POLIZETTE — Congress has a role in foreign policy — but you wouldn’t know that from
President Barack Obama’s actions over the past year.
The most recent example involves Obama’s desire to ban nuclear testing. He has supported this goal since his earliest days in office, but has been unable to rally support for ratification of the nuclear test ban treaty in the U.S. Senate.
Facing the end of his second term, The Washington Post reports that Obama will bypass Congress and seek a United Nations Security Council Resolution that “would call for an end to nuclear testing” on the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
The Senate voted to reject ratification of the nuclear test ban treaty on Oct. 13, 1999. It did so for sound reasons. For example, the treaty does not define what constitutes a nuclear weapons test. Russia and possibly China conduct hydro-nuclear experiments that allow them to explore new weapons designs and train a more proficient workforce in the national nuclear laboratories.
Even worse, the treaty is not verifiable. One can conduct nuclear tests and experiments in very small spaces or can decouple weapons tests so they wouldn’t be detected. The treaty is not likely to change this behavior.