tv [untitled] June 4, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT
general said hopefully that we can try and establish some areas of nonpartisan agreement. if you look at what's discussed -- actually, where very conservative planners on nuclear voices came to some agreement during the new start process was to understand that regardless of what size arsenal we need, we're going to have to have some reinvestment. the people, the delivery vehicles supports it. we can debate all you want about whether we need the facility in new mexico to do plutonium or tennessee to do uranium, but we recognize we're going to need some level to do that.
but the flip side is true that if we intend to get any sustainable plan, we're going to have to have reductions to support that because we're not going to be able to convince congress to spend money on this until you show some it's a path down. i worry we're going to wind up with much large rer arsenals and that's i think a loser for all. sorry went on a little long. look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. now we're going to turn to another facet of the weapons questioning and the tactical nuclear weapons.
trine, thanks for being with us. the floor is yours. >> thank you and thank you for inviting me. i'm really honored to speak to a such distinguished audience and i'm so pleased to be in washington. it's always a treat to come to washington. in my studies, it seems nato is nuclear addicted, so the question that i've asked myself after the publication of the deterrence review is nato still nuclear addicted? although now with the problems that nato is considering not to have the drugs lying around in europe, as long as its codependent russia is going to do the same. i suspect this is not a position with great prospects. darren has asked me to give a
brief review, which is known for short at the ddpr. in it has somehow slipped your attention, don't blame yourself. you could say since the announcement at the lisbon summit about 18 months ago, it has turned into a secret review process. started out being something that was agreed to save the concept because germany had launched the question of nuclear weapons and no one could agree to that to get into the strategic concept. the agreement was then to launch a major review of nato's overall deterrents and defense posture. that was going to be presented at the chicago summit just a few weeks ago. but what happened after that was that it turned it, it started out being quite a public affair.
but after a few months, i think nato realized they had bitten off more than they could chew and the process turned into being an almost secret process. a few months into the process, no one in nato would go to gatherings like that and it was published at the chicago summit without as much as press briefing. not surprising, tdpa has had sporadic and limited with gatherings like these. when tfgs announced that many welcomed the process as an opportunity to get a proper discussion about nato's terms and defense posture and particularly, the future of the fort deployed american nonstrategic nuclear weapons based in five european countries. perhaps, nievely, i hoped in
light of changes in the international context, in light of nato's redefined low and in light of the additional capability, might also discuss alternative ways of showing commitment and sharing of burdens within the alliance. unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case and i have to agree with sam none that the ddpi best deserves a grade of incomplete. so, what's in the document? i think you're guessing what i'm going to say. there's not a lot. it's mostly hot air. despite the really complicated and conceptional issues, the document is less than 3,000 words long which includes long prose about the issues the allies could agree on. the document is written in a
complex language that seems to be designed to detract from wra rather than to add to claire i the about these complex and hugely important issues. most importantly, the document effectively dodges the main issues and it fades completely to answer some of the most essential questions. most notably, what is the purpose of nuclear webs. how has that changed since the end of the cold war? it doesn't really address these questions at least not in any depth. in addition, the document never asks what the the implications are of nato's decisions to core tasks along with the original collective defense. despite this significant changes brought about by the concept, the ddpr reads as if none of these changes matter. so, this is puzzling and it is also disappointing.
because the the rethinking of nato's core tasks at the new missile defense capability clearly opens up new possibilities on how to show commitment and cohesion in the alliance. yet the ddpr has been unable to suggest new ways of ensuring nuclear sharing and possible alternatives to nuclear sharing. as for example, missile defense sharing and the value of burden sharing through practical consideration. allies who maintain russia as the main security concerned and joined in 1990 than a nato ready for the security challenges of the 21st century. so, if i was to draw a score
she sheet, then i would suggest the following. first of all, t positive the document was made public. this was by no means a certainty and was agreed before chicago. secondly, it's positive that the document makes rhetorical reference to the possibility at least of reducing or withdrawing nonstrategic nuclear weapons. thirdly and this i may be stretching it here, but it's positive that the weapons of mass destruction control and disarmament committee which was established as part of the process, will be replaced with a new committee that can function as a consultti tative and advisy forum. however, this may turn out tor a victory as the committee's man date has to be agreed, which could take a very, very long time because france is basically against this committee.
also containing transparency measures and finally, it's positive that it does not close the process, but appears to be open for internal depate about the issues raised and i have to say i think this is the most positive aspect of ddpr. on the negative score sheet, there are more ironically, although a substantial issues and ironically although the document endorses the status quo, the reality is that it cannot be maintained and i list five problems. the first problem is that even if no agreement can be reached on the posture, it will change. however, without an agreement, the change will come through as
a disorderly process of nuclear disarmament when some countries are going to decide not to replace the aircraft with nuclear capabilities. germany seeps certain to do that and once there's a german decision to withdraw all of its b-61s, then holland and belgium are likely to follow. so without a nato decision, the likely outcome is disarmament by default. the other change is is modernization of the gravity bombs. the drk dpr states that it will ensure deterrents remain safe, secure and effective. this means that the gravity bumps will undergo costly programs which will upgrade the capability considerably by changing the bombs into precision guided weapons.
the overall affect of modernization of dual capable aircraft to include jetting strike fighter on the b-61 will continue constitute a considerable upgrade, which will not go unnoticed in russia. another mistake is that the future of nato's deterrent is made intin gent on measures. yet russia has made it clear it will not discuss until all weapons have been removed from europe. however, as nato has removed 90% of the weapons unilaterally, the 180 or so b-61s hardly constitute a good position against the more than 2,000 russian weapons.
when it let nato deploims into forces. nato asked do we need these weapons and not make it contingent on what russia does? another problem is that the ddpr is unclear when nato stands in the issue of negative security guarantees. it sounds like nato has documented a policy, but when reading closely, it appears that nato's acknowledging different positions of the three countries. the u.s. and the uk give the guarantees, france does not. such a policy is not a good foundation for nuclear posture. and finally, faced to ask the crucial question about the role of nuclear weapons, especially what nonstrategic nuclear weapons have fallen. it cannot provide the answer as
to what appropriates -- nato still needs to ask appropriate for what. to have failed on that count is a real indictment of 18 months work. have a got time for -- >> a couple. >> don't ask me about the next steps and this is the really difficult question. because one of the aspects, of the way the ddpi has been conducted is that the alliance has painted itself into a corner. i didn't see any constructive next steps within the process. it's especially problematic that the dd prk r has con cricketed the maneuver. this is unlikely to happen. so we have a stalemate situation.
it's also problematic to identify next step because although the official is that the ddpr shows nato unity in my opinion, it has basically divided the alliance into two. for and against withdrawal. and bad russia, good russia. i think it is a position that has been consolidated is going to be the first next step nato needs to address. within the parameters of ddpr, i think nato's best option seems to be to return to recommendations of nonpaper last april by poland, germany and the netherlands. nato should see increased transparency with russia, types, numbers, operational status and the level of security and these are questions that could be addressed in the nato-russia
counsel and hopefully lead to a better atmosphere. more over, following the american elections this year, an understanding with russia on the corporation would if it could be successful, provide an environment that would be more conducive for the discussions within nato on nonstrategic nuclear weapons, but for the time being as i said, the best thing about the ddpr is that it didn't close to process. so now that the restricted process of ddpr process is over, nato should start a real dialogue and proper analysis, which might be able to apply a holistic approach to the overarching question, deter who and how and from what and what is the role of nato's nonstrategic weapons and why does nato need them? after a suitable break, not too
long, i hope, nato needs to get back into a process with an educational focus. that is why the the new committee i spoke about is really important. and this is my last point, that i can say this, it's also time for the u.s. to take the lead and seek to inference the position of the central europeans on nonstrategic nuclear weapons. the united states has had a background position on this and has left it for the europeans to sort out the issues on these matters. but the european alleys will never adwree on anything unless there's a crisis snapping at their heels or some very clear leadership by the united states. so there you have it. so, nato needs to get back to its traditional way of dialogue and persuasion under american leadership in the committees of nato, in the nuclear panel group and in the committee that hopefully will get a name and hopefully will get a mandate.
thank you. >> thank you very much. i think we have a clear message from our speakers that more needs to be done. there is reason to change our thinking about nuclear weapons. find ways to reduce the risks, but the path ahead is complex. it's not clear. and it's going to take leadership and creativity. now, it is your turn to simulate the decision with your questions. we have a couple of microphones that will arrive if you raise your hands. if you state your name and ask a question and address it to one of the speakers. why don't we start over here. with edward. >> yes, georgetown university. one of the roadblocks to transparency regarding tactical nuclear weapons has been the
reduck tans of nato itself to acknowledge where they are and the numbers and as a result, the u.s. government cannot confirm or deny except for germany, those facts. even though everybody facts even though everybody knows where they are. so can we conclude that nato is now willing to acknowledge where the tactical nuclear weapons are or will nato only do it if russia adopts a certain amount of tranz parnsy? >> well, obviously, a precondition would be that nato would be willing to give the transparency as well. it's not a one-way street. everyone knows where the nuclear weapons are. everyone knows how many are there. i think by now, so there's not really that much on those issues. but i think the issues would be
much more on the storage and the site security that would be issues that would be interesting on both sides and russia would have an interest in getting to know some of those issues, particularly also on the issue of the old storage sites in what has happened to the old surrogate storage sites in central and eastern europe. i think there would be some room for maneuver there, but clearly, nato will have to move on the transparency issue as well. >> i mean, i think the challenge l in this as you well know is that russia's not really concerned about our tactical weapons in europe. it's not a threat perception for them. very early on in the administration, i think there was a wlingness to say we don't need these, make some decisions and we'll deal with them on our own and very quickly, i think some of the biases came to bear both end in the pentagon and state department.
my approach to this is pull them out and force the russians to verify why they justify whew th need thousands of tactical weapons themselves. >> just to be clear what the independent experts estimate is there are some 180 u.s. gravity bombs in five european nato countries. and russia is estimated by independent experts to have some 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons on their territory. so we have another question here in the middle. mr. culp, thank you. >> david culp with the friends committee on national legislation. a question for mr. wolfsthal. when the budget was released members of congress said the money for the national nuclear security administration was inadequate and said you were basically walking away from the agreements you made in the new start treaty.
i wonder if you can go on what the thinking budget view presented and is the administration living up to its commitments from the start treaty? >> i'm just pleased to you refer to me as mr. wolfsthal from time to time, david. thank you. david was a great help, as were a number of people here on the new start process. so we got to work very closely together. i think it's a very partisan game that is being played on the administration's budget. and i think it's unfortunate. the criticism are from people who know in fact the details but think it's good optics to argue the contrary. the facts are this. that in the context of new start, the president submitted a plan as requested by congress, a a 1251 plan which said is it was our intention to pursue programs and capabilities necessary to maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear arsenal. and our estimate at the time was that those capabilities would cost about $85 billion over the next ten years. that's just for the nuclear complex part.
that was separate from strategic launch vehicles, ibm and sibms and so forth. after the budget control act came into force, there were new restrictions on how much the president would actually be able to request. people wanted the president to basically break the law and say we're going to ask for money that legally we can't ask for. the president said we're not going to do that. and a in fact we went to work very quickly saying all right, if this is the money that is available and this is what we need, how do we ensure that we get what we need? and that was a very open process with nnsa, the pentagon, the nuclear weapons council, and the lab directors, as well as omb who said over the next ten years, there is a reasonable estimate that we can provide for what this will cost us. congress chose not to fund that number. the house in particular controlled by republicans who pushed for the 1251 report chose not to fund the administration's request, and shorted it by roughly $800 million.
the lab directors then came to the nnsa and says we don't think you're going to get the money that we all agree we need to build all of these facilities. and we think we can save you -- this is the lab directors coming to nnsa saying we think we can save you money, all right, perhaps an unprecedented step, and saying we think we can do plutonium work without building the cmrr in new mexico. it's a big facility. it's estimated to cost about $5 billion. what the lab directors are worried about rightly is we're going to build facilities and not be able to fund the people that do the real work in those facilities. so they came to us with an alternative plan. the administration says -- asked the entire nuclear council from stratacom, nnsa will this work and a yes. went to congress with that and here is the new plan. a and all of the sudden a congress is screaming you broke your promise. i think it's partisan gamesship.
it's largely designed to detract on the president's pretty impressive accomplishment in investing in the new complex in a reasonable way. and my hope is the congress will finally come to its senses and do what is right for nuclear deterrent that we need. >> i wanted to ask a question from the chair's place here to general jameson and to jon about how we move forward in the next one to two years, regardless of who is in the white house with russian, to the next steps in reducing u.s. and russian stockpiles below the new start levels, which are 1550 deployed strategic warheads. and that ceiling needs to be met by the year 2018. new start creates a verification system that is going to be in place until 2021. and given the difficulties of a formal negotiation with russia, and given the challenge that
we'll have with the next round of negotiations, because we need to deal with not just deployed strategic weapons, but also the tactical nuclear weapons perhaps, the nondeployed weapons, are there some alternative approaches? in other words, might there be a way just as george w. bush did in the 2001-2002 period to use the existing treaty framework to provide the transparency and the verification necessary to assure both sides, but to reduce the two countries deployed strategic arsenals below that's start levels. that a path worth considering given the very difficult relationship between the u.s. and russia on various issues, missile defense, syria, other types of things? >> well, i think if there are 100 people in the room -- if there are 100 people in the room, you probably have 100 different plans for how this
could work. but thing are a couple of prerequisites. the first is i would argue we need to have a decision, preferably by a a lateral decision which quite frankly just means us to go down to new start numbers immediately. these are very modest reductions. i forget what the number of the just released start aggregate was we're roughly at 1750. we're going 1550. you could pull 200 weapons off alert and put them thought a few days, if not a few weeks. i think we should quickly go there. i think we need to get the new guidance in place so the president has direct support from strategic command and the chairman of the joint chiefs saying yes, we have looked at the plans. we can go lower to give them that flexibility and order reductions. and then i think you have the new start verification framework in place to say to russia let's go down to lower numbers more quickly. you can go below 1550. you can reach a political agreement with russia to do that, and then you would have
the verification in place to show in fact those numbers have been reached. obviously, the challenge is you don't have that in place for the nonstrategic nuclear weapons. that's where i think trine's views are very, very valuable here that transparency numbers is really what's needed. i would argue as i just did that the u.s. should do that up-front. well need to find a way to manage the alliance correctly so that the withdrawal of those weapons don't lead to a new schism. but i should argue should give russia a year privately. and if they don't move within that time period say we're going alone and push them to come with us. >> your thought, general jameson? >> the only thing that i would add is until the election, anything that even hints of doing something unilaterally is just not going to be on the table. on the other hand, the process, and i certainly agree with jon, grinds along in the pentagon, inside the beltway. things are going to happen the
way the u.s. military, the pentagon and coordination with the interagency wants it to happen. and some of those things are budget-driven. they're going to try to save as much as they can realistically, but it's not going to be -- it's not going to be private agreements with russia or anything. that's just my opinion. >> all right, thank you. all right. other questions? yes, sir, in the middle, bruce. thank you. >> hi. i'm bruce mcdonald with the u.s. institute of peace. i think it's safe to say that within this room there is probably a pretty broad consensus in support of further reductions, and yet -- to date our nato allies have been extraordinarily supportive of the new start process. my question comes to the -- i imagine going forward and seeing levels go substantially more, i want to ask particularly dr.
flockhart, but of course other distinguished panelists as well, is there a point at which the u.s. extended deterrent, which i recognize of course is more than just nuclear weapons. our substantial conventional capabilities are a very important dimension to that. but is there a point at which our nato allies, and obviously some sooner than others begin to get a little bit nervous about how low, how far down we go? because we take it almost as a given that our allies -- again, they've been wonderful in their support. but there is a point where what the perceived benefits of extended nuclear deterrents begin to outweigh the value of further reductions and how might we address that? >> well, i think the point is very low. and realistically speaking, we are going to have to face up to a deployment country number of two within a quite a short period of time.