NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING
For much of the past decade, discussion of tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) has tended to focus primarily on the 1991 Bush-Gorbachev declarations and the problems posed by Cold War TNWs, and particularly the Russian stockpiles. During the 1990s, the United States, Britain and France withdrew almost all their TNWs from Europe, dismantling whole classes of weapons. As is clear from the points made by some of the other chapters in the volume, however, concern is growing that the United States, in particular, may seek to develop and test new tactical nuclear weapons, specifically a low yield, deep penetrating warhead.
During the final year of negotiations of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the United States promised that the zero yield test ban would preclude a host of new nuclear weapons. As a reminder, this is what the Arms Control and Disarmament affairs (ACDA) Director John Holum told the first Conference on Disarmament (CD) plenary of 1996:
Without nuclear testing the nuclear weapon states will not be able to pursue confidently such technologies as the nuclear-explosion-pumped X-ray laser, the so-called nuclear shotgun, enhanced electromagnetic pulse weapons, microwave weapons and enhanced-radiation weapons... The true zero test ban will also place out of reach new “mininuke” and “micro-nuke” concepts—technologies designed to use nuclear explosive yields in small amounts... By fending off such developments, the CTBT will help make nuclear war less likely, and