The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from American Samoa (Mr. Faleomavaega) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, the 11 nuclear detonations conducted by India and Pakistan this past month demonstrated in graphic fashion the weakness of present international efforts to control nuclear proliferation. The tests also revealed the folly of economic sanctions in deterring nuclear proliferation when balanced against asserted interests of national security.
In a recent opinion editorial piece in the Washington Post, physicist Zia Mian and professor Frank Von Hippel of Princeton University provide an answer to proliferation that I fully support, and I want to share this with my colleagues.
They advocate, and I quote, `India's and Pakistan's nuclear tests are a challenge that can be met in either of two ways. One would be to simply recreate the nuclear status quo with two more nuclear weapon states and accept the enormous dangers for the people of India and Pakistan and the rest of the world. The alternative would be to take international steps to devalue nuclear weapons' possessions by moving the nuclear goal posts towards disarmament.
`The history of the past 50 years teaches that nuclear weapons are unusable for rational military purposes and that their existence makes ordinary human miscalculation or madness potentially catastrophic. Yet the nuclear weapon states act as if they are giants in the world of pygmies, creating imagination in many countries and a temptation for nationalistic parties such as India's newly governing BJP.'
And I further quote from this article, Mr. Speaker. `India is behaving like a state that has successfully broken into the nuclear club, and Pakistan, after hesitating over the likely ruinous price of membership, has decided that it must join as well. Israel slipped in long ago, thanks to the United States being willing to cast a blind eye in its direction. Other States such as Iran and Iraq and perhaps South Korea, Taiwan and Japan wait in the wings.
`To break this dynamic, the United States, Russia and other charter members of the nuclear club must make it more credible that they really intend to put the nuclear club out of business.
`The first step would be to end the civilization endangering practice of keeping nuclear missiles on hair-trigger alert, a posture that India and Pakistan are threatening to imitate.'
Secondly, `The United States should also immediately ratify the test ban treaty and thereby encourage Russia and China to ratify. Britain and France have already done. Bringing the treaty into force is a key first test of the world's willingness to walk away from nuclear weapons. The United States, Russia and China should underline the irreversibility of their commitments by shutting down their test sites.'
Third, `The United States should also cut back drastically its lavish stockpile stewardship program, which has inspired fears both at home and abroad that the United States intends to continue the arms race alone.'
And I would note Mr. Speaker, that this $61 billion 13-year-old program costs more annually than what the U.S. spent on major nuclear weapons programs during the height of the Cold War. Moreover, the enormous funding is being used to develop facilities to
research and design nuclear warheads, not just monitoring our present arsenal while it awaits dismantlement.
Fourth, `The United States, Russia, Britain and France should also act on their commitment at the April, 1996, Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summit to place excess fissile materials under international safeguards as soon as possible. Russia and the United States can start it immediately by committing to reduce their stockpiles on unsafeguarded fissile materials to the levels required to maintain only the 2,000 to 2,500 strategic warheads that have been agreed to for the past START Treaty III.'
Mr. Speaker, this would be a 90 percent reduction of our arsenals from the peak Cold War levels.
Last, the authors urge that the U.S. and Russia announce that they intend to reduce further, on a bilateral basis and rapidly, these warheads.
In addition to these steps, they should demonstrate the good faith of the nuclear powers to pursue elimination of nuclear weapons as promised and committed to under article VI of the Nonproliferation Treaty. It is important that the United States initiate multilateral talks for the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention.
On this matter, Mr. Speaker, I would deeply commend the gentlewoman from California, the honorable Lynn Woolsey, for her leadership in introducing legislation later this week that recognizes the security interests of the United States in furthering complete global nuclear disarmament.
I am proud to be an original cosponsor, along with several other of our colleagues, of this measure that supports discussion in Congress of a model nuclear weapons convention and urges the President to initiate multilateral negotiations leading to the early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention.
Mr. Speaker, both India and Pakistan have called for the global elimination of nuclear weapons by adoption of a nuclear weapons convention with verification and compliance measures. It should be clear to all that our Nation's continued reliance on nuclear weapons undermines the international efforts to persuade other countries not to acquire nuclear weapons.
Mr. Speaker, to curb the global spread of the only weapon that can utterly destroy the United States and her people, it is vital that we take steps now leading to the elimination and outlawing of nuclear weapons worldwide, as we have done with chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction; and to this, Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent also to submit two articles that I would like to be submitted to be made part of the Record.
The articles referred to are as follows:
When a lawyer's client too loudly protests, `I'm innocent,' it probably means he's just the opposite. So it is with the Indian statement of bravado in Monday's nuclear weapons tests beneath the Rajasthan desert. While New Delhi basks in the eerie glow of `equally' among nuclear powers, the tests are an indication not so much of strength among nations, but of profound weakness at home.
That makes the gauntlet the Indian government has just thrown down to Beijing and Islamabad even more dangerous. But it shouldn't have come as any surprise that India wants to join the club in which so many of its neighbors are already members.
Optimists hope India intends to go the route of France and China, and cap its explosive debut into the hydrogen bomb club with a signature on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Comprehensive Test Ban treaties. Pessimists fear that steering New Delhi in such a direction would require a sustained application of global persuasive powers that may fail. And really deep pessimists would worry that the Indians concluded that the Clinton Administration's policy on exporting commercial satellite technology did in fact improve China's missile guidance capability.
The most realistic approach may be to say that if New Delhi can test, so can the rest of the nuclear powers--to modernize and refine their arsenals. If India is safer with a modern nuclear weapons programs, wouldn't we all be?
It's very well for nations like Denmark and Japan to talk of freezing aid in protest at the tests, or for Americans to speak of antinuclear sanctions kicking in. In the end, though, such efforts usually dissipate or even reverse themselves in the form of offers to pay the offender hug sums to mend his ways. Indians may be behaving irresponsibly, but they aren't dumb. these tests were part of a calculated plan to call attention to themselves as big players, and the world outrage will be taken for now as proof that the message was received.
In a different universe, the most effective response to Monday's explosions might have been to pretend no one notices. As things are, what's incredible is the outpouring of surprise, as if no one in Washington or other capitals heard members of the Bharatiya Janata Party campaign promise to rev up India's nuclear program. Washington's statement that the United States--operating the World's most sophisticated technical intelligence facilites--failed to detect preparations for the tests may be more astonishing than the tests themselves.
It will be awhile before India is ready to bargain, if it ever is, so perhaps more immediate attention should be paid to Pakistan. This erstwhile staunch U.S. ally during the Cold War has borne the brunt of antinuclear outrage all along; indeed, the moment its usefullness as an Afghan war ally ended, Pakistan was socked with American sanctions on suspicion of having a nuclear program. All the years India got grudging respect and no slaps at all for its if-rich-big-countries-have-nukes-then-poor-countries-can-too stance, Pakistan was under bombardment from the antiproliferation community for every purchase, real or imagined, of any kind of modern weaponry.
But anything Washington can do to help persuade Pakistan that it is safe without matching India will do a huge service--both to Pakistan, whose long-suffering people cannot afford and do not deserve the crushing burden of a heightened arms race, and to all those who rightly fear nuclear warfare in the Subcontinent.
Which bring us to China and Russia. India's old friends in Moscow have some tough choices to make. India was a Cold War comrade and remains a steady arms customer. But what about Beijing, whose recent hand of friendship and multibillion-dollar nuclear power market could be worth so much more than anything India has to offer?
China, which India's defense minister has identified as his country's `potential threat No. 1,' can't ignore New Delhi's explosions. Beijing signed the test ban treaty in 1996 after a final series of much-criticized tests, and it may choose now to mount the podium of generalized international moral outrage--perhaps while delivering a more forceful bilateral response in private. But if China wants its claim as a force for regional stability to be taken seriously, it must demonstrate leadership here, not merely sit back while the feathers fly.
When the clouds settle, the BJP's decision to do openly what India has only boasted and postured about for so long may be seen as a good thing. Monday's tests in Rajasthan, like France's Pacific tests of 1995-96, remind us that nations that rely for their security or for that of their allies on a credible nuclear deterrent have a responsibility to be honest about their arsenal, and to make sure it works. If nothing else, India's tests have blown away the dangerous hypocrisy that has characterized so much of its behavior over the years. No longer holier-than-thou, India is now revealed as being just like everyone else.
It may be difficult to acknowledge, but India's test of three nuclear devices on Monday morning was, among other things, an act of impatience with failed American efforts to stop China and North Korea from developing and spreading strategic weapons. `It is clear that by the time the Clinton Administration wakes up to the danger posed by the China-Pakistan-North Korean axis, it will be too late for India' The Times of India, said on Tuesday.
None of this restiveness can justify India's action, which was self-defeating. But it should sting for those still anxious to avoid the worst. Indeed, if the United States and its friends are to stem the spread of strategic weapons to Pakistan and beyond, we need to recognize that Monday's event was in no small part the result of an American nonproliferation policy so disjointed and consessionary that it was prone to be disregarded and misread.
White House officials admit they were caught flat-footed, that the Central Intelligence Agency failed to provide adequate warning of the tests. To press this point, however, is to miss the warning the Administration had months earlier: the winter election of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which had long championed India's right to nuclear weapons.
What did the White House do with this warning? It sent its United Nations Ambassador, Bill Richardson, to India to emphasize the importance of issues other than nonproliferation (lest it sour relations) as well as the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Shirley Ann Jackson, to emphasize our desire for expanded nuclear cooperation.
Not surprisingly, the Indian press interpreted these visits in the worst way possible. The United States, it argued, has finally gotten over its preoccupation with blocking India's rightful development of strategic technology. What's unclear is when, if at all, American officials bothered to brief leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party about the sanctions that the White House would be forced to impose if India followed through on its pledge.
What can we do now? The White House should immediately impose the sanctions called for in the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1994, rather than bargain for some new pledge of restraint.
Indian officials speculate that the United States may not impose sanctions or that if it does they will have little effect. We must prove them wrong. In fact, the value of the Indian stock market had already fallen by 5 percent by Tuesday in anticipation of sanctions. The Indian financial market understands what sanctions will mean to the banks, which are seriously overextended and undercapitalized.
By Indian law, at least 51 percent of the shares of every bank are owned by the Government. Under the American nonproliferation law, no United States bank, public or private, can make loans or extend credit to these institutions for at least one year. Carrying out the sanctions would hurt. But it would strengthen the hand or Indians who understand that their nation can best compete against China by being economically powerful and that without such strength, a military competition of the sort now being undertaken will be disastrous.
Certainly, the world is watching including Pakistan (whose financial and political institutions can even less afford an American financial cut-off). It the White House is to have any chance of having its commitment to nonproliferation taken seriously, its sanctions must be seen as something more than a bluff. Pakistan, at the least, must understand it has much more to lose than gain by testing.
Congress and the White House must also use the Indian tests to revise our overly generous, a la carte nonproliferation policies. We must recognize that the case of India is related to those of China and North Korea; our catering to both these nations' demands for military-related technology--whether it be for missile or nuclear goods--is a prescription for more proliferation. Indeed, the White House has smothered these nations and Russia with all manner of nuclear and space assistance (actually subsidizing known proliferators like China's Great Wall Industries, the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation and the Russian Space Agency with licensed American technology).
But what the United States has all too scrupulously avoided is the use of any sticks--from enforcing sanctions against China and Russia, to penalizing Russian investments in Iran's oil industry, to keeping our military and diplomats from purposeful action against Iraq, to holding North Korea responsible for its continued violation of the global Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. This and the continued American export of high technology to known proliferators must end.
Finally, we need to be more confident. We always have plenty of warning, if we are willing to act on less than conclusive proof of a completed weapons program. And we have plenty of options to deter proliferation, assuming we're willing to act early enough.