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January 19, 2011
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Arms Control Association Answers Questions About Bush-Putin Arms Talks

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For Immediate Release: May 13, 2002

Press Contacts: Daryl Kimball, (202) 463-8270 x 107; Philipp Bleek, (202) 463-8270 x 103; and Wade Boese, (202) 463-8270 x 104

(Washington, D.C.): Making his first visit to Russia since taking office, President George W. Bush will meet with his counterpart Vladimir Putin May 23-26 in Moscow and St. Petersburg. President Bush announced May 13 that the two sides have "agreed to a treaty which will substantially reduce our nuclear arsenals." The agreement is expected to be signed at the summit and will call upon the United States and Russia to reduce their nuclear forces to 1,700 to 2,200 deployed strategic warheads apiece.

What is likely to be agreed on nuclear forces? What will the likely agreement do? The Arms Control Association, an independent, nonprofit membership organization, answers these and other basic questions about the upcoming summit.

1.) What sorts of nuclear weapons do the United States and Russia currently field?

2.) How many nuclear weapons do the United States and Russia currently have?

3.) What agreements might Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin sign at their upcoming May 23-26 summit in Russia?

4.) What have the two countries proposed for the nuclear reductions agreement and what is the likely result?

5.) How does an agreement on strategic nuclear reductions relate to the threat posed by Russia's vulnerable weapons of mass destruction and related infrastructure?

6.) Does this possible agreement fulfill President George W. Bush's promise to move the United States and Russian relationship beyond "mutual assured destruction"?

7.) How does the nuclear arms agreement that Washington and Moscow are discussing compare to the reductions planned under previous arms control accords?

8.) Is it true that previous arms reductions treaties have not required the dismantlement of warheads removed from service?

9.) Reports indicate the United States and Russia have disagreed about "counting rules." What are counting rules, and why are they controversial?

10.) Will there be an agreement on missile defenses signed at the summit, particularly in light of the fact that the United States will formally withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty on June 13?

11.) Some analysts say that Russia's nuclear forces will decline no matter what. If that is true, why should the United States seek an agreement with Russia?

12.) U.S. and Russian officials are seeking a legally binding agreement that would be submitted to each side's legislature for approval. President Bush said it will be a treaty. What were the options under consideration?


1.) What sorts of nuclear weapons do the United States and Russia currently field?

The United States and Russia both deploy nuclear weapons that fall into two general categories: strategic and tactical. Strategic weapons generally consist of more powerful nuclear warheads deployed on long-range delivery systems (missiles, submarines, and bombers) capable of striking the other side's territory. Tactical nuclear weapons, which generally incorporate less powerful nuclear warheads deployed on shorter-range delivery systems, are intended for battlefield use and are deployed today in far fewer numbers than they were during the Cold War.

2.) How many nuclear weapons do the United States and Russia currently have?

The United States currently deploys approximately 6,000 strategic nuclear warheads on its strategic triad of land-based missiles, submarines, and bombers, according to START I counting rules. (See question 8 for more on counting rules.) It is estimated that the United States deploys over 1,000 tactical nuclear weapons and more than 5,000 total nuclear weapons in reserve stockpiles.

Russia currently deploys an estimated 5,500 strategic nuclear warheads on its strategic triad of land-based missiles, submarines, and bombers. Russia deploys an estimated 4,000 tactical nuclear weapons and is believed to stockpile more than 13,000 strategic and tactical nuclear warheads.


3.) What agreements might Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin sign at their upcoming May 23-26 summit in Russia?

The United States and Russia are currently working on at least two documents on security issues for the upcoming summit. One document, which will take the form of a treaty or executive-legislative agreement (see question 13), will set out legally binding U.S. and Russian commitments to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear arsenals to 1,700-2,200 warheads apiece. The second document will likely be much broader in scope and will cover the so-called "new strategic framework" between the two sides. This document, which will likely be politically but not legally binding, will address other security and arms control issues aside from strategic reductions, such as nonproliferation, counterproliferation, anti-terrorism, and missile defenses.


4.) What have the two countries proposed for the nuclear reductions agreement and what is the likely result?

Initially, the Bush administration proposed that the United States and Russia reduce their deployed strategic arsenals without an agreement. For its part, Washington volunteered to reduce the number of strategic warheads deployed on its ICBMs, submarines, and bombers to 1,700-2,200 and encouraged Moscow to do the same. Russia, however, called for a formal agreement and recommended that future deployed strategic warheads number no more than 1,500-2,200.

On February 5, 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced the United States had agreed to negotiate a "legally binding" agreement. The two countries have now reportedly settled on the proposed U.S. range of 1,700-2,200 deployed strategic warheads as the target level. U.S. officials have proposed that the reductions be completed by 2012.

In the negotiations, Russia has sought to limit the size and deployment readiness of warheads removed from service, including calling for their dismantlement. Moscow's intent is to limit the ability of either side to quickly redeploy the warheads after they have been removed from their respective delivery systems.

The United States has opposed the Russian proposal. Instead, Washington is planning to store rather than dismantle warheads removed from their delivery vehicles under the agreement, although it has said it will dismantle some warheads and their delivery vehicles. The Bush administration says it wants the flexibility to quickly redeploy warheads in the future to respond to new threats or to guard against a change in strategic relations, e.g. a more hostile relationship with Russia or a growing Chinese threat. To facilitate this flexibility, the Bush administration plans to keep at least 2,400 of the warheads removed under the agreement in a so-called "responsive force," which would mean keeping the warheads in a state that would permit them to be redeployed within weeks, months, or years. This would enable the United States to deploy a total of 4,600 strategic warheads within three years of completion of the agreement's reductions in 2012 if it chose to do so. In addition, the United States will keep several thousand more warheads in lower stages of readiness that could also be redeployed over a longer period of time.

If the United States maintains substantial nuclear reserves, Russia has said it will do the same.

Tactical nuclear weapons do not appear to have been discussed in the current negotiations, and neither side has made public plans to reduce deployed or stockpiled tactical nuclear forces.


5.) How does an agreement on strategic nuclear reductions relate to the threat posed by Russia's vulnerable weapons of mass destruction and related infrastructure?

If the United States maintains substantial warhead reserves, as currently planned, Russia is likely to do the same. But Russia's nuclear complex is far less secure than the United States', so stockpiled weapons and weapons components, including fissile material, pose a substantial, long-term proliferation threat. The United States currently funds programs that help upgrade security at vulnerable Russian nuclear complex sites, but those programs have not yet fully secured many sites viewed as potential proliferation risks. There are significant concerns that terrorists or rogue states could steal or buy nuclear weapons or weapons-usable materials from Russia's vast nuclear weapons complex, which reportedly has enough nuclear material available for building another 40,000 nuclear weapons.


6.) Does this possible agreement fulfill President George W. Bush's promise to move the U.S. and Russian relationship beyond "mutual assured destruction"?

No. While the removal of more than 4,000 strategic warheads from their delivery vehicles over the next decade is a welcome step, the United States and Russia will continue to deploy approximately 2,000 strategic warheads each-more than enough warheads for either country to inflict total destruction on the other. This reality is further compounded by the fact that both countries will likely maintain several thousand warheads that could be redeployed and targeted against each other.

Although President Bush has said that the United States should no longer size its nuclear arsenal relative to that of Russia, the Bush administration's retention of thousands of nuclear warheads reveals that this is not the case. No other possible scenarios could warrant the retention of thousands of nuclear warheads except for the mirroring of Russian force levels. In its recent nuclear posture review, the Bush administration stated, "In the event that U.S. relations with Russia significantly worsen in the future, the U.S. may need to revise its nuclear force levels and posture."


7.) How does the nuclear arms agreement that Washington and Moscow are discussing compare to the reductions planned under previous arms control accords?

The 1991 START I deal, which was negotiated by President George H. W. Bush and fully implemented by the United States and Russia last December, limits the two countries to 6,000 deployed strategic warheads each.

The 1993 START II deal, which was signed in the final weeks of the previous Bush administration, called for the reduction of deployed strategic warheads for the United States and Russia from 6,000 warheads each to 3,000-3,500 warheads apiece. The treaty called for these reductions to be completed by 2007. START II, however, has never entered into force and now appears unlikely to do so in the future.

In 1997, Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin agreed to a framework for START III negotiations that included a limit of 2,000-2,500 deployed strategic weapons and "measures relating to the transparency of strategic nuclear warhead inventories and the destruction of strategic nuclear warheads…to promote the irreversibility of deep reductions including prevention of a rapid increase in the number of warheads." START III negotiations were supposed to begin after START II entered into force, which is unlikely to occur.

The Bush administration has suggested counting rules for the agreement currently under negotiation with Russia that would make the proposed 1,700-2,200 limit roughly comparable to the proposed START III limits. For example, the Bush administration does not want to count missiles deployed with submarines undergoing overhaul in port, which the START agreements counted as deployed weapons.


8.) Is it true that previous arms reductions treaties have not required the dismantlement of warheads removed from service?

START I and START II did not require the dismantlement of warheads removed from operational service, but the treaties did require the destruction of delivery vehicles (missiles, submarines, and bombers) removed from service, significantly reducing the ability of either side to quickly redeploy reserve warheads.

The Bush administration, however, says it plans to preserve some delivery vehicles, which would allow warheads removed from service to be quickly redeployed if the United States opts to increase the number of its weapons systems ready for action. By mandating the destruction of delivery vehicles, the START agreements made it more difficult for a country to quickly add to its deployed force level, providing confidence to both the United States and Russia that neither would face a dramatic increase in the other's forces that could jeopardize its own security.


9.) Reports indicate the United States and Russia have disagreed about "counting rules"? What are counting rules and why are they controversial?

How weapons are counted determines the actual impact on deployed forces of any agreement. Russia has sought START I-style counting rules in which warheads are counted according to the maximum capacity of deployed delivery vehicles-missiles, bombers, and submarines. The United States has sought to count only "operationally deployed" strategic warheads, i.e. those warheads that could actually be used shortly after a decision to do so.

Under the U.S. proposal, a missile capable of carrying ten warheads, but deployed with only one, would be counted as one warhead under the agreement. The U.S. proposal would give both sides far more flexibility, since warheads removed from delivery vehicles to meet the agreement's limits could be rapidly redeployed on those delivery vehicles. And without intrusive transparency measures it would be difficult to verify that each side was only arming each missile with the exact number of warheads that it was declaring. This could cause greater uncertainty about how many warheads the other side is actually deploying, lessening the predictability and stability afforded by an arms control agreement.


10.) Will there be an agreement on missile defenses signed at the summit, particularly in light of the fact that the United States will formally withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty on June 13?

President Putin has pressed for limits on future U.S. strategic missile defense deployments, but the Bush administration has said it will not accept constraints on its missile defense programs. The expected summit outcomes on missile defense will likely be minimal. There may be a joint statement outlining possible opportunities for future cooperation on theater missile defenses and possibly a U.S. declaration that its proposed strategic missile defenses are not directed at Russia and do not threaten Moscow's deterrent, even at the proposed lower force levels of 1,700-2,200 deployed strategic warheads.


11.) Some analysts say that Russia's nuclear forces will decline no matter what. If that is true, why should the United States seek an agreement with Russia?

The size of Russia's deployed strategic nuclear arsenal is declining, in large part due to the country's financial woes. This process is likely to accelerate as existing forces reach the end of their service lives in the coming decade. However, Russia could decide to allocate more funds to maintaining its strategic forces, if it deems this a sufficient priority. In addition, Russia could field its remaining forces in ways that undermine U.S. security. For example, it could continue to field destabilizing multiple-warhead land-based missiles, limit bilateral transparency initiatives, and maintain weapons on high alert despite deteriorating early warning systems, thereby increasing the chance of an accidental or mistaken launch.


12.) U.S. and Russian officials are seeking a legally binding agreement that would be submitted to each side's legislature for approval. President Bush said it will be a treaty. What were the options under consideration?

On May 13, President Bush said the agreement would be in treaty form.

There are two types of legally binding international agreements that can be submitted to the U.S. Congress for approval: executive-legislative agreements and treaties. The two options are considered the same under international law, but vary in their domestic approval mechanisms.

An executive-legislative agreement must be approved by a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. If the two bodies attach different conditions to their approval of the agreement, the two bodies would need to hold negotiations to iron out their differences.

A treaty must be submitted to the Senate for "advice and consent" by a two-thirds majority. Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Jesse Helms (R-NC), the ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote a March 15 letter to the president voicing their preference for a treaty.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.

For more information on the Bush-Putin summit visit the Association Web site at www.armscontrol.org.

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Media Advisory

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Nuclear Experts Blast Idea of Arming Missile Interceptors With Nuclear Warheads

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For Immediate Release: April 17, 2002

Contacts: Daryl Kimball, 202-463-8270 x 107 or Wade Boese, 202-463-8270 x 104

(Washington, D.C.): A senior Pentagon advisory body tasked with exploring various missile defense options will consider the possibility of arming future missile interceptors with nuclear warheads, according to an article appearing last week in The Washington Post. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who shutdown the sole U.S. nuclear-armed defense in 1976 when he served under President Gerald Ford, has reportedly urged the Pentagon's Defense Science Board to revisit the concept.

Independent arms control and nuclear weapons experts denounced the possibility, warning that such a defense would do much more harm than good to U.S. commercial, diplomatic, and military interests.

"Arming missile defense interceptors with nuclear warheads will almost certainly create more problems than it will solve," said Steve Fetter, a physicist at the University of Maryland who served as special assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for international security policy during the first Clinton administration.

One problem Fetter noted is that employing nuclear-armed interceptors would actually impair the U.S. ability to defend against missile attacks. "High-altitude nuclear explosions would blind the radars and infrared sensors that track incoming warheads," he stated.

Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky, a physicist and director emeritus at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, agreed with Fetter about the technical problems of using nuclear-armed interceptors, observing that nuclear explosions in space would "blackout communications on Earth within line of sight and produce long-lasting lethal effects on satellites."

Prior to entry into force of the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits nuclear testing in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water, U.S. nuclear testing in space disrupted U.S. civilian radio and television signals and crippled some U.S. reconnaissance and communications satellites. Panofsky pointed out that a late 1950s series of small nuclear test explosions in space "generated interference with radio astronomy for a decade."

"Designing and deploying nuclear-armed interceptors would require new warheads to be tested, which would contradict the Bush administration's claim of supporting the U.S. nuclear test moratorium that has been in effect since 1992," said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. U.S. pursuit of nuclear-armed interceptors would most likely require testing that would violate the Limited Test Ban Treaty as well.

John Rhinelander, who served as the legal adviser on the U.S. SALT I delegation, cautioned that a Bush decision to develop nuclear-armed interceptors would "raise hackles around the world and be interpreted by some nations, most notably China, as further evidence of U.S. intentions to dominate space."

The Pentagon's exploration of nuclear-armed interceptors is also "an implicit admission by the Pentagon that it's concerned about whether current U.S. missile defense programs based on hit-to-kill technology can work effectively, particularly against incoming warheads with decoys and countermeasures," declared Rhinelander.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.

 


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Media Advisory

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U.S. Implementation of the "13 Practical Steps on Nonproliferation and Disarmament" Agreed to at the 2000 NPT Review Conference

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April 4, 2002

Press Contacts: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107 Paul Kerr, Research Analyst, (202) 463-8270 x102

In 1995 and 2000, when the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) was under review, the nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states recognized that to preserve the objective of global nuclear nonproliferation, the nuclear-weapon states needed to reiterate and update their NPT Article VI disarmament commitments. On the basis of their May 1995 agreement to strengthen the treaty review process and pursue specific principles and objectives for nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, the nuclear and non-nuclear NPT states-parties reached consensus to indefinitely extend the NPT. In May 2000, the nuclear-weapon states reaffirmed this approach by agreeing to a 13-point program of action on disarmament steps related to Article VI. This month, as delegates from over 100 states gather in New York for the first meeting on the NPT since the 2000 review conference, they will find that very little progress has been achieved toward these and other nuclear security objectives.

For an overview of the NPT, see www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/nptfact.asp. For the full text of the 2000 NPT review conference final document, see www.armscontrol.org/act/2000_06/docjun.asp.

The following are the 13 "practical steps" outlined in the 2000 NPT review conference final document (shown in italics) and a brief analysis of progress made toward their implementation.

1. Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

The importance and urgency of signature and ratification, without delay and without conditions and in accordance with constitutional processes, to achieve the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

  • Opened for signature in 1996, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) prohibits all nuclear weapon test explosions. For the treaty to enter into force, 44 countries designated as "nuclear-capable states" must ratify the agreement. Of those 44, three-India, Pakistan, and North Korea-have not signed the treaty and another ten, including the United States and China, have signed, but not ratified, the accord. Although 34 countries-including Russia and Ukraine, two of the 44 nuclear-capable states-completed treaty ratification since the 2000 NPT review conference, the treaty is unlikely to enter into force soon, particularly since the Bush administration has said it does not plan to ask the Senate to reconsider its October 1999 rejection of U.S. ratification of the treaty.

 

2. Nuclear Test Moratorium

A moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending entry into force of that Treaty.

  • No country has tested a nuclear weapon since India and Pakistan conducted their nuclear tests in May 1998. While the Bush administration claims it does not foresee a need to conduct a nuclear test in the near term, it has also not ruled out future U.S. nuclear testing. A congressionally established panel recommended in March 2002 that the United States reduce to between three months and one year the amount of time needed to prepare for and conduct a nuclear test after a decision to do so. Current U.S. test readiness is a two to three year period. The Bush administration has asked Congress to fund work to study modifying existing U.S. nuclear weapons for new military missions, which the administration claims would not require nuclear testing. And the administration has also expressed interest in developing new types of nuclear weapons, which would likely require nuclear tests.

3. Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty

The necessity of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the statement of the Special Coordinator in 1995 and the mandate contained therein, taking into consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work, which includes the immediate commencement of negotiations on such a treaty with a view to their conclusion within five years.

  • A 66-member body that works by consensus, the Conference on Disarmament (CD) has not started negotiations on a fissile material cutoff treaty, which would ban production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for weapons purposes. Member countries, including the United States and Russia, are considering a work program proposal that would include establishing a CD ad hoc committee to negotiate such a treaty, but China does not support the proposal because it does not include parallel negotiations on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. The United States opposes negotiations on outer space, although it would be willing to discuss, not negotiate on, the subject. This standoff has stalemated the conference, which has not held any treaty negotiations except for a couple of weeks in August 1998, since the CD completed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996.

4. Nuclear Disarmament Discussions

The necessity of establishing in the Conference on Disarmament an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work which includes the immediate establishment of such a body.

  • The current work program proposal under consideration by the CD to negotiate a treaty banning production of fissile material also includes setting up a CD subsidiary body to "exchange information and views" on practical steps toward nuclear disarmament. While many conference members favor negotiations on the issue, it is clear that they would be willing to accept the current offer to hold talks on the subject. This proposal, if eventually approved, would satisfy the NPT review conference's call "to deal with," not negotiate on, the issue of nuclear disarmament. However, beginning such talks hinges on the conference finding an acceptable approach to addressing the outer space issue.

5. Irreversibility of Nuclear Reductions

The principle of irreversibility to apply to nuclear disarmament, nuclear and other related arms control and reduction measures.

  • In its latest proposal on a "legally binding agreement" to reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear arms to 1,700-2,200 deployed strategic warheads each by 2012, the Bush administration has rejected the principle of irreversibility in favor of flexibility. Briefing reporters in Geneva on March 22, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton said the United States wants the final U.S.-Russian agreement to include a mechanism that would permit either country to exceed agreed limits on the number of deployed strategic warheads if they notified the other. In addition, the Bush administration is now planning to store rather than destroy most of the warheads removed from delivery vehicles. In keeping with this plan, the Bush administration will keep enough warheads in a "responsive force" to enable the United States to deploy an additional 2,400 strategic nuclear weapons within a three-year period after completing the reductions called for by the proposed U.S.-Russian agreement. While past strategic reduction agreements between the two countries did not require the destruction of actual warheads, the agreements did call for destruction of delivery vehicles. Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin agreed in March 1997 to pursue "measures relating to…the destruction of strategic nuclear warheads," as part of a START III framework. The Bush administration does not support such an approach in the current talks with Russia.

6. Elimination of Nuclear Arsenals

An unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article VI.

  • At the 2000 NPT review conference, the nuclear-weapon states pledged themselves unequivocally to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons. Under Article VI of the NPT, nuclear-weapon states are legally bound "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." Mexican Ambassador Antonio de Icaza heralded the 2000 NPT statement, declaring, "What has always been implicit has now become explicit."
  • Bush administration officials contend that the United States supports the NPT and that "it understands its special responsibility under Article VI." At the upcoming meeting, U.S. officials will likely highlight President Bush's effort to secure an agreement to reduce U.S. and Russian strategic deployed nuclear arsenals to no more than 2,200 by 2012. However, the administration plans to store most of the warheads rather than destroy them in future strategic reductions that are currently being discussed with Russia, moving Washington away from the weapons-elimination pledge. In addition, the recently completed U.S. nuclear posture review projects that the United States will retain nuclear weapons for the indefinite future. China also reportedly has a strategic modernization effort underway to expand the size of its current nuclear arsenal.

7. The START II, START III, and ABM Treaties

The early entry into force and full implementation of START II and the conclusion of START III as soon as possible while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons, in accordance with its provisions.

  • The Bush administration has taken actions that are in direction opposition to the above-stated goals. By pursuing an agreement with Russia to reduce deployed strategic nuclear warheads to a level of 1,700-2,200 apiece, the United States has signaled it will not seek entry into force of the START II treaty or to negotiate a START III treaty as outlined by then-Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin in March 1997. In setting the START process aside, the United States and Russia will not be obligated to give up multiple warheads (MIRVs) on missiles, as called for by START II, and the United States is not seeking actual destruction of warheads as proposed under the START III framework.
  • After pledging to offer Russia amendments to modify the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty during the 2000 presidential campaign, President George W. Bush did not do so, and he announced on December 13, 2001 his intention to withdraw from the treaty, which prohibits Washington and Moscow from building nationwide strategic missile defense systems. Unless President Bush decides to reverse his decision, the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty will occur on June 13 and the treaty will no longer be in force.

8. Securing Excess Nuclear Material

The completion and implementation of the Trilateral Initiative between the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

  • Started in 1996 between the United States, Russia, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Trilateral Initiative seeks to develop methods for the IAEA to secure and verify the peaceful status of excess weapons-grade nuclear material in the United States and Russia. Progress has been made in developing technical criteria and other arrangements for a model verification system, and both Washington and Moscow have already identified at which storage facilities the IAEA will monitor their respective excess plutonium, ensuring it is not returned to military use. Still unresolved are issues over the scope of the verification system, exact specifications for material subject to verification, and the duration of the verification measures.

9. Other Nuclear-Weapon States' Actions

Steps by all the nuclear-weapon States leading to nuclear disarmament in a way that promotes international stability, and based on the principle of undiminished security for all:

- Further efforts by the nuclear-weapon States to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally

  • The Bush administration originally proposed that U.S.-Russian deployed strategic warhead reductions be undertaken unilaterally, but Russia has insisted they be accomplished through a legally binding, bilateral agreement. On February 5, 2002 Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed this general approach, which President Bush later affirmed. Since the 2000 NPT review conference, no nuclear-weapon state has reduced its arsenal, and China is actually pursuing a strategic modernization program that the U.S. intelligence community recently said could result in an increase in the number of warheads China deploys on long-range ballistic missiles, from approximately 20 today to 75 to 100 by 2015.

- Increased transparency by the nuclear-weapon States with regard to the nuclear weapons capabilities and the implementation of agreements pursuant to Article VI and as a voluntary confidence-building measure to support further progress on nuclear disarmament

  • The United States and Russia have pledged that their planned deployed strategic nuclear reductions will be done in a transparent and verifiable way, although they have not yet reached agreement on the details.

- The further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons, based on unilateral initiatives and as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process

  • On September 27, 1991, President George H. W. Bush announced that the United States would eliminate all of its ground-launched nonstrategic nuclear weapons and withdraw all of its tactical nuclear weapons from U.S. naval ships and submarines, as well as all nuclear weapons associated with land-based naval aircraft. He also asked Soviet leaders to reciprocate, which the Kremlin pledged to do on October 5, 1991. While it is believed that Moscow followed through on withdrawing its deployed tactical nuclear weapons to Russia, these actions have not been verified. Currently, the United States deploys approximately 1,700 nonstrategic nuclear weapons, while Russia deploys an estimated 3,600 and retains several thousand more nondeployed tactical nuclear weapons.
  • Russia dismissed allegations in early 2001 that it had deployed tactical nuclear weapons in its Kaliningrad Oblast, which sits on the Baltic Sea between Poland and Lithuania. The United States still deploys some 200-600 tactical nuclear gravity bombs in seven European countries as part of its NATO obligations. In its April 1999 strategic concept, NATO described the nuclear forces based in Europe as "an essential political and military link between the European and North American members of the Alliance."
  • While the proposed 1997 START III framework called for Moscow and Washington to explore measures on tactical nuclear weapons, neither the United States nor Russia has made the issue a priority.

- Concrete agreed measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems

  • While campaigning for president in May 2000, Bush said the United States "should remove as many weapons as possible from high alert, hair-trigger status." Bush's stated goal of reducing the number of operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads by 2012 will effectively reduce the alert status of a large portion of the U.S. arsenal, although the administration has indicated that many of the warheads scheduled for retirement could be redeployed within "weeks" or "months." The U.S. military is considered capable of launching thousands of nuclear warheads within minutes of being informed of a decision to do so by the president. Russia is believed to have a similar capability.

- A diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies to minimize the risk that these weapons ever be used and to facilitate the process of their total elimination

  • The Bush administration claims that its January 2002 nuclear posture review seeks to reduce U.S. dependence on nuclear weapons, but the posture review asserts that nuclear weapons are needed to assure U.S. allies of U.S. security commitments; to dissuade hostile countries from pursuing weapons of mass destruction capabilities; to deter enemies from attacking U.S. territory, forces, or friends and allies; and to defeat adversaries decisively. The nuclear posture review also calls for new nuclear weapon capabilities to attack hard and deeply-buried targets, to attack mobile and relocatable targets, to defeat chemical and biological weapons agents, and to improve accuracy and limit collateral damage. With its emphasis on preserving flexibility in sizing its nuclear forces and refurbishing and revitalizing the U.S. nuclear infrastructure, the Bush administration is signaling that nuclear weapons are considered essential and that the United States intends to keep them long into the future.
  • State Department spokesman Richard Boucher reiterated past U.S. negative security assurance pledges in a statement made on February 22, 2002, in which he said, "The United States reaffirms that it will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon state-parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an invasion or any other attack on the United States, its territories, its armed forces or other troops, its allies, or on a state toward which it has a security commitment carried out, or sustained by such a non-nuclear-weapon state in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon state."
  • The credibility of this pledge was undermined, however, by subsequent statements by administration officials responding to reports about the nuclear posture review. On March 22, Secretary of State Powell said, "For those nations that are developing these kinds of weapons of mass destruction, it does not seem to us to be a bad thing for them to look out from their little countries and their little capitals and see a United States that has a full range of options…to defend the United States of America, the American people, our way of life, and our friends and allies."
  • In recent years, Russia has also underscored an increasing reliance on its nuclear forces as compensation for its declining conventional force capabilities, and China has a strategic modernization plan underway.

- The engagement as soon as appropriate of all the nuclear-weapon States in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons

  • The United States and Russia have thus far confined their negotiations on nuclear weapons reductions to themselves. Other nuclear-weapon states have indicated that they will not enter into such talks until the U.S. and Russian arsenals drop to a level comparable with theirs, which each remain in the low hundreds.

10. Excess Fissile Material

Arrangements by all nuclear-weapon States to place, as soon as practicable, fissile material designated by each of them as no longer required for military purposes under IAEA or other relevant international verification and arrangements for the disposition of such material for peaceful purposes, to ensure that such material remains permanently outside of military programmes.

  • The United States, Russia, and the IAEA are working on developing a model verification regime for the storage of fissile material declared in excess to security needs. This agreement, called the Trilateral Initiative, would safeguard fissile material to ensure that it is not used for military purposes. Additionally, Washington and Moscow are continuing their "HEU Deal," under which a private company in the United States purchases Russian fissile material for use in U.S. power reactors. Under the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, the United States is also helping Moscow safely secure fissile material located in Russia. Additionally, the Bush administration announced on January 23 that it would continue implementing a U.S.-Russian agreement that would make 34 metric tons of military plutonium in each country unusable for weapons purposes.
  • Although France and Britain have committed not to produce additional fissile material, they have not come to agreement on the disposition of their stockpiles and have not engaged the IAEA in securing their respective excess material. China, which has a strategic modernization program under way that U.S. intelligence estimates say could substantially increase the number of deployed Chinese warheads, may actually be increasing its stockpile of weapons-grade fissile material.

11. General and Complete Disarmament

Reaffirmation that the ultimate objective of the efforts of States in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control.

  • While progress in nuclear disarmament has been slow, efforts to eliminate chemical, biological, and conventional weapons have also been dragging. The United States in July 2001 rejected a draft verification protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention and five months later called for the international community to abandon the existing process to strengthen the accord. A number of countries are believed to have or are pursuing chemical and biological weapons programs. And the total value of the global conventional arms trade has increased over the past three years to total $36 billion in new arms agreements in 2000, according to an August 2001 Congressional Research Service report.

12. Regular Reports on Disarmament Progress

Regular reports, within the framework of the NPT strengthened review process, by all States parties on the implementation of Article VI and paragraph 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament," and recalling the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996.

  • This statement at the NPT review conference marked the first time that the nuclear-weapon states committed to regular reporting on their implementation of Article VI. Since 1995, all five nuclear-weapon states have voluntarily provided reports on their progress toward implementing nuclear disarmament obligations. The 2002 meeting is expected to yield an agreement on how official reporting should be carried out.

13. Verification

The further development of the verification capabilities that will be required to provide assurance of compliance with nuclear disarmament agreements for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

  • Verification is one of the most crucial aspects of international arms control and disarmament treaties. In recent years, NPT states-parties have sought to strengthen safeguards through a proposal called the "93+2 Program." Created in response to the IAEA's inability to detect Iraqi and North Korean clandestine nuclear weapons programs, the proposal seeks to increase transparency among member states and employ newly developed verification techniques, such as environmental sampling, while substantially shortening the time period required before an inspection could take place. These provisions were intended to be in place by 1995, but many were delayed, causing them to be divided into two parts. With regard to the first part, the IAEA has adopted no-notice inspections and environmental sampling as part of its verification measures. The second part requires countries to approve the Additional Safeguards Protocol, which calls for increased IAEA inspection authority, greater transparency, and exchanges of information among member-states. To date, 61 countries, including all of the nuclear-weapon states, have either signed the additional protocol or come to agreement with the IAEA over the protocol.
  • The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is effectively verifiable through a treaty-sanctioned global monitoring and verification system as well as national intelligence means and civilian seismic detection networks. However, the treaty has not yet entered into force, and the preparatory commission for the CTBT Organization (CTBTO) is working to establish an international monitoring system (IMS) to detect any nuclear tests and explosions. Despite the United States' lack of support for the CTBT, the United States continues to pay 95 percent of its annual dues to the CTBTO to support the establishment of the IMS. However, the United States declared in August 2001 that it would not provide financial or technical support for on-site inspections related to the treaty.
  • U.S. and Russian reductions under the START I treaty have been recently completed and fully verified under a system of intrusive inspections and information exchanges. The United States and Russia have said that they would like to use START I verification provisions to verify compliance with the strategic arms agreement currently under negotiation, although a senior U.S. official recently said the United States has offered suggestions to reduce the "burdensomeness of some of the inspections." START I is due to expire in 2009 unless extended by the treaty parties.

 

 
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Bush Nuclear Weapons Policies Jeopardizing Nonproliferation Regime

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Key Meeting on Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Begins April 8

For Immediate Release: April 4, 2002

Contact: Daryl Kimball, (202) 463-8270 x 107

(Washington, D.C.): On April 8, the members of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) will meet to discuss and review implementation of the 1968 treaty, which calls on the United States, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom to work toward giving up their nuclear weapons. In exchange, the 182 non-nuclear treaty members agree to forego nuclear weapons.

This marks the first meeting on the treaty since the 2000 NPT review conference, where the nuclear-weapon states pledged themselves to an "unequivocal undertaking" to eliminate their nuclear arsenals and all of the 187 NPT states-parties reached consensus on a final document, which laid out 13 "practical steps" for the nuclear-weapon states to take to move toward fulfilling their nuclear disarmament obligations in Article VI of the treaty.

Since then, the nuclear states have made little progress in realizing these 13 steps. In fact, the Bush administration has pursued policies, such as withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, shelving-at least for now-the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and rejecting irreversible nuclear force reductions, which contradict most of the agreed steps.

"The NPT is crucial to international security because it makes the production and acquisition of nuclear weapons technically challenging and widely unacceptable," says Ambassador George Bunn, who served on the original U.S. negotiating team for the treaty. "But the NPT does not simply aim to maintain the nuclear status quo. Article VI of the NPT requires that the original five nuclear-weapon states pursue effective nuclear disarmament measures. Until now, U.S. leaders have recognized that to preserve the objective of global nonproliferation, the nuclear-weapon states need to respect and act on their disarmament commitments," Bunn notes.

"While other nuclear-weapon states can and should be faulted for their inaction on nuclear arms control and disarmament, the Bush administration has pursued a set of policies that contradict that goal," said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. "Rather than reducing U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons, the Bush administration has extended and reaffirmed their central role in U.S. security policy."

"The Bush administration's do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do nuclear weapons policies contradict the United States' NPT commitments and jeopardize the future of the treaty," warned Kimball. "To win international support for efforts to denuclearize Iraq and North Korea and strengthen safeguards to ensure compliance with the treaty, the U.S. must pursue, not postpone, its disarmament obligations. To work, the NPT requires good faith implementation by all states."

For a summary on implementation of the 13 steps, see www.armscontrol.org/aca/npt13steps.asp

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.

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Bush Administration Undermines Efforts to Disarm North Korea: Notice to Congress Is Latest in Series of Missteps

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For Immediate Release: March 21, 2002

Contacts: Daryl Kimball, 202-463-8270 x 107 or Alex Wagner, 202-463-8270 x 102

(Washington, D.C.): The Bush administration will reportedly inform Congress that it cannot guarantee that North Korea is abiding by the terms of the Agreed Framework, which has frozen Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons program since 1994. This would be the first time that the United States has not certified the country as being in compliance with the landmark agreement.

U.S. law requires the president to certify each year that North Korea is fully complying with the Agreed Framework before Congress can fund implementation of the accord. Despite the lack of certification, the Bush administration will likely tell Congress that it is in the United States' national security interests to continue to fulfill U.S. obligations under the framework, including the funding of heavy-fuel oil shipments to North Korea for its energy needs.

"The Bush administration's noncertification decision may undercut prospects for a resumption of U.S.-North Korean talks to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs while further damaging South Korea's rapprochement with Pyongyang," said Alex Wagner, the nonproliferation analyst at the Arms Control Association.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has determined that North Korea has frozen its nuclear program since signing the agreement, and Secretary of State Colin Powell stated at a February Senate hearing that North Korea has "stay[ed] within the KEDO agreement," another term for the Agreed Framework. But the administration is now set to charge that Pyongyang is withholding full cooperation from the IAEA and not implementing the 1991 North-South Joint Declaration on Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, under which North and South Korea agreed not to develop, receive, test, or use nuclear weapons.

Under the Agreed Framework, North Korea must grant IAEA inspectors the right to visit any suspected nuclear-related site so that the agency can fully account for how much nuclear material North Korea produced before 1994 and determine whether it is hiding any such material today. However, the agreement does not require North Korea to provide such access until a "significant portion" of the first of two light-water nuclear power reactors promised in the Agreed Framework has been completed—a milestone the United States acknowledges has not yet been reached. The administration is pressing North Korea to open up to comprehensive IAEA inspections now, but Pyongyang has resisted, citing construction delays on the reactors.

"Prompt initiation of inspections is important in order to avoid further delays, though the Agreed Framework does not yet require North Korea to admit the IAEA inspectors. But if the Bush administration is interested in results, it should actively support for the Agreed Framework and not jeopardize its implementation," stated Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

"The Bush administration's noncertification action may play well in some Washington political circles, but it will only further complicate prospects for a renewed dialogue and make the achievement of U.S. nonproliferation objectives in the region more difficult," Kimball said.

Certification of North Korean compliance with the Agreed Framework is only one element required under the 2002 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act. The act also requires Pyongyang to continue implementation of the terms of the North-South Korean Joint Declaration on Denuclearization—to which the United States is not a party—and that the United States make "significant progress" on eliminating North Korea's indigenous missile program and missile exports.

"Ironically, the administration, which last year abandoned the Clinton administration's promising initiative on a permanent North Korean missile ban and this year named it part of the 'axis of evil,' shares responsibility for the recent lack of progress in resolving the proliferation problems cited in its noncertification notice," Kimball added.

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Arms Control Today Interview With Undersecretary John Bolton Available

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Bolton Questions Value of Past Negative Nuclear Security Pledges; Acknowledges U.S. Never Offered Specific Proposals to Amend the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

For Immediate Release: February 20, 2002

Contacts: Daryl Kimball, 202-463-8270 x 107 or Wade Boese, 202-463-8270 x 104

(Washington, D.C.) On February 11, Arms Control Today interviewed John R. Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, about the Bush administration's strategic nuclear policy, its ongoing negotiations with Russia, and its approach to nonproliferation. In the interview, Bolton questioned the value of long-standing U.S. commitments limiting the circumstances under which the United States would use nuclear weapons and acknowledged that the Bush administration never offered Russia amendments to the ABM Treaty. The following are highlights from the interview.

Bolton Dismissive of U.S. Negative Security Commitments
Arms Control Today asked Bolton if the Bush administration would stand by the United States' 24-year-old commitment not to use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear-weapon state unless that state attacks the United States in alliance with a state that has nuclear weapons.

Bolton replied, "I don't think we're of the view that this kind of approach is necessarily the most productive. … The point is that the kind of rhetorical approach that you are describing doesn't seem to me to be terribly helpful in analyzing what our security needs may be in the real world, and what we are doing, instead of chit-chatting, is making changes in our force structures that we're making in a very transparent fashion."

Bolton's statement is significant because it suggests that the Bush administration might reverse a commitment the United States first made in 1978 and reaffirmed in 1995 to help strengthen the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which the Bush administration has said that it supports. The NPT allows Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States to have nuclear weapons but prohibits all others from developing them. Under the NPT, the five nuclear-weapon states agreed to pursue steps toward nuclear disarmament and to share peaceful nuclear technology.

Seeking to win support for an indefinite extension of the NPT at a 1995 treaty review conference, the United States, as well as the other nuclear-weapon states, gave additional assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states that nuclear weapons would not be used against them. These pledges to not use nuclear weapons against states that do not have them were ultimately a significant factor in winning consensus for indefinite extension. If the Bush administration appears to be reneging on these assurances, it could negatively affect support for the NPT.

Bush Did Not Offer Russians Amendments to the ABM Treaty, As Had Been Promised
Bolton also indicated that the United States did not propose amendments to the ABM Treaty before announcing its withdrawal-in contradiction to pledges previously made by President George W. Bush and other administration officials.

In a September 2000 interview with Arms Control Today, then-candidate Bush said that he would "offer Russia the necessary amendments to the ABM Treaty so as to make our deployment of effective missile defenses consistent with the treaty." (See full text of interview.) But Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, claim the United States never did so before announcing its intention to pull out of the treaty on December 13, 2001.

Bolton confirmed that the United States did not offer Russia amendments: "We didn't do line-in, line-out amendments. We talked about ways possibly with a new treaty that would replace it or other ways that would give us what we wanted in terms of freedom from the constraints of the ABM Treaty as written."

Bolton Confirms U.S. Is Seeking "Legally Binding Agreement" on Strategic Force Deployments
Though some administration officials have said they want to avoid arms control negotiations, Bolton reinforced Secretary of State Powell's February 5 statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the administration's effort to reach a legally binding agreement on operationally deployed nuclear forces with Russia. Bolton said that the United States seeks a binding agreement "which could well take the form of a treaty or something other than a political declaration [that] would embody the offensive weapons numbers."

However, many issues relating to such a deal-ranging from verification and transparency measures to the relationship between strategic offenses and defense-remain to be worked out. Bolton said: "I think we're still contemplating exactly what we mean by that-what the most appropriate format would be, how it would be structured, and that sort of thing. And I think that's all part of the negotiating process."

Bolton Lists U.S. Arms Control Priorities; Controlling Russian Tactical Nukes Not High on Agenda

Bolton said that the administration is "certainly willing to discuss tactical nukes" with Russia but that the administration will not be looking for an agreement on that issue in the run-up to the May meeting between Presidents Bush and Putin in Moscow. He said that the administration's "first priority is missile defense…the second priority is going to be the offensive [strategic] warheads…the next priority is Russian proliferation behavior…."

When outlining the framework for START III in March 1997, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agreed that the two sides would explore measures relating to "tactical nuclear systems." There are an estimated 1,600 tactical nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal, while Russia is estimated to possess at least 4,000 such weapons.

See complete transcript of the Arms Control Today interview with Undersecretary Bolton.

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Arms Control Today is a publication of the Arms Control Association, an independent, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.

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Arms Control Association Calls Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty Withdrawal 'Neither Necessary Nor Prudent'

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For Immediate Release: December 13, 2001

Contacts: Daryl Kimball, 202-463-8270 x 107
or Wade Boese, 202-463-8270 x 104

(Washington, D.C.) Today, President George W. Bush formally notified Russia of the United States' intention to unilaterally withdraw from the landmark Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in six months. According to the independent Arms Control Association, the decision could negatively affect long-term U.S. relations with its allies, China, and Russia, and undermine efforts to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

"Abrogating the ABM Treaty, coupled with abandoning the strategic nuclear arms reduction process, will undercut four key elements of the strategic relationship with Russia: structure: predictability, stability, and transparency," warned Jack Mendelsohn, who served as a member of the U.S. delegations to the SALT II and START I negotiations and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated his opposition to scrapping the 1972 ABM Treaty, which Putin has said Russia would be willing to amend to accommodate a more robust U.S. strategic missile defense testing program. In September 2000, candidate George W. Bush promised to "offer Russia the necessary amendments to the ABM Treaty so as to make our deployment of effective missile defenses consistent with the treaty." However, since taking office, Bush officials have not proposed amendments to the treaty, offering only joint withdrawal.

"In recent weeks, President Bush has also turned down the opportunity to lock-in reductions of Cold War-era U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons through a new agreement with Moscow, preferring unilateral, voluntary reductions over ten years," added Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

"U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty will likely inhibit Russia's willingness to implement deeper reductions of Cold War nuclear stockpiles and encourage China to accelerate its strategic nuclear weapons modernization program from two-dozen to over two-hundred nuclear-armed, long-range missiles," cautioned Kimball.

Bush and his advisors insist that the ABM Treaty must be discarded because it stands in the way of a robust national missile defense testing program and eventual deployment. To help make their case, the Pentagon formulated a new series of missile defense program activities, including construction of a "test bed" in Alaska in mid-2002, specifically designed to "bump up against" the ABM Treaty.

"In reality, deployment of a reliable national missile defense is decades away. President Bush is betting future U.S. security on an unproven technology that requires many more years of treaty-compliant developmental testing before operational testing can begin. President Bush has the opportunity to secure Russian agreement to modifications of the ABM Treaty to permit a wider range of national missile defense testing, but he has apparently spurned that opportunity," Kimball said.

"The Bush administration is single-mindedly focused on dismantling and discarding proven arms control agreements at the expense of cooperative international efforts to prevent the acquisition, development, and potential use of weapons of mass destruction," said Kimball. In recent weeks, Bush officials have also blocked progress on an international agreement to enforce the Biological Weapons Convention and boycotted international consultations on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

"Unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the ABM treaty also sets a dangerous precedent that could undercut other countries' participation in and adherence to other arms control regimes," warned Kimball.

"Eliminating proven arms control and nuclear risk reduction tools is a foolish approach, particularly when the United States seeks international support in the struggle to stem the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the threat of their use," Mendelsohn said.

"National missile defenses will do nothing to guard against more likely means of future terrorist attack, such as trucks, planes, or even suitcases, involving weapons of mass destruction," Kimball noted.

For expert analysis and background information see the ACA Web site at http://www.armscontrol.org.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.

Experts Available for Analysis on Bush-Putin Summit to Discuss Missile Defense and Nuclear Cuts

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For Immediate Release: November 8, 2001

Contacts: Daryl Kimball or Wade Boese, ACA, 202-463-8270 or 202-421-0371 (cell)

(Washington, D.C.) President George W. Bush is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin from November 13-15 to discuss missiles defenses, the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, and strategic nuclear cuts.

Expectations are growing that Bush and Putin will agree to permit additional U.S. missile defense testing that is currently ruled out by the ABM Treaty without a unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the accord-an action which Russia opposes. As further inducement for Russia to accept U.S. missile defense testing plans, Bush is expected to follow through on planned unilateral reductions in the deployed U.S. strategic arsenal. Putin has long-called for U.S. and Russian reductions down to 1,500 deployed strategic warheads apiece, but Bush has not yet revealed U.S. plans. Just months ago, the popular assumption was that the Bush administration would unilaterally withdraw from the ABM Treaty, but now it appears that Bush may be seeking a deal rather than acting unilaterally in order to keep Russia as a partner in the international coalition against terrorism.

Yet a deal is not certain. Russian officials have recently downplayed expectations for an agreement, contending too many issues remain unresolved. On the U.S. side, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice cautioned reporters November 1 against "expecting any particular deal at any particular time."

The following Arms Control Association experts are available before and after the summit to comment on the future of U.S.-Russian strategic relations and to analyze the ramifications of an agreement on strategic offenses and defenses:

Lee Feinstein, Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Resident Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States; former principal deputy director of the Secretary of State's policy planning staff, phone: (202) 939-2398.

Raymond Garthoff, Senior Fellow (ret.), Brookings Institution; former executive officer on the SALT I delegation, phone: (301) 249-3233 or (202) 797-6035.

Morton Halperin, Senior Fellow, Washington Program of Council on Foreign Relations; former director of the State Department policy planning staff, phone: (202) 518-3406.

Jack Mendelsohn, Vice President, Lawyers Alliance for World Security and Senior Associate, Center for Defense Information; former member of the U.S. delegations to the SALT II and START I negotiations, phone: (202) 745-2450 or (202) 965-4595.

For expert analysis and background information see the ACA resource page at http://www.armscontrol.org/subject/spec/usrussum.asp.

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Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Conference November 11-13 at UN: Likely to Urge Holdout States to Sign and Ratify

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For Immediate Release: November 7, 2001

Contacts: Daryl Kimball or Philipp C. Bleek, ACA, 202-463-8270 or 202-421-0371 (cell)

(New York City, NY) The second "Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty" (CTBT) is scheduled for November 11-13 at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The conference is expected to approve a final document that calls on CTBT holdout states to sign and/or ratify the agreement in order to facilitate entry into force.

The meeting has been convened under Article XIV of the CTBT at the request of a majority of states that have ratified the agreement. The meeting is intended to allow these states parties to consider measures to accelerate the ratification process and advance entry into force of the treaty. High-level governmental representation is expected - a number of states have confirmed the attendance of their foreign ministers at the conference. Non-governmental organizations will participate and address the conference.

The CTBT prohibits all nuclear weapons test explosions and all other nuclear explosions. By barring tests and establishing an extensive global monitoring network and short-notice, on-site inspection regime, the treaty plays a dual role in combating nuclear proliferation. It prevents existing nuclear weapon
states from developing new and more sophisticated types of nuclear weapons, while very substantially hampering acquisition by potential proliferant states.

Under the terms of the treaty, the CTBT will not enter into force until a group of 44 nuclear-capable states have ratified it. Three of those states have not signed the treaty to date, including India, Pakistan, and North Korea, and thirteen have not ratified, including the United States, China, and Israel. President Clinton championed the treaty and was the first to sign it in 1996, but the Senate subsequently rejected the CTBT in a 1999 vote.

President George W. Bush has pledged to maintain the testing moratorium in effect since 1992, but has said that he will not ask the Senate to reconsider ratification. It remains unclear whether the Bush administration will send a representative to the conference.

The entry-into-force conference had previously been scheduled for September 25-27, but was postponed after the tragic events of September 11. The rescheduled conference will coincide with the annual General Debate of the General Assembly of the United Nations, also in New York.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding and support for effective arms control policies. http://www.armscontrol.org.

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Protecting Nuclear Reactors From Terrorists: International Measures Sorely Needed, Say Experts

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For Immediate Release: October 24, 2001

Contacts: George Bunn, 650-725-2709; Fritz Steinhausler, 650-725-0936; or Daryl Kimball, ACA, 202-463-8270

(Washington, D.C.) In light of the September 11 attacks, nuclear power plants and associated infrastructure present a significant terrorism vulnerability in the United States and abroad. Directly attacking reactors with aircraft or truck bombs, sabotaging reactor control systems, or attacking nuclear material transports could all lead to a dangerous dispersal or theft of nuclear materials.

According to a new article by Ambassador George Bunn and Fritz Steinhausler in the October 2001 issue of Arms Control Today, "Many countries provide some form of physical protection for their nuclear material, but because there is no international standard or requirement for physical protection of civilian nuclear material, countries' physical protections for nuclear facilities vary widely and are often inadequate."

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has recently endorsed efforts aimed at fortifying the physical protections of nuclear facilities, but efforts need to be pursued with greater urgency, according to Bunn and Steinhausler. There is one international treaty that provides for protection of civilian nuclear material, the 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, but it only applies to the protection from theft of nuclear material in international transit. The authors argue that "Adoption of new physical protection standards … is essential, and the sooner the better. Unfortunately, revising the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material will take several years."

In the interim, they suggest, new principles and standards for improving physical protection of nuclear facilities worldwide, which have already been recommended by the IAEA, should be applied immediately by national governments. In addition, with adequate funding, "the IAEA can provide guidance, training, advisory services and technical assistance to help countries improve their protection practices," write Bunn and Steinhausler, who are with the Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

The authors are available for comments and analysis on this vital security issue. Their article, "Guarding Nuclear Reactors and Material From Terrorists and Thieves," can be accessed on-line at www.armscontrol.org/act/2001_10/bunnoct01.asp. For comprehensive news coverage and expert analysis of nuclear non-proliferation and related issues, visit www.armscontrol.org

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