Index



                           September 16, 1999
 Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat to the 
                       United States Through 2015

Helms, Hon. Jesse, U.S. Senator from North Carolina, prepared 
  statement......................................................   347
Walpole, Robert D., National Intelligence Officer for Strategic 
  and Nuclear Programs, Central Intelligence Agency..............   348
    Prepared statement of........................................   355
        Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile 
          Threat to the United States Through 2015--summation of 
          annual report to Congress..............................   361





S. Hrg. 106-339 BALLISTIC MISSILES: THREAT AND RESPONSE ======================================================================= HEARINGS BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS FIRST SESSION __________ APRIL 15 AND 20, MAY 4, 5, 13, 25, 26, AND SEPTEMBER 16, 1999 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations <snowflake> Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 56-777 CC WASHINGTON : 2000 COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS JESSE HELMS, North Carolina, Chairman RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware PAUL COVERDELL, Georgia PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts ROD GRAMS, Minnesota RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas PAUL D. WELLSTONE, Minnesota CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming BARBARA BOXER, California JOHN ASHCROFT, Missouri ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey BILL FRIST, Tennessee Stephen E. Biegun, Staff Director Edwin K. Hall, Minority Staff Director (ii)
FOREIGN MISSILE DEVELOPMENTS AND THE BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES THROUGH 2015 ---------- THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1999 U.S. Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 3 p.m., in room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Jesse Helms (chairman of the committee) presiding. Present: Senator Helms. The Chairman. The committee will come to order. The Ranking Minority Senator, Senator Biden, hopes that he will be able to come a little later. Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee welcomes Mr. Robert Walpole, National Intelligence Officer for Strategic and Nuclear Programs. He has graciously agreed to testify today in an open, unclassified session regarding the recent National Intelligence Estimate on Foreign Missile Threats to the United States. I might add parenthetically that this is a subject that the public, that is to say the American people, need to know more about than they know, and to understand better than they do. In any case, sir, I will state at the outset that you have done outstanding work. The unclassified report is clearly and succinctly written and possesses none of the criminally misleading caveats and hidden assumptions of previous estimates that I can identify. For these reasons, the National Intelligence Estimate will prove of enormous worth to the U.S. Senate, and I thank you in advance for that. Now then, four and a half years ago, the President, Mr. Clinton, vetoed critical Republican legislation to deploy immediately a national missile defense, and he used as a pretext as I recall a foreign-drafted, shortsighted and in my personal view politically skewed intelligence estimate 9519. Now, I and many other Republican Senators, and some Democrats, decried the President's incredible position both before this committee and on the Senate floor, citing the fact that North Korea was known, and even in 1995, to be developing a missile capable of striking U.S. cities. Four and a half years have passed since then, and every day since the President killed the concept of the deployment of a missile defense for the American people, the North Koreans have been working overtime on their missiles. Now, sir, I wish you had been on the job in 1995. Certainly if you had been, the President would have been unable to use the intelligence community as he did as an excuse. Mr. Walpole today will tell this committee, the U.S. Senate, and the American people, I believe, that one of our worst fears has materialized, and he will make absolutely clear, I believe, that North Korea right now could convert its Taepo Dong-I missile to drop anthrax on the United States and that an even larger, more precise missile could be flight tested at any time. Now, in anticipation of receiving your shocking report, I find myself deeply regretful that the Clinton-Gore administration has squandered so much time that should have been spent deploying a system to protect the American people. Instead of fulfilling his highest constitutional obligation, to protect the American people, the President has spent his time in various dalliances, some well-known, some not, not the least has been his ``love affair'' with the ABM Treaty. And in addition to his thorough appraisal of the rapidly emerging missile threat, there is one other important aspect of the National Intelligence Estimate, and that is on page 16, I believe it is. It states unequivocally, and I am quoting, ``Pakistan has M-11 SRBMs, short range ballistic missiles, from China.'' Now, this wording expresses the absolute certainty that China has, in fact, transferred M-11 missiles to Pakistan. Now, this statement by the intelligence community stands in stark contrast to the evasive pronouncements of officials of the State Department, who have desperately sought to avoid their legal obligation to impose missile sanctions upon Communist China for this transfer. I point out, for instance, that on April 10, 1997, in a hearing before the Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Levin asked Robert Einhorn, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation a question, and Levin's question was, ``Have you concluded whether or not full missiles, in effect, were transferred?'' And in response, Mr. Einhorn delivered the following statement which I regard as gobbledygook. He said, ``We have not reached a conclusion based on the high standard of evidence that we require that complete missiles were transferred. We have not concluded one way or another because our level of confidence is not sufficient to take a decision that has very far-reaching consequences.'' If you can make heads or tails of that statement, I want to see you after this meeting. In any case, first we wish that the Department of State had been as candid and forthright as you and your experts have been, but I must say to all who are listening, enough is enough. The National Intelligence Estimate is the last straw. I could not agree more with then-CIA Director John Deutch, who once said about the M-11 issue, ``If you are not satisfied with the intelligence on this, you will never be satisfied with any intelligence on anything else.'' Quote, unquote. Now then, I am taking up more time than I intended, but let it be clear that I am not inclined to stand back in silence, as any administration, including the present one, continues to dodge the Arms Export Control Act and break the law without suffering the consequences. The NIE makes it absolutely clear that there is zero doubt about China's having transferred M-11 missiles to Pakistan, and I want to make it absolutely clear here today that from here on out, the administration has a choice. The administration can adhere to the MTCR law, which it has been flouting for the past 6 years, or it can make do without any Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation Affairs. That I think I can assure you. The choice is plain and simple. On the day that the Clinton-Gore administration demonstrates that it deserves an Assistant Secretary on these issues, we will try to cooperate then, but not before. [The prepared statement of Senator Helms follows:] Prepared Statement of Senator Jesse Helms Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee welcomes Robert Walpole, National Intelligence Officer for Strategic and Nuclear Programs. Mr. Walpole has graciously agreed to testify today in an open, unclassified session regarding the recent National Intelligence Estimate on Foreign Missile Threats to the United States. Mr. Walpole, I will state at the outset that--as the National Intelligence Officer for this estimate--you have done outstanding work. The unclassified report is clearly and succinctly written, and possesses none of the criminally-misleading caveats and hidden assumptions of previous estimates. I especially applaud your decision to (1) assess the threat to the entire United States (as opposed to the continental United States); (2) to include China and Russia in your ``key judgment'' of the threat; and (3) to adopt the reasonable standard of ``first flight test'' as the initial indicator of a threat. For these reasons, and others, this National Intelligence Estimate will prove of enormous worth to the United States Senate. Four and a half years ago, President Clinton vetoed critical Republican legislation to deploy immediately a national missile defense. In his veto message for the 1996 Defense Authorization Act, President Clinton flatly and explicitly objected to having a missile defense to protect the American people. At that time, I--and many other Republican Senators--found beyond belief the fact that the President of the United States could arrive at such a decision, all in the name of a defunct arms control treaty. I decried the President's incredible position both before this committee and on the Senate floor, citing the fact that North Korea was known, even in 1995, to be developing a missile capable of striking U.S. cities. Four and a half years have passed since then, and every day since the President killed the deployment of a missile defense, the North Koreans have been working overtime on their missiles. Mr. Walpole today will tell this committee, the U.S. Senate, and the American people, that one of our worst fears has materialized. He will make absolutely clear that North Korea, right now, could convert its Taepo Dong-I missile to drop anthrax on the United States, and that an even larger, more precise missile could be flight tested at any time. In anticipation of receiving Mr. Walpole's shocking report, I find myself deeply regretful that the Clinton-Gore administration has squandered so much time that should have been spent deploying a system to protect the American people. Instead of fulfilling his highest Constitutional obligation--to protect the American people--the President spent his time in various dalliances, not the least of which has been his ``love affair'' with the ABM Treaty. I remind my colleagues that President Clinton made a legally- binding commitment to the Senate on May 14, 1997 (well over 2 years ago) to submit a revised ABM Treaty to the Senate. So far, Mr. Clinton has refused to keep his promise. And until we have these documents, and the opportunity to clear away the ABM Treaty obstacle, the American people will remain defenseless against incoming missile attacks. In addition to its thorough appraisal of the rapidly emerging missile threat, there is one other important aspect of the National Intelligence Estimate upon which I feel obliged to comment: on page 16 the NIE states unequivocally: ``Pakistan has M-11 SRBM's [short range ballistic missiles] from China.'' This wording expresses the absolute certainty of the U.S. intelligence community that China has, in fact, transferred M-11 missiles to Pakistan. (This statement builds upon previous testimony by Dr. Gordon Oehler, who testified that the intelligence community was ``virtually certain'' that complete M-11's had been transferred. I also note that a 1998 publication of the National Air Intelligence Center specifically lists Pakistan as possessing ``fewer than 50'' M-11 missile systems.) These statements by the intelligence community stand in stark contrast to the evasive pronouncements of officials of the State Department, who have desperately sought to avoid their legal obligation to impose missile sanctions upon Communist China for this transfer. I point out, for instance, that on April 10, 1997, during a hearing before a Governmental Affairs subcommittee, Senator Levin asked Robert Einhorn, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation, ``[H]ave you concluded whether or not full missiles, in effect, were transferred?'' In response, Mr. Einhorn offered the following goobledigook: ``We have not reached a conclusion based on the high standard of evidence that we require that complete missiles were transferred. . . . We have not concluded one way or another because our level of confidence is not sufficient to take a decision that has very far-reaching consequences.'' Well, Mr. Walpole, I fervently wish that the Department of State had been as candid and forthright as you and your experts. But I must say to all who will listen: enough is enough. The National Intelligence Estimate is the last straw. I could not agree more with then-CIA Director John Deutch, who once said about the M-11 issue: ``If you're not satisfied with the intelligence on this, you will never be satisfied with any intelligence on anything else.'' I am not inclined to stand back in silence as the Clinton administration continues dodging the Arms Export Control Act and breaking the law without suffering the consequences. The National Intelligence Estimate on Missile Threats makes it absolutely clear that there is zero doubt about China's having transferred M-11 missiles to Pakistan. I want to make it absolutely clear here today, from here on out, the administration has a choice. The administration can adhere to the MTCR law which it has been flouting for the past 6 years, or it can make do without any Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation Affairs. The choice is plain and simple. On the day that the Clinton-Gore administration demonstrates that it deserves an Assistant Secretary for these issues, we will try to cooperate. With that said, Mr. Walpole, I welcome you here today, and I turn to Senator Biden for his comments. The Chairman. And with that, sir, we again welcome you here today, and we will await Senator Biden's statement after you have completed. You may proceed. STATEMENT OF ROBERT D. WALPOLE, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE OFFICER FOR STRATEGIC AND NUCLEAR PROGRAMS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Mr. Walpole. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today in an open session to discuss the intelligence community's National Intelligence Estimates. We refer to them as NIE's. It is just shorter. This one covers the ballistic missile threat through the year 2015. Following that statement, I will try to answer any questions you have without providing important information to foreign countries on how they could hide more weapons developments from us. Thus, you will understand that in some cases, I may not be able to answer a question more fully than I really would like to. In such cases, though, I can provide a classified answer for the record if you like. My statement for the record, which I think you have a copy of, does not cover all of the important information that the unclassified paper does. The Chairman. Suppose we make that officially a part of the record. Mr. Walpole. I was going to ask that both of those in fact be included as part of the record. I am going to just summarize the statement for the record. Congress has requested the intelligence community to provide annual reports on ballistic missile developments worldwide. We did the first of those reports in March 1998, and then following the October 1998 launch of the North Korean Taepo Dong-I space launch vehicle, we did an update memorandum. We did not feel that that could wait for this NIE to be covered. Our 1999 report, as you have noted, is a National Intelligence Estimate, in that we examined future capabilities for several countries that have or have had ballistic missiles or space launch programs or even the intentions. Our approach for this year's report differs in three major ways from previous reports. First, we project the missile developments through the year 2015. Prior reports have only gone to 2010, so we have added five more years for development. That is important. Second, with expertise inside and outside the intelligence community, we examined ways that a country could acquire an ICBM and assessed the likelihood that they would do so. Earlier intelligence reports only focused on what the country is likely to do, our best estimates of what they would like to do. The Rumsfeld Commission report only looked at what a country could do and didn't discuss likelihoods. We thought it was time the two were put together in one document so that people could see what they were capable of doing, these countries were capable, as well as see what we judged they were likely to do. Although I will note, in fairness to one agency, they believe the prominence given by this approach to missiles countries could develop gives more credence than is warranted to developments that may prove implausible. Third, countries could threaten to use ballistic missiles against the United States following very limited flight testing, in fact, only one test. So we used the first successful flight test to indicate an initial threat availability. A nation may decide that the ability to threaten with one or two missiles is sufficient for its needs. I should note that our projections of future ICBM developments are based on limited information and engineering judgment. Adding to our uncertainty is that many countries surround their ballistic missile programs with secrecy and some employ deception. Recall that we did not know that the Taepo Dong-I had a third stage until a few days after the flight. That is one of the reasons that we have to keep some of this information classified. I do not think anybody in the American public wants us to tell the foreigners how to hide more from us. They hide plenty now. I should also note that we incorporated the results of several expert academic and contractor efforts, including recommendations from former members of the Rumsfeld Commission, assistance from politico-economic experts to help examine potential ICBM sales, and assistance from multiple missile contractors to help postulate potential ICBM configurations that rogue states could pursue. Let me mention a couple of comments about the proliferation environment we find ourselves in. Worldwide ballistic missile proliferation has continued to evolve during the past 18 months. The capabilities of the missiles that we are seen are growing, a fact underscored by North Korea's Taepo Dong launch. The number of missiles is increasing. Medium and short range ballistic missiles already pose a significant threat to U.S. interests, military forces and allies overseas. We have seen increased trade and cooperation among countries that have been recipients of the missile technologies, and finally, some countries continue to work on longer range missiles, including ICBM's. Projecting political and economic developments that could alter the nature of the missile threat many years into the future is virtually impossible. The threat ultimately will depend on our changing relations with foreign countries, the political and economic situation in those countries and other factors that we cannot predict with confidence. I note, for example, that 15 years ago, the United States and the former Soviet Union were superpower adversaries in the midst of the cold war posturing forces against each other in Europe. 15 years ago, Iraq shared some significant common interests with the United States. Finally, we do not know if some of the countries that, I will not mention names, would even exist 15 years from now or even as suppliers of technology. Understanding those uncertainties, we project that during the next 15 years the United States will most likely face a ballistic missile threat from Russia, China, and North Korea, probably from Iran and possibly from Iraq. The Russian threat, although significantly reduced, will continue to be the most robust and lethal, much more so than China's and orders of magnitude more than the threat posed by others. North Korea, Iran, Iraq, will have fewer ICBM's, probably on the order of few to tens, constrained to smaller payloads. They will be less reliable, less accurate and they will not have the payload capability; I think I mentioned that. The new missile threats are far different from that of the cold war during the last three decades. During that period, the ballistic threat involved relatively accurate, survivable, reliable missiles deployed in large numbers. By contrast, the new missile threats involve states with considerably fewer missiles, less accuracy, yields, survivability, reliability and payload capability. Even so, they threaten in different ways. First, although the majority of systems being developed and produced today are short and medium range missiles, North Korea's three-stage Taepo Dong-I space launch vehicle launch demonstrated Pyongyang's potential to cross the ICBM threshold if it develops a survivable weapon for that system. Other nations could cross that threshold during the next 15 years. Second, many of the countries that are developing longer range missiles probably assess that the threat of their use would complicate American decisionmaking during a crisis. Over the last decade the world has observed that missiles less capable than the ICBM's that the United States and others have deployed can affect another nation's decisionmaking process. Third, the probability that a missile with a weapon of mass destruction will be used against U.S. forces or interests is higher today than during most of the cold war. Ballistic missiles, for example, were used against U.S. forces during the Gulf war. More nations now have longer range missiles and weapons of mass destruction. While the missiles used in several conflicts over the past two decades did not have weapons of mass destruction, some of the regimes controlling the missiles have exhibited a willingness to use those weapons in other ways. Thus acquiring long range ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction probably will enable weaker nations to deter, constrain and harm the United States. The missiles do not need to be deployed in large numbers. They do not need to be highly accurate. They do not need to be highly reliable, because their strategic value is derived primarily from the threat of their use, not their certain outcome of their use. In many ways, such weapons may be viewed more as strategic weapons of deterrence and coercive diplomacy. The progress of countries in Asia and the Middle East toward acquiring long-range ballistic missiles has been dramatically demonstrated over the past 18 months, most notably, the Taepo Dong-I launch I just mentioned. Pakistan flight tested the 1,300-kilometer range Ghauri missile. Iran tested the 1,300-kilometer range Shahab-3. India recently flight tested the 2,000-kilometer range Agni II and China conducted its first flight test of a mobile ICBM, the DF-31, just last month. Now let us turn to the threats. On North Korea: After Russia and China, North Korea is the most likely to develop ICBM's capable of threatening the United States during the next 15 years. With an operable third stage and a reentry vehicle capable of surviving ICBM flight, a converted Taepo Dong-I space launch vehicle could deliver a light payload to the United States. In these cases about two-thirds of the payload mass would be required for the reentry vehicle structure. The remaining mass is probably too light for an early generation nuclear weapon, but could deliver a biological or chemical warfare agent. Most analysts believed that North Korea probably would test a Taepo Dong-II this year unless, as we have now seen, it is delayed for political reasons. A two-stage Taepo Dong-II could deliver a several-hundred-kilogram payload to Alaska and Hawaii and a lighter payload to the western half of the United States. A three-stage Taepo Dong-II could deliver a several hundred kilogram payload anywhere in the United States. North Korea is much more likely to weaponize the more capable Taepo Dong-II than the Taepo Dong-I as an ICBM. Iran is the next hostile country most capable of testing an ICBM that could deliver a weapon to the United States during the next 15 years. Iran could test an ICBM that could deliver a several hundred kilogram payload to many parts of the United States in the latter half of the next decade using Russian technology and assistance. Iran could pursue a Taepo Dong type ICBM and could test either a Taepo Dong-I or a Taepo Dong-II, possibly with North Korean assistance, in the next 2 years. Iran is likely to test a space launch vehicle by the year 2010 that, once developed, could be converted to an ICBM. Beyond that, analysts differ on the likely timing of Iran's first flight test. What you will find in our, both the unclassified and the classified papers, we get more agreement on what the countries could do than what they are likely to do. That is because what they could do is based on the infrastructure, what we have seen happen in the past, capabilities. What they are likely to do, we have factors that are just fraught with a lot of uncertainty, but there is a spread of views on Iran. Some analysts believe that Iran is likely to test an ICBM before 2010 and very likely before 2015, and in fact probably will test a space launch vehicle like the Taepo Dong-I in the next few years. Some analysts believe there is no more than an even chance of an ICBM test from Iran by 2010 and a better than even chance by 2015. And still others believe less than an even chance by 2015. Now let us shift to Iraq. Although the Gulf war and subsequent U.N. activities destroyed much of Iraq's infrastructure, Iraq could test an ICBM capable of reaching the United States in the next 15 years. After observing North Korean activities, Iraq would likely pursue a three-stage Taepo Dong-II type approach to an ICBM. If they got North Korean assistance with engines, they would be able to do it much faster than if they had to do it on their own. But in either case it would be the latter half in the next decade. Although much less likely, they could try to test a much less capable ICBM patterned after one of their failed SLV prior to the Gulf war using Scud components or to try to copy a Taepo Dong-I. Now again, analysts differ on likelihood. Assessments include unlikely before the year 2015, likely before 2015, possibly before 2010 if foreign assistance were involved. Russia's forces are experiencing serious budget constraints, but will remain a cornerstone of their military power. Russia has about 1,000 strategic ballistic missiles with 4,500 warheads. They will maintain as many strategic missiles and warheads as they feel their budget will allow, but it would be well short of START I or START II limits. If Russia ratifies START II with its ban on multiple warheads on ICBM's, it would probably be able to maintain only about half the number of weapons it could maintain without a ban. We judge that an unauthorized or accidental launch of a Russian strategic missile is highly unlikely so long as current technical and procedural safeguards are in place. Now let me shift to China for a moment. China's doctrine calls for a survivable long-range missile force that can hold a significant portion of the U.S. population at risk in a retaliatory strike. China's current force of about 20 CSS-4's can reach targets all over the United States. China is developing two road-mobile ICBM's. The first I mentioned earlier was tested last month and we are expect they are developing a longer range mobile ICBM to be tested sometime in the next decade to be targeted primarily against the United States. They are also developing the JL-2 submarine launched ballistic missile, which we expect to be tested in the next decade as well. By the year 2015 China will likely have tens of missiles targeted against the United States, having added a few tens of more survivable land and sea-based mobile ICBM's. When I delivered this paper to the, to a press backgrounder, I was asked what tens meant and what few tens meant. I said I am not going to declassify the numbers we have, but I will say this. Tens is more than 20 because we put the number 20 in there and it is less than 100, and few tens is less than tens. So somewhere in there people can play with the numbers and go with it. China has had the technical capability to develop multiple- RV payloads for 20 years, has not done so, but if they wanted one, they could use the reentry vehicle from the recently tested mobile ICBM and have either a multiple-RV or a multiple independently targeted RV system in a few years. But we expect that MIRV'ing a mobile system would take many years. China is also significantly improving its theater missile capabilities opposite Taiwan and is significantly increasing the number of missiles deployed off of Taiwan. We assess that an unauthorized or unaccidental launch of a Chinese strategic missile is highly unlikely. You have mentioned foreign assistance. I mention that as well. It continues to have demonstrable effects on missile defenses around the world. Russian missile assistance continues to be significant. China continues to contribute to missile programs in some countries. North Korea may expand its sales and some recipients are now sharing more with others and are pursuing cooperative missile ventures. Moreover, changes in the regional and international security environment, in particular, Iran's Shahab-3 test and the Indian and Pakistani missile tests and nuclear tests are probably fueling regional interest in missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Sales of ICBM's and space launch vehicles which have inherent ICBM capabilities could further increase the threat. North Korea continues to demonstrate a willingness to sell. Projecting the likelihood of a Russian or Chinese sale 15 years into the future is very difficult, nevertheless, we continue to judge it unlikely that Moscow or Beijing would sell a complete ICBM, SLV or technologies tantamount to an ICBM. That will all be driven by really unpredictable future economic conditions, how Moscow will perceive its position vis-a-vis the West, and future Russian and Chinese perceptions of U.S. ballistic missile defenses. A lot has been said about warning times and the intelligence community's ability to warn. That ability depends highly on our collection capabilities from country to country. Our monitoring and warning about North Korea's efforts is an excellent case study on warning. In 1994, we were able to give 5 years' warning of North Korea's efforts to acquire an ICBM capability. In hindsight, however, we had overestimated when North Korea would test both the Taepo Dong-I and the Taepo Dong-II. We had correctly projected the timing of their developing a system that could deliver small payloads to the United States, but we had underestimated the capabilities of the Taepo Dong-I, primarily because we missed the third stage. North Korea demonstrated intercontinental range booster capabilities roughly on the timetable we projected in 1994 but with a completely unanticipated vehicle configuration. Thus detecting or suspecting a missile development program and projecting a timing of the emerging threat, although difficult, are easier than forecasting the missile's performance or configuration. We continue to judge that we may not be able to provide much warning if a country purchased an ICBM or if the country already had a space launch vehicle. Nevertheless, we would view a space launched vehicle in the hands of a hostile country as a potential ICBM program. We also judge that we may not be able to provide much, if any, warning of a forward-based ballistic missile or cruise missile threat. Several other means for delivering weapons of mass destruction have probably been devised. Some more reliable than the ICBM's we have talked about. Most of these means, however, do not provide the same prestige and degree of deterrence or coercive diplomacy associated with long-range missiles. Several countries would be capable of deploying a short-range ballistic missile or if they develop one, a cruise missile on a surface ship. If they are not worried about accuracy, it is not that difficult and even reduced accuracy in many cases would be better than some of the systems that we have been looking at for ICBM's. Finally, I should make some comments about nonmissile threats. Although nonmissile means of delivering weapons do not provide the same prestige, degree of deterrence or coercive diplomacy associated with an ICBM, such options are of significant concern. Countries or nonstate actors could pursue nondelivery missile options, most of which are less expensive than ICBM's, can be covertly developed and employed, probably would be more reliable, probably would be more accurate than emerging ICBM's during the next 15 years, probably would be more effective in disseminating biological warfare agent and certainly would avoid missile defenses. Foreign nonstate actors, including some known terrorist or extremist groups, have used, possessed, or are interested in weapons of mass destruction or the materials to build them. Most of these groups have threatened the United States or its interests. We cannot count on obtaining warning of all planned terrorist attacks, despite the high priority we assign to this goal. The proliferation of medium-range missiles, driven primarily by North Korean No Dong sales, has created an immediate, serious and growing threat to U.S. forces, interests and allies in the Middle East and Asia, and it has significantly altered the strategic balances in these regions. As you noted, our report said that Pakistan has M-11 SRBM's from China and Ghauri MRBM's from North Korea. We assess that both may have a nuclear role. India has Prithvi I SRBM's and recently began testing the Agni II MRBM. We assess, again, both may have a nuclear role. We judge that countries developing missiles view their regional concerns as a primary factor in pursuing the programs. They see short- and medium-range missiles not only as deterrents, but as force-multiplying weapons of war. On penetration agent countermeasures, we were asked specifically to address that in this year's annual report. We assess that countries developing ballistic missiles would also develop various responses to U.S. theater and national defenses. Russia and China each have developed numerous countermeasures and are probably willing to sell some of the technologies. Many countries, such as North Korea, Iran, Iraq, probably would rely initially on readily available technology-- separating RV's, spin-stabilized RV's, RV reorientation, radar absorbing material, booster fragmentation, low-power jammers, chaff, and simple balloon decoys to develop these penetration aids and countermeasures. These countries could develop countermeasures based on these technologies by the time they flight test their missiles. Finally, I should close with a comment on espionage. Foreign espionage and other collection efforts are likely to increase. We did the damage assessment earlier this year. I was responsible for that, and we did an unclassified set of key findings on that. In that we noted that China has obtained significant nuclear weapons information from espionage, contact with scientists from the United States and other countries, publications and conferences, unauthorized media disclosures, and declassified U.S. weapons information. We assess that China, Iran and others are also targeting U.S. missile information. So with that, I am ready to take whatever questions you have and I am sorry that took a while to go through, but I think it is kind of important to get the whole story. [The prepared statement of Mr. Walpole follows:] Prepared Statement of Robert D. Walpole Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss, in an open session, the Intelligence Community's recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the ballistic missile threat to the United States through the year 2015. Following my statement, I will try to answer your questions without providing important information to countries seeking to hide weapons developments from us. Thus, you'll understand that if I cannot answer a question more fully, it's not that I do not want to. In such cases, I could provide a classified answer for the record if you would like. My statement for the record does not cover all the important material published in our recent unclassified paper on this subject. Moreover, in the interest of time I would like to summarize my statement verbally, so I would like to submit both the unclassified paper and my written statement for the record. Congress has requested that the Intelligence Community produce annual reports on ballistic missile developments worldwide. We produced the first report in March 1998 and an update memorandum in October 1998 on the August North Korean launch of its Taepo Dong-I space launch vehicle. Our 1999 report is a classified NIE, but we summarized it in the unclassified paper I just mentioned. You have copies of that paper for this hearing. This year we examined future capabilities for several countries that have or have had ballistic missiles or space launch programs or intentions. Our approach for this year's report differs with past efforts in three major ways.
  • First, we have projected missile developments through the year 2015; previous reports projected the threat through 2010. Thus, we have added five years of further development.
  • Second, using intelligence information and expertise inside and outside the Intelligence Community, we examined scenarios by which a country could acquire an ICBM and assessed the likelihood of various scenarios. (Earlier intelligence reports have focused on scenarios we judged as most likely; the Rumsfeld report focused only on what a country could do. We decided it was time to combine both approaches, although one agency believes that the prominence given by this approach to missiles countries ``could'' develop gives more credence than is warranted to developments that may prove implausible.) We did not attempt to address all of the potential political, economic, and social changes that could occur. Rather, we analyzed the level of success and the pace countries have experienced in their development efforts, technology transfers, political motives, military incentives, and economic resources. From that basis, we projected possible and likely missile developments by 2015 independent of significant political and economic changes.
  • Third, because countries could threaten to use ballistic missiles following limited flight-testing and before a missile is deployed in the traditional sense, we use the first successful flight test to indicate an ``initial threat availability.'' Emerging long-range missile powers do not appear to rely on robust test programs to ensure a missile's accuracy and reliability or to intend to deploy a large number of long-range missiles to dedicated, long-term sites. A nation may decide that the ability to threaten with one or two missiles is sufficient. With shorter flight test programs-- perhaps only one test--and potentially simple deployment schemes, the time between the initial flight test and the availability of a missile for military use is likely to be shortened. Using the date of the first projected flight test as the initial indicator of the threat recognizes that an adversary armed with even a single missile capable of delivering a weapon of mass destruction may consider it threatening. Using the first flight test also results in threat projections a few years earlier than those based on traditional definitions of deployment. I should note that our projections are based largely on limited information and engineering judgment. Adding to our uncertainty is that many countries surround their ballistic missile programs with secrecy, and some employ deception. Although some key milestones are difficult to hide, we may miss others, at least until flight testing; recall that we did not know until its launch that North Korea had acquired a third stage for its Taepo Dong-I. I should also note that we incorporated the results of several expert, academic and contractor efforts, including the recommendations of former members of the Commission to Access the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, assistance from politico-economic experts to help examine future environments that might foster ICBM sales, and the expertise of missile contractors to help postulate potential ICBM configurations others could pursue. the evolving missile threat in the current proliferation environment Worldwide ballistic missile proliferation has continued to evolve during the past 18 months. The capabilities of the missiles are growing, a fact underscored by North Korea's Taepo Dong-I launch. The number of missiles is increasing. Medium- and short-range ballistic missile systems, particularly if armed with weapons of mass destruction, already pose a significant threat to U.S. interests, military forces, and allies overseas. We have seen increased trade and cooperation among countries that have been recipients of missile technologies. Finally, some countries continue to work toward longer- range systems, including ICBMs. Projecting political and economic developments that could alter the missile threat many years into the future is virtually impossible. The threat facing the United States in the year 2015 will depend on our changing relations with foreign countries, the political situation within those countries, economic factors, and numerous other factors that we cannot predict with confidence.
  • For example, 15 years ago the United States and Soviet Union were superpower adversaries in the midst of the Cold War, with military forces facing off in central Europe and competing for global power.
  • Fifteen years ago Iraq shared common interests with the United States.
  • Finally, we do not know whether some of the countries of concern will exist in 15 years. Understanding the uncertainties, we project that during the next 15 years the United States most likely will face ICBM threats from Russia, China, and North Korea, probably from Iran, and possibly from Iraq. The Russian threat, although significantly reduced, will continue to be the most robust and lethal, considerably more so than that posed by China, and orders of magnitude more than that potentially posed by the others, whose missiles are likely to be fewer in number--probably a few to tens, constrained to smaller payloads, and less reliable and accurate. The new missile threats confronting the United States are far different from the Cold War threat during the last three decades. During that period, the ballistic missile threat to the United States involved relatively accurate, survivable, and reliable missiles deployed in large numbers. Soviet--and to a much lesser extent Chinese--strategic forces threatened, as they still do, the potential for catastrophic, nation-killing damage. By contrast, the new missile threats involve states with considerably fewer missiles with less accuracy, yield, survivability, reliability, and range-payload capability than the hostile strategic forces we have faced for 30 years. Even so, the new systems are threatening, but in different ways.
  • First, although the majority of systems being developed and produced today are short- or medium-range ballistic missiles, North Korea's three-stage Taepo Dong-I SLV demonstrated Pyongyang's potential to cross the ICBM threshold if it develops a survivable weapon for the system. Other potentially hostile nations could cross that threshold during the next 15 years.
  • Second, many of the countries that are developing longer- range missiles probably assess that the threat of their use would complicate American decision-making during crises. Over the last decade, the world has observed that missiles less capable than the ICBMs the United States and others have deployed can affect another nation's decision-making process.
  • Third, the probability that a missile with a weapon of mass destruction will be used against U.S. forces or interests is higher today than during most of the Cold War. Ballistic missiles, for example, were used against U.S. forces during the Gulf war. More nations now have longer-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Missiles have been used in several conflicts over the past two decades, although not with weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, some of the regimes controlling these missiles have exhibited a willingness to use such weapons. Thus, acquiring long-range ballistic missiles armed with a weapon of mass destruction probably will enable weaker countries to do three things that they otherwise might not be able to do: deter, constrain, and harm the United States. To achieve these objectives, the missiles need not be deployed in large numbers; with even a few such weapons, these countries would judge that they had the capability to threaten at least politically significant damage to the United States or its allies. They need not be highly accurate; the ability to target a large urban area is sufficient. They need not be highly reliable, because their strategic value is derived primarily from the implicit or explicit threat of their use, not the near certain outcome of such use. Some of these systems may be intended for their political impact as potential terror weapons, while others may be built to perform more specific military missions, facing the United States with a broad spectrum of motivations, development timelines, and resulting hostile capabilities. In many ways, such weapons are not envisioned at the outset as operational weapons of war, but primarily as strategic weapons of deterrence and coercive diplomacy. The progress of countries in Asia and the Middle East toward acquiring longer-range ballistic missiles has been dramatically demonstrated over the past 18 months:
  • Most notably, North Korea's three-stage Taepo Dong-I SLV has inherent, albeit limited, capabilities to deliver small payloads to ICBM ranges. The much more capable Taepo Dong-II could be flight tested this year, unless it is delayed for political reasons.
  • Pakistan flight-tested its 1,300 km range Ghauri missile, which it produced with North Korean assistance.
  • Iran flight-tested its 1,300 km range Shahab-3--a version of North Korea's No Dong, which Iran has produced with Russian assistance.
  • India flight-tested its Agni II MRBM, which we estimate will have a range of about 2,000 km.
  • China conduced the first flight test of its DF-31 mobile ICBM in August 1999; it will have a range of about 8,000 km. potential icbm threats to the united states from five countries North Korea. After Russia and China, North Korea is the most likely to develop ICBMs capable of threatening the United States during the next 15 years.
  • With an operable third stage and a reentry vehicle capable of surviving ICBM flight, a converted Taepo Dong-I SLV could deliver a light payload to the United States. In these cases, about two-thirds of the payload mass would be required for the reentry vehicle structure. The remaining mass is probably too light for an early generation nuclear weapon but could deliver biological or chemical (BW/CW) warfare agent.
  • Most analysts believe that North Korea probably will test a Taepo Dong-II this year, unless delayed for political reasons. A two-stage Taepo Dong-II could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload to Alaska and Hawaii, and a lighter payload to the western half of the United States. A three-stage Taepo Dong-II could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload anywhere in the United States.
  • North Korea is much more likely to weaponize the more capable Taepo Dong-II than the three-stage Taepo Dong-I as an ICBM. Iran. Iran is the next hostile country most capable of testing an ICBM capable of delivering a weapon to the United States during the next 15 years.
  • Iran could test an ICBM that could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload to many parts of the United States in the latter half of the next decade, using Russian technology and assistance.
  • Iran could pursue a Taepo Dong-type ICBM and could test a Taepo Dong-I or Taepo Dong-II-type ICBM, possibly with North Korean assistance, in the next few years.
  • Iran is likely to test an SLV by 2010 that--once developed- could be converted into an ICBM capable of delivering a several-hundred kilogram payload to the United States.
  • Beyond that, analysts differ on the likely timing of Iran's first flight test of an ICBM that could threaten the United States. Assessments include: --likely before 2010 and very likely before 2015 (noting that an SLV with ICBM capabilities will probably be tested within the next few years); --no more than an even chance by 2010 and a better than even chance by 2015; --and less than an even chance by 2015. Iraq. Although the Gulf war and subsequent United Nations activities destroyed much of Iraq's missile infrastructure, Iraq could test an ICBM capable of reaching the United States during the next 15 years.
  • After observing North Korean activities, Iraq most likely would pursue a three-stage Taepo Dong-II approach to an ICBM (or SLV), which could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload to parts of the United States. If Iraq could buy a Taepo Dong-II from North Korea, it could have a launch capability within months of the purchase; if it bought Taepo Dong engines, it could test an ICBM by the middle of the next decade. Iraq probably would take until the end of the next decade to develop the system domestically.
  • Although much less likely, most analysts believe that if Iraq were to begin development today, it could test a much less capable ICBM in a few years using Scud components and based on its prior SLV experience or on the Taepo Dong-I.
  • Analysts differ on the likely timing of Iraq's first flight test of an ICBM that could threaten the United States. Assessments include unlikely before 2015; and likely before 2015, possibly before 2010--foreign assistance would affect the capability and timing. Russia. Russia's strategic offensive forces are experiencing serious budget constraints but will remain the cornerstone of its military power.
  • Russia currently has about 1,000 strategic ballistic missiles with 4,500 warheads.
  • Russia will maintain as many strategic missiles and associated nuclear warheads as it believes it can afford, but well short of START I or II limitations. --If Russia ratifies START II, with its ban on multiple warheads on ICBMs, it would probably be able to maintain only about half of the weapons it could maintain without the ban.
  • We judge that an unauthorized or accidental launch of a Russian strategic missile is highly unlikely so long as current technical and procedural safeguards are in place. China. Chinese strategic nuclear doctrine calls for a survivable long-range missile force that can hold a significant portion of the U.S. population at risk in a retaliatory strike.
  • China's current force of about 20 CSS-4 ICBMs can reach targets in all of the United States.
  • Beijing also is developing two new road-mobile, solid propellant ICBMs. --It conducted the first flight test of the mobile DF-31 ICBM in August 1999; we judge it will have a range of about 8,000 km and will be targeted primarily against Russia and Asia. --We expect a test of a longer range mobile ICBM within the next several years; it will be targeted primarily against the United States.
  • China is developing the JL-2 SLBM, which we expect to be tested within the next decade. The JL-2 probably will be able to target the United States from launch areas near China.
  • By 2015, China will likely have tens of missiles targeted against the United States, having added a few tens of more survivable land- and sea-based mobile missiles with smaller nuclear warheads--in part influenced by U.S. technology gained through espionage.
  • China has had the technical capability to develop multiple RV payloads for 20 years. If China needed a multiple-RV (MRV) capability in the near term, Beijing could use a DF-31-type RV to develop and deploy a simple MRV or multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) for the CSS-4 in a few years. MIRVing a future mobile missile would be many years off.
  • China is also significantly improving its theater missile capabilities and is increasing the size of its SRBM force deployed opposite Taiwan.
  • We assess that an unauthorized launch of a Chinese strategic missile is highly unlikely. foreign assistance Foreign assistance continues to have demonstrable effects on missile advances around the world.
  • Russian missile assistance continues to be significant.
  • China continues to contribute to missile programs in some countries.
  • North Korea may expand sales.
  • Some countries that have been recipients of technology are now sharing more amongst themselves and are pursuing cooperative missile ventures. Moreover, changes in the regional and international security environment--in particular, Iran's Shahab-3 missile test and the Indian and Pakistani missile and nuclear tests--probably will fuel missile and WMD interests in the region. Sales of ICBMs or SLVs, which have inherent ICBM capabilities, could further increase the number of countries that will be able to threaten the United States. North Korea continues to demonstrate a willingness to sell its missiles. Projecting the likelihood of a Russian or Chinese ICBM transfer 15 years into the future is very uncertain, driven in part by unpredictable future economic conditions, how Moscow will perceive its position vis-a-vis the West, and future Russian and Chinese perceptions of U.S. ballistic missile defenses. Nevertheless, we continue to judge it unlikely that Moscow or Beijing would sell a complete ICBM., SLV, or the technologies tantamount to a complete ICBM. warning times and our ability to forecast missile development and acquisition Our ability to provide warning for a particular country depends highly on our collection capabilities. For some countries, we have relatively large bodies of evidence on which to base our assessments; for others, our knowledge of the programs being pursued is limited. Our monitoring and warning about North Korea's efforts to achieve an ICBM capability constitute an important case study on warning. In 1994, we were able to give five years warning of North Korea's efforts to acquire an ICBM capability. In hindsight, however, we had overestimated that North Korea would begin flight testing the Taepo Dong-I and Taepo Dong-II missiles years earlier than turned out to be the case; projected correctly the timing of a North Korean missile with the potential to deliver payloads to the ICBM range of 5,500-km; and underestimated the capabilities of the Taepo Dong-I by failing to anticipate the use of the third stage. North Korea demonstrated intercontinental-range booster capabilities roughly on the timetable we projected in 1994, but with a completely unanticipated vehicle configuration. Thus, detecting or suspecting a missile development program and projecting the timing of the emerging threat, although difficult, are easier than forecasting the vehicle's configuration or performance with accuracy. Furthermore, countries practice denial and deception to hide or mask their intentions--for example, testing an ICBM as a space launch vehicle. We continue to judge that we may not be able to provide much warning if a country purchased an ICBM or if a country already had an SLV capability. Nevertheless, the initiation of an SLV program is an indicator of a potential ICBM program. We also judge that we may not be able to provide much, if any, warning of a forward-based ballistic missile or land-attack cruise missile (LACM) threat to the United States. Moreover, LACM development can draw upon dual-use technologies. We expect to see acquisition of LACMs by many countries to meet regional military requirements. space launch vehicle (slv) conversion Nations with SLVs could convert them into ICBMs relatively quickly with little or no chance of detection before the first flight test. Such a conversion would include the development of a reentry vehicle (RV).
  • If the country had Russian or Chinese assistance in a covert development effort, it could have relatively high confidence that a covertly-developed RV would survive and function properly.
  • If a country developed an untested RV without foreign assistance, its confidence would diminish, but we could not be confident it would fail. Significant amounts of information about reentry vehicles are available in open sources. The developing country could have some confidence that the system would survive reentry, although confidence in its proper delivery of the weapon would be lower without testing. alternative threats to the united states Several other means to deliver WMD to the United States have probably been devised, some more reliable than ICBMs that have not completed rigorous testing and validation programs. The goal of an adversary would be to move the weapon within striking distance without a long-range ICBM. Most of these means, however, do not provide the same prestige and degree of deterrence or coercive diplomacy associated with long-range missiles, but they might be the means of choice for terrorists. Several countries are technically capable of developing a missile- launch mechanism to use from forward-based ships or other platforms to launch SRBMs and MRBMs, or land-attack cruise missiles against the United States. Some countries may develop and deploy a forward-based system during the period of the next 15 years. A short- or medium-range ballistic missile could be launched at the United States from a forward-based sea platform positioned within a few hundred kilometers of U.S. territory. If the attacking country were willing to accept significantly reduced accuracy for the missile, forward-basing on a sea-based platform would not be a major technical hurdle. The reduced accuracy in such a case, however, would probably be better than that of some early ICBMs. A concept similar to a sea-based ballistic missile launch system would be to launch cruise missiles from forward-based platforms. A country could also launch cruise missiles from fighter, bomber, or commercial transport aircraft outside U.S. airspace. Although non-missile means of delivering weapons of mass destruction do not provide the same prestige or degree of deterrence and coercive diplomacy associated with an ICBM, such options are of significant concern. Countries or non-state actors could pursue non- missile delivery options, most of which:
  • Are less expensive than developing and producing ICBMs.
  • Can be covertly developed and employed; the source of the weapon could be masked in an attempt to evade retaliation.
  • Probably would be more reliable than ICBMs that have not completed rigorous testing and validation programs.
  • Probably would be more accurate than emerging ICBMs over the next 15 years.
  • Probably would be more effective for disseminating biological warfare agent than a ballistic missile.
  • Would avoid missile defenses. Foreign non-state actors, including some terrorist or extremist groups, have used, possessed, or are interested in weapons of mass destruction or the materials to build them. Most of these groups have threatened the United States or its interests. We cannot count on obtaining warning of all planned terrorist attacks, despite the high priority we assign to this goal. Recent trends suggest the likelihood is increasing that a foreign group or individual will conduct a terrorist attack against U.S. interests using chemical agents or toxic industrial chemicals in an attempt to produce a significant number of casualties, damage infrastructure, or create fear among a population. Past terrorist events, such as the World Trade Center bombing and the Aum Shinrikyo chemical attack on the Tokyo subway system, demonstrated the feasibility and willingness to undertake an attack capable of producing massive casualties. immediate theater missile threats to u.s. interests and allies The proliferation of MRBMs--driven primarily by North Korean No Dong sales--has created an immediate, serious, and growing threat to U.S. forces, interests, and allies in the Middle East and Asia, and has significantly altered the strategic balances in the regions.
  • Pakistan has M-11 SRBMs from China and Ghauri MRBMs from North Korea; we assess both may have a nuclear role.
  • India has Prithvi I SRBMs and recently began testing the Agni II MRBM; we assess both may have a nuclear role. We judge that countries developing missiles view their regional concerns as one of the primary factors in tailoring their programs. They see their short- and medium-range missiles not only as deterrents but also as force-multiplying weapons of war, primarily with conventional weapons but with options for delivering biological, chemical, and eventually nuclear weapons. penetration aids and countermeasures We assess that countries developing ballistic missiles would also develop various responses to U.S. theater and national defenses. Russia and China each have developed numerous countermeasures and probably are willing to sell the requisite technologies.
  • Many countries, such as North Korea, Iran, and Iraq probably would rely initially on readily available technology--including separating RVs, spin-stabilized RVs, RV reorientation, radar absorbing material (RAM), booster fragmentation, low-power jammers, chaff, and simple (balloon) decoys--to develop penetration aids and countermeasures.
  • These countries could develop countermeasures based on these technologies by the time they flight test their missiles. espionage Foreign espionage and other collection efforts are likely to increase. China, for example, has been able to obtain significant nuclear weapons information from espionage, contact with scientists from the United States and other countries, publications and conferences, unauthorized media disclosures, and declassified U.S. weapons information. We assess that China, Iran, and others are targeting U.S. missile information as well. That concludes my opening statement and I am prepared to take your questions. ______ Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States Through 2015 preface Congress has requested that the Intelligence Community produce annual reports on ballistic missile developments. We produced the first report in March 1998 and an update memorandum in October 1998 on the August North Korean launch of its Taepo Dong-I space launch vehicle (SLV). Our 1999 report is a classified National Intelligence Estimate, which we have summarized in unclassified form in this paper. This year we examined future capabilities for several countries that have or have had ballistic missiles or SLV programs or intentions to pursue such programs. Using intelligence information and expertise from inside and outside the Intelligence Community, we examined scenarios by which a country could acquire an ICBM by 2015, including by purchase, and assessed the likelihood of various scenarios. (Some analysts believe that the prominence given to missiles countries ``could'' develop gives more credence than is warranted to developments that may prove implausible.) We did not attempt to address all of the potential political, economic, and social changes that could occur. Rather, we analyzed the level of success and the pace countries have experienced in their development efforts, international technology transfers, political motives, military incentives, and economic resources. From that basis, we projected possible and likely missile developments by 2015 independent of significant political and economic changes. Subsequent annual reports will be able to account for such changes. Our projections for future ICBM developments are based on limited information and engineering judgment. Adding to our uncertainty is that many countries surround their ballistic missile programs with secrecy, and some employ deception. Although some key milestones are difficult to hide, we may miss others. For example, we may not know all aspects of a missile system's configuration until flight testing; we did not know until the launch last August that North Korea had acquired a third stage for its Taepo Dong-I. We took into account recommendations made in July 1998 by the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States and incorporated the results of several academic and contractor efforts, including politico-economic experts to help examine future environments that might foster ICBM sales and missile contractors to help postulate potential ICBM configurations that rogue states could pursue. key points We project that during the next 15 years the United States most likely will face ICBM threats from Russia, China, and North Korea, probably from Iran, and possibly from Iraq. The Russian threat, although significantly reduced, will continue to be the most robust and lethal, considerably more so than that posed by China, and orders of magnitude more than that potentially posed by other nations, whose missiles are likely to be fewer in number--probably a few to tens, constrained to smaller payloads, and less reliable and accurate than their Russian and Chinese counterparts. We judge that North Korea, Iran, and Iraq would view their ICBMs more as strategic weapons of deterrence and coercive diplomacy than as weapons of war. We assess that:
  • North Korea could convert its Taepo Dong-I space launch vehicle (SLV) into an ICBM that could deliver a light payload (sufficient for a biological or chemical weapon) to the United States, albeit with inaccuracies that would make hitting large urban targets improbable. North Korea is more likely to weaponize the larger Taepo Dong-II as an ICBM that could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload (sufficient for early generation nuclear weapons) to the United States. Most analysts believe it could be tested at any time, probably initially as an SLV, unless it is delayed for political reasons.
  • Iran could test an ICBM that could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload to many parts of the United States in the last half of the next decade using Russian technology and assistance. Most analysts believe it could test an ICBM capable of delivering a lighter payload to the United States in the next few years following the North Korean pattern. --Analysts differ on the likely timing of Iran's first test of an ICBM that could threaten the United States--assessments range from likely before 2010 and very likely before 2015 (although an SLV with ICBM capability probably will be tested in the next few years) to less than an even chance of an ICBM test by 2015.
  • Iraq could test a North Korean-type ICBM that could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload to the United States in the last half of the next decade depending on the level of foreign assistance. Although less likely, most analysts believe it could test an ICBM that could deliver a lighter payload to the United States in a few years based on its failed SLV or the Taepo Dong-I, if it began development now. --Analysts differ on the likely timing of Iraq's first test of an ICBM that could threaten the United States-assessments range from likely before 2015, possibly before 2010 (foreign assistance would affect capability and timing) to unlikely before 2015.
  • By 2015, Russia will maintain as many nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles as its economy will allow but well short of START I or II limitations.
  • By 2015, China is likely to have tens of missiles capable of targeting the United States, including a few tens of more survivable, land- and sea-based mobile missiles with smaller nuclear warheads--in part influenced by U.S. technology gained through espionage. China tested its first mobile ICBM in August 1999. Sales of ICBMs or SLVs, which have inherent ICBM capabilities and could be converted relatively quickly with little or no warning, could increase the number of countries able to threaten the United States. North Korea continues to demonstrate a willingness to sell its missiles. Although we judge that Russia or China are unlikely to sell an ICBM or SLV in the next fifteen years, the consequences of even one sale would be extremely serious. Several other means to deliver weapons of mass destruction to the United States have probably been devised, some more reliable than ICBMs that have not completed rigorous testing programs. For example, biological or chemical weapons could be prepared in the United States and used in large population centers, or short-range missiles could be deployed on surface ships. However, these means do not provide a nation the same prestige and degree of deterrence or coercive diplomacy associated with ICBMs. The proliferation of medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs)-- driven primarily by North Korean No Dong sales-has created an immediate, serious, and growing threat to U.S. forces, interests, and allies, and has significantly altered the strategic balances in the Middle East and Asia. We judge that countries developing missiles view their regional concerns as one of the primary factors in tailoring their programs. They see their short- and medium-range missiles not only as deterrents but also as force-multiplying weapons of war, primarily with conventional weapons, but with options for delivering biological, chemical, and eventually nuclear weapons. South Asia provides one of the most telling examples of regional ballistic missile and nuclear proliferation:
  • Pakistan has Chinese-supplied M-11 short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) and Ghauri MRBMs from North Korea.
  • India has Prithvi I SRBMs and recently began testing the Agni II MRBM.
  • We assess these missiles may have nuclear roles. Foreign assistance continues to have demonstrable effects on missile advances around the world, particularly from Russia and North Korea. Moreover, some countries that have traditionally been recipients of foreign missile technology are now sharing more amongst themselves and are pursuing cooperative missile ventures. We assess that countries developing missiles also will respond to U.S. theater and national missile defenses by deploying larger forces, penetration aids, and countermeasures. Russia and China each have developed numerous countermeasures and probably will sell some related technologies. discussion Introduction The worldwide ballistic missile proliferation problem has continued to evolve during the past year. The proliferation of technology and components continues. The capabilities of the missiles in the countries seeking to acquire them are growing, a fact underscored by North Korea's launch of the Taepo Dong-I in August 1998. The number of missiles in these countries is also increasing. Medium- and short-range ballistic missile systems, particularly if armed with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) warheads, already pose a significant threat to U.S. interests, military forces, and allies overseas. We have seen increased trade and cooperation among countries that have been recipients of missile technologies from others. Finally, some countries continue to work toward longer-range systems, including ICBMs. We expect the threat to the United States and its interests to increase over the next 15 years. However, projecting political and economic developments that could alter the nature of the missile threat many years into the future is virtually impossible. The threat facing the United States in the year 2015 will depend on our changing relations with foreign countries, the political situation within those countries, economic factors, and numerous other factors that we cannot predict with confidence.
  • For example, 15 years ago the United States and the Soviet Union were superpower adversaries in the midst of the Cold War, with military forces facing off in central Europe and competing for global power. Today, by contrast, the differences that separated the two countries during that period have been replaced by differences expected between modern nation states.
  • Iraq is another example; 15 years ago it shared common interests with the United States. Since Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Washington and Baghdad have been in numerous military and diplomatic conflicts.
  • Finally, we do not know whether some of the countries of concern will exist in 15 years in their current state or as suppliers of missiles and technology. Recognizing these uncertainties, we have projected foreign ballistic missile capabilities into the future largely based on technical capabilities and with a general premise that relations with the United States will not change significantly enough to alter the intentions of those states pursuing ballistic missile capabilities. Future annual reports will be able to take account of any contemporary information that alters our projections. The Evolving Missile Threat in the Current Proliferation Environment The new missile threats confronting the United States are far different from the Cold War threat during the last three decades. During that period, the ballistic missile threat to the United States involved relatively accurate, survivable, and reliable missiles deployed in large numbers. Soviet--and to a much lesser extent Chinese--strategic forces threatened, as they still do, the potential for catastrophic, nation-killing damage. By contrast, the new missile threats involve states with considerably fewer missiles with less accuracy, yield, survivability, reliability, and range-payload capability than the hostile strategic forces we have faced for 30 years. Even so, the new systems are threatening, but in different ways. First, although the majority of systems being developed and produced today are short- or medium-range ballistic missiles, North Korea's three-stage Taepo Dong-I SLV demonstrated Pyongyang's potential to cross the 5,500-km ICBM threshold if it develops a survivable weapon for the system. Other potentially hostile nations could cross that threshold during the next 15 years. While it remains extremely unlikely that any potential adversary could inflict damage to the United States or its forces comparable to the damage that Russian or Chinese forces could inflict, emerging systems potentially can kill tens of thousands, or even millions of Americans, depending on the type of warhead, the accuracy, and the intended target. Classification of Ballistic Missiles by Range: Short-range ballistic missile (SRBM)................ Under 1,000 km Medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM)..............1,000 to 3,000 km Intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM)........3,000 to 5,500 km Intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM)..... Over 5,500 km Second, many of the countries that are developing longer-range missiles probably assess that the threat of their use would complicate American decision-making during crises. Over the last decade, the world has observed that missiles less capable than the ICBMs the United States and others have deployed can affect another nation's decision- making process. Though U.S. potential adversaries recognize American military superiority, they are likely to assess that their growing missile capabilities would enable them to increase the cost of a U.S. victory and potentially deter Washington from pursuing certain objectives. Moreover, some countries, including some without hostile intent towards the United States, probably view missiles as a means of providing an independent deterrent and war-fighting capabilities. Third, the probability that a WMD-armed missile will be used against U.S. forces or interests is higher today than during most of the Cold War. Ballistic missiles, for example, were used against U.S. forces during the Gulf war. More nations now have longer-range missiles and WMD warheads. Missiles have been used in several conflicts over the past two decades, although not with WMD warheads. Nevertheless, some of the regimes controlling these missiles have exhibited a willingness to use WMD. Thus, acquiring long-range ballistic missiles armed with WMD will enable weaker countries to do three things that they otherwise might not be able to do: deter, constrain, and harm the United States. To achieve these objectives, these WMD-armed weapons need not be deployed in large numbers; with even a few such weapons, these countries would judge that they had the capability to threaten at least politically significant damage to the United States or its allies. They need not be highly accurate; the ability to target a large urban area is sufficient. They need not be highly reliable, because their strategic value is derived primarily from the threat (implicit or explicit) of their use, not the near certain outcome of such use. Some of these systems may be intended for their political impact as potential tenor weapons, while others may be built to perform more specific military missions, facing the United States with a broad spectrum of motivations, development timelines, and resulting hostile capabilities. In many ways, such weapons are not envisioned at the outset as operational weapons of war, but primarily as strategic weapons of deterrence and coercive diplomacy. The progress of countries in Asia and the Middle East toward acquiring longer-range ballistic missiles has been dramatically demonstrated over the past 18 months:
  • Most notably, North Korea's three-stage Taepo Dong-I SLV has inherent, albeit limited, capabilities to deliver small payloads to ICBM ranges. Although the Taepo Dong-I satellite attempt in August 1998 failed, North Korea demonstrated several of the key technologies required for an ICBM, including staging. As a space launch vehicle, however, it did not demonstrate a payload capable of surviving atmospheric reentry at ICBM ranges. We judge that North Korea would be unlikely to pursue weaponizing a three-stage Taepo Dong-I as an ICBM, preferring instead to pursue the much more capable Taepo Dong- II, which we expect will be flight tested this year, unless it is delayed for political reasons.
  • Pakistan flight-tested its 1,300 km range Ghauri missile, which it produced with North Korean assistance. (Pakistan also flight-tested the Shaheen I SRBM.)
  • Iran flight-tested its 1,300 km range Shahab-3--a version of North Korea's No Dong, which Iran has produced with Russian assistance.
  • India flight-tested its Agni II MRBM, which we estimate will have a range of about 2,000 km.
  • China conduced the first flight test of its DF-31 mobile ICBM in August 1999; it will have a range of about 8,000 km. Many of these countries probably have considered ballistic missile defense countermeasures. Historically, the development and deployment of missile defense systems have been accompanied by the development of countermeasures and penetration aids by potential adversaries, either in reaction to the threat or in anticipation of it. The Russians and Chinese have had countermeasure programs for decades and are probably willing to transfer some related technology to others. We expect that during the next 15 years, countries other than Russia and China will develop countermeasures to Theater and National Missile Defenses. Threat Availability Before ``Deployment'' Emerging long-range missile powers do not appear to rely on robust test programs to ensure a missile's accuracy and reliability--as the United States and the Soviet Union did during the Cold War. Similarly, deploying a large number of long-range missiles to dedicated, long-term sites--as the United States and the Soviet Union did--is not necessarily the path emerging long-range missile powers will choose. In many cases, a nation may decide that the ability to threaten with one or two long-range missiles is sufficient for its doctrinal or propaganda needs. China, for example, has only about 20 ICBMs; its doctrine requires only that it be able to hold a significant portion of an aggressor's population at risk. With shorter flight test programs--perhaps only one test--and potentially simple deployment schemes, the time between the initial flight test and the availability of a missile for military use is likely to be shortened. Once a missile has performed successfully through its critical flight functions, it would be available for the country to use as a threat or in a military role. Thus, we project the year for a first flight test rather than the projected date for a missile's ``deployment'' as the initial indication of an emerging threat. Moreover, using the date of the first projected flight test as the initial indicator of the threat recognizes that emerging long-range missile powers may not choose to deploy a large number of missiles and that an adversary armed with even a single missile capable of delivering a WMD-payload may consider it threatening. Using the first flight test results in threat projections a few years earlier than those based on traditional definitions of deployment, which may not apply as well to the emerging threats. Potential ICBM Threats to the United States We project that during the next 15 years the United States most likely will face ICBM threats from Russia, China, and North Korea, probably from Iran, and possibly from Iraq, although the threats will consist of dramatically fewer weapons than today because of significant reductions we expect in Russian strategic forces.
  • The Russian threat will continue to be the most robust and lethal, considerably more so than that posed by China, and orders of magnitude more than that posed by the other three.
  • Initial North Korean, Iranian, and Iraqi ICBMs would probably be fewer in number--a few to tens rather than hundreds or thousands, constrained to smaller payload capabilities, and less reliable and accurate than their Russian and Chinese counterparts.
  • Countries with emerging ICBM capabilities are likely to view their relatively few ICBMs more as weapons of deterrence and coercive diplomacy than as weapons of war, recognizing that their use could bring devastating consequences. Thus, the emerging threats posed to the United States by these countries will be very different than the Cold War threat. North Korea. After Russia and China, North Korea is the most likely to develop ICBMs capable of threatening the United States during the next 15 years.
  • North Korea attempted to orbit a small satellite using the Taepo Dong-I SLV in August 1998, but the third stage failed during powered flight; other aspects of the flight, including stage separation, appear to have been successful.
  • If it had an operable third stage and a reentry vehicle capable of surviving ICBM flight, a converted Taepo Dong-I SLV could deliver a light payload to the United States. In these cases, about two-thirds of the payload mass would be required for the reentry vehicle structure. The remaining mass is probably too light for an early generation nuclear weapon but could deliver biological or chemical (BW/CW) warfare agent.
  • Most analysts believe that North Korea probably will test a Taepo Dong-II this year, unless delayed for political reasons. A two-stage Taepo Dong-II could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload to Alaska and Hawaii, and a lighter payload to the western half of the United States. A three-stage Taepo Dong-II could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload anywhere in the United States.
  • North Korea is much more likely to weaponize the more capable Taepo Dong-II than the three-stage Taepo Dong-II as an ICBM. Iran. Iran is the next hostile country most capable of testing an ICBM capable of delivering a weapon to the United States during the next 15 years.
  • Iran could test an ICBM that could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload to many parts of the United States in the latter half of the next decade, using Russian technology and assistance.
  • Iran could pursue a Taepo Dong-type ICBM. Most analysts believe it could test a three-stage ICBM patterned after the Taepo Dong-I SLV or a three-stage Taepo Dong-II-type ICBM, possibly with North Korean assistance, in the next few years.
  • Iran is likely to test an SLV by 2010 that--once developed-- could be converted into an ICBM capable of delivering a several-hundred kilogram payload to the United States.
  • Analysts differ on the likely timing of Iran's first flight test of an ICBM that could threaten the United States. Assessments include: --likely before 2010 and very likely before 2015 (noting that an SLV with ICBM capabilities will probably be tested within the next few years); --no more than an even chance by 2010 and a better than even chance by 2015; --and less than an even chance by 2015. Iraq. Although the Gulf war and subsequent United Nations activities destroyed much of Iraq's missile infrastructure, Iraq could test an ICBM capable of reaching the United States during the next 15 years.
  • After observing North Korean activities, Iraq most likely would pursue a three-stage Taepo Dong-II approach to an ICBM (or SLV), which could deliver a several-hundred kilogram payload to parts of the United States. If Iraq could buy a Taepo Dong-II from North Korea, it could have a launch capability within months of the purchase; if it bought Taepo Dong engines, it could test an ICBM by the middle of the next decade. Iraq probably would take until the end of the next decade to develop the system domestically.
  • Although much less likely, most analysts believe that if Iraq were to begin development today, it could test a much less capable ICBM in a few years using Scud components and based on its prior SLV experience or on the Taepo Dong-I.
  • If it could acquire No Dongs from North Korea, Iraq could test a more capable ICBM along the same lines within a few years of the No Dong acquisition.
  • Analysts differ on the likely timing of Iraq's first flight test of an ICBM that could threaten the United States. Assessments include unlikely before 2015; and likely before 2015, possibly before 2010--foreign assistance would affect the capability and timing. Russia. Russia's strategic offensive forces are experiencing serious budget constraints but will remain the cornerstone of its military power. Russia expects its forces to deter both nuclear and conventional military threats and is prepared to conduct limited nuclear strikes to warn off an enemy or alter the course of a battle.
  • Russia currently has about 1,000 strategic ballistic missiles with 4,500 warheads.
  • Its strategic force will remain formidable through and beyond 2015, but the size of this force will decrease dramatically--well below arms control limits--primarily because of budget constraints.
  • Russia will maintain as many strategic missiles and associated nuclear warheads as it believes it can afford, but well short of START I or II limitations. --If Russia ratifies START II, with its ban on multiple warheads on ICBMs, it would probably be able to maintain only about half of the weapons it could maintain without the ban.
  • We judge that an unauthorized or accidental launch of a Russian strategic missile is highly unlikely so long as current technical and procedural safeguards are in place. China. Chinese strategic nuclear doctrine calls for a survivable long-range missile force that can hold a significant portion of the U.S. population at risk in a retaliatory strike.
  • China's current force of about 20 CSS-4 ICBMs can reach targets in all of the United States.
  • Beijing also is developing two new road-mobile, solid propellant ICBMs. --It conducted the first flight test of the mobile DF-31 ICBM in August 1999; we judge it will have a range of about 8,000 km and will be targeted primarily against Russia and Asia. --We expect a test of a longer range mobile ICBM within the next several years; it will be targeted primarily against the United States.
  • China is developing the JL-2 SLBM, which we expect to be tested within the next decade. The JL-2 probably will be able to target the United States from launch areas near China.
  • By 2015, China will likely have tens of missiles targeted against the United States, having added a few tens of more survivable land- and sea-based mobile missiles with smaller nuclear warheads--in part influenced by U.S. technology gained through espionage.
  • China has had the technical capability to develop multiple RV payloads for 20 years. If China needed a multiple-RV (MRV) capability in the near term, Beijing could use a DF-31-type RV to develop and deploy a simple MRV or multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) \1\ for the CSS-4 in a few years. MIRVing a future mobile missile would be many years off. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \1\ An MRV system releases multiple RVs along the missile's linear flight path, often at a single target; a MIRV system can maneuver to several different release points to provide targeting flexibility. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • China is also significantly improving its theater missile capabilities and is increasing the size of its SRBM force deployed opposite Taiwan.
  • We assess that an unauthorized launch of a Chinese strategic missile is highly unlikely. Foreign Assistance Foreign assistance continues to have demonstrable effects on missile advances around the world. Moreover, some countries that have traditionally been recipients of foreign missile technology are now sharing more amongst themselves and are pursuing cooperative missile ventures.
  • Russian missile assistance continues to be significant.
  • China continues to contribute to missile programs in some countries.
  • North Korea may expand sales. Moreover, changes in the regional and international security environment--in particular, Iran's Shahab-3 missile test and the Indian and Pakistani missile and nuclear tests--probably will fuel missile and WMD interests in the region. Sales of ICBMs or SLVs, which have inherent ICBM capabilities, could further increase the number of countries that will be able to threaten the United States with a missile strike. North Korea continues to demonstrate a willingness to sell its missiles and related technologies and will probably continue doing so, perhaps under the guise of selling SLVs. In the past, we judged that political conditions made the sale of a Russian or Chinese ICBM unlikely and that the geopolitical situation would not change enough for either to decide that the sale of an ICBM would be in its national interest. We have not detected the transfer of a complete ICBM by Russia or China, nor do we have any information to indicate either plans to transfer one. Projecting the likelihood of such a transfer 15 years into the future is very uncertain, driven in part by unpredictable future economic conditions, how Moscow will perceive its position vis-a-vis the West, and future Russian and Chinese perceptions of U.S. ballistic missile defenses. As we attempt to project the politico-military-economic environment for that period, we continue to judge it unlikely that Moscow or Beijing would decide that the financial and perhaps strategic inducements to sell a complete ICBM, SLV, or the technologies tantamount to a complete ICBM, would outweigh the perceived political and economic risks of doing so.\2\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \2\ The sale of an ICBM is prohibited by the START Treaty. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Warning Times and our Ability to Forecast Missile Development and Acquisition In our 1998 annual report, we stated we had high confidence that we could provide warning five years before deployment that a potentially hostile country was trying to develop and deploy an ICBM. Because countries of concern could threaten to use ballistic missiles following limited flight-testing and before a missile is deployed in the traditional sense, we broadened our warning in the 1998 update memorandum to encompass the first successful flight test as the beginning of an ``initial threat availability.'' Our ability to provide warning for a particular country is depends highly on our collection capabilities. For some countries, we have relatively large bodies of evidence on which to base our assessments; for others, our knowledge of the programs being pursued is limited. Our monitoring and warning about North Korea's efforts to achieve an ICBM capability constitute an important case study on warning. In 1994, we were able to give five years warning of North Korea's efforts to acquire an ICBM capability. At that time, the Intelligence Community judged that:
  • The Taepo Dong-I was a two-stage, medium-range missile that could be tested in 1994 and deployed as early as 1996.
  • The Taepo Dong-II was a larger two-stage missile that would provide Pyongyang and other countries the potential to deliver nuclear weapons to parts of the United States, and biological and chemical weapons further. The Community judged that the Taepo Dong-II flight test program would begin within a few years of 1994 with initial deployment in 2000 or later. Thus, the Intelligence Community warned that North Korea was pursuing an ICBM capability and would flight test an ICBM (the Taepo Dong-II) in the mid- to late l990s. When North Korea did not flight test either Taepo Dong missile until 1998, and then used the Taepo Dong-I as a space launch vehicle, it became clear that the Intelligence Community had:
  • Overestimated that North Korea would begin flight testing the Taepo Dong-I and Taepo Dong-II missiles years earlier than turned out to be the case.
  • Projected correctly the timing of a North Korean missile with the potential to deliver payloads to the ICBM range of 5,500-km.
  • Underestimated the capabilities of the Taepo Dong-II by failing to anticipate the use of the third stage. North Korea demonstrated intercontinental-range booster capabilities roughly on the timetable projected in 1994, but with a completely unanticipated vehicle configuration. The Intelligence Community had expected North Korea to achieve an ICBM-range capability initially with the two-stage Taepo Dong-II, not the Taepo Dong-II with an unguided third stage. North Korea's use of the Taepo Dong-I with a third stage as a space launch vehicle was completely unexpected. Until the flight test, the Intelligence Community was unaware of the third stage and the intended use of the Taepo Dong-I as a space launch vehicle. Detecting or suspecting a missile development program and projecting the timing of the emerging threat, although difficult, are easier than forecasting the vehicle's configuration or performance with accuracy. Thus, we have more confidence in our ability to warn of efforts by countries to develop ICBMs than we have in our ability to describe accurately the missile configurations that will comprise that threat, especially years prior to flight testing. Furthermore, countries practice denial and deception to hide or mask their intentions--for example, testing an ICBM as a space launch vehicle. We continue to judge that we may not be able to provide much warning if a country purchased an ICBM or if a country already had an SLV capability. Nevertheless, the initiation of an SLV program is an indicator of a potential ICBM program. North Korea and other countries, such as Iran and an unconstrained Iraq, could develop an SLV booster, then flight-test it as an ICBM with a reentry vehicle (RV) with little or no warning. Thus, we consider space launch vehicles, especially in the hands of countries hostile to the United States, to have significant ballistic missile potential. We also judge that we may not be able to provide much, if any, warning of a forward-based ballistic missile or land-attack cruise missile (LACM) threat to the United States. Moreover, LACM development can draw upon dual-use technologies. We expect to see acquisition of LACMs by many countries to meet regional military requirements. Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) Conversion Nations with SLVs could convert them into ICBMs relatively quickly with little or no chance of detection before the first flight test. Such a conversion would include the development of a reentry vehicle (RV). A nation could try to buy an SLV with the intent to convert it into an ICBM; detection of the sale should provide a few years of warning before a flight test, although we are not confident that we could detect a covert sale. Finally, many SLVs would be cumbersome as converted military systems and could not be made readily survivable, a task that in many cases would be technologically and economically formidable. Countries might mask their ICBM developments as SLV programs. They could test the complete booster and in most cases the guidance system, which would have to be reprogrammed to fly a ballistic missile trajectory. They could not mask a warhead reentry under the guise of a space launch. Nevertheless, they could develop RVs and maintain them untested for future use, albeit with significantly reduced confidence in their reliability.
  • If the country had Russian or Chinese assistance in a covert development effort, it could have relatively high confidence that the RV would survive and function properly.
  • If a country developed an untested RV without foreign assistance, its confidence would diminish, but we could not be confident it would fail. Significant amounts of information about reentry vehicles are available in open sources. A low performing RV with high flight stability would be a logical choice for developing an ICBM RV with minimal, or no, testing. The developing country could have some confidence that the system would survive reentry, although confidence in its proper delivery of the weapon would be lower without testing. Alternative Threats to the United States Several other means to deliver WMD to the United States have probably been devised, some more reliable than ICBMs that have not completed rigorous testing and validation programs. The goal of an adversary would be to move the weapon within striking distance without a long-range ICBM. Most of these means, however, do not provide the same prestige and degree of deterrence or coercive diplomacy associated with long-range missiles, but they might be the means of choice for terrorists. Forward-Based Threats Several countries are technically capable of developing a missile- launch mechanism to use from forward-based ships or other platforms to launch SRBMs and MRBMs, or land-attack cruise missiles against the United States. Some countries may develop and deploy a forward-based system during the period of the next 15 years. A short- or medium-range ballistic missile could be launched at the United States from a forward-based sea platform positioned within a few hundred kilometers of U.S. territory. If the attacking country were willing to accept significantly reduced accuracy for the missile, forward-basing on a sea-based platform would not be a major technical hurdle. The reduced accuracy in such a case, however, would probably be better than that of some early ICBMs. The simplest method for launching a ship-borne ballistic missile would be to place a secured TEL onboard the ship and launch the missile from its TEL. If accuracy were a major concern, the missile and launcher would be placed on a stabilization platform to compensate for wave movement of the ocean, or the country would need to add satellite-aided navigation to the missile. A concept similar to a sea-based ballistic missile launch system would be to launch cruise missiles from forward-based platforms. This method would enable a country to use cruise missiles acquired for regional purposes to attack targets in the United States.
  • A country could launch cruise missiles from fighter, bomber, or commercial transport aircraft outside U.S. airspace. U.S. capability to detect planes approaching the coast, and the limited range of fighter and bomber aircraft of most countries, probably would preclude the choice of military aircraft for the attack. Using a commercial aircraft, however, would be feasible for staging a covert cruise missile attack, but it still would be difficult.
  • A commercial surface vessel, covertly equipped to launch cruise missiles, would be a plausible alternative for a forward-based launch platform. This method would provide a large and potentially inconspicuous platform to launch a cruise missile while providing at least some cover for launch deniability.
  • A submarine would have the advantage of being relatively covert. The technical sophistication required to launch a cruise missile from a submarine torpedo or missile tube most likely would require detailed assistance from the defense industry of a major naval power. Non-Missile WMD Threats to the United States Although non-missile means of delivering WMD do not provide the same prestige or degree of deterrence and coercive diplomacy associated with an ICBM, such options are of significant concern. Countries or non-state actors could pursue non-missile delivery options, most of which:
  • Are less expensive than developing and producing ICBMs.
  • Can be covertly developed and employed; the source of the weapon could be masked in an attempt to evade retaliation.
  • Probably would be more reliable than ICBMs that have not completed rigorous testing and validation programs.
  • Probably would be more accurate than emerging ICBMs over the next 15 years.
  • Probably would be more effective for disseminating biological warfare agent than a ballistic missile.
  • Would avoid missile defenses. The requirements for missile delivery of WMD impose additional, stringent design requirements on the already difficult technical problem of designing such weapons. For example, initial indigenous nuclear weapon designs are likely to be too large and heavy for a modest-sized ballistic missile but still suitable for delivery by ship, truck, or even airplane. Furthermore, a country (or non-state actor) is likely to have only a few nuclear weapons, at least during the next 15 years. Reliability of delivery would be a critical factor; covert delivery methods could offer reliability advantages over a missile. Not only would a country want the warhead to reach its target, it would want to avoid an accident with a WMD warhead at the missile-launch area. On the other hand, a ship sailing into a port could provide secure delivery to limited locations, and a nuclear detonation, either in the ship or on the dock, could achieve the intended purpose. An airplane, either manned or unmanned, could also deliver a nuclear weapon before any local inspection, and perhaps before landing. Finally, a nuclear weapon might also be smuggled across a border or brought ashore covertly. Foreign non-state actors, including some terrorist or extremist groups, have used, possessed, or are interested in weapons of mass destruction or the materials to build them. Most of these groups have threatened the United States or its interests. We cannot count on obtaining warning of all planned terrorist attacks, despite the high priority we assign to this goal. Recent trends suggest the likelihood is increasing that a foreign group or individual will conduct a terrorist attack against U.S. interests using chemical agents or toxic industrial chemicals in an attempt to produce a significant number of casualties, damage infrastructure, or create fear among a population. Past terrorist events, such as the World Trade Center bombing and the Aum Shinrikyo chemical attack on the Tokyo subway system, demonstrated the feasibility and willingness to undertake an attack capable of producing massive casualties. Immediate Theater Missile Threats to U.S. Interests and Allies The proliferation of MRBMs--driven primarily by North Korean No Dong sales--has created an immediate, serious, and growing threat to U.S. forces, interests, and allies in the Middle East and Asia, and has significantly altered the strategic balances in the regions.
  • Iran's flight test of its Shahab-3, which is based on the No Dong, and Indian and Pakistani missile and nuclear tests may fuel additional interest in MRBMs.
  • Pakistan has M-11 SRBMs from China and Ghauri MRBMs from North Korea; we assess both may have a nuclear role.
  • India has Prithvi I SRBMs and recently began testing the Agni II MRBM; we assess both may have a nuclear role. We judge that countries developing missiles view their regional concerns as one of the primary factors in tailoring their programs. They see their short- and medium-range missiles not only as deterrents but also as force-multiplying weapons of war, primarily with conventional weapons but with options for delivering biological, chemical, and eventually nuclear weapons. Penetration Aids and Countermeasures We assess that countries developing ballistic missiles would also develop various responses to U.S. theater and national defenses. Russia and China each have developed numerous countermeasures and probably are willing to sell the requisite technologies.
  • Many countries, such as North Korea, Iran, and Iraq probably would rely initially on readily available technology--including separating RVs, spin-stabilized RVs, RV reorientation, radar absorbing material (RAM), booster fragmentation, low-power jammers, chaff, and simple (balloon) decoys--to develop penetration aids and countermeasures.
  • These countries could develop countermeasures based on these technologies by the time they flight test their missiles. Foreign espionage and other collection efforts are likely to increase. China, for example, has been able to obtain significant nuclear weapons information from espionage, contact with scientists from the United States and other countries, publications and conferences, unauthorized media disclosures, and declassified U.S. weapons information. We assess that China, Iran, and others are targeting U.S. missile information as well. The Chairman. That proves fascinating and frightening to me. I hope that everybody here is aware that you were emphasizing that North Korea is a threat now. And it will be an even bigger threat in a couple of years. Iran will be a threat in the next 10 years and Iraq might be. But I do not understand people who say, well, we do not need any missile defense in the United States because we have all these treaties. Sam Rayburn used to laugh as he told about Will Rogers, and everybody here that is not old enough to remember Will Rogers, he was a popular American entertainer, he used to say at that time that ``the United States never lost a war or won a treaty.'' And that was about right. Mr. Walpole, a commission chaired by former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld released a study last year which found in part between Iran and Iraq, and I am quoting specifically and precisely, ``all of these would be able to inflict major destruction on the United States within about 5 years of a decision to acquire such capabilities.'' Then he said 10 years in the case of Iraq. Do you agree with that? Mr. Walpole. I know they have since modified their Iraq judgments, and backed that back to 5 years as well. As you can see from our unclassified piece and you would see in the classified report as well, we have the countries having the capability of testing an ICBM well within that 5-year period of time, actually earlier than that. But that is what I said before about the Rumsfeld report; it talked about what the country could do and did not walk through the likelihood. And as you can see from our judgment, we certainly have countries that could do things sooner. We think they are likely to take a little longer. The Chairman. Do you know Don Rumsfeld personally? Mr. Walpole. Yes; in fact, as we started this report, we decided to use the former commissioners as some outside experts to read through the report, and let us know what they thought. We thought here is a ready-made group of people who know all the intelligence; they have worked it inside and out. And while we did not agree on everything, and Don will tell you that, I just got a fax from him today saying he thought the report was great. The Chairman. He said what? Mr. Walpole. I did not bring the letter with me, but he said he thought it was a very good report. Now, all he had at this point was the unclassified. We will provide him next week with the classified. The Chairman. What did the Rumsfeld report say? As I understood, it said that the United States may have less than 5 years in which to deploy a missile defense to protect the American people, but you said that you do not always agree. How does your National Intelligence Estimate contrast with the Rumsfeld report with regard to the timeliness of emergence of Iranian, North Korean and Iraqi threats? Do you have a difference with them, or do you agree with them, or what? Mr. Walpole. On what the country could do, we probably had the countries getting weapons even faster than what they were suggesting. On what the country was likely to do, they did not address that. They did not address what Iran was likely to do or what Iraq was likely to do, so I do not know how they would view that, other than their comments to us as we were walking through this. Their report did not address that. The Chairman. Some of the questions I am asking, I know what your answer is going to be, but I want you to answer them for the record. One is, should the Senate, U.S. Senate where I work, be concerned about continuing reports that China may be pursuing multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, that is to say MIRV's; should we be concerned about this? Mr. Walpole. Part of that would defend on how you would define concern. They have had the technical capability to put multiple reentry vehicles on the CSS-4 for quite a while and have not pursued that. They probably view the silos as vulnerable, our systems, that is why they want to move to a mobile system. The Chairman. Which they are. Mr. Walpole. Which they are. So I do not know whether we should be concerned that they would do that because they may view it just as throwing good money after bad, on the side they are vulnerable. At the same time, they certainly are capable of doing that and that is why I pointed out in my statement here that they could do a multiple payload off that CSS-4 in just a matter of a few years if they really thought they needed to. The Chairman. Well, I have seen three or four recent intelligence assessments, and none of them paid a great deal of attention to the possibility of an accidental or unauthorized launch from the former Soviet Union. How do you feel? Do you believe that the danger of such a launch has increased, decreased, or remained substantially the same during the past 5 years? Mr. Walpole. Again, as I said, we judge an accidental or unauthorized launch from both Russia and China as highly unlikely. In the case of Russia, obviously we would want to watch for turmoil that could erupt, that could cause some problems with procedural safeguards, but the way things are and the way we see them, at least for the foreseeable future that is highly unlikely. The Chairman. Now, the NIA 9519 assumed that the missile technology control regime will continue significantly to limit international transfers of missiles and components and related technology. Now does the current NIE make such an assumption? Mr. Walpole. It does not. That is actually an interesting question not only for me as having worked the estimate, but personally back in my career. For a number of years, I was an intelligence analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in the Department of State and then later was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense in Arms Control, and in both those capacities, I ended up working to help stop the Condor II program. Which, for those that do not know, that was a program being worked on by Argentina, Iraq, and Egypt, and had it completed to fruition, it would have made the No Dong and the Taepo Dong-I--it would have been a much better system. And so there I think we have had an example where nonproliferation efforts, the MTCR, worked extremely well and put a stop to the program. We did not make an assumption in our estimate that nonproliferation efforts were going to succeed and stop programs. We based our judgments on what the countries are capable of doing, what technology transfers we see going on today, and projecting those types of transfers out into the future. It would be wonderful if those transfers were absent, but my perception of proliferation is, there are four aspects. There is preventing acquisition. There is rollback, which I think is the case of the Condor II. There is deterring use, which we would like to continue to see occurring between India and Pakistan, and then there is making sure we have the ability to operate against the systems and at least deal with the systems in one way or another. So that is really the perception that we took in the report, is that it is going to have an effect in some areas, in some cases people are going to skirt these restrictions, and the program is going to proceed. The Chairman. Well, you talk a lot about, in the report and elsewhere, about China's commitment to the missile technology control regime. How do you evaluate it, China's commitment to the missile technology control regime? Mr. Walpole. I am trying to figure out how to answer that one. In part, I am the wrong guy to be asking that of because it is really more directed toward policy. From an intelligence perspective, as I indicated, China's assistance to foreign countries continues to be of concern to us. The Chairman. How about Russia? Mr. Walpole. The same. The Chairman. Now the NIE 9519 assumed that no country with ICBM's will sell them. Does the current NIE make such an assumption? Mr. Walpole. The current NIE judges that it is unlikely that a country would sell them, but notes that there are conditions that we have to continue to monitor. That it is extremely uncertain to project that far, 15 years into the future. That is why we have right up front, both in the statement and the NIE to remind us that--15 years ago you and I were in the same group talking about the IMF treaty. Now, I was sitting back behind Secretary Shultz at the time. But that was a totally different Soviet Union than we are facing today. And I do not know that 15 years from now if it will be totally different again. So it is hard to project that. The Chairman. I do not know whether we will be here 15 years from now, since I do not know whether we will be paying enough attention to it. You know, it seems to me that the increasing availability of dual-use technologies, particularly through the space launch programs, is enhancing the ability of governments to produce ballistic missiles and reentry vehicles? What do you think about that? Mr. Walpole. If I may take that a piece at a time. To produce the boosters, the answer is yes. Really there is not a whole lot of difference between a space launch vehicle and a missile. There can be if you design them differently, but there does not have to be. The primary difference is the missile has a reentry vehicle. It has a weapon on top; the space launch vehicle does not. You have to modify, you have to reprogram the guidance system to fly a different trajectory if you do not want to put your RV in orbit, if you are trying to hit some target somewhere. So countries that do not already have a robust missile or space launch vehicle program would gain a lot from working with someone else that already has that, on a space launch program that could help them with the missile program. The Chairman. I want you to talk about that because I have a question about the limitations contained in the START Treaty. Russia had been constrained in its ability to set up space launch facilities in foreign countries such as Iran and China, but the Clinton administration has offered to change the START Treaty and give Russia the opportunity to locate as many as three new space launch facilities outside of its own territory. What will be the impact on U.S. intelligence capabilities if Russia were allowed to locate or designate a space launch facility in, say, China or in Iran? Mr. Walpole. It would provide Russia an ability to share technologies in a manner that would look like it was all for space launch, that could help the country with missiles. And so discerning whether it was missile or space launch alone would be difficult. I think that is best exemplified by what we called the Taepo Dong-I last year. When it first flew we called it a missile. For a couple of days we kept calling it a missile. Now you hear it is being called a space launch vehicle. That should tell you something about the difference between the two. So yes, it would make our job more difficult in being able to explain to someone whether something that was transferred was purely for space launch or was going to be used for a missile. The Chairman. Why are such a large number of countries including Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, India and Pakistan pursuing long-range ballistic missile systems? All of a sudden, they are on the front pages. Why are they doing this? Mr. Walpole. Well, they view them as force-multiplying weapons of war. They have regional concerns. They want to be able to reach regional adversaries. Now, in some cases, the countries are going to want to reach a little further, and that is where we lead in with North Korea and Iran. There is an interest there in being able to reach the United States. Now whether they do that under the guise of a space launch vehicle program or an outright show of an ICBM remains to be seen. The Chairman. I was very much interested when Pakistan did their little bit, everybody was concentrating on the dispute between India and Pakistan, and they were planning on who is going to produce a nuclear blast. But I think that their fear and apprehension about China had as much to do with that as anything, but there is also an opinion about why they want to possess such a capability. Do you have any additional opinions that you want to state for the record? Why would they spend the money? Why would they do this? Mr. Walpole. Well again, it is a force-multiplying weapon of war. If they can purchase the missiles from somebody else they do not have to go through long development time to get there, and right now, Pakistan's missiles do not reach all of India. So they may want to go after something that would give them a little longer range, then they could cover those targets. The Chairman. Then we sit back in the United States while they figure out long-range missiles and say we do not need a missile defense system. That is what some Senators are telling me. They are trying to push me into paying more attention to the ABM Treaty and the treaty that the President is considering at this time. But, the President made a commitment to me in writing that he would send ABM up maybe 2 years ago and I am going to hold him to his word. And he has not mentioned a syllable about that, nor has any spokesman. The black market countries, they pay well. I think that is a given, is it not? Mr. Walpole. Now we are getting into an area where I do not want to tread into classified information. But let us say that some of the assistance that we see from multiple countries, some of it appears that the government leaders might be aware of it and in other cases government leaders are not aware of it. It is just entities in the country working on it. Let me just leave that one at that. The Chairman. I have enjoyed this. I have been able to be candid about it, I have enjoyed having you to myself, even though I know that the other Senators will probably want to file some questions in writing, and I know you will respond to them in writing. I have one final question. If you will not answer it, I will understand. But as a United States citizen in this year of our Lord, do you, sir, want to create a national missile defense for the United States of America? Mr. Walpole. I do not think as an intelligence officer I even get to answer that question. I might answer that within the walls of my own home to my wife, but that is probably as far as that one goes. The Chairman. I will not push you further. I know that Joe Biden would have enjoyed an exchange with you, as well as the rest of the Senators. But just speaking for myself, I certainly appreciate the efforts you have made to come here today and to be so helpful in making a record for us, which we are trying to do. I often say that the best speeches that I make are ones that I do not make until I get in the car going back home at night. I wish I could have one to deliver now. Do you have anything else to add to what you have said? Mr. Walpole. No. I think I built everything into the statement. The Chairman. Well, I think you have done exceedingly well. And I compliment you, sir. I thank you for coming. Mr. Walpole. Thank you. The Chairman. And there being no further business, the full committee will stand in recess. [Whereupon, at 3:45 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]