Argument: Test ban halts R&D and development of nuclear weapons

Issue Report: Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty


Published: May 24, 2009 ;NewYork Times by YANDREW ROSENTHAL, Editor: “A test ban will make it technologically much harder for other countries to press ahead with weapons development.”

Samuel Berger, Sam Nunn, and William Perry. “Case for ratifying Nuclear Test Ban Treaty”. Politico. June 2nd, 2009: “By outlawing testing, the CTBT would make it harder for aspiring nuclear weapons states to gain confidence that their weapon designs would work.”

Mark Thee. “The Pursuit of a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban”. Journal of Peace Research. 1988: ” There are no longer technical obstacles to the conclusion of a nuclear test ban. Verification issues are but a pretext for the continuation of nuclear tests. A Comprehensive Test Ban is not only a realistic possibility but a sine qua non for slowing down, halting and reversing the arms race.”

“A Case against Virtual Nuclear Testing.” Scientific American Magazine. September 1999: “By barring explosive tests, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty severely constrains the way nations have traditionally evaluated changes in bomb designs and confirmed the performance of weapons to be stockpiled for military use. A ban on test explosions cannot alone prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, but it does pose a significant barrier to the development of weapons that rely on fusion reactions, including lighter, more compact and more powerful missile-borne nuclear warhead designs, such as those China has allegedly acquired from the U.S. through espionage and intelligence-gathering.”

“Prospects for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty”. Arms Control Association: “Then as now, the test moratorium and the CTBT is a sensible, practical and effective response to the nuclear threat. It is vital to:

  • curbing the development of new and destabilizing types of nuclear warheads;
  • preventing less-advanced nuclear weapon states and would-be nuclear weapon states from developing lighter and more easy to deliver nuclear warheads; and
  • fulfilling the nuclear weapon states’ disarmament obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and reinforcing the norm against nuclear weapons acquisition and use.”