December 3, 1999

                   Another view on CTBT:
      Sandia consultant Richard Garwin makes the case
         for the treaty rejected by the U.S. Senate

                      Richard L. Garwin
      11/23/99 speech at Sandia National Laboratories
           Published in Sandia Lab News 12/03/99
                  (article by Bill Murphy)

An overflow audience of Sandians at the CNSAC auditorium
last week heard distinguished scientist and Sandia
consultant Richard Garwin express a view of the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) sharply at odds with
the position articulated by Sandia President
C. Paul Robinson in recent congressional testimony.

Paul testified in a widely publicized Senate hearing that
the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear arsenal
might not be assured under CTBT. Directors of Los Alamos and
Lawrence Livermore national labs also expressed concerns
about problems they believe are associated with the treaty.
The testimony of the lab directors was seen as a critical
factor in the Senate's rejection of the treaty, which was
negotiated by the Clinton Administration and signed by the
president in 1996.

"If the United States scrupulously restricts itself to zero
yield (as stipulated in the treaty) while other nations may
conduct experiments up to the threshold of international
detectability, we will be at an intolerable disadvantage,"
Paul testified in October. "I would advise against accepting
limitations that permit such asymmetry."

Garwin, who testified before the Senate in favor of the
treaty, explained his position during a colloquium at Sandia
titled "Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century."

Based on comments from Garwin and Paul, it is clear that
both men believe the U.S. position on CTBT pivots on a point
that Paul expressed in his Senate testimony:  "Whether on
balance the effect of a test ban to retard proliferation and
further development of nuclear weapons is worth a similar
penalty on the U.S. nuclear arsenal is the real crux of the
dilemma ...  You (senators) must form a judgment whether the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty will serve to enhance, or to
diminish, national and global security."

Garwin told Sandians that in his view international
treaties-- specifically the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT)
signed in 1963 and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of
1970-- have played a vital role in keeping nuclear
proliferation as low as it has been. In 1962, Garwin said,
it was widely believed by national security analysts that
there would be 20 or more proliferant states within two
decades. That estimate turned out to be highly inflated.

"I believe," he said, "that it is the banning of tests in
the atmosphere (LTBT) of 1963 and the Non-Proliferation
Treaty that have kept the number of such states small,
together with the shelter of NATO and the U.S.-Japan

Likewise, he said, the CTBT is critical for the success of
non-proliferation goals in the 21st century. On the other
hand, he said, testing and retesting proven weapon designs
don't add that much to the confidence level in the

"The future of the Non-Proliferation Treaty depends on the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which the Senate rejected ...
In declining to consent to ratification of (the treaty),
senators argued that Russia and China would conduct
clandestine nuclear weapon explosive tests in violation of
the zero-threshold CTBT; that proliferant states would not
join the treaty and could test openly; that the
international monitoring system, even supplemented by U.S.
intelligence, might not detect the smallest tests; and that
the U.S. nuclear stockpile could not be maintained safe and
reliable without nuclear explosion testing."

Garwin asserted that nuclear weapons tests that cannot be
detected confidently under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
would not militarily disadvantage the U.S..  Further, he
argued that a $4.5 billion stockpile stewardship program of
surveillance, analysis, and remanufacture will maintain U.S.
nuclear weapons in pristine state for many decades. Full
nuclear weapons tests, he said, are not nearly as important
for guaranteeing the security of the stockpile as would be a
systematic program of remanufacture, in which existing,
proven weapons would be kept in essentially new condition.

"The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty cannot enter into force
without U.S. ratification," Garwin said. "Beyond that, it
needs the signatures of India, Pakistan, and North Korea.
Former ambassadors to India and Pakistan, Frank Wisner and
Bob Oakley, write that without U.S. ratification, India will
test further to develop a true thermonuclear weapon, and
Pakistan will match India's tests one for one ..."

"The U.S. has by far the greatest and most flexible military
capability in the world, and its nuclear weapon technology
is the most advanced.  More than 1,000 U.S. nuclear
explosion tests contributed to this technological lead.  But
effective nuclear weapons of 1957 vintage (or even fission
weapons of 1950) are enough to destroy millions of people.
This threat cannot be countered by further nuclear weapons
development and nuclear tests.  It must be constrained by
arms control, by deterrence of acquisition or of use of
nuclear weapons, and if necessary by destruction of the
nuclear weapons before they can be used, or by defense
against their delivery."

Here are some other points Garwin made during an hour-long

     o   The greatest threat to U.S.  and global security is
         the enormous Russian nuclear arsenal.
         Strengthening Russian control, reducing the size of
         the arsenal, and erecting higher barriers to its
         leakage are the highest priority.

     o   If relations between the U.S. and China should
         deteriorate to downright enmity, as might occur
         through initiatives on the Chinese side or
         gratuitously by demonizing China, China could
         evolve to pose a serious threat.  This is far
         better averted than countered.

     o   The U.S. must exert every effort to bring India and
         Pakistan into the CTBT.
         An "urgent and feasible U.S. agenda" for reducing
         the nuclear threat in a multipolar world would

     o   Recognition that U.S. security is secured more by
         limiting the threat than by increasing U.S. arms.

     o   Proper hearings leading to a better understanding
         of the CTBT, and its ratification and entry into

     o   Extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
         regime with Russia to include all nuclear warheads
         and nuclear weapon-usable materials, and limiting
         the total to 2,000 warhead equivalent on each side.

     o   Just as the U.S. commitment to NATO and to the
         security of Japan has facilitated Germany and
         Japan's non-nuclear weapon state-status, so would a
         commitment of U.S. and other nuclear weapon states,
         through the UN or regional agreements, to provide
         security guarantees of non-nuclear states against
         nuclear attack.