Accession Number : ADA477690
Title : Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Issues and Arguments
Descriptive Note : Congressional rept.
Corporate Author : LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Personal Author(s) : Medalla, Jonathan
Report Date : 28 Feb 2008
Pagination or Media Count : 79
Abstract : The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty would ban all nuclear explosions. It was opened for signature in 1996. As of February 2008, 178 nations had signed it and 144 had ratified. To enter into force, 44 specified nations must ratify it; 35 have done so. The Senate rejected the treaty in 1999; the Bush Administration opposes it. The United States has observed a nuclear test moratorium since 1992. There have been many calls worldwide for the United States and others to ratify the treaty. Many claim that it would promote nuclear nonproliferation; some see it as a step toward nuclear disarmament. Several measures have been introduced in Congress regarding the treaty; it might become an issue in the presidential election. The U.S. debate involves arguments on many issues. To reach a judgment on the treaty, should it come up for a ratification vote in the future, Senators may wish to balance answers to several questions in a net assessment of risks and benefits. Can the United States maintain deterrence without testing? The treaty's supporters hold that U.S. programs can maintain existing, tested weapons without further testing, pointing to 12 annual assessments that these weapons remain safe and reliable, and claim that these weapons meet any deterrent needs. Opponents maintain that there can be no confidence in existing warheads because many minor modifications will change them from tested versions, so testing is needed to restore and maintain confidence. They see deterrence as dynamic, requiring new weapons to counter new threats, and assert that these weapons must be tested.
Descriptors : *NUCLEAR WEAPONS , NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION , NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS , CONGRESS , UNITED STATES , NUCLEAR EXPLOSION TESTING , ARMS CONTROL , TREATIES , DETERRENCE
Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE