April 5, 1993

STATEMENT BY THOMAS GRAHAM, JR., ACTING DIRECTOR
U.S. ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY
BEFORE THE DEFENSE BASE CLOSURE AND
REALIGNMENT COMMISSION

I appreciate your invitation to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) to testify today before the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. As you may know, ACDA was created in 1961 by an act of Congress to provide the President, the Secretary of State, other officials of the executive branch, and the Congress, with recommendations concerning arms control and disarmament policy and to assess the effect of these recommendations on foreign policy, national security, and the economy.

In testifying before this Commission, you have asked that ACDA address what impact, if any, the proposed closures or realignments would have on any existing strategic defense or chemical weapons treaty. In my statement, I believe we should also look at the treaty on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms: START.

Strategic Defenses

Strategic defenses are covered under the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The limited anti-ballistic missile defense system within the ICBM deployment area north and west of Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, permitted by the 1972 ABM Treaty, was deactivated within several months of its initial operational status in 1975. Even though the ABM system has been deactivated at Grand Forks, there are other strategic forces located there.

There are no bases identified by the Department of Defense for closure or realignment, however, that have facilities related to the ABM Treaty; hence there would be no impact on that Treaty.

Strategic Offensive Forces

Some of the bases listed for closure or realignment are affected by provisions of the START I Treaty. The START I Treaty, signed in July 1991, is the first arms control agreement to require reductions in strategic systems; it also establishes an extensive verification regime. The U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to START I Treaty ratification on October 1, 1992.

In addition, the United States and Russia reached agreement at the Washington Summit in June of 1992 on further reductions in strategic nuclear arms. The Treaty implementing this agreement, known as START II, was signed by Presidents Bush and Yeltsin in Moscow on January 3, 1993. It will bring the number of deployed warheads well below START I Treaty levels, down to between 3,000 to 3,500 on each side. The agreement also provides for the elimination of all U.S. and Russian land-based launchers for ICBMs with more than one warhead, including the destruction by Russia of all SS-18 heavy ICBMs and the destruction of all but 90 SS-18 silos. These remaining 90 SS-18 silos must be eliminated by Russia by conversion to silos for single warhead SS-25 type missiles.

The START I Treaty has extensive verification provisions, including on-site inspection at bases in the United States. The START II Treaty relies largely on the START Treaty verification and implementation procedures with some additional verification provisions relating to missile elimination, silo conversion, and bomber inspection.

Some of the bases identified for closure or realignment by the Department of Defense on the 1993 list are accountable under the START treaties because they have systems limited by the Treaty located there. This means that the United States will have an obligation, should closure occur after entry into force of the Treaty, to permit close-out or formerly-declared facility inspections of the bases.

Air Force bases that are affected are K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan, where 19 B-52H bombers are located, and Griffiss Air Force Base, New York, where 14 B-52G bombers are located, which are subject to close-out inspections. Additionally, the Submarine Training Facility at Charleston Naval Station, South Carolina, is subject to both close-out and formerly-declared facility inspections.

Two other Air Force Bases covered under START were designated for closure in previous base closure recommendations. They are Castle Air Force Base, California, where B-52G bombers are located, and Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, where B-52H bombers are located. Castle and Carswell also would be subject to close-out inspections if closure occurs after START entry-into-force.

If any of the above bases are closed prior to Treaty entry-into-force, they would not be subject to inspections.

Chemical Weapons

In early September of 1992, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva achieved a true disarmament milestone by concluding its work on the Chemical Weapons Convention. The United States along with over one hundred nations signed the Convention in Paris on January 13, 1993. Currently, 140 nations have signed the Convention.

Chemical weapons are a real threat. They exist in significant quantities and have been used in combat and against unprotected civilian populations. As a disarmament measure, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the CWC, bans the entire category of chemical weapons from the arsenals of all participating states and will provide for their complete elimination. As a nonproliferation measure, the CWC monitors relevant chemical industry and chemical trade and provides for the collective weight of States Parties to be brought to bear on any state that seeks to acquire or use chemical weapons in the future.

The U.S. is committed to destroying its entire stockpile of chemical weapons within the ten-year destruction period specified in the Convention. All of our stockpile is located on U.S. territory, and it will all be destroyed on U.S. territory. The CWC will likely enter into force in early 1995. The ten-year period for destruction of chemical weapons and CW production facilities means that, under the most optimistic time table, chemical weapons will continue to exist until their destruction is complete in 2005.

Fort McClellan, located in Anniston, Alabama, is on the list of Army bases to be closed. The U.S. Army Chemical School at Fort McClellan is the Army's focal point for chemical defense training. The base provides training for the Army, other DOD personnel from all branches of the service, other Governmental agencies, and for members of allied nations' armed forces.

The base's Chemical Decontamination Training Facility (CDTF), which permits training with a live agent, yet in an environmentally safe atmosphere, became operational in 1987. It is the only such facility in the U.S., and probably in the world. The small laboratory facility incorporated in the CDTF for producing small amounts of agent for protective training will remain an allowed activity under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Because the threat of chemical weapons will persist even after their worldwide destruction is mandated by the Treaty, it will be necessary for chemical training to continue for protective purposes. The Chemical Decontamination Training Facility is needed to provide CW training facilities prior to and during the CW destruction program.

The Chemical School, CDTF, and associated field training facilities are used by the On-Site Inspection Agency to train inspectors. The U.S. is considering using these facilities to conduct training of international inspectors for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the organization charged with implementing the CWC. It would be in the U.S. interest to participate in the training of a technically qualified international inspectorate. Such a program could offset some U.S. costs under the CWC.

The Chemical School and Chemical Decontamination Training Facility, therefore, play an indispensable role in CW defensive training, CW destruction support, and international CW Treaty implementation. We, therefore, support the Army's intention to retain the School at Fort Leonard Wood and the Facility at Fort McClellan and to continue chemical defensive training there.