Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, the Senate will shortly take up the question of whether to give our advice and consent to the ratification of two long-unratified treaties--the Threshold Test Ban Treaty [TTBT] of 1974 and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty [PNET] of 1976. New verification protocols to these treaties were signed by Presidents Bush and Gorbachev on June 1 of this year and submitted to the Senate on June 28.
The Select Committee on Intelligence has been closely following the progress of the nuclear testing talks since September 1988. After agreement was reached on the new protocols, we held three hearings on United States capabilities to monitor Soviet compliance with the treaties and protocols and to meet the counterintelligence and security challenges posed by the regime of onsite inspection and monitoring that the treaties and protocols will create. Those hearings were supplemented by answers for the record staff-level briefings and staff visits to sites associated with the U.S. nuclear testing and monitoring programs.
Our committee also took steps to encourage executive branch analysis of these issues. On September 19, 1988, we requested that the Director of Central Intelligence produce a formal document, approved by the National Foreign Intelligence Board, on the ability of the United States Government to monitor Soviet compliance with the two treaties. This led first to an analysis published by the Director of Central Intelligence's Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee in July 1989, and eventually to a natinal intelligence estimate published in July 1990.
To maximize the usefulness of the national intelligence estimate, we asked the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to submit to the Director of Central Intelligence his assessment of the levels of Soviet evasion that he would consider militarily significant. We also asked the Secretary of Energy to provide an assessment of the Soviet technical, logistic, and programmatic requirements necessary to conduct such evasion. As a result, the national estimate is directly relevant to the policymaker and reflects the combined expertise of many agencies in the executive branch.
Last Wednesday, September 12, the committee unanimously approved a 116-page classified report on these subjects. This report covers the vertification protocols, United States collection and analytical capabilities, cooperative verification measures, Soviet compliance, evasion scenarios, monitoring judgments, safeguards, counterintelligence issues, and implementation concerns. This report is available to all Members of this body, under the provisions of Senate Resolution 400. I encourage every Member of the Senate with an interest in these treaties to visit our committee offices and read this report.
The committee also approved a short unclassified report, which I am pleased to file with the Senate. I also ask unanimous consent that the key findings and recommendations from this report be made part of the Record at this time.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
1. As a result of the cooperative monitoring and inspection measures negotiated with the Soviets and recent improvements in U.S. analytical methodologies, the overall U.S. capability to monitor Soviet compliance with the 150-kiloton limits in the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT) and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty (PNET) has been significantly improved.
2. The Committee concludes that unilateral U.S. capabilities and the cooperative measures provided for in the verification Protocols are sufficient to monitor Soviet compliance with the 150-kiloton limits.
3. The Soviets could conduct tests slightly above the 150-kiloton limits without the U.S. Government being certain that they had done so. The Soviets could not evade the 150-kiloton limits by a significant amount, however, without a lengthy, costly and risky covert evasion effort.
4. It will be more difficult to monitor Soviet compliance with the 35-kiloton and 50-kiloton `trigger levels' for onsite inspection and hydrodynamic or in-country seismic monitoring. These trigger levels will still serve their primary purpose, however, of making any major evasion of the 150-kiloton limits a much more daunting task for the Soviets.
5. The primary motivations for Soviet evasion would be to conduct full-yield tests to validate the performance reliability or safety of old or new weapons, or to preclude U.S. knowledge of Soviet exotic weapons programs.
6. These motivations are offset by Soviet reliance on proven nuclear weapon designs; by the fact that most nuclear testing needs can be met by tests under 150 kilotons; by the high costs of covert evasion: by the uncertainty that any evasion scenarios would work as intended: and by the risk of detection by the United States or revelation by an increasingly open and anti-nuclear Soviet press and society. The cost, risk and uncertainty factors would all increase if more than one illegal test were attempted.
7. Although the motivations and risks described above did not lead any executive branch witnesses to expect the Soviet Union to attempt any evasion of the Treaties, the following evasion scenarios were presented as examples of the most feasible approaches:
a. The Soviets could attempt an unannounced 300-kiloton explosion in a large cavity to reduce the seismic signal generated by the explosion, and thus the estimated yield, to near the 35-kiloton trigger level for on-site inspection. Covert construction of such a cavity would be a major activity costing hundreds of millions of dollars, requiring years to create and still running the risk of being detected.
b. Because the TTBT Protocol does not restrict the timing or separation of any tests below 35 kilotons, the Soviets could conduct multiple tests that would degrade seismic estimates of yield. Multiple-explosion evasion scenarios appear more feasible regarding the trigger levels than for any significant evasion of the 150-kiloton limit.
c. Testing in deep space, a violation primarily of the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963, is the only technically feasible method of completely concealing the occurrence of a large nuclear explosion. The Soviets would not only have to fly a nuclear payload and testing equipment deep into space and be willing to pay the cost, but would also have to develop an adequate cover story for the mission and for their retrieval of testing data at a time when they are increasingly open about their scientific space missions.
8. Given current U.S. Government estimates of the yields of past nuclear tests, the Committee can rule out any major Soviet violations of the 150-kiloton limits of 1976. The pattern of past Soviet testing is consistent with either of two other hypotheses; Soviet compliance with the 150-kiloton limit; or a few slight violations of it. The military rationale for slight violations remains in doubt.
9. The inability of the U.S. Government to determine whether the Soviets had or had not violated the 150-kiloton limits was sufficient reason for the United States to negotiate more stringent verification protocols.
10. The executive branch has made sensible decisions on organization and policy for implementing the verification Protocols, analyzing the resulting data, producing monitoring estimates and reaching verification judgments.
11. There is a threat of Soviet intelligence exploitation of the inspection process, including efforts to compromise the secrecy of U.S. nuclear weapons and defense programs and to target U.S. inspectors in the Soviet Union.
12. No comprehensive interagency risk assessment has yet been completed. The risks at the Nevada Test Site and at potential locations for housing Soviet inspectors have not been fully evaluated partly because not all relevant Executive branch elements have participated adequately in the assessments.
13. The Executive branch has not yet resolved major issues of funding for implementation and counterintelligence. While the President could postpone exchanging instruments of ratification until funds for implementation are available, the mere availability of funds will not guarantee that the several agencies involved will have the needed counterintelligence resources in place before the first inspection occurs.
14. The TTBT Protocol contains not only the basic monitoring rights, but also other provisions affecting monitoring capabilities that are essential for effective verification. They include those that specify data to be provided by the Testing Party; assure the reliability of CORRTEX monitoring; set the criteria for `standard' nuclear tests; and list the permitted activities and equipment of inspectors and monitors.
15. The TTBT Protocol also contains provisions that are essential for effective counterintelligence. They include provisions requiring the use of anti-intrusiveness devices and giving the United States the right to escort Soviet personnel at all times; to control the travel and contacts of Soviet personnel; to examine any equipment brought to the United States; and to inspect the baggage, personal belongings and packages brought or mailed by Soviet personnel.
16. These provisions are subject to change by the Bilateral Consultative Commission established pursuant to paragraphs 2-4 of Section XI of the TTBT Protocol. Executive branch statements thus far do not provide sufficient assurance that changes in such essential provisions will be subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.
1. The Executive branch should provide firm assurances that any changes in the TTBT Protocol regarding provisions that are essential for effective U.S. monitoring counterintelligence or security--such as those listed above--will be treated as amendments to the Protocol that are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. The Committee recommends that a condition to the instrument of ratification be enacted to buttress those assurances.
2. The Executive branch should also assure the Senate that it will provide the Senate intelligence Committee prior notice of any other proposed change in the TTBT Protocol that may have a negative impact on U.S. monitoring, counterintelligence or security capabilities, to enable the Committee to voice an objection in appropriate cases, before the issue becomes moot. The Committee recommends that a condition to the instrument of ratification be enacted to protect the interests of all relevant Committee of the Senate.
3. The Parties agree, in paragraph 3 of Article I of the TTBT, to `continue * * * negotiations with a view toward achieving a solution to the problem of the cessation of all underground nuclear tests.' The Committee did not consider whether the United States should negotiate further constraints on nuclear tests, but supports further research into technologies that may contribute to verification of compliance with any new obligations the United States may undertake.
4. The Executive branch should complete a comprehensive risk assessment immediately. In conjunction with that assessment, relevant agencies should inform the Intelligence Committee of their plans for effective counterintelligence and security countermeasures.
5. The Committee recommends that a condition to the instrument of ratification be enacted requiring that the President not exchange instruments of ratification until he certifies to the Senate that sufficient resources and time are available to prepare for TTBT implementation, including counterintelligence and security countermeasures.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, the committee's report finds that U.S. monitoring capabilities have been significantly improved in recent years, thanks to both improved methodologies and the new verification protocols. The committee concludes that U.S. capabilities will be sufficient to monitor Soviet compliance with the 150-kiloton limits in each treaty.
There are seven other findings regarding U.S. monitoring capabilities, and I invite my colleagues to study them in the Record. When the treaties come before the Senate, I will make a further statement setting forth all our findings. I will also introduce into the Record at that time the substantive comments on the treaties and protocols that we received from outside experts whom we asked to provide written statements of their views.
For now, however, I would like to focus my colleagues' attention on two issues that prompted the committee to suggest the need for conditions to an eventual resolution of ratification--U.S. preparedness to meet the counterintelligence and security challenges posed by on-site inspection and monitoring; and the question of how to change protocol provisions.
On the issue of counterintelligence and security measures, the committee found that there is a threat of Soviet intelligence exploitation of the inspection process, that no comprehensive interagency risk assessment has yet been completed, and that the executive branch has not yet resolved major issues of funding for the needed measures. We recommended that the executive branch complete a comprehensive risk assessment immediately. We also recommended:
That a condition to the instrument of ratification be enacted requiring that the President not exchange instruments of ratification until he certifies to the Senate that sufficient resources and time are available to prepare for TTBT implementation, including counterintelligence and security countermeasures.
It will not surprise my colleagues to hear that this recommendation attracted the attention of the executive branch. Indeed, ever since they received an early draft of this recommendation, executive branch officials have been trying to come to grips with the lack of preparedness that we had found.
They also have been trying to work out assurances that they could provide to this committee that would alleviate the need for a condition to the resolution of ratification.
Subsequent to the committee's release of our unclassified report to the Senate, the vice chairman of the committee and I received parallel letters from the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, General Scowcroft, setting forth his understanding of the need for action in this area and the types of action that remained to be taken. I ask unanimous consent that the text of that letter be included in the Record at this point.
There being no objection, the letter was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
The White House,
Washington, September 13, 1990.
Hon. David L. Boren,
Chairman, Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: As the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the Treaty on Peaceful Nuclear Explosions proceed toward the Senate's advice and consent on ratification, I want you to know that we share the Senate Intelligence Committee's concern over the need to implement effective counterintelligence and security measures to protect U.S. personnel and programs from improper collection of information by Soviet on-site inspectors or monitors. This is a matter of high priority for the Administration.
There are several elements to these measures, all of which need to be in place before Soviet inspectors and monitors may safely be hosted. These include the selection of suitable locations for housing Soviet personnel for the Nevada Test Site and the Designated Seismic Stations. (It might prove necessary to select a temporary site, with the understanding that a permanent site will be completed promptly.)
Once these decisions are made, we can finalize the necessary security details to protect personnel or programs that might otherwise be vulnerable to compromise and also resolve any remaining funding matters. While these matters must be addressed expeditiously, we do not want to rush into decisions that could later prove harmful to the national security.
I want to assure you that the Administration will take no action under the Treaty that would endanger or compromise vulnerable U.S. programs.
I appreciate your concerned approach to these questions and look forward to our continued cooperative efforts to ensure that the interests of arms control verification and security are satisfied.
Mr. BOREN. General Scowcroft also provided the following assurance to the committee:
I want to assure you that the administration will take no action under the treaty that would endanger or compromise vulnerable U.S. programs.
This is an important assurance, for two reasons. First, it comes from a ranking official who is in a position to bring together the several agencies that will be involved in implementing U.S. security measures. Second, it is based upon discussions between our committee and the executive branch on what actions might `endanger or compromise vulnerable U.S. programs' and how to avoid those actions.
The executive bransh has asked us not to go into detail in public regarding the steps that they can take to avoid endangering U.S. programs. I want to assure my colleagues, however, of my confidence that the administration both understands the importance of this problem, and will take the steps required to protect the national security.
As a result, it is my personal view the steps that the executive branch can take would be preferable to delaying the exchange of instruments of ratification. Any delay in the treaty's entry into force could deprive the United States of a chance to monitor a Soviet nuclear test that we would otherwise be entitled to monitor.
Given the assurances that we have received from General Scowcroft, I am, personally, satisfied that we will not need to go forward with a condition to the resolution of ratification. I stress that in this view, I am only speaking for myself and not the other members of the Intelligence Committee. I pledge to my colleagues, however, that the Intelligence Committee will also watch closely over the implementation of the TTBT to make sure that the executive branch lives up to those assuranaces.
The other issue that prompted the Intelligence Committee to recommend conditions to the resolution of ratification was how to make changes in the TTBT protocol. This is a question of institutional concern that transcends the equities of the Intelligence Committee.
Our committee recommended that the executive branch provide further assurances regarding what changes would clearly require the Senate's advice and consent, as well as an assurance of prior notice of any changes `that may have a negative impact on U.S. monitoring, counterintelligence or security capabilities.' We also recommended that those assurances be formalized in conditions to the resolution of ratification.
It is my hope that at the time the treaties come to the floor for the Senate's consideration, the majority and minority leaders and the leaders of the Foreign Relations, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees, will convene to evaluate the progress that has been made with the administration, and decided how best to proceed to preserve the equities of the Senate, as this treaty will last far beyond any one administration.
I believe our recommendations seeking conditions to the instruments of ratification are intended to identify potential problem areas, and create a vehicle for further debate. At the point in time in which we consider the treaties, more dialog with the executive branch was required. It is my hope that at the end of the process, we will reach a common agreement on how best to proceed which may or may not involve the need for formal conditions or reservations. it is quite possible that the assurances we receive from the administration will suffice.
Mr. President, these are technical issues in what is otherwise a truly fine set of treaties and protocols. The issues we have raised do not keep the Intelligence Committee from believing that Soviet compliance with the 150-kiloton limits can be effectively monitored. But they are issues of concern, nonetheless.
I believe that the raising of one issue has already resulted in a reasonable solution. The other merits continued effort, so as to do this job right.