The National Ignition Facility (NIF) baseline configuration for inertial confinement fusion requires phase modulation for two purposes. First, approximately 12 angstrom of frequency modulation (FM) bandwidth at low modulation frequency is required to suppress buildup of Stimulated Brioullin scattering in the large aperture laser optics. Also, approximately 3 angstrom or more bandwidth at high modulation frequency is required for smoothing of the speckle pattern illuminating the target by the smoothing by spectral dispersion method. Ideally, imposition of bandwidth by pure phase modulation does not affect the beam intensity. Ideally, imposition of bandwidth by pure phase modulation does not affect the beam intensity. However, as a result of a large number of effects, the FM converts to amplitude modulation (AM). In general this adversely affects the laser performance, e.g. by reducing the margin against damage to the optics. In particular, very large conversion of FM to AM has been observed in the NIF all-fiber master oscillator and distribution systems. The various mechanisms leading to AM are analyzed and approaches to minimizing their effects are discussed.© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.