STATEMENT BY THE HONORABLE HAROLD BROWN,
ELLIOTT RICHARDSON, AND WILLIAM PERRY, FORMER
SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE, ON THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION

U.S. Department of Defense - April 18, 1997

As former secretaries of defense, we would like to join former
military leaders including past chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Generals Colin Powell, John Vessey, David Jones and Admiral William
Crowe, and former chiefs of staff from the Army, Navy, Air Force and
Marine Corps, plus other combat veterans like General Norman
Schwarzkopf in offering our strong support for the ratification of the
Chemical Weapons Convention.

We firmly believe that U.S. ratification of the CWC will contribute
significantly to the security interests of the United States and the
safety of our armed forces. In conjunction with the Department of
Defense's other efforts against chemical weapons proliferation, a
robust chemical protection program and maintenance of a range of
non-chemical response capabilities, the CWC will serve the best
interests of the United States and the world community. In light of
the decision under President Reagan to get rid of the vast majority of
U.S. chemical weapons stockpiles, it is in our interests to require
other nations to do the same. The access provided for by the treaty
will enhance our ability to monitor world-wide CW activities.

We believe the CWC, which was negotiated under Presidents Reagan and
Bush and completed by President Bush, to be a carefully considered
treaty that serves our national interests well. Failure to ratify the
CWC would send a clear signal of U.S. retreat from international
leadership to both our friends and to our potential adversaries and
would damage our ability to inhibit the proliferation of chemical
weapons.

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