Published on Friday, April 28, 2000 in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
US Tells Russia:
Let's Keep Nukes Forever
by Stephen I. Schwartz, publisher of the Bulletin
|You would think that 10 years after the end of the Cold
War, the United States would be doing everything it could to get Russia
to reduce its bloated, aging, and dangerous arsenal of approximately
6,000 deployed strategic nuclear warheads.
You would be wrong.
In fact, as revealed here for the first time, in documents obtained exclusively by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, U.S. negotiators have sought to allay Russian fears about a possible U.S. national missile defense (NMD) system by ruling out any future reductions in strategic nuclear warheads below the 1,500-2,000 level and encouraging Russia to maintain its nuclear forces on constant alert.
At the meeting earlier this year in Geneva where the documents below were presented to Russia, Russian negotiators countered with an offer to slash the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads held by each side (from the START II level of 3,000-3,500 to 1,500). The United States rejected the offer but provided no public justification for why it required more warheads.
That the United States is asking Russia to forsake deep reductions in nuclear weapons for the indefinite future is bad enough. This news is certain to anger many delegates to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, currently taking place at the United Nations, who have been highly critical about the lack of progress in arms control and disarmament since 1995, when the United States renewed its promise under Article VI of the treaty to "pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament."
Worse yet, the United States is encouraging Russia to continue to maintain its strategic nuclear forces on hair-trigger alert, ready to fire within minutes of receiving a launch order. As a consequence of the breakup of the Soviet Union and the continuing economic difficulties in Russia, Russia's early-warning network is a shambles. So many satellites and radars are inoperative or only partially functional that for as much as 12 hours a day, Russia has no means of detecting an ICBM launch from the United States. As for attacks from U.S. Trident submarines, each of which can carry up to 192 warheads, Russia essentially has no detection capability at all. Combining decaying and inoperative early warning systems with a "launch on warning" posture for thousands of nuclear weapons is a recipe for nuclear disaster.
Russia's continuous high-alert posture has already led to one major scare. On January 25, 1995, Russian radar technicians detected a routine scientific rocket launch from Norway but misinterpreted it as a Trident missile from a U.S. submarine. President Boris Yeltsin hurriedly convened a threat assessment conference with his senior advisers and for about eight minutes they deliberated whether to launch a counterattack before the incoming missile arrived. Fortunately, Russian military officers were able to determine--with only two or three minutes to spare--that the rocket was in fact heading away from Russian territory and therefore posed no threat.
Although the Clinton administration's rationale for a limited NMD system centers around "rogue states" like North Korea, only Russia has the capability today and into the indefinite future to deliver a significant number of extremely powerful nuclear weapons to targets in the United States in 30 minutes or less. While the risk of deliberate nuclear war is far lower than in years past, the risk of accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons is rising, in no small part because of Russia's increasing reliance on nuclear weapons even as its early-warning systems (its eyes and ears) fall into disrepair.
But the Clinton administration has chosen to ignore this very real and growing danger and is instead expending significant time and political capital seeking to modify the ABM Treaty to allow the deployment of a not-yet-fully tested limited missile defense system against a threat which has yet to fully materialize. It is outrageous that the United States would not only pursue this path but actually exacerbate the danger by encouraging Russia to continue to deploy thousands of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert.
About the Documents
These documents were presented to Russian officials by U.S. negotiators during meetings in Geneva on January 19-21, 2000. John Holum, senior adviser for arms control and international security affairs at the State Department, headed the U.S. delegation. Yuri Kapralov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's arms control department, led the Russian delegation. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs translated the English-language documents into Russian. A trusted source recently obtained a copy of the translated documents and provided them to the Bulletin. The documents were subsequently translated back into English and have been reviewed by both Russian and English language speakers for accuracy.
The first three documents appear to be talking points for the U.S. delegation, most likely presented to the Russians by John Holum. The U.S. delegation also presented its Russian counterparts with a proposed protocol and annex to the ABM Treaty that would modify the treaty and allow the legal deployment of the first phase of the planned U.S. national missile defense system.
The documents discuss SHF (Super High Frequency ) radars, which are also known as X-band radars. Their frequency band is 3 to 30 gigahertz, which includes the X-band (8-12 gigahertz).
Table of Contents
ANNEX ON VERIFICATION: TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
The US national missile defense system will threaten Russia's strategic deterrent potential and thereby disrupt strategic stability.
Response: The US national missile defense system, which will be limited and intended to defend against several dozen long-range missiles launched by rogue states, will be incapable of threatening Russia's strategic deterrent at the level of START-II or START-III (or later).
For more than 30 years the classic argument in favor of strategic stability and against the deployment of a large-scale strategic missile defense system has been based on concerns that one side might have the ability to make a surprise disarming first strike against the enemy and then deploy a broad strategic missile defense system to knock out the enemy's combat resources which had survived the first strike and were being launched against the assailant. We have clearly stated that the US missile defense system to be developed by the US Government is a very limited strategic missile defense system intended to protect against a threat from some rogue state, which may, at most, use a few dozen warheads accompanied by advanced defense penetration aids. We also proposed steps to ensure Russia's confidence that the US system is in fact limited and deployed within the bounds of the agreed-upon terms of the amended ABM treaty. This classic argument is, therefore, simply inapplicable to defense, where capabilities are just as limited as they would have been in connection with proposals on the US NMD system. Nor could the system be upgraded to alter this reality, except over the long term, which would create conditions for considerable advance warning.
Limiting the Scale and Capabilities of the Proposed US National Missile Defense System
Single Line of Defense
Limited Number of Interceptor Missiles
Limited Number of Radars
[** NOTE TO READER: SHF radars are often referred to as X-band radars. SHF stands for "super high frequency" and is the frequency band 3 to 30 gigahertz. This includes the X-band (8-12 gigahertz).]
Penetrating the US NMD System
The bottom line is clear: the strategic missile defense system for the limited US NMD system which we are calling for could protect only against a few dozen ICBM warheads accompanied by sophisticated defense penetration aids.
RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN PROPOSAL ON DEVELOPMENT OF A GLOBAL MONITORING SYSTEM AND EXPANSION OF COOPERATION IN OTHER AREAS TO TRACK MISSILE AND MISSILE TECHNOLOGY PROLIFERATION
Global Monitoring System
Other Proposals on Cooperation
Approach to Cooperation
____________________, the Parties to the Treaty between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America on the Limitation of Anti-ballistic Missile Systems, signed May 26, 1972, with amendments introduced by the Protocol of July 3, 1974, hereinafter referred to as the Treaty,
Recognizing the importance of the Treaty for strategic stability,
Noting the commitment of the Parties to the Treaty to consider proposals to increase the viability of the Treaty as necessary,
Considering changes in the strategic situation that have occurred as a result of the proliferation among states of weapons of mass destruction and long-range ballistic missiles which threaten international peace and security,
Recognizing the necessity of protecting their citizens and, consequently, their territories from the threat that these states will use long-range ballistic missiles and recognizing that this threat is increasing and that the defensive capabilities necessary to protect against this threat must also increase, from which it follows that the Treaty must be updated as necessary to permit the creation of the necessary defense,
Intending to adapt the Treaty to these changes in the strategic situation,
Proceeding from the understanding that the deployment of ABM systems for limited defense of their respective national territories will neither threaten nor allow a threat to the strategic deterrent forces of either Party,
Undertaking to carry out this deployment on the basis of cooperation and transparency, and
Reaffirming their commitment to continue consultations aimed at strengthening and improving the efficacy of the Treaty,
Have agreed as follows:
The United States of America and the Russian Federation shall be permitted to deploy a missile defense system for purposes of limited defense of their national territory against limited long-range ballistic missile strikes as an alternative to deploying the ABM systems permitted by Articles I and III of the Treaty.
The limited territorial missile defense system permitted by Article I hereof shall be subject to the following provisions:
a) With regard to the provisions of Article I of the Treaty, the United States and the Russian Federation may each deploy no more than 100 ABM launchers and no more than 100 antimissile missiles at launching positions within one deployment region within their national territory. The radius of this limited territorial defense deployment region may not exceed 150 km;
b) With regard to the provisions of Article VI, subparagraph a and Article IX of the Treaty, the United States and the Russian Federation shall be permitted to enable strategic ballistic missile attack warning radars in existence on December 1, 1999 to perform ABM radar functions to support the limited territorial missile defense system deployed in accordance herewith;
c) The United States and the Russian Federation may deploy one additional ABM radar each at any site within their national territory.
If the United States or the Russian Federation decides to deploy a limited territorial missile defense system pursuant to the provisions hereof as an alternative to deploying the missile defense permitted by Articles I and III of the Treaty,
a) ABM launchers deployed in accordance with Article III of the Treaty that are not operational, under construction or undergoing testing, overhaul, repair, or refurbishment on December 1, 1999 will not have to be dismantled or destroyed. These launchers shall not be counted in the number provided for by Article II, subparagraph a hereof;
b) ABM launchers deployed pursuant to Article III of the Treaty that are operational, under construction or undergoing testing, major overhaul, repair, or refurbishment as of December 1, 1999 shall be dismantled or destroyed so that there shall be no more than 100 ABM launchers deployed at any time;
c) ABM radars deployed pursuant to Article III of the Treaty on December 1, 1999 will not have to be dismantled or destroyed.
To increase confidence in compliance and ensure compliance with the Treaty and with this Protocol, the Parties shall carry out the provisions of the Annex, which shall be an integral part hereof.
Except for changes specified hereby, all existing rights and duties of the Parties to the Treaty shall remain in force and shall be applicable to the limited national defense system.
At the request of one of the Parties, but no sooner than March 1, 2001, the Parties shall commence good faith negotiations to review this Protocol to take into account further changes in the strategic situation caused by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range ballistic missiles which therefore might require deployment of more effective limited national territorial defense systems necessary to counter these long-range missiles.
This Protocol shall be subject to ratification in accordance with the constitutional procedures of each Party and shall enter into force on the day of exchange of the Protocol ratification instruments.
In accordance with the provisions of the Protocol to the Treaty between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America on the Limitation of Anti-ballistic Missile Systems signed _____________________, 2000, hereinafter Protocol, the Parties hereby agree on the following steps to build confidence in compliance and ensure compliance with the provisions of the Treaty between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America on the Limitation of Anti-ballistic Missile Systems, hereinafter Treaty, and of the Protocol.
1. In accordance herewith, the Parties shall carry out an initial exchange of information and notifications no later than 90 days after the Protocol enters into force. This exchange shall reflect data on the effective date of the Protocol. Unless otherwise agreed, this information shall be updated annually on January 1 of each year and shall be provided no later than April 1 of that year. The annual update of information shall not be required to report data that remained unchanged since the previous information exchange. This information exchange shall not be required until the first installation by the United States of an anti-missile missile on an ABM launcher within an ABM system deployment region.
2. Each Party shall submit the following information on its missile defense system2:
a) anti-missile missiles;
b) ABM launchers:
c) ABM radars:
d) the number of silo loaders in the ABM deployment region and intended for installing anti-missile missiles in ABM launchers;
e) the general concept of the operation of the Party's missile defense system (in a form of the Party's choice);
f) the status of the Party's plans and programs with respect to its missile defense system (in a form of the Party's choice).
3. Each Party shall provide the following information with respect to ABM Test Ranges for testing its missile defense system;
a) the name and geographic coordinates of all such ABM test ranges;
b) the number and geographic coordinates of ABM launchers, ABM radars, anti-missile missile maintenance facilities and anti-missile missile storage facilities in the ABM test range.
4. Each Party shall report the name and geographic coordinates of each strategic ballistic missile attack warning radar.
5. Each Party shall provide the following information on the following facilities located outside its ABM system deployment area:
a) the name and geographic coordinates of all final assembly sites for anti-missile missiles, anti-missile missile maintenance facilities, and anti-missile missile storage facilities;
b) with respect to each facility subject to inspection in accordance with Section III herein, a diagram of the facility shall be provided to the other Parties in accordance with paragraph 1 herein or no later than 30 days after initial notification of a facility at which non-deployed anti-missile missiles are located in accordance with Section II, paragraph 7 hereof.
6. Each Party shall provide the following information on the region where its own ABM will be located:
a) a diagram of the entire deployment region showing the location of each ABM launcher, each anti-missile missile maintenance facility, and each anti-missile missile storage facility;
b) with respect to an ABM deployment region established after the Protocol enters into force, the Party shall provide a diagram of that region no later than 30 days prior to the installation of the first anti-missile missile on an ABM launcher within the ABM system deployment region. This diagram shall show the actual or planned location of each ABM launcher, each anti-missile missile maintenance facility, and each anti-missile missile storage facility.
In accordance with Section I, paragraph 1 of this Annex, each Party shall provide the following notifications of its ABM system. These notifications shall be provided within the bounds of the initial exchange of information and notifications. In the future these notifications will be provided in accordance with the provisions of this Section II. The provision of these notifications is not required before the United States has installed an anti-missile missile on an ABM launcher within the ABM system deployment region.
1. Notifications provided under the initial information exchange as specified in Section I, paragraph 1 or no later than within 90 days of the date of commencement of:
a) any construction or assembly work which is not earthmoving (soil excavation) associated with the construction of anti-missile missiles; or
b) any construction or assembly work associated with the construction of antennae (arrays), structures associated with an ABM radar antenna or antenna pedestal supports that are not parts of buildings pertaining to ABM radars.
2. Notifications to be provided within no less than 90 days of the first installation of an anti-missile missile on an ABM launcher within the ABM system deployment region.
3. Notifications to be provided within no less than 10 days of the launch of an anti-missile missile. These notifications shall indicate the designation/name of the anti-missile missile and the geographic coordinates of the anti-missile missile launch site.
4. Notifications to be provided within no less than _____ days, of the maiden launch of each new type (to be defined by the Party providing the notification) of anti-missile missile.
5. Notifications to be provided no later than 48 hours after completion thereof, of the transit of an anti-missile missile between the ABM system deployment region, anti-missile missile maintenance facilities which are not within the ABM system deployment region, anti-missile missile storage facilities which are not within the ABM system deployment region, and anti-missile missile final assembly facilities.
6. Notifications to be provided no later than 5 days after completion thereof, of the dismantling or elimination of an anti-missile missile (including elimination as the result of an accident or elimination by launch).
7. Notifications of a facility not previously indicated in accordance with Section I, paragraph 5, subparagraph a and paragraph 6, subparagraph a to be provided no less than 30 days before the first arrival of an anti-missile missile at that facility.
1. Each Party shall have the right to perform the following inspection activity in accordance with procedures subject to the approval of the Parties. This inspection activity shall not be performed prior to the initial installation by the United States of an anti-missile missile on an ABM launcher within the ABM system deployment region:
a) commencing 30 days after the date of the initial installation of an anti-missile missile on an ABM launcher within the ABM system deployment region, but no less than 90 days after an agreement is reached on the specific procedures for performing this inspection, each Party shall have the right to perform inspections with respect to raw data to confirm the accuracy of the information submitted on the number and location of non-deployed anti-missile missiles and ABM launchers. These inspections shall be performed in the ABM system deployment region, including at anti-missile missile maintenance facilities and at anti-missile missile storage facilities within this ABM system deployment region;
b) commencing 60 days after the date of the initial installation of an anti-missile missile on an ABM launcher within the ABM system deployment region, but no less than 90 days after an agreement is reached on the specific procedures for performing this inspection, each Party shall have the right to perform a total of _____ short-notice site inspections in each treaty year to confirm the accuracy of the information provided on the numbers and locations of non-deployed anti-missile missiles and ABM launchers. These inspections shall be performed in the ABM system deployment region, including at anti-missile missile maintenance facilities and anti-missile missile storage facilities at the same locations.
2. If either Party has a concern with respect to compliance with the provisions of this Protocol, that Party may express this concern under the framework of the Standing Consultative Commission and request that specific measures be taken to alleviate this concern. These measures may include, but not be limited to, a visit with special right of access to a facility or place where, in the opinion of the requesting Party, the activity that raised the concern occurred. The receiving Party shall provide a response no later than 7 days after receipt of such request. The receiving Party's response shall include:
a) consent or refusal to take the proposed specific measure to alleviate the concern, including, if a visit with special access right is proposed, the date, place, and procedure for such visit; or
b) a proposal on a specific alternative measure to alleviate the concern, including, if a visit with special access right is proposed, the date, place, and procedures for such visit.
3. Each Party shall, in accordance with procedures subject to an agreement between the Parties, give demonstrations of each type (as defined by the Party giving the demonstration) of anti-missile missile and ABM launcher to be used in its ABM system. The goal of these demonstrations is to provide the opportunity to confirm the accuracy of dimensional information contained in the notifications to be provided in accordance with the provisions of Section 1, paragraph 2, subparagraph a and of paragraph 2, subparagraph b of this Annex:
a) with regard to anti-missile missiles and ABM launchers included in the initial exchange of information and notifications in accordance with Section I, paragraph 1 of this Annex, the time of these demonstrations shall be subject to agreement by the Parties;
b) with regard to anti-missile missiles and ABM launchers not included in the initial exchange of information and notifications in accordance with Section I, paragraph 1 of this Annex, these demonstrations shall be given within a 30-day period commencing:
i) with respect to anti-missile missiles, at a time and place subject to agreement by the Parties;
ii) with respect to ABM launchers, on the date of the initial installation of an anti-missile missile in such ABM launcher; [sic]
5. [sic] For the efficient performance of their functions in fulfillment of the provisions of this Annex, but not in their personal interest, inspectors shall be granted the same privileges and immunities enjoyed by diplomatic agents in accordance with the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961.
1. Either Party may, on a voluntary basis, organize for the other Party a demonstration of its system or the components thereof or other activities pertaining to missile defense; an observation of the launchings of its anti-missile missiles; or a visit to facilities related to missile defense and the area where its missile defense system is located. In each specific case, the participating Parties shall agree in advance on the goal of these demonstrations, observations and visits and on the steps to accomplish them.
2. Each Party may, on a voluntary basis, provide any other information or any other notifications not mentioned in the other provisions of this Annex. In addition, either Party may, on a voluntary basis, provide information in accordance with Sections I and II hereof before this information is required to be provided. This information and these notifications shall be provided on the matters, to the extent, and within the timeframes that each Party itself shall determine.
1. Each Party shall use the channels of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers or equivalent intergovernmental communications channels to provide and receive notifications and to exchange information in accordance with the provisions of this Annex.
2. Each Party undertakes not to disclose information provided in accordance herewith except with the express consent of the Party that provided that information.
Upon the entry into force of the Protocol, the Parties undertake to propose and agree upon, within the framework of the Standing Consultative Commission, additional administrative and technical procedures that may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Annex. These administrative and technical procedures shall be devised as quickly as possible.
1 The Russian document is the translation by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the original English document.
2 The term "missile defense system" and its components: "anti-missile missile (anti-missile missiles)," "ABM launcher (ABM launchers)," and "ABM radar" shall be used both with respect to ABM systems used to defend a region, as permitted by Articles I and III and with respect to the Party's limited national missile defense systems.
3 Exclusively for the purposes hereof and unless indicated otherwise, an anti-missile missile shall be defined as follows: an anti-missile missile assembly with all its stages, all adapters between stages and warheads in its launch container.