Chalk up another Republican endorsement for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Last Friday former Utah Republican Senator Jake Garn called on the U.S. Senate to ratify the Treaty. Said Garn:
Today, one of our greatest security interests is to discourage nuclear weapons testing by others. A global verifiable ban on testing would help block the ability of nuclear-armed countries, such as China, to develop more advanced nuclear weapons. Without nuclear weapon test explosions, could-be nuclear-armed nations — like Iran — would not be able to proof test the smaller, more sophisticated nuclear warhead designs that could be used to arm ballistic missiles.
Evidence that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has some pretty sensible views on nuclear weapons continues to pour in. Last week Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama reaffirmed the DPJ’s commitment to Japan’s three nonnuclear principles. Meanwhile, in an end of the year letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Japanese Foreign Minister Okada stated that the Japanese diplomats who told the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States that the TLAM-N is a key piece of the U.S. extended deterrent to Japan might have gone a little overboard. According to Okada:
Hence, although the discussions were held under the previous Cabinet, it is my understanding that, in the course of exchanges between our countries, including the deliberations of the above mentioned Commission, it was never the case that views were expressed as being those of our government concerning whether or not your government should possess particular [weapons] systems such as TLAM/N and RNEP. If, in some tentative way such a view was expressed, it would clearly be at variance with my views, which are in favor of nuclear disarmament.
In a speech on European Security at L’Ecole Militaire in Paris Secretary of State Clinton reiterated the Obama administration’s commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons. She also commented on the ongoing Nuclear Posture Review. On the Review Clinton noted: we are conducting a comprehensive Nuclear Posture Review to chart a new course that strengthens deterrence and reassurance for the United States and our allies while reducing the role and number of the nuclear weapons we have. How exactly this tightrope will be walked will be revealed (as of now) on March 1.