NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1998 (House of Representatives - June 19, 1997)

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Mr. DELLUMS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume...

Mr. Chairman, I applaud the committee in its retreat from an ABM Treaty busting approach to missile defenses. The last several years many of our colleagues were hell-bent to develop a national missile defense system that challenged the ABM system, the ABM Treaty. I have always argued that any time one moved to abrogate a treaty, when we are holding the public trust, when we have fiduciary responsibility for our children and our children's children, we ought to walk in a very fragile manner when we start to talk about moving beyond treaties. In this bill, I am pleased that we have sort of retreated from that.

I believe that it is implicit embraced, this bill, of the administration's beefed up 3-plus-3 missile program, seeks to accelerate a program for which the requirements, and, Mr. Chairman, as my colleagues well knows, and its capabilities have yet to be demonstrated. We have spent billions. Requirements have not been demonstrated. Capabilities have not been demonstrated. We stand on the verge of spending too much too fast in a quest for defenses against threats that remain remote and manageable by other strategies in the near future. If that is true, slow down the train and let us start to talk about these matters before we spend so much money...

Mr. Chairman, as my colleagues know, the cooperative threat reduction funding program, euphemistically known as Nunn-Lugar funds, to date what has transpired as a result of spending these few dollars on cooperative threat reduction? The safe removal to secure facilities of more than 3,300 strategic nuclear warheads from missiles . Three thousand three hundred nuclear warheads in the context of the former Soviet Union have now been moved to safe facilities. We were spending $300 billion per year prepared to wage war with the Soviet Union. Yet for a handful of dollars with the Nunn-Lugar program we have removed 3,300 nuclear warheads...

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