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                                                       Calendar No. 345
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                     105-175
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                AMERICAN MISSILE PROTECTION ACT OF 1998

                                _______
                                

                 April 24, 1998.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


   Mr. Thurmond, from the Committee on Armed Services, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                     ADDITIONAL AND MINORITY VIEWS

                         [To accompany S. 1873]

      [Includes cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Armed Services, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 1873) having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                          purpose of the bill

    S. 1873 would establish that it is the policy of the United 
States to deploy as soon as technologically possible an 
effective National Missile Defense (NMD) system capable of 
defending the territory of the United States against limited 
ballistic missile attack (whether accidental, unauthorized, or 
deliberate).
    S. 1873 does not mandate specific architectural elements of 
the NMD system, specific deployment dates, or changes to any 
arms control agreements. It allows the Defense Department 
complete flexibility in designing the NMD system, and, 
according to the Congressional Budget Office, ``the bill, by 
itself, would have no budgetary impact.''

                     scope of the committee review

    The Committee is reporting S. 1873 to the Senate for the 
following reasons:

Value of national missile defense

    A commitment to deploying NMD will have two crucial impacts 
on the security of the United States. First, it will signal to 
nations that aspire to possess ballistic missiles with which to 
coerce or attack the United States that pursuit of such 
capabilities is a waste of both time and resources. In this 
sense, it will have a deterrent effect on proliferation. 
Second, if some aspiring states are not deterred, a commitment 
to deploy an NMD system will ensure that American citizens and 
their property are protected from limited ballistic missile 
attack.

Need for a national missile defense

    Current administration policy on NMD--embodied in the so-
called ``3+3'' ``Deployment Readiness'' program--assumes that 
the United States will be able to clearly discern the emergence 
of a ballistic missile threat to the United States in 
sufficient time to deploy a defense. The Committee's review 
found that this policy bases the security of the United States 
against ballistic missile attack on three faulty premises: (1) 
that no threat currently exists or is emerging; (2) that when a 
threat does emerge, it will be clearly discernable; and (3) 
that when the threat emerges or is emerging, the United States 
will have sufficient time to put a defense in place to deal 
with it. S. 1873 would rectify this insufficient policy by 
basing the security of the United States against the extant and 
emerging threat of ballistic missile attack on a firmer 
foundation, committing to deployment of NMD as soon as the 
technology is ready.
    As the findings in S. 1873 clearly document, a threat of 
ballistic missile attack on the United States already exists. 
Although unlikely, the threat of unauthorized or accidental 
launches from Russia or China is real, and may be heightened as 
the armed forces of former Soviet Union undergo their 
transition to a post-Cold War posture.
    But there is also an imminent threat that stems from the 
growing, widely acknowledged proliferation problem. The 
President has for four consecutive years declared the 
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery 
systems to be a national emergency. The seriousness of this 
problem has been articulated on numerous occasions by other 
senior administration officials and by Congress.
    Evidence of this growing threat abounds. The range of 
ballistic missiles possessed by proliferant states has been 
steadily increasing, sometimes in sudden leaps. North Korea, 
for example, first purchased 300 kilometer (short-range) Scud-B 
missiles in the 1980s, then developed the 500 kilometer Scud-C, 
is now deploying the 1000 kilometer No-Dong, and is developing 
both a 2000 kilometer medium-range ballistic missile and a 6000 
kilometer intercontinental ballistic missile. Most recently, 
Iran has made dramatic and sudden progress in its Shahab-3 and 
Shahab-4 medium range ballistic missiles, and Pakistan recently 
tested a missile with a range of 1500 kilometers, five times 
greater than its next most capable missile.
    The proliferation of technology, expertise and hardware 
with which to build a long-range ballistic missile is 
accelerating rapidly, spurred by advances in information 
technology and growing demand for space launch vehicles, which 
is essentially a ballistic missile without warheads. A stark 
reminder of this surfaced on April 4, 1998, when the New York 
Times reported that the Justice Department has launched a 
criminal investigation into two American companies whose 
technical assistance, intended to troubleshoot a failed 
satellite launch rocket, instead may have helped China solve 
critical guidance problems with its intercontinental ballistic 
missiles. According to a Pentagon assessment, because of this 
assistance ``U.S. national security has been harmed.''

Continuing technological surprise

    The Intelligence Community has been repeatedly surprised by 
advances in ballistic missile technology achieved by less 
developed countries, calling into question its ability to 
anticipate precisely when the United States will be threatened 
by long-range ballistic missiles. In 1997, the Director of 
Central Intelligence (DCI) testified that Iran could have a 
medium-range missile by 2007. One year later the DCI told the 
Senate, ``since I testified, Iran's success in getting 
technology and materials from Russian companies, combined with 
recent indigenous Iranian advances, means that it could have a 
medium-range missile much sooner than I assessed last year.'' A 
Department of State official testified in September, 1997 that 
Iran could develop this missile in ``maybe one to one-and-a-
half years, and it may be shorter than that,'' meaning as much 
as nine years sooner than had been predicted only a year 
earlier by the DCI.
    Experience has shown that variables like the amount of 
outside assistance provided to rogue nations--factors which can 
significantly speed the acquisition of ballistic missiles--
cannot be predicted reliably. On April 6, 1998, for example, 
Pakistan launched a ballistic missile capable of reaching a 
range of 1500 kilometers. In November 1998, the Defense 
Department published ``Proliferation: Threat and Response,'' 
its analysis of the world's weapons of mass destruction and 
delivery systems. That publication contained no mention of any 
effort by Pakistan to develop such a capability, crediting 
Pakistan with, at best, a 300 km. short-range ballistic 
missile. Yet less than six months later, Pakistan successfully 
launched a missile with five times the range of its previous 
most capable weapon. Pakistan claims its achievements were 
indigenous, the government of India charges China with 
providing assistance, and United States government officials 
suggest North Korea may have provided the technology for the 
Ghauri missile. Whatever the source of technological aid, one 
thing is clear: the United States has once again been surprised 
by the ballistic missile achievements of another state.
    There are numerous other examples of our intelligence 
community's uneven record in anticipating ballistic missile 
developments in other countries. This does not suggest 
incompetence or a lack of diligence on the part of the 
Intelligence Community, which is staffed by competent and 
dedicated people. But it underscores that evidence of 
technological developments is often difficult to obtain, and 
that even when such evidence is available, it is oftentimes 
difficult to discern just what it means until after the fact. 
Indeed, the DCI told the Senate in 1997 that ``gaps and 
uncertainties preclude a good projection of exactly when `rest 
of the world' countries will deploy ICBMs.''
    Given this track record, the Committee believes the 
security of American lives and property cannot be based on a 
hope that the United States will see the next major advance in 
ballistic missiles long before it is available to coerce or 
harm our nation. There may be other ballistic missiles in 
development now that seem as far off today as the Shahab-3 
seemed to the DCI only a year ago.

Deployment preparedness is questionable under current policy

    Despite United States experience with the technical 
challenges presented by missile defense, the administration's 
policy of not committing to NMD deployment is based on the 
assertion that the United States can continue to tinker 
indefinitely with NMD technology, and at any time after 2000 
deploy a system within three short years. The Committee 
believes this assertion is faulty for at least two reasons.
    First, ``technology development'' does not necessarily lead 
to deployment readiness. The purpose of a United States 
acquisition program is, according to DOD regulation 5000.2, to 
``provide the needed capability to the warfighter in the 
shortest practical time.'' This means that alternative 
technological approaches must be narrowed, and critical design 
trade-offs made so that the system can advance toward 
deployment. The absence of an end-point--a deployment goal--
eliminates the driving force that moves a system towards 
readiness for the field.
    Second, the U.S. experience has shown that missile defenses 
are well within the realm of technical possibility but still 
technically challenging. The administration's assertion that it 
will be able to spring from technology development to a 
deployed capability in three years does not accord with 
experience.
    It is an inefficient aberration of DOD policy and practice 
to manage a Major Defense Acquisition program so that it goes 
into a circling pattern at some point in its development while 
awaiting the Intelligence Community's detailed characterization 
of some future threat. The United States is developing and 
deploying the F-22, for example, because a new air superiority 
fighter will benecessary in the middle of the next decade. 
Development of this aircraft is not being put on hold while the United 
States awaits information on the thrust-to-weight ratio or low 
observability of a new enemy fighter that might appear at some time in 
the future. The United States does not take this approach with any 
other Major Defense Acquisition Program other than NMD.
    Testifying on NMD, the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisition and Technology told the House Military Procurement 
and Military Research and Development Subcommittees in 
February, 1998, ``There will be a system deployed. There is 
absolutely no question the nation will have to have missile 
defense in the future. The question is when.'' Given the 
inevitability of the need for NMD, acknowledged by the 
administration, the Committee believes the NMD program must be 
put on a more rational acquisition path, which includes a 
commitment to deploy as soon as the technology is ready.

Summary

    The Committee believes the need for deployment of NMD is 
clear. The threat exists and continues to grow. The United 
States has been regularly surprised at the pace and character 
of its progress. The ability of the United States to clearly 
discern those threats well in advance of their arrival is 
limited. And confidence in our ability to respond rapidly to 
these threats must be tempered by realistic assessments of the 
technical challenges and the ability of the technical community 
to deal with them. S. 1873, by committing to deployment of NMD, 
will ensure the United States is prepared to meet that threat.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    In accordance with the Legislative Reorganization Act of 
1946, as amended by the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, 
there is set forth below the committee vote to report the 
American Missile Protection Act of 1998 (S. 1873).
    In favor: Senators Thurmond, Warner, McCain, Coats, Smith, 
Kempthorne, Inhofe, Santorum, Snowe and Roberts.
    Opposed: Senators Levin, Kennedy, Bingaman, Glenn, Byrd, 
Robb and Cleland.
    Not Voting: Senator Lieberman.
    Vote: 10-7.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    On April 15, 1998, the Congressional Budget Office issued a 
cost estimate for S. 1873. According to this estimate ``the 
bill, by itself, would have no budgetary impact.'' The complete 
cost estimate and cover letter from the Congressional Budget 
Office are shown below.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, April 22, 1998.
Hon. Strom Thurmond,
Chairman, Committee on Armed Services,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) 
has prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1873, the 
American Missile Protection Act of 1998.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Raymond Hall.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 1873--American Missile Protection Act of 1998

    S. 1873 would state that it is U.S. policy to deploy as 
soon as technologically possible an effective national missile 
defense system capable of defending the United States against 
limited ballistic missile attack.
    CBO estimates that the bill, by itself, would have no 
budgetary impact. Because it would not affect direct spending 
or receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. Any 
budgetary impact would stem from separate implementing 
legislation or from annual authorization and appropriation 
bills. How the costs of implementing the policy enunciated in 
S. 1873 would compare with costs likely to be incurred under 
current law would depend on the systems and time frame required 
by subsequent legislation.
    Section 4 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
excludes from the application of that act any legislative 
provisions that are necessary for the national security. CBO 
has determined that all provisions of this bill fit within that 
exclusion.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Raymond Hall. 
This estimate was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                           REGULATORY IMPACT

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires that a report on the regulatory impact of a 
bill be included in the report on the bill. The committee finds 
that there is no regulatory impact in the cost of S. 1873.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    S. 1873 does not include any changes in existing law.

                   ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF SENATOR SMITH

    The Strategic Forces Subcommittee, which I chair, has 
looked closely at the challenges of creating a workable and 
adequate schedule for national missile defense, as well as at 
the threats which impel these programs. I strongly believe that 
the threat is here today and growing. This legislation calls 
for placing national missile defense on the same footing as any 
other defense system: an executable program based on sound 
technology in response to a real threat. It should be adopted.
    During the Armed Services Committee's deliberations 
regarding S. 1873 it was asserted that this legislation would 
commit the United States to deploying a National Missile 
Defense (NMD) system without considering issues related to 
cost, technology, the threat of arms control. These views were 
also expressed, to varying degrees, in letters to the committee 
from the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff, and the General Counsel of the Department of Defense. 
A careful reading of S. 1873 reveals these assertions to be 
without basis.
    Establishing a policy to deploy an NMD system as soon as 
technologically possible in no way means that a rigorous 
acquisition program should not be followed. Quite the opposite 
is true: it specifically implies that such a program would be 
implemented. Every DOD acquisition program must pass a series 
of technical reviews, undergo strict cost and operational 
effectiveness assessments and be able to complete rigorous 
testing at every stage of the program. S. 1873 would in no way 
alter this for NMD. In this sense, S. 1873 would require the 
NMD system to become a more ``normal'' acquisition program than 
is currently the case with the Clinton Administration's ``3+3'' 
program, which the Director of BMDO has characterized as an 
``extremely high risk'' approach.
    Regarding the ABM Treaty, nothing in S. 1873 requires or 
encourages the United States to abrogate or violate the ABM 
Treaty. However, the bill would make clear that discussions 
between Russia and the United States must commence relatively 
soon so that the sides can develop a cooperative path for 
amending or otherwise altering the existing ABM Treaty to allow 
for deployment of a limited NMD system. Such discussions are 
necessary since it now appears that no NMD system capable of 
defending all 50 states can be deployed within the current ABM 
Treaty restrictions. The ``3+3'' program, on the other hand, 
allows the parties to defer commencement of such discussions 
until such time as the threat requiring deployment of an NMD 
system is imminent. In all likelihood, as a result of this 
situation, the United States would be faced with a choice of 
abrogating the treaty or not deploying an NMD system at all. 
This would create forced and unstable conditions for ABM 
negotiations, a situation detrimental to both U.S. and Russian 
interests.
    If the administration is concerned about cost and technical 
risk, it should welcome S. 1873. Under ``3+3'' the United 
States might have to deploy an NMD system four years from now, 
even though such a program would be virtually impossible to 
implement. Indeed, if ``3+3'' were a real program, this is 
precisely what DOD would have to do, since a new threat to the 
United States before the year 2003 has already been forecast as 
possible by the Intelligence Community. Such a program would 
truly be what the Welch report called a ``rush to failure.'' 
The policy envisioned in S. 1873, on the other hand, would 
allow DOD to develop a program characterized by adequate 
testing and risk reduction. The timeframe associated with such 
a program would certainly be adequate to address concerns 
regarding the ABM Treaty.
    As the Senate considers the red herring arguments 
concerning cost, technology, the threat and the ABM Treaty, it 
is important to bear in mind that S. 1873 would establish an 
overarching policy, not a detailed implementation plan. That 
would appropriately be left to the Department of Defense. This 
was recognized by the Congressional Budget Office when it 
concluded that ``the bill, by itself, would have no budgetary 
impact.'' As CBO correctly noted, costs would be determined by 
subsequent legislation. Since most of this legislation would be 
annual authorization and appropriation bills, the 
administration would play a key role in determining the cost 
and schedule of the systems being developed.
    In the end, the only legitimate argument against S. 1873 is 
one based on outright opposition to ever deploying an NMD 
system. If this is the true basis for opposition to this bill 
it should be publicly stated and not cloaked in misleading 
rhetoric related to issues not even addressed by the 
legislation.

                                                         Bob Smith.

                  ADDITIONAL VIEWS FROM SENATOR COATS

    I fully support the essential policy position of S. 1873; 
namely, that we must deploy an effective National Missile 
Defense as soon as technologically feasible. However, I am 
concerned that the program may suffer from the high-risk 
development approach that already has led to significant delays 
in operational capability in the theater high-altitude air 
defense (THAAD) and Navy Theater Wide (NTW) systems.
    According to the Welch Panel's Report on Reducing Risk in 
Ballistic Missile Defense Flight Test Programs, the failures 
have had little to do with technology. Rather, the panel cites 
an approach to general planning and execution that is 
``inconsistent with the complexity of the task.'' The panel 
goes on to state that the additional risk inherent to a 
concurrent development approach has ``produced little 
discernible benefit and has actually delayed operational 
capability.''
    Such delays--and the increased expense that they 
necessarily entail--would be an issue of concern at any time, 
but are especially worrisome in this era of fixed defense 
budgets.
    I believe it's time to get things back on track. Missile 
defense is a difficult, complex endeavor, and we need to pursue 
far more rigorous test and development regimes as a 
consequence.

                                                         Dan Coats.

MINORITY VIEWS OF SENATORS LEVIN, KENNEDY, BINGAMAN, GLENN, BYRD, ROBB, 
                              AND CLELAND

    We cannot support S. 1873, the ``American Missile 
Protection Act of 1998,'' as it has been reported to the Senate 
by the Armed Services Committee. In our view, and in the view 
of the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, this legislation would undermine the carefully 
designed National Missile Defense (NMD) development and 
acquisition program currently in place by making a deployment 
decision now, before development is completed, without 
permitting consideration of all the critical factors that 
should inform a deployment decision. The result, in the worst 
case, could be to cause an increase in ballistic missile 
threats to the United States and a decrease in our security.
    The key provision of the bill is the statement of policy in 
Section 3:

          It is the policy of the United States to deploy as 
        soon as is technologically possible an effective 
        National Missile Defense system capable of defending 
        the territory of the United States against limited 
        ballistic missile attack (whether accidental, 
        unauthorized or deliberate).

    We share Secretary of Defense Cohen's commitment to 
ensuring the American people receive protection from missile 
threats to the United States when they need it. That is why we 
support the current National Missile Defense Deployment 
Readiness Program, which is also known as the ``3 plus 3'' 
program. Under this program the Defense Department is 
developing the technology for the NMD system for three years so 
that it will be in a position to make a deployment 
determination in fiscal year 2000. If there is a threat that 
warrants deployment, if the system is cost-effective, and if 
deployment would not jeopardize arms reduction agreements, the 
system could be deployed in three years, or as early as fiscal 
year 2003. If these conditions do not warrant deployment, the 
technology would continue to be developed to improve the 
capability of the system that could be deployed if and when 
deployment is warranted.
    Last year the Congress endorsed the 3 plus 3 NMD program in 
the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 by 
requiring the Secretary of Defense to structure the NMD program 
in order to meet the 3 plus 3 goals, and to provide Congress 
with his plan for doing so.
    S. 1873 is inconsistent with the 3 plus 3 NMD program in a 
number of very significant ways: it ignores the issue of the 
likelihood and extent of ballistic missile threats to the 
United States; it ignores the issue of affordability and cost-
effectiveness; and it ignores the impact on current and future 
arms reduction agreements. These points are made in letters 
provided to the Committee by Defense Secretary William Cohen, 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Henry Shelton, 
and Defense Department General Counsel Judith Miller, which are 
included at the end of these views.

The threat

    One of the critical factors affecting any decision to 
deploy a national missile defense system should be an 
assessment of the threat to be countered by such a system. If 
there is not a threat sufficient to warrant deployment of an 
NMD system, the United States can continue to develop the NMD 
technology so that the capability of the system continues to 
improve. This is the current DOD plan, which we believe makes 
sense.
    By committing to deploy an NMD system solely on the basis 
of whether it is ``technologically possible'', S. 1873 ignores 
the issue of whether there is any threat that warrants 
deployment. In his letter to the Committee, dated April 21, 
1998, Secretary Cohen noted that S. 1873 ``would alter the `3 
plus 3' strategy so as to eliminate taking into account the 
nature of the threat when making a deployment decision. This 
could lead to the deployment of an inferior system less capable 
of defending the American people if and when a threat emerges. 
Because of this, I am compelled to oppose the adoption of the 
bill.''
    There are two concerns about the missile threat to the 
United States: the emergence of a rogue nation missile threat 
to the United States, and the possibility of an unauthorized or 
accidental missile launch from Russia or China, the only two 
nations other than Great Britain and France with 
intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can reach the 
United States today.
    As Secretary Cohen noted earlier this year in his Annual 
Report to the President and the Congress, the threat of an ICBM 
reaching the United States from a country other than Russia or 
China in the next 15 years is currently very low:

          The Intelligence Community has concluded that the 
        only rogue nation missile development which could 
        conceivably have the range to strike the United States 
        is the North Korean Taepo Dong 2, which could strike 
        portions of Alaska or the far-western Hawaiian Islands, 
        but the likelihood of its being operational by 2005 is 
        very low. With this exception, no country, other than 
        the declared nuclear powers, will develop or otherwise 
        acquire a ballistic missile in the next 15 years that 
        could threaten the United States, although outside 
        assistance is a wild card that could shorten time lines 
        to deployment.

    Some have questioned the ability of the Intelligence 
Community to accurately assess the emergence of a ballistic 
missile threat to the United States. These questions, however, 
are generally based on examples of short- or medium-range 
theater ballistic missile developments which do not pose a 
direct threat to the United States, rather than on long-range 
ICBMs.
    It is important to understand the distinction between 
theater ballistic missiles and ICBMs. The examples of 
unanticipated missile developments cited by the majority in 
this report are theater-range systems that cannot be converted 
into ICBMs. The United States has a vigorous and robust program 
of theater missile defenses--which we support--that are 
designed to counter the growing theater missile threat that 
exists today. ICBMs have considerably more indicators of 
development than these short- or medium-range systems, take 
considerably longer to develop and test, and are more easily 
tracked by the Intelligence Community.
    Our senior military leaders have a high degree of 
confidence that our Intelligence Community will be able to 
provide sufficient warning of an ICBM threat to the United 
States to allow us to deploy effective defenses. In General 
Shelton's letter of April 21, 1998, he states:

          I disagree with the bill's contention that the United 
        States ability to anticipate future ballistic missile 
        threats is questionable. It is possible, of course, 
        that there could be surprises, particularly were a 
        rogue state to receive outside assistance. However, 
        given the substantial intelligence resources being 
        devoted to this issue, I am confident that we will have 
        the 3 years' warning upon which our strategy is based.

    Similarly, General Howell Estes, the Commander in Chief of 
the North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States 
Space Command who would have operational command of any NMD 
system, testified to the Committee last year:

          Let me reemphasize that the Administration 3 plus 3 
        program will enable us to deploy an NMD system in time 
        to field a missile defense system before the threat 
        places our citizens at risk.

    The United States Intelligence Community also believes the 
risk of an accidental or unauthorized launch by a declared 
nuclear power is highly unlikely. George Tenet, the Director of 
Central Intelligence, testified in open session last year that 
the Intelligence Community assessment is that it is a 
``remote'' risk because of considerable precautions or 
procedures taken by Russia and China.
    General Eugene Habiger, Commander-in-Chief of United States 
Strategic Command, reinforced this view when he testified to 
the Committee this year on the Russian command and control 
measures, which he has witnessed first-hand, to prevent an 
accidental or unauthorized launch of an ICBM against the United 
States. He has publicly stated that Russia has some mechanisms 
and procedures more stringent than our own for nuclear command 
and control. General Habiger, who has had a unique opportunity 
to visit Russian strategic nuclear weapon bases--including an 
ICBM base, a strategic submarine base, a bomber base, a nuclear 
command and control center, and a nuclear weapon storage site--
has stated publicly that he does not worry about accidental or 
unauthorized launches from Russia.

Affordability and cost-effectiveness

    S. 1873 also completely ignores the question of cost-
effectiveness and affordability. In effect, it decides now to 
deploy a system, regardless of the cost and regardless of 
whether the system is cost-effective. This is the first 
instance we know of where Congress would legislatively mandate 
the deployment of a military weapon system before it is 
developed andbefore we know what it will eventually cost and 
whether it is cost-effective.
    Any decision to deploy a national missile defense system 
should include an understanding of the system's cost and its 
cost-effectiveness. It would be very unwise to commit to 
deployment and then discover that the cost was unaffordable. 
Likewise, if there is no threat warranting deployment, 
deploying the first technology possible may require 
considerable additional expense to deploy a more capable system 
later if the threat requires it. As Secretary Cohen pointed out 
in his letter to the Committee, a premature decision to deploy 
an NMD system ``could lead to the deployment of an inferior 
system less capable of defending the American people if and 
when a threat emerges.''
    General John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, made the same point when he testified before 
the Committee last year that the current 3 plus 3 NMD program 
is structured to deploy the most capable and cost-effective 
system if and when we need it:


          The NMD Deployment Readiness Program optimizes the 
        potential for an effective National Missile Defense 
        System. If the decision is made to deploy a NMD system 
        in the near term, then the system fielded would provide 
        a very limited capability. If deploying a system in the 
        near term can be avoided, DOD can continue to enhance 
        the technology base and the commensurate capability of 
        the NMD system that could be fielded on a later 
        deployment schedule. The objective here is to be in a 
        position to be three years away from deployment, so 
        America can respond to the emergence of a threat. This 
        approach fields the most cost-effective capability that 
        is available at the time the threat emerges.


    A premature decision to deploy an NMD system would also 
have serious consequences for funding higher priority military 
programs. In her letter to the Committee, DOD General Counsel 
Judith Miller concludes: ``Commitment to deploy now, in the 
absence of a threat, would divert vital defense funds from more 
pressing military needs and would result in premature 
commitment to a technological option that may be outdated when 
the threat emerges.''

Arms control impact

    Finally, S. 1873 ignores the impact of deciding to deploy a 
national missile defense system on arms control reductions, and 
thus ignores the possibility that deployment might stop the 
reduction of hundreds of ICBMs and SLBMs with thousands of 
warheads that would otherwise not be able to threaten us. 
Before making any deployment decision, we should understand the 
impact of deployment on arms reductions.
    If we deploy an NMD system that violates the Anti-Ballistic 
Missile (ABM) Treaty, Russia is likely to withdraw from START I 
and not ratify START II. In May, 1996, General Shalikashvili 
wrote to the Committee, ``I am concerned that failure of either 
START initiative will result in Russian retention of hundreds 
or even thousands more nuclear weapons, thereby increasing both 
the costs and risks we may face.''
    In its December, 1997 report, the Congressionally-mandated 
National Defense Panel concluded that ``Defensive systems will 
be more effective if they are coupled to arms control 
agreements that limit offensive capabilities.'' Before we 
decide to deploy an NMD system, we should understand the 
security implications of deployment. We certainly do not want 
to deploy a system that decreases our security.
    General Shelton's letter of April 21 concludes with a 
crucial point about elements of the current hedge strategy 
embodied in the 3 plus 3 program that would be ignored and 
undermined by S. 1873: ``Finally, the bill does not consider 
affordability or the impact a deployment would have on arms 
control agreements and nuclear arms reductions. Both points are 
addressed in the NMD Deployment Readiness Program and should be 
included in any bill on NMD. [emphasis added]''

Conclusion

    S. 1873 would commit the United States to deploy a national 
missile defense system before we know what the nature of the 
threat will be at the time of deployment; before we know the 
cost of such a system and the impact that funding this system 
would have on other high priority military programs; and before 
we know whether the decision to deploy such a system would 
jeopardize current and future nuclear arms reductions.
    We share the view of the Secretary of Defense and the 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the decision to 
deploy a national missile defense system before it is even 
developed is a decision we do not need to, and should not, make 
at this time, particularly without considering the threat, the 
cost and the impact on nuclear arms reductions.
    For these reasons, we cannot support S. 1873, and we urge 
the Senate to reject this legislation. As the senior civilian 
and military leadership of the Defense Department have clearly 
and repeatedly stated, the current 3 plus 3 National Missile 
Defense program is a prudent course to address the problem of 
emerging ballistic threats to the United States.


                                   Carl Levin.
                                   Ted Kennedy.
                                   Jeff Bingaman.
                                   John Glenn.
                                   Robert C. Byrd.
                                   Chuck Robb.
                                   Max Cleland.



                                  The Secretary of Defense,
                                    Washington, DC, April 21, 1998.
Hon. Strom Thurmond,
Chairman, Committee on Armed Services,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: I am writing in response to your request 
for the views of the Department of Defense on S. 1873, the 
American Missile Protection Act of 1998.
    The Department of Defense is committed to ensuring that we 
properly protect the American people and America's national 
security interests. This requires that we have a carefully 
balanced defense program that ensures that we are able to meet 
threats to our people and vital interest wherever and whenever 
they arise. A key element of our defense program is our 
National Missile Defense (NMD) program, which as you know was 
restructured under Secretary Perry and with the support of 
Congress as a ``3+3'' deployment readiness program. Under this 
approach, by 2000 the United States is to be in a position to 
make a deployment decision if warranted by the threat, and if a 
decision to deploy were made at that time the initial NMD 
system would be deployed by 2003. If in 2000 the threat 
assessment does not warrant a deployment decision, improvements 
in NMD system component technology will continue, while an 
ability is maintained to deploy a system within three years of 
a decision.
    The Quadrennial Defense Review reaffirmed this approach, 
although it also determined that the ``3+3'' program was 
inadequately funded to meet its objectives. Accordingly, I 
directed that an additional $2.3 billion be programmed for NMD 
over the Future Years Defense Plan. It must be emphasized, 
though, that even with this additional funding, NMD remains a 
high risk program because the compressed schedule necessitates 
a high degree of concurrency.
    I share with Congress a commitment to ensuring the American 
people receive protection from missile threats how and when 
they need it. S. 1873, however, would alter the ``3+3'' 
strategy so as to eliminate taking into account the nature of 
the threat when making a deployment decision. This could lead 
to the deployment of an inferior system less capable of 
defending the American people if and when a threat emerges. 
Because of this, I am compelled to oppose the adoption of the 
bill.
    Please be assured, however, that I will continue to work 
closely with the Senate and House of Representatives to ensure 
that our NMD program and all of our defense programs are 
designed and carried out in a manner that provides the best 
possible defense of our people and interests.
            Sincerely,
                                                Bill Cohen,
                                              Secretary of Defense.
                                ------                                

                     Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
                                    Washington, DC, April 21, 1998.
Hon. Carl M. Levin,
Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Armed Services, Washington, DC.
    Dear Senator Levin: Thank you for the opportunity to 
comment on the American Missile Protection Act of 1998 (S. 
1873). I agree that the proliferation of weapons of mass 
destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems poses a major 
threat to our forces, allies, and other friendly nations. U.S. 
missile systems play a critical role in our strategy to deter 
these threats, and the current National Missile Defense (NMD) 
Deployment Readiness Program (3+3) is structured to provide a 
defense against them when required.
    The bill and the NMD program are consistent on many points; 
however, the following differences make it difficult to support 
enactment. First and most fundamental are the conditions 
necessary for deployment. The bill would establish a policy to 
deploy as soon as technology allows. The NMD program, on the 
other hand, requires an emerging ballistic missile threat as 
well as the achievement of a technological capability for an 
effective defense before deployment of missile defenses.
    Second, the bill asserts that the United States has no 
policy to deploy an NMD system. In fact, the NMD effort is 
currently a robust research and development program that 
provides the flexibility to deploy an initial capability within 
3 years of a deployment decision. This prudent hedge ensures 
that the United States will be capable of meeting of need for 
missile defenses with the latest technology when a threat 
emerges.
    Third, I disagree with the bill's contention that the U.S. 
ability to anticipate future ballistic missile threats is 
questionable. It is possible, of course, that there could be 
surprises, particularly were a rogue state to receive outside 
assistance. However, given the substantial intelligence 
resources being devoted to this issue, I am confident that we 
will have the 3 years' warning on which our strategy is based.
    Fourth, the bill uses the phrase ``system capable of 
defending the territory of the United States.'' The NMD program 
calls for defense of only the 50 states. Expanding performance 
coverage to include all U.S. territories would have 
considerable cost, design, and location implications.
    Finally, the bill does not consider affordability or the 
impact a deployment would have on arms control agreements and 
nuclear arms reductions. Both points are addressed in the NMD 
Deployment Readiness Program and should be included in any bill 
on NMD.
    Please be assured that I remain committed to those programs 
that discourage hostile nations from the proliferation of WMD 
and the missiles that deliver them. In that regard, I am 
confident that our current NMD program provides a comprehensive 
policy to counter future ballistic missile threats with the 
best technology when deployment is determined necessary.
            Sincerely,
                                          Henry H. Shelton,
                             Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
                                ------                                

                             General Counsel of the
                                     Department of Defense,
                                    Washington, DC, April 20, 1998.
Hon. Strom Thurmond,
Chairman, Committee on Armed Services,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: This is in response to your request for 
the views of the Department of Defense on S. 1873, 105th 
Congress, a bill, ``To state the policy of the United States 
regarding the deployment of a missile defense system capable of 
defending the territory of the United States against limited 
ballistic missile attack.''
    The Department of Defense and the Administration object to 
the American Missile Protection Act of 1998. In response, the 
Department of Defense would note that the Administration's 
National Missile Defense Deployment Readiness Program is 
correct, prudent, and positions the United States to deploy a 
defense when a threat emerges.
    S. 1873 would seek to make it United States policy ``to 
deploy as soon as technologically possible an effective 
National Missile Defense system capable of defending the 
territory of the United States against limited ballistic 
missile attack (whether accidental, unauthorized, or 
deliberate).''
    The Administration's National Missile Defense program is 
premised on the view that not only must the technology be 
developed to allow for an effective defense, but that 
deployment should be based on an emerging rogue ballistic 
missile threat to the United States. To do otherwise is to 
waste scarce Defense resources and to forego deploying the most 
effective defense when the threat actually emerges.
    The Intelligence Community has concluded that a long-range 
ballistic missile threat to the United States from a rougue 
nation, other than perhaps North Korea, is unlikely to emerge 
before 2010 but could be accelerated if those nations acquired 
this capability from beyond their borders. The Intelligence 
Community concluded that the only rogue nation missile in 
development that could strike the United States is the North 
Korean Taepo Dong 2, which could strike portions of Alaska or 
the far-western Hawaiian Islands. However, as Secretary Cohen 
stated in his 1998 Annual Report to the President and the 
Congress, the likelihood of the Taepo Dong 2 being operational 
by 2005 is very low. The Administration is not complacent about 
this assessment. The National Missile Defense program is 
designed to account for the uncertainty about when and where 
threats may emerge by developing a National Missile Defense 
capability that can be deployed well ahead of this estimate. 
The Administration agrees that the United States must work to 
defend all 50 states against potential limited missile threats 
from rogue nations. The National Missile Defense Deployment 
Readiness Program will position the United States to deploy an 
initial capability as early as 2003. But, the Administration 
opposes S. 1873 because it would commit the United States to 
deploy a National Missile Defense system in the absence of an 
emerging rogue state ballistic missile threat. The crucial 
difference is in timing of a deployment decision. Commitment to 
deployment now, in the absence of a threat, would divert vital 
defense funds from more pressing military needs and would 
result in premature commitment to a technological option that 
may be outdated when the threat emerges.
    The Office of Management and Budget advises that, from the 
standpoint of the Administration's program, there is no 
objection to the presentation of this report for the 
consideration of the Committee.
            Sincerely,
                                                  Judith A. Miller.