Volume 45, Number 3
Ronald Reagan had two ideas for eliminating the threat posed by ballistic missiles. While many recall his "Star Wars" dream of eliminating the threat by shooting them down, few remember his proposal at the 1986 Reykjavik summit to eliminate the missile threat through disarmament (See box, page 10). And these two dreams are related in an interesting way.
Opponents of Star Wars believe that the success one might have in eliminating ballistic missiles through disarmament could make unnecessary the expensive, and inherently unreliable, process of creating, deploying and using a ballistic missile defense. Meanwhile, supporters of Star Wars believe that reductions in ballistic missiles could make Reagan's summit proposal more feasible by lowering the threat to more manageable proportions. All can, in principle, support ballistic missile disarmament.
Six years later, with the tremendous changes in U.S. Soviet relations and the feared emergence of Third World ballistic missile threats, Reagan's disarmament approach looks even better.
Currently, START, with its emphasis on warheads, dominates U.S.-Russian arms control. The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) dominates our efforts to control the spread of missile technology to the Third World. Merging these two efforts into a world-wide campaign to eliminate ballistic missiles would seem to offer great advantages (See Chart, page 9).
In particular, such a zero ballistic missile (ZBM) campaign would force everyone--citizens, statesmen, defense ministry bureaucrats and strategists--to compare their various personal, institutional, ideological and political objections with the real benefits of a vastly changed situation, rather than compare them with the largely cosmetic benefits of simply continuing to pursue reductions in warhead numbers. From such a rethinking, the political basis for dramatic disarmament might well be established.
There is clearly a need for a new vision of what nuclear disarmament should be. Strategists talk regretfully of the impossibility of completely eliminating the threat of nuclear war and nuclear weapons. They do not see how to achieve zero-nuclear weapons. In the U.S.-Russia context, they do not see how to get from "overkill" to "underkill". So, they come to an impasse in their thinking.
Just as Winston Churchill complained that a particular pudding had no "theme", so also disarmament supporters can justifiably complain that, in the current era, nuclear disarmament has no psychologically meaningful theme.
Ballistic missile disarmament, however, has a theme and--more plausibly than does a campaign for eliminating all nuclear weapons--an achievable end point. Further, there is a specific reason for pursuing it other than diminishing the overkill of large nuclear powers--namely eliminating the threat from emergent ballistic missile states to extant missile states.
Public recognition of the dangers that ballistic missiles pose could, if encouraged, be rallied into a campaign to recapture that measure of relative safety that existed in thel950s.
Ballistic missile disarmament may also become a logical solution to the disparities in the U.S. and Russian proposals for post-START cuts. Russia is prepared to give up submarine-based ballistic missiles on a bilateral basis, and the U.S. is prepared to give up land-based multiple war headed missiles. If both agreed, via a campaign for zero ballistic missiles, to give up all sub-based and land-based ICBMs over time, it would represent a greatest-common denominator agreement.
When our Federation was founded in 1946, and even as late as 1960, it seemed that proliferation of nuclear weapons to tens of states was inevitable, and it seemed that the NPT would have a real uphill battle. But many countries had a welcome, and unexpected, disinterest in buying nuclear weapons even if, in principle, they could have done so. By buying time, and by isolating the most trouble some areas, the NPT served a useful purpose.
A worldwide treaty to ban ballistic missiles might play the same kind of role. Certainly, the existing stockpile of ballistic missiles in the major nuclear states seems, today, more valuable as "fodder" for disarmament than as useful weapons. Why not then use these missiles to prime the pump of ballistic missile disarmament? Jeremy J. Stone
FAS has devised a draft schematic treaty for the global elimination of ballistic missiles above a very minimal range (See page 3). If refined, negotiated and implemented successfully, it would return the world to a strategic context akin to that of the 1950s and would preclude the possibility of more states posing a military threat to the United States via ballistic missiles.
On March 9, FAS held a hearing on "Ballistic Missiles: Shoot Them Down or Break Them Up?" to review the ballistic missile disarmament proposal before expert interrogation.
Testifying in addition to FAS President Jeremy J. Stone and FAS Research Analyst Lora Lumpe were Richard Joseph, currently at Los Alamos National Laboratory and former Director, SDI Neutral Particle Beam Program; and Philip Morrison, Professor of Physics Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former Manhattan Project Scientist.
The session was moderated by Alton Frye, Vice President and Washington Director of the Council on Foreign Relations, with Paul Nitze, former Deputy Secretary of Defense and Special Adviser to the President and Secretary of State on Arms Control Matters, and FAS Space Policy Director John Pike, Director of Space Policy at FAS questioning the witnesses. Excerpts from the hearing appear in this issue, beginning on page7.
In October 1986, the Federation wrote President Reagan in support of his proposal for eliminating U.S. and Soviet ballistic missiles in a decade and said we hoped that he would not "lightly be dissuaded" from pursuing it.
One of the few others who agreed at the time, Stanford's Sidney Drell, recently renewed his support for Reagan's proposal by testifying that it "now seems to be more realistic in the aftermath of the Cold War--and also more compelling under the threat of proliferation." Richard Perle, who was with Reagan at Reykjavik when the proposal was made, joined Drell in advising the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 3 that he still favored the general idea. But as far as we know, only FAS has attempted to move the ZBM notion forward through the creation of a global treaty. And in connection with our plans for further advancing the idea, we would welcome comment and critique on the various related issues. Jeremy J. Stone and Lora Lumpe
Whereas the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is among the goals of world-wide general and complete disarmament;
Recognizing, however, that this goal cannot be accomplished in one step and embodied in a single treaty;
Remembering that the advent of ballistic missiles, as a supplement to aircraft, created a new way by which nuclear war might start, both deliberately and inadvertently;
Reflecting that, by speeding up, in many cases, the pace by which such war would unfold, ballistic missiles made the termination of such wars more difficult;
Understanding that ballistic missiles have made it possible to threaten thousands of more targets than could have been targeted by aircraft;
Recalling that ballistic missiles are capable of carrying not only nuclear weapons but also chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction;
Observing that the trend toward world-wide proliferation of ballistic missiles provides new motivation for many states, including existing nuclear powers, to wish that military ballistic missiles had never been invented;
Calculating that it would be safer for each existing nuclear power, all things considered, to rely upon aircraft only ,and to abandon military missiles, so long as it could be adequately verified that all other states relevant to its security had done so as well;
Believing that adequate verification is available, in part because each signatory will retain, to the extent it wishes, a bomber-based deterrent force;
Understanding that the elimination of military ballistic missiles would be a far more reliable and far less costly method of protecting against ballistic missile attack than creating, deploying and maintaining active defenses against them;
Desiring the continuation of the use of ballistic missiles for peaceful purposes and believing that an international agency to verify ballistic missile disarmament could also facilitate the transfer of missile technology for peaceful purposes;
Attempting to reverse the process by which the worldwide arms race was further burdened, some decades ago, by military ballistic missiles;
Concluding that the road to general and complete disarmament may well lie in banning the use of ballistic missiles for military purposes before it becomes possible to eliminate nuclear weapons themselves;
And believing that the disarmament process requires, and deserves, far-reaching yet attainable goals as way stations, the undersigned have agreed to pursue ballistic missile disarmament as follows:
Founding Members Agree to a Fifty Percent Cut in Ballistic Missiles
The United States and Russia agree, as a step toward their total elimination of ballistic missiles as weapons, and as a means of encouraging adherence to ballistic missile disarmament, to eliminate by the year X at least half of their military ballistic missiles and launchers of each and every type deployed and stockpiled at the date of ratification of this Treaty.
Other ballistic missile states wishing to join the United States and Russia as founding members of this Treaty also agree to eliminate by the year X at least half of their existing military ballistic missiles and launchers of each and every type deployed and stockpiled at the date of ratification of this Treaty.
Ballistic Missile Signatory States Agree to Eventual Elimination of Ballistic Missiles
Each signatory agrees, in principle, to the elimination of its ballistic missiles subject only to the elimination of the ballistic missiles of those from whom it perceives a ballistic missile threat.
Each Ballistic missile state signatory to this Treaty agrees that it will enter into regional negotiations to eliminate ballistic missiles used for military purposes when the accession of sufficient states relevant to a specific region make this possible.
Non-ballistic Missile States Agree to Forego Ballistic Missile Deployment for Military Purposes
Non-ballistic missile state signatories agree to forego the development, manufacture, deployment and use of ballistic missiles for military purposes and undertake not to seek, or to receive, the transfer of ballistic missiles, or components thereof, for military purposes.
Creation of a New International Agency To Monitor Compliance and Facilitate Peaceful Uses
A new international agency, here designated as the International Agency for Ballistic Missile Disarmament (IABMD) will be created to monitor compliance with the Treaty. Signatory states agree to supply relevant intelligence to this agency and to permit relevant inspections and observation, including inspection of their peaceful space activities. The IABMD will facilitate, monitor and safeguard the transfer of technology necessary and useful for civilian space programs while precluding the use of such technology for military purposes.
The IABMD will verify the initial 50 percent reduction of the Founding Members, and subsequent reductions of other signatories, and will host regional conferences to facilitate regional agreement on missile disarmament as well as future global conferences.
Non-transfer of Ballistic Missile Capabilities for Military Purposes
States party to the Treaty undertake not to transfer ballistic missiles or sub-components thereof, except for peaceful purposes and only to States signatory to this Treaty and, subsequent to initiation of activities of the IABMD, only with the approval of the IABMD and under its safeguards.
Review Conference To Be Held the Year after Year X
Founding members agree to meet, in the year following year X, to review the progress of ballistic missile disarmament under this Treaty and to negotiate, among themselves and with others invited for the purpose, further measures designed to encourage the process of ballistic missile disarmament, such as subsequent halving of deployed missiles by ballistic missile states, while convening, in the same year, a general conference of all signatories to discuss what next steps can be universally agreed.
Entry into Force
This Treaty shall be open to all States for signature. This Treaty shall be subject to ratification by Signatory States, instruments of ratification and instruments of accession shall be deposited with Russia and the United States. This Treaty shall enter into force after its ratification by the States designated as depositories and [some number] other States.
Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized its national security or supreme interests.
Nothing in this treaty shall preclude collective action against states violating this treaty or withdrawing from it with a view to seeking military advantage through ballistic missiles.
Explaining the Draft Schematic Treaty: Excerpts from Stone Testimony
Under this treaty regime, states without ballistic missiles(non-ballistic missile states) agree to remain so; states with ballistic missiles agree to eliminate them. Unlike the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), this treaty actually proposes in due course to turn the "have" states into "have-not" states and, accordingly, to eliminate the two tier structure of states that has produced Third World criticism of the NPT. (Cruise missiles would be a quiet exception to this since efforts would be continued to prevent their proliferation despite the likelihood that the major powers would retain them.)
ZBM: What Is It?
The U.S. and Russia would commit to an initial 50%reduction in the number of their military ballistic missiles as soon as enough states had joined the regime and would, as well, commit in principle to eliminate all ballistic missiles as soon as all other states relevant to their security would do so as well.
There are currently more than 150 "non-ballistic missile states" in the United Nations. Many if not most of them would be happy to join the Treaty, not only to confirm their intention to remain non-ballistic missile states and to encourage their neighbors to remain so as well, but to encourage the U.S. and Russia to undertake ballistic missile disarmament. In some large regions of the globe--such as Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa--ballistic missile-free zones would be easy to create today, as no ballistic missiles are deployed there. The region around Australia might host a third such zone.
Ballistic missile states in between--Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and about 15 others--would be encouraged politically to agree that they also would eliminate all of their ballistic missiles if states posing a missile threat to them were prepared to do so in a verifiable fashion. This agreement in principle, combined with a willingness to cooperate in discouraging missile proliferation, would be sufficient for them to be considered adherents the treaty.
Why would they be willing to engage in such far-reaching disarmament? And why, for that matter, would Israel join in a suitable regional agreement of this type?
There are two reasons why existing ballistic missile states might go along with this regime--perhaps only one of these was evident to President Reagan in 1986. President Reagan was thinking, no doubt, of the additional dangers missiles posed to both the U.S. and U.S.S.R., over and above the dangers of nuclear armed bombers, dangers such as accidental or unauthorized use, additional numbers of warheads at the ready, nuclear crises that were speeded up in tempo making escalation more likely and war termination more difficult, and a more certain destruction of many more urban areas than had been imagined before missiles were deployed.
In 1992, however, both the U.S. and Russia and other nuclear states see a new motivation: preventing Third World states from generating a ballistic missile threat against them. In this context, existing nuclear powers, including Israel, must eventually come to realize that ballistic missiles--like the atomic bomb itself--are a great "equalizer".
Accordingly, preventing the spread of ballistic missiles to other states provides a reason why existing ballistic missile states might be willing to contemplate becoming non-ballistic missile states. After all, nuclear armed states will still retain bombers and their bombs--to the extent they wish to do so.
Other states--in Latin America, Africa, South Asia, East Asia and the Middle East and elsewhere--would be saved the financial and security costs of ballistic missile arms races. For them, this would be a main reason for adhering to the treaty.
With the creation of the treaty regime, an International Agency for Ballistic Missile Disarmament (IABMD)would be established to verify adherence to treaty obligations and to observe and monitor space launches.
The IABMD can be thought of as a "new and improved" Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), by which the U.S. is already trying to stanch the flow of missile technology to the Third World. But with the IABMD we can do so without a double standard concerning the right to own such missiles. The IABMD would be instructed to seek to prevent the spread of cruise missile technology, as does the MTCR.
The IABMD would also facilitate and encourage regional agreements to keep various regions ballistic missile free.
In four regions, the IABMD would have the difficult task of rolling back current or incipient regional ballistic missile races. The most intractable of these regions is, of course, the Middle East, where the Administration has already indicated that it seeks, in principle, a zone free of ballistic missiles (See Roll-Back, page 13). In South Asia, it is important to ensure that India and Pakistan do not embark upon a race to install nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles. In East Asia, one would face the currently daunting prospect of trying to get North Korea into a regional agreement with South Korea and Japan--and with some possible participation by China. And, finally, and presumably least difficult, would be the task of eliminating the short-range ballistic missiles still remaining in Europe.
Of course, the most formidable task of the IABMD would be to verify and oversee the complete elimination of ballistic missiles for military purposes of the existing major ballistic missile states: U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China.
Verification in the Strategic Context
All states--nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states--would retain aircraft under this treaty. That is what makes verification of non-ballistic missile status conceivable and, hopefully, politically possible. For example, the U.S. would not have to worry that Russia had a few solid fuel missiles hidden away in the Urals while we had none. Our specific concern, for "adequate" verification, would be to ensure that such hidden missiles could not destroy our bomber-based nuclear deterrent on its bases and that, at the same time, Russian air defenses posed no decisive threat to the bomber force. It is a premise of this testimony that an era is coming in which the U.S. and Russia could adequately verify this.
The U.S. and Russia do have cruise missiles that could be organized to attack bombers on their bases--either from aircraft or from ships off shore. But if, by the time the U.S. and Russia got near zero in ballistic missiles, the world still worried about such attacks, cruise missiles could be the answer as well as the problem--the U.S. could mount cruise missiles on submarines and use them for a deterrent against just such an attack.
Verification in the Third World Context
The question of what political and technical verification regimes might be possible needs further investigation. Some elements can be mentioned, however. Ballistic missile flight tests are highly visible--especially if the major powers make special efforts to further develop the technology necessary to monitor third world ballistic missile tests. Without quite a few such tests, new ballistic missile states would not be able to develop a militarily useful threat against bomber-based deterrents.
Second, with an anticipated new focus on Third World activities, we can expect to know much more about what the Third World is doing in such activities. We can expect, in particular, that the major states will cooperate in their intelligence activities.
Perhaps the most difficult problem in a regime of this kind concerns breakout by states who accumulated material and technology through peaceful space launch applications but, in fact, either as false adherents to the Treaty or by subsequent change of heart decided to withdraw in favor of a military capacity.
As long as the treaty language is drafted so that adhering states need not transfer any materials controlled under the MTCR which they might not have wished to do, then a ZBM regime poses no greater breakout problem than we now face. If, on the other hand, the treaty language instructs signatories to transfer missile technology more freely than would otherwise have been the case--in effective return for the verification opportunities offered to the IABMD--then one might, or might not, have a better situation with regard to "breakout"(but this is not, of course, the only consideration).
In any case, the draft schematic treaty contains a clause concerning collective action which would, in particular, free states adhering to the treaty to adopt sanctions and even to provide ballistic missiles or missile defenses to neighbors of a state deemed to have withdrawn from the treaty with aggressive intent.
The NET has all of these problems but has still been useful. Here also we can expect, in many regions, that peaceful processes will make concerns about ballistic missile "breakout" or "cheating" less and less of political concern. As with the IAEA, the IABMD might be, in many regions, more of a useful trip-wire than a concrete wall.
Britain, France and China
The Administration appears to be encouraging Britain and France to maintain missile deterrent even as they, and we, have ever-less to target with these missiles. Britain, France and the U.S. have confirmed that none will use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states (that are not allied with nuclear states in whatever confrontation is at issue). If Russia stays on its current path, and the British and French target list accordingly shrinks, these states might decide that there are no grounds for keeping submarine commanders at sea in submarines with missiles that lack targets.
In such a context, and with a world-wide campaign on to eliminate ballistic missiles, one could certainly hope, in time, that both of these states would give up their ballistic missiles--gaining, of course, from the common benefits of avoiding such ballistic missile threats as that of Algeria against France or Iran against Britain.
China has the smallest ballistic missile force of the major powers and it might well be the last to turn agreement in principle into practical disarmament. But the U.S. and Russia could go quite far in their campaign to eliminate ballistic missiles, e.g., halve their ballistic missile forces more than once, before Chinese missiles became a problem for Russian security analysts.
China would benefit from ballistic missile disarmament in Russia--since its prospects of surviving a nuclear war (if one occurred) would increase. China would also benefit from missile disarmament in its region. J.J.S.
FAS Hearing on Zero Ballistic Missiles
On March 9, FAS held the fourth u' its series of Scientists' Hearings on Science and Public Policy, this one posing the question "Ballistic Missiles: Shoot Them Down or Break Them Up?"
Scientists' Hearings are designed to make a particular contribution to the national debate on critical issues, by bringing together experts and exposing their policy assessments to critical examination by other knowledgeable professionals.
EXCERPTS FROM THE HEARING: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Alton Frye: Today's proceedings address one of the most perplexing questions of the post Cold War world: How can we best cope with the proliferation of ballistic missiles? Is the most promising course to emphasize active defenses against such missiles, or has the end of superpower confrontation opened the way for political remedies, including the possible elimination of ballistic missiles under effective international control? We hope to build a record here that will carry that discussion forward.
For more than two decades the United States has wrestled with the problem of defending against ballistic missiles. Their advent as nuclear delivery vehicles made the nation's prior investment in air defense of dubious value. If missiles could strike at any target in the country, what good did it do to defend against the bomber threat that preoccupied us and the Soviets after World War II?
For much of the ballistic missile era the demanding task of defending against long range ballistic rockets seemed futile to most people in the technical and policy communities. Since 1983, however, there has been a renewed effort to perfect defenses against missiles. The Strategic Defense Initiative launched by President Reagan has devoted billions of dollars to this task.
A year ago, the sight of American Patriot missiles engaging short-range Iraqi missiles heightened public and Congressional interest in pursuing such technologies. That experience helped spark Congressional support for deployment later this decade of limited, ground-based strategic defenses, compliant with the 1972 ABM treaty.
With the emergence of cooperative relations between Washington and Moscow, the context for debate over strategic defenses has shifted fundamentally. The spread of ballistic missile capabilities to other countries creates as hared anxiety for Americans and Russians. Russia could be at risk from missiles of modest range in the relatively near future, while over time even the United States must take account of potential missile threats from additional states.
The expressed willingness of Russian leaders to seek a joint approach to future defenses renders moot the crucial objection that defenses are incompatible with negotiated reductions in offensive weapons. Yet, the difficult problem remains of defining an offense/defense balance that will permit the major strategic powers to lower further the nuclear threat each poses to the other, and the requirement to define such a balance opens for discussion the prospect that the parties may find the most drastic solution--elimination of ballistic missiles themselves--to be the most advantageous one.
Richard Joseph: Third World ballistic missiles are becoming more hazardous, more dangerous. What we see deployed today are relatively inaccurate missiles--for instance, Scud missiles. That will not remain the case for long. Guidance and control technology has become less expensive and better. Free use of the Global Positioning System will also help. As a result, the accuracy of these missiles is increasing very rapidly. That means missiles will go from being weapons of terror to being weapons of real military purpose.
This improving accuracy, I believe, will drive nations toward something that looks like a flexible response strategy. Military targets can and will be targeted by accurate missiles. Pressure will always exist to increase the number of missiles with which to target them. This increases the number of targets for the other side, and we know this prescription all too well. The numbers of missiles will inevitably grow. Such a counter force strategy among countries will only make this problem worse because now the forces will have to be configured to respond to possible attacks by a number of countries.
We may ask what sort of advice should we give these countries. Should we advise them to pursue a course of mutual assured destruction, where they have perhaps a few warheads aimed at population centers, and use that as a deterrent? In a world where we may be dealing with irrational governments, is that a wise course of action? Will we suggest that they pursue a flexible response strategy, a counter force strategy, and simply accept the rapid proliferation of missiles? I don't think that's a wise course of action. We may advise them simply not to buy these weapons. I think that is good advice, but I don't think that advice will be followed.
I would propose, for want of a better phrase, an alliance of democracies using political and technical means to address missile threats to other democracies.
I believe that missile defense is one element of such an alliance. Missile defenses devalue ballistic missiles. As developing countries decide whether to procure missile forces or not, the devaluation presented by missile defenses influences their investment strategies. It is very difficult to imagine people buying more and more of a commodity that is worth less every day.
In a strong alliance, defenses become a stabilizing force. It's not so important to have military forces that are able to answer ballistic missiles in kind, for instance, or to use those missiles before they are lost.
Today the U.S. is leading the way in development of defensive technologies. The SDI program has a very strong technical base in sensors and anti-missile weapons technologies. The Commonwealth of Independent States is also very strong in many of the same areas and has a considerable advantage in space launch capabilities. In such an alliance each member would contribute from its strength. Certainly for the Commonwealth space launch is a clear strength. Joint development of a command and control network, to pass the benefits of a global sensor and possibly boost phase defenses, is an important part of such an alliance, and currently does not exist.
Cooperative defenses among member states would certainly require a degree of cooperation in command and control. That by itself may be a very positive sort of collaboration. I think that it should be left up to the alliance members to decide what to do with such information. If there are warnings of missile attacks . . ., it would be up to the member states to decide whether to intercept incoming missiles or not.
In summary, I think we are at an important, decisive point. Opportunities exist to enhance the positive changes occurring in the former Soviet Union. At the same time, it is clear that U.S. interests are vitally tied to the state of the peace in the world. That state of peace is threatened today, but more importantly will be ever more threatened by the proliferation of certain technologies.
Now is the time to embark on an alliance, not to forestall a world divided into armed camps bristling with these missiles, but to see that such circumstances never occur.
Philip Morrison: I believe that a major source of the
unspoken fears of the entire world, particularly the citizens of the United States and the old Soviet Union, is the possibility that terrible public destruction--what we have learned to call mass destruction--can at least in principle come anywhere, at any time of day or night, summer or winter, with a warning time which with good luck might be30 minutes and with less good luck could be even less.
The impossibility of human agencies foreseeing, planning, responding and managing such a situation is happily not large in our minds today, because the public and press quite correctly look at the derivative, the curve that has changed so sharply downward since the break-up of the Soviet Union.
The capability is present; the intention is clearly absent. Nevertheless, this concern is what motivates most of the things people have talked about in this panel, without saying so.
Every plan for managing the weapons of the Soviet Union--devised by the United States Air Force, the Rand Corporation, innumerable commentators, military suppliers, intelligent scientists and diplomatic theorists--failed to do anything as much as the change of intention which came about when Mr. Gorbachev and his allies, seeing their disappearing hope for the Soviet Union, began themselves to change. Suddenly, with the weapons still in place, the forces still organized, the codes all in operation, the submarines still at sea, nobody feels so threatened anymore, because something changed about intentions, which doesn't have much to do with working capabilities. I spent many years arguing that the capabilities for nuclear weapons were in themselves a danger to the world. I still think that is true. That is why I favor very much reducing those capabilities.
You can do that, not only on the supply side, not only on capabilities and not only on the side of deterrence, but on the side of trying to change the motivations of the many states and many persons who make up this complex mixture. A situation in which the states that have not and the states that have both feel the pressure of a public and formal agreement to change the situation cannot be replaced by any mere manipulation of the other parameters of the problem, however valuable or contributory they may be.
In short, it is time to do this, time to introduce the notion of a ballistic missile control regime which would step by step ban ballistic missiles in an appropriate way--appropriate to place, appropriate to time, appropriate to power.
All these things are present in the draft treaty I have seen, though I think one could reasonably argue about the details of many conditions and codicils.
It is indispensable to make a beginning in this coming year or two. Why? Because in 1995, by long agreement, the signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will assemble. The dissatisfied powers will bring very strong objections that for many, many years nothing has happened to try to involve them as sovereign states in the same way that the nuclear club has been involved.
Against that grievance it would be most valuable to present procedures which would in another more workable domain raise the same kind of issues that the nuclear club members of the NPT raised when once they promised to look into the abolition of testing and the cessation of the growth of nuclear weapons. They have done little over a matter of two decades.
That is what is before us now. I think it has been raised very cleverly by my colleagues at the Federation. I expect it to gain great support.
Jeremy J. Stone: By what standard should a program for ballistic missile disarmament be judged? Skeptics look at a program of this kind and ask whether it is going to be able to solve all the problems that are involved--cruise missile technology, bringing Britain and France aboard, actually getting the United States and Russia back to a bomber based deterrent, etc. They look at this as if what is being proposed is a panacea. The burden I undertake today is instead to prove that by the standard of what we re already trying to do with START and the Missile Technology Control Regime, the zero ballistic missile (ZBM) approach is better.
According to this ZBM approach, a few countries, the United States and Russia [and perhaps the other permanent members of the UN Security Council], would sign on as founding members of the regime, meaning they would agree to halve their ballistic missiles at the outset, without further preconditions. For the U.S. and Russia this halving would be over and above the post-START levels. Countries without ballistic missiles would agree to stay without ballistic missiles, and all signatories would agree to eliminate all of their ballistic missiles as soon as the other states relevant to their security were prepared to do likewise.
This would initiate a campaign that would squeeze those countries wanting to retain ballistic missiles. The process is analogous to that of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Many countries that signed the NPT saying they would not secure nuclear weapons had no real intention of ever securing nuclear weapons anyway. A bandwagon approach was started. Similarly, there are approximately 150 countries that could sign this treaty we are proposing today, as non ballistic missile states, intending to remain as non-ballistic missile states.
In Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, where no ballistic missiles are deployed, a zero ballistic missile agreement should be readily achievable. In four other regions you would try to solve the ballistic missile problem on a regional basis. In East Asia, we would try to make progress on the Korean peninsula. In South Asia we would try to prevent the arms race between India and Pakistan from becoming a ballistic missile race. In Eastern Europe we would try to eliminate the ballistic missiles that are still there. In the Middle East we would try to build on what the Bush Administration is already attempting--create a zonei n the Middle East free of ballistic missiles.
The ZBM approach would establish an agency to verify and monitor all of this, similar to the IAEA, only this would be an international agency to deal with ballistic missile disarmament.
With the MTCR we basically have a seller's cartel that tries to prevent states from getting into the game. It does not ask them to cooperate. It does not ask them to form regional agreements to do something in their own interest to prevent ballistic missile arms races. It does not, therefore, have the interest for the Third World that this regime would have. And in this regime, the superpowers agree that they will get rid of all of their ballistic missiles, as well.
This merges, in what we think is a creative and synergistic way, two different campaigns for disarmament: START and the MTCR, and it works them into a global regime to get rid of ballistic missiles.
Conceptually, getting rid of ballistic missiles is sufficiently plausible that you could mobilize people to try for it....The involvement of the Third World is helpful for involving Britain and France. In the alternative, how would they be brought into START? It is a lot easier to get them involved in this, because they would otherwise be recalcitrant holdouts to a worldwide campaign to eliminate ballistic missiles.
For decreasing the Russian threat, this promises to roll the situation back to the 1950s, when the Soviets merely could have devastated our country, but not completely destroyed it beyond recovery. Possibly with controls on the size of bomber forces, this program promises to take you back to the 1950s. It does not get you back to 1940, but it is a very good way-station on the road to general and complete disarmament.
Dealing with ever-changing missile technology is a big problem. Here at least you would have an agency trying to verify [the non-possession or development of ballistic missiles] with the cooperation of other states. This is a lot better than . . . the MTCR, which, as I think Dr. Joseph is right in saying, is only a holding operation in the long run.
This treaty is very easy for ballistic missile states to sign, because it only requires them to agree in principle that they are against missile proliferation and are agreeable to going to bomber-based deterrents as soon as everybody else relevant to their security is prepared to do that, too.
To get START mobilized and to stop missile proliferation in the Third World we have to offer something more promising than just a reduction in numbers of warheads, which is eyeball-glazing for so many people. If we offer something that makes sense to people--rolling the situation back to the 1950s--then I think we have a campaign and a war cry that will be compelling around the world.
Paul Nitze: My tendency is to try to see how you get from where you are to where you want to be, and what the practical problems are in getting from here to there.
This idea of the elimination of all ballistic missiles has along background [Editor's Note: See box this paged [At Reykjavik we agreed with this line of thought--that is, wouldn't the world be better off if we got rid of these beasts. I am still troubled by how you do it. If you look at the various individual cases, the one that springs to my mind, I guess most immediately, is the case of Israel. I think one can logically say that there is no reason why Israel should not agree to an elimination of ballistic missiles, provided all other people in the region agree to that, but I have some difficulty seeing how that would in practice work out.
I think the suspicions between the two sides are so great--there are so many variations in position between people in the Middle East that I have some difficulty seeing how one would work through that. I'm just raising that as an example of the types of difficulties that I see.
Morrison: The process cannot be overnight or in any practical sense immediate .... I doubt very much that the earliest agreement on the part of states in position to make ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons will come from the states in the Middle East where the situation is so tense. I would imagine that the situation is much closer in Korea and in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. Many, many states would join because they have no desire other than to join--as most signatories to the Nuclear NPT did--thus beginning a movement that can seize the world.
John Pike: A question that is troubling me this morning is the question of the arms race instability implications and the difference between "none" and "some". Whether we are talking about nuclear weapons or whether we are talking about ballistic missiles or cruise missiles or whatever, are we better off in having a regime in which in principle the relevant parties have no forces in being, even though they may have the capability to reconstitute or regenerate those forces over a relatively short time period? Or might we not be better off having five ICBMs already there so we that we can acknowledge that this capability exists, even though politically we do not need to be worried about it? Might not the effort to go to zero be creating more trouble than it is worth politically?
Morrison: I do not understand this proposal as suggesting that there be an immediate return to zero. It is only put forward as a substantive goal of the future, and as such I think most people will agree with it. Immediately, the proposal, as I see it, calls for cutting by half and then by half again. You can cut a number of powers of two and still be not in the condition that I think you are talking about.
Frye: Could you make a basic judgment about emphasis? Would you consider it more feasible to restrain the proliferation of ballistic missiles rather than to constrain the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities?
Morrison: Yes, I think it is. But the primary attraction of this proposal for me is that it is an extension of the same fundamental proposition; it works toward the same goal. It is, of course, quite clear that problems like minimum numbers and the noise of verification and the cataclysmic consequences of only a few nuclear weapons in an other wise nuclear-free world are not so strongly posed by ballistic missiles. But to add the same intention on the part of the great powers that they have already expressed in respect to nuclear weapons is a very helpful additional step in the international regime. It does not address a particular weapon system so much as it extends the determination to change the basis of national conflict. That's why I think it is important and timely.
Frye: I want us now to move on with our interrogation of Dr. Joseph. How would you express your preference between a policy that gave first priority to reducing further the number of ballistic missiles--ending at zero if possible--and a policy that said the first priority and first investment should go to building up strategic defenses against ballistic missiles? I don't want to make it a stark dichotomy, but a question of priority and emphasis.
Joseph: I would put them very close. My concern is that the pace of negotiations tends to be very slow, and for good reason. It is important to proceed in a very deliberate fashion. The pace of technology development and acquisition and military build-up can proceed very, very rapidly. I think that we need to have something more than the firm commitment to reducing ballistic missiles. It's important to start down that road of negotiations, but I think we need to do something else, too. We need to find a means by which to keep pressure on the process to move toward that goal. I think investing in defensive forces does that.
Frye: Look at the technical obstacles to deploying a truly effective, high confidence strategic defense. Do you think that would be an easier job than the technical problems confronted if we tried to verify a zero ballistic missile regime? There are serious technical problems there as well.
Joseph: I think that it will be very, very difficult to verify a zero ballistic missile agreement. For instance, the first thing that comes to mind is what to do about space launch vehicles. What are they? Is it a space launch vehicle, or is it a ballistic missile? Well, it's easy. If it says ballistic missile on the side it must be a ballistic missile. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. I think there probably are signatures and testing of ballistic missiles that differ from testing space launch vehicles, and there are certainly differences in signature for testing re-entry vehicles and so on and so forth. I don't think it is impossible to verify.
On the other hand, I wonder whether this doesn't provide an edge for those countries already possessing ballistic missiles and, therefore, once again seemingly disenfranchises the other member states participating in such an agreement.
They must certainly feel that the situation is similar to the nuclear non-proliferation agreement in that it is okay for the nuclear powers to now agree that nobody else will get nuclear weapons because they already have theirs.
In a similar fashion, in a zero ballistic missile regime the feeling may be that it is all right for those who already possess ballistic missiles to agree not to have them because fundamentally they already have this technology. They don't need to test it. They can hide 100 of them in a shed here and there.
Frye: Would you think, however, that one way to diminish those anxieties on the part of missile have-nots would be to internationalize space launch operations and subject all launches to pre-launch inspection? In the new era of cooperation, that seems conceivable.
Joseph: I think it is conceivable, but there are two factors that argue against it, or that make it very difficult. One, of course, is that all countries launch national payloads that they wouldn't like to open up for inspection. Secondly, we are entering an era when commercial vendors, for proprietary reasons, don't necessarily want their payloads inspected either.
This has been suggested before. In 1988 or 1987 there was what I thought was a not very serious proposal for international inspection going around. I thought it was more mischievous than anything else, because it's not easy to do so and respect the proprietary nature or the national security issues involved.
Frye: So then the potential loss of technological intelligence is one serious problem that you think weighs against us?
Joseph: Technological loss, and then in a more minor sense is perhaps the loss of opportunity. There are already enough hurdles on the way to a successful space launch in the United States. If some kind of international inspection of payloads were required, that may further complicate the issue and may have an impact on being able to launch at a particular time to meet a window of opportunity.
Frye: Dr. Morrison, I think, has a comment.
Morrison: It seems to me there is one rather clear marker which distinguishes these two sorts of launchers, and I wonder why it can't be used very effectively. That is the presence of ablative re-entry material. With the rare exception of manned space flight, space launch vehicles don't have that.
Pike: One of the reasons that you are going to be flight testing is not to test the re-entry vehicle, but to test for reliability of the launch vehicle. Some ICBMs and space launch vehicles are functionally equivalent. You could come close to doing an end-to-end test of the ICBM under the guise of an SLV test, testing everything but the re-entry vehicle.
In addition, some people think that there is going to be a vast market in the future for small, unmanned re-entry vehicles for materials processing experiments .... There are certainly some complications there.
I think the real question for this regime, though, is not pre-launch inspection of payloads, but rather the question in the North/South context of whether southern countries, having foregone the ability to build their own launch vehicles, are going to have guaranteed access to other people's launch vehicles.
It seems to me, that is the guarantee that you are looking for. If Brazil, for instance, gives up its ballistic missile program, it is not permanently going to be locked out of space. I think it is much easier to provide those types of guarantees than it is to open up intelligence satellites for inspection.
Frye: I want Dr. Joseph to get his final comment in, but I would only observe that so far as the confirmation that reentry vehicles are not being tested on top of a space launch vehicle, there are non-intrusive devices and techniques for determining what is inside the shroud which would not necessarily disclose the proprietary information that some firms would be concerned about. Your final comment before we turn to Dr. Stone, please?
Joseph: If a zero ballistic missiles regime means that countries cannot build space launch vehicles as well as ballistic missiles, but that they will have the unrestricted ability to purchase those services, that may not be acceptable to most of those [launch-buying] countries either.
As far as non-invasive testing, we've been working for along time trying to perfect a means of doing that; for instance, looking inside a shroud and being able to tell what's there ....I think we could make an approach to verification. I don't have the final answer as to whether it's possible or not.
Frye: Ambassador Nitze, would you begin our interrogation now of Dr. Stone and Ms. Lumpe, either with comment or reaction to the presentation that they made?
Nitze: It seems to me that Jeremy is on the right track with the general outline of his proposal and the problems of how you define it, implement it, divide it into its parts, think of all the difficulties and all the negotiating problems, the verification problems. All of those have been discussed pretty thoroughly here today. It isn't an easy track that he has laid out. I don't see anything wrong, though, with the general concept.
Stone: Getting rid of missiles, as opposed to trying to get rid of combat aircraft or bombers, has many factors in its favor. For example, in the elimination of INF missiles, for which Ambassador Nitze struggled a long time, the notion that it was an entire class of missiles was very attractive to people. What we are proposing--elimination of the entire "super class" of ballistic missiles on a worldwide scale--will also be very attractive to people. If we did not have ballistic missiles as a way-station to general and complete disarmament, we would have had to invent them, because they are a perfect class for throwing away!
All of the ink spilled in the late 1950s about the dangers of ballistic missiles has left in the population at large a fear that causes people to think that this danger should be eliminated. Also, from a political point of view, we now have fears of Third World missile attacks on the United States and Russia--fears we may dispute as to their seriousness, but fears which are a political reality nonetheless. These fears can be used to motivate a program of global missile disarmament.
We have as an alternative spending a great deal of money on an SDI program which, no matter how well designed, cannot be assured to work when and if needed. (In fact, SDI programs are so inherently and sufficiently unreliable, that if we did fear a ballistic missile attack from Iraq, we would be strongly tempted to preempt rather than to wait and see if we could shoot it down.)
If the world continues to shift in the favorable ways we've seen, we can do with ZBM what the non-proliferation treaty did--isolate politically the hard cases like the Middle East, South Asia and Korea and do just what Ambassador Nitze was talking about in waging a campaign with political momentum.
Dr. Joseph has put his finger, I think, on the key point. The goal is desirable he said; the problem is to maintain an unrelenting pressure on this process. From that point of view, a worldwide ZBM campaign can't do any harm. It might do a lot of good. I don't think that expenditures for SDI maintain an equivalent kind of pressure.
All of the pieces for the program that Lora and I are presenting today are lying about on the table. We've got START and we've got the Missile Technology Control Regime. We have new political attitudes towards these missiles themselves and a recognition that existing missiles are not as necessary as once believed. All we have to do now is merge these pieces together into a political campaign.
I don't look upon ZBM as something that is going to be done tomorrow. But if we make an issue of it--do the studies and try to see how to make it work--it has sufficient logic that I think some years from now we could actually see this happen.
Nitze: It seems to me, Jeremy, that summary was too inclusive and not well enough defined. For instance, you didn't define SDI; there are all kinds of varieties of SDI. I think you're suggesting that all of them should be abandoned. I am not at all sure that is right.
Stone: I didn't mean to imply that, but I think this disarmament approach deserves a higher priority. I am not against research on SDI at an appropriate level, but I do not think it puts pressure on Third World states not to proceed with ballistic missiles the way a political campaign would.
Nitze: I am not sure that it wouldn't be wise to go forward with certain forms of what are called SDI. Certainly, I don't see any reason why it would not help put pressure on people to be leery of trying to cheat, particularly if they are shorter range systems which are more valuable against their neighbors than longer range systems. In terms of longer range systems, nobody is going to have the same capability that the U.S.S.R has had. If that problem is solved through friendship rather than antagonism, then its seems to me that the shorter range systems may really become a more important focus.
Pike: Jeremy, I still have difficulty understanding why it is that we're singling out ballistic missiles, as opposed to air breathing delivery systems, for special treatment. Why not just talk about deep asymptotic reductions in all nuclear delivery systems rather than singling out ballistic missiles?
Stone: The political advantage of structuring a disarmament campaign other than as an eyeball-glazing reduction in the number of warheads to either 3000 or 2000 or 500 or326 is evident. ZBM doesn't preclude restraints on cruise missiles and bombers, too. That would be fine. From a world wide point of view, though, the pieces are in place to make a worldwide campaign for ballistic missile disarmament; they are not in place for trying to do something about combat aircraft everywhere.
Further, I don't propose that it take several decades; I think a decade or two is the way it should be phrased, and I think it's quite feasible. I don't think it's feasible to have a regime that tries to eliminate all attack aircraft and air breathing missiles on that same schedule.
Pike: The number of countries that have long-range-INF class and above--cruise missiles today is much smaller than the number of countries that have ballistic missiles. Its eems to me that what we're really talking about doing is foreclosing options that most of these countries don't intend to pursue anyway. Wouldn't it be better, rather than simply trying to extend the MTCR, to try to extend the START regime to apply to the full range of delivery systems?
Stone: We propose that this international agency for ballistic missile disarmament also try to maintain controls on cruise missiles. The Missile Technology Control Regime already deals with cruise missiles, as well as ballistic missiles, and we are not intending to throw these restraints away.
There would, however, be a double standard left in place by our campaign, in that we're trying to prevent the spread of cruise missiles that can carry weapons of mass destruction around the world, while the United States and Russia would retain their cruise missiles.
I don't think you could turn a campaign against combat aircraft into the same both politically and strategically attractive proposal we're now talking about.
I don't think we have a choice about how to deal with the arms race that has developed. I think our only alternative is to run it in reverse. If we run it in reverse and unfold the ballistic missiles that came last and get back to a period of bomber-based deterrents, then we can figure out whether and how we can get back to the 1940s.
Pike: Given the overlapping and interlocking targeting policies that are going to be increasingly commonplace around the world, if one country continues to feel threatened by another country that is not adhering to the regime, doesn't that open up the possibility of the intransigence of a single country creating a domino effect whereby the entire regime failed to be implemented?
Stone: Let's look at the regions that are a real problem. In the Korean peninsula the Chinese are now more friendly in many ways with the South Koreans than they are with the North Koreans. I believe you could, subject perhaps only to the death of Kim Il-Sung and a change in the North Korean regime, get a stable zero ballistic missile agreement on the Korean peninsula, without requiring China to do something about its handful of ballistic missiles.
In South Asia where they are facing the possibility of adebilitating missile race, I don't think the Indians would say [that] unless the Chinese do something about their handful of ballistic missiles, they're not willing to enter into a ballistic missile agreement with the Pakistanis.
Pike: But I think that historically the driver for the Indian strategic weapons program has been China much more than it's been Pakistan.
Stone: But we're not talking about their nuclear weapons program. We're talking about a ballistic missile arms race. The question is whether they feel it would be worth the cost to get into a ballistic missile arms race with the Pakistanis just to have a missile to aim at the Chinese.
Pike I think that historically the answer to that has been "yes," because they have lots of ways of blowing up Pakistan, but the only way that they are going to be able to blowup the Chinese is with their long range ballistic missiles. I think that has been the primary motivation for their missile program.
Stone: In the worst possible case, which you describe here, in which political pressures and self-interest are not enough for them to go forward without Chinese involvement, then we would see how much Chinese involvement we would need to satisfy them. If we could not get enough, then that zone would have to wait until you got a more general agreement between China and Russia and South Asia.
Frye: If you will let me pick up a couple of themes here and offer an observation en route, a substantial argument for the focus on ballistic missiles as opposed to the other elements in the strategic delivery capabilities of Russia and the United States is the simple fact that is where most of the warheads are. While bombers are capable of loading heavily, the fact is that you would make the biggest dent in the number of warheads in the inventories by dealing first with ballistic missiles.
Secondly, if space launches are a problematic aspect--as we all agree they are--of this zero ballistic missile regime, ipso facto civil aviation is the most problematic aspect of trying to get at the air breathing capabilities. Both tracks of analysis have difficult features, but it would seem to me that the pay-off, were we successful, could be substantially greater if the ballistic missile problem were given priority attention.
However, I have a question I would like to raise with you, based on important work done in the 1980s on the strategic build-down concept, which argues that while defenses are not plausible against a massive onslaught of the thousands of warheads in the Soviet inventory, they are more plausible and perhaps more valuable to protect a smaller residual strategic force after a process of reductions.
Does ZBM accommodate some element of strategic defenses as a hedge against either missiles hidden in a shed or break-out? How do you feel about the notion of the "defense protected" build-down as an aspect of ZBM?
Stone: I don't think there is any conflict between the two notions. Actually, there is great benefit for a strategic defense regime in having enormous cuts in the number of ballistic missiles around the world because the defense regime would likely work better if there are fewer ballistic missiles.
In the world I am envisioning with ballistic missile disarmament, you would gradually reach a situation where the United States and Russia could accept defenses. Their political relationships would have evolved to the stage where they could accept some defenses and much lower number of ballistic missiles. We would not have the antagonism between defense and disarmament that we've had throughout the ABM debate.
I don't think this detracts from the things that Dr. Joseph has been saying. It just eliminates the fire power they would have to shoot down. In fact, after all, what we are talking about at this hearing are two visions of President Reagan's, really. One was Star Wars, and the other one is ballistic missile disarmament. He considered them mutually consistent.
Frye: Ms. Lumpe, the limits of MTCR are arguably insufficient for the close borders in a region like the Middle East. Have you reached any firm judgment about how far down the ranges [missiles] should be constrained? Are we talking about any ballistic missile that exceeds artillery range? If so, put a number on it for me.
Lora Lumpe: In the treaty as drafted, we left it rather vague, saying only missiles down to a "minimal range" should be eliminated. In my thinking, though, in terms of the Middle East, ballistic missiles with a range equal to or greater than 100 kilometers might make sense. That would capture Syrian SS-21 missiles and Israeli Lance missiles, in addition to missiles already covered by the MTCR ranges.
Stone: At the last meeting of the MTCR adherents, the principals agreed on the desirability of extending the scope of the regime to all missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. The verification problems that our regime poses are not new ones we're inventing. They are ones the world community already faces in the Missile Technology Control Regime. But an enormous difference between our regime and the existing regime is that in ours, the prospect exists that states will cooperate in providing verification, because they will see themselves as part of a world wide movement eliminating ballistic missiles. If you can't solve these problems on our basis with cooperation, you are not going to be able to solve them with the MTCR.
Frye: If you will indulge me, I would conclude the hearing with a brief reflection on the profound ironies that follow the Cold War. The monolithic threat that gave focus to American policy for many years has scarcely faded when we see the manifold dangers of a world beyond superpower rivalry.
The particular menace of ballistic missiles, whether laden with nuclear, chemical or biological warheads, demands fresh initiatives by all nations. The spread of such high tempo weapons holds little promise of increased security and much risk that future conflicts will be even more violent than those we have known.
Strategic defense, which looked so improbable against the unconstrained Soviet threat, may hold promise against the more limited missile capabilities that lesser powers may acquire.
But today's exchange shows that active defense is not the only candidate for dealing with the problem. Indeed, to the extent that vigorous international measures can restrain or reverse testing, production and deployment of ballistic missiles, the burden will be eased on any defenses that maybe fielded.
We trust that this hearing will help spur further consideration of the merits and possible trade-offs among approaches to the missile proliferation that gives nuclear proliferation its most ominous dimension.
* Post START reductions.
** Includes China's nuclear intermediate-range missiles, as well as ICBMs.
MIDDLE EAST MISSILE ROLL-BACK
Achieving agreement to a zero ballistic missile regime will undoubtedly be most difficult in the Middle East. It is encouraging, though, that the Bush Administration was sanguine enough about the prospects for success that in late 1988 the State Department began exploring missile control through separate talks with Egypt and Israel. Under discussion, reportedly, were small confidence-building steps such as advance notice of missile flight tests and possibly "no first use" pledges that could lay the groundwork for bigger steps in the future. Little more was reported of these efforts until 1991.
Perm Five Endorse Bush Policy
This year, in his May 29th policy pronouncement on Mideast arms control, President Bush called for states in the region to halt further acquisition, production and testing of ballistic missiles of any range and projected "the ultimate elimination of such missiles from their arsenals." At a subsequent meeting of the Permanent Five UN Security Council members in Paris, the world's other major military powers endorsed this proposal. Principally, their support will take the form of increased vigilance on export controls of related technologies and, presumably, a reaffirmed pledge by all five not to sell any further missiles to the region.
Whether there is any support from within the region for the plan is uncertain. No Mid-East country has yet specifically embraced the ballistic missile component of the President's package, but many states have endorsed other, related measures. In general, there is a dichotomy between arms control interests, with Israel advocating limits on conventional arms transfers to the region, and with the Arab states preferring to deal with nconventional weapons first, and conventional arms later.
Because of their historical use as delivery vehicles for nuclear payloads and their relationship to conventional airforce capabilities, ballistic missiles pertain to both conventional and unconventional arms control. Thus, missile disarmament might be acceptable to many parties. Indeed, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has vigorously endorsed a plan for a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, which calls on all Middle Eastern countries to announce their commitment to "deal effectively and honestly with matters involving the delivery systems of various weapons of mass destruction."
During a background press briefing on the President's plan, an unnamed "senior official" explained why the administration was optimistic about the possibility of a missile roll-back in the region: "This is not entering terrain cognita here. We've got an environment where you've just had an awful war; where you've had an awful image of the future; where you've got a lot of proposals out there; where you've got a coalition of potential suppliers that have shown an ability to work together; where you had countries in the region working together in unprecedented ways. It seems to all of us [in the Administration] that this is certainly a situation worth exploring." Furthermore, he said that the countries of the region with whom the administration consulted after the war were encouraging about the prospects of such a plan.
The presence of hundreds of ballistic missiles in the Middle East has not deterred war or the use of these missiles. In fact, it is only in Afghanistan and the Middle East that we have seen ballistic missile warfare since Germany fired V-2 missiles in WWII. Hundreds of Scud missiles--the Soviet version of the V-2--were fired in the1973 October War, the Iran-Iraq "war of the cities," the Afghan civil war and the recent war in the Gulf. This pattern of missile use is especially ominous when considering the possible proliferation of mass destruction payloads in the region, since it is far from clear that such unconventionally armed missiles would serve a deterrent role. They, too, might be used.
The difficulty and cost of procuring newer and more capable ballistic missiles--in light of the MTCR and associated efforts--in combination with the likely increasing(or so perceived) effectiveness of theater anti-ballistic missile defenses like Patriot, would seem to greatly reduce the attractiveness of the missile option for developing countries. Thus, states might be willing to negotiate them away.
Israel's acceptance of such a plan would be a mandatory first step. Having recently endured 39 missile launches, the Israeli public would likely be supportive of a missile disarmament regime, as ATBM (Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile)systems cannot provide complete protection. Israel has been, and remains, very worried about the delivery of unconventional, especially chemical, payloads via Arab missiles. Missiles are part of Israel's layered deterrence structure, and the Jericho I is believed to be a means of delivering at least part of Israel's nuclear capability. But Israel also has a highly effective air force and air defense system and would not need ballistic missiles to deliver its nuclear weapons.
A negotiated ban on missiles would seem to serve the Arab states' and Iran's security interests as well. Many of the non-Israeli missiles in the Middle East threaten not just Israel, but other Islamic states in the region. And the inaccuracy of most of the deployed missiles means that they threaten primarily civilian population centers. Iranian, Iraqi and Saudi, as well as Israeli civilians, have all come under indiscriminate missile attack by "Muslim missiles."
Even if some countries in the region might not accept such an agreement, regional missile disarmament could still be effective. For example, if Libya refused to join the regime, this decision would immediately affect only Algeria and Egypt in the region, since Libya currently has only300-km range Scud missiles. Political and military assurances could be pledged in support of Algeria and Egypt (or any country against whom missiles are used or threatened), including perhaps the provision of Patriot or other ATBMs. --Lora Lumpe
Launched in 1987 by seven nations, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has now grown to 18members: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Other countries have pledged to abide by MTCR export guidelines, but for various reasons (concerns about their export controls, sensitivity of sharing intelligence, etc.) are not invited to become formal members.
MTCR members and adherents pledge to abide by common export guidelines in two categories of missile relevant technologies and missiles themselves.
MTCR "Category I" covers "Complete rocket systems (including ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles, sounding rockets) and unmanned air vehicle systems(including cruise missile systems, target drones and reconnaissance drones) capable of delivering at least a 500kg payload to a range of at least 300 km," as well as complete subsystems usable in those weapons and production facilities Or them. Adherents to the MTCR are to attach a "strong presumption to deny" such exports.
"Category II" items, export of which are to be considered on the basis of proliferation concerns, include propulsion components, propellants, structural materials, flight instruments and flight control systems, among others.
MTCR Is Limited and Problematic
While the MTCR has gained a great deal of legitimacy and has gone a long way toward creating a norm against ballistic missile proliferation, it has several limitations and problems.
First, because the agreement is not a treaty, but rather a set of guidelines which are implemented by each member/adherent through that country's national policies, the regime is beset by differing interpretations of its restrictions and by varying levels of compliance.
Secondly, the MTCR parameters of 500 kg/300 km or more are probably not inclusive enough, given the short distances separating borders and cities in the Middle East (and South and East Asia). A better standard might include any projectile following a ballistic trajectory for the majority of its flight with a range of100 km or greater with a 500 kg payload.
Lowering the threshold was discussed, but not agreed to, at the recent plenary meeting of the MTCR in Washington in November 1991. The members, however, "agreed on the desirability of extending the scope of the regime to missiles capable of delivering all types of weapons of mass destruction"--effectively any missile, rocket or artillery shell.
Third, the MTCR does nothing about already existing ballistic missile arsenals in Third World countries of concern. While the MTCR may be successful in forestalling development of missiles that can strike the United States directly, missiles already deployed can strike U.S. allies and overseas bases. Indeed, this is now one of the major arguments for deployment of strategic missile defenses. However, a global disarmament regime would eliminate this threat, as well as prevent the development and deployment of more capable missiles.
Regime Is Suppliers' Cartel
Probably the greatest weakness of the MTCR is that it is only a suppliers' cartel and does nothing to alleviate the causes of demand for missiles--regional political tension and local arms races. And, as with all export control regimes, the developing world views this effort with some suspicion and hostility--suspicion, because they see an attempt by the developed countries to hinder their entry into peaceful space activities; hostility, because they see it as another discriminatory effort whereby the North is allowed a certain category of weaponry and the South is not.
CIA Director Gates also recognizes the limits of the MTCR. In his January testimony, he said "There is good news on the [missile] proliferation front, much of it the result of U.S. leadership .... Israel has publicly announced that it will abide by the MTCR guidelines and, according to Israeli press, will not cooperate any longer with South Africa on BM development. Brazil has announced its space launch program has been placed under civilian control, and the Argentine government said that it is investigating the suspended Condor II program . . . but there are limits to what we can expect multilateral control regimes to accomplish."
A global ballistic missile disarmament regime that engages the developing world in the process, with demonstrable security benefits to them, is a much better solution to missile proliferation.
UPDATES ON FAS RESEARCH & POLICY PROJECTS
Cooperative Research Project on Arms Reductions
Since its beginning in 1987, one objective of the FASCIS (nee Soviet) Cooperative Research Project on arms reductions has been to expand nuclear arms control to cover nuclear warheads and fissile materials as well as launchers and delivery vehicles. The project has analyzed techniques for detecting warheads, "fingerprinting" them through their gamma spectra, and verifying their dismantlement, without revealing classified design information.
Over the years, this effort has increasingly been carried out in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The FAS working group has taken the lead in the analysis and the NRDC in arranging demonstrations and in working with the Congress.
As a result of our joint efforts, Congress did get interested in the subject and in the fall of 1990 instructed the President to prepare a report on the verification arrangements for both a fissile-material production cutoff and warhead dismantlement. The report was submitted in classified form but, based on the unclassified summary, followed the FAS analysis quite closely.
The opportunity to actually implement these ideas on a large scale has come with the Bush and Gorbachev unilateral initiatives this past fall to eliminate a large fraction of U.S. and Soviet tactical nuclear weapons and the acceleration of the START reductions process announced by Bush and Yeltsin in January.
In good part as a result of our educational work in Moscow, Gorbachev and Yeltsin have both been very interested in moving forward to a verified fissile material production cutoff and warhead dismantlement. However, the Bush Administration, despite its warnings that the USSR could become "a Yugoslavia with nukes," has balked. The Administration wants to keep open the option of building up the U.S. nuclear arsenal again, even if that means not locking in the Soviet reductions.
As a result of the reluctance of the Bush Administration to discuss verified warhead elimination with the Russians, the FAS-NRDC-Soviet joint workshops in Washington in October, Kiev in December and Washington in February became the principal forums for U.S.-Russian-Ukrainian discussions of the subject. They were attended by very high level officials from the Russian Foreign, Nuclear and Defense Ministries as well as by key staff from Congress, a number of Executive Branch agencies and the media.
To a considerable extent, these workshops have shaped the U.S.-Russian dialogue in this area. For example, the Congressional authorization of $400 million in Defense Department funds to assist in Russian dismantlement of nuclear and chemical weapons was stimulated by a request at our October workshop by Victor Mikhailov, now Russian Minister of Nuclear Energy, for $400 million to build a storage facility for plutonium components to be recovered from about 15 thousand dismantled Soviet tactical nuclear warheads.
The focus of our next workshop, to be held in Moscow and Minsk in early July, will be on the safeguarded storage and ultimate disposition of this plutonium. The disposition issue has become very hot. The governmental nuclear establishments of Britain, France, Germany and Japan, whose plutonium-recycling programs are meeting increasing resistance from their own utilities because of poor economics and safeguards headaches, are urging Russia to join them in their misery and use weapons plutonium as nuclear-reactor fuel. The purpose of the workshop will be to explore potentially more economic and less diversion prone alternatives.--Frank von Hippel, Project Director
Project on Peace & International Security
CAMBODIA: The Project on Peace & International Security had a remarkable success in late March. It arranged the invitation to the U.S. of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and hosted his historic week-long visit to Washington (and New York).
Arriving as a well smeared "former Khmer Rouge" and "Vietnamese puppet," Hun Sen left lauded everywhere, with The New York Times asserting: "In the Administration and Congress, there is an increasing sense that the young Prime Minister has evolved into a statesman."
There were four supportive articles and an editorial in The Washington Post and other helpful articles in The Wall Street Journal, Asian Journal Weekly, and Washington Times, among others.
The Prime Minister was received in the White House, Department of State, by Senate and House leaders in foreign affairs and by the Secretary General of the United Nations. He was hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, The Asia Society, Center for National Policy and National Press Club.
Among the noteworthy events of the whirlwind visit was Hun Sen's leaving a plaque at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington Cemetery inscribed:
"To the Hundred MIA in Cambodia
From the Millions of Cambodian Families
Who Also Lost a Relative
In Some Cambodian Place
They Know Not Where"
Within four days after the Prime Minister had left, the House and Senate passed the foreign aid bill that included$200 million for the initial six months of the U.N. Peace Keeping Effort in Cambodia.
After returning to Phnom Penh, the Prime Minister wrote FAS that our "excellent arrangements and all-out assistance" had made his visit a "very memorable one."
A former Senator congratulated FAS on a "magnificent job," writing that "Your promotion and management of Hun Sen in Washington is one of the most successful, professional and inspiring performances in my memory."
NORTH KOREA: The Project visited there last October, with a view to arranging an informal high-level channel through which negotiations could take place on the North Korean nuclear bomb program.
Efforts to set up such a back channel faced difficulties from all three main countries involved--the U.S., North Korea and South Korea. In the end, the North's unwillingness to move forward put this off indefinitely. The visit did stimulate, however, a series of hearings in the Senate on nuclear proliferation in the region, and FAS participated, with testimony by Jeremy Stone to the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, November 25.
PERU: Like Cambodia, Peru is suffering from an indigenous Maoist off-shoot of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. FAS visited Peru in 1986 but found, at that time, no "angle" for playing a useful role.
Recently, however, the Fujimori auto coup has made Peru highly visible. It is possible that the world-wide attention now riveted on the country and its problems can be transmuted into further international assistance. With this in mind, and some concrete ideas, FAS has hired Michael Smith, an American expert on Peru and the Sendero Luminoso. Smith and Stone will visit Peru in May to canvass the Peruvian community for ideas for international assistance, which, subsequently, FAS might seek to advance.--Jeremy J. Stone, Project Director
Arms Trade Project
The Arms Trade Project continues to publish bi-monthly the Arms Sales Monitor, reporting on Congressional hearings, legislation and publications related to U.S. arms trade policy. A primary goal is to get Congress to assert its legislative and constitutional authority to regulate trade in conventional, as well as unconventional, weapons and weapons systems. Over the past decade the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, Arms Export Control Act of 1976 and Export Administration Act of 1979--three good pieces of legislation to govern U.S. arms sales--have been increasingly ignored and subverted.
The Project has also begun a long-term study of Bush Administration efforts to promote arms sales, tracking the Pentagon, State and Commerce policies that are being modified to assist industry in marketing weapons abroad. For example, credits and loan guarantees are being provided to finance arms sales and embassies are being ordered to increase their assistance to arms marketers.
FAS is now monitoring the arms industry's lobbying strategies and campaigns, which have become markedly bolder in the past six months. For instance, McDonnell Douglas Corporation, in pressing for the near-term sale of72 F-15 fighter/bombers to Saudi Arabia has littered Capitol Hill, union halls and newsrooms with glossy promotional sales brochures. The company has even made a 30minute video touting the benefits of the sale. In an effort to provide rebuttal to members of Congress who might oppose the sale, FAS has annotated the brochure to correct some of distorted claims made by McDonnell-Douglas.
The Project participates in a coalition of concerned Washington-based organizations called the "Arms Trade Working Group." Through this affiliation we have participated in a briefing for Hill staffers, set up meetings with key committee staff and assisted in producing and distribusing information to them.-Lora Lumpe, Project Director
Space Policy Project
Over the past six months the Space Policy Project has been active on a number of fronts to understand the nature of the emerging post-Cold War world, and to develop policy initiatives to respond to this changing environment.
ATTACK AIRCRAFT PROLIFERATION: We are completing a book that analyzes the proliferation of combat aircraft from the perspectives that have been applied to proliferation of other sophisticated weapons, such as ballistic missiles. This path-breaking work, assisted by Project Consultant Christopher Bolkcom, considers a range of policy options for responding to this newly emerging issue area.
TURNING POINTS: The Project is working with a number of American and Russian colleagues to develop a project to examine the major turning points in the history of Soviet rocket and space programs. This work is expected to shed new light on major aspects of the Cold War, and to develop a basis for reducing the risk of its reoccurrence. The work will also seek to identify promising opportunities for cooperative conversion projects.
MILITARY SPACE DEVELOPMENTS-1991: John Pike, along with Research Analyst Eric Stambler and Sarah Lang, a volunteer research assistant, prepared for the SIPRI Yearbook a chapter that evaluated the use of military space systems in Desert Storm, the new orientation of SDI during the past year, as well as the future of the space program of the former Soviet Union.
THE SOVIET DISUNION: We are completing an analysis of the transformation of the Soviet Union into the Commonwealth of Independent States, with a detailed survey of the politics and prospects of each Republic and Region.
CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES IN OUTER SPACE: Pike is serving as the Technical Consultant to a U.N. Group of Governmental Experts evaluating the prospects of extending confidence-building measures, such as those developed in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to activities in outer space. The final report of this group will be completed in 1993.
STAR WARS DEVELOPMENTS: We have been working on a number of fronts to respond to the latest permutation of the Strategic Defense Initiative. We have actively supported Aldric Saucier, a senior technologist with the Army Strategic Defense Command, who has been fired because of his whistle-blowing revelations of mismanagement. We have also prepared analyses on several SDI issues, including the question of emerging Russian attitudes toward the SDI program.--John Pike, Project Director
Working Group on Biological and Toxin Weapons
The Working Group's draft of a "Legally Binding Compliance Regime for the Biological Weapons Convention: Refinement of Proposed Measures Through Trial Facility Visits" has been mailed to experts of the Third BWC Review Conference to demonstrate that a workable, legally-binding compliance regime for the BWC is both possible and essential.
In preparing for the report, third in a series, the Working Group carried out trial visits for the validation of declarations at two private sites--a vaccine production facility and a virus research center--and has also toured the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and its associated facilities.
The proposals include a set of requirements and prohibitions, including certain annual declarations. Facilities required to file declarations are divided into two groups: those that file a standard declaration form and others of lesser concern that file a minimal form. The Working Group has found that, in the United States, nearly all the required information is already compiled regularly for other purposes.
For the purposes of assessing compliance, it is proposed that an organization carry out routine visits to validate the declarations. Sites would be selected both randomly andby nomination by each State Party. This procedure would achieve maximum results, in terms of confidence and deterrence, at minimum cost and inconvenience. The organization would also carry out inspections of any site on request. Together, inspection on request and routine on-site validation of declarations, carried out by an impartial multinational organization, would provide means for all Parties to satisfy their compliance concerns and is central to verification. A number of safeguards are proposed to protect confidential information.
In exchange for the inconvenience of routine on-site visits and possible inspections on request, States Parties, and commercial establishments as well, would reap benefits under the proposed regime, including the abatement of trade restrictions on dual-use items, cooperation in global health programs of importance for both the North and South, and a real gain in regional and global security and stability. In order to provide every State with adequate incentive to participate, all of these elements should be included in the regime.
In April, Stephen Morse of Rockefeller University, and a member of the FAS Group, briefed experts in Geneva on the proposal.--Barbara Rosenberg, Project Director
Chemical Weapons Convention Project
In related activity, FAS has been working to ensure the inclusion of adequate short-notice challenge inspection provisions in the soon to be completed Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
In 1984 the United States proposed a policy of "Anytime-Anywhere"--an intrusive challenge inspection of almost any site on short notice. This verification regime remained the U.S. position until the summer of 1991.
Ironically, just as the United Nations was demonstrating the need for intrusive inspections in Iraq, the Bush Administration not only stepped back from their previous "Anytime-Anywhere" position, but proposed that access to sites could be restricted and granted only with more advance notification. Recent events in the negotiations--a Frenchled compromise and a new Australian draft treaty in March somewhat improve upon the 1991 U.S. position by shortening the time frames for inspection and guaranteeing some form of access to suspect sites.
In February, FAS circulated a petition--a statement attesting to the importance of adequate verification for the treaty--that was endorsed by just under 100 prominent scientists, including 20 Nobel Laureates, and policy analysts. It was presented to the Senate on April 27 at a Congressional briefing, jointly sponsored by FAS and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and chaired by Barbara Hatch Rosenberg. The briefing by Rosenberg; Denis Fisher, Political Counseler of the Australian Embassy; Mike Walls of the Chemical Manufacturers Association and Elisa Harris of the Brookings Institution brought Senate staff up to date on the status of the treaty and issues that remain unresolved.--Ann Walsh, Project Assistant
Project on Secrecy & Government
The FAS Project on Secrecy & Government is working on a number of fronts to challenge excessive government secrecy (See March/April PIR).
Steven Aftergood testified in March before a hearing of the House Government Operations on Government Secrecy After the Cold War, where he described the manifold ways in which the government classification system has been abused, and outlined several options for rectifying the situation.
"Mystery Aircraft," a report on classified aircraft programs, surveying the history of secrecy in military aerospace and the numerous indications of current "black" aircraft program, has been released. The report argues that excessive secrecy in this area has not only promoted fraud and abuse, but it has also compromised the operational success of several large secret aircraft programs.
The Secrecy Project is also investigating the administration of the 1951 Invention Secrecy Act. At a time when economic security is far more at risk than is military security, the practice of classifying patent applications, or sealing them altogether, is ripe for reconsideration. Hundreds of patents are withheld each year on asserted national security grounds.
The Project publishes a surprisingly influential Secrecy & Government Bulletin, which is distributed monthly to government officials, journalists, and others concerned with excessive government secrecy. Aftergood and the Bulletin have been cited recently on secrecy issues in The New York Times, Science, Nature, Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Mother Jones, Washington Times, Military & Aerospace Electronics, Military Space, the National Journal, Space News, the Economist, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Inside the Pentagon, and other national publications. In many cases, these citations involve news stories that were originated by FAS.--Steven Aftergood, Project Director