Getting to Zero Update

In this issue:

BASIC and Getting to Zero (GTZ)

BASIC is delighted to announce the appointment of its new
Program Director in Washington, Anne Penketh. She has a distinguished career as
an international journalist, and was most recently Diplomatic Editor of the Independent
(London). Anne began her reporting on nuclear weapons issues at the Geneva and
Reykjavik Summits in 1985-6 between Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev. In recent
years she has continued to work on disarmament and non-proliferation issues,
including covering diplomatic maneuvers at the United Nations over Iran’s
nuclear program. Anne will start in August.

Nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament were on the
agenda of both the G8 Summit meeting in L’Aquila, Italy and the US-Russia
Summit in Moscow. Two weeks later, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown released his
Road to 2010 report on nuclear energy and weapons, which was quickly followed
by private briefings indicating that the design contract for the Trident
nuclear weapons submarine system would be delayed until after the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May 2010. See these BASIC
publications and Update sections below for more information.

The UK government’s Road to 2010
Paul Ingram, July 16, 2009

The START follow-on negotiations
Jonathan McLaughlin, July 1, 2009

The Shadow NATO Summit
Joint report by BASIC, ISIS-Europe, Bertelsmann Stiftung and NATO Watch, 23
July 2009.


Commitments to disarmament and arms control

Obama and Medvedev sign agreement on the Strategic Arms
Reduction Treaty (START) follow-on

After months of preparations, US President Barack Obama arrived
in Moscow on July 6 for a two-day summit with Russian President Dmitri
Medvedev. The “reset” summit included both leaders signing a Joint
for the START Follow-on Treaty, which commits the two nations
to an agreement that will reduce the number of strategic nuclear warheads and
delivery vehicles to a range of 1,500-1,675, and 500-1,100 respectively.
Negotiating delegations are led by Rose Gottemoeller, US Assistant Secretary of
State, and Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s Chief of Security and Disarmament Issues.
The 1991 START
agreement, which expires on December 5, allows for a total of 6,000 warheads on
1,600 strategic delivery vehicles, and the 2002 Moscow Treaty – Strategic
Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) – set limits
between 1,700-2,200 operationally deployed strategic warheads by 2012, but
without verification. US and Russian negotiators met again on July 22 and 23.
Reports from Geneva were positive,
but had few details.


G-8 Summit in L’Aquila

Leaders at the Group of Eight (G8) Summit in L’Aquila,
Italy (8-10 July) issued a statement
on non-proliferation which declared, We are all committed to seeking a safer
world for all and to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear
weapons, in accordance with the goals of the NPT. The leaders supported US
President Obama’s desire to seek ratification of the Comprehensive
Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and called for bringing the treaty into force.
The statement urged Iran to engage diplomatically with the international
community, and sharply criticized the May nuclear test in North Korea. At the
G8 Summit, US President Obama presented his plan
to host a Global Nuclear Security Summit on March 9 and 10, 2010, which would
provide a platform for multilateral discussion on such issues as cooperatively
combating international nuclear smuggling and nuclear terrorism.


IAEA selects new chief

On July 2, Yukiya Amano was selected
by the IAEA Board of Governors to be the next Secretary-General. He replaces
Mohamed ElBaradei, whose term will end in November 2009. Amano has been the
favored pick of the United States and Europe, and will be the first East Asian
to serve as Director General of the IAEA. The alternative candidate, South
Africa’s Abdul Samad Minty, was supported
by the representatives of countries of the developing world who perceive
tighter non-proliferation rules as undue limitations to their development of
peaceful nuclear energy whilst nuclear weapon states avoid their own
responsibilities to disarm. After the election, Amano asked
for the solidarity of all the member states, and assured
developing countries that the IAEA is not just a nuclear watchdog.

Further reading

Test ban
monitoring: No place to hide
(Summary – full article requires subscription)

Daniel Cleary, Science, Vol 325, no 5939, pp 382-385, July 24, 2009

about nuclear weapons policy: Lessons from recent public opinion and messaging

US in the World (USITW) presentation, summary and link to report available on
the website of the Connect US Fund, July 2009.

the standard arguments against disarmament

George Perkovich and James M Acton, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
July 15, 2009

Flash of Memory

Issey Miyake, The New York Times, July 13, 2009

– but at a price

Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post, July 9, 2009

follow-on: What sort of agreement?
Hans M Kristensen, FAS Strategic Security Blog, July 8, 2009

the nuclear threat: Fulfilling the promise of Prague at the L’Aquila Summit

White House, Office of the Press Secretary July 8, 2009

Statement on Non-Proliferation

G-8 Summit July 8, 2009

Understanding, Obama-Medvedev Summit

White House, Office of the Press Secretary July 8, 2009

powers come in from the cold

Rebecca Johnson, Comment is Free, The Guardian, July 7, 2009

and Russia agree nuclear disarmament road map

Luke Harding and Julian Borger, The Guardian, July 6, 2009

chance for a nuclear-free world

James F Collins and Jack Matlock, Foreign Policy, July 6, 2009

IAEA sign additional protocol on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons

China View, July 4, 2009

Zero Action Plan

June 29, 2009


Country reports

United States

Obama’s commitment to nuclear disarmament

US President Barack Obama continues to show a serious
commitment to nuclear disarmament, and has repeatedly focused on issues of arms
control in his communications. Analysts have gone so far as to suggest that
arms control is a fundamental part of his Presidential strategy,
and that it is part of an emerging Obama
. The New York Times ran a major story
on Obama’s activism as a senior at Columbia University in 1983 on issues of
nuclear disarmament, and argued that Obama has long been committed to a world
without nuclear weapons.


Clinton says she considers disarmament a priority

At a presentation
at the Council on Foreign Relations, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
said, We want to reverse the spread of nuclear weapons, prevent their use, and
build a world free of their threat. Clinton reiterated that the United States
stands ready to engage diplomatically with Iran, although she said that
opportunity will not last forever, and also affirmed that the United States was
pursuing “complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean
Peninsula.” (See more information below on the latest reports from Iran
and North Korea.)

Further reading

Republicans could throw weight behind CTBT

Global Security Newswire, July 27, 2009

warns against concessions on nuclear treaty

Jim Abrams, Associated Press, via Seattle Times, July 27, 2009

A Guide
to the challenges facing President Obama’s nuclear abolition agenda

Burgess Laird, Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs, July 21,

The Donald Report: Investigation into the shipment of
sensitive missile components to Taiwan
A blog entry
provides link to large report
Jeffrey Lewis, Arms Control, July 21, 2009

Obama puts arms
control at the core of new strategy

Peter Spiegel, The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2009

It is important
to get nuclear weapons policy right

Lawrence Eagleburger, Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2009

Obama’s Weapons
Policy is Sensible

William D Hartung, Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2009

nuclear agreement a good start

Senator Dianne Feinstein, San Francisco Chronicle, July 10, 2009

Obama doctrine emerges in Moscow

Joe Cirincione, Huffington Post, July 8, 2009

big missile test

Philip Taubman, New York Times, July 8, 2009

Arms control

Keith B Payne, Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2009

US leadership on disarmament

James Acton, Pierre Goldschmidt, George Perkovich, Proliferation Analysis,
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 7, 2009

presents test for Obama

Michael A Fletcher and Philip P Pan, The Washington Post, July 5, 2009

youth shaped his nuclear-free vision

William J Broad and David E Sanger, New York Times, July 4, 2009

nuclear warheads, 1945-2009
Robert S Norris and Hans M Kristensen, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
July/August, 2009

Our decaying
nuclear deterrent

Jon Kyl and Richard Perle, Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2009

for US efforts to improve controls over nuclear weapons, materials, and expertise
overseas: A 2009 update

Andrew Newman and Matthew Bunn, Report, Managing the Atom Project, Belfer
Center for Science and International Affairs, June 2009


United Kingdom

Road to 2010

The Cabinet Office released the cross-department report, The Road to
2010: Addressing the nuclear question in the 21st century
, with
proposals to smooth the route to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
Review Conference in May of 2010, highlighting in particular the importance of
civil nuclear power programs. The report announced the creation of a £20
million Nuclear Centre of Excellence in the United Kingdom that would develop
proliferation-resistant nuclear technologies, a meeting of major donors to
discuss the future funding and capabilities of the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA), and recommitment to hosting a Nuclear Weapons States conference
in September. For more information, also see BASIC’s analysis of the Road
to 2010 report.


Government officials signal Trident delay

Later on the same day, British officials indicated
explicitly the government’s intention to delay signing off on design contracts
for the Trident nuclear system replacement until after the NPT Review
Conference in May 2010 – a signal of the importance the UK government attaches
to its success. This initial
phase was scheduled to happen this fall. The following morning a
government spokesperson said that the timetable for the project remains
unchanged. Analysts speculated this was possible as the timetable had always
included significant flexibility within it. The move to delay may have
reflected concerns
about tight defense budgets and the looming General Election.


Poll shows public support waning for Trident

Just before the release of the Road to 2010 report and news
about a delay for Trident replacement, the Guardian published
the results of its poll
with ICM that showed 54% of UK voters were against renewing the UK system, and
42% were in favour. The results are in contrast to findings from two years ago
that had 39% opposing and 51% in favour.

Further reading

on Trident

Financial Times, July 19, 2009

Brown delays Trident work

Daily Telegraph, July 17, 2009

poll: Disarming opinions

Editorial, Comment is Free, Guardian, July 14, 2009

want Britain to scrap all nuclear weapons, ICM poll shows

Julian Glover, Guardian, July 13, 2009

willing to reduce nuclear arsenal, Brown says

Global Security Newswire, July 10, 2009

could lead to cut in UK’s nuclear stockpile, says Gordon Brown

Patrick Wintour, Larry Elliot and Julian Borger, Guardian, July 9,

The Road to
2010: Addressing the nuclear question in the twenty first century
Presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister, Cabinet Office, July, 2009

responsibilities: A national security strategy for the UK
summary available)
Ippr Commission on National Security in the 21st Century, June 30, 2009

urge government to reassess Trident decision

Deborah Summers, Guardian, June 30, 2009



Uncertainty over future of P5+1 talks with Iran

The continued post-election crisis in Iran has thrown the
future of multilateral negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program into doubt. The United
and the European
have pledged to continue to pursue diplomatic engagement
on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program. Leaders at the G8 summit in L’Aquila,
Italy issued a joint statement
reiterating their commitment to a diplomatic solution with Iran and strongly
encouraging Tehran to comply with UN Security Council resolutions and to
cooperate with the IAEA. In an apparent reaction to the G8 focus on Iran,
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had announced on
July 13 that Tehran was preparing a political package to
present to the west.

On July 16, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization,
Gholam Reza Aghazedeh, resigned.
Although the reasons for the resignation are not entirely clear, Aghazedeh had
been a long-time supporter of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi and
former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed
Ali Akbar Salehi, former Iranian envoy to the IAEA, to be the new head of
Iran’s nuclear energy agency. In Salehi’s first public announcement, he
declared that the West needs to close the case
on Iran’s nuclear activity.


Clinton’s remarks on Iran spark Israeli concern

Speaking in Phuket, Thailand on July 22, US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton warned
that if Iran pursues a nuclear weapons program, then the United States may
extend a defense umbrella over allies in the Middle East, and said that …
it’s unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer, because they won’t be
able to intimidate and dominate, as they apparently believe they can, once they
have a nuclear weapon. Dan Meridor, Israel’s minister of intelligence and
atomic energy, reacted
negatively to the comments, which he saw as suggesting that the United States
has already accepted a nuclear-armed Iran. Clinton subsequently sought to dispel
this notion, saying that she was simply reminding Iran that pursuing nuclear
weapons would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. On July 26,
Clinton warned
Iranian leaders that any search for a nuclear weapon capability would be futile
and that Obama’s administration would not allow Iran to produce its own nuclear
fuel, even under safeguards. On a visit
to Tel Aviv a day later, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates again reassured
Israel that the United States was not about to compromise with Iran.

Further Reading

US juggles two
Iran timetables

Gerald F Seib, Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2009

crisis has nuclear fallout

Meir Javedanfar, The Guardian: Comment is Free, July 19, 2009

feelings: The Arabs’ view of Iran

Economist, July 16, 2009


Editorial, New York Times, July 10, 2009

Iran could save the Middle East

Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, July/August 2009


North Korea

North Korea launches more missiles, refuses
resumption of talks

In defiance of UN sanctions, North Korea conducted more
missile tests in early July. In response to these recent actions and the May
25th nuclear test, the UN Security Council expanded
its sanctions against the country. New targets of
sanctions include North Korea’s General Bureau of Atomic Energy, trading
companies, and individuals involved in the nuclear program, associated
businesses and also weapons-related materials.

During her visit to Thailand for the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum on July 22, US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton called for a revival of the
Six-Party Talks and urged ASEAN members to enforce the UN sanctions imposed
against North Korea. Clinton said that
the United States would be willing to offer North Korea a comprehensive package
should it choose to denuclearize. She also mentioned concerns over the
possibility that North Korea might be sharing nuclear technology with Myanmar
(Burma). According to Japan’s Kyodo News Agency, North Korea’s ambassador to
the United Nations, Sin Son Ho, said that Pyongyang would be willing to engage
in direct
dialogue with Washington, but rejected the possibility of agreeing to any
package deals that would involve the resumption of North Korea’s participation
in the Six-Party Talks.

Further reading

Korean missiles defy UN resolution

Evan Ramstad, Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2009

North Korea’s nuclear ambitions: The need for stronger Chinese action

Hui Zhang, Arms Control Today, July/August, 2009

Don’t play nuclear
chicken with a desperate pariah

Hui Zhang, Foreign Policy, June 2009



Bulava missile tests fail again

While the world was paying close attention to the
Obama-Medvedev summit and the resulting commitments to a START follow-on
treaty, Russia’s Navy conducted successful tests of two submarine-launched
Sineva-type ballistic missiles and another failed
test of the new, nuclear-capable submarine-launched Bulava missile, which led
to the resignation
of the missile’s design team leader. The Bulava missile is an upgraded design
of the land-based Topol M, and is designed to both survive a nuclear attack and
penetrate anti-missile defense systems. Despite six out of 11 launches of the
Bulava ending in failure, Vice Admiral Oleg Burtsev of the Russian Navy stated, We
are committed to this missile flying. Since its commissioning in 1998, a great
deal of domestic political capital has been invested
in the Bulava, promoted by Mr Putin as the new core of Russia’s modernized
nuclear forces.

The first Borey-class strategic nuclear submarine Yury
Dolgoruky, designed to carry 16 Bulavas, completed its
initial sea trials with more later in the year. Two more Borey class nuclear
submarines, the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh, are still under construction.
Russia plans to have eight by 2015.

Further reading

weapon is in need of rescue

Michael Schwirtz, The New York Times, July 15, 2009

US, Russia have different views on nukes

Robert Burns, Associated Press, July 6, 2009

the Reset: A Strategy and New Agenda for U.S. Russia Policy

Samuel Charap, Laura Conley, Peter Juul, Andrew Light, Julian L Wong,
Center for American Progress, July 2, 2009



US-India nuclear deal


During her mid-July visit to
India, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced key agreements that
will broaden cooperation between the two countries under the bilateral nuclear
deal. Officials agreed on two sites for U.S. nuclear
reactors. India will also purchase advanced U.S. conventional weapon systems,
including fighter jets, raising concerns over the impact on the strategic
balance with Pakistan.

On July 26, India ran a sea
trial of its first domestically-produced nuclear-powered submarine,
capable of launching nuclear ballistic missiles. The submarine is due for at
least two years of testing before becoming operational. India would become the sixth country, after the
United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China, to make
nuclear-powered submarines.

Further reading

Obama jeopardizing nuclear deal with India
Harsh V Pant, special to the Japan Times (editorial), July 25, 2009

a nuclear freeze in South Asia

Daryl G Kimball, Arms Control Today, July/August, 2009



French visit to
Pakistan raises expectations for nuclear cooperation

The recent July visit of French
Minister for Foreign Trade, Anne Marie Idrac, had raised expectations that
France was going to strike a large civilian nuclear energy deal with Pakistan.
Back in May, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmoud Qureshi, had said that
France was going to agree to an arrangement
like the one struck between India and the United States. However, Idrac said on
July 23 during a press conference in Islamabad that France would not establish
a new nuclear reactor in the country and that any aid related to nuclear energy
would be for securing and enhancing the safety of Pakistan’s existing nuclear
sites. France did agree to provide other types of assistance, including
high technology military gear and weapons, such as combat helicopters.

Further Reading

deal that wasn’t

DAWN Editorial, July 25, 2009

security in Pakistan: Reducing the risks of nuclear terrorism

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Arms Control Today, July/August, 2009

Nuclear Security in Pakistan: Separating Myth From Reality
Feroz Hassan Khan, Arms Control Today, July/August, 2009


Missile Defense

US missile defense in Eastern
European sites were seen
to be a principal sticking point in START follow-on negotiations prior to the
Obama-Medvedev summit on July 6. At the summit press
, Obama stated, “I believe that it is entirely legitimate
for our discussions to talk not only about offensive weapon systems but also
defensive weapon systems.” The United States plans
to finish its review of European missile defense by the end of the summer.
Obama and Medvedev agreed on a special Joint
on “Missile Defense Issues,” which iterated their
commitment to seek out ways of cooperation on dealing with ballistic missile
proliferation. The statement also noted that experts are again discussing the
establishment of the Joint Data Exchange Center (JDEC), a project which has
languished since the initial Russian-American memorandum
of 2000 on the Center’s establishment.

After the Obama-Medvedev
summit, 22 intellectuals and former leaders of Central and Eastern Europe
published an “open
” to President Obama in the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.
The authors of the July 15th letter, who include Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel, believe
there remains a real threat from Russia. They assert that the project has
become “a symbol of America’s credibility and commitment to the
region.” The letter urges President Obama and NATO not to make decisions
based on “unfounded Russian opposition. ”


Further reading

chip or gas mask: Prospects for missile defense

John Isaacs and Travis Sharp, Carnegie Council on Ethics in International
Affairs, July 21, 2009

open letter to the Obama administration from Central and Eastern Europe

Valdas Adamkus, Martin Butora, Emil Constantinescu, Pavol Demes, Lubos
Dobrovsky, Matyas Eorsi, Istvan Gyarmati, Vaclav Havel, Rastislav Kacer, Sandra
Kalniete, Karel Schwarzenberh, Michal Kovac, Ivan Krastev, Alexander
Kwasniewski, Mart Laar, Kadri Liik, Janos Martonyi, Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Adam
Rotfeld, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Alexandr Vondra, Lech Walesa, Gazeta
, July 15, 2009


Peter Scoblic, The New Republic, July 12, 2009

Statement by Dmitry A Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, and Barack
Obama, President of the United States of America, on Missile Defense Issues

White House Press Office, July 6, 2009

statement on missile defense issues

Joshua Pollack, Arms Control, July 6, 2009


Additional Publications

control of nuclear

Mohamed ElBaradei, New York Times, July 19, 2009

to dismantle a nuclear bomb

BBC News, July 16, 2009

long, hard road to nuclear safety

Bryan Bender, The Boston Globe, July 5, 2009

emerging issues in arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation:
Opportunities for German leadership
Dennis M Gormley, Patricia M Lewis, Miles A Pomper, Lawrence Scheinman, Stephen
Schwartz, Nikolai Sokov, Leonard S Spector, report Prepared for the Policy
Planning Staff, Foreign Office, Federal Republic of Germany, The James Martin
Center for Nonproliferation Studies, July

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard