LACACIS Policy Statement Adopted September 4, 2015:

LACACIS Supports Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran

The Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security supports the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated by the United States, Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain, and the European Union (EU) with Iran. In return for the lifting of US, EU, and United Nations economic sanctions, Iran agrees to large verified reductions in its stock of nuclear material, restrictions on its nuclear technology, and continuing intrusive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring. These steps would increase the time necessary for Iran to produce enough material for a nuclear weapon from the present two-three months to approximately one year, for the first 10 years of the agreement. If Iran is held to full compliance with the JCPOA by strict verification and enforcement, the agreement will reduce the risk of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and reduce the likelihood of military conflict over Iran's nuclear program. Though imperfect and subject to many possible pitfalls, we believe this agreement represents the best realistic prospect for insuring that Iran's nuclear activities remain peaceful, while a vigilant eye is maintained on Iran's continuing actions.

The same parties that negotiated the JCPOA agreed in November 2013 to a Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), in which Iran froze portions of its nuclear program, subject to IAEA verification, in exchange for decreased economic sanctions while they entered into the negotiations that led to the JCPOA. Under the JPOA, IAEA verified that Iran reduced its stock of up to 20% enriched UF6 to 5% or less enrichment or converted it to uranium oxide, and ceased enrichment of uranium beyond 5%. By some estimates, this moved Iran from being within one month of producing enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon, to the presently estimated two to three months. Iran also suspended installation of major components at its planned Arak (IR-40) nuclear reactor (which would be capable of producing plutonium), and reduced but did not fully suspend enrichment related activities at its eighteen declared nuclear facilities. IAEA also verified the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at these facilities. Hence for the past eighteen months, Iran has consented to a high level of IAEA inspection and inquiry into its nuclear-related activities.

Before the sanctions are to be lifted under the JCPOA, Iran must, verified by IAEA, implement the following:

  • Remove and make the calandria (the fuel-mounting core assembly) of the Arak heavy water research reactor inoperable. Under IAEA monitoring, any existing fuel assemblies for the original Arak reactor are stored, as it is being rebuilt into a reactor incapable of weapons-grade plutonium production.
  • Reduce its stock (presently estimated at more than 8000 kg) of enriched UF6 to no more than 300 kgs, by down blending (to no more than 3.67%) or export out of Iran.
  • Fabricate all uranium oxide of up to 20% enrichment into fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor, or else dilute the oxide to less than 3.67%, or ship it out of Iran.
  • Place all but 5060 IR-1 centrifuges and infrastructure at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant in IAEA-monitored storage.
  • Remove and store all but 1044 IR-1 centrifuges and infrastructure at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment plant under IAEA monitoring. The 1044 IR-1 centrifuges will be idled or used for stable isotope production, and will not be used for uranium enrichment for 15 years.
  • Suspend testing of IR-2m and most IR-4 advanced centrifuges and place them in IAEA storage.

In addition, Iran agrees to:

  • Conduct only limited centrifuge enrichment R&D (on IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, and IR-8 centrifuges) for 10 years, and not engage in other enrichment technology research.
  • Enrich uranium to no higher than 3.67% for the next 15 years.
  • Manufacture IR-1 centrifuges only to replace failures of the permitted 5060 plus 1044 centrifuges, for 8 years, and manufacture only 200 IR-6 or IR-8 centrifuges (without rotors) per year for two years after that.
  • For 15 years, allow IAEA and the JCPOA Joint Commission to monitor and approve enrichment related activities including centrifuge manufacturing.
  • Keep its stock of uranium of up to 3.67% enrichment under 300 kg, for 15 years, with the exception of fabricated fuel assemblies for reactors.
  • Redesign and rebuild the Arak reactor using 3.67% enriched fuel such that it will not produce weapons grade plutonium.
  • Ship all spent fuel from power and research reactors out of Iran, and not engage in fuel reprocessing or reprocessing R&D for 15 years.
  • Provisionally apply the Additional Protocol to the NPT Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, proceed with its ratification, and give early notification of design changes or new nuclear projects (the modified code 3.1 provision).
  • "not engage in activities, including at the R&D level, that could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device."

Under the agreement, a staff of up to 150 IAEA inspectors will monitor Iran’s nuclear supply chain, including centrifuge manufacturing sites (for 20 years), uranium mining and milling (for 25 years), and a large number of nuclear and nuclear-related sites. Inspectors will have continuous access to declared nuclear sites, such as reactors and uranium facilities. They will have access to any (undeclared) Iranian facility of proliferation concern, including military sites, which must be granted under a majority decision by the JCPOA Joint Commission (United States, Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain, the EU representative, and Iran) within 24 days of an inspection request. Although evidence of small-scale prohibited activities might be destroyed in 24 days, any major facility could not be completely moved or hidden in that time, particularly with the world watching via satellite and other technical means. For ten years, in the event of a serious violation of the JCPOA by Iran, or refusal to allow inspections to resolve a suspected violation, the UN sanctions will go back into effect, unless the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) votes unanimously not to re-impose the sanctions.

One condition for implementation of the JCPOA is that Iran cooperate with the IAEA in its investigation of past and present issues regarding possible military dimensions ("PMD") and unreported nuclear work in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Although they have continued to talk with IAEA on these issues, progress has been very slow on gaining access to sites, documents, and personnel. The IAEA is to issue an assessment report by December 15, 2015 on the PMD of Iran's nuclear program. It appears unlikely that this report will satisfy all concerns over PMD. While it would be naive to expect every possible doubt to be publicly resolved concerning past and present Iranian nuclear PMD, continuing close attention to such issues should be part of the expanded IAEA monitoring program under the JCPOA.

In its resolution approving the JCPOA (UNSC Resolution 2231, 2015), the UNSC extended its comprehensive arms embargo on Iran for five years, and its embargo on ballistic missile technology for eight years (UNSCR 2231 Annex B). These embargoes were imposed in response to evidence of Iran's nuclear activities, which the JCPOA addresses. Iran, Russia, and China proposed that these embargoes be dropped immediately upon implementation of the JCPOA. The US successfully insisted that the embargoes be continued for at least the 5 and 8 year terms, and are further subject to re-imposition "in the event of significant non-performance by Iran of its JCPOA commitments" (paragraph 18.1, Annex V of the JCPOA). The JCPOA Joint Commission "Procurement Working Group" will review and decide upon all nuclear-related imports to Iran, insuring that IAEA is appropriately informed. US, UN, and EU sanctions imposed on Iran in response to its support for terrorist groups and human rights abuses will continue to be enforced.

For the first ten years of the JCPOA, Iran is verifiably limited to needing approximately one year to produce the necessary material for a nuclear weapon. After ten years, depending on the approval and execution of Iran's stated plans to develop enrichment capability for peaceful nuclear reactors, it could move back to its present position of two to three months to the necessary material. Development of the capability to enrich uranium for peaceful nuclear power, which Iran insists is its goal, does not make economic sense. Fuel for nuclear reactors is readily available on the world market for less than it would cost Iran to enrich. The US should work to convince Iran that uranium enrichment is not a good investment, either economically or politically. With the continuing IAEA monitoring under the JCPOA and the NPT Additional Protocol, the world would have clear notice of changes in Iran's capability, and prompt indication of any moves from peaceful nuclear uses to military applications.

Some in the Iranian government may well try to cheat or abuse the agreement. That is what the many verification elements are designed to catch. Much of what we know about Iranian nuclear programs was provided to us by courageous Iranians who want a better future for their country. There are those among the government and 80 million people of Iran who genuinely desire peaceful coexistence with the rest of the world. Many Iranians want the economic benefits from the lifting of sanctions invested in their societal needs, rather than supporting aggression and terrorism. It was their votes that put the present Iranian administration, which advocated negotiations toward diplomacy such as the JCPOA, in power. One desired outcome of good-faith implementation of the JCPOA would be strengthening of the moderate elements in Iranian politics, helping lead to stabilization of the region. US approval of the JCPOA does not guarantee such an outcome. However, JCPOA implementation greatly reduces the risk of unpredictable consequences that we would face without it. LACACIS believes that preventing the addition of Iranian nuclear weapons capability to the region for at least ten years is a major step in the right direction. The risks assumed, while serious, are outweighed by the benefits, and the many verification mechanisms will allow us to watch the situation very carefully for the foreseeable future.

LACACIS strongly recommends that the US, with its international partners, insist upon strict enforcement of all Iran's obligations under the JCPOA. The US should also vigilantly enforce all other sanctions against Iran's support of terrorism, regional aggression, and human rights violations. Congress should properly fund all such monitoring and sanctioning programs, and maintain our intelligence and national technical means to supplement international monitoring programs.


LACACIS Policy Statement Adopted June 28, 2010:

LACACIS Supports Ratification of New START

The Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security (www.lacacis.org) supports ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. New START provides a modest, verifiable reduction of strategic weapons below levels called for in the Moscow treaty, which it supersedes, and limits actual nuclear warheads rather than launchers as was done in START I (see Table). It also reinstates verification protocols that terminated when START I expired, giving the United States necessary access to Russian nuclear facilities to ensure that the treaty terms are being complied with. The new treaty augments confidence-building measures with Russia, and may also be viewed as a good-faith step by the two major nuclear weapons states in negotiating disarmament mandated in Article VI of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. This should enhance the credibility of the US and its negotiating position in future efforts to address arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation issues with other declared and de facto nuclear weapons states.

Some concerns have been raised about two aspects of the treaty: its failure to address non-strategic weapons, and its possible relationship to US missile defense efforts. While we do not believe these should prevent ratification, they merit careful consideration. First, the distinction between strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons is in many respects illusory (the B-61 gravity bomb, for example, is considered to be a strategic weapon when associated with heavy bombers, and non-strategic when deployed with non-strategic bombers, as in NATO); treaties addressing nuclear weapons reductions have focused on delivery systems, rather than details of warheads. Nevertheless, Russia relies on a large stockpile of weapons it defines as non-strategic, presenting an asymmetry in the US-Russian nuclear weapons balance. While this observation is legitimate, the imbalance would exist with or without New START. In its recent Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the administration has stated plans to begin negotiations addressing non-strategic weapons upon ratification of New START. This ambitious and challenging task was correctly deferred, in our view, and we endorse this stepwise approach to arms reduction. Second, the New START preamble expresses the concern that strategic defensive arms "not undermine the viability and effectiveness" of the nuclear deterrent. This is a long-standing position of the Russian side, dating back to START I. As was the case with START I, either side may withdraw from the new treaty, if it determines that its supreme national interests are in jeopardy. But Russia did not withdraw from START I when the US ended the ABM treaty. In any case, a decision on the merits of the treaty should not rest upon either party's ability or inclination to withdraw.

The course of modern arms control suggests that both the US and Russia are committed to a steady program of nuclear weapons reduction; significant reductions have been achieved in stockpiles since the height of the cold war. As these numbers decline, challenges associated with new reductions will become more acute, as each eliminated weapon represents a greater fraction of the stockpile. Concerns of instability, the role of missile defenses, as well as threats arising from states outside the non-proliferation regime, may become more pronounced. These challenges must be anticipated and addressed in a deliberate, long-term campaign of negotiations in arms control. At the same time, the question of weapons surety comes to the fore as the stockpile declines. We endorse references in the NPR concerning the need to ensure a credible deterrent through robust stockpile stewardship and management, as well as investment in the human and physical capital of the nuclear weapons complex. Together with a reliable and credible US nuclear deterrent, New START is a logical step in the emerging arms control regime. We believe its ratification would advance the security interests of the United States.

member names


LACACIS Policy Statement Adopted in January, 2005:

Preamble

The danger to the world posed by nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD)has been tempered by the achievement of a number of treaties and conventions that deserve continued strong support. However, we face ongoing severe threats to the security of nations and the lives of innocent people from both national and terrorist forces. The strategies of the Cold War relative to WMD must be modified as rogue nations and terrorists attempt to acquire these weapons.

Our primary concerns regarding the future of WMD and their potential use are:

  • At least eight nations possess nuclear weapons.
  • There may be as many as 28,000 nuclear warheads in existence.
  • The world inventory of weapons plutonium is more than 200 tons.
  • Widespread knowledge is available on how to produce chemical and biological weapons, and several nations are suspected to possess stocks of them.
  • International control and verification of all of the above ranges from nonexistent to marginal.
  • A number of nations and terrorist organizations have taken steps to acquire WMD.
  • Vulnerability levels within the United States and worldwide are high.
  • There is no effective and widely-supported international investigative system, international police force, or judicial system to deal with these threats.

The United States should take the lead in establishing goals for contravention of these threats. The situation is urgent. We strongly support a reaffirmation by the nuclear weapons nations of the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons in the world. The highest priority should be given to the establishment of comprehensive international inspection and verification to ensure that no undeclared WMD exist anywhere. In the following paragraphs we offer a detailed agenda for actions toward future international security.

1. Present Treaties (Nuclear).

We support continued implementation of those treaties, currently in force, which promote the control and limitation of nuclear weapons. Among these are the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT) with the 1990 verification protocol, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I). By specifying limits on nuclear weapons and providing mutual verification mechanisms to confirm adherence to the agreements, these and future treaties make a vital contribution to international stability and security.

2. Strategic Arms Reductions.

We applaud the signing and ratification of the Moscow Treaty and its entry-into-force on June 1, 2003. The Moscow Treaty pledges that the United States and Russia will each reduce deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1700-2200 by December 2012. We believe that the United States must give high priority to achieving verified implementation of the Moscow Treaty. This should include further negotiations with the Russians through the treaty's Bilateral 2 Implementation Commission, the US/Russian Consultative Group for Strategic Security (established by the Bush/Putin Joint Declaration of May 24, 2002), and/or other venues to achieve:

  1. Enhanced public data exchanges on deployed warheads to assure the international community that the reductions are taking place;
  2. Staged, balanced, and irreversible reductions between the parties over the reduction period;
  3. Enhanced verification of warhead reductions;
  4. Further verified limitations on intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying multiple independentlytargeted reentry vehicles (MIRVed ICBMs);
  5. Extension of START I before it expires in December 2009, unless its notification and verification provisions have been superseded by new agreements.

3. Missile Defense.

We believe that if the United States is to develop and deploy a national missile defense system to protect its cities from third party or rogue state ICBMs, care must be taken that the international strategic balance, which the Antiballistic Missile Treaty was meant to preserve, must not be destabilized. The addition of verified staged reductions under the Moscow Treaty can help preserve this balance and assure other nations that we do not desire another arms race.

If effective missile defense systems are developed, a fully international system is desirable.

4. US/Russian Fissile Material Controls.

The United States must continue to work with Russia to implement and strengthen the present programs of control and verification of the inventories of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium in the former Soviet Union. Support should be continued in the United States Congress for the Nunn-Lugar programs to assist former Soviet states in eliminating their nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons materials.

The program of purchasing HEU removed from former Soviet nuclear weapons, to be blended down to low-enriched uranium and made available for use in energy-producing nuclear reactors under international safeguards, must be continued to completion. The transparency and verification agreements reached by the United States and Russia should be fully exploited. Similarly, the United States must continue and expand the program on control of plutonium in Russia, including that obtained from dismantled warheads. Such a program was recommended by the arms control committee of the National Academy of Sciences in 1994, and this recommendation may serve as an important guideline. The US/Russian Plutonium Disposition Agreement, signed September 2000, should be fully supported. Other initiatives to expedite and accelerate Russian plutonium disposition should be supported.

The development of the trilateral agreements between the United States, Russia, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to put plutonium removed from Russian and United States weapons programs into unclassified form under IAEA monitoring should be pursued vigorously. The legal framework for the IAEA to verify such plutonium removal should be pursued and the verification implemented.

5. US/Russian Nuclear Warhead Verification.

The United States and Russia should negotiate a regime of data exchanges, verification, and limitations on all deployed and stored nuclear warheads. This regime may include several stages of implementation and may include unilateral reductions, but we believe that the final regime must include comprehensive declarations and fully verified limits agreed to by the treaty process.

As an example, agreed numbers of non-deployed warheads of specified types may be stored in tamperproof-sealed boxes, counted, and placed in agreed designated monitored storage areas. These areas would be monitored by portal perimeter continuous monitoring procedures analogous to those used in the INF and START treaties to monitor mobile missile production facilities. Techniques using attribute measurements with information barriers, such as recently demonstrated at Los Alamos to Russian personnel, could be used to unobtrusively monitor the declared contents of boxes containing one warhead each.

Due to the many thousands of undeclared and unverified nuclear warheads presently in Russia, negotiation and development of such a system of warhead accounting is urgent. Provision should be made to remove stored warheads, transport them to agreed dismantlement facilities (similar to the Pantex facility), and to monitor and measure the resulting unclassified plutonium and HEU removed from the facilities. At this stage, the nuclear materials could come under IAEA monitoring and Safeguards as proposed in Section 4 above.

6. International Regime of Weapons Fissile Material Controls.

The United States, Russia, and other nations should enter into an international multilateral regime of HEU and plutonium controls such as recommended by the Report of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control, National Academy of Sciences, 1994. All plutonium and HEU not already under a regime of nuclear warhead verification must be brought under international safeguards. Verification techniques and procedures developed and negotiated for Sections 4 and 5 above could be utilized.

The United States should continue to support a fissile material production cut-off treaty which would prohibit all nations from producing unsafeguarded weapons-usable HEU or plutonium. The United States should support strong provisions for verification of such a treaty. The only verification restrictions should be to protect nuclear weapons design data.

7. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

We urge the United States Senate to reconsider the CTBT for ratification. The Senate should hold timely bipartisan hearings and, as necessary, consider conditions to be attached to the ratification which would satisfy the Senate and the Administration.

The CTBT provides for an international monitoring system (IMS) to detect clandestine explosions in the atmosphere, space, underground, and underwater. It provides for radionuclide verification that a detected explosion was nuclear. This monitoring system is to be deployed globally. The CTBT also establishes an international data center (IDC) to coordinate the work of the monitoring system and provides for the analysis and distribution of the data in real time.

We strongly support the ratification of the CTBT for several reasons:

  1. The IMS and IDC will significantly enhance the monitoring capabilities of the current national technical means of the United States. For example, the IMS would provide detection stations of several kinds in some nations and regions currently unavailable to the United States;
  2. The international aspect of verification provided in the CTBT will give much greater credibility to any evidence and claims of clandestine tests than the United States might be able to present unilaterally;
  3. The CTBT will provide a vital link in the continuing efforts for nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and will strengthen the NPT; and
  4. Ratification of the CTBT will demonstrate to the world the continuing commitment of the United States to fostering a nonproliferation regime.

Until the Senate reconsiders the CTBT, it is important that the United States Congress continue to provide the United States portion of the financial support for maintenance of the CTBT Preparatory Commission, the IMS and the IDC for their ongoing work. A Preparatory IDC is now operating in Vienna, and many stations of the IMS are now operating or are in an advanced planning stage. Data are already available from the limited IMS and are in use. Thus the past rejection of the CTBT by the Senate has not terminated international efforts, but the ultimate ratification of the treaty by the United States will give an important signal to the world.

Opponents of CTBT ratification have questioned whether the quality of the United States nuclear stockpile can be ensured without testing. It may be that the Senate will have to consider adding a condition to CTBT ratification which provides for very limited testing without the necessity of withdrawal from the treaty. Such a condition likely would have to be multilateral among the nuclear weapon states and such testing strongly circumscribed to meet demands of the non-nuclear weapon states.

An alternative to adding such a condition could be negotiation of a revised multinational Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT) with a very low permitted test yield (for example, less than 5 kT) for the nuclear weapon states and with the present provisions of the CTBT used for monitoring. Such monitoring should also include a direct yield measurement for any declared test using techniques similar to those of the US/Russian TTBT Verification Protocol of 1990. Although we strongly prefer the CTBT, such a multilateral TTBT would be better than no treaty.

8. Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

We continue to support the CWC ratified by the United States in 1977. The convention prohibits development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons, and requires declaration and destruction of existing chemical weapons production facilities as well as weapon stockpiles. The CWC also established an inspection regime to verify demilitarization of existing weapons on agreed time schedules as well as to monitor the production, use and transfer of precursors potentially associated with chemical weapons production.

9. Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).

We support the goal of the BWC to eliminate all biological weapons. The events of September 11, 2001, clearly demonstrate that we no longer have the luxury of seemingly endless international negotiations. The past three decades are ample proof that the existing ad hoc groups are incapable of executing urgent enforcement of discovery and incapable of achieving verification provisions with teeth. We strongly urge United States leadership in biological weapons control and verification and regard the responsibility as unavoidable.

We support the following actions proposed by the United States to strengthen the present BWC Protocol:

  1. Establish effective procedures for addressing BWC compliance concerns;
  2. Each state enact strong criminal penalties for violations with equally strong extradition conditions;
  3. Establish effective international procedures to investigate suspicious disease outbreaks or allegations of biological weapon use;
  4. Improve international disease control and provide expertise to deal with outbreaks; and
  5. Establish uniform national oversight procedures regulating security and genetic engineering of pathogens.

We further endorse efforts to increase transparency and provide for accelerated efforts in development of intellectual and technical means for surveillance of the international bioscience community. The research and development of technology capable of detecting illicit biological weapon activity is especially challenging because legal and forbidden activities are virtually indistinguishable.

Moreover, advances in understanding of microbiological processes helpful to biological weapon development are as likely to come from legitimate research as from covert effort. Continuous awareness of technical progress with weapon development potential should be formalized.

10. International Verification Agency (IVA).

At present, there is no regime of worldwide multilateral verification that limits, codifies, or verifies the possession of the most likely and dangerous delivery systems such as ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and bombers. There is no treaty which specifically verifies the deployment status of short-range missiles, artillery or other possible forms of nuclear weapon delivery. The NPT is partially verified by keeping track of declared stockpiles of nuclear weapons materials (HEU and plutonium), but there is no worldwide regime for verifying the presence or absence of nuclear warheads themselves.

We propose the creation of a new international agency, which might be called the International Verification Agency (IVA), to centralize and carry out worldwide data exchanges, on-site inspections and other activities needed to verify the multilateral nuclear arms limitations recommended in Sections 11 and 12 below, to verify other proposed nuclear arms limitations, and to strengthen the NPT regime. The IVA would be responsible for codifying and verifying the inventories of all nuclear delivery systems (such as nuclear armed missiles) and nuclear warheads (deployed, non-deployed, stored) worldwide. The agency would verify that all missiles, bombers, and other related delivery systems do not possess chemical warheads or biological weapons.

The IVA could be utilized in any future arms control treaties between two or more parties to codify data exchanges, provide on-site inspections, and for other activities assigned to it by the treaties. The IVA could codify and verify the nuclear weapon inventories of nuclear weapon parties to the NPT, and verify the absence of nuclear warheads for non-nuclear weapon parties to the NPT. In the case of states not members of the NPT, the IVA could provide verification functions that these states might be persuaded to agree to.

The IVA would develop the expertise and capabilities of the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency/On-site Inspections (DTRA/OSI) and Nuclear Risk Reduction Center (NRRC), and their Russian counterparts. It would not replace these agencies, but rather would draw on them for expertise, and even contract with them for services if needed. The IVA would not replace the safeguards regimes of the IAEA or the UN Special Commissions for Iraq, but would collaborate with them as needed. The IVA would not replace the CTBT Organization and its nuclear test detection regime, but would collaborate with it.

An international satellite observation system should also be set up. Such a satellite system could utilize vehicles launched or planned by the United States and other NATO nations, by Russia, and/or by other nations agreeing to participate. The satellites would observe missile sites, airfields, military bases, nuclear power facilities, and any facilities believed to be clandestine. Information obtained from the system would be shared by all participants and made public as agreed in the IVA charter. Such information would be analyzed by the IVA in coordination with WMD and other weapon data exchanges and inspection data obtained by the IVA.

Aircraft and personnel presently utilized in connection with the Open Skies Treaty should, by mutual agreement, be used by the IVA to conduct aerial surveillance of critical areas. New, more flexible use of air space and types of observations could be agreed by the parties. Maximum optical resolution and detection capabilities on the aircraft should be utilized.

The structure of the IVA would of course depend on the result of multilateral negotiations. It should be efficient in structure, obtain its own professional staff, be capable of acting directly and swiftly, and not be subject to unilateral veto. We believe that the creation of an effective IVA could greatly facilitate the negotiation of a variety of needed future arms control agreements. With the addition of the satellite and open skies aircraft observations, the IVA could become a powerful tool against surprise or clandestine attack and serve to alleviate tensions between antagonists.

11. Multilateral Ballistic Missile Limits.

Ballistic missiles must be strictly limited worldwide, and allowed categories must be fully verified. Ballistic missiles are potential first-strike weapons with short flight times and can carry nuclear, chemical, or biological warheads. They represent great threats to international security, especially in irresponsible or inexperienced hands. We believe that the United States should seek multilateral agreements that, in agreed stages designed to maintain stability, would reduce ballistic missile deployments. Creation of an IVA, as proposed above, could greatly facilitate negotiation of multilateral ballistic missile limitations. All ballistic missile inventories worldwide should be subject to verification by such an agency or an equivalent mechanism similar to DTRA inspections.

As an example, we propose that all intermediate-range missiles, as defined by the INF treaty, be prohibited worldwide by a multilateral treaty. We propose that all MIRVed ICBMs be limited or prohibited worldwide by multilateral treaty, such as were to be prohibited by the United States and Russia in START II. We also propose that all ballistic and cruise missiles worldwide be subject to rigorous inspections to assure that all states abide by the nuclear limitations of the NPT and abide by the chemical and biological warhead prohibitions of the CWC and BWC.

As an ultimate treaty goal, we propose that, pursuant to the goals of the NPT, the CWC, and the BWC, the numbers of ballistic missiles worldwide should ultimately be reduced to zero in balanced verified stages designed to preserve international stability. We believe that success in these negotiations will require success in continuing the United States and Russian nuclear reductions as proposed in Section 2 above, and success in creating international verification procedures such as envisioned by the proposed IVA in Section 10 above.

12. Multilateral Reductions of Nuclear Warheads to Very Low Numbers.

A number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have developed detailed proposals for reductions to very low numbers of nuclear weapons. A broad-based committee of the National Academy of Sciences (1997) has proposed staged and verifiable nuclear reductions to very low numbers. The NAS committee stresses the need for vigorous verification and transparency, and urges the creation of a larger international security system capable of deterring the illegal acquisition of nuclear weapons and responding to any major aggression. We generally support these principles.

We believe the United States should seek the creation of the international verification mechanisms necessary to make practical the treaties and agreements that would reduce United States and Russian nuclear weapon inventories to less than 300 warheads each with lower numbers negotiated for China, for UK, and for France. All other nations should be non-nuclear weapon parties to the NPT. The creation of an effective international verification organization, as suggested above, is essential to agreements to reduce to these low numbers of nuclear warheads. The comprehensive nuclear arms reductions and limitations proposed here must be accomplished in verifiable staged reductions that provide strategic stability for each stage. We must create an international security framework that will provide all nations sufficient confidence in their own security so as to enable them to agree to the nuclear weapons limitations proposed here.

We believe that achievement of the verified reduction of inventories of nuclear weapons to the very low numbers proposed here will greatly enhance the ability of the responsible nuclear weapon parties to prevent the loss or theft of any nuclear weapons or weapons materials to terrorist or sub-national groups, such as organized crime or breakaway groups.

13. Strengthened United States Threat Reduction Capabilities.

The ability of the United States to protect against WMD depends on both

  1. The technological and military capability to respond to immediate terrorist threats; and
  2. The technical capability to ensure verification of existing and proposed treaties and agreements.

We believe that the United States government must enhance its support for developing the technical capabilities to detect the presence of clandestine WMD agents at home and abroad. United States National Technical Means (NTM) for achieving these missions must be strengthened. Support for DTRA and for research and development of new and improved detection equipment and techniques must be enhanced. We must strengthen the abilities of appropriate agencies to detect and/or respond to the presence of biological agents. Our ability to observe and count nuclear warheads must be improved in the cases of both those allowed by existing treaties and those not allowed by the NPT.

Our NTM capabilities to detect and pinpoint nuclear tests, including worldwide seismic, acoustic, hydroacoustic, air sampling, and satellite based systems, must be improved. These capabilities should be shared as appropriate with the IMS of the CTBT Organization. We urge full support and funding for the research programs sponsored by the DOE, DOD and other government agencies at the national laboratories and related contractors as necessary to achieve these objectives.

Finally, noting the difficulties recently faced by United States intelligence agencies in estimating the location and quantities of WMD and missiles in Iraq, we suggest that the creation of greatly enhanced international verification mechanisms such as the IVA (Section 10 above), strengthened IAEA safeguards, and other effective international institutions, may add greatly to the effectiveness and accuracy of the United States intelligence agencies and foreign national intelligence operations in determining the full nature of international WMD threats.

14. Active Interdiction of WMD Materials.

We support the present active participation of the United States in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). The PSI is a multinational consortium of like-minded states focused on interdicting shipments of WMD-related materials between national and/or subnational parties. PSI focuses on international commerce and movement of CW, BW, and nuclear materials and the equipment necessary to produce them. This regime may be improved by:

  1. Increasing the number of international participants;
  2. Streamlining the exchange of data among participants; and
  3. Strengthening the relevant national legal positions of participants and working to place such interdiction under the rule of international law.

We believe that the PSI process could be greatly strengthened if it were placed under the umbrella of an appropriate international treaty in support of the NPT and CWC. We also note that our proposed IVA (Section 10 above) could play a major role in achieving the goals of the PSI.

We also support the new Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) announced by United States Energy Secretary Abraham in a speech to the IAEA in May 2004. The GTRI is closely aligned with the nonproliferation amendment, authored by Senator Pete Domenici, to the FY 2005 Defense Authorization Act. The GTRI mission is to remove and/or secure high risk nuclear and radiological materials and equipment around the world that pose threats to global security.

15. New United States Nuclear Weapon Capabilities.

The United States should address carefully the issue of new nuclear weapon capabilities, taking into account the large reductions in its nuclear warhead inventories pledged in the Moscow Treaty and otherwise planned by the United States. The nuclear weapons laboratories should maintain the capability to study new designs, or alternative applications of current designs, but decisions to build, test, or deploy new designs should be carefully judged against the implications to arms control treaties and non-proliferation objectives versus the threats they are intended to meet. Premature testing or planned use of some types of weapons could, if perceived as a threat to the NPT, be counterproductive to our national security.

The construction of a new pit production facility should be very carefully considered. We suggest that the United States could tie a pledge to refrain from building a new Pit Production Facility to agreement and implementation by the international community of the necessary strictly verified nuclear weapon reductions and prohibitions.