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But the point is that while the Russians are demanding that we be extremely reasonable with respect to CFE Treaty adjustments, they are trying to make the ABM Treaty more restrictive on the United States in a number of ways, and the most troubling way is to place limitations on the speed of our theater ballistic missile interceptors as a device to limit our theater ballistic missile defense capability, arguing that this is necessary in order to assure that these theater key functions are not strategic defenses.
I think it is perfectly reasonable to accept limitations upon the speed and range of targets, target vehicles that are fired for ballistic missile, defense tests. That, to me, is a reasonable accommodation with provisions in the ABM Treaty, but it is not necessary, and I think it is most unwise, to accept speed limitations on the capabilities of our own interceptors. It is not called for within the treaty and I think it is most unsound.
The administration reportedly is resisting these Russian proposals but they have so far done it in a way that I think is not the best way, not the soundest way to try to delineate theater defenses from strategic defenses.
I hope very much that we will be able to move in the near future toward a combined program of improved theater ballistic missile defenses-improved beyond the level of the administration's budget request—to some type of national defense. I believe we can at least initially do that within the framework of amendments to the ABM Treaty.
One that ought to be considered is to go back to the number of sites that were permitted under the original ABM Treaty in 1972, two sites rather than one. There are other potential systems such as a sea-based system that could also be quite effective, and I think some of these are compatible with amended versions of the ABM Treaty.
We have no reason to be hesitant in telling the Russians that we seek modifications to the treaty, that we are willing—assuming this is our national decision—to continue to have an ABM Treaty of some kind that does not permit a full defense against each other, but that we require some substantial amendments and changes in order to be able to protect ourselves from rogue states, from China, from accidental launches and the rest. We should tell the Russians we expect them to be reasonable on these points and we should have no hesitancy on being quite firm about this. We are dealing from a position of strength. It was their political and economic system that was cast on to the ash heap of history, not ours.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Statement of R. James Woolsey
House Committee on National Security
March 14, 1996
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, it is an honor to be asked to testify before you today on the topic of ballistic missile defense.
Let me begin by addressing the subject of the threat.
Ten days ago I was in Taipei when the Chinese government announced its intention to begin ballistic missile launches three days later into two 20-mile-square impact areas, one a nere 20 miles off Taiwan's northeast coast and the other 30 miles off the southwest coast. These launches have interfered with access to Taiwan's principal port, Kaohsiung, to Taipei's international airport, and to rich fishing grounds. In Taipei I called the announcement a "de facto, partial, temporary blockade." After originally stating that the firings did not constitute a blockade, were only political theater albeit "a little too close to the edge of the stage" -- and announcing that "there will be consequences should these tests go wrong," I was glad to see that the administration later labelled the firings reckless and provocative.
The main point here should never have been what the consequences would be in the event that China turned out not to be able to hit even a square in the ocean 20 miles on a side. The main point is what the consequences are if, as seems to have been the case so far, the tests go right.
The key issue is that off Taiwan this past week, as well as in the streets of Tel Aviv and Riyadh in early 1991, we have been given an important insight into the future of international relations. It is not an attractive vision. Ballistic missiles can, and in the future they increasingly will, be used by hostile states for blackmail, terror, and to drive wedges between us and our friends and allies. It is my judgment that the administration is not currently giving this vital problem the proper weight it deserves.
I will turn in a moment to the presentation given the end of February to this committee by Richard Cooper, Chairman of the National Intelligence Councii, covering the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), "Emerging Missile Threats to North America During the Next Fifteen years." (I would stress that throughout my testimony today in my references to this NIE, this
unclassified presentation of Dr. Cooper's is my only source of information about this estimate.) But here at the outset let me say a few words in general about the threat that ballistic missiles are coming to pose to American interests in the world.
First, although ballistic missiles are normally discussed in the same breath with weapons of mass destruction, it is important to realize that it is not always necessary to deploy nuclear, chemical, or bacteriological warheads in order to use ballistic missiles -- even with current accuracies
-- as weapons of terror and blackmail. The Chinese, for example, have admitted that they are using these current missile launches near Taiwan to attempt to influence Taiwan's Presidential elections later this month and to affect Taiwan's conduct of its relations with other countries. Saddan's SCUD attacks on Israel, using conventional highexplosive warheads, were clearly an attempt to provoke an Israeli response and to split the coalition against Irag, which included a number of Arab states which would have had great difficulty fighting alongside Israel against another Arab nation.
Second, we are in the midst of an era of revolutionary improvements in nissile guidance. These improvements will soon make ballistic missiles much more effective for blackmail purposes again, even without the need for warheads containing weapons of mass destruction. The New York Tines reported last week, for example, that the White House will shortly announce a policy to permit other-than-U.s.-government-users of the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network to have much greater confidence that the satellites' signals will not be interrupted or degraded by the U.S. The press also reports that the administration believes that regional agreenents will ensure that the signals cannot be used by hostile forces. But the efficacy of such arrangenents remains to be seen. The current type of GPS access is adequate for many commercial purposes. But it it is true that the current policy of "selective availability" of GPS is about to be abandoned, there will be a definite risk not only that guidance signals, provided by the u.s., will be usable by other nations for their ballistic sissile systens (that is true today), but that truly excellent accuracy will thereby be achievable for many countries' missiles.
with such guidance improvements, it is quite reasonable to believe that within a few years Saddan or the Chinese rulers will be able to threaten something far more troubling than firings of relatively inaccurate ballistic missiles. They may quite plausibly be able to threaten to destroy, say, the Knesset, or threaten to create, in effect, an intentional Chernobyl incident at a Taiwanese nuclear power plant.
Third, even relatively inaccurate ballistic missiles nay be given awesone power if equipped with weapons of nass destruction. Although attention is usually focused on the possibility of various countries' obtaining nuclear warheads, nuclear capability is at least somewhat constrained by the difficulty of acquiring fissionable material. Loose controls over fissionable material, particularly in the former Soviet Union, are nevertheless quite troubling because unauthorized sales and smuggling of fissionable material to rogue states are becoming increasingly likely. But it is even easier to acquire the wherewithal to produce chemical or, much worse, bacteriological warheads than it is to acquire fissionable material. Chemical and bacteriological weapons will be available far sooner and to a much larger number of countries than will nuclear warheads. Bacteriological warheads in particular will serve about as well as nuclear ones for purposes of turning a country's ballistic missiles into extremely effective tools of terror and blackmail, even if they are never launched. This Committee is well familiar with the large number of countries working on ballistic missiles, and with the international traffic in technology and equipment -- much of it out of Russia, China, and North Korea that assists other nations in developing and improving ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
Fourth, it is not necessary to be able to conduct an effective counterforce strike with ballistic missiles against ICBM silos, bomber bases, and other nuclear facilities in our continental heartland in order to use ballistic missiles for terror and blackmail directly against the United States. This concern with a counterforce strike against nuclear facilities in the interior of the lower 48 states was, of course, a principal issue for us during the long strategic stand-off against the Soviet Union during the cold war. Much of our strategic analysis during those years centered on the ability of, particularly, our ICBM's and strategic bombers to withstand such a strike and retaliate effectively. For example, the Scowcroft Commission Report in 1983, of which I was the principal drafter, was heavily devoted to this question.
But in current circumstances, nuclear blackmail threats against the United States may be effectively posed by, e.g., North Korean interaediate-range missiles targeted on Alaska or Hawaii, or by Chinese ICBM's targeted on Los Angeles.
Fifth, we should not automatically assume a benign postcold-war world in which Russia is a democracy, with a few inconsequential anomalies, that is steadily developing a free enterprise economy and China is a free enterprise economy, with a few inconsequential anomalies, that is steadily developing denocracy. It is at least as likely, in my judgment, that the Russia that will face us will be increasingly autocratic and imperialistic -- we may hope, but we should not be confident, that it will retain sone measure of civil liberties and sone free sectors in its economy. As for the new China, in addition to our serious differences with its leaders over civil liberties, proliferation, and trade, we may well be seeing its international face in the Taiwan Straits today. In short, we cannot discount the possibility of serious international crises developing in the future with either country including crises in which Russian or Chinese officials will repeat new versions of the recent barely veiled threat expressed to former Assistant Secretary Freeman: American leaders "care more about Los Angeles than they do Taiwan."
It is with these considerations in mind that I have some thoughts about the recent NIE covering "Emerging Missile Threats to North America During the Next Fifteen years." The answers provided to the questions that were asked based on the public record during the process of writing this NIE may well be the best consensus that the Intelligence Community can produce, and may be generally consistent with earlier work. The reason, it seens to me, why this estimate seems to differ in important ways from assessments during my tenure as DCI, lies much more in the questions that are asked. To focus an NIE on the threat to the contiguous 48 states, in my judgment, is to focus on a sub-set, and not a particularly useful sub-set, of the strategic problems that are posed for us by other countries' possession of ballistic missiles in the post-cold-war era.
If broad conclusions are drawn from an NIE of such linited scope, as they apparently have been for example, that "intelligence indicates that ballistic missiles do not pose a serious threat to U.S. interests the conclusions could be quite wrong, even if the drafters of the NIE answered as best they could the questions they were asked. If decision-makers conclude, and I believe this would be a serious error, that this NIE
-- at least as it has publicly been described --- covers the nost important questions about ballistic vissile threats to Anerican interests, what would they say about, e.g., nuclear blackmail threats against Anchorage and Honolulu? These sort of threats will in great likelihood be present fron North Korean internediate range nissiles in well under fifteen years. Such questions as these sees to be an afterthought, at least in the public description of the NIE. But the last tine I looked, Alaska and Hawaii had not been adaitted to the Union on tens that exclude tha in sone way fro the conon defense called for in the Constitution's preanble. As objects of blackhail they are of no less concern to us than Oklahona and Kansas.
I believe that the "contiguous 48" frane of reference for this NIE, if the document is used as a basis for drawing general policy conclusions, can lead to a badly distorted and minimized perception of the serious threats we face fron ballistic rissiles now and in the very near future threats to our friends, our allies, our overseas bases and military forces, our overseas territories, and some of the 50 states. Using an estimate that