ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION
NEXT STEPS ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS THREAT REDUCTION
ACA ANNUAL MEETING
PANEL: NUCLEAR REDUCTIONS, NONPROLIFERATION, AND NUCLEAR SECURITY
DARYL G. KIMBALL,
ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION
FORMER LEAD U.S. NEGOTIATOR FOR 1991 START ACCORD;
NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
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
Federal News Service
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.