Search Penny Hill Press

Loading...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Monitoring and Verification in Arms Control


Amy F. Woolf
Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy

The United States and Russia signed a new START Treaty on April 8, 2010, and the treaty entered into force on February 5, 2011. Many analysts, both in the United States and Russia, supported negotiations on a new treaty so that the two sides could continue to implement parts of the complex monitoring and verification regime in the 1991 START Treaty. This regime was designed to build confidence in compliance with the START and to provide transparency and cooperation during the treaty’s implementation. The verification regime in the new START Treaty differs in some respects from the regime in START. These differences reflect an interest in reducing the cost and complexity of the regime, updating it to account for changes in the relationship between the United States and Russia, and tailoring it to address the monitoring and verification complexities presented by the new limits in the new treaty. The verification regime received scrutiny in both the Senate, which voted on December 22, 2010, to consent to ratification, and the public.

Verification is the process that one country uses to assess whether another country is complying with an arms control agreement. To verify compliance, a country must determine whether the forces or activities of another country are within the bounds established by the limits and obligations in the agreement. A verifiable treaty contains an interlocking web of constraints and provisions designed to deter cheating, to make cheating more complicated and more expensive, or to make its detection more timely. In the past, the United States has deemed treaties to be effectively verifiable if it has confidence that it can detect militarily significant violations in time to respond and offset any threat that the violation may create for the United States.

The United States and Russia rely on their own national technical means of verification (NTM) to collect most of the information needed to verify compliance with arms control agreements. But, since the 1980s, the treaties have also mandated that the two sides share information through data exchanges and notifications, and conduct on-site inspections to confirm that information. The verification regime in START used these monitoring measures not only to confirm that forces were consistent with the limits in the treaty, but also to detect and deter potential efforts to violate the treaty. With the end of the Cold War and the new relationship with Russia, the United States and Russia may both have more confidence in the other side’s intent to comply with its arms control obligations. However, both will still want to monitor the other’s forces and activities to confirm compliance and to foster cooperation and transparency.

This report reviews some of the monitoring and verification provisions in the new START Treaty and compares these with some of the provisions in the original START Treaty. It focuses, specifically, on differences between the treaties in the provisions governing the exchange of data, known as telemetry, generated during missile flight tests; provisions governing the monitoring of mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs); and differences in the numbers and types of on-site inspections.



Date of Report: February 7, 2011
Number of Pages: 28
Order Number: R41201
Price: $29.95

Follow us on TWITTER at
http://www.twitter.com/alertsPHP or #CRSreports

Document available via e-mail as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail
Penny Hill Press  or call us at 301-253-0881. Provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.

Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues and Options for Congress


Frank Gottron
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy

Dana A. Shea
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy


Reports by congressional commissions, the mention of bioterrorism in President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address, and issuance of executive orders have increased congressional attention to the threat of bioterrorism. Federal efforts to combat the threat of bioterrorism predate the anthrax attacks of 2001 but have significantly increased since then. The U.S. government has developed these efforts as part of and in parallel with other defenses against conventional terrorism. Continued attempts by terrorist groups to launch attacks targeted at U.S. citizens have increased concerns that federal counterterrorism activities insufficiently address the threat.

Key questions face congressional policymakers: How adequately do the efforts already under way address the threat of bioterrorism? Have the federal investments to date met the expectations of Congress and other stakeholders? Should Congress alter, augment, or terminate these existing programs in the current environment of fiscal challenge? What is the appropriate federal role in response to the threat of bioterrorism, and what mechanisms are most appropriate for involving other stakeholders, including state and local jurisdictions, industry, and others?

Several strategy and planning documents direct the federal government’s biodefense efforts. Many different agencies have a role. These agencies have implemented numerous disparate actions and programs in their statutory areas to address the threat.

Despite these efforts, congressional commissions, nongovernmental organizations, industry representatives, and other experts have highlighted weaknesses or flaws in the federal government’s biodefense activities. Reports by congressional commissions have stated that the federal government could significantly improve its efforts to address the bioterrorism threat.

Congressional oversight of bioterrorism crosses the jurisdiction of many congressional committees. As a result, congressional oversight is often issue-based. Because of the diversity of federal biodefense efforts, this report does not provide a complete view of the federal bioterrorism effort. Instead, this report focuses on four areas under congressional consideration deemed critical to the success of the biodefense enterprise: strategic planning; risk assessment; surveillance; and the development, procurement, and distribution of medical countermeasures.

Congress, through authorizing and appropriations legislation and oversight activities, continues to influence the federal response to the bioterrorism threat. Congressional policymakers may face many difficult choices about the priority of maintaining, shrinking, or expanding existing programs or creating new programs to address identified deficiencies. Augmenting or creating programs may result in additional costs in a time of fiscal challenges. Maintaining or shrinking programs may pose unacceptable risks, given the potential for significant casualties and economic effects from a large-scale bioterror attack.



Date of Report: February 8, 2011
Number of Pages: 18
Order Number: R41123
Price: $29.95

Follow us on TWITTER at
http://www.twitter.com/alertsPHP or #CRSreports

Document available via e-mail as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail
Penny Hill Press  or call us at 301-253-0881. Provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.

The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

Amy F. Woolf
Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy

The United States and Russia signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee both held hearings on the treaty. The U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification on December 22, 2010, by a vote of 71-26. Both houses of the Russian parliament—the Duma and Federation Council— approved the treaty in late January 2011, and it entered into force on February 5, 2011, after Secretary of State Clinton and Foreign Minister Lavrov exchanged the instruments of ratification.

New START provides the parties with seven years to reduce their forces, and will remain in force for a total of 10 years. It limits each side to no more than 800 deployed and nondeployed ICBM and SLBM launchers and deployed and nondeployed heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear armaments. Within that total, each side can retain no more than 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear armaments. The treaty also limits each side to no more than 1,550 deployed warheads; those are the actual number of warheads on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs, and one warhead for each deployed heavy bomber.

New START contains detailed definitions and counting rules that will help the parties calculate the number of warheads that count under the treaty limits. Moreover, the delivery vehicles and their warheads will count under the treaty limits until they are converted or eliminated according to the provisions described in the treaty’s Protocol. These provisions are far less demanding than those in the original START Treaty and will provide the United States and Russia with far more flexibility in determining how to reduce their forces to meet the treaty limits.

The monitoring and verification regime in the New START Treaty is less costly and complex than the regime in START. Like START, though, it contains detailed definitions of items limited by the treaty; provisions governing the use of national technical means (NTM) to gather data on each side’s forces and activities; an extensive database that identifies the numbers, types, and locations of items limited by the treaty; provisions requiring notifications about items limited by the treaty; and inspections allowing the parties to confirm information shared during data exchanges.

New START does not limit current or planned U.S. missile defense programs. It does ban the conversion of ICBM and SLBM launchers to launchers for missile defense interceptors, but the United States never intended to pursue such conversions when deploying missile defense interceptors. Under New START, the United States can deploy conventional warheads on its ballistic missiles, but these will count under the treaty limit on nuclear warheads. The United States may deploy a small number of these systems during the time that New START is in force.

The Obama Administration and outside analysts argue that New START will strengthen strategic stability and enhance U.S. national security. They contend that New START will contribute to U.S. nuclear nonproliferation goals by convincing other nations that the United States is serious about its obligations under the NPT. This might convince more nations to cooperate with the United States in pressuring nations who are seeking their own nuclear weapons.

Critics, however, question whether the treaty serves U.S. national security interests, as Russia was likely to reduce its forces with or without an arms control agreement and because the United States and Russia no longer need arms control treaties to manage their relationship. Some also consider the U.S.-Russian arms control process to be a distraction from the more important issues on the nonproliferation agenda.



Date of Report: February 7, 2011
Number of Pages: 35
Order Number: R41219
Price: $29.95

Follow us on TWITTER at
http://www.twitter.com/alertsPHP or #CRSreports

Document available via e-mail as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail
Penny Hill Press  or call us at 301-253-0881. Provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.

Security Assistance Reform: “Section 1206” Background and Issues for Congress


Nina M. Serafino
Specialist in International Security Affairs

Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2006, as amended and regularly extended, provides the Secretary of Defense with authority to train and equip foreign military and foreign maritime security forces for two specified purposes. The Department of Defense (DOD) values this authority as an important tool to train and equip military partners. Funds may be obligated only with the concurrence of the Secretary of State. Thus far, the Department of Defense (DOD) has used Section 1206 authority primarily to provide counterterrorism (CT) support. In FY2010, Section 1206 funds were also used to provide significant assistance to train and equip foreign military forces for military and stability operations in which U.S. forces participate.

Section 1206 allocations for FY2006-FY2009 and congressionally notified plans for FY2010 total over $1.3 billion. FY2011 plans are still under consideration.

Through the use of over $1.3 billion in FY2006 through FY2010 funds, Section 1206 supported bilateral programs in 34 countries, 14 multilateral programs, and a global human rights program. Just over 40% of the nearly $1 million in FY2006-FY2009 Section 1206 funding was obligated for three countries: Lebanon, Pakistan, and Yemen. For FY2010, Section 1206 provides $340.6 million in support for bilateral programs in 18 countries and one multilateral program for seven recipients (including three receiving bilateral aid). The three largest recipients in FY2010 were Lebanon ($23.0), the Philippines ($27.7 million), and Yemen ($155.3 million). In greater Europe, 13 states received about $74 million in FY2010 aid to support their deployments to Afghanistan, with Georgia receiving $20 million of that assistance.

Some Members are concerned with several issues related to Section 1206 authority, both narrow and broad. Specific current concerns include whether Section 1206 funds are being used appropriately and effectively, and whether the authority should be expanded to provide training not only military forces but also to a wide range of foreign security forces. (Currently, Section 1206 limits security force training to maritime security forces.) An overarching issue is whether Congress should place Section 1206 train and equip (T&E) authority under the State Department with other T&E authorities. (Members have thus far refrained from codifying Section 1206 in permanent law, as requested by DOD.) A related issue is whether Congress should grant the State Department its own security assistance contingency fund with purposes that overlap Section 1206, as provided in the House-passed FY2010-FY2011 Foreign Relations Authorization Act (H.R. 2410, Section 841). Finally, as the Obama Administration conducts an overall assessment of foreign assistance, including security assistance, some Members may wish to examine the status of Section 1206 in the context of broader security assistance reform.

In its FY2011 budget request, the Obama Administration sought about $490 million in Section 1206 funding, even though the authorized funding level is $350 million. In its action on the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for FY2011 (H.R. 6523, P.L. 111-383, Section 1207), Congress extended Section 1206 authority through FY2012 at the $350 million level. The Obama Administration is expected to submit its FY2012 budget request on February 14, 2011.



Date of Report: February 11, 2011
Number of Pages: 41
Order Number: RS22855
Price: $29.95

Follow us on TWITTER at
http://www.twitter.com/alertsPHP or #CRSreports

Document available via e-mail as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail
Penny Hill Press  or call us at 301-253-0881. Provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress


Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The Navy has begun a program to modernize its 22 in-service Aegis cruisers and the 62 Aegis destroyers procured in FY2005 and prior years. Under Navy plans, the modernization of these 84 ships would occur over a period of more than 20 years. The program’s estimated total cost is about $16.6 billion in constant FY2010 dollars. The modernizations are intended to ensure that the ships can be operated cost-effectively throughout their entire 35- or 40-year intended service lives. The modernizations of all 62 destroyers and at least 10 of the cruisers are to include the installation of a capability for conducting ballistic missile defense (BMD) operations.

The Aegis cruiser and destroyer modernization program poses several potential oversight issues for Congress, including the Navy’s overall vision behind the program, which shipyards should be used to perform the modernizations, the potential for expanding the scope of work performed in the modernizations, and the Navy’s strategy for moving to an open architecture (OA) version of the Aegis combat system. In addition, some observers are concerned that demands from U.S. regional military commanders for BMD-capable Aegis ships are growing faster than the number of BMD-capable Aegis ships. One option for addressing this concern would be to accelerate the Aegis destroyer modernization schedule, so as to get more BMD-capable DDG-51s into the fleet sooner.

The Navy’s proposed FY2011 budget requested funding for one Aegis cruiser modernization availability, three Aegis destroyer modernization availabilities, and long lead-time procurement of equipment for three additional Aegis cruiser modernizations and five additional Aegis destroyer modernizations. The funding request included, among other things, $357.0 million in Other Procurement, Navy (OPN) funding for Aegis cruiser modernization and $296.7 million in OPN funding for Aegis destroyer modernization.



Date of Report: January 18, 2011
Number of Pages: 11
Order Number: RS22595
Price: $29.95

Follow us on TWITTER at
http://www.twitter.com/alertsPHP or #CRSreports

Document available via e-mail as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail
Penny Hill Press  or call us at 301-253-0881. Provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.