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Nuclear News - 11/15/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 15 November 1999

A.  Nuclear Cities Initiative

    1. Long Billions, Short Millions,
    2. U.S. Cuts Funding For Russian Nuclear Scientists, RFE/RL(11/15/99)
B.  Russia – Iran
    1. Iranian Atomic Official In Moscow, BBC News (11/15/99)
    1. DoE Restricts Foreign Access To Computers, Defense News(11/15/99)
D.  Arms Control – General
    1. Secretary Albright's Remarks at Chicago Council on ForeignRelations (transcript), USIA (11/10/99)

A. Nuclear Cities Initiative

Long Billions, Short Millions
        Amitai Etzioni
        November 04, 1999
        (for personal use only)

A leading item in the competition for the most inane piece of publicpolicy of the 1990s is Congress' refusal to extend and expand the programthat provides a select group of former Soviet scientists with a meagersalary of about $7,000 a year. These salaries are being  paid to keepthem working on civilian projects, rather than further developing nuclearweapons or sharing their knowledge with terrorist supporting governments.(Funds also have been refused for converting the scientists' labs frommilitary to commercial use.)

The total State Department budget for these scientists' salaries (undera program called International Science and Technology Centers) requestedby the Clinton administration was $274 million over five years, some $51million per average year. The amounts involved are quite a bit lower thanthe funds the press reports that Russian political leaders and their associateshave siphoned off to cover their credit-card debts, overseas junkets andsimple fattening of their Swiss bank accounts from the billions we grantedRussia.

The wrong target

Republicans in Congress have raised several kinds of objections to convertingthese nuclear swords into plowshares. They fear that the program will turninto a new welfare racket, in which former Soviet nuclear scientists willstay "forever" on the American dole. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Rep. CurtWeldon (R-PA), have complained that the civilian program has so far failedto turn most of the labs involved into commercially viable "profit centers."This is hardly astonishing, given that even in the much more benign Americancontext, attempts to convert military facilities and talents into commercialones have been  slow, prohibitively expensive and often unsuccessful.The talents needed to make bombs are somehow rather distinct from thoserequired to develop and market washing machines and toasters.

Republicans also have complained, drawing on a study by the GeneralAccounting Office (GAO), that the expenditures of Russian facilities arenot monitored closely enough. Some of the funds, it has been reported,do not end up quite where they are supposed to. Having recently been toRussia, where I witnessed the depth and scope of the prevailing corruption,it is hard to expect

Moreover, funding spillage has not stopped us in the past from continuingto ship billions to Russia for privatization and for economic development.Congress objected to taxes paid by the program to  Russia and thecut American contracts having been taken out of the budget. Actually, thesecriticisms apply to some programs run by the Defense Department, tryingto convert so-called nuclear cities, but not to those conducted by theState Department.

One cannot help but wonder if the difference between those programswhose funding is continued and those that pay for the civilian employmentof Russian scientists where funding is being cut off, is the money Americancorporations get off the deal. Big business gains a goodly portion of theorders placed by the Russians using the "economic development" billionsand, hence, lobbies Congress for more such grants. At the same time, thesecorporations stand to gain little, if anything, if we succeed in stoppingRussian nuclear specialists from moving to or working for rogue states,so who cares if the program ends?

A valuable proposition

The total amount of money involved, an increase of merely $170 millionfrom the previously allotted $104 million, is minimal even when projectedover five years. It sounds like a lot of dough, until one compares it tomost items in our defense budget; for instance, compare it to thebillion-and-a-halfdollars that Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) inserted in the just-approved defensebill for building a naval vessel in his state. Too bad the Navy neitherneeds nor wants it.

Moreover, others, including the European Union, Norway, Canada, Japanand even global financier George Soros, are picking up part of the totalcosts of the conversion drive. If we cut back our support, one hardly canexpect these countries to maintain their contributions, let alone pickup the slack, given their weaker economic condition  and sense thatthe United States already has greatly fallen behind  on its otherinternational obligations, especially paying its United Nations dues.

We seem to be entering an especially partisan period – particularlywhen it comes to foreign policy. But given the small amounts involved andthe obvious merit of the plowshare project, maybe this can be one areain which party differences are left at the Capitol's doors. After all,it does not take a Ph.D. in nuclear physics or strategic studies to realizethe value of providing harmless pursuits to the scientists involved ortrying to slow down the proliferation of nuclear know-how to rogue statessuch as Iraq and Iran. If all else fails, maybe Congress could take themillions needed for the plowshare project from the "economic development"billions we have been granting Russia with next to no conditions attached.

Amitai Etzioni is a university professor at George Washington Universityand the author of Winning Without War and The Hard Way to Peace. He canbe reached at

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U.S. Cuts Funding For Russian Nuclear Scientists
        November 15, 1999
        (for personal use only)

"The Washington Post" reported on 13 November that as a result of asharp cut in funding, the U.S. Department of Energy will have to limitthe so-called Nuclear Cities Initiative to one Russian nuclear city--namelySarov, which was earlier called Arzamas-16. Launched last year, the initiativeoriginally targeted three nuclear cities and was aimed at ensuring employmentfor Russian nuclear scientists in civilian jobs. The newspaper noted thatthe funding cut came after a report said U.S. funds appeared to be goingto Russian scientists who were still working on weapons programs.

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B. Russia – Iran

Iranian Atomic Official In Moscow
        BBC News
        November 15, 1999
        (for personal use only)

The head of the Iranian atomic energy organisation, Gholamreza Aqazadeh,is visiting Moscow for talks on the progress of the Bushehr nuclear reactorin south-west Iran, which Russia is helping to build.

Mr Aqazadeh will also discuss future joint nuclear projects with theRussian Atomic Energy Minister, Yevgeny Adamov.

Russia has often been criticised by the United States over its co-operationwith Iran in building nuclear power plants, which are worth millions ofdollars to Russia.

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DoE Restricts Foreign Access To Computers
        Defense News
        November 15, 1999
        (for personal use only)

The U.S. Energy Department this month issued a directive defining proceduresfor granting foreign nationals access to the department's unclassifiedcomputer systems. The directive requires access by non-U.S. nationals bepreapproved and periodically audited, and that nonresident foreign nationalsfrom so-called threat countries have remote access only to cyber systemsthat do not contain controlled nuclear information or naval nuclear propulsioninformation.

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D.  Arms Control – General

Secretary Albright's Remarks at Chicago Council on Foreign Relations(transcript)
        Secretary of State MadeleineK. Albright
        November 10, 1999
        (for personal use only)

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you, Chairman Burnham, for that introduction.John Rielly, members of the diplomatic corps, officers and members of theCouncil, guests and friends, good evening.

I am delighted to be here in Chicago, a city that Richard Wright oncecalled the pivot of the Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern poles ofour nation, but which now increasingly serves that purpose for our globe.

Chicago is the capital of America's heartland, but also a dynamo ofinternational travel and trade, blessed by the busiest airport, largestmercantile exchange, most dramatic skyline and best rightfielder in theworld.

It has also been blessed for more than three-quarters of a century bythis very venerable institution--the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.In 1922, the year the Council was founded, our country was walking awayfrom the League of Nations, our cities were coping with Prohibition, andour Secretary of State had a beard.

Much has changed since then, but this Council has remained one of ournation's most influential platforms for discussing America's rightful placein the world. And the Council has also been a leader in assessing Americanattitudes towards international relations.

I was heartened that your latest survey shows strong, albeit guarded,support for an active U.S. role. I was delighted to see that most Americansagree with me that President Clinton deserves high marks for his foreignpolicy leadership.

But your survey also reveals that a majority of our citizens are afraid,as the new century is about to dawn, that the next hundred years will proveeven bloodier than the last. Given our experience of Holocaust and globalwar, that is a daunting prospect. And we have no higher responsibilitythan to do all we can to prevent that prospect from becoming a reality.

This evening, I would like to discuss with you a major part of thatresponsibility. Because even though the Cold War has ended, the dangersposed to us by nuclear weapons have not. We must carry out a comprehensivestrategy to limit those dangers both by keeping such weapons out of thewrong hands and by deterring and defending against their possible use.

These goals received a setback last month when the U.S. Senate votednot to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, or CTBT.

America's allies and friends responded to this vote with universal shockand disappointment. I have personally been besieged by calls from counterpartsaround the globe. All express concern. Some even fear that America is onthe verge of deciding simply to go it alone; to abandon efforts at nuclearnonproliferation; and to rely solely on military might in what could becomea new, wider and even more dangerous nuclear arms race.

My reply to those who harbor such fears is not to over-react. The UnitedStates has not gone crazy. A clear majority in the Senate wanted to delayvoting to allow more time to deliberate on the Treaty. President Clintonand Vice President Gore have reaffirmed America's commitment tononproliferation.And, as Winston Churchill once reportedly declared, "Americans can alwaysbe counted upon to do the right thing in the end, after all other possibilitieshave been exhausted."

That said, the Senate debate was a highly sobering experience. Neverbefore have the clearly expressed views of our closest allies have beenso lightly dismissed. Never before has the Senate rejected so abruptlya treaty of this importance. Never before has the tradition of a bipartisanforeign policy, once championed by such giants of this state as EverettDirksen and Paul Douglas, seemed so distant.

Much has been said about how the Administration and Senate leadershiphandled this issue. It is fair to assign blame to both sides: to the Senatefor giving the Treaty short shrift; to the Administration for not doingenough to lay the groundwork for a successful debate.

But our focus now must be not on where we have been, but on where weare headed. And that is why I have chosen to address this subject here,tonight. Those of us in public life have a duty—when circumstances warrant--toraise a flag of warning. I do so now. Because I believe it is dangerouswhen the world's leading nation is as sharply divided as we appear to beon how to confront the world's greatest threat.

Our challenge is to overcome the scars left by past arguments, put asidepartisan distractions, and come together around concrete measures thatwill keep Americans secure.

To succeed, we must go beyond slogans to the reality of a world in whichU.S. actions and attitudes have real consequences.

Because if we do not accept the rules we insist that others follow,others will not accept them either. The result will be a steady weakeningof nuclear controls. And if efforts at control fail, within a couple ofdecades or less, a host of nations from the Middle East through South Asiato the Korean Peninsula could possess nuclear weapons and the ability todeliver them at long range.

One can imagine then a world imperiled by bitter regional rivalriesin which governments are able to threaten and destroy each other withoutever having to mass troops at a border, send an aircraft aloft, or launcha ship of war.

This is where the issues of nuclear testing and missile defense arelinked. For those of us concerned about defending against missiles armedwith weapons of mass destruction should be the first to value halting nucleartests as an initial line of defense.

More than four decades ago, President Eisenhower warned that the knowledgeof how to build nuclear weapons would spread, and that not even a massivearsenal would be enough to keep America safe. He strived, therefore, toachieve agreements, including a comprehensive test ban, that would reducethe risk of war.

His successor, President John Kennedy, took up that same banner. In1963, he said that "the conclusion of a treaty to outlaw nuclear tests...wouldcheck the nuclear arms race in one of its most dangerous areas...Surely,this goal is sufficiently important to require our steady pursuit, yieldingto the temptation neither to give up the effort, nor...our insistence onvital and responsible safeguards."

These, then, are the core principles that guided America in years pastand should guide us still. First, America must lead in the effort to assurestability and peace in a nuclear world. Second, we should strive for soundagreements to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. Third, we shouldview such agreements not as ends, but as means; they must contribute toour overall security.

Obviously, agreements do not erase the need for a powerful nuclear andconventional military deterrent. But they establish rules that increasethe chance that our deterrent will succeed in preventing war. They complicateefforts by potential adversaries to develop and build nuclear weapons.And they make it more likely that others will join us in a common responseagainst those who break the rules.

By outlawing nuclear tests, the CTBT will impede the development ofmore advanced weapons by nuclear weapons states, and constrain the nuclearcapabilities of countries that do not now have such weapons.

For example, in Asia, the CTBT would make it harder for North Koreato advance its nuclear weapons program; or for China to develop the technologyrequired to place multiple warheads atop a single small missile.

In the Persian Gulf, the Treaty would create another important yardstickto measure the intentions of Iran, where an historic debate  between the forces of openness and isolation is underway.

In South Asia, the Treaty would be a valuable tool for constraininga potentially catastrophic arms race along a disputed border.

In Russia, there is support among some for building a new generationof tactical nuclear arms, because Russia's conventional military capabilitieshave degraded and money is lacking to rebuild them. The CTBT would reinforcemomentum towards nuclear restraint around the world.

Despite these benefits, critics say the Treaty is too risky becausesome countries might cheat.

But improvements in our own national means of verification, togetherwith the International Monitoring System established by the Treaty, wouldenhance our ability to detect nuclear explosions.

Also, the Treaty's provisions for on-site inspections should help deterviolations and assist in finding the smoking gun should a violation occur.

Moreover, the military value of very low-yield tests is limited. Theyare of little use in developing more advanced strategic weapons.

The bottom line is that, under the CTBT, it is less likely that nationswill test because the risks of detection will be higher. But if they dotest in ways that might threaten our security, they will be detected. Andif that were to happen, the world, not just the United States, would objectwith the full force of international law on its side.

Of course, some among you may be asking, so what? Aren't internationallaw and world opinion merely abstractions? Won't governments, and especiallythose we worry about most, pursue their own interests regardless of treatyobligations?

There is a good deal of merit in these questions. But there is no meritto the conclusion that some draw--which is that if we cannot assure 100%compliance with the rules we establish, we are better off not establishingany rules at all. Consider the facts.

During the first 25 years of the nuclear age, five countries testednuclear weapons. In the 29 years since, two, India and Pakistan, have joinedthe list. During this period, knowledge about how to build nuclear armshas spread, but far fewer nations than we once predicted are acting onthat knowledge.

The question is "Why?" The answer, I think, is that global standardsdo matter. Over the years, more and more nations have embraced the viewthat it is unnecessary and dangerous to develop and test nuclear weapons.

This view has given birth to an extensive, although not yet complete,framework of legally binding agreements. These include nearly universalparticipation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT.

Of course, neither law nor opinion will prevent nations from actingin their own best interests. But most countries are influenced in how theydefine their interests by what the law is; and most find it in their intereststo operate within the law, or at least be perceived as doing so.

Why else, for example, did South Africa, Brazil and Argentina abandontheir nuclear weapons programs?

Why else did China agree to halt its own nuclear tests and sign theCTBT?

Why else have India and Pakistan agreed, in principle, to do the same?

And why else have the nations that contribute to the proliferation problemmade such vigorous efforts at concealment?

Some Treaty opponents have pointed out, accurately, that North Koreajoined the NPT and then evaded its obligations under it. But why did NorthKorea take on those obligations in the first place? And why should we concludethat because that pact was violated, we would have been safer without it?After all, North Korea's secret activities first came to light as a resultof inspections under that agreement.

Further, we can only imagine what kind of world we would have todayif the NPT had not entered into force three decades ago. Or what kind ofworld we will have three decades from now if we decide that the job ofstopping proliferation is either not worth doing or already done.

To me, it is an open and shut case that outlawing nuclear tests by otherswill result in a more favorable security climate for America than wouldotherwise exist. But the second question we must consider is whether acceptinga legal ban on our own tests will undermine our nuclear deterrent.

That deterrent includes our ability to put a nuclear weapon on a bomberor missile and deliver that weapon with a high degree of accuracy. Theknowledge that we can do this will stop any rational government from attackingus, and the CTBT would not affect that. Because the Treaty does not coverdelivery systems, we can continue to test and modernize them.

There can be no doubt that our deterrent is effective. After all, wehave already conducted more than 1000 tests--hundreds more than anyoneelse. Our knowledge base and technology are superb.

However, many Senators opposed the CTBT because of their concern that,without testing, weapons in our arsenal might become either unsafe orunreliable.

Obviously, this is a very serious concern, which we have taken seriously.Our nation's most experienced nuclear weapons scientists have examinedvery carefully the possibility that our weapons will degrade without testing.They have recommended steps that will enable us to retain confidence inthe safety and reliability of our arsenal under CTBT, including a robustprogram of Stockpile Stewardship. These steps were incorporated in a packageof understandings that accompanied the Treaty when it was submitted tothe Senate.

We simply do not need to test nuclear weapons to protect our security.On the other hand, would-be proliferators and modernizers must test ifthey are to develop the kind of advanced nuclear designs that are mostthreatening. Thus, the CTBT would go far to lock in a technological statusquo that is highly favorable to us.

There is, moreover, even another layer of protection for American security.If the day should come when our experts are not able to certify the safetyor reliability of our nuclear arsenal--or if the Treaty is not working,and new threats are arising that require us to resume nuclear tests--wewill have the right to withdraw from the Treaty.

The case for ratifying the CTBT is strong. It asks nothing of us thatwe cannot safely do; it requires of others a standard we very much wantthe world to meet. Those tempted to cheat will face a higher risk of beingcaught, and will pay a higher price when they are. And if the worst caseunfolds, and we must withdraw, we can and will.

The burden on Treaty supporters is to persuade skeptics that ratifyingthe CTBT will reduce the dangers posed to our security by nuclear weapons,without endangering our security by preventing us from taking steps necessaryto national defense.

But there is also a burden on Treaty opponents. For it is not sufficientsimply to say the Treaty is imperfect. Opponents must offer an alternativethat is better.

And they must explain why America will be safer in a world where nucleartests are not outlawed and may again become commonplace; where there isno guarantee of an international monitoring system to detect such tests;where we have no right to request on-site inspections; and where Americais held responsible by allies and friends everywhere for the absence ofthese protections.

To those Senators who want the Administration to bury the CTBT, we say,"No, our national interests will not allow us to do that." But to thosewho are willing to take a further look at the Treaty, we say, "How canwe help?" For despite the Senate vote, the Treaty lives.

It is essential that the dialogue on CTBT continue and bear fruit. Afterall, the Administration and Congress have worked together on difficultnational security issues before. A number of leading Senators from bothparties have expressed interest in a bipartisan effort to move forwardon CTBT now.

In that spirit, I am announcing today that we will establish a high-levelAdministration task force to work closely with the Senate on addressingthe issues raised during the test ban debate.

As we did with NATO enlargement, this team will also carry the dialogueto Americans from all walks of life to explain and analyze the Treaty.

In our discussions with the Senate, we will be open to a variety ofpossible approaches for bridging differences, including at an appropriatepoint the potential need for additional conditions and understandings,as was the case with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Meanwhile, President Clinton has made clear that the United States willcontinue to observe a moratorium on nuclear explosive tests and has urgedall others to do the same. And we will continue to work with Congress toprovide our share of support for preparatory work, including constructionof the International Monitoring System.

Finding the way forward on CTBT is necessary, but not sufficient, tocrafting a bipartisan strategy for reducing the nuclear danger. It is equallyimportant that we establish common ground on the question of national missiledefense and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Here, agreement must be found between the extremes. On one side, thereare those demanding that we scrap the ABM Treaty, despite objections fromRussia, China and our allies. On the other are people who oppose any adjustmentsto the Treaty, and are against developing even a limited system of nationalmissile defense.

The Administration believes that both extreme views are dangerous. Thefirst risks reviving old threats to our security; the second fails to respondto new ones.

For more than a quarter century, the ABM Treaty has contributed to strategicnuclear stability. It is based on the understanding that an all-out competitionin ABM systems would create destabilizing uncertainties about intentions,and destroy our ability to reduce strategic offensive arms. Preservingthis understanding is vital to us. It is also essential to Russia.

If we were simply to abandon the ABM Treaty, we would generate fearsin Moscow that we are also abandoning the goal of stability. We would squanderan historic opportunity for negotiating further mutual reductions in ournuclear arsenals. And we would run the unnecessary risk of transformingRussia into once again our most powerfully armed adversary.

On the other hand, our partners must recognize that the strategic environmenthas changed greatly in the 27 years since the ABM Treaty was signed. TheGulf War showed what a real threat theater-range missiles in hostile handscan be. And tests of longer-range missiles by Iran and North Korea raiseconcerns about vulnerability that must be addressed.

Our military serves as an effective deterrent to any rational adversary.The problem is how to deal with threats from sources that are neither rationalnor interested in complying with global norms.

It is against this danger that the Administration is developing andtesting a limited National Missile Defense System, with a decision on deploymentpossible as early as next summer.

For deployment to occur, certain changes to the ABM Treaty would benecessary, and we have begun discussing these with Congress, our alliesand Moscow.

To date, Russian leaders have expressed strong opposition to any Treatymodifications, and accused us of undermining the entire system of internationalarms control simply by raising the subject.

A Russian defense official recently proclaimed that his nation has theability to overwhelm the missile defense system we are planning. That istrue--and part of our point. The system we are planning is not designedto defend against Russia and could not do so. And that will remain trueeven if we are able to negotiate further deep reductions in our arsenals.

The changes we are contemplating in the ABM Treaty are limited. Theywould not permit us to undermine Russia's deterrent. And because Russiaand we are vulnerable to the same threats, we are prepared to cooperatewith Moscow on missile defense.

In response, Russia must do more than just say "Nyet." It is in ourmutual interest to develop an arrangement that preserves the essentialaims of the ABM Treaty, while responding to the new dangers we both face.

Domestically, the Administration recognizes that if we are to have supportfor any agreement we might reach with Russia, we must consult closely withthe Legislative Branch.

The Administration and Congress have the same boss--and that is theAmerican people. We have an obligation to work shoulder to shoulder insupport of policies that will keep our citizens  secure.

In defending against nuclear dangers, we rely on a combination of forceand diplomacy. That is why our military must remain second to none, butalso why we need resources to back our international diplomatic leadership.Earlier this year, Congress voted to cut the President's request forinternationalprograms by more than $2 billion. By standing firm in our negotiations,we won much of that back.

Now we are engaged in a final effort to persuade Congress to pay whatwe owe to the United Nations. This is not just a matter of honoring ourword, although that in itself should be enough.

The UN serves important American interests. These include peacekeeping,safeguarding nuclear materials, prosecuting war criminals, enforcing sanctionsagainst rogue states, protecting intellectual property rights, fightingdisease, and saving children's lives.

Half a century ago, our predecessors created the UN. Thirty-eight yearsago, our nation was proudly represented there by Illinois' favorite son--AdlaiStevenson. Today, we are the organization's number one debtor. We are evenin danger of losing our vote in the UN General
Assembly. America can do better than that. I hope you agree. Congressshould vote this year--at long last--to pay our UN bills.

The issues I have discussed today of nuclear risks and national defense,of resources and American interests affect us all. And I hope the dialogueconcerning them will broaden far beyond the narrow corridors of WashingtonD.C.

These are matters that warrant the attention of our universities andscientists, our professionals and our vast network of nongovernmentalorganizations.We need a truly national debate.

For we Americans are the inheritors of a tradition of leadership thathas brought our country to the threshold of the new century strong andrespected, prosperous and at peace. The question our children will askis whether we were good stewards of that inheritance.

Because a decade of two from now, we will be known as the bitter partisanswho allowed their differences to immobilize America, or as the generationthat marked the path to a safer world.

We will be known as the unthinking unilateralists who allowed America'sinternational standing to erode, or as the generation that renewed ournation's capacity to lead.

There is no certain roadmap to success, either for individuals or fornations. Ultimately, it is a matter of judgment, a question of choice.

In making that choice, let us remember that there is not a page of Americanhistory of which we are proud that was authored by a peddler of complacencyor a prophet of despair. We are doers.

We have a responsibility in our time, as others have had in theirs,not to be prisoners of history, but to shape history; a responsibilityto act--with others when we can, alone when we must--to protect our citizens,defend our interests, preserve our values and bequeath to future generationsa legacy as proud as the one we received from those who came before.

To that mission, this evening, I pledge my own best efforts and summonboth your support and the wise counsel of this esteemed Council. Thankyou very much.

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