Jon KylU.S. Senator
[R] Arizona, United States

Length: 46 minutes, 24 seconds

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Mr. KYL. Thank you, Mr. President. I would say, since I do not see a Member of the majority on the floor, if there is a concern with that later, and somebody wishes to slip me a note, I would be happy to try to accommodate my schedule to the majority's schedule.

NEW START CONCERNS Mr. President, what I wish to speak to today is the START treaty which has been submitted by the administration for consideration by the Senate.

The President signed the treaty on April 8 of this year, submitted it to the Senate for ratification on May 13, and 2 weeks ago the Foreign Relations Committee began hearings on the treaty.

In the consideration of past treaties, the Senate has taken great care to consider the entire record of relevant documents and to seek the views of a wide variety of experts, and I am sure that will be done in this case as well.

According to a report from Senator Thune, who is the head of the Republican Policy Committee: [On] the original START, almost 430 days passed between the time President George H.W. Bush signed it-- That was July 31, 1991-- and the U.S. Senate provided its consent to the treaty [on October 1, 1992]. As for the Treaty of Moscow, which is to terminate if New START is ratified, it was signed on May 24, 2002 and ratified by the Senate more than nine months later on March 6, 2003.

That treaty, by the way, is only three pages long. So it is not surprising that it takes some time. What is surprising to me is that some have seemed intent on rushing the treaty that has been sent to us. According to Congressional Quarterly: A congressional aide who briefed reporters on the treaty said Thursday that Senate Foreign Relations [Committee] Chairman John Kerry [of Massachusetts] intended to complete hearings ``in time for the Senate to take up the treaty before the August recess, if it so chooses.'' I am not aware of any similar precedent for so rushing such a treaty of this complexity, and I am not sure why the rush would be necessary. I wish to remind my colleagues, the White House assured us there would be no problem when it permitted the treaty to expire by not seeking its extension. The reason is expressed in a Joint Statement, which said as follows: Recognizing our mutual determination to support strategic stability between the United States of America and the Russian Federation, we express our commitment, as a matter of principle, to continue to work together in the spirit of the START Treaty following its expiration, as well as our firm intention to ensure that a new treaty on strategic arms enter into force at the earliest possible date.

So what did these 65 words mean? Well, Deputy Secretary of Defense Lynn told us they meant that: In this interim period of START's expiration earlier in the month, our two countries have agreed to continue observing the spirit of the treaty's terms.

Spokesman Kelly said they mean that ``both sides pledged not to take any measures that would undermine the strategic stability that START has provided during this period between the expiration of the START treaty.'' So the idea that we are potentially disadvantaged every day the treaty goes unratified seems to me to be untrue, unless the Joint Statement does not mean what we were told it means. Certainly, there is no reason the Senate should not take the time it needs to perform its due diligence. The Constitution did not, after all, entrust to this body the requirement to perform the process of advise and consent on treaties, and did not set the extraordinarily high threshold of 67 votes to achieve ratification because it intended the Senate to merely rubberstamp a treaty.

I remind my colleagues of the recommendation of Dr. James Schlesinger, who the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee said in a recent hearing has been called ``the former Secretary of Everything.'' Dr. Schlesinger said: First, the Senate will wish to scrutinize the Treaty carefully, as it has previous arms control agreements. This reflects the many changes as compared to START I.

Of course, the treaty is more than just the treaty text, protocols, and annexes, which we have only recently received. There are other things we have not yet received. Again, quoting from Senator Thune's report: For example, the Secretary of State is required by statute to submit a verifiability assessment of the treaty, and past practice has been for the intelligence community to submit a National Intelligence Estimate concerning the verifiability of such matters. These two documents will be critical to Senate evaluation of the treaty.

Another set of documents that will be critical to the Senate's evaluation of New START, particularly the verification issue, is the annual report the President is to complete assessing other nations' compliance with their arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament commitments. This annual report is due on April 15 of each year, with the last one submitted in August 2005--meaning the White House is now five reports behind.

So in this case, the verifiability assessment will be prepared by the Assistant Secretary for Verification, Rose Gottemoeller, who also happened to be our lead negotiator on the treaty. I am not certain if she will recuse herself from drafting the document, due to the obvious conflict of interest, but Senators must surely understand this.

On the matter of the NIE, Senators must carefully review the record of the proceedings of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which will file a report or submit a letter on the treaty. The NIE is important. It is not simply a statement on the verifiability of the treaty or at least it should not be. To be useful, it will provide an analysis of how the treaty informs our understanding of Russia's nuclear forces. It will analyze cheating scenarios and the likelihood we will detect them.

This is an important document and one that will take time to put together.

Another document promised, but not yet sent to the Senate, is the nuclear force posture. Senators will, of course, want to know how the triad will be composed during the 10 years of the treaty before we consider it. It is not sufficient to merely trust that the 700 deployed launchers called for in the treaty will be sufficient. We need to see the force posture and we need to see the analysis that supports it.

I joined with my colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee who have requested access to the treaty negotiating record. I remind my colleagues that 22 U.S.C. section 2578 requires the Secretary of State to maintain a negotiating record of treaties to which the United States is a party. Obviously, Congress did not enact this requirement merely for the sake of doing it. Congress, obviously, intended to be able to have access to the record.

There is a long history on this subject involving great disputes between the Senate, its committees, and its National Security Working Group--or its predecessor, the Arms Control Observer Group--which, incidentally, I cochair along with Senator Byrd, and the Executive on the INF and the START I treaty. I remind my colleagues of a statement made by Sam Nunn, the [Page: S4124] former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, when he was serving in this body in 1986: Mr. President, in my opinion, the administration's rejection of our request for Senate access threatens a basic institutional interest of the U.S. Senate--its constitutional role in the treaty process.

I agree with the former chairman of the Armed Services Committee that it is important for the Senate to have access to this negotiating record.

Finally, let me say, I come to this very serious process with an open mind. I supported the START II treaty and the Moscow Treaty. I opposed the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Not all arms control agreements are the same. And just because they were negotiated, it does not follow they are in our best interest. So we need to examine the record and this treaty carefully.

Today, I want to identify some areas of concern I believe Senators will want to focus on as they begin to consider the treaty. These are not objections. They are matters of concern we will want to investigate: One, the required nuclear modernization plan; two, limits on U.S. nuclear force levels and force structure; three, impact on U.S. missile defenses; four, verification under the new treaty; five, the impact of the treaty on the disparity between United States and Russian nuclear force levels, especially regarding tactical nuclear weapons; six, the Bilateral Consultative Commission; and, seven, the impact of the treaty on prompt global strike.

Perhaps we should consider an eighth category and a new metric by which to evaluate the treaty. Secretary Clinton stated on March 18 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: I am not suggesting that this treaty alone will convince Iran or North Korea to change their behavior, but it does demonstrate our leadership and strengthens our hand as we seek to hold these and other governments accountable.

I suggest the administration may want to carefully consider whether it wants the Senate to evaluate the treaty on that basis. What real progress has been made on nonproliferation since the President signed the treaty? Is the latest Security Council resolution an indication of the value of the New START? While the U.N. Security Council has not adopted a resolution yet with respect to Iran, the announcement by the administration on May 18 included no reference to any sanctions that would close the noose around the IRGC, around Iran's energy sector, especially refined petroleum products, and Iran's banking sector, and all the other revenue streams that feed Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program and its terrorism apparatus.

Most of what is in the draft resolution--for example, references to the Iranian Central Bank--are in the preamble. The administration has told us that preambles are not binding. So which is it? Are preambles binding or is the draft resolution a bunch of words with little effect? Also very troubling is the disclosure that the resolution does not prohibit the sale to Iran by Russia of the S-300 antiaircraft missile system. Not including the S-300 in the draft Security Council resolution is unfortunate confirmation that the administration has not ``reset'' relations with Russia in any meaningful way. In fact, the Moscow-based Kommersant Online reported this morning--and I quote--``Moreover, according to the terms of the deal, Washington is also lifting its objections to the sale to Iran of Russian S-300 antiaircraft missile systems.'' I cannot stress how important this issue is. Under no circumstances can the administration permit Russia to think the United States is not opposed to this transfer.

If Russia proceeds with this transfer, not only will the Russian entities involved have to be sanctioned under U.S. law, but United States-Russia relations will be in a grave state of crisis.

It would appear the reason Russia agreed to the weak U.N. sanctions resolution is it will not affect any of its ties with Tehran. At the same time, it has announced it will embark on nuclear cooperation with Syria, as it announces, for example, the planned activation of the Bushehr reactor next August. What is the administration's reaction? We have learned it will roll back proliferation sanctions on Russian entities. Could this possibly be a quid pro quo for Russia's support for the draft resolution? I thought the START treaty was supposed to ensure their support. Nor has the President's ``leading by example,'' touted by Secretary Clinton, affected even NATO member Turkey and hemispheric member Brazil. The administration was obviously blindsided by Brazil and Turkey, working instead with Iran on an alternative plan.

So it is fair to ask: What progress has been made on nonproliferation that the administration can point to that suggests the START treaty is a meaningful tool in keeping States such as Iran and North Korea from violating their nuclear nonproliferation treaty obligations? Let me turn back directly to START and begin the seven items I mentioned, beginning with the first: the modernization plan. This is the plan that section 1251 of last year's Defense Authorization Act required be submitted at the same time the treaty was sent to us for its ratification.

The key goal of most arms control agreements is to achieve strategic stability. The New START treaty was negotiated on the premise of numeric stability, but there are a number of underlying factors required, a foundation upon which to base that stability. For the United States, it is the confidence provided by both the current U.S. nuclear warheads and delivery systems and by the weapons complex and its capacity to sustain and modernize those nuclear warheads. For this reason, 41 Senators wrote to President Obama last December, highlighting the direct link between nuclear force reductions under the treaty and modernization of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

What are some of the factors that affect its strategic stability, beyond the treaty numbers? Well, first, the weapons we deploy must be safe, secure and, most critically, for stability they must be reliable. Given the age of our current weapons, averaging close to 30 years, we must be extremely diligent about monitoring those deployed weapons through our surveillance programs.

We also have warheads that require life extensions such as the W76, which is underway, and soon, I hope, the B61. Without life extension, these weapons will soon cease to be capable of protecting our country. We must be looking to the future stockpile with new approaches, including life extension, using a full spectrum of options responsive to future needs. To achieve this will require a strong science, technology, and engineering workforce in our national laboratories and military complex that maintains critical skills and is resolute in its determination to solve the complicated problems at hand.

We must make an intense, unified push to restore a viable production capacity for nuclear warheads. Herein lives the greatest chink in our armor. As former Secretary Schlesinger recently testified: The Russians have a live production base. They turn over their inventory of nuclear weapons every 10 years. We do not.

Finally, we cannot neglect the delivery systems that carry these nuclear weapons. They are also aging and they also are prey to neglect and loss of critical capabilities.

The section 1251 plan was to address the issues I have just highlighted. We have received this classified report, and we are in the process of reviewing the statements of the administration to ensure that modernization is, in fact, adequately addressed.

The administration has outlined in this report a plan to provide, over the next decade, $80 billion for nuclear weapon activities and about $100 billion for delivery system activities. To be clear, most of this money is not new. In fact, the bulk of the money covers current spending levels plus inflation for the decade. While this is a needed improvement from the grossly inadequate fiscal year 2010 budget submission, we do not yet know how much the administration intends to commit to modernization and how it will be spent.

It has been well advertised that there is a renewed emphasis by the administration on sustaining our stockpile and modernizing the infrastructure. Congress has long recognized the need for this extra attention, for example, calling for the Stockpile Management Program and the section 1251 plan requirement in the fiscal year 2010 National [Page: S4125] Defense Authorization Act. But after reviewing the fiscal year 2011 budget input, I am concerned the administration has not done all it should.

The fiscal year 2011 budget weapons activities part of the budget of $7 billion is a 10-percent increase over fiscal year 2010, with a 26-percent increase in the category of Directed Stockpile Work. This looks good on paper. The question is the substance. The fiscal years 2007 through 2009 plans from NNSA predicted that the fiscal year 2011 budget should be, on average, $7 billion--exactly what the administration asked for this year. What we need to know is how much in addition to the $7 billion for NNSA weapon activities over the next 10 years.

A cursory review of the numbers recommended in the section 1251 plan shows the proposed funding is, in fact, barely keeping up with inflation. In fiscal year 2010, Congress provided roughly $6.4 billion for the current nuclear weapons account at NNSA. If the fiscal year 2010 budget is assumed as a new 10-year baseline, that would be $64 billion of the $80 billion proposal for nuclear weapons activities at NNSA, assuming no increase for inflation or increased costs of modernization. If you assume a standard rate of inflation of 3 percent to cover cost-of-living adjustments in salaries and increased material costs using the fiscal year 2010 appropriations as the baseline, then holding that budget constant would require a total of $75.6 billion over the 10-year period. If a 2-year rate of inflation is used, then the increase is about $8 billion over the next 10 years.

Unfortunately, we know the fiscal year 2010 budget is not a sustainable baseline. The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee noted in its committee report last year that: The committee does not believe this level of funding is adequate to support modernization of the complex including critical investment in infrastructure and scientific capabilities.

So our stockpile is aging, refurbishments are behind schedule, the Cold War infrastructure is falling apart, and the critical science and technology skills that underwrite our nuclear deterrence are atrophied. But rather than seeing a new commitment to this problem, the budget request and the 1251 plan seem to be based on a plan--the fiscal year 2010 budget--that wasn't making much progress as it was.

It appears to me this plan was based not so much on what is needed but what funding the administration was willing to make available. In this case, it seems to be what funding Secretary Gates could sacrifice from his budget because that is how the additional money for this year came about. Why was the administration only willing to find funding authority in the DOD budget, the one department of the Federal Government engaged in fighting two wars? Secretary Gates had to transfer money from his budget over to the Energy Department budget.

As important as the amount of money available is the freedom to pursue all options available to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of our highly complex nuclear stockpile. The Nuclear Posture Review restricts options for modernizing existing warheads by stating: In any decision to proceed to engineering development for warhead LEPs-- That is, life extension projects-- the United States will give strong preference to options for refurbishment or reuse. Replacement of nuclear components would be undertaken only if critical Stockpile Management Program goals could not otherwise be met and if specifically authorized by the President and approved by Congress.

The 1251 plan tries to deal with this overly restrictive limitation by stating: The Laboratory Directors will ensure that the full range of life extension program approaches, including refurbishment, reuse, and replacement of nuclear components are studied.

But it still reiterates that there is a ``policy preference for refurbishment and reuse in decisions to proceed from study to engineering development.'' Why would our nuclear scientists spend time and limited resources and risk their careers studying the full range of options if, when they make their recommendations, the President requires that they prove the impossible; namely, that replacement must be the only choice? Why isn't the standard instead what is the best course of action? The Perry-Schlesinger Commission noted the importance of flexibility when it reported to Congress last May. It stated there are: ..... options along a spectrum ..... in between are various options to utilize existing components and design solutions while mixing in new components and solutions as needed. Different warheads may lend themselves to different solutions along this spectrum. The decision on which approach is best should be made on a case-by-case basis as the existing stockpile of warheads ages.

The bipartisan commission of six Republicans and six Democrats determined that: So long as modernization proceeds within the framework of existing U.S. policy, it should encounter minimum political difficulty.

Well, the NPR changes that policy, and the section 1251 plan reiterates the NPR language after initially suggesting scientists will be given complete latitude. I believe this will have a chilling effect on the scientists' work and that this issue must be resolved.

Similarly, we have questions concerning the administration's commitment to maintaining and modernizing nuclear delivery systems. While the administration suggests in the Nuclear Posture Review and the 1251 plan that it will maintain a nuclear triad, there is no funding in that plan for follow-on strategic systems, other than a replacement for our aging nuclear ballistic missile submarines. In fact, the 1251 plan notes that the administration will not even make a decision regarding a next generation bomber and a follow-on ICBM until 2013 and 2015, respectively. Likewise, rather than commit to a new nuclear cruise missile, the administration instead announces that a study is being done to determine if it will be replaced. Finally, the 1251 plan is silent on funding needed to develop and deploy conventional prompt global strike capabilities which, according to the Nuclear Posture Review, are to play a larger role in our strategic posture.

The notional nuclear force structure under New START suggested in the 1251 plan lacks sufficient detail. It calls for up to 420 ICBMs, up to 60 strategic bombers, and no more than 240 SLBMs. It would be helpful to know exactly how U.S. forces will be configured, how we might expect Russia to configure its nuclear forces, both strategical and tactical, and then have a net assessment to determine whether the United States is still capable of carrying out its deterrence missions, especially providing nuclear security guarantees to allies and partners.

With regard to New START limitations and force structure, the New START treaty limits the number of deployed strategic delivery systems to 700. Since the United States today deploys approximately 800 delivery systems, this will require a reduction of some 180 ICBMs, SLBMs, and/or strategic bombers to reach the treaty limitations--more if we deploy conventional global strike missiles, since, by the terms of the treaty, these must be counted as nuclear as well.

The Russians, on the other hand, are already below the 700 figure. So this is the first time that at least I am aware the United States will agree to launcher limitations that will require the United States to reduce its forces but require no reductions by Russia. It is fair to ask what the United States got for this concession.

Moreover, because a bomber counts as only one delivery system and one warhead no matter how many bombs or cruise missiles are loaded on it, the Russians are able legally to field more than 1,150 warheads limited by the treaty. While this may appear to advantage both sides, I do not fear U.S. cheating--we would not--but the Russians could, and because of weak verification tools in the treaty, I am not sure we will know. This is another reason to await the NIE before making a decision on the treaty.

Let me quote from the Heritage Foundation analysis on this point. It says: In fact, despite Obama administration claims to the contrary, New START's counting rules and apparent lapses will permit increases in Russian strategic force levels above the 1,700 to 2,200 deployed warhead limit of the Moscow Treaty.

I am not going to quote the remainder of this analysis, but I would ask unanimous consent that the statement, as I submit it for the Record, contain the remainder of this analysis.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: According to a Heritage Foundation analysis: In fact, despite Obama Administration claims to the contrary, New START's counting rules and apparent lapses will permit increases in Russian strategic force levels above the 1,700-2,200 deployed warhead limit of the Moscow Treaty. RIA Novosti, an official news agency of the Russian Federation, already has reported that given New START's counting rules, Russia will be able to retain 2,100 strategic nuclear warheads under New START, not 1,550. Russia will be able to deploy even higher numbers under New START if it follows through on-announced modernization programs, particularly the new heavy bomber. In addition Russia could deploy strategic nuclear systems that were limited or prohibited under START I, but appear not to be limited whatsoever under New START.

If Russia exploits the legal lapses in New START, there is no actual limit in the new Treaty on the number of strategic nuclear warheads that can be deployed. The number of Russia's strategic nuclear warheads would be limited only by the financial resources it is able to devote to strategic forces, not by New START warhead ceilings--which would be the case without this new Treaty.