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WP1176 Verification in the 21st Century Plausibly Proving the Negative The Case for Normalising a General Technical Accountability Obligation (GTA0) in.

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Presentation on theme: "WP1176 Verification in the 21st Century Plausibly Proving the Negative The Case for Normalising a General Technical Accountability Obligation (GTA0) in."— Presentation transcript:

1 WP1176 Verification in the 21st Century Plausibly Proving the Negative The Case for Normalising a General Technical Accountability Obligation (GTA0) in Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Paul Schulte Carnegie Endowment, KCL, SOAS & UK Defence Academy

2 Proposed WORKING DEFlNlTlON GTAO : A widespread normative international expectation that the Government nationally responsible for a programme raising proliferation concerns should take responsibility for ensuring a plausible technical explanation of design, acquisition or production decisions, open to focused international expert questioning, while preserving legitimate (usually commercially sensitive ) areas of confidentiality.

3 Iraq A test case for international arms control (if Saddam couldnt be disarmed as a condition of ceasefire after the Kuwait War, whoever could?) A uniquely strong obligation on Iraq, not just to disarm but to cooperate in disarmament. Simple prohibitions of complete classes of weapons: – Nuclear – Biological – Chemical – Missiles with ranges over 150 km No complex issues over numbers and types

4 UN Disarmament Requirements on lraq Cooperation was demanded over: Establishing a Full Understanding of Past Prohibited Programmes, through -Full Final and Complete Declaration (FFCD) -Provision of Documentation -Truthful and Wide Ranging Interviews with previous technical authorities Access to Sites for inspection to check Iraqi statements Ongoing Monitoring and Verification (OMV)(e.g. with video cameras in chemical factories)

5 Unsuccessful Disarmament Processes Early (and explicitly forbidden ) Iraqi destruction and hiding of material Substantially, and obviously, false FFCDs, which failed to take account of counter information which the UN had already quoted Famous stand-offs over access for OSI : Verification Theatre over Sensitive Sites and accusations of intrusion and spying Refusals to furnish documents- partially overcome by unexpected UN seizures of computer hard drives Two-way Espionage, and intrigue,in Iraq and in UN HQ

6 Technical Evaluation Meetings (TEMs) Proposed unexpectedly by the Iraqis to Richard Butler, Chairman of UNSCOM, in December 1997 Conducted in early 1998: - Baghdad in February for the Chemical(VX) and Missile Areas; - Vienna in March for the entire BW programme Internationally convened panels of technical experts, including Russians and Chinese, talked their Iraqi counterparts through their narratives and compared them with the evidence, reaching damning judgements based on technical plausibility.

7 Results of the TEMs VX and Missiles: Despite Iraqs assertions and …a full opportunity to present its views on all matters pertaining to the two issues, the team of UNSCOM international experts conclude unanimously that Iraq has still not provided sufficient information for the Commission to conclude that Iraq had undertaken all the disarmament steps required of it in these areas. The Commissions experts provide the Council with an oral briefing of the outcome on these two TEMS in March 1998

8 Results of the TEMs BW As with the other TEMs, the experts unanimously conclude that Iraqs declaration on its biological weapons programme is incomplete and inadequate.

9 The 3 UNSCOM TEMs A Forgotten Success for Arms Control 3 Triumphs of Professional Neutrality over Anticipated Politicisation TEMs enabled intelligence – including that provided to the UN by friendly states - to be leveraged into policy conclusions and public diplomacy Wide (if temporary ) effect on international public opinion But the process is a rarity in Arms Control and Non Proliferation

10 UNMOVIC : Blixs Request to Commissioners for Advice on Defining Cooperation in case the Iraqis ever offered it again I responded with a think piece in 2002, written with the TEMs in mind. Attention should shift from judging degrees of physical access to sites to provision of a plausible and falsifiable technical narrative : -were accurate and checkable details provided? - were unrestricted interviews allowed? - and,was OSI being blocked?

11 Historical Warnings and Precedents Germany in 1919 (relentlessly obstructive) and 1945(broken backed) offered important examples of responses to imposed disarmament Iraq characteristically insisted that it was in a 1945 situation, to mask apparently 1919-style behaviour But South African efforts in the 1990s proved that effective denuclearisation, to international satisfaction, was possible - by giving provable technical explanations backed by evidence.

12 Results of the Think Piece Blix almost completely agreed. But felt it too sensitive to table I passed the paper to French and US colleagues A similar approach appeared in the next UN resolution UNSCR 1441

13 UNSCR November 2002 Iraqs final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations Operative Paragraph IV "... false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations.

14 The Adequacy Issue in the Run-Up to the War The Final Iraqi Full Final and Complete Declaration was no significant improvement on its predecessors(The Longest Suicide Note in History) No major improvements (e.g. unrestricted interviews in Cyprus) were offered to UNMOVICs ability to cross question Iraqi Programme Directors But in early 2003 the Iraqis did offer more access to sites Anxious to avoid war, Blix stated that this improved OSI would be sufficient to verify Iraqi compliance in a number of months The US and UK did not agree – but were relying upon what proved to be faulty intelligence

15 Understanding the Double lraqi Signal Even faced with war, Saddam once again refused the most powerful methods of proving cooperation and compliance. An indication of continued defiance, evident to key international and domestic audiences. But partial cooperation on OSI was aimed at ending the compliance crisis, leaving uncertainty about continued possession of WMDs - useful for internal and external deterrence? (The Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq planned to move quickly to reacquire prohibited weapons.)

16 Selective Global Memory Loss After the Coalition Invasion Overwhelming world attention to the failure to find Prohibited WMD or Missiles. The offer of improved cooperation over OSI was seen as justifying Blixs judgement that he could have avoided war. The persistent Iraqi refusal to give anything approaching an adequate general technical account of its past programs was forgotten, or its implications never understood. Many UNSCOM successes came from immediate technical questioning during or after inspections

17 Unsettling and Overlooked Implications of the Iraqi Compliance Crisis The 2003 War is a continuing human disaster, and,possibly, Americas major 21 st -century foreign policy mistake. But in proliferation terms was it worse than the likely alternative: an Iraq that major states believed had successfully defied its disarmament obligations, largely because of its refusal of any credible TAO?.What chance of stopping Iranian programs then?

18 Precedents and near analogies for a GTAO

19 Standing Consultative arrangements in formal arms control treaties, institutionalising specific accountability obligations 1972 ANTIBALLISTIC MISSILE (ABM )Treaty established the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC) to handle treaty-related compliance and implementation issues in the SALT 1/ABMT Regime. Long-running disputes over the design and intended purpose of radar arrays such as Krasnoyarsk

20 ABMT Article XIII 1. The Parties shall establish promptly a Standing Consultative Commission, within the framework of which they will: (a) consider questions concerning compliance with the obligations assumed and related situations which may be considered ambiguous; (b) provide on a voluntary basis such information as either Party considers necessary to assure confidence in compliance with the obligations assumed;

21 Further Formal Arms Control Standing Consultative Arrangements 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty established the the Special Verification Commission (SVC) in Geneva Conventional Forces in Europe(CFE) Treaty established the Joint Consultative Group (JCG)in Vienna, to -Resolve ambiguities and differences in interpretation -Consider measures that enhance the Treaty's viability and effectiveness -Resolve technical questions -Look into disputes from the Treaty's implementation

22 GTAO Possibilities in Multilateral Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

23 GTAO Possibilities in the BTWC No established verification organisation in the Biotechnology field, but consultation and cooperation may take place : through appropriate international procedures within the framework of the United Nations and in accordance with its Charter (Article V). Since the Convention does not define appropriate international procedures, participants in the BW Review Conferences agreed that such procedures should include the right of any party to request that a consultative meeting, open to all parties, be convened promptly at expert level.

24 (Underused?) GTAO Possibilities in the CWC Article IX. Consultations, Cooperation and Fact-Finding Para 1. States Parties shall consult and cooperate, directly among themselves …, or through the Organization or other appropriate international procedures, …on any matter ….relating to the…Convention.

25 CWC Article IX. Consultations, Cooperation and Fact-Finding 4. A State Party shall have the right to request the Executive Council to obtain clarification from another State Party on any situation …which gives rise to a concern about its possible non-compliance … The Executive Council may call on the DG to establish a group of experts … to examine all available information and data…[and] submit a factual report to the Executive Council… If the ….concern of a State Party about possible non- compliance has not been resolved within 60 days …it may request a special session of the Conference.

26 COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN TREATY Article IV -Verification Consultation and Clarification Para 29 : without prejudice to the right …to request an on- site inspection, States Parties should, whenever possible, first make every effort to clarify and resolve, among themselves, or with or through the Organization, any matter that may cause concern about possible non- compliance … Para 32 : each State Party may request the Executive Council to obtain clarification from another State Party on any matter that may cause concern about possible non- compliance ….

27 Why so little apparent application of GTAO in the Chem Bio field, despite Treaty Provision for consultation and clarification? No suspicions require clarification? Insufficient intelligence evidence to begin seeking technical clarifications? Diplomatically impracticable to try to launch consultations because there is no effective GTAO norm? Consultations to achieve technical clarification do occur satisfactorily? Importance of U.S. State Department Annual Compliance Reports.

28 NPT / IAEA The Additional Protocol, and Information Driven Safeguards in general, involve additional data rather than technical discussion and questioning. With safeguards needing to move from a mechanistic to an information-driven system, there should be much more information sharing, in both directions, on the part of both states and the IAEA, with the agency re- evaluating its culture of confidentiality and non- transparency. REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON NUCLEAR NON- PROLIFERATION AND DISARMAMENT (EVANS /KAWAGUCHI) November 2009

29 Leveraging Intelligence in the NPT field through GTAO IAEA inspectors cannot be expected to comb through every inch of a state's territory blindly searching for nuclear material and installations. Hans Blix, former IAEA Director-General, calling for increased intelligence sharing from member states Could additional intelligence available to the Agency produce greater results if it were also used-with appropriate care - to inform a GTAO process?

30 Implications for Managing the Future of Destructive Technologies Building upon these Treaty precedents, could/should the International Community develop, strengthen, and extend a norm stressing a General Technical Accountability Obligation ? But, in the proliferation field, GTAO is unlikely to be facilitated by legally created standing consultative groups under formal treaties.

31 GTAO as a significant resource for managing the Nuclear Renaissance? Could/should we create a global expectation that states embarking on allegedly civil nuclear projects should have : -to provide an explanatory narrative of their design choices ; and, where concerns remain, - to explain to international expert fora the logic of questionable features which might lend themselves to production of weaponisable material. Ideally, could this become an agreed part of the IAEA's working pattern?

32 Predictable Objections to increased use of GTAO National Sovereignty (States cannot be expected to explain themselves, unless they sign treaties explicitly requiring them to do so-Westphalian Opacity?) Alleged commercial confidentiality ( Having to answer questions would benefit commercial rivals) Practicality: (Better to Stick to Facts rather than intentions in Arms Control) Denunciations by Proliferators or Sympathisers (Espionage and Diplomatic blackmail, beyond any formal NPT, CWC or BWC requirements – rigging the original Treaty bargain)

33 Positive Counterarguments GTAO would be the nonproliferation equivalent of the powerful and well accepted academic process of Peer Review- the so far grossly under used Gold Standard of Verification. It would facilitate the global transfer of technology by acting as a further safeguard against misuse It could increase the leverage of countries without large intelligence collection agencies, but with respected technical experts It would provide an efficient method for states suspected of proliferation to clear themselves, and increase the pressure of world opinion on those who dont

34 Could a GTAO be progressively introduced without International Diplomatic Consensus ? Make the extent to which technical accountability obligations had been met a formal consideration for suppliers groups to weigh up before deciding on technology transfers and sales to particular states; Introduce it as a decision factor for investment, contractual relationships, and insurance -rendering it simply imprudent to do business with companies and countries that refuse to comply with the GTAO; Insist on it as part of the conditionality for future international development aid decisions, and Turn it into a campaigning issue for green or antimilitary groups trying to improve the international responsibility of their government's behaviour (with support from international NGOs)

35 Bilateral Confidential Invocations of GTAO Increase the use of unpublicised back channel conversations involving national intelligence agencies as a means of resolving disagreements over bilateral arms control (many precedents ) Especially in new fields unregulated by Treaties, such as nanotechnology and Cyber, this may be the only practical method Build many, informal, undisclosed, ad hoc, Joint Consultative Groups?

36 GTAO-Related Issues for Further Consideration In each Major Technical Domain ( Civil Nuclear Power? Biotech? Chemical Engineering? Nano Tech? Cyber? Others?) -what aspects of design or production are in fact seriously commercially sensitive? -what protocols might be developed to ensure they were not disclosed during the process of technical account and clarification : managed questioning? -how far could the questioners be chosen or trained to be accepted as unbiased and discreet?

37 Introducing and Facilitating GTAO : Possible Modalities Direct appointment of nationally nominated experts by the UN or international agencies onto an international technical panel. A Commercial Arbitration Model: both sides appoint arbitrators to choose other experts acceptable to both. A Strikeout Arrangement,where 1 or 2 members of the investigating panel could be vetoed, as with IAEA inspectors now. A Lead State or States (often the US) would engage in an informal process of GTAO with a suspected proliferator and vouch - or not - for its intentions to allies.

38 GTAO in the Best Case GTAO normalised as part of an accepted and benign process of international technical dialogue, rather than being seen as an anomalous inquisition. In this kind of world, Intelligence information would remain important to detect and act against proliferation, but intelligence resources could be better prioritised to address the most significant national programmes, with the additional indicators of refusal, or significant omissions or falsehoods, in fulfilling the GTAO.

39 Q : So What? A : Hypothesis Systematic promotion and widespread acceptance of GTAO is one of a range of normative and institutional requirements without which it may be impossible to contain - or reverse - the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, or Weapons of Mass Effect, among and beyond states in the 21 st Century.

40 Richard Rhodes, The Twilight of the Bombs 2010 For the largest scale instruments of man- made death …., the elements of … [a new] discipline of public safety have already begun to assemble themselves: materials control and accounting, cooperative threat reduction, security guarantees, agreements and treaties, surveillance and inspection, sanctions, forceful disarming if all else fails.

41 But -Verification Is Currently In A Malaise increasingly normalised deadlock with Iran: no explanations for decisions in its nuclear program, limited IAEA access to documents and relevant personnel Syrias unpunished autistic refusal to give any explanation for Dair Alzour and other sites lack of any progress in the BW area the rusting away of the intended Challenge Inspection capacity of the OPCW, through diplomatically induced non-use

42 GTAO Could Help Change This Unless Westphalian opacity can be overcome, here,or through other modalities, prospects for progress look slim, and Global Zero impossible. If achieving and enforcing GTAO is unfeasible: -why, specifically, is this so? -what are the chances that the international community will succeed in obtaining essential cooperation and information in future compliance crises?

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