Test Ban News


A bi-partisan group of prominent Americans joined President Clinton at a White House ceremony today to express their support for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Joining the President were American Nobel Laureates in Physics, who released a statement earlier in the day to express their strong support for the Treaty.  Also attending the White House ceremony were former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, John Shalikashvili, Amb. Paul Nitze, the top U.S. arms control negotiator during the Reagan Administration, and former Senators John Glenn (D-OH) and Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-KS).

In the statement signed by 32 Nobel Laureates, the physicists said, "Experts agree that the CTBT would verifiably and permanently end nuclear testing without endangering the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent."  They concluded, "It is imperative that the CTBT be ratified."

Earlier in the day, Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hugh 

Shelton, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss the contribution of the CTBT to America's security.  Secretary Cohen emphasized the importance of treaty ratification to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.  He said, "If the Senate rejects this treaty, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is more likely."  Secretary Cohen also addressed the issue of verification.  "I'm confident," he said, "that the United States will be able to detect a level of testing and the yield and the number of tests by which a state could undermine our U.S. nuclear deterrent." 

Gen. Shelton discussed the importance of the stockpile stewardship program in ensuring our ability to maintain the safety and reliability of our nuclear stockpile without testing.  He concluded, "the world will be a safer place with the treaty than without it." 

In summing up the importance of Senate ratification, President Clinton said, "a vote to ratify is a vote to increase the protections of our people and the world from nuclear war.  By contrast, a vote against it risks a much more dangerous future."

Produced by the White House Working Group on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. 
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