(Issue No. 2 , April 1991)
Arms sales presented to Congress 22 March According to the Washington Post, the Administration notifies Congress of "plans to sell $919 million in spare parts for existing weapons and engineering support to Saudi Arabia." Citing Defense officials, the report says that "no major Saudi weapons purchases are in the cards at least until late summer pending an extensive Pentagon review of the post-war military needs of the Arab Gulf states." Sales of US helicopters to several small Persian Gulf states are said to be "in the works, and sales of US tanks have been under discussion." Unnamed officials say Kuwait is going ahead with its purchase of F/A-18 airplanes planned before the war. The Post also reports that the Administration has notified Congress it plans to sell Israel another Patriot missile battery for $350 million.
According to Defense Daily, the Israeli Patriot sale includes one Patriot fire unit, with eight launch stations, 64 missiles and related equipment, spares, services and training. 30 March The 30-day Congressional notification period for the sale of 46 F-16 aircraft and associated ordnance to Egypt expires, without Congress invoking a joint veto resolution. 25 April According to Defense Daily the Pentagon today notifies Congress that Turkey is seeking to buy 150 Stinger missiles and 319 reloads for $33 million. Speeches, letters, etc. 22 March Rep. Jim Moody sends a strong letter to Secretary of State Baker opposing the Administration's proposed change to the ExIm Bank bylaws which would permit the bank to guarantee loans up to $1 billion per year for commercial military sales. The letter, signed by 93 other Representatives, reads in part: While the stated purpose of this policy change is to finance arms sales to NATO countries, the Administration's sug- gested legislation leaves open the possibility that the ExIm Bank can finance arms sales to any country, even less developed countries, if the President determines it is in the national interest. Before giving such authority, we should remind ourselves of the role we, our NATO allies, and our friends in the Third World played in arming Saddam Hussein. The policy of our government and its agencies should be to gain increased control over the proliferation of arms, not to reduce that control. 1 April In an editorial in Defense News, Rep. Richard Gephardt describes his findings during a visit to the Mideast in March: "Defense Minister Moshe Arens and [Prime Minister] Shamir accept[ed] the goal of limiting or even halting conventional arms transfers to all countries of the region." He stresses the need for cooperation in working toward this goal, noting: The region's access to weapons has been the key factor making all of the other issues so volatile. Thus far, the Administration has signaled that it intends to continue arms sales to our gulf war allies and to use up to $1 billion of Export-Import Bank credits to underwrite such transactions. Both of these positions are insensitive to Mideast political uncertainties and invite substantial Congressional criticism. I hope the President will instead join with the Congress in imposing a temporary ban on any American arms transfers to the Middle East--a pause to which other principal supplier states must be asked to adhere. The vast preponderance of weapons received by Middle East countries in the late 1980s were sold or given by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council--the United States, Britain, France and China. Once the United States has established itself as an example, American sponsorship of a Security Council resolution to suspend all shipments of military suppliers to the region would be an ideal basis to start Administration-Congress cooperation. 4 April Five influential House Democrats (Fascell, Gephardt, Hamil- ton, Obey and Gejdenson) send a letter to President Bush, urging him to declare a unilateral pause in arms sales to countries in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. The initiative is often misconstrued by other Congressmen and Senators as "unilateralism," doomed to failure, but they clearly state: "We believe a temporary pause is necessary in order to facilitate multilateral negotiations on agreements to restrain the flow of sophisticated conventional weapons systems and other weapons technologies into this region." 6 April Rep. Anthony Beilenson writes in a letter to the editors of the Los Angeles Times that instead of a one-year moratorium on arms sales to the Middle East, as a previously-published op-ed had suggested, "the United States should lead the way to ending all arms sales worldwide." "It is," he writes, "dangerously shortsighted not to apply the lessons of the Gulf War beyond that one region." He continues: [I]n addition to the $20 billion worth of proposed sales to Middle Eastern customers, the US has weapons deals pending to dozens of other countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia--for a total this year of more than $13 billion in arms sales outside the Middle East. In recent years, we have sold tens of millions of dollars worth of weapons to such impoverished nations as Somalia, Senegal and Niger. We need to encourage leaders in developing countries to spend their money more productively than on buying weapons. Since 1960, the developing world has increased its military expenditures more than twice as fast as its living standards. Many of the most impoverished countries in the world spend more on armaments than they do on education and health care for their own people. Even the Soviet Union is realizing that arming the world damages everyone's long-term interests. Over the past few decades the Soviets have engaged in far greater levels of arms transfers to Third World nations than has the US or anyone else. Yet now, as [the author] correctly points out, the Soviets are circulating proposals to achieve supplier- instituted controls on the sales of offensive weapons. Real progress toward halting arms sales however, will also require the support of Germany, China, France, Great Britain, both Koreas, Israel, Brazil and others. We must convince these nations that there are better ways to provide gestures of friendship and assistance than to supply sophisticated tools of destruction. We should ban international arms sales and end the escalation of regional arms races. 10 April Rep. Romano Mazzoli makes a speech on the floor of the House, entitled "Arms Sales to Promote Peace is an Oxymoron," in which he offers support for his colleagues' call for a moratorium on arms sales [see 4 April], and proposes going even further, saying "what is really needed ... is an absolute total ban on sales of arms of all types." 17 April Sen. Joe Biden delivers a speech to the Senate on "China: Rogue Elephant on Weapons Proliferation." In his speech he outlines the recent allegations of Chinese involvement in a Third World nuclear program, as well as recurring claims of Chinese missile sales to the Middle East [see Clarke testimony on 23 April]. Included in the record are several of these press reports. 19 April Rep. Larry Smith sends a letter to Secretary Baker, protest- ing the resumption of shipments of military equipment to the Syrian- backed government in Lebanon. In January the State Department had directed the completion of a $3.9 million order of non-lethal items which had previously been paid for and then suspended. Notes from some relevant hearings 8 April The International Economic Policy and Trade Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing on US export policy of dual-use commodities to Iraq between 1980 and 1990. Under Secretary of Commerce Dennis Kloske and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense William Rudman appear as witnesses. Rudman explains the limitations of past policy: "Following a 1985 Administration directive, the Department of Defense reviewed a portion of dual-use export license requests to a small number of non-Communist countries including Iraq. Under the directive, Defense review conducted by the Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA) was limited to an assessment of the risk of diversion to the Soviet Union or other COCOM-proscribed destinations. In other words, under the directive the national security impact of potential military end-use within these countries was not a permitted basis of denial of a license." Kloske's prepared testimony reiterates Rudman's main point, saying "export license applications for sales to Iraq received the close attention of a number of agencies. Yet, the basis for denying those applications was narrowly drawn by law and regulation. Unless a proposed transaction met one of the standards for its rejection, there was no basis for not approving it. Under such circumstances, the Commerce Department approved license applications destined for Iraqi government, military, and research activities. This was consistent with our treatment of Iraq as a free world country subject to certain, well-defined export controls." But by early 1990, he says, the existing regulations were recognized as inadequate with regard to countries of proliferation concern, thus the Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative (EPCI) was developed. The EPCI denotes greatly strengthened export control authority concerning items of potential use in chemical, biological and missile programs. 9 April The House Foreign Affairs Europe and the Middle East Subcommittee holds a hearing on aid to Israel, Lebanon, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Thomas Dine, Executive Director of the American Israel PAC testifies on economic and military assistance to Israel; Walid Maalouf (National Alliance of Lebanese-Americans), Tanya Rahall (American Task Force for Lebanon) and Monsignor Robert Stern (Catholic Near East Welfare Association) provide testimony concern- ing aid to Lebanon; Andrew Namatos (Namatos & Namatos) and Dean Lomis (Chairman, American Hellenic Institute PAC) testify on Greece; and Major General Elmer Pendleton (USA, ret.) of International Advisers Inc. testifies on behalf of Turkey. Concerning arms sales to the region, Dine says: While the military defeat of Iraq has removed a tremendous threat from the region and should reduce the need for new arms sales to the Middle East, the opposite is occurring in the wake of the Gulf conflict. The Arab world appears on the verge of another arms-buying spree, funded largely by new oil revenues. Later in his prepared testimony, after describing possible weapon procurement plans by the Arab states, he says: Mr. Chairman, the Arabs purchase these arms from dozens of different nations around the globe. Our country [the US] has been a major supplier, selling billions of dollars of military goods and services to avowed enemies of Israel. American sales of new weapon systems to hostile Arab nations have had a particularly profound impact on the military balance between Israel and those states because American technology is often superior to that of competing weapons. These sales have significantly raised the cost to Israel of maintaining its own defenses, exacerbating the strain on Israel's economy, and barring any changes in American policy, will continue to do so in the future. Now is the time, together with the other major conventional arms suppliers--Great Britain, France, the USSR, and China-- to limit further arms exports to the region. Still, Dine calls for the full $3 billion in economic and military assistance to Israel, saying that "any reduction in aid will send the wrong signal to Israel's enemies." In the Q&A Rep. Meyers asks Dine whether AIPAC would support a cutoff of military aid to Israel as part of a cutoff of military aid to the region? Dine responds: "If the US declared an arms moratorium--say for six months--then I would include Israel in that moratorium. If I were a member of Congress, I'd go ahead and appropriate the [military] aid--and see what happened." Dine express- es support for the letter by Hamilton et al. to the President urging a moratorium on sales. Meyers says she very much supports a cutoff of military aid, too, but, she asks Dine, isn't it better for the US to continue supplying arms rather than someone else, as is likely to be the case if the US unilaterally stops? Hamilton interrupts briefly to clarify the letter's content: The letter proposes a short-term, "60-90 day" unilateral pause during which time we would try to negotiate a multilateral moratorium, he says. In the second panel, Andrew Namatos lists the several billions of dollars worth of weapons and aid recently transferred or pledged to Turkey as a result of its participation in the Gulf war, saying that the 7:10 military assistance ratio has obviously been violated and is likely to upset the delicate balance between Greece and Turkey. Lomis, in his prepared statement, supports $350 million in FMF for Greece requested by the Administration and argues--"in recog- nition that a military balance must be maintained between these two US allies"--for a 1:1 aid ratio between Greece and Turkey. Opposing the Administration's proposed $700 million economic and military aid to Turkey, Lomis says: "with the end of the Cold War, we can and must discard our double standards. We don't need any more Noriegas or Marcoses and we must not wink at human rights violations in countries like Turkey." He says that the US needs a new arms transfer and finance policy--one which seeks to maintain regional military balances at the lowest possible qualitative and quantitative levels: Our new policy should be based on the principle of minimum deterrence or defensive sufficiency. We should seek agree- ments with the world's arms exporters that permit countries to acquire only the armaments and military systems neces- sary for their defense. We armed the Shah and created an army for Khomeini; we armed Hussein to fight Khomeini and then we had a new monster to deal with. Do we want to create a new Frankenstein in Turkey: Israel rightly calls for arms control agreements for the Middle East, and Turkey should be included. He notes that Turkish troops have occupied more than a third of Cyprus for over 16 years. He cites President Bush in his address to Congress in March saying: "The Gulf War put this new world to its first test." Cyprus, Lomis says, is the second test. Pendleton, the Senior US defense representative in Turkey from 1982-86, says, regarding Cyprus: "Some have tried to make the Turkish position on Cyprus parallel the Iraqi position on Kuwait. Of course, this is nonsense. The Turks, as one of the guarantor countries on Cyprus had/have certain legal responsibilities and although it would be ideal to resolve all of the Cypriot issues, it should be a matter of pride that Cyprus, unlike Lebanon or Northern Ireland, has not suffered the same loss of life and destructiveness of personal property as the others have done." Concerning the Turkish armed forces he says: "Turkey has shown over the last decade that it is willing to make tremendous sacrifices to modernize their armed forces, but the task is great. If Turkey is to carry out implied responsibilities, it needs the help of her allies around the world." The Turks, he says, have modernized "a good part of their tanks" and are working on artillery, infantry fighting vehicles and helicopters. "The co-production of F-16 aircraft and integration into the Turkish Air Force have gone extremely well. The receipt of F-4E aircraft under the Southern Region Amendment program has been very helpful." He "recommend[s] that the 7:10 ratio be eliminated once and for all. I believe we should approach the aid problem on the basis of military necessity." Rep. Owens expresses "concern about the breech of the 7:10 ratio by the immense amount of armaments in a de facto way being delivered to Turkey." The situation, he says, "bears careful analysis," as the 7:10 ratio "has served us well as policy." Lomis states that if Turkey is moving at all toward resolution of the Cyprus problem, it is because of US press and Congressional pressure. The only difference between Kuwait and Cyprus, he quips, is "petro oil vs. olive oil." Pendleton says in response that he does not believe that the 7:10 ratio is responsible for progress on Cyprus. However, Lomis notes, since the 7:10 ratio was put into place, Turkish forces have not launched an offensive in Cyprus. Prior to the imposition of the ratio they attacked twice. In close, Pendleton takes exception to the statement in Lomis' testimony that supplying lots of arms to Turkey is creating a "new Frankenstein." "Turkey," he says, "is our friend." 10 April The House Foreign Affair Committee's Subcommittee on International Trade and Economic Policy holds a hearing to examine the ExIm Bank's programs for FY92, with ExIm Bank President and Chairman John Macomber testifying. In his introductory remarks, Chairman Sam Gejdenson says: I welcome the Administration's proposal to provide financing for sales of defense articles. Exporters of non-defense and defense goods are equally entitled to access to commercial financing. Without such financing, US defense exporters will continue to lose sales to their international competitors or move manufacturing offshore in order to win sales. Further, as our defense budget shrinks, it is vital for the US to maintain a strong industrial base and a skilled manufacturing work force. In describing the Administration-proposed arms export financing program, Macomber stresses that it is merely a pilot program, to be reviewed in one year's time. The program would provide the Bank the authority to guarantee or insure up to $1 billion in commercial loans to NATO member countries, Japan, Australia, and Israel for weapons purchases. The most controversial feature of the proposed policy is the inclusion of a Presidential National Security waiver which would make any developing country eligible for ExIm financing. Currently, Macomber notes, "the bank is legislatively prohibited under Sec. 2(b)(6) of our charter from financing defense articles and services to LDCs, except for a limited waiver added in 1988 for cases involving exports to be used for anti-narcotics purposes." Any recipients of ExIm financing, he stresses, would have to meet the Bank's standards of credit-worthiness. In the Q&A, Rep. Bereuter says that he has "strong reservations" about ExIm Bank credits for commercial military sales. He asks Macomber to outline the current Presidential authority in this area. Macomber responds that the President now has the authority to use the resources of the Bank to guarantee loans for countries "other than developing countries" to which arms sales are not banned. The sale of military helicopters to Turkey last year with ExIm financing could not have been made without other legislation passed by Congress (the Dodd Amendment to the FY90 Foreign Operations Appropriation removed prohibitions on a one-time-only-basis against financing for arms sales and services to Greece and Turkey). Bereuter requests in writing the current rules governing what the President can and cannot do under the existing legislation. In response to a question from Gejdenson, Macomber says that additional authority has been sought to finance arms sales, so the new program would not detract from the Bank's ability to finance non-military sales. 11 April The Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East of the Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing on Soviet Policy in the Middle East. Sovietologists Mark Katz of George Mason University and Galia Golan of the Hebrew University and Peace Now (Israel) provide expert testimony. In his testimony entitled "Does Moscow Still Matter in the Middle East?," Katz says in answer, that, no, in the short run Moscow doesn't matter so much in the region. "Moscow," he says, "is no longer willing to pursue a Middle East policy which Washington considers objectionable." Even the conservatives and military--who might prefer to keep Iraq as an arms customer--realize that Iraqi arms purchases would not make up for the lost aid, trade and investment which displeasing Washington would incur. He concludes his testimony saying, "The Middle East will undoubtedly present many serious challenges to American foreign policy in the short-run as well as the long-run. Competition with the Soviets for influence in the region, however, is not likely to be one of them." In her statement, Golan says that Soviet post-Gulf War policy will depend on the strength of conservative elements in the country (chiefly the military). The balance between progressive "new thinkers" and conservatives will determine whether there is a return to "competition" with the West in the region or continued cooperation and even collaboration. The four goals of Soviet foreign policy in the region as she sees them are: good relations with conservative Arab states for economic reasons (just received $4 billion in credits); improving relations with Israel (mostly to better US-Soviet relations); achievement of an Arab-Israeli settlement; and the establishment of regional security agreements. She notes that "everybody (the US, USSR, Arabs) seems to want non-conventional arms limitations--while Israel has agreed to conventional arms transfer limitations." This, she says is because Israel has its own arms industry, and for obvious reasons cannot agree to unconventional arms limitations. Thus, she concludes, the US and Israel seem to be working at cross-purposes. In the Q&A Golan says that in February the Soviets concluded an arms deal with Syria. Rep. Hyde describes this as a $2.2 billion sale including 48 MiG-29s, 300 T-72 tanks, SAM-11s, SAM-13s, SAM-16s, early warning and command and control equipment. [By US price-standards, this would seem like a lot of equipment for $2.2 billion.] In light of this sale, Hyde wonders whether a unilateral arms pause such as called for in his colleagues' letter to the President is a good idea. Chairman Hamilton notes that the US continues to sell arms to the region; the Administration recently presented over a half a billion in sales to the Congress. Indeed, Rep. Berman says the letter was occasioned by the shift in Administration policy from mid- February to post-War, as presented successively by Secretary Baker, President Bush, and Secretary Cheney before this Committee. In the latest expression of Administration thinking on the subject, Cheney said that arms control in the Mideast is adverse to our national- security interests, he notes. The reason for the letter Berman says, "is that conventional arms control is not on the [Administration's] agenda." Berman wonders why, if maintaining good US-Soviet relations is important to the Soviets, as both experts have testified, the US can't make arms sales control vital to the continuation of those good relations. Golan says there is a vigorous debate in Moscow right now about arms sales controls. The bottom line she says is that "they will go on selling as long as the US goes on selling." In fact, she says the proponents of continued sales (the military) use American arms sales as justification for their continued arms sales. If the United States can prove to the conservative elements in the USSR that multilateral control of the sale of weapons to the region is viable and possibly even beneficial economically to the Soviets, and if they really thought we were serious about it, she thinks the hard liners could be brought on board. Katz agrees, but says this will only be achieved if the Ad- ministration makes it unambiguously clear that arms transfer control is very important to it. Moreover, he thinks the Soviets will only stop selling weapons in the context of a multilateral agreement. It is vital, he says to have the Soviet military on board; without them it will be difficult to assure that they will in fact stop selling. In many ways, he notes, "the US military and the Soviet military are tacit allies right now--both depend on arms sales" to further their goals and keep procurement costs down. He also points out that the US wanted the Saudi-financed Soviet sale to Syria as much, perhaps, as the Soviets did. Berman agrees, saying "It obviously didn't bother us [the Administration] too much." In closing Berman notes that "it seems to me that we have a heck of a lot of leverage on these suppliers if there is a high enough priority" assigned to controlling arms sales. 11 April The Subcommittee on International Development, Finance, Trade and Monetary Policy of the House Committee on Banking conducts a hearing on the Administration's proposed ExIm Bank reforms. ExIm Bank President John Macomber testifies in support of the proposal to allow ExIm financing of up to $1 billion a year for commercial military sales. The four non-Administration witnesses-- Rep. Jim Moody, John Gentling (on behalf of the National Foreign Trade Council), James Cox (on behalf of the Coalition for Employment through Exports and the National Association of Manufacturing) and Allan Mendelowitz (Director, International Trade, Energy, and Finance Issues, GAO) all oppose the ExIm Bank's administration of such a program. Macomber explains that "the principal reason for putting [the financing program] into the ExIm Bank is to assure that these are indeed commercial transactions." 17 April House Appropriations Committee, Foreign Operations Subcommittee hears testimony from representatives of 55 different organizations on the FY92 foreign aid bill. Holly Burkhalter, of Human Rights Watch, gives a "state of the world" report in testimony on "Human Rights and US Foreign Assistance." She makes many recommendations, one being that Congress delete the Administration's proposed International Military and Education Training (IMET) funds for Sudan, Somalia and Liberia. She wonders which force in those warring countries would receive the US military education training. Citing continuing serious human rights concerns, she also recommends zeroing out the Administra- tion's proposed $3 million FMF and $300,000 IMET request for Zaire. After outlining appalling abuses in Sri Lanka--many attributable to or exacerbated by the government--Burkhalter asks the subcommittee to limit aid to Sri Lanka to humanitarian assistance only. Regarding Guatemala, she notes that 21 human rights activists have died or disappeared since 1988. She applauds the Administration's decision to suspend military aid in 1990, and "strongly urge[s] the subcom- mittee to not only zero out military aid for Guatemala (including some $12 million in military aid which is in the pipeline from previous years), but also end ESF [Economic Support Fund] until there has been a sea change in Guatemalan human rights." A report by Human Rights Watch which summarizes the organiza- tion's concerns regarding certain FMF recipients and analyzes the Administration's annual report on human rights in FMF-recipient countries is attached to her testimony. 18 April The Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a hearing to review the Ad- ministration's FY92 foreign assistance request for Latin America. Assistant Secretary of State Bernard Aronson, AID Assistant Administrator James Michel and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Inter-American Affairs Nancy Dorn provide testimony. In her testimony, Dorn says that the $280 million the Administra- tion is requesting in IMET and FMF for the region for FY92 will "strengthen US national security by supporting Latin American efforts to consolidate democracy, stimulate economic growth, develop free markets, combat illegal narcotics production and trafficking, resolve conflicts, and improve national and regional security." Dorn calls Latin America "the least militarized region in the world," citing the low percentage of GNP spent on military activities and notes the decline in the number of men under arms in several South American countries. "Arms imports to the region," she says, "went from an annual average of $2 billion in the late 1970's to less than $1 billion in the late 1980's." Concerning the Latin American drug wars she says: "the Andean Strategy is the cornerstone of the President's [national drug control] program. ...The plan emphasizes developing host nation capabilities through training, materiel, intelligence, and technological support. ...Let me assure the Committee that we do not contemplate a large US military presence in the Andes, nor do we seek to create large, new paramilitary forces in the region. Our goal is to assist the democratic governments of the Andes so that they can defeat the narcotrafficking organizations themselves." She notes that 51% of the Administration's foreign assistance request for the region will support this plan. She later notes: "Although the focus of the US effort is counte- rnarcotics, not counterinsurgency, Colombian and Peruvian insurgents are involved in narcotics and, along with the traffickers, have created a militarized situation." Dorn concedes that the likelihood of foreign [Soviet] intervention is greatly reduced, but says that indigenous insurgencies continue. In this regard, she says, "we will maintain our support for civilian, democratically-elected governments confronting insurgencies." 18 April The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight hosts a hearing on the execution of US export control programs. Six panels of witnesses testify. The first is the Administration panel, with Henry Sokolski (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Non- Proliferation) and Peter Sullivan (Deputy Director, Defense Technology Security Administration). In the second panel, Stephen Bryen, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Security Policy from 1981-88, testifies. In the final panels, special agents of the US Customs Service and others testify on three well-publicized attempted export violation cases. Sokolski and Sullivan testify that the US export control system is working. In his prepared statement, Sokolski says: "I believe we do have the tools to make our export control laws and agreements effective. In fact, with the increased concern about proliferation, additional laws and regulations have recently come into force both here and abroad; and control priorities have begun to shift toward the security problems posed by exports to destinations outside the Soviet bloc." "As you know, a number of militarily useful technologies and pieces of equipment made their way into Iraqi hands. Some have used this fact to argue that export controls do not work or that our export controls were a failure. What these people have not focused on sufficiently, however, are the clear instances where our export control efforts did pay off..." Here he is referring to the case of the Argen- tine-Egyptian-Iraqi Condor II missile under development since the mid- 1980s. To prevent the production and deployment of the Condor II, "the Administration cracked down on US exports that might have supported the Condor, urged other supplier nations to do likewise, and discussed our concerns with the customer governments of Argentina and Egypt." Specifically, he says, guidance and staging technologies were blocked to these countries. In closing his prepared testimony, he says: "As for controls on the export of conventional arms and related military and dual-use manufacturing technology, the Administration is now reviewing what additional steps might be taken." Bryen testifies that the export licensing system is non-functional: specifically he says it is poorly administered, our European allies export unfettered, and a multinational control entity similar to COCOM is needed to coordinate all of the various export control regimes. As proof of the failure, he says that prior to 1985 the Pentagon saw no dual-use export license requests for Third World countries. During that time he says a great deal of "military type equipment" was approved for export without DoD knowledge. Sokolski's responds that the Pentagon now receives more requests to review dual-use licenses than previously. 23 April Senate Foreign Relations' Europe Subcommittee holds a hearing on the prospects for the formation of an arms suppliers' cartel, the subject of legislation on which Subcommittee chair Sen. Joe Biden is "now working and will soon introduce." Two panels testify, one pro- and one opposed to the draft legislation, which Biden says would "call upon the Administration first, to develop a plan for halting the flow of unconventional weapons and controlling the transfer of advanced conventional arms to the Middle East; and second, to make a good faith effort to convene a conference of the key supplier nations for the purpose of establishing an effective operational system of limits and controls." Biden cites several reasons to think that a suppliers' arrangement could work: the Gulf War has opened new windows of opportunity, placing the US in an ad- vantageous political, military and moral position; key supplier states in Europe have shown some willingness [and even some initiative] to control sales; "supply-side arms control is a success" (here he cites the NPT and COCOM); and the current balance of power in the Middle East favors our allies, so "now would be a good time to stop where we are." "By building a coalition now for arms sales restraint," he says, "the President can avoid having to build another war-making coalition." Richard Perle and Richard Burt testify against Biden's legislation. In his statement, Perle says "Programs that ban weapons sales may actually lead to greater insecurity." If "successful" such a regime would leave our allies more vulnerable, because our adversaries will surely cheat and we won't. We should avoid arms control agreements that treat all countries alike; rather, we should draw up a list of states who's leaders are unreliable, and restrict sales only to those coun- tries. Perle admonishes the Congress for lifting some COCOM restrictions and calls for them to "take action to restore the COCOM system." He, not surprisingly, expresses pessimism on the likely success of arms control in the Middle East, and discounts the desirability of it. "Weapons don't cause wars," he notes, "but may enable them." Burt, who is now in the process of leaving government service, does not favor multilateral restrictions on arms sales either. Conven- tional arms transfers are tied very closely to regional security arrange- ments, and thus they require a case-by-case analysis, rather than an across-the-board rigid policy. He is skeptical of both region-wide control arrangements and freezes on the transfer of certain types of weapons. After citing the need for more weapons sales to some states in the Gulf, he says he does not, however, favor returning to the pre-war status quo. Thus he likes the provision in Biden's draft legislation for greater transparency and consultancy among arms suppliers. He thinks it is feasible and desirable to institute a regular exchange of information on arms transfer plans. In the realm of unconventional weapons, he thinks that the US "can afford" to be bolder than on conventional arms. In fact, he favors a proposal for a missile-free zone in the Middle East. During the Q&A, Biden, who is the only Senator present, asks Perle how he can support the COCOM model for restricting exports to certain destinations, while claiming that a suppliers cartel on arms sales can't be effective? Especially, he asks, when you're talking about large, completed products vs. smaller and less immediately dangerous components. Perle, not exactly answering the question, says that a distinction between "friendly" and "unfriendly" countries must made. Also, he says, it's one thing to suffer leakage when you're talking about components and subsystems, but very different thing when you're talking about weapons themselves--the strategic balance would be dramatically upset if leakage occurs. To this, Biden says, if we don't do something to address the problem of arms proliferation, these countries are sure to get more destabilizing weapons. "So why not manage it" and attempt to control the proliferation? The US will continue to be the guarantor of our friends' security in the region, so he doesn't think that there is much to lose even if the plan failed. Perle again says that he thinks sales should be proscribed only to "actors who demonstrate unreliability" such as Assad, Kaddafi, and Hussein. The problem with that, Biden says, is that all of the other suppliers would not agree to embargo just those three states. In the second panel, former Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament James Leonard, Andrew Pierre of the Carnegie Endow- ment for International Peace and Mitchell Wallerstein of The National Academy of Sciences testify more favorably on the Biden initiative. Leonard says that arms control in the Mideast is possible and very desirable, but difficult; must be multilateral; must proceed step by step (ballistic missile disarmament is first limited measure which could be undertaken now, he says); must be comprehensive (cover both conventional and non-conventional weaponry and take account of weapons produced locally as well as those imported). On the last point, he notes that Israel developed its nuclear capability to offset the build-up of Arab conventional arms. Most importantly, he says, nothing will happen until the US makes it unequivocally clear that it wants arms control in the region--the US leadership will create receptivity if it is serious. He thinks the US should put all major arms transfers "on ice" while the Administration looks at long term possibilities for policy changes. Whereas Burt and Perle separated arms control and security, Leonard thinks the two are mutually supportive. Wallerstein testifies on the uses and limitations of dual-use com- modity export controls for limiting proliferation, detailing the findings of the recent National Academy of Sciences study (Finding Common Ground), mandated by the 1988 Omnibus Trade & Competitiveness Act, which he directed. Multilateralism is the key to success, he says; "the panel found that unilaterally imposed foreign policy export controls have had the largest negative economic impact." Pierre supports the Biden initiative, seeing reason to be optimistic that an international arms transfer control regime might now succeed. He notes the Soviet Union's very positive overtures in this area in the past months, perhaps dictated by the realization that no-one wants to buy their weapons if they can get Western, especially US-made weapons. France, he says, may be the "toughest nut to crack," as their military-industrial-complex is the most entrenched. As much as 50% of French armaments industries' output is exported. But even there, in light of the Gulf War experiences (French soldiers faced Iraqi French-made weapons and France will likely lose the $5 billion Iraq owes it for those weapons), "considerable soul-searching is going on." This might result in Parliamentary oversight of arms sales, he suggests. Britain, he says has already gone a long way toward converting its arms industry to consumer goods. He notes the leverage available over the other major suppliers: China, Germany, Brazil. Moreover, he doesn't see any urgent requirement for arms sales to the region--none of the countries there depleted their arsenals except Iraq and Kuwait, and the US has credibly demonstrated its ability to safeguard the security of its allies there. Thus, he concludes, "now is a good time to work toward a one-year moratorium" on arms sales to the region. 23 April Sen. Bingaman, Chair of the Subcommittee on Technology and National Security of the Joint Economic Committee convenes a hearing on US policies on arms trade and non-proliferation. Two panels provide testimony. On the first are the Administration witnesses: Assistant Secretary of State Richard Clarke, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce James LeMunyon, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Henry Sokolski. The second panel contains critics of Administration policy: Stephen Bryen (now a consultant, formerly Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Trade Security Policy), Paul Freedenberg (now a consultant, formerly Undersecretary of Commerce for Export Administration), and Gary Milhollin (Director, Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control). In his opening remarks, Sen. Bingaman sums up the problem, citing a just-released CRS study which he had commissioned: "Strategic and economic interests have at times prevailed over non- proliferation considerations, as in the cases of Pakistan and Iraq. Trade policies designed to enhance the competitiveness of US business in the global market place can be expected to conflict with robust export control policies." He says that the report finds that export controls alone are not enough: "We must also be prepared to employ incentives and sanctions, as well as arms control and diplomatic initiatives to reduce the underlying motivating factors in regional arms races." In the meanwhile, he sees plenty of room for improvement in the existing export control policies. "Too many sensitive weapons technologies have slipped through our own net and those of others, and in this business almost is not good enough. Too many countries with whom we have friendly relations have been actively transferring sensitive weapons technologies to others." In closing, he says, "Our experience with Iraq should teach us how costly it can become when sensitive weapons technologies spread." In his summary statement, Clarke says that within the govern- ment there exists a vastly improved capability to deal with prolifera- tion issues. Citing the EPCI, which has been in development for over a year, and the interagency Policy Coordinating Committees that have recently been established, he says that the US "has gotten its house in order." Of US dual-use export control policies, Clarke says "We have a system in the US of which we can be proud." He testifies that the Administration is concerned about the threat posed by "overly large" build-ups of offensive conventional arms, as well as unconven- tional arms proliferation. But we can be proud, he says, that we faced no US-made weapons in the Gulf War--"The United States has not been the problem." In the Q&A, Bingaman asks about the $1.5 billion in US exports and 771 export licenses granted for goods to Iraq from 1985 to 1990. Didn't these items contribute to Iraq's military capability? Clarke says those were commercial items that may have had a military impact. But much more importantly, we did not send a single weapon to Iraq, nor did we allow any of the other purchasers of our arms to re-export US-made weapons to Iraq. He reiterates, "The United States and coalition forces did not face a single US-made weapon." Dual-use items which may have been exported to Iraq from the US were not, Clarke says, the cause of Iraq's offensive military capability. "If the US were the only source of supply to Iraq," he says, they would not have been able to invade Kuwait. In his written testimony, Clarke says that the strengthening of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), imposition of stricter export controls and sanctions, and the reorientation of SDI toward Third World missiles, have turned the tide on missile proliferation. According to a chart presented with his testimony, the MTCR has expanded its membership from the original 7 members to 16, with Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and the Soviet Union also adhering to its guidelines. During the recent MTCR meeting in Tokyo, he says "the partners made significant progress toward adopting a revised, updated Annex of controlled technologies." This work is expected to be completed at a technical group meeting in May and put into effect by December. Concerning chemical anti-proliferation, Clarke says: "in the Con- ference on Disarmament, we are intensifying work on a comprehen- sive global ban on CW, which is the best long-term solution to CW proliferation." The Administration is "also developing a series of proposals to ensure that the Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference in September will result in measures to strengthen the convention." As to COCOM, he says: "you can expect us to be very cautious about diluting the effectiveness of COCOM by proposing the addition of proliferation issues to its responsibilities. ..."encouraging countries --in many cases friendly, non-aligned countries--not to develop weapons of mass destruction is a somewhat different task than controlling the sale of strategic goods and technology to countries posing a potential military threat to members of COCOM." Bingaman asks about Chinese adherence to the MTCR, in light of persistent reports of Chinese missile sales. Clarke reports that privately "They have said they will `take into account relevant international parameters' on missiles and not sell intermediate range missiles to the Middle East." Publicly, they have taken the position that they were not original parties to the drafting of the MTCR guidelines, therefore, have no obligation to abide by them. The several reports over the past years of Chinese missile sales to the region have not been borne out, he says; the Administration has not yet seen proof of a sale to the Mideast of MTCR-range missiles by the Chinese. Clarke refers only to complete missile systems and not to components or technical assistance to missile programs. "We have concerns about Chinese performance on export controls across the board," he notes. Clarke is asked to clarify the Soviet position vis a vis the MTCR. The Soviets have asked to formally join the MTCR, he says, but because of the sharing of sensitive intelligence among the MTCR members, having the Soviets formally join might not be desirable to the US and other members. There is an "ongoing dialogue with the Soviets which we hope will result in their joining" the regime. LeMunyon "respectfully disagrees" with an earlier assertion by Bingaman that US export programs are in "disarray." He says the United States is taking the lead internationally in export controls in five areas: East-West strategic trade; CBW proliferation; missile proliferation; nuclear proliferation; and supercomputer exports. Concerning nuclear export controls, he says: "In February 1991, 26 countries agreed to establish a working group to develop a control list for dual-use nuclear-related items. A technical working group is scheduled to meet in May 1991. The United States will use as a basis for this negotiation the list of 60 commercial product categories of items with nuclear applications that Commerce has controlled unilaterally since the late 1970s." He also notes in his testimony that the President has set 1 June as the deadline for establishing a control regime among all suppliers of supercomputers [US, Japan, Britain, Germany, Italy, and France?] since they are of concern for both proliferation and strategic reasons. Freedenberg and Bryen strongly disagree with the Administration witnesses' assessment of the effectiveness of the current policies. They both outline the need for a centralized, over-arching anti- proliferation organization to coordinate and administer the various anti-proliferation regimes. Freedenberg addresses in some detail the difficulty of turning COCOM's orientation from East-West security concerns to this task. There is, he says, an objection by the French and other European governments to turning COCOM into an anti- proliferation organization. "The fundamental obstacle is that North- South technology transfer is based more on the foreign policy goals of particular countries than on national security of the COCOM countries as a whole. For example, the United States differs from Japan on its policy towards Israel. In the recent past, it has differed with France over Iraq, Germany over Iran, and Italy over Libya. Similar differences exist among those countries with one another. If the members of COCOM cannot agree among themselves who the `bad guys' are, how are they ever going to get together to enforce an equally stringent technology transfer policy regarding these `target' countries." Further, he notes the importance of Soviet and Chinese participation in combatting the proliferation of missiles and non- conventional weapons in the Third World. "These countries [USSR and China], however, are far less likely to cooperate if the regimes reside within the structure of COCOM--an organization created to thwart their objectives. Similar problems would exist for Switzerland, Sweden, and other neutral and non-aligned countries...." He suggests that the most effective course of action would be the establishment of "a new, consolidated anti-proliferation organization, with a strong central secretariat domiciled in Paris." Legislation introduced in the 102nd Congress A bill to amend the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 to permit the Export-Import Bank to assist in the export of certain US defense articles and services/a bill to amend the Export Administration Act of 1985 to establish a program to provide loan guarantees for the sale of defense goods and services S.306/H.R.729 Sponsors: Dodd, Bond and Lieberman/Gejdenson These bills would amend relevant legislation to permit the ExIm Bank to finance commercial arms sales to NATO-member countries, Australia, Japan and Israel, but fall short of Administration-supplied language, which contains a Presidential national security waiver that would allow sales to any nation--even developing nations--if the President determined the sale was warranted. No-one has yet introduced legislation containing that provision. Status: S.306 was introduced on 30 January and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, where no action has yet been taken. H.R.729, also introduced on 30 January, has been referred to the Banking and Foreign Affairs Committees, which have both held hearings on the legislation. Mideast Post-War Stability & Arms Restraint Act of 1991H.R.1343 Sponsors: Levine, Berman, Kostmayer, Gilman This bill requires the President within 90 days of the enactment of this legislation to seek to establish an international commission, modeled on COCOM and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, to limit and restrict arms sales to the Middle East. The commission would be made up of the Permanent Five UN Security Council members and other major supplier nations, as determined by the Permanent Five. The commission will then "negotiate supplier nation restrictions on the sale or transfer of sophisticated combat weaponry and the technology of conventional arms production to the Middle East"; seek "to maintain a balance of power among major military powers in the region"; coordinate with the chemical weapons and missile export control groups; and "address other areas pertinent to limiting the sale or transfer of arms," such as verification, economic impact of restricting sales, and regional confidence-building measures. Status: On 7 March this bill was referred to Foreign Affairs. A bill to expand the limited prohibition against the financing, by the Export-Import Bank of the United States, of the export of defense articles or services H.R.1635 Original sponsor: Moody This law would amend section 2(b)(6)(A) of the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 to read: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Bank shall not, except as provided in subparagraph (B), use any funds or borrowing authority to participate in the extension of credit in connection with any agreement to sell defense articles and services entered into with any country." Status: The bill was referred jointly to the Committees on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs and on Foreign Affairs on 22 March. Hearings have been held by both committees on the subject. A bill to prohibit arms transfers to certain countries unless the President certifies that a state of war does not exist between such country and Israel and that such country has accorded formal recognition to the sovereignty of IsraelH.R.1708 Sponsor: Schumer This bill would block the transfer of defense articles, defense services and design and construction services to Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates. It would also prevent the President from authorizing the re-transfer from other countries of any US- supplied weapons or services to these countries. These restrictions could be lifted if the above-named states formally recognized and ended their state of war with Israel. Status: H.R.1708 was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. International Cooperation Act of 1991 S.956/H.R.1792 Sponsor: Administration This bill, which proposes sweeping changes in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, is an effort by the Executive branch to end the Congressional practice of earmarking security assistance. According to a State Department statement, the legislation is designed "to restore the President's authority" to use foreign aid "to advance our national interest, rather than permitting it to remain hostage to narrow special interests." As part of this bill, the Administration is lobbying Congress to repeal the Pressler Amendment, which bans military aid to Pakistan unless the President can certify that that country is not pursuing a nuclear weapons program. According to the Washington Post, President "Bush offered his `unequivocal assurance' that repeal of the [Pressler] amendment would not weaken his Administration's commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation in South Asia. `Satisfaction of the Pressler standard will remain the essential basis' for deciding whether or not to give aid to Pakistan in the future'" in a letter accompanying the proposed legislation. In the FY92 Foreign Aid proposal, the Administration requested $214.5 million in security assistance for Pakistan, even though last year's appropriation was cut off in October--as mandated by the Pressler Amendment--because of concerns about Pakistan's nuclear program. Upcoming hearings and committee action The State Department Authorization is being marked-up by the Foreign Affairs committee on 30 April. The Foreign Assistance mark- up is beginning in the Foreign Affairs subcommittees on 1 May, and should be taken up by the full Committee in late May or early June. The House Armed Services Committee will continue to hold hearings on lessons from the Gulf War in May. The House Banking Committee, International Finance Subcommittee will hold another hearing on possible ExIm Bank policy revisions on 2 May. The Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on security assistance in the post-Cold War era on 21 May. Recent Congressional publications Proliferation and Regional Security in the 1990's (hearing before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, October 9, 1990) USGPO: 1991 Finding Common Ground: US Export Controls in a Changed Global Environment (National Academy of Sciences) National Academy Press: 1991 Non-Proliferation Regimes: A comparative Analysis of Policies to Control the Spread of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons and Missiles (Zachary S. Davis, Congressional Research Service, US Library of Congress) CRS: 1 April 91 Arms Sales Monitor Federation of American Scientists 307 Massachusetts Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 546-3300