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Political Challenges to Cooperation on Nonproliferation

Many political challenges confront cooperation on nonproliferation. These political challenges are defined as issues that occur in the context of the overall bilateral relationship and that are also governed by it. For example, as the leaders of the United States and Russia reach consensus on the critical nature of the proliferation threat, they also establish priorities both for their own national policies and for bilateral cooperation to address the threat. Political leaders can deal with these challenges to cooperation on nonproliferation that emerge as political issues through a variety of actions whether they are taken by the U.S. and Russian presidents, government agency leaders, or lower-level decision makers.

Political solutions, however, often emerge because hard work has succeeded in the legal or management realm. The political leadership can then endorse what has been accomplished, cementing it as an authoritative step forward to improve cooperation. In other situations, political leaders refer a matter to legal experts or program managers to work out a solution for their later endorsement. In any case, a close relationship exists between political issues and legal or management activities. Thus, although this study is divided into sections on political issues, legal issues, management and organizational challenges, and scientific and technical cooperation, a great deal of interplay exists among these areas.

The goal of the present study is to provide recommendations for streamlining and accelerating these cooperative nuclear nonproliferation programs. Indeed, the work of the joint committee focused heavily on examining the specific challenges that these programs face, developing practical approaches for making the programs more effective, and exploring the views of Russian and American experts on the programs. Although the charge to the joint committee could be interpreted narrowly to limit the study to a specific examination of programmatic issues, the members of the joint committee concluded that such an interpretation was not in keeping with the true intent of the task set before them. In addition to examining practical challenges, therefore, the joint committee considered a more fundamental issue that had become a central concern in the daily vagaries of cooperation: the nature of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Russia on nuclear nonproliferation.

The Russian and American experts interviewed for this study agreed that the nonproliferation and threat reduction initiatives of the United States and Russia have matured in a way that suggests the potential for true partnership. This maturity has been hard won, with slow progress accumulated over time, often as Russian and U.S. agency leaders and project managers have worked out solutions in the course of implementation. For example, the problem of facility access plagued the programs from their inception, with the Americans seeking a means to ensure that U.S. taxpayer funds were properly spent and with the Russians concerned about a foreign presence at their most sensitive sites. Although this problem has not been entirely resolved, as will be discussed further below, the careful efforts of joint working groups that have drawn on the actual experience that has been gained on the ground have created an effective set of solutions for most access issues.1

Therefore, the call for partnership is not merely rhetorical. It has a solid foundation that has been built up slowly and with effort throughout the years of U.S.-Russian cooperation. It is formed, as many partnerships are, on the mutual confidence that grows out of experienced project teams, time-tested working methods, more or less stable budgets, and predictable project plans. Although problems remain in the joint nonproliferation and threat reduction work, in many cases, significant progress has been made in resolving them.

The commitment of the leadership of both countries has also been an important factor. President George W. Bush

1  

This notion of a set of solutions (“solution set”) to problems that have been encountered in the relationship was first discussed during the joint U.S.-Russian workshop to examine impediments to cooperation. See Overcoming Impediments to U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation, pp. 118-119.



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Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action Political Challenges to Cooperation on Nonproliferation Many political challenges confront cooperation on nonproliferation. These political challenges are defined as issues that occur in the context of the overall bilateral relationship and that are also governed by it. For example, as the leaders of the United States and Russia reach consensus on the critical nature of the proliferation threat, they also establish priorities both for their own national policies and for bilateral cooperation to address the threat. Political leaders can deal with these challenges to cooperation on nonproliferation that emerge as political issues through a variety of actions whether they are taken by the U.S. and Russian presidents, government agency leaders, or lower-level decision makers. Political solutions, however, often emerge because hard work has succeeded in the legal or management realm. The political leadership can then endorse what has been accomplished, cementing it as an authoritative step forward to improve cooperation. In other situations, political leaders refer a matter to legal experts or program managers to work out a solution for their later endorsement. In any case, a close relationship exists between political issues and legal or management activities. Thus, although this study is divided into sections on political issues, legal issues, management and organizational challenges, and scientific and technical cooperation, a great deal of interplay exists among these areas. The goal of the present study is to provide recommendations for streamlining and accelerating these cooperative nuclear nonproliferation programs. Indeed, the work of the joint committee focused heavily on examining the specific challenges that these programs face, developing practical approaches for making the programs more effective, and exploring the views of Russian and American experts on the programs. Although the charge to the joint committee could be interpreted narrowly to limit the study to a specific examination of programmatic issues, the members of the joint committee concluded that such an interpretation was not in keeping with the true intent of the task set before them. In addition to examining practical challenges, therefore, the joint committee considered a more fundamental issue that had become a central concern in the daily vagaries of cooperation: the nature of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Russia on nuclear nonproliferation. The Russian and American experts interviewed for this study agreed that the nonproliferation and threat reduction initiatives of the United States and Russia have matured in a way that suggests the potential for true partnership. This maturity has been hard won, with slow progress accumulated over time, often as Russian and U.S. agency leaders and project managers have worked out solutions in the course of implementation. For example, the problem of facility access plagued the programs from their inception, with the Americans seeking a means to ensure that U.S. taxpayer funds were properly spent and with the Russians concerned about a foreign presence at their most sensitive sites. Although this problem has not been entirely resolved, as will be discussed further below, the careful efforts of joint working groups that have drawn on the actual experience that has been gained on the ground have created an effective set of solutions for most access issues.1 Therefore, the call for partnership is not merely rhetorical. It has a solid foundation that has been built up slowly and with effort throughout the years of U.S.-Russian cooperation. It is formed, as many partnerships are, on the mutual confidence that grows out of experienced project teams, time-tested working methods, more or less stable budgets, and predictable project plans. Although problems remain in the joint nonproliferation and threat reduction work, in many cases, significant progress has been made in resolving them. The commitment of the leadership of both countries has also been an important factor. President George W. Bush 1   This notion of a set of solutions (“solution set”) to problems that have been encountered in the relationship was first discussed during the joint U.S.-Russian workshop to examine impediments to cooperation. See Overcoming Impediments to U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation, pp. 118-119.

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Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action and President Vladimir Putin have worked well together since their first meeting in 2001, and both have confirmed their commitment to cooperate on nuclear security issues.2 On her visit to Moscow in April 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice further emphasized the potential to work together on proliferation problems: “We see Russia as a strategic partner moving forward. We see Russia as a strategic partner in the war on terrorism. We see Russia as a strategic partner in stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction.”3 Once again, this commitment of the leadership is not always consistent, which creates political problems for the joint work, an issue that will also be discussed further below. However, the interest of the presidents, combined with the slow accumulation of successes in the implementation of nonproliferation and threat reduction initiatives, has meant that the cooperation on nonproliferation has been among the most active spheres of the U.S.-Russian endeavor over the past decade. In this sense, threat reduction and nonproliferation have led the way along a continuum that grew out of the Cold War disarmament relationship. Indeed, the first task of the threat reduction programs was to eliminate Soviet-era weapons platforms under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). As the programs evolved, they focused more and more on a critical new security threat to both Russia and the United States: the potential that nuclear weapons or materials would fall into the hands of terrorists. The challenges that this threat poses have forced the programs themselves to change and to become more complex, which in turn have created new impediments and difficulties for their implementers. The process of overcoming these new problems has, in turn, built up the foundation for partnership. Thus, the notion of a true Russian-U.S. partnership on nonproliferation and threat reduction is not new; it is part of a natural progression. The joint committee conducting this study decided that it was time to consider this progression more fully. In particular, they recognized that the potential exists for U.S. cooperation with Russia to shift away from an assistance relationship—which was the necessary result of the economic crisis that struck after the demise of the Soviet Union—and toward partnership. For this reason, the joint committee decided that future cooperation should be considered in two aspects. First, can the two countries implement existing programs in the former Soviet Union as full partners, working in the most efficient and effective way possible? Second, can they expand their cooperation to include joint efforts to solve proliferation problems in other countries and regions of the world? Exploration of the potential for a cooperative relationship that progresses to a fuller partnership was seen as an important goal for this study. To accomplish this vision of full partnership, the joint committee agreed on a two-tiered approach: first, the establishment of a short-term commission to examine past progress and determine a joint strategy for future cooperation; second, the establishment of a joint group made up of agency representatives from both governments to supervise cooperative efforts for the indefinite future. As a first and fundamental step, the joint committee recommends that the presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States establish a Joint High-Level Commission with the responsibility of preparing a strategy for current and future U.S.-Russian cooperation to combat nuclear proliferation. This Joint High-Level Commission could be organized in several ways. For example, its membership could include current and former government officials as well as eminent nongovernment experts, or it could be made up of government officials supported by an advisory group of nongovernment experts. Another alternative is that it could be made up of former senior officials, including retired members of the U.S. Congress and the executive branch, operating under the aegis of a U.S. government agency.4 Or its membership could be drawn primarily from the scientific community, drawing on scientists at the national laboratories in the United States and Russia as well as those at the universities of both countries. Each of these approaches has merit, and others of merit could be devised. The joint committee believes that experts from outside the government should participate in the commission’s work, either as members of the commission itself or as part of an advisory body to the commission. The rationale for this approach is linked to the joint committee’s view that the cooperation is progressing to a new stage—fuller partnership—that has both positive potential and a number of continuing pitfalls that must be countered. The definition and description of a strategy for this new stage will require a brainstorming approach that might not be possible under the constraints of a purely governmental body or with only one type of expert—e.g., from the scientific community—in the room. The main emphasis should be on developing new ideas and 2   Joint Statement by President Bush and President Putin on Nuclear Security Cooperation, Bratislava. Online. Available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/02/20050224-8.html. Accessed April 26, 2005. 3   Interview with Aleksey Venediktov of Ekho Moskvy Radio, Secretary Condoleeza Rice, Moscow, Russia, April 20, 2005. Online. Available at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2005/44968.htm. Accessed April 26, 2005. 4   This was the model of the Baker-Cutler Commission, which was formed under the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board in the U.S. Department of Energy. See Howard Baker and Lloyd Cutler, A Report Card on the Department of Energy’s Nonproliferation Programs with Russia. Online. Available at http://www.eisenhowerinstitute.org/programs/globalpartnerships/safeguarding/threatreduction/BakerCutlerReport.pdf. Accessed May 13, 2005.

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Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action directions for the cooperation. For this reason, the joint committee concluded that the premium for the organization of the group should be placed on bringing a variety of viewpoints and backgrounds to the table, drawing not only on the best scientific talent available but also on the experience with nonproliferation and the creative, flexible approaches to nonproliferation that experts from nongovernmental organizations can bring. Therefore, individuals from both within and outside government with relevant political, program management, legal, scientific, and technical expertise should be involved in the commission’s activities. Despite the difficulties of organizing a mixed government-nongovernment group with members from both the United States and Russia, the joint committee believes that the effort in this case is justified. It is the only way in which, in the view of the joint committee, the result envisioned can be achieved: a fundamentally new strategy that would effectively continue and complete existing work in the Russian Federation, and develop practical, imaginative steps to cooperate on nonproliferation initiatives in new countries and regions. Areas of cooperation might include, for example, the repatriation of spent nuclear fuel, the development of nuclear energy technology that minimizes proliferation risks, and strengthening of the implementation of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). To develop new ideas for cooperation or methods to streamline the joint work, the commission might appoint special working groups that would investigate specific issues. The topics examined by these working groups might include cooperation on resolving regional nonproliferation issues, coordination among the multilateral international organizations dealing with the challenges of nonproliferation, and collaboration and information sharing to reduce the threat posed by subnational groups that want to build and detonate crude nuclear explosives. Additional recommendations on issues that might benefit from the attention of such working groups are offered elsewhere in this report. It is anticipated that, once it has completed the process of designing a strategy for the short-term and long-term future of U.S.-Russian cooperative nonproliferation programs, the commission would be disbanded. An appropriate tenure would be approximately two years. The joint committee believes that this limited tenure for the Joint High-Level Commission is vital both to ensure that the strategy exercise remains rapid fire and results oriented and to preclude any competition with the regular policy-making process. Indeed, because its membership would comprise a mixture of individuals from governmental and nongovernmental bodies, the commission would not be a policy-making body. Its status as an entity appointed by the presidents of Russia and the United States would ensure that its results will be highly visible, but the two governments would then determine how the strategy would evolve into policy. The partnership that this commission will facilitate is grounded in the fact that Russia and the United States, the leading powers possessing both nuclear weapons and stockpiles of fissile material, bear special responsibility for protecting and preventing them from falling into the hands of international terrorists or states attempting to acquire nuclear weapons clandestinely. At the Bratislava Summit in February 2005, President Bush and President Putin stated that “The United States and Russia will enhance cooperation to counter one of the gravest threats our two countries face, nuclear terrorism…. Building on our earlier work, we announce today our intention to expand and deepen cooperation on nuclear security with the goal of enhancing the security of nuclear facilities in our two countries and, together with our friends and allies, around the globe.”5 Thus, U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation and counterterrorism is in the service not only of both countries but also of the world community as a whole. Even though Russia and the United States agree on these goals, they do not agree on every issue of bilateral or international importance. Indeed, political leaders in Moscow and Washington often have very different objectives based on their national interests as well as their political doctrines and outlooks. Historically, different social systems sharply separated the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War years, creating a hostile environment and many constraints on cooperation. Even during that period, however, the two superpowers began to work together to control and reduce their nuclear arsenals through the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Such negotiations went forward without linkage to broader disagreements because they were considered to be equally in the national security interests of the Soviet Union and United States.6 Since the end of the Cold War, the necessity of minimizing the impact of disagreements in other areas of the bilateral relationship on nonproliferation and threat reduction cooperation has generally held firm. Moscow and Washington each see their national security interests reflected in the fight against nuclear proliferation and terrorism. As one eminent Russian expert has said, “Disagreements between the United States and Russia on a number of issues must not undermine the foundations of our cooperation, since we agree on the most important thing: U.S.-Russian collaboration on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation is essential for the strengthening of strategic stability and security 5   Joint Statement by President Bush and President Putin on Nuclear Security Cooperation, February 24, 2005. Online. Available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/02/print/20050224-8.html. Accessed February 25, 2005. 6   A number of sources provide further information on the relationship between the United States and Russia. See, for example, Committee on International Security and Arms Control, National Academy of Sciences, The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1997).

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Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action and is in the best interest of both countries and the entire global community.”7 This overall political environment governs cooperation between the United States and Russia on nonproliferation and threat reduction matters, granting it some stability. As a result of this more or less stable environment, nonproliferation program managers in both countries have been able to steadily accumulate valuable experience and develop mutual confidence. According to one experienced Russian manager, these two factors are in fact the most important to program success: reliable high-level leadership support and mutual confidence stemming from long-standing, consistent working relationships. The challenges in implementing the programs designed to pursue nonproliferation and threat reduction goals are considerable, however. Different national interests, political doctrines, and leadership outlooks create many opportunities for disagreement and controversy. Different perceptions of the threat have been a problem in the past; another has been uneven recognition of the importance of the programs. These problems have translated in turn into different levels of commitment to the programs between the two capitals and sometimes even among agencies within each of the two governments. The episodic nature of leadership commitments is another challenge. Presidents Bush and Putin, as clearly as they have stated their concerns about the threat and their support for the joint cooperation, have many other concerns, both domestic and international. They cannot always be available to focus on the programs, and the same is true for lower-level leaders in the government departments and ministries. The joint committee therefore welcomed the Senior Interagency Group that was established by Presidents Bush and Putin at the Bratislava Summit. Chaired by the Secretary of Energy and the Director of the Russian Atomic Energy Agency, the group will be responsible for overseeing implementation of cooperative efforts on nuclear security.8 Presumably, this means that the group will have the authority to resolve issues that arise in the existing cooperation, with the possibility of raising them to the presidential level as needed. In the joint committee’s view, the Senior Interagency Group is the necessary second tier of the proposed two-tiered approach. It is a wholly governmental entity formed at a high level and focused on ensuring efficient implementation of cooperation on nonproliferation. The joint committee envisions that the Senior Interagency Group will have effective channels of communication to the High-Level Commission as the commission makes its recommendations on strategy. The Senior Interagency Group, along with other governmental entities, would naturally have the responsibility for translating those recommendations into policy. The joint committee recommends that the Senior Interagency Group also be empowered to create working groups to address specific issues that arise in the implementation process. The present study describes several such issues that the joint committee believes would benefit from detailed and careful discussions by the working groups. Another major challenge has been to maintain consistency in working relationships as government reorganizations and transitions have occurred in both capitals. Managers in both Moscow and Washington noted the difficulty of maintaining the pace of work on joint projects in the light of uncertain organizational status or changing personnel. A change in senior personnel sometimes results in a decision-making vacuum for a time. Thus, the joint committee recommends that agency leaders in Washington and Moscow make provisions to strengthen existing mechanisms such that, when reorganizations and transitions occur, decision-making authority remains effective and evident throughout the process and institutional memory is preserved. Such provisions might include granting transitional authority, amending implementing agreements, or bolstering existing avenues of communication. Agency leaders could ease the transition process by ensuring the explicit handover of responsibilities from one team to another. The handover period should be short, and managers should have mechanisms that they can use to alert their leaderships to persistent delays. A related issue is the general problem of the uneven commitments among agencies of each government to specific programs. As agencies become responsible for the implementation of cooperative measures, agency personnel become committed to the projects and enthusiastic about the mission. In effect, they become “stakeholders” in the joint cooperation. Other offices in the same agency or in different agencies of the government might not share their interest or enthusiasm. From the perspective of different responsibilities or from a perceived need for bureaucratic self-defense, they might set up roadblocks or barriers to the implementation of the joint programs. The extent to which this occurs varies widely, however, depending on the staff, programs, and agencies involved. An example of this stakeholder phenomenon was evident in the early years of the CTR program in the U.S. Department of Defense. In the early 1990s, the Secretary of Defense was authorized to use funds that were not being used in other Pentagon programs to fund new CTR projects in the former Soviet Union. The funds would, in effect, be “reprogrammed” to CTR, with the result that stakeholders from the CTR program collided with stakeholders from other Pentagon offices who saw their programs being placed at risk. This problem was resolved only when the CTR program received its own appropriation in the U.S. federal budget. Then Secretary of Defense William Perry, with the support of 7   Lev D. Ryabev, On Some Issues of Global Security and Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Appendix F). 8   Joint Statement by President Bush and President Putin on Nuclear Security Cooperation, op. cit.

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Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action President Bill Clinton and Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar on Capitol Hill, played an important role in brokering this solution. At about the same time, the introduction of the “lab-to-lab” program gave U.S. and Russian nuclear experts stakes in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Materials Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A) program and created vital internal constituencies in both countries that helped drive significant progress in that program for many years. More recently, a new stakeholder issue involving the security and protection of nuclear facilities has come to the fore. Events such as the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the terrorist attack on the school in Beslan, Russia, have engendered a strong focus on preventing unauthorized personnel from accessing sensitive facilities in the United States and Russian Federation. Often, such moves have extended to keeping Russians out of U.S. facilities and Americans out of Russian facilities, even when such visits would contribute to cooperative efforts to protect nuclear materials. In both countries, the agencies responsible for security would typically prefer to deny access to foreigners rather than to facilitate cooperation to protect nuclear assets. President Bush addressed this issue during his press conference on December 20, 2004: “We’ve got work to do to secure nuclear materials. I look forward to working with the Russians to continue to expand cooperation. I think one of the things we need to do is to give the Russians equal access to our sites, our nuclear storage sites to see what works and what doesn’t work, to build confidence between our two governments.” A strong presidential statement of this kind in support of a new policy direction regarding access or any other issue in cooperation on nonproliferation can be important to changing the perspective of agency decision makers.9 The joint committee therefore recommends that the presidents of the United States and Russia take every opportunity to reaffirm the top priority that they accord to cooperation on nonproliferation and be willing to address how that top priority might supersede or take precedence over existing policy. Although the stakeholder community for cooperation on nonproliferation will never be universal across all agencies in Moscow or Washington, the effectiveness of resistance from nonstakeholders can be limited by unequivocal direction from above. The focus must be on ensuring that the statement of presidential priority be clear, that its transmission through lower-level leaders be unambiguous, and that senior officials be empowered to enforce that presidential priority. Another major challenge is the way in which policy, legal, or procedural vacuums or gaps in the two countries continue to place barriers in the way of program implementation. The problem of access to sensitive sites has been a long-standing one, and it will be discussed further below as a matter requiring legal attention. Although the joint committee argues here for clear presidential leadership to overcome such obstacles, it must also be stressed that competent program managers in both Russia and the United States can and will do much work to address these problems. Both U.S. and Russian managers stated during interviews and discussions that significant progress had been achieved in addressing access issues through steady, attentive work at their level. The venues for doing so, such as the working group on access for the MPC&A program, were designed to derive maximum benefit from the experience of day-to-day implementers on both sides. Therefore, although vacuums remain in certain areas, they have been addressed considerably by the joint efforts of responsible program managers. This phenomenon was noted in the earlier joint workshop report on overcoming barriers and impediments to cooperation, but its effect has strengthened considerably in the period since that report was completed.10 The final challenge to be considered in the political arena is the full character of partnership. If the Russian Federation and the United States are to become full partners in the cooperation, then they should share responsibilities in a minimum of three areas: setting priorities, program management, and financing of the programs. In discussions with Russian participants in the cooperation, it became clear that they agreed with the first two responsibilities and expressed a belief that joint, parity-based participation in program funding will have to be achieved as the state of the Russian economy improves. In some sense, this approach is natural: even though the Russian economy has improved markedly in recent years, Russia has an enormous burden of infrastructure modernization, of which the nuclear complex is only a part. In another sense, however, it poses a difficulty for expanding the cooperation beyond the assistance relationship that has existed in the past. If the United States is providing resources for the bulk of the effort, then it is inevitable that it will retain more responsibility for priority setting and management as well as the financing aspect. The joint committee recommends that the Senior Interagency Group charter a working group, drawing on the experience of program implementers in Russia and the United States, to characterize the contributions of each country so that they are better understood on a mutual basis. This working group should be temporary and should focus on this particular task. It may be that the financing issue is in part presentational and that Moscow simply needs to express its contribution in terms that are more easily calibrated with those of the United States and other donors. Russia already provides the second largest con- 9   President Bush’s remarks may be found online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/12/20041220-3.html. Accessed March 3, 2005. Of course, laws and regulations must sometimes be changed, a point that will be discussed further below. 10   See Overcoming Impediments to U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation.

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Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action tribution to the Global Partnership11 budget, after that of the United States. If that contribution is clearly advertised and described, then it will certainly convey Russia’s commitment to the financing of nonproliferation projects. Moreover, Russia makes many in-kind contributions to the cooperation, such as providing labor for construction projects. With some analysis, such contributions would provide a clearer sense of Russia’s full financial effort in the nonproliferation and threat reduction arena. Indeed, the development of a stronger mutual perception of partnership in the U.S.-Russian relationship may benefit significantly from a clearer elucidation of the contributions that the Russian government already makes, in part because the data that result will make it possible for U.S. and Russian program staff members to work together on setting annual goals that increase Russian contributions of all types as the partnership between the two nations progresses.12 Overall, greater mutual transparency about the financing of projects will be an important aspect of a more robust partnership. The United States does publish its overall budget numbers openly, but details about how the budget is then allocated are sometimes less clear. Russian project participants have often complained, for example, that more funds are spent in the United States than on work on the ground in Russia. They understand that the programs necessitate substantial support activity in the United States, and they agree that the funds should be spent where they will have the greatest effect, because the goal of the programs is to assist Russia, not simply to expend funds there. Nevertheless, there is resistance to the notion that a significant proportion of the money that is supposed to be spent helping Russia should be spent in the United States instead. These complaints have at times led to action by the U.S. Congress to ensure that a higher proportion of the U.S. funds are spent in Russia.13 Detailed disclosures and explanations of how project funds are spent will help ease these tensions. Financing is not the only issue that makes for true partnership, however. For Russia and the United States to truly achieve that status, their experts should share responsibility for conceiving, designing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining the cooperative nonproliferation programs.14 Such an approach would require the United States to be willing to embrace more of a joint approach with Russia than it has in the past. For its part, Russia not only would need to put more of its own resources into the effort but also would need to commit to sustaining high levels of security over time. If the United States and Russia can take these steps, then they will be able to move beyond their current cooperation in the Russian Federation to become co-leaders of a global effort to fight nuclear proliferation. One potential source of additional resources for nonproliferation is the nuclear energy industry in both the United States and Russia. It is in the interest of nuclear energy providers to promote nuclear security and nonproliferation because it will both increase the security of their facilities and bolster public confidence in the safety and security of nuclear power plants. Improving security at nuclear power plants is a global challenge, because a terrorist attack on such a facility anywhere in the world would have widespread repercussions. Where it is possible to align economic incentives and national security objectives, the results are self-sustaining efforts of greater durability than programs that rely on political and bureaucratic processes that are less infused with the commercial self-interest of the parties. Partnerships work best when the interests—whether they be economic or political—are truly mutual, as was the case in the useful precedent of the Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Purchase Agreement. In that partnership the shared interests in tapping the energy potential of former warhead material and reducing nuclear dangers have resulted in a robust degree of cooperation. This effort has generated billions of dollars while converting the uranium in the warheads of more than 10,000 weapons into nuclear fuel that is now used to generate 10 percent of the electricity in the United States. Under this program, the HEU from 10,000 more warheads will be blended down and converted to low-enriched uranium fuel for electrical power generation between now and 2013. This section has featured challenges to U.S.-Russian cooperation that political actors can address. Many of the recommendations in this section have therefore focused on the political actors and have especially called on the U.S. and Russian presidents to take certain steps. In subsequent sections on legal issues, management and organizational challenges, and scientific and technical cooperation, the study turns to challenges that the players in those arenas can address. Once again, however, there is a close relationship between political issues and legal or management solutions. 11   The full name is the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. The Global Partnership plans to spend $2 billion per year through 2012 to address problems of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in the first instance, in Russia. Originally a G-8 initiative that was established in 2002, the Partnership has since expanded beyond the G-8 countries to include countries ranging from Norway and Switzerland to Australia, New Zealand. and South Korea. For more information on the Global Partnership, see the Strengthening the Global Partnership home page at www.sgpproject.org. Accessed March 21, 2005. 12   Some progress has been made in this regard. For example, according to U.S. government experts, the Russian government’s claim that it contributed $13 million to the activities of the Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation (AMEC) Program has been substantiated. See U.S. Government Accountability Office, Russian Nuclear Submarines: U.S. Participation in the Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation Program Needs Better Justification, GAO-04-924, September 2004, p. 8, for more information. This is the sort of positive experience that could be replicated in other programs. 13   For example, after a report by the General Accounting Office in 1998, the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP) program was authorized by the U.S. Congress to spend no more than 45 percent of its funds in the United States. 14   Electronic mail from Matthew Bunn, Harvard University, February 28, 2005.