Shalikashvili Addresses Test Ban Treaty Concerns in New Report

Press Statement by General John M. Shalikashvili (USA, ret.)
My Findings and Recommendations to the President
on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Released by the Office of the Special Advisor
to the President and the Secretary of State
for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Washington, DC, January 5, 2001

January 5, 2001

In March, the President and the Secretary of State appointed me to
conduct a low-key, non-partisan review of issues related to the
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Today, after 10 months of
consultations with Senators from both sides of the aisle and with
experts holding widely disparate views on the Treaty, I submitted my
findings and recommendations. My report focuses on four principal
concerns about the Treaty: its value to the non-proliferation regime;
its verifiability; its impact on the U.S. nuclear deterrent; and its
indefinite duration.

In my judgment, most of my recommendations would have broad bipartisan
support now and should be implemented without awaiting a decision on
Test Ban Treaty ratification. My review of the issues, however, has
strengthened my conviction that the Treaty is compatible with keeping
a safe, reliable U.S. nuclear deterrent and is an important part of
global non-proliferation efforts. I urge the next administration,
working with Congress, to revisit the Treaty in light of my

Non-Proliferation: An Enduring National Interest

Preventing nuclear proliferation is an enduring American interest
pursued by Presidents and Congresses since 1945. The Senate's October
1999 vote against the Test Ban Treaty raised concerns at home and
abroad that the United States might be walking away from its
traditional leadership of international non-proliferation efforts. I
am confident that this was not the intent of the Senate. In my
conversations, I have found broad bipartisan support for strengthened
U.S. leadership of a comprehensive international campaign against
proliferation. I recommend that the next administration work closely
with Congress and U.S. allies to mount a more integrated response to
the dangers posed by the spread of nuclear weapons, that it appoint a
Deputy National Security Advisor for Non-Proliferation to oversee
policy coordination and implementation, and that it revisit the Test
Ban Treaty in the context of the direct and indirect contributions it
can make to this policy.

Banning nuclear explosions places significant technical constraints on
nuclear weapon development, especially of more advanced designs that
are higher-yield, more efficient, lighter, and more easily
transportable. The Test Ban Treaty is also critical to sustained
political support for the non-proliferation regime, particularly
because the United States and other nuclear weapon states promised to
ban all nuclear tests as part of the bargain that secured the
permanent extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995.
All of our allies and Russia have ratified the Test Ban Treaty, but by
its own terms, the Treaty cannot enter into force without U.S.
ratification. Until we take this step, U.S. leadership of
international efforts to block nuclear proliferation will be seriously

Effective Verification

The United States will always need reliable information about any
nuclear test activity that could threaten our security. Just as the
Test Ban Treaty should be viewed in the larger non-proliferation
context, so too should Test Ban Treaty verification. An explosive
nuclear test is the culmination of a long process with observable
indicators of a would-be proliferator's intentions. Improved
non-proliferation intelligence can enhance our ability to track
activities leading up to an explosion, enabling monitors to focus
greater attention on small signals from specific locations. To further
enhance our ability to detect and deter nuclear testing, I recommend
increased focus on non-proliferation-related intelligence; improved
remote sensing technologies and analytical capabilities; continued
work on confidence-building measures and on-site inspection
procedures; and additional steps to increase transparency at known
nuclear test sites.

The Test Ban Treaty does not add new monitoring requirements. Instead,
it adds new sources of information and creates greater political clout
for addressing suspected violations. The International Monitoring
System being established for the Treaty is already providing valuable
data about events that could otherwise be hard to detect. The Treaty
will also provide for challenge inspections of suspicious events. The
combination of U.S. monitoring capabilities, the full international
verification system, and data from thousands of additional multi-use
monitoring stations makes evasion much more difficult than some Treaty
critics fear. Indeed, the value of the Treaty's verification system
extends well past the range where a monitor has high confidence of
detecting, identifying, locating, and attributing a violation, and
down into the gray area where a potential evader lacks certainty about
the likelihood of discovery.

Maintaining a Safe, Reliable Nuclear Stockpile

Stewardship of the nation's nuclear stockpile has changed
significantly since the Cold War in ways that decrease the value of
nuclear explosive testing. Previous U.S. practice was to develop new
nuclear weapons designs, confirm that they worked through various
means including explosive testing, and then use newly manufactured
weapons to replace weapons of an older design. When the Cold War
ended, the United States stopped testing to develop new designs for a
very large arsenal and shifted to maintaining a smaller stockpile of
well tested, safe, and reliable warhead designs. Today, effective
stewardship of the U.S. deterrent does not rely on nuclear explosive
testing, but on careful surveillance of stockpiled weapons, deeper
scientific understanding of how nuclear weapons work and age, and
capabilities to remanufacture warhead components to meet the original

The U.S. nuclear deterrent is safe, reliable, and effective. Concerns
about the future reliability of the stockpile focus far less on the
risk of catastrophic failure than on a possible gradual decline in
confidence. We can avoid such an erosion in confidence by limiting
changes to warheads, remanufacturing aging weapons as needed,
improving conditions at the nuclear weapon laboratories and production
facilities, setting appropriate budgetary and management priorities,
and implementing effective advisory mechanisms. A firm national
commitment to stockpile stewardship will help attract and retain
outstanding scientists and skilled technicians to keep the U.S nuclear
stockpile safe and reliable.
In my judgment, the challenges facing the Stockpile Stewardship
Program can continue to be managed and the safety and reliability of
the U.S. nuclear deterrent can be maintained indefinitely without
nuclear test explosions, as long as future administrations and
congresses provide high standards of accountability and sufficient
resources. Since the United States could withdraw from the Treaty and
conduct a nuclear test if an unanticipated problem made that essential
for national security, we can safely gain the security benefits of
Test Ban Treaty ratification while strengthening bipartisan support
for stockpile stewardship.

Address the Treaty's Duration

Concerns about turning the eight-year-old U.S. testing moratorium into
a legally binding ban of indefinite duration stem from uncertainties
about future developments related to nuclear proliferation,
verification, or stockpile stewardship. Implementing my
recommendations would reduce these uncertainties, but they cannot be
completely eliminated. As a condition for ratification, I recommend
that the Bush administration consider a joint review by the
administration and the Senate of the Treaty's impact on U.S. national
security 10 years after ratification. If there are serious problems
that cannot be corrected, the President would move to withdraw from
the Treaty.

Continue the Test Moratorium

It is important to continue the U.S. nuclear testing moratorium begun
in 1992. Other countries will, however, be more likely to sustain
their testing moratoriums if the moratoriums are viewed as interim
measures pending the Test Ban Treaty's entry into force. Steady
progress toward ratification will strengthen U.S. leadership of global
non-proliferation efforts. Our continued involvement in building up
the International Monitoring System will help keep other countries'
support for developing these verification assets. Bipartisan agreement
in the United States on the long-term shape and size of the Stockpile
Stewardship Program will be more likely with a clear commitment to
Test Ban Treaty.

Net Evaluation

The Test Ban Treaty is important to U.S. security because it plays to
our strengths: our superior conventional military forces; our wealth
of knowledge from over a thousand nuclear tests, more than half the
world's total; our advantage in stockpile stewardship capabilities;
and our leadership of like-minded nations seeking to prevent the
further spread of nuclear weapons. Perhaps more than any other nation,
the United States would be negatively affected by an erosion of the
international consensus on the importance of nuclear
non-proliferation, by the spread of nuclear weapons to additional
countries or terrorist groups, or by a perception that nuclear weapons
are instruments that could be readily used in regional conflicts. I
hope the incoming administration, working with Congress, will
re-evaluate the Test Ban Treaty in light of these considerations.