IV. Controlling Conventional Weapons

Unlike chemical and biological weapons which we hope to eliminate, and unlike nuclear weapons which we hope will never again be used, conventional weapons are the ordinary tools of armed conflict. While they cannot be eliminated nor their use prohibited in the foreseeable future, their availability and use can be significantly controlled and restrained. Conventional arms control ranges from unilateral arrangements through multilateral agreements to global conventions.


European security concerns have changed dramatically since the early 1990's when members of two groups of states, NATO and the former Warsaw Pact, agreed to reduce the conventional armed forces in Europe west of the Ural Mountains (the Atlantic-to-the-Urals, or ATTU, region) and make the levels of conventional equipment for each side approximately equal. The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed in 1990, is a critical cornerstone of European security and stability. The Open Skies Treaty and the Vienna Document also represent important contributions.


Full implementation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) remains a fundamental U.S. objective. This Treaty has substantially improved predictability, transparency, and stability of the military forces of the participating states. It sets numerical limits on tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery, attack helicopters, and combat aircraft for 30 countries in the ATTU region. Further, it provides for the periodic exchange of detailed information on military forces, including locations and types of equipment, and for unprecedented rights to conduct on-site inspections.

As of the end of 1996, more than 51,300 items of treaty-limited conventional weapons equipment have been destroyed or permanently converted to non-military use in order to meet reduction liabilities, and over 2,700 on-site inspections have been conducted. These inspections, conducted by representatives from both groups of states, have examined weapons destruction events, as well as sites or areas reported or suspected to contain military equipment.

CFE Treaty-related activities have significantly reduced the potential for major international conflict within the ATTU region.

ACDA's Role: Throughout 1996 and beyond, ACDA participated actively in the interagency policy formulation process for the CFE Treaty. Under the leadership of the Head of the U.S. Delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), ACDA's senior representative on the OSCE delegation is the Chief U.S. Delegate to the Joint Consultative Group, the forum for CFE Treaty implementation and adaptation. In this capacity, he continues to conduct bilateral and multilateral discussions on questions of Treaty implementation and compliance, and to participate in negotiations to adapt the Treaty and thus maintain its vitality, in a changing European security environment.

CFE Treaty Evolution

The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe was signed in Paris on November 19, 1990 by 22 members of NATO and the former Warsaw Pact. On June 14, 1991, the Soviet Union entered into two accompanying commitments -- one legally binding and one a political commitment. The first details the Soviet reduction obligation related to equipment of treaty-limited types in naval infantry and coastal defense forces. The second agreement committed the Soviet Union to destroy more than 14,500 pieces of military equipment of treaty-limited types east of the Ural Mountains, an area outside the Treaty area of application. This political commitment resulted from NATO concerns about Soviet military equipment moved out of the Treaty area of application (ATTU) during the negotiating period prior to signature.

The CFE Treaty entered into force on November 9, 1992 (after a provisional application beginning July 17, 1992). In the two years between signature and entry-into-force (EIF), both the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union dissolved. On June 5, 1992, all States Parties agreed upon arrangements through which eight of the Soviet Union's successor states, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Georgia, assumed the former Soviet Union's rights and obligations provided in the CFE Treaty and associated documents. For example, each State Party agreed that combined maximum levels of all eight States Parties' holdings of Treaty-limited equipment (TLE) were not to exceed the equipment ceilings which applied to the former Soviet Union.

In May 1996, States Parties held the first Conference to review the operation of the Treaty. In the Review Conference Final Document, States Parties reaffirmed the fundamental role of the Treaty as a cornerstone of European security and their adherence to its goals and objectives. With expressed interest in preserving the integrity of the Treaty and continuing to honor the obligations and commitments arising from it and its associated documents, States Parties acknowledged the changing European political and security landscape. Final Document Annexes address the resolution of major issues involving the Treaty's 'flank' provisions and Russian obligations to destroy equipment east of the Ural mountains, as well as other implementation issues either resolved at the Conference or remanded to the Treaty's Joint Consultative Group (see chapter VI, item R).

One achievement of the Review Conference was the States Parties' agreement to immediately start a process aimed at improving the operation of the Treaty in a changing environment, and through that, the security of each State Party irrespective of whether it belongs to a politico-military alliance. Initial efforts focused on defining the scope and parameters of this process to adapt the Treaty, culminating with Heads of State agreeing at the Lisbon Summit on the terms of reference for negotiating specific adaptation measures starting early in 1997.

Treaty Implementation

Considering the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, and the political and economic turmoil in most of the successor states, implementing this complex treaty has generally been smooth, improving gradually throughout the 42-month reduction period as nations gained familiarity with procedures and developed trust in the on-site inspectors.

CFE Treaty compliance overall has been good although not perfect. Through 1996, more than 51,300 items of treaty-limited conventional equipment have been destroyed or demilitarized under CFE in order to meet reduction liabilities in the Treaty area of application. In addition, another 9,900 items have been notified by Russia for destruction or conversion beyond the Treaty area of application, and the States Parties have notified another 2,400 items as voluntarily reduced below their allowed limits. The 30 States Parties have provided detailed information on the status and location of remaining major conventional weapons. More than 2,700 detailed on-site inspections have been conducted. Beginning in November 1995 and continuing through April 1996, residual level validation inspections of all sites were conducted to verify the disposition within the ATTU of military forces of the 30 CFE States Parties, as well as compliance with Treaty TLE limits that went into effect on November 17, 1995.

At the beginning of 1996, full implementation of the Treaty faced a number of challenging issues. Foremost among them was the flank issue, centered on Russia and Ukraine seeking relief from the Treaty's equipment limits in the flank zone, citing various military, political, and economic concerns. In conjunction with the Treaty's May 1996 Review Conference, the CFE States Parties reached a flank agreement, ending over two years of debate that threatened to undermine the Treaty. The agreement is comprised of a map realignment adjusting territory in the flank zone, additional constraining and transparency measures on forces in the affected areas, and caps on equipment. Provisional application of portions of the flank agreement began May 31, 1996, and the entire agreement entered into force on May 15, 1997.

Major unresolved issues include:

Details of these and other issues are addressed in Chapter VII.

2. CFE-1A

CFE limits major offensive military equipment but does not limit personnel. Follow-on negotiations yielded a political agreement to limit the personnel strength of the conventional armed forces belonging to each State Party and located in the CFE area of application. This agreement was signed in Helsinki on July 10, 1992, and is formally known as the Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Personnel Strength of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, or CFE-1A. Data on personnel strengths are provided as part of the CFE annual information exchange.


The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC) is responsible for negotiation and implementation of CSBMs. Following up on decisions from the December 1994 Budapest Summit, the FSC has added emphasis to implementing existing commitments and given attention to regional security problems, including the aim of developing regional arms control and confidence- and security-building regimes that respond to specific security needs. It also developed an overall Framework for Arms Control in Europe and the Future Agenda for Arms Control, which were agreed by the FSC at the 1996 OSCE Summit in Lisbon.

The CSBMs codified within the OSCE, primarily in Vienna Document 1994, have allowed member states to monitor each other's military force structure and activities. The extensive sharing of information about military structures and activities elicited by Vienna Document 1994 and other OSCE agreements has significantly enhanced stability in Europe.

The ability to refine and update provisions, and to construct new measures, allows the OSCE to respond to political-military changes. In 1996, the FSC: agreed a questionnaire reporting the status of Chemical Weapons Convention ratification and implementation; revised the questionnaire (annual) on Conventional Arms Transfers policy; revised the five-year schedule for hosting Air Base Visits; modified reporting requirements for annual information on Defense Planning data; and created new mechanisms for the Communications Network to reach all Participating States.

ACDA's Role: ACDA actively participates in formulating CSBM policy and supports, on site, the U.S. delegation to the OSCE in Vienna, in particular, by coordinating U.S. participation in the Annual Implementation Assessment Meeting for CSBMs.


The Open Skies Treaty establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the entire territory of its signatories, which includes the U.S., Canada, and almost all European countries. It is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in observing military or other activities of concern to them. Currently covering territory from Vancouver, Canada, to Vladivostok, Russia, Open Skies is the most wide-ranging international effort in history to promote openness and transparency of military forces and activities. It is an open treaty, with provisions for expansion to other OSCE members and, potentially, throughout the world. The Open Skies Treaty has not yet entered into force. Although 22 of the 27 signatories have ratified the Treaty, three of the remaining five --Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine -- must ratify for entry into force to occur.

The Treaty is based upon the following principles:

The Treaty requires consensus decisions to upgrade sensors, adjust quotas, and admit new participants. The Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC) in Vienna, Austria is the forum established to facilitate implementing the Treaty.

The Open Skies Treaty is based on a U.S. initiative of May 1989. It was signed by 26 countries on March 24, 1992 and ratified by the U.S. on November 2, 1993. The 27 current signatories are: Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Additional nations can apply for membership after EIF, but former republics of the Soviet Union can accede at any time.

In anticipation of EIF, and to prepare aircrews and inspectors, as well as collect additional data on sensor capabilities, many signatories have been conducting joint trial flights. These flights also validate flight procedures and air traffic control mechanisms, while building confidence for operations after EIF. In 1996, the U.S. conducted trial flights with the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Hungary; conducted its second mock aircraft certification; and participated in a mock aircraft certification in Ukraine.

As currently envisioned, implementing the Open Skies Treaty will increase transparency and build confidence throughout Europe. Its scope could be expanded geographically in the future by either including additional countries or developing similar regional regimes elsewhere using the rules and procedures for Open Skies as a basis for new agreements.

Current OSCC dialogue is focussed on procedures for certifying aircraft and sensor suites, and other issues related to implementing observation flights, including flight procedures, sensor methodologies, and formatted notifications required by the Treaty. A Sensor Guidance Document is being developed to provide Treaty implementors and sensor experts suggested procedures for certifying aircraft and sensor suites and conducting observation and demonstration flights.

ACDA's Role: In 1996, ACDA continued to participate actively in the interagency policy formulation process for the Open Skies Treaty. Under the leadership of the Head of the U.S. Delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the ACDA senior representative in Vienna, Austria is the Chief U.S. Delegate to the OSCC. An ACDA staff member chairs the OSCC Working Group on Notifications and Formats, one of four working groups negotiating technical matters related to implementing the Treaty. The USG continues to promote the earliest possible EIF, encouraging States Parties which have not done so to ratify.


The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, initialed in Dayton on November 21, 1995 and signed in Paris on December 14, 1995, included a section on arms control to complement the political, economic and military efforts to bring about peace and long-term stability to this war-torn country and the surrounding region. Annex 1-B represented an ambitious and unprecedented endeavor to bring parties from the battlefield to negotiated arms reductions within eight months. It envisaged three steps:

The Dayton Accords directed that these agreements be negotiated under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE assigns a Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office for each negotiation, who is also responsible for overseeing implementation.

The Agreement on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures in Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Article II Agreement) was signed in Vienna on January 26, 1996, within the one-month deadline. As directed by the Dayton Accords, this Agreement drew on the OSCE's Vienna Document and the CFE Treaty (described in Paragraphs 1 and 3 above) and added new measures to support the military cease-fire agreement. Among other things, the Agreement requires exchanges of information on military forces and the notification of military activities, and imposes restrictions on deployments of heavy weapons. It also provides for inspections of military forces and monitoring of weapons manufacturing capabilities. No Party may withdraw from the Agreement during 1996 and 1997. The Agreement established a Joint Consultative Commission to oversee implementation. The successful conclusion of this negotiation was an important confidence-building step in its own right. Generals who, only a few weeks earlier, had been at war with each other, had now negotiated an agreement opening up their armies to each other's observers. Implementation of this agreement, though difficult, has been generally successful.

The Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control (the Article IV Agreement) was signed in Florence, Italy, on June 14, 1996, a week past its scheduled deadline due to Bosnian Government concerns about the Agreement's effect on the constitutional construct of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As mandated by the Dayton Accords, this Agreement mirrors the CFE Treaty, adapted in particular ways to the requirements of the region, and establishes ceilings on:

at lower levels and in accordance with a 5:2:2 ratio among the FRY, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Within Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ceilings reflect a 2:1 ratio, as mandated by Dayton, between the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Muslim-Croat Federation) and the Republika Srpska (the Bosnian Serbs). Reductions are required of all parties. A large proportion of the reductions were to have been completed by December 21, 1996, and the remainder by November 1997. The fundamental intent of this Article IV Agreement was the establishment of a stable military balance based on the lowest level of armaments in order to prevent the recurrence of conflict. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republika Srpska are to reduce the greatest amounts. The Article IV Agreement also incorporated an inspection regime similar to that of the CFE Treaty, and established a Sub-Regional Consultative Commission to oversee implementation.

Implementation of this agreement has been mixed. While Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina reduced a total of some 1,500 heavy weapons, the Republika Srpska has failed to report its weapons accurately and refuses to accept its reduction obligation.

The Agreement envisaged in Article V of Annex 1-B of the Dayton Accords, which has the aim of increasing stability in the region surrounding the former Yugoslavia, has yet to begin. The United States believes there must be successful implementation of the Article IV Agreement before Article V can be initiated.

As the primary initiator of the Dayton peace process and as a member of the Contact Group (a group of countries consisting of the U.S., the UK, France, Germany and Russia, which were the "witnesses" or guarantors of the Dayton Accords) in support of the Dayton Accords, the United States is committed to ensuring their full implementation. Arms control can make an important contribution to peace and stability in the region.

ACDA's Role: The Agency has also participated actively in the formulation of U.S. policy in support of these arms control agreements and in the actual negotiation and implementation of them. ACDA seconded an expert to advise and assist the OSCE's chief negotiator for the Article IV Agreement both during the negotiations and its implementation during 1996. The Agency also provided an expert to reinforce the U.S. OSCE Delegation for the Article II and Article IV negotiations. In addition, ACDA experts continue to participate actively in the U.S. policymaking community as we look toward continued implementation of the two Agreements in 1997 and the initiation of Article V negotiations.


Landmines affect every aspect of life in states recovering from conflict. They maim and kill innocent civilians, obstruct emergency assistance, hamper economic development, and prevent refugees and displaced people from returning to their homes. They also leave a legacy of disabled persons.

By domestic law, the U.S. Government has observed a unilateral moratorium on all anti-personnel landmine exports since 1992. For several years, we have urged other nations to join in this moratorium. But while the moratorium is a useful step, no export regime can by itself change the large numbers of mines now stockpiled, nor will it affect mines a nation makes for its own use. Further action is required.

During the first half of 1996, the U.S. objective was to develop and implement practical measures to reduce civilian anti-personnel landmine casualties. We believe that reduction of these casualties, consistent with military requirements and as we seek a worldwide ban, is the critical measure of success for APL control efforts. Our anti-personnel landmine policy began with the fundamental problem of post-combat civilian casualties.

Limiting mine duration. Anti-personnel landmines are generally intended to serve a military purpose for hours or days. But their unique evil is that they usually are designed to remain lethal for years or decades, long after the combat has ended. Since post-combat mine casualties result from the long life of mines, the near-term solution is to use short-lived mines instead of long-lived mines.

There are two useful methods for limiting mine life:

Self-destruction is performed by a timer which detonates the main charge after a set period of time. Self-destruction has the advantage of completely removing the mine; it has the disadvantage that it can sometimes fail, leaving a lethal mine in place.

Self-deactivation renders the mine inoperable through exhaustion of an essential part of the mine such as the battery. The advantage of self-deactivation is that it never fails; batteries always die. The disadvantage is that it leaves behind an object which must be removed.

Until a ban is achieved, a new CCW requirement that all unmarked mines be short-lived by requiring both self-destruction and self-deactivation, will help protect the civilian population.

Detectability. Today the most common method of humanitarian mine clearance employs magnetic-field metal detectors. Unfortunately, some mines are largely made of plastic and lack sufficient metal to be magnetically detected under field conditions. We have proposed at the CCW Review Conference that all landmines be required to have magnetic signatures at least equal to 8 grams of iron in a single coherent mass. Since some of our mines do not meet this specification, we will either convert them, destroy them, or refrain from using them after February 1997.

Status of activities

The Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) is a Law of War treaty which includes a protocol regulating the use of landmines. But because of the limitations of the Convention in its original form, Review Conference sessions were held in September-October 1995, January 1996, and April-May 1996, primarily for the purpose of strengthening the landmine provisions.

On May 3, 1996, the Conference approved a set of amendments providing that:

The United States would have preferred stronger provisions in many respects. We sought a mandatory effective verification regime as well as requirements for 95 percent self-destruction reliability and anti-tank mine detectability. We preferred shorter deferral periods -- ideally, no deferral periods at all.

Nevertheless, the amended CCW constitutes a very large humanitarian advance as it stands. It enters into force when ratified by 20 nations. We have submitted it to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification and are pressing other states to ratify it as soon as possible.

Arms Control, Disarmament and Nonproliferation Objectives

On May l6, 1996 the President established the following new U.S. landmine policy: "The United States will seek a worldwide agreement as soon as possible to end the use of all anti-personnel land-mines ... and stop the enormous loss of human life.... Effective immediately, our Armed Forces (will) discontinue the use of ... anti-personnel mines which remain active until detonated or cleared. The only exception will be for those mines required to defend U.S. troops and our allies from aggression on the Korean Peninsula and those needed for training purposes. Because of the continued threat of aggression on the Korean Peninsula, I have decided that, in any negotiations on a ban, the United States will protect our right to use mines there. We will do so until the threat has ended or alternatives to landmines become available."

Prospects for the coming year

We will aggressively pursue negotiations toward a ban on the use, stockpile, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines, seeking to complete this agreement as soon as possible and seeking to remove the need for the Korean exception as soon as possible.

On January 17, 1997 President Clinton announced that the United States would seek to initiate negotiations on a global, comprehensive ban on anti-personnel landmines in the Conference on Disarmament. In a statement to the Conference on Disarmament, he urged the "negotiation as soon as possible of a comprehensive, global ban on anti-personnel landmines. These weapons of war have caused terrible suffering to innocent civilians and represent an enormous obstacle to restoring a more peaceful life after a conflict has ended. All the children of the world deserve to walk the earth in safety."

After extensive consultations with many countries, the President believes that the Conference on Disarmament offers the most practical and effective forum for achieving our goal of a worldwide ban. In that both the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention were successfully negotiated in the Conference on Disarmament, this body has an impressive track record. To give further impetus to this effort, the President also announced that the United States will observe a permanent ban on the export and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. This action builds on the Landmine Export Moratorium Act sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy, which has temporarily prohibited the export and transfer of these weapons since 1992. As another step toward a ban, the President also decided to cap the U.S. anti-personnel landmine stockpile at the current level of inventory.

ACDA's Role: An ACDA representative served as deputy head of the United States CCW delegation, participates in all U.S. landmine negotiation and policy formulation, and originated the requirement for self-destruction and self-deactivation. As we now move toward a total ban, ACDA chairs the interagency policy formulation meetings on anti-personnel landmine negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament.


The post-Cold War era has witnessed a substantial reduction in military spending and defense-related procurement in most countries, which ironically has produced increased military and commercial pressures within industrial states to expand foreign sales to compensate for the contraction in domestic defense markets. Meanwhile, the widespread development and acquisition of advanced conventional military capabilities are being accelerated by the erosion of the distinction between military and advanced commercial technology.

Arms Export Controls

Regulation of international conventional weapons transfers, therefore, is becoming increasingly important to national and international security. ACDA is the only U.S. government agency chartered by law to conduct arms control assessments of proposed defense-related exports, without competing agency mission objectives. Under the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act, ACDA reviews proposed commercial defense trade exports licensed by the Department of State, and government-to-government Foreign Military Sales and military assistance programs. Each year we evaluate more than 1,200 proposed government-to-government and commercial arms-transfer applications to determine whether they might:

In assessing export cases, ACDA also takes into account:

We pay particular attention to exports involving:

Dual-use Export Controls

ACDA also evaluates licenses administered by the Department of Commerce for the export of dual-use items subject to nonproliferation (nuclear/chemical/biological weapons and missiles), national security, regional stability, and terrorist controls. In early 1996 the U.S. Government inaugurated a new computer-based interagency license referral system as required by Executive Order 12981, which provided the Agency for the first time with prompt and direct access to export license information. This system has allowed ACDA to provide a careful and timely review of all licenses, and to participate equally with other agencies in the license decision-making process at every level. Recognizing the importance of ensuring that export controls do not impede legitimate commerce, ACDA achieved an average response time of only eight days, faster than any other agency involved in the licensing process.

As international commerce increases, the importance of harmonized export controls among trading nations to prevent even unintended proliferation of weapons capabilities has taken on new urgency. In this respect, ACDA actively supported and participated in USG efforts to promote and assist in the adoption of effective and comprehensive national export control systems on a worldwide basis. ACDA staff have provided their expertise to foreign governments in a wide range of fora, from bilateral consultations to multilateral export control workshops and seminars in far-flung parts of the globe. These missions have been instrumental in achieving enhanced awareness, introduction, improvement, and expansion of export controls, wider international adherence to global nonproliferation norms, and increased membership in the various multilateral nonproliferation regimes.

Interagency Participation

ACDA participates in various interagency committees and working groups concerned with arms and technology transfer issues. These bodies and their functions include:

Multilateral Export Control

ACDA contributed to the U.S. initiative, pursued with 22 like-minded nations, to develop a new multilateral export-control regime as a follow-on to the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM). COCOM formally ended on March 31, 1994, but members agreed to maintain national controls on former COCOM-controlled items until the new regime was established. Negotiations toward this post-COCOM regime culminated in July 1996 with the establishment of the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-use Goods and Technologies. This new global regime, the first ever of its kind, is designed to promote transparency, responsibility, and appropriate restraint in the international transfer of arms and sensitive dual-use goods and technologies. It complements but does not duplicate the work of the existing nonproliferation regimes. Members agreed to implement the Arrangement's procedures beginning in November 1996.

Membership in the Wassenaar Arrangement is open to supplier nations meeting international nonproliferation and export-control norms. The 33 current members are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, the Russian Federation, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. ACDA participated in the interagency and international negotiations establishing the fundamental guidelines and procedures for the arrangement, and has continued its active support and participation this year in the establishment of the Arrangement and the beginning of implementation of its procedures.

Presidential Advisory Board on Arms Proliferation Policy

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995 mandated the creation of this board to conduct a study of the factors that contribute to the proliferation of strategic and advanced conventional weapons and related equipment and technologies, and the policy options that are available to the U.S. to inhibit such proliferation. The Board, supported by the RAND Corporation, completed its studies and issued its report in June 1996. ACDA participated actively in the Board's information-gathering meetings, and many of the Board's conclusions and recommendations reflected concerns and suggestions stated by the Agency. Among its many recommendations to enhance U.S. arms control, nonproliferation and regional stability objectives, the Board endorsed ACDA's role as an independent arms control advisor to the President and recommended strengthening the Agency's nonproliferation mandate.

Regional Security Assistance Conferences

These annual conferences, organized by the joint commands, provide regional security assistance officers, attaches, industry and foreign government representatives, and Washington agencies an opportunity for candid discussion of arms and technology transfer issues. As a result of ACDA's initiative, senior and staff-level Agency officials participated in the PACOM, CENTCOM, and SOUTHCOM conferences in various capacities, including briefings, workshops, round tables, and as invited feature speakers, to ensure that the arms control perspective is an integral part of their proceedings.



The UN Register of Conventional Arms entered its fourth year of operation in 1996. For the four years of its existence, 134 different UN members have made contributions to the register (93 to 96 states each year). The U.S. continues to be one of the strongest supporters of the register. Along with its NATO allies, it continues to encourage states that have not done so to submit data and information on their conventional arms transfers to the register.

ACDA's Role: ACDA chairs the interagency policy formulation process for the UN Register. It also prepares the annual U.S. submission to the UN register, and coordinates the U.S. response to bilateral requests for consultations to resolve discrepancies in National Submissions.


Due to the procedural deadlock on all substantive issues then on its agenda but CTBT, the CD Ad Hoc Committee (AHC) on Transparency in Armaments was not re-established in 1996. Despite the CD deadlock, the U.S. and Western states tabled at the 51st UNGA a First Committee resolution calling for early continuation of discussions in the CD on transparency in armaments. The resolution passed the UNFC by a vote of 133(U.S.)-0-15.

UN Studies

In 1996, the UN Group of Qualified Governmental Experts on Small Arms met for the first of four meetings expected over the next two years at UN Headquarters. The mandate for the group is to determine: (1) the types of small arms and light weapons actually dealt with by the United Nations; (2) the nature and causes of excessive and destabilizing accumulation and transfer of small arms and light weapons, including their illicit production and trade; and (3) the ways and means to prevent and reduce the excessive and destabilizing accumulation and transfer of small arms and light weapons, in particular as they cause or exacerbate conflict.

The group is to report on its findings at the UNGA in 1997.

In 1992 and 1994, a UN Group of Governmental Technical Experts, including a U.S. expert, met three times and concluded its study elaborating the technical procedures for operation of the register. The 1992 group elaborated the technical procedures for operation of the register, established a standardized format for the reporting of export and import data, and made adjustments to the categories necessary for the effective operation of the register. The 1994 Group discussed the continued operation of the register. A third group is scheduled to be convened in 1997, and the United States will once again provide an expert.

ACDA's Role: ACDA will be providing the U.S. expert to the 1997 Group of Governmental Technical Experts on the UN Register and will chair the interagency policy formulation process to prepare for this group.