué issued at the Nuclear Security Summit in mid-April, the Treaty is a key to strengthening the global non-proliferation regime.

The New START Treaty is not just about Washington and Moscow. It is about the entire world community. While the treaty is bilateral, it has big implications for global security. The United States and Russia control more than 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal, and we know that the world looks to us for leadership in securing nuclear materials globally and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Thus, the new Treaty sets the stage for engaging other powers in fulfilling the goals of the NPT.

At the upcoming NPT Review Conference, we look to reaffirm each party’s commitment to that treaty and to strengthen its three pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In addition, we want to discourage abuses of the treaty withdrawal provision and ensure there is a strong focus on NPT compliance. That said, the Review Conference is not an end in itself, but a milestone toward enhancing the non-proliferation regime worldwide.

As you know, two other major goals the Obama Administration is pursuing are bringing into force the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty – CTBT – and negotiating a verifiable Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty – FMCT. Ratifying the CTBT will not be an easy task, but we will work closely with the Senate, the public and key stakeholders to achieve this goal. The administration appreciates the active role of the Arms Control Association in advancing the goal of CTBT ratification.

We will also work to reduce the materials needed to produce nuclear weapons. Achieving a verifiable FMCT is an essential condition for a world free of nuclear weapons. If the international community is serious about drawing down, we must constrain the ability to build up. We are working hard to keep the United Nations’ Conference on Disarmament – the CD – focused on this goal.

Each of these steps will move us closer to President Obama’s vision of reducing – and ultimately eliminating – nuclear weapons.

There will be obstacles along the way; this work will be difficult, and will require enormous efforts from governments, NGOs, think tanks, academics, scientists and others to address the insecurities in many regions around the world that may lead some to seek nuclear weapons. But it is work in which all of us must engage. We do not want a world where there is even one more nuclear-armed country and we must also prevent terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear weapons.

I look forward to working with all of you in the months ahead on this ambitious agenda.

Thank you.

Description: 

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Understanding New START and the Nuclear Posture Review: Transcript of Briefing Now Available

Sections:

Body: 

For immediate release: April 9, 2010

Media contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107; Tom Z. Collina, Research Director, (202) 463-8270 x104

(Washington, D.C.) This week saw two major developments in American nuclear weapons policy.  On April 8, President Obama signed the New START agreement in Prague, and on April 6 the U.S. government released the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).

On April 7, the independent Arms Control Association and the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation held a briefing for reporters on these two important events featuring leading voices in the arms control community. The full transcript is now available below.

The following speakers offered their insights:

Amb. Linton Brooks served during the George W. Bush administration as Administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration and during the George H.W. Bush administration as Chief U.S. Negotiator for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

Morton H. Halperin is senior advisor to the Open Society Institute and was a member of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, which released its report last May. He served in the Clinton, Nixon, and Johnson administrations working on nuclear policy and arms control and is the author of numerous books and articles on this subject.

John D. Isaacs is the Executive Director of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation. He is a longtime leader of the nation's arms control community, an expert on nuclear policy and national politics, and has deep knowledge on the workings of Congress. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association.

Daryl G. Kimball, panel moderator, is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association and publisher of ACA's journal Arms Control Today.

 



ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

UNDERSTANDING NEW START
AND THE NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW

WELCOME AND MODERATOR:
DARYL G. KIMBALL,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

SPEAKERS:
LINTON BROOKS,
FORMER ADMINISTRATOR,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

MORTON H. HALPERIN,
SENIOR ADVISOR,
OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE

JOHN D. ISAACS,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
CENTER FOR ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 2010
8:00 A.M.
WASHINGTON, D.C.

Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

DARYL G. KIMBALL:  Welcome and good morning, everyone.  Thank you for waking up a little early this morning for this Arms Control Association and Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation briefing but it’s a hot spring morning already so I think you’ll enjoy the benefits of getting started early and having a little breakfast.  I’m Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association and we’ve organized this briefing at this timely moment to talk about two breaking issues.  

As you all know, the Nuclear Posture Review, which was released yesterday by the Obama administration, is still being analyzed and dissected.  We’ll talk about that today and we’ll also talk about the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, to be signed by Presidents Obama and Medvedev tomorrow in Prague.  We have three excellent speakers to address these issues.  We’re going to hear from each of them for about seven to 10 minutes and then we’re going to take your questions and answers.  We’ll have plenty of time for discussion of these issues.

To begin, Ambassador Linton Brooks, who was the lead negotiator of the 1991 START agreements is going to outline his thoughts about the New START deal:  what it is, why it is, why it is helpful for U.S. national security.  He’s also, of course, is the former administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and I’m sure he’ll have a few insights and thoughts about some of the issues outlined in the Nuclear Posture Review.  He and I were both at a briefing, and Mort Halperin, at a briefing yesterday morning at the Old Executive Office Building about that.  

Then we’ll hear from John Isaacs, who is executive director of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation and also a member of the board of the Arms Control Association.  He is the unofficial dean of the arms control lobbying community in Washington:  the massive, powerful arms control community of Washington.  (Laughter.)

JOHN D. ISAACS:  It means I’m the oldest.

MR. KIMBALL:  No, you’re not just the oldest – (laughter) – but you’re the wisest.  And so John is going to outline and give us his analysis of some of the dynamics of the ratification process that is yet to come with the new historic treaty.  I think he’ll tell us the prospects are actually better than they might have appeared from the coverage and the commentary in the past few weeks.  And then last but no least, we’ll hear from Mort Halperin –

MORTON H. HALPERIN:  Who is the oldest.  (Laughter.)

MR. KIMBALL:  You are the oldest, okay.  He’s currently senior advisor with the Open Society Institute.  He was a member of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, which concluded its report last May on many of the issues we’re going to be talking about today.  Mort’s been working with the Arms Control Association on issues related to the Nuclear Posture Review and meeting with the administration, providing suggestions to them over the past several weeks, and I just want to point out that the press release and the letter that is outside the table was put together about a month and a half ago and that letter outlines what Mort and I and several others wanted to see in the Nuclear Posture Review. Mort is going to provide a thumbnail analysis of what is actually in the posture review:  what the highlights are and where the administration and the United States need to go from there.

So with that, I’m going to stop and I’m going to turn it over to Linton.  And let me also just note that these microphones do not amplify – these are for the transcription so if you’re having trouble hearing, just please move forward.  But I think Linton has a strong voice – (laughter) – and you’ll be just fine.  So Linton, thank you for being here.  The floor is yours.

LINTON BROOKS:  “Strong voice” is what they say when they’re being nice to you, as opposed to “really loud,” which is what they say in private.

The New START treaty is, as most of you know, going to have three central limits.  It’s going to limit total number of launchers, by which we mean ICBM, SLBMs – or submarine-launched ballistic missiles – and nuclear-capable heavy bombers.  It’s going to limit them to 800.  It’s going to limit deployed launchers to 700 and it’s going to limit warheads to 1550.  Now, the 1550 warhead limit is different.  One of the problems you have in comparing arms control treaties is – at least the four I’ve been involved with – each say “warheads” and each count them using a different procedure.  

This treaty uses the procedure of the 2002 Treaty of Moscow in that it counts actual, physical warheads on ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.  So it measures the real deployed capability.  

That gave them a problem with bombers, because on a day-to-day basis, there are no warheads on bombers.  So how do you handle that?  In the 2002 treaty, the U.S. counted the warheads they had at bomber bases.  The Russians, because of where their storage facilities were, did not.  That didn’t seem very good, so what they have done is just used an arbitrary number for bombers:  count the number of bombers, pick an arbitrary number and that’s how many warheads.  The arbitrary number they picked is one.  You can argue good, bad – the Nuclear Posture Review yesterday reverted to discussions that we had when I was doing it 20 years ago that bombers are inherently stabilizing because they’re not suitable for a strike, that said that it’s therefore logical to do it this way but it’s also the process of the negotiation.  

The treaty does not limit missile defense at all.  There will be language in the preamble that will recognize the relationship between offense and defense.  It does not constrain what is being sometimes called “conventional strategic,” which is to say warheads on ICBMs or SLBMs that are conventional – doesn’t constrain but it counts them.  So if you want to have a missile with a conventional warhead, that will count one against your 1550 – the limit – and that missile will count against the 700-deployed limit.  

It has a 10-year duration and we have seven years to reduce.  That is why in the Nuclear Posture Review yesterday, as Mort will tell you, the administration did not specify the force structure because they’ve got seven years to reach it.  The reductions are sometimes criticized as being modest, which is a fair comment but they are sufficient, that I think there is going to be some internal tension within the Pentagon about how to take them.  But the reductions have been chosen to preserve the U.S. ability to deploy the so-called nuclear triad:  ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers.  

The verification provisions, not all of which I have seen in detail, are built on START but – on the previous START treaty – but use simpler approaches in order to save money.  There’s one thing that’s quite new about this treaty on verification, however, and that is, there are – historically, verification has been so you can make sure the limits were being observed.  

This treaty actually goes beyond that.  It has some verification provisions that are entirely in the interest of transparency and openness.  The most obvious is the requirement to exchange information on telemetry.  That was in the treaty I negotiated and it was there because we needed it to force a limit on throw-weight that is no longer relevant in the modern era.  It’s in this treaty as a general way of preserving openness and transparency.  

The treaty has a number of the sort of minor provisions from the past.  It legitimizes our continued cooperation with the United Kingdom; it bans the deployment of strategic offensive arms outside national territory but has wiggle room for bombers.  

So in that sense, it’s no change from what we had in the last one.  Now, you will hear – you have heard a series of criticisms and it’s important to take the criticisms seriously.  I do not accept the view that most of the critics are automatically anti-arms control or the administration, but they have concerns and I think you have to take the concerns seriously.  

The ones I’ve heard:  First of all, the reductions are modest.  Well, that’s true.  Because we’re out of practice in doing this, we did a simple thing.  Nonetheless, the Nuclear Posture Review yesterday listed 880 launchers – the limit will be 800, so 10 percent of those things are going to go away – physical objects that are deployed right now.  So the reductions are modest but they’re not completely trivial.  The bomber-counting rule makes it a little hard to compare the 1550 number with previous numbers, but it’s clearly a reduction and 30 percent is what the administration has used and that’s a reasonable figure.  

So I think that you have to accept that this is a modest set of reductions.  That’s because, in my view, that’s not what the treaty is primarily about.  The primary benefits of the treaty are two.  One is transparency.  Transparency leads to predictability; predictability leads to stability.  That’s why the last administration initially wanted a pure transparency regime.  So that’s one benefit.  The other benefit is, at a time when we and the Russians don’t have a track record of working as well together as we’d like, something that was reasonably difficult to do got done.  And so I think those two benefits are important benefits and obviously, having something that regulates the nuclear balance is important.

Second criticism you will sometimes hear is defenses and as far as I can tell, that’s just wrong.  There is no wink-and-a-nod, there’s no “oh, we understand, we’re not going to do anything.”  The Russians may issue a statement saying that they have the right to withdraw if we deploy defenses to threaten the strategic balance.  They issued such a statement in 1991; we issued a statement right back and both of them went into the dustbin of history.  I think it would be – it is for the Senate to decide whether this treaty deserves ratification.  I think it does.  It would be tragic if we allowed Russian statements made for domestic purposes to derail it.

Third thing you’ll hear is it doesn’t capture the large tactical warhead inventory in the Russian Federation.  That’s true – no arms control treaty so far has and the Nuclear Posture Review has made it clear that once this treaty is ratified, the administration will seek a treaty which will capture both those and non-deployed weapons.

And finally, you’ll hear concerns by some that the treaty may or may not be a good idea but you can’t possibly accept it because the U.S. nuclear weapons program is in disarray.  And I think the administration’s answer to that is the fiscal 2011 budget with a very substantial increase for my former home, the National Nuclear Security Administration.  And I will say flatly, I ran that place for five years and I’d have killed for that budget and that much high-level attention in the administration and I just – nobody in government ever said “my program has too much money” and I doubt that my successor is busy saying that.  But he is very happy with his program and I think it does put us on a very firm, firm basis.  

So those are the criticisms.  I think they have to be taken seriously but as I have just suggested to you, I don’t think there’s any question this is in our interest and should be ratified.

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you very much, Linton and now we’ll turn to John Isaacs for a deeper analysis of the situation in the Senate with the ratification debate.  John?

MR. ISAACS:  Thank you, Daryl.  Just briefly, on procedure, after the treaty signing tomorrow, there’s still some ongoing negotiations on the annexes to the treaty.  The administration hopes to complete those by the end of this month and then submit the treaty to the Senate by the end of the month or early May.  At that point, the treaty goes to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has sole jurisdiction in terms of considering the treaty and voting on a resolution of ratification.  Just one technical point which I like to point out:  The Senate does not ratify treaties; the president ratifies treaties – the Senate gives its advice and consent to ratification.  It’s a very common mistake.

The Foreign Relations Committee will have primary jurisdiction and will have the first opportunity to vote on the resolution of ratification, add conditions, understandings that they might offer, but I’ll get to that in a second.  Other committees, however, are likely to hold hearings, including the Senate Intelligence Committee under Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the Senate Armed Service Committee under Sen. Carl Levin.  

I’m pretty confident that if we can get this treaty to a final vote, not only will the treaty pass but it will pass with a very large majority.  Now, I include that caveat about getting to the vote.  I understand there are some in the administration that are very optimistic the treaty could actually be considered and approved by the Senate by the end of July.  One never loses if one bets against the Senate doing anything early as opposed to late and so I would not bet on a July date.  In fact, perhaps more likely is a lame duck session.  

There are critics of the treaty in the Senate; for sure, no senator has opposed the treaty at all but there are lots of opportunities for delay, lots of opportunity to raise issues, lots of opportunities to talk about national security issues related to nuclear issues that aren’t necessarily part of the treaty.  So I don’t know if the Republicans are going to allow a prompt vote – that’s just an unknowable thing at this point.  

The other major question besides timing is what kind of conditions and understandings that mostly Republicans will offer.  We would expect the battle not to be on a yes or no for the treaty but a condition dealing with missile defense, a condition dealing with a next set of negotiations, an understanding about how much spending there will be on the nuclear weapons complex over the next 10 years.  

Now, to remind you, the treaty does require two-thirds majority, according to the Constitution – 67 votes.  So there’s a need for at least eight or nine Republicans to vote for the treaty.  But a condition or an understanding that might be offered to the treaty on the Senate floor requires a majority vote.  So in the current Senate with 41 Republicans, there would have to be a lot of Democrats going along with those understandings, conditions to get them approved.

But overall, as I indicated, I’m pretty confident that if we get this final vote, not only will it be approved but approved by a large majority.  Just to give you a number of reasons, first, the military is solidly behind the treaty.  You saw, Friday of last week, there was not only the secretary of state but secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs presenting and advocating for the treaty.  

You have a number of GOP senators who have already indicated either a principle or specifically that they would support the New START treaty.  Most recently, again, Sen. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, not only said basically he endorsed the treaty but has said he would work for prompt ratification with Chairman John Kerry.  You also have Sen. Bob Corker, member of the Foreign Relations Committee, who months ago said, this treaty’s a good idea, as well as Sen. John McCain who said that more than a month ago – more than a year ago.  However, since then he’s found himself a little primary in Arizona so I don’t know what he’s saying.  He may not be so positive right now but depending on where the vote is, it’s likely – I believe it’s more likely to occur after his August primary.

We have the key leadership in place to promote the treaty from within the Senate.  As I indicated, Sen. Kerry, of course, has backed the treaty in a statement with Sen. Lugar.  As chairman and ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, that means they can try to move promptly to hold the hearings and get the treaty out of that committee.  Other committees in the Senate:  You have the chairmen and ranking members fighting each other and disagreeing – this is one of the few opportunities where you have bipartisanship at the top of the committee who will work cooperatively.

You also have a situation where many former high-ranking Republican officials have endorsed the treaty, most recently, the Florida statesmen, including former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger.  And if you go back, the congressionally-mandated review of the nuclear issues, on which Mort Halperin has served, there was a unanimous vote, including six Republicans including former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, endorsing modest reductions in the nuclear stockpile, which as we heard from Linton Brooks, that’s what we have in this treaty.

I’d also point out that the previous treaty votes on nuclear reductions – the START I agreement, President George W. Bush’s Treaty of Moscow – not only were approved by the Senate but were approved overwhelmingly in each case by over 90 votes, and that’s a good precedent.  And lastly, I’d point out that our organization Council for a Livable World has visited 20 – over the last year, 23 Republican offices.  And if you’re talking about 23 Republican offices, you’re not, obviously, talking about moderates because there aren’t 23 moderates in the U.S. Senate.  (Laughter.)  

All the way as far right as Burr of North Carolina and Coburn of Oklahoma.  In those offices, meeting with staff, there were a number of concerns raised over and over again – the ones we’ve heard about already:  missile defense and the status of our nuclear weapons complex.  But while several of those offices were willing to say, we’re against the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, if there’s a vote on the test ban treaty, we will vote no, not a single Republican in those 23 offices have said they will vote against a new nuclear reductions treaty.

So overall, I am quite optimistic, as I say, if the Senate procedural hurdles and delays can be overcome.  One last argument that I think will be helpful in getting the treaty through the Senate:  As of December 5, the START I agreement expired.  That means, in effect, there’s no specific verification procedures except some general understanding, I think, between the U.S. and Russians.  There are new verification procedures as a part of this treaty – the telemetry data exchange and so on.  That all will be in limbo until the Senate – U.S. Senate – and the Russian Duma approve the treaty and I think that’s a strong incentive to U.S. senators of both parties to get the treaty through at some point and also to get the verification procedures into effect.

Thank you.

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you very much, John.  That was a very good, thorough overview.  We’re going to shift gears just a little bit and Mort Halperin is going to talk about the newly released Nuclear Posture Review.  Mort?

MR. HALPERIN:  Thank you.  Pleasure to be here.  I do want to say something about the relationship between the posture review and the treaty, but first let me make two comments about the treaty before I start on the posture review.  

One is, I think it’s – as Linton has said, the criticisms have to be taken seriously.  But I interpret what he said to mean that they are in fact not serious.  (Laughter.)  It’s an important distinction.

Second, as John suggested, my view is that this treaty follows completely the recommendations of the Perry-Schlesinger Commission, is a modest step, in accompanying it by a very substantial build-up on the weapons laboratory, which as Linton said is in the budget.  I would very much hope that all of my colleagues on the commission will join in endorsing the treaty and I think if they do that, early and overwhelming ratification is extremely likely.  I see nothing in the treaty, either affirmatively in the treaty that they didn’t want or that’s out of the treaty that they did want, and including statements by the administration about how they will move forward on a follow-on treaty, which is again consistent with the recommendations of the commission.  I don’t think any of that is an accident and I think it suggests that there should be a treaty with bipartisan support.  

Let me turn to the posture review.  I have been very critical of the posture review before it came out.  It seemed to me there were many signs that it was not going to meet the standard that the president laid out in the Prague speech for beginning a transformation of American nuclear policy.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I think in fact this is a document which puts us on a path to a fundamentally different nuclear posture than was the posture of the previous administration and even other administrations going back to the beginning of the nuclear age.

It starts by saying that the main threat is proliferation with terrorism, that is, not a large-scale Soviet attack on the United States, and it acknowledges, although it doesn’t do about it – I’ll come back to that – that the current nuclear posture is not particularly suited to dealing with this threat.  But then it says that the American nuclear posture plays a critical role in our ability to deal with the problem of proliferation and terrorism.

But it flips the relationship between the two in a way that’s fundamentally different than the view of – as far as I can tell – old, previous administrations.  That is, it says that the way we contribute to dealing with the problem of proliferation and the problem of nuclear terrorism is by demonstrating a commitment to reduced reliance on nuclear weapons.  Old, previous administrations, in my view, believed and said that the way we contribute to this is by maintaining a robust nuclear arsenal.  

Now, this Nuclear Posture Review also calls for a robust nuclear arsenal, but it stresses that the most important contribution that the nuclear forces can make toward dealing with the problem of proliferation and nuclear terrorism is by demonstrating our commitment to the provisions of the NPT, which calls for us to move toward a reduced reliance on nuclear weapons.  And as I’ll suggest in a minute, it actually does reduce our reliance on nuclear weapons.  

It says that the goal is to prevent the use of nuclear weapons, which is, I think, an important way to understand the problem, that the American interest, that it, again, was reflected in the commission report, that our primary interest is to prevent anybody from using nuclear weapons rather than to say that our purpose of nuclear weapons is to enable us to meet our own security threats.  

It emphasizes, very much, that because of the changes in the situation, the United States can meet its overwhelming number of security threats without the use of nuclear weapons.  Now, as we know, a major part of the internal debate within the administration, and certainly in the last two or three months in which the White House and senior officials in the State Department and the NSC were engaged, was about declaratory policy.  

A number of us have advocated – and you’ll see the letter on this table – that the administration should say that the sole purpose of our nuclear forces is to deter nuclear attacks or to respond to them – nuclear attacks on the United States, on its military forces or its allies and other countries that depend on our nuclear deterrent, but that it’s limited to dealing with nuclear threats.

The administration declined to do that.  It clearly debated the issue in some detail, but it did three things that are fundamentally different than past administrations and I think clearly moves us for the first time in the direction of saying our goal is to say that our nuclear weapons are only to deter nuclear attacks.

Now, it also reaffirms the goal of the world without nuclear weapons.  My view is, nobody knows how to get to such a world.  There is no possibility of such a world and that while the rhetoric of it may be useful, it’s not real.  This is a real goal.  The United States can, in fact, and in my view, should move as quickly as possible to a situation where it is able to say we have nuclear weapons only to deter the use by others and that we will have a nuclear posture – and I’ll come back that – that reflects that view.

I think this nuclear posture statement is a major step in that direction and in my view, is a fundamental difference from – no other previous administration has ever hinted at anything other than we will always need to threaten nuclear weapons for a wide range of contingencies, not just nuclear use.

It has three, as I say, new elements.  First, the clean negative security assurance.  This is a 40-year battle and I’ve been engaged in this battle for this clean negative security assurance for 40 years and there’s an interesting story, which, if any of you provoke me, I’ll be happy to tell about the first time the clean negative security assurance was in fact proposed.  

But it is, in my view, the only assurance that’s consistent with the purposes of the Nonproliferation Treaty and the demand that we make on all but the five nuclear powers in that treaty.  I do not see how we can say to other countries, we want you to renounce nuclear weapons by treaty while we retain the right to threaten you with the use of nuclear weapons, even if you are a member in good standing of the treaty and have declined to get nuclear weapons or have gotten rid of your nuclear weapons.

That has been, in various forms, the posture of the United States until yesterday.  And we have now finally said if you are a member in good standing of the treaty, you will not be threatened with nuclear weapons.  Now, there’s been some suggestions that this is somehow a threat against North Korea and Iran.  I think that’s fundamentally wrong.

The threat to North Korea and Iran has existed from the beginning – from the first time the United States had nuclear weapons, it has always said to potential adversaries, we reserve the right to use nuclear weapons against you, even if you don’t have them, even if you’re not threatening to build them.

For the first time this is a promise to those two countries, which says something we have said in a different context to the North Koreans but in my view never to the Iranians.  If you come back into full compliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty, you will have a commitment from the United States not to threaten or use nuclear weapons against you, period, full stop.

That is the change in what we’ve communicated to the Iranians and the North Koreans, not suddenly some new threat against them that we might use nuclear weapons.  Second, even for the countries that don’t get this guarantee, either because they’re nuclear powers, that is, the four other nuclear powers in the NPT, the three states that have failed to sign the treaty – India, Pakistan and Israel, or the states that are in noncompliance.  

And we don’t have a full list.  It clearly includes Iran and North Korea.  There is a question of whether the administration thinks Syria is and I think they will not say on the record what the list is.  But even for those countries, there are two criteria that are stated for the first time.  

One is that it will be only in extreme circumstances that we would consider the use of nuclear weapons and only when vital interests were at stake, which is again, different from suggesting that maybe if there’s a deep underground bunker in Iran and we’re not sure what’s in it, that they might have to be worried that we would use nuclear weapons against them.  

And third, as I’ve said, it says that the goal is to move to sole use – that the goal is to deal with our allies, to strengthen our convention and capabilities, our other relationships with countries so that we are able to say that nuclear weapons are maintained for the sole purpose of deterring their use by others.  

The other chapter of the report that I want to comment on is the one dealing with nuclear weapons themselves.  There is a commitment there that goes beyond what I think most of us anticipated, which is the statement:  No new nuclear weapons.  And that is defined as a pit which has not previously been tested.  

There’s also a commitment that we will not test, period, full stop, and a reaffirmation of the commitment to the Test Ban Treaty.  But it also is a commitment that we will not make changes in the existing weapons for the purpose of developing new military capabilities or for new military purposes.  

That is, the changes that we make will be only to enhance the safety, security or reliability or effectiveness of the weapons.  And that there will be a presumption against replacement in favor of refurbishment, but that we will be open to anything along that continuum as long as it is not a new nuclear weapon and it is not being done for these other purposes.  

I think that’s a – again, a major step forward which reflects a nuclear posture which is not seeking to find more credible ways to use nuclear weapons, which is how I would define the previous Nuclear Posture Review, but rather making it clear that we are moving away from any reliance on nuclear weapons from any purpose other than deterring their use.

Now, there are a lot of issues that are untouched and there are a number of studies hinted at in the Nuclear Posture Review.  I tried to count them up and got to about six or seven.  There may only be one because toward the end, we hear that they will complete the presidentially directed review of post-new-START arms control objectives to establish goals for future reductions as well as evaluating options to increase warning and decision times and to further reduce the risk of warnings or misjudgment.  

So they may all be in one study, but it is clearly a study of how big the force has to be, of the future of the ICBM, whether a different kind of ICBM would permit us to move off alert status.  It does not explicitly say – and this is, in my view, the major feeling of the NPR and I think comes partly from the fact that they did the part of it relating to the operation of the forces to give guidance to the negotiators.

So they did it first and quickly and without looking at it in a fundamental way.  And my hope is that they will now do that or they’ll wait until after the treaty was ratified to do it.  But it still talks about assured direction.  And my understanding is that they have not really fundamentally re-looked at this question.

So despite all rhetoric in the document, the question of how big our force has to be, how quickly it has to be ready to fire, how massively it has to be ready to fire is still based on an assured destruction number which is not different from the one that we had during the Cold War.  That still requires us to be able, with high confidence, to destroy a very large number of targets in Russia and to do so quickly in the event that we think there’s a Russian attack about to come or landed in the United States.

In my view, that’s fundamentally wrong that we can, in fact, have, quote, “assured destruction” of a Russian deliberate attack with much lower levels and with a much reduced target list.  And that’s, I think, the main task ahead for the administration in fulfilling the promise of this Nuclear Posture Review.

MR. KIMBALL:  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much, Mort.  That’s an excellent analysis.  Before we turn it over to questions and answers, let me just add two quick points to augment what Mort just said, how on the subject of the posture review’s clarification of policy not to pursue new design warheads.

The 70-some page document does not actually provide a definition of what a new nuclear weapon is.  But there is precedent in law and I would just point you all to a news analysis piece that my colleague Tom Collina did in the most recent issue of Arms Control Today, “What is a ‘New’ Nuclear Weapon?” that discusses this a bit.  

And one of the things it draws out is that in the fiscal year 2003 defense authorization bill, Congress did, in the context of authorization and appropriation, define what a new nuclear weapon is.  And it is along the lines of what Mort described, which is warhead primaries of secondaries not previously in the arsenal.

And so I think that is a definition that we may hear more about, more clarification in the weeks ahead.  And finally, I mean, and Mort touched upon this.  I mean, one of the other points in the NPR that I think is very interesting, we may hear more about this in less than 24 hours, when the two presidents speak in Prague, is that the Nuclear Posture Review clearly signals that the Obama administration is interested in further dialogue, if not negotiations with Russia and China on nuclear weapons issues.  

And the president, during the campaign, made the statement that he would seek a strategic dialogue with other nuclear armed nations to influence transparency and predictability.  That idea is preserved in this Nuclear Posture Review.  

And I think it’s important because it strongly suggests – more than strongly suggest that this New START treaty is not the last step in the administration’s efforts to reduce U.S. and Russian stockpiles, strategic, non-deployed or tactical.  And an effort is going to be made to pursue this discussion with China, even though right now, China is not especially enthusiastic about that.

So those are a couple of other thoughts on the NPR and so at this point, I’m going to turn it over to you all for questions you’ve got.  Just identify yourself before you ask the question.

Q:  Hi.  Mary Beth Sheridan from Washington Post.  I had a question about the NPR and New START. They’re going to deMIRV our missiles and you know, one warhead on each missile.  So I’m just trying to understand how different is that and how important is that?

MR. BROOKS:  I should have mentioned that.  It’s somewhat different.  The last administration was moving to a land-based missile force with mostly single warheads.  But it made a conscious decision to continue to deploy some with more than one warhead, largely to preserve experience.

This administration – this Nuclear Posture Review says we will move to all the Minuteman force carrying a single warhead.  It specifically cites the stability benefits, that is to say, lots of people worry about ICBMs being vulnerable.  But an ICBM with a single warhead is not an attractive target because they typically take two warheads to destroy it and they’re typically located a long way from anything else.  So with constrained forces, there’s no incentive.  That also reduces any need to make an early decision.

I think the practical implications are relatively small because we will want to deploy a number of the former Peacekeeper warheads – the W87 on the existing Minuteman force and the existing Minuteman force will only take one deliverable warhead.  So I think we’ve never announced exactly what the mix was.

I think that this will somewhat reduce the number of warheads and ICBMs.  The significance of it is it’s a drive towards stability and toward reducing any pressures for early use on the ICBM force.

MR. HALPERIN:  But there’s nothing in the treaty.

MR. BROOKS:  Nothing in the treaty that requires it.  The treaty is based on a fundamental principle, which is different from Cold War, that each side should be free to make its own decisions about its own force structure.  For a very long time in the Cold War, we tried very hard to write treaties that would encourage the Russians to move – the Soviets to move toward structures that we thought were stabilizing.

But since the end of the Cold War, we’ve essentially given that up.  Treaty of Moscow didn’t attempt to do it.  This treaty doesn’t attempt to do it.  You can argue whether that’s good or bad, but that’s clearly where we are.

MR. KIMBALL:  And by the way, I mean, the START II treaty would have done that but the opportunity to implement the START II treaty was lost.

MR. BROOKS:  START II treaty – I negotiated the START II treaty.  START II treaty would have been a very good treaty, except it could only be – it could only have been initiated when it was.  It couldn’t have been done six months earlier; it couldn’t have been done six months later.  And it depended on a euphoria in U.S.-Russian relations, which probably, it was unrealistic for us to assume that it continued.

MR. KIMBALL:  Right.  And it did not continue.

MR. BROOKS:  And then, when you know – (laughter) – tanks were shelling the Russian White House, it got kind of hard to get – (laughter) – them to focus on that.

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Jonathan.

Q:  Jonathan Landay with McClatchy Newspapers.  Prior to the rollout yesterday, we would see in reports that the administration was going to get rid of large numbers of nuclear warheads in the hedge force.  And I’m just wondering where that’s addressed in the NPR.  It seems to me that they actually put that off and there’s no direct – and there’s no direct commitment to the NPR to deal with the very, very large numbers of warheads that remain – (inaudible).

MR. KIMBALL:  Linton, Mort, do you want to –

MR. HALPERIN:  Yeah, I’ll start.  First of all, my understanding is that there is an ongoing discussion in the administration about whether they should say how many warheads we have and that there are a lot of people who want to do that.  And the hope still is that they will do that in the next few weeks, which will enable them to say something about how many they’re going to get rid of.

There is a commitment, I think, in the document to reduce the number of non-deployed warheads.  We have non-deployed warheads for two different purposes.  One is so that we can upload them in a crisis.  So if you suddenly decide that Russia is much more threatening, you can go back to merging the ICBMs so you can put more warheads on the submarines that you have.

And the other is to deal with technical failures.  So if one warhead fails, you have others that you can put on or upload into the system.  What the NPR says is that if we get the very substantial increase in the weapons complex that we’re asking for, the additional money and the additional commitment to build new facilities, we will then be able to make substantial reductions in the non-deployed force because the hedge will be in the production capacity of the system rather than in the weapons.

And so I think what they’re saying is, hey, we want to get the money and start the process before we can do that.  There’s also the – they need money to destroy them because now, if you decided to retire additional weapons, all that really would happen is that you would change the label on the weapon.

Instead of the label on the weapon saying non-deployed weapon for contingencies, it would say weapon awaiting destruction.  A slight exaggeration, but not much.

MR. BROOKS:  Not much of one.

MR. HALPERIN:  No.  And so they’re asking for more money to accelerate the destruction process as well.  So I think – I think, hopefully, we will see the numbers and we’ll know what the –

MR. BROOKS:  There is an additional commitment in the NPR, however.  And they say that following START ratification, entering into force, we will seek reductions with the Russians, which the NPR explicitly says will cover tactical weapons and non-deployed weapons.  Now, if you’ll look at the numbers, tactical weapons, they’ve got a lot.  We’ve got a few.

Non-deployed, we’ve got a lot, they’ve got a few.  So it is – it would not be unreasonable – I don’t know if this is the administration thinking – it would not be unreasonable to say if the way we can reduce Russian tactical weapons is to trade them for our non-deployed, announcing that we’re going to get rid of our non-deployed weapons no matter what the Russians do is not a particularly good negotiating strategy.

But I take that as a clear commitment to seek negotiated reductions which will go to our non-deployed, enable to buy the ability to do some of the things that we depend on non-deployed weapons for through the infrastructure.

Q:  Could I just follow up on that – the idea of the hedge being in the new production capacity because that’s clearly what a lot of people in the arms control community have been warning about, the new facility at Los Alamos and the new uranium facility down at Oak Ridge.  Is that what, in fact – is that – would you call that a backdoor so to speak?

MR. HALPERIN:  No, I mean I think the warning – I frankly don’t understand the concern about that.  You know, I think that the issue is the context in which it takes place.  In the previous administration, I think people feared – I think with some reason – that the goal was really to find new uses for nuclear weapons, to develop small weapons that could do various kinds of other tasks.

And the administration talked about the need to use nuclear weapons in a variety of circumstances.  In that context, I think Congress was properly concerned, both about the RRW and about the increase of the production facilities as part of an effort to create a new capability and with a lack of commitment to the Test Ban Treaty.

You now have a situation in which the administration has said, we will not test.  We will not develop new nuclear weapons.  And I think, by the way, there is a definition.  I don’t know – were these charts handed out?  The briefing charts.

MR. KIMBALL:  The day before yesterday.

MR. HALPERIN:  Yeah.  If you – they have a period where they should have had a colon on page nine, where it says no new nuclear warheads.  It should be a colon because what follows is, as I understand it, the definition of a new nuclear warhead.  That is, that it says in the affirmative, like the extension program, we’ll only use previously tested designs and not support new military missions or provide for new military capabilities.

So the flip of that is their definition of a new nuclear warhead is one that we’d use a previously untested design or we’d be, for the purpose of new military missions or new military capabilities.  And given that commitment, which I assume Congress will legislate, given the commitment to the test ban, given the commitment to reduced reliance on nuclear weapons.

My view is that it is well worth paying the financial price of modernizing Astana as a way to create a broad bipartisan support for those set of measures, which in my view, are far more important to the security of the United States than me jiggling money in the Defense budget to pay for this arsenal. And the secretary of Defense has said he will pay for it.  That is, the proposal is to shift money from the Defense budget for this purpose rather than taking it out of the overall energy budget.

MR. BROOKS:  It’s also important to put in context what they mean by this hedge capability.  The Los Alamos facility that exists today – the facility they need to build is a science facility which is necessary to support plutonium work, regardless.  The capability at PF-4 at Los Alamos is asserted to be possibly 50 to 80 bits a year.  I think you could fill this room with people who would say, you not find anybody who believes that you can do more than that, and I think you’d find a lot of people who would believe that it will be maybe 40 or 50 bits a year.  

The Y-12 facility – the Tennessee facility that does secondaries – will be sized for the same purpose.  That facility won’t be here for 10 years.  If you’re looking at producing, let us say, 50 pips a year, let’s say 50 warheads a year, Mort talked about strategic hedge, but the hedge is very long term.  It’s not, you wake up tomorrow and say, gee, the Russians are stronger than we think.  It’s, Stalin comes back and the Russians start a significant modernization and deployment program.

This is how fast we could match it.  And so I think that, that’s not a lot.  I mean, we’re talking about a reduction, in this treaty, of 700 deployed warheads.  Starting 10 years from now, it would take us 14 years to produce 700 warheads.  So I think it’s a bit unfair to say the sky is falling because we’re going to do that production.

MR. ISAACS:  Can I just say, to put this in context, to argue that 1,550 nuclear warheads is not sufficient to assure American security, to me, is absurd.  But to have a couple thousand additional nuclear weapons in storage that could be uploaded, to me, makes no sense when we could easily reduce our nuclear stockpiles tremendously from what we have now and have a very powerful deterrent.  

I point out that the Chinese government, which is modernizing its nuclear force and threatening American interests has maybe 200 nuclear warheads, all told, not all of which, of course, aimed at the United States.  But we have this new limit of 1,550.  So some of this is debating angels on the head of a pin, I would argue.

MR. KIMBALL:  To answer your question a little differently, Jonathan, I think what the Nuclear Posture Review communicates is that they are – it is, at the National Nuclear Security Administration and the nuclear weapons laboratories, although they may not like to admit it, and the Defense Department, increased confidence in the stockpile-management program.  

And that increased confidence should lead to reductions in the hedge arsenal, such as it is, and it should also, I think, lead to greater support for codifying the de facto test-ban policy of the United States and moving towards reconsideration and ratification of the treaty.  And I think it is an interesting line from the secretary of defense’s preface in the Nuclear Posture Review documents.  

He said that the plan for stockpile management is “a credible modernization plan necessary to sustain the nuclear infrastructure and support our nation’s deterrent.”  So I think in many ways, you know, the debate that had been raging for several years about whether new design warheads were necessary to maintain confidence in the reliability and effectiveness of the arsenal is over, at least within some of the key circles in the executive branch.  

And I think it should be, to a greater extent, on Capitol Hill, also, especially given the 10 percent increase in the NNSA weapons budget that even Linton Brooks couldn’t’ secure during his tenure at NNSA.  So there are more than enough resources to do the job of refurbishing and extending the lives of these existing warheads.

MR. ISAACS:  And I’d also say it’s going to take more than 10 years to bring Joseph Stalin back.  (Laughter.)

MR. KIMBALL:  Yes?

Q:  I’m Bob Burns with the Associated Press.  Picking up on John Isaacs’ comment about the prospects for Senate ratification, I wonder if any of you would have some thoughts on the process in Moscow, and also the likelihood that the Russians will be interested in going ahead with these post-New START negotiations, as proposed by the U.S.  

MR. KIMBALL:  John?

MR. BROOKS:  The Russians will work hard to convince the United States that ratification in Moscow is in doubt and that, therefore, the United States must really take Russian concerns about defenses into effect.  But the historic record suggests that the Russian Duma is a good deal more responsive to their executive branch than our Congress is to ours.  

And I believe that if President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin, who, contrary to the good-cop, bad-cop impression in the press, appeared to be in complete lockstep on this, when they want ratification, ratification will happen.  The Russians historically have wanted to see us ratify first, and I would be surprised if they did that.  

I think the jury is still out on the follow-on negotiations.  The Russians that I have spoken to unofficially have not shown a whole lot of enthusiasm for it.  I think the administration is quite wise to say that it will do this after START is ratified and enforced, because I think it’s very clear the Russians would be uninterested in it until that happens.  But you know, I don’t think we know whether the Russians are going to be interested.  

I think we can infer that the – I mean, this negotiation actually went very quickly.  We allowed a different impression because of the artificiality of the 5 December deadline.  But it took us nine years to do the first one and it took them 11 months to do the second.  I think the next one will look a lot more like the nine-year model.  I think it will be a very long, contentious discussion.  And you know, where the Russians are, I don’t know.  

And it will depend a little bit on our ability to find a formula that puts defenses aside.  The administration, in the posture review and the ballistic missile defense review, made some pretty bold, although very general comments, about cooperative work with Russia.  My personal view is that if that actually comes to fruition, the follow-on will be much easier.

MR. KIMBALL:  On a couple points on this, I mean, we’re going to continue to hear from the Russian government – Foreign Minister Lavrov and others – that the New START treaty establishes a legally binding link between strategic offenses and defenses.  That’s to be expected.  They say that because, as I think we’ll all soon see when the treaty text is revealed, the preamble will have a statement about the interrelationship between strategic offenses and strategic defenses.  The preamble is part of the treaty.  Ergo, it is legally binding.  

But a link is not a limit.  And journalists and senators should not be confused between these two things, because there’s a clear difference.  And as Linton said, and will be repeated over and over again, the New START treaty does not limit, in any way, the United States’ strategic or theater missile defense options.  

That said, I mean, it is going to be important, in my view, that the United States and Russia pursue, in a sincere way, this dialogue about cooperation with respect to joint use of radars, pursuing the Joint Data Exchange Center, which is an old idea that has been revived to help provide greater assurance to both sides, especially Russia, about U.S. missile plans, and also, to put together a joint missile threat assessment that brings the two countries closer together in their understanding and assessment of the Iranian ballistic missile situation.  

And then finally, on, you know, the next phase of discussions with Russia and tactical nuclear warheads in particular, the one aspect of the Nuclear Posture Review we didn’t talk about in our opening that I think is interesting, it’s one to keep watching – and that is what it says or doesn’t say about the 200 or so U.S. forward-deployed tactical nuclear bombs.  It is essentially neutral on that subject.  It’s neutral because NATO is pursuing its own dialogue on the subject through the Strategic Concept framework.  

That’s due to be completed by November.  But it was clear – and this was clear in the private briefing we had yesterday morning – that it is the view of the U.S. military that those forward-deployed weapons are not militarily essential for the defense of NATO, and operationally, they’re irrelevant.  Because these are bombs that are stored in bunkers, and it would take quite a bit of time to take them out of the bunkers to put them on fighter/bombers to deliver anywhere, and the United States has other nuclear assets that can be mobilized far more quickly than that.  

So we’ll see how this develops.  In my view, these 200 or so weapons are an impediment – not a bargaining chip, but they’re an impediment to getting the Russians to begin discussions on their relatively larger number or tactical bombs.  And the first step is to get Russia to the discussion table and to begin an accounting of each side’s tactical nuclear weapons.  And then we’ll see how far we can get with Russia, in terms of verifiably reducing and eliminating that portion of the two countries’ stockpiles.  Mort?  

MR. HALPERIN:  I think the next treaty is at least for the second Obama administration, and maybe for the second term of the next president.  There’s a whole agenda of what needs to be done, now, laid out and coming from the treaty and from the Nuclear Posture Review.  There’s a very strong commitment to the ratification of the test-ban treaty, which I think is going to take a lot of energy, clearly, on the part of the administration.  But there’s also an equally, in my view, important commitment to trying to bring the treaty into force.  Bringing the treaty into force, as you know, means ratification by India, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, Iran, North Korea.  The Chinese have not yet ratified, but I think we’re reasonably confident that they have even more control over their legislature than the Duma, so that will happen as soon as we do.  

But working together with the Russians and the Chinese on bringing the test-ban treaty into force and working with them in advance of the U.S. ratification on steps that lead us towards that goal that will make it easier to ratify is, in my view, the most important engagement we ought to have with the Russians and the Chinese in the period going forward.

There is also a commitment to discussing strategic stability with the Chinese, which is also new and I think very important.  It apparently was in the ballistic missile defense review for the first time, and it’s sufficiently contentious that it’s quoted in the Nuclear Posture Review only be reference to the fact that they already said it in the ballistic missile review, which means somebody regrets that they said it there, and they won’t let them say it again as an independent statement.  

But it’s clearly a very important commitment.  For the first time, we’ve said to the Chinese, we want strategic stability with you, like we have with the Russians.  That is, we view you not like the Iranians and North Koreans, as people who have nuclear weapons that are a threat and that we want to be able to destroy, but we expect strategic stability.  I hope we begin that dialogue, as well.  

In my view, there are two, I think, insurmountable obstacles to the next treaty.  One is some agreement on what to say about ballistic missile defense.  And of course, the irony is that we spent a good many years persuading the Russians that there was a link between the two.  They started life believing that offense was evil and defense was good, and used to explain to us that if we had been bombed the way Moscow had been bombed, we would understand that defenses are the inalienable right of all states.  We succeeded too well in persuading them that, that was wrong.  

But I just don’t see any way to get a treaty which satisfies the Russian interests in this and what the Senate would need to see.  That is, there is no way – unless we succeed in, in fact, having a joint ballistic missile defense with them.  But that’s a task, I think, for the next 10 years, and it has to precede the treaty.  The other thing is, how you verify the limits on non-deployed weapons and on so-called tactical nuclear weapons.

As far as I can tell, nobody has a single idea about how to do that with any level of accuracy or reliability, so again, as Linton suggests, the next period of time ought to be spent talking to the Russians about creating a joint defense, and about how to begin to determine how many weapons we have an dhow to begin to think about how to verify them.  Those two are very complicated, very long-term.  And I think until we know how to solve those two problems, it would be a mistake to begin a serious negotiation, because I think it will lead nowhere.

MR. BROOKS:  On the second one, the Nuclear Posture Review does, although it’s not terribly specific – does commit the administration to working on, cooperatively, on verification and transparency-focused at warheads levels.  It’s not quite as stark as the commission that Mort was on recommended, but it’s fairly clear that the administration will work on that.  There are little snippets of stuff that have been done throughout the community but there has been no serious government look at this in the last 8 years, because the administration I was in wasn’t particularly interested in that.  

MR. KIMBALL:  All right.  Yes?  

Q:  I’m Susan Cornwell with Reuters.  The Republicans on Capitol Hill have been saying that there’s a requirement in the defense authorization bill to submit a modernization plan for the nuclear arsenal along with the START treaty.  I just – perhaps it’s really a question for them, but I wonder whether you think that the administration has satisfied this requirement with the Nuclear Posture Review, or will they still need to do something along these lines?  What’s your opinion of this?  

MR. BROOKS:  Oh, they need to do something and they’re doing it.  There’ll be a detailed – may or may not be in the public domain – but there’ll be a detailed look at the next 10 years of the weapons program that is being worked on right now in NNSA.  I’m very close to dead certain on that.  

MR. ISAACS:  I’d add there’s a lot of ambiguity on the term “modernization.”  Sen. John Kyl offered some language in the defense authorization bill in which he had first talked about modernizing nuclear weapons.  That language was modified through negotiations with Sen. Carl Levin and the executive branch to talk about modernizing the nuclear weapons complex.  Nonetheless, several op-eds and speeches by Kyl afterwards seemed to go back to his original formulation, implying that was part of the defense authorization bill conference report, which it was not.

I would argue the Obama administration has met the 10-year requirement in terms of its rhetoric thus far, in the initial budget presentation.  But ultimately, it’s not what the administration does or how we interpret it.  It’s how John Kyl interprets it and what, ultimately, negotiations will be between Sen. Kyl and the administration to ensure he’s satisfied.  

MR. KIMBALL:  And one other point, I mean, along the lines of what John was just describing, Sen. Kyl brought together 40, 41 senators in a letter several weeks ago on this subject.  It was a reminder to the administration that they were expecting this 10-year plan.  But what Sen. Kyl did in that letter was to misconstrue the language that was in the defense authorization bill on the subject, and to suggest that certain specific elements must be in that plan.  

Now, you know, it is up to the administration and NNSA and the lab directors to put together that plan.  And the thing that I’m specifically talking about is, Kyl was suggesting that there must be a program for a modern warhead in this 10-year plan.  Now, Sen. Kyl has not explained what he means by “a modern warhead.”  There are many of us who would say that all of the nuclear warhead types in the arsenal are modern in the sense that they are up to date; they work; they’re effective; they’re safe and reliable.  

Some might argue that they could be safer or they could be more reliable, but they have been certified year after year and their lives have been extended.  And now, there are additional resources, as we’ve said a couple of times, to make sure the infrastructure to support the life-extension programs is more than sufficient to do the job into the indefinite future.  

So you know, I think there are going to be an ongoing debate about some of this in the START ratification process, but I think what the Nuclear Posture Review clarifies is that the Defense Department, the Energy Department, the lab directors, NNSA, the vice president agree that the these life-extension programs are working, that new-design warheads are not necessary at this point, thought they’re going to leave open the option to explore not just refurbishment and reuse, but replace certain components in the future, if the need arises.  But the need has not arisen at this point.

MR. BROOKS:  The Nuclear Posture Review deals with this a little bit in the explicit commitment to continue with the B-61 modernization – the B-61 is the most common bomb in the arsenal.  It exists in several variations.  And the Nuclear Posture Review commits the administration to continue with the life-extension program, which – you know, modernization has come to be a term of art – will make a weapon that is much different than the weapon that was made 40 years ago, when that was designed.

The Nuclear Posture Review also commits to the early stages of looking at an extension program for the W-78 – one of the two warheads on ICBMs – and specifically says that, in looking at that, should look at whether you can reduce the number – the types of nuclear weapons by making that a backup warhead for submarines.  Now, is that modernization?  Well, as John has correctly said, it matters what the people who vote on the treaty think, but from the standpoint of the weapons program, I think that does what people are concerned with, which is preserves the workforce, skill and ability, which the Nuclear Posture Review also commits to.  

So I think that it is hard to come up with a definition of supporting modernization that the Nuclear Posture Review isn’t responsive too.  It’s not impossible, but it is certainly – a strong case can be made that the Nuclear Posture Review is responsive to the concerns that we be able to modernize, in the sense of finding new and better ways to keep the arsenal safe, secure and reliable, while forswearing modernizing to the extent that, that means doing something fundamentally new.

MR. HALPERIN:  And I agree with that, but I would say there is no arms control reason to reject a modernization within the policy parameters of the Nuclear Posture Review.

MR. KIMBALL:  Other questions?  Yes.

Q:  Paul Richter with the L.A. Times.  I wonder how the panel members think other countries will react to the Nuclear Posture Review.  Will they see this as something – a big enough change that they will be encouraged to move in the direction the administration wants them to – moving away from reliance on nuclear weapons?  Or will we see not much different there?

MR. HALPERIN:  Are you talking about the other nuclear weapons states, or –

Q:  I’m talking about the ones that have nuclear weapons and the ones we don’t want to be interested in getting nukes.

MR. BROOKS:  Some will, some won’t, I think.

MR. KIMBALL:  Mort, do you want to take a stab?  

MR. HALPERIN:  I think if you look at our allies, I think the administration has done, again, something that the commission recommended, and it’s done in a very serious way.  It’s substantially increased our level of discussions with the Japanese, even through the change in government, on nuclear questions, leading up to the decision to cancel the TLAM – to retire the TLAM missile, which was done with the full cooperation of the Japanese government.

When other people were arguing we couldn’t do it because the Japanese would be upset, I think the Japanese are fully satisfied with this.  I think the Germans will see an opening to push for the eliminations of the weapons in Europe.  And I think the posture review leaves open the Europeans saying, we don’t want them.  We don’t think we need them for reassurance.  You said you don’t need them for operational reasons.  It’s time to get rid of the weapons.  So I think that’s going to be a serious debate in which you may find the Poles, and others, on the other side.

I think it did not go as far – if had gone much further – that if it had done sole-purpose, I think Koreans and Turks and Poles would have been upset.  I think the way it was done here, they would not, I think, be upset by.  So I think in terms of reassuring countries, this gets it, I think, just about right, in terms of opening up for people who want openings and reassuring for those who did.  

I think it should provide an opening for a serious conversation with the Chinese, because I think it does change the posture of the discussion, and implies that we ought to be willing to explore with the Chinese, if not no-first-use, some kind of mutual assurance of – the goal being of assured destruction.  Certainly, with the Russians, it opens up a lot of issues.  And as I said at the beginning, I think for the Iranians and the North Koreans, it opens up – it puts on the table an explicit commitment that would have to be part of any final settlement with either one of them.  And I think it commits the United States to it in a way that’s important and reasonable.  

MR. ISAACS:  And let me add [that] I think other countries will judge U.S. actions not simply on the basis of the Nuclear Posture Review, but on the basis of the New START agreement to be signed tomorrow, the Nuclear Posture Review, the nuclear summit next week, the nonproliferation Treaty review conference, and the pledge of the administration to get the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty ratified.  

I think that the other countries, and especially some that have been concerned about U.S. nuclear policy, want to see progress on a number of fronts – not just the policy, but the actual reductions of nuclear weapons, leading to further negotiations on reductions, and especially the test-ban treaty.

MR. KIMBALL:  Yeah, I would agree with John that, at the upcoming NPT review conference, which begins on May the 3rd, you know, some countries will look at this Nuclear Posture Review in the non-nuclear weapons majority, positively; others will be disappointed, mainly because the posture review itself is not effecting concrete, tangible progress.  

I think New START will give the U.S. and Russia some added momentum and leverage in their arguments that they are taking specific actions to fulfill their Article 6 disarmament commitments.  But there will be, I know, disappointment and some frustration with the relative lack of progress thus far on moving the Senate to reconsider the test-ban treaty.

The other thing I’d point out is, in the context of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, there are other issues that could wreck this conference, that could get in the way of the states’ parties coming together on a comprehensive action plan to strengthen and update the treaty.  And the two most important are whether the states’ parties are going to agree to take some concrete, albeit modest, steps towards pursuing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, which is a longstanding desire of Egypt and other Arab states.

It was a commitment made by the United States and other states at the 1995 review and extension conference.  Nothing has really happened since then.  They want to see some progress on that front.  And then the other issue – the other X-factor, is the extent to which Iran decides to be or not to be the spoiler at this conference.  They will want to avoid being the outlier.  They want to avoid being named and singled out.  

I expect that the United States and other countries are going to be pursuing, kind of, a country-neutral approach at the review conference, which I think is wise, because it will not give Iran a cynical reason to obstruct.  They may do so anyway, but it will not give them reason.  Everyone knows who the outliers are at the moment.  There’s no reason to single them out by name.  And the United States and other countries will be seeking, however, to do things at the conference that gird the NPT system against, for instance, withdrawal by Iran from the treaty without penalty.  

They will be seeking a stronger commitment to safeguards under the additional protocol.  So there’s more on that on the Arms Control Association Web site in a talk I gave last week.  But the NPR will, I think, have a modest effect, a mixed effect, at this upcoming review conference.  Are there other questions?  Anything else that we forgot to throw in here?  

Well, I want to thank you all for coming this morning.  We’ll be continuing this conversation in the days ahead.  I hope you are ready to wake up early tomorrow.  I think it’s 5:50 a.m., Eastern Time, when the two presidents will be signing New START.  Perhaps we’ll watch it later on, on television or the Internet.  But thank you, Linton Brooks, for being with us, and Mort Halperin and John Isaacs.  And we’ll see you again.

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Old Ebbitt Grill

Toward a Successful NPT Review Conference: Briefing with Amb. Burk

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Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Time: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Carnegie Endowment for Intl. Peace, 1779 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
Keynote: Ambassador Susan F. Burk
Commentators: Deepti Choubey and Daryl G. Kimball


In May 2010, nearly 190 nations will meet in New York to assess the implementation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to chart a path forward for progress on its three pillars: nonproliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. This Review Conference, held every five years, is critical to ensuring the Treaty survives the onslaught of current challenges and will require leadership from key states, particularly the United States.

The U.S. Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation, Ambassador Susan Burk, will present and discuss American goals. Following her remarks, Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program Deputy Director Deepti Choubey will describe what is at stake and Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association (ACA), will identify the critical issues and possible solutions for government officials, experts and the media to watch for at the Rev. Con.

Copies of the Arms Control Association's forthcoming report "Major Proposals to Strengthen the NPT: A Resource Guide for the 2010 Review Conference," by Cole Harvey and the ACA Research Staff will be available. Arms Control Today's in-depth interview with Susan Burk and additional analysis and commentary on the 2010 NPT Review Conference is available online from <http://www.armscontrol.org/act/current>

To RSVP for the event, please click here < http://www.carnegieendowment.org/events/?fa=eventDetail&id=2841 >

Keynote Speaker

Ambassador Susan F. Burk
Susan F. Burk is the Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation. She is responsible for working with other States to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the international nonproliferation regime. Ambassador Burk plays a lead role in preparing for the NPT Review Conference, and through international diplomacy promoting the United States’ goal of renewing and reinvigorating the NPT and the global regime. Previously, Ms. Burk served as the first Deputy Coordinator for Homeland Security in the State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. Prior to that assignment, Ms. Burk served as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation where she led the Bureau’s efforts to support the Proliferation Security Initiative, and served as chief U.S. negotiator for the Statement of Interdiction Principles. She joined the Bureau of Nonproliferation in June 2002 as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation Controls. A career civil servant, Ms. Burk joined the Department of State in April 1999 as the Director of the Office of Regional Affairs.

Commentators

Deepti Choubey
Deepti Choubey is the deputy director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment. Her research interests include the calculations of non–nuclear-weapon states, U.S. nonproliferation and disarmament policies, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. She has provided commentary for CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, BBC, and CBS Radio, and has written for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and U.S. News and World Report, among others. Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment in 2006, Choubey was director of the Peace and Security Initiative (PSI) for the Ploughshares Fund.

Daryl G. Kimball
Daryl Kimball became the Executive Director of the Arms Control Association in September 2001. ACA, formed in 1971, is a leading source of information and analysis for the news media and policy-makers on arms control and non-proliferation matters. Kimball is also the chief editorial advisor and a contributor to ACA's magazine, Arms Control Today, widely considered to be the journal of record in the field.

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Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 31 3:00-5:00

Strengthening the NPT: Challenges and Solutions for the 2010 NPT Review Conference

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Remarks of Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director,
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,
March 31, 2010

Click here to download these remarks in .doc format.

Nearly a year ago, President Barack Obama’s campaign to confront global nuclear weapons threats started with an ambitious agenda. In April in Prague, Obama reiterated the U.S. commitment to “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” beginning with renewed U.S. leadership to reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons, permanently outlaw nuclear testing, accelerate U.S. and global efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear materials, and strengthen the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Prague speech marked a significant shift away from the strategy of the previous administration and has created new possibilities for progress at the upcoming NPT Review Conference (RevCon).

Just weeks after Obama’s Prague address and days after the U.S. delegation reiterated that it recognizes the political commitments made at past NPT conferences, States Parties agreed on an agenda for work at the 2010 RevCon.

At the same time, States Parties could not agree on specific recommendations outlining a path forward to address the key items on the NPT agenda. And there is no shortage of recommendations for updating and strengthening the NPT.

The Arms Control Association has just published a detailed resource guide on the “Major Proposals to Strengthen the NPT” by our former Scoville Peace Fellow Cole Harvey with support from our ACA research team.

Our survey of proposals should make it abundantly clear that a vast majority of the 180 plus NPT States Parties actually do agree on a substantial number of practical measures that would strengthen and update the treaty. There are a number of very useful proposals that could provide the basis for agreement, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Five-Point Plan and elements from UN Security Council Resolution 1887.

And if certain difficult issues can be handled adroitly, if key states—particularly Iran—are not singled out for criticism by others and do not themselves seek to block consensus, and if the United States and a representative group of states voice support for common objectives, the conference can come together around an “Action Plan to strengthen and reaffirm the NPT.

Ideally, the “Action Plan” would be part of a final conference statement. If that is not possible, the success of the conference and support for the “Action Plan” might be measured and expressed through the Conference President’s summary report.

Major Challenges and Ways Forward for the 2010 RevCon

There are five related sets of issues that the states parties must address properly if there is to be agreement or near-agreement on an Action Plan to strengthen the NPT. Four of these are topics that have been debated in one way or another since the first NPT RevCon; another is relatively new.

1. Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Issues Relating to Withdrawal

One dominant theme at this RevCon will be the danger to the NPT from states that are under investigation for IAEA safeguards violations, are pursuing sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities, or both.

North Korea’s declared but unrecognized withdrawal from the NPT in 2003 highlights the fact that under the treaty, countries can acquire technologies that bring them to the very brink of nuclear weapons capability without explicitly violating the agreement and can then leave the treaty without automatic penalties.

Iran secretly pursued enrichment capabilities for years. While Iran’s main facility at Natanz and another at Qom are under safeguards and its capabilities are still limited, they are gradually growing. There is also the risk of unsafeguarded enrichment work and suspicion that Iran has engaged in warhead design work.

In response, a variety of proposals have been advanced that would lead to a more definitive and prompt response to cases of noncompliance and withdrawal.

Reaching agreement will be difficult in no small part because Iran will likely block agreement on any proposal, but it is important that in the very least states agree to:

  • Address without delay any notice of withdrawal from the NPT, including the convening of a special session of the states parties to discuss a collective response, and to affirm that a state remains responsible under international law for violations of the NPT committed prior to its withdrawal.

Unlike the U.S. effort at the 2005 NPT RevCon to call out noncompliant states by name, which provoked Iran and complicated efforts to reach agreement. This time around, I hope and expect that the United States and other leading actors will pursue a country-neutral approach. After all, everyone knows which states are the states of concern.

However, action before or during the RevCon by the Security Council to approve tougher, targeted sanctions against Iran could make it even more likely that Iran and some of its allies would block agreement on this issue and possibly others at the RevCon.

2. Peaceful Nuclear Uses and Safeguards

Iran’s uranium enrichment program and consideration by some states to become commercial nuclear fuel suppliers has rekindled a long-running discussion about how the proliferation of sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities—enrichment and reprocessing—can be avoided while ensuring that states may pursue the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Several proposals have been advanced that would provide nuclear fuel or a guarantee of nuclear fuel to states that meet basic nonproliferation criteria as an incentive not to pursue their own indigenous enrichment or reprocessing capacity. However, many developing states are concerned that multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle could limit their future options and generally do not embrace this approach.

There will likely be much discussion but little progress in resolving such differences at this RevCon. At most the States Parties may agree to:

  • Continue to work together on multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle, including assurances of nuclear fuel supply, to help provide reliable fuel supplies while minimizing the risk of proliferation of sensitive fuel cycle technologies.

To avoid isolation, Iran will also seek to equate its pursuit of sensitive fuel cycle activities in defiance of UN Security Council Resolutions with the so-called “right” under Article IV of the NPT on peaceful use of nuclear energy. It is crucial that states in the nonnuclear weapons majority do not play into Iran’s strategy.

It is incumbent on states in the Nonaligned group and other to support the NPT by urging—in their own national statements—that the Iranian government: fully respond to the IAEA’s outstanding questions about its nuclear activities; to suspend its sensitive fuel cycle activities as a confidence building measure; to agree to IAEA inspections under the terms of the additional protocol; and to engage in diplomacy with the P-5 and other states to reach a prompt resolution to the crisis. Brazil and South Africa can and should play a leadership role in this regard.

Nonaligned states should join other NPT States Parties to:

  • Recognize the right to pursue the peaceful use of nuclear energy in conformity with Articles I and II and the safeguards required under Article III and call upon all states to provide the cooperation and information necessary to verify compliance with safeguards obligations by all

    Iran’s safeguards transgressions and the ongoing investigation of Syrian nuclear activities by the IAEA have highlighted once again the importance of strengthening safeguards. While the vast majority of NPT States Parties have Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements with the IAEA, many have not adopted the Additional Protocol to their safeguards agreements, which would give the IAEA important additional authority to investigate undeclared nuclear activities. While many Western countries support the Additional Protocol as the verification standard, developing states generally oppose making it a legally-binding obligation.

    While this RevCon will not close such divergent views, States Parties can at least agree to make further progress toward universalization of the Additional Protocol. They should:

    • Recognize that a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) accompanied by an Additional Protocol (AP) based on the model additional protocol should be the internationally recognized safeguards standard, and call upon all states that have yet to do so to conclude and bring into force a CSA and an AP no later than 2015 and call on all states to apply this safeguards standard to the supply of nuclear material and equipment.

      3. Nuclear Disarmament

      Until recently, at least, the majority of countries felt that the five original nuclear-weapon states were not moving quickly enough to fulfill their NPT pledge to eliminate nuclear weapons and uphold their NPT-related commitments on the CTBT. The continuing possession of nuclear weapons by these states, reinforced by lackluster progress on disarmament in the last decade, erodes the willingness of certain states in the non-nuclear weapon majority to agree to strengthen the nonproliferation end of the NPT bargain.

      The conclusion of New START after less than a year of negotiations is a significant diplomatic achievement that puts the process of verifiable strategic nuclear reductions back on track. Yet, New START will still leave the United States and Russia with thousands of excess nuclear weapons. Furthermore, while the U.S. and Chinese governments officially support efforts to achieve CTBT ratification and entry into force, frustration that neither have done so nearly fifteen years since the treaty was concluded is understandably high.

      While President Obama has pledged to “reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy,” and may soon announce how he intends to do so in the NPR, other nuclear weapon states could certainly do more to reduce the role and number of their nuclear weapons.

      We can expect that a number of states will draw attention to the slow pace of progress on nuclear disarmament, including some, such as Iran, who simply wish to draw attention away from themselves.

      The P-5 certainly have a better story to tell on their implementation of Article VI at this conference than they did five years ago. But there is clearly more to be done to move toward a world without nuclear weapons and the nuclear weapon states can and should jointly outline what they intent to do next.

      The following are some practical proposals for what might be included in the disarmament section of the Action Plan:

      • To boost momentum ahead of the NPT conference, Obama and Medvedev should announce their readiness to resume consultations on the next round of nuclear arms reductions. As Secretary Clinton said during her January 2009 nomination hearing, such talks should be broadened to include the verifiable elimination of all warhead types: deployed and nondeployed, strategic and nonstrategic.
      • Obama and Medvedev should also invite the world’s other recognized nuclear-armed states to engage in a high- level dialogue on how to make their nuclear capabilities more transparent, create greater confidence, and move toward the eventual elimination of all nuclear weapons.
      • All five nuclear weapon states should also reaffirm their so-called unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. They should also issue “clean” negative nuclear security assurances to States Parties to the NPT in good standing with their treaty and safeguards obligations, and declare their intent to refrain from testing pending the entry into force of the CTBT.

      The five original nuclear weapon states should ideally express these and other commitments in a joint statement before the RevCon.

      There is also an opportunity for States Parties to agree on several other common steps on disarmament in a conference Action Plan:

      • Call upon the nuclear weapon states to take tangible steps to reduce the role and salience of nuclear weapons in their national security strategies;
      • Urge the nuclear weapon states not to increase the size their nuclear arsenals and to undertake concrete  action to verifiably and irreversibly reduce all types of nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles.
      • With respect to substrategic nuclear weapons, states should agree to begin the process of removing such weapons from forward-deployed areas and engage in negotiations leading the elimination of all such weapons. On this issue NATO member states in particular should recognize the fact that such weapons do not serve any meaningful or helpful role for alliance defense or the security of Europe.
      • Call upon all states to refrain from nuclear test explosions for any purpose and to undertake all necessary measures to bring the CTBT into force no later than 2015;
      • Urge all states to halt the production of fissile material for weapons purposes and to place all excess fissile material under international safeguards pending the conclusion of negotiations on a verifiable fissile material production cut off;
      • Urge the nuclear weapon states to transform their negative security assurances into legally-binding form;
      • Call upon all states possessing nuclear weapons to report regularly information relating to their fissile material stockpiles and the number of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems in a format agreed among States Parties to the NPT.

      To be clear, nuclear disarmament is not an end unto itself. These nuclear disarmament steps will not only enhance the prospects of strengthening nonproliferation and compliance measures, but are clearly in the national security interest of nuclear weapon states and their allies.

      4. Nuclear Weapon Free Zones and the Middle East

      Support for and the creation of new zones free of nuclear weapons is a critical part of the NPT bargain. Since 2005, two such zones—covering Africa and Central Asia—have come into force, though not all of the nuclear weapon states have ratified the protocols that outline their obligations under these treaties. This brings the total number of nuclear weapons free zones to six. They cover virtually the entire southern hemisphere.

      However, the lack of progress toward a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East is a problem and will be a major issue at this RevCon. As part of the package of proposals leading to the extension of the treaty in 1995, states adopted the so-called Middle East resolution, that requests states in the region to take practical steps toward the establishment of an effectively verifiable WMD-free zone and requests all treaty members to extend their cooperation and exert their utmost efforts to that end.

      Egypt, which has championed the issue at the UN since it joined the NPT, is understandably frustrated and is seeking commitments by NPT States Parties to take tangible steps in this direction. As the current chair of the Nonaligned Movement, it has substantial leverage to press its case. Egypt has put forward a series of working papers on the topic that include specific proposals. Some of these are clearly designed simply to make a point about the one non-NPT state in the region; others are pragmatic and reasonable.

      Visible and early U.S. support for tangible steps toward a Middle East nuclear weapon free zone, such as the naming of a special envoy by the RevCon to convene states to discuss the matter is critical for progress on this matter and for the success of the RevCon.

      As a senior German diplomat writes in an article in the forthcoming issue of Arms Control Today, “Further stalling on the issue will only exacerbate the proliferation risks in the region.”

      5. Engaging in Civil Nuclear Trade with States Outside the NPT

      Since the last RevCon in 2005, the United States, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and others pushed the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group to approve an exemption for NPT holdout India from NSG guidelines that require comprehensive international safeguards as a condition of nuclear trade.

      This is fundamentally an affront to the NPT because it extends to a non-NPT state the peaceful nuclear uses benefits that have so far been reserved only for those states that meet their nonproliferation obligations. Among other things, the deal also violates the decision at the 1995 NPT RevCon to make comprehensive safeguards agreements a condition of nuclear supply and undermines efforts to universalize the Additional Protocol. It has led Pakistan to seek similar treatment and prompted Israel to argue for a criteria-based approach to civil nuclear trade with the NSG that include Israel.

      While damage has already been inflicted on the NPT regime, the United States and other key states should make clarifying statements and support language in a potential RevCon resolution that mitigates that damage and guards against further erosion of NPT principles.

      Paragraph 3 of the September 6 NSG statement says the “basis” for the India exemption includes India’s continued adherence to several nonproliferation pledges it made in July 2005 and on September 5, 2008, including continued observance of its voluntary nuclear test moratorium. India rejects any such direct linkage.

      The United States should make clear that any nuclear test explosion would lead to the termination of nuclear trade by the United States with that country. That was the position of Senator Obama and it should be the position of President Obama. As then-Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) said on the floor of the Senate in a colloquy with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) on November 16, 2006, “[I]n the event of a future nuclear test by the Government of India, nuclear power reactor fuel and equipment sales, and nuclear technology cooperation would terminate.”

      The NPT States Parties should adopt common language that: reaffirms that nuclear testing anywhere is a serious threat to international security and calls on States Parties to suspend nuclear cooperation with any state that conducts a nuclear weapon test explosion for any reason or violates its safeguards agreements.

      Conclusion

      President Barack Obama's Prague Agenda for nuclear weapons threat reduction and elimination has rejuvenated hopes that the conference will come together around a package of proposals to strengthen the treaty.  However, friction over Iran's controversial nuclear activities and a lack of progress toward one NPT-related goal—the pursuit of a Middle East nuclear weapon free zone—threaten to overshadow the broad degree of support for the treaty and measures to update and strengthen it.

      U.S. leadership by example is essential but not sufficient. Updating the successful NPT for its next 40 years requires strong leadership and action by other nuclear-armed states, as well as the nonnuclear weapon state majority.


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      Remarks by ACA Executive Director Daryl G. Kimball at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on March 31, 2010.

      Event Transcript and Resources: Roundtable Discussion "Towards a Global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT): What role for the United States?"

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      Press Contact: Jeff Abramson Deputy Director, (202) 463-8270 x109.

      (Washington, D.C.): On February 18th, 2010, a roundtable discussion “Towards a Global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT): What Role for the United States?” was held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, hosted by the Arms Control Association, the Center for International Trade & Security (CITS), Oxfam America, and Project Ploughshares. The Chair of the United Nations ATT Process, Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, spoke at the opening panel, along with Anna MacDonald of Oxfam International and the Control Arms Campaign. A keynote address prepared by Under Secretary of State Ms. Ellen Tauscher’s office was delivered by Ambassador Donald Mahley, the U.S. lead negotiator on the ATT.

      The event built upon a smaller meeting hosted in September 2009 and the momentum created by last fall’s adoption of a new UN resolution with regards to a future treaty. On October 30th, 2009, 153 UN members, including for the first time the United States, cast a historic vote in favor of establishing an Arms Trade Treaty. Negotiations on the terms of the treaty will begin in July of this year and are set to conclude at a UN Conference in 2012.

      A strong and universally adopted ATT would provide an international standard for a regulated trade in conventional arms and could prevent the devastating effects that uncontrolled arms transfers have on civilian populations and regional stability. As the world’s largest conventional arms exporter and the country with the most comprehensive arms transfer controls, an engaged United States could help ensure that the highest possible standards are adopted.

      A briefing paper prepared for the event is attached.

      The State Department also hosts a transcript and video of portions of the meeting.

       


      Event Transcript

       

      ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION –
      TOWARDS A GLOBAL ARMS TRADE TREATY:
      WHAT ROLE FOR THE UNITED STATES?

      WELCOME:

      KEN EPPS,
      SENIOR PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, PROJECT PLOUGHSHARES

      MODERATORS:

      RACHEL STOHL,
      ASSOCIATE FELLOW, CHATHAM HOUSE

      JEFF ABRAMSON,
      DEPUTY DIRECTOR, ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

      SPEAKERS:

      AMBASSADOR ROBERTO GARCÍA MORITÁN,
      THE REPUBLIC OF ARGENTINA

      ANNA MACDONALD,
      CONTROL ARMS CAMPAIGN MANAGER, OXFAM INTERNATIONAL

      DONALD MAHLEY
      Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Threat Reduction, Export Control, U.S. State Department

      THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2010, 9:30 A.M.,
      CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE, WASHINGTON, D.C.

      Transcript by
      Federal News Service

      Washington, D.C.

       

      KEN EPPS:  Good morning, everyone.  My name is Ken Epps.  I’m senior program associate at Project Ploughshares, which is the ecumenical peace center of the Community Council of Churches and affiliation with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies at ConradGrebelUniversityCollege, University of Waterloo.

      On behalf of the organizations who have jointly organized this event – and those are the Arms Control Association, the Center for International Trade and Security, Oxfam America and Project Ploughshares – I would like to welcome all participants to this roundtable discussion.

      I am especially pleased to welcome our opening panelists, Ambassador Moritan and Anna MacDonald, who have traveled a considerable distance from Argentina and the United Kingdom, respectively, to be with us here today.

      And of course we are particularly delighted that Ms. Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security at the State Department, will be providing the keynote address during our working lunch.

      On behalf of my own organization, Project Ploughshares, based in Canada, I would like to thank our Washington partners for the considerable efforts in arranging the many details of today.  And I also wish to acknowledge the financial support for the event from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

      As indicated in the invitation, the purpose of today’s roundtable is to promote discussion on how the U.S. government can best engage with and contribute to the development of a robust international arms trade treaty.  The roundtable is focused on the important role of the U.S. government in the ATT process, but today’s event is also one of many initiatives by civil society organizations around the world to engage a range of stakeholders in the promotion of a legally binding, comprehensive and effective treaty.

      In particular, the civil society-based Arms Trade Treaty Steering Committee, an NGO coalition that includes Project Ploughshares and other NGOs here today, has promoted the idea of an ATT for more than a decade, and we are pleased to be here today.

      Motivated by concern about the egregious impact of irresponsible and illicit arms transfers, the NGO coalition has strived to promote high global standards in a binding international agreement that would require states to effectively control all international transfers of conventional arms in their jurisdiction.

      The quest for an international convention to control the arms trade is not new – it has existed since at least the days of the League of Nations – but renewed momentum emerged during the 1990s, when a group of NGOs, along with Nobel Peace Laureates led by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, first promoted the idea of an international code of conduct for arms transfers.

      By 2000, the Code Working Group of NGOs transformed the international code into the Framework Convention on International Arms Transfers with the assistance of international legal experts.  The framework convention in turn became the basis for proposals for the more popularly named Arms Trade Treaty, and the Code Working Group became the ATT steering committee.

      It was this NGO coalition which, in 2005, published the core global principles for international arms transfers, drawn from relevant, existing international instruments and obligations.  These principles have been promoted widely by civil society advocates of the ATT as a blueprint for draft parameters for an effective treaty.

      In 2002, the coalition also agreed that its three largest multinational members – Amnesty International, Oxfam, and the International Action Network on Small Arms – would take a grassroots and global control arms campaign to promote the ATT.

      Among other initiatives, the campaign launched the Million Faces online petition initiative, which, in less than three years, became the world’s largest photo petition.  More than 1 million people from over 160 countries contributed photos and drawings to the petition, which called for ATT negotiations at the U.N.

      The petition was presented to the U.N. secretary-general in June, 2006.  By December 2006, the U.N. General Assembly had overwhelmingly voted for a U.N. process to consider an international treaty on the global arms trade.

      In these opening remarks, it is not my intention to detail NGO perspectives on ATT content and campaigning to promote the U.N. treaty process.  We will hear from civil society representatives on these issues later today, but I would like to emphasize the importance that NGOs advocating a comprehensive and effective ATT attached to U.S. commitment to the treaty process.

      The NGO coalition welcomed U.S. support for the treaty when it was announced by Secretary of State Clinton in October 2009.  Indeed, it is apparent to all who have followed ATT developments that U.S. participation in treaty negotiations will be central and crucial.  As the largest exporter of conventional weapons, the U.S. brings the weight of trade realities to treaty discussions.

      In her October statement, Secretary Clinton noted the gold standard set by U.S. export controls, and these, along with the commitments it has made with respect to the trade in conventional weapons – and I refer you here to the roundtable briefing paper that Rachel Stohl has produced for us, which details these standards and commitments.  These are all clearly important for the U.S. to bring to the table during treaty negotiations.

      In addition to U.S. influence on other key actors in the arms trade, especially U.N. secretary (sic) council members that have abstained on General Assembly votes on the ATT – that is, in particular, Russia and China – it will be necessary to ensure that treaty negotiations do not generate (sic) into the lowest common denominator process.

      In the end, the effectiveness of a negotiated ATT will rest on the willingness of support of states to ensure the highest possible treaty standards.  As NGOs, we look to the U.S. to join and indeed lead in these efforts.

      I’d like to conclude now with some housekeeping notes.  Perhaps most important, the washrooms are directly out this door at the end of the hallway.  Secondly, I would like to remind people that while the morning panel is in open session and the luncheon working session is open, the proceedings from lunch – or from after lunch will be held according to the Chatham House Rule.  That is, none of the comments of presenters or participants are for attribution.

      And, finally, there is a request that all participants, if possible, complete the evaluation form that you will find in your packets on colored paper.  It should only take a minute or two to fill out and you can leave it on the table or hand it to one of the organizers on your way out.  And we thank you for that.

      So again and finally, welcome to all roundtable participants.  The organizers of today’s event look forward to open and fruitful discussions which we hope will contribute another step towards a strong and robust arms trade treaty.  I now give the floor to Rachel Stohl, who will chair the opening session.

      RACHEL STOHL:  Thank you, Ken, and good morning to everyone.  I’m delighted to see that we have such a packed house this morning and look forward to enhancing the dialogue on this issue with all of you.

      It’s my pleasure to chair this first panel, which will hopefully set the stage internationally for what’s happening within ATT so that as we move throughout the morning, and hear from Undersecretary Tauscher about what the U.S. government is doing, and then this afternoon hear from various U.S. stakeholders that we have a context in which to put that in, because we like to think that, you know, what happens in Washington, you know, goes out to the rest of the world, but there’s a lot going on outside that we need to also take into consideration here.

      So our speakers this morning are Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan from Argentina and Anna MacDonald from the Control Arms Campaign and Oxfam International.  For those that haven’t had the opportunity to meet these individuals, Ambassador Moritan has been a career diplomat since 1971.  He was permanent representative to the Conference of Disarmament from 1989 to 1994 and undersecretary for Latin American affairs from ’94 to ’98.

      He also served as his country’s permanent representative to the United Nations from 1999 to 2002 and was the undersecretary for foreign affairs from 2003 to 2005 and vice minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs from 2005 to 2008.  So he has a long and distinguished diplomatic career.

      In addition to serving as the president of the Conference on Disarmament in 1993 and the most recent session in 2009, he has chaired both the U.N. Group of Governmental Experts and the Open-Ended Working Group on the Arms Trade Treaty and will be serving as the chair for the upcoming U.N. process.  So we’re delighted to have him share his experience and thoughts on the way forward.

      Anna MacDonald from Oxfam International has worked for Oxfam since 1995 in a variety of international programs and advocacy positions.  She has worked on arms control issues for Oxfam since 2002, playing a key role in the launch in the development of the Control Arms Campaign, which she’ll tell us about in her remarks.

      So first I would like to open to Ambassador Moritan.  And what we’ll do is hear from both our speakers and then open it for discussion and questions, because I think that’s going to be the most – these are round tables, and so this will be the most fruitful way to have our discussion.  Thank you.

      AMBASSADOR ROBERTO GARCIA MORITAN:  Thank you, Rachel, for your kind words.  As Rachel said, I’m going to make first some general comments on the complexities of today’s world, which is good in a certain way because it assures diplomats that we will not run out of work.

      This century’s threat to peace and security are at least, in many ways, more complex than those the world has seen in the past, and they come from a variety of sources, mainly from weapons that can kill on a mass scale, but also from global terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime.

      In this new global environment, peacekeeping, peacemaking, peace-building requires new multilateral efforts.  In a way, we have to start being a little bit more imaginative to deal with the new threats to international security.

      While most conflict takes place primarily within countries, non-state threats and actors have also become key topics in contemporary security.  Also, the statistics show that many more people are killed in ethnic conflicts or as a consequence of the proliferation of conventional weapons than international war.

      So one of the great tragedies of our time is the uncontrolled spread of weapons, often from illegal markets and even sometimes in violation of U.N. embargoes.  The global arms trade provides weapons for the legitimate national self-defense of states for peacekeeping and law enforcement, in accordance with international law and in particular with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.  But it also provides arms to governments with track records of use of weapons inappropriately and sometimes unlawfully against civilians in violation of human rights and international and military law.

      So without adequate controls, weapons and the munitions that begin in the legal arms trade can too easily pass into the hands of armed groups and those involved in organized crime.  More than 2,000 people per day die as a consequence of violence and conventional weapons.  The cost of armed violence in Africa – only to give an example – is around 19 billion U.S. dollars.  These weapons fuel conflict, violate human rights, break down societies and prevent people climbing out of poverty.

      The regulation of conventional arms transfers is crucial to grip a global problem that is spiraling out of control.  I feel there is an imperative need to reduce the human costs of arms proliferation and prevent unscrupulous weapons suppliers and ensure that all exporters are working to the same standards.

      One crucial step is to try to negotiate an arms treaty.  Such a treaty should not hinder responsible trade but it will prevent defense exporters from undermining international security and prosperity.  The main objective is to create a comprehensive, legally binding international mechanism for ensuring a more responsible trade in conventional arms.  The primary responsibility for controlling the flows of arms rests with the states, whether they are manufacturers or not, that export, re-export, transit or import arms.

      The current situation, as I see it, is full of gaps and loopholes and inconsistencies.  Some countries have national controls with different standards, in many cases barely enforced.  A large number do not have controls or those criteria are too weak.  Some regional and multilateral arms control regimes lack some strong provisions for implementation.

      Controlling international arms transfers is in the fundamental interest of all states, and especially given the nature and structure of international arms trade today.  During the Cold War, only the U.S. and the USSR were nationally self-sufficient in arms production.  Today more countries have autonomous arms industry.  The arms market is not just larger but more globalized, and this means that arms are being produced in many countries.

      Although it’s true that 80 percent of the market is controlled by a fewer number of states, the numbers of countries producing weapons nowadays is more than a hundred, especially ammunition and small weapons.

      So the question is not only the weapons which are being produced and transferred legally, but those also that goes into the legal market.  It’s not enough to know that certain countries have responsible controls for the flows of their exports; we need to have a global system with equal standards that all countries could follow to assure a responsible trade in conventional weapons.

      It is with this vision in mind that the co-authors started this process several years ago.  From the first U.N. resolution, the co-authors knew that they had enough votes for the commencement of those negotiations.  But, nevertheless, they thought it was necessary to engage in a wider process to make all U.N. members understand the purposes and objectives of the initiative.  Universal participation is very important to have an instrument effective for the purposes that we are pursuing, so we started to follow a step-by-step process.

      The first one was to ask the secretary-general views of the state members of the U.N., and certainly the response allowed us to think on the need of such a treaty.

      The second step took place when the secretary-general of the U.N. called for a U.N. group of experts.  The group of experts was organized in a liberated manner, and there were representations from countries that produced weapons from different regions of the world, but also with a political ecunemiun (ph) where you had eclectic and enthusiastic of the initiative.

      The group of experts went into looking in material, the essential elements towards a treaty on arms trade, and came out with a conclusion that further work was necessary and was needed for larger participation of U.N. members.

      So the third phases started in 2008 when the secretary-general called for an Open-Ended Working Group, which was a subsidiary organ of the U.N. General Assembly.  It was a deliberative process which was thought initially to work during two years.

      The work we did in 2009 and the exchange of views between member states, it was clear that the deliberative process was able to complete its task in 2009.  The exchange of views was large.  Countries from all regions participated actively and we were able to analyze the feasibility of the treaty, scope, parameters and some other questions related to an arms trade treaty.

      Out of talks and deliberation, it was clear that an exchange of views was extensive, transparent and clear enough, and I guess that was the reason why the General Assembly – last U.N. General Assembly decided to take a new step, which was to call for a conference in 2012 and the establishment of a preparatory committee to start the work for that conference.

      When you look at the U.N. resolution, you can see a negotiated mandate for the PrepCom.  So the PrepCom will have, beginning July 2010, the responsibility to start negotiating the elements of a treaty.  When we talk about the elements of the treaty, we have, at the end of the day, the treaty itself.  So the purpose and the responsibility of the PrepCom will be to start working on that process between 2010 and 2012.

      The first meeting will take place in July this year in New York, and we have a two-week session, which is not going to be extremely large, for the kind of responsibilities we have before us.  And we will have completed the work during 2011 because, actually, the PrepCom meeting in 2012 will have to deal mainly with procedural aspects.  So by 2011 it will be useful to try to see if we can complete the work of the PrepCom according to the General Assembly resolution and present a text to the conference by 2012.

      So the work which has been done is an interesting one from a diplomatic point of view because it was not an initiative that was thrown to countries from one day to another, but one that was presented with intention of a better understanding of the objectives that we were pursuing.

      As I said before, we have from the commencement the necessary votes to start those negotiations but we chose a step-by-step process because we thought that in security issues we have to work and we have to exchange views in a quite deep manner to be sure that all countries are able to understand the purposes.  And, at the same time, it’s extremely important to learn the concerns of those which are eclectics with the initiative to try to solve and to try to see ways and means on how to consider those concerns.

      We are exactly in that process.  We are trying now, after the open-ended work, to continue consultations towards the work of the PrepCom in the months of July.  And, since then, the process of negotiations starts as a new game, and I hope very much that by the end of 2011 we will be able to have a draft with substantive elements that the PrepCom could present to the conference in 2012.

      I think, Rachel, maybe it would be more interesting for the participants to ask questions than to listen.

      MS. STOHL:  Okay, thank you.

      AMB. MORITAN:  Thank you.

      ANNA MACDONALD:  Okay, thanks very much.  I would just like to extend my thanks to the organizers of this event.  As has been said, I’m speaking from Oxfam International and on behalf of the Control Arms International Campaign, and I’ve been asked to give the International Campaign perspective on the Arms Trade Treaty and a bit of a history of the campaign and process so far, and perhaps most of all to underline why the world really needs this treaty and why we need it so urgently.

      Arms fuel conflict, poverty and human rights abuses around the world on a daily basis.  It’s not only the 2,000 people that die everyday as a result of armed violence, but also the many thousands more who suffer torture, rape, oppression and are forced to flee their homes.

      In the period since the U.N. started discussing an ATT in 2006, we estimate that more than 2.1 million people have died as a result of armed violence.  And the U.N. estimates that during the 1990s, conventional weapons were used to kill over 5 million people and force 50 million more to flee their homes.

      This is a photo that I took in a refugee camp in Eastern Congo some months back where upon asking the women in the camp what was the biggest problem that they faced, they responded not with demands for water or shelter or food, but simply to state that the biggest problem was the men with guns.

      The uncontrolled trade in arms and the uncontrolled flood of weapons into some of the world’s worst conflict zones fuels poverty and exacerbates situations for people who are already living a marginalized or difficult existence.

      For Oxfam, the reason that we’ve been involved in arms control issues for some more than a decade now is quite simple:  Every day, around the world, our staff and partners in the hundred countries in which we work bear witness to the problems and devastation caused by an arms trade that is out of control.  As a speaker at our global Arms Trade Treaty conference last week in Vienna commented, “The profit of the arms trade is measured in dollars but the cost is counted in lives.”

      We’re clear in the campaign that there is legitimate role for arms and the arms trade.  When used in line with international law, arms clearly have a legitimate use, and certainly we support states’ rights to self-defense as enshrined in the U.N. Charter.  But these rights also come with responsibilities.  Almost all states have responsibilities under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and what’s important in the perspective and context of our global Arms Trade Treaty is that these responsibilities are also applied to arms transfer controls.

      At the moment, the lack of any effective global regulation means that what we have, at best, is a system of patchwork controls where different countries have different levels of export control agreements.  Some regions have regional transfer agreements in place, but there is no single global, coordinated system, which leads to a situation where, in the words of a monarch (sic) commander in Congo, “Peacekeepers are left feeling like they’re mopping the floor with the taps turned on.”  No sooner are they dealing with the problem of one arms catchment that’s coming through, but then another load of arms and ammunition is arriving.

      It’s a situation that we think an arms trade treaty can go some way to address, a legally binding treaty that would create the level playing field that Ambassador Moritan has already described, and based around core principles, around international law, which we will be going into in more detail after the lunch session, we believe could go a long way to bring the arms trade under control and to prevent this situation spiraling out of control.

      And it’s an initiative which, as we’ve already heard, is gaining – rapidly gaining momentum and is now soon to become a reality in the relatively short period between now and 2012 when the negotiation conference will take place.  I’ll just touch briefly on one example of what we’re talking about when we describe the need to stop irresponsible arms transfers.

      Most of you will be familiar and will remember the ship that sailed from China to – or attempted to sail from China to Zimbabwe in 2008, and only in fact due to the actions of the church movement and civil society, the ship came to the attention of the world’s media as it was prevented from docking first in Durban in South Africa and subsequently in a number of other ports around Southern Africa, as various moves were meant to prevent its intended cargo of ammunition, arms and mortar bombs from reaching Zimbabwe at that time in a height of political tension and where there was clearly a high risk that the weapons and ammunition would be used to commit human rights abuses.

      So just briefly to touch on the history of the international campaign and where we’ve come to since the launch in 2003, when the campaign began back in October 2003, there were three countries which publicly supported the call for an arms trade treaty:  Mali, Costa Rica and Cambodia.  Ken has described some of the longer background history before that, how the idea developed from discussions amongst Nobel laureates and developed from that into ideas around an international code of conduct and ultimately an arms-trade treaty.

      From launching an international campaign with an aim to try to raise the profile of the need for arms control around the world and to increase political pressure for countries to support the idea of an arms trade treaty, we gradually saw more and more countries coming out and declaring their support for international arms control.

      As Ken has described, various campaigning devices such as Million Faces petition, a photo petition which was active in more than 120 countries around the world, helped bring the need for an arms trade treaty and the need for arms control to popular attention.

      This slide is from a presentation back in 2006 when we were mapping the countries that supported an arms trade treaty, and we’d reached the figure of around 43 countries who publicly declared their support.

      In the summer of 2006, our symbolic millionth face, Julius Arile, an armed violence survivor from Kenya, presented the petition to then-Secretary Gen. Kofi Annan, calling for states within the U.N. to begin work on an arms trade treaty.  The campaign continued to grow and to increase support as region after region, more and more countries openly declared their support for greater international arms control.

      And then, as Ambassador Moritan has already described, a group of governments came together – seven core governments came together and drafted a resolution introducing the Arms Trade Treaty to the U.N. and mandating the U.N. to begin discussions on an arms trade treaty.

      That was overwhelmingly passed through the U.N. with 153 governments voting in favor to begin work on the ATT.  And, as we’ve heard, that led on to a secretary-general’s consultation to all states on what the feasibility, scope and parameters of an ATT could be.  Is it actually possible, and if so, what should be in it?

      In parallel with that, the International Civil Society Campaign ran a People’s consultation in more than 50 countries around the world, and we believe that that public consultation which involved all sectors of society went some way to encourage countries in that very high level of response that we saw.

      The group of governmental experts, which then met in 2008, we feel was significant in that it agreed, and while it was a small group of countries and perhaps disproportionately made up of those countries that still had reservations or concerns around an ATT, significantly agreed that work should continue, which led to, in the end of 2008, a further resolution being tabled and then overwhelmingly passed, mandating the setting up of an Open-Ended Working Group.

      And this is what we’ve seen happen over the last year during 2009.  The Open-Ended Working Group has met twice, and from our perspective, perhaps significantly, the debate has moved from a discussion of if there should be an arms trade treaty to when there should be an arms trade treaty, and therefore what should be in it?  We feel this is significant in terms of both the political dynamic and the depth of discussions that have been going on amongst states.

      And so that leads us to where we are now, which is the resolution that was passed – introduced in October last year and then mandated by the General Assembly in December, which essentially moves the Arms Trade Treaty into a negotiation phase that Ambassador Moritan has described – again, 150 votes in favor, and of course the biggest political shift, which we very much welcome and look forward to now further discussions in this event and beyond, is the move of the U.S. administration from a previous no vote to now yes.

      So that’s the sort of part in history from the campaign perspective.  We believe that both the actions of the campaign and the discussions amongst states have demonstrated both a need for a treaty and a desire to see one negotiated as swiftly as possible.

      Certainly we believe it needs to be a robust treaty if it’s going to really save lives and livelihoods, and we very much look forward to continuing those discussions with you today as we move forward with this process.  Thanks.

      MS. STOHL:  Thank you both, Ambassador and Anna, for, I think, some great remarks to frame the debate, the process and the discussions as we move forward, and I think since this is a roundtable, although there’s a lot of faces that I can’t quite see all the way in the back too, I think it would be helpful to have a discussion and to talk about some of the issues that were raised.

      And, given – I think it will be logistically difficult to pass a mike.  If you do have a question, just raise your hand, and if you could introduce yourself and speak very loudly so that we can hear you up here.  And if you have someone that you would like to address your particular question to – oh, you do have the mike?

      MR.     :  (Off mike.)

      MS. STOHL:  Okay.  If you have a question – we have two mikes, okay.  Sorry; missed the back mike.  I couldn’t figure out how Jeff was going to get all the way to the back, but since we have two mikes, if you raise your hand, either in the back or in the front, the mike will come to you.  And, again, please introduce yourself and ask your question.  Over here?

      Q:  Hi, is it on?

      MS. STOHL:  Can you stand, just because it’s hard to see you?

      Q:  I’m Julia Fromholz with Human Rights First.  Anna, you mentioned at the very end the U.S. switch in 2009.  I wanted to know from either of you, what effect does the U.S. insistence on consensus have?  What do you expect it to have?  And what, in this case, does consensus really mean?

      AMB. MORITAN:  I really don’t know if the U.S. insisted on consensus or not, but the fact is that the General Assembly Resolution took a decision on the matter.  And in a certain way it’s logical to work under consensus.

      When you deal with international security issues, our questions are very sensitive toward nations.  Sometimes it’s very difficult to understand what security means for a country or what does threat mean for a certain country.  Sometimes it’s not so much for diplomats to make that analysis as for psychoanalysts to look on the reasons why a country feels a threat or insecure.

      So when you deal with security issues, there’s a special nature of problems, and the case of weapons is the best example.  Why does a country need weapons for their self-defense?  Well, the answer – only that country can give the answer.

      So when you deal with those kind of sensitive issues, it is clear that negotiations have to go undertake a very deep, serious process of consultations, understanding of the issues involved, and in that process, consensus becomes an important question because universality should be the aim of instruments of this sort.  It would serve no purpose if we have a treaty of like-minded states only.  We could have the treaty tomorrow if that is the kind of treaty we want.

      What we would like to have is not only like-minded but also eclectic countries on board.  Everybody has to feel comfortable with the process of those negotiations.  And for them to feel comfortable in those negotiations, it is essential to have certain rules of the game.  And the rule of the game is that you will not cheat by putting into a vote certain questions that could be sensitive for them.

      So the question of consensus is normal to any process of serious negotiations, which its aim is for universal participation.  We will see at the end of the process what the U.N. will do once the treaty is completed, or if it lacks of some elements to have a robust instrument as we all would like to have.

      But from my point of view, which, being the chairman, I’m the one having more difficulties with a consensus vote – (laughter) – because I will have to try to arrive to a consensus.  I think it’s not much of a problem because the responsibility will be to try to see how we can find ways and means to accommodate the concerns and at the same time have a robust instrument.

      We have done it in the past.  We have done it – I had a chance of working into that.  It was the Chemical Weapons Convention.  We were able, with the rule of consensus, to have an excellent instrument on chemical weapons.  We were able, though consensus also, to negotiate – although we were unable to adopt it in the CD, but we were able to negotiate a good nuclear test ban treaty in the CD.

      So consensus is not a difficulty.  Sometimes it’s an advantage for delegations to participate more comfortable in those negotiations.  So from that perspective, I don’t think it should be a matter that should worry anyone.  It’s part of the game.  Thank you.

      MS. STOHL:  I think Anna might have a different take.

      MS. MACDONALD:  Sure.  (Laughter.)  I think – I mean, what we would see as crucial is that through this process we’re achieving the highest possible standards for international arms control, not the lowest possible common denominator, which is the risk.

      And in that balance between striving for a treaty that the biggest number of states are able to be a part of so it has the widest possible impact and having the toughest possible standards.  Then certainly we want to see that a treaty has very strong criteria in it, that it is very comprehensive in its scope, covering all conventional weapons with criteria around human rights, international humanitarian law and sustainable development at its heart.

      The risk that we would see with a weak treaty is that it could legitimize the situation that we currently have, and we don’t think actually that any of the states that have supported the move for an arms trade treaty want to see that.  What we’re trying to do here, we think collectively, is change the situation that we currently have.  We’re trying to stop irresponsible arms transfers.  We’re trying to stop the flood of weapons into the world’s worst conflict zones.  We’re not simply putting a stamp on what we already have.

      I think that what we’ve seen so far with the level of state support, with the content of what states have submitted in their submissions to the U.N. and in the discussions that have taken place so far, is a very strong, overwhelming majority that want to see robust controls in place.

      And what’s essential in this next period of two years leading up to that final conference is that the will of that overwhelming majority is not blocked by the actions of a minority, and I think that’s very much, from civil society’s perspective, what we’re looking to all states that have supported this process to be ensuring that what they are doing in the preparatory meetings is ensuring that that will of the majority does indeed go through and that we see the highest possible standards achieved by the end.

      MS. STOHL:  There’s a question in the back.

      Q:  My name is Jacques Bahati.  I work with Africa Faith and Justice Network.  I think the core of my question is, is there any work going on as far as other issues related to the reason why weapons are sold and let loose?

      I’ve seen that for those nations who produce these weapons, there is economic benefit to it.  Are they willing to put those economic benefits on the side for the sake of peace and prosperity for other countries?

      Also, I wonder if the United Nations is relevant to really address this issue, whereas these powerful countries are the ones sitting and making these decisions.  Will they be really able to enforce the rules when they are the ones benefiting from the trade?  Thank you.

      MS. MACDONALD:  Go ahead, please.

      AMB. MORITAN:  Yes.  My impression is that a treaty like the one we will start negotiating in July serves all countries; serves those countries that produce weapons in a large scale, serves countries that produce weapons in a small scale, and serves the purpose of the countries which do not produce.

      I think it’s in the interest of everyone, but from the point of view of those larger exporters of – which is a handful of – a few countries that have around 80 percent of the market, to have a responsible criteria and standards will not hinder their capacity to export.

      This treaty will not prohibit the export of weapons.  This treaty will not try to avoid any one buying weapons if they think it’s necessary for their self-defense, law enforcement and their participation in peace operations of the U.N.

      What we are trying to do is have common international standards for all countries to assess when they take a decision on the export.  And what do they have to assess?  They have to assess if those weapons are going to be used on extreme cases in an irresponsible manner.

      What are those extreme cases?  Violation of human rights.  Should a country sell certain weapons to a nation that violates, systematically, human rights?  Well, the country who sells the weapons should know that those weapons will kill people, so they should evaluate, before doing that, if it is recommendable to do that or not.  In a genocide situation, should weapons be sold?  In a conflict between states which humanitarian law is not observed, should weapons be sold?

      So the questions we are dealing with are extreme cases of irresponsibility and try to have common international standards to prevent that irresponsibility.  I doubt very much that by adopting measures in that sense, that will hinder the additional capacity and the way of making money in this industry.  On the contrary.  I feel that an instrument of this nature will give a new guarantee to those industrial manufacturers that they’re doing the adequate thing.

      So the question here is the decision to whom to sell in certain circumstances.  This is why the treaty will try to concentrate on those standards so that everybody around the world have the same standards when it comes to evaluate those exports.

      MS. STOHL:  I don’t want to put any government officials on the spot, but we have several different governments represented here, both major exporters and perhaps secondary-tier exporters.  So I don’t know if any government official wanted to answer that question with a kind of national perspective.  If not, that’s okay; just wanted to – there are a lot of people in the room that may not know who’s here, so if there are any additional comments on that – otherwise we’ll take another question.

      Q:  Thank you.  I’m Norma Rein with the Boeing Company and I have a question about the scope of the treaty.  Through the work done so far, have any preliminary recommendations or decisions been made with respect to what items would fall under the purview of the treaty, or is the focus just small arms?  Would you be so kind to explain a little bit on that?  Thanks.

      AMB. MORITAN:  Thank you very much.  As you all know, the process we’ve been in until now has been one of governmental experts and an open-ended discussion in the U.N. General Assembly.  Out of those two specific processes came a variety of views with respect to the scope.

      It is my understanding that there is a common minimum acceptance that this scope should include what we usually say is seven-plus-one, which are the weapons which are included in the seven categories of the U.N. Register on Conventional Weapons (sic), plus small and light weapons.

      Out of these deliberative discussions, many countries would like to see some other things included in the scope – munitions, as has been said, components, new and used technologies – and the list is wide.  We will have to start exchanging ourselves into discussions and negotiation with respect to scope beginning July.  But, as I said to you, it is my understanding that at least the seven-plus-one category is going to be basis upon we will have to build and to see how far, according to delegations, we could go to agree in a scope that will include all the elements that will be in accordance with the purposes we’re pursuing.

      MS. MACDONALD:  Yeah, just to add from the NGO perspective, in fact, inside the silver packs that were given out at the beginning you’ll see our position papers on scope and parameters.  We, put simply, believe that all conventional weapons should be covered by the scope of type of weapon.  We think this should also include ammunition.  It should also include components, and it should also include those weapons – those components and parts that have capacity for dual use.

      In terms of the scope of type of transfer, we similarly believe that all types of transfer should be covered by an arms trade treaty – i.e. exports, imports, sale, transfer, gift, loan, et cetera.  But you’ll see those are detailed a little more substantially in the papers.

      MS. STOHL:  Jeff, can you get to Susan over here?  Go to the back.  Do you see Susan over here?

      Q:  I think I can just – it’s a simple question.

      MR.     :  It’s too late – too late.  (Laughter.)

      Q:  Could you say just a few words –

      MS. STOHL:  Say who you are.

      Q:  I’m Susan Waltz, University of Michigan.  Could you say just a few words about where things stand with the separate-but-related efforts to negotiate an instrument on marking and tracing and brokering, just how that fits in the whole scheme now?

      AMB. MORITAN:  Well, this is a different question from the one we’re dealing – so, actually, in the context demanded, we have – the responsibility of the PrepCom is going to be limited to negotiate the elements of a treaty itself.

      Now, of course we will have to deal with the question of verification.  We haven’t entered into details of verification and moratorium during the group of governmental experts.  There were generic presentations on the question.  Also, on the open-ended working groups, only a few delegations make reference to the matter.

      So the question you mentioned could be one that delegations could raise when it comes to the question of verification moratorium on some or some other kind of publications of the treaty.  But we will have to see, so it’s a little bit difficult for me in advance to make any comment on the question but it’s clear that in some aspects there is certain relation between the two aspects.

      MS. STOHL:  I think we have three hands.  We have one in the back, we have Roy here, and then we have Steve.  And so, just looking at the time, in case the undersecretary shows up earlier, perhaps we can take all three of those questions and then answer them.

      Q:  Thanks.  Erik Wasson, Inside U.S. Trade – a question mainly for the ambassador.  What proposals are on the table that would possibly result in changes to U.S. export controls, and could you possibly describe how the ATT could differ from the Wassenaar regime, for example?  Thanks.

      (Cross talk.)

      AMB. MORITAN:  Oh, I’m sorry.

      MS. STOHL:  That was a media one, so do you want to do – okay, take off – and then if someone could bring Steve Goose – if you could raise your hand.

      Q:  Hi, I’m Roy Isbister from Saferworld, and I’ve got more a comment than a question.  It’s on the scope issue and the use of the language of seven-plus-one.  And in the – my kind of take on the Open-Ended Working Group was there were a lot of people using the language of seven-plus-one and meaning that in a very comprehensive sense.

      But if you examine what seven-plus-one actually means in detail, it’s a lot more limiting than people often think.  So for example, one of the categories is aircraft but it is only attack aircraft, and I think a lot of people, when they were talking about seven-plus-one, they were talking about military aircraft in general.

      So I think it’s just one of the issues when looking at scope.  There is a danger in using this kind of shorthand and so, obviously, as the discussion goes forward, these kind of details will get teased out.  But I just think we need to be very careful of what we understand with some of the shorthand that is being used.  Thanks.

      MS. STOHL:  Steve?

      Q:  Steve Goose with Human Rights Watch – sort of one big question for both the ambassador and Anna, and then a couple of nuts and bolts if you can.

      On the big one, what do you anticipate at this point are going to be the most contentious and difficult issues to deal with?  You undoubtedly already have a good idea of what that’s going to be, and if you would share that with us.

      And the nuts and bolts, it strikes me that for something that was launched in 2006, there has been very little formal work on this the past three years.  How much time is going to be devoted to it in the coming years?  What’s the schedule look like?  How many PrepComs, how long, how much time devoted for the negotiations themselves, and when do you personally hope to be able to produce the first draft text?  Are you going to use a rolling text with brackets?  (Laughter.)

      MS. MACDONALD:  Why don’t you go first?

      AMB. MORITAN:  With respect to the first question, I wouldn’t know how to answer your question, really, but I do realize that the U.S. has a very responsible legislation on the question and, as I understand, a very strict and robust legislation on the matter.

      It is my personal impression that a treaty most probably is going to be in the same direction of the U.S. national position on many questions that the treaty will cover but it will be up to the U.S. to know if that would require some internal change in legislation.

      But the U.S. certainly is a responsible country in the way it applies its legislation when it comes to export of weapons and how to follow the life of those weapons after they’d been exported the first time.  So according to my lack of experience, I don’t think it should impose a big difficultly of legislation inside of the U.S.

      The Wassenaar arrangement, as you know, is a very important grouping of countries from different regions, which have the same objective of working hard on certain specific purposes when the group was created, but it is limited in its participation, and although it has countries from different regions, that limitation is one that makes desirable to have a wider negotiation in the U.N.

      If all U.N. members were a member of the Wassenaar agreement, that maybe would have been different and sometimes simpler to deal with the issues we have before it, but that’s not the case so we have to deal with reality.

      So the Wassenaar group is a very important one.  We continue working.  The objectives are maybe larger than the ones we’re pursuing in ATT.  The ATT is focusing on a specific question of conventional weapons.  The Wassenaar list has an important list of conventional weapons, which are covered in the Wassenaar arrangement.  I mentioned the Wassenaar countries will ask that those views will be taken into account and then certainly you enter negotiations and we will see how to deal with those questions.

      Now, the question of, what are the sensitive and difficult issues; I think all of them are.  (Laughter.)  The first day we met in the open-ended consultation, people thought we will never – we’re going to start the meeting because procedural issues were going to block the whole exercise.

      How do you say “miracle?”

      MS. STOHL:  Miracle.

      AMB. MORITAN:  A miracle was produced and the particular questions were solved.

      In diplomatic negotiations, things are never easy, and that’s good because this is what our governments pay us for, to work and not only to be in cocktails and receptions.  And certainly the issues we have before us are going to be of an enormous complexity.  Each one of the 192 countries have different views, and when it comes to look at each one of the issues, even small ones, we can see are going to be complex ones.

      One that shouldn’t be a matter of worry to anyone, according to my views at least, which will be human rights.  Human rights is so obvious that it should be a criteria.  It should be so obvious that everybody should be protecting human rights worldwide.  It’s not for some other countries.  So when you look at which one of the details and elements will have to start working, things are going to be complicated, and we do not have much time.

      To answer your question, actually we have two substantive meetings in 2010, which are going to be together in two weeks, one following the other ones, and two weeks in 2011.  Somebody said to me I had 120 hours to complete negotiations if you pull everything together.

      Of course it’s going to be a difficult task, but at the same time it’s good that we have limited time before us because I will exercise and I will put the effort of everybody to work with a certain timeframe to arrive to consensus.

      I’m conscious that we will be able to have a substantive draft instrument by 2012, and I hope it will not have brackets, as you say, only very few – or asterisks.  (Laughter.)  But even if we have brackets and asterisks, it’s not bad.  It’s part of a negotiation process to have brackets.  And, actually, as I imagine, that the first text that will be seen is going to have brackets because we will have to try to see and try to include all points of view and then start looking how to accommodate those points of view.

      So I’m not really afraid of brackets.  I was born with brackets, I think.  (Laughter.)  But it’s going to be an interesting exercise, one we will start in July.  And I said to you, if it’s true that I have only 120 hours, well, you can imagine we had a put a lot of enthusiasm and energy to complete our work, but I think we can do it.

      MS. MACDONALD:  Yes, I think we would certainly – from the NGO side I had concerns around the shortness of time, looking at comparable treaty processes in both disarmament and other fora and the number of weeks that are available.  Four weeks of preparatory meetings then followed by a final month seems to us to be pretty tight, which obviously puts the onus on the states, as the ambassador says, to make sure that they’re moving swiftly, but perhaps, all the same, points to the need for certain types of substantial intercessional work and the use of other foreign opportunity for states to be discussing and progressing these issues.

      We hoped that there would be the development of texts and substantive content in intercessional periods if states are serious about wanting to see the development of a robust instrument, because certainly, from what we’ve seen in discussions thus far, yes, it is possible for any issue to become contentious and thus take up quite a lot of time.

      So I think for all of those states that are very keen on having consensus as a process mechanism, it’s also their responsibility to ensure that that doesn’t become a block and that the striving to get agreement is just that and not a stumbling over every issue.

      For us I think we can, yes, certainly foresee some of the issues that are going to be potentially difficult, and Roy has already touched around the definitions on scope and the preciseness of that and what we actually do mean to be covered by that is perhaps the first one to clarify, although, again, if you actually delve into what most exporting states currently cover within the scope of their own export control agreements, it shouldn’t be contentious because actually the majority of exporting states have quite a wide scope.

      Similarly, with human rights and – (unintelligible) – yes, states have wide existing obligations underneath those international laws already, so the existence of those within the treaty should not be contentious.  But for us it’s absolutely crucial how they’re applied, and references to obligations are different to clear obligating criteria, and that will be something that obviously we’ll be looking at very closely and keen to be working with all supporter states on those issues to make sure that it really is robust criteria that has developed.

      MS. STOHL:  I think we’ll take one more question.  Bridget?

      Q:  Thanks.  Bridget Moix with the Friends Committee on National Legislation.  Just to pick up on one other complicated question, Anna, you mentioned wanting sustainable development to be at the heart of a treaty, and I know there is a lot more attention to looking at the links between armed violence and development, arms accumulation and development.  The criteria here lists wanting to limit arms that would seriously impair poverty reduction or socioeconomic development.  How do you see that ideally being incorporated into a treaty, you know, by criteria or measurements?

      MS. MACDONALD:  Thanks.  When we’ve been exploring this issue – and, in fact, over the last year we’ve been engaged on a project with both importing and exporting states to examine the issue of sustainable development.  We’re very clear from Oxfam and other development agencies’ perspective that there shouldn’t be a rich-countries criteria.  It’s not about country X is considered to be too poor or not to purchase weapons; it’s about the appropriateness of a transfer and how that may or may not undermine other poverty reduction targets that that state might have, and should essentially be about a dialogue between the importing and exporting state.

      We’ve also been doing work to break down sustainable development into more tangible component parts, so, for example, looking at the issue of corruption and looking at issues of transparency and accountability, which is you can break down those then into criteria that exports control we’d essentially be looking at.  I’m looking at in a similar way that you might be looking for patterns or likelihood of risk of misuse of weapons.  You’d be looking at sustained patterns around corruption, for example, as one of the risk factors to be assessing when looking at particular exports.

      So we’ve been, as I say, doing quite a number of roundtables and discussions with states on this issue, and it seems to us quite clearly that there are ways in which we can break this down into very practical criteria.  There’s a lot of support amongst African states, for example, around seeing sustainable development as being a very key part of the treaty, and indeed one of their reasons for supporting it.  So it’s something we’ll be progressing during this next period.

      MS. STOHL:  Well, I want to thank our panelists and the audience as well.  I got a note that the undersecretary is running a few minutes behind, and so since it’s perhaps difficult for people to get up and use the restroom, given the close quarters, I think we might take the advantage of having the few extra minutes if people want to use the restroom or to get a cup of coffee in advance of her presentation, and she should be arriving in the next five minutes.  So please make it a brief pause so that we can start back on time.  Thank you again to our panelists.  (Applause.)

      (Break.)

      JEFF ABRAMSON:  Good morning.  My name is Jeff Abramson.  I’m deputy director of the Arms Control Association.  Thank you all for being here.  Let me, before I get to my very quick introduction, give you a status of what is happening right now.  Undersecretary Tauscher regrets that she cannot make it today to the meeting, which I am at.  She’s very apologetic and has offered to do this again sometime, so we’re going to take her up on that.

      But Ambassador Don Mahley has agreed to read her prepared remarks.  Afterwards, he’s willing to take questions, but unfortunately for the media here, those will have to be off the record, and he will be a little bit more clear on that as well.

      So we do have remarks.  I’ll be introducing him in just a second.  We are trying to print it out – (laughter) – so that he can give the speech.  I will be back momentarily.

      (Break.)

      MR. ABRAMSON:  So thank you all once again for being here.  I’m delighted now to turn our focus – turn our focus to emerging U.S. policy on this.  The issues we’re confronting, as you know, including the lack of transparency and weapons flows, potential fueling of destabilizing arms races and arms accumulations, and the dreadful humanitarian consequences of unregulated trafficking in conventional weapons are not new, and the need to arrive at more effective solutions are no less urgent.

      I’ll point out a little bit from our archive.  A few months ago I stumbled across the June 1991 special edition of Arms Control Today, which focused on reigning in the arms trade.  And one of the articles called for gaining control, building a comprehensive arms restraint system.  And this was in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War.  That was a window where we thought there was opportunity.  Nearly two decades have passed and today we have a new policy window, in part made possible by this administration’s decision last year to get engaged in the arms trade treaty process.

      The organizations, as you’ve heard, who have sponsored this gathering, are committed to working with this administration and others in this room to create what, in Secretary of State Clinton’s words is, quote, “a strong and robust treaty that contains the highest possible legally binding standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons,” unquote.

      We’re delighted that Don Mahley, the ambassador who has been working on this issue for a number of years, is willing to step in and deliver the speech on this issue.  And we are encouraged that the United States, as the world’s largest arms supplier, is prepared to be part of the solution to this tough challenge, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts about where the U.S. is on arms trade treaty concepts and how you think those in this audience could engage in this process.

      Ambassador Mahley, thank you again, and the podium is yours.

      DONALD MAHLEY:  Thank you, and we’ll start out by – again, I’ll offer my apologies.  I realized that you expected to see the undersecretary, who is much younger and more dynamic than I am up here, but unfortunately the United States government, being engaged in multiple things at the same time – and for those of you who may think differently, we can indeed walk and chew gum at the same time, and this case she’s doing exactly that in another context and unfortunately can’t be here.

      MR.     :  (Off mike.)

      MR. MAHLEY:  The microphone is on?

      MR.     :  Yes, it is.

      MR. MAHLEY:  Yeah.  And so, again, I will apologize for her absence.  She did want to be here and she sends her own apologies.

      Also, as I give you these comments, I am literally going to be reading the text that Undersecretary Tauscher was going to be delivering, so in this sense there may be a couple of things that don’t sound exactly right, but just assume, again, that you have the undersecretary here and this is only a bad mask that she’s wearing for Halloween – (laughter) – that you’re seeing behind the platform.

      And then when we finish that, I will certainly be prepared to take questions and answers, but that will be me taking questions and answers and so therefore those will be off the record at that point and I want to make sure that everybody understands that before we get down to get started on that.

      Okay, what Undersecretary Tauscher meant to say was:

      Jeff, thanks very much for your introduction.  (Laughter.)  I also want to thank everyone here for your energy, your commitment to these issues and your patriotism.  It’s nice to see such friendly faces.  Now, I look out there and I’m not sure that they’re as friendly as she might have imagined they would be, but that’s okay.  (Laughter.)  That’s not in her comments.

      You all are what I consider my base.  Let me start by thanking the sponsors of this meeting, the Center for International Trade and Security, Oxfam America, the Arms Control Association and Project Ploughshares.

      As everyone here knows, President Obama has set forth a bold arms control and nonproliferation agenda, and for good reason, and because so many of us have made such an effort to speak out about the Prague agenda, it has garnered a lot of support, a lot of attention, and a lot of media coverage.

      I know that conventional arms have gotten much less attention, even though they kill more people every year than nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.  I am here to make sure that everyone knows the United States is strongly committed to addressing the problems posed by the irresponsible transfers of conventional weapons.

      So last October, Secretary Clinton said that the United States, quote, “is committed to actively pursuing a strong and robust treaty that contains the highest possible legally-binding standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons.”

      We will work between now and the U.N. Conference in 2012 to negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty, and we’ll need your help in achieving it.  We have made that a fundamental policy commitment.  So let me explain what it means in practical terms and let me explain why we're doing this now.

      Like a lot of ideas, an arms trade treaty has been in the works for a long time.  The U.N. Register of Conventional Arms opened the door to global discussions of a range of conventional weapons.  These discussions have broadened so that we now have an A to Z list of meetings and forums on how to limit or eliminate small arms, anti-personnel landmines and other indiscriminate weapons.

      But conventional arms transfers are a much wider question than just small arms or voluntary registration of some information about transfers.  We need a treaty that looks at regulating all conventional weapons, from small arms and light weapons to aircraft carriers.

      Unlike chemical or biological weapons, an arms trade treaty cannot be a ban on conventional weapons.  When conducted responsibly, arms transfers are a legitimate commercial enterprise that supports global stability.

      The international arms trade provides nations with material necessary to fulfill the most basic functions of a government:  protecting its citizens and enforcing its national sovereignty.  What we are after is a means to have all nations do what the United States already does:  examine each conventional weapons transfer before it is authorized to be certain that it will enhance and not undermine security and stability.

      We all know that there is a dark side to arms transfers that can have devastating consequences for people and regions.  Irresponsible transfers can support terrorists, enable genocide and create, sustain and compound proliferation nightmares.

      The Arms Trade Treaty discussions have gained momentum by a shared recognition by all of the disruptive and oppressive impact of illicit or ill-advised arms transfers by a number of countries and organizations.  What we need, therefore, is to explore a legally binding measure to better control transfers across international borders.

      For the Arms Trade Treaty to be effective at thwarting irresponsible transfers, it must ensure that members effectively implement national laws that criminalize such transfers and allow for the monitoring of commerce.  Without this, it won't necessarily deter or stop terrorism, or any of the other things that we are concerned about.

      So-called “legally binding instruments” are absolutely meaningless, for example, to terrorists.  They are criminals who don’t and won’t abide by any reasonable agreements.  That means that the only way to effectively control or inhibit their activity is indirectly.

      All states must recognize the obligation to enact and enforce laws within their territory that criminalize, isolate and punish those terrorist groups operating within their territory or profiting from transactions that originate in or transit through their territory.  And, if the state claiming sovereign jurisdiction does not have the capability for such enforcement, then the international community must make available the resources to create such capability, both in the short and long run.

      This means that any international instrument hoping to make real impact on so-called “illicit” arms transfers must focus on requiring each party to put in place those necessary means to eliminate such rogue non-state actors, both from within their territory and on the receiving end of their international commerce.

      It means that weak states, where terrorists operate with relative freedom, must adapt to the very real and difficult requirements any effective instrument will lay out for them.  They must take all necessary steps to become an effective, law-abiding state.

      At the same time, conventional arms transfers are a crucial national security concern for the United States.  Our government has always supported effective action to control and ensure responsibility in the international transfer of arms.  That’s because we believe that stable societies and secure environments are the very best places for the growth of freedom and prosperity.

      So we are a leading advocate of ensuring that arms transfers are done only for legitimate purposes.  We carefully consider them before they are approved.  I should know since I sign off on them, and I put in place safeguards designed to ensure, for example, that small arms are used in the manner for which the transfer was intended.

      The United States has one of the most comprehensive sets of requirements in the world that must be satisfied before a U.S. manufacturer is authorized to transfer arms internationally.  Every month, literally thousands of applications for export of weapons are reviewed in detail by our government.

      We have a strong and robust regulatory body.  The transfer of arms are approved only when there is realistic and reasonable evidence the intended recipient has shown that they have a legitimate need and sufficient safeguards, and those safeguards are there to preclude either deliberate or unintended re-transfers or unapproved end uses.

      We also consider the effect of the transfer on regional stability.  This process requires enormous effort, it is expensive, and it results in denying exports in questionable circumstances.  Although this can work to the commercial disadvantage of U.S. firms, it is a price we have to pay to try to stem the flow of conventional arms to terrorist groups, to rogue states and to others who would undermine the rule of law.

      It is also why the United States believes that it is the responsibility of the entire international community to settle for no less than the highest possible standards in international agreements and in reporting activities.  We believe that robust and vigorous regulation and enforcement would make it much more difficult for terrorist groups or rogue nations to destabilize regions or support terrorist activity.

      This is why, after careful consideration, the Obama administration has decided to actively support international efforts to achieve an effective global framework and to set high the bar that everyone must meet.  The United States will seek a result that establishes high standards of expected conduct in international activity and in national enforcement.

      The Arms Trade Treaty negotiations will likely be long and difficult.  Some participants will be tempted to take the easy road, seeking the lowest common denominator just to get a quick agreement from those states who would like to continue to support, directly or indirectly, terrorists, pirates and genocidal warlords for a quick profit or short-term advantage.

      Let me be clear:  We will not rush to judgment by approving a weak or loophole-laden agreement.  The United States is not interested in a vague or weak outcome just to feel good.  That would not do anything to address the real issues in arms transfers.

      The United States believes an arms trade treaty is sufficiently important to national security and to international stability that the deliberations needed to produce consensus decisions in order to command the widest possible participation.  A document that failed to gain support from important international players capable of acting outside their reach will undercut the objectives and purposes and would be worse than having no document at all.

      Therefore, we firmly believe that consensus is needed to ensure the high standards necessary for an effective arms trade treaty.  It is not, nor should others hope it to be, an excuse for avoiding hard choices or real, deliberative controls.  There will no doubt be serious, lengthy negotiations over most of the elements of any outcome.

      In fact, it has been our experience, sometimes painful, over the course of four decades of such negotiations that there is an inevitable rush by many participants in those negotiations to seek simplified or shallow provisions because they sound good and they’re easily agreed to.

      The United States considers the subject of conventional arms transfers, with their pervasiveness, dual-use capabilities and potential harm, too important to national security to be treated with less than the level of detail and engagement they deserve.  This will not make the negotiations easier, but it will give them the greatest chance of being meaningful and of commanding both the attention and participation by those states necessary to their eventual success.

      I know that some will argue that a consensus agreement will make it tough to get real progress.  Let me say two things:

      First, some states could attempt to derail negotiations to seek an individual concession.  Our goal is to make such behavior transparent to bring public and diplomatic pressure onto the offending party.  It’s sort of like earmarking for Congress; it’s better to know what’s being done in the light of day rather than being slipped into a 1,000-page bill in the dark of night.

      And there are, as you know, a handful of states who make up the backbone of the worldwide arms trade.  Excluding them or not getting a universal agreement would make any agreement less than useless.  In political terms, this requires a big-tent policy even if bringing some into the tent is time consuming and painful.  But it is the only way to address this issue and bring about an enduring and meaningful agreement that enhances our national security and also enhances international stability.

      The treaty is worth doing because it can have, unlike many things we do, a more immediate impact.  Lessening the arms trade can lead to less killing and less maiming, but the reality is that it is a very big challenge and we’re going to need your help to build the political support necessary to get this one done.

      Thank you very much.  And, as I said, I’m prepared to answer questions.  They will have to be off the record at this point, however.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

       

       

       

      ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION –

      TOWARDS A GLOBAL ARMS TRADE TREATY:

      WHAT ROLE FOR THE UNITED STATES?

      WELCOME:

      KEN EPPS,

      SENIOR PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, PROJECT PLOUGHSHARES

      MODERATORS:

      RACHEL STOHL,

      ASSOCIATE FELLOW, CHATHAM HOUSE

      JEFF ABRAMSON,

      DEPUTY DIRECTOR, ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

      SPEAKERS:

      AMBASSADOR ROBERTO GARCÍA MORITÁN,

      THE REPUBLIC OF ARGENTINA

      ANNA MACDONALD,

      CONTROL ARMS CAMPAIGN MANAGER, OXFAM AMERICA

      DONALD MAHLEY

      Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Threat Reduction, Export Control, U.S. state department

      THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2010

      9:30 A.M.

      CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE, WASHINGTON, D.C.

      Transcript by

      Federal News Service

      Washington, D.C.

      KEN EPPS: Good morning, everyone. My name is Ken Epps. I’m senior program associate at Project Ploughshares, which is the ecumenical peace center of the Community Council of Churches and affiliation with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies at ConradGrebelUniversityCollege, University of Waterloo.

      On behalf of the organizations who have jointly organized this event – and those are the Arms Control Association, the Center for International Trade and Security, Oxfam America and Project Ploughshares – I would like to welcome all participants to this roundtable discussion.

      I am especially pleased to welcome our opening panelists, Ambassador Moritan and Anna MacDonald, who have traveled a considerable distance from Argentina and the United Kingdom, respectively, to be with us here today.

      And of course we are particularly delighted that Ms. Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security at the State Department, will be providing the keynote address during our working lunch.

      On behalf of my own organization, Project Ploughshares, based in Canada, I would like to thank our Washington partners for the considerable efforts in arranging the many details of today. And I also wish to acknowledge the financial support for the event from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

      As indicated in the invitation, the purpose of today’s roundtable is to promote discussion on how the U.S. government can best engage with and contribute to the development of a robust international arms trade treaty. The roundtable is focused on the important role of the U.S. government in the ATT process, but today’s event is also one of many initiatives by civil society organizations around the world to engage a range of stakeholders in the promotion of a legally binding, comprehensive and effective treaty.

      In particular, the civil society-based Arms Trade Treaty Steering Committee, an NGO coalition that includes Project Ploughshares and other NGOs here today, has promoted the idea of an ATT for more than a decade, and we are pleased to be here today.

      Motivated by concern about the egregious impact of irresponsible and illicit arms transfers, the NGO coalition has strived to promote high global standards in a binding international agreement that would require states to effectively control all international transfers of conventional arms in their jurisdiction.

      The quest for an international convention to control the arms trade is not new – it has existed since at least the days of the League of Nations – but renewed momentum emerged during the 1990s, when a group of NGOs, along with Nobel Peace Laureates led by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, first promoted the idea of an international code of conduct for arms transfers.

      By 2000, the Code Working Group of NGOs transformed the international code into the Framework Convention on International Arms Transfers with the assistance of international legal experts. The framework convention in turn became the basis for proposals for the more popularly named Arms Trade Treaty, and the Code Working Group became the ATT steering committee.

      It was this NGO coalition which, in 2005, published the core global principles for international arms transfers, drawn from relevant, existing international instruments and obligations. These principles have been promoted widely by civil society advocates of the ATT as a blueprint for draft parameters for an effective treaty.

      In 2002, the coalition also agreed that its three largest multinational members – Amnesty International, Oxfam, and the International Action Network on Small Arms – would take a grassroots and global control arms campaign to promote the ATT.

      Among other initiatives, the campaign launched the Million Faces online petition initiative, which, in less than three years, became the world’s largest photo petition. More than 1 million people from over 160 countries contributed photos and drawings to the petition, which called for ATT negotiations at the U.N.

      The petition was presented to the U.N. secretary-general in June, 2006. By December 2006, the U.N. General Assembly had overwhelmingly voted for a U.N. process to consider an international treaty on the global arms trade.

      In these opening remarks, it is not my intention to detail NGO perspectives on ATT content and campaigning to promote the U.N. treaty process. We will hear from civil society representatives on these issues later today, but I would like to emphasize the importance that NGOs advocating a comprehensive and effective ATT attached to U.S. commitment to the treaty process.

      The NGO coalition welcomed U.S. support for the treaty when it was announced by Secretary of State Clinton in October 2009. Indeed, it is apparent to all who have followed ATT developments that U.S. participation in treaty negotiations will be central and crucial. As the largest exporter of conventional weapons, the U.S. brings the weight of trade realities to treaty discussions.

      In her October statement, Secretary Clinton noted the gold standard set by U.S. export controls, and these, along with the commitments it has made with respect to the trade in conventional weapons – and I refer you here to the roundtable briefing paper that Rachel Stohl has produced for us, which details these standards and commitments. These are all clearly important for the U.S. to bring to the table during treaty negotiations.

      In addition to U.S. influence on other key actors in the arms trade, especially U.N. secretary (sic) council members that have abstained on General Assembly votes on the ATT – that is, in particular, Russia and China – it will be necessary to ensure that treaty negotiations do not generate (sic) into the lowest common denominator process.

      In the end, the effectiveness of a negotiated ATT will rest on the willingness of support of states to ensure the highest possible treaty standards. As NGOs, we look to the U.S. to join and indeed lead in these efforts.

      I’d like to conclude now with some housekeeping notes. Perhaps most important, the washrooms are directly out this door at the end of the hallway. Secondly, I would like to remind people that while the morning panel is in open session and the luncheon working session is open, the proceedings from lunch – or from after lunch will be held according to the Chatham House Rule. That is, none of the comments of presenters or participants are for attribution.

      And, finally, there is a request that all participants, if possible, complete the evaluation form that you will find in your packets on colored paper. It should only take a minute or two to fill out and you can leave it on the table or hand it to one of the organizers on your way out. And we thank you for that.

      So again and finally, welcome to all roundtable participants. The organizers of today’s event look forward to open and fruitful discussions which we hope will contribute another step towards a strong and robust arms trade treaty. I now give the floor to Rachel Stohl, who will chair the opening session.

      RACHEL STOHL: Thank you, Ken, and good morning to everyone. I’m delighted to see that we have such a packed house this morning and look forward to enhancing the dialogue on this issue with all of you.

      It’s my pleasure to chair this first panel, which will hopefully set the stage internationally for what’s happening within ATT so that as we move throughout the morning, and hear from Undersecretary Tauscher about what the U.S. government is doing, and then this afternoon hear from various U.S. stakeholders that we have a context in which to put that in, because we like to think that, you know, what happens in Washington, you know, goes out to the rest of the world, but there’s a lot going on outside that we need to also take into consideration here.

      So our speakers this morning are Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan from Argentina and Anna MacDonald from the Control Arms Campaign and Oxfam International. For those that haven’t had the opportunity to meet these individuals, Ambassador Moritan has been a career diplomat since 1971. He was permanent representative to the Conference of Disarmament from 1989 to 1994 and undersecretary for Latin American affairs from ’94 to ’98.

      He also served as his country’s permanent representative to the United Nations from 1999 to 2002 and was the undersecretary for foreign affairs from 2003 to 2005 and vice minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs from 2005 to 2008. So he has a long and distinguished diplomatic career.

      In addition to serving as the president of the Conference on Disarmament in 1993 and the most recent session in 2009, he has chaired both the U.N. Group of Governmental Experts and the Open-Ended Working Group on the Arms Trade Treaty and will be serving as the chair for the upcoming U.N. process. So we’re delighted to have him share his experience and thoughts on the way forward.

      Anna MacDonald from Oxfam International has worked for Oxfam since 1995 in a variety of international programs and advocacy positions. She has worked on arms control issues for Oxfam since 2002, playing a key role in the launch in the development of the Control Arms Campaign, which she’ll tell us about in her remarks.

      So first I would like to open to Ambassador Moritan. And what we’ll do is hear from both our speakers and then open it for discussion and questions, because I think that’s going to be the most – these are round tables, and so this will be the most fruitful way to have our discussion. Thank you.

      AMBASSADOR ROBERTO GARCIA MORITAN: Thank you, Rachel, for your kind words. As Rachel said, I’m going to make first some general comments on the complexities of today’s world, which is good in a certain way because it assures diplomats that we will not run out of work.

      This century’s threat to peace and security are at least, in many ways, more complex than those the world has seen in the past, and they come from a variety of sources, mainly from weapons that can kill on a mass scale, but also from global terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime.

      In this new global environment, peacekeeping, peacemaking, peace-building requires new multilateral efforts. In a way, we have to start being a little bit more imaginative to deal with the new threats to international security.

      While most conflict takes place primarily within countries, non-state threats and actors have also become key topics in contemporary security. Also, the statistics show that many more people are killed in ethnic conflicts or as a consequence of the proliferation of conventional weapons than international war.

      So one of the great tragedies of our time is the uncontrolled spread of weapons, often from illegal markets and even sometimes in violation of U.N. embargoes. The global arms trade provides weapons for the legitimate national self-defense of states for peacekeeping and law enforcement, in accordance with international law and in particular with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter. But it also provides arms to governments with track records of use of weapons inappropriately and sometimes unlawfully against civilians in violation of human rights and international and military law.

      So without adequate controls, weapons and the munitions that begin in the legal arms trade can too easily pass into the hands of armed groups and those involved in organized crime. More than 2,000 people per day die as a consequence of violence and conventional weapons. The cost of armed violence in Africa – only to give an example – is around 19 billion U.S. dollars. These weapons fuel conflict, violate human rights, break down societies and prevent people climbing out of poverty.

      The regulation of conventional arms transfers is crucial to grip a global problem that is spiraling out of control. I feel there is an imperative need to reduce the human costs of arms proliferation and prevent unscrupulous weapons suppliers and ensure that all exporters are working to the same standards.

      One crucial step is to try to negotiate an arms treaty. Such a treaty should not hinder responsible trade but it will prevent defense exporters from undermining international security and prosperity. The main objective is to create a comprehensive, legally binding international mechanism for ensuring a more responsible trade in conventional arms. The primary responsibility for controlling the flows of arms rests with the states, whether they are manufacturers or not, that export, re-export, transit or import arms.

      The current situation, as I see it, is full of gaps and loopholes and inconsistencies. Some countries have national controls with different standards, in many cases barely enforced. A large number do not have controls or those criteria are too weak. Some regional and multilateral arms control regimes lack some strong provisions for implementation.

      Controlling international arms transfers is in the fundamental interest of all states, and especially given the nature and structure of international arms trade today. During the Cold War, only the U.S. and the USSR were nationally self-sufficient in arms production. Today more countries have autonomous arms industry. The arms market is not just larger but more globalized, and this means that arms are being produced in many countries.

      Although it’s true that 80 percent of the market is controlled by a fewer number of states, the numbers of countries producing weapons nowadays is more than a hundred, especially ammunition and small weapons.

      So the question is not only the weapons which are being produced and transferred legally, but those also that goes into the legal market. It’s not enough to know that certain countries have responsible controls for the flows of their exports; we need to have a global system with equal standards that all countries could follow to assure a responsible trade in conventional weapons.

      It is with this vision in mind that the co-authors started this process several years ago. From the first U.N. resolution, the co-authors knew that they had enough votes for the commencement of those negotiations. But, nevertheless, they thought it was necessary to engage in a wider process to make all U.N. members understand the purposes and objectives of the initiative. Universal participation is very important to have an instrument effective for the purposes that we are pursuing, so we started to follow a step-by-step process.

      The first one was to ask the secretary-general views of the state members of the U.N., and certainly the response allowed us to think on the need of such a treaty.

      The second step took place when the secretary-general of the U.N. called for a U.N. group of experts. The group of experts was organized in a liberated manner, and there were representations from countries that produced weapons from different regions of the world, but also with a political ecunemiun (ph) where you had eclectic and enthusiastic of the initiative.

      The group of experts went into looking in material, the essential elements towards a treaty on arms trade, and came out with a conclusion that further work was necessary and was needed for larger participation of U.N. members.

      So the third phases started in 2008 when the secretary-general called for an Open-Ended Working Group, which was a subsidiary organ of the U.N. General Assembly. It was a deliberative process which was thought initially to work during two years.

      The work we did in 2009 and the exchange of views between member states, it was clear that the deliberative process was able to complete its task in 2009. The exchange of views was large. Countries from all regions participated actively and we were able to analyze the feasibility of the treaty, scope, parameters and some other questions related to an arms trade treaty.

      Out of talks and deliberation, it was clear that an exchange of views was extensive, transparent and clear enough, and I guess that was the reason why the General Assembly – last U.N. General Assembly decided to take a new step, which was to call for a conference in 2012 and the establishment of a preparatory committee to start the work for that conference.

      When you look at the U.N. resolution, you can see a negotiated mandate for the PrepCom. So the PrepCom will have, beginning July 2010, the responsibility to start negotiating the elements of a treaty. When we talk about the elements of the treaty, we have, at the end of the day, the treaty itself. So the purpose and the responsibility of the PrepCom will be to start working on that process between 2010 and 2012.

      The first meeting will take place in July this year in New York, and we have a two-week session, which is not going to be extremely large, for the kind of responsibilities we have before us. And we will have completed the work during 2011 because, actually, the PrepCom meeting in 2012 will have to deal mainly with procedural aspects. So by 2011 it will be useful to try to see if we can complete the work of the PrepCom according to the General Assembly resolution and present a text to the conference by 2012.

      So the work which has been done is an interesting one from a diplomatic point of view because it was not an initiative that was thrown to countries from one day to another, but one that was presented with intention of a better understanding of the objectives that we were pursuing.

      As I said before, we have from the commencement the necessary votes to start those negotiations but we chose a step-by-step process because we thought that in security issues we have to work and we have to exchange views in a quite deep manner to be sure that all countries are able to understand the purposes. And, at the same time, it’s extremely important to learn the concerns of those which are eclectics with the initiative to try to solve and to try to see ways and means on how to consider those concerns.

      We are exactly in that process. We are trying now, after the open-ended work, to continue consultations towards the work of the PrepCom in the months of July. And, since then, the process of negotiations starts as a new game, and I hope very much that by the end of 2011 we will be able to have a draft with substantive elements that the PrepCom could present to the conference in 2012.

      I think, Rachel, maybe it would be more interesting for the participants to ask questions than to listen.

      MS. STOHL: Okay, thank you.

      AMB. MORITAN: Thank you.

      ANNA MACDONALD: Okay, thanks very much. I would just like to extend my thanks to the organizers of this event. As has been said, I’m speaking from Oxfam International and on behalf of the Control Arms International Campaign, and I’ve been asked to give the International Campaign perspective on the Arms Trade Treaty and a bit of a history of the campaign and process so far, and perhaps most of all to underline why the world really needs this treaty and why we need it so urgently.

      Arms fuel conflict, poverty and human rights abuses around the world on a daily basis. It’s not only the 2,000 people that die everyday as a result of armed violence, but also the many thousands more who suffer torture, rape, oppression and are forced to flee their homes.

      In the period since the U.N. started discussing an ATT in 2006, we estimate that more than 2.1 million people have died as a result of armed violence. And the U.N. estimates that during the 1990s, conventional weapons were used to kill over 5 million people and force 50 million more to flee their homes.

      This is a photo that I took in a refugee camp in Eastern Congo some months back where upon asking the women in the camp what was the biggest problem that they faced, they responded not with demands for water or shelter or food, but simply to state that the biggest problem was the men with guns.

      The uncontrolled trade in arms and the uncontrolled flood of weapons into some of the world’s worst conflict zones fuels poverty and exacerbates situations for people who are already living a marginalized or difficult existence.

      For Oxfam, the reason that we’ve been involved in arms control issues for some more than a decade now is quite simple: Every day, around the world, our staff and partners in the hundred countries in which we work bear witness to the problems and devastation caused by an arms trade that is out of control. As a speaker at our global Arms Trade Treaty conference last week in Vienna commented, “The profit of the arms trade is measured in dollars but the cost is counted in lives.”

      We’re clear in the campaign that there is legitimate role for arms and the arms trade. When used in line with international law, arms clearly have a legitimate use, and certainly we support states’ rights to self-defense as enshrined in the U.N. Charter. But these rights also come with responsibilities. Almost all states have responsibilities under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and what’s important in the perspective and context of our global Arms Trade Treaty is that these responsibilities are also applied to arms transfer controls.

      At the moment, the lack of any effective global regulation means that what we have, at best, is a system of patchwork controls where different countries have different levels of export control agreements. Some regions have regional transfer agreements in place, but there is no single global, coordinated system, which leads to a situation where, in the words of a monarch (sic) commander in Congo, “Peacekeepers are left feeling like they’re mopping the floor with the taps turned on.” No sooner are they dealing with the problem of one arms catchment that’s coming through, but then another load of arms and ammunition is arriving.

      It’s a situation that we think an arms trade treaty can go some way to address, a legally binding treaty that would create the level playing field that Ambassador Moritan has already described, and based around core principles, around international law, which we will be going into in more detail after the lunch session, we believe could go a long way to bring the arms trade under control and to prevent this situation spiraling out of control.

      And it’s an initiative which, as we’ve already heard, is gaining – rapidly gaining momentum and is now soon to become a reality in the relatively short period between now and 2012 when the negotiation conference will take place. I’ll just touch briefly on one example of what we’re talking about when we describe the need to stop irresponsible arms transfers.

      Most of you will be familiar and will remember the ship that sailed from China to – or attempted to sail from China to Zimbabwe in 2008, and only in fact due to the actions of the church movement and civil society, the ship came to the attention of the world’s media as it was prevented from docking first in Durban in South Africa and subsequently in a number of other ports around Southern Africa, as various moves were meant to prevent its intended cargo of ammunition, arms and mortar bombs from reaching Zimbabwe at that time in a height of political tension and where there was clearly a high risk that the weapons and ammunition would be used to commit human rights abuses.

      So just briefly to touch on the history of the international campaign and where we’ve come to since the launch in 2003, when the campaign began back in October 2003, there were three countries which publicly supported the call for an arms trade treaty: Mali, Costa Rica and Cambodia. Ken has described some of the longer background history before that, how the idea developed from discussions amongst Nobel laureates and developed from that into ideas around an international code of conduct and ultimately an arms-trade treaty.

      From launching an international campaign with an aim to try to raise the profile of the need for arms control around the world and to increase political pressure for countries to support the idea of an arms trade treaty, we gradually saw more and more countries coming out and declaring their support for international arms control.

      As Ken has described, various campaigning devices such as Million Faces petition, a photo petition which was active in more than 120 countries around the world, helped bring the need for an arms trade treaty and the need for arms control to popular attention.

      This slide is from a presentation back in 2006 when we were mapping the countries that supported an arms trade treaty, and we’d reached the figure of around 43 countries who publicly declared their support.

      In the summer of 2006, our symbolic millionth face, Julius Arile, an armed violence survivor from Kenya, presented the petition to then-Secretary Gen. Kofi Annan, calling for states within the U.N. to begin work on an arms trade treaty. The campaign continued to grow and to increase support as region after region, more and more countries openly declared their support for greater international arms control.

      And then, as Ambassador Moritan has already described, a group of governments came together – seven core governments came together and drafted a resolution introducing the Arms Trade Treaty to the U.N. and mandating the U.N. to begin discussions on an arms trade treaty.

      That was overwhelmingly passed through the U.N. with 153 governments voting in favor to begin work on the ATT. And, as we’ve heard, that led on to a secretary-general’s consultation to all states on what the feasibility, scope and parameters of an ATT could be. Is it actually possible, and if so, what should be in it?

      In parallel with that, the International Civil Society Campaign ran a People’s consultation in more than 50 countries around the world, and we believe that that public consultation which involved all sectors of society went some way to encourage countries in that very high level of response that we saw.

      The group of governmental experts, which then met in 2008, we feel was significant in that it agreed, and while it was a small group of countries and perhaps disproportionately made up of those countries that still had reservations or concerns around an ATT, significantly agreed that work should continue, which led to, in the end of 2008, a further resolution being tabled and then overwhelmingly passed, mandating the setting up of an Open-Ended Working Group.

      And this is what we’ve seen happen over the last year during 2009. The Open-Ended Working Group has met twice, and from our perspective, perhaps significantly, the debate has moved from a discussion of if there should be an arms trade treaty to when there should be an arms trade treaty, and therefore what should be in it? We feel this is significant in terms of both the political dynamic and the depth of discussions that have been going on amongst states.

      And so that leads us to where we are now, which is the resolution that was passed – introduced in October last year and then mandated by the General Assembly in December, which essentially moves the Arms Trade Treaty into a negotiation phase that Ambassador Moritan has described – again, 150 votes in favor, and of course the biggest political shift, which we very much welcome and look forward to now further discussions in this event and beyond, is the move of the U.S. administration from a previous no vote to now yes.

      So that’s the sort of part in history from the campaign perspective. We believe that both the actions of the campaign and the discussions amongst states have demonstrated both a need for a treaty and a desire to see one negotiated as swiftly as possible.

      Certainly we believe it needs to be a robust treaty if it’s going to really save lives and livelihoods, and we very much look forward to continuing those discussions with you today as we move forward with this process. Thanks.

      MS. STOHL: Thank you both, Ambassador and Anna, for, I think, some great remarks to frame the debate, the process and the discussions as we move forward, and I think since this is a roundtable, although there’s a lot of faces that I can’t quite see all the way in the back too, I think it would be helpful to have a discussion and to talk about some of the issues that were raised.

      And, given – I think it will be logistically difficult to pass a mike. If you do have a question, just raise your hand, and if you could introduce yourself and speak very loudly so that we can hear you up here. And if you have someone that you would like to address your particular question to – oh, you do have the mike?

      MR. : (Off mike.)

      MS. STOHL: Okay. If you have a question – we have two mikes, okay. Sorry; missed the back mike. I couldn’t figure out how Jeff was going to get all the way to the back, but since we have two mikes, if you raise your hand, either in the back or in the front, the mike will come to you. And, again, please introduce yourself and ask your question. Over here?

      Q: Hi, is it on?

      MS. STOHL: Can you stand, just because it’s hard to see you?

      Q: I’m Julia Fromholz with Human Rights First. Anna, you mentioned at the very end the U.S. switch in 2009. I wanted to know from either of you, what effect does the U.S. insistence on consensus have? What do you expect it to have? And what, in this case, does consensus really mean?

      AMB. MORITAN: I really don’t know if the U.S. insisted on consensus or not, but the fact is that the General Assembly Resolution took a decision on the matter. And in a certain way it’s logical to work under consensus.

      When you deal with international security issues, our questions are very sensitive toward nations. Sometimes it’s very difficult to understand what security means for a country or what does threat mean for a certain country. Sometimes it’s not so much for diplomats to make that analysis as for psychoanalysts to look on the reasons why a country feels a threat or insecure.

      So when you deal with security issues, there’s a special nature of problems, and the case of weapons is the best example. Why does a country need weapons for their self-defense? Well, the answer – only that country can give the answer.

      So when you deal with those kind of sensitive issues, it is clear that negotiations have to go undertake a very deep, serious process of consultations, understanding of the issues involved, and in that process, consensus becomes an important question because universality should be the aim of instruments of this sort. It would serve no purpose if we have a treaty of like-minded states only. We could have the treaty tomorrow if that is the kind of treaty we want.

      What we would like to have is not only like-minded but also eclectic countries on board. Everybody has to feel comfortable with the process of those negotiations. And for them to feel comfortable in those negotiations, it is essential to have certain rules of the game. And the rule of the game is that you will not cheat by putting into a vote certain questions that could be sensitive for them.

      So the question of consensus is normal to any process of serious negotiations, which its aim is for universal participation. We will see at the end of the process what the U.N. will do once the treaty is completed, or if it lacks of some elements to have a robust instrument as we all would like to have.

      But from my point of view, which, being the chairman, I’m the one having more difficulties with a consensus vote – (laughter) – because I will have to try to arrive to a consensus. I think it’s not much of a problem because the responsibility will be to try to see how we can find ways and means to accommodate the concerns and at the same time have a robust instrument.

      We have done it in the past. We have done it – I had a chance of working into that. It was the Chemical Weapons Convention. We were able, with the rule of consensus, to have an excellent instrument on chemical weapons. We were able, though consensus also, to negotiate – although we were unable to adopt it in the CD, but we were able to negotiate a good nuclear test ban treaty in the CD.

      So consensus is not a difficulty. Sometimes it’s an advantage for delegations to participate more comfortable in those negotiations. So from that perspective, I don’t think it should be a matter that should worry anyone. It’s part of the game. Thank you.

      MS. STOHL: I think Anna might have a different take.

      MS. MACDONALD: Sure. (Laughter.) I think – I mean, what we would see as crucial is that through this process we’re achieving the highest possible standards for international arms control, not the lowest possible common denominator, which is the risk.

      And in that balance between striving for a treaty that the biggest number of states are able to be a part of so it has the widest possible impact and having the toughest possible standards. Then certainly we want to see that a treaty has very strong criteria in it, that it is very comprehensive in its scope, covering all conventional weapons with criteria around human rights, international humanitarian law and sustainable development at its heart.

      The risk that we would see with a weak treaty is that it could legitimize the situation that we currently have, and we don’t think actually that any of the states that have supported the move for an arms trade treaty want to see that. What we’re trying to do here, we think collectively, is change the situation that we currently have. We’re trying to stop irresponsible arms transfers. We’re trying to stop the flood of weapons into the world’s worst conflict zones. We’re not simply putting a stamp on what we already have.

      I think that what we’ve seen so far with the level of state support, with the content of what states have submitted in their submissions to the U.N. and in the discussions that have taken place so far, is a very strong, overwhelming majority that want to see robust controls in place.

      And what’s essential in this next period of two years leading up to that final conference is that the will of that overwhelming majority is not blocked by the actions of a minority, and I think that’s very much, from civil society’s perspective, what we’re looking to all states that have supported this process to be ensuring that what they are doing in the preparatory meetings is ensuring that that will of the majority does indeed go through and that we see the highest possible standards achieved by the end.

      MS. STOHL: There’s a question in the back.

      Q: My name is Jacques Bahati. I work with Africa Faith and Justice Network. I think the core of my question is, is there any work going on as far as other issues related to the reason why weapons are sold and let loose?

      I’ve seen that for those nations who produce these weapons, there is economic benefit to it. Are they willing to put those economic benefits on the side for the sake of peace and prosperity for other countries?

      Also, I wonder if the United Nations is relevant to really address this issue, whereas these powerful countries are the ones sitting and making these decisions. Will they be really able to enforce the rules when they are the ones benefiting from the trade? Thank you.

      MS. MACDONALD: Go ahead, please.

      AMB. MORITAN: Yes. My impression is that a treaty like the one we will start negotiating in July serves all countries; serves those countries that produce weapons in a large scale, serves countries that produce weapons in a small scale, and serves the purpose of the countries which do not produce.

      I think it’s in the interest of everyone, but from the point of view of those larger exporters of – which is a handful of – a few countries that have around 80 percent of the market, to have a responsible criteria and standards will not hinder their capacity to export.

      This treaty will not prohibit the export of weapons. This treaty will not try to avoid any one buying weapons if they think it’s necessary for their self-defense, law enforcement and their participation in peace operations of the U.N.

      What we are trying to do is have common international standards for all countries to assess when they take a decision on the export. And what do they have to assess? They have to assess if those weapons are going to be used on extreme cases in an irresponsible manner.

      What are those extreme cases? Violation of human rights. Should a country sell certain weapons to a nation that violates, systematically, human rights? Well, the country who sells the weapons should know that those weapons will kill people, so they should evaluate, before doing that, if it is recommendable to do that or not. In a genocide situation, should weapons be sold? In a conflict between states which humanitarian law is not observed, should weapons be sold?

      So the questions we are dealing with are extreme cases of irresponsibility and try to have common international standards to prevent that irresponsibility. I doubt very much that by adopting measures in that sense, that will hinder the additional capacity and the way of making money in this industry. On the contrary. I feel that an instrument of this nature will give a new guarantee to those industrial manufacturers that they’re doing the adequate thing.

      So the question here is the decision to whom to sell in certain circumstances. This is why the treaty will try to concentrate on those standards so that everybody around the world have the same standards when it comes to evaluate those exports.

      MS. STOHL: I don’t want to put any government officials on the spot, but we have several different governments represented here, both major exporters and perhaps secondary-tier exporters. So I don’t know if any government official wanted to answer that question with a kind of national perspective. If not, that’s okay; just wanted to – there are a lot of people in the room that may not know who’s here, so if there are any additional comments on that – otherwise we’ll take another question.

      Q: Thank you. I’m Norma Rein with the Boeing Company and I have a question about the scope of the treaty. Through the work done so far, have any preliminary recommendations or decisions been made with respect to what items would fall under the purview of the treaty, or is the focus just small arms? Would you be so kind to explain a little bit on that? Thanks.

      AMB. MORITAN: Thank you very much. As you all know, the process we’ve been in until now has been one of governmental experts and an open-ended discussion in the U.N. General Assembly. Out of those two specific processes came a variety of views with respect to the scope.

      It is my understanding that there is a common minimum acceptance that this scope should include what we usually say is seven-plus-one, which are the weapons which are included in the seven categories of the U.N. Register on Conventional Weapons (sic), plus small and light weapons.

      Out of these deliberative discussions, many countries would like to see some other things included in the scope – munitions, as has been said, components, new and used technologies – and the list is wide. We will have to start exchanging ourselves into discussions and negotiation with respect to scope beginning July. But, as I said to you, it is my understanding that at least the seven-plus-one category is going to be basis upon we will have to build and to see how far, according to delegations, we could go to agree in a scope that will include all the elements that will be in accordance with the purposes we’re pursuing.

      MS. MACDONALD: Yeah, just to add from the NGO perspective, in fact, inside the silver packs that were given out at the beginning you’ll see our position papers on scope and parameters. We, put simply, believe that all conventional weapons should be covered by the scope of type of weapon. We think this should also include ammunition. It should also include components, and it should also include those weapons – those components and parts that have capacity for dual use.

      In terms of the scope of type of transfer, we similarly believe that all types of transfer should be covered by an arms trade treaty – i.e. exports, imports, sale, transfer, gift, loan, et cetera. But you’ll see those are detailed a little more substantially in the papers.

      MS. STOHL: Jeff, can you get to Susan over here? Go to the back. Do you see Susan over here?

      Q: I think I can just – it’s a simple question.

      MR. : It’s too late – too late. (Laughter.)

      Q: Could you say just a few words –

      MS. STOHL: Say who you are.

      Q: I’m Susan Waltz, University of Michigan. Could you say just a few words about where things stand with the separate-but-related efforts to negotiate an instrument on marking and tracing and brokering, just how that fits in the whole scheme now?

      AMB. MORITAN: Well, this is a different question from the one we’re dealing – so, actually, in the context demanded, we have – the responsibility of the PrepCom is going to be limited to negotiate the elements of a treaty itself.

      Now, of course we will have to deal with the question of verification. We haven’t entered into details of verification and moratorium during the group of governmental experts. There were generic presentations on the question. Also, on the open-ended working groups, only a few delegations make reference to the matter.

      So the question you mentioned could be one that delegations could raise when it comes to the question of verification moratorium on some or some other kind of publications of the treaty. But we will have to see, so it’s a little bit difficult for me in advance to make any comment on the question but it’s clear that in some aspects there is certain relation between the two aspects.

      MS. STOHL: I think we have three hands. We have one in the back, we have Roy here, and then we have Steve. And so, just looking at the time, in case the undersecretary shows up earlier, perhaps we can take all three of those questions and then answer them.

      Q: Thanks. Erik Wasson, Inside U.S. Trade – a question mainly for the ambassador. What proposals are on the table that would possibly result in changes to U.S. export controls, and could you possibly describe how the ATT could differ from the Wassenaar regime, for example? Thanks.

      (Cross talk.)

      AMB. MORITAN: Oh, I’m sorry.

      MS. STOHL: That was a media one, so do you want to do – okay, take off – and then if someone could bring Steve Goose – if you could raise your hand.

      Q: Hi, I’m Roy Isbister from Saferworld, and I’ve got more a comment than a question. It’s on the scope issue and the use of the language of seven-plus-one. And in the – my kind of take on the Open-Ended Working Group was there were a lot of people using the language of seven-plus-one and meaning that in a very comprehensive sense.

      But if you examine what seven-plus-one actually means in detail, it’s a lot more limiting than people often think. So for example, one of the categories is aircraft but it is only attack aircraft, and I think a lot of people, when they were talking about seven-plus-one, they were talking about military aircraft in general.

      So I think it’s just one of the issues when looking at scope. There is a danger in using this kind of shorthand and so, obviously, as the discussion goes forward, these kind of details will get teased out. But I just think we need to be very careful of what we understand with some of the shorthand that is being used. Thanks.

      MS. STOHL: Steve?

      Q: Steve Goose with Human Rights Watch – sort of one big question for both the ambassador and Anna, and then a couple of nuts and bolts if you can.

      On the big one, what do you anticipate at this point are going to be the most contentious and difficult issues to deal with? You undoubtedly already have a good idea of what that’s going to be, and if you would share that with us.

      And the nuts and bolts, it strikes me that for something that was launched in 2006, there has been very little formal work on this the past three years. How much time is going to be devoted to it in the coming years? What’s the schedule look like? How many PrepComs, how long, how much time devoted for the negotiations themselves, and when do you personally hope to be able to produce the first draft text? Are you going to use a rolling text with brackets? (Laughter.)

      MS. MACDONALD: Why don’t you go first?

      AMB. MORITAN: With respect to the first question, I wouldn’t know how to answer your question, really, but I do realize that the U.S. has a very responsible legislation on the question and, as I understand, a very strict and robust legislation on the matter.

      It is my personal impression that a treaty most probably is going to be in the same direction of the U.S. national position on many questions that the treaty will cover but it will be up to the U.S. to know if that would require some internal change in legislation.

      But the U.S. certainly is a responsible country in the way it applies its legislation when it comes to export of weapons and how to follow the life of those weapons after they’d been exported the first time. So according to my lack of experience, I don’t think it should impose a big difficultly of legislation inside of the U.S.

      The Wassenaar arrangement, as you know, is a very important grouping of countries from different regions, which have the same objective of working hard on certain specific purposes when the group was created, but it is limited in its participation, and although it has countries from different regions, that limitation is one that makes desirable to have a wider negotiation in the U.N.

      If all U.N. members were a member of the Wassenaar agreement, that maybe would have been different and sometimes simpler to deal with the issues we have before it, but that’s not the case so we have to deal with reality.

      So the Wassenaar group is a very important one. We continue working. The objectives are maybe larger than the ones we’re pursuing in ATT. The ATT is focusing on a specific question of conventional weapons. The Wassenaar list has an important list of conventional weapons, which are covered in the Wassenaar arrangement. I mentioned the Wassenaar countries will ask that those views will be taken into account and then certainly you enter negotiations and we will see how to deal with those questions.

      Now, the question of, what are the sensitive and difficult issues; I think all of them are. (Laughter.) The first day we met in the open-ended consultation, people thought we will never – we’re going to start the meeting because procedural issues were going to block the whole exercise.

      How do you say “miracle?”

      MS. STOHL: Miracle.

      AMB. MORITAN: A miracle was produced and the particular questions were solved.

      In diplomatic negotiations, things are never easy, and that’s good because this is what our governments pay us for, to work and not only to be in cocktails and receptions. And certainly the issues we have before us are going to be of an enormous complexity. Each one of the 192 countries have different views, and when it comes to look at each one of the issues, even small ones, we can see are going to be complex ones.

      One that shouldn’t be a matter of worry to anyone, according to my views at least, which will be human rights. Human rights is so obvious that it should be a criteria. It should be so obvious that everybody should be protecting human rights worldwide. It’s not for some other countries. So when you look at which one of the details and elements will have to start working, things are going to be complicated, and we do not have much time.

      To answer your question, actually we have two substantive meetings in 2010, which are going to be together in two weeks, one following the other ones, and two weeks in 2011. Somebody said to me I had 120 hours to complete negotiations if you pull everything together.

      Of course it’s going to be a difficult task, but at the same time it’s good that we have limited time before us because I will exercise and I will put the effort of everybody to work with a certain timeframe to arrive to consensus.

      I’m conscious that we will be able to have a substantive draft instrument by 2012, and I hope it will not have brackets, as you say, only very few – or asterisks. (Laughter.) But even if we have brackets and asterisks, it’s not bad. It’s part of a negotiation process to have brackets. And, actually, as I imagine, that the first text that will be seen is going to have brackets because we will have to try to see and try to include all points of view and then start looking how to accommodate those points of view.

      So I’m not really afraid of brackets. I was born with brackets, I think. (Laughter.) But it’s going to be an interesting exercise, one we will start in July. And I said to you, if it’s true that I have only 120 hours, well, you can imagine we had a put a lot of enthusiasm and energy to complete our work, but I think we can do it.

      MS. MACDONALD: Yes, I think we would certainly – from the NGO side I had concerns around the shortness of time, looking at comparable treaty processes in both disarmament and other fora and the number of weeks that are available. Four weeks of preparatory meetings then followed by a final month seems to us to be pretty tight, which obviously puts the onus on the states, as the ambassador says, to make sure that they’re moving swiftly, but perhaps, all the same, points to the need for certain types of substantial intercessional work and the use of other foreign opportunity for states to be discussing and progressing these issues.

      We hoped that there would be the development of texts and substantive content in intercessional periods if states are serious about wanting to see the development of a robust instrument, because certainly, from what we’ve seen in discussions thus far, yes, it is possible for any issue to become contentious and thus take up quite a lot of time.

      So I think for all of those states that are very keen on having consensus as a process mechanism, it’s also their responsibility to ensure that that doesn’t become a block and that the striving to get agreement is just that and not a stumbling over every issue.

      For us I think we can, yes, certainly foresee some of the issues that are going to be potentially difficult, and Roy has already touched around the definitions on scope and the preciseness of that and what we actually do mean to be covered by that is perhaps the first one to clarify, although, again, if you actually delve into what most exporting states currently cover within the scope of their own export control agreements, it shouldn’t be contentious because actually the majority of exporting states have quite a wide scope.

      Similarly, with human rights and – (unintelligible) – yes, states have wide existing obligations underneath those international laws already, so the existence of those within the treaty should not be contentious. But for us it’s absolutely crucial how they’re applied, and references to obligations are different to clear obligating criteria, and that will be something that obviously we’ll be looking at very closely and keen to be working with all supporter states on those issues to make sure that it really is robust criteria that has developed.

      MS. STOHL: I think we’ll take one more question. Bridget?

      Q: Thanks. Bridget Moix with the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Just to pick up on one other complicated question, Anna, you mentioned wanting sustainable development to be at the heart of a treaty, and I know there is a lot more attention to looking at the links between armed violence and development, arms accumulation and development. The criteria here lists wanting to limit arms that would seriously impair poverty reduction or socioeconomic development. How do you see that ideally being incorporated into a treaty, you know, by criteria or measurements?

      MS. MACDONALD: Thanks. When we’ve been exploring this issue – and, in fact, over the last year we’ve been engaged on a project with both importing and exporting states to examine the issue of sustainable development. We’re very clear from Oxfam and other development agencies’ perspective that there shouldn’t be a rich-countries criteria. It’s not about country X is considered to be too poor or not to purchase weapons; it’s about the appropriateness of a transfer and how that may or may not undermine other poverty reduction targets that that state might have, and should essentially be about a dialogue between the importing and exporting state.

      We’ve also been doing work to break down sustainable development into more tangible component parts, so, for example, looking at the issue of corruption and looking at issues of transparency and accountability, which is you can break down those then into criteria that exports control we’d essentially be looking at. I’m looking at in a similar way that you might be looking for patterns or likelihood of risk of misuse of weapons. You’d be looking at sustained patterns around corruption, for example, as one of the risk factors to be assessing when looking at particular exports.

      So we’ve been, as I say, doing quite a number of roundtables and discussions with states on this issue, and it seems to us quite clearly that there are ways in which we can break this down into very practical criteria. There’s a lot of support amongst African states, for example, around seeing sustainable development as being a very key part of the treaty, and indeed one of their reasons for supporting it. So it’s something we’ll be progressing during this next period.

      MS. STOHL: Well, I want to thank our panelists and the audience as well. I got a note that the undersecretary is running a few minutes behind, and so since it’s perhaps difficult for people to get up and use the restroom, given the close quarters, I think we might take the advantage of having the few extra minutes if people want to use the restroom or to get a cup of coffee in advance of her presentation, and she should be arriving in the next five minutes. So please make it a brief pause so that we can start back on time. Thank you again to our panelists. (Applause.)

      (Break.)

      JEFF ABRAMSON: Good morning. My name is Jeff Abramson. I’m deputy director of the Arms Control Association. Thank you all for being here. Let me, before I get to my very quick introduction, give you a status of what is happening right now. Undersecretary Tauscher regrets that she cannot make it today to the meeting, which I am at. She’s very apologetic and has offered to do this again sometime, so we’re going to take her up on that.

      But Ambassador Don Mahley has agreed to read her prepared remarks. Afterwards, he’s willing to take questions, but unfortunately for the media here, those will have to be off the record, and he will be a little bit more clear on that as well.

      So we do have remarks. I’ll be introducing him in just a second. We are trying to print it out – (laughter) – so that he can give the speech. I will be back momentarily.

      (Break.)

      MR. ABRAMSON: So thank you all once again for being here. I’m delighted now to turn our focus – turn our focus to emerging U.S. policy on this. The issues we’re confronting, as you know, including the lack of transparency and weapons flows, potential fueling of destabilizing arms races and arms accumulations, and the dreadful humanitarian consequences of unregulated trafficking in conventional weapons are not new, and the need to arrive at more effective solutions are no less urgent.

      I’ll point out a little bit from our archive. A few months ago I stumbled across the June 1991 special edition of Arms Control Today, which focused on reigning in the arms trade. And one of the articles called for gaining control, building a comprehensive arms restraint system. And this was in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War. That was a window where we thought there was opportunity. Nearly two decades have passed and today we have a new policy window, in part made possible by this administration’s decision last year to get engaged in the arms trade treaty process.

      The organizations, as you’ve heard, who have sponsored this gathering, are committed to working with this administration and others in this room to create what, in Secretary of State Clinton’s words is, quote, “a strong and robust treaty that contains the highest possible legally binding standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons,” unquote.

      We’re delighted that Don Mahley, the ambassador who has been working on this issue for a number of years, is willing to step in and deliver the speech on this issue. And we are encouraged that the United States, as the world’s largest arms supplier, is prepared to be part of the solution to this tough challenge, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts about where the U.S. is on arms trade treaty concepts and how you think those in this audience could engage in this process.

      Ambassador Mahley, thank you again, and the podium is yours.

      DONALD MAHLEY: Thank you, and we’ll start out by – again, I’ll offer my apologies. I realized that you expected to see the undersecretary, who is much younger and more dynamic than I am up here, but unfortunately the United States government, being engaged in multiple things at the same time – and for those of you who may think differently, we can indeed walk and chew gum at the same time, and this case she’s doing exactly that in another context and unfortunately can’t be here.

      MR. : (Off mike.)

      MR. MAHLEY: The microphone is on?

      MR. : Yes, it is.

      MR. MAHLEY: Yeah. And so, again, I will apologize for her absence. She did want to be here and she sends her own apologies.

      Also, as I give you these comments, I am literally going to be reading the text that Undersecretary Tauscher was going to be delivering, so in this sense there may be a couple of things that don’t sound exactly right, but just assume, again, that you have the undersecretary here and this is only a bad mask that she’s wearing for Halloween – (laughter) – that you’re seeing behind the platform.

      And then when we finish that, I will certainly be prepared to take questions and answers, but that will be me taking questions and answers and so therefore those will be off the record at that point and I want to make sure that everybody understands that before we get down to get started on that.

      Okay, what Undersecretary Tauscher meant to say was.

      Jeff, thanks very much for your introduction. (Laughter.) I also want to thank everyone here for your energy, your commitment to these issues and your patriotism. It’s nice to see such friendly faces. Now, I look out there and I’m not sure that they’re as friendly as she might have imagined they would be, but that’s okay. (Laughter.) That’s not in her comments.

      You all are what I consider my base. Let me start by thanking the sponsors of this meeting, the Center for International Trade and Security, Oxfam America, the Arms Control Association and Project Ploughshares.

      As everyone here knows, President Obama has set forth a bold arms control and nonproliferation agenda, and for good reason, and because so many of us have made such an effort to speak out about the Prague agenda, it has garnered a lot of support, a lot of attention, and a lot of media coverage.

      I know that conventional arms have gotten much less attention, even though they kill more people every year than nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. I am here to make sure that everyone knows the United States is strongly committed to addressing the problems posed by the irresponsible transfers of conventional weapons.

      So last October, Secretary Clinton said that the United States, quote, “is committed to actively pursuing a strong and robust treaty that contains the highest possible legally-binding standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons.”

      We will work between now and the U.N. Conference in 2012 to negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty, and we’ll need your help in achieving it. We have made that a fundamental policy commitment. So let me explain what it means in practical terms and let me explain why we're doing this now.

      Like a lot of ideas, an arms trade treaty has been in the works for a long time. The U.N. Register of Conventional Arms opened the door to global discussions of a range of conventional weapons. These discussions have broadened so that we now have an A to Z list of meetings and forums on how to limit or eliminate small arms, anti-personnel landmines and other indiscriminate weapons.

      But conventional arms transfers are a much wider question than just small arms or voluntary registration of some information about transfers. We need a treaty that looks at regulating all conventional weapons, from small arms and light weapons to aircraft carriers.

      Unlike chemical or biological weapons, an arms trade treaty cannot be a ban on conventional weapons. When conducted responsibly, arms transfers are a legitimate commercial enterprise that supports global stability.

      The international arms trade provides nations with material necessary to fulfill the most basic functions of a government: protecting its citizens and enforcing its national sovereignty. What we are after is a means to have all nations do what the United States already does: examine each conventional weapons transfer before it is authorized to be certain that it will enhance and not undermine security and stability.

      We all know that there is a dark side to arms transfers that can have devastating consequences for people and regions. Irresponsible transfers can support terrorists, enable genocide and create, sustain and compound proliferation nightmares.

      The Arms Trade Treaty discussions have gained momentum by a shared recognition by all of the disruptive and oppressive impact of illicit or ill-advised arms transfers by a number of countries and organizations. What we need, therefore, is to explore a legally binding measure to better control transfers across international borders.

      For the Arms Trade Treaty to be effective at thwarting irresponsible transfers, it must ensure that members effectively implement national laws that criminalize such transfers and allow for the monitoring of commerce. Without this, it won't necessarily deter or stop terrorism, or any of the other things that we are concerned about.

      So-called “legally binding instruments” are absolutely meaningless, for example, to terrorists. They are criminals who don’t and won’t abide by any reasonable agreements. That means that the only way to effectively control or inhibit their activity is indirectly.

      All states must recognize the obligation to enact and enforce laws within their territory that criminalize, isolate and punish those terrorist groups operating within their territory or profiting from transactions that originate in or transit through their territory. And, if the state claiming sovereign jurisdiction does not have the capability for such enforcement, then the international community must make available the resources to create such capability, both in the short and long run.

      This means that any international instrument hoping to make real impact on so-called “illicit” arms transfers must focus on requiring each party to put in place those necessary means to eliminate such rogue non-state actors, both from within their territory and on the receiving end of their international commerce.

      It means that weak states, where terrorists operate with relative freedom, must adapt to the very real and difficult requirements any effective instrument will lay out for them. They must take all necessary steps to become an effective, law-abiding state.

      At the same time, conventional arms transfers are a crucial national security concern for the United States. Our government has always supported effective action to control and ensure responsibility in the international transfer of arms. That’s because we believe that stable societies and secure environments are the very best places for the growth of freedom and prosperity.

      So we are a leading advocate of ensuring that arms transfers are done only for legitimate purposes. We carefully consider them before they are approved. I should know since I sign off on them, and I put in place safeguards designed to ensure, for example, that small arms are used in the manner for which the transfer was intended.

      The United States has one of the most comprehensive sets of requirements in the world that must be satisfied before a U.S. manufacturer is authorized to transfer arms internationally. Every month, literally thousands of applications for export of weapons are reviewed in detail by our government.

      We have a strong and robust regulatory body. The transfer of arms are approved only when there is realistic and reasonable evidence the intended recipient has shown that they have a legitimate need and sufficient safeguards, and those safeguards are there to preclude either deliberate or unintended re-transfers or unapproved end uses.

      We also consider the effect of the transfer on regional stability. This process requires enormous effort, it is expensive, and it results in denying exports in questionable circumstances. Although this can work to the commercial disadvantage of U.S. firms, it is a price we have to pay to try to stem the flow of conventional arms to terrorist groups, to rogue states and to others who would undermine the rule of law.

      It is also why the United States believes that it is the responsibility of the entire international community to settle for no less than the highest possible standards in international agreements and in reporting activities. We believe that robust and vigorous regulation and enforcement would make it much more difficult for terrorist groups or rogue nations to destabilize regions or support terrorist activity.

      This is why, after careful consideration, the Obama administration has decided to actively support international efforts to achieve an effective global framework and to set high the bar that everyone must meet. The United States will seek a result that establishes high standards of expected conduct in international activity and in national enforcement.

      The Arms Trade Treaty negotiations will likely be long and difficult. Some participants will be tempted to take the easy road, seeking the lowest common denominator just to get a quick agreement from those states who would like to continue to support, directly or indirectly, terrorists, pirates and genocidal warlords for a quick profit or short-term advantage.

      Let me be clear: We will not rush to judgment by approving a weak or loophole-laden agreement. The United States is not interested in a vague or weak outcome just to feel good. That would not do anything to address the real issues in arms transfers.

      The United States believes an arms trade treaty is sufficiently important to national security and to international stability that the deliberations needed to produce consensus decisions in order to command the widest possible participation. A document that failed to gain support from important international players capable of acting outside their reach will undercut the objectives and purposes and would be worse than having no document at all.

      Therefore, we firmly believe that consensus is needed to ensure the high standards necessary for an effective arms trade treaty. It is not, nor should others hope it to be, an excuse for avoiding hard choices or real, deliberative controls. There will no doubt be serious, lengthy negotiations over most of the elements of any outcome.

      In fact, it has been our experience, sometimes painful, over the course of four decades of such negotiations that there is an inevitable rush by many participants in those negotiations to seek simplified or shallow provisions because they sound good and they’re easily agreed to.

      The United States considers the subject of conventional arms transfers, with their pervasiveness, dual-use capabilities and potential harm, too important to national security to be treated with less than the level of detail and engagement they deserve. This will not make the negotiations easier, but it will give them the greatest chance of being meaningful and of commanding both the attention and participation by those states necessary to their eventual success.

      I know that some will argue that a consensus agreement will make it tough to get real progress. Let me say two things:

      First, some states could attempt to derail negotiations to seek an individual concession. Our goal is to make such behavior transparent to bring public and diplomatic pressure onto the offending party. It’s sort of like earmarking for Congress; it’s better to know what’s being done in the light of day rather than being slipped into a 1,000-page bill in the dark of night.

      And there are, as you know, a handful of states who make up the backbone of the worldwide arms trade. Excluding them or not getting a universal agreement would make any agreement less than useless. In political terms, this requires a big-tent policy even if bringing some into the tent is time consuming and painful. But it is the only way to address this issue and bring about an enduring and meaningful agreement that enhances our national security and also enhances international stability.

      The treaty is worth doing because it can have, unlike many things we do, a more immediate impact. Lessening the arms trade can lead to less killing and less maiming, but the reality is that it is a very big challenge and we’re going to need your help to build the political support necessary to get this one done.

      Thank you very much. And, as I said, I’m prepared to answer questions. They will have to be off the record at this point, however. Thank you. (Applause.)

      Description: 

      Remarks by Amb. Roberto Garcia Moritan, Anna MacDonald, and Amb. Don Mahley (on behalf of Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher)

      Country Resources:

      Next Steps Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons: the View from Washington

      Sections:

      Body: 

      Remarks of Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director,
      For the Conference on Practical Steps Toward Zero Nuclear Weapons
      Ottawa, Canada
      January 26, 2010


      Nearly a year ago, President Barack Obama’s campaign to confront global nuclear weapons threats started with a bang. In April in Prague, Obama reiterated the U.S. commitment to “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” beginning with renewed U.S. leadership to reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons, permanently outlaw nuclear testing, strengthen the NPT, and accelerate U.S. and global efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear materials.

      Since then, Obama has achieved important progress and shifted the terms of debate. Just weeks after Obama’s Prague address and days after the U.S. delegation reiterated that it recognizes commitments made at past nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conferences, States Parties agreed on an agenda for reviewing the treaty later this year.

      In April, Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev met to “reset” of their strategic relationship and called on their negotiators begin work on a new, verifiable Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which U.S. and Russian negotiators have nearly finalized. The Obama administration’s decision to shelve the controversial George W. Bush plan to deploy 10 unproven ground-based strategic missile interceptors in Poland in favor of a more flexible and less provocative missile defense architecture has helped facilitate progress.

      The administration also took steps to renew the diplomatic dialogue with Iran and North Korea to find ways to deal with the risks posed by their nuclear activities and safeguards violations.

      The administration set into motion technical studies to explain the case for U.S. approval of the CTBT, and in September Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the Article XIV Conference on Facilitating CTBT Entry Into Force and called on others who have not done so to ratify.

      Also, in September, Obama won UN Security Council support for Resolution 1887, which outlines a comprehensive plan to advance nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament, and security objectives.

      Now, the hard part begins. Within the next few months, the administration must finish and win Senate approval of the new START, secure international support for measures to strengthen the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at the May review conference, and begin to persuade undecided Senate Republicans that the time has finally come to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

      To succeed, the president and his cabinet must devote far more energy to these goals and ensure that his administration’s top-to-bottom Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), due by March 1, fully supports his Prague agenda.

      In the next few minutes I’m going to review the situation on the major disarmament-related priorities in Washington, highlight some of the obstacles in the way of progress, and offer a few thoughts about what needs to be done to advance progress, including some suggestions about how U.S. allies can be part of the solution.

      New START

      Let’s start with START. This week U.S. and Russian negotiators are entering their ninth round of talks on a new strategic nuclear arms reduction deal that would build upon and update the highly successful 1991 START, which expired Dec. 5.

      Lower, verifiable limits on still-bloated U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals are long overdue. Today, the United States and Russia each deploy more than 2,000 strategic warheads, most of which exist only to deter a massive nuclear attack by the other.

      As President Barack Obama, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), and many prominent national security leaders have argued, deeper U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear reductions are possible and prudent.

      Unfortunately, the Bush administration did not seek to extend START or replace it with a new treaty before leaving office. To their credit, Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have decided to pursue a new pact that will reduce deployed strategic warheads to somewhere between 1,500 and 1,675 each (about a 30 percent cut from current levels).

      The United States currently deploys approximately 2,100 strategic deployed warheads, while Russia is estimated to deployed approximately 2,500. New START would therefore cut deployed strategic stockpiles by about a 30 percent.

      The two sides also agreed reduce strategic delivery vehicles to a level between 500 and 1,100. Washington currently possesses approximately 900 strategic nuclear delivery vehicles, while Moscow deploys an estimated 600-800, so the new ceiling will likely be around or perhaps even below 700, which would constitute about a 25 to 30 percent reduction.

      The new agreement will carry forward the most essential of START’s verification and monitoring provisions, which are still needed for predictability and to provide each side with high confidence that the other is complying with the terms of the treaty. It will also put in place new and innovative verification systems to monitor the new deployed strategic warhead ceilings.

      The New START will also open the way for more comprehensive U.S.-Russian arms reduction talks that may begin later this year, which the Obama administration says should address all types of nuclear warheads: deployed and nondeployed; strategic and nonstrategic.

      There is widespread support for the New START deal in the Senate and I expect that eventually the Senate will approve it by well more than a two-thirds margin.

      However, there are some who oppose Obama’s broader nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament strategy who are already trying to undermine, delay, and/or condition the Senate’s approval of the treaty before it arrives.

      Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and a few other Republicans have suggested that the Obama administration should have extended START rather than “rush” toward a new treaty that reduces strategic stockpiles further. That approach of course is now out of the question and was not realistic to begin with. At this point, Moscow will not agree to an extension, and without the lower limits on deployed warheads under a new START deal, Russia could and would likely maintain a deployed strategic arsenal in excess of 2,000 warheads indefinitely.

      Kyl and many of his fellow Republicans are also arguing that deeper strategic nuclear reductions are unwise without a significant new investment in the U.S. nuclear delivery systems and the weapons complex, including expanded plutonium pit production capacity and a new “modern” warhead. Part of his aim may be to undermine support for the CTBT later on down the line.

      The Obama administration will and should argue that such a condition is unnecessary given that the Obama administration already supports targeted investments in key stockpile maintenance work and facilities that advance the work of the existing warhead Life Extension Programs, and given that from a technical perspective, new design replacement warheads are unnecessary and are counterproductive to nonproliferation goals. As Bill Perry, George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn pointed out in their January 20 oped in The Wall Street Journal, a new independent report from the JASON scientific advisory group found that, “[L]ifetimes of today’s nuclear warheads could be extended for decades, with no anticipated loss in confidence.”

      New START critics have also complained that it will not provide an adequate verification system to ensure compliance. To the contrary, without the New START deal, there will be no verification at all. With START there will be an ongoing verification and monitoring system that more than adequately ensures compliance with its limitations, which will be different than the original START.

      These and other issues will be debated soon. If the treaty can be finalized within the next month, we can expect that the Senate will begin its consideration of the New START deal by April or May and hold a vote before July 1. Ratifying treaties is never easy, but if the Obama administration devotes high-level effort to this common sense next step, it will be approved this year.

      “Immediate and Aggressive” Action on the CTBT

      After the New START agreement, the Obama administration wants the Senate to take on the CTBT. While U.S. is approval of the CTBT is overdue, there is more work to get the job done.

      The Obama administration’s CTBT effort started off with well with the President pledging “immediate and aggressive” action to win Senate support for the treaty. In May, Vice-president Biden was tapped to play a lead role in the effort.

      The case for U.S. approval of the CTBT is stronger than ever. Since the CTBT was briefly considered by the U.S. Senate in 1999, there have been technical advances in the U.S. stockpile stewardship program and verification and monitoring capabilities that should address earlier concerns that led many Senators to vote “no.”

      For example, contrary to claims that “concerns about aging and reliability [of the U.S. arsenal] have only grown,” confidence in the ability to maintain U.S. warheads is increasing. Through the Stockpile Stewardship Program, which includes nuclear weapons surveillance and maintenance, non-nuclear and subcritical nuclear experiments, and increasingly sophisticated supercomputer modeling, each warhead type in the U.S. nuclear arsenal has been determined to be safe and reliable through a rigorous certification process each year since 1994.

      The 2002 National Academy of Sciences panel, which included three former nuclear weapons lab directors, found that the current Stockpile Stewardship Program provides the technical capabilities that are necessary to maintain confidence in the safety and reliability of the existing seven types of nuclear warheads in the active stockpile, "provided that adequate resources are made available...and are properly focused on this task."

      As a result, with or without the CTBT, it is highly unlikely that the United States will ever conduct another nuclear explosive test. There is neither the scientific need nor political will to do so. A growing list of bipartisan leaders agree that by ratifying the CTBT, the U.S. stands to gain an important constraint on the ability of other states to build new and more deadly nuclear weapons that could pose a threat to American security.

      As Sigfried Hecker, former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, recently put it: “the single most important reason to ratify the CTBT is to stop other countries from improving their arsenals.”

      For example, a new round of nuclear weapon test explosions would allow China to perfect smaller warhead designs and allow it to put multiple warheads on its relatively small arsenal of strategic ballistic missiles—a move that could allow it to increase its nuclear strike capability. Without nuclear weapon test explosions, potential nuclear-armed states like Iran would not be able to proof test the more advanced, smaller nuclear warhead designs that are needed in order to deliver such weapons using ballistic missiles.

      National and international capabilities to detect and deter possible clandestine nuclear testing by other states will be significantly greater with the CTBT in force, but U.S. ratification is essential to spur action by the eight other states whose ratification is required for entry into force. And of course, U.S. ratification of the CTBT will help build support for measures needed to strengthen the NPT.

      Through the course of 2009, we saw a number of prominent national security experts express their support for Senate approval of the CTBT, including former George H. W. Bush National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and former NNSA administrator Linton Brooks. It is a good list but it needs to grow longer.

      As of today there are at least 60 likely CTBT supporters in the Senate, putting the Obama administration within striking distance of a 2/3 majority.

      However, over the course of the past several months, the administration has focused on putting into motion technical studies by the National Academies of Science and the Intelligence Community that will help build the case for the treaty and it has delayed effort to launch a systematic and high-level effort to win the support of key Senators.

      As a result, the CTBT effort has fallen off pace and is now in jeopardy because of the slow pace of the New START negotiations and the crowded Congressional calendar. The White House nevertheless has an opportunity to increase it political engagement with the Senate on the CTBT.

      With a robust and well-funded nuclear weapons stockpile management plan and new technical reports that make it clear that the treaty can be verified with high confidence and the U.S. stockpile can be maintained effectively without the renewal of nuclear testing, the administration will have the tools it needs to make the case, but it needs to make the case and at a high-level.

      Even if the CTBT is not formally voted on this year, it is essential that the Obama administration secure the public support of a few additional Senators for the CTBT.

      U.S. allies, including Canada, also need to do their part by publicly expressing their strong desire for positive action toward ratification by Washington and other CTBT hold-out governments. This can have a powerful effect on both the White House and key Senators. In addition, it is important that Canada and other friends of the CTBT actively engage hold-out governments, including and most particularly China and India, to ratify the CTBT.

      The Nuclear Posture Review

      Even before START and the CTBT are before the Senate, President Obama will have a chance to advance the nuclear disarmament effort with his Nuclear Posture Review, which is now scheduled to be completed March 1.
      In our view the, NPR can and must effect transformational rather than incremental changes in U.S. nuclear weapons policy in at least four key areas.

      First, the NPR should recognize that maintaining a large nuclear arsenal dedicated to performing a wide range of missions is unnecessary and contrary to U.S. security interests. Incredibly, even after two post-Cold War NPRs, the United States retains thousands of nuclear warheads to deter a Russian nuclear attack, defend U.S. forces or allies against conventional attack, and counter chemical and biological threats.

      Given the U.S. conventional military edge and the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons, no plausible circumstance requires or could justify the use of nuclear weapons to deal with a non-nuclear threat, and they are useless in deterring or responding to nuclear terrorism.

      Accordingly, the new NPR should narrow the role of nuclear weapons to a core deterrence mission: maintaining a sufficient, survivable nuclear force for the sole purpose of deterring the use of nuclear weapons by another country against the United States or its allies. This would reinforce existing U.S. negative security assurances and significantly reduce the salience of nuclear weapons.

      Second, a core nuclear deterrence posture would allow the United States to reduce its nuclear inventory drastically, to no more than a few hundred deployed strategic warheads on a smaller triad of delivery systems within the next few years. To help engage Russia in talks to reduce its arsenal of tactical nuclear warheads, the NPR will open the way to a joint U.S.-NATO decision to withdraw the militarily obsolete stockpile of an estimated 200 U.S. tactical bombs from Europe.

      Some suggest that deep U.S. nuclear weapons reductions would lead certain U.S. allies, namely Japan and Turkey, to consider building their own nuclear arsenals. Such assertions exaggerate the role of “extended nuclear deterrence,” underestimate the role of U.S. conventional forces, and ignore the risks and costs of going nuclear.

      It is important for nations like Canada to counteract these myths and to make it clear that a reduction in the role and number of U.S. nuclear weapons would reinforce existing U.S. negative security assurances vis-à-vis non-nuclear-weapon states and support our positive security assurances to allies in the event of nuclear attack on them, which would further strengthen support for the NPT.

      Third, the NPR should eliminate the requirement and plans for rapid launch in response to a nuclear attack. As Obama noted during the campaign, “[K]eeping nuclear weapons ready to launch on a moment’s notice is a dangerous relic of the Cold War. Such policies increase the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation.” As president, he now has a chance to order changes to operational procedures that give the commander-in-chief far more time to consider his response to a nuclear attack or provocation and work with Russia to adopt a similar posture.

      Finally, Obama’s NPR should clarify his January 2009 pledge “not to authorize new nuclear weapons,” by stating that it is U.S. policy not to develop new-design warheads or modify existing warheads to create new military capabilities.

      Progress in each of these areas will be difficult but each is vital to reducing nuclear weapons dangers. If the United States, its allies, and its friends fail to significantly reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons and permanently ban nuclear testing, the global effort to stem the proliferation of nuclear weapons and prevent their use will falter.

      Description: 

      Remarks of Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, for the “Practical Steps to Zero Nuclear Weapons,”
      Ottawa, Canada

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