Sen. McCain and the nuclear test ban treaty
US ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the international treaty that bans nuclear explosive testing, would be a smart step foward as part of a global effort to reduce the threat from nuclear weapons. This year, many are excited about the prospect of the Senate giving its advice and consent for the treaty’s ratification. The world would be a safer place if the treaty entered into force as it would help prevent nuclear arms races and new nuclear weapons states from emerging.
The Associated Press has some good news for those of us looking for signs that we’re getting closer to reaching the 67 senators needed for ratification of the treaty.
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who helped vote down U.S. ratification of a nuclear test ban treaty ten years ago, said he would now consider supporting it.
McCain told The Associated Press that he could support the treaty, a priority of former presidential rival President Barack Obama, if concerns are addressed before another vote.
It will be interesting to see what concerns surface. Former Secretary of State George Shultz has called for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty’s ratification based on “new evidence” and technological advances in monitoring and detecting nuclear explosions. Sen. McCain’s potential support for the treaty could be important in influencing other Republicans to get on board.
“John McCain is one of the only Republican senators who is independent-minded enough to break out of the partisan dividing lines on this issue,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. “He has the gravitas to influence others in the caucus.”