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Argument: World can better leverage rogue states after ratifying CTBT

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Supporting quotations

Samuel Berger, Sam Nunn, and William Perry. "Case for ratifying Nuclear Test Ban Treaty". Politico. June 2nd, 2009: "Let's be clear: we are not saying that if we set a shining example by ratifying the CTBT that Iran and North Korea will suddenly see the light and immediately abandon their nuclear programs. That is not our point. We do believe, however, that if the U.S. can move forward on CTBT it would help build and sustain the international cooperation required to apply pressure on nations like North Korea and Iran still seeking the nuclear option, enhance America's standing to argue that all nations should abide by global nonproliferation norms and rally the world to take other essential steps in preventing nuclear dangers."


Published: May 24, 2009 ;NewYork Times by YANDREW ROSENTHAL, Editor: "if Washington has any hope of rallying diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions for constraining Iran’s nuclear ambitions or North Korea’s program, it has to show that it, too, is willing to play by the international rules. For both of those reasons, the Senate needs to ratify the test ban treaty."


"Self-Defeating on Nuclear Tests". New York Times. January 27, 1991: "Why does President Bush stubbornly resist all negotiations toward a ban on nuclear weapons tests? He has even backed away from Ronald Reagan's pledge to Congress to engage "immediately" in talks "on a step-by-step program . . . limiting and ultimately ending nuclear testing." Mr. Bush would better serve U.S. security interests by carrying out that pledge.

The Administration alienated other nations with its intransigence during an international conference just ended in New York to consider amendments to the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty. The U.S. delegate gratuitously offended states that want a total test ban. "Consideration of testing limitations is a serious undertaking that should be conducted in a serious manner," she said patronizingly.

To most conferees, it is a manner of the utmost seriousness to stigmatize these dread weapons and isolate states trying to develop them. For the U.S. to insist on testing undermines nuclear arms control and sends the wrong message to potential nuclear powers: "Do as I say and not as I do."

Test-ban proponents say U.S. testing makes it easier for other nations to justify developing nuclear arms. But they may err in arguing the converse. If states feel threatened by nuclear-armed neighbors, they won't refrain from testing just because the U.S. does, and they could still develop less sophisticated nuclear arms that require no testing."


A.A. Smyser. "Test ban rejection was a huge mistake". Honolulu Star. October 15, 1999: "The rejection of the test ban could have serious repercussions. It could encourage nations with nuclear weapons aspirations, such as North Korea, to continue weapons development. It could discourage India and Pakistan, which last year conducted nuclear tests, from signing the test-ban treaty. It could cripple the United States' position as a leader in the movement to end the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ultimately eliminate them."

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