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Revisiting the Nuclear Treaty

By: Elizabeth Nelson

As reported by the Associated Press in an article by Sonya Ross, Presidents Clinton suggested to the Senate that they ratify the comprehensive test ban treaty "at an early date" so the US can fight off the spread of nuclear weapons.

The meeting between Clinton and retired General John Shalikashvili (former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) lasted 30 minutes and reviewed the test ban tready that was rejected by Senate Republicans in 1999. The report shows the Bush administration that the treacy is vital to the US national security. So far, Bush has opposed the pact as unenforceable. Bush adviser and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, also opposes the nuclear treaty, but Colin Powell supports it.

Shalikashvili says the treaty is "one of the tools we ought to consider in our toolbox that would help us deal with what, after all, is one of the recognized, important dangers to our nuclear security."

The report recommends that the president appoint a deputy national security advisor. This adviser would handle nuclear proliferation issues and leave the US moratorium on nuclear tests as it is. The report also suggests that more funds go into monitoring nuclear testing and developing by other countries. Clinton commented that "the security benefits of the treaty outweigh any perceived disadvantages." He also said that he hopes "the Senate will take up the treaty at an early date. (The treaty) is supported by our friends and allies overseas, and designed to reduce existing nuclear dangers as well as those that might emerge in the future."