Argument: Test ban ties hands of good states, while rogue states ignore it

Issue Report: Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty


Mikhail Gorbachev said on April 17, 2009: “There is no way to unmake nuclear weapons. Like guns, restrictions on them never seem to deter the rogues we fear but only tie the hands of the responsible citizens of the world. While we can certainly try to avoid producing unnecessary numbers of them and pointing them at each other threateningly, we will never see a world rid of them until and unless some new technology makes them obsolete. That is why a functional missile defense system has to be a priority for the US.”[1]

Paula Desutter. “The Test Ban Treaty Would Help North Korea”. Wall Street Journal. June 1, 2009: “Suppose that both the United States and North Korea were parties to the CTBT. Despite popular arms-control rhetoric, the treaty would give us no more leverage over North Korea than we have now. Pyongyang violated agreements in the past and would be likely to test. But the U.S. would still be prohibited from ever testing its nuclear weapons to ensure their safety and reliability and to strengthen deterrence. Our nuclear umbrella, already thin, will become increasingly tattered as the North hones its weapons and delivery systems.

There is a link between the North Korean nuclear tests and CTBT, but it argues against U.S. ratification, not for it.”