CTBT Ratification Push Next

With the New START agreement now in force, winning Senate consent for Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ratification is next up on the Obama Administration’s arms control agenda, said Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. “When the Senate voted for the [New START] treaty, it inherently affirmed that our stockpile is safe, secure, and effective, and can be kept so without nuclear testing,” asserted Tauscher in remarks at this week’s Arms Control Association annual meeting in Washington, D.C. With technological advances, the United States “no longer needs to conduct explosive tests” and would only stand to gain from CTBT ratification since it would “provide a disincentive” to nations seeking to test, she argued. The Administration is preparing to “educate” the Senate and public, making a “more forceful case” than the Clinton Administration did, said Tauscher. The United States signed CTBT in September 1996, but the Clinton White House fell short of it goal of securing ratification. The Bush Administration did not seek ratification. (Tauscher transcript) (State Department CTBT fact sheet)