Statement by Jeane Kirkpatrick, Professor of Government, Georgetown University, and Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute Prepared for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on the CTBT
October 7, 1999
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for inviting me to testify before this distinguished Committee on this vitally important subject.
I accepted your invitation, Mr. Chairman, became I believe it is essential that this nation's defenses be adequate to cope with the growing dangers we face from hostile powers possessing weapons of mass destruction and effective means of delivery.
Mr. Chairman, I encountered this subject and became concerned about this issue, as a consequence of having served on President Reagan's "Blue Ribbon Presidential Task Force on Nuclear Products" in 1985; on the "President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB)" from 1985 to 1990; on the Defense Policy Review Board from 1985 to 1992. Then, after being appointed by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney in 199!-1992, I chaired the "Fail Safe and Risk Reduction" Committee (generally referred to by its acronym as the FARR Committee) charged with reviewing the United States Nuclear Command and Control system.
This experience made a strong impression on me concerning the dangers of proliferating nuclear and missile technology. As everyone who is interested in these matters now knows, the number of countries capable of producing and delivering nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, has increased and is increasing as we speak, and includes several of the world's most aggressive, repressive, destructive countries - North Korea, Iran, Iraq - as well as a Russia less stable than we would prefer and a China less benign.
We know, moreover, that other regimes with little regard for the rule of law or human rights work to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and that against these weapons the United States can rely only on its nuclear deterrent. We have no other defense.
The current dangers have been documented and described in the past year by the Rumsfeld and Cox Commissions. The Rumsfeld Commission, which had "unprecedented access to the most sensitive and highly classified information" concluded:
- that, "the threat to the United States posed by these emerging capabilities is broader, more mature, and evolving more rapidly than has been reported."
- that, several countries, including Iraq, will be able to inflict major damage on the United States within about five years.
The Cox Commission describes the shocking success of China in buying and stealing the most advanced U.S. thermonuclear missile and space technology (which they quickly made available to other governments) enabling China to: "Pose a direct threat to the United States, our friends, and allies or our forces."
We know from the work of the Rumsfeld Commission and the Cox Commission that at least two countries which already have nuclear weapons - North Korea and China- have recently been engaged in intensive, successful efforts to upgrade the weapons, and the missiles which carry them.
It is disturbing to me, Mr. Chairman, that President Clinton has not been mobilized to make the defense of the American people against these proliferating threats a top priority.
Instead, confronted with these dangers, President Clinton and his Administration have placed one obstacle after another in the path of development of an effective missile defense. They have imposed disabling requirements and unnecessary delays on the development and deployment of effective national and theater missile defenses.
The President has urged that we give priority to preserving an extended, outmoded ABM Treaty interpreted to be maximally constraining. Now, he urges on us the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which would commit the U.S. government to carrying out no nuclear tests - ever.
The United States has already lived through the longest-ever moratorium on nuclear tests. Now with the CTBT he proposes to extend the moratorium forever.
There are several reasons that it would be imprudent for the United States to make this commitment never to conduct another explosive nuclear test. I will summarize briefly those which seem to me most compelling.
First is the fact that our government takes its commitments seriously. If we were to sign this treaty, we would feel bound by its terms. We would not feel free to violate it at will as many governments will. We would not conduct explosive tests.
Second, as everyone knows, this treaty cannot be verified. The CIA has recently publicly acknowledged that it cannot detect low-yield tests. It bothers me that we will not know when they are cheating and some will cheat.
Third, I learned from my service on the Blue Ribbon and FARR Committees that the safety and reliability of our nuclear stockpiles cannot be taken for granted, but must be monitored. Testing (banned forever by this proposed treaty) is a vital part of ascertaining and maintaining the reliability and safety of our nuclear weapons. It is also a necessary step in modernizing our nuclear weapons.
Testing is vital to maintaining the reliability and credibility of our nuclear deterrent.
The authors of this treaty understand how important testing is to maintaining the viability of nuclear weapons. The Preamble to the Treaty states, and I quote:
"Recognizing that the cessation of all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions, by constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, constitutes an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation in all its aspects,"
"Further recognizing that an end to all such nuclear explosions will thus constitute a meaningful step in the realization of a systematic process to achieve nuclear disarmament."
Fourth, that deterrent has never been as important to the security of Americans as it is today with rogue states developing the capacity to attack our cities and our population. Americans and their allies are more vulnerable than we have ever been. Mr.
Mr. Chairman, the threat to Americans, its cities, and populations, is here and now. It has expanded dramatically, not only because of systematic Chinese theft of America's most important military secrets and because of the inadequate U.S. policies governing the safekeeping and transfer of technology, but also because several countries who are signatories of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty have violated their commitments under the Treaty. Specifically, they have violated commitments:
"not to transfer..or in any way assist, encourage, or induce any non- nuclear weapon State to acquire nuclear weapons..."(Article I.)
"not to receive the transfer ... of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.., not to manufacture or otherwise acquire... not to receive assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices..."(Article II)
China is not a signatory of the NPT. Russia is. So are Iran, Iraq and Libya. North Korea, India, and Pakistan are not signatories. Obviously, whether or not a government has signed the NPT has little impact on their behavior with regard to proliferation.
That is the critical point concerning the arms control approach to national security. We cannot rely on this treaty to prevent the countries that are actually or potentially hostile to us from acquiring and testing nuclear arsenals and ballistic missiles. The evidence is clear.
Why then does President Clinton, whose decisions have diminished, delayed, and denied us development and deployment of effective missile defenses, now urge on us a treaty which would endanger the reliability of the nuclear deterrent which is our only"defense" against a nuclear attack?
Mr. Chairman, the President and some other supporters of the Treaties argue that the action of the Senate in ratifying or rejecting the treaty will determine whether we end nuclear tests and proliferation forever. But that is not true. China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran do not follow our lead.
Finally, I should like to call the Committee's attention to the governance of the organization which will administer it. I note: "All Parties are members. No State Party can be excluded." It will operate on the principle of one state, one vote, with an executive council that based on geographical representation, comprising, Africa is allotted ten seats; eastern Europe seven, Latin America nine, the Middle East and South Asia seven; Western Europe and North America ten; Asia eight.
"Each State Party shall have the right to participate in the international exchange of data and to have access to all data made available to the International Data Centre."
Mr. Chairman, the International Atomic Energy Agency, conceived to prevent proliferation, and staffed with a good many firstclass professionals has not only been unable to stop proliferation, it has more than once served as a source of proliferation as member states take from it technical information and reactors - for peaceful uses it is always said.
The CTBT organization will also serve as a source of technical expertise. Those who today claim the Treaty will end nuclear testing once and for all will be greatly shocked. But it should not be a surprise to the rest of us.
Mr. Chairman, President Clinton and his Administration are once again urging Americans to take what amounts to a long step toward unilateral nuclear disarmament- at a time of unprecedented vulnerability. It is enormously important that the Senate reject this Treaty.