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Nuclear News - 05/31/00 - Volume 2
RANSAC Nuclear News, 31 May 2000

Volume 2



A. Plutonium Disposition

    1. Plutonium Cut Seen At Russia-U.S. Summit, Reuters (05/26/00)
B. START
    1. START II: Security On Parity Basis [translation from RIA Novosti],Krasnaya Zvezda (05/16/00)
    2. Arbatov on U.S.-Russian Arms Reduction, Carnegie Endowmentfor International Peace (05/18/00)
    3. Interview With Andrei Nikolaev, Chairman of the Duma DefenseCommittee [translated], Radio Ekho Moskvy (05/22/00)
    4. Russia Proposes Deep Arms Cuts under START-3, Reuters(05/26/00)
C. U.S. Nuclear Forces
    1. Bush Backs Wider Missile Defenses, Terry M. Neal, WashingtonPost (05/24/00)
    2. Gore Criticizes Bush Nuclear Plan, Darlene Superville,Associated Press (05/27/00)
    3. Congress Warns Clinton Against Cutting Nukes, DefenseNews This Week (06/05/00)



A. Plutonium Disposition

1.
Plutonium Cut Seen At Russia-U.S. Summit
        Reuters
        May 26, 2000
        (for personal use only)

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2000 -- (Reuters) The United States does not expecta major breakthrough at next week's summit with Russia on their disputeover U.S. plans for a missile defense system, although the two countriesmay agree to destroy huge amounts of plutonium, U.S. officials said onThursday.

President Bill Clinton leaves on Monday on a week-long European tour– likely the last of his presidency - and will stop in Moscow for his firstsummit with Russia's new President Vladimir Putin.

Clinton's national security adviser Sandy Berger said the meeting wasmeant to open a dialogue between Putin and Clinton on a series of importantissues including disarmament and the U.S. plan for a missile defense system.

"This is the first time the president will have had an opportunity todiscuss it with President Putin," Berger said on Thursday in a briefingto discuss Clinton's May 29-June 5 trip to Portugal, Germany, Russia andUkraine.

"But I don't expect these issues will be resolved at this summit. Iexpect that there will be a good opportunity for us to explain our viewof the problem and for President Putin to express his view of the problem,"he said.

Disagreement between the United States and Russia over the 1972 Anti-BallisticMissile (ABM) accord has complicated talks on cuts in nuclear arsenalsunder the START - Strategic Arms Reduction Talks - process.

The United States wants to change the ABM treaty in order to deployan anti-missile defense shield to defend itself from the threat of possiblenuclear weapons from "rogue states" like Iran and North Korea.

The ABM treaty, signed by former U.S. President Richard Nixon, openedthe way for the United States and the Soviet Union to cut their nucleararsenals by making sure neither deployed a defense shield that would renderthe other side's stockpile ineffective.

Berger said Clinton will explain why the United States wants the system,which waits a crucial test this summer. Based on that test and other factorsClinton has said he will decide later this year whether or not to deploythe system.

"He will describe for President Putin what we see as a new threat,"Berger said. "I think almost everyone agrees there is over some time ...the danger of long-range ballistic missiles from third countries that couldreach the United States."

One tangible deal announced at the summit could be an agreement foreach country to destroy 34 metric tons of military-grade plutonium, Bergersaid.

"This is an enormously important agreement if we are able to finalizeit," he said. "That's enough plutonium, literally, to make tens of thousandsof nuclear weapons."

An U.S. official said Washington and Moscow had been working for nearlytwo years to reach this agreement.

In addition to talks on arms control, Clinton will urge Putin to pressahead with economic and political reforms in Russia and to respect democraticfreedom. He will also raise U.S. concerns about Russia's military conflictagainst rebels in Chechnya.

Clinton will give an interview to an independent Russian radio stationin an effort to speak to the Russian people and express his support forthe independent media, Berger said.

He will also become the first U.S. president to address Russian parliamentariansin a speech to the Russian Duma, Berger said.

Before heading to Russia, Clinton will travel to Portugal for his 14thU.S.-European Union summit.
 
Topics at the EU summit will include security issues, cooperation oninfectious diseases, Kosovo reconstruction and a review of a range of tradedisputes over bananas, beef hormones and an EU aircraft noise law.

The leaders are expected to issue a statement on the Balkans and oneon Africa and efforts to combat infectious diseases like AIDS and malariathere.

After Portugal Clinton will travel to Berlin where he will meet GermanChancellor Gerhard Schroeder and President Johannes Rau for bilateral talks.

Berger said Clinton and Schroeder would likely discuss the Balkans andRussia ahead of Clinton's visit to Moscow.

Clinton will receive the Charlemagne Prize in Aachen, Germany on June2. The prize, which has been awarded to an American only twice before,honors leaders who have made major contributions to European unity andworld peace.

In Berlin Clinton will take part in a "Third Way" conference on centristpolicies which will be hosted by Schroeder and will include about 15 otherleaders from four continents.

Participants include President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Israel'sPrime Minister Ehud Barak, Argentine President Fernando de la Rua and NewZealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Clinton will make a brief stop in Kiev after Moscow. He will discussUkraine's economy and security cooperation. Berger said Clinton will alsodiscuss progress toward ultimately shutting down the nuclear reactor inChernobyl.
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B. START

1.
START II: Security On Parity Basis [translation from RIA Novosti]
        Krasnaya Zvezda
        May 16, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Vyacheslav SHPORT, deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on industry,construction and science intensive technologies is interviewed by KrasnayaZvezda's correspondent Colonel Anatoly ANTIPOV.
 
Question: You and the majority of your colleagues in the lower houseof the Federal Assembly voted for the ratification of the START II Treaty.By what considerations were you guided?
 
Answer: START II ratification is necessary because under this treatyboth Russia and the US trim their strategic nuclear forces, or SNF, downto the same level. This helps Russia to optimize expenditures for the upkeepof its SNF grouping. It is a unique opportunity to maintain the comparabilityof Russian and US strategic nuclear forces in the light of the inevitableprospect that they grow naturally obsolete very fast and, at the same time,to preserve the efficiency of our nuclear deterrence potential.
 
Had Russia refused to ratify START II, it would be economically impossiblefor it to keep its SNF at the level of 6,000 warheads, as it is stipulatedby START I.
 
Second, START II ratification clears the way for beginning full-scalenegotiations on the START III Treaty, which will lower Russian and US strategicoffensive armaments to a still lower level not only without any detrimentto Russia's security but sooner in its favor. Besides, putting START IIinto effect strengthens Russia's equal status with the US as a world nuclearpower.
 
Question: Washington does not conceal its intention to deploy anti-ballisticmissile defense systems, including the national ABM system. Are such planscompatible with the ratification of the START II treaty?
 
Answer: Like Russia, the US has a stake in the reduction of its nucleararsenal, given the preservation of strategic stability, because this accordswith its national security interests. Such an objective coincidence ofthe strategic interests of the two great nuclear powers became the basisfor the principled agreement between their presidents that the conclusionof the START II Treaty should be followed by signing the START III Treaty.The latter is to stipulate even greater cuts and deeper restrictions ofstrategic offensive armaments. In order to maintain the deterrence potentialthe US does not need to have many-fold superiority over Russia in the nuclearsphere.

What is more, this would require considerable military spending. Itgoes without saying that the ABM Treaty is of exceptional importance forthe entire disarmament process. It is the key element for ensuring strategicstability and a major condition for strategic offensive armaments cuts.When making such cuts, we should proceed from the prospect of the preservationof the ABM Treaty. If this treaty is violated and the US begins creatingits national ABM system, this would signify a breach of the entire systemof START agreements, and the continuation of START negotiations will becomemeaningless.
 
Possible measures of our response to the US violation of the 1972 ABMTreaty are laid down in the federal law on the ratification of the STARTII Treaty.
 
Question: What steps should the START III Treaty stipulate, in youropinion?
 
Answer: Its fundamental principles were determined by the Helsinkiagreement between the Russian and US Presidents.
 
We proceed from the premise that the conclusion of START III, justlike that of START I and START II before it, is possible only if the ABMTreaty is firmly observed in its present form, in particular, its cardinalprovision which bans the creation of a national anti-missile defense system.Should either of the sides deploy such a system, this will call in questionthe possibility to maintain strategic stability in the world. The resultof such actions will be the build-up of nuclear arsenals by a number ofcountries and a complete freeze on a dialogue about the limitation andreduction of strategic offensive armaments. It is proceeding from the preservationof the 1972 ABM Treaty that the Russian and US Presidents agreed upon theidea to conclude START III and its basic provisions during their meetingin Helsinki in March 1997.
 
I would also like to recall that the consistency of Russia's actionsin the sphere of arms control is also borne out by the fact that Moscowproposed Washington to agree on lower summary levels for warheads on theiralready deployed delivery vehicles - 1,500 warheads instead of 2,000 to2,500.
 
The events in Iraq and Yugoslavia laid bare the serious danger presentedby sea-launched long-range cruise missiles. Russia (like the Soviet Unionbefore it) has always qualified these missiles as strategic offensive armaments.Being a highly effective means of warfare, such cruise missiles presenta special danger to strategic stability, connected with the first strikethreat. We think that if sea-launched long-range cruise missiles are equippedwith nuclear or non-nuclear warheads, only their complete elimination canfacilitate the weakening of the threat of a war and the strengthening ofinternational peace and security.
 
The adoption of mutual obligations in the sphere of trimming anti-submarineactivity in the agreed-upon regions which are patrolled by submarine missile-carrierswould also contribute to strengthening strategic stability and trust inrelations between Russia and the US. This factor must not be ignored insituation when strategic offensive armaments are radically restricted.The reduction of the possibility of the sides to create a threat to eachother's atomic submarines is no less important than the restriction ofanti-missile defense.
 
Deployment by nuclear powers of their nuclear weapons within the limitsof their national territories should also be taken into consideration.The Russian President was the first to voice this idea at the summit ofthe world's eight most industrialized nations on nuclear security, whichtook place in Moscow on April 19 and 20, 1996.
 
All of Russia's nuclear weapons are deployed within its own territory,and it has no infrastructure for the use of this kind of armaments outsideits territory.
 
The US has not deployed tactical nuclear weapons on its territory.A considerable part of its nuclear arsenal is still within Russia's reach.What is more, the US keeps an infrastructure for its tactical nuclear armamentsnear the borders of Russia. Now that the levels of strategic nuclear armamentsare to be lowered under the START III Treaty, we cannot ignore this fact.So, US tactical nuclear weapons deployed near Russian borders play therole of the strategic component.
 
Question: Does the federal law on START II ratification ensure groundfor a sufficient maneuver for making and implementing decisions to meetpossible challenges on the part of the US?
 
Answer: By and large, this law does ensure ground for maneuver in orderto adopt and implement necessary decisions to meet possible US challenges.In keeping with Article 2, for instance, the fulfillment of the START IITreaty is rigidly linked to the strict observance of the ABM Treaty anda number of other strategically important factors.
 
Article 4 fixes the deadline - December 31, 2003 - for the preparationof a new treaty for further reduction of strategic offensive armaments.After that the Russian President holds consultations with both houses ofthe Federal Assembly or begins applying to START II the procedures stipulatedby Article 37 of the federal law "On International Treaties of the RussianFederation" (on the termination and suspension of the international agreementsof the Russian Federation).
 
The federal law on START II ratification also fixes the time-frameduring which the Government of the Russian Federation is to present itsreport to the Federal Assembly on the state of the country's strategicnuclear forces and progress in the fulfilment of the START I, START IIand ABM treaties. The law also determines the contents of this report.
 
Article 9 links the putting of this federal law into effect to thecompletion of the procedure of the US ratification of START II and the1997 Protocol to this treaty, as well as the package of New York agreements,which were signed on September 26, 1997, concerning such ABM questionsas legal inheritance with regard to the ABM Treaty and impermissibilityto circumvent it in the process of creating nonategic ABM systems.
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2.
Arbatov on U.S.-Russian Arms Reduction
        Carnegie Endowment for InternationalPeace
        May 18, 2000
        (for personal use only)

On May 9, 2000, the Carnegie Non-Proliferation Project hosted AlexeiArbatov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Defense in the Russian Duma.Excerpts from his comments follow. The full text of Mr. Arbatov’s statementcan be found at the Project web site. www.ceip.org

START II: Delusions of Progress

"There are three principal aspects of the ‘bad news’ with respect toSTART II.

"Let me start with the substance of this issue. START II was ratifiedin Russia by the Russian Parliament not because Russians think that thethreat is lower, not because Russians think that nuclear weapons are lessrelevant, nor because the Russian Parliament and public think that theUnited States will be a partner for cooperation and security. START IIwas primarily ratified because the Russian public and political elite thinkthat the nuclear threat is great, that the United States is keen on achievingsuperiority, and that nuclear weapons are still as relevant as ever forRussian security and U.S.-Russian relations.

"The principal argument in favor of START II…was that without STARTII, Russia’s forces—with a shortage of funding—would go down in ten yearsto 1,000 warheads on their own. At the same time, the United States caneasily afford to maintain the present level of its strategic forces. Inthis way, if there is no further arms control agreement, in ten years theUnited States may, inadvertently, acquire nuclear forces that are fiveor six times over that of Russia…without spending additional money…

"If Russia were to preserve its forces at the level of START I, whichis 6,000 nuclear warheads, then over ten years Russia would have to spendabout $33 billion only on strategic nuclear forces and C3I systems. Itwould mean spending 65% of its total defense budget yearly only on strategicnuclear forces. If Russia were to keep its forces at the level of STARTII, which is about 3,000 weapons, then it would have to spend $26 billionduring the next ten years, which would annually account for about 50% ofits overall defense budget. If Russia was to maintain its forces at thelevel agreed in the START III agreement, which is around 2,000 weapons,then we would have to spend $14 billion in the next ten years—which wouldbe about 27% of our present budget…

"If the United States keeps its forces at the level of START I and Russia’s[forces] decline because of a shortage of funding, then in ten years theAmerican second strike capability, would be 15 times bigger than Russia’ssecond strike capability. At the level of START II the United States wouldhave triple the superiority of Russia…Under START III there would be approximateparity between the two sides, which implies that for Russia, ratificationof START II is primarily a way to reduce the American nuclear threat.

"The fear of American nuclear superiority and the fear of the UnitedStates was the principal motive for many members of Parliament to votefor START II…Spending 65% of the budget means that nothing will be leftfor the conventional forces and for all other functions for Russia armedforces…

"The second motive…is that Russia considers START II to be an additionalguarantee of the viability and validity of the ABM Treaty of 1972…Putinmade a very strong commitment, which is on the record, that if the UnitedStates unilaterally withdrew form the ABM Treaty, Russia will withdrawfrom START II, and will go in for new MIRVed ICBMs. He also said…that Russiawill withdraw from all regimes of arms control, including conventionalarms control.

"Article IV [of the START II implementation law] clearly states thatif agreement on START III is not reached by December 31, 2003, Russia willonce again consider withdrawal from START II…By that time, Russia willnot have completed its reduction—it will only have reached the level of4,000 weapons…

CTBT Cynicism

"[The] CTBT was passed in the Duma much more smoothly, without sucha great debate and without such great attention. However, the argumentsin favor of CTBT were also not necessarily very encouraging either forthe American government…or for the American arms control community. Thefirst and principal argument in favor of CTBT was that it will not enterinto force, anyway, before the United States and a number of other countriesratify it. It was largely seen as a symbolic gesture.

"The second consideration was that Russia is not going to violate themoratorium on nuclear tests anyway. And if the United States or some othercountry does that, then Russia will be able to do the same and the CTBTwill not be an obstacle.

"Finally, since Russia is not going to violate the moratorium on nucleartests, it has to maintain stewardship of its nuclear arsenal without naturaltests. That needs additional funding, which is very difficult to obtainin the absence of the CTBT Treaty. CTBT was linked directly with additionalfunding for the stewardship of Russia’s strategic arsenal…

U.S. Obligations

"First of all, the U.S. Senate has to ratify the 1997 documents, thenboth sides have to agree on the START III Treaty, going down to 1000-1,500warheads. And maybe we can revise the protocol to the ABM treaty, so thatthe United States may develop its desired ABM deployment area in Alaska.The United States also needs to ratify the CTBT, so that we can move onto a more stringent non-proliferation regime, and bring India and Pakistaninto the CTBT as well…

"The ball is now in the American court; it is up to the United Statesto make further steps. If it is done we may achieve a real breakthroughin arms control, which will make it easier for us to come to an accommodationon European affairs, on Iran, on China, and many other issues of internationalsecurity. However, if that does not happen, the new deadlock in arms control,and maybe even the disintegration of the arms control system will greatlyaggravate the conflicts that we have in the world at large. That will beextremely detrimental to international security, to the security of Russia,and to the United States as well."
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3.
Interview With Andrei Nikolaev, Chairman of the Duma Defense Committee[translated]
        Radio Ekho Moskvy
        May 22, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Q: Andrei Ivanovich, your delegation recently came back from the UnitedStates, where you held negotiations with members of the administration,in the Congress, in the Pentagon. As far as I understand, these negotiationswere focused on disarmament, and everything is very complicated in thisarea.

A: It would be more correct to say that these were talks not just aboutdisarmament, but on our relations with the US in the area of defense andsecurity. As for the assessment of the talks, they were not simple, but,perhaps, talks between the Soviet Union and the US, Russia and the US werenever simple, because this is not just about our relations, but about securityof the entire world. (...) The results that we presented today to the StateDuma and that we submitted to the administration of the president, to theSecurity  Council, to the government, were, of course, in many waysunexpected.

Q: What was the surprise? What new things did you learn?

A: First of all, I'd like to focus our listeners' and viewers' attentionon the START-2 ratification process. (...) The Americans ratified it in1996 in the form in which it was signed in 1993. Since then, negotiationscontinued, and in 1997, two crucially important documents, the well-knownNew York Agreements, were signed. They included the protocol on delimitationof the strategic versus nonategic antiballistic defense, which rulesout violations of the 1972 ABM Treaty and preserves its basic status forSTART-1, START-2 etc. The other agreement was about extending the termfor the implementation of the START-2 treaty for 5 years. In 2000, we ratifiedthese completely new documents. In fact, by leaving Americans behind, wemoved onto another field, having completed the process of ratificationof the documents related to START-2.

What follows from this? The most important consequence is that at themoment it is absolutely inexpedient to conclude any agreements on START-3with the Americans, even if these agreements are non-binding, because theratification process of the START-2-related documents is not completed,and, therefore, they did not come in force. What also follows is that nodocuments related to the modernization of the ABM Treaty should be considered.In his final remarks during the Duma ratification debate on these documents,president Putin said: "Any modification of the ABM Treaty is unacceptablefor us." This is a document that creates the base for several other crucialdocuments, including START-2. (...)

One should take into account that the US is now in a pre-election situation.Not only the president, but also the House of Representatives will be reelected.I never saw America in this mood before. In fact, at the moment, the Senate,the Congress, and the administration have completely different views. Thatis, many people in the Senate, in the Congress, in the House of Representativessay: no documents should be signed with the outgoing administration. Moreover,many senators and a few congressmen were putting question marks over thevery possibility of ratification of such documents as the 1997 agreements.We asked them: how should we understand this in Russia? These documentsare the base upon which the START-2 was ratified by us, this is clearlywritten into the ratification law. We are forwarding our recommendationsboth to the State Duma, and to the administration of the president, aswell as to the government, suggesting a very cautious approach to the forthcomingnegotiations on June 3-5. We should not issue any promises. (...) Let meremind that the Americans used to say: no talks [on START-3] until START-2ratification is completed. Ratify START-2, and then we will talk. Now thesituation has changed radically. We have completed everything that wasdemanded from us. And now we say to our American colleagues: please completeall the START-2 work, and then we will consider further agreements.

(...) A second topic of our conversations was the US national ABM defense.The Americans' arguments for creating national defense sounded very unconvincing.Let me tell you frankly that national ABM defense reminds me of the famousSDI which ended nowhere. The only explanation of the urgency of takingdecision [on antimissile defense] is the creation of jobs, the lobbyingof the MIC interests, and the need to obtain more votes for the Democraticparty in the elections. (...) Let me refer yet again to president Putin,who said: in case the US abandons the ABM Treaty, Russia will consideritself free with regard to many agreements, not just START-1 and START-2,but also with regard to middle-range missiles and conventional forces inEurope. Because everything is very much interrelated. (...) All Americanreferences to the creation of missiles in North Korea, in Iran, in Iraqare just unsupported by evidence, either military, or technical, or onthe intelligence side. I believe they just use these arguments for lackof more weighty ones.

A third issue was about tactical nuclear weapons remaining in Europe.We frankly told the Americans: when Soviet Union, and later Russia liquidatedour tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, and the infrastructure for theiruse, the Americans, on their part, kept all this. At that time, it wasnot so important for Russia because we had very high levels of strategicnuclear forces, but after all our cuts, and with START-2 on the horizon,tactical nuclear weapon that is stationed in Europe against Russia, canbe considered as strategic. And here we raise our question: why do thesenuclear weapons stay in Europe, and can we consider those states that don'thave nuclear weapons but that provide their territory for their stationingas truly independent? And these are leading European states. That is, nucleardependency becomes very dangerous and is closely linked with European securityproblems. (...) There is no way that the Russian tactical nuclear weaponscan threaten America. Meanwhile, American tactical nuclear weapon in Europeis a real threat in a hypothetical case of a war against Russia. And wehave to take this into account.

A few words about NATO. I got the impression that, if not the majorityof the Congress, then at least a half of it is far from being convincedthat NATO should expand. And they don't approve of the policy of the ClintonAdministration which was pressing very hard for NATO enlargement. (...)It is now obvious that the growing number of states wanting to join NATOwill lead, in fact, to the erosion of this organization. We clearly understandthat NATO cannot and should not become a substitute for the UN and theOSCE. We saw this in Yugoslavia, when the Americans and their NATO allies,in fact, lost, having to revert to the 1244 Security Council resolution.That is, in their actions over the head of the UN Security Council they,in fact, failed to accomplish the task that they set before themselves.In this regard, there are two issues. First: NATO should not be expanded.And, second, the Congress has set the goal to remove US forces from Kosovoby 2001, and it did this very firmly, in spite of the administration sayingthat they are not ready. US Defense Secretary William Cohen told us veryfrankly that they will go for a drastic reduction in the number of theirforces in Kosovo and shift the burden over to European allies.

A few words about a concern that we expressed and that was recentlymentioned in our media. The Americans and Norway deployed a powerful radarstation in the North of Norway and have been modernizing it over the pastseveral years. In fact, it controls main trajectories of ballistic missilesthat would be hypothetically launched against the US. Russia is concernedbecause it is a clear violation of the 1972 ABM Treaty. Secondly, theyare modernizing their station on the Aleutian islands for a possible nationalABM defense. We officially submitted, on behalf of both the executive andthe legislature, a request to visit these islands with our experts to evaluatethese capacities. In principle, the response on the Aleutian islands waspositive. (...)
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4.
Russia Proposes Deep Arms Cuts under START-3
        Reuters
        May 26, 2000
        (for personal use only)

GENEVA, May 26, 2000 -- (Reuters) Russia on Thursday called for deepcuts in strategic nuclear arsenals under a future START-3 treaty as partof an alternative to weakening the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) pact.

Vasily Sidorov, Moscow's envoy to the UN Conference on Disarmament,said that rather than "destroying" the ABM to allow a U.S. national missiledefense shield, the two powers should cooperate in assessing missile threatsfrom "rogue states".

Disagreement between Moscow and Washington over ABM has complicatedtalks on cuts in nuclear arsenals under the START (Strategic Arms ReductionTalks) process but a compromise in the row might form part of a new agreement,START-3.

Sidorov said: "...we are prepared to go further, towards deeper cutsin nuclear potentials. We think it necessary to remind that the levelsof nuclear arsenals, as envisaged to be established under START-3 agreements,do not constitute the limit. We are prepared to consider the reductionof nuclear arsenals to 1,500 warheads."

Under START-2, both sides would have to slash the number of warheadsfrom 6,000 to 3,500 each by 2007. On START-3, the United States has saidit will stick to a 1997 proposal that arsenals be cut to 2,000-2,500 warheadseach.

Sidorov was addressing the world's only multilateral disarmament forum,whose 66 member states on Thursday began their second seven-week sessionof 2000.

Western diplomats said the speech - nine days ahead of the first summitbetween U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russia's new leader Vladimir Putin- seemed to take "a less hard-line" approach to resolving their disputeover ABM.

In Moscow, a senior U.S. official said after two-day talks that Russiawas still resisting U.S. proposals for changes to the 1972 ABM. Those remarkswere a sign that a major arms breakthrough could prove an elusive goalat the June 3-5 summit.

ABM REMAINS CORNERSTONE

The United States is seeking changes in the treaty in order to deploya proposed anti-missile defense shield to defend itself from the threatof possible nuclear missile strikes from what it calls "rogue states" suchas Iran and North Korea.

Washington has sought to reassure Moscow that the new system would betoo small to undermine Russia's vast nuclear deterrent and its deploymentcould help protect Russia as well.

Sidorov said ABM underpinned the entire system of arms control agreementsand remained an "important condition for reduction in strategic offensiveweapons".

But he seemed to open the door to ways around the row: "As a counter-offerto the military solution of the issue, we suggest a constructive option,namely political and diplomatic measures. We are ready to engage in thebroadest possible consultations on this subject with all the interestedcountries".

One Western diplomat in Geneva told Reuters: "There seems to be somenew approach in Sidorov's speech. It is not as hard-line as it used tobe on ABM."

He urged America to match Russia by ratifying a 1997 package of agreementson START-2 and ABM, agreed in New York.

"Thus, there is a real alternative to the destruction of the ABM treaty,and it is taking up, gradually, a clear shape.

"It is based on further deep reductions in nuclear weapons, collectivesteps to counter the threat of the proliferation of missiles and missiletechnologies, cooperation concerning nonategic missile defense systemson the basis of the 1997 New York arrangements, the joint analysis of thereal scope of 'new' missile threats, (and) strengthening confidence-buildingmeasures in international affairs," Sidorov said.
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C. U.S. Nuclear Forces

1.
Bush Backs Wider Missile Defenses
        Terry M. Neal
        Washington Post
        May 24, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Republican Hopeful Leaves Many Key Details Undefined

Texas Gov. George W. Bush called yesterday for a much larger missiledefense program than the "flawed" system proposed by the Clinton administration,saying that as president he would build defenses to protect not only theUnited States but also its allies and interests overseas.

At the same time, Bush--surrounded by some of the GOP's most prominentdefense and security experts, including retired Gen. Colin L. Powell--saidhe would unilaterally reduce the country's nuclear arsenal to "the lowestpossible number consistent with our national security."

By advocating an ambitious antimissile system with global reach, theRepublican candidate was reclaiming a GOP issue that harkens to PresidentRonald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative or "Star Wars" proposal andthat party strategists believe has broad appeal, despite questions aboutits cost and feasibility.

Bush's speech deftly touched on many sensitive issues connected to missiledefense without committing himself on key points. Though congressionalRepublicans have pressed the Clinton administration for a decision thisyear, Bush said a decision should be delayed. For Europeans who worry thata U.S. missile defense would divide U.S. and European interests, he offereda common protective shield. For Russia, he held out the possibility ofdeep cuts in warheads, which Moscow wants for economic reasons.

At the same time, Bush remained vague on how deep those cuts could be,averting confrontation with U.S. military chiefs who have insisted thatthe United States needs to maintain 2,000 to 2,500 strategic warheads,not the 1,500 that Russia favors. While criticizing the Clinton administration,which has been negotiating intensively for Russia's acquiescence to a missiledefense plan, Bush still spoke of the need to "defuse confrontation withRussia."

Speaking at the National Press Club, Bush said: "America must buildeffective missile defenses, based on the best available options at theearliest possible date. Our missile defense must be designed to protectall 50 states--and our friends and allies and deployed forces overseas—frommissile attacks by rogue nations or accidental launches."

Bush declined to put a price tag on his antimissile system but saidit would not subvert his plans to cut taxes by $1.3 trillion over 10 years,save Social Security and promote new spending on education and domesticprograms.

The White House and Vice President Gore's campaign denounced Bush'sspeech as a rhetorical kitchen sink of vague concepts that glossed overobvious problems, such as the cost of such a system and scientific limitationsthat could make it impossible.

"No, I don't think people will take this very seriously until he actuallystarts putting some details out," White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said."I think people will see this as someone who's trying to make politicalpoints."

The Clinton administration has proposed a system that would begin with100 interceptor missiles based in Alaska and could expand to as many as250 interceptors at two sites, at a cost of up to $60 billion. The WhiteHouse has tried unsuccessfully to convince the Russians that the small-scalesystem would be aimed at fending off attacks by such countries as NorthKorea and Iran, but would not affect Moscow's nuclear deterrent. So far,Russia has shown no inclination to amend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic MissileTreaty to allow the system to be built.

President Clinton's advisers are divided on whether even a small-scalesystem is workable. Clinton has said he will decide by the fall, afterone more flight test, whether to proceed with construction.

Bush accused the Clinton administration of hastily pursuing an inadequatesystem "on a political timetable," adding that, "No decision would be betterthan a flawed agreement that ties the hands of the next president and preventsAmerica from defending itself."

Bush did not repeat his vow to develop a missile shield unilaterally,even over Russian objections--a stand he took in South Carolina last fall.But he strongly implied that he would not back down, saying there "arepositive, practical ways to demonstrate to Russia that we are no longerenemies. Russia, our allies and the world need to understand our intentions."

Clinton has not ruled out proceeding with missile defense if Russianleaders refuse to amend the ABM treaty. Nonetheless, a White House officialcriticized Bush for campaigning, in part, on a threat to abrogate thattreaty. "Bush's attitude toward this is flippant, much too casual," theofficial said. "And the assumption that of course it will work, becausewe are a peaceful nation and we will tell them so, is truly naive."

Bush was flanked today by former secretary of state George P. Shultz;former secretary of state Henry Kissinger; former secretary of defenseDonald Rumsfeld; former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft; andPowell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Also with Bushwas his chief foreign affairs adviser, Condoleezza Rice, who served asan adviser to his father.

Each endorsed Bush's proposals. Powell commended Bush for taking "afresh look at the world." Kissinger, the prime architect of the ABM Treatyin the Nixon administration, said: "I strongly support Governor Bush'sproposal."

Bush said it should be possible to go below the START II treaty levelof 3,000 to 3,500 warheads on each side. But he said he could not proposea specific number until he is in office and his secretary of defense hasassessed America's arsenal.

That vagueness led Gore campaign advisers to maintain that Bush hadessentially endorsed the White House's approach: Talks have already begunon a START III accord.

But Bush argued that he did not need to engage in lengthy negotiations.When asked by a reporter if he was saying he would unilaterally reducethe number of warheads, he replied: "Yes, I am. And I would hope--I wouldwork closely with the Russians to convince them to do the same."
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2.
Gore Criticizes Bush Nuclear Plan
        Darlene Superville
        Associated Press
        May 27, 2000
        (for personal use only)

WEST POINT, N.Y. –– Al Gore criticized George W. Bush's proposal tocut America's nuclear arsenal whether or not Russia does the same, tellingWest Point cadets Saturday that it "will create instability and undermineour security."

"Nuclear unilateralism will hinder, rather than help, arms control,"Gore said in a commencement address that did not mention his Republicanpresidential rival by name while warning of dangers in Bush's defense plan.

The vice president's aides billed the speech as an official statementof U.S. policy and the Army secretary said it did not violate guidelinesagainst political speeches at the United States Military Academy.

Stressing his credentials to serve as commander in chief, Democrat Goretold more than 940 graduates and guests at Michie Stadium: "I know whatyou need to do your jobs."

Bush last week proposed reducing the U.S. nuclear stockpile to its "lowestpossible number consistent with our national security," even without Russiamaking cuts. The Texas governor paired the cuts with a broad national securityreview that must include a missile defense system

The Texas governor also opposes a treaty that bans worldwide tests ofnuclear weapons. It was rejected by the Senate last year as critics saidit would compromise national security. Gore has said he will resubmit thetreaty to the Senate if elected president.

Gore, in his 25-minute speech, warned about the possible consequencesof Bush's proposals.

"An approach that combines serious unilateral reductions with an attemptto build a massive defensive system will create instability, and thus undermineour security," the Democratic candidate said.

The Bush campaign, in response, accused the administration of a failureof leadership and a lack of commitment to the armed forces.

Administration policies have left the military "underpaid, undertrainedand overextended," Bush campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said in a statementissued before Gore's speech. The governor's "vision for the American militaryrealizes that the issues of military readiness and morale must be addressedby the next president."

Gore later defended the speech, saying it was "not an effort to scorea political point" but was geared toward the upcoming U.S.-Russia summitin Moscow.

"I would wager a bet with you that not one of the 20,000 people therehad the slightest thought that that was a political speech about arms control,"Gore told reporters as he flew back to Washington. "There was no mentionof the presidential campaign, no mention of my opponent, no mention ofmyself in the role of a candidate."

The campaign sparring over defense policy comes as President Clintonheads to Moscow for arms talks next weekend with President Vladimir Putin.

Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, Putin's predecessor, agreed in 1997 thata START III accord would further reduce their countries' nuclear arsenalsby about 1,000 warheads, to between 2,000 and 2,500. Recently, the Russianshave suggested going even lower, perhaps to 1,500.

Late Friday, en route to New York from a campaign stop in Tennessee,Gore scoffed at what he called Bush's "wildly optimistic" plan, sayingit amounts to "a formula ... for a reignited arms race."

"If you're not careful, you could have fewer missiles and a more dangerousworld," he said aboard Air Force Two.

Gore favors a limited missile defense system that he says can be accomplishedby amending the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which now forbids buildinga national system. The Russians have said they will put arms control treatieson hold if the United States violates the treaty.

Bush has said he will act even if Russia disapproves. Gore said continuednegotiations over further arms reductions are needed.

Gore, in his speech to cadets, said he is aware that his own militaryservice as an Army journalist for five months in Vietnam "doesn't matchthat of others on this stage – or what you will see in your careers."

Still, he said, he knows "what it's like to meet a responsibility toour country."

Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard during Vietnam. And as governorof Texas, he lacks the foreign policy experience of Gore.

The vice president said that to remain pre-eminent, the military mustevolve into an Information Age force by taking advantage of the latesttechnology. That, he said, "will require foresight, technical skill anda clear understanding of the nature of war."

Echoing Clinton administration themes, Gore also said he would:

–Improve the pay and quality of life for service members.
–Bolster recruitment and training programs.
–And increase access to education, affordable housing and medical care.

Gore's speech won praise from Army Secretary Louis Caldera, who saidthe vice president "did a tremendous job of talking to the cadets aboutthe kind of challenges that they're going to face in the future."

Caldera told reporters the speech was "absolutely not" in violationof academy rules against political addresses. "I think there was greatcare taken to make sure that this was not a political speech."

The only politicians West Point allows to address cadets are the president,vice president and U.S. House speaker.
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3.
Congress Warns Clinton Against Cutting Nukes
        Defense News This Week
        June 5, 2000
        (for personal use only)

In a May 24 letter to President Bill Clinton, 120 members of the U.S.House of Representatives asked him to refrain from cutting the U.S. strategicnuclear arsenal below 2,500 warheads. The letter recounts that in a classifiedbriefing organized by Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., Adm. Richard Mies — headof the U.S. Strategic Command — told the House Armed Services Committeethat his command needs “2,500 warheads to execute its nuclear deterrenceand warfighting missions.”
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