ACDA'S TROUBLED PAST AND FUTURE (Senate - January 28, 1994)

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Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I wish to take a few minutes to discuss the future of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. I have spoken in the past about the need to eliminate this Agency now that the cold war has ended. Other Members took a different view and have attached an amendment to the State Department Authorization Act that not only preserved but also expanded this bureaucratic anachonism. I believe that this was fiscal folly.

We have begun the process of adjustment to the post-cold-war world. We are massively cutting our military establishment. By fiscal year 1996, we will have reduced the defense budget in real terms to less than half of the level in the peak spending year of 1985. We have reduced the National Foreign Intelligence Program budget. We will be restructuring and economizing on our international broadcasting capabilities. And, we will be cutting back on foreign aid that was sent to countries on the basis of calculations stemming from the cold war geopolitical competition.

Yet the legislation to increase ACDA's authority and budget goes in exactly the opposite direction. It increases spending on an Agency born in the cold war, designed to address problems derived from the cold war, and doomed to irrelevance with the end of the cold war.


Let us remember that ACDA was created in 1961 because of a perceived lack of expertise in the Federal Government in what was then the novel area of arms control. Yet, today we have experts, offices, or agencies dedicated to arms control work in the State Department, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the three major armed services, the Department of Energy, the On-Site Inspection Agency, the arms control intelligence staff of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other parts of the Government.

Arms control is big business in the Federal Government and will remain an important focus of action even without ACDA:

The Department of State has more people working on arms control than ACDA does.

More that 65 professionals in 13 offices of the Office of the Secretary of Defense work on arms control, a figure that rises still further when you consider arms control staff in the Joint Staff and in the major services.

In the Air Force, more than 300 employees worldwide are working just on research on arms control and implementation of arms control treaties.

The On-Site Inspection Agency employs more than 1,000 professionals to handle the demands of inspection trips.

The Department of Energy, in its own agencies and at the national laboratories, employs several hundred people in programs related to arms control.

In the Central Intelligence Agency, an estimated 100 professionals perform analytical work on the Arms Control Intelligence Staff, with hundreds more in other offices and agencies contributing to collection of intelligence information related to arms control.

Also at CIA, the nonproliferation center employs an estimated 100 intelligence analysts.

In addition to all this expertise inside the Government, the estimate is that the Federal Government as a whole spends $250 million on unclassified arms control research every year--that is, a quarter of a billion dollars every year, not even counting classified research.

These examples only scratch the surface of arms control work and staffing in the Federal Government. The fact is that there is not a single aspect of ACDA's capabilities that is not duplicated or even triplicated elsewhere in the executive branch.


By eliminating ACDA, as I have urged, we would merely trim the funding for arms control. It would cut back middle management, just as American business has done to become more efficient. It would get at the fat, without hitting the muscle or bones.

I would like to document that fact by citing a few arms control budget figures gathered by the Congressional Research Service for the last fiscal year:

The State Department will spend $81 million on arms control.

The Department of Energy will spend about $250 million on arms control.

The Defense Nuclear Agency will spend an estimated $80 to $90 million on arms control.

The Joint Staff will spend over $100 million on arms control.

To be sure, this is an incomplete accounting. I am leaving out spending on arms control within the intelligence community. But if this did represent the entire arms control budget of the U.S. Government, eliminating ACDA would represent a total cut of only about 10 percent in Governmentwide arms control spending.

Surely, in light of the end of the cold war, we can afford to trim this spending by 10 percent. Surely, we can make a cut of those modest proportions without imperiling the contribution that arms control can make to our security.


There is widespread recognition that ACDA has become a dysfunctional agency, at best playing a secondary role in the areas it should presumably lead.

Over the last three decades, the State Department, not ACDA, has led the way in negotiating arms control agreements. Arms control policy coordination has been conducted by either the State Department or within the National Security Council. Arms control treaty implementation has largely been the province to the Department of Defense and the State Department. Verification has been the function of the intelligence community collection and analysis agencies, with policy decisions on compliance issues largely handled by the State Department, the Defense Department, and the members of the National Security Council.

In this respect, I would like to summarize the conclusions of two major studies of ACDA's effectiveness, one conducted by the inspector general of ACDA and the other by analysts at the Stimson Center.

ACDA's inspector general evaluated the Agency's performance in terms of its responsibilities as designated in the Arms Control and Disarmament Act of 1961:

ACDA's first duty is that of the ACDA director to serve as the principal adviser to the President and the Secretary of State on arms control. The ACDA inspector general's report states:

* * * once arms control became important presidential business, as it did within a decade of ACDA's founding, Secretaries of State and Defense and national security advisers become the dominant figures in arms control.

ACDA's second statutory responsibility is preparation and management of negotiations of arms control agreements. The ACDA IG's report states:

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When the ACDA Director some years ago agreed that the negotiators of the principal arms control negotiations should be State Department personnel, the decision had a very negative impact on the Agency.

The report then proceeds to describe how State Department officials negotiated virtually all of the major arms control agreements to recent decades.

ACDA's third responsibility is research on arms control. The ACDA IG's report states:

ACDA is not now--indeed, it never has been--in a position to carry out Congress's charge to ensure the acquisition of a fund of theoretical and practical knowledge concerning disarmament.

ACDA's fourth responsibility is in the area of providing public information on arms control. The ACDA IG's report reads: `ACAD does not play a significant role in this area.'

ACDA's fifth responsibility is to operate what the 1961 act called control systems, by which it meant monitoring and inspection systems. The ACDA IG's report states:

ACDA never has actually operated or directed the monitoring and inspection systems that check on foreign compliance with agreements.

On this point, let us also remember that the President and Congress expressed a lack of confidence in ACDA's abilities in this area when it created the On-Site Inspection Agency to conduct verification inspections and did not place OSIA under ACDA.

To sum up this report, what we have here is the inspector general of ACDA concluding that the Agency is not performing its statutory missions; that other departments have supplanted ACDA in virtually every area because they possessed expertise and capabilities in the field far superior to ACDA's; and that ACDA has been bypassed with absolutely no detrimental effect on arms control.

To be fair, the inspector general argues that the agency should be revitalized rather than dissolved. I would counter that since the real work of arms control is done elsewhere in the Government, there is no reason to preserve the bureaucratic

duplication and waste that ACDA represents.

The second report I mentioned was prepared by the Stimson Center, which is a private research organization here in Washington. This report, issued in 1992, lays aside the statutory criteria for evaluating ACDA and tries to measure the value-added that ACDA brings to the arms control process. It concludes:

In its early years ACDA enjoyed a clear comparative advantage in technical arms control expertise * * *. During the 1970s and 1980s, ACDA's contributions to policy innovation were less conspicuous * * *. On occasion, ACDA's mission to focus on the nitty-gritty of arms control has helped to concentrate human resources for specific technical tasks * * *. In general, though, these examples represent exceptions to a very perceptible relative slackening off of ACDA's `value-added' to arms control * * *. In the past several years ACDA has been more of a follower than a leader in generating proposals and policies.

ACDA duplicates the activities of other agencies and departments. It has no distinct mission. It is providing little added-value to the arms control process. By eliminating this Agency, we could streamline Government without impairing the arms control policy process.


Let us all remember one thing: the United States has pursued an active arms control agenda not because ACDA existed but because U.S. Presidents and Members of Congress concluded that arms control would benefit U.S. security and international stability.

However laudable the intentions of those who hope to revitalize ACDA, their plans will not work. Arms control is integral to U.S. foreign and defense policy and cannot be artificially lifted out of the State Department and the Defense Department.

Historically, ACDA's role has diminished for three reasons. First, arms control has become such an important aspect of our foreign policy that the Secretary of State, not the Director of ACDA, dominates the diplomacy of arms control. The principal negotiators of arms control treaties have worked out of the State Department, not ACDA.

Second, ACDA lacks significant field activities that would give it bureaucratic clout in the interagency process. It does little of the arms control negotiation, executes even less of the treaty implementation work, and issues verification reports that are merely derivative of analysis produced in the intelligence community.

Third, over time, ACDA's comparative advantage in arms control expertise has vanished. All departments and agencies concerned with arms control have a depth of expertise in arms control superior to that of ACDA. In fact, all the studies of ACDA have documented the outmigration of experts from that Agency. The Stimson Center report notes that in the 1970's `one began to see * * * a siphoning off of ACDA's institutional memory and expertise in key areas such as strategic arms control and nuclear safeguards technologies.' It is only reasonable that these U.S. experts would want to leave ACDA in order to be where the action really is.

Mr. President, none of the proposals for revitalizing ACDA face up to these three problems, which are the root cause of the evisceration of ACDA's contribution to arms control policy. We can pretend to provide ACDA with new powers, but in the end the players with the superior expertise and the bureaucratic clout derived from real field activities will carry the day in debates in the interagency process.

Even in the Clinton administration, policymakers appeared to understand these realities. It is reported that shortly after taking office, Secretary of State Warren Christopher developed a major reorganization plan that would have created a new Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. ACDA's functions and some of its personnel would have been folded into this new office.

I believe that President Clinton made the wrong decision when he ultimately chose not to follow this course. Most important, I do not believe that anyone can seriously argue that if he had chosen to fold ACDA into the State Department, arms control would have suffered as a result.

In studying this issue and the options before us, I have heard one argument over and over again. This argument runs, `We need an independent arms control agency, first because arms control is so complex and second, because we need a voice concerned solely with arms control in the interagency process.'

I understand the thrust of this argument, but I cannot share its conclusion.

Yes, arms control is complex. But so are many other areas of foreign policy. Yet, we do not set up independent agencies just to argue such points of view.

International terrorism is a complex issue. Do we have an independent agency to handle it? No, we do not.

Human rights is a complex issue. Do we have an independent agency to handle it? No, we do not.

International law issues are profoundly complex. Do we have an independent agency to handle them? No, we do not.

Do we have independent agencies in any of these areas so that single-issue perspectives have a voice in the interagency process? No, we do not.

There is nothing inherently more complex about arms control than any of these other issue areas. There is nothing inherently more important about arms control than these other issues so that we need a special-interest voice for arms control in the interagency process.

On all issues apart from arms control, we manage affairs within the State Department, the Defense Department, the intelligence community, other departments, and the interagency process that brings their disciplines and expertise together. We can do the same for arms control, without in any way harming arms control.

And, if we are really concerned about the deficit, we can make a small dent in it by eliminating ACDA--an agency that has clearly outlived its usefulness and whose functions can--and already are--being performed elsewhere. It seems to me, Mr. President, that ACDA could be the poster boy for wasteful, unnecessary Government bureaucracy.


Mr. President, I hold in my hand a copy of a document entitled `Current Activities and Accomplishments.' It is produced by ACDA. It professes to provide an account of the agency's major accomplishments of the last year and its major activities for the future. It runs seven pages. It in effect tells us what we are buying if we continue to pour tens of millions of dollars a year into ACDA.

I must say that this is an interesting document, indeed a very revealing document. Here we have ACDA's best case for its continued claim on the taxpayer's money. Here we have--in effect--the resume of a Federal agency applying for continued work.

Mr. President, there is a phenomenon in this town called resume padding. We all know about the way applicants will sometimes make dubious claims on their resume on the grounds that it is very unlikely that a potential employer will check on the details.

Well, I have looked over very closely the resume that ACDA has provided. And, Mr. President, I must say that this document gives resume padding a bad name.

I have gone through every one of the 62 items on this list, and in the vast majority the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency does not play the lead role or even an essential role. It is a bit-part player, typically duplicating the work done by the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the many agencies of the Intelligence Community.

I do not have the time to run through every item on ACDA's list of current activities and accomplishments. Instead, I have put together a top-10 list of the most dubious claims made by ACDA on this resume:

Dubious claim No. 10: ACDA asserts--and I quote--`We will be working with State in support of completion of START ratification in Ukraine and in support of START II ratification in Russia.'

Mr. President, I want to point out that when the executive branch sends a delegation to Ukraine or Russia on this matter, ACDA is not even represented. How can ACDA claim this as a major agency activity when it is not even on the plane taking our officials to meet with the Ukrainians and Russians?

Dubious claim No. 9: ACDA asserts that the Agency will remain actively involved in regional arms control efforts, particularly in the Middle East.

Again, what do we find when we look into this claim? We find that the State Department plays the lead role in virtually all regional arms control efforts. In fact, it is my understanding that ACDA participates only when the State Department invites ACDA to participate.

As we find across the entire spectrum of arms control activities, the State Department, not ACDA, is the preeminent player for the simple reason that foreign policy and arms control cannot be separated.

Dubious claim No. 8: ACDA claims that one of its major activities will be liaison with the intelligence community.

Yet every department--State, Defense, Energy--conducts liaison with the intelligence community as necessary. I do not see how this can be construed to be a major agency activity or accomplishment. In fact, I would point out that ACDA is not even a voting member of the process that develops NIE's--that is, National Intelligence Estimates.

Dubious claim No. 7: ACDA claims that it will provide verification guidance to the On-Site Inspection Agency [OSIA] on a regular basis.

Yet it is my understanding that ACDA personnel seldom participate in on-site inspections conducted by OSIA. In even fewer cases do ACDA personnel lead such inspections.

The fact is that the experts on such inspections reside in OSIA, not ACDA. OSIA does the inspections. OSIA personnel are the ones on the ground. They know what works and what doesn't far better than ACDA bureaucrats who sit in their comfortable offices in Foggy Bottom.

Dubious claim No. 6: ACDA claims that its role in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Australia Group, and the Missile Technology Control Regime process represents a major activity that justifies retaining an independent agency dedicated to arms control.

Yet I have found that in the meetings of all of these groups, it is the State Department, not ACDA, that plays the lead role and that ACDA is at best a secondary player. In all of these groups, ACDA essentially is an adjunct of the State Department, which again calls into question whether in all honesty this can be represented as a major ACDA activity.

Dubious claim No. 5: In several places in this document, ACDA claims to provide intelligence support.

That is utterly false. ACDA is not an intelligence agency and is not part of the intelligence community. It does not collect intelligence information and is not even given full access to raw intelligence. ACDA is merely a consumer not a producer of intelligence analysis.

In another place, ACDA also claims that it produces red team analyses of arms control agreements. I was a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and I can tell you that this same work is performed by the Arms Control Intelligence Staff in the Central Intelligence Agency and at the Defense Intelligence Agency. That's where the real expertise exists. There's no need to triplicate this work at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

Dubious claim No. 4: In the section dealing with ACDA's accomplishments of the last year, the document boasts that ACDA reviewed essentially all U.S. munitions and dual-use related exports.

Yet ACDA is not a licensing agency under our export control laws. ACDA is simply duplicating work that is performed in the State Department, Defense Department, and the Commerce Department, which are the licensing agencies.

I ask the members of this chamber, Do we really need yet another level of redundancy in the Federal bureaucracy? The real expertise on these issues lies in the Departments of Commerce and Defense, with the State Department handling diplomatic aspects of export control issues. I would strongly argue that three principal agencies are enough.

Dubious claim No. 3: In this document, ACDA makes great claims about its participation in meetings of various commissions established by arms control treaties to deal with implementation issues among the signatories. These included the JCIC, the BCC, the SVC, the SCC, the JCG, and the OSCC.

First of all, ACDA leads the delegations to only four of these commissions. And the total number of meetings for those four during 1992 and the first 6 months of 1993 is only eight. Eight meetings. That's it. Eight meetings, and ACDA makes a vaunted claim that this represents a major activity that justified keeping an independent bureaucracy tasked only with arms control.

Dubious claim No. 2: ACDA is proud of the fact that its personnel served on the U.N. ballistic missile inspections teams in Iraq, and this is listed as a major achievement of the agency in the past year.

What do we find when we look into this claim? One staffer. That's right, one ACDA staff member served several times as a member of inspection teams in Iraq. And we are asked to believe that this is a major achievement.

What is more, ACDA pulled back from that role. I understand that ACDA's leadership was concerned about this staffer's health and safety and probably will not allow the staffer to play this role again.

And, the No. 1 dubious claim about ACDA activities and accomplishments comes at the bottom of page three. It is an item entitled `Antarctic inspections.' Mr. President, I want to quote it in full so that there can be no misunderstanding:

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ACDA will assist in the planning and will participate in the two inspections to be held pursuant to the Antarctica Treaty.

This is indeed fascinating. Here, in this official document, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has made the claim that its participation in Antarctica inspections represents a major agency activity.

I have looked into this major activity. This inspection will involve four to six people. ACDA will not lead the inspection team but will be represented.

Mr. President, it begs credulity for an agency of the

Federal Government to claim that sending one or two people on a trip represents a major programmatic activity that should be touted in a document like this before Congress.

But let us take a deeper look at this item. What are the provisions of the Antarctica Treaty relevant to arms control? Article One prohibits States from undertaking any measure of a military nature, including weapons testing, in Antarctica. In negotiating the treaty, President Eisenhower sought to preclude both superpowers from building military bases in Antarctica.

For the record, no bases were ever built. In fact, by the 1970's, it was clear that the Antarctic environment was so harsh that no one in their right mind would be interested in building a base there, whether or not an agreement existed to preclude bases.

I have read ACDA's report on its expedition to Antarctica in 1989. In reporting on its visit to a French research station, ACDA tells us, `The station reported no arms or munitions on station except for a 12-guage shotgun and a flare pistol.' Mr. President, does ACDA truly believe that counting flare pistols in Antarctica is an arms control issue that deserves full funding?

There is more, however. The summary finding of the report on arms and military activity reads as follows:

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No arms violations, military activities, storage or disposal of hazardous or nuclear materials, or activities with significant military implications were observed during the inspection.

Mr. President, that was the state of play on this issue in 1989. Since then we have seen the democratic revolutions in Eastern Europe, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the collapse of the Soviet empire in the third world, the democratic election of the President of Russia, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and the forging of a partnership with Russia and some of the other newly independent states.

I cannot speak for my distinguished colleagues, but I am prepared to trust the new democratic Russia when its leaders state that they are not engaged in the overt or covert militarization of Antarctica. Soviet leaders never tried to do this during the cold war, and given Russia's troubles today, I cannot even imagine a scenario in which Russia's elected leadership would do so now.

Yet, that does not stop our friends at ACDA from launching a full-field inspection of Antarctica. There are no military activities in Antarctica. There are no intelligence indications that would lead us to suspect military activities are underway in Antarctica. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that we need to reconfirm the findings of the 1989 visit. Yet we find that ACDA is footing the bill for all the day-to-day expenses of this Antarctic inspection trip even for participants who are not part of ACDA.

I cannot understand the rationale for this inspection. However, I do understand that this trip is very popular at ACDA. I am told that officials and bureaucrats are competing to try to

get a seat on this trip. Mr. President, I do not know what the constituents of other senators call this kind of spending, but in my State of Utah taxpayers call this boondoggle.

I submit that arms control is supposed to enhance our security. Therefore, I have one simple question: What is the military threat to the United States emanating from Antarctica? What is the threat that requires us to spend taxpayer monies on arms control inspections of Antarctica? Why should taxpayers be providing money for an arms control inspection of a continent on which here has not been any significant military activity for almost half a century?

Mr. President, this list of ACDA's activities is very revealing--revealing about the limited value of ACDA in the arms control process, revealing about the marginal achievements of ACDA both in the interagency process and internationally, and revealing about the dubious nature of much of ACDA's spending.

I could go on with more examples, but what I have tried to provide here is a representative sampling of the egregious exaggerations that ACDA has made in providing this lengthy account of its activities and accomplishments.

I am not arguing that ACDA does nothing of value. I would point out that the statements in this document on ACDA's role with respect to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and a few others do represent contributions made by ACDA to the arms control process. What I am arguing is this: When you look into all of the individual claims in this document, you do not find sufficient activities and accomplishments to justify the continued existence of an independent arms control agency.

This document itself is proof positive that this agency is desperately struggling for ways to justify its existence. ACDA's leadership had to reach down a long way to generate these seven pages of dubious claims. In fact, as I have noted, they have had to reach all the way down to Antarctica.


Mr. President, I offered a bill, S. 1085, to eliminate ACDA. Senators Cochran and Lott cosponsored this legislation with me. It would have produced significant savings, totally $171 million over the next 5 years.

I have brought with me a letter from Director Reischauer of the Congressional Budget Office that reads in part, `CBO estimates that savings in outlays would total $26 million in 1995, $46 million in 1996, $49 million in 1997, and $50 million in 1998.' Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the letter be reprinted in the Record.

I know that many might argue that this is not much money, that it's a drop in the bucket when we look at the $200 billion deficits we face under the current budget plan. And, frankly, I do not find the argument at all persuasive that just because an amount of money is small by the Federal Government's standards we should not save it at all.

In my State of Utah, $171 million is a lot of money. In my State, $171 million is greater than the total State revenues spent on education in even the largest school district in the State. It is almost twice the total Federal revenues transferred to Utah for elementary and secondary education in the 1990-91 school year.

This body has adopted an amendment to the State Department Authorization Act to increase spending on ACDA. I believed this was a profound error, and I will be watching closely the performance of ACDA over the next year to determine whether this vote of confidence had any merit.

In closing, I just want to pose a simple question. We might call it the $171 million question. Why does this body continue to ignore opportunities to streamline Government and to save the taxpayers money? Why does the Congress continue to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on an agency that is clearly a relic--a creature that should not have a continued claim on taxpayer monies but rather should inhabit a bureaucratic Jurassic Park.

There being no objection, the letter was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, July 1, 1993.

Hon. Orrin G. Hatch,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

Dear Senator: At your request, the Congressional Budget Office has reviewed S. 1085, the Economy in Arms Control Act, as introduced into the United States Senate on June 9, 1993. The bill would abolish the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and would transfer certain ACDA functions to other U.S. agencies.

If the bill were enacted by the start of fiscal year 1994, it would become effective in fiscal year 1995. Compared to current law, enactment of S. 1085 would result in no savings, because appropriations for ACDA are not authorized for fiscal years 1994 through 1998. Compared to a projection of ACDA's 1993 funding level, however, CBO estimates that savings in outlays would total $26 million in 1995, $46 million in 1996, $49 million in 1997, and $50 million in 1998.

These estimated savings are less than ACDA's projected appropriation for several reasons. First, S. 1085 would transfer some ACDA employees to other agencies to help carry out arms control functions. Section 6 of the bill would transfer 10 percent of ACDA personnel working on policy formulation to the State Department and would transfer 30 percent of ACDA personnel working on non-proliferation and verification issues to the Department of Defense (DoD). Based on information received from ACDA, CBO estimates that this provision would result in the transfer of about 30 of ACDA's 220 employees. The State Department and DoD would incur increased costs for salaries and related expenses that CBO estimates would total about $3 million annually.

Second, once ACDA is abolished some employees would lose their jobs and would be eligible for severance pay and pay for unused annual leave. According to ACDA, employees would receive severance pay in regular intervals after the employees leave federal employment. These severance costs would be incurred in 1995. CBO assumes that payments for unused annual leave also would be incurred in 1995. Assuming 30 people are transferred to other agencies, CBO estimates that about 90 people would be eligible for these payments. Based on information provided by ACDA, CBO estimates that payments for severance costs and for unused annual leave would total about $2 million in 1995. The remaining 100 people are assumed to find other federal jobs or to retire.

Finally, if ACDA is abolished at the start of 1995, another $18 million in obligations from prior year budget authority would still be spent in 1995.

Enactment of S. 1085 would not affect direct spending or receipts. Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply to the bill. Also, enactment of the bill would not affect the budgets of state and local governments.

If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be pleased to provide them. The CBO contact is Kent Christensen, who can be reached at 226-2840.


Robert D. Reischauer,

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