Setting Limits on Conventional Arms: A New Strategy for U.S.Negotiators

Report Defense

Setting Limits on Conventional Arms: A New Strategy for U.S.Negotiators

November 25, 1986 22 min read Download Report
Lt. James
Distinguished Fellow

(Archived document, may contain errors)

548 November 25, 1986 SETTING LIMITS ON CONVENTIONAL ARMS A NEW STRATEGY FOR U.S. NEGOTl,ATORS INTRODUCTION One the most important issues to emerge from the U.S.-Soviet Iceland summit is how drastic nuclear arms reductions would affect the balance of conventional forces in Europe. It has become increasingly clear that a world without nuclear ballistic missiles would require doing som ething about the superiority in conventional forces which the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies currently enjoy in Europe.

Either NATO would have to build up its conventional forces or an arms control agreement would have to be reached that stabilizes the balance of conventional forces in the European theater.

It could be argued that the way to avoid making hard choices about a buildup of NATO conventional forces would be to find some common ground with the Soviets at the Mutual and Balanced Force Re duction (MBFR) talks in Vienna. But is an MBFR agreement, as it is currently being negotiated, in the security interests of the West?.

Since MBFR negotiations began in 1973, MBFR has moved incrementally toward an agreement of potentially catastrophic consequences for NATO.

That danger is the result of inherent flaws which have bedeviled MBFR from its inception. These are 1) MBFR has mistakenly focused on manpower as the unit of account instead of more destabilizing elements of the military imbalance such as tanks or aircraft. 2) Reductions of manpower are more harmful to NATO than to the Warsaw Pact because it would be easier for the Soviets to re'introduae or reinforce troops in Europe than for the U.S 3) Manpower reductions would undermine NATO's abilit y to defend the central front in Germany because NATO's defenses are currently overextended. 4) Ceilings on manpower levels are unverif'iable.

To avoid these problems, the U.S. and its NATO allies should negotiate a new mandate for conventional arms control negotiations.

This could capitalize on MOSCOW~S recent willingness to terminate MBFR and open a new negotiating forum. Elements of a new mandate should include: 1) establishing a new unit of account to replace the current focus on manpower; 2) expanding the area of application to include all of Europe; 3) broadening the negotiations to.include battlefield nuclear and chemical weapons; and 4) establishing effective but realistic verification requirements.

THE ORIGINS OF MBFR The Pumose and Scor>e of MBFR The purpose of the MBFR talks is to negotiate an agreement to reduce forces and armaments in Central Europe. The area of reductions consists of the territory of seven countries: West Germany, Belgium the Netherlands, and Luxembourglin the West and East G ermany, Poland and Czechoslovakia in the East.

The announced Western goal for MBFR has been to reach manpower parity between East and West at the levels of 700,000 ground forces and 900,000 combined air and ground forces. To reach the Western goal, the Sov iet bloc would have to eliminate substantially more troops than the West because of current Warsaw Pact advantages in conventional forces in the Central Region. Reducing the Soviet military threat to Western Europe would make it less necessary for the Wes t to drastically increase expenditures for conventional forces. It would also help deter a Warsaw Pact attack by requiring the Soviet Union to undergo substantially greater mobilization and reinforcement before attacking than is now the case. For this reas o n, verification measures to insure compliance with an agreement would be expected to provide the Allies some additional warning time of an impending Soviet attack, which, in turn, would facilitate NATO's own mobilization and reinforcement decisions 1. Fra n ce has refused to take part in the three French divisions located in Hungary also was excluded at Soviet the talks, although NATO has tacitly agreed to count West Germany in Western figures. The territory of insistence 2. NATO would reduce 90,000 to 100,0 0 0 air and ground forces while, according to Western data, the Warsaw Pact would be required to reduce some 240,000 total troops 2- Western. Motivations The major reason for the West's initial'interest in MBFR was to forestallsthe progressive unraveling of NATO's conventional military defenses. NATOIs problems had been demonstrated by: 1) the 1966 withdrawal of France from military participation in NATO, which caused NATO to lose the largest single Western army of,;000 strong), as well as a maj o r part of NATO's logistical infrastructure 2) the depletion of U.S. forces in Europe as the war in Vietnam expanded: 3) indications in 1967 that England was considering cuts in the British Army of the Rhine; and 4) the threat of unilateral U.S troop reduc t ions prompted by former Senator Mike Mansfield's series of resolutions, first submitted to Fhe Senate in 1966, that culminated in the Mansfield Amendment of 1971 Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger tacitly admitted that force reductions themselves w e re never the objective of MBFR.'All the Administrationls studies had shown that conventional forces in Europe needed to be increased., The Mansfield Amendment threatened just the opposite. And according to every scenario devised by the National Security C ouncil, reaching an agreementsat the MBFR talks actually would increase the imbalance of forces.

Soviet Motivations The USSR had no military incentive to engage in the MBFR negotiations, having already achieved a preponderance of conventional military forc es in Central Europe which it had no intention of negotiating away. As in the case with the West, its motivation was political.

NATO's military capability, the Soviet Union was motivated primarily by its desire for a European security conference that woul d formally recognize post-World.War I1 borders, thereby legitimizing Soviet control over Eastern Europe. The U.S. agreed in 1972 to support the While certainly interested in achieving constraints on 3. Jeffrey Record, Force Reductions in Eurooe: Start inp Over (Cambridge, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, 1980), p. 36 4. U.S. troop strength declined from 408,000 to 310,000 between 1962 and 1970 according to Robin Ranger, Arms a nd Pol itics. 1958 -1978: Arms Control i n a Cha neinn Political Context Toronto: The MacMillan Company of Canada, Ltd 1979), p. 189 5. The Mansfield Amendment, which would have cut U.S. force strength in Europe by 150,000 men, was defeated on May 19, 1971, by a margin of 61-36, after a major lob b ying effort by the Nixon Administration 6. Henry Kissinger, White House Years (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1979), pp 939, 947 3European security conference (later known as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe-CSCE) in exchange for S oviet agreement to participate in MBFR.

THE WESTERN LACK OF NEGOTIATING LEVERAGE The Soviet drive to achieve military dominance dates from Peter the Great and is founded on the conviction that Russia (and, today the USSR) should by right be the dominant in fluence in Europe py virtue of its size, military might, and ideological dominance. To realize this dream, the Soviets have created a first-class military established a protective empire, and achieved superpower status. They almost certainly have no inten tion of giving up any part of their hard won status.

Because of the Soviets' acknowledged conventional force s uperiority, the West has no credible leverage with which to force a significant reduction of Soviet conventional forces. 'Western arms control advocates have failed to grasp this essential: fact. As a result, the West has made important negotiating conces sions with potentially serious ramifications for NATO's security in the vain hope that the USSR would agree to reduce its commanding lead. For its part, the USSR has sought an agreement that would codify existing 'Warsaw Pact military superiority.

WESTERN CONCESSIONS The dynamic of Western negotiating efforts, which is subject'to a large degree of public and internal pressure for progress, has led to many serious concessions. NATO has reduced substantially its negotiating demands in terms of both the scope and form of initial Soviet reductions. The West's early attempts to negotiate the reduction of a full Soviet tank army, while a step in the right direction, were successfully opposed by the USSR. In progressively weaker proposals over the years, NATO even tually dropped virtually all conditions that Soviet reductions consist of major combat formations.

The latest NATO initiative (December 1985) proposes a f irst-stage reduction of 11,500 Soviet troops (down from 68,000 in NATO's 1973 proposal 90 percent of which would be taken in whole battalions or regiments and ten percent in individual soldiers (as contrasted with a tank army complete with all its equipment in NATO's first proposal 7. Malcolm Mackintosh, "The Russian Attitude to Defense and Disarmament," International Affair$ Vol. 61, No. 3, Summer 1985, pp. 391, 394 4This proposal does not require removal of armaments or equipment and does not even specify that withdrawn forces be combat units, thereby allowing Soviet reductions to be taken from service support units more serious omission is the failure to prohibit Soviet prepositioning of equipment in Eastern Europe to facilitate rapid reinforcement of the Central Region.

December 5, 1985, when it agreed to eliminate the requirement for mutual agreement on current troop levels prior to treaty signature.

The Warsaw Pact maintaips that its troop levels are some 160,000 men below NATO's estimates. Despite years of insistence that resolving the "data issue1# was a prerequisite to accurately determining the n umber of reductions required to reach parity, NATO finally bowed to Soviet bloc refusals to provide additional elaboration on its forces.

NATO thereby accepted the Soviet assertions that it was not necessary to know the number of forces in the reductions area prior to initiating reductions. Instead, once reductions were complete, the resulting lfvels would be monitored by a variety of verification techniques..

The ability to verify residual force levels, even with National Technical Means and relatively i ntrusive Associated Measures is far from assured and perhaps even impossible force levels, verification is greatly complicated A NATO made perhaps its host-damaging concession in these talks on Without prior agreement on Although many Western experts were convinced that a Western concession on the data issue would promote movement in the talks, the Soviets have merely pocketed the concession'and are now chipping away at the Western verification package issue, NATO has lost all hope of achieving asymmetrica l reductions leading to parity in the Central Region, which was the raison d'etre for the West entering the MBFR negotiations By compromising on the data 8. The Arms Control Reoorter, December 1982, p. 401.E.1 9. These techniques are National Technical Mea ns (NTMs) and Associated Measures (AMs).

National Technical Means (NTMs) refers generally to photographic reconnaissance satellites and other assets under national control for monitoring compliance with the provisions of an arms control agreement. Associat ed Measures (AMs) are the "cooperative" measures proposed in the MBFR talks to aid in monitoring and verifying provisions of a treaty.

They include on-site inspection, entry/exit points for monitoring troop movements, and exchanges of information on force s 1 -5- IS AN MBFR AGREEMENT IN NATO's SECURITY INTEREST The U.S. has never been able to design a methodology that would make NATO reductions actually desirable are already stretched thin, forcing the alliance to depend on nuclear weapons and the doctrine of flexible response to deter a conventional attack by the Warsaw Pact Even a reduced Soviet presence-in Eastern Europe would not appreciably change NATO's basic requirements for defense. NATO reductions, on the other hand, would increase the importance o f the two sides' relative capabilities to mobilize and reinforce in a crisis-decidedly disadvantageous to NATO due to geographic considerations NATO's conventional defenses In the rush to head off the Mansfield amendment, the U.S. and NATO committed themse l ves tolothe MBFR negotiations before they had determined their objectives negotiations that would have serious security consequences. specific defects which undermine the current MBFR negotiations include NATO thus accepted a mandate for The Manpower is t h e Wronu Unit of Account The focus of MBFR on manpower has less to do with logic than with politics which was aimed at the unilateral reduction of U.S. manpower from Europe. Manpower ceilings were fairly easily specified (a 700,000-man ground forces ceilin g was initially agreed for each side and subsequently, a mutual 900,000-man ceiling on both air and ground forces was added equipment. Soldiers are relatively comparable: tanks and aircraft vary widely in capabilities.

Since its inception, therefore, MBFR discussions have hinged on manpower, despite the fact that a treaty based solely on manpower would have little positive effect on security in Central Europe. In fact, such a treaty potentially could be disastrous because: 1 manpower alone is not an effect i ve measure of combat power and therefore not an effective means of establishing a military balance armaments and force structure are more effective 2) manpower is too illusive a unit of account to be verifiable; and 3) there is a wide variance between Sov i et and Western positions on the number of Soviet bloc forces in the reductions area, and, in view of the Western concession on data, it is unlikely that the difference will be narrowed. reduced and limited, there is little prospect that real parity can be achieved It is a direct response to the 1971 Mansfield amendment Manpower was also easier to compare than Without a clear perspective on the number of troops being 10. Kissinger, OD. ciL pp. 402, 947-948.

Manvower Reductions Ham NATO more than the Warsaw Pact U.S. reductions would be more prejudicial to NATO's security than The reason is the Soviet reductions would be to Warsaw Pact security geostrategic asymmetry which dictates that reinforcement of NATO from the U.S. will be substantially more difficult than Soviet reinforcement of Eastern Eur0pe.I In the. Soviet case, reinforcements can be moved as little as 400 miles from the USSR, while in the case of the U.S. and Canada, reinforcements would be required to traverse 4,000 miles or more road and rail n e twork, by Soviet military transport aviation or by means of the largest civil air fleet in the world U.S. forces, on the other hand, cannot be easily reintroduced once withdrawn. Sea lines of communications are long and vulnerable, even if suffi,cient shi pping existed. Airlift assets are already fully committed for other essential missions and would not be available for emfrgency movement of MBFR-withdrawn forces from the U.S. to Europe.

Strategic air transport is so overburdened that the U.S. cannot now m eet its NATO commitment to have six extra divisions (in addition to the four-plus divisions algeady in place) in Europe ten days after the beginning of mobilization Soviet forces could be easily reintroduced over a well-developed A further consideration i s that U.S. forces returned from Europe risk deactivation by a Congress that would otherwise be required to fund the facilities and additional unit equipment necessary to maintain. them in the U.S.

If there is a single, overriding reason why an MBFR agreem ent in any currently envisaged form is not in NATO's interest, it is because it would constrain the U.S. ability to come to NATO's aid reason is the potential political obstacles to mobilization and reinforcement that probably would be erected by West Eur o pean politicians unwilling to believe ambiguous warning indicators and risk provocative acts by abrogating an MBFR treaty. In an increasingly tense international situation, politicians will more likely be attuned to the political consequences of their act s than the requirements for military preparedness. And an agreement which attempts to account for manpower is unlikely to provide the unambiguous warning that would give West European leaders the confidence to take defensive measures Another 11. While this dilemma is true for manpower, it would be eveh more difficult by several orders of magnitude to move equipment back to Europe; henc'e the U.S.'s insistence on the right to store equipment in the reductions area 12. Caspar W. Weinberger, Annual Rebort to t he Conpress. FY 1986 (Washington, D.C U.S.

Government Printing Office, 1985 p. 224 7 I Mamower Reductions Undermine NATO's Fokward Defense CaDabilitv Although it is commonly accepted that reduction in the level of forces facing one another across the intra-German border is a desirable arms control soal. this fundamentally misconstrues the real threat to stability in Europe. It is not the mire presence of the forces which is destabilizing, but rather the nature'of those forces.

The heavily offensive orientation of Warsaw Pact forces coupled with substantial numerical superiority and an on-going modernization effort of massive proportions are the major sources of instability.

Reductions of forces could have the unintended effect of actually increasing instability if they prompt the Warsaw Pact to fee l that NATO's military vigilance has relaxed. NATO's capability for defense today is at its absolute minimum. More than token reductions would seriously damage NATO's capability to withstand a Warsaw Pact attack.

The ability of NATO to maintain elastic defense depends, among other factors, on having sufficient front-line forces and operational reserves.

Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) is approximately 450 miles long.

Although the force-to-space requirement can'vary widely with terrain quality of equipment , training and leadership, currently, a U.S. heavy division is expected to hold 15 miles of the front line standard would require a minimum of 30 NATO divisions to defend the 450 mile front. Current NATO doctrine calls for another 15,divisions in operatio n al beserve to halt penetrations and mount counterattacks. However, NATO currently has only 26 total divisions (including the three Frenchl,divisions in West Germany) and nine separate brigades and regiments NATO is deficient in both. The defensive front o f Allied This Many critics cite the shortage of operational reserves as NATO's Operational reserves are particularly important greatest deficiency to NATO because of the lack of operational depth and the resulting inability to trade space for time.

Mamower Ceilinas are Unverifiable The ability to verify treaty.provisions; remains a critical part Not only must NATO verify that agreed levels of reductions of any arms control agreement and is essential in determining the acceptability of any agreement to West e rn governments and their publics are being taken, it,must also insure that agreed residual levels after 13. William P. Mako, U.S. G round Forces and the Defense of Central Eurobe '(Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1983 p 39. I 14. John M. Colli n s, U.S Soviet Militarv Balance. 1980 -1985 (Washington, D.C Pergamon-Brassey's, 1983, p. 127 areductions are not exceeded. The proposed MBFR compliance standards of 700,000 ground forces and 900,000 combined air and ground forces however, are too large an d nebulous to be verified with confidence and timeliness. This critical flaw undermines any deterrent to Soviet cheating. The U.S. intelligence community consistently has maintained that manpower is the most difficult standard to monitor for arms control v i olations and, 'in fact, argued strenuously against adoption of the manpower standard in the-early-1970s levels can be adequately verified and how comprehensive set of verification measures which, if adopted, should increase monitoring capability substanti a lly, but it is unlikely that the Warsaw Pact would agree to such intrusive measures There is major disagreement over whether MBFR's proposed manpower NATO has proposed a The dispute over MBFR verifiability is not likely to be Eesolved in the near future. It seems clear, however, that currently no one can confidently make a case that an MBFR agreement based on manpower will ever be verifiable.

CONVENTIONAL ARMS CONTROL AND 'NATO's SECURITY The inherent flaws in the MBFR mandate and the current impasse in th e negotiations should persuade NATO to disengage from these non-productive talks. The Warsaw Pact's June 11, 1986, "Budapest Appeal" provides the opportunity. This proposal by Warsaw Pact heads of state.signals Soviet bloc dissatisfaction with the MBFR ta l ks. The appeal offered to expand the reductions zone to all of Europe, "from the Atlantic to the Urals." Furthermore, the Warsaw Pact expressed its willingness to conduct new negotiations 1) in an entirely new forum 2) in an expanded MBFR forum, or 3) wit hin the context of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE).

A new forum is not the whole answer, however. In light of the Warsaw Pact's indisputable superiority in conventional forces and the Kremlin's clear geostrategic advantage, arms control is unlikely to redress the currently adverse conventional imbalance. This is particularly so in light of Soviet refusal to acknowledge that an imbalance exists. Unless NATO is prepared to make a substantially greater commitment to the conventiona l leg of its defenses, the Warsaw Pact undoubtedly will continue to maintain its current advantage and perhaps even improve it.

Nevertheless, a new forum offers the opportunity to redress weaknesses inherent in the MBFR mandate--the focus on manpower as th e unit of account, the too-limited area of application, and the Western lack of leverage to effect needed Warsaw Pact reductions 9- Em~lov an Effective Unit of Account Manpower is the wrong unit of account if the purpose of the negotiation is to establish a just and equitable balance of forces.

Attention instead should be directed at the most destabilizing elements in the conventional balance-those forces designed for offensive purposes. These include the forward-deployed Soviet tank armies in Eastern Euro pe, engineer bridging units, airborne forces and other special operations forces, attack helicopter units, and bomber and ground attack aircraft. Nuclear and chemical equipped units also fall into this category. The most threatening Soviet forces are the s even tank and seven motorized rifle divisions and their 6,500 main battle tanks located close to the intra-German border. This force can launch a short-notice, unreinforced attack which could achieve some limited territoKia1 gains before NATO forces even c ould deploy from their casernes Two alternative approaches to controlling these destabilizing forces are 1) reduction and limitation of specific structural elements which are identified as being primarily offensive in nature and 2) reduction and limitatio n of specific armaments the objective would be to limit the capability of military forces in Central Europe to conduct offensive missions its structure would have to be changed in a way that makes it infeasible for it to mount an attack seek to restructure or realign the forces immediately facing one another in Europe into a defensive posture. This would reduce the potential for an unreinforced attack and for intimidation of the political process. Monitoring this type of agreement would be relatively simple , requiring only that units of a prohibited type not be within specified zones. It also would require, however, an exchange of information on the structure and unit equipment of the opposing forces, and monitoringl,would have to ensure that the nature of t h ose forces did not change In both cases To restrict a unit's capability to conduct offensive operations In short, this approach would A similar approach to the same goal lies in focusing reductions and limitations on armaments or major items of equipment, rather than on manpower or force structure 88. Establishing armaments as the unit of account would have several benefits: 1) they are a substantially better measure of combat power than manpower; 2) they 15. Anthony H. Cordesman, "The NATO Central Region a nd the Balance of Uncertainty Armed Forces Jou rnal International, July 1983, pp. 40-41 16. John G. Keliher, The Negotiations on Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions: The Search for Arms Control in Cent ral Eurobe (New York: Pergamon Press, 1980), pp. 157 - 158, 161 are more easily monitored than manpower: 3) the focus on armaments would effectively bypass the manpower data issues (although it might be supplanted by a data issue of its own and 4) armament reductions would translate directly into reductions o f offensive capability in classifying and equating the many different systems, 2) the likelihood that the rapid pace of.techno3;ogy'would make many of the systems obsolete and perhaps replace them with systems not covered in an agreement, and 3) the likeli h ood that such an approach would adverselg affect both sides' modernization and restructuring options Potential drawbacks to this approach include: 1) the difficulty Because the Warsaw Pact superiority over NATO in virtually every class of conventional wea pons and, increasingly, for the class of short-range nuclear weapons is greater than it is for manpower changing the unit of account would appear to be a desirable option.

However, it would require a substantially new mindset and the painful breaking with current bureaucratic inertia should be restricted to offensive forces. No.treaty should restrict either side's ability to defend itself from attack substantial capability for self-defense is no cause for alarm as long as it is not accompanied by a capabil i ty for significant offensive use. .Because of the multifaceted capabilities of modern weapons, such a distinction may prove difficult making To the extent possible, forces reduced or limited in this way Thus a But it is a distinction worth Fmand the Area o f Amlication Completely excluded from the MBFR reductions area is any part of the Soviet Union, thereby making the USSR a convenient sanctuary from the provisions of any MBFR agreement and sharply accentuating the geostrategic asymmetry between NATO and t h e Warsaw Pact. Also excluded from the area are Hungary and France. Hungary was excluded after Soviet demands that Italy be included on the Western side as a mid pro mo. France has refused to play any role in MBFR On April 18, 1986, Soviet General Secretar y Mikhail Gorbachev inexplicably called for a new East-West negotiation to reduce the size of conventional and tactical nuclear forces in Europe. He specified the area as Ilfrom the Atlantic to the Ural mountain The Warsaw Pact formally accepted this propo s al at a meeting of heads of state in Budapest on June 11, 1986 17. Ibid, p. 157 1 I. i 11 - The exact motivation for the Soviets' sudden willingness to include the European USSR is not known, but NATO should seize this opportunity to rectify a serious fla w in the original MBFR mandate.

The Warsaw Pact did not specify a precise forum, leaving open the options of an expanded MBFR forum, a forum under the umbrella of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in.Europe.(CSCE)- or an entirely new forum. Althou gh the Soviets, as well as a number of NATO'members have leaned toward linking the proposed new negotiations with the 35-nation CSCE, there are strong arguments against this solution. The presence of the neutral and non-aligned nations in CSCE has signifi c antly complicated efforts to maintain alliance unity, and they have sometimes pursued their own national agendas apart from the security considerations under discussion. Member nations also operate independently in CSCE rather than as members of a bloc as in MBFR.

This creates ample opportunity for Soviet wedge-driving and is detrimental to NATO solidarity. Finally, CSCE requires periodic review conferences which have placed artificial time constraints on the need for progress 1986 conclusion of the Conference on C o nfidence- and Security-Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe (CDE which operates under the auspices of CSCE 1 This was particularly evident in the November Regardless of the exact forum, however it is highly desirable that NATO approve an expansion of the area for conventional arms control to include the European territory and forces of the two alliances.

ExDand the Focus of the MBFR Forum The focus.of MBFR has been too narrow. It has concentrated on conventional forces (and predominantly manpower, a t that) to the exclusion of other related security concerns. For example, a'whole new class of short-range nuclear systems is growing'up which is included in neither the negotiations on nuclear forces nor those on conventional forces. Negotiations continu e in Geneva on chemical weapons, seemingly unrelated to the negotiations on the general purpose forces which would employ them. Each area of potential warfare has its own bureaucracy and interest groups cross-feed of information occurs, as if a future war i n Europe would be limited to one or another of these types of warfare, but never all together. I Little Because the Geneva negotiations on nuclear and space weapons are bilateral negotiations dealing with the forces of the U.S. and USSR on a global basis, the immediate regional concerns of Europe often are not fully accommodated. To rationalize regional arms control talks in Europe, it may be advisable to enlarge the subject matter of MBFR along with the geographic area of application, to include more than just conventional forces. The most credible addition to the MBFR 12 -mandate would be ihe short-range nuclear forces which are not now specifically covered by an ongoing negotiation.

The Soviets are currently deploying short-range tactical ballistic missi le systems which will be used by general purpose forces and which can maintain the Soviet tactical nuclear capability even if an arms control agreement on Longer-Range Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces LRINF) limits .or eliminates SS-.4s and SS-20s West G e rman Defense Minister Manfred Woerner has warned of a potential new threat from the Warsaw Fact in the form of a massive Ilconventional fire-strike1! by conventionally armed missiles. The new tactical missiles being deployed by the Warsaw Fact can deliver conventional or chemical munitions, as well as nuclear warheads, in a devastating first strike of great accuracy and suddenness complex negotiation. Rather, it is to centralize discussion of regional concerns without artificial barriers. This could have t h e desired effect of focusing attention on the more comprehensive European security situation and enabling tradeoffs to occur between different types of capabilities I The goal is not to enlarge and further complicate an already Establish Effective But Rea l istic Verification Effective verification has been the bane of all arms control agreements to date. The U.S. generally has insisted on stringent verification measures which would require substantial administration and a high degree of intrusiveness. The S oviet Union in keeping with its tradition of secrecy, has consistently rejected this approach.

The verification requirements in the Westls December 1985 proposal, if examined closely, would require a massive bureaucratic apparatus structure or armaments, h owever, would simplify monitoring and enable verification to be achieved largely through National Technical Means and with existing military attaches reliably established the order of battle of Soviet bloc forces.

Associated Measures would be required to update the data base and resolve disputes, but their scope and intrusiveness could be reduced Changing the unit of account from manpower to either force These means already have Verification will not be an easy task, even under the best of circumstances. N ATO and the U.S. Congress must recognize that there is no such thing as absolute verification and strive to make she compliance standards unequivocal and meaningful. There will undoubtedly be disputes between the sides, and the role of the 18. Manfred Woe r ner A Missile Defense for NATO Europe Winter 1986 pp. 13-18 13 consultative commission proposed by NATO to resolve these disputes, either through dialogue or by authorizing an inspection resolved. It then will be incumbent on NATO to determine if a violation of the treaty has occurred decision rather than a strict monitoring judgment, and it will depend in large part on explicit compliance'standards'which-'are'capable of being monitored with an acceptable level of confidence In some instances, how e ver, it is unlikely that they wi1l;be This will be a political CONCLUSION There is no military-security benefit from, continuing to pursue the MBFR negotiations in their current.form. From the outset of the negotiations it was clear that the geostrategic a symmetry would be disadvantageous for NATO in terms of restricting its ability to mobilize and reinforce to meet a Warsaw Pact threat. Manpower has proved an ineffective unit of account with the added disadvantage of being unverifiable. The Soviet advanta g e in virtually every aspect of the conventional balance has deprived NATO of negotiating leverage necessary to achieve an agreement on favorable terms, and the restricted area of application has made the USSR a sanctuary from treaty provisions. After thir teen years of negotiations, the trend of Western concessions is decidedly unnerving.

It is therefore time the U.S. exerted its leadership within the North Atlantic alliance to change the parameters for negotiating conventional force reductions. Elements of a new approach should include: structure, armaments, or a combination of both 1) establishment of a new unit of account-either offensive force 2) expansion 'of the area of application to include all of Europe 3) expansion of the focus of negotiations to i nclude short-range including the European USSR nuclear and chemical weapons, which are purely regional in character and 4) establishment of effective but realistic monitoring requirements 14 - Since the consider a new Soviets have arms control themselves i ndicated a willingness forum, the wav is clear to becrin to exploratory discussions this opportunity to refocus the discussion of European security in a more productive direction It would behoovi the U.S. and NiTO to seize Lt Cot. James Linam U.S. Air For ce Lt. Col. Linam wrote this study while serving as Air Force Fellow at The Heritage Foundation during 1985-19

86. He served previously as a Joint Staff representative on the U.S. delegation to the MBFR talks and is currently assigned to the Pentagon in the Air Force's Directorate of Plans.

The views expressed in this study are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. government 15 -


Lt. James

Distinguished Fellow