Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | March 27, 2018

Donald Trump: Get Congress to Pass (and Ratify) the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty


In the recent article published in National Interest, Stephen Herzog discusses the reasons why the US Senate should ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The author argues that in the light of the possible rapprochement between North Korea and the US, it is important to reconsider the issue of the nuclear test ban status. For instance, he claims, the US President Donald Trump “could even use his leverage with Kim to create a joint U.S.-North Korea ratification process. This would improve global security by making permanent Kim’s recent pledge to freeze nuclear tests.”

Among the arguments in favor of the US ratification, Stephen Herzog highlights the fact that the CTBT is beneficial for US national security. As the International Monitoring System (IMS) has proven its effectiveness with the DPRK nuclear tests and the national monitoring capabilities of the US have also been strengthened since 1999, when “the Senate voted against test ban ratification”, the author aruges that the testing ban actually “helps the United States to lock in its strategic superiority.”

To strengthen his point, Herzog also emphasizes that one of the reasons to consider the CTBT ratification is also the attitude of Americans on this issue. In a 2016 nationally representative survey of the US population, his team found out that the “convincing majority” supports the nuclear test ban:

“Overall, 65 percent of Americans approved of the Senate giving its consent to ratification, with only 15.3 percent opposed (the remaining 19.7 percent of respondents were undecided). As expected, the CTBT had support from a strong majority (69.8 percent) of Democrats. Just 13.8 percent of Democrats opposed the treaty and 16.5 percent were undecided. Tallies from Independents showed 66.3 percent in support, 13.7 percent opposed, and 20 percent undecided. The most surprising data came from Republicans. A majority of Republicans (56.2 percent) supported the CTBT in contrast to a much smaller minority (23.9 percent) in opposition (19.9 percent of Republicans were undecided).”

The conclusion for such results is that the popular support for the CTBT does not depend on partisan affiliation and engages all societal groups of the United States. In the words of the author himself, “[CTBT ratification] is an issue that commands support from all segments of American society, including Trump’s supporters and his critics alike.”

Read full article here.

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