|08GENEVA958||2008-11-13 17:08:00||CONFIDENTIAL||US Mission Geneva|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L GENEVA 000958
1. (U) This is BIC-X-001.
2. (U) Meeting Date: November 12, 2008
Time: 10:00 A.M. - 11:10 A.M.
Place: Russian Mission, Geneva
3. (C) U.S. and Russian representatives to the Moscow
Treaty's Bilateral Implementation Commission (BIC) met at the
Russian Mission in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 12, 2008,
to conduct the Tenth Session of the BIC. The sides presented
briefings on the status of, and plans for, reductions in
their strategic nuclear forces. The United States briefing
specified that the number of operationally deployed strategic
nuclear warheads (ODSNW) as of September 30, 2008, was 2303.
The Russian briefing specified that the number of Russian
strategic nuclear warheads (SNW) as of October 1, 2008, was
1833. There were no significant changes in terms of plans to
meet the Moscow Treaty limits reported by either side since
the Ninth Session of the BIC (Ref A).
4. (C) Koshelev welcomed the U.S. Delegation and introduced
the Russian Delegation. Taylor reciprocated after expressing
U.S. condolences for the military and civilian personnel who
were killed or injured as a result of the November 8, 2008,
accident on a Russian submarine. Koshelev then made the
- There have been rapid developments in the political sphere
since the July session of the BIC, including the tragic
events in the North Caucasus.
- These events were followed by a period of cooling down of
some relations. However, this cooling down did not impact
U.S.-Russian interactions with regard to strategic offensive
reductions. In this regard, the Russian Federation received
the U.S. draft post-START text and regards this as a positive
step forward concerning interactions on strategic offensive
- There have also been positive developments in the U.S.
political sphere, and Russia congratulates the United States
on the election of its 44th President. Russia cannot but
like the intentions expressed by the President-elect, in
particular with regard to change. Reiterating the statement
made by President Medvedev, the Russian Federation is
prepared to cooperate constructively with the United States.
Russia only hopes that the positive statements that have been
made can be successfully implemented.
- This marks the Tenth Session of the BIC, and can be
regarded as a sort of anniversary session. The Russian
Federation considers the BIC to be a critical element of
interaction with the United States.
- Because the START Treaty expires in December 2009, the work
of the BIC may be elevated. We should have a common goal to
improve the practicality of our work. The current system for
exchanging information provides the required level of
confidence and predictability. However, the information
exchanged is based on START information and notifications,
and we must consider the volume and structure of the
information provided under START. With this in mind, Russia
believes the Parties should revisit the proposals of the
Russian Federation made during BIC-I (Ref B), and expects
these proposals will be considered favorably by the United
Taylor replied that the United States would study Koshelev's
comments and would review the proposals from the first
session of the BIC.
U.S. BRIEFING ON STRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES
5. (U) Yaguchi presented the following unclassified briefing
updating the status of U.S. ODSNW. (Begin comment: What
follows are the briefing slides and the narrative used for
each slide. End comment.)
Begin text of U.S. presentation:
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces
Bilateral Implementation Commission
- This briefing will provide an update on U.S. strategic
- It will summarize actions taken since the last BIC briefing
and long-range plans for these forces.
U.S. Plans for Strategic Nuclear Forces
- Reduce total operationally deployed strategic nuclear
warheads to 1700-2200 by 31 December 2012:
-- Remove some delivery systems from service; and
-- For delivery systems retained, remove some warheads from
operational missiles to reduce the number of operationally
deployed nuclear warheads
- Completed actions:
-- Removed 4 Trident I SSBNs from strategic service
-- B-1B conventional role only
-- Deactivated Peacekeeper ICBMs
-- Deactivated Trident I SLBMs
-- Converted 4 Trident I SSBNs to carry Trident II SLBMs
-- Removed 50 Minuteman III ICBM silo launchers from
- Ongoing actions:
-- Removing some warheads from operational missiles
-- Deactivating all AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles
- Baseline 2012 Strategic Nuclear Force Structure:
-- 14 Trident II SSBNs
-- 450 Minuteman III ICBMs
-- 20 B-2 Bombers
-- 76 B-52H Bombers
- Our existing strategic nuclear force structure, with the
reductions mentioned during previous briefings, will remain
in service at least through 2020.
-- Minuteman service life is projected through 2030.
-- Ohio class ballistic missile submarines have been
extended in life and the oldest of the remaining 14 is
planned to be operational beyond 2025.
-- Our oldest bomber, the B-52, has had numerous upgrades
and, along with the B-2, should remain operational for
- We have underway, or in the planning stages, life extension
programs to ensure that these systems remain reliable and
safe and incorporate modern electronics.
- In addition, we are beginning to examine options to replace
these weapon systems when each reaches the end of its service
Update on ICBMs
- Status: Removed the last 5 of 50 Minuteman III ICBM silo
launchers from strategic service in July 2008.
- We started to deactivate 50 Minuteman III silo launchers in
early summer 2007.
- Complete deactivation occurred in July 2008.
Update on SSBNs
Modification of 4 SSBNs to SSGNs
- Status: Four Trident I SSBNs have been removed from
strategic service and have completed their refueling overhauls
-- All four SSGNs have completed modification
-- There are no plans to return Trident I SSBNs to
Conversion of 4 Trident I SSBNs to Trident II
- Status: Four submarines have been converted from Trident I
to Trident II SLBM launchers
-- Trident I SLBMs are deactivated
- There are no operational Trident I launchers.
Update on Heavy Bombers
- Status: Lost one B-52 in July 2008.
Nuclear Air-Launched Cruise Missiles
- Status: The United States plans to complete the
deactivation of the AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile by
December 31, 2012.
- One B-52 crashed since the last report.
- The United States plans to complete the deactivation of the
AGM-129 by December 31, 2012.
- The FY08 National Defense Authorization Act mandated that
the Air Force not reduce the force structure below 76 B-52s.
The deactivation of B-52s has not yet begun.
Total U.S. Operationally Deployed Strategic Nuclear Warheads
- For purposes of the Moscow Treaty, the United States
considers Operationally Deployed Strategic Nuclear Warheads
-- Reentry vehicles on intercontinental ballistic missiles
in their launchers
-- Reentry vehicles on submarine-launched ballistic
missiles in their launchers onboard submarines, and
-- Nuclear armaments loaded on heavy bombers or stored in
weapons storage areas of heavy bomber bases
- A small number of spare strategic nuclear warheads
(including spare ICBM warheads) are located at heavy bomber
-- The U.S. does not consider these warheads to be
operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads.
- As of September 30, 2008, the aggregate number of U.S.
Operationally Deployed Strategic Nuclear Warheads was 2303.
- This is the U.S. definition of operationally deployed
strategic nuclear warheads.
- The U.S. does not consider spare warheads to be
operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads.
- During BIC IX, the U.S. reported that as of May 31, 2008,
the aggregate number of U.S. ODSNW was 2647.
- As of September 30, 2008, the aggregate number of U.S.
ODSNW was 2303.
- Current and planned strategic nuclear force structure and
activities are consistent with the current strategic
- Our operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads
continue to be reduced consistent with the terms of the
- The 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review recommended reducing
MM-III ICBMs to 450.
- We are deactivating all AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles.
- We have a number of activities in progress related to
sustainment of our strategic forces and implementation of our
defense strategy. These are consistent with the new
- Our intention is to continue to provide transparency and
predictability on our activities and forces through actions
such as this briefing.
End text of U.S. presentation.
RUSSIAN BRIEFING ON STRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES
6. (C) Ryzhkov presented the following briefing, classified
confidential, updating the status of and plans for Russia's
strategic nuclear forces. At the beginning of the briefing
he noted that the information was current as of October 1,
2008, which is Russia's traditional cut-off date for
information presented during the fall session of the BIC.
Begin text of official translation of Russian briefing:
Title Page: Reduction of Strategic Nuclear Forces of the
Russian Federation Under the Treaty on Strategic Offensive
Tenth Session of the Bilateral Implementation Commission for
the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions
Geneva, November 2008
Plans to Reduce and Limit Strategic Nuclear Warheads
The Russian Federation's plans have not changed since the
previous session of the Bilateral Implementation Commission
for the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions:
-- The Russian Federation will reduce and limit its strategic
nuclear warheads so that by December 31, 2012, the aggregate
number of such warheads will not exceed 1700-2200;
-- For the purposes of counting nuclear warheads under the
Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions, the Russian
Federation considers the following:
- reentry vehicles on ICBMs in their launchers;
- reentry vehicles on SLBMs in their launchers on board
- nuclear armaments loaded on heavy bombers and those
stored in weapons storage areas directly at heavy bomber
The Russian Federation is implementing its plans by:
-- removing from service and subsequently eliminating
missiles, launchers, submarines, and heavy bombers that have
reached the end of their warrantied service life;
-- converting silo launchers of ICBMs for new armaments and
modernizing heavy bombers;
-- developing and putting into service land-based and
sea-based strategic missile systems of a new type:
- tests of the RSM-56 SLBM will continue;
- tests of the prototype of the RS-24 ICBM, which is
intended to replace obsolete missiles on alert status, will
- work on equipping the Strategic Rocket Forces with
missile systems with silo-based and mobile-based SS-27 ICBMs
Progress in Strategic Offensive Arms Reductions in 2008
By October 1, 2008, the Russian Federation
-- 19 road-mobile launchers for SS-25 ICBMs
(including 1 by means of conversion to static display);
-- 20 launchers of SS-N-20 SLBMs;
-- 39 SS-25 ICBMs (including 1 by means of launching);
-- 10 SS-19 ICBMs (including 1 by means of launching);
-- 3 SS-18 ICBMs (including 2 by means of launching);
-- 3 SS-24 ICBMs;
-- 1 SS-N-18 SLBM(by means of launching);
-- 2 SS-N-20 SLBMs;
-- 2 SS-N-23 SLBMs;
-- 1 Bear H heavy bomber.
(Begin comment: Ryzhkov noted that eliminations will
continue during the year and the Russian Federation will
complete by the end of 2008 the eliminations that it had
planned for the year and had presented during BIC-IX (Ref A).
Results of Implementation of the Treaty on Strategic
Offensive Reductions in 2008
As of October 1, 2008, the Russian Federation had 1833
strategic nuclear warheads, which is 199 fewer than as of May
-- The Russian Federation continues to reduce its strategic
nuclear warheads under the Treaty on Strategic Offensive
-- The Russian Federation determines for itself the
composition and structure of its strategic nuclear forces.
In this connection, the Russian Federation is guided by
national security interests and the interests of maintaining
End text of official translation of Russian briefing.
7. (C) No questions were raised by either side concerning
the information presented by the other. Taylor noted that
during the First Session of the BIC, the delegations
approached information exchanges cautiously, unsure of the
manner for presenting sensitive information associated with
future plans for implementing the Moscow Treaty. He
considered it a credit to the U.S. and Russian Governments
how each has approached information exchanges in the BIC, and
the positive progression that has occurred in this regard
since the First Session. As a result, the United States had
no questions concerning the presentation by the Russian
Federation. Taylor concluded that it was clear both sides
were working hard to implement the Moscow Treaty, and he
appreciated the opportunity to exchange information in the
8. (C) Koshelev replied by stating that Taylor's assessment
confirmed the wisdom of the political leadership, which
sometimes makes decisions that are not understood at the
experts' level. In this regard a political decision
concerning an agreement to replace the START Treaty is
necessary, and perhaps in the next 5-10 years contentious
issues will be resolved and there will continue to be an
exchange of information as well as verification measures for
the data exchanged. Koshelev concluded by stating that the
Russian Federation had no questions concerning the U.S.
9. (U) Documents exchanged:
-- U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces Presentation, dated
-- Russian Presentation on Reductions of Strategic
Nuclear Forces of the Russian Federation under the SOR
Treaty, dated November 2008.
10. (U) Delegation lists:
Lt Col Comeau
Ms. Gross (Int)
CAPT (1st Rank) Kuz'min
Maj Gen Nikishin
Mr. Gusov (Int)
11. (U) Taylor sends.
End Cable Text