(And by the way, I also posted over here.)
From yesterday’s White House press briefing (which, among other moments of fluffery, recalled the supposed chants of “four more years” with Commander Codpiece in attendance at the Army-Navy game)…
Q The French are calling for a new universal test moratorium -- nuclear test moratorium, and dismantling nuclear testing grounds. Do you have any response?Wow – she was actually honest (clueless, but honest).
MS. PERINO: I haven't heard that so I'll have to decline to comment on that.
As a response, I should note the following from this Times of India story today…
The European Union is proposing new measures to halt the spread of nuclear weapons, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country holds the bloc's rotating presidency until the end of the year, said on Monday.I’m sure Sarkozy knows this, but the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty has been signed by the U.S., but it has not been ratified (the U.S. and China are under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but other nuclear states including Israel, North Korea, India and Pakistan fall outside the NPT…they also have not ratified the CTBT – and yes, Iran is one of the countries that has signed also). I don't see a need to negotiate a new treaty when the framework for one already exists.
In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made public on Monday, Sarkozy said the 27-nation bloc had proposed a series of initiatives at this year's UN General Assembly aimed at furthering the cause of nuclear disarmament.
"The United Nations have an important role to play in the debate on disarmament. Europe wants to play an important role," Sarkozy said in his letter, dated Dec. 5.
Listing the EU's proposed measures, Sarkozy said one was: "The opening without delay and without preconditions of negotiations on a treaty forbidding the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, as well as the implementation of an immediate moratorium on the production of these materials."
The Wikipedia article tells us that the CTBT has built-in safeguards to protect existing U.S. nuclear stockpiles, and this tells us that, if we were to ratify the treaty, China, India and Pakistan would likely follow (the story also suggests that both Iran and Israel should halt nuclear enrichment; I know what the chances are of that happening, but I think it’s a good idea).
I would ask that President-Elect Obama add the issue of ratifying the CTBT to his loooooong list of action items after the grownups return to the White House next January 21st.