CTBT Event Sponsored by:
Business Executives for National Security and
The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Forum
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C., September 23, 1999
MR. CARTER: Good morning. I'm Jim Carter and on behalf of the City Bar's Council on International Affairs and on behalf of the entire association, I would like to welcome you to this Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty forum. The City Bar, an organization of 20,000 lawyers, has been concerned for many years with the subject of nuclear proliferation. As you have seen from the letters that are on the table, it has been the subject of communications from presidents of this association to the President of the United States twice in recent years.[end of text]
We are very pleased to be able to co-sponsor this program this morning with the Business Executives for National Security, BENS, which is a national non-partisan organization of business and professional leaders. It was intimately involved in the ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty.
I would now like to introduce the President and CEO of BENS, LtG Thomas McInerney, Retired from the United States Air Force. After graduating from West Point and along the way earning a master's degree in International Affairs from George Washington, Gen. McInerney had a 35-year career in the Air Force as a pilot, commander, and strategic planner. At his retirement, he was Assistant Vice Chief-of-Staff of the Air Force and in that capacity, among other things, he led the Pentagon's reinventing government effort -- General McInerny.
GEN. McINERNEY: Thank you, Jim. Delighted to be here. As Jim mentioned, BENS is an organization, Madam Secretary, of business and professional leaders committed to the idea that national security is everybody's business.
Now, today, we are in concert with the New York City Bar Association co-sponsoring this program. We are very grateful, Jim, for this magnificent auditorium. As part of our new threats series that BENS is forging a new partnership between business leaders and government to confront the emerging threats that we face today.
I would like to welcome this very distinguished panel that the Secretary has brought with her, today, and Steve Shapiro, who will be the moderator, will introduce each one of these very distinguished and famous Americans.
Today, however, we have a very special and timely program; special because the level of expertise assembled here is unparalleled. I would especially like to thank Secretary Albright for her taking her time from a very busy schedule to be here to address you all. It's timely, also, because tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the signing of the CTBT, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, a Treaty which would ban the testing of any nuclear device around the world. The CTBT has provoked a lot of discussion lately. I think today's panel will demonstrate the need for it to be considered on its merits. BENS believes that the time has come for a frank appraisal of CTBT and an honest appraisal of what it will do for our national security. We believe it will do a lot.
Few individuals have done as much to press for open consideration of this Treaty than our next speaker. It is my pleasure and honor to introduce a person who does not need to be introduced, but to welcome the Secretary of State, the Honorable Madeleine Albright.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much, GEN McINERNY, for the introduction, but most of all for the great leadership that you provide for BENS and for what BENS does.
I want to thank everybody here and thank you because you have shown such determination and tenaciousness in supporting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, some of you for a very long time.
The Association of the Bar of the City of New York has a distinguished record of support for the CTBT, the NPT and other major arms control agreements. We all know that the New York Bar sets a painfully high standard, so it is a real honor to be here with you today. This is a wonderful building. I used to come here and speak when I was Ambassador to the UN and always enjoyed this building. I actually always enjoy addressing lawyers as the mother of four lawyers. Not being one, myself, I am very glad to appear before this audience.
Business Executives for National Security played an invaluable role in ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention and every day BENS promotes the idea that diplomacy -- in this case, arms control -- is America's first line of defense.
This week we mark two significant anniversaries in the long and distinguished history of the quest for a comprehensive test ban. As was mentioned, three years ago tomorrow, President Clinton became the first world leader to sign the CTBT. Thirty-six years ago tomorrow, just seven weeks after it was signed by President Kennedy, the Limited Test Ban Treaty was ratified by the Senate.
Lest we forget, that first Test Ban Treaty helped us all breathe easier -- quite literally. No longer did we have to fear the appearance of fall-out in our food and water or its affects in outer space. The eighty Senators who voted to approve it did so in the hope that they were taking the first step toward a total ban on explosive testing. Today, we have the ability to maintain a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent without nuclear tests. We have the technical capability we need to monitor other nations' nuclear programs. We have the expertise gained from more than 1000 tests of our own. We have, with the thanks to Senator Exon and others, a seven-year-old US moratorium on explosive testing.
We have dangerous possibilities for proliferation that make it more important than ever to put explosive testing out of bounds for good. We have a strong set of international norms against proliferation backed by global public opinion. We have the signatures of 153 nations on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We have the support of distinguished military and civilian officials, of all the President's Cabinet, of leaders in both parties and in the private sector. We have, in short, everything we ought to and it should make it quite simple that this should be a non-partisan, non-controversial vote.
It is very clear that we need this Treaty now. Not because we believe somehow naively that signatures on a piece of paper can by themselves end the threat of nuclear attack; but, because we have understood rationally that part of our fight against proliferation is building the strongest legal framework that we can.
As most of you know, the CTBT cannot enter into force until it has been ratified by the United States and 43 other nations with nuclear power or research reactors. The Treaty specifies that if the Treaty has not entered into force three years after it was opened for signature, those states that have ratified it may hold a conference and take measures to accelerate the Treaty's entry into force. Two weeks from now, the first -- and we hope the last -- such conference will be held in Vienna.
The United States, given our leadership on arms control, and our important interests, should have been in the forefront of these discussions. But because we have not ratified the Treaty, our delegation, which John Holum will lead, will be confined to the position of observer. This clearly is not right and, frankly, embarrassing. Those critics who claim that this Treaty harms our interests would leave the United States outside one of the most important non-proliferation discussions of our time -- certainly not a position in which we ought to be.
They have failed to explain how our security can be damaged by asking others to end explosive testing, as we have already done and to accept intrusive monitoring as well. They have forgotten that, as I said on its conclusion in 1996, that this Treaty is "a Treaty sought by ordinary people everywhere and the power of that universal wish could not be denied."
Americans and people around the world do not want to live in a world in which nuclear testing is business as usual. They don't want to make it easy or acceptable for nuclear weapons to spread further. They have encouraged their governments to take on the global monitoring and onsite inspection that will allow us under the CTBT to see that the Treaty is observed.
Today, I urge the Senate to join the 45 states which have ratified the Treaty and the 82 percent of Americans who so strongly support it. I pledge my strongest efforts and those of this Administration toward ratification. I really thank this audience for all that you have done and all that you will do to the same end. Thank you very, very much. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support on a Treaty that we consider vital to US interests. Thank you.
GEN. McINERNEY: Thank you, Madam Secretary. We are immensely grateful for your presentation and very articulate position in which I can assure you that we will continue to give you the strongest support as we did during the CWC. Thank you, again, very much for being here.
And, now, I'd like to introduce Steve Shapiro. Steve is not only a BENS member, but he is also the committee chairman on the New York City Bar Association Military Affairs and Treaty Commission. Steve, welcome and thank you very much for arranging for this facility for us and working with Jim.
MR. SHAPIRO: Thank you. Thank you all for coming. I will proceed to the forum part of our program. My name is Steve Shapiro. I chair the Bar's Committee on Military Affairs and Justice. We have a distinguished panel with us, today; we are very grateful and honored for that.
What I will do is introduce each member of the panel as they speak in turn so that their qualifications and bio are fresh in your mind. Each person will speak for approximately 7 to 10 minutes. I don't think we'll need me to cut them short; but I do ask you to be mindful of the time so that we might provide for a little Q&A at the end. I see that they are removing the security devices; none of us matter.
MR. SHAPIRO: My greatest disappointment is that the security dog has gone home. But nonetheless, all right. May I introduce, please, our first speaker, former Senator James Exon. Senator Exon represented the State of Nebraska in the United States Senate from 1979 to 1996. During his career, he served as Ranking Minority Member of the Budget Committee, the Ranking Minority Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee and Ranking Minority Member of the Consumer Affairs Foreign Commerce and Tourism Committee. He, of course, was a co-sponsor of the very important 1992 Exon-Hatfield-Mitchell legislation on the testing moratorium; perhaps he'll talk about that. Senator Exon.
SENATOR EXON: Thank you all very much. He only said he limited our remarks to 10 minutes because he has seen the United States Senate in action or lack thereof and I thought it was well that you put a time limit on it. If the bell goes off before I finish, let me know, because I'm used to not listening to those kinds of things.
Most of you don't know who I am, so let me just briefly tell you that I served eight years as governor of Nebraska and then followed by eighteen years in the United States Senate. My only claim to fame is that I did that as a Democrat from Nebraska, which is not an easy seat, if you know the political structure of my great State of Nebraska.
I was a volunteer in World War II, two years overseas. I was at Clark Field in the Philippines when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. I remember that very, very well. Some people didn't think that was a good idea. I was there; I thought it was, and I still think it was a good idea.
My record in the United States Senate was that I was a definite Hawk. I was a leading supporter of the B2 bomber, led the fight for approval of the Trident submarines, and one of our eighteen Trident submarines is named the USS Nebraska because of my doings. So, one of the reasons that I came with my friend, Mark Hatfield of Oregon, and George Mitchell of Maine, who at that time was the Majority Leader, was to begin the do-or-die work that still is not completed. That is the reason I came here from Lincoln, Nebraska, today and am going back tonight, because I think that this particular Treaty that we're talking about today is the most important Treaty for the future of mankind -- for the future of mankind -- in this 20th or any other century. If we can get it ratified as it should be, it would be a great, great thing for the beginning of the new 21st Century, an important major not step, but leap forward for mankind.
I mentioned that I was a Hawk because all to often those of us who support this Treaty have been looked at as dovish in nature. Well, Jim Exon took part in this not because he was a Dove, because he was a Hawk. How did it come to my attention? One of those years in the latter part of the 1980s, as chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, I made a visit to our nuclear test facility north of Las Vegas. When I went there I was told that I was the first United States Senator, save for the two Senators from Nevada, that they ever remembered being at that test facility. That began to open my eyes.
If you have ever flown over the nuclear test facility in Nevada, it looks like the whole half of the world has smallpox -- pockets, deep holes. The one that got my most attention was when the asked me, "Do you want to see the Sudan Crater?"
I said, "Well, I suppose. I don't know what that is."
They took me out there and I looked over an expanse that looked like it was a mile in circumference. It was a place where we bore a hole some 393 feet down into the earth and exploded a 17 kiloton nuclear device, slightly stronger than the one that we dropped on Japan to end the war, and blew it up. It created this massive, what turns out to be about a little over a quarter-of-a-mile in circumference and 360 feet deep. As you stand and look over this, you get the same feeling you get from standing on top of a tall building.
I said, "What was the idea of this exposition?"
They said, "Well, that was part of our Plough Shares Project."
I said, "And what was Plough Shares?"
"Well, Plough Shares Project was a series of explosions that we did here at the test site to prove how we could use nuclear devices to expedite great explosions and very efficiently."
For example, they said, "If we wanted to build another Panama Canal, we could use nuclear devices to blast away the earth."
When I heard that, I thought, "If there is ever a lesson for mankind to learn, it is that we were actually intentionally having our scientific community out blowing a hole in the earth to prove that we could build a new Panama Canal with nuclear explosions." How ridiculous.
From that day forward and after seeing what they had there and recognizing the great contribution that that test site facility has made to the development of our nuclear deterrence -- which is one of the great peacekeeping forces that we have today -- yes, I was on the USS Nebraska three weeks ago. The USS Nebraska, and those Trident submarines like it, and our other facilities around the world still are the main deterrent. And when we get all exercised today about possible three-stage rockets in North Korea -- I just finished a year-and-a-half long effort as part of the Deutsche Commission for an in-depth look at chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and what the threat is. I am telling you that I know something about our nuclear deterrent, but after what we went through, I am startled, ladies and gentleman, about the sobering prospect for biological and chemical -- probably the former -- as it affects the future of mankind. I believe the nuclear deterrence that we have today is going to stop most states, including North Korea and others similarly situated from ever launching a nuclear attack on the United States. But the threat of terrorists, and terrorist type of activity, coming into possession of probably not nuclear but it could be, but the biological and chemical weapons is a sobering, sobering situation. That brings us back to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Those of us in the United States Senate, after my visit, and others that I took back out to the nuclear test site facility, recognized and realized that we had a very wonderful facility there, but to continue blowing up nuclear devices after all that we had done in that area didn't make any sense. So we began thinking about how to eliminate unnecessary testing.
The Secretary alluded to the fact that we have pretty much exclusively in the world today the know-how to test the reliability of nuclear devices that we have now via computers. While I think we can't talk about this openly too much because it might help defeat the cause, that we started when I was here three years ago this date to see President Clinton sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, it's languishing at the present time. It is important that we move ahead for the good of mankind.
I say to those who question the need for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, "You just don't understand. You don't understand." Unless you think the United States of America forever should go on being the superpower kid on the national/international block and always hold that over the head of everyone else, if you believe that, of course -- of course, you don't want the United States Senate to ratify this Treaty.
I simply say to my friends that I am delighted that you people have put together this important meeting. I hope it will light the spark to bring the press into a better understanding of why this is top-notch news, why this is probably the most important Treaty for mankind in this or any other century and why it should be ratified.
I would simply say once again -- and I emphasize -- we are so far ahead of anyone else in the ability to test nuclear devices through computers that we lock in -- we lock in the superiority of the United States in this area. It is hard for some to believe, but I understood it.
My suggestion would be, and I was hoping that the Secretary of State would be here to hear this, my suggestion would be that the President must play a more important lead role in this than he has to date. I think that next week the President of the United States and the Vice President should call a meeting at the White House. They should call in the Secretary of State, of course, and the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Majority and the Minority Leaders, chairmen and Ranking Members of the Foreign Relations and the Armed Services Committee and, of course, Senator Helms and Senator Dorgan, two individuals that I know very, very well. Individual positions taken as members of the United States Senate can always be changed. The leadership of either the Democrat or the Republican Party can bring pressure to bear if they want to. If they want to, to see that this comes to a head.
In any event, I want to lend my voice to those in this room who have played a leading role in urging approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It is vitally important that we do it now for mankind. Thank you very much.
MR. SHAPIRO: Senator, thank you very much.
I would like now to introduce Ambassador Steven Ledogar. Ambassador Ledogar recently retired as a career minister of the US Foreign Service after serving seven-and-a-half years in Geneva as the US Rep to the Conference on Disarmament. In his last tour of duty, he successfully concluded negotiations on the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1992 and then in '96 on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
I might just point out that the bios for all of these gentlemen are far longer than I'm able to read today, so I'm just picking and choosing some points.
Prior to taking up his Geneva post in 1990, Ambassador Ledogar served for three years in Vienna as head of the US delegation to the negotiations on the Conventional Forces in Europe, and it's predecessor, The Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction, the MBFR talks, from '81 to '87. He was Deputy US Perm Rep and then Deputy Chief of the US Mission to NATO.
He has a law degree, I see, and he's a member of the New York Bar. I don't know why he is not a member of my committee or of other relevant committees, but perhaps we can change that after today. I also would like to point out that during his distinguished career, he won the State Department Vietnam's Award, the Group Superior Honor Award, and the Meritorious Honor Award. He has also received Senior Foreign Service Presidential Awards. The list of those awards actually goes on and on and on.
Thank you, Ambassador Ledogar.
AMBASSADOR LEDOGAR: Thank you very much and good afternoon.
My assigned topic is to talk about the substance of the Treaty, and to try to make it interesting and brief. That's not going to be too easy, so I picked out a few key elements that are controversial, that were difficult, and that I think demonstrate certain lessons for those of you who are familiar with the detail. They are sort of stories from the negotiation, itself.
Let me begin with the preamble. Now, the preamble of one of these big treaties is designed to record the political context in which the Treaty was drafted. This preamble -- and if you haven't read it, I recommend you don't bother because it is drafted by a committee -- is very turgid. If you don't appreciate one basic fact, the preamble will not mean very much. The basic fact is that this effort is a Treaty whose time had come. For 30-odd years before, there were efforts going back to the Eisenhower years to try to deal with underground nuclear testing. They were not very successful.
This idea¹s time came when technology reached the state, as Senator Exon pointed out, where the United States began to have confidence that it could maintain its nuclear stockpile safely and reliably without explosive testing.
So the 38 states of the Conference on Disarmament (and after the CD was expanded, by the time we were finished, we had about 60 states participating) came together with the same objective but with different motivations.
The motivation for the United States and the other nuclear weapon states, the so-called P-5, were very similar. We believed that we could maintain our weapons in the condition that they were without explosive testing. We could avoid the expense, including financial, including environmental, including political expense, of moving on and continuing in development through the third generation of nuclear weapons, and at the same time gain all the benefits of cessation of underground tests by relying for the first time entirely on non-explosive testing.
Many of the other participants believed the purpose of a test ban was to try to eliminate nuclear weapons, to try to at least begin the process of obsolescence of nuclear weapons. And the basis of the United States' participation, signature, and our call for ratification is that that just is not going to happen. For as long into the future as we can foresee, the U.S. will need to maintain reliance on nuclear weapons for deterrence. We expect that we will be able to maintain our stockpile during all of that time with non-explosive processes known under the rubric of "Stockpile Stewardship."
So the preamble is partially drafted by those who believed that nuclear weapons in themselves are evil and that they must be stamped out and that this is an important step towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. Others of us believe that we are trying to "ban the bang," as my British colleague was fond of saying, not "ban the bomb."
That leads me into the second important item, the scope of the Treaty. Now, you probably have heard that the objective of that very short scope article is the banning of "any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion." That seems comprehensive. That seems to say everything that needs to be said. But it actually was extremely difficult to reach consensus on those words. It was very difficult because the P-5, all five of us, (and, indeed, we had a side conference going on among the five of us in Geneva during the entire negotiation of the Test Ban) were concentrated not so much on what was being banned, but on what would continue to be allowed under that sweeping prohibition. Among ourselves, we were talking about experiments, not full-fledged weapons tests. We were going for allowance for very low yield experiments to be permitted.
Now, this was controversial. It was controversial for several reasons. Some thought it was a big loophole. Some thought -- and this was probably the most essential objection -- the Chinese and the Russians thought that only the United States could continue to gain technological advance by very, very low level yields and that they, if they had to abide by the same low level, would really gain nothing. So Russia and China feared the US would continue to develop and learn and they would not. And so it went back and forth. We talked about levels as high as a couple hundred tons TNT equivalent. We talked about threshold levels as low as three pounds TNT equivalent being allowed. Eventually, this impasse was overcome by President Clinton's call for zero: absolute true "zero-means-zero nuclear yield."
Now, it is important to understand that the borderline between what is banned and what is not -- and we fought for months over what does zero mean -- is nuclear yield versus no nuclear yield. The Treaty did not use the word, "zero". The Treaty says what I said, "Any nuclear test explosion or any other nuclear explosion." But our clear -- and this is in the record -- our clear agreement is that there is no threshold permitted whatsoever. You could do all kinds of testing of the electronics, of the chemicals. You could put other substances in there and have so-called hydrodynamic events. You could even use a certain amounts of fissile material provided it did not go critical and there was no nuclear yield. That is where the line of zero is. That was a great step forward in the negotiation.
Now, this Treaty provides, as all the big ones do, for an international organization to oversee implementation. We have set up, made arrangements for one; and there is, indeed, already a provisional body in Vienna, Austria. It has the usual components -- and we follow very much the model of the Chemical Weapons Convention on this -- of (A) a plenary: The states parties come together at least once a year to talk about policy. And then there is (B) an Executive Council: 51 members on a rotational basis are there for quick decisions on such things as a call for an onsite inspection. And then (C) there is a Secretariat of international civil servants who provide for the inspections and the crunching of the data that come in all the time once the International Data Center is operational.
The key problem here, where we had the most difficulty, is the traditional one between big powers and smaller ones. Most underdeveloped countries, most members of the non-aligned movement, prefer that an international body be definitive, that its decisions control. That is true in the United Nations and that is true in many international organizations.
The larger powers -- certainly the United States -- believe that international bodies should not be sovereign. They can be fact finders; they can do a lot of the work, but we don't want them making political decisions about guilt or innocence of nations, about compliance or non-compliance. So the international organization is set up to provide for inspections, to provide for data, to provide for presentation of the facts and, if you will, all the way up to an indictment, much like a grand jury. But it can not be judge or jailer.
The most the international body can do is recommend to the United Nations that action be taken in the event the facts seem to point toward a violation.
The fourth of the five points I'll try to make is about verification and compliance. Here, there was, as always, a struggle between, if you will, the haves and the have-nots. What we are talking about here is under the euphemism of national technical means (NTM) or spy satellites, if you will. To what extent can the facts that are revealed through national technical means be brought to bear in trying to make the case that there appears to have been a violation of the Treaty?
The United States was insistent that evidence from NTM should be admissible. We had many others who supported that, but the rest, the developing countries, having the fear that somehow or other they were disadvantaged -- because they didn't have the original evidence -- and afraid that somehow or other the United States and other "have" nations might filter the evidence or might point the finger at countries that they regarded as difficult, and might not point the finger at, let's say Israel for example, the "have-nots" insisted that NTM evidence not be allowed.
Eventually, it was realized that the NTM advantage was like someone who may be taller and have better eyesight to sees a crime a distance away. But if you sound an alarm you still have to point to the crime and you still have to present the evidence. The Treaty is clearly drafted so that no one can say, "There's been a violation! Trust me, I've got secret photos." The Treaty insists that if you're going to call for an onsite inspection, you have to present your evidence along with the international evidence and the judgment on admissibility will be made by the Executive Council.
And, finally, the controversial provision for entering into force of this Treaty. Now, the world as we began was divided into (A) the nuclear weapons states, the Five; (B) the non-nuclear weapons states, the vast majority of 170-odd others; and (C) the so-called threshold states, countries that either had or were in the process of developing nuclear weapon capability; specifically including India, Pakistan, and Israel. South Africa had taken itself out of that category by then.
One would think that all you would need to do is say, "This Treaty will enter into force so many years after it's signed, but upon the positive ratification by those key eight states." Many Treaty participants would not permit that because they felt that giving them a special status rewarded the threshold states for not signing on to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. And, furthermore, it was also felt that for the Treaty to be operative, you needed a larger number than eight. So we started searching for a collective that would not single out in a politically offensive way certain states, but that would include them in a general sweep. The collective that was decided upon was a list of 44 states that have nuclear power reactors or nuclear research capabilities as specified in a certain list that IAEA keeps.
The real struggle was over whether or not you absolutely had to have all 44; and, here, the United States lost out. We wanted to have provision to deal with the possibility that 1 of the 44 or 2 of the 44 might try to hold the whole Treaty hostage. But the British, the Russians and the Chinese were absolutely adamant that they wanted the pressure to be on any state that might try to take the Treaty hostage and not on them to go ahead without that state. So after a long battle we finally settled upon the non-waiver option and the Treaty is written requiring that all 44 states must ratify for it to enter into force.
Now, could you go forward without one of the eight? I believe that you can not as a practical political matter. The United States would not want the Treaty to bind us without the Russians and the Chinese being bound. Similarly around the chain of the eight. The Chinese couldn't bind themselves without India being bound by the Treaty. That brings in Pakistan. Then several of us would say, "If you're going to have those, you're going to have to have Israel also bound." So, as a practical matter, while India may be the problem today, until we have all eight lined up and ready to drop our instruments of ratification into the hopper across town here at the same time, it isn't going to work.
At any rate, those are some of the key problems and I'll be glad to talk about these or any others that you might think about later. Thanks.
MR. SHAPIRO: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador.
I'd like now to introduce Dr. Richard Garwin. Dr. Garwin is now the Philip Reed Senior Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations and the IBM Fellow emeritus at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Westchester County. He has made contributions to the design of nuclear weapons and instruments in electronics for research in nuclear and low temperature physics. He has published more than 500 papers and been granted more than 40 United States patents. He is co-author of many books including, "Nuclear Weapons and World Politics." He was twice a member of the President's Science Advisory Committee in the Sixties and the Defense Science Board also in the Sixties. He has received numerous prizes for his work, including the Enrico Fermy Award, the R.V. Jones Intelligence Award and the AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award, a long-time member of Pugwash and, of course, in 1998 a member of the nine-person Rumfeld Commission to assess the ballistic threat to the United States. He presently chairs the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Board at the Department of State. Dr. Garwin.
DR. GARWIN: Thank you. My task is to tell you about verification and Stockpile Stewardship this morning. This CTBT is a national security goal of the United States. Its benefits will be obtained only after we ratify, and the durability of the Treaty would be imperiled if we didn't ratify reasonably promptly. In order that we benefit from the Treaty, we need to be able to verify that others are complying and that nuclear weapon states or want-to-be's can't make militarily useful tests in violation of their undertakings without being detected.
The United States has long had systems for detecting other¹s nuclear tests. These were initially very secret. We had seismometers, the United States Atomic Energy Detection System, infrasound detectors. There are formally in the international monitoring system set up under the CTBT four types of sensors deployed worldwide in a cooperative and open fashion. These are seismic sensors, sensitive seismometers; hydroacoustic, that is microphones in the oceans that look for evidence of underwater nuclear explosions; infrasound, looking at the variations in atmospheric pressure, microbarographs that would come from nuclear explosions elsewhere; and radionuclide sensors to detect the kilograms or grams of newly made elements from a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere or that might leak out from an underground explosion, and most of them do leak. So these are going very well.
We have a prototype international monitoring system and the International Data Center in Vienna is the outgrowth of a prototype international data center in Roslyn, Virginia, which I visited a couple of weeks ago.
These have the ability to detect with confidence a nuclear explosion anywhere on earth of a 1,000 tons of TNT or less compared with the 15 or 20,000 tons yield of the first nuclear explosions. In many places, we can with the international monitoring system detect down to 10 tons, so, 1/1,000 or 1/2,000 of the yield of the first nuclear weapons. There is very little doubt that this will detect all militarily useful explosions even if people try to hide them.
The CTBT, however, has a threshold of zero -- no threshold at all. It bans any nuclear explosion of any yield anywhere. And you can ask whether we would detect a nuclear explosion with this system if it had a yield of 3 pounds of high explosive. The answer is probably not. We would detect it if it were done in the atmosphere but probably not underground. The judgment has been made and I fully concur that there is little military utility to a clandestine test at this low level or even at a level of 10 tons which would have to be repeated many times with always the problem of being caught. So the system is adequately verifiable; and that's good enough for us to look at the positive side of the ledger and at the national security benefits that accrue to the United States from other people not being able to test.
The other aspect of national security is whether we'll be able to maintain our nuclear weapons without explosive tests. In the past we did not use nuclear explosive tests for stockpile confidence -- that is, after a weapons was certified.
DR. GARWIN: As long as is required, we can maintain these nuclear weapons. It looks as if the primaries, that is the fission weapons, that drive the thermal nuclear secondaries now will last 30 years or more. But it doesn't matter, we'll be able to remanufacture them whenever they begin to deteriorate. They will not deteriorate all at once. They are made to different tolerances and, so, there will be some weak ones and some strong ones, and by the inspection program we will have adequate warning. We will be able to verify compliance with the Treaty, that is, detect non-compliance adequately. We will surely be able to remanufacture our nuclear weapons so as to maintain confidence in them. Thank you.
MR. SHAPIRO: Thank you, Dr. Garwin.
Our last speaker is certainly not our least speaker, and that is John Holum. And, John, you'll forgive me if I don't really know how to introduce you at the moment. You have spoken here before at the Bar Association. In fact, I've attended a number of your talks. I believe I have got this right: You are currently the Senior Advisor of the Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security. You are the designate for the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, ACDA is completely merged. You were the Former director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and gave it great life. The evidence may be aware of the political battles which ultimately resulted in the folding of ACDA into the State Department. John is also an attorney. We do take out-of-town members here and you are welcome to participate. He is a wealth and fount of information with respect to this matter. He speaks passionately about it. Today he is speaking, I believe, on behalf of the government.
MR. HOLUM: Thanks very much. It's a great pleasure to be back. My fellow panel members have done I think a superb job of outlining the Treaty's terms, provisions, history and our ability to verify compliance and maintain our stockpile. I'll focus on the bottom line just briefly; and that is the Treaty's importance to our national security.
There are two basic points in that case. The first is that by ratifying the Treaty and working to bring it into force as quickly as possible, the US gives up little or nothing and gains a great deal. This Treaty does not force the United States to choose between deterrents and arms control. It is a vehicle for delivering both simultaneously. As Dick Garwin has just explained, the CTBT allows America to maintain a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent. We have conducted 1,000 nuclear tests. That's more than all the other nuclear weapons states combined. All types in our enduring stockpile have been thoroughly tested. We have the expertise, the data base, and the technology to keep a safe and reliable nuclear stockpile without testing.
The Treaty has also been carefully negotiated to avoid prohibiting activities that are needed for stockpile maintenance. The President has stipulated concrete specific safeguards to maintain our deterrent under the CTBT, including the ability to withdraw from the Treaty under the "supreme national interests" clause and to resume testing if the safety and reliability of a nuclear weapon type deemed critical to our nuclear stockpile can no longer be certified.
So, in short, the CTBT will not degrade our deterrent and it certainly doesn't disarm the United States unilaterally or otherwise. The CTBT also does not preclude any defense measures that we would be highly motivated to take in the absence of a Treaty. As you have heard, we stopped testing in 1992, four years before the Treaty was concluded and signed.
Nuclear weapons play a smaller role than ever before since their inception in our national security. We have no military requirement for a third generation nuclear weapons that would require any further testing. We have fewer numbers. We have far fewer different types of warheads in our arsenal and no plans and no reason to build any additional new types of warheads that would require testing.
Now, no one can categorically rule out unforeseeable world developments that might make further nuclear testing a supreme national interest. But we can make that very unlikely situation even more unlikely, even less probable by bringing the test ban into force quickly and, thus, reaping the arms control and non-proliferation benefits of the Treaty. Let me outline those briefly.
If we're not testing, if we have no plans to test, why not extend that same obligation to other countries in the world and make the ban on testing more verifiable and punishable for violations?
The CTBT prevents the renewal of a strategic arms race. Without further nuclear explosive testing no country, including the United States, including Russia, including China will be able to develop new nuclear weapons with high confidence that they will work as planned. So it puts a cap on and further reinforces the limitation on, any further strategic arms race.
In a specific highly critical area now, the CTBT can help avert a nuclear arms race in South Asia. Persuading India and Pakistan to formalize their testing moratoria by adhering to the CTBT is a major goal of the international community. Recent fighting in Kashmir highlights the Treaty's importance, the risk of miscalculation and escalation in that region.
Imagine the difficulty of our diplomatic task in going to India and Pakistan and saying, "We want you to give up a legal right that we are preserving for ourselves because we have not yet formally ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban." So our ability to deal with that crisis situation in South Asia is undercut so long as we don't ratify the Test Ban.
The Treaty contains the spread of nuclear weapons to additional countries. It makes it harder for rogue states and others, other potential proliferators to develop nuclear weapons. Now, you can make a nuclear weapon without testing. We did. Our first nuclear weapon wasn't tested. But they had to dig a trench under a B-29 bomber to load our first weapons aboard. If you can make a nuclear weapon without testing, it's a much harder task to make a weapon that is small enough and light enough to fit in a light aircraft or a rudimentary missile or perhaps in a terrorist suitcase. So the Treaty constrains the new kinds of developments that are of most concern and most danger to us.
The CTBT ratification and adherence by the US and the vast majority of other states will strengthen what is now a global norm against nuclear testing. It will help deter nuclear tests by non-signatories and promote universal adherence to the Treaty.
And, finally, the US ratification and entry into force of the Treaty will bolster the nuclear non-proliferation regime and our leadership of that regime. The Treaty, as you know, can't enter into force without us. Some argue that we should wait. There are 43 other countries whose ratification is indispensable and only about half of those have ratified so far. Why not just wait and take our time?
Well, the United States is more concerned and more active in the battle against nuclear and other forms of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction than any other country in the world. It's crazy for us to undercut our credibility in this crucial battle by leaving on the table an essential instrument in reinforcing the battle against non-proliferation.
I think the best description of how this fits into our overall strategy was provided by Ambassador Paul Nitze (phonetic), who was our leading arms control negotiator and Ambassador-at-Large in the Reagan administration, and Sid Drell, Dr. Sid Drell, who has been a long-time advisor to the government on national security issues. They wrote a letter to the "Washington Post" recently which said, "A common thread in our experience is that our national interest is best served when America leads. When America hesitates, opportunities to preserve our security are lost and our strategic position suffers. This year, America has an opportunity to lead a global effort to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation by ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We urge the Senate to ratify the CTBT now."
Among all the issues that we confront internationally, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is among the most serious, the most important and of highest concern to the American people. We need every possible tool in the fight against proliferation. The CTBT will reinforce our efforts and it won't cost us anything. So we hope the Senate will hold hearings this fall and consider the Treaty on its merits. If they do that, then I think it will enter into force next year. Thank you very much.
MR. SHAPIRO: Thank you very much, Mr. Senior Advisor, Under Secretary Designate and former Director.
We have a few moments for questions -- not a lot of time. BENS being a business organization is notoriously punctual. The Bar Association, being lawyers who sell their time, notoriously takes a little longer because there's money in it, but I would like to just devote a few moments because this panel is so significant on this subject, I would hate to lose the opportunity. I will just a take a few questions from the floor.
MR. SHAPIRO: There are microphones on the table. You can sort of lean into it and it will pick you up pretty well.
SENATOR EXON: I'm going to stay away from politics because I'm afraid that if we get politics mixed up in these treaties we get into an awful lot of trouble. But I think there is some politics being played in this, but I am afraid that there are some people, including Jesse Helms, and I know Jesse. Jesse and I worked together on many things and more things we didn't work together on when I was in the United States Senate, but, you know, we have mutual respect for each other. I think Jesse Helms is one of those who has not taken the time to fully realize and recognize what my colleagues outlined to you I think in considerable detail. That is that this is in the interest of the United States of America and our national security to ratify this Treaty.
I am afraid that Jesse and some others who are Hawks to the nth degree don't want any shackles whatsoever put on the United States of America about what the United States of America might wish to do in the future with regarding nuclear weapons.
My approach to Jesse if I were sitting in a room with him, as I used to on many occasions, is say, "Jesse, you may be right in your view. I don't believe you are. The majority of the Members of the United States Senate and I'm quite confident more than 66 United States Senators do not share that view. I think it's dangerous, indeed, if not irresponsible for you to use your senior position in the Foreign Relations Committee to say this is not going to come up because I don't want it to."
I tried to make that point and maybe I didn't make it very well in my remarks. I think this Treaty is absolutely vital to the future of mankind. I believe if you came to Jesse with that kind of an attitude and say, "Notwithstanding your objections, which I don't agree with, but I can understand where you're coming from, Jesse. I believe it is in the interest of the country and I believe that Trent Lott and others who, whether or not they realize it or will admit it, have some control over Jesse Helms that they would simply hold hearings and set a time certain for a up or down vote. If it fails in the United States Senate, that's why we got the 2/3 rule. I don't think it will. I think it is highly irresponsible for the Republican leadership to sit on the sidelines and say, "Well, we can't do anything about it because Jesse doesn't want it to come up." That is not very good government. And it is not good government in my view for the future history of mankind, Americans or others.
Does that answer your question?
MR. SHAPIRO: Thank you. Nick?
MR. SHAPIRO: Dr. Garwin, lean forward. That's the appropriate respondee, I think.
DR. GARWIN: It should add steam to a move for ratification because whatever China or other countries may have learned about our nuclear weapons, they would need to test to put it into practice. So they will not be able to test under a CTBT legally. They would legally be able to test if they didn't have a test ban. So, if you look at the situation, our security would be improved.
What is really going to happen? Who knows in the heat of argument?
MR. SHAPIRO: Alice?
MR. HOLUM: I think the best argument is direction rather than end point. We are moving in the direction, if we can have Start II ratified and proceed with Start III of getting down 80 percent below the peak levels. We have destroyed 59 percent of all of our nuclear warheads, almost 60 percent of all of our nuclear warheads. We are trying to negotiate a ceiling on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. It seems to me -- I've described myself as a raging incrementalist in terms of arms control progress, that if we stop and argue over the ultimate destination of where we're headed -- and we are committed to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, but if we argue about timetable and try to negotiate the specifics of that kind of a Treaty, we will be bogged down indefinitely.
What we need to do is take it in reasonable increments. I think most of the world understands that. I think, in the NPT Review Conference context, where we will be in trouble is if everything remains stalled. If we haven't got an agenda underway in the Conference on Disarmament, because we are trying to link too many things together, if the Start III process isn't underway, if we haven't made headway in the Biological Weapons Convention Protocol, if we haven't ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, then the direction is zero. There is no progress that countries will be able to see.
If we have started to move those things forward, then I think we will have a successful NPT review. Most countries recognize that if the direction is downward, that's fulfilling our obligations under the NPT. The direction that India and Pakistan have been headed is in the opposite direction of where they all want to go.
MR. SHAPIRO: Zack?
Q (Inaudible.) What would it take (inaudible)?
SENATOR EXON: If you are a Republican, if you have contributed to Republican causes, if you have any connection with the leadership, including Trent Lott who is a very decent guy, then I would suggest that you write individual letters to them. I assume the New York Bar has stated that position and that position is known clearly.
I happen to feel that all too often in the United States Senate, whether it's an individual Member of the Senate, a coalition of the Democrats and Republicans, one individual -- and primarily at this time, we're dealing with Jesse. And the Republican leadership, I think, it should be suggested that they have a responsibility to not allow Jesse to use his chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee to arbitrarily tie up this Treaty that I have said before is in my opinion is in the definite interest of the future of mankind to be tied up on the will of one United States Senator, regardless how powerful.
I simply say that one of the reasons that I think this has been stalled as long as it has is that while the public obviously with all polls overwhelmingly favored ratification of the Treaty, they have lost some interest. Probably a large number of the members of public at large think that when the President signed that Treaty three years ago it's all taken care of. They don't fully understand the process we have to go through the United States Senate with ratification.
I think that constructive suggestive letters to the Republican leadership, maybe write to Jesse, would probably be the best way to do it. If we don't do it, then I suggest next year sometime it maybe break out into a full-fledged part of the presidential election. Once it does, then the Republican Party are going to find themselves in a position that I have seen them in many occasions -- being on the wrong side of an issue during a presidential election. You know, despite the fact that they think they're going to win next year, something like this could turn it all around.
I simply say if you are Republican, tell your Republicans for their own good, regardless of what they think about the future of mankind, it's in the political interest of the Republican Party to resolve this matter now. I can't not make myself any clearer than that, I don't think.
Q Thank you.
MR. SHAPIRO: And, John, if you can add to that? And let me just toss you a monkey wrench that you can perhaps address at the same time. When President Kennedy prepared to sign the Limited Test Ban Treaty, he took to the bully pulpit, addressed the American people on television, talked exclusively about this issue and made it quite important. Senator Exon has already made a plea for President Clinton to do that. You know him, you're speaking on behalf of him today. Will he do that?
MR. HOLUM: Yes, he will. And thanks for the added codicil to the question.
First, and I have to be careful not to encourage any specific action by members of the audience because members of the government aren't allowed to do that. I can tell you what we're doing. One of the difficulties in what's holding up the Treaty in the Foreign Relations Committee, it's Senator Helms' insistence that he won't consider the Treaty until we also submit the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty and the succession and demarcation agreements under the ABM Treaty for consideration. He is interested in killing both of those agreements, so he wants those to be sent up in the same package and then he says he'll consider the CTBT.
What we are arguing in response to that is a very simple point. These treaties need to be considered on their own merits. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty makes a significant contribution to a goal that Senator Helms believes in, which is non-proliferation. So let's not deny ourselves the benefits of these treaties because we have a disagreement over other elements. Linkage of that kind is a formula to wrap up the Senate and tie it up in knots for years and deprive us of national security interests.
In terms of President Clinton's interest in this Treaty and his willingness to take a leadership role, he has repeatedly done that: in his State of the Union Address and at various times in July, a press conference at the White House and other events. What we really need to have is a timetable for a vote because that is the kind of thing that can give you sustained public attention. A lot of what we are doing in the context is to elevate the visibility -- and you will see more and more of this in the weeks ahead -- to elevate the visibility of the issue and at the same time work with the leadership and with Senator Helms to establish a timetable for a hearing, and a date certain for a vote so that the interested members of the public and the press and others can see something happening that will come to a crescendo and an end point at a specified time. So we are focusing on let the Treaty be considered on its merits and let's have a vote, a timetable for a vote.
MR. SHAPIRO: I will conclude. Thank you very much. A more distinguished panel on this subject you cannot get. I want to thank each of our panelists for his insightful and very helpful remarks on the CTBT.
From Senator Exon, whose historic September 24th, 1992, amendment required a nuclear testing moratorium and CTBT negotiations, we heard of his personal experiences that brought him to the conclusions that he expressed today.
From Ambassador Ledogar, who labored hard at the table, we heard the history and substance of the Treaty and how it will work to make the world a safer place.
From Dr. Garwin, we learned that reasonable verification is absolutely possible and our nuclear stockpile which the United States, by the way, is legally committed to eliminate will be just fine with the CTBT in place.
And, of course, from our friend and frequent visitor, John Holum, we learned how critical the CTBT is for national and world security. Of course, Secretary Albright put it all in context for us.
As early as 1993, this Association has been strongly on record, as you can see from the copies of letters left on the table for you to pick up, in support of an end to nuclear testing and an early conclusion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. For reasons of our national security, international security, environmental security, and our legal obligations under the NPT, we urge the end to testing and the conclusion of the CTBT.
Again, in 1995, when both the United States and France were about to resume testing, we urged both presidents to abandon that course and, "To continue their voluntary nuclear weapons testing moratorium. Further, we urge you both to give clear and forceful leadership to the early completion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. To do anything else would be to continue the culture of nuclear arms whose only possible result if used would be devastation visited upon all mankind."
Here we are again in 1999 making the very same points over. Not only is yesterday the second anniversary of the President's transmittal of the CTBT to the Senate for its advice and consent, which as we know has not even held one day's hearing on the matter, and not only is it the anniversary of Senator Exon's important amendment, it is also the eve of the 35th anniversary of the ratification of the Limited Test Ban Treaty negotiated by President Kennedy. The Senate reviewed and ratified that Treaty in 47 days. It ratified by a vote of 80 to 14. The then-chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee did not at that time say that the nation had issues of "higher priority" and could not address the Treaty.
President Kennedy in his address to the nation on a Limited Test Ban Treaty said, "Presently, this Treaty is not the millennium. It will not resolve all conflicts or cause the communists to forego their ambitions or eliminate the dangers of war. It will not reduce our need for arms or allies, for programs of assistance to others; but it is an important first step, a step toward peace, a step toward reason, a step away from war."
Well, today is the eve of the millennium and but for that Kennedy's words still ring true. So while we urge and wait for the Senate finally to take up this historic Treaty, let us not rest on our laurels. Let us undertake the other steps that can be taken including, perhaps, de-alerting our nuclear missiles and removing them from "Launch on Warning Status," so that the Russians, whose system is crumbling before our eyes, can do the same. Perhaps we can reduce the number of nuclear missiles loaded aboard our subs; work hard towards transparent and verifiable dismantlement of Russian warheads, not merely missiles, a fete surprisingly not yet achieved; and continue to help Russia's nuclear cities and scientific infrastructure find economic alternatives to nuclear weapons work, including by throwing renewed effort into the highly successful Nunn-Lugar programs.
I want to thank the State Department for its assistance in putting together this program today on such notice and I would certainly like to thank our friends, Business Executives for National Security, a wonderful organization to which I am committed. Of course, I would like to thank the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, including my fellow Committees on International Security Affairs and the Council on International Affairs, for recognizing that the role of the lawyer in society goes far beyond the contract and the courtroom. Thank you all for coming.