January 18, 1995

THE HONORABLE JOHN D. HOLUM, DIRECTOR,
U.S. ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY
REMARKS AT THE CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT
FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE

"The Most Important Year in the History of
Arms Control: No Time For U.S. Retreat"

Let me first thank the Carnegie Endowment for inviting me to speak this morning. I'm a great admirer -- and consumer -- of Sandy Spector's excellent work on nonproliferation. And I congratulate the Endowment for attracting Jeremy Rosner, one of the country's clearest thinkers and finest writers.

I have to say at the outset that I'm not going to discuss the fate of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Close readers of the papers know that several foreign affairs and national security agencies are being reviewed under Phase II of the National Performance Review, fulfilling President Clinton's commitment to streamline the federal government.

That review, led by Vice President Gore, will be completed very soon. In the meantime I intend to respect the integrity of the process and make my views known within the review, but not outside it.

I will say, however, that this overall effort is something I have taken very seriously. ACDA has participated enthusiastically in the first phase of the NPR, completing a thoroughgoing management review, implementing a strategic plan that gauges performance by results, and moving ahead aggressively with our own internal streamlining.

We are taking part just as constructively in the current effort. For even the worthiest missions cannot justify wasteful methods. In the 1980s, the federal government grew bigger under the banner of doing less. I'm proud to be part of an Administration that is reversing that trend.

So if you came expecting a free-wheeling debate on ACDA's future, I'll have to reserve my part of the argument for another time.

But if you came expecting a dust-up over the vital role of arms control in this new era, and on the wisdom of the Administration's approach, I'll happily oblige.

The Increased Need for Arms Control

With the downfall of the Soviet Union, many expected the need for arms control to disappear too. But in fact, the opposite has taken place: arms control is more central than ever. Far from a Cold War relic, it is a prime element of our national security strategy.

While the bipolar nuclear standoff is largely over, we still must extract many of its sharp teeth. Only one of the START Treaties is legally in force. Despite voluntary reductions, many thousands of weapons remain, and the START verification regime is only beginning to operate.

Furthermore, the Soviet-American arms competition has been replaced, as President Clinton has noted, by a world of "rampant arms proliferation, bitter regional conflicts, ethnic and nationalist tensions ... and fanatics who seek to cripple the world's cities with terror." Consider the following:

Some suggest addressing all these threats by military build-ups alone. But if the Cold War taught us anything, it is the necessity of both military might and arms control. Arms control is threat control. Every weapon we can keep or take out of the hands of our potential adversaries is a weapon we do not have to spend much more, with less certain effect, to defend against.

So whatever one's ideology, abandoning arms control would be mistaken -- and particularly senseless in 1995, as the United States addresses arms control missions that will fundamentally shape the nation's security for years to come. For this year we address the largest and most diverse arms control agenda in history.

1995: Year of Decision

Here are some key aspects of that agenda:

This Spring, the fate of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty will be determined in the 25th-year review and extension conference. The NPT has never been more important than it is now, with access to technology waxing, Cold War disciplines waning, and rogue states hungering for nuclear arms. The NPT politically and legally enables all of our nuclear nonproliferation efforts, from North Korea to South Asia to Ukraine.

The NPT should be made permanent. Any other outcome would leave doubts about its dependability over the long term, and thus diminish its effect even in the short term.

But we are engaged in a real struggle. A number of countries are attracted to the self-defeating idea that the NPT should be held hostage, to be ransomed by a comprehensive test ban, further strategic disarmament, or something else. Others, like Iran, think it should be amended to make access to nuclear technology an automatic right of parties -- as if we had no memory of what happened in Iraq ... and, indeed, no clue about Iran itself.

One thing is certain: 1995 is our one best chance to safeguard the NPT for all time. 1995 is also a decisive year for strategic arms control -- particularly with implementation of START, and the mandate for early ratification of START III.

Rose Garden ceremonies are nice, but the promise of arms control isn't fulfilled until agreed reductions are verifiably made. And when these particular obligations are fulfilled, we will slam shut the "window of vulnerability" many saw as the consequence of the heavy Soviet MIRVed ICBMs that are on their way to extinction -- along with two thirds of all deliverable strategic warheads -- when both START Treaties are implemented.

Ratification of START II is a top Administration priority. And once that is done, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin have agreed to deactivate all strategic nuclear delivery systems to be reduced under the Treaty -- and instructed their experts to intensify their dialogue on the possibility of further limits on nuclear forces.

Also in 1995, the United States has the opportunity to lead in bringing the Chemical Weapons Convention into force.

The United States is pushing resolutely for full Russian compliance with our bilateral agreements on chemical weapons, including the 1989 Wyoming Memorandum of Understanding, designed to build confidence through chemical weapons declarations and trial on-site inspections.

Coupled with those efforts, the best way to resolve our concerns is to bring the CWC into force -- a point recently made by Russian "whistleblowers" to a visiting Senate staff delegation. Then Russia will have the choice of either complying with a legally binding, global regime -- with sanctions -- or else isolating itself from a worldwide consensus.

Meanwhile, the CWC will give us a way to deal with at least 25 other countries of concern, who without the treaty can legally stockpile chemical weapons. And it Will give us far more information than we have now about hidden chemical weapons programs -- even in countries that do not join.

1995 will be a fateful year for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The test ban's time is here at last -- to ensure that there will not be another qualitative arms race, and also to restrain proliferation, by denying aspiring proliferators the ability to refine and miniaturize their weapons, making them easier to deliver.

At a time when the nuclear arms race is over; when we have already conducted a publicly-reported 1,054 tests (to Russia's reported 715 and China's reported 41); when both we and the Russians are eliminating nuclear weapons by the thousands and not developing any new ones; when we can maintain a safe and reliable stockpile without tests -- it simply makes no sense to keep setting off nuclear explosions to further sift the finest particles of knowledge about how nuclear weapons work, when the main effect of doing so would be to give cover to other nations who could actually use the knowledge they would gain.

Our Administration is firmly committed to success in the test ban negotiations. The President has extended the nuclear moratorium twice; more than three dozen states have been engaged in the multilateral negotiation at the CD in Geneva; and the participants have produced a rolling treaty text.

Although we reject any linkage, it is also the case that irreversible progress on the CTBT will help us achieve indefinite extension of the NPT. So the test ban must be a leading negotiating priority for 1995.

The same is true of the fissile material cutoff. We expect the Conference on Disarmament will have a negotiating mandate on the cutoff early in 1995. It is our best hope of putting a cap on the potential nuclear programs of the so-called nuclear threshold states -- India, Pakistan and Israel -- that are outside the NPT.

In 1995, the United States must also sustain and intensify a major effort to address nuclear smuggling -- to enhance fissile material security, accounting, and controls worldwide -- and specifically, to foster transparency and irreversibility in the nuclear disarmament of the former Soviet Union.

In 1995 we need to resolve the question of ABM/TMD Demarcation, the dividing line between prohibited strategic defenses and permitted theater defenses. I know that those negotiations are controversial in some quarters. But in my view, we must protect the enormous benefits of the Treaty for strategic stability At the same time, it is prudent to prepare defenses against both the existing threats facing us in the theater context and also against the more capable theater ballistic missiles that rogue states and potential adversaries could foreseeably acquire.

I am convinced that we can negotiate an agreement that protects the TMD technologies that need to be explored for effective theater ballistic missile defense -- including the THAAD system, which is ready to begin flight testing in February. And to those supporters of the ABM Treaty who oppose our demarcation efforts, I say that it will not be protected by being fossilized. A treaty abandoned -- however pristine -- is without value.

So this is the year for us to safeguard both capable theater defense and the strategic benefits of the ABM Treaty.

1995 is also the final year of reductions under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty The United States will need to hold firm to protect the Treaty against efforts to dilute it in the name of "harmonization," to weaken it by watering down its flank limits, or to refuse compliance with mandated reductions.

1995 is also the year we expect entry into force of the Open Skies treaty, opening the way for overflights of nations' territories from Vancouver to Vladivostok.

And in 1995 we will negotiate vigorously for a system aimed at improving compliance with and enforcement of the Biological Weapons Convention.

In 1995 we must ratify the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), to advance the President's landmines initiative at this year's CCW review conference.

1995 will be the critical first year of implementation of the Framework Agreement to freeze and roll back North Korea's nuclear program. This agreement -- based not on trust, but on verified reciprocal steps by each side -- is strongly in the United States interest.

Several of these efforts illustrate a major cross-cutting challenge for the United States in 1995: inaugurating the arms control implementation era. With new treaties like START, START 11, the CWC, and Open Skies -- plus others now in process such as the CTBT and the Fissile Cutoff -- joining older agreements such as the NPT, ABM, CFE and others already in force, the United States faces a burgeoning mission in realizing the benefits of arms control. I am sensitive to this because ACDA is the nation's agent for these efforts -- combining expertise in negotiations, law, intelligence analysis, and technology to make sure that our treaty rights are respected.

Arms control agreements -- including the many negotiated by Republican administrations, such as the START Treaties and the CWC -- do not tend themselves. Assuming they do is a bit like thinking that you've fed a hungry man by giving him a menu. As the implementation challenge grows, we cannot let budget pressures lead to the neglect of verification, monitoring and implementation assets. So we have a mammoth arms control agenda in 1995. And with a growing focus on proliferation, we also live in a time when the arms control perspective urgently needs to be heard. During the Cold War -- when arms control was the main element in U.S.-Soviet relations and managing this conflict was its dominant mission -- there was little chance that arms control imperatives would be overlooked. But that risk is far greater, now that arms control most often means pressing our nonproliferation goals with more than 150 nations -- with most of whom we have many diplomatic, trade and other priorities besides arms control.

Defense By Other Means

Accidents of history and politics have led some to the mistaken conclusion that arms control and defense are somehow opposites. They confuse a ]difference in means -- the diplomatic versus the military -- with a difference in ends.

The fundamental purposes of arms control and defense are exactly the same: to make us safer. Defense deters or defeats threats; arms control quietly takes them away. Secretary of Defense William Perry has said it well: arms control is defense by other means. And it is a national security bargain.

And now -- as we address the broadest arms control agenda in history -- is exactly the wrong time to subvert this vital national mission.

In the post-Cold War world, arms control bears ever greater weight as a pillar of U.S. national security. I am confident the new Congress, in the end, will not dislodge that pillar or weaken its foundation. As a nation, we will once more choose engagement over isolationism, world leadership over retrenchment, true security over retreat.