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.

A. CONVENTIONAL ARMS CONTROL REGIMES IN EUROPE

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.

1. TREATY ON CONVENTIONAL ARMED FORCES IN EUROPE (CFE)

Fully implementing 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 participating governments of Europe and the military forces they control. It sets numerical limits on tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery, attack helicopters, and combat aircraft for 30 countries with military forces 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 1995, more than 50,000 items of treaty limited conventional weapons equipment have been destroyed or permanently converted to non-military use, and over 2300 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 containing reported or suspected military equipment.

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

ACDA's Role. In 1996 and beyond, ACDA will continue to play a key role 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. In this capacity, he continues to advocate completing CFE Treaty-mandated destruction of offensive military equipment, negotiate quicker and cheaper methods of equipment destruction, conduct bilateral and multilateral discussions to resolve questions on Treaty implementation and compliance, and develop policy initiatives and recommendations for current implementation and, the May 1996 CFE Treaty Review Conference, and follow-on CFE requirements.

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 former details the Soviet reduction obligation related to equipment of TLE types in naval infantry and coastal defense forces. The latter agreement commits the Soviet Union to destroy more than 14,500 pieces of military equipment 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. In the two years between signature and 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.

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 1995, more than 50,000 items of treaty limited conventional equipment have been destroyed or demilitarized under CFE. The 30 States Parties have provided detailed information on the status and location of remaining major conventional weapons. More than 2300 detailed on-site inspections have been conducted. In November 1995, residual level validation inspections of all sites commenced 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.

Full implementation of the Treaty faces a number of remaining challenges. Foremost among these is the CFE flank issue. However, as part of a decision among the 30 CFE parties on November 17, 1995, Russia reconfirmed its commitment to the goals and objectives of the Treaty and associated commitments and obligations, and to achieving full compliance with the Treaty's provisions. CFE states agreed to intensify negotiations in the Joint Consultative Group (JCG) with the aim of reaching agreement as soon as possible on a flank solution that would include a map realignment, constraining measures and additional transparency measures on forces in the affected areas, and a schedule of withdrawal of excess equipment.

Other unresolved issues include:

Details of these issues are addressed in Chapter VII.

CFE is a cornerstone of European security today. Its careful implementation is essential in the new security relationship in Europe. The Treaty has significantly enhanced stability, security, accountability, cooperation, and openness throughout Europe. At the same time, the CFE Treaty has never been an end to itself, but rather, part of a continuing drive to achieve and maintain stability in Europe.

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 is provided as part of the CFE annual information exchange.

3. CONFIDENCE- AND SECURITY-BUILDING MEASURES (CSBMs)

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (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 has also begun work on developing an overall framework for arms control in Europe.

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 today.

Vienna Document 1994, superseding Vienna Document 1992, came into effect on January 1, 1995. In keeping with Vienna Document 1994, the OSCE states conducted their sixth annual exchange of military information on December 15, 1995.

The ability to refine and update provisions, and to construct new measures, allows the OSCE to respond to political-military changes. In addition, the FSC sponsored several seminars during 1995, including one on conventional arms transfer policy and procedures, providing an opportunity for states to involve their own technical experts. This exchange with the technical experts enables Vienna delegations to ensure that their work continues to meet new requirements.

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 organizing U.S. participation in the Annual Implementation Assessment Meeting for CSBMs.

4. OPEN SKIES TREATY

The Open Skies Treaty establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the entire territory of its signatories, which include 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 21 of the 27 signatories have ratified the Treaty, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine must also 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 25 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, 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, plus 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 1995, the U.S. conducted trial flights with Germany and the United Kingdom, first conducted a mock aircraft certification, and participated in mock aircraft certifications in the United Kingdom and Ukraine. Additionally, in November, the fully operational OC-135B, with all four Treaty-allowed types of sensors, was rolled out for final flight testing.

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 and beyond, ACDA continues to play a key role 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 employee 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.

B. REDUCING CIVILIAN CASUALTIES DUE TO LANDMINES

In the time required to read this report, more than 10 noncombatant civilians will be maimed or killed by anti-personnel landmines. Because the rate of mine emplacement exceeds the rate of mine clearing by at least 10 to 1, the severity of this human tragedy will, if left unchecked, worsen over time. Many, perhaps most, of its victims will be children or farmers.

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

Arms Control, Disarmament and Nonproliferation Objectives. The United States has sought tight restrictions on anti-personnel landmines, as discussed later in this subsection. On May 16, 1996 the President proposed negotiations for a worldwide agreement banning use, production, stockpiling, and transfers of anti-personnel landmines, with a view to concluding those negotiations as soon as possible.

Our quest for effective restrictions began with the fundamental problem of post-combat civilian mine casualties, and seeks reduction or elimination of the mine properties that cause these casualties.

The U.S. objective has been initially to develop and implement practical measures to reduce post-combat civilian mine casualties. We believe that reduction of these casualties, consistent with military requirements and as we seek a worldwide ban, is a critical measure of success for mine control efforts.

Limiting mine duration. Anti-personnel mines 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 after the combat has moved on. Since post-combat mine casualties result from the long life of mines, the near-term solution is to replace long-lived mines with short-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. A self-destruct mechanism can be viewed as a built-in demining device; its cost is more than 100 times cheaper than that of conventional demining. 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, the U.S. Government favors making unmarked mines short-lived by requiring both self-destruction within 30 days of emplacement with 95% minimum reliability, and self-deactivation within 120 days of emplacement with 99.9% minimum total reliability. Each measure can thus compensate for the limitations of the other.

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, therefore, proposed that all landmines be required to have magnetic signatures at least equal to 8 grams of iron in a single coherent mass. Since our M14 mines do not meet this specification, we have committed either to convert them or to refrain from using them.

Status of activities. Landmine control is presently dealt with in two fora:

The Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), is a Law of War treaty which includes a protocol regulating the use of landmines. The U.S. Senate approved ratification of this convention March 24, 1995; President Clinton ratified and deposited the instrument of ratification the same day. But because of the limitations of the Convention in its present 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% 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. We will press for its entry into force as soon as possible.

The U.S.-U.K. Anti-Personnel Landmine Control Program is a political regime that would regulate production, stockpiling, and transfer of long-lived mines. In this respect, it goes beyond CCW, which deals only with mine use and with some aspects of transfer. The first meeting on this program was held in Budapest in June of 1995, with over 30 countries attending. In order not to conflict with CCW, further meetings on the Control Program were deferred pending completion of the CCW Review Conference.

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. We will begin by proposing a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly to support such an agreement.

ACDA's Role. An ACDA representative served as deputy head of the United States CCW delegation. While underscoring its full commitment to the eventual elimination of all anti-personnel landmines, ACDA has stressed the need to limit the active life of these mines, and originated the requirement for self-destruction and self-deactivation.

C. CONTROLLING CONVENTIONAL ARMS TRANSFERS

In most arms-exporting countries, the end of the Cold War has produced a reduction in military procurement, and a corresponding increase in military and commercial pressures to export. Maintenance of a defense industrial base in major arms-producing/exporting nations has therefore become a higher priority to national defense and to the economic future of military producers. Meanwhile, the widespread development and acquisition of advanced conventional military capabilities are being accelerated by erosion of the distinction between military and advanced commercial technology. Full details on worldwide arms transfers can be found in the latest edition of ACDA's report, World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1993-1994.

Controlling conventional weapons transfers, therefore, is becoming increasingly critical to national security. ACDA is the only U.S. agency tasked to examine exports solely from the arms control and regional stability perspective, with no competing objectives. Under the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, ACDA reviews proposed commercial arms exports licensed by the Department of State, and government-to-government Foreign Military Sales and military assistance programs. We also evaluate licenses administered by the Department of Commerce for the export of dual-use items subject to nonproliferation controls on missiles and nuclear/chemical/biological weapons.

As directed by law, ACDA evaluates proposed transfers or exports to determine whether they might:

In assessing export cases, we also take into account:

We pay particular attention to exports involving significant high-technology military or power-projection capabilities including:

In 1994, ACDA evaluated more than 2,500 government-to-government and commercial arms-transfer applications with the above criteria in mind, along with dual-use cases subject to missile, nuclear, and CBW export controls.

ACDA participates in various interagency committees and working groups concerned with technology- and arms-transfer, and security assistance 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 keep national controls on former COCOM-controlled items until the new regime is established. Negotiations toward a post-COCOM regime continue. Partners seek a new regime that will promote transparency and responsibility with regard to the transfer of arms and sensitive dual-use goods and technologies. The new regime will complement, not duplicate, existing nonproliferation regimes. Membership will be open to supplier nations meeting international nonproliferation and export-control norms. This year, Russia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia joined the 23 other nations as founding members to complete the discussions in an effort to inaugurate the "Wassenaar Arrangement" early in 1996. ACDA participated in the first "high-level meeting" that included Russia and the Visegrad states, paving the way for completion of the negotiations. ACDA also participated in preparation for and discussions of the "Working Group on Guidelines," negotiating the fundamental guidelines and procedures for the arrangement.

Conventional Arms Transfer Policy. In February, after extensive interagency review, President Clinton unveiled a new Conventional Arms Transfer policy. ACDA was deeply involved from the beginning in the formulation of this policy, which reflects an approach the Administration has taken toward arms transfers in response to the world situation after the Cold War. The policy places priority on multilateral restraint through such vehicles as the successor to COCOM which is now known as Wassenar Arrangement, and lays out policy goals to be pursued through transfers.

The policy also establishes general criteria to be taken into account in making decisions on conventional arms transfers. The criteria include several arms control considerations, such as consistency with international agreements, regional stability, and the human rights, terrorism, and proliferation records of the prospective recipient.

Regional CAT Policy. In response to the changing world situation and in an effort to bring focus to the new CAT policy, ACDA and other agencies have been developing "regional" policies that take into account the specific situation encountered in each region. Such a policy can address the specific countries involved and clarify the pros and cons of potential transfers taking into account the regional dynamic. This avoids the pitfalls of a piecemeal approach to individual proposals, resulting in a proactive, consistent approach to arms transfer decisions. In 1995 our efforts focused on developing such policies for Central Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Regional Security Assistance Conferences. ACDA proposed, to DOD's regional commanders, to speak at their annual conferences for people involved in Security Assistance programs. While these conferences have tended to focus on the promotion of Foreign Military Sales, we were invited to present an arms control view at this year's Central Command and Pacific Command conferences. Such presentations will help bring perspective to our Security Assistance program decision makers worldwide.