1997 Congressional Hearings
Special Weapons
Nuclear, Chemical, Biological and Missile



                               before the
                                 of the
                              COMMITTEE ON
                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
                          UNITED STATES SENATE
                       ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
                              FIRST SESSION

                           FEBRUARY 12, 1997


Post-Cold War Challenges to Nuclear Deterrence

1. Russia's Defense Minister has warned recently that he may not be able to ensure the safety and reliability of his nuclear arsenal--in terms of U.S. policy responses that would likely enhance stability, is this threat best addressed on the ground in Russia (e.g. via Cooperative Threat Reduction) or on the ground in America (e.g. by expanding the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal, resuming U.S. nuclear testing, developing a new generation of nuclear weapons, and deploying immediately a national missile defense system)? Answer: Defense Minister Rodionov's comments may have been intended to encourage additional funding for the Russian military. We believe that the Ministry of Defense continues to exercise control over Russia's nuclear weapons and the Ministry of Atomic Energy exercises tight control over the dismantled nuclear weapons stockpile. Nevertheless, through the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, we are helping to enhance the stability of the Russian nuclear arsenal by working with Russia on assistance projects to improve the security, control, and accounting of their nuclear weapons. For example, CTR is providing assistance to improve security at nuclear- weapon storage sites in Russia and to implement an automated inventory control and management system that will enhance the Russian MoD's capability to account for and track their nuclear weapons. We are working with Russia on a number of projects designed to enhance the security of Russian nuclear weapons and weapons components while being stored or transported to dismantlement facilities. These activities complement the strategic deterrent that we have maintained and will continue to maintain through START II and any further agreed reductions in offensive strategic forces. 2. Your testimony disputes the existence of a class of countries that two former Secretaries of Defense have termed ``undeterrable''; you also testified that nuclear weapons can deter ``rogue states with WMD programs''--(a) Are neighbors of such states thus justified in seeking their own bombs? (b) Do only U.S. bombs deter? Answer: (a) The fact that nations are, in principle, not undeterrable does not, in itself, justify a nation seeking nuclear weapons. As of 1 March 1997, 185 countries have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which indicates that they have concluded that possession of nuclear weapons does not serve their security interests even given the existence of other declared and undeclared nuclear powers. Multiple means exist that preclude the need for a state to acquire nuclear weapons, including being a party to the NPT and other non- proliferation agreements, reliance on U.S. and alliance security guarantees, and the like. Through participation in one or more of these mechanisms, states bordering rogue states don't need nuclear weapons to guarantee their security. (b) No. But, as stated above, the fact that deterrence is possible is not, in itself, a justification for a nation seeking nuclear weapons. 3. How does your department contribute to U.S. efforts against WMD proliferation by countries that are not ``rogue states'' and do you regard such proliferation as destabilizing or inimical to U.S. security interests? Answer: DoD believes that in general further proliferation of nuclear weapons is not in U.S. interests. Regarding South Asia, for example, in a presentation to the Foreign Policy Association earlier this year, former Secretary Perry stated, ``We believe that a strong defense relationship and increased cooperation [with India and Pakistan] will allow us to better pursue our common security interests, but, at the same time, they will provide a better basis for working out the policy differences which we have with each of those countries. . . . we find India and Pakistan's position on nuclear proliferation unpalatable. But to use this as a reason to disengage from the region, or to avoid deepening our security ties with these nations, could undermine efforts to cap their destructive capability. It could even help push them into an unfettered arms race. That would be disastrous. I believe that we can best help to avoid the disastrous by building bridges of trust between the United States and India and between the United States and Pakistan.'' With that as our guidance, Department of Defense has attempted to build bridges of trust through the strengthening our bilateral defense relationships and increasing our military-to-military cooperation within the established legal limitations. 4. How will arms reductions beyond START II and III likely affect America's ability to maintain its nuclear umbrellas in Europe and East Asia? Will these cuts affect the proliferation risk in those regions? Answer: The arms reductions agreed to under START II will not affect our ability to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent for allies and friends in Europe and East Asia, nor will the reductions that are likely under START III. By the same token, these forces, along with our other military capabilities, will continue to serve as a deterrent to proliferant threats against U.S. allies. 5. Is it a current mission of U.S. nuclear forces to preempt, to deter, or to respond to chemical weapons attacks on the United States or its allies emanating from the Third World? Answer: The mission of U.S. nuclear forces is to help deter attacks on the United States, its allies or interests. Nuclear weapons are part of our overall defense posture which is designed, in its totality, to contribute to the deterrence of any state threatening the United States or its allies including with chemical weapons. However, nuclear forces are only one of several options available. We have a broad range of conventional offensive response options, as well as active and passive defenses. As a long-standing policy, the U.S. does not specify in advance what response we would make to CW use, a use which would be in violation of the laws of armed conflict. However, it is our policy that we would consider all options in response to a CW/BW attack and that our response would be absolutely overwhelming and devastating. Former Secretary Perry added, ``in every situation I have seen so far, nuclear weapons would not be required for response. That is, we could have a devastating response without the use of nuclear weapons, but we would not forswear that possibility.'' 6. Is it a current mission of U.S. nuclear forces to preempt, to deter, or to respond to aggression against the United States or its allies involving only the use of conventional weapons? Answer: The mission of U.S. nuclear forces is to deter attacks on the U.S., its allies and interests. In general, we do not now foresee circumstances in which it would be in our interest to use nuclear weapons in response to a purely conventional attack. However, we would assess the situation in light of the circumstances then prevailing. 7. Is America prepared to use the bomb against parties to the NPT or treaties establishing regional nuclear-weapons-free zones, if such countries attack the U.S. or its allies with chemical or biological weapons? Answer: A 1978 Presidential declaration provided so-called Negative Security Assurances (NSA) for NPT NNWS. This assurance has been reaffirmed many times, including at the highest levels of the U.S. government. It says: ``The United States reaffirms that it will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear- weapons States Parties to the NPT except in the case of an invasion or an attack on the United States, its territories, its Armed Forces or other troops, its allies, or on a State towards which it has a security commitment, carried out or sustained by such a nonnuclear-weapon State in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon-state.'' Additionally, the Protocols to the Treaty of Rarotonga and Treaty of Pelindaba include a provision that each protocol party undertakes not use or threaten to use a nuclear explosive device against any treaty party or against any dependent territories within the zone. This provision would come into effect once all ratification and entry-into-force steps had been taken. In connection with the Treaty of Pelindaba the USG stated: ``. . . we will not limit the options available to the United States in response to an attack using weapons of mass destruction.'' See also the answer to question 5. 8. A Brookings analyst has estimated that the minimum total historical cost of the U.S. nuclear arsenal was at least $4 trillion (in constant 1996 dollars)--(a) Was that a fair estimate? (b) For the record, can you estimate the total costs (including the stockpile stewardship, operations and maintenance, C\3\I, personnel, cleanup, etc.) of the U.S. nuclear arsenal at the START I and START II force levels from 1997-2010? (c) Assuming a ceiling of 2,000 weapons, can you estimate the savings from moving to START III in the same period? Answer: The Brookings analysis consolidated government-wide data in Fall 1995, including the estimated expenditures of the DoD, DoE, International Atomic Energy Agency, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Justice Department, and a host of other government activities. The Brookings analysis only looks at historic data, l950s to FY95. Reporting future expenditures, as you have requested, is more difficult because we cannot predict the force structure out to 2010. However, I can speak to some DoD estimates that were developed as part of our START I and START II assessments. If we maintain the START II force structure though FY2010, the DoD cost (force structure, operations and maintenance, personnel) is $7-$8 billion per year. To decide to maintain START I forces out to FY2010 would cost an estimated $10-$12 billion more over the FY1997-FY2010 period (the cost per year varies from a few million to over a billion dollars). Additionally, we understand that DOE plans to spend approximately $4 billion per year over the next 10 years on stockpile stewardship. As for START III, there is no decision on the force structure, but it would be reasonable to assume that the budget per year would be somewhat less than that of START II depending on the force structure.

Future of Nuclear Deterrence in the Third World

1. Former CIA directors James Woolsey and John Deutch have each testified that they could not think of an example where the introduction of nuclear weapons into a region has enhanced that region's security or benefited the security interests of the United States--do you agree? Answer: It is not clear what is the context of the statements cited in the question. However, the statement is accurate in regard to those regional powers that are the focus of our current nonproliferation concerns. 2. Are new regional balances of nuclear terror in the Third World likely to be stable or to make war less likely, and if not, how exactly will they affect U.S. security interests? Will the emergence of such deterrence relationships have any effect on U.S. nuclear targeting policy? Answer: The United States considers further proliferation of nuclear weapons to be destabilizing and inimical to U.S. interests, particularly in regions of tension, because it is destabilizing and raises the prospect that a regional conflict could result in the use of nuclear weapons. We, of course, have to take the nuclear capability of any proliferator potentially hostile to U.S. interests into account in our own planning. 3. What is the role of U.S. nuclear weapons (both strategic and non-strategic) in current U.S. ``counterproliferation'' policy? What is the official military mission of the nuclear-armed Tomahawk? Answer: The goal of the Defense Counterproliferation Initiative is to ensure that our forces are prepared to protect themselves and to fight effectively on an NBC-contaminated battlefield. We can accomplish this by equipping our forces with active and passive defenses, counterforce capabilities, and the supporting command, control, communications and intelligence systems. Military preparations for operations in an NBC environment make clear that threats of use or actual use of NBC weapons will not deter the United States from applying its military power to protect its vital interests. In addition, effective capabilities to counter proliferation devalue the potential political and military benefits of NBC weapons and thus have a deterring effect on the acquisition and use of such weapons by rogue states. In addition to these conventional capabilities, U.S. nuclear forces also provide a significant deterrent to proliferators to even contemplate the use of NBC weapons. The nation's Non-Strategic Nuclear Force (NSNF) are available to be deployed to or tasked to support theater nuclear requirements and thereby link conventional forces to the full nuclear capability of the United States. The Tomahawk missile, in particular, since it would be carried on board our attack submarines, gives the U.S. the ability, in a crisis, to hold at risk key targets from a stealthy, offshore position. 4. Are India and Pakistan now practicing nuclear deterrence as a basis for stability in South Asia? If so, how will U.S. interests be affected and what are the continuing risks of instability? Answer: Both India and Pakistan view their potential nuclear capability as a central part of their national security. One of our key objectives in the region is to keep the nuclear and missile capabilities on both sides from escalating in order to avoid an intensification of the South Asian nuclear arms race. We therefore seek to cap, roll-back, and eventually eliminate these capabilities. Currently, our objective is to seek Indian and Pakistani adherence to global nonproliferation norms; specifically to seek their accession to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and support for the negotiation of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. 5. A recent Council on Foreign Relations report has urged the U.S. to drop its goal of rolling back the bomb in South Asia and to aim instead at fostering a ``a more stable plateau for Indo-Pakistani nuclear competition.'' (a) Is nuclear rollback now an impossible U.S. nonproliferation goal in South Asia--is U.S. policy in the region now limited merely to preventing detonations or extra-regional bomb transfers? Answer: Our policy is not so limited. It is as stated in response to question 4. Our near term challenge has been to break the momentum and cap a potential South Asian nuclear arms race through mutual restraint and confidence building measures. Currently, our efforts are focused on getting both India and Pakistan to become parties to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to engage constructively in negotiations on the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty--two nondiscriminatory treaties that both countries have long supported in principle. In parallel with our efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, we have urged both sides not to be the first to produce or deploy ballistic missiles which could trigger a missile race with tragic consequences. (b) Would it advance U.S. nonproliferation objectives for America to assist India and Pakistan in managing their ``nuclear competition,'' as opposed to the current U.S. policy of opposing both bomb programs? Current U.S. policy is to oppose nuclear weapons programs in both countries. For the near term, the U.S. can contribute to the cause of regional stability by urging both countries to expend maximum effort towards resolving differences, one by one, through dialogue. We believe India and Pakistan should revalidate confidence building measures (CBMs) agreed to years ago. These include: a ``hotline'' between Directors General of Military Operations; prior notification of major military exercises; limitations on size and location of exercises; a pledge not to attack each other's nuclear facilities; and a prohibition on chemical weapons. We also believe India and Pakistan would benefit from implementing additional CBMs, one example being a negotiated end to their confrontation over the Siachen Glacier. There are many civilian and military areas in which India and Pakistan can strive to build a foundation for fruitful and cordial relations. The U.S. should support the constructive efforts and continue to disapprove of India and Pakistan's development of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. We should encourage both states to become parties to the CTBT and to support negotiation of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. (c) Does America have a strategic interest in assisting either Pakistan or India to have a safe and reliable nuclear arsenal and would such assistance square with U.S. obligations under the NPT? Answer: It is not our policy to assist either Pakistan or India to have a safe and reliable nuclear arsenal. Of course, it would be in the interest of any state which created a nuclear weapons capability to ensure that is was as safe and secure as possible. (d) The Council's report also urges new U.S. arms transfers to Pakistan as an instrument of nonproliferation policy--given the experience of past transfers for this purpose, how likely would such transfers either advance U.S. nonproliferation policy or assist Pakistan to achieve military parity with India? Answer: Government-to-government arm sales to Pakistan, of course, continue to be prohibited under the Pressler Amendment. In the case of India, we have abstained from major arms sales that might alter the existing military balance of forces. Simultaneously, the Department of Defense is actively involved in the coordinated U.S. effort to convince India and Pakistan that weapons of mass destruction do not provide the security that each side perceives. DoD will continue to seek new ways, within the bounds of U.S. law and policy, to expand military- to-military cooperation with both India and Pakistan. 6. How would the introduction of an effective missile defense system in either India or Pakistan likely affect the nuclear weapons posture of the other country? Would such a development likely prove to be stabilizing? Answer: There are sharp differences of view about the stability effect of missile defense systems. Since neither India or Pakistan now has a deployed nuclear weapon-delivery missile system, much less an anti-missile defense system, it is not possible meaningfully to assess the application of these debates to the South Asia case. 7. What options would be available to China by way of a strategic response to the introduction of an effective missile defense system by either Russia or India? Would the deployment of effective missile defense systems throughout East Asia add to or jeopardize strategic stability in that region? Answer: Russia already has an ABM system consisting of about 100 nuclear-tipped ABM interceptors in the vicinity of Moscow as permitted by the ABM Treaty. For a number of years, Russia has also deployed a TMD system for use against shorter range systems. China has embarked upon a strategic missile modernization program even as Russian force readiness across the board has significantly diminished and its ABM capability has remained relatively static. Presumably one purpose of that program is to enhance the capability of Chinese missiles against defenses. Whatever may be the case with regard to the China-India- Russia case, deployment of TMD systems for defense against rogue state missiles, especially from the DPRK, would be stabilizing in East Asia, as well as elsewhere. 8. Does America have a strategic interest in assisting China to have a safe and reliable nuclear arsenal? Answer: It is certainly in America's interest that China's nuclear weapons are physically safe and not prone to unauthorized or accidental launch. However, the United States has not engaged in programs to assist China in ensuring the safety and security of its nuclear arsenal, or dismantlement of nuclear weapons, as we have with Russia.

National Missile Defense

1. Have the existing technologies and components now under consideration for the national missile defense system been adequately and successfully tested under realistic conditions to justify full deployment by 2003? Would such systems guarantee that no foreign strategic missile would ever strike any point in the U.S.? Answer: No. Under Secretary Kaminski's recent testimony to the SASC addresses the technical particulars of our NMD program, including the test schedule. In summary, the 3 plus 3 program conducts sufficient development, albeit at high schedule and technical risk, to allow a deployment decision to be made in 2000 if a threat warrants. If the decision is made in 2000, an IOC of an initial NMD system could be achieved in 2003, subject to the risks noted. This decision would necessarily be based on limited test data and would only be justified in the face of a clearly defined emerging threat to the United States. In the absence of such a threat, we expect to continue development and testing of the NMD system in order to achieve the user's requirements. No system can guarantee protection absolutely under all circumstances. 2. For the record, what is your rough estimate of the total historical costs of U.S. national missile defense efforts? Answer: In determining the rough estimate of historical NMD costs, SDIO/BMDO costs from FY85 through FY98 were selected that could be attributed to a defined architecture for National Missile Defense--Phase I, GPALS, NMD, and Technology Readiness. The resulting cost estimate is approximately $15 billion, or slightly more than one-third of the total SDIO/BMDO costs for FY85 through FY98. This figure does not include research programs that were part of the SDIO/BMDO advanced technology base, e.g., space-based laser. 3. As an issue of sound procurement practice, should the U.S. government deploy any missile defense system, technology, or key component that had not been successfully tested under realistic test conditions? Answer: No. Normally, the United States should not deploy a national missile defense system (or anything else) without adequate testing. The program that we have designed for the ``objective'' NMD system employs adequate testing. Our ``3+3'' philosophy would permit deployment of an initial NMD capability in an emergency created by a threat emerging much more rapidly than the intelligence community now expects. The ``3+3'' program provides for testing appropriate to support a deployment decision in such an urgent situation, but it explicitly does not allow sufficient time before an FY 2000 deployment decision for traditional rigorous testing of the system elements or the integrated configuration in the absence of reason for a deployment. 4. Say the U.S. unilaterally deployed an effective strategic national missile defense system by 2003--(a) How would this likely affect the offensive nuclear capabilities and postures of Russia and China? (b) What would be the implications for the future of START, the fissile material control convention, the CTBT, prospects for future cuts by nuclear weapons states other than the U.S. and Russia, and the NPT and ABM treaties? Answer: As the Administration has stated on numerous occasions, the development of the U.S. NMD program--a limited defense capability designed against a ballistic missile threat from a rogue state--will be conducted in compliance with the ABM Treaty. Depending on its configuration, a deployed NMD system could either be compliant with the treaty as written, or might require amendments of the Treaty's provisions, or, if the necessary amendment could not be agreed, withdrawal. Amendment should be possible because the type of limited ballistic missile defense for the U.S. being considered would not affect the strategic offensive postures of the declared nuclear powers, nor should it have any effect on the arms control treaties noted. 5. If the U.S. should leave the ABM Treaty and deploy a multiple- site national missile defense system, which American states would likely host such a system? Answer: No decisions have been made as to locations of NMD sites. The elements of the NMD system are being designed to a baseline set of requirements that would allow them to be deployed in a flexible manner, depending on the emerging threat. The Department is continuing to examine the issue of specific NMD architectures, including where elements of the system might be located.

Future of the ABM Treaty

1. What are the key strategic benefits to the United States from continued membership in the ABM Treaty and how would these benefits be jeopardized by a U.S. or Russian abrogation of that treaty? Answer: The Administration considers the ABM Treaty to be a cornerstone of strategic stability, as do many other states, including key U.S. allies and START partners. The Treaty's limitations on defenses against strategic ballistic missiles provide a certain measure of predictability and foster a situation conducive to reductions in strategic offensive weapons. 2. How would the demise of that treaty likely affect Russia's strategic offense and defense capabilities, and specifically, how confident are you that Russia will never be able to develop an effective response (offensive or defensive) to the U.S. deployment of an effective, multiple-site national missile defense system? Answer: How the hypothetical demise of the ABM Treaty would affect Russian strategic capabilities cannot be determined in the abstract, but instead would depend on the actual circumstances at that time, such as the reasons for the Treaty's demise. However, a hypothetical U.S. deployment of a national missile defense system would not necessarily lead to the demise of the ABM Treaty or prompt an adverse Russian reaction. The Administration has made clear that the national missile defense capabilities we are developing are not directed at Russian strategic forces, but rather at the limited potential threat that would be posed by rogue states were they to acquire long-range ballistic missiles. If it were determined necessary to deploy a national missile defense system for this purpose at more than one site, the U.S. could seek Russian agreement to amend the ABM Treaty to permit this. Under such circumstances, U.S. deployment of a multiple-site national missile defense would not necessarily elicit a Russian response in either offensive or defensive terms, nor cause the demise of the ABM Treaty. 3. How does the ABM Treaty's ban on the proliferation of strategic missile defense systems serve U.S. security interests and how would the end of that ban, with the collapse of the ABM Treaty, jeopardize those interests? Answer: The ABM Treaty prohibits the parties from transferring ABM systems or their components (or technical descriptions or plans enabling their construction) to other states. However, these provisions were formulated in the context of the Cold War confrontation between the U.S. and the then Soviet Union, and were not intended to address contemporary proliferation problems. It is difficult to assess in the abstract the net impact which termination of these ABM Treaty provisions would have on U.S. security interests. Moreover, the U.S. and Russia have undertaken other international commitments that would also affect decisions to transfer missile defense systems abroad, including the MTCR and the Wassenaar Arrangement. 4. If Russia developed what it termed a ``theater missile defense'' system that had significant capabilities against strategic missiles, and deployed that system to cover its entire territorial periphery--(a) What would be the impact of such a development upon the reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent and how would the U.S. likely have to respond? and (b) Are you confident that Russia could never develop or deploy such a system? Answer: Systems properly designed and tested as theater missile defense systems to counter theater ballistic missiles would not be able to perform effectively as ABM systems to counter strategic ballistic missiles. In their May 1995 summit joint statement of principles, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agreed (inter alia) that theater missile defenses may be deployed by each side which will not pose a realistic threat to the strategic nuclear force of the other side and which will not be tested to give such systems that capability, and that theater missile defense systems will not be deployed by the sides for use against each other. The U.S. and Russia are engaged in negotiations intended to implement these principles and to provide a clear demarcation between non-ABM systems (such as those for theater missile defense) and ABM systems, which are intended to counter strategic ballistic missiles. The conclusion of the demarcation agreement we envisage would preclude the hypothetical situation described by the question. __________


1. Former CIA Directors James Woolsey and John Deutch have each testified that they could not think of an example where the introduction of nuclear weapons into a region has enhanced that region's security or benefited the security interests of the United States--do you agree? (Woolsey 2/24/93 and Deutch 3/20/96 (SGAC testimony).) Answer 1. From the creation, under General Eisenhower's command in the early 1950s, of NATO's collective force in Europe (the area with which I am most familiar) up to the end of the Cold War, the availability of nuclear weapons support and the presence of a nuclear capability in Europe in which our allies shared (primarily with their delivery capabilities) have, in my judgment, made a contribution of the highest order to allied confidence in the deterrent, to the region's security and to the security interests of the United States. I myself rate that contribution as indispensable to the success achieved by the alliance, including the United States. 2. Last month, the Council on Foreign Relations released a report urging the U.S. to abandon its goals of preventing or reversing nuclear weapons proliferation in South Asia and to aim instead at establishing a ``more stable plateau for Indo-Pakistani nuclear competition''--Do you agree that it is either too late or impossible to stop or to roll back nuclear weapons proliferation in South Asia? Answer 2. I believe it should be a goal of the United States to persuade India and Pakistan, insofar as possible, not to go beyond their respective current stages of weapons development and/or production, and to urge them to seek to resolve their disputes by peaceful means. Until there has been substantial progress in the latter regard, which cannot now be foreseen, it seems unlikely that they will agree to any greater restraints or reduction of their nuclear programs. 3. Russia's Defense Minister has been warning recently that he may not be able to ensure the safety and reliability of his nuclear arsenal--in terms of their likely effectiveness, how would you assess the following as possible U.S. responses: (a) expanding the Cooperative Threat Reduction program; (b) immediate deployment of a national missile defense; (c) expanding the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal; (d) resuming U.S. nuclear testing; and (e) developing a new generation of nuclear weapons? Answer 3. The continuation and, as practicable, extension of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program seems clearly the most promising course for the United States to follow. It reinforces what should be the governing aim of U.S. security policy: The building of an overarching relationship of cooperation and friendship between Russia and the rest of the Euro-Atlantic community, including the United States above all. The other listed responses move in the wrong direction, and should be considered only in the unlikely event Russia should revert to a policy and practice of confrontation and mutual threat. 4. What do you will expect will be the role (if any) of international organizations in verifying deeper reductions as a result of the START process? Answer 4. The IAEA has, and should have, the lead role in nuclear arms reduction and non-proliferation verification. Its functions should be strengthened (as its charter already allows) and it should be supported financially, technologically, and otherwise by the world's nations, notably including the United States. __________ -