(Issue No. 3, June 1991)
Arms transfers in the pipeline 14 May The Committee on Foreign Affairs receives a letter from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs transmitting notification of a proposed license for the export of major military equipment to be sold commercially to Greece.
It is previously reported that Greece intends to purchase, with US FMS finance credits, 20 more F-16 multi-role combat aircraft. 17 May The Committee on Foreign Affairs receives a letter from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs transmitting notification of a proposed license for the export of major military equipment to be sold commercially to South Korea. Late May Raytheon Company confirms that it has received a letter of intent by the Turkish government to buy up to 10 Patriot air defense systems for $1 billion. 31 May Secretary of Defense Cheney says the US will give Israel 10 F-15 fighter aircraft worth $65 million. This transfer falls under a provision of the FY 91 Foreign Operations appropriation bill, which included $700 million-worth of "drawdown" credit in weapons for Israel. In addition to the F-15s, Cheney announces that $216 million worth of R&D funding for the second stage of the Arrow anti-tactical ballistic missile system under development in Israel has been agreed to. 4 June Secretary of Defense Cheney says that Congress will soon be notified of a sale of 20 Apache attack helicopters to the UAE. This sale is part of a larger package, including 337 M1A1 tanks, over 160 Bradley fighting vehicles, and 800-900 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, which the Emirates are said to be "urgently requesting." The New York Times cites administration officials as saying the Apache sale is "a `test case' to sound the depths of congressional opposition [to arms sales to the region] and determine whether the sale of armored equipment to the United Arab Emirates could proceed, perhaps later this summer." The official Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the whole package was reportedly prepared, but not presented, in April. Speeches, letters, etc. 22 April Rep. Steny Hoyer and Sen. Dennis DeConcini, co-chairs of the Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe, send a letter to President Bush, reportedly urging him to suggest that the members of the Conference on Security & Cooperation in Europe be required to exchange arms sales information among themselves on an annual basis. 7 May Senators Alan Dixon, Robert Byrd, Alfonse D'Amato, Wendell Ford and David Boren request another GAO investigation into the Korean Fighter Program sale. In late March the Korean government announced that it was purchasing 120 F-16 instead of 120 F/A-18 Hornets, as had been negotiated and announced in December 1989. Contract price increases were cited as the reason for the switch. The GAO investigation is to cover the provisions of the sale (believed to be the same as the Hornet sale--12 bought off the shelf, 36 kits to be assembled in Korea, and 72 of the aircraft to be produced under license in Korea), technical data transfers, third country participation in the program, and the sale's impact on the US industrial base. 9 May Senator Pressler makes a floor speech in defense of his 1985 amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act which bans foreign aid to Pakistan unless the President can certify to Congress that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear weapon. The administration is trying to delete the Pressler amendment as part of its "International Coopera- tion Act of 1991" foreign assistance and arms sales act re-write, although it says it intends to "continue to insist on unambiguous specific steps by Pakistan in meeting nonproliferation standards." Pressler (a Republican) notes that the Administration supported his legislation when it was enacted, viewing it as a compromise that would allow aid to Pakistan to continue. He says, "My feeling is if we are going to adhere to the same standard, we might as well leave the amendment as it is. ...Frankly, I do not believe that the administration has made a persuasive argument for eliminating this provision from the law." 14 May Referring to a Bush administration policy shift concerning the Chemical Weapons Convention negotiations, Rep. Dante Fascell says in a press release, "Setting a deadline for a worldwide chemical weapons ban, forswearing chemical weapons use and security stocks, fixing a realistic challenge inspection regime and urging universal adherence to the agreement by threatening sanctions are all positive elements of a new policy which should be able to push these negotiations to a successful conclusion." "Action and leadership have been needed for some time to boost the negotiations on chemical weapons in Geneva. ...Our President, joined by the Congress, has provided the leadership. All other leaders and governments should follow suit to rid the world community of the scourge and threat of chemical weapons." 14 May Senator Joe Biden introducing Mideast arms control legislation [S.1046, see p. 5] outlines the recent contradictory arms sales policy statements of Secretary of State Baker, President Bush and Secretary Cheney before the Congress: "Secretary of Defense Cheney expressly downplays the possibility of Middle East arms control, emphasizing instead the need for arms sales to strengthen the Gulf States. ...I fully support the goal of enhancing security of friendly nations in the Middle East, particularly Israel. But the administration seems unable to grasp that an arms suppliers' cartel can do just that and do it better. It would appear that administration policy has become mired in a classic battle between the Defense Department and the State Department. As s result, we have policy gridlock. In this case, policy gridlock means more arms sales and business as usual--and talk of a treaty regime based on a change in human nature itself" [referring to possible administration arms control proposal leaked in today's New York Times]. 14 May Rep. Howard Berman introduces companion Mideast arms control legislation to the Biden bill, saying "We must not put any issue above that of trying to fundamentally change the system whereby the countries of the world sell arms." He continues Over the last 3 months, I have attended hearings with a handful of administration witnesses to whom I have put the same question: What is the United States doing to constrain the sales of weapons around the world? From these witnesses I have received answers ranging from indications that "it is a high priority," to "it is on the agen- da," to "it is not even a desirable outcome in and of itself." The lack of agreement has led me to conclude that it is necessary to employ some means to focus the administration on, at the very least, examining its options. 14 May On the floor of the Senate, Sen. Dale Bumpers says: "I have never understood this nation's policy of arms transfers to just every Tom, Dick, and Harry who happens to be willing to starve his people to buy them. There are Third World nations that spend two-thirds of their total income on weapons, nations where people are starving, and in most instances those nations have virtually no ability to defend themselves anyway." Bumpers says the Gulf states "do not have a prayer" to defend against the much larger armies of their neighbors. Concerning the proposed "phase II" weapons sale to Saudi Arabia, Bumpers says: "I am not going to be for any such sale as that [he describes it as "$20 billion worth of new sophisticated American technology"] right now. These arms sales oftentimes are nothing but ego kicks for tinhorn dictators. Almost invariably--and particularly considering the volatility of that region--we wind up just as we did in this war, with our own weapons being used against us. Our weapons always last longer than our friendships do." He does not think the Biden-sponsored legislation goes far enough in addressing the problem. "In my opinion, the times call for Draconian action on arms sales. ...If this President wants to go down in history I will give him a suggestion on how to do it. It is very simply to make a very dramatic and bold move in recognition of the times which call for boldness, and to convene all the arms manufacturing and exporting nations in the world and say, `We have to stop this madness.'" 14 May Senator Claiborne Pell commends the administration for its renunciation of any use of chemical weapons and the pledge to destroy all US stocks of those weapons. "These decisions," he says, "put the United States in the forefront of nations seeking a multi- lateral agreement to banish chemical weapons from the face of the Earth." 15 May Rep. Tony Hall introduces a Joint Resolution to control conventional arms transfers to Third World countries [see p. 6]. "My goal in introducing this bill," he says, "is to stress that controlling conventional arms transfers is essential to lasting peace in any region. Further, in the poorest of the poor countries, controlling arms sales can mean an immunization program over a stockpile of weapons. Security needs must be met. However, human needs must also be met. An international regime for controlling conventional arms would allow a qualitative and quantitative review of which arms are needed where and for what." 22 May While introducing legislation punishing those companies which contribute to the nuclear weapons programs of developing countries, Sen. John Glenn says: "Nuclear weapons pose a particular- ly grave threat to the security of the United States and its allies--it deserves a higher status on our list of priorities than it has achieved in the past. The effects of nuclear weapons are quite unlike the effects of mustard gas. The consequences of a nuclear war are quite different from the consequences of a chemical war. ...We need to protect the special place of nuclear nonproliferation on the public agenda." He notes that some people criticize Congressionally- mandated sanctions bills as "unilateralism," but takes issue with that, calling it instead "leadership." 30 May Seventeen Senators--organized by Jim Jeffords, Charles Grassley, Brock Adams and Tom Daschle--send a letter to President Bush urging him to "take the lead in negotiating a temporary, multilateral moratorium on sales or transfers of conventional, chemical and nuclear armaments and their related technologies to the Middle East," during which time a longer-term solution can be sought. They go on to say, "We understand the many complexities involved in working to control the transfer of armaments in the Middle East. However, we also appreciate the dangers of letting this opportunity slip by as a new arms race begins." Notes from some relevant hearings 30 April The Investigations Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee holds its first hearing on the efforts of the military in support of drug interdiction operations, focussing on the administration's FY 92 budget request of $1.6 billion for those operations. Stephen Duncan, the Department of Defense Coordinator for Drug Enforcement Policy and Support testifies. The President's National Drug Control Strategy was formulated, he notes, to disrupt the supply of drugs at their source, chiefly Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. In this vein, "Department of Defense personnel have continued to provide training and operational support to host- nation counternarcotics forces throughout the Andean region. Total military aid has grown substantially in recent years. In 1988, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru received approximately $3 million; in 1990 the total was $114.5 million." In addition, he notes, President Bush invoked provisions of the FAA which authorized the drawdown of up to $65 million of DoD stocks for Colombia: "The equipment which was provided at the end of FY 1989 and during FY 1990 included aircraft, boats, trucks, spare parts, ammunition, medical supplies, communications gear and other equipment and training." 1 May The House Ways and Means, Oversight Subcommittee holds its second hearing on the effectiveness of US export control laws, with Charles Duelfer (Director, Center for Defense Trade, State Department), Kenneth Cutshaw (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce), Richard Newcomb (Director, Office of foreign Assets Control, Treasury Department), Carol Hallett (Commissioner of Customs), Pete Stark (Member of Congress) and Jim Moody (Member of Congress) testify. Rep. Stark testifies on export controls vis a vis nuclear proliferation, which he says "is now the leading threat to US national security." He notes that nine countries (US, USSR, UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and South Africa) are now considered "to have the bomb." "A host of others," he says, "including Iraq, Iran, Brazil, Argentina, North Korea and Algeria have nuclear weapons programs at various stages of development. If we don't take steps today to better control the spread of nuclear equipment, material and technology, we could wake up a decade from now and find ourselves in a world with every terrorist nation brandishing the ultimate weapon." As an addendum to his testimony, Stark includes case studies of foreign firms which have reportedly assisted in nuclear weapons programs in developing countries, particularly noting the role played by German firms and multinationals in nuclear proliferation activities. "The Germans certainly haven't been the only contributors to proliferation, just one of the worst. One of the basic problems I see is that many of our European allies rely far more on exports for economic growth. Exports make up over a third of Germany's GNP, more than half of Holland's, but less than a tenth of the United States'. Europe has always fought us on export controls--they fought us on COCOM and they will fight us here. In the aftermath of the war in the Gulf, we may temporarily have their attention on this issue, but I am not optimistic for the long run." He details his proposed legislation, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Enforcement Act (H.R. 830), for dealing with companies that aid in nuclear weapons proliferation projects. It would impose sanctions on firms that sell unsafeguarded nuclear equipment, materials or technology; these sanctions would include a prohibition on exporting goods to the United States. 2 May The International Development, Finance, Trade and Monetary Policy Subcommittee of the House Banking Committee holds a second hearing on the use of ExIm Bank credits to guarantee commer- cial sales of weapons to NATO-member countries, Australia, Israel, Japan and any other country that the President determines would be in "the national interest." Charles Duelfer (Director of the State Department's Center for Defense Trade), Allan Mendelowitz (Director of International Trade, Energy and Finance Issues, National Security and International Affairs Division, GAO), Eugene Lawson (First Vice President and Vice Chairman, Export-Import Bank) and David Obey (Chairman, House Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Appropria- tions Committee) testify. Obey states that if the ExIm becomes involved again in financing arms sales, he (his subcommittee) will consider blocking all FY 92 funding for it entirely, saying he would oppose giving "one dime" to it. Obey says the "best way to kill off a bad idea is to kill it off before it gets born." [In fact, his subcommittee reportedly did block ExIm funding of arms sales in their report-out. See p. 5] Lawson, in his prepared statement cites two mitigating reasons for the proposed policy: "First, financial support is currently being provided for defense exports from other countries by their export credit agencies. As a result, US defense firms are being placed at a competitive disadvantage. ...Second, the declining defense budget could seriously erode our defense industrial base. ... A viable US defense industry is critical to our ability to respond to the challenge of future crises. At the present time, the survival of a number of important programs, the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank, UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, and Hawk missiles, is already tied to foreign sales." As to why the ExIm Bank is the appropriate vehicle for further arms financing, he says: "the program will be operated according to the same criteria the Bank already uses under all of its current programs. The Bank will be making the same kinds of commercial and financial decisions, by mainly applying creditworthiness standards to determine if reasonable assurance of repayment exists. Moreover, we expect to operate the program through the same commercial lending institutions which are already participating in our other programs. Duelfer stresses that "this is a competitiveness program and not another form of security assistance. ....[W]e do not intend to create new markets or fuel regional arms races. This is a very limited guarantee program. Its goal is not to make it easier for another country to buy weapons, it is intended to make it easier for a US firm to sell in a pre-existing market." He notes that any ExIm financed sale would still have to go through the State Department licensing approval process, based on whether the sale is "consistent with legitimate commercial and defense needs of the country concerned"; whether or not it undermines regional stability; and whether there are adverse proliferation effects. "To preserve programmatic flexibility," he notes, "ExIm Bank would also be able to support the commercial sale of defense exports to other creditworthy countries if two requirements were met--(1) that ExIm Bank certifies that there is a reasonable assurance of repayment and (2) that the President finds that such support is in the national interest and notifies Congress." He explains the procedure that would be followed thusly: "Before a company can begin an effort to compete for an overseas commercial sale, it must receive US government approval through the State Department. Once a company has a marketing license and is competing for a sale, it may explore with ExIm Bank the prospects for obtaining a preliminary commitment for credit guarantees for that sale.. ...The policy considerations which would typically be evaluated at the State Department would include regional stability, technology transfer, proliferation, and human rights. Next, ExIm Bank will review whether ExIm Bank support for the proposed transaction will materially improve the applicant's prospects for winning the sale." "ExIm Bank will make the final judgment to approve a guarantee by conducting its detailed financial and economic analysis to determine if reasonable assurance of repayment exists to avoid undue losses on the financing provided." Mendelowitz notes that the US market share of defense exports actually grew from 18% of the world total in 1980 to 29% in 1988. The market overall is drying up, he points out, and therefore becom- ing more competitive. He attributes this to decreased post- Cold War defense budgets and the overcapacities of many defense industries. Mendelowitz lays out the other factors which contribute to competi- tiveness in the arms market, and notes that "In cases where financing is a major factor, there already are financing resources available to US military exporters, including government programs and commercial financing. ...Two major DoD programs include (1) the Foreign Military Sales Financing Program and (2) the Military Assistance Program. ...Besides DoD programs, commercial financing is also available for and by the defense industry." He further states that under the Administration's draft legislation pre- sented to Congress on 7 March 91 (but still not yet introduced), in addition to the national security waiver which would permit sales to any developing country, "Israel, Greece, Turkey and Iceland would become eligible for ExIm Bank-financed military exports without a specific presidential determination. Under the current law, countries that are not on a 1966 Internal Revenue Service list of developed countries are not eligible for military export financing." He cites the likelihood of a "crowding out" of non-military exports by weapons sales: The ExIm bank officials have said this would not be a problem because the OMB has "included an additional $1 billion in the ExIm Bank's requested fiscal year 1992 budget authority to be used for military exports. However, there is no mention of an `additional $1 billion in the President's budget or the proposed legislation, only that there is a $1-billion limit on the amount that the ExIm Bank can spend on financing military exports. In fact, the ExIm Bank's requested budget authority is less in fiscal year 1992 than it was in fiscal year 1991...." He sums up by saying that the FMS Financing program is a more appropriate and already existing vehicle for enhancing US competi- tiveness in weapons sales. "Based on our review we do not believe a case has been made to demonstrate the need for the proposed legislation." 10 May Near Eastern and South Asian affairs subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a hearing on the role of the UN in Mideast arms control. Eugene Rostow, Richard Murphy, Max Kampelman, Edward Luck, and David Scheffer testify. Because of its past equation of zionism with racism, Kampelman feels the UN "has disqualified itself from playing a crucial role in the peace process as regards Israel." But he adds, "where the UN can play a constructive role is in halting the arms race." In the next 18 months or two years, he says, the UN should organize to halt arms sales while negotiations ensue to see if "something constructive" [long term] can be achieved in that area. He also cites missile disarmament as a confidence-inspiring measure that can be undertaken in the near term. Murphy, just back from Cairo, agrees with Kampelman that "restrain- ing the arms race is an essential." It is, he says, "grotesquely out of control." Luck, noting the difficulties in containing the Mideast arms race, says: "in my view, the chances for success, as well as the risks of doing nothing, have never been higher. To the legion of skeptics, we should ask: if not now, then when? ...The experience of the Gulf War, moreover, suggests that the revolution in `conventional' weapons technology will insure that the next war in the Middle East will be quick, costly, and terribly destructive, with major advantages accruing to the side which strikes first. Besides, neither Israelis nor Arabs can afford the enormous investment entailed in another cycle in their high- tech arms race, given their staggering human, development, and ecological needs. ...A large influx of armaments to any country in the region could upset the current military balance and spark a wholesale scramble for the latest in new technology and firepower." "The UN Security Council now offers a promising mechanism for opening discussions among the major suppliers, which happen to be its five Permanent members. It is charged under the Charter with the task of "regulating armaments," its decisions can be made binding on all UN member states, and it is already imminently involved in implementing arms limitations in the Persian Gulf. Whatever qualms one might have about the UN's ability to act impartially on political issues in the Middle East, it could play a useful role in helping to build a consensus for arms restraint and then overseeing its implementa- tion." The panel agrees that confidence-building measures are prerequisite to bilateral dialogue. Kampelman suggests water and other natural resource issues and arms control issues, especially ballistic missile disarmament, are areas where agreement could be reached. Rostow brings up the nuclear-weapons free zone proposals put forward by Egypt and Israel, saying "We [the US government] have supported those as well as we could." Along these lines, Luck notes a recent UN General Assembly report on the prospects for such a zone, saying it was very well received by all nations of the UN. Rostow notes the extraordinary nature of UN Resolution 687 (cease fire) which says "certain countries are not fit to have certain weap- ons." It should, he feels, be taken as far as it can be taken. Luck calling 687 the "mother of all Resolutions," says that it is not yet clear how well, or if, it can be implemented financially and technical- ly: "I think it is a great experiment, but one that's not going to be without some controversy." He does not think that this model is likely to be easily repeated, and so it should not be relied upon as the sole method of arms control in the region. 15 May The Investigations Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the implementation of the Economic Adjustment Program. [The "Defense Economic Adjust- ment Act" (H.R. 441) was passed last November and enacted into public law. According to one of its authors, it "is aimed at crafting a workable program to ease the transition of communities, businesses, workers and professionals to civilian production as our base and force structures gear down from the Cold War."] A Congressional panel testifies first, with Rep. Richard Gephardt, Rep. Sam Gejdenson, Rep. Mary Rose Oakar, Rep. Ted Weiss and Rep. Ronald Machtley. In the administration panel, Sean O'Keefe (Comp- troller, DoD), Christopher Jehn (Assistant Secretary for Force Management and Personnel, DoD) and Robert Rauner (Director, Office of Economic Adjustment, DoD) testify. The Congressional panel criticizes the DoD for not dispersing the $200 million authorized and appropriated in the FY 91 DoD Authoriz- ation legislation and more generally for not doing enough to ease the effects of diminishing weapons procurement and base closures. The Pentagon panel criticizes Congress for authorizing conversion monies out of the defense budget, feeling that their Office of Economic Adjustment's efforts at "community-based economic adjustment" are sufficient. 17 May The Subcommittee on Projection Forces and Regional Defense, Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on current Marine Corps capabilities to respond to potential conflicts in the Third World. Marine Corps Commandant Alfred Gray provides testimony. He lays out a rather euphemistic panoply of future Marine Corps missions: "peacetime presence, disaster relief, humanitarian assis- tance, crisis response, and conflict resolution." "The emergence of a multi-polar world, with its increasing potential for regional instability and conflict, will have a significant impact on military planning and force structure requirements. ...[R]ecent US military operations in Panama, Liberia, Somalia, and the Persian Gulf have shown clearly that the end of the Cold War has not resulted in a peaceful world. In the emerging multi-polar world, economic and political competition will foster conditions that can create regional instabilities and ignite concurrent, but not necessarily related, crises." "In this new international environment, we must continue to recognize our responsibility to foster those conditions which promote world stability and peace. Accordingly, we should replace our policy of containment with one of global stability. This policy would provide the foundation for us to maintain the favorable political, economic, and security environment needed to achieve our worldwide objectives." 21 May Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney appears before the Defense Subcommittee of Senate Appropriations Committee. He reiterates his view (expressed in testimony earlier this Spring) that "It is not US arms sales that have fueled instability in the Middle East. I think some kind of arms control policy, if we can develop it, would probably be good thing. But it has to be evaluated." He reiterates that the Administration is not considering an all out ban on arms sales. Sen. Bumpers notes that the administration's arms sales policy seems at odds with public opinion on the matter. 22 May The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hosts Ronald Lehman (Director, ACDA), Stephen Ledogar (US Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament) and General Walter Busbee (Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization) to testify on the status of various chemical arms control and disarmament negotiations. Lehman's statement outlines the recent policy shift by the Bush administration which should encourage progress at the multilateral negotiations in Geneva in banning the possession of chemical weapons through the completion of the Chemical Weapons Conven- tion (CWC). The policy shift renounced any use of chemical weapons after the treaty enters into force and, therefore, renounced the previously-planned retention of a small stock of chemical agent until all countries "chemical-weapons capable" joined the treaty. The policy statement further called for completion of the CWC within one year, with the recommendation that the negotiators work in continuous session until that time and suggested a program of carrots and sticks to encourage entry into the regime and to punish those who don't or those who violate their obligations. According to Lehman, the US will also make a new verification proposal for sites suspected of producing or storing chemical weapons. He also outlines the two US-Soviet bilateral agreements on chemical arms control. The first, a Memorandum of Understanding signed in September 1989 was "designed to promote greater openness about the CW capabilities of the two sides and to provide practical experi- ence that would facilitate implementation of a multilateral ban." He notes that a series of 10 challenge inspections will be permitted by the two countries during phase II of the MoU (phase II enters into force when it looks as though the completion of the CWC is two or three months away from completion). The second bilateral agreement is the June 1990 bilateral agreement on the destruction of most of the two countries' CW stocks before the CWC enters into force. The verification and agent destruction arrangements of the agreement are still being worked out. Ledogar says, "1990 was a disappointing year in the multilateral CW negotiations. ...[N]egotiators were looking over their shoulders to see whether, indeed, chemical weapons would be used, and with what effect, and with what response." He is optimistic now that the long- running US internal CW policy review was completed in April, resulting in the policy shift described above by Lehman. He presented those policy changes to the opening plenary session in May, and they were, he says, "very well received." He also notes the very good and frank US-Soviet cooperation in working toward conclusion and implementation of the CWC. 22 May The Near Eastern and Southern Asia Subcommittee of Senate Foreign Relations holds a second hearing on post War Middle East policies, focussing on the Arab-Israeli conflict and prospects for resolution. Lucius Battle (former Assistant Secretary of State), Sam Lewis (United States Institute for Peace), George Ball (former Secretary of State), Martin Indyk (Washington Institute for Near East Peace), and Helena Cobban testify. 22-23 May Secretary Baker testifies before the House and Senate Appropriations, Foreign Operations Subcommittees on the foreign assistance request for FY 92. In his testimony he plugs the administration's foreign aid overhaul provisions which would end Congressional earmarking of monies. The FY 92 request for dis- cretionary budget authority is $13.1 billion--a 6.5% increase over the $12.3 billion Congress appropriated for FY 91. Of that total, $4.65 billion is in FMF credits; $3.24 billion in economic support fund; $1.3 billion in development assistance; $800 million for Development Fund for Africa; $400 million for Central and Eastern Europe; and $160 million is for the Multilateral Assistance Initiative for the Philippines. Responding to a complaint by House For Operations Subcommittee Chairman David Obey of the lack of arms control initiative by the administration, Baker announces the imminent presentation of a Mideast arms control package. "I would be very surprised if you're not reasonably pleased with the administration's initiative regarding weapons of mass-destruction. ...You may not be as pleased with respect to the administration's initiative regarding conventional weapons," he candidly predicts. 23 May The Near Eastern and Southern Asia Subcommittee of Senate Foreign Relations holds a third hearing on post War Middle East policies. Anthony Cordesman, Dov Zakheim (System Planning Corporation), Geoffrey Kemp (Carnegie Endowment), Brad Gordon (ACDA) and Barry Blechman (Defense Forecast Inc.) provide expert testimony on regional security issues. 30 May The Defense, Foreign Policy and Space Task Force of the Budget Committee holds a hearing on the feasibility and desirabil- ity of linking US foreign aid to an agreement to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Richard Durbin presides. James Leonard, former US ambassador to the CWC negotiations, is very supportive of the initiative. He notes that such linkage will not impress all states. [It should, however, impress Egypt, Israel, Greece, Jordan, Morocco and Turkey--all recipients of significant US foreign aid.] He suggests going further, saying: "One inducement that you might consider would have the US Government endeavor to build a consensus among nations that export arms that they will not export weapons of any sort to a country that does not join the Chemical Weapons Convention. An embargo on arms exports to non-parties would complement a cut-off in economic aid and might be even more effective. It would affect wealthy developing countries such as oil exporters that do not need or receive foreign aid [Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, UAE]. And its impact would be felt directly by military leaders who may not be especially concerned about a loss of economic assistance." Legislation pending in the 102nd Congress State Department Authorization Act for FY 92 S.579 Summary: In the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Interna- tional Operations Sen. John Kerry sponsored language that would direct the administration to create a Mideast arms transfer policy. During the writing of a report analyzing the impact of sales and the feasibility of controlling sales multilaterally as mandated by the legislation, and for at least 60 days after the submission of the report to the Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs Committees, no sales of major military equipment (with the exception of surface to air missiles) would be approved by Congress. What US policy ought to do: The language reaffirms some aspects of existing legislation: a provision that US only sell weapons to be used for defensive purposes; that transfers be made only after an "arms sales impact" assessment has been made; that sales only be made to nations that have recognized the right of all countries in the region to exist and that support and/or are engaged in the peace process through direct negotiations (This would currently exclude arms sales to all countries but Egypt and Israel.); and that the US not introduce newly developed, advanced weapons into the region and seek an agreement with other major suppliers to do the same. Presidential report: Until at least 60 days after the president prepares and submits a report which assesses the "current and projected military threat to key allies and friendly states in the Middle East"; types and quantities of weapons most appropriate to maintaining the deterrent capability of our allies and friends; a feasibility check of "regional security arrangements that could control and reduce threats to stability and security," such as missile-free, chemical weapons-free and nuclear-free zones; and an assessment of the other major supplier nations' actions to restrict arms transfers to the region. Controlled equipment: Air-to-air, air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missiles and rockets; turbine-powered military aircraft; attack helicopters and main battle tanks. This legislation contains straight-forward, useful and not overly burdensome reporting requirements, which the administration should be preparing already, indeed many of them are already required by the AECA and FAA, or can be requested by Congress at the time of notification of a sale, but are currently being prepared (see box). Foreign Assistance Authorization Act for FY 92H.R.2508 At least three things of interest are contained in this bill. First, is the policy-setting directives concerning the appropriation of foreign economic and military aid. Second, is the Foreign Affairs Committee language to induce an arms transfer control policy through the imposition of a moratorium, and third is the amending of the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act to streamline and rationalize the arms transfer process. The latter is based in part at least on administration-supplied language presented to Congress in the "International Cooperation Act of 1991" (S.956/H.R.1792). As part of its overhaul of the AECA, the adminis- tration proposes raising the threshold for Congressional notification from $14 million worth of "major military equipment" to $25 million or more; from $50 million worth of "other" equipment and services to $75 million and from $200 million worth of construction and design services to $300 million. In the full Committee mark-up, a threshold of $18 million for major military equipment was reportedly agreed upon. The congressional notification period remains 30 days for all but NATO member-countries (includes Greece and Turkey) and "major non-NATO allies"--defined in the legislation currently as Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan and South Korea. For these countries, only a fifteen-day notification period is required. The administration-supplied language would also insert an "economic impact statement," outlining "the economic benefits or disadvantages to the United States of the proposed sale," to the list of reports that the Foreign Affairs and Foreign Relations committees could request with notification (see box above). The administration-proposed legislation also contains a "Special Waiver Authority" which says that the President can ignore any provisions of the relevant arms transfer legislation if doing so is deemed to be "important to the national interests of the United States." Reportedly this provision was not included in the Foreign Affairs mark-up of the Foreign Assistance Authorization. *** On 23 May, the Committee agreed to language supplied by Chairman Fascell which added a section on "Arms Transfers Restraint Policy for The Middle East and Persian Gulf Region" to the bill. In part, the law would allow only for the transfer of weapons to those nations of the region that "have expressed willingness or are actively engaged in the process of negotiating peace agreements of the Arab-Israeli dispute through direct negotiations." It further directs the administration to seek a meeting of the Permanent Five UN Security Council members for the purpose of halting the proliferation of unconventional weapons and missiles; slowing and limiting the proliferation of conventional weapons; promoting regional arms control and maintaining the military balance of the region through arms reductions. It also invokes, upon passage, a moratorium on arms transfers until such time as the administration presents to the foreign affairs and relations committees "a report stating that the president has determined that there has been agreement by another major arms supplier nation on or after May 21, 1991, to transfer any major military equipment to any nation in the Middle East and persian Gulf region" and a report on the administration's plan "for leading the world community in establishing a multilateral regime to restrict transfers of conventional and unconventional arms to the middle East." The law includes a waiver for the United States to break out of the moratorium in times of emergency, but makes no similar provision for other arms suppliers to the region. Similarly, it allows the US to make one-for-one replacements of inoperable equipment, but doesn't seem to permit other suppliers this right without causing grounds for the cessation of the moratorium. The legislation calls for many other reports, among them feasibility studies on the utility of European and/or US-Soviet arms control agreements for the Middle East and reports documenting "all transfers of conventional and unconventional arms to the middle East over the previous year and the previous 5 years, including sources, types and acquirers of weapons." Status: H.R.2508 was reported out of the Foreign Affairs Committee on 5 June and goes to the House floor during the week of 10 June. At the time of this publication, the Committee print of the mark-up is not yet available. Foreign Assistance Appropriation Act for FY 92 no H.R. number yet Reported out of subcommittee on 29 May, the money bill reportedly adopted major elements the Foreign Affairs arms transfer moratorium language in its mark-up of the $15.3 billion foreign assistance appropriation. Also included in the bill, $4.1 billion in FMF grants plus $404 million in FMF soft loans. Possibly in deference to administra- tion desires, the subcommittee earmarked monies for only two of the traditional big foreign aid recipients: Israel will receive its usual $1.8 billion in FMF grants and Egypt will receive its usual $1.3 billion. In other cases, FMF funding ceilings were set, rather than monies actually earmarked: a $350 million ceiling for Greece, $500 million for Turkey (thus maintaining the 7:10 aid ratio), $100 million for Portugal and $100 million for the Philippines. Language contained in the Foreign Aid bill would prohibit the use of ExIm Bank funds to finance arms sales. Status: Full Appropriations Committee consideration and mark-up of the Foreign Aid bill is scheduled to begin on Wednesday 12 June. Arms Suppliers Regime Act of 1991 S.1046/H.R.2315 Sponsors: Biden, Kassebaum, Mitchell/Berman This bill directs the Secretary of State to make a "good faith effort" to convene a conference of major arms selling states, specifically naming the US, USSR, China, UK and France, the purpose of which is to establish an arms suppliers' regime to halt flow of unconven- tional arms (including ballistic missiles) and "limit and control the proliferation of advanced conventional arms" to the Mideast (with the Mideast broadly defined in the legislation). The regime would comprise an information exchange and formal and informal arrange- ments. In order to halt the further flow of unconventional arms, the legisla- tion directs the administration to seek agreement and adherence by all cartel members to the supply restrictions embodied in the MTCR, Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative and the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. To control proliferation of advanced conventional arms (defined as "modern heavy tanks and artillery, cruise missiles, anti-satellite weapons, high-performance jet aircraft, stealth technologies, naval combatant vessels, and related military technologies"), the legislation would have the regime develop information-sharing practices regarding potential sales to the Mideast; examine the feasibility of applying COCOM, MTCR and other types of restrictions to arms sales, and conduct a feasibility study of "strict controls on the proliferation of advanced conventional arms to the Middle East." The bottom line of this bill is to require certification to the HFAC and SFRC (by the administration) within 60 days of enactment of the legislation that a "good faith effort" was made by the administration to arrange a suppliers' control regime. If this is not done, no sales licenses will be approved until such time as it is done. Status: The bill was introduced into the Senate and the House on 14 May and referred to the Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs Committees. In the Senate it is likely to be incorporated into the Senate Foreign Assistance Authorization bill or perhaps into the full committee mark-up of the State Department Authorization bill. The House version of this was melded into the Foreign Affairs Commit- tee's marked-up Foreign Assistance legislation (above). Sponsor: Tony Hall H.J. 256 This resolution calls on the US government to: confirm a commitment to self-restraint of arms transfers to developing countries; develop immediately with the other permanent members of the Security Council qualitative and quantitative guidelines for controlling arms transfers; seek to begin discussions among all major arms sellers and arms buyers with a view to limiting transfers; establish a transparency mechanism and some means of verifying transfers and enforcing controls; encourage arms vendors to consider several factors before making a sale; and promote both positive and negative trade, economic and technical sanctions to encourage countries to abide by controls on arms transfers. The resolution also would require the President to report to Congress every six months on actions taken in accordance with this resolution. Status: Introduced on 15 May and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. A bill to restrict the Export-Import Bank's role in foreign military sales H.R.2175 Sponsor: Gerald Kleczka H.R.2175 prohibits ExIm involvement in military sales unless the weapons are necessary to combat a direct threat to the US or for anti-narcotics purposes when the state under discussion has faithfully complied with end-use restrictions and does not engage in "a consistent pattern of gross human rights violations." The legislation also calls for a study by the GAO of the scope of ExIm financing (which countries were granted financing and which were turned down), compliance with the human rights and end use restriction clauses above, and an assessment of the "theoretical and practical, political and economic, pros and cons of such [ExIm Bank] participation." Status: Introduced on 1 May and referred to the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs. Omnibus Nuclear Proliferation Control Act of 1991S.1126 Sponsor: John Glenn This bill would ban imports into the US and government procurement from firms that the President determines are trafficking in goods or technology that would assist in the acquisition of either nuclear explosive devices or unsafeguarded special nuclear materials. The sanction triggering process would involve: (1) presidential determina- tion of complicity; (2) 180-day period for consultation with govern- ment having jurisdiction over company found to be aiding nuclear proliferation; and (3) 90-day extension if corrective measures are being taken by foreign government. Exceptions for producers of "essential defense-related commodities" and a waiver are included. The bill would amend the AECA to make sure that only nations that "are in full compliance with their international treaty commitments with respect to nuclear nonproliferation" would be eligible to receive US arms. It would also amend the ACDA Act to designate nuclear nonproliferation as a special area of emphasis. It would require an annual report, modeled after the annual "Soviet non-compliance report," assessing the level of compliance of other countries to their non-proliferation commitments. It would require a second report assessing the past effectiveness of US diplomatic overtures in furthering nuclear non-proliferation objectives. Status: Introduced on 22 May and referred to the Foreign Relations Committee. Private Defense Export Financing Act of 1991 S.1173 Sponsor: Joseph Lieberman This bill, introduced to serve as an alternative to ExIm Bank involve- ment in financing arms sales, would create a Defense Export Financing Board, comprising the Chairman of the ExIm Bank, and the Secretaries of State, Defense, Commerce and Treasury or their designees. Two of the five members would represent a decision- making quorum. The Board would determine whether a guarantee should be granted, and the program will be administered by the Center for Defense Trade (the State Department licensing office) Any recipient would have to meet creditworthiness standards, be friendly to US interests and not be in violation of human rights standards of acceptability. The Defense Financing Board would be required to provide notification of its financing, concurrently with the regular congressional notification period. The bill calls for $65 million to be appropriated for guaranteeing defense export loans. Status: S.1173 was introduced and referred to the Foreign Relations Committee on 23 May. Recent Congressional publications Arms Control in Asia and US Interests in the Region (hearings before the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, House Foreign Affairs Committee, 31 January and 13 March 1990) USGPO: 1991 El Salvador: Flow of US Military Aid (GAO/NSIAD-91-151) 27 March 91, 15 pp Export Controls: US Controls on Trade with Selected Middle Eastern Countries (GAO/NSIAD-91-193FS) 12 April 91, 31 pp Global Arms Trade (US Congress, Office of Technology Assessment) USGPO: June 1991, 176 pp Korea: North-South Nuclear Issues (hearing before the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, House Foreign Affairs Committee, 25 July 1990) USGPO: 1991 Middle East Arms Control and Related Issues (Congressional Research Service, US Library of Congress) CRS: 1 May 1991 Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy Issues in the 102d Congress (Warren H. Donnelly and Zachary S. Davis, Congressional Research Service, US Library of Congress) CRS: 2 April 1991 Arms Sales Monitor Federation of American Scientists 307 Massachusetts Avenue, NE Washington DC 20002 (202) 546-3300