...is not war merely another kind of writing and language for political thoughts? It certainly has a grammar of its own, but its logic is not peculiar to itself.
We know precious little about how 'to do' cultural anthropology...
- Amrom Katz
The purpose of this chapter is to examine and trace the links between US perceptions of Soviet compliance with arms control agreements during the Carter administration and the operation of the Standing Consultative Commission on Arms Limitation (SCC). In so doing, this chapter, and those that follow, take up a range of issues concerning the political/discursive aspects of the use of the SCC to raise compliance issues with the Soviet Union and compare the perceived performance of the SCC in relation to certain assumptions and perceptions of Soviet compliance behaviour as expressed by certain key figures in the Carter administration and in the US Congress.
It represents an attempt, in other words to supply in part some of the 'cultural anthropology' desired by Amrom Katz.97 Coeval with this analysis and one of the formative assumptions under which it operates is the argument that the connection between language and politics is inextricably intertwined with the social world and its history. The consequences of this are reflected - in the context of this thesis - in the study of the deployment of verification technologies (technological and discursive) located in terms of their role in the interpretation/'exegesis' of the activities and motivations of the US' notional adversary, the Soviet Union. That is to say, that the development/ deployment of strategic offensive weapons and their support systems may be seen in terms of being constitutive of the interpretive communities of the respective arms control regimes. By so doing, my intention is to describe the emergence and constitution of a new domain of policy, a space of action constituted by and through a domain of surveillance within the wider networks of the foreign and defence policy community. The effect is to re-work the traditional literature on political 'signalling' in the light of recent developments in discourse analysis, drawing on some insights linked, in part, with the work of Michel Foucault.
Thus discourse theory, as articulated in this thesis adds a metatheory level to examine the assumptions underpinning theories of political signalling. The purpose is to question signalling theory's assumption that signals exist s relatively discrete units in a relatively uniflow communication model. Its focus in the experiential world shall remain on the issue of SALT compliance and the texts which surround the relationship between security, verification and SALT. Arguing against the simplistic uni-flow models of signalling, this chapter seeks to engage with that which Foucault refers to as the 'economy of discourses' that is:
- their intrinsic technology, the necessities of their operation, the tactics they employ, the effects of power which underlie them and which they transmit.98
This encompasses far more than the 'straightforward' assumption underlying political 'signalling' theory, that signals are essentially nothing more than the mere elements of a system of representation. As Robert Young notes:
The Structuralist method assumes that meaning is made possible by the existence of underlying systems of conventions which enable elements to function individually as signs. Structuralist analysis addresses itself to the system of rules and relations underlying each signifying practice.99
Discourse analysis, as described above addresses itself to the analysis of what makes possible these 'underlying systems of conventions' - under what conditions do these emerge, and how these are articulated/invoked in the production of signs.
The connection between politics and strategic discourse has long been recognised. The strategic philosopher Clausewitz, as early as 1834, asks:
...is not war merely another kind of writing and language for political thoughts? It certainly has a grammar of its own, but its logic is not peculiar to itself.100
The theoretical ground for this thesis is premised on the commonality of the logic of strategic discourse with that of other forms of life. The underlying logic arguably remains common to the identity-making practices upon which all communicative/social forms of life are based. The specificity here, as Clausewitz rightly points out, lies in the articulative frameworks or 'grammars' within which specific forms of life may be meaningfully structured. In order to construct a 'grammar' or syntagmatic frame101 through which to explore the communicative, or overtly discursive operation of the SCC, I shall outline the performance of the SCC through the examination of:
These levels of analysis offer an interpretive grid that relates political, institutional and technological factors in order to chart the ideological shift in culture from Carter to Reagan.
In the chapters that follow this will lead into a reappraisal of these issue areas during the Reagan administration, developing a comparative analysis of the handling of compliance and related issues, read as symptoms of the shift in world-view between the two regimes. In this sense, the reality of US strategic identity is interrogated not in individual things but in the relationships between them. As the early Wittgenstein noted: "The world is the totality of facts, not of things." And 'facts' are 'the existence of states of affairs.' It is 'the configuration of objects that produces states of affairs' and 'the structure of a fact consists of the structures of states of affairs.'102 'The totality of existing states of affairs also determines which states of affairs do not exist.'103
It is thus the structures of the relationships between things that constitutes a view of the world, based on practices of inclusion and of exclusion. Arguably, the concepts by which the world is operated are constituted by, and through signs and the relations between signs - signifying systems - of which language is but a part.
This focus on meaning/interpretation, rather than pure 'content' allows Coral Bell to point out that the achievements of SALT are valuable "more on a political than a strategic basis"104 and to note that "arms control proposals must be related to the underlying focus-balance and political reality of their time."105 Indeed, the primacy of the discursive field in which decisionmaking takes place has long been recognised, as Sprout and Sprout noted in 1957: With respect to policymaking and the content of policy decisions, our position is that what matters is how the policy maker imagines the milieu to be, not how it actually is. With respect to the operational results of decisions, what matters is how things are, not how the policymaker imagines them to be.106
The point here is that in the light of Saussurian linguistics and the discourse theory which developed from it, the second part of the statement above must be seen to refer to the fact of how such decisions are interpreted and acted upon discursively, rather than the putative ontological world it seems to imply. That is to say; that which is constituted discursively cannot leave the discursive realm, such that where meaning is invoked in the order of signification, such acts as follow consequentially are also meaningful in terms of that order of signification. They are, to reiterate Clausewitz, "another kind of writing and language for political thoughts.107"
Language, so construed [as signifying system], may be seen to operate asymptotically108 in its relation to the experiential realm. That is to say, that language is socially structured and that social structures are, in turn, construed by and through language. Language therefore plays a constructive, rather than a merely descriptive role. Language can no longer be seen as merely mimicking or reflecting the world, but rather shapes the understanding that the analyst brings to the world. Thus language may be viewed in terms of its tendency towards greater or lesser figurativity, rather than in terms of degrees of mimesis109. It must be said, however, that this is not to understate the materiality of discourse and its effects.
Ole W¾ver points out that the concept of discourse itself "was introduced exactly in order to underline that there was not an external relationship between mental phenomena and other social relations"110 and that to introduce things meaningfully into the social realm is to introduce things via language which operates in the symbolic order. That is to say that things are, by language, re-presented. Under this rubric, everything that is ascribed meaning [concepts] is discursive. This, as W¾ver points out, "does not mean that there is nothing but discourse in the world" but rather that, phenomena must be dealt with as "material and symbolic"111
In describing the political world as a socially constituted entity, then socially meaningful political acts may be considered in terms of linguistic, or para-linguistic processes. In the traditional literature of International Relations, this aspect has been treated under the rubrics of signalling and perception. By 'signal', I follow Coral Bell's useful definition as the means by which "the powers convey and receive the information vital to their respective assessments each other's capabilities and intentions."112 Robert Jervis points out that:
what men [sic] do cannot be explained without some reference to or assumptions about their views about the nature of the world.113
With this in mind the term signal may be characterised as:
... the whole variety of inputs that go to make up the total communication-flow. Signals may be declaratory or operational, verbal or non-verbal, conscious or unconscious, deliberate or inadvertent, bilateral or multi-lateral, direct or indirect, secret or open, official or non-official.115
One potential problem posed by this formulation is that it radically separates the message from the interpretive community, viewing the latter as that which is informed or misinformed by the 'signal'. However, insofar as the interpretive community is construed by signals which, in their turn, and on that basis produce other signals (be they declarative, operational, verbal or non-verbal, conscious or unconscious etc), this formulation renders the separation of signal from discursive community somewhat problematic. 'Signals', so construed embody what Ole W¾ver describes as 'the materiality of discourses'.
Why then talk about 'discursive acts' rather than 'signals' other than to use so-called 'trendy' terms? The above discussion hints at two primary reasons. Firstly, the practice of 'signalling' is not monologic, despite the formulation of it in monologic terms (declaratory, operational etc all imply a unidirectional/intensional model of communication). Secondly, insofar as 'signalling' is located as 'practice', its theoretical underpinnings are located as intrinsically separate, rather than as an aspect of the relational processes between and constitutive of the image/identities of 'actors'. Yet, as traditionally articulated, it is possible to conceive of 'signals' only on the basis of a theory of interpretation that assumes:
These assumptions have come under consistent challenge from several standpoints. The first two of these, which may be subsumed into an assumption of the monologism of language, has been critiqued by Mikhail Bakhtin in who argued that language is inherently dialogic, that is to say that each 'statement' presupposes its converse formulation (it presumes a receiver which shapes the form of the 'statement'), that to raise a question is to set the agenda for the form of reply, and that each statement contains within itself the seeds for its inversion.117
The second set of assumptions relates to the practice of (or potential for) modelling through structural analysis the structures of meaning/interpretation. The problem with this formulation is that whereas the model implies an already constituted product, the more the surface of the text is analysed the more it can be seen in terms of (inter)textuality, which is to say the interaction of reader and text, along with the interaction between texts or textual worlds (by reference explicitly or implicitly to other texts) as a productivity, the production of a multiplicity of signifying effects. In turn, as Young points out, this implies a questioning of the model of communication as a closed system and of the attempt to fix a unified theory of sets of structural relations118
To provide a context to the material under discussion in this chapter I shall outline a brief historical note on the development of the technologies to be limited later by the ABM Treaty, the Interim Agreement and the SALT II Agreement119. By seeking to explain the changes in the use of the SCC through a range of issue areas, an attempt is being made to establish connections between the semiotic120 world of political life and the techno-strategic discourse of national security121 as expressed in arms control compliance and verification. This way, political discourse may be seen to shift its emphasis from the traditionally realist concerns with causality along the lines of scientific modeling and towards a politics of meaning.
Quester points to the signalling aspects of arms control negotiations, insofar as their achievements cannot be limited solely to their 'substantive' accomplishments, as he notes: The mere appearance of agreement in such negotiations may have beneficial effects per se, serving in effect as an exchange of compliments, an exchange of compliments which can in turn trigger new waves of dtente and an easing of political hostility.122 Of course this works both ways, such that the appearance of non-agreement may signal a cooling of dtente and an increase in political hostility. In fact, both of these forms can be seen to be in play throughout the whole period of dtente. Each can be seen to have had an impact at different times on the SALT compliance debates and the use of the SCC.
As Ryan123, discussing Winch's critique of social science suggests:
[t]he connections which hold between actions are conceptual connections, and ... the terminology which we employ in talking about actions is indispensable to our identifying actions as actions.124 [emphasis mine]
and that, inter alia
Human actions, on this view, are meaningful, and meaning is not a category open to causal analysis; so long as meaningful actions form the subject-matter of social inquiry, the most important category for our understanding of social life will not be that of cause and effect, but that of meaningfulness and rule-guidedness.125
Between SALT I and SALT II, there are a range of quantitative and qualitative differences, each of which raise a range of verification problems. In addition to domestic political concerns, at an instrumental level it was largely the introduction of new qualitative restrictions that made SALT II problematic for the Carter regime. This, coupled with political problems raised by perceptions of the Carter administration's foreign policy as 'incoherent' and the administration itself as a 'failure',126 arguably added difficulties to the ability of the administration to activate the SCC to the fullest extent of its terms of reference.
To canvass these issues it is necessary first to outline the strategic background to the SALT talks, survey the technical differences between SALT I and SALT II with respect to the problems of verification and then look at the compliance record through the language of the Reports to Congress in order to examine how compliance or non-compliance has been invoked and interpreted by the incumbent political communities, that is, at the meaning-potential and rule-guidance principles of these communities and how they have interpreted the role and effectiveness of the SCC in raising these compliance issues with the Soviets.
This section focuses upon the diachronic, or historical, aspect of the constitution and development of an interpretive community, deploying a regime of truth based on a systematic engagement with what becomes progressively defined as the threat of the Other.127
This section argues that much of the early development of strategic defence systems was discursively driven by US assumptions of Soviet capabilities. This section further argues that the structural realities facing the opening of the SALTÊI negotiations in 1969 were brought about, at least in part by the Soviet responses to US responses to capabilities that the US, in the absence of any real information, assumed the Soviets to have. The feedback of the discursive reality acted upon by the US decisionmakers into the discursive economy of defence spending and force posture developments led to a real and expensive arms race.
For the purposes of illustration I shall outline the development of those systems that were subsequently limited by treaty through SALT I and II and that thus fell within the purview of the Standing Consultative Commission on Arms Limitation established by SALTÊI. What I intend to establish here is the connection between the 'hard technology' and the 'discursive technology', that is, how the technologies of specific and concrete weapons systems become systematically employed and driven by the technologies of discourse in order to maintain the functionality of the US as 'Self' through the maintenance, identification and threat of the Soviet Union as 'Other'.
In Clausewitzian terms I am seeking to map the 'language and writing' of political thoughts with reference to the way in which the 'hardware' of security becomes deployed as textual tokens in a way that is analogous to the manner in which physically inscribed symbols become deployed as the physical tokens of writing. This section then canvasses the factors leading to the formation of a particular discursive community within the wider context of a domain of practice of policy: that of the formation of what may be termed the US Security State.
a) Bombers and Radars
The Baruch Plan for the control of nuclear weapons would have allowed for a continued build-up of US atomic weapons, while prohibiting all other countries from developing that technology. Such a build-up would continue until the establishment of an international authority. The compliance provisions were far-reaching and included on-site inspection. Those who violated the proposed treaty would be subject to punishment. With the US as the sole nuclear power, and the USSR as the power principally interested in gaining the technology, the proposed plan was seen as directly manipulating the UN into becoming, in Dean Acheson's words, an "alliance to support a United States threat of war against the USSR unless it ceased its efforts to acquire the bomb"128
The political counter-offensive came from Andrei Gromyko just five days after the Baruch Plan. The Soviet proposal lacked a verification clause, thus rendering it unacceptable to the US. The Bikini Atoll test on July 1, 1946 was interpreted by the Soviets as a signal that the US was not serious in its arms control proposals. The establishment of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) with 30 modified B29 bombers, in March 1946, saw the start of an on-going nuclear weapons procurement program. This was fuelled by successive war plans and the development of a mass-production bomb.129
By the end of August 1949, with the SAC at 60 aircraft and with a medium-range jet bomber entering trials, the Soviet Union tested its first atomic explosive device. The US reaction to this was to accelerate development of a thermonuclear device (the H-bomb). The US successfully tested such a device at 1st March 1954. The Soviets followed suit in November 1955.
With priority given to the Air Force, 1951-1953 saw a buildup of the SAC to over 1,500 aircraft including 1,000 nuclear-capable bombers. By 1959 the SAC had almost 500 B-52 heavy intercontinental jet bombers, 2500 B-47s and over 1000 other tanker aircraft.130
The Soviets, by contrast, held a bomber air fleet beginning with the Tupolev Tu-4 'Bull' medium range bomber, from 1947, and in the 1950s introduced the Tupolev Tu-16 'Badger' (medium-range) and the Myasischev M-4 turbojet 'Bison'. These, through careful management of the May Day military parades led the USAF intelligence estimates to considerably overestimate the numbers of these aircraft.
The publicly influential "Gaither Report"131 fuelled speculation about Soviet strategic leadership. Its six major points alleged that:
Then-President Eisenhower commented to his advisers that the report ignored the dispersal of overseas bases and the Allies' role around the Soviet periphery which could pose a threat to the Soviets from a number of points.133 Nevertheless, the report, leaked to the press, applied some public pressure on the leadership. The Eisenhower administration responded by stepping up the state of alert of the SAC and funding an acceleration of the US ICBM programmes.134
The fears of a Soviet-led 'Bomber Gap' unleashed by the Gaither Report stimulated the procurement of a further 538 B-52s. The reality was, however, that by 1961, the Soviets had only about 190 long-range bombers. The US Congress' perception,135 engendered by the Gaither Report, of the potential for the Soviets to develop a larger force was sufficient incentive for the US to establish a 150-mile range radar network - the Distance Early Warning (DEW) Line which extended from Alaska to Greenland. The main section of this radar network was completed by 1957.136 In this instance the discourse137 about the ability to develop weapons constituted a reality to the extent to which it had a pronounced effect upon US policymaking. Arguably, these sets of processes worked to a certain extent [following a mirror image] in Soviet policymaking. It is equally arguable however, that the greater openness of the US policymaking process, and the greater transparency of US military procurement, meant that the Soviets would not have found it so necessary to respond to 'imaginary' technologies or technology-potentials given greater access to actual US developments/deployments.
The World-War II German V-1 and V-2 weapons represented the prototypical cruise and ballistic missiles respectively. Ironically, in the context of this thesis, these weapons themselves were developed by the Germans to circumvent a previous arms control agreement (the Treaty of Versailles138).
By May 1946, the US had begun test-firing captured and re-built V-2s. In 1954 the feasibility of building intercontinental ballistic missiles was established. This led to the development of the liquid-fueled Atlas and Titan ICBMs139. In 1958, work began on the solid-fueled Minuteman ICBM, and, following on from the implications of the Soviet Sputnik launch in October 1957 aboard an SS-6 launch vehicle, some thought was given to housing Minuteman in hardened concrete silos.140 Interestingly, the US had begun work on the Nike Zeus ABM project before the Soviets had actually successfully tested an ICBM. Following this, the US explored ways in which a notional Soviet ICBM might circumvent the US ABM defences.
This led to research into such technical possibilities as 'spoofing' (decoys, radar deflecting chaff) lowering the radar profile, and the use of multiple warhead launch vehicles.141 The US was effectively arms racing against itself via a notional Other. Michael Sheehan points out that the US defence community was working to overcome purely discursive problems142 generated "not by the Soviet ABM program, of which little if anything was known, but by the US ABM program."143 Indeed, as Sheehan notes, this was the primary engine throughout the development of MIRVs.
The Soviets, who had undertaken rocket engineering research in the 1930s,144 began developing a medium-range missile (SS-3) in the 1950s. With the launch of Sputnik, it was clear that from that point the Soviets had a potential intercontinental capability. The US responded by accelerating its missile development programmes, increasing the radar network (Ballistic Missile Early Warning System) maintaining the Strategic Bomber Command at a high level of readiness and surveying the Soviets from high-altitude aircraft until May 1960, when Gary Powers, piloting a U-2 aircraft was shot down.
The dominant perception, at the end of the Eisenhower Presidency, was that of a significant Soviet lead in ICBMs.145 But this was dispelled following the surveillance evidence of the U-2 surveillance aircraft146, the CIA's Corona (alias Discoverer) satellites147 and the US Air Force MIDAS (Missile Defense Alarm System) geosynchronous infra-red surveillance system148 and SAMOS (Satellite and Missile Observation System) reconnaissance which became operational early in 1961149 and continued until SAMOS 30 launched on November 27, 1963.150
Whilst acknowledging that there were shortcomings in the new observation technologies (twelve out of the first thirteen Corona/Discovery missions failed either to reach orbit or to return images successfully), a new domain of knowledge was underway that would, in later years, provide additional and ultimately central National Technical Means of verification for the SALT arms control treaties.
As Eisenhower later admitted:
...in the analysis of comparative military power there is never complete certainty...151
Almost daily, from 1959 the Soviet threat was reassessed downward, as Eisenhower points out:
By January of 1960 new intelligence reports narrowed almost to negligibility the extent of the Soviet lead in long-range and sea-launched missiles; this lead would soon disappear.152
Indeed, the 'lead' turned out to be a discursive153 lead only, largely generated by Khruschev's rhetoric and a U.S. fear of the unknown. The role of the U-2 overflights was highlighted by Eisenhower: During the four years of its operations the U-2 program produced intelligence of critical importance to the US. Perhaps as important as the positive information - what the Soviets did have - was the negative information it produced - what the Soviets did not have. Intelligence gained from this source provided proof that the horrors of the alleged "bomber gap" and the later "missile gap" were nothing more than the imaginative creations of irresponsibility.154
The 'horrors' were real enough however, to influence defence policymaking well into the Kennedy administration. Indeed, since Kennedy had come to power, partly on promises to redress the so-called 'missile gap', he felt obliged by his domestic constituency to order a major nuclear build-up to counter the (by then clearly non-existent, or even negative) missile gap155.
Some time after entering office, Kennedy was able to demonstrate that, far from a missile gap favouring the Soviets, the US held a marked lead in both quantity and quality of ICBMs - the solid-fueled Minuteman, for example, was able to be deployed without the 8-10 hours of refuelling required by the Soviets to ready their missiles. By 1964 it was clear that the US ICBM advantage was in the order of 834:200.156
In the ensuing years, the Soviets sought to achieve real parity with the US through both hardened ICBMs and SLBMs on submarines. By 1970 quantitative strategic nuclear parity had been reached (see Table 3.1)
|Year||US ICBMs||SLBMs||Soviet ICBMs||SLBMs|
Sources: IISS The Military Balance 1962-72 and Greville Rumble The politics of Nuclear Defence Cambridge: Polity 1985
Thus the ABM treaty itself can be seen in terms of an effect of the political/discursive context, which, by further representing a symbolic boundary between the superpowers in delineating the limits to specific and concrete weapons systems served to add cumulatively to the identity formation of the US and the Soviet Union. That is to say that the ABM treaty (as all treaties do) served, not merely an instrumental role in the relations between the superpowers, but in part, was and continues to be constitutive of their role as such.
c) ABMs, MRVs and MIRVs
Other factors remaining unchanged, the strategic nuclear parity of the end of the 1960s should have sufficed for stable strategic nuclear deterrence, with due and necessary allowance for maintenance/replacement operations on existing stockpiles of weapons. The world, however, refuses to stay as it was. One of the dynamic factors is qualitative change159 in strategic forces. As a contested site at which the multiple meanings of the security state are played out, nuclear deterrence theory represents one of the domains of policymaking in which one might interrogate the identity of the processes that underwrite the security state.
Indeed, nuclear security rests upon the concept of the stability of nuclear parity. Moreover, the stability of nuclear parity, arguably rests on the premiss that the threat context is stable. For John Newhouse this is theoretically possible if the weapons satisfy three criteria:
Newhouse argues that the Minuteman missiles fail in the criteria of invulnerability. Not only were the Soviets constructing an Anti-Ballistic Missile defence system (and had been since 1961 161) but the Soviets were also developing the SS-9 long-range heavy missile, with a massive warhead capable of penetrating the most hardened Minuteman shelter. The ensuing action-reaction game saw the US develop, test and deploy, first Multiple Reentry Vehicles (MRVs) and, around 1964, as guidance-systems became more sophisticated, the more advanced Multiple Independently-targetable Reentry Vehicle (MIRV). While some argued in favour of developing MIRVs as 'bargaining chips', Paul Warnke has suggested that this policy can and, in fact has backfired. As he notes:
...it was argued in 1969 that American deployment of missiles with multiple, independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) would lead to Soviet concessions in SALT I. What US MIRVs led to instead was Soviet MIRVs and a consequent setback for the arms control process.162
MIRVs required a heavy launcher. This point was readily appreciated by the Soviets who had the ideal launch platform in the SS-9. This configuration, as Newhouse points out, led to the perception in the US that "430 SS-9s, armed with three five-megaton MIRVs as accurate as a Minuteman could, for practical purposes, destroy Minuteman. About 300 SS-9s with six MIRVs each would achieve the same purpose." 163 This perception, as Newhouse puts it, gave a great boost to SALT "especially since the large-scale deployment of the SS-9 roughly coincided with the arrival of Mr. Nixon."164 As Table 1 shows, parity had been reached, each party being able to inflict devastating second strike damage to the other. It was soon clear that, unless an agreement on arms could be reached, the action-reaction cycle would lead to an unacceptably costly and destabilising arms race.
d) Domestic Political Forces
As the decade wore on, it became clear to the US that ultimately, the Sentinel and the later Safeguard ABM systems, despite their wide deployment, would be at best of marginal effectiveness. As Rumble points out:
By 1970 Defence Secretary Melvin Laird was admitting that it could not protect the US missile fields against a fully developed MIRV capability and Congress eventually rejected Nixon's requests for funds to construct ABM sites.165
There was also an argument to suggest that restricting ABM capabilities would actually enhance deterrence since such restrictions would reduce retaliatory survivability, and therefore reduce the ability to engage in war-fighting strategy. By raising the costs of deterrence failure it would thus be better to deter than to engage in war-fighting.
With the achievement of numerical parity around the first half of 1967, and with the Soviet deployment of the Galosh ABM system around Moscow, and amongst the early moves by the US to develop an ABM system, Soviet Premier Kosygin indicated a willingness to negotiate on limiting the arms race in offensive and defensive nuclear weapons. This commenced tentatively toward the end of the Johnson administration. On July 1 1968, at the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Johnson announced that the Soviets had agreed to commence discussions on limiting and reducing strategic nuclear weapons and defences against ballistic missiles.166 Talks were postponed with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and were not resumed until November 17, 1969.
Indeed, as Figures 3.1 and 3.3 show, there was a real decline in defence expenditure both as a percentage of GNP168 and as a percentage of the National Budget. Despite the best efforts of Melvin Laird to effect a marginal increase in all strategic programs, the overall effect was, in Kissinger's terms to prevent the US from developing a "coherent response to the growing imbalance in conventional forces."169 This meant that the Safeguard ABM system, a chief bargaining chip in SALT I, was under domestic threat from Congress of unilateral elimination. Thus the Safeguard ABM system, having been built up as a value-laden signifier of US resolve and as a potential symbol of US willingness to bargain away a valuable security token for the sake of the relationship between the US and the Soviet Union, it became in addition, a site of contestation for the identity of the domestic US polity as against the SALT negotiating community within the security state. Kissinger describes the problem as a three-way process:
We were negotiating disarmament on three fronts: at Vienna and Helsinki with the Soviets; at home within our government, and with the Congress.170 [emphasis in the original]
By this time the Pentagon was seriously reconsidering the expense of the ABM program ($US7b by the time the first ABM site became operational171), with the overall reductions in defence expenditure, as it meant reassessing defence budget priorities. The conservatism bred in the climate of defence contraction, led to serious objections in congress to Phase II of the ABM program which was
increasingly being seen as costly and largely ineffective. The system comprised two types of intercept missile: the long-range Spartan for space interception and the short-range high speed Sprint for terminal-phase interception.
These would be guided by Large Phased-Array Radars (LPARs). [Figure 3.2 illustrates the main phases of a ballistic missile's trajectory.] As we can see from this, and from the notes below, terminal phase interception time is very short and is compounded by the deployment of penetration aids (decoys, radar chaff etc) during the midcourse phase. The use of multiple warheads (MIRVs) is thus only one factor in the difficulties confronting a plausible terminal phase ABM program.
As producers of counternarratives to those of the defense 'hawks', the critics of ground-based ABM interception emphasised the inability to intercept missiles at the boost-phase172 and thereby counter MIRVs before their release and while still a highly 'visible' hot spot aiding target acquisition. Their 'visibility' decreases markedly in the post-boost and midcourse phases.173 The terminal phase (reentry) allows only a brief time for target acquisition174, making terminal phase ABM defences of questionable utility.
Traditionally, the defence expenditure legislation had become routine and was generally passed without significant amendment, or even extended discussion. But the political climate was changing. As defence expenditure became politicised, it became a battleground without clear leadership. Factional in-fighting led to a major congressional assault on the structure of the US military establishment.
The issue was described succinctly by the Washington Post which declared:
What was at one time an almost routine piece of legislation - passage of the annual military spending bill - has now been turned into a lengthy and frequently bitter battle over a score of military programs and policies ... [the long ABM debate] has obscured what is in fact the most widespread assault on all kinds of military activities ever made on Capitol Hill.176
In this atmosphere, the Administration was expected to provide a secure defence strategy and a coherent SALT approach. The outcome, regarded by Kissinger as somewhat schizophrenic, was that the Nixon administration presented two inconsistent and incompatible positions on ABM. One, in the defence budget, dominated by the Pentagon, the other in SALT, the result of an interagency process. Postmodern readings of this would be less concerned at the apparent inconsistency, on the grounds that two distinct 'epistemic communities' were being invoked. The first, relating to domestic budgetary concerns, and the second relating to bilateral boundary-making with the Soviets.
The Nixon Administration was embodying the Foucauldian turn, occupying distinct subject-positions, ranking the tokens of the discursive economy of SALT over those of the domestic polity in order to maintain the exchange-value of the ABM. As Kissinger emphasises:
The Administration had to marshal all its strength to keep the Congress from imposing unilaterally what we were seeking to negotiate with the Soviets... when we negotiated its mutual limitation in 1972, ABM was on the verge of being eliminated by the Congress, or sunk to a meaningless prototype.177
The ABM Treaty and the Interim Agreement was signed in Moscow on May 26, 1972 after two and half years of negotiations. In 1975, following the ABM Protocol (limiting each Party to one ABM site) and following significant change in the international political system, the Safeguard ABM system became operational on April 1, 1975, defending the Grand Forks ICBM fields in North Dakota. A year later, following a Congress vote it was closed down.178 The vulnerabilities of LPARs (even with massive 'hardening'), the inadequate missile guidance systems (vulnerable to 'spoofing') and its reliance on nuclear warheads contributed to the system's demise. Technological development of components continued despite bans on testing 'in an ABM mode'. Sheehan argues that there is a strong link between technological advance and political realities:
Technological advance changes political realities by altering perceptions of what is possible.179
Thus if knowledge is constitutive of realities then new knowledges empower the constitution of new realities. In other words, at the level of what may be described as 'signalling'180, technological R&D can be seen to provide new paradigmatic choices for the articulation of the discursive identity of the security state. In the sections that follow, relevant terms of the SALT Treaties will be examined more closely in relation to compliance questions raised in the SCC, following some remarks on the standards applied to verification and the issues raised, surrounding R.W. Buchheim's report to Congress on compliance with SALT I. Such issues include the roles of some of the surrounding discursive communities (such as those of monitoring and surveillance) and the intersections of their domains of knowledge on the power of the SCC to raise compliance issues on either side.
Verification has been defined as:
The means by which one party determines whether or not another party to an agreement is complying with its terms.181
From this follow two functions:
There are inherent limitations to verification capabilities, intersecting with every every kind of verification measure. Such measures include:
The choice of verification standard depends more or less directly on the degree of strategic importance of the agreement proportional to the technical capabilities of the verifying countries, the military cost of inadequate verification and the political costs of cheating.183 Assessments of these three elements vary according to perceptions of each Party about the other, assumptions about the state of relations between the parties and perceptions of the domestic political elements within each Party. On these criteria then, verification can be said to be a process of determining compliance with the terms of an arms control agreement to the extent deemed adequate to safeguard 'national security'.184
Sydney Graybeal points to several factors to be taken into account when assessing the likelihood or otherwise of Soviet cheating. In so doing, he suggests that in his assessment the Soviets would be unlikely to enter an agreement which required them to cheat in order to attain their military objectives [albeit that they might explore the limits at the margins of an agreement]. He notes that the risk of being caught is always greater than zero185 and he stresses that there are further costs to cheating:
There are likely delays in the military program; there are likely reductions in the reliability of the system if you cannot test it in the optimum manner; and there are likely monetary costs.186
Thus the Soviets would have to assess these costs against the military gains from cheating and the political implications, if caught, versus these questionable military gains.187 The standards applied to verification of the SALT Treaties potentially offer a political barometer of the state of bilateral relations between the US and the Soviet Union188.
To the extent that total verification is impossible, the extent to which data needs to be interpreted, the extent to which 'grey area' violations are considered to be violations and the extent to which these potential violations are raised within the SCC, the interaction of these four elements, arguably, can be used to 'read' the political climate underlying the security state, that is, the political context of arms control and the role of verification in the political process. This is of particular importance when considering verification standards and their application. Between the Carter and the Reagan administrations, the shifts in verification standard are intimately tied to the state of domestic and bilateral relations between the US and the Soviet Union with respect to the SALT I and SALT II Treaties.
Inheriting the SALT I Treaties and the beginnings of the SALT II negotiations, President Carter adopted the standard of verification laid down by Richard Nixon in 1969 when instructing SALT I negotiators, that of 'adequate' verification. The term, as defined by Richard Nixon relates to the ability to "identify attempted evasion if it occurs on a large enough scale to pose a significant risk, and whether we can do so in time to mount a sufficient response."189 The term also appears in the Basic Principles of Negotiations in 1973.190
This appeared to suffice for the ABM Treaty, by which a whole class of weapons, their deployment systems and the testing of weapons in this mode seemed at that time to be sufficiently well monitored by National Technical Means (NTM). As negotiations progressed with the SALT II Treaty, the standard defined as 'adequate' was continually contested and defended by the US Arms Control community.
The term itself appears in a number of congressional reports relating to verification, and the issue of compliance with SALT I191. Sydney Graybeal, in a prepared statement to Congress, points out that verification is linked to the ability to deter a nation from violating the treaty as the political consequences of discovery would be politically more costly than maintaining the agreement. Verification adequate to this task involves a judgement. As he states:
What constitutes "adequate" verification involves a judgement. It depends in part on what one considers constitutes an "adequate deterrent." If one subscribes to the "minimum deterrence" theory, then one may not be too concerned over comprehensive monitoring capabilities for all provisions of the agreement. On the other hand if one is concerned about the viability of our deterrence, then one will probably be concerned about our ability to monitor the specific of all the provisions. 192
A report by the State Department's Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (28 February, 1978) stated that the Carter Administration's commitment to a SALT II Agreement was such that it would not "compromise our capacity to independently verify Soviet adherence to the agreement by accepting unwarrantable risks"193 the report went on to state that any violations "of such a magnitude as to modify the nuclear balance194 'would be discovered in time to make an appropriate response195'" All this, as Les Aspin and Fred Kaplan point out, amounts to the "recognition that few things in life can be determined with absolute certainty, that levels of confidence and margins of error are inevitable, and that the important questions are how high we make the levels of confidence and how narrow the margins of error."196
Paul Warnke, presenting a report on the verifiability of the proposed SALT II Agreement, defines adequate such that "any cheating on a scale large enough to alter the strategic balance would be discovered in time to make an appropriate response."197 He further points out that judgement of the adequacy of verification must take account of detection capabilities existing and future, and the ability of the other side to evade detection should it attempt to do so, and the US ability to respond to Soviet cheating based on the US technological base, its Research and Development programs (R&D) and existing strategic forces.198 Moreover, assessment of adequacy of verification must also "assess the political and military significance of potential violations and the costs, risks and gains to the Soviets of cheating."199
Such assessment is further complicated by the tradeoff between the US allowing itself flexibility to take certain actions even though allowing the Soviets to take the same action may complicate verification.200
US assessments of Soviet compliance in the face of any US monitoring uncertainties or ambiguities are supplemented by US assumptions regarding the likelihood that the Soviets would cheat, based on the benefits accruing to them from such cheating and the risks of such activities being detected. Among US scenarios of the epistemic context of Soviet decisions to cheat are ranked:
Arguably, then, the standard of verification selected and applied would affect the extent to which compliance issues arise as such, the extent to which these are pursued through the channel of the SCC and/or the extent to which these issues are seen to be resolved.
a) SALT I Provisions
The SALT I Agreements comprise the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (ABM) and the Interim Agreement. The two agreements have different duration provisions, the ABM Treaty being of unlimited duration (with a six-month withdrawal provision in the event of a party's supreme interests being threatened by extraordinary events related to the subject matter of the treaty)202
The Interim Agreement, by contrast, had only a five-year span. In addition to restricting ABMs to only two sites in each country with a total of 200 ABM launchers on each side, (a later protocol reduced this to one site with provision for 100 ABM launchers on each side203) the ABM Treaty banned the deployment or testing of the inward-looking Large Phased Array Radars (LPARs) required for ABM target acquisition.
Article VI prohibited the adaptation of existing non-ABM systems or radars to ABM use, and the testing of such systems in an ABM mode.
To assure compliance, verification would be by national technical means (NTMs) and deliberate concealment or interference to verification by NTMs was prohibited.
Further Agreed Statements common understandings and unilateral statements were added, as was an Interim Agreement designed to limit the competition in strategic
|US ICBMs||SLBMs||Soviet ICBMs||SLBMs|
Sources: US ACDA Arms Control and Disarmament Agreements 1980/148
IISS The Military Balance 1968-72
and Greville Rumble The politics of Nuclear Defence Cambridge: Polity 1985
offensive arms in order to provide time for further negotiations.204 pending a more comprehensive agreement to be negotiated within five years. The freeze was somewhat asymmetrical, holding the number of strategic offensive launchers to existing levels, be they operational or under construction, permitting an increase in SLBM launchers only with the dismantling of corresponding numbers of older ICBM or SLBM launchers. These launchers cannot be significantly enlarged or 'light' or older ICBM launchers cannot be replaced by launchers for modern 'heavy' ICBMs under modernization provisions. This provision prevented the Soviets from substituting light ICBMs with the new SS-9 heavy missile. Table 3.2 (overleaf) summarises the Interim Agreement ceilings, showing the extent to which increased levels of SLBMs are available only at the expense of land-based ICBMs. The levels reflect the extent to which a structural imbalance was codified (as some SALT critics have noted) to favour the Soviets.
Significantly absent from SALT I was the issue of long-range bombers. Other issues, discussed but not committed to treaty were: mobile missiles, cruise missiles, forward-based systems and the enhancement of missiles with multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs). These issues were to be left for SALT II and their definition to the SCC.
b) SALT II Provisions
SALT II negotiations began in November 1972 following the signing of SALTÊI. The SALT II Agreements differed in several important respects from the SALT I agreements. Article VII of the Interim Agreement committed the US and the Soviet Union to continue to pursue negotiations on strategic offensive arms.205 The Agreement, based on the understandings of the Vladivostok accord comprises three parts:206
Agreed Statements covered definitional matters relating to the definition of SLBM launchers, heavy bombers, long range Air-Surface Ballistic Missiles (ASBMs), launchers developed and tested for MIRVs and other procedural matters. Later assessments raised some doubts about the value of the associated unilateral statements, following a shift in perception of Soviet commitment to the agreements. These Statements will be discussed later in this chapter in the analysis of perceptions of the effectiveness of the SCC and its role in the SALT process.
Table 3.3 shows the aggregate limits established within the Vladivostok accord under which, the principle of equal ceilings for strategic delivery vehicles was established.
|a) Launchers of MIRVed ICBMs||820|
|b) Launchers of MIRVed ICBMs and MIRVed SLBMs||1200|
|c) Both (a) and (b)+ heavy bombers equipped for long range cruise missiles||1320|
|d) (a)-(c)+launchers of unMIRVed ICBMs & SLBMs + heavy bombers not equipped for long range cruise missiles: aggregate limit to apply from Jan.1,1981 to be achieved by Dec. 31, 1981||2250|
|e) Aggregate limit to apply for (d) up to Dec.31,1980||2400|
Within the verification provisions of Article XV, NTMs were to be used and Common Understandings included the undertakings to not impede or interfere with NTMs, including the encryption of telemetry, and construction of shelters.
Compliance matters, and specific procedural matters were to be negotiated through the SCC.208 These included the maintenance of a data base on the numbers of strategic arms established by the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Establishment of a Data Base on the Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms of June 18, 1979.209
The qualitative provisions of the SALT II agreements presented a new range of problems for verification by technical means. Whereas the SALT I agreements limited fairly readily identifiable ICBM launchers and large, slowly-built radar structures, the SALT II agreement included identifying missiles equipped with MIRVs. Because of specific difficulties in identifying MIRVed or non-MIRVed missiles, it was agreed that once a missile was tested with MIRVs then all missiles of that type would be considered to be MIRVed.
SALT II verification is by national technical means (photo-reconnaissance satellites, SIGINT, etc) and it was agreed to neither interfere with each others' NTM, nor to use concealment measures. ACDA point out that since 'specific characteristics of some SALT limited systems become apparent during the testing phase, monitoring of testing programs is an important aspect of SALT verification'210.
It was important therefore to be able to monitor a test-missile's telemetry (data relayed to the launch-site on fuel consumption, mass, temperature of burn, fuel pressure, speed etc and the in-flight testing of system components [such as warhead release mechanisms]) in order to calculate the throw-weight of the launch vehicle which would enable estimates to be made concerning the MIRV potential of the missile. In the SALT II Second Common Understanding of Article XV, paragraph 3 concerning the obligation to not use deliberate concealment measures, these were described as including that,
...neither Party shall engage in deliberate denial of telemetric information, such as through the use of telemetry encryption, whenever such denial impedes verification of compliance with the terms of the Treaty.211
The NTMs relating to verification of SALT II compliance may be summarised as follows:212 At the test stage, missiles are monitored entering and leaving the deployment area, as is any construction activity, thus numbers of deployed missiles can be determined. This is largely done with the aid of photo-reconnaissance.
With increased redundancy, there comes an increase in the confidence of being able to verify compliance. As with any communicative form, the more codes (or communicative channels) used, the clearer the message becomes - thus there is [literally] an increase in the signal:noise ratio. In order to measure the number of reentry vehicles per missile, photographs are taken of both the launch and impact areas. This is also done with infra-red systems which measure the heat of the engines in flight. The missiles are tracked by radar, as are the reentry vehicles as they approach the impact areas. These allow, not only the counting of the reentry vehicles, but also provide a first approximation of their size and shape. Radio receivers collect telemetry data, which among other things, gives a measure of the number of reentry vehicles. These systems also provide collateral information on estimations of the size of the reentry vehicle (throw-weight) and of the accuracy and type of guidance systems [which, as Dr Perry points out, although not covered by SALT, are important for strategic planning]213 The following section shall examine SALT I compliance issues raised through the SCC and the SALT II Treaty ratification debate as applicable to verification during the Carter years.
Until September 25, 1979, the United States had raised eight issues concerning Soviet compliance with SALT I.214 Table 3.4 outlines these eight issues briefly. Comparable issues were raised by the Soviets regarding US compliance with the SALT I agreements. These, outlined in table 3.5 give some indication of the extent of reciprocity within the liminal space of the SALT SCC ongoing negotiations process. This section discusses some aspects of that reciprocity and the consequences of emphasising legalism over relationalism in terms of the aims and objectives of arms control and related compliance questions.
Of the charges of non-compliance that follow, it may be noted that four of the eight issues raised were not identified as definite violations. Indeed, it needs to be emphasised that the politicality of compliance issues rests principally on the ambiguities of marginal compliance behaviours and on the ambiguities of the data on non-compliance. Of the remaining four technical violations, two resulted from poor estimates on the time needed to dismantle certain launchers, and one from the use of 'weather protection' yet, since the agreement limits the number of launchers, temporary shelters did not preclude verification by NTMs. The radar at the Kamchatka Peninsula, appears ultimately to be a marginal issue, given that the Soviets have agreed that it be considered an ABM test range as permitted under Article V of the ABM Treaty.
One Soviet view argues that many of the ambiguous compliance activities raised by the United States were a result of poor communication between the Soviet bureaucracies, particularly between the Foreign Ministry and the Defence Department of the Military Industrial Commission.215 The argument was that the Soviet SCC Delegation was consistently misinformed by the Defence Department of the Military Industrial Commission about activities within the Soviet Union. This was said to result in situations in which the SCC would have negotiated a procedure, and that established procedure was simply ignored or garbled by the bureaucratic process. This position could be argued if the SCC was staffed solely, or even principally by Foreign Ministry officials. This is in fact largely the case up
|Potential violation||Hardened silo construction||Interim Agreement Art I|
|Legal & political violation||Concealment measures impeding NTM verification||ABM Treaty,XII.3 Interim Agreement,V.3|
|Defeating object & purpose of agreement||Conversion of launchers from light to heavy ICBMs||Interim Agreement, II|
|Possible Violation||Possible testing of air defence radar (SA-5) in ABM mode||ABM Treaty,VI|
|violation||Excess ABM test launchers||ABM Treaty|
|violation||ABM Radar on Kamchatka Peninsula||ABM Treaty ,VI; Common Understanding C|
|violation||Exceeding numerical ICBM launcher limits||Interim Agreement,II|
|violation||deliberate concealment at test range||Interim Agreement,V,3|
Sources: US State Dept Bureau of Public Affairs Special Report No.55,July 1979, and G. Duffy Compliance and the Future of Arms Control Stanford University, Global Outlook, 1988, Appendix A, p.211 and Testimony of Sydney Graybeal in R.W. Buchheim Briefing on SALT I Compliance 1979 Washington:US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
to the Deputy commissioner of the SCC, but the Commissioner himself is appointed from the Defence Department of the Military Industrial Commission.216 This being the case, it seems to stretch credibility that there could be a total breakdown in communication between the SCC negotiators and the activities of the Defence Department.217
What is interesting about the treatment of these questions, without denigrating their technical implications, lies in the interpretation of their political meaning. That is, the legal perspective, the SALT SCC perspective, and that of the Committee on the Present Danger, all held specific and widely differing views as to the meaning of these questions when read as political signals.
|Violation||Shelters over Minuteman Silos||Interim Agreement, V Common Understanding C|
|Violation||Testing Shemya Radar for ABM purposes||ABM Treaty,1.2 and VI(a)|
|Violation||Privacy of SCC Proceedings||ABM Treaty XIII, SCC Regulations|
|Violation||Creation of Large scale ABM Defence system: PAVE PAWS Radar statn.||ABM Treaty, 1.2|
|Potential Violation||Exceeding numerical launcher limits (Minuteman II, Titan II)||Interim Agreement, V.1,2,3; Common Understanding C|
|Possible Violation||Dismantling of Radar at Malstrom AFB||ABM Protocol on Procedures|
|Possible Violation||Exceeding sublimit on MIRVed ICBMS||ABM Treaty, V.1|
Sources: US State Dept Bureau of Public Affairs Special Report No.55,July 1979 and G. Duffy Compliance and the Future of Arms Control Stanford University, Global Outlook, 1988. p.211 and S. Graybeal in R.W. Buchheim Briefing on SALT I Compliance 1979 Washington:US Senate FRC.
The intersection of these competing views arguably provides some insight into the multiple and complex subjectivities218 competing for a voice in the Carter security state.
Examining these in more detail, I am setting out to show, not the state as actor, nor even the security state as actor, but that within the security state (insofar as it applies to arms control compliance issues) are always factional identities that mobilise and invoke competing world-views; that these are constantly in play; that each has a foundation in history; that each manifests an identity symptomatic of that history and that each exists in relation to other factional identities the specification of which may be inferred from the language and actions [both operating as forms of signifying system] they invoke.
(a) Hardened Silo Construction
Article I of the Interim Agreement states:
'The Parties undertake not to start construction of additional ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers after July 1, 1972.'
When the Interim Agreement entered into force, the number of operational ICBMs each Party was permitted to have totalled 1618 for the Soviet Union and 1054 for the United States. In 1973, US intelligence sources determined that an additional 150 silos were being constructed by the Soviets at ICBM fields along the Trans-Siberian Railway in Soviet Asia. If these silos were destined to contain ICBM launchers, then they would have constituted a violation of Article I of the Interim Agreement.
The United States raised this concern in the SCC. The Soviets responded that the excavations were for hardened launch-control facilities for 'testing and training purposes.' The intelligence evidence was ambiguous, purporting to show a remarkable degree of similarity between the characteristics of these 'launch-control' facilities and those of conventional ICBM complexes. The characteristics in question in included their cylindrical shape, with 'blow-away' doors and launcher-type suspension equipment. The Congressional Record notes this ambiguity as a 'potential cause for concern' on the grounds that these launch-control facilities could be virtually dual-capable. That said, the use of these facilities for the purposes stated by the Soviet Union are permitted under the Interim Agreement, and moreover, are further justified by the United States' Letter of Submittal for the ABM Treaty219 which held that launchers of this type could 'be constructed at operation sites.'
While the U.S. State Department report, taking the view of the SCC (see section Image II in this chapter) concluded that: "In early 1977, following further discussions during 1975 and 1979 and a review of our intelligence on this subject, the US decided to close discussion of this matter on the basis that the silos in question are currently used as launch-control facilities." The legalistic view (Image I, this chapter) was presented by the 'hawkish' US Senate expressed in the Congressional Record (17/8/78):
It would appear that the Soviets would risk the illegal installation of some 150 new missiles, knowing that a program of such magnitude could not go undetected. However, the Department report does not deal with the question of whether former launch control facilities have been properly dismantled, in the light of which the additional silos could theoretically serve a purpose beyond that specified by the Soviet Union.
That these views coincide with those of members of the Committee on the Present Danger shows the extent to which the conservative backlash to the Nixon-Ford era of arms control was already taking hold in the US Congress. These views are an important factor in understanding the failure of SALT II ratification.
(b) Concealment Measures impeding Verification by NTM
Article XII of the ABM Treaty states: 1. For the purposes of providing assurance of compliance with the provisions of this Treaty, each Party shall use national technical means of verification at its disposal in a manner consistent with generally recognised principles of international law.
2. Each Party undertakes not to interfere with the national technical means of verification of the other Party operating in accordance with Paragraph 1 of this Article.
3. Each Party undertakes not to use deliberate concealment measures which impede verification by national technical means of compliance with the provisions of this Treaty. This obligation shall not require changes in current construction, assembly, conversion, or overhaul practices.
Article V(3) of the Interim Agreement contains a similar provision: Each Party undertakes not to use deliberate concealment measures which impede verification by national technical means of compliance with the provisions of this Interim Agreement. These national technical means, as explained elsewhere in this chapter, refer principally to the use of photoreconnaissance satellites and electronic surveillance systems, so concern with concealment practices can refer to both visual and electronic concealment.
Soviet practices which suggest concealment had been monitored by the United States before and after the conclusion of the 1972 SALT agreements, however, during 1974, the US State Department Report noted that the extent of concealment activities concerning Soviet strategic weapons programs "increased substantially." The Report also noted that these activities did not prevent the US from verifying compliance with the provisions of either the ABM Treaty or the Interim Agreement. There was concern expressed that if the pattern of concealment continued to expand, then these could impede verification in the future. The United States raised the issue for discussion with the Soviets in the SCC, in particular, there were concerns over the placing of canvas covers and planking over extensive sections of prefabrication, assembly and re-fit facilities for ballistic missile submarines (Delta Class) at the Severmorosk construction yard on the Kola peninsula. Moreover, similar coverings had been noted at the Khabarovsk facilities in Siberia, in addition to other strategic construction sites throughout the Soviet Union.
A 1975 review of the intelligence information on activities in the USSR led the United States to conclude that there 'no longer' appeared to be an expanding pattern of concealment activities associated with strategic weapons programs.
In 1977, however, US intelligence information noted a large net covering over an ICBM test launcher undergoing conversion at a Soviet test site. The Congressional Record (p.26693) suggests that the site was probably Plesetsk that had been used to test the mobile SS-X-16. Concern was expressed to the Soviet delegation in the SCC that a covering which conceals activities at an ICBM silo from national technical means of verification "could reduce the confidence and trust which are important to mutual efforts to establish and maintain strategic arms limitations."220 Although the Soviets argued that the provisions of the Interim Agreement were not applicable in this case, the nets were subsequently removed.
The point here, is that the authors of the US State Department Report (see note 116) place their emphasis on the ongoing process of arms limitation and arms control, and on the relationship which engenders such arms control. The same cannot be said of the authors of the Congressional Record who dwell, not on the relationship, but on the mistrust that labels any level of verification inadequate. As they express it:
Assuming that the SS-X-16 mobile ICBM is involved, it must be emphasised that the Soviets have been less than forthcoming with regard to information about the production rate and/or deployment posture of the system. As such, any deliberate concealment activity complicates the process of determining whether a permissible replacement has been effected or an illegal expansion of the Soviet land-based missile force is being pursued.
It is somewhat problematic to speak of mutually agreed limits, inasmuch as the Soviet Union has provided no hard data concerning its weapons inventories. The figures derive, instead from US intelligence estimates. At any rate the burden of proof that only (legally) acceptable developments are concealed must be held to rest with the Party attempting the concealment. It may be that Soviet compliance was ultimately induced less by American blandishments, and more by the simple fact of their having acquired the level of test information necessary for certain strategic purposes. Moreover, the language of Article V of the Interim Agreement equally obscures interpretations of permissible silo-launcher conversion practices.221
By focusing blame on ambiguities in the treaty language, the conservatives in Congress were able to erode the efforts of the arms control community to articulate the Other (in this case the Soviet Union) in terms of strategies of inclusion (through the relationship established through the arms control process). By articulating the Other in threat terms (implied by the suggestion that they were operating independently of US 'blandishments') the conservatives seek to build a cumulative weight of instances in which the Soviets may be viewed as expansionist and barely 'contained' by the vigilant gaze of the United States.
With the aim of restricting Soviet missile payload, and hence its hard-target counterforce potential, limits were placed upon the numbers of 'heavy' ICBMs it could have under SALT I (313 SS-9s and follow-ons). The definition of precisely what constituted a 'heavy' ICBM however was left ambiguous.
Under Article II of the Interim Agreement:
The Parties undertake not to convert land-based launchers for light ICBMs, or for ICBMs of older types deployed prior to 1964, into land-based launchers for heavy ICBMs of types deployed after that time.
Common Understanding 'A' to the Interim Agreement was based on Ambassador Smith's statement on May 26, 1972 which states: The Parties agree that the term "significantly increased" means that an increase will not be greater than 10-15 percent of the present dimensions of land-based ICBM silo launchers. Minister Semenov replied that this statement corresponded to the Soviet understanding.
However, although agreement was reached on the restrictions to the dimensions of launchers there was to be no such agreement on a definition for 'heavy' ICBMs. The frustration of the US side is evident in their Unilateral Statement (May 26,1972) on 'heavy' ICBMs:
The US Delegation regrets that the Soviet Delegation has not been willing to agree on a common definition of a heavy missile. Under these circumstances, the US Delegation believes it necessary to state the following: The United States would consider any missile having a volume significantly greater than that of the largest light ICBM now operational on either side to be a heavy ICBM. The United States proceeds on the premise that the Soviet side will give due account to this consideration."
When it was established that the SS-11 ICBM system, the largest light ICBM then operational on either side with a volume of 69 cubic metres, was being replaced with the SS-19 'heavy ICBM whose volume was approximately 100 cubic metres, The United States charged the Soviet Union with violating the Interim Agreement. The conservative 'legalists,' served notice that: [the United States] would consider any missile with a volume exceeding 70 cubic metres to be a 'heavy' missile, thus absolutely qualifying the SS-19 for inclusion in this category.
The fact remained that the Soviet Union had not violated the letter of the Interim Agreement or the Common Understanding, insofar as they had not increased the dimensions of the silo launchers beyond 10-15 percent.
The Soviet Union maintained throughout SALT I that an agreed definition of a heavy ICBM was unnecessary in the context of the Interim Agreement and made clear that they did not agree with the US Unilateral Statement. That said, however, the US State Department, in raising the issue was less concerned about the SS-19 in relation to SALT I, but rather sought to "emphasise the importance the US attached to the distinction made in the context of the SALT II agreement under negotiation at the time. This was surprisingly thin ground on which to base a charge of violation, given that practitioners on both sides of the SCC attribute, in large measure, the success of the SCC to its restriction to clarifying the strict terms of the treaties within its mandate222. Subsequently, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed in the draft agreements of SALT II, on a clear demarcation, in terms of missile launch-weight and throw-weight, between light and heavy ICBMs.
The ABM treaty states that both parties agree under Article VI that for the purposes of enhancing assurance of the effectiveness of the limitations on ABM systems and their components provided by the treaty:
...each Party undertakes:
a) not to give missiles, launchers, or radars, other than ABM interceptor missiles, ABM launchers, or ABM radars, capabilities to counter strategic ballistic missiles, or their elements in flight trajectory, and not to test them in an ABM mode...
b) not to deploy in the future radars for early warning of strategic ballistic missile attack except at locations along the periphery of its national territory and oriented outwards.
Radars used for purposes such as range safety and instrumentation are exempt from this ban. The SA-5 Griffon radar and the SA-2 Guideline radar are conventional air-defence radars deployed throughout the Soviet Union at a number of sites, including, the Sary Shagan test range. The Soviets have periodically operated surface-to-air missiles (SAM) radars at the Sary Shagan test range during ABM test flights. Operating these radars concurrently with testing of ballistic missiles raised US concerns that the Soviets could be testing the potential for using air-defence radars for ABM defence.
On April 7, 1972 the United States had made a Unilateral Statement to clarify their interpretation of "tested in an ABM mode." They noted, that they would consider a radar to be so tested if, for example, it makes measurements on a 'cooperative target vehicle' during the reentry portion of its trajectory or makes measurements in conjunction with the test of an ABM interceptor missile or an ABM radar at the same test range. They further stated that they would consider an infraction to have occurred if "an interceptor missile ... [was] flight tested to an altitude223 inconsistent with interception of targets against which air defences are deployed." US satellite reconnaissance of Soviet SA-5 test firings at the Kapustin Yar desert range north of the Caspian Sea gave "circumstantial indications"224 that the missile's radar system may have been tracking ballistic vehicles during the reentry phase of their flight trajectory into ABM test ranges. They added that radars used for purposes such as range safety, or instrumentation would be exempt from application of these criteria.
The Soviet Union argued (May 5, 1972) that high altitude non-ABM radars were permissible in 'range safety and instrumental' roles for purposes of precision tracking and data collection outside of agreed test sites such as Sary Shagan. The Senate Congressional Record account argued that the Soviets, while rejecting any inference that they might be developing ABM capabilities through the conversion or upgrading of current surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, remained 'noncommittal' over the types of radar technologies (phased or non-phased array) that were acceptable for deployment at facilities outside those of the agreed ABM test ranges.
The US were concerned in 1973 and1974 when Soviet test ballistic missiles were tracked using the SA-5 radar. The US State Department Report225 notes that the importance of this issue was the question of whether or not the Soviets were attempting to either upgrade the SA-5 for ABM capability or to obtain data for useful in developing a new dual-capable SAM/ABM system. The Report (section III(D)) points out that after formal representations by the US delegates to the SCC "Éthe radar activity of concern during Soviet ballistic missile tests had ceased." The Congressional Record dismisses the Soviet argument that, as the SA-5 radars had been used only to track the incoming reentry vehicle during the test, this did not constitute testing 'in an ABM mode' on the grounds that other radars on the test range rendered use of the SA-5 radar redundant for instrumentation purposes. One reason for this, given in the Congressional Record, refers to Section V(c) of the State Department Report which deals with ABM testing of air-defence missiles:
Our close monitoring of activities in this field has not indicated that ABM tests or any tests against strategic ballistic missiles have been conducted with an air-defence missile; specifically, they have not observed any such tests of the SA-5 defence system missile, the one occasionally mentioned in this connection in the open press. 226
The Congressional Record noted that the SA-5 defence system is two-pronged, having both a radar component and a missile component. That one component of this system was tested extensively, (the radar component) the other, 'necessary for its effective functioning' was alleged by the State Department Report to have not been tested in this period, was held by the Congressional Record to 'seem strange.' The Soviets argued that to have done so, would have been in contravention of the Article VI of the ABM Treaty.
An agreement reached in the SCC in 1978 redefined the phrase "in an ABM mode" to ban any concurrent testing of ABM and air defence components other than for the detection [and presumably tracking] of potentially hostile aircraft that are clearly and demonstrably in the area." The Congressional Record points out that the Understanding requires a party seeking an exception to provide justification for the exception within a period of thirty days or at the next SCC meeting whichever occurs first.227 Duffy (1988) argues that the US concerns over the SA-5 issue were "debatable from the start" on the grounds that:
The SA-5 system is marginal for intercepting ballistic missiles with a high weight-to-drag ratio.
Further evidence that the violation, if it was one was marginal at worst, comes from the US State Department Report (1979). This report held that if the activity in question was designed to upgrade the SA-5 system, then it would have only been one step in an effort that would require substantial and, more importantly, observable modifications to other components of the system. It points out that these modifications have not occurred. It must be noted, however, that although the Soviets did indeed cease the activity of concern, more than a dozen tests had been conducted before the United States made their formal notification demanding suspension of the activity. The Congressional Record assesses this as 'a number sufficient to accumulate the information desired.'
The US continued to monitor Soviet activities related to this issue, but none was noted until 1985, when the Soviets once more resumed operations of the SA-5 radar during missile tests. The US raised the issue in the SCC and the Soviet activity ceased.
Article IV of the ABM Treaty states:
The limitations provided for in Article III shall not apply to ABM systems or their components used for development or testing, and located within current or additionally agreed test ranges. Each Party may have no more than a total of fifteen ABM launchers at test ranges.
The detailed procedures regulating the dismantling of test launchers beyond the agreed limit were developed in the Standing Consultative Commission and entered into force on July 3, 1972. In 1973, the Soviet Union advised the US SCC Delegation that excess launchers had been dismantled in compliance with the provisions of Article IV of the ABM Treaty. US intelligence information determined, however, that several launchers were still in place. That is, they had not been dismantled in compliance with the procedures established in the SCC, but rather, had been deactivated228.
As the US State Department Report notes:
"Even though the launchers were deactivated prior to the entry into force of the procedures, and their reactivation would be of no strategic significance, the US raised the matter as a case of inaccurate notification or reporting to make known our expectation that in the future care would be taken to ensure that notification, as well as dismantling or destruction, was in strict accord with the agreed procedures." (CRp.6963)
This was a way of putting the Soviets on notice that the US intended the dismantling procedures to be adhered-to strictly, and that the national technical means of verification would reveal any activities that could be construed as inconsistent with the Treaty. By regarding the infringement as 'inaccurate notification' the US State Department, once again, is placing emphasis on the ongoing relationship represented by the treaty, rather than as a structure which permits of behaviours as absolute adherence or non-adherence to the law.
This latter view emerges in the Congressional Record 229 Given the Soviet propensity to exploit loopholes to the outer limits of legal acceptability, this admonition has a somewhat hollow ring. Even though the alleged infraction was not considered strategically significant, the implications of even minor deviations are of greater interest for what they reveal about Soviet behaviour than is the fact of temporary Soviet compliance. [emphasis mine]. The inaccuracy of preliminary Soviet notifications inevitably calls into question the USSR's commitment to arms control measures which strengthen mutual confidence and promote "equal security."
Article IV of the ABM Treaty states:
"The limitations provided for in Article III [on deployment] shall not apply to ABM systems or their components used for development or testing, and located within current or additionally agreed test ranges."
In October 1975 a new radar was installed at the Kamchatka impact area of the Soviet ICBM test range. Since Article IV exempts from the limitations of Article III only those ABM components used for development or testing at current, or additionally agreed ranges, the United States became concerned that the location of this radar, which the United States identified as an ABM radar, on the Kamchatka Peninsula, could have constituted establishment of a new Soviet ABM test range. Questions arose over the newness of this Soviet test range, and for two reasons.
Firstly, in 1972, just prior to the conclusion of the SALT negotiations, the US delegation provided a list to the Soviets, of US and Soviet test ranges. This list did not include the Kamchatka impact area. The Soviet side was under instructions to neither confirm nor deny the accuracy or completeness of the list, claiming that 'the use of national technical means assured against misunderstandings of Article IV; and
secondly, by noting that there was a previous and older type ABM radar on the site, this could be construed as having established the presence of an older type of ABM radar at the date of signing. Although not strategically significant the location of the radar was deemed by the US to warrant raising with the Soviets in the SCC for clarification.
Noting that a range containing a radar instrumentation complex existed at that site on the date of signature of the ABM Treaty, the Soviets stated that they would be prepared to establish that the Kamchatka range a 'current test range' within the meaning of Article IV of the ABM Treaty. The United States continued exchanges within the SCC to establish Kamchatka as test range within the meaning of Article IV of the ABM Treaty and that this, with the Sary Shagan range are the only two 'current test ranges' within the meaning of the treaty. Article IV requires agreement over the establishment of new, or additional test ranges.
There is agreement between the US and the Soviet Union concerning the two points (recognising the Kamchatka range as an ABM test range, and that the Kamchatka and Sary Shagan are the only two ABM test ranges in the Soviet Union. On the third point, however, discussions are continuing on the protocols and procedures for discussing and agreeing upon the establishment of an ABM test range.
(g) Exceeding Numerical ICBM Launcher Limits
The terms and provisions of the Interim Agreement Article III state:
The Parties undertake to limit submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers and modern ballistic missile submarines to the numbers operational and under construction on the date of signature of this Interim Agreement, and, in addition to launchers and submarines constructed under procedures established by the Parties as replacements for an equal number of ICBM launchers of older types deployed prior to 1964 or for launchers on older submarines.
and in its Protocol of May 26, 1972, the Soviet Union was permitted to deploy no more than 950 SLBM launchers and 62 modern, nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines. Additional ballistic missile launchers on submarines -up to 740 ballistic missile launchers on nuclear powered submarines, operational and under construction, may become operational only as one-for-one replacements for ballistic missile launchers on older submarines which would be dismantled or destroyed under agreed procedures. "The deployment of modern SLBMs on any submarine, regardless of type, will be counted against the total level of SLBMs permitted" for each side.
Under the Agreed Interpretations, Initialed Statement K of the Interim Agreement emphasises the timing of the dismantling or destruction of older ICBM launchers and SLBM launchers on older submarines, stating that:
The Parties understand that dismantling or destruction of ICBM launchers of older types deployed prior to 1964 and ballistic missile launchers on older submarines being replaced by new SLBM launchers on modern submarines will be initiated at the time of the beginning of sea trials of a replacement submarine, and will be completed in the shortest possible agreed period of time. Such dismantling or destruction, and timely notification thereof, will be accomplished under procedures to be agreed in the Standing Consultative Commission. These dismantlement procedures were developed and agreed in the SCC and came into force on July 3, 1974.
In 1976 the Soviets had 'developed a requirement' to dismantle 51 replaced launchers. The United States determined that the Soviet Union would be unlikely to complete the prescribed dismantling in accordance with the procedures specified in the SCC agreement, within the required time. Accordingly, the United States decided to raise the issue in the SCC. The Soviets, however, raised the question on their own initiative, explaining that technical obstacles had delayed progress on dismantling. They set a target date of June 1, 1976 for completion, and agreed that no new submarines with replacement SLBM launchers would begin sea trials before such completion. The US State Department report confirmed that both conditions were subsequently met. As Sydney Graybeal described the issue:
As a submarine leaves for sea trials - that means, when it leaves its port and not when it moves within the port - that is the starting date from which you begin to dismantle or destroy the ICBM launcher, which is the replaced launcher for the SLBM that is going to sea. So, the idea is that 4 months from the date the ICBM launchers, which were SS-7's and SS-8's, would be dismantled or destroyed in accordance with agreed procedures and within 4 months those would go out of the inventory and the submarine launcher would begin to count when the submarine went to sea. In the Jack Anderson article231 he is stating that those that went to sea counted, but the ones that were being dismantled or destroyed had not been dismantled or destroyed, and therefore they were still in the inventory and therefore you had an excess of ICBM and SLBM launchers.232
Graybeal argued that, despite the fact that the Soviets had an excess of launchers, the excess launchers were far from operational233. He stated that the purpose behind the procedures that had been worked out in the SCC was to assure that the launcher in question was put into a condition that precluded its ability to launch missiles in less time than it took to build a new one. This involved the removal of a whole series of items.
Mr. GRAYBEAL. [Deleted.] So, I think this is one case where the Soviets were in clear violation of the SCC procedures - it is the only case of a violation - in the sense that they did not dismantle or destroy these launchers within the 4 months prescribed period. I do not believe that they had an excess of operational launchers during that particular period.234
The State Department report concluded that:
Since that time, although we have observed some minor procedural discrepancies at a number of those deactivated launch sites and at others as the replacement process continued, all the launchers have been in a condition that satisfied the essential substantive requirements, which are that they cannot be used to launch missiles and cannot be reactivated in a short time. As necessary we have pursued the question of complete and precise accomplishment of the detailed requirements of the agreed procedures.235
In short, for all practical purposes the US State Department were satisfied that there was compliance with the agreed procedures. Once again, however, the Congressional Record, with judicious use of double negatives seems intent on emphasising the potential for marginal infraction by the Soviets:
The acknowledged "procedural discrepancies" suggests that the Soviets are not unprepared to take incremental advantages of what may be perceived as a relaxation of its surveillance efforts ... Viewed against the backdrop of overall Soviet strategic efforts, the Administration cannot dismiss lightly even minor abridgements of provisions governing the launcher replacement process.236
Such a formulation as "not unprepared to ..." fails to specify what the Soviets are prepared to do. While not directly slanderous, this statement is clearly designed to imply patterns of behaviour that are not spelled out in the US State Department report. These patterns support an adversarial image of the Soviets.
Article V(1) of the ABM Treaty states:
Each Party undertakes not to develop, test, or deploy ABM systems or components which are sea-based, air-based, space-based, or mobile land-based.
Definitional ambiguity emerged over the term 'mobile.' In an attempt to clarify the matter Common Understanding C of the ABM Treaty, which relates to mobile ABM systems, was made by the US Delegation on January 29, 1972.
Article V(1) of the Joint Draft Text of the ABM Treaty includes an undertaking not to develop, test, or deploy mobile land-based ABM systems and their components. On May 5, 1971, the US side indicated that, in its view, a prohibition on deployment of mobile ABM systems and components would rule out the deployment of ABM launchers and radars which were not permanent fixed types. At that time, we asked for the Soviet view of this interpretation. Does the Soviet side agree with the US side's interpretation put forward on May 5, 1971?
On April 13, 1972, the Soviet Delegation said there is a general common understanding on this matter.
According to the Congressional Record several radars associated with an ABM system have been installed at designated ABM test sites since 1971. Those at Sary Shagan reportedly 'possess properties which obscure the necessary distinctions between normally verifiable stationary systems and those with mobile capabilities237' which could presumably evade detection. The ambiguity rested upon the relative rapidity with which the new radars could be assembled. That is, they could be assembled over a period of months rather than years. These phased-array radars employ electronic steering of the beam for direction and elevation. That is important, because the older, mechanically- steered radars would have been too slow for ICBM tracking. Electromagnetic steering of the beam enables fast and multiple target acquisition and tracking.
Evidence given by Senator Percy238 indicates that the radar was judged to be 'rapidly deployable' rather than 'mobile' and that was still built on a substantial concrete base 'that requires an excavation.' According to the Congressional Record the US intelligence community wanted the issue raised in order to gain a negotiated definition of 'mobile' and, by settling this matter, to avoid the potential for exploiting the ambiguity in the treaty language, not only for the ABM Treaty, but, more importantly, for the SALT II Treaty that was under negotiation at the time.239
a) Shelters over Minuteman Silos
Paragraph 3 of Article V of the Interim Agreement states:
Each Party undertakes not to use deliberate concealment measures which impede verification by national technical means of compliance with the provisions of this Interim Agreement. This obligation shall not require changes in current construction, assembly, conversion or overhaul practices. From 1962 to 1972 the United States used shelters of either 300 or 700 square feet over Minuteman ICBM silos to provide weather protection during initial construction and modernisation. From 1973, substantially larger prefabricated shelters were used that were some 2,700 square feet. These were, again primarily for weather protection, or, as the US State Department puts it "environmental protection" shelters. From four to twelve of these were placed over silos for periods of time ranging from 10 days to 4 weeks "depending on the severity of the weather."240
The Soviets raised the issue, first in 1973 through diplomatic and political channels, then, from 1975 in the SCC on the grounds that these shelters could be construed as deliberate concealment and therefore as inconsistent with the provisions of Article V of the Interim Agreement. If this were the case, they argued, then the shelters must be removed. The United States disagreed, on the grounds that the shelters were for weather protection and were not therefore for concealment. On this basis, the United States side argued that the shelters were not inconsistent with Article V of the Interim Agreement.
In early 1977, after four years of Soviet negotiations, the United States decided to modify the shelters by reducing them in size by almost 50%. The Soviets continued to object in the SCC on the grounds that the shelters impede verification by national technical means. The United States maintained that the shelters were not for deliberate concealment and, in Duffy's words, "stalled on making further changes."241
In November 1978 the Soviets raised the issue in terms of their ability to distinguish between launchers equipped with Minuteman II (non-MIRVed) and those equipped with Minuteman III (MIRVed) ICBMs. They argued that the problem was exacerbated by the use of shelters over the Minuteman launchers. While the United States side maintained their position that the shelters were for environmental protection they recognised the difficulties they were making for their own ability to raise similar questions about Soviet launcher coverings.242 The United States then "in the interests of satisfying both sides' verification concerns" indicated that they would be prepared to remove and operate without the shelters. By May 1979, at the end of the SALT II negotiations, and after the silo modernisation program was completed, the United States ceased using the shelters.
The United States and the Soviet Union issued a common understanding to Paragraph 3 of Article XV of the SALT II Treaty that prohibits the use of shelters over ICBM launchers in such a way as to impede verification by national technical means.
b) Shemya Radar (COBRA DANE)
Article III of the ABM Treaty states: Each Party undertakes not to deploy ABM systems or their components except: a) within one ABM system deployment area ... centred on the Party's national capital ... and
b) within one ABM system deployment area ... containing ICBM silo launchers ... [and no more than two] large phased-array ABM radars.
In 1973 the United States commenced construction on a new large phased-array radar on Shemya Island in Alaska at the western end of the Aleutian Islands.243 According to the US State Department Report, the radar was to be used for national technical means of verification, deep space tracking, and early warning. The radar became operational in 1977. In 1975, the Soviet Union questioned this designated use and requested clarification of the issue, as the radar appeared to be potentially an ABM radar which would not have been permitted at this location under the terms of Article III of the ABM Treaty. After representations by the United States Delegation, the Soviet side considered the issue to have been resolved. One may note, however, that this Soviet charge arose at about the same time that the United States raised the Kamchatka radar issue with the Soviets. It is possible, therefore that the Soviets chose to raise this issue in the spirit of reciprocity.
c) Privacy of SCC Proceedings
Paragraph 8 of the Protocol, with Regulations, regarding the US-Soviet Standing Consultative Commission states:
The proceedings of the Standing Consultative Commission shall be conducted in private. The Standing Consultative Commission may not make its proceedings public except with the express consent of both Commissioners.244
In 1975 a number of articles were published in the popular press which alleged Soviet cheating on the SALT agreements.245 These appeared not long before the special SCC session on compliance issues. The Soviets expressed concern about the importance of confidentiality in the work of the SCC and in particular, concern about press items that appeared to have been officially sanctioned by the US government.
The United States reaffirmed the usefulness of maintaining confidentiality, while noting that in the United States the public had a right to be kept informed in an open society. The US further noted that although the public had a right to an informed opinion, that the proceedings themselves would continue to remain private.
d) Dismantling of Radar at Malstrom AFB
At the time of the signing of the ABM Treaty on May,26, 1972, the United States had ABM defences under construction at two ICBM deployment areas. Under Article III(b) each Party undertakes not to deploy ABM systems or their components at more than one ABM system deployment area "containing ICBM silo launchers." Construction, at that time, was in its early stages at the Malstrom Air Force base in Montana. Procedures were negotiated for the dismantling or destruction of the ABM facilities as part of the Protocol on Procedures for ABM Systems and their Components, which was signed on July 4, 1974.
The required dismantling was, according to the State Department Report, completed by May 1, 1974. Sometime in late 1974, the United States notified the Soviet in the SCC that the dismantling had been completed. The Soviet Delegation raised one question about a detailed aspect of the dismantling procedures. The United States produced photographs of the before, during and after phases of the dismantling process. This resolved the question.
e) Creation of Large-Scale ABM Defence System (PAVE PAWS)
In 1972, when the ABM Treaty was signed, the United States had deployed two large radars on its territory as part of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS).246 These comprised the FPS-85 phased-array radar in Florida and a non-phased-array radar in Clear, Alaska.
Article I (2) of the ABM Treaty states:
Each Party undertakes not to deploy ABM systems for a defence of the territory of its country and not to provide a base for such a defence, and not to deploy ABM systems for defence of an individual region except as provided for in Article III of this Treaty.
In Article VI (b) each Party undertakes:
... not to deploy in the future radars for early warning of strategic ballistic missile attack except at locations along the periphery of its national territory and oriented outward. Agreed Interpretation [F], initialed by the Heads of Delegation, on May 26, 1972 states:
The Parties agree not to deploy phased-array radars having a potential (the product of mean emitted power in watts and antenna area in square metres) exceeding three million, except as provided for in Articles III, IV and VI of the Treaty, or except for the purposes of tracking objects in outer space or for use as national technical means of verification.
The BMEWS system complied with the provisions of the ABM Treaty and Agreed Interpretation as set out above. Since then, the United States has built a large phased-array radar (LPAR) on Shemya Island and commenced construction of two other LPARS (PAVE PAWS) for SLBM early warning. These were based at Otis Air Force Base, Massachusetts, and Beale AFB, California.
LPARs can perform a variety of military functions. In October 1978 the Soviets noted their concern that the PAVE PAWS radars, coupled with other US LPARS, could constitute a violation of the ABM Treaty's prohibition on laying the base for an ABM defence. The United States declared that the purpose of the PAVE PAWS radar network is to provide early warning of strategic ballistic missile attack (which is permitted under the terms of the ABM Treaty), and that the radars in question were simply replacements for older early warning radars that had become obsolete. The United States argued that as a secondary function the radars would be used to track objects in outer space. The Soviets noted the US clarification of the issue. That said, it is appropriate to discuss briefly the technical features of LPARs with an eye to their potential for a dual-capable role as both early warning, and battle management LPARs.
Early warning LPARs are optimised to operate at the frequencies at which reentry vehicles most efficiently reflect electromagnetic waves. These frequencies allow the clearest detection of a reentry vehicle over the longest range by a radar of fixed antenna size and power. To provide rapid early warning and LPAR must have a high average power and a very large antenna. That is to say, it requires a high potential under the definition of the ABM Agreed Interpretation [F] cited above.
The potentials247 (watts x metres2) of the PAVE PAWS and BMEWS LPARs are more than 40 million and 1.8 billion respectively. Duffy points out that basically all surveillance radars that can fulfil a strategic ballistic missile early warning function require potentials far greater than the 3 million specified in the Agreed Interpretation, while those below the 3 million threshold are restricted in the range at which they can operate.
ABM Battle management LPARs need to operate at a far higher frequency248 than that required by early warning dedicated radars. As the frequency increases, so the range decreases, so that radars optimised for battle management will not give maximum warning, and vice versa. Moreover, in determining the usefulness of a LPAR for ABM battle management, consideration has to given to the extent to which it is networked into a battle management system. Krass notes that, while radars may be optimised for one or other purpose, their performance characteristics are "virtually indistinguishable from those needed to support an ABM system." The ability of a phased-array radar to function as national technical means of verification, while being an apparent violation of the provisions of an arms control agreement, renders a technical solution to the problem unworkable. Here then, is another instance such which at first sight seems to be a purely technical problem, can be seen, on closer examination to be in fact a political/discursive problem.
f) Exceeding Numerical Launcher Limits (Atlas, Titan-I)
The detailed dismantling procedures agreed in the SCC governing excess ICBM launchers, includes the principle that reactivation of dismantled launchers should take substantially longer to reactivate than to construct new ones. One hundred and seventy-seven obsolete launchers for Atlas and Titan-1 ICBM systems are distributed across the United States continent at various locations. They were all deactivated by the end of 1966.
In 1975 the Soviets' Delegation raised a question concerning the status of these launchers with respect to their potential for reactivation. According to the State Department report the United States were of the view that, as the launchers in question were obsolete and had been deactivated prior to the signing of the Interim Agreement, they were not governed by the accompanying protocol on deactivation and destruction of excess launchers. The United States provided information on their status and condition which supported the view that they could be neither activated quickly nor easily. In mid 1975 discussion on the question ceased.
Non-compliance is an issue of security, and by extension, of identity. Non-compliance threatens, not just marginal aspects of strategic stability but the image of sovereign integrity - it represents a notional potential for penetration by the Other. Such a view is predicated upon the traditional realist state-centric theory of the dyad: domestic order/international anarchy. Thus, in symbolic terms, even at the levels of overkill available in the nuclear equation, any arms control 'breakout,' no matter how marginal, represents a symbolic victory of the other, without a physical shot being fired. The same arguably holds for advances in verification technologies such as to raise the level of deterrence of noncompliance, as applied to the relationship between so-called 'Hiders' and 'Finders'.
The legal view holds that any violation of a legally binding agreement, no matter how small is still a violation in principle. This view applies, moreover, to "the application of mandatory norms" rather than to the application of what are, strictly speaking, "confidence building measures" which are not, in themselves contrary to the law.249 UNIDIR separates the verification aspect of agreements from CBMs, defining these CBMs in terms of establishing "primary obligations" - what must be done or not done [facts, data, or situations] - which are ends in themselves.
Verification, on the other hand, establishes "secondary obligations," that is, norms that operate by virtue of other norms, making verification a form of 'meta-norm' or legal norm.250 This problem has become particularly apparent with respect to so-called 'tacit understandings' in terms of the application of unilateral statements, such that a party issues a unilateral statement which, if left unchallenged by the other party, is understood to become the basis for a new behavioural norm. It is particularly in this arena that Trimble argues that "the emphasis placed on Soviet 'violations' of 'agreements' is at best highly misleading, in that the important distinction between legally binding agreements and political commitments has been muddled."251
For the purposes of analysing the legal image the distinction between legally binding agreements and political commitments is an important one. In the light of the Carter administration, and particularly the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Soviet Compliance with Certain Provisions of the 1972 SALT I Agreements and the 1979 Buchheim Briefing on SALT I Compliance, this issue emerges from the outset as highlighting the political over the strategic implications of arms control, with respect to structural ambiguities in the texts of the Agreements and with respect to the use of unilateral statements to indicate political intention.
Senator Henry Jackson stated on March 6, 1975:
... a significant part of the problem we face in assessing whether the Soviets are in compliance with the 1972 agreements is of our government's own making. By resorting to so-called unilateral statements as a device for building into the 1972 agreements limitations that could not be negotiated, the Nixon administration set the stage for the current drama of ambiguity and confusion.252
The matter was raised with specific reference to the issue of the definition of 'light' versus 'heavy' missiles. Defense Secretary James Schlesinger noted that in a unilateral statement, the US defined a heavy ICBM as one which had a volume 'significantly greater than the largest 'light' ICBM then deployed (1972) which at that time was the Soviet SS-11253. In 1972, defence Secretary Melvin Laird interpreted that statement to mean a 30% increase was construed as 'significant'. The new Soviet SS-19 ICBM was some 50% larger by volume than the SS-11. Thus the Soviets were accused of violating 'the spirit of the Agreement', in the absence of any formally agreed definition. The issue was 'resolved' in the SCC by accepting the SS-19 as the ceiling size for a 'light' ICBM.
As one of four instances of 'ambiguous' compliance254, James Schlesinger suggested that for legal purposes there should be "more specificity in the provisions and more comprehensive collateral restraints" and that the US "should not make unilateral statements in association with future agreements."255 The point he makes is that the difficulty with charging the Soviets with non-compliance is that unilateral statements are not legally binding documents. As Schlesinger points out:
... the expectations that the administration had went unfulfilled. But that is not a violation by the Soviet Union256
Schlesinger, wants to distinguish the use of unilateral statements from the treaty, thereby placing into separate realms for analysis the realm of the legal and the realm of the ongoing relationship between the parties to the treaty through ongoing arms control negotiations, which may be termed the 'political', viewing the use of unilateral statements as having sent the 'wrong' signals. As he puts it:
we had a propensity to indulge in fairly strong statements on the premise that it would put us in a position of seeming very firm, and in fact it probably turns out to indicate its reverse.257
What seems to be at issue here is the degree of focus and intended outcome or purpose of arms control agreements and their associated texts. Those in the SCC negotiating community, and many in the arms control community at large support the view that arms control agreements are merely (albeit important) staging points in an ongoing process. This view in fact appears to have been dominant in the formation of the arms control 'epistemic community' from Ford to Carter, especially throughout the SALT I negotiation process.258
The legal view is primarily document-based and event-driven. Whilst, tactically important, such a view is limited and tends to neglect the broader political context - the raison d'etre of arms control itself. As Lowenthal and Wit point out, treaties are commonly thought of as the 'end product of a process' - the 'conclusion of a negotiation'259 whereas this view holds for the majority of treaties, arms control treaties (among others as for example environmental emissions treaties) require ongoing and constant supervision. As Lowenthal and Wit state: In the case of arms control agreements, the actual signing and enactment of treaties are largely transition points in the negotiations.260
From the latter part of the Carter administration, the political stakes of verification were raised,261 from those of deterring or detecting treaty violations, and strengthening domestic support for arms control, to a point where this issue has risen into virtual opposition to the broader aims of arms control.
Nevertheless the view held consistently by the SALT negotiators and the US SCC delegations has emphasised the ongoing nature of arms control - seen in terms of an ongoing process rather than as a dispersed set of completed treaty negotiations.
Henry Kissinger makes this point with respect to the distinction to be drawn between the legal view and the 'confidence-building' view:
...the two countries have a unique opportunity right now to move into an entirely different relationship of building additional trusts. If it turns out that through legalistic interpretations of provisions that - through failing to specify the numbers about which we have absolutely no doubt as to our interpretation, and which are hereby reaffirmed. If it should turn out that these numbers are being challenged in any significant way at all, then this would cast a doubt. It would not only threaten disagreement, but it would threaten the whole basis of this new relationship which I have described. [sic]262
The view of the SCC (established to oversee the SALT treaties) hinges on the concept of adequate verification: that is, on the ability to detect violations of "such a magnitude as to modify the nuclear balance... in time to make an appropriate response."263 One of its key assumptions is that the emphasis rests on the relationship between the Parties rather than on the treaties themselves - that militarily significant non-compliance would reduce the confidence-building function of the arms control process. This is underlined by Sydney Graybeal in his testimony on Soviet compliance with SALT I, where he stresses the importance of raising issues relating to compliance questions as an aspect of maintaining the relationship between the parties:
There must be a will to raise compliance questions or ambiguous situations as soon as we have our facts straight. The viability of any arms control agreement requires early clarification of compliance questions. Raising and clarifying such issues contributes to the confidence in the agreement. Deferring or delaying adds suspicions and uncertainties and could encourage the Soviets to test our will and and our intelligence capabilities even more.264
Here, the legal provisions represent the currency of interaction between the US and the Soviet Union. Implicit in this statement is that both action and inaction hold consequences - each, subject to interpretation - which, in Coral Bell's terms constitute a mode of 'signalling'. Clearly something is communicated by action or inaction on questions concerning compliance. Moreover, this 'something' is communicated along a minimum of three directions: US Domestic polity, US Officialdom and to the Soviet Union, setting up perceptions in each of these realms. Assuming the Soviet Officialdom represents the only operative perception on that side, the Soviet perception is taken to be undifferentiated. Classical signalling theory might grid this as follows:
|US (Domestic)||US (Official)||Soviet Union|
[the] US insistence on legalistic defenses can be self-defeating if sufficient account is not taken of the political context within which strategic arms control negotiations are conducted.265
This point is borne out by Joseph Kruzel, who stresses the problems engendered by overemphasising formal negotiations and in particular, formal agreements which attempt to buy security with the establishment of precise and formal limitations on military hardware, in his terms:
arms control may have been impeded by too mechanistic a view of the process266
which he sees as "an effort to give coherence and structure to an interstate relationship that involves the risk of war."267
This is borne out in the military posture documents268 in which capability is closely linked with assumptions about intention and about a binary world order. Examples of this can be found in the US Military Posture document for FY 1978 in which the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General George S. Brown refers in his introduction to "the continuing challenges to our national security." He refers to these as having been "brought about by the increasing capability of the Soviet Union and other nations to project their national power and influence and the growing dependency of the United States on the rest of the world." Here, intention, equated with the ability to project 'national power' articulated as military force, portrayed in the report in terms of a direct comparison of weapon system for weapon system, is one indication of a perception of the Soviet Union as monolithic. In another sense this document further demonstrates the US military tendency towards 'mirror imaging' of force posture. That is, to match the Soviets on a system by system basis with little demonstrated regard for the different foreign policy goals of the two named powers. Such a view is reflected in the Statement of John T. Hughes to the House Committee on Armed Services (December 1975)and many others.
This stands in contrast with the more sophisticated declaratory position of the US as articulated by Amos A. Jordan, Principal Assistant Secretary of Defence, International Security Affairs, Department of Defence during the same hearings. As he put it:
We are talking about an art, not a science. We are talking about a relationship that has many dimensionsÉ Any statement about American military policy, is to some degree a statement about the role the United States will play in world affairs. This is true not only in the sense that the policies unsupported by means court failure; but also in the sense that other states will condition their actions and policies upon their anticipation of US actions, anticipations which, in turn, reflect their estimates of the ability of the US to act.269
This is double-edged insofar as there is a perception of the US role in world affairs, such that either action or inaction will send signals (construe signs) that are the subject of interpretation at the interstate and intra-state levels - and therefore any policies which affect defence spending in quantity or direction will to some degree alter:
As Amos Jordan noted:
program decisions which affect our military capabilities determine not only our ability to influence events, but to some degree the need to do so as well.270
Given that these program decisions are based upon perceptions and assumptions regarding the foreign policy objectives of [principally] the Soviet Union, these decisions, which in themselves are discursively based, become, in turn, constitutive of the world as seen by the US military administrators. This is a world in which the Soviet Union is seen as "clearly the focus of our national security concerns" by posing the "primary military political and economic challenge" against which the US must "protect US interests" while seeking to "lessen the danger of war."271 The mirror-imaging of the US-SU dyad can be illustrated by the note of emphasis implicit in the statement that:
"It is evident that the Soviet leadership sees no inconsistency between calling for a relaxation of international tensions and simultaneously increasing its military capabilities. In fact Moscow appears to view its increased military capabilities as the foundation of such a policy."272
The tone of surprise indicated by selecting as a 'marked option' the phrase: "sees no inconsistency" [as though they should in the US' view] and through the emphasis created by the use of "in fact" and "appears to view its increased capabilities as the foundation of such a policy" [as though logically it should not] bears interesting comparison with the US perception of itself as indicated in the statement:
Our policy is a two-track policy, which seeks to relax tensions, largely through the medium of arms control; while at the same time that we pursue a policy of preparedness in an effort to buttress the policy of dtente and to hedge against the failure. [emphasis mine].273
by which the US statement of its own policy appears to differ only in its presentation through an apparently 'neutral' language which treats as positive its "two-track policy" [as against Soviet 'inconsistency'] and its euphemistic "preparedness," "buttress," and "hedge against failure" as thin substitutes for increased military capabilities. It is hard to see where the one set of behaviours differs in any significant way from the other.
There is a difference, however, and that is a difference in the use of language which highlights similar behaviours as articulations of difference. What is 'neutral' for 'us' is a marked option for 'them'. This is an instance of boundary-making practices that mark off self from other and in the process adds to the other boundary making processes that go together to construe and delimit identity. In this case it marks off the identity of the US security state from that of the Soviet Union.
Despite James Schlesinger's 1975 274 reservations, it should be kept in mind that of the eight compliance issues raised by the US in 1978 (see Table 3.4), not one was considered, by the US delegation to the SALT SCC, to be an unequivocal violation of the SALT Agreements.
To correlate better, events in the SCC with wider aspects of Carter's foreign policymaking, it may be useful to divide the period in question into four sections roughly correlated with the four years of the Carter presidency. Before doing that, however, an interesting general point may be gleaned from looking at the period in question in terms of the agreements produced through the SCC in relation to other periods.
In the seven years between 1969, when the idea of the SCC was first put forward and 1976, four agreements were produced. During the period from 1977-1980 inclusive, three agreements were produced - a rate nearly double that of the previous seven years. From 1980-1985 no agreements were produced, with two formal agreements finally achieved in June 1985. While this may be a small point, it serves to illustrate the usefulness of examining the SCC as a barometer of political change and at the same time, it underlines the political nature of the arms control process. Carter came to power in January 1977, inheriting a SALT I agreement and ongoing negotiations for SALT II, which were, in the words of Melvin Laird "90 percent complete."275 During his four years in office he turned around the steady decline in defence spending, mounting an average three percent increase in real dollar terms each year that he was in office.
Moreover he moved resources into non-nuclear modernisation programs, the MX was given a 'survivable' basing mode, new Trident submarines were built, nuclear response doctrine was modernised (Countervailing Strategy ), new emphasis was placed on arms control through SALT II, he encouraged NATO to develop a new Long Term Defence Plan, he upgraded the Long Range Theatre Nuclear Forces and he countered the Soviet development of the SSÑ20 in 1979 with the decision to deploy 572 Pershing II and Ground-Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs) in concert with arms control talks on the possibilities for limiting these weapons.276
While emphasising conventional forces in the Carter defence appropriations, the Carter administration set about reversing the generally downward trend in US defence expenditure precipitated by the end of the Vietnam War. This was in full recognition of the scale of the Soviet defence buildup:
there is no evidence from past history that unilateral reductions in our posture will produce Soviet reciprocity. An important function of our various arms control negotiations is precisely to achieve equitable and verifiable mutual reductions without undue risk. ...The steady real increase in the size of the Soviet defence program since the early 1960s, and the concurrent decline in real US baseline outlays (defined as outlays which exclude the incremental costs of war in Southeast Asia), mean that we have a certain amount of catching up to do.277
All of which tends to run counter to the charges of 'failure' in military/strategic terms of "maintaining prospects for peace, and in maintaining Western ascendancy in the overall balance of power."278 Carter's failure in this respect, if one needed to be found, was not in the reality of the force posture, but in the image with which he campaigned prior to his presidency, of lowering military expenditure by restructuring the military force posture to take account of threat assessments that suggested a new emphasis on conventional forces.279
The Reaganaut critique of Carter rested largely on quantitative analyses of strategic nuclear forces alone, rather than looking at the overall force posture. This will be analysed in subsequent chapters.
3.6 The Importance of Being Fuzzy: The Politics of Treaty Language
Sydney Graybeal, discussing the treaty language of SALT, considers the question of precision. He points out that while it is essential to have clear and mutually agreed definitions of treaty limited items in order to maintain the viability of an agreement and to avoid misunderstandings, he warns of the problems of being too specific.
Firstly, he suggests that too much specificity can "invite the other side to design around the limitations"280 pointing out that by leaving some of the language general then greater flexibility is permitted in challenging the activities of the other side. He cites the phrases: "not to test in an ABM mode" and "deliberate concealment measures" which impede verification by national technical means as examples. In the latter case, with respect to the telemetry question, the phrase; not only allowed flexibility in challenge, but was important in relation to the protection of sources and methods of verification.
Secondly, and this arises from the aspect of the protection of sources and methods of verification, general language allows the arms control process to cope with technological innovation, both with respect to the question of 'designing around' treaty limitations, but also with respect to improvements in verification technologies. Over-specificity of treaty items invokes the problem of 'observable difference'. Knowing what is observable can reveal much about the methods of data collection, and again invite the other to design around such technologies of observation. Graybeal goes on to point out that such deliberate 'vagueness' leaves the U.S. "in a better position to challenge future Soviet actions of concern" than if they had "tried to get a very specific definition of 'deliberate concealment measures' or to determine precisely what telemetry data or channels are necessary for monitoring the agreement and must not be denied the other side."281
His point is that the element of indeterminacy surrounding the ability to determine compliance raises the risk/cost of being caught if cheating should be contemplated. In this sense, Graybeal argues that uncertainty of the precision of the monitoring technologies is itself a deterrent to cheating.
Mark Lowenthal and Joel Wit underline this, pointing out that when the U.S. presents a case to the Soviets at the SCC it is always "very careful about the evidence it presents, always trying to preserve intelligence sources and methods so as to keep the Soviets uncertain about what we know and what we do not know and how the information was obtained."282
This illustrates the point that Foucault makes regarding the operation of power, namely that it is 'tolerable only on condition that it mask a substantial part of itself. Its success is proportional to its ability to hide its own mechanisms.'283 It is, in part, the doubt about the extent and precision of verification technologies that, arguably, contributes to the operation of such technologies as a deterrent to large-scale cheating, along with a reluctance on both sides to precipitate a wholesale breakout and consequent costly arms race. Ironically perhaps, the doubt over the precision of verification technologies is itself made possible by the virtual impossibility of total accuracy in the verification technologies themselves and in the technical and discursive means by which the technical evidence is interpreted.
SIPRI further supports this view, referring to the requirement for confidentiality with respect to national technical means of verification and their efficiency, accuracy, resolution and so on: The theory behind this requirement is that the prospective violator, being verified by unknown means, is likely to ascribe to those means capabilities greater than they possess, and is thus deterred to a greater extent from violating the agreement.284
3.7 Verification Technologies, Compliance and Power: Disciplining the Boundaries
The game of 'Hiders and Finders' is a game of power played out at the level of verification technologies between bilateral or multilateral parties to arms control agreements. It is a game, this section argues, that along with other defence and security practices, is coterminous with structures of political identity, forming one of the myriad practices by which a state polices its boundaries and underscores the political costs of cheating in such a way as to deter the 'Other' power from circumventing the terms of an arms control agreement. Insofar as this entails the ability of one state to influence another, positively, verification technologies can be conceived in terms of power.
Moreover, insofar as they operate through the ability of that state to 'know' the other, verification technologies can be analysed in terms of what Michel Foucault calls 'power/knowledge.' This section is therefore not so much an exploration or survey of the technologies of verification, nor is it about power per se but rather it is about the equiprimordiality of verification technologies and the forms of power which they invoke and which invoke them.
The impetus for the development of these technologies rests with the dual nature of the arms control process, that is, to reduce the danger/cost of war and to maintain stability. As Brodie pointed out in his now famous statement: "Thus far the chief purpose of our military establishment has been to win wars. From now its chief purpose must be to avert them."285 With this classic reversal of the Clausewitzian formula of war conceived as an instrument of policy,286 nuclear weapons have become a symbol for the emergence of the Postmodern world.287
This has been brought about, partly through the nuclear problematisation of the traditional exercise of power, and partly through the 'calling into being' of new regimes of articulating political boundaries that have involved, in part the development of unchallengable means of transgressing political boundaries through the instruments of photoreconnaissance satellite technology and signals intelligence (SIGINT). It has also been predicated upon the constitution of new forms and regimes of knowledge through the establishment of corps of analysts invoking an expertise in photointerpretation. With the advent of what has been described as the 'epistemic transformation'288 of the face of modern political identity, the meaning of power itself has become radically problematised. In deconstructing power as classically defined, it might be useful to step back to a re-examination of the teleological orientation of power. That is, to examine power conceived as the power to enact boundaries, power as sets of practices arraigned within and policing the boundaries of forms of knowledge, forms of life. At which point, power becomes coterminous with knowledge.
With the development of increasingly sophisticated national technical means of verification (NTMs), since the early 1960s, such an analysis of power might usefully serve to raise the question of the operation of verification articulated as a form of deterrence. The question of whence comes the power to deter treaty violations, remains problematic. Foucault frames the connection between power and knowledge on the grounds that they are mutually constitutive:
Power produces knowledge (and not simply by encouraging it because it serves power or by applying it because it is useful); that power and knowledge directly imply one another; that there is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not pre-suppose and constitute at the same time power relations289
Verification technologies, by pin-pointing the Other within a field of observation, establish a field of knowledge about the activities of the Other.290 With a history of repeated observations then deviations from established 'norms' of behaviour can be readily registered and thereby brought to account. The targeting of these observations upon activities that are functionally related to compliance with arms control agreements presupposes both a pre-constituted field of knowledge established by those precursor activities that established the arms control treaty regime in the first instance, and the forms of normative power that led to these agreements and which maintain them.
3.72 Disciplinary Power and Verification Technologies
To discuss the technologies of arms control verification articulated as a form of power, it is useful to look at verification under the rubric of 'disciplinary power'. Foucault isolates three forms of disciplinary power, each interrelated as we shall see. These are :
This signifies the connection between visibility and power, such that not only does an apparatus designed for observation induce effects of power, but also that a means of coercion291 makes those subject to it potentially visible. In this, the Other is constituted by the means to isolate and identify, and, further, the operation of deterrence depends upon making visible that 'Other' so construed. Thus, a politics conceived as the power to coerce is also a politics of identity and identity formation.
Foucault takes the example of a military camp as an illustrative model articulated through the operation of a principle of 'general visibility.'292 Such an observational regime can be seen to have organised and arranged space to facilitate observation of those within, and by rendering people visible, it in turn made it possible to know them and to mould them. As Richard Barnett noted in 1981: "The US-Soviet rivalry will continue. The identity of each system depends too much upon its opposition to the other to permit anything more than antagonistic collaboration between the superpowers."293 The technologies for making-visible the Other, are best characterised by the surveillance technologies used in National Technical Means (NTMs) of verification in which we can note some parallels with, for example, the operational limitations of sweep-areas of surveillance satellites:
U.S. and Soviet photographic reconnaissance satellites, orbiting at altitudes of between 200 and 500Kms are equipped with wide-angle cameras for area survey work, whilst close-look cameras are designed for detailed inspection of features of interest. Typically, these have been locii of military significance. These 'close-look' satellites have been estimated to obtain resolutions in the order of 10-15cms on the ground under favourable conditions.294 These however, relying on visible light, have been typically unable to penetrate fog, haze, smoke, cloud or rain. Given Europe's weather, the limitations of this system become obvious.
To offset these difficulties, other technologies have been developed and deployed, including Thermal imaging sensors (better penetration but at the expense of much lower resolution in the order of 10-15 metres) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites which are reported to
achieve "probably" 1.5-3 metres resolution295 (with the potential for achieving resolutions of around 1Êmetre296 sometime in the next decade). Although both the U.S. and Soviet photoreconnaissance satellites are manoeuvrable, two further difficulties confront the so-called close-look satellites.
The first, now largely overcome through electro-photographic technologies, was the time-lag between obtaining photographs and their secure delivery (the choice was either to wait for satellite re-entry or to have the films ejected in re-entry capsules, representing a delay of several days, down to several hours depending on the option taken, a third option, used on the U.S. KH-11 satellite and since, was to use electrophotographic techniques to produce high quality video pictures which could be transmitted directly to ground stations.
With the advent of the U.S. KH-11 satellite, the use of CCDs [Charge-Coupled Device] give high quality imaging in real-time (without shutters) which, when used in conjunction with photomultipliers can use low-intensity light for night use, (and with different scanners can also 'see' in invisible wave bands); and the short life-span of low-orbit close-look satellites (by effectively skimming the highest levels of the atmosphere, the rate of orbital decay is rapid - around 8-14 days unless manoeuvered to a higher orbit).
A further point to make is that any non-geosynchronous satellite will only pass over a given object periodically. The paths of such satellites are easily tracked and therefore the length of time between observations is predictable (with the potential for evasive concealment of treaty-limited items [TLI]). To counter this, since 1981, at least two KH 11 satellites have been in orbit at any given time297. This would mean that the frequency of observation of any given area is increased - with one satellite the interval between observations is approximately 92 minutes, whereas with two or more satellites, this frequency would be increased depending on the relative positions of the orbital planes.
A further consideration is that, with spaced orbits, more of the Earth's surface is covered at the same time.298 To supplement these systems, and to provide continuous, low-resolution surveillance, geosynchronous satellites (such as the U.S. 'Rhyolite') are able to detect the nuclear 'flash' produced by tests, but their primary role lies in intercepting telemetry, from missile tests. The technology of course is only one side of the material ability to look at and to define the other. The data from these satellites - the images themselves, operating at the very limits of the technically visible - is itself not unambiguous. The data requires interpretation as the satellites themselves represent mere extensions to human sight, and human intelligence is required to make sense of and provide meaning for the contents of the images. This brings us into another domain of policy, one that feeds into the SCC in terms of the provision of evidence for non-compliance activities.299
Tied into the technical apparatus (itself the product of a finance and resource economy within an international political economy) is an economy of discourse, the product of specialised knowledges, which forms a context and a methodology in and with which the satellite images can be interpreted.
This ability to 'see' and 'hear' the Other illustrates well the capacity for the sort of disciplinary power available in the process of 'objectifying' the other. The Soviets, of course, have their comparable systems of space-based photoreconnaissance satellites. Since the Soviets' first and second-generation photoreconnaissance satellites were launched in 1962-3, based on the Vostok and Soyuz launch platforms, Soviet satellite technology has developed rapidly. Joined by a third generation in 1968, (non-manoeuverable) low-resolution satellites continued regular operations until 1985.
Medium resolution satellites, characterised by the regularity of their manoeuvres, typically conduct fourteen-day missions during which time they obtain complete global coverage, before the satellite is recovered. Fourth-generation close-look and area survey satellites began operations in 1975 and 1981 respectively. The first long-life fifth-generation satellite was launched towards the end of 1982. Whilst fourth-generation satellites offer limited-term missions, extended duration satellites, powered by solar panels, possibly transmit their information digitally, relayed by geosynchronous data relay satellites.
This ability to 'see' and 'hear' the other constitutes a realm of knowledge deployed as a form of power. Insofar as such technologies have been deployed to verify particular types of arms control agreement (ABM Treaty, for example), and insofar as the deployment of these technologies (regimes of the 'gaze') represent a deterrent to the breaking of arms control agreements, such deployment can be seen as an articulation of disciplinary power.
To maintain these structures of 'other-ness definition' requires a series of supports or relays which take the form of a hierarchy of continuous and functional surveillance (which, in the case of photoreconnaissance satellites has potentially been available since 1977).
Potentially. As Florini301 points out, no amount of satellite imaging can be completely sufficient. To be useful, collateral information is needed from the ground to target the imaging systems and to interpret the data once received. The Command, control, communication and information (C3I) hierarchy would seem to support this function particularly well, although, for some specific purposes, other organisations involved in the verification of specific agreements, such as the IAEA Safeguards Committee, can be seen to occupy the same discursive position. Such specialised agencies can be useful for certain types of Agreement, as their infrastructure is suited to the particular demands of their brief. Another reason for the limited utility of satellite imaging alone lies in the sheer quantity of data generated by these systems, that "would simply overwhelm the processing and interpretive capabilities of their operators." 302.
Given the extent to which the SCC's ability to raise issues is intertextually dependant upon the evidential information provided by the intelligence community it is worthwhile to take a short excursus into the ways in which the intelligence analysts themselves are trained within their specific field of knowledge, or regime of truth.
The constitution of a domain of surveillance/monitoring as a disciplinary practice is particularly relevant to the function of the SCC insofar as it calls upon and invokes the institutionalising of new forms of knowledge, expertise, and interpretive challenges. I shall examine therefore some of the modes and practices within which such knowledges are produced and contextualised. The evidence used by the SCC is primarily that of photointelligence (PHOTINT) and electronic signals intelligence (ELINT) the latter relating to the acquisition of telemetry data on the testing of missiles. By examining the organisational and training processes of the photo-interpreters one can understand in part how their analyses become constituted as a form of knowledge that in turn becomes a basis for compliance challenge within the SCC.
There are two aspects to this: the structure and organisation of the institutions in which intelligence analysis takes place and the interpretive practices themselves. Both are of course, interrelated, but for the purposes of analysis it is useful to separate these out in order to specify better, the relationship between the interpretive practices themselves and the dissemination of the products of these practices into the wider discursive economy of the arms control community as a subset of the security state.
Moreover, by specifying the relationship between the interpretive practices and the dissemination of their products, it becomes possible to specify the role of the supporting institutions which form the context in which the SCC can operate as a space for the playing out of the contestation of political identity. It forms, in other words, a boundary space in which the notion of boundary is itself contested and negotiated as an aspect of the relations between states (in this case the US and the Soviet Union).
Photo-interpreters are trained to make assumptions based on association and orders of probability. Their data is based on repetition and accumulation, that is, it is based on frequent and routine observation of the routine practices of the one under observation. As a result, photo-interpreters become skilled at observing and interpreting changes in routine.303 The not unreasonable assumption behind this is that command organisations - especially the military - base their operations on routine practices and procedures. To do otherwise would lead to inefficiency. On that basis, if the routines are known then these can be used by the analyst to make assumptions about the intentions of the observed. Moreover, if the styles of routine are known and these are noted in non-routine places then the photo-interpreter makes assumptions about what is occurring in the new location.
The analysis itself involves the process of locating, recognising, identifying, and describing objects, activities, and terrain represented on images. The quality of the product of imagery analysis, imagery intelligence, is subject to a number of variables, including: sensor coverage, the availability and quality of image enhancement facilities, the time available and the abilities of the analyst.304 Photo-interpreters are guided in their 'reading' or identification of images by 'the five S's': "size, shape, shadow, shade, and surrounding objects."305 Thus objects are located in terms of their placement within the environment and the repetition of general forms establishes recognisable patterns.306 PHOTINT is supported and deployed by and through a bureaucratic and institutional process. This process is sometimes referred to as the 'intelligence cycle.' Briefly, this cycle of activities represents an information flow-chart that may be entered at several points.
Although clearly an oversimplification it serves to illustrate the kinds of stages through which intelligence (and such verification monitoring as is conducted by the intelligence community) passes. The length and sequence of the cycle varies, but there are fairly clearly defined points at which there is an interface between the intelligence community and the policymakers who rely on the information. Within this cycle there may be many sub-routines at each step before the 'product' is passed on to the next segment of the cycle. Arthur Hulnick307 is quick to point out that, while some parts of the process do work sequentially, others are more or less autonomous and therefore "the process might be best understood as a matrix of interconnected parts, rather than a simple sequence of connected functions."308 Such gilding of the lily should not, however, be allowed to cloud the point that these tasks, however schematised, are widely accepted as the principal parts of the traditional view of the intelligence process or cycle.
In the context of arms control verification, these processes are reflected in the processes used to determine compliance or non-compliance, (or more precisely the degree of compliance). With the signing of an arms control agreement, the 'initialising function' has commenced, in that, since the SALT I agreements, the verification requirements have been, in broad terms, defined. The 'tasking function' is two-fold, that of continuous low intensity monitoring, and that of specific, short-term confirmatory missions, based either upon anomalies revealed by area-sweep surveillance that requires closer inspection, or from collateral information that suggests the occurrence of non-compliant behaviour, that requires closer inspection. Thus the practical distinctions between the intelligence gathering processes and the verification process are often interconnected.
Krass points out that the monitoring process itself often begins with the gathering of data, or 'collection function' involving activities as general as reading the scientific journals of the 'other' country and as specific as photographing specific military installations by satellite. Collection, too, then is bifurcated into the more or less distinct processes of surveillance and reconnaissance. Krass defines these activities in these terms: Surveillance is the systematic observation of some place or activity on a continuous or periodical basis.É In contrast, reconnaissance is carried out in the form of missions or ad hoc activities, generally aimed at a specific objective which has for some reason attracted attention. For example high-resolution photographic satellites only take pictures when ordered or programmed to do so from the ground. The areas photographed are chosen for their particular interest at a particular time.309 In the pre-interpretive stage the basic data is processed and assembled into an analysable form: photographic images are enhanced by a range of techniques to assist photo-interpreters, raw data from infra-red sensors must be processed into digital data that computers can use to determine temperature, speed, location and altitude of an infra-red 'event' and so on. This sub-stage can take place as an aspect of the collection phase or the analysis phase, or more properly, during both, since computer image enhancement can be performed in near real time by the photo-interpreter using a range of screening techniques.310
We have seen some of the work processes and assumptions that underpin photo-interpretation. What remains to be added here is that throughout the 1980s developments in information processing technologies have taken some of the routine repetition/recognition work away from the human interpreter, allowing far greater quantities of information to be processed automatically, flagging variations from statistical norms.
Evaluation, or identification of events as to whether or not they constitute a violation is the phase in which the overtly political assessments are made. Up to this point much of the work would have been performed by members of the intelligence community. At the evaluation stage, the intelligence product is distributed for consideration by the Intelligence Community Steering Group on Monitoring Strategic Arms Limitations. Here, information from other sources is brought to bear on a suspected violation, as a single source of information, even with considerable technical enhancement is rarely unambiguous.
SALT verification, as Robert F. Pfalzgraff Jr suggests, is, along with definitions of what constitutes 'adequate verification':
... both a political and technical issue, as well as an intelligence problem... the degree of verifiability is a domestic political issue ... [and] to a certain extent, verification adequacy is subjective in nature.311
Verification and its political counterpart, compliance, is thus at the intersection of a range of discursive practices - the technical, the intelligence analysis community and the security dimension of the executive political community that institutionalises the 'security state'.
The Intelligence Community's312 monitoring information is considered by the office of the Executive Secretary/Deputy Executive Secretary (see Fig. 2.1 in Chapter II) along with inputs from the Organisation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the SCC Working Group of the National Security Council Special Coordinating Committee, the Office of the Secretary of Defence, the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the Department of State. But the end-point of this process, as Krass notes, is that, despite the best efforts at identification of a suspicious event, the result will be "some probability" that the event represents a violation.313 To complicate matters further, the human factor in intelligence analysis has its part to play. Not the least of which is that, not only is the data often ambiguous to a greater or lesser extent (either through technical imperfections, or, more commonly, hard evidence of activity and no clear explanation as to the meaning of such activity), but such intelligence can be based upon preconceived notions (a product of rigourous and routine training) that may be reinforced by the analyst's desire to please a superior.
Perhaps more problematic is the tendency to present intelligence estimates that run few risks of being wrong.314 Such a tendency provides the policymaker with estimates that are unhelpful as guides to clear policy formation, or in the case of arms control issues, no clear answer to the question 'have they been cheating?' The form of power, thus realised, is neither a possession, nor a property, but rather, "has the character of a machine through which power is produced and individuals are distributed in a permanent and continuous field." 315 The field in which is distributed the Other state, the other object of security, with its boundaries similarly 'SPOT-lighted', involves the opening up to a whole regime of inspection the security artefacts of the other, by which its boundaries are policed with gestures of nuclear deterrent threat,316 so that the now-objectified subject may yield forth the symptoms of its growths - defined in terms of any attempt to break out of the treaty regime.
Discursively, these modalities of observation are inscribed and legitimated through non-interference clauses reified in arms control treaties since the ABM Treaty (1972), where article XII states:
These non-interference clauses represent the codifying and legitimating of national technical means (NTM) in law.
3.722 International Norms/Normalising Judgement
For Foucault, the 'normalising judgement' is the "infra-penalty" or "extra-legal penalty" exercised over a mass of behaviours which police the boundaries, or the liminal regions of the agreements. This form of disciplinary power was arguably exercised to extraordinary lengths during the Reagan era at the height of the second Cold War. This time was regarded by arms control historians318 as the period of the "compliance crisis." Normalising judgement, as the second arm of disciplinary power, may be seen in essentially institutional terms, invoking the rhetoric of a 'society of states', the 'international community of states', or 'common security'.
The punitive mechanisms of normalising judgement; to be judged "not good international citizens"; to be judged "not sharing the burden," or pulling one's weight, are expressions of the 'correctional aspects of disciplinary power.' The object, in this instance is to 'single out' instances of 'non-conformity' within a normative structure, or system.319
The goal of these correctional aspects of disciplinary power is therefore, neither "expiation" nor "repression," but "normalization."320 Within regimes of verification, the disciplinary mode refers to modalities of "non observance." It is measured by the degree of departure from the rule. Thus, errors of omission become subject to disciplinary penance - increased surveillance, greater attention to records, closer monitoring of signals and so on through a whole range of diplomatic modalities.
These regimes address themselves, not to larger concerns of concept or principle, but with the letter of the regulation. Krass321 sees this as characteristic of the "legalistic school" which sees all violations as important even if these are not seen to be militarily significant. The reasoning behind this view is political, since rigorous adherence to all the provisions of a treaty is "an important measure of the goodwill and trustworthiness of the Parties."322
The normalising judgement is addressed to matters of procedure - the methods of counting, the types of seals or tags, the notificatory procedures for testing, or time limits during on-site inspections. Under the INF inspection regime, for example, the Treaty specifies that "an inspector's movement will be at the discretion of, and under the escort of the inspected parties." This means that the inspectors are escorted at all times, such that billeting, transportation, inspection activities, meals and leisure time is closely supervised.323 In other words, for a state to open its borders to disciplinary boundary penetration, that state may set up a special boundary, surveilling the surveillors. The state is subject to institutional gaze, whilst retaining a token power of subjecting the individually sanctioned medium of the gaze (the inspection team) to the institutional gaze of the state.
The discourses of policy are characterised by multiplicity, complexity and uncertainty. The authoritative ordering of these forms of life, the policing of the boundaries of 'acceptable' international behaviour has been the principle of political life. The establishment of the Normal thus remains a "principle of coercion."324 By mobilising a constitutive discourse of political community in the international realm, through imputing membership to the 'community of nations' the disciplinary gaze also sets up tables of rank and hierarchy: constituting a field of knowledge, and situating states within that field. The Euro-centricity of this normalising field of relations is well recognised in articulations of "Core-Periphery" status, or "third-World" status. Moreover, this is clear, too, in the field of US - Soviet relations, with respect to their strategic 'superpower' status. In this sense then:
...the power of normalisation imposes homogeneity; but it individualises by making it possible to measure gaps, to determine levels to fix specialities and to render the differences useful by fitting them one to another. It is easy to understand how the power of the norm functions within a system of formal equality, since within a homogeneity that is the rule, the norm introduces as a useful imperative and as a result of measurement, all the shading of individual differences.325
Thus the discursive equality of states under international law allows distinctions to remain and gaps to be measured, not only in terms of structural economic imbalances, but also in terms of access to technology transfers and access to control of techno-strategic regimes of surveillance. This, moreover, is inclusive of the question of access to national technical means of verification, leaving open the question of verification as an aspect of the constitutional processes of security and identity, namely, those of interiority and exteriority.
Hierarchical observation and normalising judgement may be said to combine under the rubric of examination to effect a 'normalising gaze'. In its techno-strategic form it constitutes "a surveillance that makes it possible to qualify, classify and punish."326 It is a process by which the behaviours of individual states can be classified or judged within the terms of specific Treaty Articles. Articulated as a regime of discipline, this cuts two ways: 1) through the subjection of those who are perceived as objects, and 2) as the objectification of those who are subjected. That is to say, that:
i) these mechanisms operate to ensure that the Parties to an agreement abide by the agreement and ii) it forms a way of reducing the domestic polity of the Other state to a discursive entity known as a 'Party' to an agreement, thus forming or playing a constitutive role in identifying self as opposed to those others by which the self forms its boundaries. In short these form devices for "disciplining the plurality of the discourses of policy."327 The operation of the disciplinary forces of verification conceived as examination occur within three fields. These involve:
ii) Traditional conceptions of power were measured in terms of the visible use of force - the deployment of weapons, expeditionary task forces - by which the principle of its force lay in the physical deployment of that force. Its power lay in the expenditure of its potency through mass exercises and display. Other indices of power included 'resources' - economic strength, demographic cohesion, political stability and so on.
Disciplinary power, on the other hand is exercised precisely through its invisibility, whilst at the same time imposing visibility on those whom it seeks to subject. In the context of the deployment of NTMs there is a cautionary note: Insofar as disciplinary power operates by its very invisibility, certain kinds of marginal infringement of Treaty limited items detected by certain kinds of surveillance technology may go unreported since, to expose the infringement may well reveal something of the capabilities of the technologies used in the detection of the infringement. Thus, in this sense, the disciplining side is also to a certain extent constrained by its disciplinary technologies of surveillance.
iii) The regimes of verification each and together generate data, an entire archive of texts, photographs, seismic traces, signals recordings, reports etc which constitutes a table, or field of knowledge, situating a range of practices across time. The examination locates the Other (constituted as a State) in a textual network of definition, identification and location designed to capture and fix the other within a regime of treaty limitations to bind and limit the development, testing or deployment of specific weapons systems or classes of weapon system. The effect of this is to fix the other, the individual State within a web of power relations. The collation of these records into databases allows two other possibilities:
iv) The constitution of individual sovereign states as individual cases, through the mechanisms of arms control agreements, and instances of inspection, articulates states as objects for a branch of knowledge and as the recipient of a 'branch of power.'329 No longer can these practices of observation be seen as merely descriptive of a state of affairs, but rather, they seem more appropriately conceived as among the myriad practices which are constitutive of the political identity of those states themselves, hence, for example, the particularity of the bilateral relationship between the US and the Soviet Union. The rapid development of verification techniques, effectively lowers the threshold of what may be described and observed. Such settings allow for the verification of an increasingly wider range of weapons, at far earlier stages in their development or production, where in the past, such weapons could only be detected upon deployment. This may be exemplified in the photoreconnaissance resolution requirements for the detection of specific treaty violations as shown in Table 3.6
|Target [a]||Detect'n [b]||Gen ID [c]||Precise ID [d]||Descrptn[e]||Tech Anal[f]|
|Troop Units (in bivouac/or road)||6||2||1.2||0.3||0.15|
|Rockets & Artillery||1||0.6||0.15||0.05||0.045|
|Missile Sites (SSM/SAM)||3||1.5||0.6||0.3||0.045|
|Nuclear Weapon components||2.5||1.5||0.3||0.03||0.045|
|Coasts, Landing Beaches||15-30||4.5||3||1.5||0.15|
|Rail yards & shops||15-30||15||6||1.5||0.4|
Notes: a. Minimum resolution in metres required to detect target.
b. Detection: location of class of units/object/activity of military interest.
c. General Identification: to determine general type.
d. Precise Identification: Discrimination within known target type.
e. Description: Size/dimension/configuration/layout/components.
construction/equipment count /etc.
f. Technical analysis: Detailed analysis of specific equipment.
The examination, - the fixing, at once ritual and 'scientific', of individual differences, as the pinning down of each individual in his [sic] own particularity, clearly indicates the appearance of a new modality of power in which each individual receives as his [sic] status his own individuality, and in which he is linked by his status to the features, the measurements, the gaps, the 'marks' that characterise him and make him a [sic]'case'.331
Thus verification establishes, not only an 'architecture' of observation, but also a locus for the production of knowledge about those under observation. Insofar as the means of observation, and the knowledges produced by those means represent a form of power crucial to an understanding of the formation of political subjectivity/identity.
Deterrence theory has focused on the threat of nuclear weapons and on the scale of their effects should they ever be used again in war. Arms control regimes such as the SALT have attempted to systematically reduce the dangers of accidental warfare, and to maintain a gulf between so-called 'conventional weapons' and nuclear weapons. That is, to engage in a constructive form of boundary-making between the regime of conventional warfare and that of nuclear warfare. Verification measures have been put in place to address the problem of maintaining 'national security' in the face of weapon-system limitations and reductions. Little, however, has been done to interrogate the term 'national security' itself. As R.B.J. Walker notes:
Global patterns there may be, but there exists a vast disjunction in the modern world between the global scope of the problems and dangers before us and established forms of political identity, community and authority É however seriously we may take specific global problems, political life remains organised within sovereign states.332
Insofar as verification may be shown to be an aspect of disciplinary power, and insofar as such power is implicated in the articulation of the boundaries between states, verification, technologies and institutions can be seen to be intimately tied to the constitutive processes of political identity. As Todorov notes:
the discovery self makes of the other - is so enormous that any general formulation soon ramifies into countless categories and directions. We can discover the other in ourselves, realize we are not a homogeneous substance, radically alien to whatever is not usÉ I can conceive of these others as É the Other - other in relation to myself, to me; or else as a specific social group to which we do not belong. This group can be interior to society: women for men, the rich for the poor, the mad for the 'normal'; or it can be exterior to society, ie another society which will be near or far away, depending on the case.333
Insofar as the processes of identity making are never 'complete' (since, being processes, they are everchanging, ever in need of active maintenance) then the practices of arms control verification are rightly connected with the security concerns of these identities which are most generally articulated as states.
Since the practices of verification typically operate on the basis of mutual interpenetration of the other, what remains at issue is sovereignty, conceived as a form of relation between states so construed.
As all kinds of other practices operate through interpenetration, such practices, although global, require those entities articulated as states to act in mutually cooperative ways as they too become implicated as focii of forms of knowledge and as instruments of and subjects of global environmental changes.
Verification technologies, interestingly, traditionally conceived as instruments of military security, may also have a role to play in wider definitions of security. But equally, their role in the identity-making processes of states remains focused upon the discourse of weapons of mass destruction (with the exception of the CFE). Since Brodie's paper in 1946, nuclear weapons have become an issue of global security, requiring a new articulation of Clausewitz's formulation of war conceived as an instrument of policy. With the advent of sophisticated technologies and institutions (let us not forget the human aspects of verification) the technologies of verification may serve in part to operate a regime of power as forceful as the discourse of nuclear weapons themselves, by playing a role in war conceived as a form of language. As Clausewitz himself pointed out:
War is nothing but the continuation of political intercourse, with a mixture of other meansÉ is not war merely another kind of writing and language for political thoughts? It certainly has a grammar of its own, but its logic is not peculiar to itself. Accordingly, War can never be separated from political intercourse, and if, in the consideration of the matter, this is done in any way, all the threads of the different relations are, to a certain extent, broken, and we have before us a senseless thing without an object.334
The same question arguably arises for the technologies of verification and their relationship to the politics of compliance, and the way this relationship in its turn relates to the discourse of national security/identity.335
From the beginning, Cyrus Vance shared many goals and perceptions in line with Carter.336 These were responses to an image, or world-view that saw the world as a complex interdependent global community.337 Consequently, foreign policy was pursued with this image of the world in mind. I want to argue in this fairly short section that Carter's responses to potential violations of SALT I in the SCC and Carter's overall use of the SCC was linked to the broader Carter administration's image of the world, and, related to that, the Carter administration's image of the Soviet Union as exemplified in the statements of Secretary of State Vance and National Security Adviser Brzezinski. As a corollary, it may be assumed that the Carter administration's overall set of behaviours towards the Soviet Union was conditioned, even constituted by images of the Soviet Union as principal adversary.338
One complicating factor in this was the shift in perceptions by the US Congress. Arguably, this divergence of image, [within a largely shared discursive community] became reflected in the 1979 shift in NSC Adviser Brzezinski from a view that had been close to that of Secretary of State Vance, to one that was highly divergent. With respect to the SALT I treaty and the negotiations surrounding the SALT II Treaty, several key players emerge, along with a divergent set of operant images of the Soviet Union as Other. From this, 1979 emerges as the transition year into a hard-line, negative image of Soviet behaviour which put in place many of the military developments that were claimed by Reagan.
Rosati's analysis of frequency distributions of perceived Soviet intentions and of positive/negative evaluations of Soviet behaviours based on the public statements of Carter, Vance and Brzezinski, yields the following table:
|Soviet Intentions US Evaluation|
What emerges most clearly from this is the large shift evident in the year 1979-1980 shown by a marked downturn in the degree of cooperation coupled with the abrupt appearance of a perception of expansionism precipitated by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Overall evaluation of Soviet behaviour shows a turnaround almost two years earlier, in 1978. From this it becomes evident that US perceptions of the Soviets had deteriorated by the time Carter entered his second year of office, and that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan simply confirmed for the Carter regime suspicions that were already held about Soviet political intentions.
This, coupled with domestic perceptions of the Carter team, as expressed in the words of CBS news announcer Dan Rather: "they mean well ... they just don't know what the hell they're doing"340 underlay a poor prospect for SALT II ratification.
The late Daniel Frei notes that "whatever a person does refers to an environment as he or she sees it. For any person, 'reality' exists only as reflected in the image he or she has of this reality."341 This represents another way of expressing the significance of Tzvetan Todorov's remarks on the discovery of America - that the making of the self is both implicitly and explicitly tied to the idea of identity, which, in turn is tied to the idea of difference. Indeed one cannot have the one without constituting the other.
The discovery self makes of the other ... soon ramifies into countless categories and directions. We can discover the other in ourselves, realize we are not a homogeneous substance, radically alien to whatever is not us ... But others are also "I"Ês: subjects just as I am, whom only my point of view É separates and authentically distinguishes from myself. É I can conceive of these others as a specific social group to which we do not belong. This group can be interior to society, or it can be exterior to society, another society which will be near or far away: beings whom everything links to me on the cultural, moral, historical plane; or else unknown quantities, outsiders whose language and customs I do not understand.342
This, he describes as the 'problematics of the exterior.' Strategic reality, as an extension of this, is thus predicated upon perceptions and assumptions about the other. As this chapter has sought to show, such perceptions and assumptions also underwrite the manner in which marginal compliance issues become interpreted - as violations or as resolvable ambiguities. The discursive realities that construe and are construed by compliance issues raised through the Standing Consultative Commission on Arms Limitation, are in their place an aspect of the larger strategic community whose behaviours are played out in the intersecting agencies and legitimating bodies that mediate compliance issues in both directions.
Thus, far from a binary relationship between the US and the Soviet Union, the SCC represents an interface mediating between multiple sites of discursivity that are, singly and together, constitutive of the identity of the strategic arms community located as a subset of the larger but no less discursively construed political community identified as US or Soviet in their place.
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