Recent Speeches

Mrs. FEINSTEIN.  Thank you very much, Mr. President.  I see both the ranking member and the chairman of the committee on the floor.  I wish to say a few words about both of them and the good name they give to bipartisanship.  Both of them see how much of America's destiny is wrapped up in this treaty and how nuclear weapons become a bane of existence because of their size, because of their number, and because of this inexorable concern that they fall into the wrong hands somehow, some way, someday.

I am one of the few Members of this Senate who is old enough to have seen the bombs go off in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  I know the devastation that a 15- and 21-kiloton bomb can do.  These bombs today are five times the size plus, and they can eradicate huge areas.  If you put multiple warheads on them, the destruction is inestimable. 

Mr. President, what is interesting to me about this debate is the fact that the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was approved by a vote of 93 to 5, the 1991 START agreement was approved by a vote of 9 to 6, and the 2002 Moscow Treaty was approved by a vote of 95 to 0.  As the chairman of the committee, the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts, has pointed out time and time again on this floor, those treaties received less deliberation that is being given to this treaty. The relationship between the United States and Russia today is better today than was the relationship when previous treaties were ratified. And the New START treaty we are debating is a fairly modest measure.  So I hope it will receive a strong vote for ratification.

Now, for my remarks.  I come here as chairman of the Intelligence Committee to address comments that have been made on the other side of the aisle about this treaty, particularly as those comments relate to monitoring provisions. 
Let me just put out the bona fides. 

The Intelligence Committee has studied the June 2010 National Intelligence Estimate on the intelligence community's ability to monitor this treaty.  We had a hearing.  We submitted more than 70 questions for the record.  We received detailed responses from the intelligence community.  Committee members and very highly technical, proficient committee staff participated in more than a dozen meetings and briefings on a range of issues concerning the treaty, focusing on the intelligence monitoring and collection aspects.

The conclusion is on my part that the intelligence community can, in fact, effectively monitor Russian activities under this treaty.

I would also like to say to all Senators I have just reviewed a new intelligence assessment from the CIA dated yesterday.  It analyzes the effect of having New START's monitoring provisions in place and the loss on intelligence if the treaty is not ratified.  I can't discuss the contents of the assessment on the Senate floor, but the report is available to all Senators.  It is available through the Intelligence Committee, and Members are welcome to review this report and other documents, including the National Intelligence Estimate, in our offices in room 211 in the Hart Building.

Let me now describe the ways in which this treaty enhances our Nation's intelligence capabilities.  This has been the lens through which the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has viewed the treaty, and I believe the arguments are strongly positive and persuasive.

First, the intelligence community can carry out its responsibility to monitor Russian activities under the treaty effectively. 

Second, this treaty, when it enters into force, will benefit intelligence collection and analysis.

The U.S. intelligence community will use these treaty provisions and other independent tools that we have outside of the treaty, such as the use of national technical means -- for example, our satellites -- to collect information on Russian forces and whether Russia is complying with the treaty's terms. 

The treaty provisions include on-the-ground inspections of Russian nuclear facilities and bases -- 18 a year.  There is going to be an amendment, I gather, to increase that.  I will get to that later in my remarks.  Second, regular exchanges on data on the warhead and missile production and locations.  Third, unique identifiers -- a distinct alphanumeric code for each missile and heavy bomber for tracking purposes.  I reviewed some of that in intelligence reports this morning.  A ban on blocking national technical means from collecting information on strategic forces, and other measures that I am going to go into. 

Without the strong monitoring and verification measures provided for in this treaty, we will know less -- not more -- about the number, size, location, and deployment status of Russian nuclear warheads.  That is a fact. 

I think most of you know General Chilton, the Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, who knows a great deal about all of this.  He has said this: 

Without New START, we would rapidly lose insight into Russian nuclear strategic force developments and activities, and our force modernization planning and hedging strategy would be more complex and more costly.  Without such a regime, we would unfortunately be left to use worse-case analyses
regarding our own force requirements.   

Think about that.  Let me be clear.  That is what a "no" vote means on this treaty. 

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made the same point earlier this month.  He said that if the United States doesn't ratify the treaty, Russia will have to respond, including augmentation of its stockpile. 

That is what voting "no" on this treaty does.  

These monitoring provisions are key, as are the trust and transparency they bring, and the only way to get to these provisions is through ratification. 

In fact, we have not had any inspections, or other monitoring tools, for over 1 year, since the original START treaty expired; so, today, we have less insight into any new Russian weapons and delivery systems that might be entering their force.  That, too, is a fact. 

Thirteen months ago, American officials wrapped up a 2-day inspection of a Russian strategic missile base at Teykovo, 130 miles northeast of Moscow, where mobile SS-25 intercontinental ballistic missiles were deployed. 

Twelve days later, their Russian counterparts wrapped up a 2-day inspection at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, home to a strategic bomb wing. 

Since then, nothing.  Since those two inspections -- one in Russia and one in the United States -- we have essentially gone black on any monitoring, inspection, data exchanges, telemetry, and notification allowed by the old START treaty. 

Let me describe the monitoring provisions in this treaty now, because many of them are similar to the original START treaty's provisions. 

No. 1, the treaty commits the United States and Russia "not to interfere
with the national technical means of verification of the other party."     That
means not to interfere with our satellites and "not to use concealment measures
that impede verification."   

This means that Russia agrees not to block our satellite observations of their launchers or their testing.  Without this treaty, Russia could take steps to deny or block our ability to collect information on their forces.  And there are ways this can be done.  Let me make clear that, absent this treaty, Russia could try and perhaps block our satellites. 

To be clear, national technical means are an important way of identifying some of Russia's activities in deploying and deploying its nuclear forces. 
However, while I can't be specific here, there are some very important questions that simply cannot be answered through national technical means alone. 

I have also reviewed those this morning, and those are available if a Member wants to know exactly what I mean by this.  They can go to room 211 in the Hart Building, and members of the intelligence staff can inform them exactly what this means. 

That is where other provisions of this treaty -- including inspections, data exchanges, unique identifiers -- come into play.  Without them, we are limited in our understanding. 

So believe me, this is a big problem for our intelligence agencies.  

The second provision in New START on monitoring is a requirement that Russia provide the United States with regular data notifications.  This includes information on the production of any and all new strategic missiles, the loading of warheads onto those missiles, and the location to which strategic forces are deployed. 

Under START, similar notifications were vital to our understanding.  In fact, the notification provisions under New START are actually stronger than those in the old START agreement, including a requirement that Russia inform the United States when a missile or warhead moves in or out of deployed status. 

Third, New START restores our ability to conduct on-the-ground inspections. 
There are none of them going on today, and none have been going on for over a year.  New START allows for 10 so-called "type one" onsite inspections of Russian ICBMs, SLBMs, and bomber bases a year. 

The protocols for these type one inspections were written by U.S.
negotiators with years of inspection experience under the original START treaty.  The day before yesterday, I went over the credentials of our negotiating team in Geneva, and many of them have done onsite inspections.  So they know what they need to look for, and they provided those guarantees in this treaty. This is how some of it works. 

First, U.S. inspectors choose what base they wish to inspect.  It is our choice, not the Russians' choice.  Russia is restricted from moving missiles, launchers, and bombers away from that base. 

Then, when the inspectors arrive, they are given a full briefing from the Russians.  That includes the number of deployed and nondeployed missile launchers or bombers at the base, the number of warheads loaded on each bomber and -- and this is important -- the number of reentry vehicles on each ICBM or SLBM. 

So you can pick your base, go to it, get the briefing.  These missiles are all coded with unique identifiers, so you can do your inspection, and you know what you are looking at. 

Third, the inspectors choose what they want to inspect.  At an ICBM base, the inspectors choose a deployed ICBM for inspection, one they want to inspect. 
At a submarine base, they choose an SLBM.  If there are any nondeployed launchers, ones not carrying missiles, the inspectors can pick one of those for inspection as well.  At air bases, the inspectors can choose up to three bombers for inspection. 

Fourth, the actual inspection occurs, with U.S. personnel verifying the number of warheads on the missiles, or on the bombers chosen.  As I mentioned earlier, each missile and bomber is coded with a specific code, both numerically and alphabetically, so you know what you have chosen and where it’s been before. 

Under this framework, our inspectors are provided comprehensive information from the Russian briefers.  They are able to choose themselves how they want to verify that this information is correct.  And there are ways of doing that to verify. 

The treaty also provides for an additional eight inspections a year of nondeployed warheads and facilities where Russia converts or eliminates nuclear arms. 

Some people have commented that the number of inspections under New START -- that is, the total of 18 that I just described -- is smaller than the 28 under the previous START treaty, and that is true.  But it is also true that there are half as many Russian facilities to inspect than there were in 1991, when START was signed.  I just looked at a map this morning of these Russian bases, of the silo locations, of the bombers, of the submarine pens.  The numbers are dramatically smaller than at the end of the Cold War, when the first START treaty was signed. 

These inspections should suffice, because the numbers are so down.  

In addition, inspections under New START are designed to cover more topics than inspections under the prior START agreement. 

In testimony from the Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, called in Washington-ese "DTRA," Kenneth Myers, the agency doing these inspections, said: 

Type One inspections will be more demanding on both the DTRA and site personnel, as it combines the main part of what were formerly two separate inspections under START into a single, lengthier inspection. 

So, whereas, you go from 28 down to 18, and 10 type one inspections, you can take more time and they are much more comprehensive. 

Some of my colleagues who question this treaty have raised a couple of problems with the monitoring provisions.  Let me address a couple of them now. 

First, under START, United States officials had a permanent presence at the Russian missile production facility at Votkinsk.

Inspectors could watch as missiles left the plant to be shipped to various parts of the country.  New START does not include this provision.  In fact, the Bush administration had taken the provision off the table in its negotiations with the Russians prior to leaving office. 

New START does, however, require Russia to mark all missiles, as I have been saying, with numeric and alphabetic codes -- with these unique identifiers, so that their location can be tracked and their deployment status tracked over the lifetime of the treaty. 

The treaty also requires Russia to notify us at least 48 hours before a missile leaves a plant.  So we will still have information about missile deployment and production. 

Our inspectors and other nuclear experts have testified that these provisions are, in fact, sufficient.  Now, look, I appreciate that every one of us does our due diligence.  But let me tell you, there is nothing like the view of a former inspector.  

There is nothing like the view of people who have actually done this work. 
These are the people who were involved in the negotiation.  There is nothing like the recommendation of the entire top command of our strategic forces, the civilian leadership, and the top officials of our intelligence community, all of whom are for this treaty.      We listen to our military, it seems to me, on
views that affect the security of this Nation.  We should with respect to this treaty.  I have not seen a single warrior come forward -- who is in the top command -- who has said we should not endorse this treaty.  I think that is significant.  Instead, dozens have come forward to point out how important this treaty is. 

START required the United States and Russia to exchange technical data from missile tests.  That is known as telemetry.  It required that you release it to each other but not to other countries.  That telemetry allows each side to calculate things, such as how many warheads a missile could carry.  This was important as the START treaty attributed warheads to missiles.  If a Russian missile could carry 10 reentry vehicles, the treaty counted it as having 10 warheads.  Information obtained through telemetry was, therefore, important to determine the capabilities of each delivery system. 

New START, however, does away with these attribution rules and counts the actual number of warheads deployed on missiles.  No more guessing whether a Russian missile is carrying one or eight warheads.  With this change, we don't need precise calculations on the capability of Russian missiles in order to tell whether Russia is complying with the treaty's terms, so telemetry is not as necessary to monitor compliance with New START. 

Nonetheless, because this came up in the negotiations, as a gesture to transparency, the treaty allows for the exchange of telemetry, between our two countries only, up to five times a year if both sides agree to do so. 

In fact, it should be pointed out that if the treaty included a broader requirement to exchange telemetry, the United States might have to share information on interceptors for missile defense, which the Department of Defense has not agreed to do. 

Third, there has been a concern raised about Russian breakout capability -- a fear that Russia may one day decide to secretly deploy more warheads than the treaty would allow or to secretly build a vast stockpile that could be quickly put into its deployed force.  I do not see this as a credible concern.  Here is why. 

According to public figures, Russian strategic forces are already under or close to the limits prescribed by New START.  They have been decreasing over the past decade, not just now but for a long time.  There are many reasons for this, but I think it is incontrovertible that is fact. 

So the concern about a breakout is a concern that Russia would suddenly decide that it wants to reverse what has been a 10-year trend and deploy more weapons than it currently believes are necessary for its security.  They would also have to decide to do this secretly, with a significant risk of being caught. 

Because of the monitoring provisions, the inspections, our national technical means, and other ways we have to track Russian nuclear activities, I think Moscow would have a serious disincentive to do that.  Moreover, instead of developing a breakout capability, Russia could decide, instead, to simply withdraw from the treaty, just as the United States did when President Bush withdrew from the antiballistic missile treaty. 

Finally, even in the event that Russia did violate the treaty and pursue a breakout capability, our nuclear capabilities are more than sufficient to continue to deter Russia and to provide assurances to our allies. 

Mr. President, the bottom line is that the intelligence community can effectively monitor this treaty.  If you vote no, you are voting against these monitoring provisions. 

The second question I raised at the beginning of my remarks that is relevant to New START is whether ratifying the treaty actually enhances our intelligence collection and analysis.  This is above and beyond the question of whether the intelligence community will be able to fulfill its responsibility to monitor Russian compliance with the treaty's terms. 

Again, I am unable to go into the specifics, but the clear answer to this question is yes.  The ability to conduct inspections, receive notifications, enter into continuing discussions with the Russians over the lifetime of the treaty will provide us with information and understanding of Russian strategic forces that we will not have without the treaty.  If you vote no, we will not have it. 

The intelligence community will need to collect information about Russian nuclear weapons and intentions with or without New START, just as it has since the beginning of the Cold War.  But absent the inspectors' boots on the grounds-- and that is what is at risk here -- the intelligence community will need to rely on other methods. 

Put even more simply, the Nation's top intelligence official, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, has said he thinks “the earlier, the sooner, the better” that this treaty is ratified.  “We’re better off with it.” 

You know, I don't think I need to tell this body what is at stake in terms of our relationship with Russia.  The Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union, and this is an important reform vehicle of a new, young Russian President who wants to enter into a much more cooperative and transparent time with our country.

Russia has been of help to our country, letting our equipment go through Russian land into Afghanistan when Pakistan has blocked passage and in terms of refusing to sell a missile defense system to Iran that is had previously agreed to provide. 

I think what this projects to the world as a whole is very important in this world of asymmetric warfare.  What it projects is that the United States and the Russian Federation are willing to stand together.  I think the gesture of that standing together that is envisioned in the enhanced cooperation of this treaty should never be underestimated.

Members, we need all of the major powers to come together in this new world of asymmetric warfare in which we are engaged, and most likely will be engaged for a long period of time.  So I very much hope that the votes are there for ratification. 

Let me end with this:  During the 15-year lifespan of the first START agreement, the United States conducted 659 inspections of Russian nuclear facilities, and Russia conducted 481 inspections of our facilities.  Again, it has been more than a year since American inspectors were at a Russian nuclear facility.  We have been in the dark for 1 year.  It is time to bring the light of New START to bear. 

I thank the Chair, and I yield the floor.