ARTICLE-BY-ARTICLE ANALYSIS OF LETTERS EXCHANGED BY THE HEADS OF DELEGATION

STRUCTURE AND OVERVIEW OF THE LETTERS

BBBBB Ambassador Brooks and Ambassador Nazarkin exchanged seven letters at the Presidential Summit in Moscow concluding agreements on behalf of their governments. Although the agreements follow a similar form and are legally binding, they are not integral parts of the Treaty; rather, they are agreements, associated with the Treaty, that have the legal status of Executive Agreements.

BBBBB The seven letters fall into three groups. Two of the letters, dealing with an exchange of photographs and with engineering site surveys, allow for implementation of specific steps prior to entry into force of the Treaty itself. Four of the letters, dealing with the phasing of reductions of heavy ICBMs, launch canisters, silos used as launch control centers, and the Soviet Bear D (TU-95RTs), amplify the Treaty and affect only the Soviet Union. They are contained in separate letters, rather than in the Treaty itself, in deference to Soviet domestic political considerations. The final letter provides amplifying details on verification of the U.S. B-1 bomber; these details were placed in a separate letter at the request of the United States, due to our desire for reciprocity given that matters of comparable concern to the Soviets had been placed in separate letters.

I. EXCHANGE OF LETTERS CONCERNING PHASING OF
REDUCTIONS OF HEAVY ICBMs

This agreement consists of an exchange of letters, dated July 30, 1991, between Ambassadors Brooks and Nazarkin. The letter from Ambassador Brooks accepts formal assurances set forth in Ambassador Nazarkin's letter.

BBBBB Those assurances address the phasing of the reduction by the Soviet Union of specified deployed heavy ICBMs and their associated launchers. The Soviet Union states that such items shall be reduced such that no fewer than 22 of such items shall be reduced each year until the Treaty's limits on such items and for warheads attributed to deployed heavy ICBMs have been reached.

!BBBBB Two important separate Soviet obligations are contained in the Soviet letter. The first concerns the rate of reductions. The obligation is to reduce at least 22 heavy ICBM launchers each year during the period of reductions (22 each year for seven years equals the 154 heavy ICBM launchers required to be reduced under the Treaty). Note that the obligation is a repeating annual one, not a cumulative obligation. Thus, if 30 heavy ICBM launchers were to be eliminated in the first year, an additional 22 would still be required to be eliminated the second year, and in each subsequent year, until 154 total launchers have been reduced.

BBBBB The second obligation concerns the method of reductions. The reductions must be through elimination (i.e., through physical destruction), rather than through conversion. This provision was included to ensure that heavy ICBM silos could not be removed from accountability as heavy ICBM launchers and reconverted to heavy ICBM silos later.

BBBBB The letters exchanged on the reduction of heavy ICBMs refer to the obligations combined therein as statements reflecting the official positions of the United States and the Soviet Union." The other letters exchanged are agreements on behalf of the governments of the United States and the Soviet Union. Because of this difference in phrasing, Minister Bessmertnykh provided a letter to Secretary Baker, signed on July 30, 1991 during the Presidential Summit in Moscow, in which he confirmed that the July 30, 1991 letter from Ambassador Nazarkin to Ambassador Brooks is legally binding.

II. EXCHANGE OF LETTERS CONCERNING THE BEAR D BOMBER

BBBBB This agreement consists of a July 31, 1991 exchange of letters between Ambassadors Brooks and Nazarkin. The letter from Ambassador Brooks accepts a proposal set forth in Ambassador Nazarkin's letter.

BBBBB The proposal addresses airplanes designated Tu-95RTs by the Soviet Union and Bear D by the United States. Under the Treaty the Tu-95 is listed as an existing type of heavy bomber. Thus all Tu-95 variants should be either deployed heavy bombers, non-nuclear heavy bombers, test heavy bombers, training heavy bombers, or former heavy bombers. The Twelfth Agreed Statement, however, exempts the 37 existing TU-95RTs (Bear D) maritime patrol airplanes from being considered as former heavy bombers. The proposal complements and amplifies that Agreed Statement by providing information on the Tu-95RTs, as well as the opportunity to verify that information. The proposal stipulates that the airplanes are for maritime operations, are not heavy bombers, and have not been equipped with air-to-surface weapons or undergone conversion; it also lists distinguishing features for these airplanes and stipulates that the Soviet Union has 37 such airplanes.

BBBBB The Parties agree that not later than 240 days after signature of the Treaty, the Soviet Union is (i) to provide photographs to aid in the identification of such airplanes, (ii) conduct an exhibition of one such airplane, under specified conditions, and (iii) exhibit, upon request of the United States, the other 36 such airplanes under specified conditions.

BBBBB The 37 airplanes are not to be based at air bases for heavy bombers or former heavy bombers, heavy bomber flight test centers, or training facilities for heavy bombers. They shall not be considered to be former heavy bombers and thus shall not be accountable" under the Treaty limits for heavy bombers equipped for non-nuclear armaments, training heavy bombers, and former heavy bombers.

BBBBB In the event the Soviet Union continues to produce such airplanes, all such new airplanes will be treated as former heavy bombers under the Treaty and subject to inspection to confirm that they are not equipped for air-to-surface weapons.

BBBBB This agreement enters into force upon entry into force of the Treaty and remains in force while the Treaty is in force, except for the three obligations mentioned above that enter into force upon signature of the Treaty and remain in force for 240 days.

III. EXCHANGE OF LETTERS CONCERNING THE B-1 BOMBER

BBBBB This agreement consists of a July 31, 1991 exchange of letters between Ambassadors Brooks and Nazarkin. The letter from Ambassador Nazarkin accepts a proposal set forth in Ambassador Brooks' letter.

BBBBB The proposal reflects an agreement on the distinguishability of the B-1 heavy bomber. The need for such an agreement arises from the fact that, among existing types of heavy bombers, the B-1 is unique in having been tested with long-range nuclear ALCMs but not having been deployed in the category equipped for" such ALCMs. The provisions concerning distinguishability in this agreement gave the Parties a basis for their agreement that the currently deployed B-1s will count under START as heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments other than long-range nuclear ALCMs.

BBBBB Specifically, the letters address the distinguishability between categories of the B-1 heavy bomber. The B-1 was originally designed for a multi-role capability (i.e., as a penetrating heavy bomber, carrying both nuclear and conventional weapons, with the added capability to launch long-range nuclear ALCMs). The B-1 has been deployed as a penetrating heavy bomber and does not carry long-range nuclear ALCMs, and as a result the deployed B-1s were configured as equipped for nuclear armaments other than long-range nuclear ALCMs. This entailed leaving the movable bulkhead in the internal weapons bay in its original position, making the bay too small to carry long-range nuclear ALCMs. In addition, the United States agreed in the letters to cover the external pylon attachment points of the deployed B-1 force by a process equivalent to welding. These actions prevent rapidly converting deployed B-1s into aircraft equipped for long-rang nuclear ALCMs, and allow the Soviets to distinguish deployed B-1s from the two B-1 test heavy bombers that were tested with long-range nuclear ALCMs. Additionally, the letters establish a commitment that would further hinder loading long-range nuclear ALCMs onto B-1s by allowing neither unique support equipment for loading long-range nuclear ALCMs onto B-1s nor equipment for loading the pylons of long-range nuclear ALCMs onto B-1s to be located at air bases for B-1 heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments other than long-range nuclear ALCMs.

BBBBB The B-1 was designed with numerous external attachment joints. Physically, there would be room to mount 14 long-range nuclear ALCMs externally. Together with the eight that could be carried internally, this would allow a single bomber to carry a total of 22 long-range nuclear ALCMs, which could have been inconsistent with the prohibition on equipping U.S. heavy bombers for more than 20 long-range nuclear ALCMs, found in paragraph 20 of Article V. However, program decisions preclude use of two sets of the B-1 attachment joints used for carriage of a single long-range nuclear ALCM pylon. No pylons for these attachment joints exist. These two sets of joints are specifically addressed by subparagraph (c) of the second paragraph of the letter. Two of the remaining attachment joints also serve as jacking points for use during aircraft maintenance. These two, therefore, are allowed to remain uncovered and in place, so as to permit jacking.

BBBBB The substantive portion of the agreement provided on the B-1 is found in subparagraphs (a) through (h) of the second paragraph of each letter. Subparagraphs (a) and (b) repeat the distinguishing features of B-1 bombers equipped for nuclear armaments other than long-range nuclear ALCMs; these are listed in subparagraph (a)(ii)(3) of Annex G of the Memorandum of Understanding. By including them in this agreement, the Parties accept these features as sufficient to demonstrate distinguishability. The phrase covering, using a process equivalent to welding" allows covers to be bonded over the attachment joints, precluding rapid conversion of a deployed B-1 into a bomber equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs.

BBBBB Subparagraph (c) deals with the two extra" sets of attachment joints and provides that, so long as these joints remain covered by a process equivalent to welding, they will not be used in determining the maximum number of long-range nuclear ALCMs for which the B-1 is equipped. As a result, if B-1 bombers are subsequently converted to carry long-range nuclear ALCMs, they will be considered to be equipped for 20 or fewer such ALCMs, not 22, and will be in compliance with the provisions of paragraph 20 of Article V.

BBBBB Subparagraphs (d) and (f) effectively ban the following at non-long-range nuclear ALCM B-1 bases: (i) unique equipment for moving weapons bay bulkheads, (ii) equipment for loading long-range nuclear ALCM pylons onto B-1s (i.e., the equipment designated by the U.S. Air Force as the pylon handling fixture), (iii) the pylons themselves, and (iv) B-1 rotary launchers that carry long-range nuclear ALCMs. The word unique" with respect to bulkhead moving equipment is intended to clarify that the ban does not extend to such general industrial equipment as forklifts. Photographs of the unique equipment prohibited from such bases were provided the Soviet side for information; however, the size threshold for inspections is not altered by this ban. The purpose of these constraints is to make it more time-consuming and difficult to modify the B-1 to carry long-range nuclear ALCMs. In effect, these provisions mean that a B-1 would have to go to a depot-level maintenance facility to be converted, a process that would be easily observed if it occurred on a large scale.

BBBBB Subparagraph (e) makes all B-1 heavy bombers not equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs (the total deployed force) subject to inspection during the baseline period (i.e., from 45 to 165 days after entry into force.) This provision is thus designed to provide assurance that no deployed B-1 bombers are equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs.

BBBBB In subparagraph (g), the Parties agree not to list technical characteristics of the B-1 test heavy bombers in the Memorandum of Understanding, but to exhibit such test heavy bombers for purposes of distinguishability. These provisions are required because the only B-1 heavy bombers ever equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs were two test heavy bombers. Test heavy bombers are not normally subject to inspection nor are their technical characteristics listed in the Memorandum of Understanding. At the same time, the general Treaty approach to distinguishability is to list technical characteristics of heavy bombers equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs and then demonstrate, through exhibitions and other methods, how these characteristics differ from those listed for heavy bombers of the same type that are equipped for nuclear armaments other than long-range nuclear ALCMs.

BBBBB Subparagraph (h) provides that similar provisions will apply to comparable bombers of the Soviet Union (i.e., those of a type from which a long-range nuclear ALCM has been flight-tested but some of which are not equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs). The provision was included in the interest of ensuring reciprocity in the future. Although this provision could be read to apply to the Soviet Bear airplanes, the Parties did not intend it to apply to them.

BBBBB This agreement enters into force upon entry into force of the Treaty and remains in force while the Treaty is in force.

BBBBB In addition to this exchange of letters, the Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs informed Soviet negotiators on February 7, 1991, during a series of meetings in Geneva, that, while the United States had never converted B-1s to carry long-range nuclear ALCMs, and had no plans to do so, if the United States elected to do so in the future, our best estimate was that converting a B-1 by reconfiguring the bomb bay bulkhead and restoring the ALCM pylon attachment joints would require approximately 11.5 to 13.5 days per aircraft. The Under Secretary of State further stated that restoration of the ALCM pylon attachment joints would be conducted at a depot (i.e., a major repair facility), not at an air base, and that, while reconfiguration of the bomb bay bulkhead could be done at the B-1 base, this would probably also be done at a depot. This statement was made for information only, and was not intended to represent any commitment or obligation on the part of the United States.

IV. EXCHANGE OF LETTERS CONCERNING
SILO LAUNCH CONTROL CENTERS

BBBBB This agreement consists of a July 31, 1991 exchange of letters between Ambassadors Brooks and Nazarkin. The letter from Ambassador Brooks accepts a proposal set forth in Ambassador Nazarkin's letter.

BBBBB The proposal addresses conversion and elimination of launch control centers in connection with the obligation of the Parties in paragraph 11 of Article V of the Treaty not to convert silos used as launch control centers into silo launchers of ICBMs. Only the Soviet Union possesses silo launch control centers. The Parties agree that, once the Treaty enters into force, when a group or groups of silo launchers of ICBMs are to be eliminated, the eliminating Party is to do one of three things to the launch control centers associated with the eliminated silo launchers: eliminate them, convert them for other purposes not inconsistent with the Treaty, or retain them for their original purposes.

BBBBB If the conversion option is chosen for a silo used as a launch control center and the silo is to be opened, the other Party must be given 30 days prior notice, and it then has the right to visit the silo, under procedures to be agreed upon in the JCIC, to confirm that it is not being converted into a silo launcher of ICBMs.

BBBBB This agreement enters into force upon entry into force of the Treaty and remains in force while the Treaty is in force.

V. EXCHANGE OF LETTERS CONCERNING LAUNCH CANISTERS

BBBBB This agreement consists of a July 31, 1991 exchange of letters between Ambassadors Brooks and Nazarkin. The letter from Ambassador Brooks accepts a proposal set forth in Ambassador Nazarkin's letter.

BBBBB The proposal addresses launch canisters for ICBMs for mobile launchers of ICBMs. Currently only the Soviet Union has launch canisters for mobile ICBMs and the letters specifically address only Soviet obligations in the context of current Soviet practices. During the negotiations, the sides agreed that the obligations incurred by the Soviet Union in these letters would not extend to the U.S., even if we were to develop and deploy a canisterized mobile missile. First, the Parties agree that unfinished launch canisters for ICBMs for mobile launchers of ICBMs shall be transported from locations where they are manufactured only to final assembly facilities for such ICBMs. Launch canisters assembled as a unit with a missile without a front section shall have external differences from unfinished launch canisters.

BBBBB Second, there are various provisions applicable to the Soviet Union's launch canisters for ICBMs for mobile launchers of ICBMs remaining after launches. Such expended" launch canisters must either be eliminated in accordance with Treaty provisions, or remain in the open at the launch site with the front end open. Elimination may be carried out either in situ or at a C or E facility. In the latter case, notification is required for the movement of an expanded canister to the C or E facility. Elimination of expended canisters is subject to verification by national technical means of verification.

BBBBB This agreement enters into force upon entry into force of the Treaty and remains in force while the Treaty is in force.

VI. EXCHANGE OF LETTERS CONCERNING
ENGINEERING SITE SURVEYS

BBBBB This document consists of a July 31, 1991 exchange of letters between Ambassadors Brooks and Nazarkin. The letter from Ambassador Brooks accepts a proposal set forth in Ambassador Nazarkin's letter.

BBBBB The proposal addresses engineering site surveys to be conducted at facilities subject to continuous monitoring. The Parties agree to provide each other, no later than 60 days after signature of the Treaty, specified engineering data on such facilities, including information on the perimeter portal and exit locations, underground utilities, proposed termination points for water, sewage, and electrical supply lines, power supply fluctuations, electrical power disruptions over specified time periods, type of electrical current, topography of the area to be continuously monitored, and vehicular traffic at the facility. The purpose of the early exchange of information is to expedite the establishment of continuous monitoring after entry into force of the Treaty.

BBBBB In accordance with this proposal, U.S. information was provided to the Soviet Union on September 27, 1991. Soviet information was provided to the United States on September 26, 1991.

BBBBB This agreement entered into force on the date of signature of the Treaty. It remains in force for 12 months unless it is terminated earlier or the Treaty enters into force, in which latter case it remains in force as long as the Treaty remains in force. It may be extended upon agreement of the Parties, subject to the above-described conditions. This provision for termination was included because of the provisional application of this agreement prior to the entry into force of the Treaty. As was noted above in the discussion of the exchange of letters concerning photographs, those letters, the letter on engineering site surveys and Section IV of the Telemetry Protocol all have similar language concerning provisional application.

VII. EXCHANGE OF LETTERS CONCERNING PHOTOGRAPHS

BBBBB This agreement consists of a July 31, 1991 exchange of letters between Ambassadors Brooks and Nazarkin. The letter from Ambassador Nazarkin accepts a proposal set forth in the letter of Ambassador Brooks.

BBBBB The proposal addresses the exchange of photographs of systems and support equipment covered by the Treaty and its associated documents. The Parties agree that specified photographs are to be exchanged prior to signature of the Treaty; that specified photographs are to be exchanged on the date of signature of the Treaty; and that specified photographs are to be exchanged after signature of the Treaty either during an elimination or during the initial technical exhibitions in the course of confirming technical data and distinguishing features. Specific lists of photographs within each group are provided in the three Annexes to the exchange of letters.

BBBBB The first two exchanges occurred on the morning of July 31 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow and at the Kremlin. At these exchanges, only one photograph of the SS-18 ICBM of the Soviet Union was provided, although two variants of that missile are listed in Annex F to the MOU. Even though both variants are not listed in this letter, the fact that both variants are listed in the MOU means that the Soviets are obligated to provide photographs of both variants. They have agreed to do this. The third group of photographs to be exchanged includes photographs of systems in non-standard configurations (B-1 heavy bomber equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs; Soviet ICBMs assembled outside launch canisters; Soviet SLBMs disassembled into stages). Because of the effort that will be required to provide the photographs in this third group, the Parties agreed not to require these photographs to be provided at signature, but to allow the photographs to be taken during exhibitions or eliminations when the systems will be displayed for other purposes. The criteria for producing photographs are specified in Annex J to the MOU, and the Parties are given the right to raise questions about the photographs in the JCIC.

BBBBB This agreement enters into force on the date of its signature, July 31, 1991. It remains in force for 12 months unless it is terminated earlier or the Treaty enters into force, in which latter case it remains in force as long as the Treaty remains in force. It may be extended upon agreement of the Parties, subject to the above-described conditions. This provision for termination was included because of the provisional application of this agreement prior to the entry into force of the Treaty. Note that this provisional application language is similar to that of Section IV of the Telemetry Protocol and to that of the letters, discussed below, on engineering site diagrams.