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

SOURCE @ access.gpo

                                                        S. Hrg. 105-159




                               before the


                                 of the

                              COMMITTEE ON
                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                       ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS

                             FIRST SESSION


                           FEBRUARY 12, 1997


      Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs

38-379 cc                  WASHINGTON : 1997

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office
         U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402


                   FRED THOMPSON, Tennessee, Chairman
WILLIAM V. ROTH, Jr., Delaware       JOHN GLENN, Ohio
TED STEVENS, Alaska                  CARL LEVIN, Michigan
SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine              JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas                DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico         RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois
THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi            ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
DON NICKLES, Oklahoma                MAX CLELAND, Georgia
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania
             Hannah S. Sistare, Staff Director and Counsel
                 Leonard Weiss, Minority Staff Director
                    Michal Sue Prosser, Chief Clerk


                  THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi, Chairman
TED STEVENS, Alaska                  CARL LEVIN, Michigan
SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine              DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico         RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois
DON NICKLES, Oklahoma                ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania          MAX CLELAND, Georgia
                   Mitchel B. Kugler, Staff Director
                       Julie Sander, Chief Clerk

                            C O N T E N T S

Opening statements:
    Senator Cochran..............................................     1
    Senator Levin................................................     2
    Senator Stevens..............................................    15
Prepared statement:
    Senator Glenn................................................    53

                      Wednesday, February 12, 1997

Hon. Walter B. Slocombe, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, 
  Department of Defense..........................................     3
General Andrew J. Goodpaster, U.S. Army (Retired), Co-Chair, The 
  Atlantic Council of the United States..........................    25
Richard Perle, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute....    33

                     Alphabetical List of Witnesses

Goodpaster, Gen. Andrew J. (Ret.):
    Testimony....................................................    25
    Prepared statement...........................................    29
Perle, Richard:
    Testimony....................................................    33
    Prepared statement...........................................    39
Slocombe, Hon. Walter B.:
    Testimony....................................................     3
    Prepared statement...........................................    20


Questions and Answers from Senator Glenn for:
    Hon. Slocombe................................................    53
    General Goodpaster...........................................    60

Joint Statement on Reduction of Nuclear Weapons by Generals 
  Goodpaster and Butler..........................................    61
Statement on Nuclear Weapons by International Generals and 
  Admirals.......................................................    62



                      WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1997

                               U.S. Senate,        
            Subcommittee on International Security,        
                   Proliferation, and Federal Services,    
                  of the Committee on Governmental Affairs,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:35 a.m., in 
room SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Thad Cochran, 
Chairman of the Subcommittee, presiding.
    Present: Senators Cochran, Stevens, Levin, and Durbin.



    Senator Cochran. Thank you very much, Senator Levin. 
Senator Durbin, any opening comments?
    Senator Durbin. I do not have any. Thank you.
    Senator Cochran. Mr. Secretary, you may proceed.



                     DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

        Senator Cochran. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Let me first 
commend you for the excellent effort to pull together all of 
the arguments in support of a policy of deterrence in this new 
environment. I am impressed with the effort that has obviously 
gone into the preparation of this statement.
    Mr. Slocombe. Thank you.
    Senator Cochran. And we appreciate that kind of effort for 
this hearing.
    Mr. Slocombe. Thank you, sir.
    Senator Cochran. My impression of this statement is that it 
is consistent in terms of policy with the President's 1996 
National Security Strategy of Engagement Enlargement Report, 
which he submitted to Congress last February. In that report to 
Congress, the President said, ``The United States will retain a 
triad of strategic nuclear forces sufficient to deter any 
future hostile foreign leadership with access to strategic 
nuclear forces from acting against our vital interests and to 
convince it that seeking a nuclear advantage would be futile. 
We will continue to maintain nuclear forces of such sufficient 
size and capability to hold at risk a broad range of assets 
valued by such political and military leaders.''
    Is your conclusion the same as mine that your statement is 
consistent with that statement of policy reflected in the 
President's February 1996 report to Congress?
    Mr. Slocombe. Yes, Senator Cochran, and indeed it 
incorporates that statement.
    Senator Cochran. There is a suggestion throughout the 
policy that while it may be unrealistic to have as a goal the 
elimination of nuclear weapons in the U.S. defense arsenal in 
the foreseeable future, it is not unrealistic to expect that we 
could get to low numbers of nuclear weapons and still have the 
same kind of deterrent impact. Is that a fair statement? That 
there is a difference between low numbers of nuclear weapons 
and no nuclear weapons as a matter of deterrence policy?
    Mr. Slocombe. Yes, indeed.
    Senator Cochran. There is some suggestion by some who say 
that if we were to have such low numbers that rogue States or 
other nations who think about developing a nuclear arsenal of 
their own could expect to match our arsenal or have enough 
power in their nuclear arsenal that they would risk the 
development of nuclear weapons, whereas if we had an 
overwhelming superiority, that because of expense, technical 
expertise or access to the ingredients for nuclear weapons 
production or maybe other reasons as well, that they would 
probably abandon any kind of notion. What is your reaction to 
that suggestion?
    Mr. Slocombe. As I said in the statement, it is our 
objective to reach the lowest prudent level of force for 
nuclear deterrence. What that low level is, of course, is a 
matter for analysis and study and not simply for assertion. 
Sometimes people talk about numbers in the couple of hundred 
range. For a variety of reasons, under current and foreseeable 
conditions, I believe that such low numbers would have a number 
of risks and disadvantages. One is the one you identify, that 
although very few proliferant countries would be able to get 
even to those numbers, it still is not totally out of the 
question with a massive program to match those numbers.
    Perhaps even more important, in an important sense what 
continues to be essential for a proper nuclear force is that it 
should be survivable, that it should not be susceptible to easy 
attack, and one inevitably worries, with forces of even a 
couple of hundred, whether you could meet that condition. It is 
our policy now that even the sharply reduced force should have 
a high level of survivability, and extremely low numbers have 
to be looked at very closely from that point of view.
    Thirdly, there are issues about the targeting doctrine that 
would have to be associated with such low forces. Those are 
difficult issues to go into in public session, but they tend to 
the conclusion that, unless you are content with the kind of 
strictly city-busting strategy, which has never been U.S. 
policy, there are powerful arguments not to have such small 
    Senator Cochran. In testimony in 1995, General Goodpaster 
mentioned that a 100 to 200 nuclear weapons should be 
sufficient for the United States, and President Clinton's 
current National Security Strategy calls ``for maintaining 
nuclear forces of sufficient size and capability to hold at 
risk a broad range of assets valued by such political and 
military leaders.'' I wonder if General Goodpaster's number 100 
to 200 would be ``of such sufficient size and capability? ''
    Mr. Slocombe. Well, it is obviously not our current policy 
and for the reasons stated I would have great difficulty in 
expecting to go to that low a level in the foreseeable future.
    Senator Cochran. In my opening statement, I mentioned that 
after the December 4 news conference at the National Press Club 
there was a follow-on statement by admirals and generals 
calling for a number of ``prerequisites'' that had to be 
fulfilled prior to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, 
and in their statement they say, ``The exact circumstances and 
conditions that will make it possible to proceed finally to 
abolition cannot now be foreseen or prescribed.'' And then they 
go on to set out certain prerequisites that are ``obvious and 
essential.'' One of those is ``a worldwide program of 
surveillance and inspection including measures to account for 
and control inventories of nuclear weapons materials.''
    Is such an international monitoring system feasible, and if 
so do we have the capacity or any indication that we could 
reach an international agreement for such monitoring?
    Mr. Slocombe. Well, I suppose it is hard to say that such a 
system is infeasible. It does not violate the laws of physics. 
It would obviously be extremely difficult to set up. That said, 
one of the things which I think we will want to look at in 
successive rounds of arms control efforts with Russia are our 
efforts to get control of nuclear weapons themselves as well as 
of the delivery systems for them. As the Subcommittee will be 
aware, the existing agreements all focus entirely on the 
launchers, the missiles, the bombers, and so on, rather than on 
the nuclear warheads themselves. I think an issue to which we 
should give very careful attention as we think about future 
rounds in this effort to reduce the level of danger and the 
level of risk is whether we can move to a system of control on 
the nuclear materials and the warheads themselves, and that 
will require very different and more intrusive system of 
inspection and verification in an area that even the United 
States, much less other countries, has always regarded as 
extraordinarily sensitive. That is an issue we are looking at 
    But the contrast between doing that in an effort to control 
and limit the size of arsenals and then trying to go to a 
system where you would have absolute assurance that nowhere in 
the world were people working on the development of nuclear 
weapons obviously would be a several orders of magnitude 
further step.
    Senator Cochran. There were several other prerequisites, as 
I mentioned, in this statement by international general and 
admirals. Another was that an international system could be 
supplanted by one in which regional systems for collective 
security including practical measures for cooperation, 
partnership, interaction and communication, would help protect 
us all from a nuclear threat. Would that permit the complete 
elimination of the need for nuclear weapons? Is that 
prerequisite plausible?
    Mr. Slocombe. As I understand it, one of the arguments 
which is made in behalf of abolition is that the kinds of 
security which is now assured by weapons including by nuclear 
weapons should in time be replaced by regional and 
international systems of what, in effect, would be a world 
government. That has been an aspiration of mankind for a very 
long time, and I think remains a legitimate aspiration. For a 
variety of reasons, I have some skepticism about whether it is 
going to happen terribly soon.
    I also should mention, as I mention in the statement, and I 
give credit to the generals and admirals statement for at least 
accepting the need to address these issues, which is not always 
done by people who advocate that position, they also talk about 
an agreed procedure for forcible international intervention and 
interruption of covert efforts in a certain and timely fashion. 
That is some kind of an enforcement mechanism. I think it is 
absolutely correct that if you are going to talk seriously 
about abolition as an objective, you have to address that part 
of the problem, and the difficulties with having such a system 
which would work and be acceptable are also, I think, quite 
    Senator Cochran. Thank you very much. Senator Levin.
    Senator Levin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Slocombe, 
I would like to start by asking you about the Nonproliferation 
Treaty, Article VI, and how the administration interprets that 
article. I think in your testimony, you indicated that that 
article means to us that we would seek the elimination of 
nuclear weapons and pursue negotiations toward that ultimate 
goal, but only in the context of an agreement on general and 
complete disarmament, presumably meaning conventional as well 
as nuclear disarmament. Is that correct?
    Mr. Slocombe. And chemical and biological and informational 
and other kinds, I suppose.
    Senator Levin. But is it the interpretation of that article 
that our obligation to pursue negotiations to eliminate nuclear 
weapons is contingent on an agreement on general and complete 
disarmament under strict and effective international control?
    Mr. Slocombe. As I understand the treaty, it has two 
elements in terms of what Article VI promises. The first is 
negotiations in good faith relating to the cessation of the 
nuclear arms race, and we regard that as an obligation 
independent of the goal of elimination of nuclear weapons. And 
I would assert that we have, in fact, fully--we need to do 
more--but we have fully satisfied that element of the Article 
VI requirement.
    Second, that the treaty, the NPT, reflects an ultimate goal 
of the elimination of force as an instrument in international 
relations, both nuclear and conventional and other kinds, and 
that it sets out, and I think wisely reflects, that for many of 
the reasons that were developed in the Chairman's line of 
questioning, to have a system in which nuclear weapons are 
eliminated implies transformations in the international 
environment. You are not simply talking about a technical 
problem of eliminating nuclear weapons, but the conditions to 
make that possible require transformations in the international 
environment and, in particular, on the role of force in 
international affairs. So that I think the short answer to your 
question is, yes, we do regard the goals of complete nuclear 
disarmament, nuclear abolition, if you will, and the goal of a 
treaty on general and complete disarmament as closely linked.
    Senator Levin. When you read the language, it does not make 
one contingent on the other.
    Mr. Slocombe. It does not, I suppose, but I believe that is 
our sense of what the realities of attaining either goal 
entail. If it turned out somehow that one could make 
significant progress toward nuclear abolition, I do not suppose 
it is, strictly speaking, contingent. It is just difficult for 
me to see how you could meet the kinds of requirements. This is 
not a question of the United States and Russia monitoring each 
other and having a mutual interest in restraint. It is a system 
which works equally well for Libya or the drug cartels or 
whoever, so that it is a very tall order.
    Senator Levin. I think with all the difficulty of 
understanding that, nonetheless, it seems pretty clear that 
Article VI makes one obligation non-contingent on the other 
obligation. Would you comment?
    Mr. Slocombe. Senator, may I suggest that we get a formal 
legal judgment from the Office of Legal Adviser at State who 
will have the responsibility for interpreting treaties?
    Senator Levin. Yes. Do you know whether or not the other 
parties to this treaty consider one obligation contingent on 
the other? Are you familiar with it?
    Mr. Slocombe. I understand that the proper interpretation 
of Article VI is a matter of very substantial dispute.
    Senator Levin. Would you agree with Secretary Cohen that 
there would have to be significant nuclear reductions in the 
future? He is referring to numbers of nuclear weapons below the 
START II levels.
    Mr. Slocombe. Oh, yes, I think that that is a very high 
priority. It is one of the reasons it is important to get START 
II ratified in Russia so we can move on to lower levels.
    Senator Levin. Is one of the problems with START II 
ratification by the Russian Duma that it tends to drive them 
toward the production of a single warhead ICBM which they 
cannot afford?
    Mr. Slocombe. That argument is sometimes made, yes.
    Senator Levin. Do you think there is reason behind that 
    Mr. Slocombe. At least the argument coheres. You can 
understand what they are talking about, and I think the 
solution to that, and we are working on that, is to make clear 
that we are prepared after START II comes into effect to move 
forward immediately to agree on lower levels for START III, 
which, whatever the virtue, the rights and wrongs of that 
argument, will make it unnecessary for them to build up the 
kind of levels that they are talking about. This has to do with 
a substitute--as I understand it, the argument is they have to 
get rid of the MIRVed ICBMs, and yet to fill up their quota 
they would have to build a single RV system.
    Senator Levin. Well, that was one of our goals in START II, 
to get away from the multi-warheaded land-based missiles, 
    Mr. Slocombe. Oh, yes, and it is indeed one of the 
important accomplishments of the treaty, probably the central 
accomplishment rather than----
    Senator Levin. We did not like the multiple-warheaded 
    Mr. Slocombe. Exactly.
    Senator Levin. So in START II, we got away from them in 
terms of ICBMs. That was a goal of ours. Now the Russians face 
the situation where, to have the limit allowed to them, they 
need to build single warhead ICBMs, and they say they do not 
have the money to do it. So they say let us agree to a START 
III agreement so they do not have to lay out money, they do not 
have to build the single warhead ICBMs. Is that basically what 
they are arguing?
    Mr. Slocombe. That is one of many arguments they make.
    Senator Levin. Is that one of many arguments that they are 
    Mr. Slocombe. Yes.
    Senator Levin. And you think it is not an unreasonable 
    Mr. Slocombe. It is not only not an unreasonable argument, 
it is an argument that we are prepared to meet by commitment to 
go forward immediately after the treaty comes into effect to 
agree on lower levels----
    Senator Levin. Right.
    Mr. Slocombe [continuing]. Under which they would not have 
to build up to the levels that give them the problem. I 
personally have some difficulty with their purported 
calculations of why this is infeasible and so on, but I 
understand what the argument is.
    Senator Levin. Do you mean financially infeasible?
    Mr. Slocombe. Yes.
    Senator Levin. If we are willing to negotiate to a lower 
level to avoid that problem for them, are we willing to 
negotiate some kind of a framework for that level now so they 
would know when they ratify START II that there is an agreed 
upon framework of some kind?
    Mr. Slocombe. That is certainly one of the options we have 
been talking about, yes. It has been done in a variety of other 
contexts with nuclear arms limitation treaties, and it is a 
model which may well be applicable in this context.
    Senator Levin. OK. In your statement, you say that we have 
made clear that once START II enters into force, we are 
prepared to work on further reductions, and so, as I understand 
your answer to my question, we are prepared to work on further 
reductions at least in terms of a framework for further 
reductions before START II enters into effect; is that correct?
    Mr. Slocombe. That is at least one of the options we are 
talking about with them as well as internally. One of the 
reasons that I say that their point about having to build up 
single RV ICBMs is only one of many arguments as relates to 
this question of why it is important to get the START II 
limitations in place as a legally binding agreement because we 
do not want to reopen a lot of other contentious issues where I 
think if we say, well, now, let us renegotiate the number, 
there would be very heavy pressures to do that, and as you 
know, Senator, these are difficult agreements to reach. There 
have, in fact, been four of them. It is important to go step by 
step. Each one then can be followed by a better agreement, but 
if you do not take the agreements which have been entered into 
and get them nailed down, various pressures arise, indeed, to 
some degree in both countries, to go back and renegotiate a lot 
of other issues.
    Senator Levin. Do you agree we want to negotiate lower 
limits to START II?
    Mr. Slocombe. I do not agree we want to negotiate lower 
limits. I do not want to change the limits.
    Senator Levin. I did not say in START II. You want to 
negotiate lower limits than exist in START II?
    Mr. Slocombe. Yes, as a next step.
    Senator Levin. So do they.
    Mr. Slocombe. That is correct.
    Senator Levin. It is important to them, before they ratify 
START II, that there be some awareness of those lower limits so 
they do not then need--from their perspective--to start 
building a single warhead ICBM that would then be prohibited in 
any follow-on agreement. And I am trying to find out from you 
why you seem to be reluctant to say what I have read 20 times 
in 20 different newspapers.
    Mr. Slocombe. No, I am not reluctant at all. This is an 
eminently solvable problem and one of the good ways to solve it 
is this framework agreement approach that you are talking 
    Senator Levin. And if we are able to achieve that framework 
approach, then, in fact, we are prepared to work on further 
reductions, at least in terms of a framework even before START 
II enters into effect; is that correct?
    Mr. Slocombe. The short answer is yes.
    Senator Levin. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Cochran. Senator Stevens.


    Senator Stevens. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am 
sorry to come in late, Mr. Secretary. I have gone over your 
statement quickly. I had it last night also. Tell me where do 
you think our ballistic missile defense system fits into this 
    Mr. Slocombe. It is certainly an important element of our 
overall defense policy. I see it as having two roles. One has 
to do with theater missile defense, and these both relate to 
the proliferation issue. We face an immediate ballistic missile 
threat, a short-term ballistic missile threat from not a lot 
but a number of rogue States, North Korea, Iran, potentially 
Iraq, to the degree we do not keep them under the sanctions 
regime. So we have an immediate priority for tactical theater 
missile defense. That is where the focus of our effort goes.
    Second, I and the administration are quite willing to 
acknowledge that if we saw a rogue State, a potential 
proliferant, beginning to develop a long-range ICBM capable of 
reaching the United States, we would have to give very, very 
serious attention to deploying a limited national missile 
defense so as to be able to protect against that threat, and 
that is the thrust of our policy. So I agree. Ballistic missile 
defense both at the theater and the national missile defense 
level are a part of the policy. At the moment, we do not see 
that, we do not see the threat at the national missile defense 
level, but in any event, we are embarked on what now I guess 
one should call the two plus three program. That is to have now 
within 2 years developed limited national missile defense 
system capable of being deployed within a 3-year period but 
without a commitment at this point to deploy it because at this 
point we do not see the threat emerging.
    Senator Stevens. Well, I and the senator from Hawaii noted 
with interest that national intelligence estimate said the 
continental United States, the 48 States, do not face a threat 
within 15 years. But we happen to come from states that are 
outside the continental limits, and we see a threat within 15 
    Mr. Slocombe. I understand that aspect of the problem.
    Senator Stevens. Does not the nuclear deterrence have 
something to do with reining in that threat?
    Mr. Slocombe. Nuclear deterrence has an important element 
in reining in the threat worldwide including against U.S. 
forces who are deployed.
    Senator Stevens. Well, until we have a capable national 
missile defense, would you recommend that we pursue a policy of 
not having a nuclear deterrence?
    Mr. Slocombe. No.
    Senator Stevens. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Slocombe. No, I believe that for the foreseeable 
future, we are going to need a deterrent capability to deal 
with a wide range of threats including proliferants. But that 
is not the only thing on which we rely, and there is a role for 
missile defense as well.
    Senator Stevens. Well, Mr. Chairman, let me reengage a 
little bit here. You said there is no reasonable prospect that 
all declared de facto nuclear powers will agree in the near 
term to give up all their nuclear weapons. As long as one such 
State refused to do so, it would be necessary for us to retain 
nuclear force on our own. But I am asking you is that the only 
requirement for us to have a nuclear deterrence?
    Mr. Slocombe. No.
    Senator Stevens. If we have one State that retains nuclear 
    Mr. Slocombe. I believe that as long as one State that is 
known to have nuclear weapons does not agree to give them up, 
the notion of other countries unilaterally, at least of the 
United States--other countries can decide for themselves--the 
notion of the United States unilaterally giving up nuclear 
weapons would not be in our national interest. I am not sure I 
    Senator Stevens. I am trying to understand whether you are 
saying if we have an agreement from those who have nuclear 
power now that they would give up all their nuclear weapons, as 
far as you are concerned, we would have no use for deterrence?
    Mr. Slocombe. No, that is not my view, and I think it is 
not what the statement says.
    Senator Stevens. That is what I understood, and I thank you 
very much. I agree with you.
    Senator Cochran. Mr. Secretary, I understand the 
administration supports a production complex that could help 
ensure the continued safety, reliability, and effectiveness of 
nuclear weapons that you have talked about our needing for 
future deterrent purposes. My question is about the testing of 
these weapons. You mentioned the negotiation, the successful 
negotiation, I think was your word, of the Comprehensive Test 
Ban Treaty. There is a proposal to have a Science-Based 
Stockpile Stewardship and Management program. I think it would 
be managed by the Department of Energy and the Department of 
Defense under a joint arrangement. Do you expect this 
stewardship program is going to fulfil the need to ensure the 
continued safety, reliability, and effectiveness of the nuclear 
weapons that the administration proposes that we maintain? How 
are we going to know that these weapons are reliable if we do 
not test them?
    Mr. Slocombe. First of all, yes, I do anticipate that it 
will meet that objective. That is certainly the purpose of the 
program. As it goes forward, there will be a system in which 
annually the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense 
based on the advice of military and technical experts will have 
to certify that the stockpile is safe and reliable as indeed 
they do today.
    I believe that the Stockpile Stewardship program and things 
which can be done without testing will enable those 
certifications to be made. The certifications, of course, are 
made on a detailed analysis of the condition of the weapons and 
the expected behavior under various conditions and so on. As 
you know, the President has said that if--and let me just read 
the statement--``In the event that I were informed by the 
Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy advised by the 
Nuclear Weapons Council, the directors of DOE's nuclear weapons 
laboratories, and the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, 
that a high level of confidence in the safety or reliability of 
a nuclear weapon type, which the two secretaries consider to be 
critical to our nuclear deterrent, could no longer be 
certified, I would be prepared in consultation with Congress to 
exercise our supreme national interest rights under the CTBT in 
order to conduct whatever testing might be required.''
    Senator Cochran. The Department of Energy under the Nuclear 
Posture Review is required ``to maintain capability to design, 
fabricate and certify new warheads.'' Some weapons experts have 
stated that any new nuclear weapons design would require 
testing prior to production and deployment. Under that 
circumstance, would you also expect that we would exercise our 
supreme national interest and permit such testing of newly 
designed nuclear warheads?
    Mr. Slocombe. First of all, it is not absolutely clear that 
a newly developed nuclear weapon would require testing. If it 
were the judgment that it was impossible or that we could not 
maintain an adequately reliable stockpile because we had to 
design a new weapon, for example, because of concerns about an 
old one, then the procedure that I outlined would apply. To be 
clear, we maintain the capacity to design new weapons. We do 
some design of potential backups and replacements. Under 
current circumstances, we do not foresee a requirement to 
design new weapons from the ground up, but we will retain that 
capacity, the capacity to do so.
    Senator Cochran. You mentioned Secretary Perry's admonition 
that we should lead and hedge. And I wonder if one of the ways 
that we should follow up Senator Stevens' question, is by 
developing and deploying a national missile defense system?
    Mr. Slocombe. We are developing both a national missile 
defense capability and a variety of theater missile defense 
capabilities, and as I have explained in answer to Senator 
Stevens' question, it is certainly our policy that we will go 
forward with deployment of the theater systems as they become 
available, and that if we believe that we see a threat to which 
the national missile defense is an appropriate response, we 
would be in a position to do that.
    Senator Cochran. Would you agree that ballistic missile 
defense systems could help deter rogue regimes, some of whom 
have limited financial resources, from pursuing a policy of 
ballistic missile development?
    Mr. Slocombe. Yes. It is not the only factor in deterrent. 
Nuclear weapons can be delivered by a variety of devices other 
than ballistic missiles, and indeed to some degree it seems to 
me that a country which has somehow kluged together a limited 
ballistic missile capability and had only a few missiles of 
uncertain reliability might be reluctant to commit what would 
also be a rather limited nuclear arsenal to deliver it that 
way. But I concede that the sign of the effect is certainly the 
way you put it. It is not a perfect deterrent.
    I also just for the record should make clear that what we 
are talking about, what I think everybody is talking about now 
in terms of a national missile defense system, is a missile 
defense against the kind of threat you are describing. That is 
a very limited attack from a rogue State, not a fully developed 
missile attack from a first-class power.
    Senator Cochran. But you did say that you were in favor, 
and the administration was, pursuing the development of a 
national defense system.
    Mr. Slocombe. Oh, yes.
    Senator Cochran. A national ballistic missile defense 
    Mr. Slocombe. Yes, but I think in the whole controversy, 
the whole argument on all sides, has been about developing a 
system which is aimed very much at a limited attack.
    Senator Cochran. OK. Senator Levin, do you have any other 
    Senator Levin. Well, there are a lot of issues involved in 
the national missile defense debate.
    Mr. Slocombe. Oh yes.
    Senator Levin. One of them, would you not agree, is whether 
or not to make a commitment to deploy that system before the 
technology is developed and before there is an assessment of 
the threat?
    Mr. Slocombe. Absolutely. It is certainly a core part of 
our policy that we will develop a system, we will have 
something which could be developed and therefore we could make 
a decision to move to deployment within a couple of years for 
exactly the reasons you State. We think it would be imprudent 
to go forward to that deployment unless we had much, much 
better evidence than we have now that we faced an actual as 
opposed to a potential threat. And one reason for that is once 
you commit to deployment, you have to commit to a specific 
system. If you can continue development, you can improve the 
technology and have a better system. Also, to the degree you 
know something about the threat you are defending against, you 
are able to design the system more adequately to meet the 
particular threat.
    Senator Levin. And is it also not true that, since one of 
our goals is nuclear reductions, a commitment to deploy a 
system which violates the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty might, 
in fact, end the possibility of significant reductions because 
the Russians have indicated that those reductions are dependent 
on not having to face defenses which are in violation of that 
ABM treaty?
    Mr. Slocombe. This is another argument they make. We 
believe that, first of all, the development program will be 
consistent with the ABM Treaty.
    Senator Levin. Is this a statement that they have made? 
Forget the argument. But have they not made the statement?
    Mr. Slocombe. Oh, yes. My point is that they have a whole 
long list of arguments they make for why they have not ratified 
the treaty.
    Senator Levin. Excuse me one second, but is it not true 
that they have said specifically that one of the reasons that 
they may not ratify START II is the possibility that we would 
violate an agreement relative to defenses--the ABM Treaty--is 
that not true?
    Mr. Slocombe. Yes, that is true. That is one of many 
arguments that they have made.
    Senator Levin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Seantor Cochran. Senator Stevens, any further questions of 
this witness? Secretary Slocombe, thank you very much for being 
here and for assisting our Committee in the way that you have.
    Mr. Slocombe. Senator, before I leave, having looked at 
Richard Perle's statement, I am reminded that Dorothy Fosdick 
worked for this Committee for many years.
    Senator Cochran. Yes.
    Mr. Slocombe. And I did not always agree with Dorothy 
Fosdick, but she was a distinguished public servant, and I and 
her many friends in the Department of Defense mourn her loss.
    Senator Cochran. Thank you very much for your thoughtful 
    Senator Stevens. I might say that having traveled with 
Dickie Lincoln for many times, on many occasions--I know 
Richard Perle has got a comment in there in his statement 
also--she was a wonderful person and worked very closely with 
Senator Jackson when he was Chairman and went on to other 
things with Senator Jackson. I had not known that she had 
passed away, but I agree with you, she was a wonderful asset to 
this Committee.
    Senator Cochran. Thank you, Senator. Thank you very much, 
Mr. Secretary.
    Mr. Slocombe. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Slocombe follows:]


    Senator Cochran. Let me invite our other witnesses to come 
forward now, General Goodpaster and Richard Perle. I mentioned 
in my opening statement something about the background and 
qualifications of our distinguished witnesses who will make up 
our concluding panel for today's hearing. We are very pleased 
and honored that both of these gentlemen would be able to come 
today and present their views and comments to the Subcommittee 
on the subject that we have under review.
    General Andrew Goodpaster's public service is well known 
and has spanned 7 decades. We congratulate you on your 
distinguished service to the United States, and we welcome you 
to the hearing. You may proceed.


    Senator Cochran. Thank you, General Goodpaster. I hope it 
will not embarrass you for me to wish you a happy birthday. I 
know that February 12 is your birthday, and we congratulate 
    General Goodpaster. Thank you very much.
    Senator Cochran. And wish you many more.
    General Goodpaster. I share it with two men for whom I have 
the highest regard: President Lincoln and General Omar Bradley.
    Senator Cochran. That is pretty good company.
    General Goodpaster. I think so.
    [The prepared statement of General Goodpaster follows:]


    Senator Cochran. Our next member of the panel is Richard 
Perle, who is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise 
Institute. He was formerly senior defense adviser during the 
administration of President Reagan, and he was a staff member 
of this Committee for a number of years working closely with 
former Senator ``Scoop'' Jackson. Mr. Perle, we welcome you to 
the Committee. You may proceed.

                      ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE

    [The prepared statement of Mr. Perle follows:]

    Senator Cochran. Thank you very much, Mr. Perle, and thank 
you both for the comments and the remarks that you have 
provided to the Committee today. I must say that this is truly 
educational, and reading the statements in preparing for this 
hearing has given me a greater depth of understanding and 
appreciation of the issues involved in this subject than I had 
before, and I know that other senators have had similar 
experiences. I hope that this Subcommittee can continue a 
series of hearings on this and similar subjects so we can 
explore the underpinnings of our policies in this regard. We 
all want to do what we can to contribute toward the security 
interests of the United States and also the safety and security 
of mankind. I do not think that is too lofty a goal to 
undertake to accomplish, and the United States at this 
particular moment in its history is uniquely situated to do 
more than anyone, do more than any other country, in the 
furtherance of that goal.
    So I do not see anything wrong with having goals like world 
peace or agreements to deal more sanely with weapons and the 
potential for mass destruction. Verification is, of course, 
essential in all of this. President Reagan's admonition about 
trusting but verifying is all too important for us to forget, 
and so in the real world there are essential factors that we 
must take into account that have a limiting effect on what our 
ambitions may be at the moment. As Senator Levin pointed out 
and others have mentioned, Secretary Slocombe when he 
testified, I think mankind generally shares in the goal and the 
hope that is reflected in the provisions of some of these 
agreements like the NPT.
    But the real question, it seems to me, is what is happening 
here in the real world today, and whether or not we may have 
seen some news accounts getting maybe carried away with the 
hype of stories. I notice, for example, in the Christian 
Science Monitor, General Goodpaster wrote an essay, and he 
talked along the lines that he has commented today on this 
subject, but yet if you look at the headline of the essay in 
the Christian Science Monitor, the article from December 16, 
``Nuclear Weapons: Time to Phase Them Out? Yes. Utility is Low 
and Risks High.'' But in the lead sentence, what General 
Goodpaster says is there are compelling reasons for major new 
initiatives to reduce the world's nuclear weapons arsenals. 
Well, that is a lot less than what is in the headline, and that 
is the lead, and the rest of it goes on from there.
    I am not suggesting that people write headlines to capture 
attention and sell newspapers--heaven forbid--but we know that 
happens. I think we have seen here today some that have been 
referred to where the hype has prevailed over the content. So I 
think to some extent the media hype that has become almost 
overwhelming in this discussion and in this debate. Having said 
that, let me just ask a couple questions of General Goodpaster.
    Senator Stevens. Mr. Chairman, would you yield just a 
    Senator Cochran. Senator Stevens. I would be happy to 
    Senator Stevens. I have to leave, but I just wanted to 
thank General Goodpaster and Richard Perle for coming and tell 
you, Mr. Chairman, that I congratulate you for starting this 
series of hearings, and I hope that we will keep up this 
inquiry because I too was taken with the statement of the 
generals, but I understand a lot better after reading General 
Goodpaster's statement today, and, General, being as I think 
the last Eisenhower appointee to serve in the Congress, I 
welcome you here. I remember distinctly as a young man walking 
into the White House and seeing you there. You are a great 
encouragement to all of us, your vitality and your interests 
and the things you are involved in. So I join in saying happy 
birthday to you and welcome you here.
    General Goodpaster. Thank you, sir. Nothing like 
durability. [Laughter.]
    Senator Cochran. Thank you, Senator Stevens. There is a 
question about whether or not nuclear deterrence would have an 
effect in diminishing the ambition of others to use weapons 
that are non-nuclear, such as biological and chemical weapons. 
I must inquire as to whether or not you think, and I'll ask 
this of both our distinguished witnesses, the recent experience 
of the Gulf War is informative on that score. There have been a 
couple of statements that have come out of discussions with 
those who were involved with the Iraqi military. An Iraqi 
intelligence official, General Samurai, has openly discussed 
the fact that the decision about whether to use chemical 
weapons or biological weapons against the troops on our side in 
that conflict was affected by our nuclear arms capability.
    I am going to read his quote. It says, ``I do not think 
Saddam was capable of taking a decision to use chemical weapons 
or biological weapons against the allied troops because the 
warning was quite severe and quite effective. The allied troops 
were certain to use nuclear arms, and the price will be too 
dear and too high.'' There was another statement attributed to 
Tariq Aziz, the foreign minister of Iraq, in a conversation 
with Secretary of State James Baker. He talked about the 
overwhelming conventional power that would be brought to bear 
against Iraq, but also a suggestion that ``Iraq could survive 
and this leadership will decide the future of Iraq.''
    Some think that there is utility in the nuclear capability 
in terms of deterrence against the development of other weapons 
systems besides nuclear weapons and the threat or use of them. 
That seems to be either not taken into account or discounted in 
the statement that General Goodpaster and Butler issued. Am I 
reading that correctly, General?
    General Goodpaster. I think the question of the adequacy of 
our conventional forces for that role, that question is open. I 
do not believe it can be fully resolved today. I take refuge in 
the fact that it does not have to be resolved today because of 
the continued existence of our nuclear weapons, and I would 
hope that by the time we get to what I call the lowest 
verifiable level where we could consider the possibility of 
complete elimination, by that time it can be resolved and would 
be resolved in favor of sole reliance on conventional arms 
alone, but in practical terms in the world that we live in, the 
continued existence of our nuclear capability has significant 
weight, I believe, as a deterrent to other countries, rogue 
countries, developing and threatening the use or actually using 
these weapons.
    Senator Cochran. Mr. Perle, any reaction to the idea of the 
utility of nuclear weapons in terms of deterrence against the 
development of weapons of mass destruction development and 
threats of use of those weapons?
    Mr. Perle. I think it was almost certainly in Saddam 
Hussein's mind that if he went beyond a certain point, we might 
well respond with a nuclear weapon, and it will always be in 
the mind of a non-nuclear State that has to contemplate that. 
So there is a deterrent shadow even against the use of other 
weapons of mass destruction or for that matter against 
particularly egregious actions. We would be foolish to give 
that up, and I do not think anyone is suggesting that we give 
that up now, and it is not clear to me why we would want to 
give it up in the future either.
    Senator Cochran. In addition to the statement about 
bringing down the numbers of nuclear weapons dramatically on 
our side and working toward agreements with others to do 
likewise, there is a suggestion that reducing the alert status 
of nuclear weapons may also contribute to further stability and 
less risky relationship with other countries. What is your 
reaction to that, Mr. Perle? I know that is in the Christian 
Science Monitor essay by General Goodpaster, where he advocates 
reducing the alert status of nuclear weapons.
    Mr. Perle. I think it is important to do everything we can 
to diminish the likelihood that a nuclear weapon might ever be 
used in circumstances where we did not intend to use it. And 
the so-called hair trigger has been a problem from the 
beginning. A great many systems have been developed to try to 
control that, and I think we have a very good system of control 
in place. I would not dismiss out of hand changes in alert 
status that might reduce still further the possibility of an 
accidental or unintended use of nuclear weapons.
    Senator Cochran. I think General Goodpaster pointed out 
correctly that there already has been a lot of change in terms 
of targeting and other doctrines and policies on the part of 
Russia and the United States with respect to the nuclear 
weapons arsenals. And I suppose the changes in alert status 
have already taken place in many instances, and there have been 
descriptions by Secretary Slocombe about the numbers of weapon 
systems that have been set aside and are not available for use 
anymore by the United States. Have there been changes that 
maybe the general public does not know that you could tell us 
about that would give us some evidence of how this works or how 
it is a part of the new emerging nuclear doctrine of the United 
    General Goodpaster. There have been changes that bear on 
the State of alert and the risks that that represents. First of 
all, the complete elimination of the SS-20 on their side and 
the Pershings and cruise missiles on our side was a very 
important step, and one of the drivers behind that step was to 
eliminate this hair trigger situation that existed with respect 
to those weapons. On the matter of changing the alerts, of 
course, there have been the agreements to detarget the weapons 
that we have. Those agreements are significant but limited in 
that the weapons could be retargeted quite quickly. Further 
steps in reducing the alert status will require very, very 
careful consideration, and in that consideration I would hope 
that great attention would be given to the importance of 
reducing, finding ways to assure that the alert status of the 
Russian missiles, in particular that the alert status of those 
missiles has, in fact, been reduced at a time when the 
situation of their armed forces is really almost chaotic. That 
is a special risk, it seems to me, that requires special 
    Mr. Perle. Could I just add, Mr. Chairman?
    Senator Cochran. Mr. Perle.
    Mr. Perle. The principal reason for the high alert status, 
which was important during the Cold War, was a concern that a 
well-crafted concerted attack on our retaliatory capability 
could so degrade it that we would not, in fact, have a credible 
deterrent. Of all the things one could do to lessen the burden 
of quick response and therefore the need for alert forces, the 
development of a ballistic missile defense seems to me a 
terribly important one. That is to say if we were confident 
that the critical elements of our deterrent would survive an 
attack, we would not feel it necessary to maintain an ability 
to respond instantly.
    So this is why I was surprised that there was no reference 
to a defense in this statement of the admirals and generals 
since a defense would permit us to do a great many things of 
the kind that they suggest, reducing numbers of weapons, 
reducing their alert status as well.
    Senator Cochran. Senator Levin, do you have questions?
    Senator Levin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First, let me wish 
you also a happy birthday, General. I will not ask you what 
number, but how old are you? [Laughter.]
    General Goodpaster. Eighty-two, today.
    Senator Levin. Congratulations.
    General Goodpaster. That used to seem like a big number, 
but it has gotten a great deal smaller.
    Senator Levin. Well, my father-in-law is 99 this week so 
you've got a ways to go. It seems to me that once General 
Goodpaster has said that nobody knows whether, when or how to 
eliminate nuclear weapons in a prudent way, that the real issue 
now should shift to how we can get to the next and whether we 
should get to the next level of reductions. Whether you accept 
the ultimate elimination as a goal or not, there seems to be 
some agreement that we ought to reduce it below the current 
level or that we might want to reduce it below the current 
level. So I would like to focus on that. It strikes me that it 
is in our interest that Russia not develop a new single warhead 
ICBM. It is in their interest, they say, too, because they do 
not have the money. It would seem to me it is in our interest 
that no new nuclear weapon systems be developed by anybody 
else. Would you agree with that?
    Mr. Perle. No, I do not think I would agree with that.
    Senator Levin. OK. I said by anybody else----
    Mr. Perle. I think you always want to keep technical 
options open.
    Senator Levin. I thought you said you would rather there be 
no weapons in anybody's hands other than ours?
    Mr. Perle. Except ours, yes.
    Senator Levin. So that is why I said would it not be then 
in our interest that no weapon be developed by anybody else?
    Mr. Perle. Other than--oh, yes, anybody else. Yes, I agree 
with that.
    Senator Levin. All right.
    Mr. Perle. Unless, unless----
    Senator Levin. That may be the last thing we agree on. At 
least I want to establish that.
    Mr. Perle. Unless you had the substitution of a less 
dangerous weapon for a more dangerous weapon.
    Senator Levin. All right. That is a fair qualification. By 
the way, before I go on I want to ask, Mr. Chairman, that 
Senator Glenn's statement and a set of questions that he would 
like to be inserted for the record be inserted at the 
appropriate time.
    Senator Cochran. Without objection it is so ordered.
    Senator Levin. One of your last paragraphs, Mr. Perle, says 
that you believe the U.S. stockpile of nuclear weapons is 
larger than is necessary for deterrence and can safely be 
reduced. And I want to just press you on that issue. I know you 
very much favor a national missile defense, and that came later 
in your statement near the end. But in the absence of a 
national missile defense, would you still agree that it is 
possible, at least, that we could reduce our nuclear weapons 
stockpile below the START II level in a safe way?
    Mr. Perle. Yes, I think so.
    Senator Levin. All right. If it would be helpful in that 
regard to work out some kind of a framework agreement with the 
Russians, which does not amend START II--it leaves START II 
exactly as we have negotiated--but then says that upon START II 
coming into force, we would then seek to negotiate a further 
reduction to some lower level than START II, would you be 
willing to consider such a framework agreement as possibly 
being in our national security interest?
    Mr. Perle. It could be. I would be cautious about framework 
agreements in general because there is a long history in our 
negotiations with the Soviets--and they are by and large the 
same people and in some cases by name and face the same 
people--there is a long history of framework agreements, which 
of necessity by definition are lacking in critical details, 
becoming an obstacle to good, well-crafted agreements because 
you have a general agreement in principle that the effect and 
consequences of which can be substantially altered, even 
undermined, by the way details are handled, and there is then, 
particularly in democratic societies, great pressure to wrap 
things up and concede on those very important details, but I 
see no problem whatsoever in making it clear to the Russians 
that we do not think they should be investing more money in new 
nuclear systems unless nuclear systems that they require are 
antiquated and unsafe. And I certainly would not want to rule 
out the substitution of safer for unsafe systems.
    Senator Levin. In that regard then, would you think it 
might be wise for us to seek some mechanism where we could 
provide a pathway to further reductions beyond START II so as 
to give the Russians the kind of assurance that they say they 
need to ratify START II?
    Mr. Perle. I am reluctant to take at face value the claim 
that the problem in the ratification of START II is the 
argument they have advanced and that you have cited. I think it 
is a more complicated picture than that, and I think this is an 
excuse. At the very least, it is an excuse. It may be more than 
an excuse.
    Senator Levin. All right. If you view it as an excuse, to 
remove that excuse----
    Mr. Perle. Yes, I would happily remove that.
    Senator Levin. To remove that excuse, would it not be in 
our interest to try to find some mechanism which lays out a 
pathway to a lower level since you acknowledge a lower level--
    Mr. Perle. Sure.
    Senator Levin [continuing]. Is consistent with our national 
    Mr. Perle. Senator, given the very different circumstances 
that prevail after the end of the Cold War, I would not be 
adverse to our reducing to a level that we thought appropriate 
even in the absence of an agreement with the Soviet Union. I no 
longer believe that what was at one time the importance of not 
making unilateral reductions under any circumstances applies. 
We should have the force that we think makes sense, that we 
think meets our security requirements, and in some respects 
that will turn out to be independent of the size and nature of 
the Russian force.
    Senator Levin. And that being true--that we would consider 
a reduction below START II unilaterally--is it not doubly true 
then that working out some appropriate pathway to such a 
level--which would remove the excuse, in your words, but 
however it is viewed--and permit the Duma to move to 
ratification of START II, might be in our interest?
    Mr. Perle. Sure.
    Senator Levin. Would you agree that Russia is no longer our 
    Mr. Perle. I certainly do not consider them our adversary. 
I think they still have people in positions of responsibility 
who regard us as an adversary, however, and I----
    Senator Levin. You personally do not regard them as an 
    Mr. Perle. No. They are too disorganized to be an 
    Senator Levin. Other than that?
    Mr. Perle. Well, I think clearly there is a struggle going 
on among competing views of what Russia should be. They are 
going through a kind of national identity crisis, the outcome 
of which is uncertain. So while I do not believe that Boris 
Yeltsin is seized with the importance of maintaining a nuclear 
capability superior to that of the United States, I do not know 
what will come next, and I think in this very uncertain 
situation our focus ought to be on structuring our military 
forces, nuclear and non-nuclear, in way that we think meets our 
security requirements and that recognizes the inherent 
uncertainty about where Russia will be and what the next 
Russian leadership will consider to be in their interest.
    Senator Levin. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Cochran. Thank you, Senator. Let me ask a couple of 
questions about some current topics of concern. One is in Libya 
today at Tarhuna, there is concern about the development of a 
weapons capability in an underground--I do not know all the 
intelligence, and I am not a member of the Intelligence 
Committee, and I do not mean to be divulging any secrets 
because I do not know any secrets on this subject, but this is 
what I have read in the paper--where there may be an effort to 
develop a weapon of mass destruction of some kind, chemical, 
who knows what. There was a question asked of an assistant to 
the secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological 
defense, April of last year; Dr. Harold Smith was the witness. 
He said when he was asked do we have a weapon that we could use 
if we felt it was in our security interest to destroy that 
facility, recalling that Israel took a similar action when Iraq 
was developing what it considered to be a nuclear capability, 
and they took out a plant, Dr. Smith said ``We could not take 
it out of commission using strictly conventional weapons.''
    Now, I assume from his answer that we might be able to take 
it out of commission if we used some kind of weapon, and the 
only kind of weapon I think we would have would be a nuclear 
weapon. So, it would seem that the capability to destroy a 
target like that may be a reason to have nuclear weapons in our 
arsenal. If our security we were threatened by the development 
of a weapons of mass destruction production facility, this 
capability is something that we would like to have. General 
Goodpaster and Mr. Perle, do you believe Dr. Smith is 
incorrect? Could we destroy such a target with conventional 
forces only, and if not, do you agree that we do need to 
maintain a nuclear capability under such circumstances if we 
decided that it was in our security interest to destroy a 
target like that?
    General Goodpaster. Well, if I could answer first, let me 
say that I think that Harold Smith knows what he is talking 
about, and I would honor his statement and his judgment. It is 
not immediately sure, however, that nuclear weapons could do 
what he says the conventional weapons could not do. I think 
this would be a matter if we are confronted with that 
situation, this would be a matter on which very, very thorough 
and careful analysis would be required by our military 
authorities, and I do not know what the outcome of that would 
    Senator Cochran. Mr. Perle.
    Mr. Perle. Well, I think it is likely that a nuclear weapon 
of sufficient size could destroy even that plant, and so I for 
that and for other reasons would not wish to give up nuclear 
weapons, but I do think that we should be working hard at 
developing a conventional capability to attack and destroy 
targets of that nature. I believe that we have the component 
technologies to do that, and the issue is will we fashion them 
into a system capable of going after deep underground 
    I think it is a serious shortcoming in the arsenal that we 
do not have, but during the Gulf War we cobbled something 
together rather quickly which was brilliantly innovative. We 
used long withdrawn from service artillery tubes, maybe naval 
guns--I do not recall--and converted them into bombs, and they 
were able to penetrate very substantial distances and destroy 
underground bunkers. That is a very useful capability to have. 
We ought to have something in the arsenal that can do that, and 
this is a bit off the subject, but it worries me a lot, that 
the budget for investment in technologies of this kind has been 
declining so rapidly that if we do not find a way to reorganize 
the way we use our defense resources, we will find that we are 
missing an opportunity to develop non-nuclear substitutes for 
nuclear weapons.
    Senator Cochran. It strikes me that we were confronted by a 
similar situation when North Korea appeared to be proceeding to 
develop a nuclear weapon capability. There was a lot of 
question about what was going on, where it was taking place, 
perhaps in underground facilities, and there were discussions 
about what to do, not necessarily at the highest level of 
military strategy but here in the Senate. I know on a trip I 
took with others to Korea, we had reason to talk about this 
with our military leaders there, to try to find out what the 
risk was. We have 37,000 troops in South Korea right now, and 
the threat that they would be under with a nuclear weapon 
capability in North Korea is very troubling. Today Secretary 
Slocombe said that the North Korean nuclea proglem is 
effectively under control now. We hope it is. What is your view 
of that situation? Is that another argument for a continuing 
nuclear capability for the purpose of deterring the 
construction and the development of a nuclear weapon capability 
on that Korean peninsula? Mr. Perle, I will ask you that.
    Mr. Perle. Clearly, if we did not have a nuclear 
capability, it would only encourage the North Koreans to try 
even harder to get one because the effect that their acquiring 
a nuclear monopoly would have. So the answer is unambiguously 
yes, and it is precisely in this sort of situation that it 
becomes very clear that the idea that our nuclear force somehow 
encourages proliferation is seen for the nonsense it is. It 
discourages proliferation in my view.
    Senator Cochran. General Goodpaster?
    General Goodpaster. I would concur with that. The moment 
you say that a nuclear threat is being generated against us, I 
think you call into the question the use of our nuclear 
capabilities because one of their roles is, under counter-
proliferation, to deter and if necessary defeat and destroy 
quickly and decisively any nuclear threat to us or to our 
    Senator Cochran. I am going to conclude with a question 
about the statement by the international generals and admirals 
of a prerequisite that they mentioned before we can contemplate 
total disarmament in nuclear weapons capability. One was an 
effective system for collective security. And Mr. Perle, I 
wanted to ask you is there reason to believe that the 
elimination of nuclear weapons can be a reasonable goal for the 
foreseeable future if effective systems for collective security 
are a necessary precondition?
    Mr. Perle. Well, I do not know what the generals and 
admirals have in mind when they talk about collective security. 
If they have in mind some universal serenity in which none of 
us is concerned because we all love one another, I mean that is 
the utopian never-never land, and it is never helpful, never 
helpful, to the construction of sound policy to establish an 
unrealistic goal. This is not like difficult to achieve goals 
in the moral or spiritual sphere where it is a good thing to 
strive to be, to achieve moral and spiritual qualities that are 
very hard to achieve and maybe can never be achieved, but it 
does not do any harm to try. Adopting a goal that is 
unrealistic almost certainly leads to unwise policies 
underneath that goal because they distract you from what is 
important and what is essential.
    And to say that we could only eliminate all nuclear weapons 
if we had a system of collective security of such majesty that 
we were no longer threatened by somebody else's nuclear weapon 
simply confuses the issue. So my answer is you can make a list 
as long as you like of the preconditions, and after you have 
solved all of the preconditions that one can talk about 
rationally, you still are left with the fact that you could not 
verify it. You are still left with the near certainty that 
nuclear powers would cheat, and you are still left with the 
fact that even if you did accomplish the total elimination of 
nuclear weapons, 1 day they could be rebuilt the next.
    Senator Cochran. That was going to be my last question. In 
light of one of the experiences from the war in Iraq, the 
verification of what is going on there now is subject to 
question, even with the implementation of the most intrusive 
inspection process in history by the International Atomic 
Energy Agency and others who are responsible for making sure 
that Iraq is not developing or continuing to hide weapons of 
mass destruction. This leads you to the question about another 
prerequisite of the international generals and admirals, which 
is verification and enforcement. Is there a regime for 
international verification that can realistically be expected 
to be available in the foreseeable future, and I ask this of 
General Goodpaster and Mr. Perle as well? Is that something 
that is so far in the future that it is not really a realistic 
criteria or prerequisite?
    General Goodpaster. That is part of what we do not know how 
to do at the present time, and the setting of prerequisites is 
a task that will have to be worked on during this period while 
our nuclear arsenals go down in size. So I think where we are 
in this is to do what we can do and continue to study and 
formulate the prerequisites and the means of accomplishing 
those prerequisites, but the reason that I do not believe it is 
fruitful to debate complete abolition or complete elimination 
today is, first, we have not really come down on just what the 
prerequisites are, and, second, we are far from being able to 
say how those could be met.
    Senator Cochran. Thank you. Mr. Perle.
    Mr. Perle. Well, I agree with General Goodpaster, and that 
seems to me a very good reason for not repeating this cliche 
that it is a useful goal to achieve the total elimination. The 
selection of goals should not be divorced from reality, and the 
reality is we cannot answer the critical questions about the 
prerequisites with any confidence so let us wait and see 
whether that is a good goal or not. What troubles me and the 
reason why I keep harping, it may seem academic, and anybody 
watching this hearing today would say, well, when we really got 
into it, nobody made much of a defense of the goal, and I think 
Senator Levin wisely chose to comment on other things rather 
than defend the goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons, the 
goal is part of a logical structure. If the ideal world is one 
without nuclear weapons, then the next best thing would be, I 
suppose, a world with one nuclear weapon, and after that with 
two, and after that with three and so forth.
    That misses the point entirely because the goal ought to be 
a stable, credible, effective nuclear deterrent that defends 
the interest of the United States, and you do not arrive at all 
of the decisions you need to make in achieving that realistic 
and important goal by confusing yourself with the idea that 
anything above zero is bad and the larger above zero, the more 
above zero, the worse it is. So I think we need a new long-term 
goal, and that new long-term goal is not the elimination of 
nuclear weapons, but it is the management of threats to our 
security, and if we focus on that as the goal, we will wind up 
probably with lower levels because I think the conditions are 
ripe for lower levels, but we will not confuse ourselves about 
where we are headed.
    Senator Cochran. One thing that I cannot end the hearing 
without asking what is wrong with comparing what both General 
Goodpaster and Butler have said with what President Reagan 
suggested at Reykjavik? You were an advisor at that time. Is 
there a difference?
    Mr. Perle. Well, there are several differences. One is that 
in the closing session at Reykjavik on the Sunday, the 
proposition that was on the table and about which drafts had 
been exchanged called not for the elimination of all nuclear 
weapons but for the elimination of all offensive ballistic 
missiles. And it was our judgment that the elimination of 
offensive ballistic missiles, given the balance of ballistic 
missiles between the United States and the Soviet Union, would 
enhance our security. In that last session on the Sunday, 
Gorbachev said in exasperation because he did not like our 
proposal much--he wanted to hold on to those missiles--he said, 
well, why not just give them all up? And the President said, 
well, that sounds fine to me. Now, this was the kind of 
exchange that takes place seldom at summits, to be sure, but 
takes place when people are discussing ideas in a broad sense. 
It was not a proposal in any meaningful sense. It was never 
written down. It was never formulated in a way that could be 
acted upon.
    And it was all conditioned on the substitution of defenses 
for offenses, and what President Reagan had in mind in some 
future world was one in which we had a near perfect or perhaps 
even a perfect defense so that if someone did cheat, the effect 
of that cheating would be nugatory; we would be able to defend 
against any weapon that was held improperly. And that at the 
end of the day is the inescapable concern. If you cannot be 
sure that somebody else does not possess a nuclear weapon, then 
you would be foolish to give up your own unless you had a 
defense. If you had a perfect defense, that would change the 
situation entirely.
    The irony is that if you look at the list of people, the 
admirals and generals who signed that statement--there are 60 
of them--I doubt if there are three on there who favor a 
defense. I think General Goodpaster would favor a defense, but 
he can speak for himself, but I think a great many of those 
admirals and generals would not favor a defense or at least 
they would not say that they favored a defense.
    Senator Cochran. This has been an enormously helpful and 
interesting hearing to me, and I want to express the sincerest 
appreciation for your participation in the hearing and for 
Secretary Slocombe's as well. Already, we have given permission 
to Senator Glenn to submit questions that could be answered for 
the record. We may also have additional questions that we would 
like to submit to the witnesses, and we hope that you can 
respond to those, if you will, for the purpose of our hearing 
    There being no other witnesses to come before the Committee 
today, this hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]

                            A P P E N D I X




                       UTILITY, CONTINUING RISKS

            By Generals Andrew J. Goodpaster and Lee Butler