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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > More Publications > History of the Department of State During the Clinton Presidency (1993-2001)
History of the Department of State During the Clinton Presidency (1993-2001)   
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04. Arms Control


Since the founding of the Republic, many Americans had espoused disarmament as a goal of their nation's foreign policies, and presidential administrations during the 1920s and 1930s had promoted disarmament as a desirable end in itself without much concern for its relationship to the nation's security. Their disarmament initiatives did not then provide, for example, for verification or inspection of the resulting agreements. Because of the widespread mistrust of a Communist and nuclear-armed Soviet Union after the Second World War, however, U.S. policymakers developed a much more limited view of what was possible in the field. The increasing use of the term "arms control" instead of "disarmament" in the political lexicon suggested that more modest perspective.

U.S. arms control initiatives in the Cold War years consistently adhered to certain basic principles. First, they subordinated arms control to national security policy. In other words, arms control agreements were acceptable only if they served to enhance the nation's security. Second, accords limiting armaments had to include strict verification procedures to ensure compliance. A related principle was greater openness to reduce the fear of war from miscalculation. Still another principle was that U.S. security was indivisible from that of its friends in regional pacts like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Thus arms control accords could not compromise allied security.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, by the early 1990s the United States began to reassess its national security and arms control policies. Verification and compliance were still essential elements in arms control, but greater openness in the New Independent States provided a measure of trust and assurances for the new Clinton administration to push forward toward completion of nuclear and conventional disarmament goals that the previous Reagan and Bush presidencies had successfully begun. The shift from arms limitation to major arms reductions, policymakers believed, seemed possible. Despite some setbacks, the Clinton presidency had many achievements in its efforts to reduce the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction and to curtail or reduce excessive or destabilizing conventional weapons.

The State Department led in the formulation of nonproliferation policy and, with the National Security Council, arms control policy. It coordinated implementation of all arms control and nonproliferation agreements. Other agencies also played indispensable roles in meeting the nation's arms control and nonproliferation objectives. The State Department worked especially closely with the Departments of Defense and Energy, which also had programs in support of the administration's arms control and nonproliferation objectives. The Department's arms control programs also depended heavily on the intelligence community, both in devising policy and in assessing compliance with commitments.

Nonproliferation Activities

During the Clinton presidency, the United States, including its forces abroad, and allies faced a growing threat from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the missiles to deliver them. The collapse of the Soviet Union during the Bush administration raised the specter of three nuclear weapons states in the Newly Independent States (NIS), in addition to Russia. WMD and missile programs in Iran, Iraq, North Korea, India, Pakistan and elsewhere threatened to destabilize key regions and undermine multilateral treaties such as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Decisive action by the Clinton administration reduced these threats and reinforced norms against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

Permanent extension of the NPT in 1995 was the keystone to the Clinton administration's successful nonproliferation policy. After 25 years of operation, the NPT faced a critical test-whether to extend the Treaty's duration indefinitely. Many predicted that indefinite and unconditional extension was not possible, but as a result of intensive U.S. leadership the NPT states parties agreed in May 1995 that the Treaty would continue in force permanently. (Documents IV-1-3) This success reinforced support for global nuclear nonproliferation norms, despite the challenges posed by Iraq's and North Korea's NPT violations.

Five years later, many said the 2000 NPT Extension Conference would be unsuccessful because of nuclear testing by India and Pakistan. The naysayers were proven wrong when the May 2000 NPT Review Conference adopted by consensus a Final Document, which for the first time since 1985 established a program for future action. The NPT emerged from the 1995 and 2000 Conferences stronger than ever. Today only four states--Cuba, India, Israel, and Pakistan-remain outside the Treaty.

Initiatives With the New Independent States

The Soviet Union's collapse caused both political and material threats to global nonproliferation norms. Three new states emerged from the USSR's breakup possessing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. The collapse of the Soviet economy and its totalitarian mechanisms of control opened up the severe risk that proliferators, organized crime, or terrorist organizations could buy or steal weapons of mass destruction, missiles or the scientific expertise to make them. Russia and a few other NIS countries also were left with strong economic incentives to sell nuclear, missile, and advanced conventional weaponry to any foreign market available.

In trying to reduce these threats substantially, the administration pursued three key objectives: 1) make successful arms control irreversible; 2) give the NIS the means to prevent WMD and missile equipment, material and technology from leaking out of the NIS because of inadequate controls; and 3) ensure that NIS governments made responsible decisions regarding the supply of nuclear, missile and advanced conventional weapons.

Most importantly, the administration promoted and achieved the total denuclearization of former Soviet states Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazahkstan as well as their accession to the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states. The administration used the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) legislation and the Nonproliferation Disarmament Fund (NDF) to foster the safe and secure dismantlement of WMD and their associated infrastructure in these three countries and in Russia. In addition to tangibly reducing the danger from aspiring proliferants, this achievement made possible the entry into force of START I in late 1994.

In 1993, the United States and Russia agreed to convert 500 or more metric tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) extracted from Soviet-era nuclear weapons into low enriched uranium (LEU) for use in commercial reactors. During this process, the Clinton administration ensured that transparency measures accompanied the down-blending process. In 1994, in a cooperative effort with Kazakhstan, the United States airlifted nearly 600 kilograms of HEU from Kazakhstan for safe disposition in the United States.

On September 23, 1997, Vice President Gore and Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin signed the U.S.-Russian Plutonium Production Reactor Agreement. This accord placed a cap on U.S. and Russian stockpiles of nuclear-weapons-grade plutonium and prohibited Russian use in nuclear weapons of recently produced plutonium. In September 1998, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin initiated negotiations to safely and transparently dispose of excess weapon-grade plutonium from Russia's nuclear military programs; these talks culminated in the September 2000 Plutonium Disposition Agreement signed by Prime Minister Kasyanov and Vice President Gore. (Document IV-4) U.S. officials also initiated an international financing plan and a multilateral framework for cooperation by the G-8 2001 Genoa Summit. In September 1996, the United States, Russia, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) created the Trilateral Initiative to develop an international verification system for nuclear material released from defense programs to provide confidence that such material would not be returned to military use.

The administration also pursued other successful nonproliferation initiatives in Russia and the NIS. Science Centers in Russia and Ukraine were established to stem the "brain drain" of unemployed and underemployed Soviet-era scientists and engineers. These Science Centers funded over 840 peaceful scientific projects engaging over 30,000 scientists and engineers at more than 420 institutes. The administration also worked to help the NIS develop effective export controls after the Soviet Union's breakup. By the end of 2000, there were comprehensive export control laws in Russia, Kazahkstan, and Georgia, and improved export control capabilities throughout the NIS.

The Clinton administration also made great strides in resolving the problem of unsafe Soviet-designed reactors by pressing for their shutdown or by providing technical assistance to minimize the risk of accident at operating reactors. It succeeded in gaining Ukraine's commitment to close the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 2000, which was carried out in December of that year.

The administration's engagement with Russia on a variety of missile and chemical and biological weapons (CBW) issues focused in particular on the importance of cutting off assistance to Iran's missile and WMD programs. The United States succeeded in getting Russia to establish action plans for dealing with this problem and to enact a sweeping new legal authority to control the export of any item to a WMD or missile program.

Halting Nuclear and Missile Proliferation in North Korea

A crisis over nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula brought the United States close to war in 1994. As a result of intensive U.S. diplomacy and regional security policy, North Korea (DPRK) agreed to the October 1994 U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework, which verifiably froze North Korea's plutonium production program at Yongbyon and Taechon. Without the Agreed Framework, North Korea by the end of the Clinton era would likely have produced a significant number of nuclear weapons and have been in position to produce dozens more through a large plutonium production program. To resolve concerns over a possible violation of the Agreed Framework, the United States successfully negotiated access to a suspicious underground facility at Kumchang-ni. Following visits in May 1999 and May 2000, the United States declared in October 2000 that its concerns about the site had been met.

In August 1998, the DPRK test fired a multi-stage missile over Japan that demonstrated the theoretical potential to produce an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching targets in the United States. Combined with renewed suspicions about the DPRK'S nuclear intentions due to the Kumchang-ni facility, this test produced a massively negative reaction in the United States and Japan, resulting in a review of Korea policy led by former Secretary of Defense William Perry.

The administration in its final months began to implement in a step-by-step manner the recommendations of the October 1999 Perry Report. Perry's recommendations included the offer of incrementally normalized relations with North Korea in return for concrete actions on Pyongyang's part to remove the threat of its nuclear and missile programs.

As a result of the bilateral U.S.-North Korean dialogue since 1999, North Korea announced a missile launch moratorium in September 1999, which it reaffirmed in October 2000 during Secretary Madeleine Albright's trip to North Korea, the first ever by a U.S. Secretary of State. Her visit appeared by the end of the administration to pave the way for major progress to reduce concerns about the DPRK's indigenous missile programs and exports.

Making China a Responsible Supplier

The administration also secured important nonproliferation commitments from China. In 1994, China said it would abide by the parameters of the Missile Technology Control Regime, established seven years earlier by nations that were major suppliers of missile technology, and not export MTCR-controlled ground-to-ground missiles. (Documents IV-5, 6) China also agreed to improve its chemical export controls and not to support nuclear capable missile programs anywhere. In 1997, China agreed not to assist unsafeguarded nuclear programs and to phase out all nuclear cooperation with Iran and Pakistan. The important progress made with China in these areas allowed the administration to make the necessary certifications necessary to implement fully the 1985 U.S.-China Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation. In 1998, China said it would cease providing anti-ship cruise missiles to Iran, alleviating a direct threat to commerce and shipping in the Persian Gulf region.

Cooling the South Asia Arms Race

Likely the most disappointing setback in the nonproliferation field was the test of nuclear weapons by India and Pakistan. Following the May 1998 nuclear tests, the administration led the P-5, G-8 and UN Security Council in censuring both countries, establishing support for nonproliferation benchmarks for the region, and suspending international lending for projects not related to basic human needs. The United States also was a founding member of the multinational South Asia Task Force established to signal continued internal concern over missile and nuclear developments in the region. At the same time, it made serious and sustained bilateral efforts with both countries to reduce regional tensions and to note that the quality of relations with the United States would be affected by how India and Pakistan responded to the benchmarks.

While this effort did not succeed in having the two countries meet the international benchmarks, at minimum it helped to prevent further nuclear implosive tests. As a result of separate dialogues among senior U.S. and Indian and Pakistani officials, India and Pakistan pledged to maintain their respective moratoria on further nuclear testing and agreed to support negotiations for a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. They also indicated a willingness to work toward signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and took tangible steps to strengthen export controls.

Containing Iraq and Iran

The administration continued existing containment policy toward Iraq by working to maintain UN-mandated sanctions. In 1994, it supported the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) and the IAEA in establishing an ongoing monitoring and verification system for Iraqi WMD sites. In 1996, U.S. experts contributed directly to establishing a system to screen for WMD application dual-use items being sold to Iraq, tag some items for monitoring, and conduct spot checks on end-users. U.S. inspectors took part in UNSCOM and IAEA operations that, from 1993-1998, destroyed or accounted for a large volume of Iraq's WMD and missile programs. After the cessation of UNSCOM inspections in late 1998, the U.S. successfully negotiated with UN Security Council nations a new resolution on Iraq (UNSCR 1284), which established the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), the successor to UNSCOM. The administration also successfully stopped the export to Iraq of much sensitive dual-use equipment and materials under the Oil-for-Food program. The United States was often the sole country on the sanctions committee willing and able to extensively review export requests to ensure that items of proliferation concern did not enter Iraq or have appropriate monitoring arrangements.

The administration also broadened the near-consensus among nuclear supplier states against assisting the Iranian nuclear program, including the successful halt of nuclear cooperation between Iran and Ukraine in 1999 and the Czech Republic in 2000. Efforts in the Czech Republic yielded passage of new legislation providing strict export controls for materials destined for facets of the Iranian nuclear program. Aggressive efforts to interdict items destined to Iran's nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs were successful on a wide front. U.S. leadership was the key element in building the consensus and scrupulous monitoring, and providing detailed information-sharing, which was needed to form the foundation for these ongoing efforts.

Multilateral Initiatives

From the onset of the Clinton administration, U.S. officials worked closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency to develop the NPT Strengthened Safeguards system, an effort motivated by the discovery of Iraq's clandestine nuclear weapons development program in the early 1990s. This initiative resulted in IAEA Board approval in 1997 of a Model Additional Safeguards Protocol, which articulated and defined a more intrusive and strengthened nuclear safeguards system designed to discover and thwart covert nuclear weapons development. The United States signed the Protocol in June 1998 , the first nuclear weapons state to do so. By the end of the administration, 55 states had concluded Additional Protocols with the IAEA, and 12 had entered into force.

Finally, the administration also took the lead in designing multilateral arrangements to curb the spread of materials and technology used to make WMD, their missile delivery systems, and destabilizing conventional weapons. In July 1997, the United States and 22 other states established the 33-nation Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Technologies, a new global regime to promote transparency, responsibility, and restraint in the international transfer of arms and related dual-use goods and technologies. Multilateral nonproliferation regimes such as the MTCR, Australia Group (AG), Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and the Zangger Committee succeeded in cutting off key sources of supply to WMD and missile programs, exposing procurement networks and substantially curtailing the proliferation activities of key individuals. The United States took the lead in reducing the world's stock of MTCR-class missiles capable of WMD delivery by working with several countries, including Argentina, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, to eliminate their Category I missile programs.

Strategic Nuclear Weapons and Missile Defense

The START Process

The Clinton administration oversaw the completion of START I and START II, initiated discussions on START III reductions which would bring strategic nuclear warheads down by some 80 percent from their Cold War peaks, and ventured into new areas such as warhead transparency.

With the administration's support, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine all ratified the START I Treaty, which entered into force December 5, 1994. It called for the reduction of U.S. and former Soviet strategic arsenals by some 40 percent by the end of 2001. All nuclear warheads were removed much earlier from Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

The START II Treaty, signed with Russia in January 1993, mandated the reduction of the total number of strategic nuclear arms deployed on each side to 3,000-3,500, approximately a third of pre-START levels. By banning heavy and multiple warhead ICBMs, START II significantly reduced first-strike incentives and thereby increase stability. The U.S. Senate approved ratification on January 26, 1996.

To ease Russia's problems with dismantlement costs, on September 26, 1997, the U.S. and Russia signed a START II Protocol extending its reduction period to December 31, 2007, along with an equivalent extension for Minuteman III downloading, and legally binding letters committing to deactivate all systems four years before their 2007 elimination deadline. In May 2000, Russia ratified START II and the 1997 documents, on the condition that the U.S. ratify the 1997 ABM Succession and Demarcation Agreements (see below), as well as the START II Protocol. As of mid-January 2001 these 1997 documents have not yet been submitted to the U.S. Senate.

On March 21, 1997, in Helsinki, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agreed to follow START II ratification with START III negotiations leading to aggregate levels of 2,000-2,500 strategic nuclear warheads each by December 31, 2007. They also agreed START III would be the first treaty to address transparency of nuclear warhead stockpiles and irreversible dismantlement of actual nuclear warheads. (Documents IV-8, 9)

In June 1999, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin authorized discussions on START III and the ABM Treaty, which continued periodically thereafter. At three summits in 2000, Presidents Clinton and Putin issued a Statement on Principles of Strategic Stability, an Agreement on the Shared Early Warning Initiative, a Joint Statement on Cooperation on Strategic Stability, and a Joint Statement on the Strategic Stability Cooperation Initiative. (Document IV-7, 10) In addition, the two nations negotiated agreements to share early warning data, and to establish a pre-launch notification system and a joint warning center in Moscow.

The Clinton administration also sought to engage China in a regular dialogue on strategic arms control issues beginning in October 1996. However, China did not participate in this dialogue as much as the United States had hoped, in part due to its strong opposition to NMD, tensions over Taiwan, and the accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.

Ballistic Missile Defense

In 1993, the administration set three broad missile defense objectives in priority order: Theater Missile Defense (TMD), National Missile Defense (NMD), and a Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Advanced Technology Program (ATP). That same year, the administration indicated willingness to accept any of the ex-Soviet nuclear states that wanted to be party to the ABM Treaty, and, in light of the growing threat posed by theater ballistic missiles, to negotiate an agreed clarification of the demarcation between proscribed Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) defenses and permitted Theater Missile Defenses (TMD).

As a result, the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding on ABM Treaty succession on September 26, 1997. In addition, the United States and several other nations signed two Agreed Statements relating to ABM-TMD demarcation, a confidence-building measures agreement, and new regulations governing multilateral operation of the SCC. While Russia ratified these agreements, by the end of 2000 they awaited ratification or approval by the other signatory governments prior to entry into force.

In late 1996, the administration increased U.S. NMD development efforts to retain the option for a decision to deploy a limited NMD. In light of growing evidence of a future long-range missile threat from states of concern, in January 1999, the President's budget plan for FY 2000-2005 for the first time included DOD funding to protect the option of a limited NMD deployment by 2005. On July 23, 1999, the President signed H.R. 4, the National Missile Defense Act of 1999, noting that the United States "is committed to addressing the growing danger that rogue nations may develop and field long-range missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. and our allies." He also indicated that a deployment decision would be based on four criteria: the threat, technological feasibility, cost, and national security considerations, which included the U.S. arms control and nonproliferation objectives and the impact on its allies, Russia, and China.

Because limited NMD deployment would require changes to the ABM treaty, the United States began engaging Russia on the subject, seeking to reassure Moscow that the proposed NMD system would not undercut Russia's strategic nuclear deterrent and would not preclude further U.S.-Russian strategic nuclear arms reductions. However, Russia refused to negotiate on any ABM Treaty changes, and the U.S. declined to commence START III talks in the absence of parallel ABM negotiations. At the same time, the administration continued NMD-related discussions and consultations with Congress, U.S. allies, and other countries such as China.

On September 1, 2000, President Clinton announced that the NMD program was sufficiently promising to justify continued development and testing, but that there was not sufficient information about the technical and operational effectiveness of the entire NMD system to move forward with deployment at that time. (Document IV-13)

Multilateral Arms Control

Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)

On July 3, 1993, President Clinton returned the United States to its historic position of support for a CTBT, declaring "A test ban can strengthen our efforts worldwide to halt the spread of nuclear weapons." He extended the Congressionally-mandated 1992 moratorium on nuclear explosive testing and called on the other nuclear powers to exercise similar restraint.

Negotiations began at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament (CD) on January 25, 1994. Increased impetus for the conclusion of a CTBT by the end of 1996 resulted from the 1995 adoption, in conjunction with the indefinite and unconditional extension of the NPT, of "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament," which listed the conclusion of a CTBT as the highest priority of its program of action. A CTBT text was completed in 1996, and on September 24 at the United Nations, President Clinton was the first world leader to sign it.

The President submitted the CTBT to the Senate on September 22, 1997. In his transmittal letter, Clinton detailed the case for a CTBT and explained how the Treaty was verifiable and in the national security interest. (Document IV-11) Although the U.S. Senate had supported a test ban in 1992, that support had diminished, and on October 13, 1999, the Senate rejected the Treaty by a vote of 51 to 48. This rejection was roundly criticized by America's allies and constituted a major setback to the administration's efforts to stem nuclear proliferation. President Clinton pledged to continue efforts to gain adherence to the CTBT by other countries, and to prepare for eventual Senate reconsideration. He and Secretary Albright asked the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired General John Shalikashvili, to explore Senators' concerns, which he did, submitting a detailed report to President Clinton in January 2001.

Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT)

On September 27, 1993, President Clinton called for a global treaty to ban production of fissile material for nuclear explosives. A negotiating mandate was agreed to in 1995, but the effort languished when the Non-Aligned Group tried to link FMCT to other nuclear disarmament issues, and India and Pakistan procrastinated. Spurred by the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests, the CD agreed on August 11, 1998, to establish a committee to begin negotiations. China, citing concerns over NMD and supported by Russia and Pakistan, blocked reestablishment of the committee in 1999 and 2000 by linking it to negotiations on outer space arms control, which the United States could not accept.

Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

The Clinton administration sought a legally binding Protocol to strengthen the 1975 BWC, as mandated by a Special BWC Conference in September 1994. The 1996 BWC Review Conference agreed that the Protocol should be completed as soon as possible before the 2001 Review Conference. In January 1998, President Clinton called upon the international community to strengthen the BWC with a new international inspection system to deter and detect cheating. However, non-aligned proposals put at risk U.S. nonproliferation, national security, and commercial equities. Intense negotiations in 1999-2000 helped to clarify issues.

Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The Clinton administration's first priority was to get the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention ratified by 65 states, including the United States, in order to bring it into force. Clinton submitted it to the Senate on November 23, 1993, saying "This Treaty is one of the most ambitious in the history of arms control, banning an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. It is a central element of my Administration's nonproliferation policy." (Document IV-12)

The Senate debated verification and industry protection, and considered amendments to the ratification resolution. On September 24, 1996, the President told the UN General Assembly, "I will not let this treaty die, and we will join the ranks of nations determined to prevent the spread of chemical weapons." Following an intensive, high-level effort by the President's entire national security team, the administration secured Senate approval on April 24, 1997.

After the CWC entered into force on April 29, 1997, implementation became an administration priority. By the end of 2000, the United States had successfully begun domestic implementation of the CWC, destroyed 17.8 percent of its stockpile, and 70 more states had become parties. The administration also worked to get the international community to help Russia defray destruction costs.

Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE)

The 1992 CFE Treaty had its first Review Conference in May 1996. It revised the Treaty's flank provisions to meet Russian and Ukrainian concerns, and mandated adapting the treaty to change it from a NATO-Warsaw Pact orientation.

At the 1996 OSCE Lisbon Summit, CFE states agreed to the terms of reference for negotiations. On December 8, 1998, the NATO Foreign Ministers issued a statement on "Adaptation of the CFE Treaty: Restraint and Flexibility," to reassure Russia about NATO's future intentions on stationing combat forces in Central Europe. On November 19, 1999, an Amendment Agreement to adapt the CFE Treaty was signed at the OSCE Istanbul Summit, making CFE's structure more consistent with an enlarging NATO. CFE leaders also adopted the Final Act, which included Russian commitments to withdraw forces from Georgia and Moldova by 2002, and to bring equipment levels in the flank back down to the limits in the adapted CFE Treaty. President Clinton declared that the United States would not ratify the CFE Treaty until Russia had reduced to the new flank limits.

Balkans Arms Control

Annex 1B of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords called for three arms control agreements: on confidence- and security-building measures within Bosnia (Article II); on arms reductions among Bosnia, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Article IV); and on regional arms control (Article V).

The Article II and IV agreements were concluded by June 1996. Over 6,500 heavy weapons were destroyed. The United States, as the main author of the Dayton Accords and a "witness" to the Accords, kept watch over the implementation of these agreements. A mandate for the Article V negotiations, in which the United States and 19 others participated, was agreed in 1997, but little was accomplished, since the U.S. would not conclude an agreement with an indicted war criminal (Milosevic). His ousting in October 2000 created new conditions for these negotiations.

Policy on Anti-Personnel Landmines (APL)

On September 26, 1994, President Clinton called for the eventual elimination of APL, the first world leader to do so. In 1995-1996, the United States worked to strengthen the landmine provisions of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). The result, the CCW Amended Mines Protocol (CCW AMP), was the only instrument to cover all types of landmines and included all key states, for example, India, Pakistan, China. It was adopted on May 3, 1996, and entered into force on December 3, 1998. The United States ratified it on May 24, 1999.

On May 16, 1996, President Clinton reaffirmed U.S. support for an international ban on APL use, stockpiling, production and transfer, but retained the U.S. right to use APL on the Korean peninsula until alternatives became available or the risk of aggression had ended. On January 17, 1997, he called for negotiations on a global APL ban in the CD. He also announced a permanent U.S. ban on APL exports and transfers, and a cap on APLs at current levels. On January 20, 1998, Clinton urged the CD to negotiate a worldwide ban on APL exports, but China, Pakistan, and others, blocking unrelated CD issues, frustrated this goal.

The President did not sign another mine ban instrument, the 1997 Ottawa Convention, because of the need for an adequate transition period to phase out U.S. APL in Korea, and a need to preserve the mixed anti-tank systems the nation's armed forces relied on to impede an armor offensive in battle. However, Clinton indicated U.S. intent to adhere to the Convention by 2006 if the United States succeeded in delivering and fielding suitable alternatives to its APL and mixed anti-tank systems.  

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