House International Relations Committee Hearing: The Bush Administration and Nonproliferation - A New Strategy Emerges (Panel II)

March 30, 2004

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: And I also would now like to introduce our second panel. And I know that Mr. Rohrabacher was dying to get into that next round, so I will pass that on. Thank you, Mr. Bolton.

I'd like to welcome Mr. Henry Sokolski to today's hearing. Mr. Sokolski is the executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, a non-profit organization founded in 1994 to promote better understanding of proliferation issues.

During the first Bush administration, Mr. Sokolski served as deputy for nonproliferation policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and prior to that, in the Office of Net Assessment.

Mr. Sokolski has authored and edited a number of works on proliferation-related issues, including "Best Intentions: America's Campaign Against Strategic Weapons Proliferation."

And I'd like to add the committee's congratulations to Mr. Sokolski. He is getting married in London later this week and was good enough to change his travel plans to accommodate our schedule. He was taking Mr. Rohrabacher's advice of looking for that perfect spouse. Apparently Mr. Sokolski has found her. And I'm told that our thanks should properly go to his lovely fiancee, without whose gracious grant of permission he would not be here today. So we welcome you to the world of joint decision-making. Thank you very much.

Next we will hear from Joseph Cirin -- you know, when I practiced it, I did it so well -- Cirincione?


REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Cirincione -- thank you -- a senior associate of -- it sounds like Madonna's last name, doesn't it? Something like that --

MR. CIRINCIONE: (Inaudible.)

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: -- senior associate director of the Nonproliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. Previously, he was a member of the professional staff of the House Committee on Armed Services and of the Committee of Government Operations. He also served as staff director of the Military Reform Caucus under Congressman Tom Ridge, as well as Congressman Charles Bennett. He is the author of "Deadly Arsenals: Tracking the Weapons of Mass Destruction." And we welcome you today.

Victor Gilinsky was commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Ford and Carter administrations. He has held senior positions at the Atomic Energy Agency and the RAND Corporation, among others.

Currently Mr. Gilinsky is a consultant to energy firms, principally in the area of civilian nuclear power. Mr. Gilinsky earned his bachelor's degree in engineering physics at Cornell and his doctorate in physics at the California Institute of Technology. And we welcome you to our committee.

We're honored to have all of you appear today. Please proceed with your five-minute summary of your statement, and the full statement will be made part of the record.

Mr. Sokolski. Congratulations. Mazeltov.



Nonproliferation Policy Education Center


MR. SOKOLSKI: Thank you. Is this on? It is on. Well, you're right; I have found the perfect mate. And it's hard to focus on life- death issues like the end of the world as a result. So I will try to stay focused as much as I can.

I want to thank you and the committee for inviting me here today to testify regarding the Bush administration's nonproliferation policy. The administration has focused, I think, more than any other on the issue of non-proliferation enforcement.

Its actions in the cases of Iraq, North Korea and Libya -- I guess I'll add Pakistan now -- have set a clear set of precedents and prompted the most serious debate about nonproliferation controls since India tested its first nuclear device in 1974.

I think the most important aspect of this debate -- and I welcome that we're having a debate; for so long we really haven't -- is how best to rectify the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT. As President Bush noted in his February 11th speech, this treaty has been, as he said, cynically manipulated to enable proliferators to use the development of civil nuclear energy as a cover to get what they need to make bombs.

They've done this by twisting the NPT's call for the sharing of peaceful nuclear technology into an unqualified right -- I emphasize that -- unqualified right. This is something it clearly is not. Even as a casual reading of the NPT's first two articles make clear, nuclear-weapon states must not, in any way, assist non-weapon state members to make or acquire nuclear weapons. And non-weapon states must not seek or receive any such assistance.

When the NPT does speak about the inalienable right members have to develop nuclear energy, it explicitly circumscribes this right by demanding that it be exercised in conformity with these prohibitions. I guess I'm saying I don't think it's a loophole. It's our lack of will to properly read this treaty that gets us into trouble.

I think unfortunately for too long we have not made enough effort to spell out what "in conformity" means, and I take what Mr. Bush has done in his February 11th speech to be aimed primarily to tackle this issue. He has rightly emphasized that states seeking to develop nuclear energy have no need for materials that can be used directly to fuel bombs. That would be separated plutonium and highly enriched uranium. Or the uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing plants required to produce these materials.

Towards this end, he has proposed seven initiatives to reduce terrorists' and proliferators' accessibility to such materials, and the number of states that might operate these plants, to produce them.

These proposals are the first tough presidential measures we've seen to enforce the NPT since the Ford and Carter decisions in the mid-70s to discourage the commercial use of nuclear weapons' usable fuel. To be effective, though, they need to be backed up and fortified, I believe, by additional steps. That would apply not only against nations that lack nuclear weapons, but to ourselves and to others that possess such weapons.

In specific, we need to do several things, and I'm only going through the -- for the purposes of brevity, I'm only going to highlight half of what I'd laid out, which was regrettably quite long in the written testimony. First, I think it would be useful if we suspended efforts now to sell controlled nuclear goods to countries that export nuclear commodities to proliferators in defiance of the nuclear suppliers' group guidelines.

This precept would not only encourage us to protest China's recently announced sale of reactors to the world's worst proliferator, Pakistan, but also to hold up U.S. French and Japanese efforts to sell reactors to China. Second, I think we need to start viewing large civilian nuclear projects, including nuclear power plants, desalinization plants, and large research reactors, and the proposed regional fuel cycle centers, which is something the IEA has pushed, with suspicion. If they are not privately financed or approved after an open international bidding process, against less risky alternatives.

Promoting this tenet would not only spotlight countries like Iran, that refuse to allow non-nuclear energy alternatives to compete openly the supply around electrical power needs. It would discourage U.S. and allied governments from building large nuclear commercialization projects and subsidizing nuclear power with billions, as was proposed in last year's energy bill. Thankfully defeated.

Third, get as many declared nuclear weapons states as possible to agree henceforth not to redeploy nuclear weapons on any other state soil in peace time. This could help thwart rumored schemes to have Pakistan legally transfer nuclear weapons under its control to Saudi Arabia. By the way, this is a loophole in the NPT. It's allowed. It also would allow the U.S. to get credit for what it's already begun to do, and that is withdraw unnecessary overseas basing of obsolete tactical nuclear weapons.

Finally, it would allow us to establish some restraints over the nuclear weapons states that have not signed the NPT. Finally, the last recommendation that I would like to highlight is that we need to encourage the U.N. to adopt a set of country neutral rules against nations that the IA and the United Nations Security Council cannot clearly find in full compliance with the NPT. Rather than wait upon either of these international bodies to find a specific country in clear violation of the NPT and impose particular sanction -- something they are loathe to do -- the U.S. and its allies should spell out in advance what steps should be taken against any country that the IA and the U.N. Security Council cannot clearly find to be in full compliance.

A list of rules developed in private consultation with U.S. and allied officials that I believe would be useful to pursue in upcoming U.S., NATO, G-8, and the IEA meetings in June, is included in my written testimony. And I would ask the chairman that if at all possible, I would like the attachments to the testimony be included in the record as well.

Thank you very much.

REP. ROHRABACHER: With no objection, so ordered. And thank you very much for your testimony. And now, Mr. Cir-in-ci-o-ne.

MR. CIRINCIONE: Thank you very much.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Did I get that right?



Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


MR. CIRINCIONE: You did, indeed, sir. Perfect. Thank you.

I want to thank the members of the committee for asking me to testify. I'm honored to be before the committee and with this quite distinguished panel. I will keep my remarks very brief, and perhaps we might just have -- go into more of these issues in discussion. I have tried to present in the short ten page written statement, some balanced assessment of the current administration's proliferation policies, areas where I agree with the president's initiatives, areas where I think the Congress can go beyond the president and do more to solve these pressing problems, particularly in this complicated area of fuel (cycling ?), and I find myself in quite a bit of agreement with what Mr. Galinsky and Mr. Sokolski have to say on this issue as well.

But let me step back from that written statement and just reflect a bit on what the committee has heard so far today. I find myself in sharp disagreement with the statement I heard from Mr. Bolton, and quite frankly, with the statement that Mr. Hyde read to open up this hearing. I think both significantly misrepresent the historical record, and the consequences of that might be quite significant for the congressional consideration of what our policies should be. For example, Mr. Bolton opens up his remarks with a justification of the war in Iraq by stating that we found evidence of dangerous weapons of mass destruction programs. I don't believe that's true. And he goes -- Mr. Bolton goes much farther than the president does. The president in his State of the Union address only talked about weapons of mass destruction related program activities, which is a more accurate description of what we found. That is, it is now pretty clear that in Iraq the weapons of mass destruction programs, the chemical, biological and nuclear programs, had ended years before the war began, and that what we are finding now are the remnants of those programs. There was some activity still going on, but nothing that posed an immediate threat to the United States, and nothing that required us to go to war. It's pretty clear now that the war in Iraq was unnecessary, that the inspection process that the U.N. sanction process was in fact working far better than most people realized at the time of the war.

Mr. Bolton also says that the success in Libya was a result of the war in Iraq, that Libya was somehow frightened by the possibility that the U.S. might invade Iraq. He justifies that by starting a chronology of the Libyan negotiations that conveniently begin in March 2003. But in fact the negotiations over Libya's weapons of mass destruction programs began years earlier, and we have articles and statements by many officials involved in those negotiations that Libya put their weapons of mass destruction programs on the table years ago, that in the process of negotiating a lifting of the sanctions over their horrendous Lockerbie terrorist attack they realized that the only way they could get out of U.S. sanctions was to lift -- was to end their weapons of mass destruction programs, and they wanted to do so. I'm told by people involved in those negotiations that even when the Libyans made the approach that they did in March of 2003 and offered a complete reversal of their programs, that there were members of this administration who didn't want to take the deal. That is, they were still fixated on a policy of overthrowing the Libya regime, rather than accepting a change in that regime's behavior. And there was a significant internal administration struggle over whether to take the Libya deal or not. Fortunately the more moderate elements of this administration won that struggle. We have a Libya deal, which is in fact a tremendous success for non-proliferation.

The significance of this is that the Libyan deal is the opposite of the administration's declared policy on how to deal with non- proliferation. Iraq was supposed to be the shining example of the proliferation policy, a policy that relied on preventive war, sometimes called preemptive war, a policy that relied on the systematic overthrow of regimes that were seen to be threats to the United States. That policy turns out to have extremely high costs associated with it, whether it's a result of the demonstration of the use of force in Iraq, or a result of the Libyan desire to reintegrate into Western markets and get Western investment, the results are clear in what's happened in Libya we have the opposite of this preemptive war policy, the opposite of a regime change policy. We have a policy of changing the behavior of regimes -- a remarkable transformation. We have to learn the lessons of Libya, learn how to accept the right balance between force and diplomacy -- clearly both have played a role here -- and apply that lesson to North Korea.

In my view the problem that we are having with North Korea now goes back to this same disagreement within the administration about which policy to pursue, that we are deadlocked on North Korea between factions within the administration who want to overthrow the regime, and factions that want to make a deal with the regime. And as a result we're unable to move forward. We're stuck in North Korea. I'll leave the North Korean example there.

I believe the president recognizes that he's run into some of these problems with his previous policy. In his speech of February 11th --

REP. ROHRABACHER: Could you summarize and --

MR. CIRINCIONE: I will, yes, sir. In his February 11th speech and the now U.N. draft resolution are positive steps forward that seek to shift the focus over to these non-proliferation more diplomatic activities. The concern I have with these programs is not that we will go it alone, but that we might not go it at all. I don't see the follow-up to the president's speech of February 11th that we would expect -- no other Cabinet member has taken up a public discussion of these issues. My great fear is that this is a one-time speech and is not the beginning of a significant effort to push the proposals the that the president proposed. Thank you, sir.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Thank you very much.

Mr. Gilinsky?



Former Commissioner, Nuclear Regulatory Commission



MR. GILINSKY: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Delahunt, Mr. Schiff, the committee's letter asked us to address the dangers inherent in the spread of nuclear fuel cycle plants and the problems of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and what we might do about them, in particular beyond the current administration's program.

The president of course spoke about these things on February 11th, as has been mentioned.

To me the broader message is this: that however much we world need nuclear power, we have a more immediate and overriding security interest in stemming the spread of nuclear bombs. To limit the risks of their use we are going to have to limit certain worrisome nuclear activities around the world. And that means in effect we have to tighten the application of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in a way that would make it consistent with its original purpose.

I believe to gain international support to do that we have to have common rules for all. And if I have any contribution to make here today, it is to stress that last point.

Now, we know that the technology of most immediately concern today is uranium enrichment by centrifuges, and we've all read in the newspapers about how Pakistan stole the technology from Germany and the Netherlands, developed it, and then passed it on to North Korea, Iran and Libya. And I suspect this is only part of the story.

So our first priority has got to be to stop this clandestine trade. But closing the back door to the bomb, so to speak, is not going to be enough if we leave the front door wide open. And as has been mentioned here already today, the trouble is that the NPT does not specifically proscribe technologies and materials to bring countries dangerously close to bomb-making. And it's this ambiguity that Iran for example is exploiting in its insistence that it has the right to enrich uranium and extract plutonium.

In the past we have tried to deal with dangerous situations on a more or less ad hoc basis, but I think we have run out the limit of that approach. To my mind we need a new unambiguous NPT interpretation of what is acceptable, one that provides a wider safety margin between activities that are safe to conduct and possible bomb applications.

And the hard part is making that stick. And we also can't let countries escape responsibility by either not signing the treaty or withdrawing from the treaty. This is a tough proposal or set of proposals to sell, but the alternative is to accept living in a nuclear jungle.

Experience tells us that nothing is going to happen unless the United States gets out in front. At the same time, we can't realistically expect to get very far by ourselves. The key to broad support is agreement on common standards, ones we ourselves accept. And this is the element I find missing in the administration's program.

To tell others, Do as we say, not as we do, is just not going to work. And we can't have one set of rules for countries that we like and another set of rules for countries that we don't like.

And for a comparison I'd like to take you back to President Gerald Ford's 1976 watershed statement on nuclear policy. It reads well today. It's worth going back to. President Ford asked others not to extract and use plutonium . That was the main concern at the time -- it's still a concern today of course. The important thing for our discussion here today is that he decided that the United States would itself act in a way that is consistent with what we asked of others. Unfortunately, we strayed from that principle. I give some examples in my prepared testimony of plutonium-related activities the Energy Department is conducting that are unhelpful from the point of view of non-proliferation, and unfortunately doing that with the support of the administration's energy program -- energy policy statement.

There's no economic imperative to get into plutonium commercialization. Modern reactors do not need plutonium.

Now, the enrichment problem is tougher because modern reactors do need enrichment. Centrifuge technology lends itself to small operations. If such plants become widespread, we are going to find it very hard to keep track of their output, and this is very important -- it will be extremely hard to find clandestine plants because their indications would be masked by the commercial ones.

The only sensible answer is to restrict the number of centrifuge operations around the world to a few large ones. But how? In my written testimony I suggest one way of limiting this in a way that still sticks to common standards. But it's a tough problem -- there is no question about that -- and there are no easy answers.

Above all, in approaching this subject we have to keep our security priorities straight, and we have to act in such a way that no one doubts our purpose. Thank you.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Thank you very much. And thank you very much to the entire panel. I think what we are going to do now, whereas I'm in control of the chair and there's only one of us and three of you guys, I think I'm going to let Gary, Mr. Ackerman, have his first shot at it.

REP. ACKERMAN: Thank you. I appreciate the gesture, Mr. Chairman, and I will follow your suit and go last, so that some of our colleagues down the line might get in all of their questions.

REP. ROHRABACHER: All right. Mr. Schiff I would imagine -- or Mr. Delahunt? Which one came here first? Mr. Delahunt.

REP. DELAHUNT: Thank you for some excellent testimony. I always find it interesting that after the government witness -- and I don't mean to direct this at Mr. Bolton, but when he leaves and the press file out of the room we can really get into some substance. But, no, excellent testimony from all of you, and I will in this particular case read all of your written testimony. I certainly don't consider myself an expert in terms of the NPT or proliferation.

But I would be interested in -- Mr. Bolton made the point that -- he referred to nation-states, and our dealings with nation-states in terms of the control factor, the compliance if you will, the mechanisms exist. But my good friend the chair now talked about Pakistan as being a proliferator. But, again, I think I heard from Mr. Bolton it's not Pakistan that's the proliferator -- at least according to the administration -- it's Mr. Khan who is the proliferator. I have some serious reservations as to whether the premise that was put forth by Mr. Bolton that top echelons of the Pakistan government were unaware that this was going on. Well I really -- that's a tough one to swallow. But swallowing it for a moment, just for purposes of conversation and discussion here, how do we make -- who do we deal with that issue, that specific issue, where we have Mr. Khan who is out there, again I don't know whether the administration's position is that we don't feel we need access to Mr. Khan, or the Pakistan government has indicated that they would not accede to a request for our interviewing of Mr. Khan. How do we deal with situations like that?

MR. SOKOLSKI: I guess I'm feeling confident because there's so few of us here.

REP. DELAHUNT: Right, just among friends.

MR. SOKOLSKI: Permission to speak candidly. (Laughs.) Unfortunately, every administration has chosen to say it's not the Russians, it's not the Chinese, it's not the Pakistanis -- it's some entity. You'll notice our laws are laced and geared to find that entity. However, there was an awfully good presentation by George Shultz that I recommend to everyone here. One of the printings of this was in the Wall Street Journal recently. And what he emphasized was that if the war on terror means anything it's a war to make states stronger and more responsible.

REP. DELAHUNT: Accountable.

MR. SOKOLSKI: And accountable. I guess I always start with the minimum as kind of a bellwether. In answer to your question I would at least say that it would be a mistake to reward the state of Pakistan by looking the other way when we really have the choice not to with regard to China's nuclear sale to Pakistan. What we are doing right now -- with the French and the Japanese -- is scrambling to make nuclear reactor sales to China and not raising our voices -- certainly not publicly -- about China's announced sale of reactors to Pakistan. I note in my written testimony China announced it wants to become a member of the nuclear suppliers group. That group has guidelines. If it was a full-scale member, those guidelines would tell it you can't make those sales to a country like Pakistan, because Pakistan doesn't open up its facilities to full-scale safeguards. It would seem to me a good place to begin -- certainly not the last thing to do, but the first thing to do would be at least to complain to China and hold up our sales along with the French and hijackers until they relent and say they are going to suspend their reactor sales to Pakistan. That would help.

There are many other things you could do, and then some of these things were mentioned by your side. But I think there's where to start. And, by the way, we're making a trip to make this pitch next month.

REP. ROHRABACHER: The time is up. However, why don't we just have the other two witnesses answer the same question, because I think it was posed to the panel.

MR. CIRINCIONE: Very quickly, sir, there is -- I think the most important priority is to break the Khan network, and there's no assurance that we've done that yet. We have to have access to Khan -- publicly or privately. We have to talk to him to understand who works for him, who he sold this equipment to, who were his sub-sub- contractors, and trace it then all the way down the line. If the Pakistan administration finds it embarrassing to give public access to Khan, give us private access to him, give us access to others in that network. The danger that we face now is tertiary proliferation. Do the Malaysians have the plans for the centrifuges? Do they have Xerox machines in the offices in Malaysia where those plans were made? We have to go all the way down the line and crack that open. That's the number one priority.


MR. GILINSKY: Well, one has to say it strains credulity to believe that the government was not aware -- the Pakistani government was not aware in detail --

REP. DELAHUNT: What concerns me, Mr. Gilinsky is that -- I mean, I think everyone in this room knows its a charade. I mean, I think we have to be honest with each other. And until we put the truth out on the table, I mean here there is a pardon that is given an individual after he's confronted with this information. And we know -- I'm sure everyone on this side of the panel knows that there will be story after story -- the Representative McCollum brought out a story that was put out yesterday about the daughter of Khan. I'm concerned that the United States -- put aside any partisan differences here -- is going to be embarrassed as being complicity with this charade when it's time to get it out on the table. But how do we address it?

MR. GILINSKY: Well, let me just make a related remark. I think we're often too ready to say that we have no choice, that we're in a tough situation, we have no choice but to give in on these points. And I think it's worth recalling the situation back at the time of the Afghan war against the Soviets. At that time we felt we had no choice but to go along with the Pakistanis and look the other way at their nuclear weapons program. And I happen to have had the experience of speaking with a senior Pakistani nuclear scientist -- or nuclear manager really -- and he said they were very pleased that we looked the other way, but they were really amazed that we did. And I think that it may well be the case, the same case here. I think we may be giving away too much too fast. But it's very hard to say without knowing the facts in detail.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Thank you very much. And now Mr. Schiff. And one note, Mr. Schiff, from an earlier exchange, the question would not be, as you posed it, comparing where programs are today as compared to where they were three years ago. The only comparison that would make sense would be if the policy of three years ago were to continue, where would it have left us today as compared to where we are today? You understand the difference between that?

REP. SCHIFF: Mr. Chairman, I do, and I think that's a fair question too. I'm not sure the answer would be much if any better off now, but that's certainly a fair observation.

Mr. Chairman, I want to say at the outset that this idea of having questions in almost reverse order of seniority is an outstanding one -- (laughter) -- and I hope it gets --

REP. ROHRABACHER: This is not a precedent-setting deal.

REP. SCHIFF: I was just going to say I hope it catches on like wildfire -- at least for the next 10 years. After that we might want to resume seniority. (Laughter.)

I wanted to follow up on a question that Mr. Bolton didn't have a chance to respond to, and that is one suggestion that has been made, Dr. ElBaradei has made, is in order to get away from this essentially flawed bargain of NPT where we help countries develop the enrichment capability, et cetera, for peaceful nuclear energy, but rather we would supply the material, collect it when it's spent, and not risk these countries getting to the brink of being able to produce a bomb. And I wondered if you could share your thoughts on that particular proposal.

A second question is I think a lot of what the president laid out in his speech at NDU is very positive. But I wonder given where we are in the world right now, given the low esteem that we're held in in much of the world, and the diplomatic strife that exists, do we have the diplomatic capability to do the heavy lifting to bring about the realization of a lot of the goals that were set out in the president's speech? Won't this require a new international level of commitment, a common vision of non-proliferation which to the degree it existed before has been pretty well shattered by the last few years, and how can we go about constructing that international framework and commitment to really attack this incredible threat?

MR. CIRINCIONE: Let me just start on that nuclear fuel cycle. This is perhaps the most important issue, because it gets right to the core of the Non-Proliferation Treaty regimes. It is one of the two core bargains in the regime. One is that those nuclear weapon states that have weapons will eliminate those weapons eventually in exchange for the other states not acquiring them. And there's this other deal that was built into the treaty that promises countries access to nuclear fuel technologies -- all nuclear technologies -- if in fact they don't pursue a bomb program. That deal has to be redone.

MR. SOKOLSKI: We may have completed --

MR. CIRINCIONE: No, we don't. Okay, you can -- I don't believe you can allow countries to acquire the technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel rods one day and nuclear bombs the next. It's the same technology. And so when the director of the IAEA ElBaradei proposes a solution to this, he's proposing one of the three main ideas out there. He says let's internationalize the fuel-making ability, so that no one nation owns it, so that it's under international control; so that any country that has a reactor that wants the fuel would get it from this international authority, burn the fuel rods in the reactor, then return the fuel rods to this international authority.

A second approach is to try to come up with a market that would do that -- perhaps not an international process where an international government would own it, but several governments might own it and set up a consortium that would do the same thing.

The third approach is the one that the president proposes, which is basically export controls: stop exporting that technology to any new nations. The problem with that, as was discussed in the committee hearing, is that sets up a double standard: some people are allowed to have this technology, others are not. We have to hear from the administration how they would propose to do that. But those are the three answers. One of them has got to work.

REP. SCHIFF: Can you all comment on Dr. ElBaradei's proposal? I mean, it seems to me that the weakness in the export control is that it can be incomplete. We may not be able to successfully interdict and preclude export of technology. But Mr. Sokolski?

MR. SOKOLSKI: I think we're a little too optimistic when we think of these kinds of solutions, because we don't understand how fundamental the problem is of nuclear proliferation when you have large reactors, whether they're large research reactors, power reactors, desalination plants. Also, I think we do not appreciate that if you have international fuel cycle centers you set up a scene where taxpayers from around the world are going to be subsidizing activities that probably, as the president points out, shouldn't be done at all, and are not needed, and will train more people to make bomb materials. And we need to be very skeptical of some of these suggestions which support the nuclear industry but not non- proliferation.

In particular, one of the reasons I recommend we come up with a kind of precept, if not a rule, or a public diplomacy point that applies to everyone with regard to large reactors is this: as long as you have a large reactor you are always going to have fresh fuel that could be diverted to a covert enrichment plant and turned into bombs very quickly, and you're always going to have fuel in the reactor that could always be taken out or spent fuel that is sitting for a short while -- and sometimes not so short a while -- before it can be transported. That too can be made into bombs very quickly covertly. So if you're not addressing --

REP. SCHIFF: But, Mr. Sokolski, one of your suggestions was demand that states that fail to declare nuclear facilities to the IAEA, as required by safeguard agreement, dismantle them to come into full compliance --


REP. SCHIFF: And disallow them, if they are not in fully compliance, from legally leaving NPT. That seems to me very optimistic that there would ever be the international will to make that happen.

MR. SOKOLSKI: It seems to me we've got a problem, if we nibble around these issues the way we have been doing for the last 40 years with fixes that compound the problem. The reason I put those things forward is I thought we are getting religion on bomb material, moving around and getting into the hands of the wrong people.

I think the Europeans quite frankly are going to be extremely receptive if the United States comes forward with regard to country- neutral rules. I've talked with their diplomats on a regular basis. They are itching for that. And it seems to me that we built up a tremendous amount of capital politically by not doing that such that when we do we are not going to be alone.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Perhaps Mr. Gilinsky would like to answer?

MR. GILINSKY: Let me just briefly say that this idea has been studied to death for years and years and years. It has never gone anywhere. I think the reason is because it flies in the face of commercial realities and technological reality. You just can't sort of have U.N.-run industries in effect.

I think we do have to find some way to limit the number of these enrichment facilities, and to do it in a way that is reasonably country-neutral. And I suggest one in my testimony. I expect there are others. It's not an easy thing to do, but it is an essential goal. But I don't that think those multinational internationalizing fuel cycles -- all these ideas -- they work well in Harvard seminars but they don't work so well in the real world.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Thank you very much. Whereas I am in the chair, I will not take the prerogative of having my time. And, Gary, if you would like to finish up, I'll be happy --

All right, first and foremost let me ask about China and the role that China plays in all of this. Is not China the player behind the curtain that we are afraid to confront here? Isn't the Pakistani operation and many of these other operations traced right back to China?

MR. GILINSKY: Well, certainly Chinese bomb designs seem to be part of the Pakistani package. So that's something to worry about.

REP. ROHRABACHER: So here we are, China is becoming the biggest trading partner of all of these countries that are concerned supposedly -- including the United States -- and we have -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- but during the last administration it was somewhat proven that there were some large transfers of technology that could prove damaging to us, to the Chinese. This isn't going to get any better until we start facing reality with communist China.

MR. SOKOLSKI: I would just add to that, get serious about Russia. We're about to do some waivers on some laws called the Iran Nonproliferation Act with Russia. I think you could almost list any number of countries. The operative part of the phrase is "get serious." But --

REP. ROHRABACHER: Did Russia play a role, for example -- I think you mentioned it earlier -- in Pakistan's development?

MR. SOKOLSKI: They certainly played a role and are playing a role in Iran's development. And so we have to add them to the list.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Sure. Now, we'll get back to Russia in one moment, because I think the administration -- just a note. About two years ago, I went to the administration, high-level people in the administration, and suggested that in order to get the Russians out of the Iranian nuclear weapons or nuclear power deal, we should offer them an alternative. You can't just expect the Russians, in their deplorable economic condition, simply to take the loss.

Let me note that, to my knowledge, the administration never followed up on that. And -- surprise, surprise -- the Russians weren't willing to give up the profit from their Iranian nuclear deal. And in order to get someone to not do something bad, you have to at least give them an alternative so they won't suffer great losses.

MR. SOKOLSKI: Aren't we spending an enormous sum of money to set up -- promising to, at least -- something on the order of $10 billion to set up facilities that I find actually questionable, these mixed- oxide fuel facilities.

I think there's plenty --

REP. ROHRABACHER: (Inaudible.)

MR. SOKOLSKI: To Russia, yes.

REP. ROHRABACHER: We never set it up as an alternative.

MR. SOKOLSKI: I think we need to be careful. There is not enough money in the treasury of the American republic to pay off every person that might threaten to proliferate. And I think, once you go down that road, you are never going to have spare cash.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Well, I think it's also fair to say that when someone has been in a bad economic situation, you (can?) expect them to do something that is difficult for people who are in positive economic situations, but you are not being realistic in how you approach it.

MR. SOKOLSKI: Well, but you could go one step further. Their relationship, Russia's, as well as China's, to Europe, Japan and the United States economically far outstrips the hundreds of millions of dollars they might make selling a reactor.

REP. ROHRABACHER: There's no doubt about that. That's why you have to make it specific rather than general. What's happened generally to the money that we transmitted to Russia, especially during the last administration, went into a big black hole. And we saw nothing for it, and the Russian people were worse off.

Maybe some of the things we did with them on nonproliferation in terms of trying to dismantle some of their weapons was one area that looked even halfway acceptable in terms of what we got out of it for the investment. But most of the things we've dealt with over the last 10, 15 years have been catastrophes.

You were anxious to make a point. Go right ahead.

MR. CIRINCIONE: I'm familiar with your position on these issues and I respectfully disagree. I think the Nunn-Lugar programs have been a remarkable success.

REP. ROHRABACHER: I think -- there was one -- one area.

MR. CIRINCIONE: On that issue, as you may know, the Cutler-Baker report, the Lloyd Cutler-Ambassador Baker report of some three years ago, recommended that we triple the funding that we spend on these programs. To me, that's one of our highest priorities. If you're worried about a terrorist getting a nuclear weapon, you've got to be worried about the stockpiles that are insecure still in Russia today. (They need to?) lock that up as soon as possible.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Let me move this and go back to your basic -- one of the basic points that you made in your testimony. Instead of trying to have regime change, we should be rethinking a change in the behavior of the regime.

Had we not sought regime change in the Soviet Union, the very program that you are pointing out was so successful, we'd never -- there'd never have been a program like that with the old Soviet government. It's because we got rid of the communists, that's what made it possible for us to have the Nunn-Lugar type operation that you are now applauding.

MR. CIRINCIONE: Sir, I think the U.S. policy always has to have a variety of options, a variety of weapons in its quiver. We shouldn't be overly fixated on one of them.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Okay, let me just note -- I think I've used up my time; I'll let Gary proceed. But the thing that we can do the most for protecting this world against nuclear weapons is to make sure that we oppose tyranny and injustice and dictators, like we found them in China, like were the ones in control of the Soviet Union, like the ones that are now in control of Iran, and work with people who want to struggle to develop democratic government, because it is regime change in the end that will make the difference.

You can bargain all you want to with the Saddam Husseins of the world, and no matter what they say, within five minutes it doesn't make any difference what they said, because they are liars and they're immoral. And it's regime change with those type of horrible dictators that will make a difference in this world and in dealing with this problem.

That's my position, but Mr. Ackerman may or may not agree. Mr. Ackerman.

REP. ACKERMAN: I think that if you were in charge of policy, it would be a very exciting world. (Laughter.) I'd like to associate myself with the remarks by the ranking member. (Laughter.) I could see it all now, going along with the preemptive nonproliferation policy and going full speed ahead having a regime change program for China, for Russia, for --- who else do you want.

MR. GILINSKY (?): Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan.

REP. ACKERMAN: Pakistan. All the "stans."

MR. GILINSKY (?): Many of those that participate in the coalition of the willing, I would suggest.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Boy, am I getting it today. (Laughter.)

REP. ACKERMAN: Let me first say how much I and others appreciate the quality of this panel and the thoughtful and the succinct way in which they've made both their presentations and have answered the questions of the members, who, by the way, have asked, I think, very good questions on both sides, demonstrating the interest, though we may have different conclusions or starting points.

I think maybe panel two should have gone before panel one. And if we have a redo of this hearing, I think maybe we should do it that way. But that would be up to the chair to call that shot.

I do find it interesting that the first panel was the only person in the room who didn't really -- who really believed that we shouldn't be talking to A.Q. Khan and that there was no evidence that the government of Pakistan, in any of its previous incarnations or titles to which it gave itself, was complicit in any way in the planning, the process. And some might even suspect, but that is only a suspicion because of what goes on in that particular country, in that particular part of the world, the profit-sharing of those billions and billions of dollars that somebody accumulated and was forgiven without any accounting.

And I don't know of any reasonable person looking at this problem that wouldn't want to say, "Hey, the U.S. has a tremendously important vested interest in finding out first-hand from the source, from A.Q. Khan himself, absent a filter supplied by his vendor and forgiver, the answers to the questions that we need to know in order to figure out who has what, how they got it, and how much of this has gone on in different places in the world, notably North Korea.

Unless the U.S. and like-minded states are prepared to militarily change the regime in Iran and North Korea, I would think you'd have to persuade them to give up their nuclear programs. You have to influence their calculations of the benefits and costs of a nuclear arsenal.

It's interesting to note that rogue states do not consider themselves the rogues. They believe they have legitimate interests, important national interests, requiring nuclear weapons for deterrence, for defense, even for prestige, for ego, and for public political support in their own country and regions.

How do we influence their perceptions of their interests, however misguided they might be? Is coercion and condemnation enough to get the kind of results that we want? And maybe each of you could respond to that.

MR. SOKOLSKI: I think it's very important to deprive the proliferator of the benefit of what he thinks he's going to get with the bomb he might build. That isn't necessarily requiring you to invade in every case, in most cases; and if you act early, in none of the cases.

My center just finished a preliminary study with regard to Iran. We know already, we think, what they will do as they become more nuclear-ready in the region. They will shake down their neighbors for money, just like Iraq did in the '80s; government-to-government transfers. They will start using their influence in the control of the Gulf with regard to maritime passage and fortification.

We can do things about that now. What we do not want to do and should be very careful to avoid doing in all these cases, North Korea included, is to reach for any deal that will undermine the standards necessary to keep others from emulating the proliferation of the country we're dealing with.

I think that's where, in all honesty, my center took strong exception to the agreed framework, in particular promoting the reactor sale. It just stood out, that particular feature in particular, as something that taught the wrong lesson and made the whole thing not worthwhile. It's that kind of attention to detail we need to have when we go into any kind of talks.

REP. ACKERMAN: If I can ask you to just expound on that, Mr. Sokolski. Are you saying the energy that we supplied in the form of oil or money for oil to wean the North Koreans away from the heavy- water reactor and set up a light-water reactor was not the kind of swap that you would make?

MR. SOKOLSKI: Well, first of all, both Victor and myself have worked some time together in detailing the actual characteristics of that deal. Putting aside the oil for the moment -- and it was an awfully generous offer, based on some wildly optimistic characterizations of what they might produce with their nuclear power plants if they were all built, which they weren't -- the key point, the one that stuck in the craw of a lot of people, including El- Baradei, I might add, was that we offered two enormous light-water reactors, themselves capable of producing a prodigious amount of weapons-usable, and in the initial stages, near-weapons-grade material, and we --

REP. ACKERMAN: From the light-water reactors.

MR. SOKOLSKI: Yes. This is something which technically has been overlooked over and over and over again. During the first 18 months --

REP. ACKERMAN: Could you just give us a sense of balance here?


REP. ACKERMAN: How much easier is it using the heavy-water reactor than the light-water reactor to produce weapons-grade material?

MR. SOKOLSKI: Kilowatt hour for kilowatt hour, one might be easier. The problem was that --

REP. ACKERMAN: Exponentially or --

MR. SOKOLSKI: No, no, no. Let me complete the thought, because we only look at one parameter. And Victor can answer this much better than I, and I hope he will in a moment. But essentially, the size of the reactors in question, one gigawatt, dwarfed the five-megawatt machine, and therefore the quantity of what it was producing is so much larger that, you know, the configuration of "Well, gee, if you had one that was the exact same size, one might be easier to work with to get at some of the material," it just was pushed aside by the quantity of the nuclear power plant size and the number of plants that we were offering.

And so, the long and short of it is, within 18 months of the operation of these plants -- and they were about halfway done as of now -- you would have had somewhere on the order, just with one of these plants, of nearly 50 or more bombs' worth of nuclear-weapons- grade material in those machines.

That is something, in addition to withholding and stalling the IAEA from getting back to routine inspections for over a decade, that just was not correct to do in setting an example for the rest of the world. You don't want to do another deal like that with regard to the nuclear dimension on that.

REP. ACKERMAN: Just commenting on that, the funding for the oil, that funding we supplied took place as my good friend from California points out, starting with the Clinton administration. The previous panel testified, or neglected to mention or -- well -- he mischaracterized the fact that the current administration, upon coming into office, doubled the request -- doubled the request in their first year that the previous administration had requested and used in their last year.

So this is a problem that,if it is a problem, has existed in both administrations.

MR. GILINSKY: Are you speaking specifically about the oil, or the --

REP. ACKERMAN: Yes, specifically the oil.

MR. GILINSKY: Well, I guess the funding went up and down, depending on how Congress felt about it and the price of oil.

REP. ACKERMAN: I'm talking about the request that was made for the president. It went from $50 million to $100 million for the oil. But I don't mean to be picky.

MR. GILINSKY: Can I go back to your original question -- (inaudible)?

REP. ACKERMAN: That's the real question.

MR. GILINSKY: I think in North Korea, and I have followed them for quite a while; actually since the beginning of that deal 10 years ago. They're a very tough, army-based regime. I mean, that's how they describe themselves. And they publicly, in their public statements, equate giving up their nuclear defense or deterrent, as they think of it, to suicide.

So I don't think we're going to get them to just give it up. I don't think there's anything we can do here, offer them to give this up. They will do a deal, but they won't do a deal that involves real verification. That was the sticking point in the original deal that the Clinton administration came to. When it came time to really talk about inspecting, as was required by the original deal, they got very restive and wouldn't go along with any of it.

So I think here the answer really is --

REP. ACKERMAN: That was on the plutonium, not on the uranium.

MR. GILINSKY: Yes, yes. I don't think this is going to be resolved with the current regime. And I think what we need to do is wait them out and hem them in as best we can and use other ways to soften them up and have the juices of capitalism maybe corrode their spirit.

But I don't think there's any sort of magic arrangement that's going to cause them to give up their nuclear threat.

REP. ROHRABACHER: For a moment I thought you were going to say regime change, but you didn't quite get there.

MR. GILINSKY: Well, I try to use different language.

REP. ACKERMAN: Well, let's get specific.

REP. ROHRABACHER (?): (Off mike.)

MR. GILINSKY: Oh, with the North Koreans.

REP. ACKERMAN: You're not talking about Washington, no.

MR. GILINSKY: North Korea. And if you want any comments on the previous deal, which I think was really not a very good arrangement, the two reactors -- you were talking about the numbers. The two reactors that we're giving them could produce more plutonium not only than their little reactor that they had, but than all the reactors that they had under construction.

REP. ACKERMAN: So how would you dissuade them, going back to -- (inaudible)? You say wait them out?

MR. GILINSKY: We don't have many options here.

REP. ACKERMAN: We're waiting out Castro. He's outlived 10 U.S. presidents since the time he marched to Havana.

MR. GILINSKY: Well, I think this is quite a different and much tougher --

REP. ACKERMAN: These guys are a lot younger than Castro.

MR. GILINSKY: -- and more awful regime. And it's a very grim place. And I don't think that we're going to hit any easy way to change their mind about nuclear weapons.

REP. ACKERMAN: So we just let them continue or --

MR. GILINSKY: I think we have to constrain them as best we can.

REP. ACKERMAN: I'm not sure what that means.

MR. GILINSKY: Well, for example, Secretary Bolton mentioned trying to cut out their money supply from Japan, trying to keep them from getting resources in all sorts of other ways that involve all sorts of illegal enterprises, trying to influence the Chinese as best we can.

I think there are things we can do, but there's nothing that's going to solve this problem in any simple manner.

REP. ROHRABACHER: That's a very perfect note to end the hearing on.

REP. ACKERMAN: Maybe Mr. Cirincione has --

REP. ROHRABACHER: We're going to give you the last word here.

MR. CIRINCIONE: I can do it in one minute. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Gilinsky. I think we can do a deal with North Korea. I think we can buy them out for a fraction of what we're spending on some other defense programs.

But to find out who's right about this, we've got to put it to the test. Let's make a deal that they can't refuse. Let's offer them a complete package solution and see if they can accept it. If they won't, then we can go with Mr. Gilinsky's solution.

And with that, I thank you, gentlemen, for allowing us to testify.

REP. ROHRABACHER: I thought that's what we did about 10 years ago -- (inaudible).

MR. CIRINCIONE: The agreed framework was a perfectly acceptable short-term solution. It was never intended to be the final word. I agreed with Secretary of State Colin Powell. When he came in, after being briefed by the Clinton team, he thought we should continue those policies and close the whole package deal. He was overruled by this administration. As a result, we find ourselves where we are today.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Let me thank all the witnesses. Thank you very much. Thanks, Gary, and both sides of the aisle. This has been a very interesting hearing. And we appreciate you coming up here and adding to our knowledge base.