THE ALL-AMERICAN RESOLUTION (House of Representatives - May 19, 1998)
(Mr. YOUNG of Alaska asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to introduce the All-American Resolution expressing the sense of Congress that any missile defense system deployed to protect the U.S. from missile attacks would include protection for Alaska, Hawaii and territories.
As we can see on this diagram right now, Alaska comes into direct threat by India, China, et cetera, and now the administration sought to avoid protecting Alaska, avoid protecting Hawaii, and I think it is reprehensible to have that occur.
It is time for us to recognize that Alaska and Hawaii are part of the United States and ought to be protected. In fact, we ought to set up our own missile system in Alaska so that we can counterattack in this uncertain time. I urge the passage of this legislation.
- Today I rise to introduce `The All-American Resolution' expressing the sense of the Congress that any missile defense system deployed to protect U.S. from missile attack should include protection for Alaska, Hawaii, territories and commonwealths of the United States.
- The U.S. Constitution provides that it is an essential responsibility of the federal government to protect to all United States citizens against foreign attack. However, the Administration's development plan is based on a policy of observing the restrictions of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which prohibits the deployment of a missile defense system capable of defending all U.S. territory. As such, the plan excludes Alaska, Hawaii, and territories. While this legislation does not attempt to abrogate or amend the ABM Treaty, it does express the sense of Congress that space, sea, or land-based systems are required to include them and the commonwealths, when a system is deployed in the future.
- A year ago the Alaska State Legislature passed a resolution expressing the view of the people of Alaska that they, along with other Americans, should be defended against a missile attack. Why are Alaskans concerned about their vulnerability to missile attack? In 1995, the Administration adopted a national intelligence estimate (NIE) asserting that the U.S. did not face a threat of missile attack for at least 15 years. To arrive at this conclusion, the Administration excluded from the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) an assessment of the threat of missile attack to Alaska and Hawaii. Excluding Alaska and Hawaii from the NIE served to bypass an earlier assessment by then-Deputy Secretary of Defense John Deutch that territories in these two states could be subject to attack by a North Korean missile, the Taepo Dong 2, by the end of this decade. In fact, the Secretary of Defense issued a report titled Proliferation: Threat and Response (November 1997) which exemplifies the possible threat to Alaska from both North Korea and China.
- I believe it is reprehensible to prepare the NIE while leaving some Americans undefended in its pursuit of the most minimal missile defense capability possible. My resolution also provides that Alaska and Hawaii, territories and commonwealths must be included in any NIE prepared by the Administration.
- While Alaska and Hawaii were the only two states excluded from consideration under the NIE, most states and territories will be vulnerable as well. The Administration's missile defense plan calls for the development of a system in which a deployment decision may be made in 2000 and deployment completed by 2003. This could leave the vast majority of U.S. territory vulnerable to missile strikes. The Administration's policy views the ABM Treaty as `the cornerstone of strategic stability.'
- I will give a quick history of the ABM Treaty. Article I of the ABM Treaty barred the deployment of a national missile defense system capable of defending all the nations' territory. In fact, Article III of the Treaty, as amended by a 1974 Protocol, permitted the deployment of a single missile defense site that is capable of protecting only the region in which it is deployed. The U.S. designated Grand Forks, North Dakota as this site, although the system located there is mothballed. Taking the Grand Forks system out of mothballs and upgrading its capabilities may allow it to provide protection to all of America. Whether you agree with the ABM Treaty, or not, I believe we would all agree on the necessity to defend all of America, including Alaska, Hawaii, the territories and commonwealths from the threat of ballistic missile attacks.
- I call on all my colleagues who wish to see their constituents protected, to look seriously at the resolution introduced today. My friends, this act will improve the interests of all Americans, now and into the future.