Dayton Daily News
September 27, 1997


President Clinton at the United Nations on Monday said he would press for a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The common reaction might have been, 'I thought we already had one.'

Since 1992, the United States has stopped testing nukes underground. Above-ground tests were banned by the treaty signed by President Kennedy. The comprehensive ban, discussed and debated for so long it has a deja vu quality to it, would nail down a wider commitment.

The U.S. Senate ought to ratify it. The measure has a good chance of slowing down the nuclear-arms race, since it would require the signatures of the 44 countries with some sort of nuclear capability. It wouldn't cut the U.S. stockpile, though the government would have to use new ways to keep the arsenal reliable.

Some Senate Republicans will want to go slowly, as the Senate did on the treaty banning chemical weapons, but the United States ought to lead by ratifying this within a year.

The sooner this is done, the sooner nations can tighten other security arrangements and networks to assure compliance and deal with other common threats to security.