UNITED STATES COMMITMENT TO THE
NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY, ARTICLE VI
Indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), without
conditions, is vital to the maintenance of international security. Rhetoric
that seeks to use the NPT as a "bargaining chip" ignores a fundamental fact:
the international community cannot afford to lose the NPT.
The NPT works. The tide of nuclear proliferation has turned. For example:
. The Cold War is over and the nuclear arms race has ended.
. The United States and Russia are reducing nuclear stockpiles at unprecedented
. Only one nuclear power - Russia - emerged from the breakup of the Soviet
Union. The other former Soviet states joined the NPT as non-nuclear weapon
states and the withdrawal of nuclear weapons located on the territory of
Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine is well underway.
. Under the US-DPRK Agreed Framework, North Korea has halted, and committed to
dismantle, its dangerous nuclear program.
. The UN continues monitoring the elimination of Iraq's nuclear, chemical,
biological and missile capabilities.
. South Africa has destroyed its nuclear weapons and adhered to the Treaty.
By offering a nearly universal, internationally verified barrier against
nuclear proliferation, the NPT makes a major contribution to international
stability and provides the best security environment in which to make further
reductions in nuclear arms.
The US takes its Article VI commitments very seriously and has compiled a
strong record of accomplishment. For example:
. The United States is dismantling up to 2,000 nuclear weapons a year.
. Since 1988, the United States has reduced defense expenditures for strategic
nuclear weapons by almost two-thirds.
. Since 1988, the United States has cut military personnel performing duties
with strategic nuclear forces by over two-thirds.
. Since 1988, the United States has reduced its active strategic nuclear
stockpile nearly 60 percent, and its non-strategic nuclear stockpile by 90
. By 2003, with the implementation of START II, the United States will have
reduced its total nuclear forces by 80 percent.
. The United States has not tested a nuclear weapon in almost three years. We
are committed to the negotiation of a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty
(CTBT). To underscore our determination to achieve a CTBT as soon as possible,
the President of the United States recently:
. extended the moratorium on U.S. nuclear testing,
. proposed that the Conference on Disarmament (CD) remain in session through
the summer to continue work on a CTBT, and
. withdrew an earlier U.S. proposal for a special "right of withdrawal" from
the CTBT Treaty 10 years after it enters into force.
. The United States does not produce fissile material for nuclear explosive
purposes and actively supports CD negotiations on a fissile material cut-off
convention. The United States recently committed to remove 200 metric tons of
fissile material from its nuclear stockpile.
. The United States is not manufacturing new nuclear weapons and has halted
research and development of third generation weapons.
. U.S. nuclear weapons are not targeted against any country.
. U.S. bombers no longer stand on day-to-day alert.
. At their September 1994 summit meeting, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin
confirmed their intention to seek early ratification of START II. They also
instructed their experts to discuss concrete steps to adapt their nuclear
forces to the new environment, including possible further reductions once START
II is ratified.
. The United States has reaffirmed its commitment, as stated in Article VI, to
pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear
disarmament, which remains our ultimate goal.
. The United States has reaffirmed long-standing policies on negative and
positive security assurances for non-nuclear weapon states which are parties to
the NPT. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that
recognized those security assurances.
The NPT is a success because it has frozen horizontal proliferation and
created an environment that enabled the nuclear weapon states to reduce their
stockpiles. The unprecedented nuclear reductions of the past few years would
not have been possible in a world of 20 or 30 nuclear weapons states.
Indefinite extension of the NPT will ensure that these favorable conditions