20 June 2001
Source: http://usinfo.state.gov/cgi-bin/washfile/display.pl?p=/products/washfile/latest&f=01061901.plt&t=/products/washfile/newsitem.shtml

US Department of State
International Information Programs

Washington File

19 June 2001

Weapons of Mass Destruction Top Security Threat, Sen. Lugar Warns

(Urges rethinking of U.S. strategies) (4070)

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar says the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction (WMD) is the single greatest threat to U.S. national

"More so than at any other time in the past, the spread of weapons of
mass destruction and their means of delivery constitutes a profound
and urgent threat at home and abroad," Lugar said June 18 in a keynote
address at the Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference in

Lugar, a senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
said potential adversaries view WMD as an effective means for
countering U.S. conventional military superiority and as a means for
threatening neighbors. "They are becoming the 'weapons of choice'
rather than the 'weapons of last resort,'" he said.

Because of the more complex and dangerous environment posed by WMD, he
said the United States must rethink "strategies and the continuing
utility of the traditional tools available to counter the threats" the
United States and its allies face.

He added that traditional deterrence based solely on the threat of
nuclear retaliation cannot be relied upon any longer in strategic
planning. He said the United States must develop new deterrence
concepts based on offensive and defensive forces.

Lugar also discussed the Nunn-Lugar program to dismantle the old
Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal, lowering nuclear forces, chemical
weapons elimination, and the need to employ former Soviet weapons
scientists in peaceful pursuits.

Following is the text of Lugar's prepared remarks:

(begin text)

NUNN-LUGAR -- A Tool For the New U.S.-Russian Strategic Relationship
Carnegie Nonproliferation Conference


The strategic environment during the Cold War was characterized by
high-risk but low-probability of a ballistic missile exchange between
the superpowers. Today, however, with the dissolution of the Soviet
Union, the opposite is the case -- we live in a lower-risk but
higher-probability environment with respect to ballistic missile
exchanges. Whereas previous strategic calculations assumed more or
less rational actors, experiences with Saddam Hussein, Osama bin
Laden, and others make this assumption less plausible today.

Long-range missiles are seen as a cost-effective deterrent for
countries who decry American "hegemony" or seek to deter international
peacemaking efforts. If a future aggressor were to have ballistic
missiles capable of reaching U.S. or allied territory, hostile powers
might be tempted to blackmail the U.S. into standing by in the face of
aggression. In fact, hostile powers possessing these dangerous weapons
could fundamentally change the decision-making process with regard to
international engagement of the United States.

In short, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is the
number one national security threat facing the United States and its
allies. More so than at any other time in the past, the spread of
weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery constitutes a
profound and urgent threat at home and abroad. These weapons are seen
by potential adversaries as possessing substantial utility, either for
use against neighbors or as instruments of asymmetric warfare designed
to overcome the conventional military superiority of the United
States. They are becoming the "weapons of choice" rather than the
"weapons of last resort". This more complex and dangerous environment
requires us to rethink our strategies and the continuing utility of
the traditional tools available to counter the threats our nations


On May 1, at the National Defense University, President Bush shared
his thoughts on the need to fundamentally change the parameters of
strategic deterrence. I share the President's view that the U.S. needs
to develop new concepts of deterrence that rely on both offensive and
defensive forces to ensure the safety and security of the American
people in the future. Deterrence can no longer be based solely on the
threat of nuclear retaliation.

Agreements between the U.S. and Russia on missile defense and
continued offensive arms reductions are important goals, but they are
only part of the solution. Missile defense is not a silver bullet
that, by itself, can adequately protect the United States and its
allies from the enhanced threats posed by ballistic missile
proliferation and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. But it is
an important component that gives added credibility to the other
elements of U.S. strategy as well as a means to protect the American
people if our nonproliferation and diplomatic efforts prove less than
perfect. Equally important, agreements and unilateral declarations on
reductions of offensive arms are only successful if they are fully
implemented by both sides and can be verified. Only then will security
and stability be enhanced.


I approach the response to these threats to American security through
the prism of a "defense in depth". There are four main lines of
defense against weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile
threats. Individually, each is insufficient; together, they help to
form the policy fabric of an integrated defense-in-depth.

The first is prevention and entails activities at the source such as
the Nunn-Lugar/Cooperative Threat Reduction program that has
deactivated over 5,500 nuclear warheads and efforts to stop the spread
of weapons of mass destruction and associated knowledge.

The second is deterrence and interdiction and involves efforts to stem
the flow of illicit trade in these weapons and materials at foreign
and domestic borders.

The third line of defense is crisis and consequence management and
involves greater efforts at domestic preparedness such as the
Nunn-Lugar-Domenici program, which has supplied more than 100 American
cities with the training to deal with the consequences, should such
threats turn into hostile acts.

The fourth line of defense must include limited missile defenses
against the growing ballistic missile capabilities of so-called rogue

Together, all four lines help form the policy fabric of an integrated
defense in depth.


In addition to announcing his intentions to pursue a dialogue with
Russia on missile defense and continued offensive arms reductions,
President Bush requested a comprehensive review of U.S. policy towards
Russia and our cooperative nonproliferation programs. In other words,
as the President commences diplomatic discussions on the fourth line
of defense, the Administration is reviewing the other three lines to
ensure they are credible, efficient, and effective. I applaud this
initiative because our challenge is to find the right balance between
planning for the threats of the future and meeting those that are here
and now! As my partner, Sam Nunn, noted recently:

"A limited missile defense has a place in a comprehensive, integrated
plan of nuclear defense, but it should be seen for what it is -- a
last line of defense. Our first line of defense is diplomacy,
intelligence and cooperation among nations, including Russia."

Secondly, it is imperative that our debates over and funding for
limited missile defenses be embedded in a revised and more
all-encompassing nonproliferation strategy designed to reinvigorate
U.S. efforts to prevent countries from acquiring weapons of mass
destruction and their means of delivery in the first place. Enhanced
export controls, arms control regimes and regional security alliances
still have a role to play if employed selectively.

Most importantly, the Administration must ensure that programs and
projects that compose our first and second lines of defense are
managed effectively and funded properly. We must continue to place a
priority on redressing the instability of the former Soviet arsenal by
expanding joint approaches to eliminating weapons of mass destruction
in Russia and in other countries all over the world.

The Administration should also determine how funding can be increased
to accelerate non-proliferation efforts. The Bush administration
should use its nonproliferation review to develop a comprehensive plan
that sets mutual goals for securing the Russian arsenal and prescribes
a step-by-step time frame for achieving those goals. Today, we spend
less than one percent of our annual defense budget on
non-proliferation efforts. Let me say that again, the U.S. spends less
than 1% of our defense budget on the first line of defense against the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of

This is unacceptable. It is far more effective and much cheaper to
eliminate threats at their source than attempting to deter or defend
against them later. This is not to say that other lines of defense
don't have a critical role. Rather, at this point in time there is no
better U.S. investment in combating this threat than the Nunn-Lugar
Cooperative Threat Reduction program.


As the former Soviet Union began to break apart in 1991, mutual
acquaintances in Russia came to former Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia and
me and pointed out the dangers of the dissolution of a nuclear
superpower. Weapons and materials of mass destruction were spread
across four newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.
Russian leaders requested our cooperation in securing and protecting
these weapons and materials. This was the genesis of the Nunn-Lugar

This was not a problem that Congress wanted to deal with in 1991.
Members were highly skeptical of committing funds to any program that
seemed to benefit Russia. The atmosphere was decidedly hostile to any
initiative that focused on a foreign problem. Americans were weary of
the Cold War and the Gulf War. Both Congress and presidential
aspirants had decided that attention to foreign concerns was
politically risky. The House of Representatives had previously
rejected, in a rather summary fashion, a plan to commit one billion
dollars to addressing the problems of the former Soviet Union. That
outcome did not give Senator Nunn and me much of a springboard for our

Yet we brought together a bipartisan nucleus of Senators who saw the
problem as we did. We developed a plan to commit a small portion of
Defense Department resources each year to the cooperative
dismantlement of the old Soviet nuclear arsenal. Remarkably, the
Nunn-Lugar program was passed in the Senate by a vote of 86 to 8. It
went on to gain approval in the House and was signed into law by
President Bush.

At a cost of less than two-tenths of one percent of the annual U.S.
defense budget, the Nunn-Lugar program has facilitated the destruction
of 423 ballistic missiles, 383 ballistic missile launchers, 85
bombers, 483 long-range nuclear air-launched cruise missiles, 352
submarine missile launchers, 209 submarine launched ballistic
missiles, and 19 strategic missile submarines. It also has sealed 194
nuclear test tunnels. Most notably, 5,504 warheads that were on
strategic systems aimed at the United States have been deactivated.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan
became the third, fourth, and eighth largest nuclear powers in the
world. Without Nunn-Lugar, they would still have thousands of nuclear
weapons. Instead, all three countries are nuclear weapons-free. To put
this into perspective, Nunn-Lugar has dismantled more nuclear weaponry
than the countries of Great Britain, France, and China currently
possess in their stockpiles and arsenals combined.

Not only has the Nunn-Lugar program made important contributions to
our security, it has also provided a diplomatic basis for
relationships with Russia. The last ten years have seen a series of
high points and low points in the relationship. NATO operations in
Kosovo, Russian military activity in Chechnya, and spy scandals have
led to crises and stalemates. In some cases, these low points have led
to the cessation of diplomatic contact. Talks were broken off, trips
were canceled, and relations dropped precipitously. But through the
ups and downs of the relationship, there has been one constant: the
Nunn-Lugar program. Even during the moments of greatest tension,
Nunn-Lugar has continued its important work. In many ways, the
Nunn-Lugar program has represented the cornerstone and, at times,
almost the totality, of the U.S.-Russian relationship. It has given
expression to an area of cooperation where only competition might have
existed were it not for our common goal of dismantling the weapons of
the Cold War.

But the Nunn-Lugar program is a tool, a means to an end. Nunn-Lugar
has prospered when U.S. policy towards Russia has been guided by a
firm hand and a logical policy prescription. Nunn-Lugar cannot take
the place of effective and coherent policy; in fact, it cannot operate
without effective policy guidance.

Despite the success of Nunn-Lugar, the threat to U.S. national
security from proliferation remains. Nunn-Lugar alone is insufficient
to safeguard American security. But absent significant progress in the
other lines of defense, it will remain the most efficient and
cost-effective response to the threat. During his recent campaign,
President George W. Bush underscored the importance of these efforts.
He said: "I will ask the Congress to increase substantially our
assistance to dismantle as many of Russia's weapons as possible as
quickly as possible."


Efforts to deploy a missile defense system will be a technological
challenge for the United States but we must also look beyond the
domestic stage in our preparations. I was pleased to learn of the
President's intention to consult closely with our friends and allies
in Europe and Asia. Administration officials have returned from a
first round of meetings and consultations on the subject. Although
breakthroughs were not achieved, an important first step has been

The cooperation of like-minded nations is imperative if we are to
fully enjoy the benefits of defense against missiles while maintaining
multilateral efforts to stop or limit their spread. The President also
pointed out that the U.S. will work closely with Russia in hopes of
reaching an acceptable conclusion in the arms control arena. Let there
be no doubt, this will require heavy lifting. Negotiations will not be
easy or quick. A successful conclusion to these negotiations will
require great patience and even better statesmanship. But I believe
this Administration is up to the task and ultimately will be

Many have characterized this process as a one way street, measured by
U.S. gains and Russian losses. I disagree with this analysis. Russian
interests continue to be served by the reduction of strategic
offensive weapons systems. Furthermore, a strong case can be made that
Russia is under an equal, if not greater, threat from the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile attack.

Meetings in Moscow last December that I enjoyed with General Kvashnin,
Chief of the Russian General Staff, and General Yakovlev,
then-Commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces, centered on the costs
associated with continued Russian reductions. Both pointed out that
Russia will dramatically reduce its deployed warhead levels to 1,500,
as announced last fall. We discussed a number of ways to meet these
new force levels, repeatedly noting that the biggest hurdle in their
plans was dismantlement costs. I believe the United States and Russia
are on the same page on this issue.


As President Bush explained in his recent speech, he is "committed to
achieving a credible deterrent with the lowest possible number of
nuclear weapons consistent with our national security needs...". His
goal is to move quickly to reduce nuclear forces. As a means of
accomplishing these goals, the Administration has indicated a
willingness to explore a unilateral but parallel method of reductions
as opposed to seeking to expand the more traditional bilateral arms
control process.

There are good reasons for pursuing a unilateral but parallel
strategy. It is more flexible and better suited for faster action.
Protracted negotiations would keep many weapons on station longer than
is necessary. To be sure, a unilateral but parallel process is not
perfect. But its strengths may make it a better approach than the more
traditional ones in the current strategic environment. That is not to
say that such a strategy does not have its drawbacks. It does. The
lack of some degree of irreversibility and agreed-upon verification
regime make it a less than a perfect solution. But I believe some of
these weaknesses can be overcome by utilizing other tools.

Nunn-Lugar in a Unilateral but Parallel Framework

For example, I am convinced that Nunn-Lugar and other nonproliferation
programs can play a critical role in overcoming the inherent
limitations of a unilateral but parallel approach to offensive force
reductions. Let us not forget, Russians will face many of the same
challenges under a unilateral but parallel process as they do under
current treaty frameworks. They cannot afford to dismantle their
weapons systems. Currently, Nunn-Lugar is the means by which this task
is accomplished. Absent an unexpected economic revival in Russia, the
need for dismantlement assistance will continue. But Nunn-Lugar could
also prove useful in providing verification in a unilateral but
parallel arms reduction process.

Through the Nunn-Lugar program, the United States could maintain a
window of observation into Russian dismantlement, as well as serve as
a venue to provide Russia with an understanding and view of American
reductions. It would not be capable of completely replacing a treaty
verification regime, but it would be tremendously valuable tool. In
addition to the utilization of national technical means, Pentagon
contract inspection and acceptance visits as well as audit and
examination visits could provide an effective verification tool.

Anyone who has witnessed the contractual negotiating process involved
in undertaking and implementing a Nunn-Lugar project as well as the
role of American firms in managing such projects on site and the
auditing practices to ensure proper utilization of U.S. funds, can
attest that the inspection and verification procedures associated with
the program are every bit as stringent and intrusive as similar
measures under an arms control regime.


Chemical Weapons Elimination

Despite the tremendous progress Nunn-Lugar has achieved and the real
prospects for additional contributions in the future, there are areas
that require additional attention and support. In my opinion, chemical
weapons elimination in Russia is at the top of this list.

The United States has agreed to assist Russia in the elimination of
its chemical weapons arsenal. Specifically, the Pentagon will
construct a chemical weapons elimination facility at Shchuchye near
Chelyabinsk. In December, I visited the Russian facility there and
toured the site of the proposed Nunn-Lugar destruction facility.
Located nearly a thousand miles from Moscow, it is home to a
staggering two million chemical artillery shells and warheads.

Shchuchye houses 50 percent of the former Soviet modern
ground-launched chemical weapons arsenal. The weapons varied from
compact 85 mm chemical artillery shells to much larger warheads
carried on "SCUD" missiles. These modern, ground-delivered munitions
-- filled with sarin, soman, and VX -- are in excellent, ready to-use
condition and, for the most part, are small and easily transportable.

Critics of U.S. involvement argue that the weapons stored at Shchuchye
pose no more than an environmental threat to the local Russian
population. Nothing could be further from the truth. The size and
lethality of the weapons I observed are clearly a threat. A Russian
Major and I demonstrated the proliferation threat posed by these
weapons by easily fitting an 85 mm shell, filled with VX, into an
ordinary briefcase. Room was available for at least two more shells.
One briefcase alone, could carry enough agent to kill thousands of

Under the Chemical Weapons Convention, Russia has declared a stockpile
of 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons. These munitions have been
collected and stored in seven sites across Russia. But not one has
been destroyed primarily because of Russian budget shortfalls. The
proposed U.S. facility would be capable of destroying 800 metric tons
of weaponized agents each year.

The Pentagon has tried unsuccessfully over the last several years to
launch this project. The Senate has supported these efforts, but the
House of Representatives has objected. In an attempt to find a
compromise the Senate adopted a plan that required specific conditions
to be met prior to the release of U.S. funds for the project. Despite
the fact that the House refused to accept this proposal, the Senate's
efforts have triggered considerable action in Russia. First, Russia
increased funding for chemical weapons elimination six-fold to over
$100 million and is completing installation of the infrastructure
necessary for facility operations.

Secondly, U.S. efforts to attract additional international assistance
from other nations have proven successful. Thus far Italy, The
Netherlands, The United Kingdom, the European Union and Canada have
pledged to provide assistance. Others have indicated interest in
contributing to the cause. Each nation has indicated that its
contribution would be contingent on continued U.S. leadership in the
project. In addition to Shchuchye, many foreign governments are
actively supporting CW destruction efforts at other locations in

Finally, Moscow has agreed to consolidate the weaponry stored at seven
sites into three primary or central elimination sites; this is an
abandonment of its previous position which cited Russian domestic law
as forbidding the transportation or movement of chemical weapons and
agent in Russia. As a result the Nunn-Lugar destruction facility will
be impelled to not only destroy the weapons stored at Shchuchye but
those at other storage locations as well.

It is time to utilize the window of opportunity to destroy these
dangerous weapons. It is imperative for Americans, Russians, and the
world that Russia's vast stores of chemical weapons do not end up in
the hands of rogue nations or terrorists. We are losing precious time
to eliminate these dangerous weapons. Securing the necessary
authorization and appropriations for the construction of the
destruction facility is my highest priority this year.

Brain Drain

A second area in need of additional attention and funding concerns
efforts to employ former Soviet weapons scientists in peaceful
pursuits. Programs such as the International Science and Technology
Centers administered by the Department of State and Initiatives for
Proliferation Prevention administered by the Department of Energy seek
to employ these scientists in non-weapons-related work. In many ways,
destroying weapons of mass destruction is the easy part; ensuring that
the person who created them never does so again is harder. These
programs are the best tools we have at our disposal to encourage these
scientists to enter an open marketplace while remaining at the
institutes and laboratories working on peaceful programs. That is not
to say these programs cannot be improved, managed better, or
implemented more effectively. They can and they should.

To date, tens of thousands of former Soviet weapons scientists have
been employed through these programs. Considerable success has been
realized, but with a renewed commitment of resources and leadership,
the U.S. can make dramatic progress in ensuring that former scientists
forego the temptation of returning to their former careers of
producing materials and weapons of mass destruction in Russia or rogue

But these programs are transition measures, not long-term solutions.
They are vehicles to move scientists from weapons research to peaceful
work. The private sector must be the ultimate destination. Only when
these scientists have long-term employment in peaceful pursuits and
succeed in domestic and international markets, will we able to scale
back our efforts. The private sector is the best long-term option.

American and European corporations have much to gain by cooperating
with government efforts like the Nunn-Lugar/CTR program. I have
proposed that American companies explore the possibility of purchasing
or establishing long-term contractual relationships with these Russian
chemical and biological laboratories in order to provide the best
scientific minds with employment in peaceful endeavors. These
facilities would be an excellent investment in hardware and production
technology. Our corporations would enjoy association with some of the
finest minds in Russia.

The Administration, NATO and the European Union must explore options
to encourage and trigger greater private sector investment.
Considerable thought and planning should be given to overcoming
Western corporate hesitancy and an inhospitable Russian investment
environment. It will not be an easy sell but we must convince the
private sector to get involved in the response. Their role is critical
to a successful nonproliferation end-game.


The U.S. and Russia have a difficult road ahead, one that will require
compromise and sacrifice. The last ten years have shown that nothing
is impossible. Let us approach the continued reductions of offensive
arsenals with creativity and a willingness to cooperate, even as we
search for areas of agreement on missile defenses.

We have a window of opportunity to reduce the threat of former Soviet
weapons of mass destruction left over from the Cold War. The
fundamental question is whether there exists sufficient political will
in Moscow and Washington to devote requisite resources and leadership
to these efforts. Statesmanship and patience will be required over
many years.

(end text)

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