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Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here to help address a vital topic for international security - monitoring Iranian compliance with a potential nuclear agreement. I appear before you today in my private capacity as someone who has labored on monitoring and verification issues over several decades. The views that I will be presenting are my own and are not intended to represent the views of the Intelligence Community, the
Neither of the two Task Forces makes a judgment as to whether any particular nuclear agreement is verifiable. Indeed, we do not yet know the details of the monitoring provisions of the Iranian agreement now under negotiation or when or if such an agreement will be concluded. The job of experts on agreement monitoring, in and outside the government, is to gather the best possible information to inform those judgments, to nurture and deploy effectively the necessary expertise, and to improve the tools and methods available over time to enhance monitoring.
The Challenge. Knowledgeable observers disagree on the wisdom, scope, and content of various forms of an agreement with
-What should be those verification and monitoring measures?
-What does the history of previous international agreements teach us about how to achieve effective verification?
-What are the standards by which to judge the adequacy of the verification measures that will be negotiated with
-What types of compliance issues are likely to emerge? What will be effective approaches and processes for detecting and resolving compliance issues and strengthening the agreement?
Building an effective monitoring regime with
So what will the monitoring regime be tasked to do? That is still largely a work in progress. On
Key Definitions: This statement will use both the terms monitoring and verification. There are varying definitions of the terms in arms control literature, but the following are definitions often used.
* Monitoring is gathering information relevant to compliance assessments and for general understanding of weapons programs through intelligence methods, diplomatic means, and negotiated measures such as information exchanges and on-site inspections.
* Verification is the process of reaching political judgments about the extent and significance of compliance with international agreements and the determination of how to resolve ambiguities or evidence of noncompliance.
A Gold-Standard Monitoring Regime: An effective monitoring regime for
--It should be capable of detecting at least militarily significant noncompliance n2.
--It should create synergy in discovery of relevant Iranian activities among negotiated measures, international inspections, national intelligence means, and publically available information.
--It should establish mechanisms for anomaly and dispute resolution.
-- It should build greater transparency and enhance channels of communication by making contacts between monitoring experts and Iranians a matter of routine.
Successful monitoring regimes in the past have achieved the above attributes through a combination of measures, which may be held up as a standard by which to judge the adequacy of the monitoring regime to be applied in
- Data declarations and notifications to provide a baseline for normalcy and the functional equivalent of a tax return or internal audit.
- Routine inspections and cooperative monitoring measures to provide scrutiny of geographic locations where cheating would be easiest. These routine inspections or persistent monitoring of declared sites are the functional equivalent of an audit of the data declarations. They also would help deter and discover Iranian noncompliance in the areas where such noncompliance would be easiest - using, for example, the existing infrastructure to support the operation of two thousand centrifuges at a location where only a thousand centrifuges had been declared. Routine inspections would also serve as early tripwires of any Iranian decision to break out of an agreement.
- Challenge inspections available to gather data on compliance concerns.
- Modalities and scope of inspections need to be broad. Both routine and challenge inspections should be focused on understanding the full status and scope of Iranian nuclear weapons programs. The inspectors will need to have a nonconfrontational but investigative mindset, inclined to ask the type of low-key but probing questions characteristic of Inspector Columbo in the old TV series. The inspections should go beyond the scope of just IAEA Safeguards inspections - as important as they may be in understanding Iranian activities. It may be useful to augment the IAEA inspections with special inspections carried out by the P-5 + 1 or similar ad hoc body. Such inspections would have the advantage of involving the other participating states directly in the compliance regime and taking advantage of some of their more robust access to
- National Technical Means look for anomalies across broad areas and cover the backdoor during inspections. The amount of area in
Internal and External Audits. Ambassador
. The data declarations are the internal audits. The data set itself is where compliance problems are often revealed. With complex data sets it becomes very difficult over time to cheat consistently without revealing in the data that something is amiss. A careful review of the data declarations, which should be periodic to register changes to the monitored status or numbers over time, is essential; this is the "internal audit" that is the equivalent of a company looking carefully at its books. To the reasons listed for encouraging detailed declarations should be added the idea that they encourage buy-in by the declarer. From his point of view, solid declarations become the way to demonstrate that he is in full compliance. Conversely, if the declarer cannot tell a consistent story with his data, he knows he is going to be subjected to harsher scrutiny in the inspection regime.
. Inspections and independent monitoring are the "external audit", the spot check to determine that the appropriate numbers of things are where they are supposed to be and nothing is where it should not be.
The importance of building synergy. The key to all of these measures working effectively is the synergy created among them. Data declarations tell us where to look, routine inspections audit the declarations, national and international unilateral monitoring and intelligence means detect anomalies, and challenge inspections seek to gather more information relevant to the resolution of those anomalies. The inspections themselves serve as forcing events that may trigger concealment activities on the part of the Iranians that might be indicative of noncompliance. The inspectors are also in a unique position to provide ground-truth situational awareness of Iranian nuclear capabilities and intent that remote access means cannot duplicate.
To achieve synergy, all of the above needs to be orchestrated in some way by experts familiar with the full range of monitoring resources. During the height of arms control monitoring in the late '80s and 90s, the Treaty Monitoring Manager within the
One challenge is that, unlike most arms control agreements, with
For these reasons, the P5 + 1 should not turn over the complete monitoring of the agreement to the IAEA. Rather, the P5 + 1 needs to establish its own operating body (agreement monitoring managers) with
Short of the formation of a P5+1 monitoring body, the P5+1 will need to encourage the IAEA to use the inspection tools that it has available. The IAEA has not historically made use of its authority to carry out "special inspections," which can be used to gain insight into the overall scope of a state's nuclear programs. The P5 + 1 should work with the IAEA to determine those circumstances relevant to the
Dealing with Noncompliance: Near the beginning of major efforts to bring about significant arms control agreements between
One can envisage several types of compliance issues that
Hiding noncompliance in plain sight: As noted above, the easiest places for a state to exceed agreement limits are in those locations where limited equipment and activities are already declared and can be present under the terms of an agreement. In the case of
The access of IAEA and other inspectors to these declared facilities is another area where the history of prior agreements and previous Iranian behavior suggests that the Iranians may try to limit the scope and modalities of inspections. The West will need to be prepared to carry out thorough but nonconfrontational inspections and be vigilant in discussing with the Iranians concerns about the inspection process as well as any apparent compliance issues.
Continued use of illicit procurement networks: A key component of the Iranian nuclear weapons program has been its procurement efforts and networks designed to circumvent international restrictions on its ability to acquire material and expertise for the development of nuclear weapons. Iranian prior procurement efforts, their degree of success, and the current and future pursuit of such procurement are not directly addressed in the Plan of Action. Indeed the lifting of some sanctions and the easing of the economic isolation of
The P-5 + 1 will need to press for a complete understanding of the Iranian procurement efforts as part of the negotiations and as a focus of future information exchange and inspections. The monitors will need to be vigilant that new covert procurement paths are not being developed. It is also vital that the monitoring efforts capture any Iranian effort to export or import nuclear weapons technology and material or to use other states as surrogates for aspects of the weapons development process or testing of components.
Dealing with the Stressing Case of Covert Facilities: Comprehensive data declarations by
It would be helpful to have an explicit understanding in an Iranian agreement that there be no interference with National Technical Means being used to carry out monitoring of Iranian compliance. As is customary in international agreements, National Technical Means should be undefined in the agreement.
There will be significant gaps and challenges in discovering covert facilities and activities. Among these challenges are:
-Limits to the stand-off detection of fissile materials.
-Identification and characterization of underground facilities and mobile targets.
-Dealing with a significant "Signal to Clutter" problem, which will be complicated further by any Iranian denial and deception.
-The atrophy and redirection of US agreement monitoring resources and organizational structures focused on such monitoring.
-Declining numbers of skilled and experienced practitioners of monitoring.
Yet, there are some recent developments that may provide enhanced monitoring capabilities. Among these are:
-Advances in wide-area, persistent surveillance. Although these advances were largely honed in the permissive aerial environments of
-Products from commercial imagery and radar are widely-available and can augment national intelligence resources and be exploited internationally.
-International verification institutions and resources are growing in number and sophistication.
-New techniques for data mining and analytics give some promise of detecting bits of information that might lead to the discovery of covert facilities.
-The widespread availability of data from social media and crowdsourcing is beginning to have greater applicability and
Continued work on aspects of the nuclear program not covered by the agreement: The Joint Plan of Action focuses largely on Iranian enrichment and nuclear materials. It does not focus on the other steps necessary to achieve nuclear weapons capability. Among these steps are the development of weapons designs, the manufacture, procurement, and testing of nonnuclear components for nuclear weapons, and the development of delivery vehicles. The Annex of the IAEA report issued in
Continued development by
The bomb in the basement: We cannot know for sure how far
A Joint Consultative Body for the Iranian Agreements. The first step in preparing to deal with noncompliance should be the establishment of a consultative body, as often established for prior arms control agreements. The Joint Plan of Action provides for a Joint Commission that could be the basis for such a consultative body. According to the Plan, a
This body would be the initial forum for the discussion of anomalies and information suggesting noncompliance that had not already been resolved in the inspection process. The body should include technical experts that could delve into the details of an anomaly and ask appropriate questions. In essence, this is
There will no doubt be multiple instances of uncertainty and even noncompliance during the initial phases of the agreements with
What should such a group do?
. Resolve ambiguities before they rise to compliance issues at the political level.
. Continue the education process for
. Provide a forum for each state party to have representatives of its various institutional interests observe and participate formally and informally.
. Provide a forum for all parties to float ideas for improving the agreement. The CFE process demonstrated that the consultative body not only can discover, discuss, and thoroughly vet such improvement, but is even fully capable of negotiating final implementing side agreements or amendments to the main document (subject, of course, to approval in capitals).
Over time, one can foresee adding additional monitoring and confidence building measures with
-INF-Like restrictions and monitoring of Iranian missiles,
-Inspection exercises and verification technology experiments with
-Measures, similar to those in the Cooperative Threat Reduction efforts in the former
-Technical exchanges on safety and environmental concerns related to nuclear materials.
The discussions within the consultative body, as well as the regular interactions of international inspectors with their Iranian counterparts, also provides a channel to signal displeasure with any sign that the Iranians are being less than forthcoming and to warn bluntly and quietly of further consequences.
One additional step that should be taken to signal
Final Thoughts: One last comment on learning from the arms control monitoring experience. As the preceding discussion has sought to demonstrate, there is much in that prior experience that can help us shape effective measures for monitoring agreements with
Effective monitoring has implications beyond the
n1 The P5+1 include the five permanent members of the
n2 The standard of detecting "militarily significant" noncompliance was regularly used for the classic arms control agreements of the 1980s and 1990s. There is a great degree of creative ambiguity in "militarily significant", permitting the actual gears of monitoring, verification, and day-to-day agreement operation to run more smoothly without a great deal of unnecessary friction over technical violations without strategic significance. The interim agreement with
n3 Ambassador Govan is a retired US Army Brigadier General who led the
n4 The Defense Science Board Report describes the position of Treaty Monitoring Manager and the position's potential role in future agreements on pages 62-63 of its report, Assessment of Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technologies,
Read this original document at: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA00/20140610/102321/HHRG-113-FA00-Wstate-LauderJ-20140610.pdf
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