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Right after I graduated, I interned with the Arms Control Association. It was terrific.

– George Stephanopolous
Host of ABC's This Week
January 1, 2005
Documents & Reports

The Impact of the U.S.-India Deal on the Nonproliferation Regime

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Arms Control Association Press Briefing
Washington, D.C.
February 15, 2006

Prepared Remarks of Leonard Weiss

Unless it is substantially modified as a result of ongoing negotiations, the U.S.-India nuclear deal announced on July 18, 2005 will contribute to an increased risk of proliferation and nuclear war in at least five ways:

  1. It permits India, with few concessions, to accelerate its production of nuclear weapons by reserving its entire indigenous production of uranium and stockpile of plutonium for weapons manufacture or weapons-related R&D.
  2. It undermines the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) by devaluing the commitments made by non-weapon states in order to receive peaceful nuclear technology assistance, and by weakening weapon-state commitments under Article I.
  3. It strengthens the resolve of Iranian nationalists to defy the international community by creating a bad precedent for treating violators of nuclear agreements.
  4. It demolishes the norm of full scope safeguards as a criterion for exporting nuclear materials, equipment, and technology to non-signers of the NPT.
  5. It raises questions about the commitment of the weapon states to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT.

I will now discuss these five points in detail.

1. India's weapon production

Currently, India must divide its indigenous uranium production between military and civilian applications. Indeed, one of the reasons that India is interested in a nuclear deal is that it does not have the uranium fuel production capacity to fulfill its weapon and civilian nuclear power goals simultaneously. Thus, the U.S.-India deal enables India to ramp up its weapon production, an arguable violation of the U.S. obligation under Article I of the NPT to not assist "in any way" a non-weapon state (defined by the NPT to include India) to make nuclear weapons.

Pakistan, having fought three wars with India since 1948, is sure to follow suit in ramping up its own production of nuclear weapons, perhaps with foreign help, thereby accelerating the nuclear arms race in South Asia.

In the February 13 and 20 issue of the New Yorker, Steve Coll recounts how, over a few months between December 2001 and late May 2002, India and Pakistan went to the brink of war as a result of vicious jihadist attacks on India that the Indians believed were assisted by Pakistan. At the same time, Pakistan believes that India provides covert support for insurgent groups in Pakistan, including the separatists in Baluchistan. Both are probably correct in their beliefs, and are using surrogates to inflict damage on each other. But, as Coll points out, the surrogates are not completely controllable, have their own agendas, and might even conclude that their cause could benefit from war between India and Pakistan.

Terrorist attacks, as we have seen in our own country, can put an attacked nation in a jingoistic mood and cloud judgment. During the crisis in 2001-2, some Indians were quoted as boasting they could lose Delhi, Bombay, and Calcutta, and still annihilate Pakistan. This kind of talk contributed to a discussion of evacuation plans by our embassy (then headed by Ambassador Robert Blackwill, a major proponent of the U.S.-India nuclear deal). The national security advisor to then Prime Minister Vajpayee told Coll that India did indeed come very close to launching an attack on Pakistan, but that Vajpayee decided against it because he wanted to retire being known as a man of peace.

The jihadi groups are still operating and the risk of an event that could bring on war between India and Pakistan still exists. Is this the time to provide impetus for both sides to ramp up their weapon production? How is this in the U.S. national security interest?

2. The NPT

There are 189 countries in the world that have signed the NPT. Except for the recognized 5 weapon states, and leaving aside North Korea, that leaves 183 nations that have pledged to not make nuclear weapons and have their pledge verified through full scope safeguards applied by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In return, under Article IV of the Treaty, these countries are entitled to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and to receive assistance in that development. For at least some of those countries, including Japan, Germany, and Brazil, the decision to give up their right to make nuclear weapons was not an easy one. So let's compare what these countries must do to receive nuclear trade with what the Indians must do under the U.S.-India agreement.

First, as mentioned, non-weapon states under the NPT cannot make nuclear weapons while India can make all the weapons it wants.

Second, all non-weapon states under the NPT must accept IAEA safeguards on all their nuclear materials and facilities. Under the U.S.-India agreement, India need only accept safeguards on its designated peaceful nuclear facilities. Moreover, the Indians are arguing for voluntary safeguards which can be removed at any time, similar to what the weapon states under the NPT now do, although the U.S. is resisting the Indian demand for now. The U.S. is asking the Indians to accept safeguards on their civilian facilities under IAEA INFCIRC 66, Rev.2, which would require that safeguards be applied to those facilities in perpetuity. The Indians have also indicated that they will oppose placing safeguards on their breeder program, including their breeder R&D program and the reactors needed to produce plutonium for the breeder. If this demand is met, it would mean a large scale future increase in India's weapon production capacity. This is in contrast to NPT parties with breeder programs, like Japan, whose programs are completely covered by IAEA safeguards. Although the Administration has indicated that the U.S. has no intention of assisting the Indian breeder program, it is difficult to see how the U.S. will avoid doing so indirectly via sales of dual use equipment and technology, sales that will also likely help India's weapon program more broadly. It is not a stretch to argue that, in carrying out this agreement, the United States will be in violation of its commitment under Article I of the NPT to not assist "in any way" a non-weapon state (as defined under the NPT which includes India) to make nuclear weapons.

The apparent double standard that allows India to escape full scope safeguards and still obtain nuclear assistance while countries like Japan, Germany, and Brazil are held to a tougher standard is a prescription for trouble. Countries may not leave the NPT over this issue, although one cannot be absolutely sure, but the commitments of countries to the Treaty will surely be weakened, and may show up in lower support for tough measures of enforcement for violators of nuclear norms. It will make it easier for China to assist Pakistan in its nuclear weapons program, and for Russia to assist Iran without anyone suggesting that they are violating Article I.

3. Iran

The aggressive stance taken toward Iranian nuclear safeguard violations stands in sharp contrast to the forgiveness of Indian transgressions represented by the U.S.-India nuclear agreement. Indeed, the chief Iranian negotiator, Ali Larijani, referenced the deal with India in one of his statements complaining of discrimination against Iran.

The Administration has tried to soft pedal India's nuclear violations in its answers to a series of questions posed by Senator Lugar about the nuclear deal. Recall that India claimed at the time of its 1974 test explosion that it was a "peaceful nuclear explosion" and was therefore in keeping with the contracts it signed with Canada and the U.S. for the reactor and heavy water used to produce the plutonium for the explosive device. In its answers to Lugar, the Administration said it was "not possible" to determine whether India's actions in 1974 were inconsistent with a peaceful use pledge for the heavy water. It said that was "due to the factual uncertainty as to whether U.S.-supplied heavy water contributed to the production of the plutonium used for the device and the lack of mutual understanding of the scope of the 1956 contract language" pertaining to the U.S. heavy water in India.
Well, this leaves out two important facts.

First, about the heavy water: The administration has raised an issue which was raised and settled at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs in 1976. The State Department of the Ford Administration at that time had claimed that the heavy water provided by the U.S. to India for the CIRUS research reactor, which had begun operating in 1960, was gone by 1974 due to a leakage rate of 10% per year in the reactor. However, Canadian nuclear scientists had told the committee that the leakage rate was closer to 1% per year. A simple calculation shows that even with a loss rate of 10% per year, the percentage of U.S. heavy water in the reactor would still be about 23% in 1974, and, of course, most of the plutonium for the test was produced earlier than the date of the explosion. A loss rate of 1% would mean that more than 90% of the heavy water in CIRUS would still be that of the U.S. in 1974, and that, in either case, there was high likelihood of U.S. heavy water involvement in the 1998 tests as well.


Now, as to the mutual understanding of the heavy water contract:
Four years before the Indian test, the U.S. government presented India with a secret aide-memoire that reiterated and clarified what "peaceful purposes" meant. I learned about this document during the Senate debate over the application of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act (NNPA) to a proposed nuclear fuel shipment for the Tarapur reactors in India. On behalf of Senator Glenn, for whom I was working at the time, I asked the State Department to declassify the document, and they did so on September 19, 1980. I would like to read this 2-page document, which is attached to my statement as an appendix, because it shows the utter disingenuousness of the State Department answer to Senator Lugar.

As if this isn't enough, the former Director of India's nuclear program, Raj Ramanna, speaking to the Press Trust of India on October 10, 1997, said this:
"The Pokhran test was a bomb, I can tell you now. An explosion is an explosion, a gun is a gun, whether you shoot at someone or shoot at the ground…I just want to make clear that the test was not all that peaceful."

Independently of the amount of U.S. heavy water still extant in the CIRUS reactor, India has, for over 30 years, been in continuous violation of the peaceful use requirement that Canada placed on the reactor.

Is it any wonder that Iranian nationalists could look at this record and conclude that they are being singled out for adverse discriminatory treatment?

More to the point, if the Indians don't acknowledge publicly that their claim of not having violated the CIRUS-related contracts was a false claim, then how can we be sure that a similar sham interpretation of a new nuclear agreement with the U.S. will not occur again that might allow a crossover of civilian activities into the military program?

4. Full Scope Safeguards

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978 was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on March 10, 1978. It was the culmination of well over a year of intense work, and included months of negotiations with four Executive Branch agencies on aspects of the Bill. Nothing was more contentious than the requirement of full scope safeguards for U.S. nuclear exports. The Carter Administration was initially split on it because of heavy opposition by foreign governments and by the U.S. nuclear industry. But in the wake of Desert Storm and the revelations about the Iraqi nuclear program, the NSG wanted to strengthen export controls. So full scope safeguards was adopted as an export criterion by all members of the NSG in 1992. Subsequent to that, all NPT parties endorsed full scope safeguards at the 1995 NPT Review Conference, a decision that was reaffirmed at the 2000 Conference. In short, full scope safeguards has evolved into a global norm. The U.S.-India agreement flies in the face of this norm. Thus, for the agreement to be implemented, the U.S. will have to exempt India from this fundamental requirement in U.S. law and in the rules of the NSG. Although France and Russia have indicated support for such a move, other members of the NSG are currently opposed.

The abandonment by the U.S. of the requirement of full scope safeguards for India with no countervailing advancement of nonproliferation goals is a serious setback to the cause of nonproliferation. It reduces the political barriers to unrestrained nuclear trade with Pakistan, which, through the Khan network, spread nuclear weapons technology to Iran, North Korea, Libya, and undoubtedly others. China, a long term friend of Pakistan, will watch this reduction of export controls with interest. And, as other countries watch India receive nuclear assistance without the requirement of inspections on all its nuclear activities, it is hard to see how the U.S. will persuade additional countries to agree to the more intrusive safeguards associated with the so-called Additional Protocol to IAEA safeguards agreements.

5. India vis-à-vis the weapon states

What is particularly amazing about the U.S.-India deal is that it not only recognizes and legitimizes India's nuclear weapons, it actually requires less of the Indians than what the 5 recognized nuclear weapon states have already committed to do in furtherance of their obligations under Article VI of the Treaty. Unlike India, the U.S., UK, France, Russia, and China have all agreed to cease production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and all have signed on to a Comprehensive Test Ban (though the U.S. has yet to ratify the treaty). India's agreement to continue its voluntary moratorium on testing is less binding than a signature on an international treaty. Moreover, although the U.S. has backtracked from its agreement with the other weapon states at the 2000 NPT Review Conference to follow the "13 practical steps" to fulfill their obligation to pursue systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI, the basic requirement of pursuing good faith efforts toward nuclear disarmament is still extant. The U.S.-India agreement puts no such requirement on the Indians. Thus, the Indians are being treated more favorably than the nuclear weapon states under the NPT. This will be interpreted by some as blatant evidence of contempt by the United States and other weapon states toward the requirements of Article VI. The fight over the inclusion of Article VI at the time of the negotiations of the NPT suggests that this will be a continual irritant every time the NPT Review Conference convenes, with unpredictable consequences for nonproliferation in the future.

To sum up, unless the negotiations with the Indians produces a clear nonproliferation benefit, including at the very least an end to fissile material production for nuclear weapons, the deal is a net loss in the fight against the spread of nuclear weapons and raises the risk of nuclear war.

Country Resources:

The U.S-India Nuclear Deal: A Critical Assessment

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Arms Control Association Press Briefing
February 15, 2006

Prepared Remarks of Daryl G. Kimball

As we just heard from David Albright, India is proposing that the United States accept a civil-military nuclear facilities separation plan that would exclude a large number of civilian facilities and spent fuel from safeguards. These facilities could provide significant additional nuclear weapons production capacity if not safeguarded. Even the Bush administration does not agree with India's proposed plan.

And as Len Weiss has noted, the existing terms of the proposal would not oblige New Delhi to undertake the same practices as the five original nuclear-weapon states, and the
deal could erode overall confidence in the already fragile NPT regime because it might provide India one of only a handful of NPT holdouts with the benefits of membership without requiring it to live up to the responsibilities of the treaty's 183 non-nuclear-weapon states.

I would like to focus a bit further on a significant problem that Len touched upon, and it is that even if India's civilian-military separation plan is "credible" and all civil facilities and material are placed under meaningful, permanent safeguards, the supply of foreign nuclear fuel to India would still free-up India's existing capacity to produce plutonium and highly enriched uranium for weapons and allow for the rapid expansion of India's nuclear arsenal. This could constitute a violation of one of the most fundamental principles of the global nonproliferation system: Article I of the NPT, which stipulates that states shall "not in any way" assist the nuclear weapons programs of others.

This is no idle concern. Indian nuclear hawks such as K. Subrahmanyan openly argue that, in order to expand India's arsenal, it should "categorize as many reactors as possible as civilian" to facilitate foreign refueling and conserve India's scarce "native uranium fuel for weapon-grade plutonium production." India reportedly has plans to build an arsenal totaling between 300-400 nuclear weapons within the decade.

In response to Congressional questions on this point, the State Department does not deny the possibility and simply asserts that "the growth of India's nuclear program is evidently not constrained by access to natural uranium."

This response does not take into account several scenarios that could allow India to use newly unallocated domestic uranium to support fissile material production for weapons purposes.

For instance, if India built a new plutonium-production reactor or designated some of its existing civilian heavy water reactors for the military program to augment its two existing plutonium production reactors (CIRUS and Dhruva), the additional increased consumption of domestic uranium supplies for plutonium production would be compensated for by access to imported uranium for safeguarded power reactors. And, if India no longer needs to rely on domestic uranium to fuel its power reactors, it could also expand its small-scale centrifuge enrichment program to make high enriched uranium to support nuclear weapons production.

In our letters, we recommend that Congress seek remedies that ensure that India commits to halt fissile material production for weapons purposes pending a Fissile Material Production Cut Off Treaty (FMCT). We also note that all five of the original NPT nuclear-weapon states are all believed to have suspended fissile material production for weapons.

Indian officials and their paid lobbyists insist that the proposal should have nothing to do with India's strategic program. They say that a fissile production cutoff is not on the table. As Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said in December, "These suggestions are deal-breakers."

Perhaps they are. But if India is really only interested in a "minimum credible deterrent," there is no need for additional fissile production. Alternatively, the continued expansion of India's arsenal could lead Pakistan to increase its nuclear and missile arsenal and encourage China to continue modernizing its nuclear forces. Rather than facilitating an arms race in Asia, U.S. and Indian policy should be aligned to halt and reverse it.

Indian officials note that New Delhi supports a verifiable global treaty to cut off fissile material for weapons purposes. This is noted in the July 18 Joint Statement.

However, that's been its position for many years. That's good, but at the same time the U.S. opposition to a "verifiable" fissile cut off treaty is blocking progress on its negotiation. Consequently, that treaty is but a distant goal and leaders in New Delhi know it.

Remember that the FMCT has been on the international nuclear arms control agenda since the original NPT negotiations in the late 1960s. In 1995, the 60-some nation Conference on Disarmament reach agreement on a negotiating mandate for a verifiable fissile material production cutoff for weapons purposes. Progress has been tied up due to competing priorities about what should be negotiated. A shift in China's position on an unrelated issue briefly opened up the possibility to begin negotiations on the FMCT in 2004, but hopes were dashed when the Bush administration announced that it would not support negotiations on a verifiable FMCT because, it argued, the proposed treaty is not verifiable.

Such a position defies logic: verification of the FMCT, which would focus only on the states with the capacity to produce plutonium and highly enriched uranium, could be accomplished via a system nearly identical to the IAEA's comprehensive safeguards system that the Bush administration wants India to accept for all its civil nuclear facilities.

Failing to pursue a fissile material production cut off in South Asia also defies UN Security Council Resolution 1172, which was adopted in June of 1998. It calls upon India (and Pakistan) to immediately stop their weapon development programs, halt fissile material production for weapons purposes, and to sign the CTBT, among other nonproliferation measures.

Given that negotiations on a verifiable FMCT would likely take some time, the United States, along with India, Pakistan, China, and all other states capable of producing fissile material, should announce unilateral reciprocal suspension of all fissile production for weapons pending completion of the FMCT.

It is also noteworthy that last year the United States Senate adopted a resolution offered by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) calling on all states "to accelerate implementation of commitments … for the purpose of reducing the world's stockpiles of …weapons-grade fissile material."

It is, of course, up to India to choose whether it keeps its nuclear weapons options open or whether it wants to expand its energy output with nuclear technology. But it is the responsibility of the president and Congress not to aid and abet any other state's nuclear bomb program and unravel the nonproliferation system. Indeed, Congress and the executive branch should continue to press other states to restrain their nuclear weapons ambitions, whether they be friends or foes.

Finally, let me quickly address some of the counterarguments that we have encountered:

Some proponents of the deal baldly assert that the deal is worth the high costs because it would draw India within the U.S. sphere of influence. Such talk is fanciful given India's fiercely independent political history and interest in preserving good relations with China, Russia, and even Iran on its own terms.

Some U.S. business leaders argue that making sweeping exceptions to the nonproliferation rules and approving the deal is worth it because it is the only way to accelerate U.S. trade with India. This too is a false argument. No matter the fate of the nuclear cooperation proposal, the United States and India should and will expand their ties and common interests as free democracies through expanded cooperation in trade and human development, scientific and medical research, energy technology, humanitarian relief, and military-to-military contacts. The United States can help India expand energy output by helping to support its use of clean coal, gas, and thermal energy, as Senator Lugar has outlined in legislation he recently introduced (S. 1950).

As proponents of the deal rightly argue, there is every reason to believe that our two countries will work side by side in the years to come. If the Congress acts in ways to address the deal's proliferation risks, bilateral Indo-US relations should still survive and prosper. Otherwise, the basic premise of a strategic partnership is deeply suspect.

So, in conclusion, making far-reaching exceptions to existing international nuclear nonproliferation practices might only be justified if the nonproliferation and disarmament commitments outlined in the July 2005 Bush-Singh statement significantly strengthened the nonproliferation regime. As of now, they do not.

We hope that Congress will consider the full implications of the proposed agreement for cooperation between the United States and India, and pursue additional stipulations that might result in a positive outcome to U.S. and international security.

Country Resources:

The U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Deal: A Critical Assessment

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ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION PRESS BRIEFING

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2006
9:30 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.


PANELISTS

DAVID ALBRIGHT, PRESIDENT,
INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

LEONARD WEISS, FORMER STAFF DIRECTOR,
U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

DARYL G. KIMBALL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

Transcript by:
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

DARYL G. KIMBALL: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am Daryl Kimball with the Arms Control Association. I want to welcome you this morning to our briefing on the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal. We are hoping to provide you with a critical assessment of the proposal.

Many of you are familiar with the Arms Control Association. For those of you who are not, we are a non-partisan membership organization that has been around for 35 years, established in 1971 actually as a project of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. We are pleased once again to be using Carnegie's facilities for another Arms Control Association event.

Almost seven months ago on July 18, President Bush and Prime Minister Singh issued a joint statement outlining their proposal for the resumption of full civil nuclear trade with India. And the United States of course and much of the rest of the world restricted trade with India following New Delhi's 1974 nuclear bomb test, which improperly utilized plutonium produced by a Canadian-supplied reactor and U.S. heavy water that were supposed to be used only for peaceful purposes.

Since July, the two governments have been negotiating the details of India's pledge to separate its civil and military nuclear facilities. These negotiations are continuing as we speak and are not expected to reach a conclusion before President Bush's scheduled trip to India and Pakistan some two weeks from now.

President Bush has said that once the details of the plan are resolved, Congress will be asked to make exceptions to existing U.S. nonproliferation law and to approve a separate agreement for nuclear cooperation with India.

Of course current law, the 1978 Nuclear Nonproliferation Act, bars trade with states like India that do not accept full-scope international safeguards. And I would also note that Article I of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) forbids the United States from assisting another state's nuclear weapons program in any way.

If Congress and also the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group do approve this deal, countries could supply nuclear fuel and equipment to India for civil purposes under international safeguards. And in exchange India has said that it will, "assume the same responsibilities and practices of the five original nuclear-weapon states."

Now, the Arms Control Association and my colleagues here today organized this briefing to take a closer look at the proposal and to shed some light on what we consider to be some of the key issues that are at the center of this arrangement and at the center of what Congress should be evaluating.

Our overarching message today is that it's important that the United States and India continue to build their relationship and strengthen the nonproliferation system. However, the purported benefits of the July 18 proposal for nuclear cooperation are negligible and the risks are actually very substantial. And unless Congress legislates significant changes to the original plan when they receive proposals from the administration, the damage to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Nuclear Suppliers Group will be severe.

So this morning our panelists and I are going to examine three main issues upon which the nuclear cooperation deal hinges. First, David Albright from the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) is going to examine the technical implications of the civil military separation scenarios that are reportedly under consideration.

As you might know, for the moment, the proposed cooperation arrangement is hung up on differences between the Bush administration and the Singh UPA government over which facilities will fall into the civilian and which will fall into the military sectors. And those civil facilities would also have some kind of safeguards to guard against the diversion of foreign nuclear technology assistance or fuel for weapons purposes.

Now, David is a physicist, as I said the president of the Institute for Science and International Security. He conducts extensive research on the weapons programs of various states and is best known perhaps for his seminal work on plutonium and highly enriched uranium, world inventories, capabilities, and policies.

Second, we are going to hear from Leonard Weiss who served for more than two decades as a staff director for the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. From 1977 to 1999 he served as Senator John Glenn's advisor on arms control, science, technology, and energy, and was the chief architect of the 1978 Nuclear Nonproliferation Act. He is going to address the cost-benefit equation of the proposed nuclear cooperation agreement.

And then following their presentations I am going to come back and summarize the concerns and the bottom-line recommendations of several fellow experts about the nuclear cooperation proposal, which are outlined in a letter that is in your packet that was delivered yesterday to the House and Senate offices. That was a response to State Department responses to questions from Senator Lugar and Congressman Edward Markey. And then afterwards we are going to take your questions.

So with that we'll invite David to the podium. Thanks for being with us, David. And please if you have cell phones, switch them into the silent mode.

DAVID ALBRIGHT: Thank you, Daryl. What I would like to try to do at least is outline or add some clarity to this whole discussion of splitting or separating the Indian military and civil programs. And then I would like to touch upon another area involving export controls and the risks that India could become an important place where onward proliferation can occur. And I may not have as much time to go into that as I want but happy to talk about it.

We're certainly going to be releasing things in the future on that because a lot of focus at ISIS is on elicit nuclear trade and particularly how onward proliferation can happen from the best of your friends. And we don't think India is prepared for it.

Let me go back to the basic topic that I have been assigned, which is to discuss the separation of the military and civilian programs in India. And one of your handouts is a study we did in December where we outlined what we thought was a good split based on a very simple criteria: What everyone else does. And we looked at what do the weapon-states do? What do they call civilian? What do they call military? What do the non-weapon states do when they have been - before they join the Nonproliferation Treaty and were thinking about things?

And in all cases, the facilities that are subject to safeguards or put on a civilian list are power reactors, civil research facilities, research reactors, reprocessing plants that reprocess the power reactor fuel and breeder reactors - everywhere. And in fact, I must say, one of my first tasks in the early 1980s when I started my career in nonproliferation was an informal cooperation with the U.S. government to stop France from militarizing its Super-Phoenix breeder reactor.

And it never reached a head although the U.S. government clearly stated to the French in demarche that you cannot do that. And I won't go into the reasons why. I have an old article from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that I can refer you to, but the idea was if you have a lot of non-nuclear-weapon states involved in a project you can't - and it involves their nuclear material, you can't use it for military purposes.

I must say when we published this study I was surprised by the reaction in India. I expected a critical reaction but I didn't expect to be called an Ayatollah. (Laughter.) I'm a president of an institute but I wasn't quite prepared for the kind of the viciousness of the response. And I will come back to that later because I think it is part of the problem India faces in trying to integrate with the rest of the world.

In our plan we also added a centrifuge plan in India. And certainly we knew that would be controversial. But what we based it on was that if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is going to go in and do safeguards in India, it shouldn't create a precedent that will make its job harder elsewhere. And right now the IAEA is safeguarding naval enrichment plans in Brazil, and the Brazilians have accepted that safeguards would be put on their naval enrichment plants.

Some of you may know there is another enrichment plan in Brazil called the Resende Plant, but these are two naval enrichment plants at naval facilities that are under safeguards, both by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the regional organization ABACC (Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials). So we didn't feel that it was useful for the IAEA to create an exemption in India that Brazil or others may try to exploit.

Again, we understand it's controversial, but we also think that if this facility, the centrifuge plant is for naval fuel, which we think it's principally for - it's expanding as we speak. They are trying to increase the output of the plant - that it should be under safeguards and would not produce material for nuclear weapons. That would also include the prototype naval reactor, which started recently in Kalpakkam.

The Indian plan, which we were aware of before, and we have learned a lot more since, I think, is a very minimalist plan and I would say it reflects old thinking, isolationist thinking; the thinking of a nuclear establishment that isn't comfortable integrating with the world's nuclear community, prefers its indigenous nature. At some level, I think, it's threatened by this U.S.-India agreement, and I think some of the reactions have reflected that.

Many of the reasons they have given, such as the IAEA is going to spy on them don't hold any water. Many countries have crossed that bridge and have not felt that the IAEA releases proprietary information. They are certainly not going to slow down the transfer of fuel from the breeder to a reprocessing plant. That was an Indian official's comment. And so I think many of the reasons given by the Indians are simply not true and insult the intelligence of the international community.

The other part of it is, is that it's kind of a - I would call almost a greedy effort to try to have as much of a plutonium production capability for nuclear weapons as possible, way beyond the needs of India. And in fact it makes me wonder what are Indian plans to build nuclear weapons? Is it that we have to be prepared to build a thousand, two thousand, two hundred, one hundred? And I think that unfortunately this effort to grab everything and put it under some kind of military umbrella also doesn't serve India's interests.

And let me focus on the breeder reactor, which ultimately, I think the argument will be that it is for military purposes. And, yes, a breeder is a marvelous instrument to make plutonium for nuclear weapons. The prototype reactor that they are building, prototype reader in - what is called its blanket, it is what surrounds the core, we'll probably be able to make about 50 to 75 kilograms of super-grade plutonium a year.

And that is why the French were interested in the Super-Phoenix reactor; that it was such a marvelous source of plutonium for nuclear weapons - very high grade, which means you can actually dilute it and have more or you can use it in special types of weapons. So, again, it's a very appealing material.

For background, India makes about 25 to 35 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium, slightly lower quality, but fine for nuclear weapons in the Dhruva and CIRUS reactors. And historically that has been more than enough for their needs and I would assert that it is enough for their needs in the future. India doesn't have the kind of capability to suddenly build 50 nuclear weapons in a year. It just doesn't have the infrastructure or I think the appetite for such a large increase, but its arsenal will be increasing relatively slowly over time.

Another reactor complex that they want to reserve as military is the MAPS one and two reactors (located at Madras), and we have always suspected that in the past those reactors have been used to make weapon-grade plutonium for nuclear weapons, but we're in a key part. I hear that they want to reserve those. They are near the Kalpakkam reprocessing plant, and so you'll have kind of a militarized Kalpakkam facility with the reprocessing plants, MAPS, and the breeder reactor. The prototype is located near there.

The MAPS reactors are not optimized to make plutonium for weapons. And I will say, there is a lot of disinformation, misinformation in the India press. Reactor grade plutonium is not what bomb makers want to make nuclear weapons. Certainly you can do it, but it really mucks up your yield estimates, your manufacturing complex.

It's very undesirable to build a nuclear weapons complex where you don't know the type of plutonium coming in, whether it's weapon grade or reactor grade. And I doubt very much that the Indian's nuclear establishment, nuclear weapons establishment is looking to use reactor-grade plutonium in its bombs. But you could use MAPS to make weapon-grade plutonium.

And the signal they are sending, again, since MAPS are two power reactors, each one has five-times the output of the Dhruva reactor. It is quite a weapon-grade plutonium capability that they are keeping on hand - 200 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium a year roughly. Again, why would India want this? What is it really talking about doing with all of this weapon-grade or super-grade plutonium?

I would say that it's a debate that the Indians should have. Is this going to be a no-holds bar effort to get nuclear weapons or is this just stubbornness and an old way of thinking that says we need to have the capability to make so much plutonium that our leaders will be satisfied under all cases, even the most extreme worst-case assessments? And that is fine; that is for India to decide.

But if you want to militarize breeders, don't expect the international community to welcome you with cooperation on breeders. Japan, Germany, France, whoever are not going to want to sit down at the table with people who are using a breeder to make super-grade plutonium for nuclear weapons, and it also poisons the well in terms of openness. I mean, I visited the Dhruva reactor in 1992 in India. I used to visit India.

We wanted to find out about the gas centrifuge program in the early 1990s. And I have always found the Indian establishment pretty open to a point, but there is a lot of secrecy in the nuclear establishment. And so it was rather amusing to me that I would go visit the Dhruva reactor in 1992 and the reactor manager is open about everything. Yet, if you asked him anything about the spent fuel he was closed. And obviously the spent fuel was sent to the reprocessing plant to be reprocessed and used in Indian nuclear weapons. You can't do that in an international cooperation project on breeder reactors. And so India has to choose. Does it want nuclear weapons capabilities or does it want international cooperation?
Alright, let me briefly talk about export controls. In our interviews with U.S. officials, dealings with companies, India is known to be targeted by proliferate states. And with its rapid industrialization, much of which is based on pretty good technology from developed countries, India's attractiveness to proliferate states can be expected to increase. And Indian national export controls are the main defense against illegal or dangerous exports from Indian companies.

However, India's control system is poorly implemented and its export control officials are inexperienced. And many Indian companies are unaware of their own national export control laws and government outreach programs are only in their infancy. And with private Indian companies committed to sales both domestically and internationally, Indian export controls are inadequate to provide assurances that dangerous exports will not occur.

Now, what does this mean? We have just gone through this horrendous situation with the Khan network. And one of the surprises of the Khan network was that the two very important nodes were located in our allies: South Africa and Switzerland, both countries with very good export controls on the books, but both countries were unable to implement their export controls to stop major proliferation involving centrifuge components, centrifuge equipment, nuclear weapons design information.

You have to ask yourself is this deal moving too fast, way beyond the ability of India to manage onward proliferation? And I would say it is and there needs to be some careful thinking about how you increase trade with India and make sure that it doesn't end up in the hands of Iran either through retransfer or through reverse engineering and sales.

And given the experience in the Khan network is that it doesn't - it's almost worse if India is our friend, and the reason is - and we saw this over and over again in the case of South Africa is that companies relax their standards and they freely send things - they freely send things to South Africa and those things were then retransferred or used within equipment that then was sent to the Libyan nuclear weapons program.

And so if you don't have robust export controls that are implemented effectively then you are extremely vulnerable to onward proliferation. Let me stop there. I'll be happy to take questions. I could go on but I think I have talked too much. Thank you.

KIMBALL: All right, thank you, David. We will come back to questions after all three of us are done. Len Weiss, please come to the podium. Len is going to cover the cost-benefit equation on non-proliferation.

LEONARD WEISS: The administration claims that the agreement will enhance nonproliferation efforts, but I have to say after examining at least what has been released thus far, it's very hard to come to that conclusion. My view is that unless the agreement as it stands right now is substantially modified as a result of the ongoing negotiations, the U.S.-India nuclear deal will contribute to an increased risk of proliferation and nuclear war and will do so in at least five ways.

First, it permits India with few concessions to accelerate its production of nuclear weapons by reserving its entire indigenous production of uranium and its stockpile of plutonium for weapons manufacture or weapons-related. Second, it undermines the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by devaluing the commitments made by non-nuclear-weapon states in order to receive peaceful nuclear technology assistance and by weakening weapons state commitments under Article I of the treaty.

Third, it strengthens the resolve of Iranian nationalists to defy the international community by creating a bad precedent for treating violators of nuclear agreements.

Fourth, it demolishes the norm of full-scope safeguards as a criterion for exporting nuclear materials, equipment, and technology to non-signers of the NPT.

Fifth, it raises questions about the commitment of the nuclear-weapon states to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT.

I would now like to discuss in detail these five points. First, on India's weapon production. Currently, as we know, India has to divide its indigenous uranium production between military and civilian applications. One of the reasons that India is interested in a nuclear deal is that it doesn't have the uranium fuel production capacity to fulfill its weapon and civilian nuclear power goals simultaneously. So the U.S.-India deal enables India to ramp up its weapons production.

Now, Pakistan, having fought three wars with India since 1948 is sure to follow suit in ramping up its own production of nuclear weapons perhaps with foreign help, thereby accelerating the nuclear arms race in South Asia. In the latest issue of The New Yorker, Steve Coll recounts how over a few months between December 2001 and May 2002 India and Pakistan went to the brink of war as a result of vicious jihadist attacks on India that the Indians believe were assisted by Pakistan. At the same time Pakistan believes that India provides covert support for insurgent groups in Pakistan including the separatists in Baluchistan.

Both are probably correct in their beliefs and are using surrogates to inflict damage on each other. But as Coll points out, the surrogates are not completely controllable; they have their own agendas and they might even conclude that their cause could benefit from war between India and Pakistan. Terrorist attacks as we have seen in our own country can put an attack nation in a jingoistic mood and cloud judgment. During the crisis in 2001 and 2002, some Indians were quoted as boasting they could lose Delhi, Bombay, and Calcutta, and still annihilate Pakistan.

This kind of talk contributed to a discussion of evacuation plan by our embassy, then headed by Ambassador Robert Blackwill, a major proponent of the U.S.-India nuclear deal. The national security advisor to then Prime Minister Vajpayee told Coll that India did indeed come very close to launching an attack on Pakistan but that Vajpayee decided against it because he wanted to retire being known as a man of peace.

The jihadi groups are still operating and the risk of an event that could bring on war between India and Pakistan still exists. That war could very well be a nuclear war. The question is this a time to provide impetus for both sides to ramp up their weapon production and how is this in the U.S. national security interest.

The second point about the NPT: There are 189 countries in the world that have signed the treaty. Except for the recognized five weapons states, and leaving aside North Korea, that leaves 183 nations that have pledged to not make nuclear weapons and have their pledge verified through full-scope safeguards applied by the IAEA. In return under Article IV of the treaty, those countries are entitled to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and to receive assistance in that development.

For at least some of those countries, including Japan, Germany, and Brazil, the decision to give up their right to make nuclear weapons was not an easy one. So let's compare what these countries must do to receive nuclear trade with what the Indians must do under the U.S.-India agreement.

First, as mentioned, the non-nuclear-weapon states under the NPT cannot make nuclear weapons while India can make all of the weapons it wants. Second, all of the non-nuclear-weapon states under the NPT must accept safeguards on all of the nuclear materials and facilities. Under the U.S.-India agreement, India need only accept safeguards on its designated peaceful nuclear facilities. Moreover, the Indians are arguing for voluntary safeguards which can be removed at any time similar to what the nuclear-weapon states under the NPT now do.

The Indians have also indicated, as David pointed out, that they will oppose placing safeguards on their breeder program, including their breeder R&D program and the reactors needed to produce plutonium for the breeder. If this demand is met, it would mean a large-scale future increase in India's weapon production capacity. This is in contrast to NPT parties with breeder programs like Japan whose programs are completely covered by IAEA safeguards.

Although the administration has indicated that the U.S. has no intention of assisting the Indian breeder program, it's difficult to see how the U.S. will avoid doing so indirectly via sales of dual-use equipment and technology, sales that will also likely help India's weapon program more broadly. It's not a stretch to argue that in carrying out this agreement, the United States will be in violation of its commitment under Article I of the NPT to not assist in any way a non-nuclear-weapon state as defined under the NPT - and that includes India - to make nuclear weapons.

The apparent double standard that allows India to escape full-scope safeguards and still obtain nuclear assistance while countries like Japan, Germany, and Brazil are held to a tougher standard is a prescription for trouble. Countries may not leave the NPT over this issue, although one can't be absolutely sure of that. But the commitments of countries to the treaty will surely be weakened and may show up in lower support for tough measures of enforcement for violators or nuclear norms. It will make it easier for China to assist Pakistan in its nuclear weapons program and for Russia to assist Iran without anyone suggesting that those countries are in violation of Article I.

Now speaking of Iran, the aggressive stance taken toward Iranian nuclear safeguard violations stands in sharp contrast to the forgiveness of Indian transgressions represented by the U.S.-India nuclear agreement. Indeed, the chief Iranian negotiator, Ali Larijani referenced the deal with India in one of his statements complaining of discrimination against Iran. The administration has tried to soft pedal India's nuclear violations in its answers to a series of questions posed by Senator Lugar about the nuclear deal.

Please recall that India claimed at the time of its 1974 test explosion that it was a "peaceful nuclear explosion," and was therefore in keeping with the contract it signed with the Canada and the U.S. for the reactor and the heavy water that was used to produce the plutonium for their explosive device. In its answers to Lugar, the administration said it was not possible to determine whether India's actions in 1974 were inconsistent with the peaceful-use pledge for the heavy water.

It said that that was due to the factual uncertainty as to whether U.S.-supplied heavy water contributed to the production of the plutonium used for the device and the lack of mutual understanding of the scope of the 1956 contract language pertaining to the U.S. heavy water in India.

Well, that answer leaves out two important facts. First about the heavy water: The administration has raised an issue which was actually raised and settled at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs 30 years ago, in 1976. The State Department of the Ford administration at that time had claimed that the heavy water provided by the U.S. to India for the CIRUS research reactor, which had begun operating in 1960 was gone by 1974 due to a leakage rate of 10 percent per year in the reactor.

However, Canadian nuclear scientists told the committee at that time that the leakage rate was closer to 1 percent per year. A simple calculation shows that even with a loss rate of 10 percent per year, the percentage of U.S. heavy water in the reactor would still be about 23 percent in 1974, and of course most of the plutonium for the test was produced earlier than the date of the explosion. It is undoubtedly the case that there was a high likelihood of U.S. heavy water involved not only in 1974 but in the 1998 tests as well.

Now, as to the mutual understanding of the heavy water contract, four years before the Indian test in 1974, the U.S. government presented India with a second aide-memoire that reiterated and clarified what peaceful purposes meant. I learned about this document during the Senate debate over the application of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act to a proposed nuclear fuel shipment to the Tarapur reactors in India.

On behalf of Senator Glenn, for whom I was working at the time, I asked the State Department to declassify the document, and they did so on September 19th, 1980. For some reason this document has not played much of a role in the debate thus far over the U.S.-India agreement so I would now like to read this. It's two pages. It is attached to my statement as an appendix because it shows the utter disingenuousness of the State Department answer to Senator Lugar.

Here is what the document says, and I'm reading it as it was written:

"The United States government has noted various affirmations of Indian interests in developing the technology of peaceful nuclear explosions as well as statements that the government of India is not planning for a nuclear explosion.

Occasionally in the public debate on the nuclear issue, the question has been raised as to whether under extant agreements the government of India could legitimately use foreign-supplied nuclear technologies or materials to manufacture an explosive device to be used in a detonating a peaceful nuclear explosion."

We are talking now - this document is from 1970.

"We believe the government of India is aware of the American interpretation of agreements under which the United States has assisted India's development in the field of atomic energy. However, we would like to reiterate the American view in the interest of clarity and to obviate any misunderstanding.

"The American position reflected in the Nonproliferation Treaty is that the technology of nuclear explosives for peaceful uses is indistinguishable from that of nuclear weapons and that any nuclear explosive device that would be intended for benign economic purposes could also be used for destructive purposes.

"The development of such explosives therefore is tantamount to the development of nuclear weapons. Any other position would be inconsistent with the United States obligations under the Nonproliferation Treaty and the United States Atomic Energy Act.

"Consequently, the United States would consider it incompatible with existing United States-Indian agreements through American nuclear assistance to be employed in the development of peaceful nuclear explosive devices. Specifically, for example, the use for the development of peaceful nuclear explosive devices of plutonium produced there from would be considered by the United States a contravention of the terms under which the American materials were made available.

"The United States interprets the safeguards and guarantees provisions of the Tarapur agreement as prohibiting the use of American materials and equipment or materials produced from such materials and equipment for research on or development of any nuclear explosive devices regardless of stated applications.

"The contract under which the United States sold heavy water to India for the CIRUS reactor states the heavy water sold hereunder shall be for the use only in India by the government in connection with research into and the use of the atomic energy for peaceful purposes. The United States would not consider the use of plutonium produced in CIRUS for peaceful nuclear explosives intended for any purposes to be research into and the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes."

Okay, now I think that demolishes the administration's argument at least in terms of their answer to Senator Lugar.

Now, let me just say a word about - oh, let me just mention one other thing. There was a quote - Raj Ramanna, the former director of India's nuclear program, speaking to the press trust of India on October 10th, 1997, said this, quote: "The Pokhran test" - that is the 1974 explosion - "was a bomb, I can tell you now. An explosion is an explosion. A gun is a gun, whether you shoot at someone or shoot at the ground. I just want to make clear that the test was not all that peaceful."

Independently of the amount of U.S. heavy water still extant in the CIRUS reactor, India has for over 30 years been in continuous violation of the peaceful-use requirement that Canada placed on the reactor. Is it any wonder that Iranian nationalists could look at this record and conclude that they are being singled out for adverse discriminatory treatment?

More to the point, if the Indians do not acknowledge publicly that their claim of not having violated the CIRUS related contracts was a false claim, then how we can be sure that a similar sham interpretation of a new nuclear agreement with the U.S. will not occur again that might allow a cross over of civilian activities into the military program?

The fourth point is about full-scope safeguards. Full-scope safeguards has basically evolved into a global norm. It was initially in U.S. law under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978; it was adopted by the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 1992, so all of the suppliers agreed to have that as an export criterion, and it has been reaffirmed in two meetings of the NPT parties - the review conferences of 1995 and 2000.

The United States-India agreement basically shreds this export criterion, and the United States will seek to change the law and to get the nuclear suppliers group to allow an exemption for India in order for this, for full-scope safeguards not to be applied.

It's hard to see how the United States if it does this will persuade additional countries to agree to the more intrusive safeguards associated with the so-called additional protocol to IAEA safeguards agreements. Cooperation from other countries to accept more intrusive safeguards than they currently do will be much more difficult to get if we give India this favor.

And finally, India and the nuclear-weapon states: What is particularly amazing about the U.S.-India deal is that it not only recognizes and legitimizes India's nuclear weapons, it actually requires less of the Indians than what the five recognized nuclear-weapon states have already committed to do in furtherance of their obligations under Article VI of the treaty.

Unlike India, the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, and China have all agreed to cease production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, and all have signed onto the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), although the U.S. is yet to ratify the treaty. India's agreement to continue its voluntary moratorium on testing is less binding than a signature on an international treaty.

Moreover, although the U.S. has backtracked from its agreement with the other weapon states at the 2000 NPT review conference, to follow the so-called 13 practical steps to fulfill their obligation to pursue systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI, the basic requirement of pursuing good-faith efforts toward nuclear disarmament is still extant.

The U.S.-India agreement puts no such requirements on the Indians, thus the Indians are being treated more favorably than the nuclear-weapon states under the NPT. This will be interpreted by some as blatant evidence of contempt by the United States and other weapons states toward the requirements of Article VI. The fight over the inclusion of Article VI at the time of the negotiations of the NPT suggests that this will be a continual irritant every time the NPT review conference convenes with unpredictable consequences for nonproliferation in the future.

To sum up, unless the negotiations with the Indians produce a clear nonproliferation benefit, including at the very least an end to fissile material production for nuclear weapons, the deal is a net loss in the fight against the spread of nuclear weapons and raises the risk of nuclear war. Thank you.

KIMBALL: Alright, thank you very much, Len. I would like to focus just a little bit further just for a couple of more minutes before we get to questions, on one of the issues that Len just touched upon. The supply of foreign nuclear fuel to India, which is one of the things that India very much wants out of this arrangement, would free up India's existing capacity to produce plutonium and highly enriched uranium for weapons and allow for the rapid expansion of India's nuclear arsenal.

And as you suggested, this could constitute a violation or at least a contradiction of the United States' own commitment under Article I of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty not to assist in any way the nuclear weapons program of another state. Now, this is not an idle concern. There are some in India, including K. Subrahmanyan, who have openly argued that in order to expand India's arsenal, it should categorize as many reactors as possible as civilian to facilitate foreign refueling and conserve India's scarce native uranium fuel for weapons-grade plutonium production.

Now, as David Albright said, India has plans, ambitions to produce a substantially larger arsenal that it's believed to have today - somewhere in the low hundreds is what some of the plans suggest. Now, in response to questions from Congress on this very point, the State Department in their January 17 responses does not deny this possibility, the freeing up of India's domestic capacity, and it simply asserts that, "The growth of India's nuclear program is evidently not constrained by access to natural uranium."

Now this response does not take into account several scenarios that could allow India to use newly allocated domestic uranium to support fissile material production for weapons purposes. Now, some of these are related to how the civil military separation plan comes down and David was outlining some of the other scenarios that could allow India to increase its arsenal.

So for instance, if India built a new plutonium production reactor or designated some of its existing civilian heavy water reactors like the MAPS reactors that David mentioned for the military program to augment its two existing plutonium reactors, CIRUS and Dhruva, the additional increased consumption of domestic uranium supplies for plutonium production would be compensated for - by access to imported uranium for safeguarded power reactors. And if India no longer needs to rely on domestic uranium to fuel its power reactors, it could also expand the small-scale centrifuge enrichment program to make highly enriched uranium to support the weapons program.

Now, in our letters to Congress, the November 18th letter that was originally sent and the letter that was just delivered yesterday, we recommended that Congress seek remedies that ensure that India commits to halt fissile material production for weapons purposes pending a fissile material production cutoff treaty (FMCT). And as we note, as Len just did, that the five original nuclear-weapon states are all believed to have suspended fissile material production for weapons purposes. If India is going to live up to the responsibilities of the advanced nuclear-weapon states, this is one of those responsibilities.

Now, Indian officials insist that this proposal for nuclear cooperation should have nothing to do with India's strategic weapons program. They say that a fissile material production cutoff is just not on the table. And as Foreign Secretary Saran said I think from this very podium in December, "These suggestions are deal breakers." Well, perhaps they are, but if India is really only interested in a minimum credible deterrent, there is no need for additional fissile material production.

And there are consequences that the United States needs to keep in mind if India does continue to expand its fissile material production and its arsenal relating to Pakistan's program and China's program, which does continue to expand. And I would argue that it's in the U.S. and India's interest to cap the programs, cap the growth of the nuclear arsenals amongst these three countries.

Now, Indian officials are quick to note that when they reject the idea of a fissile material cutoff, that India supports a verifiable global treaty to cut off fissile-material production for weapons purposes. This was actually noted in the July 18th statement. However, we have to remember that has been India's position for many years, and that is very good.

But at the same time, U.S. opposition to a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty is right now blocking progress on its negotiation. You just have to look back to Dafna Linzer's Washington Post story from July 2004, which reported that the Bush administration had come to the conclusion that a fissile material cutoff treaty is not verifiable and therefore the Bush administration will not support negotiations of this treaty at the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament.

The FMCT has been on the international arms control agenda since the original NPT negotiations in the late 1960s. And it is not likely going to be concluded, so long as the United States maintains its current position, and so long as no other state presses the United States to change its position.

Now, this U.S. view on the FMCT defies logic. Verification of the FMCT, which by the way would only focus on those states that have the capacity to produce plutonium and highly enriched uranium, could be accomplished via a system nearly identical to the IAEA's comprehensive safeguards system, which is the very system that the Bush administration would like India to accept for the facilities it declares to be civilian.

Now, failing to pursue a fissile material production cutoff in South Asia also defies U.N. Security Council Resolution 1172. Many of us forget that in 1998 after the Indian and Pakistani nuclear test explosions, the Security Council adopted this resolution. It calls upon India and Pakistan to immediately stop their weapons development programs, halt fissile material production for weapons purposes, and to sign the CTBT among other non-proliferation measures.

So to conclude on this point, given that negotiations on a verifiable FMCT, which are supported by every state except for the U.S., given that these would likely take some time, even if the U.S. changes its position, the U.S. along with India, Pakistan, and China and all other states capable of producing fissile material could and should announce unilateral reciprocal moratoria on all fissile material production for weapons, pending the completion of a verifiable FMCT.

Now, it's of course, as David Albright mentioned, up to India to choose whether it wants to keep its nuclear weapons options open. Why it should, I'm not quite sure, but it is up to India to do that or to decide whether it wants to expand its nuclear energy production sector. However, we have to note here, and I would remind those who are reporting for papers in India, that it is the responsibility of the president of the United States and Congress not to aid another country's nuclear weapons program. And so indeed, this I think needs to be an issue that the Congress takes a close look at and continues to press other states to restrain fissile material production.

Now, just to conclude our entire session here, I'd also just like to note that as proponents of the nuclear cooperation deal argue, there is every reason to believe that the United States and India will continue to work side-by-side on various issues for years to come, whether it's fighting terrorism, energy cooperation, human development, military-to-military contacts, that will continue. And if Congress acts in ways to address this nuclear cooperation deal's proliferation risks, bilateral Indo-U.S. relations should still survive quite well and prosper in fact. Otherwise, the basic premise of a strategic partnership between the United States and India is deeply suspect. So to conclude, making far-reaching exceptions to existing nonproliferation rules might only be justified if the nonproliferation and disarmament benefits of this arrangement significantly strengthened the nonproliferation system. But as of now, they do not. And we hope that Congress will consider the full implications of the proposed arrangement in the coming months, and pursue additional stipulations that might result in a more positive outcome for U.S. and international security.

So with that, we'll open up the floor to your questions. I think we do have a microphone, which will come to you when you raise your hand. Please identify yourself and we'll get started. Anyone have a question? Yes, sir.

QUESTION: I am Sean Battier (sp). I am the foreign editor of Deccan Herald Newspaper from Bangalore. Leonard, if I might ask you my question first. Why are you projecting this in a kind of we're the good guys, they're the bad guys sort of dimension, and why aren't you looking at the U.S. role in effectively conniving in proliferation over so many years? I'm thinking, for example, of how the U.S. responded to China's repeated violations of the NPT by supplying design technology to Pakistan, how the United States connived in effect in the Khan network. I remember interviewing President Zia in the 1980s when he disclosed to me that Pakistan had started to enrich uranium. I think in those days to 15 percent. And I remember going to the U.S. Ambassador at the time in Islamabad and he said, "so what?" So I mean, could you just address these issues please? And I suppose you could also put into this U.S. connivance by supplying the heavy water to India? So it all fits into a pattern. I mean, the pattern seems to me that the NPT is a dead duck and has been - I mean, with all due respect to yourself - has been for a long time.

WEISS: Well, first of all, if you have been reading the stuff I have been writing over a period of years, you would notice that I have in fact attacked the United States for its policy in Pakistan. You are quite right about the U.S. involvement in allowing the Pakistanis to obtain nuclear weapons. As far as the U.S. sending the heavy water to India, please remember that there was no NPT at the time that contract was signed. It was signed in 1956. The agreement called for peaceful purposes only, as I read in the document, and so the United States could been said, perhaps, to be a little naïve at the time in having signed such a contract and not have verifiable safeguards attached to the agreement. But that was the case with nuclear technology sales and assistance almost everywhere at that time.

With respect to - coming back to the Pakistan issue, I think there is no question about the fact that the United States probably could have rolled up the Khan network - the original Khan network that enabled Pakistan to get the bomb. At the time, there must have been a number of statements from CIA people who were following the program to that effect. We didn't do it, and as a result, Dr. Khan was able to expand his network in a way that allowed nuclear weapons technology to go to Iran and North Korea and Libya, and perhaps other countries as well. But I am certainly not whitewashing the United States role in pointing out the transgressions of India in the past 30 years.

KIMBALL: Okay. Yes, sir?

QUESTION: I'm Bruce Fein from the Litchfield Group. I have two questions for Mr. Weiss. If the nuclear cooperation agreement does not go forward, do you expect that the Article VI obligation of the nuclear-weapons states to seek disarmament in good faith will proceed with some alacrity? And the second question is, if the agreement does not go forth, do you expect India would in some way renounce its nuclear weapons program and lead to a safer military dispensation in Southeast Asia?

WEISS: All right, let me take the second question first. I do not expect India to renounce its nuclear weapons program. I don't think that's the point. The point is, is it right for the United States to provide some sort of assistance for that program essentially to advance and to increase India's weapons production capability. The Indians, of course, have every right to make nuclear weapons. They did not sign the NPT. That doesn't mean that we ought to support them in the exercise of that right. It is important, I want to say, for the United States and India to have good bilateral relations. I am not arguing against having good bilateral relations with India. But please remember that the nuclear program of India, its peaceful nuclear program, represents only 3 percent of the amount of generated electricity in India. It is not a major contributor to India's energy development. And by assisting the Indians, we are sending signals that we don't believe ourselves in the Nonproliferation Treaty. And we're in essence going to change our laws if this deal goes through in a way, which people will interpret as a lack of seriousness on the part of the United States.

The first question about Article VI - no, I don't. If the agreement doesn't go through, that does not mean that the nuclear-weapon states are going to agree to the ultimate goals of Article VI with any further amount of alacrity than they have shown thus far. But the fact of the matter is that Article VI does exist. It is part of the so-called grand bargain that was struck when the NPT was negotiated and anything that the weapon states do to indicate to the rest of the world that we don't believe in the ultimate goal of Article VI is a detriment to the health of the treaty.

KIMBALL: Let me just also note on this point that - I mean, one of the things we're trying to point out here is that the nonproliferation system has established certain norms and standards. This agreement seeks exceptions to these norms and standards. So if the nonproliferation system is to survive - and I think it can and it must - this is not the time, especially when it is under such enormous stress from the twin challenges of North Korea and Iran, to deal it further blows by eviscerating the full-scope safeguard standard, by diminishing the importance of progress by all states on disarmament. So just to back up what Len is saying, I think those are a couple of additional points. We have the gentleman up here in front and then we'll go to the back row.

QUESTION: I am Naim Zalik (ph) from Pakistan. I would like to ask the question from both David and Len. Is there any possibility that this deal for augmenting India's nuclear energy program may have been offered by the U.S. to prevent India from going ahead with the gas pipeline deal with Iran?

KIMBALL: You want to try that one?

ALBRIGHT: I hate to do a Scott McClellan, but you should ask the State Department. (Chuckles.)

KIMBALL: Yeah, I think we haven't brought up the Iran issue, and it's purposeful because that's another issue. I mean, there are some proponents of this arrangement who believe that the deal is going to draw India into the U.S. sphere of influence or that the promise of this deal may encourage India to vote certain ways at certain boards of governors meetings. I think in the end, especially over the long-term, I mean, such suggestions are - they're inappropriate and they're not realistic, because India has a long history of being independent, and it will continue to be independent. And it is seeking good relations with all of its neighbors. So if anyone in the administration is trying to use this deal or trying to persuade India not to build this gas pipeline that would bring energy from Iran to India, I think they are probably mistaken. But that's not what we are really addressing here, but those are some thoughts on that. Yes, if you go to Chuck, please.

QUESTION: Charles Ferguson, Council of Foreign Relations. I'd like to bring up the issues of nuclear terrorism that hasn't really been raised yet, and I'd like to direct my question to David Albright. I'd like you to comment on India's possible use of highly enriched uranium in the civilian sector. I've talked to a MIT nuclear engineering professor recently, and he said that India might use highly enriched uranium - which is the easiest material for terrorists to use in a nuclear weapon - that's very well known - India might use this in their breeder reactors to get them started. And then recently I asked an Indian official, a former official, is there any plans for India to use highly enriched uranium in their breeder program. He said oh no, absolutely not. So I'd like David to comment on that and talk about possible uses of this dangerous material in the civilian sector. Thanks.

ALBRIGHT: I don't know what they're planning to do on the breeder. I mean, our estimates are they're short on separated plutonium. I mean, we may be wrong but they're going to have trouble fueling the prototype, particularly if it starts in around 2009, and particularly having enough separated plutonium in the pipeline to guarantee continued operation if a problem develops. I mean, often in these breeders, they really have a startup problem. Part of the reason the conflict between the United States and France never materialized on Super-Phoenix is the reactor just never operated very well. And it quickly shut down. But they had to have a second core ready for that reactor, and they may have had to implement that strategy. So in that plan they needed to have ten tons of plutonium fuel made for that reactor.

And in Indian case, I'm not sure they have enough. And so, maybe they would consider highly enriched uranium. I mean, we see that they're trying to expand the capacity of the RMP and they don't need it for naval, and I don't think they want to use it for weapons. Again, our estimates are it's a slowly increasing nuclear arsenal. There isn't a rush to build. And so perhaps they are creating a backup to be able to make highly enriched uranium, because again, as you know, many breeder reactors had their first cores made out of highly enriched uranium, so it's not unheard of and it may be an intention.

Now, in terms of beyond that, India, I think on research reactors, at least one they've talked about building they've been part of the effort on the ITER program so that the fuel would be low enriched uranium. They have one small civil research reactor that uses highly enriched uranium, but it's about no more than a kilogram a year and it often doesn't operate very well. So I think the Indians have stayed away from highly enriched uranium and that's to be commended and I hope it continues.

WEISS: Can I make a point about this? I have no idea what the Indian plans are for increasing their enrichment capacity in the future. But if they intend to do so in a big way, even though it is the case that centrifuge enrichment does not require as much electricity to drive it as a gaseous diffusion plant does, India may have to - or may feel that they need to have more a nuclear electrical-generating plant for the purpose of producing electricity to drive a future large-scale enrichment facility, in which case, if that's the case, and if U.S. assistance enables that to happen, we would in another way be contributing to the Indian nuclear weapons program because an electrical generating plant used to drive a centrifuge enrichment plan, and also to produce electricity for other purposes would not be detectable as an element of the India nuclear weapons program.

KIMBALL: Yes, sir, right here.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. My name is Masa Ota with Japanese Wire Kyodo News. I will question to any member of the panel, including Mr. Kimball. Two weeks ago, Secretary Bodman, Energy Department, he made a new announcement about a global nuclear energy partnership (GNEP). This new idea came up so abruptly and Indian officials so far have sounded support over this idea. So can any panel member analyze any linkage or connection between these two factors in the U.S. nuclear deal and those who are GNEP factor? And also what kind of an impact would this U.S. and the Indian deal have on the future GNEP program? Thank you very much.

ALBRIGHT: Let me make one simple point. It's just I think if India safeguards most of its nuclear facilities including the breeders, the reprocessing plants, the world nuclear community may welcome India into many international initiatives that would benefit India. If it chooses to isolate itself through limiting safeguards, then I don't think it will gain much from those programs.

KIMBALL: But, as I understand the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, Indian participation is still dependent on the changes to U.S. nonproliferation law and nuclear cooperation agreement that this July 18th nuclear cooperation proposal would require. In other words, the GNEP proposal involves the supply of fuel for nuclear reactors, the return of that fuel to the United States and Russia, and the United States and Russia would dispose of that. So another aspect of possible Indian participation is that it might be involved in advanced reprocessing technology research. At this point, it is not clear to me what type of participation the United States is offering to India as part of this deal. But it would seem to me that on the basis of what we've seen so far that that cooperation would still be dependent on making the changes to U.S. law that this July 18th proposal would require.

We have a question here and then we'll go to the two gentlemen in the back.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) - India Globe/Asia Today. My question is that - sorry, for coming late. I had another function. What can we expect from that commitment of President Bush to India and also the agreement, which was July 18th signed here at the White House between the Prime Minister of India and President Bush. As strategic relationship and the U.S.-India relationships are concerned, what is coming out of this and is he going to take anything with him as far as this agreement is concerned so that he can make his case and the prime minister can make his case with the opposition leaders back home in India that what they have and what they can expect from this.

KIMBALL: Alright, well, I think I'll take a cue from David, an answer to an earlier question. I'm not Scott McClellan and I don't know what the president is taking to India. You know, it appears from the press reports - we're reading the same things you're seeing - that there are difficulties in reaching an agreement between Washington and New Delhi on the civil military separation plan. And until such time as that is concluded, the progress on this entire arrangement is going to be slow. And the administration has said they're not going to forward legislation to Congress to make changes.

So and I've also read, as many of you have read, the comments of the commissioner of the Indian Department of Atomic Energy, which make clear that the position of India going into the December talks with Undersecretary Burns and the January talks was to exclude a large number of facilities - civilian facilities - from international safeguards. This is what David Albright was talking about in his remarks. And so, even that separation plan is unacceptable to the Bush administration according to my understanding and according to the responses that the State Department has sent back to Capitol Hill. So it is quite possible that the deal could remain hung up on this issue before it even gets to Congress or the Nuclear Suppliers Group. So I'm looking forward to seeing what happens during President Bush's trip as you are.

Yes, a couple of folks back here.

QUESTION: Hi. Scott Morrissey. This is a question for the panel. A few months ago, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei voiced something he has said elsewhere that he actually supports the Indian nuclear deal. From what you're saying, that would complicate their efforts to get wide ratification of the additional protocol and get Brazilian naval facilities under safeguards, and as far as I can tell, in other ways just dig the IAEA's own grave. Can either of you either explain or otherwise critique this logic?

KIMBALL: David, do you have any insights about -

ALBRIGHT: Yeah, I've never asked him why do you support this? I mean, I've had discussions with senior safeguards people who have very mixed feelings. I mean, if India accepts sort of the ISIS plan, it's the biggest increase in safeguards since the NPT, because India has so many facilities and these power reactors are tough to safeguard, because they're these CANDU-type, and so you have online refueling. And in fact their preference would be that if we're going to safeguard India, focus on the reprocessing plants and enrichment plants. And I heard clear signal that they felt that they would like (inaudible) under safeguards. So I think they're in a sense the practitioners. They have to the think about the costs, how to implement it, and I don't think they see much benefit in safeguarding everything in India, and they prefer to focus on the things that really give you some clarity about a civil/military split, namely the reprocessing plants and enrichment plants.

I can speculate. ElBaradei likes to see things increase or go in a general direction. I mean, I don't know what he'll respond in the end when an agreement is actually signed and the IAEA is turned to and say, okay, go safeguard these places and you come up with the money.

WEISS: Please remember that the charter of the IAEA makes the agency a promoter of nuclear energy and ElBaradei may very well have been expressing an opinion based upon his position as the head of an agency that is in business not just to safeguard nuclear facilities, but to promote nuclear energy generally. I think that, again agreeing with what David said, the expansion of the agency's mandate in India to more facilities is something that would be a plus in a certain sense. But I think it is also the case that we'll probably have to wait and see how the agreement really shakes out when the negotiations are over before we know precisely what ElBaradei may think of it.

KIMBALL: And we have to keep in mind one other thing is that even after the Congress and the NSG would approve this, it would be up to the IAEA to negotiate the safeguards agreement with India on these facilities. Okay, one of the issues that is now in play, now under debate is what kind of safeguards? We didn't really talk too much about this, but this is vital. The Indian government is still - seems to prefer the so-called voluntary safeguards offer that the P-5, the original five nuclear-weapon states, observe. These are symbolic safeguards, meaningless in terms of preventing diversion. The Bush administration is on the record insisting that India accept permanent facility-specific safeguards on all these civilian facilities. In IAEA parlance, those are the CIRC/66 safeguards. India already has four facilities under these kinds of safeguards. So that's one of the fundamental necessities here. It would be up to ElBaradei to negotiate that with India.

QUESTION: I have a question for Len. Given the fact that the Congress is going to play a major role in what happens, I think it would be useful if he could clarify what Congressional legislation exists that would oppose this arrangement, including the Symington Amendment and the Glenn Amendment. And what action would have to be taken by the administration with Congress in order to go ahead with the deal as it appears to be emerging and what the prospects are that Congress will take a serious and hard look at that kind of legislation.

WEISS: Well, the law that is the biggest block to U.S.-India cooperation in the nuclear area at this point is the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978, because it requires full scope safeguards for exports of nuclear technology to any non-nuclear-weapon state. And under the definition provided by the NPT, India is considered a non-nuclear-weapon state. The administration would have to either amend the law by simply coming in with an amendment for it for Congress to pass, or it could have Congress introduce what's called a stand-alone bill that would say something to the effect - notwithstanding any other element of U.S. law, we provide an exception for India to receive nuclear technology, or words to that effect, which is the more likely way that I think the issue would be addressed.

Now, there are other laws that apply to the Indians as well. One is the Symington and the Glenn amendments, which apply to all non-nuclear-weapon states. If anybody imports or exports nuclear enrichment technology, equipment, or materials without safeguards, they would be cut off from U.S. military and economic cooperation. And the Glenn amendment, which does the same thing with respect to reprocessing technology. The problem here is that there are presidential waivers, which are built into the law that can be exercised, number one.

And number two, the president of course would have to actually declare a violation in order for the law to be applied. And the violation would have to occur from the time of the last waiver, whenever that was actually passed either by Congress or by presidential executive action. Obviously, this is something that would be difficult for the president to do once he signs an agreement for U.S.-Indian cooperation, but it doesn't mean that it couldn't happen.

The final law, which I think applies in this case is the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act, which was an expansion of the Glenn amendment to say that if a nuclear test is done by a non-nuclear-weapon state, then a whole variety of sanctions come into play automatically. This in fact happened in 1998 when both India and Pakistan did their nuclear tests, but the Congress immediately came in with an exemption for India and Pakistan with respect to agricultural exports, and then another law, another amendment was passed the following year, which hallowed basically the president to determine whether the law should be implemented. So he issued a waiver that removed all of the sanctions, but if another test were to take place, he would have to issue another waiver in order to prevent the end of nuclear cooperation or the end of the other sanctions, which included many other things besides nuclear.

KIMBALL: Now, Spurgeon, you had asked about the likelihood that Congress would take a close look. I'll just say a word about that. I mean, Congress, it appears, is in a wait and see mode. In my conversations with a number of offices, they are waiting to see the legislation that would make the changes necessary to these laws that would make this cooperation possible. And I would also note that in preparing this letter that several of us sent to Capitol Hill yesterday, we were reviewing 150-some pages of administration responses to some 90 questions from members of Congress. So the questions are coming in. There have been three hearings by the House International Relations Committee and one by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. There will be more hearings to come. So I'm pleased that Congress is looking closely. What they do is not clear yet. It depends a great deal on what the administration presents them and what this separation plan actually looks like, whether it's credible or not.

QUESTION: I am Paul Walker with Global Green USA. You've all a little bit speculated on the administration rationale for this, but it seems to me very illogical to raise this issue particularly at this point in time, as you've pointed out Daryl, with regard to North Korea and Iran. So I wondered if you all would speculate a little bit more as to what's the real driving rationale for this at this point in time? Is it important in 2006? Is it business interests? Is it promotion of rebuilding of nuclear power industry, globally or in the United States? Or is it something more that we're not quite seeing in this picture?

And secondly, my second question somewhat unrelated is, do any of you know about the physical security practices in India of nuclear power generation and spent fuel storage? As you know, there is a lot of concern over the design basis that Congressman Markey has raised over the years here, and the vulnerability of nuclear sites to - particularly attack from terrorist groups - and I'm just wondering if there is a proliferation of nuclear energy far above - what is it - 3 percent now that India uses for its nuclear energy production in India, should there be also some stipulation of in fact the physical security at these sites as well. Thank you.

ALBRIGHT: Yeah, I don't actually know. On the fissile material side, there has been continuing concern that not enough is known here about Indian practices on fissile material, and so it's always been ranked up there in these kinds of analysis. I mean, you first have Russia, but then you have this clustering of China, India, Pakistan. And Pakistan is certainly above India and China, but it's driven by a lack of knowledge, anything seen in other activities that lower your confidence that all the lessons of physical protection have really sunk in and been implemented. I would argue though that one of the reasons to engage India, and I'm certainly not in favor of this agreement going forward except in an extremely slow way, but certainly one of the reasons to engage India is to get U.S. people there, Europeans there who are experts in these kinds of questions on physical protection and work with the Indians to significantly raise their capabilities, because they certainly are targeted by terrorists, and they have an increasing amount of separated plutonium. You've raised this issue of attacking reactors. It makes me worried. I hadn't thought about it, but certainly it's a concern that one would hope India is dealing with and would be open to cooperative efforts with other states that have dealt with it for years and probably dealt with it more effectively.

WEISS: I don't know whether India has permissive action links on their nuclear weapons. I assume that they probably have some version of them. And I also assume without knowing for sure that the United States has been engaged in discussions with the Indians about that on some level, since we have also been doing something similar with respect to the Pakistanis. On the question of nuclear power or as to why the administration has gone ahead with this agreement up to now, it seems to be a combination of things, and I have no idea what weight to give to each individual element in the combination. But it does include, for example, a desire to push forward nuclear power as an element in sort of a worldwide energy production mix.

The interesting thing is that the United States is not likely to be the biggest beneficiary of the U.S.-Indian nuclear agreement with respect to our nuclear industry. I mean, it's much more likely, for example, that the French and the Russians would end up selling nuclear reactors to India than the United States, so we would probably be able to sell nuclear fuel and components of some sort. But I think the big buck items are more likely to go to the French and the Russians. Secondly, as reported in The Washington Post, some of the big U.S. defense contractors are likely to benefit from the agreement, because apparently the Indians have told us that they are prepared to spend anywhere from $5 to $15 billion on high-tech, non-nuclear defense technology, which would be a big benefit to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and perhaps others. And finally, there is, of course, the sort of geopolitical issue of whether India could be used or helped by the United States to be a counterweight to China with respect to U.S. interests in Asia. All of these, I think are in play, and as I say, I have no idea what weight to give to each one of them.

ALBRIGHT: Let me add one thing. In our work on this issue, one thing that surprised me - I forget who asked the question - but the opposition from the U.S. bureaucracy. Over and over again, we hear they were rolled, senior level decision, many the middle level bureaucracy is not comfortable with this agreement for all these reasons we've been talking about. Export controls is a very big one. How does India make this split and make it credible? I haven't heard this - well, let me say this. One of the ironies of this is where India is in its own actions is making it look like it wants an incredible number of nuclear weapons, and so I don't think that was expected, and I think it's a miscalculation on the part of the Indian nuclear establishment. But why would U.S. government officials want to be part of a deal or encourage a deal where India is seizing a right that they've given up and all the other weapons states have given up. Israel isn't launching an expansion of its nuclear arsenal. We don't even think Pakistan is. So India is sort of seizing this moment to create an incredible nuclear weapons production capability beyond any other state in the world. So I am sympathetic to the officials, I must say, and it's certainly affecting our thinking that you don't see much support for this agreement within the bureaucracy.

KIMBALL: And I think what David just mentioned, I mean, it kind of sums up the overriding concern that we have here, and one of the reasons why we've put this together. And you know to reiterate - we believe that the U.S.-India relationship needs to improve, but we don't think that it needs to be improved at the cost of sacrificing efforts to hold back proliferation worldwide. So you know, at a minimum, the things that the Congress ought to be looking for and expecting in order to avoid the worst is making sure that the civil/military separation plan includes the broadest possible list of civilian facilities, that the safeguards are meaningful, they're permanent safeguards on all material and facilities, and that India makes some sort of commitment to cut off the production of fissile material that would be necessary to expand its arsenal.

Thank you very much for being here. We have a number of materials on the table outside relating to some of the presentations, and there is more information on the Arms Control Association website . Thank you. (Applause.)

(END)

Country Resources:

The Future of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile

Body: 

Wednesday, January 25, 2006
9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Washington, D.C.

PANELISTS:

 AMBASSADOR LINTON F. BROOKS,
ADMINISTRATOR, NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

 RAYMOND JEANLOZ,
CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND ARMS CONTROL, NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

 DAVID MOSHER,
SENIOR POLICY ANALYST, RAND

 DARYL G. KIMBALL,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION

Transcript by
Federal News Service,
Washington , D.C.

DARYL G. KIMBALL: Well, good morning everyone. Please find your seats. It sounds like we have a little echo here. I’m Daryl Kimball. Welcome very much to the Arms Control Association’s winter panel discussion. This will be followed by our annual members’ luncheon today with Dr. Hans Blix, but we have a very good panel this morning on the subject of the future of the United States nuclear weapons stockpile. We have many Arms Control Association members here and friends. But for those of you who are not familiar with the Arms Control Association, we’re a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, which is dedicated to public education on the threats posed by nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional arms and to promoting means by which we can effectively deal with the threats that they pose. I’m proud to say also that this year, 2006, is our 35 th anniversary in the business, and from the large turnout today, apparently arms control is still a hot topic and something we all need to pay attention to.

Since the founding of the Arms Control Association in 1971 to the present, we have been especially focused on the value and the obligation under Article VI of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to verifiably reduce and eliminate global nuclear weapons stockpiles. And today’s session is but the latest in a series of events and articles and reports that we have put together to encourage a fresh and forward-looking thinking on these issues. And as David Hobson, the influential congressman from Ohio, said last year at our event, – and I’m quoting – “I think the time is now for a thoughtful and open debate on the role of nuclear weapons in our country’s national security strategy.” And on that, I think there is very broad agreement. But as of now, there does not seem to be consensus on what the specific roles, if any, the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile serves in U.S. security policy today and into the future in the decades ahead. Nor is there agreement about the size, the composition of the stockpile and how it should be further adjusted given the overarching need to curb the spread of nuclear, chemical, biological weapons, to reduce the saliency of nuclear weapons, and to prevent nuclear terrorism.

Before we hear from our distinguished panelists, let me just highlight four key areas that have been in the forefront of the Arms Control Association’s thinking on this subject and I think are very important to think about as we look at the future of the U.S. stockpile in the decade ahead. First, how do we advance progress on verifiable, strategic nuclear disarmament beyond the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, which promises to reduce U.S. and Russian strategic deployed warheads to no more than 2,200 by the year 2012? That represents progress certainly in a relative sense, but keep in mind that those numbers are comparable to the warhead deployment numbers of the Cold War era, specifically the U.S. levels in the mid-1950s and the Soviets in the late 1960s. And keep in mind that if the START I agreement is allowed to expire in 2009, the ability of the United States and Russia to confidently verify compliance with their commitments will diminish considerably. So from ACA’s perspective, we do not see any credible threat scenario that warrants maintaining such large numbers of strategic warheads on high alert, 20 years after the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall. And as the report that we published last year on restructuring U.S. strategic forces by Dr. Sidney Drell and Ambassador Jim Goodby, recommends – we think the U.S. should pursue faster and deeper reductions, perhaps to 1,000 total warheads by the year 2010. And new negotiations either to extend START or to renew the verification procedures should begin soon.

Second, how can we verifiably reduce excess stockpiles of Cold War-era tactical nuclear weapons, which Russia has at least 3,500. The numbers are not exactly clear. The United States, itself, maintains several hundred of nonstrategic warheads, including some 400 maintained at six NATO countries in Europe. And as the former head of the Department of Energy’s Defense Nuclear Proliferation Office told Congress last year, a lost tactical nuclear warhead is a “low-risk, high-consequence” terrorism threat that keeps him up at night. It keeps me up at night sometimes, too. While both countries profess to support progress in reducing these tactical arsenals, each side blames the other for holding up progress. And as a result, many in Congress and in European parliaments are getting a bit impatient. And I’d note that last year Congress asked the Defense, State, and Energy Departments to provide reports on whether and how the U.S. should reduce the number of U.S. and Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons and improve the security of Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons, something that’s certainly in the bailiwick of, among other things, one of our guests today Ambassador Brooks. Now in the view of ACA, the U.S. could help break the impasse by thinking about how it could draw down its NATO tactical forces and retiring old systems, such as the W-80 warhead.

Third, should the United States continue to seek new capabilities – weapons capabilities – such as the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, for new nuclear missions including the possible preemptive use of nuclear weapons, as Jacques Chirac suggested in a speech a few days ago, or the use of such weapons against non-nuclear weapons targets? And I just say on this that I hope the administration’s forthcoming budget request finally recognizes that Congress does not support this course of action and will likely reject it again if asked to do so.

Finally, even though the Bush administration is making progress in reducing overall number of deployed U.S. warheads, it is also pursuing an expensive and ambitious program to revitalize the nuclear weapons research and production complex. How can we get back on track towards a more cost effective way to maintain a shrinking stockpile without resorting to nuclear testing? Last year, the administration proposed a new program dubbed RRW – Reliable Replacement Warhead – to replace existing warheads with new ones that it says can improve the reliability of the existing stockpile, reduce costs, all without resuming testing or creating new nuclear weapons capabilities. From my perspective and many in Congress, as we’ve seen, the jury is still out on the RRW program. It may be the wrong solution for a non-existent reliability problem, and perhaps without proper oversight it could create new uncertainties that could lead to renewed testing. It could lead to new cost burdens, and it could create the means to develop new warhead concepts for new nuclear missions at some point in the future.

So those are some of the issues that I hope we’ll discuss this morning. We have an excellent panel this morning to stir our thinking on these issues beginning with Ambassador Linton Brooks first on my right, the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration. Ambassador Brooks has a long and distinguished career – held many high-ranking posts, not the least of which was being chief strategic arms negotiator for the START I agreement of 1991. And I want to especially thank you, Ambassador Brooks, for coming here to engage with us on this subject, and you’ve always kept the communication lines open with ACA. And that’s much appreciated. Next we’re going to hear from Dr. Raymond Jeanloz, who is professor of Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California – Berkley. He is also the chair of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on International Security and Arms Control. And that committee, as many of you know, has published several authoritative studies on the future of U.S. nuclear forces, earth-penetrating nuclear weapons, monitoring weapons and nuclear materials, which I would recommend to you. And last but not least, we have David Mosher, who is currently senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. He was for many years the principle analyst for national security issues with the Congressional Budget Office, and he is the recent co-author of a comprehensive study on improving U.S.-Russia nuclear safety.

Following all of their remarks, we’ll hear from you, the audience, for a question and answer session. But first, Ambassador Brooks, the podium is yours. I appreciate you coming, especially after a long trip from Russia. You can stay there, or you’re welcome to come to the podium.

AMBASSADOR LINTON BROOKS: I’m going to stay here if that’s okay. Thanks very much. I’m pleased to be here. I’m going to talk – I’m not going to talk about all four of the issues that were set forth. I can talk about some of them in the discussion. I want to talk about the overall stockpile and the infrastructure and where I think we’re going with that and how that supports the president’s goal of reducing nuclear weapons to the lowest level consistent with our security. I’m going to make two assumptions that many in this room will disagree with so might as well tell you them up front. First, I am going to assume that for the foreseeable future, we are going to need to retain nuclear weapons and that we’re going to need the capability to sustain and, if necessary, modernize them. I don’t believe that I will live to see the political conditions for abolition, and I don’t believe that, if I live to see the political conditions, that abolition would be technically verifiable in my lifetime. And so I’m assuming that the real issue that faces the United States is not whether we have nuclear weapons, but what kind and for what purpose and under what conditions. Secondly, I – and I’ll expand on this a little bit near the end – I don’t see any conflict between the plans that I’m going to describe for you and our strong support for nonproliferation. And I’ll explain why in a minute, but just to alert you to the two broad themes that many of you are not going to be completely sure I’m right on, we can start with those two.

The president made his position clear from the earliest days of the administration. In May of 2001 at the [ National Defense University], he said, “We can and will change the size, the composition, the character of our nuclear forces in a way that reflects the reality that the Cold War is over. I’m committed to achieving a credible deterrent with the lowest possible number of nuclear weapons consistent with our national security needs, including our obligations to our allies.” Well what have we done to meet that? We’ve done two significant things at least. The Treaty of Moscow, which you heard referred to, as of May of 2002, will reduce operationally deployed weapons to between 1,700 and 2,200 by December of 2012 down from about 5,300 deployed at the end of 2003. And while I take the point that many including me believe that that should not be the end, I also will say that those are levels that would have seemed fanciful at the time that I was involved in negotiation with START I and START II. I want to neither suggest that we should be satisfied, nor minimize the accomplishment. In addition, in May of 2004, the president reduced the total of U.S. stockpiled, non-deployed as well as deployed. By 2012, the stockpile will be down almost one half from the level of 2001. It will be the smallest total stockpile since the Eisenhower administration and be roughly a factor of four reduction since the end of the Cold War.

Now I submit to you that both of these are significant accomplishments, but I also agree, I suspect, with many in this room that further reductions are possible and desirable. And the key to making those reductions in my view is found in an important conceptual breakthrough in the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review of 2002. That review said a number of things. It said that other capabilities could substitute for functions traditionally assigned to nuclear forces – conventional capabilities, defense capabilities. And so it postulated a so-called new triad of offensive forces, nuclear, kinetic, and conventional defensive forces, and supporting our research and development infrastructure. And from the standpoint of the Department of Energy, the recognition of the critical role of infrastructure as an element of overall deterrence was the most fundamental and important change. And it’s the one that holds out the promise of additional reduction in the stockpile.

Let me tell you why. The president approved a significant reduction, as I’ve said, in 2004. But there is still a large number of non-deployed weapons that will be retained under the plan the president approved. They’ll be retained to hedge against technical problems. They’ll be retained as a hedge against geopolitical problems. Technical problems are a euphemism for finding out that some warhead doesn’t work so you need to maintain enough other warheads to compensate for that. Geopolitical is a euphemism for somebody else who decides that they’d like to restart a “strategic competition,” which is what administration officials call arm races. As we started to implement these concepts, we recognized that we could eliminate much of this non-deployed hedge, if we really had a responsive infrastructure. Once we demonstrate that we can produce warheads on a time scale in which geopolitical threats emerge – and that’s a time scale of years – then we don’t need to retain extra warheads to hedge against unexpected international changes. Once we can respond in a timely way to technical problems in the stockpile, we may no longer need to retain extra warheads as a hedge against such problems. So in 2002, we saw this concept of responsive infrastructure as the key not only to future effectiveness of the force, but also as key to additional reductions.

And as we in the Department of Defense take the first steps on the path toward a responsive infrastructure – and I’m going to say in a moment this is a very long journey in which we are just beginning – we have been aided by a new idea first formalized last year called the Reliable Replacement Warhead or RRW. The RRW concept relaxes Cold War design constraints. In the Cold War, we believed two things in the design world. One, we believed we needed the greatest yield for the smallest weight because we wanted to put a lot of warheads on a missile. And secondly, we believed that plutonium was a scarce and precious resource, and we needed to use as little as possible of it in each warhead. Now, neither of those makes any sense in today’s world. We still have the same missiles, but they carry far fewer warheads so there’s no particular premium on making those warheads light. And I’m spending money to get rid of plutonium not to conserve it. And so if we can take advantage of this practical change and relax the design constraints, then we could redesign existing warheads with replacement components that are easier to manufacture, safer and more secure, eliminate environmentally dangerous materials, and increase design margins, which would have the ancillary benefit of reducing the chance that we will ever have to resume nuclear testing.

Probably the most overworked word in Washington, at least in the national security business, is transformation. And transformation is used and abused to cover many things, but it’s just possible that, if – and remember, they call it research because you don’t know yet how it’s going to come out. But if the combination of a Reliable Replacement Warhead and a truly responsive infrastructure – and we see those as each enabling the other – comes to have the promise we think it’d have, this may actually justify the term transformational. Now that transformation will build on the Stockpile Stewardship program, and it’s important to understand that nothing we’re doing is a repudiation of stockpile stewardship. Stockpile stewardship is working. We are absolutely convinced today’s stockpile is safe and reliable. We are absolutely convinced that there is no requirement at this time for nuclear tests. Each year the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Energy formally reaffirm that judgment to the president based on the independent judgment of the three weapons lab directors and the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command. So stockpile stewardship is working. It is giving us a good understanding of the stockpile. It is enabling us to say that we could potentially make these changes.

Now the problem with what I’ve just said is that it takes time. We can change our declaratory policy in a day. I mean, the litany of assure, dissuade, deter, defeat that underlies the declaratory policy of the Nuclear Posture Review can be changed in a day. And we can change the targeting that underlies that in relatively brief time, maybe weeks. And in a year or so, we can improve integration of nuclear and non-nuclear offenses and of defenses. But the infrastructure and the stockpile change much more slowly, and full transformation of this infrastructure will take a couple of decades. Concrete example – most of us assume, although we don’t know yet, that the Reliable Replacement Warhead will require a manufacturing pitch. If everything works the way we hope – and I think an honest man would say that a track record of everything in my business – meetings, schedules – is not perfect. But if everything works the way we hope, early in the next decade, we might be able to produce 40 pits a year. So even if you accept the idea that you want to go to a stockpile half the size of the 2012 stockpile, to turn that over is going to be a very long process. And doing it more rapidly will have to await a restored pit production capability, which is at least 15 years away.

So this is going to take a long time, but it may actually be worth waiting for. Let me take you forward 20 or 25 years when the emerging vision of the nuclear weapons enterprise of the future has come to fruition. The deployed stockpile, almost certainly considerably smaller than today’s plans call for, has been largely transformed. Reliable Replacement Warheads have relaxed the design constraints imposed during the Cold War. As a result, they’re more easily manufactured with safer and more environmentally benign materials. Now these modified warheads have the same military characteristics, and they’re carried on the same delivery systems, and they hold at risk the same targets as the variants they replaced. But they’ve been redesigned for reliability, for security, and for ease of maintenance. And because of this in this future world, even though there’s nobody – almost nobody left who remembers a nuclear test, let alone actually worked on one, the confidence in the stockpile is very, very high. That’s because the Reliable Replacement Warhead concept is built around large design margins and therefore an insensitivity to uncertainty. And it’s because the continued tools of stockpile stewardship have let us understand nuclear phenomena from first principles. The deployed stockpile is backed up with a non-deployed stockpile, but it’s dramatically smaller than the one today or the one of 2012. We’ve met the responsive infrastructure objective to be able to repair and re-deploy warheads within a year if relatively minor problems are encountered. We’ve eliminated dangerous and environmentally difficult materials like conventional high explosives – beryllium – and that lets do away with the need for a large number of spare warheads to hedge against reliability problems.

Now the world of 25 years from now isn’t any more predictable than the world today. We still worry about a hedge against geopolitical changes, and we still worry about attempts by others to instigate an arms race. But instead of keeping that hedge in aging and increasingly obsolete spare weapons, the hedge is in the responsive infrastructure. We’ve met the goals established in 2004, being able to reduce additional warheads within the time of plausible geopolitical change. So we don’t need to keep large numbers of non-deployed warheads as a hedge. Our responsive infrastructure can also produce weapons with different or modified military capabilities. The design community has been revitalized by the RRW program, and it can adapt existing designs within 18 months and begin production of new design within four years, once again, goals that were established in 2004. So if Congress and the president in this future world direct, we can respond quickly to changing military requirements. The corollary is we don’t need to respond prematurely in the anticipation of those requirements.

Security is important in this future world just like it is today, but the transformed infrastructure has been designed with security in mind and more importantly new intrinsic features built into the growing number of Reliable Replacement Warheads – improve both safety and security. So the vision I’m giving you is a world where there’s a smaller, safer, more secure, more reliable stockpile backed up by a robust industrial and design capability to respond to changing technical, geopolitical, or military requirements. Now that’s not the only plausible future, but it’s the one we should strive for. It offers the best hope, seems to me, of achieving the president’s vision of the smallest stockpile consistent with our nation’s security and provides a hedge against an inherently unknowable future. Everybody has learned different things from the last 15-16 years of human history. What I and many of my colleagues have learned is we are very poor at predicting the future, and therefore we want to be able to respond rather than spend huge sums of money based on a particular assumption about the future. Now that’s why I think that we want to embrace this vision of transformation. I don’t want to underestimate the challenge of transforming the enterprise, but it’s the right step to take. The vision that I have given you is enabled by what we’ve learned from 10 years of experience of stockpile stewardship, from planning for and carrying out life extension, and from coming to grips with national security needs of the 21 st century in a Nuclear Posture Review. I hope you find it coherent. I believe it’s the right vision to guide our near-term planning.

But is it the right vision for our broader objectives? Some responsible critics of our policies have suggested that U.S. research and development weapons programs hamper our ability to advance global nonproliferation. I disagree with that. The major nonproliferation objective for the United States is to keep rogue states and terrorist groups from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Our efforts to sustain and modernize U.S. nuclear forces don’t increase terrorist incentives to obtain those weapons. Those incentives are high and really unrelated to what we do in this area. They don’t have much impact on rogue states, whose proliferation activities march forward independently of the U.S. nuclear program. Now, what’s my evidence for that statement? Well, the last decade or so, we’ve seen very significant reductions in the number of U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons, reductions in alert levels, reductions in deployment, the suspension of testing by the five nuclear weapons states. There have been no new warheads deployed. There has been very little U.S. nuclear modernization, and there’s absolutely no evidence that any of that has had the slightest impact on North Korea or Iran in their covert programs to acquire nuclear capabilities. It seems to me much more plausible that those states are seeking such weapons in part to deter the United States from coming to the aid of friends and allies. And if anything, they’re responding to our overwhelming conventional superiority, not to what we may or may not do in the area of nuclear weapons. Similarly the deployment – the acknowledgment of the deployment is a more accurate way to say it – of weapons in South Asia doesn’t appear to me to have anything to do with what the United States or Russia do.

Now, we should be concerned as we go forward with how our actions can affect the international support among friends, allies, and partners on whom we depend for strengthened nonproliferation commitments. And I’m bothered by charges that our policies have harmed nonproliferation because I think our nonproliferation record is pretty good. And I think that our nuclear posture and our nonproliferation record are both mutually supportive and consistent with our obligation under Article VI [of the NPT]. In 1995, when the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was indefinitely extended, we reiterated our commitment under Article VI to work toward the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons in the context of general and complete disarmament. We’ve made substantial reductions since then in the reliance of nuclear forces in our national security strategy. I’ve never much liked the term nuclear arms race, but whatever it is or was, it’s clearly been stopped. And as I described earlier, we are dramatically reducing our own nuclear forces.

I think these accomplishments are helping to realize the president’s vision of the lowest possible number of nuclear weapons consistent with national security. I think that our accomplishments also demonstrate our adherence to our nonproliferation commitments. Transforming the nuclear weapons complex to be more responsive will continue this trend while preserving our ability to respond. That’s why we’re committed to seizing the opportunity that technology is offering us. Thank you very much, and I look forward to the discussion. (Applause.)

KIMBALL: Thank you. Our next speaker is Raymond Jeanloz.

RAYMOND JEANLOZ: Thank you. While I get set up here, let me just say that I’ll be covering a lot of material, and I do have an electronic file, if anyone is interested to get the words right. I will be covering some material a little bit more quickly than I anticipated. Just have to get my computer to talk to me, and then we’re off and running.

Thanks very much for the invitation to come this morning. I have three areas of discussion that I want to cover: stockpile stewardship, the RRW program that you heard about, and also briefly the recent questions about the future of the stockpile. In the past few years, we’ve heard talk of the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, the Reliable Replacement Warhead, and so on in discussion of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal. More general, there has been talk of transforming the enterprise, as we just heard, and of the United States making significant long-term investments in such infrastructure as a modern pit facility. It’s good that there are ongoing discussions about the U.S. arsenal, for we cannot let the responsibility of possessing such a nuclear arsenal stagnate due to lack of attention. However, the current discussions are severely limited by being overly narrow and by being pursued without the broader context of a long-term strategy for U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

The Cold War has been over for more than 15 years, yet many of the features of the arsenal and its potential use are legacies of that period, as we’ve heard. The mandate to U.S. military intelligence and law enforcement as of 9/11 to focus first and foremost on countering terrorism has not been thoroughly factored into the discussions. For these reasons, key individuals, including General Cartwright, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, have called for a national debate about our nuclear weapons arsenal. And I applaud the Arms Control Association and other organizations for responding to this call. The need is for a broad discussion informed by technical and military considerations and spanning the political spectrum, as well as the spread of views about arms control and international security.

To inform this discussion, let’s quickly review the past 10 years’ accomplishments. I come to you as a technical person with experience in science and engineering, an outsider not directly engaged in the nuclear weapons enterprise. I can only present my personal views based on experience as an advisor and external reviewer of many parts of that enterprise. With that background, I am pleased to say that the NNSA Stockpile Stewardship program has been an amazing success. I believe I’m in violent agreement with Ambassador Brooks on that. I had nothing to do with starting this program or creating it and can understand why there may have been concerns when it was first established. Even the most skeptical observers, however, have to acknowledge the overwhelming technical success of the program to date. It has indeed confirmed the U.S.’s ability to sustain our enduring nuclear weapons stockpile based on a scientific approach.

What supports this conclusion? Let me briefly review three points. First, there was the huge success in recapturing the ability to construct certifiable pits, the core of the first stage of a modern thermonuclear weapon at Los Alamos. Personally, I had no doubts that this would be possible, but I want to emphasize the magnitude of the accomplishment by noting that significantly new processes had to be developed. After all, Rocky Flats was shut down because its manufacturing processes were untenable and ultimately considered illegal. The successful transition to new people running new processes at a new location proves, as much as anything, that the U.S. nuclear weapons complex has significant resilience and capability for sustaining the legacy arsenal.

Second example bears on the ongoing effort to document the effects of aging of materials, components, and even systems within our arsenal. Advances in the basic science allowing us to understand plutonium, high explosives, and the like have been truly impressive. It’s not a matter of mindless technicians filling out checklists. To the contrary, there has been an enormous intellectual challenge in finding new ways of validating results that have previously been poorly characterized. What new experiments can really test, reinforce, or refute results from the past? And how can the assumptions imbedded in computer simulations be strenuously evaluated? The remarkable finding is that key materials making up the nuclear explosive package are far more stable and predictable than anyone would have anticipated. Recent developments reinforce the conclusion that plutonium pits and the U.S. stockpile are stable over periods of at least 50 to 60 years and probably much, much longer. To be sure, new phenomena may appear in the future, but these will be uncovered through ongoing work such as accelerated aging experiments. Meanwhile, the technical conclusion is that we do have time for a thorough and well informed discussion of U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

Finally, I want to point to the accomplishments of the life extension programs that were already alluded to. These involved individual weapons systems that are examined and refurbished so as to be stockpiled in our arsenal for another tour of duty. Humdrum to some, this activity has been at the heart of inserting more science into the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise. The materials and components, as well as the processes associated with everything from testing to re-manufacturing of components have been thoroughly vetted and documented at a level that was previously just not possible. Many focus on delays and cost overruns, neglecting to acknowledge how profound this accomplishment really is. The enterprise has successfully established mechanisms by which objective approaches replace best guesses, engineering judgment, and such non-scientific concepts as “unknown unknowns”. Put in another way, the enterprise has undergone a major transformation and established quantitative guidelines that competent staff will be able to follow into the future. The performance margins of weapons systems are now quantified with uncertainties, and even estimates of the uncertainty of these uncertainties being established. Also, performance margins can be increased, and this is being done in the enduring stockpile as appropriate.

In this light, it is astounding to me the degree to which key individuals whether at a laboratory or in Washington have refused to acknowledge these accomplishments on a number of occasions. For example, there are still some who proclaim that the U.S. is unable to build a modern nuclear weapon, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Meanwhile, we have gone a decade with the enduring stockpile being assessed each year as safe, reliable, and effective. Now, it’s our nation’s responsibility, as long as we have a nuclear arsenal, to ensure that it’s supported by capable people. Incompetence in this domain would be a disaster. It’s therefore central that the U.S. retain core capability and nuclear weapons technology. Stockpile stewardship has been remarkably successful, not only in maintain our enduring arsenal, but also in sustaining that technical capability.

So given the success of stewardship, is there a rationale for the RRW? In my view, the answer may be yes, but it’s too early, at least for me, to tell because the concept is as yet ill-defined for those of us on the outside. Congress has established the following characteristics for RRW: one, it’s to make the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise less costly, more effective, and generally more efficient. Two, it’s to avoid requiring the nation to resume underground nuclear explosion testing – underground testing. Three, it’s to involve no new military requirements. That is, no new military missions are being considered. A rationale one can understand for RRW is that something new is needed in order to respond to the policy decision we’ve already heard of and supported by the Treaty of Moscow to significantly reduce the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal over the coming years. Given that stewardship has successfully demonstrated our country’s ability to sustain the enduring arsenal, the added requirements imposed by reducing or eliminating the need for a non-deployed responsive force – that is, reducing the total arsenal to 2,000 and perhaps smaller numbers thereafter – could well justify a new program such as RRW. In some sense, the smaller the arsenal, the greater the reliability required of each individual weapon as distinct from each class or designed weapon. The key motivation for RRW would therefore be to support the decision to significantly reduce the arsenal, and I believe you heard Ambassador Brooks talk about this as well.

Without that reduction, however, there is no widely accepted motivation as of yet for an RRW program. As citizens, we all want the enterprise to be as efficient and cost effective as possible, but it is unclear that a new program is the best approach for accomplishing this. Technical issues such as the presence of conventional high explosives in certain systems are, I believe, red herrings. Similarly, plutonium aging does not force us to a decision point at present. Along these lines, the claim that RRW will help maintain nuclear weapons design expertise is limited and, I believe, perhaps counterproductive. After all, if the condition is to avoid underground testing, the RRW has to be well within design parameters that have been thoroughly established through past nuclear explosion tests. Technically put, they have to be interpolated between rather than extrapolated from validated design parameters, no matter how much one enhances margins or performs high-end computer simulations. In my view, this means that the appropriate terminology is to label RRW not a new design or a re-design, but a limited modification of existing designs, that is, limited within experimentally established design parameters. To be sure, one is extending the concept of a modification from the region outside the nuclear explosive package to one deep inside the NEP, if that is feasible, which has yet to be determined.

I say this forcefully because it will not be up to the present laboratory directors, NNSA or DOD leadership, or even the current president ultimately to decide if an RRW has to be proven through an underground test. That will be the responsibility of a future generation and a future president. Therefore the only way for RRW as presently defined to succeed is to ensure that it’s not a new design, but is instead well within the design parameters that have a test pedigree. This approach is fully compatible with – may even depend on – the requirement of no new military missions. Best of all though, stockpile stewardship as demonstrated that the nuclear weapons complex is in principle up to the task of providing the necessary objective requirements that scientifically establish parameters, which could assure any responsible individual now or in the future that the RRW design does not require underground testing. To clarify, I don’t rule out the possibility that the U.S. will perform an underground test sometime in the future. There may be various reasons, not the least of which are purely political. My only point is that RRW can, if properly – if properly managed, be pursued without imposing the technical requirement for such testing in the future. I fear, however, that some who discuss RRW are not using the kind of language that would reassure one on this count.

Moreover – and we’ve heard about this – we have precious little objective analysis in my view of the influence exerted worldwide on attitudes about nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation, and on global security, as we in the U.S. discuss or fail to discuss various options regarding our nuclear arsenal and policies. Why does our dialogue often amount to no more than personal opinions about whether and how what we in the U.S. do have influence on others? Why have we failed to develop a more complete and nuanced understanding on how pursuing new designs, reinvigorating our nuclear complex, and maintaining reliance on our nuclear deterrent does or does not contributed to global proliferation and insecurity? Given that RRW is connected with a greatly reduced stockpile, one can ask, where are we headed with the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal? The overarching strategy has yet to be debated, but it’s possible to lay out some of the key issues that need to be addressed. I would emphasize that it is in any case, I believe, essential for the U.S. to maintain core technical capability, knowledge, and expertise in nuclear weapons. This is so not only in order to ensure responsible stewardship of our future arsenal, whatever it becomes, but also to maintain awareness of the very real threats that can emerge worldwide, as we have heard.

The technology associated with nuclear weapons is inexorably spreading, and many new countries are likely to become latent nuclear-weapon states, that is, to have the capability to develop a nuclear arsenal even if they don’t have one within the coming generation. We all acknowledge that the enduring U.S. arsenal is a legacy of the Cold War. The conclusion that “we have the wrong arsenal” does not follow however. Of course we would build a different arsenal, perhaps no arsenal were we to start now in the post 9/11 era to consider arming ourselves with nuclear weapons for the first time. We now see many countries that can soon develop or acquire the requisite technologies, and the concept of latency increasingly blurs the separation between nuclear and non-nuclear states. In fact, there is only one characteristic of our present arsenal that we all agree is wrong, and that is its size. It is notable in this regard that Congress has repeatedly taken the position that no new military requirements are to be contemplated for our nuclear weapons.

More generally, Congress has acted on the basis that what we in the U.S. say and how we act does have a significant impact around the world. That said, if we take a total projected arsenal of say 2,000 as nominal status quo for the future, we can ask if there are any conditions under which we would feel compelled to increase it again. Presumably, this would happen only in response to a significant collapse in international relations. To answer that, one needs a clear idea of why the U.S. possesses a nuclear arsenal. The traditional response that it acts as the ultimate deterrent in case the existence of the nation is at stake needs reexamination. In the post 9/11 era focused on terrorism and quite appropriately concerned with nuclear proliferation, it’s not at all obvious that repeating the Cold War buildup would in any way be – (audio break, tape change) – and to the rest of the world. Who would assume other than that the U.S. could quickly reconstitute a small arsenal in an emergency and a substantial arsenal if international relations were in the process of dissolving?

I’m reminded of a senior member of one of the national security laboratories describing the ultimate with regards to the new triad’s responsive infrastructure that we heard about, namely that the U.S. would have no nuclear arsenal at all, but would have the capability to produce weapons if urgently needed. In fact, considering this hypothetical scenario that the U.S. abolishes its nuclear weapons, there would presumably be a period of time, perhaps extensive, during which weapons components would still exist. Would this represent a close approach to our stated obligations under Article VI of the NPT? Short of abolishing the stockpile, how small an arsenal is compatible with our 21 st century needs? Is 1,000 the right number as has been advocated in an Arms Control Association publication we heard about and also elsewhere in other publications in the past year. Or is 200 enough, a number comparable to or larger than the reported size of many other nuclear stockpiles? And what would we expect of our international partners in return for such reduced stockpiles? What specific technical requirements would need to be met within our own nuclear weapons arsenal and complex to allow us to contemplate such reductions?

In any case, evolution of stockpiles – ours, others – below 2,000 would presumably require a strategy for staging reductions. This has led to strong calls for much more enhanced transparency and for more straightforward accountability, eliminating, for example, the distinction between operationally deployed and responsive or reserve forces. The role of non-strategic weapons around the world also needs to be clarified, with a strong incentive to eliminate smaller nuclear systems that are perceived as being especially vulnerable to theft or loss. Of course, numbers are not the only consideration. Are there any post-Cold War scenarios under which the U.S. would need to launch a nuclear attack in less than, say, one day? How about one week or one month? What tradeoffs in fact exist between the size and constitution of our enduring arsenal and the anticipated time scales over which a decision would be made to use it? The logistics of platforms carrying these weapons is, of course, an important part of the calculus.

So to close, I’ve not come here to provide specific answers to these questions. My purpose instead has been to highlight the capability and resilience of the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise, which gives us the opportunity, and I believe the responsibility, to thoroughly discuss post-Cold War nuclear weapons policy. I’ve touched on a few of these questions that need to be addressed openly and honestly as we and other nations of the world address the role of nuclear weapons in the 21 st century. Thank you. (Applause.)

KIMBALL: Thank you very much, Raymond. You remind me of one of my professors outlining the issues that I need to cover, but don’t have answers to. That was a very useful framework. Yes, it’s on the test. Next, David Mosher. Thank you, David.

DAVID MOSHER: Thank you, Daryl, very much. And thank you Arms Control Association for inviting me here today. Just to pick up briefly on something that Dr. Jeanloz said, he was talking a little bit about reducing forces. What does it mean in the future as we go to smaller and smaller numbers, reducing alert rates? I generally don’t stump stuff we’ve done, but Daryl raised it, so here’s my opening. We looked at this at RAND looking at sort of de-alerting, and what it might mean, and ended up really thinking it’s the relations [between] the major powers that really determine how successful you can be at reducing these things. Anyway, recommended to you, it’s on the RAND website if you’d like.

But the topic here today is the future of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Ambassador Brooks has laid out sort of the administration’s approach for how they will preserve the stockpile in the long term. What I’d like to do is step back a little bit here and challenge you to consider some of the underlying issues that determine what our stockpile is, what our arsenal is, why we have what we have today, and where it should be going. And I like to think of it in terms of what are the fundamental forces that are shaping what the arsenal is and how it might change over time.

The first, of course, is the international environment, or as Ambassador Brooks referred to them as, geopolitical problems. There could be also geopolitical opportunities, it depends. The second, of course, and I think this is fundamental, is what is the United States’ approach or philosophy or theory about deterrence? What deters? The third, of course, is the transparency and predictability that is in the arsenals of other countries today, our potential adversaries. And the key issue really is how sensitive is the U.S. arsenal to changes in any of those three? What effects the need to maintain an arsenal, to rebuild an arsenal, to re-capitalize an infrastructure? What’s required to hedge? All those are affected by those three.

As far as the international environment is concerned, today really we face no direct nuclear adversaries. We have some nuclear powers, but they aren’t direct adversaries of ours. There are some countries who are emerging nuclear adversaries, and they’re developing arsenals. They may have arsenals today, North Korea, for example, and Iran seems to be headed in that direction. Those changes are likely to occur slowly, that is, very small numbers of weapons. It’s going to take years for those capabilities to emerge. Others already have nuclear arsenals, and I’m thinking of China here. And they have the potential to become adversaries if we’re not careful. But they aren’t an adversary today, and hopefully they won’t be, although it’s something that we can’t lose sight of. And then there are – there is one other adversary or former adversary with a very large arsenal, and that is Russia. Some day, it’s possible that we may become more hostile toward each other, and that might change. But given the current state of Russia’s forces, and the economic situation there, that again won’t happen quickly even if a change were made today, which I don’t think is likely.

Each of those types of powers set different demands on our nuclear forces. But let’s be clear, our forces today are sized and structured largely to deal with the Russian threat. All these other cases are really lesser-included cases and will continue to be so for a long period of time. Lesser powers may create demands for niche capabilities, and I’m thinking here about those who advocate earth-penetrating weapons, the RNEP [Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator] is the acronym du jour. But it may. I’m leaving that on the table for a moment. But that’s the sort of thing it would affect, not the overall size, not the sort of infrastructure we need or the delivery mechanisms, et cetera.

Clearly, we need to address each of those possibilities, but to what degree? How do we handle that? Second, I want to turn to the U.S. philosophy of deterrence, and I’m focusing here largely on central deterrence, which in arms control parlance is the ability to deter attacks on your homeland. Again, that’s what our arsenal is largely structured for. The U.S. deterrent philosophy determines how sensitive the force, the nuclear forces, and the stockpile are likely to be to the inevitable changes in the international environment. If for some reason Russia began to resuscitate its force, must the U.S. follow suit? If so, how quickly? What are those time constants if you will in response? How quickly can Russia build up? What about a sharp buildup of Chinese ICBMs? If it happened in five years, to what number? How quickly would the U.S. have to respond? Would the United States have to respond given what its forces are today? If North Korea builds a small nuclear force, do we have to change our posture? Do we have to change the way our forces are structured or what our weapons are? And if so, how quickly?

All these get to this issue of responsive sensitivity that Ambassador Brooks was talking about. If you approach it from sort of the classic damage limitation approach, where the purpose of our forces is to limit damage to ourselves, to deny the other country’s war aims, then you become very sensitive or you are very sensitive to what happens to the other guy’s forces. If the Russians double the number of weapons that they have in silos, that increases the demand on our forces. You become sort of very sensitive, and not only does one silo increase the demand for a single warhead, but it’s multiple warheads, because you have survivable forces and you often – the way we think about these targets – you cross-target them. You have multiple warheads hitting a single high-value target. So a damage limitation, which has strong lineage in the Cold War, and really persists today to some degree, would make us very sensitive to what others do. And a U.S. response would have to be fairly rapid. If the key to our deterrence is destroying the other guy’s capability and we had a country that was roughly at parity and went high quickly, then we’d have to worry about that.

At the other end of the spectrum is what’s called or referred to as a minimum deterrent strategy. And that is where it’s the ability to respond in a variety of ways against – it could be cities. It could be value targets. It could be the economy. It could be military targets. You’re not trying to limit damage. You’re trying to punish or you’re trying to respond in that way. Then, the U.S. arsenal is fairly insensitive to exogenous changes. That is, it doesn’t matter whether China doubles or triples the size of its force. Much of what China has of value, and much of the things that we would want to hold at risk remain largely the same.

So the key question is what deters others and in what contexts? Now, I have a colleague who keeps telling me deterrence is a verb transitive. You deter someone from doing some particular thing. I’m talking about central deterrence here, so we’re talking about protecting the United States homeland here. But what deters Russia or what deters China may be different than what deters North Korea. So it’s not the same for all and we need to recognize that. Deterrence philosophy also determines another thing, which is how sensitive the U.S. is likely to be to changes in the reliability, or perceived changes in the reliability of the stockpile. That is, if our requirements for our nuclear stockpile, and Ambassador Brooks has talked about the military requirements on the stockpile, if we demand as we have during the Cold War and we continue to do today that we know that we have a very high confidence in what the yield of those weapons is, very high confidence in the reliability to get the very high damage expectancy criteria, to meet that criteria the military establishes, then you become very sensitive to any changes or perceived changes in the reliability of the stockpile.

Under a minimum deterrence view, however, you’re not so sensitive, that is, let me just sort of posit it this way. If an adversary is looking at the U.S. arsenal and saying, should I take action x, and thinking the U.S. might respond. If the adversary knew for certainty that that was a 95 percent reliability of those weapons and they were going to be effective to this very high criteria, would they be more deterred from doing it than if the reliability were 80 percent or 70 percent. That’s sort of the way the minimal deterrence approach would be on this.

So under damage limitation, very sensitive, and that’s sort of one level, one extreme, and at the other is this minimum deterrence, and there are places in between. The bottom line is that the deterrence philosophy determines how quickly we must respond to changes, and what types of hedges will be required. What do you do in the short term? Is it changing our deterrence posture, putting more forces at the ready, uploading warheads as things get worse, declaratory statements? On the longer term, is it producing new warheads? Is it building new missiles, new submarines? What is it that we need to do if things change, and how quickly and how substantially do we need to change that? It also determines, again, as Ambassador Brooks referred to a little bit is the issue of how large our active and inactive reserves must be, how large the production facilities have to be, how much they have to be able to churn out their capacity, if you will, in a given year, and how long we have to go from a facility that produces x weapons a year to one that produces 3x.

The third factor that I think affects the state of the arsenal and what we’re going to look at in the future and how sensitive we are to changes, is what is the degree of transparency about the nuclear forces of our adversaries and the stability in that? The degree to which a country can build up its nuclear forces in response to changes in that international environment, however they happen, can be, first of all, it can be moderated if they’re involved in some kind of arms control treaty. And we’ve seen evidence of that throughout the arms control era, where, for example, in the SALT II treaty, the United States although it had signed the treaty, did not ratify it, and still stuck with those levels to a large degree for a long time after that treaty was in place, despite a very marked shift in U.S.-Soviet relations. So it can provide a breaking action if you will or a moderating force on changes, even if the underlying geopolitical situation changes, particularly if it’s accompanied by effective monitoring. Now, SALT II didn’t have what we consider today effective monitoring, but START I certainly does. START II certainly would have very comprehensive monitoring as almost the golden ring, if you will, the golden standard certainly of on-site monitoring.

But even if a country ends up leaving a treaty, which countries do from time to time, the transparency from the treaty related activities leading up to that withdrawal would give us some confidence and some understanding of what that country is doing. A counterpoint here is North Korea. We have a country that has taken some steps to develop nuclear weapons. That’s clear. They’ve stated it. They have some fissile material that they can use for nuclear weapons. We know that. Do they have nuclear weapons? They might have a device. Do they have something that they could stick on the tip of a missile that would survive re-entry and actually do the things they would do? We don’t know. It’s an open question. But we certainly behave in many ways as if it has nuclear weapons. Transparency would help that to a large extent. Now, the North Koreans aren’t going to invite us in to see just how weak their arsenal is, but you get my point.

So transparency and predictability are essential for this and how sensitive we have to be to changes. But START I is going to end very soon. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of activity to replace that. And the Moscow treaty, the SORT treaty, doesn’t provide any verification mechanisms, onsite inspections. You can take advantage of START I as long as it’s around, but then it goes away. And the Moscow treaty, once it’s in force, automatically then goes out of force, so I refer to it as sort of one-night stand arms control, right? You get to the point. You say, all right, great night, but I’m not going to talk to you in the morning. We’ll see you later. Not exactly fair. There’s some things in the Moscow treaty that I think are critical, and one of them – and we talked about in our book – is that what they have done there is broken the “my weapons have to be like your weapons” and the political relationship has moved beyond having to worry about exact numbers of nuclear forces and parity and that sort of thing. And I think that was a marked – that was a very important step. But the lack of other things to that do raise questions about transparency beyond 2009.

So bringing these three factors together, I want to say something a little bit more concrete about the future of our arsenal. The current international situation has created a great deal of space for the United States to sort of feel its way into a new situation. And I think the Department of Energy is taking advantage of that. And much of what they would set up, sort of truth in advertising here, I think if they had asked me to come in and say how would we set this up in terms of the broad concepts, I think they have it right in the sense that there is flexibility. You don’t want to invest a lot in things today. You want to remain flexible. So I think they’ve done that. There’s no pressing nuclear adversary. We don’t have anything to fight over with Russia even if they were to increase their nuclear forces. Taiwan raises an interesting issue with China, a very challenging issue with China. But if you could make Taiwan go away, I don’t really see the opportunity for a nuclear competition there. Rapid changes, as I mention, are unlikely. Buildups will take a long time. So we have space.

The U.S. has the opportunity in this low pressure world to sort of think about what it is that deters in the central deterrence sense, move away, in my mind, from the very sensitive visions of deterrence, which are damage limitation, war fighting, in the central deterrence sense again, and move towards – and away from denial and more toward these other forms. It would reduce our sensitivity. It would allow DOE to take a more measured approach to the stockpile in absence of testing, an approach I would argue they’ve taken today. But it would give you even more time. And stockpile stewardship is still, despite the success we’ve had, I would argue is a concept that has not yet been proved. That is, we don’t know – no one can tell you today that we can maintain the stockpile forever, if that’s your goal, without testing. We just don’t know yet. We’re spending a lot of money and a lot of good brainpower trying to figure out whether we can do it. And it’s a worthwhile goal, but it is yet unproved. And I think we need to recognize that. And it would allow DOE to do the infrastructure recapitalization the way they do it in a very modest way.

The arsenal could be brought down below the SORT levels. I’ve heard numbers of 1,000 or 1,500. I get a little worried below 1,000 because things start getting dicey potentially with China. But certainly we could bring them down. And existing warhead types may be sufficient for the sorts of central deterrent missions that we’re likely to have. RNEP, we can handle that in Q&A. I think it’s not required, and I can talk about that later. But steps to improve the shelf life, as we’ve talked about today, could be very useful in stretching this out, but what you want to do – and that may be a Reliable Replacement Warhead. And I personally am sort of on the fence on that right now. Or it could be doing things more aggressively through stockpile stewardship. Now, it’s an interesting question of where one begins and the other ends, those things. But what you don’t want to do in the effort to improve the reliability of the warhead and the stockpile is create more uncertainty about the confidence that you’re going to have in the stockpile. So it’s the first do no harm rule, I would argue for these sorts of things. And there will be time to respond with large – you know, respond and build up large production facilities, if necessary.

So preserving agreements is very important. Preserve the arms control agreements we have today and try to get new ones where we don’t have them that help increase transparency. Again, it may be more in the Moscow Treaty mode in the sense that there is some flexibility about numbers. But transparency is important because it increases the time you have to respond in case there are problems. And recognize that the changes in the international environment are not all exogenous. Russia doesn’t wake up one day and decide to be hostile to the United States. China doesn’t decide one day that it’s relatively quite modest nuclear arsenal vis-à-vis the United States needs to be bigger. It may be things that the United States does and we need to recognize that. Things we do in the nuclear world, things we do in the missile defense world, things we do in the conventional military world – there are some who argue – I have a colleague who argues the United States is the revisionist power these days. And so countries are taking the actions they’re doing, according to him, because they are worried about stopping us from revisiting the status quo in their world. And also, you want to try to reduce the number of nuclear powers. So the real challenge, as I’ve mentioned, to deal with the sensitivity and try to get to the point where we’re not sensitive – and I think some of the things DOE is doing – but there’s some deterrence strategy things that also need to be addressed.

But one of the challenges – and I focused on central deterrence – one of the challenge is not central deterrence, but extended deterrence, and we’re starting to think this through at RAND, and it’s a real challenge these days. How do you convince allies and how do you convince regional adversaries that the U.S. is going to honor its commitments? This is a real challenge today. Can we convince the Japanese that we can use their facilities on their island if North Korea is able to strike Japan with nuclear weapons? I don’t know, but that’s a sales job. But I will tell you that the size of our arsenal and our ability to reconstitute quickly has very little to do with that in today’s world. And that’s it. Thank you. (Applause.)

KIMBALL: Well, I think we’ve given everyone a full menu of ideas to think about, and I’m sure that many of you have questions. We’ve quite a bit of time for some questions. What I would ask you to do is when you raise your hand and I identify you or I call on you, please identify yourself. Wait for the microphone. We’ve got to make sure – are we all right with the microphones in the back? All right. And please state your question briefly. We have a lot of people here. We have some people in the back. We will get to those folks in the back room to allow you to have a question too. So the floor is open for questions. Yes, sir, over here in the red tie? Thank you, Will.

QUESTION: My name is Norman Wolf. I’m retired, formerly working in the Nonproliferation Bureau in the State Department. I hope you’ll allow me just to make a quick comment, and that is just to say that it was my pleasure to work with Linton Brooks for about 20 years in many different capacities. I always found him to be a true professional driven by pragmatism, not ideology, even though I often time disagreed with him.

My question is to Ambassador Brooks, and that is, if I understood correctly, Frank Miller at the Carnegie Non-Proliferation Conference last fall – and Frank, for those of you who don’t know was in the NSC during the first Bush term – I think Frank said that he believed that the administration could and should agree to further reductions during the second term. And I guess my question to Ambassador Brooks is, as Frank is freed of administration constraints, he’s allowed to say what he actually thinks. But is that your position? Do you think that United States could agree to further reductions, or – and this is perhaps what bothers me – I couldn’t tell from your presentation whether you thought any further reductions would have to await the success of RRW?

BROOKS: The success of RRW, if you accept my logic, has nothing to do with the number of deployed weapons. It has to do with how much of a hedge you have to keep wherever you set that side. The question about the number of deployed weapons is really one for which in our system, the professional military and the Pentagon have the lead. You correctly captured the difference between what Frank can say and what is appropriate for me to say. I think there are colleagues of mine who believe that we’ll walk out of here with a different number. That is a separate question from whether or not that should be unilateral or negotiated. I think that the administration’s position has generally been that arms control of the kind that I did when you and I were in the same business, arms control regulates relations between adversaries. And since we are trying to build a relation with the Russian Federation that is not adversarial, there are many who I think would argue that even if you decide we can accept further reductions, we should just do it and not try and put it into a regulatory framework with the Russian Federation because that perpetuates the adversarial idea. So I think that it’s quite possible that the administration will conclude it wants to reduce its forces. I think it’s less likely that it will be real enthusiastic about some new extended negotiation with our Russian partners.

KIMBALL: And let me just put a finer point on the question, if I could before we go to the next person. I mean one of the issues that I brought up, that David Mosher brought up is that START I is going to expire in 2009. Ambassador Brooks, could you just tell us what is being done in general, what the general thinking is about that? And I mention that in part because President Bush yesterday in a Q&A session on a totally different topic was asked whether – something about stockpile reductions – and he mentioned the Moscow Treaty and he said that we are reducing to these numbers. It will be up to the next president to decide what to do. So my question is, you know, given that the deadline is 2009, a new president will be coming in, have a lot on his or her hands. What is the thinking now about what the U.S. and Russia should do to think about the START I expiration?

BROOKS: I’m not sure that we’ve addressed that in a systematic way, although with my current responsibilities, I wouldn’t necessarily be part of addressing that. So I’m not trying to be evasive – well actually, I am trying to be evasive. But I’m trying to be evasive in this particular case because I really don’t know the answer as opposed to because I know it but I’m not going to say it.

KIMBALL: Avis, please. Microphone is coming.

QUESTION: Avis Bowlen, adjunct professor at Georgetown. I have a question for Ambassador Brooks, and may I just endorse what Norm Wolf said about what a wonderful colleague he was to work with when we toiled in the fields of strategic arms control and other such ancient monuments. Ambassador Brooks, you were pretty categorical about not needing to test with the new warhead that we are working towards. Would that imply that at some future point, obviously not on this administration’s watch, that we might consider joining the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)? Would this be safe for us? A second related question – where does the RNEP fit into the RRW if it all? And finally, could I just make a comment for Mr. Mosher. I just want to come down, as I’m sure most people here would, squarely on the side of minimal versus sensitive deterrence. It seems to me that even at the height of the Cold War, much of that was frankly nonsense, highly technical analysis that had no basis in politics and sort of assumed that the Russians were sitting there somehow calibrating the sensitivity of our nuclear stockpile and our nuclear arsenal. And I think it’s even more nonsense today, and we should stay away from it. So just an editorial comment.

BROOKS: The role that RNEP and RRW have, and the way in which they fit together is both of them start with the letter R. Other than that they have nothing to do with each other. They have nothing to do with each other in importance, in capability, in concept, in technology. They are completely different. The nuclear earth penetrator was a proposal that, as has been pointed out by several of my colleagues, has not found favor on the Hill for deciding whether or not a future president could have a niche capability if he or she wanted. Congress has taken the position, the appropriations bill has taken the position – they authorized the bill to the different position – that we are so sure we don’t want that that we shouldn’t find out whether or not we can do it. That’s our system. Congress gets to make those choices. But it was a niche capability involving a particular warhead and has no particular transformational effects. The truth of the matter is that it’s the same thing we did 10 years ago with the B61-11 only better, and I suspect that the number of American who know what the B61-11 is would fit pretty comfortably into this room. And the number who care would fit into a somewhat smaller room. So the difference between RRW then is completely transformation.

With regard to testing, I think the position of this administration is very clear that we, once again – what we have learned rightly or wrongly is that it’s very difficult to know what you’re going to want to do in the future and that has led to the Treaty of Moscow, which is a more flexible approach to arms control than what you and I used to do that has led to a great reluctance to take a formal obligation not to test. And so I think this administration, the chances of changing its mind on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty are pretty close to non-existent. Whether or not a future administration would change its mind or whether we would simply have this capability preserved as our position now is as an ultimate hedge, I just don’t know. But I’m reasonably convinced. I mean it is a design constraint, both in the Congressional sense and in the technical sense that we not design this thing so that it requires testing. And we’re confident that we can do that, so I don’t know. It obviously, the more that people say, you know, it’s very hard to see any circumstances where you need to test, the easier it’s going to be for a future administration to decide it wants to change our position and ratify the CTBT. I will point out the last administration wanted to get it ratified and couldn’t, so that’s not just changing the administration.

Finally, I’d like to react to your comment to David Mosher. I agree that this refinement of three significant figure calculations and somehow that will influence an adversary’s decision to strike, it was always wacky. It was wacky when we were doing it. And I used to be involved in that. And most of us knew it was wacky. I think that, however, you don’t necessarily want to leap from there to the notion that only a minimum deterrent is required. And here is why, and this is an admittedly debatable point. Perceptions of power matter. If there were another country that had twice the arsenal of the United States at anything like the levels that we have been talking about, it almost certainly would make no practical difference. I mean God’s own truth is that if we go to 1,700 to 2,200 and we wake up on the morning of 2013 and find that somehow the Russians are still at 4,400, absolutely no difference in our security will result in any sort of objective measure. But the perception of power in the world will change. That may matter to you; it may not matter to you. But I think that you have to recognize that. That’s why I think that many of us believe that it’s not just the sort of narrow calculations of exchange ratios, but the perception. After all, I know of nobody who wants to see these things used, and relatively few people who actually expect they’ll be used in any large-scale sense. But the perception of power is still important. I think if you want to move toward a U.S. minimal deterrent, you need to wrestle with that attitude. You don’t need to agree with it, but you need to find the intellectual respectable counter to it that will captivate the American political system, and I’ve not seen that.

QUESTION: Inaudible.

BROOKS: If everybody is going down, then I’m with you, but what I was respecting to was what I thought, Avis, was your sort of endorsement of minimal deterrence, which would clearly let us go well below 2,200. I mean if all you want to do is be able to blow up a series of cities and you put the residual warheads in something that survives, says the retiring submarine commanding officer, then you can clearly go to a very low level. Whether that’s desirable, I think is different.

KIMBALL: Raymond, did you want to say a word about whether it is technically possible to live under the test ban treaty? I think the National Academy wrote a report on that subject. And David, since you’ve been the subject of a lot of this, if you want to quickly say a word in your own defense.

JEANLOZ: Okay, so I was indeed a co-author of a national academy study that was released a few years ago. And my own view is that there the technical case is addressed, not the political or policy side so much, but the technical case. I would simply reinforce, in my view, I would simply state that their conclusions are strongly reinforced in the intervening years since that study has been done. Many of the conclusions, for example, about the capability of the Stockpile Stewardship Program, or some of the possible, if you want, technical advantages to the U.S. signing to a CTBT have been, if anything, been strengthened. None of the substantive conclusions have, to my knowledge, been weakened. It’s all gone in the other direction.

KIMBALL: David, quickly?

MOSHER: Yeah. Minimal deterrence – I guess, minimal deterrence is a particular manifestation of a deterrent philosophy that punishment is basically the way you deter people. It’s one that says a relatively low level of punishment is all you need. And there are those who subscribe to the punishment philosophy, if you will, who would argue that we need more than just a minimal number. We can argue what is minimal. To me, I use the term a little loosely and I apologize for that, but what I meant was a focus on punishment. I wasn’t saying three warheads is enough.

One of the interesting questions as you start to think about deterrence is, and getting back to – we’ve been doing this at RAND lately – getting back to the notion of MAD [mutual assured destruction], because inherent in sort of the assured or the minimal deterrent is this notion of assured destruction. What does assured destruction mean? We all have in our mind this McNamarian criteria that is extensive damage in the Soviet Union, both to economic, military, and social. But is it not assured destruction – it’s a big tautological – assured destruction is what stops the other guy from what it is you’re trying to deter him from doing. So in this context of – and again thinking about regional powers and potential nuclear wars in regional areas, what is the assured destruction criteria that North Korea has to have against the United States to stop us from getting involved? The same question goes for China. Is their 20 warhead capability to strike a few U.S. cities enough to give most presidents pause except for the highest possible stakes? So when you start to get away from central deterrence, if you will, deterring each other’s attacks on the homeland, things get sort of complicated about the numbers. And I don’t have any answers right now. Like I said, we’re still struggling with this, and I’m not sure we ever will. But it’s an interesting question, sort of what is assured destruction? What is your criteria, and therefore, how many weapons do you need for particular sorts of deterrence scenarios, if you will?

KIMBALL: Over here, Rebecca Johnson, please Will, in the red.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Rebecca Johnson, the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy – and I would like to thank the panelists and ACA very much for a very interesting panel. I raise a question from across the pond. Britain is currently having a heating up debate about the future of British nuclear weapons, which of course, will, the options, very dependent on the U.S. So I have three short questions on that. One is, what kind of guarantees can the U.S. give that it would continue to produce sufficient numbers of the D-5 missile to the year 2055 to be able to supply the British arsenal, should that be the option? Secondly, what would be the U.S. attitude if, as part of their changing relationship, Russia and China were to want to enter into a nuclear cooperation agreement along the lines of the U.S.-U.K. agreement to perhaps enable China to benefit from Russia’s more advanced technology perhaps in missiles, just for the sake of argument. What would be the U.S. reaction to a development like that? And then finally, if the U.K. were to decide that it could consider winding down and moving towards a non-nuclear-based security towards the year sort of 2015, 2020, 24, what would be the likely reaction within the U.S. to that? Thank you.

KIMBALL: Let’s just take – since we have more hands popping up, let’s take one more question, and then we’ll let the panelists respond to the two sets. Dave Ruppe, please, here in the end, Will.

QUESTION: Thanks. Dave Ruppe from Global Security Newswire for Ambassador Brooks. You made the argument that reduced numbers of nuclear weapons would not necessarily affect the calculations of countries like North Korea or Iran in deciding whether to continue their nuclear programs. But a separate question is whether U.S. consideration or pursuit of new nuclear weapons capabilities, such as through RNEP or programs that may be happening at DOD might affect the calculus of those countries, perhaps cause them to feel more threatened and less likely to give up those programs?

KIMBALL: Alright. Well, let’s take these two questions. I think the first one was for anyone who wants to take a stab at the – and I think Rebecca wanted Ambassador Brooks to answer the particular one about the D5.

BROOKS: First of all, wrong Cabinet department to give assurances about missile production, but we’ve been cooperating closely with the United Kingdom under the 1958 agreement for 48 years and I see no reason to believe we won’t be cooperating closely with the United Kingdom under that agreement for another 48. So my assumption is that we will come to some kind of mutual agreements for whatever decision Her Majesty’s government makes. But I’m not responsible for the missile things. Our attitude if Russia and China were to enter into something like the 1958 agreement would be amazement and surprise because it means that the relations would have been transformed in a way that I find inconceivable. But they’re both sovereign states and if they want to enter into an agreement that is perfectly consistent with their international obligations, we might be surprised, but I don’t see that we’d have any standing to object.

And finally, I have enough trouble trying to help move U.S. policy and deal with my colleagues here who think that the United States should reduce forces. I’m not sure I’m the right person to pass judgment on attitudes toward the United Kingdom moving out of the nuclear weapons business. I’ll let one of my colleagues who aren’t encumbered by being in government comment on that if they want.

With regard to Korea and Iran and are they reacting to U.S. capabilities – my guess is they’re reacting to U.S. attitudes more than to U.S. capabilities. Certainly with regard to the specific question of the earth penetrator, I think it’s pretty good evidence that both of their efforts started long before this ever became a subject of discussion here. My own assessment is that both of those states have their own motivation. The broad U.S. attitude toward them is probably part of that motivation. But the specifics of U.S. capability are probably not because of the quite correct perception that the United States, compared to these states, has overwhelming military power. And I don’t think they wake up and they look at whether or not the DOD is developing a particular kind of standoff munition or whether I’m doing a particular kind of study on a penetrating case for a warhead, I don’t think that plays into their calculus. They look at our overall attitude toward them, and since both of them have features that make it unlikely that our attitude toward them is going to be entirely friendly, they are nervous. I think that is what has their programs and I think that it is a mistake to look for nuances in what we do as affecting what they do.

KIMBALL: Dr. Jeanloz, David Mosher, anything more in this area? Okay.

JEANLOZ: I would just like to make one passing comment. I agree – of course there is a discussion that is incipiently starting in the U.K. about the transformation of your enterprise, your nuclear weapons enterprise. I believe that we are well served by having some comparisons on the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean in that dialogue.

For example, there is quite a different approach in the U.K. in terms of transparency, the size of the arsenal and the view, for example, that given that size, which is public knowledge that I believe fits U.K. policy that it considers that it deters much larger arsenals including the Russian arsenals. These I think are very interesting perspectives that can help inform us, and by the same token I would like to think that we in the U.S. with our points of view and perspective to could have an interesting dialogue that will help serve the public discourse that I think is just as needed in the U.K. as it is here in the U.S.

KIMBALL: And if I could just take the privilege of the chair for a moment on the subject that you are addressing, Ambassador Brooks, on whether our actions have an influence on others. I would agree with you about Iran and North Korea, but I think one of the ways in which many of us are talking past one another is that to the extent that the United States is taking actions that reinforce the idea that nuclear weapons are usable, that may be used beyond some of these deterrent concepts that David is outlining, it does, it does certainly increase in a way that is hard to quantify – the salience of nuclear weapons, and that does have I believe some effects on world opinion and confidence in the regime. And so that is one of the things I think that merits more study by all of us as Ray Jeanloz was describing.

BROOKS: I agree completely that if the United States were acting in a way that suggests greater use of nuclear weapons or a greater reliance on nuclear weapons or greater saliency on nuclear weapons that that would have an international effect. Where you and I part company is I just don’t see how one gets that out of anything that this administration has done.

And I’m not trying to be confrontational; I just don’t see how you can make dramatic reductions, come up with a doctrine that substitutes nuclear – non-nuclear capabilities for nuclear capabilities and have nobody outside of me occasionally at fora like this paying any attention to nuclear policy in the administration and say somehow we are in a vast new buildup of nuclear saliency. It looks different from the inside.

KIMBALL: Okay, we have got several questions. I think Mr. Ota over here had his hand up. We’ll go to John Burroughs, who is over here. Alright.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. My name is Masa Ota with Kyodo News Japanese wire service. Thank you very much for interesting presentation today.

Question to Ambassador Brooks: You emphasized the significance of the responsive infrastructures. We saw the report issued by secretary of energy advisory board last year and the recommendation of the consolidation of the nuclear complex including the three laboratories. We will see the budget request I think next week on February 6 – 10 days away, anyway. So are you going to ask any budget request for pursuing, let’s see, a course of consolidation of nuclear complex based on this advisory board group? This is my first question.

And also a second question is regarding RRW – coordination with the tactical nuclear weapons, which I was – tactical – theater-sized nuclear weapons – we have still maybe around 500 nuclear weapons on the European Union or European Continent. And what kind of impact can you expect on the tactical nuclear posture in the next generation given by the result of the discussion of RRW? Thank you very much, Ambassador.

KIMBALL: And we’ll also take one more question from John Burroughs right there. Thank you.

QUESTION: I’m John Burroughs from the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy. We have just had a morning’s discussion of the future of the U.S. stockpile without any mention of warhead dismantlement capabilities. And Congressman Hobson has insisted that NNSA do better on warhead dismantlement, and so, Ambassador Brooks, I wonder if you could speak to that and what is happening on that score.

Also I would like to ask whether there is anything being done regarding verification of warhead dismantlement, abilities to do that because I know that’s a difficult task that it was one time envisioned in strategic arms control.

BROOKS: The report of the secretary of energy advisory board is a thoughtful report. It would take by their estimate when – and advisory board estimates in these areas tend to be low – a billion-and-a-half dollars a year for the next several years. I think it is unlikely that we’re going to see those kind of increases.

There is a long tradition of administration officials not commenting on what is going to be in the president’s budget until the president releases it. We are working hard to figure out how to take the ideas of [advisory board] and others, but I don’t think it’s likely that you’ll see an automatic acceptance of everything in that report because I’m not quite sure how to afford it.

The Reliable Replacement Warhead research that we’re doing is focused initially on ballistic missile warheads for a couple of reasons, and specifically on submarine launch ballistic missile warheads. The question of tactical weapons – really you should think of it more the question of bombs is one we haven’t gotten to. And some of the ideas of Reliable Replacement Warhead I talked about – you can accept more weight and more volume – may not be as true for bombs because you have some other constraints.

So I don’t think we know yet the degree to which these concepts will apply well to gravity bombs. With regard, therefore, to tactical weapons, I think right now there is no connection. I mean, I think there are people who are thinking about the future of tactical weapons and there are people who are thinking about RRW, but right now those are fundamentally different issues.

Warhead dismantlement has been a problem for us for a couple of reasons. We do this at Pantex, which is also where we do life extension. I mean, basically the process starts the same way: You take the warhead apart; it’s just that – in life extension and then you put it back together later. Our throughput at Pantex has been significantly reduced since the height of the Cold War because I think of a greater emphasis on safety and security and there is a debate within the technical community about whether we have let the pendulum swing too far.

So our ability – the number of operations we do at Pantex is less than it’s been historically. Within that number what we have chosen to do up to now is to say we’ll do the life extension programs to meet our requirements for DOD and then we’ll fill in the peaks and valleys with dismantlement in order to keep a steady workload there.

The Congress has, as the question suggested, wants to see us move out more smartly on dismantlement. What we are hoping to do is actually get the throughput up at Pantex to something more approaching what it has been in the past, assuming we can do that with our current safety standards, and if we are, then we won’t be faced with the tension between life extension and dismantlement.

Right now my own view is that if I am faced with that tension, I am going to be biased toward the solution we have had in the past, which is meet our obligations of the Department of Defense and level load but we’re still wrestling with the question.

Because this administration has not focused very much on classic negotiated arms control, for the reasons that I talked about before about not seeing that as the appropriate vehicle for dialogue, I think we have not put the same emphasis on verification of warhead dismantlement that was true in the last couple of years of the previous administration. Nothing that I have seen in that area looks particularly promising.

It’s a piece of cake to verify warhead dismantlement; it just requires the kind of access that there is no chance of the Russians giving me and there is no chance of me giving them. And that is the problem. The problem is that we have not found any workable way to verify dismantlement while preserving what we still think of as important military secrets, and we are not spending very much effort on that because of the broader view that these kind of very detailed technical arms control agreements are not the future of our relationship with the Russian federation.

KIMBALL: Okay, we have got some other folks. The gentleman over here, please. We have got people waving their arms. I have a couple of more people in line; just a moment. Right here. Up front, Will – I’m sorry.

QUESTION: I’m Nick Kyriakopoulos. I am a professor of engineering in The George Washington University, and my question is addressed to all three members of the panel.

In your presentation you kept using the word deterrence and the implicit assumption was that we’re the good guys, somebody else is the bad guys, so we would like to deter the bad guys from hitting us. The reality, however, is if you take the position from the other side, whatever that side is, that they would like to deter us, then you enter into a situation which we engineers call positive feedback, that leads to instability.

Similarly, take the reality of today. You have the case, for example, of India and Pakistan, or you have the case in the Middle East. You have, again, an unstable condition where there is imbalances, and that leads to a possible arms race. Those have nothing to do with the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

And my question to the panel is in your development of however you are going to do the stewardship, or however you’re going to develop the future of stockpile, have you done a study that would say if those small imbalances persist, how will it affect our stockpile because right now your assumption have been that to have, whatever, 2,000 warheads based on the U.S.-Soviet union imbalance. That is not the reality anymore. Would someone care to address the question based on today’s realities and not the past realities? Thank you.

KIMBALL: While we think about that, we have one other question right here from Terri Lodge in the yellow turtleneck.

QUESTION: My former colleague when he used to do all of that detail, pesky arms control work, with the Arms Control Advocacy Collaborative, you mentioned – defined RRW several times in various ways, but keep talking about responsive infrastructure, and it seems to be a very elastic concept; it means everything from making weapons more reliable to perhaps being able to make a new weapon within four years I think you said. If you give us your, you know, sort of A-B-C definition currently of how the administration is thinking about that term.

KIMBALL: Okay. Why don’t we go ahead and deal with these two questions briefly if we can.

MOSHER: The deterrence question: We have thought a fair bit about what the effects of the instabilities you point out, which is sort of a fundamental force, if you will, of the existence of nuclear forces and the fact that we had an arms race and arms control during the Cold War. So we are intimately familiar with the pathology.

In that many of these countries have quite small arsenals or are likely to have quite small arsenals, it’s in our interest to damp down any arms racing that would get out of control either because it leads to nuclear use through crisis instabilities or because it leads to much-larger-than-necessary arsenals.

Whether to fix our arsenal – I mean, I’m of the view that the sort of size of our arsenal and how responsive we are and how – and we posture ourselves has really little to do with our involvement in those conflicts, to the extent we get involved at all. So I see them as fairly loosely coupled, if at all. There is an undesirable outcome to have lots of nuclear powers regardless of the size of our arsenal, it’s just not something we would like see – you know, Ken Waltz not with standing.

It’s something that I think we strive to minimize but I’m not sure that it has a direct effect on our arsenal and our posture really at this point. It is one of those lesser-included cases that I mentioned.

KIMBALL: Alright. Ambassador Brooks?

BROOKS: I agree with that. It doesn’t have an effect on the size. It might have an effect on the shape. I commend to those of you who have not read it – Keith Payne’s Deterrence in the Second Nuclear Age, which will, if you accept everything Keith says convince you that you should never use the word, “deterrence,” again because it’s, A, meaningless and, B, impossible.

Now, Keith draws some conclusion from that that are father than I would go, but he does make the point that figuring out what deters, you have to look at particular countries. It is the belief of some of us that the large arsenal we have, aimed at destroying an urban industrial infrastructure is not an appropriate deterrent for some potential adversaries, and therefore that one might want to look at other capabilities.

That has lead to the call for some kind of earth-penetrating weapon, a morass into which we have already sunk. And I think that if it has anything to do with our arsenal it is in the niche capabilities and much less in the size. Raymond was talking about a number of a thousand. Even at a thousand, I don’t expect to live to see anybody except Russia or maybe China comes anywhere near that number and so even if you went to a thousand warheads tomorrow, you would still have overwhelming superiority over any of the other sort of plausible people. So the numbers don’t matter.

With respect to the responsive infrastructure, there is some testimony from last year I will be glad to send you because I will probably get it wrong, but we have established a series of very specific criteria. I alluded to two of them: Be able to diagnose a problem and put a repair back in the system within a year; be able to conduct an underground nuclear test if required within 18 months, although, as I say, if this works the way we should, it probably isn’t going to matter whether we can do that; be able to modify a weapon within – modify capabilities within three to four years of a decision by the president to do so, and there are one or two others which, I’m sorry, I can’t remember, but I’ll be glad to send you it.

We said it with fairly little notice to congressional testimony but actually we did try to establish a series of criteria. The jury is still out on whether we can do any of that stuff, by the way. I mean, we certainly can’t do any of it today. We’re not going to be able to do any of it three or four years.

QUESTION: (Off mike.)

BROOKS: The RRW we believe will make it easier to do things because one of the things that holds you down now is the fact that these weapons basically weren’t designed with this kind of modification in mind. They used some materials which in our modern approach to environment require an awful lot of cumbersome safety precautions.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t take them. I’m saying that if you can avoid having to fool around with the precautions you have to take for beryllium, if you can work on multiple weapons in the same bay because you’re not using conventional high explosives, if you can do any one of a number of things, then you will be able to process more quickly modifications or correct of problems, and that is why we think RRW enables a responsive infrastructure and the same way a responsive infrastructure will let you actually move forward with an RRW. So we have – although the concepts were invented separately, we have come to believe that they are an important companion.

KIMBALL: We’ll be writing and analyzing the new acronym of the day, the RRW in Arms Control Today and elsewhere. So keep an eye on that. There is also a packet out there.

We are closing in on our closing time for this. I’m going to take three more questions. I want the questions to be brief please and if the panelists could also be brief in their answers, we have to move people to another room in a few minutes. So Will, if you could take Mr. Cohen and the young woman there, and then we have got one question in front. We’ll let Jonathan Medalia take the last question. So those two people please. Thank you.

QUESTION: I’m Avner Cohen, University of Maryland. My question is broad and to the three of you. What do you think could be the impact of Iran, its future trends, on the global trends of nuclear weapons, beyond just the U.S.; that is to say all of the five declared nuclear weapons and the three others. But what do you think they – you know, there is various scenarios one can see about Iran where it’s going to end within a few years, but what do you think would be the impact on the future trend of nuclear weapons?

KIMBALL: Identify yourself.

QUESTION: Okay. I am Diane Perlman. I am a political psychologist. I work on psychology of proliferation, conflict, escalation of cycles of violence, terrorism. And, anyway, I think deterrence is too – it’s too dangerous to base it on a – to leave into the realm of philosophy and their bodies of knowledge on escalation and dynamics. And while you’re focusing on who you deter and how you deter them, that simultaneous – what’s really going on is provocation, that when you have a symmetrical power – dynamics, intimidation.

KIMBALL: Ask your question. We are at the end of our time.

QUESTION: All right, just that in – that the underlying dynamics are more provocative of escalation while you’re focusing on deterrence and they’re bodies of knowledge about this.

KIMBALL: Okay. And Jonathan Medalia up here on the second row please.

QUESTION: I’m Jonathan Medalia with Congressional Research Service, and a question for the panel – working for Congress of course I notice their concern about cost issues. So I want to ask about life-extension program versus RRW. Clearly RRW has the potential to save a substantial amount of money, whether it’s security or reduced stockpile, ease of manufacture, ease of certification, what have you. On the other hand, there is a lot of expense to get there whether it’s increasing the – or redoing the infrastructure, especially if you do something like the consolidation of the nuclear production center. And there is also the cost of producing maybe a couple of thousand new warheads, give or take.

So I’m wondering if you could sort of weight the costs of LEP, life extension program, versus RRW, especially if you don’t get the billion-and-a-half dollar increment that the [conference] report talks about. Thank you.

KIMBALL: So Ambassador Brooks and Dr. Jeanloz if you could deal with that question and maybe David and I can take a stab at Iran.

BROOKS: First, the middle question – you’re absolutely right about needing to understand deterrence, provocation, escalation; the problem is that the literature on that is extensive and difficult to translate into – in my experience – into public policy terms.

With regard to LEP versus RRW, the hope is that we can go far enough in demonstrating that this concept will work, that we will be able to convince ourselves that we can dial back on some of the planned life extension programs and get the money that is now set aside for those to feed in to the complex. There is a certain chicken-and-egg aspect here, but that is the hope because I agree with you that significant increases are not likely.

JEANLOZ: I don’t have much more to add. I think it’s obvious that RRW as currently conceived cannot move forward unless a case can be made and I believe actually within the NNSA as well as externally, that this really does represent a significant enhancement in the effectiveness and efficiency of the whole enterprise – in the end, cost savings.

I will say that in my personal view, with all due respect, I have never felt it was a strong argument in favor of RRW for the laboratories or the enterprise to say, well, we have not really handled stockpile stewardship that well; we’re breaking the bank; we’re ruining ourselves. Therefore we need to start something new. To me that is not a very compelling argument. But that is certainly part of the discussion.

I can’t resist but make one comment regarding Iran. I think there is in the view of many, and I am among them, a serious threat to the nonproliferation regime that’s associated with a current state of affairs and where things look to be heading. And so I do think this is yet one more – not quantitative but qualitative impact along the lines – if I may make a somewhat distant analogy, it was also a qualitative impact when North Korea made its decisions to pull out of IAEA regime and so on. So that is my personal view and I know I’m not alone in that.

MOSHER: Let’s see, on the issue of saving dollars – I just want to touch on this briefly since I spent 10 years in the Congressional Budget Office. I agree with Raymond in the sense that when we left testing, we in a sense made a deal where we would spend money to preserve the stockpile – sufficient money to do so, and it’s a vast sum of money no matter how you look at it. And to hear my fellow panelists they have accomplished a lot.

Saving $10 million, $20 million, $40 million, maybe $100 million a year, even if it’s possible – and I haven’t seen – we don’t know what RRW is yet to know whether you can really save it. I just don’t think budget is the issue at this point. It’s preserving the stockpile, and I for one am willing to pay a premium, if you will, to try to avoid going to testing if that is what RRW does on increased stockpile stewardship, where we come down on that.

About Iran: Iran, like North Korea before it is – and India and Pakistan to some degree, is a real challenge to the nonproliferation regime, and what we may be seeing is the opportunity to test the Waltzian view that countries with nuclear weapons are a good thing – lots of countries – because they won’t attack each other and peace will reign, but nuclear reign will not rain.

I have always been a bit dubious of that proposition just because I think the mechanics of – you know, having the family atomics as they talk about it in Dune are nice but we have all kinds of stability issues, and it leads to problems that the U.S. and Russia spend a long time dealing with.

I don’t know exactly how it will affect us, and the stockpile and the forces. I think it is an open question, but I think what we really – where it is going to start to bite us is this concern – you know, we in a sense – the administration certainly seems to have accepted the fact that North Korea is a nuclear power. They aren’t ready to accept that yet with Iran, but Iran seems to be headed that way.

What is the next power and how do we stop those new powers from spreading technology to other countries? I don’t know that Iran would do it, but North Korea has certainly demonstrated a willingness to sell whatever they can for cash. Maybe it’s time to rethink the whole approach and try to get a handle on this earlier, but I don’t know that it goes directly to the sort of stockpile issues we were talking about and arsenal.

KIMBALL: I think Ambassador Brooks had another comment to make. We actually do have time for one or two more questions. For the luncheon upstairs they are still setting up the chairs, so I retract my earlier comment. But Ambassador Brooks on this subject.

BROOKS: First of all, I’m sure David didn’t mean to suggest that the administration has accepted North Korea as a nuclear power in the sense of welcoming it. (Laughter.) We believe it is entirely possible that they are in possession of some form of nuclear weapon.

The difference between Iran and North Korea, however, is this: North Korea is being universally condemned by essentially all other countries, and we are arguing over the tactics of reversing it. We’re hashing around whether we can get the United Nations Security Council to talk about Iran, and I think the United States view is pretty clear: It is time to refer Iran to the Security Council.

If there was ever a thing for which the Security Council was invented, this is it, and I think that those who would like to see proliferation chances reduced should be urging not domestic policymakers because we know where we are, but some of our colleagues in other countries to recognize that this is the time to stop or we will be facing the situation with Iran.

Of course there are no Iranian nuclear weapons; that is not the issue. Iran is unambiguously on a path toward them and now is the time to stop. And the answer to the blunt question of what happens if there is no penalty to be paid, then why wouldn’t you try – and so I think that moving to the Security Council is extremely important for the overall nonproliferation regime. I think that reversing the situation in North Korea is extremely important for the nonproliferation regime. You can argue about the tactics that the United States has chosen to taken both of those cases but I don’t think you can argue about the importance of succeeding in both of those because these are different from India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan didn’t take any obligations North Korea took an obligation and has renounced it. Iran wants to claim that it’s continuing to adhere to it when it’s clearly not. And those actions do threaten the regime and I think I’m with David; I’m not terribly interested in finding out whether lots and lots of nuclear powers increase stability because the penalty for being wrong is very high.

KIMBALL: Well, let me just make a couple of observations and a couple of clarifying remarks about the Iran situation. It’s a great question Avner. This is not the subject of the day, but it’s certainly going to be the subject of something that the Arms Control Association is going to do in a March session on Iran.

But since we have Hans Blix as our feature luncheon speaker upstairs, I feel obliged to note it is by no means clear if Iran is on a path to nuclear weapons. What is clear is that they are on a path to having the capability of producing material for nuclear weapons and there are strong reasons to suspect that they have been doing nuclear weapons research.

Now, one of the things that I think we have to be very clear minded about, as concerned as I am – as concerned as others here are about Iran’s intentions is that, you know, to the extent that the international community does choose to act – and I think it should – we need to have a clear basis for that action that everyone can agree on unlike the situation three years ago with Iraq.

Secondly, I think one of the things that we – the conventional view, Avner, is that if Iran does in the next few years require nuclear weapons capability, the biggest risk is not so much that Iran might attack a neighbor, or Israel, or necessarily threaten U.S. interests in the region, but it could be that other states in the region change their views on whether they should be nuclear or non-nuclear states.

And this could – this triggering event with Iran could be the unraveling of the system several years down the road if we do have a Saudi Arabia and Egypt or others. That is one person’s view.

Now, the last point of Iran is that it is I think important that the international community – it’s my personal view – take action through the Security Council. The question is what is the action. This is not clear. It is clear that there is no consensus between the P-5 about what to do at the level of the Security Council, what kinds of actions to take.

The Europeans are consulting with the Americans, the Chinese and the Russians as we speak. But one idea that I think is very useful – it’s an idea that comes out of the Carnegie Endowment and Pierre Goldschmidt wrote a paper about this is that there are ways the Security Council could help reinforce nuclear safeguards in the NPT itself in the event that a state does choose to withdraw from the NPT, or in the event that a state is found as North Korea and Iran were to be in violation of their safeguards agreements.

So I think we also have to think carefully about what is done at the Security Council and not simply think of the Security Council as the end of the game.

We do have time for one or two more questions. We’ll go with Francis Slakey (ph) here and the gentleman behind him with the glasses and I think that should be about all of the time we do have.

QUESTION: Given that we’re in this low-pressure situation that you described, Dave, that there is no urgency, it seems there is no urgency to make a decision about the future of the infrastructure, particularly given the success, the current success of stockpile stewardship. So I would like you all to comment on what you think the appropriate timeline is for making decisions. Is there a critical decision point where we have to decide between RRW and the life extension program?

And as a corollary, do you believe the given the magnitude of the questions as Dr. Jeanloz has said is Congress adequately engaged at this point to make that decision?

KIMBALL: Alright. And then one more question right there, Will. Thank you.

QUESTION: I’m Steven Coleky (ph) with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. My first question is most of our – I really appreciated the panel discussion but most of it has been within the framework of U.S. policy rather than looking at the kind of global impact of U.S. policy. And my question is will U.S. efforts to develop possibly new nuclear weapons, to enhance nuclear infrastructure send the wrong message not to just the Irans and North Koreas of the world but to other nuclear-capable states that may increase pressures for them to develop nuclear weapons, believing that the U.S. intends to have a permanent nuclear force.

The other question I have is since the U.S. doesn’t have any serious plausible competitor – nuclear competitor at this time that could exercise any kind of overwhelming force against us, does this not give us the space to perhaps put more resources into improving transparency, predictability, and additional arms control agreements that would strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime?

KIMBALL: Who would like to take maybe that last one and then we’ll go back to the first one that Francis did. Why don’t you go ahead.

MOSHER: On the last question, I tend to agree with Ambassador Brooks in the sense that there are things that the United States it’s doing – first, it’s overall – overwhelming conventional capability, it’s demonstrated ability to reach out and remove regimes, its ability to – and its seeming willingness to upset apple carts in the world, or at least that is the perception out there. That probably is 90 percent of what is making countries feel insecure to the extent they are.

What we do with our nuclear forces I think is secondary, and I think if you had discussions with the North Korean decisionmakers and the Iranian decisionmakers about why they are doing this, I would imagine a fair piece of what they are worried about is deterring U.S. activities in their region.

So to that extent what we do to nuclear forces is not a primary driver. Now, I don’t think it’s completely decoupled. I think there are things that we do that may make countries feel less secure, but to my thinking, most of what our nuclear force does tends to affect what their nuclear force might look like, whether they go to mobile missile technology, whether they bury things deeply so that we may not be able to get to them. It has that sort of effect.

Your question about without a competitor, it is a good opportunity to deal with some of the – I mentioned it in my talk – some of the arms control issues with nuclear powers. Unfortunately we’re having many unpleasant test cases of the nonproliferation piece that you’re mentioning. And I guess, I have to confess I haven’t thought enough about it to give you a good answer about what it is we should be doing at the moment in addition to trying to fight these particular forest fires.

I get the sense that this might be a good opportunity to rethink the whole nonproliferation regime and what it means and how do we get to the goal that we want, which is very few countries with nuclear weapons. And it may be the tools we have in place are largely the right ones that need to be tweaked. It may be we need a whole new way of thinking about the problem. I just haven’t thought enough about it, but it needs to be done. I guess that was it.

KIMBALL: Ambassador Brooks.

BROOKS: We ought to be a little careful about this no-serious-nuclear-competitor view. I sat and watched START I get signed in July of 1991 and the Soviet Union went away within six months, and I never saw it coming, and for all of the people who were saying, oh, it was inevitable, nobody who saw it coming ever bothered to tell me about it. (Laughter.)

And so what I’ve learned out of that is predicting the future of other countries is not always easy. It remains a fact that the Russian Federation could end the United States’ existence as a functioning society before we’re finished with lunch. I’m not suggesting that I regard that as a threat. The United States doesn’t regard that as a threat, but that capability is there and therefore one thing we have to do is hedge against an unlikely but not impossible return to a time when that would be a real capability.

It’s great to sit here and talk about transparency; it really is, okay, except the problem is that a lot of the people who you would like to be more transparent think that transparency is what the strong advocate in order to make sure that they have got a handle over the weak. And have a discussion with any of our colleagues from China on the point of transparency and you will get that speech in spades.

Even within the United States, there has been a great reluctance to be quite as open about total sizes of stockpiles. I mean, I have been using a lot of code words about the non-deployed things. There is actually a very precise number and I know what it is, and I have no intention of saying it because we as a country, despite pressure from some of our friends in Congress have decided we’re not going to release those kind of numbers.

So I think advocating transparency is good, but if you have got a little bit of an uphill fight here and you have got a huge uphill fight in other countries, and we ought to keep trying it, but we ought not to think that that is just, oh, if only I would wake up and endorse transparency it would happen because I think it’s not as clear that it will.

The Department of Energy does many things well but making major changes in its infrastructure on the historical record takes us a very long time. So the answer to when we should start on this is now even if you don’t think you need it for another 15 or 20 years because you’re not going to be able to get it for another 15 or 20 years no matter what you want; it’s just the historical record. Yeah, I know the Manhattan Project. That was a long time ago. We work on a more galactic time scale in my building now. (Laughter.)

And finally, no, Congress isn’t engaged enough. The number of people who could participate without scripted talking points on the Hill and the discussion that we have had in this room is not zero and there are some very thoughtful people. But we wouldn’t have to bring a whole lot more chairs to get them all here.

And I think that we should continue to encourage this debate and it is very – I am involved, as some of you know, in a thing that CSIS is doing called the project on nuclear issues, which is trying to develop a generation of the nuclear policy thinkers who are not, A, in the waning days of their life – read me – or, B, had their whole formulative way of thinking influenced by the Cold War – read me.

And what is striking is that we have got people from academia, we have got people from think tanks; we have got nobody from the Hill because it is not an important issue now. A nongovernmental organization could try to change that. It’s a little hard for the executive branch to carp that we’re not getting enough involvement of Congress, but you’re right.

KIMBALL : Well, on that, I think the Arms Control Association will take up your suggestion about getting Congress involved and continuing the debate. Please join me in thanking everyone here, the panelists – (applause) – for some excellent presentations. Thank you.

Country Resources:

Joint Statement Between President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Body: 
July 18, 2005

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush today declare their resolve to transform the relationship between their countries and establish a global partnership. As leaders of nations committed to the values of human freedom, democracy and rule of law, the new relationship between India and the United States will promote stability, democracy, prosperity and peace throughout the world. It will enhance our ability to work together to provide global leadership in areas of mutual concern and interest.

Building on their common values and interests, the two leaders resolve:

* To create an international environment conducive to promotion of democratic values, and to strengthen democratic practices in societies which wish to become more open and pluralistic.

* To combat terrorism relentlessly. They applaud the active and vigorous counterterrorism cooperation between the two countries and support more international efforts in this direction. Terrorism is a global scourge and the one we will fight everywhere. The two leaders strongly affirm their commitment to the conclusion by September of a UN comprehensive convention against international terrorism.

The Prime Minister's visit coincides with the completion of the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) initiative, launched in January 2004. The two leaders agree that this provides the basis for expanding bilateral activities and commerce in space, civil nuclear energy and dual-use technology.

Drawing on their mutual vision for the U.S.-India relationship, and our joint objectives as strong long-standing democracies, the two leaders agree on the following:

FOR THE ECONOMY

* Revitalize the U.S.-India Economic Dialogue and launch a CEO Forum to harness private sector energy and ideas to deepen the bilateral economic relationship.

* Support and accelerate economic growth in both countries through greater trade, investment, and technology collaboration.

* Promote modernization of India's infrastructure as a prerequisite for the continued growth of the Indian economy. As India enhances its investment climate, opportunities for investment will increase.

* Launch a U.S.-India Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture focused on promoting teaching, research, service and commercial linkages.

FOR ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

* Strengthen energy security and promote the development of stable and efficient energy markets in India with a view to ensuring adequate, affordable energy supplies and conscious of the need for sustainable development. These issues will be addressed through the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue.

* Agree on the need to promote the imperatives of development and safeguarding the environment, commit to developing and deploying cleaner, more efficient, affordable, and diversified energy technologies.

FOR DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT

* Develop and support, through the new U.S.-India Global Democracy Initiative in countries that seek such assistance, institutions and resources that strengthen the foundations that make democracies credible and effective. India and the U.S. will work together to strengthen democratic practices and capacities and contribute to the new U.N. Democracy Fund.

* Commit to strengthen cooperation and combat HIV/AIDs at a global level through an initiative that mobilizes private sector and government resources, knowledge, and expertise.

FOR NON-PROLIFERATION AND SECURITY

* Express satisfaction at the New Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship as a basis for future cooperation, including in the field of defense technology.

* Commit to play a leading role in international efforts to prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The U.S. welcomed the adoption by India of legislation on WMD (Prevention of Unlawful Activities Bill).

* Launch a new U.S.-India Disaster Relief Initiative that builds on the experience of the Tsunami Core Group, to strengthen cooperation to prepare for and conduct disaster relief operations.

FOR HIGH-TECHNOLOGY AND SPACE

* Sign a Science and Technology Framework Agreement, building on the U.S.-India High-Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG), to provide for joint research and training, and the establishment of public-private partnerships.

* Build closer ties in space exploration, satellite navigation and launch, and in the commercial space arena through mechanisms such as the U.S.-India Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation.

* Building on the strengthened nonproliferation commitments undertaken in the NSSP, to remove certain Indian organizations from the Department of Commerce's Entity List.

Recognizing the significance of civilian nuclear energy for meeting growing global energy demands in a cleaner and more efficient manner, the two leaders discussed India's plans to develop its civilian nuclear energy program.

President Bush conveyed his appreciation to the Prime Minister over India's strong commitment to preventing WMD proliferation and stated that as a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology, India should acquire the same benefits and advantages as other such states. The President told the Prime Minister that he will work to achieve full civil nuclear energy cooperation with India as it realizes its goals of promoting nuclear power and achieving energy security. The President would also seek agreement from Congress to adjust U.S. laws and policies, and the United States will work with friends and allies to adjust international regimes to enable full civil nuclear energy cooperation and trade with India, including but not limited to expeditious consideration of fuel supplies for safeguarded nuclear reactors at Tarapur. In the meantime, the United States will encourage its partners to also consider this request expeditiously. India has expressed its interest in ITER and a willingness to contribute. The United States will consult with its partners considering India's participation. The United States will consult with the other participants in the Generation IV International Forum with a view toward India's inclusion.

The Prime Minister conveyed that for his part, India would reciprocally agree that it would be ready to assume the same responsibilities and practices and acquire the same benefits and advantages as other leading countries with advanced nuclear technology, such as the United States. These responsibilities and practices consist of identifying and separating civilian and military nuclear facilities and programs in a phased manner and filing a declaration regarding its civilians facilities with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); taking a decision to place voluntarily its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards; signing and adhering to an Additional Protocol with respect to civilian nuclear facilities; continuing India's unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing; working with the United States for the conclusion of a multilateral Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty; refraining from transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to states that do not have them and supporting international efforts to limit their spread; and ensuring that the necessary steps have been taken to secure nuclear materials and technology through comprehensive export control legislation and through harmonization and adherence to Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines.

The President welcomed the Prime Minister's assurance. The two leaders agreed to establish a working group to undertake on a phased basis in the months ahead the necessary actions mentioned above to fulfill these commitments. The President and Prime Minister also agreed that they would review this progress when the President visits India in 2006.

The two leaders also reiterated their commitment that their countries would play a leading role in international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons.

In light of this closer relationship, and the recognition of India's growing role in enhancing regional and global security, the Prime Minister and the President agree that international institutions must fully reflect changes in the global scenario that have taken place since 1945. The President reiterated his view that international institutions are going to have to adapt to reflect India's central and growing role. The two leaders state their expectations that India and the United States will strengthen their cooperation in global forums.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thanks President Bush for the warmth of his reception and the generosity of his hospitality. He extends an invitation to President Bush to visit India at his convenience and the President accepts that invitation.

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"The Future of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile": Biographies of Panelists

Body: 

Linton F. Brooks

Ambassador Brooks is Administrator of the Department of Energy’s semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a position he has held since July 2002. NNSA is responsible for designing, producing, and maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile of approximately 10,000 warheads. Brooks’ involvement in national security and nuclear matters extends back more than four decades to his service as a Navy officer. His many high-ranking posts included tours as Director of the Navy’s Strategic and Theater Nuclear Warfare Division, Director of Defense Programs on the National Security Council, and Assistant Director for Strategic and Nuclear Affairs at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. As the Chief Strategic Arms Reductions Negotiator, Brooks helped conclude the 1991 START I and 1993 START II accords cutting U.S. and Soviet/Russian strategic nuclear weapons.

Raymond Jeanloz

Dr. Jeanloz is a professor of Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California at Berkeley and chairs the National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC). Established in 1980, CISAC enlists distinguished scientists and policy experts in national security studies. Jeanloz participated in the 2005 CISAC study Monitoring Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear-Explosive Materials. He also contributed to a separate nuclear earth-penetrator weapons study by the National Research Council of the National Academies, which found that exploding a nuclear weapon a few meters underground would essentially produce similar casualties in surrounding areas as detonating it above ground. He also served from 2001 to 2003 on the Advisory Committee of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

David E. Mosher

Mr. Mosher is a Senior Policy Analyst at RAND, a nonprofit research organization established nearly 60 years ago. At RAND, Mosher researches nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defenses, defense spending, and the role of the U.S. military. In 2003, he coauthored Beyond the Nuclear Shadow: A Phased Approach for Improving Nuclear Safety and U.S.-Russian Relations. The report recommended a series of steps that Washington and Moscow should pursue to reduce the risk of accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear arms, a danger that Mosher and his coauthors argued is perpetuated by the Cold War-era postures maintained by the two former rivals. Before joining RAND, Mosher was a principal analyst in the national security division of the Congressional Budget Office.

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More Security Needed at Russian Nuke Facilities

Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev called for more money to beef up security at Russia’s nuclear facilities during a Duma meeting March 5, requesting increased funding to safeguard installations, monitor radioactive materials, and hire more guards.

Rumyantsev requested 6.5 billion rubles (about $207 million) to upgrade safety and security conditions at nuclear and chemical facilities, according to a March 5 Interfax report. “Everything boils down to money,” Rumyantsev told the lawmakers. He said, however, that nuclear safety in Russia is currently “satisfactory.”

A memorandum to the Duma from the Russian federal nuclear and radiation supervisory commission presented a more urgent appeal for funding. Citing 100 abandoned radioactive sources, such as major medical facilities, over the past year in Russia, the report documented “serious flaws” in security around nuclear installations, according to Interfax. The memorandum described accounting, control, and protection of missile materials as incomplete and noted that, in the absence of paid security personnel from the Russian interior ministry, the facilities are “guarded by non-departmental security personnel, in essence—unarmed pensioners or women.” At the Duma hearing, commission head Yuri Vishnevsky stressed, “There can be no more delays.”

Governments worldwide have expressed concern about the vulnerability of Russia’s nuclear installations, noting that terrorists could use gaps in security at the facilities to steal material. The United States and Russia established the Cooperative Threat Reduction program in 1991 to secure and destroy Russia’s weapons of mass destruction and related materials, and an initiative launched in June 2002 by the Group of Eight aims to help Russia secure more of its fissile material and facilities over the next decade. (See ACT, July/August 2002.)

Report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Please contact ACA for a copy of this story.

Report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

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