December 13, 1993

SPEECH BY THE HONORABLE JOHN D. HOLUM, DIRECTOR
U.S. ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY
AT THE ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL DINNER

Introduction

It is a pleasure to be here. That is so not least because were it not for the efforts of many of you, I couldn't be here in my present capacity, because the organization I am now privileged to lead would not exist.

I undertake this job with a profound appreciation for the fact that the cause of arms control is sustained by its strong constituency -- a constituency that is potent because it is manifestly public spirited, and meticulously prepared to make its case. You deserve much of the credit for ACDA's survival. I salute you for that, and for all your efforts to promote national security and the safety of our planet.

Of course there are others who deserve credit. In particular, the President -- who listened to the arguments and concluded that arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament are so central to our national purposes that they require sustained and focused advocacy at the highest levels. President Clinton, Secretary of State Christopher, National Security Adviser Lake, and others in this Administration clearly want ACDA to survive and succeed.

I also want to note at the outset that whatever happens next, there were profoundly important achievements before my arrival -- on the proper interpretation of the ABM Treaty, on the testing moratorium, and on the President's solid commitment to a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. Much credit for those, as well as for ACDA's renewed opportunity, goes to the people who make up the Agency -- who have persisted on these issues over the years, in times of frustration as well as in times of promise.

That includes especially the heart and soul of the Agency for more than a score of years, Tom Graham. I know you share my gratitude for his leadership -- and my conviction that he should continue to have a prominent role in ACDA's main endeavors.

Rebirth of ACDA in the Post-Cold War Era

ACDA now has the political support and institutional structure it needs to perform its post-Cold War mission. The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Foreign Affairs Committee have taken an intense interest in the fate of ACDA and have helped the Agency survive and gather strength. Final action by the Congress on ACDA's revitalization will solidify the Agency's future.

ACDA's central mission will be to consistently and forcefully put forward its unique perspective. We have an obligation to the President and Congress, and a duty to the American people, to ensure that the arms control and nonproliferation implications of all relevant decisions are fully and fairly heard in the Executive Branch. We must vigorously pursue that goal, even when we stand alone -- indeed, especially then, because that is when ACDA is most needed.

I am guided by the principle that arms control and defense are both vital elements of the same national purpose -- to support the national security of the United States. Arms control can reduce the risk of war by limiting and reducing destabilizing military forces, by preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction or missiles, and by building confidence and trust through measures designed to enhance transparency. As they directly bolster our security, such measures also promote other strategic priorities of U.S. foreign policy such as reform in Russia and the other newly independent states, and our economic goals in Asia and the Pacific region. Arms control can also play an important stabilizing role in support of broader political efforts to resolve long-standing disputes in the Middle East and South Asia.

The Future Role of ACDA

I would like to offer a few personal observations about ACDA's role in crucial policy areas. The Agency has always played a pivotal role in nuclear arms control, from the negotiation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in the 1960s to the monumental Cold War achievements of START and the ABM and INF Treaties. This focus on controlling and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons will remain a primary element of ACDA's post-Cold War agenda. President Clinton's decisions to negotiate a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, to continue the nuclear test moratorium, and to negotiate a convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons attest to the increased importance of nuclear nonproliferation.

But the agenda has broadened. The Missile Technology Control Regime has emerged as a principal arms control institution to address ballistic missile proliferation. The use of chemical weapons provided substantial impetus to completion of the Chemical Weapons Convention, with its groundbreaking verification regime. In his address to the UN General Assembly, President Clinton called on all nations, including the United States, to ratify this accord quickly. It was submitted to the Senate for advice and consent on November 24.

Export controls are an essential nonproliferation tool. Advances in global industrialization diminish the utility of such approaches, however, and force us to work even more on the demand side, that is to influence the motivations of countries seeking to proliferate. ACDA will place more emphasis on regional arms control, whether in the Middle East, South Asia, or the Korean peninsula.

Over time I will have more to say on these and other elements of our arms control strategy. Tonight I would like to focus in more depth on just a few key ACDA missions and issues.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

In April 1995, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty parties will convene in New York for the purpose of reviewing and extending the Treaty. The outcome of this Conference will have a major impact on future global security. The indefinite and unconditional extension of the NPT ranks among ACDA's most crucial and urgent priorities. President Clinton has made nonproliferation a first-order national purpose. The NPT is the indispensable means to fulfill it.

The NPT, as you know, sets forth the international norm against further nuclear weapon proliferation beyond the five nuclear-armed states. The NPT gives regional adversaries reliable assurance about each other, so they can escape the costs and perils of nuclear arms races. It legitimates global responses, not just unilateral ones, when errant states violate the norm -- a point with special meaning now in connection with North Korea. And the NPT provides for comprehensive safeguards by the International Atomic Energy Agency to guard against the diversion of equipment and material to nuclear weapons use -- an on-site inspection regime more than a quarter-century old and now being strengthened.

U.S. leadership and thorough preparations will be critical to a positive outcome at the 1995 Conference. With very little public attention, ACDA, as the lead agency, has been at work for more than two years organizing those preparations.

In line with President Clinton's mandate, ACDA and other agencies are making nonproliferation -- including NPT extension -- a major element of U.S. bilateral relationships with other countries. Senior officials of the State Department and other agencies are promoting indefinite NPT extension in public statements and in private conversations with foreign leaders. The 1993 G-7 Summit in Tokyo and several Ministerial level meetings involving NATO, the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, have endorsed indefinite extension.

The ACDA effort includes a broad program of consultations through diplomatic channels with over 100 NPT parties, particularly those in the developing world. In addition, during 1993 alone, ACDA led delegations to three meetings in Vienna of the NPT Depositary Governments, and to meetings with France and China to discuss NPT issues. The Agency has led bilateral discussions this year with more than a dozen other countries including Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Morocco, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Thailand.

In May, ACDA headed the U.S. delegation to the first NPT Preparatory Committee meeting in New York. Decisions were reached on only a few issues, but this meeting was a good start to the preparations for 1995. We are hopeful that the second meeting of this Committee to be held January 17-21, 1994, in New York will be able to resolve more of the procedural and organizational questions, so we can turn our attention to the important substantive issues of the NPT and its extension in 1995.

Our goal in the months between now and the Conference is to convince an overwhelming majority of NPT parties that their national interests are best served through an indefinite and unconditional extension of the NPT. This will require extensive consultations, at home and abroad.

To intensify this effort, I have accelerated the selection of the chief of our new division specifically devoted to the NPT. I would like to announce tonight another important organizational step.

I have concluded that our overall NPT extension effort requires a leader with nonproliferation expertise, who is a highly effective advocate, who has stamina and diplomatic skills of the highest order, and who has the respect of both the domestic and international arms control community. Though that is a rare combination of qualities, I did not have to look far. Tom Graham will be undertaking this task.

Tom will be hitting the road at once. I anticipate that he will not only initiate wideranging consultations, but will head our delegations to the Preparatory Committees. He will, of course, be drawing heavily on the Nonproliferation and Regional Arms Control Bureau, but I have assured him that the resources of the Agency as a whole are available. We will do everything we can to demonstrate to the world that nuclear nonproliferation is an enduring value and to achieve the indefinite extension of the NPT.

Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Another and closely related ACDA responsibility, long overdue, is a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.

As you know, President Clinton announced the Administration's support for negotiating a CTB on July 3. Since then, the United States has been working hard to get the negotiations off to a good start. We have been examining in some detail verification and resource questions. We have held a series of bilateral consultations with both nuclear and non-nuclear-weapon states to discuss substantive and procedural issues. The Geneva Conference on Disarmament has agreed to begin CTB negotiations in January. The Conference also decided that informal consultations this fall and winter could help pave the way so that its Ad Hoc Committee on Nuclear Test Ban could be quickly constituted and get down to work.

A CTB will strengthen the global norm against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It will also constrain the qualitative development of nuclear weapons in nuclear-weapon states and help to limit further nuclear weapons capability in proliferant states. And although we do not accept a direct linkage -- for good reason -- the CTB is also important to our efforts on the NPT.

Article VI of the NPT, as you know, requires "...negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament...." We should not be reticent about highlighting a broad range of achievements fulfilling that obligation such as the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty; the reduction and dismantling of tactical nuclear weapons; the cuts agreed under START; and the deeper cuts under START II. These Article VI achievements help make the case for indefinite NPT extension. Now we can add to the Article VI list the further initiatives President Clinton has announced, including the commitment to negotiate a CTB.

That, of course, leads to the question of timing. This Administration is committed to achieving a CTB at the earliest possible time. In my view, that is clearly different from using all the available time, such as to the September 1996 statutory deadline. Other nuclear-weapon states have their own interests, so we cannot unilaterally set the pace. But we can try hard to push the process, keeping in mind the implications for the NPT extension, and that is what we will do.

What happens in the meantime? There is virtually universal support for the principle of a CTB. The First Committee of the UN General Assembly last month approved by consensus a resolution advocating a global treaty to ban nuclear weapon tests -- with the support of the five nuclear-weapon states.

Nevertheless, some states may be opposed to a CTB, at least for now. They would argue for 1998, or next century, or some other distant date. They may be committed to negotiation, but not necessarily to an early conclusion. So near-term success is by no means assured. Conceivably we could arrive at the NPT Conference in April 1995 with only limited progress.

That means the nuclear testing moratorium, at least among the four -- China having so far ignored the urging of much of the world community -- is also important to success of the NPT in 1995. To enter the extension conference with little progress toward a CTB and active nuclear test programs by all five nuclear-weapon states would make it very difficult to achieve our NPT objectives. I hope it will be possible to continue the moratorium under the four principles the President has defined. It serves as a demonstration by the nuclear-weapon states of their commitment to nonproliferation, and also as insurance against a failure to achieve substantial progress in the CTB negotiations by April 1995. That is why it, too, is a vitally important part of the President's policy.

Other Nonproliferation Efforts

The Administration's nonproliferation policy also includes a commitment to strengthen multilateral export controls and to ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency has the resources necessary to implement its vital safeguards responsibilities. We want to improve the Missile Technology Control Regime and use it as a vehicle for joint action to combat missile proliferation. The United States will also seek increased transparency of activities relevant to the Biological Weapons Convention. And we must continue to probe for solutions in those regions where nonproliferation norms have not taken hold.

The President has taken a strong stand against any North Korean nuclear weapon ambitions. In coordination with many other countries, we are trying to persuade North Korea to abide by its obligations under the NPT and to fulfill its denuclearization agreement with South Korea. North Korea faces stark choices. We hope it chooses the route consistent with becoming a responsible member of the international community.

South Asia and the Middle East are other regions where proliferafion threats are acute. We are encouraging India and Pakistan to join in a multilateral effort to examine regional security and arms control issues. We continue to support the activities of the Middle East Arms Control and Regional Security Working Group. In the Middle East, it is also important to keep the pressure on countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Libya to abandon weapons of mass destruction and missile programs.

The Administration has taken the initiative to enhance controls on fissile materials, both civil and military. We have begun preliminary talks with key allies and friends on ways to limit and reduce the growth in civil plutonium stockpiles. This will not be an easy task, because many of these states disagree with our view that reprocessing in civil programs is not justified on economic grounds.

Of particular significance for military stockpiles is the President's announcement in his September 27 UN General Assembly speech that the United States would press for an international agreement to ban the production of separated plutonium and highly enriched uranium for weapons. Such an agreement could bring the unsafeguarded nuclear programs of certain non-NPT states under some measure of restraint for the first time. It would also advance our objectives for the NPT in 1995, by removing a long-standing issue of discrimination between nuclear and non-nuclear-weapon states.

Finally, I note that we are reviewing so-called negative and positive security assurances for NPT non-nuclear-weapon states. Coincidentally, DOD has initiated a comprehensive review of our nuclear posture, which includes doctrinal issues. We expect to provide views on the DOD nuclear posture review before options are presented to the President. Certainly, U.S. policies related to the use of nuclear weapons must account for our arms control and nonproliferation objectives, including strengthening the NPT.

START

Another leading priority is to achieve the strategic force reductions agreed to in the START Treaties. When START II was signed last January, a very wise fellow, Jack Mendelsohn, described it as a "promissory note" because it was dependent on approval and implementation of START I. In fact, both START Treaties linger in that status as a result of the difficulties we have had in obtaining Ukrainian compliance with all portions of the Lisbon Protocol, including an unconditional ratification of START and adherence to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state.

The START I and START II Treaties codify very substantial U.S. and former Soviet warhead reductions. They are profoundly important in managing the security of post-Cold War Europe. The breakup of the Soviet Union drastically changed the political conditions under which START I must be implemented, and added a new imperative of ensuring that the three successor states to the Soviet Union, other than Russia, with START-limited systems on their territories -- Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine -- do not emerge as new nuclear-weapon states.

Good progress has been made with Belarus and Kazakhstan, but the action of the Ukrainian Parliament last month was very disappointing. The Rada's resolution of ratification excluded Ukrainian adherence to Article 5 of the Lisbon Protocol concerning the NPT, and lacked a clear commitment to the elimination of all nuclear weapons and strategic offensive arms in the Treaty's seven year period for reductions.

President Clinton has expressed his deep disappointment over the Rada's action to Ukrainian President Kravchuk, pointing out that several of the conditions on ratification make it impossible to put the Treaty into force. President Kravchuk pledged to resubmit the START Treaty and the NPT to the Rada after new elections.

We believe the best course is to continue working with Ukraine, pressing for full ratification and implementation of the START Treaty and accession to the NPT. Meanwhile, we will pursue efforts to meet Ukraine's concerns on security, on facilitating the dismantlement of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and on sharing the proceeds from the sale to the United States of low enriched uranium derived from the nuclear weapons being returned to Russia. For example, we recently signed an agreement to provide Ukraine with up to $135 million in Nunn-Lugar assistance for dismantling strategic nuclear arms. This aid can be quickly provided once Ukraine brings into force the necessary legal framework for all Nunn-Lugar assistance.

ABM and Theater Defense

Before concluding, let me say a few words about recent decisions related to the ABM Treaty. I imagine there is a good chance this will come up in the question and answer session, but I would like to make six central points now:

First, President Clinton has affirmed our country's commitment to the ABM Treaty. Its preservation remains crucial to stability, to the START I and START II reductions, and to longer term strategic arms control opportunities.

Second, in line with that, the Clinton Administration has explicitly repudiated unilateral reinterpretations of the ABM Treaty that would have done it grave harm.

Third, in the Treaty's implementing body -- the Standing Consultative Commission -- we have also withdrawn the broad revisions to the Treaty proposed by the previous Administration.

Fourth, clarification of the Treaty is needed on the line of demarcation between strategic defenses, which are limited, and theater defenses, which are not. The spread of missile technology -- and the reality of long lead times for designing and building any military systems -- makes it prudent to resolve such issues sooner rather than later.

Fifth, that clarification will be done by agreement, through the SCC, rather than by unilateral pronouncement. We are respecting the Treaty.

Sixth, and finally, what any agreed clarification is called as a legal matter should properly await the outcome of the negotiations, and there will be consultations with the Senate on that matter. A conclusion that it is an amendment would have significant implications for success, of course, because we have also accepted in the SCC the principle that other states of the former Soviet Union should be added as Treaty partners -- which can seriously complicate ratification, as we know from our experience on START.

I know many of you are concerned about this issue. I have read the transcript of your press conference last Wednesday. But I hope you will give us credit for moving in the right way to address an issue that truly does need resolution. It is an approach designed to preserve, rather than undermine, an agreement that remains profoundly important.

Conclusion

These few issues confirm that our country has a massive and urgent arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agenda -- including many things I have not discussed or even mentioned here. By their omission I do not intend to denigrate their importance -- but only to appreciate how long you have been waiting for the monologue to end so the dialogue can begin.

To the surprise of some, the end of the Cold War actually has increased ACDA's mission. It has made the great promise of START harder to realize, while at the same time creating new proliferation sources, and loosening some of the constraints on third countries that a bipolar structure imposed. Meanwhile, as always, technology has run ahead of politics and human wisdom, easing the challenge to proliferators and correspondingly complicating ours.

We have no choice but to rise to this challenge. And to do that, the Clinton Administration, ACDA, and I need your help. Above all that is why I wanted to be here tonight -- to make a direct appeal for your continued advice, ideas, and support. Obviously I prefer reasoned discourse, but you are also entitled to raise your voices from time to time -- for cause, of course.

In return, you have my assurance that I will bring to the Directorship of ACDA not only whatever intellectual resources I have -- but also all the energy, constancy, voice, and audacity I can muster. I intend to keep faith with President Clinton, with the proud history of ACDA, with its extraordinary people, and with you.