"A Nuclear Test Ban"
Magazine or Newspaper Article, Foreign Affairs, volume 65, issue 4
Author: Paul Doty, Director Emeritus, Center for Science and International Affairs; Mallinckrodt Professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus
Nuclear detonations are constant reminders of mankind's capacity for violence. It is not surprising that people and governments conclude that if this symptom of supreme violence were exorcised, the risk of nuclear war itself would diminish. Even though this position has psychological force and strong popular appeal, it bears deeper examination.
At issue is whether the single, radical step of ending all nuclear weapons testing, given the uncertainty of detecting lower-yield tests, is the best route to stopping the qualitative strategic arms race. Can such a step be pursued as an independent goal without linkages to other kinds of arms control and disarmament? Or are there more promising ways of restraining testing than its total elimination? In addressing this last question we need to examine the essential issues in the current debate and analyze current approaches. Then we can sketch a phased approach to a regime that would respond to most of the issues raised and secure the traditional goals of a comprehensive test ban (ctb) treaty, provided that it is embedded in a broad commitment to arms control.
- Full Text of "A Nuclear Test Ban" (2.4 MB PDF)
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