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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR
APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1984
TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 1983
THEATER NUCLEAR FORCES,
THEATER NUCLEAR WARFARE ISSUES
The subcommittee met in open session, pursuant to notice, at 8 a.m., in room SR-222, Russell Senate Office Building, Senator John W. Warner (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Warner, Cohen, and Levin.
Staff present: James F. McGovern, staff director and chief counsel; James Ĝ. Roche, minority staff director; Alan R. Yuspeh, general counsel; Willis D. Smith, deputy staff director and chief scientist for the minority; Richard D. Finn, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., George K. Johnson, Jr., Patrick L. Renehan, and James C. Smith, professional staff members; Drew A. Harker, research assistant, and Karen A. Love, staff assistant.
Also present: Dennis P. Sharon, assistant to Senator Goldwater; Jim Dykstra, assistant to Senator Cohen; Hank Steenstra, assistant to Senator Quayle; Arnold Punaro, assistant to Senator Nunn; Greg Pallas, assistant to Senator Exon, and Peter Lennon, assistant to Senator Levin.
OPENING STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN W. WARNER,
Senator WARNER. The subcommittee is pleased to welcome this morning Gen. Bernard W. Rogers, who appears in his capacity as commander-in-chief, U.S. European Command.
General Rogers has served throughout his career with distinction. His testimony has consistently served to illuminate the myriad complex issues with which his various responsibilities have caused him to be involved.
The most recent such issue involves the modernization of NATO's nuclear deterrent forces. The controversies surrounding the deployment of intermediate-range nuclear forces have dominated discussions of this topic in recent months.
With the exception of an article in yesterday's Washington Post, the program for enhancing deterrence at the tactical end of the nuclear spectrum has, however, received relatively less public attention.
As we open up this series of hearings, we look forward to having General Rogers address these and related matters with his usual candor and insight.
I have a note from Senator Nunn expressing his apologies for being absent. He is out of town. We hope other members of the subcommittee will be able to join us this morning.
Having said that, General, kindly launch us on a hopefully successful series of hearings by which we hope to obtain the authorization of this Congress to continue with the modernization program of the strategic nuclear forces.
STATEMENT OF GEN. BERNARD W. ROGERS, COMMANDER-IN
CHIEF, U.S. EUROPEAN COMMAND
Senator WARNER. I don't recall that you have ever had one. You know this subject so well.
General ROGERS. Let me speak for a few minutes about the intermediate-range nuclear force modernization which we must have. I would like to really address myself to that theater aspect of the nuclear weapons situation.
INTERMEDIATE RANGE NUCLEAR FORCE MODERNIZATION
In December 1979 when the alliance made what I considered to be a vital decision to modernize and at the same time to negotiate the elimination of intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF), it anticipated it might well be successful at the negotiating table prior to the time it had decided to place the weapon systems on the soil of Western Europe in December of this year.
So far there has been no breakthrough, as you know, in the negotiations in Geneva and as a consequence this is going to be a very difficult year for NATO as December approaches if we don't get a satisfactory arrangement in the arms reduction talks.
The decision that was taken in 1979 was a decision to modernize and that is oftentimes lost in the overtones of the debate. We had F-111's which were part of our intermediate range nuclear force. We also had the Vulcans from the United Kingdom.
The Vulcans were scheduled to go out of the United Kingdom inventory, and every year that went by with the addition of more air defense capability on the Warsaw Pact side we knew it was going to be more and more difficult for manned aircraft to penetrate the area over Soviet soil so she could not think that she had a sanctuary.
Most people now believe it was because of the SS-20 that we modernized. We would have modernized irrespective of the SS-20 because we had this gap in our spectrum of defense developing and we needed to close that gap.
We also made that decision in 1979 because we needed to provide a land-based missile system which was shared by a number of our allies, which was visible to the other side and one which was easily con
trollable and proved to the other side the unity and cohesiveness of the alliance by a number of allies sharing the burden and risks of nuclear weapons on their soil.
There was another reason that that decision was important in December 1979 and that was it gave us the opportunity to go to the negotiating table—the second track of the agreement-with some resolve and some strength represented, by the intent to put these weapon systems on our soil by December 1983 if there was no breakthrough in the negotiation.
First, I believe it was that decision of December 1979 that brought the Soviets to the negotiating table.
Second, we have been very firm in pursuing that decision within the alliance. Construction is underway in Sicily and in the United Kingdom. The Federal Republic of Germany has remained firm in its resolve to put the Pershing II's and eventually ground-launched cruise missiles on its soil.
I believe it is because the Soviet Union has seen that we are serious about this matter that they have abandoned the intractable position they first took of never reducing to less than 300 SS-20's, and now have offered to reduce to 162.
Now, I think that through this year if, as I believe we will, we remain staunch in that decision and continue to move down that path of putting them on our soil, that barring a breakthrough in Geneva, the Soviets find that we are serious, they in turn will negotiate seriously.
We need to give her that incentive for serious negotiation. A failure to put those weapons systems on our soil in December would be very unfortunate. One might say disastrous for the alliance, because we do have a gap in our spectrum of deterrence which we have to fill.
Second, it would show to the world that here was a decision considered vital to the alliance and yet the alliance could not follow through and implement it, mainly because it was opposed by the Soviet l'nion.
It would reduce any incentive for the Soviets to negotiate seriously in the INF talks. It would throw away that one opportunity that we now have for the first time to eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, the land-based, longer range INF weapons from the face of the Earth. Of course, I am talking about the zero level option.
Finally, for all intents and purposes, failing to put those weapon systems on our soil would be giving the Soviet Union a veto on the kind of weapon systems which NATO deploys in order to deter the Flp of those weapon systems which the Soviet Union has already deployed.
I maintain that this is a precedent that we don't want to set. So, it is a crucial year and it is a crucial decision that must be made.
There are those who speak of postponing deploying the INF missile, let us keep talking and postponing. Well, we would gratuitously give the Soviets an advantage. She continues to maintain this massive force which she has and continues to build additional sites. We now have identified 39 completed sites, with 351 missiles and know that others are under construction.
Also, we have seen the tactics that she has been able to use at the INF talks in Vienna, where she continues to delay and delay any
progress there. That is what we could expect if there were a postponement in this instance.
Senator WARNER. In other words, the INF negotiations would fall in the same sort of pattern as the MBFR talks, which have been inconclusive for a number of years.
General ROGERS. Yes. What incentive does she have? She has everything she wants. We have not yet deployed and we have that major gap in our spectrum of deterrence which I don't think we wish to delay closing.
PUTTING WEAPON SYSTEMS ON NATO SOIL
Now, with respect to the prospects of putting the weapon systems on our NATO soil, I mentioned the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany and Italy are not waivering on that subject. I am optimistic with respect to the Belgians.
I can only say that I am hopeful with respect to the Netherlands that they may eventually make the decision to also put them on their soil.
I would add a footnote to what I have said. This is a priority for 1983, this decision to deploy the missiles on NATO soil. That is the priority of NATO for this year. We will continue to get the carrot and stick treatment from the Soviet Union. We have to look carefully at those carrots to see if any of them make any sense and we must be impervious to those threats which we see almost every day against one country or another.
To that footnote I would say of equal priority, but it should not have that same equality this year, is the need to improve our conventional forces in Western Europe.
As you have heard me say before, Mr. Chairman, we have mortgaged our defense of Western Europe and the alliance to the nuclear response. I don't like that. We are trying by the end of this decade to get a conventional capacity which has a reasonable prospect of frustrating a conventional attack by the Warsaw Pact.
A number of things need to be done in order to achieve our goal by the end of the decade, but we just must reduce our dependence on the nuclear response for our defense.
With that, Nr. Chairman, I would like to open it up to questions.
Senator WARNER. General, let us turn to the subject of the nuclear freeze. Have you had an opportunity to review the proposal before the House of Representatives today and tomorrow? I will submit two articles from the New York Times.
[The newspaper articles follow:]
(From the New York Times, Mar. 11, 1983]
AN EVOLVING "FREEZE"
(By Tom Wicker) On the day the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved, 27 to 9, a compromise nuclear freeze resolution, President Reagan in a warlike speech to a religious group denounced the freeze idea as a "very dangerous fraud" that “at current levels of weapons would remove any incentive for the Soviets to negotiate seriously."
Mr. Reagan may not have read the text of what the House committee actually approved. When and if he does (the issue may reach the full House next week) he will find that the resolution does not call for an immediate, unconditional, stop-in-your-tracks freeze of American and Soviet nuclear forces, achieved by some magical stroke from on high.
Rather the resolution establishes several objectives that Congress calls upon Mr. Reagan to seek in transformed Soviet-American nuclear arms negotiations. The most significant of these objectives is as follows: “Deciding when and how 19 achieve a mutual, verifiable freeze on testing, production and further deployment of nuclear warheads, missiles and other delivery systems. ..." (Emphasis added.)
Mr. Reagan, however he may have misstated or misconstrued the text, obriously did not underestimate the importance of the committee's action. It approved a "joint resolution"—not a mere nonbinding statement of the "sense of Congress.” If passed by House and Senate, the President would be required either to sign or veto it; if he signs, the resolution would have the force of law, and if he vetoes, he probably would face strong political reaction in this country and among the European allies.
No doubt some of those who voted for a nuclear freeze, in numerous state and local referendums last year, will also be surprised to learn that the Congressional resolution calls for it to be negotiated by the superpowers, not merely proelaimed. One of the political attractions of the freeze movement was its apparent simplicity ; overnight, so it seemed, there would be no more testing, production or deployment of additional nuclear weapons on either side.
Actually putting a freeze into effect could hardly be that simple particularly a freeze that was always designed, despite the slurs of opponents, as “mutual and Terifiable." Achieving such a freeze will be further complicated by the strong opposition of the Reagan Administration; Mr. Reagan himself continues to impage the patriotism of freeze supporters, terming them “those who would place the United States in a position of military and moral inferiority.”
The joint resolution approved by the House committee attempts to deal with the complexities of putting a freeze into effect. What, for example, would be done ander a freeze about replacing worn-out weapons or delivery systems? What verification agreements might be necessary? Would such potentially vital matters as research and development in antisubmarine warfare be ruled out?
A freeze to be negotiated exposes as hollow Mr. Reagan's contention that it Tould remore Soviet incentives to negotiate. Some months ago, in the so-called Start talks, Moscow indirectly raised the possibility of a reduction in strategic missiles and bombers to about 1,800 on each side-a 25 percent cut for the Russians, a 10 percent cut for the U.S. Why would Moscow be less interested in achieving such a reduction as part of a mutual and verifiable freeze?
As for the European theater, an immediate freeze at "current levels" would leave the Russians an advantage in numbers of intermediate-range missiles. But a negotiating for a freeze, the President still could seek a reduction in the sumber of these IRMB's, under threat of deploying American Pershing II's as a venter; Congressional and other sources say the terms of the joint resolution Tould not preclude” deployment of Pershing II's as part of an overall freeze agreement.
Alternatively, in negotiating such a freeze, Mr. Reagan could rely—as the T.B. and NATO did in the 60's and 70's—on land- and sea-based intercontinental missiles to deter a Soviet missile attack on Europe. One of the objectives set by freeze resolution is to confine the two current sets of nuclear arms negotiationtee on theater missiles, the other on strategic weapons—so that an overall Bariet-American nuclear balance could be struck.
Sneh a negotiated freeze would not even preclude some new weapons deploymest on either side, its proponents say, as long as the overall limits of the freeze were observed. A new single-warhead missile might be substituted, for example, for one or two multiple-warhead missiles.
Eren after he studies its text, Mr. Reagan is not likely to come around to support of the freeze resolution. It unquestionably represents a Congressional dort, backed by strong public opinion, to force a new direction on his arms control policy, and it may yet confront him with one of the most difficult and important decisions of his Administration.