Jerry Everard

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Chapter V

Post Scriptum
After the Soviet Union: The SCC and the JCIC under the CIS

This post-script examines the role of the SCC-style Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC) established by a Protocol to the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks Treaty (START) on July 31, 1991.

With the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev from the Presidency of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. However, the inheritor body of the Soviet seat on the United Nations Security Council, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) represented by Russia, remains. All of the former Soviet Republics that have long-range strategic nuclear weapons have agreed to uphold the terms of all existing nuclear arms control agreements, including SALT and START. Moreover, it appears increasingly likely that control over nuclear weapons will remain centralised under Russian control (albeit with Ukraine, Byelorussian and Kazakh consultative safety mechanisms over their use).

The Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission was established under Article XV of the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START). The mandate under this Article was threefold:

With the establishment of the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC) under START as a forum in which to raise concerns over ambiguous compliance behaviour, the compliance infrastructure is already taking shape. In terms of the identity making processes described in earlier chapters, strategic nuclear weapons can be seen to have had an important input into the process of forming a new union between the former Soviet republics. This can be seen to have operated in two directions. On the one hand, the strategic nuclear weapons have long operated as the dominant sign in the binary equation between East and West throughout the Cold War, they have thus served a unifying function in terms of maintaining a distinctly Soviet identity. On the other hand, control over these weapons would arguably reinforce the individual sovereignty of the States, thereby operating as a disintegrative force.

It can be noted that throughout the breakup of the Soviet Union into its component states the command and control of the strategic nuclear weapons remained under central control. These weapons have remained dispersed among four States: Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia and Kazakhstan. Outside of Russia, the Ukraine, in addition to hosting long-range strategic bombers (Bear-H and Blackjack comprising about 35% of all Soviet heavy bomber weapons and about 3% of all Soviet strategic nuclear warheads), also bases 56 SS-19 and 120 SS-24 strategic long-range ballistic missiles, while Kazakhstan bases 104 SS-18 ICBMs and Byelorussia bases 72 SS-25 ICBMs. These missile forces comprise about 36% of all Soviet ICBM warheads and about 23% of all Soviet strategic nuclear warheads.548

In part, this is not too surprising since more than ninety percent of the senior personnel of the Strategic Rocket Forces are ethnically Russian.549 The same applies to the upper positions of the other armed forces. Thus Russian hegemony, it could be argued, is based on control over the legitimate means of force. Nonetheless, the recognition of the discursive (notional) power of strategic nuclear weapons has made the former Soviet Republics reluctant to relinquish those weapons that are on their soil.

The JCIC, in line with its function has a structure similar to that of the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC). Each delegation is headed by a Commissioner and a Deputy Commissioner. Under the terms of the START Treaty the names of each Party's Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner are to be notified to the Commission "as soon as practicable, but in any case no later than 30 days after the Treaty was signed."

Each Delegation comprises the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, members, advisers and experts. As of 24 January 1992, the US Commissioner to the JCIC was Ambassador Steven Steiner, his Deputy was Dr. George Look. The CIS (now Russian) Representative was Dr. Viktor Shabannikov, while his Deputy is Colonel A.N. Luk'vanov. The Commission may establish working groups in order to consider specific questions raised in the Commission. Assuming that the JCIC functions institutionally in a manner similar to that of the SCC then the teams would include advisers from appropriate departments. On the US side such departments would include the Department of State, the Office of the Secretary of Defence, the Organisation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the intelligence community, along with appropriate civilian and military advisers. The Russian (formerly Soviet) side, assuming that it too follows the established practice of the SCC would operate with a Commissioner, a Deputy Commissioner and a team with input from an Interagency Group that would be drawn from the Department of Defence, the Military Industrial Commission, the Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence organisation derived from the former Committee on State Security (KGB). In line with the operation of the SCC the Commissioner would probably be drawn from the military, while the Deputy Commissioner would probably be drawn from the Foreign Ministry.

Unlike the SCC the JCIC has no regular semi-annual meeting. Sessions of the JCIC are convened at the request of either Party. Such requests must be answered within 14 days. the requests and responses must include the questions that the Party intends to raise, the name of the head representative of the Party (as sessions may be convened without the presence of a Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner), and the date and venue for the session. These sessions shall be convened in Geneva, Switzerland, or in another place agreed by the Parties. Outside of the formal sessions, questions can be raised and clarified by direct contact between the Commissioners or Deputy Commissioners without calling a formal session. Special sessions can be convened at the request of either Party where there is an urgent concern relating to compliance of the other Party with the obligations assumed under the Treaty.

Requests for a Special Session must include the nature of the concern, including the type of strategic offensive arms related to the concern; the name of the head representative of the Party and the proposed date and venue of the Session. In addition, the requesting Party may propose a specific method for resolving the concern. Such a proposal may include a request to visit with special right of access to the location or facility where, in the opinion of the requesting Party that ambiguous compliance behaviour took place. The response will either indicate acceptance of the date and location for the special session, or will include a proposed alternate date and/or location. This date will be no later than 10 days after the date proposed by the requesting Party.

The response may also indicate acceptance of the proposed method for resolving the concern, or offer an alternative method for resolving the concern. Moreover, if the Parties agree to a visit with special access rights this may make a Special Session redundant. In such a case the Special Session need not take place. Insofar as an onsite visit with special access rights constitutes a permitted way of resolving a compliance concern, such visits may be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Inspection Protocol. The maximum duration of a Special Session of the JCIC is restricted to 30 days.

In line with the formal nature of the discursive situation within which the JCIC operates and enacts its national and notional boundaries the agenda for a session of the JCIC is restricted to those questions that have been provided within the communications that led to the convening of the session. Although each Party may raise questions that arise immediately preceding or during a session, subject to the approval of both Parties, and subject to allowing sufficient time for consideration of the questions or to change the composition of the delegation as necessary.

As with the SCC privacy of the proceedings is important for all of the reasons outlined in Chapter two of this thesis. In general, all of the work of the JCIC is confidential, however, the Commission may record agreements or the results of the work in a document. In line with the need for discursive equality in the Commission, such documents will be done in two copies, each in the English and Russian languages, "both texts being equally authentic."

Costs of participating in the Commission shall be borne by each Party participating. If the delegations are of similar size and constitution to those of the SCC then each Party would be bearing a cost of around $US 3.5-4 million per year. A Joint Statement was issued with respect to the costs of convening a session of the JCIC on the territory of one of the Parties to the effect that questions that may arise over the settlement of costs that may be incurred during such a session would be resolved prior to the convening of that session. Communications, as with the SCC, and including encryption of transmissions would be done through the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre. This Centre, as for the SCC would also supply clerical support.

Pending the entry into force of the Treaty, the JCIC and the provisions of the Protocol establishing the JCIC shall remain in force for a 12 month period. Once the Treaty is in force, the JCIC and the provisions of the relevant Protocol shall remain in force for as long as the START Treaty.

Moreover, the Protocol allows for change across time with a provision for Parties to agree on any additional measures as may be necessary to improve the viability and effectiveness of the Treaty. In addition, the Parties agree that if it is necessary to effect changes to the JCIC Protocol that do not affect the main substantive rights or provisions of the Treaty, then the JCIC can be used to reach agreement on such changes without resorting to the procedure for making amendments to the main START Treaty under Article XVIII.

Interestingly, the domain of the SALT SCC and the START JCIC are interlocked. This arises because the operation of the START Treaty has been made conditional, by a Unilateral Statement at the US-USSR Nuclear and Space Talks, upon the upholding of the provisions of the ABM Treaty. Moreover, the USSR declared that withdrawal from the START Treaty based on 'extraordinary circumstances' in which their supreme interests would be jeopardised would include the US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty or its material breach. The US declared that operating to and within the limits of the ABM Treaty or agreed modifications to the ABM Treaty should not constitute 'extraordinary circumstances' or placing in jeopardy the supreme interests of the Soviet Union.

With respect to the post-Soviet, post Cold War world, it seems likely that the START Treaty will be applied and implemented in all of its provisions. In all probability the only change to the Treaty will be that the words "Soviet Union" will be removed and replaced by the words "Commonwealth of Independent States" and similarly, the abbreviation USSR will be replaced by CIS. Indeed, for the purposes of ratification, the Treaty itself may remain unchanged in wording, but a subsequent aide memoire may indicate that the CIS intends to apply the provisions of those arms control Treaties signed by the former Soviet Union.

What is important here, is that an additional channel of communication has been established between the United States and the inheritors of the former Soviet Union. What is indicated by this, is that the arms control process is still seen as an ongoing process rather than as a static treaty. The purpose of the treaty is simply to lock-in the process. Treaties of this kind, then, represent the beginnings of a process, as well as the culmination of a process. Moreover, the intention to maintain the process in the face of a world whose condition of being is change is embodied in the establishment of consultative mechanisms, through which ambiguities can be resolved and new measures initiated to improve the implementation of the objects of the Agreement.

Consultations over START compliance are not restricted to the use of the JCIC as there are a variety of diplomatic channels through which consultations can take place. However, many of the notification requirements set forth in the START Treaty are to take place specifically through the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre.

Unlike the SALT I and SALT II Treaties, START lists a number of specific instances that would call for consultation within the JCIC framework. Thus the mandate for the JCIC has been rendered far more clearly than that for the SALT SCC. The majority of these may be found in the Agreed Statements Annex to START.

The Agreed Statements clearly indicate the range within which the JCIC is designed to operate. This clarity should overcome a number of the problems of vagueness that plagued, and arguably ultimately narrowed, the operation of the SALT SCC. Instead of the SALT injunction to consider the general strategic situation and propose ways of improving the viability of the Treaty, the START JCIC has a very specific mandate. The START Second Agreed Statement states:

The Parties agree that, in the event of the emergence in the future of a new kind of arm that one Party considers could be a new kind of strategic offensive arm, that Party shall have the right to raise the question of such an arm for consideration by the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission in accordance with subparagraph (c) of Article XV of the Treaty.

Under the terms of the Fifth Agreed Statement and relating to the provisions of subparagraph 2(d) of Article V of the START Treaty concerning the replacement or relocation of heavy ICBM silo launchers, agreement was reached that such relocation or replacement may only be done in the case of silo launchers destroyed by accident or other exceptional circumstances. The Fifth Agreed Statement holds that should such relocation be required then "the Party planning to construct the new silo launcher shall provide the other Party with the reasons and plans for such relocation in the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission prior to carrying out such relocation."

The Seventeenth Agreed Statement provides that with respect to heavy bombers, if functionally related observable differences (FRODs) are considered by one Party to be insufficient to determine whether a heavy bomber or former heavy bomber is not equipped for a particular kind of armament, then it may raise the issue within the JCIC.

The Nineteenth Agreed Statement records the agreement that in the event either Party wishes to develop mobile space launchers or related space launch boosters then this question may be addressed in the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission. The Statement goes on to list the circumstances under which such a system would be allowed, and concludes that additional provisions relevant to such systems could also be agreed within the JCIC.

With such an extensive inspection and exhibition regime as that agreed within the START Treaty, it was noted that there could be seen to be concurrent continuous monitoring activities with those of the 1987 INF Treaty. This led to the Twenty-Second Agreed Statement which states in part:

Issues relating to the concurrent continuous monitoring activities in accordance with paragraph 14 of Article XI of the Treaty and continuous monitoring in accordance with paragraph 6 of Article XI of the ... INF Treaty, shall be agreed upon, prior to entry into force of the Treaty, within the framework of the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission and within the framework of the Special Verification Commission (SVC) [established under the INF Treaty to oversee compliance issues].

The Thirtieth Agreed Statement concerns the conditions under which objects may be delivered into space or the upper atmosphere that are launched from waterborne vehicles other than submarines or from aircraft other than heavy bombers or former heavy bombers, which would otherwise be banned under subparagraph 18(a,d) of Article V of the Treaty. Provisions concerning procedures for such launches shall be agreed within the framework of the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission.

The JCIC also has responsibility for negotiating elements of the important, if mundane questions of who bears the costs, not only of hosting a JCIC session on the home territory of one of the Parties, but of the purchase and copying of telemetry data tapes used in flight tests where a Party provides more telemetry data tapes than the other, such that:

the other Party shall reimburse the tape-associated costs resulting from the difference in the number of flight tests. The costs associated with the purchase of the tapes and the copying of telemetric information onto the tapes, as well as the procedure for the reimbursement, shall be subject to agreement in the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission

Finally, the Thirty-eighth Agreed Statement concerns the procedures for establishing agreed provisions for establishing reference cylinders for the purposes of calibrating national technical means of verification pursuant to paragraph 23 of Section VI of the Inspection Protocol for ICBMs for mobile launchers of ICBMs containing a liquid-fueled first stage. The Agreed Statement notes that:

...such procedures will be agreed within the framework of the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission.

The mandate then, for the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission is far more specific than that for the SALT Standing Consultative Commission. This reflects a more business-like approach to arms control which in turn reflects the changes in the international climate between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Since the signing of the START Treaty on July 31, 1991, the pace and scope of change has been far reaching. The discursive power of strategic nuclear weapons, reflecting their potential material force is acknowledged in the opening preamble to the START Treaty in which can be read traces of Bernard Brodie's classic statement to the effect that grand strategy in the nuclear age must be geared away from war-winning and towards war avoidance:

Conscious that nuclear war would have devastating consequences for all humanity, that it cannot be won and must never be fought

The START preamble goes on to state that the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms will contribute to reducing the risk of nuclear war while strengthening international peace and security. The preamble adds to this that it is in the interests of the Parties to strengthen strategic stability, and concludes with a statement of the intertextuality of the nuclear arms control agreements with a reinforcing (by reaffirmation) reminder of the other obligations to which the Parties are held, namely; the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), and the Washington Summit Joint Statement (in the absence of a binding SALT II Treaty).

This statement of intertextuality serves to situate the START Treaty within a discourse genre of other nuclear arms limitation treaties, thus emphasising the ongoing and interconnected nature of, not only the arms control process, but also of the relationship between the Parties. By carrying out the provisions of the Treaty, not only is there a limitation on strategic offensive forces, but, by enacting that which renders each Party more secure, more stable, the Parties reinforce the practices that maintain their identity as such - as Parties. That is to say that by enacting the terms of the Treaty the two Parties recognise the circumscription of each other's notional and national boundaries. By doing this, the identity of the 'security state' of each Party is reaffirmed.

This last statement may sound ironically hollow when we have observed the demise of the Soviet Union that signed this Treaty - so soon after it was signed. But closer observation serves to confirm the soundness of the basic argument. The Parties defined by the Treaty are not unitary identities.550 We have seen throughout this thesis that I have operated the notion of identity as that which is produced as a symptom of the enacting of site-specific boundaries. Thus the Soviet entity which signed the START Treaty as President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics did so in order to enact that part of the Soviet boundary that was notionally concerned with what I have termed the 'security state.' In terms of the specific discourse genre invoked in the preamble of the START Treaty this 'security state' can be defined operationally by the 'strategic nuclear security state.'

In the developments that have immediately flowed-on from the breakup of the former Soviet Union one identity has remained to be reaffirmed within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). That identity is that represented by the Strategic Nuclear Forces. Throughout the upheavals whose finale began with the August Coup the leaders of the former Republics (now Independent States) made many public statements to reassure the West that all strategic nuclear arms control agreements would be upheld, and that the Strategic Nuclear Forces would remain under some form of centralised control. One aspect of the identity of the Strategic Nuclear Forces is the interface between the Strategic Nuclear Forces (whether USSR or CIS) and their Other, the security state of the United States of America and the West in general. One aspect of that interface has been established by the SALT SCC. That interface has been and remains reaffirmed with the establishment of the START Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission.

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