Mr. KYL. Mr. President, this weekend there was an important conference in Prague, the Czech Republic, in which both Europeans and Americans discussed the future of the Atlantic alliance.
I wanted to report briefly on that and submit statements for the Record later.
First, let me ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record an op-ed piece written by our colleague, the Senator from Mississippi, Senator Cochran, relating to the subject of missile defense.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
When it comes to thinking about ballistic missile defense (BMD), most opponents of defending America are mired in the logic of the Cold War. Critics would do well to consider new ideas, as their old logic is inadequate for the emerging security environment.
It was suggested in an op-ed piece by Michael Krepon [The Last 15 Minutes, March 27] that the START process of reducing the number of Russian nuclear weapons should be a preferred alternative to national missile defense. This argument is, in fact, a staple from the past. The ability to defend against Soviet missiles was considered anathema to achieving U.S.-Soviet strategic arms control agreements, and therefore it was sacrificed for the goal of reducing Soviet nuclear arms through negotiation.
This position, questionable at the time, now ignores reality. It misses one of the primary features of the changed world: the proliferation of missiles and nuclear weapons to rogue states outside the old East Bloc. The central point of the Defend America Act now before Congress is that American cities must be protected against those rogues now bent on acquiring long-range missiles and nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The START process does not help us here--it doesn't even apply.
START II, ratified by the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, cannot and does not pretend to take a single missile or mass-destruction weapon out of the hands of countries such as North Korea, Iran and Libya. The Defend America Act calls for defenses against the limited missile arsenals existing and sought by such rogue states.
The notion is also put forward that we should focus on various multilateral and nonproliferation measures instead of national missile defense. Again, the old Cold War debating tactic of pitting diplomatic efforts against BMD shines through. And again, it does not fit the new world. We know that diplomatic efforts to prevent the spread of missile technology alone are inadequate to address the proliferation threat.
Despite some modest diplomatic successes, such as with the Missile Technology Control Regime, the list of countries acquiring missiles and mass-destruction weapons continues to grow. Rogue states have proven themselves capable of sidestepping our diplomatic nonproliferation measures. For example, inspections in Iraq, the world's most heavily inspected regime, have been on the ground for years, yet we are regularly surprised by new revelations of previously unknown Iraqi proliferation efforts.
Diplomatic efforts to help slow the pace of proliferation must continue. But nobody should be fooled into believing that arms control agreements alone can solve the problem; and nobody should be fooled by the old Cold War argument that missile defense must be sacrificed to pursue various arms control efforts. This is not an either/or choice, as the critics would like us to believe.
It should be common knowledge, but it isn't, that America has no operational national missile defense system. Consequently, because we cannot be confident in our various diplomatic efforts to stop missiles before the `last 15 minutes' of their deadly flight, it makes sense to focus attention and resources now on the capability to intercept missiles and warheads before they reach their targets. The proliferation of missiles and mass-destruction weapons now makes missile defenses essential to American security.
Some argue that there is no missile threat to the United States for the foreseeable future. This notion comes on the heels of statements by Chinese officials to American officials that the United States would not support Taiwan in a crisis because of the Chinese capability to rain nuclear bombs on Los Angeles. It also ignores the fact that, according to U.S. intelligence estimates and private accounts, the North Koreans have in development a missile that, when operations, will be able to target parts of the United States. In the past, the North Koreans have sold missiles to anybody with the cash to pay. How far and wide might this missile be sold? Nobody inside or outside the intelligence community knows.
We do know that North Korea has sold its missiles to rogue states in the past, including Iran. We also know that Libya's Qadhafi and Saddam Hussein have both expressed their longing for missiles and nuclear weapons with which to threaten the United States, and willing sources of technology and brain power exist to help them.
For America to delay moving ahead on BMD until multiple rogue missile threats emerge--and there is consensus in the intelligence community that such is the case-- carries high risks that Americans need not be vulnerable to.
Some think tanks may be able to convince American leaders that they should not worry about emerging missile threats, but providing the common defense is a constitutional responsibility those in authority dare not forfeit or ignore. That is why I support the Defend America Act and that is why the president should sign it.
Mr. KYL. Mr. President, the conference to which I referred was to discuss the future of the Atlantic alliance given the fact that the Central European nations of Europe have not yet been taken into either the economic or the political organizations to which the Western European nations have belonged since the end of World War II. Specifically, would these countries be taken into NATO, and would they be taken into the community of European nations in terms of the economic arrangements that currently exist? The answer to those questions by most of the members at this conference was that it was time for the Western European nations, including the United States, to reach out to the Central European countries like the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and others who wished to be a part of the alliance both to develop stronger economic ties and also to provide for common security arrangements. The basis for this conclusion was primarily philosophical, not practical, though the practical benefits of the arrangement are clear for all to see.
From a practical standpoint, it goes without saying that exports and imports benefit all nations participating, that there are benefits to common defense, and certainly from the United States' perspective a forward defense by having friends in Europe as preferable to an isolationist position. But the philosophical reasons were the ones that were dwelt upon by the participants in this Atlantic alliance conference because of the understanding that the Western nations, among others in the world, share a common set of values, a common heritage, and an understanding that mankind should be free, that government should protect that freedom and independence based upon the philosophical and moral values of the Western nations. There is a sense that we do not have an option to be apart but rather must continue to work together to advance that philosophy.
Why is that so? Mr. President, it is important for the people of the United States to see the advantages of democracy in the world. If I could sum up in one sentence what our national interest is abroad, it would be to advance the cause of democracy for the peoples who share that common value with us.
As I said, it benefits the United States from a philosophical point of view because, if there is conflict in the world, the United States is less free not only from a military point of view but from the point of view of the rights that we exercise as American citizens. We know from the depths of the cold war that Americans were less free at home because of the commitments that we had to make abroad.
That is why, both from a practical and a philosophical point of view, it is important for the United States to participate with our Western European allies and why it is important for all of us to try to advance the cause of freedom by extending the number of democratic states in the world.
There is another important point that was reached by most participants in the conference. That was that of all of the threats that face the civilized nations of the world today, as Lady Margaret Thatcher said in one of the key addresses at the conference, the most critical threat of all is the threat of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver those weapons. That same theme was articulated by others at the conference as well.
The conclusion of the policy statement at the conference was that a concerted action by the alliance leaders to develop and to deploy an effective ballistic missile defense for all of the democratic peoples of the world was an important goal for us to be achieving, and that, if we could achieve that goal, we would no longer have to answer the question of why NATO continued to have a purpose in the world today.
Conceived as an organization to protect Western Europe from the threat of communism and the expansion of communism, some have felt that NATO has no more purpose because that ideological threat no longer exists. That is true; but what does exist is the threat from rogue nations, whether ideologically oriented or not, rogue nations who are, one could say, the world's criminal element because they have no regard for the democratic rights of other nations and have exhibited aggressive tendencies. Iraq and Iran are two of the most recent examples. These are nations, along with others like North Korea, who have acquired or are acquiring both weapons of mass destruction and the missiles, the means, to deliver them, and who can use those missiles not only in military activity against the Western alliance such as in the gulf war but also in conduct of their foreign policy to blackmail states such as the Western European nations and the United States.
Let me conclude with this point. As Margaret Thatcher pointed out to the conference, the threat is primarily against nations of the so-called civilized world attempting to advance legitimate foreign policy goals by making threats with the use of ballistic missiles. If Iraq, for example, had had a nuclear capability and we knew that, the question that I posed in the conference was, would the United States have, and would the United States conference have voted to use military action against Saddam Hussein? It was a close enough question in the conference even knowing that we could defeat Saddam Hussein, but if Saddam Hussein had had a nuclear warhead, or if we knew that he would use chemical or biological weapons, would the United States Congress have voted to thwart his actions after he invaded Kuwait? For that matter, would the European nations have joined the grand coalition if they knew that they were vulnerable to a missile attack from Saddam Hussein?
Asking that question raises the point of the use of these weapons for blackmail, because a nation which can blackmail others obviously is a criminal nation and a nation who can expand its foreign policy goals and thwart ours. But with the development and deployment of effective missile defenses, that ability to blackmail is gone because the United States and the Western European allies, who would have such an effective defense at that point, would be able to say to Saddam Hussein or to the rulers of Iran or North Korea or Syria, whatever country it might be, `You cannot push us around; you cannot threaten the nations of Europe; you cannot threaten your neighbors with these ballistic missiles because, as you know, we can destroy them; we have a defense against them.'
So, Mr. President, I think it is an important development that, at this Atlantic alliance, leaders there concluded by and large that it was important for us to develop in a concerted way--our European allies as well as the United States--an effective ballistic missile defense to thwart this blackmail use of weapons of mass destruction by the outlaw or so-called rogue regimes of the world.
I will just conclude by saying that the importance of the United States proceeding with this and bringing it to the floor in the next couple of weeks, along with the budget that we will be debating later this week and the authorization bill for the Armed Services Committee which the distinguished Presiding Officer sits on--as we debate this bill we will be discussing specifically the issue of whether or not we will continue to adequately fund and to begin deployment of an effective missile defense system.
That will be a matter of great debate on this Senate floor, and I hope my colleagues, in consideration of that, will pause and reflect upon the conclusions of this Atlantic alliance which, as I said, has now come much farther along the path of agreeing that in the end there should be a coordinated, combined effort. It would not just be the United States, but it would be our Atlantic allies as well participating with us in some kind of effective global ballistic missile defense system.
Mr. President, I will at a future time insert in the Record some of the statements that were made at this important conference. For the moment, I simply wanted to alert my colleagues to the fact that, as we begin this budget debate and as we begin the debate on the Defense authorization bill, a consensus is developing around the world, and the United States needs to lead in this effort. I know the distinguished Presiding Officer and I will be involved in that debate in a significant way as it unfolds in the next few days.
Thank you, Mr. President.