Why the Senate MUST reject the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

If you needed proof that arms control proponents live in a fantasy world, just read this rebuttal of their unilateral nuclear arsenal cuts proposals. They claim that making such unilateral cuts would induce Russia to stop its nuclear buildup and forego its modernization plans and also induce other countries to cut their own nuclear arsenals. In other words, it’s the old “if we cut our nukes unilaterally, the rest of the world will be nice enough to do so as well” fantasy.

It’s a fairy tale, of course, and it has nothing to do with the real world. Other nuclear-weapon states, as well as Iran, would only take that as a sign of weakness and of less work needing to be done to reach nuclear parity with the US. Such unilateral cuts would only encourage them to build up their arsenals to reach strategic nuclear parity with or even an advantage (in the case of Russia and China) over the US.

By the same token, arms control proponents foolishly and naively believe that if the US were to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (and thus forego the option of nuclear testing), other countries would apply “pressure” on North Korea and Iran to forego nuclear weapons, and these two rogue states, facing international “pressure”, would end their nuclear weapon programs.

DefenseNews reports that:

““Ratification would be significant affirmation to the importance the U.S. gives the international nonproliferation regime,” (DOS arms control negotiator Rose) Gottemoeller said. “U.S. ratification would increase” global efforts to reduce the number of nuclear weapons around the world, she said.

If the Senate ratified the treaty, “states interested in nuclear weapons would … face international condemnation,” Gottemoeller said.

Treaty proponents believe if the U.S. ratifies it, many other nations will follow suit. A wave of such approvals would make it easier to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear arms and convince Iran to cease its pursuit of them, proponents argue.”

What utter garbage.

States interested in nuclear weapons, such as North Korea and Iran, have already faced “international condemnation” (except from their sponsors Russia and China, of course). Yet, this hasn’t changed ANYTHING and has not caused them to reverse course and end their nuclear weapon programs, which continue to progress steadily in both countries. “International condemnation” has utterly failed to and cannot stop these countries’ programs; what is needed is tough ACTION, not mere “condemnation”.

History has shown that mere “international condemnation” always utterly fails to prevent rogue states from seeking WMDs and from committing aggression, as evidenced by the utter failure of “international condemnation” to stop the genocide in Darfur and the former Yugoslavia and to stop the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, North Korea’s invasion of the South, and Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939.

“International condemnation” is utterly worthless.

Even if the US and other countries which haven’t yet ratified the treaty (and there are few of them left) were to ratify them, this would not help America at all. It would not make it “easier to pressure” North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons for four reasons.

Firstly, North Korea doesn’t care what the world community and especially the US think about its actions and its nuclear weapon program, as evidenced by its numerous nuclear and ballistic missile tests (all conducted in defiance of UN sanctions and world condemnation and pressure not to conduct these tests) and provocations against South Korea. Secondly, North Korea is already one of the most isolated, sanction-punished countries in the world whose only friends are China and Russia. It cannot be “pressured” more than it is already being, and it cannot be condemned more harshly and more widely than it has already been. It’s like threatening a monk locked up in an austere monastery of depriving him of worldly pleasures.

Thirdly, North Korea would see US ratification of the CTBT (and thus America’s foreclosure of the option of testing its own nuclear deterrent) as a sign of weakness.

Fourthly, North Korea has built its nuclear arsenal because of its own perception of its national interest (and as useful tools to harass countries in Eastern Asia and possibly in preparation for another invasion of South Korea). America’s ratification of the CTBT and international “condemnation” or “pressure” would not change that perception one iota, especially when North Korea spits on the international community and doesn’t care about its “condemnations”.

The idea that CTBT ratification by other countries would somehow “convince” Iran to be so nice to stop its nuclear program is also an utterly foolish, childish, naive pipe dream. Only liberals – who cannot distinguish their ideological fantasies from geopolitical reality – could ever believe in it. Iran wants nuclear weapons for its stated goal – the destruction of the State of Israel – and it will not give up on that goal no matter what. Nor would it be impressed by America’s ratification of the CTBT; like North Korea, it would only see it as a sign of weakness and unilateral disarmament (which it would be) and an encouragement to continue its nuclear weapon program. America’s and other countries’ ratification would not make Iran somehow more enlightened or good-willing; it would not change the anti-American, anti-Israeli, criminal nature of the Iranian regime.

Moreover, like North Korea, Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons out of its own national interest perception. Furthermore, it is already one of the most isolated states in the world, and like North Korea, it doesn’t care about “international condemnation” or “pressure”, or what the world thinks about its nuclear program, as evidenced by its defiant development of nuclear weapons and its ballistic missile tests.

Gottemoeller says US ratification would “increase efforts to reduce the number of nuclear weapons around the world”, but in reality, this would only result in cuts in America’s nuclear arsenal, as well as Britain’s and France’s. China, Pakistan, India, and North Korea will never cut theirs, as they have already refused to do. (China refuses to even reveal how many nuclear weapons it has.) And this is what the Obama Admin’s “efforts” would probably be focused on, as they have been for the last 3.5 years. There’s only one country Obama can verifiably disarm – the US – and he’s shown he wants to do that.

What the CTBT would do would be to prohibit America from testing its nuclear weapons and thus verifying their effectiveness, of which testing is the ONLY credible method.

For that reason alone, that misbegotten treaty must be rejected vehemently.


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