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focuses on the ICBM threat to the contiguous 48 states to make general judgments about our need for ballistic missile defenses is, if you will grant me some literary license, akin to saying that because we believe that for the next number of years local criminals will not be able to blow up police headquarters in the District of Columbia, there is no serious threat to the safety and security of police in the District.
I would add several other points about this NIE, as it is set out in the unclassified February testimony to this committee. The concentration on indigenous ICBM development also seems to me to limit sharply any general conclusions that might legitimately be drawn. Dr. Cooper's testimony indicates that "the potential for foreign assistance introduces some uncertainty into our predictions of timelines." That is putting it mildly. Again, the NIE's answers may be reasonable in view of the questions it seeks to answer. If you are assessing indigenous capabilities within currently-hostile countries to develop ICBM's that can hit the lower 48 states, the NIE's answer that we have 15 years of confort may well be a plausible answer.
Indigenous development of ICBM's was of interest during the cold war because the Soviets sought to maintain a monopoly on their most precious military capabilities and export of fully developed ICBM's was not in the cards. But in the cold war's aftermath, Russia, China, and North Korea are in the export business for missile technology and components, and for sone technologies related to weapons of mass destruction as well. Moreover, with respect to some such exports the degree of control exercised by Moscow, and perhaps by Beijing, may not be at all complete. Consequently, transfers deserve more attention than they did during the cold war. A further problem is created by transfers of ballistic missile technology or components to a country which is friendly to the U.S. if that country should later turn hostile through a revolution or radical change in government. Even with the best intelligence in the world it is impossible to forecast fifteen years in advance such events as the Iranian revolution of the late 1970's, which turned a friendly state into a hostile one.
Because of these uncertainties we should study carefully the possibility of technically feasible threats, not only threats for which we actually see nations conducting tests and assembling components. One reasonable course of action, for example, would be for the governnent to assemble a small technical "red tean" of bright young American scientists and engineers and let then see what could be assembled from internationally available technology and components. I would bet that we would be shocked at what they could show us about available capabilities in ballistic missiles. We should remember that by assessing only what we could actually see, we badly underestimated Iraq's efforts in the
years before the Gulf War, especially with regard to weapons of nass destruction.
It may be that the president was relying on something other than this recent National Intelligence Estimate when he said, in vetoing the 1996 Defense Authorization Bill, that US intelligence "does not foresee" the existence of a ballistic missile threat to the US "in the coming decade". But to the degree that the President was extrapolating a general conclusion from the very limited part of the overall ballistic missile threat that appears to be assessed by this NIE, I believe that this was a serious
Finally, let me turn briefly to the current state of arms control negotiations as they might affect our BMD programs and to those programs themselves as set forth in the adainistration's proposed defense budget for 1997 -- also based, of course, on public reports.
A little over a year ago, my law partner and friend, Steve Hadley, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy in the Bush Administration, set out in testimony before this committee the history of the negotiations in 1992' that followed President Yeltsin's January speeches of that year. President Yeltsin called for "a global system for protection of the world community (that could be based on a reorientation of the U.S. SDI to make use of high technologies developed in Russia's defense complex."
Recently, according to press reports, the new Russian Foreign Minister, Mr. Prinakov, threatened to withhold Russian ratification of the START II Treaty unless the U.S. agreed to restrictions that could substantially linit even our theater ballistic missile defenses, in the context of distinguishing such theater systens fron treaty-limited systers.
Among the nany things that have changed since 1992 are that President Yeltsin is now surrounded by advisers, such as Mr. Korzhakov, Mr. Prinakov, Mr. Barsukov, and others who have, shall we say, not yet established solid reputations as democratic refoners and are generally not inclined to promote cooperation with the u.s. Indeed several of these advisers have very close ties to either the rulers of rogue states that are at the heart of our proliferation concerns, to the nost unreconstructed portions of the old couunist establishaent, especially hard-line elenents of the nilitary and industrial nanagers who produce military hardware, or to all of the above. Their reasons for wanting to linit cooperation with the U.S. are obvious such cooperation endangers their ability to use nationalisi and calls for autarky in order to enhance their status, control of resources, and power.
But whatever the reasons, the shift during these four years from Russian willingness to propose overall cooperation with the United States on ballistic missile defenses to Mr. Primakov's recent effort to undermine the effectiveness of our theater ballistic missile defense programs is quite striking. We may see a sharpening of such hostility even if President Yeltsin is reelected in June. If the communist candidate, Mr. Zyuganov, is elected, we can count on it.
During these same four years, the Russians have expressed substantial disagreement with one particular aspect of the treaty that I negotiated in 1990, covering conventional armed forces in Europe (CFE) -- the special limitations that apply to the Russians' share of their total conventional armed forces that they can deploy to their northern and southern flanks. The United States has worked with its NATO allies during the last year to find ways, by making certain adjustments in the map defining the CFE flank zones, to accommodate some of the Russian concerns. I have no quarrel with these efforts to date, because they have been coordinated with our NATO allies, especially Turkey and Norway, who are principally interested in these particular limitations, and because the administration has indicated that it will seek Congressional approval for any map changes.
The point is that we are being quite reasonable with respect to CFE Treaty adjustments, but Russia is headed the opposite direction with respect to adjustments to the ABM Treaty. The Russian government is now trying to make the ABM Treaty more restrictive on the U.S. for example, by trying to get us to agree to linitations on the speed of our theater ballistic missile interceptors. It is ay understanding that the administration has resisted these Russian efforts, but it is unfortunate that -- again according to press reports -- we have apparently agreed to language that establishes interceptor speeds (below 3 kiloneters per second) that would not violate the treaty. I hope and trust that we will continue to insist that faster interceptors (such as those that would be used for the Navy's Upper Tier theater defense systen) are also treatycompliant, but I am concerned that we have agreed to discuss interceptor speed at all. Linitations on the range and speed of targets for theater systens should be sufficient to establish that our theater systems are not being "tested in an ABM node" in violation of the treaty.
I also have difficulty in understanding the reasons for adding other nations, such as other former Soviet Republics, to the ABM Treaty. Multilateralizing the Treaty will make it harder to amend and adjust it in order to accomplish the purposes President Yeltsin set out in 1992. The original purpose of the ABM Treaty was to prevent a Soviet ABM deployment that would endanger our ability to retaliate following a Soviet counterforce strike against the U.S. We fear no such a striko fron, e.g., Byelorus. I see no reason why we are noving to make it harder to adjust the Treaty to the post-cold-war era rather than easier.
Finally, I am quite disappointed that the administration's defense budget for 1997 delays and cuts the funding for the theater and national BMD prograns that congress has called for. I am sympathetic with the dilemma faced by the senior leaders of the Defense Department as they were forced to set priorities anong BMD prograns, given the fact that the funds available for defense procurement overall were less than two-thirds of the sustaining level of approximately $60 billion that was needed. The problem is not so much, in ay view, the choices that the Defense Department leadership nade in the face of these fiscal constraints. It is the constraints thenselves.
Any overall assessment of the risks and needs facing the United States should, in ay judgment, indicate the primary importance of a vigorous progran for theater defenses (Navy Upper Tier and THAAD) and also the importance of a sound prograi to nove toward some type of national defense (coupled with a diplomatic effort to increase, not decrease, the flexibility in the ABM Treaty). I would personally put the top priority at the present time on the theater defense programs, in addition to the shorter-range systems that are already being pursued. The reasons are set forth very well in last year's report by the Heritage Foundation, "Defending Anerica." In general, much of the work on theater systems, particularly in connection with space-based sensors, is also relevant to national defenses.
I would defer for the time being the question whether we should consider withdrawing fron the ABM Treaty. I believe that, with an appropriately fin negotiating approach to the Russians and with adequate funding for our own BMD prograus, we should be able to accomaodate our needs within the Treaty for sone tine if it is appropriately interpreted and, possibly, modified.
In 1992 we explored seriously with the Russians how we night nove toward linited national defenses cooperatively with the so that both countries could be defended froi a wide range of ballistic nissile threats. With any reasonable Russian government, this approach should eventually bear fruit. Por example, if we could reach agreenent on returning to the ABM Treaty's original 1972 fon (penitting two sites, not one, in each country), a thin national defense against nost threats other than a large attack by Russia would be made substantially easier. As part of a combined approach we night be willing to supply the Russians, as well as other nations, with data from our spacebased sensors such as Brilliant Eyes. This would substantially enhance the performance of their theater defense systems. Such a combined approach of treaty modification and cooperative
programs would give us a few more years to assess the direction in which we want to move over the long run.
One final point. The Russians should be made aware that we expect them to be reasonable and that particularly their international conduct and military programs will be weighed by us as we make our long-term decisions about our approach toward the Treaty and cooperative programs. We have no reason to be hesitant to make clear to the Russian government what American needs and desires are. We are dealing from a position of strength. It was our cold-war adversaries' political and economic system that has been cast onto the ash-heap of history, not ours.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.