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4 National Security Issues and a Wider Agenda for Cooperation The diffusion of military technologies into the civilian sector was of a âsemi-militaryâ character. Dual-purpose technologies were then developed in the civil sector that could be used for military purposes. Policy Report, Russian Ministry of Science and Technology, 1993 T he new Russia emerged in a confrontational and sometimes violent environment. In 1991 Russian president Boris Yeltsin mounted an army tank in the center of Moscow to defy Soviet authorities, and Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev was apprehended by communist reac- tionaries at his Black Sea retreat only to be rescued by Yeltsinâs forces. In 1992 fires and repeated demonstrations erupted on the streets of several Russian cities. The year 1993 saw, among other things, a Russian tank unit shell the parliament building in Moscow, which was occupied by defiant and armed legislators. In the years that followed, leading political figures were assassinated, violence ripped through ethnic enclaves in various parts of the country, and murder became a favorite tactic of robber barons seek- ing control of the countryâs financial assets. Meanwhile, the protracted conflict in the Russian republic of Chechnya triggered hundreds of kidnappings and dozens of bombings of buildings and vehicles in some Russian cities. In October 2002 Chechen rebels seized a Moscow theater, and 130 of the 800 hostages died, most from an anes- thetic gas released by Russian security forces at a high dosage level to inca- pacitate the Chechen militants. At the same time, the security forces shot 41
42 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY and killed all 40 Chechen rebels, and they succeeded in preventing detona- tion of any of the explosives strapped to the female Chechen hostage-takers and emplaced on the support structure of the theater. More than 1,000 people inside and outside the theater could have been killed had not the raid of the theater succeeded.1 Although governments worldwide have been dismayed by the brutal conduct of Russian army troops during the seem- ingly merciless operations in Chechnya, the Russian population remains generally supportive of âwhatever it takesâ to track down the hit-and-run âterroristsâ hiding in the North Caucasus. It is no wonder, then, that Western governments continue to be con- cerned about the stability of a country that is a repository of huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons, discarded but functional chemical weapons, and mi- crobes and viruses that could be used in biological weapons. Even if the Russian government is committed to safeguarding all dangerous weapons and materials in its inventories, both from internal dissidents and from in- ternational pirates, the high-powered weaponry in Russia remains a tempt- ing target for rogue states and terrorist groups with access to large sums of money. Rumors have circulated for years that some nuclear weapons or nuclear materials from Soviet stockpiles were obtained by international groups hostile to Western interests in the early 1990s, when the well-financed Soviet security system gave way to a dysfunctional Russian system. Even today, Western experts remain concerned about the weaknesses in the im- proved Russian security systems and the ability of those systems to contain all dangerous weapons and materials. The tens of thousands of Russian weapons scientists, engineers, and technicians with special knowledge about weapons of mass destruction pose a particular problem. Having lost most of the economic privileges accorded Soviet weaponeers, and indeed in many cases having lost their jobs, these specialists are potential âknow-howâ targets for shadowy groups determined to develop and build their own advanced weaponry. Even though there is no evidence that Russian specialists have been effectively recruited from abroad as channels of sensitive information or as accomplices in schemes to steal lethal materials or weapon components, they continue to be at the top of the list of potential risks to the security interests of Western nations.2 Beginning in 1991, the U.S. government adopted programsâmost no- tably, the Cooperative Threat Reduction, or Nunn-Lugar, programâto help 1 For details on this hostage incident, see Popova (2002). 2 For a detailed discussion of the weapon scientists, see Schweitzer (1996).
NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AND A WIDER AGENDA FOR COOPERATION 43 reduce and contain weapons material and expertise in Russia. Over the past decade, the U.S. Congress has appropriated more than $7 billion for non- proliferation efforts, including not only efforts by the Department of De- fense, but also a dozen cooperative programs managed by the Department of Energy (DOE) and several programs of the Department of State.3 Soon, American personnel began working on joint projects at some of the most sensitive facilities in Russia. As access to such facilities increased, the pre- carious economic conditions throughout the Russian weapons complex be- came more obvious to Western visitors. They recognized the need for ag- gressive cooperation, with money earmarked for Russian participants to help stabilize the situation. Against this background, and with the encouragement of the Depart- ments of State, Defense, and Energy, the National Research Council began in the mid-1990s to launch a series of studies and related efforts to address threats to the international security interests of the United States stemming from the breakup of the Soviet Union. In a sense, any type of NRC project undertaken with the participation of Russian institutions could be consid- ered an international security activity, given the high security stakes involved in the U.S.-Russian relationship. But for the purposes of this report, only those projects that have direct linkages to traditional concerns about access to dangerous material, weapons, and other destructive devices are placed under the heading of national security. In all of these projects, the Russian Academy of Sciences has played a roleâeither as a full partner or as a facili- tator of NRC interactions with Russian ministries and other organizations within and outside the academy system. As noted in the preface to this report, the activities of the parallel U.S. and Russian academy Committees on International Security and Arms Control are not considered in this discussion. For many years, they have addressed some of the issues described here as well as other bilateral security concerns, thereby giving further weight to the commitment of the RAS and the U.S. National Academies to work in the national security arena. PROTECTING NUCLEAR MATERIAL Throughout Russia, vast quantities of plutonium and highly enriched uranium suitable for use in weapons are kept in hundreds of buildings at 3 Source for $7 billion is the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Committee, August 2003.
44 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY dozens of facilities. It is not surprising, then, that the inadequacies of the security systems surrounding this material became an early object of inter- est for security-oriented studies carried out by the NRC. Two NRC reviews of the Department of Energyâs materials protection, control, and account- ing (MPC&A) program were conducted in the late 1990s. The conclusions of both studies strongly supported continuation of the program being car- ried out by the DOE in cooperation with Russiaâs Ministry of Atomic En- ergy to upgrade the capabilities of nuclear facilities in Russia. Other recom- mendations of the second study, which closely paralleled those of the first study, called for (1) reviewing priorities to address important vulnerabili- ties, (2) âindigenizingâ MPC&A capabilities, (3) reducing impediments to effective cooperation, and (4) improving the management of U.S. person- nel and financial resources (NRC, 1997a, 1999). Beginning with President Bill Clinton himself, many officials within the executive branch were interested in the details of the conclusions of these reports.4 On Capitol Hill, interest also ran high in view of widespread skepticism about the effectiveness of the U.S. governmentâs effort and, in particular, of worries that the MPC&A program had become a funnel for channeling most of the appropriated funds to the coffers of the participat- ing DOE laboratories rather than to Russian organizations. The NRC stud- ies probably were helpful in reassuring congressional critics of the program that investments in MPC&A upgrades in Russia were indeed worthwhile and that shortcomings in the management of the program could and should be overcome, including improvements in determining the portion of the appropriated funds that should be spent in Russia. In any event, Congress increased the budget for the MPC&A program significantly in the year after completion of each of the studies, and senior DOE specialists con- tinue to use recommendations in the reports as reminders of areas needing greater attention, even in 2003.5 An important conclusion of each study was the need to encourage the Russian government and Russian institutions with nuclear material to dem- onstrate explicit commitments to maintaining the MPC&A upgrades once U.S. financial support ended. The DOE should therefore orient its pro- gram toward activities that would ease the transition to sustainability. This orientation should include greater use of locally manufactured equipment, 4 Discussions with National Security Council staff, March 1997. 5 Briefing material on MPC&A program presented by DOE officials at a meeting in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in September 2003.
NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AND A WIDER AGENDA FOR COOPERATION 45 more reliance on less energy-intensive approaches than those adopted at Western facilities, and increased consolidation of weapons-grade material at fewer locations, for example. Even though such commitments to sustainability were considered essential, there seemed to be only a limited response in Washington and Moscow to the recommendations. Therefore, in 2003 the NRC undertook a third study of MPC&A upgrades in Russia that looked exclusively at the sustainability of the upgraded systems into the indefinite future. Perhaps a better descriptor of the thrust of the study is âindigenizationâ of MPC&A responsibilities. Some of the approaches that were highlighted in the earlier studies and that are among those being con- sidered in this study are the following: â¢ Increase the percentage of available funding directed to financing activities of Russian organizations, with a steadily declining percentage di- rected to supporting U.S. participants in the program. â¢ Expand efforts to utilize Russian equipment and services whenever possible and to encourage Russian enterprises and institutes to increase ca- pabilities to provide high-quality equipment and associated warranties and services. â¢ Use Russian specialists from institutions with well-developed MPC&A capabilities to replace some U.S. members of teams at Russian institutions with less-developed capabilities. â¢ Rely increasingly on Russian specialists to replace U.S. specialists in presenting MPC&A training programs in Russia. â¢ Encourage the Moscow Physics and Engineering Institute to in- crease student participation (and its income resulting from tuition payments) in its security-oriented courses by offering an industrial security specializa- tion alongside its MPC&A specialization. â¢ Give greater attention, in both training and implementation ac- tivities, to developing personal commitments on the part of Russian man- agers, specialists, and guard forces to fulfill their responsibilities for ensur- ing the proper functioning of MPC&A systems (NRC, 1999). In a related activity, in 2002 the presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, to- gether with the president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, decided to place a greater emphasis on nuclear nonproliferation issues in the inter- academy program, and particularly protection of nuclear material. This emphasis was underscored in a joint statement by the four institutions (see
46 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY Appendix E). A special interacademy working group was established to de- velop both recommendations to governments and project proposals in the general area of nuclear security (see Box 4-1 for the initial conclusions of the working group). In its recommendations, the group continued to em- phasize MPC&A as an important area for cooperation. The subjects of two new program initiatives for immediate implementation were (1) impedi- ments to cooperation in nuclear areas (e.g., delays in issuance of visas, limi- tations on access to sensitive facilities, assumption of liability for injuries suffered during cooperative projects), and (2) best practices worldwide in establishing and operating MPC&A systems, including the use of remote monitoring. CONTROLLING EXPORTS OF NUCLEAR AND OTHER DANGEROUS MATERIALS In any country, programs designed to ensure that nuclear materials will not be stolen or diverted should be closely linked to effective systems to control the commercial exports of nuclear and other dangerous items within the framework of international export control regimes. As noted in Chapter 3, in the 1980s the NRC had conducted several studies of U.S. policies for controlling the export of sensitive items and related technical data. The new challenge for the NRC in 1996 was to assess the effectiveness of U.S.-Russian cooperative programs designed to improve export control policies and sys- tems in Russia. In Soviet times, the government had effectively controlled exports of almost all materialsâmilitary and civilian. But during the 1990s, govern- ment officials were preoccupied with promoting profit-oriented activities rather than restricting exports that could generate income. Immediately af- ter the rebirth of Russia, the borders of the new state could best be de- scribed as porous. There was a rush within Russia and abroad to take out of Russia valuable equipment, materials, and technical information, including sensitive items. Western governments eagerly participated in what became known as Russian technology bazaars, assuming they would be able to ac- quire advanced technologies without the constraints of patents, and that they would even learn valuable defense secrets. Russian entrepreneurs were convinced that they could reap profits from trading with the countryâs most prized assets. The problem was not one of reinventing Soviet export control systems to prevent the unbridled proliferation of dangerous items, but rather one of updating the well-developed existing systems and, most important,
NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AND A WIDER AGENDA FOR COOPERATION 47 BOX 4-1 Recommendations for Interacademy Action in the Field of Nuclear Security, 2002 The following recommendations were developed by a joint committee of the U.S. and Russian academies and transmitted to the leaderships of the academies and the appropriate government officials. Recommendations to Governments â¢ Appoint a single high-level official in each government to ensure that continuing attention is paid to diminishing the obstacles to and exploiting the opportunities for bilateral cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation and counterterrorism. â¢ Increase the priority of and resources for a âsecurity firstâ agenda for reducing the risks from stocks of highly enriched ura- nium (HEU) and separated plutonium by consolidating material at fewer locations, accelerating the blend-down of HEU to levels that do not pose a threat, and minimizing use of HEU in research reactors. â¢ Expand cooperation in dismantling Russian general-pur- pose nuclear submarines. â¢ Give higher priority to information and education efforts on the risks of handling nuclear materials improperly. Recommendations for Interacademy Projects â¢ Overcome impediments (e.g., visa, access, and liability problems) to U.S.-Russian cooperation in nuclear nonproliferation activities. â¢ Identify best practices for materials protection, control, and accountability (MPC&A) worldwide, including remote monitoring techniques. â¢ Assess cooperative approaches to promote conversion of research reactors from highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium. â¢ Develop a road map for Russian general-purpose subma- rine dismantlement and management of naval spent fuel. â¢ Assess cooperation in U.S.-Russian MPC&A programs. Source: Adapted from âLetter Report from the Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Nuclear Nonproliferation,â December 4, 2002, released by the National Academies and the Russian Academy of Sciences.
48 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY enforcing regulations that were in place but were being circumscribed by Russian industrial oligarchs and other persons of influence.6 As in its assessment of the MPC&A program, the NRC concluded in its 1996â1997 export control study that cooperative programs to strengthen export control procedures (led by the Department of Commerce on the U.S. side) were important and were helping to tighten Russian export con- trols. Probably the most significant contribution of the NRC study was its advocacy of greater attention to establishing export control competence and commitment within large Russian industrial firms, which were the birth- places and repositories of most of the items of concern. Such a recommen- dation was, however, contrary to the immediate export interests of many high-tech enterprises in Russia, which preferred to plead ignorance about export controls when questioned as to their policies. Nevertheless, in time, the concept took hold in Russia, and, just as in the United States, individual companies eventually began to take seriously their responsibilities to com- ply with the law (NRC, 1997a: 85â117). During the study, the permissiveness of the international regimes for controlling exports of items with military significance became evident. Al- though Russia was improving its procedures to help ensure that the govern- ment was aware of all proposed exports, the governmentâs decisions on the appropriateness of many types of exports were subject to only limited inter- national constraints. For example, the U.S. government has been particu- larly concerned about exports of nuclear-related items from Russia to Iran. But within the international nuclear control regime, Russia has wide lati- tude to export items for civilian nuclear power plants that it considers ap- propriate, and Russiaâs views on appropriatenessâdriven in large measure by financial considerationsâdiffer markedly from U.S. views. The 1997 NRC study report highlights the importance of controlling technical data associated with sensitive technologies (NRC, 1997a). In re- cent years, control or lack of control of technical data has become a signifi- cant issue in U.S.-Russian relations. Protection of technical data had for many years affected the issuance of U.S. visas for meetings attended by American specialists who might enter into discussions of technical data that should be subject to export control. But during the 1990s, these concerns seemed to fade in importance as other issues dominated the U.S.-Russian relationship. Then, at the turn of the century, security-related requirements 6 For a detailed discussion of the control of exports during this period, see NRC (1997a: Chap. 5).
NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AND A WIDER AGENDA FOR COOPERATION 49 for issuance of U.S. visas were tightened because of both concerns about terrorism and a revived interest in preventing the proliferation of sensitive data. At home, the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine have expressed concern to the U.S. government about the impact on scientific research of restrictive policies that limit the international exchange of research concepts and results, a pe- rennial issue that dates back several decades.7 Among many Russians, and indeed among American specialists, there is often confusion about the over- lap among controlled technical data, proprietary information, and classi- fied information, and this overlap will undoubtedly produce recurrent un- certainties for specialists involved in high-tech ventures. THE WAYWARD WEAPONEERS The technical prowess of Russian weaponeers who no longer had stable employment and paychecks that covered their essential costs of living be- came of special concern to the NRC in the early 1990s. Having supported the efforts within the Department of State and on Capitol Hill to establish the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in Moscow as a mechanism for financing the redirection of the research efforts of scientists from military to civilian endeavors, the NRC welcomed the opportunity offered by the Department of Defense (DOD) to review the initial research programs and operating procedures of the ISTC, which by that time had committed over $50 million to research projects in Russia. The NRC study released in 1996 concluded that although the ISTC had been operating for only two years, it was a low-cost, noncontroversial program that was already providing jobsâfull time or part timeâfor 12,000 scientists. The report urged that funding of the ISTC be increased (NRC, 1996a). It also advo- cated greater attention to biological and chemical issues, involvement of the private sector, and communications projects. By 2003 new programs in all three areas were in place at the ISTC, and the commitment of funds by the founding governments and their partners had exceeded $500 million (ISTC, 2003). In the mid-1990s, several other U.S. government programs were estab- lished to help reduce the likelihood that scientists and engineers with spe- cialized knowledge would be tempted to look to foreign traders with unre- liable clients for financial support. Of special interest were the new programs 7 See, for example, NRC (2002a).
50 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY of the DOE and the Department of State, which combined government resources with financial contributions from Western companies that could profit from working with former Soviet weaponeers. Given its strong con- nections with the U.S. private sector, the NRC was in an excellent position to suggest how the interests of the Russian scientists, the U.S. government, and private companies could be effectively combined. In 1996 and again in 2002 the NRC initiated in-depth assessments in this important arena, with a focus on the biological sciences as discussed in the next section. REDIRECTING RUSSIAN BIOLOGICAL EXPERTISE FROM MILITARY TO CIVILIAN PURSUITS In 1996 the leadership of the NRC and DOD officials held discussions over many months about Russian capabilities with implications for biologi- cal weaponry and biological terrorism. At the center of the discussions were proposed steps that could help provide assurance that the Russian govern- ment had abandoned its offensive biological weapons program, that it was complying with the Biological Weapons Convention, and that it was not providing militarily sensitive materials or expertise to states of proliferation concern. Finally, the DOD decided to support an NRC effort to help chart a course for engaging former biological defense scientists from Russia and several other former Soviet republics in a cooperative program that would provide assurances in these areas. The NRC project followed two tracks. First, American specialists held intensive consultations with a large number of Russian officials and scien- tists on the feasibility of cooperative research projects in the biological sci- ences and their likely contribution to transparency throughout the former Soviet weapons complex. Second, the NRC convinced the DOD to finance eight pilot cooperative research projects to demonstrate the opportunities and problems encountered in launching cooperative projects to address is- sues pertinent to Russian facilities that had previously been off-limits. Most of the consultations on research opportunities, transparency, and related issues, as well as the development and conduct of the eight pilot projects, were centered on institutes in the Biopreparat complex. At the height of its activities in the 1980s, Biopreparat had employed thousands of highly skilled scientists and engineers dedicated to supporting the Soviet bioweapons program. The complex included dozens of facilities designed for research on highly dangerous pathogens with clear military applicability and several facilities built to produce large quantities of agents for biological
NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AND A WIDER AGENDA FOR COOPERATION 51 weapons. Although the research institutes had been active for more than 20 years, the production facilities had remained in a stand-by mode. The NRC-led consultations involved a variety of meetings, most nota- bly a scientific symposium in Kirov where the principal Russian military biological research facility is located, a workshop organized by Biopreparat near Moscow, and lengthy discussions during visits to several Biopreparat institutes. The NRC specialists gained unusual insights into past Russian activities and the future aspirations of Russian specialists. Meanwhile, the pilot projects were carried out with minimal difficulty or delay (see Box 4- 2 for a list of the projects). BOX 4-2 Pilot Projects Initiated by the National Research Council and Financed by the Department of Defense The following pilot projects were carried out from 1997 to 1998, with funds committed to Russian institutions. At the State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology âVector,â Koltsovo: â¢ study of the prevalence, genotype distribution, and molecu- lar variability of isolates of hepatitis C virus in the Asian part of Russia; $55,000; principal investigator, Sergei Netesov; collabora- tor, Elizabeth Robertson, CDC; ISTC 883 â¢ study of the monkeypox virus genome; $55,000; principal investigator, Sergei Shchelkunov; collaborators, Peter Jahrling, USAMRIID, and Joseph Esposito, CDC; ISTC 884 â¢ study of the genetic and serological diversity of hanta vi- ruses in the Asian part of Russia; $55,000; principal investigator, Lyudmilla Yashina; collaborators, Connie Schmaljohn, USAMRID, and Stuart Nichol, CDC; ISTC 805 â¢ development of advanced diagnostic kit of opistheorchiasis in human patients; $55,000; principal investigator, Valery Loktev; collaborator, Victor Tsang, CDC; ISTC 691 â¢ experimental studies of antiviral activities of glycyrrhyzic acid derivatives against Marburg, Ebola, and human immunodefi- ciency virus; $51,683; principal investigator, Andrei Pokrovsky; col- laborator, John Huggins, USAMRIID; ISTC 1198 (continued)
52 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY BOX 4-2 (continued) At the State Research Center for Applied Microbiology, Obolensk: â¢ molecular-biological and immunochemical analysis of clini- cal strains of tuberculosis and mycobacteriosis; $138,000; princi- pal investigator, Igor Shemyakin; collaborator, Thomas Shinnick, CDC; ISTC 810 â¢ investigation of the immunological effectiveness of delivery in vivo of the Brucella main outer membrane protein by the anthrax toxin components; $61,500; principal investigator, Anatoly Noskov; collaborators, John Collier, Harvard University, and Arthur Fried- lander, USAMRIID; ISTC 919 â¢ monitoring of anthrax; $55,000; principal investigator, Nikolai Staritsin; collaborator, Arthur Friedlander, USAMRIID; ISTC 1215 Note: CDC = U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; DOD = U.S. Depart- ment of Defense, ISTC = International Science and Technology Center (Russia); USAMRIID = U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. The following funds were committed to U.S. collaborating institutions: CDC, $47,000; USAMRIID, $20,000; Harvard University, $9,000. Source: NAS/IOM/NRC (1997: 1). The NAS/IOM/NRC report issued in 1997 called for a long-term, multimillion-dollar annual effort by the DOD to engage American and Russian specialists in research efforts at institutes formerly involved in the Soviet defense program on topics that would be of interest to the DODâs biodefense efforts. In summary, the report stated: After extensive consultations with key Russian officials and scien- tific leaders and drawing on the experience gained through the initiation of pilot projects at two Russian facilities to investigate the practical aspects of cooperation, the National Academy of Sci- ences Committee on U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Dangerous Pathogens recommends a five-year Pathogens Initiative, followed by a second phase of sustained joint U.S.-Russian research and related efforts. The program will support collaboration on the epi- demiology, prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of diseases associ- ated with dangerous pathogens that pose serious public health threats, as well as related fundamental research. The Pathogens Ini-
NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AND A WIDER AGENDA FOR COOPERATION 53 tiative will engage a substantial number of highly qualified special- ists from the former Soviet biological weapons complex and will serve important U.S. national security and public health goals. (NAS/IOM/NRC, 1997: 1) Within a year of release of the NAS/IOM/NRC report, the DOD had com- mitted to a substantial program of cooperative engagement with Russian research institutes, largely along the lines suggested by the NRC (NAS/ IOM/NRC, 1997). Identified in the report were research topics of considerable scientific interest but distant from the biodefense priorities of the DOD. Indeed, most of the topics were in the fields of public health and agriculture. Build- ing on the momentum being developed as the DOD began funding coop- erative projects in areas clearly relevant to biodefense, the National Security Council and the Department of State, with support from the DOD, suc- ceeded in convincing both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as key congressional staff members, that these civilian-oriented departments also should become engaged in biological redirection efforts in Russia. Within two years, each of these departments had annual multimillion-dollar pro- grams in place to support cooperative research projects with former bioweapons scientists in fields that were beyond the mission of the DOD but were directly related to the missions of the two departments. Also, the DOE was able to adapt one of its programs to opportunities for supporting research at former weapons institutions, and the Department of State used some of its funds to expand biological redirection activities supported through the International Science and Technology Center. Clearly, the NRC initia- tive to work with the DOD had spin-offs and played an important role in the development of cooperative programs in several executive departments. As the intergovernmental activities have expanded, an NRC commit- tee of experts has continued to play a role in biological redirection activities, providing the DOD with reviews of the scientific merit of collaborative projects proposed by Russian institutes. Among the criteria for judging sci- entific merit are (1) the scientific significance of each proposed project, (2) the quality and feasibility of the proposed research methodology, (3) the track record of the principal investigator and the supporting research team, and (4) the capability of the host institute to provide support for the project. In addition, the committee is carefully assessing the contribution of each proposed project to transparency in Russia and also has pointed out, where
54 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY appropriate, when a project might produce dual-use results of value to fu- ture weapons programs. The committee has noted that in both of these areas the active participation of an American collaborating scientist in each project is essential, and therefore it has helped to identify such collabora- tors. The NRC committee is also evaluating the progress being made in projects under way and identifying follow-on activities that make sense. The NRC experts have reviewed and recommended support for many more projects than the DOD has been willing to fund, largely because of difficulties in closely monitoring research that has dual-use implications in high-hazard Russian facilities. This gap between recommendations and fi- nancial support has disappointed some of the project managers and scien- tists of the unfunded projects. By mid-2003 the DOD had considerable uncommitted funds in the pipeline, and at that time it seemed that some of the good project proposals that had been languishing for attention for months and even years since the NRC reviews would be retrieved and supported. In 2003 the NRC committee of experts initiated a study on the future of biological research and development activities in Russia, with comple- tion scheduled for mid-2004. The study, supported by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a U.S. private foundation, is assessing the future of Russian ef- forts to address public health concerns (issue 1), and particularly the spread of infectious diseases; evolution of a biotechnology industry (issue 2); and the basic and applied research essential to support efforts for improvements in these and related areas (issue 3), as well as the intersections between ef- forts in these three areas and Western concerns about bioterrorism (issue 4) and bioproliferation (issue 5). This broad examination of the long-term, biology-related capacity of Russia, being carried out in close consultation with Russian specialists, is intended to provide insights in several areas: â¢ How can the resources that will be available within Russia to sup- port disparate programs under the purview of several Russian ministries and other government-affiliated organizations be used more effectively in addressing the five issue areas? â¢ How can important but underfunded Russian research and devel- opment programs be sustained over the long term, with particular attention to the problems of attracting new researchers to careers in the biosciences while also encouraging outstanding scientists who are in place to continue their careers in Russia? â¢ How can Russia reestablish a pharmaceutical industry that can begin to reduce dependence on imported vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic kits, and
NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AND A WIDER AGENDA FOR COOPERATION 55 eventually can reach out to foreign markets, initially in the former Soviet states and later in the West? Of special interest is the creation of friendly regulatory and tax regimes for both Russian and foreign investors. â¢ How can international cooperative programs, motivated by both security and nonsecurity concerns, be more effective in supporting a Rus- sian agenda in each of the five issue areas? The involvement of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Health Orga- nization (WHO), the European Union, and UN agencies, along with orga- nizations supporting biological redirection programs, is of interest. Also, new approaches to the biosciences in Russia that are local, regional, and global both in their organizational structure and in their impact are important. Several aspects of ongoing U.S. government programs are being con- sidered as well. They include: â¢ assessing the impacts of bioresearch projects supported by the U.S. government on the research communities of Russia, with attention given to both developing scientific knowledge and broadening transparency at par- ticipating institutions â¢ identifying specific benefits from projects that have been supported â¢ identifying attractive research areas for emphasis in future coop- erative projects. As noted, a large effort is under way within the U.S. government, supple- mented by the activities of other governments, to engage former Soviet bioweaponeers in redirection activities. The NRC will play a limited but significant role in this effortâit will review the scientific significance of projectsâbut it faces the constant challenge of not unnecessarily duplicat- ing the efforts of others. Of particular concern is the large number of over- tures from U.S. organizations to a limited number of overloaded interna- tional interlocutors on the Russian side to explore opportunities to work together on scientific problems that have been addressed by many other American specialists on earlier visits to Russia. COUNTERTERRORISM ON CENTER STAGE In the late 1990s, NRC staff began informal discussions with RAS of- ficials and Russian specialists on crime and terrorism as potential topics for
56 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY joint interacademy efforts. At about the same time, the U.S. Congress be- gan enacting special legislation on counterterrorism measures to be taken in the United States. By 2000 the Russian government had established an in- teragency organizational framework for counterterrorism, headed by the Federal Security Service (FSB), thereby overcoming the principal reason for RAS reluctance to engage in international activities in this fieldâthe RAS simply did not want to be in front of the government. Russian army and security forces had been involved for years in attempting to stymie Chechen activities they considered to be terrorism, but the new mandate for the FSB was broader and included coordination with security services of other former Soviet republics as well as coordination within the Russian Federation. The academies organized a workshop on high-impact terrorism in June 2001 in Moscow. The attendance on the Russian side exceeded the expecta- tions of the organizers in both countries. Presentations were made by repre- sentatives of the Duma, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Minatom, FSB, and Ministry of Interior, as well as by some well-known Russian specialists in fields relevant to counterterrorism. In the audience were numerous repre- sentatives of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and FSB, as well as individual scholars and scientists. The workshop addressed nuclear, chemical, biological, cyber, and other forms of terrorism, topics that had not been widely discussed in open meetings in Russia. Box 4-3 highlights some topics for future U.S.-Russian collaboration suggested at the workshop. In view of the events of September 11, some three months later, it is clear that the discussions provided a worthwhile introduction to a subject that was growing in importance for many participants from both countries. At the same time, the American participants had opportunities to meet with Russian specialists who had not previously been involved in U.S.-Rus- sian activities, and these interactions opened interesting possibilities for fu- ture cooperation. The proceedings of the workshopâpublished in both English and Russianâhave been in considerable demand in the two coun- tries (NRC, 2002b). Even two years after the workshop, the RAS was search- ing for any remaining copies to respond to requests for the proceedings. In December 2001 a smaller workshop on high-impact terrorism was held in Washington. Its primary purpose was to chart a course for future interacademy cooperation in the field. The charter that was developed for this cooperation appears in Appendix C. Building on this momentum, the academies agreed to give high prior- ity to cooperation on countering terrorism as reflect in the agreement that
NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AND A WIDER AGENDA FOR COOPERATION 57 BOX 4-3 Topics for U.S.-Russian Collaboration in Counterterrorism The following suggestions for future cooperation were pre- sented at the interacademy workshop on counterterrorism, held in Moscow in June 2001: â¢ studies of the many dimensions of information security, in- cluding clarification of the importance and scope of national strate- gies to improve protection of critical networks and identification of areas where international cooperation should be strengthened â¢ assessments of the types of potential terrorist threats directed at facilities that produce or store dangerous industrial chemicals â¢ development of methodologies for evaluating engineering and other security enhancements that will reduce the vulnerability of a broad range of industrial facilities (e.g., nuclear power plants, gas pipelines, airports, metallurgical plants) â¢ consultations of experts on the technical aspects of both marking and tagging of explosives, including recordkeeping require- ments for taggants and the associated costs â¢ development of new concepts for more cost-effective de- struction of poorly secured chemical weapons stockpiles in Russia â¢ investigations of the feasibility of terrorist groups assem- bling radiological weapons and methods for preventing and detect- ing such activities â¢ consideration of the technical details of discriminating be- tween natural outbreaks of diseases and the acts of bioterrorists as well as consideration of the preparations for dealing with the con- sequences of a bioterrorism attack â¢ studies of methods for preventing and achieving early de- tection of animal diseases and for determining the cause of dis- ease outbreaks â¢ studies of the role of the mass media in terrorism situations and in shaping public attitudes toward terrorism â¢ joint activities aimed at adapting to the Russian environ- ment the U.S. experience in training specialists to deal with terror- ism, in developing organizational mechanisms for coordinating ac- tivities of many organizations in preventing and responding to terrorist attacks, and in using forensic techniques to assist in the search for the instigators of terrorist acts. Source: NRC (2002b: 268â269).
58 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY appears in Appendix F. In March 2003 the academies organized another set of meetings and consultations in Moscow. One-day workshops were held on the topics of urban terrorism and cyberterrorism. After the workshops, senior officials and experts from the two academies reviewed interacademy programs already under way, surveyed the landscape to discern recent trends in terrorism, and identified several activities for future attention by the acad- emies. Again, the attendance and interest of Russian specialists from many organizations were impressive, reflecting the higher priority being given to the topic. Among the areas of great concern to the Russians, as indicated in documents presented at the workshop, were terrorism related to transporta- tion systems, cybersecurity, bioterrorism, civil defense responses to terrorist attacks, and the international legal framework for dealing with terrorism. Individual Russian experts also singled out for attention radiological terror- ism, electromagnetic terrorism, and protection of chemical storage and pro- duction facilities, particularly chlorine-related facilities.8 Activities suggested for further development are listed in Box 4-4 Directly related to the workshop was the development of an inter- academy project on radiological terrorism, emphasizing the threats posed by inadequately controlled sources of radiation used in industry, health, and research organizations, and by radioactive material, such as discarded radioactive wastes packed around high-explosive bombsâcommonly called âdirty bombs.â The purpose of the project is to recommend priorities for U.S.-Russian efforts to address these problems, not only in the United States and Russia but throughout the world. These priorities will be considered by the DOE as it develops its plans to support efforts to reduce the threats of radiological terrorism. DISPOSITION OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL AND HIGH-LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE Although experts designated by the academies first met in 1996 to dis- cuss interacademy efforts to address problems in the field of high-level nuclear waste disposal, it was not until 2002 that the NRC succeeded in persuading the DOE to support such an effort. In an unusual approach, the NRC established a committee composed of five Americans and five Russians to analyze the problems attendant in the two countries to the disposition of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste, with special attention to the 8 The proceedings of this workshop will be published in 2003.
NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AND A WIDER AGENDA FOR COOPERATION 59 BOX 4-4 Potential Areas for U.S.-Russian Cooperation in Counterterrorism After the March 2003 workshop in Moscow on counter- terrorism, the following interacademy working groups were established: â¢ urban terrorism: vulnerability and means of protection of emergency operations centers; modeling the vulnerability of city infrastructures; responses to different warning levels; protection of chemical facilities â¢ radiological terrorism: a road map for intergovernmental cooperation in this field; pilot test area in Moscow for identifying and tracking the presence of nuclear material â¢ bioterrorism: distinguishing between natural and man-in- duced outbreaks of diseases; epidemiological expeditions to un- derstand distribution of dangerous pathogens; improved methods for rapid detection and analysis of pathogens â¢ cyberterrorism: strategy for developing a robust intellectual community in information security; cybersecurity in the banking sector â¢ roots of terrorism: ethnic relations and multiethnic violence; demographic trends and the spread of terrorism â¢ role of the nongovernmental sector: structuring govern- ment-private sector relations to fight terrorism. Source: Adapted from NRC (2003c). end-points for such disposition. Despite language, administrative, and in- deed policy problems in addressing such an important topic through this mechanism, the committee issued a report that received very favorable re- views from experts in the field (NRC, 2003b). Some suggested areas for U.S.-Russian cooperation include: â¢ assuring the current and future availability of the expert scientists, engineers, and technicians needed to work on spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) management â¢ protecting materials useful in nuclear and radiological weapons â¢ consolidating nuclear materials in a few reliably protected sites â¢ handling the legacy wastes from nuclear weapons production â¢ transporting SNF
60 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY â¢ developing standard, highly durable waste forms for immobiliza- tion of different types of HLW â¢ developing methods and techniques for extraction of HLW that has been stored in tanks for decades â¢ developing unified approaches to selection of geological media and sites for the long-term storage and disposal of HLW and SNF â¢ conducting research and development on methods of processing SNF that produce much less radioactive waste than the PUREX process (NRC, 2003b: 11â12). In a related activity, in May 2003 the academies organized a workshop in Moscow on the technical aspects of the international spent fuel storage facility that Russia plans to establish. Although the very concept of spent fuel being imported by Russia, even for a limited period of time, has been surrounded with political controversy in Russia, the workshop provided expert views on some of the most important aspects of the design and op- eration of a facility that meets international standards. The United States controls the movement of about 85 percent of the fuel being considered by the Russians (U.S.-origin fuel) for import. But the United States has tied its approval of such shipments to Russian concessions in its nuclear dealings with Iran. However, this political dimension did not detract significantly from the technical discussions. Several of the most interesting presentations dealt with the following topics: â¢ legal and technical aspects of importing, transporting, and storing spent nuclear fuel in Russia â¢ repository site selection: environmental, geological, geochemical, demographic, and access issues â¢ existing and required physical infrastructure at the candidate sites â¢ shipping and transportation within Russia and interface with in- ternational shipping requirements â¢ reprocessing technologies: experience with existing technologies and research and development programs â¢ reduction and disposal of high-level waste, including approaches to transmutation and to geological repositories. According to Russian colleagues, this modest workshop activity imme- diately added momentum to the efforts of both political leaders in the par- liament and leaders of the scientific community to establish an âobjectiveâ
NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AND A WIDER AGENDA FOR COOPERATION 61 mechanism for guiding the development of the international storage facil- ity. In July 2003 President Vladimir Putin established a special commission, chaired by Nobel Laureate Zhores Alferov, to this end, and some of the Russian participants in the workshop were named to the commission. Al- though the idea of such a commission was not new, the workshop appar- ently was a significant factor in its formal establishment. INSIGHTS FROM INTERACADEMY CONSIDERATION OF SECURITY ISSUES Security-oriented projects will succeed only if the governments of the two countries are prepared to identify and make available the relevant un- classified information and to facilitate access to government experts work- ing on the issues under consideration. Thus far, the academies of the two countries have done a good job in working with the concerned government organizations of both countries. But even under the best of circumstances, the academy efforts will have only a limited impact given the large govern- ment effortsâincluding classified onesâbeing devoted to these security issues. Academy projects can be useful, however, in stimulating the govern- ments to focus on certain issues, in setting forth approaches that might seem âoutside the boxâ to government officials, and in providing support for policies deemed to be sound. The challenge is not to simply tread ground that has already been thoroughly plowed in intergovernmental consulta- tions. There should be a reasonable likelihood that nongovernmental dis- cussions will help to overcome points of contention. At the same time, interacademy efforts can often make a significant difference in the long run by documenting the academiesâ conclusions and recommendations in publicly available reports. Sometimes, and particu- larly in the long term, these reports provide a basis for both government officials and the public to debate issues in a more informed manner than might otherwise be possible. And as government officials change assign- ments, the reports can be helpful in the education of their replacements. Particularly receptive audiences for past reports have been the members and staffs of the U.S. Congress and the Russian Duma. In summary, whenever appropriate, greater attention should be given to preparing and disseminat- ing persuasive documentation, in both Russian and English, to constituen- cies of influence. There is no doubt that a bound National Academies Press publication and its translated companion report attract far more attention than unbound letter reports, academy statements, or unbound manuscripts.
62 SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND TRACK-TWO DIPLOMACY A final guideline is that the academies should be highly selective in choosing security-related topics for their attention through interacademy channels. The difficulties encountered in carrying out interacademy activi- ties involving sensitive topics are manifold, and it is very easy to overload the capacities of the academies in the security field, resulting in ineffective- ness. Success should not be measured by the number of activities that are under way but rather by the quality of the products arising from the activities. In a broader sense, security considerations have always surrounded U.S.- Russian scientific relations, initially manifested in decisions to grant or deny visas that might provide access to sensitive technologies. Then, in the 1990s, the U.S. government became much more concerned about proliferation and backed up its concerns with funds to develop more secure systems to contain sensitive materials and information in Russia. At the turn of the twenty-first century, security concerns extended to joint efforts in counterterrorism. And now there is new appreciation of the security impli- cations of the health and stability of all elements of society. The academies in the two countries are beginning to respond to this ever-expanding secu- rity agenda with programs aimed at public health and ethnic relations as well as nuclear, biological, and terrorism issues.