Today, the Helsinki Commission focuses its attention on efforts to curb the spread of deadly weaponry and related, military significant technology and equipment to dangerous regimes around the world. Rather than focus on the efforts by these regimes to acquire the materiel, we want to examine the capacity and willingness of participating States in the OSCE to be their source.
A number of OSCE participating States possess the technology and ability to supply rogue regimes–and even terrorist groups and combatants in regional conflicts–with militarily significant equipment and know-how. The end of the Cold War left some of these States, especially those of the former Warsaw Pact, with huge stockpiles of military hardware, while economic downturns made their military industries and research institutes desperate for funds. The United States has encouraged these countries to maintain tight control over these industries and institutes and has invested in programs to destroy surplus equipment and convert the factories into industrial production. Still, several countries remain vulnerable to the lure of responding to the demand–even from rogue regimes–for weapons of mass destruction, delivery systems, and small arms or light weapons.
Press reports and official investigations have revealed that, to varying degrees, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova and Serbia-Montenegro have supplied dangerous regimes and combatants with military equipment or militarily significant technology and resources. In some cases, these revelations were followed by government efforts to stop the flow and deal with those responsible. In other cases, government officials have attempted to cover-up and deny involvement in these deals.
We hope our witnesses today will shed some much-needed, additional light on OSCE countries which have been supplying rogue regimes with the means to stir up mischief and, worse, to threaten international peace and U.S. national security.
First, we have John Bolton, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, who will present the views and concerns of the United States Government. Secretary Bolton has had a long career in public service at the Departments of State and Justice, as well as with the Agency for International Development. I remember well the opportunity to work with Secretary Bolton, when he served as Assistant Secretary for International Organizations back in 1989, and I served as a congressional representative on the U.S. delegation to the United Nations General Assembly during that rather fascinating era in European history.
Following the Secretary, a panel of experts will provide additional detail and analysis concerning arms transfers without responsible restraint. First, we have Roman Kupchinsky, who, as editor of Crime and Corruption Watch for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, has closely monitored reports of illicit deals involving several OSCE States. Finally, Terence Taylor, President and Executive Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the United States, is an expert in the analysis of military technologies and developments relating to arms control and non-proliferation.