UN Nuclear Explosive Testing Resolution Welcomed by Armed Services Committee Democrats Garamendi, Sanchez, and Larsen
Today, Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA), Rick Larsen (D-WA), and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces which oversees the US nuclear weapons policy, issued the following joint statement:
"We welcome the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2310 and the Joint Statement of the P5 group of nuclear weapons states, which reaffirm the global norm against nuclear explosive testing. These statements support US national security interests by encouraging states to maintain their national moratoria against explosive testing. These moratoria promote international stability and constrain the development of new nuclear weapons. It is important to note that neither statement is legally binding and neither is a substitute for Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). United States support for UNSCR 2310 and the P5 Joint Statement reaffirms our voluntary, national moratorium on nuclear explosive testing, a commitment which four presidents from both parties have upheld for more than two decades.
"The United States can maintain our moratorium because we possess the technical capability to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of our nuclear stockpile without nuclear explosive testing. Every year, the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces authorizes billions of dollars to fund activities associated with the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program. Tens of thousands of our nation's best scientists, engineers, and military personnel support this vital work at national laboratories across the country. Senior military leadership, civilian officials, and nuclear weapons lab directors have repeatedly testified to the subcommittee that they are fully confident in our nuclear stockpile and that the United States does not need to conduct nuclear explosive testing. UNSCR 2310 and the P5 joint statement reaffirm our commitment to responsible, science-based management of our stockpile rather than explosive testing.
"We also want to take the opportunity to applaud the work of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), which operates a network of more than 300 monitoring stations around the world to detect nuclear explosions. This network is critical to the verification regime required to enforce the CTBT and ensures that information about nuclear explosive tests is made available to the entire international community, not just the handful of states with independent detection capabilities. The network also serves as a deterrent against any state which may believe that it can test an illicit nuclear weapon without detection. Attempts to undermine or withhold US contributions from the CTBTO threaten the international community's ability to monitor destabilizing tests in countries like North Korea and are counterproductive to US national security interests."