COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m. in room 415, Dirskin Senate Office Building, Hon. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., presiding.
Present: Senators Biden, Pell, Sarbanes, Cranston, Dodd, Kerry, Simon, Moynihan, Wofford, Helms, Lugar, Pressler, McConnell, and Brown.
Senator BIDEN. The hearing will please come to order. Welcome, Mr. Secretary. It is delightful to have you back before the committee. From my perspective, it is particularly delightful to have you back discussing what I think is a very, very valuable contribution you and the President have made to this country and presented to the Senate for our consideration, the subject matter of our hearing this morning.
The Foreign Relations Committee today begins hearings on the CFE Treaty governing conventional forces in Europe. Chairman Pell had intended to be here, Mr. Secretary, but he is engaged elsewhere and sends his apologies to you.
The CFE Treaty marks a watershed in the 20th century world history. It was signed by 22 signatories. This treaty will eliminate a fundamental cause of tension in Europe since the end of World War II, which has been the huge numerical advantage of Soviet conventional forces. This superiority threatened the security and prosperity of the West for many years and was integral to the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.
This superiority also fueled a nuclear arms race. In every strategic doctrine adopted by NATO for 40 years, from massive retaliation to flexible response, nuclear weapons were intended to compensate for the Soviet edge in conventional arms.
The CFE Treaty has been widely described as historic, but few accounts have underscored just how favorable this treaty and its terms are for the United States of America. This treaty will not only end the Soviet conventional superiority in the European theater, it will reverse it. I repeat, this treaty will not only end Soviet conventional superiority in the European theater, it will reverse it by limiting Soviet forces in the theater to a level well below the combined forces of NATO.
This treaty is, as they might say in certain circles, a real good deal for the United States of America and for its allies.
An overarching question which I hope to explore in these hearings is how the new and unfamiliar reality of this treaty will affect our defense posture in Europe and our overall approach to American national security. Clearly, by eliminating the shadow of Soviet military supremacy in Europe, the CFE Treaty chips away a final foundation stone of the cold war.
But can the treaty also lay a new foundation stone for a cooperative international order that transcends the intense and relentless arms competition of the past half-century?
While I hope the CFE Treaty can help us build a new security order, and I will be asking you, Mr. Secretary, several questions about that and the treaty's significance for U.S. defense policy, I note that this treaty's immediate effect will be far less than some had originally anticipated.
With regard to the Soviet reductions it requires, the treaty has been largely overtaken by events in the last 18 months. Even before the treaty was signed the Soviet Union had withdrawn some 75,000 tanks and artillery pieces and armored combat vehicles to storage sites east of the Ural Mountains. For this reason the treaty will not require the nations of the Warsaw Pact to destroy 130,000 pieces of equipment as the administration had predicted to this committee last year.
In remarking on this phenomenon, I am not in any way assigning blame. The only practical alternative would have been to accelerate the negotiations so that less equipment would have been transferred prior to the treaty signing. Whether this acceleration could have been accomplished by bolder action on our part or more cooperation on the part of the Soviets remains a matter for historians to debate. But it may be true that if there are flaws in the treaty, this is the biggest.
To dwell on this fact, the fact that we were unable to require the full destruction of the Soviet forces retreating from Eastern Europe and from the cold war itself, would truly be an act of morbid self-flagellation in my view.
Instead, I believe we should focus on the welcome development that has given rise to this problem. If it is bad news that we did not achieve wholesale destruction of Soviet forces during their hasty retreat, surely it is good news that this is the kind of bad news that we must now cope with.
Moreover, a partial solution to this problem is contained in the Soviet government's unilateral pledge made last month to destroy 25 percent of the equipment moved east of the Urals and with regard to the remaining 75 percent of such equipment, not to position it in operational units or in any other way use it as part of a strategic reserve force.
This political commitment is necessary to ameliorate the potential, even if unlikely, threat posed by such forces. But as the Soviet pledge stands legally, it may be insufficient. I intend to discuss with you, Mr. Secretary 'y, a possible remedy in the form of a Senate condition that would not require the treaty to be renegotiated.
Another major issue requiring the Senate's attention is the Soviet effort to reinterpret article 3 of the treaty so as to exempt more than 3,000 pieces of equipment they assigned to naval forces. In last month's accord, the Soviets formally agreed to act as if that equipment is covered by the treaty. But again, while this was necessary, it may be insufficient, for the agreement took the form of a U.S. Soviet bilateral agreement that is fully separate from the treaty itself.
Again, Mr. Secretary, I would like to discuss with you the possibility of a second Senate condition that, again, would require no renegotiations, but could nonetheless render this bilateral agreement functionally equivalent to being an integral part of the treaty.
As we commence these hearings, I think it is fair to say, without intending any insult to our able negotiators, that the CFE Treaty is a nitpicker's paradise. As a result of the immensely complicated nature of the subject matter and the fact that no less than 22 nations were involved in the negotiations, the final product is not a model of clarity. Nor do I think it could possibly be.
This committee could easily attach numerous conditions clarifying the meaning of different sentences in the treaty text. Instead, "assuming we receive certain assurances from you, Mr. Secretary, it is my belief that we should place our discussion of these ambiguities in report language rather than formal Senate understandings or reservations.
In closing, Mr. Secretary, let me say that I expect this treaty to receive overwhelming bipartisan support. And I intend to work closely with the Ranking Member of this committee, Senator Helms, and with the administration on any language we add to the resolution of ratification and on any other issues that may arise throughout this process.
And again, Mr. Secretary, I welcome you and I am delighted we are here discussing this issue.
I yield to the senior member of this committee, Senator Helms. Senator HELMS. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Secretary, I do not want to be a party-pooper, but I am obliged to suggest that the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty is scarcely a landmark in the history of arms control.
I agree with much of what Senator Biden has said. In fact, the main question, it seems to me today, is whether the CFE Treaty is not totally irrelevant. It is a treaty that long ago was overtaken by events beyond its scope and its terms. The collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the reunification of Germany, the fall of Communist regimes in Central Europe, and the great cracks that are appearing in the surface of the Soviet empire have already established the withdrawal of Soviet troops at rates exceeding the provisions of this treaty.
Moreover, the treaty is deficient in my judgment in that it does not contemplate a more rapid removal of U.S. military forces from Europe. I just about decided that NATO is dead and should be given a decent burial.
In any case, it is true that there may be some marginal utility of the treaty. It does establish guidelines for withdrawal of Soviet troops. And it does set limits on the number of conventional arms and military vehicles that each group of the state party to the treaty may keep west of the Ural Mountains.
Moreover, and I especially want to complement the distinguished Chairman, Mr. Joe Biden, for his excellent work on this. It does seem to imply that the Brezhnev doctrine is dead even though the Soviet Union, in its grand tradition of bad faith, has spirited away east of the Ural and beyond the reach of the treaty thousands of armored vehicles and other weapons supposedly controlled by the treaty. The Soviets will be all set if Brezhnev rises again.
But of course the former members of the Warsaw Pact are no longer in the camp of the Soviet Union even though socialism has not been driven out completely in some areas. The Soviet Union remains the prime military threat in Eastern Europe. And insofar as the treaty has any impact at all on Soviet military deployments, it may have a smidgen of utility. At least it provides benchmarks to tell us if the Soviets are cheating.
But even that is faint praise, Mr. Chairman. The fact is there are procedures for monitoring in the treaty, but the confidence of verification is extremely low. The U.S. negotiators have strained mightily, but they have come up with, not a mouse, but with a goose egg. It is so meaningless that there is no point in opposing it.
However, there is one lesson to be learned for future arms control exercises. And that is that the Soviets regard arms control as a joke. A joke largely at our expense. Their record of negotiations is full of deceit, circumvention, data falsification, fraud, attempted violations, and reneging on the plain terms of the agreements. To put it as politely as possible, the Soviets are cheats and liars and scoundrels. They have proven that through the years.
I would get angry about this treaty if it meant anything in my judgment. But it does mean something for START. And that is the point I want to emphasize. My critique of the INF Treaty in 1988 was based upon my assessment that the Soviets had engaged in negotiating deception to preserve covert INF forces, that they had falsified their declared data on the numbers of their INF missiles, and, that they had illegally retained banned INF missiles as covert forces.
In April of 1990 the Soviets finally admitted that they did covertly provide SS-23 missiles banned by the INF Treaty to three East European nations. In March 1990, I would say to my distinguished chairman, the former chief U.S. INF negotiator, Ambassador Maynard Glickman, termed this Soviet action, quote, "deceit and mendacity." And he added that this deceit and mendacity had characterized Soviet private and public behavior before, during, and after the INF Treaty negotiations.
I might say parenthetically that I wish Maynard had mentioned this deceit and mendacity when we, were conducting the INF hearings, but he did not.
President Bush in his 1991 report to Congress on Soviet noncompliance with arms control treaties called the Soviet covert deployment an act of, quote, "bad faith." If that was not the understatement of the year, I cannot think of one.
Now the administration has new evidence relating to the SS-23 deployment, but they will not release it to the public. I asked that it be made public in March, but so far nothing has happened.
Now Ambassador James Woolsey, the U.S. CFE negotiator has accused the Soviets of, quote, "fraud" in the CFE negotations. And Russian President Boris Yeltsin told us last month when he came to this Senate that Soviet negotiators had engaged in falsification and deception in arms control negotiations. So what else is new?
What else is new? START, unlike CFE, is a treaty that matters. START needs full scrutiny even though it may not be possible to ratify in time to save Mr. Gorbachev.
But in any case, Mr. Secretary, I welcome you here this morning. And the distinguished chairman and I are going to have a little colloquy with you a little later on. But we welcome you as we do always.
Senator MOYNIHAN. Mr. Chairman, before we begin, may I make one statement?
Senator BIDEN. Let me say this, it has been the practice of this committee to only have the Chair and the ranking member make opening statements. I was about to say that I do not do that in the judiciary committee.
But why do you not go ahead?
Senator MOYNIHAN. I simply wanted to acknowledge the presence in the room of our most distinguished negotiator of this treaty, Ambassador Woolsey, who serve this country so well and so diligently.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you. Some of my colleagues apparently do want to make a statement. If we could all agree to limit it to a couple of minutes, anyone who has an opening statement, go ahead, and I will probably be dethroned for this by the full chairman when we get back. But why do we not recognize Senator Sarbanes.
Senator SARBANES. Senator, you may be enthroned, not dethroned.
I will be very quick. Having listened to Senator Helms, I am somewhat reluctant to assert that this treaty does mean something since it may raise his level of opposition to the treat . But I in fact think it is significant, and I want to commend the Secretary and the administration and Mr. Woolsey for having achieved this result and brought it to the committee.
Now I think Chairman Biden is correct, this treaty is not perfect. Obviously we are going to have to go over it very carefully, and conceivably there are ways that we could strengthen it, while allowing the process to move forward.
But I believe that if new security arrangements are to be developed in Europe, they require virtually as a precondition the approval of a CFE treaty. This treaty would lock in many of the changes that have taken,place which otherwise would not have such a guarantee. It provides that no party to the treaty can station forces in the territory of another country without its express consent. It thus reinforces the arrangements for the withdrawal of Soviet troops stationed in Eastern Europe.
As I recall, when President Havel spoke to the Congress last year, he said that the CFE process not only helped to get the troops out of his country, but enabled Czechoslovakia to cut back on its own forces.
This, of course, raises the further point that approval of the treaty is important to creating new economic arrangements in Europe and indeed in the United States and the Soviet Union. That is one of the great benefits we have always sought from these arms limitation agreements.
I also think that the verification provisions contained in this treaty are very important. In fact, we will be getting a degree of verification that we have never heretofore had, and that in itself is an important breakthrough not only with respect to this treaty, but also as a precedent for arms control in general.
So, Mr. Secretary, I, for one, want to indicate to you, I do think this treaty represents an important accomplishment, and I very much hope that in the coming days and weeks we will be able to move forward with its consideration.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you, Senator Sarbanes. Senator Lugar.
Senator LUGAR. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that a longer statement be placed in the record at this point.
Senator BIDEN. Without objection.
Senator LUGAR. Mr. Chairman, I welcome the Secretary's views on the CFE treaty. I congratulate him, the President, our negotiators and the rest of the administration on the truly remarkable achievement.
This treaty is so favorable to the interests of the United States that I predict it must pass the Senate by a large margin. The treaty virtually eliminates any threat of a short-notice, Soviet conventional invasion of Western Europe.
It is significant again that the Soviet Union will no longer be able to dominate Europe militarily. The combined conventional forces of NATO will be greater than, as well as technologically superior to, those of the U.S.S.R. in the area from the Atlantic Ocean to the Urals.
The treaty locks in the voluntary withdrawals of Soviet forces from Europe and requires significant additional reductions and provides insurance against the reconstitution of Soviet military forces in Europe if Soviet hardliners were to come to power.
The treaty complements the INF treaty by eliminating the Soviet conventional advantage that many of my colleagues were concerned should be rectified before we eliminated INF missiles.
The treaty's verification provisions provide additional warning time of a Soviet conventional attack against Western Europe. It will deter Soviet cheating and permit us to read the Soviet military books for the area west of the Urals during an unstable and unpredictable period of change in the U.S.S.R.
But there are three major areas that I believe will become the subject of Senatorial questioning. Let me take a moment to explain what they are and why they are of concern. First of all, verification; second, the complex issues that arose after signature of the treaty and delayed its submission to the Senate; and third, senatorial prerogatives.
With respect to the first area, we are dealing with a new and different standard of verification. Unlike arms control treaties dealing with nuclear weapons, which are much more destructive, weapon-for-weapon, than tanks and artillery, our verification standard for the CFE treaty is "militarily significant Soviet cheating." We cannot verify most small scale Soviet cheating.
With respect to the second area of concern, the issues that have delayed submission of the treaty to the Senate-Article III. Soviet movement of equipment east of the Urals, and the data discrepancy-have captured my colleagues' attention since last November.
I especially commend the President for the creative, practical, but tough compromise he has crafted on article III. But I do believe the Senate will wish to devote considerable attention to the data discrepancy issue which raises important questions about our monitoring capability and possible Soviet cheating.
With respect to the third concern, one of the reasons why the Senate takes its consent responsibility so seriously is that treaties entail legal obligations under international law, and we must be certain that they are consistent with domestic law.
But while it is clear that treaties are the law of the land, it is not clear that ancillary agreements containing binding commitments are part of the law of the land. And the Senate will need clarification of this issue.
But I believe that all of these problems can be overcome with respect to the CFE treaty if high administration officials consult closely with and pay careful attention to the concerns of members of the Senate during the deliberations.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you for a chance to make this statement.
[The prepared statement of Senator Lugar follows:]
I welcome Secretary Baker's appearance before this committee to provide the administration's views on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. It gives me an opportunity warmly to congratulate him, the President, the administration, and the negotiators on their remarkable achievement. It also provides an opportunity to review the major advantages of the Treat and the most important problems that are likely to arise during its consideration to the Senate.
As a Cochairman of the Senate Arms Control Observers Group, I have followed the progress of the negotiations with interest, and I have carefully studied the major issues in preparation for the important constitutional role the Senate will now play in providing its advice and consent with respect to the Treaty.
Militarily, the CFE Treaty is overwhelmingly in the interest of the United States and NATO. In my judgment, this is the key point-a point to which I will return. It is the main reason why I believe the Senate will give its overwhelming approval to the treaty.
But my Senate colleagues. and I take our constitutional responsibility very seriously. The Senate will go over this Treaty quite properly, with a fine tooth comb. It may even give greater consideration to some issues than the administration. I hope that my colleagues will be satisfied that no major Treaty revisions will be necessary, but that is not a foregone conclusion. Careful attention by the administration to the concerns of this committee and the Senate as a whole, and close consultation with high administration officials, such as that represented by the Secretary,s appearance today, are critical if we are to reach a successful conclusion to our deliberations.
Advantages of the Treaty
What are the advantages of the Treaty? As I mentioned, it is overwhelmingly in our interest.
First, it virtually eliminates any threat of a short-notice Soviet conventional invasion of Western Europe.
Second, the Soviet Union will no longer be able to dominate Europe militarily. The combined conventional forces of NATO will be greater than, as well as technologically superior to, those of the USSR in Europe.
Third, the Treaty locks in the voluntary withdrawals of Soviet forces from Europe, requires significant additional reductions, and provides insurance against the reconstitution of Soviet military forces in Europe should a new Soviet leadership harboring hegemonic designs come to power.
Fourth, the Treaty complements the INF treaty by eliminating the Soviet conventional advantage, one that many Senators thought should be rectified before eliminating INF missiles.
Fifth, the CFE Treaty's verification provisions provide additional warning time of a Soviet conventional attack against Western Europe, and deter Soviet cheating.
Sixth, the verification provisions also impose a Western management tool on the Soviet. military during an unstable and unpredictable period of change in the USSR. We will be able to read the Soviet military's books for the area west of the Urals.
Questions Likely to Arise
The military advantages of this Treaty are clear to even the most vocal skeptics of arms control. But we can expect questions to be raised about the Treaty.
Verification: Questions are likely to be raised about the Treaty's verification regime. It is fundamentally different from those of the INF and pending START Treaties. Nuclear weapons are so destructive that we need to monitor Soviet activities down to the last missile and warhead. Politically, it would be nice to be able to detect any possible instance of Soviet cheating on CFE. But from a military standpoint, it is not absolutely essential to be able to detect the illegal presence of a small number of tanks or artillery pieces in the zone of application.
Instead, the security of Western Europe depends on our ability to detect militarily significant levels of change in Soviet conventional arms in the zone. Under this new and different standard, I am confident that we can effectively verify militarily significant Soviet cheating. A verification regime is a balancing act. We have to have enough verification to protect ourselves, but must not impose debilitating constraints and unnecessary burdens on our allies and on our own military.
Role of the Allies: Questions are also likely to be asked about the role of the allies, particularly on verification. All negotiations involve compromise, and we had to compromise with 21 other parties to the Treaty-including our own allies. The United States led the process and, in general, exercised more influence than any other Western country over the shape of the Treaty. In addition, there was considerable underlying allied agreement and cooperation. The final product shows that we got a good document.
The United States withdrew some of its most intrusive verification proposals in the face of strong allied opposition. But the allies have a key voice on CFE verification because Soviet inspectors will be running around their territory, not ours. We cannot impose our will on our partners in a democratic alliance.
We must also bear in mind that the Treaty is a complex of interrelated compromises. Almost any issue that we reopen here could open a Pandora's box involving the other 21 signatories. Yet failure by the Senate to ratify the Treaty would be comparable in its impact on our foreign policy to the Senate's failure to ratify the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I.
Post-November 1990 Issues: Questions will undoubtedly be raised about the three controversial issues that arose after signature of the Treaty-the Article III issue, Soviet movement of huge amounts of equipment beyond the Urals, and the data discrepancy issue.
Article III: The Soviets violated Article III by claiming that Treaty-limited equipment subordinated to naval infantry units, newly created coastal defense units, and the Strategic Rocket Forces was exempt from Treaty ceilings. The president is to be congratulated for his creative, practical, but tough approach to resolving this problem.
We forced the Soviets to comply with their significant obligations under the Treaty, without forcing them to admit that they had violated it. We did not concede on principle on significant Soviet obligations, and we got compensation for Treaty-limited equipment subordinated to coastal defense and naval infantry units. We also closed the open-ended loophole created by the Article III violation by getting the Soviets to agree not to increase their ancillary forces and to maintain their equipment at CFE-required levels.
The administration acceded to the Soviet claim that equipment resubordinated to the Strategic Rocket Forces was really for internal security, to protect missiles from ethnic minorities or rebellious republics. But the type of equipment armored combat vehicles-are not the most threatening to Europe.
As a result of the Article III settlement, the Soviets will have to destroy twice as much equipment as they thought when they signed the Treaty.
The Article III settlement also achieved some Soviet concessions east of the Urals for the first time, including a commitment to destroy or convert, by 1995, 14,500 pieces of equipment over and above what the Treaty itself required.
Movement of Equipment Beyond the Urals: The second controversial issue that arose after Treaty signature was the movement of Soviet equipment east of the Urals. Soviet removal of huge amounts or equipment out of the zone of reduction before Treaty signature, in order to avoid destroying most or it, was not a Treaty violation. But the Soviets appeared to be trying to defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty.
We have sought and received assurances that the equipment moved beyond the Urals will not be used as a strategic reserve, that it will not be stored in sets for military formations, and that the number of military units will not be increased, raising the level of the threat.
We have also received a Soviet commitment to destroy or convert the equivalent of at least 36 percent of the tanks, 28 percent of the artillery, and 9 percent of the armored combat vehicles moved east of the Urals. To facilitate monitoring, the Soviets have provided assurances that they will inform us of the disposition of everything withdrawn from the zone after January 1, 1989, and that destruction or conversion will be done in a visible way.
The Soviets have declared that most of the remaining equipment removed from the zone will be used to augment equipment in existing units, or to replace equipment in existing units as it becomes obsolete or its useful life runs out. Soviet production lines for conventional arms are being cut and the economy is in a shambles.
There is some danger that the Soviets could move the equipment back into the zone illegally and marry it up with skeletal units left behind. But the equipment does not pose any military threat without trained personnel, unit cohesiveness, and a lot of au port equipment. Training personnel in achieving cohesiveness take time, and the movement of support equipment would make it easier to detect the illegal movement of Treaty-limited equipment. These factors increase warning time. In addition, the Soviets have given assurances that the unit structure in the zone would preclude absorption of removed equipment if it were brought back into the zone-which implies that the skeletal units will be restructured.
The United States also transferred equipment out of the zone prior to Treaty signature. But it was on a much smaller scale, and we either transferred the equipment to nonsignatory countries or gave assurances that it would continue to count against the Treaty ceilings.
Data Discrepancy: Questions will almost certainly arise about the discrepancies between the Soviet data declaration and our estimates of Soviet equipment in the zone at Treaty signature. This is a very technical, difficult, and potentially controversial issue, and in my judgment, the administration has not devoted sufficient attention to it. It raises questions about our ability to monitor the Treaty and perhaps about a serious Soviet attempt at deception.
Last fall, the Intelligence Community experienced great difficulty in estimating accurately how much Soviet equipment was in the zone. The Soviets declared much less equipment to be there than we expected. The discrepancy has been narrowed significantly since Treaty signature. It can be accounted for largely by the huge quantities of equipment moved legally by the Soviets out of the zone prior to Treaty signature.
But there may have been thousands of pieces of equipment that the Soviets did not declare and left in the zone illegally. If so, most of it was of a type that was least significant militarily, and [email protected] of it has been withdrawn from the zone or is being destroyed. Though there are a number of "smoking guns" we have raised with the Soviets, we have little meaningful evidence to back up the bulk of our suspicions. For this reason, the problem resists total solution.
When the Treaty is implemented, the Intelligence Community can use the tools provided by the Treaty to get a better grip on the question of equipment illegally in the zone. But since so much of the equipment has been removed from the zone or is being destroyed, we may never get a true picture of Soviet holdings in the zone prior to Treaty signature.
I am confident that the intelligence problem behind this issue was unique. The Intelligence Community has learned from its errors, and the Treaty will improve the monitoring ability of the Intelligence Community through on-site inspection and notifications. We will also be primarily monitoring militarily significant change, which focuses on righting force, not on equipment alone. Fighting force is easier to monitor and its generation gives us more warning time than the simple movement of equipment.
Negotiating Record: Another area in which questions may arise involves the negotiating record. There may be in expectation that the Senate should have access to the negotiating record, as it did during its consideration of the INF Treaty, so that it will have complete knowledge of what it is being asked to consent to, so that it will be able to make informed judgments, and so that there is agreement between the executive and legislative branches on the legal meaning of Treaty provisions.
The problem is that a complete negotiating record does not exist. In fact, it would be very surprising if a complete negotiating record existed. Since there were originally 23, and later 22 parties to the negotiations, much of the negotiating process did not involve the United States at all. In addition, the negotiating process became so intricate that it was impossible for the negotiators to keep a complete record of all that was discussed.
A record of the negotiations leading up to signature of the Treaty in November 1990 would be of little help to the Senate. However, since much of the Senate debate will likely concern the compromises negotiated after Treaty signature, I would find it useful if the administration would provide for the record a chronological and substantive account of the negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States regarding the three issues that arose subsequent to November 1990-Article III, Soviet movement of equipment east of the Urals, and the data discrepancy issue.
Political Commitments: The final area in which questions may arise is that of political commitments. There are some assurances that the Soviets have given, or commitments that they have made, that are not legally binding. In general, the Soviets were not willing to agree to undertake legal obligations on issues they did not consider to be within the mandate of the negotiations. For example, we were able to get limitations on land-based naval aircraft only as a political commitment, and the provisions of the Article III settlement that do not remote to the zone of application are not legally binding.
If the Senate attempts now to force the administration to renegotiate the Treaty or its associated documents to make these political commitments legally binding, or seeks to make the Soviet political commitments part of the Treaty legislatively, the Soviets will not agree, our relations with our European allies will suffer substantial harm, and the Treaty itself could be threatened.
If any Member of the Senate believes that the Soviet political commitments cannot be given significant weight in evaluating the value of the Treaty and should be dismissed, then that Member may have to make his or her overall judgment about the consequences of the Treaty for the security of the United States based on Soviet legal obligations alone. Even on this basis, however, I believe that the Treaty is in our national interest.
In conclusion, let me repeat that no Treaty is perfect from the standpoint of each of its signatories. Negotiation involves give and take.
But on balance, the CFE Treaty is so overwhelmingly in the interest of the United States and the Alliance that any perceived shortcoming in its text and packaging should be put in proper context.
I would like to congratulate the President, the Secretary and his colleagues and staff again on what they have achieved. The Treaty is an important element of a new European order and I am pleased to support it.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you, Senator. Senator Cranston.
Senator CRANSTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, it is a pleasure, as always to welcome you, particularly in light of the fact that you come to us with such a fine treaty that you and others have worked out.
The creation of few diplomatic instruments have spanned as much history in as short a time as have the CFE negotiations. The walls of oppression and fear in Eastern Europe have given way to new expressions of democratic faith-all the way to the Urals, and beyond. These changes, the new context in which they have taken place, make this treaty as relevant today as the old order, in its time, made such an effort imperative.
I have seen a figure that I think illustrates in a rather unique way the enormous progress that this treaty will enshrine. If one includes the arms reductions that have taken place in East Germany, then the conventional weapons that will eventually be destroyed or rendered useless in Eastern Europe, under the terms of this treaty, are the equivalent of all the conventional weapons held by NATO, and that is a pretty remarkable accomplishment.
The changed atmosphere amongst those who were once our enemies and our technical national means and onsite inspect capabilities, make this treaty a very wise investment, politically and diplomatically, for the United States.
You, Mr. Secretary, and other members of the administration deserve high praise for this achievement, and so does President Gorbachev -- a fact, I am sure you will remember, as you consider what help the United States might offer to Soviet reformers in the upcoming G-7 talks and thereafter.
This treaty is a tribute to the pragmatism and goodwill of President Gorbachev and the reformers, inside and outside the Kremlin, who have helped sustain these important gains even in very difficult times for them. This treat is not just in our interest. It is in the Soviet interest as well.
I look forward, Mr. Secretary, to working closely with you on closing this excellent deal for American foreign policy and security interests.
I hope you will soon be back with us with a START treaty in your hands. I look forward beyond that to even more post CFE accords in the conventional area and elsewhere, as we work to bring new ideas of peaceful coexistence to the old continent.
I look forward to those days ahead.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very much. Senator Pressler.
Senator PRESSLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to congratulate the Secretary on this fine piece of work. I know the process of negotiation has been long and hard, and I know that Jim Woolsey and others have done a great job.
To summarize, I hope that the ratification of this treaty will start us down the road, which it will, to significantly reducing our troop levels in Europe. I recall that several years ago, Congressional Quarterly picked one of my amendments as one of the 10 key Senate votes of the year. That amendment was an effort to reduce our troop levels in Europe.
I know that this has been a controversial subject, but it seems as though the weight of the bureaucracy in Washington is to keep our troop levels very high or as high as possible in Europe. The European countries are very wealthy.
They have reached a point where Europe can defend Europe in my judgment, and I mention this only to underscore the fact that I have been a strong supporter of reducing U.S.-European troop commitments. This CFE effort today, and the ones to follow, should help us get to the point where our wealthy European allies do a better job of defending themselves. With the base closure commission, we are closing bases in the United State, but that commission does not cover overseas bases.
And a lot of taxpayers are asking, if we must have those troops, why not relocate them to our own country, where they would stimulate our economy or be ready if we need them.
So I thank the Secretary and I look forward to this hearing.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very much. Senator Simon.
Senator SIMON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to join in commending you, Mr. Secretary as well as the President and Ambassador Woolsey and everyone involved. It is hard to realize, just a few years ago, we were worried about a confrontation that might literally destroy civilization and how dramatically we have moved away from that.
And what this entails is not only a lot of detail, some of which I do not begin to understand in terms of equipment, but it also is a general message to the nations of the world: let us solve problems in a nonmilitary way, and that seems to be to be a very, very sound message, and I hope it is a message that is heard in Yugoslavia today and elsewhere where the question people are asking is whether we are going to solve the problems in a military way.
I would add that I hope that beyond this and beyond START, that we would also seriously take up the question of whether or not we should not take up an earlier Soviet offer to stop all nuclear warhead testing. I think the time has arrived when we can not only safely do it, but increase the safety of the world by moving in that direction.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very much. Senator McConnell.
Senator MCCONNELL. Mr. Chairman, I too want to congratulate the Secretary, but I am anxious to hear from him. So consequently, I will insert my statement in the record.
[The prepared statement of Senator McConnell follows:]
I am pleased we have the opportunity to hear from Secretary Baker on a significant treaty to the United States, the Soviet Union and all of Europe. The Treaty on Conventional bed Forces in Europe (CFE) comes amidst momentous change in that region.
It was only thirty years ago when the "Iron Curtain" assumed physical form with the construction of the Berlin Wall, and tensions between the U.S. and Soviets were at an all tic high during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, the Wall has crumbled and there is one Germany. East European nations are embracing democratic ideals and free market economies. The "winds of change" have forever altered the course or communism.
While the geopolitical fog has not lifted from Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union, the importance of the CPE Treaty cannot be underestimated. NATO and former Warsaw Pact countries are placed in parity with respect to limits on conventional arms, namely: battle tanks; armored combat vehicles; artillery; combat helicopters; and combat aircraft. By committing themselves to military stability, and through mechanisms of verification which diminish the element of surprise attacks, the 22 CFE nations have provided additional guarantees for peace and security in that region.
I think two contentious issues within the Soviet's negotiating position are worth noting. First, prior to signing the Treaty in November 1990, the Soviets moved over 70,000 tanks and artillery to locations outside of negotiated zones. Second, the Soviets declared shortly after signing the Treaty that certain military hardware used by naval infantry and coastal defense forces would not be covered by the arms limitation.
With the end of the cold war, the CFE Treaty limits the possibility of a world theater of combat in Europe. It enjoys broad bipartisan support in the Senate, and I look forward to hearing Secretary Baker's testimony.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very, very much, Senator McConnell. Senator Moynihan.
Senator MOYNIHAN. I would like once more to acknowledge and welcome the presence of our genuinely distinguished negotiator, Ambassador Woolsey.
Senator BIDEN. Mr. Woolsey, would you please stand? [Laughter.]
Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador. Senator Brown.
Senator BROWN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would simply like to note that the very distinguished Secretary of State that is before us today has participated in a historic change in public policy. This Nation in the 1960's and 1970's thought the way to deal with the Soviets, at least at times, would involve unilateral concessions and at times, not standing behind the brave men and women that represent this country in times of combat.
And so we went through a painful period of experimenting with unilateral disarmament or aspects of it and a period of backing our and not supporting the people who put their very lives on the line to represent this country.
The Secretary has played a critical role and an important role in a change of policies in the 1980's and now the 1990's, that suggest that the way to deal with the world is to insist that disarmament should be mutual, not unilateral, and that the men and women who represent this country deserve to have the Nation stand behind them when they are in combat.
The results speak louder than any political rhetoric ever could. What has come is a historic and landmark disarmament that is mutual and a resolution on the battlefield that has renewed America's pride in itself and in the men and women who represent it.
Mr. Secretary, I salute you not only for this great achievement that is before us today but the integral role you played in changing American policy from a policy of unilateral disarmament to one that insisted it had to be mutual, from a policy change that instead of bringing defeat and disgrace to this Nation, has brought it, I think, a very advantageous disarmament that reduces tensions in the world.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very much, Senator. Senator Wofford.
Senator WOFFORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, you have played a significant part in the new process that must take us all the way to peace and the nuclear strategy for peace.
You walk in the shoes of a secretary of state from the State I originally came from, Tennessee, who led us, Cordell Hull, into the process of reciprocal trade. This is a process of reciprocal peace. It will be a long journey.
This is a very important step, and to all of those who have been part of this process here with you and those have joined with you from other countries, to proceed on that long journey to the next step: test bans and strategy for nuclear peace, that makes full use of this opportunity that we have in the world today.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very much, Senator. We have almost ended our long journeys, Mr. Secretary. Senator Kerry.
Senator KERRY. I would ask unanimous consent my full statement be placed in the record.
Let, me just very quickly say, as I am sure my colleagues have said, Mr. Secretary, you and the President and the administration deserve gratitude and the respect of people all over the face of this planet for this accomplishment, and I think that for a long time, ever since World War II, we have spent trillions upon trillions of tax dollars in both blocs to build ever more sophisticated weapons, and for a long time we just dreamt about the possibility of even putting a cap on it, let alone reducing it.
I think the fact that we are now in an extraordinary moment when there is such a significant reduction-asymmetrical reductions, where NATO will be effectively in a stronger position, I think-and you have accomplished this, is really a remarkable accomplishment. It is a first step. I think we all recognize that. There is more to be done.
I am sure colleagues will have questions, as we all will, on the verification issue, as well as oh the questions that arose regarding data and transfers and the difficulties before you, but I also congratulate you and the President for the tough stand you took with respect to those difficulties, and I think that we are better off for it.
So, Mr. Secretary, I think this is obviously an historic moment of huge import, and the world looks to see how we can take advantage of this and further codify the extraordinary changes that have taken place in Europe as well as the rest of the world, and I congratulate you.
[The prepared statement of Senator Kerry follows:]
We are here today to consider a document -- and the culmination of a process -- that is of historical proportions and dimensions.
Virtually since the days of world War II, the armies of Western Europe, Canada, and the United States stood ready to confront those of the Soviet Union and its East European clients. The threat that a disagreement or misperception could erupt into a globe-shattering cataclysm hung heavily for nearly half a century. Even if nuclear war could be avoided, both sides greatly feared a conventional conflict that would reduce the continent to rubble and kill millions. The nations in both blocs spent trillions of tax dollars to purchase and field ever-more-sophisticated weapons, as the natural law of a spiraling arms race proceeded without restraint.
For many years, the idea of reaching agreement on a sweeping treaty that would significantly reduce the level of such weaponry-or even just cap it-was little more than a dream. But the dreamers persisted. And the inexorable and sometimes unpredictable march of history continued. Suddenly, the idea of achieving such a treaty shifted from the inconceivable to the possible.
The task was never easy. The topic was so complex, the history so real and recent. But Herculean effort on the part of thousands of people representing dozens of nations prevailed.
Is the CFE Treaty the manifestation of everything for which we had hoped and dreamed? It is not. However, in light of the fundamental changes that have taken place in Europe during the last 2 years, it is easy to lose sight of the CFE Treaty's significance. The Treaty does provide for the staged reduction of the huge military forces of both sides. It lacks in many long-awaited changes that have row occurred in the European security environment. It requires the Soviet Union to make large, asymmetric cuts in its conventional arsenal and establishes a comprehensive, intrusive monitoring regime. Most important, the CFE Treaty lays the groundwork for further arms reductions and stability-enhancing measures throughout the region. While it does not go as far as many of us would like in reducing the level of arms in Europe, it is still an historic agreement that enhances our security and that of our friends and allies there in important respects.
Therefore, although the world is a very different place than it was when the CFE negotiations began just over two years ago, the Treaty remains not just valid but vital.
It is important, however, to view the Treaty, rather than its an end in itself, as a first step toward a fundamental restructuring of the European political and security order. There is a great deal more to accomplish. But every journey must begin with a first step.
I am confident that this committee, and the entire Senate, can move expeditiously on the CFE Treaty so that the nations of Europe, along with the United States and Canada, can proceed to establish a new era.
The development of the Treaty was not without its trials. Some were expected; others were not. Some problems-and quite serious ones-surfaced after the Treaty was signed. But due to diligent effort and diplomacy, agreement has been reached on these matters. I commend you, Mr. Secretary, for your persistence in striving toward this point-as I commend all who, on behalf of the United States and the other signatory nations, labored to produce this Treaty.
I look forward to the committee's consideration, to the Senate's action, and to the ratification of this very significant and welcome step toward a safer world.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you very much, Senator. Mr. Secretary.
Secretary BAKER. Mr. Chairman, I should start by thanking you and the members of the committee for those very generous comments and tell you that I am really honored to appear before you today to present the case for ratification of this treaty. Your constitutionally mandated role in the ratification process is critical, of course, to the protection of the interests of America all around the world, and so the administration asks that you weigh the merits of this treaty carefully with due regard for our long-term strategic political and economic interests.
Having said that, let me interject here that we think this is a darn good treaty, and we think, as many of you have already pointed out, that it very well serves our strategic political and economic interests, and I hope, Mr. Chairman, when you and the members of the committee have finished questioning all of us in the administration, not just the Secretary of State but our legal and technical experts as well, that you will find this treaty worthy of ratification.
It is a legally-binding commitment entered into by Europe's major military and political powers, and as such it can help protect America's national security and help protect it for decades to come.
It marks, in my view, Mr. Chairman, a fundamental shift away from the cold war to a Europe which is whole and free. Not only is it an essential foundation for the new Europe, but I think it will serve as a bulwark against a return to cold war dangers and to cold war animosities.
Not only does this treaty alter the shape of military confrontation in Europe and I think one of you alluded to this-it does, indeed, lock in more stable and predictable security relations in Europe and thereby fosters a political and military environment that is essential to healing old divisions and to safeguarding the new democracies of Europe.
To understand the importance of this treaty, I think we might step back to the world before 1989. I think Senator Simon, among others, alluded to this, to the cold war world that a ratified and fully implemented CFE treaty can help us lock away for ever.
If you remember, the concerns we had then included the massive preponderance of Soviet offensive forces which were capable of an overwhelming attack on Western Europe, the danger of a short-warning blitzkrieg-type offensive that was created by military secrecy, and was enhanced by the closed societies of the Central and Eastern European States, the political weight of Soviet occupation forces in Central and Eastern Europe which burdened the prospects for reform, and the economic cost of defending against the threat.
We worked very long and hard for a long period of time to deal with these concerns through the mutual and balanced force reduction talks. You will all remember that those talks led to a complete stalemate for over 15 years. Even relatively modest reductions of forces in Central Europe eluded our negotiators.
Then in December 1988, just months before the CFE negotiations were scheduled to begin, President Gorbachev announced what were then viewed as very dramatic unilateral force cuts, yet these cuts, even when implemented, would have left the Warsaw Pact with a 2 to 1 advantage in key capabilities, and the main point, I think, is that these cuts were far from irreversible.
Gorbachev's announcement, however, did serve as a catalyst to the CFE negotiations, setting a more hopeful environment for those negotiations. NATO moved forward promptly with proposals that would allow everyone in Europe to be more secure, including, I would submit, the Soviet Union.
We and our allies were determined to reduce sharply the massive forward deployments of Soviet forces, it being our hope that this would diminish the Warsaw Pact's potential to launch a short-warning attack. It would foster the prospects for political change in Central and Eastern Europe, and it would lessen the burden of defense through stability at lower levels of forces.
The CFE treaty helps turn what were those fond hopes into realities, and let me briefly explain that. Strategically, the treaty codifies a radically new European security environment. It provides a strong foundation for future European security negotiations.
The CFE requires the destruction and the limitation of key offensive weapons, thereby locking in a new basis for strategic stability in Europe. It also introduces what is the most extensive and intrusive verification regime ever adopted by an arms control treaty, locking in increased openness and increased predictability.
The treaty will codify stability by eliminating many thousands of pieces of military equipment, primarily through destruction, subject to notification and to observation. It will codify stability by reducing and limiting five categories of armaments-tanks, artillery, armored combat vehicles, attack helicopters, and combat aircraft -- those being the most suited to the conduct of offensive military operations.
It limits any one State from possessing more than roughly one-third of the total treaty-limited equipment in the area, thereby restricting the potential for any one State to achieve military and political hegemony on the continent of Europe. It limits equipment in active units and requires that other ground forces equipment under the overall ceilings be held in certain designated storage areas.
It creates an interlocking system of geographical limitations on the size of military forces, thereby constraining force concentrations and ensuring balances not only in Central Europe but on the flanks of Central Europe as well.
The treaty will also codify predictability and openness, and they will do so by the extremely intrusive verification regime that I just mentioned. In conjunction with our national intelligence means, this will virtually eliminate the possibility of militarily significant clandestine build-ups.
This regime includes exchanges of detailed information it includes openness requirements, and several forms of onsite inspections to complement national technical means. Military installations of all 22 signatory States in the Atlantic to the Urals zone will be subject to mandatory inspections, and challenge inspections will be possible at any suspect site.
In addition, the treaty provides for the establishment of a joint consultative group designed to address any questions relating to compliance or interpretation and to consider measures to enhance the effectiveness and the viability of the treaty.
Politically, the treaty helps lock in the removal of Soviet forces from Eastern Europe. The treaty reinforces the sovereignty of those emerging democracies. It provides that no State party to CFE may station forces on the territory of another State party without the express consent of that State.
Reinforcing the bilateral accords that called for the elimination of all stationed Soviet troops, the treaty assures that any Soviet military deployments in Europe without the consent of the host country would also violate the treaty, and President Havel said in his address to Congress last year, as one of you has already alluded to, the CFE process not only facilitated the removal of Soviet forces from his country, but it also created the conditions for the reduction of Czechoslovakia's own national armed forces.
In each of these ways, Mr. Chairman, CFE helps to safeguard the security and independence of the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe.
Economically, CFE allows us to maintain deterrence at much lower levels of forces-Senator Pressler has already mentioned this-allowing for reductions in the resources that we devote to Europe's defense.
It also allows the Soviets to turn new thinking into new policy, and to convert their defense resources to civilian uses, something we have been talking to the Soviets about-specifically, something we will be talking to them about in London at the economic summit there this weekend and early next week-and it will permit them to convert defense resources to civilian use by defining security through a negotiated and legally binding regime rather than through the threat of a massive use of force.
Above all, legally, Mr. Chairman, CFE locks in these unprecedented strategic political and economic facts through a treaty that we submit to you is legally binding, and one that has been agreed to by all of the major military powers in Europe.
It is true, some of these facts could have come about-Senator Helms has made this point-through unilateral steps taken by various States, and some, indeed, have already come about through unnatural steps. But any unilateral action, Mr. Chairman-and this is the key to this criticism of this treaty-can be unilaterally reversed, and that is why we worked so hard to get a multilateral, legally binding and effectively verifiable agreement.
Given the continuing uncertainties that we see in the Soviet Union, this treaty's contribution as a bulwark against any return to cold war military confrontation I hope will weigh very heavily in your considerations. As the President has made abundantly clear, we support perestroika and the new thinking, and we are actively working toward their success.
But as I said in San Francisco almost 2 years ago:
Any uncertainty about the fate of reform in the Soviet Union is all the more
reason, not less, for us to seize the opportunities presented at the present. For the
works of our labor-a diminished Soviet threat and effectively verifiable agreements-can endure even if perestroika does not endure.
If the Soviets have already destroyed weapons, it will be difficult, it will be costly,
and it will be time consuming for any future Kremlin leadership to reverse the
process and try to assert military superiority, and with agreements in place, any
attempt to break out of treaties will serve as an indicator of an outbreak of the old
If the Soviets have already destroyed weapons, it will be difficult, it will be costly, and it will be time consuming for any future Kremlin leadership to reverse the process and try to assert military superiority, and with agreements in place, any attempt to break out of treaties will serve as an indicator of an outbreak of the old thinking.
Those words from 2 years ago, Mr. Chairman, I would submit to you, are just as true today, and that is why we ask you to give your consent to the ratification of this treaty.
Many of you have mentioned your concern about resolution of the so-called article III question, so let me devote a brief bit of time to that before we get to the questions and answers.
Shortly after the treaty was signed last November, the Soviets came to us with an assertion of the right to apply treaty counting rules in a way that we felt was at odds with the text, was at odds with the negotiating record, and was at odds with the views of the other 21 participants to this negotiation.
Most importantly, the Soviets claimed that equipment and units subordinate to the Navy were not accountable under various CFE limitations, despite the fact that this equipment fell within the treaty's scope of coverage. By that, I mean it met the definition for treaty-limited equipment and was permanently based on land within the CFE area of application.
The President made clear that this problem would have to be rectified before we would even send the treaty up here to the Senate for advice and consent, and you will recall, Mr. Chairman, we had an exchange on that during the course of one of my recent appearances before the committee.
There were other treaty-related problems as well. During the final months of the negotiations, it became clear that the Soviets had moved tens of thousands of pieces of equipment East of the Urals, where they are not subject to the treaty's provisions, and sever al of you in your opening statements have referred to this matter as well.
Last, there were questions about the accuracy of Soviet data on their holdings of equipment in the Atlantic-to-the-Urals zone of coverage, and Senator Lugar has referred to that. After months-many months of bilateral United States-Soviet discussions and high-level communications, after activities in the Joint Consultative Group and a number of bilateral exchanges between Moscow and several other participants, we produced a package that we would submit to you, Mr. Chairman, preserves the integrity the inviolability of this treaty.
In a separate, legally-binding statement, the Soviet Government committed itself to a number of undertakings to reduce and limit naval infantry and coastal defense forces that will effectively bring them into compliance with treaty ceilings and other key provisions. While separate from the treaty, the preamble of the Soviet statement explicitly notes these undertakings are designed to promote implementation of the treaty.
This statement also affirms the comprehensive nature of the CFX counting rules. That is, that all equipment in treaty-limited categories in the zone of application is covered by the limitations of the treaty except as provided for in the treaty and associated documents. We think that this solution will reduce the likelihood of similar disputes in the future.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, this statement resolves another area of dispute by specifying that armored personnel carriers in strategic rocket forces, as with similar vehicles involved in analogous internal security functions, do not count against treaty ceilings. The Soviets are proscribed from increasing their holdings of such vehicles in the strategic rocket forces and from providing any other types of treaty-limited equipment to these forces.
In addition, the Soviets undertook several political commitments concerning equipment East of the Urals. They will destroy or convert by 1995 at least 14,500 pieces in an open and observable fashion. They also pledged not to use the withdrawn equipment to create a strategic reserve force. These assurances satisfy our major concerns about the disposition and possible future use of this equipment.
The information to be provided by the Soviets and the actions they have pledged to undertake will facilitate effective monitoring by national technical means of that equipment, that is, the equipment East of the Urals.
Discrepancies between our estimates and the Soviet data provided at signature have been narrowed considerably as a result of further analysis and information, including data which has been provided to us by the Soviets.
Remaining questions are going to be fully explored, Mr. Chairman, in the Joint Consultative Group, or through other channels. In our view, none of these data issues warrant any delay in acting on this treaty.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, let me simply say this. In 1989, Europe underwent a political earthquake. We saw there an eruption of democratic values that changed the political map of the continent. Now we are working with the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe and with a reforming Soviet Union to ensure that democracy continues to flourish from the Atlantic to the Urals.
One of the surest ways, in our view, to do that, is to ratify this treaty and then move forward with its implementation, because, Mr. Chairman, this treaty can be an enduring pact of mutual advantage. It can be a treaty in which all Europeans and Americans find their interests advanced, and in so doing CFE can reduce the uncertainties of the future by helping make certain that the military map of Europe reflects our fundamental interest.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Baker follows:]
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee: I am honored to appear before you today to present the case for ratification of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). Your constitutionally-mandated role in the ratification process is critical to the protection of America's interests around the world. And go I ask you to weigh the merits of this Treaty carefully with due regard for its impact on our long-term strategic, political, and economic interests.
I believe when you review this Treaty in all its provisions, Mr. Chairman, you will rind it worthy of ratification. For as a legally-binding commitment, entered into by Europe's major military and political powers, it can help protect America's national security for decades to come.
The CFE Treaty marks a fundamental shift away from the cold war to a Europe whole and free. Not only is it an essential foundation for the new Europe, but it will be a bulwark against a return to cold war dangers and animosities. CFE does not simply alter the shape of military confrontation in Europe. It locks-in more stable and predictable security relations in Europe, fostering a political and military environment that is essential to healing old divisions and safeguarding the new democracies of Europe.
CFE and the New Europe
To understand the importance of this Treaty, we need to step back to the world before 1989, to the cold war world that a ratified and fully implemented CFE Treaty can help lock away forever. The concerns we had then included:
Our efforts to deal with these concerns through the Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR) talks led to stalemate. For fifteen years, even relatively modest reductions of forces in Central Europe eluded us. Then, in December 1988, just months before the CFE negotiations began, President Gorbachev announced what were then viewed as dramatic unilateral force cuts. Yet these cuts would have left the Warsaw Pact with a two-to-one advantage in key capabilities, and these cuts were fir from irreversible.
Gorbachev's announcement, however, did serve as a catalyst to the CFE negotiations, setting a more hopeful environment for the negotiations. NATO moved forward with proposals that would allow everyone in Europe to be more secure, including the Soviet Union. We and our Allies were determined to reduce sharply the massive forward deployments of Soviet forces. It was our hope that this would diminish the Warsaw Pact's potential to launch a short-warning attack, foster the prospects for political change in Central and Eastern Europe, and lessen the burden of defense through stability at lower levels of forces.
The CFE Treaty helps turn these hopes into realities. Let me explain.
Strategically, the Treaty codifies a radically new European security environment and provides a strong foundation for future European security negotiations. CFE requires the destruction and limitation of key offensive weapons, locking-in a new basis for strategic stability in Europe. CFE also introduces the most extensive and intrusive verification regime ever, locking-in increased openness and predictability.
The Treaty will codify stability by:
The Treaty will also codify predictability and openness by an extremely intrusive verification regime. In conjunction with our national intelligence means, this will virtually eliminate the possibility of militarily significant clandestine buildups.
This regime includes exchanges of detailed information, openness requirements, and several forms of onsite inspections to complement national technical means. Military installations of all 22 signatory states in the Atlantic to the Urals zone will be subject to mandatory inspections, and challenge inspections will be possible at any suspect site. In addition, the Treaty provides for the establishment of a Joint Consultative Group (JCG) to address any questions relating to compliance or interpretation and to consider measures to enhance the effectiveness and viability of the Treaty.
Politically, the Treaty helps lock-in the removal of Soviet forces from Eastern Europe. The Treaty reinforces the sovereignty of the emerging democracies. It provides that no state party to CFE may station forces on the territory of another without the express consent of that state. Reinforcing the bilateral accords that call for the elimination of all stationed Soviet troops, the Treaty assures that any Soviet military deployments in Europe without the consent of the host country would also violate the Treaty. And as President Havel said in his address to Congress last year, the CFE process not only facilitated the removal of Soviet forces from his country, but it also created the conditions for the reduction of Czechoslovakia's own national armed forces. In each of these ways, CFE helps to safeguard the independence, security, and political development of the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe.
Economically, CFE allows us to maintain deterrence at lower levels of forces, allowing for reductions in the resources we devote to Europe's defense. It also allows the Soviets to turn new thinking into new policy and convert their defense resources to civilian use by defining security through a negotiated, legally-binding regime rather than through the threat of a massive use or force.
Above all, legally, CFE locks-in these unprecedented strategic, political, and economic facts through a legally-binding Treaty, one agreed to by the major military powers in Europe. It is true some of these facts could have come about through unilateral steps taken by various states. But any unilateral action can be unilaterally reversed. That's why we've worked so hard to get a multilateral, legally-binding, and effectively verifiable agreement.
Given the continuing uncertainties we see in the Soviet Union, this Treaty's contribution as a bulwark against any return to cold war military confrontation should weigh heavily in your considerations. As the President has made abundantly clear, we support perestroika and the new thinking and are actively working toward their success. But, as I said in San Francisco almost two years ago, "Any uncertainty about the fate of reform in the Soviet Union, however, is all the more reason, not less, for us to seize the present opportunity. For the works of our labor-a diminished Soviet threat and effectively verifiable agreements-can endure even if perestroika does not. If the Soviets have already destroyed weapons, it will be difficult, costly, and time-consuming for any future Kremlin leadership to reverse the process and to assert military superiority. And with agreements in place, any attempt to break out of treaties will serve as an indicator of an outbreak of old thinking." Those words from two years ago are just as true today.
And that's why we ask you to give your consent to ratification of this Treaty.
Article III and Resolution of Outstanding Issues
I know many of you are concerned about resolution of the so-called Article III question, so let me devote some time to that issue.
Shortly after the Treaty was signed last November, the Soviets asserted the right to apply Treaty counting rules in a way that was at odds with the text, the negotiating record, and the views of all other 21 participants. Most importantly, the Soviets claimed that equipment in units subordinate to the Navy were not accountable under various CFE limitations, despite the fact that this equipment fell within the Treaty's scope of coverage. By that, I mean it met the definition for treaty-limited equipment and was permanently based on land within the CFE area of application. The President made clear that this problem would have to be rectified before the Treaty could be presented to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification.
There were other Treaty-related problems as well. During the final months of tile negotiations, it became clear that the Soviets had moved tens of thousands of pieces of equipment east of the Urals, where they are not subject to the Treaty's provisions. Finally, there were questions about the accuracy of Soviet data on their holdings of equipment in the Atlantic-to-the-Urals zone of coverage.
After months of bilateral U.S.-Soviet discussions and high-level communications, activities in the Joint Consultative Group, and a number or bilateral exchanges between Moscow and several other participants, we produced a package that preserves the integrity and inviolability of the Treaty.
In a separate legally-binding Statement, the Soviet Government committed itself to a number of undertakings to reduce and limit naval infantry and coastal defense forces that will effectively bring them into compliance with Treaty ceilings and other key provisions. While separate from the Treaty, the preamble or the Soviet Statement explicitly notes these undertakings are designed to promote implementation of the Treaty. This Statement also affirms the comprehensive nature of the CFE counting rules (that is, all equipment in Treaty-limited categories in the zone of application is covered by the limitations of the Treaty, except as provided for in the Treaty and associated documents). This will reduce the likelihood of similar disputes in the future. Finally, this statement resolves another area of dispute by specifying that armored personnel carriers in Strategic Rocket Forces, as with similar vehicles involved in analogous internal security functions, do not count against Treaty ceilings. The Soviets are proscribed from increasing their holdings of such vehicles in the Strategic Rocket Forces and from providing any other types of Treaty-limited equipment to these forces.
In addition, the Soviets undertook several political commitments concerning equipment East of the Urals. They will destroy or convert by 1995 at least 14,500 pieces in an open and observable fashion. They also pledged not to use the withdrawn equipment to create a strategic reserve force. These assurances satisfy our major concerns about the disposition and possible future use of this equipment. The information to be provided by the Soviets and the actions they have pledged to undertake will facilitate effective monitoring by national technical means or equipment east of the Urals.
Discrepancies between our estimates and the Soviet data provided at signature have been narrowed considerably as a result of further analysis and information, including data provided by the Soviets. Remaining questions will be fully explored in the Joint Consultative Group or through other channels. In our view, none of these data issues warrant delay in acting on the Treaty.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, let me say this: In 1989, Europe underwent a political earthquake, an eruption of democratic values that changed the political map or the Continent. Now, we are working with the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe and a reforming Soviet Union to ensure democracy continues to flourish from the Atlantic to the Urals.
One of the surest ways to do that is to ratify the CFE Treaty and then move forward with its implementation. For CFE can be an enduring pact of mutual advantage, a Treaty in which all Europeans and Americans rind their interests advanced. And in doing so, CFE can reduce the uncertainties of the future by helping make certain,in that the military map of Europe reflects our fundamental interests.
Senator BIDEN. Mr. Secretary, I should note for everyone that although you are a most important witness, we will give Ambassador Woolsey an opportunity to testify before us and the Joint Chiefs as well, and the Secretary of Defense and the intelligence community. So although we have many, many questions, we will not attempt to direct all of them to you, nor do we need to direct all of them to you today.
I would also indicate, particularly for those who may be watching this on television, that we have said all these nice things about the treaty and your efforts and I suspect what you are going to hear now are a number of questions on areas where we have concerns about the treaty. This may be confusing to people. If you dwelled on what was good about the treaty, we could spend view, the next several days alone talking about it.
It is, in my opinion, overwhelmingly favorable to the United States and clearly and overwhelmingly in U.S. interest to ratify. But there are, and I suspect most of us will be focusing on, those portions of the treaty where there are ambiguities or where we think there may be some difficulty. I know you are aware of that.
But I know there are a number of people in here who are watching this proceeding and who may wonder what it is we're talking about. We just said all those nice things about that treaty and now we are going to spend all our time asking questions that seem in conflict with that notion.
But before we begin the questioning, there are two housekeeping matters that Senator Helms and I are obliged to take care of. And I would like, Mr. Secretary, to ask your cooperation on both of these.
The first item concerns the significance this committee and the Senate at large should attach to the testimony of administration officials. In that regard I would like to ask you several simple questions.
When you and other key officials, such as Secretary Cheney, testify before this committee on the CFE Treaty, can we assume that you are speaking for the executive branch?
Secretary BAKER. Yes.
Senator BIDEN. And when you and other authoritative officials testify on this treaty and explain it to us, do you believe that your testimony is contributing to, to use the term of art, a shared understanding between the executive and the Senate as to the meaning of the treaty and the way the United States will interpret that treaty?
Secretary BAKER. Mr. Chairman, let me, having said that it is my view that the testimony of Cabinet officials is testimony for and on behalf of the administration, let me say that I do not think I ought to pronounce on specific legal questions. We are going to provide you with legal witnesses. But I think maybe I can help you by elaborating on my yes answer to you.
First of all, let me say that obviously my testimony and that of the Cabinet officials you mentioned, and for that matter I think other executive branch witnesses, within their authorized scope, I should say perhaps within the authorized scope of each of us, is authoritative. And you can and should treat it as authoritative. The testimony and materials that we submit for the record here can, I think, be considered as authoritative by you without any need for you to incorporate them in your resolution of advice and consent, if that is what you are asking me.
The administration does not intend to depart from the interpretations of the CFE Treaty that we are presenting to the Senate. I hope that answers your question.
Senator BIDEN. It does.
And so this does not seem cryptic to those who may be listening, we have met with a mild dilemma here. This is an extremely complicated treaty. By definition it is complicated when 23 nations get together and try to deal with such a complicated subject.
And what Senator Helms and I want to ensure, or as I should speak only for myself, what I want to make sure of is that we do not, as a consequence of not going through every single line in this treaty with you, leave the Senate open to the assertion at a later date that, notwithstanding the fact that we accepted the assertions made by the administration officials as to what the treaty provisions meant, have a situation whereby the Senate consented to something different than it thought it did because we should have gone back and taken every line where there was any possible ambiguity and attached a Senate understanding to that line.
And so, as you know, the phrase shared understanding is a term of art which is used for the purpose of us being able to rely on the interpretation given by you and other authoritative administration officials that the treaty means what you say it does so that when we consent, we are consenting to the treaty according to the administration's definition of it.
And that is the purpose of this. I just want to make sure that you would agree with the opening premise that if you speak and the committee does not take issue with your statement, then the statement contributes substantively to our shared understanding.
Secretary BAKER. Let me say with respect to the question of the term of art that was embraced in your second question, Mr. Chairman, shared understanding, it would be my hope that my testimony and the testimony of other executive branch witnesses will contribute to a shared understanding. Whether or not the committee chooses to comment on any particular point or not, is up to the committee.
On the other hand, as I indicated earlier, I would prefer not to attempt to pronounce on the legal affect of complicated hypothetical scenarios because I cannot.
I will say that we will be up here giving you our best understanding of the meaning of treaty provisions, taking into account the negotiating history of those provisions.
Our testimony can be accepted by the Senate as authoritative. And I would hope that it would contribute to a shared understanding, as I have just mentioned. I hope that answers your question.
Senator BIDEN. It almost does.
Let me just say that possibly before this process is over we would have to hear from the legal office of the Secretary of State because otherwise we find ourselves in the position that it might be necessary for this committee to have the entire negotiating record and for us to examine the negotiating record in detail prior to any movement on the part of the Senate to agree to ratification of this treaty.
And I would hope that is not what is necessary and that we are able to constitutionally and technically rely upon your assertions as to what the treaty means unless it is apparent on the face of the treaty that it does not mean what you have previously asserted.
Secretary BAKER. Let me try one more time and see if this pushes the envelope a little further, Mr. Chairman.
It would be our hope that the Senate will act on the assumption that it can rely on administration witnesses to interpret the treaty and it will rely upon the administration to interpret the treaty in accordance with the testimony of the administration witnesses.
That is certainly our intention.
I cannot pass on the legal consequences of certain hypothetical scenarios as I think would have been required in a fuller response to your second question.
Senator BIDEN. I thank you.
I yield to my colleague, Senator Helms.
Senator HELMS. You use the word best understanding. I am sure that is correct.
But can we rely on all of you from now on to give us full answers? We ran into this on the INF hearings. And now it is coming to light and has been coming to light that we were not told any falsehoods, but we were not told all of the story. I mentioned a couple of those examples in my opening statement.
Let me try to summarize my understanding of what has been said here. If the treaty text and your presentation of the treaty's meaning are clear and mutually consistent, then can we expect the executive branch to act in accordance with that interpretation even if the Senate does not explicitly state in the resolution of ratification that we are relying upon you to do so?
Secretary BAKER. I would rather answer that question for the record, Senator Helms. Let me take it and confer with the lawyers, I will be happy to answer that.
[The information referred to follows:]
Yes. The administration will in no way depart from the interpretations of the CFE Treaty that we are presenting to the Senate.
Senator HELMS. I understand why you want to do that because it is a heavy question.
Now let us turn to the second housekeeping question which relates to the relationship between this committee and the administration on the matter of information sharing and consultation as we head into a period of considerable arms control activity.
With the CFE Treaty now before us and Soviet and U.S. negotiators working even as we speak to try to finalize the START Treaty, there is a great deal on the agenda. In my view, and I know Senator Biden shares it, it is simply imperative, Mr. Secretary, if this administration expects to work closely with the committee of jurisdiction on arms control matters that the administration share with this committee the same information that is being conveyed on a routine basis to other entities in the Senate.
Let me be specific. I am referring to information being transmitted to the Senate on a regular basis by the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, but not to the Foreign Relations Committee. Perhaps you are not even aware of this anomaly.
But I am confident, Mr. Secretary, that Senator Biden and I speak for this entire committee in saying to you quite firmly that this anomaly should be corrected without any delay if there is to be a sound basis for a constructive interaction on this and forthcoming treaties.
Before I ask for your response, Senator Biden indicated that he might wish to comment.
Senator BIDEN. I would concur with Senator Helms both in his suggestion that this is an unacceptable situation and in his supposition that you may not even know about it, Mr. Secretary.
But may we have your assurance that this committee will receive, under all the same strictures regarding the handling of classified information, the same data and reports being supplied to others in the Senate?
Secretary BAKER. Let me answer both of you by saying that our job and particularly my job is to keep this committee informed of arms control developments. That is and should be a priority for us. I am not familiar with exactly what you are referring to.
But if you let me know what it is that you are talking about and you are lacking some material, I am sure we can try and work something out. Let me see what it is, see what the problem is. I cannot answer this in a vacuum.
Is this something that has gone to the Arms Control Observer Group?
Senator BIDEN. That is right, the Arms Control Observer Group has staff to go and get information that this committee is not able to get through the same means.
Secretary BAKER. And they will not share it with you?
Senator BIDEN. We are not looking to be shared with, we are the outfit that decides whether or not we recommend that the treaty be ratified.
As we go into the negotiation on the START Treaty we are going to have to wait in line and determine whether or not we think we have all of the information.
It is real simple. I am supposed to dance around that subject, Mr. Secretary, but I am not a very good dancer. And so that is it, straight and simple.
Secretary BAKER. Let me reflect, Senator, as I know you are aware and the thrust of your question even, I think presupposes this, that it is not material that has come to the Arms Control Observer Group from the Department of State. And so let us look at it and take my statement that I made about supplying this committee of jurisdiction with information as a priority at face, if you will. And let me see what the situation is or what the problem is.
[The information referred to follows:]
I will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the anomaly will be corrected and that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as the committee of jurisdiction over these treaties, receives on a regular basis all information relative to these treaties that the executive branch is sharing with any other entities. I understand that Ambassador Lehman has already taken steps to satisfy the committee.
Senator BIDEN. It will be very helpful. And I assure you we will both follow-up with you on both of those issues.
Now I know the time is short and I apologize to my colleagues for going through what I characterize as housekeeping, but quite frankly, unless we know the ground rules upon which we are beginning these discussions on this significant arms control agreement, as well as the one that hopefully will be coming our way soon, I think we may otherwise have wasted a lot of time.
Let me begin the questioning and shorten my questions to give my colleagues some more time.
Mr. Secretary, as I said, obviously part of the focus here is going to be on the things we are more skeptical about and not the things we think are great about the treaty.
I mentioned to you earlier the issue of the withdrawal of 75,000 pieces of equipment, artillery, tanks, armored combat vehicles that are east of the Ural Mountains. And we all know this occurred. It is not a violation in the sense that it occurred for a whole range of reasons, partly as a result of unilateral reductions, partly due to bilateral agreements with Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Germany and with also, apparently, and partly by the defense establishment of the Soviet Union wanting to get these pieces of equipment out of harm's way. But for whatever reason, they sit there.
And you have negotiated a political understanding with the Soviets that says that they must destroy 25 percent of them and the remaining 75 percent they cannot put in any position that would be of any threat to us, to oversimplify the situation.
My question is, would their inability to keep this political pledge constitute a circumvention of the treaty as proscribed by article 14? And could it thereby warrant withdrawal from the treaty on the part of the United States?
I said 14, I meant 19. I had better start wearing these glasses all the time.
Secretary BAKER. Say it again, Senator.
Senator BIDEN. Could Soviet actions in violation of this solemn political pledge that they made, could it constitute a circumvention of the treaty as proscribed by article XIX and could it thereby warrant U.S. withdrawal the treaty?
Secretary BAKER. I think that we have withdrawal rights that are perhaps a bit broader than just for reasons of circumvention of the treaty. We attach a great deal of importance to this political statement and we expect when we take a political statement, that it will be complied with.
And you are asking though the specific legal question, and I am not absolutely certain. [Pause.]
I was right, Senator. We would have the right under our national security withdrawal rights. If it was a substantial violation of a major political commitment, we could pull out.
Senator BIDEN. Maybe I was not clear enough. I understand that. The question is would you? I mean, you clearly could.
Secretary BAKER. That is very Hypothetical. I would have to know, before we recommend to the President that we withdraw from a treaty that is so favorable to us as this one, the exact scope and extent of the failure to observe the political commitment.
Suppose they did not destroy 1 APC, would we pull out? No.
Senator BIDEN. If there was a gross disregard?
Secretary BAKER. Where do you draw the line, Senator? Is that 52 tanks? Is that 70 artillery pieces?
Senator BIDEN. I assumed that would be your answer, and that is why I have drafted a condition that would formalize to a greater extent that political condition. I will not introduce it prior to going into some great detail with you and your people privately.
I will not take your time with that now, but I would just ask you whether or not you would be willing, I would hope you would be willing to spend some time, to determine whether or not you would accept consent on a condition that would not require renegotiation, that would more clearly formalize the political commitment made by the Soviet Union on this issue.
Secretary BAKER. It is very difficult to answer that question. It is purely hypothetical because. you really have to look at the situation prevailing at the time. You have to know the degree and extent to which the political commitment had not been carried through on.
Let me just say, generally speaking, with respect to conditions-whether it is a category one or otherwise-I would hope we could move forward with the ratification of this treaty without the imposition of conditions, because I really think it is a good treaty.
It is very favorable to the United States and we do not think that conditions are prudent or necessary. But get through the hearing process, talk to the experts, both the experts on substance and the legal experts and if you still have a problem, we are prepared to sit down and try and work through it with you.
I just think it will be very difficult to draw an arbitrary line, and we may be better served by not trying to draw an arbitrary line. We do have this national security grounds provision for termination any treaty.
Senator BIDEN. That is correct, we do. I have drafted two such conditions, one pertaining to the article III issue as well, and I will be giving you copies of that and asking you to speak about it, because quite frankly, I think you are going to find that you will be confronted with that issue one way or another, and I would hope that we could do it in a way that the administration would find to be consistent with and supportive of its intentions.
Now, Mr. Secretary, there are a whole range of additional questions I have. Your time is limited at this point, and I am going to have an opportunity to spent a lot of time with your colleagues in the administration.
But let me just ask one broad question relating to American defense policy overall. What is the likelihood of there being a CFE 2 treaty?
Secretary BAKER. In the future--
Senator BIDEN. Cuts in equipment?
Secretary BAKER. I think probably not, Senator, because the pace and scope of political events are such that I think they might outstrip CFE 2 by the time you got to it. But you will see a CFE-1A, which will be devoted to questions involving manpower in Europe and will be devoted to the development of an aerial inspection regime. Both of these things are called for in the CFE Treat.
So there will be a follow-on negotiation. It will not be CFE 2, in the sense that it will be limiting and eliminating equipment. It will deal with manpower and it will deal with an aerial inspection regime.
Senator BIDEN. Well, as I said, I have many questions. I am taking too much of my colleagues' time, but let me just conclude by saying that I would hope the administration, at some point in the near future, would be willing to share with. us the impact this treaty has on its judgment as to how many forces, an issue our friend from South Dakota has raised, how many U.S. forces are required in Western Europe?
And what impact this has on our strategic requirements, beyond what is being negotiated in the START agreement now, including what impact it has on the SIOP, but, we will have plenty of time to talk about that.
Secretary BAKER. Yes, sir. Let me say only, that this-particularly with respect to CFE-lA-that these are matters that we are looking at and are engaged in, and there will be a follow-on negotiation, characterized as CFE-1A dealing with manpower and aerial inspection.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you.
The yellow light is on and I yield to my colleague from North Carolina.
Senator HELMS. Let me try to be brief too because others want to ask questions and I will file some in writing.
I was particularly intrigued with your very brief statement regarding the Soviet's armored personnel carriers and strategic rocket forces. This was a sticking point right at the end of the negotiations, is that not right?
Secretary BAKER. Well, both of those were part of the article III controversy, yes, Sir.
Senator HELMS. The Soviets, did they not, demanded to be authorized to deploy 500 extra personnel carriers in the Baltics? That is right, is it not?
Secretary BAKER. Demand the right to deploy 500 extra personnel carriers in the Baltics? I do not think so. Let me ask the negotiator. [Pause.]
Ambassador Woolsey tells me that there was during the course of the negotiations a request from them to this effect, to which we did not accede, and they did not insist, so that was not agreed to. Senator HELMS. Now, my understanding, and I hope my understanding is incorrect, that a "compromise" was accepted, namely that the Soviets could have an extra 1,500, not 500, 1,500 personnel carriers for deployment all around their strategic rocket forces. Now, some of the strategic rocket forces are deployed in the Baltics. Do you see what I am getting at? They want to use this weaponry and these weapon carriers to suppress the people we ought to be supporting.
Does this mean that the Soviets got more than their original request for 500 personnel carriers, to suppress freedom in the Baltics?
Secretary BAKER. I do not think that is the proper interpretation, Senator. Let me say that under the solution that we worked out to the article III problem, first of all, none of the treaty ceilings are going to be exceeded, including those for armored personnel carriers.
In the statement of June 14 which laid out the solution to the article III problem, that is, the Soviet statement, they pledged to reduce another 1,725 armored combat vehicles which brought them down to the treaty permitted level.
But we agreed that they could do this through a combination of destruction, conversion for nonmilitary use, and the internal modification of a certain type of armored personnel carrier, called the MTLB, in a manner specified in the treaty, to reduce its troop-carrying capacity.
But that method of eliminating armored personnel carriers from the accounting requirements of the treaty was already in the treaty and it was not a part of the article III dispute.
We also agreed that the Soviets would not have to count against the treaty ceilings the armored personnel carriers in their strategic rocket forces, and we did that because these APC's are used for security at their missile installations.
So that is the best way I know to answer your question: to lay out here what was actually agreed to.
Senator HELMS. I want to know about the Baltics. Did anybody think about the use of the personnel carriers and other things to put down these people yearning for freedom in the Baltics? That is my question, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary BAKER. Well, I think that there was a lot of thought given throughout the negotiation of this treaty, Senator Helms, to getting this equipment removed from the zone, whether it was through removal or destruction. We wanted to reduce the size of the Soviet armed forces that represented a threat to Western Europe.
The goal and purpose of CFE was, as I stated in my opening remarks, to eliminate the threat of conventional, overwhelming conventional forces, directed against Western Europe.
It was not intended to deal with what they would consider, and we would not, internal security matters within the Soviet Union. That is the best way I know to answer your question.
Senator HELMS. I hope that there is a little more to it than that, Mr. Secretary, because I believe most Members of the Senate are concerned about what is going on in the Baltics. But I will leave it there.
Secretary BAKER. Well, let me say to you that we in the administration are concerned about what is going on in the Baltics, and we do not pass up any opportunity to raise this.
Senator HELMS. Well, I just did not want you to do it inadvertently. That is what I am talking about.
Now, is it fair to say that this treaty repudiates the Brezhnev doctrine under which the Soviet Union claimed the right to invade any socialist state in order to suppress counterrevolution?
Secretary BAKER. Senator, before I answer that question, let me just put, into the record a note that Ambassador Woolsey has passed me saying that very few, if any, of the strategic rocket force, APC's of the Soviet Union are deployed in the Baltics.
However, we would be pleased to get into the exact numbers with you in closed hearings. This is some information that the negotiators would have and we would be delighted to make available
Now would you repeat the question?
Senator HELMS. Yes, Sir. It is fair for me to conclude that your reading of this treaty repudiates the Brezhnev doctrine under which the Soviet Union claimed the right to invade any socialist state in order to suppress counterrevolution?
Secretary BAKER. I am not sure the treaty represents the first renunciation of that doctrine. I think that when the Soviet Union agreed to the unification of Germany as a member of the NATO alliance, when the Soviet administration and President Gorbachev and others agreed to the removal of all of their forces from Eastern and Central Europe, that these actions perhaps taken together with this treaty, clearly amount to a renunciation of that doctrine.
Senator HELMS. Very well. One final question, not really related to the treaty, but I am obliged to ask it. I am informed that on June 20, the American intelligence community issued a report accusing Communist China of engaging in a massive nuclear proliferation program with a country of concern in the Middle East. Are you aware of that?
Secretary BAKER. If I was, I would not talk about it at this hearing.
Senator HELMS That means you are not aware of it.
Secretary BAKER. That does not mean anything. That just means that this is not the place for us to discuss that subject.
Senator HELMS. Well, I might have staff pass you an envelope.
Secretary BAKER. If it relates to intelligence matters, you know I cannot discuss them in an open hearing.
Senator HELMS. The report number, Mr. Secretary, notwithstanding your feeling about it, is contained in that envelope that is being handed to you, and I hope you will look at it and we can get on a secure telephone or whatever. I would like to have your opinion about it.
Secretary BAKER. Since it obviously has to do with an intelligence matter, I would be delighted to discuss it with you under secure conditions, Senator.
Senator HELMS. Well, we are both cleared.
Secretary BAKER. I am not so sure our entire television audience and the audience behind us here are.
Senator HELMS. I said on a secure telephone, did I not?
Secretary BAKER. After you asked me the question, you said we will talk about it. After I gave you a non-answer you said we will talk about it on a secure telephone, that is right, and I am happy to do that with you, but I cannot talk about it here and I think you know that.
Senator HELMS. I did not ask you to talk about it. I asked you if you were aware of it.
Secretary BAKER. That would entail my talking about it, and you know it.
Senator BIDEN. Senator Sarbanes.
Senator SARBANES. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, who will monitor this treaty?
Secretary BAKER. Are you referring, Senator Sarbanes, to the Joint Consultative Group?
Senator SARBANES. No. Who will ascertain that the equipment is being destroyed and that the numbers are being reduced in conformity with the timetable in the treaty, and so forth and so on?
Secretary BAKER. You are not talking about compliance disputes, you are simply talking about--
Senator SARBANES. No.
Secretary BAKER. Hang on. [Pause.]
Senator SARBANES. Mr. Secretary, I do not want to intervene in the State Department's business, but I think that if Ambassador Woolsey would come sit in the front row it would eliminate the concern of some of us that the Ambassador is going to fall over. [Laughter.]
Secretary BAKER. It is the On-Site Inspection Agency, Senator Sarbanes, that is located under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense.
Senator SARBANES. So that is a NATO operation, I take it?
Secretary BAKER. This was a 22-nation treaty.
Senator SARBANES. But the inspections will be done through a NATO structure?
Secretary BAKER. Ambassador Woolsey tells me that this is a U.S. Agency, that we will do our inspections through this agency, the On-Site Inspection Agency, and other nations will be responsible for theirs.
Senator SARBANES. What happens if one of the Eastern European countries which was part of the Warsaw Pact during the negotiation of this treaty and during the arms reductions it mandates, later becomes a part of NATO? What happens then with these arrangements, or what conceivably could happen?
And further, does the monitoring of this treaty address the prospect of having to construct new security arrangements for Europe, one of whose principal functions will be arms control monitoring?
In other words, you have a treaty essentially concluded between the members of NATO and the member of the Warsaw Pact. You are bringing the numbers down. You have a political dynamic going on in Europe which may, in fact, lead to the dissipation of the old alliance structures. Actually, I would regard it as an advance if the monitoring of this treaty could lead toward evolving new security arrangements that were more inclusive and less related to the old confrontational approach between the two pacts.
Secretary BAKER. Senator Sarbanes, that might well happen at some point, and as you know we have had a lot of discussions about the political adaptation of the NATO alliance, and one of the things that has been discussed is a verification activity, or responsibility, but under this treaty if a question such as that arose, any country could call a conference under one of the articles of the treaty. We do not have new structures in place now, and we have to verify this agreement on the basis of the structures we now have in place.
Senator SARBANES. Is there any kind of deadline for completing ratification of this treaty, with respect to how quickly other parties will act on it, as you see it?
Secretary BAKER. Not that I am aware of. I think we are starting the process ahead of many others. For instance, I feel certain the Soviet Union has not begun the process in the full Supreme Soviet. Senator SARBANES. Does the treaty limit the ability of countries affected by it to send their arms outside of the treaty area? The treaty limits how the arms are distributed within the treaty zone. How about outside the treaty zone?
Secretary BAKER. No, there is no restriction that I am aware of with respect to, for instance, our transferring arms to an area outside the zone covered by this treaty, or any of the other nations doing the same, [Pause.]
That is correct. There are no restrictions on transfer. Ambassador Woolsey makes the point that transfers from now on will not reduce reduction obligations that the various parties to this treaty have undertaken.
Senator SARBANES. So things like the Czech sale of modern tanks, say, to Syria, are not affected by this treaty?
Secretary BAKER. That one does decrease the Czechoslovak obligation, because they declared it as of November 19, but there are no restrictions-generally speaking, there are no restrictions on any of these countries transferring weaponry of a nature covered by this agreement to areas outside the zone.
For instance, when we send weapons to other areas of the world, or even other areas close to the zone, it is not limited or circumscribed by this treaty.
Senator SARBANES. Could you tell us a bit about your anticipated timetable, if there is such a possibility of telling us, on the CFE-1A?
Secretary BAKER. As I mentioned in answer to the chairman, we have begun work on these follow-on negotiations, and there is no deadline for the completion of those discussions, Senator Sarbanes.
As I mentioned, we do have a commitment in this treaty to undertake these discussions-particularly since actions were taken in an agreement between the Soviet Union and Germany that make it important, particularly to Germany, that CFE-1A proceed with respect to manpower limitations. As you know, manpower is not covered by this treaty. There is no deadline, but I think that there is a view on the part of the parties that they want to conclude this as soon as they responsibly can.
Senator SARBANES. I understand that Foreign Minister Besmertnykh is in town.
Secretary BAKER. Yes, sir.
Senator SARBANES. I take it that you are trying to work out the balance of the START differences so that you might be able to move on that matter by a summit at the end of the month, is that correct?
Secretary BAKER. Well, we continue to work toward that end, Senator Sarbanes. We just had some recent high-level exchanges in Geneva where our START negotiators made some specific proposals, and we are hoping that we will receive answers to those this afternoon or tomorrow from the Soviet Union. We are hoping those answers will move us forward.
It always gets tougher as you get to the end game-I think you know that-and while these issues that we are now dealing with are technical issues, they are very important issues, particularly the one dealing with telemetry encryption or data denial, which has major verification consequences.
Our hope is that we will be able to resolve these in order for President Gorbachev and President Bush to conclude a summit before the August break. That is what they both want to do, but we are not going to rush it, and we are not going to push it beyond what we think is reasonable and prudent, because it is too important.
Senator SARBANES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you. Senator Lugar.
Senator LUGAR. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Mr. Secretary, I have a question that has four parts and that is technical, and you may wish to respond but you may wish to submit an answer in writing.
What is the legal relationship between the treaty as signed, the signed agreement on land-based naval aviation, and the documents containing legal obligations and political commitments associated with the article III settlement hammered out after treaty signature?
In particular, what would the administration's view be of a Senate effort to incorporate all ancillary agreements and Soviet statements into the treaty proper, and if these ancillary agreements are not incorporated into the treaty, what is the status of each of these documents under international and domestic law?
More concretely, could a material breach of the legal obligations contained in the side agreements on article III constitute a material breach of the treaty?
Secretary BAKER. Those are very technical questions Senator Lugar, and I will give you a full answer for the record. I could mention a few things here-and maybe I should do that-but let me preface what I am going to say by saying I will give you a complete answer for the record.
The land-based naval air declaration is one of four political documents that are associated with the treaty. The other three are the 22 signatories declaration on personnel, the German declaration on personnel, and the Soviet statement on East of the Urals of June 14, about which we have already spoken.
The Soviets' other statement of June 14, which was the mechanism that was used to resolve the big dispute that held up the sending of this treaty to the Senate for ratification, is a separate but legally-binding international obligation that is associated with but not a part of this treaty.
It does not formally amend the treaty. It does diverge from the treaty provisions in one respect, and that is in permitting the Soviets to withdraw some equipment from the zone rather than destroying it or converting it in the zone.
This statement, taken alone, does not, we think, require ratification because it does not limit U.S. armed forces or armaments but only Soviet armaments. But, as a document that is very relevant to the treaty, we are transmitting it for the information of the Senate.
There will be a continuing difference on principle. We have worked out a solution to this problem that will permit the Soviets to take a position on principle that will differ from the position on principle that we will take. Havink said that, I want to reiterate that all the limits established by this treaty are going to be respected, but the Soviet Union would argue that the obligations that they undertake in this June 14 statement are in addition to those they undertook under the treaty.
They will argue, in fact, that their coastal defense and naval infantry forces are limited only by that statement and not by the treaty. The United States and the other 20 signatories will maintain that these forces are also limited under the treaty.
In our view, Senator Lugar, we can agree to disagree on this point of principle, since the practical results are effectively the same. Moreover, the Soviet statement reaffirms the comprehensiveness of the treaty's counting rules and it makes therefore a similar dispute much less likely in the future.
But I will submit a full answer to your question for the record.
[The information referred to follows:]
Question. What is the legal relationship between the treaty as signed, the signed
agreement on land-based naval aviation, and the documents containing legal obligations and political commitments associated with the article III settlement hammered out after treaty signature?
--In particular, what would the Administration's view be of a Senate effort to
incorporate all ancillary agreements and Soviet statements into the treaty proper,
and if these ancillary agreements are not incorporated into the treaty, what is the
status of each of these documents under international and domestic law?
--More concretely, could a material breach of the legal obligations contained in
the side agreements on article III constitute a material breach or the treaty?
Answer. There are several documents associated with the CFE Treaty: the Soviet
statement of June 14, 1991, and the 21 responses to it by the other Signatories;
the Soviet East-of-the-Urals statement, also of June 14; the Declaration by
the 22 States Parties with respect to Land-Based Naval Aircraft (LBNA); the
Declaration by the 22 States Parties with respect to Personnel; and the Declaration
by Germany with respect to Personnel.
Since the four political documents
are not legally binding, they do not constitute international agreements under
either international low or U.S. domestic law. On the other hand the Soviet
legally binding statement ;constitutes an international agreement under international
law (in accordance with Article 31(3)(a) of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the
Law of Treaties) and an executive agreement under domestic law.
C. A particular action by the Soviet Union in violation of its obligations under the
legally binding statement would not necessarily violate the treaty. In some cases,
there would be a violation only of the statement; in others there could be a violation
of both the treaty and the statement. In those cases in which a violation of the
statement also constituted a violation or the treaty, the violation might, depending
on the circumstances, constitute a material breach of the statement and treaty as
well. Whether the violation constituted a material breach would be context dependent and, in particular, would depend on the severity of the violation and whether
the obligation violated was essential to the accomplishment of the object or purpose
of both the Soviet statement and the treaty.
An example of an action that violated only the statement would be a failure to
provide "sufficient visible evidence" of destruction of the 50 percent equivalent of
the transferred TLE (transferred outside the area as an offset to holdings in Naval
Infantry and Coastal Defense) that are to be destroyed or converted outside the area
of application, pursuant to the statement. This would be a violation only of the
statement, not of the treaty, since the treaty contains no such obligation for out-of-area verification of destruction and conversion. On the other hand, the other 50 percent to be destroyed or converted within the area of application pursuant to the
statement must be destroyed or converted pursuant to treaty procedures. A violation of such procedures would violate both the statement and the treaty procedures
and the statement includes a specific obligation in this regard.
Furthermore, in the U.S. view,
Coastal Defense and Naval Infantry count for purposes of meeting treaty ceilings.
Thus, an increase in equipment held by Coastal Defense or Naval Infantry that
caused the treaty's ceilings to be exceeded would, in our view (and, we believe,
in the view or 20 other treaty Signatories as well), violate both the treaty
and the statement. Moreover, such violations-depending on their severity-might
very well also constitute material breaches of both the statement and the treaty.
On the other hand, the Soviet view is that only the statement limits equipment
held by Coastal Defense and Naval Infantry. However, both documents lire equally
legally binding. In this regard, it is important to keep in mind that a violation
of the statement alone would give rise to a compliance issue in the Joint Consultative
Group and it could, depending in its seriousness, create a right of withdrawal
from the treaty under article XIX.
A more specific example would be if the Soviets were at the level of 13,150 tanks
(their maximum level under article VII), and then assigned 100 battle tanks to a
Naval Infantry unit. In such a case, they clearly would have violated the statement.
But would they have also violated the treaty? In the U.S. view (and, as noted, in the
view of 20 other treaty Signatories as well), they would have violated the treaty as
well because we believe that Naval Infantry is not exempt from the treaty. The Soviets would probably claim that there was no treaty violation because their position
is that Naval Infantry equipment is not covered by the treaty. However, both sides
would agree that there is a violation of the legally binding statement.
--In particular, what would the Administration's view be of a Senate effort to incorporate all ancillary agreements and Soviet statements into the treaty proper, and if these ancillary agreements are not incorporated into the treaty, what is the status of each of these documents under international and domestic law?
--More concretely, could a material breach of the legal obligations contained in the side agreements on article III constitute a material breach or the treaty?
Answer. There are several documents associated with the CFE Treaty: the Soviet statement of June 14, 1991, and the 21 responses to it by the other Signatories; the Soviet East-of-the-Urals statement, also of June 14; the Declaration by the 22 States Parties with respect to Land-Based Naval Aircraft (LBNA); the Declaration by the 22 States Parties with respect to Personnel; and the Declaration by Germany with respect to Personnel.
Since the four political documents are not legally binding, they do not constitute international agreements under either international low or U.S. domestic law. On the other hand the Soviet legally binding statement ;constitutes an international agreement under international law (in accordance with Article 31(3)(a) of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties) and an executive agreement under domestic law.
C. A particular action by the Soviet Union in violation of its obligations under the legally binding statement would not necessarily violate the treaty. In some cases, there would be a violation only of the statement; in others there could be a violation of both the treaty and the statement. In those cases in which a violation of the statement also constituted a violation or the treaty, the violation might, depending on the circumstances, constitute a material breach of the statement and treaty as well. Whether the violation constituted a material breach would be context dependent and, in particular, would depend on the severity of the violation and whether the obligation violated was essential to the accomplishment of the object or purpose of both the Soviet statement and the treaty.
An example of an action that violated only the statement would be a failure to provide "sufficient visible evidence" of destruction of the 50 percent equivalent of the transferred TLE (transferred outside the area as an offset to holdings in Naval Infantry and Coastal Defense) that are to be destroyed or converted outside the area of application, pursuant to the statement. This would be a violation only of the statement, not of the treaty, since the treaty contains no such obligation for out-of-area verification of destruction and conversion. On the other hand, the other 50 percent to be destroyed or converted within the area of application pursuant to the statement must be destroyed or converted pursuant to treaty procedures. A violation of such procedures would violate both the statement and the treaty procedures and the statement includes a specific obligation in this regard.
Furthermore, in the U.S. view, Coastal Defense and Naval Infantry count for purposes of meeting treaty ceilings. Thus, an increase in equipment held by Coastal Defense or Naval Infantry that caused the treaty's ceilings to be exceeded would, in our view (and, we believe, in the view or 20 other treaty Signatories as well), violate both the treaty and the statement. Moreover, such violations-depending on their severity-might very well also constitute material breaches of both the statement and the treaty. On the other hand, the Soviet view is that only the statement limits equipment held by Coastal Defense and Naval Infantry. However, both documents lire equally legally binding. In this regard, it is important to keep in mind that a violation of the statement alone would give rise to a compliance issue in the Joint Consultative Group and it could, depending in its seriousness, create a right of withdrawal from the treaty under article XIX.
A more specific example would be if the Soviets were at the level of 13,150 tanks (their maximum level under article VII), and then assigned 100 battle tanks to a Naval Infantry unit. In such a case, they clearly would have violated the statement. But would they have also violated the treaty? In the U.S. view (and, as noted, in the view of 20 other treaty Signatories as well), they would have violated the treaty as well because we believe that Naval Infantry is not exempt from the treaty. The Soviets would probably claim that there was no treaty violation because their position is that Naval Infantry equipment is not covered by the treaty. However, both sides would agree that there is a violation of the legally binding statement.
Senator SARBANES. Would you yield?
Do the Soviets regard that agreement as a treaty in their terms?
Secretary BAKER. They regard it as a legally-binding statement by them that was accepted by the other parties to the treaty, and they will say that with respect to coastal defense forces and naval infantry-they are bound by that legally-binding statement but not by the treaty, and they will continue to be able to insist on this position of principle.
Senator LUGAR. Mr. Secretary, I appreciate that answer, and likewise the response that you will be preparing with your lawyers. I raise the question because I foresee that this is a question that is going to come to the fore at some point, and Senators will suddenly rise up with surprise that there is an agreement here that is not a treaty. Even though it supposedly has legally binding effect, it is of a different order, and so I wanted to raise that problem initially.
I concur with you that I do not believe it is fatal to the successful consideration of the treaty, but it clearly is something different.
Secretary BAKER. It is, Senator Lugar. It is, I think, a very creative way in which to resolve what were some very difficult issues, and we were able to do so in a way that respected all of the treaty limits, save the one minor point that I just made, and it was, we felt, the only way that we could work this issue out and be in a position to submit to the Senate for ratification an agreement that I think we all agree is very, very much in the national interest of the United States.
Senator LUGAR. Let me follow-on a point that Senator Sarbanes was making with regard to Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. Defense News has reported on June 3 that Czechoslovakia alone plans to export 1,578 tanks, 1970 armored combat vehicles and 1,900 artillery pieces.
I think these account for more than 75 percent of the equipment Czechoslovakia would otherwise have had to destroy under the terms of the treaty. Clearly in the case of Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria they would appear to have the intent to sell much higher numbers of treaty-limited equipment than they had normally exported and, thus, some would say, would be in violation of the CFE treaty.
I raise this point because I suspect that some thought needs to be given to this problem, so that we are not accused, in the case of the Czechs, of excusing acts by governments that we find friendly that we would not find so friendly if done by the Soviets.
I wonder if you have any overall comment on the Czech and Bulgarian problem with respect to CFE compliance.
Secretary BAKER. We have discussed it with them, Senator Lugar. We are continuing to discuss it with them. The question revolves to some extent around whether or not the equipment was declared for export as of November 19.
But it is something we intend to continue to discuss with them, and would be pleased to continue to discuss in more detail with the Senate.
These countries have a difficult problem, and without trying in any way to come down on one side or the other of what is a difficult issue, I think we should all recognize that we want these emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe to succeed in their efforts to reform.
Unfortunately, one of the major export items that these countries were involved in-one of the major things they made for export-were armaments, and it is not easy for them, now that they have lost all their markets in the Soviet Union, to make this very difficult economic transformation.
And in fact, it has created, as you know, some tension between the Slovaks and the Czechs because many of these armament industries in Czechoslovakia are in Slovakia and many of these weapons were made or at least ordered to be made and put on the production line in advance of the revolutions for freedom and democracy.
So we have to be conscious of all of these things when we deal with this very difficult problem.
Senator LUGAR. I thank you, and I raised the question, not as an unfair attack on the treaty, but rather as something that we are going to have to rationalize.
Secretary BAKER. Well, I think the question is what happens in the future-that is where we should be focusing our attention, helping them with defense conversion, conversion of defense plants to civilian production and uses, and helping these countries find markets for the civilian products that they will produce, and frankly, opening our markets to them and seeing Western Europe open its markets.
They have lost all their markets and both Western Europe and the United States need to do more for these countries. It is really important that the experiments in democracy and freedom and free market economics in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungry, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania all succeed.
Senator BIDEN. Mr. Secretary, I imagine people listening to this do not quite understand why it would not be very much in our interest to economically aid them rather than have them sell arms to the Middle East, requiring us to spend tens of billions of dollars potentially again to go knock them--
Secretary BAKER. But, Senator, unfortunately, 95 percent of the weapons that go to the Middle East, come from the permanent five members of the United Nations' Security Council, which includes none of those Central and Eastern European countries.
Senator BIDEN. I absolutely agree with you, that is why, if you recall, I proposed before you even set up your organizational effort, that we should have those five nations agree to an arms supplier cartel, whereby we would control the selling of those weapons.
But I now yield to the real chairman of the committee.
Senator SARBANES. Actually, Senator Biden has a provision which would try to move us down the path of restraining arms sales by the five permanent members and thereby significantly transform this international situation.
Secretary BAKER. Before we go to you, Mr. Chairman, let me just mention, since we are on a very important subject, really that is not CFE, but that we just concluded a very, very successful and important meeting of the permanent five in Paris. Our arms control experts and the arms control experts of the Soviet Union, China, Britain, and France, met and agreed to support the President's proposal to increase transparency on conventional weapons now, to set up a registry of sales to the Middle East and that sort of thing.
So we were very pleased that that meeting reached the degree of consensus that it did. We frankly did not expect that there would be that much consensus. So I am optimistic that we may be able to do some things.
Senator BIDEN. Mr. Secretary, you made a valiant effort, but essentially what you agreed to was everybody make a list to let everybody else know what they are selling.
Secretary BAKER. You have to crawl before you walk, Senator, and walk before you run, and for us to get the permanent five to agree to these things, I think is significant. I mean, it may not go as far as some would like, but let us get the process started.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you. Senator Pell.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I apologize for not being here earlier. I was presiding over a joint session with the House on another matter. Not having been here, I will limit myself to one or maybe two questions, out of deference to my colleagues who have been here right along.
What sort of signals are we issuing or giving to potential miscreants, for example, the Iraqis, vis-à-vis, their attacks on the Kurds, or the Serbians, regarding their attacks on the Albanians? I am just curious if there is not a parallel here, on putting them on notice that they can go just too far and no further in the abuse of human rights in those two areas.
Secretary BAKER. Well, we have put down some very strong markers in Yugoslavia, Mr. Chairman, with respect to the use of force by central authorities.
The CHAIRMAN. Pardon me, I think it is now being used in Kosovo in Albania.
Secretary BAKER. It is being used in Kosovo, against the Albanian population there. This is something we have been concerned about and something that we have strongly protested with the Yugoslav Government for a long, long time, but we have also done so recently.
With respect to Iraq, I think that the situation is perhaps somewhat different because we have shown what we think are violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions, and you have heard the President, you have heard me and others in the administration over the course of recent weeks talking about the importance of observing United Nations' Security Council resolutions, and pointing to what the consequences of nonobservance have been previously.
Now the concerns I'm talking about there relate primarily to the refusal of the Iraqi Government to comply with Security Council resolutions having to do with nuclear, the possibility of nuclear weapons development.
We have also, Senator Pell, made known our views very, very clearly and directly with respect to questions involving persecution of the Kurds by the Government of Iraq.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. I think committee is very glad indeed at the prospects of CFE and Senator Biden is doing an excellent job of pushing us down that road.
When do you expect to finish START, if things work out in these discussions today and tomorrow? Do you see START being sent up to us on the hill by the August recess?
Secretary BAKER. I do not think we ought to assume that we are going to have a START treaty agreed to before the August recess, Senator Pell.
I said earlier that it is the fervent wish of both President Gorbachev and President Bush that we conclude START so that the delayed Soviet-U.S. summit can be held.
Both of them have said that they do not want to hold that summit in Moscow until a START treaty has been concluded. We are down to the end game. It gets tougher as you get closer to the end, and we will be meeting this afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. We will also meet tomorrow. The full Soviet arms control delegation is in town.
We hope they are here prepared to make decisions and we will just have to see how those discussions go.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Also in connection with the CFE, has there been any effort to figure out what the savings will be to the U.S. Government if we pass it? Will there be a peace dividend from CFE?
Secretary BAKER. Well, there will be a savings, and we talked about the fact that CFE is important politically, structurally, strategically, but also important economically because it will allow a lot of countries, including the United States to reduce the resources that we devote to European defense, and it will allow us indeed to reduce the number of troops that we maintain in Europe.
The CHAIRMAN. Could you hazard a guess in dollar terms?
Secretary BAKER. I do not want to do that because we have not gone through the mathematics. A lot depends on where we come out with respect to force presence and that is a part of the CFE-1A negotiation.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. No further questions.
Senator BIDEN. Thank you. Senator Pressler.
Senator PRESSLER. Thank you very much.
Mr. Secretary, I want to pursue the CFE-1A question a little bit more. I know that we started out with the MBFR negotiations to reduce troop levels in Europe and those bogged down. They were replaced by the CFE negotiations to actually reduce troop levels. This troop reduction idea is something I think our country is becoming much more interested in, especially as it regards Europe.
As you know, even some very conservative columnists are starting to advocate the reduction of troops in Europe at a faster rate, although there is some disagreement on this. I go to some of these parliamentarian meetings in Europe and it seems like the European parliamentarians always want to keep our troops there. They have very much a sweetheart deal in terms of our taxpayers paying for their defense, not only our troop commitments but other expenses, too
The base closure effort in the United States, which I supported, has caused some to question why our overseas bases continue to be necessary. I did not lose any bases, but increasingly, our people--
Secretary BAKER. That accounts for the strength of your support. [Laughter.]
Senator PRESSLER. We could have lost a base but we did not. The point is, when this sinks in, our people are going to be asking even more-if we are reducing bases in the United Sates, why can we not relocate some of our troops from Europe to the United States or apply some of the same closure principles to European bases.
That being said, it is possible some U.S. troops could be withdrawn from NATO as a result of CFE. What will that number be?
Secretary BAKER. Well, that number is a part of our CFE-1A discussions, Senator Pressler, and it really would not be prudent for me to put a number on it out here right now.
Let me simply say in light of the reduced threat in Europe that we will be able to make substantial force reductions, and in fact, I think you saw an announcement here not long ago that we were changing the nature of the military structures in NATO, going to more of a mobile rapid reaction type of force, a smaller force and a more flexible force.
But it is really important that we not lose sight of what the presence of American forces in Europe has meant politically, not just militarily, but politically over the course of the past 45 years.
And it is important that we not lose sight of the fact that during the discussions on the questions of unification of Germany and freedom for Central and Eastern Europe, that everyone, everyone including the Soviet Union, came to us and said, we think American forces in Europe are a force for stability and we hope you will maintain some forces in Europe.
They will be significantly reduced, the number of approximately 150,000 following implementation of the CFE Treaty.
Senator PRESSLER. As I understand it, they have been reduced some because of the Gulf war and some of those are moving back.
Secretary BAKER. There will be substantial reductions, Senator Pressler.
Senator PRESSLER. I hear these arguments from European parliamentarians, and I agree, NATO is probably the most successful military alliance in history, or one of the most successful. I hear these same arguments from European parliamentarians, that American troops must be kept in Germany and elsewhere for political stability.
Now what is the logic behind that? That is the same thing you just said. Going into the 1990's and beyond the year 2000, why do we need to keep American troops in Europe for political stability?
Secretary BAKER. Why does the rest of the world want the United States to lead? That is the reason.
Senator PRESSLER. I want that very much too, but how will having troops in wealthy Europe, how do we lead from that? I am trying to understand that.
Secretary BAKER. The United States security presence in Europe is very, very important, Senator Pressler, to our political influence in Europe. Our ticket to this game in the past has been the NATO alliance.
I think we both agree that NATO has been the most successful military alliance, perhaps in history, and to remove U.S. forces from Europe would remove the backbone of that alliance. To dissolve NATO, as I heard suggested in the opening remarks here, would remove the raison d'etre for an American presence.
And NATO, let us remember, is not just a military alliance. It is also a political alliance, and it is very important that the United States remain politically engaged with our friends and allies in Europe, particularly now with everything going in our direction, with all of Europe moving toward freedom, toward democracy and toward free markets.
Senator PRESSLER. Yes, I want us very much to remain politically engaged and economically engaged. I am trying to envisage our policy. Indeed, you are the most influential man in the administration, other than the President, and what you lay out in terms of policy is going to be with us for 20 and 30 years.
But is it not possible for us to be politically and economically engaged with Europe with a substantially reduced number of troops? Who are the troops, what threat are they protecting against or what role do they play?
Secretary BAKER. Without suggesting that there would be any out-of-area expansion of the duties of the NATO alliance, let me suggest, Senator, that we would not have been able to respond in the manner that we responded in the gulf had we not had those forces in Europe.
We would not perhaps even have been able to win the political support of our allies for our actions in the gulf in the way that we were able to do, culminating in United Nations Security Council resolutions, had we not been the major force presence in NATO militarily.
There is a direct correlation between our security role in Europe and our political influence in Europe.
Senator PRESSLER. Certainly, I can see it, having some troops in different parts of the world, to move quickly and so forth is a strong argument, but in terms of maintaining the large numbers that we--
Secretary BAKER. I think you and I agree that the numbers are going to come down, I have said, come down substantially. I am just not in a position at this time, while we are in the midst of developing our bottom line for negotiations on CFE-1A, I am just not at liberty to put a number down. But I have said substantial reductions.
Senator PRESSLER. I am not in an argument with you. I am just trying to get what you envisage the future will be in terms of the role of U.S. troops in Europe.
Earlier, in response to one of Senator Helms' questions on Soviet armored personnel carriers in the Baltic states, as I understood it, you stated the goal of the CFE is to reduce the Soviet threat to Western Europe. You stated that the CFE treaty was not meant to deal with internal security matters of the Soviet Union.
Now exactly how do you resolve that with the Baltic states?
Secretary BAKER. I am not sure I understand your question. The treaty in no way alters or undercuts our position that we do not recognize the incorporation of the Baltics into the Soviet Union. And we expressly negate any such suggestion.
Senator PRESSLER. So you are saying that we will treat the Baltic states as part of the Soviet Union for purposes of this treaty?
Secretary BAKER. But not in terms of constituting any recognition on our part that their forcible incorporation was in any way legal, because we do not agree with that.
Senator PRESSLER. Mr. Chairman, I have some questions on Yugoslavia and other matters which I want to put in for the record. But my time is up. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary BAKER. Senator Pressler, let me say that I think you will be having Defense Department witnesses before you and I think when they are here you will be able to get into further detail with them regarding these questions of the estimates on U.S. troop strength after CFE implementation.
But that is not really what you are seeking. What you are seeking, I think, is what happens in the medium term in terms of a U.S. force presence.
Senator PRESSLER. I know we will have members of the Defense Department here, but you probably will do more to influence what the administration and the country does in the big picture here, and I was trying to get your picture of our troop levels in Europe throughout the 1990's and beyond and what their role will be there. I know we need some there so we can have a mobile capability.
Secretary BAKER. Throughout the 1990's, Senator Pressler, our forces will be substantially reduced. In the immediate aftermath of implementation of CFE, the number of U.S. troops will be approximately 150,000. That of course, in and of itself, is substantially down from what we have had there.
Senator PRESSLER. I think everybody agrees, we need a mobile capability. But we have greatly increased our mobility and I do not think that that should be an argument for keeping so many there.
Also, I have heard so many European parliamentarians say to me, we need you to stay for political stability. What they are really saying is we want you to pay the bills, and that is what bothers me. So that is just one Senator giving his opinion.
Secretary BAKER. Well, the best I can do for you is 150,000 in the aftermath of implementation of this treaty, but I interpreted your question, and I think correctly, to be asking, what about during the 1990's?
And all I can say is, it will be substantially down from today's levels.
Senator PRESSLER. When do you expect CFE 2 to be--
Secretary BAKER. CFE-1A. I just said, we do not have a definite timetable, although I do not anticipate that it will take a lot of time, Senator Pressler.
Senator BIDEN. Senator Dodd.
Senator DODD. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Secretary.
Let me just take a section at the outset since I was not here when the committee hearings began to compliment you and Ambassador Woolsey for your very fine job in negotiating this agreement, and we are pleased that you are before us today.
I have just a couple of notes to pick up on Senator Lugar's suggestions raised about Czechoslovakia and the sales to Syria and other such issues, and your point about encouraging conversion.
I would just ask you to take note, as this is not directly within your purview, that some thought be given to how we might also treat what some have called the veterans of the cold war, that is the people who work in our plants and facilities across this country, who will be losing jobs not because they are producing a bad product or being beaten in some sort of competition, but rather because the numbers are coming down.
And as we start talking about what we do for Central Europe and other nations in that area, the question of what we do for the American worker who in no small measure made it possible for us to achieve the results we have been able to see in the last couple of years, need to be brought into that equation.
I think we will have an easier time convincing the American taxpayer, maybe do something about countries that need to do that conversion, if we can convince them we are also concerned about what happens to them.
That is just merely a statement. I realize it not something you directly have purview over, but nonetheless, can have some influence on.
Second, the Baltics have been mentioned by several here and I intended to raise that issue as well. I had prepared at least a rough draft of a declaration to be added as possibly an article II, but conceivably an article III provision which would state that nothing in this agreement should be deemed to confer either recognition or acceptance of Soviet efforts to exercise sovereignty or maintain control over the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by this agreement.
Would you have any problem with incorporating something like that in this agreement, to make clear what I thought was your response to Senator Pressler's concern that because there will be Soviet weapons in the Baltic states, that in no way should this agreement be interpreted as anything less than what you stated in response to the questions.
Secretary BAKER. I do not have any problem whatsoever, Senator, in saying that, because that is the policy of the United States and that is exactly the way we look at it. I do not know whether that is what you are asking me.
If you are asking me to get the Soviet Union to agree to that, I obviously will not be able to do that.
Senator DODD. But it may fall in the article II kind of situation, where you incorporate it, communicate it to them rather than requiring their agreement on it, although you may find some disagreement whether or not that would be too mild.
Secretary BAKER. Ambassador Woolsey points out that, you are talking I think, about categories of reservations, not articles.
Senator DODD. Yes, categories--
Secretary BAKER. Yes. Well, I do not know that I can answer you any further that I already have. We are pleased to make the statement, but if you deal with it in a manner that requires going back, obviously we are not going to get agreement on that. This treaty, the negotiation of this treaty-just like the negotiation of other agreements in the past with officials of the central government in Moscow-does not represent any change in our long-standing policy of nonrecognition of the forcible incorporation of the Baltics.
This is not the first agreement that we have negotiated and have made that very clear.
Senator DODD. I do not have any difficulty. I understand where you are coming from and I am not going to try to nail you down to any wording, but to let you know that I certainly would like to maybe see some sort of a declaration included.
I understand that raises some concerns, but nonetheless, I would like to raise it, and incorporating it as a declaration, understanding how you just responded.
Secretary BAKER. We felt it was important to make darn sure that the treaty limits applied comprehensively to all Soviet forces. There are Soviet forces in the Baltic military districts.
Senator DODD. Which raises a second question, we began this process, of course, as you watched a politically evolving situation. We began the negotiation with one entity in sense and we are ending up with something entirely different in the sense that the Warsaw Pact does not exist any longer.
And it seems to me, it gets a little confusing as to who we really deal with in all of this, what happens as we watch a continuing erosion of that and how do you, how does data get shared, for instance?
We are dealing with these separate entities now.
Secretary BAKER. Senator Dodd, I engaged a little bit with Senator Sarbanes on that. I think the best thing for you to do would be to get into that detail with the technical experts.
But there will be ways in which the data will be shared. The fact remains that the political situation has evolved quite rapidly. That is not an argument for our not picking up on this really good treaty.
Senator DODD. Not at all. I think it is just a question of down the road, as you try and implement, you deal with the consultative groups, the verification, all of these matters that will be raised, getting your fingers around it is, is kind of like trying to nail jello to a tree.
How do you get a hold of who you want to deal with those specific issues?
Secretary BAKER. Well, as we go about the political adaptation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, we now have former Warsaw Pact countries that have established liaison offices to NATO.
Senator DODD. Which raises my next question and that is the other side of the equation, what is NATO's role going to be in this with emerging and changing organizations in Europe, what in your opinion will NATO's role be?
Do you see it as a static role? Are you satisfied that it is pretty firm or is there a possibility that we going to see some evolution occur with regard to NATO specifically as an organization in a changing structure?
Secretary BAKER. I think there will be an evolution of NATO, Senator Dodd, and it was premiered or forecast at the London NATO summit last year. There a very forthcoming and far-reaching declaration was issued by the heads of state which addressed this very issue and said here is what we intend to do.
We are going to see this organization evolve politically. There is going to be more of an emphasis on its political character, although it will remain the primary security alliance for Europe.
We are going to do a lot of things. One of the things was the liaison offices with the Warsaw Pact and there were other things. NATO is going to be involved in verification, and will deal with proliferation perhaps. It will exercise some interests and activities in these areas.
So it will be an evolution of NATO and its military character will change. Indeed, it already has: the force is going to be more flexible and more mobile and smaller. It will still have its major security role and that is something we want and should want, unless you just really want to say, it is going to be the policy of the United States that we are going to pull out of Europe. I think that would be a fundamental mistake.
Senator DODD. I agree with you. I do not hear that. I guess it is just a question, as these structures change, and the fluidity of it, in terms of how this kind of treaty is applied.
Let me ask you if I can to address some of the economic issues broadly here. What was the economic impact of this on the Soviet Union? I do not mean to put it down to dollars and cents, but give us some concept here if you can about what this means to them economically.
Secretary BAKER. I think initially the Soviets will not gain a lot economically because they have got some destruction obligations. They have to do some things that are going to cost them some money.
Thus, in the near-term, I do not think the treaty will improve the Soviet Union's economic prospects. And those prospects are not bright. We know what has happened to the Soviet economy during 1991 and the prognosis for the balance of this year is not bright.
But I think with respect to other countries, there will be some economic benefit, because the destruction obligations are nowhere near as great-which resulted from the imbalance in forces in favor of the Soviet Union. So they are having to destroy and to convert or move, or store, much more equipment than other parties to the treaty.
We will, as a consequence of this agreement and the political changes that have taken place in Europe, be able to reduce substantially the number of our forces in Europe and that will effect some political saving. I cannot tell you how much right now. but there will be some economic saving.
Senator BIDEN. Senator Brown.
Senator BROWN. Mr. Chairman, I want to express that in the spirit of détente we start with the discussion of this treaty and I noticed that from the Secretary's viewpoint you have moved from a position to the left of the chairman, to a position to the right of the chairman.
Your immediate contact with Senator Helms, I think is going to be a very positive influence in the future.
Senator BIDEN. I hope so, but I hope no one believes that my sitting to the right of Senator Helms means anything at all. [Laughter.]
Senator BROWN. Mr. Secretary, I am particularly cheered by the potential-and I suppose we should emphasize this-the potential of significant troop reductions in Europe. I think that is good news for the American taxpayer, and while I fully understand and appreciate your concerns that we not be viewed as withdrawing from our commitments to be a positive force in the world, it seems to me that that may be one of the more positive aspects of this treaty in the United States. A reduction potentially in half-the elimination of half of our forces in Europe could have, I believe, an enormous impact in terms of budgetary implications.
Secretary BAKER. Senator Brown, as I mentioned to Senator Pressler, in the aftermath of implementation of this treaty, we anticipate the number of U.S. troops in Europe will be in the neighborhood of a 150,000. That would be down from 300,000. What I cannot answer is what the rest of the 1990's will hold.
Senator BROWN. In viewing this treaty, I think virtually everyone I have talked to shares what I believe is your view that it is an enormous plus for the United States. Clearly, the dramatic reductions are on the other side.
But in thinking about long-term implications, I would hope you would share with the committee your view of the comparative burdens of moving troops and manpower from East of the Urals to a point on the German border, the Soviet potential, to the United States' burden of moving troops and material from the United States to the eastern border of Germany.
Are we in a circumstance here where the U.S. would-it would be much more costly and time consuming for us to move troops?
Secretary BAKER. Absolutely, Senator Brown. Of course, you have to remember, I think, that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will no longer be particularly amenable to the transport of those forces across their territory. That will make a significant difference.
Senator BROWN. That is a valid concern. I was cheered by your focus on cooperation with Eastern Europe in an effort to work with there in bringing free enterprise to their economies. I would be interested in whether you would think it wise, or would be willing to consider developing a free trade agreement with some of the Eastern European countries. Is that something that you think is worth exploring?
Secretary BAKER. Our plate right now is fairly full on negotiation of free trade agreements, Senator Brown, and that is one that I would want to take a look at.
There is a lot of interest, of course, on the part of those countries in some sort of a relationship with the European Community, and there are negotiations or discussions now ongoing with respect to some sort of a relationship. It is certainly not something that I would exclude, and I think that if any country wants to talk to the United States about a GATT-legal free trade agreement, we ought to be at least willing to sit down and talk.
Having said that, I think it is very important that we get a successful Uruguay Round concluded, and that is going to be one of the things we are going to be dealing with at the London summit this weekend and early next week, because if we do not conclude a satisfactory Uruguay Round, I fear that protectionism all around the world is going to increase. We are going to lose the world's free trading system as we have known it, and you are going to see the entire world break up into trading blocs, and I think that would be very unfortunate.
In talking about a free trade agreement, you are not talking about trading blocs, and neither am I. We are talking about agreements that are specifically approved by and contemplated by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
Senator BROWN. Well, frankly, my bringing the subject up is prompted by concern over trading blocs. As I view our past agreement with Europe, it was one sponsored by, at least in part, America's interest in seeing Europe revive, and in that regard we helped to provide defense forces that we have talked about, and we also helped-I believe we helped the Europeans substantially, not only wit the Marshall Plan but with a trading policy that allowed them to be somewhat protectionist. At the same time, we offered a relatively open market in the United States, and I bring it up with the thought that this country's expressing interest in developing a free trade agreement in Eastern Europe could well be an incentive for Western Europe to integrate Eastern Europe more quickly.
I guess, put a different way, a fellow seems to take more interest in a girl if he knows other people are interested in her as well.
Secretary BAKER. That is true.
You know, we have had some discussions recently, again leading up to the economic summit, about the importance-and I have spoken to this earlier today-of these countries succeeding in their reform efforts.
They are only going to succeed if they can find markets for their products, and therefore we have asked the Europeans to do what they can about opening their markets a little wider to these countries so that the experiment in democracy and free markets can succeed. We should be opening our markets a little wider to these countries as well, Senator Brown, and a free trade agreement would open those markets a little wider.
But having said all of that, can you guess what the major products are that they would like to export to the United States? Do you want me to give you those, or would you just rather leave it at that?
Senator BROWN. Well, I think you make a very valid point, but let me forego subtlety here, and let me just say frankly that part of the ability of the Common Market to face the real world in agricultural production is going to be either working out arrangements through the current round of GATT negotiations or integrating some of the Eastern European countries into that Common Market. At least, the way I see it, if they integrate them into their Common Market they are going to be forced to change the policy with regard to high-priced farm products.
Secretary BAKER. I am not sure they will, Senator. In my view, that does not necessarily follow.
But I know one thing for sure, they ought to open their markets to the agricultural products of these emerging democracies and they ought to open their markets to their other products, which are textiles and steel and dairy, just as we should.
But those all have certain political costs and considerations. But if these countries are going to succeed, America and Europe together-and we both have a big stake in their succeeding-both of us ought to be willing to do more.
Senator BROWN. Well, I think you hit the nail on the head. I guess my concern is one that you voiced earlier about the future, where this agreement helps lead us. At least in my view the real challenge we face may be ensuring that the United States and Western Europe do not emerge into the next century as competing economic blocs.
Senator BIDEN. We have said a number of encouraging things here today, but the last thing you said, Mr. Secretary, I am delighted to hear, and I would hope that would mean that we would be even more ambitious in our SEED II efforts so that we do something more than we have done. I am confident you mean that. I hope we can sweep away some of the bureaucratic inertia that has made it difficult to do even SEED I and SEED II as they came along.
But Mr. Secretary, let me conclude by stating that as I read the article-by-article analysis, about a 500-Page document which you all submitted, in which you repeatedly make it clear that the fact that equipment is able to remain in the Baltics and that the Baltics are part of this agreement in no way is meant to, or is designed to, or does it contravene U.S. policy relative to the Baltics and the autonomy of the Baltics.
Secretary BAKER. That is correct.
Senator BIDEN. You have done that repeatedly, as I understand it, and it leads me to the very last question to be asked, and that is, you have contemplated and you have supported the independence and the autonomy of the Baltics-you the administration, we the United States.
Obviously, none of us know what is going to happen in the Soviet Union, and whether or not there will be Soviet disunion and whether or not there will evolve from the 15 republics, independent nations, a confederation, whatever the changed relationship will be, but we all know something may happen.
We are all, in this country, saying we want the Baltics to be able to claim independence and move out of the Soviet Union. If our desire to see that happen becomes reality as a consequence of what is going on in the Soviet Union now, what does this mean for the treaty?
What does it mean for the treaty when you have staging areas now where, under the treaty, the Soviets are still able to maintain limited amounts of equipment as a consequence of this treaty, and later the area that is covered by the treaty. Would that staging area no longer be a part of the Soviet Union? What happens then? Am I being clear?
Secretary BAKER. Yes.
I think that once that happens, and we do indeed hope that it happens. Let me digress for 1 minute and say that there have been some talks. You know, in the aftermath of what happened in Vilnius on January 13, we had some very serious discussions with the Soviets about the importance of engaging with the Baltic leaders in a dialog and negotiation in an effort to find a way to resolve those differences. There have been some talks. They have not progressed to the degree that we would like.
My own personal view is those talks are on hold pending completion of the union treaty. That is what I think is happening, but there has been some reduction in the incidence of violence and that sort of thing, and we are pleased to see that.
Senator BIDEN. Let me make it perfectly clear, I am not in any way being critical of your policy. I am just trying to get at a mechanical response as to what happens, and I could have picked Georgia, or I could have picked Armenia, assuming Armenia ends up an independent nation after this is all over. What happens?
Secretary BAKER. The first thing that would happen is that there would be a conference called under article XXI of the treaty to deal with the issue, and I think what would happen is that the agreements that were entered into would either be ratified by those new States or they would not be. If they were not, there would be no right to station anything there, and if there were, there would be a right on the part of those countries to do that.
[The information referred to follows:]
Question. What would happen in terms of the CFE Treaty if one or more of the
Baltic States became independent?
Answer. First, it should be emphasized that inclusion or the Baltic military
district within the area of application of the treaty ensures that the treaty's
limits apply comprehensively to all Soviet forces within the area. This does
not represent any changes in the long-standing U.S. policy of nonrecognition
of the forcible incorporation of the Baltic States into the Soviet Union.
Second, the possible effect of regained Baltic independence on the CFE Treaty
raises a number of complex legal issues. As a result, it is premature to make any
definitive statements as to how the CFE Treaty regime would be affected by regained independence, of the Baltic States.
Answer. First, it should be emphasized that inclusion or the Baltic military district within the area of application of the treaty ensures that the treaty's limits apply comprehensively to all Soviet forces within the area. This does not represent any changes in the long-standing U.S. policy of nonrecognition of the forcible incorporation of the Baltic States into the Soviet Union.
Second, the possible effect of regained Baltic independence on the CFE Treaty raises a number of complex legal issues. As a result, it is premature to make any definitive statements as to how the CFE Treaty regime would be affected by regained independence, of the Baltic States.
Senator BIDEN. I assumed that would be the answer, but I think it is important that it be raised, because it is a question that will be raised, I think repeatedly, although not in any way in my view to impact on anything other than the continued value of this treaty for us.
But anyway, I thank you very much. I realize we took you over the allotted time. I feel very, very flattered that you would stay beyond your usual 12:00 hour with us, and I want to thank you very, very much.
Secretary BAKER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[Whereupon, at 12:35 p.m., the committee adjourned, to reconvene at 9:30 a.m., July 16, 1991.]
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