Despite the Clinton Administration’s failed efforts to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1999, the Obama Administration believes the time is right for another attempt in the U.S. Senate, writes Heritage analyst Peter Brookes. Such optimism overlooks the realities of the current strategic environment, in which numerous states such as North Korea and Iran are either seeking nuclear weapons or expanding their arsenals.

Furthering the White House’s CTBT optimism is the ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty last December. According to Ellen Tauscher, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, “The New START debate, in many ways, opened the door for the CTBT.” The reality, however, is that the problems that derailed CTBT more than a decade ago remain present and in many cases have grown worse.

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