National Security Advisor urges advice, consent to Treaty this year

National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger addressed the annual Washington Forum of the Business Executives for National Security today. Mr. Berger emphasized the President’s agenda to build a more secure future, which includes seeking ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty this year.
Mr. Berger said:
“Since 1993, the President has aggressively pursued efforts to halt the spread and testing of nuclear explosives. ... [In 1996] the nations of the world -- including the five declared nuclear weapons states -- signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. And last year, the President submitted the Treaty to the Senate, with safeguard provisions to protect our national interests....”
The fate of agreements forged by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin -- and the CTBT -- will be in the hands of our legislatures, Mr. Berger said, and as the Senate considers these agreements, “The future of arms control, as American administrations -- Republican and Democratic -- have pursued it over 40 years, could be decided in the next several months....” He continued, “In the words of the late coach of
the Washington Redskins, George Allen, the future is now. What happens will have a profound effect on U.S.-Russian nuclear relations -- and on our efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons around the world.
“Let me discuss the Test Ban Treaty.... President Clinton has called it the ‘longest-sought, hardest-fought prize in the history of arms control.’ It bans all nuclear explosive tests. We should pause and contemplate this development: 149 nations have signed an accord to never, or never again, test a nuclear device. We must not let this extraordinary opportunity slip away.
“Four former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- Shalikashvili, Powell, Crowe, and Jones -- plus all six current members of the JCS -- agree that the Treaty is in our national interest.
“The directors of our three national nuclear weapons labs and numerous outside experts have said we can maintain a reliable deterrent without explosive testing. The public strongly supports the Treaty, as it has for 40 years, since President Eisenhower first proposed it.





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“If the Senate rejected or failed to act on the Test Ban Treaty, the agreement could not, by its terms, enter into force for any nation. We would open the door further to regional nuclear arms races and a much more dangerous world.”
“The Treaty will constrain the development of more advanced and dangerous nuclear weapons by the nuclear powers -- and limit the possibilities for other states to acquire such weapons. It will also enhance our ability to detect suspicious activities by other nations.
“With or without a CTB, we must
monitor such activities. The Treaty gives us new tools to pursue this vital mission: a global network of sensors to supplement our national intelligence capabilities and the right to request short-notice, on-site inspections in other countries.
“If the Senate rejected or failed to act on the Test Ban Treaty, the agreement could not, by its terms, enter into force for any nation. We would open the door further to regional nuclear arms races and a much more dangerous world.
“In sum, the Senate needs to do what the President asked in his State of the Union address: provide its advice and consent to the Test Ban Treaty this year.”



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