Prospects for Cooperative Security Arrangements and Nuclear Nonproliferation
We expect two key factors to control the evolution of new European security arrangements: (1) the continued improvement of U.S.-Soviet nuclear cooperation and (2) the roles assumed by the new united Germany and the two European nuclear powers, France and Great Britain. Both the United States and the Soviet Union will have to agree that each other's participation in Europe is critical to successful cooperation in nuclear matters. With such agreement, they can then decide cooperatively with the Europeans on new levels of dialogue and transparency extending well beyond formal arms control negotiations. Without it, they will neither attract the cooperative involvement of the major European players nor successfully counter domestic critics of the less dominant role they will play in Europe in the future. The theme must be cooperative security in, with, and for Europe, not U.S.-Soviet condominium.
The U.S. role should be to help facilitate this transition, both to greater reliance on a European defense organization and to what we hope would be the cooperative reconfiguration of all nuclear forces—American, Soviet, and European—at sharply reduced levels. Toward that end, there are a number of steps that could greatly enhance nuclear cooperation in Europe.
Cooperation toward a minimum level of strategic and tactical forces. This includes the elimination of all U.S. and Soviet ground-based tactical nuclear systems and, if possible, the French Hades as well. Decisions about basing for other U.S. systems would have to be made jointly.
Support for NATO as the link in the transition to cooperative management. Whatever happens, NATO is likely to be the primary link for the United States in its new relations with the emerging European security community.
Support for development of cooperative security in Europe. The new arrangements will evolve in stages, and participation may initially be more narrow than the United States prefers. The institutions could include the CSCE and other regional groups that can provide frameworks for further specialized discussions. A first step could be declaratory policies to provide assurance or reassurance of cooperative intentions and goals. Next could come cooperation to improve transparency among the present nuclear states regarding conditions of deployment, safety, command and control, and warning systems affecting possible nuclear threats inside and outside Europe. Over time, these could foster steps toward mutually responsive planning and the development of constraints on deployments, modernization, and use.
Due recognition of all European security interests. Even if the Soviet Union is not directly involved in many U.S.-European and intra-European decisions, it is essential that the Soviet Union not be made, or made to feel, a marginal participant in European security issues. The same holds true for the nations of Central and Eastern Europe, where security cooperation may be expected to lag behind economic and political ties to the rest of Europe.
The balance of power in East Asia has clearly entered a period of substantial flux. The task at hand, therefore, is to devise security understandings that will permit all the principal actors to pursue their national goals without stimulating an intraregional arms competition that could destabilize East Asia for years to come. These new arrangements need to assure that no single state or new coalition of states assumes a position of political or military predominance within the region. A serious, sustained effort must also be made to avoid any prospect of nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula. If Japan or China moved into a vacuum created by the drawing down of Soviet and American power, or if nuclear proliferation did take place in Korea, regional security would suffer. Thus, the United States and the Soviet Union, in conjunction with major actors within the region, have a stake in helping to define collaborative security and arms control arrange
Page 21ments, including in the nuclear area, that imply neither condominium nor the abdication of responsibilities for peace and stability.
Such arrangements would have to be useful and politically attractive to the United States, to the Soviet Union, to Japan, and to China. Three possible examples are:
Cooperation on command and control problems. This has already started between the United States and the Soviet Union, although it could be expanded significantly. Extending such cooperation to China as it becomes politically possible would help ensure that its nuclear operations are carried out without causing undesired alarm, especially if there are internal struggles in China. Possible specific measures include hotlines, crises centers, and technical assistance in keeping track of the status of nuclear systems.
Cooperation on security and safety measures. This kind of cooperation is needed between the United States and the Soviet Union, but is still at the talking stage. Much can be shared without going into the classified design of the nuclear weapons, even though some important safety features do depend on design.
Agreement on verified deployment and exercise restraints. The aim here would be increased transparency in both nuclear and conventional deployments in the region. The main thrust may well be conventional, but a nuclear component should be included so long as there are nuclear forces in the region. The Soviet Union could improve the transparency of its activities and should encourage the same on the part of North Korea as well. It is in U.S. and Soviet interests to have regional participation in agreements on restraints and transparency be as broad as possible. The nuclear dimension provides an entry into this form of cooperation that may be politically palatable.
Japan and other countries concerned with nuclear deployments should be a party to the arrangements involving the United States, the Soviet Union, and China. Japan should generally share in arrangements such as confidence-building measures, transparency agreements, communication agreements among naval headquarters, and intelligence sharing. In some of these areas, U.S.-Japanese relations have been close, while in others, Japan has sometimes been left out.
As the U.S.-Soviet confrontation fades, the relative significance of the dangers associated with further nuclear weapons proliferation may increase. Therefore, the new environment should also induce the international community to undertake further cooperative measures to prevent proliferation and to reduce its consequences.
Although nuclear proliferation has in fact progressed much more slowly than consistently predicted over the past 30 years, it has now become easier, from a purely technical perspective, for states to develop nuclear weapons. The technology has become more widely understood, and associated nonnuclear components have become more readily available in international commerce. Therefore, the future of proliferation depends primarily on political, military, and economic considerations, not on technical factors, and will be substantially influenced by the evolution of U.S.-Soviet relations and the development of institutions based on cooperative security. The key is to reduce security incentives for nonnuclear weapons states to seek such weapons.
Today, there are three states—India, Israel, and Pakistan—with undeclared nuclear weapons capabilities, 1 and a few other countries that may be interested in developing such capabilities. The recent Persian Gulf conflict brought the nuclear risks in the Middle East into sharp focus. The greatest uncertainties concern North Korea, which remains unusually isolated from the rest of the world.
The nuclear proliferation problem would be seriously complicated if the Soviet Union disintegrated into a large number of separate, potentially hostile entities, even though Soviet nuclear weapons would probably all remain under the control and custody of the Russian Republic. Even if such new states—with nuclear weapons or weapons-related facilities, together with personnel with previous experience in the Soviet nuclear program—eschewed development of independent nuclear capabilities, they might be tempted to export nuclear materials, equipment, or know-how. In their initial nationalist fervor, some states might also wish to leave the nuclear option open and eventually could seek to develop their own nuclear capability.
There have also been favorable developments recently, with other countries, including Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa, apparently abandoning their previous pursuit of nuclear weapons. The case of South Africa, which may already have an undeclared nuclear weapons capability, is particularly significant. Its announced decision to join the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) would require it to destroy any weapons it may have and to reincorporate the contained fissionable material into its inventory of fissionable material for peaceful purposes monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In addition, the newly unified Germany, which like a number of other advanced countries could easily develop nuclear weapons, has unequivocally renounced the right to develop nuclear weapons in the future.
In these circumstances, substantial reductions in U.S. and Soviet nuclear arsenals, especially if coupled with progress toward an international collective security regime, could contribute to maintaining and strengthening the existing nonproliferation regime. Major reductions in strategic and tactical nuclear weapons would go a long way toward meeting the obligation in
Page 23Article VI of the NPT for nuclear weapons states to end the nuclear arms race. They would help answer the charge that the nuclear powers are obtaining unilateral advantage from an inherently discriminatory nonproliferation regime.
Most of the strategic and political influence associated with having nuclear weapons does not depend much on the number of weapons once that number climbs above several hundred reliable, deliverable, survivable weapons. What probably matters more is a minimum deterrent and membership in the nuclear “club.” Thus, the political context of the effort to stem proliferation could change as the situation evolves from a tense bilateral confrontation to a more politically nuanced, and also more treacherous, multipolar situation. In this new context, the nuclear forces of China, France, and the United Kingdom might appear more important relative to those of the United States and the Soviet Union. It might not be effective to call for disarmament or arms reductions by citing the U.S.-Soviet example since that example could seem less relevant. Any further nuclear proliferation, especially to less stable regimes, could thus enhance both the importance of existing nuclear status and active efforts to manage the danger.
Three specific types of nonproliferation measures deserve attention:
Controlling sensitive exports to states outside the NPT regime or to those believed to be violating its provisions. A cooperative security regime could greatly facilitate the implementation of even more restrictive measures, including severe restrictions on the export of high-technology systems and components suitable for the delivery of nuclear weapons.
Strengthening the safeguard requirements of the NPT. One measure, for which there was an apparent consensus at the NPT Review Conference in mid-1990, would be the extension of existing safeguard provisions to cover “suspect” nuclear facilities as well as the declared facilities currently inspected. Another measure, for which there was also strong support, would tighten export controls by requiring all NPT members to restrict exports of nuclear equipment and materials to nonnuclear weapons states that are willing to accept safeguards on all of their nuclear facilities and materials (“full-scope” safeguards). At present, while nonnuclear weapons states that are NPT members are already required under the treaty to have “full-scope” safeguards, the only treaty condition on exports by treaty members to nonmember states (which obviously have no inherent safeguard obligations under the treaty) is that the exporter require that the actual exported materials or equipment be safeguarded. These new measures need not involve amending the treaty.
Promoting parallel declarations by all nuclear weapons states that they will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear weapon states in any circumstances and that their nuclear weapons serve
Page 24no purpose beyond the deterrence of, and possible response to, the use of nuclear weapons by other nuclear weapon states. Only such constraints can maintain and strengthen the political consensus against the acquisition of nuclear weapons.
These are all “supply side” arguments, sponsored or undertaken by potential suppliers of nuclear technology and materials, and designed to limit the availability of supplies or to reduce the incentives for procuring them. Equally or more important are “demand side” agreements, undertaken by some or all nonnuclear states in order to bolster the nonproliferation regime. These agreements may be purely nuclear or contain broader regional arms control arrangements. To be effective and durable they must be solidly grounded in the local political framework. An adequate discussion of such agreements is beyond the scope of this report, but we wish to point out their increasing relevance to U.S. nuclear weapons policy.
1. Most experts agree that Israel has produced a small number of nuclear weapons. India exploded a nuclear device in 1974, but it is not certain that the country has ever produced nuclear weapons. Pakistan is generally considered to possess all the necessary elements to produce nuclear weapons, but experts do not agree on whether it has a nuclear device.