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Support START II's Nuclear Reductions
Prepared statements of Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, USA, chairman of the Joint Chi, The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Wednesday, March 01, 1995

Perry. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to appear today and express my strong support for the START [strategic arms reduction talks/treaty] II treaty. This important treaty plays a key role in our overall effort to prevent the re-emergence of a nuclear danger to the United States. I will describe in the next few minutes how START II fits into our evolving relationship with Russia, as well as how the treaty relates to the force structure decisions we made last year in the Nuclear Posture Review. I will also address how START II will build upon the significant accomplishments we have made in reducing the nuclear threat under the Cooperative Threat Reduction program.

A critical post-Cold War challenge for the United States and for the Department of Defense is to prevent a re-emergence of the nuclear danger that characterized the Cold War. During the Cold War the United States and the Soviet Union were bitter enemies engaged in a dangerous arms race. Our two countries developed and deployed massive arsenals of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons with which to deter each other. Even the treaties designed to control that arms race were the result of years of negotiations between suspicious adversaries.

With the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the world has begun to move away from that dangerous state of affairs. The nuclear threat to the United States is now greatly reduced and of a different form. Cooperative efforts to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union have contributed significantly to U.S. security.

These developments, however, are neither complete nor irreversible. Russia's transformation to a stable democracy and a market economy is still in its early stages. The Russian arsenal remains the only force capable of threatening U.S. national survival. Furthermore, the spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction now poses a larger and growing threat to U.S. and global security. The former Soviet Union is a potential source of nuclear material for states eager to develop their own nuclear capability. We must avoid a return to the large arsenals of the Cold War and prevent proliferation of such weapons.

The administration has undertaken a multipronged approach to meet the post-Cold War nuclear challenge. First, under the Cooperative Threat Reduction, or Nunn-Lugar, program [named after sponsors Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia and Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana], we are helping Russia and the other states of the former Soviet Union to destroy their strategic offensive arms and reorient their nuclear scientists and facilities to peaceful enterprises.

Second, we are continuing to push for the indefinite and unconditional extension of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as well as other counterproliferation efforts as part of our overall effort to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Third, while we have already experienced much success, we are hedging against possible reversals. This hedge strategy has two parts: maintaining deterrence at reduced force levels, following the strategy outlined in the Nuclear Posture Review, and developing ballistic missile defenses against existing and potential threats from states other than the former Soviet Union, consistent with the ABM [Anti-ballistic Missile] treaty.

Finally, we are continuing the process of reducing strategic arms and stabilizing their structures, as represented by START II.

The United States cannot meet the nuclear challenge alone. Russia must also work to ensure the stability of the new security arrangement. That is why we have embarked on a pragmatic partnership with Russia to move away from Cold War postures; enhance the safety, transparency and irreversibility of nuclear arms reductions; support the development of Russia as a stable democracy; and help Russia develop a healthy market economy.

As we pursue these steps, however, it is important that we preserve the context of a predictable nuclear relationship that formal agreements such as START II can provide. If there is a lesson from the conflict in Chechnya, it is the danger of instability resulting from the breakup of the former Soviet Union. The strategic stability provided by the structure of START II and the predictability provided by its treaty status will serve as important hedges against that instability, at the same time they reinforce the new security environment we now enjoy.

START II makes unprecedented reductions in nuclear forces and codifies rough strategic equivalence at much lower levels. The treaty will reduce the overall level of deployed strategic warheads by about two-thirds from pre-START levels, the most sweeping nuclear arms reductions in history. Once reductions are completed by January 2003, the United States and Russia will each end up with a force of 3,500 or fewer deployed warheads in their strategic forces.

These reductions, however, are not the whole story. START II achieves a long-standing U.S. arms control goal by eliminating all multiple-warhead and heavy ICBMs, the most threatening of the Cold War nuclear delivery systems. It thus ensures that the drawdown of nuclear forces will occur in a favorable direction -- away from large, vulnerable, first-strike missiles such as the Russian SS-18 and toward weapons that serve as more stabilizing deterrents. Russia's START II force structure is likely to be built around single-warhead ICBMs -- the existing SS-25 and the follow-on missile currently in flight testing. Such a force will enhance stability by eliminating the pressure to use MIRVed [multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles] ICBMs quickly in a crisis.

START II goes beyond START I in a number of other important respects. It requires physical elimination of the heavy ICBMs themselves and gives the U.S. rights to inspect such elimination. The treaty allows detailed on-site inspection should Russia decide to convert a limited number of its SS-18 silos for use with SS-25-type single-warhead missiles.

Through these and other measures, even if reform in Russia should falter, START II would help ensure against a return to the force levels and structures of the Cold War. Further, our verification rights should allow us to detect such a buildup in time to take corrective actions.

START II thus represents the culmination of the Cold War arms control process and a turning point to a new era of cooperative threat reduction. Indeed, whereas START I took almost a decade to negotiate, START II was completed in less than a year. Our commitment to the arms control process begun under START I has thus been doubly beneficial: Not only has START I survived the breakup of the Soviet Union and the transition to a multiparty treaty, but its structure provided the foundation for our agreement with Russia on START II.

We are confident that the Russian people will similarly see that START II reflects a new cooperative relationship between our two countries and allows each to avoid the future burden of large strategic arsenals. Without START II, Russia would need to invest significant resources to maintain its strategic nuclear forces at or near START I levels. By permitting both sides to reduce their forces in tandem, the treaty allows Russia to shift scarce resources toward more productive sectors of its economy.

Furthermore, by eliminating both sides' most threatening systems, the treaty will improve not only strategic stability but also the political relationship between the United States and Russia. The degree of openness about each side's strategic forces implicit in START II will likewise reinforce the improvements in the post-Cold War security environment.

The new cooperative nature of arms reduction is evidenced by the fact that even though START I only entered into force last December, the United States and the former Soviet Union have already made significant progress towards meeting the limits of that treaty. U.S. implementation of START I continues to proceed smoothly.

We have deactivated all of our forces to be eliminated under START I by removing over 3,900 warheads from ballistic missiles and retiring heavy bombers to elimination facilities. We have already eliminated about 290 missile launchers and over 230 heavy bombers, putting us below the first START I intermediate ceiling that will not come into effect until December 1997.

Our START I treaty partners in the former Soviet Union are also making great strides. While not all systems to be eliminated under START I in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus have been deactivated, Russia has moved rapidly on launcher eliminations. Like the U.S., the former Soviet Union has already met the first intermediate ceiling on launchers. In fact, it is very close to meeting the second intermediate limit on launchers that will not take effect until December 1999.

The denuclearization of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine continues to proceed, as over 1,500 warheads in these three countries have been deactivated and over 1,000 have been returned to Russia. The success of START I implementation thus far leaves us confident that START II's limits can be achieved on schedule.

The Cooperative Threat Reduction, or Nunn-Lugar, program continues to play a major role in the reduction of threats in the former Soviet Union, providing dismantlement and demilitarization assistance to our START I partners.

To date the United States has committed $185 million of assistance to Ukraine specifically for the elimination of strategic offensive arms. The United States has also committed $130 million of assistance to Russia for the elimination of strategic offensive arms. Similarly, we have committed $70 million of assistance to Kazakhstan to facilitate elimination of SS-18 silos in that country. An important emphasis of the Nunn-Lugar program in the coming period will be to assist Russia in meeting the costs of START II dismantlement requirements.

The Cooperative Threat Reduction program is a small investment with a big payoff -- it truly is defense by other means. It has been vital to the effort to help Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine make the transition to nonnuclear status. The program has another important nonproliferation aspect: By helping to ensure the safe dismantlement of the old Soviet arsenal and the conversion of nuclear weapons industries to peaceful enterprises, it helps prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technical expertise to states eager to advance their own nuclear programs. Dollar for dollar there is no better way to spend national security resources than to help eliminate a former enemy's nuclear weapons and convert its industry to peaceful enterprises.

We will continue the cooperative process under START II. At their September 1994 summit Presidents [Bill] Clinton and [Boris] Yeltsin [of Russia] agreed that once START II is ratified both sides would proceed to deactivate those systems to be reduced under the treaty. We are reviewing, and plan to discuss with the Russians, approaches to ensure that this process will be transparent and synchronized. Through such early deactivation both sides will be able to reap the stabilizing benefits of START II well before the formal reduction period ends on Jan. 1, 2003. We are also pursuing other arrangements, such as the exchange of data on our nuclear stockpiles and the cutoff of production of fissile material, which will further enhance our security relationship.

START II exemplifies the U.S. commitment to fulfill its obligations under Article VI of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to end the arms race and reduce overall levels of nuclear armaments. The United States takes this responsibility seriously, as evidenced by the numerous treaties we have concluded over the last 10 years -- INF [Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces] and START I, the CFE [Conventional Forces in Europe] treaty, Open Skies and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Alongside these agreements START II and our ongoing efforts to conclude a CTBT [Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty] should support our obtaining indefinite extension of the NPT by demonstrating our good faith in meeting our end of the NPT bargain.

We have, furthermore, gone beyond formal agreements in this regard. In September 1991 and January 1992 the United States undertook unilateral initiatives that radically reduced our deployment of nonstrategic nuclear weapons, leading to the dismantlement of thousands of these warheads. While Russia also took steps to reduce and eliminate nonstrategic nuclear weapons in response, it continues to retain thousands of these warheads in its stockpile. We have urged Russia to make further reductions in these systems.

Despite these successes, however, we must hedge against the possibility of reversals. As we took pains to note in the Nuclear Posture Review, we must still be cautious in the new security environment. Our partnership with Russia must be a pragmatic, realistic one, and we must guard against the possibility that reform efforts may fail and cause security arrangements to deteriorate.

One part of our hedge strategy, directed against the prospect of the acquisition of other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles by states other than the former Soviet Union, is ballistic missile defense. We have, in the new budget, a robust program in theater missile defense. In addition we are attempting to clarify the ABM treaty, in order that both we and the Russians can develop and deploy effective theater missile defenses while maintaining the viability of this important agreement. We will also continue our efforts to be able, should the threat arise, to deploy a treaty-compliant ground-based national missile defense against strategic ballistic missiles.

The principal element of our hedge strategy, however, is to maintain a robust deterrent force. As I have noted in the context of the Nuclear Posture Review, nuclear weapons are playing a smaller role in U.S. security than at any other time in the nuclear age. START II reflects that reality. Nevertheless, the U.S. must maintain a nuclear force of sufficient size and capability to hold at risk a broad range of assets valued by potentially hostile political and military leaders as well as the ability to reconstitute a larger force should the need arise.

We can deploy such forces under START II. The Joint Chiefs were represented in all phases of the negotiations to ensure that the treaty's reductions are consistent with U.S. military requirements. START II has allowed us to design a right-sized nuclear force based on our own strategic requirements and that reflects the sweeping changes in the new security environment. Ratification and implementation of START II by both sides will help ensure that these improvements become permanent by providing a formal, predictable process for reductions. Indeed, the Nuclear Posture Review took as its premise the successful implementation of START II, not just by the United States, but also by Russia. We will not implement these reductions on a unilateral basis.

The force structure we will deploy under START II constitutes a stable, flexible triad. We plan to deploy 14 Trident SSBNs [nuclear submarines] equipped with D-5 SLBMs [submarine-launched ballistic missiles], stabilizing delivery systems because of their inherent survivability. The ICBM force will consist of 450-500 Minuteman IIIs, each carrying a single warhead.

We also will deploy a heavy bomber force of 66 B-52s armed with long-range nuclear cruise missiles as well as 20 B-2s in a nuclear role. We will benefit from START II's provisions by reorienting our B-1s to conventional roles. These will not count against the START II warhead limit and can be returned to nuclear roles on a one-time basis, should this become necessary.

The force I have just described will be a modern force capable of maintaining deterrence against reduced Russian forces under START II as well as against any other power. Russia is continuing to modernize its forces, though its levels of spending on strategic offensive arms are considerably below Cold War levels.

Such modernization, directed primarily at follow-on missiles to augment and replace the single-warhead SS-25 ICBM and the SS-N-20 SLBM, is consistent with START II. We will, of course, continue to monitor Russian modernization programs closely. We will also continue to press Russia to reduce its large stockpile of nonstrategic nuclear weapons to much lower levels more in line with realistic requirements. We are confident, however, that the forces we plan to deploy under START II will be effective for deterrence.

I would add that while the forces resulting from START II and the Nuclear Posture Review allow us to hedge against the return of the nuclear danger, they also allow the flexibility for further reductions should the security environment continue to improve. START II thus presents us with the best of both worlds: reductions which improve stability, but still meet our requirements and preserve our ability to adjust should the world change.

In sum, START II will both advance our national security interests and improve strategic stability. The treaty will effectively reduce the nuclear danger by reducing overall levels of strategic nuclear weapons and by eliminating the most destabilizing systems. It will reinforce our efforts at cooperative threat reduction. It exemplifies our commitment to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Lastly, the treaty will allow us to maintain deterrence by building a right-sized force structure that hedges against unforeseen reversals in the international security environment.

We are moving from an era of arms control negotiated between adversaries to cooperative threat reduction among partners. START II points the way to this new era while serving as a hedge against the failure of our hopes. I wholeheartedly urge the Senate to give its advice and consent in support of the treaty.

 

Shalikashvili. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to provide the committee my views on the START II treaty.

Let me say at the outset that on the basis of detailed study of our security needs and careful review of the treaty it is my judgment, and the unanimous opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the START II treaty is in the best interests of the United States. I recommend the Senate provide its advice and consent to START II's ratification.

START I is the first treaty that actually reduces the numbers of strategic offensive weapons. It mandates an overall strategic nuclear force reduction of about one-third and a reduction of up to 50 percent in one of the most dangerous and destabilizing categories of nuclear weapons -- heavy ICBMs.

As well, START I breaks new ground in establishing effective verification regimes by providing levels of visibility and confidence that exceed any previous nuclear arms control efforts. Thus, the START I Treaty is a vigorous step toward a more stable nuclear balance because it results in a reduction in the numbers of destabilizing first-strike systems, it fosters greater reliance on more survivable nuclear systems, and it provides increased certainty about the other side's strategic posture. This past December we formalized these gains with the entry into force of the START I treaty.

But the disintegration of the Soviet Union offered us the opportunity to build on the gains of START I and to go even further in reducing the nuclear dangers to our nation. The START II treaty you are considering today accomplishes just this purpose.

When enacted, this treaty will dramatically reduce the numbers of fielded strategic nuclear forces. It will eliminate the last remaining weapons in the two most destabilizing and dangerous categories of nuclear arsenals -- ICBMs with multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles and the last of the heavy ICBMs, the SS-18s; and it will enable each party to reduce its strategic arsenal on the basis of an effective verification regime built upon both confidence-building measures and intrusive inspections. Both parties will be left at rough equivalence in strategic forces, but the result will be smaller, more stable strategic nuclear forces for both the United States and Russia.

Our analysis and our judgment of the treaty focused on the following key elements: maintaining deterrent forces that are militarily sufficient, crisis stability and verification of the treaty reductions.

The U.S. START II negotiating position was based on a Joint Chiefs of Staff assessment of how many and what kind of nuclear forces were necessary to retain a credible deterrent force beyond the year 2003. Our logic at that time and during the negotiations was to reduce the numbers of warheads but to preserve a balanced force -- a mix of ICBMs, SLBMs and bombers -- sufficient in size and capability to meet our future deterrent requirements. It was our view that with the 3,500 warheads allowed under this treaty we would remain capable of holding at risk a broad enough range of high-value political and military targets to deter any rational adversary from launching a nuclear attack against our nation or against our allies.

Last September we completed the Nuclear Posture Review, an effort chartered to determine what roles our nuclear forces must meet to protect against future challenges to U.S. national security interests. The NPR assumed the post-START II nuclear force levels, and its analysis reconfirmed the calculations that were done before and during the negotiations for START II. The review reaffirmed both that we must maintain a viable nuclear deterrent in the post-Cold War world and that 3,500 warheads will be sufficient to hold at risk those assets which any foreseeable enemy would most value -- the core determinant of effective deterrence.

More specifically, we concluded that the START II/NPR force is sufficient to prevent any foreseeable enemy from achieving its war aims against us or our allies no matter how a nuclear attack against us is designed. In practice this means that our nuclear forces must be robust enough to sustain the ability to support an appropriate targeting strategy and a suitable range of response options even in the event of a powerful first strike that attempts to disarm our nuclear forces. Our analysis shows that even under the worst conditions the START II force levels provide enough survivable forces and survivable, sustained command and control to accomplish our targeting objectives.

This force will consist of 14 Trident submarines equipped with the D-5 missile system, 66 B-52 bombers, 20 B-2 bombers and 450-500 Minuteman III missiles. When the START II reductions are completed U.S. strategic forces will be roughly equivalent with those of Russia and will be sufficient to meet our deterrent requirements.

Turning to my second point, the START II treaty builds upon the accomplishments of START I by further reducing strategic arms in a way that increases crisis stability. START II does this by finally eliminating the most destabilizing nuclear weapons -- land-based MIRVed ICBMs and heavy ICBMs.

In the past, with MIRVed ICBMs a significant part of the forces of both sides there was much greater incentive to shoot first during a crisis. The inherent vulnerability of land-based missiles to a first strike, compounded by the consideration of losing the multiple warheads on MIRVed missiles, argued for launching these weapons before they could be disabled by an enemy strike. Thus, eliminating this entire category of nuclear weapons relieves the incentive to launch first, adding greatly to crisis stability. START II also eliminates the last of the heavy ICBMs -- the remaining Russian SS-18s -- which are hostage to the same logic and are therefore equally destabilizing in a crisis.

In addition to eliminating these two kinds of systems, the restructuring of our Triad made under the terms of this treaty will improve stability in its own right. Our START II ICBM leg will be both less vulnerable to destruction by a first strike and a less attractive target than has been the case in the past. That all of our remaining ICBMs will have single warheads will make them less valuable targets than MIRVed missiles. But in addition the combined calculus of rough equivalency in overall warheads between us and the Russians, and the fact that all remaining missiles will be equipped with single warheads, will make it prohibitively difficult for Russia to consider launching an effective first strike to disarm our ICBMs.

Under the warhead calculus of this treaty, to achieve the levels of confidence needed to disarm this one leg of our Triad would require such a high proportion of Russia's overall warheads that this course would leave the attacker at an unacceptably serious disadvantage. By any rational calculation the costs would greatly outweigh any potential gains.

The second leg of our Triad will consist of SLBMs , which have long been and will remain the most secure and survivable part of our nuclear force. The third leg will be our manned bombers, which have the inherent advantage that they can be recalled up to the last minute. In combination, these systems provide a redundant mix of mutually supporting capabilities -- in short, a viable, effective Triad that provides stability during a crisis. This improved crisis stability, even as we maintain an effective deterrent that is militarily sufficient, is the hallmark of the START II treaty. It is, in fact, an even more noteworthy goal than the warhead reductions themselves.

The third element of the treaty that we analyzed is its procedures for verifying compliance. We analyzed the verification procedures from two standpoints: Do the verification procedures offer us confidence that we can effectively verify compliance and detect significant violations of the treaty, and do the verification procedures provide adequate safeguards for protecting our national security against unnecessary or unwarranted intrusion?

START II builds upon the interlocking and mutually reinforcing verification provisions established in START I. Unless otherwise specified, the counting rules, notifications, verification, conversion and elimination procedures from START I are used for START II.

The breakup of the former Soviet Union has not undermined my confidence nor the confidence of the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in these procedures. In fact, the increased openness of Russian society and the capabilities of our own national technical means are additional factors that add to our confidence in our ability to effectively verify.

We believe that the verification procedures are adequate to ensure that we will be able to detect any significant violations. Conversely, we also believe that the verification provisions are sufficiently restrictive to protect ourselves against unnecessary intrusion.

One notable aspect of the treaty is that it breaks new ground by permitting both Russia and the United States to achieve the stipulated nuclear reductions by restructuring their current forces. This is an improvement over START I because it allows the parties to more quickly and more cost effectively reduce their forces through a combination of hardware elimination, conversions and downloading. But the key to making this restructuring possible is the inclusion of some specially designed verification procedures that will allow us to monitor and check compliance.

Three specific areas are worth noting:

 

  • Downloading.

The START II treaty has different provisions from START I for reducing nuclear warheads by downloading. In the START I treaty either side could remove up to four warheads from a missile but could only get credit for the reduced warhead number if the warhead mounting platform was destroyed and replaced -- an expensive option. There was also a limit on the aggregate number of downloaded warheads permitted for each party.

START II encourages each side to take greater advantage of downloading. For economic reasons, and at our insistence, the warhead mounting platforms do not have to be destroyed under START II. The advantage for us is that this permits Trident sea-based missiles to be downloaded cost-effectively without the need to replace all of their mounting platforms.

The treaty also goes beyond the START I limit of only crediting the downloading of up to four warheads per missile as it permits the downloading of five warheads from each of 105 Russian SS-19 ICBMs as these missiles are converted to a single warhead configuration. When both parties are done downloading, all remaining missiles will have a single warhead. Note, however, that these downloading procedures will not be applied to Russia's SS-18 force, because all SS-18s will be completely eliminated under START II.

Our confidence in the actual warhead numbers deployed on future ICBMs will be based on existing provisions for re-entry vehicle on-site inspections, coupled with our national technical means. We are confident that the combination of RVOSI and our NTM will provide us the means to detect any significant violations should the Russians at some time in the future attempt to return their missiles to a MIRVed configuration.

 

  • Silo conversion.

The treaty also permits the Russians to convert 90 of their SS-18 silo launchers into silo launchers for single-warhead SS-25-type ICBMs. The Russians agreed to convert the silos under procedures that preclude their later use for SS-18s.

The procedures for conversion are specifically designed to be both time consuming and difficult to reverse. As well, once the conversions are completed any attempt to reconvert the silos back to a configuration capable of housing heavy ICBMs would be readily detected by visual inspections and our NTM.

To verify these silo conversions the Russians agreed to more extensive verification procedures than the START I treaty allowed. As part of the conversion, they agreed to pour five meters of concrete in the base of these SS-18 silos and to install a restrictive ring at the top of the launchers. Either of these steps alone precludes reinstalling SS-18 missiles in the converted silos. Additionally, they agreed to destroy the SS-18s themselves, including those in Kazakhstan when they are returned to Russia. Our inspectors will get to observe both the silo conversion procedures and the missile eliminations.

 

  • Heavy bombers.

The third provision for restructuring is delineated in the details for heavy bomber counting and conversion. Under the terms of the treaty the number of warheads attributed to heavy bombers with nuclear roles, including those equipped with long-range nuclear air-launched cruise missiles, will be determined by totaling the number of nuclear weapons with which each type of bomber can be equipped. To make this counting determination each side will have to demonstrate to the other side the nuclear weapons configuration of each type of bomber that is designated to retain a nuclear mission.

In addition, the United States obtained Russian agreement that up to 100 heavy bombers never attributed with long-range nuclear ALCMs [air-launched cruise missiles] may be reoriented to conventional missions without having to undergo the conversion procedures that applied under START I. These reoriented bombers will not be counted under the warhead limits of the START II treaty nor will they be deemed part of the United States nuclear force under START II. But these reoriented heavy bombers can be used for nonnuclear, conventional missions only. As defined by the treaty, the reoriented bombers will have to be based separately from heavy bombers with nuclear roles, they will be used only for nonnuclear missions, they will not be used in exercises for nuclear missions, and their aircrews will not train or exercise for nuclear missions. Currently we plan to reorient our B-1s to a conventional role using these START II procedures.

The START II treaty offers a significant contribution to our national security. Under its provisions we achieve the long-standing goal of finally eliminating both heavy and MIRVed ICBMs, thereby significantly reducing the incentive for a first strike. For decades we and the Russians have lived with this dangerous instability. With this treaty we can at long last put it behind us.

The Joint Chiefs and I have carefully assessed the adequacy of our strategic forces under START II. With the balanced Triad of 3,500 warheads that will remain once this treaty is implemented the size and mix of our remaining nuclear forces will support our deterrent and targeting requirements against any known adversary and under the worst assumptions.

Both American and Russian strategic nuclear forces will be suspended at levels of rough equivalence, with a balance denuded of any incentive for a first strike. By every military measure START II is a sound agreement that will make our nation more secure. Under its terms our forces will remain militarily sufficient, crisis stability will be greatly improved, and we can be confident in our ability to effectively verify its implementation. This treaty is clearly in the best interests of the United States.

On the behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I recommend that the Senate promptly give its advice and consent to the ratification of the START II treaty.

 

Published for internal information use by the American Forces Information Service, a field activity of the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), Washington, D.C. Parenthetical entries are speaker/author notes; bracketed entries are editorial notes. This material is in the public domain and may be reprinted without permission