Report # 193. Stumbling Blocks in Arms Control. What does the Doomsday Clock show?

January 25,2023

 

On January 24, 2023 the symbolic Doomsday Clock has been set for 90 seconds to alarming midnight. Before that I thought it will be changed from the previous 100 seconds to 60 or even 30 seconds to that time testifying the end of the world. Because the chances of beginning a global nuclear war by January 2023 have increased radically between the two nuclear powers – the USA and Russia.

 

90 or 60 or 30 seconds before the Armageddon hour makes no difference for the mankind. It is extremely dangerous path.

Blundering the human race into a universal disaster.

 

By early 2023, too many bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements had accumulated on the subject of the Arms Control Regime or ACR, which were either continuously violated by individual states or had been broken up and ceased to be completely.

There are up to two dozen treaties on the global politico-military agenda that relate directly to the ACR. Of these, there are fifteen multilateral and bilateral treaties and agreements to which the United States and the other states in the NATO military bloc have shown a negative attitude, manifested by explicit violations of their provisions and by withdrawing from them unilaterally.

In particular, this applies to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, from which the U.S. withdrew in 2002 when George W. Bush was the US president.

These are also the treaties on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range nuclear missiles, on the international arms trade, on open skies and on the Iranian nuclear program.

Washington unilaterally withdrew from all of them during the Donald Trump administration. His successor, President Joseph Biden, has not shown any desire to restore American participation in all these arrangements. In other words, these accords are not working. It should be additionally noted: the American side, as a rule, does not return to treaties from which it has withdrawn earlier.

All current US five key military strategies – national security, national defense, nuclear, missile defense, military space strategies – all are aggressive in nature and identify either Russia or the PRC as the US adversaries number one or two.

There is a group of treaties that are routinely violated by supporters of excessive militarism and aggressiveness. For example, the U.S. side has violated its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty known as the New START.

There are several ACR treaties that the United States has signed but not ratified.

There are draft international treaties that the U.S. side discusses most likely to pretend that they are nice, but in reality, outside the official discussion, regard them in its inner circle with disgust and prevents them to be implemented.

There are two treaties that Washington refuses to discuss at all.

The talk is about the US violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is manifested by the deployment of American nuclear weapons in Europe and Asia for decades and the refusal to remove them to the continental USA

The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is being partially eroded when the United States refuses to show Russian inspection teams the number of nuclear warheads on some SOA carriers and avoids confirming the assured irreversibility of nuclear carriers converted to non-nuclear missions that later can be easily transformed into nuclear delivery vehicles again.

Washington has long failed to comply with the provisions of two international conventions, namely the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Numerous violations of the Biological Weapons Convention by the U.S. side have been repeatedly cited in briefings by the Russian Ministry of Defense, showing dangerous plans to use biological weapons created at bilateral U.S.-Ukrainian military biolaboratories in Ukraine.

The U.S. side is blocking the adoption of the draft international Treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space. It does not support the adoption of a political commitment to refrain from being the first to place weapons in space. It should be recalled that the draft of this treaty, prepared by Russia and China, was originally submitted to the UN Conference on Disarmament back in 2008.

In December 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on strengthening the  ACR in space proposed by Russia. The resolution, entitled "Strengthening and Developing the System of Arms Control, Disarmament and Nonproliferation Treaties and Agreements," called on all signatory states to fully implement all provisions of the relevant instruments.

The resolution also noted the need to make efforts to strengthen the treaty system. It received broad support from the international community. There were 173 States in favor, one against and nine abstentions. This is an excellent result, considering that the UN now has 193 member states. In other words, about 90 percent of the countries that make up the largest international organization voted for the resolution.

Despite the adopted resolution, the key parameters of the ACR cannot be assessed positively at this time.  

What is the document about? It calls on all States Parties to treaties and agreements on ACR, disarmament and non-proliferation to fully implement all provisions of such instruments. It called for continued efforts to strengthen the relevant system of treaties and agreements, and to preserve its integrity and validity in order to maintain global stability and international peace and security. In spite of the fact that all resolutions adopted at General Assembly sessions are recommendatory in nature, this resolution is of great practical importance. What is the reason?

For many decades the United States has been evading ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty signed in 1996 that was ratified by Russia back in 2000.

The USA and all other NATO member states who signed the adapted Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe in 1999, have still not approved it. Consequently, they do not and will not comply with it.

Washington flatly refuses to discuss two politico-military documents: the draft multilateral Treaty on European Security, which was submitted to the interested states 14 years ago, and the Agreement on Security Measures between Russia and the NATO member-states, the main provisions of which were sent to NATO HQ in Brussels in mid-December 2021.

  

The U.S. has categorically rejected Russia's proposal to extend the existing Agreement on the Prevention of Incidents on the High Seas Beyond the Outer Limit of Territorial Waters and in the Airspace above it to submarines in the submerged position of the parties that was signed between the USSR and the USA in May 1972. The Treaty was inherited by Russia in 1991 when the USSR demised.

Nothing has changed in the policy of the two US administrations; Democrats approach the issue of ACR the same way as the previous Republican administration. There has been no radical turn for the better. The United States is still on a policy of freezing almost all of the New START process, except for the solution of the New START reduction problem. There is only one difference.

President Biden has offered to work out the Newest START treaty with Russia presently, before it expires in February 2026. That is, he has advocated a selective, i.e., specifically chosen process of reducing such armaments, while at the same time he is trying to remove other types of weapons from the negotiating agenda. Such pattern of negotiations is unacceptable to Moscow.