Chair: Richard Speier|
I'd like to briefly review the year's headlines for 1995 with respect to these three subjects. For the threat, ballistic missile proliferation increasingly seems to be breaking out of the 3,500-kilometer range box around which the United States and Russia are designing a demarcation arrangement for the purpose of effective theater missile defenses. U.S. officials have said that North Korea is working on a missile called the Taepo-dong II that has a range, it is said, of at least 3,000 kilometers. It's not clear whether there is some brick wall in the missile's design that will prevent it from going any further than the 3,500 kilometers of the demarcation arrangement, but some private experts are saying that the missile could go as far as 10,000 kilometers with a relatively light biological warhead, allowing it to reach the western continental United States. Meanwhile, we're hearing that India is working on a submarine-launched missile called the Sagarika, which breaks the paradigm of Third World missiles being only land based. And, we heard from Pakistan yesterday that India may well be working on intercontinental ballistic missiles.
With respect to cruise missile proliferation, in 1995, we got the very interesting news from U.N. Special Commission on Iraq Chair Rolf Ekeus that Iraq had experimented with the use of unmanned air vehicles, specifically Italian drones, to deliver biological agents. Unmanned air vehicles are far more efficient at delivering biological or chemical agents than are ballistic missiles. We've known for a long time that their use was a theoretical possibility, and now we're seeing it in reality in the form of cruise missiles.
Finally, in 1995, the phenomenon of loose nukes is now accompanied by the phenomenon of loose missiles. We heard from Ambassador Ekeus yesterday that guidance equipment from dismantled strategic missiles somehow worked its way from Russia to Jordan on its way toward Iraq, before it was intercepted by the Jordanians. In a side conversation before this session, Mr. Nazarkin speculated that perhaps these were guidance systems from missiles dismantled in Ukraine. But at any rate, we have a new concern about possible sources of proliferation.
In the area of 1995 policy headlines, by far the major development was that Russia, at long last, has joined the MTCR as a full member, a goal that was seen before the regime was announced in 1987, but that took some eight years or more to accomplish. At the same time, another direction that missile technology nonproliferation efforts could follow, an international treaty, seems to have been soundly killed in 1995. A special meeting of the MTCR partners in the late summer to consider the possibility of some sort of global INF Treaty as a way of preventing missile proliferation found that there was a full consensus against the idea, a consensus so powerful that the government that presented the idea withdrew it before it could be discussed at the meeting, leaving lunch as the only topic of discussion.
The other major development, in my view, with respect to the MTCR was a major change in the direction of new members in the regime. Let me give you a little history. The regime was organized and announced in 1987 by the G- 7. Between 1989 and 1993, 16 additional nations were admitted to the regime, all of them treaty allies, or otherwise closely related in a security or economic sense to the original seven. They were so closely related that they were virtually required by treaties or other arrangements to have access to the missile technologies that were controlled. Thus it was very important to bring them into the regime. Between 1993 and 1995, four additional nations were admitted to the regime, including Russia, South Africa, and Argentina. This was a new class of nations, nations that had previously engaged in activities against which the regime was directed, and they were only admitted after the members of the regime were satisfied that these activities had been discontinued. An example of such discontinued activities was the Argentine Condor missile program.
In 1995, at the annual meeting of the regime partners, a new kind of member was admitted: Brazil. This was the first time that a nation that was engaged in activities against which the regime was directed was allowed into the regime while continuing those activities, and indeed while being made eligible for assistance to further those activities once into the regime. Brazil is attempting to develop a space launch vehicle, called the VLS, which is capable, if used in a surface-to-surface mode, of delivering a 500-kilogram payload to a range of 10,000 kilometers. For eight years, the regime has opposed the VLS development. That changed once Brazil was admitted to the regime in the autumn. Within a month of that news, South Korea announced that it would seek membership in the regime, in order to be able to get longer-range missiles. There is now a real question as to what the objectives of the regime are, and how it prevents itself from becoming a missile supermarket.
Finally, in the area of START and ABM Treaties, one issue is loose missiles. In addition, there have been more proposals for using space launch vehicles derived from the first stages of ICBMs for launches outside of countries such as Ukraine and Russia. START requires that the country of origin maintain ownership and control of these ICBM-derived space launch vehicles, if they are launched out of country, but it is not clear what ownership and control means, and whether it is consistent with the MTCR's intentions.
Lastly, by 1995, Congress got increasingly worked up about the possibility of a national missile defense. But for the first time, these concerns were driven not by fear over Russian ballistic missiles, but by concerns about Third World missile proliferation, a major change in the relationship between missile proliferation and strategic arms control.
Our first speaker is Dr. Seth Carus. He is well known as an author on both ballistic and cruise missile proliferation. He was a research fellow in the 1980's at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy. After that he was on the policy planning staff in the office of the Secretary of Defense. He is now a research analyst at the Center for Naval Analysis.
Seth Carus: I would like to focus specifically on the issue of what are the prospects for a missile threat to the U.S. homeland of the type that could justify national missile defenses. Now, this is clearly a different problem from the theater missile threats that we've been thinking about for some time as a risk to either our allies or to our forward-deployed forces. Clearly, there are many more incentives to build shorter-range missiles of the type that we've had to deal with in the theater context, and it's a whole lot easier to build a shorter-range missile than a longer-range one. Now, in addressing this question, I don't really intend to come up with a definitive answer of whether the continental United States is threatened right now, because I don't think you can come up with a definitive answer. Rather, what I'd like to do is talk about the problems, because that may be more important than the answers. This comes from the fact that I simply don't believe that in terms of looking ahead to the kind of timeframe that we have to do for planning purposes in building complicated defense systems, that you're going to be able to predict what the threat is going to be in 2005, 2010, or 2015. With the possible exception of North Korea, it doesn't appear at the present time that any country has both the intention and the capability to attack the territory of the United States, except for the ones that have had that capability for some time. Now, as I noted, North Korea is the possible exception, depending on what plans they have for the Taepo- dong II, and whether or not you actually believe they can successfully bring that to fruition.
I don't, however, take any comfort from that assessment for several reasons. First of all, the conclusion depends a whole lot on our assessment of what people's intentions are, and intentions are the most changeable thing in the world. This is especially true in the current political environment, which is characterized by nothing if not a large amount of uncertainty as to how things are to develop over the coming decades. It's dangerous to draw any kind of hard and fast conclusions relying on assessments of intention. Again, I would point out that if you look over a period of decades, you discover that at least three of the states that we now characterize as rogue states in a military context were once allies of the United States, including Libya and Iraq. This tends to suggest that one should not assume that intentions will remain the same over a 10- or 15-year period into the future on either side, either hostility or friendship.
Second, to the extent that capabilities depend on technology, we have to be even more cautious. We know that the underlying technology is now becoming more widely available. The bottom line is that space launch vehicle programs are sanctuaries for ballistic missile programs, so if the current efforts to extend access to space launch technology succeeds, by definition you're increasing the number of people who have access to longer-range ballistic missiles. And I think this is emphasized by some of the current trends you see in space launch vehicle design, where people are more interested in more robust systems: ones that rely on solid fuel, ones that use smaller launch facilities, ones that can be prepared for launches in a short periods of time, and ones that rely on mobile launchers.
Now, there are similar problems with reentry vehicles. As an example, we now have commercial recoverable zero-gravity experimental containers, which are essentially going to be put up in space and brought back down again. Clearly, this is not the same kind of technology that the United States and Russia have for highly accurate reentry vehicles, but that may not be what people are interested in. And that takes us to an important point, because it's unlikely that these proliferant countries are going to seek the kind of robust ballistic missile system that either the United States or the Soviet Union sought during the Cold War. They don't need the kinds of command and control systems that we have, nor do they really need the kind of survivable launch systems that we have. So I would suggest the probable model is more likely to be China than the Soviet Union or the United States. To be quite frank, I'm not sure the Chinese had a real capability for ICBMs during a long period of time that we credited them with it. But the fact of the matter is, we did not know what their capabilities were, so we could not assume that they did not have that capability. Nor will they necessarily seek the reliability that we and the Soviets sought. They're not going to test the systems as much. The systems may not be as likely to perform as intended. But that may not be significant if the primary objective is to achieve certain political benefits, and to have a hedge weapon for use in a crisis.
Finally, proliferant nations may not seek ballistic missiles at all. Long-range cruise missiles are also a possibility, being launched from ships, or using very long-range systems which may not be survivable in a high-capability air defense environment, but which may not be very challenged by the rather permissible air defense system the continental United States now has.
Now, a third point that follows is that we should not expect to be able to predict with any kind of reliability which countries will threaten us in the future. Remember, if you look at the 1985-87 period, we totally missed the fact that Iraq was in the process of building longer-range Scud missiles. In fact, almost up to the very time they were launched at Tehran, those who were following the issue were absolutely convinced that such a capability was not going to happen. Certainly, developing a medium- or intercontinental-range ballistic missile is a little bit more difficult, but, as I suggested, in the environment in which they're not going to be tested as much, where the capability is going to be much less developed than we had, we may not get really good information about the exact capabilities of a proliferant nation's missile systems. This means that defense planners will necessarily plan for worst case scenarios.
Finally, and this is really critical, systems like these can be produced in far less time than that needed to develop reliable defenses against them. As a practical matter, you have to count on taking at least 10-15 years to deploy reliable defense systems, and I'm not sure we're going to have that much warning time.
Now this gets to my bottom line: I don't think that you can make decisions on building national missile defenses solely on the basis of projections of where you think the threat may be. I don't think either negative assessments, that say there is no threat, or positive assessments, that say there might be, are anything more than simple guesses. For that reason, the decisions on what to do should not be based solely on what you think the threats will be. Rather, these decisions must be made on the basis of assessment of risk: the comfort level that you have regarding the extent to which the threat may or may not emerge. And, more importantly, the decisions have to be based on issues that don't have anything to do with threats. They must depend on such issues as to what extent you believe missile defenses can actually cope with these threats. To what degree do the cost of the systems justify developing those systems? What kinds of arms control issues come into play? Whatever position you take, I would argue very strongly that it should not be on the basis of some fairly unreliable projection of what the threat may be, since all we can ultimately do is say that the capability of the threat exists. Whether in fact the threat will emerge or not is something that comes down to the realm of hearsay.
Speier: Our next speaker is Alexander Pikayev. Mr. Pikayev worked since the mid-1980's at IMEMO, the Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is an expert on space, strategic arms control, and broader international security issues, has published several dozen articles, and since 1994, has worked as counsel for the Duma Defense Committee. Mr. Pikayev.
Alexander Pikayev: Thank you. Dr. Speier asked me to speak about the Russian perception of the threat of missile proliferation, which is different than the U.S. attitude. It is not as simple, and it was a really difficult choice for Russia to enter into the MTCR. From looking at a map you can see that Russia is situated in a very dangerous area, a very unsettling environment. Russia borders some unstable Third World areas, and Russian borders are very often completely transparent and too open. Nearly a majority of the states situated south of Russia already possess, or will possess in the future, ballistic missile capabilities which can be targeted against Russia, Russian allies or countries of the CIS, or Russian troops deployed outside Russia. So from this viewpoint, Russia, like the United States, is naturally interested in slowing missile proliferation to certain unstable and dangerous areas which can threaten Russia's national security.
There is, however, an important disparity in U.S. and Russian attitudes, a disparity with some paradox: Although Russia is situated in a more dangerous area than the United States, it does not give the same defense priority to the threat of missile proliferation. From the U.S. perspective, ballistic missiles are the only weapons that can destroy this country. So after the Cold War, ballistic missiles belonging to Third World countries now constitute the only profound threat that could lead to destruction of the United States sometime in the future. From the Russian perspective, however, Russia is already situated among countries that possess missile capabilities targeted against Russia. Proliferation has already happened. So in the viewpoint of Russian security perceptions, the main tool by which Russia can address those threats is deterrence, not non-proliferation or counter-proliferation. In this regard, Russia still enjoys a superpower dominance over its neighbors, and if for any reason they would initiate hostilities against Russia, Russia could destroy the whole attacking country.
Regarding the MTCR, there are several issues which threaten to undermine Russia's adherence. One problem lies in the fact that MTCR restrictions have significantly altered traditional Russian missile export policy. The reorientation of Russian export controls was a very difficult task, and, of course, it was not surprising that there were some major difficulties in modifying the rules of Russian missile exports, notably the cryogenic missile deal with India in 1992-1994. This reorientation is especially important, because the Russian missile industry is perhaps the only industrial sector which possesses high technology and technological competitiveness in international markets. In Russia's current economic situation, missile exports are considered to be critical to the survival of this industry and to the survival of Russia's high-tech capability.
Another risk arises from the Russian Duma, where some members have felt overlooked as the missile export policies were formed. In 1993, the Supreme Soviet adopted some resolutions regarding international agreements and the MTCR, ruling that the legislature was not required to ratify the MTCR. Now, there is no longer a Supreme Soviet, but there is some understanding that those decisions which were adopted before new constitution was adopted in December 1993 are still valid, until new policies are made. Some MTCR opponents in the Duma and the Duma staff, however, feel that Russian adherence to the MTCR must be subject to Parliamentary ratification. Although these opponents do not have strong support in the Duma, their position was bolstered by the poor communication skills of the executive administration. Except for some key members of the legislature, very few Duma deputies actually knew that Russia joined the MTCR. This was a big loss for the government's domestic policy, which neglected the importance of establishing trusting relations between legislators and the executive power. It is possible that some long-time MTCR opponents could use this incident as a pretext for making the issue a broader, political issue, and initiate some actions that could question or undermine Russian support for the regime.
Finally, I would note that the MTCR might be threatened by larger issues relating to the end of the Cold War and to the future of U.S.-Russian relations. If the current trends towards expanding partnership were reversed, a possibility that we cannot ignore, the MTCR, like some other arms control agreements and treaties could become victims. Recently, Foreign Minister Primakov hinted during one of his news conferences that NATO expansion could lead to certain developments that would result in Russian noncompliance with INF Treaty. I believe that the INF Treaty will survive for economic and technical reasons (it will be very expensive to produce large numbers of medium-range missiles), but regimes such as the MTCR would be much more vulnerable. Some people think that if Western-Russian relations deteriorate, Russia would tend to seek support from other sources of power in the world, for example China, or to a lesser extent India. Missile trade with those countries would be essential not only for survival of Russian missile industry but also for national interests of Russia itself. Thank you.
Speier: Certainly food for thought. Our next speaker is Tim McCarthy, who has worked for approximately six years with the Monterey Institute of International Studies as their senior analyst on missile proliferation issues. For more than three years, Mr. McCarthy has been associated with the U.N. Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) for which he has been a missile inspector.
Tim McCarthy: Thank you. I should start off by noting that while I am a missile inspector, I am not a United Nations official, so my views here today shouldn't be necessarily construed as official UNSCOM views. I am going to speak on the threat posed by the Iraqi missile program, and I thought I could do that by going through the past, current, and possible future aspects of the Iraqi missile program. In addition, I will discuss a rather interesting technology, though perhaps overlooked technology, and that is the SA-2 air defense system, and, more specifically, the SA-2 engine and its potential applications for ballistic missile capabilities.
Our experience with Iraq has shown that a determined developing country with the appropriate resources and requisite foreign assistance can very quickly develop a potent arsenal of missile weapons, and, specifically, can very quickly develop missiles with ranges approaching 1,000 kilometers. UNSCOM, of course, uncovered a rather dizzying array of Iraqi missile programs and projects, and we seem to come up with a new one each time we're in the country. It's useful to recall some of those programs.
Just looking at the Scud modification program, for instance, we had a 650-kilometer range al-Hussein that everyone is aware of that Iraq launched against Saudi Arabia and Israel. In addition, we had the short, or "stubby," al-Hussein, a shorter version of that missile with slightly longer range. We also had the al-Hijira missile, with a kinetic energy warhead, actually a concrete warhead with steel rods inside. And we also had the al-Abbas missile, a 900-kilometer range missile, with a rather small warhead. This is just in the Scud modification program.
Let's look at the timeline of the al-Hussein. Essentially, the project began in the spring of 1986 and Iraq had conducted its first successful range test by August 3, 1987. By early 1988, Iraq was producing these missiles at the rate of one per day, and were very quickly, during the War of the Cities, able to produce these missiles at the rate of three per day. So in two years, from basically what I would call a very small infrastructure in liquid fuel missile development, Iraq was producing three al-Husseins per day. It was, of course, using missiles previously provided by the former Soviet Union, with some airframe production and other things accomplished indigenously.
There were also a number of other projects: cruise missile projects; the air-to-ground missile projects; CW/BW warheads; guidance and control; indigenous transporter-erector launcher development; propellant production; and the litany goes on and on.
I saved for last those programs that involve, or that are relevant to, the SA-2 issue: the Fahad 300/500 program. The Fahad was essentially an unmodified SA-2 fired in a ballistic mode, command guided with some very small modifications. It never reached the 300-kilometer range capabilities Iraq wanted for the missile, and indeed, Iraq claims the "500" was only a paper study.
Moving from the program of simply taking the SA-2 and firing it in a ballistic mode, we have the Condor II program. Iraq conducted research on using the SA-2 engine as the Condor II's second stage. We also have the famous Project Bird, or the al-Abid space-launch vehicle, which Mr. Bull was intimately involved with: a three-stage system which, in the surface-to-surface mode, could approach several thousand kilometers. There were two possible configurations on that third stage, one of which was a modified SA-2 engine. And finally, the Tammouz missile, a missile on the order of 2,000 kilometers, with a second stage SA-2 engine. So I think that you can see that there were quite a number of programs prior to the war.
On the current situation, I just returned from Iraq in December, on a mission specifically addressing Iraq's current research and development effort. As you know, Iraq is allowed, under the Security Council Resolution 687, to develop missiles with ranges of less than 150 kilometers. I can tell you that they put a lot of effort in producing such a missile. The program is generally known as the Ababil 100 program, but the name has been officially changed to the al-Samoud, which I understand means in Arabic to sort of "fight against." Iraq tells us this is the example of its ability to fight against the entire international community by building this missile.
The missile uses a reverse-engineered SA-2 engine. Iraq has a number of SA-2s, essentially 95 percent of the SA-2 engine is used for the Ababil 100. The program obviously has some inherent breakout capabilities, and so UNSCOM has spent a lot of time on the ongoing monitoring verification regime. This regime is now in place and it has been working. The no-notice inspections of suspected missile facilities have been particularly helpful.
Looking to the future, I think the past is highly instructive of what we can expect in the future from the Iraqi missile program. Iraq has clearly shown the willingness before the war to devote a tremendous amount of resources to the missile program. Indeed, as UNSCOM Chair Rolf Ekeus said yesterday, even after the war, we've seen a significant Iraqi effort to procure missile-related technologies, and this is with some scarcity of resources. So the intention remains.
My own view is that once UNSCOM leaves Iraq, you will see a very quick gearing up of the missile program, indeed probably much more quickly than in the past, because the engineers must now rely more on Iraq's indigenous capability and indigenous knowledge than they had to in the past. They have this base of expertise for producing the Ababil 100, and so they'll be able to very quickly generate a missile program. Thank you.
Speier: Our next speaker, Robert Einhorn, is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation in the Bureau of Political Military Affairs, and he is the person who heads the U.S. delegation to MTCR meetings and discussions on missile nonproliferation.
Robert Einhorn: Thank you very much. For over a decade, the United States has placed a very high priority not just on preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but also on preventing the proliferation of missiles, whether they be cruise missiles or ballistic missiles, for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction. In particular, we focused on missiles that we believe have an inherent capability of delivering a crude nuclear device: a missile capable of delivering a 500-kilogram payload to a target at least 300 kilometers away. We call these missiles Category I missiles, or MTCR-class missiles.
We've pursued this policy through a combination of unilateral U.S. national measures, as well as multilateral measures, primarily the MTCR, which I'll come back to. These unilateral and multilateral measures complement each other, because what we do unilaterally is legitimized, in a certain way, by the norms that are being created by the international arena, by the multilateral MTCR.
Let me turn first to the unilateral measures. First, we have our own export control system. I think we have the tightest system in the world on controlling transfers of missile equipment technology. We apply our controls in a very cautious, prudent matter, probably the most prudent of any country in the world.
The second element is our export control assistance programs. We recognize that there are a number of countries that need help in developing their own export controls systems. They need to scrutinize proposed exports, screen them properly, examine potential end users, and so forth. They need help, material assistance, technical assistance, and we have a large program of assisting other governments in doing that.
The third element is what we call interdiction efforts. Every once in awhile, with increasing frequency now, we get intelligence reports of some troublesome transfer from Point A to some worrisome recipient, and often we'll take diplomatic action. If it's with a vendor government that is unaware that a company in its jurisdiction is about to take this action, all we have to do is inform the government of this activity, and it will take immediate action and stop the transfer. Sometimes, we might have an uncooperative supplier and recipient, but we have had cases where we have been able to intervene successfully. Such was the case in 1994, when we learned about a shipment of 30 tons of ammonium perchlorate, an ingredient in solid propellant fuel, that was being carried under the flag of a friendly government. We contacted that government, it had jurisdiction, and were able to intervene and acquire the ammonium perchlorate. This kind of interdiction activity has become a fairly routine part of our missile nonproliferation policy.
We also engage in active bilateral diplomatic efforts. In South Asia, for example, we've made a very active effort at very senior levels to try to head off worrisome South Asian proliferation developments, and we've encouraged our partners in the G-7 group, as well as the P-8, including Russia, to play a role, and they've been very helpful in this regard. We've also negotiated bilateral agreements with other countries, that are types of precursors to adhering to the MTCR, in which our negotiating partner agreed to adopt rigorous export controls, to adopt the MTCR's equipment and technology lists, and to apply the MTCR guidelines. We have done this with some nations with significant missile programs and activities, such as Russia, Ukraine, and South Africa. Two of these are now full members of the MTCR: Russia and South Africa.
One bilateral endeavor we hope to begin soon is a negotiation with the North Korea on both its missile export activities and its indigenous missile programs. These programs worry our allies, South Korea and Japan, are a potential source of regional instability, and may eventually threaten U.S. territory. We have made clear that part of the normalization of U.S.-North Korean relations called for in the nuclear Agreed Framework will mean that the North must address our missile proliferation concerns. North Korea has agreed in principle to engage in this dialogue, and we're just trying to arrange dates.
In our bilateral diplomacy efforts on nonproliferation, we use a variety of incentives and disincentives. I'll mention some incentives that have been useful. In our discussions with Russia, we have been able to improve Russian access to the commercial space launch market, to allow Russia to bid on the launch of a number of U.S.-made satellites. This is a lucrative business, and has been a source of a good amount of income to Russia. We also found room in the space station project for participation of the Russian Space Agency, which had many very advanced and very useful technologies to contribute to the project. So we were able to provide these incentives as a way of balancing some of the concerns that our Russian partners had about giving up traditional markets.
Similarly, in our bilateral agreement with Ukraine, we were able to help Ukraine gain access to the commercial space launch market. Another case was Brazil, which has a very good location for a space launch facility. We agreed to permit a sounding rocket campaign at the facility if Brazil agreed to the MTCR guidelines unilaterally, which it has done.
Those are the carrots. But there are the sticks, as well. The United States has tough missile sanction laws that apply to countries that engage in certain kinds of activities, particularly the transfer of Category I missile systems to non-MTCR partners. The threat of those sanctions, and thereafter the imposition of those sanctions, has sometimes been a useful diplomatic tool. We have used the carrot of waiving those sanctions under our law as a means of inducing our partners to accept certain constraints. This was helpful when the United States sanctioned Russia and India, Glavkosmos and the Indian Space Research Organization respectively, for the transfer of cryogenic rockets stages. We think these sanctions succeeded in reorienting the Russian approach to the missile technology market, to a much more effective export control system, and to a much more responsible attitude toward missile technology sales.
Similarly, we have sanctioned China twice. Each time we removed sanctions when we received renewed commitments that China would adhere to the MTCR guidelines. In October 1994, we removed Category II sanctions against China, when it committed not to transfer ground-to-ground MTCR-class missiles. It's an absolute prohibition of the transfer of those missiles that goes beyond what MTCR countries have agreed to do. Now, we've come back to this issue again after seeing uneven implementation of some of these commitments.
Let me address the MTCR. The MTCR was founded in 1987 in response, to some extent, to the Iran-Iraq War, and to the threat of missile proliferation. We've gone through two stages. The first stage has been an effort to get MTCR countries, initially seven and now 28, to adopt responsible export controls, so that they would not inadvertently contribute to missile proliferation around the world. That phase is more or less complete, and quite effective. Proliferators are not, by and large, shopping in the West among MTCR partners. They're looking to non-MTCR partner suppliers as sources.
The second phase has been a more outward-looking MTCR. Having put our own houses in order, we want to look out and recognize the problem that exists in non-partner suppliers and recipients. That means bringing additional countries into the regime, countries that can hurt you on the outside if they behave irresponsibly. It means speaking to transhippers, for example, some countries in Southeast Asia, to ensure that their territory, their ports, are not being used as transhipment ports of concern. It means using the MTCR as a collective, as an organization that has diplomatic clout, and using that clout to persuade countries to forego some destabilizing programs.
How effective has the MTCR been? I think it's been very effective in establishing a missile nonproliferation norm. When we began this over a decade ago, it was not clear whether this would take hold. The delivery systems don't kill you; it's the munitions. So the question is whether people would buy on to the idea that the transfer of the delivery system itself, especially one of a certain range and payload capability, is a problem. I think, by and large, we've succeeded in establishing a very strong norm against proliferation of those missiles.
We've also succeeded in bringing in key suppliers, those who in the past may not have always acted responsibly in this area, but now I think have absorbed the norms of the regime, and are acting responsibly. Russia is a such a nation. Yesterday, Rolf Ekeus mentioned that Jordan had confiscated components of missile guidance systems bound for Iraq that were apparently shipped from Russia. I think that was an aberration, that it was not an activity that was sanctioned by the Russian government. Russia needs to look into this, to find out how it happened, and to prevent such occurrences in the future, but I think Russia is taking this issue very seriously.
China too has improved its missile export policies. We are certainly concerned about Chinese activities, especially with respect to Pakistan and Iran, but when you remember that China sold medium-range missiles to Saudi Arabia at one time, and was planning to sell to Libya and Syria, we can see that they have clearly cut back their activities.
In addition, we have moved toward establishing not just a responsible export norm, but a non-possession norm. The United States has criteria for recommending a state for membership in the MTCR: We insist that new members, with the exception of China and Russia, agree not to possess Category I offensive missiles. So far, Hungary, South Africa, Argentina, and Brazil have all agreed to renounce the acquisition of Category I offensive missile systems. As many people have noted, the United States has not asked nations such as Ukraine and Brazil to renounce their space launch vehicle programs.
In general, U.S. unilateral policies, taken together with the multilateral policies of the regime, have been quite successful. By success, we don't mean stopping proliferation in its tracks--that's simply impossible--but we have succeeded in slowing it down and buying time, which is all you can do in the non-proliferation business. It is clear that the Indian and Pakistani programs are less advanced than they would otherwise be if not for the MTCR and U.S. pressures and controls. It is clear that Iran's program, which will soon be able to produce it own Scuds, would be producing much more advanced missiles in the absence of our efforts. Similarly Iraq, during Desert Storm, was only able to shoot very inaccurate Scuds. If the Condor program had achieved fruition, we would have dealt with a much tougher threat during Desert Storm.
Missile proliferation threats do persist, especially the tendency now for suppliers to supply components or production technology, instead of complete systems, which is much tougher to combat. We still have problem suppliers, such as North Korea and China. We have some rogue states, who are determined proliferators, and with ingenuity find access to technology through imaginative procurement networks. Despite these threats, however, the regime has over the past 10 years been very successful in stopping certain programs, making a number of countries responsible suppliers, and slowing down substantially the programs of the determined proliferators.
Speier: Our last speaker is Henry Sokolski. After working in the early 1980's in various think tanks, Mr. Sokolski spent seven years on Capitol Hill as senior aide to two senators. After that time, from 1989 through early 1993, Mr. Sokolski was the first political appointee in the Defense Department to have the word proliferation in his title. He was Deputy for Nonproliferation Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Since that time, Mr. Sokolski has been Executive Director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center.
Henry Sokolski: Thank you. This conference's aim, as I understand it, is to explore the connection between START, a truly effective Missile Technology Control Regime, and the ABM Treaty. Reflecting on what I've heard experts in the international arms control community argue over the last few days, I'd have to say that there is a real danger that the connection might be drawn too tightly. I certainly agree with the Chairman that the MTCR's effectiveness is in danger of being undermined by U.S. willingness to promote the admission of nations into the regime that continue to export Category I missile technology to bad end users or that are unwilling to drop their work on missile rocket projects previously prohibited by the MTCR. I also share his view that current loopholes in U.S. missile technology sanctions law, which exempt such member countries and adherents need to be closed. Indeed, it's because I share these views that I believe that the MTCR's implementation should be kept separate from that of the START and ABM Treaties. In fact, I think tying them too closely, as some in the arms control community might do, could actually undermine the effectiveness of the MTCR.
As I understand it, the arms control argument for relating these efforts runs something like this: Preserving the ABM Treaty is necessary if Russia is to ratify more ICBM reductions under START II and III. After all, if we deploy truly effective strategic missile defenses, Russia's deterrent and great power status will be jeopardized unless it builds more missiles that overcome these defenses. Making sure that the MTCR is effective, at least in curbing additional nations involved with intercontinental-range capable missiles, is necessary, then, to obviate the need for the development of anything more than theater defenses. Thus, the need to have the MTCR be as harsh against new nations developing SLVs and launch sounding rockets as it is against large long-range missiles. As appealing as this argument may be to American arms controllers, with Russian military diplomatic experts, and many missile non-proliferation proponents, I see several potential problems. First, the ABM-START leg of this argument can just as easily support a zero ballistic missile treaty that encourages the sharing of large, "peaceful," "safeguarded" SLV cooperation, as it can the more sensible case for denying such technology in a discriminatory fashion. Leading arms control experts, along with foreign policy commentators, and even some conservatives, have favored such measures. Yet, the case is persuasively made that promoting such a treaty will waste precious diplomatic resources, and only produce an agreement that would fuel missile proliferation under the mistaken notion that SLVs can be safeguarded when they cannot. I might add, that just because the idea of negotiating a zero ballistic missile treaty has been shot down at the moment doesn't mean that it won't reemerge.
Second, the premise that Russia and the United States need to deter one another with massive strategic nuclear capabilities and that strategic missile defenses would undermine such mutual deterrence, or at least threaten Russia's relative power, strikes me as incredibly backward thinking. The Cold War is over. Yet many arms controllers have had as hard a time accepting this as some of our older nuclear weapons engineers. In order to secure and maintain arms control treaties that were challenged by hawks during the Cold War, these arms control proponents, I think, are mistakenly promoting military and diplomatic arguments that Russian national power still rests somehow on its relative ability to engage in a nuclear war against the United States. Given that we are no longer enemies, this makes no sense. More important, the path to greatness for Russia has far more to do with its ability to tap its considerable human and natural resources to promote prosperity and develop economic strength. This, I think, has everything to do with Russia's development of a stable currency, with a pluralistic polity, with the rule of law, and the protection of their citizens' private property, but precious little to do with building up or maintaining their strategic nuclear forces. I want to be clear. I'm not arguing here against nuclear force reductions, only against the idea that these must be tied to abandoning defenses or that somehow Russia's future greatness truly depends on its relative nuclear strength. Instead, I am arguing that it is desirable and possible for the United States and Russia, and other nuclear-weapon states, to reduce their strategic nuclear forces, and to develop strategic and theater defenses against those states that refuse to.
Third, if U.S. officials continue to emphasize the importance of preserving the Cold War logic of MAD and the tie between the ABM Treaty and force reductions, they will only create additional incentives to ignore Russian proliferation activities. We see this tendency already in official U.S. inattention to the UNSCOM interdiction of Russian gyroscopes destined for Iraq, in violations of Russian pledges not to help India produce missiles or stages, in the Russian transhipment of North Korean Scuds, and in whether or not Russia has truly ended its dirty dozen of MTCR transgressions, which it pledged to stop. Certainly, to raise these issues or to sanction them would complicate U.S. arms control negotiations and space cooperation, but maybe that's needed.
What then to do? The MTCR's effectiveness might best be served by de-emphasizing the possible ties between it and more traditional arms control concerns, such as ABM and START. If the MTCR is to work, it must stand on its own merits, just as the ABM and START Treaties must. We chose not to insist on this standard in the case of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and I think it's costing us today. Indeed, with the NPT, too much now is made of the nuclear-weapon states' Article IV and VI obligations to share nuclear energy technology and to disarm, and far too little of states' obligations under Articles I, II and III not to proliferate, and to conduct civilian nuclear activities only if they can be and are effectively safeguarded against military diversion. The Irish certainly did not propose this balance of obligations when they first proposed the NPT. They simply argued that until the superpowers disarmed, it would be best for all nations--those strategically armed and those without weapons, large and small--not to acquire or share nuclear weapons or the means to make them.
The Irish got it right in 1958. We need to emphasize this correct view in regard to missile proliferation. SLVs, ICBMs, and in regional conflicts, Category I missiles, are the aerospace equivalent of nuclear explosive devices. There are still no effective defenses against these missiles, and they can threaten all manner of harm, from precision military strikes to city busting. It is because of that that all nations should be willing to support a truly effective MTCR that has serious standards for membership and sanctions from the United States and from others for misbehavior. Such a regime will be discriminatory, but its security benefits will be shared. It will make it possible for smaller nations to appeal to others when neighbors begin to arm. Certainly, given the poor profitability of providing space launch services, such discrimination will hardly deprive any nation of cash. Finally, such discrimination, backed by sanctions, should indirectly make strategic arms reduction and missile defenses, both strategic and theater, easier to achieve. Thank you.
Questions and Answers
Evan Medeiros (Arms Control Association): Mr. Einhorn, could you give us some idea of how the Clinton administration plans to convince North Korea to give up its indigenous missile program and its export missile program? Do we plan to ask them to join the MTCR? In addition, could you tell us when was the last time we actually actively engaged North Korea on the missile proliferation issue? I'm just looking for a basic chronology for the last 10 years.
Einhorn: We have tried to engage North Korea periodically, but without much success. It has been very standoffish, and remains standoffish. How will we approach these talks? As I said, we're concerned both about indigenous programs and export policies. Part of our effort is to demonstrate to North Korea that its behavior has been irresponsible, and that it should adhere to international laws. I assure you that North Korea would regard its programs as a kind of bargaining chip in which they would seek some kind of compensation for their restraint. We would make clear that other countries besides the United States adhere to these norms, so we would not pay the North off for doing what it should be doing anyway. In addition, we would emphasize that the United States expects the North Korea to adhere to these norms if the U.S.-DPRK normalization process is to continue.
Question: Would you talk about the current policy consideration against China regarding the transfer of technology to Pakistan?
Einhorn: As I mentioned before, we have sanctioned China twice, for essentially the same project, the transfer of M-11 missile technology to Pakistan. We have been concerned that China has not only transferred M-11 related technology components, but also complete M-11 missiles, which trigger more severe sanctions. The penalties are so severe, however, and the consequences to bilateral relations are so high, that one has to use a very high evidentiary standard.