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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 53, December 2000 - January 2001

Bush Team Confirmation Hearings

Secretary of State-designate

Prepared statement of Colin L. Powell, Confirmation Hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, January 17, 2001.

"Our relations with Russia must not be dictated by any fear on our part. If we believe that the enlargement of NATO should continue, for example - and we do - we should not fear that Russia will object. ... Russia is a country that can gain enormous benefits from its relationship with us and with the West in general. But that relationship can only be a strong and successful one if Russia does what it needs to do. And what it needs to do, as President-elect Bush has said, is to get on with reform - in particular by firmly establishing the rule of law, rooting out corruption, stopping proliferation of missile technology and nuclear materials, ending sales of destabilizing conventional weapons to nations such as Iran and, in general, living up to the obligations it has incurred as the newest democracy with world power credentials. ...

In conjunction with Secretary-designate Rumsfeld, we will review thoroughly our relationship with the North Koreans, measuring our response by the only criterion that is meaningful - continued peace and prosperity in the South and in the region. ... Secretary Albright has made me aware of the status of discussions with the North Koreans. So we are mindful of all the work that has been done and will use it as we review our overall policy on the Peninsula. In the meantime, we will abide by our commitments under the Agreed Framework provided that North Korea does the same. ...

We must always be mindful of the uniqueness of America's armed forces. We possess the only military in the world that can go anywhere, any time, support ourselves over the long haul, and do it all in an overwhelming and decisive manner if need be. Tying down such forces is often imprudent. We need to consider these points whenever we feel the need to use our armed forces for peace operations that promise long or undetermined duration. We must consider also that when we deploy our military, whether for peace operations or potential conflict, they are vulnerable to more than simply conventional weapons.

While such weapons constitute the primary threat to our men and women in uniform, our GIs are also vulnerable to weapons of mass destruction delivered by missiles, as are the militaries and civilian populations of our allies and our friends. Theater Missile Defense is therefore an important requirement for our forces. Working with Secretary-designate Rumsfeld, we will review where our technology is today for TMD and also for National Missile Defense. As you are aware, President-elect Bush has made it quite clear that he is committed to deploying an effective missile defense using the best technology at the earliest possible date. We will be developing a plan for the way ahead - including looking at the diplomatic ramifications.

I believe it is important that we look at missile defense within the context of our entire strategic framework. This framework includes offensive nuclear weapons, our command and control systems, our intelligence systems, arms control including our non-proliferation efforts, and missile defense. No one thinking soundly, logically, would construct a strategic framework with offense only. ... If we can put together a complete framework, one that includes all the strategic dimensions, including defense, we will be that much better off in our relations with both friend and foe. I still remember the original purpose of such a defense - that is, to start diminishing the value of offensive weapons. That's important if we are serious...in our efforts to make the world a safer place with fewer nuclear weapons and with the ones that remain having less currency.

There is no question that today we still need the offensive component of our strategic architecture because, in my mind, the greatest deterrent right now is the clear fact that we have the capability to destroy any tyrant who could fire a missile at us. This is another area where studied ambiguity is useless. With respect to our offensive component we still need a president who can stand on a DMZ [Demilitarized Zone], gaze into enemy territory, and let it be known without a second's hesitation that should a missile come from that territory there is no question as to what will happen next.

While we design this complete strategic framework and decide these important issues on missile defense, there will be time to consult with our allies and friends to solicit their views and to ensure their understanding of what we are doing and, in some cases, their participation. We will also discuss this issue with the Russians and the Chinese, as we continue to operate on the arms control front as well. In that context, the ABM Treaty in its current form is no longer relevant to our new strategic framework. We hope to persuade the Russians of the need to move beyond it.

Important in this regard also is to reduce further the number of excess nuclear weapons in the offensive part of the framework. There are still too many in ours and in Russia's stockpiles. And in Russia there are still thousands of nuclear weapons that may not be secure. This challenge was addressed in 1991 by you, Senator Lugar, and by your fellow Senator then, Senator Nunn of Georgia. Under the resulting program, security at many Russian nuclear facilities has been improved and warheads have been destroyed. But a great deal of Russian nuclear material cannot be accounted for. We need an accurate inventory of all this material. And we need to increase and reinforce our efforts to dismantle as many of Russia's weapons as possible, as quickly as possible. I am confident that we can continue to count on strong congressional support for these efforts, as has been the case in the past.

We also need to review our approach to curbing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which will have a high priority in the Bush administration. In that regard, the President-elect does not plan to ask the Senate to take up again for ratification the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. At the same time, he has said that we will not resume testing as there is no need to do so for the foreseeable future. I have reviewed the report by President Clinton's special advisor and my colleague General Shalikashvili, and we will be reviewing the recommendations he makes, especially those relating to the Stockpile Stewardship Program.

Our primary emphasis in our efforts to curb proliferation, however, will remain twofold: to constrict the supply of nuclear materials and the means to deliver them and to discourage other countries from believing any gains will accrue from possession of such weapons. These two fundamentals will be at the heart of our non-proliferation policy. ...

[A]s we look at the entire [Mideast] region...there is no more tragic case than Iraq, a failed state with a failed leader. It is sad to consider what it could be, what it should be, if only it used its vast resources and its talented people for constructive purposes. But instead of seeking peace and prosperity for its people, a weakened Iraq utters threats and pursues horrible weapons to terrorize its neighbors. ...

The President-elect has made it clear that we will work with our allies to re-energize the sanctions regime. Critics will say that tightened sanctions mean more harm to the people of Iraq, especially the children. No one cares for children more than I do. And I understand that a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon in the hands of Saddam Hussein threatens the children of not only Iraq but the entire region far more than tightened sanctions whose ultimate goal it is to prevent such a weapon.

The problem in Iraq is not with tightened sanctions. From its inception, the sanctions regime has included means by which Iraq could import whatever food and humanitarian assistance it required. The problem...lies with a leader that continues to deny his people the basic necessities of life in a cynical attempt to manipulate public opinion both inside Iraq and in the wider world. We need to be vigilant, ready to respond to provocations, and utterly steadfast in our policy toward Saddam Hussein, and we need to be supportive of opposition efforts. ...

On the other side of the Persian Gulf, Iran is a different case - an important country undergoing profound change from within. We have important differences on matters of policy. But these differences need not preclude greater interaction, whether in more normal commerce or increased dialogue. Our national security team will be reviewing such possibilities. ...

There is another country...that I want to mention before I leave this regional perspective, a country that should grow more and more focused in the lens of our foreign policy. That country is India. We must deal more wisely with the world's largest democracy. Soon to be the most populous country in the world, India has the potential to help keep the peace in the vast Indian Ocean area and its periphery. We need to work harder and more consistently to assist India in this endeavor, while not neglecting our friends in Pakistan. As you know, this is a delicate process in the midst of what by any accurate account would be labeled an arms race between these two countries. Recently, however, there have been encouraging signs, including India's extended moratorium on operations in Kashmir and Pakistan's restraint along the Line of Control. ..."

Source: Text - Powell opening statement before Senate Foreign Relations Committee, US State Department (Washington File), January 17.

Defense Secretary-designate

Prepared statement of Donald H. Rumsfeld, Confirmation Hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, January 11.

"President-elect Bush has outlined three overarching goals for bringing US armed forces into the 21st century: first, we must strengthen the bond of trust with the American military...; second, we must develop the capabilities to defend against missiles, terrorism, and newer threats against our space assets and information systems. The American people, our forces abroad, and our friends and allies must be protected against the threats with which modern technology and its proliferation confront us; and third, we must take advantage of the new possibilities that the ongoing technological revolution offers to create the military of the next century. ...

President-elect Bush is committed to a strong national defense. Therefore, if confirmed, one of our first tasks will be to undertake a comprehensive review of US defense policy. This review will be aimed at making certain that we have a sound understanding of the state of US forces and their readiness to meet the requirements of the 21st century security environment.

We must ensure that we will be able to develop, deploy, operate and support a highly effective force capable of deterring and defending against new threats, so that our country can contribute to peace and stability in the world. This will require a refashioning of deterrence and defense capabilities. The old deterrence of the Cold War era is imperfect for dissuading the threats of the 21st century and for maintaining the stability of our new security environment. ...

[W]e need to fashion and sustain deterrence appropriate to the contemporary security environment... The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery are increasingly a fact of life that first must be acknowledged and then managed. While striving to prevent further proliferation remains essential, a determined state may, nonetheless, succeed in acquiring weapons of mass destruction and increasingly capable missiles. As a consequence, a decisive change in policy should be aimed at devaluing investment in weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems by potential adversaries.

In a world of smaller, but in some respects more deadly threats, the ability to defend ourselves and our friends against attacks by missiles and other terror weapons can strengthen deterrence and provide an important complement purely to retaliatory capabilities. Moreover, the ability to protect our forces is essential to preserving our freedom to act in a crisis. To this end, effective missile defense - not only homeland defense, but also the ability to defend US forces abroad and our allies and friends, must be achieved in the most cost-effective manner that modern technology offers.

Nuclear deterrence remains an essential element of our defense policy. The credibility, safety, reliability, and effectiveness of the nation's nuclear deterrent must remain unquestioned. But it must be adapted to 21st century deterrence needs. Credible deterrence no longer can be based solely on the prospect of punishment through massive retaliation. Instead, it must be based on a combination of offensive nuclear and non-nuclear defensive capabilities working together to deny potential adversaries the opportunity and benefits from the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction against our forces and homeland, as well as those of our allies. ..."

Source: Text - Defense Secretary Designate Rumsfeld Outlines Policy Objectives, US State Department (Washington File), January 11.

© 2001 The Acronym Institute.