Segment 2 Of 2 Previous Hearing Segment(1)
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House of Representatives,
Committee on National Security,
Military Research and Development Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, October 1, 1997.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:35 p.m. in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. WELDON. The Research and Development Subcommittee will come to order.
Let me start by apologizing to our witnesses as well as to the general public for the delay in the start of this hearing. Unfortunately, the House is tied up in procedural votes, and so Members are tied up on the House floor. If I have to, I will miss some votes to get the hearing started.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 My colleague, Owen Pickett, who is the ranking member, was here, and went back over to vote. I would normally not start this hearing until he arrived, but I think he will understand.
In deference to our witnesses, who have very busy schedules also, we are going to begin the hearing and attempt to keep it going, hopefully as continuously as possible, and hopefully this parliamentary process will die down and we will be able to have an informed hearing.
This afternoon, the subcommittee meets in open session to receive testimony on nuclear terrorism and steps that the United States Government has taken to guard against this threat. We have a very distinguished group of witnesses. This will be the first in a series of hearings that will continue tomorrow morning with an individual flying over at this very hour from Russia who will testify to the statements made by General Lebed and by his own statements in the Russian media, Alexei Yablokov, who is one of the most respected environmental leaders in the former Soviet Union.
Following that, in late October, we will have another hearing where General Lebed, who accepted my invitation, will appear before this committee, and he himself will testify to hearings he made to me in May in Moscow.
As we all know, the motion picture ''Peacemaker'' just opened in hundreds of movie theaters across the country this past week. This ''Peacemaker'' film was the first film from Dreamworks, the joint effort of Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. It is somewhat ironic to me that Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg may have done more this past weekend to alert Americans of the real dangers of nuclear terrorism than our President, Vice President, and the entire administration has done in the past 4 1/2 years.
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It is also interesting that as we move through the process of today's hearing, we will hear, I think, some very startling information about the need for this administration and this Congress, which is also not without fault in the past, to get together in a bipartisan way to work on the issue of helping to stabilize Russia, stabilize their control of nuclear material, and to work together to provide additional funds for programs like the Nunn-Lugar program as well as other joint efforts with Russia to control and guarantee the stability of their nuclear stockpile and their tactical and strategic weapons.
Now, ''Peacemaker'' is entertaining fiction, but it is also a disturbing case of art imitating life. Many of the premises of the motion picture are based on grim realities. Corruption and organized crime in the Russian military is a growing problem, and we will hear about that today. It is reaching such proportions that the security of Russian nuclear weapons and materials could well be threatened.
Just yesterday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies released a substantial report concluding that the spread of organized crime in the military raises ''the prospect of strategic nuclear armed missile systems in the hands of a disintegrating military subject to criminal control.''
Indeed, Aleksandr Lebed, the former Presidential candidate and Secretary of the Soviet Security Council, recently alleged that terrorists may already be in possession of Russian nuclear weapons. The first time we learned about these stray devices was on May 30, when Lebed made these comments to me and a congressional delegation I led to Moscow, not for the purpose, by the way, of meeting with him, but to continue our new institutional exchange program with members of the Russian Duma.
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Lebed told us while still operating in his capacity as Secretary of the Russian Security Council, he had conducted a study of the Russian military accounting for its nuclear weapons, specifically suitcase-sized nuclear devices, and had found that the military had lost track of approximately 84 suitcase-sized nuclear bombs, any one of which could kill up to 100,000 people with a capacity of 1 kiloton.
In the U.S. television interview subsequent to that meeting, aired on September 7, General Lebed said he now believes the number of missing nuclear weapons to be more than 100. He said the devices were the perfect terrorist weapon, as the small nuclear bombs were made to look like suitcases and could be detonated by one person with less than 30 minutes preparation.
Now, Lebed's allegations have been vehemently denied by the Russian Government. In fact, I met with Kokoshin, the Deputy Defense Minister the day after our meeting with General Lebed, and he denied emphatically that General Lebed knew of what he was talking about. I also met that same day with General Manilov, who is No. 2 in the command staff.
Moscow has even asserted in more recent days, and I have copies of these articles that I will enter into the record, that nuclear weapons of this type described by Lebed never existed, an erroneous claim that does not help the credibility of Moscow's denials.
Mr. WELDON. I will also enter into the record today articles from Russian periodicals, 1993 and 1995, where specific details describing these devices were placed on the record in the Russian media, and I will place those articles in the record.
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[The information referred to can be found in the appendix on page 71.]
Mr. WELDON. And we will also talk about some incidents that we know of where the Russians were as fearful of the potential of one of these devices being in the hands of dissidents in Chechnya as were we, and in fact took actions with our security communities to see whether or not the allegations by the Chechnyian leaders were in fact true.
It does no one any good for Russia to deny reality and the existence of these devices. Russian special forces are known to possess atomic demolition munitions, ADM's, small man-portable nuclear weapons that could be concealed in a backpack or a suitcase.
Nor is Moscow's credibility helped by its poor record of veracity and transparency on other issues, such as the purpose of the vast underground complex currently being constructed under Yamantau Mountain, which I have raised repeatedly with the highest levels of the Moscow leadership, including President Yeltsin himself, and in a three page letter I sent to him in July in Russian, which I received no response to, as well as Moscow's dissembling on its assistance to Iran and Iraq's ballistic missile programs.
More credible Lebed critics are former Russian Defense Minister Igor Rodionov and Duma defense committee chairman, Lev Rohklin, who are no fans of the Yeltsin government and who have been as vocal as Lebed about the nuclear security risks that attended the disintegration of the Russian military.
Igor Rodionov and Lev Rohklin deny that any Russian nuclear weapons are missing. On the other hand, they are Lebed's political rivals, and they may hope by undermining Lebed's credibility, they will injure the popular ex-general's chances to win the next Presidential election.
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Make no mistake about it, I am not about interfering in Russia's elections, but I am about getting the facts and the information that is important to the security of the Russian people, our people, our troops, and our allies around the world.
Lebed's former deputy on the Russian Security Council, Vladimir Denisov, affirms Lebed's claim about missing Russian nuclear weapons.
The leakage of nuclear materials and nuclear ammunition components is not a new theme, but it became especially topical during hostilities in Chechnya. There was no certainty that no low yield nuclear ammunition remained on the territory of Ukraine, Georgia or the Baltic countries, or that such weapons had not appeared in Chechnya.
Dr. Alexei Yablokov, former environmental advisor on the Security Council to President Yeltsin, and who will be here tomorrow morning for our hearing, and a respected member of the Russian Federation Academy of Scientists, said he personally knew people who manufactured the suitcase nuclear bombs that Moscow now claims have never existed, and in fact I entered those articles into the record as recently as 2 days ago.
Yablokov was interviewed in Russian media and on Russian TV, and he said, ''I knew the people who manufactured these devices and they told me they were being manufactured for the KGB.'' Dr. Yablokov will be here tomorrow.
So the bottom line is that no one in the West and few in Russia know whether Lebed is telling the truth or even if he would be able to tell the truth and would know the whereabouts of these devices.
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Dozens of small nuclear weapons, ideal for terrorist use, may have fallen into the wrong hands, or perhaps not. The important point is that crime, corruption, incompetence, and institutional disintegration are so advanced in Russia that the theft of nuclear weapons, unthinkable in the Soviet era of the cold war, seems entirely plausible in the Russia of today. The mere possibility that terrorists or rogue states may have acquired some Russian nuclear weapons should be a matter of the gravest concern to the governments and the people of the West.
Another reality captured in the movie ''Peacemaker'' is we are not helpless in the face of nuclear terrorism. The movie portrays nuclear emergency search teams springing into action to save New York from a terrorist nuclear weapon. NEST teams prepared to combat nuclear terrorism actually exist, and we shall hear more about them today.
Whether the happy ending portrayed in ''Peacemaker'' would, in fact, be the likely outcome of an actual nuclear terrorist event is highly problematical. We can and should and will do more to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism, and we should do it in a bipartisan way, working with the Congress and the administration to deal with this very serious problem.
I pledge as the chairman of this subcommittee to make sure that in fact happens. Hopefully the suggestions that come out of today's hearings and tomorrow's hearings and the hearings in late October will give us some solutions that we can pursue with Russia, not to antagonize Russia, but to work with them to solve this very difficult problem.
Let me say before I introduce our witnesses who are here today, as many in this room know, I am not one who takes pleasure or satisfaction in trying to back the Russian people into a corner. I spent as much time working in a positive way on Russian cooperative programs as any member of this institution.
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Six years ago the Energy Caucus was formed with Russia, and I chaired it and formed it and chair it today. Three years ago the environmental initiative with their Duma and our Congress to work on problems of nuclear waste in the Arctic, the dumping of nuclear waste and the solutions we can provide through our Navy to assist the Russians.
Twice this year I have been in Moscow proposing a new multibillion dollar housing mortgage program to allow the Russian middle class to be able to buy homes and to be able to afford those homes at interest rates below 10 percent for up to 30-year time periods.
I chair the Russian Duma-American Congress study group that works to develop solid relations between our countries. I work every day to improve our relations. In fact, in this year's defense bill, I fought hard to include money for joint Russian-American missile defense cooperation, such as the Ramos project, which now has formally been approved.
But ignoring reality, which is my contention of what this administration has done continuously for the past 5 years, in arms control violations, in denying that there is in fact a threat from a disintegrated Soviet Union, and in some cases deliberately distorting and sanitizing intelligence information, has absolutely caused us to be where we are today, and that is outrageous. That is just as outrageous as a conservative on my side who wants to be paint Russia into a corner as the ''evil empire,'' because that also is totally untrue.
Joining us today to provide their insights are three panels of expert witnesses. On our first panel are Jessica Stern, former Director of Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council; and Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, Director of the Office of Emergency Response Defense Programs at the Department of Energy.
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Ms. Stern, who dealt with issues of Russian nuclear security and proliferation while serving on the NSC, is the inspiration for the character played by Nicole Kidman in ''Peacemaker.'' Today, if a terrorist event such as portrayed in ''Peacemaker'' were to actually occur, Ms. Gordon-Hagerty would be doing Nicole Kidman's job, coordinating our response to the terrorist threat.
I am going to leave it to the rest of our panelists to decide who is, in fact, the person being played by our star male witness in the film, so each of you who are going to appear can discuss who wants to play that role.
Our second group of panelists will discuss the effect of organized crime on Russian nuclear security and the problem of nuclear proliferation. The panelists are Judge William Webster, former Director of the CIA and FBI; and Arnaud de Borchgrave and Frank Cilluffo of the Center for Strategic and International Security, who have just completed a major study on organized crime in Russia.
Our third and final panelist will be Arnold Warshawsky of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who briefed Members in a closed session last week, who will discuss a promising new technology for detecting and thwarting a terrorist attempt to smuggle a nuclear weapon into a U.S. city.
Ms. Stern and Ms. Gordon-Hagerty, we welcome you and thank you and your colleagues for being here. I will recognize Mr. Pickett when he arrives. I want to tell you, Ms. Stern, I read the book, and the first day, actually before it was released, and I especially enjoyed the chapter entitled ''Jessica Stern.'' But I want to applaud you for your leadership, oftentimes not being given the visibility in this Congress and on this end of the Hill that it should have been given. I want to tell you we are here today to listen and respond to the concerns you raised.
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To Ms. Gordon-Hagerty, as you said so eloquently last week, you are doing the job. We want to support you, we want to identify the areas where more resources are needed, and then pledge to give you the financial support from this institution to make things happen, so we can deal with these threats as they emerge around the world and as they affect the American people.
With that, I would basically advise both of you that your statements will be entered into the record, and you are free to make whatever personal comments you would like for whatever amount of time you would like to make them. Ms. Stern.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Weldon can be found in the appendix on page 46.]
STATEMENT OF JESSICA EVE STERN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL STAFF DIRECTOR, RUSSIAN, UKRAINIAN, AND EURASIAN AFFAIRS
Ms. STERN. Thank you very much. It is an honor to be here. Thank you for inviting me.
I have three points today. First, constraints are eroding against terrorism involving nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Second, we are not doing enough about the threat. Third, Americans are increasingly afraid of nuclear terrorism. According to a recent poll, some 76 percent of those polled said that they were afraid of nuclear terrorism.
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It is worth considering our particular vulnerabilities right now. First of all, our population is highly concentrated, making us quite vulnerable to nuclear, chemical, and biological agents. Second is the approach of the millennium and the possibility that heretofore peace-loving millenarian groups might become violent. The millenarian idea is that present age is corrupt and there will be a cleansing apocalypse, and then the lucky few will survive that apocalypse.
Terrorists who believe in this millenarian idea might be attracted to these kind of weapons. For example, the fifth plague, murrain, was actually anthrax, so there is a kind of mystical aura to, in my view, chemical and biological weapons.
There are three constraints that I believe are eroding. The first is loose nukes, and I know that you, Congressman Weldon, know more than almost anyone about this issue, but I will just very briefly point out that there are vulnerable sites in Russia.
Of particular concern is a site in Kazakhstan, Aktau, and also a couple sites in Georgia. As a friend of mine described what he saw when he got to Russia, he saw a nuclear site that was guarded by Aunt Masha with a cucumber.
The second constraint that is eroding is a proliferation of know-how. As you know, weapons scientists who were formerly treated as the elite are now poverty stricken. But I would like to alert you to another area where know-how is proliferating, and that is in books and on the Internet.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 There are many, many books that provide instructions about how to use weapons of mass destruction. When I was a graduate student, I learned about some of these books, and I called one of the publishers, and I did a little experiment. I said, I understand you have books that tell you how to poison people, and I would like to poison someone. I wrote down very carefully what the operator said. She asked me a few questions, and then she basically just wanted to know my credit card number.
These books are, in fact, used in acts of murder and terrorism. In one case that comes to mindsomeone whose neighbors were playing very loud rock music. He got very fed up with them and followed the instructions in a poisoning manual to poison their Coca-Cola. What I fear is that these kind of instructions could be used to commit more serious acts of terrorism.
The third constraint that is eroding is that a new breed of terrorist seems to be emerging. We know that terrorists have always been capable of significantly more lethal acts than they have actually carried out. That is because many terrorists up until now have had very clear political constraints. They have had real constituencies.
For example, I grew up in Boston. The IRA was out there on the Boston Common fundraising. I think the IRA is going to be much less successful if they decide to use bubonic plague as a mass destruction weapon. But there are new terrorists with apocalyptic ideas, religious and right wing extremists. They don't have clear constituencies. For some of them their main constituent is God, and usually the ones who have direct phone lines with God, the God that they talk to is a very violent one, unfortunately.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 I had the opportunity to interview William Pierce, who wrote ''The Turner Diaries,'' the book that inspired the Oklahoma bombing. I would like to tell you one of the things he said to me. I am quoting. ''This society is in the process of self-destruction. Society will descend into chaos or civil war, and speeding up that process is in the interest of the country.''
Clearly someone who believes that chaos is beneficial will not face the kind of political and moral constraints that some terrorists have faced in the past.
I have also been spending quite a bit of time lately searching the web, and some of the things you find on the web are quite horrifying. One of the most prolific writers in the ultra right wing, Louie Beam, is exhorting extremists to form ''leaderless cells'' precisely to avoid government detection.
It is a new doctrine. He calls it a doctrine of leaderless resistance. He encourages followers to form cells numbering between 1 and 12 men to circumvent the FBI's intelligence gathering capabilities.
The bottom line is that we need to do much more than we are doing.
The Nunn-Lugar-Domenici acts have made very significant strides in combating this threat, but I think the funding level is not appropriate to the level of the threat.
In my statement for the record, I spell out some concrete proposals, and I would actually propose that you sponsor legislation, and I would be thrilled and honored to work with you and your staff, to work out more ideas. I will just give you a couple of examples.
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One is to create a nuclear emergency fund. General Lebed, as you pointed out, we do not know whether he was telling the truth, but one interesting thing he said is that he would like an international commission to come in and help locate those allegedly missing suitcase bombs. I think it is imperative when a person like General Lebed makes a statement like that that we follow up immediately. We should be in there. He wants help, let's give him help.
Similarly, during Project Sapphire, when the Government of Kazakhstan asked the United States Government for assistance in securing vulnerable materials, we were delayed by difficulties with funding. So this nuclear emergency fund could be used to carry out operations of this kind, that are clear emergencies and essential to all Americans' security.
I guess I will just leave the rest in the statement for the record, but I would also like, with your permission, to submit for the record another statement written by John Deutch former DCI; Ashton Carter, former Assistant Secretary of Defense; Graham Allison; Joe Nye; and a few others. They have requested I submit this statement for the record.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix on page 141.]
Mr. WELDON. Without objection. Thank you, Ms. Stern. I will look forward to those suggestions. I will commit to you we will work with you on legislation in a bipartisan way.
There are a number of Members on the minority side that are very interested in this issue who have been out front, and we will work together, and we will also work with the administration and hopefully come up with something that we can agree on as the right solution to provide a higher level of security. So we thank you for your statement.
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[The prepared statement of Ms. Stern can be found in the appendix on page 54.]
Mr. WELDON. Ms. Gordon-Hagerty.
STATEMENT OF LISA E. GORDON-HAGERTY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF EMERGENCY RESPONSE DEFENSE PROGRAMS, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to have this opportunity to appear before you today. My remarks today will focus on the Department of Energy's operational emergency response assets and capabilities to counter acts of nuclear terrorism, both at home and abroad.
DOE possesses a unique and substantial capability to respond to acts of nuclear terrorism. The ability of the U.S. Government to maintain security within its borders as well as protect our interests throughout the world would be placed in serious jeopardy by a nuclear-capable terrorist or rogue nation. When the destructive potential of a nuclear device is taken into account, successful intervention and neutralization of this threat is critically important.
Over the past 50 years, the nuclear weapon research and development activities have provided the foundation for today's emergency response program. The weapon designers, physicists, engineers, and equipment of Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories form the core of the emergency nuclear response program. An effective response to a nuclear terrorist incident cannot be undertaken without these stewards of the nuclear weapons stockpile.
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The Department of Energy is responsible for providing the national technical expertise to resolve any major radiological or nuclear emergency within the United States and abroad. My office oversees a fully integrated program comprised of seven national assets providing a full range of specialized capabilities tailored to respond to either a nuclear accident or incident. Further, we also provide the preponderance of the technical response to the consequence management phase of an emergency.
Each asset possesses individual technical capabilities and equipment that contribute to a mutually supportive emergency response capability dealing specifically with accidents involving nuclear materials and nuclear weapons or terrorist incidents involving improvised nuclear devices or radiological disbursal devices. These seven include the accident response group, which provides the technical expertise in the resolution of a U.S. nuclear weapon accident, the aerial measuring system, state of the art remote sensing equipment and specially equipped aircraft, used to perform aerial surveys of a wide variety of nuclear emergencies, the atmospheric release advisory capability, a computer-based emergency preparedness and response predictive capability, which provides rapid prediction of transport, diffusion and deposition of radionuclides released into the atmosphere, the Federal radiological monitoring and assessment center, which coordinates the Federal response efforts when there is an actual or potential accident or incident that may involve a major release of radioactive materials within the United States or its territories, the radiological assistance program, or RAP, which is strategically located in eight regions throughout the United States.
RAP teams provide the initial first responder capability in response to requests for radiological assistance from State and local authorities. The radiation assistance center training site, a capability to respond to medical or health physics problems associated with radiological accidents on a local, national or global scale, and, finally, the nuclear emergency search team, or NEST, which is capable of locating and rendering safe a nuclear device.
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I would like now to offer a few detailed remarks about our NEST Program. Made up of several components, NEST capabilities include search and identification of nuclear materials, diagnostics and assessment of suspected nuclear devices, and disablement and containment programs.
NEST personnel are on call 24 hours a day and can be quickly transported by military or commercial aircraft to any location worldwide. NEST was established in the 1970's to respond to nuclear extortion incidents in support of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Because it was believed that the extortionists would allow time for negotiations, the extortion scenario allowed for planning and operations to be conducted over a period of several days, and NEST developed procedures that were slow and very thorough.
The idea that a terrorist would gain possession of a nuclear device and detonate it without warning was not deemed creditable at that time.
Mr. Chairman, times have changed. We recognize that in 1992, that changes were needed in the NEST Program to counter the emerging threat of nuclear terrorism, and we began working with our partners in the Department of Defense to develop a capability to seize, recover, render safe or render useless a terrorist nuclear device. While I cannot discuss this capability in an unclassified forum, I can tell you that we have exercised this capability extensively with the Departments of Defense and State over the past 5 years and more recently we have begun exercising as well with the FBI.
We conduct realistic exercises with an eye toward uncovering deficiencies and limitations. The results of these exercises point the way toward capability improvements through changes in operational procedures or through the development of new technologies.
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Unfortunately, due to funding shortfalls, we have shortchanged our fast track technology development programs in order to maintain peak operational readiness.
It is my intention, however, to continue along this path of a more rigorous training and readiness program in the future to ensure that this one-of-a-kind asset truly is ready when the national security of the United States is at risk.
Again, I thank the subcommittee for the opportunity to testify before you today, and speaking on behalf of the combating terrorism community, we all appreciate the interest that you have taken in this very important national security matter. I would be pleased to answer any questions you have today.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you very much for your statement. It was excellent.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Gordon-Hagerty can be found in the appendix on page 61.]
Mr. WELDON. My distinguished ranking member has arrived and as soon as he is off the phone, I will give him the opportunity to make some opening statements.
Mr. Pickett, I explained you were here early, very early on, and went back over to vote, so you were very much on time, and I explained the situation on the House floor. I would like, if you would like to make a statement, you are welcome.
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Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We have been delayed so much and in deference to our witnesses here today, who I want to hear from, I would simply request I be permitted to insert a written statement in the record of this meeting.
Mr. WELDON. Without objection.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Pickett can be found in the appendix on page 51.]
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Pickett, Ms. Stern has offered to work with us on some bipartisan legislation. I know that with the relationship you and I have, we can find common ground to deal with this issue in this committee, and hopefully in the Congress, to move forward both policy-wise and dollar-wise to help deal with this terrible challenge in front of us.
Let me start with the questioning. Ms. Stern, first of all, let me ask you a question about the comments by GAO investigators and Russian Duma and civilian officials, not just General Lebed, who have told us the Russian military and the Ministry of Atomic Energy, are forbidding American inspectors access to nuclear dismantle element and storage sites and detailed records.
Is that true and do we need more access? Do we need to impress upon the Russians that we need more access to sites where nuclear materials and records are in fact kept?
Ms. STERN. I no longer work with the administration.
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Mr. WELDON. When you did work, then, let me ask you that question.
Ms. STERN. I am quite certain we need more access. I don't know about the details that you are referring to. We certainly need more access. On the other hand, as you know, we are working together, our national laboratories are working together with the Russians at some 40 sites throughout the former Soviet Union. So apparently we are getting access at least in some places. I am just not familiar with the issue you are raising.
Mr. WELDON. There were many provocative segments of the book ''One Point Safe'' that I read. I couldn't put the book down, so I read it all in one sitting, because a lot of these issues I have been focused in the past 5 or 6 years, and they are all right there, the potential of a SS25 getting out, the accelerometers and the gyroscopes that went from Russia to Iraq, the leakage of technology associated with the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran and the possibility of helping the Iranians build nuclear weapons. All of these issues are right there and the documentation is very real.
But one of the items that struck me the most has to do with my concerns about our current relationship with Russia. The administration has expressed shock and outrage that the Russian space agency may have, in fact, been involved or may be involved now with the transfer of technology to Iran for medium-range missiles, the variant of the SS4, and the Israelis, as you know, are very concerned about this latest revelation, and Mr. Netanyahu has been raising this repeatedly publicly. I, quite frankly, wasn't surprised.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 To be honest with you, I really wasn't surprised with what General Lebed told us in May, and Mr. Pickett was in the meetings, I might add. He made some very provocative statements, only one of which was detailed by the media, and that was the nuclear suitcase devices.
The reason why I wasn't really surprised is over the past 5 years, perhaps even the last decade, our policy with Russia has been based on bilateral arms control agreements and multilateral arms control agreements like the MTCR, the Missile Technology Control Regime.
It is my reading of the MTCR that on at least seven consecutive occasions since 1993, where we have knowledge of violations of the MTCR by Russia, we have not imposed any sanctions. In fact, I was in Moscow a month after the Washington Post reported the story on the accelerometers and the gyroscopes, and I asked Ambassador Pickering what the response of the Russians was. He said, ''Congressman, we haven't asked them yet.'' I said, ''Why haven't you asked them?'' He said, ''That has to come from Washington.''
I came home and wrote to President Clinton the last week of January. He wrote back to me the first week of April and said, ''We still don't have enough information.''
Now, at that time we had the acceleromoters and the gyroscopes in our hands. The Jordanian and Israeli intelligence community, as you know, intercepted these devices, and in fact I showed two of them at the Science Committee hearing last week, and I will show them here in our committee during the course of this year.
But, again, we did not take aggressive action, even though we had the evidence of a violation of the MTCR. So I think our lack of requiring adherence to the MTCR is one problem, and I think it sends the wrong signal.
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I don't want to embarrass Boris Yeltsin any more than Bill Clinton or Strobe Talbot want to embarrass him, but sometimes you have to stand up and say this is violation and you either amend the way we impose sanctions, which I am willing to do, and Henry Sikolski has come up with some novel ideas of making changes to the use of sanctions, or you basically don't have an arms control process. It is just not valid.
The second problem I have is that my own concern is the bully pulpit has been used to convey the message and the signal to the American people that Russia is no longer a threat. Let me tell you why, and then I will give you one example.
On 140 occasions on college campuses and 3 State of the Union speeches, the President has made that speech where he said America no longer has to worry about the threat of long-range Russian ICBM's. We know he cannot verify that, and we know if he could, you can retarget an offensive missile in 30 seconds.
But when the Commander in Chief says that 140 times, and, by the way, I have put them all in the Congressional Record, the location and date of each, when you say it 140 times, you drive home the impression among my colleagues, our colleagues, and in this country, that we no longer have to worry, everything is OK.
My third concern is perhaps my more serious concern, and that is whether or not there has been a deliberate attempt to sanitize intelligence information pertaining to the threat, not just from Russia, but from other nations. And to that I want to refer to the book and the chapter on you, Ms. Stern, and one particular quote where you are talking about Jay Stewart, who I know very well, who came to me 2 years ago in a very private way as a 19-year career employee of the intelligence service, who received the highest award from the intelligence service, who was responsible for the Russian fission program, and who told me that after he briefed Manfred Warner, who at that time was in charge of NATO, about what he saw as an emerging threat from Russian nuclear materials, and after Manfred Warner sent a cable back to the State Department in Washington expressing his concern and expressing the sense that Jay should brief all the NATO countries, and after Hazel O'Leary initially expressed her concern, then something happened, and all of a sudden Jay's shop was no longer needed and the entire Russian fission program, in Jay's mind and opinion, was disintegrated.
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In fact, in the book, and I am going to ask you to comment on any knowledge you have of this, because your quote in here is, ''There is politically correct intelligence and politically incorrect intelligence. This was politically incorrect intelligence.''
Now, I don't want to characterize what you were saying, but it comes right after your discussion of conversations with Notra Trulock, and Jay Stewart and the Russian fission program, and whether or not there had been a deliberate attempt to perhaps not have the information being prepared and being worked through the process by Jay Stewart and that whole operation, that it was basically, in effect, I will use the word ''dumbed down'' or ''compromised.''
In fact, in the book it mentions, and I would also ask you if you have any knowledge of this, that the authors interviewed an individual who actually shredded all of the documentation associated with the 2-day conference on Russian fission, as well as all the video material, including speeches by senior administration, former administration officials, on the emerging threat from the lack of adequate control on Russian nuclear material.
Now, this was 2 years ago. Would you comment on that, please?
Ms. STERN. My first comment is that I agree with you, that Russia remains very much a threat. I think the irony is that, right now we are more threatened by Russia's weakness than its strength. And that applies in the area of nuclear materials security, but also Russia's inability to control parts of its government, as well as individual companies. And of course degradation in command and control, launch on warning. These are very, very serious problems.
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Now on to the more difficult question. At the time that those conversations took place that you are referring to, I was a graduate student. I was the lowest possible, imaginable man on the totem pole. I was so low on the totem pole that no one would have noticed me. I, in fact, was not aware of this broaderthe broader problem on the Russian fission project. I actually learned about this from the book.
As for the videotapes, I have no firsthand knowledge. But I have been told that most of those videotapes are in fact in someone's basement, and I have also been told that a few of them were burned. And I just don't feel it would be appropriate for me to reveal the names of those parties.
Mr. WELDON. Let me ask you about the specific quote here. ''There is politically correct intelligence and politically incorrect intelligence.'' I don't want to put you on the spot, but this is at the very heart of really what ourwhat I see as the third problem, that, you know, when we haveand I have all the confidence in our analysts, but what I see is when information rises to a certain level, all of a sudden that is not consistent with what the end policy is, that somehow we don't want to acknowledge that information. That bothers me, because I think both the administration and the Congress need to have unsanitized information that is not already predetermined by someone's policy objective at the end.
I will say it again, I have the exact, identical policy objective as Bill Clinton and Strobe Talbott. I want Boris Yeltsin to succeed, I want democracy to succeed, and I work at it every day. But I don't want to ignore situations that are occurring where our intelligence agencies are telling us things, and that information is then not allowed to reach the appropriate levels of policymakers to understand and then make decisions. That is why I asked the question as to what you mean by politically correct intelligence and politically incorrect intelligence.
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Ms. STERN. Well, I think in this particular case, I think that there was a concern that it would be detrimental to our policy for us to be looking into centrifugal forces in Russia. And I would have to agree with you. I think that perhaps, perhaps we would have been better prepared for Chechnya had this kind of analysis been taken more seriously. Luckily, there appears to have been no nuclearsignificant nuclear assets in the region, but nonetheless, I think it would have been better had we been better prepared for that event.
Mr. WELDON. Let me ask either of you the question about, you know, the existence of these devices. Do either of you doubt that Russia, in fact, or the former Soviet Union, ever had these devices that I understand we even had in our country at one point in time? Do either of you doubt that? Do you doubt that, Ms. Gordon-Hagerty?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. It is difficult for me to say what the Russian nuclear
Mr. WELDON. Do you train to deal with these devices? Do you train to respond to these kinds of devices?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. The answer to that question is yes, sir. We have a wide spectrum of scenarios in which we train in the inner agencies and this happens to be one of the scenarios against which we have trained extensively, for a full atomic demolition of a munitions-size nuclear device.
Mr. WELDON. Ms. Stern, do you doubt that Russia produced or had these devices, or has them now?
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Ms. STERN. I don't really have any information about it. If you ask what is my gut feeling, my gut feeling is that it is likely that they probably tried to develop them. I have heard contradictory reports. I have actually asked a number of senior Russian officials about these devices. Some have denied their existence, others claim they do exist, but I am not capable of judging who is telling the truth here.
Mr. WELDON. This is a very important point, because the official line coming out of Russia and out of the Ministry of Defense and the highest levels of the Kremlin are that Russia never had, never produced, and never possessed these kinds of devices. I would submit for the record two articles, one from Zavtra and the other from Rossiya in 1997 discussing Dudayev and the situation in Chechnya, and going into very specific detailno mention of Lebed, obviously, at that timeabout the existence of these devices in Russia. In fact, the one article goes into extensive detail in describing the operation, the sizethere were two, actually two sizesthe size, the scope, the dimensions, the weight, every possible characteristic of these devices. These are Russian writings that were done, so I would enter these both into the record.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix on page 71.]
Mr. WELDON. I think this is something that we are going to have to continue to face the Russians with. That is, we first of all have to acknowledge the existence of something before we can work together to resolve whether or not it is a problem. I plan to continue to do that with Russia in a positive way, because I want to work with them. I am not trying to back the country into a corner, but if these devices have existed or do exist, one, we have to know if they can be accounted for, and if they can be accounted for, we have to put our dollars up to help assist them in accounting for them and to protect from these devices being perhaps sold in the black market.
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Let me ask you a couple of questions, Ms. Gordon-Hagerty, and I will return to you, Ms. Stern. You talked about your interagency exercises. We appreciate the leadership role that you play in that. You briefed Members last Thursday, I guess it was, in a closed session on all the work that you do, and we appreciate that briefing.
How often do you have these exercises?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Mr. Chairman, we exercise on a routine basis with our interagency colleagues. In fact, to just to kind of give you an idea of how many exercises internally the Department of Energy is involved in in terms of combating nuclear terrorism, we have 79 exercises on the books for fiscal year 1998. Those exercises range from a table top, where internally our staffs get together and go over command and control procedures, to command post exercises, where the interagency gets together and resolves command and control and communications issues all the way through full field or FTX field training exercises, which could, in fact, have hundreds of people involved in those exercises. We do that on a routine basis.
Mr. WELDON. These are critically important, I would assume.
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Absolutely. In order for us to be at our top state of readiness, we need to train like we would fight, and so therefore we have to train on a regular basis. In fact, this is one of the areas where we probably could use your support in funding, since we have been underfunded significantly in the past.
Mr. WELDON. Absolutely.
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Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. These are not significant resources, either, sir.
Mr. WELDON. Let me ask you a question, Has the President of the United States ever participated in an exercise?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. To the best of my knowledge, sir, in the counterterrorism community, no, the President has not.
Mr. WELDON. Has the Vice President ever participated in an exercise?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. In a policy forum, sir, to the best of my knowledge he has not.
Mr. WELDON. How about the Secretary of Defense?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Sir, I can't speak for the Secretary of Defense.
Mr. WELDON. To your knowledge.
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. To the best of my knowledge, I have not witnessed the Secretary of Defense participating in a policy level interagency exercise, but I would strongly recommend that you ask the
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Mr. WELDON. How about the Secretary of State?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Well
Mr. WELDON. To your knowledge.
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. To my knowledge, I am unaware that the Secretary of State has ever participated in an interagency combating terrorism exercise.
Mr. WELDON. How about the Secretary of Energy?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. We have recently had a new Secretary of Energy, and he has not participated in a current terrorism exercise, terrorism exercise. However, he has participated recently in a nuclear weapon accident exercise, and participated personally.
Mr. WELDON. I have a high regard for him. He came in and before I went to Moscow on the trip I met with him for an hour. We had a good, frank discussion. I am not criticizing, I am just asking the questions for the record. How about the national security adviser? Has he ever participated in these exercises?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. I have not witnessed the participation of the
Mr. WELDON. How about the deputy national security adviser? Has the deputy national security adviser ever participated in these exercises?
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Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Not to my knowledge has he participated in our interagency counterterrorism exercises.
Mr. WELDON. We all understand how busy our administration is and the President is, but I think we are talking about a very critical capability for this country.
How much time would it take to be involved in an exercise of the type that you conduct?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Depending on how much background information a principal would like from his staff, that would encompass a couple of hours of information. I would say we have participated in many interagency policy level exercises, and those exercises can be executed maybe in a couple of hours.
Mr. WELDON. Would it be productive, say, for the President to get involved, or would that be nonproductive?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. My opinion is that it would be extremely productive.
Mr. WELDON. So hopefully you would hope that Congress would encourage the President, then, to probably get involved in one of these, would you say 78 exercises? Is that the number you used?
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Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. That is the Department of Energy's. That is what we have on our mission training schedule for this year.
Mr. WELDON. The administration speaks in glowing terms about the commitment to combating terrorism and preparing to respond, but we have seen this issue before. We talk about an issue, but whether we put the money on the table, and I include the Congress in this, because this committee was not totally support of cooperative threat reduction, and I have to disagree with that, and I spoke repeatedly of it on the floor, and supported in Congress the full funding of the Senate position, because I think we need to continue to fully fund that initiative.
You have mentioned that we have not had any senior administration people involved in theses key exercises. Let us talk about budget requests, and whether or not we have backed up the requests that you have all given. We have said that terrorism is a major priority for us. We have heard that repeatedly. Let us ask about budget requests. What was the fate of that funding authorization, Ms. Gordon-Hagerty?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. My office requested an increase of $28 million in new resources, and we were provided with no new funding in the fiscal year 1997.
Mr. WELDON. OMB then cut that funding out?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. To the best of my knowledge, yes.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Mr. WELDON. So the request was made based on the fact that your organization is responsible to respond to nuclear terrorist incidents in this country, and you requested $28 million, and that request never got beyond OMB? So obviously you have not been able to implement the plans that you had hoped to implement for this next fiscal year in terms of training and preparation; would that be correct?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Pickett, I will let you ask some questions, and I will come back following your round.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ms. Gordon-Hagerty, your agency comes within the Department of Energy.
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Yes.
Mr. PICKETT. What about the Department of Defense? Do they maintain any capability to deal with this kind of a threat, and do they have any organizations or units that are trained specifically and particularly to deal with these kinds of threats?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Yes, Congressman Pickett. The Department of Defense is probably our closest colleagues in terms of participating in exercises and planning. Special organizations within the U.S. Special Operations Command units participate regularly and interact with us regularly on combating weapons of mass destruction. There are other elements also within the Department of Defense that also provide support to these major initiatives.
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Mr. PICKETT. Can you give us any idea of the magnitude of this effort in the Department of Defense, from the number of personnel involved compared to how many in the Department of Energy are involved?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Yes. First of all, from the Department of Energy, the personnel that support the counterterrorism programs, nuclear counterterrorism programs, number in the hundreds. However, it should be realized that the people that participate and are actually the people that would go out to disable a nuclear device are part and parcel of the nuclear weapon program or the nuclear weapon complex. These are physicists, engineers, weapon designers that actually on a day-to-day basis are supporting the maintenance of our nuclear weapon stockpile. They provide us with a very small portion of their time to combat terrorism, so their salaries are paid for out of the AEDA account, the atomic energy defense activities account. I rarely get their time on a voluntary basis. I pay for their exercises and their operational training and so on and so forth. So really, the budget that we provide is for operations and training, research and development. That budget is about $38 million a year, all told, for that program. Again, those numbers are in the hundreds, but again, I get a very small portion of their time.
In the Department of Defense the numbers also total in the hundreds. I can't discuss with you in this unclassified forum exactly which organizations in the Department of Defense we work with, but we would be pleased to provide that to you in a closed session.
Mr. PICKETT. All right.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Have you had an opportunity to review the GAO report that was prepared recently about the ability to respond to nuclear disasters of various kinds?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Actually, we had a significant role in supporting the GAO study on that. I did see the final draft version. However, I believe it was just released today. I have not seen the final copy out, but if it is similar to the final draft, yes, I have seen that.
Mr. PICKETT. And based on what is disclosed in that report, what is your assessment of the capability of our Nation to deal with the terrorist threat insofar as nuclear or other kinds of weapons of mass destruction are concerned?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Congressman Pickett, given the limited resources under which we are all operating, I would say we have a very formidable combating terrorism capability in this U.S. Government to deal with acts of nuclear terrorism or chemical and biological terrorism. I witness the plans and procedures and exercises and training and the interagency congeniality on a daily basis. It is my impression that the interagency itself is a very finely honed and well-tuned organization. In fact, this is probably one of the few interagency working groups in the executive branch that works well. There are no parochial interests, everything is dropped at the door, baggage is dropped at the door, and we work towards one end, which is to combat weapons of mass destruction, terrorism. We have a very good, good and responsive capability. I think it continues to be enhanced. And those resources are not in the billions, they are actually probably, and I can speak for my colleagues sufficiently to say that it is in the tens of millions of dollars to increase substantially the capabilities of the U.S. Government to combat all forms of terrorism.
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Mr. PICKETT. The enhancement is an issue I wanted to get at just a little bit. How long have you been working in this kind of program, the terrorist defense kind of program, in the Department of Energy?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. I originally started out in 1986 in plutonium operations at Livermore, so I can safely say that I have been in the nuclear weapon complex since at least June 1986. I spent a couple of years here on the Hill, I will leave that for your decision, but with the Department of Energy I have been in defense programs working on combatting terrorism since December 1991.
Mr. PICKETT. During this period of time, have you seen the programs in our Nation expand, become more capable, more proficient, more able to deal with the threat that has been defined?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Yes, sir, absolutely.
Mr. PICKETT. Can you quantify that in any way for this committee as to whether it is a marginal improvement, a significant improvement? Does it measure up to the kind of capability that someone from the outside assessing this could say that the identified threat is adequately dealt with by the available resources?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. In relative terms, sir, I would say since 1991, I would say we have overcome odds of magnitude increasing our capabilities to respond to weapons of mass destruction. However, I think we have a ways to go, but we are working on a daily basis to ensure that we are constantly increasing and enhancing our capabilities across the board in the U.S. Government to combat terrorism.
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Mr. PICKETT. My final question has to do with these I think they call them the suitcase nuclear devices, whatever that conjures up, that has been referred to. I was present in the meeting when General Lebed did make reference to these devices. Somewhere I have read material, and I don't recall at the moment where, that any nuclear device of this type requires constant and careful maintenance in order for it to retain its lethality. I don't know, I am not enough of a physicist to tell you why that is necessary or what happens if this maintenance is not performed, but can you tell us if that is true, and what may be the consequences if these devices go unattended to?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Certainly, sir. If these devices in fact do exist, the maintenance and upkeep are critical for any nuclear weapons system.
In my dual role capacity, at the present time, I am the Acting Director of Nuclear Surety for the U.S. Government's nuclear weapons stockpile, so I can tell you from a firsthand standpoint that it is important to maintain safety and security of nuclear weapons stockpiles, whether they are from the United States Government stockpile or Russian stockpile.
From a lethality standpoint, and again, from a health and safety standpoint, we certainly adhere to the strictest health and safety requirements for our own personnel that are around nuclear weapons.
Mr. PICKETT. Let's suppose for a moment that there are some existing that have been built elsewhere, and there are only so many ways you can go about constructing these devices. If they are out there and they are not being serviced and properly taken care of, what are the consequences? Do they simply lose their effectiveness? They cannot be detonated, or they become more volatile? There is a larger danger? What are the consequences of not taking the appropriate maintenance care of these devices, assuming they exist?
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Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Assuming they exist, there are a wide variety of different scenarios that you have posed that I could address.
They may or may notshould they be used for their intended use, or deployed for their intended use, they may or may not detonate, and to the design basis yield to which they were designed. You may have spread of plutonium contamination in the immediate area which could conceivably, long term, lead to health effects of the people that are in the local area of the devices. But again, that is if they are not properly maintained and cared for.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Pickett.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
One of the witnesses from Lawrence Livermore says that the method of control begins at the source, and I agree. But there is a fundamental beginning point, and that is the establishment of a database: nuclear materials, nuclear weapons components, a huge inventory of what has actually been amassed over the last 40 to 50 years.
About 6 or 7 years ago, we passed legislation, which I sponsored, which would have allowed the Secretary of Energy the authority to exchange information about nuclear materials in this country with Russia and the other nuclear powers; primarily Russia, however. We made a tender offer. The Secretary actually unilaterally lifted the veil on quite a bit of data about the United States.
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To what extent have we been able to extract from the Russians a comparable database of all the nuclear materials, nuclear components that they have amassed, and one that would also identify their current location?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. That is outside the scope of my direct responsibilities, but I would be happy to provide that to you for the record.
Mr. SPRATT. Don't you think it ought to be in the scope of your responsibilities? Shouldn't you be factored into that somewhere, if you are in charge of nuclear surety?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Yes, sir. I agree with that comment. I am not, though, on the nonproliferation side of the house or the transparency side of the house that deals with the materials protection control and accountability side. However, I am directly involved in hearing the results of the information provided by the Russians.
Mr. SPRATT. Now, you have not addressed this in your testimony, but some years ago we had a commission called the Drell Commission which was composed of Sid Drell and Johnny Foster and Dr. Towns. They made two comprehensive reports about the security of our own nuclear weapons that went to their design, that location, the amounts in which they were handled, transportation. Was that within the purview of your responsibility?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Yes, sir.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Mr. SPRATT. To what extent are you tracking, following, and carrying out the Drell Commission recommendations?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. We are tracking very closely the Drell Commission recommendations in upgrades to our safety and security and use control of our nuclear weapons, and many of the recommendations that the Drell panel put in or recommended are currently in place.
Mr. SPRATT. Let me give you just one particular example. Down at Kings' Bay, when they replace a warhead on a D5, there is a bullnose in the tip of the warhead, the tip of the cone. We simply pick it up by the bull head. The Brits move the missile into the silo and then move the nuclear devices separately. It was recommended that we seriously consider using the British method of putting D5's in Trident silos, as opposed to the method we had used for some time, because of the inherent dangers of possibly dropping a D5 missile, which does not have IHE, it has HE.
Has anything been done along those lines?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. We have performed significant upgrades to the D5, and what I can do for you, sir, is provide specifically what the Navy has proposed on how to institute that Drell panel recommendation.
Mr. SPRATT. I would like a general review, because we are focused on the Russians, but we have a lot of nuclear materials loose in this country, too; not loose, but nevertheless, they are scattered across the continent. They are moved, they are transported, they are handled, and there are ways that we could have enemies which penetrate our own system and cause havoc.
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Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. I would be pleased to provide for the committee, for the subcommittee, an update on where the Drell panel recommendations sit.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you very much, indeed.
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. You are welcome.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Spratt.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix on page 131.]
Mr. WELDON. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Turner.
Mr. TURNER. I just had one inquiry that I wanted to make of Director Gordon-Hagerty. It always seems to impress me as to how many agencies of Government we always have dealing with any given problem. Here, in the area that you are delegated, you also have responsibilities within the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Defense, and I am sure I have missed a few.
What kind of effort is made on a continuing basis to coordinate and to meet with people in these other agencies who have an overlapping responsibility with your agency for nuclear terrorism?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Congressman Turner, we have a very strong and efficient and very tight-knit interagency coordination mechanism that we use in the interagency on a regular basis, almost daily. I speak with my colleagues in the interagency mostly from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense.
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Certainly the intelligence community plays a vital role in supporting operations, in combating terrorism operations. Again, we have a very strong and tight-knit interagency community. We focus on the objective, which is to accomplish the mission. We have interagency working groups on combating terrorism for exercises for intelligence and for other areas, training and exercises, training and readiness. So we do interact on a very routine basis.
Mr. TURNER. List for me the agencies that you are talking about that would be part of those working groups.
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. The Department of State has a responsibility overseas, so they would be the lead Federal agency in interacting with the host nation should a nation request assistance. The FBI has lead Federal agency responsibilities within the United States for their law enforcement activities, as well as for coordination of other Federal agencies. The Department of Energy would provide the technical response to nuclear terrorism acts. The Department of Defense would provide formidable capabilities in using their special mission units out of the U.S. Special Operations Command and other entities. The FBI, intelligence. I am sorry, I forgot to mention the FBI's responsibilities for domestic intelligence. The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency. Public Health Service provides medical assistance. FEMA provides consequence management direction. Those are some of the major agencies that participate and play a vital role in the interagency responsibilities.
Mr. TURNER. Did you mention the CIA?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. The CIA oversees for intelligence matters, yes, sir.
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Mr. TURNER. So you have regular meetings with all of these agencies on a regular, ongoing basis?
Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. We don't have regularly scheduled meetings. However, we do have meetings routinely to discuss matters, whether they are training and readiness or whether they are real world matters, yes.
Mr. TURNER. Thank you. That is all the questions I have.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, sir.
Just a couple of followup questions.
Ms. Gordon-Hagerty, you discussed the shortfalls in the program where you perhaps could use some additional resources. For the record, if you could give us a list of what those shortfalls are, and in particular I am extremely concerned about the involvement of the local emergency response community. I work with this group nationwide, and too often they are overlooked, and we fail to realize, if there is an incident in America the first responder is not going to be the Department of Defense, it is not going to be the National Guard, it is not going to be FEMA, it is going to be the 1.2 million men and women who serve in 32,000 organizations across the Nation, 85 percent of them volunteers, who are going to be called to an incident.
We worked hard to get some initial funding support for the chemical-bio response teams with those groups. Are we doing anything in the nuclear area with them?
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Ms. GORDON-HAGERTY. Mr. Chairman, I can appreciate your comments because we agree with you wholeheartedly. It is going to be the first responder on the site when something is either detonated or there is a terrorist or an adversary out there with a nuclear, chemical, or biological device. We think it is imperative that the first responder be adequately trained and prepared to respond to such an incident.
Unfortunately, in the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici domestic preparedness legislation of last year, the Department of Energy received no resources to provide nuclear emergency response training and preparedness for the first responders. However, in my program I do have a $2.1 million radiological assistance program. Those are eight regional coordinating centers located around the United States, and for the past 30 years we have been providing first responder training to State and local authorities. So we do have a very good relationship established throughout the United States. That being said, I had to basically use the money currently directed for other priorities or other programs to commit to supporting the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici domestic preparedness program. We are, without fail, training the first responders in responding to a nuclear emergency. Again, any types of resources, new resources, that you would be able to assist us with, we are looking on the order of $4 million total. That would be the tried and true training package that we have developed over many, many years, and that would only enhance the already existing capabilities and the training programs that we have with first responders.
Mr. WELDON. I appreciate that. I would ask you for the record to identify other shortfall areas where additional funding is needed, especially that $28 million you did not get that OMB cut out, as a priority. But I commit to you that we will work to assist you getting the funds for the local emergency response training.
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[The information referred to can be found in the appendix on page 136.]
Mr. WELDON. In the chem-bio training that is taking place, and I went to two of their exercises, one was in Philadelphia with the medical community, the FEMA-Army effort is aimed at the largest cities. I think it is 25 the first year and then 127 the second year.
I happen to think that is important, but the cities are not the only area where this kind of disaster will occur. We need to make sure that we are not just focusing on the cities, but everyand I have had some disagreements with the administration over this, but the natural training process for emergency responders in this country is not through our big cities, because in all of our big cities they are paid firefighters. No volunteer fire department goes to a center city training program. They are not invited.
The way we train emergency responders in this country is through the State fire marshal, and each of the States have a training center. So as you look at ways to train emergency responders, I would ask that you not just look at the FBI program, which is aimed at the big cities, because that is where they have the stats and that is where they think the incident will occur. That is important, but it is not important to the extent that we overlook the other 1 million people. Because there are only 200,000 paid fire and EMS people in the country. Another 1 million are all volunteers. You don't reach them through the cities.
There is a requirement that you bring in the surrounding areas of the cities, but I can tell you from talking to people that have been involved it is not working very well. We need to have that effort also focused at the State training centers for these fire and EMS personnel. I would just ask you to consider that as you look to establishing your funding priorities.
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I would commit to you, as we did to Ms. Stern, we want both of you to help us draft legislation. We will make that a top priority. I have discussed it with the Speaker. I know that Members on both sides of the aisle would join together, because this is a bipartisan issue, and it should be our highest priority. If we are going to put the words out there in terms of the threat, we have to put the dollars up on the table to make sure we give you the resources to identify, deal with, control, and then respond to and prepare for these incidents if they in fact happen. You have been very gracious with your time.
Ms. Stern, you are an outstanding witness, as was Ms. Gordon-Hagerty, and we appreciate the role you have played. I hope that you will continue to serve this country in some capacity, because you have so much to offer us. And so I hope that wherever your future lies, I hope it is in the service of our country to help us understand and deal with these terrible situations.
Ms. Gordon-Hagerty, I know you are going to continue to serve where you are. Maybe we just get you a few more promotions and you can maybe run the agency, eventually. Thank you for being here, and with that we will call up our next panel.
While we are bringing them up, I remind our colleagues that the hearing tomorrow will not only include Alexei Yablokov, who is right now in the plane on the way here, but I have just been informed that Senator Lugar will be here, and he, too, will share his feelings at our hearing about the Nunn-Lugar program and about steps we could be taking to deal with this issue.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 In addition, at the hearing that will be held at the end of October with General Lebed, we will also have the authors of the book ''One Point Safe,'' Andrew and Leslie Coburn, and there are a number of issues that we can get involved with with the Coburns. I would encourage Members who are here and staff members who are here representing Members, that they encourage their Member to read this book prior to the October hearing, because there are a number of areas that I think our colleagues will want to pursue.
Mr. WELDON. We welcome our next panel, and we apologize again for making you wait. You are all extremely busy and very important. We are very happy to have this very distinguished panel here, which includes Judge William Webster, chairman of the global organized crime project for the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Arnaud de Borchgrave, director of the project for the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Frank Cilluffo, director of the Russian organized crime task force at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Gentlemen, your statements will be entered into the record.
We invite you to make whatever verbal comments you like. Welcome and thank you for being here today.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM H. WEBSTER, CHAIRMAN, GLOBAL ORGANIZED CRIME PROJECT, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
Mr. WEBSTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. We appreciate the opportunity to be here. The invitation came yesterday after the announcement of the publication of our book, so we do not have prepared statements.
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Mr. WELDON. Can we enter your document in the record? Is that OK?
Mr. WEBSTER. Certainly, please.
Mr. WELDON. Without objection.
Mr. WEBSTER. That will be my statement.
I would like to say for the record that the Center for Strategic and International Studies since 1993 has been engaged in a project to understand the implications and impact of global organized crime. We are divided into task forces, some seven of them in number. The first task force released its publication last year on the black market of nuclear weapons and weapons material. In a sense that ties in, to the one just released on Russian organized crime.
There is nothing of a hot button nature that has not been discussed in one form or another through the last several years, going back, I recall, to President Gorbachev saying that organized crime was the major problem for him in the Soviet Union. But it does aggregate, I think, in a very meaningful way what is taking place in the Republic of Russia, what kind of organized crime is being exported to other countries, including the United States, how it links up and interfaces with drug cartels and other forms of organized crime throughout the world, and the potential, of course, for the subject that you have been discussing this afternoon.
We have listed a number of findings, the most serious of which is that the Government of Russia has been increasingly unable to deal with the growth of organized crime, massive organized crime organizations, which are consolidating and increasing their impact and ability to corrupt institutions of government, including not only political institutions but military institutions.
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The recommendations are summarized also in the book, and the most important of which I believe is that, first and foremost, efforts must be made to provide for an effective system, rule of law, if you wish to call it that, an independent judiciary, the ability to enforce the laws that are on the books with courage and independence before that aspect of the governmental process is totally subverted.
The second thing is the need for more interagency understanding of the problem and more interagency cooperation here in the United States.
The third would be the necessity of our agencies expanding the levels of cooperation with counterparts in Russia and elsewhere, consistent with our ability to work with institutions of uncertain corruptibility. These three recommendations I think constitute it. I have given you a broad brush. More details are expressed in the report.
I have had the pleasure of working with our project director, Arnaud de Borchgrave, on our entire project. He is very well informed. The project director of the task force, which is, incidentally, chaired by Jerry Burke, former deputy director of NSA, is Frank Cilluffo, who is here at the table with me. If I may, I will turn this part of our presentation over to Mr. de Borchgrave.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix on page 150.]
Mr. WELDON. Welcome. It is a pleasure to have you here, an honor.
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STATEMENT OF ARNAUD de BORCHGRAVE, DIRECTOR, GLOBAL ORGANIZED CRIME PROJECT, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
Mr. DE BORCHGRAVE. Thank you. I think it might be helpful, since I was a foreign correspondent for almost half a century, sir, and covering Soviet affairs and what they were up to around the world, to remind ourselves of the culture that conditioned these people when they deny things. Under Soviet rule, to tell the truth to Westerners was considered the height of stupidity, whereas to lie and to lie convincingly was considered a sign of intelligence. I just thought that might be helpful in understanding these denials given the topic your hearings are addressing.
I don't know if you are aware, Mr. Chairman, but there has been an open letter from General Lebed today. Have you received that?
Mr. WELDON. I heard. I have not seen it. Perhaps you could refer to it for us.
Mr. DE BORCHGRAVE. Very well.
The letter was submitted, Mr. Chairman, to U.S. congressional hearings on nuclear terrorism, control of nuclear weapons, and Russian organized crime, and was made public this morning at hearings held by Chairman Gilman in the Committee on International Relations, where we testified.
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I don't have any prepared remarks, because like Judge Webster, I was asked to do this at very short notice. But I think we should bear in mind that many of the recommendations that you heard on the previous panel are incorporated in our nuclear black market report, which also came under the aegis of the global organized crime project. It was released last June.
It was the first of seven reports, and the underlying assumption was that the nuclear horse is out of the Russian barn. The recommendations were incorporated in the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act of last year. And I think we should also remind ourselves of what 17 Russian generals and admirals visiting this country in 1994, what they said when they were asked to grade on a scale of 1 to 10 the chances of nuclear migration, as it was delicately phrased at the time, the chances of nuclear migration from Russia to a Middle Eastern country, one being highly unlikely, 10 being highly likely. And all 17 of these admirals and generals graded it as a 10; what John McLaughlin might call metaphysical certitude.
Insofar as the Russian organized crime report is concerned, you might be interested to know that this morning President Yeltsin through his spokesperson said that this was a ploy to undermine Russia's application for full membership in the World Trade Organization. Now, this is kind of interesting, because just a week ago today President Yeltsin told the Upper House of the Duma, and I quote,
Criminals have today brazenly entered the political arena and are dictating its laws, helped by corrupt officials. They can penetrate everywhere unless the whole of society, from top to bottom, joins in an effort to eradicate this scourge. Our policy will be very tough on this front.
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Well, this was Mr. Yeltsin's seventh crackdown in 6 years against organized crime and corruption. Three years ago it was President Yeltsin himself who said that his country, the Russian Federation, 150 million people, over 20,000 nuclear warheads, was the biggest mafia state in the world, the superpower of crime that is devouring the state from top to bottom.
Grigory Yavlinsky, as you know, the leader of the Yabloko party, was here last week. Again, I would like to quote what he had to say:
A corrupted system of criminal power has been established in Russia and now poses the main threat to the economy, and not a single widely publicized murder has been successfully investigated in Russia over the last 5 years. So he says what we need is a political will, rather than the criminal code, to break the stranglehold of crime and corruption.
I will leave it there, Mr. Chairman, and I am ready for your questions.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF FRANK J. CILLUFFO, DIRECTOR, RUSSIAN ORGANIZED CRIME TASK FORCE, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
Mr. CILLUFFO. Thank you.
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First, I would like to note that organized crime and corruption are not unique to Russia, of course, but what is unique is the fact that they are a nuclear superpower, and instability coinciding with nuclear weapons can lead to a lethal combination, as we well know.
I also think it is important to recognize that our report looks at Russian organized crime as more than simply a law enforcement challenge. It does not fit into a neat little paradigm, as did the American Cosa Nostra and a number of other conventional crime families.
This phenomenon endangers the still fragile reform and democratization process in Russia. It fosters uncertainty and instability in nuclear security and safeguard issues, and while Russian exports of legitimate goods have remained stagnant, the export of crime continues to flourish. Currently, they have formed alliances with their criminal counterparts in 50 countries, 200 large organizations, 26 cities in the United States.
It must be perceived as a national security priority, as we have all referenced here, but we need to truly bring to bear all of our government's multidisciplinary assets. We simply cannot afford to be asleep at the switch. The stakes are obviously too high.
To put it into perspective, the stranglehold on Russian crime in Russian society is immense. Crime is truly usurping the state's authority to resolve legal disputes. Unable to depend on overburdened courts or corrupt courts, one is forced to turn to crime groups, or kryshas, rooftops, for adjudication. The criminals, on the other hand, do brutally enforce their own criminal code, settling everything from parking tickets to major business disputes.
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Once ingrained into the Russian ethos, this cannot be eradicated overnight. That is precisely why our report stresses the need to support a process, as opposed to individuals. An independent judiciary insulated from corruption and politics is crucial. This is not an issue of simply more laws on the books, it is an issue of professionalizing a bureaucracy and an issue of political will.
The fiscal crisis in Russia, of course, is undermining urgent maintenance of nuclear command systems and is weakening security and safeguards of nuclear weapons.
A former army general and current Duma member, whom you referenced earlier, General Rokhlin, recently stated that the Russian strategic nuclear forces were nearing extinction for want of funds for maintenance. Both officers and ranks are unpaid, unfed, and unhappy. In this atmosphere the prospect for a criminal diversion of nuclear materials or an unauthorized and perhaps even an accidental nuclear weapons launch is at an all-time high, in my eyes; perhaps not as apocalyptic of a threat as it used to be, but the likelihood of a nuclear event is greater today than it was during the cold war.
That said, it is obvious that Russian MPC&A, or materiels protection control and accountability, should be a national priority. It should not be perceived as charity, but rather to enhance our own safety. It is in the world's interest to assure that Russian facilities and weapons are secure at the source itself. It makes sense for all the reasons we have heard earlier today. Preventing, deterring, and in my eyes compelling terrorism, which is a subject for a different time, different place, especially WMD terrorism or weapons of mass destruction terrorism, must be a national priority and foremost national security priority.
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Revamping our national capability, and we heard from Ms. Gordon-Hagerty that we do have quite a robust capability in terms of neutralizing and rendering WMD devices safely, is critical. But should prevention failand we must not forget that neutralization is based upon timely intelligence and warning, which we may not getunfortunately, prevention may not always be possible, or may currently be too late, as we stressed in our first report.
Though another issue, I think it is imperative to recognize the chem-bio threat, which in terms of likelihood is probably greater than nuclear. In terms of infrastructure, you don't need a major infrastructure. Procurement or production is not too difficult, expensive; multiple methods for delivery, few signatures to provide early warning. This is something that should also be given a lot of attention. And I know, Mr. Chairman, that you are focusing on this issue. I think it is imperative to empower our States, as you referenced, to relook at or reexamine how we perceive national security, so at the State and local level and at the first responder level we are able to deal with not just the neutralization issue, but most importantly, the consequence management issue, mitigating the deadly effects. And I think that publicly exercising such a capability would serve as a good deterrent in and of itself.
That said, I think Nunn-Lugar-Domenici must be sustained through the out years. Funding is absolutely critical. I would also argue that it must remain within the Department of Defense, as our executive agent.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you. I thank all three of you for outstanding testimony and outstanding effort that will be very beneficial to Congress. I can tell you, the recommendations you have both for the Russians and for us will be seriously considered, and we will provide perhaps some follow-up dialog and get your advice on what we can do legislatively and administratively to help implement the recommendations you have given for the American side.
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I want to for a moment just clarify the circumstances surrounding the Lebed meeting, because the media has misstated what actually occurred both in America and Russia. Since the ''60 Minutes'' piece, the Russian media has just gone ballistic in reporting, as you know, this story. I get handed a list of Russian stories every day from both the print and the TV media all throughout Russia on the status of Lebed's comments and the follow-up comments by Yablokov and others.
First of all, Lebed did not seek us out. We were going to Moscow for the second trip, in my case, this year, because we were involved in the second phase of our interparliamentary exchange program. The Members that went with me, and there were seven of us all told, were there to involve ourselves in several days of meetings with Russian Duma members. We completed those.
While we were there, we met with senior Russian ministerial leadership, including the Ministers of Natural Resources, Minister Orlov, the Minister of Atomic Energy, Minister Mikhaylov, as I mentioned, the Deputy Minister of Defense, Kokoshin, and number two in the general staff, General Manilov. We also met with Boris Nemtsov. Our meetings were to talk about how we could work with Russia. In fact, we discussed the housing initiative with Boris Nemtsov and how important it was.
But we thought it also important, as members of the Security Committee, certainly in the case of Mr. Pickett and myself, to get Lebed's feel for what was happening in the military. We requested the meeting with Lebed and we met with him for about 2 hours in his office in a very low-key meeting. There was no media there. This was not Lebed's attempt to grandstand and get national media. This wasn't Lebed's attempt to try to create some, you know, scenario to promote himself in Russia. In fact, there were no media with us. There was no press conference, before, during, or after our meeting. In fact, the only way the American media picked up on the story was when I filed the trip report when we got back. They read the trip report, and one of the things Lebed said they picked up on. The producer from ''60 Minutes'' called me in August and said, we want to do a story on Lebed's comments to you.
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Now, Lebed made some other comments. I am glad you brought his letter out today, because he reinforced to us the problems of nuclear waste and the lack of Russia dealing with that. He mentioned specifically nuclear submarines rusting away in the ports up at Severodvinsk up in the Murmansk area. He mentioned the lack of ability to control and deal with the nuclear waste problem.
He mentioned the problemsand I want to get to this, because this ties in with what your report saidhe mentioned the very real problem in the Russian military. He said to us, you know, Congressman, the most capable generals and admirals were forced out of the former Soviet military because of the downsizing. They were the first to leave. And when they left, many of these generals and admirals, who were the premier fighters and leaders, were not given their pensions, were not given housing, to house their families. They were basically brushed aside by their motherland and told to go fend for themselves.
In Lebed's mind, many of these more capable generals and admirals turned to criminal activities. In fact, in his mind, the more capable leadership of the former Soviet military are now involved in mafia and clandestine operations.
Do you share that observation of General Lebed?
Mr. DE BORCHGRAVE. Absolutely, sir. The information we have from people who recently returned from Moscow is that these weapons, these nuclear suitcases, so-called, were ordered up by the KGB in the 1970's, and have been under the control of the KGB ever since, which, of course, gives plausible deniability to the military authorities and the civilian authorities. The Defense Ministry can say, we don't have any such weapons. I personally happen to believe that they do have the equivalent of what we had and still have, the satchel charges. The purpose of the KGB in ordering them was in case of war, to go behind the lines and blow up vital installations with secret agents.
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I have absolutely no indication one way or the other, no proof one way or the other, that they do indeed exist, sir. But one thing we should bear in mind is what happened during the trial of Shoko Asahara, the leader of the Japanese Supreme Truth cult. They had accumulated assets of $1 billion. They had recruited 30,000 members in Russia, 10,000 members in Japan. They had accumulated chemical warfare agents. They were testing biological warfare agents on a big ranch northeast of Perth in Australia. And they had sent their top engineer, because they had recruited some highly educated people, their top engineer had gone to Russia 13 times for a total of 180 days. At the trial, a little notebook was produced which listed, one, listed the nuclear scientists that they had allegedly recruited in Russia, three, as I recall, and also the black market prices for nuclear materials and tactical nuclear weapons. I believe the price for the tactical nuclear weapon in this little notebook was $200 million.
Mr. CILLUFFO. Perhaps what is most alarming, Mr. Chairman, is that this group, the Aum Shinrikyo with over 10,000 followers in the Soviet Republics alone, was not even on our radar screen. The motives of such groups, warrant concern, they no longer want a seat at the negotiating table; they want to wreck the table and build a new one in its place. These are groups that are not even on our radar screen, and many of these groups are not state sponsored; determining vulnerabilities or leverage points that can be exploited, is exceedingly difficult. We need to take a more proactive stance, in my view.
Mr. WELDON. One of the things we are doing when we bring in the authors of the book, ''One Point Safe'', which is a nonfiction book, is to ask them to explain several incidents in their book relative to the existence of these devices. One part of the book references an attempt by a Baltic State KGB subgroup to buy one of these devices. Another example in the book documents Dudayev in Chechnya threatening the leadership in Moscow that he, in fact, had these small nuclear devices. And we took it so seriously, at least according to authors, that we sent over in a very clandestine manner CIA operatives who then got together with Russian intelligence operatives and went into Chechnya, actually looking to see and verify whether or not Dudayev did in fact have these devices, which we could not determine. But we have taken it seriously as a country, and when I look at this article that appeared in Zavtra and which I have put into the record here, 1995, and look at the last page, it documents in five paragraphs every detail about the size, the dimension, the capability, the activation of these devices that were built in Russia for a specific purpose. As you mentioned, that purpose was to be used for terrorism if someone would in fact take some action against the former Soviet Union.
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Now, Dr. Yablokov tomorrow when he comes in will be asked to respond to statements that he has made that he in fact talked to individual scientists who built these devices, and who told him they were being built under KGB orders. We have to get at the heart of that, because here is a senior Russian adviser who at one time was on Yeltsin's security council who has now said this on Russian TV, and is now coming over here to make I guess similar statements about his knowledge of the existence of these devices and what their import was.
Judge Webster, I do want to ask you one question before I turn to my friend and colleague, Mr. Pickett. As the former head of the CIA and the FBI, what are your thoughts on the value and importance of the President participating in key nuclear terrorism incidents? Is that something that he should get involved in?
Mr. WEBSTER. Are you referring to counterterrorism exercises, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. WELDON. Absolutely.
Mr. WEBSTER. It has always been my view that the leaders of government should be familiar with the techniques that are in place, especially the communication techniques that are in place, and to become familiar and comfortable with their role and their responsibility in responding to a particular terrorist incident.
Not every terrorist incident is going to require the presence of the President. Others will indeed require his presence, if only to communicate to the American people in truthful form what the situation is, so that they can take some comfort in knowing that the situation is being addressed.
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We currently have the electronic capability to keep the entire government involved in any important exercise. We also have these small groups. I have found that in the past, and I am not referring to the President, but political leaders, cabinet leaders and so forth, are sometimes reluctant to get involved. They are not entirely familiar, they are not entirely comfortable with these exercises. All it takes is a little exercising to become comfortable with what you do, but they don't want to look bad, and sometimes they send their deputies, sometimes they hear about it afterwards. I think we are all a little guilty of that.
It was following the first coup attempt in Nicaragua or in Panama that we put in place and started to utilize the equipment that was designed for the types of emergencies you are talking about, and in that way, we could communicate without sending for all the key policymakers and national security leaders, taking time to run to the White House. We could communicate, we could exercise. We have had similar exercises on imaginary terrorist events. I think they should understand the process. I think they should experience the process, and I certainly recommend that they take advantage of that opportunity before they have a real situation on their hands and they have to respond.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Judge. I would assume you would also be inclined to say that probably the Secretary of Defense and State and national security adviser also probably from time to time ought to get involved in these types of exercises.
Mr. WEBSTER. They do, they ought to, and it is my understanding at various times they have been involved. I think any new member coming on board should be sure that he is up to the state of the art methods for functioning and providing leadership.
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Sometimes we have confusion. We have people there who get in the way of a rapid response simply because they are unprepared and uninformed.
Mr. WELDON. The reason why I ask you that question is you heard the earlier testimony where we have not had that involvement, and I think it is important that does take place.
I was going to ask this question and forgot to ask her of the previous witness, but I will ask her to provide the answer for the record. My understanding is there have been not just tests but somewhere near 10 instances where we activated our NEST teams. For the record, I would like our former witness to answer that question for us so that this is not just a pie in the sky pipe dream we are talking about. These are real situations in fact that have occurred.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix on page 139.]
Mr. WELDON. One final question, and perhaps, Judge, you don't want to ask this, but as the former head of the CIA and FBI I have to ask you, were you aware of the nuclear devices the Russians had?
Mr. WEBSTER. Not in specifics, Mr. Chairman, but I was aware of what we had.
Mr. WELDON. Did you assume the Russians had the same?
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Mr. WEBSTER. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you. Mr. Pickett.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I have not had a chance, of course, to read your material here, but I thumbed through it quickly. It seems that at least this report does not equate the Russian organized crime with any kind of terrorist types of activities. Do you make a distinction between those two?
Mr. WEBSTER. If we fail to make the connection, I hope that we did. There are often accommodations of convenience, and we experience those here in this country and in Latin America and other parts of the world. The terrorist has a political objective. The organized criminal has another objective. Sometimes those two objectives can work well together.
We also have narco-terrorists and other issues of that kind where they are consolidated. But the Russian organized crime groups have the opportunity to provide equipment to terrorist organizations, to provide materials, for a price. The terrorists by other means have the ability to pay for it. So in that sense, terrorism looks to its underground sources for resources to carry out terrorist events on a massive scale. I think you will find some reference, I hope, that will be confirmatory of what I have just said.
Mr. PICKETT. OK.
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Mr. WEBSTER. May I say one more thing, because it is quoted in one of Tom Clancy's books if you are reading novels for information, and that is I have taken the position that terrorism is always criminal. For years we fought to get the United Nations, to get Interpol and others to recognize the criminal character rather than the political, solely the political character, and therefore to become engaged and to require cooperation among civilized nations.
So I certainly agree that terrorism is a criminal activity, but it is carried out for political purposes. The organized criminal is providing the means for a price.
Mr. PICKETT. I know all three of you are here today primarily related to this report, but earlier the question was asked of a previous witness today about the GAO report that recently has been released making an assessment of the United States' capability to respond to weapons of mass destruction, some kind of a threat in that regard.
Have you had an opportunity to review any part of that report or are you familiar with it?
Mr. WEBSTER. I have not had an opportunity, Mr. Pickett. Perhaps one of my colleagues has.
Mr. DE BORCHGRAVE. We conducted an exercise in conjunction with the National Defense University a year ago, Mr. Pickett, and the results of this exercise, Judge Webster played the role of director of the FBI, a role he was very familiar with, this will be published under the title ''Wild Atom'' about a month from now. But otherwise I am not familiar with the question you addressed to the Judge.
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Mr. PICKETT. Has the CSIS done work in the area of making any kind of assessment or evaluation of our Nation's capabilities to respond to terrorism focused on weapons of mass destruction, using weapons of mass destruction?
Mr. DE BORCHGRAVE. We have indeed, sir, with the nuclear black market report that we published last year and which I mentioned became the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act.
Mr. CILLUFFO. We have a separate task force looking at the changing face of terrorism. One of the main efforts of that is looking at consequence management, remedial planning, crisis management, and that is going to be covered in our task force on terrorism, as well as looking at not just WMD, but including infrastructure warfare and information warfare, where an attack upon a critical node or key asset could severely degrade and impact their economic and national securities. That will be coming out in different forms; two seperate task force reports.
Mr. WEBSTER. I am sure, Mr. Pickett, you are aware that there is a Center for Counterterrorism located at the Central Intelligence Agency and another domestic counterpart located at the FBI where they are becoming increasingly effective at coordinating overseas information with domestic information.
The United States, if you count pure numbers, has been very successful in reducing the number of terrorist incidents in this country over the last decade. When I came to the FBI in 1978, there were 100 terrorist events a year. They are down to just a few. In 1994, there were none. The difference is, and I am sure this is on your mind, the capacity of individual or group terrorists to inflict major damage because of the types of explosive devices that they can now produce, and if they don't know how, they just have to turn in on the Internet to learn a cookbook approach to this, which makes our fellow citizens very much ill at ease about the potential for danger. But in terms of actual response and intelligence, getting there before bombs go off, we are much better off than we were a decade ago.
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Mr. CILLUFFO. There was a study I was involved in for the Department of Defense. The Defense Science Board had a summer study, I believe its findings are classified, but you may want to get your hands on that study. It was on transnational threats. It did focus on largely terrorism, WMD terrorism, and honed in even more specifically on chem-bio, with bio what it really stressed. But I cannot comment for the record on that.
Mr. PICKETT. I know the thrust of what we are attempting to do through this committee is to try to make some assessment of what the threat is to our Nation's security as a result of this kind of terrorism. Second, whether or not our Government agencies are properly organized, equipped and prepared to deal with the threat we may identify.
Do you have any basis to form an opinion about the adequacy of our Nation's capabilities to respond to a terrorist threat at the present time, terrorist threats using weapons of mass destruction?
Mr. WEBSTER. My impression is that it is good and getting better. That is, our ability to interdict it. If you don't get there before it goes off, you have a response to a criminal event. If you are successful in getting there first or stopping it through one of the various other methods that are available to us, then you prevented a terrorist event, which is to me the primary objective of all of our agencies working together.
So that requires a capability to share classified information in a meaningful and effective way. Without meaning to alarm you, there are many ways once a nuclear device is put in place to booby trap the area and make it very difficult to get in to turn it off, to avoid it and subvert it. So it is very important that we keep our eyes and ears open and through very good counterintelligence, if you want to call it that, counterterrorist intelligence, and have the means to move quickly to prevent one of these events from happening.
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It does not make any sense to say we are good and getting better if we don't also say and we must keep on improving our capability.
Mr. DE BORCHGRAVE. The thrust of the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici amendment I mentioned a moment ago was to prepare our police and fire departments and health services to react to a nuclear biological or chemical terrorist incident.
Mr. CILLUFFO. I believe that we do have quite a robust capability currently, but, unfortunately, terrorism by definition extends the battlefield to incorporate all of society where we will inherently be vulnerable. It is the weapon of the weak, high leverage, low cost. The United States must do all it can to deter and compel, I think, that there is more we can be doing in the proactive sense in terms of recruiting nasty individuals, unfortunately, these are the types we will have to recruit, since these are hard targets. Terrorists don't frequent the cocktail circuit. Good people don't have insight on terrorist plans, their modus operandi. I also think it is crucial that we identify what our funding gaps and shortfalls are to be able to make that a little more robust. I was glad that was brought up today.
In the WMD arena, I think in terms of detection, there is a lot that can be done. Much of that would obviously be classified, but in terms of detecting chem-bio with unique sensors, there is quite a bit that can be done.
I think it is also a process issue. I truly believe that to be able to effectively respond after an incident has occurred, you truly do need to empower people at the State and local level, and these people need to have the training, the equipment, both in terms of antidote kits, personal protection equipment, detection capabilities, and there needs to be a fluid interagency process that somehow feeds the information down to people who do not have clearances. This is something that is important and it is not something that is insurmountable, but it will cost money.
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Who would have ''thunk'' Oklahoma City, yet that is what we have to deal with. Terrorism doesn't have boundaries, it knows no boundaries. I think that the bad guys learned from Desert Storm, who is going to take us on in a conventional sense, tank for tank. You would be ludicrous. The bad guys are going to adopt asymmetric tactics, both in terms of smaller nations, but also nonstate groups. They concern me even more because we have very little leverage to deter them.
What you need to ultimately do is take it as an organism, treat it somewhat analagous to a country, yet personalize it; first isolate the military and operational planners of these organizations, if they are on your radar screen. Once they are, isolate the military and operational planners. Look in terms of economic sanctions, but illuminate the funding supply, identify logistics, to run counter operations, and there are many that you can think of.
But I think that we do have a robust capability, but we still have a ways to go to keep pace with a moving target of threats. Unfortunately, I think that the threat is probably greater today than it was, but at the same time, I think our capabilities are incrementally being increased to mitigate that threat.
Mr. PICKETT. Yes, sir?
Mr. DE BORCHGRAVE. Mr. Pickett, beyond nuclear, biological and chemical [NBC] weapons as terrorist weapons, I think one should also think of logic bomb, and Trojan horses and worms and viruses as part of a new arsenal in a new geopolitical calculus whereby nonstate, substate or even individual actors can take on a superpower. That is the new world we are moving into.
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Mr. PICKETT. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Pickett.
Just to follow up on that, Mr. De Borchgrave, it was this subcommittee that held hearings in March on the information warfare challenge, and in fact led the effort in response to the Defense Science Board report under the leadership of Duane Andrews that put $88 million of additional funding above what the President asked for for exactly that issue of the ability of an adversary to take down our smart systems, which we agree is a major challenge for us militarily.
I might add just in a final summation to your hearing, I have to not share your feelings relative to the training of our emergency response community, and I say this as someone who probably works as closely with them as any Member of Congress.
They don't feel like they are involved, except for the 27 cities that are being done this year by FEMA, they are not happy. They feel in some cases as though it is just another way to bring some resources into the city, and it is not hands-on training. It is basically bringing them into a classroom and doing some simulation.
We have been working on a bill that I hope to introduce in the next month or so that will create two national training centers, one with Texas A&M, which is arguably the finest hands-on emergency response training center in the country, and they have already allocated 60 additional acres for a training facility to do hands-on, train-the-trainer training. That is not being done right now. And we are woefully inadequate in this area. As we heard from our previous witness, there is no training in the nuclear area. It is only in the chem-bio area.
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My concern is this: Since the police always get additional resources in this country, because they are very aggressive and law enforcement has a way of working the Hill very aggressively. The fire and EMS people always get left out, and they are the first in, and largely because 85 percent are volunteer, they don't benefit from this expertise.
We are vulnerable there. I can tell you on behalf of the National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Fire Chiefs Association, the International Association of Fire Fighters representing 180,000 paid fire fighters, we are not doing enough in this area for our first responders. We are vulnerable. I mean, I had Chief Morris, the chief of Oklahoma City, testify before this subcommittee earlier this year on the 1 year anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. I said, chief, it is a year later. Can you handle the same incident? He said, Congressman, I am no better off today than I was 1 year ago. That is an indictment of our effort to provide the capability for our first responders. It is not happening.
You know, you have got everybody out there looking to bring those dollars in. The Marine Corps wants men for their rapid response team, the National Guard sees a new mission for them, FEMA sees it to increase the bureaucracy. But what we are talking about is getting the dollars down to the people who are responsible. Those people who do not have the voices up on the Hill here clamor for more of the funding coming out of the system. They are not getting it. So I happen to feel we are very vulnerable and not doing enough in that area.
I would hope you would see your way to help us in that battle to get this Congress and this administration to provide more dollars for training emergency responders.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 But all in all, your testimony has been fantastic. You are right on the mark. Your timing could not be more perfect and your integrity is beyond question. We thank you for all of your help.
Mr. DE BORCHGRAVE. Mr. Chairman, I wanted to say before you close that I was very encouraged to hear you say we are not trying to paint Russia into a corner. That is precisely the point of our report, despite Mr. Yeltsin's reaction today. We are simply trying to shed light on a very dark corner and help the Russian state out of the corner into which it has been painted by the crime-dominated oligarchies.
Mr. WELDON. Your statement could not have been clearer, and I could not agree more. Personally, I believe that with all of my heart and soul. It just is so frustrating. I have here a cable documenting five or six senior Russian leaders emphatically denying that Russia ever had nuclear suitcase devices. Then I have here a Russian TV show that ran on Russian TV on September 22, interviewing Professor Yablokov, documenting his knowing these people who made these devices. At the end he talks about these miniature bombs, and then it says video shows nuclear suit case. This is on Russian TV. But they don't have them, never existed. Thank you all for being here today.
With that, we will move to our third panel. Here we are going to see about some solutions we have. From the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, we are pleased to have Dr. Warshawsky, who is going to show us and tell us about some technologies developed in our labs dealing with threats posted by these and other devices and nuclear materials. We welcome you to the table. We apologize again for the delay, but your testimony is equally important and will be spread on the record for all the Members to read, and hopefully will play a major role in helping us look at where we should be going with future R&D dollars. Your statement will be put in the record, but you can make whatever verbal comments you like.
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STATEMENT OF ARNOLD S. WARSHAWSKY, TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT GROUP, LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY
Mr. WARSHAWSKY. Thank you very much, Congressman Weldon, and whoever else is left, I guess. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to share some exciting advances in the Nation's arsenal against the threat of nuclear terrorism.
You have heard about the threat from Ms. Stern and you have heard about the emergency response programs from Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, and Judge Webster and his colleagues just finished talking about the issues associated with Russian organized crime and the Russian military. What I am going to do is talk about some emerging technological capabilities that we believe are available for the near and the far term.
Now, before I begin I would like to point out that we believe that in order to protect against nuclear terrorism, you have to take a multilayered approach. Technology is only one piece of that approach. Indeed, the technology I am going to talk about this afternoon is only one of many kinds of technologies that are being pursued, and that is good to know.
The first layer of defense, and perhaps the best way to protect against nuclear terrorism, is obviously to protect it at the source. Nuclear weapons and nuclear materials simply have to be secured
and protected worldwide, whether they are in Russia or some other country. We have all heard about General Lebed's concern that some of the Russian nuclear weapons may not be accounted for, and though I don't choose to comment on his remarks, I will say that the United States is pursuing very vigorously programs, especially those that are funded by the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici legislation, to help Russia to enhance the accountability and the security of its nuclear weapons and its nuclear materials. We call them the MPC&A programs by and large at the laboratory, and all the DOE laboratories are active participants in this endeavor.
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I think that everything that we can do to help Russia to secure its weapons and nuclear materials is good for our security, so I would encourage the continuation of those kinds of programs.
The next layer of defense to be concerned about is catching what happens if that first layer doesn't work, if something starts to slip out, and the first place you have an opportunity to do that is at international borders. What you want to do is catch the movement of materials and perhaps weapons when they start that leakage, if indeed they do.
Our Government also has been proactive in working with other countries to try and enhance their abilities to make those detections. What we have been doing mostly is helping with training and helping installation of modern portal radiation monitoring systems to detect things as they flow through.
A third layer of defense is to detect the nuclear materials or devices as they start to come into the United States. A number of Government agencies are working together to enhance our national capabilities to counter nuclear smuggling. It is a tough thing to do.
Particular focus I might mention is that the Department of Energy has been working to help develop inexpensive, reliable, portable radiation detectors, you may have heard about some of them, and what DOE is doing in that regard is to help develop the technology. We are working with the people who are going to have to use them, and we are studying how do you use them smartly, so it is not just a matter of throwing some technology over the transom.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 The fourth defense layer is to interdict the movement of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials on to U.S. bases and U.S. cities. Now, Ms. Gordon-Hagerty talked about NEST a little bit, and some of our search capabilities. The judge pointed out that once a weapon is in place, it is really a tough thing to do very much about it. The technology that I am going to talk about sort of fixes that. It tries to find the device before it gets in place, we don't wait until that point.
Our fifth layer of defense is the technical ability to do something about it once you find a weapon, and there you have to be able to disarm explosive devices, whether they are nuclear or not.
Another component of that fifth layer is to apply what we call nuclear and chemical forensics so that you can find out where the material came from, what path it might have traveled, and if you do that, the perpetrators can be identified and that allows the Nation to take whatever post-crisis actions it feels is appropriate.
Clearly, we are working on a lot of layers, and that is important and we are doing a lot, and I personally believe we need to do more. So what is some of the more that we can do? Here I would like to talk about the technology that I discussed briefly with you and some of your colleagues the other day in closed session.
Our laboratory, the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, under the sponsorship of the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense, is developing a system that can detect and track in real time the movement of radioactive sources in and through a protected area. You get to decide what area you want to protect. The area could be as small as an airport or seaport or as large as a city. In principal it could be.
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Under the provisions of an advanced concept technology demonstration that is jointly funded by DOE's Office of Non-Proliferation and National Security and DOD's Defense Special Weapons Agency, we are scaling up laboratory experiments to provide protection for a U.S. military base. We call the technology the wide area tracking system. We call it WATS for short.
WATS consists at the moment of commercial radiation detectors and vehicle detectors, communications, and it has an advanced data-fusion algorithm, which is actually the heart of its capability.
What we have done is to take a total system approach to developing this technology. We are involving the operators early in the process so that when we are finished, what we have is a usable system, and not just a technological curiosity. This system approach, coupled with the data-fusion algorithm, has enabled us to turn a network of relatively inexpensive detectors, each with a high detection probability, yet a very high false alarm rate that comes along with that, into a system that keeps the high detection probability, but manages to have a very low system false alarm rate. That is the key to making the whole thing work.
As you can imagine, security provisions prevent me from going into more detail about WATS in this forum. However, I would like to emphasize that there are two aspects of the project that are particularly important. Acting early in the development process with the people who are going to use it, that is the response force, and the people who would sit behind the computer that we would put in place. The second thing is following a measured growth path. It started with a computer model, to an experiment in our laboratory, and is now being scaled up to a deployment around a U.S. base. We believe the next logical step, particularly if we are successful with the base, is to scale WATS up to test its performance in an urban area. We learn a lot about important real world things when you take this kind of a measured total system approach.
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Our vision for WATS takes advantage of the algorithm's ability to use information from lots of different places. For example, if you were to use WATS to protect against a threat that was moving along a road, you could tap into sensors and cameras and historic traffic flow patterns that actually are going to be available because of the ongoing programs called the intelligent highway system. Thus you can take advantage of funding that is happening anyway.
Our vision of WATS takes advantage of the fact that the algorithm that we use doesn't care what detectors are doing the detecting. That is useful because it means that when future technology gives us better detectors, we can plug them in and not have to change things.
Let me turn now to how WATS might be deployed in a city. There are three ways that come to mind off of first bat. One can permanently place WATS sensors at a chosen location. Permanent deployment has a lot of technical advantage, but it limits somewhat your operational flexibility. At least you have to figure out which specific places are you really going to protect and put the permanent installation there. You don't have the flexibility that way to protect the next city down.
Frankly, it is even expensive to install a traffic light. We were kind of astonished at how expensive that becomes, and it is illustrative to find out.
Alternatively, you could operate a mobile or movable capability, and there you would put your detectors perhaps in a fleet of vans and drive them out to where you wanted the detectors to be. You could centrally warehouse the vans and equipment until you had a reason to make the deployment. That would be what we would call a deploy-on-demand system. It is attractive because you don't have to decide a priori where you are going to protect. But to be successful with it, you have to have very good intelligence warning in one of the other layers.
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Third, you could try and do the best of both worlds and have a hybrid deployment, which might make sense, combining a subset fixed emplaced sensors at certain locations and have a supplementary mobile system to deploy on demand.
At this point, we don't know which is the best choice. We believe you need to study that issue carefully, and we believe that an urban test program would be a good way to do that.
So, from our perspective, what are the remaining challenges for the WATS development? Of course we understand the devil is always in the details, and in the case of WATS, there are technical details that involve both detection technology and the central processing algorithm. Maybe more important at this point, there are operational details. You have to figure out and work with the first responders in the law enforcement community to figure out what are the appropriate connections, how do the systems talk to each other, how would the people respond.
We are very encouraged by the foresight of DOE and DOD to start on the joint ACTD, which will scale the laboratory capability to military base protection, and potentially in the future to a city protection capability. We believe that advanced technologies like WATS, coupled at the outset of their development with the emergency response people, the law enforcement people, and other operational capabilities, can significantly enhance our Nation's ability to defend against nuclear terrorism.
Sir, this would conclude my prepared remarks. I thank you for the opportunity to speak with you, and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
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[The prepared statement of Mr. Warshawsky can be found in the appendix on page 67.]
Mr. WELDON. First of all, let me thank you for both your testimony and ongoing work at Lawrence Livermore. We appreciate it, and it is obviously a vital service for the country.
You mentioned the other labs are involved. Are all of our other labs involved with Lawrence Livermore in this project? Are they doing similar projects or is it coordinated among the labs?
Mr. WARSHAWSKY. Most of the other labs, and there are a good many in the DOE complex, are cognizant of what we are doing. We are not working in a partnership on this particular project, the WATS project, but we are working on projects in many of the other layers I mentioned.
Mr. WELDON. They are working on the other portions of the different layers of NEST?
Mr. WARSHAWSKY. Yes, sir. We try to do teamwork where it makes sense and not duplicate efforts.
Mr. WELDON. Are you putting enough resources? You talk about this demonstration you would like to do at a military base and expand it to include one of our cities. Is there a need for additional resources to make that happen? Is the funding on stream? If you are aware of this, or can you tell us the assets being put there to allow you to move into this demonstration mode?
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Mr. WARSHAWSKY. One can always desire more resources. That is a frank answer. For the ACTD, we are at the moment adequately funded to bring that to its conclusion.
Mr. WELDON. By when?
Mr. WARSHAWSKY. In 18 months.
Mr. WELDON. OK.
Mr. WARSHAWSKY. There is no funding for any program or any studies beyond that point.
Mr. WELDON. Have we outlined what the dollar amount would be to go the next step beyond the ACTD?
Mr. WARSHAWSKY. Well, it is kind of premature to answer that question. I think you have to do the system study and the urban test bed in order to get a good idea of what makes sense to do, what doesn't make sense to do. It turns out what the key is is how the operators would work with the system, and that is going to be different in every place, because I think you make it work by getting the local law enforcement involved in addition to the Federal forces. So every place is going to have its own character. Every place is going to have its own network and physical layout. And that affects how many detectors you would want and where you would want to put them. I think you need to figure that out before you decide and say how much would this cost. And then when you have the figure of how much would it cost, now you have to decide do I want to spend however much money that is.
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Now, that being said, we did a laboratory exercise about a year ago that postulated a deployment around a city like Washington, and in that particular exercise, this is only an example, not a cost figure, we judged that it would cost around $30 million or so to procure the detectors. I would rather not say how many that involved.
Mr. WELDON. That would be to do Washington, DC, and the surrounding area?
Mr. WARSHAWSKY. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELDON. This is a fixed system once you locate it. I understand you can move the components around by van, but it is meant to be a fixed system of locations, detectors?
Mr. WARSHAWSKY. The system performs best if the detectors are not moving when the system is in operation. How you get the detectors to where you want them allows for a movable system to drive them out to where you would like them.
Mr. WELDON. Do we also have movable capabilities currently or is that something we can't talk about on the record in terms of systems that can be used in a helicopter or some other device if need be? Do we have those kind of capabilities or are we working on them?
Mr. WARSHAWSKY. Lisa mentioned that NEST capabilities embody aerial surveillance, and there are other things that could be talked about in closed session.
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Mr. WELDON. OK. Very good. Well, for the record, if there are other things that are recommendations that Congress should be taking to help encourage this initiative, I would appreciate those so that we can follow through, and also make the case to our colleagues that we need to put more assets into this demonstration program and eventual deployment when it is ready.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Pickett.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Warshawsky, you are here just to provide testimony primarily on the WATS system; is that why you are being a witness today?
Mr. WARSHAWSKY. Yes, sir.
Mr. PICKETT. I think you have covered that very well, Mr. Chairman. I still would like to get a little bit better answer to my inquiry about the maintenance requirement on nuclear devices, particularly the smaller kind that we have been theorizing and talking about, some lately concerning the so-called suitcase devices.
Mr. WELDON. Wouldcan you, in your personal opinion, testify as to the status of a small device, if it is not properly maintained? You are a physicist, correct?
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Mr. WARSHAWSKY. Yes, I am a physicist, and, yes, I have knowledge of the answer at a technical level. I am trying to sort through my mind what I can say in open forum and what I can't.
Mr. PICKETT. Rather than that, we will deal with it another way. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Mr. WELDON. We appreciate your testimony, and we also appreciate your coming in last week to brief Members in more detail about the systems you are working on. There is broad bipartisan support here. We just have to continue to raise the issue.
I have no further questions except again to thank you and the folks at Lawrence Livermore. You are our unsung heroes in many instances where you are out there developing technologies that are futuristic in helping us deal with real problems that exist today, and we appreciate that effort. We want you to continue that effort.
Let me just also mention in closing the hearing today, I want to thank the American Foreign Policy Council for their assistance in working on the issue of loss of control on Russian nuclear material and weapons.
I look forward to the hearing tomorrow with Dr. Yablokov and Senator Lugar, and look forward to the hearing later on in October where we have General Lebed coming before us and the authors of the book ''One Point Safe'' to discuss in detail the Coburn's documentation of a number of instances where we do not have adequate control of Russia's strategic and tactical weapons and materials.
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It is interesting, we in this committee have been working on these issues for some time, both when the Democrats controlled the committee and now that the Republicans control the committee, but it took unfortunately a Hollywood movie to bring the American people into paying attention.
The first weekend of ''Peacemaker'' they grossed $12.3 million. My staff figured at roughly $7 a ticket, that means that 1.7 million people got a glimpse of, however incomplete or dramatized it may have been, of the world of nuclear terrorism and how the United States should respond, and now our job is to make sure that in real terms we are dealing with those threats and working with Russia in a positive way to secure their weapons that could be used against us or their own people.
Thank you, Dr. Warshawsky.
With that, unless, Mr. Pickett, you have any further comments, the hearing stands adjourned. We will reconvene tomorrow morning.
[Whereupon, at 4:50 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
SECURITY OF RUSSIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND MATERIALS
House of Representatives,
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Committee on National Security,
Military Research and Development Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Thursday, October 2, 1997.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m. in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. WELDON. The subcommittee will come to order.
First of all, let me express the sincere concerns of the subcommittee and myself personally for having to have this hearing today, this high holy day for our Jewish friends in America. We had planned on having the hearing entirely conducted yesterday. Dr. Yablokov's plane did not get in until last evening. So in that vein, we are continuing a hearing that actually started yesterday and we are extremely pleased with our witnesses.
This morning, our subcommittee meets in open session to receive testimony on the security of Russian nuclear weapons and materials and steps that the U.S. Government has taken to guard against the threat of nuclear proliferation from a disintegrating Russian military.
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At yesterday's hearing on nuclear terrorism, we received testimony from Jessica Stern, former Director of Russian and Ukrainian Affairs on the Clinton administration's National Security Council staff. Ms. Stern, who dealt with issues of Russian nuclear security and proliferation while serving at the NSC, is the inspiration for the character portrayed by Nicole Kidman in the just released movie ''Peacemaker,'' wherein terrorists threaten to blow up New York City with a stolen Russian nuclear weapon.
In yesterday's hearing, Ms. Stern was joined by Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, Director of the Office of Emergency Response Defense Programs at the Department of Energy. If a terrorist event such as portrayed in ''Peacemaker'' were actually to occur today, Ms. Gordon-Hagerty would be doing Nicole Kidman's job, coordinating our response to the terrorist threat.
In yesterday's testimony, both Ms. Stern and Ms. Gordon-Hagerty affirmed that the potential proliferation of Russian nuclear weapons and materials that could be used by terrorists or rogue states is a serious threat that urgently needs to be accorded higher priority and more defense resources than are currently being allocated.
In yesterday's hearing, we also heard from Judge William Webster, former Director of the CIA and FBI, who was joined by other panelists from the Center for Strategic and International Studies to talk about their just-completed task force report, ''Russian Organized Crime.''
Judge Webster and his colleagues said that their study found that Russian organized crime has penetrated and corrupted the Russian military, greatly increasing the risk of theft of nuclear weapons and materials.
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For today's hearing, our two distinguished panelists are Senator Richard Lugar and Alexei Yablokov of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Senator Lugar, who really needs no introduction, as a Senator and Presidential candidate, has attempted, and very successfully, to raise public consciousness about nuclear threats posed by rogue states, terrorists, and the proliferation of nuclear materials or weapons from Russia.
Senator Lugar is widely respected as a leading authority on national security issues. He was the cosponsor of the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction legislation that is often characterized as the first line of defense against the Russia nuclear threat.
Alexei Yablokov is my good friend. He is also a former science adviser directly to President Yeltsin on the Russian Security Council, and is presently a respected member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
I might add, this is the second appearance of Dr. Yablokov before my subcommittee. He testified 2 years ago on the issue of Russian nuclear waste; and we have worked aggressively, basically in response to his suggestions, to make sure that we are working aggressively with Russia to deal with that very serious problem.
Dr. Yablokov has been an outspoken champion of environmental issues in Russia and throughout the world and is particularly concerned about environmental and national security hazards that could arise from mismanagement of the Russian nuclear stockpile.
As a renowned scientist, who has been active in the Russian Government, Dr. Yablokov has come into contact with Russian nuclear weapon scientists and engineers who have designed and managed Russia's nuclear arsenal.
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In recent press statements and in a television interview, Dr. Yablokov said he could independently verify the existence of the small man-made suitcase devices that Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, who by the way will appear before this committee in late October, former Secretary of the Russian Security Council, has alleged are missing and possibly in terrorist hands.
Lebed's allegations about missing Russian nuclear weapons first came to light when I led a congressional delegation to Russia for the second time this year and met with Lebed on May 30. Lebed told us that, while still acting in his capacity as Secretary of the Russian Security Council, he had conducted a study of the Russian military's accounting for its nuclear weapons and found that the military had lost track of 84 suitcase-sized nuclear bombs, any one of which could kill up to 100,000 people.
The Russian Government has officially denied the existence of such weapons. However, according to the transcript of the interview and other documents that I will present today, the actual Russian TV video footage indicated that they actually showed a suitcase nuclear bomb.
No one in the West, and a few in Russia, know for sure whether dozens of small nuclear weapons, ideal for terrorist use, are unaccounted for and perhaps in the wrong hands. The important point is that increases in crime, corruption, incompetence, and institutional decay are so advanced in Russia that the theft of nuclear weapons, unthinkable in the Soviet war machine of the cold war, seems entirely plausible in the Russia of today. The mere possibility that terrorists or rogue states may have acquired some Russian nuclear weapons should be a matter of gravest concern to the governments of the West.
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Senator Lugar and Dr. Yablokov, we welcome you both. We will have two separate panels because Senator Lugar is on an extremely tight schedule. Before I call upon my good friend from the State of Indiana to introduce his senior Senator, I would like to turn to my good friend and tireless worker on issues involving our national security, from the great State of Hawaii, Mr. Abercrombie.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Weldon can be found in the appendix on page 297.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, today's hearing is one of a series, for not everyone who may be familiar with the leadership that you have shown, not only in this area but on questions of technology transfer, on questions of the security interests, not only of the United States but of our allies; and very honestly, Mr. Chairman, in my estimation, this committee under your leadership has shown the way in trying to deal with questions of proliferation in the modern context
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. In the post-cold-war world.
I am particularly concerned with reports that have been coming very recently with respect to possible connections between drug cartel czars in various parts of the world and gangster elements in the fallen Soviet empire, and perhaps elsewhere in some of thewhat have been termed by you and othersrogue states, elements within various states who might want to practice terrorism.
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I am looking forward to this morning's hearings and I can assure those who have an interest that these hearings, again, under your leadership, are for more than form's sake; action in terms of legislation to protect the interests of this country and peace loving people around the world will be forthcoming as a result.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Abercrombie. I deeply appreciate those kind comments and I deeply appreciate your involvement, which has been untiring in working with us to raise the issue that Senator Lugar has been such a tireless advocate for during his entire tenure in the Senate.
It is kind of ironic, Senator, that you have been working on these issues for so many years and that the public has just seemed not to really pay attention, like it has certainly in the past week with the release of the movie ''Peacemaker,'' where 1.7 million Americans saw that movie in the first week alone, first weekend alone. It is ironic, I guess I would say, that Nicole Kidman and George Clooney have done more in 3 days to alert Americans of the real dangers of nuclear terrorism than our President and Vice President have done to the American people in nearly 5 years.
You have been a tireless champion for the efforts in this area. You are a leader for all of us in both parties, and we appreciate you being here today.
And to introduce you, I turn to my good friend and colleague, another tireless, more junior member of our committee but very eloquent spokesman and advocate for strong national security and involvement, engagement with Russia, my good friend, Mr. Hostettler.
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Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am both happy and it is my honor to welcome our State's, Indiana's senior Senator, Richard Lugar, to the subcommittee today. As you know, Mr. Chairman, Senator Lugar is one of the world's most respected voices on the issue of nuclear proliferation and on the urgency with which the United States must address the threat of nuclear terrorism.
If we step back from all of the things on our plate in this committee and take a close look, we would be hard-pressed to find a more fundamental national security issue than this.
Senator Lugar, I welcome the chance to publicly say how much I appreciate, and the people of Indiana appreciate, your devotion to this area of our national security and the leadership you have shown in working to reduce the risk of a nuclear attack on this country. Your work in raising public awareness of the threat posed by rogue states and irresponsible proliferation has been vital. This is not an issue that can be wished away, and you have done this country a great service by proclaiming just what the situation is and why we should be concerned about it.
As always, I look forward, as do members of this subcommittee, to your testimony today. Thank you for being here.
Senator LUGAR. Thank you, John.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Mr. WELDON. Senator, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF HON. RICHARD G. LUGAR, A U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF INDIANA
Senator LUGAR. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I join Mr. Abercrombie, as well as my colleague, John Hostettler, in saluting you for your leadership and for calling for this series of hearings. This is another significant day, I believe, in the life of the Congress, as we are performing a service of information, but likewise consolidating our own efforts and our own thoughtfulness about a serious security problem of our country.
Recent statements by former Russian National Security Advisor Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, whom you met, Mr. Chairman, who made comments subsequently on ''60 Minutes'' regarding the lack of accountability for the number of suitcase atomic demolition munitions, points to the dangers of loose nuclear weapons and materials that were set in trains with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This is not a new phenomenon but, in fact, a rather old one, that we have been seeking to address through the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program for several years.
At this time, I would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your efforts to ensure that this vital national security program continues in order to reduce the weapons of mass destruction threats to Americans, and I would be remiss if I did not also publicly thank several of your colleagues for their valuable work in this area. I cite specifically Congressman Dellums, Congressman Spratt, Congressman Thornberry, and I am sure I did not do justice to all who have been active in this area.
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Mr. Chairman, if the dangers about which General Lebed warns are not new, the circumstances in which those warnings were uttered is new: rampant and increasingly organized crime in Russia, and a disaffected Russian military, reeling from lack of pay, loss of pride, seeking a mission and often moonlighting to make ends meet. Whether the General's comments reflect smoke or fire, when so influential an individual as General Lebed focuses on the issue of loose nukes, it raises questions about the security and safety of the Russian nuclear custodial system and whether disaffected elements in Russia will take such comments as an incitement to exploit the system or as a warning to fix it.
As a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet totalitarian command and control society, a vast potential supermarket of weapons and materials of mass destruction has become increasingly accessible. The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the subsequent decay of the custodial system guarding the Soviet nuclear, chemical, and biological legacy, has eliminated this proliferation choke point. States, and even religious sects, organized crime and terrorist organizations, can now buy or steal what they previously had to produce on their own.
The prevailing view that there is, today, no direct threat to U.S. national security is dead wrong. If General Lebed and others are correct, the dangers are here and now. Indeed, the defining danger of nuclear proliferation is not Iran's purchase of civilian nuclear reactors that may assist Iranian nuclear ambitions a decade hence. It is the threat, today or tomorrow, that Iran, Libya, or Hamas, will purchase nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or materials from some fragment of the current or former Russian military.
Like General Lebed, I have long pointed to the fact that a ballistic or cruise missile is not the likely delivery vehicle a terrorist or a rogue nation would use in employing such weapons. Rather, a suitcase or a Ryder truck, already proven forms of delivery, are much more likely.
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Mr. Chairman, it is only common sense to attempt to deal with the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction at as great a distance, a great distance, from our borders as possible.
The Nunn-Lugar program at the Department of Defense, along with its companion programs at the Department of Energy; namely the Materials Protection, Control and Accounting Program, [MPC&A], are the tools that the United States is employing to reduce this threat to the American people at the source, the former Soviet Union.
The Nunn-Lugar program's impact on the threat posed by former Soviet weapons of mass destruction can be measured in the 129 ICBM's destroyed; 165 ICBM silos eliminated; 20 bombers destroyed; 80 SLBM launchers eliminated; 99 nuclear test tunnels sealed, and the 4,700 warheads taken off strategic systems aimed at us.
Let me repeat, 4,700 former Soviet warheads which were pointed at the United States have been removed with the assistance of the Nunn-Lugar program, at a cost of less than one-third of 1 percent of the Department of Defense's annual budget.
Without the cooperative threat reduction program, Ukraine, Kazakhistan, and Belarus would still have thousands of nuclear weapons. Instead, all three countries are nuclear-weapons free.
The posters I brought with me this morning provide a graphic demonstration of some of these accomplishments. More specifically, Mr. Chairman, the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program is attempting to address the very shortcomings General Lebed encountered when he undertook his inventory of the suitcase nuclear devices.
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The Russian inventory system is so antiquated and inefficient that the Russians do not have an accurate accounting of nuclear weapons or materials. Part of the Nunn-Lugar program will furnish the Russian military with an automated inventory control and management system for their nuclear weapons and materials. This ongoing project will automate the existing Russian system, which currently depends on manual accountability.
The project will establish 10 regional tracking stations and up to 100 field sites. The Russian inventory system was largely handwritten and decentralized. According to Princeton physicist Frank von Hippel, ''Until recently, the only basis for an inventory of the quantity of weapons-usable fissile material at the Kurchatov Institute is boxes of old paper receipts in a dusty room.''
It goes without saying that Russian confidence in the numbers and whereabouts of their nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons is of extreme importance to them, but likewise of extreme importance to us, to the national security interests of the United States in terms of accountability of this material.
Mr. Chairman, most Members can appreciate the direct benefits to our security from assisting the elimination of strategic weapons systems targeted at the United States. Perhaps more difficult to comprehend is the threat posed by the potential leakage of tactical nuclear weapons and weapons' grade nuclear materials.
The Material Protection, Control, and Accounting Program seeks to secure hundreds of tons of weapons-usable nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere which are inadequately stored and are at risk of falling into the hands of criminal elements, terrorist organizations, and rogue states. In short, this program works to prevent the theft or diversion of weapons-usable materials, plutonium, and highly enriched uranium.
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The Department of Energy, in cooperation with Russia and the New Independent States, has put in place equipment at 18 sites to safeguard plutonium and weapons-usable uranium; and agreements are in place to enhance safety and security at over 30 additional sites, including research laboratories and storage sites.
In short, after a slow start in the early 1990's, MPC&A improvements are now under way at over 50 sites in Russia, the New Independent States, and the Baltic States.
But while the Energy Department, through this program, has enhanced the security surrounding hundreds of tons of nuclear-weapons material, much still remains poorly secured.
Mr. Chairman, in my opinion, the Nunn-Lugar and the MPC&A Programs are two of the most critical programs that the U.S. Government conducts for ensuring the strategic national security of this country. They rank alongside the equally critical stockpile stewardship program for maintaining the credibility and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.
Even with these successes, Americans are still threatened by weapons of mass destruction. I held a series of hearings over the past 2 years dealing with threats posed by the proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction. The results of those hearings may be summarized in three basic propositions:
First, nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, materials and know-how are now more available to terrorists and rogue nations than at any other time in our history.
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Two, several nations and subnational groups are actively seeking a nuclear, chemical, and biological capability for potential use against the United States or its allies; and
Three, domestically, we here in the United States are not equipped to manage the crisis posed by the threatened use of such weapons or to manage the consequences of their use against civilian populations.
Let me repeat that. We here in the United States are not equipped to manage the crisis posed by the threatened use of such weapons or to manage the consequences of their use against civilian populations.
This threat is real and we must be prepared. That preparation must take the form of help to first responders, the firemen, police, emergency management teams, medical personnel who will be on the front lines if deterrence and prevention of such incidents fail.
Mr. Chairman, I know that this is an issue in which you have a very strong interest. Your leadership in this area has been farsighted, constant and effective; and I look forward to working with you.
Much of the expertise in defending against and acting in response to nuclear, chemical, and biological threats and incidents resides in the Department of Defense, which has worked to protect our Armed Forces against these attacks.
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 This is why the 1996 Nunn-Lugar-Domenici defense against weapons of mass destruction legislation directed the professionals from the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Environmental Protection Agency, all of these, to join into a partnership with local emergency professionals in cities across the country.
These enhanced domestic preparedness efforts must be coupled with our international programs to create a defense in depth against such threats beyond our borders.
Mr. Chairman, what must be emphasized is the complementary nature of Nunn-Lugar-Domenici domestic preparedness programs and the original Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction programs. That is, the organic relationship between domestic preparedness programs to cope with potential terrorist actions at home and the original Nunn-Lugar programs designed in part to prevent and deter terrorist acts abroad by dealing with the threat posed by the weapons of mass destruction at the source. This is an international problem that defies an exclusively domestic response. One makes no sense without the other. And together, they make a major contribution to our national security.
Mr. Chairman, to oversimplify, there are three main lines of defense against these emerging weapons of mass destruction threats. Individually, each is insufficient. Together, they help to form the policy fabric of an integrated defense in depth.
The first is prevention, and this entails activities at the source. The second is deterrence and interdiction and involves efforts to stem the flow of illicit trade in these weapons and materials. The third line of defense is crisis and consequence management, and this involves greater efforts at domestic preparedness. The United States needs to do more in all three of these areas.
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The real question, Mr. Chairman, is whether there exists sufficient political will, particularly in the Congress, to devote the requisite resources not only to domestic preparedness but to the first two lines of defense in addition; namely, to prevention and deterrence against these threats.
As we have explored the weapons material leakage and loose nuke problem, one point has become increasingly clear. If the United States is to have any chance of stopping the detonation of a weapon of mass destruction on our soil, prevention must start at the source: the weapons and material depots and research institutions in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.
Mr. Chairman, we cannot realistically hope to cope with the threats of weapons of mass destruction at home without a further bounding of the threat abroad. Only by shoring up the first two lines of defense abroad, that is, prevention and deterrence, can we hope successfully to prepare for the threat at home and employ effectively our domestic preparedness programs in our third line of defense. And this is what an integrated defense in depth against this threat is all about.
If we are not willing to devote the requisite resources, the time and the international leadership necessary to controlling, regulating, and otherwise circumscribing this threat, in the command and control centers of the Russian military, at dismantlement, disassembly, and storage sites in the states of the former Soviet Union and elsewhere, at the borders between current possessors and eager purchasers of such weapons and materials, then the task of defense at home is made both more unmanageable and probably ultimately impossible.
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We have the tools and expertise to tackle these threats. What we need now is for Congress to supply the will and the resources.
In my view, absent congressional support of U.S. response to this threat as focused, serious and vigorous, as America's cold war strategy, Americans may have every reason to anticipate acts of nuclear, chemical and biological terrorism against American targets before another decade is out.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the privilege of testifying.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you very much, Senator Lugar.
Would you have time for one round of questions from the Members?
Senator LUGAR. Of course, yes.
Mr. WELDON. I know you are very busy. I appreciate that.
First of all, let me comment and applaud you for your specific focus on the tie-in to our local emergency responders. You have really responded extremely well in light of the concerns of the 1.2 million men and women who serve in the 32,000 departments across the country, who are largely volunteer, who are charged with the responsibility of responding to any incident, from a flood to a hurricane to a tornado to an act of terrorism.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 The first responders, as you know, in the World Trade Center and the Murrah Building in Oklahoma and the Atlanta bombing were the emergency response people, and this training needs to go far beyond our National Guard and FEMA to make sure it reaches down.
Under your leadership, working together with you over the past year, in fact, we have seen that begin to occur in 27 of our largest cities, and over the next year that will be extended to 127 cities.
But I still feel there isin dealing with these men and women every day, and I will be speaking at their national memorial service this weekend in Emmitsburg, MD, they still feel as though they are not fully brought into the process. And I just appreciate you highlighting that because I pledge to work with you to make sure that we get the bureaucracy to respond to these people and make sure that they have the training and the resources necessary to know what to do when they arrive on the scene.
I guess it is heightened by the fact that I had Chief Morris in, who is the Chief of the Oklahoma City Fire Department, testifying earlier this year on the 1 year anniversary of that bombing; and I said, ''Chief, tell me, are you better prepared today than you were a year ago?'' And he said, ''Congressman, I am no better off today than I was one year ago.''
And so in all of your efforts, focusing on this group of people I think is critical and I appreciate that, and look forward to continuing that working relationship with you. So thank you for that plug for the first responder.
And I know the folks back in Indiana who are outstanding, some of the finest in the country, appreciate your leadership as well.
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Senator, some of the GAO investigators and Russian officials have told us that the military and Minatom authorities in some cases are still forbidding American auditors and inspectors access to the actual dismantlement and storage sites and to detailed records.
Now you have traveled extensively throughout Russia. I saw you there in Moscow earlier this year. You have had far more experience in looking at this issue than I or anyone else perhaps on this committee. Do you share that concern? Are there still problems in getting the Ministry of Atomic Energy and the Ministry of Defense to be more open with us to share more detailed records and to let us have more actual sites to where dismantlement is occurring or are you right now comfortable with what has been occurring?
Senator LUGAR. Well, I am never comfortable, Mr. Chairman, with that and I think we have to keep pressing at each point with Minatom. I know you have had conferences with Mr. Mikhaylov, and I have really specifically, about the importance of this.
My impression from the last conference that Senator Nunn and I had with him last October was that he was a good bit more cooperative than he had been the year before or the year before that; and that there is, in fact, a desire to work with us. But that should not mask the fact that there is sometimes not a desire to work completely with us.
Now, we need to behave accountability for this. And these programs are very important to the Russians. And one reason why we continue this dialogue, even given the ups and downs of other problems with the Russians, is that they are deadly serious about the threats to them of proliferation. The events might occur in Russia first. The accidents really are at hand there.
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So we keep impressing that because, clearly, our money does not pay for their program. It offers a discipline and a construct and an expertise, but at the same time they want us, and that is the leverage for obtaining more information.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
Senator, at our hearing yesterday, Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, who I know has been before you on many occasions, who does a very capable job of heading up our Office of Emergency Response at DOE and the entire NEST Program, testified to the amount of training and preparedness that that group goes through. In fact, she cited some 78 specific exercises in this year alone. And I know you have investigated in a very in-depth way the trial that was done down in New Orleans, I believe, several years ago, and from that there were many recommendations made because of your efforts.
But I asked her specifically, with the administration saying that terrorism is such a high priorityand, in fact, I have a quote from President Clinton from when he gave the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement address. I quote the President, ''When it comes to terrorism, time is a luxury we don't have.'' But in her testimony yesterday, she said that not one single senior administration official has ever been involved in any of the exercises. And this includes the President, the Vice President, the Secretaries of Defense, State, Energy, the National Security Advisor, or Deputy National Security Advisor, because I asked her specifically every one of those.
In your own opinion, as an expert in this area, do you think it is important that a senior administration official involve himself or herself in at least one or more of these exercises? Because if we are faced with this situation, we have got to be able to respond quickly.
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Senator LUGAR. Of course, it would be very important for the same reason that you, Mr. Chairman, will be addressing the volunteer firemen, and that I went to Indianapolis when we had the first training session, 1 of the 27 cities. There was nothing I could really offer in terms of expertise there. There were two generals from our Armed Forces, an Assistant Secretary of Defense, a whole raft of people from all the agencies.
But the highlight, at least of the meeting, comes when the public as a whole in Indianapolis or in Philadelphia or in other cities understand that preparations are under way; they are going to have more confidence.
As perhaps you know, Mr. Chairman, I served 8 years as mayor of my home city of Indianapolis and I look at it through that prism. If I had been confronted as mayor, or my chief of police or fire chief or any of the first responders, with the sort of potential events we are looking at, it would have been a devastating experience.
Now, there is no guarantee we would not have lost lives, but we do know that if the first response had been more adequate, we would have saved a lot of lives before NEST could get there, or other people from the Department of Defense, or whoever, depending upon the nature of the attack. And we are trying to prepare that. But it does require some public witness on the part of a President and our cabinet officials, others of responsibility, that this is, in fact, serious.
I pay tribute to Secretary Perry, former Secretary of Defense, and now to Secretary Cohen. They are deeply involved in these issues. And Secretary Perry, in particular, certainly gave witness abroad in many of his visits and perhaps to some extent here at home. Secretary Cohen, I am confident, will do so, and I am asking him to do that.
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Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Senator. And that is exactly my concern. I don't doubt the sincerity of the effort being put forth by our leaders in the cabinet and by the administration; but the point was made by Ms. Gordon-Hagerty that it would be very advantageous, in her mind, if a senior administration official participated in at least one of these events, because if the event is real, they are not just going to be observers, they are going to be the ones ultimately calling the shots in terms of what our response is.
And, therefore, to familiarize themselves in senior positions with the process they are putting into place, she felt it was necessary to experience that process and to be involved. So I just wanted to share that with you, especially in light of the President's comment that when it comes to terrorism, time is a luxury we don't have.
I think putting 2 hours into a simulation when we do 78 a year is something that we should make every effort to have our senior officials involved in.
Senator, I have one other question before I allow my colleagues to respond, and that is to give you an open-ended question. I have supported the cooperative threat reduction program in this committee, as you know and you have stated. Sometimes it is very difficult because we have members of our committee and of the Congress who have legitimate concerns in their minds about whether or not the money that we are allocating is actually going to achieve the end result, or whether it is simply supplying additional resources for the Russians to do other defense work or other programs.
So I ask you in a very open manner, how would you respond to that and what would be your answer for me to give to those Members who have some doubts and who perhaps weren't as supportive as they should have been in this current year's funding cycle?
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Senator LUGAR. Well, I understand doubts with regard to programs, as enthusiastic as I am about it, because there is always the threat of substitution. And I have heard Members on both sides of the Capitol say what about additional research that the Russians are doing, or even hardware that they are buying? Isn't there a substitution of that? And my own judgment, after several years, is that there is not much of one and probably not any.
One of the dilemmas we had, and we found this taking a look at the chemical weapons business, is that the Russians really do not have very much money in their defense budget. They are not collecting taxes. They are sequestering maybe a third of the money that they even have allocated. And, therefore, they are saying to us arms control is important to us but it is almost a luxury we cannot afford, while we are trying to pension out our officers, we are trying to get food to our troops, even as we advise local provinces to feed the troops as they sort of live off the land. There would not have been headway with regard to the collection initially of the scattered small nuclear weapons, the tactical nuclear weapons, a living miracle that some 30,000 to 35,000, however many there were, roughly, collected into three piles, have been systematically accounted for and some of them destroyed, without the initial initiative of the program that would not have occurred. Nor would the numbers of warheads have been removed. Nor would the three states be nonnuclear.
Specifically, the Nunn-Lugar funds were required for Kravchuk and Rada in Ukraine to make those decisions. There were many there who said, let's hang on to them; it gives us clout in the world, dangerous as this may be.
Likewise with Belarus, a great deal of criticism over the fact that a part of the deal to get all of those weapons out of Belarus was to put some housing there for Russian officers.
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That was the quid pro quo. But I would defend that because the missiles came out. Belarus, in its unstable condition now, did not have nuclear weapons and that is a plus factor we could not have counted upon.
So I just come back to the fact that we are giving at least some impetus and some framework, some incentives, to a very cash poor defense establishment to do some things that are helpful to them, but we believe very helpful to us. And I would say to any Member, this is not foreign aid. This is not a charitable contribution. We are talking about things that are aimed at us and still are.
Now, I cited 4,700 warheads, but as you know, Mr. Chairman, that is about half of the job. And in your committee, you have, I am certain, commented that within 15 to 30 minutes you change the option in Azimuth and you are back in business, and that is serious.
So while we have this window of opportunity and this cooperation, I am for moving as rapidly as we can, ad seriatim, each missile, each silo, to get this thing down to proportion for them and for us, and then to guard the fissile material once we get it out of the warheads or out of the tactical nukes or what have you.
And, of course, the Department of Energy, as you cited today, has been critically important.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Senator. And I agree with you and I appreciate those comments, and would just say that the other major concern I have, as a strong supporter of what you are doing and the funding for what you have established in terms of process, is that Russia has got to understand that those of us who want Russia to succeed just as Strobe Talbott and Bill Clinton and Al Gore want Russia to succeed, we in the Congress are having some trouble when transparency is not what we think it should be.
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I discussed with you in Moscow the issue of Yamantau Mountain, and my grave concerns over Russia's lack of candor and transparency on what is going on there at a time when they are in a terrible state of economic turmoil and yet investing billions of dollars into a project in the Urals that they won't describe to us, and for us to be able to continue to network our colleagues to bring in votes for these kinds of initiatives, we have got to send a signal.
I know you feel as I do, that Russia has got to continue to be more open and transparent so that we don't have the levels of mistrust built up as they have, especially in this committee by some of my colleagues, who wonder what is going on here.
With that, I will turn to my good friend and colleague, Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And once again, Senator Lugar, aloha from all of your friends in paradise.
Senator LUGAR. Wonderful.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Senator Lugar, the Chairman has anticipated at least one of the areas that I wanted to explore. It is not so much a question, Senator, as it is an opportunity to perhaps explore a little bit some of your observations that you might make; and if you have something that you would like to say definitively in terms of legislation, which is, after all, the object of these hearings, I would be pleased to hear it, and I am sure the Chair would.
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In the course of your testimony, you have made very modestly, I might say, some citations of programs and legislation now currently on the books which address the issues at hand. The reason I say ''modestly'' is that your name is associated with virtually every element in this legislation, which bespeaks very clearly your central role and its accomplishment.
And I want to add to what the chairman has said, that in time to come, Senator Lugar, your leadership in this area will be recognized as having formed the foundation, I believe, for the security interests of this Nation as it goes into the 21st century with respect to the threats that will manifest themselves in the 21st century.
In that context then, Nunn-Lugar requirementsamong the Nunn-Lugar requirements, particularly with respect to reduction of missiles and warheads, involves the cooperative threat reduction program and we have talked about that or you have discussed that, both in a general sense and more specifically. And in that context, further in that context, there is the automated inventory control and management system with respect to nuclear weapons and material.
Is that, in your judgment, adequately funded at the present time? And if your conclusion is that it is not, could you outline for us what you thinkwhere you think the gaps are and what you think needs to be done now, even including, if you feel comfortable with it, some specificity with respect to program funding?
Senator LUGAR. Well, Mr. Abercrombie, the Government of the United Statesby that, I mean the administration, the Congress, trying to deal with this problemhas identified tens of laboratories and facilities in Russia. There is disagreement as to how many of them may have fissile material, but often a list of 80 to 100 facilities come to the fore when this is discussed.
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Now, judgments have been made that our resources are limited; and, therefore, as I cited today, we have moved progressively to a point where as many as 50 of these facilities may now be receiving some treatment under our programs. But this begs the question, what about the other 50? What is going on there? In other words, if a potential terrorist or whoever wants to obtain material, ideally he would go to the 50 that are guarded and be rebuffed.
On one occasion, I was told that there have been 700 attempts to gain material from Russian laboratories; all rebuffed. The Russians indicated that the security worked. But in my mind's eye, I envision 700 attempts. This is a proliferation of activity well beyond that what I would have anticipated, and I hope the batting average is perfect. At some stage, it is unlikely to be at situations that are not so well guarded.
Mr. Mikhaylov, if he were here, or others, would testify that we are denigrating Russian security; that they know a lot about this and that we are suspicious to a fault. But on the other hand, I found that we havewhen we have gotten our experts there, we have been able to work cooperatively on principles that we found to be useful here.
And we have spent, arguably, in this country sums of as much as $500 million a year to secure our own material, just as the mirror image of this, when there is a bare fraction of this available anywhere in the Russian budget. And so the expertise is of the essence, since all of the safeguards really are never going to be replicated.
If we were to attack the problem in a concerted way, we would be spending a great deal more money, obviously, to get everything that we know about into our purview, as opposed to a progressive sort of thing, almost like a building program at a college. We say we will do it in a 5-year program: Ten this year, 10 the next and so forth. It isn't that kind of a problem and so Ias we argue about this on the Senate side, as you will on the House, I argue for more. The sooner we get comprehensively our arms around the problem, the safer we will all be.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. With respect to the materials protection, control and accounting program in the DOE, could you give us some more specificity, if you feel comfortable with it, with respect to that program and its funding?
Senator LUGAR. Well, I would say this is in the same category, that it tries to do incrementally what I believe should be done comprehensively. In other words, if this coming year we try, in all honesty, to take a look at what we need to do, put a dollar figure on that, it will be a large number. This is one reason why we have said we will do so much this year.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, Senator, this goes beyond this hearing but in terms of food for thought, I know I have discussed this with the Chair and with other members in our National Security Committee, I think precisely because we find ourselves competing for dollars, particularly with capital assets, the acquiring of capital assets, that perhaps we might begin to think about going to capital budgeting and separating an operational budget from a capital budget so as to free up more dollars for the kinds of operational programs that would be involved here.
Would you agree that this is essentially an operating budget side of our defense programs that needs to be enhanced?
Senator LUGAR. Well, part of it is capital and part operating. There are basic installation factors, and we are not buying all of those. Our money is meant to stimulate what Russians want to do, need to do, so that they will feel safe and we will feel safe and we will have some accountability.
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You know, as a part of this, I mention in my testimony that Russians are as interested as we are in actually getting account of what they have, and that is a real problem. Until you really get the situation computerized and some regularity with regard to security procedures, it is hard to have confidence; and this is why General Lebed's testimony strikes some doubts and chords because no one really knows. And as the chairman pointed out, we have problems, as Members in the House and the Senate, of the credibility of all of this because on occasion President Yeltsin may not know what is going on with Mr. Mikhaylov or with other people.
When I talked about renegade units, fractions of this and that, some are not renegades, some may still be in uniform and active. So we think in terms of our accountability in our government; we would find the Secretary of Defense accountable to us and people dealing with atomic energy, but we cannot make that same assumption in Russia, which is aggravating for all of us.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes, I understand. That brings me to my last point, as a matter of fact. In my original statement or in my opening statement, I made mention of reports, recent reports, with respect to people who do not have a funding problem and have very little in the way of legislative oversight to contend with, and that is to say the drug cartels, and the capacity of the drug cartels and the increasing capacity, as I understand it in my discussions with people who are familiar with the circumstances, the increasing capacity of the drug cartels to utilize computerization, to utilize front companies, to utilize the banking systems, laundering systems, for narco dollars, particularly to influence government. Would you conclude, as I have at least at this point, that we need, as legislators, to perhaps focus on this issue of narco dollars and government corruption or corruption of bureaucratic systems with respect to weapons of mass destruction and their proliferation?
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Senator LUGAR. Yes, we should do that, and there have been press accounts that we have all read in the last 72 hours specifically pertaining to alleged Russian criminals, who are particularly dangerous because of their access to particular types of weapons, such as weapons that can shoot down helicopters that are after them; you know, a sophisticated military type weapon that has not been noticed as much in narcotrafficking before.
This is of great interest to the Russians. They see money being siphoned out of their country. If we were to put ourselves in the shoes of President Yeltsin or Nemtsov or Chubais or these other leaders and see that they have got to sequester a third of their military budget because so much money is being exported from Russia, in addition to resources that this money can buy, this is a very serious problem for them.
And this is why there has been some cooperation with our FBI director, Mr. Freeh, and with others, just on the criminal element alone, which is of great consequence to both of us.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Senator.
Mr. Chairman, I suggest that that is an area that perhaps we might want to take a look at in connection with the requisite legislative committee activity elsewhere, both on our broader National Security Committee, perhaps Intelligence and elsewhere.
Thank you very much, Senator Lugar. It is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with you directly. You are one of theI know it has been said here already but it is very clear to me that, again, in time to come, that the role that you have played will be recognized in this Nation as fundamental in seeing to it that the interests of this Nation are advanced in the century to come.
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Senator LUGAR. Thank you, sir.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Abercrombie.
From the State of Indiana, Mr. Hostettler.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator, as you know, we have discussed, and our staffs have talked about my concern, my being one of those that are concerned about the issue of transparency and verification with regard to these dollars. But as you do consistently today in your testimony and in your opening remarks, you have succinctly and adroitly winnowed down for those of us of less eloquence the importance of your program. And as the chairman has said, we need to talk to members of the committee.
And if I can, if I can make it as simple as possible, as you have outlined the issue of resources and the issue of priorities of the militaries of the former Soviet Union, for example, they want to feed their troops and they want to house their troops and they want to give them uniforms and things like that, would it be safe to say, would it be accurate to say, that without Nunn-Lugar that no such action, this first part, getting to the issue of nuclear materials at the source, without Nunn-Lugar it would be pretty easy to say that there would probably be no such action being taken in these former states, little, if any, action taken?
Senator LUGAR. Little, if any, is perhaps the better term.
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Mr. HOSTETTLER. Yes, yes.
Senator LUGAR. Rather than none. I think the Russians understood the problem. But the origin of the question came after the breakup of the former Soviet Union and Russians came over here. At that time many members of the administration were preoccupied with other things. We were getting ready for national elections or the transition from 1991 to 1992 and so some of them drifted over and they came into the orbit of Senator Nunn and myself simply because they said, you gentlemen ought to be interested in the fact that elements of the Red Army are disintegrating, that the security surrounding the tactical weapons is in particular danger. And they described, as the Wall Street Journal thoughtfully on the front page one day, how on flatbed trucks you can cart one off to Iran, Iraq, wherever else you wanted to go, simply done and probably would be done.
So they suggested that having spent x trillions of dollars in the recent years trying to control all of this, that we ought to have an interest in working with them to try to at least get their arms around the problem. And that was the origin of the first $400 million that was appropriated on the last day of that calendar year really in the Congress.
Now, the administration didn't act on it very fast. Secretary Baker gave a speech about it sometime during December and recognized there was something there, but this was not something they had asked for and not something they were prepared to administer. And it was not until the spring of 1992, when the administration people went with Senator Nunn and with me to Russia, that they realized what an acute dilemma we had, including lack of very much diplomatic representation in the Ukraine and other areas that were potential blow-up situations.
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So at that point, in fairness, they began to act, but off to a very slow start. The congressional committees all appropriately have wanted accountability all the way through. So the number of checks, audits set up, meant that in many cases, with competitive bidding and with most of the money going to U.S. firms, nothing happened in some years; and appropriators have frequently just taken all the money off the table that did not get spent because all of the checks and balances were not set up.
But nevertheless, it stimulated and disciplined the Russian situation to a point where they did get control of the tactical nukes, and that was critical. And they did take seriously in Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan the fact that probably they ought to get out of the business.
The President of Kazakhstan did phone us and tell us that he had a warehouse full of material, that we airlift it out, as you recall, on one occasion, and other situations because of mutual trust. So these generated a pattern of activity, even down to this computer business.
I looked over the shoulder of a Russian major last October who was responsible for getting onto the computer nuclear missiles or materials or what have you, wherever they had it, just to see how the program was working; and they were training people to do this, and they were taking off of pieces of paper, manually done, rubbed out and so forth.
This is the nature of the accountability problem. That would not be happening without us, nor the tightening up at the laboratories. They would simply say, ''What we're doing is good enough and we're stopping most of it.''
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I would just finally add that the Aum Shinri Kyo group tried out the Russian system and tried to get nuclear weapons and materials, and they failed. This is one reason they went to sarin gas and killed the sheep in Australia, trying to find the efficacy of that before they killed Japanese citizens.
It is a fact that they came to us and got chemical weapons, or not chemical weapons, precursors that they used for the sarin. So in our own system domestically, we have some problems of that sort.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Senator. I wish more of my colleagues were here to hear that, but we will get that word out.
Turning to another issue, with regard to your years in working in international relations and hearings on the Senate side, as you have heard the evolution of international attitudes toward the United States, could you tell us your opinion, what motives would rogue states or would terrorist organizations have in bringing a nuclear device into the United States, on U.S. soil, into a major metropolitan area? What motives would they have for detonating that? What would they seek to accomplish by doing something like that, something extreme like that?
Senator LUGAR. We have, I suppose, the two known cases. I mentioned Aum Shinri Kyo and Tokyo. It seems like madness, but 30,000 people organized, pulled together a billion dollars in resources of a cult that, as we have read in the press, still lives despite all the trials that are going there. Their objective was to overthrow the Government of Japan, as preposterous as that may be. The means of doing this were through mass terror and specifically in the subway on the day that they attacked at a time of crowds and intersecting subways, to kill maybe tens of thousands of people, if they were effective, as the sarin gas spread through the cars. They didn't kill that many people, they injured 5,000 or so.
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There was chaos and panic for a period of time, and they were incarcerated, but if you ask why, very hard to tell. These people were totally off our intelligence charts; we didn't know about them until the day of the attack, which is sort of awesome, too. It wasn't a rogue state in this case; it turned out to be a strange religious group.
Now, with the people at the World Trade Center, as many of you know, when the judge passed sentence on them, he related something that had not been well known in the trial, and that is that they had attempted to create a chemical incident there and it didn't work. The chemicals vaporized. In addition to sort of the garden-variety fertilizer explosion situation, they attempted to do something that was much more in the weapons of mass destruction line.
We don't know from their testimony what their motivation was. Why did they really want to kill all the people in the World Trade Center? To make a statement of some sort? Once again, sheer madness.
This is the difficulty with the problem. These people don't telegraph ahead that they have an agenda. If we find out about it, we're lucky.
We had testimony in the Senate from a gentleman who brought to the witness table a Coke can; he pulled it up, and there was a cylinder underneath. He said, this is uranium. It was 15 pounds. He brought it in in a notebook about the size of this one to begin with. I said, it is not highly enriched, although there is something there; and he put a counter and it ticked away, and the other witnesses receded from the table temporarily. He said, this gives you an idea.
Page 122 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 If 100 pounds of highly enriched uranium had been available to the bombers at Oklahoma City, it would have been in the form of a pineapple machined into shape for that purpose, it could have been carried in a fairly thin briefcase, not even a suitcase. No need even for the van. And it would have taken out 4 square miles of Oklahoma Citynot just half of the courthouse, 4 square miles, almost all of the entirety of the business and residential district in that situation. That is the problem.
If you say, well, how would one get 100 pounds of this, good question. Thus far, security has been such that 6 pounds came in a trunk in Prague that was found; that is not 100, it is not even 15. But the fact is, the people were trying. Our dilemma is, we don't know whether they are accumulating.
The efficacy of doing the machining is fairly well known. It is still the availability of the material. This is why the accountability factor is so critical.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. If we don't know their motives, can there be an effective deterrence?
Senator LUGAR. Only by the most rigorous accountability at the source. Then the interdiction through Customs. We have set up in the Nunn-Lugar business the Polish and the Belarus Customs. They count what is going in and out. Mostly medical supplies register some tick on the meter on occasion.
So you try some interdiction through intelligence sources. But finally, as the chairman has pointed out, you have to be prepared for the fact that somewhere in America, for no divine reason, there could be an incident and you try to prepare for it to mitigate the disaster.
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Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Senator.
Mr. WELDON. Senator, how much time do you have left?
Senator LUGAR. I should go fairly soon.
Mr. WELDON. Can we have a chance to do some quick questions? We have three members, and then we'll end it.
Senator LUGAR. Surely.
Mr. WELDON. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Turner.
Mr. TURNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Lugar, it is an honor to have you appear before our committee today. I have always admired your expertise in national security matters, and your deliberate and intellectually honest approach to such sensitive issues have given you a great deal of credibility, not only among your colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but on the part of the American people.
Senator LUGAR. Thank you.
Mr. TURNER. We had a debate on the floor of the House a few weeks ago, the defense authorization billthat, of course, as you know, comes from our committeewent to the floor; and one of the amendments that was offered proposed to cut off Nunn-Lugar funding to Russia if the Secretary of State certified that Russia had transferred SSN22 missiles to China. That amendment passed in the Committee of the Whole and was later reversed when the full House once again voted on it after we came out of the Committee of the Whole.
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I opposed that amendment because I thought it was shortsighted to cut off Nunn-Lugar funding. Even though the problem that the amendment attempted to address was a very real one and needed to be addressed, I thought it was counterproductive to suggest that Nunn-Lugar funding be halted to Russia.
It does, however, bring up an issue that I think is on the minds of many Members of Congress and the American people, and I would like to ask your opinion regarding whether or not our efforts to encourage democracy in Russia and promote capitalism and to generally improve our growing relationship with Russia has caused us to compromise our national security interests by failing to deal decisively with Russian actions and inactions that have resulted in the proliferation of nuclear weapons and missile technology to other countries, and if you believe that we have compromised our national interest, what do you think are the most important things that we could do to increase the accountability of Russia in this particular area?
Senator LUGAR. I appreciate your mention of that debate. I had come home and had turned on C-SPAN, sort of channel-surfing and suddenly came upon the House debating a subject which I was much interested in and was dismayed to watch the debate.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. It happens on occasion, Senator.
Senator LUGAR. I think the dilemma, though, that was faced by the House that night, looking at it from the other standpoint is very real. How do you influence conduct that we believe is clearly not in our interest, and we think really not in the Russians' interest, either?
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The whole argument over the nuclear power plant expertise in Iran is one that is very, very frustrating, quite apart from other transfers. Once again you come back on occasion to the Russians saying, ''Well, we didn't know the other hand was doing it.'' In other words, the accountability factor for Boris Yeltsin or for Mr. Chernomyrdin or what have you, as opposed to others who go out the back door for the cash, or selling, whatever is required, always is difficult.
So even as we try to sanction one element of the Russian Government, we are not sure we are hitting the right target. We keep thinking of this thing as an integrated group of people who make decisions in an orderly way. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.
I think our effectiveness comes in very closely working the problem with Russians every day, not just in summit conferences or in dramatic confrontations, but people who are literally trying to work with Russians so we know what is on their minds and they know the consequences that we see of various activities, and they know essentially that our motivation in these areas coincides with theirs. Where it doesn't, why, we will always have some problems, and there are a good number of those. But I would say to cut out the Nunn-Lugar programs or this Material Accountability Act or these sorts of thingsI don't want to be shortsighted, but it is going to be disastrous for our security.
In other words, these weapons are aimed at us, and they are going to continue to be aimed at us. We can take action to try to mitigate that, to try to keep working to destroy them, to get them into shelters, to account for them; or we can say in a fit of pique, we are just tired of all of this, go ahead and do whatever you want to do, and lose touch with the military. And we have very close ties, American military and Russian military, our Secretary of Defense, the Vice President, Mr. Chernomyrdin and everybody else continuously.
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I think that probably is what we are fated to do for a long time, with continuous disagreements, but at the same time, a hands-on management that gets results. We always will get results when it is in the Russians' benefit as well as our own, when it is a parallel course. What we are talking about today is; as I say, some other things may not be. There may be different witnesses.
Mr. TURNER. Thank you, Senator.
Again, thank you for your leadership. We on this side are going to continue to support you and work with you, and our chairman, Mr. Weldon, has been very active, as you know, in this area; and with his leadership, we will continue to be a partner with you. Thank you very much for being here.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Turner.
From the great State of Nevada, Mr. Gibbons.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I join my colleagues in their accolades to you, Senator, for your hard work and leadership in this area.
I believe that this Nation, more than any other nation, is vulnerable to attacks on our soil because of our freedoms. In the past, we have had a foreign policy of deterrence that has been based on a quid pro quo, which meant that a nation attacking America would receive similar response. Today, we cannot use the same method of deterrence, as I see it, because many of the people who would do harm to the United States on our soil are not nationwide citizens of whatever group that may want to impose that harm.
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Do we as a nation, first, have the willingness to respond? And let us hope that we as a nation never have to respond to a crisis that would precipitate that. But I am concerned when I hear comments by our chairman about the administration's failure to work diligently, if it would be, into our preparedness against this attack, makes me worried that we have no way of responding with a quid pro quo which would give us that deterrence against some of these groups.
What would be your comments on that?
Senator LUGAR. Obviously, I would share the desire for Americans to be more interested in this. I would guess that most of us in public life usually take our cues from our constituents. Now, that is the problem with this issue. If you are looking for a constituency in this area, you will look a long while.
From my own anecdotal experience as a Presidential candidate talking about all of this, people have said, well, this is all well-meaning, we are glad somebody is doing something about this, but nevertheless we are interested in crime and education and welfare reform and the moral fiber of our country. The cold war is over, so don't scare us too much. Do what you need to do, but don't bother us.
I think this is reflected generally in the leadership from the top down. None of us are exempt. We talk about things to our constituents that they are interested in. But from time to time it seems to me that we have a stewardship responsibility for the security of the country. So whether in fact, it comes up to the top 10 on the charts, we say, ''Listen up, we have got a problem here.'' It comes because we had a cold war and a lot of detritus left over. That is the whole origin of it.
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What do you do with all of this stuff after you are finished? We are trying to help the Russians contain it, destroy it, get rid of it in some form. They want to sell it. We are buying, as you know, low enriched uranium, the high enriched degraded. Mr. Mikhaylov is very keen on that program because it does provide cash and it gets it all out of Russia systematically.
So we will all have to continue on doing that. That is a part of our responsibility, whether anybody calls us to do it or not. But to the extent that, as the chairman pointed out, public officials highlight these efforts, I think it is confidence building. I think most of our constituents would like to think that we are far-sighted enough to do these things, and they will applaud it and then go back to talking about health, education, and welfare and knowing that we are taking care of it.
Mr. GIBBONS. To change the pace, Senator, a little bit, let me ask one final question here.
I noticed your comment said that the Russian empire previously had a great deal of problems with accountability of fissile materials, and all they have are boxes of old paper receipts and they are trying to accumulate that. I presume that we have very little knowledge at this point in time of exactly how much material may be lost somewhere in this world. As we saw earlier, as you mentioned, in Prague 6 pounds of uranium showed up in the trunk of a car; the 700 attempts, you say, that were all rebuffed leads one to believe that there is a measurable amount of dangerous material still out there.
Page 129 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Russia is not the only country that is capable of producing material which could be used, could be acquired by terrorists or nations intent to do harm to us. Are we really making a dent in this? Because it takes only one suitcase bomb, as the chairman has indicated, to devastate a country, to devastate the population.
Do we have the willingness to produce the resources necessary to assure the American people that we are going to protect them, as is our duty? And how much do you foresee that costing the American people?
Senator LUGAR. Well, thus far, we have been prepared to appropriate about $400 million a year, sometimes less, but in that ballpark, for a 6-year period of time; and that is a considerable amount of money. So that devotion is there.
But I think the problem you raise is the fact that we really don't know. We think that all the tactical nuclear weapons were in fact found, inventoried and in time contained, and that is a remarkable procedure in itself. There is not evidence that a tactical weapon has showed up. If you ask, how can you be sure, we can't.
When the Nunn-Lugar thing came in, it was chaotic and the question was literally sort of picking them up off the ground and getting things back into shape at that point. But the Russians understood that, too. They really did not want to see a proliferation of this in near neighbors or in fractionated states, so there was a motivation to move swiftly.
It is in areas where sometimes the Russians are overconfident. Some of these laboratories, as I have testified, the Russians feel are perfectly secure. They can't understand why we would have any questions about it. So then our experts from DOE raise questions, and they sort of show how it might not work; and so adjustments are made so that it does work.
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I hope we come to a day quickly in which they do have it all computerized. That won't mean that somebody doesn't try to steal it, but it would mean we would know that it is missing. And that is the problem right now; until you actually have the inventory, it is awfully hard to tell what is in and out in the picture.
Mr. GIBBONS. Senator, thank you very much for your appearance here.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman. Finally, the newest member of our committee, from New Mexico, and a rising star on security issues, Mr. Redmond.
Mr. REDMOND. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Senator Lugar, for your hard work in this area. It is not true concerning people in Los Alamos; we do not glow in the dark when the lights go off. I have the unique distinction of my family when they go to bed every night, they close their eyes in a home that is located just a thousand feet away from where Fat Man and Little Boy were assembled. Our house is the very first home next to the assembly site. So this is a very important concern personally for me because I am quite aware of the severity of what has taken place historically in the Soviet Union and the potential that is there.
I wanted to address the question concerning the congressional fears and the fears of other Americans, the substitution as we do provide funds for the former Soviet Union to work on this matter in a partnership with us.
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Historically, in the 19th century, Russia sold Alaska to the United States when they needed cash for another war that they were fighting. I am just wondering if it wouldn't be possible to make the partnership more honorable if a part of the agreement included the transfer of our technology and our support for natural resources that are plentiful in the Soviet Union, oil or timber. I think that that would be a way of strengthening the partnership and making it more honorable and the Russians seeing themselves as our peers in the process as opposed to dependent in the process.
I don't know whether this has been considered, and as Chairman Weldon has stated, I am the newest Member, so I am still receiving my education on this, but I just wanted to run that past you to see if that is a possibility.
Senator LUGAR. I think it is a very important suggestion, and at some point it may be a practical outcome of negotiations. I just must say, though, I went over with Secretary Perry to address the Duma people about Start II and ratification, quite apart from the chemical weapons situation. The Russians do feel a great loss of pride and, as you say, are in almost a dependency status.
Here they come along with the CWC, and really they are telling us frankly, we can't ratify this, we don't have the money to fulfill the obligations. Some Americans would say, well, this is sort of an invitation for us to furnish the money then, because that is in our best interest in a sense. They have many more chemical weapons there than we do. We are systematically destroying ours as a matter of national policy; they would like to do so for the same reasons.
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They now, in a democracy, have people who live close to these situations and they want to get rid of them and they are worried, just as our citizens are, about the means of destruction. Yet the fact is the wherewithal to get on with this at the time of a desperate financial situation just isn't there. It is a lower priority. So it is a tough call for us. We could say, you have made your bed, now sleep in it. You have got a lot of problems there, and we are sympathetic, but you spend your money.
We have taken the position and some of our U.S. money is going into one of seven very large chemical weapons situations there to get them started, to start destroying the stuff. Maybe we will work out a more acceptable situation in terms of national pride and prestige, and I think many of them would find that to be preferable, too. But I think we just pragmatically have to deal with the situation in terms of our security as we make headway working with them to destroy chemical weapons or nuclear weapons or whatever else, or to at least make sure it is secure so that other third parties don't get to us; and we have decided that some of our money stimulates about the most activity that they are capable of at this point.
I salute the New Mexico delegation. As you know, Senator Domenici and Senator Bingaman in a bipartisan way have been very, very active in these areas because they have a lot of constituents who are concerned and their own travels have led them to this leadership.
Mr. REDMOND. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Redmond.
Page 133 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Thank you, Senator. You have been very kind and gracious. You originally planned to stay for 20 minutes and now you have been here an hour and 25 minutes. Thank you for being here.
Mr. WELDON. With that, we will ask our next witness to come forward, Dr. Alexei Yablokov. As Dr. Yablokov is coming forward, let me acknowledge accompanying him today is Sandy Bostian of the American Foreign Policy Council.
Sandy, thank you for being with Alexei. She and Herman Pirchner have been very helpful to the subcommittee as we continue to investigate the issue of command and control over nuclear weapons and material.
Professor Dr. Alexei Yablokov is the founder of the nonprofit nongovernmental Center for Russian Environmental Policy, currently a distinguished professor and academician of the Russian Federation Academy of Sciences. He formerly chaired the Interagency Commission on Environmental Security of the Russian Federation National Security Council, reporting directly to Boris Yeltsin. Until December 1993 he was President Yeltsin's Special Counselor on the Environment and Public Health.
In 1991, Dr. Yablokov was elected to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and served there as Deputy Chair of the Committee on Ecology. From 1967 to 1989, he worked as head of the laboratory at the Institute of Developmental Biology of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1982, he was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He served as chair of the USSR branch of Greenpeace from 1989 to 1990 and as president of the Moscow Society for Protection of Animals from 1988 to 1993.
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Professor Yablokov's international honors include Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Brussels; Roll of Honor, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Switzerland, 1991; science award, American Society for Ecotoxicology and Chemistry, 1991; honorary member of Globe International.
He is the author of 10 books, 10 of which have been translated into foreign languages and 5 of which have been published in the United States. His many articles have attracted a great deal of attention and demonstrated, using extensive scientific evidence, how far the process of destruction of nature was advanced under Communist rule.
He is a good friend of mine. I have worked with Dr. Yablokov for probably 5 years, met with him in Moscow repeatedly, in this country repeatedly. He was my guest and testified before our committee 2 years ago on the issue of nuclear waste.
No one has done more in the world on exposing the problem of nuclear waste than Prof. Alexei Yablokov. It was Dr. Yablokov who, in a very difficult time period, chaired the Yablokov Commission which produced the Yablokov Report, which for the first time documented to Boris Yeltsin and the new government the history of the illegal dumping of radioactive waste and contaminants in the oceans of the world, including the Sea of Japan, the Barents Sea and other bodies of the world for a very long period of time, for several decades.
Dr. Yablokov is truly an international figure and someone who is very highly regarded and someone who I think will offer some very insightful testimony today on the status of Russia's nuclear stockpile, their materials, our ability to work with Russia, and specifically on the issue of small Russian devices.
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[Mr. Weldon addresses Dr. Yablokov in Russian.]
Mr. WELDON. Welcome, Dr. Yablokov.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, I am sure we all echo your remarks.
Mr. WELDON. I just thanked him and invited him to become a member of the Republican Partynot really.
Welcome, Dr. Yablokov.
STATEMENT OF DR. ALEXEI YABLOKOV, PROFESSOR, RUSSIAN FEDERATION ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, ACCOMPANIED BY SANDY BOSTIAN, AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY COUNCIL
Dr. YABLOKOV. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I feel slightly uneasy after such a bright introduction. But I am here because we need to protect the American and Russian people from the nuclear threat.
I will mostly concentrate today on some unusual, maybe a vertical problem concerned with small-sized nuclear weapons, suitcase atomic demolition munitions, such as why it is so important? Because we have no answer for the state, no answer. We have discussed this problem, this antiterroristic, and nobody has answered for the state. If somebody will treat us with such a munition, with such munitions, we have no answer.
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Whya biologist and ecologist, why I raise this question. I feel that in the former Soviet Union, all territory is radioactive and nuclear polluted. No. 1 pollution, compared with environmental problems, and I tried to collect more and more data about this. I published a book under the title ''Nuclear Morphology''; it was the Russian edition. During collection of material for this book, I have met hundreds and hundreds of nuclear specialists. In my official duty as a counselor to Russian President and as chairman of the Environmental Security Commission and the National Security Council, I visited many nuclear installations in Russia, including Krasnoyarsk 26, Tomsk 7, the picture was shown, Chelialinsk 65, even Penza 19 was never mentioned, a very interesting place, and many nuclear power plants and many scientific institutes.
What is more important, I have during my discussion with some people, I met one people who told me several years ago, yes, there does exist such a small size of nuclear weapons, like suitcase. I was surprised and could not believe, but he told me, I made it, we made it in the beginning of 1970's by order, KGBnot military mind, but KGB order.
Now, 1 year ago, 44 NGO's just 1 day before Moscow G7 meeting about nuclear safety conducted NGO meeting on nuclear safety and we openly raised this question. We make recommendation to the leader of G7 to make prompt public declaration of the overall size and breakdown of the nuclear weapon arsenal and disarmament.
I have presented this material in mass media. I openly talked about the existence of such strange small-sized nuclear weapons, which were never mentioned, in Russian or Soviet stockpiles.
Page 137 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 It was General Lebed, when he came to power, who raised this question in an official way. He had enormous power because during the Presidential electionGeneral Lebed, about 15 people all won, and Yeltsin invited him into the administration and gave him enormous power, and Lebed under this influence and under this movement, was able to raise a lot of interesting questions. This question was one of the questions raised by Lebed in an official way.
Now, we know that General Lebed announced that he was successful partlyhe find 45, up to 48 such munitions. So it exists. But what we have in an official way, after Lebed's declaration, after my declaration, all official source of information say, no, it is impossible, or it does not exist. It creates a lot of additional questions.
How I can understand the situation? Old pictures. During the beginning of 1970's, USSR make some number, nobody knows exactly, some number of suitcase-size nuclear munitions. For what? For terroristic aim, exactly, only for terroristic. It was in the cold war, maybe the middle of the cold war. They tried to fight this capitalism, they tried to kill capitalism through these unusual weapons. I repeat, it was KGB. It was not the Minister of Defense; it was KGB who ordered it. This nuclear bomb never included into official list of Soviet nuclear arms or nuclear stockpiles.
Maybe now it don't exist. Why? I think so. Because any nuclear arms, any nuclear warhead have to be replaced in several years, fissile material has to be replaced, especially plutonium, after 6 or 7 years. It is a special industry in this country, in my country, of any nuclear warhead. It means that during this time, beginning from 1970's, these small-sized nuclear weapons had to twice be replaced. I doubt that it has happened duringI don't know, the last 10 years at least.
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But Russian officials are missing the truth, the point of truth. In this case, they have conducted exactly what they have under my pressure, a report which our chairman mentioned. When I was head of Presidential secret commission about nuclear dumping and when this commission complete his report, I ask and pray of my President, Mr. Yeltsin, all this negative thought about nuclear dumping, radioactive, it does not belong to Russia, it belong to Russian Soviet past. Let us open this data for all people and clean our hands; it happened.
Now we know the result of this, because of international developments and so on and so forth. All countries help us to overcome this problem, so on and so forth.
It never happened to this small nuclear bomb. They lie about this. Now it is too late to accept this. Or if they accept, all people around the world, the account, Russian officials is wrong because they don't accept it before. Such a strange situation.
At the end of this story, I am absolutely sure that it had been made, but I am not sure that it exists just now, such a situation. But this question, this question about small nuclear munitions raises maybe a more wide question connected with nuclear threat arising from Russia. Nobody can trust our nuclear ministry. Nobody can trust. You have to understand this: Nobody can trust our nuclear ministry. Because they have his own logic, his own moral, his own task, his own target.
By the way, this is not the proper place to mention it perhaps, but I have to make it because I honestly want you to understand the situation. The minister was the only official person which, during Soviet time, Soviet parliament mark him as a liar, officially mark him as a liar. It is the only case during Soviet history. I was a member of Soviet parliament when he told us two times absolutely opposite or different things about nuclear test activity.
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What is the result or what is the end of this story, not with Mikhaylov, but with all of this situation with small nuclear arms? I feel that the main peril now is uncontrolled development in the Ministry of Nuclear Energy in my country. Mikhaylov openly declared that the target, his target as a minister, to make this ministry independent from state. For what reason? For what aim? How would it be possible?
In 1992, this ministry earned about $700 million-U.S. for export, his technology and so on. In 1996, this ministry earned more than $2 billion for export, and Mikhaylov openly in this year, several months ago declared his own target to earn in 2 years, in 3 years, $5 billion-American for export.
If they really have $5 billion for his own export, it creates a situation where this ministry really will be independent from Government, from budget. In such situation, maybe it will be uncontrolled development of new military technology inside the ministry, uncontrolled even for Government.
I know a lot of people which work in this ministry. During Soviet time, it was special selected people, but only one thing, all which is good for ministry, Ministry of Nuclear Energy is good for the country. Such a strange, strange mood. I know that until now that many of the people, top-level people in this ministry dream about coming back to Soviet militarized style of society. I don't includenobody can include that in such situation when they have enough money, it is possible to develop something else, something ''interesting,'' so-called.
Page 140 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 How can you stop it? You have two possibilities to act, inside Russia and outside Russia. Inside Russia, I think maybe you will be interested that 3 days ago, I just came from Kazakhstan where I participated in a very interesting Conference of Social Union; it was social ecological union for all former Soviet Union. Nineteen antinuclear groups joined inside this Union 3 days ago to declare that they need to create special program, antinuclear program inside the former Soviet Union. So we have a lot of nongovernment organizations who can serve like watchdog for unhealthy development of Russian Ministry of Nuclear Energy.
At the moment outside Russia, we need to reshape and reform international agency as an international democratic nation. I am absolutely sure that the key point is the international scale, because just now this agency can serve for protecting. This agency had been created in 1957 for distribution of nuclear technology. It was the wrong task, because we know now that any nuclear technologylook like Iranian case or North Korean case, any nuclear technology connected with some potential nuclear arms, a problem for proliferation. But, by law, this agency has to disperse this nuclear technology; it has to, as soon as possible, reshape this agency. It will be important for all of us.
Last topic: Growing secrecy in my country, which struck not only the Government organization but struck the public, the public as a whole. Not only Nikitin case, well-known Nikitin case, the former Navy officer who became the antinuclear activist and worked for ecology organization, now under heavy surveillance and facing the life sentence for environmental activity for revealing the data about radioactive pollution in Kola Peninsula. You have the other case; literally yesterday in Snezhinsk in Chelyabinsk 70, have special court case against former chairman of environmental committee of this placethat place, Snezhinsk in Chelyabinsk 70because he opened the data about radioactive pollution of this secret city.
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We also have such visible mark for turning back for secret situation in this summer; my President signed special decree, turning one city, which before this decree was open city, into secret status. It was secret, not connected with nuclear but with chemical weapons connection in some Sarotov district.
We have first Russian secret city, additional to 10 or 20more than 10Soviet secret cities. There is a wave of secrecy. It means that military and nuclear lobby, instead of solving this environmental problem or some other problem, to calm it, to secret it, to avoid public attention, try to avoid public attention to this.
So I think I am open for your questions, but before I finish, I have to say that I am proud to be here, I am glad to be here. We have to join our strengths to make our countries and the world more safe. More safe.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I only ask when somebody raises a question, make it in the simplest form and slowly, please.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Dr. Yablokov, for your outstanding testimony and for traveling so far to be here on rather short notice. You flew all night and got in here late last night. We appreciate your being here today.
Let me also thank Bob Clarke, sitting behind you, who was very helpful to us. Bob, thank you for your cooperation.
Page 142 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 When we begin the questioning, let me say that for the public and the press that is here, we have a transcript of Professor Yablokov's interview on Russian TV about the nuclear devices. We have a copy of Professor Yablokov's letter to the editor which appeared in the Moscow press a week or so ago. We have also an article from the Russian magazine that gives very specific details about suitcase bombs.
Why is all this important? It is important because every major leader in Russia over the past week to 10 days has emphatically denied that these devices ever existed. Now here we have a person who has talked to individuals who were involved in making these devices.
I have an article that appeared in 1995 in Zavtra, a Russian periodical, that went into very specific detail, which we will provide to anyone here, of the construction of these devices. I have asked Professor Yablokov to look at this article, which he did this morning. It describes in exact detail the size, dimension, capability of these weapons.
I have another article that documents Dudaev in Chechnya when there was a threat that was made against the Russian Government that if they didn't pull out of Chechnya, a suitcase-sized device would be used. Our intelligence community was contacted. It has been reported in the media. Our CIA sent over agents, into Chechnya, cooperating with the Russian intelligence to determine whether or not these devices were in fact in place in Chechnya. So, in fact, both the United States and Russia took this extremely seriously as recently as 1995; and in fact, under questioning yesterday by our friends from the NEST team, they train every day for the potential response necessary to deal with suitcase-sized nuclear devices.
To be frank and honest with you, one of the problems that I have as someone who spends as much time in a positive relationship with Russia as any Member of this Congress is a repeated denial of what we know to be reality and fact. That just doesn't help our relationship. This hearing, as I said yesterday, is not being called to somehow back Russia into a corner. This hearing is not being called to embarrass anyone. This hearing is not being called because I want to portray Russia as the Evil Empire, because none of those things are true.
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This hearing is called because if we are going to have a stable relationship, it must be one built on transparency, on candor, and on an honest effort in both countries to deal with problems that could affect the people in Russia as well as the people in my home State of Pennsylvania and throughout this Nation. Only when we get beyond the rhetoric and the denialsand I have article after article here, coming out of Russian broadcast media, of absolute denials of what we know to be factcan we get to a serious discussion of what the solution should be and can I convince, along with my colleagues, Members on both sides of the aisle to put more funds into programs like Nunn-Lugar and to support initiatives like the initiative Dr. Yablokov was instrumental in starting to help with the nuclear waste problem in Murmansk and Severodvinsk and to help with initiatives like we worked on in May with Admiral Kasatonov to establish new environmental cooperation between the American Navy and the Russian Navy.
Or an initiative that Charles Taylor and I traveled to Moscow twice this year to promote, a new multibillion dollar housing program to benefit middle-income Russians so they can have low-cost, affordable, low-interest-rate loans. None of these things can happen if Russia will not be honest and if this administration will not be aggressive in pursuing arms control violations; having an intelligent discussion of the reality in Russia, as opposed to the use of the bully pulpit by the President to create some false impression of stability in Russia; and third, the stopping of deliberate distortion of intelligence data.
Dr. Yablokov, your testimony here is very important for us as we consider how we can continue to work together with Russia.
Page 144 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Before I get into some specific questions, I want to also acknowledge your leadership. Because it was Dr. Yablokov who was the one who found out about a secret negotiation that allegedly took place between Minister Mikhaylov and Iran to build the Bushehr nuclear power plant that also would involve cooperation with Iran's nuclear energy industry. If I am not mistaken, Dr. Yablokov, it was you who went to Boris Yeltsin about this issue; am I correct?
Dr. YABLOKOV. Yes, of course. It was not secret, but classified appendix to the open agreement, connected with some enrichment in uranium transfer to technology for enriched uranium to Iran.
Mr. WELDON. President Yeltsin was not even aware of it?
Dr. YABLOKOV. President Yeltsinwhen all this publicly was revealed, President Yeltsin declared, we have to anticipate military complement from this agreement. So he was, accept it, this agreement have military complement. It was officially accepted, in spite of wide declaration that Ministry of Nuclear Energy, nothing to do with military, with Iranian deal.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Yablokov, in your testimony today, you mentioned that the devices were produced at least in part for the KGB. I have before me an article written by William Potter, director of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. I want to quote from what he said:
''In January 1996, I received a similar report''he is referring to the suitcase bombs that Lebed spoke of''from a senior adviser to President Boris Yeltsin. According to this individual, in the late 1970's and early 1980's, the KGB acquired an unspecified number of small nuclear weapons, under 75 pounds, that never were included in any inventory,'' end quote.
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Are you aware of the briefing that was given to President Yeltsin back in the 1970's and 1980's?
Dr. YABLOKOV. I am not so sure.
Mr. WELDON. Is it your impression that the KGB in fact was the purchaser of these devices?
Dr. YABLOKOV. It is difficult to say. I don't know the situation just now.
Mr. WELDON. But the KGB, were they the group that was buying these devices?
Dr. YABLOKOV. Four years ago, when all our society understand how dangerous to have KGB in such size which we have in Soviet time. KGB was divided into 4 different governmental budget; now KGB have not such a huge size and huge influence, but it exists. But, of course, during this dividing, during this process, it is maybe not so strong, so strongI don't know, guide for nuclear weapons.
I don't know. I don't know the answer for your question. Now we have no such KGB like we had in Soviet time.
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Mr. WELDON. I understand. When you talked to some scientists who had worked on these devices, did they share their concern about the security of them and who would have access to them, who would control them?
Dr. YABLOKOV. I never heard about control, about some problem with control. Under my official duty, we discussed the problem. It was a special meeting of my Commission on Environmental Security, National Security Council, about environmental security during nuclear disarmament. It was 2 years ago. We discussed wide specter of problem.
I feel that it was the thrust of this discussionit involved nuclear authority, military authority, any kind; it was some kind of closed discussion. And the end of the discussion, the main problem was the transportation, the transportation of nuclear weapons, as I remember. It was the joint view. Not to keep including in the place, but transportation.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Yablokov, I want to take a moment to set the record straight in terms of the interview with General Lebed, because some of our media and some of the Russian media have portrayed General Lebed's statement as a grandstanding attempt to gain media attention. And I want to explain how General Lebed's comments came about.
My second trip to Russia this year was in May, as the chairman of the American side of the Duma-Congress Study Group, which I formed last year and which I chair with my co-chair, Steny Hoyer. So we were involved in meetings with members of the Russian Duma over 2 or 3 days.
Page 147 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 While there, we met with members of the senior Russian leadership, including Boris Nemtsov; General MikhaylovI am sorry, Minister Mikhaylov; Minister Orlov, Minister of Natural Resources; Deputy Minister Kokoshin of the Defense Ministry; General Manilov, to get an assessment on some of the ideas we had for working with Russia.
I thought it would be useful if our delegation of six Members of Congress also met with General Lebed to get an assessment, from his perspective, of stability in Russia's military. We asked for the meeting, and we had a private 2-hour, closed meeting in his office. There was no media present. There was no press conference before or after our meeting. It was a very private discussion.
There were a number of things that General Lebed raised. He raised the issue of nuclear security, of nuclear waste, the problem of the reactors on the submarines that are sitting in the ports of Russia that you have raised repeatedly. He raised the issue of the morale problem in the Russian military, which has been widely documented throughout the world, the lack of pay and pensions, the lack of housing, which we have been aware of in this country.
He raised the issue of his concern about some of the more capable senior, former Soviet generals and admirals, having been forced out of the military by the downsizing and not having adequate and proper pension funding, having to resort to, in some cases, criminal activity.
One of the things he mentioned was that he was given the responsibility, when he was secretary to the Security Council for Boris Yeltsin, was to account for 132 suitcase-sized devices. He wasn't raising that issue to alarm us, or to make some big international media story. He was raising the issue as one of a series of concerns that he had, that he felt we should work on together.
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And he said that in his work, out of the 132 devices he could only locate 48. And we asked him about the others and he shrugged his shoulders and said, I don't know. This was not an attempt to have an international story appear.
I then came back to America and produced a report from that trip and published it, as we do, as a public document. The media then picked up one small part of that entire trip in General Lebed's broad discussion, which was the story of the suitcases, and called me for an interview on ''60 Minutes'', which I did. And then they followed that up with a meeting with General Lebed in Moscow.
I want to set the record straight, because there are some, both in Russia and the United States, who have portrayed this as an attempt by Boris Yeltsin to enhance his vision or hisenhance his visibility worldwide and to assist him in his Presidential ambitions.
I want to set the record straight that the circumstances under which this information came out are just as I have outlined them to you, and in fact I have been in contact with General Lebed and his staff. He is traveling in Japan right now and he has agreed to come to Washington at the end of October and discuss in more detail his concerns.
And his concerns are not just about these devices. It is about the control of nuclear fissile material, nuclear weapons, the adequacy of the accounting procedures, and the status of the Russian military.
Page 149 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Would you step away for a moment, Dr. Yablokov, not necessarily talk about the specific nuclear suitcase devices but your impressions of our effort to fund what you heard Senator Lugar talk about, and that is dismantlement of weapons. There have been some who have said we should have concern because all of the money is going for that purpose. Would you give me your feelings on that?
Dr. YABLOKOV. My feelings are extremely complicated because on one side, I know, it is widely well-known in Russia that bulk of money which Russia now spends for nuclear security, going for abroad, mostly from United States, but I doubt that all of this money going proper way. This is a question, because you supply our Minister of Nuclear Affairs some good amount of money.
It iswe need to follow this money, up to the smallest, smallest amount, how we can conduct in existing system. You have no goodI don't know[witness speaks in Russian]and my idea is if we create some kind of public, public group who will beto follow this money, it will be just what we need.
We have people who can serve in this who have good, absolutely outstanding reputation and who will be included in such group. Maybe it will be good system to follow this money, but we need something. Because, look, for example, America and European society, European consul, support our nuclear power plant. Yes, our nuclear power plant, out of question, is all very dangerous. We are facing to close it.
Instead this money, which Minister of Nuclear Affairs have from abroad, to renovate this nuclear power plant, maybe not the best way to act. Maybe it will be better to spend this money to close this nuclear power plant, close up this nuclear power plant, which may be more a dangerous power plant over the globe. Leningrad nuclear power plant the same, Chelyabinsk, all of them really dangerous. Instead it is renovated. So you have to open discussion. You have to open this topic, not only for closed group for nuclear specialists but for open, honest discussion, and inevitably, in such discussion you have to involve governmental organizations. It is the only source of real information.
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Mr. WELDON. Yesterday, Dr. Yablokov, I met with an environmental official from the Department of Energy whose responsibility it is to work with Russia's nuclear power industry. And I have worked with him over the past 5 years as we have developed with both Russia and Ukraine new manuals for the safety of Russia's existing nuclear power plants, especially from the threat of fire.
And he said that some of your power plants are very vulnerable to that type of an accident. And he mentioned to me that we are spending between $100 million and $200 million to retrofit nuclear power plants, and one of his concerns was that while this money was being designated to do specific things at the plants, that the institutes, in fact, were getting the money and that he had very real concerns as to whether or not that money would ever actually do what needed to be done.
What you are proposing today and what you and I discussed this morning before the hearing, which I think warrants further consideration, and I am certainly interested in, is perhaps establishing an independent watchdog organization of Russians.
Dr. YABLOKOV. Yeah.
Mr. WELDON. An NGO in Russia.
Dr. YABLOKOV. Yeah.
Mr. WELDON. That would serve a useful role of verifying and monitoring whether or not the dollars that we allocate, which I support, are, in fact, going to the end purpose. And it is not because I distrust Boris Yeltsin, because I trust Boris Yeltsin totally and completely. I know his intents are always honorable.
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But as the money moves through the bureaucracy, I think as you have pointed out and as I have heard from others, there is more and more the possibility of money not going to the appropriate end user. And so what I would ask you to do is perhaps think about giving us anand would you suggest there should be a team of perhaps academicians who are respected like yourself in Russia?
Dr. YABLOKOV. Yeah.
Mr. WELDON. That perhaps could provide some type of a monitoring role?
Dr. YABLOKOV. I think so, yes. The idea excellent, ideamaybe breakthrough idea, because we are facing the problem. Nobody can conduct this money. If you create, officially create such a nongovernmental watchdog, it will be good.
I will give you one more example what complicated situation we have just now in Russia with nuclear power, nuclear industry. One month ago, my Government has special order to open new construction, a new block, a new nuclear block, in Byeloyarsk, in Byeloyarsk nuclear power plant. Byeloyarsk nuclear power plant is a breeder, is a breeder. It is a breeder. It is such a strange decision. So it means that Federal money will go into the new construction of breeder. Germans close breeder just finished. In France, just breeder; British breeder, in other countries closed but Russia opens this breeder. Why?
What is more strange, at the same time they want to construct breeder in near Yekaterinburg, Byeloyarsk nuclear plant. It is 50 kilometers from Yekaterinburg.
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At the same time, two governors, the governor from the Germaine district and the governor from Yamal-Nenetzk district send a letter to Governmentto Prime Minister Chernomyrdin. Give us two times less money, two times less money, and he gives Europe two times more energy thanfor construction of this breeder. So this construction have no economical reason. This constructionwhy? Because nuclear would beand you have to say why would nuclear be constructed for this? Only for his own aim, not for solving current energy problem and solving social problem, no; only for his own unclear aims. And I doubt that it isthat this tendency or development of nuclear ministry it isI don't knowhelp my country. It creates some problem. More problems than solved it.
So I support your idea about creating such a nongovernmental watchdog for American money. It will be excellent. It will be good for America. It will be good for Russia.
Mr. WELDON. I thank you, Dr. Yablokov. And I think it gets at the heart of what we are talking about in our relationship, and that is a level of candor and transparency on both sides.
And I want to state here for my friends who weren't on the committee in past sessions, that this works in both countries. It may seem as though we are really looking aggressively at Russia now, but there are times when our country is not totally transparent.
I remember a hearing that I was involved in, prior to you coming to Washington, Dr. Yablokov, on the issue of nuclear waste, and we had in front of our congressional hearing, a Navy official testifying about Russia's lack of candor in allowing our scientists to understand the status of the Komsomoletz, which, as you know, is on the bottom of the ocean off of the Scandinavian countries and had an accident, has nuclear weapons, nuclear power and is there and whether or not it was safe or not.
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When the Navy official finished his testimony, I said, I agree with you, Russia should be more transparent and should provide access for us to understand what is the status of the Komsomoletz. But let me ask you, would you talk about the status of the Thresher and the Scorpion?
And all of a sudden, he looked at me and he said, well, Congressman, I can't talk about the Thresher and the Scorpion because this is a public briefing and that is classified information.
And I said to him in the public hearing, well, how can you expect Russia to be transparent in terms of the Komsomoletz when you won't even acknowledge publicly that we have two nuclear-powered submarines with nuclear warheads sitting on the bottom of the ocean floor? We can't have one standard for us and a second for Russia.
Three to 4 weeks after that hearing, the Navy released the film footage of both the Thresher and the Scorpion to one of our national news media outlets. I believe it was either ''20/20'' or ''60 Minutes'', and they ran that footage''Nightline''. They ran the footage for the American people to see.
But the point is that this transparency has got to be on both sides and Russia has got to be convinced that we will be just as transparent on our side as we want Russia to be. And I think you agree with that fully.
Let me turn to my colleagues and then come back to some other questions.
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I will ask Mr. Turner, do you have any questions at this time?
Mr. TURNER. No.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you. Mr. Redmond, do you have any questions?
Mr. REDMOND. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I have a couple of questions and a couple of observations. One is that, you know, during the 1980's, during the Star Wars days, we were very concerned about what was going to come in over our head and not realizing that the threat was coming in in a suitcase over the border. And I think that this reminds us of the propensity of the human mind to be devious and create destruction, which is a reminder for us to always be vigilant and cautious.
I have a question concerning the stewardship of what we do have inventoried. Does the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici bill, does it include funding for the computer simulation that is necessary to make sure that what we do have inventoried is safe and reconstructed when it needs to be reconstructed?
Dr. YABLOKOV. I agreeI fully agree with your point of view. I have to mention, the United States have such sitessuch munitions in previous time, but it was destroyed inunder Start I, immediately it had been destroyed because your military, your politicians, understand how it is dangerous to have such a munition.
Page 155 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 So now we have toI don't know how we canwe need to carefully think, but we have to press my Government to destroy all of this munition, small-size munition, if it exists, or be surelet uslet us say, assure us that it does not exist. Because just now, the position, the official position, unacceptable. Official position, it never built.
It built. It had been. So now we have to press and clarify situation.
Mr. REDMOND. OK. My second question is: Any of the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici funds, is any of that designated to investigate and identify that which is not inventoried?
Dr. YABLOKOV. For me it is very difficult to say what the best way towhat size fundsI only say that American money now very important for us. Nunn-Lugar money is extremelyI deeply appreciate that you have that decision. I deeply appreciate it. Because it is important not only for us, it is also for usfor you, for you. It creates more safe situation for all the globe.
What is the best way to act? You have to continue to spend this money, because it creates more safety situation for the United States also. But the task, I can repeat it three times or four times, we need to follow this money. We need to be sure that this money is spent the proper way, or we need to be sure that this money not fall into the integral development of new type of weapons, nuclear weapons, in some secret laboratory of the Ministry of Nuclear Energy.
Mr. REDMOND. OK. And also part of your testimony, I wasn't clear, have you said that there has been additional secret cities created recently? Is that correct?
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Dr. YABLOKOV. Uh-huh.
Mr. REDMOND. How many?
Dr. YABLOKOV. One.
Mr. REDMOND. One?
Dr. YABLOKOV. One. One. It was a place in Saratov district near Volga, where is a place of center of production of chemical weapons. I have forgotten the name, the exact name but a small city, where conduct a lot of public protest against, to conductto exist in plan to destroy chemical weapons in this place, because they havepeople afraid that this will create the same environmental problem and public health problem which we had in previous time when they produced chemical weapons, and instead solving this problem, the simple secret of this problem, secret of this city, under secret studies we have special law about secret cities, it is impossible to any public demonstration and something, something like that, that we arewe feel that a strong attempt to press environmental movement in Russia. This is one more reason why it is so important to support nongovernmental organization in Russia.
Nongovernmental environmental organization, maybe now one of the more sound public organizations which help to create normal society, normal, democratic, open society.
Now, it is also interesting our activity, nongovernmental, join with activities to protect public health, human rights, human rights activities. So it will be good if I come back to our chairman's proposal to create such watchdog system. It will be wonderful.
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Mr. REDMOND. OK. The next question I have is in regard to the one hand not knowing what the other hand is doing in the sale or attempted sale of munitions to Iran.
Has that been politically cleared up inside Russia so that we won't be looking at another situation where one hand is not knowing what the other hand is doing with your inventory?
Dr. YABLOKOV. It is impossible to say something about political clearing inside Russia, so complicated situation. So many people involved and so many unclear people, so it isit is difficult to say. It is veryneed to carefully work with people who personally, personallyI don't knowclean. You have not so many people inside our Government, such kind of people. I count maybe three or four, no more.
Mr. REDMOND. So your leadership is not structured where there is central control of these weapons that currently exist?
Dr. YABLOKOV. Central? On this, I speakI feel that control, existing control for existing weaponsI visit a lot of places where the weapons built, they are built and so on and so on, even keeping place, main storage place, and I feel that it is enough strong control, maybe old fashioned but enough strong control, existing nuclear weapons, big size. I never sawI never saw sizesuch size, small size.
Mr. WELDON. Will the gentleman yield for that point?
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Mr. REDMOND. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. There isin the Nunn-Lugar program, they are in the process of using that money to develop computerized inventories of Russia's nuclear weapons and materials right now as we speak. And as you say, Dr. Yablokov, their inventories have traditionally been done manually on paper and so an area that we are focusing on is to computerize these so it is happening.
Mr. REDMOND. OK; thank you.
And my last question, it was suggested earlier that perhaps we have a citizens group, watchdog group, made up of Russians. Would it not be maybe more beneficial to have an international watchdog group, including Russians and maybe part of NATO, so we have the rest of the European alliance involved?
Dr. YABLOKOV. A delicate question, because our military afraid that thissome secrets, so on and so on. We have toI think we have possibility to find people who at the same time will be acceptable from military and acceptable from public. But it is very difficult to involve this on this step, on this step just now, some foreign observers. Maybe it will be next step, when we create such a system, next step will be involved in some international observers.
Mr. REDMOND. OK; thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 159 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Mr. WELDON. Thank you very much, Mr. Redmond.
And I understand very well your point, Dr. Yablokov, that there are honorable people in Russia who can, in fact, play this role in overseeing and assisting us in making sure that our dollars get to where they are intended to go. And I think that is an excellent thought that we will pursue following your visit here.
Let meand I also wanted toyou mentioned Mr. Nikitin in your discussion, and I want you to know that there is a large group of Members who are working with the Bellona Foundation. I am one of them. I have written letters to Mr. Nikitin. I have done public statements. We are following that case very closely.
I was in Murmansk and met with the Bellona people in Murmansk and in Severodvinsk, and I understand that situation, and we are monitoring that. So I want you to know that.
Let me talk about specifically, since what brought you here was this issue over these nuclear suitcase devices.
Dr. YABLOKOV. Yes.
Mr. WELDON. Now, you mentioned in your testimony that you talked to some scientists who had worked on these devices and you mentioned that we developed the same type of systems which we have acknowledged that we did, and we have destroyed them.
Page 160 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Are you aware that there was a story reported in the Russian media that Chechnyan rebels attempted to buy a nuclear suitcase device through a middleman in the Baltic states? I believe it was Lithuania. Are you aware that there was an attempt made to buy one of these devices?
Dr. YABLOKOV. Well, this story had been published a couple of years ago, maybe 3 years ago. I surprised that nobody from officials have not commented about this, because this story include maybe notas I say, maybe the same article maybe as that article, but include personally named, number of flight, number ofso many details that it is possible to check. Nobody check it. It is strange. It is extremely strange. It creates some feelings that maybe something happened, something exists.
And I come back to my introduction. Why it is so important, suitcase bomb? Because we have no answer for such terroristic activity. We have no answer. So we haveI deeply appreciate your committee, that you discuss this problem, because even we have smallest chance that the problem exists, we have to strengthdraw on our strengths to overcome this problem.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Yablokov, the Vladimier Denisov, former deputy chief of the National Security Council, has said publicly that these devices might have been left in the former republics of Ukraine, Georgia, the Baltics, and Chechnya. Do you think that is possible? Or would you not be able to know?
Dr. YABLOKOV. I know itI can compare the situation with chemical weapons. In chemical weapons, you know, we have now an agreement to destroy chemical weapons. We havethe United States. We have 30,000 tons we have in Russia, we have 40,000 tons of chemical weapons. When we started to discuss this problem inside Russia, it happened that each of our armywe have 29 army in Soviet time, Soviet timehave his own chemical weapons, his own munition. No one in this army never send back on central stockpile of chemical weapons. It had beenit looked like it had been destroyed on the place.
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Unheard of but it creates enormous environmental problem. It had been destroyed in the place. Maybe some military unions, which belong to KGB, have such weapons, maybe. By the way, the General Dudaev, I think, belonged not to generalto the aviation, or he have some combination with KGB. If so, we need towe need clear answers from some Russian Government. Where is this? Let uslet us say, yes, we don't know where is the range of them.
Let us combine all of our strengths, your central intelligence service, our KGB, former KGB, combine to find it. But we need to be doing something. It is a shame for us if we try to avoid to discuss this problem. This is why I am here. This is why I am so appreciative.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Yablokov, since the story ran on our news in early September, there has just been a barrage of Russian news stories relative to this issue. It has been amazing to meI monitor the Russia media on a daily basis and what is being transcribed. And I have seen article after article about this. It seems as though the public mood in Russia is very much aware of this issue.
Would you tell us what the mood of the Russians are? What are they thinking about this? Do they think this is just some crazy story by General Lebed or do they actually believe that maybe these devices did exist and still are unaccounted for? What do the Russian people think?
Dr. YABLOKOV. What is your question about General Lebed or about public awareness to
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Mr. WELDON. Public awareness to this issue. Are they concerned because of all of these stories or do they just dismiss it? What do they think?
Dr. YABLOKOV. It is an interesting psychological question. Public awareness now is a very interesting topic in Russia. Public awareness now concentrates about criminality, about economical problem, money, of course, how it can reachhow you can make money, and all other problems, including publicpublic security problem, environmental security, or military security.
I think out ofout of public attention, out of public attention, why this suitcase situation took public attention, maybe, because itit maybe give us ideas that it may be connected to some criminality.
I doubt that it is connected to some criminality. I doubt it, honestly speaking.
Mr. WELDON. Do you see the Government eventually coming out and acknowledging that these devices were built and maybe, as you say, they are no longer useful because they have not been replenished or maybe they have them all under control? I mean, do you see that happening? Do you think the Government will acknowledge that these devices were a part of the Russian inventory?
Dr. YABLOKOV. Maybe more simple form, short and simple. Please repeat.
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Mr. WELDON. Will the leadership in Russia ever acknowledge that these devices did exist?
Dr. YABLOKOV. No, I doubt. Leadership of Russia now preoccupied some privatization problem, some other problem, our military reforms, and nobodylook, we have no military conception, militarynobody knows what is the militaryin what direction we have to conduct our military reform.
So it is such a hectic time in Russia, in political sense, economical sense, that I am sure that nobody especially discussed this question in the Government.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Yablokov, there have been a number of instances over the past, since 1993, past 4 years, where technology has been transferred from Russia to other nations.
When I was in Moscow, in 1996, it was 1 month after accelerometers and gyroscopes, guidance systems, were intercepted that were going from Russia to Iraq. This was the seventh transfer of technology that we were aware of.
What can we do toI mean, I have been very critical of the administration because they have not taken aggressive steps in focusing on that one company who did the transfer. They have simply brushed it aside and said it won't happen again.
Do you think it is important for us to set an example, when we catch a rogue group transferring technology, and impose sanctions on that group? Do you think we should do that or are we best
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Dr. YABLOKOV. The question about sanctions is very complicated.
Mr. WELDON. Yes, I understand.
Dr. YABLOKOV. Because immediately it raises some political restrictions
Mr. WELDON. Yes, I understand.
Dr. YABLOKOV [continuing]. Strain, and the result will be maybe negative, not positive. First of all, we need to publicize. So the Iran question, not only the Iran question but also North Korea or Chinese contact with Ministry of Nuclear Energy, Chinese now, creates a situationshow us that Minister of Nuclear Energy, out of control, out of enough control from Government, out of control, wouldso how we can solve this problem?
To speak about this, to show it, as much evidence as possible, to show that unreasonable activity ofunreasonable in the economical sense, in the environmental sense, in the national security sense, even.
One of my articles, which I tried to publish in Sovietthe Russian press, I name ''Minatom Against Russia.'' If people understand this, we call Minatom. We find a way to do something with Minatom. Maybe we have to divide this huge ministry in Siberia. By the way, Minatom, it may be a more powerful ministry inside of Russia now, very powerful. He has his own city, he has his own aviation, his own gold mine, his own system of agriculture, all hisit is absolutely independent system, in Siberia. You have to divide this. Maybe we find a way to divide the nuclear weapons with, one, with strong governmental support, you know, the same system like you have, and divide the nuclear energy and its other side, and so you have to dividemaybeanyway, we find way to do something with Minatom if all people are moremajority of people will understand that you have this real problem.
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Up until now, I doubt that a lot of people understand this problem.
Mr. WELDON. I would agree with you, and when I met with Minister Mikhaylov in May, he was proudly talking of the growth of Minatom. They are averaging, at a time when Russia's economy is undergoing tremendous strain, the Ministry of Atomic Energy has been growing at about 2 to 3 percent a year, and his work force, I understand, is currently between 1 1/2 and 2 million people.
Dr. YABLOKOV. They bought several newspapers now, which belong to Minatom. For example, newspapers, Veak, it is very influential. It is a very attractive newspaper and belongs to Minatom.
Mr. WELDON. Let me ask you a question. What concerns you more in terms of proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials? Are you more concerned about growing organized crime getting those devices or a deterioration of Russian military? Which of the two would be your
Dr. YABLOKOV. I seem to thethe most dangerous situation, disorganized system inside Ministry of
Mr. WELDON. Defense?
Dr. YABLOKOV [continuing]. Defense. NoI mean, inside Government, not criminality but simple Russian out of lawdisorder, Russian disorder, which now have enormous, enormous scale. And Nunn-Lugar money help us to orderto make it more order. It is important.
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Mr. WELDON. And I agree with you. And I also share the concerns of my colleagues aboutand you, the concerns you have raised, about making sure the money goes to the right purpose. And that is why I think the initiative we have talked about could be so important.
But let me also state to you that while we support the Nunn-Lugar program, do you agree that that is really notthat dollar amount is notthe ordinary Russian citizen is not seeing the direct benefit of Nunn-Lugar money?
You know, if you are living in a small home outside of Moscow, you don't see the direct benefit of America putting Nunn-Lugar money into your country. That is why my own personal feeling is that we need to do more to help Russia create a new middle class, which is why I think the housing initiatives are so important, to develop a housing industry in Russia, so that as Russia continues to transform into a democracy we need to have an institutional process that allows people to be able to buy their homes.
As you know, interest rates in Russia today are running at 20 or 25 percent. And you can't borrow money for more than 1 1/2 to 2 years. So it is impossible for an ordinary family to buy a home.
Do you agree that while we are focusing on Nunn-Lugar, there should also be another initiative working with Russia to help create a middle class and perhaps you can do that through a housing industry that we help develop? What are your thoughts on that?
Page 167 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 2 Of 2 Dr. YABLOKOV. For me, difficult to estimate Nunn-Lugar money for creation of middle class. I agree with you, the creation of middle class, it may be main target, because we havein Soviet society, we have 80 percent, all Soviet industry, was military industry. About 40 million people in Soviet Union was directly or indirectly connected with military industry. If weif we successfully turn, turn this huge amount of people into right way, we solve a lot of problem, of course.
But when we speak about Nunn-Lugar money, you have to mentionI have to mention that in public opinion, itmaybe it creates from communistic propaganda, up until now very heavy, very effective, that it looked like such. America want to control nuclear arms, Russian nuclear arms. This creates some negative response from public. When youyou have toyou have to count this negative response and you have to explain, we have towe also have to explain that it is not an attempt to control for ourto reach our state secret, but it is an attempt to create more a safety situation all over the globe.
I think Nunn-Lugar program nothing to do directly to createcreation of middle class. We havemaybe we have to create some new program, the same size like Nunn-Lugar program, to support middle class of Russia. Because it creates enormous, enormous support for our future relations. Maybe it is more important, even more important than our disarmament now, because we arewe have to think about not only for today but 10 years ahead, 15 years, so on.
Mr. WELDON. I agree with you totally. As I said before, Charles Taylor, from North Carolina, proposed this idea. He and I went to Russia twice this year, and that was our discussion. We met with the economicthe Minister of the Economy, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Housing and Construction, and they were all in agreement with us. And we came back and met with Ambassador Morningstar and said that we would help in the Congress put together a model program to create this housing initiative.
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Unfortunately, it has not come about yet. But I thinkI think as important as controlling and destroying nuclear weapons is we have got to show the Russian people that they are going to benefit directly from democracy and from the changes that are occurring, and they are not feeling that right now.
Dr. YABLOKOV. Yes, I agree.
Mr. WELDON. They are still mired down in making $200 a month or less and they are having very difficult times with inflation. And unless we do that, I think there is going to be instability within the Russia society that is going to eventually cause major upheaval, as General Lebed predicted would occur when I met with him back in May.
Dr. Yablokov, as always, you have been very forthcoming. You have beenyour statement is just unbelievable, and I can't express enough the importance. To those who would say that you are coming here and speaking inappropriately, let me say to them in advance, again, I spend a significant amount of my time working issues of cooperation with your country. And it is because of people like you that I do it.
Without people like you, I will not feel in myin the inner part of my body to work these issues. And so as long as you keep the struggle up in your country, in the end, for what is best for the people of Russia and for your scientific friends and colleagues, we know that we can, in fact, eventually achieve what we all want and that is a peaceful, stable relationship between Russia and the people there, and America and our people; and one that is built on trust and transparency.
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So you have contributed to that tremendously. The last time you were here, you helped leverage funding for the nuclear waste problem, which continues today. This visit will help, I think, leverage a new level of cooperation with Russia, and I hope people will take your visit in that light, although you certainly have raised some troubling things that we have to investigate.
So thank you for being here, and God bless you for being such a forthright leader, not just in Russia but you are really a statesman for the world. Thank you.
Dr. YABLOKOV. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. I thank all of you for cooperating. And I want to thank my good friend and colleague. Do you have any closing comments you would like to make, Mr. Turner?
Mr. TURNER. I, too, would thank you very much for being here. This committee has worked very hard under Chairman Weldon's leadership in this area and you have certainly been of assistance to us today, and we appreciate your cooperation. Thank you very much.
Dr. YABLOKOV. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. Before I adjourn the subcommittee, I will again announce that at the end of October, it is tentatively scheduled for the last week of October, we expect to have Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, who are the authors of the book ''One Point Safe'', to come in and talk about their book. This is the book that was used as the basis for the fictional movie ''Peacekeeper''. And we will also have at that hearing General Aleksandr Lebed.
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With that, the subcommittee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:40 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."