1. Rumsfeld: Missile Test Results Likely to Be Mixed
July 10, 2001
(for personal use only)
WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Monday the most likely outcome of this week's missile defense test will be a mixture of results.
The Defense Department is scheduled to conduct a test on Saturday to see whether a prototype interceptor missile carrying a "kill vehicle" launched from Kwajalein Atoll can destroy a modified long-range missile with a mock warhead and decoy launched from California, 4,800 miles (7,680 km) away.
"My guess is that the outcome will be unfortunately simplified when it's over as either succeeding or not succeeding," Rumsfeld said after meeting with the French defense minister.
"But of course in any advanced technology activity it is seldom that simple," he said.
"It is often, most often, a situation where a variety of things work properly and a variety of things may not, and more information may be needed. And I suspect that that's very likely to be the outcome," Rumsfeld said.
He noted Saturday's test will include items that have been tested before and items that have not.
It will be the fourth intercept test. The last two of the three tests to date have failed, most recently on July 7, 2000, when the kill vehicle did not separate from the booster rocket.
Rumsfeld and French Defense Minister Alain Richard discussed the controversial U.S. proposal to develop a national missile defense during their meeting.
The Bush administration, which wants to move ahead with a missile defense system to protect against missiles fired by so-called rogue nations like Iraq and North Korea, has made clear it might ditch the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, an arms control pact with the former Soviet Union.
Russia, China and many U.S. allies strongly oppose the plans to field any such shield for fear it would trigger a new arms race.
While there are various views and approaches among U.S. allies related to threat assessments, they "need not be incompatible," Richard said.
Boeing Co. is the lead system integrator for U.S. missile defense. TRW Inc. builds the battle command, control and communications system. Raytheon Corp. builds the "exoatmospheric kill vehicle" and Lockheed Martin Corp. is prime contractor on the current booster system.
Meanwhile, a U.S. military test of the Patriot PAC-3 missile on Monday found mixed results with the missile shooting down a target aircraft emitting radar jamming signals, but missing the ballistic missile target, the Army said.
Preliminary data from the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile test at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, "indicate a successful intercept of the more difficult jet aircraft, which was emitting radar jamming signals, and a miss of the ballistic missile target," the Army said.
The goal of the test was to have PAC-3 missiles shoot down at short range a target ballistic missile and at long range a remotely piloted, jet aircraft emitting radar-jamming signals.
The PAC-3 is the next generation Patriot missile being developed to provide defense against advanced ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and hostile aircraft, the Army said.
Unlike the proposed U.S. missile defense effort to protect the whole country from long-range missile attack, the "theater" program is designed to protect U.S. troops and bases from short- and medium-range missiles.
Lockheed Martin Corp. is developing the PAC-3 and Raytheon Co. provides integration for components of the system. return to menu
2. Europe Rebuffs Plan to Drop ABM Treaty
Bruce I. Konviser
July 9, 2001
(for personal use only)
PARIS -- Several Western European nations joined Russia's allies yesterday in calling for continued adherence to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, dealing a rebuff to a U.S. congressional delegation and demonstrating again that the United States faces an uphill battle to win foreign support for its missile defense plan. The show-of-hands vote came during a parliamentary assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), comprising legislators from 55 member states.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican, representing the United States, had sought to delete a paragraph in a draft resolution on European security that called on "participating States to maintain adherence to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty." The Bush administration believes the Cold War-era treaty must be amended or abrogated in order for the United States to go ahead with its plans for a national missile defense. Russia and its allies from Eastern Europe and Central Asia all opposed the Republican senator's amendment, as expected. But more troubling for the United States was substantial support for the ABM Treaty from across Western Europe.
There was no formal record of the show-of-hands vote, but a quick count showed the Bailey amendment was defeated by an almost 2-1 margin. The German delegation voted unanimously against the amendment while the British, the United States' staunchest allies in Europe, split their votes. Much of the support for the U.S. position came from new members of NATO such as Poland, and aspiring NATO members such as Slovakia, which can ill afford to anger NATO's most powerful member.
During a debate before the vote, the European delegates voiced numerous complaints about Mr. Bush's missile defense plan and the way it has been presented. Among other things, they said:
Washington's unilateral action has the feeling of a "dictat."
If Washington has credible evidence of the threat of a limited missile attack from a rogue state, it hasn't shared it with its allies.
A limited missile defense could provoke an arms race.
The United States appears to be abandoning a security pact that has kept the peace for nearly 30 years without another security arrangement to replace it.
"We are strongly against [the Hutchison amendment.] There is no replacement for the structure of the ABM Treaty," said Rita Sussmuth, a member of Germany's right-of-center Christian Democratic Union who called for the United States to engage Russia in constructive dialogue over security concerns. Mrs. Hutchison told the OSCE's security committee that the United States already was consulting with Russia on the missile defense plan. "We have no problems concerning dialogue regarding ABM and missile defense," she said. But Andras Barsony, the Hungarian who drafted the original document, told The Washington Times he believed the Bush administration's talk of "dialogue" and "consultation" was little more than lip service.
"You can't do it through CNN," he said, accusing U.S. diplomats of simply telling American allies what they were planning to do "without giving a chance to answer." Uta Zapf, a Social Democrat and chairman of the German parliament's committee on Disarmament and Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, was equally dismissive of the American approach. "We don't want to do away with any treaty until a proper solution has been found. To break the ABM Treaty because you think three rogue states [might pose a threat in the future] is not the way. I don't see the need to spend $180 billion to stop three small states," she said, referring to North Korea, Iran and Iraq. British delegation chief Bruce George, a Labor Party member of Parliament, abstained on the Hutchison amendment. "I'm waiting to see the debate in the U.S." before deciding on the issue, he explained in an interview. return to menu
Defense Department Report, July 6: Next Missile Defense Test
U.S. Department of State Washington File
July 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
The U.S. Defense Department (DOD) says the fourth in a series of missile defense tests designed to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles will be conducted July 14 over the central Pacific Ocean.
A modified Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile, fitted with a mock warhead and a single decoy, will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, DOD said July 6. An interceptor missile carrying a prototype "kill vehicle" -- a computer-guided device with sensors -- will be launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, about 4,800 miles (7,680 kilometers) away in the central Pacific.
"About 10 minutes later the intercept should take place at an altitude of approximately 140 miles (224 kilometers) above the central Pacific Ocean during the midcourse phase of the target warhead's flight," DOD said.
The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) is conducting the flight test July 14 in a launch window scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and run to 1 a.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time), the announcement said.
This integrated test includes a satellite-based missile warning system, a ground-based early warning radar, a prototype X-band radar on Kwajalein Atoll and a battle management system at the Joint National Test Facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"Since the system is in its research and development phase, these elements serve as either prototypes or surrogates for system elements which are in the developmental stage and have not yet been produced for actual operational use," the announcement said.
This will be the fourth intercept test of the Mid-course Defense Segment (formerly National Missile Defense) research and development program, DOD said.
The first test on October 3, 1999 resulted in the successful intercept of a ballistic missile target, the announcement said. The second test took place on January 19, 2000, but failed to intercept the incoming missile because of a clogged cooling pipe in the "kill vehicle." A third test on July 8, 2000 also failed to intercept the incoming missile because the "kill vehicle" did not separate from the booster rocket, the DOD announcement said.
4. Russia's Honeymoon with Missile Defense Is Over
July 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
It appears that the Russian Foreign Ministry's honeymoon with flexible and conciliatory statements, and the hope of reaching a constructive compromise on missile defense are over. The honeymoon lasted from Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov's May 2 press conference to President Vladimir Putin's press conference on June 16.
It's hard to shake off the impression that the only reason for this peaceful offensive was to get the Americans to agree to a summit that would give Putin the chance urbi et orbi that he is a president with a human soul.
Once, that reader of souls U.S. President George W. Bush officially confirmed the existence of one in his Russian counterpart (I looked deep inside him and saw it), the tactical mission was fulfilled and our foreign policy establishment was able to breathe a sigh of relief and return to its staple diet of "the cornerstone of global security" and the terrible threat that U.S. missile defense plans represent to the Russian nuclear deterrent.
The only difference is that what the establishment was repeating for years before the summit in Ljubljana at scores of symposiums and colloquia can now be heard from the mouth of the president.
Putin is a thorough and disciplined president. He reads new texts aloud or speaks by heart, giving his expression, making it look as though he has taken in their meaning and providing the public with a display of coherency. But it would be good if, as a man with a curious mind and a professional inclination toward analytical work, he actually checked the logical compatibility of various passages from the Foreign Ministry's concoctions.
Over the years of their propaganda offensive, our diplomats have ingenuously failed to notice certain contradictions between their two main arguments.
The first argument takes the line that U.S. missile defense plans are all bluff, that it's impossible to implement, and the tests carried out were falsified.
The second argument calls U.S. missile defense plans a huge threat to strategic stability and to our nuclear deterrent, and says that it would draw us into an arms race, in which, unable to bear the cost, we would make an asymmetrical answer.
Both of these arguments have a right to exist, but not both at the same time.
President Putin is following the same model of thinking. First he demonstrated his in-depth knowledge of ballistics and combinations of speeds (7.5 + 7.5 = 15) to explain to American journalists why you can't hit one bullet with another.
But then he moved on to the second argument. So as to put an end to the futile exercises in trying to hit bullets with bullets, Moscow will equip its strategic missiles with warheads that separate into several projectiles - what are known as Multiple Independently targeted Reentry Vehicles, or MIRVs - and would thus annul the START-2 treaty.
The most likely scenario here would see Russia equip its Topol-M missiles with three nuclear devices and extend the service lives of its SS-18 missiles. (All of this bears the caring hand of the president's advisor on strategic stability, who combines his job with that of leading the missile lobby in the armed forces.)
This, then, is our asymmetrical answer and our famous promise to show the West "Kuzkin's mother." If this is a threat, then it is absurd both in political and in militaryategic terms. The United States doesn't care whether we have 1,000 or 3,000 warheads. They know full well that Russia will never launch a nuclear attack on the country.
The United States will continue cutting back its warheads, as is planned in the defense budget for next year, and no increase in the number of Russian warheads will have any effect on U.S. plans to deploy its missile defense plans. Missile defense has nothing to do with Russian warheads; it's a system that will never provide protection from 3,000, 1,000 or 500 warheads.
The main purpose of the U.S. missile defense program is to generate multibillion-dollar investments in technology sectors that will have a multiplying effect throughout the American economy.
Our asymmetrical answer, on the other hand, is to increase the number of our useless phallic symbols and risk bankrupting our entire economy, which has only the rickety legs of raw-material exports to stand on.
This would be a truly unique arms race - one in which there is no opponent. Although this is entirely in keeping with the spirit of martial arts. The Grand Judo Master doesn't need a rival, he competes against himself in search of perfection. The only problem is that in his urge to flex useless military muscles, he could end up with no more to show than the Russian economy's atrophied remains.
As for the political aspect of Putin's sensational statements, the threat to withdraw from each and every treaty - often heard of late from the lips of Russia's civilian defense minister followed by his dazzling smile - are counterproductive and irresponsible.
It's no secret that a fierce political battle is now underway in the United States between supporters of a unilateral U.S. withdrawal from international security agreements, above all from agreements with Russia, and those who would rather adapt the existing security architecture to today's circumstances and challenges.
Our hawks are playing actively into the hands of America's hawks and vice versa. The only thing is, Sergei Ivanov would prefer to see the treaties torn up by Donald Rumsfeld's hands, while Rumsfeld would rather see Ivanov do it.
Our diplomats still have a chance to take a surefire winning position that would bring them allies in Europe, China, and among the Democrats in the U.S. Congress - and even among a significant part of the Republican administration.
But rather than propaganda exercises and empty threats, this would require serious negotiations about amending the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, maintaining and developing the existing system of security treaties (including with the European Union and China), mutually agreed cuts to strategic offensive arms and participation of Russian advanced technology in international projects. return to menu
B. U.S. - Russia Relations
1. For Bush, Weekend Getaway Includes Official Call
Los Angeles Times
July 7, 2001
(for personal use only)
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine --President Bush and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin talked by telephone Friday about their disputes on Iraqi sanctions and a U.S. missile defense system, the latest effort by the two leaders to forge a personal relationship both say could help resolve such policy differences.
The 10-minute conversation, initiated by Putin, came as Bush was celebrating his 55th birthday at the family compound in Maine where his father usually vacationed while serving as
"It's important that I have a good relationship with Mr. Putin because it's good for our nations and it's also good for our world," Bush said as he prepared to speak with the Russian leader between rounds of golf with a foursome that included his father.
As he had after first meeting Putin during a trip to Europe in June, Bush was laudatory in his comments about his Russian counterpart.
"We share common interests," Bush told reporters. "He recognizes there are new threats in the 21st century. The United States is not a threat. And we can work cooperatively to address the new threats of the 21st century."
Bush had alarmed some conservative supporters when, after his face-to-face encounter with Putin in Slovenia last month, he said he had "looked the man in the eye and found him very trustworthy."
In the wake of those comments and Friday's phone conversation, conservative foreign policy analysts said they are watching the developing relationship between Bush and Putin with interest--and some concern.
Jonathan Clarke, a fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, said he had hoped that Bush would forge relations with foreign leaders that were less personality-driven than had been the case under President Clinton.
"Then to see Bush come up with the rather strange psychobabble talk about the leader of a foreign country who used to be a KGB agent took people aback," Clarke said, referring to Putin's background.
Still, Clarke and others said it is important for the two leaders to have cordial relations.
"Mr. Putin is on a charm offensive, and I think Mr. Bush is reciprocating with a charm offensive of his own, and it makes it easier to achieve strategic goals for both sides," said Ariel Cohen, an expert on Russia for the Heritage Foundation, another Washington think tank.
Bush's conversation with Putin came a day after the U.S. president spoke for the first time with Chinese President Jiang Zemin. In that phone conversation, Bush expressed his concern about recent arrests in China of American citizens and residents.
Bush and Putin are scheduled to meet this month at a summit in Italy of the major industrial nations. Bush told Putin on Friday that, after the summit, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice will visit Russia on a trade mission, White House officials said.
"It's a sign of the strength of U.S.-Russian relations and the importance President Bush attaches to helping Russia to have a strong economy," White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said.
Fleischer also said Bush and Putin discussed the Russian veto threat at the United Nations that this week forced the U.S. and Britain to abandon a proposed overhaul of sanctions against Iraq. The plan called for easing commercial exports to Iraq while tightening controls on goods with potential military uses. But the objections from Russia thwarted the plan, at least for now.
According to Fleischer, Bush told Putin that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov "have additional work to do on that matter."
Fleischer said missile defense also came up, but he would not elaborate other than to note that defense officials from both nations are to meet to discuss the issue.
Bush wants to build a system to protect the U.S. from potential nuclear attacks by so-called rogue nations, a plan that would require either scrapping or amending the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty.
Putin wished Bush a happy birthday, Fleischer said, and a happy Independence Day to the U.S.
The conversation with Putin came at the start of a weekend of fun and relaxation for Bush. Joining him in Maine are First Lady Laura Bush, his parents and two of his siblings--brother Jeb, the governor of Florida, and sister Dorothy.
The president's two teenage daughters remained in Texas, aides said.
"I'm going to get what I want for my birthday: spend some time with my family, a couple of good phone calls from some little girls down in Texas," Bush told reporters. return to menu
2. Russia Seeks 5-Nation Talks on Reducing Nuclear Arms
July 7, 2001
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW, July 6 -- Russia today proposed that the five long-established nuclear powers start multilateral talks aimed at eliminating 10,000 warheads in the next seven years.
The proposal would revive dormant negotiations between the United States and Russia by inviting in Britain, France and China, the three other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested the five dramatically slash their collective nuclear forces from about 14,000 warheads to 4,000 by the end of 2008.
The plan, floated by Russian President Vladimir Putin during private discussions with visiting French President Jacques Chirac this week, appeared designed to enlist the other nations against U.S. plans to develop a missile defense system which could breach the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. Like Russia, China opposes missile defense; France has expressed deep skepticism and Britain has offered only a lukewarm reaction.
Next week, Putin is to meet Bush in Genoa, Italy, during the annual summit of the Group of Eight major industrial powers.
The United States and Russia have sharply scaled back their nuclear forces since the end of the Cold War. In 1990, each side had more than 10,000 strategic warheads. As of earlier this year, the United States retained 7,295 warheads and Russia 6,094. Britain and France have a few hundred each, while China is believed to have fewer than 20. Under the START I treaty, both the United States and Russia must reduce their arsenals to under 6,000 by the end of this year. The START II treaty would require cuts to about 3,500 warheads each, but the U.S. Senate has not completed ratification.
Putin, no longer able to maintain superpower expenses with an economy by some measures smaller than Portugal's, has been pushing for the two sides to go even further, cutting down to 1,500 apiece. return to menu
3. Russian Diplomat to Tour Test Site
Las Vegas Review-Journal
July 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
When Russian Ambassador Yuri Ushakov visits the Nevada Test Site today, he will become the highest-ranking Russian official to set foot on the Cold War battle zone where 928 nuclear weapons were detonated to bolster U.S. defense.
Ushakov, 54, said he is anxious to get a firsthand look at the sprawling test site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, and draw comparisons to the plight of warriors in both countries who suffer from work-related illnesses. Their respective governments have been left to deal with those problems and others that lurk in the environment from atomic bombs that were tested, but never used in battle.
His primary goals: to learn how the United States copes with those problems and enhance relationships to fulfill arms-reduction agreements.
"We have to do whatever possible as two countries to make our world safe," Ushakov said at the Desert Research Institute, where he fielded questions about his trip.
Just how to make the world safe with nuclear arsenals is "a huge question. There are a lot of proposals," he said.
Ushakov, who speaks fluent English and Danish, arrived Thursday in Las Vegas on what sources close to the visit described as an informal, goodwill trip that came at the invitation of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Reid made the offer to Ushakov at a reception in Washington this past winter for Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
The Russian Embassy is paying for the visit, which mixes pleasure with business, including a stay at Mandalay Bay, a trip to Hoover Dam, a show on the Strip, briefings at the Desert Research Institute and today's venture to the test site.
Reid said he envies Ushakov because, in his words, "Russia did a better job in their congress."
"They've approved a Comprehensive Test Ban and we haven't," said Reid, who to no avail advocated that U.S. lawmakers ratify the treaty.
"I was terribly embarrassed," Reid said. "They set an example for us to follow.
"It's not Russia holding us up. It's us. There are some people who think we're still in a Cold War."
As of last year, 160 nations had signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and nearly 70 of those countries have ratified it, including Russia on June 30, 2000.
President Clinton, who was first to sign the treaty in 1996, expressed remorse three years later when the Senate voted against ratification, saying "This agreement is critical to protecting the American people from the dangers of nuclear war. It is, therefore, well worth fighting for. And I assure you, the fight is far from over." return to menu
4. U.S. - Russia Arms Talks Enter Intense Phase -- Powell
July 5, 2001
(for personal use only)
WASHINGTON -- Talks between the United States and Russia on Washington's moves toward a missile defense and reducing both sides' nuclear arsenals are about to accelerate, Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Thursday.
"We are looking forward to a broad series of discussions with the Russians ... on offensive weapons, defensive technologies, on the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) treaty, on proliferation, nonproliferation and counter-proliferation activities," Powell said in an interview with Reuters.
"I think in the very near future, within the next few weeks, you will start to see these conversations pick up speed," he added.
The United States is trying to convince Russia and China that its plans for a missile defense system are not aimed at Moscow and Beijing.
Those countries fear that the system, which Washington says is to defend it against attack from what it calls "rogue" states or accidental firings, is actually intended to neutralize the Russian and Chinese arsenals.
Building the new system would at the least require Russian acceptance of amendments to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty and the Bush administration has made clear it might ditch the Soviet-era pact.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia could respond to any U.S. bid to abandon the ABM treaty by adding multiple warheads to its nuclear missiles.
Recent comments by Russian political and military figures -- including Putin, and a leading hawk, Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov -- suggested they might be ready to consider amending the treaty, although Powell was skeptical about this.
"I don't know if I'd call it a softening -- and even after the general spoke within hours his remarks were being put in context," he said.
"Their position as I understand it is they continue to believe the ABM treaty is the centerpiece of the strategic framework that has existed for the last 30 years," he added.
"We believe that whether it was or it wasn't, it should not be seen as the basis of the strategic framework as we move forward."
Powell said the Russians were open to discussing the issue and that they wanted to hear more about the U.S. plan, still in development, for a missile defense.
He said he would discuss the range of arms issues with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov when the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations plus Russia (G8) meet in Rome on July 18-19.
The issue could also come up later this month at the G8 summit, which will be attended by President Bush and Putin, he added.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Bush's National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice were also in contact with their counterparts on this issue, Powell said.
"So we're entering this period of intense dialogue with the Russians on all these issues," he added. return to menu
C. U.S. Nuclear Forces
1. White House Wants to Bury Pact Banning Tests of Nuclear Arms
Thom Shanker and David E. Sanger
New York Times
July 7, 2001
(for personal use only)
WASHINGTON, July 6 - In its first six months, the Bush administration has been examining ways to escape permanently from an unratified international agreement banning nuclear tests, just as it has moved to scrap the Antiballistic Missile Treaty and has rebelled against a global warming pact that it believes would cripple American industry.
But State Department lawyers told the White House that a president cannot withdraw a treaty from the Senate once it has been presented for approval. So, administration officials said, President Bush has resolved to let the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty languish in the Senate, where its supporters concede they do not have the votes to revive it.
The decision puts the test ban in the same category as the Kyoto Protocol on global warming: by informing the pact's allies that it has no chance of ratification, Mr. Bush is essentially forcing his main European partners to find alternatives more to the administration's liking.
Mr. Bush has long opposed the treaty, which the Senate rejected 51 to 48 nearly two years ago in a major defeat for President Bill Clinton. Now, in the next two weeks, Mr. Bush hopes to go a step further and persuade the treaty's allies to acknowledge that the pact is effectively dead.
The issue may be discussed at the summit meeting of industrialized nations in Genoa, Italy, later this month. But a senior administration official said today that there was no mention of the treaty in current drafts of the group's final communiqué. Some Bush administration officials even said that the treaty itself might not even come up for discussion for the first time in many years.
During the Clinton years, Canada, the major European allies and Japan called on "all those states which have not yet done so to sign and ratify the treaty without delay." Mr. Bush's aides have worked to delete that wording from other international communiqués, while still calling on nations to abide by a nonbinding moratorium on nuclear testing.
Behind the arcane change in wording is part of a radical alteration of American arms control strategy. While rejecting the treaty, the Bush administration is pressing for deep, even unilateral, cuts in the nation's nuclear arsenal, deployment of missile defenses and a new framework to combat proliferation that builds on some current pacts but rejects others.
The test ban treaty "does not help our nonproliferation goals," said an administration official who discussed the president's emerging strategy on the condition that he not be identified.
He said the treaty "is cited as providing a new moral and legal barrier to proliferation."
He also said the treaty was also cited as preventing a potential nuclear power from developing a weapon in confidence. "It is presented as a treaty that is verifiable. And it is presented as something that, in fact, still allows us to maintain our nuclear stockpile in confidence. And I think you'll find that it's wrong on every count, that those contentions are wrong."
As of today, 161 nations have signed the treaty, and 77 of them have ratified it. Among those 77 nations are 31 of the 44 states required for the treaty to enter into force; among the remaining 13 are the United States, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. In the absence of a treaty, nations are free to conduct nuclear tests, although a nonbinding moratorium is in place.
Administration officials studied the barriers to pulling the treaty from Senate consideration in order to bury it, as well as the potential outcry here and abroad should the United States abandon it. Today, officials said, Mr. Bush "has no plans" to do anything with the treaty, but also "has no plans" to break from the moratorium on nuclear tests.
But treaties do not die at the adjournment of a Congress as bills do, and can be taken up again at any time by a subsequent Senate. Thus, once the test ban treaty was rejected by the Senate, it reverted to the legal property of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Although a Democrat who supports the treaty, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, became the committee chairman when Republicans lost their majority, Senate rules require a two-thirds vote to ratify the treaty, as its proponents desire, or send it back to Mr. Bush for disposal, as its opponents want.
The math of the Senate split renders either action nearly impossible.
"There is no excuse for our failure to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," Mr. Biden said last month. While agreeing that there are "legitimate concerns" regarding the nation's long-term ability to maintain the nuclear stockpile without nuclear tests and with verification, he said those problems could be resolved before Senate approval.
Mr. Bush expressed unwavering criticism of the treaty during the campaign, saying it did not further the nation's nonproliferation policy or strengthen national security, and his administration conducted a review of test-ban issues.
In the most explicit inquiry into the president's options, John R. Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, asked the State Department's legal office to determine whether a president had the power to unilaterally withdraw a treaty pending before the Senate, officials said.
The legal office reported that the answer was "no," officials said. Once a treaty is sent to the Senate, there is little a president or a successor can do to dispose of it.
Supporters of the treaty criticized the administration's approach, saying the test ban is a cornerstone of nonproliferation efforts and has overwhelming domestic and international support.
"Continued U.S. failure to follow through on its C.T.B.T. commitments leaves the door open to a global chain reaction of nuclear testing, instability and confrontation in the future," said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers.
Mr. Kimball said efforts to delete support for the treaty from multilateral documents "demonstrate that the U.S. is clearly out of step with the rest of the international community on the subject of ending nuclear testing and curbing nuclear proliferation."
He said administration statements "leave open the option to test in the future, and I think that their current approach of rejecting the C.T.B.T. and continuing the moratorium is simply the most politically convenient approach given the overwhelming domestic and international support for a test ban and opposition to a resumption of testing."
The administration's first major success in altering the allies' publicly stated policy - though not necessarily their belief - on the test ban treaty was at the most recent meeting of NATO foreign ministers, this past May in Budapest.
The ministers' final communiqué said, "As long as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (C.T.B.T.) has not entered into force, we urge all states to maintain existing moratoria on nuclear testing."
The language of that compromise statement was in stark contrast to the previous meeting, in Brussels in December, when the ministers stated, "We remain committed to an early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and, in the meanwhile, urge all states to refrain from any acts which would defeat its object and purpose." return to menu