Analysts examine implications of U.S. Senate defeat of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty


  • Randy Showstack


The U.S. Senate's October 14 vote against the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) came in the wake of the October 12 military coup in Pakistan—the first-ever coup in a nuclear state. Shortly beforehand, representatives from 92 nations attending an October 6–8 conference in Vienna, Austria, had urged laggards to speed their ratification of the CTBT On October 6, AGU and the Seismological Society of America (SSA) issued a joint position statement expressing confidence that the combined worldwide nuclear test monitoring resources, when implemented, would meet the verification goals of the CTBT.

In the aftermath of the Senate vote, politicians and analysts are examining the potential fallout from that action, including the international reaction, the possibility of achieving the accord's goal of halting the proliferation and testing of nuclear weapons, and the future of the treaty itself.