Relevant Intelligence Community Documents:
September 1999 National Intelligence Council Report,
``Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile
Threat to the United States Through 2015''................. 409
Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of
Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and
Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January Through 30 June
North Korea could convert its Taepo Dong-1 space launch
vehicle (SLV) into an ICBM that could deliver a light payload
(sufficient for a biological or chemical weapon) to the United
States, albeit with inaccuracies that would make hitting large
urban targets improbable. North Korea is more likely to
weaponize the larger Taepo Dong-2 as an ICBM that could deliver
a several-hundred kilogram payload (sufficient for early
generation nuclear weapons) to the United States. Most analysts
believe it could be tested at any time, probably initially as
an SLV, unless it is delayed for political reasons.
Iran could test an ICBM that could deliver a several-hundred
kilogram payload to many parts of the United States in the last
half of the next decade using Russian technology and
assistance. Most analysts believe it could test an ICBM capable
of delivering a lighter payload to the United States in the
next few years following the North Korean pattern.
--Analysts differ on the likely timing of Iran's first test of an
ICBM that could threaten the United States--assessments
range from likely before 2010 and very likely before 2015
(although an SLV with ICBM capability probably will be
tested in the next few years) to less than an even chance
of an ICBM test by 2015.
Iraq could test a North Korean-type ICBM that could deliver
a several-hundred kilogram payload to the United States in the
last half of the next decade depending on the level of foreign
assistance. Although less likely, most analysts believe it
could test an ICBM that could deliver a lighter payload to the
United States in a few years based on its failed SLV or the
Taepo Dong-1, if it began development now.
--Analysts differ on the likely timing of Iraq's first test of an
ICBM that could threaten the United States--assessments
range from likely before 2015, possibly before 2010
(foreign assistance would affect capability and timing) to
unlikely before 2015.
By 2015, Russia will maintain as many nuclear weapons on
ballistic missiles as its economy will allow but well short of
START I or II limitations.
By 2015, China is likely to have tens of missiles capable of
targeting the United States, including a few tens of more
survivabe, land- and sea-based mobile missiles with smaller
nuclear warheads--in part influenced by U.S. technology gained
through espionage. China tested its first mobile ICBM in August
Sales of ICBMs or SLVs, which have inherent ICBM capabilities and
could be converted relatively quickly with little or no warning, could
increase the number of countries able to threaten the United States.
North Korea continues to demonstrate a willingness to sell its
missiles. Although we judge that Russia or China are unlikely to sell
an ICBM or SLV in the next fifteen years, the consequences of even one
sale would be extremely serious.
Several other means to deliver weapons of mass destruction to the
United States have probably been devised, some more reliable than ICBMs
that have not completed rigorous testing programs. For example.
biological or chemical weapons could be prepared in the United States
and used in large population centers, or short-range missiles could be
deployed on surface ships. However, these means do not provide a nation
the same prestige and degree of deterrence or coercive diplomacy
associated with ICBMs.
The proliferation of medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs)--
driven primarily by North Korean No Dong sales--has created an
immediate, serious, and growing threat to U.S. forces, interests, and
allies, and has significantly altered the strategic balances in the
Middle East and Asia. We judge that countries developing missiles view
their regional concerns as one of the primary factors in tailoring
their programs. They see their short- and medium-range missiles not
only as deterrents but also as force-multiplying weapons of war,
primarily with conventional weapons, but with options for delivering
biological, chemical, and eventually nuclear weapons. South Asia
provides one of the most telling examples of regional ballistic missile
and nuclear proliferation:
Pakistan has Chinese-supplied M-11 short-range ballistic
missiles (SRBMs) and Ghauri MRBMs from North Korea.
India has Prithvi I SRBMs and recently began testing the
Agni II MRBM.
We assess these missiles may have nuclear roles.
Foreign assistance continues to have demonstrable effects on
missile advances around the world, particularly from Russia and North
Korea. Moreover, some countries that have traditionally been recipients
of foreign missile technology are now sharing more amongst themselves
and are pursuing cooperative missile ventures.
We assess that countries developing missiles also will respond to
U.S. theater and national missile defenses by deploying larger forces,
penetration aids, and countermeasures. Russia and China each have
developed numerous countermeasures and probably will sell some related
The worldwide ballistic missile proliferation problem has continued
to evolve during the past year. The proliferation of technology and
components continues. The capabilities of the missiles in the countries
seeking to acquire them are growing, a fact underscored by North
Korea's launch of the Taepo Dong-1 in August 1998. The number of
missiles in these countries is also increasing. Medium- and short-range
ballistic missile systems, particularly if armed with weapons of mass
destruction (WMD) warheads, already pose a significant threat to U.S.
interests, military forces, and allies overseas. We have seen increased
trade and cooperation among countries that have been recipients of
missile technologies from others. Finally, some countries continue to
work toward longer-range systems, including ICBMs.
We expect the threat to the United States and its interests to
increase over the next 15 years. However, projecting political and
economic developments that could alter the nature of the missile threat
many years into the future is virtually impossible. The threat facing
the United States in the year 2015 will depend on our changing
relations with foreign countries, the political situation within those
countries, economic factors, and numerous other factors that we cannot
predict with confidence.
For example, 15 years ago the United States and the Soviet
Union were superpower adversaries in the midst of the Cold War,
with military forces facing off in central Europe and competing
for global power. Today, by contrast, the differences that
separated the two countries during that period have been
replaced by differences expected between modern nation states.
Iraq is another example: 15 years ago it shared common
interests with the United States. Since Iraq's invasion of
Kuwait in 1990. Washington and Baghdad have been in numerous
military and diplomatic conflicts.
Finally, we do not know whether some of the countries of
concern will exist in 15 years in their current state or as
suppliers of missiles and technology.
Recognizing these uncertainties, we have projected foreign
ballistic missile capabilities into the future largely based on
technical capabilities and with a general premise that relations with
the United States will not change significantly enough to alter the
intentions of those states pursuing ballistic missile capabilities.
Future annual reports will be able to take account of any contemporary
information that alters our projections.
The Evolving Missile Threat in the Current Proliferation Environment
The new missile threats confronting the United States are far
different from the Cold War threat during the last three decades.
During that period, the ballistic missile threat to the United States
involved relatively accurate, survivable, and reliable missiles
deployed in large numbers. Soviet--and to a much lesser extent
Chinese--strategic forces threatened, as they still do, the potential
for catastrophic, nation-killing damage. By contrast, the new missile
threats involve states with considerably fewer missiles with less
accuracy, yield, survivability, reliability, and range-payload
capability than the hostile strategic forces we have faced for 30
years. Even so, the new systems are threatening, but in different ways.
First, although the majority of systems being developed and
produced today are short- or medium-range ballistic missiles, North
Korea's three-stage Taepo Dong-1 SLV demonstrated Pyongyang's potential
to cross the 5,500-km ICBM threshold if it develops a survivable weapon
for the system. Other potentially hostile nations could cross that
threshold during the next 15 years. While it remains extremely unlikely
that any potential adversary could inflict damage to the United States
or its forces comparable to the damage that Russian or Chinese forces
could inflict, emerging systems potentially can kill tens of thousands,
or even millions of Americans, depending on the type of warhead, the
accuracy, and the intended target.
Classification of Ballistic Missiles by
Short-range ballistic missile (SRBM)...... Under 1,000 km
Medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM)..... 1,000 to 3,000 km
Intermediate-range ballistic missile 3,000 to 5,500 km
Intercontinental-range ballistic missile Over 5,500 km
Second, many of the countries that are developing longer-range
missiles probably assess that the threat of their use would complicate
American decision-making during crises. Over the last decade, the world
has observed that missiles less capable than the ICBMs the United
States and others have deployed can affect another nation's decision-
making process. Though U.S. potential adversaries recognize American
military superiority, they are likely to assess that their growing
missile capabilities would enable them to increase the cost of a U.S.
victory and potentially deter Washington from pursuing certain
objectives. Moreover, some countries, including some without hostile
intent towards the United States, probably view missiles as a means of
providing an independent deterrent and war-fighting capabilities.
Third, the probability that a WMD-armed missile will be used
against U.S. forces or interests is higher today than during most of
the Cold War. Ballistic missiles, for example, were used against U.S.
forces during the Gulf war. More nations now have longer-range missiles
and WMD warheads. Missiles have been used in several conflicts over the
past two decades, although not with WMD warheads. Nevertheless, some of
the regimes controlling these missiles have exhibited a willingness to
Thus, acquiring long-range ballistic missiles armed with WMD will
enable weaker countries to do three things that they otherwise might
not be able to do: deter, constrain, and harm the United States. To
achieve these objectives, these WMD-armed weapons need not be deployed
in large numbers; with even a few such weapons, these countries would
judge that they had the capability to threaten at least politically
significant damage to the United States or its allies. They need not be
highly accurate; the ability to target a large urban area is
sufficient. They need not be highly reliable, because their strategic
value is derived primarily from the threat (implicit or explicit) of
their use, not the near certain outcome of such use. Some of these
systems may be intended for their political impact as potential terror
weapons, while others may be built to perform more specific military
missions, facing the United States with a broad spectrum of
motivations, development, timelines, and resulting hostile
capabilities. In many ways, such weapons are not envisioned at the
outset as operational weapons of war, but primarily as strategic
weapons of deterrence and coercive diplomacy.
The progress of countries in Asia and the Middle East toward
acquiring longer-range ballistic missiles has been dramatically
demonstrated over the past 18 months:
Most notably, North Korea's three-stage Taepo Dong-1 SLV has
inherent, albeit limited, capabilities to deliver small
payloads to ICBM ranges. Although the Taepo Dong-1 satellite
attempt in August 1998 failed, North Korea demonstrated several
of the key technologies required for an ICBM, including
staging. As a space launch vehicle, however, it did not
demonstrate a payload capable of surviving atmospheric reentry
at ICBM ranges. We judge that North Korea would be unlikely to
pursue weaponizing a three-stage Taepo Dong-1 as an ICBM,
preferring instead to pursue the much more capable Taepo Dong-
2, which we expect will be flight tested this year, unless it
is delayed for political reasons.
Pakistan flight-tested its 1,300 km range Ghauri missile,
which it produced with North Korean assistance. (Pakistan also
flight-tested the Shaheen I SRBM.)
Iran flight-tested its 1,300 km range Shahab-3--a version of
North Korea's No Dong, which Iran has produced with Russian
India flight-tested its Agni II MRBM, which we estimate will
have a range of about 2,000 km.
China conducted the first flight test of its DF-31 mobile
ICBM in August 1999: it will have a range of about 8,000 km.
Many of these countries probably have considered ballistic missile
defense countermeasures. Historically, the development and deployment
of missile defense systems have been accompanied by the development of
countermeasures and penetration aids by potential adversaries, either
in reaction to the threat or in anticipation of it. The Russians and
Chinese have had countermeasure programs for decades and are probably
willing to transfer some related technology to others. We expect that
during the next 15 years, countries other than Russia and China will
develop countermeasures to Theater and National Missile Defenses.
Threat Availability Before ``Deployment''
Emerging long-range missile powers do not appear to rely on robust
test programs to ensure a missile's accuracy and reliability--as the
United States and the Soviet Union did during the Cold War. Similarly,
deploying a large number of long-range missiles to dedicated, long-term
sites--as the United States and the Soviet Union did--is not
necessarily the path emerging long-range missile powers will choose. In
many cases, a nation may decide that the ability to threaten with one
or two long-range missiles is sufficient for its doctrinal or
propaganda needs. China, for example, has only about 20 ICBMs; its
doctrine requires only that it be able to hold a significant portion of
an aggressor's population at risk.
With shorter flight test programs--perhaps only one test--and
potentially simple deployment schemes, the time between the initial
flight test and the availability of a missile for military use is
likely to be shortened. Once a missile has performed successfully
through its critical flight functions, it would be available for the
country to use as a threat or in a military role. Thus, we project the
year for a first flight test rather than the projected date for a
missile's ``deployment'' as the initial indication of an emerging
threat. Moreover, using the date of the first projected flight test as
the initial indicator of the threat recognizes that emerging long-range
missile powers may not choose to deploy a large number of missiles and
that an adversary armed with even a single missile capable of
delivering a WMD-payload may consider it threatening. Using the first
flight test results in threat projections a few years earlier than
those based on traditional definitions of deployment, which may not
apply as well to the emerging threats.
Potential ICBM Threats to the United States
We project that during the next 15 years the United States most
likely will face ICBM threats from Russia, China, and North Korea,
probably from Iran, and possibly from Iraq, although the threats will
consist of dramatically fewer weapons than today because of significant
reductions we expect in Russian strategic forces.
The Russian threat will continue to be the most robust and
lethal, considerably more so than that posed by China, and
orders of magnitude more than that posed by the other three.
Initial North Korean, Iranian, and Iraqi ICBMs would
probably be fewer in number--a few to tens rather than hundreds
or thousands, constrained to smaller payload capabilities, and
less reliable and accurate than their Russian and Chinese
Countries with emerging ICBM capabilities are likely to view
their relatively few ICBMs more as weapons of deterrence and
coercive diplomacy than as weapons of war, recognizing that
their use could bring devastating consequences. Thus, the
emerging threats posed to the United States by these countries
will be very different than the Cold War threat.
North Korea. After Russia and China, North Korea is the most likely
to develop ICBMs capable of threatening the United States during the
next 15 years.
North Korea attempted to orbit a small satellite using the
Taepo Dong-1 SLV in August 1998, but the third stage failed
during powered flight; other aspects of the flight, including
stage separation, appear to have been successful.
If it had an operable third stage and a reentry vehicle
capable of surviving ICBM flight, a converted Taepo Dong-1 SLV
could deliver a light payload to the United States. In these
cases, about two-thirds of the payload mass would be required
for the reentry vehicle structure. The remaining mass is
probably too light for an early generation nuclear weapon but
could deliver biological or chemical (BW/CW) warfare agent.
Most analysts believe that North Korea probably will test a
Taepo Dong-2 this year, unless delayed for political reasons. A
two-stage Taepo Dong-2 could deliver a several-hundred kilogram
payload to Alaska and Hawaii, and a lighter payload to the
western half of the United States. A three-stage Taepo Dong-2
could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload anywhere in
the United States.
North Korea is much more likely to weaponize the more
capable Taepo Dong-2 than the three-stage Taepo Dong-1 as an
Iran. Iran is the next hostile country most capable of testing an
ICBM capable of delivering a weapon to the United States during the
next 15 years.
Iran could test an ICBM that could deliver a several-hundred
kilogram payload to many parts of the United States in the
latter half of the next decade, using Russian technology and
Iran could pursue a Taepo Dong-type ICBM. Most analysts
believe it could test a three-stage ICBM patterned after the
Taepo Dong-1 SLV or a three-stage Taepo Dong-2-type ICBM,
possibly with North Korean assistance, in the next few years.
Iran is likely to test an SLV by 2010 that--once developed--
could be converted into an ICBM capable of delivering a
several-hundred kilogram payload to the United States.
Analysts differ on the likely timing of Iran's first flight
test of an ICBM that could threaten the United States.
--likely before 2010 and very likely before 2015 (noting that
an SLV with ICBM capabilities will probably be tested within
the next few years);
--no more than an even chance by 2010 and a better than even
chance by 2015;
--and less than an even chance by 2015.
Iraq. Although the Gulf war and subsequent United Nations
activities destroyed much of Iraq's missile infrastructure, Iraq could
test an ICBM capable of reaching the United States during the next 15
After observing North Korean activities, Iraq most likely
would pursue a three-stage Taepo Dong-2 approach to an ICBM (or
SLV), which could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload to
parts of the United States. If Iraq could buy a Taepo Dong-2
from North Korea, it could have a launch capability within
months of the purchase: if it bought Taepo Dong engines, it
could test an ICBM by the middle of the next decade. Iraq
probably would take until the end of the next decade to develop
the system domestically.
Although much less likely, most analysts believe that if
Iraq were to begin development today, it could test a much less
capable ICBM in a few years using Scud components and based on
its prior SLV experience or on the Taepo
If it could acquire No Dongs from North Korea, Iraq could
test a more capable ICBM along the same lines within a few
years of the No Dong acquisition.
Analysts differ on the likely timing of Iraq's first flight
test of an ICBM that could threaten the United States.
Assessments include unlikely before 2015; and likely before
2015, possibly before 2010--foreign assistance would affect the
capability and timing.
Russia. Russia's strategic offensive forces are experiencing
serious budget constraints but will remain the cornerstone of its
military power. Russia expects its forces to deter both nuclear and
conventional military threats and is prepared to conduct limited
nuclear strikes to warn off an enemy or alter the course of a battle.
Russia currently has about 1,000 strategic ballistic
missiles with 4,500 warheads.
Its strategic force will remain formidable through and
beyond 2015, but the size of this--force will decrease
dramatically--well below arms control limits--primarily because
of budget constraints.
Russia will maintain as many strategic missiles and
associated nuclear warheads as it believes it can afford, but
well short of START I or II limitations.
--If Russia ratifies START II, with its ban on multiple
warheads on ICBMs, it would probably be able to maintain only
about half of the weapons it could maintain without the ban.
We judge that an unauthorized or accidental launch of a
Russian strategic missile is highly unlikely so long as current
technical and procedural safeguards are in place.
China. Chinese strategic nuclear doctrine calls for a survivable
long-range missile force that can hold a significant portion of the
U.S. population at risk in a retaliatory strike.
China's current force of about 20 CSS-4 ICBMs can reach
targets in all of the United States.
Beijing also is developing two new road-mobile, solid
--It conducted the first flight test of the mobile DF-31 ICBM
in August 1999; we judge it will have a range of about 8,000 km
and will be targeted primarily against Russia and Asia.
--We expect a test of a longer range mobile ICBM within the
next several years; it will be targeted primarily against the
China is developing the JL-2 SLBM, which we expect to be
tested within the next decade. The JL-2 probably will be able
to target the United States from launch areas near China.
By 2015, China will likely have tens of missiles targeted
against the United States, having added a few tens of more
survivable land- and sea-based mobile missiles with smaller
nuclear warheads--in part influenced by U.S. technology gained
China has had the technical capability to develop multiple
RV payloads for 20 years. If China needed a multiple-RV (MRV)
capability in the near term, Beijing could use a DF-31-type RV
to develop and deploy a simple MRV or multiple independently
targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) \2\ for the CSS-4 in a few
years. MIRVing a future mobile missile would be many years off.
\2\ An MRV system releases multiple RVs along the missile's linear
flight path, often at a single target; a MIRV system can maneuver to
several different release points to provide targeting flexibility.
China is also significantly improving its theater missile
capabilities and is increasing the size of its SRBM force
deployed opposite Taiwan.
We assess that an unauthorized launch of a Chinese strategic
missile is highly unlikely.
Foreign assistance continues to have demonstrable effects on
missile advances around the world. Moreover, some countries that have
traditionally been recipients of foreign missile technology are now
sharing more amongst themselves and are pursuing cooperative missile
Russian missile assistance continues to be significant.
China continues to contribute to missile programs in some
North Korea may expand sales.
Moreover, changes in the regional and international security
environment--in particular, Iran's Shahab-3 missile test and the Indian
and Pakistani missile and nuclear tests--probably will fuel missile and
WMD interests in the region.
Sales of ICBMs or SLVs, which have inherent ICBM capabilities,
could further increase the number of countries that will be able to
threaten the United States with a missile strike. North Korea continues
to demonstrate a willingness to sell its missiles and related
technologies and will probably continue doing so, perhaps under the
guise of selling SLVs. In the past, we judged that political conditions
made the sale of a Russian or Chinese ICBM unlikely and that the
geopolitical situation would not change enough for either to decide
that the sale of an ICBM would be in its national interest. We have not
detected the transfer of a complete ICBM by Russia or China, nor do we
have any information to indicate either plans to transfer one.
Projecting the likelihood of such a transfer 15 years into the future
is very uncertain, driven in part by unpredictable future economic
conditions, how Moscow will perceive its position vis-a-vis the West,
and future Russian and Chinese perceptions of U.S. ballistic missile
defenses. As we attempt to project the politico-military-economic
environment for that period, we continue to judge it unlikely that
Moscow or Beijing would decide that the financial and perhaps strategic
inducements to sell a complete ICBM, SLV, or the technologies
tantamount to a complete ICBM, would outweigh the perceived political
and economic risks of doing so.\3\
\3\ The sale of an ICBM is prohibited by the START Treaty.
Warning Times and Our Ability to Forecast Missile Development and
In our 1998 annual report. we stated we had high confidence that we
could provide warning five years before deployment that a potentially
hostile country was trying to develop and deploy an ICBM. Because
countries of concern could threaten to use ballistic missiles following
limited flight-testing and before a missile is deployed in the
traditional sense, we broadened our warning in the 1998 update
memorandum to encompass the first successful flight test as the
beginning of an ``initial threat availability.''
Our ability to provide warning for a particular country depends
highly on our collection capabilities. For some countries, we have
relatively large bodies of evidence on which to base our assessments;
for others, our knowledge of the programs being pursued is limited. Our
monitoring and warning about North Korea's efforts to achieve an ICBM
capability constitute an important case study on warning. In 1994, we
were able to give five years warning of North Korea's efforts to
acquire an ICBM capability. At that time, the Intelligence Community
The Taepo Dong-1 was a two-stage, medium-range missile that
could be tested in 1994 and deployed as early as 1996.
The Taepo Dong-2 was a larger two-stage missile that would
provide P'yongyang and other countries the potential to deliver
nuclear weapons to parts of the United States, and biological
and chemical weapons further. The Community judged that the
Taepo Dong-2 flight test program would begin within a few years
of 1994 with initial deployment in 2000 or later.
Thus, the Intelligence Community warned that North Korea was
pursuing an ICBM capability and would flight test an ICBM (the Taepo
Dong-2) in the mid- to late 1990s. When North Korea did not flight test
either Taepo Dong missile until 1998, and then used the Taepo Dong-1 as
a space launch vehicle, it became clear that the Intelligence Community
Overestimated that North Korea would begin flight testing
the Taepo Dong-1 and Taepo Dong-2 missiles years earlier than
turned out to be the case.
Projected correctly the timing of a North Korean missile
with the potential to deliver payloads to the ICBM range of
Underestimated the capabilities of the Taepo Dong-1 by
failing to anticipate the use of the third stage.
North Korea demonstrated intercontinental-range booster
capabilities roughly on the timetable projected in 1994, but with a
completely unanticipated vehicle configuration. The Intelligence
Community had expected North Korea to achieve an ICBM-range capability
initially with the two-stage Taepo Dong-2, not the Taepo Dong-1 with an
unguided third stage. North Korea's use of the Taepo Dong-1 with a
third stage as a space launch vehicle was completely unexpected. Until
the flight test, the Intelligence Community was unaware of the third
stage and the intended use of the Taepo Dong-1 as a space launch
Detecting or suspecting a missile development program and
projecting the timing of the emerging threat, although difficult, are
easier than forecasting the vehicle's configuration or performance with
accuracy. Thus, we have more confidence in our ability to warn of
efforts by countries to develop ICBMs than we have in our ability to
describe accurately the missile configurations that will comprise that
threat, especially years prior to flight testing. Furthermore,
countries practice denial and deception to hide or mask their
intentions--for example, testing an ICBM as a space launch vehicle.
We continue to judge that we may not be able to provide much
warning if a country purchased an ICBM or if a country already had an
SLV capability. Nevertheless, the initiation of an SLV program is an
indicator of a potential ICBM program. North Korea and other countries,
such as Iran and an unconstrained Iraq, could develop an SLV booster,
then flight-test it as an ICBM with a reentry vehicle (RV) with little
or no warning. Thus, we consider space launch vehicles, especially in
the hands of countries hostile to the United States, to have
significant ballistic missile potential.
We also judge that we may not be able to provide much, if any,
warning of a forward-based ballistic missile or land-attack cruise
missile (LACM) threat to the United States. Moreover, LACM development
can draw upon dual-use technologies. We expect to see acquisition of
LACMs by many countries to meet regional military requirements.
Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) Conversion. Nations with SLVs could
convert them into ICBMs relatively quickly with little or no chance of
detection before the first flight test. Such a conversion would include
the development of a reentry vehicle (RV). A nation could try to buy an
SLV with the intent to convert it into an ICBM; detection of the sale
should provide a few years of warning before a flight test, although we
are not confident that we could detect a covert sale. Finally, many
SLVs would be cumbersome as converted military systems and could not be
made readily survivable, a task that in many cases would be
technologically and economically formidable.
Countries might mask their ICBM developments as SLV programs. They
could test the complete booster and in most cases the guidance system,
which would have to be reprogrammed to fly a ballistic missile
trajectory. They could not mask a warhead reentry under the guise of a
space launch. Nevertheless, they could develop RVs and maintain them
untested for future use, albeit with significantly reduced confidence
in their reliability.
If the country had Russian or Chinese assistance in a covert
development effort, it could have relatively high confidence
that the RV would survive and function properly.
If a country developed an untested RV without foreign
assistance, its confidence would diminish, but we could not be
confident it would fail. Significant amounts of information
about reentry vehicles are available in open sources. A low
performing RV with high flight stability would be a logical
choice for developing an ICBM RV with minimal, or no, testing.
The developing country could have some confidence that the
system would survive reentry, although confidence in its proper
delivery of the weapon would be lower without testing.
Alternative Threats to the United States
Several other means to deliver WMD to the United States have
probably been devised, some more reliable than ICBMs that have not
completed rigorous testing and validation programs. The goal of an
adversary would be to move the weapon within striking distance without
a long-range ICBM. Most of these means, however, do not provide the
same prestige and degree of deterrence or coercive diplomacy associated
with long-range missiles, but they might be the means of choice for
Forward-Based Threats. Several countries are technically capable of
developing a missile-launch mechanism to use from forward-based ships
or other platforms to launch SRBMs and MRBMs, or land-attack cruise
missiles against the United States. Some countries may develop and
deploy a forward-based system during the period of the next 15 years.
A short- or medium-range ballistic missile could be launched at the
United States from a forward-based sea platform positioned within a few
hundred kilometers of U.S. territory. If the attacking country were
willing to accept significantly reduced accuracy for the missile,
forward-basing on a sea-based platform would not be a major technical
hurdle. The reduced accuracy in such a case, however, would probably be
better than that of some early ICBMs. The simplest method for launching
a ship-borne ballistic missile would be to place a secured TEL onboard
the ship and launch the missile from its TEL. If accuracy were a major
concern, the missile and launcher would be placed on a stabilization
platform to compensate for wave movement of the ocean, or the country
would need to add satellite-aided navigation to the missile.
A concept similar to a sea-based ballistic missile launch system
would be to launch cruise missiles from forward-based platforms. This
method would enable a country to use cruise missiles acquired for
regional purposes to attack targets in the United States.
A country could launch cruise missiles from fighter, bomber,
or commercial transport aircraft outside U.S. airspace. U.S.
capability to detect planes approaching the coast, and the
limited range of fighter and bomber aircraft of most countries,
probably would preclude the choice of military aircraft for the
attack. Using a commercial aircraft, however, would be feasible
for staging a covert cruise missile attack, but it still would
A commercial surface vessel, covertly equipped to launch
cruise missiles, would be a plausible alternative for a
forward-based launch platform. This method would provide a
large and potentially inconspicuous platform to launch a cruise
missile while providing at least some cover for launch
A submarine would have the advantage of being relatively
covert. The technical sophistication required to launch a
cruise missile from a submarine torpedo or missile tube most
likely would require detailed assistance from the defense
industry of a major naval power.
Non-Missile WMD Threats to the United States. Although non-missile
means of delivering WMD do not provide the same prestige or degree of
deterrence and coercive diplomacy associated with an ICBM, such options
are of significant concern. Countries or non-state actors could pursue
non-missile delivery options, most of which:
Are less expensive than developing and producing ICBMs.
Can be covertly developed and employed; the source of the
weapon could be masked in an attempt to evade retaliation.
Probably would be more reliable than ICBMs that have not
completed rigorous testing and validation programs.
Probably would be more accurate than emerging ICBMs over the
next 15 years.
Probably would be more effective for disseminating
biological warfare agent than a ballistic missile.
Would avoid missile defenses.
The requirements for missile delivery of WMD impose additional,
stringent design requirements on the already difficult technical
problem of designing such weapons. For example, initial indigenous
nuclear weapon designs are likely to be too large and heavy for a
modest-sized ballistic missile but still suitable for delivery by ship,
truck, or even airplane. Furthermore, a country (or non-state actor) is
likely to have only a few nuclear weapons, at least during the next 15
years. Reliability of delivery would be a critical factor; covert
delivery methods could offer reliability advantages over a missile. Not
only would a country want the warhead to reach its target, it would
want to avoid an accident with a WMD warhead at the missile-launch
area. On the other hand, a ship sailing into a port could provide
secure delivery to limited locations, and a nuclear detonation, either
in the ship or on the dock, could achieve the intended purpose. An
airplane, either manned or unmanned, could also deliver a nuclear
weapon before any local inspection, and perhaps before landing.
Finally, a nuclear weapon might also be smuggled across a border or
brought ashore covertly.
Foreign non-state actors, including some terrorist or extremist
groups, have used, possessed, or are interested in weapons of mass
destruction or the materials to build them. Most of these groups have
threatened the United States or its interests. We cannot count on
obtaining warning of all planned terrorist attacks despite the high
priority we assign to this goal.
Recent trends suggest the likelihood is increasing that a foreign
group or individual will conduct a terrorist attack against U.S.
interests using chemical agents or toxic industrial chemicals in an
attempt to produce a significant number of casualties, damage
infrastructure, or create fear among a population. Past terrorist
events, such as the World Trade Center bombing and the Aum Shinrikyo
chemical attack on the Tokyo subway system, demonstrated the
feasibility and willingness to undertake an attack capable of producing
Immediate Theater Missile Threats to U.S. Interests and Allies
The proliferation of MRBMs--driven primarily by North Korean No
Dong sales--has created an immediate, serious, and growing threat to
U.S. forces, interests, and allies in the Middle East and Asia, and has
significantly altered the strategic balances in the regions.
Iran's flight test of its Shahab-3, which is based on the No
Dong, and Indian and Pakistani missile and nuclear tests may
fuel additional interest in MRBMs.
Pakistan has M-11 SRBMs from China and Ghauri MRBMs from
North Korea; we assess both may have a nuclear role.
India has Prithvi I SRBMs and recently began testing the
Agni II MRBM; we assess both may have a nuclear role.
We judge that countries developing missiles view their regional
concerns as one of the primary factors in tailoring their programs.
They see their short- and medium-range missiles not only as
deterrents but also as force-multiplying weapons of war, primarily with
conventional weapons but with options for delivering biological,
chemical, and eventually nuclear weapons.
Penetration Aids and Countermeasures
We assess that countries developing ballistic missiles would also
develop various responses to U.S. theater and national defenses. Russia
and China each have developed numerous countermeasures and probably are
willing to sell the requisite technologies.
Many countries, such as North Korea, Iran, and Iraq probably
would rely initially on readily available technology--including
separating RVs, spin-stabilized RVs, RV reorientation, radar
absorbing material (RAM), booster fragmentation, low-power
jammers, chaff, and simple (balloon) decoys--to develop
penetration aids and countermeasures.
These countries could develop countermeasures based on these
technologies by the time they flight test their missiles.
Foreign espionage and other collection efforts are likely to
increase. China, for example, has been able to obtain significant
nuclear weapons information from espionage, contact with scientists
from the United States and other countries, publications and
conferences, unauthorized media disclosures, and declassified U.S.
weapons information. We assess that China, Iran, and others are
targeting U.S. missile information as well.
Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology
Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional
Munitions, 1 January Through 30 June 1999
The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) hereby submits this
report in response to a Congressionally directed action in Section 721
of the FY 97 Intelligence Authorization Act, which requires:
``(a) Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment
of this Act, and every 6 months thereafter, the Director of
Central Intelligence shall submit to Congress a report on
(1) the acquisition by foreign countries during the
preceding 6 months of dual-use and other technology
useful for the development or production of weapons of
mass destruction (including nuclear weapons, chemical
weapons, and biological weapons) and advanced
conventional munitions; and
(2) trends in the acquisition of such technology by
At the DCI'S request, the DCI Nonproliferation Center (NPC) drafted
this report and coordinated it throughout the Intelligence Community.
As directed by Section 721, subsection (b) of the Act, it is
unclassified. As such, the report does not present the details of the
Intelligence Community's assessments of weapons of mass destruction and
advanced conventional munitions programs that are available in other
classified reports and briefings for the Congress.
acquisition by country
As required by Section 721 of the FY 97 Intelligence Authorization
Act, the following are summaries by country of acquisition activities
(solicitations, negotiations, contracts, and deliveries) related to
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and advanced conventional weapons
(ACW) that occurred from 1 Januaiy through 30 June 1999. We excluded
countries that already have substantial WMD programs, such as China and
Russia, as well as countries that demonstrated little WMD acquisition
activity of concern.
Iran remains one of the most active countries seeking to acquire
WMD and ACW technology from abroad. In doing so, Tehran is attempting
to develop an indigenous capability to produce various types of
weapons--nuclear, chemical, and biological--and their delivery systems.
During the reporting period, Iran focused its efforts to acquire WMD-
and ACW-related equipment, materials, and technology primarily on
entities in Russia, China, North Korea and Western Europe.
For the first half of 1999, entities in Russia and China continued
to supply a considerable amount and a wide variety of ballistic
missile-related goods and technology to Iran. Tehran is using these
goods and technologies to support current production programs and to
achieve its goal of becoming self-sufficient in the production of
ballistic missiles. Iran already is producing Scud short-range
ballistic missiles (SRBMs) and has built and publicly displayed
prototypes for the Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM),
which had its initial flight test in July 1998 and probably has
achieved ``emergency operational capability''--i.e., Tehran could
deploy a limited number of the Shahab-3 prototype missiles in an
operational mode during a perceived crisis situation. In addition,
Iran's Defense Minister last year publicly acknowledged the development
of the Shahab-4, originally calling it a more capable ballistic missile
than the Shahab-3, but later categorizing it as solely a space launch
vehicle with no military applications. Iran's Defense Minister also has
publicly mentioned plans for a ``Shahab 5.''
For the reporting period, Tehran continued to seek considerable
dual-use biotechnical equipment from entities in Russia and Western
Europe, ostensibly for civilian uses. Iran began a biological warfare
(BW) program during the Iran-Iraq war, and it may have some limited
capability for BW deployment. Outside assistance is both important and
difficult to prevent, given the dual-use nature of the materials, the
equipment being sought, and the many legitimate end uses for these
Iran, a Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) party, already has
manufactured and stockpiled chemical weapons, including blister, blood,
and choking agents and the bombs and artillery shells for delivering
them. During the first half of 1999, Tehran continued to seek
production technology, expertise, and chemicals that could be used as
precursor agents in its chemical warfare (CW) program from entities in
Russia and China. It also acquired or attempted to acquire indirectly
through intermediaries in other countries equipment and material that
could be used to create a more advanced and self-sufficient CW
Iran sought nuclear-related equipment, material, and technical
expertise from a variety of sources, especially in Russia, during the
first half of 1999. Work continues on the construction of a 1,000-
megawatt nuclear power reactor in Bushehr, Iran, that will be subject
to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. In addition,
Russian entities continued to interact with Iranian research centers on
various activities. These projects will help Iran augment its nuclear
technology infrastructure, which in turn would be useful in supporting
nuclear weapons research and development. The expertise and technology
gained, along with the commercial channels and contacts established--
even from cooperation that appears strictly civilian in nature--could
be used to advance Iran's nuclear weapons research and developmental,
Russia has committed to observe certain limits on its nuclear
cooperation with Iran. For example, President Yel'tsin has stated
publicly that Russia will not provide militarily useful nuclear
technology to Iran. Beginning in January 1998, the Russian Government
took a number of steps to increase its oversight of entities involved
in dealings with Iran and other states of proliferation concern. In
1999, it pushed a new export control law through the Duma. Russian
firms, however, faced economic pressures to circumvent these controls
and did so in some cases. The Russian Government, moreover, failed in
some cases regarding Iran to enforce its export controls. Following
repeated warnings, the U.S. Government in January 1999 imposed
administrative measures against Russian entities that had engaged in
nuclear- and missile-related cooperation with Iran. The measures
imposed on these and other Russian entities (which were identified in
1998) remain in effect.
China pledged in October 1997 not to engage in any new nuclear
cooperation with Iran but said it would complete cooperation on two
ongoing nuclear projects, a small research reactor and a zirconium
production facility at Esfahan that Iran will use to produce cladding
for reactor fuel. The pledge appears to be holding. As a party to the
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is required to apply IAEA
safeguards to nuclear fuel, but safeguards are not required for the
zirconium plant or its products.
Iran is attempting to establish a complete nuclear fuel cycle for
its civilian energy program. In that guise, it seeks to obtain whole
facilities, such as a uranium conversion facility, that, in fact, could
be used in any number of ways in support of efforts to produce fissile
material needed for a nuclear weapon. Despite international efforts to
curtail the flow of critical technologies and equipment, Tehran
continues to seek fissile material and technology for weapons
development and has set up an elaborate system of military and civilian
organizations to support its effort.
Since Operation Desert Fox in December 1998, Baghdad has refused to
allow United Nations inspectors into Iraq as required by Security
Council Resolution 687. As a result, there have been no UN inspections
during this reporting period, and the automated video monitoring system
installed by the UN at known and suspect WMD facilities in Iraq has
been dismantled by the Iraqis. Having lost this on-the-ground access,
it is difficult for the UN or the U.S. to accurately assess the current
state of Iraq's WMD programs.
Since the Gulf war, Iraq has rebuilt key portions of its chemical
production infrastructure for industrial and commercial use, as well as
its missile production facilities. It has attempted to purchase
numerous dual-use items for, or under the guise of, legitimate civilian
use. This equipment--in principle subject to UN scrutiny--also could be
diverted for WMD purposes. Following Desert Fox, Baghdad again
instituted a reconstruction effort on those facilities destroyed by the
U.S. bombing, to include several critical missile production complexes
and former dual-use CW production facilities. In addition, it appears
to be installing or repairing dual-use equipment at CW-related
facilities. Some of these facilities could be converted fairly quickly
for production of CW agents.
The United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) reported to
the Security Council in December 1998 that Iraq continued to withhold
information related to its CW and BW programs. For example, Baghdad
seized from UNSCOM inspectors an Air Force document discovered by
UNSCOM that indicated that Iraq had not consumed as many CW munitions
during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s as declared by Baghdad. This
discrepancy indicates that Iraq may have an additional 6,000 CW
munitions hidden. This intransigence on the part of Baghdad ultimately
led to the Desert Fox bombing by the U.S.
We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period
since Desert Fox to reconstitute its WMD programs, although given its
past behavior, this type of activity must be regarded as likely. The
United Nations assesses that Baghdad has the capability to reinitiate
both its CW and BW programs within a few weeks to months, but without
an inspection monitoring program, it is difficult to determine if Iraq
has done so.
Iraq has continued to work on the two SRBM systems authorized by
the United Nations: the liquid-propellant Al-Samoud, and the solid-
propellant Ababil-100. The Al-Samoud is essentially a scaled-down Scud,
and the program allows Baghdad to develop technological improvements
that could be applied to a longer range missile program. We believe
that the Al-Samoud missile, as designed, is capable of exceeding the
UN-permitted 150-km-range restriction with a potential operational
range of about 180 kilometers. Personnel previously involved with the
Condor II/Badr-2000 missile--which was largely destroyed during the
Gulf war and eliminated by UNSCOM--are working on the Ababil-100
program. Once economic sanctions against Iraq are lifted, Baghdad
probably will begin converting these efforts into longer range missile
systems, unless restricted by future UN monitoring.
P'yongyang continues to acquire raw materials from out-of-country
entities to produce WMD and ballistic missiles. During the reporting
period, North Korea obtained raw materials for its ballistic missile
programs from various foreign sources, especially from firms in China.
North Korea produces and is capable of using a wide variety of chemical
and possibly biological agents, as well as their delivery means.
During the first half of 1999, P'yongyang sought to procure
technology worldwide that could have applications in its nuclear
program, but we do not know of any procurement directly linked to the
nuclear weapons program. We assess that North Korea has produced enough
plutonium for at least one, and possibly two, nuclear weapons. The
United States and North Korea are nearing completion on the joint
project of canning spent fuel from the Yongbyon complex for long-term
storage and ultimate shipment out of the North in accordance with the
1994 Agreed Framework. That reactor fuel contains enough plutonium for
several more weapons.
During this reporting period, P'yongyang also attempted to obtain
advanced conventional weapons and related technologies such as aircraft
electronics and spare parts from several countries, including
Despite UN sanctions, which were still in effect for the first half
of 1999, Libya continued to obtain ballistic missile-related equipment,
materials, technology, and expertise from foreign sources. Outside
assistance is critical to keeping its ballistic missile development
programs from becoming moribund.
Libya remains heavily dependent on foreign suppliers for precursor
chemicals and other key CW-related equipment. UN sanctions continued to
severely limit that support during the first half of 1999. Still,
Tripoli has not given up its goal of establishing its own offensive CW
capability and continues to pursue an indigenous production capability
for the weapons.
In the past, Libya has sought to obtain major weapon systems, spare
parts, and other support for its military forces from traditional
sources in the former Soviet Union (FSU) and Eastern Europe, as well as
from Iran. However, it appears Tripoli sought to procure only a limited
amount of advanced conventional technology during the first half of
Syria sought CW-related precursors and expertise from foreign
sources during the reporting period. Damascus already has a stockpile
of the nerve agent sarin and apparently is trying to develop more toxic
and persistent nerve agents. Syria remains dependent on foreign sources
for key elements of its CW program, including precursor chemicals and
key production equipment.
During the first half of 1999, Damascus continued work on
establishing a solid-propellant rocket motor development and production
capability with help from outside countries such as Iran. Foreign
equipment and assistance to its liquid-propellant missile program,
primarily from Russian entities, but also from firms in China and North
Korea, also have been and will continue to be essential for Syria's
effort. Damascus also continued its efforts to assemble--probably with
considerable North Korean assistance--liquid-fueled Scud C missiles.
In addition, sales of ACW to Syria continued, albeit at a lesser
pace, during this reporting period. The vast majority of it's arsenal
consists of weapons from the FSU. Russia in particular wants to keep
its predominant position as the key supplier of arms to Damascus.
During the reporting period, Sudan sought to acquire a variety of
military equipment from various sources. The shopping list included
helicopters and parts, unmanned aerial vehicles, tanks, antitank guided
missiles, and numerous types of ammunition. Khartoum is seeking older,
less expensive weapons that nonetheless are advanced compared with the
capabilities of the weapons possessed by its opponents and their
supporters in neighboring countries in the long-running civil war.
In the WMD arena, Sudan has been developing the capability to
produce chemical weapons for many years. In this pursuit, it has
obtained help from entities in other countries, principally Iraq. Given
its history in developing CW and its close relationship with Iraq,
Sudan may be interested in a BW program as well.
While striving to achieve independence from foreign suppliers,
India's ballistic missile programs still benefited from the acquisition
of foreign equipment and technology. India sought items for these
programs during the reporting period primarily from Russia: New Delhi
successfully flight-tested its newest MRBM, the Agni 2, in April 1999
after months of preparations.
India continues to pursue the development of nuclear weapons, and
its underground nuclear tests in May 1998 were a significant milestone.
(The U.S. imposed sanctions against India as a result of these tests.)
The acquisition of foreign equipment could benefit New Delhi in its
efforts to develop and produce more sophisticated nuclear weapons.
India obtained some foreign nuclear-related assistance during the first
half of 1999 from a variety of sources worldwide, including in Russia
and Western Europe.
Pakistan acquired a considerable amount of nuclear-related and
dual-use equipment and materials from various sources--principally in
the FSU and Western Europe--during the first half of 1999. Islamabad
has a well-developed nuclear weapons program, as evidenced by its first
nuclear weapons tests in late May 1998. (The U.S. imposed sanctions
against Pakistan as a result of these tests.) Acquisition of nuclear-
related goods from foreign sources will be important if Pakistan
chooses to develop more advanced nuclear weapons. China, which has
provided extensive support in the past to Islamabad's WMD programs, in
May 1996 promised to stop assistance to unsafeguarded nuclear
facilities--but we cannot rule out ongoing contacts.
Chinese and North Korean entities continued to provide assistance
to Pakistan's ballistic missile program during the first half of 1999.
Such assistance is critical for Islamabad's efforts to produce
ballistic missiles. In April 1998, Pakistan flight-tested the Ghauri
MRBM, which is based on North Korea's No Dong missile. Also in April
1998, the U.S. imposed sanctions against Pakistani and North Korean
entities for their role in transferring Missile Technology Control
Regime Category I ballistic missile-related technology. In April 1999,
Islamabad flight-tested another Ghauri MRBM and the Shaheen-1 SRBM.
Egypt continues its effort to develop and produce ballistic
missiles with the assistance of North Korea. This activity is part of a
long-running program of ballistic missile cooperation between these two
China joined the Zangger Committee--which clarifies certain export
obligations under the NPT--in October 1997 and participated in the
Zangger Conversion Technology Holders meeting in February 1999. This
was China's first opportunity to participate in a discussion of this
China pledged in late 1997 not to engage in any new nuclear
cooperation with Iran but said it would complete work associated with
two remaining nuclear projects--a small research reactor and a
zirconium production facility--in a relatively short period of time.
The Intelligence Community will continue to monitor carefully Chinese
nuclear cooperation with Iran.
During the reporting period, firms in China provided missile-
related items, raw materials, and/or assistance to several countries of
proliferation concern--such as Iran. China also was a supplier of ACW
to Iran through the first half of 1999.
Prior to the reporting period, Chinese firms had supplied CW-
related production equipment and technology to Iran. The U.S. sanctions
imposed in May 1997 on seven Chinese entities for knowingly and
materially contributing to Iran's CW program remain in effect. In June
1998, China announced that it had expanded its chemical export controls
to include 10 of the 20 Australia Group chemicals not listed on the CWC
China has provided extensive support in the past to Pakistan's WMD
and ballistic missile programs, and some ballistic missile assistance
continues. In May 1996, Beijing promised to stop assistance to
unsafeguarded nuclear facilities, but we cannot preclude ongoing
contacts. China's involvement with Pakistan will continue to be
Russian entities during the reporting period continued to supply a
variety of ballistic missile-related goods and technical know-how to
Iran and were expanding missile-related assistance to Syria and India.
For example, Iran's earlier success in gaining technology and materials
from Russian companies accelerated Iranian development of the Shahab-3
MRBM, which was first flight-tested in July 1998. Russian entities
during the first six months of 1999 have provided substantial missile-
related technology, training, and expertise to Iran that almost
certainly will continue to accelerate Iranian efforts to build new
indigenous ballistic missile systems.
During the first half of 1999, Russia also remained a key supplier
for civilian nuclear programs in Iran. With respect to Iran's nuclear
infrastructure, Russian assistance enhances Iran's ability to support a
nuclear weapons development effort. By its very nature, even the
transfer of civilian technology may be of use in Iran's nuclear weapons
program. In addition, Russia supplied India with material for its
civilian nuclear program during this reporting period.
Russian entities remain a significant source of biotechnology and
chemicals for Iran. Russia's world-leading expertise in biological and
chemical weapons would make it an attractive target for Iranians
seeking technical information and training on BW and CW agent
Russia also was an important source of conventional weapons and
spare parts for Iran, which is seeking to upgrade and replace its
existing conventional weapons inventories.
Following intense and continuing engagement with the U.S., Russian
officials took some positive steps to enhance oversight of Russian
entities and their interaction with countries of concern. Russia has
reiterated previous commitments to observe certain limits on its
nuclear cooperation with Iran, such as not providing militarily useful
nuclear technology, although--as indicated above--Russia continues to
provide Iran with nuclear technology that could be applied to Iran's
weapons program. President Yel'tsin in July 1999 signed a federal
export control law, which formally makes WMD-related transfers a
violation of law and codifies several existing decrees--including
catch-all controls--yet may lessen punishment for violators.
Despite these decrees, the government's commitment, willingness,
and ability to curb proliferation-related transfers remain uncertain.
Moreover, economic conditions in Russia continued to deteriorate,
putting more pressure on Russian entities to circumvent export
controls. Despite some examples of restraint, Russian businesses
continue to be major suppliers of WMD equipment, materials, and
technology to Iran. Monitoring Russian proliferation behavior,
therefore, will remain a very high priority.
Throughout the first half of 1999, North Korea continued to export
ballistic missile-related equipment and missile components, materials
and technical expertise to countries in the Middle East and Africa.
P'yongyang attaches a high priority to the development and sale of
ballistic missiles, equipment, and related technology. Exports of
ballistic missiles and related technology are one of the North's major
sources of hard currency.
As was the case in 1998, entities in Western nations in early 1999
were not as important sources for WMD-related goods and materials as in
past years. Increasingly rigorous and effective export controls and
cooperation among supplier countries have led foreign WMD programs to
look elsewhere for many controlled dual-use goods. Machine tools, spare
parts for dual-use equipment, and widely available materials and
scientific equipment and specialty metals were the most common items
As in previous reports, countries determined to maintain WMD
programs over the long term have been placing significant emphasis on
insulating their programs against interdiction and disruption, trying
to reduce their dependence on imports by developing indigenous
production capabilities. Although these capabilities may not always be
a good substitute for foreign imports--particularly for more advanced
technologies--in many cases they may prove to be adequate.
S. Hrg. 106-339
BALLISTIC MISSILES: THREAT AND RESPONSE
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
APRIL 15 AND 20, MAY 4, 5, 13, 25, 26, AND SEPTEMBER 16, 1999
Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
56-777 CC WASHINGTON : 2000
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
JESSE HELMS, North Carolina, Chairman
RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware
PAUL COVERDELL, Georgia PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland
CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut
GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
ROD GRAMS, Minnesota RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas PAUL D. WELLSTONE, Minnesota
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming BARBARA BOXER, California
JOHN ASHCROFT, Missouri ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
BILL FRIST, Tennessee
Stephen E. Biegun, Staff Director
Edwin K. Hall, Minority Staff Director
Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat to the
United States Through 2015--September 1999
Congress has requested that the Intelligence Community produce
annual reports on ballistic missile developments. We produced the first
report in March 1998 and an update memorandum in October 1998 on the
August North Korean launch of its Taepo Dong-1 space launch vehicie
(SLV). Our 1999 report is a classified National Intelligence Estimate,
which we have summarized in unclassified form in this paper.\1\
\1\ This paper has been prepared under the auspices of the National
Intelligence Officers for Strategic and Nuclear Programs, Bob Walpole.
Prepared, September 1999.
This year we examined future capabilities for several countries
that have or have had ballistic missiles or SLV programs or intentions
to pursue such programs. Using intelligence information and expertise
from inside and outside the Intelligence Community, we examined
scenarios by which a country could acquire an ICBM by 2015, including
by purchase, and assessed the likelihood of various scenarios. (Some
analysts believe that the. prominence given to missiles countries
``could'' develop gives more credence than is warranted to developments
that may prove implausible.) We did not attempt to address all of the
potential political, economic, and social changes that could occur.
Rather, we analyzed the level of success and the pace countries have
experienced in their development efforts, international technology
transfers, political motives, military incentives, and economic
resources. From that basis, we projected possible and likely missile
developments by 2015 independent of significant political and economic
changes. Subsequent annual reports will be able to account for such
Our projections for future ICBM developments are based on limited
information and engineering judgment. Adding to our uncertainty is that
many countries surround their ballistic missile programs with secrecy,
and some employ deception. Although some key milestones are difficult
to hide, we may miss others. For example, we may not know all aspects
of a missile system's configuration until flight testing; we did not
know until the launch last August that North Korea had acquired a third
stage for its Taepo Dong-1.
We took into account recommendations made in July 1998 by the
Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States
and incorporated the results of several academic and contractor
efforts, including politico-economic experts to help examine future
environments that might foster ICBM sales and missile contractors to
help postulate potential ICBM configurations that rogue states could
We project that during the next 15 years the United States most
likely will face ICBM threats from Russia, China, and North Korea,
probably from Iran, and possibly from Iraq. The Russian threat,
although significantly reduced, will continue to be the most robust and
lethal, considerably more so than that posed by China, and orders of
magnitude more than that potentially posed by other nations, whose
missiles are likely to be fewer in number--probably a few to tens,
constrained to smaller payloads, and less reliable and accurate than
their Russian and Chinese couterparts.
We judge that North Korea, Iran, and Iraq would view their ICBMs
more as strategic weapons of deterrence and coercive diplomacy than as
weapons of war. We assess that: