Nonproliferation and Arms Control: Verification Challenges and Opportunities
Verification Lessons Learned from the INF, START I and New START Treaties
7/23/2014 8:30:00 AM
7/23/2014 8:50:00 AM
Edward M. Ifft
Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA.
A great deal of useful experience, most of it successful, has been acquired from 25 years of monitoring the INF, START I and New START Treaties. The tools used have included National Technical Means, massive data exchanges and notifications, more than 2,000 on-site inspections, perimeter and portal continuous monitoring, telemetry exploitation, unique identifiers and the use of implementation bodies. Analysis of this experience shows what we already know how to do well and also reveals where we have little experience or there are unsolved problems in dealing with possible future, more ambitious agreements. Experience under START I, plus the much more open and cooperative current relationship between the U.S. and Russia, enabled the sides to devise a verification regime for New START that is “simplified and less costly” than previous regimes. It could be characterized as less access but more information, and implementation is going very well. We are very good at counting deployed missiles, missile launchers, bombers and their armament. We can also be confident in our ability to devise effective measures for eliminating missiles, missile launchers and bombers. We understand the training and techniques needed for effective inspections, as well as the subtleties of “managed access.” Future agreements to very low levels raise a number of well-known, but unsolved verification problems. Chief among these are the monitoring of non-deployed warheads and their verifiable elimination, and challenge inspections, which are likely to be key requirements of these future agreements. Distinguishing between nuclear and conventional systems will probably be important and the START experience has some relevance to this. There may be difficult issues related to residual capabilities_“virtual deterrence.” These considerations also apply to a possible Middle East WMD-Free Zone. Finding solutions to all these issues may be easier in the laboratory than at the negotiating table, but a strong base has been established and should be used. This presentation would fit very well in either the “New START” or “Future Arms Control Treaties” topics.
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