including former senators,
generals, endorse the treaty
The drumbeat of support for the Chemical Weapons Convention continues to grow as two new letters of endorsement from prominent Americans were added to the list of treaty supporters. Scores of letters urging ratification of the CWC have come from a broad spectrum of Americans including the business, religious, veterans, and scientific communities
Key military leaders wrote: “As former members of the United States Armed Forces, we write to express our strong support for Senate ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). This landmark treaty serves the national security interests of the United States.
“Each of us can point to decades of military experience in command positions. We have all trained and commanded troops to prepare for the wartime use of chemical weapons and for defenses against them. We all recognize the limited military utility of these weapons, and supported President Bush’s decision to renounce the use of an offensive chemical weapons capability and to unilaterally destroy U.S. stockpiles. The CWC simply mandates that other countries follow our lead. This is the primary contribution of the CWC: to destroy militarily-significant stockpiles of chemical weapons around the globe.
“We recognize that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical agents, presents a major national security threat to the U.S. The CWC ... improves our abilities to gather intelligence on emerging threats. These new intelligence tools deserve the Senate’s support.
“Our focus is not on the treaty’s limitations, but instead on its many strengths. The CWC destroys stockpiles that could threaten our troops; it significantly improves our intelligence capabilities; and it creates new international sanctions to punish those states who remain outside of the treaty. For
|Military leaders who back the CWC include: Former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
|General Colin Powell
||General John Vessey
|General David Jones Former Service Chiefs:
General Merrill McPeak, USAF
General Carl Mundy Jr., USMC
General Gordon Sullivan, USA
Admiral E.R. Zumwalt Jr., USN
General Michael Dugan, USAF Other Military Leaders:
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
|Admiral Stanley Arthur
General Charles Horner
Adm. Wesley McDonald
Admiral William Owens
|Gen. Robert RisCassi
Adm. Richard Truly
Adm. Stansfield Turner
Gen. Fred Woerner
these reasons, we strongly support the CWC.”
Former Senators Nancy Kassebaum Baker and David Boren, along with former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft also wrote to President Clinton: “We are convinced that the U.S. national interest will be better served if the United States joins with nearly 70 other countries -- including most of its major allies and friends -- who already have ratified the CWC regime rather than lining up with rogue states like Libya and Iraq which have rejected it. The fact that the United States will unilaterally destroy its own chemical weapons by 2004, whether or not we join the CWC, only reinforces this conclusion....
“We believe the real issue at stake is American leadership, not only on this critical issue of chemical weapons proliferation, but also with ramifications on a far broader array of issues which directly affect our [United States] interest.”
The complete texts of the letters follow.