COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS,
The committee convened, pursuant to notice, at 9:30 a.m., in room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., presiding.
Present: Senators Biden, Pell, Sarbanes, Kerry, Robb, Wofford, Helms, Lugar, Kassebaum, Pressler, McConnell, Jeffords, and Brown.
Senator BIDEN. Good morning, Mr. Secretary, good morning, generals. It is nice to have you all here.
Before we begin, with the permission of my colleague I would like to yield to the chairman of the full committee who would like to bring his greetings to you all, and then we will each begin with a statement.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. I just wanted to stress the importance of this hearing, and the excellent way in which it is moving along. I am delighted that Senator Biden is handling the CFE, and hopefully I can handle the START as ell and expeditiously as he does this one. I wish him well in it.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. The fact that Senator Helms and I agree fully on this treaty does facilitate it. I am not sure you will have the same agreement on START, but you gave me the easier assignment, Mr. Chairman, and I am delighted.
Gentlemen, let us begin.
Today, the Foreign Relations Committee continues its consideration of the CFE Treaty with testimony from Secretary of Defense Cheney, Chairman Powell of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the chiefs of the four services, and again, welcome, gentlemen-welcome all.
This treaty marks a watershed in European history, and if ratified it will eliminate a fundamental cause of tension in Europe since the end of World War 11, and that is the huge numerical advantage of Soviet conventional forces. This superiority, this huge numerical advantage, did more than jeopardize the security and prosperity of the West, in my opinion. It also fueled the nuclear arms race.
In every strategic doctrine adopted by the United States and NATO, from massive retaliation to flexible response, nuclear weapons were intended to compensate for the Soviet edge in conventional arms in Europe. Indeed, the tens of thousands of nuclear weapons we have deployed to support those strategies-the ICBM'S, the submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the strategic bombers with gravity bombs and the cruise missiles-the diverse array of thousands of nuclear weapons in the European theater have all had as a principal purpose deterring the Soviet Union from overrunning or threatening Western Europe.
While many have dubbed this treaty as historic, few have emphasized, in my view, how overwhelmingly favorable it is to the West, and how fundamentally it alters the premise of western security policy to which we have become accustomed over the past 40 years.
This treaty will not only end Soviet conventional superiority in Europe, it will actually reverse it, by limiting Soviet forces in the theater to a level well below the combined forces of NATO. In doing so it should propel us into, in my view, a review of principles with regard to the modern, postwar needs of American national security policy.
Some will argue that the CFE Treaty does little more than codify Soviet reductions that have occurred over the past 18 months, but I respond that the prospect of this treaty helped to accelerate those Soviet withdrawals and that the existence of the treaty can play a crucial role in verifying those reductions and in building a new security order in Europe.
It is true that preemptively withdrawing much of its equipment, as the Soviets did to avoid certain weapons destruction requirements before the treaty was signed-the Soviets had moved some 75,000 tanks, artillery pieces and armored combat vehicles east of the Ural Mountains-enabled them to move it outside the zone covered by the treaty.
One question we will go into today concerns the military significance of the equipment east of the Urals. If the Soviets were to cheat on CFE, whether or not that is likely, would this stockpile east of the Urals provide a means for them to generate a militarily significant force in violation of the treaty?
I predict this treaty will receive-and it is no great prediction, as the Secretary knows having served in the Congress as long as he has. It is always dangerous to predict anything that Congress is ever going to do, both bodies. In this case, it is still dangerous for only one body to make the prediction. But I think I am not alone in predicting that there will be overwhelming bipartisan support.
Unfortunately, I do not sense the same unanimity within the administration or in the Senate with regard to what this treaty and the changed reality it codifies may permit us to accomplish in the future.
The CFE Treaty signifies an end to the cold war, but will it help us to build a new order that transcends the relentless arms competition seen over the past half-century? Will it help us to move not only beyond containment, as the President has so often suggested, but also somewhere else, which has not been clearly suggested?
If that "somewhere" is what the President calls a new world order, will it be one that permits us to reorient the entire defense establishment away from deterring Soviet aggression in Europe and away from the U.S.-Soviet arms race, and what are the implications for U.S. and NATO doctrine with Soviet superiority eliminated in the European theater?
Can we fundamentally revise our entire strategic posture including the SIOP (the single integrated operational plan) under which we still plan for and target our weapons for a nuclear holocaust arising out of a war in Europe?
Let us be honest. Even a completed START Treaty, which the administration is anxious to finish and which I intend to support, will still permit us to deploy all the strategic nuclear weapons the Pentagon seeks, assuming Congress provides the money.
In the past, this kind of arms control was thought to be optimal, constraining the other side while remaining free to build all that you yourself may want, but such so-called success in arms control may now, more than ever, be a recipe for waste.
I would suggest that while the START Treaty will favor the United States-and I say START Treaty here, not CFE-it will still leave the superpowers with Armageddon arsenals that far exceed any rational need. Why is not the B-2 bomber, the principal, purpose of which is to attack the remaining Soviet missiles in a second-phase of a global thermonuclear war, as much of a cold war relic as the Berlin Wall? Must we continue to accept a world in which the capability to detonate tens of thousands of Hiroshimas is deemed a necessary and a normal fact of international life?
The truth is that START, as the name aptly implies, suggests only a beginning, and even its prompt completion will leave us wit most of the work still ahead in bringing nuclear arsenals into line with the new postwar realities.
With the cold war over and the nuclear technology spreading to the Third World, I believe we simply have no time to waste in reacting to the critical nuclear threat that if we are complacent may grow rather than recede.
In summary, Mr. Secretary and General Powell, the CFE Treaty formalizes an end not only, in my view, to the Soviet conventional superiority in Europe, but also an end to a long-standing premise of American defense policy, and in doing so, I believe it raises the profound question of how far the United States could safely reduce its nuclear arsenal if the Soviet Union is willing to parallel that reduction.
These are some of the questions that I will be trying to explore today with you, Mr. Secretary, and General Powell, and with the chiefs. Others relate to the conventional force levels in Europe and to the dangers associated with the possible breakup of the Soviet Union.
But there is much to cover, and I appreciate the indulgence of my colleagues in this brief opening statement, and now I will yield to my colleague Senator Helms.
Senator HELMS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I came up on the elevator with enough brains in the military to do whatever we want to do in Iraq. They just did not have the guns with them.
But we welcome you here, too. Joe and I do not fully agree on this treaty, and I do not mean to denigrate any of you, but I am skeptical right on as to the Soviet Union.
Now, as we turn to the CFE, it seems to me that we just have to determine whether this treaty means anything from a military standpoint, or whether it is just deja vu all over again with the Soviets' lying and cheating and deception. Some of us in this Congress have pointed out from time to time over the years that the Soviets have violated every treaty they have ever signed.
To put it into legal terms, is the CFE Treaty an example of circumvention, fraud, and what the international legal types call fraud in the inducement? That is, giving us false data to induce us to sign a treaty.
It is common knowledge, for example, that during the negotiations of this treaty the Soviet Union moved up to 75,000 pieces of equipment intended to be limited by this treaty from the area west of the Urals to the area east of the Urals, outside of the treaty's reach. Now, what goes on?
In April, the ideological journal of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union-and it is called Communist, which is a pretty good name for a Communist Party journal-said this in an outburst of candor, and I think we ought to ponder the words: "Thanks to this transfer of armaments, unprecedented in peacetime and even in wartime, we will not only have about one-third of all armaments remaining in Europe under the CFE Treaty, but we"-and this is the Soviet Union he is talking about-"will also keep a quantitative advantage in land armaments over NATO, China, and Japan combined."
If that is not saying to those who negotiated this treaty in good faith, "Hee-hee, haw-haw, we've got you again, Buster", I do not know what is.
In other words, the Communists claim that they have maintained conventional superiority in Europe as a result of this treaty. We have to ask ourselves, I think, whether this is the kind of circumvention that defeats the end and the purpose of this treaty.
Second, it has been widely reported that originally there was a gap of from 30,000 to 40,000 between the number of pieces of treaty-limited equipment which the Soviets have declared when they were trying to get us to sign the treaty, and the number which U.S. Intelligence thought the Soviets had. A gap of 30,000 to 40,000. In other words, the Soviets were lying about the number of pieces they had, even after they had moved tens of thousands of pieces to the other side of the Urals.
Now, I am told, the word went out to the U.S. Intelligence analysts that this gap was just a little bit embarrassing, and that the intelligence people ought to get rid of this gap by what they call "creative reanalysis," whatever that is. After all, how could we ratify a treaty when the data was so far off?
Well, they went to work, but the best they could do, Mr. Chairman, was to get the gap down to about 18,000 or 19,000 pieces of equipment.
Now, the question, it seems to me, is, then, did the Soviets commit fraud to induce us to sign this treaty, and that depends, as I tried to make clear at the beginning, at what point does just plain cheating become massive fraud?
Does it take 18,000 or 19,000 lies to add up to one major fraud? Does a fraud of 19,000 pieces amount to militarily significant fraud? Or perhaps it is not military significant until it reaches 20,000-who knows?
These are the kinds of questions I think we ought to ponder this morning, and I join the chairman and other Senators in welcoming all of you here this morning.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BIDEN. Mr. Chairman, in your absence last time I got away with violating the full committee rule and allowing other members to say something in opening statements, but in your presence, I am going to strictly enforce 2 minutes for additional statements because the Secretary must be out of here promptly, and we want a chance to hear him and question him. But General Powell has told us he can guarantee the presence of the chiefs for a while. Actually, he did not say that, but I am counting on him doing that.
So Senator Sarbanes, let us really keep it at 2 minutes if we have opening statements.
Senator SARBANES. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to join in welcoming the distinguished Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the committee. The fact that they are personally here this morning indicates the importance of this treaty, to which we have been asked to give our advice and consent, and I want to commend both of them and the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their evident success in having moved the negotiating process forward to this point.
Obviously, the committee will examine these documents very carefully to make certain there is no room for a misunderstanding as to the commitments we are taking upon ourselves and those we expect of the Soviets, but any treaty which involves 22 signatory States is necessarily going to be complex. I think sometimes we lose sight of the fact that part of this negotiating process involves the negotiations within the separate alliances as well as between the United States and the Soviet Union. This is not a bilateral treaty, this is a multilateral treaty, and that raised a number of very difficult problems which had to be resolved.
I think it is very important to get a conventional forces treaty in place at the earliest possible time, in view of the rapidly changing security arrangements in Europe and in view of the volatile political situation in the Soviet Union. Not only is it important in terms of our own strategic posture and our own economy, but it is important for locking in the momentous changes which have already taken place in the Soviet Union and Europe, and for setting the stage for further arms reductions.
I will be interested in particular in hearing your views as to whether the verification provisions are not amongst the most far-reaching that we have ever been able to achieve, and whether they will not go a long way toward building our confidence about the other side's capabilities and intentions.
I have been struck that throughout much of the postwar period we have had to guess what the other side was doing, and if we can move to a position where we know what the other side is doing with some degree of certainty, it may markedly affect the way we are able to do business.
Mr. Chairman, I look forward to hearing the testimony of these distinguished witnesses. Thank you very much.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you. Thank you for keeping it at 2 minutes. I appreciate it. Senator Lugar.
Senator LUGAR. Mr. Chairman, I welcome distinguished Americans to our panel today. They have a proven record in defense and security recently demonstrated in the Persian Gulf. We should focus today, however, on the European security picture that the CFE Treaty will both contribute to and formalize.
The United States has an important role to Play in European security. With implementation of the CFE Treaty, for the first time since the end of World War II the Soviet Union will not be able to dominate Europe militarily. But while the risk of war involving the superpowers has diminished, there are clear signs that other traditional sources of European instability have been unleashed, and the current threat of dissolution of Yugoslavia is an obvious case in point.
We can expect continuous change in the European and global security picture over the course of this decade as the Soviet Union declines and the full effects of its withdrawal from Central and Eastern Europe behind its own borders are felt. This includes the possibility, however remote, that a reactionary military regime could come to power in the Soviet Union that would capitalize on a feeling of national humiliation and blame all of its problems on President Gorbachev and the West and seek to regain lost influence or territory in Eastern Europe, thus causing a grave international crisis.
This is not the time to be considering a complete or radical withdrawal of American troops from Europe, let alone the dissolution of NATO. Our national interest is as intertwined with the security of Western Europe today as it was in 1941. We must not allow a hostile power to hold sway over that strategically important region. Our soldiers on the European Continent not only play an important military role, but provide a visible symbol and a tangible manifestation of our commitment to the stability of that democratic region, a region whose countries are our natural allies in the pursuit of our international goals. We must keep sufficient troops and equipment in Europe to maintain a vigilant presence against unforeseen threats and to permit our swift and smooth return if required.
This will require changes in strategy, improvements in some military capabilities, and shifts in procurement requirements. The ultimate level of our European troop presence should be decided only after completion of a CFE-1A agreement and consultation and coordination with our allies in the light of ongoing events. We will need to find a level that both fits our needs and that our public will support.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BIDEN. I agree with you on that matter. Senator Robb.
Senator ROBB. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate hearing from our colleagues. However, I too am under some severe time constraints and I hope by yielding back the last minute and 55 seconds, that I will have an opportunity to at least hear the opening statements from our distinguished witnesses.
Senator BIDEN. Senator Kassebaum.
Senator KASSEBAUM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I too am anxious to hear the witnesses and will save my comments until later.
Senator BIDEN. Senator Pressler.
Senator PRESSLER. I join in those eloquent remarks. [Laughter.]
Senator BIDEN. Senator Brown.
Senator BROWN. Mr. Chairman, I would like just to note that I think the ratification of this treaty and its presentment to this committee it a tribute to the wisdom and the effort of several generation's of Americans who believed that reductions in defense have to be mutual, not unilateral.
I think it is a tribute to American forces that stood by in Europe through some difficult, difficult years, out numbered by great odds on the other side and were able to contain a Soviet expansionist philosophy at a time it continued to be a great danger.
So today is, I think, recognition of a mutual reduction in force; but it also should be a day where we recognize that the perseverance and courage of those who put on the uniform in this country, brought us to this day.
Senator BIDEN. Well said. Mr. Secretary.
Secretary CHENEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I am delighted to be here today to participate in what I think is a historic debate.
My purpose in being here today is to set before the committee the reasons why the administration supports speedy ratification of the CFE Treaty.
In particular, I want to emphasize why the treaty matters from a military standpoint, even after sweeping changes in Central and Eastern Europe have eroded the Soviet position there. I also want to set before the committee the way in which this treaty fits into our new military strategy, particularly in Europe.
Clearly, the world has changed dramatically since the beginning of the negotiations on CFE in March of 1989. New security arrangements have emerged in Europe. We are working with our NATO allies to formulate a new military strategy for the alliance.
We are also fashioning a new military strategy for the United States, and all of these are part of a process that will, in my judgment, allow us to meet any threats to U.S. and allied security in the future, even as we cut our defense budget.
When we began the CFE negotiations, we did so focusing on the preponderance of Soviet military power, especially in the center of Europe. It is useful to compare the situation now with the circumstances at the outset of the CFE negotiations. As the negotiations began in the Spring of 1989, just a little over 2 years ago, the conventional forces of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies still represented a direct military threat to NATO and Western Europe due to their overwhelming size, offensive capability, and capacity for surprise attack.
In strictly numerical terms, the disparity between NATO and the Warsaw Pact was dramatic. In the territory covered by the CFE Treaty, NATO had roughly 23,700 tanks, the Warsaw Pact held over 56,000 tanks. In that same area, the Soviets held over 41,000 tanks, the U.S., 6,200.
Profound changes swept over Europe during the course of these negotiations leading to the unification of Germany in NATO, to the establishment of new democracies in Eastern and Central Europe, and to the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.
These new democracies set about to regain sovereign control over their own territories and military forces. Today, there are no Soviet forces in Czechoslovakia or Hungary. By 1994, there will be no Soviet troops in Germany; and shortly, Poland and the U.S.S.R. are expected to conclude negotiations on a final date for Soviet withdrawal from Poland.
There has also been great change in the Soviet Union itself. It is struggling with its staggering economic problems and grappling with how to achieve real political reform. Great uncertainty plagues virtually every aspect of Soviet life. The collapsing Soviet economy places a limit on the ability of the Soviet Union to project conventional military power beyond its own borders.
It is very much in our interest to move forward with the CFE Treaty. CFE represents a major contribution to the future security of the United States and Europe. It places limits on offensive military hardware within the European portion of the Soviet Union, requires the destruction of thousands of pieces of Soviet equipment, and establishes an effective verification regime.
CFE thereby puts in place a regime that will help to guarantee sufficient warning of a changed Soviet threat in time to allow the United States and its NATO allies to respond by reconstituting their own forces. At the same time, CFE will foster a security environment in Europe which will reassure the Soviets that NATO remains a defensive alliance posing a threat to no one.
For the United States and its NATO allies, the treaty's military value is readily apparent. CFE establishes legally binding ceilings on the levels of Soviet military equipment in Europe. The Soviets are permitted a maximum of 13,150 tanks; 13,175 pieces of artillery; and 20,000 armored combat vehicles; 5,150 combat aircraft; and 1,500 attack helicopters west of the Urals.
These limitations will go a long way toward restoring a military balance in Europe once the treaty is fully implemented. It will mean the end of the enormous numerical superiority previously enjoyed by the Soviet Union over NATO.
The Soviet Union will no longer have within the treaty area almost twice as many tanks and over twice as much artillery as all of NATO combined. The Soviet tank holdings in the ATTU, for example, will go from over 41,000 tanks to a little over 13,000.
These limits translate into real limits on Soviet military capability. They represent equipment for approximately 60 divisions for the Soviets. In the past, the Soviet military threat represented a capability to mount a theater-wide campaign, utilizing forces of the non-Soviet Warsaw Pact nations, utilizing Soviet forces stationed in Eastern Europe, and the high readiness units of the Western military districts of the Soviet Union.
This formidable force was positioned well forward and considered ready to fight on very short notice. Under CFE limits, the Soviets would be denied the ability to mount this kind of threat.
Once CFE is fully implemented, we will have seen the Soviets convert or destroy vast quantities of tanks, artillery and other military equipment. We expect ultimately to see some 10,000 tanks destroyed or converted.
But equally important, the CFE Treaty will push the center of gravity of the remaining Soviet forces far to the East. The Soviets already are withdrawing from Eastern Europe. The treaty effectively puts a cap on the Soviet forces located in the Soviet Union west of the Urals. Thus, the center of gravity of Soviet peacetime military deployments will shift eastward, first and foremost to the European U.S.S.R., but also beyond the Urals.
All this means a reduction in the size and gravity of the Soviet threat to Europe. The time required for the Soviets to reconstitute the kind of threat we have seen in the past would provide NATO sufficient time to respond and regenerate its own forces.
The verification provisions of CFE will allow us to track the future size and nature of the Soviet military with a much higher degree of accuracy. The regular, comprehensive exchanges of information, coupled with extensive onsite inspection will provide a high degree of transparency about the structure, size, and disposition of Soviet forces in Europe.
It could also provide us with additional early warning of changes in Soviet capabilities. With CFE in effect, a renewed or increased Soviet threat would become readily apparent. It would be visible under the CFE verification regime and would inevitably lead to treaty violations. We would have time to respond as required.
CFE allows us to modernize alliance forces and improve the distribution of defense burdens within the alliance through transfers of treaty limited equipment. The administration has recently introduced a bill to implement this NATO program and we urge expeditious congressional consideration.
As I noted earlier, CFE will play an important role in our new military strategy. Our old strategy was based on planning for a massive, short-warning Soviet-led, Warsaw Pact assault on Europe that escalated rapidly to global conflict.
In our new strategy, we are focusing on the need to deploy forces based on regional contingencies such as we just faced in Southwest Asia. Even in Europe, we believe a conflict in the future is most likely to be a regional conflict rather than a brief prelude to global war. We will have time to reconstitute our forces before a major conflict ensues.
The transformation of our basic military strategy derives from the military significance of the changes that have occurred during the past 2 years. A sizable reduction in Soviet forces, the complete withdrawal of Soviet forces from Eastern Europe, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and the conclusion of a CFE Treaty with its legal constraints on Soviet military hardware-all combine to correct the postwar imbalance in Europe and to allow us to transform dramatically our basic military strategy.
But there are still some important constants in our approach to security in Europe. I would like to take just a moment to underscore these constants and outline key elements of our strategy for a post-CFE Europe.
Despite the transformation of our basic military strategy, NATO will continue to play a preeminent role in European security. There is no question that NATO has been one of the most successful-perhaps the most successful-defensive military alliance in history. It links 16 independent and diverse nations based on democratic principles. For 40 years we have stood together in the face of the most massive military buildup the world has ever witnessed.
NATO has defended an idea as much as it has defended national borders. Common defense is impossible without common principles, without our commonly held idea of liberty. We have backed up those political principles with significant military force. Our citizens have supported this wise investment in preparedness, and it has paid enormous dividends in terms of peace, prosperity and the spread of democracy around the world.
Today, with the end of the cold war and the demise of the Warsaw Pact, there is no single, overwhelming threat. The threats are ambiguous and the worldwide situation more fluid than any of us can remember. Having outlasted the Soviets, some suggest we can all now go our separate ways and leave NATO as just a monument to what was needed in the final years of the 20th century. I think that would be a grievous mistake. There are still good and sufficient reasons why we should preserve this security alliance, even in the context of post-CFE Europe.
First, while the Soviet threat has diminished, it has not been eliminated. The Soviet Union remains the largest military power in Europe. NATO remains an essential counterweight to the Kremlin's military power. The U.S.S.R. is still spending enormous sums on its military. It is modernizing its nuclear forces, and its conventional strength remains formidable.
Second, there remains a great uncertainty about the future course of events inside the Soviet Union. The struggle between traditionalists and reformers has not been settled. We simply cannot rule out the possibility of changes in Soviet policy that would result in a more threatening security environment. In that event, NATO will be required to provide an effective counterweight to the Soviets and their ability to influence events in Europe.
Third, we should also remember that while Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe means a reduced overall threat in Central Europe, our allies on the flanks are still in direct contact with the Soviet Union, at a time when that nation may find it increasingly difficult to control events inside its own borders.
The fourth reason to keep NATO strong is to help ensure that Eastern Europe can make a successful transition to democracy. That transition faces tremendous hurdles, including traditional national rivalries, and ethnic tensions. NATO can provide a solid security anchor in this challenging period. Indeed, former Warsaw Pact nations such as Czechoslovakia and Poland have become among the staunchest advocates of a strong NATO.
Finally, I think it is essential to keep the United States involved in European security issues. The world is too small for us not to be fully engaged in the defense of our fellow democracies. Continuing uncertainty about developments inside the Soviet Union, economic collapse, the possibility of massive flows of refugees, the potential for violent ethnic strife, all underscore the need for the stable, strong security framework provided by NATO and the U.S. presence in Europe.
There is one final reason why NATO must not be abandoned. If it was not obvious before August 2 of last year, it should be crystal clear today-there are still threats to our interests and our allies. We still need to maintain our system of alliances and forward deployed forces to deal with those threats. NATO is a vitally important part of that strategy.
Here in the United States, CFE also has significant implications, not the least of which is its relationship to the defense budget. The Congress has clearly directed the Defense Department to cut military spending. Last year's budget agreement gives us a top line for defense for 1992-93, as well as a good idea of what that figure will be for 1994-95.
Defense spending will decline in real terms for the period of 1985 to 1995 by approximately one-third. By the mid-1990's, defense spending will represent 18 percent of the Federal budget, and 3.6 percent of our gross national product. These will be the lowest levels of defense spending in more than 50 years, since prior to World War II.
It is possible to make these adjustments and reductions because of changing world circumstances, particularly the favorable changes that have come about in Europe. As a result, we have been able to alter our planning assumptions regarding the sizing of U.S. forces. Successful implementation of the CFE Treaty will give us further confidence that we can embark upon this course of action prudently, with mechanisms in place to give sufficient warning of any changes in the threat.
Because of its wide-reaching impact on Soviet force levels, its comprehensive coverage of major conventional systems, its intrusive monitoring regime, and its important role in the recent, dramatic evolution of the European security environment, CFE is critical to our plan for assuring the security of Europe. The implementation of CFE, combined with the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, eliminates the Soviet ability to mount a large-scale, short-warning attack on Europe and locks in Soviet reductions.
CFE represents the means for assuring that these changes are permanent. It will help us to move into the 21st century with a new U.S. strategy designed to respond to these new realities. For all of these reasons, I urge the speedy ratification of the CFE Treaty.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. General.
General POWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. It is a great pleasure to be here today to testify in support of ratification of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
Secretary Cheney has given you an appreciation of our new defense strategy and how we envision its application to Europe and how the CFE Treaty contributes to that strategy. I will cover the treaty's military implications.
I believe the CFE Treaty is a major success story for the Atlantic Alliance. I, and my colleagues in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, believe the treaty achieves our objectives which were to strengthen stability and security in Europe. The treaty accomplishes this through the establishment of a stable and secure balance of conventional armed forces in Europe at much, much lower levels; the elimination of disparities prejudicial to stability and security; and as a matter of priority, the elimination of the capability for launching surprise attack and initiating large-scale offensive action in Europe. This treaty allows us to alter formally and permanently the shape of the military confrontation in Europe and to solidify the foundations of a new political and military order.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, as you know, I have been involved in one way or another with the arms control process for a number of years, and a few years ago when we completed the INF Treaty, I thought that was historic in that it eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons. I believe the CFE Treaty is also historic; with more profound implications than the INF Treaty.
Just by way of an anecdotal example, I have with me a document which details the entire Soviet force structure, unit by unit, and the equipment associated with these units and the region covered by the CFE Treaty, from the Atlantic to the Urals region. I can tell you that as Commander of V Corps in Germany 5 years ago, sitting in Frankfurt, facing that Soviet Army, I would have paid a fortune for a document such as this which tells me where those forces are. But even more importantly, with this information, we are now also, with this treaty, able to visit many of these units, look at much of this equipment, and to verify on site throughout this entire region, the accuracy of the information being provided to us.
In early 1989, when I was still the National Security Advisor, we concluded the Vienna CSCE Review Conference which produced the mandate for the CFE negotiations which began 2 months later in March 1989. You may recall that the initial NATO CFE proposal would have set limits of 20,000 tanks, 28,000 armored combat vehicles, and 16,500 artillery pieces for each side. The actual limits in the treaty signed 20 months later are: 20,000 tanks, the initial proposal; 30,000 armored combat vehicles, a little bit higher; and 20,000 artillery pieces, a little bit higher-very close, though, to our initial position.
During the course of the negotiations, however, we also succeeded in that U.S. initiative, in adding to the negotiations a combat aircraft limit of 6,800 and an attack helicopter limit of 2,000. This, it seems. to me, goes well beyond our initial proposal which was deemed sufficient to insure NATO security. In short, ladies and gentlemen, we achieved even more in the treaty than we were originally seeking.
To reach these levels, the other side will have to reduce approximately 54,000 pieces of combat equipment. NATO will have to reduce about 16,000. The irony of it is that the majority of the equipment NATO has to reduce, is former East German military equipment, inherited by the Federal Republic of Germany upon unification. And most of these reductions will be by destruction of the equipment.
When we began the CFE negotiations, the Warsaw Pact was a fact of cold war life, whose conventional forces loomed menacingly over Western Europe. The Warsaw Pact is now political and military history. One of its members, East Germany, has ceased to exist entirely, and its former territory is now in NATO. The remainder of the East European members are free of the Soviet yoke, and not likely to array against NATO, even the reduced forces allowed them by CFE.
The only nation in the ATTU with strength sufficient to pose a post-CFE threat to NATO is the Soviet Union whose reduced military will be confined within Soviet borders. CFE sufficiency rules prevent the Soviets from compensating for the loss of their East European allies. The Soviets are limited in the ATTU to approximately two-thirds of the total group of six CFE allocations or one-third of ATTU-wide holdings oil both sides.
A moment ago I talked about total CFE reduction requirements. But when you look at the Soviet Union alone, we estimate that they had about 152,000 pieces of treaty-limited equipment in the region in 1988 before the negotiations began. Soviet CFE required reductions, plus their unilateral pre-CFE reductions they made, total about 99,000 pieces of equipment. So after this treaty enters into force, and after the Soviets complete their withdrawal from Eastern and Central Europe, there will be approximately 35 percent of their original 1988 strength in the region.
In short, the CFE Treaty not only codifies the unilateral Soviet force reductions but increases the size of those reductions, while giving NATO a highly intrusive monitoring regime to guard against any cheating. Taken together, all these factors add up to the Soviets not being able to mount a significant short-notice surprise attack against NATO. An undetected deliberate buildup is not likely. In short, the treaty will significantly reduce the military threat in Europe.
Naturally, the other side of the equation is the military capability left to NATO by the treaty. NATO comes out well in this comparison because it retains the right to deploy as many forces as could have all of the former Warsaw Pact countries. NATO's key advantage, of course, is that it still remains a viable alliance, a single military entity whose most significant potential opponent is withdrawn within its own borders and is legally restricted to only two-thirds of NATO's capability.
The intrusive monitoring and verification regime vastly improves NATO's ability to evaluate opposing forces in the region, making it virtually impossible, in my judgment, for any treaty signatory to cheat to any significant level and not get caught. This increased transparency results in increased warning time. NATO can then react to emerging threats sooner, and perhaps at less dangerous levels. Thus, while NATO reduces its own forces to meet CFE limits, it will actually improve its military posture, vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. Stated another way, the CFE Treaty significantly increases NATO's relative defense capability.
We believe NATO could successfully defend against any no-notice or short-notice conventional attack by treaty-constrained Soviet forces. While we are confident that the net military advantage of the CFE Treaty belongs to NATO, we have examined a cheating scenario that might give the Soviets a militarily significant advantage. Given some months of mobilization and by violating the treaty, the Soviets could theoretically generate a force on the order of several tens of additional divisions outside the region, which, when added to the forces inside of the region, could have some limited success against NATO. But if NATO detects the mobilization-which is almost a certainty-and reacts, the theoretical attack would be defeated short of seizing any meaningful objectives on NATO's soil. The bottom line is that even when we used our war games to stack the cards in the favor of the Soviets, we did not find a realistic scenario where the Soviets have a militarily significant advantage, so long as NATO remains intact and so long as NATO responds promptly to the threat.
The question arises as to what we would consider a militarily significant violation. Of course, any violation carries political significance, as Senator Helms mentioned in his opening statement. One tank over limits is a violation and should cause us some concern. In my judgment, however, a militarily significant violation is one which gives the Soviets some military advantage to which NATO would have to respond militarily. We have to view any violation in an operational context and on a case-by-case basis to determine its military significance. We did that in our studies and wargames, and with every reasonable advantage given to the Soviets, the mobilization requirements coupled with the CFE Treaty verification scheme made it a near certainty that NATO would detect any potentially militarily significant treaty violation in time to react and counter that violation. In my judgment, NATO retains the advantage even in the most dire cheating scenario one could come up with.
Let me add one qualification to this assessment. We will not allow U.S. security interests in Europe to rest solely on the CFE Treaty. The enhancement of security and stability in Europe will be dependent on a highly-capable NATO force to detect and deter the Soviets from ever contemplating a worst case option. The U.S. contribution will consist of a two-division Army corps along with adequate tactical air support and a combination of POMCUS equipment and support personnel to allow us to react rapidly to any crisis or threatening activities within the region. We plan to have forward deployed about half as many U.S. military personnel as we have now.
We will also continue to train and equip ground, air, and porting naval forces for rapid deployment back to Europe if needed This Base Force concept-forward deployed forces, backed up by capable reinforcements-will provide a continued credible deterrent in the new, post-CFE environment in Europe.
Additionally, we must ensure that we retain the capability to reconstitute forces. Preserving the potential for timely expansion of air, ground, and maritime forces will give us the ability to respond to any reversal of current trends. CFE supports our future strategy, and our future strategy supports CFE. They are inseparable.
The treaty before you provides two unique benefits. First, it codifies in a legally-binding agreement, a much-reduced Soviet capability, It forces destruction of many of the tools of war or otherwise restricts their use. And second, the changes are irreversible. A unilateral decision can be unilaterally ,reversed A legally-binding agreement with the inspection rights the CFE Treaty gives us cannot be reversed without us, and every other CFE signatory, knowing about it.
The intrusive verification provisions to include onsite inspections, challenge inspections, and observation of destruction, provide the unprecedented opportunity for us and our allies to monitor Eastern Europe and the western half of the Soviet Union. We have never had this degree of transparency before.
In sum then, the treaty codifies the reduction of forces already taking place in Europe and establishes even lower limits. These reductions, coupled with the inspection provisions, make this treaty a valuable, stabilizing agreement.
The CFE Treaty clearly enhances stability and security in Europe. The practical threat of surprise attack and large-scale offensive action in Europe is effectively eliminated by the treaty. At the same time, the treaty provides NATO with a militarily sufficient basis from which to mobilize and conduct a cohesive defense should that become necessary.
As a principal military advisor to the President, and on behalf of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I recommend. ratification of this treaty.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of General Powell follows:]
Mr. Chairman and members or the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to testify in support of ratification of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
Secretary Cheney has given you an appreciation of our new defense strategy and how we envision its application to Europe and how the CFE Treaty contributes to that strategy. I will talk about the Treaty's military implications.
I believe the CFE Treaty is a major success story for the Atlantic Alliance. I and my colleagues on the Joint Chiefs of Staff believe the Treaty achieves our objectives-to strengthen stability and security in Europe. The Treaty accomplishes this through:
This treaty allows us to alter formally and permanently the shape of the military confrontation in Europe and to solidify the foundations of a new political and military order.
I want to discuss the impact of the treaty on the European military balance, the impact of the treaty on NATO security and conclude by mentioning other issues such as data exchanges and NATO harmonization.
As you know, I have been intimately involved with the arms control process for a number of years. The Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces was, in my view, historic in that it eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons. I believe the CFE Treaty is also historic; with more profound implications than the INF Treaty.
For example, I have a CFE document on my desk which details the entire Soviet force structure, unit by unit, and their equipment, in the region covered by the CFE Treaty-the Atlantic to the Urals region. A short 6 years ago, when I commanded V Corps in Germany, I would have paid a fortune for such insight into Soviet forces.
Every bit as important, we will be able to visit some of these units, to see some of this equipment and to verify onsite the accuracy of the information provided.
In early 1989, when I was still the National Security Advisor, we succeeded in concluding the Vienna CSCE Review Conference which produced the mandate for the CFE negotiations which began two months later on March 9, 1989.
The initial NATO CFE proposal would have set limits of 20,000 tanks, 28,000 armored combat vehicles and 16,500 artillery pieces for each side.
The actual limits in the treaty signed 20 months later are: 20,000 tanks; 30,000 armored combat vehicles and 20,000 artillery pieces, very close to our initial position. During the course of the negotiations we also succeeded in establishing a combat aircraft limit of 6,800 and an attack helicopter limit of 2,000. This goes well beyond our initial proposal, which was deemed sufficient to ensure NATO security. In short, we achieved even more in the treaty than we were originally seeking.
To reach these levels the Group of Six States Parties will have to reduce approximately 54,000 pieces of combat equipment. NATO will have to reduce about 16,000, the majority of which is former East German military equipment inherited by the Federal Republic of Germany. Most of the reductions will be by destruction.
When we began CFE negotiations, the Warsaw Pact was a fact of cold war life, whose conventional forces loomed menacingly over Western Europe. The WP is now political and military history. One of its members, East Germany, has ceased to exist and its former territory is now in NATO. The remainder of the East European members are free of the Soviet yoke and not likely to array against NATO even the reduced forces allowed by CFE.
The only nation in the ATTU with strength sufficient to pose a post-CFE threat to NATO is the Soviet Union whose reducer military will be confined within Soviet borders. CFE sufficiency rules prevent the Soviets from compensating for the loss of their East European allies. The Soviets are limited in the ATTU to approximately two-thirds the total Group of Six CFE allocation or one-third of ATTU wide holdings.
A moment ago I talked about total CFE reduction requirements. But when we look at the Soviet Union alone, we estimate they had approximately 152,000 pieces of TLE in the ATTU in 1988. Soviet CFE reductions plus their unilateral pre-CFE reductions total about 99,000 pieces of equipment. Soviet strength in the ATTU after CFE therefore, will be approximately 35 percent of their 1988 holdings.
The CFE Treaty not only codifies the unilateral Soviet force reductions, but in. creases the size of those reductions while giving NATO a highly intrusive monitoring regime to guard against any cheating. Taken together, all these factors add up to the Soviets not being able to mount a significant short-notice surprise attack against NATO. An undetected deliberate buildup is not likely. In short, the treaty will significantly reduce the military threat in Europe.
Naturally, the other side of the equation is the military capability left to NATO by the treaty. NATO comes out well in this comparison because it retains the right to deploy as many forces as could have all of the former Warsaw Pact countries. NATO's key advantage, of course, is that it is still a viable alliance, a single military entity whose most significant potential opponent is withdrawn within its own borders and is legally restricted to only two-thirds of NATO's capability.
The intrusive monitoring and verification regime vastly improves NATO's ability to evaluate opposing forces in the ATTU, making it virtually impossible for any treaty signatory to cheat to any significant level and not get caught. This increased transparency results in increased warning time. NATO can then react to emerging threats sooner and perhaps at less dangerous levels. Thus, while NATO reduces its own forces to meet CFE limits, it will actually improve its military posture vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. Stated another way, the CPE Treaty significantly increases NATO's relative defensive capability.
We believe NATO could successfully defend against any no-notice or short-notice conventional attack by treaty-constrained Soviet forces. While we are confident that the net military advantage of the CFE Treaty belongs to NATO, we have examined a cheating Scenario that might give the Soviets a militarily significant advantage. Given some months of mobilization and by violating the treaty, the Soviets could theoretically generate a force, on the order of several tens of additional divisions outside the ATTU, which when padded to AFTU forces could have limited success against NATO. If NATO detects the mobilization-which is almost a certainty-and reacts, the theoretical attack would be defeated short or seizing any meaningful objectives on NATO soil. The bottom line is that even when we stalked the cards in favor of the Soviets, we did not rind a realistic scenario where the Soviets have a militarily significant advantage so long as NATO is intact and responds promptly.
The question arises as to what would be a militarily significant violation. Of course, any violation carries political significance. In my judgment, a militarily significant violation is one which gives the Soviets some military advantage to which NATO would have to respond militarily. We have to view any violations in an operational context and on a case-by-case basis to determine military significance. We did that in our studies and, even with every reasonable ad vantage given to the Soviets, the mobilization requirements coupled with the CFE Treaty verification scheme made it a near certainty that NATO would detect any potentially militarily significant treaty violation in time to react and counter it. NATO retains the advantage.
Let me add one qualification to my assessment. We will not allow U.S. security interests in Europe to rest solely on the CFE Treaty. The enhancement of security and stability in Europe will be dependent on a highly-capable NATO force to deter the Soviets from ever contemplating a worst case option. The U.S. contribution will consist of a two division army corps along with adequate tactical air support and a combination of POMCUS equipment and support personnel to allow us to react rapidly to any crisis or threatening activities within the ATTU. We plan to have forward deployed about half as many U.S. military personnel as we have now.
We will also continue to train and equip ground, air, and supporting naval forces for rapid deployment back to Europe if needed. This Base Force concept-forward deployed forces, backed up b capable reinforcements will provide a continued credible deterrent in the new post-CFE Europe.
Additionally, we must retain the capability to reconstitute forces. Preserving the potential for timely expansion of air, ground, and maritime forces will give us the ability to respond to any reversal of current trends.
CFE supports our future strategy and our future strategy supports CFE. They are inseparable.
The treaty before you provides two unique benefits. First it codifies, in a legally-binding agreement a much-reduced Soviet capability. It forces destruction of many of the tools of war or otherwise restricts their use. And second, the changes are irreversible. A unilateral decision can unilaterally be reversed. A legally-binding agreement with the inspection rights the CFE Treaty gives us cannot be reversed without us, and every other CFE signatory, knowing about it.
The intrusive verification provisions to include on-site inspections, challenge inspections, and observation of destruction, provide the unprecedented opportunity for us and our allies to monitor Eastern Europe and the western half of the Soviet Union. We've never had this degree of transparency before.
In sum then, the treaty codifies the reduction of forces already taking place in Europe and establishes even lower limits. These reductions, coupled with the inspection provisions, make this treaty a valuable, stabilizing agreement.
As you are well aware, the period since signature of the treaty last November has been marked by several disputes over the data provided by the Soviets and their interpretations of what is and is not covered by the treaty. Following extensive negotiations and meetings with the Soviets and our allies, I am confident that we have put the most important of these difficulties behind us and have closed the door on future such disputes in the treaty. In sum, all TLE based on land in the ATTU, irrespective of assignment, count in numerical limitations unless explicitly exempted in the treaty or associated documents.
The dispute over the article III interpretation was recently resolved following extensive meetings with the Soviets and our allies. The Soviets must remove an amount of TLE from their holdings, primarily on the flanks, equal to the TLE held by three coastal defense divisions and four naval infantry brigades. In addition, no further increases of TLE in these type units is permitted: The net result is that the threat to NATO as a whole will be decreased as mandated in the objectives for the treaty.
The Soviets also agreed to satisfy our concern over the equipment which had been moved out of the ATTU prior to treaty signature. The Soviet political commitment addressing this equipment goes well beyond the statutory requirements of the treaty. Their commitment is to eliminate 14,500 pieces of the TLE, to provide information on that portion of the TLE stored east of the Urals, to use it only as replacement stock, and not to store it in unit sets. Soviet compliance with this political commitment will result in a significant drawdown of these stocks, thus limiting the future strategic reserve potential of this TLE.
The final data question concerned discrepancies over data reported by the Soviets within the ATTU. We had some concerns, but, as a result of additional analysis on our part, aided by further data and explanations provided by the Soviets, we have resolved the majority of our concerns. We will continue to work with them on the remaining questions. I would stress these issues do not affect our assessment of the benefits of the treaty.
Before concluding, let me turn momentarily to the NATO concept for implementing the CFE Treaty. As you are aware, General Galvin suggested a plan where nations such as the United States and Germany would give equipment, required to be reduced by the treaty, to nations whose TLE is far older and less capable. These nations would then destroy their older equipment. This is commonly referred to as the Transfer of Equipment or Cascading Plan. This transfer will ensure the destruction or the Alliance's oldest TLE, provide enhanced standardization within the Alliance, bolster the defense capabilities of the flanks and enhance the capabilities of NATO while simultaneously complying with the treaty.
If we fail to implement cascading, the United States will have to destroy most of the equipment planned for transfer and our allies, especially in the southern region, would retain much older, less capable equipment. However, we need Congressional authority to participate in this NATO Transfer Plan and hope Congress will provide that authority soon.
The CFE Treaty clearly enhances stability and security in Europe. The practicaI threat of surprise attack and large scale offensive action in Europe is effectively eliminated by the treaty. At the same time, the treaty provides NATO with a militarily sufficient basis from which to mobilize and conduct a cohesive defense.
As the principal military advisor to the President and on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I recommend ratification of this treaty.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very much, General and Mr. Secretary. I have a number of questions relating to the military significance of the 75,000 pieces of equipment that found their way east of the Urals that otherwise would have been left in the zone covered by the treaty. But I am going to save those if they are not asked by the time I get around to it again, for when the Chiefs are up with you, General.
And since the Secretary, I am told, is on a relatively tight schedule, and all our colleagues want to get a chance to direct some questions to you, I am going to, in a sense, Mr. Secretary, sort of skip over a few of the details of the treaty, and move to what you spoke about, and General Powell alluded to, and that was the military strategy that underlies the rationale for this treaty and the direction it takes us in.
Now, you and I have been around the Congress a long time. It has been 18 to 19 years. And from the outset, every time we would have a discussion, whether it revolved around MBFR or the original arms control agreements that we were fooling around with in the late 1960's and early 1970's, American nuclear strategy was premised on the Soviet conventional superiority in Europe. That drove our nuclear strategy. It was not the only reason we had a nuclear capability, but it drove our nuclear strategy.
My first question, Mr. Secretary, is, is that premise correct, that this overwhelming conventional superiority in Europe was, in effect, countered by the notion that if the Soviets used the geographic and conventional force advantage they had, we might, although we never spoke about it much, use nuclear force to respond to their initiative. Is that correct? Was that a basic premise of our nuclear strategy?
Secretary CHENEY. Well, I think certainly that was a key consideration in our deployment of theatre nuclear capabilities in Europe. Clearly it was not the only thing that drove our nuclear strategy. That is driven, I think perhaps first and foremost on a world-wide basis on the need to deter an attack upon the United States and maintaining our strategic deterrent capability achieves that. But deploying tactical nukes, theater nuclear capability in Europe did a number of things. It clearly would offset the overwhelming Soviet conventional capability that did exist. It did create uncertainty in the minds of our potential adversaries, that if they did launch an attack with those conventional forces in western Europe, that we might well respond with nuclear capability.
But it also tied the defense of Western Europe with the defense of the United States. It reassured our European allies that an attack upon them might well escalate immediately or shortly thereafter to the use of our full range of capabilities to respond.
Senator BIDEN. Strategic as well as tactical nuclear weapons.
Secretary CHENEY. Exactly. So it has been an important consideration, but not the only one.
Senator BIDEN. Because every time we talked about a change in strategy from things which I think were very rational at the time, although I suspect certain phrases are going to be relegated to history books and people are going to wonder what the hell we meant by them, you know, that ladder of escalatory response, and all the things that were terms of art that are being rendered less applicable to the present strategies and needs.
Well, you laid out in your statement, Mr. Secretary, a very eloquent description of how the world has changed in Europe. The Berlin Wall is down. The U.S.S.R. is going through the prospect of disunion rather than union. The economic disaster and the political instability in the Soviet Union, the Soviet interests in eastern Europe have changed drastically. And you mentioned strategy. But neither one of you mentioned nuclear strategy as any part of the new strategy we are talking about in Europe.
And without the driving rationale of Soviet conventional superiority and geographic advantage, the fact is that we are going to have probably a numerical advantage, NATO, if NATO stays together, when things are all over. And the geographic advantage has not been eliminated, obviously, but it surely has been changed with the changes in the unification of Germany, changes in Poland, and all of eastern Europe for that matter.
But after START, we are still going to have approximately 9,000 nuclear warheads, if you count those that are counted in the treaty, the 6,000 and roughly 3,000 that are not counted in the treaty, we will have between 9,000 and 10,000 nuclear warheads. And what I want to talk a little bit about is what we are focusing on for the future. What are the possible rationales that sustain a strategy in the near term and in the long term of maintaining 9,000 to 10,000 nuclear weapons? How are you all thinking about a long-term strategic plan that countenances a change in strategic weapons as well as the change on the ground in Europe? And how is our strategic planning accommodating the realities that you pointed out?
There seems to be four schools of thought that are emerging-we all put everything in schools in this town. There is the Scowcroft-Nunn notion that we are probably only going to need about 7,000 nuclear warheads; and Nitze and Perle are talking about 4,000 to 5,000; and Brown and Slocombe and others say about 3,000; and McNamara about 300 or 500 or 100. And when START, if we put CFE in place, which I think we are shortly going to do, is ratified, no matter what the numbers are, you have set up a framework in START for how to count, how to define, and how to verify nuclear weapons. And I guess my question is, how can, with CFE ratified, we justify on any grounds other than a refusal of the Soviets to co-operate, keeping our nuclear strategic arsenal at the 9,000 to 10,000 range?
It is a long question, but I hope you understand the thrust of it.
Secretary CHENEY. Sure. Let me, if I may, comment on two different levels. First of all, with respect to Europe itself, just as we are changing our conventional strategy, we are also actively involved in changing our nuclear strategy in Europe. That effort is being worked now within the NATO alliance. We will have a meeting in Italy of Defense Ministers in October, a nuclear planning group meeting, and Chiefs of Staff where we will talk about these specific issues.
Senator BIDEN. Will that lead to SNF right away?
Secretary CHENEY. It will lead clearly to fundamental changes in our current posture. At present, of course, we have relied upon artillery and upon short-range missiles, SNF. Clearly those two systems lose a lot of their validity once we have seen the changes that are occurring there. We still, I think, want to maintain, though, our dual capable aircraft in some fashion. We think it is still important to keep the strategic security of Europe tied to the strategic security of the United States. And that we share the burden within the alliance of the responsibility for basing those systems.
With respect to systems, the START Treaty is perhaps in the final stages. We have been working very aggressively on it now for 9 years. My colleague, Jim Baker, spent a lot of time on it last week. We still have a significant issue that is as yet unresolved.
If we are successful in concluding the START agreement that will clearly reduce the number of strategic systems on both sides. That is a positive development. That will allow us not only to cut the total number of nuclear weapons and strategic systems we deploy, because of the limits that will be imposed, but also because it reduces the number of targets inside the Soviet Union as they cut their strategic forces.
We have already made some adjustments in our strategic planning with respect to the kinds of forces we will require. For example, since I have become Secretary, we have decided to cap our Trident submarine buy of 18, instead of going to 23 or 24 which had originally been planned. Instead of buying 132 B-2 bombers, we have cut that buy back to 75.
So there already adjustments taking place within our force structure in an anticipation of the evolution of our requirements, partly in connection with START itself.
Finally, and part of this gets into an area that obviously cannot be discussed in open session in terms of specific planning, the strategic, single integrated operating plan you mentioned.
I can assure that committee that as the circumstances have changed, as Soviet forces have withdrawn from Eastern Europe, as Communist regimes have been replaced by democratically elected regimes, those kinds of changes are reflected in our planning for the possible application of our war plans.
Senator BIDEN. Mr. Secretary, in the appropriate environment, would you be willing to share that with this committee?
Secretary CHENEY. Certainly, we would be happy to sit down and talk as appropriate about those specific changes, and we would be happy to make arrangements to do that.
Senator BIDEN. For example, START will save us some money, less money than we anticipated, and the reason for that is because we have anticipated much of what START is going to deliver, so we have already had savings that, ultimately when START is ratified, will not render as big a number as it would have, had we not anticipated it coming about.
But one of the things I am worried about is that it seems to me that the radical changes that have taken place and the soon to occur codification of a conventional relationship between East and West is going to render the need for anything approaching 10,000 warheads totally out of the question, unless the Soviets were unwilling to negotiate from there.
And one of the things we are faced with, as you will remember from the good old days when you were in the House, is the decision whether or not to even buy the 75 B-2's you want. We have to decide whether or not to stay at 19, I think it was 19 you said for the Trident. Was it 18 or 19?
Secretary CHENEY. 18 Tridents.
Senator BIDEN. 18 Tridents and so on. And so it seems to me that it would be useful at some point, between now and the time START is up here, that the integration, if you will, of the conventional treaty and the strategic treaty that we are about to act on can be viewed with a focus, conditioned upon continued Soviet co-operation and compliance and willingness to negotiate, as to what our target should be.
Should our target be in the range of 7,000 or 4,000 or 3,000? General, let me end as we began. You pointed out, I think quite accurately, the startling success of this CFE agreement.
You and others came before this committee several years ago and said, we are talking about 20,000 tanks. A lot of us were sitting down with the Rand guys, trying to figure out, would they ever go for 2 to 1, let alone 4 to 1 or 5 to 1. And you laid out your objective.
You did not say you were going to reduce to that ratio or that they would have to reduce to that ratio. You said, this is your objective. I think what we need to establish and what is still missing, maybe it is there and you have not deemed it appropriate to share at this point, is what the goal is. What should our objective, from a military standpoint be, assuming that Soviet cooperation is forthcoming in a bilateral agreement that is independently verifiable, be?
What should our goal be in terms of total number of strategic nuclear warheads once we get START locked in?
Secretary CHENEY. If I may, Mr. Chairman, I would put forward the proposition and the chairman may want to chime in as well, that the President's 6 year defense program that we submitted in January that looks out to the 1996-97 timeframe does take into account our expectations about what we will require, both in conventional and strategic forces, assuming we see the continued kind of positive developments that we have already seen.
The base force that the chairman talked about in his remarks, the reduction of about 25 percent and the overall end-strength of our conventional forces, the cut back in strategic forces, all of that is based on the assumptions that are implicit, I think in your question.
That is to say, in doing our long-range planning, we have tried to do precisely that of building into our expectations and objectives of what we think we will require, the kinds of developments that you have talked about.
So I think the plan is there. We can debate whether or not it is the right plan or whether or not it ought to be changed or modified, but we have spent an enormous amount of time over the last 2 years developing exactly that kind of proposal.
Senator BIDEN. But, General, does that mean 9,000 to 10,000 nuclear warheads?
General POWELL. We do not know yet, Senator. The point I would make is that the strategic program the Secretary laid down of 18 Tridents and 75 B-2's, and what we are doing with MX and the research and development, we are continuing with the small ICBM, all were factored into the results of the CFE Treaty and the result of START.
I think there is a greater relationship between conventional forces treaty in Europe and our theater nuclear force posture than there is between changes in conventional forces in Europe and our strategic nuclear force posture.
The strategic forces of the United States now and in the future, whatever happens with the Soviet reductions, must be able to deter a Soviet strategic strike against the United States. So that stands--
Senator BIDEN. That is the issue.
General POWELL. That is the issue, and whether it takes 9,000 or some other number that is what we will have to look at. But the way we will analyze that within the Pentagon will be, what will it take to make absolutely sure that no Soviet leader ever considers the use of strategic nuclear forces against the United States and there is not a direct relationship to what the CFE levels might be. So there is less of a relationship.
Senator BIDEN. CFE and Europe are out of the picture in terms of that equation, and what we are talking about now is strategic versus strategic. If they go down, it seems to me, in direct correlation, there is no reason why we cannot go down in direct proportion.
General POWELL. They may not.
Senator BIDEN. They may not, my point is, what is the minimal level that we could go to and have assured strategic security?
General POWELL. That is exactly the right question, Senator, but we do not build our strategic forces in direct relationship to the number of warheads we think they may or may not have. We have other criteria.
Senator BIDEN. No, I overstated it. There are clearly other criteria, but they are strategic criteria and not conventional criteria.
General POWELL. And not to belabor it, I also would--
Senator BIDEN. Keep going, it is fine with me.
General POWELL. I would argue with the premise that Europe is completely out of the equation. I do not think it is and I do not think we should give that impression either to the Soviets or to our European friends.
Senator BIDEN. Well, I appreciate it. I appreciate the indulgence of my colleagues. Senator Helms.
Senator HELMS. I think you had some good questions, Joe. I am fascinated by this militarily significant jargon. It comes to mind that Lewis Carroll wrote a book one time, "Through the Looking Glass," and he had Humpty-Dumpty saying, when I use a word, it means precisely what I intend it to mean, nothing more nor less.
I will get back to that in just a minute, but Mr. Secretary, you recall I am sure that last summer the Senate unanimously passed an amendment that I had a little something to do with, I wrote it, which was included in the final fiscal year 1991 defense authorization act, requesting that before the United States signs a START Treaty with the Soviet Union, the President should report to the Congress as to whether the covert Soviet SS-23's in Eastern Europe violated the INF.
Now, I think it was in March, the President did send a report which I imagined was fashioned in the offices of you two gentlemen, stating that the Soviet SS-23 deployment in Eastern Europe was an act of bad faith.
Now there is Humpty-Dumpty, what does that mean? He did not say it was a violation of the INF Treaty. Moreover, the cutoff date for the information in his report was set arbitrarily by somebody. I have not been able to find out whom, to be November 1990, right after the election.
Yet I understand that between the arbitrary November date and the actual date of the report this past February, the United States received significant new information about that Soviet SS-23 deployment.
Now my question is, and I ask it respectfully, what has not Congress been sent the information that was clearly specified last year in the defense bill?
Secretary CHENEY. Senator, I am not aware that Congress has not been supplied the information, but certainly it would seem to me that it would be appropriate. If you have questions about what we know about those SS-23's deployments, I cannot see any reason why under the appropriate safeguards, they should not be provided to the members of the committee.
Senator HELMS. It has not. We checked on it, and requested about it.
Secretary CHENEY. Did you request it from the Defense Department or some other part?
Senator HELMS. Both. But you going to bring up another thing, Malcolm Wallop, you know him?
Secretary CHENEY. I do indeed, my former colleague from Wyoming.
Senator HELMS. You bet and a good guy and a good Senator, Malcolm and I sent a letter, I think it was back long about June 25th to you and our letter concerned Boris Yeltsin's statement to 72 Senators gathered over there on the second floor of the Capitol about Soviet data falsification and deception in arms control negotiations.
Now I sat right by Boris Yeltsin while he was making the statement, and I will say as an aside, that this guy understands English a lot better than he pretends to because during the translation that gives him a chance to think and I do not think there is any question about what he said in Russian.
Now I understand you also met with him, you did, did you not, and that he said something similar to you about the Soviet arms control fraud and I am not going to ask you what you believe he said.
What I am asking you is did your staff give you that letter that Malcolm and I sent to you?
Secretary CHENEY. I have seen the letter.
Senator HELMS. It was given to you this morning. I directed staff to hand it to you.
Secretary CHENEY. I had seen it previously.
Senator HELMS. You had?
Secretary CHENEY. Yes.
Senator HELMS. Well, may I presume that you are going to give us an answer to it?
Secretary CHENEY. Certainly. But again, my recollection is the question came out of the meeting that Mr. Yeltsin had with members of the Senate, and of course, I was not present there.
With respect to the conversations I had with him, I did not come away with the same impression from those conversations that apparently he left in his comments on the hill with respect to the past Soviet compliance.
Senator HELMS. Well, I understand that the interpreter he had sitting by him was or had been associated with the KGB. So anticipating that, I had a friend of mine who is very fluent in Russian to attend that meeting, to stand over in the corner and he took notes and there was not any question about what Yeltsin said according to my friend who speaks Russian.
Now getting back to this militarily significant thing, and I am not quibbling about it, I just want to know what we are talking about. Are we saying we are just going to let the Soviets steal out of the till until it becomes a significant amount?
We had a case down in my hometown, a fellow was stealing a dollar or two out of the till in the grocery store where he worked and finally the owner of the store took him to court because he stole $10. He said, well, I did not mind while he stole a dollar or two a day but when he started stealing $10 a day that made a difference.
Is that sort of the thing we are doing? We really know about these violations, but we do not contend that they are militarily significant? Is that the name of the game in these treaties?
Secretary CHENEY. Well, I think Senator, it really depends a lot upon what kind of treaty we are talking about or which treaty we are talking about.
Senator HELMS. Any treaty, INF or this one.
Secretary CHENEY. With respect to INF, because INF called for the abolition of an entire class of weapons, one banned weapon is a violation, and the regime that set up to verify whether or not there is compliance is structured accordingly.
What we are talking about with respect to CFE I think is a somewhat different proposition in that we are not banning weapons altogether, we are not abolishing armored divisions, et cetera, saying nobody can have any tanks. We are trying to place limits on the number of systems deployed on both sides and the degree of verification that is required, the investment we make in terms of our own efforts to assess the degree of compliance on the other side, we think can safely be judged in accordance with the criteria of what is militarily significant.
And when we are talking about eliminating 60 divisions worth of equipment from the Soviet area west of Urals in Eastern Europe, I would say a few tanks is not militarily significant. Several divisions worth of equipment would be militarily significant.
Senator HELMS. Well, how about the undeclared Soviet covert or illegal CFE force consisting of those 15,000 to 30,000 pieces of treaty-limited equipment? Is that militarily insignificant? That seems like a pile to me.
General POWELL Anything that is in excess of treaty constraints is a violation of concern. If my staff were to report to me, the intelligence community were to tell me that they had discovered that there are 20,001 tanks, I would consider that a violation and I would seek redress of the violation through the joint consultative group.
But I would not start to ring the alarm bells because we discovered one more tank. If I started to sense that there were tanks in the order that you described, Senator Helms, 15,000 treaty-limited pieces of equipment that had been covertly infiltrated back into the ATTU in violation of this treaty, that is indeed militarily significant.
Senator BIDEN. Excuse me, the ATTU you refer to is Atlantic to the Urals.
General POWELL. Yes, the Atlantic to the Urals.
Senator BIDEN. You all love these acronyms, I tell you, but that is what you mean, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains.
General POWELL. From the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains, I think you can see it clearly on the map.
Senator BIDEN. I just want everybody to know what we are talking about.
Senator HELMS. You do not question the undeclared force of 15,000 to 30,000, do you?
General POWELL. Which undeclared force are you referring to, Senator?
Senator HELMS. I am talking about the covert.
General POWELL. If there are forces to the east of the Urals, they are not limited by treaty. If the equipment associated with those forces were moved out prior to the signing of the treaty and the exchange of data related to the treaty, then we might question whether that was a wise thing for the Soviets to do, but it is not prohibited by the treaty.
Now, in response to negotiations that took place after the treaty was signed last November, the Soviets have given us an accounting for the equipment they have, or will be giving us an accounting for that equipment. They have also agreed to eliminate, reduce, roughly 15,000 pieces of that equipment, and they have told us it will not be stored in unit sets.
They have no intention of marrying that equipment up with a unit and in due course, they use the term, it will be depleted as they use that equipment to modernize forces east of the Urals, in their eastern regions and eventually convert some of it and destroy other parts of it.
So it is something we will have to monitor very carefully-how that equipment is being stored east of the Urals, but at the moment, it is equipment in storage areas east of the Urals and not equipment in units west of the Urals threatening NATO.
Senator HELMS. Well, we have a little bit different opinion about that, General, and I respect you, as you know, but what are we doing in terms of the Baltics? We just cut them loose and said, too bad about that, folks. You ought to be free and all of that, but we are not going to help you.
General POWELL. In terms of this treaty, the Baltics are not an issue.
Senator HELMS. I know that. But I just somehow think that in everything that we do involving the Soviet Union and others, that we ought to consider these people who are trying to be free and you know, just driving on the other side of the Urals, I know they appreciate it over there in the Baltics, and not a mumbling word has been said by my administration about that.
But this is the sort of thing that bothers me, because I do not think this treaty is going to make a whole lot of difference one way or another. I have to disagree with you. I have said that before because the events have overtaken us in Europe. You got that right and the very colorful map is very interesting.
But anyway, I thank both of you for coming up this morning.
Senator BIDEN. Senator Pell.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to follow-up on Senator Biden's question as to the eventual strategic objective. When you are sitting on this side of the desk, the years go by very quickly. Thirty years go by in my case and you see many changes.
If you could look down the road, 30 years down the road from now for example, what would be the objective of this administration? Would it be a nuclear-free world? Do you see that as being a possible goal, not in your administration or the next administration, but eventually as a goal?
Secretary CHENEY. This is my personal view, Senator, and I want to separate that out, I have never had a conversation, sort of officially of where we want to be 30 years from now on that specific issue.
But I do not expect--
Senator PELL. Excuse me. I do not mean necessarily exactly 30, but I mean the eventual end objective.
Secretary CHENEY. I do not Realistically expect or plan for a nuclear-free world. I think the trend is in the other direction. I think that in fact what we should anticipate, certainly from the standpoint of the Department of Defense is the need to make certain that we can guarantee the security and survival of the United States in a world in which more nations rather than fewer have nuclear weapons than is the case today.
And that is what leads me in the direction of doing several things, one of which is to make certain we maintain adequate deterrent capability to dissuade any would-be nuclear power from attacking the United States; but I also think it is one of the strongest arguments for why we must go forward with our own defenses.
For example, SDI, the Strategic Defense Initiative, ballistic missile defense capability, which I think is absolutely essential and will be even more important 30 years from now than it is today.
General POWELL. It would certainly be, I think the hope of every American and everybody in the world that we could get rid of nuclear weapons, but I share the Secretary's view that the trend seems to be the other way, Mr. Chairman.
I think what we have seen happening in Iraq in recent months and what we have discovered about Saddam Hussein's program, should cause us to be even more concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
And I would hope that over time, through agreements and other means, we could reduce the reliance that the United States and the Soviet Union have on nuclear weapons, as part of our arsenals, but I think it is sometime in the future before we could ever wish the possibility that nuclear weapons would be eliminated from the face of the Earth.
The CHAIRMAN. After every war and after every exchange of hostilities, you hear talks of possible defense savings. You, Mr. Secretary, have done a wonderful job in reducing as you have. And we hope you continue in that way.
But a few months ago, there was a lot of chatter about a peace dividend. You do not hear that much now. What do you think the effect of the CFE will be in that direction? Do you see a peace dividend coming, and if so, how much?
Secretary CHENEY. Well, I am reluctant to use the phrase "peace dividend," Senator. We like to think at the Department of Defense that peace is the dividend that our military investment has bought and that it was well worth the expenditure. Clearly we will spend less on defense in the future than had been anticipated prior to the developments that have occurred over the last 2 years-the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe.
I think as a result of this combination of things, of CFE plus the withdrawal of the Soviets from Eastern Europe, we will see savings and those savings are reflected in the defense plan that has already been submitted. It takes the form, for example, of about a 50 percent reduction in the number of forces we have forward deployed in Europe.
It is at the heart of the decision we have made to recommend to the Congress a reduction of nearly half a million active duty personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces over the next 5 or 6 years.
So, clearly, the changes in Europe that we are talking about here today very much including CFE, clearly will result in reductions in the U.S. defense budget. It would be difficult to put a precise dollar figure on it because it touches a number of different areas. But that is no question but what these changes have been absolutely vital, probably the most significant part of the altered circumstances that have allowed us to modify our military strategy.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. No further questions.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very much. Senator Lugar.
Senator LUGAR. Mr. Chairman, I would like to pursue an issue that my colleague, Senator Helms, was raising a moment ago. First of all, let me just say for the record that in the conversation with Boris Yeltsin that Senators enjoyed, I do not recall Boris Yeltsin addressing the question of whether the Soviets had deliberately offered misinformation as part of their conversations on strategic weapons and negotiations.
Senator Helms, I think, has pointed out that the translator of Boris Yeltsin, is after all was speaking in Russian, may have been a KGB officer. Therefore, Senator Helms' reliance may be on a friend, as he points out, who was in the corner of the room, who also understands Russian, and who he believed transcribed or translated more accurately what was said.
I have seen this story bandied about and apparently a letter has gone to the Secretary of Defense which he is about to answer. There may be other Senators of different recollection. I was seated not as close as Senator Helms was to Boris Yeltsin, but probably not more than 5 or 6 feet more away, and did not have the same recollection.
Leaving that aside, the problem of whether Boris Yeltsin was recounting old stories about Soviet negotiating postures points up the fact that we have had this sort of debate before, and probably will have it again, as to how reliable Soviet figures are. In fact, during the INF dispute, we had published in the papers of this town at least three intelligence estimates attributed to our defense establishment or CIA as to how many INF warheads were out there.
This led to some consternation on the part of Senators who were trying to decide how reliable any of the figures were-those we were offering quite apart from those the Soviets were offering.
Now ultimately we came to judgments. I think it is just important for the record to show that the 3 years of destruction regime covered by the INF Treaty have been completed. And all of the warheads, missiles, and apparatus have been destroy. Almost no notice was paid to this at all in the press-merely a footnote. We have been down this trail before. We had to make some judgments. And we finally relied upon gentlemen like you who, at least in your own expert testimony, were giving us your best judgment.
I think we are in a similar situation with regard to the CFE figures. I suspect that we already know that intelligence estimates on our part, on the United States' part, involve some conflicts or raise some confusion. They are probably settling down into a range, maybe into an exact figure in due course, quite apart from what the Soviets report.
Eventually you, Mr. Secretary, and the Chiefs are going to have to tell us reliably on what we should base our judgment. That is the important factor, not Boris Yeltsin or the KGB or maybe even our own intelligence people. You have got to read those reports the same as we do and interpret them. I underline that because I think a degree of trust and faith is going to be required.
What I want to pursue with you is our actions after we detect a violation. With respect to the INF Treaty, quite apart from the CFE Treaty, there is no cosmic referee out there who blows the whistle and assesses penalties.
For example, if somebody cheats, there is not a third party that enters in, assesses a penalty, and threatens to implement it if the transgression is not rectified. There is not such a mechanism.
I gather what General Powell was saying, if a violation is "militarily significant," then this might be grounds for us to respond in an appropriate way. But ultimately such a determination will probably be up to us, hopefully to other allies, other parties of this treaty, of whom there are many, as opposed to the bilateral INF Treaty.
But if we had detected the Soviets cheating on INF, then it was up to our leadership, the President, the Secretary, the Joint Chiefs to determine an appropriate response.
Now in this particular case of the CFE Treaty, just guide me through it in terms of reasoning. Let us say that you find militarily significant cheating. And that is a professional judgment of military people as to what will endanger our security. What would you do about it? What are the progressive stages in which we react as a country so that the American people know that if we find such a major violation, we have a way of dealing with it, as opposed to the notion that we would wink at it or ignore it or even deny that it exists.
In a straightforward way, what do you do if somebody cheats in this treaty in such a way that it becomes militarily significant to the United States?
Secretary CHENEY. Senator, if I might respond briefly and then ask my colleague, General Powell, to say a word or two.
Out of the arrangements in the CFE Treaty and specifically the verification regime that is an integral part of it, we think we will have much better, more complete, comprehensive information than we have ever had before about the disposition of conventional Soviet forces in that area west of the Urals, the western part of the Soviet Union.
That should create much greater ability on our part to discern any cheating on their part that would signify a shift in strategy, would signify a decision by them to violate the terms of the treaty and to deploy the kind of force that could indeed launch a short-warning or no-notice attack against our interests in Western Europe.
Second, as General Powell pointed out in his statement, it is very important that everybody understand that effective response requires a decision, a political decision, by the national security leadership of the country-the President, the Senate, and the House-to do something about it, either diplomatically or by deploying additional forces or through whatever means we deem essential.
The fact is that the reductions that we are taking in the Defense budget and the reduction on our forces will enhance risk. That is to say there will be greater risk with an Army of 12 divisions than we would have with an Army of 18 divisions. but we think the world is going to be safer so that we can safely make that adjustment.
But going to those lower force levels, reducing our presence in Western Europe, cutting back on the size of the Navy and the Air Force, all depend upon our having the national will, should it be necessary, to reverse that trend and to decide that, in fact, circumstances have changed sufficiently so that we have to make a decision to reconstitute forces to deal with what is a change in the strategic threat. And that is an assumption that is underlining, I think, our endorsement of this treaty.
General POWELL. The referees, to some extent, Senator, are the 22 signatories of the treaty, all of whom will be conducting inspections and examining each other, and in fact, I think 21 of the 22 will be focusing on the 22d, for the most part.
So I think there is a process by which we can detect this cheating, and there is also a joint consultative group that the violations can be brought into for examination.
It also will not be happening in a vacuum. There obviously will have been, there seems to me, a deterioration in the political situation and in the international situation which would have caused the Soviet Union to decide that they could take the risk of trying to cheat in a militarily significant way which would alarm the entire world, it seems to me.
But let us say that that does happen and they start to build up their forces east of the Urals. We will see that. There is nothing that prohibits them from building up their forces east of the Urals. The violation comes and the significance takes place when we start to see things happening west of the Urals in the western military districts of the Soviet Union.
I can assure you as that was reported to us we sought from our own inspections, as national technical means made it known to us, as all of the other nations who are signatories to this treaty saw it happening and reported it to us, the Chiefs would begin to meet on the subject. We would analyze it, and if we felt that our military position was being eroded or we were not taking use of the warning time we were being given by the intelligence community, I can assure I would be up in the Secretary's office and recommending to him that we go over to the National Security Council and to the President and start to respond in similar ways by calling up the forces, by reinforcing our position in Europe.
We may well find that we are below our treaty-limited levels and we could do some building up without exceeding our treaty-limited levels by the time we get out to 1994 and 1995. So I believe we would have to respond.
Senator LUGAR. Mr. Chairman, I know my time is up, but let me just underline the point you made about the national will. You do all of these things. You bring the recommendation to the President. But ultimately, as in the case of the Desert Storm operation, the cheating was apparent. The invasion was flagrant. This does not necessarily make it automatic that the Nation is going to resist or going to act.
The point I want to reiterate is that, after all of the expertise has been given, this finally is a matter of national will as to whether, if we sign this treaty and we ratify it, we are prepared really in the Congress as well as in the administration, to take those steps that are required.
General POWELL. You are exactly right, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Sarbanes.
Senator SARBANES. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, I have a number of questions I want to ask, but first I am concerned by two answers that I heard you give previously. General Powell, Senator Helms posited a situation where there would be an additional 15,000 tanks, I think, in the treaty-covered area. And you indicated that if they had one extra tank, it would be a violation, but you would not regard it as military significant. But if you discovered that they had infiltrated forces of that magnitude into the treaty-covered area, why, that would be obviously military significant; you would be very concerned about it.
This, however, left open the suggestion that somehow the Soviets might be able to introduce 15,000 tanks into the treaty-covered area without out noticing, and then, all of a sudden, we would discover it.
Now I know one of the premises of this treaty was that the verification regime was set up in such a way that if the numbers started to assume even a minor magnitude, we would know about it right away. They might have 1 or 10 or 20 tanks above 20,000 without our knowledge, but as soon as the numbers began to amount to anything, we would know about it. Is that not the case?
General POWELL. That is exactly right. Of course, I was answering directly a question posed to me by Senator Helms, about 15,000 in excess of 20,000-15,000 over 20,000. But just to come back on the point, they are authorized 20,000. Anything over 20,000 is a violation, and we should be concerned.
Our intelligence community, and you will hear from them directly, believes t a when you start to get up, 9,000 or 10,000 items of treaty-limited equipment being covertly sneaked into the region, it would be hard for that to happen without it being noticed. I have high assurance that we would see it at that point.
From an operational perspective, I would be more interested not in treaty-limited pieces of equipment, but in actual units that are starting to form and capability that is starting to exist within the treaty-limited area.
So it is a judgment matter, as I said in my statement, Senator Sarbanes. You would have to make a judgment on a case-by-case basis as to what constitutes military significance.
You would not wait until there was so many treaty-limited items reintroduced into the zone that you were in a disadvantageous position. Long before that, we are confident we would know it and we would know it in time to give our political leaders the opportunity to make political judgments to respond to the slightly series of violations which constitute a militarily significant matter.
Senator SARBANES. Now, Secretary Cheney, you said in response to Senator Lugar that if we had 12 divisions rather than 18 divisions, we would be at greater risk. I do not quite follow that argument, if what we are directing our forces against has also been measurably reduced.
It seems to me that we could have fewer divisions and be at lesser risk, not at greater risk, because of the reduction that had taken place on the other side. In fact, I thought that was in essence the premise of this treaty. Is that not correct?
Secretary CHENEY. I think it is, Senator. I am not sure you and I disagree at all. My point was that smaller forces mean you have less capability to deal with whatever might develop out there.
Senator SARBANES. Yes, but if the other side is--
Secretary CHENEY. But the reason we think we can do that is because in fact the Soviets are withdrawing from Eastern Europe. We can reduce our force levels in Europe. That is why we are making the force structure cuts we have made. And if the risk were to increase, if the threat were to increase, we would come back and say sorry, we cannot go that low or we think that we have got to maintain larger forces.
Senator SARBANES. Well, it is your view that with this treaty in place we will be at lesser risk, not at greater risk, even though we have reduced forces, is it not?
Secretary CHENEY. It is my view that the threat, as we stated very specifically in here, of an all-out Soviet attack, a short-notice attack into Western Europe, is significantly diminished or eliminated. For that reason, we can cut our forces.
Instead of the old commitment, for example, that we would have to have 10 divisions deployed in Europe within 10 days of a decision to mobilize, we think that is no longer required, instead of having four and two-thirds divisions on the ground in Western Europe, we think we can go to about two divisions. So to that extent, yes.
On the other hand, if we go down, which we clearly are, which we anticipate, we have to deal with the Southwest Asia problems such as we just dealt with in the Gulf. You have got less capability; you have got fewer divisions to spread around the world to deal with trouble should trouble arise in several places at the same time.
Senator SARBANES. I want to be very clear. Would you not prefer the situation that you will have after this treaty--
Secretary CHENEY. Absolutely.
Senator SARBANES [continuing]. Than to retain the greater capabilities but not have the protections contained in this treaty?
Secretary CHENEY. Absolutely, Senator. Maybe we are getting into a semantic argument over risk and threat. Our position is clear. The President has accepted our recommendation to cut our forces by about 25 percent over the next 6 years and we are doing that because the world is not going to be as threatening as it has been for the last 40 years.
Senator SARBANES. Now, General Powell, you said--
General POWELL. May I add a word to that, Senator? I will be very brief.
Senator SARBANES. Yes, but I am running against the clock here. General POWELL. The world will be less threatening but we will lose by going down in our force structure the flexibility to respond to a number of things happening around the world. If this was 1995 and not 1991 when we had to Desert Storm, it would be a lot more difficult to pull a corps out of Europe and send it to Southwest Asia because we would not have a corps to leave behind, as we did this time.
So you lose some flexibility and the force structure is not there just for Europe; it is there for all of our worldwide commitments. I believe, and I think the Chiefs would second this, that the base force we have presented in the President's program is as low as we could reasonably go and still protect our interests around the world.
Further changes in Europe and the Soviet Union would not induce me to believe that we can allow our base force to go any lower or significantly change the programs that the President has presented to the Congress this year.
Senator SARBANES. Now you said that you have a plan under which we would have forward-deployed about half as many U.S. military personnel as we have now.
General POWELL. That is correct, sir.
Senator SARBANES. That is in the NATO theater. How much will the NATO forces be reduced? The deployment of NATO personnel?
General POWELL. Each nation is making its own judgment.
Senator SARBANES. I understand. In the overall.
General POWELL. In the overall, I would estimate it is in the 30 to 50 percent range.
Senator SARBANES. Are we going to have a larger percent of the NATO force being American after the CFE Treaty than is the case prior to the treaty?
General POWELL. I cannot answer that right now, and a lot will also depend on what happens in CFE-1A when you start to deal with the manpower issues.
Secretary CHENEY. If I might, Senator.
Senator SARBANES. Let me just say, Mr. Secretary, I am obviously leading you right to the burden-sharing question, since there is a strong perception in this country that we have assumed a disproportionate share of the burden in the NATO context, and the various figures support that. In fact, even a study by the Defense Department itself provides an underpinning for that.
What I really want to know is whether at the end of this process we are going to have improved our relative position with respect to burden-sharing, or whether we end up carrying the same or even a heavier burden than has heretofore been the case?
Secretary CHENEY. Let me make a guesstimate, Senator, at this point because a lot these issues have not yet been resolved. They are going to turn upon the decisions that we finally make with respect to NATO strategy inside the alliance and NATO force structure, and much of that work is proceeding now.
But I would expect that the cuts that we will take will be roughly proportionate to the other members of the alliance. That is to say that everybody is going to go down by roughly a proportionate amount.
Now it remains to be seen on the national decisions that are made in each of those other countries. But I do not anticipate that coming out of this exercise, we will end up with the United States bearing a larger, relative share of the defense burden than we have in the past.
Senator SARBANES. Will we bear a relatively smaller share? Will we improve our position on burden-sharing after these very significant reductions?
Secretary CHENEY. I cannot give you a precise answer at this point, Senator. I know, for example, if you look at Japan, clearly there the burden-sharing equation is shifting in our direction. The Japanese are increasing their contribution to the cost of maintaining our forces in that part of the world. I think we will have to look at it on a case-by-case basis, and clearly that is something we would provide to the committee.
But I do not see this as fundamentally altering the basic relationships within the alliance. The United States is still going to be part of NATO, we are still going to have forward-deployed forces in NATO, but at lower levels than has been true in the past.
Senator SARBANES. I want to put one final question to you, and that is, what issues do we need to be sensitive to on the NATO side in looking at this treaty? In other words, what were the complexities on our own side of the scales? Following up on that, is there a break occurring in the interests of NATO countries on the extent of Soviet armaments east of the Urals? For example, the U.S. has global responsibilities, and therefore we have a concern about the state of Soviet forces wherever they may be located.
However, for some of our European allies the main concern is in getting Soviet forces east of the Urals, from where they figure they would have plenty of warning. This would reduce the chances of surprise attack, and the size of Soviet forces is no longer such a big problem for them. Therefore, their concern about what transpires east of the Urals diminishes, whereas our concern must remain since it has global implications to it. Has this produced any sort of disconnect in NATO thinking?
Secretary CHENEY. I think that is as fair statement, Senator. It is reflected a little bit within the alliance in that, for example, our friends in Norway and Turkey are still directly engaged with Soviet forces on their border. There has been no withdrawal there, as has occurred in Central Europe.
But the treaty attempts to deal with that problem within NATO by placing limits on what the Soviets can put on either flank, and certainly if all of the equipment being moved east of the Urals were to be shoved all the way east and suddenly become threatening to parts of Asia, that would be of concern to us.
But I think at this point I would yield to the chairman. The location east of the Urals, sort of in the central part of the Soviet Union, probably is the least threatening location for it and the best thing they could do with it short of outright destruction.
General POWELL. We do not sense any large build-up of force structure in the far eastern districts. In fact, there have been some draw-downs-divisions coming out of Mongolia, for example-so they have this pool of equipment there that we hope they will attrit away and deplete away over time, but right now I do not see that it would do much more than modernize some of their far eastern forces. I do not sense a large increase in structure there that should cause us any non-European concerns.
Senator SARBANES. Well, Mr. Chairman, let me make this final comment to the Secretary. You, of course, have devoted a fair amount of your statement and of your public declarations to reassertion the continued usefulness of NATO, and the need to face the fact teat the Soviet Union continues to remain, even after this treaty, a heavily armed nation with significant capabilities. I perceive that in part as sort of a rallying call, both within the NATO alliance and in the United States, to continue to sustain NATO. Yet it seems to me that an important element in doing so is to address this burden-sharing issue.
There is a perception, certainly one that I strongly share, that the United States has carried more than its share of the burden in the NATO context, let alone the Japanese issue. After making the reductions that are required by this treaty, I think we ought to come out in a somewhat better relative position than has heretofore been the case. Equal reductions by all nations on the NATO side in effect would perpetuate the imbalances that previously existed, and the process ought to be used, to some degree at least, in order to help remedy or rectify the burden-sharing imbalance.
Secretary CHENEY. I think it would be fair to say, Senator, that burden-sharing continues to be an important item for us, one that we address on a regular basis with our allies, that we clearly would voice strong objections if this treaty were to lead to a situation in which the United States ends up with a larger portion of the burden than we have had previously.
Senator SARBANES. I am laying down a stricter marker. I want to get an improvement, not just prevent a worsening.
Secretary CHENEY. The size of our deployments in Europe are driven not just by considerations about what our allies are or are not contributing, but what is a usable military force from our perspective. That is why the numbers we are talking about in terms of approximately 150,000, roughly a corps, and the supporting equipment and manpower that goes with that, that we think is a usable military force, we think we ought to retain in Europe.
Then we get into arguments about who is going to pay for it, how much host nation support ought to contribute, and certainly I feel I have a mandate from the Congress to continually address those questions of seeing to it that we enhance the extent to which our friends and allies pick up their fair share of the cost.
Senator SARBANES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you. Senator Kassebaum.
Senator KASSEBAUM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Cheney and General Powell, I would like to ask just a moment for some thoughts on the Soviet military. Mr. Secretary you mentioned in your testimony that the traditionalists and the reformers are still struggling within the Soviet Union, and the most serious stumbling block I understand in the last months of negotiation was a redefinition of certain types of equipment on the part of the Soviet Union.
There are some who believe that the Soviet military was really trying to delay the treaty. There are some who have even speculated that perhaps Foreign Minister Shevardnadze resigned because of this. I wonder if you could speculate on what your thoughts are regarding the Soviet military, and if this is so, if there was clearly a struggle within the military as to whether this was something they should do, what, perhaps, did President Gorbachev do to get them back on board? Is that too much speculation?
Secretary CHENEY. No, I can make a few relevant comments, and certainly General Powell I am sure would have something to contribute, too.
I think it is important to remember that at the end of the day on CFE, after the treaty had been signed, we had this dispute over naval infantry units, et cetera. That was finally resolved when General Moiyseyev, General Powell's counterpart, visited in Washington and clearly had the authority to get the problem resolved, and it was in fact successfully resolved, partly at the direct intervention of the President with President Gorbachev, and that got solved.
The military plays a very significant role in these issues, as I do not think it is that surprising. I think, as I look at the Soviet military today inside the Soviet Union, they are experiencing the same problems that the rest of Soviet society is. The Soviet military takes such a large portion of the total resources in the Soviet Union that the breakdown in the Soviet economy does feed back into the Soviet military.
They have got major morale problems, they are having a terrible time simply getting enough conscripts to fill out the ranks of the military, they watched the performance of our equipment in the gulf war and I think had to conclude that their own was not nearly as good as was our capability-a whole series of things that have raised difficult problems for the Soviet military.
Now, as you look at the future and the prospects for economic reform inside the Soviet Union, I do not think-my own personal view, I do not believe there is any way you can put together a viable economic program for the Soviet Union that does not involve a massive reduction in the resources they devote to the military.
So there is this struggle, if you will, between the reformers who want to reform the Soviet economy, and that means cut Soviet military spending, and the military, who are under all of these other pressures plus having to fend off those efforts, and I am not certain how it is going to sort out. I would argue that one of the reasons that the 500-day plan was probably rejected last October by Mr. Gorbachev may well have been as a result of military opposition to the cuts that were implicit in that.
I still think we are in a position where they understand, have to understand, that the United States does not constitute a threat to the Soviet Union, and I think our efforts in the CFE area and our own force reductions in Europe are part of that, and that they have to understand that we will continue to work with them to seek effective arms control agreements, as we are here, and have.
I cannot really contribute much in terms of the debate about the dynamics between Mr. Gorbachev and his senior military advisors. Clearly, he has to deal with that, but he is also clearly in charge in the Soviet Union today. How that struggle ultimately comes out I think is yet to be decided.
General POWELL. I have little more to add, since we never have any debates here, Senator Kassebaum, between senior military and senior civilians.
Senator KASSEBAUM. General Powell, let me just ask you in the . resettlement of the Soviet troops there has been much speculation in a number of articles written about the low morale, again with the economic problems, that the Soviet soldiers are not finding housing, jobs, and so forth.
Is this taking a significant toll, and will it impact in any way, perhaps, on how they would be able, even if they so wished to do, to implement some of the things required of the CFE?
General POWELL. They are having an enormously difficult time absorbing these armies back into the Soviet Union. There is no housing, there are no jobs for those who are being released, there are no Veterans Administration programs to take care of health or housing or education, or the things we would do to try to reintegrate our people back into civilian life, so they are a having very, very difficult times.
Some of the end game problems we ran into in CFE and ran into in START have to do with the Soviet military taking a very hard look at the implications of some of these treaties, and I think perhaps not liking what they saw in an end game in trying to redress some of the problems that they discovered. That is particularly the case with CFE.
There are also some internal problems within the Soviet Union, particularly in the Baltic States, and elsewhere which caused the Soviets to take a look at their internal security needs and realize that some of that was being effected by CFE decisions, and so there are some end game issues that I think we worked out in a way that preserves the integrity of the treaty, and, in fact, helped us get more destruction than we might have otherwise.
Senator KASSEBAUM. I would just like to make one further comment. There are a lot of questioners that keep coming here. On the nuclear-free question issue that was raised, I would agree, in the reality of the world as it exists I do not see a nuclear-free world at this point, but I can think of no more important challenge for us and our allies than to try to attempt to bring nuclear proliferation under control, and I think that it will take a lot of focus and vitality but I am one who thinks it can be done, and I would just make that editorial comment on that issue.
To close, let me add that I certainly commend both of you for the role you have played in negotiating this treaty, as with others as well. I think it is an important treaty, and I think its importance lies in having two people such as yourselves as Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were there to give confidence that as a matter of fact it will be enforced, it will be implemented in a strong and reliable manner.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very much. Senator Kerry.
Senator KERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, good morning. I apologize for not being able to be here for the opening statements.
Now that the agreement has been reached with respect to the conventional forces, is there a specific time for moving forward on the SNF negotiations?
Secretary CHENEY. There is, Senator, an agreement that once we concluded CFE that we would then move to SNF negotiations, negotiations of our short-range nuclear forces.
I think it would be fair to say that we have not yet finally determined within our own alliance exactly how we would like to proceed, and that that subject is going to be discussed this fall among defense ministers, foreign ministers, and the heads of Government in meetings that are scheduled to address these and other issues as we evolve NATO strategy.
Senator KERRY. Has a decision been made yet whether the administration would support elimination of all ground-based nuclear missiles?
Secretary CHENEY. A decision has been made not to go forward with modernization.
Senator KERRY. On Lance?
Secretary CHENEY. On Lance, which is the only short-range nuclear forces, or--
Senator KERRY. What about eliminating ground-based nuclear weapons?
Secretary CHENEY. Short-range systems. Again, the final decision is something that has to be made within the alliance as an alliance. The systems are deployed as part of alliance strategy, but clearly we are looking at a situation in which the short-range systems and nuclear artillery do not have much meaning any more within the European context, and while we think it is important to preserve a nuclear dimension to our European strategy, to our NATO strategy, it obviously should involve, and we expect it will involve, a significant reduction in the kind of systems you are talking about.
Senator KERRY. Now, with respect to NATO's future posture, as some have said events may be perceived as having overtaken even this treaty, and to a certain degree I suppose the real issue about stability away come not so much from the conventional ways in which we thought it would come but more from the kinds of things we are seeing in Yugoslavia and from the potential unrest in the Soviet Union.
While not directly related to the treaty, I wonder if you could tell me what your thinking is and that of, perhaps, NATO, in terms of adjustment to those new kinds of threats. Is there a NATO adjustment to that? And specifically with respect to the treaty, the U.S. is moving to a lighter, quicker, faster response capacity, likewise for the Soviet Union.
I suppose the question could be asked, if-given the unrest we are now seeing, and given that sort of lighter, quicker response factor-is there any thinking that that might create greater tension rather than less, that that could become a flash point.
Secretary CHENEY. Senator, we are actively engaged with our NATO allies in revising our strategy, and of course it is important for people to remember within the alliance the old strategy was to have all of our divisions up arrayed on that inter-German border ready to deal with expected short-warning Soviet attack. The inter-German border does not exist any more, the Soviet forces are out of Czechoslovakia and Hungary, getting out of Poland and Germany, et cetera, so we are looking at a different force structure and a different way to deploy those forces, and as you correctly point out, increasingly we are looking at having the capacity to deploy mobile forces that could move to any part of the geographic area within the alliance to provide the kind of security that is implicit in membership in the alliance.
We would hope that the Soviets understand that that is not a threat to their security, that there is no reason for them to fear our capacity to deploy that kind of capability and be able to respond within the alliance. All we can do is reassure them to that effect, and under CFE they have got the right to monitor our activities in those areas-onsite inspection, data exchanges and so forth-so they will know very much what we are doing with those forces and how we would expect to employ them should that be necessary.
Senator KERRY. Now, Mr. Secretary, obviously I guess the administration would not have sent us this treaty if you did not think it was adequately verifiable. I wonder if you might share with us, are there any areas of concern that you do have about verifiability in this treaty That we should take note of, or is it effectively verifiable, as the term of art is used in the treaty, to your satisfaction?
Secretary CHENEY. I think it would be fair to say, Senator, that it is, insofar as I am concerned, an effectively verifiable treaty, that as General Powell mentioned earlier and as we have discussed with some of the members of the committee this morning, we believe that any militarily significant violation would in fact be discernible as a result of the verification procedures that are here as well as our own national technical means.
Senator KERRY. The parties under the treaty are allowed to pass on less sophisticated equipment in the term that has been used, cascading to other allies, correct-less sophisticated equipment-so you have this sort of rolling effect of a pass-on of equipment.
To what degree does that transfer process, the cascading, impact current dynamics that sort of have their own status quo as this equipment begins to shift? Will that have an impact that we should be concerned about, or are you satisfied that anyone receiving that equipment will not suddenly be upsetting a balance or changing other relationships that we are concerned about?
Secretary CHENEY. The basic effect is to give some of our NATO allies upgraded capabilities. For example, M60-A3 tanks that come out of our inventory and are cascaded to the Turks or the Greeks. General Powell may want to say a word about it.
General POWELL. It improves the quality of the force, modernizes them as they should be, but I do not think it has any other significant effect with respect to the balance between the forces.
Senator KERRY. A similar kind of question with respect to the reduction levels. If you eliminate East Germany-what was East Germany-and the reductions there, I think the NATO forces only have to reduce in two categories, tanks and artillery. I think with respect to artillery that comes to only 17 pieces, so we are left with about 18,000 artillery pieces.
My question is, I take it from what I have gleaned from people talking about this treaty outside of here, that the Soviets-really we have brought them down to a level with enormous s asymmetrical reductions, which is quite an accomplishment, but would you have liked to have gone lower? Does the situation in Europe now merit our trying to go significantly lower, and is the United States strategy to want to see both sides still go yet lower, or are we satisfied with this fairly high level in longer-term thinking?
Secretary CHENEY. I think it would be our view, Senator, that the reductions clearly are asymmetrical-the Soviets have to give up more than anybody else-that we are not likely to use, once we have withdrawn our forces down the levels we are looking at for the mid 1990's we will not be using our total allotment.
As the general pointed out earlier, we could put equipment back in before we violated our own ceilings. The notion of whether or not we want to negotiate a further round of reductions it seems to me would be a difficult proposition. We might well want to consider it, but the decision would have to be made within the alliance.
My own view at this point is that we ought to move on with what are discussed as the so-called CFE-1A negotiations that will deal with personnel and airborne surveillance. I do not know that there is that much to be gained by even further reductions in these categories.
General POWELL. We have a lot to do to implement the CFE Treaty and we have a 40 month period in which to do it. I am not anxious to try to establish what new levels might be at this time.
As you point out, most of the equipment that was inherited into unified Germany from East Germany is what constitutes NATO's destruction, some 16,000 pieces of equipment, most of which is East German equipment, and just a few items from a couple of other NATO nations.
Senator KERRY. I see the light is going on here. Let me ask a last question if I can. There were two I really wanted to get at, but let me just try to simplify and skip the one.
If the individual republics of the Soviet Union secede, how is the treaty effected?
General POWELL. It really is not linked to the individual republics. The holdings are owned by the Soviet Union. They own the entitlement, and whether the individual seceding republics would ask that the Soviets move the equipment that is in that particular republic to somewhere else within the Soviet Union, is a matter between the Republic Government and the Government of the Soviet Union.
We would watch that and monitor it and see if the equipment being moved and see if any of the zonal limits are violated or offended by the movement of the equipment.
Senator KERRY. I had some more, but the magic light. Thank you, gentlemen,very much.
Senator BIDE. Mr. Secretary, you said there would be no follow-on to Lance, is that right?
Secretary CHENEY. We have made the decision at this point not to modernize Lance.
Senator BIDEN. Why not zero then?
Secretary CHENEY. I am constrained only by the need for us to address these issues within the framework of the alliance and not to make unilateral pronouncements.
Senator BIDEN. Fair enough. Senator Pressler.
Senator PRESSLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We are celebrating the conclusion of a historic treaty here and we are all very pleased with the progress that has been achieved. But at the same time, what impact will this treaty have on other parts of the world?
For example, a certain number of these arms will still be manufactured. Some countries like to export arms. I believe that in July the administration announced a new arms sale to Saudi Arabia, for example. Would this mean that since there will not be so many arms in Europe, that perhaps they will proliferate even more to small countries around the world? Would there be any logic to that?
Secretary CHENEY. The biggest problem in this area, one of the problems in this area, Senator, I think is that clearly the Soviets and some of their former Warsaw Pact allies produced a lot of armaments and a significant portion of their infrastructure, their economic base is devoted to military production, much more so than in our own case here in the United States.
So that the Czechoslovaks for example, still are producing T-72 tanks. When I was in Poland in December I talked with Polish officials about their problem of what do they do with this military equipment that their system is designed to produce?
In the past they have sold it, especially to the Middle East. The Czechs currently have a transaction pending, I believe, with the Syrians. That is a continuing problem. But I do not see that the CFE Treaty per se will create any bigger problem than already exists out there.
That is, that while there is some equipment being cascaded, as we mentioned within the alliance and others such as the tanks, the M-60's that we are providing to the Egyptians out of our European stocks, overall I do not see the CFE Treaty as significantly altering the balance elsewhere in the world.
Senator PRESSLER. Well, today's New York Times has an article on the front page about the last' arms accord that, because both sides are weary, there seems to be no constituency for future treaties. It sums up by saying that while arms control treaties seem easier to negotiate, the need for them also seems less urgent.
But maybe as a result of this treaty there will be more proliferation of arms in other parts of the world. Now, I know our law prohibits aid to Pakistan, for example, if they are deemed to have developed a nuclear weapon. The President could not certify that they did not have a nuclear explosive device this fiscal year. So our aid programs to Pakistan are temporarily cutoff.
The point is, now is the time with the predominance of the United States, Western Europe, Japan, and the Soviet Union, to take some steps against nuclear nonproliferation among the smaller countries. But ironically enough, even though we are celebrating this treaty, since there are no agreements being reached in these other areas of the world we may see a proliferation of more arms to smaller countries around the world, and maybe, to what I consider less responsible countries.
Secretary CHENEY. Well, Senator, the article in the New York Times, as I recall, dealt specifically with the question of START and strategic arms negotiations between the U.S. and the Soviets. It has been an exhausting process and there may well be people in the process who are not eager to go out and start over again.
But from the standpoint of the administration, of course, the President has announced a fairly significant arms control initiative that applies specifically to the Middle East, to that area across North Africa and around over to the area of Iran.
We have convened successfully the five major powers of the U.N. Security Council recently in Paris to begin discussions in this area, and while I would not want to underestimate the difficulty of reaching some agreements in this area, there is a conscious effort underway by the administration to try to restrain both the development of weapons of mass destruction in that part of the world, as well as the overall flow of conventional armaments to that portion of the world.
So it is a subject of concern to us and we are trying to address it.
Senator PRESSLER. I guess to put it very bluntly, the United States is now in a position where we could put severe pressure on any new country that tried to develop nuclear weapons that does not now have them, as we are doing in the case of Pakistan.
Would you support that sort of an effort?
Secretary CHENEY. As a general proposition, clearly, this administration believes very deeply in the notion of trying to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons, as have all administrations. We have been actively engaged in recent months, clearly, in trying to thwart Saddam Hussein's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.
We have responded as required by law with respect to Pakistan and we are continuing to be concerned about the prospects of North Korea developing the nuclear capability. So it is an issue that is high on our list of priorities, that we work on a continuous basis. We are not eager to see additional nations acquire nuclear weapons.
Senator PRESSLER. In terms of the future of the American presence in Europe, and I know that the next phase of this negotiation will deal with troop numbers. I think we all agree that the United States needs some kind of a presence there. They say we need to have a political presence, which I support.
But if we had, let us say, 40,000 or 50,000 troops there that had a highly mobile capability so that they could go quickly to the Persian Gulf or someplace else, would that force be sufficient as we move into the 1990's in Europe? General POWELL. Our best assessment at this time, Senator Pressler, is that it would be inadequate. We believe that we need to keep a larger force there for the time being, a force of about 150,000, consisting of two divisions and each one of those divisions will be in one of two multinational corps. We also want to have a corps headquarters, so that the U.S. will be in command of one of those multinational corps.
We do not believe in the idea that we can get by with just some sort of trip wire or constabulary force or some token force. The chiefs believe strongly that if we are going to be in Europe, it should be a real presence with an operational capability, a war fighting capability, and also the ability to take additional forces in time of crises.
So we have to have a logistics infrastructure, a communications infrastructure, an air defense infrastructure, an air infrastructure in case we have to bring back more air forces in time of crises and so we believe, when you add all those requirements up, it comes to a force of about 150,000 troops for the foreseeable future, after we draw down from the current level of roughly 310,000.
Senator PRESSLER. So 150,000 is what you see us keeping there in the 1990's, at least in the foreseeable future?
General POWELL. Yes, Sir. And that is the plan we submitted to the Congress as part of the President's budget, which sees us going down to about that level in the next 4 or 5 years.
Senator PRESSLER. It is my view and the view of some of my constituents at least that we need more help from our wealthy European allies to maintain such a force, as well as the other wealthy countries of the world if we are going to do it on a permanent basis after the basic structure of NATO changes.
Let me ask about the prospects of START. Now what would be the timetable for a START treaty as you see it?
Secretary CHENEY. Senator, we have been negotiating on START well, since General Powell was the National Security Advisor.
General POWELL. Long before.
Secretary CHENEY. And even before that, for about 9 years now I believe, since 1982. We have believed several times over the last year or two that we were close to getting it resolved, but it is an enormously complex subject.
Sometimes relatively minor technical issues can turn into issues of considerable significance in terms of future force structure, and therefore, I am reluctant to put a time table on it.
The President has made it clear, he wants to complete the START talks, if we can get a good treaty. I think he would clearly like to complete that before the next summit with President Gorbachev, but to try to put a specific deadline on it and say it will be done this week or this. month or by the end of the year, I have learned, based on experience, not to do.
I think that it will be over when it is over, and it is not over yet.
Senator PRESSLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you. Senator Wofford.
Senator WOFFORD. Mr. Chairman, Secretary Cheney, General Powell, the other chairman here, I do not want for a minute my questions to suggest that I think we should pack up and get out of Europe.
We obviously must live up to our commitments to the security of Europe and to international peace. But I am deeply concerned about the continued subsidy of our prosperous allies, estimated, as I understand it, to be $160 billion a year we are putting in.
I am concerned about whether this process in a world that is changing fast and where the Soviet threat has faded fast, of whether this process that has been unleashed and is encouraged favored by this treaty is in fact leading to burden-sharing by our allies and competitors or to burden shedding.
Now I realize that this treaty does not deal with the troop levels in Europe, but it does make troop cuts possible and our allies know that. Just last week, the defense secretary of Britain announced that Britain will be cutting its arm services by 20 percent in the next 3 years.
Germany, I understand, is committed to a 30 percent cut over 2 years. Last year we spent 4.7 percent of our gross national product on defense. Germany spent 2.8 percent of its GNP on defense; Britain 4.1 percent.
In your statement today, Mr. Secretary, you projected that our defense spending will go down to 3.6 percent of GNP by the mid-1990's. Germany is already at 2.8 percent of its GNP or less. Do you have a projection of how far Germany will be going down by the mid-1990's in its proportion of the GNP?
Secretary CHENEY. Senator, I do not know. I do not have a projection for where Germany will be at in the mid-1990's. Our circumstances are clearly different. The fact is we have worldwide responsibilities. We have worldwide interests. If you believe, as I do, that it is very important for the United States to stay engaged with the rest of the world, then that system of alliances with our democratic friends and forward deployed forces to give meaning to those commitments is very important.
Now we do that partly because it is helps our friends, but we also do it because it is in our interests to do it and the point of our testimony this morning as well, is that we will be able to do it in the future at a lower level of defense spending as a percentage of GNP or the Federal budget that at any time since before Pearl Harbor.
So we are taking it down. We are taking it down fairly rapidly. We are reacting to the improved circumstances in the world, but I do not think that there is any justification at this point for the United States to resume the isolationist course that was so disastrous for us prior to World War II.
Senator WOFFORD. Nor do I, but you acknowledged earlier that you respect the mandate from Congress to achieve greater burden-sharing, and I am very interested in what projections you have on the increase of burden-sharing and what steps you intend to take to carry out that mandate, what you and the President have in mind to bring about more burden-sharing and not burden-shedding under this process?
Secretary CHENEY. Well, the kinds of things that we are doing, Senator, to give you a couple of examples, for example, in Europe with respect to NATO, we are pulling our forces out of Torrejon Air Force Base in Spain, pursuant to our agreement with the Spaniards to do that, we would like to redeploy the tactical fighter wing that has been in Spain to Crotone, Italy.
The base that is being built in Italy is funded 72 percent by our NATO allies. We pick up only 28 percent of it. That is a good example of burden-sharing.
In the Pacific, with Japan, the Japanese have agreed in recent months to increase the percentage of total costs that they pick up of the U.S. forces deployed in that part of the world. We have an ambassador for burden-sharing who works in the State Department, appointed by the President, travels with me whenever I go overseas and is an active participant in these efforts to find ways to enhance the burden borne by our allies. We do that on a continuous basis.
But again, I come back to the proposition, our forward deployed presence overseas is not charity. It is not something we do just for our friends and allies. We do it because it is in the interest of the United States to try to maintain peace and stability in the world, and we do that by remaining actively engaged in the world, and our presence there is very much in our interest.
Senator WOFFORD. It is correct. I think that that major shift from Spain occurred because Spain did not renew the treaty to have us continue there. We were kicked out.
Secretary CHENEY. We are continuing, but under different circumstances than at present.
Senator WOFFORD. But they wanted us out of that base.
Secretary CHENEY. That is correct. The point is, NATO is picking up 72 percent of the cost of building a new base in Italy.
Senator WOFFORD. I just would like to conclude by being specific in terms of the proportion of cuts between domestic base closings and overseas closings. In 1989, 86 domestic military bases were closed and another 54 realigned. And now of course we are in the midst of another round of cut backs where we are feeling at home the impact 6f the defense decrease that you projected.
I do not know how far and wide they are feeling it abroad. The list of recommendations, of course, for Pennsylvania, as you know, includes the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and Naval Station; the Naval Air Development Center at Warminster, the Letterkenny Army Depot, and when you add all of those up, one-third of all direct civilian jobs from the base closings in this country nationally come from Pennsylvania, a State with only a twentieth of the Nation's population, and which was second to none in terms of its casualties in the Persian Gulf.
This involves, in Philadelphia alone, 34,000 jobs that will be affected. Now while we are subsidizing the defense of the rest of the world, those allies, our prosperous allies are investing their dollars in educating their children and rebuilding their infrastructure and providing greater health care for their families, and upgrading their industrial base and improving their trade balances.
And I just would like you to put yourself in the shoes of those of us who try to explain to the workers in Pennsylvania that we should. be doing this on this scale, and who think that the logic calls for the emphasis to be on defense savings overseas.
And it seems to me that the cuts that I have seen overseas, when listed, are primarily small operations like the New Ohm Officers Club or athletic bases, when they add up to 198 sites, they are nothing like the major base closings we have here.
So I guess my questions boil down to this concern: Are we not being energetic in moving at home, while we are being slow and lethargic on the cuts overseas?
Secretary CHENEY. Well, Senator, I would disagree with that assessment of what we are doing. There are nearly 200 facilities now overseas that we have indicated we will be purling our forces out of. Some of them are small, just as some of the facilities here at home are.
Especially if you go to Western Europe, just given the nature of the geography of Germany, you do not have huge, large complexes, as we oftentimes have here at home. You have troops scattered over a very small concern, so that is one of the reasons for the size.
But there is a very significant reduction in the U.S. forward deployed presence in Europe and the number of facilities over there.
With respect to base closings here at home, to date, out of that 86 that the base closing commission recommended in 1989, one has been closed. The others are en route to being closed, but it takes a long time to get the job done.
The package that is now pending before the Congress, we think is a good one. I do not like having to close bases. I do not like having to deactivate units or shut down production lines. When I was a Member of Congress, I never saw a defense program I did not like. I voted for all of them.
But I have been given direction by the Congress, in conjunction with the President, to cut the defense budget, and the only way I know to do that is to cut the defense budget. And if we are going to protect and preserve the quality force that did so well in the gulf recently, then we have to make wise investments. We have to protect our people programs.
We have to make certain we do not have hollow forces; that we get rid of force structure we cannot support; we close down bases we do not need. If we are going to have 12 active divisions instead of 18 active divisions in the Army, I need fewer bases.
Unfortunately, the burden falls all across the country on communities like Philadelphia and of course, Pennsylvania is not the only State that is affected adversely by this. I wish it were not necessary, but I cannot meet my obligations in terms of protecting our capacity to defend the United States and simultaneously cut the defense budget unless I do in fact close bases, shut down the production lines and deactivate units.
Senator WOFFORD. My concern remains the size of the package, as you put it, of the overseas base closings and the defense reductions there and the degree to which our prosperous allies and competitors increase their share of the burden and not shed it under this process, and I hope that you will keep this committee informed of matters such as the proportion of the gross national product of our allies that is committed to defense and the proportion of our gross national product and basic investment in this country that is committed to defense.
Secretary CHENEY. Thank you, Senator.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you, Senator. Senator McConnell.
Senator MCCONNELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Kerry brought up the issue of cascading, and Mr. Secretary, you mentioned it on page 7 of your statement. You also suggested the need to accomplish these transfers apparently through legislation, and I would like to ask either of you or, both of you to elaborate on what kind of legislation we are talking about, and also as these transfers occur, who pays for them, in your view?
General POWELL. I do not have the details of the legislation, Senator, other than to say I am advised by my staff and the lawyers involved that in order to make these transfers we do require legislation which is now, I believe, up here. It has been submitted for consideration, and I can provide a copy of the letter to the President of the Senate and to the House for your perusal, Senator, but I am not informed on the exact details of what is required.
[The information referred to follows:]
GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE,
Hon. DAN QUAYLE,
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Enclosed is proposed legislation to authorize the President
to transfer defense articles within the NATO Alliance in conjunction with the
Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, signed at Paris, November 19, 1990 (CFE).
This proposal is part of the Legislative Program of the Department of Defense for
the 102d Congress. The Office of Management and Budget advise that there is no
objection, from the standpoint of the administration's program, to the presentation
of this proposal for the consideration of Congress. The Department recommends that
Congress enact the proposal as soon as possible in order to meet NATO schedules
and to avoid costs the U.S. government otherwise would incur.
July 8, 1991.
President the Senate, Hon. THOMAS S. FOLEY,
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE,
Hon. DAN QUAYLE,
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Enclosed is proposed legislation to authorize the President to transfer defense articles within the NATO Alliance in conjunction with the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, signed at Paris, November 19, 1990 (CFE).
This proposal is part of the Legislative Program of the Department of Defense for the 102d Congress. The Office of Management and Budget advise that there is no objection, from the standpoint of the administration's program, to the presentation of this proposal for the consideration of Congress. The Department recommends that Congress enact the proposal as soon as possible in order to meet NATO schedules and to avoid costs the U.S. government otherwise would incur.
The proposed legislation would give the President limited authority to support a NATO equipment transfer program. This program will, at no new cost to the U.S., modernize NATO's forces, increase standardization and interoperability, and better distribute defense burdens within the Alliance. U.S. equipment to be transferred is no longer needed by U.S. forces in Europe, The program will attain these objectives in a manner fully consistent with Allies CFE treaty obligations, and will serve U.S. and Allies' interests.
NATO's forces are unequally modernized. For example, least-capable tanks held by the U.S. and Germany (M60-series and LEOPARD I tanks) are far more modern than other Allies' M47, M48 and CENTURION tanks. NATO's program enables the U.S., Germany and other allies to adjust their reduction liabilities by transferring treaty limited equipment at no cost to other Allies, allowing the Alliance economically to achieve an effective overall defense capability at lower force levels. Otherwise, at least most of this more modern equipment would be eliminated from NATO forces through prospective CFE treaty reduction obligations. Allies receiving this comparatively modern equipment would be prepared to destroy more of their obsolescent equipment, thus ensuring that all Allies can satisfy their CFE-required reduction obligations.
Under the program, SHAPE will propose and NATO will approve distributions of transferred equipment that maximally serve Alliance-wide military needs. Limited amounts of U.S. equipment will be involved-M60AI and M6OA3 tanks; M110 artillery pieces and Mil3 ACVs We do not anticipate new U.S. funds will be required because NATO common funding would cover the minimal support services involved-for destruction, transport and some repair.
Currently existing legislation may not enable complete U.S. support for the transfers NATO envisions. For example, section 516 of the Foreign Assistance Act authorizes transfers of "excess" defense articles to certain Allies on the NATO southern flank; eligible countries currently are Turkey, Greece and Portugal. However, NATO's program calls for transfers to several other allies in addition. Thus, to avoid possible obstacles or delays attending application of current legislation, we recommend preparing specific legislation. While various approaches are possible, our proposed bill identifies one way to proceed.
In addition, this proposed legislation clarifies the authority of the President to avoid incurring additional budgetary, expenses. It authorizes the U.S. to take advantage of NATO 5 common-funded services. And it authorizes us to provide certain kinds of unneeded support equipment to transfer recipients, in return for articles and services of significant value provided by them to the United States. This would add to our existing authority, to provide such items-i.e., through sales, disposal of excess property, and cross-servicing and acquisition agreements.
Enactment of the legislative proposal would not increase the budgetary requirements of the Department of Defense.
Enclosure: Proposed bill.
To authorize the President to transfer defense articles to member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty organization in accord with the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That notwithstanding any other provision of law and subject to any obligations incurred by the United States in connection with the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed at Paris, November 19, 1990 (the Treaty), the President may:
Secretary CHENEY. The essence of it, Senator, if I might, is it gives the President the authority to support a NATO equipment transfer program. The program, at no new cost to the U.S., allows us to modernize NATO's forces, increase standardization, interoperability, and better distribute burdens within the alliance so that some of our allies who have got older equipment are able to get rid of that older equipment and take newer equipment, not as good as we have got, perhaps, with our M1-A1 tanks, for example, but M60-A3 tanks. It upgrades the quality of their forces, and then we destroy in conjunction with this treaty their older equipment.
General POWELL. To read a little further, also there is some existing legislation which would prohibit us from cascading in the right way, and so we need some relief from that legislation. That why this new legislation is required.
Senator MCCONNELL. Who picks up the tab for that?
Secretary CHENEY. This is basically at no cost. In terms of transportation and so forth, NATO itself through the infrastructure fund would pick up the tab. The infrastructure fund we all contribute to. The United States pays about 28 percent of that cost. The is a regular contribution we make to NATO, and out of that tote fund would be born any costs that are involved in the transfer.
Senator MCCONNELL. So NATO picks up the tab?
Secretary CHENEY. Basically. The cost is in terms of transportation, et cetera, not in terms of purchasing new equipment.
Senator BIDEN. If the Senator would yield on that point, I would like to ask, am I correct that the benefit to our allies is that they receive the more modern equipment for free? That is the reason why you need the legislation?
Secretary CHENEY. That is correct.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you. We would have to destroy it otherwise.
Secretary CHENEY. Right. It is better to give Turkey upgraded M60 tanks than us destroy the tanks, which is what we would have to do.
Senator MCCONNELL. I certainly agree with that. In your statement you described Soviet modernization as destabilizing. I am wondering whether you consider this sort of proliferation of modernization on our side destabilizing as well, or I gather the Soviets had no problem, or they would not have agreed to it.
Secretary CHENEY. I would have to go back and look at my statement, Senator. Frequently when I talk about Soviet modernization I am talking about the modernization of their strategic systems. With respect to these transfers, what we are doing, really, is upgrading the capability of our allies but within the overall framework of the CFE Treaty, within the numerical limits that the treaty imposes, and giving them more modern equipment to replace what in some cases is very old equipment-for example, M48 tanks.
General POWELL. It is just sensible to flush out the bottom and destroy that which is the oldest and most obsolete, which is what the Soviets are also trying to do.
Senator MCCONNELL. Manpower was taken out of the CFE talks. Why did we end up deferring that issue?
Secretary CHENEY. Originally in the negotiations we did not propose including manpower. The original NATO proposal was that we deal with tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery. Subsequent to that, in an effort to be accommodating and to move the talks forward the President put on the table a proposal that we had-combat aircraft, combat helicopters, and manpower as well-and for a while, of course, we tried to negotiate an agreement between the U.S. and the Soviets that would limit U.S. and Soviet personnel.
This has always been a difficult issue to deal with throughout the MBFR talks (the mutual balanced force reduction talks) in Vienna in the 1970's. It was very hard to get a handle on this, and we did attempt to incorporate it within these talks. In the end, it was decided to leave out personnel ceilings in the CFE agreement to incorporate that within the agenda for the next discussions on what is now referred to as CFE-1A.
It is driven in part by the fact that the Germans did agree to a limitation on their personnel in part of the Four Plus Two talks that they undertook for the reunification of Germany, and there is I think a gentlemen's understanding that the rest of us now will come to some agreement in CFE-1A as well that parallels the commitment the Germans have already made to limit themselves to about 370,000 personnel deployed in Germany.
Senator MCCONNELL. Given the difficulty you had with that previously, is there any reason to believe it is going to be any less complicated in the next round?
Secretary CHENEY. No. We have really captured that which is offensive. Tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers. It is awfully difficult to verify numbers of troops among 22 nations.
Senator MCCONNELL. Verification is really the stickler-a very difficult issue.
General POWELL. Very important. If you have got the tanks, that is important. Where the four guys are who are inside the tank and whether there are four or eight guys in the area is less important, to me anyway.
Senator MCCONNELL So is there essentially no way to do it, other than just having people on the ground in those countries?
General POWELL. We can come up with the numbers, and in the course of the last several years there were a lot of numbers that were floated around and were in the negotiations, but it always became a very difficult matter as to how you would verify those numbers and have confidence in the numbers.
Senator MCCONNELL. With the treaty implementation, how many U.S. and Soviet troops will remain in the AITU versus now?
Secretary CHENEY. Well, on the U.S. side we are going to cut our forces roughly in half in terms of personnel. That is a ball park number that would be deployed throughout Western Europe. Within this area, I do not know what the limitations--
General POWELL. It would be about 150,000, with the Soviets in the neighborhood of 50 to 60 divisions-from 115 divisions, as was noted earlier, down to about 60 divisions in the region, so that is a pretty healthy cut. What the manpower numbers are associated with, the 115 and 60, I do not have it off the top of my head. We could certainly give you an estimate.
[The information referred to follows:]
The following numbers are our best estimates of Soviet manpower associated with their divisions in 1988 compared to expected post-CFE force structure. The Soviets are restructuring their forces to meet a more defensive doctrine.
Senator MCCONNELL. Just one final question. You, in response to someone else's question earlier, were talking about the possible redeployment of TLE to the East, and I gather that is just simply not a matter of great concern, is it? Would you like to elaborate on that?
General POWELL. It is a matter of great interest and concern. The Soviets moved somewhere in the neighborhood of 57,000 items of equipment out of the zone prior to signature of the treaty. We are able to monitor that equipment. We can locate it by national technical means, and it was the subject of considerable discussion with the Soviets.
After signature of the treaty, and as part of the end game discussions, the Soviets have now told us that they will let us know where the storage areas are. They will not organize this equipment in unit sets, so it creates a POMCUS kind of situation that all you have to do is fall a whole unit onto a motor pool worth of equipment and you have a unit coming out the other end right away.
They also indicated that they would be using this equipment to upgrade and modernize other units east of the Urals, units that already exist and need more modern equipment, and that in due course we would see these stocks being depleted. General Moysiev has made this assertion to me many times over the last 8 or 9 months, on a number of occasions, I should say. I met with him three times on the subject, and the Soviets have now brought that forward into the negotiating record of this treaty and as a political commitment.
Senator MCCONNELL. What reaction, if any, did you get from the Chinese, the Japanese, and the South Koreans about the possibility of redeployment in the East?
General POWELL. I am not aware of any particular reaction. I do not know if my colleagues are. It certainly did not register in my Richter scale.
Senator MCCONNELL. So no indication that they are concerned about it?
General POWELL. I see no indication that the Soviets are planning to build up forces in the eastern regions. They are going to modernize those forces, and in some cases they have actually reduced their force structure in the east, so I think it is a modernization program more so than trying to build up force structure in a way that would threaten our Japanese or Chinese friends out there.
But nevertheless, just the fact that that equipment exists in large quantities in storage areas is a matter of interest and concern, and we have to watch it very carefully.
Senator MCCONNELL. OK. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Senator McConnell follows:]
Let me first take advantage of this occasion to congratulate Secretary Cheney, General Powell arid the Chiefs of Staff for the exceptional success of their planning and execution of operation Desert Storm. You've heard all the well earned accolades, but this is the first public opportunity I have had to congratulate you and the soldiers who served in the gulf.
Success seems to characterize all that you touch Secretary Cheney-let's hope the defense authorization process this year is as smooth, although Saddam Hussein and his forces may prove to have been an easier adversary than the B-2's opponents.
While some may view the CFE Treaty as overrun by events, any agreement involving as much lethal equipment, as many nations and personnel and the verification problems which necessarily follow deserves recognition for the accomplishment that it is. We have codified-once again-a major reduction in the Soviet Union's arsenals this time in the conventional field. The reduction is complemented by the significance of the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact as a formal threat. The treaty before us represents a firm foundation on which we can negotiate additional reductions in personnel and equipment to advance security and stability in Europe.
Senator BROWN. Mr. Secretary, I note with some interest that during the period you served in the House of Representatives representing Wyoming that your policies were able to achieve through deregulation and other measures a dramatic drop in the price of Wyoming oil and gas and coal.
Now that you have taken over the Defense Department I notice a dramatic drop in the number of planes and troops and tanks and a record drop in the budget to an all-time low. I thought you would want to know that some of your friends are suggesting to the President that your next job be as head of the Bureau of Public Debt.
I want to extend additional congratulations, though. I think the fact that you have had a variety of questions today that did not relate at all to the treaty I think is a sign that you have done such a superb job in putting this agreement together and bringing it before us, and that it is well recognized by members of both parties that this is an enormous achievement and plus for this Nation and for our allies.
For that, and I think the steadfast policies that brought that about, I believe you have a right to take a great deal of credit for, and I hope you feel some pride in the accomplishments you bring us today.
I was hoping you could shed some light on the personnel cuts to take place on NATO and in Europe, and I say that recognizing that indeed those are not done yet. You have been kind enough to share some speculation with us as to what numbers those might result in, but the aspect of it I was interested in was whether or not you see now that the U.S. troop or personnel cuts would be proportionate with our NATO allies, or would we, as a percent of troops in Europe, have a bigger cut proportionately of troops stationed in Europe than they would?
Secretary CHENEY. Senator, I-and this is a guess. I would want to provide more information for the committee some months down the road once all of the planning has been completed in terms of our revised NATO strategy and force structure, but I think, based on the conversations I have had at NATO, that the reductions are going to be roughly proportional.
That is to say that the United States will contribute to forces deployed and committed to NATO roughly the same proportion in the future as it has in the past, but that is really a back-of-the-envelope kind of guesstimate at this point.
We have seen, for example, the British announce in recent days a 20 percent cut in their force structure. We are cutting our force structure overall 25 percent, and we are cutting our presence in NATO by about 50 percent, so how you put all these numbers together, what the Germans do, and of course the other major contributor of forces, is still an open question.
But I would not expect that the extent to which we contribute is going to be dramatically altered as a result of the CFE Treaty.
Senator BROWN. Would you care to speculate as to what our over 50 percent cut, if it turns out to be that, would be, what that would mean in terms of a NATO commander possibly coming from another member of the community rather than the United States?
Secretary CHENEY. At this point, I do not sense that there is any serious move afoot to change the command of NATO. I have had a number of our allies speak privately to me, my fellow defense ministers, about what they perceive to be the importance of continuing to have an American as the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, partly because of the central role we play in the operation, partly because, of course, of the role of our nuclear capability in Europe, but also keeping NATO tied closely to the United States.
That does not mean there will not be changes in the command structure at various levels. We clearly are moving to a different kind of an arrangement than we have had in the past where we are emphasizing the concept of multinational corps, where different nations will contribute units that will be put together to create multinational corps, so that there will be changes.
But my guess at this point would be, anyway, that you are likely to see an American continue for at least the foreseeable future as the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, but that is a subject ultimately that has to be addressed by the alliance.
Senator BROWN. I am wondering with regard to verification of the treaty-obviously you have a significant onsite regimen. Do you anticipate a need for additional satellites for observation purposes?
General POWELL. Not uniquely for the treaty, Senator, but I really think that is a question I need to let be directed to my colleagues in the intelligence community.
Senator BROWN. I would appreciate some guidance with you, and I assume you all have worked through this many times. In thinking about the potential of a violation, do you have any estimates of what kind of time line we are looking here from the time a violation would take place-that is, a significant movement of troops or equipment, I guess I should say specifically equipment-from east of the Urals toward Central Europe? Any estimate as to what kind of time lag we are looking at from the time that violation takes place to the time it would be reasonably verified? I guess maybe a range may be appropriate.
General POWELL. I would say we are talking in the range of-it would take months for them to go through the mobilization process, the transportation process. It is not just a matter of moving equipment, they have to create units. Equipment does not fight wars. Units fight wars. Units convey a threat to another side.
So I think that we would detect ii rather early. I think the political situation would have us on such an alert status that we would be looking everywhere for potential violations. They are just not going to generate a military force to come forward unless the entire political situation has deteriorated rather severe.
So I think we would see early, and I think it would-take them months and months to move forward from east of the Urals the equipment and reintroduce that equipment into units and then the units themselves move forward in a violative way into the ATTU region, as we call it. It would take months.
You have to also look at the distances. A few years ago we were lined up against the inter-German border, right here-115 Soviet divisions all well forward, and U.S. forces and NATO forces well forward. You now have to travel 500 kilometers before you are going to be able to find the first Soviet tank in the treaty-limited area, and then you are going to have to go from where we used to have the inter-German border 1,000 miles back east of the Urals before you find the stockpiles of equipment that could be married up with units and then reintroduced west of the Urals to present a significant military threat.
So these time-space factors are very, very significant, and it would take Soviet leadership months and months, in my judgment, to put together that kind of capability and reintroduce it, and I think we would see it rather easily and handily.
If they wanted to try to sneak it in covertly so that we could not see it, I think it is unlikely they would be successful, and to do it on a covert basis would take an even longer period of time.
But the definitive statement on this subject really has to come from the intelligence community. As an operator, the field guy, so to speak, that is my best assessment.
Senator BROWN. How would you compare the time difference for the United States to deliver, let us say a division with equipment, to Poland's western border with the Soviets' ability to move a division-with equipment to Poland's eastern border?
General POWELL. Interestingly, after the treaty goes into effect and all of the Soviet reductions are in effect, we could probably beat them with in-place forces. They would have to come from the western military districts-Byelorussia or Carpathia. We would be coming from the vicinity of Frankfurt. We could probably beat them, because our autobahns are better than their autobahns, to be perfectly frank.
If it meant bringing forces from outside the treaty-limited area, they would have to bring forces from east of the Urals. We would have to bring forces from the continental United States, and if we were able to keep our infrastructure in place, our logistics infrastructure as well as POMCUS stocks-in other words, unit sets of equipment-we could probably fly over units, a couple of divisions' worth, about as quickly as they could bring them by land across the Urals into the western districts of the Soviet Union and then into Poland, where as you know you start to run into railroad gauge problems and other problems.
The question is, what would the Polish forces be doing while the Soviet forces are trying to get to the western side of Poland? It is a real wild card in this.
Senator BIDEN. Shooting at them.
General POWELL. Probably. By any measure, the advantage is all on the NATO side, in my judgment, Senator.
Senator BROWN. Mr. Chairman, may I be permitted one additional question?
Senator BIDEN. Yes. If it is for the general, can you hold just 1 second, because the Secretary has to leave. Mr. Secretary, I appreciate your being here, but let me ask you some final questions. The cascading legislation, how urgent is it? How soon do you need it?
Secretary CHENEY. The sooner the better, Mr. Chairman, because it will allow us to get on with the business that is important, and we think it is important authority.
I do not think it is very controversial. I do not think there is any great problem with it, but we would appreciate having it as quickly as possible.
Senator BIDEN. The second question: How soon would you like this treaty?
Secretary CHENEY. The sooner we have it ratified the sooner we can begin to implement, and we are rapidly moving forward for budget reasons.
Senator BIDEN. If we could ratify this before we get out for the Easter recess, would that be satisfactory?
Secretary CHENEY. That would be great.
Senator BIDEN. I thank you, and I appreciate, Mr. Secretary-did I say August? What did I say?
Secretary CHENEY. Easter.
Senator BIDEN. Easter-I did not mean to say Easter, I meant say August. I hope to hell we have it by Easter recess. I meant by the August recess. I assume you thought that is what I meant, and I thank you, Mr. Secretary.
General, can you stay around just I more minute while Senator Brown finishes his last question, because we promised that the Secretary would be out by quarter after and we kept him beyond that time.
Senator BROWN. Just a brief question. Are we planning, or do we have underway, any cooperation with some of the other Eastern European countries, other than, obviously, East Germany that is now in a new relationship?
General POWELL. We have a number of military-to-military contacts taking place with former members of the Warsaw Pact. In fact, they are very anxious to do more and more with us. I will be hosting my Polish colleague here next month, and I have already hosted my Czechoslovakian colleague, and I have met my Hungarian colleague as well as my Bulgarian and Romanian colleague, so there is a great deal of interest on the part of these former Warsaw Pact nations to draw closer to NATO and to draw closer to the United States and then build on the military-to-military contacts that have already begun.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you.
General POWELL. May I bring my colleagues forward, Mr. Chairman?
Senator BIDEN. Yes, you may, but I tell you what, your colleagues have been sitting there a long time. Why do we not break for 4 minutes or thereabouts, until 25 after, and then we will have the chiefs come up and we can move from there, in case you would like a drink of water or something.
[A brief recess was taken.]
Senator BIDEN. The hearing will come back to order.
Gentlemen, I welcome you formally and thank you, General Powell, for staying on. I understand that each of you do not have prepared statements, but I would appreciate it if you would give me a summary.
If you could summarize your views as to the military impact of this treaty and whether you think the treaty is effectively verifiable, and whether you would recommend the Senate consent to ratification.
General POWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. May I start with Admiral Kelso and then work our way?
Senator BIDEN. Sure. Admiral.
Admiral KELSO. Senator, thank you very much for the opportunity to appear this morning.
I certainly believe this treaty is in the best interests of our country, it militarily leaves us in a completely different situation in the central part of Europe than we had throughout most of my career. The idea of a blitzkrieg overnight having us in a war is greatly diminished by this treaty.
I believe it is verifiable in the sense that we can see if they can start to change, will be able to react to it, and it greatly slows down the whole equation of how we might get to a conflict.
Senator BIDEN. Admiral, how is it that every time I have met over the years with a NATO commander, they have all talked about the percentage of your nuclear force that is allocated to them that is obviously not ground-based, and it is not tactical, a strategic force? How does that fit in now with the significant diminishment of conventional imbalance? In other words, if anything, imbalance in favor of NATO?
Admiral KEMO. Well-you are talking about the SLBM force, I assume?
Senator BIDEN. Yes, unless you all stole something the Air Force has that I do not know about.
Admiral KELSO. We have had for years, as you know, a part of our SLBM force dedicated to SACEUR's requirements, and I would think that in light of this as we go on that issue would be relooked. But, I think that fits more in a total equation of the east versus west deterrence, still, than it ever was in a tactical sense. So, I believe that the SACEUR's view of that will be the same, since he will see that as a deterrent to war in a larger sense.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you. General.
General MCPEAK. Good morning, sir. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty with the committee today. In my view, the CFE Treaty is a significant contribution to the security of the United States and its allies. The ceilings in the treaty set force limits which will decrease the risk of large-scale offensive military operations.
Although the U.S. Air Force will soon reduce its presence in Europe, CFE will not require the U.S. to destroy or remove any aircraft. Combat aircraft holdings for the NATO countries as a group are below the allowable ceiling of 6,800, and U.S. holdings are below our allocation of 784. That is about 11 combat wings.
Today, in Europe, we have closer to eight combat wings of aircraft, so we will not have to remove or destroy any because of CFE. In contrast, the Soviets will eliminate or convert to noncombat uses almost 1,500 aircraft. From our point of view, I think that is a good deal.
Further, the treaty establishes a legal basis for aircraft ratios that are more favorable to NATO than those which existed before the treaty. In particular, the limit on Soviet combat aircraft of 5,150, plus the commitment for no one country to hold more than 400 naval combat aircraft in the region, will stabilize the European air picture at levels where no one country has a decisive edge. As a consequence, I fully support the implementation of the treaty. We stand by in Europe to receive inspection teams on our installations and to continue to provide the data necessary for the treaty to function.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you, general. General.
General REIMER. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman. It is a pleasure to appear before this committee in support of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty. I would answer the three questions that you asked us basically from a military standpoint.
I think we in the Army feel very strongly that the treaty does increase security and stability through reduced force levels. The Army will reduce its forces, has been already discussed, by over 50 percent. Of two multinational corps, we will end up with one corps headquarters and two divisions. One division will be part of the multinational corps and one division will be part of the other corps.
We also have an asymmetrical reduction of Soviet forces which is caused by the treaty, so we feel militarily it is a very strong treaty from our standpoint.
We also feel that it is verifiable through a series of information exchanges, through national technical means, and through the inspections that are set up by the treaty itself.
Finally, we would urge the ratification of this treaty.
Senator BIDEN. Commandant.
General DAILEY. Good afternoon, sir. I also appreciate this opportunity to appear in support of the ratification of the treaty, which is fully supported by the Marine Corps.
As General Powell mentioned earlier, one of the features of the treaty is reaction time, which has perhaps not increased, but has become more observable. From a maritime expeditionary standpoint, it is our ability to get the warning and have an opportunity to react that is the most important. So the fact that we would be racing to the line with our capability perhaps providing an advantage seems to be quite beneficial to us.
We are fully in support of ratification and would urge same.
Senator BIDEN. Gentlemen, as was testified to earlier by the Secretary, and I think you, General Powell, the reference to 150,000 forces in Europe was the one that has been discussed, and the general indicated two divisions. Is that a floor figure? Let me back up.
Up to now, the argument for the need of U.S. forces and the number of U.S. forces and NATO forces related to a number of things: the forward deployment, the rapid capability of the Soviet Union, the ability to break through, and the bare minimum which we could not go below because we had a long green or blue or yellow line that we had to cover, because they could amass force in any one place and break through if we had more than a bare minimum that was required. So that kept the number up pretty high. I believe you were talking about 280,000, 290,000 in those days, which was months ago.
Now, you have, as I have indicated earlier shown how the map politically and physically has changed with regard to forces. Is there any longer, because of the reaction time we would have, a bare minimum? Does the entire line have to be covered as it did before, generating a rationale for a larger number of forces because you have to have a minimum number able to be at any portion of that long line from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic, or wherever?
General POWELL. I am very anxious to try to make it a floor. I think it is the minimum force we should have in Europe, and it is not a force that is intended to try to guard an inter-German boundary that is no longer there. It is a force that gives us the ability to participate in the multinational formations which are being formed as part of the new NATO strategy and new NATO force structure.
It is a force that gives us the infrastructure, should we have guessed wrong and it is necessary to introduce forces back into Europe. It is a true war-fighting capability, as opposed to just a 1947 circa constabulary troops wandering around, and because it is a true war-fighting force, it gives me and the chiefs and the national command authority a forward-deployed capability that might be useful elsewhere across the Atlantic.
So I am very anxious for that force in Europe to be a real force that any Soviet planner looking across these distances will see and say that is a real force and I do not want to take chances with that kind of capability in place and with the Americans having the ability to reinforce that capability from the United States as well as to reconstitute forces in the United States.
So the base force concept that we have put together we think is a floor, and I hope to be able to convince the Congress, convince the American people, that it is a floor that should be supported. I am very uneasy when people say to us, but suppose the world gets even a little bit better, or the Soviets do something else, can you not continue to go lower?
I think we are at that lower limit, Senator, and I think that being able to provide this kind of defense capability at only 3.6 percent of our gross national product, and recognizing we have already paid at the office during the budget summit agreements of last fall, I think it is the right size force. I think it is very delicately balanced, and I hope I can make it a floor, but I would yield to my colleagues at my left and right.
Senator BIDEN. I am sure one of you want to disagree.
I should not be facetious here.
The reason I raise the issue is, because there is a political necessity that is starting to mount. You are hearing it now.
You and I have talked about this. I am a strong supporter of NATO, and I strongly believe there is a political necessity that quite frankly exceeds the military necessity, now, for maintaining, NATO and maintaining a U.S. presence in Europe, but I predict to you that a year from now and 2 years from now, absent some radical change in a negative way, you are going to see a crescendo mounting.
If you notice, you heard it from a very conservative Republican from the Midwest, and you heard it from a less conservative Democrat from the East, and it is going to go like this: why do we have those folks there with all those rich, wealthy Europeans beating us up on trade issues? Why are they there?
I suspect-and I may be wrong, but I would be willing to bet you that events are going to outrun us. You are going to find that our European allies, barring some significant change in the international environment, are going to cut much further than they have already planned to cut in the next 3 to 5 years. So, the notion that you are going to be able to sit out there with 150,000 troops with further cuts, if further cuts occur among our NATO allies, in the environment where trade is going to become a mounting issue, I do not think it is going to be very practical.
So I am not asking you to comment on it now, but I would just respectfully suggest from one politician to a military man who never takes into consideration the politics of the situation, that you might do it for the First time and get a little ahead of the curve, or at least know what your real minimum really is, because you are going to get pushed to it real soon, I think, general.
General POWELL. I do not doubt that at all, Senator Biden, and 1 noticed the political lineup that we heard this morning.
Senator BIDEN. When I first got here in the Congress there was a fellow-a great leader, in my view, Senator Mansfield. Each year he would come up with the Mansfield proposal, which was to drastically cut troops in Europe, and Senator Stevens, a very conservative senator from Alaska, was I think-I may be mistaken, but I think was his strongest ally in that effort. I suspect you are going to see that move along a little bit again.
Now, let me ask you about the urgency of implementation, if I may, and ask each of you or any of you to comment.
It is my view, speaking only for myself-I do not chair this full committee, as you well know, and I am doing this only at the sufferance of the chairman of the full committee-that we, within the next 2 weeks, will have heard from all the relevant people in the administration and outside the administration, and have, in fact, a full detailed body of information that is necessary for the Senate-upon which the Senate can make a judgment about this treaty, and that we, with a little bit of luck, could consent to ratification before August 2.
But I do not want to urge my colleagues and the leadership to push in that direction if in fact it is not of some genuine value to you to make sure this process keeps moving. Does it make much difference whether we consent to ratification the end of this month or the end of September or October?
I am worried. Let me be blunt about it, general. I hope we are going to be presented with the START Treaty soon. We are going to be holding hearings on the START Treaty in September, if that is true. It is going to be a great deal more controversial than this is. I would not like to see the two get mixed up and one, intentionally or unintentionally, be held hostage to the other, and that is really what I am asking you if you have any concern about, or whether or not it matters when we move.
General POWELL. I strongly urge that the Senate give its advice and consent to the President as quickly as possible, Senator. I think there will be a lot going on in September besides the possibility of a START agreement.
But the sooner we get this process completed, and it gives us a better basis to encourage all of the other signatories to go to their comparable ratification actions, and the sooner we can get this into effect and start our inspections-we still have a volatile situation in the Soviet Union-so it seems to me, the sooner we can put this thing totally into effect, give your advice and consent, get the ratification documents completed and deposited with the depository for the treaty, we can get on with implementing the treaty.
So I strongly urge prompt advice and consent to the President.
Senator BIDEN. General Reimer, let me ask you a question if I may. If you had switched positions with your counterpart in the Soviet military, and you had 75,000 pieces of equipment stockpiled east of the Urals, what is the reasonable prospect for you, what kind of effort would it take for you to develop new operational units based on the stockpile equipment?
General REIMER. Senator, I think, as testified to earlier, that it takes a long time to take that treaty-limited equipment, the number of pieces, 75,000, or whatever number you deal with-and turn that into capability. I think you are talking months, maybe years in order to make a capable unit out of that type of equipment.
So I think that is the challenge that they face over there. I agree totally with what was testified to earlier, they will use that equipment to modernize some of their units and probably the rest of the equipment will sit there and hopefully be eliminated over time.
Senator BIDEN. Is that why you think they made the move? Because, in fact, they had to utilize an awful lot of capability just to move that equipment out of there within the time frame that they did and it consumed a significant part-as a matter of fact, some argue that is one of the reasons why they had trouble, although they had a bounty of a wheat harvest this year, they had very little ability to get their food stuffs distributed, which they have always bad trouble with.
And some suggest, I do not know whether it is true, that the total preoccupation in the military regarding everything that moved and could transport anything was consumed in heading east in a hasty retreat.
What was the rationale General, on the part of the Soviets?
General REIMER. I would go back, Senator, to your original question to me and I would not want to exchange places with my counterpart over there, but I think--
Senator BIDEN. I would not want you to either.
General REIMER. Thank you. What they were faced with were, I think, some very serious economic problems. They felt they could not leave that equipment in Eastern Europe. So, they had to move it over there, but they had no place to put it.
Senator BIDEN. For the record, explain why they could not leave it there? Because of the cost of having to destroy it? What is the relationship between the severe economic problems in the Soviet Union and not leaving the equipment there?
General REIMER. First of all, I do not think they were allowed to leave it there by the Eastern European countries. Second, I think they would prefer to move it back over across the Urals.
Senator BIDEN. But why would they prefer to move it back over the Urals? What is their rationale for doing that in your opinion?
General REIMER. They would retain capability. It would give them more flexibility, if that was required.
General POWELL. Can I offer two other ideas?
Senator BIDEN. Sure.
General POWELL. One, it gave them a pool of fairly modern equipment that they could use to modernize units that frankly were equipped with the oldest stuff you can imagine, T-54's and T-55's. So if I was the Soviet commander, I would say, my God, I got to do my own cascading down and the way to do that is to get this stuff back because if I do not get it back I have to destroy it.
And by the way, destruction is not a simple or inexpensive process. So I think when they ran the calculus and saw the huge quantities of equipment they would have to destroy and the value of that equipment to continue their modernization effort to the east at about the same time that they were throttling back somewhat on the production of treaty-limited equipment in their own factories, it made sense.
If you have five tank plants which they do, and they have throttled back on the output of those tank plants and they can do so because the equipment they have brought back from the treaty-limited area can be used to modernize those forces that would have required production out of these tank plants.
So it made some management sense for them to do it. I wish we had concluded this treaty in time to catch it all, but we did not and they were able to move quite in accordance with the letter, if not entirely the spirit of the treaty, this equipment back east of the Urals.
Senator BIDEN. From the maintenance standpoint, what are the burdens upon them for having piled up, and I assume it is literally, piled up in yards with fences around it, 75,000 pieces of equipment that is heavy and made of various types of steel and alloys. Can you just leave it there and crank that tank up, General, a year from now by just charging the battery?
General POWELL. In some cases, they do not even have a fence around it, varying degrees of sophistication at the storage sites. Some storage sites are in a better position to maintain the equipment being stored there than others.
But a huge amount of equipment came back across the mountains rather suddenly and some of it is in open storage, exposed to the elements, with not much indication that there is a maintenance facility or maintenance units there to take care of that equipment.
So I would suspect that over time, we are dealing with an asset that will go down in value over time because they are not able to maintain it. I am sure they will use the most modern of that equipment to go out to the forces in the East.
They will destroy the oldest of that equipment, as part of their commitment to destroy some 15,000 pieces of the equipment that has been withdrawn as well as some 3,000 of the Article III equipment that was moved back as well.
So over time, I think it is a wasting asset and to use the term that negotiators use with the Soviets, they will in due course, deplete those stocks through modernization, through conversion, through destruction and maybe unintended destruction by just leaving it out in the elements.
Senator BIDEN Under the treaty, assume they came up with a totally new styled tank, it revolutionizes their resent inventory. Are they allowed to supplant one for the other? Can they destroy a tank within the region, for example, they are allowed to have in the Baltic military district or Belorussia military district, what, 10,300 in that whole--
General POWELL. That applies to the whole zone.
Senator BIDEN. That zone, but that zone is the green light zone that goes all the way through. It goes from Kiev to the Baltics, right? Is that right or am I wrong about that?
General POWELL. The light green zone which is zone 3, a combination, let us say, Baltic, Byelorussian and Carpathian and Kiev military districts, if they decided to modernize the equipment in those districts with new production, as long as they do not exceed those treaty limits, they could do that.
Senator BIDEN. So for every piece they put in, they would have to take a piece out, assuming they are at the treaty level.
General POWELL. Assuming they are at treaty level.
Senator BIDEN. Now there are two provisions. One naval related, their claiming that a certain amount of ground equipment was part of the naval forces. We resolved that by a provision that is more binding than the provision that was negotiated to resolve the dispute relating to 75,000 pieces of equipment.
There is a political understanding with regard to that, saying that 25 percent of that over a set period of time has to be destroyed, and the remaining 75 percent of the 75,000 pieces cannot be reconfigured in ways to provide for its ability to be used readily. I am overstating it or oversimplifying it.
General POWELL. That is correct.
Senator BIDEN. Now what happens, General, or any of you if you wish to respond, if, and I think it is within 4 years they have to destroy 25 percent? Is that roughly what it is?
General POWELL. I think it is 40 months.
Senator BIDEN. Forty months, is it?
General POWELL. Forty months, for all of the 25 percent, within the first 18 months.
Senator BIDEN. Now, if within the time period, the 25 percent need be destroyed to meet that political understanding which is not part of the treaty, but is ancillary to the treaty, if that is not destroyed, and if you have conclusive evidence that it is not destroyed, is that in your view, a sufficient demonstration of bad faith on the part of the Soviets to justify a counteraction by the United States?
General POWELL. Well, it is very hypothetical and it would certainly depend on the exact circumstances. It would suggest the violation of a political commitment, and we would have to examine it at that time to see if the President decided that it would be appropriate for us to take a countermeasure that might be not violative of either political or legal agreements of the treaty or do something that would, at least would exceed the limits of the treaty.
But I could not tell you right now, Senator, without getting really into the world of the hypothetical, exactly what I might recommend or the chiefs might recommend to the Secretary and President or what they might decide.
But political commitments are viewed very, very seriously and we would be disturbed, I am sure, by any violation of a political commitment, as well as obviously any violation of a legal commitment.
Senator BIDEN. Gentlemen, let me ask each of you to answer this question if you would and then I think I will let you all go. I think I have kept you an awfully long time already.
I would like each of you to tell me, if you would, as military planners yourselves and men who are the five most powerful people in our military, what motivation is there for the Soviets to cheat on the CFE agreement? What scenarios would you run? You have had to sit down and think this through 100 times as you made recommendations to the President.
Part of this, because it is so complex and because it is so difficult to verify in the way we up to now have, with a degree of certainty, sought verification for other arms control agreements, you must have gone through, as best you could, scenarios as to why and under what circumstances the Soviets would want to cheat on this agreement, beyond the notion, as some of our colleagues believe, that it is just endemic to their personalities.
I mean, beyond that, what is the reason?
General POWELL. In my view, Senator, your question brings a smile to my face because I went through the same kind of calculus when we did the INF Treaty, and it seems to me, two reasons.
One, they believe they could achieve a significant military advantage which would have political utility, and second, they think they could get away with it. If they thought they could not get away with it, then I do not think they would try it, and they would not take that risk unless they thought they were gaining some military advantage that had political utility.
And in this particular situation, I do not think they could get away with it and the number of forces they would have to recreate in order to put into a cheating scenario is such that I do not think they could get there from here, particularly if we keep NATO alive, intact, coherent, well, and my beloved base force of 150,000 soldiers is still in Europe to demonstrate to them that they will not gain a military advantage and no political advantage to their cheating and they will get caught.
Senator BIDEN. It seems to me it would be awfully hard for them, and I am clearly not a military person, but I would like, again for each of you to comment on how you would gain a militarily significant advantage, not with respect to a physical movement of forces, but rather in light of the fact that Germany is now unified.
Poland and Czechoslovakia and Hungry are probably going to be seeking more to join NATO than they are to do anything else within the next 5 years. I am not saying they will do that, but that is more likely to be their action then anything else, I predict.
What is their incentive to cheat, Admiral? I guess that is the question.
Admiral KELSO. Well, assuming their current political motives stay the same, I do not see any reason for them to cheat on the treaty. I suppose you could speculate, where they could become paranoid about what the West might do and they might think they need to cheat-but I do not see that as long as we have a political dialog between the two groups.
So I do not really see any particular reason to expect that they would cheat on the treaty today. It seems to me it is as much in their interest as it is ours, for a peaceful world.
Senator BIDEN. General McPeak.
General MCPEAK. I think it is a fair question. I do not see why they would cheat either. Cheating has a cost, a cost to maintain a larger force structure must be increasingly obvious, even on the military side in the Soviet Union, in view of the general poverty of the people and the basket case economy and so forth.
I would think that they have a positive incentive to reduce force structure. So cheating would be costly. There would be a price to pay.
Now as to why they would do it, why they would be willing to pay that price? Well, obviously, if they thought they could get some military advantage out of it. I think the verification regime that has been set up in this treaty is very important in that regard.
In other words, after the treaty goes into effect during the first 4 months, we have a baseline verification period in which we go back and verify the numbers that have been presented to us, the database.
If there was going to be any cheating, we ought to be able to discover it immediately in the first 4 months that the treaty comes into force. So it will not be something that surprises us downstream sometime. We will know about it right away, at least if there is any initial cheating.
Then there is a 40 month reduction period in which we will be able to witness equipment being destroyed. If they are going to cheat, on the one hand to achieve a military advantage, why would they watch us destroy their own equipment? I mean, why would they let us watch them destroy their own equipment at the same time?
And then there are other verification measures in later periods. So not only is it hard for me to see their motive for cheating, it is very difficult for me to see how the verification regime allows for any sensible cheating.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you. General Reimer.
General REIMER. Senator, I find it hard to understand how they could cheat and not be caught. I think that there are enough safeguards in this treaty that any cheating of military significance would be detected as has been already testified. I think that is just going to happen, if they should cheat to that extent.
As to why they would cheat, I really do not understand what scenario would drive them to that under the present set of circumstances. If NATO remains a viable entity, which I think it will; and if the hard-liners do not continue or do not take over in the Soviet Union, I just do not see why there would be a reason to cheat on this treaty. I just do not see how they could do it. I do not see any benefit to them, and if they did, I think they would be caught.
Senator BIDEN. General bailey.
General REIMER. Sir, I agree also. I think that one of the major strengths of the treaty is the distance that is involved here with the allocation of forces by various distances from the front.
And so their ability to cheat would be predicated upon our ability to monitor and I think that those are more than adequate provisions that are provided by the treaty.
But I might also comment that one of the most difficult things to ever do is to get an operational commander to get rid of weapons or weapons systems. We have the same problem. You cannot get a commander to get rid of them.
Senator BIDEN. I just got that impression a moment ago, regarding forces.
General DAILEY. Well, that is right, sir. But the motivation to cheat is the fact that your commanders are going to hang on to everything that they have that works. So it is going to take discipline in the system on both sides to force us to draw down to the levels that are dictated.
But I think that their ability to cheat to a militarily significant level, and I am not sure what that is, but it has been discussed here today, would be very difficult if not impossible.
Senator BIDEN. I appreciate your candor. I have one last question, if you will let me keep you just a moment. I promise it will be the last one. It is a longer one, but it is the last one.
I want to talk a little bit about SDI, Chairman Powell.
We are going to soon begin a fairly vigorous debate in the aftermath of this ratification, I hope, over the President's request for the so-called Star Wars and now we are talking about GPALS, which as you well know, but for the record, stands for Global Protection Against Limited Strikes.
Now the Senate may also debate the wisdom of deploying a more limited but still highly ambitious and extremely expensive system-a multisite, ground-based system for territorial defense of the United States.
I Now this second option would require amending the ABM Treaty. The First option, even more extreme, requiring that we terminate the ABM Treaty, at least as I see it.
Now I am aware of your position in support of GPALS, but would you please speak to me a little bit about the military requirement for a more limited system, which some in Congress are advocating.
First, I understand that this debate is going on in the Armed Services Committee right now, as you know better than I do, but as I understand, you believe that the chances of an accidental or unauthorized launch of Soviet nuclear missiles is extremely low. Is that correct?
General POWELL. I think it is fairly low, but it is nevertheless a possibility, and I think one has to be concerned about it, particularly in a situation that is not as politically cohesive, coherent and stable as it once was.
I am a very strong supporter and I think my colleagues would share my view, that the President's program was a good one. It was a balanced one that put an investment in ground-based theater defenses as well as GPALS holding out the promise that there is a space-based solution to this problem of strategic nuclear weapons.
I am also known as a complete supporter of SDI in its fullest flower. I have always shared the vision that President Reagan started some 8 years ago that said what we really ought to try to do is to shift the calculus of strategic forces from offensive-based systems to defensive-based systems.
And so I did not retreat from that position, and I believe that GPALS is a logical step in that direction, and I support it very much and I hope that the Congress will support it as well.
Senator BIDEN. I do not think there is anything inconsistent about your position of supporting Star Wars in its full flower.
I have more difficulty understanding the mission of GPALS, if in fact, it is the totality of the system, and not a first step in a broader system. Is there a military mission for GPALS, standing all by itself, with no follow-on to GPALS?
General POWELL. I think there is a military mission for GPALS. In the original statement of requirement by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which you are familiar with, to get 50 percent of the first launch of fast fliers and then a higher percentage of the rest as they came in. GPALS allows us to deal with a small portion of that Soviet threat.
But beyond that, GPALS also gives us the opportunity to start dealing with the theater problem that is starting to proliferate on us. We just saw, we were looking at a glass dimly in the Persian Gulf, when you talked about suds and patriots. That is just a foretaste of what we are liable to be seeing in the years ahead as more sophisticated technologies and sophisticated systems make their way into the world and into the Third World.
It is a threat to our forces that are operating in those theaters. It is a threat to our friends in the region, and conceivably, more than conceivably, in the future, it might well present a threat to the continental United States and I think we should pursue both ground-based defenses as well as space-based surveillance systems and ultimately defenses, and I think GPALS is a step in the right direction, whether it ends up being the sum and substance of our total investment in strategic defense, I cannot say at this point.
But I certainly think is on the right road, whether it ends up being the end of that road or just the beginning of that road, time will tell.
Senator BIDEN. But if it ended up being the end of the road --
General POWELL. It would still have military utility. I would be disappointed that we were not going to go beyond that.
Senator BIDEN. Now, a second question. If you, as a military planner for one of our erstwhile friends in a smaller country, none of the present nuclear club, and you were seeking to threaten the United States with a small nuclear attack, would you be spending your time trying to develop and/or purchase an intercontinental ballistic missile capability or would you be contemplating delivering such a nuclear attack via air or sea?
I mean, as planners, what do you all think about when you think about the Third World countries, including our good friend, Saddam Hussein, straight through to countries in other parts of the world that may contemplate gaining and/or in fact, have nuclear capability?
How do you think about that?
General POWELL. I see the entire continuum from somebody who may be sitting around thinking, all I have to do is put this in a shipping container and send it FOB, New York, but I also see Third World countries that are investing quite a bit in acquiring the technology associated with ballistic missiles, being able to deliver ballistic missiles.
We have seen that in Iraq. We see it in other nations in the region. We see it in nations outside that region which are developing technologies that could be useful to the development of such systems.
So I just do not think you can wave it away saying, nobody would be silly to make that kind of investment when we see Third World nations that are making that kind of investment, but I would ask my colleagues to join in on the answer.
Senator BIDEN. General McPeak, how would you feel about ratification of the START agreement if you found out tomorrow, the Soviets were about to employ their own GPALS system in the next 18 months? Would you want to ratify it?
General McPEAK. I will be prepared to come up and testify on the START agreement when we got one. But near as I can tell--
Senator BIDEN. Now you are sounding like the State Department [Laughter.]
General MCPEAK. Near as I can tell so far, we are headed on the right track in the START negotiations and I am very hopeful we conclude an agreement. If the Soviets had a GPALS type of arrangement, I do not think it would change my testimony in that regard.
Senator BIDEN. You all agree with that? If the Soviets had GPALS today, would you sign the START agreement as it is outlined, assuming we settle the one remaining dilemma that is characterized by some as significant and others as insignificant, relating to throw-weight.
Would you all sign up?
General POWELL. I would, and then I would thank heavens that they had seen the wisdom of moving toward defensive systems, and we have begun a new regime of strategic force calculations.
Senator BIDEN. Would you too, Admiral?
Admiral KELSO. Yes, Sir.
Senator BIDEN. General.
General REIMER. Yes. Sir.
Senator BIDEN. General Dailey.
General DAILEY. I would like to defer comment on that, Sir.
Senator BIDEN. Well, gentlemen, I have a lot more questions. I will not burden you with them now. I have trespassed on too much on your time. It really is an honor and a pleasure to have all of you ere and I thank you again and again and compliment you on the remarkable-you are tired of hearing it-but the remarkable and brilliant planning and execution of the operation in the Persian Gulf.
I think you all obviously know your business and it is comforting to know that.
General POWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for a fine hearing Can, I add one P.S. on a question that had to do with when the Senate should give us advice and consent.
Senator BIDEN. Sure.
General POWELL. As soon as possible is my judgment, but having once had a most interesting debate with Senator Byrd over the prerogatives of the Senate, I would not in any way wish to suggest that the Senate should not give this all the time that the Senate believes it should have to do its constitutional job properly.
Senator BIDEN. I am glad I am not the only diplomat and politician in this room. [Laughter.]
Well said, General, and again, I thank you all very, very much. Our next hearing will be with the intelligence community on this treaty, but you have brought us a long way, and I thank you very much.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:10 p.m., the committee was adjourned, to reconvene at 10:10 a.m., July 17, 1991.]
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