CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 1997
Committee on Foreign Relations,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:11 p.m., in
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Jesse Helms
(chairman of the committee) presiding.
Present: Senators Helms, Hagel, Smith, Frist, Biden, Kerry,
Robb, Feinstein, and Wellstone.
The Chairman. The committee will come to order.
We have been delaying a little bit, because one of the four
witnesses on the first panel has just arrived. We are delighted
to see you.
Well, I say to my distinguished colleagues, Mr. Robb and
Mr. Biden, that today marks the third in this particular round
of hearings on the Chemical Weapons Convention. This morning's
first panel of witnesses will include the Hon. Jeane
Kirkpatrick, known to all of us, former Ambassador to the
United Nations; the Hon. Richard Perle, former Assistant
Secretary of Defense; the Hon. Fred Ikle, former Director of
the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; and Doug Feith, former
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Former goes before each
one of those titles.
There will be a second panel of witnesses in support of the
We appreciate your appearing here this afternoon as the
committee undertakes further consideration of the CWC. All four
of you are distinguished leaders, whose impressive expertise
makes your insight crucial to the Senate's consideration of
this matter, which involves, as we all know, the future
security of the United States. The Senate will benefit greatly
from your assessment and guidance regarding the wisdom of
ratifying the treaty in its present form--and I would
underscore those words.
Now, I will say we have had many, many compliments by
telephone, fax and otherwise regarding the testimony of three
former Secretaries of Defense who were here in person, and one
of whom read a letter of opposition to the treaty written by
the previous Secretary of Defense. We look forward to your
testimony. You are joined in your opposition by a fourth
Secretary of Defense, Richard Cheney, and more than 50
generals, admirals and top officials from previous
I think this ought to be sort of a wake-up call to the
administration, because the American people, despite efforts to
the contrary by some in the news media, the American people are
increasingly aware of the defects in this treaty. Now, I am not
going to proceed further with my statement, in the interest of
hearing our witnesses, but I will defer to the distinguished
If Senator Robb has any comments, since I did not know you
were here yesterday, we would be glad to hear from you as well.
Senator Biden. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Let me
begin by publicly thanking you for allowing the second panel.
We have a number--seven very distinguished Americans here. I
think they probably find--they are probably in the position,
not for the first time, but not as frequently as we are, of
finding themselves on opposite sides of things they are usually
in total agreement with their friends on and vice-versa. I mean
we are accustomed to that. That is part of our stock in trade.
I appreciate you allowing former National Security Advisor
Brent Scowcroft--a former general, as well--General Rowny, and
Admiral Zumwalt to be here. I realize the rule is basically 3-
to-1, but you were kind enough to us yesterday to allow that. I
I want to take just a few minutes to address a few concerns
that we raised in yesterday's hearing and that have gone
unanswered. The reason I bother to do it I am not sure, because
so much has been going on in terms of the non-public side of
this process and in terms of negotiations; I am not suggesting
that any of the things we have tentatively agreed on among
ourselves on this side of the bench and with the administration
and Senator Lott and others, that they will satisfy any of the
witnesses, but there is no reason they would know they existed.
I will just take just a few minutes--probably about 9 I hope.
My impression is that one of the reasons you suggested that
we have an additional set of hearings was that we have a number
of new Members--a very bright, informed group of people, who
have taken their jobs on this committee very seriously--and
that they did not have an opportunity to participate in
previous hearings. My impression is that these new Members
truly want to learn about the treaty and base their decision on
the facts. I hope that these hearings are giving them an
opportunity to be acquainted with them.
This afternoon, we are going to hear testimony about the
treaty and what it does and does not do. But I used to practice
law with a fellow who was one of the best trial lawyers in the
State of Delaware, a guy named Sid Bialek. He always used to
say when he would teach young lawyers like me how to address a
jury, he would say, when you start off with a jury, tell them:
Now, jury, keep your eye on the ball. This is not about whether
or not my client is a nice guy. It is whether he killed Cock
Robin. Keep your eye on the ball.
Well, I think one of the things we have to keep our eye on,
I say to my colleagues--obviously, not to the witnesses--is
that this is a treaty that outlaws poison gas. It outlaws
chemical weapons. At least that is its intent. I guess that is
the essence of the debate here--whether or not it adequately
Entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention will
mark a major milestone in our effort to enlist greater
international support for an important American objective of
containing and penalizing rogue states that seek to acquire or
transfer weapons of mass destruction. I want to make it clear,
based on yesterday's panel, the first one--and it was a
distinguished panel--several said, including one former
Secretary of Defense, that they were accused of being for
chemical weapons and for the use of these.
I just want you to know, I know no one who supports the
treaty in the Senate who suggests anyone who opposes the treaty
is someone who is for the active use of chemical weapons. So I
want to make that clear at the outset. I never heard anybody
say that, and I am sure the former Secretary would not have
said it unless someone had mentioned it to him. But no one on
this committee that I am aware of who is for the treaty thinks
Among the claims, though, that were made yesterday about
the CWC is that it would force us to share our most advanced
defensive technology with all states, including countries of
concern that have ratified the agreement. Iran comes to mind
Another assertion is that it requires us to abandon all
controls we have on the proliferation of sensitive technology
through mechanisms like the Australia Group. As I reviewed the
treaty, I became a little concerned about this initially. With
regard to sharing the defensive technologies, some general
provisions appeared to back up their claim. But, on close
inspection, I believe it reveals that the critics are wrong.
First, the provisions in Article X, Paragraph 3, are
deliberately vague. The obligation on a party is to facilitate
the fullest possible exchange of equipment and information.
When read in light of the overriding imperative of Article I,
to not assist any party from engaging in activities prohibited
by CWC, it seems clear to me and the lawyers that I have
consulted that we will not be obliged to provide assistance to
rogue states under this provision.
Now, just to make sure that I was reading this correctly, I
asked for some clarification. I spoke to somebody who obviously
would want to clarify it the way I read it, so take it for what
it is worth. But the National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger,
today sent me a letter. In that letter, he states that any
exchange of equipment and technology under Paragraph 3 of
Article X, ``is limited to that which we determine would be
appropriate and permitted under the convention.'' In addition,
Paragraph 7 of Article X requires no assistance, ``other than
medical supplies, if we so choose''--if we so choose.
I ask that this letter from Mr. Berger be inserted in the
record, Mr. Chairman, so that my colleagues can at least
understand the position that I hold and that I believe that
The Chairman. Without objection.
Senator Biden. Thank you very much.
[The information referred to follows:]
The White House,
Washington, DC, April 9, 1997.
Hon. Joseph R. Biden, Jr.,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510.
Dear Senator Biden. In recent days, concerns have been raised about
the impact of the Chemical Weapons Convention on the ability of rogue
states to acquire advanced U.S. Chemical defense or chemical
manufacturing technology. I would like to take this opportunity to set
the record straight on these matters.
Specifically, concern has been expressed about Paragraph 3 of
Article X of the CWC, which states that ``Each Party undertakes to
facilitate and shall have the right to participate in the fullest
possible exchange of equipment, material and scientific and
technological information concerning means of protection against chemi-
cal weapons.'' The inclusion of the words ``facilitate'' and
``possible'' underscores that no specific exchange is required and that
any exchange which does occur is limited to that which we determine
would be appropriate and permitted under the Convention. Moreover,
nothing in Paragraph 7 of Article X, which concerns possible responses
to requests for assistance, requires us to provide anything other than
medical supplies, if we so choose.
Concern has also been expressed about whether Article XI of the
CWC, which relates to cooperation in the field of chemical activities
for purposes not prohibited under the treaty, might force our chemical
industry to share dual-use technologies and manufacturing secrets with
other nations. Let me assure you that Article XI does not require
private businesses to release such proprietary or otherwise
confidential business information, nor does it require the U.S.
Government to force private businesses to undertake such activities.
Let me further assure you that the export controls that we and other
Australia Group members have undertaken, as well as our own national
export controls, are fully consistent with the CWC and serve to further
I hope this information facilitates Senate consideration of the
CWC. I look forward to continuing to work with you and other CWC
supporters to ensure a successful vote on this vital treaty in the days
Samuel R. Berger,
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
Senator Biden. At this point, Mr. Chairman, you and I have
come close to agreement on a condition that would require the
executive branch to ensure that countries of concern receive no
assistance from us beyond medical antidotes and treatment, and
that we would be fully informed and it would be fully in
keeping with Article X 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 7 supports chemical trade and
technology exchange ``for purposes not prohibited under this
convention.'' It also requires that trade restrictions not be,
quote, incompatible with the obligations undertaken in this
But the CWC is completely consistent with the continued
enforcement of the Australia Group controls, which member
states use to keep chemical and biological weapons materiel out
of the hands of rogue states. The executive branch has said
this time and again, and so have our friends and allies in the
Australia Group. That helps explain why 26 of the 29 members of
the Australia Group have ratified this treaty--everyone except
Iceland, Luxembourg and the United States.
Last October, at the most recent meeting of the Australia
Group, the 29 countries reaffirmed their intention to maintain
common export controls, while joining the treaty convention. In
a statement issued at the meeting, the Australia Group said,
``the maintenance of effective export controls remain an
essential, practical means of fulfilling obligations under the
I would also ask unanimous consent that that statement be
inserted in the record, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Without objection.
[The information referred to follows:]
Australian Embassy, Paris,
October 17, 1996.
Australia Group Meeting
Australia Group participants held informal consultations in Paris
between Oct. 14-17, to discuss the continuing problem of chemical and
biological weapons (CBW) proliferation. Participants at these talks
were Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech
Republic, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak
Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United
States, with the Republic of Korea taking part for the first time.
Participants maintain a strong belief that full adherence to the
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and to the Biological and Toxin
Weapons Convention (BTWC) will be the best way to eliminate these types
of particularly inhumane weapons from the world's arsenals. In this
context the maintenance of effective export controls will remain an
essential practical means of fulfilling obligations under the CWC and
All participants at the meeting welcomed the expected entry into
force of the CWC, noting that this long-awaited step will be an
important, historic moment in international efforts to prohibit
chemical weapons. Participants agreed to issue a separate statement on
this matter, which is attached.
Participants also welcomed the progress of efforts to strengthen
the BTWC in the negotiations taking place in the Ad Hoc Group of BTWC
States Parties in Geneva. All Australia Group participating countries
are also States Parties to this treaty, and strongly support efforts to
develop internationally agreed procedures for strengthening
international confidence in the treaty regime by verifying compliance
with BTWC obligations.
Experts from participating countries discussed national export
licensing systems aimed at preventing inadvertent assistance to the
production of CBW. They confirmed that participants administered export
controls in a streamlined and effective manner which allows trade and
the exchange of technology for peaceful purposes to flourish. They
agreed to continue working to focus these national measures efficiently
and solely on preventing any contribution to chemical and biological
weapons programs. Participants noted that the value of these measures
in inhibiting CBW proliferation benefited not only the countries
participating in the Australia Group, but the whole international
Participants also agreed to continue a wide range of contacts,
including a further program of briefings for countries not
participating in the Paris consultations to further awareness and
understanding of national policies in this area. Participants endorsed
in this context the importance of regional seminars as valuable means
of widening contacts with other countries on these issues. In
particular, Romania's plans to host a seminar on CBW export controls
for Central and Eastern European countries and the Commonwealth of
Independent States in Bucharest on Oct. 21-22 and Japan's plans to host
a fourth Asian Export Control Seminar in Tokyo in early 1997 were
warmly welcomed by participants. Argentina will also host a regional
seminar on non-proliferation matters, in Buenos Aires, in the first
week of December 1996. France will organize a seminar for French-
speaking countries on the implementation of the CWC. This will take
place shortly before entry into force of the Convention.
The meeting also discussed relevant aspects of terrorist interest
in CBW and agreed that this serious issue requires continuing
Participants agreed to hold further consultations in October 1997.
Australia Group Countries Welcome Prospective Entry Into Force of the
Chemical Weapons Convention
The countries participating in the Australia Group warmly welcomed
the expected entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
during a meeting of the Group in Paris in October 1996. They noted,
that the long awaited commencement of the CWC regime, including the
establishment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons, will be an historic watershed in global efforts to abolish
chemical weapons for all time. They also noted that all states adhering
to the CWC are obliged to ensure their national activities support the
goal of a world free of chemical weapons.
All of the participating countries reiterated their previous
statements underlining their intention to be among the original States
Parties to the CWC. They noted that 24 of the 30 countries
participating in the Australia Group have already ratified the
Convention. Representatives also recalled their previous expressions of
support for the CWC, and reaffirmed these commitments. They restated
their view that the effective operation and implementation of the CWC
offers the best means available to the international community to rid
the world of these weapons for all time. They called on all signatories
to ratify the CWC as soon as possible, and on the small number of
countries which have not signed the treaty to join the regime and
thereby contribute to international efforts to ban these weapons.
Representatives at the Australia Group meeting recalled that all of
the participating countries are taking steps at the national level to
ensure that relevant national regulations promote the object and
purpose of the CWC and are fully consistent with the Convention's
provisions when the CWC enters into force for each of these countries.
They noted that the practical experience each country had obtained in
operating export licensing systems intended to prevent assistance to
chemical weapons programs have been especially valuable in each
country's preparations for implementation of key obligations under the
CWC. They noted in this context, that these national systems are aimed
solely at avoiding assistance for activities which are prohibited under
the Convention, while ensuring they do not restrict or impede trade and
other exchanges facilitated by the CWC.
Senator Biden. Mr. Chairman, I am convinced the CWC does
not require us to share our most advanced defense technology or
to abandon existing controls on chemical weapons. Just to make
certain of that, I asked Sandy Berger to address this point. I
will, in the interest of time, since I asked you to add
additional witnesses, ask that the remainder of my statement be
placed in the record and conclude by saying this treaty enters
in force on April 29th, and time is running short. Mr.
Chairman, I hope that we, when we conclude these hearings--as
long as I do not prolong them--that at some point we might be
able to reach an agreement on how to proceed on the floor. But
that is for another time, another moment.
I thank the witnesses and I thank the chair.
[The prepared statement and the information referred to by
Senator Biden follows:]
Prepared Statement of Senator Biden
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to take a few minutes this
morning to address a few concerns that were raised in yesterday's
hearing and may have gone unanswered.
When you called these hearings, you said that it was important that
the new members of the committee have an opportunity to learn more
about it. And I am pleased to see that our new colleagues have taken
your recommendation to heart.
My impression is that they truly want to learn about this treaty
and base their decision on the facts--and maybe the request by the
Secretary of State won't hurt, either.
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 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.
Yesterday, we heard three very distinguished former Secretaries of
Defense testify 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.
As I reviewed the treaty, I became a little concerned about this.
With regard to sharing defensive technology, some general provisions
appeared to back up their claim.
But close inspection reveals that the critics are wrong.
First, the provisions of Article Ten, Paragraph Three are
deliberately vague: the obligation on a party is to ``facilitate'' the
``fullest possible exchange'' of equipment and information.
When read in light of the overriding imperative in Article One to
not assist any party from engaging in activities prohibited by the CWC,
it is clear that we will not be obligated to provide assistance to
rogue states under this provision.
Now just to make sure that I was reading this correctly, I asked
the White House to clarify this point for me. Sandy Berger, the
President's National Security Adviser, today sent me a letter that
confirms this interpretation.
In Mr. Berger's letter, he states that any exchange of equipment
and technology under Paragraph Three of Article Ten ``is limited to
that which we determine would be appropriate and permitted under the
convention.'' In addition, Paragraph Seven of Article Ten requires no
assistance ``other than medical supplies, if we so choose.''
I ask that this letter from Mr. Berger be inserted into the record,
so that my colleagues can reassure themselves that this treaty does not
oblige us to share advanced chemical defense technology with rogue
On this point, the Chairman and I are very close to agreement on a
condition that would require the executive branch to ensure that
countries of concern receive no assistance from us 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 friends
and allies in the Australia Group.
That helps explain why twenty-six of the twenty-nine members of the
Australia Group have ratified this treaty--everyone except Iceland,
Luxembourg and the United States.
Last October, at the most recent meeting of the Australia Group,
the twenty-nine countries reaffirmed their intention to maintain common
export controls while joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.
In a statement issued at that meeting, the Australia Group said,
and I quote: ``the maintenance of effective export controls will remain
an essential practical means of fulfilling obligations under the CWC.''
I ask consent that this statement be inserted into the record.
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. And just to make certain of that, I asked Sandy
Berger to address this point in the letter I referred to.
So I ask my colleagues to review this section of the treaty and to
examine Mr. Berger's letter and the Australia Group's statement to
reassure themselves that the CWC does not obligate us to share advanced
defensive technology or chemicals or chemical technologies with
countries like China, Cuba or Iran.
Turning to another issue, my colleague, Senator Smith, expressed an
interest yesterday in the constitutional issues that many critics of
the convention have raised. I want to take this opportunity to set the
The convention is constitutional. There is nothing in the
convention that requires searches in violation of the Fourth Amendment,
takings of property without just compensation, or compelled self-
Just this morning we received a letter from twenty-two law
professors and distinguished attorneys expressing their view that the
convention is constitutional, including former Attorney General Elliot
Richardson, former State Department legal adviser and Harvard law
professor Abram Chayes, Columbia University professor Louis Henkin, and
Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe. I ask that this letter be placed
into the record.
Those who claim that the CWC would permit international inspectors
to engage in warrantless searches in any business or private home are
dead wrong and are spreading falsehoods.
There will be no warrantless searches under the CWC, period. Here
are the facts:
There are two types of inspections--routine inspections and
Routine inspections apply only to declared facilities--that is,
facilities that produce or use scheduled chemicals. In the unlikely
event that a declared facility does not consent to be searched, an
administrative warrant will be sought from a federal judge or
This is the same procedure that would be used for inspections
conducted under Federal health, safety, and environmental laws.
Challenge inspections are conducted at the request of another
government based on evidence of possible non-compliance. These
inspections can take place anywhere in the United States.
The administration has agreed that, absent consent, the U.S.
Government will have to obtain a criminal search warrant, based on
probable cause of criminal wrongdoing, to conduct a challenge
inspection everywhere but declared facilities.
If a search warrant cannot be obtained for either type of search,
the inspection will not take place.
And, since the convention allows the United States Government to
``take into account any constitutional obligations it may have with
regard to searches and seizures'' when granting access to U.S.
facilities, we will not be in breach of our treaty obligations if a
challenge inspection is denied due to Fourth Amendment considerations.
I ask consent that a letter from the Attorney General to Senator
Lott addressing these very issues be made a part of the record.
I hope that the Attorney General's assurances, along with the
statements of other administration officials, have eased the concerns
of those who, like me, strongly believe in the importance of the Fourth
Again, I would like to thank my colleagues and our witnesses for
their time and attention this morning. I hope that these hearings will
help to clear up the misconceptions about the Chemical Weapons
Convention so that we can move expeditiously to bring this treaty
before the full Senate for a vote on ratification.
This treaty enters into force on April 29, and time is running
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Letter From Attorney General Janet Reno
to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
Office of the Attorney General,
Washington DC, March 3, 1997.
Hon. Trent Lott,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510.
Dear Mr. Leader: As the public debate over ratification of the
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) grows in intensity, various concerns
regarding the constitutionality of the CWC have come to my attention.
Some have suggested that enforcement of the CWC, in order to be
effective, will necessarily impinge on Fourth Amendment rights.
Specifically, concerns have been raised that the Convention will
authorize warrantless, non-consensual searches or that searches will be
conducted pursuant to warrants that lack probable cause. The CWC and
the draft implementing legislation contemplate no such circumstances.
All inspections will be conducted consistent with the requirements of
the Fourth Amendment.
Let there be no doubt, the Department of Justice stands fully
behind both the goals and the specific terms of the CWC. The
Convention, along with the proposed legislation, strikes the proper
balance between effective efforts to eliminate the scourge of chemical
weapons and to preserve our constitutional rights. Over the course of
the past four years, the Justice Department has closely scrutinized CWC
and has assisted in the drafting of its implementing legislation. Our
focus has been consistently on the necessity of adherence to
constitutional requirements. In testimony given on September 9, 1996,
before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the
Constitution, Richard Shiffrin, Deputy Assistant Attorney General,
Office of Legal Counsel, explained how inspections would be conducted
consistent with the Fourth Amendment. We expect the vast majority of
routine inspections will be conducted with consent. On the few
occasions where consent has been withheld, administrative search
warrants will be sought for routine inspections. In the case of
challenge inspections, again, we expect consent to be the rule.
Declared facilities selected for a challenge inspection would be
subject to inspections in the same manner as provided under the CWC and
implementing legislation for routine inspections. However, a criminal
search warrant will be applied for in every case where consent is
denied to a challenge inspection of undeclared facilities.
The convention, in Annex 2, pt. X, para. 41, specifically allows
the U.S. Government, in granting access to facilities identified for
challenge inspections, to ``take into account any constitutional
obligations it may have with regard to proprietary rights or searches
and seizures.'' Hence, in the rare event that the Fourth Amendment
would pose a bar to a search of premises identified for a challenge
inspection, the United States would remain in full compliance with its
obligations under the CWC.
I realize that many of the detractors of the Convention are
principled in their opposition. Their constitutional concerns are,
however, unfounded. The dictates of the Fourth Amendment have been
scrupulously honored in the drafting and will be rigidly followed in
the implementation. Finally, no legitimate Fifth Amendment issues are
raised with respect to the record keeping or disclosure requirements.
The provisions of the Convention and the draft implementing legislation
neither require nor contemplate compelling anyone to incriminate
himself. And, both the CWC and draft legislation in no way authorize
the taking of private property without compensation.
It is my hope that the Senate will consider the Convention in an
expeditious manner and will consent to its ratification.
April 9, 1997.
Hon. Joseph R. Biden, Jr,
Minority Leader, Committee on Foreign Relations,
Dear Senator Biden: The undersigned lawyers, former government
officials, and professors of constitutional and international law write
to urge the Senate to give its prompt advice and consent to the
ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Senate's
decision will have profound ramifications for United States leadership
in controlling the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, the
Convention will enter into force on April 29 whether or not the United
States ratifies, but if it does so without U.S. ratification, American
participation in the staffing of the Organization for the Prohibition
of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and in the inspector corps will be severely
reduced. Therefore, prompt action is essential.
The CWC is a global commitment to eliminate an entire category of
weapons of mass destruction and to verify their continued absence. The
treaty's backbone is the most thoroughgoing international law
enforcement system yet devised, providing for verification of the
destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles and for monitoring of
chemical plants to prevent future proliferation. The verification
system includes declaration of precursor chemicals that could be made
into chemical weapons, routine inspections at facilities that are
declared to possess such precursors, and ``challenge'' inspections to
confirm compliance at any facility or location. President George Bush,
under whose administration the treaty was completed and signed,
characterized the Convention as ``an entirely new concept for
overcoming the great obstacle that has impeded progress in the past
toward a full chemical weapons ban.''
We would have thought that U.S. ratification of this Convention was
a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, at the last minute, objections
have been raised concerning the constitutionality of the Convention's
elaborate verification system under the Fourth Amendment. Treaty
opponents have circulated the claim that, under the CWC, foreign
inspectors would be empowered to intrude into the privacy of American
citizens and businesses in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.
Much of this commentary based on a letter from Judge Robert Bork to
Senator Orrin Hatch stating that ``there are grounds to be concerned''
about the compatibility of some of the provisions of the Convention
with the Constitution. Judge Bork's letter concedes that he is ``not
intimately familiar with the provisions of the Convention,'' an
acknowledgment that is borne out by the inaccuracy of his description
of the Convention in the body of his letter.
The short answer to these contentions is that the Convention itself
provides that each State Party shall implement its provisions ``in
accordance with its constitutional processes,'' (Art. VII, par. 1), and
the challenge inspection provisions further require that inspections
must be consistent with ``any constitutional obligations * * * with
regard to * * * searches and seizures.'' (Verification Annex, pt. X,
par. 41). Thus, Congress, which must pass domestic legislation to
implement the inspection provisions of the Convention, can do so in a
manner that fully protects the rights of American citizens under the
Fourth Amendment without in any way violating the international
obligations the United States will undertake under the treaty. A vast
quantity of scholarly and governmental discussion on the subject has
affirmed virtually unanimously that the CWC fully respects U.S.
constitutional protections of privacy. Indeed, every scholar willing to
put his or her opinions on the CWC to the test of detailed public
review agrees that the treaty manifests extraordinary care in balancing
the demands of privacy against the requirements for effective
verification of the Convention.
If the Senate fails to give its advice and consent to the CWC, an
extraordinary achievement of over fifteen years of bipartisan effort
will be frustrated; and a major opportunity to prevent the
proliferation of chemical weapons will have been lost. If the Senate
wishes to reject the treaty, that is of course its prerogative. But it
should not do so on the spurious ground that it conflicts with the
Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, DePaul University College of Law
Professor Richard B. Bilder, Burrus-Bascom Professor, University of
Wisconsin Law School
Professor Thomas Buergenthal, Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law &
Jurisprudence, the George Washington University Law School
Professor George Bunn, Dean Emeritus, Professor Emeritus, University
of Wisconsin Law School
Professor David D. Caron, University of California at Berkeley School
Abram Chayes, Professor of Law, Emeritus Felix Frankfurter Harvard Law
Professor Lori Fisler Damrosch, Columbia University School of Law
Professor John Hart Ely, Richard A. Hausler Professor University of
Miami School of Law
Phil Fleming, Crowell & Moring
Professor Thomas M. Franck, Murray and Ida Becker Professor, Director,
Center for International Studies, New York University School of
Professor Michael J. Glennon, University of California at Davis School
Professor Barry Kellman, DePaul University College of Law
Professor John F. Murphy, Villanova University School of Law
John B. Rhinelander, Shaw, Pittman
Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of
International, Comparative and Foreign Law, Harvard Law School
Professor Laurence H. Tribe, Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of
Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School
Professor Louis Henkin, University Professor Emeritus, Special Service
Professor, Columbia University School of Law
Professor David A. Koplow, Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies,
Georgetown University Law Center
Professor Peter Raven-Hansen, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, Glen
Earl Weston Research Professor, George Washington University
Elliot L. Richardson, Esq., Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
Professor Edwin (Rip) Smith, Leon Benwell Professor of Law and
International Relations, University of Southern California Law
Professor Burns H. Weston, Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished
Professor, Associate Dean, International and Comparative Legal
Studies, University of Iowa College of Law
The Chairman. Let us have brief statements by our other
Senators here, if you wish. Senator Robb.
Senator Robb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You were kind enough
to make reference to the fact that I came in just at the
conclusion of yesterday afternoon's hearing, and you had not
recognized me as you were banging the gavel. I thank you for
I had raced up from an armed services hearing, trying to
sort out the dangers posed by Russian submarines and other
submarines, in order to get here. I want to assure you,
however, that both the portions of yesterday's meeting, in the
morning that I had to leave and the portion that I missed
yesterday afternoon, were replayed on C-SPAN, beginning about
midnight and ending about 2:45 a.m.
And, Mr. Chairman, to demonstrate my commitment to the
cause, I want you to know that I stayed up and watched all of
the hearing that I missed. Regrettably, I am going to have to
go to an intelligence hearing today, so I will miss more. But I
am sure that it will be rebroadcast.
On a more serious vein, I did attend all of the hearings
last year. I thought they were some of the best and most
informative. There have been excellent witnesses on both sides
of the question. I committed myself to the affirmative side. I
thought that was the more persuasive argument last year. I have
not changed my position. But I think that the distinguished
witnesses that we have had for these hearings have done more to
give the American people, and certainly the members who are
going to vote on these issues, a better understanding of what
the treaty does and does not do. For that, I commend you, and I
The Chairman. Thank you very much. Senator Frist.
Senator Frist. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to
congratulate you for bringing forth such outstanding witnesses
in this series of hearings. I want to thank each of you for
being with us today.
I continue to struggle with the issues that we are talking
about--the verification, the extent of coverage, global
coverage, enforceability. Part of it is based on my experience
of being in chemistry labs myself, whether it is organic
chemistry or inorganic chemistry, which I had to do to become a
physician, and remembering very vividly people saying, ``right
in this room, in this little laboratory, we could do such
destruction if we wanted to.'' Then I come back today, in terms
of that verification and enforceability, and I look forward to
hearing from each of our witnesses as we systematically
continue our addressing these very important issues.
The Chairman. Thank you.
Briefly, please, ma'am, and sir. After you two, if any
other Senators come in, I am going to not notice their arrival
either. Senator Feinstein.
Senator Feinstein. Just very quickly, Mr. Chairman, if I
might, and to our distinguished witnesses.
I think the thing that would be most helpful to me, and
perhaps you can cover this in your testimony, would be if you
could substantiate your comments on your belief of non-
verification, why you believe it is better to stay out of this
kind of a treaty and why you think that, with our staying out
of it, we would have a better opportunity (a) to make a moral
commitment and (b) a real commitment and (c) how verification
would be improved if we are not in the treaty.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. I am sure they will answer that in due time.
Senator Wellstone. Mr. Chairman, I feel like I am under
pressure to be brief.
The Chairman. You are.
Senator Wellstone. So I will be brief. I know we have got a
long hearing today, and I am only going to be able to stay for
the first part. I apologize to the others. So I thank the Chair
for the hearing and I thank each of you for being here.
The Chairman. Do you have anything to say, Chuck?
Senator Hagel. No. Thank you.
The Chairman. Ambassador Kirkpatrick, you will be the lead-
STATEMENT OF DR. JEANE J. KIRKPATRICK, FORMER U.S. PERMANENT
REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, SENIOR FELLOW, AMERICAN
Ambassador Kirkpatrick. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Thank you for coming.
Ambassador Kirkpatrick. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman,
for inviting me to testify before this distinguished committee
on this important subject. It is an important subject, and the
Senate's decision will be more important even.
I have followed this and some comparable issues with great
interest since I served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the
United Nations under Ronald Reagan. At that time, there were
several such covenants that either had been passed or were
being considered. It was then that I became aware of some of
the facts which have ever since caused me to have a lot of
questions and doubts about such covenants.
It was then that I first became aware of the fact that the
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was being used to achieve very
different purposes than those for which it was undoubtedly
intended. It was then I became aware of the fact that it was
being used to acquire and spread the technology and products
needed to produce nuclear weapons rather than to prevent their
It was even then understood among the informed public in
the United Nations context that a country such as Iraq, by
signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the NPT, acquired
a right to share technology which could then be used to produce
nuclear products. Now, it is generally understood by such
countries that the shortest route to a nuclear capacity is
through the NPT, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Iran is traveling that road today. We and other signatories
are helping to finance their development of a nuclear capacity,
and we know it.
Secretary of State Christopher made an interesting comment
on this subject 2 years ago, when he said, in terms of its,
``organization, programs, procurement and covered activities,
Iran is pursuing the classic route to nuclear weapons, which
has been followed by almost all states that have recently
sought a nuclear capability.''
Now, more recently, there have been several public reports
of U.S. Government efforts to persuade Russia not to assist
Iran in the development of a nuclear capacity and of
operational reactors. There have been reminders from Russia
that Iran is a signatory of the NPT and, as such, has a right
to assistance in developing a nuclear capacity for peaceful
use. I believe, Mr. Chairman, that there has been far too
little attention given to this problem, the principal source of
It was also in my U.N. years that I first became really
sensitive to the issue of the composition of the governing
board of the IAEA. Senator Biden may think I am not keeping my
eye on the ball. But I assure you, Senator Biden, I am.
As for the composition of the governing board of the IAEA,
Iraq, as I am sure many of you know, sat on the governing board
of the IAEA through just exactly that period that it was
violating its own promises not to undertake development of
It also was violating, at that very moment, already
existing promises not to use poison gases in war. Iran and Iraq
are two of the countries in the world that have already
violated the Geneva Protocol against using poison gases. As we
all understand, I think, there is already an operative treaty
which forbids the use in war of, ``asphyxiating, poisonous or
other gases,'' which is the Geneva Protocol of 1925.
Now, Mr. Chairman, many people speak of the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty and its verification regime as if it
had prevented the proliferation of nuclear weapons. If that
were the case, Mr. Chairman, Iraq, North Korea, India, and
Pakistan, among others, would not today have either advanced
programs for producing nuclear weapons or the weapons
themselves. But, of course, they do.
There is a kind of strange silence which shrouds the facts
of nuclear proliferation. Even the U.S. Government has been
strangely reluctant to face facts about the failure of the
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to prevent proliferation. But
if our government and our allies had faced facts about the
nuclear proliferation facilitated by the NPT, they would
presumably not have reproduced Article XI and other key
loopholes in the Convention on Chemical Weapons which have
permitted and facilitated proliferation.
But, of course, in the Convention on Chemical Weapons, they
have paragraphs which call for sharing technology among the
signatories and forbid efforts to restrict or impede trade in
development and promotion of scientific and technological
knowledge in the field of chemistry--for peaceful purposes, to
be sure. I think the spirit of the CWC is, ``share now'' the
treaty counsels, ``verify purposes and intentions later.''
Mr. Chairman, my years at the United Nations sensitized me
to the composition of governing boards of the United Nations.
All too often, the composition of those governing boards simply
reflect the bloc system and its operation in the U.N.; it
dominates many processes of the U.N. The bloc system is purely
geographical and political in character, and takes little or no
account of technical competence or democratic representation--
or of who pays the bills, I might add.
I believe that the Senate should take specific note of the
composition of all the international boards entrusted to
enforce international covenants, boards which make important
decisions affecting our country. The CWC governing board will
be chosen on a basis that gives little weight to competence,
because the IAEA's governing board is used as a model. The
IAEA's verification regime has not been able either to verify
or to enforce the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
As we can learn hard lessons about failures of the IAEA
regime to adequately verify violations of the NPT, so, Mr.
Chairman, can we learn some hard lessons from the IAEA
experience, about the non-enforceability of just such treaties.
What happens when violations of the Nonproliferation Treaty
are discovered? This is a very important question. There are
the questions of verifiability and enforceability. What happens
when a nation which has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty is discovered to be in violation?
The answer is: Not much.
Iraq has suffered some penalties because of its violations
of the NPT. But it has suffered, because it invaded a
neighbor--namely, Kuwait--not because it cynically violated the
I believe that the composition of the governing board of
the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, guarantees that
countries with the greatest technical knowledge will be in a
permanent minority in that decisionmaking group. The important
decisions will be made by the OPCW; but the United States and
Western Europe, the most highly industrialized and technically
sophisticated countries, will be in a permanent minority in
The United States has no guaranteed seat in that governing
body. Neither the amount of our financial contribution nor our
technical competence guarantees us a seat. We will compete for
a seat with the other most highly industrial countries for 10
of 41 seats. Asia will have nine. There will be one rotating
seat. Latin America and the Caribbean will have seven. Africa
will have nine. Eastern Europe will have five. What we in the
U.N. call WEOG, Western Europe and others group--and we fall in
that group--will have 10.
I am not certain, Mr. Chairman, where Russia falls in these
groups today. Probably in Eastern Europe, but maybe not. There
would have to be some special provision made. That is
important, since, if indeed Russia ratifies the treaty, it is
eligible to sit on the OPCW. It may not. It has signed but not
yet ratified, of course.
But the composition of the OPCW explains why its decisions
are not likely to take account of the best technical
information available. Not only that, the method of composition
of that group explains why most efforts by U.N. bodies to
develop operational groups fail. Because the members of the
group are chosen on the basis of criteria which are irrelevant
to their ability to perform, with technical competence, the
task of the group.
From experience with the NPT and the IAEA, I believe we
have had a great deal of opportunity to learn about the
problems of verification and enforceability. The IAEA's
verification procedures, of course, require prior notification
and consent of the party to be inspected including the parties
inspected, the right to approve or veto the composition of the
teams of inspectors.
Now, we all know that Iraq's nuclear projects and its
progress were discovered only as a consequence of their defeat
in the Gulf War. Iraq's violations of NPT have been discovered
again and again, as we keep finding things we did not know and
new information about aspects of their program that we were
unaware of by virtue of our access through the armistice and
their defeat in the Kuwaiti War. It was not the result of IAEA
inspections. Routine procedures for verification did not reveal
Iraq's large nuclear project.
Now, as everyone knows, it is much simpler to develop
chemical weapons than nuclear weapons. It is much easier to
procure and hide the components. As everyone knows, the
technology required in developing nuclear weapons is much more
complex and esoteric than chemical weapons. Everyone knows that
chemical weapons rely largely on dual-use substances that are
common in everyday life. Chemical weapons can be manufactured
with uncomplicated technology.
That is, I think, why, in the 1980's, when I was at the
United Nations, it was commonplace to hear Third World
spokesmen refer to chemical weapons as the Third World's
nuclear bombs. Even very technologically underdeveloped
countries could produce them. It was suggested often that it
was not quite cricket for the devel-
oped countries to try to deprive the least developed countries
of the Third World weapons of mass destruction.
I do not think any of us need weapons of mass destruction,
quite frankly, to prove that we can survive in the contemporary
Mr. Chairman, I believe that the Senate should face the
fact that ratifying this treaty will not prevent the
manufacture or use of chemical weapons. That is precisely the
point. The Chemical Weapons Convention is neither verifiable
Proponents sometimes say, so it is not perfect. Is not
something that is not perfect better than nothing at all?
I do not think that is necessarily so, particularly since
the countries that have signed and ratified the Convention are
countries about which we would never worry about using chemical
weapons. The countries that have neither signed nor ratified
are countries that we are most likely to worry about--the so-
called rogue states or outlaw nations--Syria, Iraq, North
Korea, Libya. Those are the countries we worry about.
We do not worry about Britain, France, the WEOG, and the
Australia Group. I do not worry a bit about the Australia
Group. Those are our best friends. They do not need to worry
about us either, I might say.
The treaty's advocates simply ignore the fact that the
treaty cannot help us monitor the production of these weapons
by states most likely to use chemical weapons. Why, then, have
so many countries signed on to a treaty that can offer so
I believe, Mr. Chairman, that it is simply wishful
thinking, frankly. I believe it is hoping and pretending that
something that you want to be verifiable, enforceable, and
universal may actually turn out to be that, in spite of the
fact that, from experience, we know it is not and will not.
We should also face the fact that signing the treaty will
not prevent signatories of bad will from breaking their
promises not to produce noxious gases. We know that Russia has
in fact already, in its continuing production of noxious gases,
broken two sets of promises--not the promises of the treaty,
but bilateral promises to the United States involving the
production of nerve gases and the failure to destroy gases
which they had agreed to destroy. Countries do not necessarily
keep their promises.
Advocates of the treaty argue it would surely do some good
and, at the very least, would do no harm.
Mr. Chairman, I believe that the Chemical Weapons
Convention will actually make the world more dangerous. That is
why I came today. I believe the treaty will hasten the spread
of advanced chemical weapons, as I believe a comparable treaty
has hastened the spread of the technology for nuclear weapon
construction--and that is not all.
Mr. Chairman, I recently asked a French friend, who happens
to be visiting just now, did the Maginot Line do France any
harm in World War II?
Well, I think most French think so. It gave them the
impression that they had dealt with a dangerous threat--an
invasion from the east, across their borders--when in fact they
were in as much danger as before. The Maginot Line created a
comforting illusion which lulled France into a false sense of
I believe the world is probably less dangerous today, Mr.
Chairman, than at any time in my life--or certainly than in
most of my life. I cherish this sense of lessened threat. I
love it. But I believe we are not so safe that we can afford to
create a false sense of security by pretending that we have
eliminated chemical weapons.
President Clinton said in one statement that I read: ``We
will have banished poison gas from the Earth.'' Well, that is
poetic license or a politician's license or perhaps a
President's license, but it surely is not an accurate statement
about what will be the case. The countries most likely to
produce and use poison gas are unaffected by this treaty.
I think the Senate, personally, should reaffirm the U.S.
sense of responsibility and our commitment to that
responsibility toward preserving a peaceful world and decline
to ratify this treaty unless or until progress is made toward
making it more verifiable, enforceable, and universal. There is
still a long way to go.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Kirkpatrick follows:]
Prepared Statement of Dr. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick
Mr. Chairman, thank you for inviting me to testify before this
distinguished committee today.
The subject of today's hearing is important. The Senate's decision
will be more important. I have followed this issue with interest since
my tenure as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations under
Ronald Reagan brought several such proposed covenants to the forefront
of my attention.
It was then that I first became aware of the fact that the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) was being used to achieve very different
purposes than those for which it was intended--that it was being used
to acquire and spread the technology and products needed to produce
nuclear weapons rather than to prevent their spread.
It was even then understood among the informed public that by
signing the treaty a country--such as Iraq--acquired a ``right'' to
share technology needed to produce nuclear products.
By now, it is generally understood that the shortest route to a
nuclear capacity is through the NPT. Iran is traveling that road today.
We and other signatories are helping finance their development of a
nuclear capacity. Secretary of State Warren Christopher said on this
subject, ``Based upon a wide variety of data, we know that since the
mid-1980's, Iran has had an organized structure dedicated to acquiring
and developing nuclear weapons.'' He added that in terms of its
``organization, programs, procurement, and covert activities, Iran is
pursuing the classic route to nuclear weapons which has been followed
by almost all states that have recently sought a nuclear capability.''
[F.N. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 7/95. Vol. 51, Issue 4, page 23.]
More recently there have been several public reports of U.S.
Government efforts that persuade Russia not to assist Iran in the
development of its nuclear capacity and reminders that Iran--a
signatory of the NPT--had the right to assistance in developing a
nuclear capacity for peaceful use. There has been far too little public
attention to this--the principal source of nuclear proliferation.
It was also in my U.N. years that I first noticed the composition
of the governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA). Iraq sat on the governing board of the IAEA and were at that
very time violating promises not to undertake the development of
nuclear weapons--promises not to use poison gases in war. [Iraq did
both.] Several of the same countries have already violated commitments
not to use poison gas in war, for, as we all understand, there is
already an operative treaty which forbids the use in war of
``Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases.'' It is the Geneva Protocol
Mr. Chairman, many people speak as if the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty and verification regime had prevented proliferation of nuclear
weapons. If that were the case Iraq, North Korea, India, Pakistan would
not have either bombs today nor advanced programs for producing them.
But they do.
A strange silence shrouds the facts of nuclear proliferation. Even
the U.S. Government has been strangely reluctant to face the facts
about the failure of the NPT to prevent proliferation. But it is an
open secret that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has been a source
of proliferation of nuclear technology. It is also perfectly clear that
the CWC will facilitate the spread of chemical weapons through
provisions in Chapter Eleven of the treaty that call on countries with
a developed chemical industry to share their advanced technology with
less developed countries.
If our government and our allies had faced facts about the nuclear
proliferation facilitated by the NPT they would presumably not have
reproduced in Article XI the loopholes that have been permitted and
facilitated it. But they have in the paragraphs which call for sharing
technology among the signatories and forbid efforts to ``restrict or
impede trade and development and promotion of scientific and
technological knowledge in the field of chemistry * * * '' for peaceful
purposes to be sure.
Share now, the treaty counsels, verify purposes and intentions
My years at the United Nations also sensitized me to the
composition of the governing boards of U.N. bodies. All too often the
composition of governing boards simply reflects the bloc system which
dominates many processes in the United Nations. The bloc system is
purely political/geographical in character. It takes little or no
account of technical competence and standards, of democratic
representation, or of who pays the bills.
The Senate should take careful note of the IAEA governing board.
Iraq served on the governing board of the IAEA the entire time that
it was working to develop nuclear weapons in violation of its pledge.
It is not the only known violator to be selected for that board. The
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) governing board will be chosen on a
basis that gives still less weight to competence.
The IAEA's verification regime often regarded as a model has not
been able either to verify or to enforce the NPT.
As we can learn hard lessons about failures of the IAEA regime to
adequately verify violations of the NPT, so we can learn about the non-
enforceability of such Treaties. What happens when violations are
discovered? Not much. Iraq has suffered because it invaded a neighbor,
not because it cynically violated NPT norms.
The composition of the governing body of the Organization for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) guarantees that countries with
the greatest technical knowledge will be in a permanent minority. There
are no permanent members on the OPCW and no vetoes.
The composition of the Executive Council of the OPCW explains why
the U.N. bodies fail at operational efforts, through their validity as
From experience with the NPT and the IAEA we have had the
opportunity to learn a good deal about the problems of verification and
the weaknesses of the verification regime that was developed to prevent
the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the inadequacy of the IAEA's
verification procedures that require prior notification of the party to
be inspected, consent of the inspected party, and a right to approve or
veto the composition of the team of inspectors.
Iraq's large, advanced nuclear development project was discovered
only as a consequence of their defeat in the Gulf War NOT as a result
of IAEA inspections. Likewise, North Korea's large nuclear development.
And as everyone knows, it is much simpler to develop chemical than
nuclear weapons, much easier to procure and to hide the components.
Nuclear weapons require weapons grade plutonium. The technology
required in developing nuclear weapons is more complex and esoteric.
But chemical weapons rely largely on dual use substances common in
everyday life, small space, and uncomplicated technology. That is why
in the 80s chemical weapons were sometimes called the ``Third World's
nuclear bombs.'' Even very technologically underdeveloped countries
could produce them.
The Senate should face the fact that ratifying the treaty will not
prevent the manufacture or use of chemical weapons. The Chemical
Weapons Convention is neither verifiable nor enforceable. Proponents
attempt to dismiss the many loopholes in the treaty with the assertion
that nothing is perfect. But perfection is not the question.
Proponents seek to minimize the fact that the countries with the
most highly developed programs either have signed but not ratified the
treaty--Russia, China, Cuba, Iran, Vietnam--or have not signed at all--
Syria, Iraq, North Korea, Libya--but signing does not solve the
problem. Signing will not prevent signatories from breaking their
promises not to produce noxious gases as Russia has recently broken a
promise to the United States.
And the treaty's advocates simply ignore the fact the treaty cannot
help us monitor the production of the states most likely to use
Why then have so many countries signed on to a treaty that can
offer so little protection?
Only wishful thinking encourages it. It is as if pretending that
the treaty were verifiable, enforceable, and universal would make it
so. But it doesn't. It also will not prevent signatories from breaking
their promises not to produce noxious gases as Russia has recently
But surely it would do some good, treaty advocates argue. At the
very least we can say it would do no harm.
Mr. Chairman, it is because I believe the CWC would actually make
the world more dangerous that I am here. I believe the treaty will
hasten the spread of advanced chemical weapons as it has nuclear
Americans working for ratification of the CWC should take a hard
look at what happened in the United Nations Human Rights Commission
meeting in Geneva this week. The United States could not even get a
discussion of China's human rights violations put on the agenda.
For the seventh straight year China was able to prevent
discussion--much less censure--of its deeply shocking treatment of
Tibet and all manner of dissidents and to do so by a comfortable 27 to
17 margin (with nine abstentions). China won the vote with strong Third
World support, including some close U.S. associates such as Egypt,
India and Indonesia.
China's chief delegate, Wu Jianmen, explained later the vote showed
that the Third World ``identified'' with China. He also emphasized the
failure of some close U.S. allies (France, Germany, Italy, Spain,
Japan, Greece, Italy, Canada and Australia) to co-sponsor the
``Western'' resolution this year, because, he said, they ``want dialog
and cooperation and not confrontation.'' In truth China won the vote
because there is weak support for democracy beyond North America,
Europe, and a few Asian and South American states, and also because
China mounted a tough worldwide campaign--that included arm-twisting
and threat of economic consequences. A belated U.S. effort to rally
support--including personal intervention by Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright--did not help much.
This shameful outcome was not a defeat for the United States or the
countries sponsoring the resolution. It was a defeat for humane values
and rational discussion of deeply serious moral and political issues.
It was a defeat for victims of repression and for the very purposes for
which the United Nations was founded. This outcome in the Human Rights
Commission is a harsh reminder that the United States often cannot win
votes for its basic values and interests in U.N. arenas--even when the
issue is purely symbolic and the U.S., itself, and most of our
principal allies are present.
The balance of power would be much less favorable to the United
States in the governing body that will implement the Chemical Weapons
In pressing the Senate to ratify the CWC quickly, before the treaty
enters into effect on April 29, the Clinton administration has argued
that by getting in on the ground floor the United States will be
assured of having an important voice in shaping the structure and
function of the organization. But that is not so. The composition and
structure of the governing body of the CWC are prescribed in the
treaty. The treaty, itself, hands us a stacked deck with which to play
The United States, Great Britain, France, Russia and China (that
is, the permanent members of the Security Council) are all guaranteed
seats on the Human Rights Commission but not on the Executive Council
that will administer the CWC. The 41 members of that Executive Council
will be designated from the U.N.'s standard geographical groupings and
elected by all the signatories of the CWC for 2 year terms. There will
be no permanent members and no vetoes.
The United States is a member of the WEOG (Western European and
Other Group) which is allotted 10 seats on the 41 member Executive
Council that also provides nine seats for Asia, seven for Latin America
and the Caribbean, nine for Africa, five for Eastern Europe plus one
rotating seat. To win one of the 10 WEOG seats for a 2-year term, the
United States will need to compete with the other Western industrial
democratic nations who altogether will have only 10 of 41 seats (or 15
of 41 seats if we count Eastern Europe; or 16 of 41 with all of Europe
In this competition our friends in the European Union will have 15
votes to our one vote. Therefore, the United States would frequently
fail to gain a voice in the decisions of the Executive Council. Neither
the amount of our financial contribution nor our technical competence
would guarantee us a seat.
The draft of the CWC supported by the Reagan administration guarded
against this possibility. It provided that permanent members of the
Security Council would be members of the Executive Council that
implements the treaty. This would have guaranteed representation of the
most powerful nations and those with the most highly developed chemical
industries. The CWC which is now before the Senate operates on the
basis of one country, one vote.
The fact that the United States might have no voice in setting
policy for implementing the CWC but would surely be bound by its
decisions is one important reason that the U.S. Senate should not
ratify this treaty.
There are others.
Most of the countries in the Human Rights Commission have ratified
the Declaration on Universal Human Rights.
Will the United States ratifying the CWC make the world safer?
Mr. Chairman, did the Maginot Line do any harm to France in World
War II? Most French think so. It gave them the impression that they had
taken care of a dangerous threat: an invasion from the East; when in
fact, they were in as much danger as ever. The Maginot Line created a
comforting illusion which lulled France into a false sense of security
and facilitated Hitler's conquest.
The world is less dangerous today than during most of my lifetime.
I cherish this sense of lessened threat. But we are not so safe we can
afford to create a false sense of security by pretending that we have
eliminated the threat of chemical weapons. President Bill Clinton said,
``We will have banished poison gas from the Earth.'' It will not be so.
We had better do some hard thinking about how to defend ourselves and
the world against the poison gases that have been and will be produced
whether or not we ratify.
I think the Senate should reaffirm the U.S. sense of responsibility
and commitment to a peaceful world and decline to ratify this treaty
unless or until it becomes verifiable, enforceable, and universal.
There is a long way to go.
The Chairman. Thank you, Madam Ambassador.
Let me say to the visitors here today and those who are
watching on television that I have been to several functions
that shared the podium with the distinguished Jeane
Kirkpatrick, who, by the way, is a Senior Fellow of the
American Enterprise Institute and, as almost everybody knows,
she is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. But
everywhere I go or have gone, where she has appeared likewise,
I have sensed that she is one of the most respected women in
America. We are honored to have you with us today.
Ambassador Kirkpatrick. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Now, we move to Mr. Richard N. Perle, who is
one of the best informed individuals I know. He is formerly
Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security
Policy. I do not know how many times I have called on Richard
for information and guidance on various issues. We are
certainly glad to have you here, and you may proceed, sir.
Senator Biden. Mr. Chairman, you do not have any idea how
many times we have regretted that you called on him, because he
is so persuasive. I hope you are not so good today, Richard.
The Chairman. Just watch him.
STATEMENT OF RICHARD N. PERLE, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF
DEFENSE FOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
Mr. Perle. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for inviting
Senator Biden, I can assure you I would not have come today
if I did not think there was a very strong case to be made. I
will try to take seriously your injunction to keep my eye on
In fact, I think my colleague and friend Jeane Kirkpatrick
clearly identified the ball when she described the way in which
the Nonproliferation Treaty, without anyone ever having
intended that it should work this way, had the effect of making
technology for the production of nuclear material far more
readily available than it might have been otherwise--a defect
that unhappily is reproduced like a computer virus in the
Chemical Weapons Convention.
Before I get into the key point I want to make today, let
me say that I have chosen to focus on one issue--one rather
narrow issue. I think that is in fact the ball that Senator
Biden has in mind. My colleague Doug Feith, from whom you will
hear shortly, has prepared a more comprehensive statement that
deals with other aspects of the treaty in a thoroughly
convincing and understandable way. I agree entirely with the
points that Doug will soon be making.
But I want to restrict myself to one key point. That is, as
it happens, the point that Sandy Berger was concerned to deal
with in the letter with which he provided you. I take that
letter as confirmation of the fact that the National Security
Adviser, like others, have begun, under the exigency of
imminent action on this treaty, to understand that there are
problems in the treaty that need to be addressed. I wish they
had been addressed at an earlier stage in the proceedings. That
is to say, while the treaty was under negotiation. Because had
the ball that Sandy Berger has now found been seen earlier, we
would have a treaty without Article X in it, and probably
without Article XI in it.
Had we been more attentive, had we learned the lesson of
the Nonproliferation Treaty, had we thought through the means
by which countries may in future acquire a meaningful military
chemical weapons capability, I am quite convinced that we would
not have allowed Article X to become a part of this treaty.
What Jeane had to say about the Nonproliferation Treaty
applies to this Convention in spades. The reason why I say in
spades, Mr. Chairman, is that the production of nuclear
material clandestinely from facilities that are intended for
peaceful purposes and that are monitored by the IAEA--not
perfectly, but monitored--is a very difficult thing to
accomplish. Building nuclear power plants is not easy.
Operating them is not easy. Handling nuclear material is not
Chemical weapons, on the other hand, pose an entirely
different set of issues. The production of lethal chemicals
which can be used for military purposes is not difficult. Any
facility capable of producing insecticides, any facility
capable of producing fertilizer can, with relatively minor
modifications--well within the capacity of any country that has
an insecticide or a fertilizer plant--be converted to the
production of chemicals. Indeed, some of the chemicals of
concern are not even barred under this treaty, because they are
already so widely spread around the world.
So the acquisition of lethal chemicals for military
purposes is easy. But the possession of lethal chemicals is
not, by itself, sufficient to constitute a military capability.
Because in order to use chemical weapons for military purposes,
you have to be able to protect your own troops. The soldiers
that go into the field, the pilots that drop canisters, the
artillerymen that launch chemical shells all need to be
protected themselves. Otherwise, their missions become
suicidal. They are difficult enough even if they are protected
So what is difficult about acquiring a chemical weapons
capability, a military capability, is not the offense; it is
the defense. The offense is easy. The defense is very hard.
Article X of this treaty says that the parties to the
treaty, the signatories, will be entitled to receive help in
the development of the hard thing--the defensive capabilities.
In fact, it requires participants who enter into this in good
faith to assist them.
I want to read the exact words of Article X, because I have
a feeling that, by the time the Senate votes, everyone will
have understood that this is the ball that we have to keep
clearly in focus. Paragraph 3 of Article X reads as follows:
Each state party undertakes--undertakes--to facilitate and
shall have the right to participate in the fullest possible
exchange of equipment, material and scientific and
technological information concerning means of protection
against chemical weapons. The parties undertake.
Paragraph 6 of Article X reads:
Nothing in this convention--nothing in this convention [if
we had drafted this up here, it would say notwithstanding any
other provision of law] nothing in this convention shall be
interpreted--shall be interpreted--as impeding the right of
states parties to request and provide assistance bilaterally
and to conclude individual agreements with other states parties
concerning the emergency procurement of assistance.
So Article X not only pledges the parties, they undertake
to share everything that is hard to achieve in a chemical
weapons capability--the defensive side--but, in fact,
anticipating the possibility that someone might say, well, we
interpret this differently, words have specifically been
included that say nothing in this convention shall be
interpreted as impeding.
Now, what are we talking about when we talk about the
assistance, the fullest possible exchange, and so forth? That
is defined in Article X. It refers inter alia to detection
equipment and alarm systems, protective equipment,
decontamination equipment and decontaminants, medical antidotes
and treatments, and advice on any of these protective measures.
In short, everything you need, combined with the offensive
chemicals themselves, to constitute a militarily effective
chemical weapons capability.
Senator Biden. Mr. Chairman, I am sure Mr. Perle would not
mind my asking. Can I ask a clarification question?
Mr. Perle. Sure.
Senator Biden. What does Paragraph 7 mean?
Mr. Perle. The paragraph I read to you, nothing in this
convention shall be----
Senator Biden. No. Each party undertakes to provide
assistance through the organization and, to this end, to
elect--to elect to take one or more of the following measures.
Does that modify it? That is all I am trying to bring up.
Mr. Perle [continuing]. No. I do not believe it does.
It sets up a mechanism, which actually makes matters a
little bit worse. Because the Secretariat will become a
repository--not the only repository, because this envisions
bilateral cooperation, as, for example, between China and Iran
or China and Pakistan. But the Secretariat will now become a
repository of information about defensive technology.
So the span of control of the United States will be
diluted, to the extent to which the United States does not
constitute the Secretariat all by itself, which of course it
Senator Biden. I thank you. I have a different view, but I
will wait until my time for questions.
Mr. Perle. So I think it is reasonable to speculate that if
we go ahead and approve this convention as it is now written,
we will look back 1 day--5 years from now, 7, 10 years from
now, maybe sooner--and we will unhappily identify states who
got their chemical weapons capability through the sharing that
is going to take place pursuant to Article X.
The administration argues that, well, we are not going to
do that. Of course, we are not going to give our defensive
technology to rogue states. You would have to be out of your
mind to do that. We have no intention of doing that. It is
certainly the right of the administration to enter into an
undertaking without any intention of carrying it out, because
it runs counter to one's common sense. Some people would call
that bad faith. I think it would be justified bad faith if we
were unhappily unable to avoid the undertaking in the first
place, which we are still in a position to avoid.
But there are a great many other countries that also
possess defensive capabilities and defensive technology. They
may not be so willing to act in bad faith. Indeed, they may be
actually rather eager to find a basis for sharing the kinds of
defensive technologies, equipment, know-how, and so forth that
we are talking about here.
So if, for example, the challenge were to discourage the
Chinese from assisting the Pakistanis, would not the Chinese
invoke Article X of the treaty and say, we understand your
feelings about this, Mr. President, but we undertook to share
this technology. You are not asking us to violate a solemn
undertaking, are you?
I think our capacity to persuade others will be
significantly diminished by virtue of the undertakings in
Article X, which we may enter into in bad faith, but others
Let me give you a proliferation scenario just for
illustrative purposes. Let us take Iran as the example. Iran
has already signed, and I assume it will ratify the convention.
I think there is evidence that Iran presently has a chemical
weapons capability. But let us say that the Iranians, upon
entering the Chemical Weapons Convention, decide to abandon
that offensive capability. It is a matter of converting some
plants that are now producing chemicals to the production of
insecticide or fertilizer. What can you do from left to right,
you can do from right to left.
So Iran now ceases to have an offensive chemical weapons
production capability. It is, therefore, in strict compliance
with the terms of this convention. That is what I would do if I
were Mr. Rafsanjani and wanted a chemical weapons capability.
Because I do not today have the defensive side of the equation.
So I would eliminate any violation by ceasing illegal
activity. Now I would invoke Article X, and I would go to other
countries and say, ``We have no offensive capability. We are in
full compliance. You are obliged--you have undertaken to share
with us the defenses.'' I promise you there will be countries
that will accommodate them--for a price--maybe even without
insisting on much of a price. Who could argue against it, since
they will be, at that point, in full compliance?
So a period of time elapses, during which the Iranians, who
were clever, acquire all the defensive technology they need.
They acquire, in the words of the treaty, detection equipment
and alarm systems, protective equipment, decontamination
equipment and decontaminants, medical antidotes and treatments,
and advice on all of the above.
Once they have that firmly in hand, once they have the
difficult part of acquiring a chemical weapons capability, now
they restart the production of offensive chemicals. But it is
too late. We will have supplied them the thing that they cannot
now easily achieve. They will put part A and part B together,
and they will have a chemical weapons military capability. The
instrument by which they will have achieved this is the
convention that we are now talking about ratifying.
Let me conclude, Mr. Chairman, by saying two other things.
One about how we could get into this situation. How could we be
at this stage of the proceedings, with so many countries having
signed this agreement, with the Senate about to take it up,
having overlooked--because that is the only fair way to
describe it--the portentous implications of Article X?
There is another article, Article XI, which tends very much
in the same direction, and I think it will have a similar
I had occasion to discuss this treaty recently with a
senior official of this government, a cabinet level official. I
asked this person about Article X. This person did not know
about Article X. Now, Article X has become better known in the
last 72 hours. But a couple of weeks ago, there were an awful
lot of very senior officials of this government who did not
know about Article X and did not know about the problem.
You wonder how this could happen. Well, it happens in the
following way. The United States makes a decision to propose a
treaty on chemical weapons and a draft is put together. The
draft did not have Article X in it. We sent a team of people to
Geneva, and they come back 10 years later, basically. For 10
years, they are working away on this convention.
The people who are receiving their cables in Washington are
very often people who were in Geneva, because there is a kind
of rotation. This is how it works in the real world. So you get
an intellectually incestuous relationship among the Geneva
people and the Washington people, with almost no adult
supervision. The individuals involved in this invest a great
deal of their time, years of their lives, in attempting to
bring about a treaty.
Somebody insists on an Article X, or maybe a group of
countries insist on an Article X. It is 10 years after we got
started on this, and we want to bring this treaty home. It is
the experts who are making the decision. No President reads the
treaty. No Secretary of State reads the treaty. No Under
Secretary. No Assistant Secretary. I promise you, Mr. Chairman,
this treaty, 160 pages long, has not been read by anyone who
was not paid full-time to work on it.
So terrible mistakes can be made--mistakes in which
somebody loses sight of the ball along the way. That is what
comes to the Senate for ratification.
One last point. Senator Feinstein asked about verification.
How would verification be improved if the United States
remained outside the treaty? It is a fair question. The answer
is counterintuitive. So let me take a quick shot at it.
I think it would be improved in two ways. First of all, I
think we would do a better job of keeping to ourselves the
means by which we detect violations. Jeane Kirkpatrick made
reference to the fact that Iraq had served on the governing
board of the IAEA. They were there for a good reason.
The Iraqi Government did not contribute the full-time
talent of one of its senior officials for the benefit of the
IAEA; I promise you that. He was there to learn as much as he
could learn about how the IAEA went about detecting illegal
activity. He was an intelligence officer. I promise you that
the organization responsible for implementing this agreement
will be full of intelligence officers, including intelligence
officers from countries who are eager to discover how they
might be caught if they had a clandestine program.
So we will end up educating the very people whose programs
we are trying to stop in how to avoid getting detected in the
first place. So that is one way in which we will be worse off.
We do not have to educate them now, but we will then.
Second, and this is a more subtle point, once activity
becomes illegal, the way in which information about it is
collected and analyzed and reported acquires an entirely
different meaning than when it is simply intelligence about the
activities of others.
When we are interested in the capabilities of a Russian
missile, we employ technicians who look at the test data that
they are able to acquire, who look at photography, who look at
all sources of intelligence; and they make a judgment about the
capability of that missile; and they say how far they think it
can go; and they say what size warhead they think it can carry.
They say everything to the best of their ability about that
missile; and they do not think about the implications of their
answer, because their job is to unearth the truth about that
But now, suppose there is an arms control regime in which
that missile, if its range is over 600 kilometers, is a
violation of a treaty; but if it is only 595 kilometers it is
not a violation of a treaty, and you are now responsible for
deciding whether to send to the President a report that says,
we believe the range of this missile to be 650 kilometers,
which has very important political implications. At that point,
an element of political judgment enters into the assessment of
I saw this day in and day out as we grappled with the
question of how to interpret what we were seeing in the old
Soviet Union in the cold war days, so I believe that the
objectivity with which we view the evidence becomes inevitably
colored by political considerations when the issue is not, what
do we know, but is what we know going to touch off a crisis
because we have now caught someone violating the treaty; and
that requires some response on our part.
So I do not accept the now hourly-passed-off view that we
are going to do more with this treaty than without it, which is
the conventional wisdom; but I think it overlooks these two
very important points.
I am sorry for going on too long, Mr. Chairman. Thank you
The Chairman. You have not at all, and I thank you very
Now we have another long-time friend of all of us, Dr. Fred
Ikle, former Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament
Agency. We appreciate you coming, sir. We will be glad to hear
from you now.
STATEMENT OF DR. FRED C. IKLE, FORMER DIRECTOR, ARMS CONTROL
AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY
Dr. Ikle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am honored to be
The previous witnesses, Ambassador Kirkpatrick and Richard
Perle, made so many of the important points of what effectively
is a sad story that I can be quite brief. It is a sad story;
because as witnesses yesterday mentioned, there were good
intentions behind this treaty, and we all are--the witnesses
yesterday and today--are horrified by the potential of chemical
weapons and would like to see them banished from the face of
Ambassador Kirkpatrick very tellingly brought back the
nonproliferation treaty, which of course was preceded by the
Atoms for Peace program. President Eisenhower with that program
also had very good intentions. In fact, he got enormous kudos
in the press when he presented that program. It was one of his
greatest public affairs successes, and--as it turns out now
from hindsight--one of the main contributors to nuclear
I can add to the telling points Richard Perle made about
Article X and the related culprit, Article XI about the
assistance in chemical manufacturing technology. Here, there is
something a bit startling in the discussion we had. By and
large the discussion in Congress and in the media has been very
thoughtful on both sides, serious arguments, honestly felt.
It is all the more regrettable here that on the question
relating to Article XI it looks like some misinformation has
deliberately been infiltrated into our discussion, and that is
the allegation which a number of people here picked up
innocently, the allegation that the United States would lose
seriously in chemical manufacturing exports if we did not
ratify the treaty.
For a while, the administration spokespersons mentioned a
number like $600 million lost per year in U.S. exports,
legitimate chemical manufacturing exports. When pressed on
where that number came from, the administration said: ``talk to
the Chemical Manufacturing Association.'' When the people there
were asked, they really were unable to give an explanation.
So we did some further digging into this question; and it
turns out the only exports that the U.S. could no longer make,
if it did not become a party to the treaty, to other treaty
members like Germany, Japan, and the U.K., would be the poison
gas itself, which of course we do not want to be exporting, and
the most dangerous ingredients to be used in gas warfare.
Schedule I type chemicals is poison gas itself. There are
no exports, obviously, from the United States of any
importance. Schedule II, that may have some role in pesticides,
but exports are much more limited than the $600 million figure
So why has this export damage been so vigorously mentioned,
particularly by the Chemical Manufacturing Association
representatives that are urging the Senate to ratify this
treaty? I think the answer, I believe, is that some people
there relish the prospect that the Chemical Weapons Convention
would undo the restrictions of the Australia Group, precisely
the thing Senator Biden expressed serious concern about, and
Now, this is a serious charge to make, and maybe I had
better have a couple of exhibits for my case. One, I was not
able to fully nail down. Maybe you could have this done, Mr.
Chairman. Last fall, in the House of Representatives, a step
was taken--exactly where it came from I do not know, it would
seem to have the support of the Chemical Manufacturing
Association--to lift the licensing requirements for chemical
weapons exports to the member states of the convention before
even the United States had ratified the treaty.
Then, Members--colleagues of yours--I think yourself, Mr.
Chairman, Senator Pell, Senator Glenn, Senator Kyl in a
bipartisan effort stopped that premature dismantling of our
The more definitive exhibit goes further back. In testimony
before this committee on June 9, 1994, a spokesman conveying
the support of the Chemical Manufacturing Association said, and
I quote, ``There are several significant reasons why the
chemical industry supports the CWC. Those chemical
manufacturers do not make chemical weapons. Our industry does
produce commercial chemicals which can be illegally converted
into weapons. An effective CWC could have the positive effect
of liberalizing--liberalizing the existing system for export
controls applicable to our industry's products, technologies,
So I think there is at least a partial explanation for the
enthusiasm of the CMA for this treaty. Now, that is perhaps in
some ways a serious charge. I think it is.
Let me add one more point there. To the extent I have been
able to find out, and I know some other people have confirmed
this, this is not a charge against the most senior officials of
the industry who are members of the association. I have talked
to CEO's of large chemical companies, including in Delaware,
who have never heard of the treaty while it was in process and
while the representatives here in town of the CMA have been
working together with this club in Geneva that Richard Perle
described, and nourished the support for this treaty.
So I think we have to first of all get rid of the idea that
not ratifying the treaty would damage the exports of the United
States chemical industry, the legitimate, important exports;
and second I think we have to put a question mark behind the
support alleged by the CMA of the responsible senior officials
in the chemical industry.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. I thank you, Dr. Ikle. I think the
legislation you were talking about was H.R. 364, and that would
have just devastated the U.S. export controls.
Now we come to Doug Feith, former Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Negotiation Policy, and by George, I
am anxiously awaiting hearing from you. Thank you for coming
STATEMENT OF DOUGLAS J. FEITH, FEITH AND ZELL, P.C., FORMER
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR NEGOTIATION POLICY
Mr. Feith. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate
the opportunity to appear before this committee again on this
important question. I agree with Dr. Ikle that the debate on
the Chemical Weapons Convention has been of remarkably high
quality for a matter so complex. I have a statement that I
would appreciate the committee admitting for the record, and
what I would like to do now is just touch on some of the points
in my written statement, if that is acceptable.
The Chairman. Very well. Without objection it will be so
Mr. Feith. Thank you.
Both sides in this debate have established substantial
common ground. Both sides agree that the treaty is not
verifiable, if by verifiable we mean confidence in detection by
U.S. intelligence of illegal clandestine stockpiling or
production of chemical weapons. No one in the intelligence
community has ever said the treaty is verifiable by that
It is worthwhile to stress that the verification problem
here is not the lack of perfection. The problem is not that we
would detect cheating only 90 percent or 50 percent of the
time. The problem is that chemical weapons production is so
easy to do and to conceal that it is inherently impossible to
achieve any degree of confidence, let alone high confidence,
that we could detect it even regarding militarily significant
quantities of chemical weapons.
Someone once drove this point home by saying that the
Chemical Weapons Convention is like an effort to ban
Hollandaise sauce without banning eggs and butter. Treaty
critics believe that it would not serve the anti-chemical-
weapons cause for us to join a ban that we know will be
ineffective, impossible to monitor properly, and impossible to
I speak as a lawyer devoted to the principle of law. The
world would surely be a better place if law in fact played a
greater role in securing international peace and civilized
behavior, but we do not move toward this goal by promulgating a
patently ineffective treaty. A chemical weapons ban that states
know they can sign cynically and violate without punishment
will not shore up the international norm against such weapons.
Creating bad law is not the way to build respect for law. The
CWC will cheapen the currency of international law.
The wiser approach, in my opinion, to chemical weapons arms
control is embodied in the bill S. 495, authored by Senator Kyl
and cosponsored by Senators Lott, Helms, and others. The United
States should work to obtain international agreement on
mechanisms for enforcing the existing treaty that bans
initiation of chemical warfare. We should put teeth in the 1925
If that treaty were properly enforced, there clearly would
not be any need for the CWC; and if the Geneva Protocol
continues to be violated with impunity, then there is no hope
that the CWC will be respected, for violations of the CWC are
far less discoverable and provable and far less likely to
horrify worldwide opinion than violations of the non-use ban.
What of the point that we might as well ratify the CWC as
we are destroying the U.S. chemical arsenal anyway? It is
better, in our view, to destroy our arsenal unilaterally than
to enter into a treaty that we know will not accomplish its
purpose. By acting unilaterally, we produce some of the key
benefits hoped for from the CWC without taking on the treaty's
undesirable baggage. Our action makes a strong moral statement
against chemical weapons, but it does not lend our name to the
dishonest proposition that Iran, China, or others have actually
abolished their chemical weapons arsenals.
Which brings us back to the question highlighted by Senator
Feinstein: Whether we are better off with the inspection and
information rights that the CWC will provide, or without. On
balance, we are better off without.
The CWC's verification regime stands on two legs. The first
is voluntary disclosure. Most of the regime is based on what
the parties voluntarily declare about their own holdings of
chemical weapons, manufacturing facilities and the like.
Virtually all the CWC's inspections will be at so-called
declared facilities, that is, locations that each party will
itself declare to be subject to inspection.
Nearly all the large budget of the new CWC organization
based in The Hague will be allocated to inspecting declared
facilities and processing the parties' voluntary declarations.
Does anyone expect a country like Iran or China or Russia to
declare a facility in which it is planning to produce or store
illegal chemical weapons? The declarations and the inspections
of declared facilities will yield our government little, if
anything, of value to augment what we already know from our own
national intelligence means.
Looking for chemical weapons at declared facilities brings
to mind the joke about the drunk who looks for his keys under
the street lamp rather than some ways off where he dropped
them, because there is more light under the lamp.
The verification regime's second leg is challenge
inspection. That is, inspection of a facility that was not
declared. This is often talked of as if it were a tool for
adding to our knowledge, or for finding violations. It is not.
One cannot spot check a country the size of Iran, much less
China, by means of challenge inspections.
The purpose of challenge inspections is to try to embarrass
a state that one has by other intelligence means caught in a
violation. So it is incorrect to think that we will learn much
of substantive value through challenge inspections.
Moreover, the CWC's challenge inspection provisions were
watered down in the negotiations to the point where they are
not even a useful tool for embarrassing cheaters. Parties will
easily be able, within the treaty's terms, to delay and
otherwise defeat the purposes of the challenge inspection
The issue of whether the CWC will produce a net gain for
our intelligence capabilities must also be considered in light
of the harm that will result from participation in the
international inspection program by unreliable states, as
Ambassador Kirkpatrick and Mr. Perle highlighted, and as
Secretary Schlesinger highlighted yesterday.
I would simply emphasize that when rogue states learn how
to inspect, they learn how to conceal, and in this regard I
think it should disturb the Senate that the administration has
taken steps to begin training foreign CWC inspectors even
before the Senate has acted on this treaty. I understand that
some government agencies are resisting this effort, and I urge
this committee to inquire into this.
Now, Articles X and XI of the CWC have received a great
deal of attention lately, and these provisions are a major part
of the reason that the CWC will do more harm than good, as has
been explained very well.
I do want to reemphasize in response to the textual
analysis that Senator Biden mentioned that the argument that
Article X, paragraph 3, the most troubling provision, is
overridden by Article I, is, I believe, flatly contradicted by
what paragraph 6 says, that nothing in this convention shall be
interpreted as impeding the right of States' Parties to provide
The people who drafted this provision anticipated precisely
the argument that Article I might override Article X, paragraph
3, and they took care of it by nailing it in paragraph 6. This
is a serious problem.
As for Article XI, it prohibits, or at least expresses
disapproval of export restrictions in the chemical field among
Unlike the language of Article X, that of Article XI is not
completely unqualified, so the administration has been able to
offer an interpretation that renders this provision
meaningless, a legal nullity.
But whether or not the administration's interpretation is
valid, I would argue that it is beside the point--the real
issue is not--and I want to emphasize this point. The real
issue is not what the United States itself will export, but
what third countries will want to sell to the Irans of this
For export controls to be effective they must have
multilateral support, which is hard to organize. If a German or
Chinese company arranges to sell an advanced chemical plant to
Iran, and the U.S. Government protests that this would enhance
Iran's chemical weapons program, we can expect the German or
Chinese Government to cite Article XI for the proposition that
the sale is not only permitted but required by the CWC; for
Iran will be a party in good standing, or in any event a party
against whom no violation can be proved.
Whatever one thinks of the CWC overall, no one can deny
that it would be a better or less bad treaty if the so-called,
``poisons for peace'' provisions were fixed.
Though I think the Senate should reject the CWC outright,
some treaty critics would be willing to withdraw their
opposition if only the Senate would ensure that Articles X and
XI are properly amended before U.S. ratification. Such critics
argue that to be minimally acceptable the CWC should at least
not undermine the very interests--stemming chemical weapons
proliferation--that it aims to promote.
Administration officials counter with the argument that it
would be embarrassing for the United States at this late stage
to insist that the treaty be amended. They say this would
destroy our diplomatic credibility.
While it would to some extent be embarrassing, it is also
embarrassing to ratify a treaty with provisions as perverse as
Articles X and XI. As for our diplomats' credibility, the
effect of forcing amendments of Article X and XI could be
If the administration's interpretations of those provisions
are widely held, then the amendment should not be unduly
difficult to arrange. If they are so difficult, this would
confirm that the provisions are a problem, and the United
States should not ratify until the problem is resolved.
If the administration, as is likely, then succeeds in
getting the needed amendments, the influence of our diplomats
would be enhanced. The next time a multilateral forum proposes
a treaty with a bizarre provision adverse to our interests, our
negotiators would be able to declare credibly that that
provision will preclude Senate approval of the treaty. This
will strengthen our hand.
A final point regarding deadlines. Many states of concern
to us--Syria, Libya, Iraq, and North Korea--have not signed the
CWC. Although some such states, specifically Russia, China,
Iran, and Cuba, have signed; none of these latter four has yet
ratified. The administration insists that it is crucial that
the United States ratify the CWC before April 29, but if we do
we will be the only state party that actually has a significant
chemical weapons capability.
April 29 is an artificial deadline. Any time the United
States might decide to become a party, it will, because of its
military and financial status, be afforded an appropriate
position of influence in the treaty organization if we assert
This is true because we are to pay 25 percent of the total
budget of the new organization. It is true also because the
other major states in this field are waiting for the United
States before they decide whether to ratify. If the Senate is
ready to act before April 29, then well and good, but the
Senate should not, in my opinion, hasten its deliberations
simply to make a meaningless deadline.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Feith follows:]
Prepared Statement of Douglas J. Feith
Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you again
on this important question. It was in March 1996 that I last had the
honor to address this committee on why I think the Senate should not
consent to ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
During the Reagan Administration, I served as Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy and my responsibilities
included the chemical weapons treaty negotiations.
The debate on the CWC has been of remarkably high quality for a
matter so complex. The sides have engaged each other intelligently and
generally respectfully and have established substantial common ground.
They agree that chemical weapons are evil. Specifically, all four of us
on this panel--Fred Ikle, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Richard Perle and myself--
agree with the treaty's proponents that it would be desirable to
eliminate these weapons from the world entirely and that the United
States should continue to destroy its own chemical weapons, as we are
already doing, whether or not the United States joins the CWC. We all
favor the CWC's goal. We all agree that the chemical weapons threat in
the world is a problem the gravity of which the world should never
underestimate. In fact, a key reason for opposing the CWC is that it
will falsely advertise that the chemical weapons threat has been
mitigated when it has not.
The debate has also made clear that both CWC proponents and critics
acknowledge that the treaty has flaws. Both sides agree that the treaty
will not be global and will not cover a number of the states of
greatest concern to us.
Both sides also agree that the treaty is not verifiable, if by
``verifiable'' we mean confidence in detection by U.S. Intelligence of
illegal, clandestine stockpiling or pro-
duction of chemical weapons. No one in the intelligence community has
ever said the treaty is verifiable by that standard. It is worthwhile
to stress that the verification problem here is not the lack of
perfection. The problem is not that we would detect cheating only 90
percent or even only 50 percent of the time. The problem is that
chemical weapons production is so easy to do and to conceal that it is
inherently impossible to achieve any degree of confidence--let alone
``high confidence''--that we could detect it, even regarding militarily
significant quantities. Someone once drove this point home by saying
that the CWC is like an effort to ban hollandaise sauce without banning
eggs and butter.
In her testimony before this Committee yesterday, Secretary of
State Albright argued for the CWC by asserting that rogue states would
be subject to unprecedented verification measures and ``will probably
be caught'' if they violate the treaty. The Secretary of State was
incorrect in this assertion and there is no intelligence authority in
the government that would confirm her claim.
Both sides in the CWC debate agree that the treaty will not
actually eliminate chemical weapons from the world. And both sides
agree that the CWC is in essence a moral statement against chemical
weapons, a declaration that the civilized nations abhor these weapons
and think that no one should possess them.
The debate now has a rather precise focus: Given the importance of
the chemical weapons problem and given that the CWC has its flaws, is
the United States better served by ratifying the treaty or not. Treaty
proponents say that the United States is better off if the world enacts
this new international law against possession of chemical weapons, even
if we know that key countries will violate it. They also say that we
are better off with the inspection and information rights that the CWC
will provide than without. Treaty critics contend that the treaty will
not accomplish its purpose and will actually exacerbate the chemical
weapons problem in the world.
Treaty critics believe that it would not serve the anti-chemical-
weapons cause for us to join a ban that we know will be ineffective,
impossible to monitor properly and impossible to enforce. I speak as a
lawyer devoted to the principle of law. The world would surely be a
better place if law in fact played a greater role in securing
international peace and civilized behavior. But we do not move toward
this goal by promulgating a patently ineffective new treaty. A chemical
weapons ban that states know they can sign cynically and violate
without punishment will not shore up the international norm against
such weapons. On the contrary, it will damage that norm even more
severely than it was harmed by the world's failure to uphold the 1925
Geneva Protocol on Chemical Weapons when Iraq violated that venerable
treaty in the late 1980's.
Creating bad law is not the way to build respect for law. The ill-
conceived CWC will cheapen the currency of international law. The wiser
approach to chemical weapons arms control is embodied in the bill, S.
495, authored by Senator Kyl and cosponsored by Senators Lott, Nickles,
Mack, Coverdell, Helms, Shelby and Hutchison: The United States should
work to obtain international agreement on mechanisms for enforcing the
existing treaty that bans initiation of chemical warfare. In other
words, we should put teeth in the 1925 Geneva Protocol. If that treaty
were properly enforced, there would clearly be no need for the CWC. And
if the Geneva Protocol continues to be violated with impunity, then
there is no hope that the CWC will be respected, for violations of the
CWC are far less discoverable and provable and far less likely to
horrify world opinion than violations of the non-use ban. If one cannot
get the world excited about disfigured corpses produced by violations
of the Geneva Protocol, it is unrealistic to expect tough enforcement
action when U.S. officials allege clandestine storage somewhere of some
chemical bulk agent.
What of the point that we might as well ratify the CWC as we are
destroying the U.S. chemical arsenal anyway? It is better, in my view,
to destroy our arsenal unilaterally than to enter into a treaty that we
know will not accomplish its purpose. By acting unilaterally, we
produce some of the key benefits hoped for from the CWC without taking
on the treaty's undesirable baggage. Our action makes a strong moral
statement against chemical weapons. But it does not lend our name to
the dishonest proposition that Iran, China or others have actually
abolished their chemical weapons arsenals. The world can verify our
compliance with our self-imposed ban by reading the Congressional
Record. We then do not have to participate in a costly, wasteful,
intrusive but ineffective verification regime that is more likely to
spread militarily relevant chemical weapons technology than contain it.
Any other chemical weapons state that wants to follow our lead can
do so, also unilaterally. Each will have the opportunity to persuade
the world as best it can that it is doing what it has promised. This
way, states will not obtain a clean bill of health simply by signing a
treaty and subjecting themselves to an inspection regime that they know
is easy to defeat.
Which brings us back to the question of whether we are better off
with the inspection and information rights that the CWC will provide or
without. On balance, we are better off without. Treaty proponents
stress that the CWC's verification provisions are unprecedented in
their elaborateness and intrusiveness, which is true. But they will
contribute little of any importance to what we need to know about the
chemical weapons threat in the world.
The CWC's verification regime stands on two legs. The first is
voluntary disclosure. Most of the regime is based on what the parties
voluntarily declare about their own holdings of chemical weapons,
manufacturing facilities, chemical stocks and the like. Virtually all
the inspections to be conducted under the CWC will be of so-called
``declared facilities''--that is, locations that each party will itself
declare to be subject to inspection. Routine inspections will focus
exclusively on ``declared facilities.'' Nearly all the large budget of
the new CWC organization based in the Hague will be allocated to
inspecting ``declared facilities'' and processing the parties'
voluntary declarations. Does anyone expect a country like Iran or China
or Russia to declare a facility at which it is planning to produce or
store illegal chemical weapons? The declarations and the inspections of
``declared facilities'' will yield our government little if anything of
value to augment what we already know from our own national means of
intelligence. Looking for chemical weapons at ``declared facilities''
brings to mind the joke about the drunk who looks for his keys under
the street lamp rather than some ways off, where he dropped them,
because there is more light under the lamp.
The CWC verification regime's second leg is challenge inspection--
that is, inspection of a facility that was not ``declared.'' This is
often talked of as if it were a tool for adding to our knowledge or for
finding violations. It is not. One cannot spot check a country the size
of Iran, much less China, by means of challenge inspections. The
purpose of challenge inspections is to try to embarrass a state that
one has, by other intelligence means, caught in a violation. So it is
incorrect to think that we will learn much of substantive value through
challenge inspections. Moreover, the CWC's challenge inspection
provisions were watered down in the negotiations to the point where
they are not even a useful tool for embarrassing cheaters. Parties will
easily be able, within the treaty's terms, to delay and otherwise
defeat the purposes of the challenge inspection provisions.
The issue of whether the CWC will produce a net gain for our
intelligence capabilities must be considered also in light of the harm
that will result from participation in the international inspection
program by unreliable states. As Secretary Schlesinger noted before
this committee yesterday, Iraq in the 1970's and 1980's learned a great
deal about how to conceal its nuclear weapons program through
participating in the inspection regime of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty. When rogue states learn how to inspect, they learn how to
conceal. In this regard, I think it should disturb the Senate that the
Administration has taken steps to begin training CWC inspectors even
before the Senate has acted on the treaty. I understand that some
government agencies are resisting this effort. I urge this committee to
inquire into this.
Articles X and XI of the CWC have received a great deal of
attention, including at this committee's hearing yesterday with the
three former Secretaries of Defense--Rumsfeld, Schlesinger and
Weinberger--who opposed ratification. These provisions are a major part
of the reason that the CWC will do more harm than good. These
provisions will promote the spread of chemical defense and other
technology that will make it easier for states to develop a chemical
war fighting capability than if the CWC did not exist.
Article X obliges the parties to facilitate the exchange with the
other parties of chemical weapons defense material and technology. To
have an effective chemical war fighting capability, one must have
defense material and technology to protect one's own forces. Article X
will establish the right of Iran, for example, to obtain such items
from Germany, France, China or some other state. And it will establish
the right of the would-be sellers to provide such items to Iran. The
language of Article X is straightforward. Paragraph 3 says:
Each State Party undertakes to facilitate, and shall have the
right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of
equipment, material and scientific and technological
information concerning means of protection against chemical
And Paragraph 6 says:
Nothing in this Convention shall be interpreted as impeding the
right of States Parties to * * * provide assistance * * *
[where ``assistance'' is defined as ``delivery * * * of
protection against chemical weapons, including * * * detection
equipment and alarm systems; protective equipment * * *;
decontamination equipment * * *; medical antidotes * * *; and
advice on any of these protective measures].
As Richard Perle has pointed out, the CWC prohibits that part of a
chemical weapons capability that is easy for states to make for
themselves: the weapons themselves. The other part of that capability--
defense material and technology, which is relatively ``high tech'' and
difficult to acquire--is precisely what the treaty affirmatively
requires the parties to proliferate.
Similarly, Article XI prohibits--or at least expresses disapproval
of--export restrictions in the chemical field among treaty parties.
Unlike the language of Article X, that of Article XI is not completely
unqualified, so the Administration has been able to offer an
``interpretation'' that renders this provision meaningless, a legal
nullity. This allows Administration officials to assert that the United
States will maintain export controls on Iran and others notwithstanding
Article XI. Whether or not the Administration's interpretation is
valid, it is beside the point.
The real issue is not what the United States itself will export,
but what third countries will want to sell to the Irans of this world.
For export controls to be effective, they must have multilateral
support which is hard to organize. To return to the example above: If a
German or Chinese company will arrange to sell an advanced chemical
plant to Iran and the U.S. government protests that this would enhance
Iran's chemical weapons program, we can expect the German or Chinese
government to cite Article XI for the proposition that the sale is not
only permitted but required by the CWC, for Iran will be a treaty party
in good standing (or, in any event, a party against whom no violation
can be proved). There is precedent for such a colloquy. The Clinton
Administration protested against a Russian sale of a nuclear reactor to
Iran. The Russians replied by citing the provisions in the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty--the ``atoms for peace'' section--on which CWC
Articles X and XI are modeled. This is why Fred Ikle has referred to
Articles X and XI as ``poisons for peace.''
Whatever one thinks of the CWC overall, no one can deny that it
would be a better (or less bad) treaty if the ``poisons for peace''
provisions were fixed. Though I think the Senate should reject the CWC
outright, some treaty critics would be willing to withdraw their
opposition if only the Senate would ensure that Articles X and XI are
properly amended before U.S. ratification. Such critics argue that, to
be minimally acceptable, the CWC should at least not undermine the very
interest--stemming chemical weapons proliferation--it aims to promote.
Administration officials counter with the argument that it would be
embarrassing for the United States, at this late stage, to insist that
the treaty be amended. They say this would destroy our diplomatic
credibility. While it would, to some extent, be embarrassing, it is
also embarrassing to ratify a treaty with provisions as perverse as
Articles X and XI. Also, the Clinton Administration could take comfort
from the fact that the error of agreeing to those provisions was
committed not by itself but by the Bush Administration.
As for our diplomats' credibility, the effect of forcing amendments
of Articles X and XI could be powerfully positive. If the
Administration's interpretations of those provisions are widely held,
then the amendments should not be unduly difficult to arrange. If they
are so difficult, this would confirm that the provisions are a problem
and the United States should not ratify until the problem is resolved.
If the Administration, as is likely, then succeeds in getting the
needed amendments, the influence of our diplomats would be enhanced.
The next time a multilateral forum proposes a treaty with a bizarre
provision adverse to our interests, our negotiators would be able to
declare credibly that that provision will preclude Senate approval of
the treaty. This will strengthen our hand.
A final point regarding deadlines. Many states of concern to us--
Syria, Libya, Iraq and North Korea--have not signed the CWC. Although
some such states--specifically Russia, China, Iran and Cuba--have
signed, none of these latter four has yet ratified. The Administration
insists that it is crucial that the United States ratify the CWC before
April 29, but if we do, we shall be the only state party that actually
has a significant chemical weapons capability.
April 29 is an artificial deadline. Any time the United States
might decide to become a party, it will, because of its military and
financial status, be afforded an appropriate position of influence in
the treaty organization. This is true because we are to pay 25 percent
of the total budget of this new organization. It is true also because
the other major states in this field are waiting for the United States
before they decide whether to ratify. If the Senate is ready to act
before April 29, then well and good. But the Senate should not, in my
opinion, hasten its deliberations simply to make a meaningless
The Chairman. Thank you, sir. That concludes the testimony.
Now, we have two or three Senators on this side coming
back. I think we had better limit ourselves in the first round
to 5 minutes, if that is satisfactory.
Senator Kerry. Mr. Chairman, is it possible to get a little
more? Five minutes is really very difficult to develop any
The Chairman. Well, it will eat into the time of the
proponents of the treaty.
Senator Kerry. We have got all day.
Senator Biden. Admiral Zumwalt has to leave here at 4:30, I
am told. Maybe----
Senator Kerry. Well, I will go along with it, then.
The Chairman. All right. Let us try 5 minutes.
Dr. Ikle, I have a letter dated March 13 from the Aerospace
Industries Association. It states that a strong concern that
the CWC will, and I quote from the letter, ``unnecessarily
jeopardize our Nation's ability to protect its national
security information and proprietary technological data.''
Now, this treaty, as we know, will permit foreign
inspectors into thousands of U.S. businesses to poke around,
interview employees, take photographs, and take samples home
for analysis there. Now, given your assessment of the foreign
policy benefits of this treaty, if any, do you think it makes
sense to subject U.S. companies, private companies, to this
danger of the theft of millions of dollars in trade secrets?
Dr. Ikle. I like the way, Mr. Chairman, you put the
question--``given the benefits of the treaty.''
If the treaty was of major benefit, clearly verifiable in
other aspects and it enhanced arms control objectives, maybe
that was a risk we would want to take, that on occasion some
very clever disguised intelligence person, disguised as an
objective inspector, could pick up some valid information.
But that is not the case. The benefits of the treaty, even
as seen by the supporters, are not that strong, and from what
we have heard today, they are a negative. From what we have
heard so far among the witnesses today, what you can obtain by
samples that can be analyzed in a national laboratory back home
by instruments which can be carried with you, brought into the
places where chemicals are prepared for our sensitive weapons
systems, could be very, very significant.
I remember from my days in the Pentagon the briefings that
I received of analyses that our intelligence organization had
made in other places, and how much we learned from just
somebody walking through with the right little instrument in
his pocket. So that is very serious.
Incidentally, if I may insert here a further thought, as if
all of this was not bad enough, some supporters who want to
hasten the ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention
argue that it should be followed up then by a verification
scheme for biological weapons.
As Arms Control Director, I took the biological weapons
treaty before this committee. Senator Fulbright was sitting in
the chair at the time, and I explained right away that it was
not verifiable but it was a useful thing to have as a statement
of our opposition to biological weapons, and I do not regret
that. I think it is useful even now in Iraq, because it caught
Iraq violating the agreement that they had signed.
But if you want to follow that up with an inspection team
on biological weapons--many people in the bureaucracy are now
working on that, in this process that Richard Perle described
to Geneva and back here without ``adult supervision''--it is
ten times as dangerous, the things you can then steal from
these so-called onsite inspections to get really way ahead in
biological weapons. So it is dangerous here, and if you cannot
stop the follow on it will be really catastrophic.
The Chairman. I thank you, sir.
Ambassador Kirkpatrick, you hear a lot of arguments that
nonratification of the CWC will mark the forfeiture of U.S.
leadership in the fight to eliminate chemical weapons from the
face of the Earth. That is almost a quote-unquote from voice
after voice after voice orchestrated by the White House. Do you
agree, or do you believe that the rest of the world will
continue to look to the United States with or without this
Ambassador Kirkpatrick. Mr. Chairman, actually I think that
to the extent that the rest of the world looks to us for
leadership, and I think we sometimes exaggerate that leadership
in our own minds, I do not think it will be affected much by
what we do on this treaty; and I will tell you why.
The reason is that our reputation for leadership in the
military, scientific, and technological domain rests not only
on our clear undoubted excellence and long lead on other
nations, but also in our willingness to assume responsibility
for responding to dangerous challenges.
We have done this again and again, and I think we will
continue to offer that kind of leadership. Sometimes that
requires standing alone, or standing nearly alone and saying,
should we not consider what the implications of this are for
the spread of chemical weapons in the Middle East, North
Africa, and Europe?
I think that those nations that have a high regard for us
might even have a higher regard for us.
The Chairman. I think so, too. Senator Biden. My time is
Senator Biden. Thank you very much. In the interests of
time I am going to focus on only one issue, and I think we all
acknowledge that sometimes the more persuasive we make one of
our arguments against the treaty, the more irrelevant another
For example, it is kind of interesting that I think
Ambassador Kirkpatrick and Mr. Perle have made very strong
arguments against universality of the treaty, because if they
are correct then the last person you want in this, Mr.
Chairman, is Korea and the other rogue nations, Iraq and Libya;
so I think it is a very compelling argument against
Mr. Feith makes a very compelling argument that one of the
reasons why verification does not work is because the Bush
administration responded to what Ronald Reagan wanted done, and
that was he wanted intrusive investigations that were
inspections that maybe would violate our Fourth Amendment, and
so we fixed the Fourth Amendment. There is no Fourth Amendment
problem here, notwithstanding what people assert, and I think
you would acknowledge that. You may not want to, but as a good
lawyer I believe you would have to. I know you looked at it.
So the administration fixed one piece and made the
inspections, the relevance of inspections that were challenge
inspections less relevant.
But let me focus on this notion that paragraph or Article X
is so bad. Let me tell you folks how I read it, and Mr. Perle,
I would like to direct this to you, but I will not limit it to
you, although I would like to get in one other question before
the light goes out.
As I read it, and I might point out, Mr. Feith, paragraph 6
is not affected--does not in any way limit paragraph 1.
Paragraph 6 refers to bilateral, not international regimes but
bilateral, and so the issue here is whether or not we are going
to contribute to, in effect, this fund. We are going to put in
this information that can be disbursed by this international
All paragraph 6 is about is saying that if we want to keep
our deal going with NATO, if we want to keep our deal going
with our allies, we can do that.
But as I see this, multilateral is the only way to limit
these chemical weapons, yet paragraph 6 on Article X refers to
bilateral. Paragraph 1, which defines assistance, I believe
trumps paragraph 3, but ultimately paragraph 1's definition
lies in paragraph 7. It defines what international assistance
is. That is where it is defined.
Within that, it says that international assistance is the
following, that you can provide assistance, and to this end
elect--elect one or more of the following so there is no
requirement, as I read Article X, and as constitutional
scholars I have spoken to--and this is not a constitutional
issue, but legal scholars I have spoken to, there is no
requirement of the United States to throw anything into the pot
but what it decides it wishes to throw in, and to that end,
Senator Helms and I have been negotiating conditions, which
leads to my question.
A condition that says--let me get it here--that requires
the United States--requires the United States not to contribute
to the voluntary fund for chemical defense assistance anything
other than certain medical antidotes and treatment, which is
what is listed in paragraph 1, so if we are not in the treaty,
the point you made still pertains. If England or if France or
if anyone else is going to transfer this technology to Iran,
they are going to do it whether we are in it or not.
If we are in the treaty, we are not obliged to do that, and
to clarify that--at least I am, and I assume the Chairman still
is--willing to attach a condition to the treaty defining our
interpretation of Article X and limiting what can or cannot be
transferred to what is mentioned, medical antidotes and
I am not asking you to accept it. I would just like your
view, Mr. Perle, whether that would--assume the worst from your
perspective, that the treaty passes. Is it better to have that,
and if it is, how much better is it?
Mr. Perle. I do think, Senator, that paragraph 3, which
describes the undertaking, is not qualified by the elaboration
of the various means in paragraph 7. I do not think that was
ever the intention.
It will, I am sure, not surprise you to know that in the
course of negotiation at one time paragraph 3 read, ``each
State Party guarantees to facilitate.''
The United States thought that was too much, and maybe
others did as well, so we ended up compromising on
``undertakes,'' as though--the point, in objecting to
``guarantee,'' the American representative made it very clear
that he did not think he could fall back on the interpretation
you have just offered of paragraph 7 to limit the extent of the
Senator Biden. My time is up. I would disagree with that. I
would argue statutory interpretation, the specific controls the
general. The specifics in paragraph 7, the legal judgments I
have gotten comport with this.
Mr. Perle. Senator, if I could just answer the question
with a kind of question, if we could fix this treaty, I mean, I
am sure that you would agree that the cleanest solution would
be to eliminate the whole of Article X. Why not do that?
Senator Biden. I think the cleanest solution would be to
limit our participation in the treaty to define this the way in
which we intended, or at least we intended here; because I
think to go back and renegotiate an entire treaty, we are
another 10 years down the road, but we can fix it by doing this
in my view.
Mr. Perle. But if it means what you say it means, and other
parties to the treaty understand that, then it seems to me it
would be a breeze to change it.
The Chairman. Because of this point, I am going to allow
you about 45 seconds, which I will take off my time.
Mr. Feith. I appreciate that, Senator. I would just say,
Senator Biden, if everybody in the Senate devoted the kind of
meticulous attention to the words that you have done, I am
confident that there would be a much greater understanding and
much less support for the treaty.
I do compliment you on paying close attention. This treaty
looks worse when you look at it closely, so I very much applaud
your careful attention.
Senator Biden. Now, that is a nice smart-ass comment.
Mr. Feith. When you said that if we are out of the
agreement we will not be bound, and the Germans or the British
will be participating under the terms of this article, that is
If, on the other hand, the United States made clear that
the condition for our coming into the treaty is fixing this
provision, without which, I think we can all agree the treaty
would be better off--the fact that you have to do so elaborate
an interpretation makes it clear that we will have difficulties
when we go to other countries. Even if we could persuade
ourselves of your interpretation, on which reasonable people
can differ, when we go to persuade other countries, that is the
nub of the issue: going to Germany or China or whoever and
trying to get their cooperation on export controls----
Senator Biden. No, that is not is how it is happening here.
Mr. Feith [continuing]. We are going to have great
difficulty. The treaty would be better off without this
provision complicating things.
The Chairman. Thank you. Senator Hagel.
Senator Hagel. Mr. Chairman, thank you, and I wish to thank
the panelists. You have provided an awful lot of very
significant insight, and I, as well as all of my colleagues, am
grateful, and thank you.
I am going to help my friend Senator Biden here, because I
am going to follow along that path that he has taken. Is this,
in your opinion--and I would like to hear from each of you--a
treaty, a convention that is one that you can rehabilitate? Is
it one that you think we can still work on and, if it is, what
do we do? Do we eliminate X and XI, amend it? If we were able
to amend X and XI, would that satisfy the four of you?
Each of you, I would like to have each of you, if you
would, respond. Ambassador.
Ambassador Kirkpatrick. I think it would be very
significantly improved. I believe that the composition of the
governing board requires attention as well.
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
Mr. Perle. Senator, I could support this treaty without any
great expectations of its efficacy if we corrected the problem
in Article X and Article XI, and I think that can be done. It
took 10 years to produce this treaty with this serious flaw in
it. I think it would take a great deal less time to eliminate
the flaw. Nothing else would have to be renegotiated, only this
Senator Hagel. In your opinion. Thank you. Sir.
Dr. Ikle. I would agree that it would eliminate the damage
to the down side. It would not make it into a great
accomplishment, and it would still have some flaws on the
intelligence collection; but it would be much less damaging, so
that on balance maybe it could be passed, if it is really
amended, Article X.
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
Mr. Feith. In my view, the treaty is a net loss from the
national security point of view, in any event. I believe that
the country would be better off if the Senate rejected the
treaty and sent everybody back to the drawing board and did
something constructive in this field.
But one of the key questions is: How much of a net loss? I
agree with all of my colleagues that the treaty would be far
less bad if Articles X and XI were duly amended.
Senator Hagel. So there we are, Mr. Chairman. We figured it
out, and I will yield my time back. Thank you.
The Chairman. Very good. He is a breath of fresh air in the
Senate, I will tell you that.
I am going to suggest that the Senator have 8 minutes to
sort of compensate for whatever has run over with time.
Senator Kerry. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. With my
voice, I may need it.
Welcome back to the panel. Let me, if I can, follow up on
the question from Senator Hagel. Mr. Perle, I understand, then,
from your answer to Senator Hagel that your chief, your
principal objection to it resides in the transfer of
technological scientific information, Article X, section 3, and
then in Article XI, the entire question of technical
information with respect to chemical, general chemical
development, is that correct?
Mr. Perle. Yes, although it is not just section 3 of
Article X. It is really the whole of Article X.
Senator Kerry. Well, let me ask you why--and I am having
difficulty with this, but I am trying to keep open-minded about
it. Reading Article I, which as you, I am sure, will agree, is
the heart of this treaty and the overpowering article, it says
that each party to the convention undertakes never under any
circumstances--and I presume you will agree that any
circumstances mean, under any circumstances, so that when you
go to Article XI, or X, you are clearly defining within the
context of Article I under any circumstance no party can ever
transfer directly or indirectly chemical weapons to anyone.
Therefore, all of Article XI with respect to development of
any kind of chemical is clearly interpreted by the directly or
indirectly clause of I.
Second, it says that you can never undertake under any
circumstances to develop or produce or otherwise acquire,
stockpile, retain, to assist, encourage or induce anyone to
engage in any activity prohibited under this convention.
Now, I do not think any lawyer sitting here has any problem
with that language, do we? Is there any confusion as to what is
Mr. Perle. Senator, the problem is that until a State Party
to the convention is found to have violated the convention by
engaging in the production of chemical weapons----
Senator Kerry. Precisely.
Mr. Perle [continuing]. There is no basis upon which you
could presume that Article I would permit you to avoid the
undertaking of Article X or the promise of Article XI.
Senator Kerry. Now, let us get to that. Now we are sort of
going down the road.
So therefore, under any circumstances, the only way we will
ever be able to do anything about Article I or any of the
others is to know what is going on.
Mr. Perle. No, not to know what is going on. There is a
very big difference between knowing what is going on and
proving through the mechanisms of the institution that a
violation has taken place.
Senator Kerry. Right, but that is ultimately how you know.
You prove it. You prove it through the challenge process,
through the inspection process.
Mr. Perle. No, I do not think you will ever prove anything
through the inspection process.
Senator Kerry. So no verification process----
Mr. Perle. Could I just say one thing?
Senator Kerry. Let me just ask you, are you saying that no
verification process whatsoever would therefore be sufficient?
Mr. Perle. I am saying you cannot verify the production of
chemical weapons, because any plant that can be used for the
production of permitted chemicals can also be used for the
production of chemical weapons. There is a problem here.
Senator Kerry. I understand that, and that can happen
today, without the treaty.
Mr. Perle. In 1997 a country that is not violating the
agreement, and which is therefore entitled to all the benefits
of Article X and XI, may exploit those benefits, invite
international companies in to buildup their chemical industry
as perfectly proper and perfectly legal, invite, solicit,
receive cooperation in the development of the full range of
defensive measures, and then, having accomplished all of that,
violate Article I and some other point.
Senator Kerry. But isn't the problem, can't they do that
Mr. Perle. Can they induce others to?
Senator Kerry. They could invite anybody or induce anybody
or pay anybody to do whatever they want today.
Mr. Perle. The difference is the following. Let us take
China and Pakistan as an example. The Germans complain that
they are too frequently identified in this regard. The German
industry is very aggressive in this regard, but set that aside,
and take China and Pakistan.
If China today engages in the sharing of chemical defensive
technology with Pakistan, you can be sure that an American
administration that is doing its job is going to be in Beijing
remonstrating with the Chinese and saying, we think this is a
very dangerous thing to do.
Senator Kerry. But let me stop you there if I can for a
Mr. Perle. But suppose there was a treaty that says they
must do it?
Senator Kerry. I understand. Well, no. What it says is,
they shall have the right to participate in the fullest
Mr. Perle. Right.
Senator Kerry. Now, possible is what is right and
appropriate under Article I, which means----
Mr. Perle. No, no. No, no. But there will have been no
finding in the case of Pakistan, Senator. Pakistan is a
legitimate recipient of assistance until Pakistan is found to
have violated the agreement.
Senator Kerry. Correct, but it is only as to defense,
number 1, that they have a right to request anything.
Mr. Perle. Well, both with respect to defensive, and with
respect to commerce and chemicals.
Senator Kerry. Defensive with respect to chemical weapons,
and generically with respect to the development of a chemical.
Mr. Perle. But the defense is the tough part. That is what
is hard to do.
Senator Kerry. But let me ask you, you were in the
administration that offered to give the Russians Star Wars once
we developed it. I mean, you were going to turn over the entire
defense to them once we put it together. That was your plan.
Mr. Perle. There is an important difference here.
Senator Kerry. Which is?
Mr. Perle. Which is that the defense in this case, the
ability to operate in the presence of chemical weapons, is what
makes the offensive capability possible.
Senator Kerry. But that is exactly the same thing.
Mr. Perle. No, it is not. The sharing of defenses in the
earlier context was intended to permit both sides to eliminate
the offensive capability.
Senator Kerry. Correct.
Mr. Perle. Not to make it feasible. It is exactly the
Senator Kerry. I would disagree. If you are sharing a
defensive capacity--I mean, Caspar Weinberger yesterday used a
good example. If you have developed a foolproof gas mask, and
you transfer the foolproof gas mask to another country, the
likelihood, if you both have a foolproof gas mask, of either of
you successfully using chemical weapons against each other is
zero if it is foolproof, so the likelihood--I mean, you are not
going to factor it into your military strategy. That was the
same strategy in Star Wars.
Mr. Perle. Well, we do not have chemical weapons, Senator,
and we will not, so a foolproof gas mask--let me just put it
this way. I would not worry if we had a foolproof gas mask, but
I would certainly worry if Iran or Iraq or Libya had a
foolproof gas mask, even if we also had one.
Senator Kerry. But you see, you have already suggested that
we are better off getting rid of our chemical weapons
altogether, without any inspection regimen. Now, that is very
hard for me to follow.
Mr. Perle. Because I do not think they are militarily
Senator Kerry. Well, if they are not militarily useful,
then you do not worry about what they have in terms of
defensive capacity. You are going to deter it with nuclear
weapons. We did not have any problem deterring Iraq, did we,
during that war. It seems to me that there is a cold war
philosophy going on here that you have got to have a
technological edge, and you have to keep having the edge rather
than struggling to go into a state of neutrality.
Mr. Perle. I take very seriously what Jeane said, that
chemical weapons are regarded in much of the Third World as the
poor man's equivalent of nuclear weapons, and there is a lot of
pressure to acquire these chemicals.
We want to discourage that, and we want to discourage it in
every possible way, and one way to discourage it is to make
sure that the thing that is most difficult for a country
desiring chemical weapons to accomplish, which is the
acquisition of a defense, is made more difficult and not less
difficult, and any treaty that promises to share that
technology is just headed in the wrong direction. Why don't we
The Chairman. Senator Feinstein.
Senator Feinstein. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I
want to thank the witnesses, because I think their testimony
has really been very thought-provoking. I have been a proponent
of the treaty, and I must say you have encouraged me to look at
it in a very different way.
I have read and reread Article X now about eight different
But Mr. Perle, you make an interesting theorem, and that is
that the effectiveness of any policy here is the defense, and
if you can defend against it you create a spiral. I mean, you
Do you have any information that the administration might
have agreed to this section on a case-by-case basis?
Mr. Perle. I am not sure I understand what you mean.
Senator Feinstein. In other words, that this section would
only be carried out provided they, the United States, had the
right to reject a request.
Mr. Perle. No, I have no information to that effect. I
think it is our intention not to honor the undertaking. I mean,
I would prefer that when we undertake to treaties----
Senator Feinstein. You mean, to guarantee to undertake and
then not honor--in other words, not carry out that section?
Mr. Perle. I think we intend not to carry out what is a
Senator Feinstein. That is No. 3.
Mr. Perle. If we are burdened with this treaty then I, too,
would be in favor of not honoring that commitment, because it
would be a foolish thing to do.
Senator Feinstein. Because I think you made a good
argument. Why is Article X in there? Obviously, if somebody has
an offensive use of a chemical weapon against them, I think the
legitimate nations of this world are going to respond and try
to be helpful as much as possible. I wonder why it is necessary
to have this in it at all, in terms of the integrity of the
Mr. Perle. I believe it is not, and more to the point, if
you will allow me to say this, I think that if you came to the
conclusion that it should not be there, and two or three of
your colleagues joined you, we can get it out of there.
Senator Feinstein. May I then go on, and thank you very
much, to what Ambassador Kirkpatrick mentioned on the
composition of the governing bodies. You mentioned that. That
was the other concern that you had. What changes do you think
are merited in the composition?
Ambassador Kirkpatrick. Senator Feinstein, what concerns me
with this governing body and comparable ones is the
preponderance on the governing body of countries lacking in the
technological sophistication and technological experience to
make really well-informed judgments about handling these
materials. That is what concerns me.
I just do not think that the quality of the decisions will
be nearly as reliable as they could be. They are dangerous in
any case. We all agree that this is a dangerous subject, and
any decisions dealing with it are going to be imperfect and
leave some danger. But the more the board that makes the
decisions knows, the more experience they have, the more
detailed technological sophistication they have, the better
their decisions will be. That is what concerns me about it.
Senator Feinstein. Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman, I do not know whether this is possible or
not, but I would very much like to have an administration
response to the arguments made on Article X. I think the points
made here are very good points. I wonder why Article X is
Senator Biden. I would be happy to give them to you. They
have responded officially and on the record. I would be happy
to make sure you get them.
Senator Feinstein. All right. That is a major concern to
me. I just make that point.
Thank you very much.
The Chairman. I thank you, Senator Feinstein.
Lady and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming.
Senator Biden. Mr. Chairman, before you dismiss this panel,
could I have 30 seconds to try to clarify one point, if I may?
The Chairman. Thirty seconds.
Senator Biden. First of all, I think Article X--I disagree
with the reading, but even if your reading is correct, I think
it can be cleared up by a condition.
But, Mr. Perle, you talked about the real world. The real
world is Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi, or any of the rogue states.
They are not going to worry about protecting their troops
before they use chemical weapons. Nothing in their modus
operandi would suggest that would even be a consideration for
whether or not they would use chemical weapons, if they were
going to use it, I would respectfully suggest.
The Chairman. Very well.
Senator Kerry. Mr. Chairman, could I have 20 seconds? I
just want to clarify one point with Mr. Perle.
The Chairman. It is your time, 20 seconds. Go.
Senator Kerry. Thank you very much, sir.
I just wanted to clarify with Secretary Perle that it is my
understanding that nothing in the convention requires the
finding of a treaty violation before Article I applies to that
particular country. I think, in your answer to me, you were
suggesting you had to first find the violation. I do not
believe you do.
Mr. Perle. In the illustration that I offered before, where
the Chinese might be building a facility for Pakistan, I do not
mean--I just chose Pakistan at random.
Senator Kerry. I am not even picking those countries. I
just mean generically.
Mr. Perle. But any country pair. I do not see on what
basis, Senator, we could prevail over the words and the
obligations and the undertakings of the treaty itself if there
had been no finding of a violation. Otherwise, you are saying,
anybody can do whatever anybody wishes.
Senator Kerry. Well, in effect----
The Chairman. No, wait a minute, 20 seconds.
Senator Kerry. Mr. Chairman, I think this is important to
The Chairman. All of them are important, including the next
Senator Kerry. In effect, in this treaty, you can.
The Chairman. Come on, Senator, I gave you more time than
anybody else had.
Senator Kerry. I appreciate that, Mr. Chairman. But I am
not trying to abuse it. I just think the record is important
Mr. Perle. I will be glad to call you after the hearing.
Senator Kerry. There is a withdrawal capacity for national
interest here. Any time we see the national interest, you have
got 90 days to get out of this.
Mr. Perle. Oh, yes, we can always get out of this treaty.
But that is not going to solve any of the problems we are
The Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen and lady. We appreciate
your coming so much.
Senator Kerry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. The next panel consists of three friends of
all of us. They have been around this place for a while.
As I was saying, this panel not only consists of Americans
who are well known, but they are friends of every one of us on
the committee. General Scowcroft, I have known him ever since I
came to this city, and that was a while ago. He is now
President of the Forum for International Policy. He is former
National Security Policy Advisor. Admiral Zumwalt is a member
of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and he
is former Chief of Naval Operations. Ed Rowny. He is the very
Hon. Ed Rowny, my neighbor, former Ambassador, and Lieutenant
General, U.S. Army, retired, International Negotiation
Consultant, former Chief Negotiator for START I, and Special
Arms Control Advisor, Washington, D.C.
Now, I am going to have to depart for another meeting I
cannot get out of, and Senator Hagel said that he would take
the gavel for me. I have one question, if I may, out of order.
That would be for Admiral Zumwalt.
Sir, Article X has been criticized, because it promotes the
spread of CW defense technology. Article XI has been
criticized, because it tends to undermine multilateral export
controls among treaty parties in the chemical field. Even
regarding untrustworthy states like Iran, are the concerns
about Article X and XI sensible? In other words, is it
sensible, sir, to concern ourselves with whether Iran might
more easily get CW defense or other technology as a result of
these Articles? Would the United States of America be better
off if Articles X and XI are fixed before the CWC is ratified?
Admiral Zumwalt. It is a fair question to raise in
connection with Articles X and XI, in my judgment. The answer,
in my judgment, is that non-ratification to seek a modification
at this time would, in essence, delay the participation of the
United States, in the mechanism that is being set up for a very
large number of years, and that the organization created by
those that have ratified it in sufficient numbers would operate
with all of the advantages and disadvantages the critics on
either side are citing.
I believe that we would be better off to ratify the treaty
and to work from within the system, with the considerable
powers we bring, both financial and political, to make any
modifications over time than we would to let this new treaty
regime operate without the insider influence of the U.S.
The Chairman. Very well.
Now Senator Hagel is going to take the chair and the gavel.
Why do not you, since you are under time constraints, go with
your statement first, sir, followed by Ed Rowny and Mr.
Senator Biden. Again, thank you, Mr. Chairman, for
accommodating this panel. I appreciate it.
STATEMENT OF E.R. ZUMWALT, JR., ADMIRAL, UNITED STATES NAVY
(RETIRED), MEMBER, PRESIDENT'S FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE ADVISORY
Admiral Zumwalt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Since I was notified, Mr. Chairman and members of the
committee, just yesterday of the requirement to be here, I
would submit for the record an article I have written and a
letter which I co-authored, which state the positions I have
taken on this treaty. I, of course, recommend that it be
I found myself disappointed to have to be at crosshairs
with the distinguished panel that just preceded he me, because
they are all good friends of mine; but I take issue with a
number of things that were said.
First, with regard to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, I
was a part of the group that analyzed the capabilities of the
nations of the world to acquire nuclear weapons before the
Nuclear Proliferation Treaty was considered. We estimated that
there were somewhere between 20 and 30 nations, within a period
of 10 years, that would have the nuclear capability. In my
judgment, the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty has, without a
question of a doubt, slowed down the rate of acquisition of
It was not a perfect treaty. It could have been made more
perfect if it could have been negotiated, but it was not
negotiable in any other form. It has accomplished its mission
far better than no regime would have permitted it be
accomplished. I think the same thing can be said with regard to
this Chemical Weapons Convention.
We hear that it is a disadvantage that we will not get the
rogue nations in. The rogue nations will not come in whether or
not the United States ratifies it. It will make no difference
whatsoever with regard to the situation in the world whether or
not we ratify insofar as the rogue nations are concerned. It
has been said that because they would not come in, the treaty
is therefore useless.
In my judgment, the international regime that the treaty
gives us--the ability to sanction the rogue nations that do not
come in--is not there without U.S. membership and thus
effective U.S. influence as it is for those like Iran who do
come in. But the conventional sanctions that we are capable of
bringing about in other ways are still there for us to operate.
In other words, insofar as those who do not come in are
concerned, I think this treaty, ratification or not, is
With regard to the Article X issue, I think it has been
quite clear, both based on what lawyers have told us and what
Mr. Berger for the administration has told us, that the
undertaking to facilitate does not obligate the United States
to do more than has been discussed here; namely, to provide, if
it chooses to do so, the kind of help that would not in any way
The ability for us to get more access is an important thing
to me as a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence
Advisory Board. I have just finished service on a subcommittee
of that group, which has examined our ability to gain the
appropriate intelligence in the BW field and the CW field and
in the nuclear field. I can tell you that we need to improve it
and that, however less than perfect it might be, the
opportunity to inspect is going to give us additional
information which can be cross-compared with what we get
through other sources in the intelligence community. It will,
without a doubt, enhance our ability to know more about what is
That, coupled with the fact that we have an international
regime, if we ratify the treaty, to work within, the fact that
the treaty will cause, at the very least, the disposition of
masses of volumes of poisonous substances-- after all the
nations who are ratifying it will be obligated to eliminate
their volume--make it less available for the terrorists groups
and for the rogue nations to get, in one way or another.
I worry about a decision to reject. I worry about a
decision to qualify in a way that does not provide formal
ratification. I think that the logical course for the United
States, now that we have reached this point, with a treaty that
is going to come into effect whether or not we ratify it, is
that we are better off to work within the system, use our
financial powers and our political powers to seek the
modifications that are necessary and to pick up the advantages
that are there.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The information referred to by Admiral Zumwalt follows:]
January 6, 1997.
A Needless Risk for U.S. Troops
[by E. R. Zumwalt Jr.]
It has been more than 80 years since poison gas was first used in
modern warfare--in April 1915 during the first year of World War I. It
is long past time to do something about such weapons.
I am not a dove. As a young naval officer in 1945, I supported the
use of nuclear weapons against Japan. As chief of naval operations two
decades ago, I pressed for substantially higher military spending than
the nation's political leadership was willing to grant. After retiring
from the Navy, I helped lead the opposition to the SALT II treaty
because I was convinced it would give the Soviet Union a strategic
Now the Senate is considering whether to approve the Chemical
Weapons Convention. This is a worldwide treaty, negotiated by the
Reagan administration and signed by the Bush administration. It bans
the development, production, possession, transfer and use of chemical
weapons. Senate opposition to ratification is led by some with whom I
often agree. But in this case, I believe they do a grave disservice to
America's men and women in uniform.
To a Third World leader indifferent to the health of his own troops
and seeking to cause large-scale pain and death for its own sake,
chemical weapons have a certain attraction. They don't require the
advanced technology needed to build nuclear weapons. Nor do they
require the educated populace needed to create a modern conventional
military. But they cannot give an inferior force a war-winning
capability. In the Persian Gulf war, the threat of our uncompromising
retaliation with conventional weapons deterred Saddam Hussein from
using his chemical arsenal against us.
Next time, our adversary may be more berserk than Saddam; and
deterrence may fail. If that happens, our retaliation will be decisive,
devastating--and no help to the young American men and women coming
home dead or bearing grievous chemical injuries. What will help is a
treaty removing huge quantities of chemical weapons that could
otherwise be used against us.
Militarily, this treaty will make us stronger. During the Bush
administration, our nation's military and political leadership decided
to retire our chemical weapons. This wise move was not made because of
treaties. Rather, it was based on the fact that chemical weapons are
not useful for us.
Politically and diplomatically, the barriers against their use by a
First World country are massive. Militarily they are risky and
unpredictable to use, difficult and dangerous to store. They serve no
purpose that can't be met by our overwhelming conventional forces.
So the United States has no deployed chemical weapons today and
will have none in the future. But the same is not true of our potential
adversaries. More than a score of nations now seek or possess chemical
weapons. Some are rogue states with which we may someday clash.
This treaty is entirely about eliminating other people's weapons--
weapons that may someday be used against Americans. For the American
military, U.S. ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention is high
gain and low or no pain. In that light, I find it astonishing that any
American opposes ratification.
Opponents argue that the treaty isn't perfect: Verification isn't
absolute, forms must be filled out, not every nation will join at first
and so forth. This is unpersuasive. Nothing in the real world is
perfect. If the U.S. Navy had refused to buy any weapon unless it
worked perfectly every time, we would have bought nothing and now would
be disarmed. The question is not how a treaty compares with perfection.
The question is how U.S. ratification compares with its absence.
If we refuse to ratify, some governments will use our refusal as an
excuse to keep their chemical weapons. Worldwide availability of
chemical weapons will be higher, and we will know less about other
countries' chemical activities. The diplomatic credibility of our
threat of retaliation against anyone who uses chemical weapons on our
troops will be undermined by our lack of ``clean hands.'' At the bottom
line, our failure to ratify will substantially increase the risk of a
chemical attack against American service personnel.
If such an attack occurs, the news reports of its victims in our
military hospitals will of course produce rapid ratification of the
treaty and rapid replacement of Senators who enabled the horror by
opposing ratification. But for the victims it will be too late.
Every man and woman who puts on a U.S. military uniform faces
possible injury or death in the national interest. They don't complain;
risk is part of their job description. But it is part of the job
description of every U.S. Senator to see that this risk not be
[See page 25 for the letter to which Admiral Zumwalt
Senator Hagel [presiding]: Admiral Zumwalt, thank you very
In the interest of time, what Senator Biden and I have
agreed to do, if it is OK with your fellow panelists, is get
the last 15 minutes we have with you, Admiral, with questions.
So, with that, the Chairman had a question and I would turn to
Senator Biden. I understand the Admiral has a 4:30 plane,
if you guys do not mind. I will be very brief.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral, did not the Nonproliferation Treaty regime help us
mobilize the world reaction to North Korea's violations?
Admiral Zumwalt. In my judgment, it did; yes, sir.
Senator Biden. And would we have been able to make a
credible threat of international sanctions had there been no
Admiral Zumwalt. Clearly the regime, the NPT, made that
more feasible and more effective.
Senator Biden. And did not that point you are making about
the CWC, that, at least at a minimum, it establishes a norm
against which, when violations are clear, we can mobilize world
opinion and justify actions we would likely take that we might
not be able to justify in world opinion?
Admiral Zumwalt. Absolutely. It is a less than perfect
step, but far better than the present system.
Senator Biden. In the interest of time, obviously, this is
going to be somewhat more of a statement than a question. I
think you have made five very valid points. That is, as I
translate them, everything the critics say is wrong with this
treaty would be worse if you did not have the treaty.
Everything that is wrong with the treaty would be worse if you
did not have the treaty.
The last point that you made, which you referenced, is
political power. As it relates to Article X and Article XI,
even if my interpretation is wrong, which I believe it is not--
and most legal scholars do not believe it is either--but even
if it is wrong, the place in which we are going to be able to
impact on whether or not another nation transfers technology, a
defensive technology, to a rogue state will not be through a
treaty provision, it will be through our economic power. We
just flat say to Germany and Britain and France and the rest--
we will either say it or we will not--we will either say, if
you do, you have got a problem, and here is the problem, let me
define it for you.
I know that Brent Scowcroft met with his counterparts in
Germany, France, England, and Italy, and every other country in
the world, when they were engaged in things that we might have
had questions about. So the point you make, I think, should not
be missed. Our significant political, military, and economic
power with nations that have the capability of transferring
technology is what is going to determine whether they transfer
The last point I would make is, the Australia Group, I
think they all--and there are 26 of them who have ratified--
they all believe that Article XI in no way, in no way, impedes
the organizational structure of the Australia Group and the
commitment they have made to one another.
Anyway, there is more to say, but I thank you for being
here, and especially for the notice. I jerked you all around,
because we were unable to get a commitment as to when. I
apologize. But I thank you for being here.
Admiral Zumwalt. Thank you.
Senator Hagel. Senator Biden, thank you.
If it is appropriate and OK, what I would like to do, we
have got 10 minutes left, maybe we could break it down into 3-
minute pieces. That way we give our three colleagues an
opportunity to each ask a question.
Senator Frist. Admiral, thank you for being here today. In
the interest of time I have just one question regarding the
countries who have not signed on, the so-called rogue nations,
whether it be Syria or Iraq or North Korea or Libya. If we did
not sign on or if we do sign on, either way, how do you see
this treaty really impacting those particular nations?
Admiral Zumwalt. I think, with or without the treaty, we
can continue to impose sanctions on those rogue nations who
have not come in. With the treaty, we can clearly impose
sanctions on them if they do not respond to our right to
inspect. So it seems to me that we lose nothing and gain
something by the ratification. The fact that that regime exists
as of April 29th, whether or not we are in it, means that we
are foregoing a great opportunity to shape for the better a
regime that does exist. We cannot stop that existence.
Senator Frist. And by our not participating but still
having the regime there, say once again how our presence is
going to affect those nations.
Admiral Zumwalt. Well, the Chairman of this committee, in
my judgment, has done a good job of shaping up the United
Nations by withholding funds. The same thing can be done, or
the other means of asserting political power can be used,
working within the organization, while having the influence of
being a member.
Senator Frist. Thank you, Admiral.
Senator Hagel. Senator, thank you.
Senator Kerry. Thank you very much.
Admiral, welcome. What do you think would be the impact
with respect to Russia and their potential participation if we
do not ratify?
Admiral Zumwalt. I believe that Russia is likelier to come
in if we ratify than if we do not--far likelier. I believe that
we can continue to use all the same kind of methods that we
have used to shape up, if I may use that expression, the
Russians to date, by helping and withholding.
Senator Kerry. Do you, in reading either Article XI or
Article X, do you perceive any overt or discernible conflict or
do you have to search for the conflict that has been described
with respect to Article X and the rights and fundamental
obligations of this treaty?
Admiral Zumwalt. If I understand the points they have made,
I do not--I think there is a consensus on both sides that we do
not find ourselves forced, if we ratify, to do anything that is
harmful to us. The issue is then, what about the other members
of the regime? I repeat again, they are in that regime whether
or not we ratify. So that their conduct is something that we
will have more opportunity to influence from within than from
Senator Kerry. Now, Admiral, you were Chief of Naval
Operations and have had a remarkable career, in charge of our
young people in harm's way. I think that you--and General
Scowcroft likewise, and I will come to him later with this
question--but based on your military career and the
responsibilities that you have had to exercise, in your
judgment, are our military forces and our young people in
uniform better off with this treaty or without?
Admiral Zumwalt. In my judgment, as I say in the documents
that I will submit for the record, they are better off with us
within the treaty than they are without. I believe that it
would be a disservice to our men and women in uniform if we
stay outside this regime, which in any event is going to come
into existence on April 29.
Senator Kerry. And the principal reason in shorthand for
Admiral Zumwalt. That we have the ability better to
influence from within than from without. Pluses and minuses
notwithstanding, the regime exists as of April 29th.
I might also add, Senator, that you used to take orders a
lot better than you do now.
Senator Kerry. Well, I was elected not to take orders.
Thank you. I share with my colleagues that the Admiral was
my commanding officer when I was in Vietnam; yes, he was. I had
the privilege of having him pin my Silver Star on my chest at a
beach in Vietnam. So it is nice to have him here.
Admiral Zumwalt. For a very well deserved act of courage.
Senator Hagel. Senator, for that, you get an extra couple
Senator Kerry. For that, I have learned not to take them.
Senator Hagel. I was going to say, your life is a lot
easier right now, Senator. Seriously, if you would have any
questions, we have a little extra time.
Senator Feinstein. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral Zumwalt. Thank you.
Senator Feinstein. I wanted to go back again to I think the
central point that Mr. Perle made, which was developing a
defense against chemical weapons is perhaps the greatest
incentive to the development of chemical weapons, in the sense
that if you can defend against them adequately, it creates
perhaps an incentive to be able to use them--and particularly,
I guess, with the mentality that might use these horrible
things. Do you agree with that theory?
Admiral Zumwalt. The regime makes it possible for defenses
to be improved. That is unassailable. One has to make a
judgment about the tradeoff between what that accomplishes for
the good of the majority of the nations involved, versus what
opportunities it gives the bad guys to take advantage of it.
The fact that we have created an international regime that
gives us at least some opportunity to provide sanctions, some
opportunity to provide a regime of international law, makes me
feel that, on balance, we are better off to go ahead and take
Senator Feinstein. If you would permit me, the good guys
really do not need this. Because the good guys are not going to
use the chemical weapons. The good guys are going to respond to
a neighbor in need like that and help. It is really the bad
guys that you have got to deal with. My experience is, with the
bad guys, they are going to use this kind of thing for every
conceivable edge they can get. Therefore, why help them?
Admiral Zumwalt. Well, Senator, let us take Iran as an
example. I think we both agree that they are a bad guy. Iran is
going to be within the regime. Based on my experience on the
President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, I would rather
get the advantage of being able to demand the inspections that
we get from this regime than I would to worry about the rather
exotic strategy that my brilliant friend Richard Perle
suggested they would follow. I think that the fact that we
would have the pressure of public opinion, the opportunity to
use political power, and so forth, would more restrain Iran
that otherwise would be the case.
Senator Feinstein. All right. Then take that example. Iran
has an illegal insecticide plant or any kind of a manufacturing
plant. Somewhere within this plant there is some capacity to
make or combine or to produce a chemical weapon in some way.
That is not necessarily going to be found on an inspection. It
probably will not be.
Admiral Zumwalt. There is some probability that it will not
be found. There is some probability that it will be. Coupled
with other intelligence capabilities, which are constantly
improving, I think we can increase that probability over time.
Therefore, I would rather be within the regime than without. I
think we gain more than we lose. I do not trust Iran at all,
but I think that there will be more restraint on them if we are
within the regime and operating it in a vigorous way.
Senator Feinstein. Thank you very much.
Senator Hagel. Senator, thank you.
Admiral Zumwalt, thank you very, very much for taking the
Senator Biden. Thank you very much, Admiral. I appreciate
Admiral Zumwalt. Thank you, sir. Thank you for
accommodating my schedule.
Senator Hagel. I hope you are on your way to somewhere
Admiral Zumwalt. I made a promise to a granddaughter.
Senator Hagel. Oh, wonderful. General Rowny, welcome.
STATEMENT OF EDWARD L. ROWNY, LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U.S. ARMY
(RETIRED), INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATION CONSULTANT
Ambassador Rowny. Thank you, sir.
Before I start, I would like thank the Chairman, Senator
Helms, who is my neighbor and good friend, who stood by me when
I resigned from SALT II in protest over that flawed treaty. I
think we got a good subsequent treaty as a result of turning
down SALT II. I have him to thank for that.
I also have tremendous respect for the minority leader
here, Senator Biden, who attended to our negotiations in
Geneva. While we did not always agree, he was always thoughtful
and fair and never ad hominem. We had a great deal of respect
Senator Biden. Thank you, General.
Ambassador Rowny. Rather than read my prepared statement,
which I would like to put into the record, perhaps I could save
some time by just hitting some of the high points.
I will ad lib however. I would like to have my written
statement put into the record.
Senator Hagel. It will be, without objection.
Ambassador Rowny. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, initially I was opposed to this treaty. I was
opposed to it, because I didn't think it was verifiable. I
didn't like the provisions about the inability to use tear gas
in combat. I didn't like Article X and particularly paragraph 3
of Article X. Most importantly, I felt that this treaty might
lull us into a false sense of security and fail to provide
protection for our troops.
But after listening to various debates and following the
fascinating evolvement of the 30 conditions, 22 of which have
been agreed upon, I have changed my mind. Now I feel that on
balance the U.S. Senate should ratify this treaty.
Let me give you my reasons.
First, as to verifiability, this treaty is not effectively
verifiable. I think that is clear, and I think we should not
kid ourselves that might be.
Second, as to tear gas, I would hope that one of the
conditions that is placed on the treaty allows the use of tear
gas in combat.
Senator Biden. I think we can do that.
Ambassador Rowny. I understand that the treaty allows us to
use tear gas in domestic situations. But, for example, if in
time of war it is necessary to go after a downed pilot, we
should be able to use tear gas to do so.
As for paragraph three of Article X, I think if we could
interpret this in the U.S. way and not the Iranian way, this
would be very helpful.
I want to dwell on this idea of the ability to protect
against chemical weapons. I was appalled when I spoke to
several of my friends who were in the Gulf War that we had to
go to Germany to get protective vehicles, that we had to go to
Great Britain to get our sniffing devices, and that we had to
go to the Czech Republic to get contamination equipment. This
is no way for a great power to operate, to have to rely on its
allies for essential defensive equipment and detection devices.
Also, I think that there are more aspects to defense. We
should help to defend against terrorists in this country, and I
think the moneys and efforts should be put to that end.
Furthermore, I believe that ballistic missile defenses should
be deployed, because I feel that there are several rogue states
which now have ballistic missiles capable of reaching our
troops in time of combat with nuclear, biological, and chemical
warheads. In a few years they will be able to reach the United
I think that we should be able to defend not only our
troops in combat but the United States against an accidental
launch or limited attack. I am not talking about full scale
attacks by China or a resurgent Russia but only about limited
I am encouraged that the administration has now recognized
our lack of defenses and has said that $225 million will be
allocated to protect our troops.
I hope that the Congress will fully support this $225
million to provide the defenses against chemical attack.
As for Russia, I have been working for 4 years since I left
the government to try to get the Russians to ratify START II,
and I have been finding this increasingly difficult. I think it
is important, but in connection I think it is also important
that we get Russia to join the states which would ratify the
President Yeltsin has already signed the CWC, but the Duma
is opposing ratification. I think if the U.S. fails to ratify
the CWC, it will give the Russians an excuse for not ratifying
The United States has been in the vanguard, asking
countries to join this convention. For us to renege and not
ratify the CWC will tarnish our international prestige.
A great deal of the world looks up to us as leaders and for
setting norms and standards. I think, as a minimum, this treaty
would set norms and standards. I am in favor of that.
Mr. Chairman, I was in the arms control business for over 2
decades. I think that there are four criteria for any good
First is verification. Second is that the treaty should not
be flawed. Third is that it be enforceable, and fourth is that
it be in the security interests of the United States.
I have already said that this treaty is not effectively
verifiable. On the other hand, if we were to enter into the
treaty before the 29th of April, we would get a seat within the
process and we would be able to help get violators exposed. I
think on balance we gain more from being on the inside than we
do by being on the outside, especially since this treaty is
going to come into effect in any case.
The second criterion is that a treaty not be fatally
flawed. While the CWC is a flawed treaty, I don't think any of
the flaws are fatal. The flaws that are there I think are
fixable. I think the tear gas flaw is fixable. I think that
paragraph 3 of Article X is fixable. Therefore, I do not think
that the fatally flawed argument can apply against this treaty.
As for the third criterion, enforceability, no arms control
agreement can stand on its own. Even the START I and START II
treaties, with which I was proud to be associated, can not
stand on their own. To make a treaty effective you need a good
defense posture. You have to have a credible way of enforcing
it. If you don't have that, an arms control treaty is not worth
the paper it is written on.
I would hope, again as a matter of emphasis, that we give
whatever moneys are necessary to defend ourselves against an
attack in the field, terrorist attacks at home, and ballistic
Finally, the vital fourth criterion of any treaty is that
it be in the interest of the United States. On weighing the
pros and cons I have concluded after a lot of thoughtful
consideration, that the U.S. Senate should ratify this treaty.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of General Rowny follows:]
Prepared Statement of General Edward L. Rowny
Mr. Chairman: It is a privilege for me to testify once again before
the Foreign Relations Committee.
Until recently, I was opposed to the ratification of the Chemical
Weapons Convention (CWC) by the U. S. Senate. My initial reading of the
CWC led me to believe that it was unverifiable, that it would prevent
the U.S. from using tear gas in combat, and that it would obligate us
to provide sensitive chemical technology to signatory rogue states.
However, my major concern was that the United States might be lulled
into a false sense of security and fail to provide adequate defenses
for our men and women in uniform and citizens at home.
I have now studied the treaty more carefully and have also followed
the negotiations of the 30 conditions opponents want to attach to the
convention. I have been impressed with the Administration's willingness
to negotiate a number of these conditions. Accordingly, I have changed
my mind, and I now feel that ratification of the CWC would be in the
best interests of the United States.
The treaty is clearly not verifiable. However, I believe that we
can gain from being a member of the inspection framework. it is
important that the U.S. Senate ratify the CWC before 29 April, 1997 so
that we may be a party to the verification process and that American
inspectors, who are among the best trained and experienced in the
world, can become members of the international inspectorate. It is true
that there are certain disadvantages to being a party to the inspection
process. However, I am convinced that we have more to gain by being on
the inside than on the outside looking in.
I still have misgivings about the prohibition against the use of
tear gas during time of war. While I understand that it is not
prohibited for use in domestic situations, I can visualize many cases
where non-lethal agents would be beneficial in combat.
As for the obligation to share defensive technology in all cases, I
do not subscribe to the Iranian interpretation of Article X. Rather, I
am convinced that the treaty can be interpreted in a way that protects
our interests without violating the terms of the CWC.
When it comes to my major concern, I was appalled to learn from
several officers that during the Gulf War they had to borrow detection
equipment from Great Britain, protected vehicles from Germany, and
decontamination equipment from the Czech Republic. I am encouraged by
the Administration's recent request for funds which would eliminate or
mitigate the dangers to our soldiers in combat and our civilian
populace. This demonstrates an awareness of our inadequate defensive
posture and progress to correct it. However, it is important that the
$225 million in requested expenditures be approved by the Congress.
I believe that it is also important that the Administration pursue
a vigorous program to provide ballistic missile defenses for our forces
overseas and for our people at home against accidental launches and
limited attacks by rogue states. Several of these states now possess
ballistic missiles equipped with nuclear, biological and chemical
warheads capable of striking our U.S. troops deployed overseas and will
soon be capable of striking the United States. Protecting our soldiers
in combat and our civilians from terrorist activities, accidental
launches, and rogue state attacks requires not only the request for
funds by the administration, but the provision of such funds by the
The CWC will come into effect on 29 April, 1997 whether the U.S.
Senate ratifies it or not. A failure to ratify the treaty would place
us outside the world's civilized nations and associate us with the
pariahs. Additionally, failure of the U.S. Senate to ratify the CWC
would give the Russian Duma an excuse to discard the treaty. It is
important that Russia become a party to the treaty so that we can
inspect their facilities which are reportedly developing new chemical
I am also concerned that our enviable position as leaders of the
free world would suffer if we fail to ratify a treaty we have convinced
scores of other nations to join. We are highly respected and admired
abroad largely because of our leadership in establishing high standards
and norms of international conduct. At the very least, the CWC will
establish such norms and standards for others to follow.
For more than two decades as an arms controller, I have maintained
that arms control agreements must meet four criteria. First, they must
be effectively verifiable; second, they must not contain fatal flaws;
third, they must be enforceable; and fourth, they must serve the
interests of the United States.
The CWC does not meet the first criterion; it is not effectively
verifiable. However, the problem of verifying the production and
stockpiling of chemicals is more difficult than that of verifying the
existence and storage of ballistic missiles, bombers, and air delivered
weapons. I believe that under the CWC we stand to gain more information
than we might lose.
As for the second criterion, while the treaty is flawed, none of
the flaws, in my opinion, is a fatal one. Moreover, I believe that
continued discussions between the White House and the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee can remove or mitigate some of the remaining flaws.
The third criterion is a critical one. No arms control treaty,
including the START treaties, of which I am proud, can stand alone. The
CWC by itself will not protect our troops or citizens, but it will be
useful if--and only if--we spend the funds to protect ourselves and
have the will to do whatever is necessary to enforce the terms of the
Finally, we come to the vital fourth criterion, that the treaty be
in the best interests of the United States. The bottom line must answer
the question, ``Are we better off with the CWC or without it?'' Careful
analysis and my considered judgment lead me to conclude that we will be
better off with it than without it.
Accordingly, I respectfully urge the United States Senate to ratify
the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Senator Hagel. General Rowny, thank you.
General Scowcroft, welcome.
STATEMENT OF GENERAL BRENT SCOWCROFT, PRESIDENT, FORUM FOR
INTERNATIONAL POLICY, AND FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
ADVISOR, WASHINGTON, D.C.
General Scowcroft. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a great
pleasure for me to appear before this distinguished committee
on such an important issue.
At the outset, I would like to make one thing clear.
Chairman Helms made some comment about support being
orchestrated by the White House. I want to make sure everybody
understands I am not orchestrated by the White House. I am
orchestrated by my concern for the national interest. It is in
that capacity that I appear.
We are talking about how best to deal with one of the
scourges of modern man, one of the three weapons of mass
destruction, and in some respects the most distasteful one.
I am going to be very brief, because I am going to follow
Senator Biden's prescription to keep my eye on the ball. I
think a lot of the debate this afternoon has been on
We are not starting a treaty here. We are finishing a
treaty. When you strip where we are now to its basic
essentials, what is facing us in the Chemical Warfare
Convention are very narrow and relatively straight-forward
First is: The United States is going out of the chemical
weapons business. We were forbidden many years ago, quite a few
years ago, by the Congress to modernize our chemical stocks by
building the so-called binaries; and subsequent to that we
agreed legislatively to mandate the unilateral destruction of
our chemical weapons stocks.
We are going out of the business. That is the first major
The second one is that the Chemical Warfare Convention will
enter into force whether or not the United States ratifies it.
We are not dealing with a bunch of putty here that we can mold
any way we want.
So the basic question is really a very simple one: Is the
national interest served better by acceding to the treaty or by
staying outside the convention? The question is not whether
this is the perfect treaty.
As other witnesses today have said, there is no perfect
treaty for chemical weapons. Their manufacture is a lot like
insecticides and fertilizers. There is no truly verifiable
treaty. So that is not the issue before us.
There is not even a possible treaty written just as the
United States would like it; because some 160 nations have
signed this treaty, and any multilateral convention requires
compromise of one way or another.
There is only before us this particular treaty. Given the
real world situation we are in, therefore, I think the answer
to the question is a resounding yes to ratification of the
treaty, because it is in the national interest of the United
States. I want to digress to make just a couple of points about
some of the earlier questions. First is about the
As Ambassador Kirkpatrick was winding up, I was waiting for
her real punch line, the logical conclusion to her remarks
which should be that we would be better off had there been no
Nonproliferation Treaty. I think General Rowny has clearly
pointed out, as have you, Senator Biden, that that is not the
Is it flawed? Sure. Do I have problems with it? Sure. But I
think there is no question that the treaty played some kind of
role in the fact that--I think it was President Kennedy who
said that there were going to be 25 nuclear powers within the
next decade, but that has not happened.
So it is something better than nothing.
Article X of the CWC has come in for a lot of discussion
today. As I recall, the purpose for Article X was to help those
countries who abided by the treaty who might be threatened by
chemical attack to be able to defend themselves. Now that is a
pretty logical kind of thing. This is not some nefarious thing
that the negotiators just cooked up to make a bad treaty. It is
a very logical course of action.
Now as to the argument that one would never use chemical
weapons until one had this perfect defense and, therefore, that
is the real threat, I think that is not true. Chemical weapons
are the poor man's nuclear weapons. But chemical weapons have,
I think, demonstrated that they are not militarily useful
weapons. There were masses of stocks of chemical weapons in
World War II, which was certainly a no holds barred war.
Against an enemy that has defenses, chemical weapons are an
irritant; they are not overwhelming.
Chemical weapons are valuable as a terror weapon, and you
don't need defenses to fire missiles armed with chemical
weapons, aircraft dropping chemical weapons. Therefore I think
that is a very important aspect in which Article X needs to be
As for reporting requirements, one of the things that has
been overlooked, other than to complain about the
administration's treaty, is that it does require reporting of
shipments of chemical materials and so on.
Right now, it is possible for a country to buy a few pounds
of a precursor here or a few pounds there, a few pounds
somewhere else, and to amass an abnormal supply without anybody
ever noticing it. That won't be possible anymore. Therefore, we
will have a better idea of what's going on and who the bad guys
seem to be.
We should ratify this treaty, recognizing that it is not a
silver bullet. It is just one weapon--a good one, but just
one--in our fight against chemical weapons, and we must
continue to employ every weapon in the U.S. arsenal to fight
this terror weapon. We cannot sit back and relax.
I think one of the things this sharp debate has brought to
the national attention is that this is important and we cannot
just sign it and forget about it.
Starting over, as was suggested this afternoon, I think is
pure fantasy. If we reject this treaty, we will incur the
bitterness of all of our friends and allies who followed us for
10 years in putting this thing together. It is not a matter of,
``Just well, let's scrap this and let's start over again.'' We
will throw the whole civilized world into confusion, and the
idea that we can then lead out again down a different path I
think is just not in the cards. We have got to deal with the
situation we face now, not an ideal one out in the future.
Let me close by saying that I spoke to President Bush this
morning, and he asked me to state for the record that he is a
strong and enthusiastic supporter of the Chemical Warfare
Convention and that it would be a severe blow to the U.S. role
in the world were we to repudiate it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Hagel. General Scowcroft, as always, thank you.
Again, General Rowny, we are pleased to have you both here.
In consultation with my colleague, Senator Biden, what we
will do is go back to the 5 minute rule, if that is
Is that OK, Senator Kerry?
Senator Kerry. (Nods affirmatively)
Senator Hagel. I will begin. Picking up, General Scowcroft,
on your last comment about President Bush's continued
commitment, full support of the CWC, I am intrigued in that
yesterday we read a letter from former Secretary of Defense
Cheney. You and Secretary Cheney are both highly respected,
highly regarded, insightful leaders. You worked closely
together. You fought a war together.
My understanding is that President Bush has great
confidence in each of you. Could you explain to me how the two
of you have now come at this differently, why Secretary Cheney
can feel as he does and you feel as you do?
General Scowcroft. Well, Mr. Chairman, I would be uneasy
putting words in Secretary Cheney's mouth. He is a dear friend
of mine. We went through the last 4 years of negotiation of
this treaty and evolution in what we were going to do, whether
we were to going retain residuals until so many people
ratified--the whole gamut of things.
What I will say is that I think it is a fair statement--I
don't think Dick would contest this--that Dick Cheney does not
like arms control. He thinks we ought to do whatever we are
going to do for our own national defense interest and not do it
as an attempt to get somebody else to do something.
That he would not have chosen to have the treaty signed I
think is a fair statement. He did not resign over it. When
President Bush decided to sign the CWC, he didn't make any
comment on it. But I have talked to him, and he speaks for
himself. But we simply differ on this issue.
Senator Hagel. I don't know if you have had an opportunity
to see the letter that he forwarded to us.
General Scowcroft. I have not seen his letter. I talked to
him about 3 weeks ago.
Senator Hagel. If you're interested, we will give you a
copy of it----
General Scowcroft. I'd like that.
Senator Hagel [continuing]. Because he gets into some
specificity, as much as you can in a one page letter.
Obviously you had some occasion, as you suggest, to work
with him a little bit and talk with him about this issue.
I have another question on Israel. My understanding is that
they have not ratified this yet. Do you know why that would be?
General Scowcroft. No, I really don't. As a matter of fact,
I think I assumed they had ratified it. I am not clear about
My guess is that they are waiting for the United States.
Senator Hagel. General Rowny, would you care to make a
Ambassador Rowny. I subscribe to what Brent Scowcroft said.
In the first place, I don't know. But I think they are waiting
for the United States, and they want to follow our lead. I know
that they were very worried during the Gulf War that they would
be bombarded and, they were grateful for our help in trying to
knock down those missiles and so forth. They were very keen on
relying on our assistance to get a better defensive system, and
I am sure that goes over into the chemical field as well.
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
I would be interested in both of your thoughts on this. I
think you each were here when the panel before you addressed
some of the issues. You will recall Ambassador Kirkpatrick,
Secretary Perle, and yesterday Secretary Schlesinger all talked
about the IAEA and some of the ramifications in this opinion as
to what has happened and has occurred. Would either of you like
to respond to some of what you heard today from some of the two
panels before you?
General Scowcroft. Let me just say that the IAEA was put
together in a way which was not very effective. The terms under
which it can inspect were not very effective. But we have some
experience, and now I believe we are undertaking a way to make
the IAEA very much tougher and to take over responsibilities
for inspections that are now the responsibility of UNSCOM and
Incidentally, UNSCOM has done a fantastic job. So I think
IAEA can be made a very effective instrument in nuclear
nonproliferation. But it could not if we did not have it--if we
did not have an NPT.
Again, I would say that what we are really arguing is does
this treaty help us at all. Since we are out of the chemical
weapons business, if it gives us some help, we ought to look
for help and take it anywhere we can find it; and I think we'd
get some help here.
Senator Hagel. General, thank you.
General Rowny, I want to hear your response as well.
Ambassador Rowny. My response is similar to that of General
Scowcroft, though I would go a little further.
The IAEA was initially inexperienced, but they have come a
long way. That is one of the reasons that I think we ought to
get in on the ground floor and the initial round of the CWC.
The United States has the best trained inspectors in the world.
Also, we have learned a lot about countering the
restrictions. In the old days, we could not go in unless Iraq
invited us to do so.
This treaty has many inspection provisions. There are pages
and pages of verification protocols which would bind any nation
trying to get around the CWC.
On the point that was made that we would train other people
to be able to circumvent this treaty, I think that is somewhat
overblown. Even if it is not overblown, I would take that risk.
I would rather be able to go in and inspect, knowing how to
inspect and having a lot of rules behind me, even if I knew
that I might be giving inspection secrets away.
Accordingly, I believe that this treaty would be more
easily enforceable than its predecessors.
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
Senator Biden. Thank you very much.
General Scowcroft, the point that you made I think is a
very important point to make, not merely about Secretary Cheney
who is a wonderful, fine, bright American. As a matter of fact,
just as an editorial comment, I thought for sure he was going
to be your nominee. I mean that sincerely.
This guy has a presence, an articulation. But I think the
point you made is an important one to make here generally.
If you look across the board, the bulk of the problem, the
bulk of the opposition comes from people who legitimately, and
truly consistent with their philosophy and intellectual
predisposition, if you will, do not like arms control.
One of the things that our distinguished Chairman said when
he spoke on the floor the first time on this is he quoted what
has been quoted 50 times by a lot of people. I do not say this
in a derisive manner. It is: As so and so said, America has
never lost a war or won a treaty.
That is doctrine among an awful lot of people. I do not
belittle it. I just think it is important that we put it in
I mean, we have in here a very bright young guy, Mr.
Gaffney. In all fairness to Mr. Gaffney, who is sort of the
intellectual engine on the right on this one right now, has he
ever seen a treaty he likes? It's kind of like: Do you ever
take yes for an answer?
I understand that. But it is really important that we all
understand it so that we can put into perspective some of the
The second point I would like to make is, if you look at
the argumentation against the treaty, it is the ultimate Catch
22. The criticism my friends make of the treaty in terms of the
Fourth Amendment: If you want to guarantee there is no
possibility of ever arguing about it, you have to do something
they also do not support, which is these onsite inspections
without notification. If you eliminate those, then you have no
Fourth Amendment debate. But guess what happens. You eliminate
the ability for it to be verifiable and you diminish it.
You can go down every single argument. I think we should
just make this clear. There is no way to satisfy the critics,
the strongest and most articulate critics of this treaty, other
than by solving half of their problem. If you solve half their
problem, that is the most you can solve. You can't solve it
all, because it makes the other portions they criticize even
Now, General Rowny, I don't know whether people understand
something. I have been here 24 years. I don't know whether they
understand how significant your presence here is. I mean, I
really don't know whether people fully understand it.
In my humble opinion, in terms of bringing bona fides to
this debate, with no disrespect to anyone, from General
Scowcroft to the President of the United States of America, to
President Bush or anybody, you are, in my view, the single most
significant supporter of this treaty. You resigned--you
resigned--on principle over an arms control agreement you said
you didn't like. Here you are, a man whose credentials in terms
of being tough, yet still who believes some treaties are
useful, here you are supporting the treaty.
Now I realize there are ad hominem arguments. I realize
there are appeals to authority. I realize there are logical
fallacies. But one of the things that, in fact, impacts on this
debate overall is the vast majority of people do not have the
time to do what the acting chairman and I are doing or any of
the members of this committee, or that you all have done. You
know it, we hopefully know it, but the vast majority of
Americans do what we do on everything else. They are looking at
people they respect and are saying well, if it is good enough
for them, it is good enough for me as I respect them. Or if
they don't like it, I don't like it.
That is not an irrational thing to do. So, I want to tell
you that I think it is very important you are both here.
I think it is fair to say the three of us, you two and me,
have been on the opposite sides of more debates than we have
been on the same side.
General Scowcroft. I believe so.
Senator Biden. So I want to thank you for being here. I
would conclude, Mr. Chairman, since Mr. Kerry is not here quite
Senator Hagel. Just go ahead, Senator Biden.
Senator Biden [continuing]. By saying one of the things we
talked about in terms of inspections before. Mr. Perle, who is
always articulate, Mr. Perle made the point that what is going
to happen here is we are going to have these rogue nation guys
on the teams, meaning Iran, coming into the United States,
inspecting, carrying little gadgets in their pockets and
learning all there is to know about either trade secrets and/or
a capacity to make chemical weapons better when they get home.
On Part II, paragraphs 1 and 4 specify that we can deny
individual inspectors if we give notice.
So no Iranian ever has to inspect an American facility if
that is the decision we make.
It is not a requirement. The good news about this is you
may ask well, couldn't they deny us inspection. Yes. Yes, but
we have allies, like France, Britain, and Germany who are part
of this operation. We share with them a lot of this, our
technological capability of detection. So, the fact that we
would be denied inspection does not hurt us very much, having
an inspector on a team. But their being denied at least should
satisfy some of our critics of this treaty as to somehow they
are all of a sudden going to be able to learn all there is to
I find it interesting that when we thought, as a Nation,
and other nations thought that chemical weapons were a useful
tool of war, we did not have a vial of it, we did not have a
canister of it, we did not have a truck load of it, we did not
have a warehouse full of it. We had hundreds of tons of it.
So the idea when people say to me, isn't it true that in a
chemical plant, or a fertilizer plant, or a pharmaceutical
plant they could be producing chemical weapons, the answer is
yes, they could. We might not be able to detect it.
But let me tell you something. I think the image, General
Scowcroft, is people are thinking of a Japanese guy with sarin
gas in the subway taking on the U.S. Army. I really mean that.
I am not being facetious.
Listen to the distinguished Senator from California. It is
a legitimate concern.
I think we have to kind of remind ourselves. We are not
seeing the forest from the trees. Cheating will occur. But the
idea that enough cheating could occur that the U.S. military
would be in ulti-
mate jeopardy of losing a war--not a single encounter but a
war--that we would be prostrate is bizarre. It is absolutely
I just think in terms of keeping the focus here, when you
argue on the other guy's terms, you tend to lose the argument.
The terms we tend to argue on--at least I do, because I am so
acquainted with the detail of this thing. I get so into the
detail of it I argue about the specifics, when you can't lose.
That is why I conclude by thanking you, General, for your
overall statement of the generic approach to this thing and why
this is in our interest. It is in our interest, because the
idea that somebody can cheat is true. But the idea that
somebody could cheat enough to become a world power that is
going to defeat the United States of America, the idea that we
are going to be in a position where these rogue nations are
going to gain all our trade secrets and build better Chevettes
or Corvettes that we build, or our pharmaceutical products, is,
at best, to use your phrase, General Rowny--and you are always
a diplomat. You said you think this example is a little
I think that is a mild understatement, a mild
You will be glad to know that wasn't a question. I just
cannot tell you how much I appreciate people of your caliber
being here. I know it is not easy, General, to be here. All
those guys were here. You sat on the same side of the table
with them for a long, long time, as have you, General
Scowcroft. This is an issue on which reasonable and honorable
men can disagree. But I think the break point basically divides
generally those who think arms control can be a useful tool for
national security, who fall on this side (indicating), and
those who think arms control generally is a bad idea, who fall
on that side.
I think if you look down the line, that is the ultimate
distinguishing feature about where people fall on this treaty.
Ambassador Rowny. Senator, if I can elaborate on that, I
agree with you that there are people who believe that all arms
control treaties are good, and there are some who say all arms
control treaties are bad. I happen to have been all along for
good arms control.
Senator Biden. I know that, General.
Ambassador Rowny. When I resigned in protest over SALT II,
it was difficult, because I was drummed out of the Army. But
later, when we fixed the flaws of SALT II, we got a good
treaty: START I. START I reduced from 15,000 to 8,000 weapons
on each side.
As I said before, you cannot do this in a vacuum. You have
to always do it with the threat of being able to enforce the
treaty, and without that, I don't think arms control is useful.
That is why I would like to see pressure put on Russia now
to have the Duma ratify START II. I have been working on this
idea for 3 years, and believe that we should go even further by
moving to START III.
Senator Biden. I agree with you, General.
Ambassador Rowny. The idea is to get good arms control
agreements and also to have them bolstered with good,
enforceable methods of carrying them out.
Senator Biden. I'll make you a bet that I hope I never win.
If we do not ratify the CWC, the chances of the Duma ratifying
START II, irrespective of all other questions, I think is
remote. It is remote at best. It is difficult now and you are
The only point I want to make--and, Mr. Chairman, I have
gone way over my time--is you are a man of principle, General.
That is the only point I was making or attempting to make. I
hope I made it clear. You are a man of principle. You gave up a
lot on a principle, a principle. So, when people suggest--and
no one here has, friend or foe--when people suggest that people
are orchestrated to come here, General Scowcroft is a man who
has taken on me in this committee, and the Democrats time and
again. He is a guy who in my view educated my best friend, Bill
Cohen, and that is why he is Secretary of Defense. General
Rowny is a man of absolute principle who thinks that good arms
control is as he defined it, and there is good arms control.
The fact that you both are here I think is a big deal.
It reinforces my view of this treaty, quite frankly,
because we all look to the people we admire as to whether or
not they like it; and it reinforces our sense of the place we
intellectually arrived at. The fact that you both are there
quite frankly just reinforces and makes me feel better about my
Senator Hagel. If I could follow up, General Rowny, on
something you mentioned earlier, you mentioned that you thought
this was a flawed treaty, like I believe you said most are, but
fixable. I think you mentioned specifically Paragraph 3 of
What other areas do you think need to be addressed?
Ambassador Rowny. Just one other area, Senator. That is the
one on tear gas. I have never understood this. It has a long
history. As you know, President Ford issued an executive order.
Brent Scowcroft played golf with him a good deal, and he might
be able to understand that executive order at that time. But I
felt that the idea of prohibiting the use of tear gas in times
of war, I have always felt that was a mistake. I would like to
see that one fixed in some way.
That is the only other flaw that I see in the treaty.
Senator Hagel. To each of you, Admiral Zumwalt mentioned
sanctions on those signatories who might violate the
What realistically are we talking about when you say
sanctions? Iran is a signatory. They violate inspections. If we
find they have violated the convention, what do we do?
General Scowcroft. Well, I think sanctions run all the way
from doing something that makes you feel good when you really
don't want to take action but you have to do something to what
I would call sanctions on Iraq right now, which are effective.
They are good. UNSCOM is over there, they are rooting around,
and they are finding out all kinds of things. That is the
ultimate in sanctions.
Senator Hagel. Would the entire body, as you read this
treaty, be involved in the sanctioning process of a violating
General Scowcroft. I think in the end, Mr. Chairman,
sanctions depend on the national interest of the country
whatever a treaty says. We could have responded when Iraq used
chemicals against Iran or against its own people. Politically,
nobody did; and they didn't, because there were other kinds of
things that militated against it.
I think you always have to look at sanctions in that light.
Collective security is a chimera. It is never going to work,
because when you don't know who the enemy is, then you cannot
defend against it.
So every country is going to consult its own national
interest when it decides whether or not to go with sanctions.
That is where the United States is so important, because when
we decide, we can get a lot of people along with us. When we
sit on the sidelines, there isn't anybody else to pick up the
ball and carry it.
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
Ambassador Rowny. I have a less optimistic view about
sanctions. I think that sanctions can be helpful, but I think
in the end, you have to use more than sanctions in critical
cases. So I would say: use sanctions. If they work, fine. If
they don't, don't hesitate to use your military muscle, and I
think in some cases you have to.
The Chemical Weapons Convention is important; but we have a
more sinister set of circumstances facing us down the road, and
that is the biological warfare issue. The Biological Weapons
Treaty does not have any of the verification procedures
contained in the CWC. As you know, Russia denied developing
anthrax. Now there are reports that they have developed a new
biological weapon which is not detectable. There is a vast
difference between chemical and biological weapons. A chemical
weapon will disperse and you can protect against it. However,
biological weapons do not disperse but grow.
So I would hope as soon as this treaty is ratified that the
Senate, and this committee in particular, turn their attention
to the possible dangers of biological warfare, which, in my
view, are more devastating than chemical weapons.
In this connection, I would not hesitate to go beyond
sanctions and use whatever it takes to prevent against this
great scourge. If what happened with just a few whiffs of sarin
gas in Japan were to happen in this country, I think we would
never forgive ourselves.
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
Senator Biden. General, you just made, again, the point
that I think it is important to keep in mind. You heard the
last panel, all brilliant people, all decent, honorable people.
This is the dividing line again. They said not only is this
treaty bad, but if we ever tried to do anything in biological
weapons, which is less verifiable, it would be a disaster.
I just want to keep reinforcing the point here. I happen to
agree with you completely, General. People fall down on most of
these issues based on which side of this treaty line they fall
As you heard spontaneously, three of the four witnesses
said by the way, this is bad, but if you guys ever start
looking at biological weapons, that would even be worse.
Now the question I would like to ask you is--or I guess I
would make more of a point and would ask you to respond. In my
view, when you were dealing and this administration was
dealing, General Scowcroft, with Korea's attempt at, desire to,
and potentially having achieved a nuclear capacity, nuclear
weapons, there was a lot of loose talk up here with guys like
me and others. It got all around. I refer not to you but to us,
We said if they do develop or are on the verge of
developing that capacity, we may very well have to use
preemptive military action. That was talked about around the
I cannot fathom even being able to raise that issue had we
not been part of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. If there
were not an international norm established, the idea that in
capitals--and I was in Europe at the time as well--the idea
that in capitals of the world there was no commitment to use
force, but no commitment to rule out the use of force, there is
no way, in my view, there would have been any--any--ability to
even contemplate that and to gain anything remotely approaching
international understanding for the possible need of
preemptively using force.
Now I am not suggesting that you suggested that, General. I
want to make the record clear.
General Scowcroft. I did.
Senator Biden. Well, OK. I am not speaking for you now. But
I was up here, as you will recall, saying the same thing that
So, again, I state it to reinforce a point that seems to
get lost as we focus on these individual trees in this forest.
This is that national and international norms make a
difference. They make a difference. They are not dispositive in
every case, but they make a difference.
Had we followed Ambassador Kirkpatrick's notion of never
having gone forward with the Nonproliferation Treaty, the idea
that we would have had the consensus to consider--and I
believe, General, your statements and recommendation were part
of the reason why, ultimately, it did not go to the point we
worried about it going. Now I am not now here positing where it
At any rate, if you would like to comment, fine, but there
is no need to comment. I just think international norms make a
General Scowcroft. Well, one of the things that we did not
really discuss this afternoon and that I thought about putting
in my remarks, but I did not want to be accused of being
``goody-goody'' is that the very fact that you mobilize world
opinion and say these things are bad, we are going to mobilize
the international community against them, this does put
pressure on the hold-outs. If they are doing things wrong, it
is easier to call attention to it.
We have no coordinated kind of social, if you will,
pressure on the rogue states right now in this area.
Senator Biden. That's right. I agree.
Senator Hagel. Senator, are there any more questions?
Senator Biden. No. Again, gentlemen, particularly for the
way you got bounced around by me in terms of timing on this, I
just cannot tell you how much I appreciate your being here and
how important I think it is that you are here.
Thank you both.
Senator Hagel. On behalf of the committee, thank you. Just
as the other panel, you all have brought a tremendous amount of
experience and insight to this. As you suggested, General
Scowcroft, this is a critically important issue for this
country and the world, and we need to spend as much time as we
have been spending and that we will spend to air it all out.
So on behalf of all of us, thank you.
Senator Biden. Thank you.
Senator Hagel. We are adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 5:20 p.m. The committee adjourned, to
reconvene at 2:03 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, 1997.]