Chapter 6


American and Russian team chiefs sign the report completing the inspection of Russian forces in Gyandzha, Azerbaijan.


On July 17, 1992, the CFE Treaty entered into force, albeit provisionally. While Armenia, Belarus, and Kazakstan had not yet ratified the treaty, by early July their representatives assured other nations in Vienna that they would soon ratify. Consequently, when the European and North American leaders arrived at the Helsinki Summit on July 10, 1992, they were prepared to sign the CFE 1A Agreement and to approve the CFE Treaty's provisional entry into force. As promised, Armenia deposited its instrument of ratification at The Hague on October 12, 1992, and Belarus and Kazakstan followed on October 30, 1992. Two weeks later, the 29-nation Joint Consultative Group (JCG) assembled in Vienna and confirmed that the treaty had officially entered into force 10 days after the final instruments of ratification had been deposited. Consequently, the provisional entry into force status ended on November 9, 1992. Regardless, the formal date for the CFE Treaty's entry into force remained July 17, 1992.1    


NATO's VCC allotted the United States a total of 45 baseline inspections.

U.S. Inspection Quotas
Passive -- 8%
Active -- 18%

  The start of the treaty's baseline phase was not a shotgun blast of national inspection teams racing across Europe. Instead, NATO nations dispatched their teams according to a coordinated, well-planned schedule. This was necessary to prevent inspection teams of different NATO nations from trying to inspect the same site simultaneously or sending too many teams into one country at once. The treaty's Protocol on Inspection limited the number of teams a nation was required to host at any given time within its national territory or at any given declared site. In addition, the protocol dictated the number of inspections any nation was liable to receive during any period of the treaty's life, and it limited a nation to conducting no more than 50 percent of the declared site and challenge inspections any nation was liable for during a calendar year. On the other hand, there were no provisions stipulating how many inspections any one nation could conduct or how the inspections were to be divided among the participating states. There was no central monitor. Consequently, planning inspection schedules and monitoring activity during any phase of the treaty was an option that fell to the two groups of state parties.

The NATO Verification Coordination Committee (VCC), with membership from all 16 allied nations, determined the number of inspections that each NATO nation would conduct annually. A starting point for determining each nation's quota of inspections in the East (active quota) was the number of inspections it was liable to receive (passive quota). A nation's passive quota compared to the total NATO passive quota produced a percentage that could be applied to the Eastern group of states' total passive quota. This calculation produced a potential active quota.

The U.S. passive quota was 8 percent of the passive quota for the NATO states. The VCC, however, agreed to allow the United States an active quota of approximately 18 percent of the NATO states' total share. This was the result of heated debate among VCC delegates. The U.S. had requested a greater share of the Eastern inspection quota because its contributions to NATO were not measured only in terms of its OOVs. Moreover, the United States had experience in arms control treaty implementation as well as the financial and logistical capability to conduct numerous inspections. On the other hand, the United States was only one of 16 nations in the alliance. European nations wanted their share of inspections as participants in the security affairs of Europe. Some nations did not set up verification agencies, only small sections with a handful of treaty experts, because they had few objects of verification (OOVs); Iceland had none. These nations were not interested in developing inspection teams and spending money to conduct inspections. A solution to their needs was relinquishing inspections to the United States with the proviso that their inspectors join U.S. teams on those missions. After much haggling and bargaining, the VCC allotted the United States a total of 45 baseline inspections out of a total of 251 to be conducted by NATO allies.


The Verification and Implementation Coordination Section, which was the VCC's working staff, had the task of taking the inspections allocated by the VCC and guiding the NATO nations through a process in which each received a block of time (three days) and an Eastern nation to inspect. Selection of the specific OOV for inspection was left to the NATO state. The time blocks were critical because the NATO nations had to conduct 251 inspections in the Eastern states during baseline--only 120 days. This "deconfliction" schedule would enable the NATO allies to conduct all possible inspections during baseline. Every state could benefit from information gained and shared in those inspections.

Assigning states to be inspected was also important because of the greater demand among the NATO allies to inspect OOVs in Russia than those in any other Eastern state. The coordinated effort of all NATO states ensured each of at least some opportunity to inspect OOVs in nations that were important to them. This schedule also precluded NATO states from exceeding the inspection protocol limits of two simultaneous inspections in a country and one inspection team on a declared site.2 The first NATO states to conduct inspections were Canada and the United States. The Canadians notified the Russians that they would arrive for a declared site inspection on July 17, 1992. On the day the Canadians were arriving to conduct the first NATO inspection, the U.S. government notified Russian authorities that on July 18, 1992, an American inspection team would arrive at the Russian point of entry (POE), Moscow, for a declared site inspection. The difference in dates of notification reflected a different interpretation of implementation; the Canadians viewed the arrival for the inspection on the 17th as the first step of implementation, whereas the United States considered the notification of intent to inspect the first step of implementation.3


European Operations Command's Operations Center, a focal point for CFE inspection communications.


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