October 8, 1999

"For decades, the United States has led the world against proliferation. If the United States Senate votes this treaty down, it would be a signal that the United States now wants to lead the world away from the cause of nonproliferation."
  President Bill Clinton,
October 4, 1999


  • Gen. Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
    "In short, the world will be a safer place with the treaty than without it, and it is in our national security interests to ratify the CTBT treaty." [Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing, 10/6/99]
  • Gen. Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    "The treaty is necessary for the safety and reliability of the world because it will reduce the threat of nuclear weapon attacks." [The Statesman, 9/27/97]
  • Gen. John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    "All these very senior military leaders and I have supported this treaty, first, because it answered our military concerns, and secondly, because no matter how we analyzed the provisions of this treaty, we always came back to the same conclusion, that our country will be better off with it than without it. And so we recommended to the president that he sign this treaty. And I now recommend that the Senate ratify it." [White House Briefing, 10/6/99]
  • Gen. Charles A. Horner, Air Force Commander, Operation Desert Storm
    "We have the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We have the Chemical Weapons Convention. Both of those worked. And we've signed up for both of them." [The San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/22/98]
  • Other Military Leaders Supporting Ratification:

    • Gen. David Jones, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    • Admiral William Crowe, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    • Gen. Eugene Habiger, former Commander in Chief of Strategic Command
    • Gen. John R. Galvin, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander
    • Admiral Noel Gayler, former Commander, Pacific
    • Gen. Andrew O'Meara, former Commander U.S. Army Europe
    • Gen. Bernard W. Rogers, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Army & NATO Supreme Allied Commander
    • Gen. William Y. Smith, former Deputy Commander, U.S. Command, Europe
    • Lt. Gen. Julius Becton
    • Lt. Gen. John H. Cushman, former Commander, I Corps (ROK/US) Group (Korea)
    • Lt. Gen. Robert E. Pursley
    • Vice Admiral William L. Read, former Commander U.S. navy Surface Force, Atlantic Command
    • Vice Admiral John J. Shanahan, former Director Center for Defense Information
    • Lt. Gen. George M. Seignious, II former Director Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
    • Vice Admiral James B. Wilson, former Polaris Submarine Captain
    • Maj. Gen. William F. Burns, JCS Rep.INF Negotiations; Special Envoy to Russia for Disarmament
    • Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll, Jr., Deputy Director, Center for Defense Information
    • Rear Admiral Robert G. James


  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) said that failing to achieve a nuclear test ban "would have to be classed as the greatest disappointment of any administration — of any decade — of any time and of any party. . ." [May 29, 1961]
  • Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA): Rejection encourages rogue nations to test: "If the Senate were to reject the treaty, then it would be highly publicized worldwide, it would be an open excuse for countries like India and Pakistan to continue nuclear testing, which I think is very, very undesirable, destabilizing that area of the world, would give an excuse for rogue nations like Iran, Iraq, Libya, other rogue nations to test." [CNN Newsday, 10/6/99]
  • Sen. James M. Jeffords (R-VT): Critically important to national security: "Not only is this function critically important to our national security, it comes at a bargain price." [Washington Post, 9/3/98]
    • More Jeffords, "The enactment of a comprehensive test ban would do more to stem proliferation and reduce nuclear threat than any other action we could take at this time." [Omaha World-Herald, 10/23/97]

  • Former Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-OR): Put partisanship aside: "My personal crusade to end the nuclear arms race began the day I walked into the ruins of Hiroshima as a young naval officer. ... I believe that no activity should take a back seat to the effort to achieve a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty." [Chapel Hill Herald, 2/15/95]. "It is clear to me that ratifying [the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty] would be in the national interest. It is equally clear that senators have a responsibility to the world, the nation and their constituents to put partisan politics aside and allow the Senate to consider this treaty." [Washington Post, 10/3/99]
  • Former Sen. John C. Danforth (R-KS): Slow development of weapons: "Practically nothing would do a better job of slowing down the development of new and more dangerous weapons than a mutually verifiable agreement among the superpowers to quit performing nuclear tests." [Congressional Record, 12/18/85, S17996]
  • Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker (R-KS) Stop the spread of nuclear weapons: "A widely supported comprehensive nuclear test ban could be an important step in not only curtailing the nuclear weapons programs of the United States and the Soviet Union, but also in helping to stop the spread of nuclear weapons." [Congressional Record, 9/25/90, S13759]
  • Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA), Chairman, Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of China:
    "The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, if it were enforced, would be a means of preventing the more rapid weaponization and deployment of new [Chinese] PLA nuclear weapons." [Press Briefing on the Cox Committee Report, 5/25/99]


  • Paul H. Nitze, Arms Control Negotiator and Ambassador-At-Large, Reagan Administration & Sidney D. Drell, Stanford Linear Accelerator, Stanford University:
    "The President rightly has referred to the CTBT as the ‘longest-sought, hardest-fought prize in the history of arms control.'… Today, such a ban would constrain advanced and not-so-advanced nuclear weapons states from developing more sophisticated and dangerous nuclear weapons capabilities." [Washington Post, 6/21/99]
  • Paul Warnke, Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency- Carter Administration:
    "The all-important goal of nuclear non-proliferation, the security interests of the United States and the preservation of confidence in our good faith all require that we pursue strenuously the achievement of a genuinely comprehensive nuclear test ban within the next year." [Baltimore Sun, 7/28/95]
  • Charles H. Townes, Recipient, 1964 Nobel Prize for Physics: Testing not required:
    "My colleagues and I have concluded that continued nuclear testing is simply not required to retain confidence in America's nuclear deterrent provided America maintains a robust set of relevant science and technology programs." [White House Briefing, 10/6/99]
  • Nobel Laureate Jerome I. Friedman, President, American Physical Society: Decision being rushed
    The test ban "is important for the future of humankind, and therefore has to be taken extremely seriously. … It's very disturbing that something so important won't have extensive hearings … I have the impression that things are being rushed through so people can't make informed decisions." [New York Times, 10/6/99]
  • 32 Nobel Laureates urge Senate to ratify: "A group of 32 Nobel laureates in physics urged the Senate yesterday to approve the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, calling it 'central to future efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.' … 'To line up this many physics Nobel laureates is unprecedented,' said Robert L. Park, a physicist at the University of Maryland who directs the group's Washington office." [New York Times, 10/6/99]
    Nobel Laureates who signed the letter include:
    Philip W. Anderson, Princeton
    Hans A. Bethe, Cornell
    Nicolaas Bloembergen, Harvard
    Owen Chamberlain, California
    Steven Chu, Stanford
    Leon N. Cooper, Brown
    Hans Dehmelt, Washington
    Jerome I. Friedman, MIT
    Val L. Fitch, Princeton
    Donald A. Glaser, California
    Sheldon Glashow, Harvard
    Henry W. Kendall, MIT
    Leon M. Lederman, Illinois Institute
        of Technology
    David M. Lee, Cornell
    T. D. Lee, Columbia
    Douglas D. Osheroff, Stanford
    Arno Penzias, Bell Labs
    Martin L. Perl, Stanford
    William Phillips, NIST
    Norman F. Ramsey, Harvard
    Robert C. Richardson, Cornell
    Burton Richter, Stanford
    Arthur I. Schawlow, Stanford
    J. Robert Schrieffer, Florida State
    Mel Schwartz, Columbia
    Clifford G. Shull, MIT
    Joseph H. Taylor Jr., Princeton
    Daniel C. Tsui, Princeton
    Charles Townes, California
    Steven Weinberg, Texas
    Robert W. Wilson, Harvard
    Kenneth G. Wilson, Ohio State


  • Chicago Tribune: US Should show leadership
    "President Eisenhower first sought to ban nuclear test explosions back in the 1950s at the height of the Cold War. And over the last 40 years, presidents in both parties have supported efforts to curb the global arms race and nuclear proliferation. It would be a tragedy if the U.S. were to squander this chance to show leadership in a cause designed to make the world a safer place—especially when it can be done at minimal cost to our own security. Other nations, especially Russia and China, are waiting for the U.S. to make the first move before they ratify. But if we fail to show credible leadership, efforts at banning nuclear testing forever could falter. That would benefit no one, least of all Americans." [Chicago Tribune, 10/6/99]
  • New York Times: U.S. has the most to gain from ratification
    "Perversely, the United States, which has the most to gain from the treaty achieving legal force is among the holdouts [who have not ratified the treaty]. … The test ban treaty, endorsed by America's top military commander and the directors of the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories, should be ratified promptly on its own merits." [New York Times, 9/5/99]
  • Los Angeles Times: Senate has failed in its responsibilities
    "The United States, long the champion of limiting the spread of nuclear weapons, now finds itself in the humiliating and self-wounding position of being unable to put its leadership behind its principles. The Senate's responsibility to advise and consent on treaties assumes it will inform itself on what it is being asked to consider. In that responsibility the Senate has failed. ... It deserves ratification, most of all because it serves American national security." [LA Times, 10/7/99]
  • Raleigh News & Observer: Rejection would ratchet up arms race
    "Having led the worldwide movement to contain the nuclear threat, the United States cannot just drop out of that movement without undermining it. Rogue and mainstream nations alike would interpret our failure to help create a new international standard of no testing - and no expectation of nuclear conflict - as a signal to ratchet up the arms race. And U.S. rejection of the treaty probably would mean that it never would take full legal effect." [Raleigh News & Observer, 10/6/99]
  • St. Petersburg Times: Partisanship threatens national interest
    "In blocking ratification of the test ban treaty, Senate Republicans are toying with our long-term security in an effort to score short-term political points. Ratification of the test ban treaty would build momentum in other capitals waiting to take their lead from Washington. … Republican senators fixated on embarrassing President Clinton should be much more concerned with stemming the nuclear ambitions of North Korea, Iraq and the other governments that would love to see this treaty die." [St. Petersburg Times, 10/7/99]
  • San Francisco Chronicle: Cynical politics behind Republican strategy
    "Cynical politics threaten to undercut a landmark treaty to ban nuclear testing around the world. After stalling a vote on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty for two years, Senate Republicans now want a hurry-up vote by the end of next week. Why? Because they believe the votes for approving the treaty aren't there, and GOP leaders want to hand President Clinton a big-time drubbing. ... Debate over the treaty, barely noticed by the public, will at last take place. But the rushed discussion can't fairly illuminate the topic or inform the nation." [San Francisco Chronicle, 10/6/99]
  • Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Too much information, too little time
    "For more than two years, Sen. Jesse Helms refused even to hold a hearing on the treaty. Then recently, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott pulled a surprise switcheroo: the treaty would get its floor vote, he announced, after limited debate. In such circumstances, getting two-thirds of the Senate to vote in favor of ratification is going to be extraordinarily hard; there is so much misinformation to combat and so little time." [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 10/6/99]
  • Sacramento Bee: Republican leaders rushing consideration
    "Most Republicans may genuinely believe, against expert opinion, that this country must have the option of nuclear testing (suspended in 1992) to ensure the viability of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. But that issue ought to be debated more extensively, starting with Senate hearings. Instead, Lott is set to rush the treaty to a likely defeat after too little debate. If he succeeds, the path to greater nuclear security will be even more tortuous than it already is." [Sacramento Bee, 10/6/99]
  • San Diego Union Tribune: Partisanship will undermine national interest
    "[M]ost Republicans, in search of a campaign issue, will oppose this important treaty, depriving it of a two-thirds majority. In doing so, they will undermine profound national interests. The United States already has renounced nuclear tests. The test ban treaty would help assure that other nations do so as well." [San Diego Union Tribune, 10/5/99]
  • Newsday: GOP leaders wrong in nations best interests
    "Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott scheduled a vote now only because he calculated that Democrats lack the votes to pass it. Democrats reluctantly agreed to the date in the belief it was the best they could get. Lott may be right in his calculations, but he is profoundly wrong when it comes to the nation's best interests. This is a shabby, opportunistic tactic to derail the treaty, which has been signed by 152 nations, including the United States, but has been ratified only by 47 countries." [Newsday, 10/4/99]
  • Cleveland Plain Dealer: Deserves serious consideration
    "The process, as it played out last week, only emphasized the debilitating partisanship that drives Washington as presidential election jockeying consumes common sense. The nuclear test ban is serious business. It deserves serious consideration. It should not serve simply as another platform for partisan posturing." [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/5/99].
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Treaty in deepest interest of US
    "A worldwide nuclear test ban is in the deepest interest of the United States. With a ban on testing, potential adversaries in the Third World or anywhere else would find it difficult to develop reliable arsenals of atomic weapons. The United States does not need to conduct tests to ensure the safety and reliability of its huge weapons stockpile, which is why this country has not conducted a nuclear test in seven years. … The treaty could and should have been ratified two years ago. The promise of a vote has now been made. It's an opportunity that should not be squandered." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/5/99]
  • The Tennesean: Guarantee American superiority
    "This treaty would guarantee U.S. superiority. It is widely supported by military leaders and arms experts. Senate Republicans would be wise to recognize the importance of the pact and refrain from using it as a political chit. Consider the stakes." [The Tennessean, 9/12/99]
  • Seattle Times: Treaty part of nation's best defense
    "On Thursday, the GOP abruptly reversed course and said it would bring it to a vote this week. The Democrats should take the challenge; the public has been behind the concept for two generations. … On Capitol Hill, the Republican Senate refuses to endorse a test-ban treaty that might give Clinton or the Democratic presidential campaign any political advantage. They miss the larger point. A test ban denies countries the opportunity to build or improve nuclear weapons. Ensuring bombs are not built remains the best defense." [Seattle Times, 10/3/99]
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution: Treaty stops proliferation
    "We can't just hope the Chinese won't be able to afford a nuclear upgrade. A more certain way to maintain the current favorable balance of power would be for the U.S. Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and then have the world community press China, which already has signed the CTBT, to ratify it as well. With China as a CTBT club member, a new strategic arms race could be kept in check. The Chinese can't develop improved warheads without test explosions to give them confidence the devices work. In fact, U.S. and Chinese participation in the test-ban treaty is likely to bring Pakistan and possibly even India into the test-ban fold, all the more reason for China to want to curb its nuclear appetite." [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9/1/99]
  • Salt Lake Tribune: Locks in American advantage
    "The Senate should OK the treaty because it favors the United States. It would lock in this nation's overwhelming international advantage in nuclear-weapons technology and cripple the bomb-building efforts of the world's nuclear wannabes." [Salt Lake Tribune, 9/12/99]
  • The Arizona Daily Star: Reduce risk of war
    "The existing nuclear powers should be doing what they can to dismantle, not beef up, arms programs. The post-Cold War world must concentrate on reducing the risk of nuclear explosions, intentional or accidental, part of testing or as acts of war." [Arizona Daily Star, 9/8/99]
  • Omaha World-Herald: Reduce worldwide arms
    "This treaty continues the efforts at ending the nuclear threat begun with the nonproliferation treaty. An end to nuclear weapons testing is the first in a series of steps to reduce the number of nuclear arms worldwide." [Omaha World-Herald, 10/23/97]


  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder:
    "Thanks to the common resolve of the world's powers, we have achieved a substantial reduction in nuclear arsenals, the banning of chemical weapons, the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and, in 1996, the conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. South Africa, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus have renounced nuclear weapons in the same spirit. The decisions we take now will help determine, for generations to come, the safety of the world we bequeath to our children. … Failure to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty will be a failure in our struggle against proliferation." [New York Times, 10/8/99]
  • Secretary of State Madeline Albright:
    "People around the world do not want to live in a world in which nuclear testing is business as usual. They do not care for the threat of radiation in their air and water or in their children's bones. They do not want to make it easy or acceptable for nuclear weapons to spread further. I urge the Senate to recognize that this universal wish is a sensible safeguard for our security." [Albright, Chicago Tribune, 10/7/99]
  • Former Senator James Exon (D-NE): No decision has been as important
    "In 26 consecutive years of elective service - eight as Nebraska's longest-serving governor before being elected to the U.S. Senate - and as an overseas veteran of World War II, I have a reputation as a solid citizen and a national defense hawk. In all of those years of decision-making, no decision has been as important as the approval of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty." [Omaha World-Herald, 5/16/98]
  • George Perkovich: Next President will suffer if CTBT is rejected:
    "If the Senate eventually fails to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, there will be another victim besides the one Senate Republicans intended. For it is not only President Clinton who will be harmed by the action but the person who takes office as president—and many Republicans presume it will be one of their own—in 2001. The new president will face nuclear shock waves around the world, bereft of bipartisan support when he most needs it." [Perkovich, Washington Post, 10/7/99]


  • Polls Show Public Approval of Treaty: "82 percent of Americans favored approval of the treaty when its purpose was explained. Seventy-one percent said they strongly wanted ratification. Some 80 percent of those identifying themselves as Republicans supported ratification, as did 86 percent of those identifying themselves as Democrats. Among those identifying themselves as conservative Republicans, support for ratification was 79 percent." [Baltimore Sun, 7/21/99]

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