China's Underground Great Wall Challenge for Arms Control

December 07, 2011

Phillip A. Karber, Adjunct Professor, Government Department, Georgetown University

On the 11th of December 2009, the People's Liberation Army officially announced that for the preceding two decades the engineers of the Second Artillery Corps, China's strategic missile command, had been building 5,000 kilometers of underground tunnels for the deployment of their nuclear weapons and missile launch vehicles. The Karber Report is the result of three years of research by the professor and his students on this topic using original Chinese language source materials that resulted in a 1.4 million word data base and over 200 hours of downloaded video. The report highlights three major challenges to American arms control policy and recommends that rather than ignore or downplay these potential challenges, the American arms control community could make a major contribution by searching for creative ways to get the Underground Great Wall and the assets deployed there under negotiated constraint.

Professor Phillip Karber has a long background and career in arms control, working with government agencies and Congress on advising and directing numerous arms control studies and treaties, including NSSM/Project 186, INF and CFE treaties, and the Quadripartite Talks on Security in Asia. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and head of the university's Asian Arms Control Project.

Sponsored by the Institute for the Security and Conflict Studies and the Nuclear Policy Talks