International Monitoring System as a Nuclear Test Verification Tool
It is clear that many countries see the International Monitoring System (IMS) as a useful tool for obtaining information about other nations’ potential nuclear weapons explosions. Experience also shows that the United States will not be deprived of the benefits of the system despite the fact that the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has not entered into force and will likely not enter into force any time soon. Yet the IMS suffers from a number of shortcomings, including the fact that it would likely not be able to detect covert, small-scale nuclear weapons experiments and that it does not define what constitutes a nuclear weapons test. Policymakers should be aware of these shortcomings as they consider these important issues.