USIS Washington File

16 March 2000

Text: John Shalikashvili's Remarks to Carnegie Non-Proliferation Conference

(Special Advisor says U.S. will be safer with CTBT than without it)

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is "too important to national
security, international stability, and American leadership to leave it
on the shelf," retired Army General John Shalikashvili declared March

In remarks to the Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference,
Shalikashvili outlined his current role as the special advisor to the
president and the secretary of state for the CTBT: "My to
help lay the groundwork for eventual ratification by engaging in
low-key, nonpartisan dialogue with every senator interested in
understanding better the different views on the issues and in
exploring ways to bridge these differences."

Although the administration does not intend to request Senate action
on the CTBT this year, he said, "we must use this time to engage in
that low-key, reasoned help bridge the differences so
that at the appropriate time, the U.S. can ratify the treaty in
complete confidence that it makes America safer."

Shalikashvili said he wants to understand what each senator's concerns
are on all issues related to the CTBT and "to see how they can be
answered and addressed, systematically and seriously."

U.S. "national security is at stake," he added. "This should be a
matter for patient, informed deliberation."

Following is the text of Shalikashvili's remarks, as prepared for

(begin text)


As Prepared for Delivery


March 16, 2000

Some 41 years ago I was drafted into the Army and for reasons too
complex to explain I remained in the Army for 39 years before I
finally retired and went home.

A few weeks ago, I was drafted once more into the service of the
United States Government to advise the President and the Secretary of
State on issues pertaining to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban

I heeded the call because I had supported the Treaty as Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff and because I remain convinced that the
United States will be safer with this important treaty than without

However, I sincerely hope that this stay in government will be a bit
shorter than my last, for I'm not certain that I have another 39 years
left in me.

My task, as I see it, is to help lay the groundwork for eventual
ratification by engaging in a low-key, nonpartisan dialogue with every
Senator interested in understanding better the different views on the
issues and in exploring ways to bridge these difference.

Before I get more specific, let me start by saying that the context in
which I am operating is one where the prospects for slowing or
stopping the spread of nuclear weapons are mixed, at best. In these
circumstances, I am absolutely certain that now, more than ever, the
United States needs to exercise clear and consistent leadership. Our
partners in the effort -- much of the world -- need credible evidence
that we remain determined to be at the forefront of a unified
international response to the dangers of proliferation.

It is obvious that the United States has a huge stake in preventing
proliferation. Our allies and our military personnel stationed in
places like East Asia and the Persian Gulf are directly threatened by
weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons
programs heighten existing tensions between regional rivals, and
multiply the devastation that could occur should war break out. They
pose risks to American economic interests, including access to oil and
the free flow of commerce and trade, as they do to the interests of
most other nations. Most ominously, our own population and territory
could be put at risk, as could that of our friends.

The United States has played a vital role in the international effort
to build a nuclear restraint regime. As you well know, this regime
seeks both to prevent proliferation and to reduce the dangerous legacy
of the Cold War. It utilizes both formal accords, such as the START
agreements and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and less formal
approaches, such as the Nunn-Lugar program, the U.S.-Russian Nuclear
Risk Reduction Center, and various suppliers' control groups. It is
closely connected to multilateral arrangements for banning other
weapons of mass destruction, including the Chemical Weapons Convention
and the Biological Weapons Convention, as well as the Missile
Technology Control Regime, which addresses delivery vehicles.

Building this complex arms control and nonproliferation regime has
been a painstaking process which required concessions on all sides. It
could not have been done without the United States' full involvement.
In addition to our bilateral work with Russia on strategic and
tactical nuclear weapons, the U.S. led the push for an indefinite
extension of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995. It was
equally instrumental in negotiating the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban

This overarching regime, it is clear, cannot long survive without
continued U.S. diplomatic, as well as military, leadership. We have
led the international response to challenges that have occurred
recently, such as the nuclear tests in South Asia, North Korea's
nuclear program, Iraq's repudiation of its inspection obligations, and
Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear and missile technology.

The components of this international arms control and
non-proliferation regime are tightly interwoven. To be worthy of
support, each individual piece must serve our national security
interests, just as it must pass this stringent test for all other
participants. But in weighing the worth of each component, we should
recognize the ways it strengthens and reinforces the rest of the

Because the United States has been so energetic and so important to
global non-proliferation efforts, our failure to ratify the CTBT has
raised serious concerns about whether we remain committed to arms
control as part of our security strategy. To be sure, other countries
make vital contributions. But our friends and allies have clearly
indicated that they cannot do it without us.

Of course, these arms control and non-proliferation efforts have not
eliminated the need for military preparedness. Rather, they have
complemented and strengthened our deterrence and defense.

Contrary to popular perceptions, military men like myself are perhaps
the strongest supporters of verifiable arms control and
non-proliferation measures, for four simple reasons.

First, we have experienced the horrors of war first hand -- lost dear
friends, seen towns and villages laid to waste. There is nothing
theoretical about war to us. We are personally and professionally
committed to every practical measure that can prevent such pain and
destruction from happening again.

Second, it is soldiers who will fight our nation's wars and do what
must be done to keep peace-loving countries safe when war can no
longer be avoided. Efforts to control weapons of mass destruction and
their associated delivery systems are quite literally a matter of life
and death for us, so we approach them with utmost seriousness.

Let me preface my third and fourth points by saying something that
should be obvious: there is no such thing as perfect security.

When we do military planning, we recognize that changes in our force
structure and strategy will almost certainly cause others to alter
their behavior in response. Some reactions are potentially
threatening, others probably are not. Therefore, a third function of
arms control is to create a stable planning environment and avoid
misperceptions about intentions that might trigger an avoidable

Moreover, U.S. military and political leaders must often weigh the
military benefit of one system against another, or the value of a
particular option against its security, economic, and political costs.
A strong national commitment to defense spending can ensure that these
tradeoffs are made in ways that do not endanger national security.

When we decide not to pursue a particular military option, we would
obviously prefer that others do not either. Thus, the fourth practical
function of arms control from a military perspective is to provide
legally binding, verifiable assurances whenever possible that if we
exercise restraint, others will, also.

So, let me say a few words about how the Test Ban Treaty serves these
functions and thus strengthens U.S. security. Even before CTBT
negotiations started, the United States voluntarily stopped nuclear
testing in 1992.

This policy shift reflected changes in the security environment that
have become even more pronounced over time. Nuclear weapons play a
smaller role in our national security now than at any time since their
inception. We have no plans to build new types of warheads. Indeed,
we're going the other way: where we once had dozens of different types
of warheads in the arsenal, we now have fewer than ten, all fully
tested and certified safe and reliable. Technological change has also
worked in our favor. We have refined tried-and-true techniques and
developed new approaches to maintaining stockpile safety and
reliability without nuclear explosive testing.

A global ban on nuclear testing essentially rules out a renewed
nuclear arms race. And make no mistake -- more possibilities exist: to
focus the energy from nuclear weapons, or enhance radiation, or
otherwise advance the art or lower the threshold to use. But without
testing, no one will be able confidently to develop advanced new
nuclear weapons types. Without testing, there is no way to be sure
that a new design will function, as intended, or perhaps at all.

The Test Ban Treaty will greatly impede China's ability to modernize
its nuclear arsenal, for example, by developing smaller warheads that
could ride on a MIRVed ICBM. It will also make it much harder for
Russia to develop new types of tactical nuclear weapons, should they
choose to do so.

The CTBT reinforces the strategic arms reduction process. It confirms
that neither the U.S. nor Russia is making significant qualitative
improvements in its arsenal, which fosters a stable environment for
further reductions in nuclear arms.

The CTBT can help head off a nuclear arms race in South Asia, the
place where the risk of nuclear war is perhaps highest now. India and
Pakistan are bitter rivals who have fought three wars since
independence in 1947 and who both conducted nuclear tests in 1998.
Persuading them to formalize their testing moratoria through the CTBT
is a major goal of the international community. But it is not easy
asking them to give up a legal right to test if we retain it.

Banning tests slows the spread of nuclear weapons to more countries by
throwing another tough obstacle in the way of anyone who wants nuclear
arms. Potential proliferators can make simple fission bombs without
testing. But a test ban makes it much harder to get nuclear weapons
down to the sizes, shapes, and weights most dangerous to us --
deliverable in light airplanes, rudimentary missiles, even terrorists'

The CTBT also strengthens the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the larger
non-proliferation regime. A global test ban is explicitly mentioned in
the NPT's preamble, and was prominent in the 1995 decision for a
permanent NPT. All of us will be in a much better position to keep the
NPT regime strong when we have all followed through on our commitment
to the CTBT.

Every U.S. ally strongly supports our ratification of the CTBT. All of
them have signed the CTBT, most have ratified it already -- with
Turkey being the most recent, and the rest intend to do so.

Neither they, nor anyone else outside our borders, has any doubts
about the U.S. nuclear deterrent. Instead, what our allies fear is
that if we walk away from the Test Ban Treaty, U.S. leadership on arms
control and nonproliferation will be seriously weakened.

If some state were to test in total disregard for global arms control
norms and agreements, the CTBT helps alert the international community
and unite it for an effective response. I know better than to believe
that a piece of paper or a so-called international norm can, in and of
itself, guarantee our security. But formal agreements do make a
difference. We rely on them in our personal life, in America's
domestic affairs, and in all aspects of our international relations.
They have a role to play here, too.

Moreover, the CTBT is not just a piece of paper. It establishes an
unprecedented international monitoring system, with some 321 sensors
around the world -- including 31 in Russia, 11 in China, and 17 in the
Middle East. Some stations are in places where the U.S. could not gain
access on its own. And other CTBT signatories will pay 75% of the
cost, to improve monitoring of events we want to know about.

The Treaty also explicitly allows us to rely as heavily as we wish on
our own impressive intelligence capabilities, which can be
concentrated on sites of particular concern to us.

And it provides an entirely new capability -- challenge on-site
inspections. If the international system or our own capabilities
reveal suspicious behavior, the issue can be resolved by going to the
site -- something there's no chance of doing without the Treaty.

The CTBT is not a panacea. But then, nothing in our military arsenal
today, and nothing that we could dream up for tomorrow, can solve all
of our security problems, either. We must apply to this Treaty the
same standard that we use for everything else -- on balance, are we
better off with or without it?

Simply put, this Treaty is too important to national security,
international stability, and American leadership to leave it on the

Although the Administration does not intend to ask for Senate action
on the CTBT this year, we must use this time to engage in that
low-key, reasoned dialogue that I mentioned earlier to help bridge the
differences so that at the appropriate time, the U.S. can ratify the
Treaty in complete confidence that it makes America safer.

I plan to meet with a broad range of Senators, scientific experts, and
others to hear their concerns and their suggestions about the way

Much of the discussion so far has focused on two important issues --
the Treaty's impact on the U.S. nuclear deterrent and its
verifiability. Let me say a few words about these issues.

Nuclear deterrence will remain an essential part of the U.S. security
strategy, at least for the foreseeable future. We hope that we can
make further reductions in our strategic arsenals, but as long as we
have nuclear weapons, we must be sure that they are safe and reliable.
In thinking about the relationship between the Test Ban Treaty and the
START process, it would be a serious mistake to equate a reduction in
numbers with a weakening of our safety and reliability standards.

I have no reason to believe that this has occurred. As Chairman of the
JCS, I simply could not have supported the Test Ban Treaty if I had
had any reservations on this point.

I am pleased that the Secretaries of Energy and Defense will soon give
the President their fourth annual certification that the nation's
nuclear weapons stockpile remains safe, secure, and reliable, with no
need for nuclear explosive testing at this time.

However, it is only right that Senators get full answers to their
questions about how the Stockpile Stewardship Program is accomplishing
this objective now and how it will keep pace with new challenges that
might develop over time.

As for verification, to pass muster, a verification system must be
able to deter cheating by leaving a potential violator with little
confidence that they could escape detection. And it must be able to
reassure us and the rest of the world that any militarily significant
violations would be caught.

By that standard, I believe that the CTBT verification system,
together with our own national monitoring capabilities, does indeed
pass muster. Nevertheless, I intend to investigate carefully the
concerns that have been raised, and see how they might best be

In examining these and other important issues, such as the Treaty's
duration and the adequacy of the six safeguards that President Clinton
has proposed to accompany the Treaty, I want to understand what each
Senator's concerns are now, and to see how they can be answered and
addressed, systematically and seriously.

This will take some time. We should take sufficient time. America's
national security is at stake. This should be a matter for patient,
informed deliberation.

But time is not on our side. The threat of proliferation is not

By working with Congress on the Test Ban Treaty, I hope we can renew a
national consensus ... on how America and our allies can respond with
an effective long-term strategy ... in which arms control plays an
integral role.

(end transcript)

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