On September 15th, the Obama administration’s arms control chief, Rose Goettemoeller, delivered a speech in Washington DC arguing for America’s ratification of the CTBT. That speech was essentially a litany of blatant lies. Here are just a few, with my rebuttals:
Lie #1: Ratifying the CTBT will make it hard for rogue states, and for any nuclear-weapon-wielding or developing states, to test nuclear weapons because they would then expose themselves to “international condemnation and reprisals.”
Rebuttal: No, it wouldn’t make it any harder for America’s potential foes to test nuclear weapons. Why? Because they (and other rogue states) don’t care one iota about what the rest of the world thinks. They don’t give a damn about international condemnation or “reprisals.” North Korea, Iran, and Russia clearly don’t. North Korea is subject to the most stringent sanctions regime in world history – and yet it continues to test nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles of growing power, undaunted and undeterred by any sanctions and its international isolation. Russia’s economy has been hit hard with multiple rounds of sanctions imposed by the US and the EU – and yet it continues its aggression against Ukraine, its threats to use nuclear weapons against the US and its allies, and is planning new attacks on other neighbors.
And the Obama administration’s cowardly watering down, and now, repeal of sanctions against Iran is proving to all rogue states with nuclear ambitions that you can develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and the US won’t do anything meaningful to stop you.
Lie #2: Ratifying the CTBT will strengthen America’s “moral legitimacy” in dealing with nuclear-weapon-developing rogue states.
Rebuttal: No, it will not. Neither rogue states aiming to acquire nuclear weapons nor the rest of the world care about America’s “moral legitimacy.” Each foreign country in the world pursues what it believes to be in its national interest. Rogue states believe pursuing nuclear weapons is.
Lie #3: Ratifying the CTBT will put the world on a path towards smaller reliance on nuclear weapons, smaller nuclear weapon inventories, and eventual nuclear disarmament.
Rebuttal: “The world” does not rely on nuclear weapons. Individual nuclear weapon states do, to varying degrees. And the idea that America’s ratification of the CTBT will somehow encourage America’s potential foes – Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and the upcominng nuclear Iran – to rely less on nuclear weapons is a fantasy. On the contrary, America’s self-imposition of a ban on testing American nuclear weapons’ reliability will only encourage these foes to develop more (and more powerful) nuclear weapons, as there will be more benefit from doing so (doing more harm to the US).
And the idea that CTBT ratification, and other disarmament measures, on the West’s part can somehow encourage Russia, China, North Korea, and other rogue states to cut and eventually scrap their nuclear arsenals is ludicrous. The West has already cut its nuclear arsenals dramatically (the US by 75% since 1991); Britain and France have already cut down to a monad and a dyad, respectively, and have both ratified the CTBT; and yet, Russia, China, North Korea, and Pakistan have all GROWN their nuclear arsenals – sharply so in China’s case – and more countries are developing nuclear weapons. Iran and Saudi Arabia are now racing to do so.
No, the planet is not going in the direction of “a world without nuclear weapons.” The world is going in the direction of MORE nuclear weapons and MORE countries wielding them.
Just recently, it’s been announced that Pakistan will develop short-range sea-based nuclear weapons for the first time, while Russia will completely replace all of its Soviet-era nuclear weapons and delivery systems with new ones by 2020.
Goettemoeller’s claims are all blatant lies. Not a single one of them is correct.
But it shouldn’t surprise anyone. Goettemoeller’s goal – and that of all other pro-arms-control liberals – is not to make America safer, but to make it LESS SAFE and expose it to enemy attacks by disarming it unilaterally. THAT is arms controllers’ real goal. Making America ratify the CTBT is a key part of that goal.
They must be stopped at all costs.