25 June 2004
New Nonproliferation Initiatives Producing Results, Bolton Says
Asserts working cooperatively with other nations
A robust use of the sovereign authorities available to the United
States and its allies to curb proliferation of weapons of mass
production is bringing about real results, the State Department's
senior arms control official said June 24.
"The Bush administration has launched initiatives that do not
rely on cumbersome treaty-based bureaucracies, and that work cooperatively
with other sovereign states to deny rogue nations and terrorists
access to the materials and know-how needed to develop weapons
of mass destruction (WMD)," said John Bolton, undersecretary of
state for arms control and international security at the American
Enterprise Institute in Washington.
Bolton said the Bush administration is "reinventing the nonproliferation
regime it inherited, crafting policies to fill gaping holes, reinforcing
earlier patchwork fixes, assembling allies, creating precedents,
setting new limits, and changing perceived realities and stilted
President Bush detailed some critical proposals to deal with nonproliferation
of WMD during a February 11 speech at the National Defense University,
he said. In that speech, Bush said the administration's overarching
-- Extending the frontline of U.S. nonproliferation strategy beyond
the well-known rogue states to the trade routes and entities that
are engaged in supplying the countries of greatest proliferation
-- Employing a number of tools to thwart WMD and missile programs,
including sanctions, interdiction, and credible export controls.
Following is the text of Bolton's remarks:
The Bush Administration's Forward Strategy For Nonproliferation
John R. Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International
U.S. Department of State
Address to the American Enterprise Institute
June 24, 2004
It is good to be home among so many friends at the American Enterprise
I am particularly happy that Jeremy Rabkin and AEI have just published
The Case for Sovereignty: Why the World Should Welcome American
Independence. I congratulate him on his far-reaching analysis,
in which he reinforces that security remains the core responsibility
of sovereign states.
I thought it would be useful today to look at our nonproliferation
policy in this context, and the degree to which the Bush administration
has launched initiatives that do not rely on cumbersome treaty-based
bureaucracies, and that work cooperatively with other sovereign
states to deny rogue nations and terrorists access to the materials
and know-how needed to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Our policies during the past several years have shown that a robust
use of the sovereign authorities we, and our allies, have at our
disposal can bring about real results.
Methodically, piece-by-piece, the administration is reinventing
the nonproliferation regime it inherited, crafting policies to
fill gaping holes, reinforcing earlier patchwork fixes, assembling
allies, creating precedents, setting new limits, and changing perceived
realities and stilted legal thinking. And it's still building.
To this president must go the credit for many long-delayed but
indispensable actions to reverse our slide into helpless gridlock
Legal Architecture to Deal with Nonproliferation
The legal authorities to deal with rogue states and actors, including
terrorists, intent on obtaining WMD and their means of delivery
are numerous and varied.
A quick study of proliferation-related laws shows that there are
more than 15 statutes dealing in large measure with these issues.
We could have a detailed debate about ways to revise or synchronize
these laws, but in fact the question really is not one of legal
authority. Rather, the question is whether we have the will to
make full use of these authorities, to take active measures, consistent
with our legal authorities, to address the problems of proliferation.
This administration's central innovation, which I believe indispensable
for any successful nonproliferation effort, is the demonstrated
will to use the existing authorities to obtain our goal of disarming
our enemies. This is a transforming precedent.
Forward Policy on Proliferation
On February 11, at the National Defense University, President
Bush gave what is arguably one of the most wonkish speeches ever
delivered by a president. I liked it. He detailed a number of proposals
that made clear the administration's overarching approach: the
frontlines in our nonproliferation strategy must extend beyond
the well-known rogue states to the trade routes and entities that
are engaged in supplying the countries of greatest proliferation
concern. This is a forward policy, which can properly be described
not as nonproliferation, but as counterproliferation. We are employing
a number of tools to thwart WMD and missile programs, including
sanctions, interdiction, and credible export controls. Most aspiring
proliferators are still dependent on outside suppliers and technology.
Thus, we can slow down and even stop their weapons development
plans by disrupting their procurement efforts.
As we have learned clearly from such recent events as the unraveling
of the A.Q. Khan network and the Libyan WMD program, proliferators
are employing increasingly sophisticated and aggressive measures
to obtain WMD or missile-related materials. They rely heavily on
the use of front companies and illicit arms brokers in their quest
for arms, equipment, sensitive technology and dual-use goods for
their WMD programs. These front companies and brokers are expert
at concealing the intended destination of an item and in making
an illicit export appear legitimate -- in essence hiding the export
in the open. Proliferators take other measures to circumvent national
export controls, such as falsifying documentation, providing false
end-user information, and finding the paths of least resistance
for trafficking in WMD materials. As the spotlight has shone upon
the Khan network, it is clear that those involved find the loophole
in a law or the weak border point, and exploit them.
Economic penalties or sanctions are an essential tool in a comprehensive
nonproliferation strategy. Prior to September 11, there was great
debate as to whether nonproliferation sanctions that were not multilateral
should be imposed at all. The imposition or even the mere threat
of sanctions by sovereign states can be a powerful lever for changing
behavior, as few countries wish to be labeled publicly as irresponsible.
Sanctions not only increase the costs to suppliers, but also encourage
foreign governments to adopt more responsible nonproliferation
practices, and ensure that entities within their borders do not
contribute to WMD programs.
This administration imposed WMD-related sanctions 26 times last
year, 34 the year before that and has already done so 13 times
this year. That's an average of about 30 per year since we got
rolling in 2002. Compare that with the average number of nonproliferation
sanctions passed per year during the last administration -- eight
-- and you will see that this administration is very serious about
using sanctions as a nonproliferation tool. We have imposed measures
under the Iran Nonproliferation Act, the Iran-Iraq Act, the Chemical
and Biological Weapons Sanctions Law, the Missile Sanctions Law,
and Executive Order 12938.
Last month we imposed sanctions on 13 foreign entities for WMD
or missile trade with Iran. These included sanctions against companies
from Russia, Belarus, China, Taiwan, North Korea, and Macedonia.
As you can see by the range of countries whose entities were involved
in sanctions, we are not just increasing the numbers but also looking
for proliferation wherever it exists.
These sanctions under the Iran Nonproliferation Act illustrate
our efforts to utilize U.S. statutory authorities to the fullest
extent to advance our nonproliferation goals. Under Bush administration
policy, the State Department is reviewing every known transfer
to Iran -- not only of those items controlled under U.S. export
regimes, but also of those items that have the potential to make
a material contribution to WMD or missiles.
Our perspective on sanctions is clear and simple. Companies around
the world have a choice: trade in WMD materials with proliferators,
or have normal trade with the United States, but not both. Where
national controls fail, and when companies make the wrong choice,
there will be consequences. U.S. law is clear, and we are committed
to enforcing these laws to their fullest extent.
New International Mandate
In his September, 2003, speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President
Bush proposed that the Security Council pass a resolution calling
on member states to criminalize WMD proliferation, enact export
controls, and secure sensitive materials within their own borders.
The administration worked over the course of eight months to craft
what became the unanimously adopted Security Council Resolution
1540, which achieved all of the goals set out by the President.
We are now encouraging and assisting countries around the world,
in their sovereign capacities, to enact more stringent export control
laws, to put in place effective licensing procedures and practices,
and to back them up with effective enforcement mechanisms. Each
of these parts must be effective in order for an export control
regime to be credible. For example, tightening export-control laws
alone is meaningless without rigorous enforcement. We frequently
hear statements that countries are tightening their export controls,
but the proof is not what appears on paper, but in what happens
in reality, where trafficking in sensitive goods and technologies
is subject to scrutiny, prosecution and penalty.
We continue active diplomatic efforts with like-minded states
in the multilateral export control regimes -- the Nuclear Suppliers
Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group, the
Wassenaar Arrangement. None are treaty-based.
We exchange information about attempts by rogue states to acquire
controlled technologies, and assess whether additional items should
be added to control lists. Since September 11, these groups have
each undertaken efforts to address the risk of individuals or terrorist
groups acquiring controlled commodities for small-scale but lethal
WMD projects. While the export control regimes are an important
tool in stemming proliferation from advanced nations, trade between
proliferant countries continues, and often outside the control
of countries participating in these regimes.
We therefore are urging suppliers in each of the groups not simply
to look to the letter of their commitments, but to exercise maximum
vigilance against efforts by proliferators to procure items that
would assist countries to become self-sufficient in producing WMD
and their means of delivery. For example, as part of an effort
to impede North Korea's procurement attempts, at the December 2002
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting, lists were distributed identifying
items that, while not NSG-controlled, would nonetheless be useful
in the North's reprocessing or enrichment programs and supplier
states were asked to exercise vigilance in preventing procurement
of even these uncontrolled items. We are also working to tighten
controls over nuclear-related exports to Iran, and to raise awareness
of potential suppliers to Iran's aggressive clandestine procurement
The Proliferation Security Initiative
In 2002, the President released his National Strategy to Combat
WMD, which contained the seeds of the Proliferation Security Initiative,
or PSI. The strategy emphasized enhancing the capabilities of our
military, intelligence, technical, and law enforcement assets to
prevent the movement of WMD materials and technology to hostile
states and terrorist organizations.
Several weeks ago, in Krakow, Poland, 62 countries gathered to
mark PSI's one-year anniversary, which President Bush had announced
there in May 2003. PSI, a muscular enhancement of our ability collectively
to halt trafficking in WMD components, is among the most prominent
of this administration's innovations. In developing PSI, our main
goal has been a simple one -- to create the basis for practical
cooperation among states to help navigate this increasingly challenging
arena. We often say, PSI is an activity, not an organization. This
is not hard to understand, but is unusual. We think it is a fundamental
reason for PSI's success to date. PSI is not diverted by disputes
about candidacies for Director General, agency budgets, agendas
for meetings, and the like. Instead, PSI is almost entirely operational,
relying primarily on the activities of intelligence, military and
law-enforcement agencies. PSI reflects the reality that, even as
we continue to support and strengthen the existing nonproliferation
regimes, proliferators and those facilitating the procurement of
deadly capabilities are circumventing existing laws, treaties,
and controls against WMD proliferation. Through PSI, we create
the basis for action to ensure that we can stop proliferators in
When PSI first emerged, it was criticized inaccurately as an initiative
with a shaky legal underpinning. In fact, PSI's foundation is our
respective national legal system and relevant international authorities.
There is ample authority to support interdiction actions at sea,
in the air, and on land. States around the world have concurred
with this fact and made political commitments to the PSI Principles.
Importantly, the unanimous passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution
1540 establishes clear international acknowledgement that active
cooperation, such as PSI, is both useful and necessary. Specifically,
paragraph 10 of the Resolution calls upon all states to take cooperative
action to prevent illicit trafficking in nuclear, chemical, and
biological weapons, their means of delivery and related materials.
Despite PSI's infancy, there already have been notable successes.
The interception, in cooperation with the United Kingdom, Germany
and Italy, of the BBC China, a vessel loaded with nuclear components
for Libya, helped convince [Libyan President] Qadhafi that the
days of his undisturbed accumulation of the instruments of destruction
This interdiction also helped unravel the A.Q. Khan nuclear black-market
network. Our citizens now understand the stunningly extensive nature
of Khan's trafficking in nuclear technology and materials. These
revelations, combined with invaluable information from Libya's
program, have knocked the legs out from under an especially insidious
international black market in nuclear weapons.
Overlooked, however, is the administration's success in persuading
Pakistan's leaders to take active measures to interrupt the proliferation
of nuclear materials and assistance that has metastasized unchecked
through the Khan network for many years. We're now in the process
of unraveling that network, although much work remains to be done,
in Pakistan and elsewhere.
The Global Partnership
Another important administration initiative is the Global Partnership
Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction,
launched by the Leaders of the G-8 at the Kananaskis Summit in
June 2002. Here again, the U.S.-led initiative relies on the commitments
of sovereign states acting separately and in concert to secure
sensitive materials. Like PSI, the Global Partnership is an activity,
not an organization. The G-8 leaders pledged to raise up to $20
billion over 10 years for projects to prevent dangerous weapons
and materials from falling into the wrong hands.
The United States will contribute half of this total -- $ 10 billion
-- through projects funded and implemented by the Departments of
Defense, Energy, and State, many of which were begun, and many
of which continue, under the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction
program. Of the remaining $10 billion to be committed by other
G-7 countries, approximately $7 billion has already been pledged.
Last year the G-8 welcomed the participation of six additional
donor countries -- Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden,
and Switzerland -- and this year an additional seven -- Australia,
Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, and
The United States already has nonproliferation projects underway
not only in Russia but in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia,
and other FSU [Former Soviet Union] states, as do other Global
The United States has recently begun assistance in Iraq and Libya.
We are encouraging our partners to undertake their own projects
in such states worldwide and at Sea Island the G-8 agreed to use
the Global Partnership to coordinate our activities in these areas.
We have new legislative authority to devote a portion of Department
of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) resources to countries
outside the former Soviet Union, and we are looking to expand the
scope of our efforts accordingly.
In the decades after World War II the United States and the Soviet
Union built research reactors that used highly enriched uranium
for fuel in dozens of locations around the world. As a result,
substantial amounts of such fuel are stored at or near such reactors
under security arrangements that vary widely in quality. Both the
United States and Russia want to convert such reactors to low enriched
uranium fuel, and to remove highly enriched uranium. In recent
months we have worked with Russia to remove highly enriched uranium
fuel from Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Libya, and continue
to plan for additional removals. Our goal is to reduce to an absolute
minimum international commerce in weapons-usable uranium throughout
More To Be Done -- The G-8 Sea Island Summit
Even with all that has been done, much more remains, as the administration
is the first to point out. The President laid out an agenda listing
several areas in which additional action is urgently needed, including
addressing the proliferation problems inherent in countries seeking
to acquire the complete nuclear fuel cycle and the need for expanded
export controls worldwide, among others. At the G-8 Summit earlier
this month at Sea Island, the G-8 leaders endorsed the President's
agenda. In an Action Plan on Nonproliferation, the leaders agreed
upon a number of steps, such as strengthening PSI and the Global
Partnership, and addressed and further elaborated upon each of
the President's proposals. In particular, G-8 leaders committed
to work together to address the threat posed by the DPRK and by
The Use of Force
Now making the rounds is the view that the United States has lost
credibility around the world due to our policy in Iraq. I suggest
the exact opposite is true. In the WMD field, we, in fact, have
gained enormous, immensely valuable and even decisive credibility
from our actions there. We have also learned that what we need
to fear most in WMD proliferation are not pieces of metal and stocks
of supplies, but intellectual capital. It is the capability and
knowledge to create successful nuclear, chemical, biological and
missile programs that is the hardest to cultivate but once gained,
the more real danger. Coupled with money, like seeds and water,
intellectual capital is what Saddam was preserving for the WMD-filled
future he sought. Eliminating his regime, and redirecting his WMD
scientists and technicians, also eliminated that future. Our actions
have made a difference. This is not theory. We have proof in the
real world. Muammar Qadhafi's decision to surrender his weapons
of mass destruction programs came in direct consequence of our
actions in Iraq and the successful operation of the Proliferation
Security Initiative, and the broad political and economic pressures
we brought to bear over the preceding decade in favor of our counterterrorism
and counterproliferation objectives. And it's a powerful precedent
that a state can surrender these weapons without a regime change.
Our intervention in Iraq has made this seminal message both possible
and credible for the first time.
The benefits of our policy are evident in the current standoff
with Iran. The recent exposure of Iran's massive nuclear weapons
program has startled that regime into a hastily constructed policy
of stalling and superficial cooperation. The Iranians continue
to state publicly that they will not give up their nuclear programs,
but their cooperation has been helpfully motivated by their fear
of U.S. action against them. Here as well, Iran's adherence to
the deal it cut with Britain, France and Germany for a suspension
of its programs has been made more likely by the readiness of the
U.S. to act, a source of real-world leverage that even the Europeans
privately acknowledge to be useful. In fact, much of this has been
accomplished not by threatening the use of force against Iran,
but merely by calling for Iran's nuclear program to be placed on
the agenda of the Security Council. Never has the Council been
so feared! This is quite an achievement for an administration frequently
criticized as unilateralist.
Moreover, none of this has been lost on the North Korean regime.
Our demonstrated willingness to act decisively provides the decision-makers
in Pyongyang with useful instruction in the rules -- and consequences
-- of this new world. Once again, this bracketing of the regime's
options was made possible by our actions in Iraq. The Six-Party
talks are on-going now, and we hope they will yield progress. At
the G-8 Summit the leaders expressed their strong support for the
talks and urged the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]
to dismantle all of its nuclear weapons-related programs in a complete,
verifiable, and irreversible manner as a fundamental step to facilitate
a comprehensive and peaceful solution.
We must make up for decades of stillborn plans, of wishful thinking,
of irresponsible passivity. We're already late, but we are no longer
bystanders wringing our hands and hoping that somehow we will find
shelter from gathering threats, no longer dispirited by difficult
problems that have no immediate answer, no longer waiting for some
international court to issue a reluctant warrant or grudging permission
to allow us to take measures to protect ourselves.
This President has begun to lay the foundation for a comprehensive,
root-and-branch approach to the mortal danger of the proliferating
instruments of our destruction. Let there be no doubt that this
administration is determined to use every resource at our disposal
to stem WMD proliferation. We use diplomacy regularly, economic
pressure when it will make a difference, active law enforcement
when appropriate, and military force when we must.
We are only at the beginning, but it is an extraordinary beginning.
Everyone in this room, everyone in this country, owes this administration
thanks for the fact that we are not only meeting this ultimate
of threats on the field, but we are advancing on it, battling not
only aggressively, but successfully. For the outcome of this battle
may be nothing less than the chance to survive.