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"In my home there are few publications that we actually get hard copies of, but [Arms Control Today] is one and it's the only one my husband and I fight over who gets to read it first."

– Suzanne DiMaggio
Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
April 15, 2019
Nuclear Weapons-Related Recommendations of the Cox Committee

Transmitted on January 3, 1999, to the President and Congress

Back to Cox Report Main Page

1. Semi-Annual Report by the President on PRC Espionage

The Select Committee recommends that the President report to the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House, and the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate, no less frequently than every six months on the steps, including preventive action, being taken by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and all other relevant Executive departments and agencies to respond to espionage by the People's Republic of China (PRC) as typified by the theft of sophisticated U.S. nuclear weapons design information, and the targeting by the PRC of U.S. nuclear weapons codes and other national security information of strategic concern.

2. Urgent Priority to Department of Energy Counterintelligence Program

As a matter of urgent priority, the Select Committee believes the Department of Energy must implement as quickly as possible and then sustain an effective counter-intelligence program.

To this end, the Select Committee recommends the following:

3. Implementation and Adequacy of PDD-61

The appropriate congressional committees should review, as expeditiously as possible, the steps that the Executive branch is taking to implement Presidential Decision Directive 61 and determine whether the Administration is devoting, and Congress is providing, sufficient resources to such efforts and whether additional measures are to put an adequate counterintelligence program in place at the Department of Energy at the earliest possible date.

4. Comprehensive Damage Assessment

The appropriate Executive departments and agencies should conduct a comprehensive damage assessment of the strategic implications of the security breaches that have taken place at the National Laboratories since the late 1970s (or earlier if relevant) to the present and report the findings to the appropriate congressional committees.

5. Legislation to Implement Urgent and Effective Counterintelligence

The appropriate congressional committees should report legislation, if necessary, to facilitate accomplishment of the objectives set forth above.

6. Five-Agency Inspectors General Examination of Scientific Exchange Program Risks to National Security

The Select Committee recommends that the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Energy, the Attorney General, and the Director of Central Intelligence direct their respective Inspectors General and appropriate counterintelligence officials to examine the risks to U.S. national security of international scientific exchange programs between the United States and the PRC that involve the National Laboratories. Such Executive department and agency heads shall transmit the results of these examinations, together with their views and recommendations, to the Speaker and the Minority Leader of the House, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, and appropriate congressional committees no later than July 1, 1999.

7. Congressional Examination of Whether Department of Energy Should Maintain U.S. Nuclear Weapons Responsibility

The Select Committee recommends that the appropriate congressional committees consider whether the current arrangements for controlling U.S. nuclear weapons development, testing, and maintenance within the Department of Energy are adequate to protect such weapons and related research and technology from theft and exploitation.

8. Intelligence Community Failure to Comply with National Security Act; Need for Congressional Oversight

In light of the fact that the heads of Executive departments and agencies of the intelligence community failed adequately to comply with congressional notification requirements of the National Security Act with respect to the theft of secrets from the National Laboratories, the Select Committee urges Congress to insist again on strict adherence to such legal obligations….