Mr. PRESSLER. Mr. President, today along with my colleagues, Senators Glenn, D'Amato, John Kerry, Bennett, and Feinstein, I am introducing legislation in an effort to restore credibility to our Nation's already damaged nuclear nonproliferation policy. Nonproliferation is one of our most important national security concerns, if not the most important. Even the President admitted last year that no issue is more important to the security of all people than nuclear nonproliferation.
At present, our efforts in this area are tied to another vital goal: the promotion of peace and security in South Asia. I have visited South Asia. I have said before it is a region of striking contrasts--a region of such enormous potential clouded by tension and instability.
As all of us well know, last year President Clinton requested, and Congress agreed to, a one time exception and partial repeal of one our most important nonproliferation laws: the so-called Pressler amendment. The Pressler amendment, approved by Congress in 1985, prohibits United States military and nonmilitary assistance to Pakistan, including arms sales, so long as Pakistan possesses a nuclear explosive device. The Senate had an extensive debate on this subject last fall. As a result of last year's exception--known as the Brown amendment--approximately 370 million dollars' worth of American military goods is scheduled for delivery to Pakistan.
The Brown amendment was very controversial. The central point of the controversy was the fact that the Brown amendment was both waiving and repealing nuclear nonproliferation law without obtaining one concrete nonproliferation concession from Pakistan. We have never provided that kind of exception to any other country before. That was one of the central reasons why I opposed the Brown amendment. I feared it would send the worst possible message: Nuclear proliferation pays.
The Clinton administration lobbied the Congress quite heavily on the Brown amendment. The administration even tried to convince Members of Congress that Pakistan did make a nonproliferation concession. The Clinton administration claimed its support for the Brown amendment was based in part on an understanding it believed it had with the Government of Pakistan. On August 3, 1995, Acting Secretary of State Peter Tarnoff stated the context of this understanding in a letter to the distinguished ranking member and former chairman of the Armed Services Committee,
Pakistan knows that the decision to resolve the equipment problem is based on the assumption that there will be no significant change on nuclear and missile non-proliferation issues of concern to the United States.
Frankly, at the time, I felt the justification was too weak at best and unbelievable at worst. I say that from the standpoint of experience. You see, the Pressler amendment was passed with a similar assurance from Pakistan. Let me remind my colleagues that the Pressler amendment was designed to ensure that Pakistan--at that time our Nation's third largest foreign aid recipient--continued to receive United States assistance. We had an understanding that Pakistan would not develop a bomb program, and in return, we would pass the Pressler amendment so that our existing laws would not result in a United States aid cutoff. As we all know, they did build a bomb program, and continued to receive U.S. taxpayer dollars. So I had some serious misgivings and a sense of foreboding when the Clinton administration stated it was basing its support of the Brown amendment on an assurance from Pakistan.
But that was then, this is now. Now we have a clear, unequivocal statement by the Director of Central Intelligence that Pakistan did not accept the administration's position in August. This is what Director John Deutch told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 22:
Mr. Chairman, the intelligence community continues to get accurate and timely information on Chinese activities that involve inappropriate weapons technology assistance to other countries: nuclear technology to Pakistan, M-11 missiles to Pakistan, cruise missiles to Iran.
For the record, I would like to point out that the Director said `M-11 missiles,' not `M-11 missile technology.'
So, the administration's assumption that the Government of Pakistan would freeze development of its bomb program was erroneous. Our intelligence community has found `accurate and timely information' that Pakistan has, indeed, made significant changes on nuclear and missile proliferation issues of concern to the United States. The nuclear technology to which Director Deutch alluded would allow Pakistan a 100-percent increase in its capacity to make enriched uranium, the explosive material of nuclear weapons. The M-11s are modern, mobile, nuclear capable ballistic missiles and clearly intended to be the principal delivery system of the Pakistani nuclear weapons system.
With the underlying assumption of the administration's position now destroyed, there is no longer any justification for the administration's support of the Brown amendment. The administration has the authority to put the Brown amendment on hold. Federal law specifically states that if the President determines that a country has delivered or received `nuclear enrichment equipment, materials or technology,' no funds may be made available under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which would include military equipment purchased with Foreign Military Sales [FMS]. All the President needs to do is enforce our nonproliferation laws and most, if not all of the military equipment provided by the Brown amendment remains undelivered. That is what I urged the President to do last month.
Sadly, even though Pakistan broke its assurance to the Clinton administration, it has been reported yesterday that the President intends to go through with the transfer. This is stunning news. The Brown amendment alone was a tough blow to our nonproliferation policy. Now the Clinton administration is preparing to cripple our already shaken credibility as an enforcer of nuclear nonproliferation. If that is the President's decision, and I certainly hope he reconsiders, then the law requires that he make an appropriate certification to the Congress. This gives Congress two options: First, it could disapprove of the President's certification. Under the law it would have 30 days to do that. Or, should a certification not be forthcoming, it could enact the legislation I am introducing today. This bill, which I introduce with bipartisan support, simply repeals the Brown amendment.
Mr. President, I believe passage of this legislation is necessary if our Nation's nuclear nonproliferation policy is to have any credibility. Indeed, beyond the simple policy justifications for this legislation, I urge my colleagues to keep in mind the circumstance that brings me to the floor today. As I stated a moment ago, Pakistan's receipt of nuclear technology from China is a sanctionable offense, as is its receipt of M-11 missile technology. What makes these offenses disturbing is that they were occurring while Pakistan was lobbying the administration and Congress to waive and partially repeal nuclear nonproliferation law. Equally disturbing are reports that members of the Clinton administration knew of the ring magnet transfer at that time, but did not divulge this information to members of Congress. The irony would be humorous if the issue wasn't so serious.
I believe that if all my colleagues were aware of this blatant violation of our non-proliferation laws last fall, the Brown amendment would have failed. Indeed, a supporter of the Brown amendment, Congressman Doug Bereuter, admitted that if the Brown amendment was reconsidered, its passage would be unlikely. I am confident enough that this Congress understands the seriousness of this matter and would agree that we need to repeal the Brown amendment or at least suspend its implementation until the underlying policy of the administration is restored--that being the return of the ring magnets and the M-11s from Pakistan to China.
Mr. President, finally a word about South Asia. Also on February 22, CIA Director Deutch named South Asia as his No. 1 worry in the annual world wide threat assessment. He noted, `the potential for conflict is high.' Just a few weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that Pakistan is preparing for a possible nuclear weapons test. Even a limited nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India would result in deaths and destruction on an unprecedented scale in world history. Under the circumstances, I feel it would be the height of irresponsibility to allow for military aid to one side in such an unstable environment. The aftermath of the Brown amendment is proof that our relationship with India is impacted by United States nonproliferation policy. Because of India's unsafeguarded nuclear program, there is no United States-Indian agreement for nuclear cooperation. United States military cooperation with India is virtually nonexistent. The United States will not export certain forms of missile equipment and technology to India and any other goods that are related to weapons of mass destruction. It is true that United States sanctions have not been invoked against India, but that is because India has not violated its commitments under United States law.
I stand ready to seek a commonsense approach to improve our relations with all the countries in South Asia. We need a commonsense approach to deal with the problems in that troubled region. Illicit narcotics trafficking, terrorism, economic stagnation, and weapons proliferation are just some of the issues that plague South Asia. We must seek ways to help these countries address all these problems. I am ready to start that process. We can start by repealing the Brown amendment and begin working on an approach that serves the mutual interests of the people of the United States and the people of South Asia.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. PROMOTION OF PEACE AND SECURITY IN SOUTH ASIA.
(a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The American people fervently desire that all the peoples of South Asia enjoy peace and share an increased sense of security.
(2) The peace and security of South Asia are threatened by an arms race, particularly the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their modern delivery systems.
(3) Congress has granted both a one-time exception to and partial repeal of United States nuclear nonproliferation laws in order to permit the Government of Pakistan to receive certain United States military equipment and training and limited economic aid.
(4) The exception and partial repeal was based on direct assurances to the United States Government that `there will be no significant change on nuclear and missile nonproliferation issues of concern to the United States'.
(5) The Director of Central Intelligence has informed Congress that Pakistan has taken recent delivery of `nuclear technology' and `M-11 missiles' from the People's Republic of China.
(6) The justification for the exception to and partial repeal of United States nonproliferation laws is no longer valid.
(b) Repeal.--Section 620E of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2375) is amended to read as if the amendments made to such section by section 559 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1996 (Public Law 104-107) had not been made.
Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, last September the Senate approved an amendment offered by Senator Brown that allowed the administration to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military equipment to Pakistan.
In doing so, we decided to ignore Pakistan's continuing efforts to acquire nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles to carry them, and we turned our backs on United States non-proliferation law and international arms control agreements. Today, I am pleased to cosponsor a bill being introduced by Senator Pressler that will repeal this misguided provision and will help put U.S. nonproliferation policy back on track.
During Senate consideration of the Brown amendment, the proponents, including the administration, argued that transferring the military equipment would remove what had become an irritant in our relations with Pakistan and would result in enhanced cooperation on nonproliferation issues. Unfortunately, the opposite has happened.
Even as we debated the Brown amendment we had clear and convincing evidence that Pakistan had received M-11 ballistic missiles from China--a sanctionable offense under the Missile Technology Control Regime. We now know that Pakistan also has continued to pursue its Nuclear Weapons Program. In an unclassified hearing earlier this year, Director of Central Intelligence John Deutch testified to the Intelligence Committee that he was especially concerned about Pakistani efforts to acquire nuclear technology. Although he did not provide details, the press has reported that last summer China sent Pakistan specialized magnets for use in centrifuges to produce enriched uranium. Such a transfer would violate the 1994 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act. Finally, Director Deutch told the Intelligence Committee that Pakistan was likely to test a nuclear weapon if India did, hardly the restraint we were promised.
Since the late 1970's the Pakistani Government has repeatedly assured the United States that it does not possess nuclear weapons despite our certainty that it does. As recently as November of 1994, Prime Minister Bhutto said in an interview with David Frost `We have neither detonated one, nor have we got nuclear weapons.' Now they are practicing the same deception with regard to acquiring missiles from China. In July of 1995, a press release from the Pakistan Embassy asserted that `Pakistan has not acquired the M-11 or any other missile from China that violates the Missile Technology Control Regime.' The evidence to the contrary is, in my opinion, overwhelming.
Pakistan has been a friend and ally of the United States since its independence. But how many times can you let a friend mislead you and how many times can you let a friend put you in danger before you are forced to change the nature of the relationship. This is not a question of whether we want good relations with Pakistan. Of course we do. We want good relations with all countries, but the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the delivery systems to carry them is far more important to our national security than relations with any one country. Indeed, this is one of the most important national security issues facing us today.
I congratulate my colleague from South Dakota for his leadership on this issue and I am pleased to cosponsor his legislation. I hope that we can address this issue before the transfer of this equipment is completed.