Defense Awareness": "Russia's Nuclear Disarmament Must Be Stopped

in Russian No. 18, May 95 p 4

[FBIS Translated Text] I beg to inform you that a workshop under the aegis of NATO on the subject "Strategic Stability in the Period Since the Cold War and the Future of Nuclear Disarmament" was held from 7 through 10 April 1995 at facilities of the Airlie recreational center in the state of Virginia in the environs of the city of Warrenton (the official workshop material in English is attached). Representatives of the following states took part in the workshop: the United States, Britain, France, Israel, India, China, and Russia, including representatives of neighbors (the list of participants in the workshop and their business cards in English are attached). Together with the official papers (which were, as a rule, of an exclusively theoretical nature), there was in the process of the workshop an intensive exchange of confidential information and opinions between the participants in the workshop. Two questions constituted the main topics of discussion.

The problem of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technology.

The problem of the ratification of the START II Treaty in the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and scenarios of the development of the strategic nuclear forces of the Russian Federation for the future.

On the first question the most active exchange of opinions and information on a confidential basis among the foreign participants in the workshop was with the following persons: Dr. Ilan Amit, former director of Israel's Military Analysis Center (photographs of himself and his wife for checking against the files are attached); Dr. Fritz Ermarth, who represented the U.S. CIA and who had previously held a senior position in an office coordinating the activity of the U.S. intelligence community (reference card available); General Krishnaswami Sundarji, former chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of India (reference card available). It is interesting that Mr. Sundarji was personally well-acquainted with Marshals D.T. Yazov and S.F. Akhromeyev. Before his appointment as chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of India, Mr. Sundarji served in command positions in the northwest areas of India. He was in this capacity, in particular, in charge of the army operation to liberate the Golden Temple complex of buildings in Amritsar from the Sikh gang headed by the well-known terrorist Bhindranwali which had seized it.

In the presence of approximately 20 persons Mr. Amit made the statement that today Israel has 228 nuclear weapons in the arsenal of its armed forces. The range of Israel's nuclear delivery systems is up to 2,500 km (that is, Moscow is within range of Israel's nuclear forces). Mr. Amit emphasized that Israel would not give up its nuclear potential under any circumstances and would not accede to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Developing this theme in a more confidential atmosphere, Mr. Amit said that Israel's nuclear potential had been created not only to deter a nonnuclear attack on the part of the Arab countries but also for blackmail of the USSR with the aim of forcing it to exert a restraining influence on the Arabs in the event of a conflict between them and Israel and military failures of the latter. To the argument heard from the Russian side, which was formulated as follows: "If Israel has nuclear weapons, why are Iraq or Iran not entitled to have nuclear weapons in their arsenals also," Mr. Amit responded with composure, voicing the opinion that these countries could have a need for nuclear weapons not so much for use against Israel as against one another and also for use against forces of the United States in the Persian Gulf region.

At the same time, on the other hand, this argument adduced on our side evoked a sharply negative and irritable reaction on the part of two other persons present during my discussion with Mr. Amit: Mr. Ermarth and Dr. Michel Rudnianski, the representative of France (reference data attached). Mr. Ermarth took the statement here as a hint at Russia's possible cooperation with Iran and Iraq in the nuclear sphere as a countermeasure against the anticipated eastward expansion of the NATO bloc. As far as M. Rudnianski is concerned, he displayed particular concern at the possibility of Algeria's creation of its own nuclear potential following the anticipated assumption of power in this country of Islamic forces hostile toward the West. According to M. Rudnianski, Algeria has everything necessary for the creation of such potential in a short space of time were the leadership to adopt the corresponding decision.

Mr. Sundarji made the public statement that a final decision has been made in India at the level of the country's political leadership on the creation of small nuclear forces for deterring the PRC and Pakistan. This decision is a product here, according to Mr. Sundarji, of the national accord of all political forces of India. Advancing the argument that "nuclear weapons can only be deterred by nuclear weapons," Mr. Sundarji accused Mr. Ermarth and Professor Song Zhongyue, representative of the PRC (data for checking against the files are attached), of practicing "double standards."

Summing up, Mr. Sundarji declared that no arguments of the world community about the inexpediency of India's becoming a nuclear power would be accepted by the Indian leadership and no threats of sanctions against India would influence its resolve to create its own nuclear forces. At the same time, on the other hand, Mr. Sundarji acknowledged that equipping India's armed forces with nuclear weapons would deprive the world community of any arguments against the conversion of Pakistan into a nuclear power--the eighth (after the Russian Federation, the United States, Britain, France, the PRC, Israel, and India).

The subject of the development of India's nuclear forces was continued during a three-hour-plus conversation head to head with Mr. Sundarji. Mr. Sundarji said that, in his opinion, it was not in Russia's interests to follow the lead of the United States and China on the question of India's nuclear program. In his opinion, India is today one of the few countries of the world whose national interests are not contrary to Russia's national interests. In response to the idea expressed by way of discussion concerning the possibility of the cooperation of Russia and India in the nuclear sphere in accordance with the model of relations of the United States and Britain (where the United States supplies Britain with delivery systems--the Polaris and Trident SLBM's--on which Britain installs its own nuclear warheads) Mr. Sundarji expressed the opinion that despite the fact that India is in a position to create its own nuclear forces independently, it would undoubtedly be extremely advantageous for his country to cooperate with Russia on this matter. The economic benefit for Russia in the event of such cooperation is obvious also. A cooperation scenario whereby Russia would supply India at the first stage with 9-18 and, subsequently, with a further 27-36 Topol-class missile systems (which would be fitted with nuclear warheads of Indian manufacture) and would help create the corresponding infrastructure for the operational command and control, servicing, and operation of these missile systems was further discussed in the conversation. Mr. Sundarji expressed the opinion that at this stage it would be expedient to continue the negotiations on this matter unofficially.

On the second question at the workshop the most assertiveness among the foreign participants was displayed by Mr. Ermarth, Mr. Song, Major General Robert Linhard from the USAF command, and Lieutenant General Glenn Kent from the Rand Corporation (United States) (reference data on both the latter and service-record data available).

Speaking on the subject of the prospects of ratification of the START II Treaty in the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, it was stated on the Russian side that the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation would in all probability refuse to ratify this treaty. Two groups of arguments against ratification of the treaty were distinguished during discussion of the reasons for this anticipated decision of the Federal Assembly: military-strategic and political. Highlighted during commentary on the first group of arguments were the problem of inequality of the so-called "rapid retro-fitting potentials" of the strategic forces of the United States and the Russian Federation (anticipated ratio: 2,500 warheads for the "retro-fitting" of the Trident SLBM's and the Minuteman III ICBM's to 525 warheads for the "retro-fitting" of the UR-100N UTTKh ICBM's) and the United States' attempts to revise the procedures of the 1972 ABM Treaty on the pretext of the need for the creation of a so-called "tactical ABM system." It was emphasized that in practice the proposals of the U.S. delegation at the Geneva negotiations, if adopted, would legalize the right of the United States to create a strategic system of ABM defenses for its territory. The Republican majority in the U.S. Congress is increasing the pressure on the Clinton administration here to persuade it to agree to such a step even without harmonization with Russia and in spite of the current international limitations, specifically, the 1972 ABM Treaty.

In the comments on the second group of arguments the audience's attention was called to the words of V.F. Shumeyko, chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, at the meeting with Mr. Perry, U.S. defense secretary, to the effect that in the event of an expansion of the NATO bloc eastward, the START II Treaty would not be ratified in the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. It was explained to the audience here that at the time the START II Treaty was signed, in January 1993, there were illusions in Russia concerning the possibility of friendship and partnership between it and the United States, by virtue of which the skewing in the START II Treaty in favor of the United States seemed not that important. Today, however, under the conditions of the advancing "cold peace" brought on by the planned eastward expansion of the NATO bloc, the attitude toward the deficiencies of the START II Treaty has changed most radically, by virtue of which the treaty appears to be absolutely unacceptable to many Russian members of parliament. The assumption that in the next Federal Assembly, which will begin work after the 1995 elections, the attitude toward the START II Treaty will obviously be even more negative than with the present members of parliament was expressed also.

The response to Mr. Linhard's question concerning the prospects of the development of the Russian Federation's strategic nuclear forces in the context of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation's likely refusal to ratify the START II Treaty expressed the assumption that the strategic nuclear forces would be developed within the framework of the quantitative ceilings of the START I Treaty. It was emphasized that this was a technically and economically feasible scenario even considering Russia's loss of the production capacity of the former Ministry of General Machine-Building of the USSR on the territory of Ukraine. As stated on our side, there would obviously be an extension at the first stage here of the warranted service life of some of the UR-100N, R-36M UTTKh, R-36 M2, and RT-23 UTTKh MIRV'd ICBM's in service today (coordinated verbally with the Russian Federation Armed Forces General Staff Center for Operational-Strategic Studies). The example of the Mir orbital system, the duration of whose operation in orbit is already, as we all know, three times in excess of its warranted service life, was cited to convince people that such a measure is feasible in practice. It was also said that at the second stage (by the start of the year 2009) new-generation SLBM's, which will be fitted with six warheads of the medium-yield class each and which are being developed at this time within the framework of R&D for the creation of the sea-based D-31 system, should obviously be deployed (in a quantity of 440) in the silo launchers of the above-mentioned MIRV'd ICBM's, as also in certain UR-100K ICBM silo launchers. After the year 2008 (when the START I Treaty terminates), the deployment of a further 96 similar missiles in the BZhRK version is expected.

In the comments on the statement of Mr. Kent that Russia and the United States should cooperate in the sphere of the creation of a "tactical ABM system" in view of the fact that they allegedly have common enemies, it was stated for our part that, first, Russia does not consider such countries as Iran, Iraq, and the DPRK enemies of Russia. Second, under the conditions of the advancing "cold peace" connected with the impending enlargement of the NATO bloc, cooperation between Russia and the United States would hardly be possible at all. And, finally, owing to the "double standards" policy pursued by the United States in relation to the nuclear program of Israel, which is directed, inter alia, against Russia also, any arguments of the United States on the matter of the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons are received in Russia with distrust. Mr. Kent and Mr. Ermarth were forced to agree with the latter argument, declaring, however, that in view of the power of the Israel lobby in the United States, no serious steps on the part of the United States aimed at compelling Israel to abandon its nuclear potential should be expected.

Mr. Song expressed serious concern at the United States' plans to create a "tactical ABM system," which is in itself noteworthy, considering the specifics of the relations of official structures and private persons in the PRC. In his interpretation the nuclear forces of the PRC, which are considerably inferior to the strategic forces of Russia and the United States as it is, could be devalued completely by the deployment even of a very limited U.S. ABM system. In view of this, if a U.S. ABM system is deployed, a sharp quantitative increase in the nuclear forces of the PRC, primarily MIRV'd ICBM groupings, should be expected. Mr. Sundarji assumed that in such a case India would follow the PRC on this issue.