Conference Report on the FY96 National Defense Authorization Act

House Report 104-450

January 22, 1996





The budget request included $371.0 million in defense operation and maintenance for the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program.

The House bill contained provisions (secs. 1101-1108) related to the CTR program that would include the following: authorize $200.0 million for the CTR program, a $171.0 million reduction to the budget request (sec. 1101); place specific limitations on all CTR programs for fiscal year 1996 (sec. 1102); repeal authority for the Demilitarization Enterprise Fund (DEF) (sec. 1103); prohibit the use of CTR funds for peacekeeping exercises and related activities with Russia (sec. 1104); revise authority for assistance for weapons destruction (sec. 1105); require prior notice of obligation of funds (sec. 1106); require an annual accountability report to ensure that assistance is being used for its intended purpose (sec. 1107); and prohibit the obligation or expenditure of fiscal year 1996 funds until the President provides written certification to Congress that Russia has terminated its offensive biological weapons program.

The Senate amendment included several provisions (sec. 1041- 1044) related to the CTR program that would include the following: authorize $365.0 million for the CTR program, a $6.0 million reduction to the budget request (sec. 1041); limit the obligation of CTR funds that would assist nuclear weapons scientists in the former Soviet Union, pending a written certification from the Secretary of Defense that funds would not contribute to the modernization of strategic nuclear forces or for research, development or production of weapons of mass destruction (sec. 1042); limit the obligation of $50.0 million, pending a written certification from the President that Russia is in compliance with its obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC); and limit the use of more than $52.0 million of fiscal year 1996 funds available for CTR, pending a presidential certification that a joint laboratory study to evaluate the Russian neutralization proposal has been completed and the United States agrees with that proposal, that Russia is in the process of preparing a comprehensive destruction and dismantlement plan for its chemical weapons stockpile, and that Russia is committed to resolving outstanding issues under the 1989 Wyoming Memorandum of Understanding and the 1990 Bilateral Destruction Agreement.

The conferees agree to the CTR provisions, as follows:

authorize $300.0 million in fiscal year 1996 for CTR and place limitations on the CTR projects in fiscal year 1996; provide authority for individual limitations to be exceeded by a specified percentage; authorize use of CTR funds to reimburse pay accounts for U.S. military reserve members participating in CTR activities; prohibit the use of CTR funds for peacekeeping activities and related activities with Russia; require a presidential determination that each recipient country is observing the criteria for assistance provided under the CTR program; require the Secretary of Defense to provide congressional defense committees with advance notification of obligation of funds; require an annual audit and examination report; limit assistance to nuclear weapons scientists; and limit the obligation of $60.0 million in fiscal year 1996 CTR funds for Russia, pending presidential certification that Russia is complying with its BWC obligations and that Russia has agreed to, and implemented, agreements and visits per the September 14, 1992 Joint Statement on Biological Weapons and that visits to the four declared military biological facilities of Russia by officials of the U.S. and United Kingdom have occurred. If the President is unable to certify Russian compliance with its BWC obligations, or that visits agreed to under the Joint Statement have not occurred, he may certify that fact and related funds would then be available for strategic offensive weapons elimination in Ukraine, Kazakhstan or Belarus. The provision would also prohibit obligation of more than half the funds authorized for chemical weapons destruction-related activities in Russia, pending a presidential certification.

The conferees direct that none of the funds authorized for CTR in fiscal year 1996 may be used to reimburse other departments and agencies for the travel and other expenses incurred by employees of those departments and agencies, even if those employees are engaged in CTR-related activities.

The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty requires signatories to be in full compliance with their obligations to reduce treaty limited equipment by November 16, 1995. The Russian government has generally been in overall compliance with its obligations since the treaty has been in force provisionally. Russia's compliance with the limits in the northern and southern flank zones has caused concern for a number of the signatories. Russian officials have indicated that they will not be in compliance with the flank limits in these zones because of the instability along their southern borders.

If Russia refuses to honor its legal and political obligations under the CFE Treaty, the conferees question the ability of the President to certify Russia's commitment to complying with its arms control obligations, necessary to make it eligible to receive CTR assistance. Further, the conferees believe that the President would only be in a position to certify Russia's commitment to comply with its arms control obligations under the following circumstances: (1) through an agreement to comply with a NATO-endorsed flank limit proposal and substantial progress toward withdrawing any excess equipment by the May 1996 Treaty Review Conference; (2) demonstrated fulfillment of obligations to meet agreed-upon reductions in levels of military equipment in the naval infantry and coastal defense forces, and in holdings east of the Ural mountains; and (3) through an agreement on an offset package that would add to the flank limit proposal additional verification measures, additional information sharing arrangements on the flank areas, and additional constraints on Treaty-limited equipment contained in areas formerly defined as flank areas.

Return to Top