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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 40, September - October 1999


How The US Senate Rejected CTBT Ratification
By Daryl Kimball


After more than forty years of painstaking effort and three years of difficult multilateral negotiations, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signature on September 24, 1996 to the applause and relief of the international community. A total of 155 nations have now signed the Treaty, which would ban all nuclear weapon test explosions, set up a far-ranging international monitoring system, and allow for short-notice, on-site inspections to ensure compliance. But since 1996, progress toward entry into force of the Treaty has been blocked by hold-out states: India and Pakistan have yet to sign and Russia, China and the United States have failed to ratify.

Then, on October 13, 1999, only days after the international community gathered in Vienna to encourage all states that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty1, the US Senate became the first legislature to fail to give its approval to ratification. The Treaty was rejected in a largely party-line vote of 48 for and 51 against, with one senator voting "present", the equivalent of an abstention. US ratification requires the approval of at least two-thirds - 67 votes - of the Senate.

The failure of the US Senate to approve the CTBT is a severe blow that sets back - but does not kill - efforts to secure the ratifications necessary for global entry into force of the Treaty. The debate and vote on the Treaty is a result of the Senate Republican leadership's decision to score petty political points at the expense of an initiative that affects the survival of the planet. The outcome is also the result of the Clinton Administration's failure to mount a serious effort to win Senate approval of the Treaty in the preceding months.

The Senate's historic blunder clearly sends a dangerous signal to those states that seek to acquire and further develop nuclear weapons. There exists the danger that the Senate's October 13 CTBT vote sends a "green light" to other nations who may use the vote as a pretext to resume nuclear testing. There is also the potential that it could serve as a "yellow warning light" -- alerting the American public and the international community to the possibility of a renewed, global nuclear arms competition if the CTBT and other nuclear risk reduction efforts are not finalized. In either case, the recent Senate vote on the CTBT sets back the decades-long effort to end nuclear testing and it may also damage progress on a broad range of other efforts to reduce nuclear weapons dangers. This article examines the events that led to the Senate's rejection of the Treaty, the immediate political fallout, and the outlook for bringing the CTBT back for approval by the US Senate.

The Senate's Rush to Judgement

To understand why the Senate chose to reject the CTBT after a brief, 13-day period of debate in October 1999, it is essential to consider the challenges facing the CTBT in the months leading to the vote. Following President Clinton's transmittal of the Treaty to the Senate for its "advice and consent" for ratification on September 23, 1997, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jesse Helms (Republican - North Carolina) demanded that the President transmit two unrelated treaties to his Committee before the CTBT could move forward.

Helms took the position that: "Not until the administration has submitted the ABM protocols and the Kyoto global-warming treaty ... will the Foreign Relations Committee turn its attention to other treaties on the president's agenda."2 But by late September 1999, after blocking Senate consideration of the Treaty for over two years, and failing to schedule a single hearing devoted to the topic, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (Republican - Mississippi) and Helms suddenly reversed course and decided to schedule a vote on the Treaty.

Their move was precipitated by several weeks of methodical and persistent consciousness-raising by Senate CTBT proponents, led by Senator Byron Dorgan (Democrat - North Dakota) and pro-Treaty non-governmental organizations (NGOs). On July 20, a bipartisan group of senators held a press briefing calling for prompt Senate action on the Treaty, citing overwhelming public support for Senate approval of the Treaty.3 That same day, all 45 Democratic senators wrote to Senate Majority Leader Lott, asking for "all necessary hearings ... to report the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to the Senate for timely consideration before the [Article XIV] CTBT inaugural conference".4

Then in late-September Senator Dorgan, along with other leading Senate CTBT proponents and the White House, decided to try to advance the issue by introducing a non-binding Senate resolution. The resolution called for the beginning of the process of consideration of the CTBT, and the scheduling of a vote on the Treaty by March 31, 2000.5 The plan to press for the resolution, which was never introduced, was agreed at a meeting between National Security Advisor Samuel Berger and the Senate Democratic leadership on the evening of September 22. At the meeting, participants weighed the possibility that Senator Lott might try to schedule a vote on the Treaty at short notice, but they considered the possibility low and decided to press forward.

On September 29, Senator Helms and Senator Lott went on the offensive by offering a proposal for an October 7, 1999 vote on final passage of the Treaty. Lott had polled his fellow senators in the weeks before and was rather confident that a quickly scheduled vote would favor Treaty opponents. Lott calculated that if he could not further delay a vote by having Treaty supporters refuse his terms for a truncated debate, then he could assemble the 34 votes needed to block Senate approval for ratification. Lott's initial proposal for 10 hours of debate on the Treaty with only 6 days notice was not accepted by Senate Treaty supporters. Most Senate supporters, the White House and the NGO community criticised the offer calling it a "rush to judgement" because it did not provide sufficient time for hearings, and a thorough and informed debate.6

In consultation with the White House, Senate Democratic leaders negotiated for more time and a more thorough series of hearings.7 But on the afternoon of Friday, October 1, they decided to accept Senator Lott's final "take it or leave it" counter-offer for a unanimous consent resolution for three hearings in the Armed Services Committee, 14 hours of debate, and a vote as soon as October 12. (A single hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was scheduled and held the following week.) The decision to accept the offer was motivated in part by the belief that the effect of continued inaction on the Treaty could be as severe as outright defeat. It is very likely that if a vote were not scheduled before the end of 1999 -- and before the 2000 election season -- the Treaty would not have come before the Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate until the middle of 2001 or later. As the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee Joseph Biden said on October 2: "The question is: If you are going to die, do you want to die with no one knowing who shot you or do you want to go at least with the world knowing who killed you?"8

By September 1999, Treaty proponents estimated that they needed to win-over approximately 15 of an estimated group of 20-25 undecided senators.9 However, opponents of the Treaty, led by Senator Jon Kyl (Republican - Arizona) and former Secretary of Defense and Energy, James Schlesinger, began lobbying Republican senators in earnest in September 1999. Even though these efforts may not have swayed the undecided senators, it certainly did help to plant seeds of doubt about the Treaty.10

The President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Energy, the National Security Advisor and others spoke about the vital importance of the Treaty on a number of occasions. President Clinton made the case for the CTBT in his 1998 and 1999 State of the Union addresses and secured the valuable support for the Treaty from four former chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, the President did not appoint a co-ordinator for building CTBT support and for organizing and sustaining Administration-wide work on the Treaty, as he did with the successful NATO expansion campaign in 1998.

The Senate "Debate" on the CTBT

Thus, it was not until the end of September -- when the Senate had scheduled hearings and a vote on the Treaty -- did President Clinton, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense launch a high profile, high-powered effort to win Senate support for the Treaty. The last-ditch campaign that the President and his cabinet waged on behalf of the Treaty was impressive. The White House highlighted the fact that the Treaty enjoyed the overwhelming support of America's senior military leadership and its leading weapons scientists and seismological experts.11 The President met with undecided senators at the White House, while Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Secretary Albright also engaged in efforts to lobby undecided senators and communicate the importance of ratification of the Treaty in the news media.12

The Administration sought the assistance of NGOs in making the case for the Treaty.13 Non-governmental CTBT advocates had been accelerating their public education and Senate lobbying efforts since the beginning of September. The NGOs were crucial in generating a massive number of calls to the Senate from concerned citizens, encouraging newspapers to editorialize on the topic14 and collecting support from former military and government officials, independent nuclear weapons scientists, and hundreds of public interest organizations.15

But the President was unable to make up for lost time and win the support of the many undecided Republicans, who were already being heavily lobbied by Senator Lott and other pro-nuclear senators to oppose the Treaty. Given a 12-day schedule that barely left time for hearings and a thoughtful debate, Treaty proponents had too little time to address the questions and falsehoods that Treaty opponents raised. The arguments of the Treaty's opponents centered on the erroneous assertions that the United States cannot maintain its nuclear deterrent without nuclear test explosions, that the CTBT is not verifiable and that, while the US could be counted on to comply, other nations could test surreptitiously and gain military advantages.16 In the end, there were too many hurdles and too little time to gain the votes needed.

Treaty supporters recognized from the beginning of their campaign that they would need the support of a small, but very influential group of "internationalist" Republicans to win over the large block of undecided votes. These key senators were under enormous pressure from Majority Leader Lott not to break rank with the leadership. By the end of the first day of Senate floor debate (October 8), senators Warner (Republican-Virginia), Domenici (Republican-NM), Lugar (Republican-Indiana), Hagel (Republican-Nebraska) as well as other Republican "moderates" would declare their intention to vote against the Treaty. In statements declaring their positions, several senators, such as Richard Lugar, argued against ratification while simultaneously expressing "regret that the Senate is taking up the treaty in an abrupt and truncated manner that is so highly politicized".17

Senator Lott and the Hard-Liners Reject Postponement Plan

By Tuesday October 5, only four days after the agreement to schedule a vote on the Treaty, it became clear to many senators that support for the Treaty was not materializing. Senators from both parties began to suggest that the vote should be postponed to avoid damage to US credibility and international security. Sen. Pete Domenici, a senior lawmaker who would later vote "no" on the Treaty, urged President Clinton to shelve the accord rather than have it rejected. "There are international ramifications for killing it", Domenici said.18

Recognizing that the votes needed for ratification were not there, a number of senators tried to fashion an agreement to postpone the vote until a future time. President Clinton sent a letter to the Senate on October 11, saying, "I believe that proceeding to a vote under these circumstances would severely harm the national security of the United States, damage our relationship with our allies, and undermine our historic leadership over 40 years, through administrations Republican and Democratic, in reducing the nuclear threat. Accordingly, I request that you postpone consideration of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on the Senate floor".19

Support for delaying action grew stronger as a letter calling for postponement of the vote was circulated by senators John Warner (Republican - Virginia) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (Democrat-New York). "We ... support putting off final consideration [of the CTBT] until the next Congress", wrote 62 senators in the October 12 letter to senators Lott and Daschle.20 While the Republicans had the votes to defeat the Treaty, they were faced with the difficult choice of inviting political as well as international risk by voting against it, or defying their party leaders by voting for it. Faced with a choice between "arsenic and hemlock", a large number of Republicans sought to delay the vote. Some Democrats, confident that as a group the Republicans would be wise enough not to poison themselves, expected the Senate to defer the vote.21

However, agreeing to postpone the vote required the same kind of "unanimous consent" agreement needed to schedule the vote. Under such rules, it only takes one senator to block an agreement. Some Republican opponents of the Treaty insisted that the President pledge in writing that he would not press for Senate approval of the CTBT for the rest of his term in office. This was a commitment that the White House refused to give because it believed that international circumstances might require that the US seek ratification before the end of his term. Such a commitment may also have undercut the legal basis for continued US adherence to the "object and purpose" of Treaty in the absence of Senate approval.

On the basis of a letter sent to Majority Leader Trent Lott by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (Democrat-South Dakota), on October 12, an agreement was almost reached to postpone voting on the eve of the vote. Daschle said in his letter, "Like the President, supporters of the CTBT have reluctantly concluded that the Senate will fail to ratify the CTBT at this time and that a vote in light of this reality risks grave damage to our national security interests. Therefore, I support the President's request to postpone the vote and, absent unforeseen changes in the international situation, I will not seek to reschedule this vote".22

However, there were several hard-line senators who decided to oppose a delay of the vote under these or any other circumstances, including senators Helms, Paul Coverdell (Republican-Georgia), Jon Kyl, Robert Smith (Republican-New Hampshire), and James Inhofe (Republican-Oklahoma).23 Senator Lott was either unwilling or unable to persuade this small group of pro-nuclear hard-liners to relent and agree to respect the request of the President and the majority of the Senate to delay the vote.

The opportunity for reaching an agreement to postpone the vote faded by Wednesday, October 13. Democrats attempted to prevent the Senate from returning to debate on the Treaty that afternoon through a procedural motion, but that effort failed on a party line vote of 55-45. Debate on the Treaty resumed, and on the evening of October 13, the Senate voted to reject the Treaty, with only four Republican senators - Chafee of Rhode Island, Jeffords of Vermont, Specter of Pennsylvania, and Gordon Smith of Oregon- voting for the CTBT.

Many Republican senators were only too eager to score partisan political points against a President who had so many times defeated their initiatives.24 What was particularly significant about the debate and the vote on the Treaty was that Majority Leader Trent Lott dealt with the Treaty as he has dealt with domestic issues like the budget, gun control, and health care. Lott worked hard to unite his Republican colleagues against the Democratic President, and was willing to apply strong political pressure on individual senators to go along with his position. Most Republicans so distrust and despise President Clinton that they were willing to inflict damage to Bill Clinton even if it meant harming US national security. The Senate decision on the Treaty may have more to do with the Senate's views about the President's handling of the Monica Lewinsky scandal than their considered judgement about how to stop nuclear proliferation and testing.

Lott tried to deny the obvious at an October 14 press briefing. He tried to argue that the vote "was not about politics; it was about the substance of the Treaty, and that's all it was". Lott also denied pressuring his colleagues to vote "no",25 but the evidence suggests the opposite.

In this politically charged environment, many senators failed to examine the facts, respect the advice of the United States' closest allies, and, most importantly, listen to their constituents. The Senate vote not only contradicts the nation's leading military and scientific officials, but Senate opponents dismissed the fact that Japan, Britain, France, Germany and the NATO Alliance all strongly support the Treaty. In an unprecedented opinion editorial published in The New York Times, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder appealed to the US Senate to approve the CTBT (see Documents & Sources).26

Rejection of the Treaty makes little sense given that the United States does not need to conduct nuclear test explosions to maintain the arsenal or to make new warhead types. In fact, the United States' leading military officials, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, foresee no need for the production of new types of nuclear warheads, and the nuclear laboratory directors said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee that they are "confident" the US nuclear arsenal can be maintained without nuclear explosive tests.27

Rejection also puts the United States in a CTBT 'limbo' that is not beneficial to US security: by rejecting it, the Senate denies the United States the benefits of the Treaty's monitoring and on-site inspection provisions28, and it denies the United States the moral and legal authority to encourage other nations not to conduct nuclear weapon test explosions.

The Senate vote also contradicts the will of the American people, which supports Senate approval of the Treaty by an overwhelming 82% majority, according to a June 1999 poll. The poll shows that support for the Treaty spans all political and demographic groups, with 80% of all Republicans supporting Senate approval of the Treaty. A separate poll conducted in July in North Carolina, the home-state of Senator Jesse Helms, indicates that 75% of adults in the state support Senate approval of the CTBT.29

A 2000 Election Issue?

A day after the Senate vote, President Clinton lashed out at the Republican-led Senate for making a decision based on politics rather than substance, and said that US nuclear testing policy would not change as a result of the vote: "I will not let yesterday's partisanship stand as our final word on the test ban treaty. Today I say again, on behalf of the United States, we will continue the policy we have maintained since 1992 of not conducting nuclear tests. I call on Russia, China, Britain, France and all other countries to continue to refrain from testing. I call on nations that have not done so to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. And I will continue to do all I can to make that case to the Senate. When all is said and done I have no doubt that the United States will ratify this treaty".30

The Senate vote is also likely to become a significant Senate and presidential election issue. For instance, the vote raises the stakes in upcoming US policy decisions on possible deployment of a 'limited' national missile defense (NMD) system and 'discussions' with Russia on possible changes to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty that could allow for such a deployment.

The day after the Senate vote, Vice-President Al Gore ran his first presidential campaign ads on the topic of the CTBT, vowing that if elected, he will bring the Treaty back to the Senate to win its advice and consent for ratification.31 In contrast, a spokesperson for Republican presidential frontrunner George W. Bush Jnr said that the Texas Governor "supports the current US moratorium on all nuclear testing 'but doesn't support the [test ban] treaty'".32

Latest public opinion survey data suggest that the CTBT could become a potent political issue in the upcoming Senate and Presidential elections. A June 1999 national survey shows that when given the choice between one candidate who supports the CTBT and another who opposes it, voters preferred the candidate who supports the Treaty by a margin of two-to-one (62% to 31%).33 Immediately following the Senate vote, a national poll found that a majority (57%) said it is "very important to hear what positions presidential candidates take on this issue". A majority of respondents said it was a "bad thing that the Senate voted against this treaty" (47% "bad thing"; 26% "good thing", with 27% saying neither or "don't know").34

The rejection vote may also affect the level of the US financial contribution to the CTBT Organisation. Already under attack from hard-line isolationists and opponents of the Treaty such as Senator Helms, funding for the United States contribution to the CTBTO - $20 million in 1999 and $16 million in 2000 - may be reduced or even entirely eliminated in future years. This is a development that could severely affect the ongoing development of the international monitoring system (IMS).35

Most of the international community condemned the US Senate's rejection vote.36 It also deals a blow to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which was extended in 1995 largely on the basis of the promise by the United States and the other NWS to conclude the CTBT. And, ominously, the Senate vote coincides with the overthrow of Pakistan's elected government, highlighting the importance of establishing effective nuclear restraint measures, including the CTBT, in south Asia and elsewhere. However, the US Senate's short-sighted rejection of the Treaty will likely reduce the possibility that either India or Pakistan will sign the CTBT in the foreseeable future. (See Patricia Lewis' article on the international implications of the Senate vote).

Conclusion and Next Steps

There can be little doubt that the limited time available for debate in the Senate, and the fact that Treaty opponents had begun their lobbying work weeks earlier, meant that Clinton Administration officials needed to have done most of their pro-Treaty lobbying work in advance. But they had not. The Senate's defeat of the Treaty was, therefore, not only due to the senators' rush to judgement after two years of neglecting the issue; it was also a consequence of President Clinton's failure to organize a sustained campaign to build support for the Treaty in the months leading up to this vote. Distracted by domestic policy issues, scandal and the war in Kosovo, President Clinton failed to heed repeated appeals to designate a group inside his government focused solely on the task of CTBT ratification.37

It is still too early to tell how damaging the October 13 vote will be, and how long it will take to achieve forward momentum on the Treaty. Will the Senate's vote help trigger the resumption of nuclear testing by some state already predisposed to doing so? Or, perhaps, the Senate vote will re-energize CTBT supporters in the US and around the world, much as France's widely criticized resumption of nuclear testing did in 1995. The likelihood of these and other possible consequences are difficult to ascertain, but some issues are clear.

Technically, the Treaty remains at the Senate desk and can be called up at any time. But in reality, it will take a newly elected President to bring the Treaty before the Senate again with renewed commitment and answers for there to be any hope of approval. The Clinton Administration and senators interested in preventing nuclear proliferation and advancing nuclear disarmament would be wise to begin efforts to engage in a serious and sustained dialogue that will ease concerns, resolve questions, build support, and lay the groundwork for bringing the Treaty back to the Senate in 2001. Some Republican senators who voted against the Treaty have already made entreaties about fostering an orderly dialogue on the matter and bringing it back for consideration.38

While the Senate has rejected the CTBT for now, it is highly unlikely that the US will "withdraw" from the Treaty or resume nuclear testing, as some Senate Treaty opponents suggested. Leading opponents of the Treaty, including former assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan and policy advisor to George W. Bush Jr, Richard Perle, and former Secretary of Defense and Energy, James Schlesinger, argue that the United States should resume nuclear testing to build new types of nuclear weapons and/or to maintain the existing nuclear arsenal.39

But for the time being, given that President Clinton signed the Treaty, the United States, like other signatories, is obligated under Article XVIII of the Vienna Convention on Treaties not to undertake any action that violates the "object or purpose" of the Treaty, such as conducting a nuclear test explosion.40 President Clinton confirmed that his Administration adheres to this view when he said in an October 14 nationally-broadcast news conference: "All I can tell you is, we're not going to test, I signed that treaty, it still binds us unless I go, in effect, and erase our name - unless the President does that and takes our name off, we are bound by it".41

However, accelerating the ratifications needed for entry into force will be very difficult to achieve as long as the United States fails to ratify the Treaty. Two key nations - India and Pakistan - have made conditional pledges to sign, but are highly unlikely to do so any time soon given the Senate rejection of the Treaty. Consequently, new international leadership on the CTBT is needed. Traditional allies of the Treaty and other nations, including Japan, Britain, France, Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and others must be prepared to increase their political commitment to securing signature and ratification from the hold-out states. States Parties must also be prepared to lend greater financial support to the Treaty to ensure that IMS development does not suffer from a possible reduction of the United States' annual contribution. They must also be prepared to continue to press the next Administration and the United States Senate to ratify the Treaty as early as 2001.

An important opportunity to register continuing international support for CTBT entry into force will come this month at the UN and next April at the NPT Review Conference. As of October 27, a draft UN First Committee resolution on the Treaty is expected to receive overwhelming support. The resolution "endorses the Final Declaration of the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty", and it "calls upon all States that have not yet signed the Treaty to sign and ratify it as soon as possible", and it "calls upon all States that have signed but not yet ratified the Treaty, in particular those whose ratification is needed for its entry into force, to accelerate their ratification processes with a view to their early successful conclusion". The draft resolution also "urges States to maintain their moratoria on nuclear weapons tests".

The international community will also have the opportunity to press the case for the Treaty at the second Special Conference on Accelerating CTBT Entry Into Force. Though overshadowed by the calamitous events in the Senate, the first Conference held in Vienna was, generally speaking, a modest success. It afforded key nations the opportunity to express their strong support for the Treaty, it received global media attention - mainly due to the concurrent debate in the Senate on the CTBT - and it allowed for good NGO participation, including a statement delivered by Ambassador George Bunn on behalf of the 13 NGOs that were able to attend. Given the added difficulty of US ratification and the crucial role of the next US President, States Parties planning the next Special Conference on Accelerating CTBT Entry Into Force would be wise to locate it at the UN in New York and schedule it in late 2000 - shortly after the US presidential election - in order to improve the chances that it would receive necessary political and media attention.

In sum, the decades-long campaign to end nuclear testing forever has suffered a serious defeat, but the CTBT will, in the end, be ratified and will enter into force with the continued support of the people of the world and with the continued work of enlightened political leaders from around the globe and in the United States.

Notes and references

1. "Spotlight on the CTBT: Report of the CTBT Article XIV Conference", Rebecca Johnson, Disarmament Diplomacy 40, September/October 1999.

2. Senator Jesse Helms, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, in The Wall Street Journal, January 25, 1999.

3. "Bipartisan group pushes for action on test ban treaty", by Bill Nichols, USA Today, July 21, 1999.

4. Letter to Senator Helms from 45 Democratic senators on the CTBT, July 20, 1999.

5. Draft resolution on CTBT September 29, 1999.

6. "Democrats Divided on Double-Edged GOP Test Ban Offer", Associated Press, October 1, 1999.

7. Ibid.

8. "Nuclear Test Ban Vote Set for October", Associated Press, October 2, 1999.

9. "White House Seizes Chance to Push Test Ban Treaty", by Jonathan Wright, Reuters, October 1, 1999.

10. Personal conversation with Eric Newhouse of the Office of Senator Voinovich, October 24, 1999; "Quietly and Dexterously, Senate Republicans Set a Trap", by John M. Broder, The New York Times, October 14, 1999.

11. "Both Parties Seek a Graceful Way to Put Off a Nuclear Treaty Vote", by Eric Schmitt, and "32 Nobel Laureates in Physics Back Atomic Test Ban", by William J. Broad, The New York Times, October 6, 1999; American Geophysical Union and Seismological Society of America Joint Position Statement: Capability to Monitor the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, October 6, 1999.

12. "Clinton Kicks Off Campaign to Pass Nuclear Test Ban", by Marc Lacey, The New York Times, October 5, 1999.

13. Ibid.

14. Of more than 100 editorials written before the Senate favored ratification, less than 10 favored rejection.

15. "America's Newspaper Editors Back Test Ban Treaty, Pt. 6: Calls for Ratification Overwhelming", Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers Issue Brief, October 12, 1999; "After Chinese Spy Scandal, New Support for Test Ban Treaty", by William Broad, The New York Times, August 1, 1999; Congressional Record - Senate, page S12262-63, October 8, 1999.

16. A September 9, 1999 letter to Senator Lott from 52 CTBT opponents organized by the small, pro-nuclear weapons lobby group, Center for Security Policy, contained key arguments against the Treaty that would appear in the October debate. For analysis and rebuttal of these arguments, see: "Tall Tales of the Test Ban Opposition", Christopher Paine, Senior Researcher, Natural Resources Defense Council, October 6, 1999.

17. "Lugar Opposes Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty", Press Release, Office of US Senator Richard Lugar, October 7, 1999.

18. "Both Parties Seek Graceful Way To Put Off Nuclear Treaty Vote", by Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, October 6, 1999

19. "A Plan Is In Works to Put Off A Vote On Test Ban Pact: Clinton Satisfies a Demand by Lott in Effort to Avert Showdown", by Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, October 12, 1999; Letter sent by President Clinton to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, requesting a postponement of voting on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, October 11, 1999.

20. Letter sent by 62 senators on postponement of the voting on the CTBT, October 12, 1999.

21. "Test Ban Vote May Be Set Aside", by Roberto Suro and Helen Dewar, The Washington Post, October 6, 1999.

22. Letter sent by Minority Leader Thomas Daschle to Majority Leader Trent Lott on postponement of voting on the CTBT, October 12, 1999.

23. "Senate Kills Test Ban Treaty in Crushing Loss for Clinton; Evokes Versailles Pact Defeat - Vote is 51 to 48", by Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, October 14, 1999.

24. "The G.O.P. Torpedo", by R.W. Apple, Jr., The New York Times, October 14, 1999.

25. Remarks by Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) Following the President's Press Conference on Senate Rejection of the CTBT, Federal News Service, October 14, 1999.

26. "A Treaty We All Need", by Jacques Chirac, Tony Blair, and Gerhard Schröder, The New York Times, October 8, 1999.

27. See: "Nuclear Arsenal is "Safe and Reliable" Under Test Ban Treaty: US Doesn't Need to Test -- But Others Do Need Tests to Improve their Arsenals", Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers Issue Brief, October 11, 1999.

28. See: "US Security Benefits from Test Ban Monitoring & On Site Inspections: But Test Ban Treaty Verification Tools Depend on Ratification and Entry Into Force", Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers Issue Brief, September 27, 1999.

29. "Eight in Ten Americans Support Test Ban Treaty: More Want Senate Approval of Pact in Year Since South Asian Blasts", Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers News Release, July 20, 1999; and "Three in Four North Carolina Voters Want Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Disagree with Senator Helms' Failure to Act for 22 Months", North Carolina Council of Churches Press Release, August 2, 1999.

30. "Press Conference by the President, The East Room 2:04 P.M.", The White House -- Office of the Press Secretary, October 14, 1999.

31. "Gore To Campaign for Nuke Test Ban", By Ron Fournier , Associated Press, October 14, 1999.

32. "White House Tries to Woo Senate GOP To Support Global Ban on Nuclear Tests", The Wall Street Journal, October 5, 1999.

33. Wirthlin Worldwide and The Mellman Group. See: "Eight in Ten Americans Support Test Ban Treaty: More Want Senate Approval of Pact in Year Since South Asian Blasts", Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers News Release, July 20, 1999

34. "Poll finds nuclear test ban near top of issues", Associated Press, October 22, 1999.

35. "Foes of Test Ban Treaty Now Take Aim at Monitoring System", by William J. Broad and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, October 29, 1999.

36. "Around the World, Dismay Over Senate Vote on Treaty", by Barbara Crossette, The New York Times, October 15, 1999.

37. In a June 15, 1999 letter to the President organized by the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, 36 non- governmental CTBT supporters urged Mr. Clinton to "present [the] case for the CTBT ratification directly to the public and invite bipartisan support for its consideration and approval on a frequent and consistent basis; appoint a high-level full-time CTBT co-ordinator to strengthen and focus administration-wide efforts ... and direct key cabinet members and high-profile CTBT supporters to pursue a sustained, public campaign to ... win approval for the treaty". NGOs delivered similar recommendations in letters to the President and his cabinet on January 11, 1999, March 4, 1998, and May 19, 1997.

38. "Don't Give Up on the Test Ban", by Joseph Lieberman and Chuck Hagel, The New York Times, October 16, 1999.

39. "The Senate's Blast Wave", by James Kitfield, National Journal, October 23, 1999.

40. The Vienna Convention on Treaties obliges a signatory to refrain from acts that would defeat the "object and purpose" of the treaty it has signed until "it shall have made its intention clear not to become a party to the treaty...", Art. XVIII (a).

41. From: "Press Conference by the President, The East Room 2:04 P.M.", The White House -- Office of the Press Secretary, October 14, 1999. The United States signed the Vienna Convention on Treaties and sent it to the Senate for approval in 1971, but it has not yet been ratified. But the United States has previously agreed that the Convention reflects a "customary" rule of international law governing executive branch action pursuant to unratified treaties. For further analysis, see: "The Status of Norms Against Nuclear Testing", George Bunn, The Non-Proliferation Review, Winter 1999.

Daryl Kimball is Executive Director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, an alliance of 17 leading nuclear non-proliferation and arms control organisations which has been working to secure approval of the CTBT in the United States. Source documents and statements quoted in this article can be found on the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers website at http://www.crnd.org as well as key relevant documents at The Acronym Institute website: http://www.acronym.org.uk

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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