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Strategic defense has undoubtedly been neglected by the United States in recent years. The Reagan proposals for air and civil defense express a renewed interest in these important aspects of our strategic deterrent. Still, the precise requirements of our Nation for air and civil defense have not been carefully explained and the Congress will want to know more of the details.
In short, the President has submitted to the Congress a rather comprehensive strategic modernization package and it is now up to us, and especially to the members of this subcommittee, to work toward improving America's strategic nuclear forces in light of the President's recommendation.
Toward that end we have taken upon ourselves a very vigorous program of hearings designed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of our strategic deterrent forces and to correct them.
Yesterday we began these hearings by examining with U.S. intelligence agencies the nuclear forces of the Soviet Union.
Today we will focus on the President's response to the Soviet Union's strategic nuclear buildup.
We have with us the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Dr. Fred Ikle, along with supporting witnesses from the Office of the Under Secretary for Research and Engineering.
In this hearing we will seek to illuminate the strategic doctrines and policies of the Reagan administration and the operational concepts behind the President's strategic modernization package.
The members of this subcommittee are well aware that changes in doctrine, definitions, assumptions and operational concepts can play a major role in determining the strategic balance. Sound doctrine will strengthen our deterrent; false assumptions will weaken it. In either case, however, our strategic policy is the foundation which determines the effectiveness of our strategic forces.
Testimony today will reveal, hopefully, a solid foundation for the President's strategic force recommendations.
We will go right to you, Dr. Ikle.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRED C. IKLE, UNDER SECRETARY OF
DEFENSE FOR POLICY, ACCOMPANIED BY HON. JAMES P. WADE, JR., PRINCIPAL DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING; AND T. K. JONES, DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR STRATEGIC AND THEATER NUCLEAR FORCES
Dr. IKLE. Senator Warner, I am pleased to anpear before you to discuss the strategic modernization program of the Reagan administration. I propose to make a few, very brief opening remarks to set the context and then to respond to your questions.
You have been briefed on the elements of this program by the Secrétary of Defense, and you will receive more detailed information in subsequent sessions in these hearings; hence, I shall focus on the relationship between President Reagan's strategic modernization program and our nuclear strategy, as well as the role of the program in the broader defense policy.
What are the objectives of nuclear strategy? I think, to begin with, we must avoid facile slogans about so-called war-fighting strategy versus pure deterrence.
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U.S. policy governing nuclear weapons has long emphasized deterrence in the sense of stressing the prevention of war and particularly the prevention of nuclear attack through the threat of retaliation. This has been true almost from the beginning of the nuclear era—to be precise, since 1948.
The notion of using nuclear weapons to obtain a favorable outcome on the battlefield or in the military campaign has not been absent, however, in U.S. military thinking; but it has always been secondary, even in the early decades of the nuclear era. But the so-called retaliation that is meant to deter aggression or deter massive conventional attack-particularly in Europe, must serve a purpose beyond being a wanton act of revenge.
In order to be credible, the response must make sense in terms of the national interest. This aspect is the fulcrum of the problem of the nuclear strategy. Nearly all of the strategic and philosophic questions revolve around this problem. In a sense, they are like two conflicting poles, two extremes, that keep pulling and hauling through all of our plans for nuclear strategy.
One extreme is the idea that nuclear strategy and nuclear weapons should merely be a kind of a doomsday machine, an arsenal capable of nothing more than a single act of total revenge. This idea has found expression in the so-called mutual assured destruction (MAD) doctrine.
At the other extreme is the idea that nuclear weapons should be simply an extension of ordinary military ordnance, but somehow clearly and safely limited, to enable their use as if governed by the Marquis of Queensbury rules.
The strategic policy of President Reagan avoids both of these extremes. It strikes the proper balance between the need for a massive deterrent threat and the need for controlled, nuclear response.
Mr. Chairman, this balance, this position of moderation between two extremes, goes a long way to explain the rationale and purpose of all of the components of President Reagan's strategic program. But before taking questions on specific weapon systems, I would like to introduce two more broad objectives that are nearly equally as important as this balanced deterrent objective.
The second objective is that we must seek to prevent nuclear war under all circumstances from all causes, whether it is a cold, calculated, deliberate attack planned long in advance, whether it is a rash act in the peak of a crisis, or whether it is the initiation of nuclear weapons used by accident or by some other malfunction. This goal is furthered by the planned improvements in command and control, and in increased weapons survivability, which taken together will contribute substantially to making our world a safer place in which to live.
The third objective that must be met is to stop the Soviet temptation to gain a long-term advantage by continuing its massive strategic buildup. It is precisely this objective which has been neglected in the last decade or two and has led to the current massive imbalance between certain Soviet strategic force programs and our own.
The Reagan strategic program is designed to be resilient to a variety of possible Soviet responses. It drives the Russians in a great many different directions if they want to overtake us.
Let me briefly illustrate how these three principles, Senator Warner, are reflected in the components of the Reagan strategic program, and then I would like to respond to your questions.
Our emphasis on command, control, and communication systems is, of course, designed to make the instruments, the offensive weapon systems, capable of being governed by national policy. National policy cannot be preprogramed entirely before the outbreak of an attack, because it must respond to the realities of an attack however it might arise.
Our multiplicity of strategic offensive arms, are so-called Triad, complicates the Soviet response in trying to outdo us in their continuing buildup. Look at the subcomponents. The land-based MX missile has three different options for long-term basing plus the short-term interim approach. If you put yourself for a moment in the shoes of a Soviet planner, you will see that his attempt to overtake us is enormously complicated. He has to divide his research programs in at least three directions: Trying to overcome what we might do through ballistic missile defense of our MX; trying to overcome what we might do through deep underground basing; and finally, trying to defeat what we might accomplish through a permanent airborne basing of the MX.
Likewise, in our sea-based deterrent, we are two-pronged in contrast to the program of the prior administration. We have the ballistic missiles, the primary sea-based deterrent, and we have the addition of the cruise missiles. These, of course, would each require entirely different forms of defenses on the part of the Soviet Union.
Last, the bomber, and particularly the B-1B, which will safely be available in this decade and about which we know a great deal more, obviously, than the advanced bomber-is one of the most flexible instruments in our arsenal. It can respond to early signals of a crisis by being dispersed. It could at the request of our allied forces be brought onto their territory and dispersed there, based on rather shortterm planning. It can be used in a conventional war. It can demonstrate our stages of alert in a deliberate fashion to send signals to the enemy.
It is because of that great flexibility, its responsiveness, its security in times of crisis, its abuity to be alerted, deployed rapidly upon warning or a long period of time if so prepared, that the B-1 is of particular significance.
It is all of these programs as they interact and hang together, which I think our present strategic program does, which gives it particular strength. It puts us in a position to look forward for the next couple of decades, based on this program, to being able to adjust to what the Soviets are doing and, hopefully, being able to bring them around to real and genuine arms control reductions, the kind of reductions that President Reagan envisages and seeks to obtain.
I propose to conclude my opening remarks and to be responsive to all of your questions.
Senator WARNER. Does Dr. Wade desire to make any opening statement ?
Dr. WADE. No, sir.
Senator WARNER. Let us take off on your last comment, Secretary Ikle, and that is the President's desire to have genuine arms control reductions.
Has this program been designed in such a way that part or parts of it could be stopped at some critical point in a future arms negotiation ?
numbers. The programs for weapon systems could be cut back, or if arms control reduction talks proceeded further, they could be eliminated entirely.
More likely we would attempt to make these reductions in a balanced fashion; that is to say, we would not try in arms control negotiations to eliminato one leg of the Triad but rather to cut back in a more balanced way.
Senator WARNER. Perhaps you are not at liberty to give specifics, but I would like to have your assurance. As the President's program is put together, have those, such as yourself, who have a responsibility in the arms control area sat down and looked at it as a matrix and determined, if we go forward with the totality of the program, namely, the Congress authorizes and appropriates the funds requested, here are the components and here is a schedule by which we would hope to make certain reductions? Am I correct in that? In other words, was there arms control planning in the formulation of this package ?
it can serve the arms reduction objective of President Reagan was to be able to be resilient to any Soviet attempt to gain advantages and overtake us. We have had the experience in the last 20 years that if we signal that we are leveling off, we are restraining ourselves, in the hope that the Soviets would follow us, that hope remains unrequited. We will be disappointed.
But, on the other hand, given this is an integrated package that hangs together particularly for the command, control, and communications systems which will keep all parts of the offensive weaponry under national control, to serve the national objectives, it is possible to take deep cuts in several of these systems, or in combinations of the systems, in response to compensating cuts on the Soviet side.
Senator WARNER. A short answer is that the arms control individuals did participate in the formulation of this package ?
Dr. IKLE. Yes.
There is one more thought I should express here that is important: As Secretary Weinberger has mentioned some time ago, it is not our objective, the objective of this administration to mirror image Soviet systems by trying to match them exactly, numbers for numbers and systems for systems in a symmetric fashion.
This drive toward artificial symmetry really does not serve the purpose of stability and deterrence. It has been one of the unfortunate byproducts of the SALT process. We want to break away from that. Indeed, we have broken away from that.
The components we have put together were not designed to be a mirror image of what the Russians have been doing.
Senator WARNER. Perhaps at this point in the record you can put in a recap of what the President's statements have said recently in respect to the timetable for any arms control talks, both theater nuclear as well as intercontinental ?
Dr. IKLE. We will be pleased to put that in the record.
theater nuclear weapons discussions. By the end of November we will begin our talks in Geneva with the Soviet Union and we have made extensive preparations with our allies and here to arrive at a position that is supportive of the allied decision of 1979.
On the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks, or START as we begin to call it, no particular date has been set yet, but it would be my expectation that sometime next year these subjects will be taken up in negotiations as well.
Senator WARNER. What impact, if any, on the first round of talks— theater nuclear—will the recent outbreaks and demonstrations in Europe have?
Dr. IKLE. These demonstrations show two things: One, A latent and deep anxiety of the people in Europe, and maybe in some way it is something shared by all people who are informed, about the dangers of nuclear war and genuine fear and genuine concern about maintaining the peace.
Second, they show the very skillful manipulation of public opinion by an orchestrated Soviet campaign, with funds that can be traced back to Moscow through many subsidiaries and organizations and a very skillful way of agitating and driving public opinion in their hope to drive a wedge between our European allies and the United States.
In these talks, obviously, we will be conscious of and responsive to the genuine concern about making every effort to maintain the peace. We want to maintain an adequate deterrent posture without having to go to a large-scale nuclear buildup to respond to the Soviet threat, and to this end we will try to induce the Soviets to cut back on their threat in their programs.
But we will not be set adrift, I hope, by the Soviet propaganda campaign.
Senator WARNER. Did you have an opportunity to see the article in today's Washington Post in respect to the program for the enhancement of the existing systems there, namely, the artillery and so forth?
Dr. IKLE. Yes, I did.
Senator WARNER. This is by no means a substitute for going ahead with the main effort ?
Mr. IKLE. Not at all. The artillery modernization has quite a different purpose.
Senator WARNER. They have been long planned and there is just an orderly sequential upgrading of that effort ?
Dr. IKLE. Precisely.
Senator WARNER. Recent press accounts have suggested a major policy element in President Reagan's strategic modernization program, with the emphasis on being able to conduct an enduring nuclear war, a war that will last perhaps davs, weeks, or even months.
Endurance, according to this concept, would be more than the ability of weapon systems and C3 to ride out an initial attack; it involves the ability of the United States to reconstitute its forces, again, perhaps, over long periods, puncuated by nuclear attack.
Is there an administration policy which gives greater priority than in past years to scenarios in which nuclear exchanges continue for davs, weeks, or even months?
Dr. Ikle. There is, Senator, greater emphasis on obtaining endur