Viewing cable 08GENEVA590
Title: JCIC-XXXII: WORKING GROUP MEETING ON B-1

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08GENEVA5902008-07-25 09:09:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET US Mission Geneva
O 250909Z JUL 08
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S E C R E T GENEVA 000590 
 
 
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SUBJECT: JCIC-XXXII:  WORKING GROUP MEETING ON B-1 
CONVERSION AND BASING ISSUES, JULY 22, 2008 
 
REF: A. -OIR FOR CONVERSION INSPECTION DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB 
        ARIZONA - JANUARY 19 2008 
     ¶B. RUSSIAN FEDERATION AIDE-MEMOIRE - THE SITUATION 
        RESULTING FROM U.S. ACTIONS INVOLVING 
        CONVERSION OF B-1 HEAVY BOMBERS DATED 
        FEBRUARY 15 2008 (EMAILED TO WASHINGTON 
        - NO REPORTING CABLE) 
     ¶C. GENEVA 0589 (JCIC-XXXII-012) 
 
Classified By:  Jerry A. Taylor, United States 
Representative to the Joint Compliance and Inspection 
Commission. Reasons:  1.4(b) and (d). 
 
¶1.  (U) This is JCIC-XXXII-013. 
 
¶2.  (U) Meeting Date:  July 22, 2008 
                Time:  3:00 - 4:30 P.M. 
               Place:  Russian Mission, Geneva 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
¶3.  (S) A Working Group (WG) Meeting was held at the Russian 
Mission on July 22, 2008, to discuss Russian concerns with 
the conversion process for, and basing of, the B-1 heavy 
bombers equipped for non-nuclear armaments.  The United 
States, Kazakhstan and Russia were represented. 
 
¶4.  (S) The Russian Delegation gave a slide presentation 
highlighting its concerns with the process of converting B-1 
heavy bombers from the category of heavy bombers equipped for 
nuclear armaments other than long-range nuclear ALCMs (LRNA) 
to heavy bombers equipped for non-nuclear armaments.  The 
presentation specifically reviewed the conversion inspection 
conducted at the Davis-Monthan Conversion or Elimination (C 
or E) Facility on January 19, 2008. 
 
¶5.  (S) The second half of the meeting focused on Russian 
concerns with the basing of converted B-1s and the 
notifications that the United States had provided regarding 
those heavy bombers. 
 
------------------- 
A READING FROM THE 
BOOK OF CONVERSIONS 
------------------- 
 
¶6.  (S) Ryzhkov opened the WG Meeting on July 22, 2008 with a 
brief review of the agenda, then introduced Akulenok who 
presented the briefing. 
 
¶7.  (S) Akulenok began the briefing and read the relevant 
Treaty text from the C or E Protocol and Inspection Protocol 
(IP) regarding the heavy bomber conversion process and the 
process for heavy bomber conversion inspections.  The focus 
of the Russian position was the requirement of paragraph 11, 
Section VI of the C or E Protocol to modify all weapons bays, 
external attachment joints for nuclear armaments, and 
external attachment joints for pylons for nuclear armaments 
to render them incapable of carrying nuclear armaments. 
Akulenok stated that the Russian view of this requirement was 
that the modifications of these items were required to be 
irreversible. 
 
¶8.  (S) Akulenok continued with a review of the January 19, 
2008 conversion inspection conducted at Davis-Monthan C or E 
Facility (Begin comment:  Akulenok was the Russian Inspection 
Team Chief (RSIT) during that inspection.  End comment.). 
During the pre-inspection procedures, the local site escorts 
briefed the Russian inspectors on the converted features of 
the converted non-nuclear B-1 heavy bombers, then added that 
the B-1 had not had a nuclear mission since 1994, B-1 bases 
lacked the infrastructure to support B-1 nuclear operations, 
B-1 software no longer supported nuclear operations, and 
there were no longer any training programs for aircrew or 
maintenance personnel regarding B-1 nuclear operations. 
Akulenok stated that he informed the escort team that this 
information was irrelevant under the Treaty and asked whether 
the conversion process would be demonstrated to the Russian 
inspectors.  The escorts told him that it would not. 
 
¶9.  (S) Akulenok next presented a detailed analysis of the 
ambiguities contained in the Official Inspection Report (OIR) 
for the January 19, 2008 conversion inspection (Ref A).  The 
first ambiguity was for the two nuclear armament-unique cable 
connectors removed from each of the B-1's three weapons bays. 
 Akulenok stated that the inspectors observed no visible 
changes to the cable network within each of the weapons bays 
and that, because the conversion process was not demonstrated 
to the inspectors, they could not verify that the removal of 
the connectors had taken place.  Without that verification, 
Russia believed the possibility of mounting a rotary launcher 
for nuclear armaments still existed. 
 
¶10.  (S) The second ambiguity was for the nuclear 
armament-unique collet receptacles removed from the front and 
rear pylon attachment joints.  Akulenok stated that the U.S. 
told the Russian inspectors that modifications to the 
underside of the aircraft made it impossible to operationally 
carry nuclear-unique pylons, but that START has no definition 
of operational deployment of nuclear weapons.  Akulenok 
stated that he had to ask the escort team chief whether the 
collet receptacles they were seeing were the modified 
receptacles because inspectors had never seen them before 
(Begin comment:  These receptacles had been located 
underneath the covers, attached using a process equivalent to 
welding (PETW), and were not observable to Russian inspection 
teams during previous inspections.  End comment.).  Akulenok 
opined that inspectors could not identify the modified 
receptacles because they had never seen the old ones.  To 
further his point, Akulenok referred to a data update 
inspection he conducted at Davis-Monthan C or E Facility on 
July 10, 2008, at which Russian inspectors inspecting a 
non-LRNA B-1, dismantled and in pieces (tail number 84055), 
saw that the cover had fallen off a pylon attachment joint 
with the unmodified collet receptacles.  The inspectors were 
surprised to see that those receptacles looked the same as 
the modified ones on the converted B-1. 
 
¶11.  (S) The third ambiguity was for the rear pylon 
attachment joints with metal cylindrical sleeves welded to 
the inner wall of the socket.  Akulenok stated again that 
Russian inspectors had never seen these joints before and had 
nothing to compare them with and it was not clear to the 
Russian inspectors how the welded sleeve precluded the U.S. 
from attaching pylons (Begin comment:  These joints were also 
underneath the covers attached using a PETW.  End comment.). 
Based on these ambiguities, Russian inspectors were not able 
to confirm completion of the procedures of conversion for the 
B-1. 
 
¶12.  (S) Ryzhkov stated that the Russian Federation believed 
the B-1 maintained the capability to carry nuclear weapons 
and that the distinguishing features identified by the U.S. 
were insufficient.  In accordance with the Seventeenth Agreed 
Statement, Russia decided to raise the issue at the JCIC. 
 
--------------------------- 
I CAN READ TREATY VERSE TOO 
--------------------------- 
 
¶13.  (S) Smith thanked Akulenok for his very professional 
presentation and stated that it was clear and concise and 
accurately reflected what happened during the conversion 
inspection at Davis-Monthan AFB in January 2008.  Smith also 
noted that Akulenok had accurately characterized the 
applicable Treaty text related to the issue and stated that 
the Treaty text was important. 
 
¶14.  (S) Smith highlighted the fact that it was the absolute 
right of the U.S. to determine how to convert its heavy 
bombers, there was no obligation or requirement to agree to 
additional procedures outside the scope of the Treaty, and 
there was no obligation to demonstrate the conversion process 
or equipment related to the process to inspectors.  Smith 
noted that there were instances when the JCIC would need to 
reach agreement on conversion procedures, such as in the case 
of mobile launchers of ICBMs, but that was not the case for 
heavy bombers. 
 
------------------ 
A PICTURE IS WORTH 
A THOUSAND WORDS 
------------------ 
 
¶15.  (S) Smith stated that the U.S. believed it had very 
clearly demonstrated the conversion process and procedures 
required by the Treaty and that fact was very apparent in the 
ambiguity photographs attached to the conversion inspection 
OIR.  Russian inspectors were able to see an observable 
feature related to each modification in the conversion 
process.  Smith related that the Russian Delegation's view of 
the need for irreversibility in conversion procedures had 
been raised in the JCIC before. 
 
¶16.  (S) Smith stated that the Russian Federation had 
demonstrated that ambiguity photographs are of great value 
for clarifying issues at the JCIC.  Because Russian 
inspectors were given their absolute Treaty right to take 
photographs related to ambiguities, they were able to better 
clarify their concerns in the JCIC. 
 
------------------------------- 
THAT'S NICE, BUT WE STILL DON'T 
LIKE YOUR CONVERSION PROCESS 
------------------------------- 
 
¶17.  (S) Ryzhkov acknowledged the U.S. Delegation's Treaty 
right to develop conversion procedures for heavy bombers, but 
reiterated that Russia believed the distinguishing features 
and procedures were not adequate to verify that the B-1 was 
no longer capable of carrying nuclear weapons and, in 
accordance with the Seventeenth Agreed Statement, decided to 
raise the issue within the JCIC.  Ryzhkov repeated the 
concern from Akulenok's presentation regarding the pylon 
attachment joints, that because Russian inspectors had never 
seen the old parts, how could they verify that the modified 
parts were in fact modified? 
 
------------------------- 
I THOUGHT YOU LIKED THOSE 
------------------------- 
 
¶18.  (S) Smith stated that he did not understand the Russian 
concerns regarding the distinguishing features, since he was 
under the impression that Akulenok had been satisfied with 
the results of the Distinguishability Exhibition carried out 
at Dyess AFB on February 21, 2008, and that the 
distinguishing features had been very apparent between the 
heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments other than LRNA 
and the heavy bomber equipped for non-nuclear armaments 
(Begin comment:  Akulenok had been the RSIT during that 
exhibition. Akulenok also nodded his head in apparent 
agreement with Smith's statement.  End comment.).  Smith 
reiterated that the focus of the meeting was on Russia's 
concerns with the conversion process related to what 
inspectors could observe as a result of the conversion 
process and that the Russian slide presentation had been very 
helpful in clarifying those issues. 
 
¶19.  (S) Ryzhkov responded that there were different purposes 
for the conversion inspection and the Distinguishability 
Exhibition and that, during the Distinguishability 
Exhibition,  the inspectors did not have the right to discuss 
conversion procedures only to fix the distinguishing 
features.  Ryzhkov repeated that Russia recognized the United 
States' right to determine conversion procedures, but 
highlighted the value of distinguishability.  Ryzhkov gave a 
hypothetical example in which a party had two heavy bombers 
of two different categories.  If that party painted the heavy 
bomber of one category green and the heavy bomber of the 
other category red, inspectors would have been unable to make 
an argument.  Ryzhkov repeated that Russia simply wanted to 
understand how and why the B-1 heavy bomber equipped for 
non-nuclear armaments was incapable of carrying nuclear 
weapons, and believed the U.S. could have provided more 
information to clarify and answer those questions. 
 
--------------------------- 
WHERE'S THAT THING LOCATED? 
--------------------------- 
 
¶20.  (S) Ryzhkov next raised the issue of Russian concerns 
about the basing of converted B-1 heavy bombers, citing 
paragraph 23 of Article V and its prohibition against basing 
heavy bombers of multiple categories at the same air base. 
Russia was confused by the notifications provided regarding 
the arrival of a converted B-1 at Dyess Air Force Base (AFB). 
 Russia believed that that bomber was based at Dyess AFB and 
that the U.S. had violated the prohibition of paragraph 23 of 
Article V; Russia had sent an Aide-Memoire through diplomatic 
channels requesting clarification of the U.S. notifications 
(Ref B).  Ryzhkov thanked the U.S. for the great lengths to 
which it had gone to notify the other Parties of the 
movements of the B-1 heavy bombers, but stated that specific 
categories of heavy bombers were required to be located at 
certain airbases and heavy bombers could only be based at 
airbases. 
 
¶21.  (S) Smith thanked Ryzhkov for repeating the concerns 
that Koshelev had raised at the Heads of Delegation meeting 
on this same subject earlier that morning (Ref C).  Smith 
outlined the U.S. position, that all converted B-1 heavy 
bombers were located at Davis-Monthan AFB as stated in the 
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and that there was nothing 
in the Treaty that prohibited locating heavy bombers at 
Davis-Monthan.  Smith added that the U.S. had located heavy 
bombers at Davis-Monthan for many years and had always 
provided appropriate notifications of those movements as 
required by the Treaty.  Smith reiterated that the B-1 was 
located at Davis-Monthan, but had been put in visiting status 
at Dyess AFB.  The U.S. assured the Russian Delegation that, 
upon completion of the visit of this B-1, the U.S. would 
notify all Parties of the movements of the heavy bomber and 
would afford inspectors full Treaty rights at any location 
where they might encounter B-1s. 
 
¶22.  (S) Smith concluded the meeting telling Ryzhkov that 
Russian concerns had been made much clearer and the U.S. 
understood them very well. 
 
¶23.  (U) Documents exchanged.  None. 
 
¶24.  (U) Participants: 
 
U.S. 
 
Mr. Smith 
Ms. Bosco 
Lt Col Comeau 
Mr. DeNinno 
Mr. Dunn 
Maj Edinger 
Mr. Fortier 
Maj Gondol 
Mr. Hanchett 
LTC Oppenheim 
Mr. Tessier 
Mr. Vogel 
Mr. Yaguchi 
Dr. Hopkins (Int) 
 
KAZAKHSTAN 
 
Col Akhmetalin 
 
RUSSIA 
 
Col Ryzhkov 
Col Akulenok 
Capt(1st Rank) Kuz'min 
Col Novikov 
Mr. Serov 
Ms. Sorokina 
Col Zaytsev 
Ms. Komshilova (Int) 
 
¶25.  (U) Taylor sends. 
TICHENOR 
 
 
NNNN 
 



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