What was new on START Web site?

September, 2001

September 25, 2001
In an effort to avoid a partisan debate after the terrorist attacks last week, Senate Democrats have agreed to withdraw a budget provision that would have restricted certain kinds of spending on missile defense:

Experts do not ruled out US use of nuclear weapons against any state which introduces biological, chemical or nuclear devices in the coming conflict:

Nuclear weapons and biological weapons pose a serious threat to the US even if the hostile force cannot deliver them with missiles. What can be done to make the nation safer? Former defense secretary says biggest threat to U.S. is biological, nuclear terrorism, (by William J. Perry, San Jose Mercury News, September 19, 2001)

A new issue of INESAP Bulletin that came out recently is devoted to the seminar "Moving Beyond Missile Defense" held in Santa-Barbara (California, USA) in March 19-21, 2001. A report Russian Perceptions of US-Russian Security Relations and Responses to NMD by Eugene Miasnikov, the Editor of the START Web Site, is among the articles in the issue, which is available as a PDF file.

The first Tomahawk cruise missile launch by one of America's new Seawolf class submarines was successfully completed on the day of terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Missile test from sub a success, (by The Associated Press, Miami Herald, September 19, 2001).

September 18, 2001
US-Russian consultations on strategic stability, that have been postponed after terrorist attacks, resumed in Moscow on Monday. According to The Washington Post, the Bush administration was going to inform Russia that the likelihood of unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty has increased as a result of the attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Washington's increased persistence on this matter may be also encouraged by Moscow's softened position on U.S. ABM withdrawal plans, as Russian officials' comments are interpreted by the media:

Contrary to what Russian officials presumed, the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon appear to have strengthened, not weakened, the prospects for Congressional support of President Bush's missile defense plan. Senate Democrats said yesterday they plan to try to drop proposed restrictions on missile defense tests from next year's Pentagon spending authorization in hopes of passing the measure without a divisive fight.

As many observers question the assumptions holding together the Bush administration's security strategy, Democrats are calling for a national debate on these issues. Vice President Al Gore's former national security adviser offers an alternative vision to begin that debate: Return of the Nuclear Debate, (by Leon Fuerth, The Washington Quarterly, Autumn 2001) - in PDF format

Because of tragic events in New York and Washington Russian Defense Ministry curtailed original plans of strategic bomber exercises over the Pacific. Scheduled test launches of ICBMs were abandoned:

"The time has come for the United States to make good on its past pledges that it will use all military capabilities at its disposal to defend U.S. soil by delivering nuclear strikes against the instigators and perpetrators of the attacks against the nation's political capital and the nation's financial capital. ...To do less [than a tactical nuclear strike] would be rightly seen by the poisoned minds that orchestrated these attacks as cowardice on the part of the United States and the current administration." (Time to use the nuclear option, by Thomas Woodrow, The Washington Times, September 14, 2001).

September 12, 2001
Yesterday's terrorist attacks on the U.S. cities triggered the highest alert status of the U.S. military forces and in particular - their strategic forces. Russian strategic forces had to respond in the situation of uncertainty. According to Vremya Novostey sources, first two hours after the attack were the most dangerous: Nuclear Conflict Was Put Aside, - in Russian, (by Yuri Golotyuk, Vremya Novostey, N 166, September 12, 2001)

On Friday, the Democratic-run Senate Armed Services Committee voted along party lines to cut $1.3 billion from Bush's request for $8.3 billion for missile defense in the fiscal year beginning Oct. The legislation also would limit the president's ability to conduct missile defense activities that would violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with Russia:

In view of new talks scheduled for this week on Washington's planned missile defense scheme, both sides show signes of willingness to reach a compromise. Russia hints that it might consider changes to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, while US -- that they will not insist that Moscow agree to its new missile defense strategy by November:

"...Today Americans are not interested neither in modification of the 1972 ABM Treaty, nor in a new treaty, nor in any arms control agreements with Russia at all. They're just trying to win some time, and Russian side helps them in that by not having developed any position for negotiations. This will last for two-three months, then Americans will declare withdrawal from the 1972 ABM treaty justifying that by Russian intractability. And our rattling with retaliation threats won't help to win Europeany sympathy to our position. To break this trend we have to choose an energetic and offensive negotiation position..."(A Moment for Truth, in Russian, by Andrei Piontkovsky, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 4, 2001). See also: US President's Decision on Missile Defenses is a Real Threat to Strategic Stability, in Russian, (by V. Simakov, Obozrevatel-Observer, July-August, 2001)

US prepares for a "serious dialogue" with China, and to share details about the missile defense system:

The debates on withdrawal from the 1972 ABM treaty continue in the US:

US Air Force is going to spend over half a billion dollars producing nuclear-missile guidance sets without gathering enough test data to prove their accuracy: Air Force Defends Spending Half A Billion On Iffy ICBMs, (by John M. Donnelly, Defense Week, September 10, 2001)

Russian taxation policy prevents a joint U.S.-Russian center aimed at averting false warnings of missile attacks from opening: Early Warning Delay, (The Moscow Times, September 7, 2001).

Last Friday Carnegie Endowment held a panel on problems and prospects of US-Russian nuclear cooperation. Siegfried Hecker, senior fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, commented on his article, "An Integrated Strategy for Nuclear Cooperation with Russia." Transcript of the panel is available in audio format:

Votkinsk residents protest local authorities' unpopular decision to construct a solid-fuel rocket engines utilization complex:

The US wants to boycott a U.N. conference later this month on accelerating a global ban on nuclear test explosions: U.S. cool to nuclear test-ban conference, (by Jonathan S. Landay, Philadelphia Inquirer, Friday, September 7, 2001)

At the Russian START Forum: missile defense for Europe, prospects of China's strategic forces development, and other topics.

September 4, 2001
Commenting President Putin's interview with a Finnish newspaper, The New York Times notes, that Moscow may take a "calm" approach - a restrained reaction in response to U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty:

The Kremlin hinted that Russian President Vladimir Putin might not meet President Bush at his Texas ranch for a planned November summit on missile defense and other issues. Russia will go ahead with talks with the United States on arms issues despite Washington's stated intention to abandon the ABM Treaty, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said last week:

"...In spite of really numerous technical, political, diplomatic and psychological obstacles, it is not idealistic but rightful and timely proposal to direct the efforts of NMD proponents in order to develop a joint defense system of the planet from space objects..." In the "Opinion" section - an article by Yuri Makhnenko, Senior Research Associate of ZAO "Bonum-1", Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics: An Umbrella For the Planet - in Russian, (September 3, 2001)

"...The US and Russia will avoid a collision only if they show greater flexibility...Moscow should agree to the new Alaska site, while Washington should limit the number of missile launchers and interceptors at the site to make clear its purpose is for testing only. Moscow could also allow the US to conduct a limited number of tests using mobile and ship-based radar. In return, Washington would promise not to walk away from the treaty for now...." (Putting nuclear weapons out of reach, by Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay, Financial Time, August 30, 2001)

Other proposals to resolve the ABM Treaty deadlock are considered in:

Unnamed officials suggest that the US may soften its opposition to China's weapons build-up. They say Washington may even agree to end the moratorium on nuclear weapons testing. The idea would be to reassure Beijing that missile defence is not aimed at China:

China scored three successful hits recently with its submarine-launched Julang-21A missiles fired at targets 5,000 km away: Chinese subs score 3 missile hits in war games, (The Straits Times, September 1, 2001)

The Defense Department doesn't like what Prof. Postol has been saying about national missile defense: that it will not protect our country even from primitive incoming missiles. To stop him from saying these things, it has stamped "SECRET" on letters he sent to then-President Bill Clinton and now to Congress: The Pentagon And the Professor, (by Geoffrey Forden, The Washington Post, Wednesday, August 29, 2001; Page A21). See also recent interviews of Prof. Postol to mass media:

Discussion on expediency of the NMD deployment is continued in:

A contractor for the Army began clearing land at Fort Greely last week for an anti-ballistic missile site: Clearing begins at Greely for missile site, (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Tuesday, August 28, 2001)

A coalition of environmental groups is taking legal action to delay preliminary work on President Bush's missile defence programme on the grounds that the defence department has not completed the necessary environmental impact statement for the sites involved:

Discussion on efficiency of the Sea Based Forces compared to the Strategic Rocket Forces continues: "...all missile experts of the Navy, Strategic Rocket Forces and Strategic Aviation well know that strategic submarines have the largest potential and efficiency in a second strike of the strategic operation in comparison with the SRF and long range aviation due to their covertness, survivability, reliable control and high power of the strike..." (A Structure of the Triad, - in Russian, by Vladimir Zaborski, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, August 24, 2001)

"...Russia is considered a threat today for the U.S., the world and even for itself not because of its military power, which disappeared... but because of its weakness. Since we have few places kept in order, why should we rely on irreproachability of nuclear installations?..." (Threatening Weakness, - in Russian, by Gennadi Gerasimov, Vremya MN, August 31, 2001)

The U.S. military blew up a Minuteman III missile silo, marking the last such silo destruction under START I treaty between the United States and the former Soviet Union: Demolition of Missile Silo Ends an Era, (by Reuters, The Washington Post, Saturday, August 25, 2001; Page A05).

A National Press Institute in Moscow has published a new book by a well known Russian arms control expert Major General Vladimir Belous, Ret. "U.S. NMD: Dreams And Reality". The book considers the history of missile defenses development in the U.S. and prospects for NMD deployment.

In the recent issue of Yaderny Control, published by the PIR Center (May-June, 2001):

Among publications of the recent issue (May-June 2001) of Yadernaya Bezopasnost' (all papers are in Russian):

The United States made a statement that from 2002 it will participate in and make a contribution to the financing of only those kinds of activity of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO that are directly connected with the creation and operation of an international monitoring system, and refuses to take part in or make a financial contribution to all the other kinds of work of the Commission, including elaboration of a mechanism of on-site inspections. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed an urgent call to the US administration to review its position on the CTBT (Official Statement of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, August 27, 2001)

A long-discussed U.S.-Russian plan to stop production of weapons-grade plutonium in Russia has been stalled by funding shortages, and the government said Monday that it wants the United States to agree to postpone its implementation:

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