September 14, 1972
AMENDMENT NO. 1516
Mr. JACKSON. Mr. President, I call up my amendment which is at the desk, amendment No. 1516, and ask that it be read.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will read the amendment.
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows
At the end of S.J. Res. 241 insert a new section as follows:
SEC. . The Government and the people of the United States ardently desire a stable international strategic balance that maintains peace and deters aggression. The Congress supports the stated policy of the United States that, were a more complete strategic offensive arms agreement not achieved within the five years of the interim agreement, and were the survivability of the strategic deterrent forces of the United States to be threatened as a result of such failure, this could jeopardize the supreme national interests of the United States; the Congress recognizes the difficulty of maintaining a stable strategic balance in a period of rapidly developing technology; the Congress recognizes the principle of United States-Soviet Union equality reflected in the antiballistic missile treaty, and urges and requests the President to seek a future treaty that, inter alia, would not limit the United States to levels of intercontinental strategic forces inferior to the limits provided for the Soviet Union; and the Congress considers that the success of these agreements and the attainment of more permanent and comprehensive agreements are dependent upon the maintenance of a vigorous research and development and modernization program leading to a prudent strategic posture.
Mr. FULBRIGHT. Mr. President, I offer as a substitute to the amendment just offered, amendment No. 1526, and ask that it be read.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will read the amendment.
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
In lieu of the language proposed, substitute the following:
"The Congress supports continued negotiations to achieve further limitations on offensive nuclear weapons systems with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the basis of overall equality, parity, and sufficiency, taking into account all relevant qualitative and quantitative factors pertaining to the strategic nuclear weapons systems of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America."
Mr. FULBRIGHT. Mr. President, I yield myself 5 minutes.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. FULBRIGHT. Mr. President, this amendment which I have offered in the nature of a substitute to the Jackson amendment will lead to a vote, I hope in the very near future, on the main question before us – whether the concept of sufficiency or superiority will guide our negotiators in the future. This will be, I think, the critical vote on this whole matter.
This treaty and agreement signed in Moscow by the President recognized the doctrine of strategic sufficiency. President Nixon had set forth that doctrine as official U.S. policy on a number of occasions earlier. The President told Congress earlier this year that sufficiency means, in its narrow military sense, "enough force to inflict a level of damage on a potential aggressor sufficient to deter him from attacking."
That, I think, is the core of the difference between the substitute which I offered, with some nine cosponsors, and the amendment offered by the Senator from Washington.
Politically, the President said: Sufficiency means the maintenance of forces adequate to prevent us and our allies from being coerced.
The shift from outdated concepts of "superiority" and "assured destruction" is an extremely important evolutionary step, and the Senate can usefully urge that limitations should be sought on the basis of sufficiency.
I am not going to repeat all of the arguments about the relative number of weapons we have. We have discussed that at great length. I think the critical question in this whole matter is the atmosphere, the attitude, which will prevail in the next round of the SALT talks. The first series of SALT was quite useful and satisfactory, leading to a treaty and the interim agreement. The committee voted unanimously and without amendments or reservations to report both the interim agreement and the treaty. I understand that whatever comes out of SALT II will be submitted to the Senate for its approval as a treaty. The next agreement, if not in the form of a treaty, certainly will be similar to the one before us now. In either case, the Senate or Congress will have an opportunity to vote on it.
What I object to particularly in the Senator from Washington's amendment is that it undermines the atmosphere or attitude under which these negotiations would be conducted. The amendment raises the question whether or not we are trying in good faith to reach an agreement with the Russians for curtailment of the arms race.
Even this morning, reports in the newspapers about Mr. Kissinger's latest mission to Moscow include very optimistic statements about the possibility of enlarging trade and other agreements with the Russians and of settling the lend-lease account, which goes back to World War II.
I believe that the relations have been moving in the right direction. I think it would be a great mistake to do anything which would raise serious doubts about our intentions of proceeding to fruitful future negotiations with Russia.
I think this is an extremely important matter. Nobody knows, and I certainly cannot guarantee, that the Russians will proceed, but all signs indicate that they have recognized the futility of the endless upward spiraling of the arms race and its enormous expense. Certainly, we recognize that. We need only take a look at our budget and the difficulty of obtaining moneys for all kinds of domestic programs.
I believe the atmosphere is very hopeful now for a fruitful second round of SALT, and I fear the real danger of the Senator from Washington's amendment is that it undermines that atmosphere.
It means that we are to try to catch up with the Soviets in all areas in which we are now not numerically equal. The ICBM's are the critical issue here. It is true they have more ICBM's than we have, but we have, overall, more strategic weapons than they have. All the testimony indicates that, as of the present time, we have a greater deliverable destructive capacity than the Russians.
All my amendment says is simply that any new agreement should be on the basis of "overall equality, parity, and sufficiency, taking into account all relative qualitative and quantitative factors: We are saying that our policy is to seek in the future what we already have – an overall equality, or parity, or, as the President says, sufficiency. That is all my amendment says. I believe that is consistent with the attitude of the Russians and our own negotiators, and I recommend that the Senate adopt this substitute.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. How much time does the Senator yield himself?
Mr. JACKSON. I yield myself 5 minutes.
Mr. President, our amendment, sponsored by 44 Senators, has as its central provision a request to the President to seek a future SALT treaty that would involve equal limits on the intercontinental strategic forces of the United States and the Soviet Union.
The amendment is clear in its meaning of "equality," which is defined by reference to the already approved treaty on the ABM. The ABM treaty, at Soviet insistence, limited both countries to an equal number of sites, an equal number of interceptors, and an equal number of radars of equal size.
The amendment rejects the notion that we should accept numerical inferiority in a long-term treaty because we now, before the follow-on negotiations have even begun, have technological superiority. The amendment rejects the shortsighted notion that our temporary advantage in numbers of MIRV warheads can compensate in a SALT II treaty for permanent Soviet superiority in numbers and throw weight. We must not base our security on an ephemeral advantage, while the Soviets base theirs on permanent ones.
The Jackson-Scott amendment supports the integrity of the NATO alliance by insisting that U.S. forces dedicated to the defense of our European allies and our friends in the Middle East not be limited in a bilateral treaty in which our allies are not full participants.
The amendment could be a golden opportunity for the Soviets to stop their buildup at levels equal to our own. This would mean Moscow's stopping now in modern nuclear submarines and not building up to the 62 permitted under the agreement – we are allowed 44. It would also mean some dismantling of Soviet ICBM's – they have 1,618 to our 1,054 – but many of these are obsolete – and we have dismantled or discontinued our Safeguard sites in two locations and not exercised our rights under the treaty at a third.
The Fulbright amendment has the effect of nullifying the Jackson-Scott amendment. Its language is deceptively similar, but in fact it is quite opposite to my amendment. It relies for its effect on the use of vague terms whose often conflicting definitions lie hidden in the legislative history of the last several weeks debate on my amendment.
By calling for negotiations on the basis of "equality, parity and sufficiency," which, as the legislative history reveals, are defined by Mr. FULBRIGHT to include enormous disparities on the Soviet side, the Fulbright amendment would nullify the Jackson language calling for equality in a SALT II treaty.
The terms "equality, parity and sufficiency" are vague and ill-defined. In contrast, the Jackson language refers to the simple principle of numerical equality on which the already ratified ABM treaty is based.
The Fulbright amendment would undermine the current negotiating position of the U.S. Government by justifying on a permanent basis the numerical disparities in the Soviet Union's favor that the President has accepted only on an interim basis.
The Fulbright language refers to "overall" equality and deletes the word "intercontinental" from the Jackson amendment. The legislative history makes it clear that the term "overall," has been used here to mean the inclusion of our aircraft carriers and European air forces in a bilateral SALT agreement. These forces are vital to our conventional, non-nuclear defense capability in Europe and the Middle East. Moreover, adoption of this language would justify very substantial Soviet advantage in numbers of strategic weapons on the grounds that we are ahead in MIRV warheads. This is Senator FULBRIGHT's view of the matter. The administration has resisted this position in the SALT talks because the Soviets, under the interim agreement, retain the right to press ahead with MIRV warheads of their own. Thus Mr. FULBRIGHT would freeze the Soviet numerical advantage – numbers of strategic launchers – while inviting the Soviets to catch up and surpass us in the area in which we have a temporary advantage – MIRV warheads.
The reference to "qualitative" factors, and their inclusion in the agreement, would put the Senate on record in favor of negotiating for limits that we have no means of verifying. We have no way of knowing, for example, how many warheads are carried by a Soviet missile or how accurate or reliable a Soviet missile may be. Mutual limits in this area are not now possible. Moreover, always in the past we have found that the Soviets are capable of matching our technology when they choose to do so.
The use of the word "relevant" to describe the qualitative factors Mr. FULBRIGHT has in mind does not help. It is too vague to determine what would or would not be included.
The Jackson amendment calls for a treaty on the basis of equality. The Fulbright amendment, by contrast, merely refers to "equality" as a basis for negotiations. Even if the basis proposed by Mr. FULBRIGHT were adequate – and it is not – there is much to be said for the Senate advising the President as to its preferred outcome, a treaty, rather, than addressing merely the "basis of continued negotiations."
If I may summarize, the Fulbright amendment would in effect nullify the Jackson-Scott amendment and would undermine the negotiating position of the United States in several respects. With respect to our allies, it has the same effect as the Symington amendment: it would compromise the forces dedicated to their defense as well as our own conventional defense capability by conceding the Soviet position on the inclusion of these forces in a bilateral treaty on strategic weapons. It employs terms that are vague and contradictory: "equality," "parity," and "sufficiency" are hardly synonymous yet all three are introduced as the criteria for the negotiating basis for SALT II. It would call for covering in SALT II such factors as missile accuracy which cannot be verified.
In short and in conclusion, Mr. President, the central issue here is whether or not, as we go forward starting next month or the month thereafter to negotiate a permanent treaty, we are going to seek equality in intercontinental strategic forces. I do not believe we should simply say "OK" to an interim agreement which provides inequality.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator's time has expired.
Mr. JACKSON. I yield myself 1 additional minute.
We say that the Senate is exercising its constitutional authority to give advice and consent to the President of the United States by affirming that we want, in SALT II, in numbers of intercontinental strategic forces taking account of size or throw-weight.
It will be a tragedy if we do not move in that direction. The administration understood this, and has endorsed and supported the amendment.
I reserve the remainder of my time.
Mr. JAVITS. Mr. President, I yield myself 5 minutes.
I would not rise in this debate were it not for one thing which is being omitted in the discussion, which I would like to call to the attention of the Senate, and that is the individual Member's commitment to the future. These are matters of the highest importance to the world and to our own survival, and it seems to me that one must examine Senator Jackson's amendment in terms of the personal commitment which the individual makes as a Senator. I shall be here at least until the end of 1974, and I am very hopeful that we will have a definitive sort of agreement at least within that time. I think we have the right to expect it.
So the question of adopting the Jackson amendment has never been a question related to the executive agreement we are called on to approve. It does not make or unmake it. But it does commit the individual to a policy for the United States, and this is quite in addition to what we are advising the President. I am not going to advise the President to do something I do not believe in, which is what I would be doing if I supported the amendment of the Senator from Washington, because he commits us to equality in a given weapon without any regard to even the march of technology, let alone the existing situation.
I am known here on the Senate floor to be very active in the affairs of Europe, and I believe, therefore, that they count very heavily, not only upon the American nuclear umbrella, but upon the measured response concept, and that everything does not just mean intercontinental ballistic missiles. As the Senator from Arkansas (Mr. FULBRIGHT) has pointed out, any other treaty that is proposed we will have to approve, but I do not want to be committed in my judgment, as I would be if I voted for this amendment. I do not wish to vote even for the doctrine of parity in respect to that particular weapon, the intercontinental ballistic missile. Rather, Mr. President, I want to, as Senator FULBRIGHT's substitute amendment provides, be sure of our sufficiency, equality, and parity, call it what you will, in any way that it seems to us in this country we have it.
They have interior lines; we have exterior lines. We have seas; they have land. We have a naval tradition; they have a rail line and naval tradition. We have manned bombers highly sophisticated beyond any vessel. They are highly deficient in that respect.
It all depends on the game you are playing, Mr. President. I am a tennis player, and I know it is sure death if you play the other guy's game. But that is what is sought to do here, with reference to one particular weapons system.
I believe every Senator is free, and he should not limit himself. This has nothing to do with the agreement. We would simply be limiting ourselves, as well as the President.
One other point, which I hope will appeal even to Senator JACKSON as the author of the amendment.
I really find it very difficult to see why in lines 20 and 21, if I may have the Senator's attention, they continue to carry these words–
Limited to a prudent strategic posture. Do we not have that now? Is this an indictment? I must say for the life of me I have never been able to understand how the President, whom Senator JACKSON represents – and that has been borne out; I cannot quarrel with it – would support that statement. I hope very much, should the amendment be agreed to, that that will be changed, because it is not only invidious to him, it is even bad notice to Russians.
I just call this detail to the attention of the Senator from Washington now, because I shall be moving to it later if we get to that stage. But in substance and in conclusion, Mr. President, this is not only advice to the President, it is a commitment by each of us. And for me as one Senator from a great State with about 10 percent of the Nation's population, I cannot commit myself now that my policy for the next 5 years is going to be to seek parity in intercontinental strategic forces as to one particular weapon. I may wish to seek it in a lot of things. I may decide the Russian posture is such that I want superiority next year, that I am not satisfied with parity and I am not satisfied with sufficiency. I do not want to lock myself in by this declaration of policy.
Therefore, I believe it is prudent not to agree to this amendment.
Mr. MUSKIE. I yield myself 10 minutes.
Mr. President, as is apparent from the remarks that have been made this morning during the course of this debate on the interim agreement, much attention has been focused on the problem of measuring the balance of nuclear power between ourselves and the Soviet Union. Every Senator believes that any treaty should assure us equality or parity with the Soviets. But there are clear differences of opinion with regard to what constitutes equality or parity.
The operative clause of the Jackson amendment to the interim agreement – Senate Joint Resolution 241 – reads as follows:
The Congress recognizes the principle of United States-Soviet equality reflected in the antiballistic missile treaty, and urges and requests the President to seek a future treaty that, inter alia, would not limit the United States to levels of intercontinental strategic forces inferior to the limits provided for the Soviet Union.
As Senator JACKSON has explained, "levels of intercontinental strategic forces" refers to numbers of ICBM's, SLBM's, and intercontinental bombers, taking into account total missile throw-weight. While these are most certainly vital elements of the overall strategic balance, they are by no means the only factors that must be taken into account in measuring the relative strength of the United States and the Soviet Union.
There are many other vital factors, such as numbers of warheads, accuracy, megatonnage, survivability, penetrability, deployment, technical reliability, quality of command and control systems, geographic factors, and the overall quality of weapons systems, that must be considered in any measure of the nuclear balance of power.
While Senator JACKSON would acknowledge the existence of these other factors, he has made it clear that equality in ICBM's, SLBM's, intercontinental bombers, and missile throw-weight is a minimal condition of overall equality. He has specifically ruled out our forward base systems as a legitimate element in measuring the strategic balance. He dismisses many other factors as merely technological, arguing that technology always evens out in the long run. He has stated that:
The present U.S. advantage in strategic weapons technology, which now offsets Soviet numerical superiority, cannot be assured in a long term treaty. What may be a tolerable basis for an interim agreement, therefore, would be intolerable as the basis for a treaty.
Senator JACKSON's restrictive definition of "intercontinental strategic forces" has provoked an interesting response from erstwhile supporters. The administration, whose motives in supporting the Jackson amendment remain unclear, has specifically withdrawn its endorsement of Senator JACKSON's own interpretation. White House Press Secretary, Ronald Ziegler, stated on August 9:
Senator Jackson said that his amendment excludes a consideration of European nuclear forces in future SALT negotiations for achieving equality in intercontinental strategic systems. . . The United States does not endorse that elaboration ... Any elaboration of the type I just referred to, we feel, is something that should be properly discussed and determined at the negotiating table as we proceed to SALT 2.
The distinguished chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator STENNIS, a cosponsor of the Jackson amendment, has also gone considerably beyond Senator JACKSON's restrictive definition. Speaking in the Senate on August 15, Senator STENNIS said:
A permanent treaty ... must ... balance the level of strategic forces on both sides by considering the numbers of launchers, numbers of warheads, destructive power of weapons, and potential growth within the terms of the treaty. This, as I understand it, is the main aim of the second portion of the Jackson amendment.
But this understanding does not coincide with Senator JACKSON's own interpretation.
All this is to point out that the Jackson amendment, by focusing only on a fraction of the strategic balance, could possibly prevent the negotiation of a follow-on treaty based on overall strategic equality. The administration blundered by not determining at the outset what was meant by "intercontinental strategic forces." Many Senators have been confused by the administration's premature endorsement of the Jackson amendment.
Mr. President, I strongly believe that the objective of our policy in future arms control negotiations must be to stabilize the arms race on the basis of equality in the deterrent capabilities of the United States and the Soviet Union. It is only on such a basis that both powers will feel sufficiently secure to refrain from further strategic arms buildups. I cannot imagine a more important goal of U.S. policy than the achievement of this kind of equilibrium that preserves our security, guarantees the sufficiency of our defense, and frees us from the dangers and debilitating expense of a spiraling arms race.
If we are to advise the President on strategic arms negotiations, therefore, I believe we should advise him on the objective of such negotiations – the objective of stabilizing the arms race on the basis of overall equality and the preservation of U.S. sufficiency in strategic defense. I do not think it is wise for us to prejudge the negotiations and set minimal conditions with regard to reaching that objective. To believe in a congressional voice in foreign policy does not mean that the Senate should prescribe an exact technical form for a follow-on treaty. Strategic arms negotiations are extraordinarily complex, and agreements are reached only after numerous proposals and packages are put forth by both sides and their implications fully analyzed by technical experts. For us to deny our negotiators that flexibility will not further the prospects of a follow-on agreement.
Therefore, I urge the Senate to revise the Jackson amendment to stress the need to assure in a future treaty overall equality in United States-Soviet strategic nuclear strength rather than numerical equality in intercontinental strategic weapons systems alone. In supporting such a change, I do not wish to prejudge Senator JACKSON's own view that overall equality may at some future date require rough equality in ICBM's, SLBM's, intercontinental bombers, and missile throw-weight. My purpose is not to exclude the Jackson formula from consideration at SALT 2, but rather to broaden Senate advice to allow consideration of alternative proposals as well – proposals that would insure an overall equality and U.S. defense sufficiency. The strategic balance is not so sensitive as to require mathematical precision in any single component or set of components. Insistence on such precision means that the negotiations will fail, or that both sides will build to parity across the whole spectrum of nuclear weapons. The Jackson formula, as it now stands, is a prescription for an accelerated arms race.
Mr. President, I do not have a particular design in mind for a follow-on SALT treaty. As chairman of the Arms Control Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, I was privileged to be briefed by representatives of the administration several times during the past 2 years on progress at SALT 1. I am impressed by the complexity of the strategic issues, and how imaginative and resourceful our negotiators must be in identifying the best means of stabilizing the arms race. I do not have any binding recommendations to make to our negotiators with regard to the weight that should be given, for example, to our forward base systems, to geographic differences, and to differences in deployment modes. I do not know what technological factors can be controlled in a formal treaty – what technological breakthroughs there might be in national means of verification, or what political breakthroughs there might be in the area of on-site inspection. But I do not wish to limit the possibilities in advance.
It is for these reasons that I and many other Senators have urged that we emphasize the principle of overall equality rather than numerical equality in intercontinental strategic systems alone. I believe it is essential to free our negotiators from the narrowness of the Jackson amendment. I
hope that the Senate will go on record supporting the principle of overall equality and the preservation of U.S. defense sufficiency. That will give our negotiators general advice without restrictive minimal conditions. This, I believe, is the best means of furthering prospects for the next round of negotiations.