The text of the remarks follows:
Thank you for inviting me to address the conference.
A conservative and internationalist approach to foreign policy is consistent. For example, during the Cold War Ronald Reagan worked not just to contain communism but to expand democracy. NATO expansion is a contemporary example where conservatives believe the U.S. should remain involved internationally to promote democracy, free markets, and to hedge against a revival of communism. A successful internationalist policy requires that you have firm clear national goals and the means and will to achieve them strategically.
The Clinton Administration pursues a foreign policy without clear goals or the will to act decisively and is squandering the national security means left to it by a dozen years of Republican presidency. It emphasizes hope over reality and reliance on arms control agreements like the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) over a stronger defense. And political benefit over national security, as in its decisions to cave in to the concerns of some in industry in irresponsibly relaxing export controls on key items like encryption technology and supercomputers.
Today's debate is similar to that which took place during the Cold War between those who favored detente and arms treaties and those who believed in a rational, tough policy of peace through strength. During the Cold War, the proponents of detente argued that the U.S. should overlook violations of promises and arms control agreements because of our tense relations with the Soviet Union and China. Today, the supporters of `engagement' say we should overlook violations of such treaties because of our improved relations with Russia and China. The result is the same--a muddled, confused foreign policy. But it hasn't stopped the Administration from proposing even more treaties, even as existing treaties are continually violated by all but the U.S.
I want to focus on how conservatives in the West believe we should deal with the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, which is the key national security challenge facing us today.
As with so many other areas, the Clinton Administration's efforts to address this issue have been long on rhetoric and short on action. In 1994, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12938 declaring that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means of
delivering them constitutes `an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,' and that he had, therefore, decided to `declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.' The President reaffirmed this Executive Order in 1995 and 1996. But since issuing this order, the Administration has primarily focused on concluding arms control agreements and sending diplomatic protest notes to combat this growing threat.
Rogue nations that are hostile to the United States are the primary proliferation threat, though the Russian arsenal remains the largest potential threat. Iran is of particular concern. Tehran is aggressively pursuing the development of nuclear weapons. On January 19, 1995, the Washington Times reported that Western intelligence agencies believe Iran is using its civilian nuclear power program as a cover for acquiring the technology and expertise to build nuclear weapons. According to the Times, the CIA estimates Iran is about 5-7 years away from building nuclear weapons, but could shorten that timetable if it received foreign assistance.
Iran's chemical and biological weapons programs began in the early 1980's and are now capable of producing a variety of highly lethal agents. Iran currently has Scud-B and Scud-C missiles also working to develop the ability to domestically produce longer-range missiles. On September 10, 1997, the Washington Times disclosed that Russia is assisting Iran with the development of two ballistic missiles that could be fielded in as little as three years. One of the missiles will reportedly have sufficient range to allow Tehran to strike targets as far away as Germany. In addition, other rogue states like Iraq, Libya, Syria, and North Korea are also aggressively pursuing ballistic missile and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs.
We need an integrated strategy combining three elements: (1) responsible export controls, (2) firm economic and diplomatic actions to create incentives and disincentives to prevent the spread of missiles and weapons of mass destruction, and, (3) ultimately, robust defenses to deter and respond to attacks.
The Clinton Administration has irresponsibly relaxed U.S. export controls on key technologies like encryption, machine tools, and supercomputers. For example, in 1994, the Administration approved the sale of machine tools to China that were intended to be used to produce McDonnell Douglas civilian airliners. Just sic months after the export licenses were approved, the company discovered the machine tools had been diverted to a facility where cruise missiles and fighter aircraft are produced for the Chinese military. In addition, China has purchased 47 supercomputers form the U.S. and one of Russia's premier nuclear weapons facilities has bought four supercomputers from a U.S. firm as well.
Multilateral control regimes like the Australia Group, restricting chemical trade, the
Missile Technology Control Regime, and the Nuclear Supplier Group can limit the spread of sensitive technology. But as we learned through our experience with COCOM during the Cold War, even the best controls only slow the spread of the technology because determined nations find ways to circumvent the controls or eventually develop the technology themselves. We also must guard against a reliance on arms control agreements like the CWC and the CTBT that are not global or verifiable, and therefore not effective or useful.
We should make it unprofitable for countries to supply missiles and weapons of mass destruction technology to rogue regimes. For example, the annual foreign aid bill recently passed by the Senate conditions U.S. aid to Russia on a halt to nuclear and missile cooperation with Iran. Western nations can also impose economic sanctions on supplier countries and companies to provide disincentives for them to continue this dangerous trade. In addition, we should use convert action to raise the costs to countries that are suppliers of this sensitive technology.
Ultimately, we need to maintain strong defense capabilities to deter and respond to attacks involving weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. By maintaining a robust, credible nuclear weapons capability, the U.S. can deter rogue nations from using weapons of mass destruction against U.S. forces or our allies. The U.S. should also improve our chemical and biological defenses. As we learned during the recent Senate debate over the Chemical Weapons Convention, the U.S. military's chemical and biological defense programs are underfunded and are inadequate to meet the current and projected threat.
The West is nearly defenseless against the expanding missile threat we face. Space-based systems offer a promising long-term solution and should be pursued. Sea-based missile defenses based on the Navy's AEGIS class ships, however, have the potential to provide near-term, flexible, and affordable protection for U.S. forces and our allies abroad. Sea-based systems would allow for ascent phase intercept of missiles armed with chemical or biological warheads.
Sea-based systems are more affordable because the U.S. has already invested $50 billion in the AEGIS fleet. Development of a sea-based theater missile defense could be completed in five years and deployment of 650 interceptors on 22 ships could cost as little as $5 billion. This system could then evolve into a national missile defense system, whose development, production, and deployment could be completed in 6-10 years for $12-17 billion, according to preliminary CBO estimates.
There are two points of view on how to address this threat. We can either talk tough, and even in the face of incontrovertible evidence, overlook arms control violations for fear of damaging our relations with other nations. Or we can follow the path of peace through strength.