As many of you know, the Obama Administration has tasked the National Academies Committee on International Security and Arms Control (NAS-CISAC) to prepare a study on technical issues related to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The National Academies has released the terms of reference and committee membership.

The main charge to the committee is “to review and update certain of the analysis in the 2002 report, Technical Issues Related to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.” That report was a model, in my opinion, of the perfect in every way except one — timing. The Clinton Administration didn’t request the report until after the fiasco of the treaty’s defeat in 1999.

This time, the Obama Administration seems intent on doing its homework. The anticipated completion date for the report is Winter 2009/2010 — which would within 6-9 months of the start date. (The project duration is listed as 18 months, however, so perhaps there will be some slippage.)

The Committee, too, is a fine one. Although Garwin and Jeanloz are the only holdovers from the 2002 study, the new committee has some fine additions including former Livermore Director Bruce Tarter, who chaired the AAAS report on the RRW and sat on the Strategic Posture Commission, and Ambassador Linton Brooks, who chaired the Posture Commission’s infrastructure working group and is, generally-speaking, the bee’s knees.