TITLE:START I TREATY INSPECTION REGIME OPENS (02/14/95)
START I TREATY INSPECTION REGIME OPENS
(Expected to be very intrusive) (710)
By Bruce Carey
USIA Staff Writer
Washington -- The United States and the four nuclear powers of the former
Soviet Union will soon initiate an era of mutual and highly intrusive
inspection to provide the world with absolute assurance that nuclear
disarmament treaties are being obeyed, says Army Brigadier General Gregory
Govan, director of the U.S. On-site Inspection Agency.
March 1 will see the beginning of an intensive, four-month, baseline
inspection regimen encompassing examination of 71 strategic forces
facilities in the former Soviet states and 38 in the United States, Govan
told reporters February 14 at the U.S. Information Agency Foreign Press
Center in Washington.
This baseline period pertains to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START
I), which entered into force last December. At that time, Russia, Belarus,
Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, the four nuclear states that were part of the
Soviet Union, exchanged with the United States data on all of their
strategic nuclear forces.
The four-month baseline will "verify the accurateness and completeness of
those data," the general said.
"This follows on the heels of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
1INF)," which was successfully negotiated in 1987, and which eliminated an
entire class of nuclear weapons. "As part of that treaty we had the first
introduction in modern times of very intrusive on-site inspection
measures," Govan told reporters.
"The START I treaty will continue this intrusiveness," he said.
Govan explained some of the ways that the verification regime works.
"Data exchange is the heart of the treaty, because this is the revelation,
officially, to the other side, of what each side actually built, not what
was expected, not what the intelligence agencies reported, but what is
really there," he said.
"We will be letting one another into the most secret places that we have
had," he said of the treaty's five signatories. "In practical terms it
means that foreign inspectors will be going to U.S. facilities where not
only everyday U.S. citizens were excluded, but also many members of the
U.S. military as well.
"We are doing this in the name of openness, trust and confidence, because we
know that only through intrusive verification procedures can both sides be
sure that the other side has the strategic arms that it says and that it
will be reducing to the level specified under the START I treaty," he said.
"In addition to the inspections to verify the data, there is also monitoring
going on at facilities that used to build some of the systems that are now
limited," Govan said. For example, under INF, all prohibited the missiles
have been destroyed. "But we continue to monitor production plants" to see
that components for these missiles are not being rebuilt, such as those for
the U.S. Pershing missile and the Soviet SS20 missile.
"There are U.S. monitors outside the gate" of the Russian plants that built
SS20s, checking all cargo coming out, in order to be sure that no
prohibited items are leaving, or that the few that do leave are recorded.
He said that other types of inspections will occur after the four-month
baseline period of START I. "Every time a new facility is added to the
inventory, we will verify" that it is what it is supposed to be. Also,
there will be random sampling and examination of "suspect facilities," he
When facilities have been closed down, "we will verify closure and that it
is no longer a base that performs a strategic offensive weapons function,"
Another example of the intensive extent of the intrusiveness regime is
"re-entry vehicle on-site inspection." The START II treaty will eventually
enter into force, and it will prohibit more than one warhead per land-based
strategic missile. "There is no way that this can be verified other than
someone going and looking at the missiles to verify that we have downloaded
to the proper number," he noted.
Govan said that the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission created by
the five signatories convenes regularly in Geneva to discuss compliance and
questions of ambiguity and to work out procedures not covered by the
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