Joshua PollackЧто прописано в резолюции сената США по СНВ-3

Note:  This post appears in both Russian and English (after the jump).

В недавнeй статье в блоге радиостанции Эхо Москвы и в заявлениях прессе, председатель комитета по международным делам Госдумы РФ Константин Косачев выразил озабоченность по поводу текста резолюции совета и согласия на ратификацию договора СНВ-3 (Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification for the New START Treaty), принятой в сентябре комитетом по международным делам Сената США. Особенно озаботили г-на Косачева три «понимания» в заключение текста резолюции, которые истолковывают некоторые пункты договора. По этой причине он предложил, чтобы комитеты Госдумы пересмотрели свою прежнюю безоговорочную поддержку договора.

Выпуск дуэлирующих интерпретаций СНВ-3 российскими и американскими законодателями или наложение новых условий на вход в силу договора стали бы досадными событиями. Подобная динамика явилась причиной невозможности ратификации договора СНВ-2 в 1990-х гг.

Стоить отметить, что три понимания твердо придерживаются рамкам договора. Это становится заметно не сразу, потому что их официального перевода не существует и потому что их текст запутан. В особой степени это относится к третьему пониманию. Оно гласит, что «будущие стратегические неядерные системы вооружения, которые иначе не попадают под определения договора СНВ-3 не будут представлять из себя «новых типов стратегических наступательных систем вооружения» подлежащих договору СНВ-3». Важными здесь являются слова «иначе не (попадают)» (“do not otherwise”). Будущие стратегические неядерные системы вооружения, которые попадают под определения в СНВ-3— особенно баллистические ракеты—будут попадать под ограничения по договору. Другие системы вооружения будущего, несуществующие сегодня, договор не затронул.

Стоит подчеркнуть, что эти три понимания, составленные с особой тщательностью, не меняют смысла СНВ-3. Их задача заключается в том, чтобы навязать Президенту США узкое толкование некоторых пунктов договора. Даже если они не являются великодушными, они не должны являться причиной излишнего беспокойства в Москве.

What the Senate’s New START Resolution Says

In a blog post and in comments to the media, Konstantin Kosachyov, who chairs the international affairs committee of Russia’s State Duma, has expressed concern about the Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification for the New START Treaty approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September. [Here’s an English-language account.] Mr. Kosachyov is particularly concerned about three “understandings” at the end of the text, which interpret certain aspects of the treaty. For this reason, he proposes that the State Duma’s international affairs and defense committees reconsider their previous unconditional endorsements of the treaty.

It would be very unfortunate if the Russian and American legislatures started issuing dueling interpretations of New START or if either side imposed new conditions on its entry into force. This dynamic effectively undid START II in the 1990s.

It should be noted that the three understandings adhere closely to the letter of the treaty. This is not readily apparent because there is no official Russian text of the understandings, and because the language of the understandings is convoluted. In particular, the third understanding could not be more confusing. It declares that “future, strategic-range non-nuclear weapon systems that do not otherwise meet the definitions of the New START Treaty will not be ‘new kinds of strategic offensive arms’ subject to the New START Treaty.” The important words here are “do not otherwise.” Future, strategic-range non-nuclear weapons systems that do meet the definitions of the New START Treaty – ballistic missiles, to be specific – will be subject to the limits of the treaty. Other future weapons systems, which do not exist today, have not been addressed in the Treaty.

It bears emphasizing that the three understandings, which have been drafted with great care, do not alter the meaning of New START. The understandings aim to force a narrow reading of certain aspects of the treaty upon the American President. While they are not overly generous in spirit, they should not be a source of unnecessary alarm in Moscow.

A special thanks to Anya Loukianova of the University of Maryland for translating this post into Russian.

(See a related post.)


  1. joshua (History)

    Kosachyov has now announced that the international affairs committee has withdrawn its recommendation for ratification.

  2. yousaf (History)

    From the English account:

    “And third, they say at the same time that the New START treaty will on no account limit the Pentagon’s efforts toward deploying missile defenses,” he added”

    “Thus, through such unilateral understandings, the Americans are trying to dispel their concerns about the possible emergence of rail-mobile ICBMs while at the same time ignore the Russian concerns about missile defenses and strategic-range non-nuclear weapons,” he said.


    The Russian concerns about missile defense should be taken seriously, even if the current architecture and hardware are untested under realistic conditions, and would likely not be effective. The sheer size of the planned system should be a red-flag to any Russian or Chinese defense analyst. The plan calls for ~400 interceptors on ~40 Aegis ships:

    Conversely, the supposed fiscal conservatives that have been just elected should be concerned about spending billions of dollars on sea- and land-based systems that, at best, are untested and at worst simply do not work:

    The Lewis/Postol piece did not emphasize that in the SM3 testing, none of the interceptions were against just warheads, as would be the case for midcourse ICBM interceptions. (They were all against rocket bodies). So SM3 is completely untested against ICBM threats.

    The GMD system has, at best, a 50% success rate in rigged tests with no countermeasures. With countermeasures the success rate would likely go down to 5% or less.

    Realistic testing ought to completely separate the launch and intercept teams, and include a salvo of missiles, each incorporating multiple decoy warheads and other countermeasures. The timing, technology and trajectory should be a surprise to the intercept team. And a sea-based system should be tested during rough weather. As Philip Coyle, a former top Pentagon test official, said, “What if North Korea launched their . . . missile at
    night or in bad weather or when the Sun is shining at a disadvantageous direction?”

    In 2000, Robert D. Walpole, the CIA national intelligence officer for strategic and nuclear programs, said any country with the capability to develop a long-range missile could also incorporate decoys and countermeasures on that missile.

    The long-range missile defense deployment plans appear to be unencumbered by any strict, realistic testing requirements. Although the administration certainly pays lip service to the “fly before you buy” idea, in reality it is buying before flying.

    J. Michael Gilmore, the director of the Pentagon’s operational test and evaluation office, has said, “It will
    take as many as five to seven years to collect” just the necessary data to determine whether the administration’s planned missile defense architecture is sensible.

    Those are merely the technical issues. Then there are conceptual problems with missile defense.

    For instance, both the USG Nuclear Posture Review and the BMD Review documents from 2010 are rife with logical and factual errors that I outlined in a Bulletin piece:

    The supposed fiscal conservatives that have been just elected should review Missile Defense’s conceptual and technical (not to mention diplomatic) failings before funding it further.

  3. Nik (History)

    They really need a good interpreter.

    Kosachyov withdrew approval as a result of mid-term elections. I am not sure how this action could increase ratification chances

  4. Ataune (History)

    And if this doesn’t work, the next step would be displaying signs of warming-up of the ties between Russia and Iran, let’s say by having Medvediev announce that “Peaceful nuclear energy is Iran’s inalienable right”. This can assuredly bring any branch of the US government or any US administration into slashing the undesired “advices or consents”. By now it should be clear to everyone that the top 20 or so State-Nations in the globe have found the weakest link in the US package of foreign policy tools and they will use this weakness to their optimum advantages.

  5. Mark Lincoln (History)

    As always, the republicans are out to destroy any effort at arms reduction.

    The consequences of rejecting this agreement will not serve the US well.

  6. ArkadyRenko (History)

    To yousaf, the problem facing any arms treaty in the future is that the US military must build a defense against conventionally armed SRBMs and IRBMs. China is building a fairly advanced force of ballistic missiles and, because of that, the US military will have to react.

    This is, I believe, the greatest issue facing arms control. The US military is going to embark upon a series of missile defense programs that will radically improve the military’s ability to shoot down a large number of missiles. (For example: missile interceptors, booth boost phase and probably midcourse or terminal will be developed and deployed on stealthy UAVs)

    The arms control community will need to find a way to balance the military’s need to defend itself against conventional ballistic missiles and the need to avoid the negative effects of a large scale BMD program on the nuclear balance of destruction. Better and much more widely spread missile defenses are coming; the question is now how will arms control react.

    • yousaf (History)

      yes, and, in fact, I agree that technically feasible defenses against conventional missiles are sensible.

      Defenses against nuclear deterrent forces, on the other hand, are not. It gets murky when one set of defenses can counter both conventional and nuclear forces. I touched on this in a piece in FP:

    • Scott Monje (History)

      Didn’t Clinton and Yeltsin negotiate an agreement back in 1997 determining the cut-off between allowable theater BMD and proscribed strategic BMD?

    • Scott Monje (History)

      Of course, the “proscribed” part has gone by the wayside, but the definitions could still be useful.

    • Anon (History)

      The 1997 demarcation treaty was based upon the ABM Treaty, as I understand it:

      Not sure that could be resuscitated now.

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