After a lengthy period in which the subject was of concern primarily to specialists, limiting nuclear testing has once again become a prominent political issue. Actions by Congress and diplomatic moves by the United States, the Soviet Union and other nations have led many observers to conclude that there could be significant progress toward a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the next few years. However progress will not be easy, since the debate over testing has become polarized over the last ten years and opposing positions are very strongly held. Some seek a CTBT as soon as possible, and others want no restraints whatever beyond those currently in effect. Opponents of a CTBT assert that verification is still a problem, and that nuclear testing is essential to U.S. security to ensure stockpile reliability, modernize nuclear weapons systems, gauge the effects of nuclear explosions on military hardware, and avoid technological surprise by an adversary.1 The effect of dead-locked debate has, of course, been to preserve the status quo.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon Seismic Signal Nuclear Explosion Seismic Monitoring Underground Nuclear Explosion
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Notes and References
- 2.U.S. Congress, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Intelligence Support to Arms Control, Report 100–450, November 19, 1987, p. 20.Google Scholar
- 4.Nuclear Arms Control, Background and Issues (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1985), pp.189–91. For extensive detail, see Robert Gilpin, American Scientists and Nuclear Weapons Policy (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1962);Google Scholar
- H. K. Jacobson and E. Stein, Diplomats, Scientists, and Politicians (Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1966).Google Scholar
- 7.Paul Doty, “A Nuclear Test Ban,” Foreign Affairs, Spring 1987, pp.750–69.Google Scholar
- 15.Ralph W. Alewine III, “Seismic sensing of Soviet tests,” Defense 85, December 1985, pp. 11–21.Google Scholar
- 18.Lawrence Weiler, “The ACDA Scandal; A Critical Agency Becomes a Basket Case,” Arms Control Today, July 1983, pp. 1–3, 7–8.Google Scholar