Arms Sales Monitor #19, March 1993

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The ASM is produced and edited by Lora Lumpe, assisted by Ann Walsh and Dan Revelle. It is available from the FAS Fund at 307 Massachusetts Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002 [phone (202) 675-1018] at a cost of $20 per year (6-8 issues). Publication and distribution of the ASM is supported by grants from The John H. Merck Fund, The Ploughshares Fund, The Compton Foundation, Inc., The Spanel Foundation and The S.H. Cowell Fund.


In this issue of the ASM, House Banking Chairman Henry Gonzalez, new Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Senator John Glenn all cite a need for greater public access to information on U.S. foreign policy, thereby increasing government accountability. Arms sales provide a perfect test of the new administration's and Congress' sincerity.

While the United States' arms sales procedure is touted as being "open," and much data is published annually in several government reports (see the attached ASM Extra for a listing and description of these reports), "real time" information about sales the executive branch is proposing, and Congress is reviewing, is quite difficult for the public to obtain.

Unless it is a major sale and is reported in the mass media, the public can now find out (under the "Executive Communications" section in the Congressional Record) only that the Pentagon has notified Congress of a proposed sale of some unnamed defense articles and services to a particular country. These notices are unclassified, but will not be given to the public unless requested under the Freedom of Information Act. Requesting and receiving the unclassified notification by mail takes well over a month, coming too late to influence Congress' 30-day review period.

Except for those relatively few Members on the Foreign Affairs and Foreign Relations Committees, the majority of Congress is also kept in the dark about most weapons being sold and licensed. The key Committee Chairmen, to whom these sales notifications are sent, could easily make more information available to their colleagues in Congress, as well as to the American public, by printing the unclassified sales and commercial license notifications in the Congressional Record in their entirety. (This step was taken by the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee until 1986.) Doing so would immediately and easily notify all Members of Congress and the public of pending arms exports.

Unclassified quarterly and annual reports to Congress, listing outstanding offers to sell military equipment and offers accepted, could also be printed in the Record upon receipt. This unclassified information is now protected from the public by being labeled "confi- dential business information." But how listing the dollar volume of sales agreements and licenses to various countries could possibly divulge any proprietary information is difficult to discern.

Timely information on actions taken by our elected representatives---actions which may very well result in U.S. involvement in a future conflict we will be called upon to support---is a public right and is vital to a functioning democracy. -Lora Lumpe


Arms sales-relevant excerpts from recent Clinton Administration testimony follows. In future issues we will continue to report on what the new team is saying, as well as what they are doing. Meanwhile, a sketch of "who's who" in the new government, and where they come from professionally, can be found in the attached ASM Extra.

Les Aspin on U.S. F-15/F-16 Sales

7 January---The following exchange occurred during Secretary of Defense-designate Les As- pin's confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. William Cohen: "Russia has sold something like $2 billion since 1990 in military equipment to Iran.... Correspondingly, we have been engaged in sales of weapons as well. ... We had the sale of F-15s to Saudi Arabia, the sale of F-16s to Taiwan. We had the French who were selling Mirages to Taiwan. And that, of course, has upset the Chinese who have been engaged in sales of their own.

One suggestion that has been made is that if we really want to get the P-5 talks, [talks among] the permanent members of the UN [Security Council], back on track, is to review these particular sales. Is that something that you would advocate as Secretary of Defense, that we go back and review the sale of F-15s to either Saudi Arabia or [F-16s] to Taiwan in an effort to lure China back to the table, as such, and perhaps get the other nations involved in trying to stop the proliferation of conventional weapons to inherently unstable areas?"

Rep. Les Apsin: "Let me talk about the issue in general, because I think that---you're absolutely right. A corollary of us not having an industrial base policy is that in order for industries to survive, the pressure comes on selling the equipment abroad. And that's---I do not think that we're ever going to deal adequately with the issue of arms sales until you take care of the political pressure to make those arms sales, and I'm talking about domestic political pressure from the people who otherwise are going to be put out of work. As long as that pressure exists, I think any reviews by any other group and what else are not going to be very successful. The thing that drives arms sales is the economic situation. And if that's true in this country, it's true in spades in the Soviet Union. I mean, literally, their only thing that they can sell and get hard currency---virtually---is arms. ... The economic pressures on them to [make] arms sales is tremendous. So I ... understand the concern. I think it's a very tough problem to deal with. And it's clearly something that we're going to have to have a comprehensive strategy on dealing with, because you're going to have to deal with the economic pressures in the United States and in the Soviet Union and presumably in other, Western countries which are selling. The British and the French and other arms manufacturers are feeling the same strain."

Sen. Cohen: "I take it you're not going to call for a review of the sales that have been made to date."

Rep. Aspin: "That might stir up an awful lot of trouble. [Laughter.]"

Secretary of State Warren Christopher

13 January---The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a confirmation hearing for Secretary of State-designate Warren Christopher. He is confirmed a week later.

In his prepared testimony, Christopher describes the "three pillars" of Clinton Administration foreign policy: the elevation of economic security as a primary facet of for- eign policy; the preservation of military strength to meet new security challenges; and the promotion of democracy and free markets abroad. "Democratic movements and govern- ments are not only more likely to protect human and minority rights, they are also more likely to resolve ethnic, religious, and territorial disputers in a peaceful manner and to be reliable partners in diplomacy, trade, arms accords, and global environmental protection."

Christopher says regional conflicts, terrorism and the proliferation of advanced conventional and unconventional weaponry are the fundamental security threats. Helping Russia to "demilitarize, privatize, invigorate its economy, and develop representative political institu- tions" is also identified as a principal security challenge of the 1990s.

He cites the particular difficulty afforded by China, saying: "Our policy will seek to facilitate a peaceful evolution of China from communism to democracy by encouraging the forces of economic and political liberalization in that great country." But, Christopher says, "we cannot ignore continuing reports of Chinese exports of sensitive military technology to troubled areas...." In southern Asia, he cites combatting nuclear proliferation, restoring peace to Afghanistan and promoting respect for human rights in Burma and Pakistan as primary interests.

In the Middle East, Christopher reiterates the administration's support for Israel: "Our democracy-centered policy underscores our special relationship with Israel, the region's only democracy, with whom we are committed to maintaining a strong and vibrant strategic relationship." He also says the administration "will work toward new arms control agree- ments, particularly concerning weapons of mass destruction."

Christopher pledges candor "Practitioners of statecraft sometimes forget their ultimate purpose is to improve the daily lives of the American people. They assume foreign policy is too complex for the public to be involved in its formation. That is a costly conceit. From Vietnam to Iran-Contra, we have too often witnessed the disastrous effects of foreign poli- cies, hatched by the experts, without proper candor or consultation with the public and their representatives in Congress.

More than ever before, the State Department cannot afford to have `clientitis,' a malady characterized by undue deference to the potential reactions of other countries. I have long thought the State Department needs an `America Desk.' This Administration will have one--- and I'll be sitting behind it."

Woolsey on Proliferation

24 February---Newly confirmed DCI James Woolsey testifies before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on "Proliferation Threats of the 1990s."

Access to information Chairman John Glenn is particularly pleased that today's hearing is open, since "the threat posed by the spread of weapons of mass destruction is becoming more real to all Americans---from the soldiers from Middletown U.S. who recently fought in the Gulf, to average taxpayers...." Glenn, who also sits on the Intelligence Committee, has been working with Republican members of that committee to urge the Defense Intelligence Agency to prepare an annual unclassified review of international weapons prolif- eration developments akin to its former Soviet Military Power threat assessments. Noting that the DIA has resisted doing so, and even responded to his request for greater freedom of information with a classified letter, Glenn releases translations of the recent, long report on weapons proliferation prepared by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service [formerly the KGB]. "I hope that in the future the American people will not have to rely on the Rus- sian Foreign Intelligence Service" for a description of the threat, Glenn complains.

Making more information public about the scope and nature of the proliferation threat facing the U.S. is a key subject of the Q&A, with Senators from both parties pushing Woolsey to make public more specific information. While Woolsey agrees that it's important for the American people to understand these issues, sensitive sources and methods of collection must be protected to maintain the flow of information in the future. But, he assures the panel, by emphasizing certain publicly available information, and downplaying bad information, he is able to steer the public toward the truth without jeopardizing sources.

So, where did he steer us in his prepared testimony?

China Woolsey soft-pedals Chinese proliferation in his prepared testimony, but assumes a harder line when answering questions by the Senators. "China is also a major prolifer- ation concern. ... We are closely monitoring its behavior for signs that China is not living up to its [MTCR and NPT] commitments." He acknowledges that Chinese nuclear-related deals with Algeria, Syria and Iran appear consistent with its NPT obligations. "On the other hand," he continues, "China's relationship with Pakistan seems less benign. We are also concerned about Beijing's missile and chemical transfers to the Middle East."

In early December the L.A. Times reported (and it was widely repeated) that China had transferred 24 M-11 ballistic missiles to Pakistan, in apparent violation of its November 1991 pledge to abide by the MTCR missile export restrictions. The Bush State Department re- mained ambiguous, saying only that "no determination has been made" as to the validity of the allegations. Woolsey also refused to validate or refute the claim publicly, saying only that he was "closely watching" the situation.

Iran Woolsey, rather subjectively, declares that "despite the blow to Iraq---its only real adversary [emphasis added]---during Desert Storm" Iran is carrying on a "massive and costly military buildup." He continues: "Iran's efforts ... encompass advanced fighter aircraft, long-range fighter bombers, submarines, and missiles. Iran's military buildup, de- spite severe economic crisis, underscores its desire to dominate its own neighborhood, and reach far beyond." He adds that Iran is "pursuing the acquisition of nuclear weapons"; "has an active chemical warfare program," producing "primarily choking and blister agents" ... and "may also have a stockpile of nerve agents." "Biological weapons," he says, "if not already in production, probably are not far behind."

Iraq "The Iraqis retain missiles, support equipment, and propellant, and they are still capable of firing Scud missiles. Iraq's biological weapons capability is perhaps of greatest immediate concern. Baghdad had an advanced program before Desert Storm, and neither war nor inspections have seriously degraded this capability."

Libya "Libya is constructing a second chemical weapons production facility. ... Libya continues also to try to import technologies for its missile programs."

North Korea Woolsey identified Pyongyang as the Agency's "most grave current [proliferation] concern." North Korea "is developing and actively marketing a new, 1,000 kilometer-range missile. North Korea apparently has no threshold governing its sales---it is willing to sell to any country with the cash to pay."

Pakistan/India The two countries pose "perhaps the most probable prospect for future use of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons." The CIA estimates that "at the present time both India and Pakistan have the capability to assemble the components of a small number of nuclear weapons within a very short period of time."

Aircraft and missiles worrisome "Advanced aircraft are often the delivery system of choice for weapons of mass destruction, and they are now commonplace among proliferating countries. Although missiles are less vulnerable than aircraft to defensive measures, and are more difficult to detect, the aircraft available to these countries are fully capable of delivering nuclear weapons and munitions filled with chemical or biological agents," Woolsey testifies.

Indeed, when asked in the Q&A about the likely delivery mode for Pakistani nuclear weapons, Woolsey replies: "Our best judgment right now would be the [U.S.-supplied] F- 16s. They have other platforms that could be used---for example, C-130 [U.S. supplied cargo planes], some of the old French Mirages, and so forth."

He gives an overview of global missile proliferation: "North Korea has sold Syria and Iran extended range Scud Cs, and has apparently agreed to sell missiles to Libya. Russia and Ukraine are showing a growing willingness to sell missile technology prohibited by the MTCR. Egypt and Israel are developing and producing missiles, and several Persian Gulf states have purchased whole systems as well as production technology from China and North Korea. Some have equipped these missiles with weapons of mass destruction, and others are striving to do so."

Conventional arms proliferation menacing Woolsey singles out the spread of conventional weaponry as an area of specific concern:

"We are also concerned with the worldwide proliferation of advanced conventional weapons---weapons that significantly increase conventional war-fighting capability, but fall short of the devastating capabilities of mass destruction weapons. The proliferation of these weapons, although perhaps less potent and psychologically alarming than weapons of mass destruction, may have an even more pronounced impact in the military outcome of future regional conflicts. ... These weapons will present formidable challenges to U.S. military operations in the future."

"Anti-ship cruise missiles employing countermeasures and precision guidance threaten U.S. and allied naval forces. The expanding ranks of Third World nations who are now fielding the weapons include Iran, Syria, and Libya. Increasingly advanced surface-to-air missiles, with enhanced anti-stealth capability pose a growing threat to low-flying aircraft and cruise missiles such as those in the U.S. inventory. We have witnessed a sharp increase in the demand for such weapons since Desert Storm, which vividly demonstrated the effectiveness of the systems we used there. Similarly, many countries are marketing precision guided munitions---some even more capable than many U.S. systems."

Russian export control efforts mixed "Russia's ability to maintain control of its special [mass destruction] weapons and associated technologies has somewhat weakened under the stresses and strains of the Soviet breakup. ... We have no credible reporting that nuclear weapons have left CIS territory, and we do not believe that nuclear weapon design information has been sold or transferred to foreign states." But, he continues later, "Despite important high-level Russian political support for establishing effective export controls, Moscow's fledgling efforts have not yet produced solid results. Legal, personnel, and fund- ing problems are slowing progress. Moreover, many agencies involved in controlling exports are also responsible for promoting military exports, creating obvious concerns." [The U.S. State Department's Center for Defense Trade also undertakes both arms export licensing and arms export promotional activities.]

"Economic and nationalist pressures are causing some Russian and Ukrainian leaders to question the wisdom of adhering to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Some Russians contend that national laws, not the MTCR, will govern their export of missile tech- nology. Our initial understanding of the Russian regulations indicate they may not be consistent with the MTCR. ... In a recent arms show in Moscow, the Russians advertised a derivative of the old SS-23 for sale as a civilian rocket [space launch vehicle], raising additional MTCR concerns."

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Perry

25 February---Following Secretary of State Les Aspin's (brief) hospitalization, the Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hasty confirmation hearing for William J. Perry, Deputy Secretary of Defense-designate.

Perry is a strong proponent of increased reliance on dual use technologies to maintain and downsize the defense industrial base. He advocates eliminating burdensome overhead and management practices, allowing arms manufacturers to more easily adapt their product for commercial markets and to sell to the government with less cost and hassle. In the Q&A, Chairman Sam Nunn asks him how the U.S. achieves greater commercialization of its de- fense industry, while at the same time controlling exports useful for weapons of mass destruction. Perry responds: "We have to draw a clear distinction between defense-unique systems and between dual use technology. And the former we can and should control the sale whenever we think that's going to damage our proliferation goals. But, in the latter, the dual use technologies, I think that's a hopeless task, and it only interferes with a company's ability to succeed internationally if we try to impose all sorts of controls in that area. ... By having too wide, too extensive, a list of technologies we try to control, we effec- tively trivialize the process and make it almost impossible to execute."

Further, he says, the Pentagon should shape its R&D and procurement programs to ensure that the residual defense industry maintains a minimal essential production capability. Low rate production could maintain the submarine, aircraft and tank industrial bases, he says, adding: "I would not support production lines simply to keep production lines going. ... I would only support production lines where it is clear the Department of Defense had a future need for that capability." Good plan.

To further help maintain the defense industrial base he says that "rework" (weapons upgrades) should be moved out of service-owned and operated depots to contractor facili- ties, a move that the defense industries have been lobbying heavily for. Perry also advocates increased cooperative acquisition programs, which he says will im- prove interoperability and help sustain the U.S. industrial base.

Frank Wisner: Dej Vu

4 March---Frank Wisner, nominated to be the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, appears before the Senate Armed Services Committee. In answers to advance questions about security assistance programs, Wisner sounds much the same as he did in his previ- ous State Department job in the Bush Administration. He says "Security assistance [arms sales and military aid] is a critically important arm of the United States foreign policy; ... it extends United States influence and builds stability."

Wisner says he thinks military aid programs have generally been highly constructive. "In recent years, however, the effectiveness of some programs has been jeopardized by funding reductions. Clearly, it has been appropriate to reduce overall security assistance funding as the world-wide Soviet challenge first receded and then disappeared ....I am concerned however, that reductions have gone much too far, too fast, at least given constant levels for the two major recipients [Israel and Egypt]." Wisner is anxious about the public perception that security assistance is no longer needed. "It is clear that the post-Cold War world is filled with threats and violence, that there is a continued, if not increased, reliance on coalition arrangements to respond to these dangers."

The administration will "fully implement requirements of law which insure that our interests in promoting democracy and human rights are fully taken into account," he assures. In answer to how the U.S. should work with other countries to curb the spread of weapons, Wisner outlines U.S. activities in several bilateral and multilateral fora. Among the 52 CSCE countries, the U.S. is promoting nonproliferation and restraint in arms exports, he relates, and the U.S. has tentatively agreed to send experts to brief the countries on U.S. arms export policies and controls. He reasserts U.S. support for the UN register of conventional arms imports and exports, to which the first data declaration is due at the end of April. On the meetings of the big five arms exporters (U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China), initiated in May 1991 by President Bush, Wisner says: "After some encouraging initial meetings, China withdrew from the talks after the announcement of U.S. F-16 sales to Taiwan. The other parties continue to meet."

The objective of all these efforts, he says, "is to discourage transfers of conventional weapons which could prove qualitatively or quantitatively destabilizing. All countries should be made aware of the dangers of such proliferation, and be encouraged to develop responsible national export policies and legal systems to enforce these policies. This administration welcomes the opportunity to assist any country in creating export control policies and regimes needed to eliminate destabilizing transfers." It all sounds familiar.


Troop Carriers for Ecuador Drug War

12 January---The Deputy Director of the Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA) certifies that two C-130B cargo/troop carriers are needed by Ecuador in their fight against illicit drug production and trafficking. He further certifies, as mandated by the Foreign Assistance Act, that the transfer of these "excess defense articles" will have no adverse impact on the military readiness of the United States.

Vital Fishing Waters Secured with U.S. Arms

19 January---Listed in the Federal Register are determinations by President Bush that providing weapons to the Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Western Samoa under the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act "will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace." The certification is necessary before the U.S. government is authorized to grant military assistance or negotiate Foreign Military Sales to a country. In each of the four cases President Bush---obviously a subscriber to the broad definition of "national security"--- justified his determination on the country's need for naval equipment ("vessels, weaponry, ammunition, communications gear, etc.") to monitor and protect its fishing rights.

Commercial Arms Exports Proposed

21 January---The House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committees are informed of the State Department's intention to license the export of some undesignated "major military equipment" to Turkey (transmittal no. DTC-5-93) and to South Korea (no. DTC-4-93). U.S. Sends Weapons to China 21 January---Congress, which has been in recess for the previous two weeks, receives President Bush's justification for waiving a legislated prohibition on the export of weapons to China, pursuant to PL 101-246. The Bush Administration announced in December that it was lifting the sanctions and shipping avionics upgrades for two Chinese fighter planes, equipment for a munitions production line, four Mk-46 Mod II torpedoes, and two AN/TPQ-37 artillery-locating radars to China. The weapons were ordered and paid for prior to the suspension of all Foreign Military Sales to China, in reaction to the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protestors at Tiananmen Square in June 1989. The transfer is the latest in several steps taken by the U.S. government to blunt Chinese reaction to the U.S. sale last September of 150 F-16 fighters to Taiwan (see ASM No. 17 page 2). A ban on satellite exports to China, initiated in 1991 because of Chinese missile sales, was repealed in September. Then, during 16-22 December, Secretary of Commerce Barbara Franklin led a trade delegation to China, ending the ban on high-level government contacts that had been imposed after Tiananmen. While there, she reconvened the U.S.- China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. And in early January the Bush Administration reportedly approved the controversial sale of jet engine components to China.

Saudi F-15 Update: What's in a Name?

21 January---Congress receives notice from the Acting Director of the DSAA that the government of Saudi Arabia wants to redesignate the F-15E aircraft it is buying from the United States. The aircraft were called F-15XP, denoting an "export" version of the F-15E Strike Eagle. The Saudis apparently prefer to have them called F-15S, presumably for "Saudi." Whatever they are called, McDonnell Douglas has received an initial $122 million work contract from the U.S.A.F. to begin ordering long lead-time parts and materials for them. Air Force, Saudi and McDonnell Douglas officials reportedly met in St. Louis in early February to negotiate the precise terms of the final contract , yet to be signed. Saudi Sale Opens Way for Israeli F-15E Buy 9 February---An unnamed Israeli Air Force official is quoted in Defense News saying that in the wake of Saudi Arabia's purchase of 72 F-15E (XP or S) aircraft, Israel is now considering an F-15 buy as well. "It is no secret that we have long desired the F-15E because it brings so much more to the fighter force in terms of range and payload. ... But we never allowed ourselves to think seriously about buying this plane. Now ... serious people are starting to give serious thought to purchasing the F-15E." A Pentagon official, described as handling U.S.-Israeli bilateral military aid rela- tions, said Israel "can probably expect a version equal to, or perhaps incrementally better than the plane we're selling to Saudi Arabia." An F-15I, perhaps.

Kuwaiti Tanks Roll through Congress

5 February---The thirty-day formal Congressional notification period for the proposed $4.5 billion sale of M1A2 ("Abrams") main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, troop and cargo carriers, machine guns and radios to Kuwait expires, without arousing significant Congressional opposition. Although Congress was in recess during much of the notification period, and the sale was proposed by an administration with only two weeks left in the White House, no motion to block the sale was introduced.

On 19 January, Senators Howard Metzenbaum, Bob Packwood, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Patrick Leahy, Bob Graham, Arlen Specter and Frank Lautenberg did send Secretary of State Eagleburger and Secretary-designate Warren Christopher letters expressing concern over the abuse of the standard (but unlegislated) operating procedure for sales notifica- tions. They complained that on 5 January, when Congress was formally notified of the sale, "nearly one week of the 20 day `informal' notification period remained unexpired." They continued:

Both this sale and the recent sale of F-15 aircraft to Saudi Arabia were preceded by abbreviated Congressional consultations. It is our view that such abbreviations were unwarranted. Congress has a statutory right and a public responsibility to review sales of U.S. weaponry around the globe. The purpose of Congressional notification and consultation procedures is to ensure that these functions are properly carried out. We are committed to maintaining longstanding Congressional prerogatives regarding arms sales consultations.

The Senators also expressed hope that Kuwait would be pressured not to transfer Soviet model tanks already in its arsenal to "confrontational" states in the Middle East, "such as Syria." "United States arms sales should not afford purchasers an opportunity to clear out their existing military inventories."


Oops! Turkish Ship Accidentally Blasted

1 October 1992---During NATO naval exercises the U.S.S. Saratoga accidentally fired two Sea Sparrow missiles on the Turkish destroyer Muavenet, killing 5 and wounding 14. The Sea Sparrow, widely deployed on U.S. carriers, amphibious ships, auxiliary ships and Spruance class destroyers, has both a surface-to-air and a ship-to-ship mode.

A panel of three Navy admirals and a Turkish officer investigating the incident found that the firing was purely accidental, due to human error and not technical malfunction. Sailors awakened for a drill mistakenly believed their carrier was under attack and fired.

To partially compensate, the U.S. is offering Turkey an advanced Knox-type frigate worth $175 million. The frigate has a 5-inch gun, torpedoes and Harpoon and Tomahawk missiles. The Muavenet was a World War II-era destroyer, given to Turkey in 1971.

Congress Finds No "October Surprise"

13 January---A 13-member House task force that has been investigating the validity of claims that the 1980 Reagan/Bush campaign team negotiated a secret deal with Iran to delay the release of 52 Americans held hostage there until after the November 1980 elections strongly refuted the allegations. "There is no credible evidence supporting any attempt by the Reagan presidential campaign---or persons associated with the campaign---to delay the release of the American hostages in Iran." Task force Chair Lee Hamilton said that most of the sources alleging the October Surprise theory were "wholesale fabricators or were impeached by documentary evidence."

A report released in November 1992 by Special Counsel to the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Middle East Subcommittee had also cast doubt on the allegations.

Honduras Illegally Retransfers U.S.-supplied Weapons

21 January---The Speaker of the House receives a letter from the acting Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs reporting the unauthorized transfer of military goods supplied to the Government of Honduras under the FMS program. The executive branch is required by section 3(e) of the Arms Export Control Act to notify Congress immediately upon learning of any such occurrence. Illegal retransfer of U.S. arms can result in ineligibility for further sales.

Price & Availability/Javits List Sent to Congress

21 January---From the DSAA, Congress receives a price and availability (P&A) report of all outstanding letters of offer to sell any major military equipment valued at $1 million or more for the fiscal quarter ending 30 September 1992. The listing also indicates offers that were accepted during that period. A couple of days later, the DSAA sends the P&A report for the quarter ending 31 December 92.

Congress also receives the report due from the DSAA on the FY92 operation of the Special Defense Acquisition Fund. The SDAF, initiated in the Reagan Administration, is used to procure a stockpile of weapons for fast export in a pinch. A few days later, the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees receive a classified listing of all U.S. weapons exports conceivably anticipated during 1993. The listing, commonly referred to as the "Javits list" after its Senate sponsor, is mandated by section 25(a) of the Arms Export Control Act and is due to Congress annually by 1 February. Although section 25(c) of the Act calls for the report to be presented in an unclassified form, it never is.

These reports can be requested under the Freedom of Information Act, by writing to: Defense Security Assistance Agency, Director, Freedom of Information and Security Re- view, OASD(PA) Room 2C 757, Pentagon, Washington DC 20301-1400.

Gonzalez Doggedly Pursues Bush Policy

In floor speeches on 21 January, 2 February and 18 February, House Banking Committee Chairman Henry Gonzalez continues to unfold his investigation into the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro loans-to-Iraq scandal.

Since Congress adjourned last October much has happened: the Italian Senate moved to establish a second commission of inquiry into the scandal; some top BNL officials in Rome were indicted for illegally financing arms sales to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war; and in December, BNL sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture to recover more than $340 million in defaulted Iraqi loans. The loans, made by BNL, were guaranteed by Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation. Also in December, Attorney General William Barr's special investigator (whom Gonzalez calls "Barr's patsy") decided that appointing an independent counsel to look into the Justice Department's handling of the BNL scandal was unwarranted.

The Bush Administration refused until the very end to release documents related to Iraq and BNL which Gonzalez's Banking Committee had requested, some of which they had even subpoenaed. But, in case anyone had any doubts, Gonzalez says he is not giving up just because the Bush Administration is gone. He intends to ask the Clinton Administration for all BNL and Iraq-related documents. "I perceive that President Clinton, Vice President Gore and their top advisors have a better understanding of the Constitution and a better grasp of the principles of democracy than did the previous administration." The next day he sends President Clinton a letter.

Just bad judgment? 5 February---The CIA Inspector General and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence both release BNL-related reports. The Washington Post reports that, "By concluding that numerous officials took improper actions, displayed bad judgment, failed to pursue obvious leads and communicated poorly with one another about BNL- related intelligence, the reports could bolster the suspicions of some Democratic lawmakers that the executive branch deliberately skewed the investigation to blame the wrong man and hide information about its own involvement in the BNL loans to Iraq."

CRS: More Jobs through Conversion

1 February---A CRS report estimates that by shifting $3 billion from defense-related activities to state and local governments, a total of 18,762 jobs would be created in the private and public sectors above and beyond those jobs lost in the arms industry. (Shifting $1 billion would create over 6,000 jobs.) The study, requested by Rep. John Conyers, used a DRI/McGraw Hill input-output model to estimate potential direct and indirect job effects.

Conversion Commission Says Increase Exports

31 December---In Adjusting to the Drawdown, the Pentagon's Defense Conversion Commission says "Exports are a significant factor in maintaining the defense industrial base. ... Increasing exports will be an important strategy for some companies as they adjust to smaller U.S. purchases." The Commission was formed in April 1992 to "assess the conse- quences of the defense drawdown and to make recommendations constructively addressing them." Among its findings, the Commission says that at the national level the impact of the current reduction in military expenditures is smaller than that following the Korean and Vietnam wars. The report's bottom line: "Defense conversion does not pose any ex- traordinary problems for the nation." To obtain a free copy of the report, call (202) 653- 1627.


Better Late Than Never:
Senate Authorizes Troops to Somalia

4 February---The Senate passes by voice vote S.J. Res. 45, which authorizes the use of U.S. forces in support of the UN-sponsored mission in Somalia. The legislation is in keeping with the War Powers Resolution, which calls on Congress to authorize the deployment of U.S. troops into a war zone within 60 days of Presidential notice of such a deployment. U.S. forces entered Somalia on 8 December. The measure is now referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where Chairman Lee Hamilton has previously said that he supports passing such a resolution.

Dellums Asserts War-making Powers 11 February---In reaction to testimony by Sec. of State Warren Christopher that the administration is considering the use of force in the former Yugoslavia, HASC chairman Ron Dellums sends Pres. Clinton a reminder about the War Powers Resolution: "I believe strongly that this is precisely the type of situation in which the Constitution delineates the Congress of the United States render a determination as to the efficacy, advisability and consequences of the use of U.S. military forces. ... Whe- ther it be to enforce a UN sanctioned `no fly' zone, to put troops on the ground to deliver humanitarian aid, or to place troops under the command of the United Nations to support or enforce a cease-fire effort, I believe it is vital that you secure Congressional sanction for those acts."

Export Administration Act Reauthorization

16 February---By a 384-46 vote, the House passes H.R.750, extending the Export Administration Act through 30 June 1994 and authorizing appropriations under that act for FY93 and FY94. The Act expired on 30 September 1990 and has been operating by Presi- dential fiat (through the International Emergency Economic Powers Act) since then.

The resolution does not change any provision of the EAA. It is intended only to place the export controls on a sound statutory basis, protecting them against legal challenges. The House Foreign Affairs Committee, and other committees with jurisdiction, plan another attempt at substantially revising the EAA during the 16 months between now and the expiration of the Act in 1994. Congress has tried twice before to revise the EAA, most recently with H.R.3489, which died last October at the end of the 102nd Congress. In a floor statement supporting this resolution, Chairman Lee Hamilton said the HFAC will not seek to revive H.R.3489, as it "has been overtaken by world events and by administration action." "There is a growing consensus," he says, "that we need a comprehensive rethink- ing and rewriting of U.S. export control authorities---a review not just of national security export controls authorities, but also of the various export control proliferation regimes."


Accidental Firing of a Missile Into the Turkish Ship TCG Muavenet (Hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, 5 October 1992) U.S.GPO: 1992, 8 pp.

Adjusting to the Drawdown (Report of the Defense Conversion Commission, Department of Defense), 31 December 1992, 86 pp. plus voluminous appendices.

"Alternatives for the U.S. Tank Industrial Base," CBO Papers, Congressional Budget Office, February 1993, 37 pp.

"Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process," CRS Report for Congress, prepared by Richard Grimmett, 7 December 1992.

The Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) Scandal and the Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Program for Iraq---Part I (Hearing before the House Committee on Banking, Fiance and Urban Affairs, 21 May 1992) U.S.GPO: 1993, 552 pp.

"Chinese Missile and Nuclear Proliferation: Issues for Congress," CRS Issue Brief, prepared by Shirley Kan, 16 November 1992, 15 pp.

Conventional Arms Transfer Policy and Markup of H.Con.Res. 232 (Hearing before the Arms Control Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Cmte., 27 May 1992) U.S.GPO: 1993.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1992 (Report Submitted to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees by the State Department) U.S.GPO: February 1993, 1196 pp.

El Salvador: Efforts to Satisfy National Civilian Police Equipment Needs (GAO/NSIAD-93-100BR) 15 December 1992.

Foreign Assistance: Meeting Training Needs of Police in New Democracies (GAO/NSIAD-93-109) January 1993, 10 pp.

H.R. 4803, the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1992 (Hearing before the House Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, 8 May 1992) U.S.GPO: 1992, 329 pp.

Interpreting the Pressler Amendment: Commercial Military Sales to Pakistan (Hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 30 July 1992) U.S.GPO: 1992, 97 pp.

1993 Annual Foreign Policy Report to the Congress, prepared by the Bureau of Export Administration, Department of Commerce, January 1993, 81 pp.

The "October Surprise" Allegations and the Circumstances Surrounding the Release of the American Hostages Held in Iran (Report of the Special Counsel of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 19 November 1992) U.S.GPO: 1992.

Pricing and Billing of the F-16 for Foreign Military Sales Customers (Audit Report Number 92-142, Office of the Inspector General, Department of Defense) 30 September 1992, 42 pp.

Proliferation and Arms Control in the 1990's (Hearing before the Arms Control Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, 3 March 1992) U.S.GPO: 1993.

U.S. Security Issues in Africa (Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, 7 May 1992) U.S.GPO: 1992, 36 pp. "Weapons Proliferation and Conventional Arms Transfers: The Outlook in Mid-1992" [a reprint of Congressional testimony given in April 1992], CRS Report for Congress, prepared by Steve Bowman, Richard Grimmett, Robert Shuey, Zachary Davis, 31 December 1992, 43 pp.

Congressional reports and hearings can be obtained for free through the Congressional Committee or Subcommittee which issued them, or for a small charge through the Government Printing Office [(202) 783-3238]. GAO reports can be ordered by phoning (202) 512-6000. They are free.

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