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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 3, 1998
10:27 AM
CONTACT: Union of Concerned Scientists
Tom Collina or Rich Hayes at 202-332-0900
Military, Intelligence, And Scientific Leaders Call For Action On Test Ban Treaty, Counter Majority Leader Lott
 
WASHINGTON - June 3 - The Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests are a wake-up call for those who question the importance of the CTBT to US security.

In the wake of the recent Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests, prestigious nuclear weapons experts yesterday sent a joint letter to the US Senate calling for swift ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Signed by leaders of the military, intelligence, and scientific communities, the letter underscores how current efforts to maintain the US nuclear arsenal are effective, why the test ban treaty is verifiable, and how the treaty can ease tensions in South Asia.

The letter also responds to recent criticisms of the treaty from Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS). Lott has called the test ban "unverifiable and ineffective" and suggests that it is "irrelevant" to the current crisis in South Asia. These experts disagree. They write that nuclear testing is not needed to maintain the US arsenal and that the treaty will improve the US ability to detect nuclear explosions.   Moreover, they write, "The US must take the lead in locking in the test ban regime before other nations follow India and Pakistan’s path. ... In the interest of US national security, the Senate must consent to ratification of the CTBT without delay."

Signers of particular note include:

o Admiral William Crowe, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Reagan and Bush

o Admiral Stansfield Turner, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Carter

o Dr. Hans Bethe, Nobel laureate and head of the theoretical division of the Manhattan Project

o Dr. Henry Kendall, Nobel laureate, Chairman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Professor of Physics at MIT.

If you would like to arrange an interview with any of the signers,
please contact Tom Collina or Rich Hayes at 202-332-0900.

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