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09GENEVA994 2009-11-06 18:53:00 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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DE RUEHGV #0994/01 3101853
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FM USMISSION GENEVA
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					  S E C R E T GENEVA 000994 

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/21/2019
TAGS: KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START
SUBJECT: START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, GENEVA (SFO-GVA-VI):
(S) REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE --009; SSGN TRANSPARANCY

REF: A. GENEVA 00976 (SFO-GVA-VI-037)

B. STATE 107748 (SFO-VI-GUIDANCE-001)

C. GENEVA 00977 (SFO-GVA-VI-038)

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



1. (U) This is SFO-GVA-VI-054 -- Request for Guidance-009.



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


SUMMARY AND GUIDANCE REQUESTED


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





2. (S) The delegation requests clarification regarding
future Russian Federation transparency measures for U.S.
SSGNs. The package deal presented to the Russian Federation
in Moscow offered a one-time exhibition for each of four
SSGNs to confirm that their launch tubes have been converted
to render them incapable of launching an SLBM. Following the
one-time exhibition the SSGNs would be excluded from the
limits on strategic delivery vehicles. This offer is entirely
consistent with procedures offered to confirm completion of
future SSBN conversions.



3. (S) While the Russian side clearly considers the SSGNs in
a different status than the Peacekeeper ICBM system, the
B-52G, or the remaining nuclear capable B-1B heavy bombers,
none of which have completed an elimination or conversion
process, the Russian Federation has repeatedly indicated
there should be continuing opportunities to view the
converted SSGNs throughout the life of the new treaty.



4. (S) The delegation understands the U.S. will wait for the
Russian response to the package deal before taking further
action, but conscious of the short time remaining before
START expiration, requests Washington consider an appropriate
response if the U.S. is pressed to agree to periodic
exhibitions to confirm the SSGNs are not being reconverted,
similar to the offer made regarding B-1Bs.



5. (U) Background is provided in paragraphs 6-10, analysis
is provided in paragraphs 11-15. Recommendation is in
paragraph 16. Guidance requested is in paragraph 17.



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


BACKGROUND


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





6. (S) Ref A reports U.S offer for a package solution that
was presented in Moscow by General Jones (NSA) and
subsequently presented to the Russian delegation in Geneva
that includes excluding delivery vehicles currently counted
in START but no longer part of U.S. strategic forces. Under
the Moscow Package the four SSGNs will each be subject to a
one-time exhibition to demonstrate that launch tubes have
been converted to render them incapable of launching an SLBM
and that changes cannot be reversed without major work done
in a shipyard.



7. (S) Ref A also contains the stipulation that the B-1B
heavy bombers will be subject to yearly inspections once the
conversion of the entire fleet has been completed to confirm
they have not been reconverted. Ref B was more specific,
offering a notional method of conducting these

confidence-building measures for converted heavy bombers.



8. (S) Ref B states the Delegation is authorized to agree
that converted items would remain subject to the Treaty's
verification regime, as long as the Russian side agrees that
such items would not be counted under any of the SFO Treaty's
central limits.



9. (S) During informal discussions on the side of the
Inspection Protocol Working Group meetings, the Russian side
has discussed its desire for future opportunities to visit
the SSGNs. Additionally, during early discussions regarding
the package offer, the Russian delegation questioned the U.S.
regarding its lack of a follow-on verification regime for the
SSGNs (Ref C).



10. (S) Delegation notes that in principle, given enough
time and money, any physical modification to a strategic
platform can be reversed (Ref C,).



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


ANALYSIS


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





11. (S) Should the Russian Federation accept the Moscow
Package Offer, each of four U.S. SSGNs will be subjected to a
one-time exhibition to confirm their missile tubes are no
longer capable of launching an SLBM. Under the offer, upon
completion of the exhibitions the SSGNs will be excluded from
the limits of the treaty. (Note: Delegation understands that
the offer appears to exclude the SSGNs from the 'limits', not
the 'limitations' of the treaty, although delegation is not
certain this distinction was intended. The translation of
the U.S. offer into Russian makes it clear that it is
specifically the Article II central 'limits' from which the
SSGNs would be excluded. End Note) The Delegation expects the
Russian Federation to accept this exhibition as a means to
confirm the conversion was complete, but consistent with
their position to this date, RF will likely seek the right to
attend further periodic exhibitions of SSGNs to confirm they
have not been reconverted for strategic use. The RF will
likely argue this right is consistent with their negotiating
position to date and with the U.S. offer for periodic
follow-on exhibitions of converted B-1Bs and B-1B airbases.



12. (S) Continuing exhibitions of SSGNs after the completion
of the one-time exhibitions are problematic for the following
reasons: First, modification of the SSGNs was completed well
within the lifetime of the original START Treaty, and they
will begin the START follow-on era as platforms incapable of
employing nuclear strategic offensive arms. Furthermore, the
Trident I (C-4) missile which was deployed on these
submarines is no longer deployed and will not be listed in
the SFO Treaty as an existing type of SOA. Second, SSGNs
operate with a remote-theater crew turnover concept wherein
each ship spends prolonged periods away from its home port in
the United States. This would make it very difficult to
exhibit the SSGNs, especially since their brief returns to
home port are filled with intense maintenance activities.
Remote theater crew turnover would also complicate scheduling
these viewings, and resolving scheduling issues by sharing
details of operational SSGN schedules is unacceptable.
Finally, the significant and prolonged effort required to
re-convert an SSGN in a shipyard would be clearly visible to

national technical means of verification by the Russian side,
which obviates the need for on-site observation to confirm
that no reconversion has occurred.



13. (S) Although the U.S. is currently accustomed to
periodically exhibiting a selected SSGN tube in conjunction
with re-entry vehicle on-site inspections under START, the
delegation also notes a practical objection to any effort to
extend these opportunities to the Russian Federation under
SFO. The SSGNs have established themselves as valuable
experimental platforms during the past year, testing a wide
range of next-generation weapons and sensors. Opening them
up to periodic on-board inspection by the Russian Federation
could require substantial effort and expense to prevent
compromise of new capabilities and technologies being tested
on these ships, although it would not likely prove to be an
insurmountable problem.



14. (S) The U.S. position for Round VII of the negotiations
remains that the Russian side will have one opportunity to
view each of the SSGNs as part of the transition to the new
SFO verification regime, as outlined in the Ref A discussion
of delivery vehicles counted in START but no longer part of
U.S. strategic forces.



15. (S) In spite of many sound reasons why follow-on
exhibitions should not be agreed to, the practice of
providing periodic exhibitions of the converted SSGNs as a
means of reassuring Russia that they have not be reconverted
has significant appeal as a confidence building measure
consistent with the increased transparency the U.S. seeks in
conjunction with the implementation of the START follow-on
treaty.



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


RECOMMENDATION


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





16. (S) Delegation recommends Washington consider Refs A, B
and C, and the associated issues with offering periodic SSGN
transparency measures, to include allowing periodic
exhibitions throughout the anticipated life of the SFO Treaty
following the one-time exhibition of each SSGN.



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


GUIDANCE REQUESTED


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





17. (S) Delegation requests Washington clarify Delegation
instructions vis--vis exhibitions of SSGNs following
completion of the one-time exhibitions offered in the Moscow
Package Deal.




18. (U) Ries sends.
GRIFFITHS