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


                       UTILITY, CONTINUING RISKS

            By Generals Andrew J. Goodpaster and Lee Butler

    As senior military officers, we have given close attention over 
many years to the role of nuclear weapons as well as the risks they 
involve. With the end of the Cold War, these weapons are of sharply 
reduced utility, and there is much now to be gained by substantially 
reducing their numbers and lowering their alert status, meanwhile 
exploring the feasibility of their ultimate complete elimination.
    The roles of nuclear weapons for purposes of security have been 
sharply narrowed in tends of the security of the United States. Now and 
in the future they basically provide an option to respond in kind to a 
nuclear threat or nuclear attack by others. In the world environment 
now foreseen, they are not needed against non-nuclear opponents. 
Conventional capabilities can provide a sufficient deterrent and 
defense against conventional forces and in combination with defensive 
measures, against the threat of chemical or biological weapons. As 
symbols of prestige and international standing, nuclear weapons are of 
markedly reduced importance.
    At the same time, the dangers inherent in nuclear weapons have 
continued and in some ways increased. They include the risks of 
accidents and unauthorized launches--risks which, while small, 
nevertheless still exist. Seizures or thefts of weapons or weapons 
materials and threats or actual use by terrorists or domestic rebels, 
are of additional concern. Moreover, despite the nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty, nuclear weapons could spread to additional 
nations, with risk of their use in crisis or war. And if they should 
spread, the risks of accidents and of unauthorized, inadvertent, or 
deliberate use will spread as well.
    We believe the nations that possess these weapons should take the 
necessary steps to align their nuclear weapons policies and programs to 
match the diminished role and utility of these weapons, and the 
continuing risks they involve, joining in reducing their nuclear 
arsenals step by step to the lowest verifiable levels consistent with 
stable security, as rapidly as world conditions permit. Taking the 
lead, U.S. and Russian reductions can open the door for the negotiation 
of multilateral reductions capping all arsenals at very low levels. 
Added safety and an enhanced climate for negotiations would be achieved 
by removing nuclear weapons from alert status and placing the warheads 
in controlled storage. These arrangements should be applied to all 
nuclear weapons, discarding the distinction between tactical and 
strategic weapons, limiting nuclear warheads rather than launchers, and 
subjecting all weapons to inspection and verification measures.
    The ultimate objective of phased reductions should be the complete 
elimination of nuclear weapons from all nations. No one can say today 
whether or when this final goal will prove feasible, but because the 
phased withdrawal and destruction of nuclear weapons from all 
countries' arsenals would take many years, probably decades, to 
accomplish, time will be available--for work on technical problems, for 
political progress in ameliorating the conflicts and political 
struggles that encourage countries to maintain or to acquire nuclear 
weapons, and for building confidence in the system of safeguards and 
verification measures established to support the elimination regime.
    We believe the time for action is now, for the alternative of 
inaction could well carry a high price. For the task that lies ahead, 
there is need for initiatives by all who share our conviction as to the 
importance of this goal. Steady pursuit of a policy of cooperative, 
phased reductions with serious commitments to seek the elimination of 
all nuclear weapons is a path to a world free of nuclear dangers.


    General Andrew J. Goodpaster, U.S. Army (Ret.), former Supreme 
Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR) (1969-74)

    General Lee Butler, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), former Commander-in-
Chief, United States Strategic Air Command (1992-94); former Commander-
in-Chief, United States Strategic Command (1992-94)
    We, military professionals, who have devoted our lives to the 
national security of our countries and our peoples, are convinced that 
the continuing existence of nuclear weapons in the armories of nuclear 
powers, and the ever present threat of acquisition of these weapons by 
others, constitutes a peril to global peace and security and to the 
safety and survival of the people we are dedicated to protect.
    Through our variety of responsibilities and experiences with 
weapons and wars in the armed forces of many nations, we have acquired 
an intimate and perhaps unique knowledge of the present security and 
insecurity of our countries and peoples.
    We know that nuclear weapons, though never used since Hiroshima and 
Nagasaki, represent a clear and present danger to the very existence of 
humanity. There was an immense risk of a superpower holocaust during 
the Cold War. At least once, civilization was on the very brink of 
catastrophic tragedy. That threat has now receded, but not forever--
unless nuclear weapons are eliminated.
    The end of the Cold War created conditions favorable to nuclear 
disarmament. Termination of military confrontation between the Soviet 
Union and the United States made it possible to reduce strategic and 
tactical nuclear weapons, and to eliminate intermediate range missiles. 
It was a significant milestone on the path to nuclear disarmament when 
Belarus, Kazakhastan, and Ukraine relinquished their nuclear weapons.
    Indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 
1995 and approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by the UN 
General Assembly in 1996 are also important steps towards a nuclear-
free world. We commend the work that has been done to achieve these 
    Unfortunately, in spite of these positive steps, true nuclear 
disarmament has not been achieved. Treaties provide that only delivery 
systems, not nuclear warheads, will be destroyed. This permits the 
United States and Russia to keep their warheads in reserve storage, 
thus creating a ``reversible nuclear potential.'' However, in the post-
Cold War security environment, the most commonly postulated nuclear 
threats are not susceptible to deterrence or are simply not credible. 
We believe, therefore, that business as usual is not an acceptable way 
for the world to proceed in nuclear matters.
    It is our deep conviction that the following is urgently needed and 
must be undertaken now:

          First, present and planned stockpiles of nuclear weapons are 
        exceedingly large and should now be greatly cut back;

          Second, remaining nuclear weapons should be gradually and 
        transparently taken off alert, and their readiness 
        substantially reduced both in nuclear weapon states and in de 
        facto nuclear weapon states; and

          Third, long-term international nuclear policy must be based 
        on the declared principle of continuous, complete and 
        irrevocable elimination of nuclear weapons.

    The United States and Russia should--without any reduction in their 
military security--carry forward the reduction process already launched 
by START: they should cut down to 1,000 to 1,500 warheads each and 
possibly lower. The other three nuclear states and the three threshold 
states should be drawn into the reduction process as still deeper 
reductions are negotiated down to the level of hundreds. There is 
nothing incompatible between defense by individual countries of their 
territorial integrity and progress toward nuclear abolition.
    The exact circumstances and conditions that will make it possible 
to proceed, finally, to abolition cannot now be foreseen or prescribed. 
One obvious prerequisite would be a worldwide program of surveillance 
and inspection, including measures to account for and control 
inventories of nuclear weapon materials. This will ensure that no 
rogues or terrorists could undertake a surreptitious effort to acquire 
nuclear capacities without detection at an early stage. An agreed 
procedure for forcible international intervention and interruption of 
covert efforts in a certain and timely fashion is essential.
    The creation of nuclear-free zones in different parts of the world, 
confidence-building and transparency measures in the general field of 
defense, strict implementation of all treaties in the area of 
disarmament and arms control, and mutual assistance in the process of 
disarmament are also important in helping to bring about a nuclear-free 
world. The development of regional systems of collective security, 
including practical measures for cooperation, partnership, interaction 
and communication are essential for local stability and security.
    The extent to which the existence of nuclear weapons and fear of 
their use may have deterred war--in a world that in this year alone has 
seen 30 military conflicts raging--cannot be determined. It is clear, 
however, that nations now possessing nuclear weapons will not 
relinquish them until they are convinced that more reliable and less 
dangerous means of providing for their security are in place. It is 
also clear, as a consequence, that the nuclear powers will not now 
agree to a fixed timetable for the achievement of abolition.
    It is similarly clear that, among the nations not now possessing 
nuclear weapons, there are some that will not forever forswear their 
acquisition and deployment unless they, too, are provided means of 
security. Nor will they forgo acquisition if the present nuclear powers 
seek to retain everlastingly their nuclear monopoly.
    Movement toward abolition must be a responsibility shared primarily 
by the declared nuclear weapons states--China, France, Russia, the 
United Kingdom, and the United States; by the de facto nuclear states, 
India, Israel and Pakistan; and by major non-nuclear powers such as 
Germany and Japan. All nations should move in concert toward the same 
    We have been presented with a challenge of the highest possible 
historic importance: The creation of a nuclear-weapons-free world. The 
end of the Cold War makes it possible.
    The dangers of proliferation, terrorism, and a new nuclear arms 
race render it necessary. We must not fail to seize our opportunity. 
There is no alternative.


    International Generals and Admirals who have signed statement on 
Nuclear Weapons

        Johnson, Major General Leonard V., (Ret.) Commandant, National 
        Defense College

        Kristensen, Lt. General Gunnar (Ret.) former Chief of Defense 

        Sanguinetti, Admiral Antoine (Ret.) former Chief of Staff, 
        French Fleet

        Erskine, General Emmanuel (Ret. former Commander in Chief and 
        former Chief of Staff, UNTSO (Middle East), Commander UMFII 

        Capellos, Lt. General Richard (Ret.) former Corps Commander
        Konstantinides, Major General Kostas (Ret.), former Chief of 
        Staff, Army Signals
        Koumanakos, Lt. General Georgios (Ret.) former Chief of 
        Rikhye, Major General Indar Jit (Ret.), former military advisor 
        to UN Secretary General Dag Akmmerskjold and U Thant Suit, Air 
        Marshall N. C. (Ret.)

        Sakonjo, Vice Admiral Naotoshi (Ret.) Sr. Advisor, Research 
        Institute for Peace and Security
        Shikata, Lt. General Toshiyuki (Ret.) Sr. Advisor, Research 
        Institute for Peace and Security

        Ajeilat, Major General Shafig (Ret.) Vice President Military 
        Affairs, Muta University
        Shiyyab, Major General Mohammed K. (Ret.) former Deputy 
        Commander, Royal Jordanian Air Force

        van der Graaf, Henry J. (Ret.) Brigadier-General RNA, Director 
        Centre Arms Control and Verification, Member, United National 
        Advisory Board for Disarmament Matters

        Breivik, Roy, Vice Admiral Roy (Ret.) former Representative to 
        NATO, Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic

        Malik, Major General Ihsun ul Hag (Ret.) Commandant, Joint 
        Services Committee

        Gomes, Marshal Francisco da Costa (Ret.) former Commander in 
        Chief, Army; former President of Portugal

        Belous, General Vladimir (Ret.) Department Chief, Dzerzhinsky 
        Military Academy
        Gareev, Army General Makhmut (Ret.) former Deputy Chief, USSR 
        Armed Forces General Staff
        Gromov, General Boris, (Ret.) Vice Chair, Duma International 
        Affairs Committee; former Commander of 40th Soviet Army in 
        Afghanistan; former Deputy Minister, Foreign Ministry, Russia
        Koltounov, Major General Victor (Ret.) former Deputy Chief, 
        Department of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces
        Larionov, Major General Valentin (Ret.) Professor, General 
        Staff Academy
        Lebed, Major General Alexander (Ret.) former Secretary of the 
        Security Council
        Lebedev, Major General Youri V. (Ret.) former Deputy Chief, 
        Department of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces
        Makarevsky, Major General Vadim (Ret.) Deputy Chief, Kouibyshev 
        Military Engineering Academy
        Medvedev, Lt. General Vladimir (Ret.) Chief, Center of Nuclear 
        Threat Reduction
        Mikhailov, Colonel General Georgy (Ret.) former Deputy Chief, 
        Department of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces
        Nozhin, Major General Eugeny (Ret.) former Deputy Chief, 
        Department of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces
        Rokhlin, Lt. General Lev, (Ret.) Chair, Duma Defense Committee; 
        former Commander, Russian 4th Army Corps
        Sleport, Lt. General Ivan (Ret.) former Chief, Department of 
        General Staff, USSR Armed Forces
        Simonyan, Major General Rair (Ret.) Head of Chair, General 
        Staff Academy
        Surikov, General Boris T., (Ret.) former Chief Specialist, 
        Defense Ministry
        Tehervov, Colonel General Nikolay (Ret.) former Chief, 
        Department of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces
        Vinogradov, Lt. General Michael S. (Ret.) former Deputy Chief, 
        Operational Strategic Center, USSR General Staff
        Zoubkov, Rear Admiral Radiy (Ret.) Chief, Navigation, USSR Navy

        Karunaratne, Major General Upali A. (Ret.) (Sri Lanka)
        Silva, Major General C.A.M.N., (Ret.) USF, U.S.A. WC (Sri 

        Lupogo, Major General H.C. (Ret.) former Chief Inspector 
        General, Tanzania Armed Forces

        Beach, General Sir Hugh (Ret.) Member, U.K. Security Commission
        Carver, Field Marshal Lord Michael (Ret.) Commander in Chief 
        for East British Army (1967-1969), Chief of General Staff 
        (1971-73), Chief of Defence Staff (1973-76)
        Harbottle, Brigadier Michael (Ret.) former Chief of Staff, UN 
        Peacekeeping Force, Cyprus
        Mackie, Air Commodore Alistair (Ret.) former Director, Air 
        Staff Briefing

        Becton, Lt. General Julius (USA) (Ret.)
        Burns, Maj. General William F. (USA) (Ret.) JCS Representative, 
        INF Negotiations (1981-88) Special Envoy to Russia for Nuclear 
        Weapon Dismantlement (1992-93)
        Carroll, Jr., Rear Admiral Eugene J. (USN) (Ret.) Deputy 
        Director, Center for Defense Information
        Cushman, Lt. General John H. (USA) (Ret.) Commander, I. Corps 
        (ROK/US) Group (Korea) 1976-78)
        Galvin, General John R., Supreme Allied Commander, Europe 
        Gayler, Admiral Noel (USN) (Ret.) former Commander, Pacific
        Homer, General, Charles A., (USAF) (Ret.) Commander, Coalition 
        Air Forces, Desert Storm (1991), former Commander, U. S. Space 
        James, Rear Admiral Robert G. (USNR) (Ret.)
        Kingston, General Robert C. (USA) (Ret.), former Commander, 
        U.S. Central Command
        Lee, Vice Admiral John M. (USN) (Ret.)
        O'Meara, General Andrew (USA) (Ret.) former Commander U.S. 
        Army, Europe
        Pursley, Lt. General Robert E., USAF (Ret.)
        Read, Vice Admiral William L. (USN) (Ret.), former Commander, 
        U.S. Navy Surface Force, Atlantic Command
        Rogers, General Bernard W. (USA) (Ret.), former Chief of Staff, 
        U.S. Army, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander (1979-87)
        Seignious, II, Lt. General George M. (USA) (Ret.), former 
        Director Army Control and Disarmament Agency (1978-1980)
        Shanahan, Vice Admiral John J. (USN) (Ret.) Director, Center 
        for Defense Information
        Smith, General William Y., (USAF) (Ret.) former Deputy 
        Commander, U.S. Command, Europe
        Wilson, Vice Admiral James B. (USN) (Ret.), former Polaris 
        Submarine Captain