Russian-American consultations took place on January 19-21 in Geneva on the Start-3 Treaty and the ABM Treaty in accordance with the Russian and U.S. presidents' Joint Statement, adopted in Cologne in June of 1999. This document was presented to the Russians by the senior American negotiator, John D. Holum.


President Clinton is counting on making the decision to deploy the national missile defense (NMD) system no earlier than mid-2000.

The US NMD system would not be directed against Russia and would not weaken Russia's strategic deterrence potential.

We recognize that this system contravenes the current provisions of the ABM Treaty.

We are ready to work with Russia to achieve confidence in the capabilities of a limited NMD system to counter extremist rogue states and to develop revisions to the ABM treaty.

You have our draft Protocol to the Treaty, which would permit the creation of a limited NMD system.

We have decided to present the Treaty amendments we propose in the form of a new "Protocol" prepared on the model of the 1974 Protocol. The Protocol would contain only those corrections to the Treaty that are necessary to permit the initial Phase I of the deployment of the limited NMD system. The rest of the Treaty would remain unchanged.

Allow me to present the provisions of our draft Protocol.

Article II also specifies that existing long-range radar may be enabled for use as ABM radar to support this limited NMD system and that each Party may deploy one additional ABM radar each at any site within its national territory.

Article III specifies that if a limited NMD system is deployed in accordance with the provisions of the Protocol, existing, operational ABM launchers deployed in accordance with Article III of the Treaty must be dismantled or destroyed; no dismantling or destruction of existing ABM radars is required. According to this provision, existing launchers deployed at Grand Forks which are not operational do not have to be dismantled.

Article IV contains a reference to the Annex, which is aimed at building confidence and assuring compliance with the Protocol and which is an integral part of the Protocol.

Later we will provide you with more detailed information about the Annex we have proposed.

Article V specifies that all rights and duties of the Parties stated in the Treaty shall remain in force with respect to the amendments introduced by the Protocol.

Article VI contains a requirement according to which, at the demand of one Party, the Parties shall begin further negotiations no sooner than March 1, 2001 to bring the Treaty into agreement with future changes in the strategic situation.

Article VII specifies that the Protocol shall enter into force after the exchange of ratification instruments, which shall take place after approval of the Protocol by the procedure called for by the constitution of each Party.

Finally, we would once again like to emphasize that the Protocol will contain only those amendments to the Treaty that are necessary to reflect the structure of the limited national missile defense.


As I already explained during our previous consultations, the US is ready to discuss several measures to build confidence and increase transparency, as well as to advance proposals aimed at strengthening verification under the Treaty with measures to be taken on the basis of mutuality and to promote additional confidence that none of the limitations specified in the amended ABM treaty is being violated.

Article IV of the proposed Protocol pertains to the Annex containing provisions on verification, the goal of which is to "build confidence and assurance compliance with the provisions of the Treaty."

In our approach we have been guided insofar as possible by the goal of adapting certain fundamental aspects of inspection procedures specified in the START and other arms control agreements, keeping in mind the specific lessons we have learned from joint fulfillment of these treaties.

In developing specific monitoring measures, the USA has tried to achieve a balance between the necessary operational burden created by these measures and the real, tangible verification results that they should produce.

As we know, the ABM treaty now limits the number of deployed ABM launchers and ABM interceptor missiles for each side to 100, and our planned initial national missile defense system does not exceed these quantities.

It is relatively easy to observe permanent ground-based ABM launcher silos using national technical means of verification.

We, however, believe that steps to be taken on the basis of mutuality aimed at strengthening the observation of the number and location of each party's non-deployed ABM interceptor missiles could build the mutual confidence of the parties that the deployment of a limited NMD system will not reduce the other party's strategic deterrence potential.

Our approach is based on the following four fundamental elements:

1. information exchange with annual updating sufficient to give a comprehensive picture of key elements in the system (among other things, the number and location of ABM interceptor missiles, both deployed and non-deployed);

2. notification of key events, in preparation and past, pertaining to the ABM system to assist in observation of compliance with the provisions of the Protocol;

3.inspections to verify raw data and short-notice inspections to ensure safeguards of the accuracy attained within the bounds of the exchange of information and notifications to be provided by each Party;

4. a mechanism for resolving matters of concern related to compliance, such as visits with special access rights within the bounds of the START. Using this mechanism, for example, one Party can request a visit to facilities inaccessible under other circumstances to verify the presence or absence of ABM interceptor missiles.

These measures are aimed at increasing the transparency and predictability of our respective actions related to the ABM Treaty, as well as confidence that any system intended to provide limited national defense will not jeopardize the strategic deterrence of the other Party.

By mutual agreement, the information exchanges, notifications and inspections specified in the Annex will not be required until the United States' first installation of an ABM interceptor at an ABM launcher within the ABM system deployment region.

As a result, the Russian Federation will not unilaterally bear the burden of providing the proposed notifications and verification measures.

Naturally, either Party may on a voluntary basis provide any information or notifications according to the provisions of Sections I and II of the Annex before the provision of such information or notification becomes mandatory.

The United States, for example, is prepared to consider the matter of providing certain information and notifications on a voluntary basis, if necessary, even before its first installation of an ABM interceptor in an ABM launcher within the ABM system deployment region.

Allow me to present the US proposal in each of these four areas in more detail as they are discussed in the proposed Annex on Verification.

Information Exchange

The key provision on reporting in the Protocol we propose remains, of course, a quantitative maximum number of ABM launchers (just as in Articles III and IV of the 1972 ABM Treaty).

The US approach requires declaring the total number of ABM interceptor missiles transported from their respective final assembly facilities.

With respect to ABM deployment regions and other facilities subject to inspection, launch position diagrams are to be provided.

Demonstrations and information exchanges will be carried out with respect to all "types" of ABM interceptor missiles and ABM launchers.


The US approach to developing the control regime for the revised ABM Treaty calls for several notifications of measures in progress and completed.

Notifications will, for example, be provided on flight tests within the bounds of national missile defense, on the first installation of an ABM interceptor missile on an ABM launcher in the ABM system deployment region, on movement between facilities, dismantling or elimination, and construction of new ABM-related facilities.


The US approach includes certain types of onsite inspections, both to verify raw data and a quota for short-notice inspections to be performed to confirm the accuracy of the information provided on ABM interceptor and ABM launcher numbers and locations within the ABM system deployment region.

The US approach assumes that after the first US ABM interceptor missile is installed on an ABM launcher in the ABM system deployment region, there will be demonstrations of each type of ABM launcher and ABM interceptor missile.

Other steps to increase transparency will include voluntary demonstrations, observation, and visits using approved procedures.

If there arises a sufficiently serious, ambiguous situation or matter related to compliance with the Protocol, either side may decide within the bounds of the Annex to request that the mechanism that we took from the control regime under the START-I Treaty be used, i.e., visits with special access rights. Using this mechanism, one side can, for example, request a visit of the other side's facilities where in other cases it would be impossible to perform short-notice inspections, to verify whether non-deployed ABM interceptor missiles have been unlawfully deployed at those facilities.

We hope that you will carefully review these proposals and express your thoughts on this matter.

Russia's concerns: The US national missile defense system will threaten Russia's strategic deterrence potential and thereby disrupt strategic stability.

Response: The US national missile defense system, which will be limited and intended to defend against several dozen long-range missiles launched by rogue states, will be incapable of threatening Russia's strategic deterrence at the level of START-II or START-III (or later).

For more than 30 years the classic argument in favor of strategic stability and against the deployment of a large-scale strategic missile defense system has been based on concerns that one side might have the ability to make a surprise disarming first strike against the enemy and then deploy a broad strategic missile defense system to knock out the enemy's combat resources which had survived the first strike and were being launched against the assailant. We have clearly stated that the US missile defense system to be developed by the US Government is a very limited strategic missile defense system intended to protect against a threat from some rogue state, which may, at most, use a few dozen warheads accompanied by advanced defense penetration aids. We also proposed steps to ensure Russia's confidence that the US system is in fact limited and deployed within the bounds of the agreed-upon terms of the amended ABM treaty. This classic argument is, therefore, simply inapplicable to defense, where capabilities are just as limited as they would have been in connection with proposals on the US NMD system. Nor could the system be upgraded to alter this reality, except over the long term, which would create conditions for considerable advance warning.

First Strike Scenarios

Both the United States of America and the Russian Federation now possess and, as before, will possess under the terms of any possible future arms reduction agreements, large, diversified, viable arsenals of strategic offensive weapons consisting of various types of ICBM's, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers. Specifically, Russia's proposal for START-III would make it possible to have 1,500 2,000 warheads and even according to highly conservative hypotheses, Russia and the United States could deploy more than 1,000 ICBM's and submarine-launched ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads over the next decade and thereafter.

These strategic offensive forces give each side the certain ability to carry out an annihilating counterattack on the other side regardless of the conditions under which the war began.

Forces of this size can easily penetrate a limited NMD system of the type that the United States is now developing.

Russia now keeps its strategic arsenal on constant alert and apparently will do so even at START-III levels. Russian forces under START-III could make an annihilating counterattack even under conditions of a surprise disarming first strike by the USA in combination with a limited US NMD system.

As a result of this Russian response initiated from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines at sea, land-based mobile missiles, silo-based ICBM and bombers that would survive the first strike, a minimum of a few hundred warheads could be delivered. Moreover, Russian forces have sophisticated decoy systems and other defense penetration aids, and this means that it would not have to count on simply exhausting defensive resources to overcome them. Furthermore, the surviving Russian forces would be so large and sophisticated that they could carry out an assault to enhance the offensive, which no rogue state would be capable of.

Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that any enemy would ever contemplate a first strike, since it would have to assume that Russian ICBM's and submarine-launched ballistic missiles/nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines in port would be launched after tactical warning, which would neutralize the effectiveness of the assault. In this case Russia's response to an assault would obviously be to send about a thousand warheads, together with two to three times more decoys, accompanied by other advanced defense penetration aids.

If an attempt at a disarming strike were made after a period of increased international tension or conflict using conventional weapons, Russia's counterattack would be considerable after the US repulsed the first strike as a result of explicit steps that the Russian armed forces would have taken to increase combat readiness by dispatching an additional number of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines out to sea, by field deployment of a large number of mobile missiles and by putting bombers on takeoff alert.

The planned American strategic nuclear forces deployed under the START-III ceilings would also be able to be on constant alert or on crisis alert to deliver many hundreds of warheads in response to any assailant.

Both the United States and the Russian Federation therefore have solid capabilities to respond to a strike from any assailant with a large number of retaliatory weapons.

Furthermore, the tremendous risks associated with initiating a nuclear war under any circumstances make these theoretical calculations largely irrelevant. Obviously, neither side could ever contemplate such an assault.

Limiting the Scale and Capabilities of the Proposed US National Missile Defense System

Single Line of Defense

The Moscow ABM system and the US ABM system that was briefly deployed at Grand Forks have (or had) exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric interceptor missiles. By contrast, the NMD system that the USA is developing will be a single-layer system: exo-atmospheric interception of incoming warheads midway toward their targets.

In the long term, even a US NMD system with two deployment regions, as we are planning, would not permit the establishment of multi-layer defense. Moreover, a two-region system would enable us to maintain an effective single layer with exo-atmospheric capability to intercept several dozen single-warhead missiles accompanied by sophisticated defense penetration aids launched from North Korea or the Near East/Persian Gulf regions.

Limited Number of Interceptor Missiles

The first phase of deployment will be limited to 100 interceptor missiles. Ultimately, when a second deployment position is added, there will be 200 or so interceptor missiles. This will be enough to knock out several dozen warheads accompanied by advanced defense penetration aids, but inadequate to counter a larger Russian counterstrike.

Deployment of a significant number of additional interceptor missiles and their silos would require major construction, which would take several years to complete, and this could easily be detected by national technical means of verification. In fact, our experience to date indicates that the speed with which the US could build interceptor missiles, not radars, is a key factor preventing rapid expansion. In any case, in view of the openness of budgetary processes in the US, this hypothetical increase in the number of interceptor missiles would be known several years before the expanded forces would first be deployed.

The USA has clearly stated its readiness to work with the Russians on transparency measures to increase confidence in both the nature and scope of the US NMD system, including production of interceptor missiles and in the fact that no rapid "breakout" will occur.

Limited Number of Radars

The Clinton administration is now considering a US limited NMD system to counter missile threats by rogue states. It is intended to intercept long-range missiles launched from North Korea or from the Near East/Persian Gulf region midway toward the United States.

Consequently, advanced early warning radars, as well as ABM tracking radars associated with the proposed system should detect approaching warheads and track them in flight in space above the upper levels of the Northern Hemisphere, as shown on the attached diagrams.

As a result, the architecture of our US NMD requires that the existing early warning system radars around Clear, Alaska; Thule, Greenland; Fylingdales, UK, Beale AFB in California; and Otis AFB in Massachusetts be upgraded to provide the necessary warning and tracking of missiles from rogue states.

These same radars could, of course, detect and track any long-range missiles headed toward the United States that might have been launched from any country in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the case that the system has to track the approach route for minimum-energy attack trajectories of ballistic missiles launched from North Korea and the Persian Gulf/Near East. This is not a sign of our intent to focus the US limited NMD system on possible attacks by Russia and China.

The existing five early warning radars, which we intend to upgrade, were developed and deployed for early warning purposes, and by design they are less capable than radars built specially to support missile defense system tasks.

In view of their technical characteristics (their operating frequency in particular), even after these radars are upgraded, they will not be able to provide sufficiently accurate information on tracking (distinguishing between warheads and defense penetration aids) to achieve effective defense against attack by more than a dozen warheads accompanied by the simplest defense penetration aids.

The initial level of defense we are striving for would have only one SHF ABM radar deployed in Alaska. Even a US national missile defense system with a large number of SHF radars, which we would like to deploy in the long term, would not be able to deal with an arsenal of the size and sophistication that Russia would likely deploy under START-III.

Penetrating the US NMD System

The number and level of sophistication of Russian warheads and defense penetration aids will ensure that the US NMD will not have significant capabilities against Russia's nuclear deterrence.

In accordance with START-3 levels proposed for the USA and Russia, Russian ICBM's and submarine-launched ballistic missiles clearly would carry more than 1,000 warheads accompanied by twice that many decoys and defense penetration aids. Authoritative written Russian sources claim that the Russian Government understands that the capabilities of its defense penetration aids are extremely high. These same written sources, supplemented by the statements of senior Russian military personnel and defense industry representatives, clearly present the idea that the Russian Government anticipates that its defense penetration aids could easily overcome the US NMD system. The limited NMD system that the USA is developing relies on hit-to-kill technology, in which the interceptor missile destroys the warhead on impact with it.

This approach clearly differs from the use of the interceptor missiles with nuclear warheads in the Russian system deployed around Moscow, which could destroy several warheads with one interceptor missile.

In the American hit-to-kill system at least one interceptor missile has to be launched against each warhead and "authentic object." By this we mean a decoy or its likeness, which are frequently accompanied by aids to overcome defense (active and passive jamming, etc.) which cannot be distinguished from warheads. To achieve high certainty that no warhead is overcoming the defense system, one has to launch a multitude of interceptor missiles against each warhead or authentic decoy combined with additional defense penetration aids.

In view of the operational realities of the defense of a large area, a limited strategic missile defense system consisting of 100 non-nuclear interceptor missiles will be able in the best case to destroy 20 25 warheads on impact with comparatively primitive defense penetration aids. Two hundred interceptor missiles could destroy 40 50 warheads. We do not think that reducing Russia's ability to counterattack by 20 50 warheads would substantially affect Russia's strategic deterrence, even at START-III levels.

In an encounter with a retaliatory attack from Russia, which would include sophisticated defense penetration aids, a limited North American missile defense system could destroy far fewer warheads.

Furthermore, the system as developed is not equipped to defend against submarine-launched ballistic missiles, which might be launched from a large number of deployment sites. Quite to the contrary, it was developed to defend against an ICBM attack from a comparatively narrow direction from specific rogue states.

The bottom line is clear: the strategic missile defense system for the limited US NMD system which we are calling for could protect only against a few dozen ICBM warheads accompanied by sophisticated defense penetration aids.