SEABED ARMS CONTROL

Created: 4/18/1969

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asms control

I. background

in the past two years the international community has become increasingly interested in the possibilities of exploring and exploiting che resources of the seabed. many countries, including the us, have taken the position that the seabed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction should be reserved exclusively for peaceful purposes. several countries, including the us and ussr, proposed that the endc consider the question of arms control on the seabed.

as authorized in the presidential letter of instructions. ambassador smith on marchtated to the endc "that the us is interested in working out an international agreement that would prohibit the emplacement or fixing of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction on the seabed." to that end, the delegation identified in general terms the major questions pertinent to such an international agreement. on the same day the soviet unionraft treaty which would prohibit the use of the seabed for military purposes beyondmile maritime zone of coastal states. although the us delegation has pointed out in general terms to the conference the unacceptable features of the soviet proposal (including conventional weapons and certain non-weapons military activities under thehere is little disposition, given the soviet draft, to discuss vital factors in the abstract. discussions are proceeding in general terms oriented around and favorable to che soviet draft. most endc members, including the soviet union, expect the us toounter draft early on in order toasis for comparing detailed opposing positions.

II. ISSUES

In order Coetailed US position, NSSM Al directstudy be prepared on the issuereaty prohibiting the emplacement or fixing of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction on the seabeds. This study examines:

the pros and cons of whetherreaty Is In the overall US interest;

the pros and cons of the alternative formulations of the specific provisions ofreaty;

the prospects for obtaining agreement on the various formulations of the treaty; and

the factors affecting the timing of ourpecific treaty draft.

1. Pros and Cons of whetherreaty Is in US interest

would prevent the spread ofarms raceew environment. It wouldeasier to negotiate now before nuclear weaponsdeployed on the seabed.

would give concrete expression toannounced desire to move from an erato an era of negotiation and wouldrebutting those critics of the US who doubtto accept restrictions on ourselves.

demonstrating US willingnessin curbing ilia mieU-ar-arast -would

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help gain further support for the NFTritical time in the launching of that treaty.

US has no plans or programsdeployment of nuclear weapons. However,by some future situation, the US would,draft treaty at Tab A, still have manysquare miles of underwater area in the narrowthe coasts within which it could carry ondevelopment and deploy such weapons.

reaty limitedof weapons of mass destruction wouldreduce international pressures for adoption oflimitations on military uses of thesuperjacent waters which might, unlike therestrict deployment of surveillanceor our SLBM forces.

Intelligence Community hasSpecial National Intelligencehat neither the USSR norcountry would, during the next ten years orweapons of mass destruction on the seabedof an agreement banning such deployment, in any case, the US probably could detectby national means deployment of suchthe open ocean--either individuallyor misstle-launchlngabecome operational.

would reinforce US efforts at ainternational forums to promotein peaceful uses of the seas.

CON:

a. An agreement would deny the US the option of using wide areas of the seabedeans oftbe socurity cf its nuclear woapons capability if this should be required in the future.

b. In light of the current lack ofof many of the scientific and technical aspects of future ocean activities and theirto legal considerations. It is impossible to envision all the ramifications which an arms control regime could impose upon the security interests of the US and its allies.

the USSRand area overof the US, giving it an obviousthe USonvenientlyead in the necessary technology foruse and controlide range ofareas in both the Atlantic and Pacificaccess to the deep oceans is relativelyenvironmentally difficult.

such restrictions on seabedencourage subsequent proposals to establishon military uses of the seabed,waters or the airspace above.

might result in demands that theinformation on sensitive US underwater installations.

pecialatedumber of circumstances in which ourverification by national means are limited. deployment under enclosed seas or of smallIndividually encapsulated missiles orvehicles. Moreover, our chances ofof untended nuclear mines which did not

make use of external command and control would be minimal.

PROS AND CONS of Alternative Treaty Formulae

it is determined thatreatyn the national interest, there are several issues with

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regard to Treaty articles that need decision. (Complete textroposed draft treaty, including alternative formulations, is attached at

A. hould the treaty prohibit ALL weapons of mass destruction, together with associated launching platforms, and/or deliverySeeor examples of what would be prohibited or permitted under the different formulations of

PRO:

ormulation would make it clear that the US intends to foreclose all avenues which could leave open the possibilityostly extension of the nuclear arms race to this environment and would thus help make the US approach more acceptable to other countries.

It would reduce the likelihood that states would develop mobile seabeds weapons systems.

CON:

It would increase the problem of verification, since certain mobile submersible systems may be adapted or designed to operate either from the seabed or in the superjacent waters.

It would eliminate our option of deploying mobile weapons systems on the seabed, should such deployment be in our interest in the future.

* The prohibition in this Article is not intended to affect the conduct of peaceful nuclear explosions (Plowshare)or che application of nuclear energy in reactors, scientific research, etc. This point would be made clear in course of international discussions and negotiations and could be covered explicitly in an appropriate treaty article, if dosircd at that time.

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B. hould the creaty prohibit ONLY FIXED weapons of mass destruction, together with associated launching platform's and/or d'eTiverv vehicles?

PRO:

a formulation would permit us toof our lead in technology by deployingsystems (as described in Tab B) should it

be in our interest.

would be more difficult to confirmin the case of mobile than of fixedonly because of the difficulty in finding aon the seabed once deployment had beenalso because of the difficulty in proving thatsystem was designed specifically for use on

(3) rohibition wouldseful first step in achieving the objective of preventing an extension of the nuclear arms race to the seabed.

By permitting states to deploy mobile submersible systems carrying nuclear weapons, it would not achieve the objective of preventing an extension of the nuclear arms race to the seabed.

By limiting the coverage of the treaty, it would probably be unacceptable to the Soviet Union, the UKt and the non-nuclear countries.

imited proposal would raise suspicions about US intentions concerning peaceful uses of the seabed being discussed in other forums.

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C. hould the area of application of the treaty extend UP TO THE COAST of any other

PRO:

a formulation would increaseof application of the measure to the maximumthe narrow band, thus enhancing thethe measure as an effort to prevent an arms race

in this area.

would avoid politicalfrom the implication that states could emplace

prohibited Weapons in offshore areas of other friendly states with their consent.

CON:

In the eventuspected violation, it would give rise to the necessity for clandestine inspection, unless special procedures for inspection can be negotiated.

It could be viewed by our allies as an undesirable restriction, if they wish to keep open the option of having US weapons emplaced off their coasts, should this ever be in the interest of the alliance, and might make more difficult our continued retention of foreign military bases.

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D. hould the area of application of the treaty extend UPRpxsPONDING BANpadjacent to the coast of any other state?

PRO:

(1) ormulation would avoid the problem of providing special procedures for inspection of

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suspecced violations by states occurring in the territorial seas of other states within the narrow band.

It would preserve the option of emplacing weapons within the narrow band of our allies should it be in our mutual interest.

It would parallel the Soviet draft and thus would be easier to negotiate.

CON:

ormulation may give rise to suspicion that the US wishes to legitimize theof weapons within the narrow band of other states thereby escaping the effect of the restriction.

It would reduce the zone of application of the prohibition. The significance of the fact would depend upon the width of the narrow band.

E. Articlehould the width of the band beyond which the prohibition would apply beiles?*

* Article II states that the width of the band will be measured from baselines "drawn in the manner specified in the Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone." The acceptability of this provision depends upon other nations', particularly the Soviet Union's, acceptance of our interpretation of where such baselines must be drawn under that Convention. Specifically, we cannot accept Soviet claims of historic waters and various claims in the Arctic, because these claims would, allow for much broader areas within which weapons could be placed than would lie within the band adjacent to our coasts- If negotiations reveal that others do not accept our view, we will insist upon some other method of drawing baselinesollowing the sinuosities of the coast) which will result in equitable treatment of all parties.

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PRO:

(1)

Aile band, on the basis ofappears to be most

susceptible of wide agreement.

P .v. Whlle exCendinS the ban to broad areas

SU? 3Jband WOuld StU1 Provlde thousands

of square miles of underwater area within which we

could carry on research and development or deployment

of weapons, should that be in our Interest.

(3) Whileand would be established tor the purposes of the treaty only, with no legal

mSor Jurisdiction over the seabed or the superjacent waters, it might help

III2 mile territorial sea, together with transit rights.

CON:

US would be denied use of most of

its continental shelf for purposes of weapons deployment.

Existing differences among states concerning the extent of national claims over coastal waters might complicate efforts to achieve agreement onone.

Some countries may be reluctant to acceptone because they are concerned about the implications for other seabed and law-of-the-sea

xa*ple* has expressed the fearmile zone would jeopardize exploitation of its continental shelf.

h I'* 11 ' the wirfi-h rtf the band beyond which the prohibition would

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PRO:

It would bo consistent with our present international position on the limit of the territorial sea.

An initial position based on the current US claim to territorial seas would serve to protect

the US position in other ongoing international discussions on the limit of the territorial sea and rights of transit through straits.

an opening position will servethe resolve of the Soviats and to probewith respect to the limits they woulda seabed arms control measure.

CON:

(1) ormulation might be unacceptable to states claimingiles whot be willing to extend implicit recognition to the validity ofile territorial sea.

3 mile limit would limit the rightclaimingiles to deploy weapons In atheir territory and would, if an inspectionincluded, convey the right to others to inspect in

that area.estriction is likely to be unacceptable to many states, especially tho Soviet Union.

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as an opening position, suchcould give rise to charges that the US,an unacceptable measure, is not seriousagreement.

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G- Articlehould the treaty provide

PRO:

occurred unless weight of inspection.

(1) The basic issue regarding inspection is whether US national verification capabilities are adequate by themselves to protect US security. hat even after detection of deployment, verificationiolation would probablyostly and time-consuming process and we might not be able to confirmiolation

tel.

An inspection provision would strengthen the confidence of all parties that the prohibition would be observed. Moreover, rights of inspection utilizing national means would parallel provisions of the Soviet draft, thus making it easier to obtain agreement on this approach.

Interference with legitimate activities could be minimized by means of the provision that advance notice be given and that maximum precautions be taken to assure safety and avoid interference with normal activities of installations to be inspected.

The absence of any provision for unilateral Inspection might lead to unacceptable proposals for an international inspection system.

CON:

An inspection provision could increase the risk of compromise of sensitive US installations and might deter their deployment.

An inspection provision will beto states that do not possess their own national capabilities, thus provoking possible unacceptable proposals for international Inspection.

An Inspection provision might raise concerns regarding interference with commercial or other non-military uses of the seabed or compromise of industrial secrets.

The right of inspection may createpressures for the US to describe and indicate locations of all military equipment and militarythus incurring the risk of making public sensitive US activities.

3. What are the-prospects for obtaining agreement on_the various formulations of the treaty?

eneral Prospects

The US draft treaty, although less sweeping than the Soviet draft and probably less attractive to many non-aligned countries,ood chance of acceptance. This conclusion is based on the following considerations:

The Soviets want an arms control measure to show the UN General Assembly when it meets in September.

They have indicated some flexibility regarding the provisionseabed treaty. The major differences between the US and Sovietof conventional weapons, surveillance systems and other military activities--can probably be negotiated. There is already some support from other countries on excluding surveillance and othernon-weapons systems from the prohibition. If we stand firm on our position of prohibiting weapons of massand if other differences appear negotiable, Soviet interest in achieving some kind of treaty before the General Assembly meets may lead them to drop their insistence on the prohibition- of conventional weapons.

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The other ENDC members also want progressoncrete measure before the General Assembly meets, since they too have an interest in the continued viability of the ENDC. Given the current impasse on other items before the ENDC, thererowing consensuseabeds agreement Is the only measure ripe for negotiation. Once it becomes clear that the US will not accept further restrictions, the interest of the other members in making progressreaty would facilitate their acceptance of an agreed US-USSR draft.

Other countries, especially the non-nuclear states, would probablyreaty which, by banning weapons of mass destruction,estriction on the superpowers, who arc the only states able to deploy such weapons on the seabed. estriction would appeal to the non-nuclear states as an initial effort to redress what many consider Che unbalanced obligations of the NPT.

B. Prospects for Agreement on Specific Formulations

Weapons vs. Fixed Weapons

Given the sweeping Soviet draft, the US draft will be judged according to how far it appears to go in preventing extension of the nuclear arms race. In this situation, prohibition of all weapons of mass destruction, as well as their launching platforms or delivery vehicles will be more likely to gain acceptance than prohibition of only fixed weapons or launching platforms.

of Band: iles vs. iles

mile band would coincideimit which is well-grounded in international law and practice, and has already been proposed by the Soviets. Since many states willile limit as an infringement of their sovereignty,mile band would probably be more susceptible of wide asreiinisnt.

Up Co the Coast or Up to

Any preference for one of these alternative formulations can not be confidently predicted. On the one hand, prohibition up to the coast of any state provides maximum coverage of the area beyond the band adjacenttate and thus eliminates the option of deploying weapons in the band adjacentriendly or allied state. On the otherrohibition extending only to the band adjacent to the coast of any other state avoids the problem ofcompliance within the narrow band adjacent to other states (which might raise questions of infringement of sovereignty). This latter formulation also protects the right of states to allow the deployment of nuclear weapons in their territorial waters by other states. On balance, it appears that the formulation which extends the prohibition up to the narrow band of other states would be easier to negotiate.

of Inspection Provision ,

Most countries, whether or not they intend to conduct Inspections, will viewrovision asthat other parties will comply with the treaty. Also, in view of the inclusion of such provision in the Soviet draft, omission of inspection in the US draft would beand would require explanation in order to allay possible suspicions of our intentions. Accordingly an inspection provision would probably enhance the prospects for agreement. However, it should be noted that the prospects of agreement on inspection rights depend on the extent to which any inspection involved would need to be carried on in areas of claimed national sovereignty or jurisdiction.

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4. What are the factors affecting the timing of ourpecific treaty draft? (See TAB C)

A. Status of ENDC Discussions: SubmissionS draft ac an early date will facilitate progress in the negotiations by permitting consideration in capitals during the expected ENDC recess from mid-May to mid-June. In view of the strong pressures to start early negotiationsea-beds arms control measure, the Co-Chairmen have had no recourse but to initiate informal discussions on this subject

Meeting of UN Seabcds Committee: the ENDC on this measure will be needed to holdfor the UN Seabeds Committee (scheduled tomid-August) toore active role in Several members of this committee werethat the ENDC would accomplish anything. ess favorable position if the primary focusshifted from the ENDC to the UN Seabedsconsiderations also argue for early submission of a

We will wish to consult with our allies beforeraft. These consultations would focus on whether the US drafteasonable basis for initiating negotiations. Since preliminary discussions of the vital factors of our approach have already been held in NAC and elsewhere,could be completed In time to submit our draft before the ENDC recesses in mid-May. However, we should also be prepared to consider circulating the draft during the summer recess. If consultations require additional time.

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TAB A

Draft Treaty Prohibiting Che Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and Ocean Floor

The States Parties to this Treaty,

Recognizing the common interest of all mankind In the progress of the exploration and use of the seabed and ocean floor for peaceful purposes,

Considering that the preventionuclear arms race on the seabed and ocean floor serves the Interests ofworld peace, reduces international tensions, and strengthens friendly relations among States,

Convinced that this Treaty will further the principles and purposes of the CharCer of Che United Nations,anner consistent with the principles of international law and without infringing the freedoms of the high seas.

Have Agreed as Follows:

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ARTICLE I

State Party to this Treaty undertakes not1: emplace or fix nuclear weapons or othermass destruction, or launching platforms or deliveryon, within, beneath, or to7 /Alternative 2: emplantfixed nuclear weapons or other weapons of massor associated fixed launching platforms on, withinthe seabed and ocean floorarrow band,in Article II of this Treaty, /Alternative 1: adjacent

to its coast and up to the coast of any otherAlternative 2: adjacent to the coast of any

State Party to the Treaty undertakes tocausing, encouraging, facilitating or In any way

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participating in the activities prohibited by this Article.

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RTICLE II

For purposes of this Treaty, the outer limit of the narrow band referred to inhall be measured from baselines drawn in the manner specified in the Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone for drawing baselines from which the outer limit of the territorial sea is measured. The width of the narrow band /Alternativehall be) ollesJ /Alternativehalliles J

ARTICLE III

Any State Party to the Treaty shall have the right to inspect all installations and structures emplaced or fixed on; within, beneath or to the seabed beyond the narrow band adjacent to the coast of any State for the exclusive purpose of verifying compliance with this Treaty. In the event access to such Installations and structures is needed, representatives of any such State Party shall give reasonable advance notice, in order that appropriate consultations may be held and that maximum precautions may be taken to assure safety, and to avoid interference with normal activities and operations of the inspallations or structures to which access Is requested. (The alternative to this focn-ulation is to omit the provision.)

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ARTICLE IV

Any State Party to the Treaty may propose amendments to this Treaty. Amendments shall enter into force for each State Party to the Treaty accepting the amendments upon their acceptanceajority of the States Parties to the Treaty and thereafter for each remaining State Party on the date of acceptance by it.

ARTICLE V

Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from this Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this' Treaty, have- jeopardized the supreme interests of its Country. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all Parties to the Treaty and to the United Nations Security Council three months in advance. Such notice shalltatement of the extraordinary events It regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.

ARTICLE VI

This Treaty shall be open for signature to all States. Any State which does not sign the Treaty before its entry into force in accordance withf this Article may accede to it at any time.

This Treaty shall be subject to ratification byStates. Instruments of ratification and instruments of

accession shall be deposited with the Governments of

; which are hereby

designated the depositary governments.

This Treaty shall enter into force after the deposit of instruments of ratification by five governments including -the governments designated as depositary governments.

For States whose instruments of ratification or accession are deposited subsequent to the entry into force of this Treaty it shall enter Into force on the date of the deposit of their Instruments of ratification or accession.

The depositary governments shall promptly inform all signatory and acceding states of the date of each signature, the date of deposit of each instrument of ratification or of accession, the date of the entry into force of this Treaty, and the receipt of other notices.

This Treaty shall be registered by the depositary governments pursuant tof the Charter of the United Nations.

ARTICLE VII

This Treaty, the English, Russian, French, Spanish and Chinese texts of which are equally authentic, shall bein- the archives of the depositary governments. Duly certified copies of this Treaty shall be transmitted by the depositary governments to the governments of the signatory and acceding States.

TAB B

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EFFECT OF PROHIBITIONS OF ALTERNATIVE FORMULATIONS OF ARTICLE I

IfTab A) involve In order to clarify the differences, theyout below in terms of representative lists ofweapons systems, both prohibited and non-prohibited. the lists of examples are not intended for public use,

at some point in the negotiations it may be necessary to illustrate what kinds of facilities would be prohibited under the US draft treaty. Further, it may be desirable to indicate to our allies the kinds of facilities that would be permitted.

Would not be Prohibited under Either Alternative

There willide range of military activities on the seabed which would not be prohibited under either formulation. In particular, both formulations are designed not to prohibit the use of the seabed by submarines and other mobile submersible weapons systems whose principal mode of deployment or operation does not require use of the seabed. For example,ubmarine requires contact with the seabed to launch its missiles, it would be prohibited only under Alternative I. However,ubmarine has the operational option of launching its missiles cither from the seabed or in the water column above, it would not be prohibited under either Alternative. All other military uses of the seabed not involving weapons of mass destruction would also be permitted under either formulation.

For example, the following activities would not be prohibited:

anchorage of submarines (or othernuclearhether for emergency purposes,incident to navigations, for purposes ofor for purposes of launching missilesULMS).

of conventional weapons.

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C. All other non-weapons activities, such as:

Surveillance systems

Oceanographic research

Sealab-type installations

Nuclear power reactor

Would be Prohibited underf Article I

The effect ofould be to prohibit only the emplanting; or emplacing of fixed nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, or their associated fixedplatforms, on, within, or beneath the zone of application.

Under this formulation the prohibition would include, for example:

or unmanned missile silos or other fixedfor weapons of mass

weapons of mass destruction:'

on the seabed

to the seabed and floating above it

nuclear mines

would be Prohibited under Alternativei I.

In addition to the prohibitions under Alternative II, the following would be prohibited:

A. Mobile submersible, weapons systems whose principal mode of deployment or operation requires use of the seabed, such as:

crawlers

resting systems moved from oneanother

V. Either alternative ofould probably bein the absenceegotiating record to the contrary, to preclude the conduct of nuclear weapons test on or under the ocean floor beyond the limit of the agreed band. Thus, if circumstances led to the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT)not being applicable, the prohibition in this Treaty could still ban such testing. The consequences of this additional prohibition should be weighed in the light of our interest in such testing, in the event that the LTBT prohibitions (including those relating to the atmosphere, outer space, and under water) no longer applied.

TAB C

iM-S Department of State raMn

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CONFIDENTIAL PAGE, 02 .

TREATY. IN ADDITION TO SOVIET EE'IGERIA* SWEDEN* heXICO* AND ETHIOPIA TN' 'PLENARY' SPEECHES. HAVE. PRAISED' SOVIET INITIATIVE IH.SUBMITTING DRAFT. BRAZIL AND INDIA HAVE! VOICED'SUPPORT PRIVATELY AND IT LIKELY THEY'WILLIDD SO IN PLENARY'*

S HAS CLEARLY STATED ITS POSIT ION ON SEABEDS- (GENEVA.

HOWEVER* MOST DELS BELIEVE NEXT' MOVE MUST COKE FROM OS

IN FORM OF COUNTER-DRAFT AT'LEAST OF ART I OF SEA9EDS TRSATYi

IN MEANTINE'CONSENSUS SEEMS TO BE EMERGING IN FAVOR Of

HOLDING ADDITIONAL MEETINGS ON WEDNESDAYS EXCLUSIVELY FOR'

EASURE-ONTJHICH^AGfiEEMENf OMI

SEABEDS.'"

PRESENTATION OFLD ON-SHORT TERM1 PREVENT SEA3EDS DISCUSSIONS FROM BEInG MOLDED SOLELY AROUND SOVIET DRAFT. TABLING- COUNTER-DRAFT ART I OF SOVIET TREATY WOULDOCUS DISCUSSION ON WHAT SHOULD BE PROHIBITED AND GIVE US TIME TO.FORMULATE POSITIONS ON OTHER FACTORS AT LATER DATE. IN THIS CONNECTION HE THINK HOST DELS WOULD NOT EXPECT AGREEMENT' TOBE REACHED ON. COMPLETE TREATY' UNTIL! TOWARD END' OF! RESUMED-ENDC SESSION.THIS SUMMER. BUT IN VIEW EXPECTED DELAYS OF-OTHER DELEGATIONS IN GETTING REACTIONS: FROMTHEIR CAPITALS* TO COUNTER PROPOSAL* WE EXPECTED' TO MaKE* BELIEVE IT* WOULD BE_ADVANTAGEOUS TO US TO BE' JN^ POSITION TO TABLE! COUNTER-

DRAFTRT'. I NEXTR AT LAJESf'.f SUBSTanT ATI VE' WEDNESDAY MEETING (LIKELY TO BE HELD TUBBY

CONFIDENTIAL-

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ep'artment of State

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