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4 July 1997


[Congressional Record: June 27, 1997 (Extensions)]
[Page E1355-E1358]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                        CHINA=RELATED CHALLENGES


                         HON. TILLIE K. FOWLER

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, June 26, 1997

  Mrs. FOWLER. Mr. Speaker, although China policy is in the news right
now, most Americans remain unaware of one of the most serious China-
related challenges our nation faces--the Clinton administration's
dramatic loosening of export controls on sensitive militarily-related
technology. Much of that technology is going to the People's Republic
of China, which could spell trouble for our national security and
interests abroad.
  The Clinton policy has resulted in the transfer to the Chinese of
devices and technology ranging from telecommunications equipment that
is impervious to eavesdropping, to highly sophisticated machine tools
needed to build fighter aircraft, strategic bombers and cruise
missiles. The policy has also resulted in the decontrol of high-speed
supercomputers, leading to the sale of 46 of them to the PRC over the
last 15 months, as revealed in a recent congressional hearing.
  The United States should remain engaged with China, which is an
emerging superpower. However, we must not forget that it is a Communist
country that has undertaken a large-scale defense buildup with the
clear intent of increasing its ability to project military power. The
U.S. should not be contributing to that goal. As I said yesterday
during the debate on MFN, free trade is something to be desired, but
commerce at all costs is not--especially when it provides a more level
battlefield, which no American wants.
  I would like to request that two items be included in the Record
following my remarks: first, an article detailing the history and
details of the current policy of decontrol--and its many flaws--which
recently appeared in the independent newspaper Heterodoxy; and second,
the text of a resolution passed by the Board of Directors of the Jewish
Institute for National Security Affairs [JINSA] regarding the sale or
transfer of supercomputers.

                 [From the Heterodoxy, April/May, 1997]

     Clinton and the American Experience in China--Arming the Enemy

               (By Dr. Stephen Bryen and Michael Ledeen)

       At the end of the Cold War, the U.S. towered over the
     world, the sole surviving superpower, the source of
     inspiration for a global democratic revolution that had
     destroyed tyrannies ranging from Spain and Portugal in the
     '70s, to virtually all of Latin America and then Central and
     Eastern Europe in the '80s culminating in the fall of the
     Soviet Empire itself. Washington became the Mecca of a new
     democratic faith, and the prophets and followers of
     democracy, from Havel and Walesa to Pope John Paul II and
     Nelson Mandela, came in a sort of democratic hajj to pay
     reverent tribute. They all went to Congress and gave thanks
     to America for having made it all possible, and continued to
     the White House to pay their respects.
       Any other nation in such a position would have extended its
     dominion over others, and many nations in the rest of the
     world fully expected us to do just that. They were stunned to
     learn that America was not interested in greater dominion.
     Indeed, America was barely interested in them at all. Having
     won the third world war of the twentieth century, we were
     about to repeat the same error we had made after the first
     two: withdraw from the world as quickly as we could, bring
     the boys home, cut back on military power, and worry about
     our own problems. Americans are the first people in the
     history of the world to believe that peace is the normal
     condition of mankind, and our leaders were eager to return to
     ``normal.'' And they were encouraged to define this word in a
     way that included truckling to China and helping it emerge as
     a major threat to U.S. interests.
       Thus was born a policy of criminal irresponsibility, a
     policy that has not only failed to protect us and our allies
     against the inevitable rise of new enemies, but actually
     facilitated, indeed even encouraged, the emergence of new
     military threats. It began with George Bush, Jim Baker, Brent
     Scowcroft, and Dick Cheney and continued at a far more rapid
     rate with Bill Clinton, Warren Christopher, Ron Brown,
     William Perry, and Anthony Lake. All of them have helped
     dismantle the philosophy and apparatus created by Ronald
     Reagan and his team--most notably Defense Secretary Caspar
     Weinberger--to defeat the Soviet Union by denying it access
     to advanced technology and thus protect American military
     superiority for years to come. To understand our current
     plight with China, it is necessary to understand what we
     unilaterally dismantled under Bush and Clinton.
       It is widely believed that the fall of the Soviet Empire
     was a great ``implosion'' produced by the failure of the
     Soviet economic system and the visionary policies of Mikhail
     Gorbachev. This is the leftwing view of recent events, a view
     intended to deny credit to democracy and America in forcing
     the outcomes. Western policies are rarely credited with a key
     role in this drama, but in fact they were the crucial
     ingredients. The Soviet economic system, for example, had
     failed long ago. In fact, it had failed from the very
     beginning, as each disastrous ``plan'' was replaced with
     another. Russia was the world's greatest grain exporter
     before World War I, and half a century later had become the
     world's greatest grain importer. That is not an easy
     accomplishment, and testifies to the shambles created by the
     Communist regime.
       Things were not much better in the industrial complex, even
     the vaunted military sector. The Soviets were rarely able to
     design and manufacture advanced technologies on their own.
     Without exception, when the Soviets needed to modernize an
     assembly line,

[[Page E1356]]

     they went back to the original source and asked the Western
     company to build them a new one. They were especially
     dependent on Western technology in areas like electronics,
     computers, and advanced machine tools. This gave the West a
     great opportunity to get a stranglehold on Soviet military
     technology, and, under Reagan, the opportunity was exploited.
     An international organization Combat Command (COCOM) was
     created to control the flow of military useful technology
     from West to East. A list of dangerous technologies was
     agreed upon, and all members of COCOM undertook to embargo
     all of them for sale to the Soviets, or to any country
     willing to resell to the Soviet Union or its allies.
     Unanimous agreement was required for any exception.
       Despite predictions that such a system could not possibly
     work, it proved to be devastating, as shown by the behavior
     of Gorbachev himself. Hardly a week went by without Gorbachev
     or Shevardnadze or other Soviet leaders begging the West to
     treat the USSR like a ``normal'' country, and thus dismantle
     COCOM. Their cries of pain were fully justified, for the gap
     between Soviet and Western military technology grew
     relentlessly during the Reagan years. So much so that when
     the Soviet crisis arrived, the Kremlin could not even dream
     of solving it by a successful military action against us.
       It does not require an advanced degree in international
     relations to understand the great value of such a system of
     export controls in a hostile world, and it should have been
     maintained after the Cold War, especially if we were going to
     dramatically reduce our research and development of new
     weapons systems and technologies to upgrade existing systems.
     The one thing we should not have wanted was to see potential
     enemies acquiring the very technologies that had given us
     such great military superiority. And of all the countries we
     should have worried about, China was Number One, with Iran a
     distant second.
       There were, and are, two main reasons to think long and
     hard about China. The first is size: China has the world's
     largest population, and can therefore put into the field the
     largest army. And the likelihood of conflict with China stems
     from reason number two for thinking long and hard about this
     threat: China is the last major Communist dictatorship, and
     the history of the twentieth century is one of repeated
     aggression by dictators. Simple prudence dictated that, until
     and unless China joined the society of democratic nations, we
     should have tried to maintain a decisive military advantage.
     Call it deterrence.
       Instead, for reasons that will intrigue the
     psychohistorians for many years to come, we have not only
     bent over backwards to be generous to Coins (our enormous
     trade deficit leaves no doubt about our largesse), but we
     have been busily arming the People's Republic so that it can
     give us grief.
       For China to effectively project power in the future, it
     would have to get the technologies for its army that the U.S.
     used to rout the Iraqi forces--actually superior to China's
     in many regards--during Desert Storm. But from where?
       China has four main sources of supply. The most prominent
     in Russia. Russia has been able to offer China important help
     in aerospace, missiles, and submarine technology. China has
     bought Surkhoi fighter aircraft and Kilo-class diesel
     submarines from Russia, and the Russians have provided
     assistance to many other Chinese Army projects. But the
     Russian connection is only a stopgap for China, not a
     solution, because, while Russian technology is, in most
     cases, better than China's, it is not the equal of the United
     States. Russian military systems have well-known weaknesses:
     poor reliability, mediocre performance, and outdated
     technology. Russian arms lack the electronics found in
     Americas systems; the computers are more than one generation
     behind, and the radars and ``com'' links are old-fashioned.
     The Chinese now all too well how easily American stealth and
     smart bombs overwhelmed what the Russians supplied Iraq. In
     need of a ``quick fix'' to be able to bully its neighbors,
     China has been taking the Russian technology, but it needs
     much more.
       A second source of armaments and military technology is
     Western Europe. European weapons are better than Russian, and
     come close to American standards. But European systems are
     frightfully expensive, and, for extras, the Europeans have
     generally been unwilling to sell the manufacturing technology
     for weapons. They want to sell the systems, and then supply
     the spare parts in the future. The Chinese want their own
     manufacturing capacity. Like any country preparing seriously
     for war, China doesn't want to be dependent on others for
       A third source is Israel. Israel has been willing to sell
     arms and arms technology to China, and has done so for a
     number of years. Starting with air-to-air missile technology,
     Israel appears to have sold Lavi 3rd-generation fighter
     aircraft technology to China and its now trying to get the
     Chinese to buy an Israeli version of the advanced early
     warning radar aircraft. AWACS, which played such a big
     role in the Gulf war by providing early warning and
     vectoring allied aircraft against Iraqi planes, operating
     at stand-off ranges in excess of one hundred miles.
       But Israel's assistance to China is limited in a number of
     ways. Because China sells arms to Iran and Iraq, and has sold
     missiles to Saudi Arabia and Syria, Israel has to exercise
     extreme caution about what it sells to China. The Chinese
     suspect--and they are surely right--that Israel is not going
     to sell China a system that Israelis cannot defeat.
       Another difficulty for China buying from Israel is that
     Israel is not a one-stop solution. The Lavi is a good
     example. The Lavi is a modern, lightweight, single-engine,
     high-performance fighter plane with an advanced engine,
     composite structures, advanced computers and electronics, ECM
     pods, and missile and weapons launch capabilities. But China
     wants to manufacture the aircraft, and many of the parts come
     from the U.S. and were provided to Israel under carefully
     controlled munitions export licenses. In most cases the
     manufacturing knowhow was not even released to Israel, and
     other valuable design and manufacturing secrets were also
     withheld. The engine is an even graver problem: the only two
     sources for a suitable Lavi engine are American companies,
     Pratt & Whitney and General Electric. There is no other
     engine with the performance and weight to match it. While
     some have suggested the Russians could soon give the Chinese
     an acceptable engine, none has yet appeared. The U.S. engines
     are a generation ahead of anything the Russians have. So the
     Chinese have been able to acquire some of the technology from
     Israel. But to get the rest they need the United States.
       It is often said that, in the world of advanced technology,
     embargoes or export controls cannot possibly work, because it
     they don't get it from us, they'll get it from somebody else.
     This is false. To compete with the U.S. militarily. China has
     to get our technology, and, most of the time, that means
     getting it directly from us.
       It's easy to understand why the Chinese want our
     technology, it's far more difficult to comprehend why the
     American government would let them get it. We know that the
     Chinese routinely sell advanced weapons to `rogue nations''
     that rank among our worst enemies; Iraq, Iran, Syria, and
     Libya. We know China is a totalitarian regime. And we know
     that the stronger China becomes the easier it will be for
     Peking to maintain its evil regime.
       There are some extraordinary cases in which it might make
     sense to sell a limited amount of advanced military
     technology to China, but there aren't many of them. (It might
     make sense to sell them devices for nuclear safely, or for
     certain military systems with important civilian
     applications--satellite launchers, for example.) But that is
     not what is going on. The American government is allowing
     massive sales of highly advanced military technology to
     China, and the policy has reached dimensions and achieved a
     momentum that make clear that we are not doing so on a
     limited, special-case basis. It is a deliberate policy that
     appears to have full approval from the highest levels of the
     Clinton Administration, despite strong objections from
     government agencies or from individual officials outraged
     at what is happening. The Clinton Administration has not
     done this openly and honestly, by going to Congress and
     asking for a change in legislation. It has, for the most
     part, acted secretly, resorting to clever bureaucratic
     maneuver. Take the case of the aircraft engines for the
     Lavi, for example.
       Powerful aircraft engines contain special technology that
     greatly enhances their thrust, and this technology has long
     been on the so-called ``Munitions List'' of goods and
     services that would endanger American security if they were
     sold to hostile or potentially hostile countries. It is
     illegal to sell anything on that list to anyone, anywhere,
     without formal approval from the State Department, which in
     practice almost always clears its decisions with the military
     services. Moreover, hard on the heels of the Tiananmen
     Massacre in Peking, Congress passed laws forbidding the sale
     of anything on the list to China, unless the president felt
     it so important that he were willing to issue a formal
     waiver. In the eight years since Tiananmen, this has happened
     just once, when a waiver was issued for technology having to
     do with the launch of commercial satellites on the Long March
     rocket (a military rocket).
       The administration was unwilling to openly issue any other
     waivers, knowing there would be a political firestorm. So
     Clinton and his people did it slickly, by taking the engine
     technology off the Munitions List and shifting control from
     State to Commerce, where the president's buddy Ron Brown held
     court. Within days, Commerce issued licenses permitting U.S.
     engine producers to sell the technology to China. And since
     the sales have the explicit approval of the government, we
     can be sure that American corporations will do everything
     they can to help set up the manufacturing facilities. The
     result of all this maneuvering is that China will soon have
     the world's finest engines in its fighter aircraft.
       The story is repeated elsewhere. Supercomputers, for
     instance, are the crown jewels of computers, and are in use
     at some of our best national laboratories such as Lawrence
     Livermore, Sandia, and Los Alamos. The U.S. National Security
     Agency uses supercomputers to keep track of our adversaries.
     The Defense Department, and leading defense contractors, use
     supercomputers to develop stealth technology and simulate
     testing of precision guided weapons, advanced weapons
     platforms, and delivery systems.
       Only two countries, the United States and Japan, build
     competent supercomputers. And both countries, recognizing
     that the random sale of supercomputers would constitute a
     grave risk to Western security, agreed in 1986

[[Page E1357]]

     to cooperate and coordinate sales of supercomputers. This
     agreement made it impossible to sell supercomputers to China.
     But that was then, and this is now, and Clinton & Co. have
     sabotaged any effective control over supercomputer sales to
       The first move was to change the definition of
     supercomputers. In the Bush administration, it was generally
     agreed that a computer with a speed of 195 million
     theoretical operations per second (MTOPS) was a
     ``supercomputer,'' and therefore strategic. Two years later,
     the Clinton administration lifted the ceiling to 2,000 MTOPS.
     This ten-fold increase wasn't nearly enough, though, and
     shortly thereafter the administration unilaterally renounced
     the existing regulatory controls, such that China could get
     supercomputers up to 7,000 MTOPS. This drastic move provoked
     violent protests from many of our allies, including several
     that did not even manufacture such computers, and hence had
     no commercial interest in the matter. We thumbed our nose at
       But even this was not enough, because it would still have
     been possible for the Department of Defense to oppose
     supercomputer sales to China on strategic grounds. The
     solution was to redefine the computers for ``civilian use,''
     and within the past 15 months. U.S. companies including IBM,
     Convex (later, Hewlett Packard), and Silicon Graphics (and
     perhaps others) have sold the Chinese at least 46
     supercomputers, many of them going into China's defense
     industry, or being put to use in nuclear weapons design.
       This represents a truly terrifying hemorrhage, for
     supercomputers are the central nervous system of modern
     warfare. The sales of 46 supercomputers give the Chinese more
     of these crucial devices than are in use in the Pentagon, the
     military services, and the intelligence community combined.
     They enable the Chinese to more rapidly design state-of-the-
     art weapons, add stealth capability to their missiles and
     aircraft, improve their anti-submarine warfare technology,
     and dramatically enhance their ability to design and build
     smaller nuclear weapons suitable for cruise missiles. Thanks
     to the folly of the Clinton Administration, the Chinese can
     now conduct tests of nuclear weapons, conventional
     explosives, and chemical and biological weapons by simulating
     them on supercomputers. Not only can they now make better
     weapons of mass destruction, but they can do a lot of the
     work secretly, thus threatening us with an additional element
     of surprise.
       Finally, since supercomputers are the key to encryption, we
     have now made it easier for the People's Republic to crack
     commercial and, perhaps, even government secret codes.
       There are many other areas where the American public has
     been told almost nothing about our arming of China, and
     reports indicating major problems with the Chinese have been
     suppressed or buried. In the past two years, for example, the
     Customs Department has interdicted 15 shipments of military
     parts going from the United States to China. Some of these
     were parts from our latest air-to-air missiles and from
     fighter aircraft like the F-15. These parts were ``scrapped''
     by the U.S. military, but were never demilitarized. At much
     less than a penny on the dollar, Chinese agents were buying
     the parts and shipping them back to China. Customs acted in
     the belief that the sales were illegal, yet not a single
     charge has been filed against the exporters.
       Worse still, China has been buying up whole defense
     factories in the United States, and the administration, fully
     aware of what is going on (in fact, the Defense Intelligence
     Agency has sent some of its top Washington experts to witness
     some of these transactions), let it happen.
       As America downsizes its defense programs, many defense
     factories are being shut down. Some produced state-of-the-art
     fighter aircraft for the Air Force and Navy. Others were
     involved in building intercontinental ballistic missiles.
     Still others were developing advanced electronics. One
     building at a Defense site contained sophisticated
     spectrometers, clean rooms, special plasma furnaces and
     lasers, and special measurement antennas operating at very
     high radar frequencies. It was a laboratory for testing
     ``stealth'' technology, and everything in it was sold, for a
     pittance, to the Chinese. So we have not only guaranteed that
     the Chinese will have superb fighter planes, we have ensured
     that we won't be able to ``see'' them in combat.
       Defense factories being ``decommissioned'' have provided a
     bonanza for the PRC. For example, a multi-axis machine tool
     profiler (measuring hundreds of feet long), designed to build
     main wing spans for the F-14 fighter plane, which originally
     cost over $3 million, was gobbled up by the Chinese--for
     under $25,000. There is more: Global Positioning System
     manufacturing know-how, which will make Chinese cruise
     missiles uncannily accurate, was licensed for sale by the
     administration, as were small jet engines for a ``training
     aircraft'' that doesn't exist. The Chinese are working to
     copy those jet engines to modernize their Silkworm cruise
     missiles, and substantially extend their range and payload.
       There are so many scandals swirling around Washington these
     days that it is difficult to get anyone to pay attention to
     another one. Yet the policy of arming China involves more
     than punishing people who stole from the public trough, or
     lied to Congress, or destroyed the lives of innocent public
     servants. This criminality could threaten the lives of our
     children in years to come by forcing them to fight the
     largest army in the world, equipped with the finest weapons
     American technology could design.
       A great deal of the damage done to our security by the
     Clinton Administration--and to a lesser degree by the Bush
     Administration before--is irreversible, and ultimately we
     will undoubtedly have to spend a lot of money and effort to
     ensure that we have military technology even better than what
     we've given the Chinese. But it is long past time for
     Congressional leaders to stop the hemorrhage. Export controls
     must be enforced; the Munitions List must be tightened; we
     must once again try to piece together workable agreements
     with our allies. Above all, our politicians have to start
     earning their money. Is there not a single committee in the
     House and Senate capable of holding hearings on this madness?
     Is there not a single ``news'' organization that judges this
     scandal worthy of daily coverage? Or must we wait for another
     Pearl Harbor?

  JINSA Board of Directors Resolution: Supercomputers and U.S. Export
                             Control Policy

       U.S. policy regarding the sale or transfer of
     supercomputers is a sensitive national security issue which
     may ultimately help to determine which countries are able to
     develop nuclear capabilities and which are stymied in their
       In 1986, the U.S. Japan Supercomputer Agreement set up a
     system whereby the two major producers of supercomputers
     agreed to carefully monitor and regulate sales to third
     countries. This cooperation demonstrated that two highly
     competitive countries could work out an effective means to
     regulate trade in this sensitive equipment, and take it out
     of the realm of ``national discretion.''
       The Agreement was primarily to guard against nuclear
     proliferation in non-communist countries. (COCOM, the Paris-
     based Coordinating Committee on Export Controls was
     controlling sensitive exports to the communist countries.)
     However, in 1993, after the demise of COCOM, the U.S.
     massively liberalized its controls on supercomputers without
     consulting Japan. For the most part, the Clinton
     administration has decided that only a very limited subset of
     supercomputers would qualify as strategic. And even those are
     under a weak control system that cannot effectively safeguard
     against the transfer of these machines to third countries.
       Some argue that supercomputers are not strategic systems,
     noting that many of America's nuclear weapons and delivery
     systems such as ballistic missiles and long-range bombers
     were built on computers whose performance is inferior to the
     supercomputers of today. But, America needs supercomputers to
     design the next generation of defense systems, reduce costs
     and improve performance ensuring our strategic security.
     Furthermore, supercomputers make it possible to do effective
     design engineering with less risk taking, and less expensive
     and dangerous testing to increase the safety of nuclear
     weapons and other systems including ballistic missiles and
     smart weapons. Therefore, their acquisition by hostile
     countries would vastly enhance the capabilities of those
       The landmark government study on nuclear weapons design
     concluded that, ``The use of high-speed computers and
     mathematical models to simulate complex physical process has
     been and continues to be the cornerstone of the nuclear
     weapons design program [of the United States].'' The study
     also considered the ``efficiency'' of the process. With
     supercomputers, a new nuclear weapons design or concept
     involves exponentially fewer explosive tests. For example, in
     1955 a new concept would require 180 tests; in 1986 the
     number of tests required was reduced to 5. As even more
     powerful machines are available today, it is highly probable
     that the number of tests may be reduced even further, or
     testing altogether eliminated.
       This means that a country that gets supercomputers can
     develop nuclear weapons covertly, and have plausible
     deniability if challenged. It means that we may totally
     misjudge the capabilities of a hostile country or potential
     adversary, as we did in the case of Iraq. It also means that
     the cost of developing nuclear weapons can be significantly
     reduced if supercomputers are available. This is important
     because many countries lack both the requisite technical
     experts and the infrastructure to develop nuclear weapons.
       For Russia and China the acquisition of supercomputers is
     of great importance in allowing them to develop a viable
     nuclear strike capability. Russia has been seeking
     supercomputers for more than two decades after the investment
     of billions of rubles trying to design their own
     supercomputers resulted in failure. Consequently, the Soviet
     government and then the Russian government sought to get such
     machines from the West, and pressed hard for disbanding COCOM
     in order to remove export restrictions.
       China has gone down a similar path. Last year, when China
     carried out aggressive military exercises in the Taiwan
     strait, effectively closing the strait to both shipping and
     air traffic, the United States--sensing China might turn the
     exercise into a full scale invasion of Taiwan--moved two
     carrier task forces into the area. As the tension rose, a
     high ranking Chinese official threatened to launch nuclear
     ballistic missiles against Los Angeles. Such threats, and the
     willingness to make such threats, should make it clear that
     there are serious dangers today, and we should not want to

[[Page E1358]]

     them by providing technology that will increase the risk and
     danger, as supercomputers will.
       In light of these issues, it is hard to imagine how the
     administration decided to make it easy to export and buy
     supercomputers. For most transactions, the administration's
     supercomputer export controls are no more burdensome than
     export controls on personal computers.
       Put simply, the regulation says that high performance
     computers can be exported without individual validated
     licenses, but there are some restrictions based generally on
     the country and end user--with countries organized into three
     groups or ``tiers.'' The makeup of each tier is, to a certain
     extent, bizarre.
       For example, the middle tier (Tier 2) countries that can
     receive supercomputers less than 10,000 Millions of
     Theoretical Operations Per Second (MTOPS)--includes Antigua
     and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Belize, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti,
     Liberia, Nicaragua, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Somalia and
     Togo, as examples. Keep in mind that the entire Defense
     Department owns only two computers more powerful than these
     and hardly any computers in this middle category.
       Israel resides in Tier 3, a motley collection of countries
     including Angola, Belarus, India, Oman, Saudi Arabia and
     Tajikistan. They can get computers in the range of 2,000 to
     7,000 MTOPS. Israel, a staunch U.S. ally and country with
     which our Defense Department and defense industries cooperate
     on an ongoing basis, is lumped in with Angola, Belarus and
     India, hardly traditional friends of the U.S.
       Tier 1 includes our allies and a few others whose presence
     is hard to understand. For example, it includes Iceland,
     which was never a COCOM member and never cooperated with the
     U.S. on export controls. The same holds for Liechtenstein and
     Luxembourg, from which technology diversions were common in
     the 1970's and 1980's. San Marino is there. Tier 1 countries
     can receive any level of performance supercomputer.
       The caveats in the regulation are applied only where the
     end use or end user is nuclear, chemical, biological, or
     missile related. This sounds good, but in practice it is
     meangingless because it requires the selling company to
     ``know'' whether or not the ``buyer'' falls into a restricted
     category. Burt since there are no licenses and scant record
     keeping is required, even these minimal restrictions are hard
     to enforce.
       The 1996 sale of supercomputers by Silicon Graphics that
     somehow'' ended up in a nuclear design installation in Russia
     is a case in point. Exactly how it happened is still under
     investigation and Silicon Graphics says it would never
     knowingly have made a sale to the Russian Scientific Research
     Institute for Technical Physics. But there is no doubt the
     computers now serve Russia's nuclear weapons industry. This
     is the first time any supercomputer has been lost or gone to
     a nuclear weapons designer.
       Part of the problem clearly is that once a supercomputer is
     delivered it can be retransferred and the U.S. government and
     the company are, in fact, out of the loop. For example, a
     supercomputer sold to a shoemaker in Iceland can be resold to
     a Chinese missile factory. Because there is no international
     licensing system or other mechanism, it is reasonable to
     conclude that there is next to nothing we can do about such a
     re-export transaction.
       The United States needs supercomputers, particularly in
     this era of restricted budgets; they will be the keystones
     for future defense systems which, more and more, will be
     based on high technology--and less and less on politically
     sensitive testing.
       However, there are still those who want even more
     liberalization of export controls on supercomputers.
       Supercomputers are a critical tool for developing defense
     systems for the next century. Making such machines freely
     available to the world under the flawed system we now have
     will help erode both our technology leadership and our
     national security. If the United States wants to retain its
     superiority in an era of collapsing defense budgets, it is
     critical to hold the line on these sensitive exports and keep
     these machines out of the hands of potential adversaries or
     proliferators. At the same time, we must make sure that the
     military departments and research activities of the
     Department of Defense have access to the best computing
       Therefore, the Board of Directors of JINSA urges Congress
       1. Suspend the current regulations on High Performance
     Computers, restoring the previous validated licensing
     requirements for supercomputers.
       2. Demand a full accounting of supercomputer sales under
     the current export regime.
       3. Conduct a full assessment of the impact of computer
     sales on national security and on weapons proliferation.
       4. Assess, using the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency,
     who is seeking supercomputers and why they are wanted.
       5. Develop and propose an effective multilateral export
     licensing system.
       Passed unanimously 2 June 1997.