Rose Gottemoeller
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation
Contributions of the U.S. Government to 21st Century National Security Strategy, U.S. Strategic Command, 2010 Deterrence Symposium
Omaha, NE
August 12, 2010

Date: 08/12/2010 Description: Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller delivers remarks at the Strategic Command's Annual Conference on Deterrence in Omaha, NE, Thursday, August 12th hosted by the Department of Defense. © DoD photo

Thank you for inviting me to participate on this panel. I am pleased to be here with my interagency colleagues.

I was very glad to see this panel’s focus on how the efforts of U.S. government agencies come together to address today’s national security challenges. Having negotiated the New START Treaty, which was a true interagency effort -- and continues to be as we work to gain the advice and consent of the United States Senate to ratify the Treaty -- I can attest firsthand to the importance of leveraging the resources and expertise in cooperative ways throughout the U.S. Government in order to ensure the best possible result to enhance our national security.

As the Department of State’s representative on this panel, I would like to address the part we play in 21st Century National Security Strategy and comment in particular on some of the things we are working on in the State Department’s Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation.

Today’s Threats

The United States and the world face great perils and urgent foreign policy challenges including ongoing wars and regional conflicts, the global economic crisis, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, climate change, worldwide poverty, food insecurity, and pandemic disease.

These threats are different than those of the past. To better address all these threats, this administration has conducted a number of formal reviews over the past year, including the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, Quadrennial Defense Review, Nuclear Posture Review, National Space Policy, a review of export controls – which is ongoing, and of course, the National Security Strategy. These reviews emphasize a “whole-of-government” approach to the critical challenges facing the United States. The Department of State has participated actively in all these efforts.

More than ever before the interagency process under the coordination of the National Security Council is working to draw on the best ideas and inputs from across government agencies to ensure that the final product is representative of the best thinking government-wide and not just the views of the lead agency conducting the review.

The State Department

The State Department, for its part, is conducting its Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which when completed will layout a blueprint for short-, medium- and long-term diplomatic efforts.

Our strategic direction for the future will entail the use of Smart Power to pursue foreign policy priorities by reaching out to friends and foes; elevating development as a core pillar of American power; further integrating civilian and military efforts; and leveraging U.S. economic strength and the power of our democratic example.

As Secretary Clinton has noted: “Military force may sometimes be necessary to protect our people and our interests. But diplomacy and development will be equally important in creating conditions for a peaceful, stable and prosperous world. That is the essence of Smart Power – using all the tools at our disposal.”

Secretary Clinton has done much to elevate the role of diplomacy in our national security efforts. This has included rebuilding the arms control capacity in the department, making us well poised to implement the President’s Prague agenda.


The State Department Bureau that I lead--the Bureau of Verification, Compliance and Implementation--advances U.S. national security by promoting verifiable agreements and verification technologies, and by working to ensure compliance by other countries with respect to their arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements and commitments.

I would like to comment on several key areas in which we are working, the first being the New START Treaty:

  • We believe the New START Treaty deserves the same bipartisan support that past arms control treaties with Russia have received. The original START Treaty was approved in the Senate by a vote of 93 to 6; the START II Treaty was approved 87 to 4; and, the Moscow Treaty was approved 95 to 0.

  • We have been and we will continue to work with Senators to answer all their questions in support of the advice and consent process. We believe it is in the U.S. interest to ratify and bring the New START Treaty into force as soon as possible.

  • As General Chilton has testified: “our nation will be safer and more secure with this treaty than without it.” Seven former commanders of the former Strategic Air Command and U.S. Strategic Command have endorsed ratification of the Treaty.

  • The New START Treaty is a continuation of the international arms control and nonproliferation framework that the United States and the Soviet Union, later the Russian Federation, have worked hard to foster and strengthen for the last 50 years. It will provide ongoing transparency and predictability regarding the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals, while preserving our ability to maintain the strong nuclear deterrent that remains an essential element of U.S. national security and the security of our partners and allies.

  • The New START Treaty’s verification regime includes extensive provisions that contribute to verification of the Parties’ compliance, including notifications, data exchanges, agreed conversion and elimination procedures, inspections, demonstrations, and exhibitions. It also includes some significant innovations over the START verification regime, such as the provision of unique identifiers (a license plate if you will) for each ICBM, SLBM, and heavy bomber. In addition, reentry vehicle on-site inspections are designed to monitor the exact number of reentry vehicles emplaced on individual missiles selected for inspection, in line with the new Treaty’s innovative approach to counting warheads on delivery vehicles.

  • The verification regime will provide each Party confidence that the other is upholding its obligations, while also being simpler and less costly to implement than START. The regime reflects the improved U.S.-Russian relationship since the end of the Cold War and reduces the disruptions to operations at strategic nuclear force facilities compared to those experienced during START implementation.

  • The new treaty sets the stage for engaging other nuclear powers in fulfilling the goals of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and expanding opportunities for enhancing strategic stability.

Second, two other major goals of the Obama Administration are bringing into force the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty – CTBT – and negotiating a verifiable Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty – FMCT:

  • As pointed out in the Administration’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report, ratification of the CTBT is central to leading other nuclear weapons states toward a world of diminished reliance on nuclear weapons, reduced nuclear competition, and eventual nuclear disarmament, a theme also reflected in the recently concluded Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

  • Ratifying the CTBT will not be an easy task, but we will work closely with the Senate, the public and key stakeholders to achieve this goal. When the Senate declined to ratify the Treaty in 1999, there were two major concerns: verifiability and stockpile reliability. On the first, at that time the International Monitoring System (IMS) was merely a plan on paper. Now the IMS is over 80% complete and providing data, to include data on the two nuclear tests in North Korea.

  • On reliability, in 1999 we had little experience in maintaining the stockpile through sophisticated science-based computational modeling. Today, however, the successful implementation of the Stockpile Stewardship Program is such that our nuclear experts say they know more about how these weapons work than we did when we actively tested them. So I think in both of these areas, we have a good story to tell.

  • We will need to make our case to a Senate that has changed significantly since 1999. Our outreach on verification and reliability will seek to convince those Senators who had concerns when the Treaty was last addressed. Just as important, we must engage with the large number of Senators who will deal with the CTBT for the first time. The Administration has commissioned a number of reports, including a classified NIE and a National Academy of Sciences’ report on the CTBT that should be completed in early fall. These documents, and others, will inform the Administration’s assessment of the verifiability of the CTBT and our ability to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal as we prepare to work with the Senate for favorable consideration of this important Treaty.

  • Finally, U.S. ratification will strengthen our efforts to achieve ratification by the remaining states (i.e., China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan) necessary for the Treaty to enter force.

  • We also need to achieve greater controls over the materials needed to produce nuclear weapons. If the international community is serious about drawing down nuclear weapons, we must constrain the ability to build up. Bringing a verifiable FMCT into force is essential, both as a step in this process and, more broadly, to establish the conditions necessary for the achievement of a world free of nuclear weapons.

  • The United States was pleased last year when, after a decade of inactivity, the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament – the CD – adopted a work program that included a mandate for FMCT negotiations. To date, however, procedural objections have prevented the initiation of negotiations. We believe that the best way forward is for CD governments to address their respective security concerns during formal FMCT negotiations, and we are working hard to keep the CD focused on that goal.

National Space Policy

The recently released National Space Policy is another example of a “whole-of -government” approach to critical challenges facing the United States, and the Department of State was an active participant in the process of formulating this new policy. U.S. leadership in space requires an approach that integrates all elements of national power, from technological knowledge and industrial capacity to alliance building and international cooperation. Pursuing the National Space Policy’s goals requires cooperation and collaboration across departments and agencies. It also requires enhanced cooperation with our allies, friends, and partners around in the world in strengthening stability in space. Increasing stability in space activities begins first with ensuring the long-term sustainability of the space environment through expanded international measures for orbital debris mitigation. Secondly, it depends on improving our shared situational awareness and understanding of who is using the space environment, what they are doing, and potential effects on other operators. Thirdly, strengthening space stability can be accomplished through improved information-sharing for space object collision avoidance, and fourthly, through the development of transparency and confidence-building measures to promote safe and responsible operations in space. Given the space opportunities, challenges, and threats facing the United States and its allies, these activities cannot be accomplished by any one department or agency working alone -- rather, they require the commitment and resources of the entire interagency.


Finally, the United States has historically relied on innovative technologies to verify compliance with arms control treaties and agreements, and a number of new initiatives are underway that will require more technology development. My Bureau has taken a first look at the technology requirements for the entire arms control portfolio, and this was summarized in the Verification Technology Requirements Document we issued in the spring. I would like to draw your attention to several of the most pressing concerns outlined in that document. We are looking for new capabilities to support initiatives to further reduce nuclear arms, to secure fissile materials worldwide, and to reliably detect attempts to conduct covert nuclear tests. We are also looking to explore the full potential of the Open Skies Treaty. We will be turning to the scientific community for fresh ideas to help us find better ways to address natural and manmade biological threats. The Administration is also pursuing a number of initiatives that will require improved space situational awareness. Also, there is a continuing need to verify the Outer Space Treaty’s ban on WMD in space, and on the prohibition against interference with National Technical Means (NTM) contained in a number of arms control treaties. These technology requirements are examined in greater depth in our formal document.


None of the efforts I’ve mentioned would be possible without a strong and cohesive interagency process as coordinated by the National Security Council. Fulfillment of the President’s agenda demands no less.

I look forward to your questions and discussion on these issues.