tv Arms Control Association Conference Examines Nuclear Security Policy CSPAN June 2, 2017 12:22pm-2:01pm EDT
capabilities in check. how do we force international agreements about how to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation treaty which will become 50 years old and perhaps reaching a middle age crisis next year. and how we manage the rising cost the united states own nuclear weapons arsenal right -- while reading the united states own requirements and policies about the role of nuclear weapons in our military strategy. these are tough questions. chris, you have an important job, not to put any pressure on you but these are some of the toughest issues anybody in government has to deal with. and so far we haven't heard a lot about the administrations general approach to these issues, and speaking frankly in my view, what we have heard from the president on these issues that sometimes created more confusion than answering the questions that we might have. so because of all that, because
of the importance of these issues, we are very pleased to have chris ford with this here today to help update us on the administration's approach on these very important issues, the most consequential set of issues. and in discussing this event and his remarks today, i told chris that we know he's not going to be able to answer all of our questions in part because some of these issues are still the subject of policy reviews only hope he will be able to do his best to help explain the administration's approach on these tough issues. so with that i welcome chris ford to the podium. and after chris is, delivers his remarks we will take questions from the floor. and there are three x five cards on your chairs. if you have questions please jot them down. we know there will be a lot of questions. pass into the side and my team will collect those and sort out some of the most interesting ones and passing four. that's the process for the q&a.
chris, thank you so much for being here. [applause] >> thank you very much. it's a pleasure. is this mine? thank you. i may need it. thank you very much everybody there is pleasure to be here this afternoon. that's the life one. is this also necessary? dear me, all right. okay. it's great to have a chance to talk to you. thank you very much. i'm grateful for inviting me and for being such a gracious host. as indicated daryl asked me kiss a few words about the new administration policy on nuclear weapons. this is challenging assignment inasmuch is me of our policy reviews on these kinds of topics are still underway. as outlined in remarks to the nonproliferation conference in march. the nuclear posture review for example, antiballistic missile defense review which are being led by the department of defense are for example, still in
progress and we also not yet complete our review of various arms control and armament related institutions and regimes and approaches. these things are still ongoing but yet of course it remains true that what our approach is to nuclear weaponry is a great topic and so i resolved to try to be as forthcoming as i can and also mindful of the fact we are apparently on the record and on camera. not that i am all that used to being in the business of doing these days. so to try to level set sort of baseline understanding of the sort of the approach that we are beginning to try to bring to these issues and, frankly, to try to rein in some what i think of as the more goggle eyed assumptions that are sometimes made in media coverage about what the president has said a nuclear weapons topics, i'd like to try to walk through some of that a little bit. to hear some of our critics tell it, the new administration has been shackled to increment
series of rants across the spectrum of nuclear issues,, suggestions that is actually taken would result in essentially all but immediate catastrophe. i hope i can persuade you that the reality does not deserve the hype. to the contrary there are concepts and insights that if on the presidents comments that will ground a sound and effective use approach to nuclear strategy, and a projects you will see emerge in time as our various reviews and policy assessments run their course. so let's start with proliferation. the presidents remarks turned last years election campaign on nonproliferation in east asia come on proliferation east east asia have been widely reviewed and if in the subject much handwringing. they are often quoted essentially for shock value appeared on the theory that they sit though some kind of a cavalier attitude towards nuclear weapons and toward the challenge of proliferation. if that's your concern i urge you to reread his comments a bit
more carefully. the president has spoken about the proliferation dangers that are attended to continuing on what is made clear he feels to be a u.s. courts in recent years of relative military decline. a trajectory along which is said our militaries become depleted and are nuclear arsenal has become outdated. in terms of relative notes reposition the present has said, i'll be i intermixing quotes frm time to time without the unlikely to go to the -- i did by which portions are quotes but they're all carefully sourced, in terms of relative military capability the presence and were not the same country as we used to be. in his eyes this decline has had a little effect upon our reliance relationships and upon peace and security in various regions, tense regions around the world are significantly it is this impact, it is to the impact he is linked his widely quoted the code commerce. were we to allow our downward slide to continue told the "new york times" that could come a point at which would be unable
to respond if these allies call for our help in the wake of some terrible north korean provocation or even attack. it is at that hypothetical point of future u.s. weakness and helplessness that the president suggested that might conceivably make sense for those countries confronted right existential threat to acquire nuclear weapons in order to defend themselves. after all he said of her allies as we ourselves have left our strength in the world decay i don't think they feel very secure about what's going on. indeed he declared if the united states keeps on its path of weakness, they're going to want to have capabilities that u.s. strength and geostrategic resolution presently keep them from eating. he made a similar point to cnn's anderson cooper about about the synthetic characteristically the present made his point was that perhaps more blunt and direct that it is usual to hear in traditional inside the beltway discourse. at the core i would argue these, to rest upon a good deal of common sense. moreover, the rest upon some of the same assumptions and
arguments we've heard from nonproliferation experts for years. how many times have you heard u.s. officials or think tank scholars point out the credibility and capabilities inherent in u.s. extended deterrence relationships are essential to assuring allies of the salinity of our lives guarantees and also to reducing proliferation in regions of the world of which u.s. allies can -- a rogue state or by a large neighbor with territorial ambitions. i at least can tell you i've seen or heard that point made by many people over the years including scholars published by such diverse institutions as johns hopkins just down the road. the brookings institution next-door, dinesh is it a public policy across the river and the national bureau of asian research. it's also point i myself but they both in government and as a think tank are. i don't think the present was wrong also to flag that one could imagine circumstances which might be reasonable for such a would-be victim state to contemplate weaponization which
is also a point that i've made myself although not yet to david sanger or anderson cooper in fairness. however, the president comments made very clear the conditions of use decline and weakening to turn credibility that might make such proliferation seabreeze multiple would-be victim state is an unacceptable outcome for this administration. ..
there are a range of instruments but this administration is committed to pursuing nonproliferation regimes and securing nuclear material worldwide, preventing the threat of dual use and capabilities, ensuring safeguards on nuclear activities and interdicting shipments and doing what we can to slow the development of programs. the president made clear he believes our chances of meeting the challenges of proliferation. he believes the chances of meeting these challenges are better when the united states is strong and resolute than when we are not. i would argue this is a simple and common sense point.
it's central to understand the administration's approach and nuclear weapons issues in particular. the presidents underlying point about the purpose of u.s. strength and resolution to the preservation of peace and security is one that resonates through decades of u.s. foreign and national security policy. now, if applying such traditional reasoning, it sounds a bit not novel today only because it comes on the years of policy as articulated in the 2010 review in which the united states prioritize reducing the role of nuclear weapons over maintaining strategic deterrence. over strengthening regional deterrence and over sustaining a safe secure nuclear arsenal. i think you'll find this peace through strength idea runs
through all the presidents comments about nuclear weapons as well as for how we are approaching our current policy reviews. this recurring theme is one that represents and shows a deep commitment to reducing nuclear dangers and is anchored in appreciation for american strength and resolve and a strong popple policy can play in national security and stability. it's built on the understanding that nuclear and conventional strength and the wise combination of assertiveness and strength that we aspire to show it possession is in the element of preserving security and strength. the president expresses himself differently and more directly.
foreign perceptions of u.s. weakness and decline has helped to produce a world in which aggression and conflict and nuclear use are more likely to be stronger and more confirmed in confronting the threats we face in this environment. he told interesting cooper that last year the obama administration didn't want to put pull the trigger. no one is afraid of our president. no no one respects our president. by contrast he felt peace through strength approach to deterrence can help reduce perceptions of american decline. to gq magazine he made clear to ensure our military is strong and respected and it's the strength and respect he felt would help prevent nuclear weapons used by deterring aggression and that would help prevent proliferation. that's the declaratory policy. the u.s. has said in a perfect
world everyone would agree using nuclear weapons would be so destructive that no one would use them. using it in a confrontation with an adversary would clearly be a very bad thing. the last stop. i would very much not want to be the first one to use one. nevertheless, he has signaled he understands the importance to deterrence of maintaining ambiguity and not telling a potential adversary exactly when we would or would not use such tools. ultimately he told today in april 2016, i, i don't want to rule out anything. he would like to be the last to use nuclear weapons and would be highly highly unlikely that it would ever be using them. but he emphasized that he would never roll it out. i can't take anything off the table he said in the first presidential debate with hillary clinton. there is essentially nothing here that is not consistent with strategic thinking on deterrenc deterrence.
finally, the issue of disarmament. a goal toward which the obama administration credits itself to prioritize above strategic deterrence itself, above reassuring our allies. on this topic the president has been cautious. in the perfect world nobody would ever use nuclear weapons. his feelings are strong at about the use of chemical weapons that he went to the extent of blowing up a syrian airfield in april of this year. he said of nuclear weaponry in the first debate, i would like everyone to end it. just get rid of it. they've also made it quite clear that in the real world,
today is a much more messy and challenging more than that. he suggested to gq, you have so many people with nuclear weapons that disarmament is simply not available. we wouldn't get rid of the weapons. the president before his inauguration tweeted about his hope that someday the world might come to its senses regarding nuclear weapons. the president has made clear to underpin the terms and support nonproliferation. the u.s. is not keeping up with other countries. russia for instance has a much newer capability than we do.
we have not been updating from that standpoint as we should have been doing. until the world comes to its senses in a fundamentally different way, therefore the united states must strengthen and expand its capability. fundamentally i would argue this is just another application. this philosophy has implications that when honestly express make members of the traditional arms-control committee squirmed such as the presidents warning that he would not be outcompeted in a nuclear arena. he said we will help match them every path and outlast the mall. he is dedicated to keeping an arms race from happening but
we will engage in competition if we are forced to. he hopes we can persuade adversaries that for them that path is a losing game. i would submit this is not philosophy but in some deep sense essential to arms-control for it provides an unattractive plan b against which our competitors can be evaluating their own situation. what i've tried to do is summarize what the president is actually set in public about nuclear weapons issues and point out how one is quick to point out that his remarks can be see seen. [inaudible] i think one can trace a straight line from his comments too much of the work we are doing within the new administration to develop policies and approaches capable of meeting national security needs in the global threat environment and an unpredictable future. the presidents effective order
minced no words about it being the policy to pursue peace through strength. we are improving military readiness and a new national defense strategy it directed the initiation to ensure the nuclear deterrent is robust, ready and tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies. all of this work is underway in addition to a broader range of policy route review to appropriately assess and tailor our approach to current and future u.s. security needs. because these efforts. [inaudible] i do hope you can see in the presence remarks we are working hard.
i look forward to talking about all of these issues with you beginning in the question-and-answer session. thank you for the patience of letting me talk to you in the courtesy of having me here. it's been a pleasure to speak. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much chris. [applause] congratulations on your first twitter reference. it may not be your last. let me encourage folks to pass their cards with her questions forward so we can take those up. thank you very much for giving some shape to those comments that we heard about over the past few weeks. as we are collecting it, i just want wanted to get off with one practical question in
the earlier session about the united states relationship with russia and the future of one of the key nuclear arms control agreements that was struck during the obama administration going forth in the arms treaty. i think you would agree this is one of the key issues the administration will be doing wit dealing with over the next four years. the administration theoretically has the option to negotiate a new agreement with russia or to extend the treaty after 2021 when it is due to expire or to let something go which would be the first time since the 1970s that there wasn't a binding treaty regulating the worlds largest arsenal. president trump has criticized and spoken ill of the extension of the agreement in
his first phone calls with vladimir putin about russia. my question is practical, straightforward, does the administration plan to implement a new arms start and as part of her review with the white house russia policy in the presidents meeting. >> they could be. >> with the g20 meeting, are they going to discuss options for pursuing further nuclear arms control or extending a start. >> great question. with respect to a new start, this is working very hard to make sure we are in track to meet the limits i go into effect february of next year. we intend to meet them and are on track to do so.
seems like it's going fine and the russians are on track to meeting their obligations as well. before i got into this line of work, i used to think this was all straightforward, you're supposed to have acts therefore all you need to do between now and that point is get rid of a bunch of those things. those those of you who have done arms-control note it's more, located than that. i say were working hard to meet those limits, there is a lot that's included in that. there are very detailed interactions and wrinkles and bumps and so forth along the way. we are working those through. both sides are making moving pieces come together in order to have this occur on schedule. i'm happy to report everything is looking fine. we are on track to meet the limits. the question is what to do thereafter.
it did not seem intelligible to try to have a conversation about what to do in extending the limits or doing something else until we can decide what we need to be doing with our programs of record and the doctrines and all those sorts of things. issues addressed are predicates for making a decision on the decisio agreement. it's a question we have reserved for a point subsequent to the completion of the mpr. i don't have an answer on that. we are waiting for the processes to work their course and decide what our posture should be before we decide what constraints to put on the two. one shadow of a somewhat darker worry and i hope one more optimistic one. the darker problem, the crowd o on -- cloud on the horizon
is the issue of compliance. arms-control is something we remain committed and deeply attracted but we are attracted to good arms-control. we don't like it that that doesn't make sense or can't be enforced. it must meet the criteria we are setting forth in the process, the annual noncompliance report we are trying to articulate more of our philosophy on how to approach those things. i said a few words about that in new york a couple days ago. because we like to have good
arms-control we think it's necessary to point these things out. in that context we have a problem of what to do about the inf challenges we face. as you all know, this was a typical arms-control agreement. the first of any sort to eliminate an entire class of delivery systems. it worked worked out under the reagan administration in the implementation went very well. we are struggling with how to deal with the inf problem and that raises questions. we are trying to figure out what our responses need to be to the challenges we face and for european allies. these are things that need to be dealt with.
good agreements are only good agreements of the other side is trustable to stick with them. we are struggling with that right now. that's the dark part. on the positive side in terms of dialogue on these topics, i believe you have probably seen from the aftermath in moscow that there is agreement in principle on strategic dialogue between the united states and the russian federation. exactly what form that will take, when it will occur and who will be involved is something we are working to figure out, but i can report this is not an environment in which we are not engaging with the principal nuclear rival. we are working very hard to try to reengage on matters that relate to strategic stability. i say that not just through the narrow prison but how various pieces fit together
and are conducive to or detrimental to broader questions of global peace and security. we will be working on those issues with the russians and is constructively as we can. this will be the first dialogue in some time. i hope i can encourage you to understand this as a hopeful time to try to resolve the issues and threats presented by russia's violation of the inf treaty. these are issues and progress but that's sort of where it is. above to have more to say and i hope to soon. >> if you could say a little more about inf because one of our questions is about that. when might we expect a response to russian violations of inf.
i would also add is there a special verification committee? >> the options makes is broad. we are trying to figure out, details pending, we are are trying to figure out how we will approach this. i think you would be wrong to think that this administration would be content with a round of finger wagging. we will be taking responses that turn them to compliance and put us in a position to be in a safer place. to be continued.
>> we have another set of questions on north korea. >> not before consulting with our allies. we won't to severe into a room and forth with an answer that we expect everyone to be in agreement. it's a very important issue to confront us as the united states and our allies. we are committing close contact with her allies. >> another set of questions about the north korean missile challenge. the policy review is complete. we heard this morning. >> can you use the microphone. >> i'm trying with my microphon microphone. i've got one on my tie, i've got this one. they complain a home that i speak too lightly. we have several questions about north korea policy review and next steps.
can you elaborate what conditions would be needed for entering into discussions with north korea for the purpose of ending its nuclear arms control program. there have been several different iterations about what the conditions might be, and it seems important to have some answers to this ahead of it later this month. can you give us clarification? >> probably not as much as you would like but obviously the current approach, this is the first policy control out-of-the-box. we did not get to have long discussions about this. we had to come up with answers and approaches quickly. we spent a lot of time and it was a model of the kind of policy review that we aspire to do in which options across the entire imaginable space
and they were actively debated and discussed. what we have ended up with until further notice his policy as you suggested. while making clear that the objective is to find out how to reduce the threats we face, our policy is not one of regime change but trying to get the discussion back on. we feel like we are off to a good start, they have underscored the paramount importance of the relationship and they've also underscored the policy goal.
we want to increase sanction through pressure with the hopes of getting to talks. we think that is the right way to go and it's very important to move in that direction. we are working various angles to try to bring it about. we are trying to cut off revenue streams to the regime and to its military program to make it pressure that will get them to reevaluate the strategic choices they continue to make that are battered and destabilizing. were working very hard with china in ways that have not yet been tried but many attempts have been made over the years to help them realize it really is in their best interest to help help us solve this problem. in the name of stability, they pride that more than the alternative. they have been reluctant to work with us for fear of what comes after but the point were trying to make to beijing as well they may think the
festering sort is better than the alternative, the status quo is not the stable static point. it is a trajectory and that is going downhill rather fast. the problems are worsening and the tensions are rising. it's not stability. it's a recipe for a very grave problems. if we can beijing their interest in stability actually means they should work with us on a basis that is not one of regime change we will have made some very sick if in progress i hope that can be the case. what conditions would it take to be involved in opening those talks, details are crucially important, hopefully sooner rather than later but we think we will know those, that expression of sincerity if and when they take them.
is probably not a good idea to get into speculation about this at this time. we think it's a sober and sensible policy that takes things further in constructive ways and represents the best hope of working this out. >> given what you just said, how does this administration differ from the strategic patience label that was given to the previous administration? can you clarify what the differences may be? the mecca we are less patient. the development of the threat doesn't give us the option of being patient over any significant period of time.
you can read it in the paper as well as anyone and there's daily speculation about the missile threat that's developing. my wife complains every time we have a nice family weekend i start getting calls on my phone. >> welcome to the club. >> the development of the threats that is not one that permits patients anymore. it may have been true at some point and it may not have been wise to be patient in the past. i'll leave that for historians and others. we don't have that luxury. we are trying to do is much as we can to make them feel the impurity as soon as possible. >> have been some sense of election day that advocated for new testing and new roles for u.s. nuclear weapons and possible new types of nuclear weapons development. the united states hasn't tested a nuclear device in 25 years.
in this confirmation hearing, he recognized the value in the g7 statement. the question is, does president trump see the absence of nuclear testing as security, and how will he help influence global to who against the future. >> the easy answer would be safe those questions are currently under review and that would be a true answer. what we need for our posture and long-term in middle term planning is a series of questions that are enormously complicated. all kinds of working groups are working to try to figure all those things out. there's also a ballistic missile defense review that is
running in parallel to this. there's a lot of moving pieces and i shouldn't get out ahead of my skis in that regard but testing is a derivative question from matt. in what circumstances might it be necessary to do that? i have not seen anything that would suggest any other sorts of concern with the reliability of our stockpile. i would be extraordinar extraordinarily concerned. i don't think there's likely had a bus changing as a policy choice anytime soon. beyond that there are questions about whether we think it's a safe and prudent policy to resume testing forever. we don't know the answer to that. we will have to talk further about that speemac.forget you forget you can always pull out of treaties. >> although i have great confidence. [inaudible] >> of course.
we have a few questions about the united states own nuclear weapon spending challenges. they are on track to spend about a trillion dollars. the last administration included review and they determine the existing side is larger than deterrence purposes thought to working on russia with deeper reduction but did not move forward with that. numerous officials and experts warned about affordability problem and that's the current approach. as the nuclear posture review looks at options with the u.s. arsenal, will it assess options to assess the scope of
the plans, especially if there were cost savings that could be achieved while meeting what are determined to be requirements under this review. >> we should get out in front speculating about this. this comes at a challenging point. my knowledge there's there's never been an ncr that has occurred at such a challenging conflict of circumstances. we are doing a posture review at a time when we are putting up against problematic planning. these things coming together at the same time present spending challenges. you see pentagon literature
talking about the phrase. [inaudible] ill be a great challenge for us. on the other hand, it's critical critical we bear in mind and always remember what a small proportion of pentagon spending the nuclear arsenal is. even if you add-in infrastructure stuff that we need to work on, this is only a few percentage points of dispense spending. will this be easy? no. is it doable? yes.
>> we have questions about how the administration will approach the nuclear nonproliferation treaty including whether there are any steps in the 2010 action plan where the trump administration hopes to or plans to make progress before the 2020 review conference. another related question is, since you have been a key key part of previous review conferences, the 2005 conference, we all understand what can look like a failed conference, or difficult conference so what kinds of things would you like to try to avoid happening in 2020 that might be considered detrimental to the nonproliferation system?
>> okay, i think you will indeed find us strongly committed to strengthening the regime as a whole. we are doing a review of how to do that and some of the approaches we think need to be taken in that space. it's hard to say exactly what we will end up choosing to do, but as i indicated, a focus on focus on proliferation challenges is very acute. we aim to do that as effectively as we can. i think that will be an intellectual prism we should apply to how we approach issues coming up. i have said many times over the years that i tend to think of this more in terms of looking for outcome metrics and for output metrics. the conventional wisdom says if there is a failure to reach consensus on the final document it's a catastrophe.
that's not necessarily the case. i would like to have a nice agreed final document and we have a very important anniversary coming up so the symbolic impact is not trivial. it remains the case as i've said many times that no one jen no outcome is better than a bad one. we'll be working very hard to get a good one and we believe that statement can strengthen the cooperation and goodwill and constructive mess that's very important thin important to strengthening the regime which is the answer we are seeking but how you do that remains unclear. some of the problems are not going away anytime soon. many of the debates are ones that i suspect i could write the talking points today in ten years ago when i was doing this last time.
we do hope to be able to move forward constructively and provide outcome-based improvements through regime, irrespective of whether it looks like were checking formal docs or not. >> okay we have questions about the future of the six power deal with iran. in light of yesterday's announcement about the president's decision to withdraw from the paris climate accord, it has raised the question will we pursue a similar approach with the jcp away. you mentioned the administration is conducting an iran policy review which is a broader review, not just the jcp away. is that review considering withdrawal and renegotiation of any element of the jcp away , and if so, how is that possible given the mechanics of this agreement.
that's the question. >> will comply with the jcp away for the foreseeable future? >> mechanically it would be very straightforward. the question is is it wise and under what circumstances would you do it and what would you do's. those are all questions we are chewing on right now. we are in the middle of an ongoing iran review. it is a broader review than just of the jcp away. one of our complaints as we see it about the previous administration was the degree to having gotten a nuclear deal it was to make other aspects hostage to that deal. we can't push back quite so hard on these other things, all the things they do to cause trouble in the region and the missile development threats that are growing to friends and allies. there are many things of that sort. we felt there was an unwelcome reluctance to press back and hold iran accountable for fear
that if you make them too mad they will walk away from the deal. we are also determined to handle the nuclear question responsibly and wisely. one of the things we are trying to do is figure out how these moving pieces fit together. i am only involved in a nuclear piece of this, obviously our review of options, we think it's important to have this full range in front of us in order to be able to walk through all of them and do things that make more rather than less sense. we are doing that but it's only a piece of the puzzle. it weaves into a rudder question of iran and policy and i would dare say the right answer is not possible. you can give me all the options in the world but i can't tell you what the right answer is unless i know what you want to do in those broader context. we want to make sure that the interagency reviews fit together in a way that provide a coherent answer, and were not done yet. hopefully soon.
we are working very hard to make sure this is done as quickly as possible. >> another question, would you agree the agreement is working as is designed with respect to the nuclear program. just this morning the iaea was reported that they issued a report confirming iran is complying with its commitment. >> as you probably saw secretary tillotson sign under the review act of 2015, we have certified or at least we did in march that iran does appear to be meeting its commitments. the bigger question is not whether they're meeting their commitments but any sign of cheating would be highly problematic to say the least. we need to make sure we have a good feel that meeting those commitments is an adequate answer to the long-term challenges we face in containing the threats faced
by the possibility of iran becoming a nuclear weapon state. we are very concerned to make sure we can constrain those threats and provide answers to these challenges. that's the purpose of the review. >> we have a couple questions about missile defense policy. as you know, missile defense has been a key factor in discussions about nuclear arms control reductions with russia and to an extent with china for many years. last year then vice chairman of th. [inaudible] they said in a speech we will not rely on missile defense for strategic deterrence of russia because it will simply be too hard, too expensive and too destabilizing to even try. as the united states looks forward to dealing with the north korean boasting a threat,
how do you foresee the administration seeking to assure russia and china that missile defenses are not designed to counter their nuclear di deterrent capability. there are proposals on the hill, as you know for its significant expansion of u.s. missile capabilities and there was a decision last year in congress to redesignate the program from limited to robust. >> there is a ballistic missile defense underway and it would be professionally unwise for me to anticipate where that's going. this is part of what we view to be the only responsible course. every new administration comes in and does a policy review of various sorts. we like to think we are doing a deeper and more comprehensive review than is usually the case.
i don't have any direct contact with those things but my impression is that it's unusual for the administration to put the range of options on the table so you can be sure we are thinking across this entire that's not not the same as having any preordained conclusions. u.s. policy has been that it's an obvious factor of reality and the laws of basic mathematics and counting that nothing be done in missile defense so far has posed any meaningful threat to russia or china. they don't act like that's the case, but i can count, they can count and i think we think we know what's going on. this is not about them, we will certainly do what we need to do in the face of worsening threats from places like north korea and iran he missile development. i've argued publicly, if the chinese are worried about this
issue of ratios, there are ratio issues here. as you start to get close i can see how that's an interesting question, but we will do what we need to do in order to protect ourselves from threats that they fully appreciate the existence of, and from their perspective i would urge anyone who's listening in moscow and beijing to reach a fairly obvious conclusion that if they are concerned about the issue of ratios, that we need to be working together to have discussion about how to rein in the threats from north korea and iraq. the worst threat to their strategic arsenals, if they see it as a threat at all which they say they do, is the problem presented by those missile programs. if we can work together to bring those problems under control we will have a very different discussion. >> we have time for maybe one
more question and this relates to the anticipated meeting between president trump and putin vladimir putin sometime in july. the question is back in the 1980s president reagan and gorbachev jointly declared a nuclear war could never be one and must never be fought. will the two presidents consider any joint language that tries to address the concern and commitment to avoiding nuclear conflict between two of the largest countries arsenals. >> i'm not going to put words into their mouth at this point. i'm sorry. >> i'm not asking you to put words in their mouth. is that something that might be considered. >> i think the president's been clear that what we are interested in doing with russia is looking for areas of shared concern and how it's possible to make progress
together. there are issues that are challenging in the relationship. there are many problems and security issues we need to deal with that are caused by or aggravated by russian behavior and postures. in various respects we need to figure how to deal with those in a constructive way, how to get through and around not in a way that doesn't compromise security interests. if we can find areas of shared concern that are consistent with doing all these things we will absolutely be doing that. that's true across the board of policy issues, certainly including the nuclear realm. if it was possible and we felt there was way forward. one of the things we hope to do is reinitiate or make good on a process of strategic dialogue that will help bring better understanding of where the two sides are coming from across a broad range of issues. we hope it will help identify areas in which it's possible to do that kind of progress together. i hope to be able to report
the progress. >> thank you very much for your time, for your willingness to come here and answer our questions and deliver some more information about the administration's work work on these issues. i think one thing we can certainly agree on is that we need and want effective and good arms control, and nonproliferation. that's what it's always been about and the question is what is that and how do we get there and how we work together , democrats, republicans, the u.s. in u.s. and the world to get there. we look forward to talking with you and your team more on how to deal with these challenges and everyone please join me in thanking chris ford for being here with us. [applause] >> we will make a quick costume change as we move to the next panel on the future
[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] >> please find your seats right now. thank you. thank you very much. i wanted to introduce our director for disarmament policy, can kingston reef who will moderate the next session on reducing risks with russia. >> good afternoon everyone. welcome to our final panel of the meeting which will examine reducing security and nuclear
risks with russia. as everyone in the room knows we are in a period of significant tension and some would say crisis in the bilateral russia relationship. the causes and symptoms are multifaceted. they include the crisis in ukraine, the buildup in exercising of forces in the border area, russia's alleged violation of the 1987 intermediate range nuclear forces treaty, concern that russia is developing new nucleanew nuclear weapons and lowering the threshold of when they may use them and russian meddling in the u.s. election and those of some of our european allies. as for arms control, it may not be dead but it certainly wounded. while meaningful cooperation continues, implementation of the 201520 plan of action has no ongoing dialogue on further
nuclear risk reduction steps, perhaps some dialogue, this raises the odds of stepped-up competition in strategic, offensive forces. meanwhile technological change in investments and associated doctrines have increased escalation dangers. u.s. secretary of state rex to listen set on may 14 on meet the press that the united states needs to improve the relationship between the two greatest nuclear powers in the world. he continued, and gets largely viewed if it's not healthy for the world it's certainly not healthy for us, for this relationship to remain at this low level. i think the president has committed, rightly so, and i'm committed with him as well to see if we cannot do something to put us on a better footing in our relationship with russia. despite these comments, the trump administration has yet
to articulate a clear policy policy toward russia or strategy to reduce nuclear rest. while president trump said he would like to improve relations with moscow and global nuclear weapons inventory should be significantly reduced, he is is also pledged to strengthen, expand capabilities, denounced new starts and reportedly he responded negatively to vladimir putin's suggestion to extend the new start treaty. the further, kate matters, much of washington and democrats in particular are likely to view any engagement with russia with suspicion given the ongoing investigation into the trump campaign ties to possible collusion with russia. given the stakes, namely preventing confrontation and potentially nuclear conflicts, cooperation, cooperation and arms control should be judged on its own merit and on its own terms, namely whether it enhances u.s. security. here at the arms control association, we have been grappling with difficult problems and questions and working to identify potential solutions. primarily through our engagement with the trilateral
u.s. russia german deep cuts commission. today we are happy to continue this engagement and fortunate speak joined by two outstanding experts. to my right is a fellow at the carnegie endowment for international peace and the fellow with the institute of peace research and security policy. he holds a phd in political science and his current research focuses on escalation dynamics and impossible arms control measures. seated to my left is a nuclear security fellow and her researching interests include. [inaudible] she was a program officer at the stanley foundation where she focused on multilateral action to strengthen security. she received her phd in policy studies in international security and economic policy from the university of maryland.
they will each provide ten to 15 minutes of opening remarks which will leave plenty of times for questions from all of you. i've asked her to begin to provide a summary from european perspective on the current relationship, the trump administration to date and options to reduce security risk with russia and suggestions on how the inf treaty might be saved. following her i've asked her to make sense of military nuclear doctrine, how how it might fuel escalation and what might be done to reduce nuclear escalation, dangers and address possible ways forward for bilateral arms control and cooperation. >> thank you. while saving the inf treaty is a huge call, we will see what i can do. what i like to like to do during the next ten minutes or so, i'll walk you through
three different areas of arms control between the united states and russia, particular as he said with a view from europe and also thereby answering a couple of questions such as why do we need u.s. russian arms control, what speaks for further control, what speaks against the, what could be done, and what has the trump administration done so far. as you will see, quite a lot speaks for mobile arms control in these difficult times, however without anticipating my own conclusions and remarks, unfortunately i'm very skeptical with regard to further u.s. russia arms control, at least in the short to midterm. this is due to reasons that have not so much to do with arms control but more with the general bilateral u.s. russian relationship and the return of geopolitical competition and
maybe we can talk about that later because i think we need to frame arms control and a larger political environment. let me start with the first are area. why do we need it the risk of military explanation is high. one can find more reasons but i'm concentrating on two. russia continues. [inaudible] the regional military balance creates insecurity in the baltic states. i just came back from a recent research trip and i can tell you these guys are really afraid of what russia is doing with their borders. at the same time it might create misperception on behalf
of nato. if both sides, nato and russia recognize that this is destabilizing and treated as a matter of high priority, they could focus on conflict management with the aim of preventing unintended escalation part however, what speaks against that is the. fact that russia reap benefits from its unpredictable behavior. i would go as far to say that unpredictability is a major element of the russian strategy with nato. in essence it would make it necessary to change the culture. they must outweigh those from confrontation and predictability. it means they would have to be willing to offer something significant. with that i mean something that goes beyond the immediate arms control goals and i think
we should discuss that later as well, what that could be. what could be done? nato nato and russia discusses airspace security. i think that's come up three or four times. one of the goal is to have transponders switch on at all times but that hasn't gotten very far. another approach could be to seek direct talks and hear the aim could be to modernize older arms control agreements. they focus on risk reduction, the incident and key agreement on dangerous military activity. back in the cold war, those were designed to prevent accidents in exactly the kind of things that we have right now and trying to address the
behavior that we are seeing from russia at the moment. >> have we seen any concrete policies of the trump administration or novel approach in that regard? the answer is not at all. let's turn to conventional arms control in europe. it's kind of like a side theme in washington, you barely hear it mentioned. conventional arms control has been dead since at least 2002. efforts to revive it have failed largely because they have lost interest in it. however arms control is perhaps even more needed than ever. :
>> russian superiority in eastern europe particularly the baltic region, and that's a strong concern for nato and other countries in the region and if we go one level below that to the sub regional level, your russia is concerned about the security of leningrad. as much as we use to talk every day about leningrad as russia i'm asking all that stuff there, russian military is concerned about their ability to hold leningrad in conflict with nato. so think of this whole approach of the whole situation as a russian doll.
you have the strategic level, you have the regional one and the sub regional one so at least theoretical, at least in theory it should be possible to arrive at some kind of quid pro quo arrangement for the baltic region because everyone obtains something there and everyone has concerns in the region. what could that mean? it could mean geographic limitations on manpower, equipment andreinforcement capabilities coupled with intrusive and transparency measures. we're running short of ideas in that regard, there's been a lot of accommodation . kings you just mentioned, the commission in the last two reports, second and third report of the commission particularly german experts coming forward with a lot of practical ideas what that could look like. then again, arms control policies are basically built on certain recognitions that
deserving the status quo is beneficial. however, the united states and russia both view each other as challenging the status quo, that is a fact from both sides. it is also highly questionable that us alleys in the region such as poland would agree to a regional conventional arms control regime particularly in light of russia's nuclear superiority in the region. so just quickly for a rhetorical reason has there been any novel reproach of the trunk administration in that regard. unfortunately not. and that leads me to my last part, to nuclear arms control. as we all have learned earlier this year from media reports, russia has not only produced more inf missiles that are needed to sustain the bypass program but basically started to deploy some of those weapons.that is at least what we hear from intelligence leaks that come to the press so these missiles are known as so-called ss eight.
while that fact alone speaks quite strongly against arms control and even grilled grammar scenarios that see both sides abrogating the treaty. the latest efforts into going in that direction and the consequence to europe would be tremendously negative so let me make this point as clear as possible. if not carefully handled, the inf crisis has the potential of reinvigorating the uriah euro missile state of the 1980s with all the turmoil of that time. and also with all the potential to further undermine and flip the alliance. i think in time of a politically weakened nato, in time of almost no leadership from the united states we should make sure that is not happening. we should not allow the allowance alliance along certain lines in our response to russia. so our efforts towards
arms-control collusion, well, one option would be for the us to consider reassuring russia about the mantras of the european, sorry, the european phase of that approach, in romania and poland. for a long time russia has complained perhaps correctly that defense could actually be turned into offense with those systems. one of the options would be for the us to make it practically impossible for those launches to fire tomahawk cruise missiles and i'm not only talking about soft weapons in that regard. it could be augmented with side visits by russian military personnel coupled with reciprocal visits on the russian side, making sure that russia has destroyed all noncompliant systems. but here comes again the big caveat to that. if russia has deployed the ssb eight on road mobile launches, and according to
the imf treaty all those launches must be deployed. and that doesn't look like an option to me. because russia has replaced almost 80 percent of its old short-range system with launches, it would basically means the russians would have to destroy their new generation of short range launches. having said that, the inf followed even further. without russia returning to compliance with inf, the senate will most likely not advise and consent to any arms agreement to a new start. again, on imf, so far no input from the trump administration and before i continue along those lines regarding the strategic ability and new start, let me finish with that. i agree there was a lot of brief outlook negative being rather unrealistic but we
will provide at least in the near term. >> thank you on that note. >> thank you. thank you to the arms control association for bringing us together for this important discussion. it's an honor to be here today and i fondly recall my time as a subscriber to the arms control association when i was getting into the field a decade ago so as they say sometimes i get longtime listener, first time caller and i think , that takes a while. my husband said that would work. so as a student of policy studies, one of the first concept you learn in the garbage can model. >> garbage can model? is this idea that policymaking essentially is organized anarchy and it consists of various extremes.
>> problems, solutions participants mostly look for jobs and opportunities a window of opportunity so it's an opportunity is essentially a garbage can into which various kinds of problems and solutions are dumped by the participants. >> so it's a look at policymaking this way it important that the garbage is processed and it's a very cynical analyses for policymaking but i bring it up because it's very descriptive (smelly state of us russian and nato relations. >> we have very many old garbage cans with very many new garbage cans. and we have conventional, nuclear, strategic nonnuclear missile defense cyber nuclear material security, counterterrorism, gray zone issues, conflicts in syria, ukraineand if you're russian military, iraqi . weapons based on these physical presences. the problem is that none of
them are being processed so i was kind of heartened to hear ambassador his remark about the work underway in the national council and we made good progress on some of these issues. were getting into the summer. better? okay. all right. i hope that we have a lot of garbage, no one heard my list? i have this great list. so let me speak up, i was hard to hear ambassador for his remark and i hope we start making headway into a lot of these difficult problems we have because were getting into the summer and what happens in the summer? >> so we worked really hard over the last to get to conflict if you wear rmr so i wanted to briefly share my personal opinion about these things to stimulate discussion and q&a. first i wanted to talk about russia's concept, and improving conventional
capabilities at the theater level, second i wanted to talk about how russia's rattling around ukraine is viewed in russia these days. and third i wanted to talk about the importance of arms-control for strategic ability in his russian relationships and that's an issue that's near and dear to a lot of you here. the first russian military thinkers have been working for over a decade on the concept of strategic arms. >> and i think we seen a lot of fighting, calling this thing coercion and a lot of other things but i believe personally that using the russian terminology for this is interesting because it's also not what we think of as strategic deterrent so the idea of strategic disturbance is essentially a blend of deterrence, coercion and soul and it's supposed to operate in warm time and peacetime so there's a spectrum of conflict . and strategic deterrence relies on three types of feasibility. one is nonmilitary means and we've all seen and heard russian threats, a lot of their force and activities
and we know they're highly provocative but it also relies on nuclear capabilities and a strong conventional capabilities. and i think there's a debate in washington about how low russia's nuclear threshold actually is but what you see in practice if you look at russian systems development with strategic deterrence in that russia's improving conventional capabilities including long-range profession strikes is an explicit goal of reducing nuclear reliance early stages of conflict. >> what this means is that their thinking and planning to use nonnuclear precision strikes as a means of escalation control. >> and they want to do so by inflicting the damage on their military and economic targets so the russians call this or so nonnuclear deterrence, one of the many challenges for the project is that russia's precision strike systems are dual capable so there used for escalation control and contribute to escalation. and we can talk much more during the question and answer session about potential nuclear use later
in conflict and how the russians look at that or their concerns about airspace threat from the last which could result in limited nuclear use but i think personally that russia's development of congressional systems and their maturation and how the russians continue to think about them is the thing to watch if you want to understand the russian dynamic moving forward. >> so to get back to the garbage can, there is some room i think in the meantime to think of ways to reduce the potential of russia's indirect conventional military force and to echo things that we brought up, some of the potential to cut conditions by the european leadership on reducing the dangers of accidents inadvertently so curbing those pathways to escalation with the russians is a very good place to start and i'm pleased to me personally that we're in for a series of changes in conventional postures in the european theater and i view any sort of discussion about
conventional arms-control for that reason because i think we're in for a lot of transition. second, across the analytical community in russia you see a variety of opinions on the effects of moscow's nuclear saber rattling. so some russians say that threats are a useful reminder to the rest the west that russia needs to be taken seriously in cases like syria. the russians maintain a lesser narrative that russia's nuclear danger, nothing more than propaganda. but so are the russians actually say that moscow lacks legitimacy and that the nuclear talk in the media as well as the low-level officials has incurred much sooner. and last october putting both where he said that nuclear weapons are deterrence ensuring peace and security whereby. it's impossible to consider them as a factor in any potential aggression because it would mean the end of our civilization. he also added that quote,
it's abundantly clear that nuclear weapons are a deterrent and many experts believe the possession of nuclear arms by leading countries is one of the reasons why the world has not experienced a major armed conflict in the more than 70 years since the end of world war ii. >> now, we can debate whether or not russia used in nuclear shield and core idea and an interesting discussion. we can also wonder if statement of the sort was too little too late which clearly means to an international audience, personally, i view this as an attempt to reassure that russia does not view nuclear weapons as full coercion. x i think it's obvious that the crew will be in the reporting but i also think there's a lot of concern that russians that nuclear weapons could be used in a limited way, for instance in north korean context. >> by north korea and that this will shatter what they view as a fundamental role of nuclear weapons threatening warfare.
so my third comment is about the importance of the nuclear arms control architecture feasibility in us russian relationships. now i think we can disagree on whether the nuclear cuts are practical or desirable. i don't think the russians are quite interested, i think we all need to agree on the importance of a new start in preserving our intrusive appearance and verification regime discussion and that's something that needs to be clear and the administration needs a clear statement with regard to that. >> a great piece in survival months ago, i hope you read that where she talked about this idea, joe denies the whole idea of working through the process. so he talked about the importance of the cooperative arms-control process and verifying the american position arms-control and contributing to russian understanding about deterrence, what americans understand about it. it's this kind of acceptance to the project.
he also called a restatement of the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won. >> and i strongly endorse that. i think as you think about the substance of these strategicdisability talks it's a nice place to start but broadly , i'm sorry to say that i think we are in for a very lengthy phase or both the united states and russia as well as many other countries now are developing defensive, often subsistence, nuclear, conventional and other ones and i think these will have implications for stability but i think we also need to make sure that we preserve existing transparency and predictability in areas where we have right now. as we try to understand the impact of these emerging destabilizing areas. >> is a lot. thank you to you both for an incredibly rich participation but why don't we open up the support to all of you for questions, please raise your
hand and i will try to take you out. please again, try to ask a question. >>. yes, right here. >> please wait for the microphone. >>. >> my question is for you, what do you think the russians are trying to accomplish with their provocative actions in the baltic sea where there planes come close to nato ships so they come into nato airspace or their submarines come into nato wonders. it seems to be going on all the time and i'm worried that that's going to spark that someday could lead to inadvertent escalation. what do you foresee in terms of this. >> what is the strategic intent.>>.
and what can be done about it? >> thank you very much for your question. it's actually a very excellent question because it goes to the larger question of what is the time for that, what is the russian strategic, wired it they doing that even though they know that could be dangerous? we have seen the buzzing of the earlybird class uss mcdonald's so you're right, this is actually pretty serious. i think the russians have several objectives. one of the objectives is to make clear to nato we are here. we are ready. we are pretty good armed and just don't come too close. but in a sense it is intimidating the opponent not to move too close, not to engage in too many maneuvers, not to send too much hardware
and so on. the other objective i think is what i tried to point out in my remarks is to create a sense of unpredictability. a sense where the opponent in that regard nato does not know how far are the russians going? what do they want to achieve with that? and that creates the image of adversary who is very dangerous, perhaps an adversary where you cannot calculate what would be his next move. and i think a lot of the picture behind all that is that russia is trying to kind of like get back to its the russians are trying when it comes to the post-soviet state trying to keep the americans out, the russians in and the host state reinstates down.
>> and their achieving this with a strategy where they intimidate their neighbors, where they fuel conflict in countries where there are russian minorities, and where there at the same time adapting measures to a certain degree upon nato and nato is in a difficult position to find out how far is that going, where do they really want to go. do they want over on the baltic # do they want to come back to the editor river in germany or is that simply to show another side. nato enlargement had moved far enough, no more. >> so i think that's the larger picture and just quickly, what you said to address that. i think a lot of communication needs again communication, not just the
nato russia council meeting every now and then. but we need it actually at the operational level. >> through contacts regularly and then hopefully at some point, some mutual risk reduction agreement which i tried to outline in my remarks. >> briefly when i talk about nonmilitary and indirect military uses of force, it's part of strategic deterrence is exactly what that is. i think what's not clear to me though is the trend over time in case of those incidents. this is not entirely clear the russians actually reduced the amount of execution over time so we're so excited about what happened a couple years ago and we still carry the perception that this progresses so it lingers, the effect of their actions. but i think that the other part of this is these are the forces they have to course. what do you use military
force for? you use it for a deterrent so that's what they're doing. >> working? yes. richard show house, so i wanted to get back to a comment you made about the use of nuclear small-scale nuclear forcesfor escalation control. you said we can talk about that .>> nonconventional, nuclear. >> nonnuclear. okay. >> so what russia sees, some limited use of nuclear weapons as a form of escalation control in the crisis during conflict. i wanted you to actually address that and also the question of whether you see a problem in the differing understandings of deterrence or crisis ability between the united states and russia including the united states with nato.
>> so that the very good question, let me think about it more specifically. so i'm on the, i'll call it escalate to the escalator, so yes. so i think as part of this idea of strategic deterrence and these decision conventional capabilities, the russians talk about use of conventional capabilities to send a warning, to inflict deterrent damage on specific targets, to get the adversary to back down and this is this idea of proposed by others by the last decade as being a means of developing that conventional capability that would substitute what they use nuclear capabilities for since 19, since the 1990s so since they are so incredibly weak. however, i think it's, there's still developing their decision conventional ability and it's still not entirely clear what's going happen to these regional deterrence.it's clear that
they sort of as escalation progresses, they look at that as a possibility. there are very few sort of since these articles came out in military since 1990 i've ever been a few explicit, that's why want to say but i think folks understand the conflict spectrum, they think of how many conventional, if there's a conflict between nato and russia, how many conventional forces does russia have to lose for it to get to the point where it gets desperate enough to signal this sort of nuclear use, whatever that looks like limited. >>. >> needs to stop. >> basically and i think that's still sort of the thing. storing. however in survival, there's a specific debate going on it seems to be weaving into russian media and sort of
these expert discussions about the potential use in case of an airspace attack but we've known this for a very long time, the russians are very concerned about their air missile defense capabilities. they been developing that and arguably , undermines their strategic nuclear deterrence. so i think the russian military circles do think that because the united states was the country that invented the concept of limited nuclear use, you can engage in that against the united states as a highly questionable debate and i think we haven't really seen what that means at the level of policy but the other thing i'll say is that you have people like popular chef who are still in leadership positions on the russian national security council but his statements on using nuclear weapons and local and regional conflict don't see that as much as military journals or in terms of leadership as well. >> just quickly, because that
seems to be a debate which is going back and forth here in washington, love, we don't really know whether the russians have this discussion or not and i think actually the more interesting question is if they have, for what purpose do they have it. do they have it for purely defensive purposes or do they have it for offenses purposes ? offenses coercion scenario for instance and i would not single out the russians so much in that regard. they are like god, what are they doing? it's not you. every time that a conventionally weaker power was facing a conventionally stronger power, that result in nuclear arms, nato had during the cold war.look at west berlin. pakistan has in india, even the french have something
called these are too small which is something like the final warning shot in a conventional scenario so yes, i think the bigger question for us in western policymakers in the military is what are the scenarios where the russians would fly this? there is a lot of guesswork here. >> how to get a couple of time. two at a time here. >> thank you, debra decker. were going to lots of different people in the russian and american side who are seeking so much here, like these are monolithic actors, however if you go to combat nuclear terrorism jointly, by the russians or
operating on the research level, folks in the diplomatic area who know that the russians and the americans did an amendment passed so, this one little sliver of light is i'm wondering in the polar sense of where are these levels of cooperation or as you mentioned potential areas but i'm wondering in addition to these separate areas of our community cooperation, >> i know there was a question, i saw a hand up here. >> i'm from community
college, i was wondering if either of you could comment on the doctrine and how it applies to the current local context. >> i wonder if you can describe what he's talking to. >> let me talk about very briefly that implementation. >> it was was interesting to ask this to sort of share his opinionon the importance of that type of cooperation with the russians , with a broader international community, my perception has been that if you look at the budget, is not entirely clear that we have a commitment to nuclear materials the way we had before but also to look at sort of the substance and the meat of russian american materials and cooperation, there's not much left. and i think that's very sad personally. because i think we took for granted and i think the russians take for granted the amount of transparency and
reassurance generated by a lot of these. we knew much more about the russian side. and they knew more about our practices and a lot of that is gone. >> so i think it's important to talk about positive examples of our operation where it does exist but i also think, i think the other issue here is that if you look at in terms of bureaucracies, on the inside and just the rhetoric, the new generation of people who are now becoming sort of bureaucrats. >> the rhetoric was sort of people who are not part of the cooperative activity and so i think that's a different total change when it comes to nuclear issues to generally sort of much more nationalist so there's this other aspect of this, that's much more troubling than is positive. >> so first of all, there is