[Congressional Record: November 5, 2009 (Senate)]
[Page S11141-S11142]


  Mr. LUGAR. Mr. President, I rise to speak on S. 2727, the START I 
Treaty Inspections and Monitoring Protocol Continuation Act of 2009, 
which I introduced yesterday.
  This bill provides authority that would allow the President of the 
United States to extend, on a reciprocal basis, privileges and 
immunities to Russian arms inspection teams that may come to the United 
States to carry out inspections permitted under the Strategic Arms 
Reduction Treaty or START I.
  This bill is necessary because, on December 5--1 month from today--
the START I treaty will expire. This treaty, signed in 1991, is obscure 
to many in the Senate. Only 26 current Senators were serving at the 
time we voted on the resolution of ratification in October 1992. But 
the START I treaty has been vitally important to arms control efforts 
up to the present day because it contains a comprehensive verification 
regime that undergirds every existing United States-Russian treaty that 
deals with strategic arms control.
  It is essential to understand that a successful arms control regime 
depends on much more than mutual agreement on the numbers of weapons to 
be eliminated. Arms control agreements also must provide for 
verification measures, including seemingly mundane details, such as 
delineating the privileges and responsibilities of verification teams 
operating in each other's countries, as well as the procedures for 
conducting those inspections.
  These details require legal authorization that minimizes disputes and 
reinforces reciprocal expectations of how the verification regime will 
function. If the legal authorization for strategic arms control 
verification lapses, as it will in 1 month, we will be creating 
unnecessary risks for the national security of the United States and 
our working relationship with Russia.
  It had been my hope that the previous and current administrations 
would have made substantially more progress in ensuring the continuity 
of the START I verification system so the legal authorities I am 
proposing would not be necessary. But we have reached the point where 
both the United States and Russia must take steps to ensure the 
continuity of verification mechanisms.
  In 2002, the Senate considered the Moscow Treaty governing strategic 
nuclear forces. That treaty contained no verification mechanisms. 
Instead, it relied on the verification regime established in the START 
I treaty. During Senate consideration of the Moscow Treaty, I asked 
Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald 
Rumsfeld about the apparent gap in verification that could occur, given 
that the Moscow Treaty extends to 2012, while the START I verification 
provisions were set to expire on December 5, 2009, this year.
  Secretary Powell stated:

       It did not seem to be something that was pressing at the 

  He said that during negotiations on the Moscow Treaty, consideration 
was given to extending the START verification regime past 2009 in a 
separate negotiation or that the transparency measures under the Moscow 
Treaty could be maximized in some way to provide for enhanced 
verification. But Secretary Powell said, in 2002, that we had ``some 7 
years to find an answer to that question.''
  Likewise, Secretary Rumsfeld was questioned about the verification 
gap created by the 2009 expiration of START. He stated:

       There is [a gap], from 2009 to 2012, exactly. But between 
     now and 2009 . . . there is plenty of time to sort through 
     what we will do thereafter. . . .Will we be able to do 
     something that is better than the START treaty? I hope so. Do 
     we have a number of years that we can work on that? Yes.

  I was pleased to play a role in securing ratification of the Moscow 
Treaty on March 6, 2003. But, at that time Senators were led to 
understand the Bush administration would begin work with Russia on 
codifying a verification regime under the Moscow Treaty, either by 
continuing the START verification regime past 2009 or through other 
measures. Neither was accomplished.
  The START treaty itself provides that the parties must meet to extend 
the treaty ``no later than one year before the expiration of the 15-
year period'' of its duration. In 2008, we witnessed the conflict in 
Georgia. December 5, 2008, was the date by which the United States and 
Russia would have to meet to satisfy the treaty's requirements. Many 
worried that the atmosphere created by the Georgia situation would 
prevent the United States and Russia from conducting such a meeting. 
But to the Bush administration's credit, a meeting was held that 
provided us the possibility of extending the treaty. But the clock kept 
  I noted during Secretary Clinton's confirmation hearings, on January 
13, 2009, it was vital that the START treaty be renewed. At that time, 
she assured the committee that ``we will have a very strong commitment 
to the START Treaty negotiation.'' I do not doubt that commitment. I am 
hopeful the capable negotiators we have deployed to Geneva will achieve 
a new treaty in the remaining 30 days before expiration. But even if 
that happens, the time required for a thorough Senate consideration of 
the treaty ensures that it will not be ratified before START I expires.
  At the core of the START treaty rests its verification regime--a 
system of data exchanges and more than 80 different types of 
notifications covering movement, changes in status, conversion, 
elimination, testing, and technical characteristics of new and existing 
strategic offensive arms. This data is further verified through an 
inspection regime. The START I treaty inspection protocol permits no 
less than 12 different types of inspections pursuant to the treaty.
  According to a fact sheet released by the Department of State in July 
2009, the United States has conducted more than 600 START inspections 
in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine. Russia has conducted more 
than 400 inspections in the United States. These intrusive, onsite 
inspections permit the United States to verify the kinds and types of 
Russian weapons being deployed, as well as to examine modified versions 
of Russia's weapons. It is this ability, in addition to our own 
national technical means, that gives us the capabilities and confidence 
to ensure effective verification of the treaty.
  Some skeptics have pointed out Russia may not be in total compliance 
with its obligations under START. Others have expressed opposition to 
the START treaty on the basis that no arms control agreement is 100-
percent verifiable. But such concerns fail to appreciate how much 
information is provided through the exchanges of data mandated by the 
treaty, onsite inspections, and national technical means. Our 
experiences, over many years, have proven the effectiveness of the 
treaty's verification provisions and served to build a basis for 
confidence between the two countries when doubts arose. The bottom line 
is, the United States is far safer as a result of these 600 START 
inspections than we would be without them.
  Testifying before the Foreign Relations Committee on the INF Treaty 
in 1988, Paul Nitze provided the definition of ``effective 
verification.'' He stated:

       What do we mean by effective verification? We mean that we 
     want to be sure that, if the other side moves beyond the 
     limits of the Treaty in any militarily significant way, we 
     would be able to detect such a violation in time to respond 
     effectively and thereby deny the other side the benefit of 
     the violation.

  In a similar vein, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates testified in 1992, 
when he was Director of Central Intelligence, that the START treaty was 
effectively verifiable and that the data it provides would give us the 
ability to detect militarily significant cheating.
  The Senate has repeatedly expressed confidence in the START I 
verification procedures. It approved the START I treaty in 1992, by a 
vote of 93 to 6. In

[[Page S11142]]

1996, it approved the START II treaty, which relied on the START I 
verification regime, by a vote of 87 to 4. Likewise, the Moscow Treaty 
was approved by a vote of 95 to 0.
  The current administration has employed a capable team in Geneva. 
Just last week, National Security Adviser Jim Jones went to Moscow to 
underscore the importance of achieving agreement on a successor to the 
START treaty. The administration has publicly stated it seeks a new 
treaty that will ``combine the predictability of START and the 
flexibility of the Moscow Treaty, but at lower numbers of delivery 
vehicles and their associated warheads.''
  This predictability stems directly from START's verifiability.
  So far, most of the public discussion surrounding a potential 
successor agreement has focused on further reductions in strategic 
nuclear weapons. Scant attention has been paid to the verification 
arrangements for such a follow-on agreement. Informally, we understand 
that we will yet again be relying on START's verification regime in the 
new agreement. For me, this will be the key determinant in assessing 
whether a follow-on agreement that comes before the Foreign Relations 
Committee and the Senate furthers the national interest.
  For the moment, we know only the outlines of such an agreement. What 
is certain is that after December 5, no legally binding treaty will 
exist that provides for onsite inspections.
  My bill is not a substitute for a treaty, but without it, it is 
unclear how we can permit and by extension carry out any inspection 
activities. This might not appear troubling to some, but allowing a 
break in verification is not in the interests of the United States or 
Russia. Such a break could amplify suspicions or even complicate the 
conclusion of the START successor agreement.
  I believe it is incumbent upon the United States and Russia to 
maintain mutual confidence and preserve a proven verification regime 
between December 5 and the entry into force of a new agreement. If we 
are to do so, the legal tools that are contained in the bill I have 
introduced are essential. There is nothing in my bill that requires the 
administration to admit Russian inspection teams in the absence of 
reciprocity by Moscow, nor does the bill expand verification beyond 
those already conducted under the START protocol. The authorities in 
the bill would terminate on June 5, 2010, or on the date of entry into 
force of a successor agreement to the START treaty.
  We must ensure that needed verification tools will exist in the 
period between START's expiration and entry into force of a new treaty. 
I am hopeful that Congress will take action on S. 2727 in the near 
future and that both the Obama administration and the Russian 
Government will take steps to maintain inspection until ratification of 
a START successor agreement is completed.
  I thank the Chair, and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.