September 1, 1989 | Backgrounder on National Security and Defense
September 1,1989 A U.S. AGENDA FORTHE C0"I'IONALFORCES REDUCIION TALKS I I I Next week, after a brief summer recess, the United States and its North Atlantic allies resume negotiating in Vienna with the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact to reduce conventional (non-nuclear) military forces in Europe. Known as the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) negotiations; the talks will begin again on September 7..
These talks potentially are the most important in which the two sides are engaged. They aim to produce a treaty setting equal ceilings on the number of tanks, artillery, armored troop carriers, aircraft, helicopters, and perhaps manpower that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Warsaw Pact can deploy in Europe tremendous advantages over NATO in conventional forces , reductions to equal levels would improve dramatically the security of America's West European allies if they continue to field modem forces.of their own. Under terms already agreed to, the emerging CFE accord would require the Warsaw Pact to dismantle ov er 30,000 tanks, 25,000 armored troop carriers, and between 20,000 and 30,000 artillery pieces; by contrast, the West would have to make relatively minor reductions.
Optimistic Timetable. In addition to its potential to improve NATO security, CFE could ser ve U.S. interests by allowing the U.S. to withdraw from Europe significant numbers of forces without damaging Alliance security. CFE also could weaken the Soviet Union's hold over Eastern Europe by requiring the withdrawal of between 250,000 and 325,000 o f the roughly 600,000 Soviet troops now stationed there. George Bush said in June that he wants to complete a CFE agreement within six months to a year. His timetable, however, may be optimistic. The two sides have yet to agree on Because the Soviet Union a nd its Warsaw Pact allies now enjoy I 3 such basic issues as how much equipment each slue now deploys in Europe what types of aircraft to count, and precisely how to define regional zones where special limits would be placed on military forces. Other key issues including how to verify a CFE agreement, have not yet serious19 been addressed Remarkably swift progress nevertheless has been made since CFE talks opened this March
9. Moscow has agreed to the Western proposal to reduce each sides forces to somewh at below NATOs current levels; this means much greater cuts for the Warsaw Pact than for NATO. Both sides too are in accord on the precise number of tanks and armored troop carriers to be permitted under treaty limits. Further, Moscow now has accepted NAT Os basic framework for a treaty, including the proposal for setting separate limits that would reduce Soviet forces stationed in Eastern Europe.
Challenges for NATO. Even if successful, of course, CFE will not resolve all of NATOs political or military dilemmas and could create new ones.
Example: NATOs force cuts would not be very great, which means that the West would have to continue expensive military modernization programs at a time when a CFE accord would be signalling relaxed East-West tensions.
How NATO responds to such challenges will determine CFEs ultimate success. On balance, though, a verifiable CFE accord along the lines proposed by NATO should serve U.S. interests and improve NATOs security. As the second round of CFE talks opens, Bush sh o uld Put CFE at the top of the U.S.-Soviet agenda, publicly making it a litmus test for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Among all the items on the U.S.-Soviet agenda, including strategic arms reductions talks (START), CFE is the best test of Gorbachevs si n cerity and reliability as a negotiating partner Require the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff to prepare options for cuts of up to 75,000 of the 305,000 U.S. air and ground forces now based in Europe in the event a CFE treaty is signed and implemented Hold firm a gainst Soviet attempts to exclude most Soviet warplanes in Europe from the CFE negotiations Accept only an accord that allows the U.S. to continue storing equipment in Germany and elsewhere to support rapid U.S. reinforcement of the Alliance Design and in s ist upon an effective CFE verification and monitoring plan Propose a five-year CFE treaty limit. This would encourage NATO to assess regularly Soviet compliance with a CFE treaty and the overall affect CFE on Alliance security Not permit Moscow to tie con c lusion of a CFE accord to the opening of arms control talks on naval forces or short-range nuclear forces (SNF 2 Gorbachev must reduce his conventional military threat to Europe before the U.S. or its allies consider arms control measures that could jeopa r dize NATO security Warn the allies against premature military cutbacks in anticipation of CFE Continue to exercise strong NATO leadership on CFE, even if this annoys some allies. Britain and France, for instance, remain bitter over Bushs push to include a i rcraft in negotiations; they maintain aircraft cuts should have been saved for possible CFE follow-up talks. But with sixteen NATO nations involved in CFE? talks, U.S. leadership and initiative are essential to keep negotiations moving forward Create a NA T O High Level Group to evaluate the Alliances military requirements in the event of a CFE accord; encourage allies to take the lead in planning for post-CFE European defense I I Require the Joint Chiefs of Staff to begin a thorough evaluation of U.S. globa l strategy in the event of a CFE accord. The Joint Chiefs should plan for a shift in the U.S. role in NATO defense away from providing large numbers of ground forces and toward providing primarily naval nuclear forces.
Sitting around Viennas CFE negotiatin g table are the sixteen members of the NATO alliance and seven members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The objective of the negotiations is to limit conventional forces in Europe including tanks, artillery, armored troop carriers, aircraft, helicopters, an d some troops.
Toward Equal Limits.CFE is an ambitious undertaking. Its geographic scope stretches from the Atlantic shores of Western Europe to the Urd Mountains, 1,500 miles into Soviet territory. The negotiations are guided by the principle of asymmetri c reductions to equal levels and capabilities.
This means that the Warsaw Pact, which has more weapons than NATO, will be required to dismantle more weapons than NATO to come down to equal limits that are below NATOs current levels. This negotiating princ ipleopens the way for an agreement that will cut mainly Soviet forces, which comprise 1 1 Helpful studies on conventional arms control include: Robert D. Blackwill, Conceptual Problems of Conventional Arms Control, International Security, Spring 1988; Ste p hen J. Flanagan and Andrew Hamilton Arms Control and Stability in Europe: Reductions are Not Enough, SurvivaL September/Octobex, 1988 General John R. Galvin, Some Thoughts On Conventional Arms Control, Survival, MarcWApril1989; and Uwe Nerlich and James A . Thomson, e Conventionalhs Conml and the Sem-ty of Europe (Boulder Westview Press, 1988 3 1.900 I no limit I no limit i .s I NATO: I U.S. and Soviet forces only. NATO proposal from Western CFE Delegations Paper, March 6,1989. and U.S. Department of Defens e , Conventionalhs Control Update Army Staff unpublished brieting Warsaw Pact proposal from The Anns Conbvl Repder, July 1989, p 407.B.195 the bulk of the Warsaw Pacts military inventory. If CFE succeeds along the lines now being negotiated, it will entail d estroying over 100,000 pieces of major military equipment now in the inventories of the two sides Agreement: The Basic Outlines of a CFE Accord agreement incorporating four types of armaments limitations? By the end of June, Moscow had accepted this basic framework in principle, although the Soviets presented their own numbers and other etails for each type of limitation, some of which conflict with NATOs. The four types of limits that both sides have agreed to include in an accord are 1) Overall limits. T h ese are restrictions on the total amount of equipment tanks, artillery pieces, armored troop carriers, aircraft, and helicopters that either side could deploy in Europe. The limits are different for each type of weapon, and each side would have to come do wn to equal levels set somewhat below NATOs current levels for each type of equipment. Moscow agrees with NATOs limits for two key types of equipment: tanks to be limited to 20,000 and armored troop carriers to 28,0
00. Using NATOs NATO came into the negot iations with a position paper outlining an 4 2 Western CFE Delegations Paper, released March 6,1989 in Vienna 3 See Text of Eastern CFE Proposal, tabled March 9,1989, JCS Information Service Center; Address of WTO States to NATO States, TASS, June 11,1989 (NATO official translation 4 figures on the existing East-West military balance, the 20,000 tank limit would mean that Moscow would have to dismantle 31,500 of its 51,500 tanks in Europe; NATO would have to dismantle 2,224 of its 22,224 tanks 2) Sufficien cy limits. These are restrictions on the percentage of either sides allotted military equipment that could be fielded by any one country.
NATO proposed sufficiency limits primarily to restrict the portion of Soviet forces within the Warsaw Pacts overall al lotment, but the same restrictions would apply to U.S. or West German or any other countrys share of NATOs overall equipment limits. Gorbachev surprised NATO in late May by accepting the principle of sufficiency limits, although Moscows proposed limits di ffer somewhat from NATOs! NATO would limit any one country to 30 percent of the total of both sides combined equipment holdings;.
Moscows limits vary at somewhat higher levels averaging about 35 percent.
Sufficiency limits would affect mainly the Soviet U nion, which now has 54 percent of the tanks, 48 percent of the armored troop carriers and 57 perc nt of the artillery now deployed by both sides from the Atlantic to the Urals 3) Stationed forces limits. These are limits on the amount of equipment that th e countries of either side could deploy in Europe outside their own territory. NATO proposed stationed forces limits primarily to curtail the number of Soviet forces that could be deployed in Eastern Europe. These limits also would apply to NATO equipment ( including American, British and French equipment stationed in Germany) that could be deployed in Europe on foreign territory. Example: Under NATOs proposal only 3,200 of either sides overall limit of 20,000 tanks could be stationed tanks; thus Moscow, the only Warsaw Pact country with troops deployed outside its own territory, could deploy no more than 3,200 tanks in Eastern Europe, roughly 7,600 fewer than it stations there today. Similarly, the sum total of NATO tanks deployed on foreign territory within Europe (primarily American British, and French tanks stationed in Germany) also could not exceed 3,200 4) Zone limitations. These are restrictions on the numbers of forces that could be deployed by either side in specific geographic regions, or zones carv e d out of the treaty area from the Atlantic to the Urals. Zone limitations are designed to force each side to spread out its forces geographically so that they can not be concentrated in any one area for an attack. Example NATOs proposal carves out three p r ogressively smaller zones within the Atlantic-to-the-Urals region. In the zone that includes on the Warsaw Pact side Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Poland, the Warsaw Pact could station only 8,000 of its 20,000 tanks and 4,500 of its 16,500 artillery p i eces P 4 Michael Gordon, Moscow Supports U.S. on Troop Cuts, The New Yo& Tunes May 25,1989, p. 9 5 Phillip A. Karber, testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, Apd 6,1989 (BDM Corporation reprint p. 9 5 Dmerences in NATO Versus Warsaw Pact Force E s timates I I Figures based on latest NATO estimates according to Defense Department Sources. See also Conventional Forces: The Facts, NATO Document, November 25,1988, Warsaw Treaty Organhation and North Atlantic Tmaty OrganizOrion: Cornlation of Fo~es in E urope, Moscow Novosti Publishing, 1989 I NATO would be subject to identical limits in an area encompassing Belgium Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany I NEGOTIATING HURDLES I 1) How should the balance be measured?
Before the CFE talks began, NATO and the Warsaw Pact each presented their own data on the equipment and troops deployed by the two sides in Europe. The data revealed numerous discrepancies in the two sides public portrayal of the military balance (see Table above In some cases, such as h elicopters, the Soviet count inexplicably inflated NATOs holdings. In some cases, part of the difference can be explained. Example: Moscows figures count NATOs Bradley infantry fighting vehicles in the tank balance while excluding its own infantry fightin g vehicles; NATO counts only heavy tanks like its own M-1 &rams and Soviet T-80 in the tank category. To date NATO negotiators have found their Soviet counterparts generally unwilling or unable to provide an adequate explanation of how they arrived at thei r figures But even after such differences are taken into account, say NATO negotiators, most of Moscows figures do not add up. Both studies are expected to produce revised and updated figures this fall 6 This and other observations based on authors intervi ews with Defense Department, State Department, and National Security Council officials involved with the CFE negotiations 6 2) At what levels should equipment limits be set?
The two sides disagree over what levels to set for overall limits, sufficiency lim its and stationing limits for most categories of equipment. Examples NATO calls for overall artillery limits of 16,500, while the Warsaw Pact proposes 24,000; NATO calls for stationing limits of 3,200 tanks while the Warsaw Pact wants 4,5
00. Generally, M oscow seeks somewhat higher limits than NATO, particularly for limits that would restrict Soviet forces deployed in Eastern Europe 3) Which aircraft should be included in negotiations NATO initially resisted Moscows calls for limits on aircraft and helico p ters on the grounds that negotiations first should focus on ground equipment capable of seizing and holding NATO territory. Bush changed the American position at the May NATO summit, proposing to include fircraft and helicopters in the negotiations; NATO agreed on July 13.
The two sides remain far apart on the issue of which aircraft to include in negotiations. Moscow wants to include only strike aircraft, which it defines as aircraft equipped to attack targets on the ground. It seeks to exclude defensive interceptors used to shoot down other aircraft in air-to-air combat. But since most NATO aircraft, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, are used for air-to-ground and air-to-air combat virtually all NATO aircraft would be subject to resthctions under Moscows proposal. But roughly 7,000 Soviet aircraft (by NATOs count) would be excluded under the Soviet proposal, including combat-capable training aircraft and modem fighters like the MiG-31 Foxhound.
NATO proposes counting all interceptors and attack aircraft e qually as combat aircraft and subjecting them to limitations. NATO points to the inherent unfairness of a Soviet proposal that excludes by.definition 7,000 of its own combat aircraft, each capable of shooting down NATO aircraft no matter whether they are designated defensive or strike by Moscow.
Further, the Soviet distinction between defensive interceptors and strike aircraft does not hold up under scrutiny, since even interceptors could be outfitted to attack gr ound targets during wartime 7 See Michael Gordon, Arms Pact on Fast Track, The New Yo& Ties, May 30,1989, Theresa Hitchens NATO Rushes New Troop Cut Plan to Vienna Two Months Early, Defense News, July 17,1989, p. 42 8 See Peter Adams, Arms Control Agreeme nt May Hinge on Definition of Air Defense Aircraft, Dejkme.
News, August 7,1989, Edward L. Warner 3d and David A. Ochmanek, Arms Talks: The Plane T~th, The.
New Yo& Ernes, June 1,1989, p. 23 7 I I I i I I i I I i i I I I 4) What kind of manpower limits should CFE include?
NATO has not agreed to the Warsaw Pacts proposal to place an overall cap on manpower. Alliance leaders are concerned that Moscow could use manpower limits to restrict West European reinforcement and reserve troops critical to manning NAT Os defensive line in the event of a Warsaw Pact attack. As a result of a Bush initiative at the May NATO summit, NATO has agreed to bring manpower into the negotiations. NATO proposes a limit of 275,000 on U.S. troops and Soviet troops stationed on foreig n territory in Europe? But Moscow insists that this limit, which it would set at 325,000 should be imposed not just on U.S. and Soviet troops, but on the total of all troops from either alliance stationed in Europe outside their own territory.
Because NATO relies on an international force of over 400,000-America British, French, and other allied troops in West Germany as its front line of defense, it has rejected these limits 5) How should stored equipment be counted?
Both sides agree that all military equ ipment in Europe, whether stored or deployed with active forces, would be included in overall equipment limits set under a CFE agreement. The two sides disagree, however, about whether stored equipment would be further restricted by stationing limits on t h e amount of equipment that countries can deploy outside their own territory in Europe and zone limits that put regional ceilings on equipment deployments between the Atlantic and the Urals. The Warsaw Pact says those ceilings should apply to active and st ored equipment; NATO says they should apply only to equipment with active forces.
The issue is important because Moscows formula would force the U.S. to withdraw most of its stored equipment from West Germany. U.S. equipment stored or prepositioned in Germ any is crucial to NATO strategy because it permits the U.S. to reinforce the Alliance rapidly simply by flying in troops to match up with equipment already there.
Remote Storage. NATOs CFE proposal is designed not only to permit the U.S. to keep its store d equipment in West Germany, but also to encourage the Warsaw Pact to put large amounts of its own equipment-instorage 9 See Bush Proposes Cutback in U.S. Troops in Europe, The Wrrshington Posb May 30,1989, p. 1 lOThe U.S. is supposed to store enough equi p ment in West Germany to outfit the six U.S. divisions (these stores actually may only be about 26 full) that the US. plans to fly to Germany to reinforce NATO quickly at the fmt sign that war is imminent. Without this stored equipment in Germany, the U.S. would have to ship the equipment for these divisions to Europe, making rapid US. reinforcement of NATO all but hposwble.
Moscow has no need to store large amounts of equipment near the front in Europe because it quickly can reinforce its front-line forces with equipment sent via rail from the Soviet Union 8 I I I NATOs zone proposal calls for both sides to keep about 20 percent of its equipment either in storage or in regions far from the central front in Germany. For NATO, this remote region would includ e Iceland; for the Warsaw Pact, it could be the Soviet Transcaucasus military district on the Caspian Sea. NATO wants Moscow to put equipment in storage because it would be easier to count and monitor than equipment kept with active divisions. Moscow has r esisted this proposal. Compromises may be possible by which some equipment ke t with active units would be kept in designated areas and closely monitored 6) Should a CFE agreement be tied to negotiations on naval forces and short-range nuclear forces?
Offi cial Soviet pronouncements on CFE consistently tie successful conclusion of a CFE treaty to the opening of negotiations to limit naval forces and short-range nuclear forces (SNF such as the U.S. Lance missile.= Moscow long has sought ways through arms con t rol to limit superior U.S. naval forces and to force the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe. The U.S. and its NATO allies consistently have rejected naval force limitations, because the U.S. has global naval obligations and because NATO relies so heavily on the U.S. navy for reinforcement during wartime. Although West Germany has been at odds with the other major allies on whether to open SNF negotiations, NATO agreed at its May summit that it would not enter into these negotiations until Mosco w has begun conventional force reductions through CFE.13 8 7) How will a CFE. treaty be verified?
Adequate verification will be the key to ensuring improved Western security under a CFE treaty. Neither side has yet proposed a full verification plan, although NATO is expected to have one ready when negotiations reopen on September
7. NATOs proposal is likely to include measures for observing and counting deployed forces through such means as aircraft overflights, satellite reconnaissance, and direct on sit e inspection by teams of observers llSee R. Jeffrey Smith, U.S. Weighs New,NATO Arms Storage Plan, The Washington Post, July 29,1989, p. 9 Peter Ad NATO Hopes Stored Materiel Overcomes Geographic Liability, Defense News, July 3,1989, p 3 12See address by Soviet Foreign M~ster Eduard Schevardnadze in Vienna, March 6,1989, TASS press release. See also, R. Jeffrey Smith, Soviet Advisor Hints at Potential Mobile Missile Deal, The Washinglon.
Post, July 24,1989, p. A18 13See NATOs Comprehensive Concept ofAms Co nlrol and Disarmament, adopted by NATO heads of state Brussels, May 29 and 30,1989, p 11. West Germany, alone among the major NATO allies, favors immediate SNF negotiations but agreed to the U.S. position at the May 29-30 NATO summit conthgent upon U.S ag r eement to seek a CFE accord within six to twelve months. Comprehensive Concept, p 11. If an accord is not reached in that time, Germany is likely to break ranks with NATO again on this issue 9 HOW CFE American officials indicate that the most important pa r t to an effective verification and monitoring plan will be a Soviet willingness to give a full prior accounting, detailed to the level of individual combat units, of the location and status of all its equipment and forces in the Atlantic to the Urals regi o n. Moscow would be required to update this regularly by reporting any changes in the location or status of those troops, including their level of readiness, removal of equipment from storage, troop movements, or weapon modernization procedures in place, N A TO could spot check any military unit anywhere in the reductions area and know the status and makeup of the forces that were supposed to be stationed there. Any variations between what is found in an area and what should be there would trigger more inspec tions that presumably would reveal further violations of the agreement.
So far, Moscow has not provided a precise and detailed accounting of how and where its forces are deployed. Nor is it certain that Moscow will open its territory to virtually unlimited on-site inspection. Both will be necessary components of an effective C FE verification plan With this information and with sufficient surprise on-site inspection COULD BENEFIT THE WEST A CFE accord could end NATOs decades-old disadvantage of military inferiority in the European theater and could establish parity. NATO thus w o uld be more secure militarily than it is now if it modernizes and maintains the conventional forces allowed it by an agreement. In addition to evening-up the odds for NATO, CFE would end what has been NATOs nightmare over the past decade: the threat of a s urprise attack. CFE could trim Soviet forces enough to make a surprise attack extremely diffi~u1t.l CFE also would benefit the West by forcing the withdrawal of between 250,000 and 325,000 Soviet troops from Eastern Europe. This would encourage forces for democracy by reducing Moscows ability to intimidate East European governments and by making it difficult for the Soviets to intervene militarily in Eastern Europe without violating the treaty.
European Concerns. For America, CFE would be an opportunity at last to withdraw substantial forces from Western Europe. This would occur under military conditions significantly less threatening than they now are and would make it easier for Americas European allies to compensate for the reduced number of U.S. troops . Under the Wests CFE proposal at least 30,0000 U.S forces would be withdrawn from Europe; within the Bush Administration and A 14See Karber, op. cit 10 in Congress cuts of up to 75,000 are being advocated whether required by treaty or not.15 This prospect understandably is viewed with concern by many Europeans For Gorbachev, CFE likely is consistent with his plans to field a somewhat smaller but better organized and more modem military force. He also may hope to create a climate of relations with the West m ore conducive to gaining Western financial and technological help to resuscitate the faltering Soviet economy. Over the longer term he may hope to set in motion events that would lead to a complete U.S. military disengagemenf6from Europe and the withdrawa l of U.S. nuclear forces from the continent RECOMMENDATIONS To ensure that a CFE accord serves American and Western rather than Soviet objectives, Washington faces immediate and longer-term challenges.
First, the U.S. will have to work with its allies to n egotiate a verifiable treaty that brings genuine parity to the East-West conventional military confrontation in Europe. If a CFE treaty is achieved, the U.S. will face the longer-term task of reducing its military presence in Europe while maintaining NATO s political cohesiveness and military effectiveness. Bush should begin working now toward these immediate and longer-term goals.
The Immediate Agenda: A Sound Treaty In the short-term, Bushs objective is to ensure a sound and verifiable CFE treaty. To achieve this he should Put CFE at the top of the U.S.-Soviet agenda; make it a key litmus test for Gorbachev.
If Gorbachev is serious about reducing the military threat to NATO, CFE is his opportunity to prove it. Unlike strategic arms reductions or most othe r nuclear arms negotiations, CFE cuts to the heart of NATOs security problem by reducing the basic tools of warfare tanks, artillery, and armored troop carriers with which Moscow would invade the West. It therefore is the best test of Gorbachevs sincerity and reliability as a negotiating partner Insist on including all aircraft in CFE negotiations.
The West initially did not want to include aircraft in the CFE negotiations and agreed to do so only at Moscows insistence. Moscow cannot now WBudget, Troop Cut s May Revamp Military, Chicago Tribune, June 23,1989, p. 1 16See Valery Giscard dktaing, Yasuhiro Nakasone, and Henry A. singer, East-West Relations, Foreign.
Affairs, summer 1989, and Christopher Coker, CFE: The Soviets Hidden Agenda, European Security A nalyst July 1989, Institute for European Defense and Strategic Studies I 11 reasonably expect to exclude over 7,000 of its own warplanes from the negotiations on the grounds that they are defensive interceptors, when they clearly can be used for offensive as well as defensive purposes Negotiate a proposal that permits the U.S. to keep stored or prepositioned equipment in West Germany.
Currently equipment for up to six American divisions is prepositioned in West Germany. Without this, the U.S. would not be able to reinforce NATO quickly during a crisis Propose a five-year CFE treaty limit.
Even though the CFE treaty is expected to contain provisions designed to deter Moscow from threatening NATO in ways not restricted by a CFE accord (example: by building u p conventional forces east of the Ural Mountains where they would not be limited by a CFE treaty these provisions will not guarantee NATO security. The reason: If Moscow cheats on a CFE accord, it may be difficult politically for NATO to withdraw from the agreement. But if a CFE treaty must be renewed every five years, NATO will be forced to assess periodically Soviet compliance with the letter and spirit of the accord plan accounting by both sides of the precise status and stationing of all CFE-limited eq u ipment or troops; 2) notification of exercises, troop movements, changes in force composition or stationing, and weapons modernization; 3) on-site inspection procedures sufficient to detect patterns of violation; and 4) storage and permanent monitoring of a fmed percentage of CFE-limited equipment Design and insist upon an effective CFE verification and monitoring This plan would have to include at a minimum provisions for: 1) a full prior Not permit Moscow to tie conclusion of a CFE accord to the opening of naval or short-range nuclear (SNF) arms control talks.
Moscow still is threatening to hold a CFE deal hostage to the opening of talks on naval forces and short-range nuclear forces. Because NATO relies much more heavily than Moscow on naval power to rei nforce and support Western Europe and globally, naval arms control is not in U.S. or NATO interests. SNF negotiations should not begin until after a CFE accord has been signed and reductions are underway. NATO cannot risk further nuclear disarmament until Moscow reduces its overwhelming conventional military advantage through CFE or unilaterally I 12 Warn the allies against premature military cutbacks in anticipation of CFE.
Many of the same conditions that may make CFE possible, including economic and pol itical upheaval in the Soviet Union, also make this a potentially dangerous and unstable period for Europe. NATO cannot afford to relax its defenses at this time, particularly since Moscow continues to increase production of such key conventional military equipment as tanks and artillery, despite assertions to the contrary by Soviet leaders. Meanwhile NATO allies, who spend proportionally only half of what Americans spend on defense, alread have begun scaling back conventional military spending and key pro grams. 17 Continue to lead on CFE within the Alliance.
To safeguard U.S. and Alliance interests, the U.S. must keep negotiations moving forward even at risk of alienating close allies. Bush demonstrated his ability to do this when he rallied the Alliance b ehind him to overcome French procedural objections at the opening of negotiations in March, and again when he gained Alliance support in the face of French and British objections for his proposal to include aircraft in the negotiations. France in particul a r has shown signs of dragging its heels on CFE, and French officials make it clear that CFE is as worrisome to them as it is promising because it is likely to bring U.S. troop withdrawals and, consequently, necessitate a greater French role in NATO defens e .18 If France or other allies put unreasonable obstacles.before a CFE accord, Bush as a last resort should let it be known that the U.S. will pursue some troop withdrawals regardless, either unilaterally or through a separate U.S.-Soviet deal Longer-term A genda: Prepare for NATO Defense After CFE important military choices and opportunities. To prepare for these Bush should Even if the two sides reach a CFE agreement, NATO and the U.S. will face I 17See Senator John McCain, Hard Steel Belies Gorbachevs Sof t Words, Defense News, July X, 1989, p. 35.
See also Jacques Isnard, France Details Defence Budget Cuts,Junes Defence Wee June 3,1989, p. 1035 Theresa Hitchens, Deficit-wary Belgians Trim Defense Budget, Defense News, July 31,1989, p. 6; Theresa Hitchens, W. German Defense Budget: More is Really Less, Defense News, July 31,1989, p 4. Only Britain among major allies is increasing its defense spending substantially 18Authors discussions in Paris and Washington with French Defense and Foreign Ministry officia ls 13 I I I I I I I I i I I i I I i i I I I I I I I Require the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff to prepare options for cuts of up to 75,000 U.S. troops in Europe in the event of a CFE treaty.
A verifiable CFE treaty along the lines proposed by the West would improve NATOs military position, allowing the U.S. to reduce the cost of its NATO commitment by withdrawing some troops from Europe. Under NATOs present proposal the U.S. would have to wit h draw 30,000 of its 305,000 ground and air force now in Europe. This would save the U.S roughly $2 billion a year if these troops are fully de~nobilized Cuts of up to 75,000 U.S. troops from Europe after CFE would save the U.S. roughly $5 billion annually. Cuts of this size would be likely to require compensating measures by European allies, such as moving more European troops to the front. But given that Americans pay proportionally double-what most European allies pay for defense, it is fair that the U.S. expect the lions share of savings from CFE.
While NATOs negotiating position need not change, the U.S. should put its allies on notice that it will withdraw up to 75,000 troops, or about 1 2/3 divisions and supporting units after a CFE accord is signed an d fully implemented. Bush should provide details of the cuts and a timetable for withdrawals as soon as a treaty is signed so allies will have the opportunity to adjust their defense plans accordingly Create a NATO High Level Group to evaluate the Allianc es post-CEE military requirements and how they will be met.
A High Level Group is NATOs most senior defense decision-making forum and is responsible directly to NATO foreign ministers. CFE will change Europes military landscape: Soviet forces will be small er but likely more modern and better organized; the U.S. presence will be reduced perhaps substantially; NATOs defensive line will be thinned out somewhat and eventually NATOs short-range nuclear forces are liable to be reduced.
A NATO High Level Group should begin planning for these changes and the possibility of greater force cuts through follow-on CFE talks.
Issues for the Group to discuss include questions about the viability of NATOs strategy of forward defense after CFE cuts-and-possible. further U. S. troop cuts. Forward defense requires NATO to defend a line as close as possible to the East-West German border. NATO also will have to consider such issues as what kind of European-based nuclear force will be needed in the event of CFE.
Further, Europe ans will have to face some politically difficult military issues. West Germany, for example, may have to consider erecting barrier defenses along the border with East Germany, an option long rejected 0 19Congressional Budget Ofice Stall Working Paper, The Budgetary Effects of The Presidents Conventional Arms Proposal, June 1989 14 because it would symbolize Germanys division. France might consider reintegrating its forces into NATOs military command and taking up positions along NATOs central front in Germ any, questions not thought about seriously in Paris since France quit NATOs military command in 1966 Require the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff to begin a thorough evaluation of U.S. global strategy in the event of a CFE accord.
When the Pentagon took a look a t U.S. long-term strategic priorities last year, it recognized a need to focus defense efforts increasingly on a wider range of contingencies than the defense of Europe, particularly since West Euro eans are capable of doing more for their own defense tha n they now are. The Joint Chiefs should plan for a shift in the U.S. role in NATO defense away from providing large numbers of ground forces deployed in Europe and toward providing primarily naval and air forces, reserve manpower and, of course, nuclear fo r ces. In this context, the withdrawal of 75,000 U.S. troops from Europe would be the first step in a realignment of Americas military strategy. Even after this realignment is complete, the U.S should remain an active member of NATO and its integrated milit a ry command, and should continue to station some ground forces permanently in Europe along with air, naval and nuclear forces as a sign of its commitment to the defense of Western Europe. This realignment is necessary if the U.S. is to continue dealing eff e ctively with challenges from Moscow and regional powers outside the NATO region, particularly in the Pacific CONCLUSION The emerging CFE accord has tremendous potential to improve the security of Americas West European allies and to advance such U.S inter ests as cutting back its ground forces in Europe and triggering the retreat of hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops from Eastern Europe. Tough negotiating, however, lies ahead.
It will be up to Bush to ensure that key negotiating issues are resolved to N ATOs satisfaction, including verification, rules for counting .aircraft, and ensuring that CFE does not prohibit the U.S. from storing critical prepositioned equipment in Europe. Bush also will have to hold the line with sometimes difficult allies, encour a ging them to keep up their defense efforts while negotiating, and continuing to take a strong stand against opening talks on short-range nuclear forces until after CFE is signed and reductions have begun I 2ODiscriniinate Deterrence: Report of the Commiss i on on Integrated Long-Tern Stratem, Fred C. Me and Albert Wohlstetter, co-chairman, January 1988, p. 2 I 15i I I Making NATO More Secure. If NATO and the Warsaw Pact reach an equitable and verifiable CFE accord, the U.S. can reduce the military cost of it s NATO commitment by withdrawing up to 75,000 ground and air force troops from Europe and turning over to the West Europeans greater responsibility for their own defense. Even with some U.S. withdrawals, the drastic reductions that CFE would require in Sov iet-led Warsaw Pact forces will make NATO dramatically more secure if the allies plan well and field a modem force after a CFE agreement.
If NATO plans well for the future, a CFE treaty could be the historical turning point in the West's quest to make Euro pe "whole and free," and immune to threats from the East. If, on the other hand, Europeans are lulled into a false complacency by CFE and allow their defenses to wither, a CFE accord ultimately will work to Moscow's advantage, no matter how skillfully Wes tern negotiators do their job in Vienna.
Jay P. Kosminsky Policy Analyst Heritage Interns James Kostohryz and Benjamin Kaminetzky assisted in the research for this study i 16