October 31, 1998
Severe shortage in financing of Russian national defense and a sequence of unexpected technical problems in implementation of the program of strategic nuclear forces development - first of all with the sea based leg and the command-and-control system - forced to look at pluses and minuses of the START II treaty from a different angle. (Will START II be Ratified? Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Are Reduced Themselves, - in Russian, by Alexei Arbatov, Moscowskiye Novosti, N 42, October 25 - November 1, 1998).
Tomorrow is the first anniversary of uniting strike, information and defense components of the Strategic Rocket, Military Space and Space Missile Defense Forces. Colonel General Vladimir Yakovlev, CinC of the SRF and Major General Vladimir Uvakin, Deputy Head of the Staff of the SRF tell about the results of the first year.
"...There are all grounds to believe, that nuclear weaponry for Russia is a sort of rescue ring-buoy, that provides an opportunity to hold on the surface until the economy starts working. However, perhaps, missiles screen the eyes of our leadership, and favour it to overestimate Russia's influence on the world affairs. As a result, the missiles impede the leaders to take a sober view on the status of the country..."(Why Russia Needs "Topols"? - in Russian, by Alexander Golz , Intellectual Capital, Issue 2, N 40, October 28 - November 3, 1998)
Once more on the unsuccessful test launch of "Topol-M" ICBM:
October 27, 1998
Russian Strategic Nuclear Weapons (in Russian), - a book, prepared by the Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT, is now printed. The book contains detailed information on the Soviet / Russian nuclear weapons complex, the history of its development, its organizational structure, its current statue and prospects for the future. The information presented in the book includes detailed technical data on all strategic nuclear weapons developed and deployed by the Soviet Union and Russia, as well as on a number of other programs related to nuclear weapons, such as strategic defense and nuclear testing. The book presentation will be held on November 3, 1998 at the National Press Institute in Moscow. For more information, please, contact Pavel Podvig at (095)-408-6381.
Crises in Kosovo created a bellicose mood in the Duma, which does not treat START II and a package of ABM treaty related documents as of primary importance for consideration. Prime-minister Primakov and his Deputy Maslyukov urge the Duma members to ratify the START II Treaty. (Failure of START II Ratification Will Hit at Russian Interests, Not at American Ones, by Oleg Odnokolenko, Segodnya, October 27, 1998)
October 26, 1998
A test of the new Topol-M single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile failed Thursday, with the rocket exploding after launch. According to the Izvestiya, this failure will undermine Yuri Maslyukov's (Deputy Prime Minister) positions:
The list of our Center's publications is broadened.
October 23, 1998
Krasnaya Zvezda has published an interview by Yuri Maslykov, the First Deputy Prime Minister (Yuri Maslyukov: We Won't Be Understood, if We Reject START II, October 20, 1998). In essence, he spoke again about the ideas expressed in his previous interview two weeks ago. The whole article is published by Oborona i Bezopasnost bulletin (October 23, 1998), the excerpts can be found in NSN news (October 20, 1998).
By the way, Maslyukov's statements on prospects of development of Russian strategic forces were recently discussed at the press-conference START-2 Ratification Process, held by the PIR Center on October 15, 1998. The summary report contains the views by I.A. Safranchuk, D.G. Yevstafyev, V.P. Belousov on problems of the treaty ratification.
Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev stated about possibility of integrating of all three legs of strategic nuclear forces in a unified command (Nuclear Fist Is Clenching, in Russian, by Sergei Sokut, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 21, 1998, p. 1).
The CIA told the Senate Intelligence Committee that nuclear warheads in Russia are "relatively secure." But in a committee report made public last month, the CIA stated that "declining morale and discipline in the military, as well as economic conditions, raise our concerns about the potential for warhead theft." (Yeltsin orders probe of security for nukes, by Bill Gertz, The Washington Times, October 21, 1998).
"...As the change in weaponry occurs, it will be increasingly appropriate for the U.S. military to consider moving toward a new type of strategic triad. Such a triad would not be based on the traditional three types of delivery systems for nuclear weapons-bombers, land-based ballistic missiles, and ballistic missile submarines. Rather, the new triad would comprise long-range conventional precision-strike, electronic-strike, and residual nuclear-strike forces..." (Smarter bombs, fewer nukes, by Andrew F. Krepinevich and Steven M. Kosiak, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Vol. 54, No. 6, November/December 1998). Authors of the article assume, that unilateral U.S. cuts in nuclear weapons could encourage Russia to effect similar reductions in its nuclear forces.
Two Chinese researchers, Dr. Liu Huaqiu and Prof. Dingli Shen offer their perspectives on China's view of the non-first use policy and its relationship to efforts to strengthen the nonproliferation regime and to reduce or eliminate all nuclear weapons.
October 17, 1998
Prof. Anatoli Diakov's presentation (in Russian) at the seminar, organized recently by the PIR Center is now available on the Web.
The 98-99 United States nationwide policy debate topic is the state of U.S. foreign policy towards Russia. This years resolution states, that this policy should be substantially changed. One of the issues widely discussed is continuing cold war practice of trailing of Russian submarines. Eugene Miasnikov answers to the questions of debaters.
A rather unusual view on the role of Russian nuclear weapons: After Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapon tests, the only way to achieve stability in the world is establishing a unified control over existing nuclear arsenals. As a first step Russia should propose the U.S. to integrate Russian and the U.S. strategic forces. The West should reciprocate by integrating Russia into NATO and providing an aid, similar to that of Marshall's plan in order to transform Russian economy (Pragmatism Against The Nuclear Fever, by Boris Semin and Abdul Hakim Sultygov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 16, 1998, p. 7).
"...Like Bush, Clinton as commander-in-chief could order deactivation of the 50 MX ICBMs now on alert, each with 10 warheads; begin retiring half the 18 Trident ballistic missile submarines that each have 28 sea-launched ICBMs and open the safety switches of the 500 Minuteman III missiles, with three warheads each, so that they would be temporarily immobilized. It would be a stunning move that would greatly strengthen our arguments against nuclear proliferation and encourage the signing of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty by nuclear nations, such as India and Pakistan..." (Re-Read His Lips: Reduce Arms Now, by Walter Pincus, The Washington Post, Sunday, October 11, 1998; Page C01).
Krasnaya Zvezda (October 9 1998, p.1) reports about successful test launch of SS-19 ICBM on October 7, 1998. The missile was on combat duty for more than 20 years. Nevertheless, its technical capabilities did not change. The launch has confirmed the high state of combat readiness of the Strategic Missile Forces, the newspaper said.
Last week, Russian long range aviation units have also conducted an exercise. Tu22M3, Tu-95 and Tu-160 tactical and strategic bombers accomplished missile strikes and dropped bombs on ground targets (Oborona i Bezopasnost, October 11, 1998). A report about the exercise is presented by Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye as well (Reliable Deterrence by Smaller Forces, by Sergei Sokut, NVO-NG, N 39, October 16-22, 1998, p.2).
October 12, 1998
A seminar "START II Ratification and Prospects for START III Treaty", organized by the PIR Center, was held on Thursday, October 8. After opening remarks of Dr. Vladimir Orlov, Director of the PIR Center, the main presentations were made by General Vladimir Dvorkin, Head of the 4-th Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense, Colonel Robert Boudreau, the Officer of the Program of Cooperation in Defense Area at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Prof. Anatoli Diakov, Director of the Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT.
Gen. Dvorkin underscored the fact, that MIRV-ed ICBMs will have to be decommissioned regardless of the Russian parliament's decision on START II, because their service lives are limited. He has also gave some hints of the Russian official position on START III. One of the principal points is a need for guaranteed elimination of breakout potential. The speaker emphasized, that the goal can be achieved by destruction the cases of warheads and reentry vehicle platforms, to which reduced number of warheads is attributed to.
Col. Boudreau has made some estimates of U.S. and Russian costs of implementing the START II Treaty. The U.S. will save almost $ 5 billion, provided that the Treaty enters into force. The bulk of the savings is associated with Trident I SLBM replacement on 4 of 18 Ohio SSBNs, operation, maintenance and refueling these submarines (see also CBO estimates). According to the speaker, Russia, like U.S., will probably save money as a result of START II implementation. In addition, Russia's costs will be greatly reduced by the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.
Detailed proposals of transparency measures related with Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals were offered in Prof. Diakov's presentation (recently, these proposals were published by Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye NG). Transparency measures are well known to be discussed within the frames of START III negotiations in accordance with Helsinki agreements.
In the discussion Russian participants of the seminar emphasized, that the U.S. should take a great deal of responsibility for the current stalemate of the START II ratification. Many of U.S. actions (NATO expansion, ABM development, continuing unfriendly submarine activity in Barents Sea, policy in Former Yugoslavia, announcing the Caspian Sea as the zone of the U.S. vital interests) by no means favor approaching the attitudes of Russian proponents of the Treaty and its rivals.
From the News: Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said last Thursday, that Russia believes it has the legal right to use its nuclear weapons to defend itself from an external threat, especially given the weakened state of the country's conventional forces (The Moscow Times, October 9, 1998).
Worth of attention:
In the recent issue of Yaderny Control (N 4, July-August, 1998):
October 8, 1998
First Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Maslyukov said on Tuesday, that Russia must build 35-45 new Topol-M ballistic missiles every year starting in 2000 and build several nuclear submarines of the Yuri Dolgoruky class, armed with ballistic missiles. He added, that the maximum we can hope for is a level of several hundred nuclear warheads by around 2007 to 2010. He has also urged the Duma to ratify the START II Treaty.
October 6, 1998
There were many interesting publications since the last press review on the START Web site three months ago.
The U.S. and Russian Presidents Summit has attracted less attention than before, because other events were in the focus of the media. One of the most substantial outcomes of the meeting was the Joint Statement on the Exchange of Information on Missile Launches and Early Warning (see also press comments: U.S., Russia May Swap Data on Third-Party Missiles, by Walter Pincus, The Washington Post, Tuesday, September 1, 1998; Page A15; U.S. And Russia Plan Accord to Share Missile-Launch Data, by Michael R.Gordon, The New York Times, September 1, 1998).
A possibility of sharing U.S. infrared sensor technologies with Russia for improving its Early Warning system was discussed at the meeting of arms control experts in Cambridge (February, 1998). Estimates of CBO experts (Improving Russia's Access to Early-Warning Information: Preliminary Results, Congress Budget Office Study, September 3, 1998) are also worth of attention. The public in the U.S. is well known to be concerned about reliability of command and control system of the Russian nuclear arsenal. The fears have grown because of continuing political and financial turmoil in Russia.
Russian experts on START II:
Hon. Alexei Arbatov, the Deputy Chair of the State Duma Defense Committee, answers to the questions of participants of START II discussion at "Russia and the Outer World" forum.
July 8, 1998
General Vladimir Dvorkin answers to the START II ratification related questions on "Russia and the Outer World" forum.
President Clinton announced on Monday, that he will travel to Moscow in September for a summit meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, abandoning his long-standing insistence that he would not attend another summit until the Russian parliament ratified a treaty slashing nuclear arsenals.
Last Friday, "Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye (NVO-NG)" published a paper Role of Submarines in Sea Conflicts, - in Russian (by Eugene Miasnikov, NVO-NG, N 24, July 3-9, 1998, p.4), which was prepared in our Center. Though the author discusses the Yuri Kuznezov's (who is a prominent member of the LDPR faction in the State Duma) arguments on historical lessons of submarine operations against surface ships, the paper might be interesting to visitors of START web site.
Recently in Russian newspapers:
Since the birth of the atomic weapons program in 1940, a total of $5.5 trillion was spent through 1996 by the U.S. , Stephen I. Schwartz, the leader of The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project, said (U.S. Spends $35B Yearly on Nukes, by Barry Schweid, Associated Press, Wednesday, July 1, 1998; 3:11 p.m. EDT)
START II ratification problems in Russia as seen by Bellona
postponed until fall, by Igor Kudrik, Bellona
press release, June 27, 1998)