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Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues (1985)

Chapter:2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control

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Suggested Citation:"2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control." National Academy of Sciences. 1985. Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11.
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Suggested Citation:"2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control." National Academy of Sciences. 1985. Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11.
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Suggested Citation:"2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control." National Academy of Sciences. 1985. Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11.
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Suggested Citation:"2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control." National Academy of Sciences. 1985. Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11.
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Suggested Citation:"2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control." National Academy of Sciences. 1985. Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11.
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Suggested Citation:"2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control." National Academy of Sciences. 1985. Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11.
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Suggested Citation:"2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control." National Academy of Sciences. 1985. Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11.
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Suggested Citation:"2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control." National Academy of Sciences. 1985. Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11.
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Suggested Citation:"2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control." National Academy of Sciences. 1985. Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11.
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Suggested Citation:"2 Strategic Offensive Nuclear Arms Control." National Academy of Sciences. 1985. Nuclear Arms Control: Background and Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Strategic Offensive 2 NucicarArms Con trot This chapter discusses the current arms control agreements and proposals directed specifically at the control and limitation of strategic offensive nuclear weapon systems. These are the SALT ~ Interim Agree- ment on Strategic Offensive Arms, the SALT IT Treaty, and the current START negotiations. These agreements and negotiations have sought to limit the central strategic systems, usually defined as land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic mis- siles, and Tong-range heavy bombers with their armaments. Other arms control agreements and proposals—including restrictions on defensive systems, proposals for a freeze on all nuclear systems, and the proposal to limit intermediate nuclear forces also relate directly or indirectly to the objective of controlling strategic offensive nuclear arms. These re- lated but separate issues are addressed in subsequent chapters. PART I THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS (SALT) INTRODUCTION The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between the United States and the Soviet Union began in November 1969 under the Nixon Adminis- tration. These negotiations were directed at limiting the major buildup in strategic offensive systems and the emerging competition in ballistic missile defensive systems. On May 26, 1972, Presidents Nixon and 24

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 25 Brezhnev signed a five-year Interim Agreement that took the first step toward limiting strategic offensive arms by placing ceilings on land- based and submarine-based offensive nuclear forces. At the same time, they signed the SALT ~ ABM Treaty, a treaty of unlimited duration that drastically limited the future deployment of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems. A few months later the Senate and the House of Repre- sentatives approved the Interim Agreement and the Senate advised ratification of the ABM Treaty by overwhelming majorities. In November 1972 the United States and the Soviet Union began the second phase of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT Il). The goal was a comprehensive treaty limiting strategic offensive nuclear sys- tems of the two sides. The negotiations, which lasted for almost seven years under Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter, produced the SALT II Treaty, which was signed on June IS, 1979, in Vienna by Presidents Carter and Brezhnev. The treaty provided for equal quantitative and qualitative limits on central strategic systems, including interconti- nental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers, submarine-launched ballis- tic missile (SEEM) launchers, and strategic Tong-range bombers together with their armaments. It also began a process of reductions. The ratification process for the SALT II Treaty was suspended after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan at the end of 1979. No further action toward ratification has been taken on the treaty, which was to expire at the end of 1985. The Reagan Administration has stated that, since the United States has no intention of ratifying it, the SALT IT Treaty has no legal status, but that the United States would not undercut the treaty prior to its expiration at the end of 1985 as long as the Soviet Union acted likewise. The Soviet Union has stated that it is acting in compli- ance with the treaty. BACKGROUND The Origins As discussed in Chapter 1, a number of major developments during the 1960s in the technology, doctrine, and perceptions of strategic arma- ments set the stage for the initiation and successful pursuit of strategic arms control negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union. The United States completed the deployment of a powerful triad of air-, sea-, and land-based strategic forces designed to be capable of surviving any attack and successfully delivering an assured devastat- ing retaliatory strike. The Soviet Union, particularly after the Cuban missile crisis, undertook a massive buildup of its strategic forces, with

26 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL particular emphasis on land-based missiles. By the mid-1960s a consen- sus was growing within the United States that meaningful nuclear superiority was no longer possible. Rather, U.S. security was seen to depend on the development of a stable U.S.-Soviet strategic relation- ship based on mutual deterrence and the acceptance of strategic parity. During this period there was also a growing U.S. consensus that an effective nationwide ballistic missile defense, on which a great deal of research and development effort had been and was being expended, was technically unachievable. Moreover, attempts to deploy such systems were seen as inevitably leading to further major expansions in strategic offensive capabilities as both sides sought to assure their ability to penetrate potential defenses. After initially rejecting this negative as- sessment of ballistic missile defense, Soviet leaders by the late 1960s apparently accepted this coupling of offensive and defensive strategic arms as a driving factor in the nuclear arms race. Concurrently, the rapid development of satellite technology produced a variety of increas- ingly capable reconnaissance systems that not only greatly improved the quality of intelligence but opened up the possibility of verifying arms control measures that had previously not appeared to be verifiable without very extensive and intrusive inspection. In the light of these developments, the Johnson Administration determined to explore the possibility of stabilizing the evolving strategic relationship by negotiat- ing arms control agreements with the Soviet Union on offensive and defensive strategic systems. In January 1967, President Lyndon Johnson announced that the So- viet Union had begun deploying a ballistic missile defense around Mos- cow and declared that the United States was prepared to initiate discussions with the Soviet Union on the limitation of ABM deploy- ments. To facilitate these negotiations, the President stated that the United States would delay its own ABM defense. While Moscow agreed in principle to discuss "means of limiting the arms race in offensive and defensive missiles," a Soviet commitment to talk was delayed for a year. In the absence of a Soviet response, the United States announced the decision to deploy a light ABM defense against an anticipated modest Chinese missile threat, to provide some protection for the U.S. Minute- man ICBM force, and to protect against the possibility of accidental missile launches. To counteract what was perceived as the potentially destabilizing effect of the Soviet Union's anticipated nationwide ABM system, the United States was also vigorously pursuing the technology of multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) to as- sure that any potential Soviet missile defenses could be overwhelmed. Finally, the Johnson Administration undertook a high-level policy re-

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 27 view to develop arms control proposals designed to limit both defensive and offensive strategic systems and to engage the interest of the Soviet Union in negotiations. On July 1, 196S, at the signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, President Johnson announced that the United States and the Soviet Union had agreed to start strategic arms negotiations. About a month later, on August 19, 196S, the Soviet Union informed the White House that it was prepared to begin negotiations on September 30. But the following day the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia, and the United States postponed the talks. President Johnson's interest in the problem continued throughout the final days of his term in office, but as a lame duck president he was unable to initiate the postponed talks, despite intense private efforts. SALT I Negotiations Although as a presidential candidate Richard Nixon had proposed that the United States should regain strategic nuclear superiority, the new administration soon adopted a doctrine of "sufficiency." This doc- trine essentially continued the policy of deterrence based on the capa- bility to retaliate and inflict unacceptable damage in all circumstances. It also called for a strategic posture that would be perceived politically as providing "essential equivalence" with Soviet forces. In this context, President Nixon responded favorably to renewed Soviet overtures to start strategic arms talks. Along with a desire to improve U.S.-Soviet relations, the Nixon Administration recognized the potential value of arms control in restraining the rapid, ongoing Soviet construction of ICBM launchers and ballistic missile submarines and in stabilizing th strategic balance between the superpowers. After nine months of inten- sive preparation, the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks began in Hel- sinki on November 17, 1969. The Nixon Administration considered arms control a central element of the array of issues between the two superpowers, including the resolution of the Vietnam conflict. When the SALT negotiations began, U.S. and Soviet offensive strate- gic forces differed in many respects. For historical, geographic, bureau- cratic, and technical reasons, the strategic forces of the two countries had developed in substantially different ways. The United States, with its strong tradition of air and naval power, had developed a triad of air, land, and sea forces that increased confidence in a survivable deterrent. For a variety of technical reasons, including the early development of light thermonuclear warheads, miniaturization of electronics, im- proved reentry technology, and the development of solid missile fuel

28 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL technology, the trend in U.S. strategic weaponry was toward smaller missiles. By 1967 the United States had completed the deployment of its second generation of strategic missiles. The U.S. strategic force in- cluded 1,054 land-based ICBM launchers, 656 SEEM launchers on Po- laris submarines, and almost 600 heavy bombers (B-52s). The United States then shifted its emphasis from construction of more missiles and missile launchers to the development of MIRVs for use on missiles in existing launchers. This was to assure penetration of a future Soviet ABM system and to increase target coverage. With an advantage in MIRV technology, the United States looked forward to developing a lead in the number of missile warheads while retaining its major lead in the number and quality of strategic bombers. For its part the Soviet Union, with a large land mass having poor access to the sea and with relatively little experience in strategic bomb- ing, emphasized the development of land-based ballistic missiles. The large size of these missiles was initially dictated by the less advanced state of Soviet technology and by the Soviets' approach to military hardware. After the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the Soviet Union was determined not to find itself again in an inferior strategic position and started a rapid buildup of its strategic forces. By 1969 the Soviet Union had overtaken the United States in the number of land-based {CBMs. It was also rapidly increasing the number of its submarine-based launchers, although it was still far behind the United States in subma- rine technology. The Soviet Union was also several years behind in the development of MIRV technology and missile accuracy, and it was un- certain how rapidly the Soviets would advance in these areas. When the Soviet Union subsequently developed accurate MIRVs, the large throw- weight of its big land-based missiles with the potential to carry many warheads presented a special threat. From the outset the two sides were separated by a number of funda- mental differences in their perspectives about the negotiations. Per- haps the most serious difference was the definition of the systems to be covered by the agreement. The Soviet Union sought to define as "strate- gic" any U.S. or Soviet weapon system capable of reaching the territory ofthe other side. This would have included U.S. forward-based systems, chiefly medium-range bombers based in Europe or on aircraft carriers, and it would have excluded Soviet intermediate-range missiles and aircraft that were aimed at Western Europe and could not reach the United States. The United States held that the weapons to be negoti- ated in SALT were those that had an intercontinental range, and there- fore that its forward-based forces should not be included since they countered Soviet medium-range missiles and aircraft aimed at U.S. allies.

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 29 After initial attempts to reach a comprehensive agreement failed, the Soviets sought to restrict negotiations to anti-ballistic missile systems, proposing that limitations on offensive systems be deferred. The United States argued that to limit ABM systems but allow the unrestricted growth of offensive weapons would be incompatible with the basic objec- tives of SALT. A Tong deadlock was finally broken when an understand- ing was reached to concentrate on a permanent treaty to limit ABM systems but at the same time to work out interim limitations on offen- sive systems that would be incorporated into a comprehensive treaty in future negotiations. The Interim Agreement on Strategic Offensive Arms (Appendix A) was signed by Presidents Nixon and Brezhnev on M~v 9R 1072 in Vi~nnn at the same time as the ABM Treaty (see , _,, _ , , Chapter 41. The Interim Agreement, which was to remain in force for five years, until 1977, was intended as a holding action. The agreement essentially froze at existing levels the number of strategic ballistic missile launchers, operational or under construction, on each side. It did permit construction of additional SEEM launchers up to an agreed level for each party, provided that an equal number of older ICBM or SEEM launchers were destroyed. Within these limitations, modernization and replacement of missiles were permitted. But to prevent further in- creases in the number of the very large Soviet ICBMs (originally SS-9s, now replaced by SS-lBs), launchers for light or older ICBMs could not be converted into launchers for modern heavy ICBMs. The Interim Agree- ment also formalized the principle of verification by National Technical Means (NTM). These means included all sources of technical intelli- gence in space or outside the boundaries of the country being monitored. Limitations were stated in terms of "launchers," which could be verified by existing intelligence collection systems, rather than in terms of total missiles, which could not be directly verified by National Technical Means alone. Among the systems and characteristics not limited by the Interim Agreement were strategic bombers, forward-based systems, mobile ICBMs, MIRVs, and missile accuracy. The different numerical limits in the Interim Agreement were considered to be balanced by those forces and by other advantages not limited in the accord. The U.S. Congress voted overwhelmingly for the Joint Resolution approving the Interim Agreement. The Senate endorsed the Interim Agreement SS to 2, the same vote by which it advised ratification of the ABM Treaty. Yet despite the almost unanimous vote for the Interim Agreement, some senators expressed concern about the unequal ceil- ings in the agreement and about the buildup in the throw-weight of the Soviet missile force, as exemplified by the heavy SS-9 missile. As a result, the resolution approving the Interim Agreement included an

30 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL amendment sponsored by Senator Henry Jackson that established an ambiguous criterion of "equality" for the comprehensive treaty that was to follow the Interim Agreement. Specifically, it placed the Con- gress on record as requesting "the President to seek a future treaty that inter alia would not limit the United States to levels of intercontinental strategic forces inferior to the limits provided for the Soviet Union." The SALT II Negotiations In accordance with the Interim Agreement, the SAI,T IT negotiations began in November 1972, only one month after the Interim Agreement had been approved. The principal U.S. objectives were to establish equal ceilings for the two sides on central strategic nuclear delivery vehicles, to restrain qualitative developments that could threaten fu- ture stability, and to begin reducing the number of delivery vehicles. In response to some domestic criticism about the ambiguities and lack of detail in the SALT ~ agreement, the United States sought to ensure that the provisions of the SALT IT Treaty would be sufficiently detailed to minimize potential loopholes or misunderstandings. Considerable progress in developing a formal treaty was achieved in the next two years. However, the positions of the sides still differed widely on a number of fundamental issues. The most important differ- ences concerned limits on Soviet heavy missiles, for which there were no U.S. counterparts; on U.S. and NATO forward-based systems, for which there were no Soviet counterparts; and on MIRVs. These differences were resolved in principle at a meeting in Vladivostok between Presi- dents Ford and Brezhnev in November 1974. At Vladivostok it was agreed that the strategic offensive arms treaty, which was to be of ten years' duration, would contain the following elements: equal aggregate limits of 2,400 on strategic nuclear delivery systems (ICBM launchers, SEEM launchers, and heavy bombers); equal aggregate limits of 1,320 on MIRVed systems; a continuation of the ban on construction of new land-based ICBM launchers (which implied a ban on additional Soviet heavy ICBMs); limits on the deployment of new types of strategic offen- sive arms; incorporation of the important elements of the Interim Agreement on verification; and inclusion of mobile {CBMs and air- launched strategic missiles within the overall ceiling. Essentially, the United States had withdrawn its demand for reductions in Soviet heavy missiles in exchange for a Soviet withdrawal of its demand for inclusion or compensation for U.S. and NATO forward-based systems. When negotiations resumed in Geneva in early 1975, it soon became clear that the two sides still disagreed on two major issues that had not

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 31 been resolved at Vladivostok. These were whether cruise missiles, which the United States planned to use in large numbers as armaments on its B-52 heavy bombers, were to be counted individually in the over- all aggregate, and whether the new Soviet Backfire bomber should be considered a heavy bomber and counted in the 2,400 aggregate. These issues remained unresolved throughout the remainder of the Ford Ad- ministration. The new Carter Administration placed renewed emphasis on SALT. In March 1977 it presented a comprehensive proposal to the Soviets that was a significant departure from the draft of the SALT Treaty previ- ously negotiated. This proposal added significant reductions and quali- tative constraints to the ceilings agreed upon at Vladivostok. It called for a reduction of the overall aggregate from 2,400 to 1,800, a sublimit of 550 on MIRVed ICBMs, and a reduction of Soviet heavy ICBMs from 308 to 150. It also called for limits on ICBM flight tests, no new land-based missiles, and no mobile ICBMs. At the same time, the United States presented an alternative proposal for a SALT I] agreement similar to the framework agreed to at Vladivostok, with the Backfire and cruise missile issues deferred until SALT ITI. Initially, the Soviet Union an- griTy rejected both proposals as inconsistent with its understanding of the Vladivostok Accord. In subsequent negotiations the sides developed an agreement that accommodated both the Soviet desire to retain the Vladivostok frame- work and the U.S. desire for more comprehensive and detailed limits in SALT IT. This agreement (Appendix B), which was signed by Presidents Carter and Brezhnev in Vienna on June IS, 1979, consisted of three parts: a treaty that would be in force through 1985; a protocol of three years' duration that dealt temporarily with certain unresolved issues to be considered further in SALT ITI; and a joint statement of principles that set guidelines for the SALT IT! negotiations. Separate statements associated with the SALT II Treaty placed quantitative and qualitative limits on the Soviet Backfire bomber. The treaty established a frame- work of equal ceilings and subceilings and qualitative constraints within which the strategic systems could evolve and future reductions could be undertaken. The Senate ratification debate on the SALT IT Treaty continued for several months. Critics challenged not only the treaty's basic provisions but a broad range offoreign and defense policies and their interrelation- ship with arms control. Senatorial attention was also deflected by con- cern over the unrelated Iranian hostage crisis and by charges that a Soviet combat unit had been stationed in Cuba. Before a vote could be taken, the debate ended with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan late in

32 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL December 1979. Since it was apparent that a favorable vote could not be obtained under the circumstances, President Carter asked the Senate on January 3, 1980, to postpone action on the treaty. He announced, however, that the United States would abide by the treaty as long as the Soviet Union did. Describing the SALT II Treaty as "fatally flawed," presidential candi- date Ronald Reagan said he would withdraw it from the Senate if elected. Subsequently, the Reagan Administration has taken the posi- tion that SALT II will not be ratified and has no legal status under international law, but that the United States will not undercut the treaty at least through 1985 as Tong as the Soviet Union does likewise. The Soviet Union has simply stated that it is in compliance with SALT II. Despite the Reagan Administration's refusal to ratify the SALT II Treaty and a growing problem with compliance, the status of the treaty remained an active issue in the summer of 1984. Democratic candidate Walter Mondale consistently supported the treaty and strongly criti- cized the Reagan Administration for failing to ratify it. The 1984 Demo- cratic platform pledges "to update and resubmit the SALT II Treaty to the Senate for its advice and consent." Another important issue has been the Soviet record of compliance with the SALT I and the SALT II accords. Previous administrations satisfactorily resolved earlier compliance problems between the two countries. However, in the fall of 1983, in response to a Senate request, President Reagan sent a report to Congress on the record of Soviet compliance with existing arms control agreements. The classified re- port, which the President presented to Congress in late January 1984, charged the Soviet Union with seven violations or probable violations of arms control agreements. Three of these related to the unratified SALT II agreement. The Soviet Union denied the charges and leveled a series of countercharges against the United States. Although the President stated that the report did not mean that the United States should give up its search for arms control agreements, administration officials added that the outstanding arms control issues raised in the report had to be resolved for the process to succeed. THE PROVISIONS OF SALT I AND SALT II The SALT I Interim Agreement The SALT ~ Interim Agreement of 1972 (Appendix A), an agreement of five years' duration, was designed to complement the SALT ~ ABM

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 33 Treaty by limiting competition in strategic offensive arms while provid- ing time for further negotiations. The agreement established a ceiling on the aggregate number of ICBM and SEBM launchers operational or under construction. The number of ICBM launchers was frozen at those then operational or under construction. SEBM launchers could be in- creased beyond those operational or under construction up to an agreed level for each party, but only if a corresponding number of older ICBM or SEBM launchers were dismantled or destroyed. At the date of the sign- ing, the United States had 1,054 operational land-based {CBMs and none under construction. The Soviet Union had 1,618 land-based ICBMs operational and under construction. Under the terms ofthe agreement, the United States was permitted to reach a ceiling of 710 SEBM launchers on 44 submarines. At the time it had 666 SEBM launchers on 41 submarines, to which it could add by replacing 54 older ICBM launchers. The Soviet Union had an initial ceiling of 740 SEBM launchers on modern nuclear-powered subma- rines. This could be increased to 950 launchers by replacing older {CBM launchers on a one-for-one basis. Launchers for light or older ICBMs could not be converted into launchers for modern heavy {CBMs, and the dimensions of launch silos could not be significantly increased. Mobile {CBMs were not covered, although the U.S. negotiators unilaterally stated that the deployment of such missiles would be considered con- trary to the objectives of the treaty. Heavy bombers were not con- strained at all by the treaty. At the time the United States had some 600 heavy bombers while the Soviet Union had only around 150 signifi- cantly less capable bombers. The SALT II Treaty The SAI,T IT Treaty of 1979 (Appendix B) is composed ofthree parts: (1) a treaty providing for equal aggregate limits and sublimits on strategic nuclear delivery vehicles until December 31, 1985; (2) a protocol provid- ing for limits on cruise missile and mobile ICBMs until December 31, 1981; and (3) a joint statement of principles to serve as guidelines for future negotiations. The SALT II Treaty is a detailed technical contract that establishes precise definitions and provisions in an effort to close potential loopholes. Specifically, the SALT IT Treaty provides for: · Equal aggregate limits on the number of ICBM and SEEM launchers and heavy bombers initially 2,400, with a reduction to 2,250 by the end of 1981.

34 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL · Equal aggregate limits of 1,320 on the total number of MIRVed ballistic missile launchers and heavy bombers equipped for launching cruise missiles with ranges over 600 km. · Equal limits of 1,200 on the total number of MIRVed ballistic mis- sile launchers and 820 on MIRVed land-based {CBM launchers. · A freeze on the number of heavy {CBM launchers and on new heavy {CBMs. · Ceilings on the throw-weight and launch-weight of light ICBMs. · A ban on the testing and deployment of new types of ICBMs, except for one new type being permitted on each side. · A freeze on the number of reentry vehicles (RVs) on current types of {CBMs, a limit of 10 RVs on the one new type of ICBM, and a limit of 14 RVs on new SEBMs. · A limit of 28 on the average number of air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) with ranges over 600 km deployed on heavy bombers carrying AL`CMs, and a limit of 20 ALCMs on current bombers. · A ban on the testing and deployment of ALCMs with ranges over 600 km on aircraft other than those counted as heavy bombers. · A ban on heavy mobile ICBMs, heavy SEBMs, and heavy air-to- surface ballistic missiles (ASBMs). · A ban on certain types of strategic offensive systems not yet em- ployed by either side, such as ballistic missiles with ranges over 600 km on surface ships. · Advance notification of certain ICBM test launches. In addition, the treaty included the following provisions designed to facilitate its verification by National Technical Means (NTM): · A ban on interference with the NTM used to verify the agreement. · A ban on all deliberate concealment measures that impede verifica- tion by NTM of the provisions of the agreement. · A specific ban on the encryption of telemetry (test data relayed by radio) when such encryption would impede verification of provisions of the agreement. · Agreed counting rules to facilitate verification by using launchers, which are easily identifiable and distinguishable into classes, as the measure of aggregate missile and MIRVed missile capabilities. · Cooperative measures to distinguish aircraft with different mis- sions by requiring observable differences related to the missions, re- ferred to as FRODs (functionally related observable differences). · A periodically updated data base to assist in measuring compliance with the various limits and sublimits. · Use of the U.S.-Soviet Standing Consultative Commission (SCC)

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 35 established in SALT ~ to consider compliance questions and other prob lems under the treaty and to develop necessary procedures to imple- ment the agreement. The SALT II Protocol dealt with certain issues on which the parties were unable to agree for the entire term of the treaty. It established the following temporary limitations through 1981: · A ban on the flight testing of {CBMs from mobile launchers and on the deployment of mobile ICBM launchers. · A ban on the testing and deployment of Tong-range air-to-surface ballistic missiles. · A ban on the deployment of ground-launched and sea-launched cruise missiles having ranges greater than 600 km. The SALT II soloing Statement of Principles provided guidance for sub- sequent negotiations on the limitation of strategic arms. In the state- ment the sides agreed to pursue further reductions and further qualitative limitations on strategic systems and to work to resolve the issues covered by the protocol. Each side was explicitly permitted to bring up any other pertinent topic it wished to discuss. On the controversial Backfire bomber issue, Presidents Carter and Brezhnev exchanged documents and statements during the Vienna Summit that were considered part of the SALT II negotiating record. President Brezhnev handed President Carter a written statement that the Backfire was a medium bomber and that the Soviet Union would not upgrade it to an intercontinental bomber or increase its production. He further confirmed that the Soviet Union would not produce more than 30 Backfire bombers per year. In response, President Carter stated that the United States entered into the SALT IT agreement on the basis of the commitments contained in the Soviet statement and that it considered these commitments essential to the obligations assumed under the treaty. President Carter also asserted for the record that the United States had the right to an aircraft comparable with the Backfire bomber. THE MAIN ISSUES SURROUNDING SALT II The Strategic Relationship SALTI] Supporters The main premise underlying the SALT process was that an overall "parity" or "essential equivalence" existed between the strategic

36 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL forces ofthe United States and the Soviet Union. This strategic balance, which was acceptable to the security interests of the United States, permitted the development of an arms control framework based on the existing forces of the two countries despite large asymmetries in the detailed structure of these forces. Proponents of SALT IT argued that there was essential equivalence between the forces when one took into consideration a combination of static measures (numbers of warheads, numbers of delivery vehicles, throw-weight, equivalent megatonnage, etc.) and dynamic measures of real military capability. Despite a grow- ing vulnerability of fixed land-based forces, both sides had a survivable and reliable deterrent that could be maintained with reasonable pru- dence. In this context, arms control limitations could be formulated in terms of equal ceilings of quite different delivery vehicles while still maintaining essential equivalence. Supporters of SALT T! emphasized that essential equivalence did not require U.S. and Soviet forces to be symmetric in detail. For example, while the Soviets had more ballistic missiles with larger payloads and more megatonnage, the United States had more strategic warheads, greater accuracy, and better submarine and bomber forces. Supporters argued that, despite a major modernization of the Soviet force, essential equivalence had been maintained throughout the 1970s by a U.S. stra- tegic modernization program that included a vigorous MIRV program for Minuteman TIT, Poseidon, and Trident ~ missiles; improved Minute- man accuracy and yield; increased hardening of Minuteman silos; the Trident ~ missile and the Trident submarine program; the air-launched cruise missile program; and the use of advanced avionics to upgrade the B-52 force. In assessing the strategic balance, SALT IT supporters also emphasized that one should take into account other factors, such as geographic asymmetries and the location, capabilities, and reliability of allies, all of which tended to favor the United States. Under SALT IT and for the foreseeable future, according to SAI,T IT supporters, the United States would maintain essential equivalence if it proceeded with certain modernization programs allowed under SALT IT. These permitted programs included the deployment of the MX mis- sile in a survivable basing mode, such as the multiple shelter racetrack system, the development and deployment of the Trident I] missile, and the development and deployment of an advanced bomber. The U.S. pro- grams for developing and deploying cruise missiles in air-, sea-, and ground-launched modes would also not be impeded. The modernization permitted under SALT I] ensured that U.S. bombers and submarines would continue to be far more capable than the corresponding Soviet forces. This capability would give the United States a range of devastat-

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 37 ing retaliatory responses, including selective attacks on military and command and control targets, even in the unlikely event of a total Toss of Minuteman silos. In short, SALT IT supporters argued that the agreement would not impede any planned U.S. modernization but would break the momen- tum of the Soviet buildup, which would otherwise require a further U.S. response. In the future, as in 1979, Soviet advantages in some areas would be offset by U.S. advantages in others, and the overall flexibility, power, and survivability of the U.S. forces would ensure that deterrence and equivalence would be maintained. This strategic balance would be maintained at Tower levels and less cost within the limits prescribed by the SALT II Treaty. SALTI! Critics Some critics of SALT I! challenged the underlying premise of overall strategic parity. They argued that Soviet strategic forces were in fact superior to those of the United States and that a treaty based on the false premise of strategic parity was inequitable and would prevent the United States from regaining equality. A more extreme position held that not only was the existing strategic balance unfavorable to the United States but that the security of the United States required strate- gic superiority to deter Soviet aggression. Another line of criticism held that, although essential equivalence may have existed in 1979, the SALT process would lull the United States into a false sense of security. It would permit the Soviet Union to pursue its ongoing strategic buildup within the limits of the treaty while the United States failed to do the same. These analysts stated that even though SALT IT did not prohibit any of the planned U.S. programs, the greater momentum of the Soviet programs, which had been main- tained during the entire SALT process while the United States had reduced its efforts, would cause the United States to fall behind the Soviet Union strategically. Beginning in the early to mid-l9SOs, the United States would find itself relying on an {CBM force that would be useful only if launched on warning, a bomber force increasingly vuIner- able to SEBM attack and with a declining capability to penetrate Soviet air defense to targets, and an SEBM force that would become an increas- ingly valuable target to potential Soviet antisubmarine warfare (ASW) breakthroughs. Consequently, the United States would find itself stra- tegically inferior to the Soviet Union by the expiration of the treaty in 1985, if not sooner. Critics projected that the Soviet Union would have as many warheads

38 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL as the United States by 1985, undercutting this important U.S. advan- tage. Also, due to the greater throw-weight of its missiles and the rap- idly improving accuracy of its warheads, the Soviet strategic force would have twice the area of destructive capability, five times the hard target kill capability of {CBMs and SEBMs combined, three times the megatonnage, and twice the throw-weight of the comparable U.S. stra- tegic forces. These analysts argued that the large Soviet advantage in {CBM capa- bilities gave, or soon would give, the Soviet Union the capability to conduct, or threaten to conduct, a successful counterforce attack against U.S. land-based missiles. At the same time, the United States would have no comparable capability against Soviet land-based mis- siles. Critics also questioned the capability of B-52 bombers with cruise missiles to offset the Soviet counterforce potential. These factors, plus the Soviet Union's greater air defense and civil defense program and its harder and more diverse command and control facilities, were asserted to give the Soviets meaningful strategic superiority as early as 1982 unless the United States took urgent and prompt steps to reverse the trend. The Rationale for SALT II: Preserving Essential Equivalence SALT] Supporters SALT II approached the problem of preserving essential equivalence between asymmetrical strategic forces in several ways. It sought to place equal ceilings and subceilings on the central strategic systems (ICBMs, SEBMs, and heavy bombers) and on the warheads carried by these systems, to complement these numerical limits with selective qualitative constraints, and to begin the process of reductions within this framework. SALT IT supporters claimed that the main benefit of SALT It's numeri- cal constraints would be to help assure essential equivalence by pre- venting either side from gaining a numerical advantage that could be exploited militarily or politically. SALT IT's overall ceiling of 2,400 cen- tral systems capped the race for advantage in numbers of missile launchers and heavy bombers. Its 1,200 subceiling on the total number of launchers for MIRVed ICBM and SEBM missiles and its 820 subceil- ing on launchers for MIRVed ICBM missiles put a cap on the overall number of launchers for MIRVed missiles, which were considered the most destabilizing element ofthe arms race. These subceilings also kept the numbers of Soviet launchers for MIRVed missiles well below what they might have been without the agreement.

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 39 Supporters of SALT II also argued that these aggregate limits and sublimits enhanced longer-term stability by providing a framework for future incremental reductions while providing sufficient flexibility for each side to maintain or deploy forces that it judged to be survivable. The provisions of SAID IT began this process of reductions by Towering the initial overall ceiling of 2,400 to 2,250 by the end of 1981. These ceilings would have the practical effect of reducing the Soviet strategic force by some 300 delivery vehicles. Although these would presumably be the least effective components of the Soviet force, they represent a tremendous amount of destructive capability. At the same time, the United States would have the option of increasing its strategic forces by some 150 delivery vehicles, if this was deemed necessary. Moreover, the sides were committed to negotiate substantial reductions in the number of strategic offensive arms in the next stage of SAINT. By approaching arms control and reductions as a process, according to SALT II sup- porters, each side could adjust its forces to lower levels in a practical manner suited to its requirements for security. The provisions allowing modernization to continue within agreed constraints would enhance stability by improving the survivability of the forces remaining at re- duced levels. SALT II supporters also argued that qualitative constraints in the agreement helped assure stability and provide predictability in the planning of both sides' strategic forces. The number of warheads on existing types of ICBMs and SEBMs was frozen, and ceilings were es- tablished on the number of warheads that could be placed on new SEBMs and the one new type of ICBM permitted. This meant that the Soviet Union could not exploit the full potential of its advantage in ICBM throw-weight for MIRVed missiles. The treaty banned new types of ICBMs with the exception of one new type of light ICBM for each side. This one new type of ICBM and new SEBMs could not have larger throw-weights than the largest current light ICBM, the Soviet SS-l9. Constraints written into this provision required that improvements to existing types of ICBMs be limited to such verifiable characteristics as numbers of warheads and ~ percent changes in throw-weight, launch- weight, length, and diameter. Thus, SALT II, through its qualitative restraints, sought to begin the process of controlling those characteris- tics that could be destabilizing while allowing limited modernization to continue in areas that could not be adequately verified. SALT IT supporters argued that the numerical ceilings and the quali- tative restraints of SALT IT were mutually reinforcing. Taken together they limited the ability of both sides to increase their military potential significantly. In effect, SALT IT capped most of the major indexes of central strategic power. Equal aggregate ceilings capped the first index

40 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL of strategic power—the number of missile launchers and heavy bombers. Subceilings on the number of MIRVed missile launchers, "fractionation" limits on the numbers of warheads that could be put on a given missile, limits on the number of heavy bombers carrying air- launched cruise missiles, and limits on the number of cruise missiles per heavy bomber put an upper limit on the second index- the total number of warheads. The ban on additional heavy ICBMs and the upper limits on the size of both heavy and light ICBMs capped the third in- dex—total throw-weight. Together these limits made the planning of strategic forces and the problem of land-based missile vulnerability much more manageable. For instance, in the case of the Minuteman missile's vulnerability the SALT II fractionation and launcher limits not only effectively capped Soviet throw-weight but facilitated the de- velopment of survivable deployment plans for the MX missile by limit- ing the number of warheads the Soviet Union could target against the system. Specifically, the Carter Administration proposed a system of multiple protective shelters in which a single MX launcher moved on a closed road system, or racetrack, containing 23 hardened shelters, each of which would have to be considered a target in a preemptive Soviet attack. Supporters of SALT I] argued that the framework of equal aggregate ceilings in the context of essential equivalence gave the two sides the flexibility to resolve certain extremely difficult problems related to the asymmetric structures of their forces. Specifically, this framework pro- vided a basis for dealing with the critical asymmetries in Soviet heavy missiles, U.S. forward-based systems in Europe, U.S. cruise missiles, the Soviet Backfire bomber, and British and French strategic forces. For example, at Vladivostok, when the equal aggregate approach was ac- cepted, the United States dropped its insistence that the Soviet Union substantially reduce the number of its heavy missiles, for which there was no comparable U.S. system, and the Soviet Union withdrew its demand that U.S. forward-based systems (aircraft in Europe and on carriers) capable of striking the Soviet Union be included in the aggre- gate. This represented the most significant example of the trade-off of asymmetric capabilities that had proved a major barrier to progress in the negotiations. Subsequently, the United States did not press for equal rights for heavy ICBMs because it had no plans for such a system and because it did not wish to pay a price for this unwanted option, which might have included a Soviet demand to replace the SS-18 with a more advanced heavy missile. As another example of this negotiating flexibility, supporters cited the case of air-launched cruise missiles. The Soviets maintained that it

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 41

42 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL reload capability, which, if technically feasible, could greatly increase the military value of existing ICBM launchers. To reinforce this provi- sion, SALT IT banned the storage of excess missiles in the vicinity of launch sites. In general, SALT IT supporters argued that the SALT approach con- tributed significantly both to crisis stability by assuring both sides a survivable deterrent and to arms control stability by placing predict- able limits on future force postures and by providing a workable frame- work for future reductions in force levels. SALTI! Critics SALT IT was criticized from two fundamentally different perspectives. One group of critics argued that the SALT II limits were inequitable because they did not bring the Soviet advantages in destructive capabil- ity into balance. The other group of critics argued that, although the SALT limits were equal, SALT was not an acceptable approach to arms control because it did not provide for significant reductions and in fact "institutionalized" the arms race. The primary criticism against the SALT II Treaty came from those who argued that the numerical ceilings did not really provide equality. These critics argued that the quantitative ceilings and subceilings pro- vided only the appearance of equality. Because these provisions did not establish equal limits on the destructive characteristics of missiles, such as throw-weight, they allowed the Soviet Union to maintain a large lead in the destructive capability of its land-based missiles. A central reason cited for this inequity in destructive power was the Sovi- ets' retention of heavy ICBMs. It was asserted that the destructive capability of these systems alone exceeded the destructive capability of all U.S. strategic missiles. Because of these inequities in destructive power, the agreement was inherently unequal. Thus it would lock the United States into a position of inferiority. These analysts argued that the vulnerability of U.S. ICBMs to Soviet attack, which heavily contributed to the United States' inferior strate- gic position by limiting its retaliatory response, could not be corrected during the term of the treaty. Despite the freeze on the number of war- heads on existing MIRVed missiles and the equal limit of ten warheads on the one new type of ICBM, the Soviet Union would still be able to deploy enough warheads during that period to destroy the U.S. ICBM force. Moreover, the fractionation limits on MIRVs would not assure the survivability of the future MX deployment even in a 23-shelter race- track mode because the treaty would expire before the MX could be

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 43 deployed. The critics also argued that the freeze on warheads for exist- ing systems was inherently inequitable because the yield of Soviet war- heads was at least double that of U.S. warheads and because the Soviets were allowed ten warheads on their heavy missiles (the SS-~Ss) and six warheads on their largest light missile (the SS-l9) while the United States was allowed only three warheads on its Minuteman IlI. In effect, said the critics, the SALT IT Treaty allowed the Soviet Union a three to one numerical and a five to one throw-weight advantage in ICBM war- heads, which are the most destabilizing strategic weapons. Critics also asserted that the quantitative and qualitative limits did not effectively cap the strategic arms race or effectively begin the pro- cess of reductions in a way that would assure essential equivalence. Instead of forcing a reduction, SALT IT would permit a large increase in Soviet capabilities. It was argued that the ceilings in the treaty were so high that they would not provide a useful cap on the arms race. Simi- larly, the capabilities of the Soviet systems were so great that the reduc- tions agreed upon would have little or no military significance. The lower ceiling of 2,250, which the Soviet Union would have to reach by 1982, would in effect involve only scrapping obsolete systems. In 1982 the United States would still have only 2,050 operational systems, which some critics claimed would be less capable than the Soviet force. After this reduction in Soviet forces, the United States would still have to build up its forces to achieve equality with the Soviet Union. The critics argued that the restriction to one new type of ICBM did not effectively or equally cap the quantitative and qualitative arms race. It was claimed that the Soviet Union could still develop and deploy more than one type of ICBM simply by operating within or close to the enve- Tope of characteristics defining a missile type. Thus the largely uncon- strained potential of Soviet destructive capability would put the Soviet Union strategically ahead of the United States in the early l980s and could be further exploited once the treaty expired. The treaty was also inequitable, according to SALT IT critics, because it did not effectively limit Soviet Backfire bombers. Critics claimed that the Backfire bomber was a strategic bomber because it could strike the United States on unrefueled one-way missions. Consequently, by not including the Backfire bomber in the aggregate, the United States was allowing the Soviet Union to increase by as much as one third the already large destructive power that it could deliver against the United States. By not having to count Backfires in the aggregate total, the Soviet Union would also not have to eliminate an equal number of ICBMs and SEBMs to reach the 2,250 total. A further criticism was that the provisions of SALT I] made a rapid

44 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL breakout from the treaty a serious threat. For example, the provisions designed to limit the Soviets' ability to reload their {CBM silos could not be counted on to be effective for more than a number of hours. Also, any bomber with hard points on its wings could rapidly be converted to carry cruise missiles, and any cruise missile operable from a plane could rapidly be adapted for launch from ground- and sea-based launchers. Some critics emphasized that the most serious danger of the SALT II Treaty was that it would Jull the American public into a false sense of security while in fact locking the United States into a position of inferi- ority. To present negotiable proposals, the United States sacrificed its goals of limiting significant military characteristics such as throw- weight, according to these critics. It reached an agreement that limited the wrong strategic characteristics and allowed the Soviet Union not only to retain but also to enhance its strategic destructive advantage during the term of the treaty. An entirely different group of critics argued that SALT did not stop the arms race but rather institutionalized the qualitative arms race. They contended that arms control should stop the arms race, compre- hensively constrain modernization, and significantly reduce the num- ber of weapons systems. In this view, the SALT IT approach to reductions was too slow, its qualitative restraints too limited. In particular, these analysts denied the need for one new type of TCBM, which in the United States was to be the MX missile with ten highly accurate warheads deployed in a very expensive and controversial multiple-sheTter race- track mode. In short, these critics charged that SALT II may have pro- vided essential equivalence but only at unacceptably high levels. Verification The SALT IT Treaty was structured to facilitate "adequate" verifica- tion by the existing technical intelligence systems of the United States and the Soviet Union. These intelligence systems, designated as Na- tional Technical Means (NTM), include reconnaissance satellites (with photographic, infrared, radar, and other sensors) and ground-based technical systems (such as radars and radio antennas) located outside the borders of the country under surveillance. The standard of "ade- quate" verification, as was set forth in the Arms Control and Disarma- ment Act and enunciated by President Nixon in his instructions to the first session of SALT in 1969, had been the stated objective of verifica- tion throughout the SALT process. Adequate verification has generally been interpreted as meaning a level of verification which would assure with high confidence that compliance could be determined to the extent

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 45 necessary to safeguard national security and that violations could be detected early enough to permit an appropriate response. SALTI] Supporters Supporters of SALT IT asserted that the agreement, which had been carefully designed to take maximum advantage of existing intelligence monitoring capabilities, was "aclequately" verifiable by any reason- able criteria. They pointed out that this conclusion was supported by the intelligence community and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the basis of extremely detailed studies that considered not only normal Soviet prac- tices but possible Soviet efforts to conceal their activities. It was empha- sized that these conclusions were drawn from the total collective experience of the intelligence community in monitoring the growth of Soviet strategic forces since the end of World War Il. During this period the U.S. intelligence community had developed a very detailed under- standing of Soviet strategic forces, including the number and capabili- ties of deployed missiles and bombers, the location of production and test facilities, the structure of the command system, training and opera- tional procedures, and missile testing practices. On the basis of this in- depth knowledge, it was possible not only to establish confidently the baseline of the forces in being at the time of the agreement but also to judge retrospectively the effectiveness and timeliness of the intelli- gence system in monitoring the specific systems limited in each of SALT IT's provisions. Supporters of SAINT IT emphasized that the intelligence community had also had several years' experience monitoring the provisions of SALT I. These provisions dealt with the same systems and many of the same problems as SALT Il. Supporters of SALT IT also emphasized that information relating to the verification of specific provisions usually came from several inde- pendent systems. This provided both cross-checks and redundancy in the system. It was argued, for example, that despite charges to the contrary even the loss of important collection facilities in northern Iran had not significantly reduced the verification capabilities for the In- terim Agreement and SALT IT. Furthermore, the Soviet Union did not know the full extent or capabilities of the intelligence resources of the United States and its allies, and it would have to operate very cau- tiously in any attempts to violate or circumvent the treaty. It was also pointed out that programmed major improvements in the intelligence collection system would substantially increase verification capabilities in ways that the Soviets could not project with confidence. Finally, the

46 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL Soviet Union could never be sure that information from espionage oper- ations or defectors might not expose concealed activities that might have initially escaped detection by NTM. Supporters of SALT IT argued that the provisions of the treaty pro- tected and enhanced the existing capabilities of national intelligence. By acknowledging that National Technical Means would be the method of verification, the treaty incorporated national technical intelligence into the body of acceptable international activities. This was a matter of major significance in the case of space-based reconnaissance systems, which are extremely vulnerable to attack. Moreover, the specific provi- sion in the treaty banning interference with NTM used to verify the agreement would protect essentially all U.S. technical intelligence col- lection systems, since they all contributed to the verification process. In addition, the ban on deliberate concealment measures that would im- pede verification of treaty provisions substantially enhanced the capa- bilities of national intelligence, since without this agreement there would be no legal constraints on such concealment. In this regard, it was emphasized that the explicit ban on the encryption of test telemetry related to the verification of specific provisions of the treaty assured the availability of important information that would otherwise almost cer- tainly be denied. Based on extensive experience, it was noted that the authenticity of unencrypted telemetry could be established with confidence. Supporters of SALT II pointed out that the counting rules used to establish the aggregate ceilings and subceilings in the agreement had been defined so that they depended on information attainable by NTM, namely, numbers of missile launchers, missile test data, and numbers of aircraft. Moreover, while each side would rely on its own verification capabilities, the treaty provided for a data exchange to provide an agreed basis for purposes of compliance. Finally, the authority of the Standing Consultative Commission, which was originally established in SALT I, would be extended to consider compliance issues and other problems relating to the verification of SALT Il. SALT IT supporters pointed out that the SCC had proven in practice to be a very effective mechanism in dealing with a range of compliance problems with SALT I. As a result of detailed private discussions at the SCC, all compliance problems had been resolved to the satisfaction of the U.S. government by the time the ratification of SALT IT was being considered by the Senate. The identification of compliance problems demonstrated the capabilities of the verification system, and their referral to the SCC demonstrated the willingness of the United States to release sensitive intelligence information and address potentially confrontational Issues.

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 47 In view of the experience of the intelligence community and the verifi- cation provisions in the treaty, supporters of SALT rid argued that the major provisions of SALT IT could be adequately verified. The verifica- tion of these major provisions is discussed below. The Aggregate Limit on IBM and IBM Launchers and Heavy Bombers. The aggregate limit on ICBM and SEBM launchers and heavy bombers can be accurately verified with high confidence since (1) {CBM launchers (silos) are inherently easy to identify, are built in large complexes for reasons of security and control, take over a year to build, and require extensive support facilities; (2) SEBM launchers are located in fixed numbers on ballistic missile submarines, which are currently constructed over a period of years at a single location and are subse- quently outfitted in the open; and (3) heavy bombers are large, distinc- tive aircraft that have been produced at only a few well known plants and deployed at a limited number of bases. The easily identifiable mis- sile launchers are a suitable measure of actual missile capabilities. The reload of SEBM launchers would be impossible in wartime, and the reload of ICBM launchers (silos), which would take many hours or days, would not be practical with missile fields under attack in wartime. Nevertheless, to minimize this latter possibility, the treaty specifically banned the storage of reload missiles or facilities suitable for that pur- pose at missile sites. The U.S. insistence on permitting the introduction of mobile ICBM launchers after 1981 complicates the verification process. But the intel- ligence community concluded that it would still be possible to make reasonably reliable estimates of the numbers of these mobile launchers because they would be very large, unique vehicles that would probably require identifiable support and command facilities. The success in monitoring the deployment of the SS-20 mobile system was cited as evidence ofthis capability. Moreover, as a special precaution, the agree- ment banned the testing, production, and deployment of the SS-16, which was essentially the SS-20 with a third stage, to avoid the rapid upgrade of the known SS-20 force to intercontinental capability. To establish standards for cooperative measures in the verification of mo- bile systems, the United States revealed its plans to deploy the mobile MX in a multiple protective shelter mode. This deployment incorpo- rated a number of major features to assure the Soviet Union that not more than one missile was associated with the 23 shelters at each of the easily identifiable MX sites. The Subceilings on MIRVed Launchers Supporters argued that the subceiling of 1,200 on the number of launchers for ICBMs and SEBMs

48 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL equipped with MIRVs and the subceiling of 820 on the number of launchers for {CBMs equipped with MIRVs could be verified with high confidence because of the powerful counting rules that make use of the fact that launchers for different types of missiles are easily distin- guished. The counting rules provide that all missiles of a type that has ever been tested with MIRVs (which is verifiable by NTM with high confidence) will be considered as MIRVed missiles and that any launcher of a type that has ever contained or launched such a MIRVed missile will be considered a launcher of MIRVed missiles. This conserv- ative counting rule, which depends strictly on observable characteris- tics, includes within the MIRVed launcher subceilings all launchers that have a capability of launching MIRVed missiles even if the missile in the launcher has only a single warhead (as was believed to be the case in some instances). This approach was considered to be far more effec- tive than on-site inspection. Inspections would require very intrusive procedures to ascertain whether a missile was in fact MIRVed, and a MIRVed warhead could be temporarily replaced with a single warhead during inspections. Constraints on Qualitative Modernization of Missiles. Supporters of SALT IT argued that the constraints on changes in launch-weight and throw-weight and the freeze on the number of RVs on missiles could also be verified with adequate confidence. Any significant changes would involve extensive testing, which would be monitored by a number of independent NTM, including the collection of telemetry. It would be extremely difficult to increase the number of warheads on a particular type of MTRVed ICBM without detection because testing would be nec- essary and the number of warheads released in a test can be monitored confidently by a number of independent techniques. Moreover, detailed provisions in the treaty limit certain testing activities that do not involve the release of additional warheads but might be directed at circumventing this important limitation. Launch-weight and throw- weight can be measured quite accurately from test data, and changes in these characteristics would tee particularly obvious for existing missiles whose characteristics are well known from the scores of development and training tests conducted over the years. While the ~ percent limit on changes in these parameters in existing missiles admittedly presses verification capabilities, the limit was set as Tow as possible to provide a basis for challenging any detected changes and to minimize the incen- tive to introduce a new ICBM as a permitted modernization of an exist- ing type.

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 49 One New Type of ICBM. Supporters argued that the restriction on both sides to develop only one new type of ICBM with no more than ten warheads could be verified with high confidence. Any new missile would require 20 to 30 tests over a period of a couple of years before it could be deployed. During this test period a variety of independent techniques, including telemetry, could establish with confidence whether the launch-weight, throw-weight, and other parameters were outside the envelope of permitted modernization of existing missiles and whether the missile had a MIRV capability in excess of ten war- heads. If the new missile was within the envelope of any old missile and thus did not qualify as a new type, it could not have more warheads than the old type. It would therefore not have significantly greater capability other than possibly accuracy. In summary, supporters of SALT IT argued that it was possible to verify with high confidence whether or not the Soviet Union was com- plying with the provisions of the treaty. They also held that any viola- tion large enough to threaten the security of the United States would be discovered in time to permit an appropriate reaction. SALTlI Critics Many critics of SALT IT asserted that the treaty did not, in fact, meet the criterion of adequate verification. Some went further and rejected the concept of adequate verification, saying it was not sufficiently strin- gent to meet the demands of national security. Some critics questioned the record of the U.S. intelligence community in the area of strategic weapons monitoring over the past 20 years, pointing out alleged under- estimates of the size and capabilities of Soviet strategic missile forces. There were suggestions that the intelligence community exaggerated the confidence that could be placed in its current assessments, and that these assessments might in fact substantially underestimate the present threat. Other critics challenged the inherent capability of cer- tain intelligence systems to provide information that avouch permit timely assessments with the accuracy required to meet treaty provi- sions, particularly those relating to qualitative constraints. In this con- nection, the Toss of Iranian collection facilities was claimed to have seriously degraded verification capabilities, thus illustrating the fra- gility and unreliability of many intelligence resources. The strongest criticisms, however, focused on the ability of the intelli- gence community to operate with the indicated level of confidence if the Soviet Union deliberately undertook to violate or circumvent the treaty

50 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL by clandestine procedures. It was argued that the intelligence commu- nity exaggerated its ability to deal successfully with concealment prob- lems that it had not previously confronted. The concern about clandestine activities applied not only to potential direct violations of the treaty but to activities that might be designed to permit a rapid breakout from the treaty, either by abrogation or upon its expiration at the end of 1985. Some critics expressed particular concern about the fact that the treaty did not limit Soviet missile production and that the cumulative stockpile of various strategic missiles was not known with confidence. They argued that the focus on ICBM silos and SEBM launchers ob- scured the real threat, the number of missiles. These missiles might be used for reload, be deployed clandestinely, or be held in reserve for rapid deployment after the expiration of the treaty. Some of these critics minimized the significance of the treaty provi- sions designed to enhance verification. They argued that the ban on interference with NTM prevented an activity from which the Soviet Union was currently deterred in any event, and that the ban on conceal- ing of activities from NTM was largely meaningless since really effec- tive concealment would be difficult to detect. In this connection, the value of the partial ban on encryption was dismissed on the grounds that one could not be certain that critical data, or even the real data, were not in the encrypted portion of the telemetry. The value of the SCC was questioned by some who suspected it had become a Soviet device to probe sensitive U.S. intelligence capabilities. Others believed the SCC was being used to shield the Congress and the American people from serious compliance problems. Critics of SALT IT challenged the adequacy of verification of the trea- ty's major provisions along the following lines: The Aggregate Limit on IBM and SEBM Launchers and Heavy Bombers. Critics argued that the enumeration of ICBM silos and SEBM launchers did not adequately verify the real threat, the number of Soviet missiles. Since the production of missiles was neither limited nor adequately verif~ableby NTM, large numbers of additional missiles could have been or might be produced. These missiles might be deployed in ordinary industrial-type buildings near the production facilities. They could also be stored in the general vicinity of existing launchers for rapid reload, despite treaty provisions to the contrary. In any event, these missiles could be available for deployment in the event the treaty was abrogated or expired. The ability to verify the number of missiles deployed in a mobile mode was also challenged, since these missiles

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 51 could be kept under cover and exercised individually. It was argued that the verifiability of the Soviet mobile SS-20 system should not be taken as a precedent for future deployment practices. Moreover, critics held that there was no reason to believe that the Soviet Union would follow the U.S. lead in incorporating extensive cooperative measures to facili- tate verification, such as those originally proposed for the deployment of the MX. Concern was expressed that despite the special limitations on the SS-16, the SS-20 could be upgraded to intercontinental range without U.S. knowledge. The ability to count aircraft was not chal- lenged, but questions were raised about the ability to verify that some Bison and Bear aircraft could be excluded from the aggregate total on the grounds that they were committed to and outfitted for other mis- sions. The Backfire presented particularly controversial verification problems, since many critics thought it should be included in the aggre- gate as a heavy bomber. They challenged both the assessment of its capabilities and the ability of NTM to detect the upgrading of those capabilities. The Subceiting on M RVed Launchers. As in the case of the aggre- gate limits, critics argued that the subceiling on MIRVed launchers did not really permit adequate verification of the number of MIRVed mis- siles that had been produced. Moreover, if excess missiles were produced for clandestine deployment, reload, or deployment after a breakout from the treaty, they would very likely be MIRVed. Constraints on Qualitative Modernization of Missiles. Critics argued that qualitative constraints of the treaty could not be verified with adequate confidence or precision. In particular, they asserted that it was not possible to measure the launch-weight or throw-weight of a missile to within 5 percent, the limit on permitted changes to an exist- ing missile. This already questionable capability, the critics continued, had been further degraded by the Toss of critical ground-based NTM facilities in Iran. Critics also challenged the ability to verify with high confidence the ban on increased numbers of warheads on existing MIRVed missiles. Since a MIRV dispensing system can be tested with- out actually releasing its full complement of warheads, verifying the maximum number of warheads the missile can carry depends on de- tailed analyses of telemetry, which can be encrypted or otherwise concealed. One New Type of ICBM. Critics argued that the limitation to one new type of ICBM could not be verified with high confidence and would

52 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL provide a potential loophole for more extensive ICBM developments. The provision in fact permits new ICBMs provided they fit within the envelope defining permitted modernization. Citing the limited ability to verify some of these parameters, critics argued that it would not be possible to prove conclusively that a new missile involving considerably greater changes was not in fact a permitted modernization. Moreover, they emphasized that the Soviet Union was known to have several new missiles under preliminary development that might be tested and de- ployed on this basis. In summary, critics of SALT IT argued that it was not possible to verify with confidence that the Soviet Union was not violating the provisions of SALT I! to an extent that might threaten the security of the United States. Compliance The Soviet record of compliance with the SALT ~ agreements was a central issue in the SALT TI ratification hearings. Since that time, the debate has continued and grown to include questions about Soviet com- pliance with the unratified SALT TI agreement. On January 23, 1984, in response to a congressional request, President Reagan sent Congress a classified report with an unclassified summary dealing with seven com- pliance issues. It charged the Soviet Union with violations and probable violations of five provisions of the SALT agreements. On January 29, 1984, the Soviet Union released a diplomatic note that charged the United States with numerous violations of the SALT agreements. Compliance with SALTIfrom 1972 to 1979 During the SALT IT ratification hearings the Carter Administration took the position that the overall record of Soviet compliance with SALT ~ had been good and presented the Senate with full documentation to support this conclusion. Early in SALT ~ the decision had been made to raise certain compliance issues in the Standing Consultative Commis- sion even though they involved sensitive intelligence information. Prior to the SALT IT hearings the United States had taken eight poten- tial problems to the SCC for clarification. After extensive discussion in the SCC the government concluded in each case either that there was in fact no problem in the light of additional information, that an ambigu- ity in the agreement had been clarified to mutual satisfaction, or that the questionable activity had ceased. Supporters of SALT IT argued that an objective examination of specific

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 53 compliance cases demonstrated not only the power of the verification system but also the effectiveness of the SCC. The following three cases, which were potentially the most serious compliance problems, were used to illustrate their point. In 1973 the United States observed the initiation of construction of what appeared to be new silos at a number of missile fields. New silos were clearly prohibited by the SALT ~ Interim Agreement. When this suspicious activity was raised at the SCC, the Soviet representatives explained that the silolike structures were to house launch control facil- ities, as would become apparent. On the basis of subsequent informa- tion about the structures, the United States agreed that this was the case. In 1973 and 1974, technical intelligence indicated that a radar associ- ated with the Soviet SA-5 air defense system had apparently tracked a Soviet ballistic missile during a test flight. To prevent a permitted air defense system (such as the SA-5) from being upgraded to have a mar- ginal ABM capability, the SALT ~ ABM Treaty prohibited the testing of such a system or any of its components in an "ABM mode." In a unilat- eral statement accompanying the treaty, the United States had inter- preted this term to include the testing of such a system's radar against a ballistic missile reentry vehicle. In the SCC the Soviet representatives denied that the radar was being tested in an "ABM mode" and noted that the use of radars for instrumentation and range safety was not prohibited. Whatever the true nature of the activity, the practice ceased. Subsequently, more detailed interpretations of this complex technical provision were worked out in the SCC to the mutual satisfac- tion of both sides. In 1975, when the SS-l9 deployment began, the United States brought the matter before the SCC since it underscored a troublesome ambiguity in the Interim Agreement, although it was not a violation of the agreement. The agreement prohibited the conversion of launchers for light ICBMs to heavy ICBMs but failed to define the dividing line between the missiles. In the negotiations the U.S. delegation had uni- laterally stated that it would consider any missile with a volume sub- stantially greater than that of the largest Soviet light missile (the SS-ll) to be a heavy missile. The Soviet delegation had rejected this definition and had informally told a member of the U.S. delegation that when deployed the SS-l9 would have a volume "less than midway be- tween the volume of the SS-ll and the SS-9." While this appeared to be the case, the United States wanted to make clear its concern about an erosion of the distinction between light and heavy missiles. Subse- quently, the SALT II negotiators agreed on a clear demarcation for

54 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL missile launch-weight and throw-weight between light and heavy {CBMs. SALT IT supporters emphasized that these three cases, as well as all of the other cases of less potential significance for security, were resolved to the satisfaction of the United States. It was also pointed out that a number of additional compliance cases that had been reported in the press had not been referred to the SCC, since on careful examination they proved to be incorrect. For example, the press reported that the Soviet Union had been "blinding" U.S. reconnaissance satellites (ap- parently a consequence of a large gas fire in the Soviet Union) and that the Soviet Union had tested and deployed a mobile ABM. The Soviet Union also raised a number of compliance questions in the SCC about U.S. practices under SALT ~ prior to the SALT II ratification hearings. The most serious issue related to the use of prefabricated environmental shelters over Minuteman silos during construction to modernize and increase the hardness of the silos. Starting in 1973, the Soviet SCC representatives objected to the practices as being a form of prohibited concealment, since SALT ~ placed specific limits on the ex- tent to which launchers could be modified and since it was necessary to distinguish between Minuteman II and Minuteman Ill silos. Although the United States took steps to reduce the size of these shelters, they were not removed. The Soviets continued to press this issue until 1979, when the shelters were removed in connection with the signing of SALT Il. which specifically banned their use. Some critics of SALT II acknowledged the list of compliance cases presented by the Carter Administration during the ratification hear- ings but argued that the potential significance of the cases had been underestimated. For example, they asserted that the silolike hardened command and control modules were in fact suitable for dual use as missile silos; that the SA-5 radar may have been tested sufficiently before the testing was stopped to permit the entire widely deployed SA-5 system to be upgraded to a significant terminal ballistic missile defense system; and that the decision to accept deployment of the SS-19 as consistent with the Interim Agreement greatly increased the Soviet counterforce threat since the SS-19, with its six warheads and the high- est accuracy of any Soviet missile, was being deployed in large numbers (3601. Other critics took a more extreme view, suggesting that addi- tional compliance problems such as the problem of rapidly transport- able, if not mobile, ABM systems- were being ignored. In fact, some critics suggested that the United States was ignoring a clear and contin- uing pattern of violations and circumventions. A few critics went so far as to claim that the Soviet Union had carefully designed the entire SALT process to permit a program of violations that on abrogation or

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS 55 expiration of the treaty would give the Soviet Union a decisive strategic advantage. Compliance with SALTI and SA:LTI! from 1980 to 1984 In the period since the SALT IT ratification debate, a steady flow of alleged Soviet violations of various arms control agreements has been reported in the press. At first these were largely restatements of pre- vious charges connected with SALT ~ and other earlier treaties. But recently several potentially significant violations of the unratified SALT I] Treaty have been widely reported. On January 23, 1984, in response to a congressional request, President Reagan submitted a cIas- sified report to Congress on "Soviet Non-Compliance with Arms Con- trol Agreements," which reviewed seven major compliance issues. The President's transmittal message states: "The United States Govern- ment has determined that the Soviet Union is violating the Geneva Protocol on Chemical Weapons, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Helsinki Final Act, and two provisions of SALT IT: telemetry encryption and a rule concerning ICBM modernization. In addition, we have deter- mined that the Soviet Union has almost certainly violated the ABM Treaty, probably violated the SALT II limit on new types, probably violated the SS-16 deployment prohibition of SALT IT, and is likely to have violated the nuclear testing yield limit of the Threshold Test Ban Treaty." The report drew a careful distinction between the ratified SALT ~ ABM Treaty, which was a "legal obligation," and the unratified SALT II Treaty, which was a "political commitment." It emphasized that, be- cause the U.S. government had formally announced in 1981 that it would not ratify SALT II, the legal obligation under international law not to take actions that would "defeat the object and purpose" of a signed but unratified agreement did not apply. The report noted, how- ever, that the United States has observed a "political commitment" to refrain from actions that would "undercut" SALT IT as Tong as the Soviet Union does likewise. With regard to the ratified SALT ~ ABM Treaty, the report found that a new large phased-array radar under construction near Krasnoyarsk in central Siberia "almost certainly constitutes a violation of legal obli- gations under the ABM Treaty of 1972 in that in its associated siting, orientation and capability, it is prohibited by the Treaty." With regard to the unratified SALT IT Treaty, the report addressed three problem areas: (1) encryption, (2) the new Soviet SS-X-25 missile, and (3) the SS-16. In the case of encryption, the report found that "the Soviet encryption

56 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL practices constitute a violation of a legal obligation prior to 1981 and a violation of their political commitment subsequent to 1981. The nature and extent of encryption of telemetry on new ballistic missiles is an example of deliberate impeding of verification of compliance in viola- tion of this Soviet political commitment." In the case of the SS-X-25 missile, the report found that "while the evidence is somewhat ambiguous, the SS-X-25 is a probable violation of the Soviets' political commitment to observe the SALT IT provision lim- iting each party to one new type of ICBM. Furthermore, even if we were to accept the Soviet argument that the SS-X-25 is not a prohibited new type of ICBM, based on the one test for which data are available, it would be a violation of their political commitment to observe the SALT IT provision which prohibits (for existing types of single reentry vehicle {CBMs) the testing of such an ICBM with a reentry vehicle whose weight is less than 50 percent of the throw-weight of that ICBM." In the case of the possible deployment of banned SS-16 ICBMs at Plesetsk, the report found that "while the evidence is somewhat ambig- uous and we cannot reach a definitive conclusion, the available evi- dence indicates that the activities at Plesetsk are a probable violation of their legal obligation not to defeat the object and purpose of SALT IT prior to 1981 during the period when the Treaty was pending ratifica- tion, and a probable violation of a political commitment subsequent to 1981." The report also found that the Soviet Union had violated its legal obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 and the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and its political commitments under the Hel- sinki Final Act concerning the notification of military exercises. Fi- nally, in the case of the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT), which limits underground nuclear tests to 150 kt, the report found that, "while the available evidence is ambiguous, in view of ambiguities in the pattern of Soviet testing and in view of verification uncertainties, and we have been unable to reach a definitive conclusion, this evidence indicates that Soviet nuclear testing activities for a number of tests constitute a likely violation of legal obligations under the TTBT." Under interna- tional law the United States and the Soviet Union have a legal obli- gation to the unratified TTBT until one of them declares that it does not intend to ratify it, as the United States did with the SALT II Treaty. The Soviet Union in effect denied all of these charges. It identified the large radar near Krasnoyarsk as a space track radar, which would be permitted under the ABM Treaty. Encryption practices were held not to impede the verification of the treaty's provisions, and the United States

THE STRATEGIC ARMS LIMITATION TALKS had refused on security grounds to answer Soviet questions as to the specific information denied. The SS-X-25 was identified as a permitted modernization of the SS-13, and the charge that its reentry vehicle weighed less than half of its throw-weight was denied. The charge that the SS-16 had been deployed at Plesetsk was also denied. As to the other charges, the Soviet Union denied that there had been any tests over 150 kt and dismissed the charges arising from the Biological Weapons Con- ~rention and the Genera Protocol as political propaganda. The Soviet Union also responded by publicly releasing a diplomatic note on January 29, 1984, that charged the United States with a long list of alleged violations of SALT ~ and SALT IT as well as other arms control agreements. The Soviet note charged that by deploying Persh- ing I! missiles and Tong-range cruise missiles in Western Europe, the United States had directly violated the "non-circumvention" provision in SALT IT, since from the Soviet point of view these missiles were strategic in character. With regard to the ABM Treaty, the note charged the United States with violating specific provisions by developing both a mobile and a space-based ABM radar system; by developing multiple warheads for ABM interceptors; by building and upgrading large phased-array radars on its coasts (Pave Paws) that, despite their early warning function, could cover large parts of the United States and serve as battle management radars for an ABM system; and by incorporating ABM capabilities in the intelligence radar on Shemya Island. The note also reopened earlier questions about the shelters placed over Minute- man silos during construction work. It charged that the Minuteman IT silos had been modernized to be compatible with MIRVed Minuteman Ill missiles and suggested that such missiles may in fact be deployed 57 there now. In the absence of more detailed information on the U.S. charges about Soviet violations, initial domestic criticism of the President's action by supporters of SALT IT focused on the undesirable consequences of for- mally and publicly charging the Soviet Union with treaty violations, particularly when some ofthe evidence was admittedly "ambiguous." It was argued that this action would make it extremely difficult to conduct constructive discussions or work out mutually acceptable solutions to these problems in the SCC. Moreover, concern was expressed over the Tong delay that had occurred before the SALT I] issues had been raised in the SCC. Finally, it was emphasized that the force of the U.S. position on SALT TI compliance issues, which had been weakened by the failure ofthe United States to ratify the treaty, was essentially destroyed by the formal statement, underscored in the President's report, that the United States had no intention of ratifying the treaty.

58 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL PART II THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS (START) The Strategic Arms Reduction Talks between the United States and the Soviet Union opened in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 29, 1982. The U.S. negotiating position, which has gone through several revisions, rejects the SALT approach to equal aggregates. Instead, it seeks major reductions, particularly in ICBMs, to establish equal destructive power of U.S. and Soviet missile forces. The Soviet Union continues to support the SALT approach in the START negotiations and seeks modest reduc- tions within the SALT IT framework. Despite various revisions in hot sides' proposals, there had been little significant progress in narrowing the fundamental differences between the two positions by the end of the fifth round of START. At that point the Soviet negotiators refused to set a date to resume the negotiations, contending that the U.S. deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Europe had created a new strategic situation that had to be reexamined. BACKGROUND The Origins During the 1980 presidential campaign, candidate Ronald Reagan opposed the unratified SALT IT Treaty and promised, if elected, to with- draw the "fatally flawed" treaty from the Senate. He argued that the treaty did not limit throw-weight, the true measure of destructive power, and did not close the "window of vulnerability" caused by accu- rate Soviet ICBM warheads aimed at U.S. ICBMs. After several months in office the new administration announced that while it reviewed arms control policy, the United States would not undercut the provisions of the SALT I] Treaty as Tong as the Soviet Union did likewise. The new administration did not initially announce its own approach to strategic arms control, although it did state that a prerequisite for genuine future arms control was to redress the strategic imbalance and restore a margin of safety with the Soviet Union. When the President announced his military program, he called for a 10 percent increase in the military budget over each of the next five years "to restore our defensive forces and to close that window of vulnerability that was opened in recent years with the superiority of Soviet forces." The admin- istration emphasized that it would approach arms control as only a single element in a full range of political, economic, and military ef-

THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS 59 forts. The administration also stressed the need for more effective veri- fication in its new approach to arms control, citing the alleged failure of the Soviet Union to comply with existing agreements. As domestic and NATO pressure for arms control increased, the Presi- dent announced in November 1981 that strategic arms talks would possibly begin the following year. He stated that these negotiations, which would be called Strategic Arms Reduction Talks, or START, would have the goal of substantially reducing strategic nuclear arms. Although the negotiations on intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) began in late November 1981 under strong political pressure from the NATO allies, the START negotiations did not actually begin for another eight months. The issue of "linkage" of arms control negotiations with the overall U.S.-Soviet relationship, which had been a recurring problem in SALT, arose at the beginning of 1982 in connection with the Polish crisis. This played a role in postponing initiation of the START negotiations. How- ever, by March 1982 the administration came under increasing domes- tic pressure to initiate negotiations, with nuclear freeze resolutions being introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Shortly afterward the administration, which opposed a nuclear freeze on the grounds that it would leave the United States in a position of strategic inferiority, publicly set forth its preferred approach to nuclear arms control. On March 31, 1982, in his first prime time news confer- ence, the President invited the Soviet Union to join with the United States in negotiations to reduce nuclear weapons substantially. The President also endorsed the Jackson-Warner freeze resolution, which called for reductions to equal levels prior to a freeze. The President contended that since the Soviet Union had "a definite margin of super- iority," an immediate freeze would put the United States in a dangerous and disadvantageous position. Initial START Proposals President Reagan outlined the elements of the START proposal on May 9, 1982, in an address at Eureka College. In the first phase of the proposal, the United States and the Soviet Union would reduce their arsenals of nuclear warheads on land- and sea-based ballistic missiles from the current levels of around 8,000 to 5,000, with no more than half, or 2,500, of those warheads on land-based missiles. The first phase would also include a limit of 850 on "deployed ballistic missiles," the unit of measure introduced to replace launchers, the SALT Il measure of ballistic missiles. In the second phase of the proposal, both nations

60 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL would accept an equal ceiling on the throw-weight of all nuclear . . mlssl es. The President said that the U.S. goal was to enhance deterrence and achieve stability through significant reductions in "the most destabiliz- ing nuclear systems- ballistic missiles, and especially intercontinental ballistic missiles while maintaining a nuclear capability sufficient to deter conflict, underwrite our national security and meet our commit- mer~t to our allies and friends." Strategic Tong-range bombers were not included in the President's outline of the START proposals, but under questioning, administration officials said that the United States would be prepared to deal with bombers and cruise missiles throughout both phases of the arms control talks with the Soviet Union. In declaring a readiness to negotiate an accord with the United States on May IS, 1982, Soviet President Brezhnev stated that the proposed U.S. approach would require a unilateral reduction in the Soviet arse- nal. He proposed instead that the accord should either ban or severely restrict the development of all new types of strategic armaments. Brezhnev also called for a nuclear freeze "as soon as the talks begin." When the United States and the Soviet Union simultaneously an- nounced their agreement to begin the START negotiations, President Reagan again pledged to "refrain from actions which would undercut" the unratified SALT Il Treaty so Tong as the Soviets showed the same restraint. The START negotiations began in Geneva on June 29, 1982. In re- sponse to the U.S. proposals, the Soviet Union presented a proposal that included an interim freeze on strategic arms, limits based on the SALT II framework (involving a 20 percent reduction of the SALT IT ceilings on the aggregate of central strategic systems from 2,250 to 1,800), and unspecified reductions in the various SALT I] subceilings. In presenting this proposal, the Soviet Union emphasized that parity presently ex- isted between both sides' strategic systems. Over the next year the two sides slowly elaborated the details of their proposals, but little progress was made in bridging the gap between the two radically different approaches. The Scowcroft Commission and Build-Down As the negotiations proceeded in Geneva, the congressional debate on the nuclear freeze and the MX missile intensified. When it became apparent that the latest MX basing mode, known as dense pack, was unacceptable to Congress, President Reagan established the Special Commission on Strategic Forces in January 1984, under the chairman-

THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS 61 ship of General Brent Scowcroft, to review the U.S. strategic moderniza- tion program, particularly the future of the land-based ICBM. At the same time, Senator William Cohen (A-Maine) began his efforts to mobi- lize members of Congress who were opposed to the freeze approach, concerned about the apparent nonnegotiability of the U.S. START posi- tion, and interested in an arms control formula that would accommo- date modernization of U.S. strategic forces. On February 3, 1983, Senator Cohen and Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) introduced the guaranteed "build-down" resolution, which at this stage called on each side to eliminate two older nuclear warheads for each new warhead added to its force. Senator Cohen explained that the reso- lution provided for reductions while embodying the principle that weap- ons modernization could be stabilizing and also provided for reductions. Although the administration did not publicly endorse the build-down approach, President Reagan privately supported the idea in a conversa- tion with Senator Cohen. Nuclear freeze advocates, on the other hand, criticized the build-down as a political device to make it easier for mem- bers of Congress to vote for the MX. Nonetheless, 43 senators agreed to cosponsor the build-down resolution within seven weeks of its introduc- tion in Congress. On April 6, 1983, the Scowcroft Commission gave the President its report. The report proposed a threefold approach to the modernization of the ICBM force: deploying 100 MX missiles in existing Minuteman silos to satisfy the immediate needs of the {CBM force; initiating engi peering design of a small single-warhead ICBM (Midgetman) to reduce the value of individual targets and to permit flexibility in basing for better Tong-term survivability; and seeking arms control agreements designed to enhance strategic stability by counting warheads rather than deployed missiles. The report called for a higher missile limit than the 850 in START, while maintaining the ceiling on warheads, to en- courage both sides to move to smaller, single-warhead missiles. The report also minimized the ICBM "window of vulnerability" problem, noting that the different components of U.S. strategic forces should be assessed collectively and not in isolation. Despite the Scowcroft report's suggested modification in the START position and its deemphasis of the window of vulnerability, President Reagan endorsed the report and called on the Congress for prompt ap- proval of the MX. Several key moderate Democratic members of Con- gress championed the report and sought a bargain with the administration whereby they would support the MX program if the administration would adopt a more forthcoming approach at START and fund the Midgetman program. After a contentious debate following

62 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL the release of the report, the House of Representatives passed a much amended nuclear freeze resolution by a vote of 278 to 149, with both supporters and opponents of the freeze claiming victory. With the freeze resolution on its way to the Republican-controlled Senate and some moderate congressmen conditioning their MX vote on a more flexible approach to arms control, President Reagan publicly committed him- self to incorporate a new build-down approach into the U.S. START position. Shortly afterward, in mid-May 1983, the House of Representa- tives and the Senate released research and development funds for the MX missile. ~~ The Revised U.S. START Proposal President Reagan followed the action on the MX with the announce- ment that he had given the U.S. negotiators at START "new flexibility" in an effort to obtain an agreement. The U.S. position at START was reportedly modified to increase the original ceiling of 850 deployed ballistic missiles to 1,250. On the issue of throw-weight, the President said, "We believe, as does the Scowcroft Commission, that stability can be increased by limitations on the destructive capability and potential of ballistic missiles. As a consequence, we will continue to propose such constraints which indirectly get to the throw-weight problem while making clear to the Soviets our readiness to deal directly with the corresponding destructive capability if they prefer." He explained that throw-~'eight could be addressed "indirectly" by counting missiles and warheads. He also stated that the administration was giving "high priority" attention to how the concept proposed by Congress of a "guaranteed build-down" of U.S. and Soviet strategic nuclear weapons could be implemented within the context of the modified START proposal. In mid-~July 1983 the United States presented a draft treaty that incorporated the new position. The draft treaty reportedly included the equal missile warhead ceilings of 5,000, with no more than 2,500 land- based; the newly increased level of 1,250 deployed ballistic missiles; a separate bomber ceiling of 400, which included the Soviet Backfire bomber; a limit of 20 air-launched cruise missiles per bomber; and alter- native approaches to limiting throw-weight. The three approaches to throw-weight limitations were (l ) indirect limitations by subceilings on heavy and medium missiles, (2) a direct ceiling on aggregate missile throw-weight (with the United States reportedly insisting on a level far below the Soviet 5.6 million kilograms and approaching the U.S. level of

TlIE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS 63 1.S million kilograms), or (3) an alternative approach the Soviet Union might suggest for reducing its superiority in throw-weight. At.the same START session the Soviet Union presented further de- tails of its proposal. For the first time it explicitly indicated that not only the aggregate ceiling but the SALT IT subceilings as well would be reduced by approximately 20 percent. The Soviet Union also eliminated provisions that would have banned the new U.S. Trident IT D-5 missile, limited Tong-range cruise missiles on aircraft to a range of 600 km, stopped the deployment of new Trident submarines at four to six, and limited the missiles on each submarine to 16. The Soviet proposal did maintain the provision for limiting the range of sea- and ground- launched cruise missiles to 600 km. The Soviet Union reacted publicly to the proposed modifications in the U.S. proposal by saying that they did not change the fundamental inequity in the U.S. position and offered no more promise of an agree- ment than did the previous position. The United States observed that the elaboration of the Soviet position showed that there had been some movement in the talks, but acknowledged that the two positions re- mained far apart. Renewed congressional skepticism about the administration's com- mitment to arms control and the plan to put the M~ in vulnerable silos became apparent when in July the House endorsed the MX missile by a vote of only 220 to 207. Although the Senate then authorized the first group of MX missiles by a vote of 58 to 41, Senate build-down supporters who had voted for the MX were annoyed by the administration's slow pace in incorporating the build-down into START. With another MX vote scheduled for the fall, a small coalition of senators and representa- tives decided to use the leverage of the upcoming vote to obtain further revisions in the U.S. START position. Despite the deep chill in U.S.- Soviet relations caused by the Soviet downing of a Korean airliner, the congressmen persisted in their pressure on the President. The build-down resolution suffered a setback in late September when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee failed to muster a majority for either the nuclear freeze or the build-down and sent both resolutions to the Senate floor stating it agreed with neither. Nevertheless, strong congressional support continued for the build-down concept, which was broadened in congressional negotiations with the administration to include bombers by introducing a measure of "destructive capability" that related such factors as missile throw-weight, aircraft takeoff weight, and MTRV and ALCM capabilities. The administration did not accept the proposed definition of destructive capability, but it agreed

64 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL that some version of this approach might form the basis from which to proceed with a guaranteed build-down. The U.S. START Proposal Incorporating Build-Down On October 4, 1983, President Reagan announced that the United States would incorporate the build-down concept into the basic U.S. negotiating position. The build-down concept unveiled by the President was much more detailed than the build-down originally proposed by Senator Cohen. The new U.S. position included a proposal that the reduction to 5,000 missile warheads be carried out in whichever of the two following ways produced the greatest annual reduction in war- heads: a link between warhead reductions and modernization that would use variable ratios to identify how many existing nuclear war- heads must be withdrawn as new warheads of various types are de- ployed, or a guaranteed annual reduction of 5 percent in the total number of missile warheads. Specifically, the build-down provision re- portedly called for the removal of two old warheads for each new MIRVed land-based missile warhead, three old warheads for every two new submarine-based missile warheads, and one old warhead for each new single-warhead land-based missile. In addition, the President stated that the U.S. delegation would be prepared to discuss the build- down of bombers and additional limitations on the air-launched cruise missiles carried by bombers, and to negotiate trade-offs that would take into account Soviet advantages in missiles and U.S. advantages in bombers in ways that would give each side maximum flexibility while maintaining movements toward greater stability. At the same time, the administration made clear that it was keeping intact the main features of the basic U.S. START proposal, including the reduction of missile warheads to 5,000, the limit on deployed ballistic missiles of 1,250, the need to reduce the throw-weight discrepancy between the two sides, and a ceiling of 400 on bombers. Congressional supporters of the build-down hailed the President's action as a positive move in the arms control process. They stated that it demonstrated the willingness of the United States to make trade-offs between the U.S. lead in bombers and the Soviet lead in missiles. Con- gressional opponents of the build-down, particularly those who sup- ported the comprehensive nuclear freeze, questioned the President's initiative. They emphasized that it would still allow dangerous, destab- ilizing f~rst-strike systems to be produced and deployed and that it did not necessarily give the Soviet Union more flexibility in structuring its reductions, since the variable ratios discriminated against the land-

THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS 65 based missiles that constitute 70 percent of the Soviet force. On October 31, 1983, the Senate rejected a legislative amendment supporting the comprehensive nuclear freeze and avoided a direct test on the build- down by voting in a parliamentary maneuver to postpone further de- bate on the approach. The Soviet reaction to the new initiative was swift. Within a day of the President's offer, the Soviet news agency Tass dismissed the new U.S. proposal as a public relations ploy aimed at securing congressional approval of the MX missile and the planned deployment of medium- range nuclear arms in Europe. The same day as the President's offer, the Soviet Union had proposed at the United Nations a comprehensive nuclear freeze resolution, which was described as not inconsistent with their proposals in Geneva. Several weeks later, in a more detailed edito- rial on the new build-down initiative, Pravda called it entirely one- sided because it aimed chiefly at reducing the number and destructive power of ICBMs. With 70 percent of the Soviet force in ICBMs and only 20 percent ofthe U.S. force in these systems, Praccla stated that the plan was aimed at weakening the Soviet Union while allowing the United States to go ahead with all of its planned deployments for its strategic arsenal. In Geneva the Soviet delegation reportedly showed no interest in the build-down proposals, arguing that the proposal still focused in a dis- criminatory manner on stashing Soviet {CBMs. At the end of Round V of START, which followed the Soviet walkout from the INF negotiations, the Soviet delegation did not set a resumption date for the talks, saying that the deployment of Pershing IT and cruise missiles in Europe had changed "the overall strategic situation," which had to be reexamined. In response, President Reagan stated that the move was "more encour- aging than a walkout" and that he hoped Soviet negotiators would return in 1984. U.S. AND SOVIET START PROPOSALS Complete descriptions of the U.S. and Soviet negotiating proposals at START have not been made public, but the main elements of the revised U.S. and Soviet START positions at the end of Round V in December 1983 have been announced by the U.S. government or reported authori- tatively in the press. The U.S. START Proposal as of December 1983 The revised U.S. START proposal at the end of Round V included the following elements:

66 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL · Reductions to equal levels of 5,000 for both sides in the aggregate number of warheads on land- and sea-based ballistic missiles. · Equal limits on deployed land- and sea-based ballistic missiles of 1,250 (originally 8501. · Equal ceilings on aggregate missile throw-weight by one of the following approaches: (1) indirectly, by a sublimit of 2,500 on warheads on deployed land-based missiles and sublimits on the number of de- ployed land-based medium and heavy ballistic missiles (originally the United States proposed a sublimit of 210 on these missiles, of which no more that 110 could be heavy ballistic missiles); (2) by unspecified equal ceilings on overall missile throw-weight that would be substantially below the present Soviet level of 5.6 million kilograms (originally this approach was to be the second phase of the START negotiations); or (3) by an alternative approach to be suggested by the Soviet Union to reduce its superiority in throw-weight. · The proposed reductions to a ceiling of 5,000 missile warheads would be accomplished in annual increments by whichever of the fol- lowing two procedures produced the greater annual reduction: (1) a guaranteed annual reduction of 5 percent in the number of missile warheads or (2) build-down in missile warheads by reductions linked to any modernization programs by variable ratios defining the number of existing strategic missile warheads that must be withdrawn as new strategic missile warheads are introduced. Reportedly, to encourage modernization toward more stable systems, the build-down would re- quire the removal of two old warheads for each new MIRVed land-based missile warhead, three old warheads for every two new submarine- based missile warheads, and one old warhead for each new single-war- head land-based missile. · An equal ceiling for both sides of 400 strategic bombers (to include the Soviet Backfire bomber), with a limit of 20 cruise missiles per bomber. · A willingness by the U.S. delegation to (1) address the build-down of bombers, (2) discuss additional limitations on the air-launched cruise missiles carried by bombers, and (3) negotiate trade-offs that would take into account Soviet advantages in missiles and U.S. advantages in bombers in ways that would give each side maximum flexibility while maintaining movements toward greater stability. · Unspecified verification measures involving more comprehensive and intrusive measures than in previous agreements to ensure compli- ance. No encryption of flight test data must be permitted. · A series of confidence-building measures.

THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS The Soviet START Proposal as of December 1983 67 The revised Soviet START proposal at the end of Round V included the following elements: · An interim freeze of unspecified coverage on strategic nuclear arms while the negotiations are in progress. · A limit of 1,800 on the aggregate number of TCBM launchers, SEBM launchers, and heavy bombers (reduced by 20 percent from the SALT II limit of 2,250). · A limit of 1,200 on MIRVed missile launchers plus bombers equipped with air-launched cruise missiles (reduced from the SALT II limit of 1,3204. · A limit of 1,080 on MIRVed missile launchers (reduced from the SALT II limit of 1,200~. · A limit of 680 land-based MIRVed ICBM launchers (reduced from the SALT II limit of 8201. · Unspecified equal aggregate limits on missile warheads and bomber weapons. · A number of modernization constraints, including a ban on the deployment of ground- and sea-launched cruise missiles with a range greater than 600 km. · Corresponding verification provisions. The Soviet Union also dropped earlier provisions that would have banned the Trident II missile and Tong-range cruise missiles on aircraft, limited the U.S. deployment of new Trident submarines to four or six, and reduced the number of missiles on future Trident submarines from 24 to 16. THE MAIN ISSUES SURROUNDING START The Strategic Relationship START Supporters' Assessment of the Strategic Relationship Underlying the Reagan Administration's approach to START is the premise that the United States is strategically inferior to the Soviet Union. Consequently, the United States must first redress the strategic balance with military programs that will build up U.S. strategic forces and provide a necessary margin of safety. Any arms control agreement must therefore either await the restoration ofthe strategic balance by a

68 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL U.S. military buildup or achieve the strategic balance at Tower levels with a substantial restructuring of forces. In the Reagan Administration's view, the strategic forces of the two sides were roughly in balance when the SALT ~ agreements were signed in 1972. The Soviet Union achieved this balance because, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the United States decided not to contest Soviet efforts to attain equality in strategic forces. According to START sup- porters, this equality was lost during the 1970s, when the United States exercised unilateral restraint in its strategic programs. Once the MIRV programs for the Poseidon SEBM and Minuteman Ill {CBM were com- pleted in the first half of the 1970s, the United States canceled or stretched out a number of new strategic programs. The B-1A bomber program was canceled, the cruise missile program was cut back, con- struction of the Ohio-cIass Trident ballistic missile submarines was delayed, and the development of the MX was stretched out. In contrast to this U.S. restraint, according to the administration, the Soviets since 1972 have introduced three new MIRVed {CBM types (the SS-17, SS-1S, and SS-l9), which markedly increased the Soviet throw- weight advantage; four new SEBMs (the SS-N-S, SS-N-7, SS-N-1S, and, in development, the SS-NX-201; three types of Delta-cIass ballistic mis- si~le submarines; the new large Typhoon ballistic missile submarine; the Backfire bomber; and in development, the Blackjack bomber. The administration holds that during this period, by any measure, the So- viet Union achieved strategic superiority over the United States. With regard to the general military balance, President Reagan has stated that "in virtually every measure of military power the Soviet Union enjoys a decided advantage." He has emphasized Soviet advan- tages in total numbers of intercontinental missiles and bombers and the fact that the Soviet Union has deployed over a third more land-based missiles than has the United States, with the number of U.S. ICBMs essentially frozen since 1965. The President has stated that the Soviet Union has put 60 new ballistic missile submarines to sea in the last 15 years, whereas until last year the United States had not commissioned any in the same period. With regard to strategic bombers, the President has noted that the Soviet Union has built over 200 modern Backfire bombers and is building 30 more a year whereas the United States has deployed no new strategic bombers for 20 years. Finally, the Presi- dent has emphasized that the Soviet Union invests 12 to 14 percent of its gross national product in military spending, which is approximately twice the U.S. percentage. In short, the United States, according to the administration, finds

THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS 69 itself in a position of dangerous strategic inferiority that must be over- come by unilateral rearmament or by a new approach to arms control. START Critics'Assessment of the Strategic Relationship Domestic critics of the Reagan Administration's assessment of the strategic relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union argue that the United States is not strategically inferior to the Soviet Union and that essential equivalence continues to exist today. Al- though there has been a major Soviet strategic buildup during the last decade, the modernization of U.S. strategic forces has prevented any significant shift in the overall strategic balance. Consequently, the United States should continue to approach arms control in the context of essential equivalence. Critics disagree with the administration's assessment that strategic parity was lost during the 1970s. They point out that during this period the United States continued to modernize its strategic forces within the constraints of SALT ~ and maintained parity in the strategic balance between the superpowers. The U.S. modernization program in the 1970s involved all three legs of the strategic triad. In this period the United States deployed more than a thousand MIRVed missiles, thereby increasing the total number of U.S. missile warheads nearly fourfold. The United States also substantially increased the capability of the B-52 force by deploying short-range attack missiles (SRAMs), by incorporating improved avionics, and then by initiating the air- launched cruise missile program. In addition, development was under way on the Stealth bomber that uses advanced technology to penetrate air defenses. The C-4 Trident missile was developed and retrofitted into the Poseidon submarines, and the first new Trident submarine went on patrol in late 1981. The United States upgraded the Minuteman missile force with Mark 12A warheads, which increased accuracy and yield. The survivability of the land-based force was also increased by harden- ing Minuteman silos. Finally, as permitted in SALT II, the United States was developing the MX missile, which was originally intended to be deployed in a survivable basing mode. Critics state that when measuring the forces of the two superpowers, it is important to bear in mind the asymmetry of their arsenals. These asymmetries reveal Soviet advantages in some areas and U.S. advan- tages in others. For example, the Soviet Union today has more ballistic missiles with larger payloads and more megatonnage. But to offset this advantage the United States has more warheads with greater accuracy

70 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL and major advantages in the operating effectiveness of its submarine and bomber forces. Critics also argue that it is misreading to compare numbers without looking at missions, geography, and the forces of allies. These critics also challenge the President's statements on the strate- gic balance as being misleading. Concerning the statement that the United States has not increased its number of ICBMs since 1965, critics note that the Soviet Union as well as the United States froze the number of land-based missile launchers in the SALT ~ Interim Agreement of 1972. Since then the Soviet Union has in fact decreased the number of fixed land-based ICBM launchers by some 200 in exchange for an equal number of additional SEEM launchers as allowed under SALT I. Con- cerning the buildup in new ballistic missile-f~ring submarines over the last 15 years, critics point out that the U.S. submarine force has been substantially upgraded during that time by the deployment of MIRVed Poseidon missiles. American submarines now carry many more ballis- tic missile warheads per submarine than do Soviet submarines. More- over, it is generally agreed that U.S. ballistic missile submarines are decidedly superior to their Soviet counterparts in overall performance, since U.S. submarines spend more time at sea and operate much more quietly, which reduces the possibility of detection. Critics of the President's assessment also note that the U.S. and Soviet development cycles for these systems are out of phase. New U.S. submarines and missiles, whose development cycle began ten years ago after the least new submarines had been completed, are now just begin- ning to be deployed. In response to the President's statements about the buildup of Soviet Backfire bombers, the critics assert that, despite its age, the B-52 is a far better Tong-range bomber than either the Backfire, which has questionable strategic capability, or the standard Soviet long-range bombers, Bears and Bisons, which have not been modern- ized to nearly the same extent as the B-52. In the 1970s, for cost-benef~t reasons, the United States decided that instead of procuring a new bomber it would upgrade the B-52 bombers, first by developing short- range attack missiles and then by developing highly accurate long- range cruise missiles to ensure the ability to penetrate Soviet defenses. Finally, the estimate that the Soviet Union spends 12 to 14 percent of its gross national product on arms compared with the U.S. figure of 6 to 7 percent is misleading, since the U.S. gross national product is almost double that of the Soviet Union and the method of calculation tends to inflate the Soviet military budget. Moreover, recent U.S. intelligence analyses indicate that the growth rate in Soviet military spending since 1976 has been only about 2 percent per year about the same as the

THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS 71 growth rate of the Soviet gross national product with no increase in the procurement sector of the military budget. This is far less than estimates in the late 1970s and early l980s. In short, these critics believe that essential equivalence continues to exist today and that the United States does not need a major strategic arms buildup or major asymmetric reductions to enter a mutually ad- vantageous strategic arms control agreement. The Soviet View of the Strategic Relationship For its part, the Soviet Union insists in its public statements that an approximate military balance or parity exists now and is being main- tained between the Soviet Union and the United States. It also stresses that this approximate parity is sufficient for its defense needs and that it does not seek strategic superiority. In official statements and docu- ments the Soviet government has emphasized that by the mid-1970s an approximate balance or equilibrium had been struck in the quantity and quality of strategic nuclear arms between the two nuclear super- powers. The Soviet government asserts that since the signing of SALT TI it has done nothing in the field of strategic armaments to disturb this equilibrium. With regard to U.S. assertions that the Soviet Union has achieved strategic superiority, Soviet spokesmen argue that U.S. assessments are misleading because they compare selected components from the overall mass of strategic weaponry. These assessments focus only on land-based missiles, say the Soviets, ignoring U.S. ballistic missile sub- marines and heavy bombers, where the United States has a major ad- vantage. According to Soviet statements, the United States also has a greater number of nuclear warheads. Soviet statements also specifically reject the U.S. government's as- sessment of the window of vulnerability and its assertion that the United States froze its forces in the 1970s. Soviet officials argue that growth of U.S. strategic forces has been uninterrupted. They point out that three new weapon systems were produced in the United States in large quantities during the 1970s. Five hundred and fifty Minuteman ITI intercontinental ballistic missiles became operational, each with three MIRVed warheads. Some 496 Poseidon C-3 missiles, each with 10 to 14 warheads, were placed on 31 nuclear submarines. The accuracy of these systems was more than double that of the previous systems. The SRAM and AI~CM missile systems were introduced in the armaments of the upgraded U.S. strategic bomber force. Finally, by the end of the 1970s the U.S. Navy began to retrofit Trident ~ missiles, which have

72 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL greater range, throw-weight, and accuracy, in existing Poseidon subma- rines and new Trident submarines, and by the early l980s air, land, and sea versions of long-range cruise missiles were being deployed. Soviet officials emphasize that there is in fact no window of vuInera- bility, as the Scowcroft report finally acknowledged, and that the strate- gic forces of the United States and the Soviet Union continue to be in equilibrium. They contend that the U.S. government's present assess- ment of Soviet superiority is simply propaganda designed to gain do- mestic support for its new nuclear programs, which have the objective of gaining strategic superiority over the Soviet Union. In connection with their postponement of further START negotia- tions, Soviet officials went further and stated that the U.S. deployment of Pershing II and ground-launched cruise missiles in Europe has al- tered the strategic balance and therefore requires a new assessment of their strategic arms control proposals. The Rationale for START: Selective Deep Cuts to Restore Stability STAR T Supporters' Approach The Reagan Administration has emphasized that the deep reductions proposed in START will lead to equal overall limits on missile throw- weight, which is the true measure of the "destructive capability" of strategic forces. It has argued that the present strategic relationship is destabilizing because ofthe large Soviet advantage in the throw-weight of its ICBMs, which are capable of carrying large numbers of high-yield, accurate warheads. The key objective of START is to reduce radically the number of me- dium and large Soviet ICBMs, which account for a large percentage of the throw-weight of Soviet strategic forces. The Soviet medium and heavy ICBMs are the most threatening systems because they combine large numbers of warheads with high kill probabilities due to the high accuracy and yield of the warheads. Today these systems carry four to ten warheads; potentially they could carry as many as three times those numbers. These Soviet ICBMs not only threaten present hardened U.S. land-based retaliatory systems and command and control networks, but are also destabilizing because they are themselves vulnerable to attack, which creates pressure for a dangerous launch-on-warning doctrine. Moreover, an excess in throw-weight capability gives the Soviet Union a capability to add more warheads to existing missiles. Consequently, deep reductions of these systems are the best way to ensure the surviv- ability of U.S. deterrent forces.

THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS 73 The administration argues that the major restructuring of strategic forces implicit in the U.S. START proposals will lead to a much more stable strategic relationship. Under the U.S. START proposals the Soviet Union would be forced to decrease its dependence on land-based ICBMs. The build-down provision would encourage future Soviet force modernization in the direction of submarine-based forces or small sin- gle-warhead ICBMs. This restructuring would stabilize the strategic balance, since submarine-based forces and small single-warhead ICBM systems are more survivable and therefore less likely to provoke a "use it or lose it" stance by either superpower. The administration initially emphasized that a major advantage of its START proposals was that the Soviet Union would have to reduce the number of warheads on its ICBMs from 6,000 to fewer than 2,500. It suggested that this reduction in accurate Soviet {CBM warheads would help close the window of vulnerability by making it easier to solve the problem of U.S. {CBM vulnerability. Such a solution was important not only because a successful attack would reduce the U.S. capability for prompt retaliation but also because concern about vulnerability may lead to a destabilizing launch-on-warning policy. After a preemptive Soviet strike the U.S. retaliatory capability would be qualitatively im- paired, because the ICBM force is the only part of the strategic triad that can quickly respond with a high-accuracy attack on the remaining Soviet strategic forces. START supporters argued that the upward revision of the limit on deployed missiles from 850 to 1,250, as recommended by the Scowcroft Commission, would further help alleviate the vulnerability problem by providing more flexibility for the deployment of small single-warhead ICBMs. The proposed variable build-down ratios for reductions would also favor the move toward small single-warhead missiles, since there would be a one-for-one trade-off of warheads for new missiles of this type if either side decided to move in this direction. Supporters of the small missile argue that it would be cost effective and could be deployed in either a semihardened mobile mode or superhardened silo mode by 1990, and presumably sooner in Minuteman-type silos. However de- ployed, small single-warhead ICBMs would contribute to stability by increasing the survivability of both sides' land-based strategic forces. Increased survivability would result from both the reduced vuInerabil- ity and reduced target value of an {CBM force made up of Tow-value, single-warhead missiles. The administration argues that the absence of constraints on modern- ization in its START proposal would allow both sides to develop their forces in more survivable modes. The United States would not be lim-

74 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL ited to a single new missile, as in SALT Il. but coup develop the MX, the Midgetman, and other land-based systems as well. In addition, the adoption of the variable build-down ratios would enhance the incentive to move toward stabilizing systems. Proponents of the build-down argue that it would both permit stabiliz- ing modernization and reduce warhead totals without requiring as drastic a restructuring of Soviet strategic forces as the original START proposal. The build-down approach coupled with the direct or indirect U.S. requirement for reductions in the aggregate missile throw-weight would move the Soviet Union away from its heavy dependence on de- stabilizing land-based systems. But proponents argue that the revised proposal should be more negotiable, since the President has indicated a willingness to negotiate unspecified trade-offs that would take into ac- count U.S. advantages in bombers and Soviet advantages in missiles. Although the U.S. proposal retains a bomber limit of 400 (which would include the Soviet Backfire bomber), START proponents note that the administration has indicated it is willing to discuss proposals for the concurrent build-down of bombers and further restrictions on air- launched cruise missiles. The administration has argued that the Soviet Union also stands to gain from the U.S. START proposal. The proposal would cap U.S. strate- gic forces and foster strategic stability, thereby reducing the risk of war. Domestic Criticisms of START The basic domestic criticism of the U.S. approach to START is that it cannot realistically be expected to provide the basis for an agreement. Instead of taking into account the asymmetry of the U.S. and Soviet strategic forces, START seeks to take unilateral advantage of the struc- tural differences in these forces, according to this view. Critics main- tain that the new build-down initiative, when taken in the context ofthe overall U.S. proposal, has not significantly altered this situation. Critics point out that while the U.S. START approach would require the Soviet Union to undertake a radical restructuring of its forces, the United States could modernize its forces according to existing plans. Basically, the U.S. proposal calls for drastic reductions in Soviet land- based ICBM forces, which account for 70 percent of the Soviet Union's strategic assets. Specifically, the original ceiling of 2,500 on ICBM war- heads (which is still retained as part of one of the approaches to an equal ceiling on throw-weight) would require a reduction of 60 percent in Soviet ICBM warheads. Moreover, the sublimit on medium and heavy missiles (which was originally set at 210, of which no more than 110

'THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS 75 could be on heavy missiles) would require the dismantling of almost three quarters of Soviet modern, MIRVed ICBMs, whether or not there were replacements. Given the constraint of 1,250 deployed launchers, the Soviet Union would also have little incentive to replace these mis- siles with new small single-warhead missiles. Critics point out that the buiTd-down initiatives do not alleviate these inequitable requirements. The ratios for building down, which favor submarine deployments or small single-warhead missile deployments, when combined with the explicit or implicit requirement for almost equal missile throw- weights, would not have any practical impact on this problem from the Soviet point of view. The deep reductions in the U.S. START approach would have a much less drastic impact on U.S. strategic forces. Since only 20 percent of the U.S. strategic warheads are on land-based ICBMs, while two thirds of the U.S. strategic warheads are on submarines, much less restruc- turing of forces would be required. In fact, under the U.S. proposal the United States would be able to increase the number of warheads on its land-based ICBMs by 350. Moreover, the sublimit of 210 on medium and heavy missiles would permit the United States to deploy up to that number of MX missiles. Even under the new build-down approach to reductions, the United States would not have to restructure its forces as they are reduced to Tower levels. Furthermore, the United States could continue to take advantage of those areas where it has a technological lead by continuing with its plans to deploy the MX, the Trident IT, the B-1 and Stealth bombers, air-launched cruise missiles, and sea- and ground-launched cruise missiles. Although the United States has proposed to negotiate trade-offs be- tween missiles and bombers, some critics point out that there will be little room for such trade-offs, since the administration has established requirements for an equal missile throw-weight ceiling near the cur- rent U.S. level and an equal bomber ceiling. Moreover, critics point out that by separating strategic missiles and aircraft into two independent categories of 1,250 deployed missiles and 400 aircraft, the U.S. START proposal further complicates any trade-offs between areas of U.S. and Soviet advantage. The limit of 1,250 deployed missiles would require a major reduction in Soviet missiles, while the limit of 400 bombers would allow the United States to retain its entire active and planned bomber force. The modernized B-52 force, armed with short-range attack mis- siles and several thousand Tong-range cruise missiles, is a far more effective strategic force than the 150 Soviet Bison and Bear long-range bombers. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union appears to have a numerical advantage because the United States has included in the overall

76 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL bomber total some 250 Backfire bombers, which the Soviet Union main- tains perform theater and naval missions and do not have a strategic capability. Critics also argue that the U.S. START proposal's call for equality in throw-weight, either directly or indirectly, makes it nonnegotiable. There has been a long history of controversy on how to quantify throw- weight, particularly as it relates to bombers, and on whether it is an effective measure of strategic capability. If throw-weight as defined by the United States were used as a measure of the strategic balance, the Soviets would have to cut their existing missile throw-weight by at least 60 percent to match the current U.S. capability. The Soviet Union has rejected this proposal. Some critics also argue that throw-weight is not an appropriate measure of strategic capabilities, since it does not reflect the current overall parity between the superpowers' strategic forces when all quantitative and qualitative factors are considered. For exam- ple, as the accuracy of warheads improves, throw-weight becomes less significant. Similarly, concern about the Soviet breakout potential, where the greater throw-weight of Soviet missiles would allow the de- ployment of more warheads on their missiles, is not an urgent problem, since the major undertaking of adding a substantial number of war- heads to missiles would require testing that the United States would detect well in advance of deployment. The START proposal has also been criticized because it does not in- clude any qualitative restraints on the modernization of both sides' strategic forces. Even after including the build-down provisions, accord- ing to this argument, the U.S. proposal would do nothing to halt the qualitative arms race toward improved f~rst-strike systems. Specif~- cally, the agreement would allow the United States to continue to de- velop and deploy the MX and the Trident IT missiles, cruise missiles, and B-1 and Stealth bombers, while equivalent improved systems could be developed and deployed on the Soviet side. Some critics also point out that the U.S. START approach was origi- nally advanced in part to deal with the vulnerability of U.S. land-based ICBMs. But reducing the Soviet land-based warheads from 6,000 to 2,500 would do little to reduce the vulnerability of the U.S. ICBM force, because it would also have to be reduced significantly to stay within the deployed missile limit. These analysts have emphasized that basing the MX in Minuteman silos will only heighten instability under the START reductions by creating vulnerable targets of particularly high value. The build-down ratios proposed by the administration are designed to promote the development of small single-warhead Midgetman-type missiles. This represents a longer-term solution to the problem of ICBM

THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS 77 vulnerability. It has in turn given rise to a variety of criticisms and questions relating to both the START provisions and the long-term posture of U.S. strategic forces. Some critics, while endorsing the gen- eral concept of Midgetman both as a less vulnerable land-based system and as a step toward the deMIRVing of strategic missiles, have raised questions as to whether enough Midgetman missiles could be deployed to constitute a credible independent force, within the ceiling of 1,250 deployed missiles, given other ICBM and SEEM forces that would pre- sumably be retained. Technical questions have also been raised as to whether a mobile system could be hardened sufficiently to permit it to be confined to military reservations or whether it would have to move cross country or on public roads. The latter requirement could provoke domestic opposition in the United States that would not have to be faced in the Soviet Union. Critics have also argued that putting small mis- siles in hardened fixed silos or on relatively soft mobile launchers would do little to alleviate the vulnerability problem, because not enough missiles could be deployed under the U.S. START constraints to assure survivability against the number of accurate warheads that the Soviet Union could have under the proposed numerical ceiling on warheads. Other critics argue that the U.S. approach to START arose largely from undue concern over the vulnerability of U.S. ICBMs, which the Scowcroft Commission has now put in better perspective. These critics note that land-based {CBMs are only 20 percent of the U.S. strategic force and that the different components of the U.S. strategic forces should be assessed collectively and not in isolation. The U.S. strategic forces are designed as an air, land, and sea triad so that any leg of the triad can deter attack. Even if all of the U.S. land-based ICBM force were destroyed, the remaining U.S. strategic capability in submarines and/or bombers would still be able to deliver a devastating retaliatory strike. Thus a Soviet preemptive counterforce attack on the U.S. land- based force, or the threat of such an attack, would serve no rational purpose. Some critics question the desirability of a Midgetman program stimulated by START. Without an arms control framework to limit the deployments, such a program could become a problem in itself. In the absence of an arms control agreement, this new system may be uncon- strained and eventually even include a MIRVed payload. Unless ques- tions of missile characteristics and verification can be managed within an arms control framework, according to these critics, the deployment of a large force of small mobile missiles on both sides could prove to be a major new factor in arms race instability due to the uncertainty in the number of missiles the other side might be deploying.

78 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL The Soviet Approach to START The Soviet approach to the START negotiations has been to build on the SALT framework. Its proposals call for cuts of approximately 20 percent in the SALT I] ceilings and subceilings. The Soviet government emphasizes that it took many years for the two sides to agree on a SALT framework that accounted for the different structures of the two sides' strategic forces and quantified the parity of forces that existed between the two sides. Soviet officials state that their proposal, which~is based on the assessment that parity still exists, would substantially reduce the number of nuclear warheads to equal, agreed-upon ceilings. They also state that their proposal would severely limit the channels available for the continuation of the strategic arms race, and that the Soviet Union would be prepared to negotiate deeper reductions within this frame- work in the future. According to the Soviet Union, its willingness to consider strict quaTi- tative constraints has been demonstrated by its support for a nuclear freeze. Both Presidents Brezhnev and Andropov called for a freeze on strategic armaments while the START negotiations were in progress. Such a freeze was reportedly proposed without detail at the outset ofthe START negotiations. In October 1983 the Soviet Union introduced a resolution at the UN General Assembly calling for a comprehensive freeze on the testing, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons. In presenting these proposals the Soviet Union explicitly stated that they do not interfere with or contradict their START proposals for reduc- tions in the SALT ceilings. The Soviet Union argues that the U.S. approach to reductions in START selectively favors the United States and provides no qualitative constraints. Soviet officials point out that even with the build-down the U.S. proposal would require the Soviet Union to destroy a large fraction of its ICBM force while the United States proceeds unhindered with its plans to create new strategic weapon systems. Specifically, the U.S. proposal would allow the United States to deploy the MX, the Midget- man, Trident ~ and Trident II, and the B-1 and Stealth bombers. Conse- quently, far from building down U.S. long-range weaponry, the U.S. proposal would permit a massive buildup of U.S. forces, according to Soviet officials, and the U.S. warhead total, when cruise missiles are included, would rise significantly. The Soviet press has also noted that the Reagan Administration was trying to lock in an American advan- tage in heavy bombers by insisting that the Soviet Backfire bomber be included in the calculations. The U.S. government has stated that the Soviet approach to START is

THE STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TALKS 79 not acceptable. According to U.S. officials, it would not correct the basic inequities between the strategic forces of the two countries and would lock the United States into a position of strategic inferiority. Although welcoming the Soviet acceptance of significant reductions from existing levels, the U.S. government has argued that the specific Soviet ap- proach to reductions would not reduce the large relative Soviet advan- tage in MIRVed ICBMs, which are the most dangerous and destabilizing strategic weapons. U.S. officials contend that this prob- lem is inherent in the Soviet approach to reductions, because the SALT IT aggregate limits and sublimits are not directed at the proper mea- sures of destructive capabilities. Finally, they emphasize that the So- viet approach is fundamentally flawed, because it is built on the incorrect premise that there is overall parity between the strategic forces of the United States and the Soviet Union. Verification The details of the verification provisions in the U.S. START proposals have not been publicly disclosed, and it is not clear how much, if any- thing, has been said about them in the negotiations. The administra- tion has stated publicly that the United States would insist on going beyond the previous reliance on National Technical Means (see the section on verification in Part ~ of this chapter). President Reagan has stated that the United States cannot be sure the Soviet Union has complied with current arms control agreements because the verifica- tion provisions have been inadequate. Experience has shown, according to the administration, that agreements lacking adequate provisions for verification and compliance become a source of suspicion, tension, and distrust rather than reinforcing the prospects for peace. Administration officials have stated that the verification provisions of a START agreement would have to include cooperative measures and on-site inspection to supplement National Technical Means. Among the cooperative measures that the United States reportedly would call for in START are a complete ban on the encryption of telemetry, an ex- panded exchange of data on nuclear forces, and notification of all ICBM and SEEM launches. A number of other measures have been discussed publicly, but it is not clear which, if any, have been included in the U.S. START proposal so far in the negotiations. These measures include prior notification of removal, dismantling, and destruction; on-site pres- ence during removal, dismantling, and destruction; on-site presence at any facility intended for, or capable of, production or stockpiling of weapons or equipment banned or limited by the agreement; designation

80 NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL of the deployment areas for weapons and equipment limited by the agreement; and on-site presence to control and count the numbers of weapons and equipment that enter and leave designated deployment areas. Critics argue that the administration appeared to be developing such high verification standards that concrete verification proposals, when they emerged, would be nonnegotiable. The calls for more on-site in- spection have generated the most concern. Critics maintain that in many cases on-site inspections are actually less effective than National Technical Means, particularly when the NTM are supported by effec- tive cooperative measures. Above all, critics warn that intrusive on-site inspection requirements can easily and unnecessarily become insuper- able barriers to the successful negotiation of an agreement. .0-

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This nontechnical overview of developments in nuclear arms control describes how the United States and the Soviet Union arrived at their present positions—and where they might go from here. According to Foreign Affairs, "This book is proof that the complexities of arms control can be successfully explained in a nontechnical, and even more importantly, nonpartisan manner....It presents the key issues in a clear, thorough, and remarkably up-to-date way....Strongly recommended as a primary source for classroom and public discussions."

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