Test Ban Agreement

Test Ban Agreement

The PTBT was the first in a series of nuclear arms control treaties in the second half of the 20th century. The PTBT is seen as a stepping stone to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which explicitly highlighted the progress of the PTBT. [64] In addition to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the PTBT followed in ten years by the Space Treaty and the Tlatelolco Treaty in 1967, the Tlatelolco Treaty in 1971 and the Ballistic Missile Treaty in 1972. [181] In 1974, the Threshold Test Ban Treaty banned underground testing with yields of more than 150 kilograms. [179] [182] In a speech in Moscow after the agreement, Khrushchev declared that the treaty would not end the arms race and could not single-handedly «remove the threat of war» and reiterated his proposal for a non-aggression agreement between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. [123] For Khrushchev, negotiations on banning trials have long been a way to improve the overall image of the Soviet Union and reduce the burden of relations with the West. [133] There is also some evidence that military experts in the Soviet Union saw the test ban as a means of limiting the development of tactical nuclear weapons by the United States, which could have increased the Willingness of the United States to use small nuclear weapons on the battlefields while bypassing Soviet nuclear deterrence. [159] The fear that a complete ban would delay the modernization of the Soviet arsenal may have led Khrushchev to partially ban it. [160] Khrushchev`s interest in reducing testing expenses, as underground testing was more expensive than atmospheric tests conducted by the Soviet Union; Khrushchev preferred a total ban because it would have completely eliminated the cost of testing. [161] In addition, there were internal concerns about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, in particular the prospect of France and China crossing the threshold and the possibility of a multilateral NATO nuclear force, seen as a step towards the acquisition of nuclear weapons by West Germany (the first proposal for a Soviet test ban was presented the same month in 1955).

West Germany joined NATO). [162] In October 1977, the initial PTBT parties renewed the debate on a total ban on testing in Geneva. In the late 1970s, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union agreed on projects that banned all testing, temporarily banned NPEs, and implemented an audit system, including on-site inspections. However, the parties disagreed on the exact details of the audit and discussions would be permanently interrupted with the departure of President Jimmy Carter in 1981. [64] The organization of the control commission. In March 1961, the Soviet Union recommended replacing the sole director of the proposed control commission with a «troika», a tripartite board of directors consisting of a neutral member, a Western member and a communist member (a proposal parallel to the Soviet efforts of the previous year to replace the UN Secretary General with a tripartite commission). This three-person administration would be able to function only unanimously, even in routine cases, a settlement which, according to Western powers, was unenforceable and would render the control commission powerless. The Soviet Union eventually abandoned this request. The Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) prohibits nuclear testing in the atmosphere, in space and under water. It does not prohibit underground testing, but prohibits explosions in the environment if explosions cause debris outside the territory of the responsible state.

The main problem of the treaty was compliance verification and the agreement to implement inspection systems. The Soviet Union proposed an international control system, but the United States was suspected of uncontrolled and secretive efforts.



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