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Seminar by Rabita Forum International FMCT & International Relations

Dr. Huma Baqai

FMCT & international relations
• Nuclear weapons were always a threat to mankind. They are seen as game changers now
• The emergence of conflict between state and non state actors and defiant states…defiant to international orders, view nuclear weapons as a serious option to attain their objectives and acquire tangible security
• This particular dimension and the potential of the destruction compel the responsible of the world to come up with safeguard mechanism
• FMCT is an attempt in that direction
• The terms of the treaty remain undefined and concerns of many states remain unaddressed
• FMCT is back on US radar because of President Obama’s personal legacy that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009
• This particular dimension and the potential of the destruction compel the responsible of the world to come up with safeguard mechanism
• FMCT is an attempt in that direction
• The terms of the treaty remain undefined and concerns of many states remain unaddressed
• FMCT is back on US radar because of President Obama’s personal legacy that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009
Blind spots of FMCT
Blind spots for three core issues include
1. Nuclear disarmament
2. The Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS)
3. Negative Security Assurances
US oppose simultaneous negotiations and would like the CD to focus on FMCT only.
Divergence on FMCT
• FMCT proposes the plan on further and future production of nuclear material but does not talk about existing stockpiles….P5 and other major countries including India are the supporters of this thought
• Pakistan supports FMT which is to ban further production and to dismantle the existing stockpiles
• Iran, Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia and Ukraine supports Pakistan’s view
• Its more close to American President Barack Obama’s vision of Nuclear Zero
FMCT: some ground realities
• The narrow view of my security versus your insecurity continues to govern the nuclear security paradigm
• I will do it when its cost free for me
• Between USA, UK, France, Russia and India the negotiations were blocked for 30 years while they built up their fissile stocks
FMCT: some ground
Realities – Israel in focus
• Israel strongly opposes FMCT because it does not believe that FMCT would be an adequate safeguard against Iranian development of nuclear weapon
• It has a very belligerent unilateral approach towards nuclear disarmament
• It attacked Iraqi nuclear reactors in 1981
• Bombed Syrian installations in 2006
• It is suspected of assassinating nuclear scientists – Killing of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and Israeli military chief’s words combine to revive speculation about covert war
• Israel ready to hit Iran, says Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, Israeli military chief, April 2012
• 2012 would be a critical year in efforts to halt what Israel and much of the international community believe is an Iranian nuclear arms program
• Israel’s nuclear weapons remain off the agenda in the Conference on Disarmament
• In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, the nuclear whistleblower, exposed the frantic bomb-making activity going on behind the walls of the Israeli nuclear facility in Dimona
• Experts on nuclear proliferation estimate that Israel is armed with hundreds of atom and hydrogen bombs
• Biological and chemical weapons are also being produce by Israel in the Nes Ziona Biological Institute. Israel presents a frightening picture of a state which is powder keg of atomic, biological and chemical WMD
• Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, who declared with a quite a bit of audacity that: The US government would adopt whatever policy Israel dictated
• Israel has 300 nuclear weapons aimed at Arab and non-Arab cities which can be launched with the press of a button. Former US president Jimmy Carter told the Arabic daily “Al-Sharq Al-Awsat” on January 27, 2012 that ‘Israel did not have to worry about Iran developing nuclear arms because Israel had 300 nuclear warheads’

FMCT: some ground realities – China in focus
• China has serious concerns on US missile defense and “space control” plans.
• Such plans would not be in China’s security interest.
• If its “legitimate security concerns” are ignored, China would develop responses to neutralize such threats
• China also worries that given the small size of its nuclear arsenal relative to the United States and Russia, a FMCT could limit its capacity to increase the size of its nuclear forces
• China worries that an FMCT would rule out China’s option to respond to unfavorable strategic developments by simply increasing the size of its nuclear force
• It also worries about abuse of on-site inspections under an FMCT
• In the US “Nuclear Posture Review”, the Bush administration had reportedly directed the military to prepare contingency plans to use nuclear weapons against at least seven countries including China and to build smaller nuclear weapons for use in certain battlefield situations
• Barack Obama said that although the US military would become leaner, “we will be strengthening our presence in the Asia Pacific, and budget reductions will not come at the expense of that critical region”
• The Pentagon is to create a new spy service to focus on global strategic threat and the challenges posed by countries including Iran, North Korea and China. The move will bring to seventeen, the total number of intelligence agencies in the US
• Recent reports suggest, however, that China is seeking to finalize the FMCT…..will it?
FMCT: some ground realities – US itself!
• General Kevin Chilton, former Commander of United States Strategic Command, claimed that the US had not altered its longstanding policy of calculated ambiguity and that the President could simply change his declared policy. Chilton also insisted that “future generations” will depend on nuclear weapons “for the deterrence and survival of the United States”
• “Challenges to Nuclear Deterrence”, Air & Space Conference, 13 September 2010
• Within the United States, the bi-partisans support exist for FMCT.
• However, it remains to be seem if enough republican will support the verifiable FMCT to ensure ratification
FMCT: some ground realities
– India in focus
• The nuclear history of India reveals that India has always adopted diplomatic-multifaceted stances during the preliminary negotiations of the treaties
• Once the negotiations entered into the final stage, India would change its strategy from a non-confrontationist position to a bargaining tactic and finally abstain from the process or oppose it
• For instance, it had played a similar role during the NPT negotiations in the mid-1960s and again in case of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty during the early 1990s
• New Delhi has softened its stance on the FMCT during the recent years as part of the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal announced in July 2005, making it cost free for it.
Pakistan’s perspective
Reception of Pakistan’s view in 2005
• As Secretary General Kofi Annan said in May 2005, we can only hope to achieve meaningful disarmament, “If every state has a clear and reliable picture of the fissile material holdings of every other State, and if every State is confident that this material in other States is secure.”
• He further stated that Pakistan therefore holds the view that “A fissile material treaty must provide a schedule for a progressive transfer of existing stockpiles to civilian use and placing these stockpiles under safeguards so that the unsafeguarded stocks are equalized at the lowest level possible”
Pakistan’s view was better received
Reception of Pakistan’s view in 2011
• Clinton accused Pakistan of abusing the consensus principle and warned that US patience was “not infinite”.
• “There is no justification for a single nation to abuse the consensus principle and forever thwart the legitimate desire of the 64 other states to get negotiations underway on an agreement that would strengthen our common security.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
at the Geneva meeting in 2011
• In an effort to pressure Pakistan high level conference have been held at the UN General Assembly to attack Pakistan for abusing the ‘consensus principle’
• Suggestions were also made to take the discussion on FMCT outside the CD framework
Reception of Pakistan’s view in 2012
• “The tide of disarmament is rising, yet the CD is in danger of sinking. Let us restore the conference to the central role it can and must play in strengthening the rule of law in the field of disarmament”
Ban Ki Moon, February 2012
• Underscoring Pakistan’s refusal to withdraw its veto that would let the deliberations commence to hammer out a draft FMCT in the CD
Pakistan’s response
• Pakistan has sustained all pressures and has stuck to its ground
• It will not agree to freeze inequality
• Pakistan’s nuclear stance is security driven and not status driven
Ambassador Zameer Akram, Feb 2009
• Pakistan may also negotiate on FMCT if the country gets NSG wavier
• India has emerged as the largest arms importer in the world, overtaking even China, receiving 9% of all arm transfer between 2006-2010
• Pakistan’s defense budget has actually gone down inspite of inflationary trends
(2.4% of GDP in 2011/12 while 4.6% of GDP in 2002/03)
The major issues that need to be addressed are of transparency and mutual confidence. Treaties may be drawn and signed but until and unless disarmament can be unequivocally verified, the value of nuclear deterrence remains high because it appears that it is the only negotiating tool that works for the weak. This however also heightens the threat perception of the powerful. The tussle continues…..
The skeptics in Pakistan
• US has had concerns about Pakistan’s nuclear program since the 1970s
• But the concerns have been inconsistent
• US turned a blind eye while Pakistan pursued weapons in the 1980s
• 2001, US worked with Pakistan to secure its weapons on Pakistan’s terms rather than pressurize Islamabad to sign the CTBT
• President Obama’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review does not even mention Pakistan
• Pakistan, like North Korea, is “too nuclear to fail,” that is, no one wants to see a real nuclear weapons state disintegrate.
Dr. Stephen P Cohen, a Senior Fellow at the Washington DC-based think tank the Brookings Institution, is considered as the ‘dean of the Pakistan experts’.
• The strategic posturing of the US clearly identifies China, Russia, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya and Syria as countries of concern and not Pakistan
• Pakistan’s defense institutions and command control systems are strong and in place
• International community is completely aware of it
• The US attempts to micro manage and alter Pakistan’s civil military relations failed miserably
• The relationship will have to be reinvented to continue
Pakistan’s real challenge
• The internal chaos
• Failures on intellectual and diplomatic fronts
• Economic mayhem
Harvard Professor Joseph S. Nye argues that in today’s world, victory is not only about military, it is as much determined by “whose story wins”.
Pakistan’s track record is squarely in the negative.



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