B. Russian Nuclear Forces
- U.S. Energy Department and Russian Navy Complete SecurityUpgrades of Submarine Service Ship, Department of Energy (10/02/00)
- Russian Nuclear Material Monitoring System 'Far From Ideal',Vladimir Kucherenko, Rossiyskaya Gazeta [translated] (09/29/00)
C. Export Controls
- Russia's Strategic Forces Stumble, Jane’s IntelligenceReview (10/02/00)
- Remarks to the National Academy of Sciences Conference onScientific Communication and National Security, "Scientific Informationand National Security," John D. Holum (09/27/00)
U.S. Energy Department and Russian Navy Complete Security Upgradesof Submarine Service Ship
Department of Energy
October 2, 2000
(for personal use only)
Commissioning Ceremony Near Murmansk Marks Continuing Cooperation
The Department of Energy has announced the completion of security systemenhancements on Russian Navy Ship PM-12, the second of three Russian FederationNavy submarine service ships scheduled for security upgrades through thedepartment's Nuclear Nonproliferation program. The Russian Navy isa major user of highly enriched uranium fuel which, if lost or stolen,could be processed for use in nuclear weapons. Representatives of the twogovernments held a commissioning ceremony for the new security system lastFriday.
The physical protection of nuclear materials aboard these Russian Navyships enhance our national security and global security," said Energy SecretaryBill Richardson. "The extraordinary cooperation between the Departmentof Energy and the Russian Navy benefits the United States, the RussianFederation and the international community."
During an August trip to the Russian Far East, Secretary Richardsonsigned an agreement with the Russian Federation Navy that outlines expandedfuture cooperation in the area of nuclear material security. On thevisit, Secretary Richardson was granted unprecedented access to Russiansubmarine support facilities.
The Russian Navy Ship project is a part of the cooperative efforts ofthe U.S. Department of Energy with the Russian Federation to prevent proliferationof nuclear materials that can be used in weapons of mass destruction. Russian Navy Ship PM-12 is based at Nerpa Shipyard, which is north of Murmansk,on the Kola Peninsula, along the northern Russian coastline. In additionto ship-based systems, upgrades were installed at specific shore locationswhere the ship may be docked. Work on upgrades began on Russian Navy ShipPM-12 in August 1998 and was completed on schedule.
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Russian Nuclear Material Monitoring System 'Far From Ideal'
Rossiyskaya Gazeta [translated]
September 29, 2000
(for personal use only)
[first paragraph is separate boxed section]
At the present time all nuclear materials, being the property of thestate, are located within the walls of 61 organizations, only 14 of whichdo not belong to the Atomic Energy Ministry system. To functionnormally, the entire system of recording and monitoring must embrace almost70 enterprises of 13 federal departments.
The main topic of the day at yesterday's session of the country's governmentwas a discussion of the system for recording and monitoring fissionablematerials in Russia.
Valentin Ivanov, Russian Federation first deputy minister of atomicenergy, delivered the report. It dealt with nuclear materialswhich are used in technological cycles in our nuclear industry. Both in its civilian branch and in its military branch.
Monitoring of nuclear materials back in the Soviet Union was on an exceptionallyhigh level. Everything was based on personal responsibilityand the constant filling out of acceptance and transfer documents. Therefore only two attempts to steal fissionable materials were recordedbetween 1945 and 1991. On the other hand, the new times ofuncertainty, of the breakup of the old system and the emergence of lotsof private firms, have caused the picture to change. Between1991 and 1995 there were 21 attempts to steal nuclear materials, and inone instance it was a question of three kg of a highly enriched substance-- material for a possible nuclear munition. During 1995 through1999 the measures taken by the state reduced the number of attempts attheft to two.
But at whose expense has the Atomic Energy Ministry been agonizinglycreating a new recording and monitoring system since 1995? It includes special systems at enterprises where fissionable material balanceareas are created. Recording takes place there constantly withthe help of new objective monitoring apparatus. These datain turn are fed constantly to the Federal Information Center. However, the situation here is far from ideal: Western funds are beingused to create the system. The West also supplies us with monitoringapparatus, which far from always meets Russia's requirements. There is a shortage of this apparatus today, and the Atomic Energy Ministryinsists on gathering together fissionable materials at a limited numberof installations. However, what is needed for this is a differentnormative-legal base. Is it possible at the same time to counton the state budget? Unfortunately, the federal targeted programproposed by the Atomic Energy Ministry in 1995 for developing the statesystem for recording and monitoring nuclear materials was later downgradedto the level of a subprogram. Its funding is extremely bad-- just 70 million rubles for the period 2000-2006, which is roughly 30times less than what is required. Therefore Atomic Energy Ministryspecialists, when developing perfectly modern models of monitoring apparatus,are unable to put it into production, confining themselves just to experimentalmodels. At the same time there is no clear-cut system of coordinationand centralized monitoring of the work that is being done, for this ismainly funded out of foreign aid.
What does the Atomic Energy Ministry propose? The adoptionof an intersectoral program to improve the recording system, involvingall interested structures in it. This provides an opportunityto consolidate the Russian means. For now this proposal has,by and large, been approved. Our nuclear scientists hope thatthe present wholesale reduction of federal programs will not affect thisimportant problem.
On the same day the government approved a draft statute on the RussianFederation Ministry of Taxes and Levies. Under this documentthe ministry gains the right to participate in the elaboration and implementationof the country's tax policy and also to exercise currency control and controlover the production and circulation of ethyl alcohol and alcoholic andtobacco products.
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B. Russian Nuclear Forces
Russia's Strategic Forces Stumble
Jane’s Intelligence Review
October 2, 2000
(for personal use only)
RUSSIA'S STRATEGIC nuclear forces have entered the millennium with abroad range of financial, technological, diplomatic and organizationalproblems. By the middle of this year future prospects were further cloudedby the politicisation of the reform debate, linked to the succession strugglefor the post of minister of defence. It seems unlikely that the Kremlinwill be able to stabilise the operational capabilities of the force. Thequestion is whether the force will continue to erode in a controlled orhaphazard way.
Strategic nuclear forces
As with all combat branches of the Russian armed forces, the strategicnuclear forces face the future severely hamstrung by financial problems.This was demonstrated on 27 June when Strategic Rocket Forces (Raketnyevoiska strategicheskogo naznacheniya - RVSN) troops from the base at Sibirskiywere forced to stage a commando raid on the neighbouring electric powercompany, which threatened to shut off power to the base due to a continuingfailure to pay its bills. As in the rest of the armed forces, monthly payfor the missile troops has been erratic.
The RVSN remains the main element of the Russian strategic forces, beingresponsible for about 90% of the strategic missions even though it possessesonly about 60% of the missiles and warheads. Funding for RVSN operationshas been meagre, as has the maintenance budget.
Russia currently fields 780 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs),of which about 60% are beyond their warranty life. Most Russian liquid-fuelledmissiles of the fourth and fifth generation have a warranted life of sevento 10 years in operation. At the end of this period they must be removedfrom their silo and sent back to the plant for remanufacture as the corrosiveoxidant can begin to leak, electronics deteriorate, and the warhead hasto be serviced. This cannot be done in the silo due to the use of transport-launchcontainers that envelope the missile.
In the past, missiles have been rebuilt several times, extending theirlife to 25 years. The problem is that 226 of the missiles - Voevoda (SS-18'Satan') and Molodets (SS-24 'Scalpel') - were built in Ukraine and socannot be sent back to their original plant for rebuilding. A limited reserveof missiles can be substituted, but this is a finite resource that willbe exhausted. The older UR-100NU (SS-19 'Stiletto'), built at the Khrunichevplant near Moscow, is being rebuilt to extend its useful life until about2010. The 360 Topol (SS-25 'Sickle') mobile ICBMs that make up almost halfthe force are the newest missiles to enter service. Their manufacturingplant at Votkinsk is still in operation, and there is a reserve of about50 missiles that can be substituted for time-expired missiles.
To further complicate matters, the main manufacturer of inertial-guidanceplatforms, Khartron, is also in Ukraine. When missiles are left on activealert with the inertial guidance unit fully operating, the system has anexpected life of about three years. Since spares on these guidance unitsare dwindling, the RVSN has to face the choice of removing a significantportion of the missile force from ready alert, or allowing the force tobecome non-functional due to worn out guidance platforms.
Although figures have not been published, it is assumed that a smallerportion of the current missile force is kept on ready alert than a decadeago, if only to conserve spares. As a result of these trends, the Voevodaforce will have to be retired by 2007, when it will become unsupportable.This will drop the total RVSN missile force size to about 600 ICBMs anddrop the warhead count from the current 3,540 to about 1,740. This is plannedunder the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) in any event.
At the moment, the only new missile entering the force is the Topol-M(SS-27), an evolved version of the Topol. In view of the current debateover procurement funding priorities, it is not certain that Topol-M productionwill continue at recent levels - barely 10 missiles a year. As a result,the RVSN ICBM force is likely to shrink regardless of treaty considerations.
The 1997 appointment of Igor Sergeyev, former commander of the RVSN,as defence minister helped to focus attention on the need for RVSN modernisation.Sergeyev is the first RVSN commander to have served as defence minister.He has argued forcefully that it is the strategic nuclear forces that makeRussia a great power.
Sergeyev's procurement priority was the Topol-M ICBM effort, with theaim not only of halting the erosion of the force size but of firming upthe defence industries on which the RVSN is so dependent. Priority or not,Topol-M funding has been barely adequate and, to date, only two regiments(20 silo launchers) have been deployed. Tests of a more survivable, butmore expensive, road-mobile version were scheduled to begin in July 2000,only to be put off indefinitely due to a lack of funds and the currentcontroversies over future Russian force structure.
Dead in the water
If the funding situation for the RVSN has been poor, it has been catastrophicfor the navy. Funding has been so low that missile submarine patrols havebecome uncommon. Of the 62 strategic-missile submarines in operation in1990, by 2000 only about 20 are still nominally functional, armed with348 missiles. The state of the Project 941 Akula-class ('Typhoon') nuclear-poweredballistic-missile submarines is parlous. At least three are non-functional.Plans to rehabilitate the surviving three have been constantly delayed.The R-39 (SS-N-20 'Sturgeon') missiles on board will be age expired by2003. This class may disappear over the next few years from neglect andlack of funding.
The Project 667BDRM Delfin ('Delta IV') is in slightly better shape.The lead boat of the class, Verkhoture, was supposed to go back to theZvezdochka yard in 1993 for a major overhaul. Due to lack of funding itreceived only a medium-level overhaul seven years behind schedule, whichwas completed in July this year. These delayed overhauls will lead to adecline in reliability and premature retirement.
The missile situation for these submarines is not much better. The plantin Krasnoyarsk that manufactured the liquid-fuelled R-29RM (SS-N-23 'Skiff')closed in 1996 due to a lack of orders. The other submarine-launched ballistic-missile(SLBM) plant at Zlatoust that produced the solid fuel R-39 has also beenidle due to a lack of orders.
Modernisation of the submarine force is dead in the water. Althoughthe keel for the first submarine of the new Borey class has already beenlaid, the programme was halted by the cancellation of the troubled 3M91Bark (SS-NX-28) missile in 1999. The missile development effort was 73%complete and the conversion of the first Akula-class submarine was 84%complete when this happened, throwing the entire submarine programme intoturmoil.
Work has begun on a solid fuel follow-on missile called the Bulava,a co-operative effort between the Moscow Institute of Thermotechnology,which developed the Topol, and the Makeyev bureau in Miass, which has designedmost Russian submarine ballistic missiles.
The Makeyev design bureau, which has never been fond of solid-fuelpropulsion, is pushing a liquid-fuelled alternative, the Sineva, derivedfrom the earlier R-29RM. Either way, it is unlikely that a new submarinewill be completed until near the end of the decade, if at all.
Unless funding patterns change it is possible that the submarine missileforce could either disappear or shrink to insignificance by the end ofthe decade.
Air Force factors
The least significant of the three elements of the Russian strategicforces has been the air force's bomber force, the 36th Air Army. The forceconsists of about 70 bombers, of which about 55 are the Tu-95MS 'Bear-H'.The force has been given a boost over the past year by the recovery ofeight Tu-160 'Blackjack' and three Tu-95MS 'Bear-H' bombers from Ukraine,plus 564 air-launched cruise missiles. Funding has been provided to completethree almost-finished Tu-160s at the Kazan plant. This could bring theTu-160 force up to 16 aircraft by 2001.
Tupolev is currently completing preliminary studies of a stealth bomber.It remains to be seen whether funding will be forthcoming for constructionof a prototype, to say nothing of series production. At least two strategiccruise-missile development programmes are currently under way: the stealthKh-101; and an upgraded version of the Kh-55SM (AS-15), sometimes calledKh-SD. The developer, Raduga in Dubna, has also been pushing for the revivalof the old hypersonic cruise-missile programme. The air force may see somerevival of its role in strategic force planning, if only because its bomberscan be employed in secondary, non-nuclear missions in regional conflictsalong Russia's troubled southern frontier.
The decay of the strategic forces' missile systems has also afflictedthe strategic command and control (C2) system. Russia has been unable tofill gaps in the ballistic missile early-warning radar network caused bythe loss of radar facilities to the independent republics. The new Volgaradar being erected in Belarus will help to close the gap caused by theloss of the Latvian radars, but this is only a partial solution. More alarminghas been the decline of the space-based network of Oko and Prognoz early-warningsatellites. The last of the geo-synchronous Prognoz satellites failed in1998. No replacement is available. The constellation of Oko satelliteshas seldom been kept at its full configuration of nine satellites, withfour being the norm. One was orbited in 1999. While the Oko and Prognozspace-based early warning satellites may have made up for the gaps in theland-based radar network, the collapse of the Russian defence budget crippledthis effort.
In February 1998 the head of the RVSN, General Colonel Vladimir Yakovlev,indicated that 71% of the systems in the strategic C2 network were beyondtheir warranty period. There were plans to deploy a new national C2 systemin the early 1990s, codenamed Tsentr (Centre). Tsentr was intended to providean integrated network for the C2 of conventional and nuclear forces, linkedto the RVSN's existing Signal-A network. This has not occurred and, asa result, the older network is fast approaching the point where portionsare no longer functional.
Power cut-offs to RVSN bases and command centres, disruption of thecabling to RVSN sites by thieves pilfering the copper wiring and otherdifficulties led the worried minister of defence to state in 1997 thatcontrol over the Russian strategic nuclear forces was on the verge of collapse.While these problems have led to concern in the USA that there might beaccidental launches, a more likely scenario is that the system will erodeto the point where the Kremlin no longer has any confidence that ordersissued to the strategic forces will be received in a timely fashion, effectivelydecapitating the command structure in the event of a crisis.
Arms control and force changes
After nearly a decade of delay, START II was finally ratified by theDuma on 14 April 2000. This treaty aims to reduce the nuclear arsenalsof both sides to 3,000 warheads each. Dismantlement of the Russian missileswill be delayed due to a lack of funds to carry out the demilitarisation.
The USA and Russia have agreed on the desirability of codifying a reductionto a level of 1,500 warheads under a future START III agreement. However,agreement on the treaty has become embroiled in the controversy over theUS decision to proceed with a National Missile Defence (NMD) system. TheKremlin has repeatedly stated that it is unwilling to modify the 1972 Anti-BallisticMissile (ABM) Treaty, and the Duma has made it clear that it believes thatUS deployment will doom any future arms-control treaty. Despite US assurancesto the contrary, the Russians view NMD as an attempt to counter the Russiandeterrent force.
The problem is that the Russian strategic forces are in such an emaciatedcondition that they are likely to decline below START II levels whethera new treaty is signed or not. Presidential candidate George W Bush hassuggested that, should he be elected, the USA would begin to de-emphasisebilateral arms control treaties with Russia in favour of a new strategicposture that would not be based on Cold War paradigms. These issues arelikely to be at the centre of Russian-US relations for several years.
To further complicate matters, there has been an intense debate withinthe Russian military over the future configuration of Russian strategicnuclear forces. This debate has been going on since 1998, when Sergeyevproposed the creation of a unified command structure for the nuclear forcescalled the Joint Supreme Command of the Strategic Deterrence Forces (OGSSS).This plan was challenged by General Anatoly Vasil'evich Kvashin of theGeneral Staff, as it was traditionally the prerogative of the General Staffto manage the nuclear forces.
As part of a study on future Russian defence plans prepared by the GeneralStaff in April 2000, Kvashin proposed cutting the RVSN from its currentforce structure of 19 divisions down to only four by 2003 and to only twoby 2016, and merging the RVSN with the air force. In terms of force levels,he proposed a minimal deterrent force, cutting the number of ICBMs to 500by 2006 and to only 100150 by the end of the decade. He has arguedthat prioritising procurement funding for the RVSN should end in favourof more money for conventional forces.
By his calculation, 80% of recent procurement funding has gone to thestrategic forces, and Kvashin has proposed to fund the construction ofonly two Topol-M missiles per year. Other sources disagreed, includingGeneral Colonel Sitnov, head of weapons development, who stated that 28%was going to strategic forces, and 50% to the ground forces and other tacticalformations. Sitnov was relieved of command in the August 2000 shake-upof the defence ministry's management.
Kvashin has argued that it is pointless modernising the strategic missileforces since, when START III is ratified in a few years, they will haveto be dismantled anyway. In contrast, the ground forces are suffering fromobvious shortages of equipment, shown by the war in Chechnya.
This debate emerged in the public spotlight in July 2000, when the proposalsreached the Security Council. Defence Minister Sergeyev dubbed the proposal"a crime against Russia and simply madness", and angrily suggested thatsuch an action would occur "without him" in command. Sergeyev argued thatsuch a plan of reform came at precisely the wrong time, since it wouldremove any leverage that Russia might have in debates with the USA overfuture arms control issues. The defence minister was particularly unhappyabout the whole affair, as it had been prepared without his input, eventhough the General Staff is nominally under his authority.
Sergeyev has argued that such a proposal would demote Russia from theranks of the great powers to the ranks of minor regional powers. The intensedebate in the Russian press about the issue led to a Duma resolution on22 July urging President Vladimir Putin not to permit a unilateral reductionin the Russian missile force nor a disbandment of the RVSN. Putin was forcedto intercede and, at an impromptu meeting in Sochi on 16 July with Sergeyevand Kvashin, he suggested that they come up with plans for a less radicalreform of the RVSN until broader arms control issues are resolved. A SecurityCouncil meeting in mid-August, which was supposed to settle the matter,papered over the issue.
The debate was not just about the future of the RVSN. Sergeyev is nearretirement as defence minister and has been promoting the current RVSNchief, Colonel General Vladimir Yakovlev, as his successor. This has notgone down well with the Ground Forces, who have traditionally dominatedthe post and who feel that they have been given short shrift in recentyears. There is some resentment that the army has not received more fundingfor new equipment and spares to make up for attrition in Chechnya. Kvashinis at the centre of the 'Chechen generals' and clearly has ambitions forthe defence minister's post.
Russia's strategic nuclear forces are likely to decline over the nextdecade in size and efficiency due to the industrial problems associatedwith the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia's harsh economic decline.Although the Ministry of Defence has asserted that strategic programmeswill receive top priority of all procurement programmes, it has never receivedeven the minimum acceptable level of funding in recent years.
Starved of funds, and entangled in the contradictions between the superpowerpretensions of Russian nationalists and the painful realities of Russia'sfaltering economy, the strategic nuclear forces will decay in an uncontrolled,unpredictable fashion.
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C. Export Controls
Remarks to the National Academy of Sciences Conference on ScientificCommunication and National Security, "Scientific Information and NationalSecurity"
John D. Holum
September 27, 2000
(for personal use only)
[John D. Holum is Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and InternationalSecurity]
Thank you for the opportunity to participate on this panel. This continueswhat for me at least could be called "Science at State" month -- just lastweek I was privileged to preside over the swearing in Dr. Norman Neureiteras Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State. We are delightedto have a man of Dr. Neureiter's experience and knowledge in this position.In the State Department we are relying more and more on scientific resourceshere and abroad, inside and outside the government, to help us advancethe nation's interests. In arms control and non-proliferation, this isemphatically the case. Science and technology are indispensable in thebusiness of negotiating and implementing treaties, enhancing inspectionactivities, and our other critical tasks. I see scientific advance as anenabler of arms control. So I'm truly happy to be here.
Science, National Security and Foreign Policy
What I'd like to discuss today goes to the heart of what this Conferenceis about -- finding the balance between promoting the exchange of informationto fuel scientific progress, and constraining the diffusion of sensitiveinformation to countries or groups that could use it to damage our interests.In the bureaus under my purview -- arms control, non-proliferation, political-militaryaffairs, and verification and compliance -- a big part of our mission isto curb the proliferation of sensitive information.
I'll leave the specifics of our policies to the experts after lunch.For now, I'd like to make a few general comments on the context that informsthe U.S. approach to restricting sensitive information.
The U.S. government places a high value on academic freedom, independentthought, and privacy. We take strong principled stands on these issuesin international fora. U.S. world leadership and U.S. security themselvesrest upon our unparalleled scientific and technological base, an economyadept at harnessing scientific and technological advances, and a free societywithin which intellectual and economic enterprise flourish.
At the same time, however, we are keenly aware of the potential nationalsecurity and non-proliferation risks inherent in the export and transferof technology, including intangible technology -- a concept I'll elaborateupon in a moment. I think everyone will agree that where national securityis involved, we need to restrict information sharing.
This is nothing new. We all know of the isolation and restrictions onscientific activity and information placed on Manhattan Project scientistsduring World War II. Many of them chafed at their lack of freedom and theneed to conceal their progress.
Now things are even more complicated. Most fundamentally, during WorldWar II, and then during the Cold War, we knew pretty well who were theenemies and who were the friends. We had few qualms about sharing at leastsome kinds of information and technology with our allies, but relationshipswith Eastern bloc countries were not so "give-and-take." The West developedan export control regime to keep sensitive goods and technology from flowingto the East -- and it worked fairly well.
Now, however, export control issues are more complex. There are morecountries to worry about, both on the supply and on the demand side. Andthe items and technology we used to control, such as computers, are nowwidely available. In some areas the standard for control has become lessidentification of what might help a weapons program, and more a projectionof where the commercial market is headed.
To further complicate export control efforts, we must also deal withemerging opportunities for intangible technology transfers. In the past,technology transfers were generally easier to track -- goods and services,or data on paper, delivered personally or in the mail. But today, ideasare exchanged at the drop of a "Send" key. We routinely fit enormous quantitiesof data in tiny spaces, and we can instantaneously fax or e-mail to anycorner of the globe.
So now we need to think about how this category of "intangible" exportsand these methods of transfer affect international security and the proliferationof weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery. Of course,"intangible" transfers have long posed a risk; but today, with more avenuesfor communication available and less need for direct face to face contact,the opportunities for such transfers have exploded.
Within the context of U.S. constitutional protections, current U.S.export control laws and "catch-all" controls give us the means, when necessary,to restrict data and technology transfers that can raise national security,foreign policy, or proliferation concerns, regardless of how the data wastransferred. But, as we have seen with the Internet, controlling intangibletechnology presents serious enforcement challenges. In substantial part,effective control will depend on awareness and voluntary compliance.
But where international security is concerned, the consequences of the"right" information winding up in the wrong hands can be devastating andlong-lasting.
Of course all the secrecy is not government sponsored. Even in purescience, details of progress may be omitted in communications, for exampleto protect a pending publication. The private sector has safeguards forinformation, including patents, copyright protections, and other intellectualproperty rights, to protect individuals' and companies' products and information.There, too, the best choice is not complete openness, or absolute secrecy,but balance.
Government's efforts are limited by the fact that, in part due to thespread and accessibility of the Internet, there is quite a bit of potentiallydangerous information already out there -- not only in the nuclear realm,but also with respect to other destructive technologies. The dual-use characterof pharmaceutical and chemical processes has facilitated the diffusionof weapons-relevant information. Realistically speaking, it's not possibleto staunch entirely the flow of dangerous data.
But it is possible to slow it down. For example, our export controland non-proliferation efforts have not averted the possibility of intercontinentalrange missiles in North Korea. But we have impeded it, gaining time fordefenses to develop -- technically and diplomatically. And we have limitedNorth Korea's choices, simplifying the job of defense, if that's what afuture President chooses.
What Information is Controlled?
With so much information on the streets -- or, more accurately, theinformation highway -- what needs to be controlled? Controls reach technicaldata such as diagrams, manuals and blueprints, and technical assistance(such as instruction, skills training, and consulting services). In allof these areas, specific lists of regulated items are spelled out in lawor implementing regulations. These govern, for example, the import andexport of defense articles and services, including technical transfers;nuclear-related commodities, services and technology; and dual-use commodities,technology and software. Violations can result in the loss of export privileges,significant civil penalties and criminal fines and imprisonment. We donot control information in the public domain, or if it concerns commonlytaught general scientific, mathematical or engineering principles. Andwe are particularly careful to avoid unnecessary restrictions on the flowof information. We've loosened controls on exports of computer technologyas it became more available from other producing countries and we've permittedthe flow of uncontrolled information materials to certain states of concern,subject to international obligations.
How the U.S. Controls Information
As I've mentioned, one of the challenges we deal with is the speed withwhich information can now be transferred. As our international securitywarrants, we try to control the "export" of data regardless of the medium-- it could be downloaded off a Web site, sent via e-mail or fax, or itcould be a question about systems capabilities during a meeting here inthe United States.
The most difficult intangible transfer of technology to control is passingon "know-how." It usually occurs very simply -- a scientist or engineerasking or answering questions about a technology or a system's capabilities.Even basic information could be essential if that is what the recipientis missing. Simply confirming the capabilities of a weapon could be a technologytransfer requiring a license.
The "person-to-person" aspect of technology transfer is a key concernfor us. Hence, we've at times employed immigration laws to exclude foreignscientists from conferences in the United States, due to their nationalityor affiliations. Depending on the circumstances, a foreign national maybe barred from conducting research or even being temporarily employed ortrained in sensitive fields. Such nationals logically are expected to takethe information back to their countries, which is deemed the equivalentof physical or electronic export.
Perhaps an even bigger concern has been the proliferation implicationsof the fall of the Soviet Union. Scientists involved in the weapons ofmass destruction programs of the former Soviet Union have sensitive knowledgeto sell and a compelling reason to sell it -- to feed their families. Wefund a number of scientific endeavors to help alleviate this problem. Forexample, since 1994 State has funded two Science Centers -- one in Moscowand one in Kiev. These have sponsored over 900 peaceful scientific projectsengaging over 30,000 scientists and engineers at nearly 500 institutesin the New Independent States. We spend about $50 million annually on thiseffort.
We've also undertaken an initiative to redirect former Soviet biologicalweapons expertise to civilian work. We propose to invest $19 million annuallyfor the next few years for this purpose. This program continues to expand,engaging formerly secret facilities involved with the research and productionof weapons against humans, animals, and crops in cooperative, transparentactivities.
The U.S. has fostered other incentives to protect sensitive information.Our labs work with foreign laboratories on peaceful research and developmentprojects. Where we can, we help governments create the necessary laws andregulations to control sensitive technologies. The U.S. has provided trainingfor customs officials and border guards, and installed internal complianceprograms at over 200 Russian aerospace, nuclear and other entities of proliferationconcern.
This is not only a U.S. mission. Over the years, we have multilateralizedcontrols through a variety of voluntary regimes -- the Australia Group,the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Zangger Committee, the NuclearSuppliers' Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement. All of these are beginningto tackle the problem of intangible technology transfers.
This summer offered us two prominent, contrasting views on the roleof scientists in national security. On the one hand, the public debateon national missile defense demonstrated the key role scientists play insecurity policy. We depend on scientists to illuminate the technical advantagesand flaws of key weapon systems, defense systems and verification regimesfor arms control, among many other things. Their input is fundamental andoften decisive. Where there are national security and arms control issues,there must be scientists.
On the other hand, the Wen Ho Lee case has raised questions about theactual impact of an intangible transfer of technology and information.There is no doubt that information was downloaded from Los Alamos computers.Whether that information was intended to be transferred out of the countryis unclear. But this painful case cannot be far from our minds in discussingthe tradeoffs between scientific communication and national security --particularly when we are concerned with encouraging and sustaining thescientific and technical leadership upon which our security rests.
I congratulate the organizers of this conference for a timely contributionon a vital issue. Public discourse will go a long way in helping determinewhere the line should be drawn between legitimately tight security andlegitimately open science. Government, to say the least, is not nimble.Probably we will never get the balance exactly right, and certainly wewill never satisfy everyone. But efforts like this will help us get closerto the mark.
I thank you once again for the opportunity to participate in this discussion.
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