ARTICLE-BY-ARTICLE ANALYSIS OF THE HEAVY BOMBER
EXHIBITIONS AND INSPECTIONS PROTOCOL
bbbbb The Protocol on Exhibitions and Inspections (the Protocol) consists of a Preamble and two Sections and sets forth detailed procedures for the conduct of exhibitions of heavy bombers, as well as for the conduct of inspections conducted incident to those exhibitions.
bbbbb The Preamble links the Protocol to the basic rights and obligations with respect to heavy bomber exhibitions and inspections set forth in Article IV.
EXHIBITIONS OF HEAVY BOMBERS
Section I provides for heavy bomber exhibitions that are different from the heavy bomber exhibitions required under the START Treaty.
bbbbb Paragraph 1 repeats the requirements of Article IV for three types of exhibitions:
bbbbb Exhibitions of heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. Paragraph 4 of Article IV specifies that the purpose of such exhibitions is to demonstrate to the other Party the number of nuclear weapons for which a heavy bomber is actually equipped. Paragraph 5 of Article IV requires a similar exhibition if the number of nuclear weapons for which a heavy bomber is actually equipped is changed. (See the analysis accompanying Article IV for a discussion of the meaning of the phrase "number of nuclear weapons for which a heavy bomber is actually equipped.")
bbbbb Exhibitions of heavy bombers reoriented to a conventional role. Paragraph 12 of Article IV specifies that the purpose of such exhibitions is to demonstrate to the other Party the specified differences between such reoriented bombers and other heavy bombers of the same type or variant of a type with a nuclear role. Paragraph 8(d) of Article IV mandates that such differences be both observable by national technical means of verification and visible during on-site inspection.
bbbbb Exhibitions of heavy bombers reoriented to a conventional role and subsequently returned to a nuclear role. Such exhibitions serve both to demonstrate the number of nuclear weapons for which the heavy bomber being returned to a nuclear role is actually equipped and also to demonstrate the differences between the heavy bombers being returned and heavy bombers of the same type and variant tha are either (a) still in a conventional role or (b) were never reoriented to such a role. Providing observable differences between heavy bombers returned to a nuclear role and those of the same type and variant that were never reoriented to a conventional role helps enforce the prohibition of paragraph 9 of Article IV against subsequently reorienting to a conventional role any heavy bomber returned to a nuclear role.
bbbbb Paragraph 2 of Section I provides identical basic rules on location, date, duration, and inspection team composition for each of the three types of exhibitions. Pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article V, the procedures of the START Treaty apply to these exhibitions, except as modified by the Protocol.
bbbbb Subparagraph 2(c) limits the time that each heavy bomber shall be subject to inspection to no more than two hours.
bbbbb Subparagraph 2(d) requires that inspectors for these exhibitions be drawn from the list of START Treaty inspectors. The list referred to is that specified by Section II of the Inspection Protocol to the START Treaty, which also sets forth the legal status of such inspector.
bbbbb Subparagraph 2(e) requires the provision of certain photographs of observable differences. The number of such photographs is determined by the inspected Party, but the photograph or photographs provided must be sufficient to show all relevant differences.
bbbbb Subparagraph 2(f) ensures that these exhibitions do not count against any START Treaty inspection quotas.
INSPECTIONS OF HEAVY BOMBERS
bbbbb Section II provides rules for the inspections of heavy bombers during the exhibitions provided for in Section I. In addition, Section II provides additional procedures for data update inspections and new facility inspections conducted pursuant to the START Treaty beginning 180 days after the entry into force of the START II Treaty. New facility inspections are included since, under the provisions of Section VII of the Inspection Protocol to the START Treaty, such inspections include inspection of applicable heavy bombers at new air bases.
bbbbb The delay of 180 days is to allow the initial exhibitions required by paragraph 4 of Article IV of the START II Treaty to be conducted. These exhibitions provide an initial demonstration of the number of nuclear weapons for which heavy bombers of a given type and variant are actually equipped. The additional inspection procedures for data update and new facility inspections allow periodic reconfirmation of this number.
bbbbbThe Protocol does not specify whether or not actual, simulated, or no weapons are to be used during these initial demonstrations. During the negotiations, U.S. negotiators told their Russian counterparts that U.S. heavy bombers would have either weapons or training shapes loaded on launchers, pylons, and bomb racks during the exhibitions in a way that demonstrated an operational load. The Russian negotiators were also told, however, that during data update and new facility inspections their inspectors would normally see heavy bombers without weapons. Since the United States has discontinued the practice of maintaining U.S. heavy bombers on peacetime alert, it is normal that these bombers not be loaded with weapons on a routine basis. The purpose of the additional inspection rights provided under this Protocol for data update and new facility inspections is fully satisfied by access to weapons bays and external weapons stations with no weapons loaded. The Parties understood during the negotiations that weapons bays are normally empty and that no requirement exists to load armaments for inspections.
bbbbb Members of inspection teams conducting data update and new facility inspections pursuant to the START Treaty could be citizens of Belarus, Kazakhstan, or Ukraine, as well as of Russia. Although the START II Treaty is only between the United States and Russia, the United States intends to grant access to all members of such inspection teams without regard to nationality.
bbbbbSubparagraph 1(a) covers inspections to confirm the number of nuclear weapons for which a specific heavy bomber is actually equipped does not exceed the number specified in the Memorandum on Attribution. The access inspectors are given is, therefore, limited to that necessary to accomplish the stated purpose. Provided that this requirement is met, the extent of access is at the discretion of the inspected Party. There is, for example, no requirement to give direct access to the underside of the wings of the B-2 heavy bomber in order to "prove" that no weapons are located there. The Parties agreed there would be no access to the interior of heavy bombers (except for weapons bays) because it is not required to fulfill the purpose of the inspection.
bbbbbSubparagraph 1(b) covers inspections of heavy bombers reoriented to a conventional role in order to confirm the observable differences required by subparagraph 8(d) of Article IV. Once again, access is limited to those areas required to fulfill the purpose of the inspection.
bbbbbSubparagraph 1(c) covers inspections of heavy bombers reoriented to a conventional role and subsequently returned to a nuclear role. In essence, inspections conducted pursuant to this subparagraph are a combination of those conducted pursuant to subparagraphs 1(a) and 1(b).
bbbbbParagraph 2 of Section II provides a right to shroud portions of a heavy bomber that are not subject to inspection. This right applies to any heavy bomber, but is primarily intended to protect the B-2 heavy bomber, as well as future advanced technology bombers. Shrouding time shall not count against the period of inspection. The "period allocated for inspection" refers both to the two hours allocated by subparagraph 2(c) of Section I of this Protocol for inspections during exhibitions, and to the maximum 32-hour period allowed by paragraph 31 of Section VI of the Inspection Protocol to the START Treaty for the conduct of data update or new facility inspections.
bbbbb Since the Inspection Protocol to the START Treaty requires that inspectors return to the point of entry immediately following the allowed 32-hour period, there is a possible conflict between the two Treaties. In order to provide for the situation where a longer time would be required than allocated by the START Treaty, the United States will, if necessary, seek, in the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission established by the START Treaty, the right to extend the period of inspection to allow for the completion of START II inspection procedures.
bbbbbParagraph 3 of Section II requires the in-country escort to provide explanations to the inspection team, for inspections conducted pursuant to subparagraph 1(a) or 1(c) of this Section, of the number of nuclear weapons for which the heavy bomber is actually equipped. Paragraph 3 of Section II also requires the in-country escort to provide explanations, for inspections conducted pursuant to subparagraph 1(b) or 1(c) of this Section, of the differences that are observable by NTM and visible during inspection.
bbbbbA final provision provides that, pursuant to subparagraph 2(b) of Article V, additional measures may be agreed upon by the Parties with respect to the Protocol to improve the viability and effectiveness of the START II Treaty. The Parties agree that if changes need to be made to the Protocol that do not affect substantive rights or obligations under the START II Treaty, then such changes as are agreed upon shall be made within the framework of the Bilateral Implementation Commission (BIC), without resorting to the amendment procedures set forth in Article VII of the Treaty.
bbbbbPursuant to Article VI, the Protocol is deemed to be an integral part of the START II Treaty.