Until Bubba and Greenpeace came to power, we depended upon the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to prevent NPT signatories not already having nukes from developing or acquiring them.
We depended upon the International Atomic Energy Agency – whose original mission had been to facilitate the international transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes – to verify that transferred technology was not misused.
But Bubba-Greenpeace revealed at the 2000 NPT Review Conference they had a new and more important mission in mind for the IAEA.
It seems that, since taking office, the Bubba-Greenpeace objective had been “irrevocable,” “transparent” international nuke disarmament, to be verified by the IAEA.
The Bubba-Greenpeace vehicle for nuke disarmament was the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
The CTBT is – on its face – merely a commitment by signatory nations to never again test nukes. But Bubba-Greenpeace sold the CTBT to the nuke have-nots of the world as a U.S. commitment to implement – if unwittingly – Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In Article VI, the have-nuke states promised to eventually engage in serious disarmament talks amongst themselves.
Bubba-Greenpeace told the nuke have-nots that if the have-nuke states couldn’t test their nukes, after a while the nukes would become duds, effectively disarming the have-nuke states.
Well, that’s nonsense, of course.
We never tested the Little Boy before dropping it on Hiroshima.
Nevertheless, the nuke disarmament crowd was dancing in the streets when the U.S., Russia, China, France and the UK announced at the 2000 NPT Review Conference “an unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all states parties are committed.” Dancing, in spite of the fact that the CTBT going into effect in 1997 hadn’t stopped India and Pakistan from testing nukes in 1998. Furthermore, the U.S. Senate had just refused to even consider ratifying the CTBT.
But, they knew that Bubba intended to comply with the CTBT no matter what the Senate did, and had begun installing the necessary monitoring and verification equipment at our Nevada Test Site. Dubya – while declaring his opposition to the CTBT – has continued those CTBT programs.
So, it is perhaps understandable that Director General ElBaradei might think it was within his authority to address the Third Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty as follows:
- A verified, permanent, global ban on all types of nuclear explosive tests has been a key item on the international security agenda for nearly half a century. More than 2,000 nuclear explosive detonations have taken place since 1945, with the most recent ones in 1998.
The CTBT has been characterized as “the longest sought, hardest fought prize in the history of arms control.” The Treaty, when implemented, will prohibit all nuclear explosions, in all environments, for all time. It will curb the development and testing of new, more advanced and more dangerous nuclear weapons, and will limit the possibilities for further nuclear proliferation. The Treaty will lead to the establishment of a comprehensive International Monitoring System to provide independent, impartial verification of compliance.
The CTBT, along with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and a future Treaty Banning the Production of Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapons and Other Nuclear Explosive Devices, forms an essential element of a network of negotiated, global treaties that will strengthen international efforts to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons and to promote nuclear disarmament – leading in time hopefully to a world without nuclear weapons.
In the meantime, with the early entry into force of the CTBT, it would indeed be a significant achievement if this new century were to remain free of any nuclear test explosions.
In this context, I encourage all signatory states to ratify the CTBT, and all those states that have yet to sign to do so and to ratify the Treaty, as soon as possible – so that another crucial pillar can be raised to support the edifice of global nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament norms.
The IAEA has been meeting in Vienna to consider what to do about North Korea – which may have nukes, but has withdrawn from the NPT – and Iran – which needs nukes and is threatening to withdraw from the NPT – and Israel – which almost certainly has nukes, but has never been a party to the NPT.
Now, the IAEA can probably prevent nuke proliferation. But ridding Israel of nukes? In your dreams, ElBaradei.