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A Comprehensive Nuclear Arms Reduction Regime: Interim Report
based in Europe or nuclear-armed SLCMs based on submarines or ships off the Russian coast could be used in strategic attacks. The United States could have similar concerns about Russian tactical weapons, presumably maintained to offset a purported conventional arms imbalance. Agreed limits on nonstrategic warheads would be a useful confidence-building measure to address Russian concerns about the potential deployment of U.S. tactical warheads in an expanded NATO. The United States is concerned about the safety and security of Russia’s huge stockpile of nonstrategic warheads, which could be addressed through verifiable restrictions and cooperation to enhance stockpile security.
The structure of such a regime, including options for what would be limited and accountable and what might be subject to verification and transparency.
We interpret task 2 as a listing of the options of items that could be constrained by unilateral or agreed arrangements, with varying levels of monitoring. The regime would cover warheads and weapons-usable nuclear materials – plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU). The Committee has been examining the current work on monitoring technologies at the national laboratories, much of which holds significant promise to improve U.S. technical capabilities. In order to determine what is limited and accountable under monitoring, the Committee is currently working with the following definitions:
A nuclear weapon is defined as a nuclear warhead, mounted on a delivery system. There is no one simple, unique definition that describes a nuclear warhead. Accordingly, the Committee defines a nuclear warhead as “any self-contained device that can release large amounts of nuclear energy in a short time.” This definition does not distinguish between “deployed” and “reserve” or between “strategic” and “tactical or non-strategic.” Most deployed nuclear weapons contain a primary stage that is made with a mass of plutonium surrounded by high explosives (HE). A nuclear weapon could also be built
“A New Era of Reciprocal Arms Reductions: Texts or President Bush’s Nuclear Initiative and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s Response,” Arms Control Today 21, 3-6 (October 1991). “Bush and Yeltsin Press New Nuclear Cutbacks,” Arms Control Today 22, 38, 48-49 (January/February 1992).