CTBT Prepcom is efficient means to improve global nuclear monitoring

The United States will realize immediate national security benefits from the work of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, a treaty now pending before the Senate.
U.S. intelligence capabilities are enhanced by the global network of 321 monitoring stations now being established by the Prepcom. This includes 31 sites in Russia, 11 in China, and 17 in the Middle East. Some monitoring stations will be in sensitive locations where the United States would not otherwise have access without the Prepcom.
The CTBT requires that its far-reaching verification regime be operational at its entry-into-force. Substantial work is being done now to establish the International Monitoring System (IMS), to prepare for on-site inspections, and to create a fully functioning organization to implement the terms of the Treaty. Monitoring for nuclear testing will continue to be a high priority intelligence activity, whether or not the Senate acts quickly on a treaty that enjoys the support of a majority of Americans.
System Is Cost Effective
The Prepcom allows the United States to pay only 25 cents on the dollar for installing, upgrading, and operating many monitoring stations that we require for national purposes, with other nations paying about 75 percent of the costs. Without the Prepcom, U.S. taxpayers may have to pay the costs entirely. We have already seen this benefit for stations in Kazakhstan and South Korea. The Air Force originally intended to pay the entire cost of these sensors. Since those stations are now in the IMS, the U.S. will pay only about one-fourth of the costs.

System Proving Its Worth
The IMS has provided timely data on events at nuclear test sites, even though it is not fully operational. For example, 19 IMS stations automatically reported data within an hour of the Indian test May 11. The first stations to detect the events included those in Pakistan, China and Russia. Ultimately, 62 stations in the developing IMS network reported data which helped to refine the event location.


Within an hour of Pakistanís nuclear test May 28, 21 IMS stations automatically reported that data, with 63 stations ultimately reporting on the event. Even through the CTBTís IMS is not fully operational, in its current, incomplete form it was able to provide timely data on events at nuclear test sites. Through the Prepcom, monitoring stations will be added in Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, and elsewhere where they do not now exist.

Funding Needed to Enhance Monitoring
Without U.S. funding, the ongoing installation of the 321-station worldwide monitoring system could grind to a halt. Failure to fund the Administrationís fiscal 1998 request of $28.9 million for the CTBT Prepcom may
force us to give up improvements in our ability to deter and detect nuclear tests in areas such as Iran, Libya, and other areas of concern, as well as in the open ocean by terrorists and rogue nations.
These are complicated, highly sophisticated systems that increase our coverage of a dangerous world at a quarter of the costs of going it alone. Funding must not stop now, and simply adding more money into intelligence resources wonít do the job -- key countries are unlikely to agree to install monitoring stations with U.S. pressure alone. Moreover, Congress has historically approved funding for arms control treaties prior to Senate advice and consent, including for the START treaties and the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, among others.

Produced by the White House Working Group on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
For more information on the CTBT: Phone: 202-647-8677 Fax: 202-647-6928