DEFENSE OF AMERICA'S HOMELAND
House of Representatives
that treaty says that each country can have one missile
defense system, one ABM system. The Russians chose to deploy such a
system around Moscow, which protects about 75 percent of their
population. America chose not to pursue any system, because it was
politically impossible in America to choose one city over another and
leave the rest of America vulnerable.
Today, Madam Speaker, America is totally vulnerable. If an accidental
launch occurred of one missile from Russia, from North Korea, which we
know now has the long-range capability, or from China, we have no
capability to respond.
Now, is that such a far-fetched idea or notion?
Well, Madam Speaker, let me document for our colleagues what occurred
in January of 1995. As we know, the Russians have hundreds of missile
launchers, all of which can reach any city in America within 25
minutes, and all of which have nuclear warheads on top of them.
Now, there is a very sophisticated command and control system on those
missiles, as there are on our missiles; but a significant number of
Russia's missiles are on mobile launchers. They are called SS-25s[by the way there are new ss-27's]
my colleagues saw a photograph of one, it would look like it is on the
back of a tractor-trailer truck. But that missile, even though it can
be transported any place over an open road area, can travel the
necessary distance to hit any city in America and devastate that city.
Each of those SS-25s are controlled locally, even though they have to
have the command authorization of the central Russian Government.
Let us look at what happened in January of 1995. Norway was going to
launch a rocket into the atmosphere to sample weather conditions. So
Norway contacted Russia and told the Russian Government not to worry
when we launch this three-stage rocket; it is simply for us to gather
more information about weather conditions affecting our country. Now,
because Russia's military has been in a state of disarray, they have
not been able to invest and reinvest in improving their conventional
alert systems and their intelligence collection systems. So that when
Norway launched that three-stage rocket, the Russian intelligence
agencies misread it as an attack from an American nuclear submarine.
Boris Yeltsin acknowledged the week after that incident that Russia
had, in fact, for one of only three times that we know of, put their
entire offensive ICBM system on alert, which meant, Madam Speaker,
that Russia was within 15 minutes of launching an ICBM with a nuclear
warhead against an American city.... With 7 minutes, left Boris
Yeltsin overruled them and called off the response against an American