News Release

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: Hope or Sham?


Former deputy director of the Defense Atomic Support Agency in the Pentagon, an architect for decades of the U.S. nuclear program and now an independent consultant on nuclear issues and critic of U.S. nuclear policy, Taylor said: “I’m strongly in favor of the treaty, but not the Clinton administration interpretation of what it allows. The administration views the treaty as a way to stop other countries from doing what we did: develop a nuclear arsenal by depending on full-scale nuclear tests. The administration is trying to get around the comprehensive nature of the treaty by claiming that its continuing nuclear weapons development through the National Ignition Facility using smaller explosions is permitted. They are making a sham out of a noble idea, what should be the first step in abolishing nuclear weapons.”

Founder and director of Downwinders, Truman said: “With India’s detonation of five nuclear weapons last year, the strategy of the nuclear ‘haves’ to use the CTBT to forever ingrain in granite their superiority and their ability to dominate world policy through nuclear intimidation was effectively challenged. Unless the nuclear ‘haves’ choose to make the CTBT the first step toward total disarmament, the treaty as written shall never enter into force, no matter what the U.S. Senate does. The real lethal opposition to the treaty is coming from the nuclear ‘have-nots’ and is a debate over disarmament or maintaining the status quo.”
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Executive Director of Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against Radioactive Environment) based in Livermore, California, Kelley said: “Numerous national polls show that there is overwhelming public support for ending nuclear testing, over 80 percent. Ratifying the CTBT and stopping so-called ‘Stockpile Stewardship’ (modernizing nuclear weapons) are two key parts of truly ending all nuclear testing. Other nations have complained that the ‘Stockpile Stewardship’ program allows the U.S. to continue designing nuclear weapons and that it impairs global acceptance of the test ban.”
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Former editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Day said: “This treaty is causing a squabble among hawks. Both factions of hawks say that we need to have nuclear weapons in perpetuity and continue to have a ‘deterrent.’ What they disagree on is whether the test ban diminishes the reliability of our stockpile, and that’s a minor detail in the face of a consensus on an insane policy that we need to have a nuclear ‘deterrent’ at all. The test ban treaty makes it virtually impossible for small Third World countries to get nuclear weapons, solidifying the current status of nuclear ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots.'”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167