Department Seal CTBT Ratification: Key Points
Fact Sheet released by the Bureau of Arms Control,
U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, October 8, 1999

CTBT is in the National Security Interests of the United States.

  • The treaty strengthens our national security. That is the unanimous judgement not only of the President's national security team, but also of four former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who have endorsed the CTBT.

  • The U.S. can maintain a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent with this Treaty and the safeguards we are proposing. That is the judgement of our nuclear lab directors, as well as outside experts.

  • The Treaty will be a constraint on nuclear weapon programs in states like Russia and China, as well as India and Pakistan.

  • The Treaty puts America back in front in the global diplomatic effort against nuclear proliferation, which is central in importance to our national security.

  • The Treaty will improve America's ability to detect and deter nuclear explosions.

Safeguards Accompany the CTBT

  • Prudent safeguards in area of stockpile stewardship and verification help ensure our security in absence of nuclear testing.

  • Maintaining a safe and reliable stockpile is a U.S. supreme national interest. If we find that we cannot do so without nuclear testing, we can withdraw from the Treaty to conduct whatever testing is necessary.

CTBT Bans the "Bang," not the "Bomb."

  • The Treaty does not ban nuclear weapon development or production or activities needed to maintain a safe and reliable stockpile without nuclear testing.

CTBT is Effectively Verifiable

  • We can detect, identify, and attribute the level of nuclear testing in terms of number and yield of tests that could undercut U.S. nuclear deterrence, which also provides us the means to take prompt and effective counteraction.
  • We would detect the level of testing needed to develop and "weaponize" an advanced nuclear warhead.
  • U.S. monitoring capabilities will continue to improve over the next several years.
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