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US should ratify nuclear test ban treaty

Published September 28, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The United States can bolster international norms of peace and stability by ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons remains a top security challenge for the world. A global ban on nuclear weapons testing is a step towards achieving that goal. However, the CTBT cannot enter into force until all nations with nuclear weapons and nations capable of building them ratify the treaty. To date, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States haven't ratified the CTBT.

U.S. ratification could have a domino effect that would bring the world closer to a permanent ban on nuclear testing; China has already publicly stated they will ratify soon after the U.S.

Some U.S. senators have set forth conditions for ratification, including confidence in monitoring capabilities and assurance that our nuclear weapons stay reliable. Those two conditions have been met as demonstrated by 22 monitoring stations in the Pacific region (out of 254 worldwide) detecting North Korea's test last February; and the U.S.'s pursuit of various programs to refurbish our nuclear stockpile.

No more temporary bans on nuclear testing, it is time to ban it outright by ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Elaine Emmi

Salt Lake City

Eric Tamerlani

Washington, D.C.