SEN. SAM NUNN (D-GA): (Strikes gavel.) Senator Roth has been
delayed this morning and he has got conflicts also. And Senator
Lugar was going to be here, but has Agriculture Committee business
he has to attend to, so we'll have other senators -- Senator Levin
and others will be coming in. I think Senator Lugar has an opening
statement that I would ask unanimous consent be put in the record,
and without objection, it will be.
Before the disintegration of the Soviet Union, we had a defense
strategy that proved to be successful and made a great deal of
sense. We knew who our enemy was. We knew where he was located
and, to a great extent, what type of weapons he had. He knew the
same about us. We assumed the Soviet Union was sane and interested
in survival. They assumed the same about us. The result was a
very dangerous but relatively stable balance that avoided not only
world war, but avoided for over 45 years the use of any nuclear
Now, with the emergence of democracy in Europe, sovereignty of a
number of states that were part of the Soviet Union, and the
breakup of the Soviet empire, we are less preoccupied with a Cold
War or the threat of an all-out nuclear war, but we have new
challenges, new threats, and increasingly unpredictable
As we discussed last week and throughout this series of hearings,
the loss of the command structures of the Soviet Union seriously
affected that region's ability to protect and secure its huge
arsenal of weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, chemical, as
well as biological, as well as the delivery means, including
missiles and including other delivery means.
Economic dislocation has added to that and has caused great concern
that weapons scientists and their lethal technology may also be for
sale around the world.
Today we look at who is trying to obtain these weapons, these
materials, and this know-how, how they're going about it, and our
efforts to deal with it.
As our distinguished panelists discuss these challenges to our
national security, I believe that a few conclusions will become
clear. Our new adversaries are, in some way, more dangerous than
the Cold War threats we faced. Today we have to face the
possibility that weapons of mass destruction may become accessible
to a group willing to do the unthinkable. The director of the
Central Intelligence Agency, John Deutch, will review the present
state of the threat in the Middle East and elsewhere, and discuss
the weaponization of these regions.
Much of the technology that is critical to the weapons program is
available from an emerging black market or through dual-use market.
Experts David Kay and Gary Milhollin will discuss their concerns
that weapons technology and material is becoming increasingly
available for the right price.
Efforts to prevent these groups and nations from obtaining
destructive power are difficult and require both extreme and
constant vigilance. Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, executive director of
the U.N. special commission that is conducting investigations of
the Iraqi weapons buildup, will explain the difficulties he's
confronted, including the pattern of deception that Iraq
continually employs, that makes his job so difficult and so
Our hearings this month are part of a larger effort by this
subcommittee that began in 1994 and will continue throughout this
This Friday, we will convene the subcommittee to hear the
subcommittee staff explain some of their recommendations, as well
as the recommendations of many experts and observers who have
testified before the subcommittee over the last year. Then we will
hear from a panel of representatives from government agencies
discuss these issues with a look toward the future.
On Wednesday, March the 27th, the subcommittee will turn to our
domestic preparedness; how well are we equipped to respond to a
chemical, biological or nuclear terrorist incident in the United
States? We will examine efforts by our government to prepare for
the unthinkable moment, which we hope and pray will never arrive,
when we receive a credible threat of deployment of a weapon of mass
destruction here at home. How will we react? Will we have thought
about it in advance? Will we have coordinated in advance with our
own agencies and with certain governments around the world?
Witnesses will include local and federal government representatives
responsible for responding to such incidents.
Finally, I would note that last October, this subcommittee
presented its first investigative report on the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction. That report was an extensive review
of the Sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway system last year, which
killed 12 and injured over 5,000 and would have killed, literally,
thousands more if the delivery system had been more sophisticated.
The attack by the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo is believed to be the
first terrorist deployment of a chemical weapon of mass destruction
on a civilian population. Coincidentally, that tragic attack
occurred on March 20th, 1995. One year to the day later, I can say
that we have left the realm of the unthinkable; these are no longer
Our nation must provide thoughtful and determined leadership in the
international community as we deal with this threat. I hope these
hearings help provide a broader understanding of this challenge.
And I also hope these hearings will produce recommendations that
help provide a framework for our nation as we provide the world
leadership, which is absolutely essential.
Dr. Deutch, we're delighted to have you hear today. And, as we do
with all witnesses before this subcommittee, if you'll rise, we'll
give you the oath.
(Witness is sworn.)
SEN. NUNN: Thank you.
Dr. Deutch will start off today's discussion on what countries may
be developing nuclear weapon programs and how they're getting the
materials and know-how, and I also understand he will discuss the
potential for countries to use the former Soviet Union as a weapons
Dr. Deutch, we're pleased to have you. We appreciate you being
here and we look forward to your testimony and the questioning.
DEUTCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
With your permission, I would like to submit my rather extensive
prepared testimony for the record. I think it includes a very
thorough discussion of the points that you and this committee are
interested in, including a chronology of past events in the
diversion of nuclear materials. If that's suitable, sir.
SEN. NUNN: That will be fine. It will be part of the record,
without objection. I've read your entire statement and it is very
helpful, and I don't want you to feel you have to cut it too short.
We would appreciate some summary, but you take the time you feel
DEUTCH: Thank you very much. I am pleased to appear here on the
important subject of the potential for diversion of strategic
nuclear material, plutonium and highly-enriched uranium, suitable
for making nuclear explosive devices.
Mr. Chairman, I'd like to start off briefly with each one of these
points in turn.
What is the diversion threat from Russia? The Russians have made
a number of efforts to control their nuclear weapons and nuclear
material stockpile which grew so large in the former Soviet Union.
Let me give you some examples of positive steps that have been
taken. Most of the nuclear weapons located in Eastern Europe,
Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan have been returned to Russia. Some
progress has been made in improving the security facilities in the
Russian nuclear weapons complex. Construction of state storage
facilities for nuclear materials is proceeding, although slowly, at
a location near Ozurk (sp). Much of the progress is due to the
assistance provided and the encouragement provided by the United
States, primarily the Department of Defense and the Department of
Energy, through the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program funded
with Nunn-Lugar funds.
However, due to severe resource shortages, the Russian nuclear
weapons complex is deteriorating, and it continues to be a serious
threat for diversion of nuclear technology and materials to other
proliferating countries in the world. First of all, the Russians
simply do not have the resources allocated to maintaining security
at their weapons complex or facilities to provide adequate material
accountability. Secondly, personnel have been told by MINATOM, the
Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy, that they cannot rely solely on
government funds to support their activities at the Russian nuclear
These circumstances invite the diversion of material from the
weapons complex to other locations. Up to the present, we have
seen numerous reports, most of them bogus, of strategic nuclear
materials from the Russian stockpile being offered for sale, mostly
in Western Europe. However, a few of these cases have involved
weapons usable material in small quantities that are significantly
less than what is required for a nuclear explosive device.
However, these few cases show what can happen and serve as a
warning to us. As I mentioned, we have included in my testimony,
attached to it, a chronology of all of these reports that we follow
for the last three years.
Next, Mr. Chairman, let me turn to who are the customers for this
strategic nuclear material. Obtaining strategic nuclear materials
adequate for making a nuclear explosive device is the central
hurdle for those who are seeking a nuclear capability. We know
that enormous efforts have been made by Iraq and North Korea to
produce indigenously adequate amounts of strategic nuclear
materials for weapons.
Without going into detail in open session, we believe that several
nations at one time or another have explored the possibility of
purchasing strategic nuclear materials as the simplest and quickest
and cheapest way to acquiring nuclear weapons capability.
Prominent examples include Iran and Iraq, to a lesser extent North
Korea and Libya. Clearly, for terrorists or sub-national groups,
the only practical way to acquire nuclear weapons is either to
steal or purchase a device, or to purchase the strategic nuclear
materials and then address the much simpler problem of constructing
a device from the highly enriched uranium or plutonium.
Third, Mr. Chairman, let me turn to what can be done to reduce the
threat. First, this threat is real and we should not deny its
existence. Second, if a significant act of diversion occurs,
either the sale of some nuclear device or a meaningful amount of
strategic nuclear materials from the Russian complex, we will face
a crisis of enormous proportions, and we will devote energy and
resources greatly in excess of the cost a reasonable cooperative
threat reduction program would impose on us today. In some sense,
making these efforts today is insurance about having to make much
larger and much more dangerous resource commitments in the future.
What would be the elements of a prudent and effective cooperative
threat reduction program that would reduce the threat from
diversion of materials or devices from the Russian complex?
Although this is not entirely an intelligence judgment, my previous
experience tells me the following measures are most important.
We must do everything we can to reduce the strategic nuclear
material inventory productive capacity for producing these
materials in Russia. For example, we should consider converting
the plutonium production reactor, the one I believe at Krasnoyarsk,
to a mixed oxide plutonium burner. This will at the same time
reduce the Russian plutonium inventory and the production
capability of Russian plutonium reactors.
Second, we should continue the existing program of Russian weapon
dismantlement and the construction of a safe plutonium storage
Third, we should take all steps to improve material protection,
control, and accountability systems at Russian nuclear facilities
through a program designed to minimize the risk of diversion from
those facilities that are most a threat or loss of material or
technology or facility.
Both the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy have
the mission and the technical capability to carry out such threat
Closing, Mr. Chairman, I want to say that I agree with members of
this committee, with you, with Senator Lugar, Graham Allison,
others who have -- experts who have testified before you: the
prospects of nuclear diversion from Russia is a major national
security threat to the United States. I commend this committee and
all of its members for addressing this issue so forthrightly.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. NUNN: Thank you, Dr. Deutch. First question, on chemical and
biological weapons, you mentioned the nuclear threat and the threat
coming out of the former Soviet Union of leaking materials,
know-how, and so forth. What about chemical and biological from
the same source, and what is the demand for chemical and biological
in the world?
DEUTCH: Mr. Chairman, I thought my remarks were requested to be
restricted to nuclear, but let me say a word about chemical and
First of all, the demand for chemical and biological is broader in
the terrorist world and in the world of rogue nations.
Secondly, the technology required to make chemical agents or
biological agents is a great deal simpler because one does not have
to pass that very high hurdle of getting strategic nuclear
materials, the highly enriched uranium and plutonium.
Thirdly, a lot of the equipment and technology needed to make these
chemical agents or biological agents can be obtained from dual use
equipment or dual use technology so that the -- for a nation or a
group that is trying to make this material, like you mentioned the
Japanese terrorist group making sarin, it can be obtained and done
without recourse to diverting equipment or technology from Russian
sources. So it can be done more simply and cheaply just using dual
use, widely available equipment and technology.
SEN. NUNN: If you had to list the dangers in terms of a terrorist
group carrying out mass destruction or attempt to carry out mass
destruction in this country or in our allied countries, which would
you link -- list as the highest threat? Would it be nuclear -- the
use of nuclear, would it be chemical, or would it be biological?
Which is the most likely?
DEUTCH: For a terrorist group, I think the judgment of all experts
would be chemical, first; biological, second; and nuclear, third.
That would be, I think, the order. None of them are happy
prospects, let me say. But I think, from the point of view of
threat, it would be in that order, sir.
SEN. NUNN: Is that because it's easier for a terrorist group to
get chemical weapons and then, second, biological and nuclear would
be more difficult for them -- easier for them to transport that
DEUTCH: The chemicals are the weapon of choice for a terrorist
group. Biological requires greater care of the material until it's
used and has some, in my judgment, some greater problems of --
well, basically, care, before it's used. Nuclear -- the reason
that that is -- I would mark it third is because of the issue of
having to acquire, illegally or surreptitiously, a device or
SEN. NUNN: You mentioned the Iranians. Can you confirm that Iran
is surreptitiously trying to buy weapons from the former Soviet
Union, weapons as such, or is it more likely to be materials?
DEUTCH: Mr. Chairman, I wouldn't want to go beyond the remarks
that I've made here and in my statement, in open session, on that
subject. I think that what I would -- I (want ?) to say is (just
?) that we -- we do know that the Iranians have, from time to time,
been interested in acquiring materials and devices from, basically,
SEN. NUNN: Any other countries you could list this morning in open
session that --
DEUTCH: I -- I --
SEN. NUNN: -- would fall into that category of trying to acquire
nuclear materials or devices?
DEUTCH: Iran and Iraq and, to a lesser degree, Libya and North
SEN. NUNN: What about Syria? Is that -- are they on that list?
DEUTCH: They're not on the list that I have mentioned to you this
morning. No, sir. (Laughter.)
SEN. NUNN: What list are they on? (Laughter.)
You don't have -- you're not prepared to say anything about any
other countries this morning?
DEUTCH: I -- I'm not prepared to go further at this point, sir.
SEN. NUNN: To what extent are we equipped to deal with the
sub-national threat -- I guess you would call it group threat or
terrorist threat: that is, a small group that is able to obtain
weapons, technology, material? And this -- these groups are less
likely to be using these weapons as a deterrent and much more
likely to actually put them to use or threatened use in terms of
blackmail. How well equipped are we to deal with this kind of
threat now, in your evaluation?
DEUTCH: Very poorly, sir. The ability for our country or, I might
say, any other country in the developed world to protect their
infrastructure from a terrorist attack based on nuclear, chemical,
or biological weapons is very, very small indeed.
I must say, Mr. Chairman, that that vulnerability of the
infrastructure has always been true. That is not something which
has recently changed. What is entirely different today is the fact
that we see a growth in international terrorism, most recently
exhibited, of course, in these terrorist bombing events in Israel.
But throughout the world, as I have testified on numerous
occasions, we see a growth in -- as you've just mentioned,
terrorist organizations willing to take on acts against civilian
populations and against countries throughout the world that make
this issue of vulnerability, infrastructure vulnerability much more
SEN. NUNN: To what extent do this -- do these kind of groups --
for instance, the groups in Israel or the groups that carried out
the attack in New York on the World Trade Center -- to what extent
do the groups like that need to have national support -- that is,
support from a sovereign state -- in order to be able to work? Can
they operate on their own, or do they require support from a state?
DEUTCH: I think it -- to one degree or another they all require
some support from sovereign states. They require that because they
need sanctuaries for their training, their headquarters and their
planning activities. They require that to get the resources and
the locations where they can undertake and plan their operations.
SEN. NUNN: But actually, Aum Shinrikyo did not --
DEUTCH: Well that was a national group, it was a national group
operating in that case within Japan, although we know that they
have activities elsewhere in the world.
The point I'm saying is the Islamic organizations, the Islamic
terrorist organization Hezbollah, the Gama'at, Hamas, have
organizations spread in many countries and they do find -- get
assistance and sanctuary from a variety of different countries.
SEN. NUNN: You mentioned in your full statement that what we know
you mentioned certainly is alarming, but you also mentioned -- and
I don't remember the exact words -- what we don't know. If you
looked at the spectrum of intelligence now of what we actually know
about what's going on in this area, and I'm talking about the
demand side, the people trying to purchase the materials, weapons
of mass destruction, and then you looked at the unknown, how
confident are you that we are anywhere near knowing what's going on
out there in terms of what's really happening in trying to -- in
groups trying to get a hold of this kind of material and weapons?
DEUTCH: Well, let me say that --
SEN. NUNN: In other words, how big is the world that we don't know
DEUTCH: Always a hard question to answer. Let me try and say two
things, that this issue of the spread of weapons of mass
destruction to both national and sub-national groups is a matter of
extraordinarily high priority in our collection efforts and our
analytic efforts, but especially in our collection effort. I would
say to you that there is not a place in the world where we have a
presence, speaking about the intelligence community broadly now,
where this question is not on the minds of our men and women who
are serving or on our collection system. So this is certainly a
subject that we are very -- placing enormously high priority to get
whatever information we can.
Having said that, it is not the kind of subject where I would want
to give you or any other person categorical assurance that we know
everything that's going on. As you just mentioned in your opening
statement, in a curious way it makes you wish for the old Cold War
where you knew the kind of target you were dealing with and the
problem you had in penetrating it and issues you were facing.
Today, to learn what the intentions are of possibly very determined
although small terrorist groups, is extremely difficult and
requires great ingenuity, and I might say courage by our officers.
So I would say to you, we are certainly placing tremendously high
priority on this subject, but I cannot with confidence say that we
know all that's going on.
SEN. NUNN: One of the areas that's come to our attention, where it
seems to me, at this point, at least, we're most deficient would be
in the Central Asia area or the Caucasus countries, Southern
Russia, those areas where we have not had the kind of presence --
economically, politically, or otherwise -- that we've had on the
western side. Would you share that, or are we working that problem
in a more diligent way than is apparent to me at this --
MR. DEUTCH: Well, I would say to you, sir, I'll put in a plug for
Secretary Christopher. I think that you also want to look at our
diplomatic presence and our open presence there, as well as
whatever small efforts we may have. There's also a very important
open press, broadcasts which come out of these parts of the world.
Quite frankly, we regard these parts of the world as being
extremely important for preserving security not only from the point
of view of the issue we're discussing here today, but all of those
central republics, Central Asian republics, are moving towards
democracy, trying to move towards democracy, trying to improve
their economies. So these are important countries for our
government to interact with, engage with, and we're certainly
trying to do that in our collaborative effort with them.
SEN. NUNN: I guess my question is: Are we doing as much there as
we are doing in other parts on the -- of Russia and the other parts
of the former Soviet Union --
DEUTCH: Well, I --
SEN. NUNN: -- or the Soviet empire?
DEUTCH: -- I would be -- let me say, again, I want to make very
clear that I think --
SEN. NUNN: I'm speaking --
DEUTCH: -- that we ought to start with our diplomatic presence
SEN. NUNN: Right.
DEUTCH: -- which I do worry about. And that's an important part
for what we do, because we need their policy guidance --
SEN. NUNN: Yeah.
DEUTCH: -- and presence there. But I would say to you that if we
could in private review our efforts there, I think you would see
that our collaborative efforts there are quite strong and that we
do see it as a -- an important area, compared to many.
SEN. NUNN: Let me switch to Senator Glenn here, and then I'll have
a few more questions before we wrap it up.
SEN. JOHN GLENN (D-OH): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. NUNN: I know you've done a great deal of work in this area,
and we appreciate your leadership.
SEN. GLENN: You've been following this a long time. Thank you.
Dr. Deutch, the administration appears to have made up its mind to
send $368 million worth of military equipment to Pakistan. This is
quoted in the morning paper from a high administration official, in
the Washington Post this morning, I understand, despite clear
evidence that Pakistan has once again violated U.S.
non-proliferation laws, this time by purchasing ring magnets from
China for their nuclear weapons material production facility. I
don't think there's any doubt this is against our own non-
proliferation laws. What's the CIA's or your own analysis of the
likely impact of the administration decision on India and
specifically on the forthcoming Indian elections? Any opinion on
DEUTCH: I have not -- I have not come here this morning prepared
with a assessment of Indian reaction to the policy move that you
mentioned. I can certainly provide that for you, Senator.
SEN. GLENN: If you would, I'd appreciate it, if we could have it
for the record. Thank you. I'm very concerned about this.
Followed this for long time, and I think that some of the
reactions going on now or decisions being made, as, quoting a high
administration official, quoting that they've made up their mind on
this. I just think this violates our laws, and I think it's the
wrong direction. But we've fought this out on the Senate floor and
lost on the Brown amendment, and a number of other things, which I
know you have followed.
Do we know in the Soviet Union -- do we know where all the weapons
are that were former Soviet weapons that might now be in
independent states, former Soviet -- members of the Soviet Union?
MR. DEUTCH: I think that we have a fairly good -- fairly good
confidence that the Russians and we do know where these weapons are
and where they're located and where they're planned to go to. I
think that that's one of the positive steps that have happened as
a result of cooperative threat reduction program.
SEN. GLENN: Okay.
DEUTCH: The Nunn-Lugar program. I do think that we have a fairly
good fix on that.
SEN. GLENN: Not only ballistic missiles but shorter-range,
DEUTCH: I've talked --
SEN. GLENN: I mean tactical weapons. I'm sorry, not missiles.
DEUTCH: I was thinking of nuclear devices. That's what I was
thinking of. And the answer to that, I would say, is largely yes,
but not entirely. I also want to mention that in the production
complex, there are always devices that are in partial state of
fabrication or rework and so on. So there's a whole lot of
piece-part issues that you have to worry about too.
But with respect to the location of weapons that were formerly in
military units, the answer to that, I would say, is we're fairly
confident of it, and we believe the Russians have a fairly good
handle on it.
SEN. GLENN: In times past, we were very concerned about Pakistan
or others developing what, at that time, we termed an "Islamic
bomb." We used to refer -- to it that way. And it was referred to
it -- internationally, at some of the meetings that way.
Is there any indication that Iraq is working with others to spread
nuclear weaponry to other countries, or giving them nuclear
information or technology that would let other countries or groups
develop a weapon?
SEN. GLENN: Iraq.
DEUTCH: I think at the present time, Iraq is mostly trying to
preserve whatever capability it can, in light of the U.N.
sanctions. You will be hearing more from a witness who is more
directly involved in that.
But I think, right now, I would have to say no, we don't know of
efforts for Iraq to export technology or materials elsewhere.
SEN. GLENN: One of the things that disturbed me in your statement
also -- I think it's really a red flag for us, and it -- you said
that the Russians, quote, "may not know where all their material is
DEUTCH: Yes, I think that that refers, especially, to -- within
the complex, as the complex deteriorates, in terms of its
performance. In terms of its operations and support for
operations, the accountability will eventually suffer. It may
never have been as good as it is in our complex.
SEN. GLENN: It's one thing to -- for us to be using the Nunn-
Lugar money, which I support -- I voted for that -- and then
support that concept of helping them to take their weapons down and
But this made me wonder whether we -- if we don't even -- if they
don't even know where all their material is located -- whether
maybe we wouldn't be well-advised to take some of that Nunn-Lugar
money and, instead of putting it just on weapons' dismantlement --
bringing them off, the missiles and so on -- helping Russia somehow
find out where all their material is.
That's really -- we got loose nukes all over the place if we -- if
they don't know where all their material may be; or potential loose
nukes, that is, if they haven't been put into weapons yet.
DEUTCH: Senator Glenn, I -- in my comments, I explicitly said that
I think that expenditures on materials' protection, accountability
and control in Russia makes tremendous sense if it's on a
risk-based basis. Don't do it for every place, but in those places
where you think there's a serious problem. I think that that is a
very cost-effective way to reduce this threat.
SEN. GLENN: We have -- we have the Nunn-Lugar money right there.
It's there, now, being used. Without having to go try and get a
new -- a new appropriation for that, do you think it would be good
to take some of that money and use it for this purpose?
DEUTCH: Well -- (I ?) -- this is, wildly, fields from an
intelligence question. But having -- being both a loyal ex-member
of both the Department of Energy or the Department of Defense --
(audience chuckles) -- I would say that either agency could carry
this out very, very well. My point is it's something the country
should do. That's as far as I should go.
SEN. GLENN: Okay.
DEUTCH: I can't give you off-bets right here -- (laughter) --
SEN. GLENN: (That's all right ?).
DEUTCH: -- maybe privately, Senator.
SEN. GLENN: One of the other things I think you had in your
statement was you -- there was a Russian source who said that they
-- it would be possible for them to substitute a dummy warhead,
dummy bomb and avoid detection for probably up to six months.
That's disturbing also.
DEUTCH: That depends on the precise control system that they have
SEN. GLENN: What is the danger as you see it if somebody came into
some -- now, it takes a large industrial complex to put a weapon
together. And there's a lot of things that have to be done -- the
facets on the bomb -- and there's a lot of experimenting. It's a
big industrial operation. Even if you have the plutonium, it's
still a big industrial operation to get the thing done. What is
the danger of people having plutonium unless they -- having
plutonium that could be put into a dust or a powder of some kind of
-- if that was spread around Times Square or something like that?
Is this a danger that we should be looking into? Is it really a
DEUTCH: Well, on a per gram or per cubic centimeter basis it's not
-- I wouldn't think it would be as lethal as chemical or biological
in the same circumstances. But let me say to you building a
sophisticated nuclear device requires a tremendous amount of
ingenuity, a tremendous amount of engineering capability. Building
less sophisticated devices which don't give you the optimum yield
to weight ratio is not all that impossible. Designs are known, and
-- so while I would say to you yes, it does take some engineering
talent and some facilities and some milling and some dealing with
knowing how to deal with plutonium that we should not think that
this requires the kind of caliber that our weapons laboratories or
Russian weapons laboratories have to produce a crude nuclear
device. I would not want to -- don't say it's trivial, but I
wouldn't want to overestimate its difficulty.
SEN. GLENN: No, and I agree with you. And I was just recalling
when you said that about eight years ago, I guess it's been, Mr.
Chairman, maybe 12 or 13, maybe 14 years ago we had a student from
Princeton (who) came in and had some plans. And he talked to Dr.
Weiss (sp), our committee staff director at that time, and he had
a plan for a nuclear weapon. The only thing -- it was what we
called the ashcan device at that time, but we had -- and Len looked
at it, and he thought, well, it looked -- it looked like it might
work to him, although he's not a bomb designer. So we had Taylor
(sp) come down, Dr. Taylor (sp), who was a bomb designer, and he
said yeah, this probably would have worked. He's --
DEUTCH: The only --
SEN. GLENN: -- a student, so it just backs up what you're saying.
And we had that -- I wanted the Department of Energy to hire the
kid at that time, put him under some control -- (laughter) -- so he
wasn't out loose. But they -- they didn't do it.
And then we had -- we had a second time when he came up where he'd
-- and that, we found a lot of stuff out at Los Alamos in the
library that was open -- in the open stacks in the library. You may
recall some of those times, too, when this came out, what we came
to know on the committee as Rotow I, Rotow II was this fellow's
name. But it backs up what you're saying about they can design a
device, it might not be as sophisticated, might not make as
efficient use of the fissile material, but it still would go off.
SEN. GLENN: Yeah. So --
DEUTCH: The only thing which surprises me about your story is that
the student came from Princeton and not MIT! (Laughter.)
SEN. GLENN: Yeah! I was -- when I said Princeton I thought maybe
I was -- there was a mistake here!
Into how you keep up with these things -- and I don't know whether
we can get into this in open session or not -- it seems to me a lot
of the stuff we're into now is not things that you get by overhead
satellite and by SAGANT (sp) and things like that. Much of this
has to be developed by information sources that are human, human
(end ?), and that takes a long time to develop and to check out and
all that sort of things. Is that a major problem?
DEUTCH: I would say, I mentioned in response to an earlier
question, that I'm thoroughly satisfied, and I believe you would be
thoroughly satisfied about the awareness of this problem in the
human collection tasking system and actually what's going on in the
field. I don't believe that there's anywhere in the world where
there isn't -- where one of our men or women officers aren't aware
of the severity of this problem.
I would also say this is something which is not recent. This has
been put into the community for some number of years now. I would
also say that our development of a nonproliferation center has
assured an all-source, multi-agency approach to the analysis of
questions and the tasking on these kinds of issues. So I think a
tremendous amount of progress has been done, since the time really
of Mr. Gates as director, to build a real serious, post-Cold War,
nonproliferation intelligence capability on both the collection and
the analysis side, including all agencies, not just Central
SEN. GLENN: Yeah. I've come to the conclusion over the last few
years that bad as nuclear weapons are, though, that we're gradually
coming to the point where the chemical weapons may be our biggest
danger that we've run into in the near future. We can keep up a
lot easier with nuclear weapons than we can with -- and nuclear
developments than we can with chemical weapons.
Judge Webster, one of your predecessors out there, sat right where
you're sitting back a few years ago, testified that a very credible
chemical weapons factory -- and he was testifying as to how
difficult it is to keep up with some of the chemical weapons
development all over the world. And he testified that a very
credible chemical weapons factory for a terrorist group, or even
for a larger group than that, even a nation, could be set up in a
space about the size of this hearing room right here. Would you
concur with that, that they're that small and that easy to set up?
SEN. GLENN: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. NUNN: Thank you, Senator Glenn.
Senator Levin, I'll yield to you in a just a minute. Let me ask a
couple of other questions, and I'll let you wind up the questions
with Dr. Deutch.
Dr. Deutch, the presidential commission chaired by Harold Brown
and, first, our departed friend and colleague Les Aspin, and then
Warren Rudman succeeded in that role -- they -- their job was to
appraise the roles and capabilities of the U.S. intelligence
community. And they recently released a report that recommends
more cooperation is needed between law enforcement and intelligence
communities. Do you agree with this?
SEN. NUNN: What legislative changes, if any, would be needed to
develop of the kind of cooperation the Brown Commission recommends?
Do you need anything in the way of legislation, or is this
primarily a management, an executive branch --
DEUTCH: First of all, I don't think that this is a problem which
can be solved by legislation. There has been a long history, going
way back to the times of J. Edgar Hoover and Dulles, about problems
between the FBI and the CIA in particular.
I think that they have gotten tremendously better. They've gotten
a great deal better in recent years, and I would say that today we
have important mechanisms in place. I regularly meet with Louis
Freeh. I regularly meet with Janet Reno. My deputy, George Tenet,
meets every other week with Jamie Gorelick. We've had a very
important and, I might say, positive, extremely positive meeting in
Rome for the first time of some of our -- of agency personnel and
legal -- FBI persons abroad.
All indications that I have on the tremendously important issues
that we are discussing here -- infrastructure, vulnerability to
terrorist attack, terrorism against the United States in any form,
counterintelligence -- I would say that the cooperation is moving
smartly. We are assigning FBI officers in CIA, CIA officers in FBI
in this area. I'm quite positive about it, and I cannot imagine a
person who has been more cooperative in this matter than Louis
Freeh has been with me, or than Janet Reno (or ?) -- and, of
course, my beloved Jamie have been in these matters. So I'm quite
optimistic about it, and I regard serving law enforcement as being
one of the important post-cold war objectives in the intelligence
community. And we are looking to them as being an important
customer for foreign intelligence that we can provide.
SEN. NUNN: I'm told there are currently over 100 organizations,
offices, and government agencies that are involved in one way or
the other in the weapons of mass destruction proliferation effort
-- counter-proliferation effort of the U.S. government. Is it
feasible (transcript garbled) -- on proliferation with so many
DEUTCH: It's -- I don't -- it's certainly something we have to do.
We have to make sure that we have in place an efficient, an
effective, serious policy apparatus for doing that, and that, I
think, is an absolute requirement.
SEN. NUNN: The commission, the Brown-Rudman commission has
recommended that a global crime committee chaired by the
president's national security advisor be formed that would, among
other things, oversee U.S. government efforts to combat weapons of
mass destruction and proliferation that involves criminal activity.
DEUTCH: I don't have any thoughts on this proposal this morning,
but I think that the direction -- this is one of three committees
that were recommended by the Aspin-Brown commission.
One of the (transcript garbled) to do with a chaired group -- a
group (garbled transcript) priorities on the national security
arealigencecol te dat thatbattainly endorse myself as director of
Central Intelligence. Another was a consumer (transcript garbled)
run by the deputies, which I also endorse in the national security
area. There are several -- something is needed to coordinate
better foreign intelligence as it relates to global crime and
terrorism, and how that is organized I would want to await, talking
with the attorney general, but I have not done before reaching a
position myself. But the proposal made by the Brown commission is
entirely reasonable. Something like that is needed.
SEN. NUNN: On Monday the Washington Post published an article on
coordination among the CIA, FBI, and State Department. It
mentioned regular meetings between you and Director Freeh and
between representatives from the CIA and the Justice Department.
Was -- was that reasonably accurate in terms of the description of
the coordination (garbled) going on, or what else can you tell us
about the coordination, particularly between CIA and FBI where
there's been so much history of -- of problems?
DEUTCH: I hope this doesn't get me into trouble, Mr. Chairman: I
have not read that article. So -- but I do think we have a very
solid coordination at all levels and participation of officers at
all levels. I'd be happy to provide you a thorough -- a thorough
description of all that.
But as I say, I do meet, to the extent that you just read it -- as
I mentioned to you, that is accurate -- I meet with Louis Freeh
regularly. I talk to him all the time. I meet with Janet Reno
with high frequency. My deputy, George Tenet, meets biweekly with
Jamie Gorelick. We have a committee called the joint law
enforcement -- I forget the name of it -- some initials -- which
meets on a regular basis at the working level. We have people in
each other's counterterrorism centers, and efforts like that.
I think that this is something which is getting better, fast. So
I'm real -- I am -- I am optimistic about it. And I do think it's
important for the intelligence community to see that law
enforcement is the kind of important policy customer we're so
accustomed to dealing with in the national security (arena ?).
SEN. NUNN: Can you say anything in open session -- if you rather
reserve this, I certainly understand -- but can you say anything
about cooperation between our intelligence community and the
Russian intelligence community, your counterparts, regarding
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; chemical, biological
SEN. NUNN: Thank you. (Laughter.) I assume that's something you
pursue, though, in general.
Could you put -- take off your intelligence hat and answer one
policy question, based on your memory when you were in the arena --
(laughter) -- where you could have opinions on policy? And I know
DEUTCH: (Laughs.) You make me blush. (Laughter.)
SEN. NUNN: -- compartmentalize those opinions now and put them in
the deep resources of your brilliant mind. (Laughter.)
But the whole question of HEU -- purchasing HEU -- that is a focal
point; (it ?) has been. It was, I thought, an extraordinary
accomplishment to get the Ukraine to basically make the HEU
agreement with Russia. That helped get Ukraine out of the nuclear
business; a tremendous breakthrough that I don't think the
administration has gotten enough credit for.
But it all depends now on the HEU being purchased and that -- the
revenue flowing and the materials flowing. And we have this U.S.
Enrichment -- cooperation -- or corporation -- Corporation now
involved. Can you comment on that?
It doesn't appear to be working well. And it seems to me, this
needs some real attention at very high levels, because if this one
falls through; if this one collapses, the chances of getting this
kind of cooperation, and getting people out of the nuclear
business, and keeping some confidence in terms of the U.S. economic
commitments -- seems to me it'd be -- (we'd ?) be setting ourselves
up for a real bad blow. Would you comment on that?
DEUTCH: Well, I think the first point is, anything we can do to
blend down highly enriched uranium and burn it in nuclear reactors
around the world is something which reduces this threat and is
important to do, and I believe that it's also economically
attractive. Just as I mentioned in the case of plutonium, if there
is raw plutonium around in the world, using mixed oxide fuel and
burning it in reactors I believe is important from the point of
view of nonproliferation, and I believe it can be economically
advantageous, especially with respect to Russian plutonium. So I
greatly favor both these efforts, both efforts.
I have not checked into the precise circumstances where we are
today on the United States Enrichment Corporation's efforts, Mr.
Timber's efforts, to actually realize that. I believe that there
are a couple of problems still in the way of having that happen
which are involved.
The last person I've spoken to about this in detail is Senator
Domenici. So I think that those can be managed, and they are
important to be managed, because that deal has both got
nonproliferation benefits and economic benefits and security
benefits. It's a triple win, so we should make that happen as best
SEN. NUNN: But the United States cannot simply turn it over to a
private corporation and assume market forces are going to take care
of it. It has too much of a governmental purpose to be able to do
that. I mean, it seems to me we ought to use the market as much as
we possibly can. But I get the impression that we're allowing the
market to dictate some of this when we should be looking at it in
a much broader sense.
DEUTCH: Mr. Chairman, I have to go and refresh myself on this, but
I don't think -- I think that if -- the issue is -- it's a trade
issue, that is are you -- is it a fair trade practice to take in
highly enriched Russian uranium and introduce it to the market
without having any cost associated.
SEN. NUNN: Yeah, that's one important issue.
DEUTCH: If you want to talk about this, let me -- let me --
SEN. NUNN: I'll get back with you.
DEUTCH: And we can -- let me get myself refreshed on that.
SEN. NUNN: Okay. Okay.
SEN. LEVIN: I yield to Senator Glenn.
SEN. GLENN: Let me ask Senator Levin just for one question,
because I had another commitment I had to go to and I wanted to
follow up on a previous question. I asked about the U.S. reported
decision to sell $368 million worth of military equipment, transfer
that to Pakistan, and the impact that might have on India. Was
your answer to indicate that you just didn't have in possession
today a CIA analysis of the impact on India or that such a study
has not been done?
DEUTCH: I don't have it available to me today, and I will --
SEN. GLENN: Has such a study been done?
DEUTCH: I think the answer is yes, but I just am not informed on
it, I'll have to get back to you briefly. Certainly, the
assessment of Indian reaction has been done; I just don't know what
state it's in.
SEN. GLENN: Has that been given to the administration?
DEUTCH: Well, if it's been done it's certainly been given to the
SEN. GLENN: Okay, it isn't just -- it's been passed along, they're
fully aware of your opinion then of what the impact on India would
DEUTCH: I have to reserve until I can give you an accurate answer
to that, Senator. I don't know what document exists and what
document has been given. If there has been a document it's been
distributed. But I'll be happy to do that, I can do that in an
SEN. GLENN: I would appreciate it. I'd like to know whether they
are aware of what your opinion is of what the Indian reaction might
be on this. If you can provide that for us, either classified or
unclassified, why, I'd appreciate it.
DEUTCH: Well, I must say, the (community ?) has been very, very
closely involved in providing information to policymakers on this
subject, so I'm confident that there is something -- that there's
a piece on the Indian reaction. I'll get back to you on it, sir.
SEN. GLENN: Okay, all right. Well, I presumed something like that
had been done. I couldn't see how they could possibly go ahead
without that kind of a CIA analysis in hand at least. If it hadn't
been done and given to them, it certainly should be.
DEUTCH: I'm not just not informed at the moment, sir. And I will
be back to you before the end of the day.
SEN. GLENN: Okay, fine. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Senator Levin.
SEN. LEVIN: Welcome.
DEUTCH: How are you?
SEN. LEVIN: Good.
The -- I want to follow up on Senator Nunn's question about
cooperation with Russian intelligence, because there has been
public statements that we have started cooperation with the Russian
government and I think the statement also said including law
enforcement relative to nuclear smuggling. Is that not true, that
we have indeed begun cooperative measures with the Russian
government, said so publicly?
DEUTCH: There's no question about the fact that we've had
discussions and cooperative efforts, certainly in the law
enforcement area, with the Russian government on this issue. They
are also concerned about questions of the kind we've been
discussing here this morning.
SEN. LEVIN: Now, can you just -- without answering the question
you don't want to answer, is there any reason if in fact we are
cooperating with Russian intelligence that that general statement
cannot be made publicly, without getting into the details of it?
I see you're uncomfortable, which is --
DEUTCH: Well, I mean, yeah, it's not the kind of subject that I
would want to open up.
SEN. LEVIN: Even a -- well, let me go to Israel. Are we
cooperating with Israeli intelligence?
DEUTCH: Yes, yes.
SEN. LEVIN: Because there was an article recently that said that
-- according to some sources at least, that some in the U.S now see
Israeli intelligence as a rival. There was a Los Angeles Times
article -- I sent you a copy of this -- and some U.S. sources,
without identifying them, are saying that the Mossad has done
recently to help U.S. efforts to track down international
terrorists. Are we indeed cooperating with Israeli intelligence,
DEUTCH: We certainly are, and I think that it's known that I've
just come back from Israel to work out with them a more robust and
more effective counter-terrorism program, for example.
SEN. LEVIN: And was that successful?
DEUTCH: It was a very successful (meeting ?), yes.
SEN. LEVIN: And are we satisfied with the level of Israeli
cooperation in this area?
DEUTCH: Counter-terrorism? Absolutely.
SEN. LEVIN: And now let me go back to Russia.
SEN. LEVIN: Is there -- what is the reason that -- if in fact
there is a joint effort with the Russian government, including
their intelligence people, that that cannot be just confirmed
without getting into details? I want to follow up on Senator
Nunn's point there.
DEUTCH: Because my judgment is that that's not a subject that I
would want to discuss in open session.
SEN. LEVIN: Will you give us for the record, then, what in fact is
going on, if any, with Russian intelligence and in terms of a joint
effort against -- a joint counter-terrorist effort and a joint
nuclear smuggling --
DEUTCH: Absolutely. I'd be happy to do that. We will give you,
for the record, what is going on with -- between intelligence
services on cooperation on terrorism, counter-terrorism, or
counter- smuggling -- nuclear smuggling efforts.
SEN. LEVIN: Okay.
You've indicated in your testimony that there's -- of the numerous
reports describing diversion of weapons-usable material, that only
a few actually have involved weapons-usable material, and the
quantities have been significantly less than that needed for a
First of all, on that issue, we had testimony. Senator Nunn showed
some pictures the other day as to what quantities would be
necessary for a weapon, and it was some small multiple of that
little hockey puck.
DEUTCH: That's probably a plutonium device that he has in mind,
and I think that we all agree that this is small in volume and
weighs, you know, a few tens of pounds.
SEN. LEVIN: All right. So we're literally talking about a
relatively small number of hockey-puck-sized items. Is that
DEUTCH: Yes, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: Now would they be relatively easy to smuggle across a
border -- something that small and easily transportable?
DEUTCH: You could take a briefcase and put in a couple of them and
pass through a border. Unless there was specific detection
equipment and devices, or some other inspection schemes, I would
think it would be pretty easy, yes, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: Or there could be 100 different briefcases with one,
right? You don't need to put a dozen in one briefcase; you could
have 100 different people with one per briefcase.
SEN. LEVIN: And if a small number of those even crossed the border
relatively easily, then would you agree you have enough there for
a nuclear weapon, relatively small number?
DEUTCH: You could have enough for a nuclear weapon in one
suitcase, one briefcase.
SEN. LEVIN: Now, you indicated that in the past 2-1/2 years, there
was some material stolen from Russian facilities to outside
countries in Germany, there was a seizure of six grams of
plutonium, Czech police seized under three kilos of highly-enriched
uranium in December of '94. Where were those items going to? Do
we know? What was their --
DEUTCH: I don't know at this time. Each one of them had a
different destination and a different degree of planning for who
the customer was. And I can find that information out. Let me say
to you that the general picture that this should convey, it seems
to me, is how lucky we are and how great this threat is.
SEN. LEVIN: Well, that was my next question. If in fact it's so
easy to transport something like that in a suitcase, we can presume
that if we caught a few, that there's a number that we haven't
caught. Would that be safe to say? Is that a fair assumption? Do
you assume it?
DEUTCH: Oh, I would not go that far. I would say that it -- I
would not be prepared to say -- in other circumstances I see your
point, that you might say, well, if we've only -- there have been
a lot of bogus cases, some, a few cases, which actually involved
enriched material, is it possible that some significant quantity
has gotten through, enough to make a device or so? I would not
reach that conclusion today. Again, I would focus on, boy, is this
ever a warning that we've got real troubles here, and that it's
worthwhile making investments in the materials protection and
accountability system, control system inside Russia.
SEN. LEVIN: You have not reached a personal conclusion as to
whether or not it's likely that a half-dozen hockey pucks by now
have been crossing borders illegally, if we've captured two of
them, three of them?
DEUTCH: We haven't -- one of them was grams. That's not that
size. Grams is --
SEN. LEVIN: Okay.
DEUTCH: And I think only one of these, the Czech case that you
mentioned, was what I would call, you know, a quantity that begins
to be the size of a hockey puck, less -- much smaller than that
yet. But I do not -- my own personal conviction, although I don't
have certainty on this, I don't have absolute -- you can't bank it,
I would say we have not yet gotten -- I can say to you that we
don't have a confirmed case.
SEN. LEVIN: I mean your own belief.
DEUTCH: I would say no. But that I regard as good luck, and
that's what I'm worried about.
SEN. LEVIN: No, and I -- I think we all agree here that to prevent
that is what the major focus must be; but I also was interested as
to whether or not you think it's likely that that has already
occurred. Your answer is no.
SEN. LEVIN: That's fine, and we've got to keep it that way if in
fact your assumption is correct.
SEN. NUNN: I think the biggest problem in that area is that we
don't believe there's an accurate inventory, so if some were
missing, there is no inventory that would give anyone confidence
that the alert system would really work, that you would know what
DEUTCH: And I'd agree with that.
SEN. NUNN: Yeah.
DEUTCH: I would be looking for this on the recipient side, not on
the (law ?) side.
SEN. NUNN: Yeah.
SEN. LEVIN: And whatever we can do to achieve that inventory I
take it would be highly desirable.
DEUTCH: On a risk-based basis. To do it for the whole Russian
complex would be out of the question. But to do it with the high
risk areas would not be.
SEN. LEVIN: In your prepared statement you say that you -- the
intelligence community is taking measures to aggressively support
U.S. government efforts to ensure the security of nuclear materials
and technologies. But then you near the end of your statement say
that more can and must be done. Would you give us specific --
DEUTCH: Could I --
SEN. LEVIN: -- specific suggestions on page 13, I believe?
DEUTCH: Thank you. Just give me one second. I did mention two or
three items in my --
SEN. LEVIN: Specifically as to what more we can do.
DEUTCH: More money and more support for material protection,
control, and accountability efforts; consideration of assistance to
the Russians if they will do it in converting their plutonium
production reactors to burning plutonium. So I do have specific
considerations that policy makers might consider.
SEN. LEVIN: Would that be part of Nunn-Lugar? The second piece,
particularly? Do you know if Nunn-Lugar funds would be eligible to
do that offhand? I could ask the master here as to whether --
DEUTCH: I'm going to get myself in tremendous trouble, Senator
Levin, if I begin commenting on DOD programs and money.
SEN. LEVIN: All right.
SEN. NUNN: I think -- I think it would be eligible. I don't think
there's any question about it being eligible. It's a matter of
reaching an agreement with the Russians and making sure that it is
financially feasible and that the plan is technically feasible,
DEUTCH: Well, it is technically feasible. The issue is whether
the Russians will be willing it through to completion and make sure
that it happens so that it happens.
SEN. NUNN: Yeah. What I mean by that is technically feasible in
terms of the plan they laid down --
SEN. NUNN: -- where they want us to furnish the money. Sometimes
things are technically feasible, but the plan doesn't --
DEUTCH: That's --
SEN. NUNN: -- appear to be either effective or efficient.
DEUTCH: And that's the part where you have to tie down.
SEN. NUNN: Right.
SEN. LEVIN: Thank you. And thanks -- thanks for your good work.
Good seeing you, sir.
SEN. NUNN: Dr. Deutch, thank you for being here. We appreciate it
very much and we look forward to continuing to work with you. And
I will follow up on those meetings that we discussed.
DEUTCH: Yes, sir. Nice to see you. Thank you.
SEN. NUNN: Thank you.