SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR NATURAL DISASTERS AND OVERSEAS PEACEKEEPING EFFORTS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1998 (Senate - March 24, 1998)

AMENDMENT NO. 2079

Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, as I understand it, the Kyl amendment that I offered on behalf of the Senator from Arizona is the pending amendment; is that correct?

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.

Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I would like to have that remain the pending amendment now so we can see if we can dispose of it.

I am not sure we can do that before noon, but I hope that we can. I urge any Members who have any questions about this to come and discuss them with me. Unfortunately, Senator Kyl is not here. I am not sure whether he will be here today because of illness. It is not serious; he just has a problem, I am told.

Let me say this to the Senate. I and a number of my colleagues have watched with concern as Iran has worked aggressively to develop longer range theater ballistic missiles.

There have been many reports that a new Iranian missile, the Shahab-3, may be tested within the coming year.

This new missile, with a range approaching 1,300 kilometers, can now reach targets in the Middle East that were previously not threatened by ballistic missiles from Iran.

Further, the Shahab-3's velocity and range could require changes in our own theater missile defense systems currently under development.

Obviously, our allies, particularly Israel, are very concerned about this new Iranian missile development effort. In parallel--and I believe this is of utmost importance--North Korea has continued to pursue the development of a longer range missile. They are working on the no dong and the taepo dong missiles. These missiles have created concern not just in Asia, but in my home State of Alaska, as well as in Hawaii, which is the home State of both of my colleagues from Hawaii.

Now, I believe the Senate should know that the first targets within the reach of the longer range Korean missiles are in fact the States of Alaska and Hawaii.

As a nation, I think we have to react swiftly to the threat posed by these new ballistic missile development and test efforts.

Senator Kyl and others who have watched this issue closely have urged that we take action now to respond to this threat. Therefore, I have offered this amendment on behalf of Senator Kyl and myself to provide emergency appropriations to respond to this dangerous new threat.

The amendment will provide $151 million for urgent development efforts which directly address these new missile threats. I might say that this matter has been reviewed by the Deputy Secretary of Defense. They have indicated that if additional resources are not made available, they can address these initiatives with reallocation of existing funds. Now, that is exactly what we don't want. The funds have already been allocated, and what this bill is doing is trying to make additional funds available to make up for the ones that have already been used in Bosnia and in the deployment in Southwest Asia.

This amendment provides for better integration of Army and Navy missile defense systems and radars, for additional testing of the Patriot and lower tier systems against these longer range theater ballistic missiles, and other efforts which will link our existing sensors, communications, and weapon systems to defeat improved theater ballistic missiles.

In addition, the amendment specifically provides funds to assist Israel in purchasing a third arrow missile battery. The capabilities of the emerging Iranian threat force us and Israel to add additional batteries to protect not only our forces, but our allies in Israel.

Mr. President, I believe these efforts have some of the most urgent projects we could undertake in the Department of Defense. As I indicated, Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre wrote a letter bringing these needed investments to the attention of our colleagues in the House. The emergency supplemental before us provides an opportunity to deal with these critical investments. But we cannot do it from here directly. This amendment provides that the moneys in the amendment will only be available if there is an official budget estimate for the amounts that are designated to be an emergency. This would be in a request transmitted to the Congress as emergency requirements, as defined in the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended.

Now, as I say, the amendment I offered for the Senator from Arizona, Mr. Kyl, does not make that money available. It will only be available if the administration agrees that there is a critical issue here and that these moneys should be available now to deal with these issues.

Mr. President, we have troops, once again, stationed in this area. We do not have an adequate theater missile defense system. We don't have a missile defense system that is even currently planned for the total 50 States. When it was presented to our committee, the Department specifically pointed out that it was not possible for a period of 15 or more years to cover the States of Alaska and Hawaii. But a theater missile defense system would.

I believe there is an emergency. I believe it is highly important that we proceed to make these investments. I do not think the investments should be made available from funds we have already appropriated for other critical projects in the Department; nor do I think we should defer acquisitions of new systems. That has been done too much already.

Mr. President, we spent more time in the last 3 years reprogramming money we have already made available to the Department of Defense than we have in considering how much money should be available to the Department of Defense. I don't want to start the concept of reprogramming. What this does is, it says to the administration that if they are as serious as we are about proceeding now with the ballistic missile defense system--we have made the finding ourselves that it is an emergency, and we ask the President to simply make the decision. I hope the executive branch will agree that these funds will respond to security crises and the projects should be added. If they do not, these funds would not be available under this amendment. I do believe that my good friend from Hawaii wants to make a statement on the matter when he arrives.

Mr. KYL. Madam President, my amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill (S. 1768) would accelerate the development and deployment of theater missile defense systems.

Recent revelations that Iran has nearly completed development of two new ballistic missiles--made possible with Russian assistance--that will allow it to strike targets as far away as Central Europe have convinced me that U.S. theater missile defenses must be accelerated in order to counter the emerging Iranian threat. This increased Iranian missile threat has materialized much sooner than expected due to the extensive assistance Russia has provided over the past year.

According to press reports, development of Iran's 1,300 kilometer-range Shahab-3 missile, which will be capable of reaching Israel, could be completed in 12 to 18 months. Development of a longer-range missile, called the Shahab-4, whose 2,000 kilometer range will allow it to reach targets in Central Europe, could be completed in as little as three years. Both missiles could be armed with chemical or biological warheads. These revelations are part of a string of very troubling disclosures that have surfaced over the past year detailing the extensive aid Russia has provided to Iran.

A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives have been working on various legislative approaches to address the Iranian threat for some time. For example, last fall both Houses of Congress passed a Concurrent Resolution which Representative Jane Harman and I submitted expressing the sense of the Congress that the Administration should impose sanctions against the Russian organizations and individuals that have transferred ballistic missile technology to Iran. The annual foreign aid bill passed last year also contains a provision conditioning the release of foreign aid to Russia on a halt to the transfer of nuclear and missile technology to Iran. And, Senator Lott and Representative Gilman have introduced legislation that would require that sanctions be imposed against any entity caught transferring goods to support Iran's ballistic missile program.

In addition to these legislative initiatives, the Administration has engaged in a series of diplomatic exchanges with the Russians. According to press accounts, Vice President Gore has raised the issue with Prime Minister Chernomyrdin on several occasions. President Clinton has discussed the matter with President Yeltsin at the Helsinki summit in March 1997 and at the P-8 summit last June. The President also appointed Ambassador Frank Wisner as his special envoy to hold detailed discussions with Russian officials about the dangers of aiding Iran's ballistic missile program. This is a very serious issue which the Clinton Administration has clearly acknowledged.

As a result of the Administration's diplomatic efforts, in January Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin signed a decree issuing catch-all export controls on nuclear, biological, chemical, and missile technology. The Russian government has also said it will not assist Iran's missile program. While we all hope this will lead to an end to the transfer of Russian missile hardware and expertise to Iran, I think the jury is still out on whether Moscow will fully comply with its obligations. For example, just one month after Prime Minister Chernomyrdin issued the decree on catch-all export controls, the Washington Times reported that Russia was still providing missile aid to Tehran. Specifically Russia and Iran's intelligence services were reportedly coordinating a visit to Moscow by a group of Iranian missile technicians and Russian missile experts were planning to teach courses in Tehran on missile guidance systems and pyrotechnics.

It is also worth remembering that Russia promised three years ago to phase out conventional arms sales to Iran and to join the Missile Technology Control Regime. In addition, last March, President Yeltsin assured President Clinton at the Helsinki summit that it was not Russia's policy to assist Iran's missile program. But Russia has given missile aid to Iran in violation of these commitments. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Einhorn summarized this situation well in Senate testimony last year stating,

We have pressed the Russian leadership at the highest levels and we have been told that it is not Russia's policy to assist Iran's long-range missile program. But the problem is this: There's a disconnect between those reassurances, which we welcome, and what we believe is actually occurring.

In any event, the United States and our allies must be prepared to protect ourselves from the possibility that Iran will use ballistic missiles armed with nuclear, biological, or nuclear warheads. It is that possibility that this amendment is intended to address. Neither the United States nor Israel will have missile defenses capable of countering the threat from the Shahab-3 or Shahab-4 missiles before those systems are deployed. This amendment provides funding to accelerate the development of some key theater missile defense systems, as well as procurement of items for a third Arrow missile defense battery for Israel.

In crafting this amendment, I have worked closely with the Defense Department and my colleagues in the House of Representatives. Last month, Deputy Defense Secretary Hamre identified a variety of initiatives which DoD felt were needed to counter the new missile threat from Iran. In a letter to Representative Weldon, Mr. Hamre indicated the Administration felt so strongly about the need for these new initiatives that if additional funding was not provided, that the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization would reprogram $100 million from existing missile defense programs for this purpose. Reprogramming missile defense funds would be counterproductive since, in effect, we would be robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The $100 million of funding for initiatives identified by DoD are the core of this amendment. This funding requested by the Administration would provide:

$35 million for integration of the Patriot (PAC-3), Navy Upper and Lower Tier, and THAAD radar systems to allow earlier, more accurate cueing that will increase the effective range of these missile defense systems.

$15 million to accelerate completion of the PAC-3 remote launch capability. Remote launch allows PAC-3 missiles to be deployed at considerable distances from the PAC-3 radars effectively doubling the amount of territory defended.

$40 million for one additional test flight of the PAC-3 and Navy Lower Tier systems to test their capabilities against longer-range missiles such as the Shahab-3 missile that Iran is developing.

$10 million to improve interoperability between the Arrow and U.S. TMD systems.

In addition to providing funding for the programs identified by the Administration, this amendment would also provide $6 million to integrate a variety of sensors and communication systems to provide better, more accurate early warning data from a missile launch, and $45 million to purchase a third radar for the Israeli Arrow system, the first step toward eventually providing a third battery of the system to Israel.

The proposals contained in this amendment enjoy bipartisan support. Last week, the House National Security Committee passed a bill, which is very similar to the amendment I have offered, by a vote of 45 to 0. It is also important to note that the amendment I have offered simply makes $151 million in funding available to the administration. In order for the Administration to use this funding it must designate it as an emergency requirement.

In closing, I thank the distinguished Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Stevens for his support and urge my Senate colleagues to support this amendment which will help ensure that the United States and its allies can take meaningful steps to counter the growing threat from Iran's missile program.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.