country join call for immediate ratification
The recent nuclear tests by India have underscored the importance of prompt
Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
President Clinton, proclaiming that India was on the "wrong side of history"
in conducting nuclear tests, said of the CTBT in his May 16 radio address,
"This treaty ... bans all nuclear explosions, thus making it more difficult
for the nuclear states to produce more advanced and dangerous weapons and much
harder for non-nuclear states to develop them in the first place. Already, 149
other nations have signed on.
"The CTBT also strengthens our ability to detect and deter nuclear testing by other
countries. That's a mission we must pursue, with or without this treaty, as India's
actions so clearly remind us. The CTBT's global network of sensors and the
short-notice on-site inspections it allows will improve our ability to monitor
and discourage countries from cheating.
"I submitted the treaty to the Senate last fall. Now it's all the more important
that the Senate act quickly, this year, so that we can increase the pressure on,
and isolation of, other nations that may be considering their own nuclear test
The nation's top newspapers agree that the CTBT is important to our national
security, and have urged the Senate to act now.
The New York Times
"India and Pakistan must be persuaded to sign and abide by the 1996 test ban treaty
that has now been signed by 149 nations. By joining the treaty, India and Pakistan
would bind themselves to refrain from any future testing. Their inclusion would
also make it easier to detect violations by permitting the installation of
monitoring equipment at their nuclear test sites.
"Enlisting India and Pakistan would be easier if the Senate ratified the test
ban treaty .... Ratification would allow Washington to participate in a review
conference next year that will develop diplomatic strategies for bringing
holdout nations into the treaty.