In 1999, Pres. Bill Clinton submitted the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to the U.S. Senate for advice and consent. It was soundly rejected. Pres. George W. Bush opposed the treaty, so it lay dormant during his two terms. But the Obama administration announced early in its tenure that it would resubmit the same CTBT to the Senate.
In anticipation of this renewed effort to secure Senate ratification of CTBT, the bipartisan Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States (of which both authors of this article were members), in its May 2009 report, called for a “net assessment” of CTBT before the Senate’s renewed consideration of the treaty. The question of U.S. ratification of the CTBT was the only significant pertinent subject on which the Congressional Commission could not reach a consensus position; in fact, the Commission was about evenly divided between those for and those against CTBT ratification.
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