How Washington’s Polarization Endangers Nuclear Arms Control

US nuclear weapons test in Nevada in 1957 (Photo: USG)
US nuclear weapons test in Nevada in 1957 (Photo: USG)

This article by Jofi Joseph from the Atlantic Council reveals how the inaction of the United States can put a world wide treaty banning nuclear test explosions at risk.

Five years ago this month, President Obama won international applause for his landmark speech in Prague calling for a world free of nuclear weapons – a commitment intended as a central organizing principle of his national security framework. But progress on that “Prague Agenda” has stalled, nowhere more clearly than in the Senate’s failure to consent to U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

That failure has reinforced hesitations on the treaty in other countries and is potentially jeopardizing a 16-year-old de facto moratorium on nuclear testing (broken only by North Korea). It is time to recognize that the US failure to ratify the CTBT is slowly eroding international support for this moratorium and increasing the chance that other states could re-start nuclear testing. CTBT supporters must act to take some creative steps to preserve the de facto moratorium and revive progress on bringing the treaty formally into force. Read More