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Nuclear News - 07/19/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 19 July, 1999

A. Arms Control - General
1. Losing the Battle on Arms Control, Washington Post (07/17/99)

B. Export Controls
1. CIA: Weapons Programs Hindered by Export Controls, Associated Press(07/17/99)

C. U.S. - Russia General
1. US Says NATO Membership For Baltics Nearly Inevitable, AFP(07/16/99)
A. Arms Control - General
Losing the Battle on Arms Control
Pakistan-India Nuclear Race Is Just Part of a Disturbing Trend
Steven Mufson
Washington Post
July 17, 1999
(for personal use only)

On June 25, the frontier of arms control suddenly shifted to the Indianport of Kandla, where customs officials, acting on a tip, demanded tosee what else was in the hold of a North Korean ship unloading a cargoof sugar.

They hit the jackpot inside the 9,600-ton steamer Ku Wol San: 148containers listed on the cargo manifest as "water purificationmachinery" destined for Malta turned out to contain missile parts,machine tools, andblueprints of a Scud missile, all allegedly bound for Pakistan.

The seizure, disclosed this week, is just the latest example of adisturbing trend. Over the past 15 months, efforts to prevent the spreadof weapons of mass destruction have suffered a series of deep setbacks,including the detonation of atomic bombs by India and Pakistan;long-range missile advances by North Korea, Pakistan and Iran; the endof the United Nations weapons inspections in Iraq; and the perversepolitical lesson some nations have drawn from the war in Kosovo, thatnuclear weapons are the only protection against NATO intervention.

"All the trend lines are negative," says Michael Krepon, a disarmamentexpert at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a Washington-based think tank."All the usual suspects are moving in the wrong direction."

This summer alone, Pakistan and India have smashed the Cold War theorycited by Pakistani leaders to justify their decision to match India'snuclear tests: that two countries with nuclear weapons would refrainfrom direct conflict with each other. In addition, U.S. officials saythat North Korea, which American officials believe possesses agrapefruit-sized lump of material big enough to make one or two nuclearbombs, is preparing to test a long-range missile capable of hitting muchof the western United States.

Reflecting a sense of gloom, one senior State Department official,Martin S. Indyk, recently told a foreign policy forum that the questionis no longer whether Iran will obtain nuclear weapons, but rather howthe United States will deal with Iran afterward.

Indeed, U.S. policymakers are increasingly turning from"nonproliferation," or preventive measures, to what in defense jargon isknown as "counterproliferation": how to deal with countries that acquirenuclearweapons despite preventive efforts. The tools include economicsanctions, research on goo-emitting bombs that could smother chemicalweapons and burrowing bombs that could reach buried targets, and"theater missile defense," a reincarnation of the Reagan era "Star Wars"program to intercept missiles in flight.

However, these alternatives raise as many foreign policy questions asthey answer. Would the United States really launch a preemptive militarystrike on a suspected weapons facility? Could theater missile defensebackfire and set off a new arms race? Should sanctions imposed on Indiaor Pakistan as punishment after their nuclear tests last year be eased,as some U.S. lawmakers and U.N. diplomats suggest?

For 35 years, the world's small club of nuclear powers has largely keptintact its monopoly on weapons of mass destruction, defying PresidentJohn F. Kennedy's 1963 prediction that 15 to 20 countries would possessnuclear weapons by the early 1970s.

Nations "of concern" to the United States that are seeking weapons ofmass destruction include Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Syria andSudan, according to a CIA report to Congress on the second half of 1998that was declassified yesterday. The Associated Press said the CIAreported that Egypt is trying to buy technology for improved missilesand that India and Pakistan continue to try to improve their nuclearweapons programs.

Recent setbacks follow some major successes in arms control during theearly 1990s. A nuclear test ban was signed. Brazil and Argentinascrapped their nuclear weapons programs. South Africa announced it hadsecretly built six nuclear bombs and then dismantled them. After thecollapse of the Soviet Union, three newly independent, former Sovietrepublics gave up their nuclear weapons. That left the five majornuclear powers ^Ö the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China --as well as Israel, widely suspected of having dozens of nuclear bombs.

Now, however, the tide is turning. Iraq is importing material that couldbe used for biological weapons and seeking to buy nuclear bomb material,according to former weapons inspectors.

"We have destroyed the production" of nuclear weapons-grade material,says Rolf Ekeus, Sweden's ambassador to the United States and formerhead of the U.N. inspection effort. But he notes that Iraqi weaponsmakers "have done all the calibrations and calculations. Our concern isthat they are buying [the material] and once they do that, the rest ofthe work is already done."

American officials believe that within five years Iran will have theability to make a nuclear bomb, even though the United States persuadedRussia and China to curtail their nuclear cooperation with Tehran. Iranalready possesses medium-range missiles and is working on long-rangemissiles with help from Russian firms and North Korea.

Economically strapped Pakistan recently let the Saudi Arabian defenseminister and a delegation from the United Arab Emirates tour its nuclearbomb and missile development sites. Though Shahid Hamid, governor of thePunjab region, said in an interview that Pakistan's nuclear technology"is not for sale," he conceded that "there have been offers made to usby others" seeking to buy nuclear secrets.

NATO's war over Kosovo has also complicated efforts to persuade nationsto forgo nuclear weapons. On May 13, European Union representatives metin New York with China's chief arms control negotiator to prepare for anew round of treaties aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons.Because NATO had accidentally destroyed China's embassy in a bombingraid on Belgrade six days earlier, the Europeans were not sure theChinese would even show up.

But they did -- and delivered a stern lecture. NATO countries were theones destroying nonproliferation efforts with their war in Kosovo,China's representative, Sha Zukang, said, according to a Germandiplomat. Sha added that NATO showed it wouldn't respect any countryunless that country had nuclear weapons.

On June 3, the European Union met with Russian arms negotiators, whodelivered the same message.

In between, William J. Perry, acting as special envoy for PresidentClinton, took a U.S. delegation to North Korea for the highest-leveltalks between the two countries since the Korean War. Holding out thepossibility of normal relations with the United States, Perry pressedNorth Korean leaders to scrap efforts to develop long-range missiles andstick to their commitment not to build the bomb. According toparticipants, the North Korean leaders replied, in essence: Why shouldNorth Korea give up those weapons? If it did, the United States mightstart complaining about human rights in North Korea and bomb it intooblivion like Serbia.

The Clinton administration is pursuing an ad hoc policy toward eachproliferation threat around the world. Iraq has been bombed for sevenmonths, the first war waged exclusively over the issue of weaponsproliferation. North Korea has been both cajoled and threatened. TheUnited States has waged a campaign to block international and commercialnuclear cooperation with Iran. Israel's nuclear weapons have beenignored; openly acknowledging their existence could increase the desireof Arab states to develop a countervailing threat. Pakistan and Indiahave been hit with sanctions barring certain technology sales, economicaid and loans from the World Bank or International Monetary Fund.

Some diplomats feel the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable. Oneformer Defense Department official notes that all arms control effortsthroughout history have failed, starting with a Vatican-sponsoredconference in the 12th century to ban production of the crossbow, animport from China that could pierce the armor of European nobles."There's a certain arrogance to say that you can stop the spread oftechnology," the official said.

But others believe negotiations still can contain the most lethalweapons, coax India and Pakistan into observing the nuclear test ban andinternational inspection regimes, and further reduce the stockpiles ofthemajor powers.

"Calling it a regime gave it a sense of being an iron castle, whichnever existed," said Frank Wisner, a former ambassador to India andEgypt who tried to persuade Russia to cut off aid to Iran's nuclearpower program. "But the nonproliferation regimes still establish normsof behavior. They are like traffic laws; people still speed."

Wisner says it is more urgent to defuse the problems that drivecountries to seek such devices. Better to engage North Korea, mediatethe Indian-Pakistani dispute over Kashmir, resolve theIsraeli-Palestinianproblem, or figure out what Iran sees as threats to its nationalsecurity, he says.

"Ballistic missiles are the symptom, not the problem," says Krepon ofthe Stimson Center.
B. Export Controls
CIA: Weapons Programs Hindered by Export Controls
Associated Press
July 17, 1999
(for personal use only)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Syria, Libya and some other nations aggressivelystrive to make their own weapons of mass destruction, but their progresshas been slowed by tight export controls and their own inability tofully develop chemical, nuclear or biological arms, according to a newCIA report.

While the Chinese theft of nuclear secrets from the United States andworries about proliferation from China have been the recent focus ofsuch concerns, the CIA points to Russia as the primary supplier of massdestruction weapons and materials, because of unreliable exportcontrols.

The CIA's twice-yearly report on developments in proliferation ofweapons of mass destruction -- this one covering the second half of lastyear -- was submitted to Congress Thursday and made available Fridayafter it was declassified.

North Korea is also aggressively exporting missile technology as a keysource of hard currency for its strapped economy. But North Korea'soverall weapons capabilities are far less than those of Russia andChina.

And Iraq appears to be providing some technical assistance, though noactual materials, to Sudan.

Countries "of concern" to the United States that are seeking theseweapons include Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Syria and Sudan. Egyptis also seeking to buy technology for improved missiles. And India andPakistan continue to try to improve their nuclear weapons programs.

But all of these countries, according to the CIA, depend heavily onoutside suppliers.

"Outside assistance is critical to keeping (Libya's) ballistic missiledevelopment programs from becoming moribund," the CIA reported.

For Syria, "Foreign equipment and assistance have been and will continueto be essential" to a solid-fuel rocket program.

India and Pakistan were able to obtain "only a limited amount" ofnuclear weapons-related assistance during the second half of 1998, justafter the two longtime enemies rattled the world with a series ofunderground nuclear test explosions.

Throughout the report, the emphasis appeared to be on the difficultythese countries have had in getting around export controls being imposedin China and Russia, the countries the CIA identifies as the mainsources of mass destruction weapons technology.

The CIA's overall assessment is that China is tightening control onexport of weapons technology by a growing number of quasi-independentdevelopment and manufacturing "entities" that have been difficult topolice in recent years. The report indicates China is sticking to itsexport control pledges.

"The effectiveness, however, of China's nascent nuclear export controlsis not yet clear; restructuring among oversight entities and the defenseindustries may impede implementation in the near term," the CIAreported.

In Russia, the report cited some "positive steps" toward weapons exportcontrol taken by Moscow under "intense and continuing engagement" withthe Clinton administration, including decrees broadening the list ofitems banned for export and increasing government control of Russiancompanies that make these items.

"Despite these decrees, the government's commitment, willingness andability to curb proliferation-related transfers remain uncertain," theCIA reported. "Moreover, economic conditions in Russia continued todeteriorate, putting more pressure on Russian entities to circumventexport controls."

The report indicates that economics, rather than some granderideological plan, lies behind much of the world's weapons proliferation,with Russia and North Korea grappling with troubled or failing economiesand Iraq hemmed in by embargoes.

Because of the improvements being made in export controls, the CIAreports, would-be developers of mass destruction arsenals are focusingtheir efforts on buying so-called dual use equipment _ civilian nuclearreactors for Iran, chemical production equipment for Iraq -- that couldbe converted to weapons production.
C. U.S. - Russia General
US Says NATO Membership For Baltics Nearly Inevitable
July 16, 1999
(for personal use only)

The entry of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia into NATO is a nearinevitability despite Russia's strident opposition to enlarging thealliance, a senior US official said Friday.

"I would stop just short of saying it's inevitable," Deputy Secretary ofState Strobe Talbott told reporters on the last day of the US-Balticpartnership commission's second annual meeting.

"It is desirable and I think there is considerable reason for optimismthat it will occur because of the extraordinary progress these threecountries have made," he said.

He acknowleged that Moscow was vehemently opposed to any enlargement ofthe North Atlantic Treaty Organization, particularly into the Balticregion.

Russia has "expressed specific concerns and opposition with regards tothe Baltics regards ... Obviously this is an issue of very intensedisagreement," said Talbott, but he seemed to dismiss Russia'soppositionas unlikely to prevent the three nations from joining the alliance.

Talbott noted that NATO had already expanded this year, adding the CzechRepublic, Hunagry and Poland to its rolls, despite Russian oppositionand that the alliance had gone ahead with air strikes against Yugoslaviain the face of Moscow's anger.

"The challenge for many years to come is going to be to manage thedisagreements and maintain total clarity about the (alliance's) drivingprinciples, one of which is that no sovereign state can be declaredineligible for NATO membership because of geography."

Officials from the three countries vowed that each would complete thenecessary requirements for NATO entry, in particular boosting defensespending to the recommended level.

"For Estonia, NATO is a primary foreign policy priority," said EstonianForeign Minister Toomas Hedrik, promising that Tallinn would fulfull itsmembership obligations.

"Our commitment is very strong," said Lithuanian Foreign MinisterAlgiurdas Saudargas, who was echoed by Latvia's Deputy Secretary ofState, Maris Reikstins.

All three visiting officials, who met Secretary of State MadeleineAlbright on Thursday, and Talbott said the Kosovo conflict had soldifiedNATO's relevance for the coming century and had underscored theimportance of multi-ethnic democracies for stability.

"One of the principle lessons to come out of the Kosovo experience that security and stability of southern Europe will depend on exactlythe kind of integration, institution building and democratization thatare already so far advanced in norther Europe specifically in the Balticregion," Talbott said.

The second meeting of partnership commission, established in January1998, had been postponed since May because of the Kosovo crisis.

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