Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks on "The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty"
The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Palo Alto, California, October 6, 1999
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you. Thank you very much.
You noticed that I gave Secretary Christopher two kisses. One was from me and one was from the Governor of California with whom I was yesterday. As I look out on this audience -- a nice, hefty size audience -- but you are not what happened to me yesterday when I addressed 8,500 women in Long Beach, thanks to the Governor of California. So I am very glad to be able to be here with everybody today and very grateful to Secretary Christopher for introducing me. And it is especially great to see him here and to know how proud you all are of him, as we are in Washington.
When I was named by the President, I said that I hoped that my heels would fill his shoes. And it has been a struggle, Chris. I have worked very hard. There is space left. And you really led this country in an amazing way in a very difficult period of foreign policy and I am grateful for everything you have done and did and continue to do because you set us on the right path at the end of the century.
I thank you very much for your comments about my father. He loved it here. A dirty little secret is he planned to retire here and so you could just ask his daughter.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think he also did research on another book that he didn't finish that I would like to work on at some point, which is the history of the Czechoslovak legionnaires as they passed through Russia on their way during the Revolution. So he always enjoyed very much coming to Stanford and being at Hoover and being a participant in the amazing activities that this institution has been involved in, and I am very grateful for having been asked to speak here.
Now, Chris, in case you are concerned that your office hasn't changed a bit since you left, it really hasn't at all; everything is the same. Unless, of course, you count the cosmetics and hair spray and curling iron in the bathroom.
I want to just say that -- I want to thank everybody here for allowing me to go forward with a speech that I think bears a great deal on the issues at hand and that allow me to have this kind of a forum. I think Stanford, of course, is among the world's great universities, right up there with Harvard and almost in league with Georgetown where, in case you don't know, I taught. And I think that the lunch was so delicious so I hope very much that you won't ask me questions that are too difficult and those I can't answer can be answered by my other former colleague, former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry, who was an outstanding public servant while in office and has now, I think, performed another huge service for our country by leading the process in which we reviewed our policy towards North Korea.
And finally, I know that George Shultz and I had a very good conversation a couple of days ago and he was sorry not to be here and we stay in contact. One of the great fun things to do is to keep track of the former secretaries of state; it allows me to have great conversations. And we are a small club. I have kind of changed the dress code. But other than that, we are very close.
I think that, as we look at the time from Secretary Shultz to Secretary Christopher, we have one Secretary who helped to end the Cold War, the other to manage our transition to a new era. But both were doers and both saw the linkage between the interests we have and the values we uphold, and both understood that America belongs not at stage right or stage left but, rather, on the center stage of world affairs.
We owe a debt of gratitude to wise leaders such as these and to the Presidents whom they served. Their vision, combined with the genius and generosity of the American people, have brought our country to the threshold of the new century strong and respected, prosperous and at peace, within a world that is more free than it has ever been. And at the same time, we are conscious of new dangers and aware that progress must be sustained as it was built through American leadership.
Today, I would like to discuss two issues, one specific and one more general, that relate directly to our capacity to lead. The first is the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, or CTBT. As you know, the Senate has been planning to vote on this treaty within a matter of days and if that were to happen, I believe a yes vote would be the right vote for American security. And let me explain why.
Three years ago, President Clinton became the first world leader to sign the CTBT. Since then, 153 others have followed suit; 51 nations, including 15 of our 18 NATO allies, have ratified the treaty. As we meet here today, people from around the world are asking with considerable anxiety: Will America join this treaty or kill it? Will the Senate vote to strengthen the world's nonproliferation regime or undermine it?
One thing is certain. This treaty is in the national security interest of the United States. The reasons are straightforward and compelling. Under the treaty, America would retain a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, but by preventing testing the treaty will inhibit the development of more advanced weapons by other nuclear weapon states and make it harder for countries that do not now have such weapons to develop them.
Our nation has the world's most advanced nuclear capabilities. In the past, we conducted more than 1,000 nuclear explosive tests. The heads of our nation's testing labs agree that we don't need to continue these tests in order to maintain an effective deterrent, and that's why we began a moratorium on tests in 1992. Aside from South Asia, that moratorium is now worldwide but it depends almost entirely on goodwill.
So this treaty is not about preventing America from conducting nuclear explosive tests. It is about preventing others from doing so. It is about establishing the principle worldwide that it is not smart, not safe, not right and not legal to conduct explosive tests in order to modernize or develop nuclear weapons. That is why General Hugh Shelton and four previous Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff support ratification of the Test Ban Treaty and why Defense Secretary Cohen and former Secretaries Perry and Christopher hold the same view.
There are those who say the treaty is too risky because some countries might cheat. But what exactly would we be risking? With no treaty, other countries can test without cheating and without limit. The CTBT will improve our ability to deter and detect clandestine nuclear weapons activity by giving us a new means to do so. It will provide a global network of more than 300 sensors of four different kinds and the right to request on-site inspection. The treaty commits every signatory to accept intrusive monitoring. It will give us broader and more extensive access in more countries of interest than we would ever have on our own. The more countries that support and participate in the treaty, the harder it will be for others to cheat and the higher the price they will pay if they do.
When President Clinton submitted the CTBT to the Senate for approval, he included a package of six safeguards that define the conditions under which we would enter the treaty. These safeguards will strengthen our commitments in the areas of intelligence, monitoring and verification, stockpile stewardship, maintenance of our nuclear laboratories and test readiness.
They also specify the circumstances under which the President would be prepared, in consultation with Congress, to exercise our right of supreme national interest under the treaty to conduct necessary testing if the safety or reliability of our nuclear deterrent could no longer be certified, so we are covered either way.
As you may know, the CTBT cannot enter into force until it has been ratified by the United States and 43 other nations with nuclear power or research reactors. The treaty specifies that if it has not entered into force three years after it was opened for signature, the countries that have ratified may hold a conference and take measures to accelerate its entry into force.
Today, that conference convenes in Vienna and the United States is there but only as an observer -- and that is simply not right. Proliferation is the single greatest security challenge that we and our allies face and when vital nonproliferation issues are discussed, we should be driving the agenda and not sitting on the sidelines.
I hope that those who oppose the CTBT will think a bit about what it will mean if the Senate votes down the treaty. We will have preserved the right to do something we have no need and no intention of doing while giving a green light to those who may want to conduct nuclear explosive tests and could one day do us great harm.
We will have cut the legs out from under our own diplomatic efforts to persuade Pakistan and India to sign and ratify the CTBT, thereby making a very dangerous nuclear arms race in South Asia more likely. We will have thrown away a valuable tool in slowing the modernization of China's nuclear arsenal. We will have disregarded the counsel of allies and friends. We will have ignored the best national security advice of our top military leaders. We will have denied the vision and betrayed the dream of two presidents who first proposed the Comprehensive Test Ban, Dwight David Eisenhower and John Fitzgerald Kennedy. We will have missed a priceless chance to improve our ability to detect and deter nuclear tests and we will be left without a response when our own children ask why, when we had a chance to put America on the side of banning nuclear explosive tests forever, we said no.
Neither this treaty nor any other can entirely eliminate risk. But if you weigh on one side the risks for America of approving the CTBT and, on the other, the risks of killing it, my friends, it isn't even close.
Once in a great while, our nation is called upon to make a truly fateful choice: 36 years ago it was to approve a limited ban on nuclear tests; later it was to approve and then make permanent the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and to begin the process of slowing, stopping and then reversing the buildup of nuclear arsenals by the United States and our counterparts in Moscow. Each time there were Cassandras who looked into the future and prophesized doom, and each time those who viewed sound arms control as a contributor to our national security were proven right and the world moved a little further away from the nuclear brink.
I am as convinced as I can be that most Americans do not want to live in a world in which nuclear testing is business as usual. They do not want to weaken the regime that discourages potentially hostile nations from developing nuclear weapons. They want America to assume the mantle of leadership in a cause that is central to the security of future generations. They want America to join the CTBT and make it work. When the Senate votes, they want the Senate to vote yes on the CTBT, yes for a safer world.
The second issue I would like to discuss today is resources. Those of you who have never lived in the District of Columbia may not follow the federal budget process very closely -- and I don't blame you. Unfortunately, I don't have the same luxury. From 1990 to 1994, our country's international affairs budget hovered around $25 billion a year in today's dollar. During the past five years, this figure has declined by about 20 percent. Unfortunately, the world is not 20 percent smaller than it was in 1994 or 20 percent less dangerous or 20 percent less in need of American leadership. And what has been a bad situation is now in danger of growing very much worse.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted by a margin of three votes to slash President Clinton's Fiscal Year 2000 budget request by $2 billion. Earlier today, the Senate followed suit. The result of this legislation, if it were to become a law, would be to cut foreign affairs resources below their previously inadequate levels. And this would create a clear and present danger to American interests, which is why I have recommended and the President has said he would veto the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.
The proposed reductions don't even include another $2 billion in emergency needs that we have identified since the President's budget was prepared. The result is a potential shortfall of such magnitude that it would be nearly impossible for me to do my job.
I hope most of you would agree that although our economy is strong and our military power unmatched, serious threats to the security of our citizens remain. These include international terrorists who have targeted Americans, the possibility of conflict in key regions, the risk of a renewed financial crisis, drug trafficking, and the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles that can deliver them.
These and other threats directly affect the lives of the American people and that is why I would like to do the stereotype of foreign aid what one Presidential candidate wanted to do to the tax code: drive a stake through it, kill it, bury it, and make sure that it never rises again.
Let's be clear. When we provide resource to safeguard nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union or help South American farmers find alternatives for growing cocoa or train foreign police in counter-terrorism, we are aiding America. The same principle applies when we take steps to ensure stability on the Korean peninsula where 37,000 Americans help keep peace along the world's last Cold War border; or, when we assist those struggling to maintain peace in troubled regions such as the Middle East, Northern Ireland and the Balkans.
In recent weeks, we have heard some suggest that America need not concern itself when aggression or atrocities that are committed overseas unless they are committed directly against us. Obviously, we neither can nor should try to right every wrong or fight every fight. But the history of this century warns us that problems abroad, if left unattended, will too often come home to America.
We have a strong interest in acting where we can to prevent disagreements in strategic regions from becoming conflicts and in containing conflicts before they become all-out wars. History also teaches us that we cannot ensure America's security by going it alone or by relying solely on military might.
Security results from a marriage of diplomacy to power and that requires using the full range of American policy tools. Our armed forces must remain the best led, the best trained, best equipped and most respected in the world. And, as President Clinton has pledged and our military leaders ensure, they will.
But to be effective, force and diplomacy must complement each other, for there are many occasions in many places where we rely on diplomacy as our first line of defense to protect our interests and we expect our diplomats to defend those interests with skill, knowledge and spine.
Although many Americans are under the impression it is far more, the amount we allocate for the full range of international programs is equal to about one penny for every dollar the Federal Government spends. But that penny can spell the difference between hard times and good times for our people, war and peace for our country, less and more freedom for our world. And this is true in part because American dollars leverage the contributions from others.
For example, in the wake of NATO's successful campaign to reverse ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, we have asked allies to pay the lion's share of costs in supporting the new era of stability in southeast Europe. But it would be far easier to persuade the others to do their part if it were clear we would do ours.
Finally, as Secretary Christopher can attest and last year's Africa bombing illustrated, the men and women who work in our embassies abroad are on the front lines every day on every continent. They deserve, for they have earned, the honor and support of the American people and they deserve the protection that would be provided by full funding for the multi-year security construction program the Administration has proposed.
The decisions congressional appropriators must make are complex, but our economy is strong and the investments we have recommended affordable. The President's budget request would finance foreign policy without detracting from our defense or domestic needs while still yielding a surplus.
The budget controversy in Washington revolves around real issues that relate to the role of the federal government in such matters as education and health care. But the protection of national security is a bedrock task of our national government. It is the centerpiece of our constitution and why our union was formed. It cannot be delegated, subcontracted, privatized or left to others to do; it is the solemn responsibility of the executive and legislative branches in Washington, each according to its role.
The best leaders of both parties in Congress understand this. They know that American diplomacy belongs on the short list of budget priorities. This was the case President Clinton recently made in Missouri to the applause of the American Veterans of Foreign Wars and it should be the starting point in negotiations on the final shape of the Fiscal Year 2000 budget.
A decade has passed since the Berlin Wall fell, and some may feel that in the absence of superpower rivalry the United States can now get by on the cheap -- and they're wrong. For just as an eagle needs food to fly, the world's greatest democracy needs resources to lead. The debate over foreign policy funding is not new in America. It has been joined repeatedly from the time the Continental Congress sent Ben Franklin to Paris to the proposals for Lend-Lease and the Marshall Plan that bracketed World War II, to the central European democracy and Nunn-Lugar programs a few years ago.
In each case, history's verdict has gone decisively to those who argue that America must meet its responsibilities, as opposed to those who said that America simply can't afford to lead. Neither the question of foreign affairs funding nor the approval of a treaty to ban nuclear explosive tests ought to be considered a matter of partisan interest. Because the great divide that exists today is not between the left and the right or between Republican and Democrat, it is between those who believe America can afford now to retreat from the world and those who believe that if America were to retreat we would no longer be America.
Throughout this century and under administrations of both parties, our country has assumed great responsibility in time of war, of peace, of victory and uncertainty. And for that, each and every one of us should be very grateful. And this afternoon, let us dedicate ourselves to upholding that tradition and to ensuring America's leadership on behalf of peace, in defense of freedom, and in support of justice, and hope that that will continue for many decades to come.
Thank you very much.
MODERATOR: The Secretary has agreed to take a few questions. Larry Diamond.
QUESTION: I would like to thank you, Madame Secretary, for an eloquent and powerful speech. I agree with almost everything you said, but the problem underlying the two problems you mentioned is that since the end of the Cold War we seem to have lost the tradition of a bipartisan foreign policy and it appears there is no prospect of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty being approved, ratified, and we now learn that it may need to be withdrawn. We know about the budget problems and the dim prospects there.
I would like to ask you what can be done in the politics of this country and in the dialogue of this country to reconstruct that traditional of bipartisanship in foreign policy?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, you have put your finger on the major problem. And I know that it's probably easier for people that are in the executive branch to talk about the importance of bipartisan foreign policy than for those in the legislative branch, and having been on the other side at a certain stage of my life I can understand that.
But I do think that what we have to do is to restate the fact that even though the Cold War is over that we have huge responsibilities and those that, in many ways, are harder to fulfill than when the world was simply divided between the red and the red, white and blue. And we used our foreign affairs budget, frankly, to seduce countries to be on our side.
We are in a completely different era at this point where the issues are much harder to understand, much more complex in terms of their interdependence, and they take more study time, frankly. And I know that both Secretary Christopher and Secretary Perry would agree that when they were in office, and I now, we spent an incredible amount of time going to the Hill and asking for a bipartisan foreign policy. It takes two to tango, you know.
And I think that the problem here is -- and I am quite shocked, I must say, quite shocked -- by the language of some of the people that I have worked with very closely in the Republican party when they talk about slashing foreign aid and feeling as if they have done a favor to the country by saying that we're not going to give money to those foreigners. That strikes me as not appropriate for this era.
I believe that it is through your help, frankly -- I think the public has to go to its elected officials and say that a great country can not carry on issues that are central to our national security like the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by playing party politics. I have said that when I became -- I used to be partisan, but I have said that when I fit into Secretary Christopher's shoes that I had all my partisan instincts surgically removed. I may have to go back to the doctor.
But I think that I feel very strongly that we can not operate without a bipartisan foreign policy. It's impossible and those rules that used to exist that partisanship on foreign policy ended at the water's edge are gone, and it's a disaster for us in the United States in terms of pursuing a logical and strong foreign policy on behalf of our national interests.
QUESTION: Secretary Albright, I wanted to ask you a question. It's a little way from your speech but I couldn't resist since you're here asking you about Chechnya and what's happening there right now. As you are aware, a humanitarian catastrophe is underway; 120,000 refugees have already left the republic, most of them into the tiny Republic of Ingushetiya which is unable to cope. Civilian targets are being hit throughout Chechnya.
So I was wondering what should the US be doing at this point, in your opinion? Should we be promoting a return of the OSCE mission which was so successful in 1996 in helping to resolve the problem there?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Clearly, this is a very serious problem and we have -- I had discussions with Foreign Minister Ivanov when I saw him last week in New York. The President has been in touch at his level; the Vice President has. We have sent our ambassador in to have discussions with the Russian authorities to tell them the following: I think that they clearly have a terrible and a legitimate concern with terrorism in Moscow and we have all thought what it would be like if apartments buildings had come down in New York City and that number of people had died. And we are working with them on how to cooperate on anti-terrorist activity. When we were in New York the Permanent Members of the Security Council put out a joint statement saying that we would all cooperate on anti-terrorism.
We have also spoken to them about the danger of Chechnya redux -- I mean, they didn't exactly do very well for themselves there the first time -- and that what they need to do is to try to develop a dialogue with the legitimate leaders there and not take a kind of an approach where they are just mowing everybody down and affecting civilians, who are becoming refugees. And we are making a lot of suggestions about -- that they need a different negotiating tactic.
On the OSCE issue, I happen to agree with you. I have spoken with Knut Vollebaek, the Norwegian Foreign Minister who is head of the OSCE, and seeing whether they are in a position to revive what were very helpful discussions. But it is a great tragedy and I think I was saying to the Foreign Minister that it's quicksand. The word I couldn't think of in Russian quickly enough but I think he got the idea.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, on this question of complex humanitarian emergencies, there's 20 or 25 of them going on around the world. Do we have a clear concept or policy or philosophy of when do we get involved and, more particularly, when do we get our military involved and their capacity to really perform that mission, which is not their traditional role?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think this is a discussion of the most challenging kind that we have actually been having for some time. I know when Secretary Christopher was there, we talked about it then vis-a-vis operations, obviously in the Balkans and also in Africa, and I was very interested in the speech that Kofi Annan gave at the opening of the General Assembly because he put together a lot of very interesting ideas for discussion on this and spoke about the conflicts that we need to deal with in terms of our respect for sovereignty and our desire for humanitarian solutions and the complexity that that provides to the international system.
We have also -- and when I taught, I was really good at this, of dividing up what is a national interest and a vital national interest and that was then. And I think that it is a lot simpler to try to categorize things in that particular way than when you are actually looking at situations on a day-by-day basis.
We have the following approach, which is that the United States does have vital national interests, some of which are connected with geo-strategic regions and allies. And I won't go through the list so that in case I leave one out I don't start a war, but we all know what they are.
But we are also making quite clear that disastrous humanitarian conditions do affect our national interest because we are America and we feel that it is not possible for people to live where they are macheted to death or ethnic cleansing takes place. Now, we also have said -- and the President said this in his statement at the UN -- that we can't be everywhere. I just said it also.
So we have to figure out what is the best method for dealing with this. And I think in some ways, if you look at the lesson of Kosovo and East Timor, that part of an answer is there. In Kosovo, I have believed for a long time that what was happening in the Balkans could have been prevented had something been done earlier. But as things have developed, we have a responsibility to do something. And there, we did have what was essential, was the support of the largest, most powerful military alliance in history and we did, in fact, fight a war, the first one that NATO did, and I think have managed to make a difference. It is not over; it continues to be complicated. But there was a mechanism for taking a group of countries with our leadership to solve a problem.
In Indonesia, interestingly enough, I know that there is criticism about the fact that things didn't happen quickly enough. But the truth is, it's pretty textbook if you think about what happened. There was an agreement with the United Nations on a voting procedure. The Indonesian Government had said that they were going to be in a position to protect. They then didn't, but there was a UN mission that went to assess the situation. As luck would have it, the President was meeting with his counterparts from APEC in Auckland, and his dedication and leadership when there was a critical mass of leaders there helped to push the Indonesians into accepting an international peacekeeping force that had been voted by the Security Council. And we are not the lead country; there is another lead country.
So the question is whether if you have an alliance or a lead country, then it allows us to play a role that is concomitant with our interest and what we can do. We are supplying a lot to the East Timor peacekeeping operation in terms of support, strategic support, lift, et cetera, of things that we can do.
The question that always comes -- and it's the legitimate question -- what about Africa. And I think there, there are a large number of peacekeeping -- potential peacekeeping operations. I am going to Africa next week; in fact, I'm going to Sierra Leone. I think the question is whether we can get a mandate that makes sense to get Africans to participate in the solution and then develop the role that we need to play. But I think this is a -- I know people want to call it a doctrine but it is a policy in evolution, knowing full well that we must have humanitarian intervention and trying to find some kind of a set of criteria that will allow us to make judgments. But we can't get away from the case-by-case approach to this because each of the situations is somewhat different.
I will try to be shorter but, as a professor, it's 50 minutes.
QUESTION: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary, for joining us. If I can go back to a point that you raised in the content of your remarks and that Larry Diamond picked up on, and that has to do with foreign operations and the way we talk about it and think about it.
I suspect that if you ask most Americans how they would feel about the need to support US foreign policy and US overseas missions, that you'd get a resounding yes and a positive voice. In fact, I think most Americans think we spend considerably more than we do. So part of the problem, obviously, is to correct the record.
But part of the reason also is a consequence of the fact that there are lots of stories in the news, including part of the world that I pay a lot of attention to, namely Russia, that has to do with allegations of corruption and misappropriation of funds, et cetera, et cetera. As a practical matter, how do you engage that as a policymaker? How do you talk about that and how do you try to keep people's vision focused on what, in the end, is the central issue, which is how to provide the resources to make American diplomacy successful?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, clearly, the issue of corruption is something that is plaguing the international system and we consider it, as we deal with the results of globalization, how you in fact deal with global corruption in a variety of places. A couple of years ago, I signed the Anti-Bribery Convention -- and Corruption -- because we are trying to deal with it as an endemic problem.
As far as specific allocations, we have looked very closely at what has been going on and the IMF money. There is no corroboration to the fact that it has been, in fact, misused in any way. Clearly, there have been bad things going on in terms of Russia and other countries. But I do not think that this, in any way, undercuts the argument that it is in US national interest to do what we can to reduce the threat of loose nukes in Russia or to try to figure out how to employ the scientists that could go to other countries.
I don't want to downgrade or downplay the importance of the corruption issue. I gave a speech a couple of weeks ago at Carnegie on Russia and I said the Russian Government must make fighting corruption a high priority. I think they, to some extent, believe it's a political trick here and we have pounded it into their heads, frankly, that this is not just a -- this is not a political problem, this is a genuine problem and they must deal with the corruption.
But I also think it cannot be turned into an excuse -- as it just has been, by people that I have respected -- to say we can't give money that goes into somebody's pocket. We keep very good tabs, actually, on the money that we have, do give out. The story that the New York Times wrote about corruption in Bosnia was just dead wrong. The money that disappeared was their own money; it wasn't our money. And a story gets written up wrong and it has legs that just carry it for miles.
So we have to be able to stand up and say, your story is wrong. Now, the part that is hard is nothing is ever totally wrong; there is always some grain and somebody who wants to demagogue an issue can do that.
But I think we can account for bilateral assistance that is given. And what goes through the multilateral banks, we are being told it is all being investigated and has not been diverted into places that it shouldn't be. But we can't argue with the fact that there is capital flight and that through the global banking system and through globalization of everything, it has developed into a big problem. I'm not denying that.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, we seem to have a difference between our approach when we are a lead country versus when we are involved with NATO or the UN. A case in point might be Iraq where, while it's not in the paper every day, I believe we are still flying air missions and shooting missiles at radar sites that lock onto our aircraft. We don't seem to have an exit policy.
Whereas, in Kosovo or Bosnia where we are working with the UN or we're working with NATO, we seem to be able to extract ourselves a little bit more quickly or at least lay off some of the problems of follow-up to some of the other countries as well.
Has this problem in Iraq caused our policy to change and to have less of what we would call lead country involvement because it is harder to get out? Or is that just a happenstance in Iraq that's different than most?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, I would just differ with you on the assumption on Iraq. What is being done in Iraq is on the basis of Security Council resolutions that have been in place for the last 10 years, eight years, and the no-fly zones are a part of it -- we are not flying alone -- and enforcing the no-fly zones is very important.
Now, what you are right about is that there is a fraying of the consensus that has existed in the Security Council because there are those countries who believe that the sanctions that have been put on Saddam Hussein are -- the kind version of this is that they are hurting the people. The less kind version is that they are hurting commerce.
But I think that the problem is that it is very hard to maintain multilateral sanctions for a long period of time. So what we are doing now is working within the Security Council to have a new resolution that would, in effect, recreate the consensus in the Security Council on maintaining sanctions until the resolutions are fulfilled, an increased oil-for-food program and a way to get a monitoring group back on the ground to make sure that disarmament takes place.
I think your question is to, is it harder to get out when you're alone. I haven't thought about it that way. But I'm not sure; it may be easier, actually, because you don't have to deal with -- I mean, this is a theoretical answer.
That is not the kind of pivot that we are looking at that question in. I think that we believe that we have a responsibility along with others to make sure that Saddam Hussein is not able to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction, become a threat to the region and then, ultimately, to our national interest. And we do have the support of many countries to do that. We do not -- and we are trying to recreate support for maintaining the sanctions regime that is definitely fraying because people -- countries are tired of keeping a sanctions regime in for a long period of time. But we believe that we have to hold the line so that he cannot reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction.
MODERATOR: Madame Secretary, Dr. Albright, thank you very much for visiting.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you. It was a lot of fun. Appreciate it.
(The remarks were concluded at 4:35 P.M.)
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