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S. Hrg. 105-159
THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR DETERRENCE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY,
PROLIFERATION, AND FEDERAL SERVICES
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
FEBRUARY 12, 1997
Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
38-379 cc WASHINGTON : 1997
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
FRED THOMPSON, Tennessee, Chairman
WILLIAM V. ROTH, Jr., Delaware JOHN GLENN, Ohio
TED STEVENS, Alaska CARL LEVIN, Michigan
SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois
THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
DON NICKLES, Oklahoma MAX CLELAND, Georgia
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania
Hannah S. Sistare, Staff Director and Counsel
Leonard Weiss, Minority Staff Director
Michal Sue Prosser, Chief Clerk
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, PROLIFERATION AND FEDERAL
THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi, Chairman
TED STEVENS, Alaska CARL LEVIN, Michigan
SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois
DON NICKLES, Oklahoma ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania MAX CLELAND, Georgia
Mitchel B. Kugler, Staff Director
Julie Sander, Chief Clerk
C O N T E N T S
Senator Cochran.............................................. 1
Senator Levin................................................ 2
Senator Stevens.............................................. 15
Senator Glenn................................................ 53
Wednesday, February 12, 1997
Hon. Walter B. Slocombe, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy,
Department of Defense.......................................... 3
General Andrew J. Goodpaster, U.S. Army (Retired), Co-Chair, The
Atlantic Council of the United States.......................... 25
Richard Perle, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute.... 33
Alphabetical List of Witnesses
Goodpaster, Gen. Andrew J. (Ret.):
Prepared statement........................................... 29
Prepared statement........................................... 39
Slocombe, Hon. Walter B.:
Prepared statement........................................... 20
Questions and Answers from Senator Glenn for:
Hon. Slocombe................................................ 53
General Goodpaster........................................... 60
Joint Statement on Reduction of Nuclear Weapons by Generals
Goodpaster and Butler.......................................... 61
Statement on Nuclear Weapons by International Generals and
THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR DETERRENCE
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1997
Subcommittee on International Security,
Proliferation, and Federal Services,
of the Committee on Governmental Affairs,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:35 a.m., in
room SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Thad Cochran,
Chairman of the Subcommittee, presiding.
Present: Senators Cochran, Stevens, Levin, and Durbin.
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR COCHRAN
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR LEVIN
Senator Cochran. Thank you very much, Senator Levin.
Senator Durbin, any opening comments?
Senator Durbin. I do not have any. Thank you.
Senator Cochran. Mr. Secretary, you may proceed.
TESTIMONY OF HON. WALTER B. SLOCOMBE,
UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR POLICY,
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Senator Cochran. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Let me first
commend you for the excellent effort to pull together all of
the arguments in support of a policy of deterrence in this new
environment. I am impressed with the effort that has obviously
gone into the preparation of this statement.
Mr. Slocombe. Thank you.
Senator Cochran. And we appreciate that kind of effort for
Mr. Slocombe. Thank you, sir.
Senator Cochran. My impression of this statement is that it
is consistent in terms of policy with the President's 1996
National Security Strategy of Engagement Enlargement Report,
which he submitted to Congress last February. In that report to
Congress, the President said, ``The United States will retain a
triad of strategic nuclear forces sufficient to deter any
future hostile foreign leadership with access to strategic
nuclear forces from acting against our vital interests and to
convince it that seeking a nuclear advantage would be futile.
We will continue to maintain nuclear forces of such sufficient
size and capability to hold at risk a broad range of assets
valued by such political and military leaders.''
Is your conclusion the same as mine that your statement is
consistent with that statement of policy reflected in the
President's February 1996 report to Congress?
Mr. Slocombe. Yes, Senator Cochran, and indeed it
incorporates that statement.
Senator Cochran. There is a suggestion throughout the
policy that while it may be unrealistic to have as a goal the
elimination of nuclear weapons in the U.S. defense arsenal in
the foreseeable future, it is not unrealistic to expect that we
could get to low numbers of nuclear weapons and still have the
same kind of deterrent impact. Is that a fair statement? That
there is a difference between low numbers of nuclear weapons
and no nuclear weapons as a matter of deterrence policy?
Mr. Slocombe. Yes, indeed.
Senator Cochran. There is some suggestion by some who say
that if we were to have such low numbers that rogue States or
other nations who think about developing a nuclear arsenal of
their own could expect to match our arsenal or have enough
power in their nuclear arsenal that they would risk the
development of nuclear weapons, whereas if we had an
overwhelming superiority, that because of expense, technical
expertise or access to the ingredients for nuclear weapons
production or maybe other reasons as well, that they would
probably abandon any kind of notion. What is your reaction to
Mr. Slocombe. As I said in the statement, it is our
objective to reach the lowest prudent level of force for
nuclear deterrence. What that low level is, of course, is a
matter for analysis and study and not simply for assertion.
Sometimes people talk about numbers in the couple of hundred
range. For a variety of reasons, under current and foreseeable
conditions, I believe that such low numbers would have a number
of risks and disadvantages. One is the one you identify, that
although very few proliferant countries would be able to get
even to those numbers, it still is not totally out of the
question with a massive program to match those numbers.
Perhaps even more important, in an important sense what
continues to be essential for a proper nuclear force is that it
should be survivable, that it should not be susceptible to easy
attack, and one inevitably worries, with forces of even a
couple of hundred, whether you could meet that condition. It is
our policy now that even the sharply reduced force should have
a high level of survivability, and extremely low numbers have
to be looked at very closely from that point of view.
Thirdly, there are issues about the targeting doctrine that
would have to be associated with such low forces. Those are
difficult issues to go into in public session, but they tend to
the conclusion that, unless you are content with the kind of
strictly city-busting strategy, which has never been U.S.
policy, there are powerful arguments not to have such small
Senator Cochran. In testimony in 1995, General Goodpaster
mentioned that a 100 to 200 nuclear weapons should be
sufficient for the United States, and President Clinton's
current National Security Strategy calls ``for maintaining
nuclear forces of sufficient size and capability to hold at
risk a broad range of assets valued by such political and
military leaders.'' I wonder if General Goodpaster's number 100
to 200 would be ``of such sufficient size and capability? ''
Mr. Slocombe. Well, it is obviously not our current policy
and for the reasons stated I would have great difficulty in
expecting to go to that low a level in the foreseeable future.
Senator Cochran. In my opening statement, I mentioned that
after the December 4 news conference at the National Press Club
there was a follow-on statement by admirals and generals
calling for a number of ``prerequisites'' that had to be
fulfilled prior to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons,
and in their statement they say, ``The exact circumstances and
conditions that will make it possible to proceed finally to
abolition cannot now be foreseen or prescribed.'' And then they
go on to set out certain prerequisites that are ``obvious and
essential.'' One of those is ``a worldwide program of
surveillance and inspection including measures to account for
and control inventories of nuclear weapons materials.''
Is such an international monitoring system feasible, and if
so do we have the capacity or any indication that we could
reach an international agreement for such monitoring?
Mr. Slocombe. Well, I suppose it is hard to say that such a
system is infeasible. It does not violate the laws of physics.
It would obviously be extremely difficult to set up. That said,
one of the things which I think we will want to look at in
successive rounds of arms control efforts with Russia are our
efforts to get control of nuclear weapons themselves as well as
of the delivery systems for them. As the Subcommittee will be
aware, the existing agreements all focus entirely on the
launchers, the missiles, the bombers, and so on, rather than on
the nuclear warheads themselves. I think an issue to which we
should give very careful attention as we think about future
rounds in this effort to reduce the level of danger and the
level of risk is whether we can move to a system of control on
the nuclear materials and the warheads themselves, and that
will require very different and more intrusive system of
inspection and verification in an area that even the United
States, much less other countries, has always regarded as
extraordinarily sensitive. That is an issue we are looking at
But the contrast between doing that in an effort to control
and limit the size of arsenals and then trying to go to a
system where you would have absolute assurance that nowhere in
the world were people working on the development of nuclear
weapons obviously would be a several orders of magnitude
Senator Cochran. There were several other prerequisites, as
I mentioned, in this statement by international general and
admirals. Another was that an international system could be
supplanted by one in which regional systems for collective
security including practical measures for cooperation,
partnership, interaction and communication, would help protect
us all from a nuclear threat. Would that permit the complete
elimination of the need for nuclear weapons? Is that
Mr. Slocombe. As I understand it, one of the arguments
which is made in behalf of abolition is that the kinds of
security which is now assured by weapons including by nuclear
weapons should in time be replaced by regional and
international systems of what, in effect, would be a world
government. That has been an aspiration of mankind for a very
long time, and I think remains a legitimate aspiration. For a
variety of reasons, I have some skepticism about whether it is
going to happen terribly soon.
I also should mention, as I mention in the statement, and I
give credit to the generals and admirals statement for at least
accepting the need to address these issues, which is not always
done by people who advocate that position, they also talk about
an agreed procedure for forcible international intervention and
interruption of covert efforts in a certain and timely fashion.
That is some kind of an enforcement mechanism. I think it is
absolutely correct that if you are going to talk seriously
about abolition as an objective, you have to address that part
of the problem, and the difficulties with having such a system
which would work and be acceptable are also, I think, quite
Senator Cochran. Thank you very much. Senator Levin.
Senator Levin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Slocombe,
I would like to start by asking you about the Nonproliferation
Treaty, Article VI, and how the administration interprets that
article. I think in your testimony, you indicated that that
article means to us that we would seek the elimination of
nuclear weapons and pursue negotiations toward that ultimate
goal, but only in the context of an agreement on general and
complete disarmament, presumably meaning conventional as well
as nuclear disarmament. Is that correct?
Mr. Slocombe. And chemical and biological and informational
and other kinds, I suppose.
Senator Levin. But is it the interpretation of that article
that our obligation to pursue negotiations to eliminate nuclear
weapons is contingent on an agreement on general and complete
disarmament under strict and effective international control?
Mr. Slocombe. As I understand the treaty, it has two
elements in terms of what Article VI promises. The first is
negotiations in good faith relating to the cessation of the
nuclear arms race, and we regard that as an obligation
independent of the goal of elimination of nuclear weapons. And
I would assert that we have, in fact, fully--we need to do
more--but we have fully satisfied that element of the Article
Second, that the treaty, the NPT, reflects an ultimate goal
of the elimination of force as an instrument in international
relations, both nuclear and conventional and other kinds, and
that it sets out, and I think wisely reflects, that for many of
the reasons that were developed in the Chairman's line of
questioning, to have a system in which nuclear weapons are
eliminated implies transformations in the international
environment. You are not simply talking about a technical
problem of eliminating nuclear weapons, but the conditions to
make that possible require transformations in the international
environment and, in particular, on the role of force in
international affairs. So that I think the short answer to your
question is, yes, we do regard the goals of complete nuclear
disarmament, nuclear abolition, if you will, and the goal of a
treaty on general and complete disarmament as closely linked.
Senator Levin. When you read the language, it does not make
one contingent on the other.
Mr. Slocombe. It does not, I suppose, but I believe that is
our sense of what the realities of attaining either goal
entail. If it turned out somehow that one could make
significant progress toward nuclear abolition, I do not suppose
it is, strictly speaking, contingent. It is just difficult for
me to see how you could meet the kinds of requirements. This is
not a question of the United States and Russia monitoring each
other and having a mutual interest in restraint. It is a system
which works equally well for Libya or the drug cartels or
whoever, so that it is a very tall order.
Senator Levin. I think with all the difficulty of
understanding that, nonetheless, it seems pretty clear that
Article VI makes one obligation non-contingent on the other
obligation. Would you comment?
Mr. Slocombe. Senator, may I suggest that we get a formal
legal judgment from the Office of Legal Adviser at State who
will have the responsibility for interpreting treaties?
Senator Levin. Yes. Do you know whether or not the other
parties to this treaty consider one obligation contingent on
the other? Are you familiar with it?
Mr. Slocombe. I understand that the proper interpretation
of Article VI is a matter of very substantial dispute.
Senator Levin. Would you agree with Secretary Cohen that
there would have to be significant nuclear reductions in the
future? He is referring to numbers of nuclear weapons below the
START II levels.
Mr. Slocombe. Oh, yes, I think that that is a very high
priority. It is one of the reasons it is important to get START
II ratified in Russia so we can move on to lower levels.
Senator Levin. Is one of the problems with START II
ratification by the Russian Duma that it tends to drive them
toward the production of a single warhead ICBM which they
Mr. Slocombe. That argument is sometimes made, yes.
Senator Levin. Do you think there is reason behind that
Mr. Slocombe. At least the argument coheres. You can
understand what they are talking about, and I think the
solution to that, and we are working on that, is to make clear
that we are prepared after START II comes into effect to move
forward immediately to agree on lower levels for START III,
which, whatever the virtue, the rights and wrongs of that
argument, will make it unnecessary for them to build up the
kind of levels that they are talking about. This has to do with
a substitute--as I understand it, the argument is they have to
get rid of the MIRVed ICBMs, and yet to fill up their quota
they would have to build a single RV system.
Senator Levin. Well, that was one of our goals in START II,
to get away from the multi-warheaded land-based missiles,
Mr. Slocombe. Oh, yes, and it is indeed one of the
important accomplishments of the treaty, probably the central
accomplishment rather than----
Senator Levin. We did not like the multiple-warheaded
Mr. Slocombe. Exactly.
Senator Levin. So in START II, we got away from them in
terms of ICBMs. That was a goal of ours. Now the Russians face
the situation where, to have the limit allowed to them, they
need to build single warhead ICBMs, and they say they do not
have the money to do it. So they say let us agree to a START
III agreement so they do not have to lay out money, they do not
have to build the single warhead ICBMs. Is that basically what
they are arguing?
Mr. Slocombe. That is one of many arguments they make.
Senator Levin. Is that one of many arguments that they are
Mr. Slocombe. Yes.
Senator Levin. And you think it is not an unreasonable
Mr. Slocombe. It is not only not an unreasonable argument,
it is an argument that we are prepared to meet by commitment to
go forward immediately after the treaty comes into effect to
agree on lower levels----
Senator Levin. Right.
Mr. Slocombe [continuing]. Under which they would not have
to build up to the levels that give them the problem. I
personally have some difficulty with their purported
calculations of why this is infeasible and so on, but I
understand what the argument is.
Senator Levin. Do you mean financially infeasible?
Mr. Slocombe. Yes.
Senator Levin. If we are willing to negotiate to a lower
level to avoid that problem for them, are we willing to
negotiate some kind of a framework for that level now so they
would know when they ratify START II that there is an agreed
upon framework of some kind?
Mr. Slocombe. That is certainly one of the options we have
been talking about, yes. It has been done in a variety of other
contexts with nuclear arms limitation treaties, and it is a
model which may well be applicable in this context.
Senator Levin. OK. In your statement, you say that we have
made clear that once START II enters into force, we are
prepared to work on further reductions, and so, as I understand
your answer to my question, we are prepared to work on further
reductions at least in terms of a framework for further
reductions before START II enters into effect; is that correct?
Mr. Slocombe. That is at least one of the options we are
talking about with them as well as internally. One of the
reasons that I say that their point about having to build up
single RV ICBMs is only one of many arguments as relates to
this question of why it is important to get the START II
limitations in place as a legally binding agreement because we
do not want to reopen a lot of other contentious issues where I
think if we say, well, now, let us renegotiate the number,
there would be very heavy pressures to do that, and as you
know, Senator, these are difficult agreements to reach. There
have, in fact, been four of them. It is important to go step by
step. Each one then can be followed by a better agreement, but
if you do not take the agreements which have been entered into
and get them nailed down, various pressures arise, indeed, to
some degree in both countries, to go back and renegotiate a lot
of other issues.
Senator Levin. Do you agree we want to negotiate lower
limits to START II?
Mr. Slocombe. I do not agree we want to negotiate lower
limits. I do not want to change the limits.
Senator Levin. I did not say in START II. You want to
negotiate lower limits than exist in START II?
Mr. Slocombe. Yes, as a next step.
Senator Levin. So do they.
Mr. Slocombe. That is correct.
Senator Levin. It is important to them, before they ratify
START II, that there be some awareness of those lower limits so
they do not then need--from their perspective--to start
building a single warhead ICBM that would then be prohibited in
any follow-on agreement. And I am trying to find out from you
why you seem to be reluctant to say what I have read 20 times
in 20 different newspapers.
Mr. Slocombe. No, I am not reluctant at all. This is an
eminently solvable problem and one of the good ways to solve it
is this framework agreement approach that you are talking
Senator Levin. And if we are able to achieve that framework
approach, then, in fact, we are prepared to work on further
reductions, at least in terms of a framework even before START
II enters into effect; is that correct?
Mr. Slocombe. The short answer is yes.
Senator Levin. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Cochran. Senator Stevens.
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR STEVENS
Senator Stevens. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am
sorry to come in late, Mr. Secretary. I have gone over your
statement quickly. I had it last night also. Tell me where do
you think our ballistic missile defense system fits into this
Mr. Slocombe. It is certainly an important element of our
overall defense policy. I see it as having two roles. One has
to do with theater missile defense, and these both relate to
the proliferation issue. We face an immediate ballistic missile
threat, a short-term ballistic missile threat from not a lot
but a number of rogue States, North Korea, Iran, potentially
Iraq, to the degree we do not keep them under the sanctions
regime. So we have an immediate priority for tactical theater
missile defense. That is where the focus of our effort goes.
Second, I and the administration are quite willing to
acknowledge that if we saw a rogue State, a potential
proliferant, beginning to develop a long-range ICBM capable of
reaching the United States, we would have to give very, very
serious attention to deploying a limited national missile
defense so as to be able to protect against that threat, and
that is the thrust of our policy. So I agree. Ballistic missile
defense both at the theater and the national missile defense
level are a part of the policy. At the moment, we do not see
that, we do not see the threat at the national missile defense
level, but in any event, we are embarked on what now I guess
one should call the two plus three program. That is to have now
within 2 years developed limited national missile defense
system capable of being deployed within a 3-year period but
without a commitment at this point to deploy it because at this
point we do not see the threat emerging.
Senator Stevens. Well, I and the senator from Hawaii noted
with interest that national intelligence estimate said the
continental United States, the 48 States, do not face a threat
within 15 years. But we happen to come from states that are
outside the continental limits, and we see a threat within 15
Mr. Slocombe. I understand that aspect of the problem.
Senator Stevens. Does not the nuclear deterrence have
something to do with reining in that threat?
Mr. Slocombe. Nuclear deterrence has an important element
in reining in the threat worldwide including against U.S.
forces who are deployed.
Senator Stevens. Well, until we have a capable national
missile defense, would you recommend that we pursue a policy of
not having a nuclear deterrence?
Mr. Slocombe. No.
Senator Stevens. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Slocombe. No, I believe that for the foreseeable
future, we are going to need a deterrent capability to deal
with a wide range of threats including proliferants. But that
is not the only thing on which we rely, and there is a role for
missile defense as well.
Senator Stevens. Well, Mr. Chairman, let me reengage a
little bit here. You said there is no reasonable prospect that
all declared de facto nuclear powers will agree in the near
term to give up all their nuclear weapons. As long as one such
State refused to do so, it would be necessary for us to retain
nuclear force on our own. But I am asking you is that the only
requirement for us to have a nuclear deterrence?
Mr. Slocombe. No.
Senator Stevens. If we have one State that retains nuclear
Mr. Slocombe. I believe that as long as one State that is
known to have nuclear weapons does not agree to give them up,
the notion of other countries unilaterally, at least of the
United States--other countries can decide for themselves--the
notion of the United States unilaterally giving up nuclear
weapons would not be in our national interest. I am not sure I
Senator Stevens. I am trying to understand whether you are
saying if we have an agreement from those who have nuclear
power now that they would give up all their nuclear weapons, as
far as you are concerned, we would have no use for deterrence?
Mr. Slocombe. No, that is not my view, and I think it is
not what the statement says.
Senator Stevens. That is what I understood, and I thank you
very much. I agree with you.
Senator Cochran. Mr. Secretary, I understand the
administration supports a production complex that could help
ensure the continued safety, reliability, and effectiveness of
nuclear weapons that you have talked about our needing for
future deterrent purposes. My question is about the testing of
these weapons. You mentioned the negotiation, the successful
negotiation, I think was your word, of the Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty. There is a proposal to have a Science-Based
Stockpile Stewardship and Management program. I think it would
be managed by the Department of Energy and the Department of
Defense under a joint arrangement. Do you expect this
stewardship program is going to fulfil the need to ensure the
continued safety, reliability, and effectiveness of the nuclear
weapons that the administration proposes that we maintain? How
are we going to know that these weapons are reliable if we do
not test them?
Mr. Slocombe. First of all, yes, I do anticipate that it
will meet that objective. That is certainly the purpose of the
program. As it goes forward, there will be a system in which
annually the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense
based on the advice of military and technical experts will have
to certify that the stockpile is safe and reliable as indeed
they do today.
I believe that the Stockpile Stewardship program and things
which can be done without testing will enable those
certifications to be made. The certifications, of course, are
made on a detailed analysis of the condition of the weapons and
the expected behavior under various conditions and so on. As
you know, the President has said that if--and let me just read
the statement--``In the event that I were informed by the
Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy advised by the
Nuclear Weapons Council, the directors of DOE's nuclear weapons
laboratories, and the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command,
that a high level of confidence in the safety or reliability of
a nuclear weapon type, which the two secretaries consider to be
critical to our nuclear deterrent, could no longer be
certified, I would be prepared in consultation with Congress to
exercise our supreme national interest rights under the CTBT in
order to conduct whatever testing might be required.''
Senator Cochran. The Department of Energy under the Nuclear
Posture Review is required ``to maintain capability to design,
fabricate and certify new warheads.'' Some weapons experts have
stated that any new nuclear weapons design would require
testing prior to production and deployment. Under that
circumstance, would you also expect that we would exercise our
supreme national interest and permit such testing of newly
designed nuclear warheads?
Mr. Slocombe. First of all, it is not absolutely clear that
a newly developed nuclear weapon would require testing. If it
were the judgment that it was impossible or that we could not
maintain an adequately reliable stockpile because we had to
design a new weapon, for example, because of concerns about an
old one, then the procedure that I outlined would apply. To be
clear, we maintain the capacity to design new weapons. We do
some design of potential backups and replacements. Under
current circumstances, we do not foresee a requirement to
design new weapons from the ground up, but we will retain that
capacity, the capacity to do so.
Senator Cochran. You mentioned Secretary Perry's admonition
that we should lead and hedge. And I wonder if one of the ways
that we should follow up Senator Stevens' question, is by
developing and deploying a national missile defense system?
Mr. Slocombe. We are developing both a national missile
defense capability and a variety of theater missile defense
capabilities, and as I have explained in answer to Senator
Stevens' question, it is certainly our policy that we will go
forward with deployment of the theater systems as they become
available, and that if we believe that we see a threat to which
the national missile defense is an appropriate response, we
would be in a position to do that.
Senator Cochran. Would you agree that ballistic missile
defense systems could help deter rogue regimes, some of whom
have limited financial resources, from pursuing a policy of
ballistic missile development?
Mr. Slocombe. Yes. It is not the only factor in deterrent.
Nuclear weapons can be delivered by a variety of devices other
than ballistic missiles, and indeed to some degree it seems to
me that a country which has somehow kluged together a limited
ballistic missile capability and had only a few missiles of
uncertain reliability might be reluctant to commit what would
also be a rather limited nuclear arsenal to deliver it that
way. But I concede that the sign of the effect is certainly the
way you put it. It is not a perfect deterrent.
I also just for the record should make clear that what we
are talking about, what I think everybody is talking about now
in terms of a national missile defense system, is a missile
defense against the kind of threat you are describing. That is
a very limited attack from a rogue State, not a fully developed
missile attack from a first-class power.
Senator Cochran. But you did say that you were in favor,
and the administration was, pursuing the development of a
national defense system.
Mr. Slocombe. Oh, yes.
Senator Cochran. A national ballistic missile defense
Mr. Slocombe. Yes, but I think in the whole controversy,
the whole argument on all sides, has been about developing a
system which is aimed very much at a limited attack.
Senator Cochran. OK. Senator Levin, do you have any other
Senator Levin. Well, there are a lot of issues involved in
the national missile defense debate.
Mr. Slocombe. Oh yes.
Senator Levin. One of them, would you not agree, is whether
or not to make a commitment to deploy that system before the
technology is developed and before there is an assessment of
Mr. Slocombe. Absolutely. It is certainly a core part of
our policy that we will develop a system, we will have
something which could be developed and therefore we could make
a decision to move to deployment within a couple of years for
exactly the reasons you State. We think it would be imprudent
to go forward to that deployment unless we had much, much
better evidence than we have now that we faced an actual as
opposed to a potential threat. And one reason for that is once
you commit to deployment, you have to commit to a specific
system. If you can continue development, you can improve the
technology and have a better system. Also, to the degree you
know something about the threat you are defending against, you
are able to design the system more adequately to meet the
Senator Levin. And is it also not true that, since one of
our goals is nuclear reductions, a commitment to deploy a
system which violates the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty might,
in fact, end the possibility of significant reductions because
the Russians have indicated that those reductions are dependent
on not having to face defenses which are in violation of that
Mr. Slocombe. This is another argument they make. We
believe that, first of all, the development program will be
consistent with the ABM Treaty.
Senator Levin. Is this a statement that they have made?
Forget the argument. But have they not made the statement?
Mr. Slocombe. Oh, yes. My point is that they have a whole
long list of arguments they make for why they have not ratified
Senator Levin. Excuse me one second, but is it not true
that they have said specifically that one of the reasons that
they may not ratify START II is the possibility that we would
violate an agreement relative to defenses--the ABM Treaty--is
that not true?
Mr. Slocombe. Yes, that is true. That is one of many
arguments that they have made.
Senator Levin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Seantor Cochran. Senator Stevens, any further questions of
this witness? Secretary Slocombe, thank you very much for being
here and for assisting our Committee in the way that you have.
Mr. Slocombe. Senator, before I leave, having looked at
Richard Perle's statement, I am reminded that Dorothy Fosdick
worked for this Committee for many years.
Senator Cochran. Yes.
Mr. Slocombe. And I did not always agree with Dorothy
Fosdick, but she was a distinguished public servant, and I and
her many friends in the Department of Defense mourn her loss.
Senator Cochran. Thank you very much for your thoughtful
Senator Stevens. I might say that having traveled with
Dickie Lincoln for many times, on many occasions--I know
Richard Perle has got a comment in there in his statement
also--she was a wonderful person and worked very closely with
Senator Jackson when he was Chairman and went on to other
things with Senator Jackson. I had not known that she had
passed away, but I agree with you, she was a wonderful asset to
Senator Cochran. Thank you, Senator. Thank you very much,
Mr. Slocombe. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Slocombe follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF SECRETARY SLOCOMBE
Senator Cochran. Let me invite our other witnesses to come
forward now, General Goodpaster and Richard Perle. I mentioned
in my opening statement something about the background and
qualifications of our distinguished witnesses who will make up
our concluding panel for today's hearing. We are very pleased
and honored that both of these gentlemen would be able to come
today and present their views and comments to the Subcommittee
on the subject that we have under review.
General Andrew Goodpaster's public service is well known
and has spanned 7 decades. We congratulate you on your
distinguished service to the United States, and we welcome you
to the hearing. You may proceed.
TESTIMONY OF GENERAL ANDREW J. GOODPASTER, U.S. ARMY (RETIRED),
CO-CHAIR, THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL OF THE UNITED STATES
Senator Cochran. Thank you, General Goodpaster. I hope it
will not embarrass you for me to wish you a happy birthday. I
know that February 12 is your birthday, and we congratulate
General Goodpaster. Thank you very much.
Senator Cochran. And wish you many more.
General Goodpaster. I share it with two men for whom I have
the highest regard: President Lincoln and General Omar Bradley.
Senator Cochran. That is pretty good company.
General Goodpaster. I think so.
[The prepared statement of General Goodpaster follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF GENERAL ANDREW J. GOODPASTER
Senator Cochran. Our next member of the panel is Richard
Perle, who is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute. He was formerly senior defense adviser during the
administration of President Reagan, and he was a staff member
of this Committee for a number of years working closely with
former Senator ``Scoop'' Jackson. Mr. Perle, we welcome you to
the Committee. You may proceed.
TESTIMONY OF RICHARD PERLE, RESIDENT FELLOW, AMERICAN
[The prepared statement of Mr. Perle follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RICHARD PERLE
Senator Cochran. Thank you very much, Mr. Perle, and thank
you both for the comments and the remarks that you have
provided to the Committee today. I must say that this is truly
educational, and reading the statements in preparing for this
hearing has given me a greater depth of understanding and
appreciation of the issues involved in this subject than I had
before, and I know that other senators have had similar
experiences. I hope that this Subcommittee can continue a
series of hearings on this and similar subjects so we can
explore the underpinnings of our policies in this regard. We
all want to do what we can to contribute toward the security
interests of the United States and also the safety and security
of mankind. I do not think that is too lofty a goal to
undertake to accomplish, and the United States at this
particular moment in its history is uniquely situated to do
more than anyone, do more than any other country, in the
furtherance of that goal.
So I do not see anything wrong with having goals like world
peace or agreements to deal more sanely with weapons and the
potential for mass destruction. Verification is, of course,
essential in all of this. President Reagan's admonition about
trusting but verifying is all too important for us to forget,
and so in the real world there are essential factors that we
must take into account that have a limiting effect on what our
ambitions may be at the moment. As Senator Levin pointed out
and others have mentioned, Secretary Slocombe when he
testified, I think mankind generally shares in the goal and the
hope that is reflected in the provisions of some of these
agreements like the NPT.
But the real question, it seems to me, is what is happening
here in the real world today, and whether or not we may have
seen some news accounts getting maybe carried away with the
hype of stories. I notice, for example, in the Christian
Science Monitor, General Goodpaster wrote an essay, and he
talked along the lines that he has commented today on this
subject, but yet if you look at the headline of the essay in
the Christian Science Monitor, the article from December 16,
``Nuclear Weapons: Time to Phase Them Out? Yes. Utility is Low
and Risks High.'' But in the lead sentence, what General
Goodpaster says is there are compelling reasons for major new
initiatives to reduce the world's nuclear weapons arsenals.
Well, that is a lot less than what is in the headline, and that
is the lead, and the rest of it goes on from there.
I am not suggesting that people write headlines to capture
attention and sell newspapers--heaven forbid--but we know that
happens. I think we have seen here today some that have been
referred to where the hype has prevailed over the content. So I
think to some extent the media hype that has become almost
overwhelming in this discussion and in this debate. Having said
that, let me just ask a couple questions of General Goodpaster.
Senator Stevens. Mr. Chairman, would you yield just a
Senator Cochran. Senator Stevens. I would be happy to
Senator Stevens. I have to leave, but I just wanted to
thank General Goodpaster and Richard Perle for coming and tell
you, Mr. Chairman, that I congratulate you for starting this
series of hearings, and I hope that we will keep up this
inquiry because I too was taken with the statement of the
generals, but I understand a lot better after reading General
Goodpaster's statement today, and, General, being as I think
the last Eisenhower appointee to serve in the Congress, I
welcome you here. I remember distinctly as a young man walking
into the White House and seeing you there. You are a great
encouragement to all of us, your vitality and your interests
and the things you are involved in. So I join in saying happy
birthday to you and welcome you here.
General Goodpaster. Thank you, sir. Nothing like
Senator Cochran. Thank you, Senator Stevens. There is a
question about whether or not nuclear deterrence would have an
effect in diminishing the ambition of others to use weapons
that are non-nuclear, such as biological and chemical weapons.
I must inquire as to whether or not you think, and I'll ask
this of both our distinguished witnesses, the recent experience
of the Gulf War is informative on that score. There have been a
couple of statements that have come out of discussions with
those who were involved with the Iraqi military. An Iraqi
intelligence official, General Samurai, has openly discussed
the fact that the decision about whether to use chemical
weapons or biological weapons against the troops on our side in
that conflict was affected by our nuclear arms capability.
I am going to read his quote. It says, ``I do not think
Saddam was capable of taking a decision to use chemical weapons
or biological weapons against the allied troops because the
warning was quite severe and quite effective. The allied troops
were certain to use nuclear arms, and the price will be too
dear and too high.'' There was another statement attributed to
Tariq Aziz, the foreign minister of Iraq, in a conversation
with Secretary of State James Baker. He talked about the
overwhelming conventional power that would be brought to bear
against Iraq, but also a suggestion that ``Iraq could survive
and this leadership will decide the future of Iraq.''
Some think that there is utility in the nuclear capability
in terms of deterrence against the development of other weapons
systems besides nuclear weapons and the threat or use of them.
That seems to be either not taken into account or discounted in
the statement that General Goodpaster and Butler issued. Am I
reading that correctly, General?
General Goodpaster. I think the question of the adequacy of
our conventional forces for that role, that question is open. I
do not believe it can be fully resolved today. I take refuge in
the fact that it does not have to be resolved today because of
the continued existence of our nuclear weapons, and I would
hope that by the time we get to what I call the lowest
verifiable level where we could consider the possibility of
complete elimination, by that time it can be resolved and would
be resolved in favor of sole reliance on conventional arms
alone, but in practical terms in the world that we live in, the
continued existence of our nuclear capability has significant
weight, I believe, as a deterrent to other countries, rogue
countries, developing and threatening the use or actually using
Senator Cochran. Mr. Perle, any reaction to the idea of the
utility of nuclear weapons in terms of deterrence against the
development of weapons of mass destruction development and
threats of use of those weapons?
Mr. Perle. I think it was almost certainly in Saddam
Hussein's mind that if he went beyond a certain point, we might
well respond with a nuclear weapon, and it will always be in
the mind of a non-nuclear State that has to contemplate that.
So there is a deterrent shadow even against the use of other
weapons of mass destruction or for that matter against
particularly egregious actions. We would be foolish to give
that up, and I do not think anyone is suggesting that we give
that up now, and it is not clear to me why we would want to
give it up in the future either.
Senator Cochran. In addition to the statement about
bringing down the numbers of nuclear weapons dramatically on
our side and working toward agreements with others to do
likewise, there is a suggestion that reducing the alert status
of nuclear weapons may also contribute to further stability and
less risky relationship with other countries. What is your
reaction to that, Mr. Perle? I know that is in the Christian
Science Monitor essay by General Goodpaster, where he advocates
reducing the alert status of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Perle. I think it is important to do everything we can
to diminish the likelihood that a nuclear weapon might ever be
used in circumstances where we did not intend to use it. And
the so-called hair trigger has been a problem from the
beginning. A great many systems have been developed to try to
control that, and I think we have a very good system of control
in place. I would not dismiss out of hand changes in alert
status that might reduce still further the possibility of an
accidental or unintended use of nuclear weapons.
Senator Cochran. I think General Goodpaster pointed out
correctly that there already has been a lot of change in terms
of targeting and other doctrines and policies on the part of
Russia and the United States with respect to the nuclear
weapons arsenals. And I suppose the changes in alert status
have already taken place in many instances, and there have been
descriptions by Secretary Slocombe about the numbers of weapon
systems that have been set aside and are not available for use
anymore by the United States. Have there been changes that
maybe the general public does not know that you could tell us
about that would give us some evidence of how this works or how
it is a part of the new emerging nuclear doctrine of the United
General Goodpaster. There have been changes that bear on
the State of alert and the risks that that represents. First of
all, the complete elimination of the SS-20 on their side and
the Pershings and cruise missiles on our side was a very
important step, and one of the drivers behind that step was to
eliminate this hair trigger situation that existed with respect
to those weapons. On the matter of changing the alerts, of
course, there have been the agreements to detarget the weapons
that we have. Those agreements are significant but limited in
that the weapons could be retargeted quite quickly. Further
steps in reducing the alert status will require very, very
careful consideration, and in that consideration I would hope
that great attention would be given to the importance of
reducing, finding ways to assure that the alert status of the
Russian missiles, in particular that the alert status of those
missiles has, in fact, been reduced at a time when the
situation of their armed forces is really almost chaotic. That
is a special risk, it seems to me, that requires special
Mr. Perle. Could I just add, Mr. Chairman?
Senator Cochran. Mr. Perle.
Mr. Perle. The principal reason for the high alert status,
which was important during the Cold War, was a concern that a
well-crafted concerted attack on our retaliatory capability
could so degrade it that we would not, in fact, have a credible
deterrent. Of all the things one could do to lessen the burden
of quick response and therefore the need for alert forces, the
development of a ballistic missile defense seems to me a
terribly important one. That is to say if we were confident
that the critical elements of our deterrent would survive an
attack, we would not feel it necessary to maintain an ability
to respond instantly.
So this is why I was surprised that there was no reference
to a defense in this statement of the admirals and generals
since a defense would permit us to do a great many things of
the kind that they suggest, reducing numbers of weapons,
reducing their alert status as well.
Senator Cochran. Senator Levin, do you have questions?
Senator Levin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First, let me wish
you also a happy birthday, General. I will not ask you what
number, but how old are you? [Laughter.]
General Goodpaster. Eighty-two, today.
Senator Levin. Congratulations.
General Goodpaster. That used to seem like a big number,
but it has gotten a great deal smaller.
Senator Levin. Well, my father-in-law is 99 this week so
you've got a ways to go. It seems to me that once General
Goodpaster has said that nobody knows whether, when or how to
eliminate nuclear weapons in a prudent way, that the real issue
now should shift to how we can get to the next and whether we
should get to the next level of reductions. Whether you accept
the ultimate elimination as a goal or not, there seems to be
some agreement that we ought to reduce it below the current
level or that we might want to reduce it below the current
level. So I would like to focus on that. It strikes me that it
is in our interest that Russia not develop a new single warhead
ICBM. It is in their interest, they say, too, because they do
not have the money. It would seem to me it is in our interest
that no new nuclear weapon systems be developed by anybody
else. Would you agree with that?
Mr. Perle. No, I do not think I would agree with that.
Senator Levin. OK. I said by anybody else----
Mr. Perle. I think you always want to keep technical
Senator Levin. I thought you said you would rather there be
no weapons in anybody's hands other than ours?
Mr. Perle. Except ours, yes.
Senator Levin. So that is why I said would it not be then
in our interest that no weapon be developed by anybody else?
Mr. Perle. Other than--oh, yes, anybody else. Yes, I agree
Senator Levin. All right.
Mr. Perle. Unless, unless----
Senator Levin. That may be the last thing we agree on. At
least I want to establish that.
Mr. Perle. Unless you had the substitution of a less
dangerous weapon for a more dangerous weapon.
Senator Levin. All right. That is a fair qualification. By
the way, before I go on I want to ask, Mr. Chairman, that
Senator Glenn's statement and a set of questions that he would
like to be inserted for the record be inserted at the
Senator Cochran. Without objection it is so ordered.
Senator Levin. One of your last paragraphs, Mr. Perle, says
that you believe the U.S. stockpile of nuclear weapons is
larger than is necessary for deterrence and can safely be
reduced. And I want to just press you on that issue. I know you
very much favor a national missile defense, and that came later
in your statement near the end. But in the absence of a
national missile defense, would you still agree that it is
possible, at least, that we could reduce our nuclear weapons
stockpile below the START II level in a safe way?
Mr. Perle. Yes, I think so.
Senator Levin. All right. If it would be helpful in that
regard to work out some kind of a framework agreement with the
Russians, which does not amend START II--it leaves START II
exactly as we have negotiated--but then says that upon START II
coming into force, we would then seek to negotiate a further
reduction to some lower level than START II, would you be
willing to consider such a framework agreement as possibly
being in our national security interest?
Mr. Perle. It could be. I would be cautious about framework
agreements in general because there is a long history in our
negotiations with the Soviets--and they are by and large the
same people and in some cases by name and face the same
people--there is a long history of framework agreements, which
of necessity by definition are lacking in critical details,
becoming an obstacle to good, well-crafted agreements because
you have a general agreement in principle that the effect and
consequences of which can be substantially altered, even
undermined, by the way details are handled, and there is then,
particularly in democratic societies, great pressure to wrap
things up and concede on those very important details, but I
see no problem whatsoever in making it clear to the Russians
that we do not think they should be investing more money in new
nuclear systems unless nuclear systems that they require are
antiquated and unsafe. And I certainly would not want to rule
out the substitution of safer for unsafe systems.
Senator Levin. In that regard then, would you think it
might be wise for us to seek some mechanism where we could
provide a pathway to further reductions beyond START II so as
to give the Russians the kind of assurance that they say they
need to ratify START II?
Mr. Perle. I am reluctant to take at face value the claim
that the problem in the ratification of START II is the
argument they have advanced and that you have cited. I think it
is a more complicated picture than that, and I think this is an
excuse. At the very least, it is an excuse. It may be more than
Senator Levin. All right. If you view it as an excuse, to
remove that excuse----
Mr. Perle. Yes, I would happily remove that.
Senator Levin. To remove that excuse, would it not be in
our interest to try to find some mechanism which lays out a
pathway to a lower level since you acknowledge a lower level--
Mr. Perle. Sure.
Senator Levin [continuing]. Is consistent with our national
Mr. Perle. Senator, given the very different circumstances
that prevail after the end of the Cold War, I would not be
adverse to our reducing to a level that we thought appropriate
even in the absence of an agreement with the Soviet Union. I no
longer believe that what was at one time the importance of not
making unilateral reductions under any circumstances applies.
We should have the force that we think makes sense, that we
think meets our security requirements, and in some respects
that will turn out to be independent of the size and nature of
the Russian force.
Senator Levin. And that being true--that we would consider
a reduction below START II unilaterally--is it not doubly true
then that working out some appropriate pathway to such a
level--which would remove the excuse, in your words, but
however it is viewed--and permit the Duma to move to
ratification of START II, might be in our interest?
Mr. Perle. Sure.
Senator Levin. Would you agree that Russia is no longer our
Mr. Perle. I certainly do not consider them our adversary.
I think they still have people in positions of responsibility
who regard us as an adversary, however, and I----
Senator Levin. You personally do not regard them as an
Mr. Perle. No. They are too disorganized to be an
Senator Levin. Other than that?
Mr. Perle. Well, I think clearly there is a struggle going
on among competing views of what Russia should be. They are
going through a kind of national identity crisis, the outcome
of which is uncertain. So while I do not believe that Boris
Yeltsin is seized with the importance of maintaining a nuclear
capability superior to that of the United States, I do not know
what will come next, and I think in this very uncertain
situation our focus ought to be on structuring our military
forces, nuclear and non-nuclear, in way that we think meets our
security requirements and that recognizes the inherent
uncertainty about where Russia will be and what the next
Russian leadership will consider to be in their interest.
Senator Levin. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Cochran. Thank you, Senator. Let me ask a couple of
questions about some current topics of concern. One is in Libya
today at Tarhuna, there is concern about the development of a
weapons capability in an underground--I do not know all the
intelligence, and I am not a member of the Intelligence
Committee, and I do not mean to be divulging any secrets
because I do not know any secrets on this subject, but this is
what I have read in the paper--where there may be an effort to
develop a weapon of mass destruction of some kind, chemical,
who knows what. There was a question asked of an assistant to
the secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological
defense, April of last year; Dr. Harold Smith was the witness.
He said when he was asked do we have a weapon that we could use
if we felt it was in our security interest to destroy that
facility, recalling that Israel took a similar action when Iraq
was developing what it considered to be a nuclear capability,
and they took out a plant, Dr. Smith said ``We could not take
it out of commission using strictly conventional weapons.''
Now, I assume from his answer that we might be able to take
it out of commission if we used some kind of weapon, and the
only kind of weapon I think we would have would be a nuclear
weapon. So, it would seem that the capability to destroy a
target like that may be a reason to have nuclear weapons in our
arsenal. If our security we were threatened by the development
of a weapons of mass destruction production facility, this
capability is something that we would like to have. General
Goodpaster and Mr. Perle, do you believe Dr. Smith is
incorrect? Could we destroy such a target with conventional
forces only, and if not, do you agree that we do need to
maintain a nuclear capability under such circumstances if we
decided that it was in our security interest to destroy a
target like that?
General Goodpaster. Well, if I could answer first, let me
say that I think that Harold Smith knows what he is talking
about, and I would honor his statement and his judgment. It is
not immediately sure, however, that nuclear weapons could do
what he says the conventional weapons could not do. I think
this would be a matter if we are confronted with that
situation, this would be a matter on which very, very thorough
and careful analysis would be required by our military
authorities, and I do not know what the outcome of that would
Senator Cochran. Mr. Perle.
Mr. Perle. Well, I think it is likely that a nuclear weapon
of sufficient size could destroy even that plant, and so I for
that and for other reasons would not wish to give up nuclear
weapons, but I do think that we should be working hard at
developing a conventional capability to attack and destroy
targets of that nature. I believe that we have the component
technologies to do that, and the issue is will we fashion them
into a system capable of going after deep underground
I think it is a serious shortcoming in the arsenal that we
do not have, but during the Gulf War we cobbled something
together rather quickly which was brilliantly innovative. We
used long withdrawn from service artillery tubes, maybe naval
guns--I do not recall--and converted them into bombs, and they
were able to penetrate very substantial distances and destroy
underground bunkers. That is a very useful capability to have.
We ought to have something in the arsenal that can do that, and
this is a bit off the subject, but it worries me a lot, that
the budget for investment in technologies of this kind has been
declining so rapidly that if we do not find a way to reorganize
the way we use our defense resources, we will find that we are
missing an opportunity to develop non-nuclear substitutes for
Senator Cochran. It strikes me that we were confronted by a
similar situation when North Korea appeared to be proceeding to
develop a nuclear weapon capability. There was a lot of
question about what was going on, where it was taking place,
perhaps in underground facilities, and there were discussions
about what to do, not necessarily at the highest level of
military strategy but here in the Senate. I know on a trip I
took with others to Korea, we had reason to talk about this
with our military leaders there, to try to find out what the
risk was. We have 37,000 troops in South Korea right now, and
the threat that they would be under with a nuclear weapon
capability in North Korea is very troubling. Today Secretary
Slocombe said that the North Korean nuclea proglem is
effectively under control now. We hope it is. What is your view
of that situation? Is that another argument for a continuing
nuclear capability for the purpose of deterring the
construction and the development of a nuclear weapon capability
on that Korean peninsula? Mr. Perle, I will ask you that.
Mr. Perle. Clearly, if we did not have a nuclear
capability, it would only encourage the North Koreans to try
even harder to get one because the effect that their acquiring
a nuclear monopoly would have. So the answer is unambiguously
yes, and it is precisely in this sort of situation that it
becomes very clear that the idea that our nuclear force somehow
encourages proliferation is seen for the nonsense it is. It
discourages proliferation in my view.
Senator Cochran. General Goodpaster?
General Goodpaster. I would concur with that. The moment
you say that a nuclear threat is being generated against us, I
think you call into the question the use of our nuclear
capabilities because one of their roles is, under counter-
proliferation, to deter and if necessary defeat and destroy
quickly and decisively any nuclear threat to us or to our
Senator Cochran. I am going to conclude with a question
about the statement by the international generals and admirals
of a prerequisite that they mentioned before we can contemplate
total disarmament in nuclear weapons capability. One was an
effective system for collective security. And Mr. Perle, I
wanted to ask you is there reason to believe that the
elimination of nuclear weapons can be a reasonable goal for the
foreseeable future if effective systems for collective security
are a necessary precondition?
Mr. Perle. Well, I do not know what the generals and
admirals have in mind when they talk about collective security.
If they have in mind some universal serenity in which none of
us is concerned because we all love one another, I mean that is
the utopian never-never land, and it is never helpful, never
helpful, to the construction of sound policy to establish an
unrealistic goal. This is not like difficult to achieve goals
in the moral or spiritual sphere where it is a good thing to
strive to be, to achieve moral and spiritual qualities that are
very hard to achieve and maybe can never be achieved, but it
does not do any harm to try. Adopting a goal that is
unrealistic almost certainly leads to unwise policies
underneath that goal because they distract you from what is
important and what is essential.
And to say that we could only eliminate all nuclear weapons
if we had a system of collective security of such majesty that
we were no longer threatened by somebody else's nuclear weapon
simply confuses the issue. So my answer is you can make a list
as long as you like of the preconditions, and after you have
solved all of the preconditions that one can talk about
rationally, you still are left with the fact that you could not
verify it. You are still left with the near certainty that
nuclear powers would cheat, and you are still left with the
fact that even if you did accomplish the total elimination of
nuclear weapons, 1 day they could be rebuilt the next.
Senator Cochran. That was going to be my last question. In
light of one of the experiences from the war in Iraq, the
verification of what is going on there now is subject to
question, even with the implementation of the most intrusive
inspection process in history by the International Atomic
Energy Agency and others who are responsible for making sure
that Iraq is not developing or continuing to hide weapons of
mass destruction. This leads you to the question about another
prerequisite of the international generals and admirals, which
is verification and enforcement. Is there a regime for
international verification that can realistically be expected
to be available in the foreseeable future, and I ask this of
General Goodpaster and Mr. Perle as well? Is that something
that is so far in the future that it is not really a realistic
criteria or prerequisite?
General Goodpaster. That is part of what we do not know how
to do at the present time, and the setting of prerequisites is
a task that will have to be worked on during this period while
our nuclear arsenals go down in size. So I think where we are
in this is to do what we can do and continue to study and
formulate the prerequisites and the means of accomplishing
those prerequisites, but the reason that I do not believe it is
fruitful to debate complete abolition or complete elimination
today is, first, we have not really come down on just what the
prerequisites are, and, second, we are far from being able to
say how those could be met.
Senator Cochran. Thank you. Mr. Perle.
Mr. Perle. Well, I agree with General Goodpaster, and that
seems to me a very good reason for not repeating this cliche
that it is a useful goal to achieve the total elimination. The
selection of goals should not be divorced from reality, and the
reality is we cannot answer the critical questions about the
prerequisites with any confidence so let us wait and see
whether that is a good goal or not. What troubles me and the
reason why I keep harping, it may seem academic, and anybody
watching this hearing today would say, well, when we really got
into it, nobody made much of a defense of the goal, and I think
Senator Levin wisely chose to comment on other things rather
than defend the goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons, the
goal is part of a logical structure. If the ideal world is one
without nuclear weapons, then the next best thing would be, I
suppose, a world with one nuclear weapon, and after that with
two, and after that with three and so forth.
That misses the point entirely because the goal ought to be
a stable, credible, effective nuclear deterrent that defends
the interest of the United States, and you do not arrive at all
of the decisions you need to make in achieving that realistic
and important goal by confusing yourself with the idea that
anything above zero is bad and the larger above zero, the more
above zero, the worse it is. So I think we need a new long-term
goal, and that new long-term goal is not the elimination of
nuclear weapons, but it is the management of threats to our
security, and if we focus on that as the goal, we will wind up
probably with lower levels because I think the conditions are
ripe for lower levels, but we will not confuse ourselves about
where we are headed.
Senator Cochran. One thing that I cannot end the hearing
without asking what is wrong with comparing what both General
Goodpaster and Butler have said with what President Reagan
suggested at Reykjavik? You were an advisor at that time. Is
there a difference?
Mr. Perle. Well, there are several differences. One is that
in the closing session at Reykjavik on the Sunday, the
proposition that was on the table and about which drafts had
been exchanged called not for the elimination of all nuclear
weapons but for the elimination of all offensive ballistic
missiles. And it was our judgment that the elimination of
offensive ballistic missiles, given the balance of ballistic
missiles between the United States and the Soviet Union, would
enhance our security. In that last session on the Sunday,
Gorbachev said in exasperation because he did not like our
proposal much--he wanted to hold on to those missiles--he said,
well, why not just give them all up? And the President said,
well, that sounds fine to me. Now, this was the kind of
exchange that takes place seldom at summits, to be sure, but
takes place when people are discussing ideas in a broad sense.
It was not a proposal in any meaningful sense. It was never
written down. It was never formulated in a way that could be
And it was all conditioned on the substitution of defenses
for offenses, and what President Reagan had in mind in some
future world was one in which we had a near perfect or perhaps
even a perfect defense so that if someone did cheat, the effect
of that cheating would be nugatory; we would be able to defend
against any weapon that was held improperly. And that at the
end of the day is the inescapable concern. If you cannot be
sure that somebody else does not possess a nuclear weapon, then
you would be foolish to give up your own unless you had a
defense. If you had a perfect defense, that would change the
The irony is that if you look at the list of people, the
admirals and generals who signed that statement--there are 60
of them--I doubt if there are three on there who favor a
defense. I think General Goodpaster would favor a defense, but
he can speak for himself, but I think a great many of those
admirals and generals would not favor a defense or at least
they would not say that they favored a defense.
Senator Cochran. This has been an enormously helpful and
interesting hearing to me, and I want to express the sincerest
appreciation for your participation in the hearing and for
Secretary Slocombe's as well. Already, we have given permission
to Senator Glenn to submit questions that could be answered for
the record. We may also have additional questions that we would
like to submit to the witnesses, and we hope that you can
respond to those, if you will, for the purpose of our hearing
There being no other witnesses to come before the Committee
today, this hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
OPENING STATEMENT BY SENATOR GLENN
QUESTIONS FOR UNDER SECRETARY SLOCOMBE FROM SENATOR GLENN
QUESTIONS FOR GEN. GOODPASTER FROM SENATOR GLENN
JOINT STATEMENT ON REDUCTION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARSENALS: DECLINING
UTILITY, CONTINUING RISKS
By Generals Andrew J. Goodpaster and Lee Butler