PRESS ALERT: Cochran Chairs Governmental Affairs
Subcommittee Hearing on The Compliance Review Process and
Washington, D.C. - Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) will chair a hearing on"The Compliance Review Process and Missile Defense" on Monday, July 21, before the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services. The hearing will begin at 2:30 p.m. in room 342 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
The hearing will examine the process by which the United States determines whether its missile defense systems, including both Theater Missile Defense and National Missile Defense, comply with the obligations of international agreements, including the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
"I am concerned that the compliance review process is unpredictable and unreliable, resulting in national and theater missile defense systems that are less capable than they should be," said Cochran.
Dr. Kent Stansberry, Deputy Director for Arms Control Implementation and Compliance in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, and chairman of the Defense Department's Compliance Review Group, will testify at the hearing.
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, PROLIFERATION, AND FEDERAL SERVICES
of the SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
The Compliance Review Process and Missile Defense
Monday, July 21, 1997
SD-342 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Dr. Kent Stansberry
Deputy Director for Arms Control Implementation and Compliance
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Technology)
I'd like to welcome everyone to today's hearing of the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services. Our topic today is "The Compliance Review Process and Missile Defense."
This March in Helsinki, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin issued a joint statement announcing the outlines of an agreement that would draw a demarcation line between theater and strategic missile defenses, and sent their negotiators back to Geneva to finalize an agreement. As has happened so many times in the past, however, the negotiators were unable to agree on the important details and returned last month empty-handed. Even if they had reached an agreement based on the Helsinki joint statement, however, it would not have drawn a clear demarcation line. Any agreement based on the Helsinki statement, after all, offers clarity only for less capable theater missile defenses, over which there has been little dispute. For the more capable systems, which have been at the heart of the nearly four-year long ABM-TMD demarcation negotiations, Helsinki contains no agreement on demarcation - only an acknowledgement that the treaty parties will continue to determine for themselves whether their more capable systems comply with the ABM Treaty.
The process by which the United States makes those determinations will continue to be critically important, not only for TMD systems but also for National Missile Defense, and is the subject of our hearing today.
The U.S. compliance review process has in the past produced results that are unfortunate. For example, early in 1994, the administration declared that testing the prototype THAAD interceptor would be non-compliant and that it would have to be treated as an ABM system, even though it could never be usefully employed as an ABM system. A year later, the prototype was determined to be compliant, provided the capabilities of the system were substantially reduced by removing its ability to receive satellite cueing data for its radar. According to the administration, the effort required to modify the software in accordance with that decision cost the U.S. taxpayer several million dollars. Then the administration announced in September of 1996 that not only could the prototype THAAD be tested, so could the final, objective system, and both could now be equipped with the same satellite cueing capability that we had paid to take out of the system earlier. These inconsistencies raise serious questions about how these reviews are conducted.
The compliance review process also passes judgements on our National Missile Defense system, and compliance determinations will be increasingly important as we move forward on that program. Numerous administration officials, including the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in testimony before this subcommittee in May of this year, have said that our NMD deployment program may have elements that do not comply with the ABM Treaty, and might require further negotiation with the Russians. For example, Article I of the ABM Treaty explicitly prohibits defense of the nation's territory from strategic ballistic missile attack, yet that is precisely the purpose of our NMD program. There are numerous other potential features of an NMD system that seem to conflict with the ABM Treaty, as Director Holum of ACDA testified in our May hearing. Whether these apparent incompatibilities can be rationalized away will be determined by the same compliance review process that governs our TMD programs.
We have as our witness someone who deals with these issues every day. Dr. Kent Stansberry chairs the Defense Department's Compliance Review Group in his capacity as Deputy Director for Arms Control Implementation and Compliance in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology. As chairman of the Compliance Review Group, he is responsible for running the process that determines whether U.S. weapon systems comply with our treaty obligations. We're pleased to have him here to help us better understand the compliance review process as it applies to missile defense.
Today's hearing may touch on matters that are classified and we are prepared to move to a closed session if that becomes necessary. Our questions will be unclassified, but if your answers require a classified response, Dr. Stansberry, let us know and we will return to those specific questions in closed session.