"No one can solve this problem alone, but together we can change things for the better." 

– Setsuko Thurlow
Hiroshima Survivor
June 6, 2016

CTB Treaty Executive Summary

The Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) treaty will prohibit all nuclear weapon test explosions or other nuclear explosions anywhere in the world. In order to verify compliance with its provisions, the treaty establishes a global network of monitoring facilities and allows for on-site inspections of suspicious events. The overall accord contains a preamble, 17 treaty articles, two treaty annexes, and a protocol with two annexes detailing verification procedures.



The preamble, which lists disarmament principals and objectives, sets the overall political context of the treaty. In particular, it stresses the need for the continued reduction of nuclear weapons worldwide with the ultimate goal of their elimination. Also of significance, the preamble recognizes that a CTB will constitute an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation by “constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons.” It further recognizes that a test ban will constitute “a meaningful step in the realization of a systematic process to achieve nuclear disarmament.”



Article I establishes that all states-parties are prohibited from conducting “any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion.” On the basis of the negotiating record, this is understood to include all nuclear explosions with yields greater than zero, in accordance with President Bill Clinton’s August 1995 proposal. (See ACT, September 1995)


Implementing Organization

Article II establishes the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, which will ensure treaty implementation and provide states-parties with a forum for consultation and cooperation. The organization will consist of a Conference of the States Parties, an Executive Council and a Technical Secretariat. The organization-to be located in Vienna-will be structurally independent from, but operating in collaboration with, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Conference of the States Parties-the overall governing body of the organization-will handle treaty-related policy issues and oversee the treaty’s implementation, including the activities of the Executive Council and the Technical Secretariat. The conference will meet once a year, unless otherwise decided.

The Executive Council, which will meet regularly and act as the treaty’s principal decision-making body, will consist of 51 members. In an attempt to distribute membership evenly throughout the world, the Executive Council will comprise 10 states-parties from Africa; seven from Eastern Europe; nine from Latin America and the Caribbean; seven from the Middle East and South Asia; ten from North America and Western Europe; and eight from Southeast Asia, the Pacific and the Far East. The states in each of these geographical regions are listed in Annex 1 to the treaty.

The members of the council will be elected by the conference. In order to ensure that those countries with a vested interest in a CTB are adequately represented in the council, at least one-third of the seats allotted to each region will be filled by states-parties on the basis of their nuclear capabilities applicable to the treaty, such as the number of monitoring facilities they contribute to the International Monitoring System (IMS). One seat allocated to each region will be designated on the alphabetical basis and the remaining seats will be determined by rotation or elections. Thus, each state-party will eventually have the right to serve on the council.

The Technical Secretariat will be the primary body responsible for implementing the treaty’s verification procedures. In this capacity, it will supervise the operation of the IMS and receive, process, analyze and report on the system’s data. It will also manage the International Data Center (IDC) and perform a series of procedural tasks related to conducting on-site inspections.

Article III requires each state-party, in accordance with its constitutional process, to take any necessary measures to implement its treaty obligations.


Verification and Compliance

Article IV and the verification protocol establish the treaty’s verification regime, which will consist of four basic elements: the IMS, consultation and clarification, on-site inspections and confidence-building measures. The verification regime will not be completely operational until the treaty enters into force. For instance, on-site inspections cannot be authorized until the treaty formally comes into effect.

The purpose of the IMS is to detect and identify nuclear explosions prohibited under Article I. The monitoring system will comprise a network of 50 primary and 120 auxiliary seismological monitoring stations designed to detect seismic activity and distinguish between natural events, such as earthquakes, and nuclear explosions. In addition, the system will incorporate 80 radionuclide stations and 16 radionuclide laboratories that seek to identify radioactive particles released during a nuclear explosion. The IMS will also include 60 infrasound (acoustic) and 11 hydroacoustic stations designed to pick up the sound of a nuclear explosion conducted in the atmosphere or underwater, respectively. The host state and the location of each facility is listed in Annex 1 to the protocol.

Information collected by the IMS will then be transmitted to the IDC-an essential part of the Technical Secretariat responsible for data storage and processing. Because the IMS will generate an enormous amount of raw data, the IDC will regularly provide states-parties with a number of services designed to help them monitor compliance with the treaty’s provisions. In this regard, the data center will produce integrated lists of all signals picked up by the IMS, as well as standard event lists and bulletins. In accordance with the parameters outlined in Annex 2 to the protocol, the center will also generate standard screened event bulletins that filter out those events that appear to be of a non-nuclear nature. However, notwithstanding this analysis role, the IDC must make both the raw and processed information available to all states-parties.

The consultation and clarification component of the verification regime encourages states-parties to attempt to resolve, either among themselves or through the organization, possible instances of non-compliance before requesting an on-site inspection. A state-party must provide clarification of an ambiguous event within 48 hours of receiving such a request from another state-party or the Executive Council.

If a suspicious occurrence cannot be resolved through consultation and clarification, each state-party has the right to request an on-site inspection in the territory of the party in question. The inspection request must be based on information collected by the IMS; data obtained through national technical means (NTM) of verification, such as satellites, in a manner consistent with international law (for example, not based on espionage); or a combination of IMS and NTM information. The request must contain the approximate geographical coordinates and the estimated depth of the ambiguous event, the proposed boundaries of the area to be inspected (not to exceed 1,000 square kilometers), the state-party or parties to be inspected, the probable environment and estimated time of event, all evidence upon which the request is based, the identity of the proposed observer (if available) and the results of the consultation and clarification process.

The Executive Council will make a decision on the on-site inspection request within 96 hours of its receipt from the requesting state-party. The inspection will be authorized to proceed if it has been approved by at least 30 of the council’s 51-members, the so-called “green light” procedure. An inspection team will arrive at the point of entry within six days of the council’s receipt of the inspection request. During the course of the inspection, the inspection team may submit a proposal to begin drilling, which must be approved by 26 council members. The duration of the inspection must not exceed 60 days, but may be extended by a maximum of 70 additional days (subject to council approval) if the inspection team determines that more time is needed to fulfill its mandate.

If the Executive Council rejects an on-site inspection request (or terminates an inspection already underway) because it is of a frivolous or abusive nature, the council may impose punitive measures on the requesting state-party. In this regard, it may require the requesting state-party to provide financial compensation for preparations made by the Technical Secretariat and may suspend the party’s right to request an inspection and serve on the council for an unspecified period of time.

The verification regime also incorporates confidence-building measures intended to promote treaty compliance. In order to reduce the likelihood that verification data may be misconstrued, each state-party will voluntarily provide the Technical Secretariat with notification of any chemical explosion involving a magnitude of 300 tons or more of TNT-equivalent on its territory. Each state-party may also assist the Technical Secretariat in the calibration of IMS stations.

In order to ensure compliance with the treaty’s provisions, Article V empowers the conference to revoke a state-party’s rights under the treaty, recommend to the states-parties punitive measures such as sanctions or bring the case to the attention of the United Nations. Article VI describes the mechanism by which disputes pertaining to the application or interpretation of the treaty may be settled.


Amendment Process

Under Article VII, each state-party has the right to propose amendments to the treaty after its entry into force. The proposed amendment requires the approval of a simple majority of states-parties at an amendment conference with no party casting a negative vote.


Peaceful Nuclear Explosions

Under Article VIII, a conference will be held 10 years after the treaty’s entry into force to review the implementation of its provisions, including the preamble. At this review conference, any state-party may request that the issue of so-called “peaceful nuclear explosions” (PNEs) be put on the agenda. However, the presumption is that PNEs remain prohibited unless certain virtually insurmountable obstacles are overcome. First, the review conference must decide without objection that PNEs may be permitted, then an amendment to the treaty must also be approved without objection at a separate amendment conference, as is explained above. This “double hurdle” makes it extremely unlikely that peaceful nuclear explosions will ever be permitted under the treaty.


Duration and Withdrawal

Under Article IX, the CTB treaty will be of unlimited duration. In addition, each state-party has the right to withdraw from the treaty if it decides, “extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests.” Notice of intent to withdraw must be given at least six months in advance.


Miscellaneous Provisions

Article X specifies that the treaty’s annexes, protocol and annexes to the protocol are a formal party of the treaty. Article XI declares that the treaty is open to all states for signature prior to its entry into force. Article XII maintains that each signatory state will ratify the treaty according to its own constitutional procedures. Under Article XIII, any state that has not signed the treaty prior to its entry into force may accede to it any time thereafter.


Entry into Force

Under Article XIV, the treaty will not enter into force until it has been signed and ratified by 44 states-including the five nuclear weapons states (United States, Russia, Britain, France and China) and the three “threshold states” (India, Israel and Pakistan)-listed by name in Annex 2 to the treaty. (Actual entry into force will occur 180 days after all 44 states deposit their instruments of ratification with the UN secretary-general.) The 44 states, all of which are participating members of the recently expanded Conference on Disarmament, possess nuclear power and research reactors as determined by the IAEA.

If the treaty has to come into effect “three years after the date of the anniversary of its opening for signature,” then a conference may be held for those states that have already deposited their instruments of ratification to “decide by consensus what measures consistent with international law may be undertaken to accelerate the ratification process.” However, this conference-to be repeated annually until the treaty’s entry into force-will not have the authority to waive the original provision requiring ratification by the 44 states.


Other Provisions

Article XV stipulates that the treaty’s provisions will not be subject to reservations. Article XVI establishes the UN secretary-general as the depositary of the treaty. Under Article XVII, the treaty will be authentic in six languages.

Chairman's Draft Text of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Fifty-One Years of Nuclear Testing: The Final Tally?

Please contact ACA for a copy of this story.

Fifty-One Years of Nuclear Testing: The Final Tally?

Report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Please contact ACA for a copy of this story.

Report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

In Pursuit of a Global Ban on Landmines: CCW States Fail to Stem Crisis; U.S. Policy Now An Obstacle

In Pursuit of a Global Ban on Landmines: New Landmine Protocol Is Vital Step Toward Ban

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: Hanging in the Balance

Arms Control and the 1992 Election

In this issue of Arms Control Today, the Arms Control Association continues its tradition of providing a forum for the major presidential candidates to present their views on some of the most pressing security and arms control issues of the day. Since 1976, this tradition has provided both ACT readers and the public at large the opportunity to learn in detail the opinions, ideas, and plans of those who seek the office of president.  In this fifth presidential forum in Arms Control Today, we have expanded both the scope and the number of questions to be addressed by the candidates.  Their responses, we believe, will help focus the national debate over critical security and defense questions that are all too often left unanswered during the “sound bite” wars of modern presidential campaigns.

In February, ACA submitted nine questions to each of the major candidates for president.  Here we present the responses from Democratic candidate Bill Clinton and the incumbent, President George H.W. Bush.

Democratic Response: Bill Clinton

ACT: What should the United States be doing to reduce the nuclear risks potentially posed by the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Bill Clinton: No national security issue is more urgent than the question of who will control the nuclear weapons and technology of the former Soviet empire. Those weapons pose a threat to the security of every American, to our allies, and to the republics themselves.

There are three key parts to this problem: (1 ) ensuring that responsible authorities maintain control over the nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union; (2) preventing the migration of former Soviet nuclear weapon scientists and engineers to work on Third World nuclear weapon programs; and (3) aggressively pursuing further reductions in nuclear weapons on both sides. The Bush administration has been slow to react on all three counts. In fact, Congress had to step in and fill the vacuum in U.S. policy when Sam Nunn (D-GA) led the effort in the fall of I 991 to earmark $400 million in the Fiscal Year 1992 defense budget to help the former Soviet Union dismantle some of its weapons.

The United States should take the lead in the West in making clear to the new republics that have Soviet nuclear weapons that the continuation of Western aid is conditioned on their actually ceding control over those weapons to either Russia or to a responsible authority of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

I support American leadership in any coordinated Western effort to support the cadres of Soviet nuclear scientists and engineers, for at least a limited time, to dismantle Soviet nuclear weapons or in developing relevant technologies that will help the Soviet economy. For a tiny fraction of what the United States had spent on nuclear weapons, the West can make a major contribution to securing the peace that the end of the Cold War promises us.

The United States should also move soon to begin negotiations with Russia that seek to reach quick agreement on substantial further cuts below the levels provided in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that currently awaits Senate ratification. Fewer nuclear weapons means fewer weapons vulnerable to misuse.

ACT: What approach would you take to further reductions and limitations on nuclear arms, beyond those contemplated in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and last fall’s reciprocal nuclear cutback initiatives?

Bill Clinton: With the end of the Cold War, we can safely make fundamental revisions in U.S. targeting policy and doctrine that have driven so much of U.S. strategic force developments in the past. By drastically reducing the “target set” and adjusting our deterrence policies to fit the real world, we can move to substantially lower numbers of weapons.

Weapons reduction proposals should continue to be guided by an emphasis on stability, but stability for the new age. In addition to moving toward weapons with fewer warheads, we should also put a premium on weapons that can be more easily controlled by central authorities. As president, I would seek a ban on mobile, land-based missiles and a ban on land-based missiles with more than one warhead.

ACT: In the new environment, would you cut the defense budget more than is now planned? If so, by how much? Are there specific systems you would cancel, or others you particularly support?

Bill Clinton: Any discussion of defense spending must necessarily look at what we want our defense posture to defend against. I believe a prudent set of coherent, integrated reductions across force structure, procurement, and research and development can maintain a strong defense posture for the United States. I would emphasize systems and forces that are more relevant to the types of conflicts we are likely to face in the future than those we have faced in the past. President Bush’s $50 billion reduction in a $1.5 trillion, five-year defense budget is inconsistent with the implications of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War I would reduce the five-year budget by a net of at least $50 billion more, with further cuts possible if current favorable trends in the international climate continue. This net figure would include some increases in areas that I believe are not being adequately addressed by the Bush administration.

First, we should stop production of the B-2 bomber. I would make significant cuts in Strategic Defense Initiative funding, while fully funding theater missile defense and preserving the option of deploying a limited, ground-based defense for the United States. I would make major cuts in research and development for new nuclear bombs, maintain a force of 10 aircraft carriers rather than 12, further reduce our forces in Europe, and make some reductions in our intelligence resources that are directed toward the former Soviet Union.

At the same time, I would integrate the lessons of Desert Shield and Desert Storm into our defense planning. As part of this, I would step up production of fast sealift ships, which Desert Shield showed was a critical weakness for the United States, and enhance our airlift modernization through procurement of the C-17.
We need to plan for the conflicts of the future, not those of the past, and as president I would ensure that our force posture reflects tomorrow’s security needs.

ACT: What additional steps would you take to reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation?

Bill Clinton: We must do more to stop the threat of weapons of mass destruction from spreading. We need to clamp down on countries and companies that sell these technologies, punish violators, and work urgently with all countries for tough, enforceable, international nonproliferation agreements.

I would follow a two-track approach in dealing with the proliferation problem. First, I would learn the lessons of what went wrong that allowed Iraq to get as close as it did to achieving a nuclear capability and Pakistan to achieve its capability, and would strengthen International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to reflect these lessons. I also would seek from Congress legislation that would bar imports of goods and services from those foreign companies that knowingly provide direct or indirect support for the nuclear weapons programs of non-nuclear-weapon states.

The second track would be to seek much greater cooperation and support for the use of economic and related leverage in discouraging countries seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. For example, Japan and South Korea should be extremely concerned about the prospects of a North Korean bomb. I would coordinate a coherent international response that provided strong economic incentives to North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapon efforts and to open up its facilities for inspection, and severe economic penalties for failure to do so.

ACT: Do you believe that the global trade in conventional weapons should be restrained, and if so, how would you pursue that goal?

Bill Clinton: Our experience with Iraq has demonstrated that a failure to come to grips with conventional arms sales carries with it a very high price tag in terms of instability, conflict, and the tragic human loss, vast property damage, and high financial cost of the measures needed to apply to regional conflict. A Saddam Hussein who was denied the quantity and quality of weapons that were available to him in the international arms bazaar might not have invaded Kuwait, might have been easier to pressure to leave, and would certainly have been easier to dislodge by force.

A coordinated international approach to this problem is required, one that addresses the demand for such weapons as well as their supply. Unilateral restraint by the United States can at best achieve only modest results. On the demand side, the United States should encourage the policies adopted by some donor countries and the World Bank in tying aid levels to the amounts spent by a country on arms. Where needed, economic sanctions could also be considered in certain circumstances. On the supply side, the United States should negotiate with the major supplier countries on limiting such sales. Initial negotiations could focus on the most militarily significant weapons, the ones with the greatest offensive orientation. As success is achieved in these areas, follow-on negotiations could address overall arms sales levels with an eye toward achieving sharp reductions. Other approaches are certainly possible, but the key imperative is to begin the process, something that the Bush administration has failed to do.

ACT: What would your approach to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and the Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty be?

Bill Clinton: We need to bring a healthy dose of reality to the SDI program, a quality that it sorely lacks today. Our SDI program should be geared to the real threats we face today and are likely to face in the future, not the fevered rationalizations of a weapons program in search of a mission. I fully support the development of a defense against tactical ballistic missiles to provide protection for limited areas abroad, such as selected U.S. troop deployments as in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, or key areas of tactical or strategic military significance, as Israel was during the war.

I would keep open the option of deploying a limited single- site, ground-based defense in the United States. This would not require the wasteful levels of SDI spending that the administration is requesting.

The ABM Treaty has well sewed U.S. security interests since it was ratified 20 years ago. I would only consider modest changes in it that clearly enhanced U.S. security interests and were negotiated in good faith with Russia after full consultations with our NATO allies. At present, such changes are not needed.

ACT: Do you support a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing, or other testing limits?

Bill Clinton: Yes. A comprehensive test ban would strengthen our vital efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries, which may be our greatest future security threat.

I believe we should consider a CTB in a two-step process: through further reductions in the testing threshold of the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and a cap on the number of tests permitted annually at levels well below present practice. Such experience in this reduced testing environment should demonstrate that the dangers conjured up by opponents of a CTB about testing limits were groundless. With this experience under our belts, assuming no major surprises in the international environment, we could then proceed quickly to a full, comprehensive test ban.

ACT: What role should the United Nations play in dealing with regional conflicts and regional arms control?

Bill Clinton: In the same way that multilateral banks serve to share the economic and political burdens of international financial assistance, the United Nations can play the same role in addressing regional conflicts. Although not perfect, the Desert Shield-Desert Storm experience was a useful model for future U.N. actions. The Security Council should be encouraged, under U.S. and other Western leadership, to adopt necessary measures running the spectrum from verbal through economic to full military action if warranted to deal with regional unrest or regional conflict. While the United States must continue to reserve the right to exercise unilateral action under some circumstances, we should seek to make maximum use of the United Nations to meet our security objectives now that it has been freed from the shackles that hobbled it during the Cold War. I have suggested, for example, that we explore the idea of a U.N. rapid deployment force.

Likewise, the United Nations has a greater role to play in regional arms control than was true during the Cold War. The U.N. registry of arms sales is just a start. The United Nations can be an appropriate forum for getting regional adversaries to enter into a dialogue, and then negotiations, to restrict the numbers and kinds of weapons they acquire. Such steps are not a substitute for measures that address the underlying issues that are the heart of the conflict, but these steps can complement such measures and serve to facilitate the fundamental negotiations.

ACT: Are there other major arms control priorities that you would pursue?

Bill Clinton: I believe that our efforts in nuclear proliferation should be expanded to address the problem of nuclear delivery. The continuing fascination of the Reagan and Bush administrations with weapons of mass destruction delivered by ballistic missile has obscured the more likely reliance by new nuclear states on aircraft, cruise missiles, trucks, and other nontraditional means of delivery of such weapons. The tragic loss of 240 U.S. Marines in Lebanon in 1983 shows that a determined adversary can employ decidedly “low-tech” means to attack targets that the United States highly values. Early establishment of a tough and effective global ban on production and use of chemical weapons under the Chemical Weapons Convention should also be an American priority, as well as controls on space weapons like antisatellite weapons that could threaten U.S. access to and use of space.

Republican Response: George H.W. Bush

ACT: What should the United States be doing to reduce the nuclear risks potentially posed by the collapse of the Soviet Union?

George Bush: The United States is actively engaged on a broad front to reduce the risk that the dissolution of the Soviet Union could lead to nuclear accidents, unauthorized use, or proliferation. We have made clear to all the independent states that no more than one nuclear-weapon state should emerge from the former Soviet Union, and that all the non-Russian republics should join the Nonproliferation Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states. We are also working actively with the independent states to prevent the spread of nuclear material or technology. In that respect, I would point particularly to the establishment of the International Center for Science and Technology and our assistance to the independent states to establish effective export control regimes consistent with democratic, free-market economies.

In my nuclear initiative of September 27, 1991, I called on the Soviet Union to join us in discussions and cooperation on nuclear command and control, safety, security, and dismantlement. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev accepted that idea on October 5. Thus, contacts in this area were well underway when the Soviet Union dissolved.

We have welcomed the independent states’ agreements in Alma-Ata and Minsk on nuclear command and control arrangements, and on the timetable for nuclear weapons withdrawals to predismantlement storage facilities. The United States is near agreement on several initial projects for assistance, using funds under the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991, to ensure the safe and secure transportation, storage, and dismantlement of nuclear weapons.

ACT: What approach would you take to further reductions and limitations on nuclear arms, beyond those contemplated in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and last fall’s reciprocal nuclear cutback initiatives?

George Bush: I strongly believe that the next step in nuclear arms reductions should be an agreement to eliminate all multiple warhead (MIRVed) ICBMs. By eliminating the most threatening strategic systems, such an agreement would build on, and greatly advance, the process begun in START both to reduce strategic forces and to restructure
them to enhance stability Under the agreement I propose, the United States would eliminate our entire Peacekeeper force and reduce the number of warheads on each of our Minuteman UI ICBMs from three to one. In my State of the Union message on January 28, 1991, I also announced major additional steps that we would take as part of an overall agreement to eliminate all MIRVed ICBMs. Specifically, we would reduce by about one-third the number of submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads that we planned to deploy under START, and reorient a substantial number of our strategic bombers to a primarily conventional role. The net result of my proposal would be to lower the actual number of nuclear weapons in our strategic forces by about 50 percent below planned START levels, If Russia agrees to this approach, we would be willing to discuss possible subsequent reductions in our strategic forces.

ACT: In the new environment, would you cut the defense budget more than is now planned? If so, by how much? Are there specific systems you would cancel, or others you particularly support?

George Bush: Three years ago, foreseeing many of the remarkable changes which have since occurred in the world, my administration developed a new, comprehensive defense strategy. That strategy was designed to be responsive to an uncertain future and yet allow us to reduce our forces by 25 percent, without creating a hollow force. Those reductions are already taking place, at a pace that will avoid destroying the quality of the force that performed so magnificently in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The budget that I have just submitted proposed savings of $50 billion over the next five years in addition to the savings already planned.

Since the beginning of my administration, we have terminated 100 weapons programs. Many of the divisions that kept the peace in Europe throughout the Cold War have been deactivated. We are retiring 100 ships and cutting back 10 fighter wings. In the next five years, we will reduce U.S. active forces, reserves, and civilian support by a full one million people. We will close 500 military installations worldwide. By 1997, U.S. defense spending will be at 3.4 percent of gross national product, the lowest it has been in 50 years. Further budget reductions below these dramatically reduced levels would threaten the ability of our forces to protect U.S. national security interests around the world.

ACT: What additional steps would you take to reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation?

George Bush: I have given the highest priority to reducing the danger of nuclear proliferation. We are working hard to reduce the risk that the breakup of the Soviet Union could spur the spread of nuclear weapons, materials, or technology. We will continue to advocate universal adherence to the Nonproliferation Treaty and seek its indefinite extension at the 1995 extension conference. The North Korean nuclear program constitutes a grave security threat in North Asia, and it is of the utmost importance that North Korea accept International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and bilateral inspections of its nuclear program and fulfill its agreement with South Korea to establish a nuclear-free peninsula. I have given particular priority to my Middle East arms control initiative, which has several nuclear elements, including a call on all countries in the region to forswear acquisition or production of fissile materials. We also must ensure that all Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and capability to produce such weapons, are destroyed in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 687. We support the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in South Asia, and have called upon India and Pakistan to join with China, Russia, and the United States in a five-party conference that would address the South Asian proliferation problem.

We have recently witnessed significant successes in nuclear nonproliferation. Argentina and Brazil have reversed longstanding positions by adopting full-scope IAEA safeguards and taken steps toward bringing the Treaty of Tlatelolco into force. The Nonproliferation Treaty has been joined by South Africa, most of the “front-line” African states, China, Lithuania, and Estonia. Prance has also committed to join. The 27-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group has just agreed to establish a multilateral regime to control exports of “dual-use” technologies, technology and equipment which could be used to develop or produce nuclear explosive devices as well as for peaceful purposes. Despite this progress, Jam firmly committed to seeing that much more is done to reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation.

ACT: Do you believe that the global trade in conventional weapons should be restrained, and if so, how would you pursue that goal?

George Bush: Yes I do. That applies especially to conventional arms transfers that fuel offensive military ambitions or destabilize regional balances. To that end, the United States cosponsored the U.N. resolution to create a global arms transfer registry which would provide the openness and transparency to expose emerging imbalances before they become critical.

Further, through my Middle East arms control initiative the five leading suppliers of conventional arms to that troubled region—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China—have agreed to observe common guidelines of restraint and to exchange information about arms sales.

The most effective restraint against destabilizing arms buildups is a government’s sense of security within its own borders. Arms transfer freezes artificially imposed from the outside can undermine that sense of security. Indeed, U.S. arms transfers are designed to enhance the security of our friends and allies while promoting regional stability. They do so in several ways: by deterring aggression against friends and allies, by reducing the likelihood that U.S. forces will have to be employed directly in regional contingencies, and by increasing the ability of U.S. forces to operate jointly with regional forces—a key element to the success of the coalition forces in the Gulf War.

ACT: What would your approach to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and the Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty be?

George Bush: In my State of the Union speech last year, I outlined a new direction for the Strategic Defense Initiative, to develop Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (GPALS). This new concept was designed to respond to significant changes in the strategic environment—a receding Soviet threat combined with the increasing threat of missile proliferation—as well as to the enduring requirement to protect the United States, our allies, and our forces overseas from accidental, unauthorized, or rogue nation ballistic missile attacks.

The system we seek to deploy has three elements: ground- based interceptors to protect the United States; theater defenses to defend our forward deployed forces and our allies; and global space-based sensors and interceptors, to provide the worldwide and layered defenses necessary to protect against even limited attacks.

In late January 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin proposed that the United States and Russia cooperate in the area of global defense against limited ballistic missile attack. This landmark departure from previous Soviet policy offers the promise of real cooperation with the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union as well as with our allies in ballistic missile early warning and protection.

ACT: Do you support a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing, or other testing limits?

George Bush: My administration remains committed to a step-by-step process for further limits on nuclear testing. The amount of nuclear testing we conduct has been steadily going down. Moreover, the nuclear initiatives that I announced last September and in this year’s State of the Union message will reduce the size and nature of the U.S. nuclear deployment worldwide, to make it smaller, safer, and more stable. Those changes in our nuclear forces could have some impact on our nuclear testing program.
Nevertheless, nuclear deterrence continues to play a critical role in U.S. national security strategy. As we reduce our nuclear deterrent, we must ensure that it remains credible and safe. The United States tests only as clearly required for our security and to ensure the reliability; safety, security, and survivability of our nuclear deterrent.

My State of the Union proposals and the implementation of my September nuclear initiative, including the safe and secure dismantlement of the nuclear weapons to be eliminated, remain my highest priorities in the area of bilateral nuclear arms control. These extraordinary moves to reduce and better control nuclear stockpiles deserve our closest attention.

ACT: What role should the United Nations play in dealing with regional conflicts and regional arms control?

George Bush: The United Nations has a vital role to play in supplementing regional efforts to maintain regional peace and security. The past few years have seen a growth in this role in settling regional conflicts, as parties or regional organizations turn to the experience and capability of the United Nations. U.N. missions in Namibia and Nicaragua helped create the conditions for free and fair elections and the establishment of democracy. Coalition action authorized by the United Nations liberated Kuwait, and the United Nations is destroying Iraq’s ability to destabilize and threaten its neighbors. We have high hopes that new U.N. missions in El Salvador, Cambodia, and Yugoslavia will bring peace to these lands racked by civil war

The United Nations can also play an important role in regional arms control. We believe that the United Nations can usefully act as an information repository, as with the U.N. regional disarmament centers and the recently established U.N. Register of Conventional Arms.

ACT: Are there other major arms control priorities that you would pursue?

George Bush: A major priority of my administration has been the conclusion of a total ban on chemical weapons, an effort I have been pressing personally for years. We have taken bold, positive steps to renounce the use of chemical weapons for any reason, including retaliation, and to commit unconditionally to the destruction of all our chemical weapons, as a spur to persuading the world to sign up now to a total ban. American leadership is making this ambitious goal achievable, and I am hopeful that we will see a convention concluded this year.

We have been equally vigorous in trying to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention’s (BWC) prohibitions on those terrible weapons. At a conference to review progress in achieving the BWC’s goal last fall, the United States was successful in achieving agreement to a number of proposals to increase adherence to the BWC and make its measures more effective. We continue to press the international community to do everything practicable to shore up this vital international standard.
I am proud of the role this country plays in leading the fight against these weapons of terror, as well as against the spread of nuclear weapons and missiles. We will give the highest priority and put increased emphasis into global efforts to reduce and control proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.



Arms Control and the 1988 Election

As the 1988 presidential campaign moves into full swing, the Arms Control Association is pleased to present an exclusive ACT feature: a forum in which the major Democratic and Republican candidates give their views on key arms control and national security issues. As in the last three presidential campaigns, ACA believes that providing this opportunity for the candidates to describe their positions can only raise the level of debate on this crucial area. Hopefully, the opportunity to compare the candidates’ views, in writing, will help the interested public to understand the candidates’ areas of agreement and disagreement, their relative emphases, in more specific, programmatic detail than is usually found in campaign material.
In November, ACA sent identical questionnaires to both major candidates, Democrat Michael Dukakis and Republican George H.W. Bush. Only five questions were included, each dealing with a major concern in the arms control arena. Each candidate was asked to discuss not only his basic goals and perspectives on national security, but also the arms control initiatives he would undertake if elected.  Their statements are presented here.
Following are the questions addressed to the candidates:
1) What would you do with the Strategic Defense Initiative program, and would your SDI policy be guided by the narrow or broad interpretation of the ABM Treaty?
2) How would your approach to limiting strategic offensive arms differ from that of the present administration?
3) Would you seek to negotiate a comprehensive test ban or other nuclear testing limits?
4) What strategic concept would govern your procurement of strategic weapon systems and what new programs would you support?
5) What new initiatives would your administration undertake to control nuclear arms and reduce the risk of nuclear war?

Democratic Response: Michael S. Dukakis

SDI/ABM Treaty Reinterpretation: The administration’s SDI program is a fantasy—a technological illusion which most scientists say cannot be achieved in the foreseeable future. The defenses they envision won’t make the United States more secure—they will simply fuel the arms race, as each new system produces a counter-system, with no increased security. Deploying defenses could make nuclear war more, not less, likely. At a time when the defense budget will remain stable at best in the coming years, the United States cannot afford to waste billions and billions for a system we don’t need and which can’t work.

The United States and the Soviet Union should abide by the traditional, correct interpretation of the ABM Treaty. The treaty is clear: “Each party undertakes not to develop, test or deploy ABM systems or components which are…space-based.” Period. Congress, under the leadership of Senator Sam Nunn, has affirmed the importance of abiding by the correct interpretation of the treaty; it is time for the administration to reverse the dangerous precedent it has set, which could seriously harm future efforts to gain Senate support for arms control treaties.

Only if the United States and the Soviets agree to maintain the treaty can we hope to achieve durable cuts in strategic nuclear weapons. The administration’s attempt to sidestep the issue at the Washington summit, and to base an agreement for deep cuts in strategic weapons on an unresolved ambiguity over the meaning of the treaty, could increase superpower tensions in the future.

Rather than creating new ambiguities, we should work through the mechanism established in the treaty—the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC)—to resolve differences over interpretation and compliance and to make sure that new technology does not undermine the treaty.

The SCC has been effective in the past, but the current administration has been unwilling to take advantage of the procedures established for settling these disputes.
I support continued research on strategic defenses at about the funding level in 1983—before the President announced the Strategic Defense Initiative-as long as the research is consistent with the ABM Treaty. This will permit the United States to guard against a Soviet breakout from the treaty, and to conduct basic scientific research, without threatening the treaty itself.

Strategic Arms Limitations: The framework agreed upon by the United States and the Soviet Union in the Washington summit is a good beginning. It would put a brake on the growth of each side’s nuclear arsenal and bring the number of warheads to about the level that existed when President Reagan took office. It would cut in half the number of SS-18s—the Soviets’ most dangerous and destabilizing strategic nuclear weapon. The agreement also acknowledges the need to place limits on sea-launched cruise missiles.

But the agreement would not by itself stop or slow the race to build new, highly accurate, multiple-warhead ballistic missiles. Over time, unlimited development of new nuclear weapons could make both sides worse off.

We need to go beyond the framework outlined during the summit:
• agree to respect the traditional interpretation of the ABM Treaty;
• negotiate an end to testing and development of antisatellite weapons that threaten satellites on which we rely for communication and early warning of nuclear attack;
• negotiate a comprehensive test ban;   
• stop the never-ending spiral of new, more accurate systems until both sides can agree on what systems, if any, will make the nuclear balance more stable in a world with far fewer nuclear warheads than we have today.

Nuclear Testing Limits: I place high priority on negotiating a comprehensive nuclear test ban—an agreement which was nearly reached at the end of the Carter administration. A test ban is essential if we are to end the nuclear arms race, and concentrate instead on ways of reducing the risk of nuclear war. A test ban would put a halt to third-generation nuclear weapons, including the x-ray laser, and new battlefield systems, such as the neutron bomb. A CTB would end the illusion that nuclear security can be achieved through ever more sophisticated nuclear weapons.

Strategic Concept/New Programs: My approach is quite straightforward—we should pursue a strategy to prevent the use of a single nuclear weapon, by calculation or miscalculation, by a superpower or a regional power or terrorists.

A sound approach to strategic weapons and strategic arms control is one component of that strategy. Both superpowers must realize that ever increasing numbers of sophisticated nuclear weapons will not guarantee our security—but will bankrupt us and increase the risk of nuclear war.

We need a strong and survivable nuclear deterrent. We have it today. Our goal must be to reduce significantly the number of nuclear weapons, especially the highly accurate, MIRVed ICBMs which pose the greatest threat of unleashing nuclear war, while retaining a survivable retaliatory force so that neither side perceives any advantage in launching a preemptive first strike against the other.

I believe we should maintain the triad of land-based, sea- based and air-delivered nuclear weapons, because it complicates Soviet attack planning and thus contributes to deterrence. I oppose developing the Midgetman missile—which will cost $50 billion over the next 15 years. It’s a question of priorities. Midgetman is not essential to maintaining an effective deterrent; investing in our conventional forces will do more to reduce the risk of nuclear war—because conventional weakness invites conventional war, and conventional war can lead to nuclear war.

I support continued research on the D-5 missile, but I would withhold deploying the D-5 pending the outcome of arms control negotiations. If we can agree with the Soviet Union to eliminate multiple-warhead, hard target missiles on both sides, we will not need to deploy the D-5.

I also support continued development of the Stealth bomber. I believe that the United States should maintain an effective bomber force. But a final decision on Stealth production will depend on its affordability, on a careful assessment of whether the Stealth can perform its mission effectively and our relative need for another new bomber in the context of an arms control agreement reducing the number of nuclear warheads.
We must begin to explore with the Soviet Union more effective ways of controlling sea-launched cruise missiles. Unlimited increases in cruise missiles could create new risks of nuclear war in a world with far fewer ballistic missiles, particularly as the new generations of cruise missiles become more “stealthy” and provide little or no warning of attack.

We must continue efforts to assure the survivability of our strategic command, control and communications, an important element of deterrence. Our program should not seek to develop a nuclear warfighting capability, but to demonstrate to the Soviet Union that they could not destroy, with a nuclear first strike, our ability to retaliate.

Arms Control Initiatives:
I would begin by giving priority to two arms control initiatives which have been all but abandoned by the current administration: a mutual ban on antisatellite weapon testing and a comprehensive test ban treaty.

I would seek a mutual moratorium on flight testing of strategic ballistic missiles, to set the stage for an agreement on deep reductions of strategic weapons.

I would convene a meeting of experts from both the United States and the Soviet Union under the aegis of the Standing Consultative Commission to develop guidelines and common understandings on how to prevent the erosion of the ABM Treaty as a result of technological developments which could have an impact on the ABM Treaty (such as improved anti-tactical ballistic missiles).

I would strengthen the new risk reduction centers, by initiating discussions (involving both government and nongovernment experts) on how both sides should restructure their strategic nuclear forces as part of deep reductions to reduce the risk of nuclear war and enhance stability. We should also accept the Soviet offer to discuss military doctrine—conventional and nuclear—as a way of increasing confidence in each other’s intentions, and to pave the way for reductions and restructuring of our forces.

I would move quickly, in concert with our European allies, to propose large, asymmetrical reductions in conventional forces in Europe, focusing on the Warsaw Pact’s advantage in armored units, which pose the greatest threat to NATO, and which could trigger a nuclear conflict.

I would place high priority on efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons, by strengthening and enforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), by tightening safeguards against transferring nuclear technology, and working with other countries to do the same. I would insist on strict interpretation and enforcement of our nuclear export laws and would halt military aid to countries which violate our laws. As President, I will ask Secretary Gorbachev to issue with me a joint invitation: on the day we sign an agreement banning underground nuclear tests, France, China, Israel, Pakistan, India, Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa should sign the NPT, as well.

Republican Response: George Bush

SDI/ABM Treaty Interpretation: We must actively support the Strategic Defense Initiative. It is our best hope to reduce the nuclear danger. The principle underlying SDI is important: to develop a defensive shield that targets weapons, not people.

Since the time I was director of the CIA, we have known that the Soviets were working on an SDI-type system. Gorbachev admitted that in his recent interview. We are playing catch up. But we are doing a good job—and that’s got the Soviets worried.

The Democrats say we cannot afford SDI. I say we cannot afford to lag behind the Soviets in this important technology. I do not believe for a moment the Soviets’ rhetoric that they are spending billions on a program that they do not plan to deploy.
We must vigorously pursue development and testing of SDI. And as soon as it is ready, it must be deployed.

We should abide by the ABM Treaty—and so should the Soviets. While it has not been in all instances honored by the Soviets, the ABM Treaty nonetheless provides some controls and stability with respect to the strategic arms race. As to SDI, the ABM Treaty permits research, development, and testing work on new and advanced technologies, including SDI.

Strategic Arms Limitations: The INF Treaty President Reagan signed in December was a major step forward in our relations with the Soviet Union. It is not the millennium. But it is something we can build on, and it is a victory of will and determination. The President first proposed the so-called “zero option” six years ago, when the Soviets had a monopoly on these intermediate-range missiles in Europe. They said no to our offer—and so we countered their missiles with our missiles. Then they changed their mind.

Just as important as our strength was our steadiness—our refusal to be stampeded into unwise concessions by our desire for peace. Now the President may go to Moscow this spring for another summit. We must maintain that same resolve. While we should be willing to take bold steps for peace, we must not do so under artificial deadlines.
I believe the INF Treaty will be looked upon some day as a watershed agreement—the first to actually reduce—not just limit, but reduce—the number of nuclear weapons in the world; one that achieves a balance through asymmetrical reductions—1600 of their warheads to 400 of ours; one that breaks new ground on verification and puts us on a new track toward a more stable and enduring deterrence. I hope the Senate gives the treaty its full support, and I am confident it will.

What is significant is not just that we are eliminating a small percentage of our nuclear arsenal, but that we are reversing the patterns of the past—away from more and more weapons and toward greater stability and safety.

The verification requirements are a major achievement in themselves. The Soviets have agreed to a new level of openness— openness we have sought for many years. Our scientists will now be allowed to visit Soviet weapons plants that were completely shut off to the West. Soviet inspectors will have equivalent access to our installations.
These on-site, on-demand inspection procedures are major steps forward—ones that will reveal far more about the Soviets than simply whether they are willing to abide by the terms of the treaty. They will, in my view, demonstrate just how far the Soviets are willing to go in seeking a new kind of relationship with us, and they may be the beginning of a whole new chapter in East-West relations.

But we must be realistic. From my days at the U.N. and the CIA to the White House, I have observed that the Soviets test every president and push every agreement to its limits and beyond. We must be vigilant, and we must be tough, and we must stand up for the values that define us as a nation.

Nuclear Testing Limits: I do not support the nuclear test ban recently proposed by the Soviets. As I noted earlier, the INF Treaty President Reagan signed in December was a major step forward in our relations with the Soviet Union. At the end of the summit, we issued a detailed joint statement that built on the INF breakthrough and instructed our negotiators to push for similar progress on the START treaty. Success in these talks would bring a measurably safer world.

Strategic Concept/New Programs: We must always deal with the Soviets from a position of strength—which means we must maintain a strong balance in nuclear capabilities and conventional forces, and must continue to develop strategic defenses for the future.

Arms Control Initiatives:
We have taken the first step toward a more stable nuclear balance. What is the next step, and how will it move us toward our destination?
We have proposed to the Soviets that we cut in half the number of weapons in our strategic forces—with a particular eye on the Soviets’ destabilizing, multiple-warhead, land-based missiles.

Such substantial reductions in our nuclear arsenals would move us away from a deterrence strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction, toward a more stable balance based on fewer missiles and the development of a strategic shield.

The INF Treaty and a START treaty will give us a way to measure Soviet intentions more concretely, and to reduce our forces, step by cautious step, without compromising our security That’s why the verification process is so important. We will be breaking down the Soviets’ wall of secrecy and observing whether the reality matches the rhetoric—laying the groundwork for future negotiations.

In the coming months and years, we must seek reductions in the Soviets’ substantial advantage in conventional and chemical weapons. The Warsaw Pact has half again as many combat divisions as NATO. It has more than twice as many tanks and artillery pieces. Our commitment to the defense of Western Europe is at the very heart of our defense strategy, and it is absolutely essential that we maintain a deterrent to aggression. To do so, we must properly equip and modernize our conventional forces, and that will not be cheap.

We must also move toward the verifiable elimination of chemical and biological weapons. On the President’s instructions, I put such a proposal on the table in Geneva in 1984, and it would be a top priority of my administration. Our allies and the Soviets both support the elimination of these weapons in principle.

We can start by reducing their numbers to much lower levels. We must develop stringent new verification techniques to prevent cheating—a very difficult assignment, but a critical one. Ultimately’ these terrible weapons should be banned from the face of the earth.
Overshadowing this arms control agenda, however, is the inescapable fact that the threat of nuclear attack comes not only from the Soviets. In the 1990s, more and more countries will have the capability of building a nuclear bomb.

Many of us have concluded that such weapons are more likely to be used in a regional conflict or in a terrorist attack than in a standoff between the superpowers. Yet any use poses enormous dangers to us all.

Nuclear proliferation is even tougher to restrain by negotiation than the arms race. But it is our moral obligation to do everything we can to keep nuclear blackmail out of the hands of madmen like Qaddafi or Khomeini.

Our strategy depends on multiple sources of nuclear restraint. Bilaterally, we have a very effective process in place to screen U.S. technology exports for nuclear-related technology. Our participation in multilateral nonproliferation agreements, even with our adversaries, has also been a model of effective restraint. We can exercise through our formal agreements very effective impediments to proliferation.

We should spearhead a new effort to commit every nation to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and we should push more countries to be open to on-site inspection. We must also strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency—one U.N. agency that does its work well.

We must promote the perception among populations and leaders of non-nuclear countries that nuclear weapons are simply not useful to them. Their acquisition requires an expensive and difficult cycle of maintenance and testing and gives them no security benefit commensurate with the costs or dangers.

It is this last negative aspect of proliferation that I think is the most persuasive. That it is well understood accounts, I believe, for most of our success to date in restraining proliferation.

In the years ahead, we will face challenge and change in our dealings with the Soviets. If Gorbachev can transform Soviet society—not just economically, but in terms of human rights as well—we will be waiting for him, at the door of a new century, ready to move from an era of confrontation to one of cooperation.

In the meantime, we must remain ever watchful. We must act with high resolve as well as high hopes—with a strength that is real and that is recognized by the world as real.
As we move ahead, the question remains unanswered: What will prevail—the voices of hostility and fear that counsel us never to bargain, the voices of trust and faith that tell us to deal at any price, or the voices of confidence and hope that call us to seize the opportunity to make the world safer for generations to come?

I promise you, I will be a voice for freedom and peace.



Arms Control and the 1984 Election

Building a Safer World

Walter F. Mondale*

Public concern with the threat of nuclear war has grown markedly during the last several years. Half of America watched a gruesome television program showing a city in our heartland being destroyed by nuclear missiles— a depiction that actually understated the consequences of nuclear war. Hundreds of thousands read the book The Fate of the Earth and absorbed its main point that nuclear war is unique in human history because it may threaten the extinction of mankind. The term “nuclear winter” is a new and horrible addition to our vocabulary. The Catholic Church has raised serious questions about the morality of nuclear war. Millions have voted in convincing majorities for nuclear freeze proposals on ballots in many states and localities.

The troubled mood of Americans is driven by concerns with the general trends of the nuclear arms race—and the conduct of the Reagan Administration. People are concerned with the existence of some 50,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s arsenals. They are concerned that some of these weapons seem better designed to start wars than to deter them. They are concerned with loose talk in high places blithely suggesting that someone could win a nuclear war. They are concerned that the peaceful area of outer space is being transformed into a possible new battlefield. They are concerned that the number of nuclear armed states will continue growing. They are concerned at this fateful time over the collapse in nuclear arms negotiations.

These concerns are well founded. I believe we are falling far short of our responsibilities.

We must deal with these harsh realities. The leaders of the Soviet Union are no friends of freedom. They are cynical, ruthless, and dangerous. Their relentless military buildup—well beyond defensive needs—directly challenges our security and that of many other nations, including our friends and allies.

Thus the foundation of a safer world must be built upon the bedrock of our ability, together with that of our allies, to counter the Soviet Union’s military power. If we fail to maintain sufficient well-equipped, well-trained, and well-motivated forces, we court disaster. If we fail to maintain allied unity, we dissipate our strength. History has sadly proved that military weakness invites attack.

Recognition of the essential role of a strong nuclear and conventional defense is why I support a defense budget that is based on a coherent strategy and growing at a steady, sustainable rate.

While recognizing these realities, we must not be trapped by them. Military power is not an end in itself. But never in our history have our leaders given us less sense of purpose, less vision of the destiny our strength must serve. Instead there is growing anxiety at the prospect of an endless arms race and an inevitable conflict. Increasingly the question many people ask is not whether there will be a war, but when. We must reject the sense of fatalism that follows from this vacuum in leadership. Our world was shaped by human endeavor and we have the power to change it. There are positive arms control steps that we should take to reduce the threat of conflict and the menace of nuclear war.

Step 1. We should make certain that our nuclear forces support the objective of stability. Since the reason for nuclear arms is to deter attack, we should not field farces that invite it. That is why I support programs that pass this test, such as the Trident submarine, the Stealth bomber, cruise missiles, and improved command and control. These programs reduce the potential military gains an adversary might see in starting a nuclear war.

In contrast, the Administration’s proposal to place the new MX missile in vulnerable fixed silos fails this crucial test. This idea was also raised when I was the Vice President. I opposed it then as I oppose it now.

Our Minuteman force had become a problem because it could conceivably invite attack. It had been obvious for many years that increased missile accuracies, and even more important, MIRVed missiles would create such stability problems. That is why I originally opposed MIRVed missiles over a decade ago.

When I was the Vice President, I worked with the National Security Council in searching for a sound replacement for Minuteman. That search was a difficult one, but the continuing deterrent strength of our strategic bombers and submarines provided, and still provides, the time we needed to do this job right.

We examined a variety of missile and basing systems to find ones that would be secure from attack and consistent with arms control. My preference was for a smaller missile, if possible one that could be made mobile by deploying it on land, in our submarines, or even in an air-launched made. Since my time in the Senate, I had been convinced that mobility was an essential ingredient of survivability. Mobility, of course, had to be arranged for in such a way as to meet the arms control requirement of verifiability.

Ultimately it was determined that the MX could be deployed in a survivable basing mode and would be consistent with SALT II. On that basis I was prepared to endorse it. Now, of course, without mobility or even multiple protective shelters, the MX has lost survivability and become a vulnerable priority target.

I believe that, in the absence of a freeze or other effective arms control measures, our security would be enhanced by the Midgetman concept. Smaller, unMlRVed missiles would be deployed in a mobile configuration so that there would be no advantage for the Soviet Union to attack.

In light of the Midgetman alternative, it is amply clear that deploying the large MX in vulnerable, fixed silos is a step backwards. Rather than reducing the potential military gain of attack, it will place a premium on such an attack. Plans for putting MX in silos should be dropped immediately. We should concentrate instead on replacing Minuteman with a small mobile missile.

Step 2. We should pursue serious arms control agreements vigorously. Unlike this Administration, Americans recognize that sensible arms control strengthens our security. It can curb the arms race. It can reduce the arsenals. It helps us predict what the other side will do. It reduces the risks and costs of maintaining a military balance. It can ban or discourage destabilizing weapons developments. Reductions in nuclear arms can enable us to use scarce defense resources to strengthen conventional forces, as we must if we are to raise the nuclear threshold.

Serious arms control agreements must, of course, be verifiable. Appropriate verification provisions must be a critical part of any agreement. We should bring possible violations immediately to the attention of the alleged violator through established channels to clear up any ambiguities. We should insist firmly on adherence to the agreement, and be prepared to protect our national interests if the agreement is violated. We should press for negotiations on a mutual, verifiable nuclear freeze. We should update the SALT II Treaty and resubmit it to the Senate for advice and consent. SALT II is a good treaty that took seven years to negotiate. We can use its framework to seek even greater reductions, restrain the most destabilizing systems, and create incentives to move away from MIRVs.

We should develop a comprehensive approach that will enable us to press forward the negotiations on intercontinental, intermediate nuclear, and conventional forces. Such a comprehensive approach should facilitate reducing our dependence on short-range, or battlefield, nuclear weapons.

We must also reaffirm the ABM Treaty. President Reagan’s “Star Wars” proposals will inevitably lead to Soviet countermeasures, and touch off a destabilizing and expensive arms race. And, in the meantime, his development proposals threaten to violate and jeopardize the valuable ABM Treaty.

Reagan’s promises are also a cruel hoax. They try to persuade us that more defensive weapons can protect against the holocaust of nuclear war. This laudable goal is unfortunately a dangerous mirage. No effective population defenses appear feasible in the foreseeable future. Only preventing nuclear war can ensure our security and that of our children, and only a combination of prudent defense measures, effective arms control, and negotiation, not illusions of a perfect defense, can prevent nuclear war.

The neglect of diplomacy in dealing with the threat of an arms race in space is equally dangerous. Four years have passed since we negotiated with the Soviets on the issues of anti-satellite weapons and space warfare. It is high time to get back to the bargaining table to prevent outer space from becoming a new arena for tension and confrontation.

We must also resume efforts for a comprehensive test ban treaty. Further, in contrast to the Reagan Administration’s almost laissez-faire approach toward the spread of nuclear weapon capabilities, we should reimpose restraints on the distribution of materials that can be used for building nuclear weapons, and should rejoin the fight against nuclear proliferation.

Step 3. We should place greater emphasis on measures to reduce the possibilities for accidental nuclear war, or for an uncontrolled spiral into all-out nuclear war as a result of an accident or crisis. The Administration’s proposal to upgrade the “Hot Line” and to create new communication channels between the United States and the Soviet Union is a useful step, but more can be done.

Senators Sam Nunn (D. Ga.) and John Warner (R. Va.), for example, have recently made a bipartisan proposal that the United States and the Soviet Union establish nuclear risk reduction centers in Washington and Moscow. These centers would maintain a 24-hour watch on any events with the potential to lead to nuclear incidents. They would be linked directly to senior political and military authorities in both countries.

Some defense experts have also suggested adopting or negotiating one or more policies such as no-early- first-use of nuclear weapons. These proposals reflect a genuine fear that tensions in Europe could suddenly escalate to nuclear war. For example, nuclear weapons positioned close to the border between East and West Germany would be in serious danger of being overrun in the early stages of a fast-breaking conventional attack. The Alliance would feel pressures in such a situation to use the weapons, rather than lose them.

Reckless Administration comments about nuclear warning shots and winnable nuclear war have further fueled European concerns. Despite these irresponsible statements, we must not lose sight of the fact that nuclear weapons in NATO are a necessary deterrent to possible Soviet aggression in Europe, at least so long as the Soviets possess advantages in the balance of conventional forces there.

To reduce the risk of uncontrolled escalation to nuclear war in Europe, we should: (1) reaffirm NATO’s policy that we would use nuclear weapons only as a last resort; (2) review carefully our safety and security arrangements to ensure that our nuclear weapons cannot be used in an unauthorized way; and (3) examine the weapon stockpile and deployment pattern for Europe to make sure that we have only what is needed to meet NATO’s genuine deterrence requirements.

Step 4. We should reduce our dependence on nuclear weapons to deter non-nuclear, or conventional, attack. We can raise the nuclear threshold by strengthening our and our allies’ conventional forces.

To this end, we should strongly encourage our NATO allies to reaffirm and live up to the commitment they made in 1978 to raise real defense spending by 3 percent per year, if not do more. Indeed, authorities such as General Bernard Rogers, the NATO commander, and a broad-based group of U.S. and European experts have recently concluded that NATO can have a more credible conventional defense against the Soviets by the end of the decade—but only if our NATO allies increase their efforts. The failure of the Administration’s leadership was clearly in evidence when the recent NATO Ministerial meeting dropped the 3 percent commitment from its communique. And behind this unfortunate move lies a deeper failure. The Administration’s economic policies have curbed international economic growth—an essential ingredient of a more vigorous Allied defense effort.

Step 5. We should revitalize the Government’s arms control machinery. The Reagan Administration sharply cut back on funding for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and on its research. More funds should be provided. Research in arms control is relatively inexpensive and we need all the good ideas we can get.

Money isn’t the chief problem though—it’s people. By placing ideologues with little arms control experience in the top arms control jobs, the Administration has weakened the intellectual and political leadership for sensible arms control. It is no surprise that the best thinking on arms control today comes from sources outside the Administration, and that the strongest and most responsible advocates of arms control within the Reagan Administration have been the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

If ACDA is to be a wellspring of good arms control ideas, it needs bright and experienced leaders who know how to encourage the generation of new ideas. When I am President, I will ensure that the Director of ACDA is an active participant in all important arms control decisions. He would be a regular participant at formal and informal meetings of my senior national security advisors. I would also appoint arms control experts to top-level positions on the National Security Council staff.

These five steps—nuclear forces that enhance stability, a vigorous arms control effort, measures to reduce the risk of nuclear war, conventional forces to reduce the dependence on nuclear arms, and revitalization of America’s arms control machinery—are actions that our citizens have the right to expect from the most powerful nation in the world.

To move forward, we need to talk with the Soviets. But today, negotiations have been suspended. As things stand, Mr. Reagan will become the first President since Herbert Hoover never to have met with his Soviet counterpart. The less we talk with the Russians, the more we feed their xenophobia and threaten peace.

I believe it is time for a summit with the Soviet Union; for annual, institutionalized summits thereafter; and for regular discussions between military and Cabinet officials of both nations.

By history, not by choice, America has had thrust upon it the responsibility for guiding the world toward peace. No other nation on earth can do so. President John Kennedy once observed, “Some say it is useless to speak of world peace, or world law, or world disarmament—and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I also believe we can help them to do it.”

We can do it by making sure that we have sufficient military power, together with our friends and allies, to defend our interests. We can do it by making sure that our forces and our doctrines do not invite attack or uncontrolled escalation. And last but not east, we can do it by taking the initiative to establish a new agenda of negotiations with the Soviet Union.

This agenda must encompass a comprehensive arms control effort, new institutions to control crises, and equally important, a revival of political dialogue aimed at eliminating points of confrontation. Only America has the strength, the regard for human values, the generosity of spirit, and the historical confidence to build a safe world. We have always regarded ourselves as a unique people in history, and we are. The world looks to us for the leadership required to ensure that history shall not end.

*Note: Ronald Reagan did not answer the survey in 1984.


Subscribe to RSS - Features