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09GENEVA942 2009-11-02 19:38:00 SECRET Mission Geneva
Cable title:  

START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, GENEVA (SFO-GVA-VI):

Tags:   KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START 
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					  S E C R E T GENEVA 000942 

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/2019
TAGS: KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START
SUBJECT: START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, GENEVA (SFO-GVA-VI):
REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE-003, MODIFIED SUBMARINE-LAUNCHED
BALLISTIC MISSILE (SLBM) LAUNCHER ELIMINATION PROCEDURES

REF: A. STATE 99070-(SFO-V GUIDANCE-003A) AND STATE
99072-(SFO-GUIDANCE-003B)

B. STATE 91018 (SFO-GUIDANCE-001)

Classified By: A/S Rose E. Gottemoeller, United States
START Negotiator. Reasons: 1.4(b) and (d).



1. (U) This is SFO-GVA-VI-045 -- Request for Guidance-003.



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SUMMARY AND GUIDANCE REQUESTED


--------------------------





2. (S) The delegation proposes a compromise SLBM launcher
elimination procedure for incorporation into the START
Follow-on Treaty (SFO). The procedure would allow an
eliminating party to exclude affected SLBM launchers from the
limitations of the treaty as soon as missile tube hatches and
their associated superstructure fairings are removed, similar
to the original START Treaty. The affected SSBN would then
have to remain visible to NTM until the missile section is
removed from the submarine. Background and analysis are
provided in paragraphs 3-7. Recommendation is in paragraph


8. Guidance requested is in paragraph 14.



--------------------------


BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS


--------------------------





3. (S) In accordance with the U.S. position detailed in the
U.S.-proposed draft STARET Follow-on Conversion or
Elimination Protocol (REFS A and B), as modified by REF C,
the U.S. Delegation has attempted to negotiate agreement on
SLBM launcher elimination procedures for SFO with the Russian
side. From the outset, the Russian side has insisted on a
simplified, minimalist approach to SLBM launcher elimination
consisting of missile tube hatch removal or hatch
destruction. The Russian side has argued that the point of
such elimination is to ensure the affected launcher is
rendered incapable of launching SLBMs and that, although
other additional procedures might be employed by the
eliminating Party, the simple act of hatch removal or hatch
destruction by itself is sufficient to achieve this aim. The
U.S. assesses that the Russian proposal is inadequate because
it is too easy to reverse as compared to other approaches
discussed below.



4. (S) The U.S. understands that missile tube hatch removal
would prevent the eliminating Party from employing the
affected tube as a launcher for an SLBM. However, the U.S.
Delegation believes that an item's elimination must result in
a very difficult to reverse change to an item that renders it
completely inoperable as a launcher of SLBMs . The initial
U.S. proposal (REFS A and B) required either 1) complete
removal of the missile section from the SSBN or 2) complete
dismantlement of the missile section of the SSBN prior to
removal from treaty accountability. This language was
extracted from the original START Treaty, and conforms
closely to existing U.S. procedures for SSBN
decommissioning. However, those procedures did not permit
removal of the SSBN from START accountability prior to
completion of all of the elimination procedures.




5. (S) The Russian side has pointed out, correctly, that
only Russia intends to eliminate SLBM launchers by
decommissioning SSBNs during the planned life of the SFO
Treaty. Since they plan to decommission many older SSBNs,
they argue that the U.S.-proposed elimination procedures are
cost-prohibitive, excessive, and therefore unacceptable.



6. (S) It should be noted that Russia has completely
accepted the U.S.-proposed concept for SLBM launcher
conversion. Russia currently has no intention of converting
any SLBM launchers during the life of the SFO Treaty.



7. (S) The U.S. Delegation has developed a proposed
compromise procedure described below that would provide the
Russian side some short-term cost savings while providing
adequate elimination measures in the long run and appropriate
opportunities for effective verification via NTM, which are
required by the U.S.



--------------------------


RECOMMENDATIONS


--------------------------





8. (S) Delegation recommends a revised SLBM launcher
elimination proposal provided in paragraphs 9-12. These
steps would replace existing SLBM launcher elimination
procedures in the U.S.-proposed Conversion or Elimination
Protocol. Delegation will draft the relevant provisions for
inclusion in the Protocol upon approval of this
recommendation.



9. (S) The ballistic missile submarine must remain at the
location for implementing the elimination process and be
visible to national technical means of verification during
the entire elimination process as provided for in paragraphs
10 and 11:



10. (S) All missile launch tube hatches and their associated
superstructure fairings must be removed from the ballistic
missile submarine.



11. (S) The missile section must be removed from the
ballistic missile submarine.



12. (S) Upon completion of the procedures provided for in
paragraph 10, the SLBM launchers would cease to be subject to
the aggregate limit on SLBMs and their associated launchers
provided for in Article II of the Treaty. Upon completion of
the procedures provided for in paragraphs 11, the SLBM
launchers eliminated would cease to be subject to
ny provisions of the Treaty.



--------------------------


GUIDANCE REQUESTED


--------------------------





13. (S) Delegation requests that Washington approve the
modified U.S. position regarding SLBM launcher elimination
procedures as outlined above in paragraphs 9-12 or provide
alternative proposal.



14. (U) Gottemoeller sends.
GRIFFITHS