Test ban meltdown

Backsliding

The U.S. Senate's refusal to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty can be read in a number of ways: as a sign of resurgent isolationism; as the incursion of partisan politics into foreign policy; and as the consequence of Bill Clinton's ineffective lobbying on the treaty's behalf. Each explanation contains some truth. But we are most concerned about the treaty's substance and goal-limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The Senate broke with a nuclear arms reduction policy that spans four decades and seven presidents. On its face, the action by the Senate's Republican majority was an abandonment of the effort to control the expansion of nuclear weapons through international agreements.

 

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