ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2004CONTINUED
Mr. KENNEDY. Then, would the Chair let me know when I have a minute and a half left, please?
First of all, I welcome the opportunity to be here with my friend and colleague from California in what I consider to be one of the most important votes that we will have this year. It is an issue involving our security. It is an issue, I believe, also, in the battle on terrorism.
It was just 40 years September 24, 40 years ago on September 24, that we had the signing of the first partial test ban treaty.
This chart reflects in a very abbreviated way, but an enormously important way what has happened over the last 40 years as leaders of the Democrats and Republicans alike moved us away from the real possibility of nuclear confrontation, and we have seen enormous success. We have seen the willingness of countries around the world to give up their capability of developing nuclear weapons because they wanted to be a part of the worldwide effort on nuclear proliferation. They also recognized it would be a more secure world if we didn't have further nuclear expansion.
We listened to the debate yesterday and the points that were well-made by my very good friend from New Mexico about how this legislation is really not about developing a new nuclear weapon. But the Senator from California pointed out three different references, all which have been included as a part of the RECORD. The most obvious is the administration's own statement of administration policy this past spring asking for the continued need for "flexibility in the cooperative threat reduction program and support for critical research and the development"I will say this again"and the development for low-yield nuclear weapons." That is what this issue is about.
Are we going to reverse the last 40 years? Do we possibly think there will be a safer America if we begin to move back towards the testing and the developing of what they call mini-nukes?
I don't believe so, because I believe a nuke is a nuke is a nuke. It is an entirely different weapons system than those in our conventional forces. We understand that. We have to take what the administration has stated: they intend to move ahead in the development of a new nuclear capability.
Those with responsibility within the administration have made it very clear. In February of 2003, Fred Celec, Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Affairs, said:
If a nuclear bomb could be developed to penetrate rock and concrete and still explode, it will ultimately get fielded.
In April of 2003, Linton Brooks, Chief of Nuclear Weapons at the Department of Energy, stated before the Senate Armed Services Committee:
I have a bias in favor of the lowest usable yield because . . . I have a bias in favor of things that might be usable.
We have been warned. We have the capability that exists to make sure we have the deterrence on into the future. But this is a radical departure of 40 years of Republicans and Democrats alike moving us away from the dangers of nuclear confrontations and the dangers of nuclear proliferation to the development of small nuclear weapons. And we will find this an invitation for the terrorists around the world to come and seek out that weapon. If we develop a small nuclear weapon, what are we going to find? The corresponding action by countries around the worldthe Iranians and the North Koreans continuing their progress in developing their own nuclear weapons system.
That doesn't make sense in terms of the country that is the number one military force in the world today. It doesn't make sense, and it doesn't make sense for our battle against the war on terrorism.
It is very clear why this amendment is needed. The administration pretends it is not really planning to produce these new kinds of nuclear weaponsthe mini-nukes and the bunker busters. They just want to find out if they are feasible.
We all know what is at stake. The administration wants us to take the first steps down a new path. But going down that path could easily make nuclear war more likely. Just a little stepthey say. But it is still a first step. And a step down that path now could make the next step easier, and the next and the next. It is a path that makes nuclear war more likely, and the time to call a halt is nowbefore we take the first step.
We ask for and implore the support of our colleagues to move us away from the real dangers of nuclear proliferation and the development of these dangerous mini-nukes that can pose a danger to the world population.
I withhold whatever time is left.