C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 USOSCE 000085
STATE FOR VCI/CCA, VCI/NRRC, EUR/RPM, EUR/PRA, EUR/CARC,
SCA/CEN, SCA/RA, PM/WRA, ISN/CPI
JCS FOR J-5
OSD FOR ISA (PERENYI)
NSC FOR HAYES
USUN FOR LEGAL, POL
EUCOM FOR J-5
CENTCOM FOR J-5
UNVIE FOR AC
GENEVA FOR CD
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/06/2019
TAGS: PARM PREL KCFE OSCE RS XG
SUBJECT: CONVENTIONAL ARMS CONTROL IN VIENNA, A SPRING
REF: A. USOSCE 0080
Â¶B. USOSCE 84
Â¶C. USOSCE 60
Â¶D. USOSCE 73
USOSCE 00000085 001.2 OF 005
Classified By: Chief Arms Control Delegate Hugh Neighbour for reason 1.
4 (b & d).
Â¶1. (C) Summary: The OSCE spring recess provides a useful
occasion to take stock of conventional arms control work in
Vienna. The crisis in CFE continues to overshadow all else.
Most states continue to faithfully implement the Treaty, but
the impasse over Russia's suspension of CFE implementation
continues. Our Allies are increasingly restive, with Germany
leading a chorus urging greater effort on the Parallel
Actions Package. With only one negotiating session since
July 2008, and none now scheduled, Allies are increasingly
concerned this has little credibility as a "process."
Skepticism is increasing on the margins that A/CFE can ever
be revived or have the leverage needed to extract concessions
from Russia over Georgia.
Â¶2. (C) The Vienna Document 1999 remains the second major arms
control and CSBM vehicle supervised from Vienna. Russia
continues to demand a limited revision of the Vienna
Document, which was revised several times in the 1990s, but
has now gone unrevised for ten years. Many other delegations
would welcome this as well, especially if any revision could
focus on a change in the current system of quotas for
evaluations and inspections that so heavily favors Russia at
NATO expense. On other FSC issues, the U.S. chairs a
newly-formed informal group of participating States to
develop specific proposals to further implementation of UNSCR
1540 on nonproliferation. U.S. suggestions last month in the
FSC for next steps on cyber security were also favorably
received; several states hope the U.S. will follow up on its
Â¶3. (C) The Open Skies Treaty remains a model of openness,
transparency and cooperation, but the agreement needs to be
updated to bring it into the digital age. The technology to
fly actual missions is readily available, but consensus
remains elusive due to its complexity and varying approaches.
The U.S. can take a major leadership role in guiding this
process through its chairmanship of the sensors working group
and in the run-up to the second Open Skies review conference
to take place under U.S. Chairmanship in 2010. A separate
success story is the Dayton Article IV Sub-Regional
Consultative Commission (SRCC) that implements the arms
control portion of the Dayton Peace Accords.
Â¶4. (C) In all these areas, our Allies are waiting for U.S.
leadership. They look forward to learning how the new
Administration approaches these problems, and how they fit in
with our global arms control agenda. End summary.
Early Spring Recap from Vienna
Â¶5. (SBU) With the OSCE momentarily quiet for its spring
recess, this cable recaps where conventional arms control in
Vienna stands at this point. Reftels A through D are the
reporting cables on the most recent meetings of the Joint
Consultative Group on the CFE Treaty, the Forum for Security
USOSCE 00000085 002.2 OF 005
Cooperation, the Open Skies Plenary, and the Dayton Article
IV Sub-Regional Consultative Commission respectively.
CFE Treaty: Restive Mood in JCG
Â¶6. (C) The mood in Vienna surrounding CFE is not positive.
Allies continue to isolate Russia in the JCG and have en
masse consistently called Russia out for its acts of
noncompliance, such as refusal of CFE inspections and failure
to provide Treaty-required data. Still, Allies do not feel
that the current situation, where 29 States Parties continue
to implement CFE but Russia does not, is sustainable.
Â¶7. (C) A growing sense of frustration is becoming apparent,
and Allies have informally begun to question USDel on next
steps, with Germany being the most outspoken. Although the
Germans believe that the Parallel Actions Package
appropriately responds to Russian concerns, in the last JCG
before spring recess they asserted that the current dialogue
needs assisting. Germany alleges, inter alia, the pace of
U.S.-Russia negotiating meetings since the Madrid Ministerial
in December 2007 has been far too slow, Russian aggression in
Georgia and the U.S. change in administrations
notwithstanding. Germany is receiving support on the margins
from several other Allied delegations which worry that the
Allied position is losing credibility. Although these
delegations still publicly call on Russia to "work
cooperatively on the basis of the Parallel Actions Package,"
privately they express a degree of sympathy when Russia
complains there have been only two meetings to negotiate in
almost a full year. There is a growing number of voices
arguing that if high-level U.S.-Russia negotiators cannot
manage to meet more often, supporting talks on technical
details at lower levels elsewhere (e.g., in Vienna or at
NATO) would seem to be a natural alternative.
Â¶8. (C) A second strain heard with increasing frequency is
skepticism that the remaining Istanbul Commitments issues
related to Georgia can be addressed effectively using the
A/CFE process. Few in Vienna believe that A/CFE can remove
Russian tanks from the Abkhazia region of Georgia.
Â¶9. (C) Many Allies look forward to meeting with Washington
reps during the April 28 HLTF and the May 27-28 HLTF
"stocktaking" exercise. They see these events as
opportunities to better understand the new Administration's
approach to CFE prior to the June 10 meeting in Berlin.
(Note: Although the U.S. will hold the JCG chairmanship
through May 12, it is largely a technical function and offers
little advantage. End note.)
FSC: Vienna Document Quotas
Â¶10. (SBU) Russia has repeatedly proposed revision of selected
provisions in the Vienna Document 1999 (VD99), notably those
on reporting "major" military activities and verification
through inspection and evaluation visits. Russia insists it
is not interested in "reopening" the entire document but
believes it possible to selectively revise portions of VD99
without exposing the rest of it to review. Russia suggests a
time limit on negotiations over revisions: if consensus were
not reached by a certain date, the negotiations would cease
USOSCE 00000085 003.2 OF 005
and the existing provisions would remain unchanged. The
current version of the document would remain in force until
consensus was reached on a revision, to be formally adopted
by the FSC. Russia observes that the Vienna Document was
updated several times in the 1990s and asserts that it is
overdue for another revision.
Â¶11. (SBU) Norway and Denmark have in fact already introduced
proposals to increase the number of passive evaluation
quotas, i.e., the number of evaluations a state is required
to accept (FSC.AIAM/5/09), and to increase the number of
personnel on inspection and evaluation teams (FSC.AIAM/6/09).
Russia earlier proposed several revisions of "technical
aspects" of the Vienna Document, e.g., concrete parameters
for a "specified area" and a single deadline for submission
of defense planning information. Russia also called for
entirely new CSBMs that it argues could fit within the
framework of VD99, including notifications and other
transparency measures for multinational rapid reaction forces
and naval forces. Most delegations already have a dim view
of Russia's proposed CSBM on naval forces.
Â¶12. (C) While there is recognition in the FSC of the dangers
inherent in reopening any part of the Vienna Document, there
is also some agreement that parts of it could be updated in
light of changes in the security environment since the last
revision in 1999. Germany is known to favor a selective
approach to revision, generally along the same lines as
proposed by Russia.
Â¶13. (C) France shares U.S. and British skepticism that VD99
is likely to be improved if opened to renegotiation and could
even lose still vital provisions, e.g., those pertaining to
verification, in the process. In any case, France is on
record as preferring a "more global" approach to modernizing
European security, presumably a reference to the Medvedev
proposal for a new European security treaty.
Â¶14. (C) The UK has questioned whether participating States
are prepared to bear the costs of the broader and more
frequent verification activities anticipated by some of the
proposals. The UK also shares the U.S. reluctance to invest
the political capital to revise a "second order" agreement
when the "most important CSBM of all," the CFE Treaty, is
threatened by Russia's suspension of implementation.
Â¶15. (C) COMMENT: Gaining additional inspections of Russia
and a more rational distribution of quotas would make sense,
including added transparency while Russia suspends its
implementation of CFE. Any Allied steps to revise Vienna
Document 1999, however, should be structured to prevent
inadvertent signals that Allies do not expect the CFE Treaty
ever to be restored to full health or that they would try to
recreate CFE through a revised VD99. END COMMENT.
UNSCR 1540: Next Steps
Â¶16. (SBU) The U.S. has proposed additional measures at the
FSC to more fully implement UNSCR 1540, including a Best
Practices Guide, an exchange of information by participating
States (pS) on current implementation activities, and the
development of a mutual technical assistance mechanism for
pS. The U.S. is also prepared to contribute funds to support
USOSCE 00000085 004.2 OF 005
a full-time position at the OSCE secretariat to coordinate
1540 activities. To develop specific proposals for adoption
in the FSC, an "Informal Group of Friends on
Nonproliferation," was formed on April 7 under U.S.
Small Arms/Light Weapons
Â¶17. (SBU) The 2008 OSCE Ministerial directed a review of the
OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), also
handled within the FSC. Germany is taking the lead in
preparing a work plan for the review that would culminate in
a two-day meeting late in 2009. Many pS support closer
alignment of OSCE programs on SALW and stockpiles of
conventional ammunition with the UN Program of Action on SALW
(UNPOA). Germany has proposed completing the SALW review in
time for the next biennial meeting of states to review
implementation Qthe UNPOA, scheduled for summer 2010.
Cyber Security: U.S. Ideas Welcome
Â¶18. (SBU) The FSC conducted a two-day workshop on cyber
security in March 2009 that featured several U.S. presenters,
including Michele Markoff, the Department's cyber policy
lead, and representatives of DOD and DHS. The U.S. delegation
proposed several possible next steps for the FSC: networking
and training workshops; a self-survey of existing policies
and practices; sharing best practices with other
multinational organizations; a workshop to exchange lessons
learned from exercises and identify opportunities for
confidence-building exercises; publishing information
requirements for an early warning network; and developing a
framework using the Counter-Terrorism Network to facilitate
law enforcement cooperation in tracing cyber criminals. The
U.S. proposals were well-received at the workshop and several
delegations have informally approached the U.S. since to urge
us to introduce specific proposals in the FSC.
Â¶19. (C) COMMENT: A new CSBM introduced by the U.S. and close
allies on cyber security would be in U.S. interest for three
reasons. First, it would advance the U.S. approach with the
56 participating States of the OSCE, half of whom are not in
NATO. Second, it would offer a positive alternative to
impractical Russian proposals that would treat cyber security
as an arms control issue and thus prevent Russia from
defining the debate. Third, it would allow the U.Qto
assert leadership in an area that matters to U.S. interests.
Such a CSBM could be centered, for instance, around the U.S.
recommendations at the workshop (see preceding para) or the
G-8's eleven agreed points on cyber security. END COMMENT.
Open Skies: Good Flying Weather
but Sensors Cloud Future
Â¶20. (SBU) The mood surrounding Open Skies in Vienna continues
to be positive and collaborative. The key challenge to this
agreement is to drag it into the modern age of changing
technology. In February, there was a landmark Chairman's
statement that allows procurement and testing of equipment.
Even so, March sub-meetings of the Informal Working Group on
Sensors (IWGS), chaired by the U.S. (Scott Simmons), sought
USOSCE 00000085 005.2 OF 005
without success to hammer out rules that would govern, in
accordance with Treaty provisions, the use of digital cameras
during Open Skies Observer missions. Although Russian
experts were engaged seriously, progress remains
frustratingly slow due to the complexity of the discussions,
which require in-depth knowledge of physics and mathematics.
Â¶21. (SBU) The U.S. will be chair of the second Open Skies
review conference required in 2010, and began consulting
informally with interested States Qties on the agenda,
modalities, theme, and timing. So far, there have been no
firm views other than vague recommendations that the first
review conference in 2005 went well and can serve as an rough
model for the second, so we have an opportunity to shape the
agenda and work-plan in the coming months.
Â¶22. (C) COMMENT: The Mission has three areas of focus for
the upcoming Open Skies session which convenes on April 27
under Bosnian chairmanship. First, to reach an OSCC decision
by late June on a date and location for the second review
conference in 2010. Second, to continue informal
consultations to build consensus with all interested States
Parties on broader expectations and recommendations for next
year's review conference. Third, to encourage the Russians
toward progress on digital imaging decisions. The first two
areas are easy; the third, however, is far more elusive due
to the technical challenges. END COMMENT.
Dayton Article IV: Don't Fix
What Isn't Broken
Â¶23. (SBU) The 42nd Dayton Article IV Sub-Regional
Consultative Commission (SRCC), representing the Dayton
Agreement Parties of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and
Montenegro, met March 16-19 in Croatia (Ref D). This
sub-regional CSBM, a CFE-like regime, is another success
story. The meeting was cooperative and friendly, resulting
in easy approval of several implementation documents that had
been prepared by the Permanent Working Group.
Â¶24. (C) The most contentious discussions were reserved for
the issue of "ownership" of Article IV responsibilities, with
the four Parties seeking to avoid rapid transfer to them of
technical responsibilities from the OSCE Office of the
Personal Representative for Dayton Article IV ("the PR").
Close observers believe that, given the problematic political
situations in Bosnia and Kosovo, there is little desire by
the Parties to see any decline in international support to
the Dayton Article IV regime. Last week the PR, Italian
Brigadier General Costanzo Periotto, took on board the
consensus view of the contact group that the ownership issue
should be slow and steady. Periotto said he had also
concluded that to rush the process would be a mistake.
Â¶25. (C) COMMENT: Given ongoing uncertainties about Bosnia and
Kosovo, the apparent success of the present division of
responsibilities between the Personal Representative and the
Parties, and its low cost of under USD 300,000 annually,
PeriottoQ right that it would be ill-advised to press a
transfer of additional responsibilities onto the Parties at
this time. Let's not fix what isn't broken. END COMMENT.