The Verification Issue: Key to a U.S. -Soviet Arms Accord

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The Verification Issue: Key to a U.S. -Soviet Arms Accord

August 28, 1987 24 min read Download Report
Thomas Dewey
(Archived document, may contain errors)

601 August 28, 1987 INTRoDucIlON Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's July 22 acceptance of the United States suggestion for a global ban on intermediate and shorter-range nuclear missiles means that a U.S.-Soviet agreement may be nearing completion. The mil i tary and political implications of such an agreement are subject to debate The;;importance r,ns.*r:.!i of pnv very I strict verification provisions is not. The record on past Soviet treatywolations is clear. This makes verification provisions perhaps the m ost critical element of any new treaty conventional capabilities dual-capable deployment of large numbers. of. strategic and intermediate-range mobile missiles, diverse deployment mo.des on land, sea, and air-based launchers, and miniaturization of nuclea r technologyi' make, verification even more difficult than in the past but also more. important Smaller 'and. duabcapable systems are tougher to identify; and more important because: cheating becomes even easier Recent technological advances, such as cruis e missiles with both nuclear and s Moscow knows that the open and adversarial U.S. democratic-p&iticalbsystem Q f p WI I I forces Washington to comply wth an arms control agreement. Moscow can verify or discover key arms control information merely by follo w ing the U.S. media, public debate, and congressional hearings. By contrast, the U.S. can have no such confidence, given Soviet treaty violations and Moscow's obsessive secrecy To ensure that compliance with .a new ,treaty can' be verified, the U.S. should 1) make explicit to the U.S. and allied publics the connection of verification to 2) consider the impact upon strategic stability of potential *et non U.S. dy complian~ with any new treaties; and I 2- Jk t in the context of: a) the military significance 3 ) hte verificafion of current Soviet violations; b the role of deception and circumvention in Soviet strategy; c) the ability and disposition of Congress to judge and respond to Moscow's treaty compliance record and d) current U.S. verification abilities.

Verification concerns, of course played a crucial role. in dooming. SALT II A bipartisan .group of U.S. Senators raised grave doubts about SALT II's verifiability.

Public opinion polls indicate that most Americans do not trust Moscow to observe an agreeme nt. Ih one of the most recent surveys on the issue, 65 percent of those polled do, not "trust the Soviet Union to keep its word."l And a Gallup Poll last year found that 81 percent of Americans believe that Moscow-has not lived'up to the terms of the SALT I1 Treaty?

The U.S. must scrutinize the verifiability of any U.S.-Soviet arms treaty whether it be for strategic, theater nuclear, or conventional ~eapons Initial evidence indicates that the provisions of the much-discussed INF agreement are unlikely to b e verifiable with confidence. i I THE IMPORTANCE OF VERIFICATION Verification is the process of determining treaty compliance. It involves the evaluation and interpretation of raw data supplied by the mtelligence community mostly from photo-reconnaissance and electronic intercept satellites. Verification is important because any sudden and unexpected enhancement.~;of*Sovietmucleart capabilities, especially if unveiled by Moscow during a crisis, would be highly destabilizing and could jeopardize U.S. securi t y. Example: if the U.S. adhered to a nuclear Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTB) while ,the Soviets continued ,nuclear testing undetected, only Moscow would modernize and increase the effectiveness of its offensive nuclear arsenal U.S. Approacnes to Verif i cation demand for "foolproof' measures through on-site inspection OSI through the remote technical monitoring (national technical means) presaged by Dwight Eisenhower's 1955 "open skies" proposal for aerial inspection to e:!.currentt I i a I a demands for combining such technical means with OSI include anything in the treaty that we can't verify, and we don't want to exclude 1. Public Opinion, Summer 1986 U.S. verification requirements have shifted from President: Harry Tm'm's ,1950 Throughout these years, the U.S. dilemma has been that "we do not want to 2. Gallup Poll, June 1986 3. Verification would also be necessary for any future agreement concerning a phased transition to the deployment of strategic defenses I B 1 3 anything that is [militarily ignifi cant SALT treaties counted launchers, rather than warheads. This was because the number of warheads could not be verified without the on-site inspection which Moscow refused to allow theoretically could be detected by .reconnaisance satellites.

Launchers h owever I For the, past 25 years, the definitions of adequate--.inspection minimum intrusion and "serious violation" have been subject to debate and compromise. The Reagan Administration changed the 1970s U.S. requirement of "adequate" to the more stringen t test of "effective" verification--meaning an em hasis upon on-site inspection. The Administration had concluded that the veri f cation. provisions of the proposed 1979 SALT II agreement and the 1974 Threshold Test Ban Treaty, at least, were pot effective of substantial uncertainty in verification compliance was seen as essential. to bargaining flexibility. Extensive confidence was placed ini what. experts called national technical means of verification--meanhg photographic and infra-red and other types of satellites; radar' and other systems based on' land, shipboard; or certain types of aircraft; and satellites for intercepting and collecting electronic emissions and signals in general. Breakthroughs in national technical means' of verification--or NTM--w e re believed to have significantly reduced the value of secrecy to the Soviet military establishment.5 The U.S. therefore began by the late 1960s to discuss arms control provisions which previous verification limitations would have made unthinkable a decad e or two earlier.

Relaxed standards for verification in the SALT era were also justified by assumptions that: 1) violations were "deterred" by the mere possibility of detection 2) violations were "irrational" because of the inherent importance of the treat y; 3 violations were "irrelevant" because of the insignificance of clandestine advantages; 4 the capability to "monitor" or to "observe" was largely equivalent with the capability to "detect cheating" or to "verify" an agreement; and 5) the presence of a U .S Soviet Standing Consultative Commission where each side could bring complaints and expect a satisfactory response would promote the objectives of and compliance with agreements False Assumptions. Each of these assumptions has proved false? Yet they con t inue to influence the verification debate. Soviet violations have,.,n,ot,be,enr I 0 m.,.r deterred and often have been militarily significant. The most serious' examples".of this are the development of the SS-25 ICBM in violation of SALT II and the instal l ation of missile-tracking radar at Krasnoyarsk in violation of the 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty. The intense U.S. debate over how to address these violations, moreover, reemphasizes that detection is not synonymous with a swift a r rt a. A Relaxed S A LT Standards. During the SALT era of the 1970s, the acceptance I l L a It I I 4. See Amrom H. Kat% Veri)ication and SALE The State of the Att'and the AH of the State (Washington, D.C The Heritage Foundation, 1979 5. See Col. Robert Jose h DeSutter, UW, An n s Control Veriflcation: Bridp Theories and.the Politics 1983 of Epdency, Doctoral t E esis, Department of International Relations, University of Southern California 6. The extent to which these assumptions became arms control orthodoxy can be seen from qu otations presented in ibid, passim 7 -4 and firm response to treaty violation. And these violations have been placed before the Standing Consultative Commission with minimal results?

The U.S. negotiating position on verification was revised on August 24, 1 987 and now calls for 1) Exchange of specibied, cornprehensik baseline data covering 'systems limited by treaty and related support facilities and equipment, and updating of these data. t 1 2) On-site hspection/monitoring to verify baseline data and to en sure compliance with the treaty limitations. Types of on-site inspection lus monitoring veri

elimination of systems reduced; c) short-notice inspection at a handful1 of pre selected U.S. and Soviet declared facilities for the first five to ten years after the missiles are eliminated (the previous U.S. public' position, sought such inspection at all facilities and did not specifically reject challenge on-site inspection of U.S. allies and d) no short-notice inspections would be permitted at U.S. and Soviet facilities in Europe. Previous U.S. demands for continuous monitoring of specified U.S. and Soviet facilities for the production, final assembly, repair and storage of treaty limited systems were retracted by the Administration on August 24, 1987 3) Speci a lized procedures for destroying, dismantling, and converting Long- Range Intermediate Nuclear systems. Such procedures would include on-site inspection. On-site inspection will be required at the destruction*.lsites::lltos confirm I I elimination of missi l es, launchers, and specified launch-related support equipment I .+a J *rn14 a% I provisions include: a) initial inspection to confirm baseline data:' b P mspedions 4) Spexification of areas and Edcilties where treaty-limited systems may be located. These a re called Designated Deployment Areas and declared facilities 5) Prohiitions on the presence of the missiles covered by the treaty elsewhere unless they are in authorized transit 6) Use and non-interference with, National,Technical.Means of verification. These provisions would enhance U.S. confidence about what it knows about secretive Soviet nuclear capabilities. Such steps would include the broadcast of engineering measurements on missile flights, a ban on encrypting;$he:, tran

s$iyn I rp from missile te st flights, and a ban on concealment measures that impede verification Soviet Approaches to Verification rhetorical and actual negotiating positions were almost identical Moscow Until very recently, the, Soviet approach to verification was consistent and its 7. For background on responses to violations, Fred Charles Me After Detection--What Foreign Affiah, January 1961, pp. 208-220 primary Soviet violations continue to be unresolved.

The SCC's records remain closed to congressional scrutiny while the consi stently had rejected verification measures that would permit outside inspectors actually to enter Soviet territory. All verification had to be accomplished ma national technical means (primarily satellites) rather than the more probing on-site approach pr i nciple of on-site inspection. Yet its statements on this should be viewed cautiously. The reasons 1) there is ILO indication at the Geneva talks, in sharp. contrast to its propaganda, that Moscow is willing to accept meaningful on-site inspection; and Sto c kholm on conventional force confidence building measures, Moscow has insisted upon total control of access to its allies' territories In the past several years, Moscow's rhetoric has shifted toward accepting the 2 it has agreed to on 0~ such as at thk''f~ " 'P986 1 The fact that Moscow has violated such arms agreements as SALT II and the ABM Treaty makes it necessary to bring verification provisions to the forefront of any arms agreement? Soviet violations have included both the development of forbidden syst ems and deliberate efforts to interfere with U.S. verification attempts.

Moscow has had to pay almost no political or militaryrcpenal~iess:fo rr noncom liance renewe Cr arms control discussions have delayed such U.S. weapons programs as the MX missile, Tri dent D-5 submarine, and B-1 bomber. Militarily, meanwhile Moscow has gained substantially from violating the arms control accords, as demonstrated by its advances in strategic defense and mobile ICBMs appears divided in countering significant Soviet viola t ions Western trade and financial overtures continue uninterrupted, while Moscow can achieve diplomatic dividends from non-compliance since the U.S I National Technical Means In the 1970s confidence in new "national technical means which facilitate data co llection without violating the territorial sovereignty of the country under observation, was reflected in the U.S. negotiators' emphasis on SALT I's "landmark"

NTM provisions. Today, there is far more skepticism about the detection capabilities of NTM, let alone the' Soviet commitment not to 'impede them 8. For infomation on Soviet violations, see "The President's Unclassified Report on Soviet Noncompliance with Arms Control Agreements March 10, 1987. -6 The NTM product is an immense data stream. Distillin g these massive amounts of material into intelligence assessments and then measuring the conclusions against treaty requirements is an inherently subjective process. Accurate interpretations are impeded further by the different, and frequently competing bu r eaucratic and budgetary requirements between verification and intelligence. 4 It is possible that NTM technical advances in seismic sensing photoreconnaissance, and radar eventually may result in useful detection improvements. These advances could include improved electronics for satellite sensing across the electromagnetic spectrum and more powerful. computers that can be used to enhance rapidly images, possibly objects even less than ten centimeters the size of a pencil, immediately Unknown Potential. Ad v ances in parallel computing (the concurrent or simultaneous execution of two or more processes in a single unit)*presage the processing of multispectral and radar images on spacecraft, by' the early- 1990s. t .i"'F...54 .y I And the use of artificial inte lligence, meaning the*ability of a device to improve its performance based on past performance, has still unknown potential for filtering the immense information flow that already overburdens the U.S. intelligence community.

Future devices such as multispe ctral sensors that penetrate the night sky and cloud cover along with advanced radar techniques could provide additional monitoring abilities--developments which would be helpful to~monitorr~the*~.road I mobile Soviet SS-20 and SS-25 missiles.

Even these potential NTM developments, however, would not necessarily assure First, the challenges to NTM monitoring seem to be growing effective verification at a faster pace than NTM technology is improving. Second, NTM advmces easily can be offset by methods as s i mple as piling mobile missiles in storage sheds Ignoring Remote Areas. Further, NTM is constrained by .the fact that the U.S. concentrates its limited verification resources only along a few strategically important paths in the USSR. What the U.S. would d e tect immediately at a Soviet missile and radar testing site such as Say Shagan in Siberia could go undetected for months or longer if placed in remote unexamined areas. The,,,Soyiet r a .I I y Treaty, went undetected for approximately 18 months because. U .S. intelligence did not know that it should be looking for it.

Current NTM capabilities have been unable to veri& additional important compliance information. The U.S for example, still is uncertain whether the mainstay heavy Soviet ICBM,'the SS-18, hai ten or fourteen or more warheads.

Nor is there agreement about t he exact accuracy of the SS-19 missile. Whether the of the fiasnoyarsk ABM radar in Siberia, in violation Gf the mM.f di z'6idnk 9. The severe disjunction between collecting and interpreting data was demonstrated conclusively by the Team B" competitive an alysis which the Ford Admiitration imposed on the CIA in 1976, hs well as CIA underestimates of Soviet Capabilities. See Albert Wohlstetter Is There a Strategic Arms Race?"

Foreign Policy, Summer and Fall 1974; later republished in Strategic Review, Fall 1 974 and Winter 1975 by the classic analyses of Albert Wohlstetter, one of the deans of U.S. strategic studies, on previous 7 SS-25 ICBM carries two or three warheads, instead of the one it is believed to carry, is a uestion still unanswered. A new Soviet g round-based high-energy laser but the intelligence community is divided on its purpose and potential. Such cumulative uncertainties compound the military nsks caused by violations systems such as the SA-10 and SA-12 interceptor missiles. facility has 1 ee n seen under construction at Dushabae in the Central Asian region The U.S. is also surprised repeatedly by the quantity and quality of new Soviet Perhaps a greater problem, however, is ambiguity. Most .evidence of possible violations is sketchy. As such, a n alysts are reluctant to call something a violation without the categorical proof that is unlikely to be obtained through NTM The Role of Onsite hspection (OSI National Technical Means alone are not sufficient-to provide verification confidence. OS1 is the r efore a crucial requirement for most arms agreements. The so-called intrusive means of OS1 are necessary for verifying that. required actions such as dismantling and destruction of particular weapons or installations, have been taken. In addition, "challe n ge inspections which permit a nation to inspect hide another nation at times and places of the inspecting nation's choosing, can be used to pin down questionable activities identified by NTM or intelligence sources inside the country being monitored. t 1 r p yc !I I I Even OSI, however, has serious limitations and may mot provider$thel ;necessary confidence in Soviet compliance. OS1 can be undercut by evasion and by the Soviet penchant for obstruction, which was most dramatically demonstrated in the 1984 s h ooting in East Germany of Major Arthur Nicholson, stationed at the U.S. military mission at Potsdamlo In addition, Maskirovka, the troubling Soviet program of strategic camouflage, concealment, and deception is extensive and pervasive. The CIA warns that " since the SALT I agreement, Soviet concealment activities have become more extensive and disturbing it makes the detection of noncompliance considerably more difficult."ll Challenge Iaspections Even if the U.S. could inspect known Soviet production facili t ies, verqcation would not be assured because: 1) the USSR's vast geography proGides substanti'alV space to hide production facilities; 2) intermediate-range nuclear missiles in particular are small and thus easily concealed; and 3) the facilities for prod ucing missiles need not be very large and can be disguised as ordinary industrial facilities.

A partial solution to this problem is for the U.S. to have prompt, unhindered right of access to any facility which it believes could be producing prohibited 10. Carnes Lord Rethinking OnSite Inspection in U.S. Arms Control Policy Sbutegic Review, Summer 1985 L 11. CIA declassified memo Overview of Soviet Data Denial June 17, 1986. -8 systems. Yet even such inspections might be insufficient to assure confidence gi v en all the ways that on-site inspection can be circumvented supplementary Onsite Verification Measures technologes: tamper proof microchi identification tags could be placed on missiles unscheduled inspections to verify number limits; or o erational const r aints, such as surveillance. Yet detailed inspection procedures at a missile plant are marginally helpful at best if the Soviets operate clandestine production facilities I elsewhere Supplementary verification measures might include a. range of. advanced c oncept to assure an accurate base count s ter which the missiles would be subject to restricting the deployment of mobile missiles to spec li 'c zones-under electronic I s J i.J I 1. 5 I OTHER TECHNICAL vERIFl[cATION OPTIONSn Desigoation Measures Various p rocedures have been offered from time to time to allay skepticism over verification. These include "designation measures" which involve each side's designating the location and function of certain types of military facilities or basing areas. Limits on mo b ile missiles, for example, could be verified by deploying the missiles in specifically configured arrangements. Although limited forms of deployment might assist verification, it could also increase vulnerability to a first strike. Such a risk is particul arly true for the U.S. since the.: far greater destructive power of the more numerous Soviet ICBMs could devastate a constricted area.

Transparency Measures Transparency measures are intended to improve the visibility of the weapons and actions monitored b y national technical means. For exam le, in SALT II'it was agreed that bombers with air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMsP could be deployed with external configurations, known as Functionally Related Observable Differences FRODs), which would give them a d i stinctive appearance. I'Yet such FRODs could also be used to mislead, as well as to help identify a weapon system Collateral Measures Collateral measures" differentiate between permitted and non-permitted activities for the purpose of reducing verificatio n ambiguity. To this end, for example, the ABM treaty stipulated that radars be deployed on a nation's periphery to distinguish an early warnin radar from a battle management radar. An where radars on a nations' periphery ire 'useful primarily for warning of attack.

The fact that the Krasnoyarsk radar is situated some 465 miles from the nearest border, Mongolia, and is oriented inward across approximately 2,248 milees of Soviet territory, is the basis for U.S. charges of Soviet violation of this particular collateral measure inward looking radar is used f or "battle management"--destroying attacking missiles 12. "Human intelligence" gathering through overt and covert means is also a part of any verification P'Ogram. -9 VERIFICATION CHALLENGES Totals at Tihe of Agreement The total number of weapons which each side has at the time an agreement is reached is important.. The Soviets, however,. never release- data on their weapons.

Instead, Moscow merely accepts or rejects the data presented by the West If Moscow , for example, accepts the U.S. estimate that it has 440 SS-20 launchers but really has 800 (which is not inconceivable after. 8 years-of production then a 50 percent reduction which the West assumes would leave Moscow with 220 launchers would really leav e it with 400 cheating and deception, the quantitative base at the time of reductions must be definitively ascertamed. In part to deal with this problem, the U.S. in 1981 proposed the so-called Zero Option to eliminate all INF'-systems. A base of zero woul d ease verification hf w.y wa f at Given serious verification uncertainties, as well as Moscow's penchant. for Easy to COntroL Although, U.S. commentaries speak with some certainty about the number of existing SS-2Os, for example, far less is known about t h e missiles than is implied. U.S. reconnaissance satellites count missile cannisters, and the shelters in which they are housed (garages with sliding roofs through which the missiles can be fired), rather than actual missiles. Either way, the 56 foot lonk m obile SS-20 is inordinately easy to conceal in any tunnel or moderately-sized i building. Additional counting problems include reload capabilitiespwithv estimates for reloads. running from 1 to 5 per launcher. Another difficulty is that the SS-20 bases ar e similar in appearance to the bases for the SS-25 ICBM. In fact, SS-20 bases have been converted into SS-25 bases. And the launchers for these two mobile missiles are very similar.

The counting roblem for currently deployed SS-20s is significant. The 1986 Joint Chiefs of St at! posture statement, for example, acknowledges serious detection problems by saying that "36 SS-20 mobile missile launchers are "currently unlocated These mobile missiles are deployed in covered bays (known as garages each of which i s able to hold a "regiment" of nine missiles. The U.S. has so far been unable to verify the previous dismantling of SS-20 garages (as the Soviets announced in 1985) but believes that some missiles have. in.,fact. been Bc:.c Gy,tv,s8,L f removed. Thus missi l e "battalions groups of three missiles) from within each regiment may have been taken out of the garages. Uncertainty about where such missiles may now be located emphasizes the potential problems of verifying, any INF accord Production and Deployment Eve n if currently deployed systems can'be detected, it is necessary to veri that new systems are not bemg produced clandestinely. This is particularly important for such mobile missiles as the Soviet SS-20, SS-24, and SS-

25. Their combination of current or p otential first-strike accuracy (targeted on Europe for the SS-20; the U.S. for the SS-24 and SS-25) and relative invulnerability to retaliation makes them particularly destabilizing weapons 10 Production may be detected by the controversial "perimeter and portal a proach--monitoring production facilities in the hope of tracking the deployment of A concomitant right to unhindered "challenge" inspections would add a degree of assurance, but even then some uncertainty would remain A ban on an entire class of m issile, such as the SS-20, would present more manageable verification problems than would limitations. Leaving 100 INF warheads or 33 SS-20s) for each side, as was proposed by Moscow until very recently inevitably would smr controversies over whether a Da r ticular missile is "Dermitted t K ese missiles.13 Even such inspection, however, would leave verification in doubt. missile #32 or "prohibited missile #34 In the c&e of a single missile need be detected to prove a violation Mobile Missiles The matter of v e rif$ng mobile missiles has perplexed numerous government committees for the last five years. Mobility provides. extensive opportunity for Soviet deception, compounding counting and concealment problems .well as increasing uncertainty about missile refire capabilities. Mobile missiles, for example, can be moved frequently and at night in the USSR's vast land space. They are more difficult to count since they cannot all be seen at once.

Intermediate range missiles, moreover, can be constructed easily in plan ts for strategic missiles, and vice versa. Missiles of one type could be included easily in exclusion areas for another type In all cases, the current:'compliance.-record I shows that the political and financial costs of deception are insignificant relati v e to the cost of the whole systems which are being deployed Verifying Warheads The 1970s SALT process, on U.S. insistence, presumed to count Soviet warheads by ruling that the maximum number used in any single missile test would then be applied to the ent i re class of missiles. But the numbers derived from such counting rules can be significantly different from stockpile numbers derived ,from intelligence. For example, all Soviet SS-18s were presumed under SALT 11 to carry ten warheads although many U.S. in t elligence experts, however, believe that they carry at least the 14 warheads with which they have been tested BJ i~~.e lpl i likely that such a missile could carry a single large yield warhead' for exoatmospheric bursts for destroying communications or co u ld carry more than 15 or 20 warheads. And very little is known about the quantity and quality of the Soviet nuclear stockpile 13. Comparisons are often drawn with the relative abilitjr to monitor'SLBM production and deplo laud& tubes controlled, mobile IC B Ms and IRBMs can be concstructed in something like a car factory which would be impervious to NTM and beyond NTM ent. Yet whereas submarine construction can be observed through NTM and the number of its I 11 L Verijling Dd-Capible systems control purposes are particularly difficult. There are no external differences, for example in the warheads of a cruise or tactical ballistic missile. It is unlikely that the Soviets will permit U.S. inspectors .with. geiger counters to wander through submarines to veri

the warheads of sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs as some U.S. enthusiasts have proposed.

Similar uncertainty applies to SS-20 warhead numbers4 is assumed that each missile has three nuclear warheads, but it is equally possible that such a missile cone could contain chemical weapons. The new Soviet ground-launched. cruise missile, the SSC-X-4, could be deployed with either nuclear or conventional warheads. Even if on-site verification were possible, a conventional warhead could be replaced with a nuclea r one as soon as the inspections ceased Nuclear Explosive Levels Attempts to distinguish between nuclear and conventional warheads for arms 5 .I Y L l a Verification also remains a stumbling bloc to ratification of the 1974 Threshold Test Ban Treaty which l imits the size of underground nuclear weapon tests to 150 kilotons. The 1987 President's Report to the Congress on Soviet Noncompliance concludes that Soviet nuclear testing activities for a number of tests constitute a likely violation of legal obligatio n s under the Threshold Test Ban Treaty problems are similar to those encountered elsewhere in this instance the geographic and geodetic information on the testing site as well as the yield, date, depth, and coordinates of two weapon tests for calibration p u rposes both before and after the test In addition to the record of violations, Threshold Test -Ban:-Treaty, verification 1) the US. would have to rely on the Soviets to volunteer critical information 2) current US. measurement capabilities are inadequate s ince they caq detect the accuracy of a Soviet underpound nuclear test only by a'factor of two, meaning that the U.S. can detect a Sovlet TI'BT violation only if the yield exceeds the 150 kt limit by 100 percent or more; and data, such as OS1 and the inser t ion of a cable into the emplacement hole in the vicinity of a test potentially learning more than the U.S. about the higher yield warheads which complement Soviet doctrine and capabilities for striking first against U.S. ICBMs w..,uf&i C o 3) the Soviets a re resisting US. methods for obtaining independently verified Inadequate verification would enable the Soviets to continue current practices Conventional Forces Counting peo le is far more complicated than it would appear. But roblems of mobility, ease o F concealment, inspection, and base line numbers for re 8 uctions are also present in the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR) talks, which 12 for more than a decade have attempted to reduce the level of conventional forces in Europe. Whereas the Sov i ets suggest verification through "mutual observation NATO requires more precision, such as requiring Soviet replacement troops to pass through control points manned by NATO personnel. While it is easy to verify troops leaving the restricted areas, it is v e-ng the number of remaining or returning that .is the real problem Manpower levels are difficult to verify: troops can be hidden under cover.

Something so simple as donning civilian clothing underscores the counting difficulties particularly on the combined territories of three or four countries at any moment.

Proposals to solve the conventional force verification problem include: the withdrawal site and even being allowed to accompany the withdrawing unit to an agreed exit point, permanent exit/entry points, prenotification provisions for out of garrison activ i ties, and annual post-reduction exchanges .of data.14 There is a crit~cal additional step in trying to limit Soviet conventional capabilities and to enhancing "confidence building measures Not only do agreed restrictions on Soviet military maneuvers need t o be verifiable, but the U.S. must be able to modor the concurrent level of Soviet military activity outside the maneuver areas Qlemical Weapons notifiation to the other side of units to be withdram, observers being 1 1 e present:Ja't I I t I Negotiations concerning chemical weapon controls, conducted principally at the Geneva 40-nation Conference on Disarmament, have encounteredl:predictable problems about verification. The U.S. proposes: 1) destroying all stockpiles under international supervision; 2) mo n itoring production facilities through international inspection until destruction and by on-site instruments which would transmit data off site; 3) preventing chemical plants, particularly those producing related chemicals such as insecticides, from subseq u ently making weapons; 4) mandatory challenge inspections to assure that the treaty is not violated at other sites; and 5) assuring that there is no right of refusal for inspections should allegations of violations arise Mds Refusal Moscow refuses to 'acce pt mandatory.inspections. The Soviets want the ri ht to bar an ins ection "in exceptional kircumstances That inspections, which require prompt access to facilities that may be violat

g,l a treaty hy,j The U.S. believes that inspections would involve dozens rather thah hundreds "of plants, and has already worked closely with the chemical industry to develop methods for U.S. compliance To be sure, no chemical agreement can be 100 percent verifiable. The ease of producing chemical and biological weapons in sm a ll laboratories makes this one of the most difficult of verification"prob1enis: The' risk hvolved is one reason that the U.S. has pushed for a global ban rather than banning chemicals in certain right of refusal is k ndamentally di 2 erent from the U.S. c o ncept of challenge 14. Although the Soviets conceded the right of aerial inspection, the refused a US. demand that observers. Nonetheless, this is presented as a breakthrough because Soviet territory will be ins cted for the first time by foreign forces. T he Soviets still resist exchanges of information down 'to %ee battaltion levels. Smce the Stockholm document was only signed in December 1986, Soviet compliance with the challenge inspections has yet to be demonstrated aircraft from neutral countries, rat h er than from the country under o r; servation, should be used to carry 13 certain zones, such as Europe. A global ban makes it difficult to introduce surreptitiously an entire weapon system that includes its own distinctive trail of development. For chemi c al weapons to be militarily significant in Europe, for example, would require an estimated 500 agent tons, not including the weight of munitions. This could not be done undetected if the five U.S. requirements are met CONCLUSION The U.S. verification pack a ge in the current INF negotiations imposes far more rigorous verification standards than have earlier U.S.-Soviet treaties. Washington is insisting that: l i i 3) information about missiles and launchers be exchange 4) agreement be reached on how missiles will be destroyed or dismantled and 5) each side must agree to inspectorS and other monitoring In reviewing any prospective arms control treaty, Congress should consider the 1) the dismantlement of Swiet weapons can be verified, with particular I f l I p extent to which reference. to mobile missiles 2) the production of pmhiited Met weapons can be monitod 3) the inventory of existing Saviet weapons can be deknined, and 4) Moscaw will accept challenge inspectionS of SuSPecfsd sites and violations.

These fac tors should be weighed in the context of Soviet deception prograins y 3L I the inadequacies of U.S. reconnaissance capabilities, the inherent U.S. domestic difficulties in determining Soviet violations and responding to them, and Soviet military doctrine p ractices in which arms control itself (irrespective of violations) is used as a principal instrument for strategic advantage by neutralizing Western areas of technological advantages Confronting the verification dilemma requires at least five additional s t eps 1) The U.S. should develop more &thoritative emmmat 011s of Soviet military thinking. American arms controllers' surprise at the Soviet emphasis on new heavy missiles, on mobile missiles, and on encryption comes in part from ignoring Soviet doctrine 1 4 2) The US. should proceed with the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI With arms reduction, cheating can alter the balance significantly. This is especially true of hard to detect mobile ICBMs. SDI can help offset diminished confidence in U.S means of veri f ication 3) U.S. negotiators should call the Wet blutr of apparent willingness to accept genuine on-site inspection. Moscow knows that Americans are already divided over their own rigorous on-site inspection proposals which theoretically would permit Sovie t inspectors in U.S. laboratories, factories, and test sites.

Questions are raised about further Soviet espionage and even about self-imposed violations of Fourth Amendment property rights in the private sector. But the Soviets are exploiting these anxieti es for propaganda purposes. In fact it is extremely doubtful that the Soviets, with 98 percent of their lan lose tb~':a.m foreigners, would ever permit similar U.S. inspection 4) The Resident or Congress should establish a.&mmission to report back quickly on the implications of emerging technologies for effective verification in the future 5) The current environment of risk, unverifiability, and Soviet deception makes it essential that Congress have access to the records and transcripts of SALT'S Standing C onsultative Commission. These records, both in classified and in sanitized versions, no longer should be withheld from Congress. Any secrets in them, after all, already have been shared with the Soviets Any arms control treaty delivered to Congress will b e subject to far more scrutiny on its verification provisions than SALT

11. U.S. negotiators simply may state to Congress that there is an increasing range of problems which cannot be verified. Congress then must determine whether the agreement is accepta ble. To this end, candor ,about Soviet violations and U.S. verification capabilities is I indispensable. lq e Prepared for The Heritage Foundation by Derek Leebaert I Derek Leebaert is a business economist who teaches national security policy at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.


Thomas Dewey