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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 proposalsincluding 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

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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

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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-

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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)

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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

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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

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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.

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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-

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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

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'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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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-