The Chemical Weapons Convention: A Bad Deal for America

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The Chemical Weapons Convention: A Bad Deal for America

June 13, 1994 31 min read Download Report
Theodor Rebarber
Senior Visiting Fellow
(Archived document, may contain errors)

990 June 13,1994 THECHEMICAL WEA PONS CONVENTION ABADDEALFORAMERICA INTRODUCTION The Clinton Administration wants the Senate to ratify quickly the Chemical Weap ons Convention, a treaty negotiated during the heady early days of the new world or der and signed by the United States on Janu ary 13,19

93. So far, the Chemical Weap ons Convention has been signed by 157 countries. It will enter into force and become recognized international law when 65 countries have ratified it and deposited the signed and ratified documents with the Office of the United Nations Secretary General in New York.

Hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have begun, and Chairman Claiborne Pel1 RI) has said he hopes for a full Senate vote by July

15. But there is cause for concern that the Chemical Weapons Convention will not fulfill its promise of eliminating chemical weapons worldwide. No country is required to join the convention.

Syria and North Korea, two suspected chemical weapons developers, have indicated they will not. Further, the treatys ve rification procedures, although highly intrusive are still inadequate to catch governments determined to cheat. In the end, the Chemical Weapons Convention will only deceive law-abiding countries like the United States into believing the chemical weapons threat has been eliminated.

Worse, the treaty creates a large international bureaucracy with the authority to con duct highly intrusive inspections for chemical weapons on the territory of treaty partici pants This bureaucracy, likely to be a cross between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the U.S. Environmental Protextion Agency, will be granted unimpeded ac cess to American chemical manufacturing plants and facilities, even if they are not sus pected of producing chemical weapons. For example, i n spections may be performed on facilities that process or consume as well as produce, certain types of chemicals that may be used in weapons. Some of these chemicals are found in fertilizers and pesticides Thus, an agricultural facility that uses certain t y pes of fertilizers or pesticides may be subject to inspection. Dealing with these inspections undoubtedly will impose heavy ad ditional costs on U.S. chemical companies. In fulfilling its constitutional role of advice and consent for international treatie s , the Senate should answer a series of basic questions before determining the value of this or any treaty. For example, does the agreement 0 contribute to US. national security? reduce the risk of war? leave America with a military force commensurate with its global 0 lend itself to verification obligations? have adequate enforcement mechanisms In the case of the Chemical Weapons Convention, none of these questions can be an swered with enough certainty to justify the risk of ratifying it. In order to prot e ct the in terests of the United States, the Senate should d Demand a new treaty be drafted that is modeled on the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty designates certain countries, such as the U.S as states that are permit t ed to deploy nuclear weap ons. The Senate should press the Administration to withdraw the Chemical Weapons Convention and begin a new round of negotiations at the United Na tions Conference on Disarmament to draft a new Chemical Weapons Conven tion. The n e w agreement should permit the U.S. to maintain a chemical stock pile as a deterrent to such known chemical weapons states as Russia, Iraq, and North Korea. Taking this approach also would exempt the U.S. from intrusive inspections by international bureauc r ats d Establish a new policy for deterring chemical weapons strikes. In May 1991, President George Bush announced a decision to halt U.S. production of new chemical munitions, eliminate existing U.S. chemical weapons stockpiles and foreswear the use of ch e mical weapons under any circumstances. This step reversed existing U.S. policy of threatening to respond in kind to a chemical at tack. The U.S. should declare a new deterrence policy toward chemical weap ons that resembles the one that existed prior to B u shs announcement. This will require that the U.S. retain chemical munitions. Further, the U.S. should de clare that under extraordinary circumstances it reserves the right to respond to a chemical attack with nuclear weapons d Improve U.S. defenses agains t chemical weapons. The Chemical Weapons Convention will not protect U.S. forces against chemical attack. Outlaw na tions will continue to produce and stockpile such weapons. Given these circum stances, the U.S. will need not only to maintain a chemical de t errent, but also to possess defenses against chemical weapons. These should include sensors ca pable of detecting the presence of chemicals in the atmosphere, gas masks and protective clothing, missiles and aircraft capable of destroying chemical weap ons delivery vehicles, and training for troops who may have to operate in a con taminated environment 2 d Enhance the US. ability to destroy not only chemical weapons on the battlefield, but their production and storage facilities as well In addition to relyi n g on deterrence and defenses to counter chemical weapons U.S armed forces need to be able to destroy chemical weapons production and stor age facilities. The same pertains to enemy forces deployed with chemical muni tions. Thus Air Force and Navy attack f o rces must have enhanced capabilities to conduct strike missions against chemical forces and facilities in ways that limit contamination d Strengthen arms control enforcement mechanisms. One of the reasons that arms control agreements can pose such a threa t to U.S. security is that a policy of strict enforcement is lacking. Absent such a policy, the Chemical Weapons Convention is likely to be unenforceable. In part, this is because the conven tion puts enforcement powers in the hands of the United Nations S e curity Council. The impact of this weakness could be lessened by designating the five permanent members of the Security Council as weapons states under the con vention. Otherwise, full enforcement of the convention will require that these states, each of w hich has the power to veto any enforcement resolution, find themselves in violation of the conventions terms THE DECADES-LONG EFFORT TO BAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS I It has long been the aim of diplomats to curtail both the use and stockpiling of chemi cal weapo n s. Among the earliest attempts in modem times to ban the use of chemical weapons was the 1907 Hague Convention. Approved by the European powers, the con vention prohibited the use of weapons containing poison, but the widespread use of chemical weapons in World War I proved that this prohibition had little effect. After the war, a League of Nations conference convened in Switzerland to approve the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which prohibited the use of both biological and chemical weapons in war, but not their d e velopment, production, and stockpiling. Among the countries sign ing the Geneva Protocol were the U.S France, Germany, Britain, Italy, and Japan. Un- like the 1907 Hague Convention, the Geneva Protocol was successful once war broke out. Chemical weapons w e re not used widely during World War II, but this success was due to implicit threats by allied leaders, particularly President Franklin Roosevelt, to re spond in kind to any chemical attack? It is one of historys clearest examples of a suc cessful deterre nce policy.

The Geneva Protocol is still in force, and the U.S. honors its terms, although it did not ratify the protocol until 19

75. It is, however, a weak agreement. If countries violate 1 2 Mark C. Storella, Poisoning Arms Control: The Soviet Union and ChemicaVBiological Weapons (Washington, D.C Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, 1984 pp. 4-5.

Roosevelt stated the following on lune 8,1943, when there were reports that the Axis powers were considering the use of poison gas: Use of such weapons has been outlawed by the general opinion of civilized mankind. This country has not used and I hope that we never will be compelled to use them. I state categorically that we shall under no circumstances resort to the use of such weapons unless they are fmt u s ed by our enemies 3 it, they remain unpunished, and there are no established procedures for determining the veracity of reported claims of biological or chemical weapons use. It is sometimes re ferred to as the no first use agreement because participating states agreed to comply with its terms so long as biological or chemical weapons were not used against them first. Some states, including the U.S ratified the agreement with the reservation that it would cease to be binding if they were attacked frrst.

Vi olations of the Geneva Protsol have occurred on several occasions since the end of World War 11. The Soviet Union and its clients, for example, used mycotoxins, com monly referred to as yellow rain, against civilians in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia in t h e 1970s and 1980s; and Iraq used chemical weapons during its eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s Negotiations leading to the Chemical Weapons Convention began in 197 1 when the U.N. Conference on Disarmaments predecessor organization the Eighteen-Nation Dis armament Committee, voted to conduct separate talks on banning biological and chemi cal weapons This allowed for the conclusion of the Biological Weapons Convention which banned the production and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons in 1972 bu t put negotiations to ban chemical weapons on the back burner for well over a decade.

By the mid-1980s, the Reagan Administration, expressing concern over the large scale Soviet chemical weapons program, began producing a new generation of chemical munitions for the U.S. military. The subsequent U.S. program was legal because the 1925 Gene va Protocol outlawed only the use, not the development, production, and stockpiling, of chemical munitions.

Diplomatic efforts in the 1980s focused on stopping the spread of chemical weapons to Third World countries. In 1984, Australia proposed to establis h controls on the export of ingredients that could be used to manufacture chemical weapons. This proposal was made to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD an or ganization of the industrialized states to coordinate economic deve l opment policies for the Third World. The Australians wanted participating countries to coordinate export control policies to stem the transfer of chemical weapons-related technologies to the Third World. Specific restrictions and enforcement mechanisms we r e left to individual governments. The Australia Group now has 20 members, including such prominent na tions as the U.S France, Britain, and Japan5 The informal and voluntary nature of the Australian proposal has limited its effective ness. For example, th e enforcement of the export restrictions falls to individual member governments, but industrialized nations have a spotty record on how vigorously they en force export restrictions In the 1980s, a Phillips Petroleum Company subsidiary in Bel gium delivered the chemical thiodiglycol (used in manufacturing mustard gas) to Iraq 3 Alexander M. Haig, Jr Chemical Warfare in Southeast Asia and Afghunistun (Washington, D.C Department of State, 1982 4 5 6 W. Seth Carus, Chemical Weapons in the Middle East, Policy Fo cw,The Washington Institute for Near East Policy December 1988, p. 4.

The Australia Group includes Australia, Austria, Belgium. Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

Gary Thatcher and Timothy Aeppel, IIeTrail to Samarra, The Christian Science Monitor. December 13,1988, p. B-1 4 and Britain is reported to have sold thiodiglycol and thionyl chloride to Iraq in 1988 and 1989: Both transfers were contrary to the commitments made by Belgium and Britain in the Australia Group. Export control policies, while useful to pursue, by themselves cannot stop the spread of chemical weapons Bushs Drive to Ban Chemical Weapons. George Bush came to office determined to ban chemical weapons. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed an agreement on June 1,1990, in Washington to reduce the chemical stockpiles of the U.S and the Soviet Union to 5,000 metric tons each. No accord, howeve r , was reached outlin ing inspection procedures for confirming the destruction of these weapons. That was left to subsequent negotiations which were supposed to be completed by December 3 1 1990 This deadline passed without agreement between Moscow and Was h ington. The failure was, to some extent, due to the turmoil in the Soviet Union, which was collaps ing politically. Further, both sides were aware that progress was being made on the Chemical Weapons Convention at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament, and t hat this convention would have extensive inspection procedures and ban the weapons entirely.

Nevertheless, Bush announced on May 13,1991, in the flush of Americas post-De sert Storm success, that the U.S. would agree to a complete ban of chemical weapons e ven if other nations did not eliminate their arsenals. Bush also pledged that the U.S would foreswear the use of chemical weapons under any circumstances, including situ ations in which U.S. forces are attacked with such weapons first8 Until that time, Wa s hington had reserved the right to use chemical weapons if at tacked with them first and to maintain a chemical weapons stockpile for the purpose of deterrence and possible retaliation. This unilateral concession by the US., along with an other to drop the demand for stringent any time, anywhere inspections of possible chemical weapons facilities, put the Chemical Weapons Convention negotiations on the fast track. The final draft of the convention was completed on September 3,1991, in Ge neva and was signed in Paris by more than the required 65 countries. Assuming these 65 countries ratify the convention by July 1994, it will take effect on January 13,1995 Thus far, only seven (Albania, Australia, Fiji, Mauritius, Norway, the Seychelles, and Sweden) have rat i fied the convention many are waiting for the U.S. to ratify before they act PROVISIONS OF THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION The purpose of the convention is to ban all existing chemical weapons and forbid their production, stockpiling, and use. It would do s o by establishing elaborate proce dures for eliminating all chemical weapons no later than ten years after the convention enters into force and by requiring the elimination of chemical weapons production facili ties within the same ten-year period. The co n vention, however, does not require the de struction of toxic chemicals, their precursors (chemicals that can be combined to form toxic chemicals or facilities or precursors that are used for peacehl purposes. Like 7 8 Ralph Atkins, et al., Britain Exporte d Poisonous Gas Ingredients to Iraq, The Financial Times, July 29, 1991, p. 1.

The White House, The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol.

27. No. 20 (May 20.1991 pp. 599-600 5 wise, small stockpiles of lethal chemicals may be retained for de veloping defenses against chemical weapons. These chemicals, precursors, and production facilities are subject to verification measures to detect any attempt to convert them into weapons. The convention is of unlimited duration, which is designed to make the destruction of chemi cal weapons permanent.

Overseeing the implementation of the agreement will be a large international bureauc racy that in many ways resembles the International Atomic Energy Agency (MEA a U.N. agency that fosters cooperation among n ations in the peaceful uses of nuclear power. In a similar vein, a new chemical weapons bu reaucracy will be created and called the Organiza tion for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Headquartered at The Hague this organization will have three parts. The first will be the Confer ence ofState Parties, con sisting of the repre sentatives of all states par ticipating in the conven tion. It will establish gen eral policies for imple menting the convention and oversee the functions of the organization. The second will be the Execu tive Council, the executive arm of the organization Executive Council consisting of the representatives of 4 1 participating states picked to achieve geographic balance. The third will be the Technical Secretariat, led by a Direct or General, which will be responsible for carrying out the inspections to verify compliance.

The first meeting of a commission preparing the groundwork for the chemical weap ons organization took place on February 8,1993, at The Hague. Since that meeting, the Preparatory Commission has focused on building the Provisional Technical Secretariat the forerunner of the monitoring agency that will be created after the convention comes into force. Activities of the Preparatory Commission thus far have included fi nding a building to house the agency, establishing inspection procedures, drafting inspection manuals, procuring and testing inspection equipment, and hiring and training inspectors.

The 1994 budget for the Preparatory Commission is almost $30 million, of which the U.S. will pay 25 percent9 Once up and running, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will operate at a minimum cost of $500 million annually-but 9 Keir A. Lieber, Highlights of the Fifth PrepCom Plenary, The CWC Chronicle, Jan uary 1994, p. 1 6 could wind up costing three to four times this amount, depending on the number of em ployees it hires.

The verification responsibilities of the Technical Secretariat are vast. The convention's Annex on Implementation and Verification (Ver ification Annex over 100 pages long establishes a long list of inspections to verify that chemical weapons and chemical weap ons production facilities are destroyed. The Technical Secretariat also is tasked with en suring that commercial chemical producti o n facilities are not used to develop and pro duce weapons. The Verification Annex outlines a number of inspection procedures, in- cluding the timing of inspections, the appointment of inspectors, the privileges and im munities that governments must extend to inspectors, and the equipment inspectors may bring with them.

The Verification Annex establishes eight different kinds of inspection regimes all of which must be carried out by theTechnical Secretariat. The first kind of inspection veri fies whether ch emical weapons are destroyed. The second is to verify the destruction or conversion of chemical weapons production facilities. The third, fourth, and fifth detect whether certain types of chemicals have been used in building chemical weapons."

The sixth kind of inspection pkrtains to production facilities that produce chemicals not found in any of the first three schedules. The seventh is the most sensitive insofar as it involves short-notice inspections of states suspected of violating the ter m s of the con 10 Detecting the so-called diversion of chemicals for use in weapons is complex. First of all. chemicals are broken into three categories called schedules. Schedule I chemicals are those most easily used in weapons and therefore subject to th e strictest types of inspections. Schedule II and Schedule m chemicals are more difficult to turn into weapons and therefore subject to less strict inspections 7 vention. The final kind of inspection requires investigating sites where chemical weap ons may have been used.

At first, the U.S. demanded that so-called challenge inspections be allowed anywhere and at any time a violation was suspected. It ultimately abandoned this approach in fa vor of a British proposal for so-called managed access to suspect s ites. Under this provi sion, the inspected state may take steps to guard its national security as long as it does not involve evading the conventions terms In order to protect its security, an inspected state may-remove sensitive papers shroud displays an d-eAuipment, log off computers restrict the types of analyses that may be carried out on air, soa, and effluent samples and even limit which inspectors may gain access to particular areas at a suspect site.

The inspection process is long and involved It st arts with OPCW officials inspecting the locations declared by a member state as weapons sites. The declaration must be filed with the Technical Secretariat no later than 30 days after the convention enters into force. Work on destroying the chemical weapo ns at the sites must begin within two years. They must be completely destroyed within ten years.

Once on a weapons site, inspectors will place seals and monitoring devices to guard against a violation. Similar procedures, such as placing cameras, exist for monitoring whether or not the chemical weapons, production facilities, and non-weapons chemical production facilities have been destroyed. As many as 1,000 inspections a year may be required ecutive Council bears the responsibility for demanding that a p a rticipating state redress a violation If corrective action is not taken, the Conference of State Parties may sus pend the offending states privileges under the convention This could include terminat ing cooperative programs to assist states in developing c hemicals for peaceful purposes or denying the offender the right to vote in the Conference of State Parties. In more seri ous cases of violation, stricter countermeasures would be taken. For example, trade in all chemicals with the offending state could b e shut off. In cases where violations pose a threat to the security of other states, the Conference of State Parties may refer the matter to the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council. Ulti mately, the Security Council serv e s as the court of final appeal in the enforcement proc ess The Chemical Weapons Convention also contains a provision on compliance. The Ex FIVE FLAWS IN THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION There are five flaws in the Chemical Weapons Convention which must be c onsidered as the Senate gives its advise and consent FLAW #I: The CWC does not enhance U.S. national security Arms control is one of several means for achieving the goal of national security. It should never be thought of as an end in itself. Reduced arse nals are not always better.

A comprehensive security strategy will make room for the tools of detemnce, de fenses, and even offensive military operations, as well as arms control. In short, any arms control agreement must serve the supreme purpose of forei gn policy, which is protecting the nations security 8 The Chemical Weapons Convention does not meet this most basic test. The conven tion requires that the U.S. completely abandon its chemical deterrent, but this will not enhance U.S. security. Since no c o untry is compelled to join the convention, it will be perfectly legal for those that do not join to retain chemical weapons. And since it is unrealistic to expect countries which want to retain chemical weapons to join, the re sult cannot possibly be glob a l chemical disarmament. It makes no sense for America to give up its chemical weapons if other nations still possess them FLAW 82: Jhe-CWC willmot reduce-the risk of war Reducing the level of armaments is not the most important goal of arms control. Re du cing the risk of war is far more important. Arms control agreements should not be destabilizing. It is counterproductive to achieve an arms control agreement that, by re ducing arm only invites attack.

Yet this is precisely what the Chemical Weapons Conven tion will do. The CWC is the product of a policy that equates reduced levels of armaments, in this case reduced to zero, with greater security, but the experience of World War 11 shows that having chemical weapons can deter a chemical attack. If the U.S. b ans all of its chemical weapons, outlaw states that retain them will have a military advantage tion of an existing conflict to a higher level of violence, but the Chemical Weapons Convention will encourage escalation in two ways. First, a chemically armed enemy knowing that the U.S. and its allies do not possess chemical weapons, will have little incentive to refrain from using such weapons. They will enjoy a unilateral advantage over the US and in time of war they are likely to use it. Second, the convent i on may increase the likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used. Lacking chemical weapons the U.S. will be forced to rely on nuclear weapons to deter a chemical attack on US forces. While it is prudent to reserve the right to use nuclear weapons, it is c e rtainly unwise to take steps that lower the threshold of nuclear war Almost as important as reducing the risk of war is the goal of preventing the escala FLAW #3: The CWC ignores Americas global responsibllities With the Cold War over, the U.S. is the wor lds sole superpower. Superpower status imposes important global responsibilities which the U.S. can fulfill only by maintaining armed forces capable of projecting overwhelming force around the globe.

Because America has these special responsibilities, it is treated as an exceptional case in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This amounts to an international stamp of ap proval for Americas nuclear arsenal.

Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and elsewhere, the U.S. has proved on numerous occa sions that it ex ercises its unmatched power in a manner that is both responsible and re spectful of the legitimate interests of other states. But Americas global responsibili ties also mean that its forces are the most likely to be engaged in major conflicts. The more da ngers America faces, the greater the likelihood that chemical weapons will be used against U.S. forces.

The Chemical Weapons Convention ignores the special responsibilities of the US treating all countries in the same manner. It assumes that U.S. troops fa ce the same likelihood of chemical attack as the tiny constabulary force fielded by Costa Rica The same principle should apply to Americas chemical weapons arsenal. In 9 which has the same rights and obligations under the treaty. In this way it contrasts s harply with one of the more successful arms control agreements of the post-World War II era, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in which the U.S. and four other na tions (Britain, China, France, and Russia) are treated in a manner fundamentally differ e n t from all other nations. The NTT accounts for the special responsibilities and broad political roles played by these five acknowledged nuclear weapons states in world af fairs. The Chemical Weapons Convention should do so as well, by naming the same five countries as weapons states FLAW #4 Compliance with the CWC cannot be verified.

The Chemical Weapons Convention is not adequately verifiable. Many lethal chemicals are common and have peaceful uses, and trying to keep track of all these chemicals througho ut the world is an impossible task. In a devastating report prepared for the Defense Nuclear Agency in 199 1, contractors stated: Detecting most types of cheating [possible under the Chemical Weapons Convention] will be highly unlikely if not impossible.

Unable to verify whether a hostile country is cheating, the U.S. would never know with certainty what kind of chemical weapons threat it faced. As a result, the U.S would run the risk of high combat casualties as it was surprised by attacks with chemi cal weapons U.S. leaders did not even know existed FLAW #5: Violations will go unpunished.

Verification of compliance with an arms control agreement is not enough. The U.S also must be able to do something if other countries are caught violating the agree ment.

The Chemical Weapons Convention makes only a feeble attempt to address the question of enforcement. It states that unspecified sanctions can be imposed on a state that is violating the convention either by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemic al Weapons or by the United Nations. Ultimately, the United Nations Security Council would have to impose penalties severe enough to change the behavior of an outlaw state.

The history of the Biological Weapons Convention provides an object lesson in what can go wrong with this agreement. Starting in the early 1980s, the U.S. acknowledged that it suspected the Soviet Union of violating the BWC. Yet the U.S. never lodged a co m plaint with the U.N. Security Council, which is charged with resolving the BWCs enforcement problems. The reason for this inaction is clear: If the U.S. had lodged a complaint against the Soviet Union, Moscow simply would have vetoed any enforce ment reso lution brought before the U.N. Security Council 11 Kathleen Bailey, et aL, Noncompliance Scenarios: Means By Which PartiesToThe Chemical Weapons Convention Might Cheat, August 19

91. Ihe same report outlines several scenarios for future cheating under the convention. One posits that a country possessing a commercial plant that produces hydrogen cyanide, a lethal chemical, diverts some to underground tanks as a strategic reserve for later weaponization. Another scenario posits that a country builds a clande s tine facility to produce the nerve agent tabun. stores the agent in bulk, and then destroys the facility and decontaminates the site 10 The Chemical Weapons Convention would have the same flaws as the Biological Weapons Convention, and international polit i cs would make it impossible to enforce its provisions TOWARD AN EFFECTIVE COUNTER-PROLIFERATION POLICY THREE PRINCIPLES The U.S. has a clear interest in stopping the. proliferation of chemical weapons around the world, but an effective counter-proliferati o n policy cannot depend on arms control alone. A truly effective policy will balance arms control with deterrence, effective chemical defenses, and, if necessary, military options for destroying chemical weapons facilities. As the Senate considers the meri t s of the Chemical Weapons Convention, it should ask whether it is part of an overall counter-proliferation policy that rests on these three principles PRINCIPLE #1:The need to deter a chemical attack Deterrence requires maintaining a credible threat to re taliate for chemical attacks against the U.S. or its allies. This retaliatory threat must be able to convince any poten tial aggressor that he has nothing to gain by attacking the U.S. with chemical weapons.

By requiring the destruction of chemical weapons, the Chemical Weapons Conven tion would deny the US. the capability to retaliate in kind for a chemical attack.

America would be left with only two options in case of a chemical attack: 1) to esca late the conflict by launching large-scale counter-attack s with conventional (non chemical and non-nuclear) arms or 2) to retaliate with nuclear weapons. But the Clin ton Administration has not made the adjustments necessary to deal with these options.

Not only is it cutting the conventional forces needed to de ter chemical attacks; it also has not declared that nuclear weapons have any role in deterring chemical weapons at tacks PRINCIPLE #2:The need for defenses against chemicai weapons There are no guarantees, however, that deterrence will always work. Such d i ctators as Saddam Husseh and Muammar Qadhafi may not act rationally in a crisis or exhibit restraint. Therefore, the U.S. needs some insurance against chemical attack if deter rence fails; it needs defenses against chemical weapons and their delivery syst em U.S. forces need to be outfitted with garments, masks, and decontamination kits, and the American people need to be defended as well from aircraft and missiles which may carry chemical munitions.

There is certainly room for improvement in chemical defen ses. The General Ac counting Offices Director of Army Issues, Richard Davis, testified before Congress on April 16,199 1, that Americas soldiers were neither adequately trained nor equiped to conduct operations in an environment contaminated by chemical w e ap ons. As for defenses against missiles armed with chemical weapons, the Clinton Ad 12 Richard Davis, Soldiers Not Adequately Trained or Equipped to Conduct Operations on a Chemical Battlefield, testimony 11 ministration has cut funding for the nations m issile defense program by more than 50 percent.

Furthermore, if history is any guide, the Chemical Weapons Convention will make it politically difficult to field better defenses In 1969, President Nixon announced that the U.S. would foreswear the use or de velopment of biological weapons in prepara tion for the Biological Weapons Convention in 19

72. After the Nixon decision, the U.S. biological defense program withered. was not a result of a provi sion in the Biological Weapons Convention out lawing defenses; it was a result of con stant criticism of these programs by arms control advocates who viewed them as con trary to the spirit, although not the letter, of the Biological Weapons Convention.

The unintended consequences of the Biological We apons Convention surfaced dur ing the Persian Gulf War. An interim report to Congress on the results of the Gulf War stated that Americas biological defense capabilities were so weak that if the Iraqis had used biological weapons, which later evidence sho ws they possessed, the casualty levels would have overwhelmed the military medical care system.

This same sort of vulnerability to chemical attack is likely to be the unintended con sequence of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The CWC does not outlaw defen sive programs, yet arms control advocates are sure to lobby against defenses, arguing that they will not be needed because chemical weapons have been banned, at least legally PRlNCIPLE #3:The need for offensive capabilities.

Defensive systems are not the sole means for countering a chemical attack. U.S armed forces can preemptively destroy an enemys chemical weapons with air strikes and other forms of offensive combat operations. Targets for such strikes should in clude chemical production facilities and s torage depots, as well as forces armed with chemical munitions. Destruction of the production facilities and storage depots would limit the enemys supply of weapons, and targeting enemy forces armed with chemi cal munitions would lessen the chances chemic al munitions will be used against U.S and allied forces.

The Clinton Administration should devise a comprehensive strategy for destroying enemy weapons and facilities in time of war. It can do so by continuing and improv ing a Pentagon program already unde rway. The Defense Departments Advanced Re search Projects Agency (ARPA) has a program called Wurbreuker, the aim of which is to devise a comprehensive system for directing Air Force, Army, and Navy attacks against enemy chemical forces within minutes. The Wurbreuker program also needs to include among the targets it is being designed to destroy those that support, either directly or indirectly, chemical attacks before the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Readiness, April 16,1991 13 Department of Defense, Conduct ofthe Persian Curf Confzict, An Interim Report to Congress (Washington, D.C Department of Defense, 1991 p. 6-6 12 REDRAFTING THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION The Chemical Weapons Convention is a flawed agreement. Likewise, the existing U .S. policy to counter chemical attacks also is flawed. Neither is the fault of the Clinton Administration. The decisions to conclude and sign the convention and to change U.S policy toward countering chemical attacks were made by the Bush Administration b e gun-by -the Bush Administration As the-Clinton. Administration proceeds down the same path it will be up to the Senate, as it considers the Chemical Weapons Conven tion, to adopt a different approach. It can do so through the advice and consent process es tablished by the United States Constitution for approving the ratification of treaties.

As it does so, it should consider that Nevertheless, the Clinton Administration apparently does not plan to alter the policies d A chemical weapons treaty should be mod eled on the Nuclear Non-Pro models for agreements on weapons of mass destruction liferation Treaty throughout the world: the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 and the Bio logical Weapons Convention of 1972 The Biological Weapons Convention is a dis c redited treaty. It seeks to ban bio logical weapons in their entirety by requiring all participating states, including the U.S not to develop and deploy biological weapons. But it is now known that the BWC has been violated by the Soviet Union since its i n ception. Further, a report is sued by the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in January 1993 states that China, Egypt Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Taiwan either definitely have or may have vio lated the terms of the convention.14 In most of the listed cases, i t is impossible to determine with absolute precision because compliance with the convention cannot be verified. However, while other countries retained biological weapons, the U.S completely destroyed its biological deterrent.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, by contrast, has been relatively success ful. While it has not prevented the spread of nuclear weapons, it has limited prolif eration significantly. Today only a handful of countries outside the five declared nuclear states have nuclear weapons. More important, the Non-Proliferation Treaty did not require the elimination of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

The Clinton Administration could have resolved many of the problems with the Chemical Weapons Convention by referring t he treaty to the United Nations Con ference on Disarmament to be redrafted. The Administration, unfortunately, chose not to take this step. The Senate has the option of concluding that the treaty is flawed. If this conclusion were reached, the Senate coul d request that the Clinton Administration renegotiate the terms of the CWC Two treaties serve 14 Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, AdherenceTo and Compliance With Arms Control Agreements and the Presidents Report to Congress on Soviet Noncompliance With Arms Control Agreements, January 14.1993, pp. 14-15 13 If the Clinton Administration resists, there is a second alternative available to the Senate. The advice and consent process used by the Senate to grant permission to ratify a treaty is not limited to approving or disapproving ratification. The Senate can amend the text of a treaty. Through this amendment process, the Senate can re draft the Chemical Weapons convention itself so that it resembles the Nuclear Non-ProliferationTreaty. Doing so will requi r e amending the convention in several articles. After adopting these amendments, the Senate then could approve its ratifi cation. The practical effect would be that the Clinton Administration would have to ask other treaty. signatories to acceptthe changes - made by the Senate. Thus, the net effect would be a demand to renegotiate the treaty d A new policy is needed for deterring chemical weapons strikes Changing the Chemical Weapons Convention itself, however, will not address the threat to U.S. security pos e d by chemical weapons. This would require chang ing the overall chemical weapons policy adopted by the Bush Administration. The policy established by President Bush on May 13,1991, committed the U.S. to the unconditional elimination of its chemical arsena l . This policy should be dropped and the U.S. should announce that it will reserve the right to retaliate with nuclear weapons if it or its allies are attacked with chemical weapons. Such a response should be considered only in the most extreme circumstanc e when it clearly would save the lives of many U.S. and allied troops and civilians.

While it would be preferable that the Clinton Administration make these changes in U.S. chemical deterrence policy, the Senate also can take actions that could re sult in the same changes. First, the Chemical Weapons Convention would have to be amended to pennit a U.S. chemical deterrent. Second, the Senate could adopt a reservation-a means by which the Senate can qualify its approval of ratification that declares that the U.S. reserves the option of retaliating against a chemical at tack with nuclear weapons. l5 d U.S. defenses against chemical weapons need to be improved Pursuing an effective defense program is not prohibited by the Chemical Weap ons Convention, even as c u rrently drafted. In fact, the convention explicitly allows for the continuation of defensive programs. The danger is that the implementation process will be hijacked by arms control advocates who oppose such programs and who will undermine them with calls for budget cuts.

The Clinton Administration can counter these pressures on U.S. chemical de fense programs in three ways. First, it can request adequate funding levels for chemical defense programs. At a minimum, the Administration should pledge to hold c hemical defense funding levels in real terms at .the fiscal 1993 level of $600 15 Adopting such a reservation would require that the Senate strike Article XW of the treaty. Article XW prohibits mewations of this sort. Striking Article Xxn, however, may be something the Senate has an interest in doing whether or not it adopts the reservation concerning nuclear retaliation. The tool most frequently used by the Senate in its advice and consent process is adopting reservations, and Article XW represents a dire c t assault on the prerogatives of the Senate 14 million in each of the next five years. This will send a message that adoption of the Chemical Weapons Convention, in whatever form, does not mean weakening this countrys commitment to fielding defensive syst ems. The money could be used to develop such defensive equipment as improved gas masks, protective garments and chemical detectors.

Second, the Administration should move to improve training for U.S. soldiers so they are better prepared to conduct operatio ns in a contaminated environment Thisrequires that military officers follow the recommendations made b Richard clude meetingminimum chemical training standards set forth in service regulations and properly integrating chemical defense training into the ov e rall training pro gram for U.S. troops Third, the Administration should pledge to improve U.S. defenses against deliv ery vehicles used to launch chemical attacks. In most cases, these delivery vehicles are aircraft and missiles. Living up to this pledge will require moving toward de ployment of the Corps Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) air defense system and the F 22 fighter and fielding effective defenses against short-range missiles by 1996 and long-range missiles by 20

02. The Senate could force these out comes by adopting reservations requiring the Administration to meet these goals as the price for ratify ing the convention Davis of the General Accounting Office in testimony before Congress. 1g These in d The U.S. capability to destroy chemical weapons p roduction and storage facilities, as well as deployed forces with chemical weapons, should be improved.

Defensive systems cannot meet all the requirements for defending U.S. and al lied forces and civilians against chemical attack. These can be met only by main taining offensive capabilities for striking at enemy positions. For example, counter ing enemy artillery firing chemical munitions requires an offensive response with opposing artillery or air strikes, as does interrupting enemy command and control networks and destroying chemical production and supply facilities.

The U.S. proved during the Persian Gulf War that it has an effective deep strike capability. Many command and control centers, for example, were destroyed by U.S. air power in and around Ba ghdad. But this is not to say that improvements cannot be made. For example, the U.S. had trouble countering Iraqi mobile Scud missiles with air power. To deal with this problem, the Pentagon launched the War breaker program, which is focused on enhancing the U.S. ability to strike quickly and accurately at enemy forces and facilities. While recognizing that this programs applications go far beyond countering chemical attacks, the Clinton Administration should announce that it-backs Warbreaker in part as a way to strike preemptively at weapons capable of delivering chemical munitions. The Senate again has the op tion of adopting a reservation during its advice and consent process that will force 16 Davis, op. cir 15 the Administration to continue the Warbre a ker program and gear it to meeting the chemical weapons threat d The Chemical Weapons Conventions arms control enforcement mecha nisms need to be strengthened There are three problems with U.S. policy for enforcing compliance with the Chemical Weapons Con v ention First, the Chemical Weapons Convention has a built in conflict of interest in terms of enforcement. By.establishing the U.N. Secu rity Council as the court of last appeal in its enforcement process, the convention will allow the U.N. Security Counc ils five permanent members to veto any pend ing resolution ordering sanctions against it for an alleged violation. Any attempt to impose sanctions-on China, for example-for violating the convention are doomed to failure at the outset.

This problem can be r esolved through a proposal to redraft the Chemical Weap ons Convention along the lines of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Since the redrafted convention would establish declared chemical weapons states, it would be logical that these states be the f ive permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, thereby eliminating the conflict of interest.

The second enforcement problem is that the U.S. historically has been reluctant to take action to remedy a violation by an arms control treaty partner. Despit e clear evidence of Soviet violations of the Biological Weapons Convention and the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the U.S. did not in either case take the proportionate steps allowed to it under international law. Thus, the violations effectively wen t un punished.

Solving this problem will require a change in the government process for han dling these issues. Currently, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency reports annually on arms control treaty violations, but there is no requirement for follow up . Ultimately, the law could be changed to require that the President propose a proportionate response to a reported treaty violation no later than 60 days after the report is issued. This would guarantee a substantive response once a violation is dis cove red.

The third problem is addressing the actions of states that refuse to ratify or ac cede to the Chemical Weapons Convention. This can be dealt with only by retain ing a strong military posture that can deter and, if necessary, retaliate against a chemic al attack CONCLUSION Meeting the chemical weapons threat requires redrafting the Chemical Weapons Con vention to declare that a few countries, including the U.S are weapons states. It also re quires a policy under which the U.S. reserves the right and cap a bility to respond to chemical attack either in kind or with nuclear weapons 16 Baker Spring Senior Policy Analyst Perhaps the best example of a successful deterrence policy in history came during World War II. Despite the existence of chemical arsenals, c hemical weapons were not used during that conflict. The reason the Allied powers, including the United States convinced the Axis that the use of such weapons would result in swift retaliation.

The U.S. is now throwing away this successful policy. By adopti ng the Chemical Weapons Convention, the U.S would eliminate its chemical arsenals, even though it could never be sure that potential enemies have done so. U.S. national security interests demand.that..this..process be reversed. The U.S. must not abandon i ts ability to defend it self against chemical attack-and to deter such attacks in the first place 17


Theodor Rebarber

Senior Visiting Fellow