[1997 Senate Hearings]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access]
S. Hrg. 105-183
CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
APRIL 8, 9, 15 AND 17, 1997
Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
JESSE HELMS, North Carolina, Chairman
RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware
PAUL COVERDELL, Georgia PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland
CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut
GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming CHARLES S. ROBB, Virginia
ROD GRAMS, Minnesota RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin
JOHN ASHCROFT, Missouri DIANNE FEINSTEIN, California
BILL FRIST, Tennessee PAUL D. WELLSTONE, Minnesota
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas
James W. Nance, Staff Director
Edwin K. Hall, Minority Staff Director
C O N T E N T S
Tuesday, April 8, 1997
Rumsfeld, Hon. Donald, former Secretary of Defense............... 13
Prepared statement........................................... 19
Schlesinger, Hon. James R., former Secretary of Defense.......... 5
Letter Submitted by Hon. Richard B. Cheney, former Secretary
of Defense................................................. 5
Weinberger, Hon. Caspar, former Secretary of Defense............. 9
Albright, Hon. Madeleine Korbel, Secretary of State.............. 61
Prepared statement........................................... 64
Wednesday, April 9, 1997
Feith, Douglas J., Feith and Zell, P.C., former Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Negotiation Policy.................... 107
Prepared statement........................................... 110
Ikle, Dr. Fred C., former Director, Arms Control and Disarmament
Kirkpatrick, Dr. Jeane J., former U.S. Permanent Representative
to the United Nations, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise
Prepared statement........................................... 96
Perle, Richard N., former Assistant Secretary of Defense for
International Security Policy.................................. 99
Rowny, Lieutenant General Edward L., U.S. Army (retired),
International Negotiation Consultant........................... 131
Prepared statement........................................... 133
Scowcroft, General Brent, President, Forum for International
Policy, and former National Security Policy Advisor............ 134
Zumwalt, Admiral E.R., Jr., United States Navy (retired), Member,
President's Foreign Intelligence Avisory Board................. 124
Tuesday, April 15, 1997
Bailey, Hon. Kathleen C., Senior Fellow, Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory............................................ 182
Prepared statement........................................... 185
Letter Submitted by Paul L. Eisman, Senior Vice President for
Refining, Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corporation............ 182
Letter Submitted by Robert W. Roten, President and CEO of
Sterling Chemicals......................................... 183
Forbes, Malcolm S., Jr., President and CEO, Forbes, Inc., New
York, New York................................................. 153
Prepared statement........................................... 157
Johnson, Ralph V., Vice President, Environmental Affairs, Dixie
Chemical Company, Inc., Houston, Texas......................... 180
Kearns, Kevin L., President, United States Business and
Industrial Council............................................. 174
Prepared statement........................................... 176
Merrifield, Hon. Bruce, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce... 187
Reinsch, Hon. William A., Under Secretary of Commerce for Export
Prepared statement........................................... 192
Spears, Wayne, Owner and CEO, Spears Manufacturing, Inc., Sylmar,
Prepared statement........................................... 179
Webber, Frederick, President, Chemical Manufacturers Association,
Washington, D.C................................................ 194
Prepared statement........................................... 197
Thursday, April 17, 1997
Goss, Hon. Porter J., U.S. Representative in Congress From
Lehman, Hon. Ronald F., former Director, Arms Control and
Disarmament Agency............................................. 236
Odom, General William, U.S. Army (retired), former Director,
National Security Agency....................................... 227
O'Malley, Edward J., former Assistant Director
(Counterintelligence), Federal Bureau of Investigation......... 231
Conditions to the Chemical Weapons Convention.................... 261
The Case Against The Chemical Weapons Convention ``Truth or
Consequences'' [Prepared by The Center for Security Policy].... 276
Remarks by President Bill Clinton and Others at the White House,
April 4, 1997.................................................. 321
False Promises, Fatal Flaws: The Chemical Weapons Convention
[Prepared by Empower America].................................. 326
Letters and Other Material Submitted in Support of Ratification
of the Chemical Weapons Convention:
American Ex-Prisoners of War................................. 329
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.......................... 329
Reserve Officers Association of the United States............ 329
Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A............................. 330
Prepared Statement of Brad Roberts, Institute for Defense
Letters Submitted in Opposition to Ratification of the Chemical
Sterling Chemicals........................................... 335
Small Business Survival Committee............................ 335
Statement by Ronald F. Lehman Before the U.S. Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, June 9, 1994.............................. 337
CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 1997--A.M. SESSION
Committee on Foreign Relations,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m. in
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Jesse Helms
(chairman of the committee) presiding.
Present: Senators Helms, Lugar, Hagel, Smith, Thomas,
Ashcroft, Grams, Brownback, Biden, Sarbanes, Dodd, Kerry, Robb,
Feingold, Feinstein, and Wellstone.
The Chairman. The committee will come to order.
I believe it is customary to wait until there is at least
one Senator from each party present.
I would inquire of the minority counsel.
Can you give us some advice as to whether Senator Biden
would wish us to proceed?
I might explain to our distinguished guests this morning--
and, as a matter of fact, everybody here is a distinguished
guest as far as I am concerned--as I just said, it is a
tradition, in this committee, at least, to have at least one
Senator from each party present before the proceeding begins.
Senator Biden is on a train coming in from Delaware, and I
am seeking information as to whether it would be his wish that
we proceed without him until he gets here.
I am told that it is satisfactory with Senator Biden that
we do proceed.
As is obvious, this morning's hearing is the first of the
Foreign Relations Committee's final round of testimony on the
Chemical Weapons Convention, or that's right.
I think it is fair to say that history is being made here
this morning and I believe today is the first time that three
distinguished, former U.S. Secretaries of Defense have ever
appeared together before a Senate committee to oppose
ratification of an arms control treaty. And if ever a treaty
deserved such highly respected opposition, it is the dangerous
and defective so-called Chemical Weapons Convention.
This morning's witnesses include Hon. James Schlesinger,
Secretary of Defense for President Nixon, Hon. Donald Rumsfeld,
Secretary of Defense for President Ford, and Hon. Caspar
Weinberger, Secretary of Defense for President Reagan.
Further, we will have testimony today in the form of a
letter from Hon. Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense for the
Bush administration. Secretary Cheney's schedule precluded him
from being here in person today. But he has asked Secretary
Schlesinger to read into the record Secretary Cheney's strong
opposition to Senate ratification of the Chemical Weapons
So with Secretary Cheney's contribution, this hearing will
consist of testimony by and from Defense Secretaries of every
Republican administration since Richard Nixon, testimony that
will counsel the Senate to decline to ratify this dangerously
These distinguished Americans are by no means alone. More
than 50--more than 50--generals, admirals, and senior officials
from previous administrations have joined them in opposing the
Chemical Weapons Convention, and if that does not send a clear
signal on just how dangerous this treaty really is, I cannot
imagine what would.
So, gentlemen, we welcome you and deeply appreciate your
being here today to testify. I regret that we cannot offer you
the pomp and circumstance of the Rose Garden ceremony last
week, but our invitation to be there got lost in the mail
Your testimony here today will convey to the American
people highly respected assessments of this dangerous treaty.
Now our precise purpose today is to examine the national
security implications of the CWC which is important because the
105th Congress has 15 new Senators, including three new and
able members of this committee who have never heard testimony
on this treaty.
The case against the treaty can be summarized quite simply,
I think. It is not global, it is not verifiable, it is not
constitutional, and it will not work. Otherwise, it is a fair
The Chemical Weapons Convention will do absolutely nothing
to protect the American people from the dangers of chemical
weapons. What it will do is increase rogue regimes' access to
dangerous chemical agents and technology while imposing new
regulations on American businesses, exposing them to increased
danger of industrial espionage and trampling their
constitutional rights. Outside of the Beltway, where people do
not worship at the altar of arms control, that is what we call
``A bum deal.''
We have been hearing a lot of empty rhetoric from the
proponents of the treaty about ``banning chemical weapons from
the face of the earth.'' This treaty will do no such thing. No
supporter of this treaty can tell us with a straight face how
this treaty will actually accomplish that goal.
The best argument they have mustered to date is yes, it is
defective, they say, but it is better than nothing.
But, in fact, this treaty is worse than nothing for, on top
of the problems with the CWC's verifiability and
constitutionality, this treaty gives the American people a
false sense of security that something is being done to reduce
the dangers of chemical weaponry when, in fact, nothing--
nothing--is being done. If anything, this treaty puts the
American people at greater risk.
More than 90 percent of the countries possessing chemical
weaponry have not ratified the CWC, and more than one-third of
them have not even signed it. This includes almost all of the
terrorist regimes whose possession of chemical weapons does
threaten the United States, countries like Libya, Syria, Iraq,
and North Korea. Not one of them--not one of them--is a
signatory to this treaty and none of them will be affected by
Worse still, this treaty will increase access to dangerous
chemical agents and technology to rogue states who do sign the
treaty. Iran, for example, is one of the few nations on this
earth ever to use chemical weapons. Yet Iran is a signatory of
I am going to stop with the rest of my prepared statement
today so that we can get to our witnesses, which is what you
are here for.
But I want to say, once more, that I ask the American
people not to take my word for anything that I am saying. I ask
the American people to consider the judgments of these
distinguished former Secretaries of Defense who oppose the CWC.
I am looking forward to hearing from them about the
treaty's scope, verifiability, about its Articles X and XI, and
the assessment of our distinguished witnesses about the overall
potential impact of this treaty on America's national security.
That said, we turn to the witnesses.
Secretary Schlesinger, we call on you first.
[The prepared statement of The Chairman follows:]
Prepared Statement of Chairman Helms
This morning's hearing is the first of the Foreign Relations
Committee's final round of testimony on the Chemical Weapons
Convention. I think it is fair to say that history is being made this
morning. I believe today is the first time that three distinguished
former United States Secretaries of Defense have ever appeared together
before a Senate committee to oppose ratification of an arms control
treaty. And if ever a treaty deserved such highly respected opposition,
it is the dangerous and defective Chemical Weapons Convention.
This morning's witnesses include the Honorable James Schlesinger,
Secretary of Defense for President Nixon; the Honorable Donald
Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense for President Ford; and the Honorable
Casper Weinberger, Secretary of Defense for President Reagan.
Further, we will have testimony today, in the form of a letter from
the Honorable Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense for the Bush
Administration. Secretary Cheney's schedule precludes him from being
here in person today, but he has asked Secretary Schlesinger to read
into the record Secretary Cheney's strong opposition to Senate
ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
So with Secretary Cheney's contribution, this hearing will consist
of testimony by and from defense secretaries of every Republican
administration since Richard Nixon--testimony that will counsel the
Senate to decline to ratify this dangerously defective treaty. These
distinguished Americans are by no means alone. More than 50 generals,
admirals, and senior officials from previous Administrations have
joined them in opposing the Chemical Weapons Convention. If that
doesn't send a clear signal of just how dangerous this treaty really
is, I can't imagine what would.
So, gentlemen, we welcome you and deeply appreciate your being here
today to testify. I regret we cannot offer you the pomp and
circumstance of a Rose Garden ceremony, but your testimony here today
will convey to the American people highly respected assessments of this
Our precise purpose today is to examine the national security
implications of the CWC. This is important because the 105th Congress
has 15 new Senators, including three new and able members of this
committee, who have never heard testimony on the treaty.
The case against this treaty can be summarized quite simply: It is
not global, it is not verifiable, it is not constitutional, and it will
The Chemical Weapons Convention will do nothing to protect the
American people from the dangers of chemical weapons. What it will in
fact do is increase rogue regimes' access to dangerous chemical agents
and technology, while imposing new regulations on American businesses,
exposing them to increased danger of industrial espionage, and
trampling their Constitutional rights. Outside the beltway, where
people don't worship at the altar of arms control, that's what we call
a bum deal.
We have been hearing a lot of empty rhetoric from proponents of
this treaty about ``banning chemical weapons from the face of the
earth.'' This treaty will do no such thing. No supporter of this treaty
can tell us, with a straight face, how this treaty will actually
accomplish that goal.
The best argument they have mustered to date is: Yes, it is
defective, but it is better than nothing.
But in fact, this treaty is much worse than nothing. For, on top of
the problems with the CWC's verifiability and constitutionality, this
treaty gives the American people a false sense of security that
something is being done to reduce the dangers of chemical weapons, when
in fact nothing is being done. If anything, this treaty puts the
American people at greater risk.
More than 90 percent of the countries possessing chemical weapons
have not ratified the CWC, and more than one third of them have not
even signed it. That includes almost all of the terrorist regimes whose
possession of chemical weapons does threaten the United States--
countries like Libya, Syria, Iraq, and North Korea. Not one of them is
a signatory to this treaty. And none of them will be affected by it.
Worse still, this treaty would increase access to dangerous
chemical agents and technology by rogue states who do sign it. Iran,
for example, is one of the few nations on the earth ever to use
chemical weapons. Yet Iran is a signatory to the CWC.
Why, you may ask, why does Iran support the treaty? Because by
joining the CWC, Iran can demand access to chemical technology of any
other signatory nation--including the United States, if the U.S. Senate
were to make the mistake of ratifying it. In other words, Iran will be
entitled to chemical defensive gear and dangerous dual-use chemicals
and technologies that will help them modernize their chemical weapons
Giving U.S. assent to legalizing such transfers of chemical agents
and technology to such rogue nations is pure folly, and will make the
problem of chemical weapons more difficult to constrain, not less.
For example, if the U.S. were to protest a planned sale of a
chemical manufacturing facility by Russia to Iran, under the CWC Russia
could argue that not only are they permitted to sell such dangerous
chemical technology to Teheran, but they are obliged to do so--by a
treaty the U.S. agreed to. Because Iran's terrorist leaders have
promised to get rid of their chemical weapons.
Is it possible for the United States to verify whether Iran will be
complying with its treaty obligations? Of course not. Even the
administration admits that this chemical weapons treaty is
President Clinton's own Director of Central Intelligence, James
Woolsey, declared in testimony before this committee on June 23, 1994,
that, and I quote, ``the chemical weapons problem is so difficult from
an intelligence perspective, that I cannot state that we have high
confidence in our ability to detect noncompliance, especially on a
So in other words, under this treaty, the American people will have
to take the Ayatollahs' word for it.
And what about Russia--the country possessing the largest and most
sophisticated chemical weapons arsenal in the world? Russia has made
perfectly clear it has no intention of eliminating its chemical weapons
stockpile. In fact, Russia is already violating its bilateral agreement
with the U.S. to get rid of these terrible weapons; It has consistently
refused to come clean about the true size of its chemical weapons
stockpile; and Russia continues to work on a new generation of nerve
agents, disguised as everyday commercial or agricultural chemicals,
specifically designed to circumvent this chemical weapons treaty that
the Clinton Administration is pulling out all the stops to force the
Senate to ratify.
All this, sad to say, is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of
what's wrong with this treaty. There is a whole array of other problems
which I hope we can discuss today. But I think it borders on fraudulent
to mislead the American people, as so many other treaty proponents
have, into to believing that their lives will somehow be made safer if
this treaty is ratified--and that their safety is being put at risk if
the Senate refuses to be stampeded by Rose Garden ceremonies and high-
But I ask the American people not to take my word for it. I ask all
Americans to consider the judgments of these distinguished former
Secretaries of Defense who oppose the CWC. I am looking forward to
hearing from them about the treaty's scope, verifiability, its Articles
X and XI, and the assessment of our distinguished witnesses about the
overall potential impact of this treaty on America's national security.
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES R. SCHLESINGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF
Dr. Schlesinger. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
At the outset, I will allow Secretary Cheney to join us
vicariously. He has sent a letter, as you indicated, and I
shall read it into the record.
This letter is dated April 7, from Dallas, Texas.
Hon. Jesse Helms,
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
Dear Mr. Chairman. Thank you for your letter inviting me to join
several other former Secretaries of Defense in testifying in early
April when the Foreign Relations Committee holds hearings on the
Chemical Weapons Convention. Regrettably, other commitments will
preclude me from participation. I hope that this correspondence will be
sufficient to convey my views on this convention.
During the years I served as Secretary of Defense, I was deeply
concerned about the inherent unverifiability, lack of global coverage,
and unenforceability of a convention that sought to ban production and
stockpiling of chemical weapons. My misgivings on these scores have
only intensified during the 4 years since I left the Pentagon.
The technology to manufacture chemical weapons is simply too
ubiquitous, covert chemical warfare programs too easily concealed, and
the international community's record of responding effectively to
violations of arms control treaties too unsatisfactory to permit
confidence that such a regime would actually reduce the chemical
Indeed, some aspects of the present convention--notably its
obligation to share with potential adversaries, like Iran, chemical
manufacturing technology that can be used for military purposes and
chemical defensive equipment--threaten to make this accord worse than
having no treaty at all. In my judgment, the treaty's Articles X and XI
amount to a formula for greatly accelerating the proliferation of
chemical warfare capabilities around the globe.
Those nations most likely to comply with the Chemical Weapons
Convention are not likely to ever constitute a military threat to the
United States. The governments we should be concerned about are likely
to cheat on the CWC even if they do participate.
In effect, the Senate is being asked to ratify the CWC even though
it is likely to be ineffective, unverifiable, and unenforceable. Having
ratified the convention, we will then be told we have ``dealt with the
problem of chemical weapons'' when, in fact, we have not. But
ratification of the CWC will lead to a sense of complacency, totally
unjustified given the flaws in the convention.
I would urge the Senate to reject the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The Chairman. Thank you, sir.
Dr. Schlesinger. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I
thank the committee for its invitation to testify today on the
ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention. I must at the
outset underscore my belief that the proper criterion for
judging the convention is whether or not it is in the interest
of the United States and whether or not it will serve the long-
run purposes of the American people. It should not be approved
simply for reasons of diplomatic momentum or a gesture toward
multilateralism, but as a treaty with which this Nation must
Mr. Chairman, I start with the interesting and somewhat
checkered history of efforts at the control of chemical
weapons. The introduction of poison gas in World War I and then
its widespread use in the later stages of that war led to a
horrified reaction. That reaction, plus the unease concerning
its subsequent use by colonial powers, led to the Geneva
Convention in 1925, which forbids the use of poison gas by all
In the period prior to World War II, the European powers
carefully prepared for the possible use of poison gas. In the
actual circumstances of the war, however, the German decision
to refrain from using poison gas came not for humanitarian
reasons, not for reasons of the treaty, which German diplomats
might well have described as ``a scrap of paper,'' but out of
concern for the threat of devastating retaliation by the
Iraq has been and is a signatory to the Geneva Convention.
In the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980's, Iraq used poison gas as a
way of stemming the ``human wave'' attacks of the Iranians.
What was our reaction and the reaction of other Western powers
at that time? In brief, it was to avert our gaze.
Later, as the war died down, Saddam Hussein used gas
against Iraq's Kurds. This time, however, the response was
slightly more vigorous. An international gathering took place
in Paris in January 1989. Not only did the international
community fail to denounce Iraq, most participants were
reluctant even to name Iraq for using gas. Our own reaction,
was to say the least, somewhat muted. After all, Iraq provided
protection in the Gulf against the Ayatollah's Iran. For what
were regarded as sound geopolitical reasons, we failed to take
action to sustain the existing prohibition on the use of poison
gas by a signatory--despite Iraq's blatant violation of the
Geneva Convention. This manifest failure of the existing arms
control regime did stimulate renewed efforts on the Chemical
Weapons Convention that lies before you. Aha! Perhaps if we
were unwilling to enforce the existing ban on the use of poison
gas, we might be more willing to take strong actions against
Would we actually do more in enforcement when the evidence
is far more ambiguous and the menace more distant? The use of
poison gas is readily detectable; manufacture is not. Tapes and
photographs were widely available of Kurdish women clutching
their children to their breasts in the vain attempt to protect
them against the gas. And yet we did nothing--for then it was
not regarded as in our interest to intervene.
By contrast, in the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein did not use
poison gas against our troops. In the famous letter from
President Bush to Saddam Hussein in early 1991 in which we
demanded Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait, we reminded Saddam that
the United States had nuclear weapons. As Secretary Baker has
said, we also, ``made it very clear that if Iraq used weapons
of mass destruction, chemical weapons against U.S. forces, that
the American people would demand vengeance and that we had the
means to achieve it.''
What are the lessons learned from these episodes? Treaties
alone will do little. To prevent the use or the manufacture of
chemical weapons requires a structure for deterrence backed by
real capabilities. Above all, enforcement will depend upon the
will to take action which, if history is any guide, will in
turn depend upon a careful geopolitical assessment.
Mr. Chairman, let me turn from history to specific problems
in this convention. In this brief statement, I can only deal
with five problem areas. Nonetheless, I would hope that the
members of this committee and your colleagues in the Senate
receive clear reassurance in these areas before you approve the
First is non-lethal chemicals. Non-lethal chemicals are
necessary for crowd control, for peacekeeping, for rescuing
downed pilots and the like. In the negotiations on the
convention, we were pressed to ban non-lethal chemicals along
with lethal chemicals. President Bush, under pressure from the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, reiterated prior American policy and
indicated that use of riot control agents would not be banned.
The Clinton administration has been far more ambiguous on this
subject, retreating from President Bush's stated exclusion.
Sometime it has suggested that such agents could be used in
peacetime but not in wartime. That raises the question of
defining when the Nation is at war. Was the Vietnam War a war?
Just 2 days ago, the New York Times stated that the
administration ``has also refused to interpret the treaty in a
way that would allow the use of tear gas for crowd control,
mainly because the Pentagon has said it has no need to ever use
If the latter is true, it represents a remarkable
transformation of Pentagon attitudes, and I recommend that you
check this out. The first part of the quotation reflects the
continuing ambivalence of the administration on the question of
non-lethal chemicals. I trust that the Senate will seek
clarification of the administration's position and indeed
insist that the use of tear gas will not be banned either in
peace or war. Otherwise, we may wind up placing ourselves in
the position of the Chinese Government in dealing with the
Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989. The failure to use tear gas
meant that that government only had recourse to the massive use
of firepower to disperse the crowd.
Second is sharing CW technology. Article X of the treaty
requires that signatories have a right to acquire CW defensive
technologies from other signatories. This may mean that the
United States is obliged to share such technologies with Iran,
Cuba, and other such nations that may sign the convention.
Almost certainly that interpretation will be argued by lawyers
in the government. But, even if the Senate were able to prevent
such obligatory transfers, it is plain that Article X
legitimizes such transfers by other industrial nations which
will argue they are obliged to do so by the treaty.
Clearly, that undercuts any sanctions directed against
rogue nations that happen to sign the convention. And, in any
event, there are still other states that do not agree with our
judgments in these matters and will acquire such chemical
warfare defensive technologies and will share such technologies
with rogue nations whether signatories or not.
Third is the defense against chemical weapons. Continued
and vigorous efforts to develop chemical weapons defenses are
required. In the years ahead, various groups, inclined to
fanaticism, are likely to use chemical weapons as instruments
of sabotage or terrorism. Aum Shin Rikyo, the Japanese
religious cult, is but a prototype of these other terrorist
groups. To deal with such prospective attacks, it is essential
to have continuing efforts on defensive measures to protect our
civilian population as well as our forces.
In this connection, two points must be made. First, the
illusion that this convention will provide protection against
chemical weapons will tempt us to lower our guard and to reduce
our efforts on defensive CW measures. Such temptations should
be formally rejected through safeguards. Second, the sharing of
technologies required by Article X will provide other nations
with the information that will help to neutralize our chemical
weapons defenses and, thus, expose us to greater risk.
Fourth is industrial espionage. The convention permits or
encourages challenge inspections against any facility deemed
capable of producing chemical weapons--indeed against any
facility. This exposes American companies to a degree to
industrial espionage never before encountered in this country.
This implies the possibility of the capture of proprietary
information or national security information from American
corporations by present or by prospective commercial rivals. To
preclude such intrusive inspections requires the vote of three-
quarters of the Executive Council of the Organization for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Such super majority votes are
unlikely to be forthcoming and will grow less so over time.
The committee may wish to inquire how FBI counter
intelligence feels about these arrangements.
Mr. Chairman, I trust that the committee will delve deeply
into this issue because scuttlebutt has it that the White House
has indicated to senior FBI officials that they are to say
nothing against this treaty. Consequently, you may wish to
examine not only present but former counter intelligence
The Chairman. We will. Thank you.
Dr. Schlesinger. This convention is sometimes compared to
the arrangements under the Atoms for Peace Agreement. But it
should be noted that few of the several mechanisms that provide
protection in the nuclear area exist under this convention.
Five is how do we respond to violations. Is the convention
something more than a feel good treaty? Is it more meaningful
than the more explicit and more relevant ban on use in the
Geneva Convention? If so, what is its operational significance?
Last April, Secretary Perry, reiterating some of the warnings
of President Bush and Secretary Baker to Saddam Hussein stated,
``Anyone who considers using a weapon of mass destruction
against the United States or its allies must first consider the
consequences. We would not specify in advance what our response
would be, but it would be both overwhelming and devastating.''
Administration officials have more recently reiterated that
threat. Does this convention oblige us to take actions beyond
attacks on ourselves or on our allies? Are we prepared to take
action if Iran attacks Tajikistan or even uses gas against its
own minorities? If Syria, or Saudi Arabia, or Israel, or South
Africa manufactures gas, what are we prepared to do? What
actions would we take if we discover that Russia, or Ukraine,
or China is engaged clandestinely--or openly--in the
manufacture of gas?
As the leading world power and as the initial sponsor of
this convention, the United States bears a particular
responsibility for those signatories who have foregone the
right of direct retaliation and who lack the American capacity
for a response, both ``overwhelming and devastating.'' The role
of the United States visibly transcends that of the
Netherlands, or of Sweden, or of other nations that are
prepared to sign the convention. I trust, therefore, that this
committee will press for clear answers regarding how we might
feel obliged to respond in different hypothetical
Mr. Chairman, as this committee proceeds with its
deliberations, I trust that it will carefully examine some of
the exaggerated or false claims that have been made on behalf
of the convention. This treaty will not serve to banish the
threat of chemical weapons. It will not aid in the fight
against terrorism. Only effective police work will accomplish
As the Japanese cult, Aum Shin Rikyo, has demonstrated, a
significant volume of lethal nerve gas can be produced in a
facility as small as 8 feet by 15 feet. Increasingly, are we
aware how vulnerable this Nation may be to terrorist attacks,
and this treaty will do little to limit such vulnerability. Nor
will this treaty ``provide our children broad protection
against the threat of chemical attacks.'' Such statements
merely disguise and, thereby, increase our vulnerability to
terrorist attacks. To the extent that others learn from
international sharing of information on CW defenses, our
vulnerability is enhanced rather than diminished.
Finally, this treaty in no way helps ``shield our soldiers
from one of battlefield's deadliest killers.'' As indicated
earlier, only the threat of effective retaliation provides such
protection. That we would respond in the event of an attack on
our troops has great credibility and, thus, serves as an
effective deterrent. The Chemical Weapons Convention adds no
more to this protection of our troops than did the Geneva
Mr. Chairman, some treaty proponents, while conceding the
lack of verifiability, the lack of broad enforceability, and
the other inherent weaknesses of the convention, suggest that
it should be ratified because whatever its weaknesses, it
serves to establish ``international norms.'' If Senators are
moved by that last ditch defense of the convention, they should
vote for ratification. I urge, however, that Senators bear in
mind that most nations do not care a figure for ``international
norms,'' and we already have the Geneva Convention as a norm,
regularly violated. And they remain relatively free to violate
this norm with relative impunity since the treaty is difficult
to verify and more difficult to enforce.
Proponents have simply ignored the evidence of the past
failure to control chemical weapons and have proceeded blithely
with a renewed effort at control which disregards the ambiguity
and the ineffectiveness of the control mechanism. In the rather
forlorn hope to preclude the employment of chemical weapons,
they have produced an agreement with an illusory goal and a
rather gargantuan and worrisome enforcement mechanism. The
manifold weaknesses of the proposed convention deserve careful
attention from every member of the Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I shall be pleased later to
respond to any questions the committee may have.
The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Mr. Weinberger.
STATEMENT OF HON. CASPAR WEINBERGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF
Mr. Weinberger. Mr. Chairman and Senators, it is always an
honor to appear before a committee of the U.S. Senate and I am
deeply appreciative of that this morning.
I think that both your Chairman's statement and Secretary
Schlesinger's very impressive statement also, both together,
set out the basic reasons why I think all of us on this
Secretary of Defense panel feel so strongly that this treaty
should not be ratified.
I would like to make a couple of points at the beginning
because it is the common practice now for opponents of anything
that is desired by the White House to be painted in as
unenviable a position as possible. I would like to make it
clear that everybody I know detests chemical weapons,
I have some small personal experiences I might share with
you. They stem mainly from the fact of my extreme age. The fact
is that, during World War II, I had been assigned to the
Australian Anti-Gas School. The Australians used very spartan
methods and very rigorous methods of instructing, and they
instructed by showing us the actual effects on our own persons
of mustard gas, a blister agent. They gave us all kinds of
information with respect to the required defense and defensive
I was then later appointed one of the gas defense officers
to the 41st Infantry Division, conducted a lot of training with
the soldiers in the gas protective equipment which, as anybody
who served in the armed forces knows, is extremely difficult to
operate in, and this leads, without any question whatever, to
this detestation of these weapons.
So people who oppose this treaty are not people who favor
poison gas. I think it is important to make that rather obvious
point at the beginning because we have heard so much about the
motives of opponents of this treaty. My motive is the security
of the United States, with which I had the honor to be
associated for 7 years as Secretary, and which I think, as a
country, should be maintained, even in the face of very strong
support of a treaty which purports to outlaw and ban the
production of these terrible weapons.
Everybody likes the aims of the treaty. Everybody will
admit, I think, that it is a well intentioned treaty. Everybody
that I know including many of the proponents, admit that it is
a very badly flawed treaty, and it is with those flaws that I
am concerned today.
Primarily the flaws, as Secretary Schlesinger just
mentioned, are that it cannot be verified and it cannot be
enforced. The enforcement mechanism involves going to the
United Nations Security Council, of which Russia and China are
members. It does not require a very big stretch of the
imagination to indicate that they would probably veto any kind
of enforcement action proposed against them.
So you would have not only the lack of verifiability, you
would have, very much like with the Geneva Convention, a very
nice statement of the proper intentions of humankind which
simply cannot be enforced and which basically, sadly,
Now there has been a great deal of discussion also about
the enforcement mechanisms, the international inspectors and
what they can do and their powers. This is not just academic
discussion, Mr. Chairman. These inspectors, under this treaty,
under Articles X and XI, would have powers that basically
American enforcement agents do not. Even the IRS and even the
Department of Justice cannot wander around the country without
search warrants and demand to see anything they want to see in
thousands of factories. There are varying estimates of the
number of factories and commercial plants involved, but they
are all in the thousands. I won't attempt to say which one is
right or wrong, but they are in the thousands. The treaty gives
the right to these inspectors to see what they want to do, to
make analyses and tests, and the other articles of the
convention require that we share any late technologies we might
develop--and we should be working on them; I hope we are; we
always used to--defensive technologies to improve the masks,
the protective equipment, and all of the other things.
As we make some progress in this field, that would have to
be shared and, therefore, would be, consequently, far less
valuable, to put it mildly, in the event that any of our troops
should be attacked with a gas attack.
These inspections are a two-way street in some ways. We
have the right of inspection under what I consider to be the
worst appeasement agreement we have signed and that has been
presented since Munich, and that is the North Korean Agreement
under which we promised to give them two very large nuclear
reactors which can produce plutonium--although it is always
said not to worry, they can't. But, of course, they can. And we
are permitted also to have all kinds of inspection under that
We have not been granted this to the extent that we need
it. What we are allowed is to go where North Korea wants us to
go. It's exactly as with the agreement with Iraq that ended
that war. We are permitted to go where the Iraqis let us go and
after long delays in which they are given the opportunity to
remove any incriminating kinds of evidence.
That is one way that these inspections can work, and those
would be probably the ways that countries like Iran, that have
signed the agreement, would interpret it.
But the permitted inspections and the way we would do it,
because we carry out our word as a country and we do allow
these things once we sign an agreement, would be as intrusive
as anything previously imagined and far more intrusive than our
own officials are allowed under our own laws to investigate
violations of American law.
Jim Schlesinger has covered very adequately and thoroughly
the industrial espionage problems that are involved in this and
in the sharing of these not only offensive, but defensive
technologies that we may be working on. And it is important
that we work on these defensive technologies because, even if
all the countries sign this agreement, the possibilities that
it would be treated as Geneva is always treated are always
there. Indeed, we know that Iraq is stockpiling this VX nerve
agent, which is a rather nasty piece of equipment, and Russia
has been developing the nerve agent A-223, which is purported
to be something like 7 times as fatal as the VX nerve agent.
These are things that are going on now, after these treaties
have been signed and while the whole discussion is there.
The idea that these countries would give up these newly
developed agents on which they spent a great deal of money,
some of it, in Russia's case, our money that we sent over for
economic development, does not seem to me to be very credible.
The requirement that we share all of these technologies
also would remove any kind of deterrent capability that we
might have if we carry out the treaty in full. And one of the
deterrent capabilities is retaliation.
We have had many indications not only in World War II but
in the Gulf and elsewhere, that the fact that we were spared a
chemical attack there simply stems from the ability that we
would have to retaliate. If we give up that retaliatory
capability, along with all but four or five nations, the four
or five nations would still not be nearly as worried about
launching an attack as they were in the case of the Gulf War.
We already know that there is at least a possibility. We
don't know it and I would not claim it as a fact, but there is
at least a possibility that Iraq's storage of these chemical
weapons is resulting in disease and illness to American forces
now. People talk about who is to blame and all of that. The
only important issue, I think, there is that we should
remember, and I hope we always will, that we have an absolute
obligation to take care of these people who did fall ill from
whatever cause in that war for the rest of their lives and take
care of their families. I hope we are prepared to honor that.
All of these are things that have happened with nations
that have either signed or refused to sign the treaty. Iran is
one that has signed. Iran, therefore, would be able to see and
inspect any one of several thousand companies. They would have
to share their technologies and we, as a country, would have to
share our technologies with Iran.
Strong supporters of the treaty, including General
Schwarzkopf, when reminded of the fact, when asked if that is
what he really wanted, said of course not. He said the worst
thing in the world would be to share any knowledge with a
country like Iran in this field.
So there has been, I think, a lack of understanding, and I
congratulate the committee on holding these hearings, because I
hope that we can get a full understanding of how a well
intentioned treaty, the goals of which everybody of course
supports, cannot possibly reach those goals if we are going to
have the kind of provisions that remain in this treaty.
We also have a situation in which we are repeatedly told
that the April 29 deadline must be met, otherwise we will have
no influence in administering the treaty. Mr. Chairman, we are
going to bear 25 percent of the cost of this treaty, and I
suspect any 25 percent owner, so to speak, to use corporate
terms, is going to have a little influence in it. I think that
it is absurd to say that we must rush to judgment simply
because April 29 is the deadline.
There was plenty of opportunity last fall when the treaty
was before the Senate, and was withdrawn by the administration,
to have the kind of discussion that we are now having and that
we should have. If it takes a little past April 29, and if by
any chance we are able, through reservations or other changes,
to make any of these things to which we object so strongly
slightly more acceptable, that would certainly be worth a few
days or a few months delay.
The costs involved, of course, are not just the 25 percent
of the costs of administering the treaty and of all of the
inspections that we would find so intrusive and so violative of
what we believe to be our constitutional rules against
unreasonable search and seizure, seizing property without due
process, and all the rest. We could add the $70 million that we
have already given Russia under the so-called ``Bilateral
Destruction Act'' to start destroying their weapons. And they
have announced publicly and in writing--I guess it has been
released; it's been printed all over the country--that they
will no longer be bound by it, that it no longer serves their
best interests and, therefore, they are not paying any more
attention to it.
They are a signatory of this Chemical Weapons Convention
and they have been held up as a country that is essential to
get into the international order and is willing to destroy
these weapons. But certainly the record thus far is slightly
less than modest.
I think it is important that we emphasize again, as I did
at the beginning, that our opposition to these kinds of weapons
is well known. We were instrumental in getting the Geneva
Agreement approved many, many years ago. We have signed the
Bilateral Destruction Agreement, which had a great deal of hope
behind it, and practically no realization. And now Russia has
walked away from it.
We have showed that we would, of course, not only if we
sign this convention comply with it, but that we would be a
leader in financing it. All of that I think is an ample
demonstration to the world, if any is needed, that we don't
like these weapons. But we don't have to sign a flawed and an
ineffective, unenforceable, unverifiable convention to prove
that; and I don't think that we should worry so much about
being tarred as being pro chemical weapons that we would
disregard completely the flaws in this treaty and ratify it
anyway just to make a statement.
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate very much having had the
opportunity to express these views before you and your
committee, and as Secretary Schlesinger has said, I will be
glad to try to answer questions at an appropriate time.
The Chairman. We thank you, sir. Secretary Rumsfeld.
STATEMENT OF HON. DONALD RUMSFELD, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Mr. Rumsfeld. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the
committee. I appreciate the opportunity to express concerns
about this convention. Rather than read my entire statement, I
would like to touch on some of the more important points, and I
ask that my entire statement be included in the record.
The Chairman. Without objection.
Mr. Rumsfeld. Certainly, one of the most serious problems
facing our country and our friends and allies around the world
is, indeed, the issue of proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction. The Chemical Weapons Convention before the Senate
would appear to fit in that category. But in my view, it has
I recognize that there are arguments on both sides of this
and, indeed, that a number of our friends and associates that
we have worked with on these problems over the years find
themselves on opposing sides.
As a former Member, I also recall the difficulty of finding
oneself in the position of opposing a position that is strongly
supported by a President. It is not an attractive position to
be in or a pleasant one. My inclination was always to try to
support the President on these matters.
Certainly in this case, being positioned as appearing to
favor chemical weapons, is also not an appealing position.
So let me be very clear: Were there pending before this
committee a convention that was verifiable and global and that
would accomplish the elimination of chemical weapons in the
hands of nations most likely to use them, I would be appearing
before the committee as a supporter.
Unfortunately, I do not believe that it meets those tests.
First, I don't believe that this is verifiable, nor have I
met a single, knowledgeable person who believes that it is
verifiable. It might reduce chemical weapons in arsenals in
some countries, but it is debatable whether the treaty would
reduce chemical arsenals in any of the nations potentially
hostile to the United States. Countries identified by the
United States as possessing chemical weapons that have not
signed the CWC, let alone ratified it, include Libya, Syria,
Iraq, and North Korea. Certainly these countries are among the
most likely to use chemical weapons against our citizens, our
soldiers, and our allies.
In addition, there are countries that might sign the
convention which would not be reliable with respect to
compliance. Since the convention is not verifiable, that is not
a trivial problem, it seems to me.
For example, even if Iran does ratify the agreement, we
really cannot rely on them to comply with its terms. Also, it
is my understanding that Russia has yet to fulfill its
obligations under the 1990 Bilateral Destruction Agreement, as
Secretary Weinberger pointed out. Also, Washington newspapers
and Jane's have recently reported that the Russians have
developed new nerve agents that are designed in a manner that
would make discovery next to impossible in that they are
apparently comprised of common commercial chemicals. This
raises the question as to the likelihood of their complying
with the convention.
As a Wall Street Journal article recently put it, under the
Chemical Weapons Convention, members to the convention could
look for chemical weapons in New Zealand or the Netherlands but
not in North Korea, Libya, or Iraq, which are countries that
could be chemical warfare threats.
Despite what I believe to be the low possibility that the
convention would result in real arms control accomplishments,
nonetheless a case can be made that it is important for the
world to have standards and values, as Secretary Schlesinger
mentioned. This is the ``speed limit'' argument.
My friend, Dr. Kenneth Adelman, a former Director of ACDA,
recently argued, supporting the agreement, that standards and
values violated are better than no standards and values at all.
I personally think that is probably the most persuasive
case that can be made for the convention. However, I do not
believe that it is sufficiently persuasive to tip the scales.
While standards and norms are important, there is a real
risk that in ratifying the convention and in setting forth high
standards, the U.S. would be misinforming the world by
misleading people into believing that we had, in fact, done
something with respect to the international controls over the
use of chemical weapons, despite the certainty, in my mind, at
least, that this convention cannot provide that assurance.
Furthermore, it is important to consider and weigh not only
potential benefits of the convention, such as standards and
norms, but also its burdens and costs.
It seems to me clear that any advantages of setting forth
such standards by ratifying the convention are more than offset
by the disadvantages.
I note that there would be considerable cost to the
taxpayers in that the convention provides for the use of a
U.N.-style funding formula, which calls for the United States
to pay some 25 percent of the total. In addition, there would
be costs to private industry, which I do not believe can be
properly quantified at present in that it is not possible yet
to know how the mechanisms to police this convention would
actually work. This is to say nothing of the cost to companies
of trying to protect proprietary information from compromise.
These costs would amount, in a real sense, to unfunded
mandates on American enterprise.
These were among the concerns that were expressed by a
number of government, civilian, and military officials in a
letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott late last
year, which I signed, and I ask that a copy of that letter and
the signatories be placed in the record at this point.
The Chairman. Without objection, it is so ordered.
[The information referred to follows:]
September 9, 1996.
Hon. Trent Lott,
Majority Leader, United States Senate,
Washington, DC 20510.
Senator Lott: As you know, the Senate is currently scheduled to
take final action on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) on or before
September 14th. This Treaty has been presented as a global, effective
and verifiable ban on chemical weapons. As individuals with
considerable experience in national security matters, we would all
support such a ban. We have, however, concluded that the present
convention is seriously deficient on each of these scores, among
The CWC is not global since many dangerous nations (for example,
Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Libya) have not agreed to join the treaty
regime. Russia is among those who have signed the Convention, but is
unlikely to ratify--especially without a commitment of billions in U.S.
aid to pay for the destruction of Russia's vast arsenal. Even then,
given our experience with the Kremlin's treaty violations and its
repeated refusal to implement the 1990 Bilateral Destruction Agreement
on chemical weapons, future CWC violations must be expected.
The CWC is not effective because it does not ban or control
possession of all chemicals that could be used for lethal weapons
purposes. For example, it does not prohibit two chemical agents that
were employed with deadly effect in World War I--phosgene and hydrogen
cyanide. The reason speaks volumes about this treaty's impractical
nature: they are too widely used for commercial purposes to be banned.
The CWC is not verifiable as the U.S. intelligence community has
repeatedly acknowledged in congressional testimony. Authoritarian
regimes can be confident that their violations will be undetectable.
Now, some argue that the treaty's intrusive inspections regime will
help us know more than we would otherwise. The relevant test, however,
is whether any additional information thus gleaned will translate into
convincing evidence of cheating and result in the collective imposition
of sanctions or other enforcement measures. In practice, this test is
unlikely to be satisfied since governments tend to took the other way
at evidence of non-compliance rather than jeopardize a treaty regime.
What the CWC will do, however, is quite troubling: It will create a
massive new, U.N.-style international inspection bureaucracy (which
will help the total cost of this treaty to U.S. taxpayers amount to as
much as $200 million per year). It will jeopardize U.S. citizens'
constitutional rights by requiring the U.S. government to permit
searches without either warrants or probable cause. It will impose a
costly and complex regulatory burden on U.S. industry. As many as 8,000
companies across the country may be subjected to new reporting
requirements entailing uncompensated annual costs of between thousands
to hundreds-of-thousands of dollars per year to comply. Most of these
American companies have no idea that they will be affected. And perhaps
worst of all, the CWC will undermine the standard of verifiability that
has been a key national security principle for the United States.
Under these circumstances, the national security benefits of the
Chemical Weapons Convention clearly do not outweigh its considerable
costs. Consequently, we respectfully urge you to reject ratification of
the CWC unless and until it is made genuinely global, effective and
Signatories on Letter to Senator Trent Lott Regarding the Chemical
As of September 9, 1996; 11:30 a.m.
Former Cabinet Members:
Richard B. Cheney, former Secretary of Defense
William P. Clark, former National Security Advisor to the President
Alexander M. Haig, Jr., former Secretary of State (signed on September
John S. Herrington, former Secretary of Energy (signed on September 9)
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Edwin Meese III, former U.S. Attorney General
Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense (signed on September 10)
Caspar Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense
Additional Signatories (retired military):
General John W. Foss, U.S. Army (Retired), former Commanding General,
Training and Doctrine Command
Vice Admiral William Houser, U.S. Navy (Retired), former Deputy Chief
of Naval Operations for Aviation
General P.X. Kelley, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), former Commandant of
U.S. Marine Corps (signed on September 9)
Lieutenant General Thomas Kelly, U.S. Army (Retired), former Director
for Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff (signed on September 9)
Admiral Wesley McDonald, U.S. Navy (Retired), former Supreme Allied
Admiral Kinnaird McKee, U.S. Navy (Retired), former Director, Naval
General Merrill A. McPeak, U.S. Air Force (Retired), former Chief of
Staff, U.S. Air Force
Lieutenant General T.H. Miller, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), former
Fleet Marine Force Commander/Head, Marine Aviation
General John. L. Piotrowski, U.S. Air Force (Retired), former Member of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff as Vice Chief, U.S. Air Force
General Bernard Schriever, U.S. Air Force (Retired), former Commander,
Air Research and Development and Air Force Systems Command
Vice Admiral Jerry Unruh, U.S. Navy (Retired), former Commander 3rd
Fleet (signed on September 10)
Lieutenant General James Williams, U.S. Army (Retired), former
Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
Additional Signatories (non-military):
Elliott Abrams, former Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American
Affairs (signed on September 9)
Mark Albrecht, former Executive Secretary, National Space Council
Kathleen Bailey, former Assistant Director of the Arms Control and
Robert B. Barker, former Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for
Nuclear and Chemical Weapon Matters
Angelo Codevilla, former Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute (signed on
Henry Cooper, former Director, Strategic Defense Initiative
J.D. Crouch, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Midge Decter, former President, Committee for the Free World
Kenneth deGraffenreid, former Senior Director of Intelligence Programs,
National Security Council
Diana Denman, former Co-Chair, U.S. Peace Corps Advisory Council
Elaine Donnelly, former Commissioner, Presidential Commission on the
Assignment of Women in the Armed Services
David M. Evans, former Senior Advisor to the Congressional Commission
on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Charles Fairbanks, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
Douglas J. Feith, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Rand H. Fishbein, former Professional Staff member, Senate Defense
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense
William R. Graham, former Science Advisor to the President
E.C. Grayson, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy
James T. Hackett, former Acting Director of the Arms Control and
Stefan Halper, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (signed on
Thomas N. Harvey, former National Space Council Staff Officer (signed
on September 9)
Charles A. Hamilton, former Deputy Director, Strategic Trade Policy,
U.S. Department of Defense
Amoretta M. Hoeber, former Deputy Under Secretary, U.S. Army
Charles Horner, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Science
Fred Ikle, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Sven F. Kraemer, former Director for Arms Control, National Security
Charles M. Kupperman, former Special Assistant to the President
John Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy
John Lenczowski, former Director for Soviet Affairs, National Security
Bruce Merrifield, former Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy,
Department of Commerce
Taffy Gould McCallum, columnist and free-lance writer
James C. McCrery, former senior member of the Intelligence Community
and Arms Control Negotiator (Standing Consultative Committee)
J. William Middendorf II, former Secretary of the Navy (signed on
Laurie Mylroie, best-selling author and Mideast expert specializing in
Richard Perle, former Assistant Secretary of Defense
Norman Podhoretz, former editor, Commentary Magazine
Roger W. Robinson, Jr., former Chief Economist, National Security
Peter W. Rodman, former Deputy Assistant to the President for National
Security Affairs and former Director of the Policy Planing
Staff, Department of State
Edward Rowny, former Advisor to the President and Secretary of State
for Arms Control
Carl M. Smith, former Staff Director, Senate Armed Services Committee
Jacqueline Tillman, former Staff member, National Security Council
Michelle Van Cleave, former Associate Director, Office of Science and
William Van Cleave, former Senior Defense Advisor and Defense Policy
Coordinator to the President
Malcolm Wallop, former United States Senator
Deborah L. Wince-Smith, former Assistant Secretary for Technology
Policy, Department of Commerce
Curtin Winsor, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica
Dov S. Zakheim, former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense
Mr. Rumsfeld. Over the coming days, the members of the
committee and the Senate will be faced with two important
questions relating to the convention. First is, can the Senate
responsibly oppose the President on this important foreign
policy issue? Second is, what will happen if the Senate does
reject the treaty and the United States seemingly stands
essentially alone in the world, ex-
cept for the rogue states with whom we would be associated as
Let me address those questions in order.
First is the issue of not supporting the President. As I
indicated, my inclination has always been to try to do that.
However, we know the Constitution did not grant sole authority
to the President of the United States in the area of foreign
policy. Indeed, it does not provide for a simple majority to
ratify a treaty but, rather, for a two-thirds vote, so that it
would have to be almost beyond doubt that a given treaty is in
our national security interest. So it is certainly within the
right of the Senate to disagree.
Also, not surprisingly, there have been a number of
treaties, conventions, and agreements where the Senate has
disagreed over our history.
The second question, as to what might happen if the U.S.
stands alone, is an important one and one that I suspect will
be a principal focus of the debate over the coming days.
One result of the Senate not ratifying the treaty will be,
admittedly, expressions of concern by some of our friends and
allies around the world that have. But I suspect there will be
no smiles from the rogue states. And the world will be spared
the deception which would follow ratification, because the
world will not be led to have erroneously believed that the
threat of chemical weapons has been effectively dealt with. I
submit that we will be spared the complacency that Secretary
Schlesinger mentioned, which I think would follow ratification.
Further, small and medium sized companies will be spared
the costs and the risks to their proprietary information which
would result from U.S. participation. You know, big companies
seem to get along just fine with big government. They get along
with American government, they get along with foreign
government, they get along with international organizations.
They have the staying power, they have the resources to wait
things out. They have the ability, with all their Washington
representatives, to deal effectively with bureaucracies.
Indeed, that talent and skill, that capability on the part
of big companies actually serves as sort of a barrier to entry
to small and medium sized companies that lack that capability.
So I do not suggest for a minute that the large American
companies are not going to be able to cope with these
regulations. They are. They will do it a whale of a lot better
than small and medium sized companies.
But if you look at that opening round with the Department
of Commerce's regulations and requirements, and having been a
regulator in the Federal government at one point in my life, I
know that if you start with this, you end up with this
(indicating). It does not take long.
That problem of regulation on small and medium sized
companies literally sucks the energy out of those companies.
They are not capable of waiting and finding out the answers to
all those things. They are trying to make money. That is the
area of our society where the energy, the vitality, and the
creativity is. They are the ones who are creating jobs in our
country--not the large companies, which have been downsizing
for the most part.
So the fact that a number of large companies are not
concerned about this does not surprise me the all, I must say.
What would be the result of the U.S. standing alone? Well,
we did this at our Nation's birth. We did it because we had
very different views as to what the appropriate relationship
between the American people and their government ought to be
than other countries did.
Would we be abdicating leadership on this issue of chemical
weapons and the threat by not ratifying, as some have argued? I
say no. I think not.
I say this because the threat of chemical weapons will
remain despite the fact that this agreement gets ratified by a
number of nations. And the world will--must--look to the United
States for leadership in dealing with that threat. Because of
our capacity, our resources, our knowledge, our credibility, we
will retain a significant leadership role.
So, despite the argument, the power of the argument, that
the U.S. would be standing alone, I think the truth is that we
have done it before and it has worked out rather well. Not
every country has the ability to stand alone, but the U.S. is
not just any country.
With our resources, our weight, our capabilities, we can
not only afford to provide leadership, but we have a special
obligation to provide that kind of leadership and not just go
along with the current diplomatic momentum.
Because we are the United States, we have a singular
responsibility to exercise our best judgment on matters such as
this and then to set about the task of fashioning a better
Other countries look to us for that kind of behavior.
I hope the Senate will decide to take its time and work to
achieve the changes necessary to improve this in material ways.
The proposal introduced by Senator Kyl and others to the reduce
the chemical and biological weapons threat is a practical place
Mr. Chairman, I commend you and your committee for your
efforts to give such careful consideration to the matter and I
appreciate the opportunity of participating.
Thank you very much.
Prepared Statement of Donald Rumsfeld
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, good morning.
Let me say at the outset that I am not an expert on chemicals, nor
am I a lawyer. I have been in and around the subject of Arms Control
since my service in the Congress in the 1960s, as U.S. Ambassador to
NATO during the early 1970s when we were working on MBFR and SALT, as
well as my service in the Pentagon. So, I am here today not as an
expert on chemicals or international law, but rather as one with a long
interest in U.S. national security.
One of the most serious problems facing the United States, our
friends and allies, and indeed the world is proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction. Surely among the most important treaties of the
decades since World War II are those which effectively enhance U.S.
national security by addressing this problem. The Chemical Weapons
Convention now before the Senate would appear to fit in that category,
but, in my view, it does not.
I recognize that there are arguments on both sides of this issue.
Indeed, a number of the people many of us have worked with on these
subjects over the years and respect, find themselves on opposing sides.
Furthermore, as a former Member of the Congress, I well understand
the difficulty in finding oneself in the position of opposing a treaty
that the President of the United States strongly supports and that has
such broad appeal. Being posi-
tioned both as opposing our President and as favoring poison gas, which
seems to be what happens to those who oppose this convention, is not an
Let me be clear. Were there pending before the Senate a convention
that was verifiable and global and which would accomplish the
elimination of chemical weapons in the hands of the nations most likely
to use them, I would be appearing before this committee as a supporter,
asserting that ratification would be in our national interest.
Unfortunately, I do not believe this convention meets these tests.
Interestingly, the preamble of the convention states in the first
paragraph: ``The states parties to this convention * * *. Determined to
act with a view to achieving effective progress toward general and
complete disarmament under strict and effective international control,
including the prohibition and elimination of all types of weapons of
mass destruction * * * .''
That is a goal that can only be described as monumentally
ambitious. More to the point, it is not clear to me that that is today
the agreed policy of the U.S. government or even that it is realistic.
The history of mankind suggests that the achievement of ``complete
disarmament'' is not a likely prospect, and the idea of ``strict and
effective international controls'' to assure compliance with ``complete
disarmament'' is, to put it mildly, a stretch.
I do not believe that this convention is verifiable. Nor have I met
or heard a single knowledgeable person who believes it is verifiable.
The U.S. intelligence community has acknowledged in congressional
testimony that we cannot have high confidence that violation of the CWC
will be detected.
It might reduce chemical weapons in arsenals in some countries. It
is debatable, however, whether this treaty would reduce the chemical
arsenals of any of the nations potentially hostile to the United
States. Countries identified by the United States as possessing
chemical weapons, that have not signed the CWC let alone ratified it,
include Libya, Syria, Iraq and North Korea. Certainly, these countries
are among the most likely to use chemical weapons against our citizens,
our soldiers and our allies.
In addition there are countries that might well sign the
convention, but which would not be reliable with respect to compliance.
Since the convention is not verifiable, that is not a trivial problem.
For example, even if Iran does ratify can we really rely on them to
comply? Also, it is my understanding that Russia has yet to fulfill its
obligations under the 1990 U.S.-Russian bilateral destruction
agreement. The Washington Times and Jane's have reported that the
Russians have developed new nerve agents that are designed in a manner
which would make discovery next to impossible, in that they are
comprised of common commercial chemicals. This raises the question as
to the likelihood of their complying with this convention.
It appears that this convention is proceeding in a way that it
could conceivably disarm democratic, friendly, non aggressive nations,
that either do not have chemical weapons, or if they have them would be
most unlikely to use them against us, while it will not effectively
apply to totalitarian, enemy and aggressive nations that would be most
likely to use them against the U.S. and its allies. As a recent Wall
Street Journal article put it, under the Chemical Weapons Convention,
members to the convention could look for chemical weapons in New
Zealand or the Netherlands, but not in North Korea, Libya or Iraq--
countries which could be chemical warfare threats.
Despite what I believe to be the low possibility that the
convention would result in real arms control accomplishments,
nonetheless a case can be made that it is important for the world to
have standards and values. Dr. Kenneth Adelman, former director of
ACDA, recently argued in supporting the agreement that ``standards and
values violated are better than no standards or values at all.'' That
is the most persuasive argument for the convention I have heard.
However, I do not believe that it is sufficiently persuasive to tip the
While standards are important, there is the real risk that in
ratifying the convention and setting forth high standards, the U.S.
would be misinforming the world by misleading people into believing
that there were reasonable international controls over the use of
chemical weapons, despite the certainty that this convention cannot
provide that assurance. The use of various gases during World War I led
to the Geneva Protocol of 1925, which banned first use of chemical
weapons in war. Despite that high standard, that ban has not been
observed, witness Iraq's use of such chemicals.
Furthermore, it is important to consider and weigh not only any
potential benefits of the convention, but also its burdens and costs.
It seems clear that any advantages of setting forth laudable standards
and values by ratifying the convention are more than offset by the
I note that there would be considerable cost to U.S. taxpayers in
that the CWC provides for use of a U.N.-style funding formula, which as
I recall bills the U.S. to pay some 25 percent of all costs.
Personally, I think that percentage is too high and I cannot see why we
would wish to extend it to still more international organizations.
In addition, there would be costs to private industry, which I do
not believe can be quantified at present, in that it is not possible to
know yet how the mechanisms to police the convention would work. And
this is to say nothing of the costs to companies of trying to protect
proprietary information from compromise.
These were among the concerns expressed by a number of former U.S.
government civilian and military officials in a letter sent to Senate
Majority Leader Trent Lott late last year, which I signed. (I have
attached a copy of the letter to my remarks, and ask that it be made a
part of the record at this point.)
[The letter referred to by Mr. Rumsfeld appears on page 15.]
Other concerns expressed in the letter included: The risk that the
convention would lead to the creation of a new U.N.-style international
inspection bureaucracy at great cost to the American taxpayers; that
the CWC could undermine the standard of verifiability that had been a
key national security principle for the U.S.; and that the convention
could prevent the use of non-lethal riot control agents, to the
disadvantage of U.S. forces.
Over the coming days members of the committee and the Senate will
be faced with two important questions.
First, can the Senate responsibly oppose the President on this
important foreign policy issue; and second, what will happen if the
Senate does reject the treaty, and the U.S. seemingly stands
essentially alone and apart in the world.
Let me address those questions in order.
First, is the issue of not supporting our President on a key
foreign policy matter. As one, with a background in the executive
branch, I begin with a strong preference to support the President on
such matters. Indeed, I felt that pull even as a Member of Congress
with Presidents of the other party. And I so voted. So that is my
However, we know the Constitution did not grant the President sole
responsibility in foreign affairs. Indeed, it provides not for a simple
majority vote for the Senate to ratify a treaty, but a two-thirds vote,
so that it would have to be beyond doubt that a given treaty is in the
U.S. national security interest. So, it is not only well within the
right of the Senate to disagree with a treaty as its best judgment may
dictate, but it is its constitutional obligation. In exercising that
responsibility, there have been a number of treaties, conventions, and
international agreements that have not been approved by the U.S. Senate
over our history, and in each case the sun came up the next day and the
world did not end.
The second question as to what might happen if the U.S. stands
apart on this issue, is also an important one, and one which I suspect
will be a principle focus of the debate over the coming days. One
result of the Senate not ratifying this treaty will be expressions of
concern by some of our friends, but there will likely be no smiles from
the rogue states.
Next, the world will be spared the deception which would follow
ratification, because the world will not be led to believe erroneously
that the threat of chemical weapons had been effectively dealt with,
and the complacency which would follow.
Further, small and medium sized U.S. companies will be spared the
costs and the risks to their proprietary information which would result
from U.S. participation. Big companies seem to get along well with big
governments, foreign governments, and international organizations. They
have the resources, the time, and the Washington representatives to
work skillfully with governments. These capabilities of larger
companies serve as an advantage over smaller companies, which lack the
staying power and resources to cope with national and international
regulations, inspections and the like.
Next, U.S. taxpayers will be spared the cost of the convention.
That is not a reason to reject it alone, but it is a fact. The U.S.
would be spared the time and effort of implementing, complying with,
and trying to enforce an agreement which in any event doesn't cover the
nations most likely to use chemical weapons.
So what would be the result of the U.S. standing alone? Well, we
did this at our Nation's birth. We did it because we had very different
views as to the appropriate relationship between the people and their
Also, President Ronald Reagan did it with the Law of the Sea
Treaty, notwithstanding the fact that most every nation in the world
had signed that agreement. He did so because he found objectionable
certain provisions relating to the seabed mining provisions. He refused
to sign that treaty and asked me to serve as his Special Envoy to alert
key countries of the dangers of going forward with that portion of the
Would the U.S. be abdicating its leadership on this issue by not
ratifying the convention, as some have argued? The answer is no. I say
that because the problem of chemical weapons will remain despite this
agreement, and the world will look to the U.S. for leadership in
dealing with that serious threat.
So despite the power of the argument that the U.S. would be
standing alone, the truth is, we have done it before and it has worked
out rather well. Not every country has the ability to stand alone. But
the U.S. is not just any country. With our resources, our weight, our
capabilities and our credibility the United States not only can afford
to provide leadership, but it has a special obligation and ability to
not just go along with what seems popular at the moment, but to stand
up for what is right. Because we are the United States we have a
singular responsibility to exercise our best judgment on matters such
as this, and then set about the task of fashioning a better solution.
I hope that the Senate will decide to take its time and work to
achieve the changes necessary to improve it in material ways. The
proposal introduced by Senator Kyl and others to reduce the chemical
and biological weapons threat is a practical place to start.
Mr. Chairman I commend you and your committee for your efforts to
give the most careful consideration to this matter. I appreciate this
opportunity to express my views and my concerns about the convention.
The Chairman. I thank all three of you.
Senator Biden was necessarily detained because of the train
this morning, and we were authorized to begin without him. So
he missed his opportunity, as the ranking member, to make a
I would just say for perhaps his guidance that I took 14
minutes and he might want to consider that same neighborhood.
Senator Biden. I will try to do less than that, Mr.
Chairman. I thank the committee for its indulgence and I would
like the record to show that, although I am late, it will not
add to the total time. Had I been here, I would have used the
time. And the only manifest failure this morning that I have
observed, to use Secretary Schlesinger's words, is the train
schedule. That has been my most manifest failure this morning.
I may reveal others as I speak, though.
Mr. Chairman, I think this is a defining moment, not only
for the United States but, quite frankly, for this committee
and in your significant effort to reestablish this committee
and its credibility and standing within the Congress. I think
our failure to act on this treaty would be a reflection on us,
as well as an extremely negative reflection on the United
States' role internationally.
Twelve years ago, the United States made a firm commitment
to destroy 30,000 tons of poison gas that we had stockpiled. We
had made that decision because these weapons no longer had any
military value, according to our leaders.
President Reagan also initiated an international effort
aimed at forcing others to do what we already decided to do
unilaterally. Through two Republican administrations, efforts
to negotiate a chemical weapons treaty made slow, but steady,
progress, and I would go back to that in a minute, but that was
all part of that process.
The effort gained new urgency after the Gulf War brought
home the threat of poison and chemical weapons over 4 years
ago. To set the record straight on that, as my friends I am
sure know, in terms of the use of chemical weapons in the Gulf
War, Secretary Weinberger alluded to the exposure of American
troops to poison gas. That was part of an Iraqi stockpile we
destroyed after the Gulf War. I am certain he realizes that
there was nothing illegal under any law about stockpiling or
producing chemical weapons.
The Geneva Convention applies only to the use of poison gas
in international conflict.
The CWC, on the other hand, bans production and stockpiling
of poison gas and would give significant justification in the
eyes of the international community had we again discovered
another nation was making or storing these weapons or had we
used whatever force we chose to use against them.
Second, with regard to the issue of the Gulf War, prior to
the Gulf War, an example of Saddam Hussein using poison gas
against the Kurds, which was alluded to here, is another reason
why the CWC is needed, in my view. There is nothing illegal
under the Geneva Convention about the use of poison gas in
The proscription applies only to international armed
conflict, as I am sure the Secretary knows. So they didn't even
violate the Geneva Convention. It is also true the
international community failed to act.
But you did not fail to act, Mr. Chairman. You led the
effort here in the U.S. Senate with Senator Pell and we
received a unanimous vote for a sanctions bill on September
1988 soon after this came to light.
Unfortunately, the bill died at the end of the Congress, in
large measure because of the opposition of the Reagan
administration. Indeed, the Reagan State Department, then
deluded into believing the United States could cooperate with
Saddam Hussein, denounced the Senate bill that you pushed and
you got through as premature.
So I say that neither this Senator nor would others stand
idly by if violations of the Geneva Convention were discovered.
But I'm sure the Secretary knew that there was no violation of
the Geneva Convention and the point he made was still a very
valid one. That is, we did not act.
We led the world to the altar, you might say, of attempting
to deal with chemical weapons, and I am confident that we will
not abandon 160 other nations, for, if we did, it seems to me
we would send a signal of retreat, forfeit our leadership, and
cripple our ability to forge coalitions against the gravest
threats we face as a Nation, as Secretary Rumsfeld referred to.
This is the proliferation of weapons, all weapons, of mass
destruction. We have not even talked about biological weapons
I know that the witnesses this morning do not share my view
that this treaty is in our vital national interest. And I know
that and we have heard arguments that the treaty is flawed
because several rogue states have not signed.
We also heard that verification will be difficult and that
the CWC will harm U.S. industry and that it will supposedly
force us to transfer sophisticated chemical equipment and
defenses to dangerous regimes.
And, finally, maybe the most strenuous argument we have
heard today is that we are going to be lulled into a false
sense of security, that we are going to drop our guard.
I hope to demonstrate through these hearings today,
tomorrow, and the next day that those criticisms are incorrect
and the problems they site will only get worse--get worse--
From the military perspective, I believe this convention is
clearly in our interest. I know that the witnesses do not agree
with me. However, two other former Secretaries of Defense and
the present Secretary of Defense, not represented here today,
do agree with me. Harold Brown, William Perry, and Secretary of
Defense Cohen all believe it is in our interest.
There is a draft statement from Brown and Perry. It says,
``As former Secretaries of Defense, we would like to join
former military leaders, including past Chairmen of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff Powell, Vessey, Jones, Crowe, and former Chiefs
of Staff of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps plus
combat veterans like Norman Schwarzkopf in offering our strong
support for ratification of the Chemical Weapons Treaty.''
I ask unanimous consent that the remainder of their
statement be placed in the record in the interest of time, Mr.
The Chairman. Without objection.
[The information referred to follows:]
Draft Statement of Harold Brown and William Perry
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
Senator Biden. As the authors of this statement note, every
single Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since President
Carter's administration has endorsed ratification of the
Chemical Weapons Convention. Last Friday, 17 distinguished
retired military officers sent a letter to the President in
which they endorsed ratification of the Chemical Weapons
Convention. The collection of signatures on this letter is
quite impressive. If my colleagues will indulge me, let me just
read a few: General Colin Powell, Norman Schwarzkopf, Admiral
Stanley Arthur, General Michael Duggan, General Charles Horner,
General David Jones, General Wesley McDonald, General Meryl
McPeak, General Carl Mundy, Admiral William Owens, General
Gordon Sullivan, Vice Admiral Richard Truly, Admiral Stansfield
Turner, General John Vessey, General Fred Warner, Admiral Elmo
In this letter they wrote--and I will just read the first
paragraph--the following. They say, ``As former members of the
United States Armed Forces, we would like to express our strong
support for Senate ratification of the Chemical Weapons
Convention. This landmark treaty serves the national security
interests of the United States.''
I will not read the rest of the letter, but I ask unanimous
consent that it be placed in the record, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Without objection.
[The information referred to follows:]
April 3, 1997.
The Honorable William J. Clinton,
The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500.
Dear Mr. President: 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 cannot eliminate this threat, as terrorists and rogue
states may still be able to evade the treaty's strict controls.
However, the treaty does destroy existing stockpiles and improves our
abilities to gather intelligence on emerging threats. These new
intelligence tools deserve the Senate's support.
On its own, the CWC cannot guarantee complete security against
chemical weapons. We must continue to support robust defense
capabilities, and remain willing to respond--through the CWC or by
unilateral action--to violators of the convention. 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 these reasons, we strongly support the CWC.
Officers who signed the April 3, 1997 letter to the President
Admiral Stanley Arthur, USN (Ret.), former Vice Chief of Naval
General Michael Dugan, USAF (Ret.), former Air Force Chief of Staff
General Charles Homer, USAF (Ret.), former CINC, U.S. Space Command
General David Jones, USAF (Ret.), former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of
Admiral Wesley McDonald, USN (Ret.), former CINC, Atlantic Command
General Merrill McPeak, USAF (Ret.), former Air Force Chief of Staff
General Carl Mundy, USMC (Ret.), former Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
Admiral William Owens, USN (Ret.), former Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs
General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.), former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of
General Robert RisCassi, USA (Ret.), former CINC, U.S. Forces Korea
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, USA (Ret.), former CINC, Central Command
General Gordon Sullivan, USA (Ret.), former Army Chief of Staff
Admiral Richard Truly, USN (Ret.), former Director, NASA
Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.), former Director of Central
General John Vessey, USA (Ret.), former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Frederick Woemer, USA (Ret.), former CINC, Southern Command
Admiral E.R. Zumwalt, Jr., USN (Ret.), former Chief of Naval Operations
Senator Biden. Now several of these signatories to the
letter I have just read were present at a White House event
early on Friday in which dozens of distinguished Americans from
many walks of life joined together to call for early
ratification of the treaty.
I would like to ask unanimous consent that the text of the
remarks made at this event be included in the record as well,
The Chairman. Without objection, it is so ordered.
[The information referred to appears in the Appendix.]
Senator Biden. Mr. Chairman, the convention has won the
endorsement of several highly respected veterans organizations
as well. These include the Reserve Officers Association, the
Vietnam Veterans Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the
Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A., the American Ex-Prisoners of
War, and I would ask unanimous consent that the statements by
these organizations also be placed in the record.
The Chairman. Without objection.
[The information referred to appears in the Appendix.]
Senator Biden. These individuals and organizations, none of
whom can be characterized as soft headed or soft hearted,
recognize the benefits of the convention for our front line
soldiers, who increasingly face the risk of less discriminating
and more treacherous weapons like poison gas. We should do the
I would like to point out that I do not for a moment, nor
do I know anybody else who does, question the patriotism, the
integrity, or the distaste for poison gas or chemical weapons
that is shared by our three most distinguished witnesses today.
Anyone who would make such a statement is a damn fool.
But the truth of the matter is we just have, as I say, a
healthy disagreement among respected women and men about the
value of this treaty for the United States. I think the value
for those in favor far outweigh those opposed, but not in terms
of their intellectual capability but in terms of their number.
The argument that the treaty will be ineffective because
several rogue states have not signed is, I find, equally
perplexing. Today there is absolutely nothing illegal about the
chemical weapons programs in these rogue states, and that will
change once the CWC comes into force. At least it will be
illegal. It will make such programs illegal. It will also
provide us with a valuable tool--the moral suasion of the
entire international community--to isolate and target those
states who violate the norm which my friend, the former
Secretary and head of more than one agency, believes--his view
is that norms don't matter in international relations. I would
like to have a talk with him, if we have more time, about the
notion of norms and why I think they do matter.
But at any rate, if you disagree and norms don't matter,
then it doesn't matter. But most Americans and most people do
agree that norms do matter. They do have some impact. They may
not solve it all, but they have an impact.
As Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who will testify
this afternoon has noted, to say that we should not try to make
chemical weapons illegal because there will be cheaters is like
saying we should not have laws because we know people are going
to break them.
Norms are created so that we have standards for civilized
conduct by which to judge others. Without them, we leave the
rogue countries to behave as free actors.
Indeed, by joining the convention, we place the full weight
of the world community to take whatever actions are necessary
to respond and to prevent them. I acknowledge that we will
ultimately take only that action which we view to be in our
national interest. We will ultimately take only that action we
view to be in our national interest.
When my friends were former Secretaries of Defense, they
did not recommend actions taken when we knew countries were
acting in ways that were beyond our interests without
considering the global interest and the interest of the United
States relative to other considerations.
So I acknowledge that ultimately we will take action or not
take action based on whether it is in our interest.
Equally importantly, we will place our military might
behind the world's threat to act against violators.
The argument that U.S. industry will suffer under the
supposedly onerous burdens of the treaty is particularly
intriguing to me. You see, I come from Delaware. If there is
any state in the Union that has a greater interest in the
chemical industry, I know of none. And I can assure you
gentlemen, big or small--and they are both big and small--if
they had a problem, I guarantee you I would hear about it. I
promise you that I would after 24 years.
You were a former member, Secretary Rumsfeld. Do you doubt
that the industry would let me know? Do you doubt for one
I can tell you that not only do they support it--and, by
the way, this impacts on half of Delaware's industrial output,
these chemicals. It is one-half. Not only does industry support
it, they strongly support it.
And in terms of those small outfits, Secretary Rumsfeld may
not be aware of this, but Dan Danner of the National Federation
of Independent Businesses said the CWC will have no impact on
their members. They are neutral on the treaty.
Maybe he was unaware of that, but that is their position.
What I have heard from the chemical industry is if you
don't ratify this convention, the chemical industry, which is
the country's largest exporter, stands to lose hundreds of
millions of dollars in export earnings; because it would be
subject to trade sanctions that the United States wrote into
the treaty to target rogue states. We wrote it in.
Now this will be the irony of all ironies. My State will
get a kick in the teeth on something we wrote into a treaty,
because we do not ratify the treaty. And Germany has already
announced that, come April 29, sanctions are going to apply.
In fact, we have heard that all non-members will be subject
to those German sanctions.
By the way, one of our largest competitors is Germany, as
you might guess. So there is a little interest there.
The argument that the convention is unverifiable is a
classic case of making the perfect the enemy of the good. No
arms control treaty is perfectly verifiable, and the CWC is no
exception to the rule. While there are risks that a State party
will hide some covert chemical weapons stockpiles or illegally
produce chemical weapons, it will be much more difficult to
engage in large scale violations that would pose the greatest
danger to U.S. military forces.
As one of our witnesses this afternoon, a former colleague
of yours, Ambassador Kirkpatrick points out--though she did not
mean to point it out this way--she said you know, don't worry
about verification. We are going to have to do this
verification anyway, even if there is no treaty. That is the
point. That is the point. We have to do it anyway. And we can
do it less well--less well--without the treaty than with the
George Tenet, the Acting Director of CIA, said, ``In the
absence of tools that the convention gives us, it will be much
harder for us to apprise you, apprise the military and
policymakers of where we think we are in the world regarding
these developments.'' The intelligence community sees benefits
in us ratifying CWC.
In addition, there may well be occasions in which on-site
inspection will provide evidence of treaty violations. In other
words, while we will not catch every violator, we will catch
some, and that does act as a deterrent. And without CWC, we
won't catch anybody.
The allegation that the treaty would lead to the end of
export controls on dangerous chemicals is based on a poor
reading of the treaty, with all due respect.
Article XI of the convention supports the chemical, trade,
and technology exchange ``for purposes not prohibited under the
convention.'' It also requires that trade restrictions not be
``incompatible with the obligations undertaken under this
The CWC is completely consistent with continued enforcement
of the Australia Group controls which member states use to keep
chemical and biological materials out of the hands of rogue
states. The executive branch has said this time and again and
so have our Australia Group allies.
In fact, as we speak, our allies are in the process of
repeating these assurances through diplomatic contacts. It is
the decline and failure of U.S. leadership that would pose the
gravest threat to the Australia Group, and failure to ratify
the CWC would be seen by friend and foe alike as a retreat from
that world leadership.
Under that circumstance, State and chemical industries
might indeed conclude that we should go back to helping the
Iraqis and Libyans of the world to build their suspect chemical
facilities. If one were to extrapolate the argument treaty
opponents make, one would have to conclude that no matter what
we do, the Australia Group is a dead letter because on April
29, those Australia Group countries that have joined the
convention will be required to begin trading freely in
dangerous chemicals, according to the argument made by the
opponents. Obviously, this is as preposterous as it sounds. But
it is a logical outgrowth of the allegation made by opponents.
Finally, I would look forward to engaging the witnesses on
their claim that the convention will lull us into a false sense
of security. The Pentagon made it clear on numerous occasions
that it will maintain a robust chemical capability supported by
robust intelligence collection. The commitment to protecting
our forces has the full support of the President and the
Congress. In addition, I have agreed with Senator Helms,
assuming this treaty comes up, to a legally binding condition
of the treaty that requires the Secretary of Defense to insure
that the U.S. forces are capable of carrying out our military
missions regardless of any foreign threats or use of chemical
weapons. Besides, our experience in other arms control
agreements shows there is little chance of our becoming
complacent about a chemical weapons threat if the CWC is
I just would cite the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and
not much more in the interest of time.
Article X does not require the CWC defense assistance
beyond antidotes and medical treatments. Does that really harm
U.S. security? Isn't it a fair trade for getting those
countries to forego chemical weapons? If other countries want
to provide additional CWC defenses, as the Secretary indicates,
how would the U.S. failure to ratify stop that in any way? You
made your own argument. You said these guys are going to go out
and do this anyway.
Well, that's true. If they're going to do it, they're going
to do it whether we are a signatory or not. Being a signatory
in no way enhances that prospect. Industrial espionage is
another question that I will not get into in the interest of
time. But I notice that the chemical industry is not making
that case, Secretary Rumsfeld, and we will have safeguards
requiring the Secretary of Defense to maintain U.S. military
capabilities to operate in chemical environments.
The riot control agents is another subject that I would
like to speak to, which I think we have taken care of.
I thank the Chairman for allowing me to make my statement
late, and I thank you gentlemen for listening. But then, what
else could you do?
[The prepared statement of Senator Biden follows:]
Prepared Statement of Senator Biden
Mr. Chairman, this is a defining moment in our foreign relations.
In my view, the credibility and continued leadership of the United
States on arms control and proliferation matters hangs in the balance.
Twelve years ago the United States made a firm commitment to destroy
the thirty thousand tons of poison gas that we had stockpiled. We made
that decision because these weapons no longer had any military value.
We also initiated a global effort aimed at forcing others to do
what we had already decided to do unilaterally. Through two Republican
administrations, efforts to negotiate the Chemical Weapons Treaty made
slow but steady progress. The effort gained new urgency after the Gulf
War again awakened us to the threat posed by chemical weapons. Over
four years ago, Secretary of State Eagelburger signed the Chemical
Weapons Treaty on behalf of the Bush Administration.
Having led the world to the altar, I am confident that we will not
abandon 160 other nations. For if we did, we would send a signal of
retreat, forfeit our leadership, and cripple our ability to forge
coalitions against the gravest threat we face as a nation--the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
I know that the witnesses today do not share my view that this
treaty is in our vital national interest. I know that we will hear
arguments that the treaty is flawed because several rogue states have
not signed. We will hear that verification will be difficult, that the
CWC will harm U.S. industry, that it will supposedly force us to
transfer sophisticated chemical equipment and defenses to dangerous
regimes. Finally, perhaps their most strenuous argument will be that
this treaty will lull us into a false sense of security and cause us to
drop our guard.
I hope to demonstrate today that these claims are incorrect and
that the problems they cite will only get worse without the CWC. From
the military perspective, I believe that this convention is clearly in
our interest. I know that the witnesses may not agree with me in this
regard. However, two other former Secretaries of Defense not
represented here today do agree with me. These are Harold Brown,
Secretary of Defense in the Carter Administration, and William Perry,
Secretary of Defense in the first Clinton term.
I ask unanimous consent that their statement be included in the
record. As they note in their statement, every single Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of staff since President Carter's Administration has
endorsed ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Last friday, 17 distinguished retired military officers sent a
letter to the President in which they endorsed ratification of the
Chemical Weapons Convention. The collection of signatures on this
letter is quite impressive. I would ask unanimous consent to place the
text of this letter as well as an opinion piece by Secretary of Defense
William Cohen in the record.
Several of these signatories were present at a White House event on
Friday in which dozens of distinguished Americans from many walks of
life and both sides of the political fence joined together to call for
early ratification of this treaty. I would ask unanimous consent that
the text of the remarks made at this event be included in the record.
The Convention has won the endorsement of several highly-respected
veterans and military organizations as well. This list includes the
Reserve Officers Association, the Vietnam Veterans Association, the
Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A., and
The American Ex-prisoners of War. I would ask unanimous consent that
statements by these organizations be placed in the record.
These individuals and organizations--none of whom can be
characterized as soft-headed or soft-hearted--recognize the benefits of
this Convention for our front-line soldiers, who increasingly face the
risk of less discriminating and more treacherous weapons like poison
gas. We should do the same.
Mr. Chairman, the argument that the treaty will be ineffective
because several rogue states have not signed is equally perplexing to
me. Today, there is absolutely nothing illegal under international or
domestic law about the chemical weapons programs in these rogue states.
That will change once the CWC enters into force. It will make such
programs illegal. It will also provide us with a valuable tool--the
weight of the entire international community to isolate and target
those states that violate the norm set by this treaty.
As Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who will testify this
afternoon, has noted--to say that we shouldn't try to make chemical
weapons illegal because there will be cheaters, is like saying that we
shouldn't have laws because people will break them. International norms
of behavior are created so that we have standards of civilized conduct
by which to judge others. Without them, we leave the rogue countries to
behave as free actors.
Indeed, by joining the convention, we place the full weight of the
world community to take whatever action is necessary to respond to, or
prevent an adversary from using chemical weapons. Equally important, we
will place our military might behind the world's threat to act against
The argument that U.S. industry will suffer under the supposedly
onerous burdens of the treaty is particularly interesting for me to
hear. You see, coming from Delaware I know a thing or two about the
chemical industry--which is the industry that will be most impacted by
this treaty. The chemical industry accounts for over one-half of
Delaware's industrial output. If the chemical industry had a problem
with this treaty, I assure you that I would have been among the first
to hear about it. Instead, what I have heard is that the chemical
industry played a key role in negotiating the convention and is among
its strongest supporters.
What I have heard is that if we don't ratify this convention, the
chemical industry, which is this country's largest exporter, stands to
lose hundreds of millions of dollars in export earnings because it
would be subject to trade sanctions that the United States wrote into
the treaty to target rogue states. In fact, we have now heard that
Germany has announced that it will impose trade restrictions on non-
members come April 29.
The argument that the convention is unverifiable is a classic case
of making the perfect the enemy of the good. No arms control treaty is
perfectly verifiable. The CWC is no exception to that rule. While there
are risks that a state party will hide some covert chemical weapons
stocks or illegally produce chemical weapons, it will be much more
difficult to engage in large-scale violations that would pose the
greatest danger to U.S. military forces. This is because of the CWC's
extensive on-site inspection regime.
George Tenet, the Acting Director of Central Intelligence,
testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that: ``In the
absence of the tools that the Convention gives to us, it will be much
harder for us to apprise you, apprise the military and policymakers of
where we think we are in the world with regards to these
The intelligence community wants us to ratify CWC because it will
give them additional tools to detect chemical weapon programs in other
countries. And that is something we're going to have to do anyway. In
addition, there may well be some occasions in which on-site inspection
will produce evidence of treaty violations. In other words, while we
may not catch every violator, we may well catch some--and that will
lead to deterrence.
And without the CWC, we won't catch anybody--because there will be
no bar on countries producing and stockpiling those weapons. The
allegation that the treaty would lead to the end of export controls on
dangerous chemicals is based on a poor reading of the treaty text.
Article Eleven of the Convention supports chemical trade and technology
exchange ``for purposes not prohibited under this convention.'' It also
requires that trade restrictions not be ``incompatible with the
obligations undertaken under this convention.''
But the CWC is completely consistent with continued enforcement of
the Australia group controls, which member states use to keep chemical
and biological weapons material out of the hands of rogue states. The
executive branch has said this time and again, and so have our
Australia group allies.
In fact, as we speak, our allies are in the process of repeating
those assurances through diplomatic contacts. It is the decline and
failure of U.S. leadership that would pose the gravest threat to the
Australia group. And failure to ratify the CWC would be seen by friend
and foe alike as a U.S. retreat from world leadership in an area that
is critical to global security. Under that circumstance, states with
chemical industries might indeed conclude that they should go back to
helping the Iraqs and Libyas Of the world to build suspect chemical
If one were to extrapolate the arguments of treaty opponents, one
would have to conclude that no matter what we do, the Australia group
is a dead letter. Because on April 29 those Australia group countries
that have joined the Convention will be required to begin trading
freely in dangerous chemicals according to the argument made by
opponents. Obviously, this argument is as preposterous as it sounds,
but it is the logical outgrowth of the allegation made by the
Finally, I look forward to engaging our witnesses on their claim
that this Convention will lull us into a false sense of security. The
Pentagon has made it clear on numerous occasions that it will maintain
a robust chemical defense capability supported by robust intelligence
collection. The commitment to protecting our forces has the full
support of the President and the Congress and I believe strongly that
no future Administration or Congress will abandon our solemn
responsibility to our troops in this regard.
In addition, I have agreed with Senator Helms to add a legally
binding condition to the treaty that requires the Secretary of Defense
to ensure that U.S. forces are capable of carrying out military
missions regardless of any foreign threat or use of chemical weapons.
Besides, our experience with other arms control agreements shows that
there is little chance of our becoming complacent about the chemical
weapon threat if the CWC is ratified.
For example, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty was signed
twenty-five years ago, yet we are continually vigilant on the threat of
nuclear proliferation. As for defenses against poison gas--troop
protection and decontamination training is a function of congressional
funding. That equipment and that training will not go away unless
Congress lets it go away. I certainly won't allow it, and I don't think
my colleagues on the other committees of jurisdiction or on side of
this issue will either.
I am concerned that the opponents solution to the perceived problem
of being lulled to sleep is to allow the threat of chemical weapons to
grow even worse. Mr. Chairman, I look forward to a frank and open
exchange with our witnesses. I hope that the hearing today moves us one
step closer to action on this critical treaty before the impending
The Chairman. You didn't take but 18.5 minutes.
Senator Biden. Well, then I will forego my questions, Mr.
The Chairman. Oh, no, no. You are always very impressive, I
will say, one way or another.
The Chairman. Since we are playing a name game, Trent Lott
got a letter the other day, signed by a few military people,
such as Dick Cheney, Bill Clark, Alexander Haig, John S.
Herrington, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Edwin Meese, Donald Rumsfeld,
Caspar Weinberger, General Voss, Vice Admiral William Houser,
General Kelley of the Marine Corps, General Thomas Kelly of the
Army, Admiral Wesley McDonald--is that enough?
Senator Biden. That's pretty good, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. OK. We have about 75 other signatories.
Without objection, we will put that in the record.
[The letter referred to by Chairman Helms appears on page
Senator Biden. Mr. Chairman, this is not fair to do, but
two of the guys you named changed their mind and signed a
letter on April 3 saying that they are for the treaty.
Oh, they changed their mind after they signed that.
Oh, gosh, all right.
There are a lot of guys changing their minds around here
these days. Maybe we can change your mind, too.
The Chairman. That will be the day.
You won't change my mind about this statement made
repeatedly about the Reagan Administration, which is not for
this treaty. Think about Weinberger, Kirkpatrick, Bill Clark,
Ed Meese, Richard Perle, Dick Adams, and on down the list. In
fact, I know of no one on the Reagan team, as it is known, who
is in favor of it. Sadly, nobody can ask the President himself,
President Reagan, how he feels about it.
I understand that several Senators are going to return so
that they can have their time. We have agreed that 5 minutes
for the first round may be the course of wisdom.
Secretary Rumsfeld, you served for many years as Chairman
and CEO of G.D. Searle and Company, which is, I believe, a
large, multilateral pharmaceutical business. You have had quite
a bit of experience and expertise in dealing with government
regulations, to which you referred.
In your expert opinion, why would the Chemical
Manufacturers Association be so aggressive in supporting the
treaty when I have this many letters (indicating) from chemical
companies saying it is a bad treaty and please do not approve
Mr. Rumsfeld. Well, I cannot climb into the minds of the
executives of the Chemical Manufacturers Association, Senator,
but certainly an industry like that has, as Senator Biden has
indicated, an opportunity to increase the number of chemicals
they can export if this treaty is passed. At the present time,
a number of chemicals are not permitted for export, which would
be made permissible for export by this convention.
So it is in their interest to have it passed in that
The Chairman. Thank you.
Mr. Rumsfeld. Second, I am not an expert on the
association, but certainly they represent the big companies.
They don't represent the medium sized and small companies.
Senator Biden has said he does not doubt that he would be
hearing from small companies if there were a problem. I suspect
if this passes he will hear from them. I don't believe that the
thousands, whatever the number is, of companies across this
country know about this treaty in any detail, believe that the
treaty would apply to them, understand that they could be
subjected to inspections, appreciate the unfunded mandates that
would be imposed on them in the event this treaty were to be
I might just point out that the Aerospace Industries
Association has stated its strong concern about the treaty, and
I hope that since they have said that they have not changed
But you never know.
But they have said it would unnecessarily jeopardize our
Nation's ability to protect its national security information
and proprietary technological data.
I was told yesterday by an individual who is knowledgeable
that the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, for example, personnel
from there were involved in one of the mock inspections
conducted by the U.S. government. They evaluated the inspection
results and some weeks later, from outside the facility, using
modern technology, were capable of coming away with classified
information and proprietary information from the inspection.
So I don't think that it would be wise for us to
underestimate the risk that would exist to classified
information, to a company's proprietary information.
There is a third problem. Most of us in business are
engaged with joint ventures and partnerships with companies
across the globe. We share proprietary information in the same
facility. Were these inspections imposed, it is entirely
possible that not only your own proprietary information could
be compromised but also the proprietary information of joint
venture partners to whom you have promised not to permit their
proprietary information to be shared.
Even cereal companies close their doors and do not allow
people to walk through the plant. Why? They don't have
classified information. What they have is process information,
and the idea of photography or samples leaving their factory
would unquestionably concern them deeply.
The Chairman. I thank you. My time is up.
Without objection, I am going to ask that the letters from
industry in opposition to treaty ratification be made a part of
[The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
The Chairman. I don't have but 30 seconds left, so I will
turn to the distinguished Senator from Delaware.
I was just handed an interesting little comment that I will
say to all of you. One of the letters that I have is from the
company which makes the ink for the dollar bill. They are
frightened that foreign inspections under the CWC would give
counterfeiters some advantage.
Mr. Rumsfeld. They are probably incorporated in Delaware.
Senator Biden. I hope so. That accounts for the other 50
percent of our business.
Actually, that's not true. Chickens are bigger.
Dr. Schlesinger. They are incorporated in Virginia and the
letter was sent to Charles Robb.
Senator Biden. Thank you.
Gentlemen, obviously because of the time I am not going to
be able to ask you all that I want to, though I am sure my
colleagues will do a better job at it than I would.
Let me ask you about a few things you have mentioned here
and about conditions that have been tentatively agreed to,
conditions added to the treaty that have been tentatively
agreed to by Senator Helms and me--speaking only for me and not
for any other member of the Democratic Caucus or the Republican
Caucus. One of the criticisms was that this is unenforceable,
this treaty. And one of the conditions we have tentatively
agreed on is that the President would be required to consult
with the Senate if the treaty is being violated. The President
would be required to report to us on what was being done by way
of inspections, diplomacy, and sanctions to respond to the
violation. And if the violations were to persist for one year,
the President would have to come back to the Senate and ask the
Senate to decide if we should continue to adhere to the treaty
or not. He would have an affirmative obligation.
My question is, does this condition in any way, do you view
it as positive, not whether it cures the problems of the
treaty, but do you consider it a positive condition?
Dr. Schlesinger. I think it is a positive condition.
Mr. Weinberger. I would suggest, however, that we might
want to look very carefully at the content of the report that
the President makes to the Senate and see if it, in fact, is as
accurate as it should be.
Senator Biden. I think that is a valid concern and a valid
point raised. There is another condition that we have
tentatively agreed on.
In response to a piece, an op-ed piece done by you
distinguished gentlemen, you said, on March 5, that if the
United States is not a CWC member State, the danger is lessened
that American intelligence about ongoing chemical weapons
operations will be ``dumbed down'' or otherwise compromised.
In order to address that concern, Senator Helms and I have
agreed to a condition requiring periodic reports and prompt
notice to the Congress about chemical weapons programs around
the world and the status of CWC compliance.
The executive branch would also be required to offer
briefings on these issues. This condition would give Congress
an active role in advising the President in regard to insuring
compliance. The information would be before the Congress and it
would be incumbent upon us to review it and define, if we
disagreed, when violations were taking place.
My question is does this in any way go toward alleviating
the concern about dumbing down?
Dr. Schlesinger. Well, it helps in some ways and it adds to
the problem in others.
As you know, there is a proclivity of the executive branch,
when it wants to avoid action, to ignore or to dumb down
violations by others. There is a long history of this. I need
not repeat it.
Senator Biden. I'm aware of that.
Dr. Schlesinger. You referred to the Iraq case yourself.
Senator Biden. Now the other question that several of you
have indicated in written material in the past was without a
commitment of billions of U.S. aid to pay for destruction of
Russia's vast arsenal, they will not comply with this treaty.
Senator Helms and I have agreed to a condition to a
resolution of ratification in an attempt to address this issue.
Our condition states: The United States will not accept any
Russian effort to condition its ratification upon the U.S.
providing guarantees to pay for implementation.
Let me ask you this. Does this in any way help in that
problem, although I find it kind of strange? It's like the
argument about why the Nunn-Lugar legislation was a bad idea--
this is not an argu-
ment on your part, but some here have argued that it was a bad
idea because we were paying money to the Russians to destroy
I always found that an interesting argument, and I don't
know why it would be such a bad idea to help destroy their
chemical weapons, either. At any rate, we have a condition that
says that that can be no condition of ratification.
Is that a useful or a destructive addition to this treaty?
Dr. Schlesinger. I think that is useful, Senator. It does,
however, underscore a fundamental problem that we have in that
the bilateral destruction agreement was the foundation for the
Chemical Weapons Convention and that Prime Minister
Chernomyrdin has now said that agreement has outlived its
usefulness. That is worrisome.
Senator Biden. As you will recall--and this will obviously
be my last comment--as you will recall, the reason for that
treaty was to prompt this treaty. You will remember that.
Second, we did not ratify the treaty nor did they ratify the
Anyway, thank you very much Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen.
The Chairman. Before I recognize Senator Lugar, let me say
that the distinguished ranking member, Joe Biden, and I have
spent several hours together trying to work on details, and we
have agreed on about 21 relatively minor defects in the treaty.
There are 5 or 6 major things yet to be considered, and the
administration up till now--not Joe Biden, but the
administration--is stonewalling considering even those defects.
Senator Lugar. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to join you and members of the committee in
welcoming witnesses this morning who are good public servants
and personal friends of many of us on this committee. I have
listened to their testimony and I have studied the op-ed which
they wrote for the Washington Post last month. I believe their
contribution was well written, but, at least for me, it was
Critics of the convention often speak as if the concerns
they are expressing are being heard almost for the first time
and that members of the committee have now taken these issues
into account in developing the resolution of ratification.
The critics may not be familiar with the resolution of
ratification that we passed out of this committee by a vote of
13 to 5 last year or the ongoing negotiations on the
ratification issue this year which the Chairman just cited.
The resolution is precisely the vehicle through which these
matters of interpretation are taken up and conditions added to
conform to U.S. domestic law. Instead of working these complex
interpretation issues, many critics are repeating many of the
same arguments that we have dealt with.
I would say, for example, that we are treated to the so-
called complacency argument; that is, United States
ratification of the CWC will lull the country into a false
sense of security and a tendency to neglect its defenses. But
this is surely a matter of political will here at home. It has
nothing to do with the treaty. There is nothing inevitable
about arms control agreements contributing to lessening a
perceived need and, therefore, support for defense against such
But there is something wrong with the notion that by
allowing our potential adversaries to have a chemical weapon
situation without norms and international law, that we are sure
to be reminded to defend ourselves against them. Rather than
whining about complacency, Congress ought to do its job:
Authorize and appropriate the funds necessary to provide for a
robust chemical defense capability.
In addition, Congress has every ability to add or to shift
funds to ensure that CWC monitoring remains a priority.
Second, we are treated again to the so-called poisons for
peace argument; namely, the CWC will obligate member states to
facilitate transfers of CWC specific technology, equipment and
material to member states of the convention. Further, they
charge the treaty commits new member states not to observe any
agreements that would obstruct these transfers.
That is the Iranian interpretation of Article XI. The
United States and others rejected that argument and maintain
that interpretation of Article XI did not require them to do
so, that mechanisms such as the Australian Group are legitimate
under the CWC, and the work of the Australian Group will
The resolution of ratification clarifies the American
interpretation. The U.S. preserves the right to maintain or
impose export controls for foreign policy or national security
reasons. But nothing in the convention obligates the United
States to accept any weakening of existing national export
controls and that the export control and nonproliferation
measures the Australian Group has undertaken are fully
consistent with all requirements of the CWC.
If, as critics state, the CWC would likely leave the United
States more and not less vulnerable to chemical attack, then
the blame again resides with political leaders in the United
States, not with the convention. The treaty in no way
constrains our ability as a nation to provide for a robust
defense against chemical weapons or to impose and maintain
Third, we are told that if the U.S. is a CWC participant,
American intelligence is in danger of being dumbed down or
compromised. Again, any dumbing down of intelligence has
nothing to do with the convention. It has to do, once again,
with political will.
We quite predictably get, then, a charge on the
Constitution made by critics that U.S. participation could
leave U.S. citizens and companies vulnerable to burdens
associated with reporting and inspection arrangements and to
jeopardizing confidential business information.
The critics pose as protectors of American industry, but
industry has spoken for itself. U.S. industry would not support
the CWC if it posed significant risks to confidential business
information. Specifically, the chemical industry has worked
intensively to ensure that protections against the loss of
confidential information are incorporated in the CWC and the
administration-proposed implementing legislation.
By the same token, allegations that this will require
violation of the Constitution are wrong. The proposed
implementing legislation provides for search warrants if
routine or challenge inspections are to be carried out without
consent. The CWC also allows the U.S. to take into account
constitutional obligations regarding searches and seizures,
proprietary rights, and providing access through challenge
Finally, there is the argument that we be in no hurry to
adhere to the convention and if and when we decide to join
other signatories will have no choice but to adjust.
Nevertheless, if we are not a party when it enters into force,
we will have no role in the governing body and that is
The Chairman. Senator Dodd.
Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I noted
when I walked in here the presence of the distinguished
Admiral, who has rejoined us here.
It is a pleasure to see you again, Admiral. We are glad to
have you back with us.
Today I thank all three of you for being here as witnesses.
All three of you had distinguished careers, and it is a
pleasure to see you back before the committee.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you for holding these hearings. I
respect immensely the concerns that you have raised. You have
done so in an appropriate fashion over the last number of
months, and we are going to have a chance, as it appears now,
in the next few days to actually express our will in the Senate
on this, which I think is appropriate and proper given the
April 29 deadline.
I commend you and Senator Biden for the tremendous effort
you have both put in, along with your staffs, to try to resolve
some of the outstanding differences. Senator Lugar as well
deserves a great deal of credit, having a long-standing
commitment to this issue.
So I commend all of you for your work.
I noted, Mr. Chairman, that you said the Reagan
administration team was sort of opposed to this. The name game
is dangerous, but the last time I looked, General Vessey, Jim
Baker, Ken Adelman, Colin Powell, General Rowny, Paul Nitze and
the Vice President were part of the Reagan team and they
support the Chemical Weapons Convention.
But there is a danger in going back and forth. I think the
question has to be raised of what is in the interest of our
country here, whether or not this is going to serve our
interests in the 21st century.
I am struck by a couple of observations. One is that we saw
in the 1970's--in fact, Secretary Schlesinger I think was very
much involved in this--the Biological Weapons Convention or
treaty which President Nixon sent up to us here, which was
strongly supported, as I recall, by both parties, both sides of
the aisle. It has some 157 signatories, I think. One hundred
forty countries ratified it. There is no verification, to the
best of my knowledge, in that particular convention, yet it has
worked pretty well.
It has short comings, obviously. There is not universal
adherence to it, but it has worked fairly well.
I raise that because this treaty obviously does have
verification included in it. One would argue that it actually
does a much better job.
I am also struck by the fact that in 1985, President Reagan
signed into law a bill that would eliminate by the year 2004
the entire existing stockpile of chemical weapons. So we made a
decision about a decade ago. One could argue, I suppose, the
merits of it, but we made that decision; and we have been about
the business not of upgrading or modernizing any of our
chemical weapons but to unilaterally--to unilaterally--
eliminate our own stockpiles in chemical weapons.
I know of nothing that has been said here, nor has anyone
advocated, at least in the last few years that I have been
here, that we ought to modernize our stockpiles in chemical
weapons. No one has made that suggestion that I know of or
offered legislation in that regard.
So it seems as a country, in a bipartisan way, going back
almost 25 years, more than 25 years, that we have taken a
leadership position, both internationally and unilaterally, on
the issue of chemical weapons; because we realize the dangers
involved and associated with these weapons of mass destruction.
The issue now comes down to whether or not this Nation,
having authored, championed, and led this effort, whether or
not we are going to be able to sit on the Executive Council
which will set the rules of the road.
We are acting in some way as if, if we don't ratify this,
it does not happen. It does happen. If we don't ratify this, it
The issue now becomes whether or not we are going to ratify
in such a way that the interests of our country and the
interests which we champion, that is, the abolition of chemical
weapons and weapons of mass destruction, that we are going to
be allowed to sit at the very table to decide the rules of the
road to determine whether or not that is going to work, having
unilaterally decided that we will take ourselves out of this
game by the year 2004.
I just wonder, briefly, if our three witnesses here might,
in the context of the Biological Weapons Convention of the
1970's, the general success of that, the decision in 1985 by
the Reagan administration and Secretary Weinberger to
unilaterally get out of this business by the year 2004--that
was a Reagan administration decision--why it is not in the best
interest of our country to move forward on this convention in
light of the decisions we have already made.
The Chairman. We will let you answer that on the next
Senator Dodd. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Hagel. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
I very much appreciate the opportunity to listen and learn
this morning. Mr. Chairman, as you suggested, there are 15 new
United States Senators. There are 3 new United States Senators
on this panel.
This is one United States Senator who needs to know more
about what we are doing here, and I very much appreciate you
and Senator Biden opening the process and giving us a chance to
learn and listen.
Just as in life where actions have consequences, treaties
have consequences. We live with those consequences.
I, as a supporter of a ballistic missile defense system, am
somewhat struck that we are still captive to the 1972 ABM
Treaty in the argument of some why we cannot go forward and
construct a ballistic missile defense system.
We are not here to talk about the ABM Treaty, but I am here
to learn a little bit more about what this chemical treaty is
about. Understanding, as the distinguished panel has brought
out in rather poignant terms this morning in the questioning
and the comments by my distinguished colleagues have added to
this enlightenment, first, civilized conduct is not predicated
on treaties and is not governed by treaties. Civilized conduct
is not anchored by treaties or some esoteric academic kind of
Civilized conduct is anchored by civilized people. One of
the concerns I have with this treaty as it is written, not
unlike what I have heard this morning--and I must say also what
Secretary Weinberger has said, I do not know of anyone who is
for chemical weapons or the use of them--and as someone who has
understood a little bit about combat, as others on this
committee know and some of the direct personal experiences
articulated by our panel this morning show they understand a
little bit about this business, is this; and I guess my
question comes down to this: Should we have a chemical weapons
treaty and if we should, what form should it take? I would be
very interested in our three distinguished panelists, Mr.
Chairman, answering that question. If not this treaty, should
we have one? Whatever that answer is leads us obviously to the
next question, which is what form, if you agree we should have
a treaty, what form should that treaty take.
Mr. Weinberger. I think we have to bear in mind the point
that you made at the beginning, that you don't solve the
problems of ethics or of use of these weapons by any attempt to
impose civilized standards on uncivilized government. I don't
think for a moment, in connection with the statements Senator
Biden and Senator Dodd made, that it would make the slightest
difference to Saddam Hussein whether it was legal or illegal
for him to use poison gas. He did violate that treaty, the
original agreement in Geneva, when he attacked the Kurds. I
think any time it suits his interest, he would do so.
Indeed, the old Soviet definition of truth is whatever
serves the country. So you have to have in mind that kind of
Against that background, there is no impropriety in setting
standards. I think that you can make it clear that the use of
poison gas is outlawed by public opinion around the world. You
can get statements to that effect. But when you add to that the
enormously intrusive processes which require us to share with
some extremely potentially hostile countries defensive
mechanisms that we may be, and I hope are, working on to
improve our capability of defending against this type of
warfare, then I think you are neglecting the best interests of
the United States. That is one of the reasons why I think this
treaty, this convention, should not be ratified.
There are all kinds of ways of making international
statements. But when you bind yourselves to the situation of
preventing the country from having the kind of defensive
capability it needs in a world like this, then I think you are
not serving the best interests of the United States. That is
one of the reasons I think this treaty goes far beyond
attempting to set just international standards and speed
limits, and all those other comforting terms, because at the
same time it requires us to take actions that would weaken us
very severely and, I think, increase the chances of chemical
warfare being used by rogue nations who would be told very
publicly that other nations had no retaliatory capability.
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
Mr. Rumsfeld. Just very briefly, I won't take much time. I
see you are on the yellow already.
First, obviously a great deal of the problem is with
Articles X and XI.
Second, the Executive Council is a problem. It is unlike
the United Nations, where the United States at least has a
veto. Here, in this instance, as I recall, Asia has 9 members,
Africa has 9 or 10, Latin America has 7, Eastern Europe has 5,
Western Europe has 10, and ``other'' is thrown in with Western
Europe. We don't even have a guaranteed seat.
So it would be a very different kind of mechanism, even
different than the International Atomic Energy mechanism, as
Secretary Schlesinger mentioned.
So I think those two things stand out by way of problems.
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
The Chairman. Thank you.
Dr. Schlesinger. Might I add just a little bit on that
point, the last point that Mr. Rumsfeld mentioned?
The fact is that, under the IAEA, the United States
provides scrutiny of the budget in a way that this budget will
not be scrutinized through the internal politics of the IAEA.
Second, the Western nations have a blocking vote in the Board
of Governors of the IAEA. It requires a two-thirds vote of the
IAEA. To prevent intrusions in the United States requires a
three-quarters adverse vote. And as Mr. Rumsfeld has just
indicated, under the circumstances, the United States is not
guaranteed a seat. It is described as ``other.''
That is, I think, a clarification of the remarks by Senator
Dodd with regard to our participation in the Executive Council.
That may be a transitory device. It may be a permanent device.
But there is no indication of it.
Finally, there is a facilities agreement under the IAEA so
that there is no hunting license to go around in the 10,000
facilities in the United States that are subject to the
requirements of this agreement.
The Chairman. Now Senator Kerry.
Senator Kerry. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I have a number of questions, and I am sure I will not be
able to get at them in the short time available. But let me
begin, if I can.
Gentlemen, I assume you don't believe that chemical weapons
manufacturing or chemical weapons threats can be adequately
monitored by U.S. technical means alone.
Do you agree with that?
Mr. Weinberger. That's correct. I agree with that. It
Senator Kerry. So you need some kind of protocol, some kind
of mechanism for the process of adequately providing our
intelligence community with a capacity to advise our leaders
Mr. Weinberger. Senator, I see what you are getting at. But
the fact of the matter is that the treaty that we are
considering here does not have any kind of guarantees or any
kind of verifiability that countries that say they are going to
do one thing are going to do it.
Just because it has a very intrusive mechanism which allows
them to go all into these 10,000 or more companies in the
United States or similar numbers in other countries of the
world does not mean that there is any guarantee that any of the
countries that are signatory to it are in effect going to be
doing what they say they are going to be doing.
Senator Kerry. By that same logic, there is no absolute
guarantee for any treaties that we have signed. Isn't that
Mr. Weinberger. That's one of the reasons I was always
worried about relying exclusively on an arms control regime, as
opposed to a military capability regime along with arms control
for insuring our own security.
Senator Kerry. If you follow that logic----
Dr. Schlesinger. Mr. Chairman, could I say something
without taking away from the Senator's time?
Senator Kerry [continuing]. Can he do it without taking
away from my time?
The Chairman. Oh, certainly.
Senator Kerry. That is a privilege. Thank you.
Dr. Schlesinger. Senator, let me try and raise the
fundamental question here, which is the loss of sources and
When David Kaye was in charge of the inspection in Iraq, he
discovered to his chagrin that the Iraqis had been able to hide
from Western intelligence their activities. Why--because the
Iraqis themselves had been trained by the IAEA in the
techniques used by Western, specifically American,
He had a conversation with an Iraqi official who simply
stated we have gotten all of this information.
Now the Executive Council of the Organization for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is engaged in training people
from all nations at this juncture.
What we are doing in the intelligence area is probably
suffering a net loss. As the Senator indicates, we will have
greater access and, therefore, we will have increased
intelligence of one type. But our techniques for intrusion, our
techniques for interpretation will be compromised.
This is clearly the case in North Korea, in which the North
Koreans have wisely discovered through our revelations that the
IAEA's demand to see their waste dumps will compromise
information on their production of plutonium.
So the Senator's question is quite right with regard to
improved intelligence, but it is offset by the compromise of
sources and methods.
Thank you, Senator.
Senator Kerry. Mr. Chairman, if I could respond, I
understand your argument, but I think the logic is lost here
for a number of reasons.
First of all, Iraq is not a party. So nothing will change
with respect to Iraq. In fact, none of the rogue states about
which we have the greatest fears are parties. Therefore,
nothing with respect to our intelligence gathering or state of
anxiety should change with respect to those states.
On the other hand, because you have a regimen with respect
to everybody else who is trafficking in or legitimately trading
in the precursor chemicals, we will have a much greater
ability, in fact, according to our own intelligence personnel,
to determine the ability of those rogue states to, in fact, get
a hold of those chemicals, or the ability to manufacture on
What do you say to that? It is interesting that Jim Woolsey
said this will give the country an additional tool in the box.
Our current CIA Acting Director, George Tenet, says it will.
John Deutch said it will. The entire U.S. command structure,
almost the entire U.S. command structure for the Persian Gulf,
who faced the threat of chemical weapons, say that this will
strengthen our hand.
It is hard for me to understand why you find their
perception of this as an increased tool and as an important
Dr. Schlesinger. I think that is easily answered, Senator,
and if I may respectfully suggest, you are on the wrong wicket
in this regard.
For a decade DCI's have come to this Senate, to the House,
and stated that this treaty is unverifiable. Jim Woolsey came
up and said this treaty is unverifiable. John Deutch, who has
been cited by the administration as saying that it is
verifiable has stated, ``I've never said it's verifiable. It's
clearly unverifiable.'' And in the article with General
Scowcroft, he indicated it was unverifiable.
The nonsignatories, such as Syria and Libya, are likely to
get a little assistance from signatories like Iran and Cuba.
That will not be difficult to establish.
Senator Kerry. Can I just interrupt you there on the point
Dr. Schlesinger. Sure.
Senator Kerry. First of all, no treaty is purely
verifiable. No treaty.
Second, none of them said that this treaty is not
verifiable to some degree. They all said this is verifiable to
a certain degree. We all understand that.
The question before us is are we better off without any
protocol which controls precursor chemicals, are we better off
being totally outside of the regime that will be set up by the
control as of the 29th of this month, and are we better off
without all nations, Russia included, coming in to an agreement
as to how we will try to track this. Are you better off in
terms of verifiability?
Are you better off in terms of verifiability without this?
That is my question.
Dr. Schlesinger. We have to look at the----
Senator Kerry. No. Please answer my question.
Are we better off without verifiability?
The Chairman. Just a minute. The Chair is----
Senator Kerry [continuing]. I'd just like to get my
question answered, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Well, you can do it with a little more
discretion than that.
Now you are talking with a former Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency. He should know what he is talking about.
He deserves better than to be----
Senator Kerry. Mr. Chairman, I'm not trying to do anything
The Chairman [continuing]. Please, please.
Dr. Schlesinger. Now you can answer the question, sir.
Dr. Schlesinger. There will be gains in verifiability and
losses in verifiability. The fact that our techniques will be
undermined probably will exceed the gains in verifiability.
Moreover, we are dealing not only with the verification of
chemical weapons, we are dealing with the possible industrial
espionage in the United States. And that industrial espionage
is going to be a godsend--I repeat, a godsend--to foreign
intelligence agencies and to the corporations which will feed
on those foreign intelligence agencies.
A recent book, ``War by Other Means,'' talks about economic
espionage in the United States and how vulnerable we are to
economic espionage. That must be included in the total
assessment with regard to the performance of the intelligence
Mr. Chairman, may I say that I worry deeply about the
statement that was earlier made by Senator Biden that the
intelligence community wants us to ratify the treaty. I heard
that statement--and excuse me, Senator Kerry for drifting off
your question--I heard that statement, and I am deeply
concerned that the intelligence community should not be wanting
a decision on any policy matter. The intelligence community is
there to provide information, not to provide judgments on
I hope that that statement did not reflect either the
DCI's, the Acting DCI's views or the views of the intelligence
Mr. Weinberger. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I might answer
another of Senator Kerry's questions which is do you think we
are better off by not signing this protocol. My answer is
unequivocally yes, we are better off by not signing it because
this particular protocol not only has all of the faults that we
pointed out and is not verifiable, but it does require us, and
we would carry out our obligations, I am confident, because we
always have, it requires us to share both defensive and
offensive technological developments that we should be working
on to protect our troops.
That I think is a very deep flaw. The Senator, I am sure
inadvertently, omitted from the list of rogue nations that have
not joined the fact that Iran has joined and Iraq has not.
So you would be giving an enormous intelligence advantage
and an enormous disclosure advantage to a country like Iran.
When General Schwarzkopf was asked why he supported the treaty
and if he understood that by supporting the treaty he was
supporting the sharing of this kind of technical development
with Iran, he said of course not. He was horrified.
I think that is a fair description of what he felt when
this was brought home to him.
The Chairman. Senator Grams.
Senator Kerry. Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Senator Grams.
Senator Grams. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to
welcome our distinguished panel, and I appreciate your time
here this morning.
Some of these you might have already answered. I came in
late, so I apologize. But I would just like to go over some of
the basics on this.
One basic argument, a major argument, that has been made by
the supporters of the CWC is that, although it may be far from
perfect, that it is better to have some treaty in force rather
than none at all; in other words, sign on to be part of this
board or Executive Council to enact what may be a troubled
How would you respond to that assertion, that it is better
to be a part of this treaty than none at all.
Mr. Rumsfeld, may we start with you?
Mr. Rumsfeld. I think that when one weighs the advantages
and disadvantages, it is clear to me, at least, that the
defects vastly outweigh the advantages of establishing a
standard or a norm in this instance.
Further, I think it is perfectly possible to achieve the
advantages that would accrue from this agreement without having
to be burdened with the disadvantages.
Senator Grams. How would you do that, Mr. Rumsfeld?
Mr. Rumsfeld. Well, one way, as I mentioned, is the
question of Articles X and XI, which I think should not be in
there. The way they are written they represent very serious
problems. The second way I mentioned was the mechanism of
enforcement. The so-called Executive Council I think is flawed
and would offer the United States nowhere near the ability to
affect decisions that we have in the United Nations or that we
have in the IAEA.
Senator Grams. Mr. Weinberger?
Mr. Weinberger. Well, I think the argument that something
is better than nothing depends upon something not being worse
than what you have.
We don't need to sign this treaty to assert our goodwill or
to assert the fact that we are against chemical weapons. I said
at the beginning that I have the greatest detestation for these
weapons, and I am sure every soldier does. Anyone who took part
in any kind of service understands what they mean and what they
But we don't have to sign a flawed treaty to demonstrate to
the world our rejection of these kinds of weapons. We have many
times taken actions that indicate that we are opposed to them.
So I would certainly agree completely with Don Rumsfeld
that you do have great disadvantages and those disadvantages
outweigh any possible good that can come from a generalized
statement that we, too, dislike these weapons and we, too, are
willing to have them abolished.
Senator Grams. Mr. Schlesinger?
Dr. Schlesinger. We have a treaty, we have an agreement, we
have a convention, the Geneva Convention, which is already in
force. So it is not a question that something is better than
nothing because we already have something. That something
prohibits the use of chemical weapons. It is easier to detect
the use of chemical weapons than it will ever be to detect the
manufacture of chemical weapons. Consequently, we are far
better off not watering down the Geneva Convention in the way
that this treaty threatens to.
I note that in Article VII or, thereabouts, it says that no
way does this current agreement weaken the requirements of the
Geneva Convention. We should take a firm stand on the use of
weapons, and we need to have the capacity to enforce it.
If we look at what will happen after the signing of this
agreement, if, for example, China signs--and I have been
described as a friend of China. I don't see any reason for us
to drift into confrontation with China. But I want to say that
anybody who believes that the Chinese will give up their
chemical weapons capability or that they will give up the
capacity to manufacture must be suffering from hallucinations.
If we are prepared to do anything about it, that would
require a greater rigor in dealing with Chinese departures from
agreed on arms control measures than we have exhibited to this
Mr. Rumsfeld. May I add one comment or thought that comes
Senator Grams. Sure.
Mr. Rumsfeld. In view of both what you and Senator Kerry
have asked and discussed, the implication that nothing will
change with respect to Iraq goes back to my point on Articles X
and XI. I think it will change, even with respect to Iraq, in
this sense. Country's that don't sign will be there, and with
the dramatically increased flow of information which Articles X
and XI require, and transfer of technology, and availability of
information, it will get around. There is no question but that
the information, particularly with respect to the defensive
side, will be available. It will get out into the marketplace.
You cannot keep it in. If that many countries have access
to it, it will not be secret from the rogue nations.
Senator Grams. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Senator Feingold.
Senator Feingold. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me first take this opportunity to thank you and the
ranking member, Senator Biden, for the leadership and the
dedication you have demonstrated on this issue before us this
morning. I also want to recognize the efforts of the White
House Working Group and the Lott Task Force to clarify this
issue. I know that these negotiations are taking a great deal
of time and involve a tremendous amount of technical detail.
I want to note that this committee, too, has spent a lot of
time on this treaty. In the 104th Congress, the distinguished
Chair held three extensive hearings. I was pleased to be able
to participate in those hearings, which have given the members
of this committee an opportunity to closely examine a number of
issues pertaining to this treaty and the consequences of its
ratification or of the failure to ratify it.
We asked some tough and probing questions and I think
received thoughtful responses from the administration and
private witnesses who have come before us.
Despite all of this hard, hard work, we find ourselves at
the 11th hour without Senate debate on this treaty. Even though
the United States had the key leadership role throughout
negotiations over this treaty, and even though 70 countries
have already ratified it, this institution has not yet had a
chance to actually consider the ratification of CWC.
I just would like to reiterate, in the couple of minutes I
have, what has already been said here this morning. Time is of
the essence for the full Senate to have this debate. We are all
well aware of the looming deadline of April 29, exactly 3 weeks
from today. That is the deadline by which the United States
must deposit its instrument of ratification of this treaty so
that we may be a full participant in the Organization for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, the governing body
that will have the responsibility for deciding the terms for
the implementation of CWC.
In my view, the United States participation in the OPCW is
fundamental to ensuring that American companies and American
citizens are treated fairly under the inspection provisions of
this treaty. It is precisely because some observers think that
these provisions are faulty that Senate consideration is
essential. Senators should have the opportunity to debate these
concerns, and the American people certainly deserve a chance to
As elected representatives with the constitutional
responsibility to provide advice and consent to treaties signed
by the President, I think we are obligated to give full
consideration to the CWC. With the April 29 deadline looming
ahead of us, I think we owe it to the people who elected us to
fulfill that duty to do it in a timely fashion and to do it
This treaty was signed by President Bush in January 1993
and was submitted to the Senate by President Clinton in
November of that year. Almost 3\1/2\ years later, the Senate is
now faced with a 3-week deadline. The Chemical Weapons
Convention is the culmination of a decades-long effort to bring
these weapons under international control and work toward their
While I think we would all concede and have said that the
CWC remains imperfect, I still believe it is the best avenue
available for beginning down the road to that eventual
So, Mr. Chairman, I again commend the tremendous interest
you have taken in this issue, but I hope we can vote on the
Mr. Chairman, I just have a couple of questions for the
First, in your March 5 Washington Post op-ed, the three
distinguished members of this panel indicated that if the
United States decides to become a party at a later date to this
convention, perhaps after improvements are made to enhance the
treaty's effectiveness, it is hard to believe that its
preferences regarding implementation arrangements would not be
given considerable weight.
I guess I would like to know what improvements you would
make. If it is in the interest of the United States to make
these improvements, how would you propose that the United
States accomplish this if we are not a member of the OPCW?
Mr. Weinberger. Well, I don't think that the possibility of
our being disregarded exists, Senator. I think if we are
expected to pay 25 percent of the costs of this treaty, which
are very considerable, we are certainly going to be listened
As far as changes are concerned, I tried to indicate this
morning, in a too lengthy statement, perhaps, all of the things
that I think are wrong with it. Certainly Articles X and XI
would have to be changed in a major way so that we do not
preclude ourselves from having the capability of defending
against rogue states who either signed or didn't sign this
What we have done in those articles, in my opinion, gives
them all of the opportunity to either weaken or basically
eliminate any kind of improvements we would make in the
protective clothing, the masks, the defensive capabilities
against these terrible weapons. It does not prevent rogue
states from using them, or from stockpiling them, or from
Senator Feingold. If I may follow up just for a second on
that, in effect, then, you are saying that our financial
leverage would be sufficient to allow us to change it?
Mr. Weinberger. Oh, I would be extremely disappointed if it
isn't, Senator. Yes. We have quite a lot of opportunity to
observe that in a number of other organizations, and if we are
expected to put up 25 percent--and I would suspect that within
a couple of years it would be 35 percent--of the cost of this
treaty, we would certainly, I would hope anybody who was
President at that time or Secretary of State at that time would
make it quite clear that we require for our contribution a very
genuine decisionmaking role.
Senator Feingold. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, and thank you,
The Chairman. Senator Brownback.
Senator Brownback. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and for holding
the hearing. I am delighted to be here with these three
gentlemen who I view as some of the key implementers of our
strategy to win the cold war. You gentlemen were allegation
three there and were a key part of that, to which our country
and my children have an enduring debt to you for doing that.
I thank you for it, for all you have done.
I have a couple of questions. I am new to this committee
and new to the Senate. So this is among the first hearings I
have had on the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Secretary Weinberger, Russia, of course, has not signed on
to the treaty and yet is the world's largest chemical weapons
possessor. Do you think we at a minimum should require that
they sign on before we would consider signing on to this
Mr. Weinberger. Senator, my understanding is that they have
agreed, or ``signed on,'' so to speak, but they have not
ratified it yet. Their record is extremely poor in this
because, as you said, they have a very large stockpile of these
weapons and they have already stepped out of--which is the kind
and polite way to phrase it--the Bilateral Destruction
Agreement, which was widely heralded as one of the great
saviors of mankind when it was originally submitted. They have
simply said it has outlived its usefulness.
So that is a very unfortunate record to have before the
They are widely reported to have said that they would only
sign on if we agreed to pay the full costs of their destruction
of their weapons. This is a large sum; and if it ever should
happen, I would very much hope that we would have some ability
to monitor and follow any money we gave them. We have already
given them some sort of token or opening demonstration of our
goodwill, and we don't know what that was used for. And we
don't know what a lot of the economic aid is used for.
So all of these are things that I think would certainly
have to be at least far better understood than they are now. It
would not bother me at all if Russia were required to have some
kind of guarantee that they would take care of destruction of
their own weapons and that we should not make our commitment to
any kind of agreement to pay for that.
Senator Brownback. Now as we have both noted, they have not
ratified. Should we require their ratification before we would
Mr. Weinberger. Well, it would certainly be a more
comfortable feeling, but it certainly would not remove, in my
mind, the objections to the faults and the flaws within the
Senator Brownback. So, even really if they do ratify, you
would still have the same sort of reservations you do now?
Mr. Weinberger. As it stands now, yes, sir, I would.
Senator Brownback. And that would depend upon further
negotiations with the Russians and their destruction of the
chemical weapons they have?
Mr. Weinberger. I would just like to find out what the
problem is with the Bilateral Destruction Agreement they
signed. Why has it served its purpose? Why is it no longer
useful for them to adhere to it?
Senator Brownback. Secretary Rumsfeld, you had noted that
the United States has the ability as a nation to stand alone,
to pull something to be a much better document, a much better
treaty, than what it is in your testimony. If we did stand out
on this and we said we're not going to sign the CWC; because it
is such a flawed agreement, how would we be able to, how do you
think it would evolve that we would pull that on toward a
better agreement? How would you see that evolving into the
future to where it would be something that you would like to
As all of you noted, and as all of us have noted, none of
us wants chemical weapons in this world. We are all opposed to
those. How would you see that evolve to where we could get a
Mr. Rumsfeld. I do think that the United States is among
the very few countries in this world that do have the ability
to not be subject to the kind of diplomatic momentum and to
decide what they believe is right and then set about trying to
fashion an arrangement whereby what's right can be achieved. If
we can't, who in the world can do that?
So the idea that we are going to lose our leadership I
think is just not true.
The way to approach it, it seems to me, would be to start
with what is important and what is realistic. As these
gentlemen and I have tried to do today, we have pointed out the
things that are the problems. What one would do would be to try
to avoid those.
I must add a comment, however, about the Russians. The fact
that recently there is information available suggesting that
they have, using everyday commercial chemicals, developed the
ability to develop chemical weapons suggests that they or
anyone else would be able to shift facilities from making
chemical weapons to making commercial chemicals in a very short
period of time.
We were talking about no treaty is verifiable. It is a lot
easier to verify intercontinental ballistic missiles than it is
chemicals, commercial chemicals, that can also be used for
chemical weapons and things that can be made in very small
So I think even though we have an enormously intrusive
regime for policing it, as intrusive as it is, it would not be
able to do the job.
So I think that we have the cart before the horse in this
process, and I would like to see us go back and do it right.
Senator Brownback. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Schlesinger. Mr. Chairman, you might want to put in the
record the Reuters report on what the Russians are doing. It is
interesting that the new development avoids any of the
precursors that are listed under the existing treaty. So if one
uses different precursor chemicals, one can avoid the
restrictions of the treaty.
The Chairman. Let's go to one more round. I don't want to
keep you here all day, but this is a fascinating discussion.
Let me reiterate at mid point that I certainly do appreciate
your coming here today and cooperating with us.
We will make this a 3-minute-per-Senator round.
You said something early in your testimony, Mr. Secretary,
about people being instructed not to say anything unfavorable
about this treaty. Well, we have had the same thing in our
committee among the staff, and I had one report saying that the
FBI had specifically been instructed to say nothing unfavorable
about this treaty.
Now you have been Director of the CIA and I need your help.
Whom would you recommend, past or present, that we subpoena to
testify under oath regarding the CWC and the White House
directions that we have had reported to us?
Dr. Schlesinger. I will suggest a list to the staff,
The Chairman. Pardon?
Dr. Schlesinger. I will suggest a list to the staff----
The Chairman. Very well.
Dr. Schlesinger [continuing]. A list of suitable
witnesses--whether or not the subject of subpoena is a decision
for the committee and not by me.
The Chairman. That will be fine, and I thank you.
Now I think it has not been mentioned, except indirectly,
about Jim Woolsey's testimony in June 1994, in which he said
the chemical weapons problem ``is so difficult from an
intelligence perspective that I cannot state that we have a
high confidence in our ability to detect noncompliance,
especially on a small scale.''
Now, Secretary Rumsfeld, I have a letter from the Aerospace
Industry Association stating strong concern that the CWC will,
and I quote the letter, ``unnecessarily jeopardize our Nation's
ability to protect its national security information and
proprietary technological data.''
Now this was fascinating to me because back in early
January, I think it was, the B-2 was taken to North Carolina,
to Seymore Johnson Air Force Base, and thousands of people came
to see it. Everybody was proud of it and marveled at the
enormity of it, and so forth.
But then it occurred to me that chemicals are used in the
manufacture of the B-2.
Now let me ask you to step back and very quickly say what
kinds of risks to our companies are posed by letting foreign
inspectors poke around, interview employees, take photographs,
and take samples for analysis overseas.
Mr. Rumsfeld. Well, Mr. Chairman, I must say that I cannot
answer it authoritatively, and I am struck by the dramatically
different views on this particular issue by proponents and
My personal view is anything I have read or seen in this
document and these materials I cannot see how we could avoid
allowing classified information to be made available to
I have heard statements by Members of the Senate of:
``Don't worry about that, that's not a problem.'' But I have
not seen anything in the agreements that suggest to me that
it's not a problem, because modern technology enables people to
do an enormous amount of analysis some distance in time and
space from where the materials were located and still come away
with information that is exceedingly important, classified, and
I don't know how it would be avoided.
The Chairman. Very well.
Dr. Schlesinger. Mr. Chairman, on that particular point,
the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons will
use as its principal tool the GC/MS, to wit, the gas
chromatograph mass spectrometer. That is the tool that was used
by the Livermore Laboratory to procure from outside the gates
classified information at a missile facility, and that will be
the tool of choice.
The Chairman. Thank you.
Senator Biden. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, I apologize for having left for a few moments. I
had to go to another meeting briefly.
I understand this issue of defensive technologies made
available to rogue states, states that are parties to the
convention. I assume we are primarily talking about Iran. We
could be talking about China, we could be talking about, in
some people's minds, Russia.
But paragraph 1 of Article X lists ``medical antidotes and
treatments'' as a permissible form of defensive assistance.
Now, again, as Secretary Rumsfeld just pointed out, it is
amazing how an authoritative and informed people end up on both
sides of the issue on the same point. So let me ask you this.
Where do any of you find the requirement that a State
Party, that is, a signatory to this convention, a ratifier, is
required to provide anything more than that--medical antidotes
Mr. Weinberger. Do you want to look at the third paragraph,
Senator, of Article X? Each State Party undertakes to
facilitate and shall have the right to participate in the
fullest possible exchange of equipment, material, scientific
and technological information concerning means of protection
against chemical weapons.
Senator Biden. Has the right.
Mr. Weinberger. Yes, the right.
Senator Biden. So you believe that paragraph says that we
are required to give them, any State, any technology that we
Mr. Weinberger. Senator, as was said in another connection,
English is my mother tongue, and I can't read it any other way.
Senator Biden. Now on Article XI, the chemical trade that
the CWC would encourage is only that ``for purposes not
prohibited under the convention.'' And the only prohibited
trade restrictions are those ``incompatible with the
obligations undertaken under this convention.''
Now we don't say we have to undo our trade restrictions and
neither do the other Australia Group members. So why do we
accept Iran's interpretation of this article over that of our
allies and the U.S.?
Mr. Weinberger. Precisely because it is so fuzzy that you
have all kinds of interpretations, and you will have a big set
of arguments as to who is doing what. And any interpretation
that we may claim can be denied very easily by all other
countries that don't happen to agree with us or don't want to
agree with us.
You have, what you have set up here is an oral battleground
for varying interpretations. It will allow enemies of the
United States or potential enemies to make claims that, when we
are in the position of denying them, will set us up as being
violators of this treaty.
Senator Biden. If I can, I would conclude by saying would a
condition that would be binding, that a legal declaration we'd
make to not provide rogue states with advanced chemical
defenses--assurances--would that meet any of your concerns?
Mr. Weinberger. Well, I would certainly like to see it
written down, Senator. Yes.
Senator Biden. OK, thank you.
Dr. Schlesinger. Well, the provisional body, the
provisional body states that we are obligated to provide these
There was an argument in a recent National Public Radio
broadcast between the general counsel of ACDA and the head of
the provisional body, Mr. Kenyan, a Brit. He stated and rebuked
the proposition that the United States might be able to avoid
providing this kind of technology, that it was required
underneath the CWC.
So I think that you have a clear legitimization. Even if
we, for one reason or another, withhold such information, our
industrial partners will proceed to provide this because of the
legitimization provided by this agreement.
As Senator Biden observed earlier, norms are important, and
if you provide a norm which allows the Germans or others to
provide information to Iran, they will accept that norm.
The Chairman. Senator Hagel.
Senator Hagel. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Weinberger, you obviously were the Secretary of
Defense during most of the Reagan administration. For the
record, and for this Senator, much has been made of the fact
that the CWC was initiated during the Reagan administration.
Could you provide, at least me, somewhat of an analysis as
to how it was initiated, why it was initiated, and today why
most of the Reagan administration officials during that time
are now opposed to it?
Mr. Weinberger. Well, I cannot speak for anyone else,
Senator, and I don't know what the historic origins of it were
all the way back. But I think that everybody was appalled by
the use by Iraq of poison gas against the Kurds, and there was
an attempt to get some kind of international order to try to
prevent that sort of thing.
President Reagan is a very compassionate and humane man and
obviously shared with the world the distaste and the
detestation of these kinds of weapons.
I would hesitate very much to say that he had an
opportunity to see all of the provisions that emerged from the
very lengthy negotiation. He certainly did not have that
opportunity. He certainly did not know that four of the
principal rogue nations of the world would stay outside the
treaty and, therefore, not be banned from doing anything at all
and that we would be put in the position of weakening any kind
of retaliatory capability we might have.
Those are conditions that changed since the initial
praiseworthy, humanitarian effort to try to do something about
the elimination of these weapons.
As Secretary Schlesinger pointed out, we did that after
World War I, the Geneva Conference. We did it later on, after
President Reagan left office, with the Bilateral Destruction
Agreement, which simply does not work out.
There are all kinds of reasons why humane and compassionate
people--and I like occasionally to classify myself in that same
category--dislike these weapons and would like to do something
But the fact of the matter is that what we have done here
is not only ineffective, but it is dangerous for the security
of our troops, in my opinion.
Dr. Schlesinger. I have two quick points, Senator.
When George Shultz announced the quest for a chemical
weapons agreement, he said that it would be a verifiable
chemical weapons treaty. This is not verifiable.
Second, the Reagan administration to the very end believed
that the United States should retain a 500 aging ton level of
binary chemical weapons and should not surrender that minimum
capability until such time as other countries came into
conformity. I think that the argument that this all originated
with Ronald Reagan is not an accurate argument.
George Bush was for this treaty, but Ronald Reagan would
not be if he were able to comment on it.
The Chairman. Senator Sarbanes.
Senator Sarbanes. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, the first question I want to put to you is that
the United States is now embarked on a path of unilaterally
destroying our stockpile of chemical weapons. Do you think we
should carry through on that?
Mr. Weinberger. To the extent that Secretary Schlesinger
indicated, with the reservation that was made during the Reagan
administration that we should have a minimal deterrent
capability and that other nations should know that we do have
larly rogue nations that are likely to or have indeed used
Senator Sarbanes. So you would keep some chemical weapons?
Mr. Weinberger. I think you have to, Senator. Yes.
Senator Sarbanes. And that's your position, I take it,
Dr. Schlesinger. No, sir. The existing stockpile is
obsolete, and it is more dangerous.
Mr. Weinberger. Excuse me. It's the binaries we're talking
Dr. Schlesinger. It's obsolete and dangerous, and I think
we must get rid of it one way or another.
Mr. Weinberger. The unitary weapons are indeed being
replaced. It is the binary weapons that we were talking about
under the Bilateral Destruction Agreement. But everyone said
that we had to keep some kind of minimal retaliatory capability
of the binary weapons.
Senator Sarbanes. What is your position, Secretary
Mr. Rumsfeld. I think that we need some to develop the
defensive capabilities that are necessary, so that we know what
we are doing.
Senator Sarbanes. So you would all keep some chemical
Now the next question I have is what is your position on
whether the Senate should have an opportunity to vote on this
treaty. I know how you would encourage members to vote as I
understand your testimony. But what is your position on whether
the Senate ought to be able to take this treaty up and consider
it and vote on it.
Dr. Schlesinger. The Senate should vote.
Mr. Weinberger. Yes, certainly. I thought that's what this
process was, that this was the beginning of the process that
leads to a Senate vote.
Senator Sarbanes. Well, it doesn't always lead to a Senate
vote. No. The question I am putting to you is whether you think
there should be a Senate vote.
Mr. Weinberger. I have no problem with that at all.
Senator Sarbanes. Secretary Rumsfeld?
Mr. Rumsfeld. I have no problem with it.
Senator Sarbanes. Now the other question I want to ask you
is this. You have each raised a number of problems or concerns
that you have with the treaty. I want to narrow it down and
isolate it out.
If the rogue nations do not sign the treaty, is that in and
of itself, in your view, sufficient grounds not to approve the
Mr. Weinberger. Speaking for myself, Senator, it would seem
to me that if you have a ban on the nations that are basically
in some form of general agreement with us with respect to
democratic values and all the rest of it, and that they carry
that out, and that the nations that do not, including
specifically the rogue nations outside this treaty at the
moment, you would be offering them an invitation to launch a
chemical attack. This is because we would have, by a standard
that we follow, we would carry out our agree-
ment and we would denude ourselves of any capability of
retaliating and that is one of the best ways of deterring.
It is unfortunate that in this kind of world that has to be
the case, but it is.
Even the nations, some of the nations that are within the
treaty, like Iran, you find that----
Senator Sarbanes. I just want to try to focus this for the
Mr. Weinberger [continuing]. Yes, I understand what you are
saying, Senator, but I would like to complete the answer. The
answer basically is that the answer of rogue nations from those
who sign would be a source of considerable concern.
It is not the only source of concern because many nations
Senator Sarbanes. I understand that.
Mr. Weinberger [continuing]. Would not be able, would not
keep their word, and we could not verify whether they are doing
it or not.
Senator Sarbanes. Is the absence of the rogue nations in
your view of sufficient concern that you would be against the
Mr. Weinberger. It is one of the reasons that leads me to
oppose it, but there are many others.
Senator Sarbanes. If the others were not present, would
that in and of itself be enough that you would oppose it?
Mr. Weinberger. If the others were what?
Senator Sarbanes. If the other reasons that you have for
opposing it were not present, were taken care of, would the
absence of the rogue nations be enough for you to oppose it?
Mr. Weinberger. Well, as you put the question, if all of
the things I object to are not in the treaty, then almost by
definition I wouldn't oppose it.
Senator Sarbanes. No, no--the rogue nations are not in the
treaty in the question I'm asking. That's all I'm--I'm just
trying to determine how critical a factor that is in your
Mr. Weinberger. Let me say that my opposition is based on a
large number of reasons and one of them is the absence of the
rogue nations from any provisions with respect to compliance.
Senator Sarbanes. Secretary Schlesinger?
Dr. Schlesinger. No, the absence of the rogue nations in
and of itself would not lead me to oppose the treaty. I would
regret that absence. But the other problems are much more
serious in my view.
Senator Sarbanes. Secretary Rumsfeld?
Mr. Rumsfeld. I agree with Secretary Schlesinger.
The Chairman. Senator Grams.
Senator Grams. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I have
just a quick, brief question.
As you know, riot control agents, such as tear gas, have
also been used by the U.S. military during search and rescue
missions for downed pilots or to handle situations where
noncombatants are mixed in with the combatants. My
understanding is that the Clinton administration's current
interpretation of the CWC is that it would ban such uses of
riot control agents by the U.S. military.
Mr. Weinberger, when the Reagan administration was
negotiating the CWC, was it ever your understanding that the
U.S. would have agreed to such a ban or that it was a desired
result of this treaty at all?
Mr. Weinberger. No. Those were always to be excluded
because of their obvious importance and their obvious
necessity. We understand that the commitment was made that they
would be excluded from the treaty but that the Clinton
administration changed its mind in its commitment and now says
that they would be banned.
There is now some very technical discussion of whether they
would be banned in wartime or not; that it might be all right
to use them in peacetime crowds, but not in wartime. I would
like to use them to protect our soldiers in wartime or in
Senator Grams. Now if this is not a lethal chemical, does
this give you any concern about the broad scope of agents that
could be covered under this treaty, which would open the door
for more inspections?
Dr. Schlesinger. I'm not sure I understood the question,
Senator Grams. I mean, if this is a nonlethal chemical and
this is included, is there a concern that it would be so broad
that all chemicals or any definition of a chemical could be
part of the reasons for inspections or to come into plants in
Mr. Rumsfeld. The very reason for an investigation suggests
that there is a question. So ``investigation'' can run to
organizations that don't have anything to do with lethal or
nonlethal chemical weapons--because someone has to look. If
there is an allegation, a charge, a question, they can go in
and investigate. That is where you end up with the numbers of
companies running into the thousands.
Senator Grams. Mr. Schlesinger, this is the economic
warfare that you had talked about earlier, possibly?
Dr. Schlesinger. I'd like to clarify one thing.
President Ford issued an Executive order which has existed
and prescribed U.S. policy on riot control issues for the last
20 years. That has been somewhat obscured now by pressures from
our allies and equivocation within the administration.
On the question that you put, indeed, inevitably questions
will be raised about any chemicals under those circumstances.
Senator Grams. Thank you.
The Chairman. Senator Kerry.
Senator Kerry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
If I could just say with respect to my last round of
questioning, I want to make it very clear, and I think
Secretary Schlesinger knows this, that he is a friend and a man
for whom I have enormous respect. I would in no way try to do
anything except work this light here, which is our perpetual
enemy. We try to get answers rapidly and, unfortunately,
sometimes we get witnesses here who are so good at answering
only one question.
Dr. Schlesinger. I fully understood, Senator, and I tried
to protect your time. I was not successful.
Senator Kerry. I thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
If I could just ask you, Secretary Weinberger, I was really
struck by your statement about deterrence. Is it your position
that you can only deter chemical weapons use with chemical
Mr. Weinberger. No. I thought I was quite clear, Senator,
that it is one of the ways of trying to do it. Arms control is
another way, and there are probably many more. But it is
essential, I think, that a country that has already used poison
gas against some of its own people, as just occurred, it is
only prudent I think for that country to know that if they
launch a chemical attack on some other nation or the United
States that they would be met with a comparable, not a
proportionate, response in the terms of one of our departments,
but a massive response and that they should know that. That is
one of the means of deterring, though it is not the only means.
Senator Kerry. Wouldn't you say that the Bush
administration was, in fact, quite effective at making it clear
to Iraq that the nuclear use was, in fact, available and, to
the best of our knowledge, there is, as of now, no indication
that that was not successful?
Mr. Weinberger. Yes. That is my exact point, that we were
able to do that. If we denuded ourselves of any capability of
making that kind of response, I have no doubt that----
Senator Kerry. But nobody here is talking about that. All
we are talking about is continuing to pursue what a number of
administrations have pursued, which is reducing our own
manufacturing participation in chemical weapons.
Mr. Weinberger [continuing]. That's fine. But I don't think
at the same time we ought to take away our capabilities of
developing new, improved, and better defensive technologies and
Senator Kerry. Defensive, I agree. And the treaty agrees.
Mr. Weinberger. No, the treaty doesn't.
Senator Kerry. Well, the treaty says very clearly that we
are allowed to defend.
Mr. Weinberger. That's right, and we have to disclose them
completely to any other signatory, and that disclosure in
itself weakens them if it does not destroy their effectiveness.
Senator Kerry. Well, in point of fact Article I, which you
have not referred to, addresses the questions of whether or not
you have to, under any circumstances, assist, encourage, or
induce in any way anyone to engage in any activity that is
prohibited by this treaty.
Now all we are talking about under this treaty is chemical
weapons. So, therefore, Article I, in fact, most people--see,
there is that infernal bell, or light. It is hard to have a
Most people have argued it supersedes any other clause in
here, because the basic intent of this treaty is to preclude
the manufacture by anybody of chemical weapons in a way that
could be used against another nation.
Mr. Weinberger. That is the intent. There are nations
outside it who may be manufacturing them, who may be
stockpiling, and, in fact, are stockpiling them as we know now.
What I am troubled by is the fact that if we develop a so-
called fool proof mask and protective clothing that still
enables you to take the actions that soldiers have to take in
defending themselves and their country, you are going to have
to share that. By sharing it, you eliminate its effectiveness.
There is a little process called reverse engineering whereby
all of the processes which you have to produce that have to be
given to other members, other signatories, and those signatory
members, as Secretary Rumsfeld suggested, that kind of
information, distributed on that kind of scale, one way or
another is bound to get into the hands of potential enemies.
Senator Kerry. Mr. Secretary, this is a very, very
important point. In effect, what you are saying is that if you
were to share it, you would have rendered even more ineffective
the capacity to use chemical weapons, which is, in effect, the
very purpose of this treaty.
Mr. Weinberger. Well, that is not the way I would phrase
Senator Kerry. Let me just finish my thought.
Mr. Weinberger. We are talking about defensive equipment
Senator Kerry. I understand. But if you can defend against
something, it has no offensive capacity. If it has no offensive
capacity, you have taken away its military value. That is
precisely the purpose of this treaty.
Mr. Weinberger. You are talking about absolutes, Senator,
absolute capabilities and all the rest. But what I am talking
about are improvements in an already imperfect defensive
capability that we have now.
Senator Kerry. But if I were a military leader----
Mr. Weinberger. Sharing those improvements makes them
relatively--at least we could phrase it this way if you would
like--makes them relatively less effective than if we didn't
Senator Kerry [continuing]. I agree. But if I were a
military leader, knowing that we had shared our ability to be
able to have a foolproof mask, I am not going to use the
chemical weapon. And if you don't use the chemical weapon
because you know it is foolproof, you have done exactly what
you have tried to do with this treaty, which is eliminate the
potential for chemical weapons to be used.
Mr. Weinberger. I'm sorry, but I don't follow you. I have
great respect for you, but I don't follow that.
Senator Kerry. Well, I don't think it is that hard to
Mr. Rumsfeld. May I respond?
Senator Kerry. I think----
The Chairman. Mr. Secretary Rumsfeld.
Mr. Rumsfeld. I just think that the way you have cast it is
not correct. First, there is the threat of the use of chemical
weapons, which is a terror weapon. It affects people, behavior,
and soldiers. Second is the reality that for every offense
there is a defense and for every defense there is going to be
an offense. There is always going to be an evolution in
technology. So the idea of perfection does not exist in this
But let's say that you had reasonably good defensive
capability. Assume that on the part of the other side. You
cannot function for long in a chemical environment. You could
not function with that kind of equipment. The advantage clearly
is in the hands of the aggressor.
So I think you are on a track that, to me, does not make
sense. In my view, sharing technology about how to defend
against these weapons is not anything other than
disadvantageous for the defender and advantageous for the
The Chairman. That is the last word.
We have been here for 2 hours and 47 minutes. I have been
on this committee for quite a while--otherwise I would not be
sitting in this chair, and I do not recall a more significant
hearing with more facts and figures being given than you
gentlemen have provided.
I want you to know, speaking for myself and I think for all
of the Senators on this committee, I am enormously grateful for
your having made the sacrifice to even be here, particularly
Secretary Rumsfeld. You came quite a distance.
But I do thank you on behalf of the Senate and the
As we close, let me point out once more, in case somebody
has forgotten it, that last year this treaty was reported by
this committee and scheduled for debate in the Senate. And it
was not dropped by my request. It was dropped by the request of
the administration, which did some head counting and realized
they did not have the votes.
Now I presume in saying that you think the Senate ought to
vote on this treaty that you mean after the committee has
performed under the rules and reported it to the Senate with a
majority vote. Is that what you mean?
Mr. Weinberger. Of course. Yes.
Dr. Schlesinger. Yes, it is.
Mr. Weinberger. As I said, Senator, I thought this was part
of the process for the Senate.
Mr. Rumsfeld. It's for this committee to decide that.
Senator Biden. Mr. Chairman, if we were ready last year,
why aren't we ready this year? Nothing has changed in the
The Chairman. Well, I don't know about that. I thought you
and I made some changes in it.
Senator Biden. Oh, we know we did. But the point is we were
Dr. Schlesinger. Well, there are two branches of
government, Senator, at least.
Senator Kerry. But only one does treaties.
The Chairman. I'm at a disadvantage with hearing aids, so I
had better get out of this one.
There being no further business to come before the
committee, we stand in recess.
Thank you again, gentlemen.
[Whereupon, at 12:49 p.m., the committee recessed, to
reconvene at 3:30 p.m. the same day]
CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 1997--P.M. SESSION
Committee on Foreign Relations,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 3:30 p.m., in
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Jesse Helms
(chairman of the committee) presiding.
Present: Senators Helms, Lugar, Coverdell, Hagel, Smith,
Grams, Brownback, Biden, Sarbanes, Robb, Feinstein, and
The Chairman. The committee will come to order.
Madam Secretary, I was delighted late yesterday to learn
that you wanted to appear before this committee today to give
the benefit of the administration's perspective on the treaty
again. I think it is clearly a matter of public record that the
entire Helms family admires you. I think they are going to
score some points by having you up here this afternoon.
Now, if Senator Biden will agree, this is the first time
you have appeared as Secretary of State formally.
Secretary Albright. That is true.
The Chairman. And this being such an important issue, I
know that the Senators will have questions either in writing or
in person that they want to ask directly of you. I know,
knowing you, that you will respond to these written questions,
realizing the Senators have commitments to other places.
I and the other members of the committee will forego our
statements, unless Senator Biden wishes to make one.
Senator Biden. I will be happy to place mine in the record,
[The prepared statement of Senator Biden follows:]
Prepared Statement of Senator Biden
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to thank Secretary Albright
this afternoon for appearing on such very short notice and making time
in her busy schedule to be with us this afternoon because she
recognizes the central importance of this issue for our national
I appreciate the opportunity to take a few minutes again to address
perhaps the most important issue to come before the 105th Congress to
date: The Chemical Weapons Convention.
This afternoon we will hear more testimony about this treaty and
what it does and does not do, but the core issue is very simple: This
treaty outlaws poison gas weapons.
The Chemical Weapons Convention would make it illegal under
international and domestic laws for a country to use, develop, produce,
transfer or stockpile chemical weapons.
The Chemical Weapons Convention represents a significant step
forward in our efforts to contend with the greatest immediate threat to
our national security: The proliferation of weapons of mass
The CWC will help protect our citizens from the use of poison gas
weapons by terrorist groups. It will benefit our military by requiring
other nations to follow our lead and destroy their chemical weapons. It
will improve the ability of our intelligence agencies to monitor
chemical weapons threats to our armed forces and our Nation.
The convention has the strong support of the American chemical
industry, which was centrally involved in the negotiation of the CWC.
It also takes into account all of the protections afforded Americans
under our Constitution.
The CWC will make pariahs out of states that refuse to abide by its
provisions. Through the sanctions required by the convention, it will
make it more difficult for those pariah states to obtain the precursor
chemicals they need to manufacture poison gas. It will create
international pressure on these states to sign and ratify the CWC and
to abide by its provisions.
The CWC will create a standard for good international citizens to
meet. It will brand as outlaws those countries that choose to remain
outside this regime.
The entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention will mark a
major milestone in our efforts to enlist greater international support
for the important american objective of containing and penalizing rogue
states that seek to acquire or transfer weapons of mass destruction.
we need to disregard arguments that are superfluous to the core
reality of what this convention will accomplish: It outlaws poison gas,
period. The United States is already committed to destroying its
chemical weapon arsenal. By ratifying the CWC, we can hold other
countries to the same standard we have set for ourselves.
In this morning's testimony, we heard three very distinguished
former Secretaries of Defense tesify on this treaty.
Among the claims they made about the CWC are that it would force us
to share our most advanced defensive technology with all states,
including countries of concern, that have ratified this agreement.
Another assertion they made is that it requires us to abandon all
controls we have on the proliferation of sensitive technology through
mechanisms like the australia group.
In reviewing the treaty, we find both claims are false.
With regard to sharing defensive technology, paragraph seven of
article ten states that: ``Each state party undertakes to provide
assistance through the organization and to this end to elect to take
one or more of the following measures.'' Let me emphasize: ``Elect to
take one or more.''
Among the options, the option I expect the United States would
choose, is that we could: ``Declare, not later than 180 days after this
convention enters into force for [us], the kind of assistance we might
provide in response to an appeal by the organization.''
That's right: We would declare what we might provide.
The Chairman and I are very close to agreement on a condition that
would require the executive branch not to provide any assistance to a
rogue state beyond medical antidotes and treatment. And that would be
fully in keeping with article ten of the CWC.
As for the argument that we would be forced to abandon our current
mechanisms to control the proliferation of sensitive technology, the
CWC explicitly allows us to keep these protections in place.
Article eleven supports chemical trade and technology exchange
``for purposes not prohibited under this convention.'' It also requires
that trade restrictions not be ``incompatible with the obligations
undertaken under this convention.''
But the CWC is completely consistent with continued enforcement of
the Australia Group controls, which member states use to keep chemical
and biological weapons material out of the hands of rogue states. The
executive branch has said this time and again, and so have our
Australia Group allies.
I am convinced that the CWC does not require us to share our most
advanced defensive technology or to abandon existing controls on
chemical weapons. I will be interested to hear how the officials in the
administration today view these provisions.
I understand that Secretary Albright must leave after her statement
today, and I welcome the opportunity to hear her testimony and the
statements and responses of all of our witnesses here today.
The Chairman. And we will print any statement that you wish
to make for the record, and that will give you an opportunity
to summarize if you wish. In other words, you are a free agent
and you are welcome. Madam Secretary, the stage is yours.
STATEMENT OF HON. MADELEINE KORBEL ALBRIGHT, SECRETARY OF STATE
Secretary Albright. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am
delighted to see you here, as I enjoyed our trip to North
The Chairman. We enjoyed it.
Secretary Albright. I had a good time.
Senator Biden and Senator Brownback, I am very glad that
you were able to make time for me to testify on such short
notice. I am also delighted to note the return of Admiral
Nance, who just walked through the door. I wish him continued
recovery, and I say that sincerely on behalf of the entire
Department and not simply those whose names are scheduled to
come up before you for confirmation.
Mr. Chairman, the Chemical Weapons Convention, or CWC, is
one of the President's top foreign policy priorities and, this
afternoon, I would like to explain why. I begin with the
imperative of American leadership. The United States is the
only nation with the power and respect to forge a strong global
consensus against the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
In recent years, we have used our influence wisely to gain
the removal of nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Belarus and
Kazakstan. We have led in securing the extension of the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty. We have frozen North Korea's nuclear
program. We have maintained sanctions against Iraq. We have
joined with others in controlling the transfer of dangerous
conventional arms. In these and other efforts, we have counted
on the support and counsel of this committee and your Senate
American leadership on arms control is not something we do
as a favor to others. Our goal is to make the world safer for
Americans and to protect our allies and friends. We have now
another opportunity to exercise leadership for those ends and,
once again, we look to this committee for help.
The CWC will enter into force on April 29th. For reasons I
will discuss, we believe it is essential to ratify the
agreement before then, so that America will be an original
party. Chemical weapons are inhumane. They kill horribly,
massively, and--once deployed--are no more controllable than
We decided years ago to renounce the use of these weapons
and to begin destroying our own chemical weapons stockpiles.
Thus, the CWC will not deprive us of any military option we
would ever use against others, but it would help ensure that
others never use chemical weapons against us.
In considering the value of this treaty, we must bear in
mind that today, keeping and producing chemical weapons are
legal. The gas Saddam Hussein used a decade ago to massacre
Kurdish villagers was legally produced. In most countries,
terrorists can buy chemical agents, such as sarin gas, legally.
Countries such as Iran and Libya can buildup their stockpiles
of chemical weapons legally.
If we are ever to rid the world of these horrible weapons,
we must begin by making not only their use, but also their
development, production, acquisition, and stockpiling illegal.
This is fun-
damental. Making chemical weapons illegal is the purpose of the
The CWC sets the standard that it is wrong for any nation
to build or possess a chemical weapon and gives us strong and
effective tools for enforcing that standard. This will not
eliminate all danger, but it will make chemical weapons harder
for terrorists or outlaw states to buy, build, or conceal.
Under the treaty, parties must give up the chemical weapons
they have and refrain from developing or acquiring them in the
future. To enforce these requirements, a comprehensive
inspection regime will be in place. The treaty will give us the
tools we need to learn more about chemical weapons programs. It
will also enable us to act on the information we obtain.
In the future, countries known to possess chemical weapons
and who have joined the CWC will be forced to choose between
compliance and sanctions. Countries outside the CWC will be
subject to trade restrictions whether or not they are known to
possess chemical weapons.
These penalties would not exist without the treaty. They
will make it more costly for any nation to have chemical
weapons and more difficult for rogue states or terrorists to
acquire materials needed to produce them.
Over time, I believe that if the United States joins the
CWC, most other countries will, too.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the problem
states will never accept a prohibition on chemical weapons if
America stays out, keeps them company, and gives them cover. We
will not have the standing to mobilize our allies to support
strong action against violators if we ourselves have refused to
join the treaty being violated.
The core question here is, who do we want to set the
standards? Critics suggest that the CWC is flawed, because we
cannot assume early ratification and full compliance by the
outlaw states. To me, that is like saying that because some
people smuggle drugs, we should enact no law against drug
smuggling. When it comes to the protection of Americans, the
lowest common denominator is not good enough. Those who abide
by the law, not those who break it, must establish the rules by
which all should be judged.
Moreover, if we fail to ratify the agreement by the end of
April, we would forfeit our seat on the treaty's Executive
Council for at least 1 year, thereby losing the right to help
draft the rules by which the Convention will be enforced; we
would lose the right to help administer and conduct
inspections; and because of the trade restrictions imposed on
nonmember states, our chemical manufacturers are concerned that
they would risk serious economic loss.
Eliminating chemical weapons has long been a bipartisan
goal. The convention itself is the product of years of effort
by leaders from both parties. The treaty has strong backing
from our defense and military leaders.
I am aware, Mr. Chairman, that the committee heard this
morning from three former Secretaries of Defense who do not
favor approval of this convention. Their arguments deserve
consideration. I would point out, however, that other former
Secretaries of Defense from both parties support the treaty,
and that every former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, going back
to the Carter administration, has endorsed it.
Just this past week, we received a letter signed by 17
former four-star generals and admirals, including three of the
former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs and five former service
Let me quote from that letter:
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 defense
The quote continues:
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 the treaty. For these
reasons, we strongly support the CWC.
I also note, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee,
that your witnesses this morning have not had the benefit of
the dialog we have been conducting with Senators, including
yourself, the Ranking Member and other members of this
committee. We have attempted, in the course of this dialog, to
address the major issues treaty opponents have raised.
For example, some believe the CWC will require its members
to exchange manufacturing technology that could then be used to
make chemical agents. In fact, the CWC prohibits members from
providing any assistance that would contribute to chemical
There are those who suggest that if we were to ratify the
CWC, America would then become complacent about the threat that
chemical weapons pose. This, too, is false, and this body can
help ensure that it remains false.
The President has requested an increase of almost $225
million over 6 years in our already robust program to equip and
train our troops against chemical and biological attack.
Some have expressed the view that the inspection
requirements of the CWC could raise constitutional problems
here in the United States. However, the CWC provides explicitly
that inspections will be conducted according to each nation's
Another fear is that the CWC could become a regulatory
nightmare for small business. But after reviewing the facts,
the National Federation of Independent Business concluded that
its members ``will not be affected'' by the treaty.
Finally, I have heard the argument that the Senate really
need not act before April 29th. But, as I have said, there are
real costs attached to any such delay. The treaty has already
been before the Senate for more than 180 weeks. More than 1,500
pages of testimony and reports have been provided and hundreds
of questions have been answered. The Senate is always the
arbiter of its own pace; but from where I sit, a decision prior
to April 29 would be very welcome and, Mr. Chairman, I believe
very much in the best interest of the United States.
Mr. Chairman, America is the world's leader in building a
future of greater security and safety for us and for all who
share our commitment to democracy and peace. The path to that
future is through the maintenance of American readiness and the
expansion of the rule of law. We are the center around which
international consensus forms. We are the builder of
coalitions, the designer of safeguards, the leader in
separating acceptable international behavior from that which
cannot be tolerated.
This leadership role for America may be viewed as a burden
by some, but I think, to most of our citizens, it is a source
of great pride. It is also a source of continuing strength, for
our influence is essential to protect our interests, which are
global and increasing. If we turn our backs on the CWC after so
much effort by leaders from both parties, we will scar America
with a grievous and self-inflicted wound. We will shed the
cloak of leadership and leave it on the ground for others to
pick it up.
But if we heed the advice of wise diplomats such as James
Baker and Brent Scowcroft, experienced military leaders such as
Generals Powell, Mundy and Schwarzkopf, and thoughtful public
officials such as former Senators Nunn, Boren and Kassebaum-
Baker, we will reinforce America's role in the world.
By ratifying the CWC, we will assume the lead in shaping a
new and effective legal regime. We will be in a position to
challenge those who refuse to give up those poisonous weapons.
We will provide an added measure of security for the men and
women of our armed forces. We will protect American industry
and American jobs. We will make our citizens safer than they
would be in a world where chemical arms remain legal.
This treaty is about other people's weapons, not our own.
It reflects existing American practices and advances enduring
American interests. It is right and smart for America. It
deserves the Senate's support and it deserves that support now.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Albright follows:]
Prepared Statement of Madeleine K. Albright
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I appreciate the
opportunity to testify before you this afternoon. As evidenced by the
bipartisan show of support at the White House last week, timely
approval of the Chemical Weapons Convention, or CWC, is one of the
President's top foreign policy priorities.
This afternoon, with the help of my colleagues, I would like to
I begin with the imperative of American leadership. The United
States is the only nation with the power, influence, and respect to
forge a strong global consensus against the spread of weapons of mass
destruction. In recent years, we have used our position wisely to gain
the removal of nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan. We
have led in securing the extension of the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty. We have frozen North Korea's nuclear program. We have
maintained sanctions against Iraq. And we have joined forces with more
than two dozen other major countries in controlling the transfer of
dangerous conventional arms and sensitive dual-use goods and
In these and other efforts, we have counted on the strong support
and wise counsel of this committee and your Senate colleagues. Your
consent to ratification of the START II Treaty made possible the
agreement in Helsinki to seek further significant reductions in cold
war nuclear arsenals. And the Nunn-Lugar program set the standard for
forward-looking bipartisan action to promote nuclear security.
American leadership on arms control is not something we do as a
favor to others. Our goal is to make the world safer for Americans and
to protect our allies and friends. We have now another opportunity to
exercise leadership for those ends. And once again, we look to this
committee for help.
The CWC will enter into force on April 29. Our goal is to ratify
the agreement before then so that America will be an original party. By
so doing, as the President said last Friday, we ``can help to shield
our soldiers from one of the battlefield's deadliest killers * * * and
we can bolster our leadership in the fight against terrorism, and
proliferation around the world.'' Chemical weapons are inhumane. They
kill horribly, massively, and--once deployed--are no more controllable
than the wind. That is why the United States decided--under a law
signed by President Reagan in 1985--to destroy the vast majority of our
chemical weapons stockpiles by the year 2004. Thus, the CWC will not
deprive us of any military option we would ever use against others; but
it would help ensure that others never use chemical weapons against us.
In considering the value of this treaty, we must bear in mind that
today, keeping and producing chemical weapons are legal. The gas Saddam
Hussein used to massacre Kurdish villagers in 1988 was produced
legally. In most countries, terrorists can produce or procure chemical
agents, such as sarin gas, legally. Regimes such as Iran and Libya can
buildup their stockpiles of chemical weapons legally.
If we are ever to rid the world of these horrible weapons, we must
begin by making not only their use, but also their development,
production, acquisition, and stockpiling illegal. This is fundamental.
This is especially important now when America's comparative military
might is so great that an attack by unconventional means may hold for
some potential adversaries their only perceived hope of success. And
making chemical weapons illegal is the purpose of the CWC.
The CWC sets the standard that it is wrong for any nation to build
or possess a chemical weapon, and gives us strong and effective tools
for enforcing that standard. This is not a magic wand. It will not
eliminate all danger. It will not allow us to relax or cease to ensure
the full preparedness of our armed forces against the threat of
chemical weapons. What it will do is make chemical weapons harder for
terrorists or outlaw states to buy, build or conceal.
Under the treaty, parties will be required to give up the chemical
weapons they have, and to refrain from developing, producing or
acquiring such weapons in the future. To enforce these requirements,
the most comprehensive and intense inspection regime ever negotiated
will be put in place. Parties will also be obliged to enact and enforce
laws to punish violators within their jurisdictions.
Of course, no treaty is 100 percent verifiable, but this treaty
provides us valuable tools for monitoring chemical weapons
proliferation worldwide--a task we will have to do with or without the
CWC inspections and monitoring will help us learn more about
chemical weapons programs. It will also enable us to act on the
information we obtain. In the future, countries known to possess
chemical weapons, and who have joined the CWC, will be forced to choose
between compliance and sanctions. And countries outside the CWC will be
subject to trade restrictions whether or not they are known to possess
These penalties would not exist without the treaty. They will make
it more costly for any nation to have chemical weapons, and more
difficult for rogue states or terrorists to acquire materials needed to
Over time, I believe that--if the United States joins the CWC--most
other countries will, too. Consider that there are now 185 members of
the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and only five outside. Most
nations play by the rules and want the respect and benefits the world
bestows upon those who do.
But the problem states will never accept a prohibition on chemical
weapons if America stays out, keeps them company and gives them cover.
We will not have the standing to mobilize our allies to support strong
action against violators if we ourselves have refused to join the
treaty being violated.
The core question here is who do we want to set the standards?
Critics suggest that the CWC is flawed because we cannot assume early
ratification and full compliance by the outlaw states. To me, that is
like saying that because some people smuggle drugs, we should enact no
law against drug smuggling. When it comes to the protection of
Americans, the lowest common denominator is not good enough. Those who
abide by the law, not those who break it, must establish the rules by
which all should be judged.
Moreover, if we fail to ratify the agreement by the end of April:
<bullet> We would forfeit our seat on the treaty's Executive Council
for at least 1 year, thereby costing us the chance to help
draft the rules by which the convention will be enforced;
<bullet> We would not be able to participate in the critical first
sessions of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons, which monitors compliance;
<bullet> We would lose the right to help administer and conduct
<bullet> Because of the trade restrictions imposed on nonmember
states, our chemical manufacturers are concerned that they
would risk serious economic loss.
According to a letter signed by the CEOs of more than fifty
chemical manufacturing companies, the American chemical industry's
``status as the world's preferred supplier * * * may be jeopardized if
* * * the Senate does not vote in favor of the CWC.''
According to those executives ``we stand to lose hundreds of
millions of dollars in overseas sales, putting at risk thousands of
good-paying American jobs.''
Eliminating chemical weapons has long been a bipartisan goal. The
convention itself is the product of years of effort by leaders from
And the treaty has strong backing from our defense and military
I am aware, Mr. Chairman, that the committee heard this morning
from three former Secretaries of Defense who do not favor approval of
this convention. There is no question their arguments are sincerely
held, and deserve consideration. I would point out, however, that other
former Secretaries of Defense from both parties are on record in
support of the treaty, and that every former chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, going back to the Carter Administration, has endorsed
Just this past week, we received a letter of support signed by 17
former four star generals and admirals, including three of the former
chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and five former service chiefs.
In their words:
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. 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 these reasons, we strongly
support the CWC.
I also note, Mr. Chairman, that the former officials who testified
before the committee this morning have not had the benefit of the
intensive dialog we have been conducting with Members of the Senate
leadership, including yourself, the ranking Member, and other key
members of this committee. We have attempted, in the course of this
dialog, to address the major issues the opponents of the treaty have
raised, and to provide appropriate assurances in binding conditions to
accompany the resolution of ratification.
For example, critics have asserted that the CWC obliges member
states to exchange manufacturing technology that can be used to make
chemical agents. This is untrue. The CWC prohibits members from
providing any assistance that would contribute to chemical weapons
Nothing in the CWC requires any weakening of our export controls.
Further, the United States will continue to work through the Australia
Group to maintain and make more effective internationally agreed
controls on chemical and biological weapons technology. And, as I have
said, the CWC establishes tough restrictions on the transfer of
precursor chemicals and other materials that might help a nation or
terrorist group to acquire chemical weapons.
Opponents also suggest that if we ratify the CWC, we will become
complacent about the threat that chemical weapons pose. This, too, is
false--and this body can help ensure it remains false. The President
has requested an increase of almost $225 million over 5 years in our
already robust program to equip and train our troops against chemical
and biological attack. We are also proceeding with theater missile
defense programs and intelligence efforts against the chemical threat.
Some critics of the treaty have expressed the fear that its
inspection requirements could raise constitutional problems here in the
United States. However, the CWC provides explicitly that inspections
will be conducted according to each nation's constitutional processes.
Another issue that arose early in the debate was that the CWC could
become a regulatory nightmare for small businesses here in the United
States. But after reviewing the facts, the National Federation of
Independent Business concluded that its members ``will not be
affected'' by the treaty.
Finally, I have heard the argument that the Senate really need not
act before April 29. But as I have said, there are real costs attached
to any such delay. The treaty has already been before the Senate for
more than 180 weeks. More than 1,500 pages of testimony and reports
have been provided, and hundreds of questions have been answered. The
Senate is always the arbiter of its own pace. But from where I sit, a
decision prior to April 29 would be very much in the best interests of
the United States.
Mr. Chairman, America is the world's leader in building a future of
greater security and safety for us and for those who share our
commitment to democracy and peace. The path to that future is through
the maintenance of American readiness and the expansion of the rule of
law. We are the center around which international consensus forms. We
are the builder of coalitions, the designer of safeguards, the leader
in separating acceptable international behavior from that which cannot
This leadership role for America may be viewed as a burden by some,
but I think to most of our citizens, it is a source of great pride. It
is also a source of continuing strength, for our influence is essential
to protect our interests, which are global and increasing. If we turn
our backs on the CWC, after so much effort by leaders from both
parties, we will scar America with a grievous and self inflicted wound.
We will shed the cloak of leadership and leave it on the ground for
others to pick up.
But if we heed the advice of wise diplomats such as James Baker and
Brent Scowcroft, experienced military leaders such as Generals Powell,
Mundy, and Schwartzkopf, and thoughtful public officials such as former
Senators Nunn, Boren, and Kassebaum-Baker, we will reinforce America's
role in the world.
By ratifying the CWC, we will assume the lead in shaping a new and
effective legal regime. We will be in a position to challenge those who
refuse to give up these poisonous weapons. We will provide an added
measure of security for the men and women of our armed forces. We will
protect American industry and American jobs. And we will make our
citizens safer than they would be in a world where chemical arms remain
This treaty is about other people's weapons, not our own. It
reflects existing American practices and advances enduring American
interests. It is right and smart for America. It deserves the Senate's
Thank you very much.
The Chairman. Thank you, Madam Secretary.
Let us see, we have nine, and you need to leave here by
about 4:15 or 4:20?
Secretary Albright. That is correct, sir.
The Chairman. I think we will have to confine ourselves to
about 3 minutes per Senator.
Let me just say to you, as your well-advertised friend,
that during the 103d Congress, both the Congress and the
administration were controlled by the political party to which
you belong and to which I once belonged. The CWC was submitted
in November 1993 and it lay absolutely fallow for the entire
remainder of the 103d Congress, with no action even hinted by
During the 104th Congress, with the Senate controlled by
Republicans, we passed the treaty from this committee and were
prepared to vote for it--or vote on it--on September 14, 1996.
But, what do you know? On the very day that the vote was
scheduled, the administration panicked and asked the Senate not
to vote on the treaty. Now I read in the press that members of
the administration are either openly stating or insinuating
that some of us are to be blamed for blocking passage of the
Now, that kind of thing will not do. I have said
repeatedly, and I will say it to you again--and as we discussed
when you were good enough to go to North Carolina--if some in
the administration will stop stonewalling and let us look at
some of the important changes that I think need to be made in
this treaty, I think you might be surprised at the outcome. But
as long as the administration stonewalls, I can stonewall, too.
I am going to reserve the balance of my time. I think I
have about a minute and a half remaining.
Senator Biden. Mr. Chairman, I will adopt your practice and
yield to my colleague from California, since I get to speak to
the Secretary all the time on this issue.
Senator Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator.
Good afternoon, Madam Secretary. I very much appreciated
Let me ask you a question that is somewhat speculative, but
I hope you will answer it. I have been really very puzzled. I
have read all of the analyses, all of the discussions that I
could find between our Ranking Member and our Chairman over why
this situation seems to have become so polarized. It is hard
for me to understand it. I see the argument made on
verification. It seems to me, though, that we are a step ahead
whenever we make illegal the manufacture of some of these
I think the important points you made in your speech were
that the Iraqi gasses were legally made, and the degree to
which nations will conform to an international concordat which
simply states these are illegal and that the verification is
based on the constitutional methodology of each country, that
still we accomplish something. Have you been able to pinpoint
more definitively any of the rationale for the opposition to
Secretary Albright. Senator Feinstein, you ask, I think, a
very important question. Because from the perspective of those
of us who believe that this Chemical Weapons Convention is a
tool for those countries, especially the United States, that
have already given up the use of chemical weapons, to get
insight and control over what is going on in other countries in
chemical weapons programs, it seems mighty strange that we
would want to deprive ourselves of what is clearly a very good
method for checking up on what others are doing.
I must say that as I have read testimony by the others or,
frankly, have listened to my friend, the Chairman, who I think
is a true patriotic American, there is something that makes one
wonder what is the problem with this. I think that the issue
comes down to the fact that we would all very much like to have
perfect arms control treaties. That is, those that are
completely and totally verifiable, that limit everybody else
and leave us some options. This is not possible.
This treaty does have certain issues raised about
verification. But our estimation is that the treaty can verify
and does verify problems where there can be a massive problem
or a large military problem for the United States. Therefore,
we can go through other parts, but I think that the reason that
good Americans are concerned about this is that they want
perfection, and what we have is a treaty that is excellent and
very good and a useful tool for the United States.
I would, with your permission, Mr. Chairman, like to enter
into the record two letters that I have for you--one from the
Secretary of Defense and one from the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs--that really, I believe, address in a very cogent and
coherent way some of the questions that have been raised. If I
might just take one more minute and deal with the verification
issue--and this is in Secretary Cohen's letter. He says:
Critics have argued that the CWC's verification regime is
not good enough. While no verification regime is perfect, the
CWC's comprehensive and extensive regime will improve our
ability to monitor possible chemical weapons proliferation,
which we must do with or without the CWC. As you know, the
military use of any weapon typically requires significant
testing, equipping, and training of forces. These activities
would be more difficult to hide in the face of the CWC's
comprehensive inspection regime that includes a broad-based
data declaration and both routine and challenge inspection
rights. Together with our unilateral intelligence efforts, this
regime should enable us to more readily detect significant
violations before they become a real problem for U.S. national
So the point is the same--that it is impossible to have
perfection. But with this convention, it is a huge step forward
[The material referred to by Secretary Albright follows:]
The Secretary of Defense,
Washington, DC 20501.
The Honorable Jesse Helms,
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510.
Dear Mr. Chairman,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide the views of the
Department of Defense on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). I
sincerely regret that my duties as Secretary of Defense have taken me
out of the country and thereby, have precluded me from testifying
before your Committee on this most important national security treaty.
As you very well know, as we approach the next millennium, we face
the prospect of regional aggressors and others seeking to use chemical
weapons to achieve what they cannot achieve through conventional
military means. Dealing with this threat requires a coherent, multi-
faceted national response involving: active and passive defenses
against chemical weapons; strong unilateral and multilateral export
controls to limit the spread of chemical weapons technology; improved
intelligence collection and threat analysis; well-coordinated civil
defense capabilities and an international standard barring the
production and possession of chemical weapons. The CWC is a necessary
component of this response. It strengthens our hand in achieving
effective limits on the spread of technology that could be used against
us, supports our intelligence and civil defense efforts, and holds
others to the standard that Presidents Reagan and Bush and previous
Congresses set for the United States.
As I have stated before, the United States does not need chemical
weapons to protect our security interests. Our robust military response
capabilities and increasingly robust defensive capabilities provide an
effective deterrent and allow us to inflict an effective, devastating
and overwhelming response should we be attacked. We have a strong
national security interest in seeing other nations eliminate their
chemical weapons stockpiles and capabilities, since that elimination
will reduce the risk that our troops will face chemical weapons on the
Critics of the CWC have made several assertions regarding the
implications of the CWC for our national security that I urge you to
Chemical Defense: Critics suggest that if the United States
ratifies the CWC, it will reduce our support for defensive measures.
Nothing could be further from the truth. DOD not only maintains a
robust program to equip and train our troops against chemical and
biological attack, but I have asked Congress to increase our budget for
chemical and biological defenses by almost $225 million over the next
six years. Moreover, I place a high priority on our theater missile
defense programs and intelligence efforts against the chemical threat
U.S. Response Capability: Critics charge that the CWC, by
constraining riot control agents, will reduce our options for
responding to an attack against our troops, including our ability to
rescue downed pilots. In fact, the Chemical Weapons Convention does not
limit our options in the situations in which our troops are most likely
to be engaged and pilots might be downed: peacetime military operations
within an area of ongoing armed conflict in which the U.S. is not a
party to the conflict (such as Somalia, Bosnia and Rwanda); consensual
peacetime operations when the receiving state has authorized the use of
force (including UN Chapter VI operations); and peacekeeping operations
under the Chapter VII authority of the UN Security Council.
In all such cases, the CWC's restrictions on the use of RCAs
against combatants apply only when U.S. forces are engaged in a use of
force of a scope, duration and intensity which would trigger the laws
of war. These are situations in which other options normally would be
used and for which I am accelerating the development and fielding of
non-chemical, non-lethal alternatives that are consistent with the CWC.
The CWC also does not limit our options in normal peacekeeping
operations and other likely scenarios, such as law enforcement
operations, humanitarian and disaster relief operations,
counterterrorist and hostage rescue operations and noncombatant rescue
operations outside of internal or international armed conflict.
Chemical Weapons Proliferation: Some have argued that by ratifying
the CWC, we would be contributing to chemical weapons proliferation.
This is because they believe that the CWC would require us to provide
to other member states our most advanced defensive equipment and
manufacturing technologies, which some of these states would then use
to build up clandestinely their chemical weapons capabilities. In fact.
nothing in the CWC requires that we share our advanced chemical weapons
defensive capabilities or chemical manufacturing technologies. Indeed,
quite the opposite is true. The CWC prohibits any member from providing
any assistance to anyone if that member believes that doing so would
contribute to chemical weapons proliferation. Further, it establishes
strict trade restrictions on precursor chemicals and requires that
member states ensure that their internal regulations, which would
include export controls, also are consistent with the object and
purpose of the CWC. We will continue to work in the Australia Group to
maintain effective internationally-agreed controls on chemical weapons-
usable elements and technology.
Rogue States: While some critics argue that it is meaningless since
only law-abiding nations will respect it, the reality is that the CWC
will reduce the chemical weapons problem to a few notorious rogue
states and impose trade restrictions that will curb their ability to
obtain the materials to make chemical agents. This is clearly better
than the status quo.
Verification: Critics have argued that the CWC's verification
regime is not good enough. While no verification regime is perfect, the
CWC's comprehensive and extensive regime will improve our ability to
monitor possible chemical weapons proliferation--which we must do with
or without the CWC. As you know, the military use of any weapon
typically requires significant testing, equipping and training of
forces. These activities would be more difficult to hide in the face of
the CWC's comprehensive inspection regime that includes a broad-based
data declaration and both routine and challenge inspection rights.
Together with our unilateral intelligence efforts, this regime should
enable us to more readily detect significant violations before they
become a real problem for U.S. national security.
U.S. Industry: Some critics have claimed that the CWC will impose
costly burdens on U.S. industry that could potentially erode our
technological edge and, by eroding our edge, affect our national
security. The reality is that the American chemical companies most
affected by the CWC view its requirements as reasonable and manageable.
Small chemical businesses who were initially troubled by critics'
claims now also agree that abiding by the CWC will be manageable. The
reality also is that, if the United States fails to ratify the CWC, it
will be U.S. industry that is penalized with trade restrictions that
industry estimates could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Mr. Chairman, in the 1980s, I led the Congressional fight to build
binary chemical weapons to deter Soviet chemical use in Europe. With
the end of the Cold War, the world has changed. Regional aggressors can
be deterred by our vow to respond with overwhelming and devastating
force to a chemical attack. Our military commanders agree that
threatening a chemical weapons response is not necessary and they
support the CWC.
The safety of our troops and the security of our nation will be
strengthened by the CWC. But, the clock is ticking. So that we can reap
the full security benefits of the CWC, it is imperative that the
Congress act on this national security treaty before the treaty goes
into force on April 29. If we ratify in time, the U.S. will have a seat
at the table during the first critical days of implementation of the
CWC and be assured that American citizens will be able to ensure the
fullest and most rigorous compliance with this treaty. I urge your
Committee to report the Chemical Weapons Convention out favorably to
the Senate and the Senate to act now to ratify the Convention before it
enters into force on April 29.
William S. Cohen
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.,
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Washington, DC 20510-3301,
8 April 1997.
The Honorable Jesse Helms
Chairman, Foreign Relations Committee,
United States Senate,
Washington, D.C. 20510-3301
Dear Mr. Chairman,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide you, and through you to
the United States Senate, my military appraisal of the Chemical Weapons
Let me state that the accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention
by as many nations as possible is in the best interest of the Armed
Forces of the United States. The combination of the nonproliferation
and disarmament aspects of the Convention greatly reduces the
likelihood that US Forces may encounter chemical weapons in a regional
conflict. The protection of the young men and women in our forces,
should they have to go in harm's way in the future, is strengthened not
diminished, by the CWC.
The United States has unilaterally commenced the destruction of its
chemical weapons stockpile--under the CWC, all other chemical weapons
capable State Parties incur this same obligation. While no verification
regime is perfect, the Convention's regime allows for intrusive
inspections while protecting national security concerns. The CWC
enjoins the world community to forego these heinous weapons, implements
a regime of enforcement, and impairs the ability of those outside the
Convention to obtain the materials to make chemical agents.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combatant Commanders are
steadfast in support for a strong chemical defense posture. We will
maintain a robust chemical defensive capability supported by aggressive
intelligence collection efforts, but will not rely solely an these
measures. As Secretary Perry testified in March 1996, if any country
was foolish enough to use chemical against the United States, the
response will be overwhelming and devastating. We do not need chemical
weapons to provide an effective deterrent or to deliver an effective
It is important to emphasize that the CWC permits the use of riot
control agents under most scenarios that the United States will likely
face during future operations. If US Forces are deployed during
peacetime to intercede in an internal or international armed conflict,
such as under a UN mandate, the CWC will not affect our use of RCAs
unless US or UN Forces become engaged in a use of force of a scope,
duration, and intensity that would trigger the laws of war with respect
to these forces. Until that time, the United States is not restricted
by the CWC in its RCA use options, including against combatants who are
parties to the conflict.
If we are a party to an international armed conflict, the CWC
prohibits the use of RCAs only in specific situations where combatants
are present. In these particular situations, options other than RCA
exist. As one example, non-lethal alternatives that are consistent with
the CWC could be employed. The CWC permits RCA use in riot control
situations under direct and distinct US military control, such as
controlling rioting prisoners of war, and in rear echelon areas outside
the zone of immediate combat to protect convoys from civilian
disturbances, terrorists, and paramilitary organizations. The ability
of our forces to defend themselves will not be reduced by the Chemical
Weapons Convention. Nothing will override our commanders' inherent
authority and obligation to use all legal means available and to take
all appropriate action, including the use of lethal force, in self
defense of their units and personnel.
In my military judgment, we are better served as an original member
of the Convention. I strongly support this Convention and respectfully
request the Senate's advice and consent.
John M. Shalikashvili,
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
The Honorable Strom Thurmond,
Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee
The Honorable Carl Levin,
Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
Senator Feinstein. Thank you, Madam Secretary.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Senator Lugar.
Senator Lugar. Madam Secretary, two of the strong points of
the convention are that our own intelligence will be enhanced--
namely, we know a lot about chemical weapons, or believe we do
now; but, given the network of inspections and a network of
finding out about the shipment of chemicals and their
precursors, we will have a better lead as to who is active and
where the materials are going.
The question that arises, and I suppose arose this morning,
is: Is there value to us in terms of having international law
behind us; that is, a norm in which clearly the production of
chemical weapons is illegal in the world? I just ask you from
your standpoint of your previous work in the United Nations,
dealing with other nations. If the charge is made that we might
let our guard down, would not be active, is it not your
experience that in fact, if we have international law going for
us, plus an international set of inspections and intelligence
collection, we are more likely not only to act, but to act
effectively, and maybe even, in some cases, unilaterally?
Specifically, if Libya had a situation that we felt was
undesirable, we could now, I presume, send aircraft there and
demolish the facilities before they knew what we were doing?
Are we more likely, however, as a Nation, to do that if we have
international law going for us, plus the intelligence apparatus
of all other nations going for us likewise?
Secretary Albright. Senator Lugar, I believe that we gain
greatly by having, first of all, the added intelligence
capability that comes from having an international regime and,
second, the force of being part of an international regime.
Though it is not exactly the same situation, I would say that
we have multiplied our own effectiveness through something like
the IAEA--the way to inspect and have safeguards on nuclear
weapons, by having a regime that puts the force of the entire
international community behind an inspection or behind a
determination to take action and provide international
So this is a force multiplier for us, the country that no
longer plans to use chemical weapons ourselves and knows that
others still have them.
Senator Lugar. Thank you.
The Chairman. Senator Biden.
Senator Biden. Madam Secretary, it seems to me--and I will
not take the time, in part, because I do not have the time--
that everything that the critics say is wrong with this treaty
is worse without the treaty, beginning with verification and I
think, literally, every major criticism.
Let me ask you a question. This is a strange-sounding
question, I guess. But let us assume we either bring this
treaty up--hopefully, we will have an opportunity to do that by
April 29th and vote on it--we bring it up and it is defeated or
we do not bring it up. What do you say? I mean what happens?
Describe to us what happens when you attend the next meeting of
your counterparts, where the Secretaries of State, your
counterparts in France and Germany and Great Britain, et
cetera--I mean our allies, our friends, the Australia Group--
not all of whom are European, obviously--what happens at that
I am not being facetious when I ask the question; I am
Secretary Albright. I would hope very much that I would
never have to be in that position; because I truly do think
that it would be not just a major embarrassment for the leading
country in the world to be in a position of having decided not
to become a part of what is now a hugely ratified convention,
but I think it would also hurt us, Senator, in other ways.
Because we see ourselves as the leaders of creating
international norms and regimes.
I think I have said to some of you that I believe that
there are four groups of countries in the world, and the
largest one are those countries of which we are the leader,
that are basically those countries that abide by international
norms, that provide--because they establish a better way of
life for our citizens--rules of the road. It would lessen our
credibility not only in this obviously important regime but
across the board if we decide, for some reason, not to become a
part of what is clearly a step forward in limiting weapons of
I think it would hurt our credibility across the board, and
not just on this issue, Senator Biden.
Senator Biden. My time is up. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Madam Secretary.
The Chairman. Senator Coverdell.
Senator Coverdell. Madam Secretary, I know that there have
been extensive discussions about conditions between the
administration, the Chairman, and others. Could you
characterize your assessment of the progress, your general
feeling at this hour, as we are embedded in the debate? Is
there an optimism on your part with regard to this process?
Have we gone as far as we can and we are down to our
differences? Do you characterize it as still being a viable
process that might move to an agreement?
Secretary Albright. Senator Coverdell, first of all, I
think that there has been a great deal of goodwill as the
process has gone forward and through a variety of meetings.
There has been, I think, considerable movement on dealing with
a variety of questions that obviously are legitimate, given our
process of government and the importance of having you all, as
the representatives of the people, understand more about how
this treaty is being carried out.
I do think that I am optimistic, because that is my nature.
I do think that while there are still a number of points on
which we disagree, that we are moving forward in a good way.
What I do think is absolutely important is for the time to come
for the Senate to vote. There have been, as I have stated--13
hearings that have been held before this one was, 1,500 pages
of testimony, lots of back-and-forth, in terms of trying to
exchange information. I think that if we cannot agree on some
of the differences within informal groupings, that there must
be some way that we can vote--you all can vote--on the
differences that still exist.
I cannot stress enough the importance of having the vote
before the time expires to be an original party. I think we are
definitely cutting off our nose to spite our face if we do not
ratify before that deadline. Our request to all of you is to
Senator Coverdell. If I have just a second, just as a
matter for clarification and not necessarily related to the
overall aspect of our position in the world, but has Israel
signed this treaty, do you know?
Secretary Albright. Israel has signed, but not ratified.
Senator Coverdell. But not ratified?
Secretary Albright. Right.
The Chairman. The Senator from Minnesota.
Senator Wellstone. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Madam Secretary, thank you.
I guess, in the limited amount of time that we have, almost
more than asking the question, I just would like to amplify or
build on a point you made about the importance of our hoping to
have an agreement and moving this forward and having a vote. I
am on the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and General Schwarzkopf,
when he testified before our committee dealing with the illness
of the Gulf veterans, was really poignant in also expressing
his support for this agreement. Just to quote from not just
General Schwarzkopf, but any number of other military leaders:
``On its own, the CWC cannot guarantee complete security
against chemical weapons.'' I think that was your point. You
did not come here to argue it is perfect. We must continue to
support robust defense capabilities and remain willing to
respond through the CWC or by unilateral action to violators of
the convention. 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 the treaty. For these reasons, we strongly support the
I hope, Mr. Chairman, that we will be able to have an
agreement and bring this to the floor. I do believe we owe it
to people in the country to have an up or down vote, and I hope
it will be a favorable vote.
Secretary Albright. I must say that I was very impressed
with the testimony that General Schwarzkopf gave earlier, in
which he basically said that, by our not ratifying, we put
ourself on the side of Iraq and Libya and on a different side
from our allies.
I think, when Senator Biden said, how would I feel in
meetings, I would find it mighty strange to be on the same side
of the table as Iraq and Libya.
The Chairman. Senator Hagel.
Senator Hagel. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Madam Secretary, always nice to see you.
Secretary Albright. Thank you.
Senator Hagel. Since I last saw you, I know you have become
much more enlightened in many areas. You have played baseball.
You have gone to North Carolina.
Secretary Albright. That is true.
Senator Hagel. I know we can expect even greater things
from you now.
Senator Hagel. Madam Secretary, picking up on the Iraq,
Libya, North Korea, Syria issues, those are the real threats.
Those countries are the real threats. I do not believe the
threats of chemical warfare to our troops or civilized nations'
troops are within the signatory countries of the CWC. So my
question is: How do we get to the real threat, those countries
that we fear most, who we either suspect or know now possess
chemical weapons and are not afraid to use them?
Secretary Albright. Senator, I think that it is exactly
because of our concern over the rogue states that we have to
try to use the tools that the international regime puts before
us. I think that what happens here is, first of all, that it
becomes even more clear that the rogue states are isolated
politically and that they are subject to trade sanctions that
put pressure on their economies and limit their ability to
obtain the ingredients for chemical weapons.
If, for instance, there is also a concern, I think, by some
that they will sign in a cynical way, well, if they sign up and
then try to cheat, the rogue states will be subject to the
CWC's unprecedented verification measures, and they will
probably get caught. When they are caught, they will be subject
to international pressure and other CWC sanctions. I think that
by not putting ourselves in a position of being one of the
original ratifiers of CWC, we weaken the convention itself, and
then weaken our own ability and deprive ourselves of this force
multiplier to try to get at the rogue states.
This is the single best tool we have to try to get a handle
on the Iraqs and Libyas, because this will provide an eye into
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
The Chairman. Senator Smith.
Senator Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Madam Secretary, thank you for coming. There is an old
saying in politics that to get a vote, you have got to ask for
a vote. I appreciate your being here, because no one from the
administration has ever asked for my vote on this. I have had
many people from the other side asking me for my vote on this.
Senator Biden. Ask him, will you, now, quick. Ask him.
Secretary Albright. Give me a minute. I was going to do it
Senator Smith. And all I have heard is from the other side.
So my question, which has already been asked somewhat before,
is: Is this the best we can do? And Senator Helms' comments
earlier, which were that there are three points he wants to
work out. Is it too late to work anything else out in this
Secretary Albright. Well, first of all, let me say
officially, openly, publicly, I am asking you for your vote.
Senator Smith. Thank you.
Secretary Albright. And let me also say that there are some
areas, I think, that the Chairman has concern about that I
think we can still work on. I think there are some where we may
not be able to work something out. You all will have to vote on
Senator Smith. And would that be done in the OPCW
decisionmaking process, which means the April 29 deadline and
U.S. participation in the process are important? Is that where
we address questions like nonlethal chemicals that our police
may need for riot control and things of that nature?
Secretary Albright. Well, let us talk specifically about
the riot control issue. I think that difference, if I may be so
bold, is based on a misunderstanding about what the treaty
provides in terms of riot control. If I might just take a
minute while asking you for your vote to explain fully what
happens to the riot control agents.
The CWC does not limit our ability to use RCA's, riot
control agents, in the situations in which U.S. troops are most
likely to be involved. I think there is a concern that we are
robbing ourselves of a tool. What I am going to tell you is how
we are not doing that.
The CWC does not limit our options in such likely scenarios
as law enforcement operations, humanitarian and disaster relief
operations, counter-terrorist and hostage rescue operations,
and noncombatant rescue operations outside of armed conflict.
The CWC also does not limit RCA use under normal peacekeeping
operations. That includes peacetime operations within an area
of ongoing conflict, to which the U.S. is not a party, such as
Somalia, Bosnia or Rwanda, or in consensual peacetime
operations, when the receiving State has authorized the use of
force--that is including Chapter 6 operations under the U.N.
peacekeeping operations under Chapter 7.
So the CWC restrictions on riot control agents apply only
when combatants are present and U.S. forces are engaged in the
use of force of a scope, duration, and intensity that would
trigger the laws of war.
Now, the reason I read this to you in such detail is that I
think this is an example of where we may have a
misunderstanding of fact and as one of the areas where there
are still discussions, which we believe could be dealt with. In
the letter that I introduced into the record, written by
General Shalikashvili, I think more of this is addressed.
So I am hoping, in the intervening days we have here, that
we can address in a factual way some of the problems that still
Senator Smith. Thank you. I hope that we can do that. My
time is up. We are discharging our constitutional
responsibility to vote on this treaty. One of my concerns you
answered earlier in your testimony, which was that we are not
in fact voting for something that is unconstitutional or
violates the constitutional rights of Americans.
Finally, I hope at some point here you can address an
implication that Secretary Schlesinger made that some in the
FBI are being muzzled right now, not to speak unfavorably about
this treaty. I wonder, at some point, if you could comment on
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Senator Grams.
Senator Grams. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Madam Secretary, a pleasure to see you.
Just to kind of clarify the last question that Senator
Smith asked, dealing with riot control chemicals. On February
2nd, an article in a column by John Deutch, who served as
Director of Central Intelligence and Deputy Secretary of
Defense for President Clinton, wrote the following. He said:
We should reject interpretations of the CWC that prohibit
the use of tear gas or other nonlethal chemicals so that we do
not put ourselves in the bizarre position of having no choice
but to rely on guns and bullets when we face situations like
driving off noncombatants who might be threatening a downed
Now, do you agree with that statement? And do you believe
that is what the CWC is stating clearly?
Secretary Albright. I think that the CWC does not prohibit
it. As I said, the restrictions apply only when combatants are
present and U.S. forces are engaged in the use of force of the
scope, duration and intensity that would trigger the laws of
war. I think we would have to see what the situation is. But,
basically, it is possible for us to use various new kinds of
chemical agents in order to rescue hostages and to deal with
isolated issues. We always have a third choice in a war, which
is to use nonlethal weapons. We are not left only with the
possibility of using chemical weapons or riot control agents.
Senator Grams. So, generally then, you would agree with the
statement that Mr. Deutch made?
Secretary Albright. Well, I would have to see it within its
overall context, but I generally agree with the statements that
Senator Grams. And just one other quick question dealing
with Russia. The recent record on arms control agreements has
been less than impressive for Russia. It has not implemented
the Bilateral Destruction Agreement on chemical weapons which
it signed with the United States several years ago. There have
been reports that Russia has developed a chemical weapons
program specifically designed to evade the CWC.
In addition, Russia has not even ratified the START II
Treaty on nuclear weapons, which I and many other Senators
strongly support. So does the administration believe that
Russia should agree to fully implement the Bilateral
Destruction Agreement before the U.S. would join the CWC?
Secretary Albright. Senator, let me just take a little
minute here to explain something. We just finished our meetings
in Helsinki with the Russians. We went there with the idea of
issuing a number of joint communiques. One which had not been
part of our original intention, because we were dealing with
Russia--NATO and with START and other issues--but the Russians
came to us and we then issued a joint U.S.-Russian statement on
chemical weapons. It was basically done because of President
Yeltsin's and Foreign Minister Primakov's interest in making
clear that they wanted to go forward in order to expedite
So the second paragraph says: The Presidents reaffirm their
intention to take the steps necessary to expedite ratification
in each of the two countries.
President Clinton expressed his determination that the U.S.
be a party. Then President Yeltsin noted that the convention
had been submitted to the Duma with his strong recommendation
for prompt ratification--I am not reading it all. The
Presidents noted that cooperation between the two countries in
the prohibition of chemical weapons has enabled both countries
to enhance openness regarding their military chemical potential
and to gain experience with procedures and measures for
verifying compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention, et
So I would say that there is a major push on behalf of
President Yeltsin, who is going to use this document to make
sure that they go forward with ratification of the CWC also.
Senator Grams. How much cost will there be to the U.S. For
the Russian program to destroy its chemical weapons?
Secretary Albright. I will have to get that for you for the
[The information referred to was unavailable at the time of
Senator Grams. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Senator Sarbanes.
Senator Sarbanes. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I think I first ought to give you the opportunity--because
the question was simply left hanging out there by one of my
colleagues--that people within the administration were being
muzzled with respect to commenting on this treaty. I think the
specific reference was to the FBI. Could you address that?
Secretary Albright. Senator, I am completely unaware that
something like that would be taking place. I have heard nothing
like that. I have no reason to believe that that is true--
Senator Sarbanes. Well, now, the Joint Chiefs are in favor
of this treaty, are they not?
Secretary Albright. They are, sir.
Senator Sarbanes. And I think they have been very clear in
indicating, not just the chairman, but all the other members of
the Joint Chiefs, as well, is that correct?
Secretary Albright. That is correct. Then, earlier, there
was a letter submitted, or a statement, by 17 other former
generals and former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs and other
generals very much in favor of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Senator Sarbanes. I do not quite understand--and I
addressed some questions this morning directed toward it--this
notion that unless the rogue states sign up, the rest of the
world should not approve and ratify this treaty and the United
States ought not to be part of it. Do you understand that
Secretary Albright. I do not, sir, because my own feeling
is that it is as if we had been provided with a brand-new
mechanism for looking inside potential violator societies to
find out what they are doing. We are eschewing that tool mainly
because the rogues, or those who are not part of the system, do
not want to sign it.
As I said in my statement, it is like saying that you are
not going to have laws against drug smuggling just because all
the drug smugglers have not signed up to it. What you do is you
try to develop the best possible regime, and not allow the
lowest common denominator to determine what the will of the
international community and the majority of nation-states would
like to have happen.
Senator Sarbanes. Would not the convention in fact make it
possible to put into place a more rigorous regime against the
rogue states than is possible under the current situation?
Secretary Albright. Absolutely. What it does is provide a
system for intrusive inspections into their societies, and then
a system for also having more stringent sanctions against them,
with the force of having international law and the
international community behind them. So, by deciding not to
take action until they do, I think we are cutting off our nose
to spite our face.
The Chairman. Madam Secretary, we are within 2 or 3 minutes
of fulfilling what I hope was a commitment. Before you leave,
let me suggest that you mention to the administration that it
would clear up the whole thing if a statement were issued in
the name of the President or the administration, saying that
nobody in the FBI nor anybody else employed by the Federal
Government must not speak disapprovingly of the treaty. Now,
that will clear it up.
Now, there is one other thing. The Chemical Manufacturers'
Association was claiming that $600 million in sales would be
lost if this treaty is not ratified. We discussed that when you
were here. They have since cut that number down by more than
half, and even their new figures are highly suspect. It was
said here this morning that the Chemical Manufacturers'
Association does not represent the small manufacturers--only a
few big ones.
During your confirmation hearing, you may recall that I
asked that you supply the committee with a detailed list of
chemicals that would be affected if the United States were not
to ratify the CWC. You told me then, in good faith I am sure,
that such a list would be forthcoming. It has not come. I
certainly understand why. Would you tell your people to get
that list to us?
Secretary Albright. Yes, absolutely.
The Chairman. I know you have another meeting. I thank you
for coming to see us. Do you have further comments to make? I
see notes being passed around. I figured there is one more
thing they want you to say.
Secretary Albright. Yes. Apparently the list has been sent
to you this morning in response to that question.
The Chairman. This morning. Very well.
Secretary Albright. So the check is in the mail.
The Chairman. If there be no further business to come
before the committee----
Senator Biden. Mr. Chairman, I do not have any further
business for the Secretary. I want to just publicly thank you.
I was a bit of a pain in the neck in attempting to see you and
ask you to accommodate.
I guess I was a pain in the neck to Secretary Albright, as
well, to come up here this afternoon. I thought it was
With regard to tomorrow's hearing, Mr. Chairman. I realize
that the committee has a rule that I am just learning. Back in
the good old days, when my team was in charge and I was
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, we used to have a one-to-
one rule. That is, the minority and majority could have the
same number of witnesses. I have learned subsequently that is
not the rule here.
The Chairman. It never has been.
Senator Biden. I understand that. But yesterday we were
going to have--I wanted to have Mr. Scowcroft and Mr. Deutch.
Mr. Deutch had to go out of town. I said to my staff--there was
a bit of a misunderstanding--that Scowcroft could come
tomorrow, along with General Rowny and Admiral Zumwalt. I am
now told by my staff that they may not be able to appear
tomorrow because of a rule.
I would like you to consider accommodating a rookie ranking
minority member here and allow them, since I have asked them to
change their schedules, so that I do not find myself--this is
probably the only thing I have ever agreed with General Rowny
on and Admiral Zumwalt.
And I do not want to completely ruin my credibility with
them. So I would like to publicly ask you to consider allowing
an exception to the rule. I will give up two future draft
choices at a later date if you would consider allowing me to
have them tomorrow, notwithstanding the committee tradition of
a 2- or 3-to-1 majority. So I am going to publicly ask you if
you would consider that. I am not asking for an answer now. If
the answer is no, do not give it to me now.
If it is yes, I would take it now.
The Chairman. Well, as Mr. English back in my home town of
Monroe used to say, I will study about it.
Senator Biden. All right. Good.
The Chairman. There being no further business to come
before the committee, we stand in recess.
[Whereupon, at 4:23 p.m., the committee adjourned to
reconvene at 2:11 p.m., April 9, 1997.]