Statement of William R. Graham, Ph.D.
1997-Present: Chairman of the Board
and President of National Security Research, Inc.
1998-1999: Served as a Commissioner on the
Congressionally-established Commission on the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United
States (The Rumsfeld Commission) and is a former Chairman and current member of the
Department's Ballistic Missile Defense Advisory Committee.
1994-1997: Senior Vice President of the Defense Group Inc.,
headed the corporate programs in counter-proliferation and other related defense
activities. Served as a member of the Department of Defense's Defense Science Board Task
Force on Theater Ballistic Missile Defense.
1990-1993: Chairman of the Defense Department's Strategic
Defense Initiative Advisory Committee and member of the Defense Science Board.
1986-1989: Dr. Graham served as Science Advisor to President
Reagan and was confirmed by the Senate to serve concurrently as Director of the White
House Office of Science and Technology Policy. During that time he was also Chairman of
the Federal Coordinating Committee on Science, Technology, and Engineering, which provides
high-level coordination for federal research and development programs, and the U.S. Joint
Telecommunications Resources Board, which is responsible for joint emergency
telecommunications planning and operations between the federal government and U.S.
commercial telecommunications companies. As Science Advisor, his responsibilities included
developing and staffing presidential initiatives in science and technology, serving as a
member of the U.S. Arms Control Experts Group that negotiated with the Soviet Union during
U.S. - U.S.S.R. Ministerial and Summit meetings, and serving as counterpart to foreign
ministers of science and technology. In the latter role he lead the successful negotiation
of U.S. bilateral science and technology cooperation agreements with Japan, India, and the
Soviet Union, as well as a multilateral agreement with the 24-nation Organization of
Economic Cooperation and Development. He was Co-Chairman of the U.S. - China Council on
Cooperation in Science and Technology, led U.S. delegations to the Organization of
Economic Cooperation and Development's Science and Technology Minister's Meeting in Paris
in 1987, and to Japan, India, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 1988. He
left government service as a Presidential Appointee at the end of the Reagan
Administration to return to private industry.
1985-1986: Confirmed by the Senate to serve as the Deputy
Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency. He left to become Science
Advisor to President Reagan.
1982-1985: Dr. Graham was confirmed by the Senate to serve as
the Chairman of President Reagan's General Advisory Committee (GAC) on Arms Control and
Disarmament. At the President's request, Dr. Graham led the GAC in preparing the first and
to date only comprehensive review and analysis of the Soviet Union's arms control
compliance record. The report, issued in October 1984, was entitled A Quarter
Century of Soviet Compliance Practices Under Arms Control Commitments: 1958 - 1983.
He subsequently briefed the report to the President, the other members of the National
Security Council, and to congressional committees involved in national security affairs.
This report was instrumental in changing the focus of arms control from verification to
compliance in the 1980s.
1971-1985: Dr. Graham was a founder of R&D Associates, a
high-technology defense firm. He managed the largest of five divisions of RDA, and was
Director of Computing Operations. As Division Manager, he was responsible for all aspects
of the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA) Base Contract, and oversaw research in all aspects of
DNA's technical program. While at RDA, he also made technical contributions to the theory
of nuclear weapon-generated EMP phenomenology, its coupling to military and civilian
systems, and the design of strategic systems for surviving nuclear attack. Developed the
method used by DNA to generate and measure EMP phenomenology and effects on underground
nuclear tests. He left RDA to become Deputy Administrator of NASA.
1965-1971: Member, Professional Staff, Physics Department of
the RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California. While there he developed the theory of the
nuclear weapon-generated EMP near the surface of the ground in the high overpressure
region, including the Graham-Schaefer effect subsequently observed on underground nuclear
tests, and developed a method for increasing the EMP output of high altitude nuclear
explosions. He also conceived and designed the large-scale ARES high altitude nuclear EMP
simulator that is still in use at Kirtland Air Force Base. He left to form RDA.
1962-1965: Served on active duty with the Air Force as a
project officer at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque,
New Mexico. He was in charge of the first test of a military system (the NORAD 425L Combat
Operations Center) to the EMP fields produced by an electromagnetic simulator, and managed
a research group carrying out experimental and analytical EMP research. He left when he
completed his tour of duty with the Air Force.
Honors and Awards include membership in Tau Beta Pi and Sigma
Xi, and receipt of the Air Force Commendation Medal and the American Defense Preparedness
Association's Strategic Defense Award.
U.S. Policy Regarding National Missile Defense
Mr. Chairman, distinguished Members of the Committee on Armed Services,
thank you for inviting me to testify today on U.S. Policy Regarding National Missile
Defense and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Today, I would like to discuss the
importance of developing and building a national missile defense, especially in light of
continuing developments in the strategic threat environment. In brief, my testimony will
discuss the current Administration's NMD policy, highlight significant developments in the
threat environment, outline applicable NMD technologies that are responsive to current and
emerging threats, and outline a few of the significant disadvantages confronting the
United States from its continued adherence to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. My
concern with the developing world ballistic missile threat is derived from my experience
serving as a member of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United
States, known as the Rumsfeld Commission, and is supported by the current National
Intelligence Estimate on ballistic missile threats to the United States through 2015. Mr.
Chairman, I ask that my prepared remarks be included as part of the record.
The Clinton Administration's NMD Policy: 3+3 = "Wait and See"
The Clinton Administration's policy on national missile defense has been
primarily focused on assessing the threats confronting the United States and less on
developing and deploying an adequate missile defense system to protect the U.S. from these
identified threats. The Administration's record is long on discussion and short on action.
In his first term President Clinton issued two executive orders which identified that the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was increasing at an alarming rate. In that
same context, President Clinton called for immediate actions to be taken to ameliorate the
Executive Order 12938, which was signed on November 14, 1994, stated:
"I, William J. Clinton President of the United States of America, find that the
proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and the means of delivering such
weapons constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign
policy, and economy of the United States, and hereby declare a national emergency to deal
with that threat."
Yet, in 1995 the President vetoed a Defense Authorization Act that would
have provided funding for ballistic missile defense. The President defended his veto by
proclaiming that a missile defense system as described in the Defense Authorization Act of
FY1996 would have been too expensive to build given that the ballistic missile threat
would not present a threat to the United States for at least another fifteen years. During
that same year, President Clinton informed Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, that the ABM
Treaty was the "cornerstone of strategic stability," reaffirming the
Administration's support of Mutual Assured Destruction-a policy that considers any U.S.
defenses against strategic offensive forces as destabilizing. Ironically, on November 9,
1995, President Clinton issued a Notice of Continuation of Emergency Regarding Weapons of
Mass Destruction. That state of national emergency is still in effect today and the
strategic threat environment is only becoming worse.
After being pressured by the Republican members of Congress, the Clinton
Administration modified its NMD policy by instituting the "3+3" Plan, which
remains in place today. The "3+3" Plan called for the research and development
of a NMD architecture over a three year period. Under the guidelines set forth in the
"3+3" Plan the Administration would decide whether the threat warranted the
deployment of a national missile defense in the year 2000. If the threat existed and the
Administration called for NMD deployment, a final NMD system would not be deployed until
2003. However, since the signing of the "3+3" Plan Administration officials have
indicated that a fully operational NMD system could not make its way into service until
2005. It is unclear whether the Clinton Administration is committed to sticking with the
"3+3"; however, judging by the Administration's track record on NMD, it is
highly unlikely that a decision will be made to deploy a NMD before President Clinton
The Administration's national missile defense policy has not been
responsive to the emerging foreign missile threat. White House officials are trying to
convince the American people that so-called "Developing World" countries lack
the technological wherewithal and the technical assistance to produce missiles capable of
delivering nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons to American soil. The
Administration's programs to address the foreign ballistic missile threat underestimate
the efforts taken by these nations to acquire the technology and the technical assistance
necessary for developing, building, and eventually deploying ballistic missiles.
The lessons to be learned from the U.S. history of ballistic missile
advancement are straightforward. The acquisition of key technical experts can move a
country rapidly forward in advancing ballistic missile capability. Moreover, the range of
existing ballistic missile systems can be rapidly increased, for example by incorporating
In the 1940s, designing and fabricating ballistic missiles was
challenging, but with focus, determination, and national-level support it was done very
rapidly, even though new types of inertial guidance instruments had to be developed, new
rocket engines and missile structures fabricated, and new fuels produced. In stark
contrast, countries seeking to develop ballistic missiles today do not have to overcome
such hurdles. The West's schools and universities are providing students from countries of
concern with superior educations in sciences and technologies related to ballistic missile
development. While in the 1940s and 50s few individuals and nations understood and could
produce ballistic missiles and related technologies, in today's world missile designs are
well understood, missile components are available on the world market, and whole missile
systems can be bought and delivered. History is replete with numerous examples of
transfers of ballistic missile technologies including, Egyptian SCUDs to North Korea,
Chinese M-11s to Pakistan, Chinese CSS-2s to Saudi Arabia, Russian engines to India,
Russian guidance components to Iraq, and so forth, to name only a handful.
In addition, countries developing ballistic missiles are frequently
trading technologies and hardware among themselves and using the synergy of cooperative
projects to increase their ballistic missile capabilities. Aside from hardware, the
break-up of the Soviet Union and the stagnation of Russia have resulted in the
availability of numerous scientists who are available for hire, if the price is right, and
who can provide valuable ballistic missile design, development and testing expertise to a
sponsoring nation. Since most of today's ballistic missiles are mobile, training and
launching by customer nation crews can take place in the missile's country of origin, so
that the first launch of a missile from a customer country may occur without any advance
North Korea is one of the smallest, poorest countries on earth and one
of the most isolated geopolitically. Yet it is able to maintain a robust and increasingly
capable ballistic missile arsenal. Moreover, North Korea is able to export ballistic
missiles along with related technologies and expertise to other nations of concern like
Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan. If North Korea can accomplish this, then surely other nations
with more robust technical, financial, and infrastructure capabilities will be able to do
Although a number of countries are acquiring long-range ballistic
missile capabilities, ballistic missiles do not need to have long ranges to threaten the
United States. For example, in the 1950s, the U.S. launched several ballistic missiles
from the deck of a ship, and sent them to high altitudes where their nuclear weapon
payloads were detonated. Most of the population of the U.S. lives near the East and West
coasts, and thus is highly vulnerable to a ship-launched missile that could be covertly
deployed in the merchant traffic several hundred miles at sea. The modifications to such a
ship would not need to be obvious, if at all, given that a missile Transporter Erector
Launcher (TEL) or Mobile Erector Launcher (MEL) could be driven into the hold of a sizable
cargo ship. Testing of a few missile launches in such a configuration could be performed
in remote locations to avoid detection by the U.S. As a result, a nation's limited
short-range capability could be rapidly transformed into a mobile, covert long-range
capability that the U.S. today has no means for defending against.
In view of the concerns discussed above, there is every reason to
believe that the U.S. can be threatened by a ballistic missile attack today, both at home
and abroad, by a determined adversary.
NMD: The Time is Now
Given the increase in the number countries obtaining and/or seeking to
obtain ballistic missiles of intercontinental range, unless the Administration radically
alters its "wait and see" approach it will continue to place the lives of every
American at risk from a ballistic missile attack for many years to come. If the United
States were to start the procurement process of NMD systems immediately, a fully
operational national missile defense system would not be ready for service until at least
2006 or 2007.
I would like for the members of this committee to ask themselves one
question: how long do we have to wait until the United States decides that the threat is
great enough to warrant the deployment of a national missile defense? Is it logical to
wait until hundreds, thousands, or maybe even millions of Americans die from a ballistic
missile attack until we finally decide to deploy a national missile defense? Conventional
wisdom tells us that waiting would be extremely illogical and more importantly, unethical.
Furthermore, the fundamental basis of the United States Constitution is to preserve and
defend the welfare of the American people-The American people must be defended.
The primary purpose of a national missile defense is to discourage
countries from developing offensive ballistic missiles and the chemical, biological, or
nuclear warheads that make them able to produce masses of casualties. It is essential to
recognize that countries are most susceptible to being discouraged from developing
offensive missiles before they have made major national commitments to such programs, when
they are still considering the alternatives, and when they maximize flexibility in their
future course of action. Therefore, the best opportunity for avoiding offensive ballistic
missile threats is squarely before the U.S. today-not tomorrow, not next year, not
15 years from now, not in "three plus three" years as the Clinton Administration
proposes, but today.
The problem is not to estimate the last possible time when the U.S.
could deploy missile defenses. Historically, the U.S. has proven poor at making such
intelligence estimates for many reasons. The challenge before the U.S. is to deploy a
national missile defense as rapidly as possible to discourage potential proliferators from
developing, building, buying, or otherwise obtaining offensive ballistic missiles, as well
as to counter the many ballistic missile threats that already exist.
Most one-time skeptics of the need for theater missile defenses became
supporters after attacks on the U.S. and our allies caused loss of life in the war with
Iraq. There can be little doubt that a ballistic missile attack on the U.S. would produce
similar support for national missile defense. The question before the Congress is: must
the U.S. wait until it is attacked by the ballistic missiles before it deploys such
NMD Technology Is Ready Today
Contrary to many NMD critics, the U.S. missile defense program has successfully
overcome a series of formidable technological and systemic challenges and can provide an
effective defense against ballistic missile warheads. Both hardware and software obstacles
have been resolved, and miniaturization or sensors, propulsion system, and computer
technologies have greatly reduced cost issues. The small size of the anticipated missile
threat from the developing world also has significantly facilitated the resolution of
technical and operational problems. The principle challenge today is not in the
technology, but the national commitment to proceed with effective missile defenses. To
mention some of the areas where the advantage is shifted:
- the capabilities of our new radar systems have improved substantially, both in the
transmit-receive function and also in the data processing.
- Miniaturized spacecraft and spacecraft optical systems have made great progress in the
last two decades, as have spacecraft infrared, visible, and ultraviolet sensors.
- Lasers, based on aircraft and satellite platforms, have made enormous progress, and that
progress is being used both in the airborne laser program being pursued by the air force
today and in the space-based laser that is being pursued by the Ballistic Missile Defense
- Small rocket propulsion, which is used, among other things, for maneuvering and
diverting kinetic interceptors, or rocket-based interceptors, has improved greatly, and we
can now build small thrusters with thrust-to-weight ration of over a thousand,
- Most important, our capability in computing has increased greatly while the size of
computers has actually decreased.
In addition to technology arguments, NMD critics contend that U.S. missile defense
effort can easily be countered by various countermeasures such as deploying decoys, chaff,
etc., this assumption presupposes that U.S. defense technologies will remain stagnate in
the face of rising countermeasure capabilities. This is not the case. In truth, as missile
defense technologies have improved the advantage has shifted from the offense to the
defense. The United States is the world's premier technological power for a reason; for a
developing world country to place a wager on whether or not the United States can defend
against its emerging countermeasures would be an extremely risky bet.
The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization supports a small group, called the
Countermeasure Hands-on Project, which is a third-world like operation populated by
intelligent but relatively inexperienced young officers and enlisted men, in which they
try to develop these countermeasures and test them to see how hard it is to make them and
what can be said about them. Our uniform experience in this is that countermeasures have
proven harder to make work well in our efforts to build them, both in the Countermeasures
Hands-on Project, but more generally with our ballistic missile force, than we
anticipated, and discrimination has proved to be less difficult than we anticipated. We
have so much more experience and so much more technical capability in the areas of
optical, infrared, and ultraviolet sensors, as well as ground based radars that depending
on countermeasures to defeat U.S. ABM capabilities, once deployed, is an extremely risky
bet for less developed nations to take.
Our NMD system design, which the U.S. is currently pursuing is, in my view, a step in
the right direction, but one with substantial deficiencies that need to be filled out
before we have a comprehensive missile defense capability. The limitations on it are
primarily driven by the ABM Treaty today. So in summary I would say the technology
balance, while it may be an eternal challenge, and one can always invent an offense that
will overcome a given defense, and one can always conceive of a defense that will overcome
a given offense, the technology balance is moving toward the defense, and the U.S. should
be taking full advantage of that.
The ABM Treaty and the New World Disorder
The ABM Treaty the major problem impeding U.S. efforts to build the needed defenses. It
masquerades as a solution to national security problems.
Twenty-three years ago, the U.S. and the Soviet Union negotiated an arms control
treaty-SALT-with which the U.S. intended to limit the build-up of the Soviet ICBM force.
In conjunction with that treaty, the two adversaries also negotiated the ABM Treaty, which
was specifically intended to assure the continuing vulnerability of the people of both the
U.S. and Soviet Union to ballistic missile attack.
The SALT I Agreement was a failure in limiting the Soviet ICBM force, which was
massively enhanced in both number and performance after the SALT I Agreement went into
effect. Reductions in the number of Soviet ICBMs did not actually occur until the end of
the decade of the 1980s, well after President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative had
been put in place.
Even though the ABM Treaty assured the Soviets of the continuing vulnerability of the
American people and country, the Soviet Union, unlike the U.S., continued to deploy
ballistic missile defenses. These defenses were comprised of both Moscow-area ABM system,
which has nuclear-tipped missile interceptors, and widespread deployment of mobile,
nuclear-tipped anti-aircraft and antiballistic missile defense systems, such as the SA-5,
SA-10, and SA-12, throughout the Soviet Union. Since these systems are armed with nuclear
warheads, they do not require sophisticated "hit-to-kill" fire control and
guidance technology to defend against ballistic missiles.
In 1983, President Reagan called for an end to U.S. vulnerability to ballistic missile
attack, and to that end directed that the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) be pursued.
Since that time, the SDI and the subsequent Ballistic Missile Defense program have
continually been undermined by the ABM Treaty.
It is difficult to overestimate how profound this undermining has been. Not only has
the ABM Treaty prohibited the deployment of national missile defenses, it has led to the
prohibition of funding for research and deployment on systems which might, if deployed,
conflict with the ABM Treaty. Moreover, it has made Defense Department program managers
unwilling even to propose missile defense systems and test programs which in some arcane,
legalistic way might be viewed as conflicting with the largely ambiguous details of ABM
Treaty-even though the systems are designed specifically for purposes other than strategic
The ABM Treaty attempted to constrain the ballistic missile defense capabilities of
only two parties: The United States and the Soviet Union. (Since the dissolution of the
Soviet Union, the Administration has sought to broaden the Treaty's signatories to include
several states of the former Soviet Union). Unfortunately, the Treaty leaves the U.S. and
its people vulnerable to ballistic missiles fired from anywhere in the world. This
includes possible ballistic missile attacks from China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya,
and any other hostile country, as well as from rogue missile commanders, terrorist groups,
and accidental launches from any source. The Treaty's guarantee that the U.S. will not
defend itself from ballistic missile attack can only act as a strong incentive for hostile
countries and groups to develop long-range missiles armed with nuclear and other weapons
of mass destruction.
This phenomenon is alarmingly analogous to the efforts by Western nations-and
particularly the United States-to limit the development of armaments in the aftermath of
World War I. The 1920s disarmament movement resulted only in providing a strong incentive
to those nations-such as Germany and Japan-that clearly did not subscribe to disarmament
theories to develop the weapons necessary for long-range power projection. Walter Lippman,
in his book U.S. Foreign Policy: Shield of the Republic, summed up the Allied
experiment in self-imposed vulnerability when he observed that the inter-war
"disarmament was, as the event has shown, tragically successful in disarming the
nations that believed in disarmament. The net effect was
to reduce them to almost
disastrous impotence" in the face of overseas threats.
From an ethical point of view, the ABM Treaty is appalling. It is, in
fact, an instrument of an experiment that makes the population of the U.S., some 250
million people, hostage to the policies, insanities, and errors of the rest of the world.
It places the American people at risk through an experiment in international relations on
an unprecedented scale. Since proponents of the Treaty do not describe its effects in this
manner, most of the 250 million subjects of this misguided experiment are not aware that
they are being used to serve as hostages for the ballistic missiles of other countries. In
fact, the majority of U.S. citizens believe that the United States has national missile
defenses against ballistic missiles, and are incredulous when they are told otherwise.
For ethical reasons, the nation-wide participants in this experiment must be made aware
of the enforced vulnerability that makes them, without their knowledge, the designated
victims of the rest of the world. When they are informed of the use being made of them,
they will insist on the termination of the ABM Treaty and the acceleration of U.S.
national missile defense capabilities. To that purpose, the ABM Treaty should be
terminated immediately, either in cooperation with the Russians, or, if not, then
From a legal standpoint, it can be argued that since the Soviet Union is now defunct,
the Treaty is no longer valid. In June of 1998 the Hunton & Williams Law Firm
conducted a study to find out if the ABM Treaty was still a valid document. According to
the Study: "When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, the ABM Treaty became impossible
to perform in accordance with its original provisions. Because of the unique terms and
conditions of the ABM Treaty, and the underlying assumptions of the Parties, none of the
states that emerged from the Soviet Union, either alone or with others, could carry out
the totality of the Soviet Union's obligation under the ABM Treaty. Consequently, the
obligations of the United States under the Treaty were discharged at the time the Soviet
Before any NMD deployment can take place, either the United States must withdraw from
the ABM Treaty or the United States will have to negotiate major amendments to the Treaty
with the Russians, who have, to date, shown only hostility to such negotiations. From a
personal standpoint, it is my belief that the United States should pursue the former
option. By abrogating the ABM Treaty the United States would not be constrained to the
deployment of a limited, somewhat less effective, land-based national missile defense.
This option would provide the United States with a flexible mission-oriented NMD that
could consist of a combination of land-based, sea-based, and space-based NMD systems.
While the United States remains defenseless against a ballistic missile attack, the
Russians have well over 100 ground-based interceptors located around the Moscow
region and many thousand Surface-to-Air missiles with inherent ABM capabilities located
throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union. These ABM systems provide Russia with a
substantial territorial defense against a ballistic missile attack. Yet, the Russian
government has claimed that even the successful long range ballistic missile interceptor
test that the U. S. recently conducted is a violation of the ABM Treaty.
In summary of the United States' negotiating strategy, I would advise that if the
Russians are reluctant to amend the ABM Treaty language, or if an amendment to the Treaty
does not allow a mission-oriented NMD consisting of land-based, sea-based, or space-based
systems, it is in the national security interests to abrogate the 1972 Treaty in accord
with the Treaty's provision for such action.
In conclusion, the ballistic missile threat to the United States continues to increase.
Unless the United States takes measures to defend against such threats, the lives of every
American will continue to be at risk to a ballistic missile attack. The United States has
the technological capacity to construct and deploy a NMD system that is capable of
overcoming any developing world ballistic missile forces, including countermeasures, now,
and in the foreseeable future. I urge the Administration to get beyond assessing the
threat-the threat is clear and present. The Administration should make the commitment now
to deploy a national missile defense in the immediate future.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.