What was new on START Web site?

August, 2001

August 26, 2001
The Russian-US consultations on strategic stability continued this week in Moscow. American delegation was lead by John R. Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. On Wednesday, The New York Times run a sensational article claiming that Mr. Bolton said that the United States had given Russia an unofficial deadline of November to agree to changes in the Antiballistic Missile Treaty or face a unilateral American withdrawal from the arms control accord. The article referred to an interview, that Mr. Bolton had given to Echo Moscow news radio station. Later Mr. Bolton denied that he had issued any such deadline, either in his meetings with Russian officials or in an interview with a Moscow radio station. However, President Bush said on Thursday that the United States will withdraw from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty "at a time convenient to America."

Media continue to discuss US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Moscow and his role in shaping American arms control policy:

Debates on expediency of abandoning the ABM treaty continue in the US:

The Pentagon has given the green light for construction preparation work to begin on a U.S. missile-defense test site in Alaska in the next few weeks:

The next flight test of a prototype interceptor scheduled for October will essentially be a repeat of the July 14 exercise in which the system intercepted a mock warhead, rather than a more complex and difficult follow-up test because the military does not not yet have complete confidence in the "hit-to-kill" technology:

Greenpeace activists that entered a restricted area at Vandenberg Air Force Base last month protesting a Star Wars missile defense test face criminal charges:

Declassified archives revealed that 3450 kg Mark 15 hydrogen bomb was dropped 40 years ago from a B-47 Stratojet bomber after its aerial collision with an interceptor during a training flight and lies now 10 km off the US coast:

A program conceived by the Clinton administration to rid the world of 100 tons of American and Russian weapons-grade plutonium is likely to be abandoned by the Bush administration:

At the Russian START Forum: on the Russian stance in the ABM dialogue, and other topics

August 15, 2001
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld met President Vladimir V. Putin and Defense Minister Sergei B. Ivanov for consultations on strategic stability. Eugene Miasnikov, START Web site editor, comments the consultations in Izvestia: Consultations on Missile Defenses will not Go Forever, - in Russian, (by Svetlana Babayeva, Izvestia, August 14, 2001, p. 4). See also:

Russian delegation led by Col. Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, first deputy chief of Russia's general staff, visited Washington last week with the same purpose:

Gennady Khromov's recent comment Assessing Prospects of US-Russian Strategic Relations is now available in English.

Pentagon's acknowledgement of the fact that last month's successful test of a possible missile defense system was simplified (the interceptor missile used data from a homing beacon on the dummy warhead, also the kill vehicle's computers had been programmed with the shape and other physical characteristics of its target) stirred up a wave of criticism against hasty deployment of the system:

Chinese leaders criticize US NMD deployment plans, while at the same time looking for an approach to the US in order to settle the problem:

According to The Telegraph, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has told President Bush that he supports American plans for a missile defence shield but cannot say so publicly for fear of further alienating Labour Left-wingers: Blair 'assures US of quiet support' on missile shield, (by Toby Harnden, The Telegraph, August 10, 2001)

Vladimir Khodakov, former executive officer of the USSR's General Machine-Building Ministry, recalls the history of development of the space-based component of the Soviet ABM system: Warheads on the Near-Earth Orbits?, - in Russian, (by Vitali Golovachev, Trud, August 14, 2001).

Greenpeace meetings protesting NMD deployment in conflict with both US and Russian authorities:

A program to upgrade aging Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles has come under fire following tests showing the refurbished missiles are less accurate and have a shorter range than the ones they are replacing: Upgraded Missiles Found Less Accurate, (by Peter Pae, Los Angeles Times, August 9, 2001). See also: Missile maintainers finish treaty requirement early, (by Staff Sgt. Melissa Phillips, 90th Space Wing Public Affairs, Air Force News, August 13, 2001)

The US Navy's programme of conversion of ballistic missile nuclear submarines to cruise missile and special forces platforms received support from President George W. Bush: USN SSGN conversion gains support, funding, (by David C Isby, Jane's Defence Upgrades, 7 August 2001)

Experts continue to discuss the US administration's proposal to cut the B-1 forces: The Arithmetic of Bombing, (by William M. Arkin, Washingtonpost.com, Monday, August 13, 2001; 12:00 AM)

Russian strategic bombers Tu-160 (Blackjack) under a threat to be reduced to museum displays: Falcons Waiting for Kerosine, - in Russian, (by Nadezhda Andreyeva, Obschaya Gazeta, August 10, 2001)

August 8, 2001
Gennady Khromov, a member of Soviet delegation to START I talks, presented his comment Assessing Prospects of US-Russian Strategic Relations (in Russian) exclusively for our website.

A high-level Russian team, headed by Colonel-General Yuri Baluyevsky, a top official from the main operations directorate of the Russian General Staff, was given a detailed insight into the Bush Administrations proposals for a missile defence system for the first time yesterday:

White House National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said that the Bush administration wants a "loose" framework with Russia that would replace the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and permit the United States to build a national missile defense. According to an article published in a recent Time issue, "The rapid [NMD development] timetable is governed by political arithmetic: to lock in missile defense before Bush's first term ends. In fact, the President can just bulldoze ahead. Russia can cooperate and get something or sulk and get nothing. European objections don't count if Russia concedes. The Democrat-led Senate can't stop Bush from breaking the ABM treaty, though it can tighten the purse strings":

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, repeated a promise to suspend ballistic missile launchings until 2003, saying in a declaration with President Vladimir V. Putin that his nation's missile program "does not present a threat to nations respecting North Korea's sovereignty." The declaration also said that "the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty is the cornerstone of strategic stability and the foundation of further reduction of strategic offensive arms":

While the Bush administration's missile defense plans have triggered opposition in Europe and Asia, at least half a dozen countries are cooperating with the Defense Department on research projects that could play an important role in America's anti-missile system: Allies Join Pentagon Research on Zapping Missiles, (by Vernon Loeb, The Washington Post, Saturday, August 4, 2001; Page A03)

Russian scientists "...make gross mistakes when assessing vulnerability of ballistic and space missiles to laser weapons by not taking into account low-threshold affect mechanism of the laser beam. Assessments published by some Russian academicians in public media seem to be overestimated at least by order of magnitude..." ("Star Wars" Turn into Reality, - in Russian, by Igor Korotchenko, Nezavisimoye Voeyennoe Obozreniye, August 3, 2001). See also:

Since Bill Clinton left office, the Democratic Party has lost its focus on the contentious matter of national missile defense: Democrats' risk on missile defense, (by James Lindsay and Michael O'Hanlon, The Christian Science Monitor, August 2, 2001). See also:

Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies published an Occasional Paper Missile Proliferation and Defences: Problems and Prospects, (Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Occasional Papers: #7, July 2001)

The House Armed Services Committee authorized more than $8.1 billion for missile defense requested by the Bush administration for 2002. The approved bill includes $786 million for work on a new missile test bed in Alaska that could lead to deployment of missile interceptors there:

At the same time, the committee voted to block the administration's plan to reduce the number of B-1 bombers from 93 to 60. The committee approved an amendment that prohibits any reductions or transfers of the bomber fleet until a series of reports and justifications are provided to Congress:

Russian Strategic Rocket Forces denied alleged secret test of a modified SS-25 missile reported by The Washington Times:

July 31, 2001: ten years since START-I was signed:

On current status of the Russian-American HEU-LEU program see: A Report on the Implementation by USEC Inc. of the Megatons to Megawatts Program (The 1993 Russian HEU Purchase Agreement), (Philip Sewell, Senior Vice President USEC Inc., presented at a Meeting of the Atlantic Council Washington, DC July 25, 2001)

"Nuclear bill" governing the import, reprocessing and storage of spent nuclear fuel from foreign nuclear power plants in Russia has been approved. However, that did not make it easier for the Minatom to implement the project: The Fight over the Market of Nuclear Waste Just Began, - in Russian, (by Yuri Chuvashev, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 2, 2001)

President Bush is proposing that a new military base-closing commission be empowered for the first time to recommend shutdowns of Energy Department nuclear weapons facilities: Bush plan to close bases eyes nuke sites, (by Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times, August 6, 2001)

Thirty years ago there was a nuclear explosion near Galkino village. That was a secret nuclear explosion, a "peaceful" one: Ivanovo's Hiroshima, - in Russian, (by Yuri Vahrin, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, August 7, 2001)

At the Russian START Forum: on the alleged secret test of a modified SS-25 missile and other topics.

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