Chemical Weapons Ban

THE US Senate is notorious for dragging its feet on ratification of international arms control treaties. One such treaty, currently languishing in the Foreign Relations Committee's grasp, would ban the manufacture and use of chemical weapons. President Bush and leaders of 158 other nations signed it. Sixty- five must ratify for it to go into effect; 35 have done so. US action will influence those still deciding what to do.

The main sticking point: enforcement. Can international detection methods discover a small underground factory, like that used by the Tokyo subway malefactors? Answer: better to have a treaty and constantly improving enforcement techniques than not. So, ratify.

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